Tuesday, 27 March 2018

WFB4 Battle Report: The Kraken's Lament vs Grumpgit's Goblin Snivellers

Yikes - the intro to this post shows how long I have been sat on it. It's not even the oldest draft post I have.

Orctober was a busy month for me hobby wise, not only were numerous greenskins painted up for various forces/rule sets and painting challenges, but I also managed to fit in some D&D and even a small introductory battle of WFB4 with one of my D&D group who has started collecting a small force of Dark Elves.

Apologies in advance that there are only photos of the beginning and end of the game. It was a tutorial game so I wasn't really thinking about a battle report at the time, but we are hoping to carry on with the story in a mini campaign, so decided to write it up for fun.

I've had these painted boards for about 20 years. MDF with green gloss on one side and yellow on the other. Crude but incredibly durable and versatile.

The battle field (approx 3'x3') was set up with deployment zones in the corners, Goblin Village on one side and hill top and woodland on the other for the sneaky Dark Elves to sneak about in. Sneaks.

Here we see the necessary accoutrements for a game of WFB4 in their natural habitat
An experienced roleplayer, with a love of the Old World from playing WFRP, she knows the background for Warhammer Fantasy Battle but was interested in learning the game so I suggested we play a small 500pt game (no magic) which would also give her a chance to figure out what her first purchases should be when building up her force. She brought along her newly assembled Corsairs, so they were the first unit on the list, but the models themselves got a spray undercoat so had to sit out the battle while we turned to my collection of unpainted Dark Elves and assorted other bits to make up her forces.

Her Dark Elf raiding party would face off against my small tribe of Goblins, in the hope of taking slaves and improving the reputation of her ambitious young champion before high tailing it back to their boat and then back to the Black Arc before it sailed too far ahead for them to rejoin the larger raiding force.


Dark Elf Champion w/ Light Armour, Repeater X-bow + Blade of Leaping Bronze (25 pts) - 77 pts
10 x X-bowmen - 130 pts
10 x Scouts - 130 pts
5 x Witch Elves - 60 pts
Repeater Bolt Thrower - 100 pts

Total: 497 pts


Goblin Big Boss w/ Light armour, Short Bow, Axe, Shield, riding a Gigantic Spider - 87pts
5 Wolf Riders w/ Shields (inc Standard Bearer)* - 60 pts
5 Wolf Riders w/ Short Bows (inc Musician)* - 60 pts
18 Goblin Spearmen w/ shields - 63 pts
2 Goblin Fanatics - 60 pts

9 Goblin Archers - 27 pts
Snotling Mob (3 bases) - 45 pts.
Goblin Doom Diver - 100pts

Total: 502 pts

*The leaders of the two Wolf Rider units are rivals, so one has a standard, and one has a musician, but neither have both, because that would be too convenient (and I was attempting to demonstrate their different functions, and the potential benefits of having both in the same unit). If I had been playing to win I would have put them all in one unit. Obvs.

Grumpgit's Goblin Snivellers have gathered  outside their huts to watch Doom Diver target practice

Grumpgit the Goblin Big Boss was grumpy. As usual. He was tired of getting pushed around by Hoggrash the Orc Big Boss from over the hill, just coz he was twice the size of Grumpgit and was best mates with Big Drekk the Warlord from down the fire caves, and liked to remind all the other tribal bosses at every opportunity. There was only one thing for it, he needed some mindless cruelty to take his mind of things. Grumpgit snatched up another Snotling that had got too drunk on Mushroom Beer to get out of the way in time and tossed it to his Gigantic Spider Rosey Red Knees to devour, before shouting for the boys to get the catapult set up. Maybe some Doom Diver target practice would cheer him up?

Caci Pyrerider, champion and leader of the Kraken's Lament raiding band, slunk silently through the shadows on the tree dotted hillside. Vekha Silentreaper, unit leader of her corsair scouts, had located a suitably miserable goblin village for them to execute a quick raid and score some new Goblin slaves for the bilges of the Black Arc. Caci was ambitious, but she also knew the key to success here was a quick and simple raid. They couldn't afford to get held up otherwise the Arc would be too far ahead for them to rejoin and they'd have to make their way home back along the blasted stretch of Naggaroth's coastline in disgrace. She'd commandeered one of the Arc's deck ballistae for the mission, and had chosen to base herself with the X-bowmen for this action. She planned to dominate the goblins with missile fire. That and she wanted to keep an eye on Tocek Duskcrusher, the treacherous unit leader and her potential rival for leadership of the raiding band. If this mission didn't go well she wanted to be close enough to put a knife between his ribs during the retreat before he could mount any kind of coup... Her thoughts returned to the present. She must focus. Now what on earth were those Goblin wretches gathered around outside that big hut?

