Friday, 30 August 2013

Hello, farewell and Fhtagn Cthulhu!

Hi there everybody! Just a quick post today, mainly to say welcome and thank you to all those who follow me on this blog. I have had several new additions recently so a warm 'welcome along' goes out to you but my oldest readers deserve a special thank you too!

As many of you are aware I started this blog off because of the nascent Oldhammer scene announcing it's inaugural get-together. Which is this weekend! I will be away enjoying all sorts of Oldhammery goodness with similarly depraved souls for a couple of days, hurrah! I have really got into blogging as a way to meet new people/gamers and track my progress so obviously the blog will keep on trucking after the big event having outgrown it's original purpose. Apologies for not being able to reply to comments with my usual swiftness but I will be back in business on Monday.

I know I have a few keen board gamers in the audience so I will briefly (who was I kidding) mention 'Arkham Horror' which we played at the club last night. It was the latest incarnation of the game and despite having heard the usual 'not as good as the original' grumblings from the interwebs we actually had a lot of fun playing it. Just to introduce it properly, Arkham Horror is a cooperative play board game set in Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos which enables the players to act as a team in order to 'beat the box'. It's rather clever mechanics make you feel as though the game itself is out to get you and that things are very much stacked against you from the start.

The box art. Don't be fooled, you are probably better off with a lucky lamp than a Tommy gun.

I played as Dexter Drake the stage magician (who fortunately has acquired one or two less than illusory, reality-bending skills on his travels) and joined a group of ghostbusters that included a haunted student, an archeologist seeking revenge for his murdered father, a best-selling author wracked with painful visions of doom and a mysterious drifter that has seen too much. Each character card comes with some narrative intro fluff on the back which is great for people like me.

How the board looks.

You begin the game without any real objective or direction, though you are told which of the Ancient Ones is threatening the world (we drew Yig who made all cultist encounters rather more unpleasant than usual and cursed all of us from the start). The idea is to wander around the streets and locations on the board using the symbols as a guide to the kind of encounters you will have (these are drawn once per player at the end of each turn). In addition, every turn you draw an Ancient One card that will open gates, introduce and move monsters and describe events that temporarily affect the gameplay. To end the nightmare threat players must close at least six gates before the doom counter reaches 10. It is up to the players to move to the gates, fight or evade any nearby monsters that have slipped through and close them. It is even possible to seal them permanently if you collect enough clue tokens or a rare Elder Sign. Apart from clues, other resources you have to manage include your sanity and stamina, money, common and magic items, allies, spells and your customisable statistics.

This really is a top drawer game. I was very impressed with the way it drew in everybody around the table, those that had never played it before as well as those who knew nothing about the Cthulhu mythos. The thematic flavour is engaging and leaves you wanting more while the nuts and bolts of the mechanics are just the right mix of simple to learn and frustratingly difficult to master. Eventually we narrowly prevented Yig from destroying the Human race (phew!) in a tense and exciting finale that saw a necessary and much-longed for Elder Sign appear just at the right moment. Mr Drake was quite the monster hunter with his array of deadly spells and a lucky lamp while Ashcan Pete the drifter collected a phenomenal number of clues enabling him to seal the most gates. The archeologist recovered from three early bouts of insanity to uncover both of the two Eldar Signs we amassed during the game. The author and the student chipped in but were often forced to focus on mere survival!

Fhtagn Cthulhu!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Battle of Broken Barrow. Part Three.


Part One.

Part Two.

Thantsants' POV.

Thantsants' POV part two.

It all comes down to the next few turns! The next photo shows quite a bit of action. The two warband Ogres try to get stuck into the Orc archers and end up just getting stuck. The need to kill off 25% of the enemy before you can cause a rout test can make for the occasional tar pit. Vigareux and Grollo are even pushed back after one of the rounds of combat which was just enough to completely spoil the entrance of the Beastmen into the fray. Lord Savage himself attempts to charge the Shaman, Maliss Grobhurtz (and help the Undead take a huge step towards their victory conditions), but unwittingly crosses the line of a wind blast spell that is holding the skeleton infantry crossing the road at bay. The charge is failed and Maliss escapes his doom! The skeleton infantry near the Black Orcs turn to face the confused Orc General (who is failing/passing/failing/passing his Ld/Cl tests and kind of doing a need-a-wee dance on the spot) as his death is mandatory. Inevitably the fleeing Black Orcs rally on the table edge and reform facing the skeleton infantry's rear.

