31 August 2009

Skaven

The Skaven were my first WFB army way back in 3rd edition, and have been a favorite since then. So I've been waiting anxiously for the 7th edition update. The rumors are finally starting to surface and...

I'm pretty excited! The pics of the new clanrats look great. I've heard various grumbling, mainly around Warseer (the home of whining). But as a fan of the original Jes Goodwin sculpts and art, I think the new clanrats really look like the best and most direct evolution of that original look since then.

I won't comment on the various rumors, since I'd like to remain somewhat skeptical until we see something direct from GW. But from what I'm hearing, I'm excited about the new book as well.

I just dug out my existing Skaven army, and will try to make a few repairs over the next few months. I'll be keeping all/most of the old models, but will be happy to get some new clanrats. After being in storage for a year and a half, I can't figure out how to get three of my plastic clanrat units back into ranks! Some of my WIP slaves have also escaped! I have no idea where they are.

For now it's back to Marienburg, though. I'll need to finish my War Altar for Marauders Mayhem in October, along with some commission work I've been dragging my feet on.

27 August 2009

Marienburg WIP

A WIP photo of a project I've been (very) slowly working on for my WFB Marienburg army...





Initially it will be used as a War Altar for my "High Priest of Manann" (aka Arch Lector from the Empire book.) But my plan is to make an "insert" that slides in the top, containing a floor to which will be glued the High Priest as well as any other ornaments of office (statuary, candles, banners, whatever) I decide upon. But as it will be removable, I plan on have a couple more slide-in inserts.

The second will likely contain a cannon that will be aimed out the front, a crewman, an an armoured roof -- thus it can serve as a bit of a second rank steam tank. (Or non-steam tank.)

A third option will be another insert with a floor to which I will glue the original crewmen that came with the war-wagon.

Big plans. No time.

For now I will just pop a "high priest" model on a separate base in there.

Armatures / Dollies

A comparison photo of some of the commercially available armatures/dollies:




The squares on the cutting mat are 1" square, or roughly 25mm.

24 August 2009

Hag

I painted a dark elf hag for a friend's birthday present.



Click to enlarge, as usual.

I've had the figure for ages and bought it through the GW mail order "bitz" deal when that option was available. Although I'm certain I didn't get the color right, the dominant colors in his army are red & black. I originally did the hair in a more natural color but it didn't seem to fit the simple color scheme. I think this has a bit more punch. I think one light wash on the eyeballs to bring out the joint where they meet the eyelids would have helped a bit. The base was left unfinished so he could match his army himself.



Here's a pic I took of his army at Marauders (Audumn) '08.

18 August 2009

Oldschool Lizardmen

I've had a small group of the old Tom Meier Lizardmen & Troglodytes forever. They were once painted by a simple black prime + green drybrush method in the early days of my painting & gaming. A few years ago I stripped them with the intention of repainting them simply because I love the figures. If I could get my hands on a pile more, I'd start a WFB Lizardman army just as an excuse to paint & use them.

I think I've got two of each, except one that got lost and one may be broken (both the smaller Lizardmen.)

I started painting one of the Trogs a long time ago. Just one. I just put a few finishing touches on him while waiting for a wash on some commission stuff to dry. A bit rushed, but I just wanted at least one painted before I die. I'll try taking my time with the next one. Eventually. Maybe next life.

Click to enlarge.



The color scheme was inspired by an assortment of agamid lizards with similar pale earthy color, but blue heads, necks and/or bellies.

Realistically, he and the base should be close in color. Well, realistically if he was an actual lizard in its natural environment. But I wanted him to stand out a bit, so I painted the base a bit darker than my normal method.

Here's an example.

17 August 2009

GW news and District 9

Space Hulk

So the announcement of the long rumored Limited Edition Space Hulk has been made.

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat1430053&prodId=prod210009a

I liked Space Hulk. I liked Advanced Space Crusade. I liked the hybrids with both of those and 40k 2nd ed. my friends and I used to play.

I would have liked to get the new Space Hulk, but I don't think I will. First, i don't actually care for the look of the figures. Second, the price tag seems a bit high for what you get, especially if you don't like the figures. Third, the LE thing seems goofy -- I'm not going to wait at the store for the game to arrive, so if two weeks after release they're unavailable, then I guess I'm out of luck and won't feel too bad. I suspect that just as with other LE items, many of these games will never have a chance to get to your average customer and will instead hit eBay at twice the price.


