Sunday, 17 March 2019

Viking Longhouse WIP

Returning from a spring break holiday, I was looking for something quick and easy to do to get me back into the hobby groove. I know, I thought to myself, I will get the roof on the viking super hut, that should be simple enough. What a mistaken idea that was!

I bought the tiling sheets from the ever dependable warbases. They come in A4 size and are strips of a thick card, laser cut. You have to cut each strip to size and glue it on to your roof. It's probably quite easy with a standard roof, but with all the slopes and angles it proved quite time consuming. Two afternoons of pretty tedious hobbying later, and it looks like this. Almost there I think, I am pondering whether to put a beam across the apex.

It looks good, but it's definitely a job for the dedicated enthusiast. All future roofs will probably be turfed!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Flippin' eck....

.....these goblins are big guys. Yes, I did manage to fit in a pancake day pun.

These are black goblins from Knightmare Games, part of their Greenskin Wars range. I ordered them not realising they are bigger than your average goblin, but that's fine, I like size variation. As you can see, they are single piece metal sculpts, oozing with character and good levels of detail. The eyes have an iris and a pupil!

How big are they? Here's a comparison with a couple of plastic figures, a goblin and an orc. They tower over the little goblin, almost reaching the height and bulk of the orc. These are going to be the bruisers in my goblin force, either the bodyguard of the general or maybe an elite unit.

Just like their cousins the Black Orcs of the Warhammer world, or the black uruks of Tolkien's world, they are the biggest and toughest in the army. Conveniently, that suggests a palette to me - black skin with dark robes and armour. So here's a few examples of dark skinned orcs to act as inspiration.

Friday, 1 March 2019

March of the Goblins

Goblins have been a part of my wargaming history since the beginning. From my first few tentative games of Talisman and Heroquest, to full blown battles of Warhammer, they have always been around, as grunts to be killed, enemy to be defeated. When I bought my first set of Warhammer Fantasy Battle it contained dozens of single pose goblins, none of which interested me as a collecting or painting project. Years later I painted the night goblins of the Skull Pass boxset, more to provide cannon fodder for my dwarfs than anything. They have always been second best, on the periphery of my collection.

But that is about to change. Last year I spent a good deal of time reminiscing about those early days. I started to collect a few models from 1992, the first year of my personal involvement in Warhammer. They are not easy to come by - you might be lucky and find a few on various groups or ebay, but prices can be very expensive - my rose tinted specs have not blinded me enough to pay some of the ridiculous levels asked by some sellers. And then I found another way.

Knightmare Games have a range of metal goblins sculpted by Kev Adams, the sculptor of much of the early 90's goblins for Games Worshop. They should fit perfectly with the few figures I already have in my collection. At around three euros a figure they are still not a cheap option, and would be eye wateringly expensive if I was trying to collect the big regiments required by the old games. But I am building a force to use in Erehwon, and maybe Saga, so it's much easier on the wallet. I can buy about fifty or so figures and that's enough for a complete force, not a couple of regiments. So that's what I am doing. I have put in my first order and await delivery with keen anticipation.

And so begins the March of the Goblins.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

First Game of Erehwon

The Dwarfs of Oakenhammer have had many years of peace and prosperity, little bothered by outsiders. But recently, rangers have reported much more activity on the borders, with goblins from the Red Hills in the east being particularly bothersome. Hoping to squash any sneaky plans the greenskins might have, the dwarfs have despatched a small force from the nearest hold, to confront and warn off the intruders.

You might not realise it, but there is a new game system in town. Quietly launched by Warlord Games, Warlords of Erehwon is a game by Rick Priestley, author of the original Warhammer Fantasy Battle. If you have played Bolt Action or Battle of Antares, you will be familiar with the basic system. If you have no idea what these are, then you can get a rough idea of the new game from this youtube video, in which the basic mechanics are covered.

