Monday, 8 September 2014

In Old Cathay did Hobgobla Khan...

... a call to arms and raiding decree.

Enough with the butchering of Coleridge's great poem Kubla Khan and onto another project I have lined up for 2015 and specifically Chico's Goblinoid Outcasts game he has planned for BOYL 2015.

My own army will be centred around the Mighty Throgg and his Despoiling Hobgoblins of the Darklands.

I have a goodly number of them and they will represent an exiled Warlord and his faithful Mourngul retinue - insert amusing back story with many puns when I come up with one - being careful to tread the fine line of humour/bad taste here unlike Citadel's Ninja line - Wok Tofu anyone?

Cracking miniatures and I think the fact that they are going to be the more disciplined and trained Mourngul warriors goes some way to explaining the fact that they are a monopose unit.

I also have a smaller unit made up of a mixture of Ally Morrison's Hobgoblin Warriors - they will be the elite Hobyars. Again part of the faithful core of warriors, loyal to their banished Warlord, who have followed him into exile.

I reckon the chap in front will give me a good excuse to use the old 3rd ed. assassin rules!
Also added in their are various C36 and Nick Lund Hobgoblins. I'm quite liking these chaps from Alternative Armies too -

To provide some missile support and assist in scouting duties there will also be some skirmishing archers.

As Throg has been banished, he is of course looking for a new fiefdom in and around the World's Edge Mountains. To do this he is going to need reinforce the infantry core of his warband.

Cavalry is a must for a Nomadic race from the Steppes and I plan to convert some of these excellent Horse Raiders from Mirliton - presumably more ex-grenadier sculpts? These chaps will make up the tribute paid to Throgg for the subjugation of their tribe on his way West.

I think some work on the ears where they are exposed and the addition of the odd fang should suffice.

A nice orange paint job should help tie them in with the rest of the Hobgobs in the army.

Or perhaps some head swaps with these excellent Goblinoid heads from Hasslefree - I'd have to salvage their hats of course!

Much as I like the idea of Hobgoblins (and Half Orcs for that matter) mounted on horse back, I do have one or two Goblin Wolf Riders painted up already who would serve well as other vassal troops or even mercenaries.

The 3rd ed. rule book mentions Hobgoblins riding Hobhounds in to battle too. I will be including Hobhounds and their handlers in the army -

However, the models are a bit small to carry a rider. So far I've found a few possibilities as Hobhound mounts, as it would be nice to have a small unit of Mournguls mounted up on them.

The most promising is the excellent Hobhound and rider from Warploque Miniatures, although the website is under construction and I'm sure they're still very busy after the successful Arcworlde Kickstarter.

The infantry look like they'll turn out nice too.
A close up of the original WIP taken from the big WIP thread on Frothers.
Mantic also have a couple of possible minis from their Goblin range.

The Fleabags work out around £2 a mini which is great but I'm not sure about all those gaping mouths - might be a bit cartoony when married up with the old style C36 Hobgoblins?

The Maw Beasts look like they'd be a bit better size wise but come in at just over £5 a mini as they're done in metal.

The other cavalry option I have are some allied Chaos Centaurs - definitely at home ranging the Steppes and definitely up for a bit of raiding and pillaging.

A hero on a Temple Dog would be fun to do as well and there are a few good alternatives to the high prices the Citadel mini goes for on Ebay.

Bushido have a nice looking pair of Shisa that would make great mounts for a Mourngul hero. There's all sorts of other interesting zombies and creatures that could add a lot of colour to a Hobgoblin horde.

A little more static in pose but pretty reasonably priced are Black Hat's Temple Dogs, complete with rider.

Talking of Black Hat Miniatures, there are loads of goodies in their Tales of the Dragon King range. I have my eye on a few for a possibilities for the Army Standard and its attendant wagon.

Firstly the wagon will come from the excellent 4Ground and their 28mm range of scenery from Shogunate Japan.

The Ushi Gurama should make a great base for a War Altar - I might get two and put them back to back. Lobotomised Slave Ogres would be the draft animals of choice of course!

Upon this wagon will be arranged the standard and this Temple Guardian from Black Hat, painted up as an idol.

He costs a whopping £9 so I'm assuming he's quite large - anyone know anything about him?

The War Altar will need attendants and, sticking with Black Hat, I reckon the court of the Chaos Queen will do nicely.

They'll want some guards and I think the Chaos Queen's Black Guard look suitably ceremonial.

4Ground also do some other smaller carts which would definitely look the part in the Hobgoblins' baggage train.

Talking of baggage - another few Slave Ogres to join this fellow would be most welcome.

I've got to include an evil and inscrutable Shaman to accompany the bandaged Grenadier fellow bossing the Ogre around in the pic above -

Black Hat also do a couple of flying wizards - got to shoehorn this one into the army somehow!

Perhaps as the leader of these Mercenary Ronin I bought from Foundry at BOYL 2014, who will be throwing their lot in with the Hobgoblin Raiders.

My Hobgoblin Rocket Crews will certainly be making an appearance - despite their inaccuracy and wild unpredictability, which is half the fun of course!

I'll be wanting some big guys too and have six Trolls painted up already - probably without the Spider Rider as I don't think he quite fits in.

I also have the Jes Goodwin Oriental Ogre who should make a good champion when paired up with Nick Lund's old Ogres, who I think kind of fit in with a bit of a Mongolian vibe.

Other options would be Black Hat's Oriental Ogre

and Mirliton's Giant Nihon Orc - not sure exactly how tall he is though?