District 9

This brings me to my next point... I saw District 9 over the weekend. It was OK. It was seemed caught between being a social/political commentary and an action film. But it seemed a bit like a high budget B-Movie.

However, even before reading the official Space Hulk announcement, I had started thinking that the setting & visual concept behind some of the action scenes in District 9 could make a good sci-fi game. That said, I may have too look into doing something like that rather than Space Hulk.



Forgeworld

So according to the news at this site:

http://www.brueckenkopf-online.com/?p=6879

if I am understanding correctly, Forgeworld will split off a Fantasy division to focus on WFB stuff, so that the original Forgeworld group can continue to specialize in 40k stuff.

Earlier this year, Warhammer Historical Wargames was rolled into Forgeworld with little news since then. So what does it mean that they are now splitting Forgeworld into two groups, each concentrating on one game/genre (40k & WFB,) neither of which are Warhammer Ancients?

I am increasingly concerned that WHW and WAB in particular have been abandoned. :(

10 August 2009

Historicon '09 WAB tournament

In the WAB singles tournament I decided to stick with the medieval division again, even though it meant bringing two armies. I really liked the scenarios and my fellow med-heads last year. I also find the medieval armies to be a good group of lists to play against each other. My Burgundians, in particular, are a fairly flexible list -- not specializing in one thing or another, but adapting depending on the strengths of their opponents.

So on with the reports. As with the doubles, I was so involved with playing that I didn't take many photos. Those that I did take are blurred due to repeatedly rotating the dial on the camera as I took it out of its case...



Game 1

Burgundians vs. Teutonic Order

The scenario involved 1500 point lists. The objective was to capture and hold a town/crossroads. Both armies were gradually fed onto the table, one unit at a time, with the marching order being determined before hand.


The objective is the cluster of buildings, walls & fields on the right. I ended up deploying everything there and only leaving a stalling force in the center. As the deployment developed, I kept waiting for the usual Teutonic Uber-Knight unit... that's what's deployed in the center, top. To the left is a unit of crossbow. In front of them are my Burgundian coustilliers. They spent the previous turn chasing off some skirmishers, but then fled when the knights showed up.

On my side of the table, I've got some skirmishers in the center, everything else (mainly archers and pike, but also some gendarmes) are huddling around the objective, avoiding the crossbow, and chasing off a large-ish unit of turcopolen cav.



Towards the end of the game my pike have charged the crossbow (and defeat them after the pic.) Everyone else has huddled around the objective, avoiding actual combat with the knights. I managed to kill off everything else in the Teutonic army, so won by whittling down the army to its break point while avoiding their most potent combat unit, and denying them sole possession of the objective.

The game could have been a diasaster, but I was happy I handled it the way I did.




Game 2

Burgundians vs. Itailian Condotta

Condotta games are fun because they are similar enough to the Burgundians, but have a few more options. They usually seem to end up being another "combined arms" army and are always good for an interesting battle.



This battle used 2000 point lists, and a diagonal deployment. Armies deployed in a typically medieval set of three "battles" that we had to write out ahead of deployment.

My Italian opponent is at the top of the pic. From lower left to upper right, he had, if I remember correctly, some pike, Stradiots behind crossbowmen, some skitmishers, two cannons, and towards the top was clustered some heavy infantry with halberds and plate armour, mercenary knights and feudal knights.

I deployed, from left to right, crossbowmen, skirmishing bowmen in front of two large units of bow and a unit of pike, then towards the upper right are handgunners, dismounted gendarmes, mounted gendarmes and coustilliers.


The bulk of the battle was decided on the wings. On the lower left, the stradiots charged the Burgundian crossbow, who were then supported by the skirmishing bowment, in what turned otu to be a grinding combat for the entire game. Considering the deployment and the proximity of the Italian pike (who never made it to combat) I was OK with this trade-off.

In the upper right, I managed to move myself into a good position, ran down both units of knights and the halberdiers, and eventually crashed into the two artillery pieces. In the center, the remaining Burgundians (representing a bulk of their infantry) all wheeled to face the remaining Italians, and finsihed them off, except for the pikemen in the distance.

