Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Orcs! (with a 'C')

"Hi, you might know me from other posts in this blog!"
Following up from the last post, civil-wars-of-empire, I have chosen Orcs. I sorta hinted at that with the last pic in that post. I love Orks and Orcs, and I have been itching to get back to my Orks, I have kind of figured out how to paint them fairly quickly (when I apply myself that is). Plus, it's the only army that I have a rule book for and my current budget is too tight to justify dropping $50 (each-I am a completist) for the others! I figured that as I do up my fantasy Orcs it would also encourage me to finish up a few of the 40k Orks that have been in painting station limbo for way too long. Also, painting these things will be a refreshing break from many years working with Space Wolf Gray and Shadow Gray paint...

Dabbling in the Army Builder and rummaging through my mini-closet, I pulled out two complete boxes of Orc Boyz, a box of Gobos (sans 5 gobos that I turned into gretchen), an Orc Chariot (already assembled and base-coated, the arrer boyz and twin-choppa orcs from the 6th ed starter set, 4 giants (original Maurader giant, Giants of Albion set and the current plastic giant), 6 bases of painted Snottlings (originally painted late in the 40K 2nd edition era as Shokk Attack Gun ammo! A now redundant role) and 6 trolls. Not a bad start and some interesting options. Being that this is intended to be a temporary respite from 40K, I have no intention of expanding this army much (see previous comment regarding a tight budget). Although I may be forced to address the lack of artillery, but we'll play a few games and see how they fair as is.

And this is only 4 units!

So as sort of an intro to this new project, I wanted to showcase a few of the painted models. This 1st Orc Boy pictured at the top of the post is one of the twin-choppa orcs from the 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy starter set that warfrog gave to me when he decided that WFB just wasn't his bag. For the longest time these models (including the Empire ones) saw life and action as D&D minis for my 3.5 campaign. They died in droves over there so I'm sure they can replicate those results again for me in WHFB.

"Wot? No 'igh-lights on me teef?!"
This guy was painted up a few years ago when I discovered that I was running low on my precious original Bilious Green paint, I came up with a mix to extend the life of it ( I discussed this in more detail in one of my waaagh-plane posts ). This model is the standard that all of my basic Orcs (and Orks) will aspire too. I have other examples that are arguably better, but this guy just works. A particular feature of this model, and something of an experiment, is his rusted choppa. Looking at weather gardening tools, industrial machinery, farm equipment, etc, it occurred to me that these real-life tools are just as effective and useful despite their apparent age and yet everyone paints orcs as if their crude and beaten weapons just rolled off the forge! Including GW's painters! So in this boy's hands you can see the two extremes of what I was going for. For something a bit in the middle of these two examples, check out the Sword of Rust on the Boss model in my orky-love post. The other day, I added a few silver scratches on the rusty blade to indicate that this old weapon has seen some recent use.

I can not introduce this next guy without mentioning my dear friend Redbird. I introduced her to D&D (everyone's gate-way to a wider world of gaming and geekery in general, yes?) and the 1st game we played was done using the old Heroquest board as the dungeon. I had the leader and ruler of this dungeon be an Orc priest by the name of Zodbog Badgrub who captured Redbird's character and was plotting devious things to do with her when she made her escape. Zodbog would be a reoccurring nemesis for years to come. Well, Zodbog was this model:

Zodbog Badgrub. Hunting red birds since '01!

Granted, he was unpainted at the time, or primed black. I forget. Over the next....gosh, 12 years I would dabble on him, until employing the same techniques used on the orc boy above. Just the other day I added the final details to his staff and sword and glued him altogether. Despite the years of use and paint dabbling, in actual man hours of work I don't think I spent more than 5 hours on this mini, I just never focused on finishing him until the other day when I realized I needed to use this model for the 1st time in the role that it was created for!

...still, I wonder if I ought to put something else on the base? A snottling or a skull or something? See, I just don't know when to quit!

