Thursday 6 August 2015

The Trolltooth Wars: Strongarms and Legionaries

As has now become a traditional part in the preparations for BOYL, I was extremely rushed in finishing things off for the big weekend (despite having had a year to get ready!) and not everything was 100% finished in the end! Added to that was the dearth of blog posts charting each unit or army I had finished as I was busy furiously painting.

In my defence I would cite the pressures of my job - the Summer term in particular is horribly busy in terms of SATs tests and all the follow up and analysis, report writing and all the other pleasures of wrapping up another academic year. Added to that was our preparations (lots of sorting out, tidying up and redecorating!) for selling up in York and moving out to the wilds of Cumbria later in the year...

Anyhow, enough prevaricating!

I spent some time searching for suitable minis to represent the Strongarm mercenaries. Somehow a lot of the old Citadel Men-at-Arms and Fighters I already had didn't feel right - too tied in to a particular period or pseudo-historical vibe. The same went for War of the Roses era Perry or Front Rank stuff - too recognisable as something from the real world.

I needed something with a whiff of Allansia - some fantasy style henchmen. Hmm, where would I find an abundance of henchmen who weren't directly inspired by a specific historical period...

So I went on a mission to gather together 36 Advance Heroquest henchmen!

Wednesday 5 August 2015

BOYL 2015 - The Trolltooth Wars Have Begun!

 It started with an ambush. When Balthus Dire's bloodlusting Hill Goblins mount their raid on the Strongarm caravan, little do they realise what dramatic consequences their actions will have. For that caravan carries Cunnelwort, a mystical herb from Eastern Allansia, destined for none other than the evil srceror, Zharradan Marr!

War - between two forces well-matched for evil - is soon to ensue...

(Steve Jackson, The Trolltooth Wars. 1989)

Fast forward twenty six years and the dramatic events that unfold in what has to be one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time have finally made it to the table top!

Illustration - Russ Nicholson

Long have I muttered about playing out the action described in The Trolltooth Wars with my good friend Warlord Paul and we finally got the ball rolling in style on the first day of BOYL 2015.

Monday 27 July 2015

A Face to Launch a Single Ship...

Yikes, BOYL 2015 is nearly here and there's still plenty to do! It didn't help that I pulled an all nighter on Saturday, supporting my Brother who ran the Lakeland 100 - a 105 mile run up, down and through most of the Lake District.

I'm definitely on catch-up now but have had a very productive morning bulking up the Giant's head with milliput.

Lots of milliput!

Thursday 23 July 2015

It Khan be done!

If you put your mind to it...

As BOYL 2015 approaches ever nearer, I look upon my pile of primed (and in some cases - bare lead) miniatures and despair. There is rather a lot to do before the big weekend but all is not lost.

Thank God for the Summer holidays!

As I am now a man of leisure, I have been able to lavish a considerably larger amount of time on painting this past week and these are the results - most of my Hobgoblin army!

First off is a small unit of Hobyars - the elite of the Hobgoblin army, they are made of Nomadic nobles and their retainers.

Thursday 2 July 2015

Broad in the Beam

The ship building rolls ever onwards and my ship nears completion. I'll have a full naming ceremony and backstory when she's ready to launch!

Sunday 28 June 2015

Car Boot Treasures!

Morning all - now I don't often post many "Look what I've got!" posts, or at least I hope I don't. However, yesterday I was presented with this by my Mother-in-Law after she'd been to a local car boot sale.

At first I assumed it was full of old Citadel paints and hoped that they would still be usable. When she handed the box over though, I nearly dropped it because of the weight.

It was full of lead!

After I had assured her that £5 was probably a good price to have paid, I had a good rummage to see what was lurking in there...

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Golden Boars V. the Slann-in-Spacers

I took a break from shipbuilding the other night for a game of Bloodbowl as my old pal Ollie was back in town.

His Golden Boars team were spoiling for a bit of Pub League action and my Slann-in-Spacer's (more about them here as well) were only too happy to oblige - would it be a walk over for the Big League boys or might there be some giant killing from the under dogs?

Monday 22 June 2015

All Above Board

The ship building continues on apiece and it's certainly been a productive weekend! Armed with model knife, saw and a big pile of balsa wood, I have been busy building up the fo'c'sle and forward decks.

Thursday 18 June 2015

This season's latest must have...

Got a bit more progress done on my Time Bandits inspired ship for the Warhammer Ahoy game at this year's BOYL.

Having committed all kinds of butchery in cutting out a 6cm section of the ship to shorten it, I think it now looks a little more like the source material.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

A Journey to the East

As BOYL 2015 looms ever larger on the horizon, I've been having a think about how the Journey to the East game might look on the table top.

