Friday, 30 November 2012

Scenery Workshop: Rocks!

So you want to build some rocky scenery?

Well now is your chance! Here's how!

1) Go to a hobby store and pay two to three times more than you're comfortable with for some sheets of foamboard.

2) Keep your clippers to hand in case of a cat attack.

3) Using a very sharp modelling knife, cut the foamboard into a pleasing shape, making sure the edges slope outwards.

4) In a crazed moment, decide to make six more similar pieces.

5) Buy a slab of insulation foam or sweet talk a builder to get some.

6) Assure the builder that it was purely about building some scenery. You don't want to start anything with him.

7) Cut a chunk of foam off the slab roughly the size of your first rock.

8) Try unsuccessfully to convince a family member it is a delicious piece of cheese.

9) Start to cut chunks out of the block to make it more naturally rocky-looking.

10) If your knife gets tired, lean it against the foam.

11) Cut up a whole load of rocks in the same way and glue them to your bases using wood glue.

12) Wait far longer than it says on the glue bottle for the glue to dry.

13) Rest knife.

14) In another mad moment, cut some of the rocks into preposterously unlikely shapes that would never really occur in nature.

15) Start to realise you've made too many scenery pieces. Question where the hell you're going to keep them all.

16) Reassure wife/girlfriend/builder that this scenery is vital to the continued existence of the universe.

17) Ensure tape measure is to hand but don't actually use it.

18) Get bored of making scenery.

19) Spend several weeks doing other projects.

20) Fend off complaints from wife/girlfriend/builder about the pointless waste of space your rocks are.

21) Agree to at least get them finished and play one game with them before you throw them in the trash.

22) Spray paint the rocks black.

23) Realise that spray paint doesn't work on foam.

24) Paint the rocks black using a brush.

25) Pause half way through to read about family fun at a messy church and to learn about the life of Muriel Spark.

(whoever she is)

26) Wet-brush the rocks brown.

27) Compare them to some rocks you made earlier.

28) Realise that rocks don't really come in such weird shapes.

29) Lay out some daemon models just in case.

30) Mix up a delicious looking beverage in your water pot.

31) Don't drink the beverage.

32) Paint round the bases and sprinkle bird grit on then paint over that.

33) Throw up if you did drink the beverage.

34) Wash out mouth.

35) Gargle.

36) Dry face and hands.

37) Finish painting rocks brown.

38) Use cream paint to slightly-less-wet-brush the rocks.

39) Realise that the old rocks look different from the new rocks.

40) Repaint the old rocks to match them up.

41) Lay the rocks out in a pleasing pattern.

42) Try to come up with some realistic-sounding (but still false) reasons why rocks would be sticking up in the air like that for when people ask.

43) Rest knife.

44) Go and watch TV with builder.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Tale of Years - Part 2

The Raising of Nippon

Over eight thousand years before the present time, the Old Ones came to the world from the dark gulfs between the stars.

No one knows their purpose, save perhaps the Slann, but it was they who seared the brand of sentient life onto the plains and valleys and in the mountains. Using magic undreamt of they created the Elves and the Dwarfs, the Lizardmen and the Ogres.

And the Orcs… The Orcs they brought with them as tiny spores, blowing where the wind would take them to fester and grow in the damp shadowy places of the world.

Tales are told elsewhere of these times and of the gift of magic that the Old Ones passed on first to the Slann Mage Priests, and then to the graceful Elves; but here we concern ourselves with tales never spoken of before; facts concealed from previous chronicles. For there is an action that was taken by the Old Ones then that is little known in the Old World and all but forgotten elsewhere; something that occurred scant years before the Great Cataclysm that ended the Old One’s plans for the world for all time.

Far from the land that would one day be called the Empire; far from Ulthuan where the young Elven race looked up at the moon in wonderment; far even from Araby and the Southlands; beyond the great continent of the Old World; lay a dark stretch of turbulent ocean.

Coming down from the empty skies at dawn, the Old Ones reached out with their power – a technology that none save them could understand – and as they gestured, the waters split. A chain of beautiful islands rose into the sunlight for the first time spanning hundreds and hundreds of miles.

