Sunday 1 December 2013

Day of the Doctor

I finally caught up with some of the 50th Anniversary Dr Who shows that were on a while back -  I missed the actual day of televisual celebrations as I had retreated from civilisation for a very pleasant Birthday weekend in the Lakes.

Anyhow, very much enjoyed the Day of the Doctor - especially Tom Baker's appearance. Nice to see the Zygons back again, although I reckon they were a little overshadowed by the events on Gallifrey. They definitely deserve their own episode at some point.

All this Who goodness inspired me to dig out my old Blacktree minis and take some fresh photos - that and a great email from fellow Oldhammerer, Lenihan inviting me to join in a Dalek Civil War game as soon as his Black Tree Design order arrives. He's assembled a mighty Imperial Dalek force so I've reinforced my existing Genesis/Renegade force and look forward to a bit of Invasion Earth action in the New Year. Oh I should mention Warlord Paul is waiting in the wings to take command of a U.N.I.T. Taskforce to try and dissuade the Dalek menace from obliterating Earth in their little spat!

Enough jibber jabber - here's some new pics of my whole Dr Who collection.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Who holds the Devil, let him hold him well...

He hardly will be caught a second time...

And well might the Bishop of Keinetotehierstadt mark these words having foiled Baron Kraust in his latest evil machinations!

Sunday 17 November 2013

Clean Up in Eilnein

Ajax Van Ish met the piercing gaze of the Elven Sorceress with a hard stare of his own. The weariness of five days on the road was barely detectable in the Count's grim countenance as he thanked his new ally.

"Your assistance is greatly appreciated my Lady. The heretics we track are not far but travel in strength. If we are to rescue our countrymen, or avenge them... our best chance is to surprise them in the Woods of Eilnein."

"Our watchers have observed closely the progress of your enemy. Now that they have dared defile the sanctity of our domain we share a common foe. Their pestilence must not be allowed to corrupt this sacred realm."

Lenor Ambypure closed her eyes and shuddered at the thought of the presence of Nurgle's followers despoiling the woods. She rose from the table in one fluid motion and gestured towards the trees that surrounded the glade in which the small council of war had met,

"Count Van Ish, my Gladewatchers will direct your soldiers to a place of ambush. Together we will cleanse this stain from Eilnein."

In the gloom of the dawn, Man and Elf  crept stealthily to their positions. Harnesses were tightened, weapons checked and bow strings strung. The forest road lay still, a darkened artery upon which a terrible infection travelled inexorably on...

Welcome folks to another battle report - this time between a desperate Alliance of Men and Wood Elves and the dread forces of Nurgle that we played some weeks ago. This was also the first time I went down to my local gaming club, York Wargames Society - a great venue and friendly club that I hope to spend much more time at, real life permitting...

Gaj graced us with his convivial presence thanks to a business trip to York and Warlord Paul kindly stepped in as GM. Setting up was slightly unusual as Paul suggested I record my deployment on a sketch map to simulate my forces waiting in ambush. So it was left to Gaj to assemble his column of Chaotics and human prisoners on the road, nervously eyeing the trees!

The Nurgle column shambles along the forest road after a happy few week's of raiding and pillaging.

Ere, Gutrot - you 'eard them tales aven't you? It's always the buggerz at the back wot cops it furst...
Chaos Goblin warriors lead the order of march.. Behind them comes the heavy tread of a unit of Chaos Warriors, followed closely by their dread leader and his three pet Trolls. A unit of Chaos Goblin archers bickers ahead of the unfortunates that have been taken prisoner - best not to linger too long on their fate... The vanguard is led by the Chaos Dwarves and their infernal Bazuka while a second mob of Chaos Goblin archers brings up the rear.

Unseen eyes mark their progress and wait...

I know you can smell them already but wait till you see the reds of their eyes boys...

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Druid Snart

A while back I entered several collections of miniatures into the monthly painting challenges that JustJohn has been running over on the Oldhammer forum.
To spare my blushes I'm not going to mention which months' challenges I entered them - suffice to say that the plan was to paint 20 strong unit of Norsemen, Druid Snart and the original King F'yar mounted on his Wyvern in time for the Bring Out Your Lead event down at Foundry we had at the end of the summer hols!
Anyhow, I'm afraid the Norsemen and F'yar still languish in base coat purgatory, but Snart got finished a while back.
Here are the pics I've been meaning to post up for some time now...

