Mangler Squig Number 1!

This week I have just finished the first of my pair of Manglers after much layering – I went with the traditional darker orange for the first set.  I love this model, but the Finecast was a pain in the rear.  I needed a ridiculous amount of green stuff and liquid greenstuff to rebuild a degraded side – I couldn’t quit fix the right eye area of the uppermost squig, but got it to an acceptable finish.

This was an exciting model to paint, even with the imperfections of the mould.  I had played with the Squig as a loan twice, and really loved the idea, the fluff and the cost to field such a unit-even a pair of them on each flank while the core advanced in the centre.  They may never get into combat, but they could possibly run as Rare chaff and take some heat off of the mainstay of the army.  Like the Fanatics, I think the possibilities with these guys run from the hilarious to the awe-inspiring – right through to the unfortunate blow-back into friendly units.  I’ll post the final version of this guy when I get through the second pair too.  For now – here it is!

The painting was really hit and miss.  I didn’t use any kind of template, but wanted to create a darker version of the boxart sample.  The model was given a Chaos Black prime spraycoat and a 2-coat base of Jokaero Orange from the new paint range.  I gave the entire model some Fuegan Orange shade wash and began to layer up with Squig Orange. This proved too light, so messed about with combination of Agrax Earthshade (Devlan Mud) before a drybrush of Blazing Orange and final light coat of Bloodletter Glaze to raise the finish back from the darker tone of the brown wash. Ipicked out some fine highlighting of Blazing Orange on raised areas.

The eyes were Averland Sunset base with some Golden Yellow layering.  The darker areas I dound too large for simply a Nuln Oil/Badb Black wash, so used a small amount of watered down Chaos Black in conjunction with a later Nuln Oil shade wash to add some depth to the area.  In hindsight, successive layers of Nuln Oil might have been a more effective as  a subtle finish.

The teeth were based with Calthan brown, before receiving a Bleached Bone drybrushing and Skull white extreme highlighting.  The entire mouth received a Nuln Oil shade…don’t know about you guys, but am not delighted with Nuln oil or Arax Earthshade just yet.  They’ll “do”, but not near as complete as Badb or Devlan Mud.  The chain links were easily done with Boltgun Metal lightly washed in Nuln Oil.  The rope was based in Calthan Brown and highlighted in Bestial Brown – but next time might go with something lighter still-maybe even Dheneb Stone.

The Night Goblin Models were painted the same as previous Night Gobbos listed on this site – but the Chaos Black did NOT want to adhere to the resin.  It took a LOT of paint for the pigment not to want to run and pool.

Ok – so my Malifaux arrived with Azhag the Slaughterer this week…mixed results.  I had to return by mail the Azhag model as it arrived with two right legs.  It was a shame as the overall finecast model was really well moulded and fit neatly together – but the entire model needed to go back.  The Ramos Box set that I got for Malifaux is absolutely fantastic – will have a go at Ramos himself this evening if I get the chance.  I love the style and mould of the Malifaux range – but I gather that nobody in Ireland plays this game, so it may be down to me to spread the word.  I really hope not-I’m hoping there is a thriving community out there that I am unaware of ready to teach me the rules, as opposed to me having to do the hard slog of learning solo!  I like having a skirmish game that gives me a break from greenskins now and again.  They are neat models and require a bit of stretching after getting used to the Orc pallette.  Will post an update on these guys soon!

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Book Review – World War Z – Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book! It is definitely a niche interest, but planted in the mainstream by a successful zombie-afficionado who knows how to grab commercial appeal.
The novel is a documentary style collection of incident reports from the great Zombie apocolypse. When the zombies begin to take over the world, world agencies act to curb, prevent and destroy the menace using both kind and questionable means.
What I genuinely enjoyed despite myself, was the collection of reports accumulated by the narrator as an excuse to act out the “what if?” scenarios we have all talked about over beer. What would you do in the event of a zombie plague? Would you do like documented report F did, or would you be quarantined like documented survivor 118 was – or maybe you’d capitalise on the woe like such and such a person did? This is the premise for Brook’s text. He gives you multiple accounts from varied sources on government actions and public reactions. He lets the fictional survivors tell their story, the one you thought would save your life should the unthinkable happen – and then he lets the reader have the gory details of failure time and time again.
As a schlock novel, it works really well, and is a fast read. I got through this one mighty fast, and that is a good thing as it really did drag me in despite myself! I like the clean, impressionable style of the narrator, a hint of innocence lost as the accounts begin to build up. The persona of each survivor are vivid enough that you buy into their experiences easily, and what they leave unsaid is as loud as their words. Brooks certainly knows how to handle suspense in this format, but waits until just the right time before teeing up the more emotional and terrifying histories recorded with varying degrees of passion, loss and numbed anger.
After getting through the text, a friend gave me the audiotext version of the book. I’m not a huge fan of such audiobooks on the whole, but the production values and actors hired for each persona and character was through the roof! I would easily reccomend this for people who enjoy the audio version of books, but I would caution that the delivery is less thrilling than the direct read itself. World War Z works well on both mediums, but there is a sense of something lost in the recorded delivery compared to the eerie feeling you get scanning through the transcripts of the novel directly.
I think that this is one definitely worthy of a brief read if you have just a casual interest in the world of zombie hordes and post-apocolyptic turmoil, but if you have more than a passing interest, you’d be hard put to find anyone with a better knowledge of the source material, or the ability to tell a ripping good yarn.