Here, in the land the Old Ones named Nippon, the oldest of human civilizations was brought into being.

The Old Ones blessed these first humans with great strength and with wisdom; they whispered to them the secrets of the winds of magic; and they gifted to this people a handful of wondrous jewels.

These brilliant stones contained the most powerful enchantments and were known as the Eyes of Providence. It was said that as long as they remained in Nippon, then the land would forever be protected from harm.

The Nippon people flourished under the benevolent guidance of the Old Ones and the power of the Eyes; each jewel hidden away; each one separated and cosseted so that none could steal them. They became a proud and intuitive people, living in harmony under the cherry blossom and the watchful gaze of their masters.

But then the Great Cataclysm came, and the Old Ones vanished from sight as the very poles of the world were torn asunder, becoming gaping maws into the Realm of Chaos. If they were slain or exiled, no one knows but they were gone and never more did they return.

Their kindness was torn away from the Nipponese people as it was torn from the rest of the world, and this nascent culture; this civilization with so much potential to change the world; was left very suddenly alone.

To the far north, the wastes became a maelstrom of chaos energy, an eternal source for evil and corruption, and to the south… oh so near to the lovely beaches of Nippon, the wastes became the harbor of Daemons – billions upon billions of gibbering squawking monsters whose only desire was to extinguish the living.

But the Eyes of Providence still remained in Nippon and for now, their brilliance provided a bower of safety for this ancient civilization. The daemons could not cross the water and make landing as long as they remained.

The Old Ones may have gone forever, but their enchantment and protection continued... 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Tale of Years - Part 1

The first part in an epic history, spanning thousands of years, looking at the events leading up to the Last Chance War for every race involved; interweaving the events into the established Warhammer backstory. 

Of the Nature of Legends

History is nothing more than a carefully woven carpet of lies; a construction of mankind and elves and dwarfs; a desperate act to glean context and meaning from the never ending span of time. It is an act doomed to failure.

Time has no conscience. It cares naught for the acts of this man or that woman. It records nothing itself as we toil endlessly on into the cold and indifferent future.

But we care. We clutch onto the things that made us what we are today in the hope of finding understanding; in seeing at last what made us walk to this place to live the lives we lead. We toil to fill the gulfs of time where no facts remain to tell of what really happened. We make assumption after assumption; yearning to construct a tale with a beginning and a middle but with no end. And we pray that we might find the truth amidst the shadows.

This is that tale. This is that history. 
It is a tale of years; of millenia stretching back to the time before mankind; before the dwarfs and the elves; before even the creation of the Slann. It is a story told in other tomes and other places, but told in different ways. Crucial facts are now expalined. Key personas long stricken from record for their diabolical crimes are herein revealed at last. The past of entire nations that once remained mystery to all but the most learned will finally be placed on show.

It is a tale of wars; of betrayals; of daemonic invasions from lands undreamt of; of a warrior code and a warrior culture long unknown in the west. It is a tale of cataclysmic events; of tidal waves and devastating acts of genocide. It is a tale of vengeance and lies and hatred... and love... and it is a tale of the end of everything; where the placing of something as tiny as a pebble might bring calamity on all peoples in every part of the world. 

Or might not. 

It is, in its own way, a pathway leading from the beginning of time to the final conflict of the forces of order against the forces of destruction, and the last chance mankind might have to stop the end of times from coming.

It is the tale that paves the way to Armageddon and the last chance war that might prevent that destruction from occurring… or hurry it on its way.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ogre Kingdoms Sabre Tooth Tiger!

Continuing my exploration of doing cool things in my campaign because they're cool and not getting too hung up on rules and such, may I present The Great Khan!

Here he is next to his masters in the Kingdom of the Great Maw!

This beautiful Sabre-Toothed Tiger was originally a PAPO toy that I've based and repainted.

The paint job is quite subtle - a blend of cream, khaki and bleached bone.

He's too long for a chariot base so I made an extended one from foam board.