Only the villagers and the more expensive Orc and Dwarven personalities needed to complete the set now...

Brothers in (Four) Arms - Part 2

So we finally find ourselves back on the dingy little backwater that is Pelegosto Prime.

Apologies for the slightly longer than intended intermission - real life and all that...

We last saw our dastardly Pirate Captain Reade running into the first obstacles in his way, as he and his desperadoes attempt to track down the whereabouts of his Brother-in-Law, Black Bill - Part 1

We now pick up the action as Reade splits his party in reaction to the skirmish with the militia patrols on the right flank. A scurvy looking boarding party begin sneaking down the left flank, aiming to use the thick vegetation as cover.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Brothers in (Four) Arms

Well it's been a busy week or so in terms of getting games played and my Genestealer Cult got another outing last weekend when Warlord Paul came round for a game. After rejigging the original Imperial Rescue mission idea I'd had for the scenario, we had a great afternoon's gaming using the Rogue Trader Rules.

Here's the scenario -

A raid on the main settlement of Pelegosto Prime has gone dreadfully wrong. A seemingly low tech and backward planet in the Outer Rim, Pelegosto seemed ripe for the picking to the orbiting Pirate ship. With its largely peasant population, rural economy and small PDF garrison surely it would be a push-over...

The initial reconnaissance party managed to make planet-fall without being detected. Their reports indicated that there was loot to be had as the harvest had just been auctioned off and a large influx of currency was doing the rounds among the large landowners. A large forbidding fortress had been identified as the seat of Government and so possibly the planet's Mint. Orders were duly issued to investigate it.

What happened next was unclear. Upon entering the castle the reconnaissance party's reports became increasingly strange, telling of strange religious iconography, cowled figures leading large congregations in strange rituals and a fearful presence that gnawed at the edges of their minds. The last transmission was garbled and panicky. It spoke of claws and hypnotic eyes in the Dark. It spoke of the Great Father's love for his children...

After the screams had stopped leaving only the clicks and pops of subspace static coming over the ship's communicator, Dola sat back in her Captain's chair, fists and teeth clenched.

Her Son-in-Law quailed a little inside. He didn't like what he had heard over the radio - especially as the leader of the missing team was his Brother-in-Law. He could guess what was coming next...

"Get down there and if you know what's good for you, don't come back without my son!"

With a sigh, he motioned his band to the transports. He had a bad feeling about this drop.

A larger Pirate force has been dispatched to the surface with one objective:
  • Locate and rescue the original Reconnaissance Team

Rise From Your Grave!

Trying to get back into the painting game after a bit of a drought! I've failed miserably at the last two Painting Challenges run by Just John on the Oldhammer forum so I figured it was time to pull my finger out!

Happily, half the reason for not painting much this past couple of months has been the amount of games I've played with actual people! This little lot I hope to have ready for Blog-Con in November - another great event being held at Foundry.

I suppose they'll be good for a bit of a Halloween theme too.

This chap, Tom Meier's superb Zombie Dragon, is one I'm really looking forward to - he needs a bit more filling with miliput yet and I'd love to find a rider for him one day - just like the one that featured in WD142.

What a Thing is an Orc?

As part of Erny's Orctober I thought I'd ramble on a bit about some of the many different flavours Orcs come in.

This does not pretend to be a comprehensive list, nor a definitive one. I intend it more as a trawl through some old favourites, curiosities and old hackneyed tropes.

Sunday 29 September 2013

More Mayhem!

My attention (wandering at best!) has once more been called back to 10mm Fantasy gaming thanks to Brent Spivey's recent update on his excellent rules system, Mayhem.

He has expanded the original rules set to include War Machines, Magic and a whole host of other tweaks to the original game, including a new unit profile characteristic and unit designations. I've got a bit if bedtime reading to do to catch up on the changes, but it was the War Machines that caught my eye and Brent's entirely provocative suggestion that I play my Engines of Avalone scenario with his new rules!

A while back I had great fun trying out the original rules with my Harrison's Ford game.
Well I can't turn down a suggestion like that and having chatted to Warlord Paul after yesterday's Rogue Trader game, I have a willing opponent who also happens to own a load of 10mm Warmaster stuff too!

