Sunday, November 27, 2016

Building buildings for Age of Sigmar Mighty Battles battleplans

As a rabid collector I couldn't resist buying the amazing hard cover Age of Sigmar books. Since then I've been toying with the idea of playing through all the missions from the books one by one, campaign style.

Big linked campaign battles are awesome, even when fighting against unpainted troops.

The armies
Before I get started on organizing this, I have to take care of two problems. First: proper armies. I am working on a Chaos host and I actually have quite a few unpainted Stormcast Eternals around, but if it is going to be a campaign there will be other players. They will probably have a different armies then the ones in the book. As it actually stands, this first problem is no problem at all. The Battleplans allow you to use any army you want. Although it will be a good idea for players to have models with the TOTEM and PRIEST keyword in their army.

The margins of Battleplans have interesting doodles that can help inspire terrain, here are a few of my renditions of those doodles for use in this project.
Planning Age of Sigmar terrain
Second, and that is the big on, is terrain. The armies might differ, but terrain can and should be build to represent the proper Time of War zone and to support the missions. That will be a fun project to get started on with the end of year holiday coming up. The first step to this is indexing the missions in Age of Sigmar - Mighty Battles In An Age Of Unending War. The book features eight missions spread over three Time of War battlefields:

  • Hold or Die (Brimstone Peninsula)
  • The Watchtower (Brimstone Peninsula)
  • The Ritual (Brimstone Peninsula)
  • The Trap (Greenglades)
  • Breakthrough (Greenglades)
  • Pre-Emptive Strike (Greenglades)
  • Sudden Assault (Hanging Valleys of Anvrok)
  • Storm the Walls (Hanging Valleys of Anvrok)
This could have worked for the relic, but it has been themed to my Swamp terrain and is more suitable to the Realm of Life.
Brimstone Peninsula
Next up is identifying the terrain needed. Every battleplan features an example map that is (mostly) rather poor on terrain. All the terrain used on the maps is for sale as a plastic kit with GW. That is useful if you're not a scratch builder and practical to get some idea of the sizes. To play the Brimstone Peninsula missions as per book you need 2 Sylvaneth Wildwoods, 1 Skull Keep (tower) and 1 Baleful Realmgate. To be sure every entry is all the terrain pictures in the respective missions! The Brimstone Peninsula does add 6 (numbered) geysers as a terrain feature to be used in the Time of War missions and also adds the extra that all terrain used should be covered in smoke. 

I have build enough of this style terrain to fill a table. So I've got the Greenglades covered.

The Greenglades in the Realm of Life are rather better filled with terrain. The maps feature 5 or 6 Sylvaneth Wildwoods each, 1 Skull Keep, 1 Baleful Realmgate and 2 Ophidian Archways. The Time of War rules for greenglades mention that extra Sylvaneth Wildwoods can spring up during battle. Of course this can be any piece of scenery with an appropriately sized base. Lucky for me I have already built a full set of swamp terrain so the Wildwood equivalents for my set are ready for use. 

I could always use the Citadel Fortress if I change my mind about building my own Chaos Dreadhold.
Hanging Valleys of Anvrok
Last but not least are the Hanging Valleys of Anvrok. This is where the last two missions in the Mighty Battles book are set. Unfortunately this book offers no Time of War rules for said valleys. These can be found on page 42 of The Quest for Ghal Maraz. Sadly no extra terrain is mentioned in these rules. On the plus side the last two missions are actually rather dense on terrain and use 3 Ophidian Archways, 3 Numinous Occulums, and 1 massive chaos fortress. 

A shot of my Mordheim city. I should make a blog about this.
What to build
That gives me an interesting 'to-do' list for building Age of Sigmar terrain for the first book. If I make sure the buildings are all based generic enough to be used in every realm I need the following buildings (with a base size indication in parenthesis): 
  • 2 Brimstone Peninsula Wildwoods
  • 6+2 Greenglades Wildwoods
  • 1 Tower (Skull Keep)
  • 1 Baleful Realmgate
  • 3 Ophidian Archways
  • 3 Numinous Occulums
  • 1 Chaos Fortress
  • 3 Siege objective markers 
As I said, I already have a nice collection of Swamp Terrain, so I can check item 2 of the list. I also have a rather large collection of Mordheim ruins that I have not shown on my blog yet. I will want to build six new ruins that are about the size of the Archways and Occulums. I'll try to tie the GW-look into it (slightly) although I do want to put my own stamp on it so they can be used with my Mordheim ruins (maybe a half timbered look). I'll probably have to make the three archways and one occulum look like ruined parts of a curtain wall to tie them in with the fortress for the last mission. However it goes these will be six different buildings, making it a step up on using the two standard plastic kits available. The only standard kit I'll use is the Baleful Realmgate as I happen to have one of those in my bits box. 

Swamp keep is finished, but unfortunately I need a keep to use on the Brimstone Peninsula.
Building a keep
Building a Skull Keep will be lots of fun as I have some experience working with the GW kit and giving my own twist to it (with a lot less eye-damaging protrusions to keep me and my opponent safe while using True Line of Sight). I think I will make a Chaos Dreadhold of it as that works a little better as a keep. Making enough room on the battlements and giving it at least some character to hold its own against the GW kit will be fun challenges. 

I build andpainted this one a while back for my local GW, unfortunately it is not mine, so I will need to build something different for myself.
Chaos Fortress 
Last but not least is the Chaos Fortress with its accompanying three siege objective markers. The fortress is described as: "Towering over the surrounding valley rises an imposing fortress, a vast stronghold that dominates the land as far as the eye can see." I think I will do something with a cliff to give it a seriously oppressing look. It is a fortress in Chamon so maybe do something metallic with it will give extra points. Also the last mission requires three siege objectives that will be placed on or within the fortress boundaries, so that will mean I can go wild making ovesized levers and the like (with the accompanying fun of making up extra rules for them). 

I see more of this in my future. Let's try to remember to take enough WIP pictures this time.
Planning and building 12 new terrain pieces 
All in all I should be planning and building 12 new terrain pieces to play through the missions in book zero (Ghal Maraz is officially numbered 1) of the Age of Sigmar Realmgate Wars. A nice challenge to sink some time in (in addition to regular painting of course). I think I'll start with drawing some plans, finding out the exact measurement of the GW terrain, and cutting some MDF bases. Watch my blog for progress reports.

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