Sunday 22 September 2013

The Second Massacre at River's Crook

Beastmen (Tim) vs Tempestrians (Gill)

Lord Ruin stood motionless and silent in the trees, his tough grey hide barely visible in the shadows, surveying the approaching Tempestrian force beyond the river. It was a sizeable army, easily powerful enough to rout the defensive troops he had lying in weight in a straight battle on open ground.

But they had the river to cross. And this was a place they had known devastating defeat already at the hands of Ruin's allies, the Dwarfs of Gorak Duraz.

It was in response to that conflict that he had come himself to the front line with his entourage of roaring Beastmen.

Lord Ruin knew well the Knights of Tempest Falls. Why wouldn't he? He used to be one of them.

Shatana, the Fay Enchantress of the Border Princes, led her archers forward to the edge of the river and bade them take up position, edging forward. The northeast border of Tempestria was imperilled here and a stand had to be made against the foul creatures of the Drak Heart. Complacency and fear could play no part. The dirty beasts had to be routed out and exterminated.

But across the river, the bushes parted and dozens of baying and stamping Gors emerged, clattering their swords against their shields, taunting this invasion force, daring them to cross the river.

They got their wish.

The Knights of Tempest Falls hurdled forward, driving their horses into the shallows at the bend in the river, while the archers shot volley after volley into the air in arcing fire down toward their unclean foes. 

At Lord Ruin's command, the Beastmen remained still but the Bray Shaman behind their ranks whispered foul and forbidden words of power, summoning something dark and terrible from the woods behind the lines of the Tempestrians, something with every ability of the unnatural Jabberslythe but cast into an even more grisly form. The great beast leaped forward on its mighty legs, tearing the crew of of a Trebuchet apart in seconds, even as the Bray Shaman fell to his knees from the power-draining exertion.

The Knights clattered up the opposite banks and charged full on into a pair of Giants, immediately impaling one and bringing it down. Its partner roared in rage, swinging its gargantuan weapons into the horses, slicing heads from bodies despite the magical protection provided by Shatana, the Fay Enchantress.

The remaining giant hacked most of the remaining knights apart then chased down the rest as they tried to flee.

The Tempestrian archers had cleared all attacking forces before them and were approaching the river ready to make the crossing, but they hadn't reckoned on the filthy bloated monster rampaging through their rear.

The beast leaped into their ranks from the flank, devouring some men and simply bisecting others until all were running in terror before its vicious assault. No force could stop this creature. They were doomed!

And as this happened, Lord Ruin himself was tearing apart the other strike force of knights, driving them back into the water and pursuing them there, dragging them down beneath the surface to drown of be crushed.

He surged up onto the opposite bank, right in front of Shatana and there she stood her ground.

Only one unit remained to her now of archers and as these were hacked apart by a speeding chariot and the remaining giant, she took Lord Ruin to battle herself.

It was an impossible fight.

Despite her unrivalled magical prowess, there was no way she could hold her own against the holder of the Dark Heart. Lord Ruin drove her to the ground and it was only her magic that spirited her away before the death blow was struck.

Lord Ruin had led his forces to victory again. Surely the Tempestrians had to have learned their lesson.

There was no route through here!

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Massacre at the Gates of Barak Varr

And there came a time when the mighty fortress of Barak Varr was once more laid under siege.

The Tomb Kings had wrested it from the Dwarves, slaughtering all inside, and now they themselves were under assault as thousands of malignant spiders swept down from the hills goaded and led by the cackling Spider Goblins.

Never before had so much evil been amassed in one place: both attackers and defenders.

And behind the lines, bundles of web filled with acid-mawed spiders were hurled, up and over the battlements into the waiting skeletons within.

The fusillade of arrows from the skeletons manning the walls was insufficient to more than slow the waves of arachnids and the spiders reached the walls with minimal losses.

To the west a siege tower infested with crawling horror clumped against the walls, disgorging hundreds of gigantic scuttling killers.

Already the defenders were flagging and the battle had barely opened.

Atop the back of his gigantic eight legged beast, the Spider King had already wiped out all resistance on the section of wall he had climbed. He turned the beast and immediately attacked the eastern tower.

In matters it was his as well.

And now the Goblin King himself reached the gates, hurling up a grappling hook with a cry of triumph as his spider horde scuttled up the wall around his climbing form.

The Goblin King dispatched the defenders rapidly, barely slowing, such was his hatred and thirst for conquest.

But from the north came reinforcements, galloping undead steeds and chariots, hurtling to defend their fastness.

But it was far too little and far too late.