To start with I've come up with some background for my Hobgoblin Warlord and his army -

All in all, Warlord Vidhal Timotei had had a very profitable campaigning season. Having absconded from the ranks of the Mournghul Horde and stabbed all his rivals in the back, Timotei had led his small army south from the Steppe, up into the Mountains of Mourn. From a lofty viewpoint in those inhospitable peaks, he led his savage Hobgoblin warriors in raid after raid against the hapless caravans that plied the Great Silk Road.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Many hounds are the death of the hare

And many hounds are what I now have - although they'll probably be more interested in Dwarf, Human or Elf as a snack to hare!

An old Bugbear of mine...

Or rather six of the big buggers!

I've had these irascible chaps in my collection for a while yet but no clear idea as to what I might do with them, other than a little dungeoneering perhaps. They will no doubt be appearing down some murky tunnels some time in the future, however, I was rather pleased that they'd fit right in on a Journey to the East with my Hobgoblins.

The Mighty Throgg and his Hobgoblin Despoilers of the Darklands

My Hobgoblin army has been receiving some attention in preparation for BOYL 2015 and it's all about monopose loveliness this morning with Throgg's Despoiling Hobgoblins - not sure how you can despoil the Darklands as they're already in a pretty parlous state but there you go...

Tuesday 26 May 2015

BOYL 2015: Oldhammer Ahoy!

It's about time I got started on some of the projects I had intended to bring with me to this year's Bring Out Your Lead down at the Foundry in August...

One of which is my Goblin Pirate ship for the Oldhammer Ahoy game that seems to be going on for most of the weekend! Hopefully I'll be done in time so I can join in on the Sunday to see if there are any survivors left over to be picked off.

As soon as the game was mooted (pretty much straight after BOYL 2014!) I knew I wanted a Goblin crew but this image also popped in to my head -

I'm a big fan of Terry Gilliam (especially the brilliant animations he did for Monty Python) and Time Bandits was a favourite film when I was a kid.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Nevermind Dungeoneering...

Yesterday was all about electioneering!

Thanks again to Warlord  Paul for the second installment in his Albion Adventures (I missed the first thanks to a bout of flu) and thanks again to our fantastic hosts at the Foundry, Bryan and Marcus.

Paul's scenario had us getting involved in the murky goings-on of Election day on Beacon Island, one of Albion's more hotly contested marginal seats.

The only family living on the island line up to eye up the prospective candidates and wonder who on earth to vote for.

From left to right we have: Sir Edward Hatband the Betrayer, Lord McCameron the Bastard, Lady Pike the Kingmaker, Baron Haystacks the Disappointer and Lord Far Age the Mad.
 Our goal was to come to decide on which candidate to back after a particularly sordid round of horse trading in which treasure and magical items were exchanged for political support.
whichever candidate received the most votes would gain control of the island and its Slann Gate - to use and abuse as they would see fit. Having sworn allegiance (or sold or souls) we were then tasked with escorting  a voter to the polling booth and ensuring they voted accordingly.

Easy huh?

Unfortunately not when the forces of political disaffection are ranged against you...

The reptilian embodiment of temptation to vote for personal gain at the expense of social responsibility. 
David Hatband - betrayed and imprisoned by his treacherous brother and now quite mad and hellbent on revenge.

These and other terrible adversaries threatened universal suffering disfranchising us from universal suffrage.
Nik's elves, Steve's Norse barbarians and my own Bandits attempt to sneak past the Ghost of Socialism...

Even the forces of evil were not exampt - Jame's and Stuart's warband, led by Ladty McDeath herself  encounter Nature herself, enraged by the loss of direction by the Greens.

Chris' brave Hobbits scamper cheerily towards the Phantom of Northern Independence.

Luckily for Richard's Militant Tendency, they were fully paid up with the Union and had backed Hatband - the Ghost of Socialism smiled upon them and let them past.

The Hobbits, unnerved by the Phantom of northern Independence, decided to try their luck with Mother Nature. What could go wrong for such peace-loving horticulturists?

Nik's Elves attempted to reason with the deranged David Hatband, but the tortured soul was too embittered to be swayed.

Meanwhile Jon Eochaid had heard tell of a mighty Dragon that lurked in the waters. Taking the plunge he proceeded to shout challenges to the beast, much to the annoyance of his companions.

Perhaps it was their reliance on intensive farming techniques to satisfy their insatiable hunger or maybe just the sight of the flowers Tom Bombadil had cruelly torn from the ground - either way mother Nature was enraged by the presence of the Hobbits and barred their way.

The Norsemen, pausing only to laugh at the ridiculous figure of Eochaid flailing at the aged Turtle Dragon, took the opportunity to cross the river unopposed.

Not even the soothing tones of a magical flute could wash away the enmity of all those years of obscurity - David still stood unmoved.

Having had a few issues (not to mention the demise of her husband) with nature in the form of Treemen, Lady McDeath set her faithful Spot on both Mother Nature and the Hobbits. The Chaos hound's fiery breath left the Elemental a charred stump and the Hobbits running for their lives. 

The Militant Tendency cross the river, swearing to strike a blow for Socialism while Eochaid and Groucho Panzer struggle with a real Dragon for once.

The Hobbits also plunge into the river amidst clouds of smoke as Spot bounds after them.