"Why did da skellingtons cross da road? Dey bleedin didnt cos I magicked em din I!" 
~ Maliss Grobhurtz, Orc Shaman

The Giant fails to rally and is duly scoffed by the ravenous Chimaera. The unit of skeletons that scared him off are free to turn towards the rear of the two Orc units threatening the graveyard but the Shaman's zone spells are keeping them back for the time being. The zombies have occupied the graveyard as a further delaying tactic and Mausolus can just be seen hovering around the opposite entrance. The Dark Elves from Savage's warband are taking potshots at Warboss Rob'imsum.

"Skellies to da lefta me. Skellies to da righta me. Skellies be'ind me. Vollied an shot at by bleedin elf pansies, will dis boar and ero fall, me wat barely fort at all?" ~ Orc Warboss Toady Rob'imsum.

The archers finally break and run, Lord Savage desperately tries to get his Ogre minions to restrain their pursuit so the warband can make it's way towards the forest but no-one gets between an Ogre and his lunch, not even their beloved master. The Black Orcs have pulled themselves together nicely and are making short work of their erstwhile tormentors.

"Vigareux! Grollo! Get back here you intolerable pair of vomitous, walking rugs!" ~ Lord Savage.

Just as all seems lost for the Orcs on their left flank fate intervenes once more. The Orc General is proving impervious to the Elven crossbow bolts, despite being rooted to the spot by indecision. The Shaman, Maliss, is able to upskirts and hide amongst the now victorious Black Orcs. Victory is slipping through Mausolus' bony fingers!

"Duz dat sownd like da boss ta yoo?" ~ Grollo.
"I dunno, less finish ittin deez litluns an den go an find owt." ~ Vigareux.

Over by the graveyard things look OK for the Undead. The Chimaera (immune to zone spells) has turned the tide of battle and killed his second  Orc regiment of the day. With the Giant that makes about 50 times his own body weight in dead enemy. He has wounded Fillhar Dring and is leisurely pursuing him; so close to achieving one of the victory conditions. The Undead cavalry are long vanquished, that's just a poorly packed away casualty you see poking his skull out.

"Gerrimoffgerrimoffgerrimoff!!!" ~ Fillhar Dring, Orc Shaman.

Lord Savage, the Ogres and the Beastmen are trying to sneak off quietly while the Elves are still flinging bolts uselessly at Warboss Toady. Maliss is perfectly safe in the unit of Black Orcs and the vicinity is distinctly lacking in the serious number of skeletons needed to dig him out.


Warboss Toady finally has a brainwave; charge the Elves because they don't cause fear! Bizarrely he is unable to hurt any of the nimble Elves and actually receives a nick in return. Is there time to kill off the Orc General and take a step closer to victory? The windblown skeletons close in on the Black Orcs, mussed hair and all, one failed fear test here could be the key to an unlikely win for Mausolus.

"Never mind that tempting flank charge beasties! It's time to leave town in a hurry!" ~ Lord Savage.

My best hope of killing an Orc character crumbles as the Orc ladz near the graveyard elect to save their beloved Shaman by passing a fear test and charging the Chimaera. Anyway, as it turns out the Orc General survives the next round of combat with the Elves and the Black Orcs pass their fear test.

"Cheers lads! (*SNARL*, *SLASH*) Er, good luck! (*CRUNCH*, *SNAP*) Bye then!" 
~ Fillhar Dring, Orc Shaman.

Darkness shrouds the field of battle. Mausolus is in firm control of the graveyard and the entrance to his lair but he has failed to kill off the Orc leadership which would have scattered the goblinoid menace forever. The Orcs don't have the relic and though Lord Savage's warband survived the battle without taking a single casualty they failed to escape in time. Final result: Draw!

