Getting my Azhag hannded to me…

Hey all!  This week I managed the first real game in a while – a 2000 point melee pitching my Orcs against some veteran Tomb Kings.  In short; I was destroyed.  This marks another spectacular loss for my Orcs and Goblins – I’m now averaging about one in five for a victory, but still enjoying most games.  This one started poorly; came back around; then finished hard!  I was trying an experimental mix in my force and was given the chance to field a still largely unfinished Azhag on Skullmuncha because my opponent wanted the 2000 points and I had brought about 1600 – having not intended to field Azhag at all,  and if I did use the model – sub it as intended substitue for a much cooler looking warboss on wyvern.  The problem truly lay in my unpreparedness, but there were upsides…

This was the inaugural run of two Mangler Squigs which I fielded on each flank alongside a Boar Chariot and Spider Riders.  The Purpose – at least in theory – was to draw fire with either the Manglers or Cavalry in order to push the horde of Boyz and Black Orcs up the centre.  The General would be in the thick of it and really that was all the tactics there was to this game.  It was an experiment for the Manglers and Cav more than anything else – but with Azhag now on the battlefield, I had more to think about.  This was his virgin run as well, and looking back – I am sorry I didn’t prepare more by working on his own stats beforehand.

My opponent’s Tomb Kings had some things for me to worry about – two units of three chariots, a bone giant and a lotta Skeletons bolstered by a Necrotect, Tomb King (I think) Ushabti and not to mention a very large Screaming Skull Catapult.  Truth be known, I had to give him some points in order to play my guys, as I was definitely out of my league but was confident with good ole Azhag at the reigns.  I get the initial roll and plough my forces dead ahead – making ground and edging the Manglers ahead with their cav to draw the fire…they didn’t.  In my opponent’s opening turn he begins his shooting phase with a Screaming skull…not on the big target of Boyz – or the straight line of Greenskins pushing up the battlefield – but on the head of poor unsuspecting Azhag.  A Direct hit, and Azhag concedes two wounds.  Poor guy has only got three.  Second unit up to shoot and his Bone Giant’s Great Bow takes Azhag out of the running permanently…Ouch.

This was the trend for some time, as instead of dealing with the looming threat of Manglers as I thought would be on the mind of ay Orc-fearing general, my opponent was deflty able to take apart the larger units with bows and magic.  He did eventually take own the Manglers – just as the one remaining was about to ram into his archers and Ushabti by about an inch and a half!  But without going into the minutae of the game, my guys were well beaten by a very good player who I always enjoy playing.  I just would like to give him a better game than I have to date!  There were some highlights – I broke the back of his Chariots before they could really get going – my chaff of Spider Riders redirected his charge before biting it, and the other side prematurely charged the bulk of my Black Orcs – which really was his only mistake.  I enjoyed seeing my other chaff unit of Night Goblins shooting out of a building on his Ushabti and actually getting somewhere.  I’ve never seen Ushabti before, and didn’t really this time either – but arrows even from Ballistic 3 seem to make a difference.  What I really liked was in his second and third turns he did focus on the Mangler’s – especially as his Chariots approached their flanks.  It allowed the brunt of my force to get into the thick of it with some Skeletons and take the biggest win they had before being utterly destroyed by some very nice buffs that I couldn’t prevent.  Without a wizard or a general – the boyz just didn’t want to play nice!

So I enjoyed the game later rather than early – and the eventual loss was a learning experience on a number of calls – know your army first and foremost – but also know your enemy.  I should have been all guns blazing for his Necrotect or Tomb King – but my previous game had cautioned me on his chariots, and in this game I was even more worried to see another unit of three.  If anyone out there in digital-help-land can help me against these sons of mothers, I’d really appreciate it!  How do I get to the main block while enduring great shooting and really good Chariots? Suggestions welcome as help is definitely needed!

I haven’t posted some of the many things I’ve been painting over the last bit – but promise to soon!  They have been small projects to be used as asides in order to keep into the hobby, but really nothing outstanding on their own.  Have redone a very poorly painted Citadel Chapel there recently, and am rushing through a Goblin spear Chukka in finecast at present – so will get some up here in a bit.  Other than that, it looks like I have another game this week and am hoping to work on kicking some Skeleton butt this time around – one thing is for sure: if I’m bringing the Azhag model, it’ll be a fancy Warboss althernative for sure, just so I can field a more productive magic phase!

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Aaaaaannn we’re back!