My own one paragraph description of the game is that it is a large skirmish/small warband game, playable on a dining room table, with forces of around six to ten units per side, units from three to ten figures in size, so about thirty to fifty figures to each warband. If you play Saga, it's a similar scale, but with a very different play style. Units are activated one by one in a random fashion, drawing dice or tokens from a bag to determine this. Each unit then makes a choice from six different activations (move, shoot, rally type actions), carries out that action, then another unit is randomly chosen to activate. Actions are resolved using 10 sided dice by referring to one of six stats, with low rolls being successes (so the ideal game if you always roll 1's). It's a fast moving game, both players randomly but constantly involved at all times - there's no snoozing while your opponent takes his half hour turn. The photo above shows roughly what to expect, with six units of stout dwarf warriors facing off against ten units of sneaky goblins (some of them have obviously sneaked out of frame, the little gits). The photo below shows roughly 800 points of dwarfs.

In this first, trial outing, the game was quite easy to pick up, the rules are pretty straight forward. It plays more like the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle than any other game I have tried (Saga, Rampant, etc), but with much smaller forces and far less fiddly rules. If you like the feel of  the old WHFB games, but have developed a liking for newer, slicker game systems, it is probably right up your street. Suffice to say that dwarfs, goblins, trolls, and ideas for terrain are now swirling around in my over excited mind. I reckon that this game, and possibly the upcoming Saga fantasy supplement, will herald a renaissance in fantasy gaming.

The dwarfs turned their back on the smouldering heaps of goblin corpses. Gently, reverently, they hoisted their dead companions on to the carefully prepared litters, and began the solemn march back to the hold. Dozens of goblins had been slaughtered in the battle, but there was little reason to celebrate. Six of their own kin had been lost, six new burial mounds would be constructed at the hold. Heads bowed, they started the long trek back home.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dwarfs of Oakenhammer

The dwarfs of Oakenhammer have been roused from their winter slumber. Rangers patrolling the eastern borders have reported worrying numbers of goblins gathering, not to mention rumours from the north of invading barbarians. Patrols have been doubled, plans have been made, reinforcements are on the way. In the meantime, the dwarfs of Oakenhammer must rely on their resolve and their armour, to repel the interlopers as best they can.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am returning to the bearded ones. Not just painting them, but also some gaming. I have really missed fantasy wargaming in my hobby life. Warhammer was the start of everything for me and it gave me many, many years of pleasure, from playing with unpainted figures on the dining table with my brothers, to full on tournament battles. When the game met the sad fate it did, I had already drifted from it a little, but it was still a sad time to see the glory days ended. Since then I have enjoyed many a game system from varying periods and genres, but recently I have been reminiscing back to the old days. I have been plodding along, building up this dwarf force and an Undead collection, anticipating the release of the fantasy version of Saga some time this year. And then, out of the blue, almost from Nowhere, another option has become available. More on that soon.........

Thursday, 14 February 2019


Dear Mariella, 

I am a grown man who really should know better. I keep trying to kick the habit, but try as I might, I cannot stop painting beards. I love hairy guys - axe wielding maniacs from frozen lands, grumpy old sods from underground realms, even silly gnomes with pointy hats - I just cannot get enough of them. I tried switching to smooth chinned elves, or even withered old hairless undead types, but I cannot stick with them for long and yearn for a little brush on beard action. On this day on which we celebrate secret love*, I think I have to confess that I am besotted by beard. Though not those attached to hipsters, obviously. What should I do?

Yep, I just cannot give up on the dwarf obsession. I prepped some elves to kickstart an old project, then stared at them for a good two weeks before I realised that my heart was not in it. I do love my elves, just not as much as I should do. So I have put them back in the drawer and dug out these old classics. They are a mix of longbeards and some characters and anvil guard, though as I don't play Warhammer these days, let's just call them veterans. It's not even a unit - what do we call a collective of grumpy old dwarves?  A complaint? A grumble? A Boar's Snout? Whatever it is, there's ten of the miserable buggers waiting (impatiently no doubt) for some love.

*so the love part is obvious, but there's also a secret in the photo ?!?
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