Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Unboxing Day

So everyone's seen the Hobbit by now, I expect? Yes? No? Well, we can talk about my hurt feelings over that particular damp squib another time. This here's a gaming blog, not the graveyard I intend to bury Peter Jackson in.

Games Workshop, ever keen to leap on a marketing bandwagon (within a fairly narrowly defined lane of traffic, to be fair), have seized on the forthcoming trilogy to release a bunch of new models. And I, being ever keen to throw used money off a fiscal cliff, fell for the preorder offer and got this box here: -

The limited edition has indeed escaped from goblin town.
Unlike the reputations of the cast... no dammit I'm not getting into that here. 
It came in the post while I was out yelling 'Merry Christmas' repeatedly in Stockholm. That all went well, by the by, although the cost of providing endless Christmas cheer on stage was that I more or less forgot that real Christmas was actually happening at the same time, and was a bit too tired to fully appreciate all the sparkly lights and excellent hams that happen in Sweden.

But now I'm back home, surrounded by cribs and swaddling clothes that have nothing to do with the Nativity and everything to do with our lives this year coming, what better to postpone the assembly of the new cot than the glueing together of a plastic Sylvester McCoy?

This model of the 7th Doctor even has his spiky but loveable sidekick Ace tucked under one arm.
Wait, no, that's a hedgehog.

Friday, 21 December 2012

WoffBoot us, every one

It's been a quiet couple of months on the WoffBoot. Chiefly, I suspect, because two of its most prolific writers have been plying their craft (re: losing their minds) on the NaNoWriMo challenge to bash out a novel in the month of November.

This little web graphic makes it all worth while.

Unlike Warhammer, everyone can be a winner if they try hard enough, and both Kraken and myself succeeded in our literary endeavours. Sci Fi and Fantasy respectively, and I'm sure WoffBoot Publications would be only too happy to represent them.

I didn't manage to paint anything in December, although there are some half-painted Savage Orcs that are have been giving me the stink-eye recently. In fact, the only think I managed to paint was this tree ornament when I got picked to be my CEO's Secret Santa.

Painted in the company colours.
(Toadying corporate lickspittle that I am)

I regret giving him away now. Mounted on a 50mm base and he would have made a very festive Giant model for my Orcs and Goblins.

Happy Woffmas to all!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Painting by numbers

After purchasing some paints from "ebay" which included the the Dwarves and Night Goblins from "battle of skull pass" box set, I thought it was a great experimenting ground to learn the art of painting miniatures before moving onto my newly acquired Wood Elves.

I started with some basic Dwarf warriors, the progression was slow but the learning curve was high.
Unfortunately the paints I had purchased on ebay were limited and led to a visit to the local GW shop.

£100 later and I felt comfortably armed to continue. I started on the Goblin forest spider riders, basically because I really enjoy the models.

I have completed 5 so far please see below.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Gift of Tongues

Well, a little impatience and a quick shopping stop have intervened (see dropbox).

I'm now back in part time education, seeing as how nine years of being a student just isn't enough. I'm taking SFI classes, which stands for Svensk För Invandrare, or Swedish For Immigrants. Clever bit of acronymics, that.

My homework for today is to read a paper and listen to some news radio. I thought I'd try and justify a quick GW stop on the way home, and actually buy White Dwarf for the first time in years. But I'd make it into homework by getting it in Swedish!

I can now chat a little more fluently, and quickly discovered that Sweden doesn't actually have any of the rules or products in their mother tongue. This is disappointing, I wanted to know what Bloodcrusher of Khorne is in Swedish. Because that will be useful in ordinary conversation.

Seems a bit disappointing, that, and almost certainly a sales force thing. But ah well, I came home with the all new layout of WD to read through.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Changer of the Ways

Nooooo they've only gone and released a new army list a month and half after I've bought a new army.


It's impossible (for me, anyway) not to get excited at the amazing Warshrine model, although that's going to have to wait a long, long time before I spend any money on it. Good sprues for chariot conversions, I'm thinking, and it's a pretty good fighter in its own right, so I have my myriad unblinking eyes on one for the future.

