The Lord of the Rings, parallel adventure.

I did not know how to call it. What I am planning to do is playing solo encounters with the members of the Fellowship through their journey from The Shire up to Gondor or even farther. But it is not going to be exactly as in the books or in the movies as I am going to skip big events and battles, as well as powerful, almost unbeatable characters from the skirmishes such as Tom Bombadil, the Ring Wraiths, the Balrog, the Undead from the Dark Door or Sauron to name a few. My idea is to play skirmishes with everyday monsters so to speak, and see if the members of the Fellowship survive or not; in a fashion to the old PC game Lord of the Rings from 1990 from Interplay, which alsot had that fantastic soundtrack. I mean, it is quite probably that some of them won't make it, and that the One Ring passes from one bearer to another on its way to its final destination. We shall see.

In my mind, I thought about playing two encounters with the Hobbits going from The Shire to Bree, then one with Aragorn before Bree. After that, the survivors will have two more encounters before reaching Rivendell. There, the Fellowship will be formed (I won't play encounters of Gandalf, Gimli and Boromir reaching Rivendell as I cannot remember there were any information about them). The Fellowship will depart from Rivendell and will have one encounter in Moria, maybe another encounter in their way to Lórien. Later, the ambush of the Uruk Hai and then one mission with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli to rescue Pippin and Merry if they still live. After Helms Deep and the meeting with Saruman, the surviving members of the Fellowship will go to Minas Tirith, but before that I will surely play at least one encounter with Frodo, Sam and Gollum, maybe with Shelob and Cirith Ungol, and probably, if I reach that far, I will think and play some more encounters like Ithilien and who knows? maybe a few more up to Mordor.

I'll be using home made solo skirmish rules for the fighting, and the beautiful book Jouneys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey to get a general idea of the journey and its surroundings when deploying terrain. The miniatures to play are all 1/72 soft plastic soldiers, mostly from Dark Alliance and Caesar, plus the Fellowship of the Ring that it is 3D printed.

This copy belonged to my best buddy who sadly passed away on 2020, and I am going to share this adventure with him as well as with you, dear readers.

Woody End
Hiding from the the Rider, the Hobbits took the path through Woody End south of East Road. The river is The Stockbrook, and they have to cross it to get to Maggot's Farm and then the Causeway. The Hobbits start at the bottom left, on the path, and there is one hazard token (HT) up in their way. More HTs, one per turn, will appear on any border at random: 1d6: 1-3 top border, 4 rightt, 5 bottom, 6 left. HTs can be good or bad things, events or even a false alarm. The Hobbits in the thick wood count as hidden and enemies can only detect them by passing a spotting test.

Our little adventurers coming out from their world for the first time.

Suspecting some trouble ahead the compay decided to get out of the path and into the wood but the HT also moved similarly. HTs move at random.

They continued to move East and having sight of the HT they resolved it. Funnily, of all possible things they could meet, it was an Elf. -Look Mister Frodo, Elves!

Another HT showed behind them but I was more relaxed after seeing they will have some help.

The Elf and the Hobbits pushed forwards towards the ford and for a few turns they did not see anybody. Here I made a mistake with my own rules as HTs should have started to appear since the very first turn, and also move straight towards the centre of the table and then at random, but instead of that, they started moving at random since they appeared and so, they ended very dispersed and away from the Hobbits. When I realised about this it was too late so I decided to leave it as it was and give the boys some edge for being their first encounter.

Here are the adventurers about to cross the ford and exit the sector with success. Another reason for  this lack of enemies was that I never rolled 1 to 3 with a d6 for deploying HTs and thus no one came to their front, but from sides and from back, allowing them to escape without any trouble.

Not a very exiting game but we will see how they manage in the next encounter, crossing the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs.


Last Troll.

There are four Trolls in the Dark Alliance box and I painted all except this one, which happens to be the most similar to the one we can see in the film the Lord of The Rings when the Fellowship is in Moria. That is the reason I finally painted it as I grew tired of painting these Trolls, but I need this last one for my LOTR campaign.; so there it is.


And here you have the four Trolls included in the box, painted, based and ready to roll.


Skaven Slapchop

After seeing a few videos about the Slapchop technique I decided to try it with the 1/72 soflt plastic ratmen from Caesar Miniatures.

I have to say that I'm not satisfied with the result, which seems to be quite different to the ones I saw on Youtube, so I suppose I must be doing something wrong. Maybe the miniatures are too small for Slapchop or maybe GW's contrasts or Army Painter's speed ones are more suited for that than Vallejo's Xpress, which are the ones I have at home.

The result is poor and the time and effort is superior to standard painting of block painting, dipping and a few lights. You need to prime the figure in black and then retouch it with a brush to cover those holes where the spray doesn't reach. After that, it's drybrushing it in pale grey and then drybrushing in white, to finally apply the contrast paint. If you ask me, it's too many steps and a poor result in the end.

I think I will paint another batch of ratmen with the dip and then post some pictures comparing both methods.

Here you have the first wave of "Skavens". The big one that will fight as an Ogre Rat, is an original GW's painted by a great friend from the hobby who gave it to me together with a box of Caesar's ratmen. I only painted the base and some lights on the metallic parts.

In this picture you can compare the figure on the left with the Slapchop technique, next to the one on the right primed in white and painted with Xpress directly. As you can see, there is no noticeable difference in the final result; maybe even the right one is better. BTW, I had to give two coats of Xpress to both figures to get a decent result, so it is more work added.

And finally and comparison between traditional block paint, dip and lights on the left and Slapchop with Xpress on the right.


More adventurers.

Three more adventurers. Two plastic from Caesar Adventurers box and one metal from Elheim, the barbarian. I picked up the first one in plate armour to use it as paladin or questing night, but after painting it, I realised about his colours and his winged helm and decided he could also be a knight of Dol Armorth and painted his shield accordingly. The third one could be Felix Jeager from Felix and Gotrek, but I didn't paint him blonde.

The metal barbarian is a bit crude even compared to plastics; and his sword a bit small for my taste. Such big muscles for such tiny sword.

And here is the shield. I couldn't decide which picture was better so I uploaded both. I'm quite happy about how the shield turned out as it's rather small.