Friday, 30 December 2011

Special Character: Durak Grund, the Indomitable Hammer, King of Karak Hirn

Durak Grund, descendent of Morgrim, one of the greatest of all Dwarfen warriors, is king of Horn Hold, the Dwarfen fortress named Karak Hirn.

But his crown weighs heavily.

Always a Dwarf of words and diplomacy, he learned the cost of inaction when Barak Varr, the sea gate, fell to the Undead Nation sweeping north from the Land of the Dead. But he also learned the error of rash reaction when his own responsive war party was cut down by the spiteful Elves of Bloodroot Forest.

Now, wielding his rune-laden axe, Skrund, the hewer of rock, Durak Grun no longer fights a battle of rage. He fights a war of vengeance. It was his inaction that allowed Barak Varr to fall to the undead and it is through his action that it will once again be liberated.

Though a league infested with Orcs, Goblins and the Warriors of Chaos lies between him and the fallen hold, he and his stout forces will never stop or surrender until he has achieved his goal.

As Morgim, his forefather, leads the Dwarfs east for vengeance against the Elves, Durak Grund forges south.

To victory or death.

Durak Grund  

Points: 268 
Skrund  (Magic Weapon)
This axe is inscribed with the Master Rune of Smiting, the Rune of Speed and the Rune of Cleaving, granting Durak +1 Strength and Initiative and causing d6 Wounds for each unsaved wound 


Gromril Armour 

Shield Bearers 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Special Character: The Goblin King

In the deepest part of the forest known to those who have survived its depths as the Razor Webs, a goblin was born, more spiteful and strong than any living goblin before him. But more, this stubborn and vicious creature was filled with undying rage against all creatures, tempered only so far as those of his own kind and those he could use for his own needs.

His bullying, nasty persona and his strong limbs rapidly gave him a position of power in his tribe and soon he was leading his followers into battle against the other disparate goblin factions within the woods, quickly assassinating any and all rival contenders for total leadership. In only one year and four days, the goblin had defeated every greenskin within the woods who might have opposed him and gathered all others under his dark banner.

Looking out from the branches of the tallest treetop of the forest at the greater valley of the Border Princes, the newly crowned Goblin King glared in undisguised enmity and quivering rage at those races that dared to draw breath within his sight.

He loathed them. He wanted to destroy them.

And now he had the forces to do it.

Marshaling the goblin commanders and shamans in his sway, he called to the spider lords to gather their swarms. Death was coming to the Border Princes until all but the goblins lay dead!

The Goblin King  

Points: 240 
Killa Killa  (Magic Weapon)
An ancient Dwarfen rune axe, Killa Killa grants the Goblin King +3 Attacks

The Rockstone Helm (Magic Armour)

The helm protects its wearer, granting a 5+ Armour Save and a 4+ Ward Save

Designer's Note: The rules for the Goblin King are fairly legal with one minor exception. This guy is tough and as such he uses the base stats and points value of an Orc Warboss (he's just on a smaller base). The magical equipment is stuff out of the Warhammer rulebook. 

If you're interested in the model, he's the Goblin King from Avatar.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

On the Painting Table: Alternative Ogre Gorger

Look at this beauty!

He's the latest addition to my Ogre Kingdoms army: an Ogre Gorger.

But why does he look good, I hear you ask. Surely the Gorger model is terrible???

Well true. So I went elsewhere. This handsome chap is actually Hogsquasher the Troll from Red Box Games, available from eBay.

He's distinctive and cool and I think does a top-flight job as an alternative to the official model.

I did the usual Bronzed Flesh | Flesh Wash | Bronzed Flesh | Elf Flesh for the skin; and Adeptus Battlegrey | Black Wash | Adeptus Battlegrey for the clothing.

I'll be updating my Ogre Tactica with him shortly so check it out if you like that kind of thing...

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Knight's Duty

Tempestrians (Gill) vs CHaos Dwarfs & Beastmen (Tim) 

And in the east, as from a dark cloud, the unholy alliance of Beastmen and Chaos Dwarfs descended on the village of Spitbranch, roaring in their against all that lives and loves. 