It doesn't look like there are massive changes in the pipeline, as far as my guesswork goes. Lots of new models coming for some of the older character models, which are nice. My hope is that Marauders don't suddenly become more expensive, or that the way the Marks work isn't vastly different, or...

Nuts. There is no way of telling, is there? No plan ever survives contact with the enemy, as they say. Delightful that Spel Verkstad reveals themselves as the enemy in this particular scenario, and perhaps it would have been good to bloody my army in its current form first. Hey ho, it's all skulls for the skull throne at the end of the day.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Continued Maraudings

Nothing very wild to report in this post. But I couldn't let a whole week go by without posting up some more work-in-progress pictures of the Marauder Hoard: -

The Shaggoth is coming along - I'm going with a Black Dragon look, complete with copper spear staff, the better to draw down lightning with.

No longer WIP, this - pretty bearable for freehand, by my standards.
See what I did there?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Battle Report: Vampire Counts vs Empire

The second of this week's OffBoot matches. Same battlefield as before (minus the Wood Elves' extra wood), and if I'm more vague on the details, it's because it was getting late.


Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Deployment - the grass has gone all spooky, like.

Vampire Counts - General Kasfunatu

1 x Vampire General on Hellsteed (Lv 2 magic; Heavy Armour, Shield, Additional Hand Weapon; Summon Creatures, Dread Knight; Talisman of Protection, Book of Arkhan, Dragonhelm)
19 x Ghouls
(including Vampire Lieutenant (Lv 2 magic; Heavy Armour; Red FurySword of Striking, Talisman of Endurance, Enchanted Shield)
5 x Dire Wolves
5 x Dire Wolves
8 x Hexwraiths
 - 1000 points

Empire - General Stylus

28 x Spearmen (full command)
 - including Warrior Priest (Charmed Shield) and Battle Standard (Luckstone, Standard of Discipline)
14 x Halberdiers (detachment)
10 Free Company (detachment)
10 x Knights (full command)
5 x Pistoliers (musician)
1 x Wizard (Lv 2 Lore of Death, barded warhorse, Dispel Scroll)
 - 1000 points

Friday, 12 October 2012

Battle Report: Wood Elves vs Empire

This week, we played two off-schedule WoffBoot battles (an OffBoot?), with myself taking my Empire army against Generals East and Kasfunatu respectively.

Bear with me on these Battle Chronicler maps - it's the first time I've used them.


Battle Report - Wood Elves vs Empire 1000 points

Wood Elves - General East

10 x Glade Guard (musician)
 - including Spellweaver (Lv3 Lore of Life, Hail of Doom arrow)
10 x Glade Guard (musician)
8 x Dryads
8 x Dryads
4 x Treekin
1 x Great Eagle
 - 1000 points

Empire - General Stylus

28 x Spearmen (full command)
 - including Warrior Priest (Charmed Shield) and Battle Standard (Luckstone, Standard of Discipline)
14 x Halberdiers (detachment)
10 Free Company (detachment)
10 x Knights (full command)
5 x Pistoliers (musician)
1 x Wizard (Lv 2 Lore of Death, barded warhorse, Dispel Scroll)
 - 1000 points

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Shaggoy Dog Story

The last of my ebay buys has turned up now - for a grand total of just over £50 (including the parts of the postage that were included, rather than the bits I did myself), I got a box of warriors, a box of marauders and this splendid gentleman: -

It was a dark and stormy night, and this dragon walks into an ogre bar...
I've done some very limited conversion on him, not that he'll ever see the light of WoffBoot owing to points cost. I've always liked the model, though, I think it's a cracker. But close up, I found I wasn't as keen on the big axe as I was in the publicity shots. It's a bit... boring, really.

The option in the list is to leave him with either his basic fists (already S6), or give him an overkilly great weapon or an extra hand weapon. That latter option is worth the spare ten points I don't have anyway, I thought.

