Monday 28 November 2016

The Last Slayer

I finally found the last member of the slayer unit - and he was right under my nose the whole time!

When I started painting my new dwarf army I never really thought about adding slayers, as I always viewed them as nice background but mediocre models. When I picked up a complete dwarf army on a forum sale, it happened to contain a few slayer models and I had a really close look at them. Some of them I immediately sold but a handful I thought to myself, these are actually quite nice models. They don't really match the ferocity of the artwork, but they were not too bad and would make a change from painting armour. So I put together a small unit of just seven figures, with the eighth a proxy or filler model of a dragon's head (eight being needed for games of Saga). I slowly painted the unit but never got round to the dragon head, thinking I should use a real slayer. I toyed with the idea of trying to pick up a Gotrek model from ebay, or maybe one of the Avatars of War models, but in the end gave up trying to bag a bargain.

Then I bought the Silver Tower boxset, to use as additions to my Tzeentch collection. I assembled the hero figures, including the dwarf fyreslayer, while never really being convinced of the aesthetic - it's all the runes hammered into the skin that I don't like - and what's with all the key motifs? I half heartedly painted the figure and then lost interest for a good few months. But recently I have been trying to finish half-completed projects and so finally picked up the beardy chap again. A quick flurry of brushwork and he was done. In a way it was quite liberating painting a model I was not that attached to, I felt that if I messed up I could just bin it, no great loss to me. Consequently I tried a few crazy ideas as I went along - glazing the skin and hair blue for example, highlighting white then glazing over the top, that kind of thing. I am pretty happy with the result. The unit of slayers is now properly eight strong and I learned a few things about painting. I am still not convinced about the model, but I am just happy to draw a line under the unit and move on.

Wednesday 16 November 2016


With all the hype surrounding the supermoon, I was inspired to paint this figure. I wanted something that I could finish quickly and this Blood Rage figure was perfect. It was quick to clean, a bit of a fiddle to remove the integrated base, but nothing too onerous. About 15 minutes prep and it was glued to the base.

For painting I primed white, a thin coat of a pale flesh and then used two colours to glaze on some shading. A red brown for some simple flesh tones, and a blue grey for some deeper shading. By mixing the two I got a good range of different tones. The blue grey also served as a foundation for the hairy bits. Once the basic shading was complete I added a few highlights using a thinned white, then glazed again to bring back the fleshy colour. Finally I added some darker blue glaze to the hair, then some black glaze, picked out the face details and the veins, painted the cobbles and it was done.

It's good to blast through a little project on a whim, whizzing my paintbrushes in a quick and dirty style. The finish is not as polished as many of my figures, but then I spent far less time on it. I might even get to play with this figure over the festive season - last year we enjoyed a couple of games of Blood Rage. It's based on cobbles to add to my (very small) steampunk collection, maybe even that will get called into play at some time. For now though, back to those slow and steady dwarfs.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Vorghan Storms Into Battle

Storm clouds boiled and thunder rumbled overhead as Vorghan peered into the distance. After weeks of wandering the chaos wastes, the hounds had finally picked up a scent. Marauder scouts returned with news that the enemy was nearby. Vorghan bellowed his orders and the Ravagers roared their approval. Battle would be joined, blood would be spilled, glory would be reaped by the victorious.

The first skirmish would be fought using the Warhammer 8th edition rules, though I had the softback Warriors of Chaos army book, which was 6th or 7th edition. We played a scenario from the General's Handbook, which was a straight-forward battle but with the chance of lightning hitting units at the start of each turn, causing damage and preventing them from moving.

The rules came back to us fairly quickly, we didn't have to spend too much time checking the book. The biggest problem I have is mixing up all the versions I have played. But for the most part it went smoothly. It was, as usual, a real treat to play in Matt's dungeon of excellent terrain.

On my right flank Vorghan and his warriors, plus a support unit of marauders, nervously faced off against dragon ogres and chaos knights, a spawn, bestigors and marauders. A few pieces of rough terrain kept the enemy at bay for a couple of turns, and the shaman destroyed a spawn with a fireball. The marauder horse foolishly charged into the bestigor - it was at this point that I was reminded that two ranks fought. Needless to say the horsemen a) lost and b) won't be charging into the front of anything in future games.