But the valiant knights of Tempest Falls rode hard to meet them, bringing holy lance to unholy fur and armour. Arrows flew as the filthy ones used cunning to hide their coward faces behind brick and mortar but the fleet hooves of the barded warhorses could not be outmanoeuvred.

The beasts brought down Pegasus Knights and others but a new ally has joined the Tempestrians, taking complete control of all magic on the field, a Fey Enchantress, but one of dark hair who had never been seen before. 

And though the forces of evil were devilish in their ploys, they could not resist the power and will of the forces of order. Skirmish after skirmish fell to the knights, and though the evil ones slayed almost their equal, they were within hostile lands and far outnumbered.

 In time they were defeated. 

And sent back to their murderous hills to plot once more the downfall of mankind. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Spotlight On: A Different Kind of Screaming Bell


Many years ago I bought a bunch of Warhammer miniatures of a kid in Ferndown.At the time I wasn't into Warhammer Fantasy and this act kind of catapulted me into it.

Part of that BIG purchase was the original Skaven Screaming Bell (this isn't my paint job by the way).

But it was a bit static for my tastes so I made a rather more dramatic conversion. 

But when the new Screaming Bell came out I felt the ante had been upped. I was  going to have to go a long way to outdo it (if that was even possible). I got the kit and made the Plague Furnace, then looked at the spare parts remaining and rubbed my hands together. 

The thing that inspired me the most here was a line from the army book: "It is from these unholy altars that the Grey Seers preach their plans of total domination in the name of the Great Horned Rat." I wanted it to be something that they use outside of battle for their dark rituals and I wanted it to be a huge centrepiece (while still sitting on the correct base size). 

Here's the Grey Seer's pulpit. 

The banner at the top on those big spears was a late addition and I had to really rein myself in. It was going to be much bigger but I realised it would then be too big to stand on my biggest shelf! 

The banner is made from kitchen towel ripped into little chunks and hung over a piece of thread, then hardened with super glue.

The bell on the new Screaming Bell was so cool that I had to use it and I could have used it to replace my original one. But I really wanted to go all out on bells. With two warpstone bells and a whole bunch of other supporting bells of different sizes, we can imagine the vast and cacophonous din that would break out across the battlefield, and also take place at their moonlit rituals.

I toyed with using the old bell ringer on the little platform in front of this bell for a while but in the ens felt this bowl of steaming warpstone worked better.

The extra bells are from Christmas decorations. They're painted Tin Bitz with Boltgun Metal stippling.

(I love how this picture came out - it really captures the sense of scale) 

As you can see, it all fits neatly (though perhaps a tad improbably) onto the normal base - the original carriage from the original Screaming Bell.

Now the Rat Ogre has this cool chain coming up from his hand so I decided it would be a shame not to use it. 

I got some thin chain from B&Q, prised open a link and joined it to the end then positioned everything so that it could look like he was ringing the upper bell. 

On second thought I added a secondary chain hanging down to the lower bell too. 

I'm reasonably pleased by how this came out. But not entirely.

I built the platform (from balsa wood) so that the rat ogre could be gripping onto the back of it, as he does to the official model.

He must go so deaf between those massive bells!

And there you have it. I'd like to say it's how you can get 2 models for the price of one, but after getting the original Screaming Bell, all the balsa wood, the extra parts, the chain and the big bells, then spending countless hours building and painting the thing, you MAY think it's not worth it. 

But I love it so who cares!

Now all I have to do is paint another 26-odd Clanrats to push it along!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tactica: Ogre Kingdoms

For a LONG time I have had a second Ogre Battalion sitting in my attic almost untouched.

Then I decided to get a bit obsessive and have had a major splurge on Ogres. I've now painted every ogre I own and though there are a few Gnoblars yet to be done, the army is now pretty solid.