Hi again all!  Have been out of commission for the last while owing to recent nuptuals, but am stirring to get back in the saddle with some new developments in a week or so!  Have not played a lot of games this past fortnight  – and even painting has taken an understandable back seat.  What I have been doing is getting a feel for second WHFB army after many many discussions with  two friends who heve been trouncing me with my Orcs and Gobbos lately!  The truth is that I have a love for the fluff-who doesn’t? – and I like the fluff of the Bretonnians and Wood Elves best of all; but was warned against them as viable armies in 8th edition.  I like underdogs too, so I splurged on a Bret battalion in Dublin and was gifted a half-painted wood elf collection from one of the lads – so am in process of stripping down the few he had actually painted.  I haven’t anything substantialwith either army, but am looking forward to the challenge of learning the new groups!  You may think I’m foolish, but I like the idea of not rolling for animosity to do simple movements and actions – and maybe not painting greenskins for a little bit!  Orcs and Goblins will still be my main force for some time, but the Brets are getting the R&R development for the next bit!  As for the wood elves-they’re the dark horse army for me, as I never really intended to field them as they are.  They seem ridiculously outclassed in so many ways that I can only see one or two builds that could work – kind of the same as the Brets, but even more so – I’m only considering them lately because I never play against them and wondered why.  I’ve enjoyed matches against almost every other army but them and so I figured it’d be interesting to put together a low-point force to see what they could do.  I expect that the Brets are good at one style and one style only, but I can always balance that with the dynamic nature of the Orcs and Goblins when in the mood for something less constricted.  These are all my fine thoughts in theory!

As for Malifaux – am on the way to getting some Arcanists completed, and loving the models save for one small gripe – their assembly is atrocious!  Any piece that needs attaching to the main body has very little recess with which to join snugly.  I’ve had a really difficult time with the Ramos bx set – his wacky spider machines are a real pain to stick together and then to the base.  A friend has suggested pinning them-but I’m afraid I am a novice to this fine art and don’t know enough to risk ruining them!

 

So that’s all I got for this last couple of weeks, but more on the way – I promise!  Am trying to get a game in tonight, but if I do it will be chance at this stage- want to try out the pair of Manglers I got going on to see what damage they might do!  Take it easy all and be back soon.

This is not a newsflash..but maybe time for some Malifaux

Hey all – so these past two weeks have been dry for both hobby and gaming – houseguest and correcting exams continue to hamper any chance to get something done!  I’ve gotten some way into one of the Mangler Squig models I’m prepping for the table, and am ramping up to do somethign with a wyvern.  I have also ordered for myself something of another new departure – Malifaux figures and the rulebook.  I was informed about this game through a friend and a few awesome podcasts that I listen to while painting.  It seems like an interesting concept, and I liked the cut of the miniatures too  Nobody stocks it here – so went through Maelstrom Games to get my starter sets and book.  The idea is to set up something as a break from the Orcs and Goblins without really starting a new Warhammer army entirely.  With their recent price hike and generally expensive line, I don’t think I have it in me to save towards a new line just yet, and a Skirmish game like Malifaux or maybe Infinity might be the way to go for now.

This doesn’t mean that I will abandon the hobby so soon after getting bit by the bug in the first place (truth told, can’t wait to field the squigs!) – but I think what I’m trying to do is maintain my interest through diversity in the miniatures and even the wargaming system itself.  On the face of it, I think it is a good idea, even if I might have to introduce some friends to Malifaux entirely!

Night Goblins are coming…very slowly!

I love the newer Night Goblin models – and they’re going to form the core of a very fluffy spider and squig-themed army in time, so they are very much a labour of love for the most part – but they are tiny when trying to dress up their detail somewhat!

As you can see from the above shot, they are a work in progress – but then what of mine isn’t?!  Ignore the bases and the unhighlighted banner, but for the most part, this is the theme I am running with black cloaks with grey and light blue hoods.   This ties in with the fanatics that I posted a fortnight ago, but unlike those, I realised that painting a horde means speed and repetition before madness sets in, and I’ve rushed the hood design slightly (please don’t look too closely at the paint job, as the brush strokes are pretty poor!)

