Friday 31 August 2012

More Taking of Stock: Wood Elves

Good morning once again and I have the results of another stock take for your perusal - nothing like mucking about with the lead pile when there's painting to be done ;)

I'm nearly there with the 10 4A Goblins on the painting desk - been trying to match them in with the original paint job did two years ago for the first LPL I entered. Might give that up as a bad job to be honest. I've continued various themes but it'll be nice to have a variety of skin tones.

Anyways on with the Wood Elves. I might have mentioned before that this was the first project I took on when I got back into collecting Citadel miniatures. Having had a blast painting up Daleks, Cybermen and various Doctors, I managed to unearth my trusty old Ruglud's Armoured Orcs and decided they needed some opponents. Then of course Orc's Drift came along and the Elves (apart from scenario specific ones) were swiftly dumped! There are a few painted minis in this collection as well as the Orc's Drift stuff and these were the lucky few who got a lick of paint before my attention was drawn elsewhere.

Right then I'll kick off with some characters - haven't got my Army general yet but I suppose this chap is the nearest thing to him - Elf champion mounted on a Giant Eagle. I had visions of recreating the amazing conversion using Glam and the LOTR giant eagle from Mike McVey's inspirational Wood Elf army from WD. However, when I got my hands on said eagle I thought him a little small to have an Elf perched on his back - McVey's version looks great though!

Instead I bought myself a newer and steroid addicted eagle and here's the result - can't wait to get some paint on him...

You have to have some wizards and this chap was always a favourite since I spied him in the 3rd ed. rulebook (talking of which have you seen this genius idea) - although I'm sure I've seen him in purple in a WD advert somewhere, which is where I think the previous owner took his inspiration from. Next to him is the diminutive, but nicely sized in my opininon, LOTR Giant Eagle.

A few familiar faces next - some of you will already know Treebeard and the Zoat. I'd love to get hold of the Zoat wizard waving his orb about. 

And I couldn't split up Erdolas' and Brommedir's brave bowmen, although I might be adding a few archers to Brommedir's bows to expand them to 20 as I accidentally painted 2 more than I needed for the scenario somehow! These chaps will be fielded as Guards in all their finery. Erdolas' bunch will probably just be archers, being garrison troopers and all. 

I have enough Skarloc archers left over from Erdols' lot to form that Regiment of Renown - also I wanted to copy the shield design from the box artwork so didn't want to reuse the Kachas Pass Elves. I seem to have ended up with a lot of the well 'ard looking helmeted archer, who I think fit in well with Skarloc's fearsome reputation.

More archers, looking like the cast of some dreadful Lloyd Webber musical thanks to the paint jobs they came in from ebay! These chaps will be painted up differently to Brommedir's Bows - not sure how yet - and fielded as archers. I've currently got the Oreon champion as their leader but would like to get hold of the later version of that Regiment of Renown at some point and find an alternative commander for this lot.

My favourite unit, again thanks to Mike McVey's beautiful army, is the Warrior Kinband armed with spears - another lot I'd love to get some paint on. 

And for some variety I also got hold of these later spearmen - quite like them despite the mahoosive spears they are lugging around! Complete apart from a few repair jobs on the back rank.

No Wood Elf army would be complete without Wardancers - if I  spot any bargains I may expand this lot to two units of ten. Some destined for the dettol bath of course...

You've got to have some animal handlers too and some of you may have seen some of these guys in action at Ortar Pass.

Hounds - bit suspicious of a few of these. I got a few of them in a nice cheap lot ages ago and they seem a bit shiny and light compared to some of the others. I could do with one more hound to round out the numbers and another handler. At the moment I'm using an old preslotta chap I got in a mixed lot - think he was described as a thief originally?

Wild cats - probably got enough of these guys - definitely the most dangerous of all the pack options, apart from the bear of course.

... talking of which - here he is along with the boar handler. Can't see the boars being that effective in these numbers but they do seem to be strangely expensive on ebay.

Best have some cavalry too I suppose. I've been buying these chaps up as and when I can get a bargain and have finally amassed enough for a unit - not quite on this scale mind!. The Elf with the horn detail on his helmet will be the champion and I'd love to expand the unit to 10 with a few lancers...

And finally a couple of units I do need to finish off - I'm hoping to round these horse archers off with another 2 models and the sword detachment to 10.

Oh and nearly forgot this lovely Marauder Treeman - he doesn't really fit in with old Treebeard but I love the mini. Just hope I can reproduce the silver birch effect that looks so good on the versions I've seen painted.

