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Posts tagged ‘Citadel Miniatures’

5
Apr

The Peace is Broken

It’s our first battle so we better make a good showing, lads.

Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted and even longer since I’ve played a solid “Ranks and Flanks” miniatures war game so now seems a good time to change the former as I had a great afternoon doing the latter.  Despite not actually playing Kings of War for ages I’ve been working away at various units for different armies.  New units (a regiment and troop of archers) had me tempted to run Undead especially as I haven’t done so since the second edition rules came out.  The fact that the rest of the army is still based individually for Warhammer and scattered between three Army Transport boxes made it clear that I really wanted to run Dwarfs.  Besides, I had three finished units that hadn’t been used in a game yet.  Only two of those made it into the final army list, a Troop of Berserkers and a Regiment of Sharpshooters.

 

Mixed Citadel and Avatars of War figures on a Customeeple base. (www.customeeple.com)

These guys must go through tons of hair product.

 

Okay, truth be told, I don’t often use Berserkers, other than Brock Riders, in my armies but I keep assembling units because I love painting them.  Speaking of the crazed badger riders, I am busy doing some conversion work on a unit of them at the moment.  I am planning on posting the step by step in the near future.

 

Only five but they are deadly.

I almost went for camo on the cloaks but dwarfs don’t hide. Could explain why they didn’t survive the battle.

Nice to have tower shields to hide behind.

 

A long running grudge match on the Road of Death is between the Kingdoms of Men (led by my buddy Ryan) and my stalwart Dwarfs.  It is always a close fought thing with today being no different.  I believe it says something about Kings of War as a rules set when we haven’t played for almost two years and remembered how.  Sure we had to look a few things up but not as many as I would have expected.

The forces were 2200 points a side and we went with a straight Kill scenario for it’s simplicity.  I have to admit to some serious horde envy whenever this army gathers across from me, especially when it’s a cavalry horde.  The far right of the human line was a war machine sporting a nasty ballista and a wizard both looking to crush some Earth Elementals. Next to them was a horde of Foot Guard, a HUGE ballista, a regiment of Heavy Pike Block, a mortar, the Army Standard, and the General.

 

Humans’ Right Flank

 

To make matters worse for me, the rest of his line consisted of a horde of Pole Armed soldiers, a troop of Mounted Scouts with carbines, a horde of Arquibussiers all screening a horde of Knights.  Yes, a horde of Knights (32 attacks at 3+, Thunderous Charge of 2 OUCH!).  A Siege Artillery unit watched over the left flank and I was sure there were plenty of magic items scattered throughout the force.  I would be proven correct in my assumptions.

 

The Left flank or as I dubbed it the “Death Star”

 

Facing this lethal nightmare was my humble army of bearded warriors. A troop of Ironwatch Rifles secured the far left beside a Greater Earth Elemental, a horde of smaller Earth Elementals, a Berserker Lord on Brock, a regiment of Brock Riders, and a regiment of Bulwarkers.  In the woods in the center were Bugman’s Rangers.

 

Just couldn’t afford a full horde of spear plus I need to paint more.

 

A bombard team set up between the woods and my own horde of Ironwatch Crossbows.  The Army Standard was close beside as were my regiment of Ironwatch Rifles, and the Sharpshooters.  Another Bombard anchored the right flank while the troop of Berserkers and Lady Ursula were held in reserve.  In the end I didn’t have enough points for a troop of Berserkers and magic items, a common enough dilemma and why I rarely run the orange haired buggers.  However, these guys have been finished in the last couple of months and really deserved a chance to prove their worth.  So I went with no magic.

 

That dwarf line just seems awfully thin when I look at that mass of soldiers bearing down.

 

The first turn went quietly for both of us as neither seemed able to roll decently in our shooting phases.  Almost my entire gun line emptied their weapons into the advancing horde of pole armed troops for a total of five wounds. The Greater Earth Elemental, known as Stompy took some wounds from the ballista on the war machine but we were both in solid shape as the second turn opened.

 

On turn two the Knights are still completely screened from my fire.

 

A second turn of bad shooting rolls was uncharacteristic of Ryan but the left of his line advanced steadily.  My rolls were considerably better and saw away the horde of pole armed men while the troop of berserkers and Lady Ursula destroyed the scouts in a single charge.  This left the knights open to charge my line.  Crap.

 

WHAM!

 

Turns out Ryan could have skipped the shooting all together as that horde of knights was a steamroller.  It slammed into my horde of crossbows and ran them down in one round before pivoting to face the regiment of rifles. The math worked out better if I charged them with everything I had left but my dice didn’t agree and I only inflicted five wounds on the armored ruffians.  Following turns would see the troop of berserkers blasted apart by cannon fire along with one of my bombards.  Somehow Ryan can always roll a six when he really needs it with his artillery. Mine were failing to hit anything. In the end the knights accounted for many more points in damage than they cost, destroying the Rifles and Lady Ursula before the last vestiges of the gun line could finally do enough damage to destroy them.  It took the one hit my cannons scored to tip the balance.

 

Brocks attack the war machine.

