Thursday 31 December 2015

Chaos Lord of Khorne

Just in time for year end, the Chaos Lord of Khorne and his flesh hound. For some reason I kept putting off painting this mini, I think I overdosed on red and brass a little and could not face it. I did enjoy painting the hound in particular, but the rest seemed a chore. Still, it's good to strike it off the list.

Most of the time I will field this model in skirmish games, but it can be combined with the standard bearer and chosen warriors to represent a "unit of 12". Most of my chaos units are six wide, so it's good that this unit follows this format. Notice that there's a blank base in there, just to fill up a space.

That's my final unit of the Khorne Warband, for the time being at any rate. I may come back to it at some point as I still have marauders left over from the starter set, plus some hounds and bloodletters from years ago that I could add. But in the short term I want to get some games with the fully painted warband - Dragon Rampant, Fanticide and Fantastic Saga are all games I am looking forward to playing.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

The Dragon Has Landed!

A late xmas present arrived in the post today - my copy of Dragon Rampant. I picked mine up for an absolute bargain on Books Etc, less than £7 including postage. Other sellers are available, such as the publisher website Osprey, and quite a few indie web sites sell it too. As with all new books, I flipped it open and flicked through the pages. It's similar in style and layout to Lion Rampant, the usual Osprey fare which is solid and serviceable, if a little old fashioned. One big surprise, and a very pleasant surprise at that, was the inclusion of some full page art spreads. These are very nice indeed, I include my three favourites below to give a taster. Best fantasy art I have seen in a good while.

I look forward to delving deeper later in the week and will give a better, more detailed review at some point in the new year. In the meantime, just enjoy the lovely art. The pictures are posted without permission, in the unlikely event that this causes a problem with the author/publisher I will of course remove this post.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Xmas Goodies

Readers of a certain age will no doubt recognise my awful pun in the picture here, but younger viewers will have to rely on google and youtube to get up to speed. At the very least, watch the opening credit for a flavour of 1970's fun, before even warhammer were a lad.

Anyway, on to the main event, what goodies did Santa leave under my tree this year? Quite a lot as it happens, he had a lot of help from a friendly, wargaming elf (I picked for myself this year).

Blood Rage arrived back in September, it was that rare beast, a kickstarter project delivered on time. I put it to one side as officially it was a xmas gift, so I will enjoy looking through that in the coming days. The Order 1886 was a gift from my son, I have already played chapter 1 and it is oozing with atmospheric inspiration for steampunk style mini gaming. The Star Wars snowspeeder is a 1/52 scale kit, roughly the right scale for 28mm figures so might come in useful if I ever get into hard sci-fi gaming, but should be a nice kit just to build and paint. And the little plastic bag was a gift from Matt's dungeon stash, I'm not quite sure what to do with a naked Lady Godiva but I'm sure something will come to mind.

The books are a diverse lot. Fanticide I picked up for just £5 in an online sale, skimming through it reminds me of Muskets and Tomahawks in a card activation way, and IHMN in the mechanics. It's based around small (30 ish) bands of fantasy forces and includes rules for designing your own factions, so another fantasy game set to try. The Dracula book contains some lovely art and hopefully will provide some ideas for steampunk/gothic scenarios. The Nordic tattoo book contains some nice ideas for shields, banners and skin art. Finally, hidden under the pile is a book on Art Deco, again a useful source of inspiration for palettes. Plenty to keep me busy, I will return to some of them in more detail in the new year.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Converted Khorgorath

When I first saw this model, I thought it was messy. Too many bits sticking out the top of it, and a very silly looking head. But I liked the solid rhino like body and thought it had potential. After a brief search through my bits box I found an old metal bloodthirster head which was just about the right size. I had to use my limited greenstuff skills to add some hair braids to blend it in. I also removed a couple of skulls that pop out of the skin, and simply cut out or left off the snake tentacles on the shoulders. If I possessed better sculpting skills, I would have completely redone the shoulders to omit the gaping maws and the emerging skulls. One little problem I was able to overcome was the metal head toppled over the figure, so I counterbalanced this by adding lead weights to the base - hidden under cork rocks.

When it came to painting I had decided early on not to go with the usual red skin. At first I thought black skin, with fiery innards, balrog style. But I also wanted to include some blood, which doesn't really show up well on dark skin. So eventually I just started painting and hoped for the best. I stippled on pale flesh colours and then some shading in greys and blue. I was hoping for a mottled appearance. The rhino legs I glazed with greys, blues, green and purple. The muscles under the skin I painted pink, with brown thin lines, then glazed a couple of times with rusty red for a fairly quick and easy flesh effect. Lots of glazing, stippling and just going with the flow, I think it worked out in the end.

Hopefully I will get plenty of games with the beast. It will join my Khorne contingent for skirmishes using the Fantastic Saga and Dragon Rampant rules, and maybe a couple of other rulesets I will be unwrapping soon. I took quite a few close-ups of some of the details, so here's some more gory details.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Another Game of Fantastic Saga

For our third game of Fantastic Saga, it was a real treat to dig up my Undead army. I have been painting it sporadically over the past two or three years so was very happy to take them round to Matt's dungeon for a game against his pesky elves. Once again we played a Rampant scenario, each army started in opposite corners and had to get as many units into the enemy zone as possible. Most of my troops are multi-based, so we had to use dice as wound counters, but we managed to get by.

The Undead move slowly, but there are a few abilities that allow extra movement, so the whole army managed to get to the middle of the board en masse. The elves were slower and far less shooty than I expected. A treeman lumbered through the trees (obviously) and I fully expected my unit of zombies to be mulch, but somehow they survived a couple of rounds of combat. The necromancer brought a few back to life and eventually they unexpectedly overpowered the behemoth. There was no victory cheer, just a satisfied groaning noise in the forest. Ghouls tussled indecisively with swordmasters, archers fired ineffectively at skeletons.

The hour was getting late as the banshee stirred in the graveyard. The high pitched scream had little effect on elven pointy ears, but in combat it turned out to be quite a monster, easily the equal of a unit of swordmasters. As midnight approached, the elves suddenly galvanised and an eagle swooped into combat with the vampire countess. With average dice rolling it would have been an equal match, but a string of 1's and 2's had the fiend on the floor, clutching at her gashed throat. The undead slunk away into the night while the elves searched in vain for the body of the vampire, ominous laughter echoing in the distant graveyard.

All in all it was a good game, we probably should have started on a smaller board, and maybe we need some house rule for 10 point games to allow more Saga dice, but I certainly enjoyed it and look forward to trying out more of the undead troop choices.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Chaos Marauders of Khorne

The chaos marauders of Khorne are finally painted. They seem to have taken a good while, even with my speed painting techniques. But they are definitely worth the effort, looking awesome ranked up like this, especially with the special guest lumbering through the ranks. This is chaos enough for me, there's no need for foot high figures with three heads and two tails.

These are quite possibly the finest fantasy figures from any of the starter sets. For my money, it's a toss up between these models and the beautiful high elves from the Island of Blood set (another on my to do list). I was careful to ensure they ranked up in a number of ways, with and without the big guy, even though I generally play skirmish games at the moment. These figures are based on 25mm mdf squares. I am still hoping to try a game or two of Kings of War, and we have been talking about learning Hail Caesar for a couple of years. Maybe one day we will actually get round to it!

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