Tuesday 29 March 2016

Artizan NWF British (3)

My camera lives!

So here's the pictures of eight more Atizan NWF British infantry

Painted just like the previous two lots. I do like these models.

And another group shot.

Monday 28 March 2016

My Camera is broken

My camera is broken. Well actually the little socket that the USB lead connects into is broken.
I can't imagine it's fixable (at least not for a reasonable sum) which is pretty annoying.
However I've located a separate battery charger and when that's delivered I should be able to charge the camera (which I think still works) and then I'll have to download pictures by taking out the memory card and sticking it directly into the PC.
Less than ideal, but £4 for the battery charger has to be a better deal than buying a new camera.

All of which is by way of apologising for any updates.

I have painted some more NWF British. If you want to know what they look like, imagine it's exactly the same as eight of these (because it is).

I've also been fannying around with some jungle terrain. (Imagine some plastic aquarium type plants glued to MDF. A bit like this).

Done a bit of work on some Ork Slugga boys (Imagine they look like these).

I also played a tremendous Good Friday game of 40K with Steve, General B and the Gaming Heir.
Due to the presence of the latter it was a) a game of 40K and b) a lot less drunken than last year's Good Friday piss-up T&T game. Well, for three of us. Steve managed to aquit himself well in the imbibing stakes.
I did take pictures of that, but my tablet camera appears to have a resolution of about 16 pixels, so the results (unlike the game itself) were horrid.
It was a bit like a mash up of this game and this game

So there you go, an unillustrated blog of my hobby over the last week.
Hopefully it's been a bit like enjoying sport on the radio because "the pictures are better".

Sunday 20 March 2016

A Sudanese sidetrack

So there I was, happily painting Artizan British NWF models and thinking about getting some Pathans, when things appear to have taken a swerve...

A few years ago now Boyes (a regional department store - like a sort of downmarket Woolworths - or Wilkinsons for my younger reader) decided to get into selling Toy Soldiers. It started with quite a bang with shelves groaning with Airfix, PSC, Flames of War, Perry, Warlord and, of course, GW. And slowly it has retreated from that place as it's discovered what sells or, more pertinently, what doesn't. And what doesn't sell, at least in the volumes to keep Boyes interested, is anything other than GW and paint/hobby supplies.
The soft plastics were the first to go, followed by Warlord, FoW and all the Airfix that isn't planes. Now it seems that the Perry range and PSC is being dispensed with - or all the stuff that isn't Napoleonics at any rate. So the other week when I was in there I noticed this.

Specifically I noticed this:

A box of the Perry Ansar at half-price!
I said to myself that I've got no intention of playing Sudan, I'm doing NWF and that's that.
So I left them on the shelf and went away.
Actually that's not true I bought the only box of Afrika Korps they had for a tenner and then I went away. But that's a post for another time.

However when I got home I had the odd and crazy thought that maybe by combining bits of the Sudanese with some of the Gripping Beast plastic Arabs I could fashion some Slavers for games of Darkest Africa, and maybe some of them would pass as DA tribesemen too.

So a day or two later I popped back and bought a box.
And when I got them home they were all lovely and nice looking and sticking them anywhere near the GB Arabs seemed like a terrible thing to do. So I figured that maybe I could make a couple of units for TMWWBK (pronounced Tim Wubbuk, the Canadian lumberjack) and that wouldn't be too bad. And I had six Perry highlanders I'd bought to use for DA and not finished so maybe they'd paint up for a unit to use against them. And perhaps if you didn't look to close I could use the NWF models and....and before I knew it this had happened.


Anyway I've done quick and dirty paint-jobs on sixteen of them that is, pretty much the same as I did the African Tribesmen, but the whole thing washed with Coat D'Arms Brown Wash rather than woodstain dip.

The photography hasn't been kind - they don't look half as messy as this.

So now apparently I'm going to do Sudan Colonial gaming and I own a copy of The Sword and the Flame and I'm still painting NWF models and I don't know what's going on really...