The resin sculpt was already glued together, not brilliantly.
After trying to improve on it, I've decided I don't like resin, it's not made for gluing. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fists of Gork

Due to an surfeit of decorating chores (the needs of the skirting board outweigh the needs of the miniature army... apparently), there is very little 'P' in this 'WIP' post.

But since it may be a while before I get to paint these painted savages, here is the latest on my two infantry regiments. In terms of gameplay, these will be the hard-hitting units that will carry the biggest punch - the two 'Fists of Gork', you might say...

Big 'Uns with additional hand weapons

This unit gets its distinction from the front rank (which may be the second rank, once they've had to shove aside to make room for Shamans, Battle Standards and Warbosses). The ones that aren't *actual* command models are converted standards and musicians - and fortunately command figures were sculpted just a little bit bigger than regular boys (which fits into the fluff of Orcs so perfectly, I'm almost tempted to think it was deliberate).

They inherited two painted command models from the original unit
- so basically, they're done.

The front-rank conversions also have two hand weapons, which gives me plausibility to arm the whole unit that way. The others are just ordinary boys, but I filed away their shield 'nubs', so their left hands are now empty. About half of them have big stone knives in sheaths, so I'll assume they just haven't drawn their second hand weapon yet.

I'm keen to try a 6-wide formation (24 boys in total; 18 if I'm scrimping for points). It looks a bit unwieldy, but with the 5-model minimum frontage, it means that even against 20mm bases, every Orc will get to fight. With Frenzy and Choppas, that's a total of 24 x S5 attacks. It's krumpin' time!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Order of Bone

Another job-packed week in sunny Sweden, so the painting bay has been bearing fruit: -

Most of the Chaos Warriors I've seen on GW or other sites have a tendency to go for a dark palette. This makes a lot of sense, and looks good, but I wanted to do something different. I thought I'd go with something to match my Archaon model, just in case he ever gets fielded as an army general. Or we change the WoffBoot to 5000 points, or something.

Haven't tidied the bases yet. But I will! I do that now!
Hold me closer, tiny Viking head

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Made to Marauder

I'm aiming to put the big marauder units together fairly quickly. The plan is to have two. One will have with shields and a mark of Tzeentch, the other will sort of have flails and a mark of Khorne. I'm doing the first one at the moment, although I'll probably shuffle a few models around later. 

Here's the ten I've done so far, using spares from the Chaos Warrior set: -

The first two ranks of the Tzeentchian Shield Wall
All ten of these have a conversion somewhere about their person. Most of these are small things, like a different head or the inclusion of a larger, spikier weapon or shield than real Vikings tended to use. 

Shield walls are much easier to form when your shield is as tall as you are.
These two may yet turn to Khorne.
Especially if my wife notices the horns on the left-hand helmet, that's a definite authenticity breach.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Chaos Orderly

Box number two was retrieved from the hunchbacked cripple who doesn't deliver my mail this afternoon. For a 75% saving, I got a box of twelve Chaos Warriors, missing only a couple of arms, heads and four bases. What kind of wasteful lunatics are out there? Who buys a set just to use that much of it? Is Carlos Slim a Warhammer buff?

Anyway, in what felt like no time at all, I had the first eight assembled: -

Virtually 25% of a WoffBoot army, and they aren't even a legal unit until there's ten of them.
I reconnected with my cellar-dwelling teenage years doing this. The smell of the plastic glue, the roar of my disinterested loved ones - it's all coming back to me. Three hours vanished in blissful silence as I sliced axes off the sprues using my traditional Stanley knife and nail clipper combo.

This is Bruce. You won't like him when he's angry.
Luckily, he's taken up Tai Chi recently. 
Champions are extra horny, which is sad for them.
The Chaos Warriettes haven't been greenlighted yet. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

War Games On t'Telly

No project updates, as I've been busily painting all week (the boring kind, that involves walls and stepping in paint trays). But Kraken's mention of how BBC 2 once tried to make Total War into a viable gameshow got me thinking about the few and failed attempts to put games on the gogglebox.