Turn One

Caution was the watch word for the Dark Elves and having won the first turn it was the Witch Elves on their left flank that made the boldest move, pushing their way to the edge of the woods but remaining in cover. The Scouts advanced very cautiously in a skirmish formation while the Bolt Thrower took aim at the Wolf Riders and dropped two of them, forcing a leadership test which they only pass due to them still being next to the Big Boss in their starting formation! However, the Dark Elf champion was left cursing the Scouts who had ended up blocking the line of sight of her Crossbowmen, otherwise that might have been curtains for the first unit of Wolf Riders on the first turn!

Never fear! They didn't have to wait long as the remaining Wolf Riders (with bows) positioned themselves to shoot at the Scouts and lined up for a charge on the next turn (the cautious advance of the Dark Elves having prevented a charge straight out of the gates - damn them!) and would now be dead centre in the sights of those vicious Repeater X-bows. Grumpgit urged his Gigantic Spider (Rosey Red Knees) forward to back up the charge, but hopefully keep out of the way of the missile fire. The Goblin archers and their Snotling meat shields held their ground as protection for the all important Doom Diver, who took aim at the Bolt Thrower and only over shot by a couple of inches, unable to quite adjust in the wind, ending up a Goblin Pizza in the open space between the hill and the trees.

But what about the Goblin spearmen I hear you cry? The mainstay of Grumpgit's Snivellers line? Well they succumbed to animosity on their first turn and did nothing but shout abuse at the nearby archers. Well, I guess it did help show a new player all the fun of playing with/against Orcs and Goblins!

On the far flank the Wolf Riders more melee minded frenemies lowered their standard and charged into the Witch Elves skulking in the trees in front of them. This turned out to be a BAD IDEA (who would have guessed!?) and although they valiantly took down two Witch Elves (or rather their wolves did) the remaining Witch Elves ripped them a whole bunch of new green/furry arseholes in return, sending the surviving pair fleeing back a fair old 9 inches, but savagely following up a whopping 11 inches and butchering the lot of them in a blood soaked frenzy. As you do.

Turn Two

The second turn was all about the Dark Elves superior missile fire. The Witch Elves advanced along the edge of the goblin village trying to get close enough to charge the Goblin Archers while the Scouts backed up slightly and then opened fire along with the X-bowmen on the Wolf Riders in the middle, killing them all. This left the Bolt Thrower free to shoot at the Goblin Big Boss, choosing a single bolt it struck true leaving poor Rosey on a single wound.

The Snivelling Spearmen finally got their act together and marched forward into the gap left by the dearly departed Wolf Riders, hoping to tempt the cowardly Dark Elves into a charge so they could unleash their secret weapon. Without anyone to back up his charge Grumpgit held back. This was also a mistake. I thought about moving back into the cover of the trees, but I was worried this would bring him within charge range of the Witch Elves, he was a bit stuck really. Sadly the archers failed to take down any of the Witch Elves menacing their flank, and although the Doom Diver did manage to take out one of the crew of the Bolt Thrower this was clearly not going to be enough.

The cowardly Dark Elf scouts slink back into the cover of the trees having taken a mauling from a Goblin Fanatic

Turn Three and beyond

At the start of the next turn the Witch Elves charged the Goblin Archers in the flank, the small number of remaining models meaning they could bypass the Snotling defences. This seemed to cheer the Dark Elf forces and the Scouts finally made a more aggressive move to charge the Spearmen - just as I hoped they would! The unit parted to reveal two spinning balls of death with mushroom crazed goblins attached to them, stopping the Dark Elf charge in its tracks as they tried to dodge out of the way to no avail. The Fanatics did OK taking out four scouts and none of my own troops before being promptly shot to pieces by the nearby X-bowmen who didn't like the look of what might happen on the next turn. The Bolt Thrower targeted the Bog Boss and Gigantic Spider again, this time hitting the Goblin and killing him in a single hit, leaving a wounded spider limping about in circles. Meanwhile the Witch Elves had remarkably been held in combat having only killed one archer and a very low role on the resulting LD test for the Gobbos.