Thankfully, Mausolus is fairly sanguine about the days events and invites Savage downstairs for a bottle of wine before handing him a spare copy of 'Lichedom for Beginners'. 'That might come in handy', thinks Savage before setting off through the forest to the proving grounds.

"Phew! Back from da mouth o hell." ~ Warboss Toady, on his return home.

The End.

That was a 2000 point battle which was fought over roughly five hours. I learned a few lessons that might come in handy if I GM a game in the future but all in all it went very well indeed and was incredible fun.

I will throw up a couple of 'armies on parade' shots after this weekend is out of the way.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Battle of Broken Barrow. Part Two.


Part One.

Orc's POV (part one).

The next photo shows Lord Savage goading his pet ogres Vigareux and Grollo towards the Orc archers. The idea is to crush the Orc's left flank and circle around the back of the Orc main body to enable a simple escape. The Dark Elf crossbows are giving support fire while out of shot a badly deployed Beastman unit desperately tries to keep pace with events. The Giant appears to be making for the graveyard, possibly to dig for that relic. The idea was that a unit would be vulnerable while doing this but if the Giant goes in he would surely be unaffected by a few gravestones! A cheeky bit of tactics from Warboss Rob'imsum methinks. The skeleton hordes move up as fast as possible to desperately try and keep the Orcs too busy to think about the objective. The Orc archers keep up a steady rate of fire against one of the Undead infantry units and whittle them down significantly. It probably helped that the Shaman was accidentally counted as a front rank bowmen a couple of times!

"Wossat Shaman doin wi me bleedin bow! Gissit back yoo twonk!" ~ Grunk, rear rank Orc archer.

You can just catch a glimpse of a svelte Warlord Paul in his natural environment in this shot. Also, you can see the wreckage of the Orc right flank as it collapses under the pressure from a star-performing Chimaera and the Undead cavalry.  The Giant has been forced to abandon his dash for the graveyard and turn to face a unit of skeletons.

"Blahdy ell lads this wuns goin dahn ill farst. Dem dead fings jumped all on me dawgs da buggas". 
~ Arry the Ob-Ound Andler.

The two Orc units behind the Giant have a Shaman nearby to protect them. He starts to throw a few zone spells out there as well as frenzying up some of the lads. The successful Undead left is suddenly left seeming vulnerable to counter-attack.

 "Into the wall of burning light Master? Into the flames of true death? Master wills it? Very well! We give our lives once more!" ~ Kho'han, Mausolus' Master of Horse.

Yet another failed fear test sees an Orc unit turn and flee. The ensuing panic will affect the Black Orcs. The skeleton infantry unit tha has attracted the attention of the Giant turns to face it.

No wun tole us this scrap wood be aginst dees fings! I aint no nutta! ~ Attributed to an Orc soldier.

The Giant is poised to pounce on the pesky little bony things snapping at his ankles. He charges in and sweeps his mighty club back and forth killing... only one of them. Disaster! The Orc General declares a charge back in the direction of the skeleton infantry unit threatening to overwhelm his centre units.

"Hur hur, I big and strong. You are very tiny things with no big tree for club. I stomp on you and hit you with my club. Hey! Stay still!" ~ Mick Vast'un, Giant.

The numbers don't quite add up for Mick who becomes the latest in a string of fleeing Orc units to head for the hills. Worse is to come as the Chimaera has eaten all the Orcs it was chasing and is now poised to have Giant for pudding. The two Orc units on the Giants left are having more luck as they ignore the problems going on around them and stick to the task at hand. Under the capable leadership of Fillhar Dring they are shredding the Skeleton infantry in front of them and placing the graveyard under direct threat.

"Hur hur them things won't stay still I go and play with pussy cat hello pussy cat nice kitty hur hur." 
~ Mick Vast'un, Giant.

Things don't go well for the Undead cavalry. They triggered an instability test as they lined up for the charge against the Orcs which left them needing -1 to hit. As I subsequently declared the charge, muttering something about 'taking a new instability test which would override the first' and 'liking them odds', I almost inevitably rolled a 1 and saw them turn into useless shades for the rest of the battle. The rest of their battle was not to last that much longer as it turned out. Fortunately a couple of lucky 6s on instability tests for the skeleton infantry saw this part of the battlefield get bogged down nicely while I tried to get some reinforcements in place.