Game of War

A Channel 4 pilot series. Broadcast in 1997, with the production values of 1970s Open University and the strategic insight of Hungry Hunrgy Hippos.

It was hosted by Angela Rippon, whose main qualification for the job was that she could look directly at the camera and say, clearly and loudly, at the beginning and end of each episode, "It was just ... a GAME of war!"

She didn't even do that thing where she kicks her legs
and sings about facing the music.
The premise of this show was an interesting one (certainly enough to draw in a War Studies undergraduate): two opposing commanders (actual ex-military officers), each supported by a pair of advisers (usually military historians) would re-fight historical battles: Balaklava, Naseby and Waterloo.

To recreate the 'fog of war', each team would be sequestered into different rooms with two different tabletops. They knew where their own armies were moving, but they could only guess (or find out, from reconnaissance, or people shooting at them) where the enemy were.

... because if you're going to recreate history, it's important to be as boring as possible.
And also to wear a tie.

In a central room was Ms Rippon and a third tabletop, where the 'true' battle was taking place. This was monitored by a pair of gamemasters – straight out of geek central casting – who made the decisions, and rolled the dice, and whose word was law.

For they wore the Cardigans of Authority.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Form a Disorderly Line

As suspected, they aren't a brilliant match in terms of scale, so a unit may well look a bit uneven. But they certainly make the champions look vastly more impressive! In a unit that contains a few GW marauders here and there, I think it should work fine. These Marauders might be quite new to the path of corruption, only just starting to get twisted. I just need plenty of gribbly bits, spikes, stakes and mutations to give that look. I'm thinking almost cultist chic rather than full bondage marauder, maybe.

Therefore, straight to work! This guy has a spider for a head, courtesy of a Warhammer Quest  monster...

...And this hooded worshipper has a head and axe from a Reaper mini plus a spare Pink Horror arm.  

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Wrath of the Northmen

Oho - I got a note from the postman today. It told me that the parcel that had arrived for me was too large for the postman to carry, and please could I go and pick it up from the nearby package office. This is a clear downside to living in a socialist paradise - postmen get treated decently.

On the plus side, the first wave of my army has arrived!

You couldn't carry this, Mr Brevbärare?
Are you ill?
I'm going to wait until I've got a few more conversion options before really getting stuck in. But after two weeks of waiting, I had to stick a couple together. If only for the scent of plastic glue - I'd forgotten that pleasure.

I've got two box sets, one of Saxon Huscarls and one of Viking Thegns. Or vice versa, as the photo reveals. It's okay, the parts are interchangeable. This gives me extra variable heads, but the bodies are disappointingly identical. All sixty four models will have one of four torsos. Nicely modelled ones, to be fair, and there's a wealth of gear to stick all over them, from shields to axes to sidearms. And the heads, especially the Viking ones, really make up for this - there's twelve to choose from on the head sprue, and they're all crackers.

The first two are brief experiments. One has a two-handed axe, the other a langsax and shield (weapons dear to my heart).


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Empire in Flames

Well, I took the only advice to hand and started up a campaign as one of the Empire states.
Lots of excellent detail in this mod, even on the loading screens.

I decided to play as Ostland. Four small provinces on the eastern fringes of the Empire, along the Kislev border. My capitol is Wolfenburg, I've got a pair of castles (Lenster and Bosenfels), I'm led by Count Valmir and his family.

I'm informed of my background fluff as I chose. Ostland has good all-round armies,
but their heavy infantry isn't much compared to other, non-human factions.
The mechanics for the game are fairly simple - each province has a main city. Capture it and you hold the province, gaining the income from whatever is built in the city and allowing you to recruit troops there too. Who you can recruit depends on what buildings you've got too, so in Wolfenburg (which starts off very well-developed) I've got a temple of Morr that allows me to train the Black Guard of Morr, for example. Castles don't create as much money but can train troops faster. You can still hold a castle even if you've lost the rest of the province, and your oppressor can't get money from it until he's ousted you. So cities are the core tax earner, castles are military defenders, in short.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Total Waargh

I already miss the Woffboot, I truly do. Perhaps it's the separation anxiety of any ex-pat, or perhaps it's just the prospect of the long and assuredly gameless months ahead of me. Either way, I wasn't just content with deciding to build a Chaos Host (it's not going to be just a warband at the rate I'm trawling through Ebay). None of my ordered models have arrived across the Poisoned Sea yet. A partly-used box of Marauders is probably going to get here by the end of the week, but I'm nothing if not horrifically impatient.