View all my reviews

Gaming news…nothing this week!  Due to other commitments, this and next week are not going to be gaming weeks – and maybe that is a good thing, as I have just received my first ever Forge World purchase in the post!  My lovely Fimir are going to need some TLC in the coming week or two to get ready for the table – and they are really gorgeous models!  I only hope my paint job will do them justice!  I usually go from GW blueprints or follow the fluff to get a predictable colour scheme, so these completely new and unspecific models force me to figure out what to do myself.  To boot, I’ve received my long awaited Mangler Squigs.  I played with a loan of a unit a few weeks back and was rightly impressed with their potential.  True, they’ll get shot down before they get too far, but that at least takes pressure off of my movment 4 troops – and – in the event that they make it to the enemy…I love the squigs, so help me they are so unpredictable, the really make the game interesting!  Speaking of which, today’s Forgeworld newsletter has just alerted me to the preorder of this little beaut – http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/New_Stuff/COLOSSAL_SQUIG.html – the Colossal Squig from the Monstrous Arcanum.  I’m looking forward to some day fielding this fellow for a giggle, but for now, I’ve plenty to be busy with and not a lot of funds left to worry about spending more!  Take it easy all, and talk soon!

shane

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!

Trolls and Negative Warhammer!

Ok – this was an eventful week in hobbying!  I had a break from Night Goblins to paint some Trolls I had been ignoring for a while – truth is that these were a very early Warhammer purchase before I began gaming, and I had only painted one and based the others before losing interest and moving on to others.  This week, I gave myself the treat of finishing them to a gaming standard as a reward for a nearly complete 40 Night Gobbo regiment.  The real test was remembering the paints I used for the first Troll before continuing with the other two and polishing the first one properly.

The Trolls were primed in Chaos Black spray, with two layers of Knarloc Green as a base.  I mixed in a hint of Golden Yellow into the second  layer, as I wanted the Trolls to have a different appearence to the regular greenskins.  The stomachs were given a two layers of Tausept Ochre, again with a touch of Golden Yellow mixed into both (3:1 was about right).  The fist coat doesn’t cover well, but don’t worry – the later wash coat taskes away the worst of the thin layer.  I wetbrushed some Camo Green and Tausept Ochre 1:1 mix over the raised highlights of knuckles and biceps etc,  and the entire model received a wash of Thraka Green – this was a heavy wash, so maybe two coats to really get into the recesses is a good idea.

I gave the claws a straight Chaos Black, with minimal extreme highlighting in Dheneb Stone.  I used some Skull White to the eyes so that I could put on a nice layer of Sunburst Yellow when it dried, followed by some Bloodletter Glaze (my first effort with the new range, but Baal Red would do the job nicely too).  The wash was just for the cat’s eye section, and I took as much off of the yellow in the eyeball as possible so that the red filled the curve and iris clearly.

The Scales were based first in Orchide Shade, then in a mix of Hawk Turquoise and Ice Blue 1:1 mix.  Following this, I layerd a mix of Mithril Silver and Turquoise 2:1 to the tips and highlights.  This I had difficulty with, but rather than blame the tool entirely, I will say that the combination of my skill and a very frayed brush was not entirely successful.  When this was finished, I touched up the scales with some ‘ardcoat Gloss for the slick affect. I did much the same with the fish that one of the models is holding, but heavily washed with Devlan Mud. The weeds and vines sticking to the trolls were covered in Calthan Brown, highlighted in Snot Green and then washed heavily in Badb Black or Devlan Mud.  I didn’t give these a gloss finish, but it could be done too to continue the slick appearence.  The spines were given a highlight of Hawk Turquoise too, and the tips of the ears received the same, but again – less is more. I also liked the extreme drybrushing of Tentacle Pink to the noses, as it gave the impression of blush or cold to a face that is largely a monotonous mix of greens and dirt.  I put some Bleached Bone to the teeth and that was the head finished but for some Skull White and Knarlock Green 1:2 extreme highlighting.

