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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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

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!

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

My very first game of Warhammer (with Battle Report)

 

So my very first Warhammer game proper…well, a tutorial game in GW Dublin at any rate.  My opponent was mercifully kind and a great teacher of the game – and, well I loved it!

I know it was a cheap victory, and not really a legal game, as I was pushing for to try out all types of units – Giant, Rock Lobber etc., and had more Special than Core units on the table, but my Orcs and Goblin force destroyed his Empire pretty easily.  He wasn’t playing very tactically except as his units dwindled, and it wouldn’t be fair to post a formal battle report for move by move, and I’ll leave my esteemed opponent unnamed as I didn’t ask him for permission to use his in this blog – but I’ll try to do some justice to the event proper.

My opponent fielded his Empire in a horde of Halberdiers, 5 Mounted Pistoliers, a Great Cannon, a unit of Greatswords and a unit of Archers.  I threw together an overkill of 20 Black Orcs, 14 Boyz, 20 Goblins, Lobber, Giant and two units of Spider Riders at 4 per unit.  We both had a bog-standard general and a level 2 wizard.  Please don’t do the math!  The table had just two pieces of terrain – a noxious forest and a hill.

After deploying, he took the first move and pushed his cav to the east flank and sent his horde dead centre.  I pushed a unit of spider riders to each flank and sent the black orcs hurtling at the halberdiers.  The Lobber took the highground and the goblins stayed in the rear with the shaman.  I attached the black orc general to the boyz and sent them to meet the Cav.  In the west, the greatswords and archers went to meet the giant and my other unit of spider riders.  Shots wise, he took out some of my black orcs with his cannon, but all archers missed.  His magic reduced the speed of the giant on my turn, but those western spiders made it into the forest and I sat them still.  In the mean time, both the eastern boyz and spider riders successfully charged the mounted pistoliers.  The Black Orcs made more headway towards the halberdiers, but no charging was attempted.  The Golbins stayed right behind the giant as he hobbled towards the greatswords and halberdiers.  I wanted to get him in sooner, but my opponents attention needed something, and those Black Orcs were the distraction.  My magic saw the foot of Gork connect and squish some halberdiers – the biggest unit as target was just as well.  I connected with Foot of Gork three times in the game, doing untold damage, but always well-missing the intended target!  Shooting the lobber was successful, but the result was a miss.  The combat resulted in my spider riders in the woods taking only a few archers out, but in the east the combined charge of the boyz and spider poison resulted in completely destroying four of the five pistoliers, and catching the final one in pursuit of him fleeing.

Skipping through the highlights of the remaining two turns – I discovered the need to get Orcs into the fray asap, as his cannon was obnoxiously good, and the first loss of cavalry made him more competitive as a player and teacher – he really took me to school with his shooting on my boyz mob.  My giant was peppered with shots down to a single wound that made me think about what a liability this guy can potentially be!  My own comeback was the awesomeness of the spider riders bows and poison to route his archers and dent the great swords from the flank – too busy with the black orcs to match the cav speeding down the side of the board.

The foot of Gork hit the halberdiers enough to thin some ranks out, and when it became even numbers with my remaining black orcs, it was downhill for him from there.  What I was very impressed with was his use of the greatswords to rip through the giant, goblins and still take out the remaining spiders on that flank before the numbers game beat them.  Great manouvering and tactics on his part to keep the game moving and forcing my decision to either head west, or take out the cannon.  I decided to take the blasted cannon, as it was hitting everything it wanted to and panicing my riders no end, after a rally, my remaining spider riders unit took them while the boyz charged the flank of halberdiers.  My Rock Lobber wasn’ in the game at all, and the Giant only got one turn on the halberdiers to take out a grand total of one on attack and one on Thunderstomp before biting the dust on two black orcs.  At the end of turn three, my opponent called it as lost, and we shook hands on a great training game.

 

What I took from this game: Very simply, he let me win and I threw some very lucky rolls to avoid animosity and hit Gork as often and successfully as I did.  Orcs have to join the battle as fast as possible, and tactics are set in motion early and committed to sooner, as Orcs are tough to change on the fly.  The worst rolls I had was in attempting to adjust.  I also learned that I love my spider riders much more than I thought I would, but need the beef to draw attention from them in order to make them effective.  I really, really like this game, and I don’t mind saying that I’m surprised by that statement.  I went into the game itself with some misgiving, but loved the atmosphere, the strategy, the planning to execution of the battles and the sheer tongue in cheek attitude of my lil O&G force!  The staff in Dublin GW were absolutely fantastic.  I have just ordered the Warboss on Gigantic Spider to pick up next week and will play my second game there then too.  I met some pretty cool players there, and saw some armies that put mine to shame, and that is not simply being self-effacing.  It highlighted that this blog of painting progress really is just for me, as real painters are well beyond my ability or advise!  Units behaved as I had hoped with the exception that both rare units are limited – I was thoroughly impressed with Waaagh! magic, and that may decide what to put on my Arachnarok for the next game.

 

So that’s it!  A day late in posting, but a really, really great time – I think I may be bitten here, so hope to find some players in Ireland, specifically the south-east for a local game, as Dublin is a schlep every week.  I can see what the fuss is about, and am already trying to figure my next steps to create a decent list for a competitive game-any and all advice welcome!