Thursday 17 March 2016

Dragon Rampant - Chaos and Dark Elves (2)

As the chill winds and rain lashed down on the bleak valley Takra Vilecut strained his keen eyes to see what moved beneath the storm-heavy skies. To his right at the head of the valley he could make out the misshapen followers of Tzeentch as they lumbered their way back North. Vilecut and his followers had tracked the slow moving Chaos horde and he had picked this spot as the perfect place to make his ambush. The followers of Tzeentch would think twice before crossing into his lands again.
A movement across the valley caught his gaze - good, the rest of his force was in position - time to spring the trap!

Domestic travails (me), international travel (Steve)  and going back to work (Gen. B) have all rather put a kibosh on gaming recently. Plus I've been unable to bully persuade any small children into playing with me.

So after last month's solo Dragon Rampant game I decided I'd have another go. I used the same forces as last time. I was intending to give a Warbeast a try or introduce some magic but I ran out of time to fiddle and fettle with the army lists.

I had a quick look in the book and decided the Death Chase scenario made good sense. The Chaos forces, attempting to fell back after their defeat in the last game, are ambushed in Northern Naggaroth....

The dark Elf general and Cold ones lined up on the left flank of the Chaos force.

Whilst the other spearmen, crossbowmen and Dark Riders emerged from the right

The Chaos army had the knights in the centre, flanked by the foot Marauders with the two units of mounted Marauders covering the flanks

The Dark Riders sped towards the Chaos right flank and engaged in a missile duel with the Marauders, to no real effect on either side.
Meanwhile the rest of the Chaos army pushed onward (bar the knights, who failed to move)

Over on the Chaos left the second unit of mounted Marauders moved to block the spearmen

Finally the Dark Riders and Mounted Marauders clashed. Initially the Dark Elves were thrown back but the Marauders were unable to capitalise before they recovered from being battered.

Whilst the left hand Marauders raced toward the valley end, the other unit clashed with the Dark Elf spearmen. Some lucky rolls by the Marauders and a very poor courage test saw the Dark Elves routed from the field.

However shortly after this triumph the crossbowmen finally get going and, together with some Dark Rider shooting managed to destroy the weakened Marauders.
The two mounted Marauder units now began to push toward the centre, hoping to skirt their pursuers.

 The remaining Marauders continued to speed toward the end of the valley.

In the distance the Colod One Knights finally kicked into gear...

Tiring of their slow progress the Chaos Knights decided to pick on some elf spearmen.

They pushed them back, but were unable to rout the doughty elf fighters

Meanwhile the two units of Marauders were  hightailing it for freedom, with the cold one knights in steady, but unspectacular pursuit.

When disaster struck for the elves and the Marauders failed their activation test, allowing the Cold Ones to catch them

Having battered the foot unit, they switched their attention to the mounted Marauders, who promptly failed to evade and were hacked down in a single round!

With blood on their claws the cold ones were able to turn on the Marauders once more and duly smashed them apart as well.

Further up the valley more combined bowfire from the crossbows and Dark Riders wiped out the remaining Marauders and the Chaos Lord and his retinue were left, powerless and defeated in the centre of the valley.

A fun and simple way to pass an evening.
The Chaos forces looked set to get a couple of units off the board, but a failed test got the Cold Ones into action and they did what elite knights do best and munched the Marauders in short order.
Given the difficulty of getting your elite knights moving I think the Chaos Knights would have been better getting stuck in sooner and being sacrificed if necessary to buy time for the rest of the force.

I'm thinking the next stage might be a Druchii punitive raid into Chaos territory. I'm also thinking Tzeentch will lose patience with his hapless human minions fairly soon - time for some Daemons perhaps..

Sunday 13 March 2016

Reaper Bones Centaurs for OGAM

Another pair of Centaurs for Of Gods and Mortals.

Really didn't enjoy painting these so just glad to get them out of the way.

Thursday 10 March 2016

Warhammer Siege Campaign - Messenger

Mernith Greybeard surveyed the horizon. Behind him the gates of the fortress swung closed, ahead he could see shapes scuttling to block the pass that lead to Karak Norn. He hefted his great axe and turned to the dwarf to his right. 
"There are few of them Snutti Grumbldorn move now and move fast. I see the boar riders on our flank, we Longbeards shall see to them. Punch through their centre and make for Karak Norn" 
The younger Thane nodded, clamped down his faceguard and ordered the small dwarf force forward.

