Wednesday 29 August 2012

Time for Anniversary Celebrations and a Stock Take...

Greetings all and welcome to my 200th post!

I had hoped to post this a little earlier in the week to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the phenomena that is Fighting Fantasy! I've said before on various forums (fora?) that Heroquest was my entry drug - I take that back as I was adventuring and killing Orcs and other monsters in the pages of these game books way before that huge box of Dungeony goodness appeared under the Christmas tree. Having said that, I am rather enjoying playing a Heroquest Game book, The Tyrant's Tomb, at the moment. Might have to revisit The Fellowship of Four next...

On the 27th August, 1982, Messrs Livingstone and Jackson released the first Fighting    Fantasy book, The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain. Some six or seven years later, a somewhat younger version of myself gazed up in wonder at the startling cover of Island of the Lizard King, in a lovely little bookshop in Grasmere, whilst on holiday.Having persuaded my parents to buy it for me (Cheers Mum and Dad) I was hooked and a new holiday ritual of buying a Fighting Fantasy book from that little shop was born - much like my Dr Who Target novel habit that was satisfied by a little shop in Cornall when we holidayed there!

Not only that but I was overjoyed to find that our local library had a large collection of those distinctive green-spined adventures. I have very clear memories of reading Battleblade Warrior in class when I was in Junior 3 (Year 5) and thinking that this was far too much fun for school!

They had loads of them and kept me going for ages - another memory that's popped up is trying to read Khare, Cityport of Traps with eyes streaming with tears because our local swimming pool had over chlorinated the water. Little did I know that I had been introduced to the artwork of the twisted and brilliant mind of Mr. J Blanche...

So having been in the Lake District for my hols and finding myself at a loose end while dogsitting my parent's elderly retriever, I ordered a copy of something very special - the first brand new Fighting Fantasy book to be released in a long time, Blood of the Zombies. A few things have changed (not the green spine!) and I may post more on this subject at a later date, but it was still a fantastically fun read. The artwork captured the old style beautifully and although it was set in the modern day Real world and not old Allansia, I loved every minute of it. The combat system has changed to represent you fighting off hordes of zombies and works rather well - instilling a sense of dread when your Stamina runs low and you bump into a horde of 23 zombies! I think I got quite far before being pulled down and torn to pieces by the zombies...

The whole thing seems to have been a wonderful success and I gather that the first print run has sold out, not to mention the mobile apps and other strange technological versions of the book on offer. Here's to a few more new books coming out, Steve Jackson getting back on board and another trip back to Allansia!

Right, down to the nitty gritty now. Orc's Drift is behind me for now and the Magnificent Sven beckons. The Summer holidays are drawing to a close and I've spent far too much on Ebay. All in all a good time to take stock of my various armies and projects as time and money are about to get a little tighter...

I've gone through my collection, photographed it in its unpainted/pre-stripped glory and made lists as to what I really need to finish off various units. This is a bit of an addendum to the Army lists I posted a while back as a fair few little, and not so little, packages have been tumbling through my letterbox.

I haven't included the Orcs I painted up for Orc's Drift, unless they figure into some other WIP unit.

In no particular order we have:

Goblin chariots - 1 Marauder MM33 Goblin chariot, 1 Marauder MB6 Orc chariot with archer, 1 Citadel Goblin chariot with shaman, 1 Goblin Battle chariot (Machineries of Destruction, 1 Goblin King's chariot, Parts from another Goblin King's chariot to build another chariot for Grom and Niblitz. Pretty much done with these but would love to get the other Battle chariot from the Machineries of Destruction box set.

10 90's Marauder Goblin Wolf Riders - don't like, and never have, the plastic wolves these chaps came with so I'm after some nicer metal ones. The Citadel ones are a bit small - any suggestions?

15 80's Citadel/Marauder Wolf riders - just need one more rider...

8 Marauder Boarboys (think a Citadel rider has sneaked in here!) armed with bows. Might round this unit of to 10 if I see any bargains. These will be fielded as Grunta's.

10 Citadel Boarboys - complete and will be fielded as Snorta's

Grom's Goblin Guard - later edition. Could do with a few more troopers here...

30 Goblin archers - a mix of the plastic ones from the Regiments box set and a few lead ones for variety. Also got 3 very old school and lovely fanatics. Done!

Machinerinies of Destruction! My pride and joy - a complete Leadbelcher in original box, and it was a bit of a bargain :) Also got Skull Crusher and Man Mangler. Just need the crewman with his arms by his side to complete the Monstrous Orc War Machine...

40 Goblin warriors with spears and hand weapons, and three of my favourite fanatics - complete.

 6 bases of Snotlings - just need a Pump Wagon to finish off my Snottie contingent.

They will all be based on the large scenic bases shown here. For some reason I went with 50mm bases originally - a bit big, but I quite like the look.

Squig herder and 3 squigs - and a little Tyranid squig hiding there too! From the new wave of Night Goblins but these guys have been in my collection for ages and I couldn't get rid of them.

Eeza Ugezod's Black Orc Mothercrushers - a must have as a buffer between other units of squabbling Orcs suffering from animosity! Could do with a few more troopers yet for them to form up in one of their famour "Juggernaut Columns".