Brent has been kind enough to supply me with some excellent suggestions for Oldhammering up the unit profiles for the necessary troop types so I'd best get on with squeezing some Empire and Dwarf cannon into my painting schedule...

The Tripods are Coming!

Isn't it typical.

You wait ages for a good game involving HG Wells inspired Martian Tripods invading Earth and two come along at once!

I'm sure you already know about All Quiet on the Martian Front and I've mentioned Fimm McCool's excellent looking boardgame on here as well.

Well now's your chance to get your grubby hands/tentacles on a copy as his Indiegogo campaign is under way - I particularly like the sound of the metal Tripod miniatures should targets be hit early.

I hope to be doing my bit once I've gathered funds together after my excesses with the Martian Front campaign!

For more Martian fun check out my nascent Martian blog.

Tyranids before Bedtime...

Got another game in with my old pal Ollie last weekend - my Genestealer Cult against his Black Templars. Here's the scenario we hashed out on the night - 

The once bustling Imperial planet, Thorium G, was now a wreck. Eaten from within by that most terrible of all Man's cancers - Genestealer infestation. Long and subtle had been the onset of the corruption as the cult grew around its founding father like some obscene crysalis.

Slowly it reached out its tendrils, absorbing and embracing the rich and poor alike. Soon the entire Broadcast Network had been subverted to the cause and its message of hope and enlightenment brought many more to the fold.

It wasn't until all communication with the planet ceased that the problem began to get noticed. The came the single distress signal, which indicated that high level Scientific Personnel were in need of extraction.

A small force of Marines from the Black Templar Chapter were sent in but the mission went awry. On finding out that the entire Planetary Defense Force had been subverted by the Cult, the Marines became aware of the risk to the blockading fleet from the Planet's considerable battery of Defense Lasers.

Taking the only decision he could, the Marine Captain set a beacon to call down the planetary bombardment that would cleanse Thorium G of all infestation. As long as the beacon could be defended and kept transmitting...

Sunday 22 September 2013

And Yea, behold - the Lead was indeed Brought Out!

Pic courtesy of Foundry - I was too busy forgetting to document my Orc's Drift games!
Well it might seem an age ago but I for one am still basking in the warm afterglow of the Oldhammer Bring Out Your Lead weekend at Foundry.

And the reason for this prolonged feeling of euphoria...

We had a superb venue bedecked with artwork and miniature cases full of 80's splendour. Our extremely generous hosts, the Ansells, made us feel very welcome and even provided us with an evening meal on the Saturday night!

We finally got to meet each other, put faces to names and further cement friendships made over the marvellous medium of the interwebz.

We got to play a lot of Oldhammer.

We got to look at a lot of Oldhammer.

We went out and got pissed together.

We played a lot of Oldhammer hungover.

We all went home determined to make this kind of thing happen again - both in the local groups that have sprung up and, as I'm sure will no doubt happen again, another national (does that sound too grand?!) event next year.

My contribution was to run the Orc's Drift campaign that has been my raison d'etre for some time on this blog. Firstly can I apologise to any prospective Bloodbather's who didn't get a game because I was busy gassing! We had a bit of a slow start on the Saturday - both because I was busy chewing the fat, but also because I suspect quite a few chaps had been drawn to the excellent Realms of Chaos game run by Orlygg.

Anyhow we got the first three scenarios played over the two days - I think folk were flagging a bit thanks to the after effects of Saturday night and overdosing on gaming with actual real life opponents by Sunday afternoon to face the final battle at Orc's Drift - that and there were still quite  few games going on by then and we didn't have the optimum 6 players and GM to do it justice. Keep your eyes peeled though as we're planning on fighting this last scenario out at the first YOBBOS meeting, currently scheduled for the 3rd November I think.

The Battle for Kachas Pass

Thanks to Hetz for stepping up to plate and taking command of the Vile Rune Tribe - their objective - to destroy the Wood Elf garrison and kill the Half Orc spy Silas Meel, who has potentially damaging intelligence on Fangor Gripe, the Vile Rune Chieftain.

The sneaky Orcs use the woods for cover as some of the Elves (possibly unwisely!) leave the protection of the stockade to get a better angle of fire.

A few Orcs are picked off by surprisingly ineffective Elf archery (my usual dice rolling woes!).

The lead elements of the Vile Rune Tribe charge the stockade wall!

The rest of the tribe follow...