So the first game of our siege campaign. We were each to have 500 points and I had to get a letter off the far side of the table.
TBH the rules were a bit confusing and I think designed for skirmish type small unit deployment. Perhaps we should have used AoS rules...

Things were not helped by me bringing the two editions old Dwarf book and Steve not being able to find the one before the current one. So I just threw down what we reckoned was about 500 points.
Steve had some Orc crossbowmen, just like there aren't in the rules and at one point was leafing through the 3rd edition army book to find the rules for half-Orcs (see, this Olderhammer stuff is a slippery slope). It turns out they're pretty similar to 8th edition Orc rules, so that was OK then.

I deployed with clansdwarfs in the centre, longbeards to their left and handgunners to their right. In retrospect taking a move or fire unit who's basic move is only 3" in a scenario that requires you to get off the far table edge was not the best decision.

Facing me were some night goblin archers the aforementioned half Orcs, Ruglud's crossbowmen and some boarboys

I advanced as fast as my stumpy little legs would allow. The longbeards moving to protect my flank from the boarboys.

In the centre my clansdwarfs charged the ha...Orcs.

Followed by the Boarboys smashing into the Longbeards.

Unfortunately the Orc boss in the unit proved rather handy at fighting, and rapidly cut down my thane. Who was carrying the message. Game over.

However, being resourceful we decided the Dwarfs had actually given the letter to one of the three unit champions, and we'd dice at the end of the game to see which one had it if any made it off the board.
Thereby meaning we could carry on playing and introducing an element of suspense to the game.

Shortly thereafter the Night Goblins ploughed into the flank of the dwarf unit. Oh dear.
However the boarboys found the longbeards altogether tougher.

Soon both clansdwarfs and boarboys were fleeing for their lives.

And it was time for the Longbeards to face the Orcs. Which went rather better.

Though the boss was still able to hand it out

Out of sight of the camera the handgunners were whittled out of existence by Orc crossbows and Night Goblin bowfire.

However eventually the Orcs broke and fled and the last champion of the Dwarf side sprinted toward the board edge.

The Night goblins maneuvered and took aim...

...and missed.

For a brief moment it looked like he'd make it off the board. But then Ruglud's crew took aim from the tower and shot him down, just inches from safety.

It was ace to be back playing Warhammer. The scenario worked fine, despite being around 20 years old, there was a bit of tension around the outcome but ultimately a safe Orc win.

In the post game phase Steve elected to fight the tunneling under the walls scenario. Which means I can dig out the mushroom scenery from our Underway campaign.

It also means I should probably paint some more miners...

Steve's version of the battle can be found here.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Warhammer Seige Campaign

Throndin Groznog sat on his great iron throne in the hall of Groznog in Fortress Groznog deep in the Grey Mountains and, not for the first time, cursed the decision of his ancestors to make something he had to sit on for so long out of such an uncomfortable material.
Suddenly he was conscious of silence, and of all the eyes in the hall turning to him.
Pulling himself upright in the Iron Throne, and shifting slightly as a result of his piles, he cleared his throat.
"So, to summarise, we're buggered" he said at length.
"The rats have collapsed most of the mine-workings, the grobi are infesting our lower halls and there's an army of greenskins assembling outside our front gates? Anything I've missed?"
"No sire" wheezed Durfus Arkwright, possessor of  the longest and greyest beard in the hold "You have captured the situation most pithily"
"Our brothers from Karak Norn, when do we expect them?" demanded the Lord
The other dwarfs shifted uneasily. 
Eventually Thane Ward, leader of the Groznog Ironbreakers spoke up.
"Lord, the last time we discussed the situation you said we were to shave you and call you Susan before you'd ever send for help"
Throndin turned a malevolent gaze on the Ironbreaker thane.
"Who said anything about sending for help?!" he roared "Our krut fondling cousins still owe us for the last lot of ore we sent - send a message that I want my debt repaid. Now!"

As any casual perusal of this blog will show my primary gaming love is Warhammer Fantasy Battles. However last year my erstwhile employers and former colleagues at GW decided, in their infinite wisdom, to destroy the Warhammer Old World I'd happily been gaming in for 30 years and replace it with the Age of Sigmar.

