Friday, March 20, 2009

Some DungeonCrawler screenshots...

Hey all!

Thought I would put up a few DungeonCrawler screenshots...

The one on the right is entitled "A Walk Through The Shire." You can actually see a small cabin in the woods to the south east, a lovely looking place in the Old Forest.

The screenshot to the left is entitled "I think I'll wait on Dol Guldur..." Notice the creepy yellow eyes watching you through the leaves, and the spiderwebs strung between the trees! You might notice the next thing we are working on adding in a very early stage...

Hope you all enjoy!

Just so folks know, there is a lot of work being done... already we've worked in AI so monsters don't get in your way, some skill work, and an inventory dummy so you can "see" your gear on your body!

There will be more coming, of course... so please do stick around and give us
a chance!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Download DungeonCrawler for FREE!

Hello all!

Whelp, my friend and I have finally released the first public version of DungeonCrawler!

This hack'n'slash dungeon crawl game harkens back to the good old days of gaming and to the simple addictive games like NetHack, where we all spent hours building up a badass character, and rejoiced at finding a +3 mace or a Book of Smouldering Grasp, all with the added bonus of being set in Middle Earth!

So... adventure through Fangorn forest, hack the enemy down in Osgiliath, visit the dwarves in the Iron Hills, or even hunt down the Balrog in Moria... come download version 1 of Dungeoncrawler for free!

The forum for DungeonCrawler, which includes links for download, a game guide, and the rest, is found here:

This is a very early alpha, and ALL suggestions, recommendations, comments, and bug reports are VERY welcome.

Thanks so much all, and good luck slaughtering the orcs of Mordor and spiders of Mirkwood... or, if you wish to serve the Eye, hobbit gardeners and the elves of Rivendell!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

10mm Nap. French - Artillery 1

Time for another Unit Showcase!

This time I am going for another piece of the 10mm Napoleonic collection.

This is a unit of 12lb French cannon and their limbers and commander. These guns, among the heaviest used on land, could hit troops many hundreds of
yards away, and within a few hundred yards could mow them down with canister shot. The limbers would sit behind the guns a ways, and contained ammunition, some of which would actually be transported in a separate caisson. The crew look dashing in the blue uniforms, and the red is a nice highlight for them! I really like the crew figures, as they are well detailed and their kits are pretty complete!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Book Review - "Brothers Divided"

Time for book review #2!

I recently received in the post a copy of Scott Mingus's new book, "Brothers Divided," a book of tabletop skirmish scenarios from the Gettysburg campaign. Having adored his Human Interest Stories of Antietam, I was very curious to see how his writing held up in a wargaming book!

The book is a collection of eight wargaming scenarios, primarily of the skirmish variety, designed ideally for Brother Against Brother but also suitable for any other system. It begins with some background information about the Gettysburg campaign, and then has the various legends (map, Order of Battle, and formations.) The book then gives the background story, forces, map, and scenario details for each scenario.

The first thing any wargamer will notice about the book is the sheer good-lookingness of it. So many damned wargames books are printed only in black and white and feature NO eye-candy. If I want to read dense tables of numbers and boring-ass text with no photos, I'll read the WSJ. I'm a wargamer! I want to see great photos and neat layouts! Thankfully "Brothers Divided" is in color, is heavily illustrated, and is simply chock FULL of functional eye candy. The OOBs are simple and beautiful; as you can see in the photo to the right, they are large, illustrated, and clear, with no chance to use pictures instead of text missed. The scenario layouts are not the boring boxes that most wargames maps use... instead, individual figures are nicely illustrated, and things such as casualties are marked as well.

As I mentioned, each scenario starts with a page of well-researched background story and, facing it, an OOB and game notes. The text is nicely laid out and simple to read, and the background stories add a bit of character and historical perspective to the scenarios. There are color photos scattered throughout the book, which simply add to the already-high number of enjoyable things to look at. A funny note; some of the photos are courtesy of John Mayer and feature his beautiful scenery and figures (see the photo to the left) all of which now belong to a rather close friend of mine! It was funny to see the scenery in the book and think 'Wait a second, I've played with that scenery!'

