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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wood Elves of Kachas Pass

Wahey - another Orc's Drfit update!

Managed to combine my Lead Painters League entry last week with my Orc' Drift project and now only have five or so Elves to paint up to complete the force I need for the Kachas Pass episode...

Endolas/Erdolas (depending where you look for the corrsect spelling!) was a lovely mini to paint and thanks again to Hasslefrree for the lovely shields with which to equip the rest of unit! - old plastic citadel shields seem to go for quite a premium for what they are on ebay!

Due to time constraints (most of Friday night/Saturday morning spent finishing the minis off) I was forced to come up with a simple, but effective, shield design - hooray for the old 80's army book and its illustrations of Elven runes/script!  Same could be said for the Orc's Drift booklet and its representation of the Kachas Pass Elves' banner desingn!


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Soggy Bottom Boyz!

Right as this team has finished competing in the Lead Painters League on the LAF I thought I'd break the drought of painted minis by sharing the pics with you.

The minis are from 4A miniatures - an excellent new company that is well worth checking out if you haven't already - http://www.fouraminiatures.com/page4.htm

Service is great and I love the weird little minis they make. Oh and Andy, whose venture it is, is a thoroughly nice bloke too - was glad to have a good chat at the Vapnartak show in York a while back.

Anyways heres the minis - I spent as bit more time than normal on these chaps not only because they were for a comp but they're really nice to paint up too.


Scuplted by the legendary Kev Adams (really looking forward to the mounted ones that are in the pipeline...) but with a more aquatic feel than his classic stuff, I thought they'd make good swamp goblins, or Bog Gobs, as Phreedh has christened them - think that'll stick mate!















I have the other 5 goblins 4A released in the paint queue and have a game in mind for them - just need to build a large swamp first...!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cry Havoc....

... and get a rather good deal at the moment!

I'm sure some of you will have read my battle reports using this fine rules system and I can't reccomend it enough. It has a definitely cinematic feel especially when you Named heroes are doing their thang during cut scenes and generally causing - you guessed it - Havoc!



Any way thought I'd give you all a heads up as its come to my attention that you can now not only get hold of Havoc in PDF form, which is rather handy, but there are two rather fine Dave Graffam paper buildings free that come with it at the moment!

There's a better explanation on VoodooInk's site as to what is involved in multi-layered PDFs, plus a link to Wargame Vault where you can partake of this excellent deal! Actually if you're interested in trying out the Havoc rules there are also loads of useful updates here as well...

http://voodooink.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/havoc-free-terrain-offer/

Can't wait to get mine built as they look rather nice and as I'll hope you'll agree from my various battle reports - paper terrain can work rather well on the battlefield!

This also means I'm going to have to have a go at the Dangerous Crossings scenario, detailed in the rules, at some point too...

Right now its back to painting up entries for the Lead Painters League on the LAF - and an apology for the lack of posts this past week or so. One of the rules is that you shouldn't post pics of your entries elsewhere, however I'm hoping to enter a new team each week - which will allow me to post pics of the previous week's entry and hopefully get me painting even more!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Escape from the Larder of Doom!!!

So finally got this epic written up - been battling with the large number of pics among other things...

Play was also slightly delayed last weekend - not by drink but by the after effects of drink!



As you may know A Miner Engagement left our foolhardy Dwarf miners holed up in their newly dug mine shaft, taking refuge from a sizeable hunting party of hungry Orcs...
So here is the long awaited sequel, Escape from the Larder of Doom

The Surviving Dwarf Miners -



The passing Gnome Adventurers -




The Undead Minions of Tim the Necromancer -




The Dwarfs lay fearfully in the pitch black confines of the mine. The roughly cut stone walls had once promised much - now they seemed more like a tomb. A vigil was set up by the rockfall they had engineered for just such an eventuality and for a few days the barbarous sounds of Orcs could be clearly heard. 
Yet the miners were not entirely helpless, nor were they idle. Working in short shifts to conserve what little food they had left, the Dwarfs grimly chipped away in the deepest recesses of the their tunnel. While they still drew breath, dank and stale though it may be, there was hope of escape.

After the third day of their imprisonment they awoke to an uncanny silence. No longer did the Orc's bickering and guttural snarls pollute the air at the mine entrance. Instead the sharp ozone tang of magic wafted through the cracks that served them for ventilation. Then the chanting started. Below them...

 As they listened, the hairs of their beards prickling with fear, there came a scrabbling at the rockface where they had been digging. Small stones skittered to the floor, soon followed by larger ones, until a dark hole stared evilly at them from the tunnel wall. Tinnyson edged closer to investigate. Suddenly a bony hand shot out snatching blindly at him. The Dwarfs didn't hesitate! Even as the wall began to collapse they turned and ran, the sound of bony feet upon the stony ground ringing in their ears...