Now I've tried to like AoS, I've played a few games and they were jolly enough, but what they weren't is Warhammer. And more fundamentally to me as a "story driven" type of gamer the background was puddle-shallow, portentous, whizz-bang empty drivel. Rick P was the wellspring of the imagination, vision and humour of the Warhammer World and whatever the skills and talents of those left behind at GW, writing compelling, interesting and engaging background isn't one of them.
Oh and the aesthetic of the new models is shit not to my taste.

So Steve and I have spent the last several months playing this, that and the other, having some 40K fun, messing with Frostgrave and Lion Rampant. However as we convened for our next game I finally realised something.
I *miss* Warhammer.
Yes it wasn't perfect (very far from it in fact) but it had charm and wit and the familiarity of a comfy old pair of slippers. And the models were (mostly) ace and not the sleek, soulless but fussy things GW seems to be replacing them with in AoS.

I guess this makes me some sort of Oldhammerer. Which is a bit worrying as I've always considered Oldhammerists to be rosy-tinted spectacle wearing wargaming equivalents of CAMRA - constantly harking back to how things aren't as good as they were in the old days when everything was black and white and fashioned from Bakelite and wood - who viewed modernity and progress as dirty words.
This is an opinion I still hold. But I miss Warhammer and want to play it, so if that makes me an Oldhammerer who am I to argue?

Of course just playing a game of 8th edition would be a bit too simple. As it happened, while Googling for something I found one of my own write ups of the Sigmar's Blood campaign that Stephen and I played through a few years ago. We had quite a lot of fun and Stephen and I painted up all the models and played through all the scenarios.
I suspect however that we may have been the only people in the entire known world to have done so as GW never produced another supplement like it.

So I wanted something a bit like that, a series of linked games that would get me painting and collecting a bit more. However I also didn't want to have to write it. And then I remembered Warhammer Siege. It's not something I've ever played (siege games are not generally the most interesting to try and game out) but I remembered that the old 4th (or 5th) edition version of the Siege book had a simple campaign system and a bunch of scenarios that weren't just "hurl yourself at the walls". So I suggested it to Steve.

Fortunately he's as foolish as I am, so before I know it we've agreed to play a Siege campaign, with the classic Warhammer pairing of Dwarfs (me) and Orcs and Goblins (him).

It probably won't work properly and we may never get to the end of it, but it has to be worth a shot.

Warhammer is back on the blog, baby!

Stay tuned to see how it all pans out.

Tuesday 8 March 2016


The Gaming Heir and I sauntered along to Hammerhead at the weekend.
I went to the first of these when it was back at Partizan, and was effectively trying to be a sort of Partizan lite.
I then didn't go for a few years, but finally returned last year and thought it was jolly enough to return this year.
Again I didn't take my camera, and the phone ones I tok are all out of focus. Grrrr

We played a game of James' Verdun tunnel crawl (it's a bit like Space Hulk, though in a WW1 fortress). I've offered to make him a Genestealer in Pickelhaube, but for some reason he's declined.

The second game we played was a splendid little game of Robin Hood v Zombies in which I played the evil Necromancer and Gaming Heir the Lincoln Green clad Sherwood Forest denizens. It used the LotR engine and reminded me what a great little system it is for skirmish games. Puggs did a great job of running this on behalf of one of the Mansfield clubs.
Needless to say I lost.

I also caught up with some chums like the aforementioned James, and Mog, who I've not seen since Salute last year. He and some of the other chaps from the Polly club were running a very good looking WW2 air attack on a destroyer game - though we didn't quite get our timings right for a game.
All in all its a good little show. I like that all the games are participation ones (as does the GH) though the nature of some of our hobbyists means its not always easy to catch the eye or get the invitation to actually sit down and play...

I did a bit of shopping, though sadly some of the command models I was after for NWF weren't in stock, so it looks like I'll have to make another trip to see Nick at Northstar.
Oh welll

Sunday 6 March 2016

Frostgrave Chronomancer

Finally finished the Chronomancer I got as part of the initial Nickstarter.
I wanted a Chronomancer the moment I saw the artwork, and the background sounded interesting too.

Sadly I don't think the model quite lives up to the artwork, the proportions are a little odd. So she's languished half-finished since the initial enthusiasm wore off.

However recent games with the Gaming Heir convinced me to get her licked into shape (ooer!) and so here she is.

Got her apprentice up next on the workbench.