After each scenario breakdown you get the maps. The maps are very detailed and, again, quite nice to look at... anyone who enjoys looking at toy soldiers will devour these as well! Elevations are cleary marked, as are troop formations, and all relevant map data is clearly printed to either side of the maps. Very clear, and more importantly to me nice to look at, they look simply like 2-D dioramas, which any wargamer will appreciate. Scenarios are nicely varied and include a number of interesting sub-plots, such as stopping a train before it leaves the station or capturing the telegraph agent. One side or the other generally starts off-table and has to move on, which adds to the feeling of a larger battlefield.

This text is great to read just for fun, and a definite treat for anyone who is interesting in playing ACW skirmish games. While intended for 28mm, the scenarios could be quickly modified for a larger or smaller scale without too much issue. Overall, and given the reasonable price, it is a definite buy, especially if you game ACW!

For more info on "Brothers Divided" by Scott Mingus, you can see his website HERE.

15mm ACW - Federal Artillery

Time to get back to the 15mm ACW roots!

Here are two pieces of Federal artillery. A few of the men have stripped down to their shirtsleeves... artillery work is hot and unforgiving! I made sure to leave the shirts and men pretty dirty looking, as artillery work is also very messy, and I want these guys to look pretty grimy. Unfortunately Battle Honors only has one set of officers so the commanders of each gun are of the same mold as my infantry officers, but they look good nonetheless.

Figures by Battle Honors.

Another set of 10mm Napoleonic photos

Howdy all!

Well, the poll on the blog says that people enjoy table shots, so I figured I would take a few more of the current set-up.

At the top, obviously is a shot of The Man himself. I haven't yet done a Unit Showcase (TM) on the French command, but I will at some point. Until that point, I hope this shot is satisfying enough!

But let's face it, the fun photos are the big mess ones!

I have two attack photos here, both of the French attacking. In the first (taken from the British left flank of the current set up) the skirmishers have just come into contact with each other... the infantry has yet to make it into musket range. You can see behind the attacking French columns that the Guard await their turn...

On the other side is the second attack on the British right flank, or more accurately on the British allies, in this case the Brunswickers. The first French attack collapsed and broke; you can see the regiments in the background in panicked disarray... however, a second wave is pressing home... will they manage to break the British line?

The final shot is of the chateau, where the Old Guard have swarmed the walls of the orchard and are now trying to push the redcoats out the back side. However, the British have brought up a lot of infantry, and it will be a difficult fight for the Old Guard to win! If they do, the British line is split in two!

So... if there are more specific shots people want to see, just let me know and I can set something up!

Monday, March 9, 2009


The wife, amazingly, recently agreed to try out the old GW game "Spacehulk," and amazingly, she has enjoyed it! She is normally not one to join in the toy soldier fun, but so far, she is game, so I'll milk that as long as I can!

This shouldn't be a surprise, of course. Spacehulk is a very simple and yet VERY enjoyable game. I bought two sets and the expansions back in the day, and a friend added another of the newer sets, so we are able to make some truly monstrous Hulks. The wife is still new to the game, so we have stuck to one squad missions so far, although in the next game we'll go for two!

Our second mission was a simple one; kill 30 stealers before they kill all of the marines! The wife quickly got her marines moving to try to hold only two rooms... however, the marines are awful slow, especially when compared to stealers! One unlucky Marine almost didn't make it, but six command points helped speed him on his way, as his sergent was clearly yelling "MOVE MOVE MOVE!"

Once the marines were in place, the stealers simply swarmed into the halls. One side was held by two marines with storm bolters and another with an assault cannon. The other hall was held by the sergent and another marine.

And then the stealers came! They flooded the hallway in front of the assault cannon, working through his ammo, and when he had to pause to reload they swarmed into the room! More than 20 stealers fell before they finally got close.