Dwarf Turn 1
Tearing aside the rocks blocking the mine entrance the Dwarfs stumble, blinking, into the sunlight once more. Losing no time Piewright and Fletch hurry down to the old barricade they had hastily built in their earlier encounter with the Orcs. In an uncharacteristic burst of speed Feldspar clears it!

Deadeye descends the slope but halts halfway down, turning to cover their retreat. Alfryd Tinnyson and Kanaeri Kandlewicke follow suit, forming a defensive line against the nameless horrors pursuing them.




Further down the valley a comparatively idyllic scene was playing out. A small and well ordered camp lay on the far side of the low hill that sat between the more rugged peaks of the valley head. In it a small band of Gnome Adventurers were lounging about smoking, wondering how much longer Glimtwiss Greenfinger, the Gnomish wizard they were accompanying, would be in his search for the rare herbs and fungi he coveted. Being out of earshot of the commotion that was developing at the mine entrance, they continued smoking and conversing!




Undead 1

 Preceded by the sinister clattering of bony feet four skeleton warriors burst out of the mine in hot pursuit!



The first stops dead as the bright sunlight hits it, collapsing into a heap of dust as the eldritch powers animating it suddnely wane (Wild roll - Bound characteristic means it perishes on a Wild action roll - not a good start!).

Blocked by the line of grim-faced Dwarfs the remaining skeletons are unable to gang up on their prey. One foul creature charges into Alfryd but is fought off to a draw. Cackling horribly, the third skeleton leaps from the ledge and falls on Deadeye, pushing the surprised Dwarf back.



 Loosing his footing on the scree, Deadeye falls from the ridge. Luckily he is not injured by the tumble but is once more beset by the leering monster...




Further down the mountainside, Tim the Necromancer and the rest of his cursed band emerge from out of the hidden entrance to his catacombs.

The lead skeleton leaps from the ridge to cut off Feldspar's retreat. The rest of the warband advance with an uncanny speed.

Tim, himself stalks menacingly along the ridge, intoning dread words to open up a fiery portal to the Netherworld right in the Dwarf's path!



Dwarf 2

Things look grim for the Dwarfs, but luckily the shouts and clash of steel alert the Gnomes further down the valley. Amazed to see a small horde of skeletons pouring into the head of the Cwm, they quickly make preparations to come to the aid of the benighted Dwarfs.

Griebel peers into the distance, takes careful aim and lets loose a shot at the nearest undead creature. His aim is good and the shot breaks the unnatural bonds holding the foul being's bones together. Trowelson, Slugsbane and Smallmarsh make for the small hill in front of them to gain what height advantage they can.

Greenfinger dashes next to Griebel and, sighting down his gnarled finger, unleashes a magical hail of stone at the approaching skeletons. Unfortunately the energy of his magical attack peters out before it can do any damage.


Back over at the barricade Feldspar takes one look at the oncoming horrors and leaps back over the sandbag wall!


Piewright charges into combat to assist Deadeye, who is now sufficiently recovered to draw his short sword. Together they make short work of the skeleton assailing them.

Fletch hurriedly levels his crossbow and takes a panicked shot at Dimm the Ogre, barely stinging the great brute!

Up on the ridge Alfryd and Kanaeri gang up on the skeleton leering down at them. A well aimed swipe of a hammer takes its legs from under it and the creature falls to its second death at the foot of the crags below.



Undead 2

From his vantage point, Tim scowls at the strong defence the dwarfs are putting up. The lone surviving skeleton from the first wave stood little chance against the two burly Dwarfs stood in its path. With a click of his bony fingers, the skeleton leaps, shrieking, off the ridge and onto the lone Feldspar below! Another word of command sends a second re-animated warrior charging into the luckless Dwarf. The clash is brief and Feldspar was no more. Long and loud were the lamentations of his brother, Piewright...



Alfryd and Kanaeri look on in horror, but are unable to help as a ghastly, green glow begins to emanate from the mine entrance. A chill blast of stale air hits them, bringing up the foul reek of the grave, as a terrifying Wight glides into the cold mountain light.

 

Frozen with terror, Alfryd is hacked down by the fiend's merciless blows!




Piling on the woe for the Dwarfs, Tim the Necromancer produces a tattered parchment from his sleeve, and in a voice like the rustling of dead leaves, intoned the words that would summon yet more infernal creatures from their eternal slumber.
  
Slowly a shape forms within the portal, gradually growing and growing until two great skeletal hands wrench its great bulk through into reality. With a mighty bellow, the newly summoned Bone Giant glared around with its balefl, empty eyes-socket.