The breakdown is as follows: Primed in Chaos Black and then the hood was layered with Shadow Grey.  The skin was Knarloc Green as a base, washed in Thraka Green and layered with Goblin Green.  The eyes were based in Merchite red and the eye ball was a tip of Blood Red.  The hoods were  given some Ice Blue design flare, but really this was just an easy design to repeat – and I advise doing it before assembling arms, as they do get in the  way slightly.  If you look closely at my ones above, I only used one layer of Ice blue and need to touch up with a second coat to mask the brush strokes on the Shadow Grey beneath.  The skin was highlighted with a little Snot Green, and the entire model was very lightly dry-brushed with Codex Grey on extreme highlights to give a dirty or weathered affect to the cloth.  The boots were Calthan Brown based and Scorched Brown layered before receiving the same Codex drybrushing.

Options: Shields were Chaos Black based and Boltgun metal rims.  The Moon decal was based in Tausept Ochre and layered twce with Golden Yellow before getting a Devlan Mud Wash.  The musician was given a bestial brown staff with some Dwarf Bronze on the Gong.  The same moon decal as the shield was given, but I elected to mix the Golden Yellow with some Skull White to reduce the clash on the model.  The Mushrooms were Scab Red with Skull White and Bleached Bone spots added.  The striker was simply Chaos Black for the handle and Chainmail for the hlaf-moon headpiece.  The Netters were just Chaos Black and dry-brushed with Astronomicon Grey.  The half-moon weights were a mix of Tin Bitz and Dwarf Bronze (1:1ish).  The other options were just variations of timbers for arrows and clubs really – my go-to of Scorched Brown with Bestial Brown highlights mostly, but really I like it when there is more than just a couple of these varieties in an army, as it especially lends itself to a barely uniform race to begin with.

Anything learned from the Green horde? Yes!  Take breaks!  I have the Island of Blood and some Black Orcs that I’m dipping in and out of to break from green and black – and I did take a jump with some River Trolls last week – no matter how many cool podcasts you can listen to as you paint, there is a limit and once you reach a point where it stops being enjoyable; you need to take time for yourself!  I really think that when painting up a large force of similar models, you need to have a healthy perspective towards the slow progress you’re making – dedicated time and ample breaks to maintain sanity are a must!  That said, I have a lead on getting a few more Night Gobbos – leftovers from the previous starter set (Battle for Skull Pass) and might just find a place for them in the ranks!  What do you guys think of the hoods I’ve just used here?  Should I use the same scheme for the entire army, or should I give each regiment a different colour?  I kind of like the premise of many tribes united for a Waagh, but not sure if it’d be a mistake – so any and all advice welcome!

Night Goblin Fanatics and the fourth ever game!

Ok! This week was full of painting and gaming!  I managed to get my Night Goblins near finished, and completed my Fanatics just in time for the Doubles Game on Thursday evening – which rocked all kinds of socks thanks to those horrible lil’ fanatics!

The Night Goblin scheme I’m working on  is to be included as part of a larger Goblin side-army I’m working on – an all-Goblin, spider heavy army.  I like the original goblins more, especially their size for painting, but the Night Goblins got a good going over as I tried to come up with a scheme to differentiate them from the typical model schemes.

I’ll detail the full account of the Night Goblins in my next post fully, but I’ll focus today on the basics of the Fanatics.  What I came up with as a theme was to work the hood more than the smaller model of the torso.  This was primed in Chaos Black, then layered with Fenris Grey/Chaos Black mix of 3:1.  I proceeded to wash the model in Badb Black and dry thoroughly before applying the primitive design of blue flames to the opening of the hood in Ice Blue.  This was a pattern that was easy to work and modify with touch-ups for the many models that make up a unit of Night Gobbos, so what I was working on here was ease of effort vs. time  vs. size of model.  The Fantatics were a final impulse purchase about three months ago, and sat idling on a shelf while I worked on developing the Dreadfleet project and building up some Orcs.  The truth is, that I didn’t expect much from these little feckers…that is until they made the game table in my fourth ever game of Warhammer just this week.

This game was organised last week as a 10,000 point doubles game.  I’ll leave the names out as I don’t know if they’d appreciate my sharing their info in this humble blog, but let me say first and foremost that they were great partner/opponents that made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of Warhammer.  I learned more again, but this was a game that I felt was my first real foray with solid experience and some degree of expertise.  Don’t get me wrong, my partner, armed with seemingly every new Empire model was very helpful as we joined our efforts against a Saurus-heavy Lizardmen (same great opponent that had creamed me just a week ago) and High Elf alliance.  In fact, it was the Empire that broke the back of the Lizardmen and their general while allowing my hordes to reduce the gap and charge the bigger blocks of Saurus, Seaguard and Skinks.

