Sunday, March 25, 2018

Frostgrave Enchanter's Warband

Frostgrave Enchanter's Warband
The Enchanter Orrick Vos and his retinue as they enter the outskirts of the Frozen City.
As the snow begins to melt across the windswept tundra, a new set of wizards begin to arrive at Frostgrave.  The motivations for such folk vary greatly, and many are in it entirely for profit.  Some, however, come with high-minded ideals they wish to realize amidst the snowy ruins of the City Under Ice.  Such is the case with the Enchanter, Orrick Vos.

Frostgrave Enchanter & Apprentice.
The Enchanter Orrick Vos and his apprentice, Eddard.
 Vos is an alchemical scientist from what seems to be another world entirely, and as such his past is shrouded in total mystery.  He is an accomplished metalsmith and engineer, and has constructed a prosthetic leg that moves as naturally as the original appendage.  It is also known that he is the only master smith known to be able to create the strange metal that he calls 'verite'.  Verite is an alloy of adamantium and orichalcum, somehow forged under a focused beam of light cast by a large, pure emerald.  With Vos's arcane knowledge, the already powerful metal is enhanced and given anomalous magical properties.

These are two Reaper Bones models I just couldn't resist using for wizard & apprentice.  The wrenches are hand weapons, and the fists are double-handed weapons.  It will pay to max out Fight quickly in the campaign.

I actually painted the two of these straight onto the model without a basecoat after experimenting with several of my paints and getting mixed results.  From now on, if I'm not basecoating with an Army Painter spray or some Krylon flat primer I'll be brushing on a thinned basecoat without any primer at all.  They are pretty ugly until you get going along, but there's little that can be done with some Bones models.  For instance, poor Eddard's face is permanently disfigured by a less than optimal cast.  I couldn't find a head that looked proportionate on that body, so I gave him a serious face condition and just kept it.

Frostgrave Enchanter Captain
Captain Vaekold Inubrium.
Vos's original clan of wizards laughed at his discovery, as few of them knew much of forging metals.  He consulted with dwarfs of all ilk, on his world and many others.  He challenged their mithrils with his verite, and traded secrets with them.  One of these dwarven masters was actually intrigued by the strange properties of the metal, and argued that his clan should jump on the knowledge that Vos offered.  The clan, to their credit, listened to his words and took an interest in the new material.

After an extended stay, the clans relented.  The hold of Tarz-Ariz'kagaz embraced the techniques Vos demonstrated after witnessing the strength, durability and some other anomalous properties of the magical metal during a surprise attack by stone giants deep within the hold.  When one of the constructs Vos's apprentice had built saved the High Warsmith of the hold from being smashed by a giants' hammer, the clans saw firsthand what could be done with verite.  The clan had little mithril anyway...but no other clans had the secret of verite.

Much debate among the thanes, engineers and smiths of Tarz-Ariz'kagaz ensued.  Mithril might indeed be stronger under normal circumstances, but verite had other properties that could be exploited.  Vos and his team demonstrated many of the devices he had built using verite in ways that enhanced the basic functions in unexpected ways.  The clans of the hold decided that since this was indeed a thing, they should capitalize before someone else does.

The Enchanter gained much on that day, including a new follower - the dwarven engineer Vaekold Inubrium.  He represents the hold as he travels with Vos to new realms in search of the resources to create more verite.  He also performs many tests on both verite and mithral, along with any other materials he comes in contact with.  In Frostgrave, he finds that the battlefield situations here generate spectacular amounts of data.

This model is a Mage-Knight miniature I plundered called 'Steam Tinker'.  I had always thought about messing around with Mage-Knight models, and this warband is mostly the end result of the thought that something cool could be done with Mage-Knight offense to anyone who likes Mage-Knight.  I'll play with you...but I think I've killed most of the ones I bought.  Actually maybe there are more.  The 'verite' effect on this model is created by laying a basecoat of GW Calthan Brown, followed by a full layer of GW Shining Gold on top of that.  Then I applied Army Painter Green Tone to the gold areas, and highlighted with Chainmail.

Frostgrave Enchanter Medium Constructs
Sword Golems, aka Medium Constructs.
 The so-called 'Sword Golems' are Vos's front line soldiers.  These constructs are built mostly by Inubrium and Eddard, and are considered by Vos to be their ongoing educational project.  The outer shell and core inner workings of these golems are made of treated verite, and the Enchanter's instruction is quite effective.  These metal wonders of magical science are as strong as seasoned soldiers, and their deadly blades prove too fast for many foes.

