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!

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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!