Barak Varr belonged to the Goblin King now and their time of military superiority was at an end!

Monday 2 September 2013

The Gates of Barak Varr

There is a place where the Howling River issues from the Black Gulf where stands the mighty Dwarfen fortress of Barak Varr.

In its heyday the fortress was proud and prosperous but has fallen now on desperate times, for all the Dwarven men and wives have been slaughtered, every child thrown into the sea. It is a dark place infested with now only with dark creatures.

There is more than one place of entry to Barak Varr, most notably from the very sea itself, but from the north the way is blocked by the river. Here a bridge of wide girth passes over, allowing in days now gone for trade and peaceful visits.

Instead, in these days of war, it functions only as a sallying point for foul raids into the Border Princes as the dark forces gathered within the fortress march forth to taint the lands with their tread.

But while the bridge still stands there remains yet hope, that instead of merely disgorging evil, it might act as a means to storm the bastion - for forces just and courageous to tramp down from the north and take Barak Varr back once more!

In either case, it is a place where battle is met and always will be.

And more the shame for it.

Friday 5 July 2013

Why the HELL aren't I posting anything?

Hi there and apologies for the long period of not posting here. I can promise that I will return in time.

The reason I'm not posting is because I find it difficult to be into more than one game system at a time and at the moment I'm REALLY into Warmachine and Hordes.

If you've never played them it's worth going them a go. The miniatures are a little pricey but beautiful and you don't need as many and the rules are more complex and challenging. It's a more challenging and intellectual game in some ways.

Anyway, come and see what I'm up to on my Hordes Machine blog if you like. The link is on the right bar of this site.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

A Song for Margaret Thatcher

Who doesn't love Margaret Thatcher?

I certainly do.

A little too much?


Should I have composed a song about her? Is that a bit sickening? I'm not sure.

Click here to listen.

Sunday 27 January 2013

The Gallows!

Well I saw these on eBay and just had to have them!!

They're the Old West Hang Em High Gallows from Battle Flag and they really are a joy to own.

Now I have a usual rule about always building my own terrain but I was so excited about this kit I "forgot" about it.

It's one of these new wood kits with punch out parts and it was pretty easy to buildand super easy to paint. The hardest parta actually was the noose.

I ended up realising that the secret was to make a full scale noose then just keep tightening it until the hopp was the right size. Making one to scale immediately was too fiddly.

 Look! The trapdoor opens and it has a cute little lever and everything!

There's not much more to say. We can only bask in the coolness. 

I'm still basking. 

Yep. Basking away...

Friday 25 January 2013

On the Painting Table: Ogre Ironblaster


Man, I have had this dude for AGES and REALLY couldn't be bothered to paint him. But now I have!

The original model has the ogre holding some sort of strap things but these snapped and I didn't like the look of them anyway. I preferred him with a couple of hand weapons instead!

I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the rules but hey! It isn't about that half the time and I do love the model. Isn't that enough for God's sake!?!?!?

Wednesday 16 January 2013

On the Painting Table: Skaven Characters!

Well LAST Christmas (before the one we just had) I got a bunch of Skaven miniatures in my sack. In typical fashion I spent a year getting round to painting them.

And here they are!

This is the dude from the Warhammer boxed game Isle of Blood.

He's amazingly nice but in some ways I kind of don't like him.

Then there's this Craventail chap.

Reasonably cool I guess.

Observant viewers may notice he has a solid gold ponytail.

(Grins inanely)

And then there's this happy chappy!

I actually like him best! I'd love to make a rat ogre with the warlord on his back but haven't got round to it. I'm kind of hoping GW will produce one sometime. This is the miniature I would probably use if I was going to do a conversion.

All of these models are going to be special characters in my campaign at some point. For now they're just lying in wait.

And of course we've already seen Killbloater!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

How to Base the Garden of Morr!

If you own the beautiful Garden of Morr, you probably empathise with how irritating it is to put together.

If this pile of bits looks familiar then this tutorial is for you.

1) Realise that although the Garden of Morr looks great when assembled it is far too annoying to build over and over again.

2) Go to Pizza Go Go and order some delicious "Chicken Hot" pizza. Either take advantage of their free delivery or buy one, get one free on collection offers.

3) Eat pizza.

4) Assemble garden of Morr for the second last time inside pizza box.

5) Notice just how badly it fits together.

6) Wonder why it wasn't designed to jigsaw in more closely.

7) Draw round the base of the Garden of Morr leaving a little room on all sides.

8) Eat after dinner mint while trying to roll three dice until they equal nine.

