An army of spiders begins – plus third game overview

This week, I had a go at assembling and starting to paint what is no doubt a horrible gamepiece, but wonderful model – the Goblin Warboss on Gigantic Spider.  This was ordered a fortnight ago with the idea that it would lead my unfinished Arachnarok with about fifty Forest Goblin Spider Riders a core for a fast army alternative to the typical mix of hitty Orcs and Gobbo grenades.  The model was what drew my eye – as is clear from such a ridiculous army list, it isn’t a competitive force but a fun army to design and display.  I like the idea of an all-Goblin army, and even creating the fluff of such a themed force.  It is probably a laughable enterprise, but it’s fun to me! I also went with the garish bright colours of a poisonous spider – as this is one of the creature’s base skills in combat.  I toned it down from my other WIP – Arachnarok, but still went with a lively red finish.

The model was a disaster to assemble.  It is still in metal, and for such a  body weight to rest on essentially two thin leg pieces that are not directly beneath the central core, it is a real challenge to glue together and hold in place.  The assembly was complicated by poor instructions or labelling (i.e. none) and really is a two-person job ideally to glue and then hold while drying  – two legs need to be attached at a time in order to work out the central gravity that will be needed to hold the thing in place!  The very nicely detailed base piece has one place for a single leg to stand, but for anyone thinking of getting this model – be patient and PAINT THE BASE FIRST!  I didn’t, and now will be painting sideways and under the body because when the spider is finally in a position that it can (a) stay together, (b) stand on the base fully and (c) hold the pose you want for it – there is no taking any part off.  As it was, one of the front legs broke in assembly – terribly weak break joint coupled with my own desire to glue it all in one sitting – but with patience and a lot of glue – it holds.

The painting was a dream – primed in Chaos Black – then based the spider in Merchite Red, Washed in a mix of Baal Red and Leviathan Purpler (2:1) and allowed to dry fully. 

I then layered on some Scab Red before a wetbrush of Red Gore.  The Spikes on the carapace I highlighted in Blood Red, along with some edge highlighting on the legs with the same.  The tips of the legs I ran in a drybrush of Chaos Black; followed by a drybrush of Dheneb Stone and Fortress Grey mix (1:1).   I gave a final highlight to the wee spikes with some Blazing Orange, but in hindsight, would rethink a touch darker.

Eyes were first picked out i Orchide Shade, before getting a dab of Scorpion Green and a dot of Skull White.  The tissue between the leg joints I used some Tausept Ochre and washed with a light Ogryn Flesh. The mandibles were Codex Grey with a drybrush of Dhenb Stone.  For the mouth, mostly obscured, I chose a simple Chaos Black.

The seat and Warboss were primed with same Chaod Black, and the Forest Goblin was given a typical (for me) Foresty Goblin bright shading.  I based in Knarloc Green, then layered in Goblin Green with a wetbrush of Snot green and a highlight of thin Scorpion Green on raised points.  The mask and assorted bones were solid Bleached Bone washed in Devlan Mud, while the the clothing got a mix of Dheneb Stone and Snakebite Leather (2:1) – again, heavily washed in Devlan Mud.  The staff was Scorched Brown tipped with a spearhead of Warlock Purple, drybrushed with Codex Grey.

The seat was primarily Bestial Brown, with plenty of Fortress Grey drybrush webbing.  The ends of the cut logs were desert yellow and washed with Badb Black – Devlan would work just as well.  Feathers were painter’s choice – for these dinky guys I go with wild and varied.  I used some old Tentacle Pink and Hawk Turquoise – alog with plenty of variations on yellow and blue to compliment my other themed Spider Riders that I’m still building.

It is still a work in progress, but it is getting there!  I really like it, and it looks pretty good on a board flanked by two fast cav spider riders and running the vanguard of an arachnarok Spider Shrine!

But can it play?  I used it in my third ever game this week, and it had varied results.  This game was against Lizardmen, and a very worthy opponent who was not out to teach me, but to play competitively with a seasoned army.  He was an absolute gent, and I learned a lot from him – I had to admire his patience with me stalling to look at the army book for the zillionth time as he tore me apart methodically!  He easily won the game, and my own boyz just didn’t get into the close combat soon enough before my Boar Chariot, Goblin Spearmen and Spider Riders bought it against sneaky Skinks and Salamanders.  My Warboss fled the battle on the third turn – his MVP Stegadon was running riot on my left flank.  Before he went, the Warboss managed to take down a tower of Skinks, and one wound on the Stegadon, but ultimately not enough to prevent a rattling that saw me run 11″ on the 8″ side of play.  My esteemed oponement easily knocked me for six, and I left feeling pretty low – but also good too.  I had learned about a new enemy – Lizardmen who worked with a practiced general to wear down from afar while rolling through the weaker units to turn the game away from the natural orc tactic.  I also realise I need to horde up mighty quick and paint some more Boyz and Black Orcs to be any real threat in the centre.  I’m still painting some Night Goblins on the side that I want to finish first, but if I want to not stink so badly in real games – there really is only one way to go!

This was my first real game without stabalisers – and I really do love it.  It wouldn’t be unfair or defensive to say I had spectacular poor luck with the dice in the last game – but with no excuses, I was making mistakes and unwise decisions all over the battlefield.  If I saw a single weakness that needs an answer fast, it’d be in the Shooting Stage.  I gots nothing for this.  Whatever about poor rolls, without something in the shooting phase, magic and combat don’t count for much.  If anyone has any idea what an Orc and Goblin army or player might do to improve this – please let me know!  I could use the help!  Anyway – am engaged to a doubles game next week, where at least the odds rise in my favour a little!  It will be my own army, but I’ll have an Empire Player coaching some plays too – so should prove interesting!

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