Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Last of the Christmas Models


The Christmas & New Year holiday is well and truly over; I've been back at work for 2 weeks now.  However, I'm still sorting through and putting away models which I painted during that period.  Here are some of them - it's quite a mixture!

Damsels in Distress

These are some classic "damsels in distress", from Bob Murch's "Pulp Figures" range.  Specifically, they come from pack PWM 10 - Cringing Captives.  I plan to use these in games of Pulp Alley or Congo (fairly obvious, I would have thought!).  As such, I don't really need the other two figures from the pack; sawmills and railway tracks aren't really a feature of Darkest Africa, where my games are set.

Note that I've painted up both of these models in an identical colour scheme.  This will enable me to use one as a replacement for the other in a game, thus indicating whether the heroine is currently tied to a stake or not.

DreadBall 2

From L to R: score marker, turn (rush) marker, new style referee 

Early this month (i.e. January 2018), I received my Dreadball 2 Kickstarter package.  I'm not buying any new teams, as I already have 12 (I think), of which only 8 are painted.  However, I did receive the new rules, new cards and new game markers.

1st edition DreadBall supplied cardboard counters for the score and rush markers.  This worked well enough, but the 2nd edition has some rather nice models instead.  The new score marker is a miniature trophy, while the turn marker is a robotic commentator/linesman in a floating disk/chair that is liberally equipped with spotlights and/or cameras.  There is also a different figure for the robot referee.

I did need to replace the support pillar on the floating chair with a transparent post.  This was mainly because the moulded pillar was somewhat bent and wouldn't have produced a very good effect.  Still, that conversion/repair was easy enough.

Note that I'm experimenting with transparent bases for the figures which will be on the pitch.  The referee is the first such model to be completed.

Lady Godiva - Fiction and Reality

Lady Godiva: the myth

The fictional tale of Lady Godiva is simple: a Saxon lord was oppressing his people.  His wife (Godiva) asked him to lower rents or some such, to which the husband replied that he would do so only if his wife rode naked through the streets of Coventry.

Of course, he didn't expect her to do this, but she arranged for the local townsfolk to close their doors and window shutters and then disrobed and rode the streets, unobserved by all.  Her husband was true to his promise and treated his people better thereafter.

A later addition to this tale: one man did steal a glance at the naked lady, but was immediately struck blind as punishment.  His name was Tom; from this incident we get the phrase "a Peeping Tom".

Lady Godiva: the reality?

In reality, Lady Godiva was a virtuous Saxon noblewoman who would be much more likely to look like the figure above.  It's entirely possible that she did indeed soften her husband's harsh rule - but not by riding naked through a town!

Super Dungeon Explore: Last of the Kinoko

Finally (for now), I have finished my Super Dungeon Explore "Kinoko" warband!  These are mostly aggressive, mobile mushrooms, though they also have some truffle pigs.  Here are the final two groups to be painted:

Kinoko spawn points

Kinoshrooms - minions
There's not much more to say about these; either you'll like them or you won't...


I completed a goodly lot of models during the Christmas/New Year break just past; these are just some of them.  It helped that we didn't go away and that the weather was not good enough for us to be outside much.  Still, it's very satisfying to have made such progress!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

28mm Bees: Revisited


At the end of last year, I showed my recipe for creating a swarm of bees for my 28mm "Wicked Witch of the West" army.  This idea seems to have gone down well, but a couple of responses particularly caught my attention.  Paraphrased, the commenters said "if you did this with a tube or dome then you could place it over a 28mm figure to show that a model was enveloped by the bee swarm".

I found myself returning to this idea again and again; I just couldn't get it out of my head!  Eventually, I thought that I'd just have a quick look online for cheap sources of plastic domes, to see what might be available.  Of course, it didn't end there and so the remainder of this article describes what happened next.

Snow Globes

In the UK, there is a company called "Baker Ross" (I imagine that similar suppliers exist in other countries too).  They make cheap craft kits, often in multi-packs.  It looks to me as if their products are aimed at kindergartens, primary school classes or possibly birthday parties for young children.  However that may be, I discovered that they make a range of small, plastic snow globe "kits".

A box of these snow globes cost just over £5 (including postage).  There were several sorts available (mermaids, princesses...), but as far as I can tell the only difference is the pattern on the cardboard insert for the centre of the globe.  Since I would be discarding this anyway, I didn't really care which version I bought.

