Friday, 30 May 2014

Return of the Deathfist. 14th of June 2014, Slayer Gaming, Mansfield.

Ulthur Deathfist, the very name fills those unfortunate enough to hear it with an immediate clammy dread and an encroaching, bowel-loosening horror. The Deathfist was once a favoured scion of Khorne but having tasted the bitter fruit of defeat in a confrontation with the primordial Demi-God, Mum-Ho-Thep, he has been reduced to leading the shredded remnants of his army in acts of ignominious banditry on the back roads and lesser highways of the Empire.

Ulthur Deathfist.

All this time, his old rivals have grown in stature along the Old Forest Road, his former domain. The Road itself is a bizarre place, created by renegade Elves in antiquity during the Wars Of Vengeance to allow a swift and secret egress for small cadres of elite troops. The Road is a real path but it passes through more places than it should, many more. It is said that those who travel the Road arrive not where they wish to be but where they need to be. Nowadays, it is a place of violence still as warbands of Chaotics struggle and strive for dominance, their dark Gods heaving with mirth as they observe. It is here that the Deathfist first began his tale of utter damnation.

The Road, where anything can happen and frequently does.

Ulthur has recently been visited in his bandit lair by a crouching, red daemon with a long, lashing tongue and a twisted, sardonic visage. The vile abomination brings a bundled package and message of redemption from the dog-faced God himself.

"The Necromancer, Baron Kraust, is abroad on the Road. You will return there and slay this toad in our master's glorious name. A Necromancer is doubly cursed, for not only does he dabble in foul magicks but he also denies us our measure of blood in battle! For you however there is a personal motivation, if such were needed to revive your hate, for Kraust led the right flank of Mum-Ho-Thep on the day of your shaming! He has recently suffered a loss, his phylactery is sundered and his realm is under Imperial scrutiny. He has decided to escape the eyes of his foes and search for the components of a new phylactery by using the Road. He knows the dangers of that place, he will be well defended, but your God wants you to avenge the insult of your ruination and strike back at those who brought it about. You must face that which bested you and prevail. Here, this is the daemonblade 'Hatemaker'. It imprisons the essence of one of my brethren and if you have the will to subjugate him, he will aid you enormously. Go then, return to the Road, you know what you must do."

Baron Kraust, in happier times.

With not a word more, the daemon herald turned and left. Ulthur tore off the bundled rags of the package and held 'Hatemaker in his fist. He felt his rage and loathing for his enemies swell to new levels as he swung a practice cut through the air. Tomorrow, would be a very good day. This thought fired his blood mightily as he turned his head to the Road and bellowed for his minions to follow.

So then, two former stars of more than one online battle report across three blogs both make a return as they rapidly approach 'Special Character' status. Get in touch and ask for details if you want to join in, or just turn up on the day at Slayer Gaming because the more the merrier! The narrative is designed for a Chaos army to take on a GM'd force of Undead, so players will be cooperating to pull apart an enemy army while competing for fame and glory along the way! This doesn't mean you can't bring along your own miniatures, in fact you are encouraged to do so, I will make up a story to explain your alliance/appearance on the day.

As always, rules knowledge is not essential, though written stats and gaming aids such as tape measures and dice are very handy indeed.

I am on a trip out of the country for a few days between now and the event so if you have questions it'd be best to ask them as soon as possible please. I will be available again a few days before though so don't panic.

Parking is apparently excellent nearby according to the staff, though I haven't been able to confirm this visually with google maps.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Blog-Con II. A Grand Day Out.

Time is once again slipping through my fingers like the grains of sand in a timer. Late though they may be however, I am determined to get through my backlog of batreps before BOYL '14. Let's kick off with the battle Thantsants and I fought at RAF Elvington for Blog-Con II. My lads are the Unwanted of Malal, raised according to the warband challenge set out by Whiskey Priest but with my own twist(s): They were all made with minis and parts given to me free by people leaving the hobby. Thantsants also accused me of cocking a snook at the archeo-gamers so prevalent on the retro scene at the moment, now I don't know what a snook is or how to cock one but he knows me well enough that I didn't argue!

The Unwanted of Malal.

On with the show!

The prize. In this war-torn corner of the Empire, a land ravaged by despoiling Orc and corrupting Chaotics both, there lies a ruined inn with a few overlooked barrels of best bitter. With supplies becoming harder and harder to come by and the onset of a bitter, institutionalised hatred of a familiar foe, this meagre reward is worth dying for.

