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After quite some time forlornly staring at me from the fringes of my painting area I finally cracked and picked up some of the Musketeer Late Romans and applied a little pigment.
Quite pleased with them.
Wonder if I'll finish the unit before I get distracted..?
After a considerable hiatus, bought about by our hectic international jet set lifestyles Stephen and I convened for another game of Warhammer.
He's been very busy assembling and painting all manner of putrid Nurgle models to use under the End Times rules (see here and here). And I've painted a whole load of random nonsense not suitable for Warhammer games at all (see the last two month's posts on this blog).
We rolled up a scenario and it was the diagonal deployment one. I set up first, the hideous forces of corruption then deployed and failed to steal the first turn, so we were off.
Gruzzkup and Da Lads
Stinky Chaos Mens
Animosity failed to take hold of my forces, but a vanguarding unit of horsemen ejected a couple of fanatics earlier than I might have liked. I tried to charge the horsemen with the squig herd, but they wisely fled. The rest of the Orc forces pushed forward and some ineffectual magic and bowfire saw the end of my turn.
'Ere we go
The Chaos forces advanced, menacingly (and a bit smelly too I expect). The warriors failed to charge home and the dogs started to sweep around my right flank. Over on the left the Foresaken hurled themselves at the giant. The winds of magic blew weakly, although the Chaos Warrior champion almost lost his life as a result.
In the combat phase the Foresaken powered up and caused four wounds on the giant. However in return the big fella jumped up and down and wiped them all out.
Behold my freshly painted might!
Jump, squish, jump, squish, jump, squish, ju...
In my turn I again survived animosityless and elected to do quite a bit of charging.
Trolls and Big Uns piled into the warriors, both chariots smashed into the blight warriors and I threw the Arrer boys into the dogs.
In the magic phase I managed to get Gork'll Fix It off on the Blightkings and the spiders managed to shot a marauder from his horse.
In combat the Arrer boys didn't fair as well as I hoped against the dogs, them being Nurgle and having a higher weapon skill and everything - but didn't actually run away. The Boys and trolls found the Nurgle guys quite a tough nut as well, though flaming banners on both sides meant anything wounded stayed wounded. I took hits, but numbers were on my side.
Over on my left the chariots piled into the Chaos Beasties and to my astonishment managed to do enough damage to make them flee and run them down. The curse of newly painted models strikes again!
In return the Marauder Horse charged into the flank of the Trolls, hoping to save the warriors from being crushed and the stone thrower creature thingy (I think that's it's proper name) advanced toward the Squig herd. Magic blew powerfully and sole wizard was snatched off into the void. The Nurgle warriors received a poison boost before a Total power result saw the rest of the magic pool vanish before more damage could be done.
The stonethrower creature prepared to spit flies and death at the squigs but something went wrong (perhaps a fly got swallowed and went down the wrong way) and the whole hideous creature collapsed and died on the spot!
In combat the dogs finished off the Arrer boys before the Orc boys laid waste to the remaining chaos warriors, leaving just a flag bearer standing.
And with that the game was up.
A victory, but one more reliant on luck and dice than skillful tactical mastery on my part.
But a good fun game nevertheless.
Steve was particularly unlucky that Bloab Rotspawned misfired and rolled a one, resulting in 400+ points of newly pained awesomeness was simply removed from the bard. But that is how the rues have been written. Although I believe Stephen is now attempting to use his inside contacts to ensure an Errata will be shortly forthcoming.
So I dug out the knights and assembled a couple of horses.
But I've hit a snag of sorts.
These old Bretonnians are obviously fantasy knights (although influenced by real medieaval knights). But I really want to build a plausibly historical retinue. I can overlook the helmets with brims on the archers, but I'm in a quandry about the knights.
The horses are relatively early in their long flowing dresses (that's the technical term). However the knights themselves are in full plate, placing them rather later in the period. Also the helmets are clearly fantastical and more typical of what might have been worn for a joust than going to war.
So that's my dilemma.
My choices are
I'm broadly thinking Agincourt era 100 years war is the retinue I'd like
to build - a small raiding party chevauchéeing their way around France. If I wanted to do a WotR retinue I think I'd just go and buy two boxes of Perry plastics and be done - and probably not have any horsemen in any case.
So, any thoughts?
In the meantime I think I'll get on and paint the horses.
I gave the whole thing a coat of grey (obviously) primer, then painted the body with Adeptus Battlegrey, gave it a Badab Black wash then drybrushed with Adeptus and then Astronomican grey.
The tusks were painted with Snakebite Leather, then Bone and white and the toenails given a similar treatment. The eyes I painted Scorched Brown. Then he was based to match my 28mm Darkest Africa tribesmen.
The smallest boy and I set up another game of Song of Blades and Heroes. He used his usual Chaos Warriors with a Dragon list, whereas I wanted to build a new warband around the recently painted Dark Elf sorceress. In the end I couldn't squeeze in the Witch Elf I wanted to take and settled on a hydra instead, along with two warriors, a crossbow elf and a leader to accompany the sorceress.