Each box contains 4 globes; the globe comes with instructions and is basically a glitter-filled dome covering a plastic insert & base, which in turn acts as a holder for a patterned piece of cardboard.  The idea is that you colour in the card, slip it into the central holder and then fill the globe with water via a plug in the base.

A 28mm African villager surrounded by a swarm of bees

I wasn't at all interested in these items as snow globes, though!  It was trivially easy to cut the dome away from the plastic base.  Once it was separated, it took a little longer to wash out all the glitter and then paint my bees.

The painting was done according to the recipe in my previous article; bees were painted on both the inner and outer surfaces of the dome.  I'm not sure if painting them on the inside (which was certainly a bit trickier) helped to add to the impression of depth or not.

L: spray varnish.  R: brushed-on acrylic varnish

When the bees were dry, I varnished the dome.

My first attempt ruined the model: I used my normal aerosol satin varnish and the dome went completely frosty!  I'm not sure that there's anything I can do to save this piece; I've tried re-varnishing it lightly (which sometimes works), but it remains completely opaque.

Fortunately, I had several more domes available.  For my second attempt, I brushed on an acrylic varnish.  This hasn't compromised the transparency at all, though on close examination the brush marks are evident.  It'll do...


At 50mm wide and 55mm high, these domes are easily large enough to engulf most 28mm figures (excluding pikemen, horses, or models who are waving exceptionally heroic weapons in all directions).  So, they will work as I designed them to do.

Of course, I don't have any immediate plans to use swarms of bees to engulf models in any of my games.  But I could!

Finally, I now have several base remnants, as can be seen in the picture above.  I'm racking my brains to think how they could be used; so far all I can come up with are dungeon doors (or secret doors in fireplaces, as seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Congo: the Village


For some time now, I've wanted to have models of an African village for my games of Congo or Tarzan-based Pulp Alley.  Well, just before Christmas I ordered a few pieces from Grand Manner and they arrived in almost the last delivery before the festive period shutdown.  Here they are, in their finished glory!

The Enclosure

This is the "Large timber circular animal corral" (TA02), retailing at £15.  It's a fairly hefty lump of resin, quite jagged around the top.  I'm amazed at how the manufacturer has managed to cast such a piece at all, as there are so many nooks and crannies which must make it tricky!

First, the negatives:
  • On close inspection there is clear webbing between a number of the branches.
  • My copy had a number of air bubbles and/or seemingly miscast ends of branches.
  • There are also a few long, straight rods on the floor of the enclosure; these look as if they might be bristles from a brush that was used during manufacture, rather than intentional detail.
Now that's out of the way, here are the good points:
  • None of the above really matters!  The imperfections are either lost in the paintwork or hidden in the interior of the hedge.  I haven't applied any remedial work (filler, sanding...) to this model and it still looks pretty good in the photo above, or so I think.
After I had painted the main part of the enclosure, I felt that the interior was a bit barren and lifeless.  To soften this, I painted some of the slightly more raised "lumps" in a dark brown to represent piles of animal dung.  I also gave the "bristles" a light coat of pale green, so that the might stand in for grass stalks or some similar vegetable matter.

The Huts

Mangbettu circular hut (TA09)
Mangbettu circular hut (TA10)
Mangbettu circular hut (TA11)
Grand Manner make five different patterns of "Mangbettu" huts, but I have only bought three of them (mainly to keep the cost down; each of these models cost £13).  The Mangbetu (spelling varies) come from central Africa; more precisely modern day Zaire.  As such, their huts are very suitable for games of Congo - especially for Forest Tribes.

The three huts shown here are all good models, representing several variations on an obvious common theme.  I particularly like the addition of pots or shields just outside the doors; this gives them a more "lived in" feel.

Two of the huts have painted, patterned plaster on the walls.  This makes them nicely decorative and is completely suitable for the region and pattern of dwelling.  I felt that the sculpting of the decoration was a bit crude, though it's not too noticeable once painted.

Also note that the door curtains of the huts appear to have been modelled from cloth bandage or some similar material.  This is fine, except that on one of the huts (TA10?) a stray thread has escaped and has then been moulded onto the surface of the curtain.  Again, it's not something that you'd really notice unless you know where to look.