Here now, for your viewing pleasure are the models and units that make up the army as well as my thoughts on tactics... 

Ogre Tyrant

I always try to play big games and the Tyrant is the natural choice.

There's a lot of concentrated power in one place here. One of the great debates about army choice is how much to spend on characters. I find myself tending to gravitate toward going the full 25% on Lords and Heroes, using up fifty percent of the total army points right there.

In some ways that's bad - imagine how many more troops I could get on the table if I went more minimalist - but on the other hand, more units makes the table cramped (even on my eight foot board). Concentrating power into a single miniature means that the army width drops but I can apply a lot of damage in a single place.

I'm not a huge fan of the Ogre magic items so I tend to give simple weapons for my Tyrant. He already has Strength 5 which gives -2 to armour saves and wounds most things on a 2 or 3+. His Initiative isn't great so aiming for a Great Weapon isn't that bad a loss in terms of hitting last. +2 Strength means -4 to armour saves. That's the kind of thing that comes in handy against knights and heavy infantry. But be careful of overkill. If opponents' armour isn't great, an extra attack is probably more useful.

I always put him in a unit for missile-fire protection and the combat resolution bonus. 

Slaughtermaster & Butcher 

I love the idea of Ogre Butchers but found them a bit frustrating in the old rules. I'm VERY happy that the spell lores are less limited now (especially getting the Lore of Fire for Firebellies - my favourite lore).

With a Slaughtermaster and a Butcher in the army, and one of them having to use the Lore of the Great Maw, I'm inclined to give that lore to the Slaughtermaster.

The reason for this is that this lore becomes amazing if the Augmentation spells are cast at the higher power level. Placed in the centre of a densely packed army, the Slaughtermaster has a greater chance of getting the higher casting level off successfully and can potential affect a good portion of the force.

The Lore of Beasts is a pretty good lore in terms of augmenting combat spells and the Transformation of Kadon can't be beaten. It's my favourite spell in the game.

The Lore of Heavens isn't one I've had a huge amount of experience with so I'll hang fire on my opinion of that for now.

Hunter & Sabretusks

An interesting change for the Ogre Hunter now that Sabretusks can be a much bigger unit in their own right. I think if I could buy them cheaply I'd definitely go for a larger pack.

Now the Hunter slows them down a little (though he can be given a big name to speed him up a tad) so that's something to bear in mind.

Vanguard isn't as good as Scout (giving a free 12" move) but it allows the Hunter and his pack to get into a relatively good flanking position. This is a small and relatively manoeuvrable unit that does its best work in a supporting role. With Swiftstride and a flank charge, these guys can chase down fleeing opponents while their buddy unit repositions to take on the next enemy in the line.

Battle Standard Bearer Bruiser 

I've said it before but here it is again:

Always take a Battle Standard Bearer in every army! 

There are plenty of spare standards in the Ogre Battalion box to scratch build something like this. As with the Tyrant I don't tend to upgrade this guy. I don't rate any of the Ogre magic items and the Big Names aren't that useful either for my playing style.

There's two schools of thought here. Keep the Tyrant and Battle Standard together centrally for a tight, relatively unbreakable army, or split them up for a more spread out force, one covering each end.

In concert with a centrally-placed Slaughtermaster casting boosted augment spells, the central placing can lead to a devastatingly powerful elite force.

 Ogre Bulls 

 Except we don't call them Bulls anymore.

I just love these models. They were groundbreaking when they first came out and they look fantastic still. I have a six-man unit and an eight-man unit of these guys. They are REALLY vulnerable to bow-fire but in combat they can be wonderful.

As with all ogres though, don't forget:

  • The FEAR
  • The STOMP
I'm not a big fan of shields as I often forget to use them. An additional hand weapon is easy to remember and does a lot of extra damage from a high strength unit like this. 


 These guys excel at killing. And they excel at killing armoured opponents. -3 to opponent's armour saves is a wonderful thing but maybe we're going overkill against unarmoured opponents. Although we're wounding on 2s rather than 3s, could the points be better spent against horde armies...?