"The light! It burns us! It burns! NoOooOooo my SOooOooOooul!!!" ~ Kho' han.

The skeleton infantry unit attacking the Orc centre sees one of the enemy units off the table and leaves the Black Orcs a few millimetres from doom. This could be a key moment in the tussle, we've all seen units come back from the brink to perform a vital task!

"Ere, lads. Why are we runnin? We is dead ard an dat!" ~ Attributed to a Black Orc soldier.

That's it for part two, click here for part three, the climactic final chapter!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Battle of Broken Barrow. Part One.

The introductory narrative is here.

The first photo shows a pretty clear view of Broken Barrow (you will have to imagine the fog, I need all the cotton wool I have because of the 5 month old). The graveyard hides the secret entrance to the home of Mausolus the Liche with it's extensive library and well appointed laboratory. In one of the graves there lies a rather impressive relic weapon (or so the Daemon-Lord Jeeyofiz would have us believe). Lord Savage and his warband enters from the near end of the path and must exit into the woods opposite to make progress on his journey to the proving grounds. Despite his temporary alliance with Mausolus, Lord Savage has his own set of victory conditions that leave plenty of room for cowardice and treachery on his part. The Orcs live in the next valley across and swarm in from the right of picture. Mausolus and his Undead deployed on the left of the picture.

"Come Vigareux! Grollo! Let us scatter the archers, then we will slip past the rear of the Orc army and be on our way..." ~ Lord Savage.

Mausolus' army consists of 90 skeletons with shields (divided into 4 roughly equal units), 20 zombies, 5 Undead cavalry and a bound Chimaera. The skeleton and zombie units have no standards or anything and though the skeleton models have spears these count as hand weapons.

The next photo shows the Orc horde of Toady Rob'imsum as it crests the ridge and pours into Mausolus' valley.

 "Wuns morr! Wuns morr! Inta da vally o deff!" ~ Warboss Rob'imsum. 
"Wos Morr gotta do wiv it? Fah Gooork!" ~ Boss Grobhurtz.

The early stages of Warhammer 3rd edition usually benefit from a bit of speeding up. The armies crawl towards each other at a fairly sedentary pace at the best of times so the last thing you want to do is throw too many obstacles in their path. We took a less is more approach to terrain for this 2000 point clash. We said the rocky outcrops offered no movement penalty and only left units unformed if they were charged while halfway across them. We allowed any unit to enter the graveyard in skirmish formation which we GM'd on the fly as appropriate. The trees were never an issue. We moved one model or one rank to show the position of units during our turn then moved up the rest in our opponent's movement phase to save time (must make some new movement trays!).

The armies begin to form battle lines and units face off against their targets. The Undead infantry had to manoeuvre around the graveyard while the cavalry wandered off to the left as a result of stupidity (they were outside of Mausolus' range). This was rectified in the first Undead magic phase as Mausolus boosted his control range to 24".

"Slaves! The enemy lies this way, you will serve me, I am your master!" ~ Mausolus the Liche.

Eventually the armies reach the road. Note that Thantsants' Orcs are still in a rather neat battle line! Yup, we forgot animosity. Again. I guess I owed him after the Battle of Plank Street. It just goes to show how easy it is to forget obvious stuff like that in the excitement of pushing your toys about.

The photo below gives you a squirrel's eye view of the impending carnage. Note the Grenadier Chimaera that has slammed into the Orc regiment just past the Hob-Hounds. That results in a failed fear test and a series of free hacks that sees the Chimaera eat at least 20 Orcs before they make it off the table.

"Nomnomnomnom!" ~ Chimaera.

Part two is available!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Battle of Broken Barrow (Intro)

Thantsants and I played out The Battle of Broken Barrow today using Warhammer 3rd edition. We didn't have a GM unfortunately so we just role-played it out as best we could. Thantsants took a load of pictures and will likely have them up soon so I won't drop any spoilers. I will say that we had an amazing and fun game though! I will post a full battle report when T emails the snaps to me. In the meantime, here are a couple of phone shots from turn one and the intro fluff I wrote.