These models are Mage-Knight models called 'Whirling Golems'.  All I really had to do was apply Army Painter Green Tone and highlight, though I did do a little correcting here and there.  In general though, I really didn't want to spend too much time on these.

Frostgrave Enchanter Musketeers
Ruthless Mercenary Musketeers.
The only other living followers of Vos, the mysterious gunmen known only as 'the Musketeers' use weapons incorporating verite features to great effect.  Guns are not widely known in the lands of Frostgrave, but from where these folk originate they are common.  Vos regularly gifts them with new verite accoutrements, such as armored plates and lined cloaks.  Well-equipped and highly motivated, these cutthroats kill whatever Vos tells them to kill.

These models are Seth Alkot, Monster Hunter and Lazar Grigzov, Khadoran Rifleman from the Iron Kingdoms miniatures line.  There are a lot of models from that line I like, and it's what got me into Warmachine to begin with - specifically, these figures.  They went unpainted for a long time, but I unearthed them while sifting through old stuff right after reading Spellcaster #1.  They fit with the steampunk aesthetic of the Enchanter warband perfectly, since such is the setting they hail from.

Frostgrave Enchanter Large Construct
Verite Golem 'The Matron' aka Large Construct.
One of Vos's masterworks, the large verite golem known as 'the Matron' is an evolution of Vos's theories utilized in the construction of the sword golems.  Lithe and fast but durable and strong, the Matron is armed with huge verite blade and an eternal torch.  It is Vos's prize creation, showcasing many of his most guarded designs and utilizing many secrets of the verite it is made of.

Another Mage-Knight miniature, this one is called 'Battle Maiden'.  This one actually came missing it's weapon, so I found one leftover from a Scyrah myrmidon.  Other than that, all I really did was add a little paint to neaten up the edges of the factory paint job (bleh) and add a few details.  After that, all I needed was the Army Painter Green Tone, since this model was mostly gold already like the Whirling Golems that became my sword golems.

Another Frostgrave Enchanter Large Construct
Verite Golem 'Crasher' aka Large Construct.
 When things get real in the ruins of the Frozen City, Crasher is Vos's answer to most physical threats.  The savage golem is built around a steamcore engine similar to the one that powers Vos's own prosthetic suit and personal weaponry.  Armed with a deadly scything arm and a massive verite-core mace, this thing uses its' size as a primary weapon.

Anooooother Mage-Knight model, this one is actually converted and painted more than the others.  It's a Steam Golem that's been repainted in the 'verite' scheme, obviously.  I also added a Chaos Space Marine arm, a Chaos Defiler's skull faceplate.  I repositioned the legs because they looked silly and had a weird bent to them.  I believe the mace is from a Privateer Mercenary Heavy Warjack kit.

Frostgrave Enchanter Warband Approaching Frostgrave
The Enchanter Orrick Vos and his warband split into teams to take on the enemy and plunder the secrets of Frostgrave!
Vos's recent travels have given him insight that seems to point to Frostgrave as a likely source of new information on verite.  He must know what the ancients here knew about what he thought was a totally new material he had discovered.  He has reason to believe his verite is different from what was produced here, and he means to prove its' superiority.  Vaekold also believes this, and the team sets out into the City Under Ice to vindicate themselves and secure a place in legend.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Make it so that someone craps their  pants.
Inspirobot knows what you really want.
I'd like to introduce you to Challonge.

Challonge makes it easy to display certain information by allowing us to embed the information here on the site.  For some campaigns, tournaments and events, we'll be using Challonge to track the matches and some results.  Each campaign will detail how it works in the relevant campaign portal.

The Iron Seer Challonge Organization page will show basic, team and tournament / campaign organization.  It's not necessary to create a Challonge account, but if you've got an online presence and want to represent we invite you to do so and send us your information in any of the normal ways.  The more players, the merrier.

You can find a link to our organization page and ACTIVE campaigns in the Community tab and in the proper portals.  While we won't be using it for every single game, it's too useful a tool to NOT use.  The first campaign already up soon, and you can check out the rankings on our campaign post.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Storm King's Thunder: Prepare to Die Edition [Part 5]

*Last Updated: 6/13/18*

Warning:  SPOILERS ahead for Storm King's Thunder.

View Campaign Page.