Last thing on my shopping list is, as I mentioned earlier, a general on horseback -  General with lance would fit the bill :)

Thursday 30 August 2012

Stock take: Old World Alliance

Good morning all and the stock take continues - this time its one of my newer collections, the Old World Alliance. Having had a blast assembling the Linden Way Militia for Orc's Drift and for a long time regarded these ranges with envious eyes, I finally succumbed and have amassed a small force of assorted Empire, Bretonnian and Tilean troops. I thought about including my Norse contingent here but figured they'd probably want a bit of the limelight to themselves.

Still got a long way to go with this army before I achieve this!

First off we have a unit of Chevaliers Rampants, including the army general. Not sure whether these chaps are citadel or not but I love 'em, even more so as they were a bit of an ebay bargain, coming in at about £1.30 a mini! The General type fellow with helm in hand has a passing resemblance to Dave Andrews' Grand Marshall, pictured above. Any ideas from you lot?

While we're on knights, here's some from the Empire this time. Not as much of a bargain as the Chevaliers Rampants, these are another bunch of minis I haven't yet identified. They have wolf pelt capes and look very similar in design to the Knights Panther coming up shortly. They were billed as being 80's citadel on ebay but I'm not sure - happy with them either way though. They'll be fielded as Hohensknechtes and I'll probably push the wolf theme by procuring a 90's White Wolf knight as their champion to round the unit out at 5 minis. I'll also be looking out for some of the 90's plastic barded warhorses for them. It was nice to get the old plastic horses with this lot and I know horses vary a lot in size in real life, but they do tower over the all metal Chevaliers Rampants. Strangely bucking the usual case of GW scale creep, the later barded warhorses are a much better match size-wise.

My thanks to Blue in VT for these Knights Panthers - I do have a soft spot for a lot of the 90's Empire stuff, even if it did beat the pants off my Orcs on a regular basis back in the day!

 This lot will also be needing barded warhorses and a leader - I would love to try and recreate the famous John Blanche painting for their champion.

Foot knights now - and I think I'll be fielding this lot as Hohensknechtes again, minus the horses of course. Reiksgard don't really seem to fit into the idea of a small, mixed and possibly Mercenary force. This unit is complete apart from a little conversion work to make a standard bearer.

Men at Arms next, and a 20 strong unit of mixed Helblitzen, Ribalds and Brigands. These will form the core of the professional soldiery for this force. Again just need to either find a standard bearer or convert one. I'd love a musician too but may have to look in the 90's Empire range as there seems to be a strange dearth of standard bearer and musicians sculpted for the Dogs of War/Fighters ranges.

A bit lower down the pecking order is the militia - bit of a way to go with these guys as I'd like a large unit of 30 and possibly a second unit as cannon fodder!

I am well provisioned with missile units with 15 Bretonnian Arblastier

11 Tilean Crossbowmen - would like to expand this unit a bit to possibly 20 of these all metal/single piece sculpts and get some pavises for them.

20 Forstjaeger (Forresters) formed up into a unit in the pic, and 10 Bergjaeger (Scouts) in skirmish formation in the foreground. Nice mix of old Citadel historicals/Foundry bowmen and later sculpts. Got quite a few of the Rangers and wouldn't mind a full set at some point...

And not forgetting L'ordonnance! One four man Bombard and an allied Dwarf Organ gun (until I get hold of a few more cannon!)

Best take along some wizards - Gandalf doing a little bit of moonlighting and a lovely old preslotta who will be a lower level adept, still learning the ropes by the look of his pose!

Finally one of my favourite features of 3rd ed, armies - the baggage train! I knew those wagons, pack mules and villagers from Orc's Drift would come in handy one day. I've also added in some bard types, old beggars, strumpets, drunkards and other sundry hangers-on with a mix of citadel and other manufacturers - again any ID's would be great on the non citadel stuff.

I'm itching to do something with this lot so I'll have to be quite disciplined if I'm going to get anywhere with my Lustrian project. Might give myself a little treat now and again though ;)

Next up - Wood Elves...

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...

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Orc's Drift: The Tempest's Fury...

Well folks this is it - the final installment. My thanks to all of you who have stuck with this project which has now been almost two and a half year's in the making! Well a few of those months were admittedly spent in inactivity for various real life reasons. It feels a little strange to have finished I must admit, but this is by no means the end of Orc's Drift. I hope to hook up with some fellow willing Oldhammerers at some point and I'm sure I won't have to hard a job to talk them into playing through these scenarios again, although I can't promise a write-up of these proportions I'm afraid!