I must admit I can't entirely remember what happened towards the end. I know the Doom Diver missed by a couple of inches again, and that the Spearmen ended up loosing a combat and the resulting break test and then being caught and slaughtered (captured?), and the three remaining Witch Elves breaking the archers who then fled off the battle field. I think the X-bowmen put the Spider out of its misery and the Bolt Thrower took a chunk out of the Doom Diver catapult, but didn't destroy it.

Don't be decieved. Those Wood Elf archers are actually

There really wasn't any debate as to who won. The rampaging Witch Elves saw off all resistance and the village was left abandoned to the Snotlings, who soon enacted Darwin's Law by deciding to play with the Doom Diver catapult unsupervised...

We didn't bother with victory points. The dead piles told their own story at the end.

Dark Elf dead pile - note the genuine giant spider corpse in authentic web in the nearby trees. That's what you get if you store your scenery in the garage...

Goblin dead/captured pile

My opponent was rewarded for her victory with 10 un-built and unpainted Goblin Archers I had going spare to add to her small but growing collection, and to represent the Goblin slaves her Dark Elf raiders had taken with them.

Even though my Goblins were completely massacred I'm still counting it as a win, as my main objective was to show how much fun old school Herohammer could be, and the best evidence of that is that we are planning for the next game, where her wily Dark Elf raiders need to avoid being smashed before they can get back to their boat, by Big Boss Hoggrash and his nearby Orc tribe who have been alerted to their presence by all those fleeing gobbos!

Thanks for reading. Do pop back for the next installment.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018 - Update #1

A bit later than planned (sorry!) here is the first update on the Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018

Amazingly we have had 45 people say they are up for it - WOW! - that would be enough for four War Bands!

If you are interested in getting involved but haven't signed up yet don't worry, the project is running until the end of May 2018 so there is still plenty of time. You can check out the background to the project and full rules here.

So far we've heard/seen people thinking about a suitably weird and wonderful range of ideas including a Mutant Ogre, classic plastic Beastmen, Minor Demons of Malal, classic chaos champions, Chaos Warriors, a Minotaur, and kit-bashed mutants!

Koen said he was debating between a Slaaneshi chaos warrior with lots of mutations or a dark elf dedicated to Slaanesh... but may just merge the two. And why the hell not?

Christian is going to produce a Chaos Warrior, with a cape, chunky armour, and possibly a Tzeentch style moon face!? The twist here is that Christian sculpts in a Middlehammer style, but doesn't paint his minis himself, so whoever wins this mini gets to paint it too!

Ross Whitehorn from Krakon Games ran a mini-poll to see which mini from his own excellent range from Krakon Games people thought he should paint, a fantastic idea which ended up with this selection:

"Cichol Gricenchos was one of the earliest Fomorian leaders, perhaps even the first. He bargained with dark powers to slay the Partholóin in a single night, but his treachery was undone at the plea of Tuan. The Partholóin rose from their graves and brought vengeance upon Cichol’s forces, leaving him a broken, desperate soul as a warning to others of his kind. His fall to darkness consumed him. He remains alone, bitter and plotting to destroy the followers of Partholón once more." - Fantastic stuff!

Joeseph Waldron is going to be painting/submitting something suitable from the new Circus of Corruption range from the Old School Miniatures company.

Check out the little Rotling perched on the Dumbell!

This handsome chap is Gunter Firkenshart, one of the Strong Men from the Kickstarter, which is running until April 14th 2018 if you fancy getting in on the action!

Gentleman Matt Gee also posted an example of the Purple and Off White colour scheme as a helpful reference. This isn't his entry for the project, rather it's something he is working on for his Mantic - Kings of War armies, which you can find out more about by following his new blog!

I love the vibrant blue skin tones on this big lug!

We've also had a debate about whether Chaos Dwarves are really Dwarves, or just short Chaos Warriors, having checked their True Dwarf ID cards in at the chaotic door? Debates about size of hat being an entirely separate can of worms...

I for one am going down the CD route, and for once I mean Chaos Dwarfs not Cross Dressing, although my interpretation of Mad Marik Trollbiter from the Citadel 1986 Chaos Dwarf Renegades release is Slaaneshi inspired, so we might end up combining the two to keep things in character....

It's obviously more Oldhammer than Middlehammer, but when searching through the lead pile this spiky little chap jumped out at me as a likely candidate.

I have by now (long after starting this post) got a fair bit of paint on him, but I'll save the pics for another post once I'm a bit happier with results. Besides, as close to finishing as I am we already have someone who is (pretty much) finished!