The real power players for our team in this game was the Empire’s War Altar, Demi-Griffs, my Night Goblin Fanatics and the Mangler Squig that I managed to get a loan of for the sake of the game.  (PS – how great is that model? When I first thought €50 for a Squig unit, I really figured something much less grand – but definitely worth the money!  Will need to save for one soon!)

The above units were very much the MVPs.   As I shot off magic that used up the enemy dispel pool, the War Altar buffed the closer units hugely, after some initial snake-eyes.  That magic, combined with the incredible Demi-Griff knights just shredded up the flanking salamander and Old One.  (These models to my mind are more ludicrous than anything, but there is no denying their power on the battlefield).  For the first few turns, the centre was avoided, as typical with low movement models not wanting to concede the charge.  The right flank was where I’d positioned the Mangler to draw some attention, while my Spider rider and Boar Chariot cavalry moved up with the main body of troops.  I fully expected the thing to be pumped to pieces by the Elven bowmen opposite them.  Miraculously, and due to some pretty unfortunate dice, they suffered only one wound as they bounced through Salamanders, Skinks and the bonus of all – the Elf General mounted on a flying griffin.  The Salamanders were utterly destroyed, and all but two Skinks bought it too.  The general and  mount got a battering too – but were now an inch away from the Mangler!  On his move, the Elf flew forward to dish out some death from above on my Spider cav, but came into range of the Night Goblin bowmen who released their fanatics towards the griffin.  This resulted in the absolute bashing of the mount, and reduced the general to a single wound, fallen in the very centre of a ring of Fanatics!  This was a sweet moment for me, as they had done precisely what was needed from them (I did feel horrendously bad for the Elf player who had never faced off against the unpredictable greenskins.   He was such a decent bloke, but had the deflated look I knew all too well from the week before).  My problem now became the Fanatics going crazily close to my own blocks of boyz and black orcs, and they did get some damage in before we called it a day.

To sumarise my own experience – it was a really decent game where simple tactics and some good dice rolls won out.  I was helped in no small amount from my partner, who knew more of the gobbos than I did, but really most of the events on my side of the board were set in place by myself with less moderation from outside than previous games.  The Lizardmen and High-Elves did really well to whittle down numbers very quickly, but with the Demi-Griffs dancing through and behind their ranks, and the Orcs working up the field centre, it became a numbers game in the end.  The  Lizardmen folded first, and the High-Elves valiantly held out with two strong remaining units before the result was declared.  While Grimgor Ironhide’s Immortalz had ripped through some sizeable units, it was definitely the Mangler getting very lucky, and the Fanatics taking out the general that made the game for me.  I think that it is a little bit ironic that my best units are also the one that depend largely on chance to make any impact on the enemy – what does that say about my ability as commander?!  Truly, if the general had lived, or if those pesky salamanders had gotten some flame in first, the game could have been a very different story altogether!

I need to take a break next week from gaming due to a prior appointment, but the following week I hope to play against a more local opponent who also fields Orcs.  He is a veteran gamer and seriously good organiser, so it should prove a very interesting game.  Meanwhile, it will be time to get some painting in!

Painty Lazy Susan and my second ever Warhammer game

Ok – this last week I’ve been working on a couple of things – first and foremost, and in honour of the new Citadel paint range, I wanted to future-proof my painting area while tidying it up a nooch.  I’ve long been trying to find a better way to display my paints, which are largely the citadel range, and my trusty ole toolbox had pretty much run its course as a hold all when I discovered the renaming and new paints about to flood the market.  I decided it was time to actually put something worthwhile together, and came to the conclusion that a carousel would be the best way to store and access by type.

To that end, I knocked together this lazy susan idea in MDF.  I’m a teacher, so the woodwork room always has some scrap timber lying about, and this wasn’t a major project, more an idea with little time required to complete in a few lunch breaks.  It was never meant for aesthetic appeal, and really only as an experiment to see if it did work, but I’m happy to report I’m mighty happy with it as of now!  I won’t patronise readers by going through dimensions and specs, as I’m sure anyone worth their salt could easily improve on this rudimentary design, but here’s a few pics to show the process in simple format.

The first step was marking out, then drilling the width of the average Citadel container.  I then made a rough cut with the bandsaw to make it round, before sanding to get a more rounded shape.  I have no problem admiting that it is not perfectly round, but close enough that a man on a galloping horse couldn’t see the difference.

