Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Devotees In Mordheim - Henchmen Martzel

Right here's the first henchmen, he still needs some work (and the arrow flight from the one in his hand came off as I was photographing him so that needs to be fixed). All the pics I'm posting here will probably look different when they're painted as I keep adding new little bits on and fixing bits.

To finish on a WFB note instead of a Mordheim one... All the bits I need for my character on chariot have now arrived. I need to decide whether to do him or to carry on with the BSB for the painting competition at my gaming club next month. I reckon the BSB model may be a better mini for this sort of thing but can't decide one way or another with any conviction at the minute. Does anybody else have any thoughts?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Devotees In Mordheim - The Chronicles of The Enslaver

Part two...

The Chronicles of The Enslaver


“Argider!” Indolbika roared as he stepped from his yurt. The sound of it caused Ximun to wince; the after effects of the narcotic he’d brewed and sampled had left him with a splitting headache. He rose from his position next to the fire to meet the hulking Indolbika. His duty as Shaman meant he must oversee the combat between the rivals for the position of chieftain.
“Silence!” Ximun snapped at the warrior. “It is dawn; he will not have forgotten overnight that you have contested his leadership!”
Ximun watched Indolbika pace back and forwards; he’d clearly brought forth all his anger to direct at Argider in the coming battle. Indolbika knew Argider well, as did Ximun. As advisors to his father they’d watched the chieftain’s son reach manhood. Whilst not soft Ximun knew that Argider was no real match for Indolbika. Indeed, Ximun had often wondered why Indolbika had never contested the previous chieftain over his leadership of the tribe; Indolbika would most likely have emerged victorious. Ximun knew that Indolbika was angry, as they all were, they had lost everything and clearly Indolbika wanted to gain some small measure of vengeance for that loss against Argider.
A few tense moments passed as the pacing continued. Then Argider emerged from his yurt, suited in his armour and a helm on his head. He walked towards the fire in the centre of the circle of yurts weighing his axe and sword in his hands as he moved.
Ximun was taken aback by the sight of the young heir. His somewhat awkward gait had been replaced by the tread of a confident warrior and his eyes burned with an intensity that he had never seen there before. Indolbika too was surprised by the transformation and his stance changed subtly as he held his two-handed sword in a more defensive pose.
“Shaman?!” Argider roared his question, his sword held out at arm’s length towards Indolbika.
“Begin!” Ximun shouted, taking a step back eager now to see the duel between the two warriors.
Argider launched into the attack raining a flurry of blows at Indolbika. The greatsword wielding brute was not a man used to being on the back foot and took action to try and reverse the tide. He stepped round a thrust from Argider’s sword and rammed his shoulder into the would-be chieftain, sending him tumbling backwards. Argider sprung to his feet in an instant but Indolbika was upon his quickly trying to cleave him in two with a swing of his blade. Argider jumped back from the attack and tried to circle round Indolbika, the larger man reacted by swinging the sword in an arc in front of him, aiming at Argider’s head. In a flash though Argider rushed Indolbika, stepping under the wild swing and hacking into his hip with his axe, in another movement Argider rammed the point of his sword up into the chin of his opponent, killing him in an instant. Argider turned from the body holding his bloodied weapons aloft.
“This warrior’s soul belongs to Elazar!” He bellowed to the heavens. He turned to Ximun then. “Shaman, see to it that his remains are left behind in his yurt, spare him from the crows at least. After the ceremony we’ll burn them all. We travel light from here on out.”
Ximun nodded and waited until Argider had returned to his yurt before he barked orders to the remaining tribesmen. He returned to his own yurt. With a new chieftain to appoint there would be great revelries this day and Ximun would need to finish his brew.


The Devotees In Mordheim - Ekaitz, Imanol and some fluff!

I'm a little disappointed. The weather and time have conspired to ensure that my Mordheim warband won't be painted in time for the start of the Mordheim campaign. It's a shame but at least they'll all be built and ready for battle.