Lord Savage's warband is closest occupying the right flank of the Undead horde. His escape route lies through the forest at the far end of the table.

The Orcs are pouring into the valley in search of a buried relic of great power. Give yourself a bonus point if you identified the 54mm Fighting Fantasy Ogre being used as a Giant!

The Battle of Broken Barrow.

The infamous Druchii renegade Lord Savage has made landfall on the Albion mainland after months at sea. He immediately attracted some of the local creatures of Chaos to his cause to replace those of his crew he had murdered to stave of the ennui of a long voyage. These were Beastmen, seven in number, and Ogres, two in number. Shortly after beginning the final march towards the proving grounds chosen by the Dark Pantheon he was set upon by a monstrous, red-skinned giant, one that had the cursed sign of hated Khorne scarred into his flesh, and his cretinous lapdogs. Though Savage’s devotion to his God and his patron Daemon was beyond question none could stand against such raw power and he was forced to withdraw and find another route. One of the Beastmen did not recover from the wounds he received and his brethren rejoiced because instead of seven they now numbered six, the holy sign of the Lord of Pleasure. This was taken to be an omen of their God’s favour.

The longer road led Savage to a fog-filled valley with sides of damp moss and broken rock, like the gaping maw of a marsh-dwelling Troll. There was a path of strewn cobbles that led to an ancient, seemingly abandoned graveyard. Though there were graves aplenty there seemed no adjoining house of Morr, nor any town of the living nearby; just the tumbled grave markers and the stench of death.

As Savage rode slowly through the valley he felt the sentinel presence of the Undead looming in the swirling shadows of the fog. Calling out his challenge to the mists he was answered with a discordant, sibilant growl…

“Thou hast come to Broken Barrow on this path of thine but a crossroads lies before thee now. No living creature has been suffered in this valley for centuries six in number but alas! Suddenly such peace as we are permitted has been shattered by the filthy doings of the Orc, yonder. Stand beside us in this coming hour and passage for thee is our boon. Help us rid our domain of the green cancer.”

The last was spoken as a command rather than a request. Lord Savage had always understood there was to be trials along the way, only the most worthy of the Dark Champions would arrive at the appointed place at the appointed hour, and he made his choice swiftly.

“The pact is made! We will kill that which knows no pleasure beyond the brutish lust for the taking of a foe’s life and you will stand aside at the end.”

As if in response a mighty drumming reverberated through the fog. The clamorous rhythm almost seemed to come from all directions at once. Perhaps it did…

Victory Conditions.

The Shaman of the Orc tribe has been plagued for weeks with visions of a mighty relic weapon that lies within one of the tombs of Broken Barrow. No doubt one of the Dark Gods is responsible; playing some incomprehensible game of their own device. The Orc army must get a unit into the central graveyard and spend a turn successfully digging for the relic in order to win the game. For every turn spent digging roll a dice; on a 4 or more the dig was successful!

The central graveyard contains the entrance to the lair of a powerful Liche and this will be defended at all costs, though it is not a victory condition. To achieve victory over the despoiling Orcs the General must die along with all Shamans.

The path to the Proving Grounds lies directly through the warring factions of the Undead and the Orcs. For Lord Savage to win he must either be alive when the Undead victory conditions are met or escape from the opposite short board edge from the one on which he is deployed. The Slaanesh warband must be deployed within 18” of a short table edge.

Check out Thantsants' blog for more on the Battle of Broken Barrow, or check out my own (strictly unbiased of course!) take on events here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Grenadier Chimaera.

Multiple animal characteristics, kind of a thing for Chimaeras. Should I call this one Tony?

Managed to knock Puss here out in 90 minutes flat (starting from the black spray) using simple drybrushing techniques, washes and a bit of strategic highlighting here and there. I'm more impressed with the time than the end results tbh (I'm a bit slow usually) but even so he is actually not too bad at all.

I retouched a couple of spots after the photos, amazing how that becomes necessary every time. This beast is for Thantsants' Orcs and Goblins to play with tomorrow (Sunday). He is stuck in the lakes with no wifi today so it will be a nice surprise for him. ;)

No doubt he will be prowling the tables at the Oldhammer Weekend too, I might even make time to invade Padre's jungle game and scoff a few pygmies!


