Friday, 30 May 2014

Chico's Chaos Challenge: Chaos Dwarf Bazooka Team

Here is my entry in the latest Chico's Challenge. A Realm of Chaos era Chaos dwarf Bazooka team. Now, if you are not aware of who (or, indeed, what Chico is) then I heartily recommend that you pop over to his website here. Oldhammer on a Budget says exactly what it says on the tin. It documents one man's quest to collect as much old school themed miniature goodness for next to nothing - or preferably, bugger all. 

I have had this team sitting on my desk for almost a year. They were originally to be part of the warband I took to BOYL 2013, and then later part of the Deathfist's army at Blog-Con. Sadly, they never got finished and they gathered dust. Hence the value of little competitions and challenges like Chico's, the encourage you to focus your painting and get stuff done. 

The colour scheme is based on the chaos warrior who resided on the cover of the Realm of Chaos packaging on the blister walls of yesteryear. The base colour for the crimson is Go Faster Red, a rather rare colour from the Ork and Eldar paintset. I added a bright yellow to the base and simply worked up the edges and bends in the armour. The green's base is Woodland Green, highlighted with the addition of white to the mix. The gold was a mix of Shining Gold, yellow and chestnut ink, highlighted witha little silver. 

All and all, a quick colour scheme and one that saw these miniatures completed in about two and half hours. Not bad for two little dwarfs. Chico can tell you a story a bout two little dwarfs, but it takes quite a strong stomach to listen to it. 

Enjoy, oh and you still have a couple of days to get something finished or photographed for his competition. there is talk of a prize to boot, but whether that involves the two dwarfs is anyone's guess. 


A Warhammer Besitary: Chaotic (and Evil) Warriors and Sorcerers... ohh and a couple of new beastmen of Slaanesh!

Regular readers will know that my output is often sporadic, but has seen a slight increase in recent days. Well, this is due to it being half-term this week, and me being a teacher, I can spare an extra few moments to write up articles for fellow old school Citadel enthusiasts. 

With an increase in spare time, painting will swiftly follow, surely? Well not so for me, not in the first part of this week anyway. I had hit one of those ruts that all painters find themselves stuck in from time to time. I just couldn't find the motivation to pick up the paints and get the chaos warrior that has sat on my desk for two weeks completed. 

Thankfully, I got over my painter's block on Tuesday and have managed to get quite a few miniatures finished off for my Warhammer Bestiary project. If you are coming to this post fresh and wonder what I mean by this, its simple! I am attempting to paint a single model for every entry in the WFB3 Bestiary using old school Citadel lead only. 

The first miniatures to share, in order of the Bestiary, are the Chaotic humans. Here we have a couple of mid '80s Realm of Chaos models. I am not sure who sculpted the warrior, but the sorcerer is one of Jes Goodwin's classic Chaos Sorcerer range.

Starting with the warrior, I chose to paint him up in traditional (for RoC, anyway) Slaaneshi colours as my embryonic Pleasure God old school army needs all the help it can get. As you may know, pastel shades are the order of the day here and the best way to produce those is by adding pure white to any base colour. I didn't really want to go all out on the pink front, so restrained the colour to the breastplate and went for a blue colour scheme for the rest of the armour. I added horn and gold here and there to act as spot colours and used black to suggest a dark leather boot on on of the model's feet. The weapon was just a Bleached Bone job with rust effects created on the blade using old Citadel inks. This model was really a paint by numbers exercise as I have painted quite a few chaos warriors in my time and this one took no real effort.

The sorcerer was a different matter. Here I didn't want to go down the road of any particular god but was inspired instead by the crazy multicoloured chaos schemes of the mid 1980s, with particular reference to the original Chaos Sorcerer advert which can be seen here. I noticed that the sorcerer's head was covered by some kind of facemask and a jester's hood. The colour red immediately sprung to mind here and I decided to offset this tone with white, using grey to create the depth. For the rest of the model, I just painted a bit here one colour and another with another. I played around with the colours until I was happy with the way they had been spaced out. I used red to line the edge of the robes to build some continuity with the jester's hood. I feel that the result works really well, don't you?

On reflection, I found that the purple of the sleeves was too starkly highlighted and felt that they needed bringing down a little. Instead of just repainting them I opted to experiment with a heavy glaze of the base colour (Imperial Purple) first. After this glaze had dried the purple had a far more subtle and warm look so I left the model as it was and concentrated on the base. This type of technique is certainly something I would like to experiment with in the future and something I recommend you try out when you are highlighting cloth. 