There were three possible treasure locations on the board, one on the central hill, one in the swamp and one in the patch of jungle undergrowth.
The Dark Elves advanced across the board, whilst the Chaos warriors surged toward the jungle, leaving the dragon to investigate the treasure on the hill. Sadly the winged lizard was unable to find the riches.
I smell gold. Oh.
The spear elves located the cache in the swamp but before they could uncover its value they were set upon by the dragon.
Lets just have a look under...OMFG!
The crossbow armed warrior bravely launched himself into the jungle and discovered that was the true location of the treasure.
Foolishly the sorceress raced ahead of the rest of the Dark Elves and
was caught in the open by the Chaos warrior leader who duly hacked her
Thwack, thud, oof!
In an attempt to prevent the dragon dispatching both spear elves the hydra lumbered into the attack, but a powerful blow from the dragon knocked it to the ground.
Over on the left the crossbow elf was hunted down by rampaging Chaos warriors and despite his best efforts was eventually hacked to the ground.
Kick his ears off!
Desperately the dark Elf leader raced toward the Chaos threat to try to retrieve the treasure but was met by a lone chaos warrior.
Lets DO THIS!
Meanwhile the hydra hauled itself upright and lent its weight to the spearmen who managed to find a chink in the dragons scales and brought the creature crashing to earth.
I hope we're not too late...
Held up by the first Chaos Warrior the Dark Elf leader soon found himself surrounded and was swiftly knocked to the ground. Bravely he hauled himself back to his feet, only for a final furious onslaught from the servants of the Dark Powers to leave him face down on the ground his lifeblood soaking into the dirt.
Hit him again
With that the Chaos warrior Leader made good his escape as the last of the Dark Elves fled.
We went by train and passed the time playing the card game Guillotine. Pro-parenting tip: Guillotine is great for on a train with kids as the row of nobles awaiting execution will just fit on one of those small train tables.
We arived in a Brum much changed from my student days, to find the "traditional" German Market that seems to have sprung up in most cities over the last five years or so, in full swing. The boys were amused to note the women mostly sipping from small ceramic mugs, whilst their menfolk swilled from oversize Beer Steins.
I'd kept the destination secret from the boys in order to prevent them mithering for the two hour journey, but they were both actually quite excited by the huge images of ferocious looking Saxon warrior.
We headed straight for the hoard and after queuing for about five minutes (they restrict numbers so there's plenty of space to look at the exhibits) we were allowed in.
Now I am a cynical bugger and not easily impressed but I found the whole thing genuinely astonishing. There are several cases all packed with beautiful pieces of intricate gold and silver work. The hoard contained over 11lbs of gold (about the weight of your head I informed eldest boy) and 3lbs of silver, most of it beautifully worked. It appears to have been either stolen treasure, or possibly a ransom (for a king, presumably) and most of the pieces were damaged before the hoard was buried. It was found nowhere near any known Saxon settlement, so was presumably buried to keep it safe or hidden.
I duly took loads of pictures, here's a few:
There were two large cabinets absolutely packed with items displayed like this
There's also a special gallery within the exhibition with some of the more precious pieces, including a (folded up) cross and a simply jaw-dropping sword pommel.
This was moving, so the pictures are a bit blurry
Fantastically detailed work
This is a reconstruction of the "folded up" cross
And this is the orginal
This mysterious strip had (misspelled) biblical quotes engraved on it
A pair of "eyes" the backs of the centre mounts were silvered to reflect light through the missing jewels
The interpretation is also really well done, videos of battles, plentiful explanation boards, dressing up opportunities and the option to play Nine Men's Morris. The boys were especially pleased with a couple of big screen/tables - like something out of CSI - where you could move images of the items around, expand them and play videos to see what they would have looked like originally.
In addition there were recordings of people speaking Old English and even a little diorama for the toy soldier buffs.
Just ripe for a quick game of SAGA.
We were in there for over an hour, and I culd have spent much longer. The delicacy and craftsmenship of some of the items was absolutely stunning - and all done by people without (as far as we know) access to much in the way of magnification.
Here's way more pictures:
These two eagles were tiny - look at the detail.
I loved the beautifuly intricate work on this
Stunning gold work
The whole thing is fantastically well done and I'd recommend anyone who can to get along and have a look at this unique and fascinating exhibition. One that really challenges our pre-conceptions of the "Dark Ages". And, its all completely free - well done to Birmingham and all concerned.
The rest of the museum is non too shabby either, we had a great time in the history of Birmingham section, and finished off in the rather more antiquated, but still fascinating Greek, Roman and Egyptian exhibitions.
This Egyptian canopic jar loked like it had been made by the work experience lad
The well known Egyptian children's toy Tomtut the Tank engine