The sergent, hearing the "Out of ammo!" call from Marine Moratin with the assault cannon, quickly turned and began to hightail it for the other room. As soon as he moved out, the second swarm attacked!

They made a beeline for the second room, as the Marine there held on, and as the Stealers swarmed into the first room. Marine Moratin clubbed down one stealer with his ammo-less assault cannon, and the rest of the marines fired away, but they were quickly overwhelmed as both marines stormbolters jammed!

However, all was not lost. As the marines in the northern most room fell to the endless swarms of stealers, Marine Driscol kept up a constant fire, cutting down stealers as they swarm... 27... 28... 29...

And then, as the stealers got close, their slavering jaws snapping, skittering along the walls and through the explosions, Driscol steadied his aim and brought down the 30th stealer! Victory to the marines!

We did continue fighting, and amazingly in the very next turn a pair of untimely jams were followed by swarms of stealers cutting down the surviving marines... however, the Deathwatch held on long enough for their compatriots in other parts of the hulk to get their job done!

Featured in the last photo are the two marines who won distinctions in this mission; Marine Moratin, who earned a yellow cross to acknowledge his 14 kills, and Marine Driscol, whose kill won the mission for the space marines and won him a Worthy Action distinction... and to top if off, Driscol was one kill away from a yellow cross as well! Oh well... next time!

A small change at The House of War

Howdy all,

I recently did away with my "Recent updates" list at the House of War... I figure if you want to see the most recent updates, just check the postings list!

I have replaced it with a collection of interesting posts from the last year of the blog... I will change these up now and then so new things are featured.

Do people like this feature? Or would you rather I put something else there?

Suggestions more than welcome!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The French attack is launched!

Well, I plan to change up the 10mm Napoleonic table sometime in the near future, so I thought I would continue moving around the troops into what I think logically would happen!

The French attack on the left pressed forward towards the British Allies, deciding this would be the more vulnerable flank... better this side than the other, uphill, against disciplined British troops! At the same time the Old Guard attack the chateau, attempting to take it and thus split the British army in half. The French are not pausing to exchange fire, but rather are trusting in the columns to break through the British lines!

The British allies are holding as best they can. The Brunswickers are in good shape; solid, deep lines with some cover and even some smaller guns pouring canister into the attacking Frenchmen. From the orchards of the nearby chateau British troops lend more fire, as French light infantry try to force the British heads down. In fact, the frontmost French columns are starting to falter a bit, as some men begin to slow down and hesitate. Can the Brunswick troops hold the attack off, and the second wave of columns behind it?

On the far flank, however, the French attack looks to be more effective. The columns broke out of the woods screened by light infantry and quickly plowed towards the Saxons and Prussians. The front line opened fire, but as the French poured forward they began to hesitate, and slowly men began to step backwards. Quickly reinforcements were brought up... will they be able to hold the flank in the face of the French attack?

Meanwhile, on the right, the French continue forward, but slowly... they are hoping and waiting for the chateau to fall and hopefully the British allies as well; then they can sweep around and complete the fight! But will all go according to plans? We will see!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just a pair of random photos

Well, I spent a little while on the 10mm Napoleonic set-up... I am very pleased with the way the terrain is set-up, generally speaking, but am having a hard time doing any sorts of revisions to the current table! I moved the British Allied flank to the right, and the British flank to the left. Generally I withdrew the French attack a bit, showing it early in the battle, as the legere just starts to make contact with the first rifles.

The shot above is of the Allied flank, preparing for the French assault. You can actually see the flank commander just behind the small brown barn near the trees, dictating orders to a staff officer. There is a smattering of artillery on the ridge behind the Allied position to provide support, as well as a pair of small Brunswick pieces among their lines to flay the attacking French columns with cannister!

The bottom photo is the French assault, formed into column and ready to roll across the field! The commander waves on his men with his hat an officer signals the advance with his sabre. There are maybe more Allied troops than Frenchmen, but the French attack is screened by clouds of capable skirmishers and heavily supported by artillery (not visible in the photo.) And, of course, it is a French attack... it is hard to stop the French columns, driven on by the drums, at ANY time, and these are not the disciplined redcoats facing them this time!