5.1 The Yakfolk Village

The way is decided, and the party begins to move forward.  They will go to Ironslag, to the Yakfolk Village, and find the Conch of Teleportation.  Harshnag decides to stay behind to protect the Eye of the All-Father, and the party bids a fond farewell.

Just as they are leaving, they hear a horrible noise.  The doors burst open to the main shrine of the Eye, and an enormous blue dragon smashes its' way in.  When Harshnag and the creature lock eyes, mortal combat begins.

It becomes apparent very quickly that the party is outmatched.

Harshnag fights valiantly, but implores the party to continue onward.  Given little other choice but to escape, the party somberly retreats.  A huge rumble in the mountain is heard from above in the airship.  A mournful tone followed them all the way to the mountain where Ironslag lay, and during the trip Starman composed a tune to the memory of their only giant friend...

The cry of dragon filled the hall - in frozen depths where shadows crawl - the voice of Harshnag called us to flee - his axe and life forfeit to see us free...

The blue wyrms blows fell like death - Harshnag stood as we left - his axe like thunder, his heart so bold - stood his ground on stone so cold.

We left is fear, we left in grief - Harshnag defended us from the teeth - our hearts heavy, our friend is lost - we seek revenge at any cost.

Along the trip, the party is attacked in the air by a group of aarakocra and an air elemental.  These threats are swiftly dealt with by the party, but the dragon cultists suffer a few casualties.  The encounter does serve to remind the adventurers that their position in the air is precarious.

As the party approaches the Yakfolk village, they wonder about how to land on the precarious mountain.  As they watch the yakfolk gather, they simply decide to land in the middle, as they allowed the yakfolk to become aware of their presence.  Much to their surprise, the yakfolk are friendly!

The party meets Chief Kartha-Kaya and his wives, Nahala and Imberu.  The adventurers are invited to sit with the chief and feast.  Wine and smoke are brought, and Niv imbibes too much.  After a while, the party begins to notice the presence of slaves all around them.  For their part, the yakfolk see the owning of such slaves as the natural order of things.  The party agrees to stay overnight at the yakfolk village, after speaking with them of the giants below.

5.2 Inside Yakfolk Village

The party drags Niv's comatose form into a hut provided by the yakfolk, and prepare to bed down for the evening.  An ethics discussion ensues, where the party debates the nature of slavery and what, if anything, can be done for the naked slaves of the yakfolk.  In the end, they resolve to do what they must for the captives in the morning.

The yakfolk, however, don't care to wait that long and bust through the door, attempting to take the party unawares.  The action is swift, and soon yakfolk litter the ground, bloodied and dying.  The party presses forward, out of the hut, to take on the wider village of the yakmen in mortal combat.

5.3 Escape from Yakatraz

The party decimates the rest of the yakmen, killing Kartha-Kaya and his entire clan.  The slaves quietly look on in awe as the party begins to investigate the now-quiet village.

5.4 The Mines of Ironslag

The party descends through many levels of the mines of Ironslag, going ever deeper into the mountain towards the great forge at its' heart.

5.5 Salamander on Duty

Emerging from the mines into the smelter area of Ironslag, the party rescues several dwarf slaves from a horrific salamander taskmaster.  Upon gaining their freedom, the former captives relate to the party there are more prisoners below.  Perturbed, the adventurers weigh their options.

5.6 Intruder Alert!

Ignoring the advice of the dwarves they liberated, the party retreats a short way into the mines and attempts to rest.  However, the fire giant overseers below in Ironslag get hip to the fact that there are no more slaves loading mine carts and send out a general alarm throughout the complex.  The party's anxiety grows as they hear approaching guards.

The adventurers get the jump on a group of ogres searching the lower mines for escaped slaves, but one manages to run back into the smelting area.  Not long after, a bigger patrol made up of fire giants arrives and sees the dead ogres and missing slaves.  The giants attempt to take the party captive, but through a both cunning and lucky confluence of events the adventurers manage to triumph over their enemies, though only two of the giants were actually slain.

5.7 Captured by Giants!

The characters flee back into the mines, and narrowly avoid the patrols through stealth and cunning.  Eventually they are able to rest and ready themselves to re-enter Ironslag.  This time, however, they have a different approach.