This is Ekaitz

Parts of the flail are from the Flagellant kit (getting lots of bits from that for Mordheim it seems!). I really liked the look of the staff/flail so chopped it up to fit to the arms holding the regular flails for the Marauders. The head is from the Marauder Horsemen. He needs some GS work and a few little extra bits added on to give a bit more character to the model.

This is Imanol

The Halberd is one of the metal ones from the bits pack from GW for the Chaos Warriors, just cut down the hand a little to put it onto a marauder flail arm. The head is another Marauder Horsemen one.

Here are the heroes Argider, Ximun, Ekaitz and Imanol together.

I'm particularly pleased that they rank up! Seeing as I'll be using the models in my fantasy army as well that was quite important!

I've written some background fluff for the warband to tie it into the campaign at my gaming club. There are four parts. This is the first.


The Chronicles of The Enslaver

Argider’s father had condemned his tribesmen to death. He’d refused to bend the knee to the new self-proclaimed King of the Diatchi. Disobedience was not tolerated by this king and his armies had descended on the tribe’s holdings. The Chieftain, Argider’s father, had been slaughtered by the armoured riders. The men-folk were brutally slain, the women-folk enslaved and the livestock plundered. Argider and a handful of fighting men had survived and slipped away from the scene of carnage unseen. They’d made a make-shift camp and then the inevitable leadership dispute had reared its head. Argider had staked his claim as his father’s heir but his claim was sullied by the foolish actions of his father and others had questioned his ability to lead as a result. Indolbika, a lieutenant of his father’s had also claimed leadership rights and at dawn they would duel to settle the dispute. Argider had slept lightly so far that night. But as his body gave up on its vigil he descended into a deep sleep. Visions poured into Argider’s head all at once. He saw a ruined city in the Empire of the southmen, he saw war in the streets and then he saw only darkness. But from the darkness stared two glowing orbs. The eyes bore into his soul and then a disembodied voice whispered to him. “Argider, Argider, Argider,” it hissed. “Devoted Argider, it is I.” “Who?” The question formed in Argider’s mind. “The Glorious One!” The whisper rose to a furious shriek before dying back down. “My armies have marched in Lanshor’s name for centuries uncounted. Beloved Lanshor, Shornaal, Slaanesh. My prince, my lover, my father.” “You are Elazar?” Argider asked, his tribe had long venerated the Daemon, indeed by their legends Elazar had once been a child of the same tribe in the distant past. “Yes.” “And those visions?” “Ah, beautiful Argider. You will perish tomorrow; Indolbika will slay you and lead what remains of your father’s tribe. In turn Indolbika will perish and your people will be no more. You are weak and cannot triumph in this.” Argider’s mind reeled at this prophecy. “I can give you the strength to beat Indolbika,” the Daemon’s whisper continued. “But more than that, in time, I can give you the will to rule over men and the force to enslave those who will not be cowed.” “And the trade?” Argider asked, his thoughts playing over his inevitable demise and not on protocol. “I want your soul, your obedience, and your love.” “They’re yours,” Argider swore, he didn’t need to consider; there was no alternative to a pact with the Daemon. “But what of these visions.” “Now ruins, it was a city built on excess and sin. My blessed Prince by rights should own such a city and I seek what lies within. In this instance, the few may succeed where the many would fail. Defeat your rival and lead your men south into Sigmar’s Empire and to the ruined city, Mordheim.”


Next on the list are the two henchmen. They're carrying axes, daggers and bows. Yes bows! Looking forward to making them, not often I get to see a bow!

We kick off the campaign on Sunday with a race to the gates of Mordheim I believe. The campaign is set later than the original game with the varying races seeking to control the city. There are 6 Warbands present. The first through the gate wins the first game and gets first pick of their starting location on the Mordheim campaign map. Argider The Enslaver may have to be Argider The Sprinter for that game!