The field of battle. A fortified inn with an adjoining paddock has been overrun at some point in the recent unrest and left abandoned and in ruins. A Chaotic warband approaches from the south while some marauding Orcs reach the area from the north.

The Unwanted arrayed for battle. They catch the all too familiar smell of Orc on the breeze and line up following the orders of their leader, A'ben Dond. The Reviled Ones (6x Beastmen) form up on the road  while the Ill-Favoured (4x Thugs) take up a position on a hill overlooking the road so that they can use their bows to good effect. Descardo the Beastlord meditates in the forest, his power is drained by his mental domination of the Wild Cat, Arown, and he will need to rest before casting any spells. Detritus' Despicables (8x Chaos Goblin Cultists) scurry through the trees straight at the ruined inn as their keen instincts pick up the scent of the beer. Far out on the eastern flank, Arown glides stealthily as he hunts.

The Orc scum are bellowing out a marching rhyme as the trudge into the vicinity of the erstwhile inn. The trees shake left and right as a massive Troll is led forward by an eldritch-eyed Orc wizard with a crackling staff. The tiny Snotlings want to join in with the Orcs singing but they are too occupied by nervously eyeing their boss on his huge, grunting boar. An unusually keen looking scout ranges ahead of the rabble.

Detritus and his cultists run as fast as they can towrds the beer while the going's good. The Thugs loose off a few volleys at the Orcs just to let them know they're in a fight and pin-cushion the Orc scout who mysteriously winks out of existence. There is no body left behind, could it be the Orc wizard is doing more than just shepherd the Troll forward? Descardo feels the winds of Chaos swell around him as he steps to the edge of the treeline. 

The Orc boss leads some of his lads, the savages, out in a left flanking manoeuvre but the big cat Arown hurls itself over a hedge in a frenzy as it smells pig nearby. It is confronted by the savage Orcs but in it's maddened state they are no match for the raw power and get torn asunder. A'ben Dond urges his Beastmen into the onrushing Orcs hoping to slow them down and give his Thugs more time to use their effective bows. The Orc wizard responds by summoning some skeletons to use as arrow fodder, screening himself and the Troll from harm. In the paddock, The Orc boss smacks his boar on the buttock and hurls himself at the Wild Cat. His thick armour protects him from the claws and he is able to slay the beast and avenge his fallen savages.

The Beastmen lose two of their number to the ferocious Orcs and the cowardly fools are routed. A'ben Dond is swamped by the Undead but easily defends himself as he swings his arcane sword left and right. Malal takes a portion of each soul as it succumbs for a second time.

The Troll is frustrated as it cannot reach the little metal man killing his wizardy friend's pets.

As the melee on the road reaches a stalemate, A'ben Dond doing himself what the Beastmen could not, Descardo organises a second line in his lord's absence. The Reviled Ones rally and jog forward to protect the Thugs flank while Descardo close up the line with some summoned skeletons of his own. The Chaos Goblins fidget nervously as the Undead pull themselves from the soil right next to them.

The Orc boss thwacks a few Snotlings over the hedge with the flat of his blade, hoping the rest will get the idea. They do, after a bit more coaxing, but veer away from the funny, stinky skeletons and go to play with the Goblins instead. Rolling his eyes, the brutish Orc thunders towards the Undead himself and easily cuts them all down with the help of a few tosses of his mount's tusks. The Snots are not so lucky and are cut down in return by their cousins.

Having killed the last of the Orc wizard's Undead, A'ben Dond is left with a dilemma. Does he charge into the Orc boss or the Troll. Wherein lies the most glory, or more importantly, the most survivable glory? Eschewing the 'opportunity' to fight a troll for now, Dond wisely gangs up on the boss with the help of the cultists and Descardo, who has summoned a wee familiar which scrabbles away enthusiastically at the side of his master. The Orc boss is brought down, riven with a dozen wounds, to loud cheers.

The Beastmen renew their struggle with the Orc lads but the best of them have already fallen and they get pushed back again and again before finally fleeing the field.

The Troll and his minder burst through a gap that opens up in the Chaos lines and butcher the Thugs whose arrows tormented them so. They turn back towards the inn, now defended by most of the surviving Unwanted, and warily survey the scene.

Descardo tries a desperate trick and casts 'Clone Image' (represented by the ghostly Elf twins on pennies, one is heads and the other is tails to allow for secret tracking of movement). The depleted Goblins line up next to Dond.