Ikki Popp polymorphs himself into a Fire Giant.  The party them fake-binds themselves with ropes, and the faux-giant Ikki proceeds to walk into Ironslag.  Not far in, they encounter Zaltember, Duke Zalto's son.  He is enraged, and agrees to take the party to his father after being told those were the faux-giant's orders.

The party encounters Duke Zalto deep in Ironslag, after passing by many giants and other beings doing Ironslag things.  Very soon, violence erupts, and though the party fought bravely, Duke Zalto managed to shove through and wound Starman.  The party surrenders shortly thereafter.

Berry is thrown into Zalto's hammer.  Starman is taken by the Duchess Brimskarda, presumably to revive and then look after Zaltember, who was shot in the back of the head by Briar and unknown effect.  The rest of the party were imprisoned in the slave pens...where they wait for their chance to get out of this mess.

5.8 Zalto Family Values

Things look grim for our intrepid adventurers.

While the duchess Brimskarda kept Starman with her in the kitchen until he regained his faculties, the others are kept in the slave pens with several other groups of prisoners. Berry is kept by Zalto in the hammer and dragged around the Vodindod most of the day.  The party is unsure how to proceed, but are confident since the giants didn't confiscate any gear.

Berry witnesses emissaries of the drow approach Duke Zalto and bequeath a gift - a primordial elemental that powers up the adamantine forge.  He offers nothing in return, and the drow leave.  However, now that the forge is hot enough, Zalto to redoubles his previously stymied efforts on the Vodindod reconstruction.  Shortly, he gets so wrapped up he pretty much forgets about the earlier intruders (the party).

Soon the daughter of the Duke, Cinderhild, pays the slave pens a visit.  She shoos the guards out, who think she plans to torture the captives.  She then engages Briar and Softhands in conversation and it leads to a deal:  pretend to take her captive and get her out of Ironslag.  The party agrees, and she releases them and the other slaves.  As they move through the fortress, the inhabitants keep their distance until they reach the kitchen area...

Brimskarda is displeased.  After a short exchange, the party tells her they want only to leave with their companion.  The duchess informs them that the priest will leave only after her son is healed.  The party agrees, and the duchess tells them to talk to her husband in the forge area while she fetches Starman.

After a short exchange in giantish with his family, and then in Common with the party, the terms of a deal are laid out.  They will exchange Cinderhild for their companions, and this is readily agreed to by the giants.  In addition, the party offers the location of a Vodindod fragment in return for access to King Hekaton.  Baffled by why they would want that, and not caring either way what happens to them, Duke Zalto agreed and gives them his conch of teleportation.  The party gave him false information twice, but he seemed to buy the second bit.

Starman healed the stricken Zaltember, and  and the party left with Cinderhild in tow.  Starman took the elevator to the Yakfolk village, where the dragon cultists had been busy feeding dead yakfolk to the chimera.  The mounted the airship, and caught up with the reset of the party below.  The party flew with Cinderhild to a safe distance, then parted ways with the young giantess.

With the conch of teleportation now in their possession, the only thing left to do is blow.

Return to Storm King's Thunder: Prepare to Die Edition?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

X-Wing: Cloak of the Sith Campaign

*Updated 6/12/2018*
Datafile: Planet Roon
Image: Wookieepedia and
Welcome to Iron Seer's first campaign!

We intend for there to be several campaigns going on at once, and because of this there may be some slow movement on some of them.  Never fear - the time limits are gone!  In fact, it's set up to be a sustained campaign.  In the past we've actually had them go on well over a year before we reigned it back to focus on one at a time, but we're opening the floodgates now.  When everything is in place, you can be guaranteed no matter which minis you want to move you can have your game recorded for posterity with Iron Seer!

Star Wars X-Wing has been a favorite since it burst onto the scene a few years ago, and pretty much everyone who's into games that I know digs this one.  For this campaign, there will be three factions vying for supremacy of the Manda-Roon Merchant Route, the Death Wind Corridor and the other space around Roon, Ryloth and Manda.

The Rebellion's Battle Fleet Tarquinas has been mustering near Ryloth for the past while, and after Imperial aggression around the Cloak of the Sith, has been forced to relocate to a remote area outside the Cloak.  From here, the Battle Group must contend with enemy fighters all along the Cloak, from Imperial TIEs swarming Ryloth or Manda to pirate scum pouring out of Death Wind Corridor.  It is the responsibility of the Alliance Flight Commanders to protect the secret of the mustering Battle Fleet, and to perform military action against the enemies of the Rebellion as it is necessary.