9) Cut out shape and build Garden of Morr on the base for what you pray will be the last time.

10) Eat second after dinner mint. 

11)  Use clippers to cut off some of the inner wall base so it fits together better.

12) Roll a triple six.

13) When Garden of Morr is FINALLY fully constructed, use super glue to fix parts in place.

14) Wait for glue to dry then paint all areas of the base with black paint.

15) Tip bird grit all over base so that it sticks to the paint.

16) Wish you'd rotated the photo before attaching it to blog.

17) Hope nobody in the online community notices your Minnie Mouse  coaster.

18) Paint the bird grit black.

19) Dry brush inner areas grey.

20) Line up Mantic Bull Centaurs on levitating cutting mat in pleasing configuration.

21) Prepare spirit level for brush straightness test.

22) Realise grey gravel looks terrible.

23) Redo gravel to match warboard: black | dark brown | light brown | mustard | cream.

24) Test straightness of brush using spirit level.

25)Put mausoleums into Garden of Morr.

26) Reflect on how ace it looks.

27) Feel smug that you never have to rebuild the sodding thing again.

28) Test straightness of knife using spirit level.

29) Put Garden of Morr on shelf really easily.

30) Feel more smug.

Monday 31 December 2012

The Tale of Years - Part Six

For the complete story so far click HERE

Betrayal in the Council of Princes

Of Elves

When Malekith returned from his travels to Ulthuan he found it a different place than that he had left.

In the wake of the war, dark cults of pleasure and death had arisen amongst much of the populous, most prevalently in Nagarythe, his homeland. There, the sorceress Morathi, his mother, had nurtured the growth of these sinister rituals, goaded by the shard of evil that had been placed in her heart by the exalted daemoness K'syarta.

Malekith was seen as a saviour, returned to set these dark times aright; to guide his people back to the path of goodness... and indeed he immediately made a public declaration that he would expunge this cult before it could spread too far. He declared his mother outlaw and set his forces to hunt her down.

And then Alatariel, his twin sister, returned from the Chaos Wastes.

Malekith was stunned that she yet lived and begged her forgiveness for leaving her to the cold and ice, yet she only smiled and caressed her brother's face. Of course she forgavce him. There was nothing to forgive.

And so he took council with her, and as she whispered in his ear, the Circlet of Iron he wore on his brow whispered in his mind. For days did they convene in quiet discussion and when they finally emerged, Malekith declared that he knew exactly the path to take to bring these terrible matters to their conclusion.

He requested that the Phoenix King convene the council of princes such that he could request the power to take control of the armies of the elves to end this threat. But betrayal, instead, was in his heart; and as the princes gathered at the Shrine of Asuryan where the sacred flames burned that had once tested Malekith's father, the fell prince announced that Bel Shanaar, the Phoenix King, was the true villain behind the cults. It should be him that was brought to justice.Malekith himself would assume his rightful place now as Phoenix King himself and drive out this evil if only the other princes would support him.

There was chaos within the council of princes. As many that wished to side with Malekith also stood against him, demanding that he leave the chamber.

Rhetoric had failed Malekith but that was only the opening gambit of the sinister plan. At that moment the doors were smashed asunder as the agents of Nagarythe burst in to wrest control over the council for their fell master.

Blood was falling as knives flashed in the light from the sacred flames but even this was not the quick victory that Malekith had hoped for. He had thought a show of force would tip fate in his favour but here now before him was only death.

Then a whispered voice came in his ear; gentle caressing fingers on his arm and Alatariel's soft words telling him that only one action now from him could end these hostilities and allow him to stake his rightful claim to the phoenix crown.

Following her advice, Malekith strode into the flames of Asuryan as his father had done, knowing they would cleanse him and prepare him for rulership.

But instead, Alatariel smiled coldly as the flames smote her brother, flaying the skin from his flesh as he flailed in agony. For long moments the sacred fire tore at Malekith's hair and eyes and then he threw himself clear, wreathed in smoke and ash.

Led by Alatariel, Malekith's disciples hefted his smouldering form and flew from the chamber, hacking at what princes they could as they went. The dark prince himself was not dead but he was scarred horrifically and for all time.There were no moments left to tarry now and he could barely move.

In his stead, Alatariel commanded his forces to withdraw to Nagarythe to consolidate and prepare while her brother healed. And she made a declaration on his behalf.

The time of peace amongst the elves was over now.

From now on it was the time of civil war.

And in Malekith's blackened body, his heart now had turned entirely to hatred of those fair elves who had rejected him.

The tragic steps of history were striding on relentlessly.