The Cooking Fire

The smallest piece in this collection from Grand Manner is the fireplace, yet it probably took the longest time to paint.  That's because it has a lot of different items on it, each of which required different colours.  Here's a list:

  • The central fire itself, with a large cauldron of something bubbling away on top.
  • 2 pots.  I have painted these up to represent earthenware (hmm - perhaps I should have added some decoration to them?), though I suppose they could just as easily have been metal.
  • Several large rocks.
  • Baskets, both empty and containing foodstuffs.
  • A pile of firewood, next to a large mass that was hard to interpret.  I have decided in my version that this represents foliage and twigs that has been removed from the firewood, so I painted it green.
  • A slaughtered animal (goat or sheep?) beside a large club.  How do I know that it's dead?  Well, for starters it's missing its head!

The Village Women

I have some models of African villagers already, but I finished these remaining figures at the same time as the village.  They's probably models from Foundry Miniatures, though I haven't verified that.  Anyway, they're easy to paint and will help to add some life to the village.


Could I have scratch-built the village?  Well, yes of course I could - but it wouldn't have had so much detail and would have taken a lot longer (probably forever, to be honest).  These models are somewhat expensive, though not really that much when compared with a week's commuting, a meal out, or a large Games Workshop figure.  From my perspective, I'm very glad to trade off the money against the time it would have taken; I've ended up with some lovely terrain pieces!

So, what else is needed for the village?  I'm really not sure, though examination of old photos suggests that having chickens running all over the place might be appropriate.  Also, some pictures seem to show racks (for curing skins or to dry leafy crops?) in villages like this.  There's so much more that I could do...

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Batrep: Robin Hood and the Abbot of Newstead


There's time to fit in one more battle report in 2017 - it's the holiday season and Steve (my regular opponent) has given up some of his family time to come and play games with us instead.  This time, it's a Song of Blades and Heroes battle featuring a certain 12th century English folk hero...

The Scenario

I thought long and hard about creating a novel & interesting scenario for this game (in other words, I left it until the night before and then scrambled to come up with any ideas).  In the end, I picked the "Magical Cattle Raid" scenario from the Song of Arthur and Merlin rules.  Of course, Robin Hood wouldn't usually be found chasing magical cattle, so I changed the story a bit.  Here's how it goes:

The Abbot of Newstead is visiting a small shrine near to Sherwood Forest.  This shrine is situated at the spot where Saint Alban performed one of his miracles several hundred years earlier (restoring to life a man who had been cut in half during a fight with his visiting relatives).  In reality it's not a very significant shrine; it is to be found at a river fork in a remote and somewhat inhospitable location.

Both the forest outlaws (led by Robin Hood) and the authorities (led by the Sheriff of Nottingham) have got wind of this expedition.  Both groups would like to lay their hands on the Abbot and his monks, either to rob/ransom them or to petition their support for/against the outlaws' cause.  Or to rob them and petition for their support.

Each monk can be led to "safety" by any of the players' models, though at a reduced speed:
  • There are 4 senior monks/civilians in the party (the Abbot, the abbot's secretary, a lay treasurer...); these are worth 4 victory points apiece (4VP) for the player who controls them at the end of the game.
  • There are also 8 regular monks, worth 2VP each.
Here's the catch: the abbot and his important colleagues have suspected that this form of treachery might occur.  They have (or at least, may have) changed clothes with the lesser monks.  It's up to the two warbands to try to identify the real abbot, secretary &c.  This is implemented by the following scenario rule:
  • A player may use 3 activation successes for any model to switch that model's captive monk with another monk model, as he discovers the "true" identity of the captive.  Of course, there's nothing to stop the same monk being switched again later on by someone else...

The Forces


Sheriff of NottinghamSir Walter, Yorik the Jester, 3 crossbowmen, 6 men-at-arms.
Guy of Gisborne, Sir Stanley, the Black Knight, the White Knight, 9 men-at-arms

Forest Outlaws

Little John, Friar Tuck, 7 outlaws

Robin Hood, 7 outlaws

The Game

Predictably, both sides used their first turn to advance.  In most cases, the players moved their main heroes ahead of the pack, mainly to try to close the gap with the bulk of the enemy and thus deny them a free "long range" activation for the bulk of their figures [In Song of Blades and Heroes, a model which is more than a certain distance from any enemy can take a single activation per turn without having to dice for it - this is very useful for marching bodies of the less resolute soldiers towards their objectives].