The Etruscan 'Chimera of Arezzo'.

Thanks to Suber for alerting me to the sculptor's muse! The model's sculptor, John Dennett, is apparently active on the Lead Adventure Forum under the username Moondevil. *UPDATE*

A Yorkshire based Oldhammer cell called YOBBOS is forming on the BLOOD forum (HERE) so if you live in God's country and want to have a game of Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd edition, Warhammer 3rd or 4th edition or any game of your choice that you want GM'd; give us a shout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lord Savage and the Seahawks (all of them).

As promised and only a week late; the whole of Lord Savage's Slaaneshi warband. Ready for the Oldhammer weekend no less!

The Seahawks, roaming the wastes searching for some fine booty.

The 'Enthralled', a Beastman Slaanesh-worship cult.

The big man (elf) himself, Lord Dibdin Savage.

The 'Corsairs', Savage's original crew and his first followers.

The 'Bloodlusters', an Ogre unit consisting of Vigareux and Grollo.

Overall, I'm pleased with the results. I can speed paint or I can paint to a respectable standard, not both. I have tried to make as much time as possible for these guys and I actually like the current look very much. My freehand needs a lot more work, it's a very new skill so that's to be expected I suppose. I have never been able to draw and have never painted detail on a flat surface, ever. These shields and banners are the first attempts and are as good as it gets for this year but I like having something to aim for so I will keep banging away until I get the hang of it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Trolltooth Wars. Project concepts.

I have been doing a little fantasising about a future project this evening. It's still a long ways off before this comes to fruition but eventually I am going to put together the army of Balthus Dire and refight the Trolltooth Wars with Thantsants! I have had a few thoughts as a result of some research which I wanted to get written down, and maybe invite some advice on.

Here I am!

First things first, those curtains simply have to go. Sadly, despite being a badass fighter with a +2 ring of swordsmanship, Balthus can't lead his armies in person because he is killed by sunlight. This is merely the first stitch in the emerging pattern of flawed, doomed generals I have at my disposal.

Thanks to his acute photodermatitis, Balthus is stuck at home for the entirety of the Trolltooth Wars (not unlike his opposite number, the weedy Zharradan Marr, who hides in a mirror then hides the mirror). This means I will be relying on my Hill Goblin general, Foulblade. Oh fudge. According to the background material both armies feature broadly similar troop types and will have available, even if only in limited numbers, anything the opposition has. This doesn't mean the armies are without flavour though, quite the opposite in fact.

Grrrr! Hill Goblins are actually a little better than downtrodden, Warhammer Gobbos, thankfully.

So, in a nutshell, the best bits to game will be the raids and battles. Possibly there could be some worth in playing out Chadda Darkmane's story too.Here then are the basic scenarios as I see them.

1) The ambush on the cunnelwort caravan, followed by the Night Shadow attack on the returning Hill Goblins.

Fortunately the book is fairly clear on force strengths throughout. There are 38 human warriors protecting Marr's cunnelwort caravan, they are mistaken for Strongarm mercenaries but in fact some of them are Legionaries. One of them is a mounted Strongarm Captain and the entire force is led by Donnag Kannu, another human. Kannu is driving a wagon with the cunnelwort on so he is probably extra to the 38 warriors, as would be several other caravan drivers and handlers.

Foulblade leads the ambush personally and is accompanied by his number two, Orcleaver. Foulblade has enough Hill Goblins to easily destroy the caravan and it's defenders.

The destruction of the caravan and it's guards should be assured (otherwise the war would likely never start) but Foulblade must not allow a single enemy to escape in order to win. If someone escapes Marr is warned and the war begins, while Foulblade later pays for this mistake with his life. If no-one escapes we will suppose an intervention by a meddling Zagor who informs Marr of Dire's involvement but Foulblade lives to fight another day.

On the way home, Foulblade's camp comes under attack by a Night Shadow. If this creature manages to get close to one of the Hill Goblin characters it will have severe consequences later on.