Monday, 26 October 2009

10 Observations - The Devotees of Elazar vs. The Empire

Had a 3000pt game against an Empire army yesterday. I've gotten a little tired of writing battle reports as they're always quite a long haul thing and I'm starting to prefer doing an observations sort of post game assessment of things.
So, I wanted to come up with a format for these things. I decided 10 Observations would be a good way to do it, so here we go in no particular order...

1. Gaizka The Warped made a return to my army list and plans for this battle. Breaking convention for me a little I used him as a Sorcerer Lord with the Book of Secrets and Spell Familiar and left him unmarked. I picked the Lore of Death with him as I really like the lore. He also took the Black Tongue. He proved to be really effective. He took out a Captain on Pegasus, a Wizard Lord and countless troops as well as snatching a wound off of Kurt Hellborg with his spells. The Black Tongue also brought me some time to deal with the two lore of metal wizards in the Empire army. Combined with the Infernal Puppet I made the miscast roll (and a further one later in the game) a 6 so that I could get off a spell of my own. Both times I picked Ecstatic Seizures aimed at big blocks of troops. This forced my opponent to throw the power dice he would have used to try to melt my Warriors in their armour at stopping his own troops from writhing around on the ground in excruciating bliss as they tore themselves apart. The Lore of Death is also great combined with Slaanesh. Doom and Darkness! is such a wonderful spell to get off before Hellshriek and/or some other psychology tests. I think Gaizka may well find his way back into my plans using this build again.

2. Vela The Performer is living up to that title. In the three games I've used him he's been incredibly reliable and really helped my army out a great deal. The Puppet is always helpful both offensively and defensively, especially with a Hellcannon in the list as there's always a chance of that misfire! Luckily for me he's always rolled Ecstatic Seizures as one of his spells. With the Marionette rules for Conjoined Homuncus on him I regularly finish my magic phase with him casting Seizures on his 2 power dice and using 1 from the pool. He get's this off 9 times out of 10 it seems with the additional help of the +D3 to casting from the Marionette. This means my opponent has little to no dispel dice left to stop it or has let other spells go through or uses up a scroll. He was generally casting it on a 13 so it's quite hard to dispel at the best of times. He stripped a lot of static combat resolution off of the Empire infantry blocks.

3. Isidro Devante was the other sorcerer I used for this battle. I used him as a Slaaneshi Sorcerer Lord and whilst he did well until Mr. Hellborg came and lopped his head off I still don't think I've quite sussed out a reliable build for this guy. I took Rod of Torment and a Power Familiar for him so he was able to get a few spells off but compared to the other two sorcerers he was disappointing. This might be in part because the other two survived the whole battle without taking wounds... well Gaizka did but he used Steal Soul to recover them!

4. Magic Missles! I feel like I've been re-awakened to their usefulness. Using the Slaaneshi lore I only normally have the one and that one can sometimes be counter-productive to my army with the rule that any unit that takes casualties from Lash can't march. However, with the Lore of Death being used I suddenly had an extra 2 magic missiles plus the area of effect spell Drain Life which does a similar job just on a large scale. These really did the job for me and made up for my rather paltry shooting phase compared to the Empire army!

5. I also felt against the Empire that up until that game I'd be using my Marauder Horsemen all wrong or something. Both units managed to get into the flanks of the Empire army. One unit went up my right hand flank to get behind the Empire troops and took out the level 2 wizard with their throwing axes before being shot do death by the opposing fast cavalry and Hellblaster Volley Gun's combined shooting. The second unit took care of the mortar and cannon on the left flank before wheeling around to block the view of a unit of pistoliers on my already depleted unit of chaos knights. The Marauder Horsemen were wiped out in the shooting phase but in the following turn my Knights managed to make the charge losing 1 of their number to the stand and shoot charge reaction but the remaining 3 Knights had managed to turn the flank of the enemy which would prove to be a crucial point in the game. First time the Marauder Horsemen have really proved their worth in points to me.