Seeing that Sir Guy was ahead of his troops, Robin Hood ran forwards and shot an arrow at him [in game terms, Robin rolled 3 dice for activation and achieved 3 successes.  He used one to move and the other two to take an aimed shot at medium range].  The missile was perfectly on target and Guy of Gisborne fell, pierced by an arrow.

As the leader of the bad guys, this was a disaster!  Our best fighter, shot down in turn two without having even engaged an enemy?  Of course, it was very heroic and cinematic for the good guys, if you like that sort of thing...

In response, the White Knight ran forwards to engage Robin Hood.  Various monks were seized by both sides (though mostly by Robin's men) and the Sheriff of Nottingham hid behind a tree.

There was a lot of dawdling and hanging back by Guy's minions...

Guy's knights continued their flanking manoeuvre, though this didn't work quite as hoped.  Sir Stanley found himself engaging an outlaw in the middle of a gorse thicket, whilst the Black Knight ran into a pair of ruffians and was promptly pulled down and knifed!

On the other flank, Little John strode forward with a view to whacking the Sheriff's men with his huge quarterstaff [Hmm.  I think it must be at least a half-staff; it's a lot bigger than a regular quarterstaff].  Before he could engage anyone, a couple of the sheriff's crossbowmen advanced, shooting as they moved [in an act of desperation, I was rolling 3 dice for activation for just about everyone.  Miraculously, this pair both passed with 2 successes].

Little John ignored the first bolt, but the second one was a lot closer.  He dodged it, lost his balance and fell over.

This was the cowardly Sheriff's kind of fight!  He raced forwards from where he had been hiding and stabbed the fallen giant.  Before Little John had struck a blow, he was out of action.

After a prolonged fencing match, the White Knight defeated Robin Hood and knocked him out.  The major characters were dropping like flies!  [As I recall, at this point in the game not even a single unnamed minion had become a casualty - yet the three supposedly best fighters were all gone].

Friar Tuck charged forwards to avenge his friend - straight on to the Sheriff's blade.  The Sheriff didn't even have to move and another outlaw character was down!

On seeing Friar Tuck's gruesome death, some of the outlaws ran back towards the river, full of horror.  Seeing this retreat, one of the sheriff's more enthusiastic spearmen charged forwards to try to save the abbot's treasurer from a brigand who was leading him away.

The White Knight followed up his success against the outlaw leader by running towards the riverbank where several brigands were towing away reluctant monks.

It was about this time that Sir Stanley was killed by a couple of ruffians whilst trying to untangle himself from the middle of a gorse bush...

The outlaws had almost taken one important-looking monk off the table when Yorik (the jester) took a closer look at his own captive.  "Just a moment!" he exclaimed, as he pulled the hood from the "monk's" head.  The man didn't have a tonsure; he wasn't one of the monks after all.  "You're their treasurer, aren't you?"  [Of course, as the models were swapped there was a simultaneous cry of despair from the other end of the table when an outlaw realised that his captive was a simple brother monk and not one of the important inner circle as had been thought!]

Things seemed to be going very well for the Sheriff; his troops were closing in on a leaderless enemy and it looked as if it wouldn't be long before the rebel scum were given their just deserts!  Of course, in Song of Blades and Heroes, little things can cause huge ripple effects.

In this case, the trigger was simple: the remaining outlaws all mobbed the spearman who had run on ahead.  Between them, they scored a gruesome kill.  This would cause all of the Sheriff's men who were within 'L' distance [i.e. Sir Walter and two more spearmen] to take a morale check.

The problem is that the Sheriff has the Evil attribute.  Amongst other things, this means that he will slay any cowardly underling who tries to run away [and is foolish enough to run within the Sheriff's reach whilst doing so].
  • First, the two spearmen ran from the horrible gruesome kill.  The Sheriff knifed them both.
  • Then, Sir Walter broke and fled.  The Sheriff killed him.
  • The two retainers standing nearby saw this.  They turned to flee, but the Sheriff executed them as well.
D*mn it - he's done it again!  Almost every game where I play the Sheriff, he ends up killing most of his own men for cowardice [see the various other "Robin Hood" battle reports on this blog].  The man's a grade I psychopath!  And we were winning, at that...

The final blow of the game was struck on the other side of the river, where the White Knight and his minions slew one of the outlaws.  With that, the rest of the foresters slunk away, taking several monks with them.