This happy chappy is going to be part of my Ogre Kingdoms army - brought down from the mountains to fight alongside them. I'll come up with some kind of justification someday if I get round to it.

Rules wise, I went through Storm of Magic and looked at all the monsters arrayed there to get an idea of what proxy rules I could use. I went in the end with the rules for the Chaos Spined Best thingy without Regeneration or the spike attack for 180 points.

I looked for a while at the Rhinox and Lions as comparison but this dude is probably twice their size. He's actually bulkier than a dragon - so I felt I was justified on the choice.

Let's see how he plays out. I'm using him in my final game of the campaign turn - hopefully later this week!

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Brotherhood of Spawn!

To my mind, one of the best things about a campaign is letting imagination push past the limits of army lists and rule boundaries.

Having said that, there is a precedent in the Warhammer hardback rulebook for these scary looking units in the campaign section at the end.

The Brotherhood of Spawn!

We're talking a unit of 2-5 Chaos Spawn normally fielded as individual models. Which should really put the beat down on somebody!

To me it's less about that and more about the cool visuals - and being able to use all ten spawn I rashly bought when Apocalypse 40k came out.

I just finished repainting the last eight of these guys in Khorne red and they look cool - especially ranked up... though I fear the back rank will miss out on some attacks if they aren't careful (having 3 attacks as a maximum).

These beauties are the first two units of my new Warriors of Chaos army that will slowly be building up over the next few months (and years).

I'll probably stick them on the flanks and smack in from the sides in a pincer. It'll be interesting to see just how these unbreakable mo fos fare on the battlefield...

Well I suspect.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Warhammer Samurai!

Well it isn't an official GW model but take a look at the first miniature in my new Nippon army!


 This dude was from Wargames Factory and this far in I've been very impressed by their ease of construction.

As with a lot of miniatures the place where the sprue connects to the figure can sometimes be irritating. With this guy it was a big connection on the katana that needed VERY careful filing.

I am exceptionally pleased with starting this project.  I'm using the amazing army book published on this site for my basis (though I'm inventing my own Nippon history).

I have plans for pikemen, archers, riflemen, an oriental dragon, a phoenix a water elemental and some Oni (Big red daemon ogres).

With Christmas coming up (and a new campaign turn about to start in the Last Chance War), I should have a good opportunity to insert the Nippon race into the action coming in from the east. 

Here's hoping that the other poses look as good as this one...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

On the Painting Table: A Fiend of Slaanesh!

Well this is one freaky looking miniature.

I'm not sure I would have bough one except that on impulse I got it from a bargain half price bin in my local model shop.

I painted it the same colours as my other Slaanesh daemons (Dwarf Flesh | Flesh Wash | Elf Flesh with black drybrushed grey for the hair) and it ties in nicely with them.

In the game it's very fast but not that powerful by itself. It's a support unit running in to help with another charge or a sniping unit, going for Wizards or war machines. As it's so fast (effectivaly a flyer) it's also useful for impeding march moves and such in the opponent's back field.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Spotlight On... When a Bloodthirster met a Varghulf

Thought I'd showcase a bit of conversion work I did.

Ages ago I bought the Bloodthirster.

Ace rules and background but the wings were a bit ropey as far as I was concerned.

So what I cunningly did was get the Balrog wings from GW mail order and used milliput to blend them in.

I also added some extra dreadlocks so that I could turn his head into a more dramatic pose.

Now this looks suitably spectacular!

But what to do with the unused wings...?

Ah, I hear you say! The Vargulf has absolutely terrible wings! Surely we can solve two problems with one stone!

A bit more milliput later...

And we have a kind of scary looking Vargulf who looks like he's either about to take off or really pounce on someone.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tactical Review: Massacre at the Ruins of Kalkor


Well Storm of Magic and Dwarves - do they mix?  Well I still think not but with some crafty usage of points allowance then you can get yourself a cheeky wizard or two as I did.  The other risk and a risk is was, was to put 2 Thanes and a Lord in a unit of warriors, cunning or lucky you decide….. 