Bruno Bersi and Alfred Shortwick roll their eyes and join in the struggle with the Dragon.

Suddenly the Norsemen's way is blocked as shy Tory voters finally make their minds up, rising from the ground with cadaverous moans. 

The Bretonnians have no truck with socialism and their heroic leader moves swiftly before any  of the surfs get any ideas. The forlorn shade is dispatched quickly and is banished with a great banshee wail that sees all in the vicinity falling to the ground clutching bleeding ears.

The bandits encircle the aged river beast and rain down blows to little or no avail. In return the short sighted Dragon seems to hone in on the delicious scent of Shortwick the Halfling, snapping at the diminutive adventurer time and again.

Spot also seems to have acquired a taste for Halflings...

The Norsemen make short work of the shy Tories and the Militant tendency nearly fall foul of the shifting sands of the political landscape as a gaping pit of quicksand opens up beneath them.

Spot's dinner is interrupted by the emergence of the Monster Raving Worm, but is it out of the frying pan and into the oven for the Hobbits as the hound turns tail and flees?

Finally David sees reason at the hands of the emollient Elves and stands aside - just on time as the Serpent of selfish voting attempts to sneak up from behind.

The combat in the river grinds on as the river slowly begins to run red with the blood of the Turtle Dragon.

The Militant Tendency find a way through the shifting sands by moving to the centre ground. Meanwhile the Shy Tories drop like flies.

And the Monster Raving worm strikes!

As the various parties approach the booth, yet more adversaries emerge (I didn't catch what the dragon represented - anyone want to elaborate?).

A foul internet troll rears its ugly head and plans a vicious personal smear campaign against the Militant Tendency.

Voter apathy threatens to overwhelm the bandits as the Dragon clings grimly to life.

Bravely escaping from the clutches of the worm, Tom Bombadil ushers his voter towards the booth - could this be the first vote cast?
Unfortunately not as the voter is callously killed - the Norsemen and the Militant Tendency look like they're in the frame for this heinous case of electoral fraud.

So they look busy by getting stuck into the Dragon and Internet Troll respectively.

 - neither creature lasts long.
The Militant Tendency clean up the dirty face of politics.

Things begin to hot up as the parties converge on the polling station. The Hobbits have concoted a cunning plan to stand on each other's shoulders and dress themselves in the their ex-voter's clothes in an attempt to get their voice heard. The Elves, having been mired in the mystic mist of exit polls and 24 hour political commentary, find their way out with their moral compass,

Spot, still lusting after the exquisite taste of Halfling, sets upon Tom Bombadil. In a miraculous turn of events, the plucky little guy sees of the baying hound. Not sure if he is waving his hat voctoriously or wafting away the smell of defeat that Spot has left behind...

Lady McDeath, having communed with the evil spirit of Russel Firebrand, orders her minions to prevent anyone from voting...

Which they do by the time honoured way of having a riot!

Amidst the fracas the Elves encounter a vile shit-eating Otyugh - What is worse than the smell is the foul beast's view on immigrants as it begins its assault with the war cry, "I'm not racist but..."

A bad day for Evil - The Elves knock out their opponent, an incapacitated Spot is put down by a Norseman and Lady McDeath's thugs are largely sent packing. 

The Bandits finally kill the Dragon Turtle and hurry towards the polling station. Rik Lupin takes advantage of the ruckus to "persuade" McDeath's voter to come with her.

Finding the door to the polling booth to be as illusory as democracy itself, confusion reigns amongst the voters.

That is until one of the Norsemen threatens to headbutt the Returning Officer if he doesn't stop messing about.

The last few voters hurry towards the booth and Eochaid valiantly slays the unconscious Otyugh.

And the votes are in!

So after a tumultuous and highly questionable campaign, the polling station closed its doors and the counting began. Meanwhile a strange flickering light began to play across the opening of the Slann gate and the various adventurers, candidates and voters drifted over to peer at it curiously.

A strange Goblin like figure appeared and introduced itself as Jerram-we Vine. It preceded to prattle on in a strange language, speaking of such arcane matters as statistics and swingometers as a succession of colours swayed across the portal that had materialised in the gate.

The Returning Officer emerged from the Polling Booth and scowled at the imp that was now cavorting around the Slann Gate cackling about tactical voting. Ignoring the commotion he turned to the crowd and read the results...

Hatband, Sir Edward, the Betrayer - 1 vote
McCameron, Lord,  the Bastard - 1 vote
Pike, Lady, the Kingmaker - 1 vote
Haystacks, Baron, the Disappointer - 2 votes
Far Age,  Lord, the Mad - 2 votes

And so an uneasy coalition was formed betwixt the Disappointer and the Mad, although another election was soon called because no one could stand the new purple and yellow flags...

Edit - Here's a word from Warlord Paul on the scenario he created for us - The Albion Adventures II
Also Orlygg's post is well worth checking out to see some more great pics of the event - not to mention the treasures Bryan came down to show us! Realm of Chaos 80's