 

On the dwarf left things went a little more to plan with the Brock Riders and the Earth Elementals weathering some fire before closing with the enemy.  Really missed my Stone Priest with his Surge ability but they made contact with the horde of foot soldiers and helped Stompy break them in a turn.  The Brockriders crushed the war machine and moved around the woods hoping for a flank charge.  This came on turn six while the heavy pike was defending itself from my spear block.  Fortunately for the badger riders neither Phalynx nor Ensnare work on a unit’s flanks and they helped bring down the pike block. Stompy was quite heroic in his contributions but in the end succumbed to one of those sixes Ryan rolls for his artillery and was blown to rubble at the top of the final turn.

As the miniature sun was setting on our 28mm battlefield there were considerably fewer units standing on either side than when we commenced.  The horde of human arquibussiers were wounded but standing on the hill overlooking the few remaining dwarf gun units who in turn were aiming at them.  The human right flank was all but gone with the army standard bearer still refusing to give up, continually firing that damned Boomstick.  I’ve got to get one of those for my own army.  Final score saw the Kingdoms of men inflicting almost 1100 points in casualties while the dwarfs took down over 1600 points of their enemy.  Hard fought and close to the end but the dwarfs pulled off a victory.  I do love how often a game of Kings of War comes down to the last turn.  Considering how consistently Ryan has been beating me at cards (Dominion is another addiction of ours) for the last six months, I really needed a win to maintain any gamer cred.

 

Still waiting in the barracks

 

So next time I will need more bulwarkers painted, my own mobile war machine, and a Boomstick.  Oh, and the new regiment of Berserkers really needs to make an appearance.

 

 

18
Mar

Massive Cold Front Engulfs DundraCon 2016 or The Gang Plays Lots of Frostgrave

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine's weekend at Dundracon 2016.

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine’s weekend at Dundracon 2016.

 

I try to get to the three closest game conventions each year as they are the best places to interact with most of my oldest friends, meet new ones, and light my creative fires all in one very entertaining weekend.  This time was no exception at DundraCon 2016 (San Ramon, Ca) with the highlight being all the Frostgrave we played.  For those who may not have heard of it, Frostgrave by Osprey Games is a fantasy skirmish game in which players run a wizard and their band of adventurers seeking the arcane knowledge and treasures of an ancient ruined city (think Mordheim) that was destroyed in an icy, magic cataclysm.  It is supposed to be frozen and snow covered but none of my terrain is so I figure there is a brief thaw in the neighborhood.  I was delighted to break out long neglected Mordheim terrain and share figures from my also long neglected Role Playing Miniatures collection.  Learning a fun new game was bonus.

 

Worm1

The worm bursts forth just outside the abbey!

Worm2

Don’t recall which game this photo was from but it looks great and I love the scrum in the center.

 

One table had two gangs fighting it out over the treasures while a giant worm burrowed around under them.  Eventually it burst out and much mayhem ensued.  When we get together everyone pools their miniatures and terrain, especially the terrain.  We all have little projects, okay, some of us have numerous projects that might not fill a three foot square battlefield but added up really look great. Plus I’ll jump at any chance to use the Abbey AronBC built based on a scenario in an old Citadel Journal.  This time he had brought a figure from our ancient youth, a giant millipede and, like myself, he was happy to have it get table time.

 

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower.

Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

From the opposite direction Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

Silent2

While her apprentice, Winterwillow leads her team to a different one and a treasure token.

 

I was ecstatic to game with so many of the beautiful Hasslefree Miniatures I had painted simply because I loved them.  Now they had names and missions. Just to ice the cake, now I really need to paint three from the Unpainted Box to round out the gang.  Who knew I’d need a thief?  The game uses opposed rolls with twenty sided dice for spell casting and combat.  If the caster/attacker rolls higher the number they rolled is also the damage caused.  My first game started out well when I rolled a twenty on a twenty sided die to cast Elemental Bolt at my opponent’s wizard who happened to be in the open from where my wizard stood.  Modifiers, armor figured out and BOOM! One dead wizard on turn two.  We decided to set up and start again because it was about to get very one sided and to have that happen when one is focused on learning a new game seems ridiculous.  Besides, there’s no fun in that.

 

The coffee stirrers represent bridges.

The coffee stirring sticks represent bridges connecting to the central tower. I need to build ramps.

 

The second game was a closer run thing with both of us hugging terrain and taking shots where we could.  The silent tower and it’s connecting buildings are not only a major objective but also a magic null zone so the wizards were quite limited.  A couple of henchmen were taken down here and there but it ended with both wizards deciding discretion was the better part of valor and backed away warily as the gangs hauled in their swag.

 

The Well2

My barbarian covers the escape as the thief and thug haul their treasures off board. The war hound moved up the flank.

TheWell3

Both wizards move toward the magic spring. Ryan’s archers on the second floor made life very difficult. In the end only his wizard was able to reach the center and drink from the magic spring.

TheWell1

No, the henchman isn’t wounded. That’s just how far she got down the stair in one turn with the treasure (the penny). She made it of the board in the end.

 

One of the things I really like about the game is the easy campaign aspect.  It was always my favorite part of Mordheim and Necromunda as well because it encourages me to paint miniatures I might not get to as well as creating character and narrative.  In this case not only did we use my wild boars, bear, and familiars but the Stone Mountain troll finally found a game use, granted my opponent used Wind Blast to immediately push him back off the table but he got on the table.  It also moved the resin toads I’d picked up to the painting table.

 

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more...