The base I’ve shaped differently, as I intend to make a small area to hold a waterpot, brush stand and maybe a tissue/paper towel holder on one end.  That will have to wait til later, as I was getting impatient to post something this week, and really this has been the sum of my week’s effort on the hobby.  The method for turning the lazy susan was not my inspiration.  I got this from YouTube, and I wish I could remember the DIY Gamer/Painter to give him credit – it is a small channel cut into the base with the ring bearing from a microwave set into the groove.  Another channel is dug into the base of the first shelf and it turns perfectly.

The struts/supports for the unit I just made at rough height so that my hand could reach to the back paints, and set them in varying directions to better hold the weight and integrity of the overall unit.

And here is the finished product – not pretty, but perfect function over form – suits me to the ground, but I know that it can be made better.  I’ve included enough holding for about 150 pots, but really I can’t see ever getting that many paints at once, so hopefully it is future-proofed for a little bit!

I also had my second game of Warhammer this week-different opponent/teacher and very different army (it was my ramshackle Orcs and Gobbos vs. Ogres).  I was taught a lesson in more ways than one.

As a beginner, I fully expected an easy intro, kind of like the first game; but this was a true baptism by fire!  We had agreed to focus on the magic phase of this game before play, as it was a part I had difficulty in realising in the first one.  I had therefore loaded up on the shiny stuff and had a Gobin Great Shaman on Spidershrine, two level 2 Goblin Shamen, and a savage Orc Shaman to boot.  I was well prepared with potential for spells and pooling, but man oh man did the dice treat me poor for these phases!  Such raw potential reduced to pewtering and spluttering misfire!

I won’t break down a battle report proper here – I don’t think anyone is really interested at any rate, but as my second ever tutorial effort, I had a really good time, and it was a fun loss. In fact, we were pushed for time so we never really finished the game, but I saw which way the wind was blowing, and Ogres are tough hombres.  It took too much concentrated reserves to take out his wonderful Thundertusk model, which inevitably allowed his Bulls to charge my Black Orcs, and his Mournfang Cav to engage with my Boyz.  I was getting pulverised with head-on tactics, so learned very quickly to set up a charge-chain to draw them into a position with some waek Goblin units that I could flank them with my boarboyz and warboss on boar.  This made a serious dent, but the dust was just about to settle on my other poor decisions about the board.  A good teacher and a stern lesson was had here.

What I learned from this game: Wolf Riders are not that great, spiders remain awesome when they’re the charging party, Ogres cannot be allowed to charge EVER, and magic cannot be banked upon, no matter how great the odds are raised.  I need to come up with some sort of masterplan for my army – namely a good list with what I have, or what I might need to get.  Anyhelp with this would be very welcome!  I had a chance to play with a loan of a Mangler Squig which was great fun, if unpredictable.  It ruined my opponent’s cannon before it could fire, and decimated the bulls on the random way back into play-that might be a future purchase, when I can reach on it.  Overall, I was a happy loser, but now need to put some serious ink to paper to find an answer to ogres, if not all armies!

Painting this week…Wurrzag and Rock Lobber

So, as promised, although a day late in the posting – My pics of the new Finecase Rock Lobber and my Wurrzag WIP!

The Lobber was pretty easy, but as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, it was the Finecast that was both a strength and a weakness.  The plastic needed major cleaning, especially the thinner pieces and character models.  Also, the model was warped out of packet, and needed the 15 seconds of High-Power hairdryer to manipulate into shape again.  The benefit was this entire piece has incredible detail that more than compensates when the other issues can be fixed.  I am  not deterred from purchasing Finecast into the future, but this is not a green light for GW to rack up the prices unfairly!

Rather than go through the colour choices, I’ll say this much for the lobber.  As a model, it is really nice, but as a unit in strategic gameplay,I’ve used it once and have not been over-awed.  I think I may need to invest in either a Doom Diver or a Snotling Pump Wagon (Advice welcomed!) down the road for a competitive replacement.

Wurrzag is a great model.  This is metal, and I layered the bejeebus out of it to the point that I was afraid I’d lose some detail, but am pretty happy with this work in progress overall.

As you might see, I’ve started to apply the base for some tattoos, and there is a bit left to do with stitching and rope pieces, along with a touch up on the weapon and staff, but this was a fun model to paint, and I’m now going to start looking for Wurrzag on Boar, because he will be just the tonic after painting a few Savage Orcs and Boyz!  A little treat at the end of the tunnel!  As for the next project-have a BSB to assemble and dress up, and have been making a new lazy susan for the new paint range.  My old paints occupy every available nook and an unsued toolbox, but this should solve the storage problem before it grows bigger!  I’ll post later on progress!

Take it easy all!

Shane