The Reviled Ones are barely hanging on, with such heavy casualties their already shaky morale is in tatters.

The cultists pour a volley of arrows onto the hill and take the last wound off the Orc wizard! The Troll looks badly wounded and one or two of the Goblins are confident enough to gesticulate rudely at the beast who roars his defiance. In a fit of arrogance, A'ben Dond charges the Troll in the hope of taking it's last wound quickly but is drenched by a well-timed torrent of vomit from the Trolls guts. This understandably takes the wind out of Dond's sails and he crawls off into a ditch to hurt for a while.

With Dond disabled, Descardo orders the cultists to defend the fake Descardo clone in a desperate attempt to lure the stupid Troll away from the beer while he summons more skeletons to defend the inn. In a fatal twist, the otherwise reliable Troll's eyes glaze over for the first time that day and he turns to his allies before rabidly attacking them. In his confused state he does little damage but the are forced to put him down before he causes any  more trouble and the Orc's best hope of victory is lost.

The few surviving Orcs try to batter their way inside the inn's compound but Descardo summons even more Undead to outflank the doomed attempt.

The last of the Orcs are put to flight and the battle draws to a close. The Unwanted loot the fallen, tend to their wounded and settle down for a nice pint by the campfire.

So there you have it, a victory for the Unwanted in their first outing but a costly one and a win that would have been impossible without a few, huge slices of luck. Blog-Con was a great day and I look forward to the next one a great deal. I have a few snaps of the room and one or two attendees which I will put up on Facebook shortly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Space Crystals!

Space Crystals! They are surely a sci-fi wargaming staple, and if not they should be. Every now and then someone shows off some lovely new space crystals and I get the urge to build my own but hit a brick wall because I can't find the right materials at the right price. Well, this time I finally overcame all the obstacles! I found some Quartz crystals (they don't turn into Alka Seltzer on contact with PVA, bonus) at the right price, I had some leftover LASER (is it still an acronym after all these years?) cut bases from another scatter terrain project (which technically makes them free) and critically a spare hour or so. I like the look of them as they are and have so far resisted the temptation to make them pop more with an ink wash. My sci-fi terrain is quite garish already and as long as they don't get 'lost' on the board I will leave them alone.

I've used a few of those use-out-of-the-box grass tufts that are all the rage.

Shown alongside 'Paul the Prepper', my custom Zombicide character, for scale. He is a 28mm civilian militia from Copplestone Castings.

I thought about writing it L.A.S.E.R. but surely that can't be right?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

100+ competition epilogue.

Anne has very kindly written a post about my competition and her chosen prize, so why not head on over to her blog (clickety-click) and take a look, perhaps offering your congratulations too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Funny how the mind works sometimes.

I think it was a combination of thinking about the size comparison post I did with the Daemonscape vehicle and the link I posted to the  H. R. Giger obituary that reminded me of the images below. I thought I would share them with you, however off topic or tenuously sci-fi they may be, but beware if you're feeling like a big shot as thinking of Antares might deflate in a hurry!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The imagination is a social entity, one that likes to communicate or even merge with others like it.

The imagination is a social entity, one that likes to communicate or even merge with others like it.

Here's a quick 'triptych' in memory of a world renowned artist.

H. R. Giger 1940-2014.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Size comparison.

No, not a weird 'male enhancement' product advert. Just the Daemonscape APC next to some minis as requested! The minis were ones that were just lying within reach but there's a reasonable selection.

L to R, GW, Empress, Copplestone, Foundry (an unusually huge Johnny Alpha), Hasslefree and EM4.

Looks alright eh?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

New toy for Rogue Trader.

Managed to get a few splashes of paint daubed onto this little beauty today, a command apc from Daemonscape I will be using as a crawler in an upcoming game of Rogue Trader.

The Dunefox.

Available for long-term rental at low, low prices.

AKA 'Number 8'.

I added a few plastic bits from a couple of different Imperial Army (yes, that's what I'm calling them now) sprues as that sort of thing always livens up a resin kit which can lean towards the blocky end of the aesthetics spectrum. I was going for knackered with the paint job as the action is on a sandstorm-blasted part of Boone's Landing and I just messed about experimenting with new techniques, cut-up sponges and Tamiya weathering sticks taking a starring role.

I will be reviving a couple of story-arcs from last years pre-baby shenanigans as an old friend is free to come over for the first time in a while. Not wanting it to be a one-off I may take the plunge into solo wargaming to keep the narrative going for the blog in between play sessions. What do you think, too weird? Or is it almost acceptable now like online dating?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Competition result is in!