This is what you find when you type random words like
'poisoned sea' into Google Images.
It's a sea cucumber. Who knew they were so terrifying? 
I already feel the need to recreate those epic clashes in the privacy of my own bedroom.

I therefore turned to Russians on the internet.

Heard of the Total War series? No? Well, you're losing out. Gaining in terms of life achievement, of course, but still, losing out. They're the cream of all tactical computer games. There were even TV shows based on the original release of Rome: Total War.

Fully painted armies and scenery - all included in the buying price.
Damn you, GW, why won't you learn?

Nogg's Banner of Butchery

The most fearsome of all the giants who roamed the Badlands. Nogg had killed and eaten every creature who crossed his path, up to and including a lizardman carnosaur, whose flensed jawbone he wore as a trophy.

Nogg finally met his end when he stumbled across the incipient Waaagh! Bonekrunk. The Savage Orc warboss decided that he had enjoyed their headbutting contest so much, he would immortalise the titan on top of his battle standard, inspiring his boys to greater and bloodier deeds.

Quick severed head count: 11

Just a brief work-in-progress update (well, brief for you - try drilling the holes and see how you feel). My new battle standard bearer now has a battle standard.

The giant's head is one of two from the Metal Giant v2 (the first one is still atop the giant's shoulders). The way this one was sculpted - eyes half-closed, mouth half-open, tongue protruding, general expression of agony and surprise - he was just asking to be impaled on a spike.

I added some more banner effects - the tails from the wolf boyz banner (extended in the middle, so they would fit either side), and capped with the banner heads from two Savage Orc standard.

Remarkably, it looks quite promising. Even more remarkably, he doesn't fall over.

Monday, 24 September 2012

The First (Savage) Cut

Conversions aren't really my forté (or indeed, any moderately priced hotel group), but my pile of Savage Orcs did need some work doing to them before I could start on the real work of painting.

No easy snips with plastic here.
Real men work with lead and pewter.

There were three main issues to address:

  • Too many character and command group models. They're all smashing, but repetition is going to dilute the impact of them.
  • I have a couple of chariots and no designated charioteers.
  • I want my unit of Big 'Uns to have two hand weapons, and no such models exist. (I know we can wink at such things - and will have to for most of them - but I'd like to make the effort to show them).
Out with a very battered pair of clippers, a fairly useless GW-issue saw, an pin vice that has been with me from the beginning, and my trusty 30amp fuse wire!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

... The Boys To Entertain You!

A dash of flavour for Woffheim. They could be Hired Swords, they could be Dramatis Personae...

... frankly they're just any miniature in my collection that I fancied painting, to be filed under 'Miscellaneous'.

Orc's Nest - Dwarf Warrior
He got kicked out of his mercenary army.
He hopes to one day recruit a band of Dwarf Treasure Hunters
(work in progress).

Mordheim - Middenheim youngbloods
Two youngbloods: seeking the company of experienced Middenheimers.
Must have GSOH and beards.  

Orc's Nest - Invisible Thief
An invisible thief.
Her younger brother is a barbarian.

Friday, 21 September 2012

... 'Cause The Boys Are Here...

The henchmen, the guards, the redshirts, the expendables... where would our heroes be without some hired lackeys to slaughter?

Gizza job!

These are all from the same sprue as my Free Company (in fact, the reason I did these was largely because I had fun converting the plastics), and so I did a bit of snipping and filing to try and make each one individual.

I chose the colours to be deliberately neutral: browns and creams mostly, like proper peasants. It also means that they can be swapped around between mercenary bands (I plan to have all three, though I only have Reiklanders at the moment) without affecting the overall look (naturally, that is far more important to me than equipment choice or playability).