Guthrum Mane, the Rock Giant and Erdolas Thringal, the disgraced Wood elf Captain square off.

Guthrum succumbs to alcoholism and is pushed back - tripping over and narrowly missing squashing the Orcs fighting next to him! He presented a rather soft target for Erdolas to finish off in a most unheroic way in the next turn.

I seem to remember proceedings stopping for a great chat about the good old days (most of the pre-3rd edition days being before my time!) with Tony and Alec. Tony has a fantastic blog by the way which is well worth checking out. Thanks Alec for coming back and taking control of the sneaky Half Orc spy - a slightly limited brief as his objective was to flee the table and he was by then being pursued by two Wood elf archers!

Meanwhile the Orcs had reduced the defenders to a handful and pushed the desperate Elves into the centre of the compound - the rules state that the Elves are immune to rout tests whilst in the stockade.

Outside, the Elf flanking force let loose with some more woeful shooting...

Silas Meel uses the terrain to his advantage as his pursuers split to try and draw a bead on the slippery spy.

The Elf flanking force charge the Orcs in the side, realising too late that in 2nd edition this doesn't cause a panic test!

Oh oh...

However, Erdolas does kill Fangor Gripe as they duke it out.

As the Elves in the stockade refuse to rout, their attackers wrap around in an effort to finish off the last stubborn defender.

Predictably the Elves lose the combat and rout in the face of overwhelming odds.

One of the Elves gets a flesh wound on Silas Meel - unfortunately the arrow ended up sticking out of his arm rather than his leg and the Half Orc makes it off the table!

The last defender is slain...

Erdolas finally gets his Death wish - the last Elf alive in the stockade!

Although the Elves were nearly wiped out completely this was a bruising encounter for the Vile Rune Tribe. Both their chieftain, Fangor Gripe and Guthrum Mane, the Giant lay dead, as did a fair number of Orc warriors.

In terms of victory points this was actually an Elf (phyrric) victory! The Vile Rune Tribe will be delayed because of this setback and should arrive at Orc's Drift in Turn 10 of the final game.

Encounter at Ashak Rise

This game was played quite late on on the Saturday - Grumdril had managed to extricate himself from the Relams of Chaos and took control of the Gold mad Dwarf deserters of Ashak Rise and I was back having had to shift the car to the hotel car park. Gaj and Warlord Paul also joined in as the Severed Hand Tribe and King F'yar and his F'yar Guard respectively.

This is potentially a very tough scenario for the Orcs to win with minimal casualties. The Dwarves have two very strong heroes and the regular troops far outclass your average Orc. Added to that, the Dwarves start off with control of the bridge over the fast flowing River Canis - a natural and easily defended choke point.

However, I had made a roll earlier in the day to determine which scenario King F'yar would turn up in - he can normally choose any one of the initial three scenarios as well as the battle at Orc's Drift. Lo and behold he appeared at Ashak Rise, totally destroying the Dwarves' tactical advantage!

What follows is a heroic effort on Grumdril's part to hold the entire Vile Rune Tribe off whilst dodging a flying Wyvern and trying to get the gold off the table as fast as his Dwarves' little legs could carry them.

Borin and Snorrin get their priorities right and look to load up the mules with as much gold to scarper with, while their fellow deserters face off against the oncoming horde!

F'yar crosses the river with eases as the Hobhounds approach the defenders on the bridge.

Accurate crossbow fire whittles down the pack a little...

King F'yar steers his Wyvern towards the distant figures of the Dwarves fleeing with their gold.

The hounds are stopped in their tracks by the Dwarves on the bridge. The F'yar guard weigh up the chances of their crossing the river safely - I ruled that they would have to roll under their strength to withstand the current or else drown in the cold waters!

Borrin and Snorrin prepare to leave with fully laden mules. Another deserter brings up the third mule.

Four of the F'yar Guard make it over - one isn't so lucky and is swept away!

King F'yar closes in.

The hounds manage to push back the Dwarves in what was to become a real see-saw of a combat!

The F'yar Guard shake the water from their britches and advance.

A rather one-sided duel breaks out between the Orc archers and the Dwarf Crossbowmne. Still, the Orcs get a lucky shot in here and there, despite the Dwarves' well protected position.

F'yar swoops and kills off Borrin and Snorrin - the poor heroes struggled to land a blow in response as fliers count as having WS10 in 2nd ed!