Chester Mike posted on 3rd March, just days after the project was launched!

"I should have been painting my Grenadier High Elves in preparation for their first outing tomorrow but I was having so much fun I decided to finish off my contribution to the Legacy project instead.
I say finished but I might go back and try to tidy up some areas and do a bit more highlighting. Maybe even make a few areas purple as I'm not sure it fits the brief enough... Overall I'm pretty happy though. Certainly a lot brighter than I originally intended and I've tried to pick put more detail than I usually do (I'm a tabletop standard painter at best). Most of all it was fun!
Over the course of painting I decided to change the fluff too because he really felt more like a Chaos Samurai with that helmet decoration and the ribbed effect on his armour. He is now going to be a Chaos Champion of Tzeentch from far kingdom of Nippon."

Blimey Mike! That was swift work. There is a huge amount of detail going on here, and I particularly admire going for animal print, which I fear even more than trying to paint tartan!
Finally, one of the people taking part is my good friend Al, who isn't a member of the Middlehammer group but loved the idea of the project and asked if he could join in. Damn straight you can Al! I'm hoping it will act like a gate way drug ;)

As Al needed a model to take part (his focus previously being LOTR and now mainly Star Wars miniatures, he lacks a proper lead pile, the poor sod) I selected this Chaos Sorcerer I picked up recently. At one point I thought he might be my own entry - as it says in the group description on Facebook: "Over sized weapons + YMCA poses = Middlehammer!" so this guy seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

As I say, Al mainly focuses on Star Wars miniatures, and is our Games Master for brilliant campaign of Star Wars: Imperial Assault - which I always simplify as being 'Star Wars Heroquest'. That is too simple an analogy, but it sort of sums it up while also signifying how much I love this game (to even mention it in the same breath as the hallowed HQ!)

Al has been busy painting up the whole set ready for the grand finale (hopefully happening over Easter) and has sent me some pictures of his work to whet my appetite for the game. He has certainly done that! Amazingly Al has not been painting very long at all, but has shown what can be achieved with a few on line tutorials and a very disciplined and patient painting style. I know the others members of our gaming circle with more painting history are all really impressed/a little bit sick with jealousy at the quality and speed of Al's output.

The Chaos Sorcerer will be Al's first metal miniature and he is keen to see how the experience differs from plastic and resin, but judging on the pictures below I think he's going to do just fine!

My character Fenn Signis (back right) is a Bad Ass M-F, but sadly we lost Gharkhan the Wookie in a recent mission and now I'm pretty sure we are screwed for the final mission. I miss you my stinky ol' buddy, and the way you eviscerated every last Storm Trooper in the room.
A couple of Nexu and a small band of Trandoshan Bounty Hunters! (my character has a blood feud with Bossk)

Really not looking forward to facing that bloody Chicken Walker in the final battle without our one-Wookie wrecking crew!

Sadly Red-cloaks in Star-Wars are not as easily disposable as Red-Shirts in Star-Trek. And Dark Helmet there is a bloody nightmare even if you do have a Jedi with you. Yeah... We're screwed. Can't wait!

Keep an eye out for more project updates soon - I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people are planning and hope to show some of them here as well as seeing lots of updates on the Middlehammer facebook page.


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018 - Chaos Warband of the Weird and Wonderful

I'm very proud to announce the Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018!

The idea of a Legacy Project is that each person paints and contributes one miniature to a themed/colour schemed group of miniatures, and then there is a lottery to decide who wins the group as a legacy of the project - we have settled on a theme of a Weird/Chaos Fantasy War Band
All are welcome to get involved and all you have to do is contribute one of the models for the War Band, painted, and if desired converted, complete with a short back story and Warhammer Fantasy stat line.

If you want to see what we did last year check out the 2017 Legacy Project - a 40k Mercenary Strikeforce - here, but as this is shamelessly stolen from inspired by the Oldhammer Legacy Warband competition that Axiom, from the most excellent Magpie and Old Lead, ran a few years back, even down to me nicking the format for the rules below (thanks again to Axiom for his advice on putting it together), I strongly recommend you check out their previous projects too.

The idea is that each person who signs up then gets a vote on a couple of things:

1) Broad theme for the strike force - this year the group has settled on Weird/Chaos Fantasy War Band

Any race from the Warhammer Fantasy universe can be included, provided the overall finished mini ties into the Weird/Chaos theme and fits the colour scheme.

