Saturday, 30 April 2016

Sudanese sidetrack (3)

More tribesmen.
8 Beja
(still struggling to get non-murky images of these)

and 8 Ansar

This picture's come out better I think.

This time half were washed in Gryphonne Sepia and half in Coat D'Arms. Think I prefer the CDA overall, but happy with the variation the different washes are giving me.
So that gives me 40 in total I reckon. Enough for a TSaTF game and in good shape for the publication of TMWWBK later in the year.
I've started getting some command together now.
I'm going to use the NWF British models I've already painted (they'll be freshly arrived from India in my version of events) and so now I just need to finish off some Perry Highlanders (3rd Foot and Mouth, naturally) to join Private Crank.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Sudanese sidetrack (2)

Eight more Beja.
Took longer to glue 'em together than paint 'em.
Spray with Halfords Matt Brown Camo, then block out the clothes with Deneb Stone and the various metals, spearshafts and hair in appropriate clours.

Struggling to get decent pictures at the moment - they really aren't this "murky" in R/L

This time I used Devlan Mud as the wash. I think it does the skin better, but the clothes less well than the Coat D'Arms wash. Trying to avoid using multiple washes on these though, to speed things up.
Might try Gryphonne Sepia on the next batch. I'm intending to mix them all together in units, so the varied washes will result in a varied unit.

If I bash out another 16 and use the NWF British as opponents I can have a go at the Sword and the Flame basic scenario.
Just like Phil has done over on his excellent Warcabinet

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Warhammer Siege Campaign - Sally Forth

Throndin Groznog slumped further onto the iron hard Throne of Groznog and pulled his belt one notch tighter. He'd been looking forward to some roasted beef and a gallon or so of Bugman's Best.
Footsteps approaching across the hall snapped him from his reverie.
"Stand up Snurti Longsight" he gruffly ordered the Dwarf kneeling at the foot of his throne "What news?"
"They've started building some kind of big thrower my Lord. 'Appen it'll be quite powerful if'n they get it finished. Throw a big rock straight ovver oor walls I reckon"
The Lord's brows knitted together and he smiled grimly.
"Well we'll not be allowing any of that nonsense now, can us?" Abruptly he stood up "Get the lads ready, time we stopped hiding in here like wusses!" he bellowed.

The Starve Out game took less than an hour, so we had plenty of time to set up and go again with a different scenario. Technically there's a mechanism for rolling to see if the campaign ends and there are some slightly dull not game benefits you can rack up, but I think we've decided to just play most, if not all, the scenarios and then finish with a really big game of siege.

So for this one I had 1,000 points against a similar quantity of greenskins. The Dwarfs have to get across the table and sabotage a big Orc war engine. And the Orcs have to stop them. The original scenario has a turn limit of five turns, and assumes you'll have a mostly cavalry force. At first we thought this meant the Dwarfs would never do it, but I suggested we just play without the turn limit and see if the Dwarfs could make it despite the odds.

 Eager for a proper fight the Dwarfs head for the gate

 The gates of fortress Groznog swing open

 Red capped gobbos await

And some boar boys. Bugger.

The Dwarfs began by shooting quite a lot. Crossbowmen and rangers on the walls took aim at the savage orcs and Ruglud's lads whilst the Stone Thrower targeted the Savage Orcs. None of which was terribly effective.

 A single fanatic is unleashed - to little effect.

The Groznog longbeards sally about a bit

The savage orcs moo-ve in for some more cow based frolics

In short order the battle lines clashed.

 Eat axe, Grobi scum!

 Longbeards v Savage Orcs. Again

Chop, hack, crunch!

At around this point the hitherto triumphant Orcs and Goblins discovered that big, ranked up units of Dwarfs are a tougher nut to crack....
The Longbeards went through the Savages like a horde of short, grumbling northern psychopaths through some ineffective green things. And the clan dwarfs saw off the night goblins.
At some point Rugluds lads failed animosity and moved, so lost a turn of shooting and the Bolt Thrower was reliably hopeless.