If you have any suggestions or things you think would make the current table look better, or if there is some sort of specific thing you want to see, please just let me know!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

15mm ACW - Federal Infantry 4

My entire 15mm ACW Confederate force has been up on this site for a long time, so it is about time that I get cracking on the rest of my 15mm Federal Force!

Here is another unit of Federal infantry. These guys, like most of my federal infantry, wear the dark blue/light blue combo, and the majority of the men wear kepis... I have very few floppy hats or Hardees in the army. These guys have also been in some serious combat, as you can tell by the dead men scattered liberally among the stands. Of course, the majority of my Civil War forces are interchangeable so I guess I could spread the casualties out, but who would want to do that?!

Figures courtesy of Battle Honors!

10mm Nap. British - Command

As I have done recently, after being so quiet I thought I would come through with a few posts!

Here is the command structure of my 10mm Napoleonic British army!

There is one army commander (in this case Sir Arthur Wellesley) who is mounted with two staff officers riding with him. The Duke of Wellington is pretty easy to pick out, what with his blue being rather unique among the British red. You can tell this is the army command by the fact that the stand has three mounted figures on it.

The second stand in the command is a junior commander; in this case, Sir Thomas Picton, as is made clear by his choice of hat! This fellow (who met his end at Waterloo) was well known for being... well, shall we say dressed improperly for an officer, and his hat was a bit of an icon (albeit not at the level of Napoleon's bicorn!) Picton here is accompanied by a staff officer, which marks this stand as between army command and brigade command.

The third stand is another junior commander. This one is not as obvious as Wellington or Picton... maybe it is Uxbridge, or Hill? Really it can stand in for anyone. As with Picton there is one staff officer on the stand with him, indicating that this stand again represents a commander someplace between army command and brigade command!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"The Guest"

Howdy all,

Since I had finished this piece and was going to send it out, I thought I should post photos of the finished product!

"The Guest" is one of the few dioramas/set scenes I have done. It is roughly based on a comic that my roommate and I drew in college, about a female assassin sent to kill a Japanese business man of some sort, and having to carve through his men to get to him. Now, in the original comic the guards had guns
and there was an underling who needed killing as well... oh, and the girl had black hair... but otherwise, it is pretty close:)

The target was pretty straight forward... black suit, red tie. I did have to clip a gun out of his hand, which resulted in a bit of a large hand, and his feet in the photo look a touch large but it is unnoticeable in person. The yakuza guards were a bit more involved... the guy with the padded pants in particular got a bunch of coats of paint, and then they were dipped. I also added a bit of yellow to the skin tone to make them look a bit more Japanese, and I think it worked.

As for The Guest herself, it was tricky to get her looking deep, as black is a tough color to work with. I worked in a little blue as the highlights, and actually did about four or five layers to highlight. The face was kept pretty light, as was the hair, so it would stand out. I am most happy with her eyes... she looks like a mean lady!

The base is made from pink insulation foam... I tried to paint it to look like marble or granite, and I think I pulled it off basically.

The two yakuza samurai are from Perry; I cannot, off the top of my head, remember where the girl and business man are from, but let me look, because the maker was kind enough to send me the single figure out of a pack, which is quite nice!

15mm WWII - Germand Command 2

Hey all!

Well, it has been a while, and the last month has been QUIET at The House of War! I desperately need to make up for it, especially since I have a ton of stuff to put up! But unfortunately real life (and laziness) has conspired against me!

Anyway... I thought I would put up a quick post tonight... this is my second command stand for my 15mm WWII Germans! The stand features an officer reviewing a large map which has been spread on a makeshift table made of a crate and a pallet. Some orders sit nearby, and an NCO awaits his orders. The stand also has a few sandbags on it to continue the "dug in" look of the entire army.

Figures courtesy of Battlefront!