6. The Hellcannon actually managed a couple of turns of shooting in this game! It managed one particularly spectacular shot into the middle of a nice big block of 25 Empire Spearmen that scored a direct hit, causing carnage! Also managed to kill a couple of Empire Knights with another shot. After that it got charged by the loathsome Steam Tank and was destroyed by the heinous amount of impact hits it scored! It had taken 2 wounds previously from a cannon ball too.

7. The Steam Tank, this was a thorn in my side throughout. It started off with a wildly overshot cannon ball (thanks to the scatter dice) managing to go into the flank of my unit of Chaos Knights with lances. Said cannon ball proceeded to murder each and every single Knight in the unit. Clearly this was the traditional first game thrashing that each new unit seems to get for my army. The tank then took out the Steam Tank before finishing off my Dragon Ogres who'd been on a tour of the battlefield. Luckily that was the last thing of any worth that it managed to do with the exception of capturing a table quarter. The Dragon Ogres may have been able to deal with it if they could have gotten the charge on it but I'd decided early in the game to use them for a few other jobs and by the time they encountered it there were only 5 wounds left on the unit and the impact hits wiped them out.

8. The Dragon Ogres did really well. They were given the mission at the start of the battle of helping wipe out the big block of Empire Knights and more importantly if they could get hold of him wipe out the Captain on the Pegasus. The Pegasus Captain had Aldred's Casket of Sorcery (I'd had a feeling he was going to be carrying it) and the last thing I wanted was that guy getting a chance to steal the spells from my Sorcerers. He managed to get Aura of Acquiescence but I could live without that one as it's not a spell I cast frequently. As it was the Dragon Ogres started by wiping out the dregs of a free company who they'd charged knowing that their overrun path would take them into the Captain on Pegasus before he got a chance to get away. In the magic phase before the combat Gaizka and Isidro managed to kill the captain with their combined spell casting so when they did overrun the Dragon Ogres were presented with a Pegasus to put out of its misery. After dealing with the Pegasus they hit a unit of Spearmen with a Warrior priest and bounced off of them fleeing back to the centre of my deployment zone near enough. Once they rallied they managed to get into the rear of Kurt Hellborg who'd charged the flank of my Warrior unit containing Neron the Battle Standard Bearer and Gaizka The Warped. The Dragon Ogres made very quick work of Kurt Hellborg which was just as well because with another turn of combat Hellborg could have gotten to the expensive characters and made a huge difference to the game. The Dragon Ogres then turned to go and occupy the Steam Tank, I figured if they went anywhere near it my opponent would have to deal with them as their S7 attacks could actually cause it some problems and I didn't want it focusing its attentions on the same Warrior unit the Dragon Ogres had just relieved. They sold their lives so that Gaizka and Neron could wipe out another detachment of Halberdiers and Gaizka could cause some more damage with his spellcasting.

9. The unit of Chaos Knights that went up the left flank as I mentioned previously managed to get the charge into a unit of pistoliers and this proved to be a turning point in the game. Up until then things had been going mostly in my opponent's favour with the Hellcannon, Isidro Devante and the unit of Knights with lances already having given up a great deal of VP. The Knights easily broke killed the Pistoliers and overran into the next unit and then again overran into the Hellblaster and crew before finally managing to overrun into a big block of infantry with a Captain Battle Standard Bearer. They managed to break the unti with a bit of poor dice rolling for my opponent and then chased them down in the final turn. They mowed their way through my opponent's army and the last unit they dealt with in particular helped make back a lot of lost VPs especially with the captured banners and battle standard. To top it off with three of them still alive they finished up contesting a table quarter that my opponent still had a fair amount of troops in.