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more…

 

So, a fun system that was much easier to learn than I thought it would be.  The campaign book, Thaw of the Lich Lord looks very entertaining not to mention creatively inspiring. Now I have a list of old figures and projects to dig out and dust off.  Going to to be making buildings, ladders, and bridges for a while.

 

SisterChartruese

My gang’s Templer. She is no light weight and has more than a few kills to her credit.

 

17
Jan

The Dark Water Chronicles Part One

GyroView1

The dwarf army moves out, gyrocopters scouting routes through the monstrous caverns.

 

And so it was that the great clans united to send a force deep into the mountains to reclaim the great underway, the Ungor Watt, from the depths and darkness in which it had been lost.  Through smoke and fire the great campaign was fought and every victory paid for in treasure and blood.

 

We got time fer a cuppa?

We got time fer a cuppa?

 

It was the miners, in their relentless underground explorations, that first came upon the foundations of dwarf ruins, the remains of settlements lost in the great quakes and volcanic eruptions that had proceeded the great orc wars.  Many holds had fallen, their populations slain and scattered, but others had survived, rebuilt.  Some had even expanded and founded new colonies but none forgot the stories of the ancient underway that had linked the dwarf people.  When ancient warehouses and barracks were discovered the explorers knew they had found one of the way stations of the great road way, the Ungor Watt.

 

GenRavengaze

Thane Darlun Darkeye sends out the call for volunteers

Longbeards known as the Darkwater Veterans

Longbeards would become known as the Darkwater Veterans because they fought there for so many years.  Some had arrived in the beginning as young warriors.

Darkwater Ironbreakers

Ironbreakers had arrived with the miners. They set up the base camp in the ancient barracks.

The commanders of the brave Quarrelers

The commanders of the brave Quarrelers, crossbow armed troopers who had the amazing habit of making the most difficult of saves more than once.

More Quarrelers arrive with the reinforcements.

More Quarrelers arrive with the reinforcements.

Thunderers march through the ancient halls to aide their brethren in the Darkwater battles

Thunderers march through the ancient halls to aide their brethren in the Darkwater battles. Chaos armor is tough and the extra punch of those guns will help.

Colonial Rifles take position

Colonial Rifles take position at a crossroads.

The call goes out. The slayers gather!

The call goes out. The slayers gather!

Dragonslayer

Prince Garius the Dragonslayer took down dragon ogres.

Giantslayer

Giantslayer Yurni Stonejowl scouts ahead of the main force.

 

Almost immediately a vast cavern filled with an underground lake was located within marching distance of the main camp.  Unfortunately so was a force of heavily armed and armored, blood worshiping humans who had arrived via a cavern on the lake’s northern end.  Immediately battle ensued with the dwarfs pushed back to the the perimeter of their own camp.  It was only the stubborn refusal of the Quarrelers to break and the timely flank charge of Prince Garius and his band of Slayers that saved the dwarfs.  Soon many more slayers would arrive and the battles for Darkwater Cavern would go on for a very long time.  In the meantime word of the ancient water source made its way to the Rangers and they knew how to turn that water into beer.

Let's go, lads! It's Our Water! It's Our Beer!

Let’s go, lads! It’s Our Water! It’s Our Beer!

 

 

 

25
Nov

The Beast of Blood Hill

RightFlank

Dwarf right flank lead by the Rangers.

 

“Trolls? They’re hiring trolls?”, asked the Dwarf king incredulously,” I find that hard to believe even for this human oath breaker.”  In response the wizened Ranger said,”All our reports show them camped near the orc village.  What else could they want there?  Doubt they want anything to do with those pig riders and there’s been no sounds of fighting.”  The king didn’t like it, didn’t like this at all.  If it wasn’t undead clawing at the borders it was orcs and goblins terrorizing villages.  Now, to make things worse, the fractious human kingdoms, who had previously been happy to peacefully kill each other, had been united by an upstart prince with dreams of conquest and his sites on dwarf lands.  Rinn Ursula had clashed with his forces more than once already so the dwarfs were keeping their eyes on him.  Unfortunately she was busy elsewhere as were much of her cavalry so fast recon was out of the question.  No, if he was going to get any answers it was going to be handled the old way; Guns, Stone, and Steel.  Besides, it sent a clear message.  The king turned, looking his old friend in the eye, “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do…”

 

HFDuke1

Hasslefree Miniatures figure

HFDuke2

I didn’t actually have a place for him in this army list.

HFDuke3

But he makes such a nice visual for the narrative he insisted on being included.

 

I recently took advantage of a day off, packed up my dwarfs, and met my buddy, Ryan, on the field of battle (okay, his living room).  Once again we chose Kings of War by Mantic Games as our rules system and picked forces of 2200 points simply because we had heard that is a popular tournament choice. I was excited to be fielding TWO newly trained units, my new Greater Elemental from Reaper Bones and Regiment of Hasslefree Miniatures Ironwatch armed with crossbows.  The latter looking much more complete with the two more minis recently glued to the base.

 

NatureEle1

My new Greater Elemental ready for his first fight.

ReadyAim1

Fresh from the last post and my painting table, the Ironwatch Crossbow are ready to prove their courage though photographed before recruiting two more troopers.