What's That Coming Over The Hill...?

It's another hill! Yes, I thought I'd take Scriptor Lord Stylus's advice and put together a proper version of my terrain hunt from the other day, along with pictures and snide remarks.

This came about because I popped into the old Match Toolshed a couple of times this week. I usually only nip in about once every two-three months, just to check I'm still an addict; three times in three days is a miserable record for me.

I can now understand enough Swedish to give appropriate replies, although only in broken Sweglish.  I had a nice conversation about how one can use bicarbonate of soda to replicate snow on miniature bases, plus much wise head nodding regarding the new-look 40k chaos stuff (a giant brass eagle, for example).

I came back the day after on discovering I'd got no functioning black paint. And I came back the day after that because the excellent Mrs Kraken had heard my cries and also nipped in to buy some black paint, so I was swapping a pot of Abaddon Black for some blue ink, in expectation of a legion of blue and yellow Tzeentchian marauders. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Meet The Gang ...

While the suggestion of Woffheim tournament continues to linger like a fart in an elevator, I thought I'd let some more of my old miniatures out into the daylight.


Reiklander gang for Mordheim
In a staggering departure, I moved away from my green-and-flock bases.

Metal gangs and plastic henchmen were the vision for my Mordheim collection. The idea being that I could bring colour into the city-designated character models, but have keep the random warriors in dun-coloured rags (and hence interchangeable).

The Reiklanders got red - although I went with a different painting technique than my armies. Chaos Black undercoat, and then only thinly applying the base coat, allowing the dark to show through in patches (even on faces and hands), or just discolour the model.

I think it worked to create a dirtier, grubbier feel to the warriors, and it's applied through most of my Mordheim stuff.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Back to Basics

Now with added bases!
I'm keeping black rims as a nod to my previous style

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bag of Fully Enumerated Minions

Well, this trusty Adidas nylon sack has seen me proud through the Firetop Campaign. But that's done and dusted now. This very patchy selection of old models is mostly just sitting inside it, slowly falling apart.

I'd confess to being loathe (at best) to part with them - most of them are collector's pieces now, from discontinued games or lines. But just in case there's something in there that you're desperate for, here's that cast of thousands in full: -

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Lure

I feel the warp overtaking me. 
It is a good pain!

You owe me royalties for that quote.

My natural choice in any given Warhammer game, I felt bad that the proper baddies (Warriors of Chaos) were under-represented in WoffBoot VI. I've got some money coming in from the advert I did earlier in the year (which is probably going to air fairly soon, one of the many reasons I left Britain).

And you know, tiny paintable men and stuff. Always a sound investment, right?

So I've been reading up on the Warriors of Chaos list, and trying to pick out an affordable selection that I can slowly build up over the coming years. By the time it's Woffboot VIII or so, I may even have

a) completed it,
b) painted it and
c) enough time to field it.

Or not. Either way, I'm sure it'll be a grand heirloom for my offspring.

Savage Orcs: 'Ere We Go...

A mere 14 years ago, I started work on a Savage Orc army.

It was only a wee force: one unit of boyz, one unit of arrer boyz (in the good old days when they could skirmish), a small troop of boarboyz and a few stone trolls.

They were picked almost solely because I liked the 'Eavy Metal paint job and wanted to replicate it (my breathtaking originality evidenced by the photocopied banner). But it had the added bonus of giving me an extra army, so I could instruct a neophyte General Leofa all about 5th ed. Warhammer.

I think what he most took away from it was that it's no fun to play against a Savage Orc Warboss when frenzied attacks are doubled, rather than just +1.

(ahh ... HeroHammer)

Classic Savage Orc Shaman
"My hobbies include enslaving Indian children and hypnotising archaeologists."

Sunday, 16 September 2012

New Army HQ

The sheets and towels may still be in boxes, but I've got the essentials unpacked.

Don't tell Mrs Stylus ... she thinks I'm keeping work files in here.