18 months later (…or what was I thinking?)


Although I tossed the idea around in my head for a long time it wasn’t until January of last year that I officially started this project.  A mix of Mage Knight, Mage Wars, BattleLore, Summoner Wars, etc. with miniatures. This week I wanted to zoom out and see where it currently is and take an assessment of what all I still need to do.  This is actually the first time I’ve gotten everything spread out at once and to be honest it’s kind of exciting and is re-energizing me to forge ahead with more.

I’m currently using some Heroscape hex terrain for the world map in order to get in more encounters and playtime.  I’m using the Hirst Arts cavern mold pieces for mountains and I’ve gutted a Disney monopoly board game that I picked up second-hand for cottages and castles along with some prototypes:


This is the look and flavor I’m trying to achieve:


The leaders enter the map where they battle to control cities in which they can purchase additional troops:


They will conquer and control mines, mills, temples, etc. which will allow them to gather resources such as gold, lumber, stone, faith, mana for spells, etc.:


They will encounter enemies as they explore:


When an encounter occurs the battle between the armies (Earth Tribe and Cloud Tribe below) takes place on another board representing the battlefield:





The cards keep track of individual troop statistics such as name and description, movement values, if they are melee or ranged, unit value (how many spaces they take up in the leaders army), attack rate and hit points.




At this point I have not come up with a name for this game and I’m still working on a few issues such as battle mechanics (we’re close), the logistics of gathering components to cast spells and how to balance and counter balance the elemental factors.  For instance, how will fire and ice interact?  How will clay and lightning interact?

I’m leaning towards giving each tribe a set of values that include all the elements present but that are stronger in some while weaker in others depending on where they fall on the spectrum.  In other words the Magma Tribe will be higher in fire and earth, the Divine Tribe will be higher in Arcane and Runic and the Air Tribe will be higher in Lightning and Frost.

The Fire Tribe will have an advantage over the Water Tribe with a high attack rate but low defense and vice-verse with the Water Tribe over the Fire Tribe.  All in all I’m trying to create some drama that will affect which enemies you have advantages and disadvantages against and who you choose to battle.


Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl



Sylvan Elves Pt.2


I was able to get a bit more done on the elves this weekend and wanted to share an update.  In the last post I spoke of having to choose between the elves of Disciples and HOMM and I came to realize that it doesn’t have to be one or the other so I took a little from both and came up with a happy compromise.

On the back row from left to right we have an Oracle (healer), a Scout (archer – ranged) and Mage (ranged):


Next we have another Scout, another Oracle and a third Scout:


Front row left to right is a Centaur Lancer and a Sprite:


Middle are a War Dancer that had his sword replaced with a pole (a la Shaolin monk) and the Hero:



The Hero is a bash of a GW wood elf torso and head, a set of WF Persian legs and a Reaper Bones unicorn.  I took some antlers off a plastic deer to add a little decor to the headset:




Lastly the other Centaur Lancer and Sprite:


For decor I found a dollar statue and some wedding cake decorations that were painted up and weathered:


Hopefully this week I’ll some spare time to get them based,  set on a display board and work on the Spirit of the Forest Miniature.

Thanks for taking a look,

Night Owl


Sylvan Elves


It’s been a while since I’ve worked on the Elemental Tribes project and the excitement of the upcoming Frostgrave release has inspired me to work on another clan.  Now while I wouldn’t consider “life” to be an element I would consider it to be a source of magic.  I really had trouble deciding how to do the elves.  On one hand I had the lovely inspiration of the darker autumn elves from the Disciples franchise:



On the other I had the vibrant spring themed elves of Heroes of Might & Magic:


Because of the Reaper Bones miniatures I have on hand I decided to go with the latter.

So without further ado I introduce Sylvan Elves of the Life Tribe.


I picked up some Hero clix  faeries a while back when I first started the idea of doing Elemental Tribes, so long ago in fact that I don’t remember what they were originally.  I think Hornet or something along those lines.  After unsuccessfully trying all kinds of methods to strip the paint from these gals I finally gave up and just painted over them.  The detail is pretty blurry but they serve their purpose.  They are based on the sprites from Heroes of Might & Magic.


This week I’ve been working on a healer and a couple of archers:


I was able to add a mage and another archer this weekend:


I really wanted to gather and paint up a tribe of elves that represented a wilder and more tribal Druid-like feel than what I have seen available on the market.  Yes, GW does make some nice Woodies but the entire genesis of this idea stemmed from the idea of “using the miniatures I already have lying around with minimal additional purchases”.  I also didn’t want them to be armored or using any metal weapons as they would obtain all their resources from the forest so there will be some modifications coming up with the mage and a ranger who are both wielding swords.

More to come…


Night Owl


Earth Tribe – Orc Conversions

This weeks new elemental tribe is the Earth Tribe.  I’ve decided to use Orcs for this clan instead of what might be the obvious elves for no reason other than I’ll be using them for the wood tribe.  Plus I’m still waiting for the Reaper Bones II kickstarter delivery that has the centaurs for that race.


This is a pretty good mishmash of parts and pieces.  I wanted to make my orcs a little different than the green ape-like orcs that are everywhere and more of an civilized tribal society with a tropical flair.  I started by using Mantic orc bodies and adding GW Chaos Marauder arms and GW Beastmen shields.



I wanted to go with earthy colors and gave them a brown skin with a green, tan and blue color palette, similar to the earth when viewed from space.  The ranged troops are using spears instead of bows and the healers are musicians.