Meanwhile its smaller brethren move up to finish off the Dwarf survivors, while Dimm, catching sight of Slugsbane atop the hill, lumbers off in pursuit of a little sport...




Dwarf 3
Kanaeri stilled his beating heart and charges into the Wight. Leaping up the slope Piewright joins the fray, pushing the Wight back towards the tunnel mouth. Down below the two crossbowmen unleash a volley at the approaching skeletons. Fletch drops his target, as does Deadeye, slightly evening the odds in the inevitable melee. 


Bellowing a stirring warcry, Trowelson leads his Gnome warriors in a brave charge against the Ogre looming over them. The enormous brute bats away their attacks with relative ease however.




Knowing this would be a fight with no quarter given, the courageous Gnomes press home their attack and the combat rolls on - this time they gain the upper hand and down their enormous opponent!

Griebel spots the Necromancer up on the mountainside and takes aim. His shot is frustrated by intervening cover and goes wide.
Dimtwiss ambles forward to gain a better view of the battlefield. A mystical circle of stone unearth themselves as he opens a portal of his own in the path of the Undead advance.




Undead 3

Sacrificing a dredskull, Dimm picks himself up and, enraged at his near defeat at the hands of such puny adversaries, he lashes out in a blind fury. Catching Trowleson with a mighty blow, he roars with satisfaction as the dimunitive champion goes down. However, the indomitable little fellow staggers back to his feet (sacrificing a dredskull of his own), ready for the next round.



Over by the barricade the Bone Giant wheels around and advances on the literally quaking Dwarf crossbowmen.. The two spear-armed skeletons clamber over the undefended barricade, the nearest jabbing ineffectually at Fletch.

The Wight fights back, but in the confines of the mine entrance, it did not have room to wield its cruel blade effectively. Quite at home in such environs the two Dwarfs take the intitiative, crushing the dread creature's skull wit their trusty hammers.



Gnashing his teeth at the demise of the Wight, Tim stalks coldly forward, tearing another fiery portal from the fabric of reality between himself and his two opponents on the ridge.




As he does so the ground beneath Kanaeri erupts in a great explosion as the Necromancer hurls a great gout of flame from his fingertips. The Dwarf is slammed into the rockface and knocked senseless.




Dwarf 4

Shaking his head blearily, Kanaeri is dragged to his feet by Piewright. Fearing the worst from the eldritch flames of the portal that burned in front of them, the two Dwarfs leap from the ridge onto the lesser of the various evils that beset them - the spear tip of the skeleton that waited below!

Their combined weight takes the creature down and they swiftly finsih it off as it writhed horribly at their feet. 



Deadeye wipes the rictus grin off the last spear-armed skeleton, leaving only the Bone Giant to contend with. Despite taking careful, Fletch's shot passes harmlessly through the gaps in its ribcage.



The ground once more begins to shake as Glimtwiss' eyes cloud over into milky white orbs. His voice echoes across the battlefield as he invokes the Spirit of the Mountains. The circle of stones forming his portal bursts asunder as a huge Earth Elemental rises majestically skywards.
Trowelson grins grimly as the ominous shape looms over the Ogre's shoulder. Exhorting his comrades to takehear, they battle on, knowing that aid was at hand.


Having far too much fun playing splat the Gnome, Dimm was unaware of the doom that approached him as he smashed poor Smallmarsh to the floor.



Griebel sprints up the hill and casts his beady around for new targets. With only the Necromancer in the distance he snapped off another quick shot, predictably missing!

Undead 4

The Bone Giant leans forward, raining down blows across the barricade at Fletch, forcing him back. Stepping over the sandbags, the Giant presses forward, threatneing Deadeye as well.

Cursing the fragility of his minions, Tim summons forth a ghostly spectre to strike terror in the hearts of the stubborn Dwarfs.



Before they have time to react, the sole surviving skeleton charges Kanaeri, but the combat is a draw.


With the crashing and grinding of living stone growing behind him, Dimm's brain finally registers that he's in a spot of bother! Turning from his sport with the Gnomes he blunders into the Elemental, somehow pushing it back. 

The titanic struggle continues as sinew strains against stone, but inevitably Dimm is forced down and knocked senseless by the Elemental's great fists. Sacrificing another Dredskull, the Ogre drags himself up with a growl. 


Dwarf 5

Kanaeri struggles on against his long dead opponent, slowly gaining the upper hand and pushing the reeking skeleton back.

Piewright rushes to the aid of the crossbowmen and together they push the towering monster back across the barricade.

