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Sunday 24 March 2024

Last Ham at Grazer's Leat

 

Well that's been a busy few weeks but the Snotlings are finally here. I've weathered a nasty cold (not the best when you work outdoors everyday), survived my Defender's engine destroying itself and sorted a new pickup out, all while starting out in a new job. It's back to the fun hobby stuff now I'm on a more even keel and I see GW have also re-released a few of the old Snotling miniatures too recently, so I guess I'm almost topical too!

So this little lot represent the first of a fair horde of Snots I need for a planned game at this year's BOYL. I've discussed the idea of a real "pathetic aesthetic" game (check out Andy Bartlett's blog Known World, Old World if you're not familiar with the term) with my Oldhammer chums for some time now and I couldn't think of any better way of doing it than with some of the most dimunitive inhabitants of the Old World. I think the (overly) epic siege game we played back in 2014 was still fresh in my mind back when we first floated the idea, so the idea of a beleagured Halfling farm besieged by Snotlings intent on raiding anything edible rather appealed! Geoff over at Fimm McCool's got in there first and ran an amazing looking game called The Siege of Brewer's Droop, which pitted Snotlings against a Dwarf brewery! I was otherwise engaged when he ran the game but it looked amazing. I must add here as well, Geoff's ideas for a full Snotling army were a big influence and I still eagerly await seeing it grace a table one day! 

I've been slowly collecting Snotlings for some years now and I've pinched a few of Geoff's ideas for expanding the force and including some different troop types to mix it up a bit, but I needed a framework for the game. The Halfing farm siege still appealed and I couldn't get the idea of an Orc's Drift/Rourke's Drift style scenario out of my head. However, I wanted to be able to play the game in one day so I needed something a bit more succinct - cue Last Stand at Glazer's Creek, the 40K remix of Orc's Drift that appeared in WD 222 back in June 1998. Alex over at Lead Balloony ran the game back ay BOYL 2022 - it looked great and most importantly he seemed to be able to run the scenario several times in a day.


So I set to butchering the scenario, downgrading the army lists and adding a whole load of bad puns. I've no idea how balanced the design of the original scenario was in terms of points so there was a fair amount of head scratching trying to ensure the defenders were definitely fighting a desperate last stand against a numerically superior force but with the advantage of defended positions, better missile fire and more forgiving victory conditions to give them the chance of snatching a victory from the Snotling horde...

The scenario, now renamed Last Ham at Grazer's Leat, requires a few more tweaks yet but let me know your thoughts and by all means give it a go! One particular tweak is adding a Halfling Bloodbowl team and a couple of Treemen - my opponent and good friend is supplying his own Halflings and got carried away I think! Originally I was going to paint and provide both sides but I didn't want to discourage or spoil Mike's participation by insisting on that! I have a few ideas to tone them down so the Halflings don't get too much of an advantage - it is supposed to be a desperate last stand after all!

Here's the opening narrative to give you a flavour of the scenario - 

Grazer’s Leat is a fast running beck, one of the many small tributaries that run in to the Aver as it passes through the County of the Mootland.Its name originally came from the sleepy little hamlet that sits nearby, which once boasted a water wheel and the titular leat that once provided it with running water from the beck. Those relatively industrious days are long gone and not much stands of the old mill, the locals having long since scavenged the stone and timbers for more agrarian purposes. Mad old Arkwright Grazer, who oversaw the introduction of the mill to Grazdorf is a distant memory too, much to the relief of his more traditional descendants and most of the locals - any interruptions to the gentle pastoral rhythms of life, let alone organised industry, were certainly not welcome.

In fact so quiet was this small south western corner of the Mootland, that it was even all but forgotten by the normally fastidious census takers and tax collectors of the Empire. However, not all is well in this bucolic idyll and the grey clouds of trouble hang over the small hamlet. Something is afoot - small impish figures have been seen in the nearby Wailing Woods. Strange high pitched laughter has been heard in the dead of night and worse still, Old Ma Grazer’s best apple pie was stolen from the window sill not two nights ago…

Since then matters have taken on a more worrying turn with the passing of each day. Livestock have been worried, hens have gone missing and little Ralfi Herdlewick, the shepherd’s son, has been inconsolable since being found bound and tied in one of the sheep pens, claiming that little green men had been trying to steal him away and eat him. With these clandestine raids becoming more bold, the villagers of Grazer’s Leat could come to only one conclusion. They had a bad case of the Snots.

With not a moment to lose (after they’d enjoyed third breakfast of course), the villagers mobilised themselves. It was but a small and ragtag force they had managed to muster but luckily enough, a small unit of the Moot’s finest Border Patrol were passing through en route to the barracks at Sauerapfel. With the promise of pouches of the local tobacco, Benson’s Hedge, flagons of the local hooch, Buckass Brandy, and a victory feast to boot, the soldiery enthusiastically volunteered to help with the defence of the village.