 

With a new Elemental to field there were fewer points for mounted dwarfs so Rinn Ursula and some of her Brock Riders were patrolling the northern borders instead of investigating this rumored alliance.  What this force lacked in speed it made up for in bang, fielding two bombards and an Organ Gun.  Despite claims of the scouts, there were no trolls in the human force. In fact, the entire orc village at the river’s fork had been cleared out for some time.  There was some strange, smoke belching machine parked among the trees but no greenskin mercenaries.  Oh good, nothing to worry about.  The two armies lined up facing each other across the river which was relatively low this time of year.

 

LinesDrawn

Two forces that are becoming quite familiar with one another prepare to face off once again.  That is an awfully big armored horseless wagon.

 

Once the troops had deployed the Rangers used their Vanguard rule to move up into the woods.  While this gave them a commanding view of the ford it also made them a prime target for the human guns. On the first turn they were wavered, ducking down as mortar shells burst overhead, shredding the tree tops, and the second turn they routed off the table.  Sigh, not a good start for my bearded force.

 

Rangers move into forward position

Rangers move into forward position

Fire on the Rangers!

Only to be targeted by the human left flank and the Beast.

 

They were around long enough to report seeing a strange contraption in the enemy lines.  Ryan was running a Citadel Steam Tank as his Kingdoms of Men Beast of War unit.  I just call it the Beast.

 

What is that thing? Think it will be a problem?

What is that thing? Think it will be a problem?

 

There seemed to be a tank in the human army and I was worried it was going to take more than two Greater Elementals to deal with.  It would take a lot more in the end and take even more down with it.  Beast.

 

WallofSteelandHorses

Mounted Scouts lead the way firing into the dwarf line.

MenCrossLeftFlank

The human right flank moves across the river.

 

Both sides moved their flanks forward to engage the enemy and fired every cannon, mortar, ballista, handgun, and crossbow at each other any chance we got.  While the human Mounted Scouts scored some early wounds it was the Brock Riders and Elementals that scored the first kills with Mounted Scouts and Heavy Infantry crushed in the opening turns.  The cannon, Ironwatch with handguns, and organ gun blasting the regiment of knights in the center helped soothe the pain of my poor Rangers shelled out of the forest by mortar and gun fire.  The fifteen attacks of the organ gun got a lot of unwanted attention even without a Warsmith to make them elite.  A unit of Mounted Scouts charged straight up the hill to try and silence the deadly war machine.  Now they were in my deployment zone!

 

Charge those guns!

Charge those guns!

With the heavy infantry gone the elementals are obvious targets.

With the heavy infantry gone the elementals are obvious targets.

SnappingLumber

And the new guy takes the hit!

 

The Greater Elementals on the dwarf right flank proved why they are to be feared taking down the heavy infantry in their charge only to see the new guy crushed beneath the steam powered wheels of the Beast. Duane charged it in retaliation only to bounce off, bracing for the counter charge.  The Arquebusiers kept the Ironwatch Wavered which their Headstrong roll failed to shake.

 

The Ironwatch Waver but can't break the Mounted Scouts

The Ironwatch Waver but can’t break the Mounted Scouts

Being just inside their charge arc the Mounted Scouts found themselves charged in the flank but the rookie Ironwatch were only able to Waver the accursed riders. and the Berserker Lord was too far away to help.

 

LeftFlankScrum

The dwarf left flank becomes a giant scrum.

 

The Beast crossed the river, crossbow bolts bouncing off its armored hull and cannon balls flying overhead.  It quickly ran down the crossbow wielding dwarfs before backing up to home in on the regiment of gunners.  Now they were in two of my flanks.  Arghhhh!

 

TankCrosses

Having survived Duane’s charge and crushed the new guy, the manling tank moves across the river.

 

The human infantry on the dwarf left flank, unshaken by the deaths of the Mounted Scouts in front of them, crossed the river and slammed into the Brock Riders destroying them.  The Shieldbreakers and IronGuard charged the two human units in retribution hurting them but not worrying them in the least.  Thus began the back and forth on the river’s edge, neither side seeking nor offering quarter.  We were both able to roll well in combat but seemed unable to do more than Waver the other (Ryan’s Nerve Checks were uncharacteristically bad) and I actually made my Headstrong rolls so we just slammed back and forth.

 

MenSurroundLeft

Mounted Scouts dead or otherwise engaged it is up to the human infantry to charge the dwarf left flank.

BrocksSlain2

The Inspiration of the Berserker Lord isn’t enough to overcome the massive amounts of damage meted out by the two units of men.

ManoAMano

The human general wounds the Berserker Lord but can’t slow his attacks on the infantry.

 

In the end the combined efforts of the Ironguard and Berserker Lord were just able to take down the Elite, Ensnaring Phalanx regiment while the Shieldbreakers went down fighting. They inflicted almost a dozen wounds on the horde of heavy infantry before succumbing to their superior numbers.

 

DodgetheHorde

Phalanx finally killed the two dwarf units are able to advance just out of the horde’s charge arc.

 

After he survived the Beast’s counter charge (Ryan rolled a three!) Duane charged into the Arquebussiers mostly to keep them from shooting him and did astounding damage.  To give me hope I rolled boxcars on the Nerve Check!  I was so excited, glad it had at least caused the Waver  not realizing it was actually enough to destroy them.  Unfortunately, Ryan’s Standard Bearer caused a reroll which was just shy of even the Waver.  Crap, at least they wouldn’t be firing those Piercing(2) handguns at point blank range.