Congratulations Anne O'Leary!

Who knows what otherworldly powers were at work when the reluctant entrant Anne was picked by the mini web tool (link here), nevertheless please step forward you lucky lady and please email your postal address and choice of board game to as soon as you like. Well done!

Big, big thanks to all those who took part, I hope to reward you all soon with another milestone prize so keep reading!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Gearing up for my Whiskey Priest warband's first game.

Hello all! I've managed to get a few slaps of paint onto the warband designed according to Whiskey Priest's challenge. I'm not posting to show it off as such, plenty of work still to do, but I am attending Blog-Con II on Saturday with Thantsants and we are going to get a couple of games in using our respective warbands so this post is mainly so he can see what's what. No harm in sharing it with you guys too of course!

For those of you who attended the first Blog-Con with me in November and are wondering where your invitation is, I can only say this one crept up out of nowhere, sorry! May I suggest you follow the Blog-Con blog? It is now at a cool new location too, RAF Elvington the Yorkshire Air Museum, which is conveniently on my doorstep.

Anyways, on to the warband. As you may recall, the warband has a theme of my own device: It is completely assembled from models and parts that were acquired for free from friends and acquaintances of mine who abandoned Warhammer 8th edition in disgust. I wasn't able to resist the urge to use bad puns for names, sorry.

The Unwanted of Malal.

The Unwanted of Malal. 390.5 points.

A'ben Dond, Chaos Warrior. 84 points.

M 4 WS 6 BS 6 S 4 T 3 W 2 I 6 A 2 Ld 9+2 Int 8+1 Cl 8+1 WP 8+1

Dond has a 'Parasitic Blade', a suitable weapon for a follower of Malal, heavy armour, a shield and two attributes: Great Horns and Magically Resistant.

Descardo the Beastlord. 110 points.

M 4 WS 4 BS 3 S 4 T 3 W 1 I 3 A 1 Ld 7 Int 8+1 Cl 8+1 WP 8+1

Descardo is a level 5 Wizard with 11 magic points but has spent 10 of them pre-game to bind the Wild Cat: Arown. He has three spells (secret I'm afraid), which he may get to cast if he is allowed time to rest, a hand weapon and Chaos Armour (5+).

The Ill-Favoured (four Thugs). 48 points.

M 4 WS 4 BS 4 S 3 T 3 W 1 I 4 A 1 Ld 7 Int 7 Cl 7 WP 7

The Ill-Favoured carry a hand weapon and long bows and wear light armour with shields.

The Reviled Ones (six Beastmen). 66 points.

M 4 WS 4 BS 3 S 3 T 4 W 2 I 3 A 1 Ld 7 Int 6 Cl 7 WP 6

The Reviled Ones have a hand weapon and shields. They have been blessed with Prehensile Tails as a dominant attribute.

Detritus the Goblin. 18 points.

M 4 WS 3 BS 4 S 4 T 3 W 1 I 3 A 2 Ld 5 Int 5 Cl 5 WP 5

Detritus is a level 5 Goblin Hero and leads his Despicables. He has a hand weapon, spear, bow, shield and light armour.

Detritus' Despicables (seven Chaos Goblin Cultists). 48.5 points.

M 4 WS 2 BS 3 S 4 T 3 W 1 I 3 A 1 Ld 5 Int 5 Cl 5 WP 5

The Despicables have a standard, hand weapons, spears, bows, shields and light armour.

Arown, the Wild Cat. 21 points.

M 8 WS 4 BS 0 S 4 T 3 W 1 I 4 A 2/4 Ld 4 Int 4 Cl 7 WP 7

Arown has a claw and a bite attack. When charging, Arown may leap onto an opponent with a lower initiative in the first round of combat, this doubles the claw and bite attacks.

Quite an interesting little warband. I don't think it gives good value for points in all areas but it has something to do in every phase and is very versatile having a tarpit unit (the Beastmen) to deal with unpleasant surprises, a combat unit (the Goblins surprisingly, +2 static combat resolution, two S 4 Hero attacks and a standard is murderous in a 400 point warband game!) to deliver a punch, a ranged unit to harass the enemy from afar, a potent fast unit to stop enemy marching/kill ranged troops/flank charge as necessary, a sneaky magic-user with a trick or two up his sleeves and a leader with a handy +2 Ld to bolster his cowardly troops!

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!