I think Grumdril had to go somewhere around this point - hope you enjoyed it mate!

After that I took control of the Dwarves.

The F'yar Guard gain control of the road, bypassing the stubborn Dwarf defenders on the bridge.

Poor old Gaj had seen his hounds routed and now had his main unit of Orc warriors held up by these two plucky fighter!

King F'yar searches for more Wyvern food. The Dwarves look suspiciously like filler in an Orc sandwich here...

The Orc archers form into a Conga line... erm I mean single file and snake past the melee that grinds on on the bridge.

Tasty Dwarves!

The hounds rally and charge the last defender in the side. I think Hagar Sheol, Chieftain of the Severed Hand Tribe, landed the final killing blow, clearing the way for the Orcs to continue their advance on Orc's Drift, collecting the abandoned Dwarf gold on the way of course!

The Severed Hand and King F'yar win a resounding victory here (mostly thanks to all the victory points they earned for picking up most of the Dwarf gold) and apart from the Hobhounds didn't suffer horrendous casualties. They are due to arrive at Orc's Drift by Turn 4.

Massacre at Linden Way

A somewhat fragile Thantsants and Warlord Paul settled down on Sunday morning to play out the Linden Way scenario - an ill-prepared human Militia attempt to stop the advance of the Kwae Karr Orcs, while the terrified villagers flee and the schizophrenic Illusionist, Barrachus protects what he thinks is his gleaming palace of delights.

The Orc archers crest the ridge of the hill and look down on the ruins that Barrachus mistakenly sees as his beautiful palace.

The main column of warriors advance on the village as the militia form into one unit and bar their path.

A second unit of Kwae Karrs attempt to flank the human militia.

Bagrash, the Kwae Karr shaman unleashes deadly fireballs at the Guard tower that houses the five militia archers.

... and it crashes to the ground as a burning wreck, killing all its occupants!

The villagers flee and Bagrash, determined that none should escape, magically flies to cut off their advance. His cunning plan is foiled by a well placed Mystical mist cast by Barrachus! All the villagers manage to escape!

The archers attempt to put a stop to Barrachus' meddling with their archery - the walls of the ruins protect him however.

Frustrated at their lack of success, the archers charge him!

Meanwhile back in the village, the militia is steadily ground down, their pikes being the only thing stopping them being wiped out completely. However, with the arrival of the second unit of Orcs, they are forced to flee.

Barrachus flees too, but rallies and assumes a terrifying and ghostly appearance!

Thanks Gaj for the loan of the Ghoulie!

The militia rally and turn to face their tormentors!

The archers prepare to fire again on Barrachus but he is too quick for them!

Suffering from hatred (you have to roll each turn to see what psychology he suffers from due to his schizophrenia!), Barrachus charges the main Kwae Karr column!

Luckily they pass their Terror test and fight him off. Rather than engaging in close combat, Barrachus chooses to flee so as not to destroy his ghostly illusion.

My recollection of how Barrachus ended is hazy - I think he again suffered from hatred or was forced to charge again. This time he was slaughtered by the steadfast Orcs!

So the game ended with the fairly predictable result of a massacre at the hands of the Kwae Karr. I think they lost only a small handful of warriors to the human militia. It was a most entertaining game thanks to Barrachus and his madness, the magical duel between him and Bagrash and the cat and mouse with the villagers!

The Kwae Karr wina  convincing victory and enter the fray at Orc's Drift on turn 5.

Finally, and much belated - here are the Golden Gobbo entries. I'd agreed to take receipt of Blue in VT's entry (all the way from the US) and FimmMcCool's entry from the dark Southern Wastes of Bristol - a heavy responsibility indeed!

Anyhow I just about remembered to bring them with me, however we found ourselves up against the might of Nico's superbly crisp and bright style in the form of his amazing Ork Gargant - congratulations Nico on a well-deserved win.

Congrats to Fimm and Blue to - it was a privilege to look after and see your entries in the flesh!

Slammbo - by me! Must take a better shot!

Fimm's mad Chaos Warrior/Demon riding Chaos Goblin! Fantastic vivid colours and a clever conversion from a Squig Rider.

Nico's masterful Gargant - so crisp and clean while still being nice and Orky.

Blue's beautifully understated and naturalistic Glam - lovely skin tones and shading. Definitely picked up a few tips just seeing his brilliant painting style in the flesh.