In a great game I got very lucky early on blasting Tim’s orcs and managed to kill his general by the end of his turn one with my uber unit and they did an amazing job of pretty much wiping out his entire army.  I got lucky on the magic rolls with only one miscast all game to be honest and poor Tim’s low leadership army just kept failing panic tests.

It’s a great feeling to be winning again.


Well this was maybe the most disastrous game I've ever played! By the end of turn ONE I had almost nothing left (though had captured the only arcane fulcrum). It was stunning! 

But still very enjoyable. 

Not sure what I would have done differently really. The strategy I had was fine but I took such hits in the first turn that I was no longer in a position to support it. Things got worse and worse until I lost any chance of winning. If I'd won the first turn dice off things might have been very different but Mike's clever concentration of characters into an unstoppable force may have splintered my plans anyway. Who knows!

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Wailing Woods

Between the River Stacnek and Hangman's Road, on the edge of Bloodroot Forest north of Malko, is an eerie place tainted by the coming of chaos and the opening of the Pernicious Gate.

It is said that once the caress of chaos has been felt, the corruption of it will last forever more, and this taint spreads ever wide to north and south and east and west.

Here it sinks into the roots and the ground. It blackens the soil and twists the bark and branches of the trees into spectral shapes. Here the wind doesn't breeze and rustle through the leaves; it sounds in the hollows and crevices, wailing in bitter sorrow.

The wailing of the woods can be heard for miles in the small hours of night, keeping superstitious peasants awake and children crying in the village of Death Knell to the west. It is a godless sound that scratches scars on the soul that never heal. It is a sound to drive men mad.

Upon a time this land had been prime hunting ground for the lords of Malko where stags and pheasant could be shot or trapped. Now it is an empty lifeless warren of frightening dark and leery spectacle. It is a place of value to nothing or no-one except perhaps to the elves of Bloodroot Forest who care little for the taint of the Chaos Vein or to the Daemons who wish to pervert every corner of our bright realm.

To men it is a lost stretch of land, useful only as a place to take back from the brink of damnation; a place to purge with fire  and raze to ash; a place to stand and fight and say, "No more."

But even if this dreary location were ever purged so; burned and stripped to blackened stone, would it ever truly lose the taint of chaos? Or would the wailing continue across the scorched and barren earth?

Surely this place, like all places touched by chaos is damned forever.

In-Game Effects: 

Within the Wailing Woods, three dice are rolled for the Winds of Magic and the lowest one discarded. 

"Good" forces suffer -1 Leadership throughout the game unless they are Stubborn, cause Fear or are Immune to Psychology. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Massacre at the Ruins of Kalkor

Mike (Dwarfs) vs Tim (Orcs & Goblins)

And finally the day came when the eyes of evil looked upon the Ruins of Kalkor with growing lust for power; filthy greenskins whose bodies had once been the bodies of men: the Orcs of Gaping Jaw.

But the defenders of the Kalkor; the brave Dwarfs of Karak Hirn, were waiting as they always waited, standing in stout defence as they always had; waiting only for this day.

The Orcs were not the builders of Kalkor but they were almost as deadly, and if this fell place became theirs then they might use it to put cracks in the earth deep enough to swallow the realm of the Dwarfs.

Gunna Gorrasson, Runelord of Karak Hirn prepared the anvil of doom to let fly its cataclysmic power against the animalistic attackers, knowing that the raw power at this dangerous site could only add to its devastating effects.

But all around the ruins, the raging forces of the Orcs closed in, surrounding the ancient edifice, their shaman's tuning into the throbbing energy rising from the earth.

Before they could clamber into the ruins themselves though, Dwarfen warriors uncovered hidden Flame Cannons and hurled burning incendiaries at the howling greenskins, driving them back to the water nearby.

And as they fell back the lightning of the Anvil of Doom incinerated the filthy wretches, turning them to screaming dust as Thunderers let fly their handgun fire.

The attack of the Orcs faltered, and no matter the sudden flood of sorcerous power their Shaman's had, the Orcs had little practise in such might. They were as nothing before the stubborn preparations of the grim garrison. 