 These little chaps have been thoroughly marginalised in the latest army book, hardly mentioned in the background and snipped out of the new battalion box. Which is a shame in many ways. 

They provide a great rank bonus (hard to get for an Ogre) and because they're so cheap they can waste an opponent's time and not be a problem. Cunning uses can be found for luring enemy units into bad positions as the Gnoblars flee and angling so that charging enemies have exposed flanks from Ogre charges. 

And the trappers upgrade (though extremely expensive compared to the Gnoblars themselves is worth every penny against hordes or elite enemy units. And it becomes more cost-effective the larger the Gnoblar unit. 

After experimenting with Gnoblar hordes, I now use blocks of twenty. They just seem more versatile and manoeuvrable.


 What a beautiful unit! 

I used to just have fours of these dudes and they look so much better now! 

Their firepower isn't quite as potent as it used to be but they don't shoot themselves anymore which is also good. This unit can put out tremendous damage and move while they're doing it. Plus they're great in combat. I see them more as flankers, shooting away for as long as possible while moving about before crashing into the side of the enemy army as needed. Is eight of them overkill? 

Or is it just-enough-kill?



I really love this unit and thank GOD they reduced the points by 20 each with the new army book. I can finally start using them again (a good thing after spending so long converting them).

You can read an article about how I did it here.

They don't get an Ogre Charge but they're faster and stronger and they reduce the enemy weapon skill (if you remember it) - much needed as their Weapon Skill isn't great.

These guys hit like a ton of bricks and can Swiftstride their way to more reliable long-distance charges and better pursuits.

The official models really do suck but do what I did and enjoy!


Speaking of sucky official models, here's my version of the Ogre Gorger (really a Hogsquasher the Troll from Red Box Games).

In the game, this guy has five Strength 5 attacks (including Frenzy) with Killing Blow. He's Unbreakable so can trap units in place while his pals get ready to charge and best of all, he's an Ambusher.

This means, after rolling for his arrival from Turn 2 onwards, he can turn up from any board edge (generally in the rea of the enemy army).

Never underestimate the effect this can have on your opponent's battle plan. He costs the same as three Ogre Bulls but with that kind of ability he can be the proverbial spanner in the proverbial works and do a lot of good.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

On the Painting Table: Skaven Doom Flayer!


I have wanted one of these since I first saw it and boy is it cool. 

I found it at Simple Miniature Games in Christchurch in their half price box (though only reaslised the side propellers were missing when I got to build it. It's still cool though.

And I can't wait to see it in action!


I painted the wheel with Tin Bitz | Dwarf Bronze and a chainmail drybrucsh on the blade ends. It's a little bit rough and ready I guess so maybe I'll give it a tweak at some point but for now it's playable-withable.

Monday, 5 December 2011

On the Painting Table: Bretonnian Reinforcements!

I am doing really well at catching up with the huge backlog of miniatures I have. I’m working on Ogres now (though that’s a story for another day).

Meanwhile, here are my latest offerings to the great god of war.

Bretonnians! Or as I prefer to call them, Tempestrians!

First up with have archers. Lots and lots of archers. These are the old fashioned ones. I picked up a lot of these from two copies of the old Warhammer boxed set from years ago. I had already painted forty but here is the next twenty, taking my total up to sixty! 

These guys kick ASS in the game against unarmoured foes particularly, especially now they have Volley Fire.

Just imagine all those lovely arrows!

And then we have my alternative Trebuchets!

I do like the GW one but this PAPO catapult I got on eBay is just lovely. I’ve had one for ages but have finally got round to painting up a second.

My ambition is to have four of these beauties when I get the army up to 3,000 points. Whewee! Imagine the destruction!

The artillery men are Men at Arms. It took me a while to decide on a colour scheme as they looked a bit effete initially. I’m still not that satisfied but they’ll do. 

It’s a shame my wife always plays Tempestrians because I would love to use all this new missile weapons.

I think she’s going to crucify me!