2) A main colour and a secondary colour that will tie each model together in the finished group.

We've gone for Purple as the main colour and Dirty or Off White as the secondary colour, which works for 3/4 Chaos Gods (4/5 if you count Malal, and I do!) and wouldn't be impossible to work into a Khorne mini if someone was dead keen! Colours/finishes of armour, weapons, skin colour, straps, gear and so on are all up to the individual painter to select.

Here are some key questions about how the project will run:

How does this Legacy War Band thing work anyway?
All participants agree to paint and contribute one model to the pre-agreed theme (decided via the Middlehammer facebook page) of Weird/Chaos War Band. You paint the model and post it to your friendly neighbourhood organiser (me - Paul/StuntCat). All contributors are entered into a draw, and the winner out of the hat wins the whole War Band for their collection!

NB: I am going to contribute a mini, but I won't be putting my name in the draw.

If we are really lucky and get loads of entries then we may split the minis into two War Bands and have two different winners.

What's the time frame involved?
The project starts as of 1st March and painting/modelling time lasts three months so you should have your model completed by end of May 2018. Models to be with me (in Bristol, UK) by Friday 15th June, with the draw taking place as soon as possible once I have all the entries in.

What models can I contribute?
Anything that you think fits with the theme agreed on the Middlehammer fb group. All Warhammer Fantasy races are permissible, as are Demons and Mutants. The basic idea is that it is inspired by the old school Realms of Chaos, so I'm guessing that many will go for something Middlehammer in period but themed towards RoC somehow. The model could be a straight up RoC era classic if you want, but it certainly doesn't have to be.

It doesn't even have to be Games Workshop really, if you have something from another range or manufacturer then all good as long as you can make it fit the theme. Metal, plastic, or resin minis are all acceptable. Conversions are definitely welcome, but again, not essential. If people want to branch out into beasts, mounts, or chaos spawn, then that is all good too!

It's a Weird/Chaos War Band you say? Shouldn't there be some kind of crazy table with 27 sub tables that I can spend hours generating random mutations and gifts for my character!?
Yes! Yes there damn well are wise traveler, and you are very welcome to use them if you want to, but it is not a requirement. Tables from the original Realms of Chaos (RoC) books Slaves to Darkness (which has of course just enjoyed a very well deserved relaunch by Games Workshop!) and The Lost and the Damned are fantastic sources, but so are tables from Chaos army books from later editions, or maybe even Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The choice is up to you. If you do go down that root though it would be fantastic if you can either post all about it, or send me a message so I can include it one of the progress posts here.

How will this War Band look coherent?
Firstly, the colour scheme will be decided along with the broad theme, via the Middlehammer Facebook group by the people participating. Secondly, and again taking our lead from those who have gone before us, the winner does the basing for the War Band. This will ensure that a) the Strikeforce is coherently based and b) the Strikeforce fits into their own collection.

Primary colour = Purple
Secondary colour = Dirty or Off White

Colours/finishes of armour, weapons, skin colour, straps, gear and so on are all up to the individual painter to select.

What about Basing?It's not going to be a deal breaker what base you use (unless people start arguing with each other about proper base shape, in which case they will be chucked out!) but as it's not going to be a WFB unit that needs ranking up I suggest we go with round bases as they will be usable in more systems - the winner can always rebase on squares anyway if they want.

How do I take part?
You can register by responding to the post in the Middlehammer facebook group, or in the comments below this blog post
How will the project work?
1.Participants need to register what model they will be contributing via the Middlehammer page as above. This blog will be updated with details as we go along.
2. Completed models, with a plain black round base of appropriate size, need to be sent to me (Bristol, UK) at the participants expense, and received by Friday 15th June 2018 (postal address to be supplied privately to participants).
3. Each model to be accompanied by a name, short back story (200 words max), and a Warhammer Fantasy stat line (via email or facebook message).
4. The draw will take hopefully take place during the second week of June.
5. The winner will be announced here and on the Middlehammer facebook group as sson as the draw has taken place. I will send the completed War Band to the winner via recorded delivery (at my expense), hopefully to arrive by end of June 2018.
6. The winner posts a picture of them enjoying their new minis on the Middlehammer facebook page with a massive cheesy grin and a big thank you to everyone who took part! 
7. It would be great if the winner would also be up for writing a short post to go with said pictures and cheesy grin, saying how they are going to use and enjoy the minis, but not if they really don't want to.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask in the comments below, or on the Middlehammer face book group - Cheers!