The shield on the chaos warrior was another one of my by the book jobs, though I chose green to match with the shoulder pad. I have written several articles on how to paint faces like this and instruction can be found here. The only thing I did differently was to paint the eyes red and dot them with yellow while the paint was still wet. Once dry, I added a line to act as a pupil and used a tiny white spot to create the look of reflecting light. I was not entirely satisfied with the result so I will have another go with it on a future shield. 

As regular readers will know, I have been working on my textile painting technique as it had been a shortcoming of mine throughout this project. I was pleased to discover that the Warhammer Third Edition Bestiary includes a section on EVIL warriors and sorcerers, so I would have a chance to paint a more conservative robe here. Yes, that is EVIL. Demonologists, necromancers and so forth, though I didn't want to walk the brightly coloured route of the model above, nor did I want to tread the street of the 'uber-black' necromancer type either. As a compromise, I opted to paint the model as a hedgewizard and suggested that he was evil by using purple paint and ink washes on his skin. This was a method I used on the evil warrior too. 

The evil sorcerer is my personal favourite painted model in this series so far. I feel like I got the face, hair and clothing right here and it really is rather surprising to compare the quality of the result with miniatures I produced last year. A project as varied as this certainly helps improve your skill and I heartily recommend such an endeavour to anyone. 

For the evil warrior, I choose a old Paladin model that I had lying around in a draw. I wanted something unconnect to chaos, for this model would represent an evil man, rather than one who had sold his soul to the Ruinous Powers. I quite liked the idea that he was a fallen knight too. I went quite John Blanche on the hat and boots, using natural tones based on cheetah fur before using white and black dots to give the impression of markings. I struggled with the silver plate armour though, and the gold is rather lack lustre too. So I have found myself a new target for future work, painting gold and silver across large flat spaces on a model. Thankfully, I am now armed with advice from the Greatest, Fraser Gray, and I plan to base with yellow when I paint gold in the future. 

I chose purple as a spot colour for the gloves and scarf on the warrior. Purple is a royal colour but it tends to have a whiff of deceit about it too, well for me anyway. The shield was a touch up on an old Paper Tiger design from back in the late '70s and you can find a tutorial about how to achieve such a shield here. I added a gold shield rim to help tie the shield in with the rest of the model and washed over the entire design with a chestnut ink glaze. This aged the 'look' of the shield and gave the model and aura of experience I think.

In addition to the four models shown above, I also painted up a couple of new beastmen for the very slowly developing Slaaneshi army I am building. The blue fleshed model was painted first in about thirty minutes and employed very few colours. The flesh (and fur) was just a light blue basecoat worked up through highlights in stages of additional white. The horn was Bleached Bone drybrushed with white. The belt was a simple leather brown with a Bleached Bone highlight. For the chainmail, it was silver mixed with black base with a silver highlight while the club was created with a little red being added to the belt basecolour, and again highlighted up by adding Bleached Bone. Upon reflection, I am quite pleased with the result considering how little time I actually spent on it. It is easily the quickest paintjob I have produced since by 'base and wash' days, circa 1988. 

The second beastman took me longer, about two hours. The fur was drybrushed up using the same mix as I used for the first beastman's belt, only I added the final highlights with brush before using pink and brown ink to build up an impression of the boar like mouth and nose. Pure white was used to highlight the teeth. Drybrushing with a final highlight via brush was used to complete the weapon too. With the edges of the axe blade having a pure silver line added to it. I feel these kind of touches make a blade look suitably sharp. 

The gold scale mail was completed using my usual method. Using Imperial Purple (again!) I quickly highlighted up the leather bands that hang from the beastman's girdle and used gold dots to pick out the studs on the end. I used exactly the same pink mix (red with white paint, 50:50) to work up the girdle itself, adding a touch of white each time to draw out the detail. Another nice result here with this beastman, with some nice rich colours and took little effort to complete. 