The remaining outlaws did briefly consider having a go at the Sheriff, but he retreated before they could organise themselves.  In any case, pretty much all of the forces [apart from Guy's, oddly enough] were now below 50% of their starting costs and therefore didn't have many men to commit - they were too busy escorting monks to "safety".

Instead, we called the game and worked out the result.
  • For the outlaws, they scored 5VP for kills and had control of 5 monks for another 10VP.  Total for the outlaws: 15VP
  • The authorities scored 6VP for kills and had control of 3 monks and 3 important monks [the treasurer slipped away when Yorik ran from the Sheriff's wrath.  The jester was far enough away from his boss to avoid summary execution, though]. 3x2VP + 3x4VP = 18VP for captives.  Total for the authorities: 24VP
Therefore it's a solid win for the Sheriff and his followers!  The outlaws are chased off and the Abbot & his entourage are (mostly) saved.  I'm sure that the Sheriff will be magnanimous in victory and not tax the abbey too heavily...

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Batrep: Santa's Little Helpers


It's Christmas Eve and Santa is busy preparing for the night ahead.  Suddenly, in the distance, there is a rhythmic, throbbing sound as battleaxes are beaten against shields.  With a series of loud, whooping battle cries, hordes of rapacious barbarians appear on the skyline.

Alarms sound as Santa's helpers grab weapons and hastily muster outside his house.  Fortunately for the big man in red, some tall, serious forest elves have come to visit their short, jolly cousins (and to check that they're not being exploited too much).  These visitors are few in number, but expert with bow and spear; they'll be most welcome allies!

It's time for us to play my annual, Christmas game of Hordes of the Things, where Santa's army and a random ally stand up for all that's good and cheerful by fighting against the forces of gluttony, pillage and humbug!

Background Information

Santa's army is used just this one time a year; it is described here for anyone who is interested:
Previous battles have mostly been victories for decency, truthfulness and mince pies - but not always:

The Forces

Red, White and Green

  • Santa's army:

    Aerial hero general, shooters, beasts, artillery and hordes of snowmen
  • Forest elf detachment:

    Hero general, shooters and spears.  Note that this small force only came to 16AP instead of the more normal 24AP.  We compensated for this by giving them Superior status.  This isn't part of the Hordes of the Things rules, but comes from the DBM sister rule set.  It gives them +1 to their combat result if they win whilst shooting and +1 if they lose while in melee.

Smelly and Unwashed

  • 1st Barbarian tribe:

     Hero general, 2nd hero, some shooters, lots of warband.
  • 2nd Barbarian tribe:

    Behemoth general and an even mix of warband & panther-riding knights.

The Game

Predictably, the barbarians surged forwards - though they didn't have enough PiPs (command points) to move their king.  He was left behind, caught out by the over-enthusiasm of his tribesmen and women.

First blood went to the defenders as the toy cannon scored an unlikely direct hit with its opening shot.  Scratch one warband!

On the other flank, the barbarian cavalry raced around the forest in a direct line for Santa's cottage!  The ice bears had been attempting to reach the forest, knowing that they were outclassed in the open, but they had to turn at bay when confronted with this threat.

Fortunately for Santa's home, the nimble elves raced forwards and reached the crest of the hill just ahead of the foot barbarians.  Even so, they looked horribly outnumbered...

The first line of barbarian cavalry smacked into the waiting ice bears, who - surprisingly - held [aided considerably by a misinterpretation of the rules].

An over-eager element from the second line of cavalry charged into the elf hero, who showed them very quickly how good a swordsman can be after 1,000 years of practice.

Meanwhile, in a bitter and long-fought contest, the elf archers held the hill against all comers.

The barbarians facing Santa continued to advance, though the weight of missile fire had broken up their lines somewhat.  One warband peeled off to assist the behemoth in front of the wood; with this flank attack the facing ice bear didn't stand a chance.

On the other side, one of the units of elf spearmen turned to attack the first wave of barbarian cavalry in the rear.  This was now caught in a sandwich between the elves and the remaining bears and was destroyed with ease.

Elsewhere, the elf hero was attacked by the second wave of mounted barbarians, whilst the warbands and elf archers continued to wrestle for possession of the hill.

The leading barbarian warbands finally made contact with Santa's line and immediately destroyed the toy cannon.  Santa counter-attacked and wiped out these intruders...

...whilst elsewhere the elf commander and his spearmen wiped out the remaining barbarian panther riders.  [That's a contest which was only ever going to end one way!  The only question was how long it would take the disciplined elf infantry to obliterate the rash cavalry, rather than if it would happen at all.]