Anyway, this isn't an acceptance speech so I won't gush anymore - on with the show...

Brommedir circled warily around the Orc Chieftain, sword poised in classical fencing pose, ready to turn the brute's attack. All was not well however, and his ears still rang from the impact of his helm on the creature's thick skull. Damned odd, he thought to himself, sounds like a great wagon train. He paused briefly to straighten said helm and to brush the dust off his scarlet cloak, eyes never leaving his hulking opponent. A chap ought to look smart in front of the men after all. Shouting over to his subaltern, Brommedir prepared for the fight of his life,

"Aydendorn, form a platoon. The redoubt must stand..."

Then, over the roar of battle came a call from Chardz on the Dwarven defensive line by the compound entrance,

"Broomhead, where are you? Reinforce the North wall, dammit, we are overrun!"

Torn in both directions with only a pitiful handful of archers left at his command Aydendorn despaired,

"Haven't you had enough? Both of you! My god, can't you see it's all over! Your bloody egos don't matter anymore. We're dead!"

And still the green throng swelled...

Chardz' detachment were certainly on the verge of being overrun. Beset on all sides by Kwae Karr warriors and the Hill Giant, it was all the Dwarfs could do to stay alive. Chardz leapt atop the parapet of the trench and brought his sword crashing into Guthrum's leg. The giant looked down in annoyance at the pinprick before felling Chardz' standard bearer with an irritable sweep of his blade.

The swirling combat that raged between the Elves and Kwae Karr Orcs in the redoubt ground on, neither side able to press an advantage home. Brommedir and Magyar exchanged blows, each seeking for a gap in the other's defences.

Hagar Sheol had more luck as he dived into the sappers' trench, bringing his great axe down on a hapless Dwarf's head. Howling in triumph, he beckoned forth his warriors to join the fray.

Outside the compound the archers of the Kwae Karr and Severed Hand moved up to the perimeter wall, eyes still peeled for likely targets. Bagrash came with them, ready to bend the winds of magic to his evil intent.

Also eager to taste battle, the Vile Rune Orcs pressed forward further threatening to swamp the beleagured Dwarfs.

The sappers over by the East Wall fared little better as the F'yar Guard added their weight to the struggle. The Dwarf engineers were now completely surrounded, Orc boots lining the entire length of the lip of the trench they had dug. The impact of their charge claimed the life of another Dwarf, although the plucky defenders managed to stave off Hagar Sheol's vicious attacks.

Chardz hefted his sword and bravely braced himself for another round in his seemingly mismatched duel with the Giant. Seeing a gap in Guthrum's tattered chainmail, he swung with all his might. The Giant bellowed in pain as Dwarven steel parted the tough hide and knotted sinew beneath. The dwarf was to pay for his valiant efforts, however, as blow after blow rained down from above, tearing great rents in the Mithril finery of his armour. Both opponents now eyed each other with a little more respect as they nursed their wounds.

Standing back to back with his commander, Oswen the unit's musician still sang on. Parrying blows with desperate abandon, his song didn't falter, even when an Orc blade got through, only to be turned by his armour.

The clash and clamour of the fight for the redoubt seemed to slacken slightly as the combatants began to tire. Again both sides fought doggedly on, neither Orc nor Elf willing to give an inch of ground. Amidst the weary combatants, Brommedir skipped lithely out of the way of Magyar's reach.

Bagrash stepped up to the outer wall, foul incantations issuing forth from his snarling lips. The guttural chant rose in pitch and volume, containing within it a rage and delight in the letting of blood. The shaman gestured towards his Chieftain and King sending forth the fury of battle. Magyar Ironfist and the Kwae Karr warriors around him stopped as though transfixed for a moment before a dreadful light crept into their eyes. The Orcs let out a great shout, gnashing their teeth and crashing sword against shield as they worked themselves into a terrible frenzy.

With the awful strength of berserkers the Kwae Karr again laid into the remnants of Brommedir's Bows. Two Elves were bludgeoned to the ground by the frenzied attacks; the last survivor somehow impaling his attacker as he stumbled back from the onslaught.

Brommedir found himself no longer able to stay out of reach as Magyar bore down on him. Again failing to land a single blow, the Elf commander cried out as the Orc King's cruelly spiked club crashed home, penetrating plate steel and flesh alike. Bloodied but alive, Brommedir staggered to his feet and grimly raised his guard once more.