10. The game finished at 2438 vs. 2192 VP in my favour. Not enough of a difference to make it a win but it was a really fun game against a great opponent. It was exceptionally brutal with a lot of casualties on each side. My opponent's Warrior Priest was his man of the match. He survived the course of the battle (although gave up half VP) despite the fact that his unit was battered with spells, especially Ecstatic Seizures. His prayers proved to be very useful on a few occassions and along with Kurt Hellborg he was a standout player. I'd have to toss a coin between Vela and Gaizka for me really but I think Gaizka would maybe just edge it as he really made his points back with some important character kills and generally kept my opponent on his toes.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Devotees In Mordheim - Ximun

A WIP shot of Ximun, the Shaman for my Mordheim warband. Really love the Empire Battle Wizard kit, lots of great bits in there. Especially the serpent staff top. Very fitting for a worshipper of Shornaal the Serpent! Want to add a couple of other bits to him possibly, but will mostly be using the paint job to make sure his allegience is clear. The head is from the Flagellents sprues (another great kit for bits!) and he has a chaos star hanging chain from the Marauder Horsemen sprues.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Devotees of Elazar - Lots of WIP Pics

Got lots of WIP projects at the minute, the Mordheim Warband is my priority at the minute but doing a lot of these in the background.

He's just blue-tacked together at the moment and I still have a lot to do with him. In particular try and get rid of that blasted tentacle! I've mostly tried to avoid mutations in the army. There's the odd one but I decided early on that they're meant to be vain and seeking perfection and mutations would imply they were flawed originally. But I especially dislike the tentacle arm holding the shield so it has to go!
This guy is being worked on in the background. There's another painting competition at my gaming club next month and after Vela won the last one this is the mini that might have to defend my crown. I have another mini planned for my first choice for the competition but I need to get all the necessary bits together and I'm unsure if I can manage that with enough time left to paint it well!
He's going to be a Battle Standard Bearer, I think the pose of the model lends itself to that role very well. He looks like he should be looking down on the battle holding aloft the standard of the Devotees.
The flail is made from marauder flail top with the 'mace' parts coming from the chaos knights sprues. The head is of course Harry The Hammer's, had it sitting around spare and I think it looks great on this mini!

Chaos Warriors with Halberds.

Standard Bearer for the unit. The banner is from the Black Orc sprues. Had lots of bits left after making my Dragon Ogres (although the Black Orc bits are being pilfered by my son at the minute!). Figured it looked more than suitable for a unit of Warriors.

Musician, head is just a foot Marauder head.

Unit champion, head is from the Exalted Hero on foot mini that I've used for my Argider conversion.

Chaos Knights with lances. Most of the heads are the metal Chosen heads for these guys. They need some greenstuff work and then they'll be ready to paint, their shield arms and pauldrons get painted separately (they're not attached to their horses yet either).

Chaos Knight Musician. The pose came out really well and the helmet conversion really looks the part. It's actually one of the horned foot marauder heads but I removed the horns as they looked kind of pathetic!

This guy will be the unit Champion on the occassions I have one. But I think he'll be a regular Knight more often than not. With lances they're already expensive enough!

This guy will be the Standard Bearer but I haven't decided what I'm doing for this unit's standard yet.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Devotees In Mordheim - Argider The Enslaver

Here's a quick WIP look at Argider The Enslaver. He's the Chieftain of my Kurgan Marauder Warband for Mordheim. Equipped with Heavy Armour, a Helmet, an Axe and a Sword.
Using the Marauder Warband rules from Border Town Burning an awesome unofficial Mordheim supplement that is well worth a look!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Night Goblin Fanatic Cake - Final Pictures

My son had a great birthday and has gotten himself a healthy start to his Orc & Goblin horde. Just thought I'd post the last couple of pictures of his cake as these came out quite well.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Night Goblin Fanatic Cake - The First Cake Shots

A couple of quick pictures of the cake. Will get better ones tomorrow hopefully when I'm not having to sneak around with it! :)

Night Goblin Fanatic Cake - The Pre-Cake Shots

These are some very quick photos of the Fanatics that are going on my son's birthday cake. He's getting quite a lot of Orcs & Goblins for his birthday and so these should compliment his army nicely once they're back off the cake! Will post some photos of the cake in all its glory when I get a chance.