At this point I was at the peak of my confidence, having won two games by hitting my opponents break points while managing to keep my own casualties to a minimum. This was actually new territory for me. ;)


Game 3

Burgundians vs. Low Countries


I was dreading this game. I have a fine appreciation for the Low Countries army, and have been planning one of my own. Last year I suffered a horrible defeat in Game 2 against the same opponent, both of us using similar armies. I was hoping the grudge match would turn out a bit more in my favor.

My assets were that I had a series of really shitty dice rolls last year, and that I also had learned some lessons about how to face the Low Countries army after the first defeat.

So this game the tactics were clear to me: charge across the battlefield and hope that I could weather the missile fire, hit them hard enough, and then hit them a second time to break through that Stubborn rule.





On the far left this worked out well for me. I chased off the enemy cavalry, allowing my gendarmes to bust through the difficult terrain and threaten one of his light guns (on the flank of his central pike units) and eventually overrun into the pike themsleves.

On the Burgundian right, thigs were a bit more... troubled. My plan was to just tie up his cavalry and hope for the best in the center. I did this by falling back with my coustilliers, and bogging him down with dismounted gendarmes. My crossbowmen in the backfield, as well as my solitary light gun, also managed to scare off some of his cavalry at a key moment.

In the center, I hit him and we got bogged down. The decisive factor, however, was my flanking gendarmes. This caused him to collapse, and when combined with the lost cavalry on the left, plus overruning all his artillery and skirmishers, I managed to pull off a victory.


This was the first time I won a WAB tournament/division in many years. Only the second time at all. Considering this, I'm feeling like I should momentarily "retire" the Burgundians from the NEWS WAB tournaments. So I'm considering other lists. Low Countries are a the top of my options. I may just try running a completely different Burgundian list instead. Who knows. I've got until Cold Wars to decide. :D

08 August 2009

Historicon WAB doubles and a local game

First some comments on a local game. This afternoon I played 2k Burgundians vs. Swiss. As usual, it ended badly for the Burgundians. I need to rethink my tactics. I've been hugging my own table edge for the main line, while trying to shoot the Swiss to pieces, as well as whittling them down with some of the support troops. But I just can't seem to do enough damage to them before the pike & halberd hit my line. Also, since I keep my own line tight, I seem to get caught in this giant, single battle with a single combat result, as the units don't line up 1 vs. 1.

So next time... less shooting, more agressive movement? MORE shooting? Not certain. I'm curious to either take a Low Countries army for a test drive, or maybe just change the composition of the Burgundians. My opponent suggested interspersing some organ guns in my line to blast his face off as he approaches. (Kind of him to suggest the methos of his own demise.)




Historicon

I've been too lazy to do much about battle reports from Historicon, and my photos are all blurry. (I kept knocking one of the dials on the camera out of place every time I pulled it out of its case.

But here we go with the WAB Doubles. I took a "Cimbric War" army, a mix of German and Gallic units, using the Gallic army list from Hanibal and the Punic Wars. I only use three units: Cavalry, Warband and skirmishers. No fanatics or chariots. I like the list better than the one in the rulebook, even for Germans. I disagree that Germans deserve the "stubborn" rule, and I've read enough of them moving through woods & rough terrain, ambushing, fleeing back through woods & rough terrain to think that the "stealth" rule is more appropriate as well (not that I really get to use it.) So on wih the reports:


Game 1

Gauls & Warlord vs. Macedonians and Barbarians.


Here we join the game already in progress. I was more interested in playing than in photographing, so the camera didn't come out much.

My Gauls are on the lower left, my team mate's Warlord army (essentially more barbarians) were on the right. I was more or less facing off against Macedonians, with more Barbarians opposite the Warlord.

On the far left flank, the cavalry battle was already over. My cavalry overran some skirmishers and flattened out the Macedonian cavalry wedge. After a craptastic round of dice, the Companions held. The following turn they beat the Gallic cav and sent them running.