2) Thugruff's revenge raid on a Hill Goblin village in the Craggen Heights.

Thugruff has his two lieutenants, Krravaak the Rhino-man and Tankasun the one-armed Gorian, with him on this raid. They lead four Craggerack scouts, 80 'Soulless Ones' (particularly nasty Zombies) and some 'Mutes' (mutants) led by four horsemen. The Soulless Ones are on foot and the rest may be mounted.

Thugruff's column attacks a Hill Goblin village and razes it to the ground. At some point Dire's general (either Foulblade if he's still alive or the newly promoted Orcleaver if not) takes part in the battle, though he cannot save the village. We can presume he is in the area with reinforcements and investigates plumes of smoke which will make for an interesting sub-plot.

The village defenders would number around 30 or so, this being a reversal of the force ratio of the previous scenario, with the possibility of reinforcements late on.

Any characters on either side that get killed would be lost for future games and any Hill Goblins that survive may be added to Dire's army in the final battle.

While this is going on some of Marr's ghost-like Droomies infiltrate Craggen Rock and tempt away Dire's Ganjee allies. There doesn't appear to be any element of risk to this strategy in the novel and I can't think of any benefit to gaming this aspect of the story.

3) The raid on Coven by Dire's forces.

Another one-sided slaughter! The chance to gear-up to the final battle and collect the forces piecemeal is the main benefit of doing things this way, though I think it's fun to game the raids personally.

This time Dire's forces start to get wacky. The Spider-monsters and giant flies, the two-headed sycthe-wielding warriors and the hell-hounds, there is even a hell-demon in the picture! Orcs are present this time, as well as Dire's go-to guys the Hill Goblins.

The Marr player should have a reasonable number of Coven folk available and an escape route into Knotoak Forest. Any survivors can form a new regiment (of Landesturm if using WFB3) for Marr while dead Chaotics are not available later on.

Half the artwork depicting the Coven raid, a Russ Nicholson classic.

4) The blockade of Craggen Rock by Marr's legionaries, culminating in the devastating clash between the Sorq and the Ganjee.

Technically, none of this needs to be gamed. The novel describes the actions of both the Sorq and the Ganjee in absolute terms. As they are extremely powerful spirit creatures, what they attempt they achieve. When they meet they cancel each other out and get sucked back to their own dimension. The real joy of gaming the blockade would probably come from just re-enacting the small clashes and skirmishes between Dire's Hill Goblin patrols and guarded caravans against the aggression of Marr's legionaries and Undead.

Any victory conditions would revolve around Dire's supply situation. If he wins this phase of the war he will have more and better armed troops for the final battle, if he loses he will suffer a penalty!

5) The Battle of Trolltooth Pass.

Dire can muster 37 tribes of Hill Goblins, an unruly mass of Orcs, his Chaotics, some irregular 'Drone' units (made up of a mixture of Black Elves, Hill Barbarians, Calacorms and assorted other Chaos-worshipers), Eyeless Archers, Hell-hounds, giant insects and the Chaotics from the Coven raid. The Army is led by, well, whoever's left frankly. In the novel Foulblade is dead and Orcleaver is possessed by the Night Shadow. When Orcleaver loses consciousness at a key moment in the battle his number two, Blackscar, takes over. If gaming has gone very badly for Balthus' boys in preceding sessions there are two named and 34 unnamed Hill Goblin Chiefs to fall back on!

Marr has his Rhinoman phalanx, his disciplined legionaries, the Soulless ones, Daramouss' monsters and the formidable 'Galleykeep' guarded by fearsome Tooki. The army is led by Thuggruff and his cronies while Vallaska Roue is present on the Galleykeep, which is armed with cannon and potash bombs. The Galleykeep is largely untouchable so Darkmane will be Dire's best friend in this scenario!

The action mostly takes place in the bottom right quarter of the map.

Easily three or more gaming sessions there, more if you indulge the blockade's potential and add in Darkmane's story arc. This idea has been bubbling away in Thantsants mind for years now so I want to give it a fair crack of the whip. Except for a few giant insects/arachnids I have all the minis I need if I just paint up stuff I have lying around, which is tempting, but I want to go for a certain look obviously. What minis do you guys suggest? What ratio of actual forces to miniatures should we go for? What rules and stats would be best to represet hings like Rhinomen and two-headed scythe dudes?