P.S. I've since painted the moon and eye etc on the Goblins hoods, completely missed those last night.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Codex Fluff Wolves - A Review of Sorts

I don't want to do a standard review of Codex: Space Wolves, I'd probably have little new to add to that format and seeing as I'm not a 40k gamer (at the minute) I'd probably be wrong! Furthermore, we've heard all about it now. Instead I want to have a look at the thing that struck me about Phil Kelly's book the most.
Now as anyone familiar with my blog will know, I'm a fluff-junkie. I love the background to the GW games and the opportunities we're given as hobbyists to explore and expand on that. My armies are always built around a story and a theme and I love the plots that develop over the course of a battle. Most of all though, I love developing a plot myself as I build the army and the models. That's the part of the hobby I find most rewarding.
When I first started batting ideas around for the Angels Exemplar I'd been torn whether to go for all out chaos marines or to use the old Space Wolves Codex to build a force as the organisation of the Space Wolves matched how I imagined the Angels Exemplar and the ferocity of the Wolves was also a nice match. Back then as well you could have a Venerable Dread lead an army without it having to be Bjorn and the original concept for Sikandar was that he was a fallen hero of the Angels Exemplar who'd fallen from the grace of the Emperor. Instead though, I'd gone for the chaos space marines. My old loyalties were hard to put aside. However, when I saw rumours of a new Space Wolves codex and I began to flesh out the background more I felt myself getting drawn to it more and more. So that brings us to where we are right now. Now to stop waffling and get to the point!
The one thing that I love about this Codex is that it seems to make an extra effort with something that Games Workshop have been overlooking a little lately in my opinion. It tries to tie together the fluff and the game a lot more and to immerse the player into the game through the characters they create to lead their army. I think in 5th edition 40k there's been an effort to create this immersing effect more, that's one of the selling points of true line of sight. Space Wolves characters are another step in this direction in my mind.
The first thing Phil Kelly has done is to put in a rule where you can't give characters the same wargear loadouts. It's such a simple little rule that stops the spammers and instantly creates unique characters in even a cheesy-power-list-army. I really like this rule, it doesn't detract anything at all but means you have to put that little bit more thought into the characters, your representatives on the battlefield.
The second, and more obvious way in which this fluff-focus has been added is the Saga list. These sort of upgrades are nothing new, we've had Chaos/Daemonic Gifts, Vampiric Powers, Oaths, Big Names etc in a lot of GW army books/codices. What is different with them is the oath associated with them. Sure it's not a game rule, but it's a brilliant concept to put this sub-mission in the mind of the player. I'm sure there will be plenty of players that ignore the oaths and good luck to them but for those of us that like this sort of thing they're such a wonderful concept. I will not play a game with the Angels Exemplar once I'm started on them where the oaths of my characters won't be a personal mission! The only downside to the sagas is that there are so few of them but this is a positive review and I'm sure there can be plenty discussion about what could have been added in but not right now.
Next, I want to mention the Lone Wolf. Another brilliant concept. How many times when we've played our games of 40k or Fantasy etc have we had one of these present themselves from the rank and file. Many a time now the Champion in my Fantasy Chaos Warriors with Great Weapons unit has outlived his comrades and gone on solo missions of self-sacrifice. It's the sort of plot I mentioned before that unfolds as a battle goes on. The Lone Wolf represents a brilliant opportunity to start with one of these guys! There will most definitely be one of these in my army, to me they represent something a bit like the Emperor's Champion idea. Mine shall have a sword and a shield and charge forth to meet the monstrous enemies of the Angels Exemplar in combat. I can't wait! The fluff-junkie in me is thinking I'll wait to introduce one of these guys in my army until a unit gets so battered in a battle and I'm left with a genuine Lone Wolf rank and file guy. Then his legend will continue on!
Anyway, I'm going to finish on that note. A lot has been written, ranted and raved about the new codex and everything that's wrong with it and how it'll wreck the game. I just wanted to bring attention to the subtle focus change within the codex and what it can represent to the rest of us that enjoy the spectacle of the game instead of the power-gaming.
Comments etc will be greatly appreciated. I have another post about army fluff planned soon as it's a subject I'm quite keen on exploring further!