Helping Smallmarsh up, the Gnomes see their chance to kick the big guy while he's down! Together with the Elemental, their attack finsihes off the hapless Ogre. Slugsbane, emboldened by his encounter with Dimm, advances on the Bone Giant.


To add insult to injury Griebel's next shot forces the infuriated Necromancer to throw himself ignominiously to the ground! Out of range of Trowleson's guiding hand, Glimtwiss becomes distracted (rolls a wildside action - stupid/absentminded!) and leans over to examine some interesting fungi growing nearby!




Undead 5

Cursing the Gnomish wizard for the loss of his pet ogre at the hands of the Elemental Tim sends a fiery skull screaming towards unwitting sorcerer. Looking up from his toadstools, Dimtwiss is just in time to absorb the evil energy. Chanelling it back at the Necromancer, he engages Tim in a battle of wills. At first it seems as though they are evenly matched but slowly the duel takes its toll on the Gnome. Glimtwiss is the first to weaken and with Tim's triumphant cackle ringing in his ears they shrink as he is turned into a warty toad in a blinding flash!



The skeleton affectionately known as Old Dead Eyes by his nearest and dearest succeeds in downing Kanaeri, as the Dwarf begins to tire.



The Bone Giant's grasping talons fail to find a target as the three Dwarfs desperately defend themselves behind the barricade. Then with a low moan the spectre glides down to attack Fletch. Whirling around the terrified Dwarf flails ineffectually at his insubstantial opponent.



As fear grasped his heart in an icy grip, Fletch turns and runs, barging past Deadeye in his haste to flee!
The tormented spirit turns to pursue but instead comes face to face with Deadeye...


Dwarf 6

Sacrificing their last dredskull, Kanaeri wearily engages his skeletal foe once more, however the brave attempt come to naught as dead hands bring down a rusty axe in a killing blow!



Piewright, with few options left, fights on against the undead Giant, but is again unable to find a chink in its defenses. Deadeye steels himself against the horrifying apparition bearing down on him but is pushed back. Even as he gives ground the spirit glides on after him remorselessly.



And yet, even in their darkest hour, a ray of hope shines through! The Gnomes make their decisive charge. Trowelson, Slugsbane and the Elemental thunder into the Bone Giant's flanks.



Ribs and other small bones cascade down through the air as the Giant topples like a rotten tree under their combined impact. However, this implacable enemy is down but not out - slowly its skeletal form takes shape once more as the shattered bones begin to coalesce into a whole again...

Meanwhile Smallmarsh sprints to avenge Kanaeri's death at the hands of the gloating skeleton warrior. With a triumphant cry he knocks the evil creature's skull clean off its shoulders! 


Glimtwiss the Toad hops grumpily over to a nearby rocky outcrop to hide from further reprisals...


Having run as far as his little legs would carry him, Fletch manages to master himself, and rather sheepishly turns back to the battle.

Griebel, determined to get his man, once more takes careful aim at the distant Necromancer. Some evil God must have been smiling on the twisted wretch as yet again the shot went wide.


Undead 6

Howling and moaning, the spectre continued to harry Deadeye, yet the Dwarf was stout of heart and the evil spirit shrank back at such courage - Deadeye's bravery, however, did not extend to pursuing his attacker!

Now completely reformed, the Bone Giant roared in anger, but even as the gnomes quailed in its shadow, the necromantic energies holding the behemoth together began to wane (Wildside roll - bound!). Once more the gargantuan bones tumbled earthwards and this time lay still.



With a great cry of rage, Tim saw that the game was up. Yet in his spite, he had one more trick up his sleeve. Stabbing a cruelly hooked finger at Piewright, the Necromancer chanted the words of the Magia Imperii. Falling under the insidious control of the sorcerer, the Dwarf's eyes rolled back and his mouth lolled open. His comrades watched on in horror as their noble leader drew his sword and angled it at his own throat! The blade drew closer to what passed for his neck but Piewright seemd to regain some conciousness... his eyes darted back and forth as he struggled with himself for control over the weapon.


With a shuddering effort he threw off the Necromancer's enchantment and dropped the blade as though it were fresh from the forge!

Foiled once again, Tim the Necromancer howled a final curse at the Dwarfs and Gnomes trembling beneath him and vanished in an enormous fireball...

Epilogue

Not looking behind them as the spectre slowly faded back into the hillside, the surviving Dwarfs and their new Gnome comrades-in-arms hurried back down the cursed valley.

Although none had found what they sought in the mountains they didn't leave empty-handed.

As the news spread far and wide of their encounter, Piewright acquired a fame of sort - his name would forever more be synomnymous with the worthless mineral, Fool's Gold.

Glimtwiss Greenfinger did eventually regain his old Gnomish shape, but he never did shake off his new nickname - Greenback!