I used the Reaper Bones Orc Hunter Spearman for the leader.  I cut of the right arm at the elbow and replaced it with a sword from the bits box.  I removed the spear remains from the left hand and added a shield.



I thought the shield was a little wimpy so I had to come up with something that would make it a little more severe.  I chopped some tips off two disposable flossing tools and attached them to the back of a bigger shield.



It’s a little over the top but, hey, he’s the leader and needs to be easily recognized anywhere on the table.


In addition, I added the Reaper Bones Earth Element to finish the clan out.


As usual everything still needs to be based and I need to come up with their magic spells.

More to come…


Night Owl

Elementals for the Cloud Tribe and Experimental Health Counters

This past week has been a little hectic so just a little blurp this week.  I recently acquired some Zephyrs from the Dark Age miniature line.  These are made of clear resin and I thought they would work good for my elementals.


Imagine my surprise when they arrived and needed to be assembled.  I don’t know why I expected something different, I guess the Reaper Bones line is spoiling me.


With some delicate assembly and a blue glaze I ended up with a nice little water elemental.


The next one I opted to leave clear so as to represent my air elemental.


These will both be used by the Cloud Tribe, and I’m thinking out loud here, but I would like to somehow create a synergy between the two that will allow them to work both individually and cooperatively.

For instance, they would default individually as what they are: water and air elementals.  But when they are on adjoining hexes they have the option to combine their forces to gain a bonus – maybe the ability to cast a Vapor Burst spell?  Something that goes along with the Cloud Tribe theme.  We’ll see.


There’s a third one that I’ll save for when I need an additional elemental.


Also, I have been banging my head for months trying to figure a way to create health counters for miniatures used on a hex board.  While using dice works fine on the larger battle mat it seemed too intrusive to use in the smaller board setting.

I happened across these numbered beads at my local super center priced at $1.97 this past week and thought they would be worth experimenting with.


Small and unobtrusive  – that’s good.


The idea is they start with X amount and as they take damage the bead is replaced with another with the appropriate value.




I haven’t played with them yet and my fear is that after a round or two with my big gorilla fingers this idea may get tossed to the wayside but it’s the closest thing I have found yet that isn’t distracting to the miniatures themselves.  Something themed to each tribe would be even better but I’ll work with this and see what happens.

Until next time,

Night Owl

The Cloud Tribe

It’s time for the next skirmish crew.  Introducing the Cloud Tribe.  Their main element of power is air with a water influence.


I’m using mostly the Alkemy Jade Empire miniatures for this race, with a few additions such as the WOTC Drunken Master and a few dollar store plastic tigers.



I’ve converted the Hell Dorado Soul Carrier upper body with a set of Persian cavalry legs and mounted him on a water ox that I found for a buck at the thrift store a while back.




Since air is readily available his job is to provide the water necessary to cast spells such as:

  • Cloud Shroud – cast on one allied unit will deflect one point of damage
  • Wind Burst – cast on enemy unit and forces that unit backwards 3 spaces
  • Layer of Fog – For two turns, all enemy movement is halved, all enemy ranged units do half damage
  • Air Elemental – Summons air elemental within 2 spaces of caster
  • Water Jet – launches jet of water doing one point of damage

Their animal companions are the Clouded Leopards (did anyone guess that last week?)  I tried to emulate the same pattern but bring in the blue and cream from the army color scheme.  At first I wasn’t completely sold on it but it is growing on me.




They obviously have an Eastern flavor to them so I wanted to continue with that theme and used an aquarium decoration for the display board.


I added a small waterfall and some plastic bamboo.




I still need to base the miniatures and come up with some kind of cloud or water crystals.  I’ve got some Christmas ornament icicles that may be worth experimenting with.  That will keep me busy this week.

Thanks for looking,

Night Owl



World Map Hex Boards, Farm Houses & Dungeon Crawls…OH MY!


It seems this past week has had me working on several projects simultaneously but not really making any progress on any of them.  “Waffling” was the term an old economics professor liked to use, although I prefer the term “prepping”.  I have a few things to post this week and hopefully they’ll all catch their stride now that some things are in place.  I could have posted them all as separate topics but why not throw everything on the table at once?  It is more fun that way right?

First is the DIY World Hex map:

This has been made using the same technique as the skirmish Battle Board but using a 1 inch hex instead of a 2 inch:


Back during the holiday break my brother-in-law and I spent an afternoon creating a handful of little buildings using trim wood.  We used a band saw and a belt sander and came up with quite a little collection of village pieces.


They’ve been sitting patiently waiting for their turn in the queue along with all the other projects.  These will be used as markers designating resource centers and city/skill upgrades for the game.


I also received my resource tokens from  Mayday Games.  This is the King’s Deluxe Wooden Token Set and the Energy/Lightning Bolt Token set.  They will represent the resources stone, wood, gold and faith.


Another project that I finished was the Linka Farm House:



I took break last weekend and tried out some the rules I’m using to see if they transfer over to a dungeon crawl solo run.  Nothing too heavy, as it needs some adjustments for that setting, but I think it will work for a quick play set of rules or one for kids, families,  or those just getting into tabletop dungeon crawls.





After posting all of this I suppose that I actually have made some progress.  The nice things about this blog is it does help to keep me focused and on track with where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going.   So my goal next week is to work on the World Map and get it to the point where I can start some play-testing on that side of the game.

Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl