Orc on Orc action…wait, let me rephrase…

So this week so another battle of Warhammer Fantasy – My own bright green thuderboyz versus a really well-rounded clan from Kilkenny!  This was another first for me – a game within the narrative of the Big Red Book – Bugman’s Ale chase!  While this scenario could easily have been terribly frustrating, it became one of the most fun games I’ve had in a while!

The loose premise, for those of you not familiar with the generic scenarios, is that there is a Dwarf Brewery/Tavern with the most saught-after Bugman’s brew ever made, and a loose number of barrels on the back of a driverless pony and cart fleeing (quite literally) every time a player’s model gets within an actionable distance of it.  Victory is points based on who holds what at the end of the game.  (There – I’ve spoken GW intellectual property without undermining potential purchases of the book!)

This has the potential for mayhem, and it in our game it truly delivered.  We limited ourselves to 700 points each, no war machines and more or less matched each other in troop choice.  The only terrain was a regular wood area and the brewery itself, modeled ably by a recently painted Warhammer Church.

The real hilarity came after we had set up for a serious race to the brewery andall but one single unit each failed the animosity test!  Orcs are really a gambler’s army at the heart of it, but these rolls were beating the odds and making mincemeat of our own forces before we’d made it eight inches from deployment!  We both ran straight for the alehouse – Kilkenny with his single unit of boyz with his black orc boss, and me with my black orc regiment.  When the animosity rolls allowed it, we both commited a unit of fast cav to net the pony – my spider riders versus his wolves, and began a “to-me-to-you” back and forth with the weakest units on the board mauling each other, then pursuing again!  The fight that occurred in front of the alehouse was just as interesting, as the forces that actually joined battle were severely diminished by their own squabbling on the way – I only made headway to get to the building first as I had been forced to charge and failed to meet anyone!
While I can claim to win the game by so small a margin as to make it ridiculous – I have to say it was a real cluster-f***, but one that we both loved every minute of playing!  The early and familiar recognition of the orc animosity soon gave way to hilarity and genuine disbelief as they continued to screw-up and maul one another.  We ended up, in such a low-scoring game, doing much more damage to ourselves than to the other – so much so that we spent a good deal of our time simply trying to catch that cart to see what our own forces would end up doing!

What did I take from this little game?  Fun – plain and simple.  I do think that a rematch would play differently – we had a hard time outfitting 700 points and keeping things legal – but it certainly made for an enjoyable run.  Real problem – or cause of the zany antics was due to army choices – Orcs by two.  I could not see this game being too pleasing for the orc player if he were to roll as we did against any other army.  The mayhem wasn’t helped by the size of the table as a result of these race choices either.  We should have reduced the area not just on the basis of points, but also because of the races here again – we just had too much ground to mess up!  I would definitely recommend this scenario to people, but only if you’ve really measured the possibilites of each force a little more carefully before launch!

On another note – there is incredibe support going for the Mantic Dreadball Kickstarter since my last post – I’d post a link to the various podcasts, models, rules and announement, but it’d be much more informative for anyone interested in this exciting new project to check it out at the source – Dreadball Kickstarter website.  As of the time of writing, they have accumulated $233,109 of a $20,000 goal!  The feedback and comments are overwhelming in their support, and Mantic’s own management of this tremendous runaway success is truly admirable.  I also think that it is great that they are listening to the fans in order to direct their product line – my own request (echoed by hundreds-or was I an echo too?) was for Grey Aliens themed players – and they’ve only gone and announced it for the next stretch goal!  Overall – I am glad to back this product and company, even if I am dubious of many kickstarter enterprises in general.  They really have gone above and beyond in fan-interaction, and are producing a game for the people as much as it is from the people – well worth a check if you haven’t been there already!

 

Ok, that’s it for this week – have a long week ahead here in work, but hope to get a more involving game that this one in over the next few days – but to be honest, if it is half as fun, I will still consider it a success!  Take care, all!

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Some painting and no games – but lots of Works in Progress!

Heya all! Pretty light on gaming this week, but can take the chance to post a few pics of side-projects that keep me invested – along with the Azhag and Manglers from the previous post.  I didn’t get a game this week for a very simple reason – the heat of the GW shop was nigh unbearable – it is what is stopping me heading over this evening too!  I have played there twice when it hits the 29 degree mark and it becomes a sauna with just a handful of players and painters, so was not interested in spending the evening quite like that today!  Will be having a game on Saturday at a more local club, so looking forward to seeing how my reconstituted Orcs fare out against a new opponent!

In the mean time, here are a few shots of my current WIPs!

This Spear Chukka was the Finecast version and neatly went together after some slight hair-dryer action on the base pieces.  I more or less copied box-art for the scheme as I really shot through this model and crew in jig time.  I like it – although from the army book, I don’t see an effective run even if it is cheap, it is just one of those models that I’d like to have one of – not as an obsessive compulsive completionist, but just because I like the screwy and cartoony style that Goblins bring to the table-reminds me not to take this game too seriously and just enjoy the animosity!  No real complaints, but am curious if anyone ever really got their Gobbo carrying the upright arrow to actually keep that arrow without it breaking at least once?  It seems like a flaw in at least this model of finecast, but it is far too thin and spindly for its own length.  Apart from that-all I have to do is base the models and they are all set for zany fun!

These two are the compliment to my Manglers from a previous post.  They are still in the processing point where I’m not quite sure of colour.  I thought I’d fashion a really subterranean appearance for these two – so got me some new paints and washes…sorry; shades – and went with some Violet and Blue/Gray squiggy goodness.  The Finecast models here were simply terrible.  Perhaps the dark photography hides the distorted crumbling aspects of the model’s features – a good thing.  No amount of Green Stuff could fix the supporting leg of the blue fella, who toppled from his perch and broke apart for the umpteenth time seconds before this photo was taken – you can see one of the new chips by his left eye there!  I’m going to have to change the laws of physics to get him to stay on the other lad when they’re done as there is literally NOTHING to hold him in place.  I thought the other mangler was an odd mould, but this one was much more awkward…still a cool piece though!

And this is Azhag the Slaughterer.  I LOVE this model – so much so that I am afraid to photograph any closer to draw attention to the p-poor effort I did in painting this guy way too fast.  I have A LOT of touch-ups to do on the fella later, but like many big models or even complicated terrain pieces – you get tired of the same thing over the length of time it takes!  So I am taking a break from Azhag for a bit.  I liked how his wings worked out, and the final skin tone is about right.  I  had tried it with Orchide Shade as a base, but it wouldn’t cooperate so needed to raise it to a very Orcy blend – but the brown wingspan help break that up plenty – I may go even lighter with it.  Not that this model was without faults.  Assembly was a pain – even now in order to get the most of it on the base, you’ll notice that the rock in his left claw is clear of the base proper.  This was the only way I could get it to fit together evenly, even after a great deal of manipulation.  I used half a pot of Liquid Green Stuff and it still has areas that I’d sooner ignore than fix, but regardless it is a great model – positively bursting with detail everywhere.  It was worth the wait for the mail order (The first one came with two right legs and had to be returned.  The replacement came super slo-mo, but was a much better kit.  Even with the tricky and lengthy assembly, it fit more keenly together).

And finally – a Chapel that I am rescuing.  I had to really respray the crap out of this old thing in order to start from scratch.  I didn’t try to strip it at all, but went with a Chaos Black total cover and worked up.  I liked the effect of  the brickwork.  I used a mix of Dheneb Stone and Khemri Brown to build a base, heavily soaked in Gryphonne Sepia and Agrax Earthshade (two seperate layers) before a liberal drybrush with Dheneb Stone.  I used some Astronomicon Gray and Dheneb Stone stippling on the plasterwork to tone it into the bricks and am happy that it worked together well.  the roof is a blend of Shadow Gray and Enchanted Blue.  I washed it with Badb Black before a light Scar White drybrush.  The Statues are the go-to for tarnished brass – undercoated in Scorched Brown with a little Tin Bitz in (2:1 mix should o it) followed by a drybrush of Shining Gold and very light drybrush of Hawk Turquoise in the weather-beaten areas.  The rest is detail that I’m still working on.

So that is all I am up to for the moment, although I keep threatening to break away to try something different for a break from Warhammer Fantasy.  I keep getting pulled back into the Orcs and Goblins gig in order to perfect the army and build a better, more competitive list!  Someday, I’ll get to Malifaux again – even Lord of the Rings seems interesting at this point.  There are plenty of Rangers and Mordor in the attic still unpainted!  As always – any and all comments and criticisms are welcome!  Especially regarding scenery and Terrain, as I know many people hate breaking to do them – colour suggestions and alternatives are constructive to me as I try to break away from the cookie-cutter boxart!  Take it easy all, and catch up with a battle report soon!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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