Flushed with success the Clan Dwarfs raced towrd the objective.
Pursued by Orcs on pigs.
Before the stout Dwarfs could dismantle the warmachine, the boarboys were on them!
However in a susrprising turn of events the Dwarfs held and at the second attempt succeded in destroying the war machine!



Huzzah! Victory for Clan Groznog!
Turns out we needn't have worried about the turn length thing at all. 8th edition charges and pursuit mean even stunty legs can cover quite a lot of ground in a short space of time...

Friday, 15 April 2016

Warhammer Siege Campaign - Starve Out

As the noose begins to tighten around the Groznog hold in the Grey Mountains outlying clans rally round and attempt to break the greenskin blockade to bring supplies to the beleaguered defenders.
Not that they'll get any thanks for it.

Stephen and I reconvened for the next stage of the siege campaign.
I would be attempting to get a wagon off the far edge of the board and the greenskins would be attempting to prevent that outcome.

I was imagining the supplies would include some good strong Dwarf ale, so I painted up some Bugman's Dwarf rangers for the game. I did also do Bugman himself, but he seemed a bit much for a 500 point game.
I also took a small unit of Clan Dwarfs and a small unit of Longbeards. In place of a cart I used some highland cows - just the sort of thing for a Dwarf feast.

The Orcs had originally understood they would only get 500 points as well, but on re-reading the scenario we realised they should have 650. So some reshuffling was in order. The initial proposal was for a unit of Black Orcs - which made my face go all sad. So the alternative was Savage Orcs. I'm not sure that was a win for me.

 Rangers lead the way

 The caravan moves off

 Speed bump...


The battle began with the Dwarf battle-line rumbling forward, except for Bugman's lads who elected to fire. But Savage Orc toughness saw them through the hail of bolts.

Greenskin animosity then saw the Savage Orcs hurtle forward - exactly what I didn't need.

Figuring it was better to charge than be charged (or possibly fanaticed) I launched the Longbeards at the Savage Orcs whilst the rest of the force advanced.

Not half as tough as Savge Orcs used t'be

Sadly Savage Orcs are proper frisky and ten Longbeards isn't very many, so they broke and fled and the Orcs surged into the clans dwarfs.



By this time the Night Goblin archers had begun to squabble. But as we are still remembering animosity from several editions ago they just stood around arguing when probably they should have declared a charge.

The Orcs repeated their work on the clan dwarfs and pursued them past the cows (and out of the ranger's charge arc).

We can do 'em this time lads

The spear goblins unleashed a fanatic who killed a single dwarf and then span off toward the back.

Ignoring the spear goblins Bugman's lads marched off toward the exit with the cattle in close pursuit whilst the warriors rallied

The Savage Orcs were forced to charge the clan dwarfs again, with the same result whilst the spear goblins reformed.

Bugman's scouts turned to face the goblins, hoping to buy time for the cows to escape.

 Just hold 'em here

Get a mooooo-ve on!

The Night Goblin spears charged into the scouts and though beaten by the doughty Dwarfs they held their ground.
The Savage Orcs were now free to return to the fray

This'll be easy lads

In the Dwarf turn the cows trotted on and the Scouts were once again unable to defeat the spear goblins.

At this point the Savage Orcs failed an animosity test and were able to race up the road and charge into the corner of the combat.

Hmmm, it might just have got a bit harder...

Bravely the thane strode out to meet the savage orc boss and blows rained down on both sides. Sadly for the Dwarfs the stone axe bit home and another grudge was entered into the Bugman ledger.


With the loss of their leader Dwarf resistance finally crumbled, the greenskins were able to wipe out the scouts and a roaring savage orcs fell upon the poor defenceless cattle.

Another poor heifer takes the full brunt of on Orc chopper in the rear

High on the walls of Fortress Groznog Snurti Longsight took the telescope from his one good eye and slowly folder the brass device away.
"Cancel the barbecue lads" he muttered.

BTW if you're enjoying 5th edition Siege played with 8th edition rules go and check out the Wargames and Stuff blog.
He's doing the same thing. Good man.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Salute 2016

It's Salute on Saturday.

And I'm not going.
The last few years I've been lucky enough to be invited to go along and hinder James and/or Steve with their display games.
Dux Bellorum in 2013
Keren in 2014
Guilford Courthouse in 2015
All of them splendid days out with great company and stunning looking games.

This year James and Scrivs were planning to take their Verdun game along but were not able to get a table.
I was somewhat surprised by this as James has consistently delivered great tables and is well known for the high standards of his display games - one might have thought the Warlords would be keen to showcase what's bound to be a great table, particularly as it's the centenary of the battle.
Doubly disappointing that Scrivs didn't get the chance to show all is marvelous toys off too before his departure to the US.
Some other big-hitters guaranteed to put on a show with high quality games have also not got tables this year, such as Simon Miller and Too Fat Lardies (who were intending to debut Sharp practice 2 at the show).
Now I know organising Salute is a massive operation and logistical nightmare, but I also know James got his application in before the final deadline, so I'm (still) fairly puzzled by this.
A "rum" decision by the Warlords in my view. I do hope there aren't lots of no-shows or poor quality tables this year...

Anyway we briefly toyed with the idea of going along as punters this year, but I've done that before and I'm afraid I decided it wasn't worth it.
I've found Salute to be a largely joyless and soulless affair since it's move to ExCel. I understand the need for a venue this size and I understand that the revenues of wargames companies don't allow the halls to be decked out to the highest standards that a venue like ExCel usually expects but for me it's crossed a cost/value threshold. In effect it's a glorified shopping trip into an aircraft hangar filled with too many people with body hygiene and personal space issues. I seldom buy anything not already on my shopping list and the argument for "saved postage" is more than countered by admission costs and transport to and around Big London.
And the floors are hard and make your feet hurt.

(BTW lest anyone think my beef is with the entry price and I've just got used to "getting in free" with a game I've generally paid at least some money toward additional tickets that James or Steve has bought to ensure sufficient "crew" on the game).

Henry Hyde challenged my description of Salute as soulless (on Twitter), and I understand what he means, but I was referring really to the venue rather than the (non-smelly) wargamers and blogizens you get to meet up with. Yes, I'll miss catching up with some familiar faces, but chances are I'll see most of them at Partizan or Derby later in the year, and it won't cost us £6 a pint each when we do.

On the other hand I think it's great that our hobby can support an event this size and attract hobbyists in large numbers to the capital. And I do also appreciate the efforts of the Warlords team to put the show on. So I hope it continues to be a success and if you are going do enjoy it (and take plenty of pictures).

Actually what I'll miss is the chatting with people about the game that I'm standing next to - that's been the highlight of the last few years.

Hopefully next year James or Steve will be back, and if I'm a good boy they might invite me to give them a hinder. In which case I'll be delighted to go back. But as a customer? - No thanks.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Warhammer Siege Campaign - Undermine

...and so let the name of Ruglud be entered again into the Groznog book of Grudges" intoned the scrivener before slamming the great book shut once more.
Throndin Groznog sighed deeply, adjusted his helmet and opened his mouth to speak...
"My Lord!" came a voice from the back of the hall "My Lord they're in the underway and trying to damage the foundations!"
"Bugger" muttered Groznog.

After the Dwarf messengers had been cruelly shot down just yards from escape in our last game it was time for Ruglud to send his troops beneath the walls in an attempt to weaken the Dwarf defences.
Steve, naturally, chose an all Night Goblin force (who better for a Greenskin general to send on such a mission) whilst I accelerated a bunch of Ironbreakers who've been languishing half finished since the Worlds Edge Mountains were young.

The scenario doesn't quite work with the new scenery rules (can't think why, it's only about twenty years old) so we just decided everything was impassable (as that seemed to be the intent). We also decided that the Night Goblins would be able to see and fight normally underground like the Dwarfs (the scenario lists Skaven, Dark Elves and Undead, but not NG. Which is odd). Finally the rules appear to allow Dwarfs to move 8" underground - which is just daft, so I ignored it and stuck to proper dwarf 6" movement.

 The Clan Groznog Ironbreakers. Newly painted, so bound to do well.

 Clan Dwarfs

 Spear Gobbos - easy meat for Dwarfs

 Sword goblins - yum.