On my left flank things looked equally precarious. A screening unit of hounds lasted one turn leaving a unit of chaos knights charged by a giant and a chaos spawn. I was convinced that this could only spell defeat, but amazingly the giant was felled and the spawn barely survived, hanging on for one more combat before he was destroyed. I had forgotten how good chaos knights can be. Sadly this fact was confirmed on my right flank as enemy knights tore through marauders, leaving Vorghan exposed to a potential flank charge.

The only chance for Vorghan was to lead his warriors in a charge down the centre, hopefully crush the enemy then pursue out of harm's way. Luckily, both charges crashed home. Vorghan had to charge across a giant skeleton and naturally his ball and chain got tangled in the bones, dragging him to the ground, his knee impaled on a boney rib. Still, he manfully limped forward and bellowed a challenge to the enemy general, Sven the Simple. Hampered by his injury, Vorghan was bested in this combat, though his warriors made short work of the enemy bestigors and chased them from the field.

The battle ended in typical Warhammer fashion, with practically every unit destroyed. Both sets of knights had crushed everything in their path, Vorghan had valiantly led his troops into battle, and much blood had been spilled to honour the gods. They (somehow) decreed it was a narrow victory to Sven, but were so disgusted with his feeble performance that he was gifted with stupidity. Both armies were rewarded with reinforcements - Sven would be joined by three skullcrushers while Vorghan attracted a chariot. After totting up the points we realised this was already a bit skewed, so Matt valiantly sacrificed a unit of spawn, to make it a little more balanced in future encounters. We felt that neither general had proven worthy of reward, but Vorghan's knights had been valorous combatants and would gain a small reward. And the raging storm? It had no effect whatsoever - only in the last turn did lightning strike, and then harmlessly into the ground.

Monday 7 November 2016

Dark Angels still for sale

For sale - one very nicely painted Dark Angels starter force. I put this up on ebay last week, it didn't sell, so here we go again at a reduced starting price. Please spread the word if you know of anyone who might be interested. Here's the ebay link.

Friday 4 November 2016

Vorghan's Ravagers

Listen to me and I will tell you the legend of Vorghan the Slayer, as it was told in days of old. A tale of bloodshed, noble deeds, treachery and the quest for glory.....

I am about to embark on a mini campaign down in the dungeon with the dice rolling maestro Matt. It's loosely based on the Path to Glory campaign from the Age of Sigmar General's Handbook - though we certainly will not be playing that ruleset and have made quite a few little tweaks to how it will play out. The first step in the campaign is to pick a warband. We both chose chaos forces and both elected to roll randomly for our starting force rather than choosing from the available options. We also both chose to start with the least powerful Lord option to maximise the number of units generated. I ended up with a Beast Shaman, 10 hounds, 12 warriors, 20 marauders, 5 knights and 5 horsemen. I will probably split the hounds unit into two as shown in the photo. It reminds me of the old battalion boxsets.

The basic idea behind the campaign is to accumulate glory points. These are earned in battle, 3 points gained for a major victory, 2 points for a minor victory and 1 point for a draw or loss. To keep it short and interesting we will play until one side reaches 7 or more points. At that stage we will fight a final battle, The Monolith, again lifted from the handbook.

We will use the tables and charts from the campaigns, tweaking them as necessary to fit our own purposes, as we will be playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle to begin with, maybe tossing in some Fantastic Saga or Dragon Rampant along the way. It's deliberately unplanned at this stage - we have a starting roster each, the first game scheduled and a rough idea of how it will end. By my calculations we will get between three and seven games before the final confrontation, so about a month or so of weekly gaming seems about right.

I have recently blogged on Vorghan the Slayer and the shaman and knights, these additional photos complete the picture. They are not new figures, they have all appeared on the blog in ages past, but it seemed a good idea to have a group photo while I was preparing them for their trip to the Chaos Wastes. Notice the marauder unit happily mixes together new and old versions of the figures.

Onward to glory........
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