One might have thought the battle won already, such was the backslapping and raising of mugs of ale over the addition of these welcome reinforcements! However, such merriment was not to last as an insidious and not particularly quiet green tide ebbed slowly towards the village. Devilish red eyes twinkled beneath beetled brows and the air filled with a cacophony of tittering and bickering. The Snotling horde was hungry and Grazer’s Leat was spread before them like an inviting buffet…


I have some fun plans for the rest of the Snotling army - Mongrel riders, Giant Spider siege engines (yeah, I know - I'm forgetting the Pathetic Aesthetic!), the usual Pump Wagons and a whole host of characters in the form of the Big Snots... I'm saving them till the rank and file is done and there's a fair few more of them to go!

You might have noticed that I've not based all my Snots on 40mm swarm bases. There is a reason for this in the scenario - the Snotling player is able to split a base of Snots in to four 20mm bases. Though the Snotties are weaker in smaller numbers, they can perhaps spread out to steal more food or live stock.

I've got some little movement trays for the Snots on 20mm bases so they can be arranged more traditionally for this and regular WFB games. They're also a bit easier to paint than when all grouped together on a 40mm base! 

It certainly feels good to be painting Goblinoids again, my first love in Warhammer Fantasy, and they'll be making appearances with the rest of the Orcish horde at some point, as well as the Space Ork force if I ever get round to them...


Having not painted green skin in a while and having a lot of Snots to paint, I decided to change up my old method. Oil paint washes weren't really working or speeding things up either as it was a bit of pain cleaning the excess paint off the little buggers with cotton buds and white spirit.

Army Painter contrast paints came to the rescue however, and I've been rather impressed with them. The Snotlings got the usual black undercoat and zenithal highlight applied with white ink and an air brush - I then mixed up a suitable snotty green with the brown leather, yellow and green contrast paints and added enough glaze medium so that the paint wouldn't obscure too much of the highlights from the undercoat. A quick drybrush with pale sand and another application of the green contrast paint mix was always an option if I needed to boost the contrast at all.


Thankfully it turned out to be a really speedy process and I have the almost 200 individual Snotlings' flesh done! Now on to the slog of adding the detail, painting weapons and loin cloths of the rest of the bog standard bogeys before I get on to the more exotic Snotties!

14 comments:

  1. Fantastic looking figures (and terrain)!
    I love an army that will rarely win as when they do it will be legendary. ūüėā
    It looks like it will be a fun scenario to play no matter who comes out on top.

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    1. Thanks Ben - yeah me too! If this lot ever win it'll be a miracle!

      Aye that's the idea - a lot of laughs. Who cares about actually winning XD Hopefully there'll be some suitably cinematic moments and plenty of Zulu based puns!

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  2. Fantastic work, the skin looks great! As you pointed out, great timing as well with the re-release of the snotlings. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the horde!

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    1. Thanks very much - I was rather pleased with the end result for the amount of work that went in to it! I dare say the horde will be supplemented with some of the new batch - if only for the novelty of actually buying a current GW product!

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  3. That sounds great, looking forward to seeing it. I really must do something with my drawer of snots...

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    1. Cheers Geoff - can't wait to actually play the game and, if I get time, make a start on the Halfling side of things. Mike is bringing his own but I'd really like to do my own for future games.

      Yeah - you should! I'd love to see your lot on the table some time. Maybe we could do a Snotty civil war...?

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  4. fun concept for a scenario. low stakes, but high drama!
    I did look over the google doc, but not knowing anything about warhammer or what is what (i get eh idea that snotlings are small goblin thingies and we all know halflings of course) is hard to give more specific feedback other than I like to concept it being Mutiple raids and halflings can recover in-between. ūüėĀ

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    1. Thanks Stew - yeah you're on the money there! Snotlings are just about the most pathetic (but lovable) Warhammer creatures XD
      Like I say, I can't take any credit for the scenario as I just changed the setting and the protagonists but the premise is great. It looks like the Halflings are doomed but really they just need to have at least one survivor by the end of the game to "win" XD

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  5. A Bloodbowl team sounds like the perfect defense for a town. Anything to get them to channel their antisocial hostile adventuresome tendencies towards something productive!

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    1. Yeah, after my initial impulse to want to keep the Halfling force as I'd written them, I soon came round and now I really love the idea! I either need to reinforce the Snotling raids (longer game) or limit the Bloodbowl team's impact on the game - assuming I've got anywhere near achieving the right asymmetrical balance with the sides XD
      It's supposed to be a desperate last stand so the Halflings can't have it too easy! Perhaps the team will be limited to the pub and be subject to alcoholism. Perhaps they'll be so drunk they think they're playing a game and have to use Bloodbowl rules for blocking and tackling Snotlings rather than close combat rules from WFB - not decided yet! Similarly the Treemen (so overpowered for this game !) will have to be rooted in place, to borrow another Bloodbowl rule, and possibly also drunk on tree sap or something too XD

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  6. Cute Snots! For me, Snots are like Gremlins from the movie, and they have to do all sorts of stupid evil mischieves. Can't wait to see them running the farm over.

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    1. Adorable aren't they! Yeah I've always thought of them like Gremlins too. I reckon there'll be plenty of mischief when we get the game played!

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  7. Oh, sir, this is pure genius!! I love every bit of the concept and of course the minis! I only have a few Snotlings and have been planning to get some more for years, I think this can be the catalyst!

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    1. Thanks bud - I guess now is a good time since they're available from GW again! Should be plenty of Snot based fun going on here for the foreseeable and all!

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