 

DuaneAngry

Frustrated by the tank, Duane charges the arquebusiers.

Meanwhile, in the center the horde of Bulwarkers advanced across the river under a steady hail of fire from the horde of arquebusiers and sporadic cannon fire.  They were saved some grief when their own artillery took out the enemy mortar while the human canon had to focus on the organ gun whose crew had just reloaded and were preparing to enfilade the stubborn cavalry.  Sadly they never got to fire the shot as an enemy shell landed directly on them leaving nothing but their boots.  Damn, change of plans…again.  Despite mounting casualties (and my own forgetting they could Move At the Double at the ford) the dwarf Phalanx horde slammed into the human horde and another back and forth began.  As with Duane, the Bulwarkers were just glad to slow the gun fire.

 

HordesClash

Advancing through constant fire the Bulwarker horde finally hits the horde of arquibusiers.

 

The Beast was able to run over the dwarf hand gunners, again few shots could wound it and I couldn’t roll well. The damage 12 Attacks with Crushing Strength(2) AND Thunderous Charge (2) is overwhelming.  Even Ryan’s low rolls (though stubbornly not double 1’s) couldn’t fail.  In the end, literally on the bottom of turn Six the Bombard crew was able to blast the thing to pieces.  Fortunate as the game went to seven turns and they would have been left as wheel ruts.  The rookie Ironwatch regiment took down the Mounted Scouts before being overwhelmed by the badly wounded horde of Foot Guard who in turn were killed by the remaining Ironguard who had to go it alone as the Beserker Lord had finally succumb to the wizard’s fireball spells.  Really making it Blood Hill.  The Stonepriest Surged Duane into the Standard Bearer out of spite more than anything.  He was running away after all.

When turn Seven closed it was far easier to count the survivors especially as the Kingdoms of Men were left with nothing but characters.  Of course there wasn’t much more left on my side either, a horde, some guns, a Stonepriest, and Duane.  The difference was just under 500 points giving another very narrow victory to the dwarfs.  What a blast.  The more I play Kings of War the more I like it.  That all the rules and army lists are in one book mean we only have one place to look up questions and really don’t anticipate much of that in future given the simplicity of the system.  What I am seeing a lot of is trying out new forces.  The subtle differences in stats plus the scattered special rule really makes for characterful units and races without needing completely separate tomes.

 

ElementalsFord

“Uh, where did that heavy infantry go to? Perhaps I should wait back by the arquebusiers, way back, way, way back”

 

The king took another long pull on his tankard while re-reading the battle reports.  It had been a close run affair, probably closer than any of his commanders wanted to admit.  The Stonepriest and his rocky friends had again proven their worth as had the retooled organ gun.  It was the drawings of the steam powered human contraption remains that intrigued him most.  Even the broken and blasted bits showed amazing promise on the part of the human engineers.  They had missed, in the eyes of the king, a wonderful opportunity.  He finished off the stein of cold beer and reached for the speaking tube attached to his desk.  “Call in the Master Engineers,” he commanded his assistants on the other end,” tell them I have an idea I want explored immediately.”  The noble dwarf turned to the Stonepriest who had delivered the reports from Blood Hill. ” Tell me more about your friends the elementals. I have some ideas for them as well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22
Oct

Dwarf Artillery Pieces

CrewClose5

Ready…Aim…

 

Since they are such a good price I had picked up two of Mantic Games’ Dwarf artillery pieces, planning to assemble one of each the Organ Gun and Cannon.  Once my friends and I started playing Kings of War I knew I needed to base them as complete units, besides, the Undead catapults had been so much fun to make and paint.  I started with the same wooden discs I had picked up for the Balefire bases I had made previously and the assembled miniatures to draw the outline of the siege works I wanted my dwarfs to be entrenched in.  I tried to plan for some of the extra bits like powder boxes and beer tankards.  I decided this project was the perfect opportunity to paint and use the ancient flame cannon and crew I’d been saving for years so added them to the queue.

 

Drawing2

The whole team fits with room for fortifications.

Drawing1

Love the extra bits and details Mantic include on the sprue.

Fitting

Been looking for an excuse to paint this team for decades now. Good thing they are a perfect fit.

FlamePainted2

Look even better painted.

FlamePainted

Drawing the outline of the siege works

 

While the machines and crews were being painted it was time to start building defensive positions.  Back in the day, dwarf armies had engineers that could build fortifications so I’ve always liked the idea of hiding my fragile artillery behind defensive works. Yet another project for using up the scraps and clutter on my desk is always a good thing.  I assembled the walls first out of bits of wood and glued planking down where the war machine would be seated.  When the walls were dry, I attached them to the base using cork to help hold them in place. This would also be the foundation for the piled up dirt.

 

Assembly2

Cork holds up the walls while it all dries.

Assembly1

Trying to keep the planking from looking too neat and even

GlueDrying

Double checking that the wheels fit on the boards.

 

Once the glue had all dried I applied light weight spackling to fill in gaps and add texture.  Then the extra details were glued into place before priming everything white.

 

TextureAndDetails4

Thought the boots with leg bones would work well with the flame cannon considering how many times mine had exploded in the Warhammer days.

TextureAndDetails3

Got great hammers ready for trouble.

TextureAndDetails2

Lots of room for crewmen.