The Mighty Ugezod's Death Commando - long lost half cousin? Need a few more personalities to finish these guys off.

Trolls! Would be nice to round this set off with the Hill and Marsh Trolls but we'll have to see...
Also pictured is a Marauder shaman on Gigantic Spider and a Citadel Orc shaman - this chap was apparently mounted but I don't remember getting a boar with him? I'm sure I picked him up at Games Day 92 or whichever year it was I went to.

Two later 90's Stone Throwers - the one on the left is from my original collection (with original paint job!), while the one on the right was a bargain for a few quid on ebay. A few random crew members and a suitably posed Orc villager later and we have another operational war machine.

Marauder Orc Regiment command group - had these guys for a long time from a swap with a mate - can't remember why I never got the troopers. The standard bearer used to be my Army standard so I owe it to them to muster some more troopers and resurrect this unit.

Golgfag's Ogre Mercenaries - almost done with these but I should really get on and paint the champion and remaining trooper. Mind you I could do with one more trooper to round the numbers off to a nice neat 8...

Scabbies! sorry about the pic by the way - still struggling with an old crappy camera. Got a mixture of preslotta and slotta here. I'd love to have a small unit of Bushwacker skirmishers and a larger unit of warriors. I do like the mounted guy who makes a nice little Contingent commander. Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries would also be a nice addition...

Throgg's Despoiling Hobgoblins - nearly there with this lot. three more troopers would be good...

Hobgoblin archers - would like 10 eventually but shame there weren't many different sculpts produced. The TSR Hobgoblin archer might make a nice champion.

Ally Morrison's Hobgoblins - used this set as a basis for the unit but still need a few to complete the set. The ranks have been bolstered by various other C series Hobgobs. Lurking behind are two Rocket crews :)

4 Hobhound handlers and 13 hounds - would like another 3 hounds eventually...

Oriental Ogre and Ogre Mercenary - another set I would like more of, bargain dependent!

The Marauder Giant - another from my old collection. He'll probably do me for giants although I do love the older and smaller ranges.

And that folks is it for now - apart from the various other Orc and Savage Orc units I'll be creating from the various tribes from Orc's Drift.

Its been a useful exercise and I'll be posting up a new and more focused Wants list at some point - hope there's been something of interest in it for you lot too!

Next up - Old World Alliance...


  1. Very many congratulations on the 200th post and what a bumper addition it is! Thank you for the Fighting Fantasy news; I have many of these titles somewhere and just know that I will have to have the latest instalment!

  2. Many happy returns Thantsants! I will definitely have to pick up 'Blood of the Zombies' when I get the chance.

    That is a scary amount of unpainted lead, although given your normal level of productivity I'm sure it won't be too long before you've got the lot battle-ready!

    Here's to another 200 posts!

  3. Wow!!!...just Wow!!! That is a might horde of Greenskins indeed...and you didn't even include the many painted ones you have already! Color me jealous on numerous levels... particularly the machineries of destruction and the half orcs.

    I too am having a thorough assessment of my forces and an attempt at focusing my collecting to finishing what I "need" but it sure is hard...and my reports will not measure up to WAAAGHH Thantsants!

  4. Warlock was my first, at school age 8 from the choice of reading books no less. Island of the lizard king the first I bought along with Talisman of doom, the picture of the dark elves in there being what dark elves look like to me.

    Great horde, I'm after a skull crusher, they always go for just a bit more than I'm prepared to pay. I did see some decent lead wolves at a good price, at real paths Europe dark eye creatures.

  5. Ironically I still don't own a copy of Warlock! Did you mean Ral Partha there Erny? If so them's some good looking wolves, might have to try them out. Good luck with the skull Crusher!

    Cheers Blue - this has been some years in the making, although the original nucleus of my old minis has been completely obscured with newcomers from ebay! Look forward to seeing your reports!

    Thanks Gareth - very scary and there's a few more armies to go yet! I definitely need to get back to the production line style of painting I managed for Orc's Drift!

    Cheers Michael but I'd have thought you'd have already slaughtered all the zombies by now ;) While we're on the subject have you read Zone One by Colson Whitehead? If not I'd seriously recommend it.

    1. A new one on me, but now on the 'to do' list many thanks.

  6. Bluddy iPad auto correct. Yes Ral Partha.

  7. Congratulations, Thantsants! Thank you for your first 200. Looking forward to your next 200 posts. Also looking forward to seeing this incredible treasure of Goblinoids painted up to your usual high standard.

  8. Thank you Private - I'd best get cracking on both fronts!

  9. Great work on posting 200 excellent editions of this blog. It's funny - I'd always thought of HeroQuest as the beginning of my life (addiction?) in wargaming, but now that you mention them it seems clear that the groundwork was laid way before that with the Fighting Fantasy series. I wonder if they're still at my parents' house...

    I look forward to another 200 at the same high quality!

  10. Go, seek them out! I was overjoyed to find I still had the few I actually bought - my problem was that back in the day, because the local library was so well stocked with them that I didn't actually end up owning many copies myself!