I wonder if the Oriental Troll from Viking Forge would fit in as an Ogre as well?

Rab has winkled out a nice little piece from the 1984 Arcane Listings that mentions Winged Chaos Ogres carrying Hobgoblin Riders.

- sounds like a good idea to me!

To add a little more colour to the army (and quite frankly to get them painted and onto the table!) I'm going to include my small collection of Bugbears!

Actually I think these hirsute cousins of Goblins fit in rather well with the Hobgoblin/Steppes theme and this is about Goblinoid outcasts as well. It's about time the humble (and obnoxiously stinky) Bugbears received a bit of love.

Last and definitely least (if you're looking at it from a Hobgoblin's point of view) are the other vassal troops - Half Orcs and Goblins.

I have a burgeoning collection of Half Orcs and can field a small unit of 16 warriors, including a few Bushwackers,

and the beginnings of Mudat's Mercenary Half Orcs - just the champion, musician and Mudat himself to track down, along with a few more troopers to bulk the regiment out.

As for Gobbo's - well you know I've got one or two of them painted up already!

I reckon that little lot should make for a pretty characterful army and I can't wait to get them onto the table top!

It did strike me that there seems to be a lot of love for all things Hobgoblin at the moment. I don't think there's been this much coverage of pre-90's (no Big Hat silliness here thank you!) Hobgoblins for a long while.

Go and check out Colin's musings on army lists over at the Leadpile, Aiteal's marvellous Hobgoblin warband and Chico's brilliant Outcast Greenskin Project. Judging from the discussion going on over on the forum, it seems there are quite a few other Oldhammerers out there secreting hordes of Hobgoblins - I look forward to them seeing the light of day and roaming the Steppes once more!

As Erny's Orctober is just round the corner, I think I should propose a special day for Hobgoblins. What do you think about celebrating Hobgoblinay with me on December 31st - booze and partying permitting of course!


  1. Great horde of lead goodness. Reminds me just how much left I have to buy/convert/paint for my own hoard though hehe. Failing everything else though my Greenies Vs yours would be a rather interesting BOYL15 game :)

    1. Yep - thought you lot had had far too much painted stuff on here recently so it was about time for some bare lead!

      I've still got several cavalry options to source and would love to get hold of a few more Hobhounds and Throgg troopers - not to mention Temple Dogs and the War Altar. Plenty of time yet though and I've got the Trolltooth Wars project to get under way too.

      Challenge definitely accepted - I can see Throgg out to carve a little kingdom for himself out of your Greenies' territory. How about a take and hold kind of scenario with some ramshackle old fort as the objective, all set in some backwater of the Badlands or Border Princes?

      I can always lend you a few Gobbo's if needs be ; )

    2. Sounds all gravy to me, as I also have a unit of Throgg Hobbos mine will just have to be deserters :)

      Maybe set in Troll Country rather then further south as that gives us an excuse to use big monsters..not that I need much excuse hehe.

      I'll have plentyof greenies painted by then so no need to worry about lending Gobbos, just no 25k Vs 10k again hehe

    3. Ah you like a challenge don't you? ; )

      I almost forgot about your Giant Troll so Troll Country sounds good!

  2. I hate to suggest it, but the next-to-latest set of GW Ogres, those lovely plastic Bulls, would fit the Mongolian vibe perfectly. I just love that line!

    1. Nope - it's a good call Chris and I've certainly no problem with mixing in newer stuff. Personally though I'm not a massive fan of those Ogres, which is a shame as they do have a really strong Mongolian flavour like you say.

      Mind you maybe I should pick one or two up cheap and see what they're like in the flesh - never say never and all that!

  3. The hasslefree heads are an excellent idea, pop them on these bodies

    and viola, hobgob infantry.
    Gonna have to run an order these to make up the archer numbers, there's a distinct lack of c36 archers, so those goblin head and the odd bit of green stuff fur will work wonders, and working out at about 1 quid 25p a mini :)

    1. Viola Hogbob infantry sound noisy and probably fear causing! ; )

      Not seen those Steppe Warriors before - great spot and very good value. Definitely must give them a try especially for the archers as you say.

      Look forward to seeing what you do with them!

    2. Casual readers might think that was a Del Boy-esque command of the French language, but in fact it was me giving away my plans to fill the gap of under represented hobgob musician minis.
      Now I just have to learn to sculpt an entire strings section to save face.

      Ordered the hasslefree goblin and orc heads today, to see which ones fit better. Even if they are a bit clunky looking, they can ride in my war wagons as archers.

    3. Cushty! I thought as much. If they make anything like as terrible a noise as my little Brother did when he was learning the Cello at the tender age of 8 then they definitely should cause fear on the battlefield.

      Are you any good at rigging 1:1200 sailing ships - might come in handy for stringing your violas!

      Let us know how you get on with the head swaps.

  4. popped a few pics on the forum thread with a progress shot

  5. Excellent post. Lots of good ideas for hobgoblins and friends. I sort of like the otherworld hobgoblins and their ogres and ogre magi as well. The hobhounds and cavalry seem to be the big sticking point. You've given some good options.

    1. Thanks Sean - I love the Otherworld stuff as well. I'd love a unit of their Hobgoblins as Hobyars - their uniform appearance would suggest elite troops belonging to the Khan himself.

      The Ogres would work well too - just a bit pricey if you're after a number of them. I do like the Magi though...

      I reckon out of all the options I'm holding out for the Arcworlde hobhounds.