Imperial Expeditionary Fleet Naugrelas arrived in the sector near Manda and at least one large fleet scale action has occurred around the Cloak, though the Imperials balk at flying into it.  Instead, carriers and escort ships have been sent in for patrols looking for pirates, and hoping for rebels.  Recently, the Imperials scaled back their efforts to move more capital ships into the Cloak itself...but space stations are reportedly being built for the purpose of monitoring and attacking unauthorized ships on both ends of Death Wind Corridor and the Manda Route.

For their part, the Death Wind Cartels seem united.  They hate everyone, and they want all the big ships OUT.  Indiscriminately attacking all military vessels, it seems they are united behind one thing: the ejection of the larger Galactic Civil War so they can go back to murdering each other in peace.

Campaign Rules
  • Teams
    • Signup on our Facebook Group and declare your faction.  Obviously, you'll need to be somewhat local to play in the campaign (at least for now).
    • If you have a Challonge account or want to make one, you can add your name and face to our Challonge team page!
  • Matches
    • Matches are best of three games.  Sets are counted for each game played, and the match goes to the first player to achieve two wins against their opponent.
    • 100 Squadron Points available per game.
    • For 3 person games, one commander will run an allied faction squadron 'under the banner' of the other commander.  For 4 person games, two games will be drawn on the campaign record with each commander squaring off against one of the opposing commanders.
  • Team and Pilot Ranking
    • The team that accrues the most match wins will win the campaign and move the narrative forward.
    • Individual Pilots will be given a ranking based on the number of sorties and their success rate.  The Player with the highest individual rank will be declared Galactic Fighter Ace by the Iron Seer and everyone will have to live with that until a new one is crowned.
    • The player that has played the most games sets the Battle Level.  The difference between the Battle Level and your number of sorties will affect your individual ranking, meaning you will not win the campaign if you win one game.

Poorly Photoshoped X-Wingery
Note to Graphic Designers:  Mind the S-Foils.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Rogue Star Wars: Imperials

In this follow on from our Rebellion team, we take a look at the first Imperial scenario team for our Rogue Star Wars scenarios.  The team will also be 200 XP at the start of the campaign, and will be built around a core of Imperial Storm Troopers.  It will represent a hunter team first dispatched to Roon to ferret out the last remaining rebels still operating there.  More on that later...

For now, let's take a look at the actual team.

Star Cops get a neat advantage in that one member can use Intelligence gear, but I'm not going to exercise that ability in the initial build.  Instead, I'm going to be spending a lot of points on Storm Trooper armor.  Once you start handing out armor, you'll notice your troops basic cost is a lot higher...and that's to be expected.  I opted for basic gear on most of the troopers, but the squad has a rifle specialist.

As well as all that, the Bounty Hunter has a few skills to make him more dangerous, even if I didn't end up giving him a Marksman bonus or full combat dress.  I see him more as an independent operative rather than the squad's combat leader.  He's the tracker...and he wants to get paid.

To that end, this team is taking the Heavy Firepower tactical discipline.  This allows your team members to perform Hail-of-Fire attacks, which is basically auto/rapid fire, without a penalty.  This is limited to up to five times per game, but in a clench that seems really powerful.

Imperial Hunter-Killer Team (Star Cops)
Heavy Firepower
  • Bounty Hunter (59)
    • Veteran, Tough (2), Reactive, Lucky
    • Light Combat Dress & Assault Rifle; Frag Grenade
  • TK-666 (35)
    • Marksman (1)
    • Combat Dress & SMG; Frag Grenade
  • TK-187 (35)
    • Marksman (1)
    • Combat Dress & SMG; Frag Grenade
  • TK-138 (35)
    • Marksman (1)
    • Combat Dress & SMG; Frag Grenade
  • TK-272 (36)
    • Marksman (1)
    • Combat Dress & Molecular Slugthrower; Frag Grenade
  • 200 XP Total
The Heavy Firepower discipline will allow the team to keep up a withering hail of fire on any target that presents itself, even as they advance.  Following the tactics of the Storm Trooper Corps., the idea is to march forward and overwhelm anything that might think about trying to put up a resistance.  Add in all the grenades and you get a very promising-looking group of troopers that should be able to breach any resistance they may run into.

Imperial Hunter-Killer Team with Alpha-class Starwing
Imperial patrols in and around the Cloak of the Sith have stepped up the firepower.