Friday 18 June 2010

Spear Chukkas

 I completed painting the two spear chukkas over the past few days. The chukkas themselves I cannot remember where they came from, even if they are orc and goblin models, but they sure look like it. If not then they have obviously been looted from a defeated foe. The crew are a variety of old models, while the orc bully is made from plastic bits.

A pair of chukkas can often cause the enemy problems, especially if I place them on the flanks. Though they are not the best marksmen, there's usually a 1 in 3 chance of hitting the target, so they can be very effective, especially if they manage to take out heavily armoured units like knights. The enemy have to come out to deal with them, so at just 40 points per chukka they are a real steal and are always my first special choice. Having said that in the last game they did absolutely nothing, not helped by their crews rushing forwards under the influence of a first turn Waaargh spell!

The second chukka crew is made up from plastics bits from the goblin sprues. Notice that two of them are having a squabble so the bully is rushing over to sort them out. He's getting on a bit so uses an iron bar as a walking stick. I did wonder if I should embellish it with a severed goblin head, just to "show them snotty little crew wot 'appens if they muck about."

Monday 14 June 2010

Orcs sack Averheim!

I took the newly painted orc unit along to a campaign game last night. The Empire troops were manning the barricades in the hastily fortified village of Averheim, while the orcs streamed on from two sides to sack and pillage. The orc boyz got a lucky 6 roll for animosity and stormed forward, almost to the barricades. The Empire general sent his army champion (standard bearer) with a unit of halberdiers to counter the threat. The orc boyz stood up to this charge and hacked down a few humans in return, winning the combat and sending the humans racing back in to the village square to "regroup". The orcs then quickly despatched a detachment of militia before slamming into the flank of a unit of swordsmen. Freshly painted and in the thick of the action, a gaming geek's dream.

Things were going quite smoothly for the rest of the army too. A unit of spider riders managed to disable a hellblaster before being hacked down by a unit of greatswords, a worthwhile exchange. A large unit of night goblins were in a grinding combat with a unit of flagellents, trolls were almost at the main gate of the village, while a unit of black orcs (with the help of the general's Waargh) had managed to charge a unit of Empire knights. The one minor setback was the giant stumbling as he tried to cross the fences, he would have to spend a turn getting up again and then try to cross the barrier again.

Empire relief forces turned up but were hampered by night goblin fanatics or charged by rampaging black orcs, leaving the dwindling forces in the villages to fight on. A minor victory was scored by the Empire as they sent the trolls fleeing from the main gate, strength in numbers winning the combat. The orc boyz were charged in the flank by a unit of greatswords and it seemed that the balance of the game was going to swing back to the humans. Four hits were scored but incredibly four 1's turned up on the to wound rolls! Just like a White Dwarf report. Even so, it was still a desperate moment as the boyz needed a 4 to stay in the game - yep, the second amazing roll turned up trumps for the greenskins. They had survived the Empire counter attack and could now hack down swordsmen to the front and greatswords to the flank. When the giant finally managed to negotiate the fence and charged in to help, the casualty toll was too high for the Empire and they fled.

The newly painted orcs suffered more than 50% casualties but racked up an impressive tally - the halberdiers' standard, a unit of militia, a unit of greatswords and a unit of swordsmen (with the help of a giant). What a debut, one that will be hard to beat. On my painting table at the moment is a couple of spear chukkas, then I will have to paint up some trolls and the giant. I was hoping to have them ready for the climax of the campaign, a siege at the Gates of Nuln, but I won't have the time for that. Still, I will try to remember to take my camera along for a final report.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Da orcs are here!

The Waaaargh gathers momentum, in the shape of 25 boyz with extra choppas. This unit can be quite useful in games, especially when led by a black orc who quells animosity and adds considerable punch (and I have a very nice model lined up for this role). In 8th edition I expect this unit to be even better, if it's true about both front ranks fighting the unit will be pumping out 20+ attacks. Not too shabby, especially in the first round when the choppas rule gives them additional strength.

In terms of the painting they were very straight forward and I spent little time on them. There are some slight variations in the skin tones, which I figured would add a little much-needed variety to a unit that is mostly wearing brown clothing. The banner design is very simple but the bold colours really pop out against the drab tones.

I have also finished painting an orc shamen (left). The one on the right is a Rackham Confrontation figure which I painted a few years ago. I think of him as a savage orc, both in appearance and in the difference in skin tone (there's no particular reason why bright green = savage, it just seems fitting in my mind). I need to repaint the base edge, just realised it's brown rather than black. I have some other non-GW figures to use as savage orcs, but they will take me some time to complete so are on the back burner for a while. Next on the list are trolls and a giant. That will add another 300 points or so to the army, my ambition to have 2000 points fully painted for the launch of 8th edition is looking good.

One minor problem I have is with the new boar boyz. They are so much nicer then the old plastic boars that I am really tempted to bin my exisiting unit and get a box or three of the new plastics (for a unit of 10, steeds for 2 chariots and a character mount). The leftover boyz could be incorporated into a unit of biguns, which I have been pondering for a while. If I get that little lot painted up I reckon I would be closer to 3000 points. Not bad for an army that started life as a change of pace from my dwarfs!
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