At the waterline, the warboss rallied his troops, bellowing for them to charge on, back toward the ruins.

But awaiting them now were the finest warriors of the Dwarfs, a concentration of skill and strength seldom seen, lead from atop his shield bearers by the Dwarf king, Durak Grund himself!

The Orcs had little chance, floundering to remanoeuvre as the lightning of the Anvil of Doom shattered their ranks.

Nothing would allow their filthy claws to close on this most precvious and powerful place. Nothing would stop the Dwarfs defending it.

The Orcs were scattered and fled or they were slaughtered and Gunna Gorrasson struck the anvil once more, not in attack this time, but in triumph.

The Ruins of Kalkor were safe for now but the Orcs would come again.

And someday something far far worse.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Ruins of Kalkor

There is a place, in the foothills of the Black Mountains, south of Karak Hirn and close to where the Old Silk Road passes over Lodestone River. It is a place that in ancient times housed sorcerous rituals that never should have been performed.

In few other places in the Old World does magic coalesce and flood as it does here, even now, centuries after it was last used as a place of dark sacrifice. It is said that there are those that still exist, ancient ones who never have and perhaps never will die, who remember Kalkor's original purpose. Who know why now it stands only as ruins.

Who will one day return to claim it.

But now it stands empty, shunned by beast and bird; by monster and by man; because of the unnatural chill there, the throbbing power that still flows through the stones of the ancient ruins. Those of sense know to stay well away and fools that stumble close are seldom seen again, at least in the same shape as once they wore.

The touch of sorcery is rank here, but some believe that it is a force that can be controlled; one that might grant unlimited power to those wilful enough to clasp it.The Dwarfs of Karak Hirn know this to be more than conjecture, for their shrouded history is touched by the damnation of this place. They know the danger of its power ever falling into fell hands and through long centuries they have guarded it from evildoers or arrogant do-gooders.

When eight hundred years gone gone by, Gerard d'Astatic founded Tempest Falls in the east with the help of the Dwarfs, he learned of the Ruins of Kalkor and requested leave to utilise the dark place's power against the malevolent creatures of the Border Princes.

He was refused by Dorak Grund himself, High King of the Karak Hirn, coming close to mortal combat over the issue; but Gerard backed down in the end and the ruins remained empty and guarded by the Dwarfs.

Safe from all evildoers. For now.

But one day soon, the time will come when tainted eyes fall upon the old stoneworks; when they realise its hidden strength and lust to make it their own.

Or worse; the day will come when the evil that built Kalkor returns to claim it. And surely that will spell the end of all days and the coming apocalypse.

Surely that day must be prevented at all costs.

In Game Effects:

The Ruins of Kalkor function as a single Arcane Fulcrum owned by the defending player. All supporting rules from Storm of Magic are used during the game.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Precision in Death: The Tale of a Massacre

Tim (Dwarfs) vs Gill (Orcs & Goblins) 

The horde came from Gaping Jaw with only murder in mind: huge blocks of bellowing Orcs and giggling goblins; clattering chariots and baying wolves; a towering giant wielding the axle from a smashed cart.

But the Dwarfs of Horn Hold were more than ready for them.

Orchestrated by their lord, Durak Grund, the mighty stunters stood wait in a perfect gun line, waiting for the greenskins to close within range, cannons and handguns loaded and ready. They were presighted and poised and the second that the Orcs past the marker bushes that represented the entry to the killing field the Dwarfs opened fire.

Into the sheet of gunfire and cannon ball, the Orcs & Goblins kept running, crying in rage and blood lust, but they were being picked off one by one by one by one until first dozens and then hundreds were falling in blood soaked death.

Never before within the Border Princes had such intensity of precision fire been heard as the Dwarfs fire discipline had them stepping forward and back to reload and then fire again in a constant volley of reciprocal murder.

The surviving greenskins broke and they fled but even that was no escape from the Dwarfs as a Gyrocoptor took to the air and scalded them to death with boiling steam.

The Orcs had come to the land of the Dwarfs but not one of them left alive.