The vomit was based in Iyanden Darksun, layered with Golden Yellow and washed in Bloodletter Glaze/Baal Red.  The fishbones were dry-brushed with Bleached Bone and the model got some ‘ardcoat Gloss finish for some liquid appearence.  The weapons were given a Scorched Brown base, followed by some Besital Brown highlighting on the clubs.  The stoneheads were based with Adeptus Battlegrey and dry-brushed with Dheneb stone, with some Vomit Brown on the rope holding them together.

I like the Troll Models, but I have yet to field them in a game.  I’m told I need six to run an effective strategy, so that is something to consider – but I don’t really want these models twice, so am thinking of using the Fimir Warriors from Forgeworld – Fimir are my all-time favourite units back from the old Heroquest game as a child, so I really don’t need too much of an excuse to invest in some great models, and those look to share the same size base too.  I wonder would most players find them acceptable substitutes?

Ok – the game element of Warhammer this week was pretty mixed – managed to get two games in, despite expecting none at all, but really it was my first encounter with a negative player.  Again, I won’t name my opponent as it would be unfair to publicly denounce him in a forum where he cannot defend or represent himself – but he was beyond competitive and made the experience something I’d really rather not repeat.  His annoyance was immediately obvious as I fielded Wurrzag as my general, not realising that some players prefer not to play characters.  I offered to revise my list and just use a shaman, but he insisted on playing on, and he fielded a character of his own – Throt – to lead his Skaven against my Orcs.  I liked the look of this army, and like the greenskins, there were a lot of models for a 2000 point game.  The problem was skill and luck.  I blundered through some pretty great dice and successfully got off Foot of Gork and a double reroll bang into Throt’s unit, and playing on a smaller than standard board, was able to charge my thirty odd-strong Black Orc Horde on my turn…right into Throt’s unit…and it made mincemeat of them, killing his general outright in the process.  The poor guy didn’t get a chance to reform before I was able to Hand of Gork the Black Orc unit into the rear of his Night Runners and forced them to flee into Wurrzag’s Savage regiment.

This isn’t to say I was a master tactician at all – I got lucky and he had made some small mistakes in committing his units within an easy charge range twice.  I lost my Arachnarok, all of my Spider Riders and my Boar Chariot along one flank through some pesky gutter-runners and a Warp-Lightning Cannon that eventually turned on its own men.  He was making a serious dent up until the Hand of Gork allowed a sequence of hard-hitting that won it out.  Now, you may be reading this thinking that it was a great victory, but it was far from a washout, and it was not at all satisfactory in the way my opponent hopped on every dice roll or kept questioning the fairness of the Orc army rules-especially the big spider which really didn’t do a blessed thing in battle.  I felt the need to concede every possible revision in order to maintain peace along with a modicum of restraint when my opponent delighted and capitulated in the success of his own units.  I swear; this guy had to be an arachnophobe conquering his phobia with the smug comments he proclaimed at the death of the Forest Riders and Arachnarok itself!  It drew the attention of the gamers waiting to take the board after us.  His confrontational attitude and arrogance in victory was pretty unbearable, and I had to wonder how magnanimous he would have been had he won the thing outright – there were some dice rolls that I was willing to lose just for an easier game.  Funny how my more regular luck deserted me in the face of such odds!

I finished the game and shook his hand, which in fairness he received without issue, but all throughout the tidy-up reminded me of my lucky magic rolls (it was really his unlucky poor dispelling pool that let him down – he couldn’t stop but one of the Big Waaghs going off).  I was pretty peeved with the entire affair, and it left me with a dull feeling, that I have had enough of this game for a little bit.  I had arranged for a second game the next day, and this one I lost.  It was a Night Goblin themed army and my opponent properly took care of business.  I got pasted, but enjoyed that game much more for the loss than the previous victory.  I am still in two minds about gaming again soon, even though I understand that logically there are always some people that take things a little too seriously.  I genuinely hope that this guy was one of the exceptions rather than the rule itself.

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!

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!

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!