TextureAndDetails1

Cannon balls are the heads of straight pins pushed into the base

 

Then I painted them up and textured the bases with mixed flocking.  It was while they were drying a thought began forming in the back of my mind.

 

Ready for habitation

Ready for habitation

CannonClose2

Ready for the base

CannonClose1

Still needing crew

 

The units had been through the regular painting process and were waiting to take up residence in their new homes.  The flame cannon crew had been finished before I even started their base as I was so excited to have a reason to work on them.  I had cut the disc bases off of the feet of the miniatures so they could be glued directly to the base.

 

First the cannon and crew

 

Move it into place, Lads.

Move it into place, Lads.

CannonDone1

Time for drills

CannonDone3

Looks pretty good

CannonDone2

Mashed the tops of the posts to make them look hammered into the ground

OGDone5

Ready to shoot enemies

 

Then the Organ Gun and crew were ready to take their posts

 

Our turn, Boys.

Our turn, Boys.

OGDone1

Like it was custom made

OGDone4

I think they deserve to count as in cover

OGDone3

Taking a range reading

OGDone2

Now…Fire!

 

First unit painted and the last base finished but finally it was time for the Flame Cannon crew to move their advanced weaponry into place, preferably without any explosions.

 

Carefully, carefully! That's volatile stuff.

Carefully, carefully! That ammo’s volatile stuff.

FlameDone4

Those boots are what’s left of a clumsier crewman.

FlameDone3

The barrel looks suitably singed

FlameDone2A

Can’t be too careful with these engineer guild contraptions

FlameDone1

Looking forward to seeing what this does on the field

 

Now that I had one of each of the artillery pieces available to my army (the Driller and Behemoth are both Monsters) the earlier thought came to the front of my mind.  What about all the war machines I had already painted? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of empty emplacements for pieces from my finished collection? So I built a couple more siege works with beer steins and weapons handy for any crewman I temporarily assign duty there.

 

We need to bring in the veteran crews.

We need to bring in the veteran crews.

Extra2C

Accidentally used slightly larger circles but that makes them more versatile.

Extra2B

Beer tankards handy because it is thirsty work.

Extra1A

Even room for figure bases.

Extra2A

Left space open in front as some of my old cannons are low to the ground

Extra1C

More cannon balls

Extra1B

Hmmmm, about the right size for a bombard now that I think about it

 

So once I saw the power of Indirect Fire used against me by the Kingdoms of Men I knew I was going to need some dwarf bombards of my own and rather than make more bases I think these two will be drafted into use.  Of course that means I have to get and paint some Mantic Jarrun Bombards.  I’m sure I will end up making more of these especially as Kings of War Second Edition recommends 50mm square bases for war machines.  Then again, my attention is already shifting toward Berserkers and Hordes of Bulwarkers so it might not be right away.

 

Nothing to see over here...

Nothing to see over here, not even sure whose boots those are…

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.

14
Oct

The Battle at the Travelers’ Inn or The Beer is Mine!

Bugman's Ranger Advance

It’s OUR Beer and we ain’t been paid yet!

Read more »

28
Sep

Not That Berserk!

Shieldbreakers Advance

Mac’s Lads advance.

 

Not only did I just get to try out the Kings of War second edition rules but I finally got to field several of my completed dwarf units for the first time.  These included the general (Lady Ursula on bear), a troop of gunners, a troop of crossbows (with back up to form a regiment), a Stone Priest, his buddy the Greater Earth Elemental, the Ironguard, and the Hasslefree Miniatures Shieldbreakers Regiment I had just finished.  While one can’t expect them all to survive their first encounter with conflict or even win the day, I just hoped they looked good and held their own.  The dice always have their own say of course.

 

Dwarf right

Dwarf right

Dwarf Left

Dwarf Left

 

Hordes really come to the fore in second edition army construction. They are the key to diversity in your army as each Horde taken allows four Troops units and one of each Hero, Monster, and War Machine. Whereas each Regiment opens up only two Troops and one of Hero, Monster, OR War Machine.  As always seems to be the case with my miniature collections, adjustments would have to be made.  So my two Regiments of Bulwarkers became one Horde despite being of two different manufacturers (yes, it hurts the eyes) while a movement tray and ten figures helped my Troop of Crossbow become a Regiment.

 

Shieldbreakers, Ironwatch Handgunners and Lady Ursula advance into their first battle.

Shieldbreakers, Ironwatch Handgunners and Lady Ursula advance into their first battle.

 

Doing this allowed the right combination for me to field all the new units I had painted especially the Earth Elemental and the bear riding hero.  This meant I only had one artillery piece but they had all been bloodied before so weren’t a priority anyway.

 

Kingdoms of Men left flank

Kingdoms of Men left flank

Kingdoms of Men center

Kingdoms of Men center

Kingdoms of Men right flank

Kingdoms of Men right flank

 

Ryan, being far more pragmatic, wrote a force containing two siege artillery pieces and two cannon, two heavy cavalry, and blocks of troops armed to crush dwarf armor.  To make matters worse, he got the first turn and his cannon were painfully accurate.  Must have had fresh powder because all four hit their targets, wavering my gunners and wounding the Shieldbreakers and Brock Riders.  Ryan doesn’t like giant badgers.