It was about this point that we realised that the barbarian's Behemoth General (the wooly rhino) couldn't be pushed back [at least, not by any of the units belonging to the forces of light.  It would take another behemoth, a magician or the like and we didn't have any of those.].  That meant the only way to destroy it would be to double its combat score in a melee - but even if the behemoth was surrounded on all sides this would be a difficult thing to achieve.

OK, new plan: use spearmen [who stood a very good chance of surviving its attacks, even if they couldn't defeat it themselves] to occupy the rhino and kill all the other barbarians in that command until the monster becomes demoralised and therefore no longer a threat!

On the right, a barbarian hero had reached the waiting lines of snowmen and was busy demolishing them.  With the loss of the ice bears and the toy cannon, Santa's army was perilously close to breaking.  On top of this, even if the behemoth had been stopped, there were other barbarians who now had a nearly clear run at Santa's house.  Help!

And still the elven archers and the barbarians jostled, shoved, scratched, stabbed and bit for possession of the hill.  Occasionally an elf element would be pushed back and the barbarians would flood forward, but somehow the elves always managed to restore the line and hold the attackers.

OK, first things first: the newly-victorious elf hero charged into the flank of the engaged warbands on the hill.  His arrival changed the balance of the fight completely and as the tired archers cheered, the general and his bodyguards swept along the line of barbarians dealing death and destruction to all.  That's one barbarian command reduced below half strength and thoroughly demoralised!

Next act: while more elf spearmen rushed to help pin down the behemoth, Santa flew his sleigh towards the most vulnerable-looking of the various scattered warbands and crushed it completely.  He then took to the skies again, thus making himself pretty much immune to counter-attack [or so I thought!].

Simultaneously, more snowmen were formed in front of the house.  At least the barbarians wouldn't be sacking his workshop that easily!

Remember the barbarian king, who had been left behind when his whole tribe surged forwards right at the start of the game?  Well, he was in range to reach Santa (just).  Also, in Hordes of the Things, a Hero can choose to initiate combat with a flyer [presumably they taunt them into accepting a challenge, or trick them into landing, or have physical powers or magic items which enable them to fight in mid air, if only briefly...]

Santa was forced to land and fight, at which point one of the nearby Barbarian warbands charged into his flank as well.  With the odds slightly against him the man in red was defeated and vanished, leaving his sleigh to be ransacked and broken!

Unsurprisingly, this demoralised the remainder of Santa's troops; most of them fled off the board immediately.  Just 2 bases of nervous snowmen were left to defend the house.

With the big man down, it was up to the elves to protect Santa's domain.  The spearmen were still occupied in corralling the behemoth and the archers were a long way off.  The task fell to their hero; he raced across the battlefield before the scattered barbarians could regroup and advance [remember, heroes can move a very long way in HotT!].

The remaining barbarians could almost smell the plunder now.  Their lesser hero raced past the North Pole to engage some of the demoralised snowmen who were the sole remaining defenders.  Astonishingly,  the barbarians slipped on an icy patch and the melee was an inconclusive draw.

In the middle, the barbarian king saw the elf hero approaching.  He wasn't one to shirk a fight; with a mighty bellow, he charged his foe.  This single combat would pretty much decide the outcome of the battle!

It wasn't to be, though.  The elf hero quickly sent his challenger to the halls of his ancestors and with that, the second barbarian tribe became demoralised and the remnants started to flee from the battlefield.  And they had been so close to taking Santa's toyshop!


Well, it's a win for the forces of good, if not for Santa personally.  After this, the visiting elves are going to have to sing laments for the dead at the same time as putting in many hours in the workshop making presents (and a new sleigh) in time for Christmas.  And they were worried about their short, chubby kin being exploited!

No elves were killed in the making of this battle.  The forest elves didn't take a single casualty and Santa's short, round elf shooters ran away rather than wait to be annihilated.  Of course, lots of snowmen, bears, panthers and barbarians perished!

Man of the match: for me, it has to be the elf general.  Although he did have some very easy match-ups for most of the game, his contribution was enormous.  He personally destroyed at least 4 barbarian elements and then finished this off with a successful duel against the enemy king.

I suspect that the dispirited and sullen Barbarian behemoth is still standing near to Santa's house, quietly sulking...