Friday 26 November 2010

10 reasons why I might start an Ostermark army.

When I started this blog one of the main purposes was to log my progress on my armies and painting projects. Most of my posts do just that.

Another reason for the blog was to jot down any thoughts I was having at the time. Often these thoughts will be fairly random and short-lived, but occasionally they will develop into something a bit more substantial and with the potential of actually developing into something concrete (or should that be plastic). This post is one of these, a series of ideas and musing that has developed in my head over the past few days and now I just can't seem to get rid of it. If I write it all down, I may be able to forget if for a while and come back to it later. So here are 10 reasons why I might start an Ostermark army.

1. Ostermark is a rural region in the north of the Empire, bordered to the north by Kislev. It is often subject to raids by chaos marauders and the like. Meanwhile, in the real world, I live in Cumbria, a rural county in the north of England, bordered to the north by Scotland. The lands around the border were contested by the Scots and Cumbrians for centuries (the region was known as "the Debatable Lands"), and raids by reivers were common.

2. The largest city in Cumbria is Carlisle, the Border City. It contains a fine castle and remains of a stout town wall. The wall gates were originally guarded by two huge bastions known as the Citadel. The coat of arms for the city (shown above) contains a red wyvern, which matches the red beast shown as the symbol of Ostermark (there's a picture of this in the Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire book).

3. The colours of the state troops in Ostermark are purple/burgundy and yellow/white. This would make a striking army different to the usual red/blue garbed soldiers.

4. One famous regiment to originate in Ostermark are the Deaths Heads, masked warriors bearing halberds and wearing red and black uniforms rather then the typical purple and white. These would make an interesting modelling and painting project and add some real character to the army.

5. Life is tough in Ostermark and the locals are hardy folk, though not particularly well equipped. This suggests to me a preponderance of spearmen, archers, crossbows and hunters, rather than blackpowder armed troops. However, garrisons at the border would be well equipped, so the army would not be just a bunch of peasants and farmers! Not only would this make for a characterful army, but it just happens to match most of the figures in my current collection.

6. I often fight against chaos armies, so there is plenty of opportunity to develop a scenario based campaign around these two armies.

7. Because of the proximity of the border with chaos (Kislev) and the Vampire Counts (nearby Sylvania), there is a strong opportunity to include a witch hunter theme in some of the regiments.

8. There is a suggestion is some of the background material that ogres are quite common in Ostermark. I could include ogres as allies or unit fillers.

9. Similarly, there is a suggestion that dwarf slayers often roam into Ostermark from nearby Karak Kadrin, obviously seeking out undead or chaos monsters to slay. One of my other armies is dwarfs, which desperately need some shaven-headed berserk troops.

10. There is a long-term project that could develop, incorporating units from both Ostermark and Ostland, probably my two favourite Empire provinces.

Now that I have that off my chest, perhaps I can get back to real painting instead of head in the clouds dreaming!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please don't step on the frog, or something like that, I never was one for carols.

This little chap represents a big part in my warhammer world. He's the toad from the Talisman board game. It was the first game I ever bought from Games Workshop, back in the 1980's. Me and my brothers and friends would play for hours, first with the original set and then later with all the expansions added on. Good times.

Eventually I progressed into other boardgames such as Heroquest and from there it was perhaps inevitable that I would take up Warhammer. Once the switch was made from boardgame to wargame, my old set of Talisman languished in the cupboard for many years. A few years ago I was surprised at how valuable they were to collectors and sold it on ebay, making a tidy sum, though with a hint of regret.

Recently, the game was re-released by the Black Library and I bought it in a nostalgic moment.The game was subsequently taken on by Fantasy Flight games, who have released a number of expansions. And that's where this little chap comes in. He is part of the FFG version of the game, which includes plastic figures rather than cardboard pieces. I painted him up very quickly and will eventually get round to all the characters.

How does this relate to Christmas? It's the one time of the year I can persuade my rapidly growing teenagers to gather round the table for a board game, and Talisman is the one we always seem to come back to (that and Cluedo). So this year I am hoping to surprise my family with these new additions to the game. It's become as much a part of Christmas as turkey, tinsel and TV!

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Arcane Ruins

I am slowly building up my terrain collection, with this set of arcane ruins the latest addition. As you can see, I have mounted it on the base piece that comes with the Citadel Wood. One of the trees is currently sat in a swamp, the other two are still be used in other projects I have in mind.

The remainder of the ruins set I will use as an altar with a removable monolith, hopefully this will give me some variety/choice.

The painting is mostly washes and glazes over a light grey colour, with little bits of drybrushing here and there. The ground is covered with woodland scenics flock and foliage. This was done to tie it into the bases of my daemon army, after all it's quite likely that they would be attracted to magic infused places like this one.
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