He wears that sword like it's a punishment! LOL
 So, these models are the bench mark that the rest of the horde will be reaching for! The next few posts will track the progress of this army, stay tuned!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Civil Wars of the Empire

In recent times some of us are feeling a bit of 40k fatigue and have been toeing the waters of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I too am eye-balling and flirting with getting an army functional for some Fantasy play as I am suffering from a bit of Space Wolf Gray burn out. So after my plans for the evening were dashed, I wandered over to Hobbytown to catch Da Masta Cheef and theBob play a game of Empire vs. Empire. I intended to only stay for a brief while, but I was hooked! I couldn't break away from seeing these two surprisingly well balanced armies duke it out on the plain of death! Anyway, I think one of those chaps is going to discuss it on their blog this week and I assisted Da Masta Cheef with some photos, so keep checking those links!
I was keenly impressed with seeing these two Empire armies just tear into each other. And it got me thinking of years gone by when my Empire army was being mustered! I contributed to Crisis in Marienburg, an online campaign that warhammer-empire hosted way back in 2008 (gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago!) and from there I invented the background elements for my army. In particular General Franz Grausocken of Reikland (green-socks that reek...get it? -ha!) my Pegasus riding ass-kicker (in the name of Sigmar of course)! And a few other characters. I had a complete blast writing updates for my character during stages of the campaign but I did not get in many games at all. Check that link to see some of the short stories I wrote.
Still, it was an AWESOME campaign, so much so that I was going to attempt to write an adaption for it for WHFRP 2ndEd but didn't get far with it due to work-overload, personal issues and the biggest one, the announcement of WHFRP 3rd edition which my gaming group and I, having just spent a small fortune tracking down the 2nd edition books, just opted not to try. Anyway, the point being is that this was an awesome campaign set during a particular period of turmoil in the Empire when various factions all fought for the crown, and Marienburg decided to make things VERY difficult for those living upstream of the Reik. It fits in very well with established background material and the material written by the campaign staff (and us players) really made it come to life. So with three Empire players (at least) in our local group, it got me thinking about trying to create a small campaign, perhaps using Mordheim rules for a few smaller scenarios as well, that I could bundle together for us or other smaller groups to play that might have a similar feel to it? I don't know for sure, nor do I know how keen my local players would be on it, but still, it got me thinking about Warhammer Fantasy again regardless.   

Presented here in this blog post is General Grausocken on his Pegasus. I might show him off more from different angles and better lighting so you can see some more detail on him. It took me a while to paint this model. The horse bits were easy, as was the rider, it was that blasted throne! That thing was insanely detailed! Not that it was hard to paint, but deciding what color to paint it was a bit of a trial. This was a model that I bought used off of ebay and one of it's legs had been badly "converted" by the previous owner so I had to re-sculpt part of it. In a way I don't consider it done yet because I at the time was having a frustrating time getting the banner to come out right, and then 40K pulled me back in. However, I am working on a standard bearer for my Space Wolves and when I do sit down to draw and paint that banner I will probably tackle this one too.

 So at this point I have 4 possible armies I could muster:
  1. Empire. Of which Grausocken might be the only completely painted guy (sans banner).
  2. High Elves. I regard this as my primary Fantasy army actually, I just love the model range.
  3. Daemons. She Who Milks could bring some sour-love to those Stirlanders...
  4. Orcs. I have managed to accumulate quite a lot of WHFB orcs over the years... 
Grausocken vs. Oddgob!

 I will be announcing on here soon which of my WHFB armies I indeed to make functional.

Meanwhile, here is a bit of 'in character-ish' discussion from the Crisis In Marienburg campaign:

"My big question here is, why are we letting the Marienburgers (here by referred to as the defeated) define the terms of their surrender?  Clearly we need to be talking to the Middenlanders who have done more internal damage to the city than us, and to whom we have already signed an agreement to divide the city via the river.

The defeated should never have a hand in deciding their fate. In fact, I think the Marienburg Alliance should be permanently dissolved, and we allow the League to step in to govern the merchant districts and all aspects of commerce and trade. The defeated need to be ousted from power-permanently. We have conquered them; and for the consequences of their actions and betrayals that kicked off this campaign in the first place, they need to accept the new paradigm.

I reject any treaty that allows the people who sponsored the starvation of our Empire, who would seek to ally with orcs to kill our sons and brothers, a seat of power of any kind."

-General Grausocken 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Relic fight!

A weekend or so back, we gathered at the local Hobbytown USA for some gaming and somehow we decided to have a two vs. two game. I haven't done one of these in some time so I was keen to give it a try. It would be a fight to retrieve and capture The Relic. Who knows what that would be from a background perspective considering the Grey Knights (RT Voril) and Imperial Guard (Screech) would be sent to prevent the Space Wolves (your very own Neverness) and Lions of Harlech (Kushial's space marine chapter) from taking possession of it! We ended up using a metal nuclear symbol as The Relic. So whatever it is, it must be a bit of  radioactive STC or something else rare and warpy.
The Space Wolves and Lions of Harlech prep for battle. This is a combined 3k in points.