 

Knights crush the shot up Brock Riders

Knights crush the shot up Brock Riders

 

The Headstrong rule worked for the gunners even if they couldn’t shoot and dwarf army advanced.  The Rangers on the far right were able to Waver the archers facing them, the crossbow armed dwarfs wavered a troop of men armed with the same but the cannon crew were wishing for some of Ryan’s powder because they couldn’t hit anything.

 

Turn Two Opens

Turn Two Opens

 

On the dwarf right flank the wounded Brock Riders found themselves brought down by the Thunderous charge of knights on barded horse while the Shieldbreakers, braced in difficult terrain, barely held against the other mounted unit.  This was already proving to be a fast and bloody game.

 

Shieldbreakers take massive damage but manage to hold AND mke their Headstrong roll

Shieldbreakers take massive damage but manage to hold AND make their Headstrong roll

 

With the Brockriders gone there was plenty of room for the EarthElemental and Berserker Lord to charge into the knights, stone fists and rune hammers breaking open plate mail leaving the knights Wavered and backing up, quickly.  Lady Ursula lead her Ironguard and the Shieldbreakers against the second unit of knights and wiped them out (even with a reroll from his Army Banner).  The Rangers, moving up the flank, routed the archers with bowfire while the Bulwarkers moved forward through difficult ground preparing to face the Horde of pike advancing toward them.

 

Ironguard on the flank!

Ironguard on the flank!

 

Then things went berserk, no really, the human berserker unit charged the dwarf berserker lord wounding him but not wavering him from his goal of chasing down the knights that had killed his lads.

 

Knights back up while the berserkers catch the mounted lord.

Knights back up while the berserkers catch but don’t deter the mounted lord.

 

The human infantry with polearms attacked Lady Ursula while a human hero stepped around the unit of spear to blast the Shieldbreakers with his Boomstick. The cannon behind him did the same for emphasis.  That was enough for the dwarfs and despite the re-roll provided by their general they fled the field, carrying their wounded with them.  Lady Ursula fared better repulsing the charge but was left wavered and unable to make her headstrong roll.  Fortunately the Ironguard and gunners were able to come to her aid engaging two units and holding the left flank.

 

Knights defeated

Knights defeated the infantry surge forward that gap is suspiciously wide enough for a cannon ball.

 

The berserker lord, stone priest, and earth elemental took down the knights then pushed toward the cannon, dreading the shot they could see being loaded all while under fire from the siege artillery on the hill. The Berserkers turned around and prepared to charge the Bulwarker horde in the flank even while the crossbow unit of dwarf poured down the hill to do the same to them.  Even taking a cannon ball to his granite chin (Ryan rolled one point under-whew) the elemental took out the cannon crew with the berserker lord then turned to support the mayhem transpiring in the center.

 

Knights defeated but now caught in a hail of artillery.

Knights defeated but now caught in a hail of artillery.

 

The human horde charged their dwarven counterpart with the support of their insane brethern causing wounds but not shaking them.  Thus the pitched fight to control the center began.  The battle shifted back and forth, massive piles of dice flying with all the flank attacks but the disordered charges from difficult terrain and Ensnare of the human horde made for a smaller percentage of hits.  Even then, miniature blood was flowing.

 

The clash surges back and forth.

The clash surges back and forth.

Despite the loss of the handgunner troop Lady Ursula and the Ironguard were victorious if bloodied as were the Bulwarkers and crossbows. Unfortunately with their opponents dead or routed the wounded dwarf spearmen were an obvious target for the remaining siege artillery which saw off the survivors, routing them from the field with well aimed shelling.  The characters from both armies then squared off while the berserker lord charged toward the reloading crews on the hill. While his massive badger mount was able to move out of their minimum range he wasn’t able to defeat Ryan’s ability to roll a six when needed and the tattooed dwarf was blasted off his mount by the lone cannon left on the human right flank.  A truly epic shot. Did I mention that Ryan hates my badgers?

 

Dwarf Horde victorious but very tempting to artillery.

Dwarf Horde victorious but very tempting to artillery.  Too tempting.

 

In the end the human artillery on the hill saw their general killed by a female dwarf riding a bear and the Ironguard take down the Boomstick wielding hero in revenge for blasting apart the Shieldbreakers.  The dwarf crossbows and rangers had moved into range and were taking aim at the mortar crews when, at the end of turn six, Ryan rolled a three indicating the game was over.  Dwarfs had taken the field.

We had chosen to play the straight forward Kill scenario and there was plenty of killing on both sides. It was an absolute blast with the battle lines shifting, great narrative moments, and much laughter. I really like the new rules and can’t wait to play again.  Now I’m really going to have to name more of my units and characters, especially the elemental.  He rocks, literally!

 

Survived his first battle!

Survived his first battle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6
Feb

Onto the Table

On the table

On the table

Taking a break from the dwarf Necromancer and various Bones bugs on the table I went on a quest for the collection of old Games Workshop shields with which to equip my Dragon Company. This involved digging through boxes both in the house and out in the garage. While out there I also sought some of my old rulebooks. I found the shields and even had enough of the one I liked to begin the unit.

 

Ulther's shields

Enough to get the unit started.

 

I didn’t find all the books I was looking for but in one of the boxes of books, in a ziplock bag, in a small box I found three miniatures. One was one of the first figures I ever got, a mounted hobbit, another the classic Games Workshop Psycho Hobbit, and last a Games Workshop plastic goblin. Now how those three ended up together or in the box I found them is beyond me but since I’d been thinking about Psycho Hobbit for an Oldhammer scenario already I take it as a sign I should get these guys painted.