Hagar Sheol continued his rampage in the trench, hacking down another Engineer, while his warriors and the F'yar guard jabbed their weapons down at the hard pressed Dwarfs.

Chardz looked up once more at his huge adversary, narrowing his eyes at the watery sunlight that filtered through the pall of cloud that hung over the Drift. Gritting his teeth at the burning pain in his side, he began to whirl his great sword about his head, yelling a frantic war cry as he advanced. 

Guthrum paused, a little consternation piercing the fog of his mind. Little 'uns weren't supposed to do this. They were supposed to run. Screaming. This one, however, kept hitting him. Hard. Indecision paralysed Guthrum as he struggled to formulate a plan. He didn't want to get hurt again and there must be easier things to eat than this angry Dwarf. But the screaming mob of Orcs behind him prevented retreat. Guthrum roared in frustration and... pain? 

An almighty bellow rent the air as the massive frame of the Hill Giant swayed. Guthrum looked about in confusion, clutching at the gaping hole in his belly, before slowly crashing to the ground. Chardz paused, leaning heavily on his bloodied sword. 

The furious yell of the Vile Rune roused him from his fatigue and the doughty hero prepared to receive the next charge...

"Oswen, Oswen, I can't hear you. Where's that song you were singing?"

Chardz looked round for his trusty musician, only to see the leering visage of a Kwae Karr warrior. The Orc placed a filthy boot on the prone form of Oswen and with a great heave, pulled its crude blade out of his chest...

Bagrash stalked into the compound, delighting at the destruction that lay all around. Once more he began the chant that would instill a frenzied rage in his warriors, this time directing the spell at the F'yar Guard.

Surrounded as they were, beset on all sides and tiring fast, the remaining Dwarf sappers didn't stand a chance against the enraged shock troops.

Steel shod Orc boots trod Dwarf blood into the mud as the horde pressed on.

As the last Elf archer fell, Brommedir also found himself surrounded by a ring of berserk Orcs. Using all his skill, the graceful Elf dodged attack after attack, leaving two throats spouting dark ichor. Magyar Ironfist saw his chance and once more sent the Elf commander sprawling with a mighty blow.

Chardz afforded himself a quick glance in the direction of the redoubt. He saw Brommedir locked in his desperate struggle - the only other last island of resistance in a sea of green. With a darkly humorous grin the Engineer called out to his comrade,

"Well, you've fought your first action."

Brommedir, in between parries and feints, called breathlessly back,

"Does everyone feel like this at the end?"

"How do you feel?"

 The Elf caught the Dwarf's eye across the the Orc infested compound, previous enmities now forgotten,

"I feel... sick."

Brommedir's confession softened Chardz' heart momentarily, and to disguise his emotion he gruffly shouted back,

"Well, you have to be alive to feel sick."

The slight tremble in the Dwarf's voice betrayed him and Brommedir smiled weakly,

"You asked me, I told you. There's... something else. I feel proud to have fought with you..."

With that Brommedir turned once more to his persecutors, his once shining armour tarnished with his life blood, his cloak tattered and besmirched with mud. Again his sword sang through the air and this time it was the Orc Chieftain's blood that polluted the ground. Yet he could not hold out forever and slowly the mob closed in...

Chardz faced a wall of green. Ready to sell his life dearly, the Dwarf raised his trusty sword above his head once more. He no longer felt the wound in his side. Nor did he pay any heed to the hate filled eyes, flashing teeth or Orcish cries that approached. In the last moments before storm broke around him Osrim listened to the call of his ancestors and smiled. He would go out in a blaze of glory and red ruin...


Flags fluttered gaily from the gleaming spires of Palesandre and the city bustled as it always did, as if unaware of the impending tumult that threatened to engulf it. A rider broke free of the busy streets and galloped furiously through the palace grounds, incongruous in his haste. Barely waiting for the page to take his horse, the rider hurried up the grand staircase and through the great double doors that led to the throne room.

Lord-Commander Helmsford, Prince-regent and General of the Grand League's armies looked up from his maps at the sudden entrance,

"Ah, Major Crealock, to what do we owe this unexpected and precipitous surprise? How goes the fight with the Goblin host at Ortar?"

"Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the highway down to Orc's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the Drift?"

Outside the city went about its business as black clouds spread from the North in a pall across the sky...