My skirmishers are all fleeing at this point, with the exception of one unit of javelinmen who bravely charged the enemy slingers in front of the hill, then followed up into the Macedonian artillery crew. (There were 3 ballistae on the hill.) This is also the moment of warband impact on the various phalanx units. Our armies stretched from table edge to table edge, so there wasn't much room for manuver. It was more like a blind charge forward and pray for the best. :/



At this point it's fairly clear that we did not get the best. The initial contact actualy worked out OK. I actually sent at least half of the pikemen running. I just failed to catch them (except one unit, near the center?), they rallied and then beat me on the second charge. The elephant and companions mopped up what the pike couldn't catch.

Not as obvious to see in the pic (maybe after this) was that my partner at least managed to handle his side of the battlefield successfully. His two units of cavalry defeated the opposing cav. The two lines of barbarians met and the good guys won. The game ended in a draw, no thanks to the cramped and rash Gallic line.




Game 2

Gauls and Warlord vs. Carthaginians and Greeks

This game seemed a bit roomier. Not necessarilly because we had more space, just that there were some openings across the table that we could exploit.



I faced off against a mixed Carthaginian (Africans) and Spanish line, with some skirmishers and Numidian cavalry mixed in at the top of the pic. My opponent faced a smallish Greek force, including some uber Spartans near the bottom of the pic. The Good Guys are on the left, the Bad Guys on the right.

Right about the middle of the table, there is a cap in the enemy line. Opposite that is a unit of my cavalry. This was important.



In this pic you can almost see (through the blur) that my cav have overrun (after rashly charging on a failed warband test) through some skirmishers and ended up behind enemy lines. In the distance, my other unit of cav also rolled poorly and rashly charged some ranked scutarii, bounced off but rallied. Barbarian warband followed up, beat the Spanish, and my two units then started to push the cowardly Numidian cavalry back behind the Carthaginian line, working around the hill. In the center, the Gauls didn't smash through on initial contact, which I thought was the end of me. But somehow I managed to stick around and start grinding down the Africans and remaining Spanish while my cav got behind them.

In the foreground my team mate fared much worse. Our fortunes were reversed from Game 1. The Spartans managed to get a combined charge with some flanking peltases against the largest warband (with the Warlord general) and sent them fleeing. They rallied, but the Warlord line was broken. I think one of the other warbands either panicked or was caught in the flank. After this, the Greeks just keep pushing back the Warlord army.

So in the end, I think we had another draw. If I remember correctly, we were something like 30 points +/- from actually pulling off a win.


So that was it for the WAB Doubles. A lot of fun. The Wall of Barbarian didn't do too bad, though in both games the phalanx rules really hurt us, especially combined with the lack of manuver space due to us filling the table with figures. Maybe next time I will try for a smaller army. Maybe Carthaginians -- even though I beat them, I liked the way the army performed. Maybe Romans. Depends what I feel like painting by Cold Wars.


Hopefully I will write something up about the WAB Medieval division soon...

05 August 2009

Ancients Waiting List

Just thought I'd catalog where I'm going next with ancients and what I've got left to paint. Below are the figures/units already in my possession. I'm planning on picking up a few more things still, but probably not until I work this list down a bit:


4 x 18 Roman legion
9 Spanish caetrati
9 Spanish cavalry
2 x 24 Spanish scutarii
9 Balearic slingers
28 Carthaginian (Libyan) trained infantry/veterans
28 Thureophoroi
30 Numidian infantry
1 Numidian elephant + crew
20 Gauls/Celts
30 German infantry
10 German cavalry

Plus some assorted command figures.


Right now I've got a bit of a backlog of commission figures to paint, so that's going to be my focus for a while. I've been busy with gaming, conventions, and car shopping for the past few weeks, and just haven't had time at the painting table. Who knows, I may get sucked into something else by the time I catch up with the commission stuff. Like getting back to the medievals again. Or starting a whole new period. 8O

03 August 2009

Putriss

As previously mentioned, the price of admission to Grover's Grillin' Cheesefest was one painted figure for a mystery exchange. I painted Repanse. The figure I recieved was Grover's own "Putriss," one of the classic plaguebearers.






He left the base unfinished so we could match our own basing styles. The figure was particularly appropriate to me as I previously ran Nurgle themed 40k Death Guard, an oldschool Daemonic Legion (from the RoC books until the most recent,) and chaos Warbands. I also like these oldschool figure better than the newer ones -- they just seem to have a bit more character to them.