 

Mounted Hobbit

Mounted Hobbit

MtdHobbtback1

Been thinking about this guy and there he is.

Been thinking about this guy and there he is.

I think he's from the old Skull Pass boxed rules.

I think he’s from the old Skull Pass boxed rules.

So there they are, three unlikely companions on their way to the painting table.  I’ll post updates as they come along.  Gotta go find that bag of bases now.

19
Jan

Oldhammer calling

Prince Ulther

Prince Ulther

 

I’ve long heard the clarion call of OldHammer and can resist it no longer.  Oldhammer is the nickname for using Warhammer third edition rules and often figures from the early days of Games Workshop, Citadel Miniatures, and Marauder Miniatures.  The rules, in those days, were far more narrative driven than points values.  While that may not have been the best thing for tournaments it is the style of gaming I love most and though I began with second edition rules it was the hardbound, third edition that lit my imagination and fired my creativity.  Recently my gaming group have been tossing the idea about and I decided that regardless of who else joins in it is the perfect excuse to paint some very old figures that have been patiently waiting in my collection for decades. Although I considered some of the wonderful Marauder Empire and very early (some pre-slotta base) Citadel Orcs that have come within my grasp over the years it is unsurprising to any that it is dwarfs that finally caught my attention.  After all, Prince Ulther’s Dragon Guard have been some of my favorite figures from the beginning so where better to start?

 

Assemble the Company!

Assemble the Company!

 

Now, the plan is to create a force with about twenty figures and a character which I could do with just the boxed set but I wanted more variety so picked out a unit of ten, including champion, musician, and standard because they will be so much fun to paint.  Immediately I knew I’d have to include the cook and the elder as there just hasn’t been a better excuse.

 

Elder and cook

Elder and cook

 

So if Ulther was to be the overall leader, the character figure, what would I use these two for? City militia of course.  Reading Terry Pratchett probably was as big a factor as the pile of mixed figures I had in my hand.

 

Call out the militia!

Call out the militia!

 

I do realize I have a couple more figures than budgeted so will probably have to drop two but this is as few as my fevered imagination could limit itself to at this time.  My Oldhammer journey has begun though I still haven’t decided on how to base them.

14
Jan

Slaying Berserkers or Berserk Slayers

Two berserkers on the table until the units are done.

Two berserkers on the table until the units are done.

I picked up a Troop (5) of Mantic’s Dwarf Berserkers recently. Once I realized the strips left over from my Warhammer unit trays were perfect bases for them I dove into my unpainted collection to create another one. Building them in strips of five Troops just makes sense as they can be combined to a Half Regiment and even if not playing Kings of War they are a full rank of five in Warhammer.  Slayers die in droves, if they are achieving their goals, and many are the battles when I have had to remove far more than five at a time.  Ryan’s Chaos Knights have a number of lines, okay… pages, in my Book of Grudges.

slayerfront

Tartan

Tartan

As is my habit now, I drilled (after clipping the tabs off) and pinned the feet of the Games Workshop figures onto temporary bases using white glue.  This gives me something solid to attach to my painting “handles” and quick and easy to attach once done.  The Mantic Berserkers, however, had smaller feet and bigger bases and as one of my goals is to keep any new projects moving across the table I decided expedience was the wisest choice and glued five of Mantic’s bases onto the unit strip leaving the circular tabs firmly attached.

itbegins

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Stanley has accurately described our group as “Chipmunks on Crack” as we jump from one game system to another, trying out various genres, scales as well as materials (see my Wooden Wars posts if in doubt).  Truth be told, we just love games, especially if we get to paint and build stuff.  So my table is a scattered mix of things at any one time.  I have found though that if I have twenty of one thing in front of me all at once I can get frustrated so instead I keep two or three cycling through at all times until the group is complete.

Oooh, I think I can see the front of the line!

Oooh, I think I can see the front of the line!

Since I had used Scibor Miniature’s bases on my other recent dwarf units I decided to do the same on the strip of five Games Workshop figures as well.  To help tie into the Mantic strip, which had none, I only used two Scibor bases and it ended up looking as ancient and overgrown as the Rangers’ base.

Bases

Glued the standard bearer down because..why not?

I primed and painted the textured base just as I would a mini.  Since there wasn’t any detail to paint on the other I glued the standard bearer on before primer as it would be a more stable base to hold onto. Metal standards can be quite top heavy and I cringe remembering the number that have fallen off the Blu-taked handles in past. Always when most focused on final detail painting and never into the soft lap but rather the solid floor. Then it was simply a matter of gluing figures on as they came off the line or Finish Basic Training as I like to think of it.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

 

All glued down

All glued down

unittwo2

I flocked the bases using green and brown mixtures of Woodland Scenics turfs and finished them off with some grass clumps. I’m so pleased with them I’m already going through the depths of my unpainted vaults to find more slayers.  I think two more strips of five should do it.  Haven’t decided whether I want another set with standard and musician or just crazed nutters.  Probably have enough unpainted that the answer will end up being both. Of course any those will have to wait for me to finish the Hasslefree Dwarf crossbows but that’s for an entirely different post.

To battle!

To battle!

Ready for action!

Ready for heroic deaths!