Don't be shy, this project will need to be the fruit of many minds if it's to succeed properly.

*UPDATE* Thread on BLOOD forum now started, HERE! *UPDATE*

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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Lord Savage and the Seahawks.

I have taken a few snaps of some members of my Slaaneshi warband that I'm taking to the Oldhammer Weekend, mostly ones you haven't seen before.

Lord Savage himself.

On the charge.

Third pose, he is Slaaneshi and therefore more than a little narcissistic.

The surviviors of the original crew of Savage's ship.

Vigaraux the Ogre pirate. Feared from Marienburg to Magritta.

I have a finished warband now but now I know I have some time I am going to add some more detail to the Beastmen (including a freehand banner hopefully) and paint up a replacement for Grollo (whose colour scheme wasn't very exciting because I still wanted him to fit into Golgfag's Troopers) so they will appear in a day or two, along with a team photo of course.

The Elves are in need of quite a bit more highlighting, particularly extreme highlights, and the bases need a quick lick of brown in one or two patches but I am pleased with the amount of progress I have made with time to spare.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Hobby Update. 09/08/13.

Here are a few minis I am preparing at the moment, possibly for use at the Oldhammer Weekend.

The Dragon on the left is a Citadel 'Young Dragon' that has been available on and off since it's 80's release. It has often been packaged along with another young Dragon and a hatching Dragon. It's part of the 'pathetic aesthetic' I'm hoping to embrace, these tiny examples of their species will clearly have the lowest stat-line available (most creatures have six random stat-lines in the WFB 3rd ed main rule book).

Next in is a Grenadier Chimera with a suitably freaky looking goat head on it's back. Even with the lowest stat-line, using the Chimera as WYSIWYG makes it an absolute beast so I'm not sure about including it but size-wise it is in keeping with the philosophy I'm going for.

Next up is Lord Savage's future incarnation. It's a 'Wraith Collecting Souls' from the Fiend Factory range and will make a perfect evil army general. Lord Savage, my Dark Elven StD warband leader, is destined to get killed off in the general melee of Orlygg's table (he is a level 10 hero, meh) so I have begun to prepare a future narrative for him which involves an impending Lichehood and a new career as a Nazgul type villain.

Next to him is a Dark Elf Sorcerer, the one brandishing a pentagram symbol. I have an awful lot of Dark Elf mages, both older and newer,  but I really like this one.

Last up is the most pathetic of them all, he's a Hill Giant. Yup, I know. At an advertised 9 feet in 'real' terms this Fiend Factory sculpt isn't even comparable to an Ogre. The Fiend Factory range always did have wobbly scale issues and could never decide if it was a 25mm or a 28mm range but the Hill Giant is certainly the most vertically challenged 'Giant' in my entire collection. I have an old Ral Partha Cloud Giant from the the same era that towers over his little cousin being 2.5 times bigger.

I am looking forward to gaming with some of these soon, though they may require some introduction before the game because even taking an assumed roll of a one for their stats my opponent might get a surprise when these little fellows start rolling lots of dice!

The warband itself is pretty much ready to go, I have gamed with it once already, though I want to finish Lord Savage himself a bit more before I put some photos up. I will get around to writing a narrative for their single battle when I can think up a good one, it won't be easy! My opponent's champion got 4x growth so I spent a lot of time hiding and getting stomped with not so much of the nail-biting action! The end result was that I got a new roll for followers (which I turned down because I'd had an extra roll anyway under Orlygg's original guidelines) and one of my Beastmen was permanently deceased. It truly could have been a lot worse though. I had to roll up my Chaos Weapon (originally I rolled up a Daemon Weapon with a bound Daemonette but swapped it because of the general consensus against them) and got a toughness boost from my 'Sword of Resilience'. Handy against those strength 8 attacks, ugh. My opponent wants another game too, I suppose letting people crush me is one way of enticing new blood into Oldhammer!

Thanks for stopping by!