Oh dear

The game began with a swift advance from the Dwarfs (once we'd decided that my miners could use their special deployment rules - they are in a mine after all). Then the goblins pushed forward equally rapidly. And all the world's fanatics came pouring forth!

 Wheeeee splaaaat...



A couple of above average rolls put a severe dent in the combat ability of the Dwarf battle-line.

Boingy, boingy!

Fortunately at this point the miners appeared. Via a handily placed entrance arch

To the rescue!

The spear goblins and the Dwarf warriors clashed together

The age old conflict

Whilst the squigs went for the (much depleted) Ironbreakers.

 Several fanatics later only two Ironbreakers remain

Boing, munch, slobber!

Fortunately Dwarf Thanes are made of stern stuff and the squigs were sent packing. 
Unfortunately their exuberant expiry saw the Ironbreaker champion bounced to death, leaving the thane on his own.
At the same time the Clan Dwarfs were routed by the spear goblins and fled into the darkness. The sword armed gobbos made off toward the Miners.

Pick axe versus spiky club. Who will win?

And the grind began

Meanwhile the spear goblins went hunting for the thane, who, to his eternal shame ran and hid behind some mushrooms.

Where is ya, Stunty Thane...?

The fight between the Miners and Sword gobbos was evenly balanced, and soon the Dwarfs were down to seven bodies...

Hi-ho-hi-ho, it's killing goblins we go...

But superior numbers began to tell and a high leadership roll saw the stout miners flee into the darkness too.
And with that it was all over with a win for the goblins meaning the walls of the Groznog fortress will be undermined!

You can read the greenskin version of events over on Steve's blog

Deep in the darkness Thane Rikchie of the Groznog clan heard the whooping of the goblins and the unmistakable sounds of support beams being wrenched down and generations-old foundation stones gleefully prized apart.
The shame burned him like furnace.
He knew what he must do and, humming the mournful clan death song to himself, he took out his knife and began to shave his head....

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Painting Artizan NWF British

Here's how I go about painting my Artizan NWF British miniatures.

A lot of the paints I use are old OOP GW ones, but you should be able to find equivalents in any of the main paint ranges

The models are first based on pennies, with sand glued on using PVA.
Then the whole model is sprayed with Halfords Khaki spray
It gives a lovely even matt coverage.

Next I paint the flesh with Tallarn Flesh

Then the rifles and the chinstrap on the helmet are painted with Bestial Brown

Next all the straps and the haversack bag are painted with Skull White

Puttees are added using Graveyard Earth

Then the (controversial) water bottle and strap are painted with Scorched Brown

Metals along the rifle are added using Chainmail

Can't quite tell what I've done here, if anything. Anyway by this stage all the basic colours have been added.

Now the big thing. Give the whole model a wash with Coat D'Arms Mid Brown Superwash.
You could use Army Painter, Vallejo Sepia or whatever the GW equivalent of Gryphonne Sepia is these days. Or your own mixture based on floor polish, beeswax and the tears of baby panda bears. Basically use the medium brown wash of your preference. All over.
However having tried most of these I can thoroughly recommend the CDA version, it's cheap, flows and pools really well and is just the right shade for Khaki and flesh.

At this point add some black to the remaining pouches (two at the front, one on the rear) and the boots. And the bayonet sheath, though I think I forgot here and sneakily added it in later.

Now highlight the flesh with the base flesh colour (in my case Tallarn Flesh)

Then a second flesh highlight adding a little Elf Flesh to the Tallarn.

At this point I varnished the entire model with a coat of Purity Seal spray, followed by some Vallejo Matt varnish with a brush to remove the shine.

I then based the model with a wash of Ogryn Flesh (just to give a slightly reddish tinge to the Afghan sands) followed by a drybrush with Kommando Khaki and then Bleached Bone.
Finally the black pouches got a coat of gloss varnish.

And here's the finished model taken against a blue graduated background.

You could of course add extra highlights to the uniform, rifle etc. Or use different colours of washes for different parts of the model, but I'm after a compromise between looks good on the tabletop and paints up quickly.

I really like this range and the sculpting style. They paint up really well and easily and give great results.
I also really like how the  Coat D'Arms wash works.