The Grey Knights, right after their Psychic Friends Hot line call-center shift ended... "Time for real work boys..."
The Imperial Guard, unwrapping their flyer spam to add to the Grey Knight cheese! ;)
The battle field. Note the dilapidated bastion at the edge of the shelled city.
Space Wolves and Lions deploy. Note my Lone Wolf way over by himself in the Lion's side of the table.
Close up and field view of Space Wolf deployment. The RT era Land Speeder hamming for the camera

Turn one- The Wolves and Lions Drop Pod into the Grey Knight's DZ and start messing things up. The Lions deploy a dreadnought and it takes out a basilisk (First Blood!). Sven and his four Wolf Guard quickly discover that they showed up a bit under equipped to charge the GK terminators, so they focus on the chimera but fail to destroy it.

Drop pod assault! Turn 1: Lion and Wolf pods line-break the GK & IG deployment zone!
Sven and Wolf Guard attack that Chimera, and fail....heads down, incoming!!!!
Combined wolf and lion attacks bring down the bastion!
Combined fire from the Lions and Wolves weaken the dilapidated bastion which has a unit inside and a command unit in and on it, A final shot from the SW vindicator sends the bastion crumbling down, killing a lot of IG!

Lots of retaliatory shooting from the Grey Knights and Imperial Guard! The wipe out my Fenrisian Wolves (surprise!) and wound my Rune Priest.

Well, that hurt!
The Lions took the Relic near the imperial statue, but they got blasted up pretty bad...

Also, the Grey Knights brought the pain the my Wolf Guard! One single Wolf Guard survived (sounds impressive but there were on four to start with, so...) and Sven, who break, and knowing no fear would advance on the surviving command squad in the crater.

Fight for the crater! Sven and his Wolf Guard attempt to get a Slay the Warlord VP! favorite pic from this game, right before the Dreadknight dove into the fray!

The Dreadnought said as this picture was being shot "Watch me make this Grey Hunter squad disappear..."

Bird's eye view of mid game carnage.
...and he did!

In fairness, those damned purifiers or whatever they are called just would NOT DIE!!! I shot so many things at that unit, and by game's end I think half the squad was left. Anyway, that last GH squad and that unit would be trading bullets for the rest of the game. By this point you can also see that the IG flyers had arrived, one went over to harass my Long Fangs (probably their worst performance in many games I think) and unload a Vet. Squad into the ruins where the Lions where holding onto the relic. On Kushial's flank he as storming the field pretty hard, but he did lose a Landraider (I want to say it was to a basilisk hit?).

Lions and Wolves hunt down the rest of the Grey Knights...

 The Relic is lost....

The last stand of the relic holder...looks like a firing squad doesn't it?
 ...however the Long Fangs and Lions would tear into this unit before they could claim The Relic!

The Lone Wolf finally sees some action in this game!
 My Lone Wolf assaulted and broke an IG unit. The pic above shows the last guy about to flee the table. The Lone Wolf would run clear across the table, kill these guys, and then lose a turn in the woods as I totally forgot he was there! Perhaps he was bloodletting? Or snacking on IG flesh? Or doing what dogs tend to do when they spot an awesome tree. Who knows! But that blunder would prevent him from finding his death in battle...

Die tank, die!!
 The Lions claim the Relic, while my surviving Grey Hunters try running up to assist.

Another squad get The Relic, and is shot to death!

 The purifiers or whatever those guys were shoot the Lions to death, along with a barrage of fire from the two IG flyers. My surviving Long Fangs failed to bring either of those damned things down! But they refused to leave their post either.

Game ends, and no one has The Relic!

End game, no one has the Relic!

GH & IG Deployment zone at game's end.

 Awesome game... oddly enough, I don't recall the VP score. I believe Kushial and I won by a point. I think we killed both Warlords, I had mine still alive (though with a wound), I think Kushial's might have lived, and we both had Line Breaker and my Lone Wolf awarded them a point by not dying. We got first blood as well. Truth be known, it doesn't matter, we all wanted that Relic and we had a lot of fun failing to get it! LOL

 Fun game, we all had a total blast! It was challenging for all of us, but that made it fun for all too.