And so here I will leave you. Half-term draws to a close and I feel like I have got over my slump. Next, I need to turn my attentions to the tropical forests of Lustria as I tackle '80s Lizardmen. Right, I better get basecoating!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fifty Shades of Enamel: Fraser Gray's writings to Andy Craig

Last September I started work on tracking down Fraser Gray, the unique and mysterious miniature painter who dominated the scene in the mid to late '80s, even winning the first GW painting competition, then called The Master Painter! I spoke to a several people who knew him back in the 1980s, and others who have met him in more recent times. What I learnt through my investigations is that Fraser is a deeply private man who is still producing models of great skill in the genre of military vehicles. If you want to read more about my search then look here with Fifty Shades Of Enamel

One things was certain. He preferred to remain anonymous. 

Just when I thought the hunt was over and nothing more could be learned about the man who I (and many others consider to be) the Greatest Miniature Painter Of All Time I received some correspondence from ex-'Eavy Metal painter, Andy Craig. Now Andy is very well known to members of the Oldhammer Community on Facebook, and contributed a memorable (and highly popular, if page views are anything to go by) interview to this very blog. If you missed out first time around or fancy a refresher, his interview can be found here

A few weeks ago, Andy dropped me a line to explain that he had been sorting through his home when he had discovered the letter he referred to in his interview. Not surprisingly, considering twenty-five years have passed, the letter was rather fragmentary and fragile but Andy was anxious to share what he had found with the Oldhammer Community. The reason for this would soon become apparent. 

Andy filled be in with a bit of background about how he a Fraser became friends. "That letter was sent to my home address," Andy told me. "Fraser often visited the Studio, but he was a bit of a shy guy. He really took an interest in my work and asked me many questions regarding how I painted certain colours. We became good friends."

Here we have the covering letter that Fraser sent to Andy. He remarks about how much he enjoyed his visit to the Design Studio. The letter goes on to discuss the miniatures that the two had shared, and I really must ask Andy if he still has the orc! However (and this is when things become very exciting for the Citadel Historian and Old School enthusiast) attached to the letter was a three page document that described in detail Fraser Gray's approach to modelling and painting. It really is a remarkable document that details how Fraser used to work and produce those incredible painted models. 

And here it is, unedited and presented to you via Andy's scanner today. I have taken the liberty of commenting on each page underneath with added information that may (or may not) be relevant to the enthusiast. 

Fraser refers to the once familiar sight of painted miniatures in fantasy shop windows. You think GW stores are the only such place you'd see such things? You'd be quite wrong. From the mid '70s, through to the later '80s there were many, many independent fantasy/roleplay shops all over the country. They nearly always resided in the rougher quarters of the towns they inhabited and seemed to groan with stock, not surprising really as they were often tiny cramped spaces. Oh, but the blister wall was a thing to see! Quite often, you would see a handful of painted models in the window were often for sale. In fact, I remember visiting the GW store in Southampton in 1989 and being amazed that they offered cash for well painted models! 

He goes on to explain his collecting ethos. Chaos and evil creatures due to the possibilities that they represented. One of the funny ironies of 21st century gaming is that these so called forces of chaos have been the most generic form of fantasy.

The recent innovation of the slottabase is also referred to here. Unpopular at the time (and never copyrighted by GW) the humble slottabase was only a few years old when this letter was written. It is interesting to read that Fraser removed these to provide greater flexibility in the basing position. Personally, I have always been loathed to removed the tab as I feel it is somehow damaging the model. I tend to alter the bases themselves now, after all, plastic is easier to cut that metal. 

It is interesting to hear Fraser comment about conversions. He was clearly an advocate of the weapon swap! 

Some excellent advice there about painting with gold and silver and certainly something I shall be trying in the future. I had never thought about using a yellow basecoat for gold, its really rather intriguing. 

Reading through these words, it strikes me about how patient Fraser was. After all, his preferred method of painting models took hours to finish and up to a week to dry! Serious commitment like this must be a sure sign of genius like types!

Additionally, Fraser goes on to discuss how he had just started scratch building howdahs, and the elephant he discusses can be seen at the top of the second image at the start of this article. I love the idea of building armour plates from hole punch leftovers. Again, that is an idea to be stolen and used! 

The method described to make saliva is a new one on me and again something that I am itching to try. I wonder if modern plastics will react in the same way as those of a quarter of a century ago? 

His last sentence is an interesting one. Fraser talks about using perspex bases for display pieces, and if you scroll back up to the second image (the one with the elephant) you can see a couple of examples of this style of basing. What's curious is that Fraser states that Citadel bases were used for his 'wargames' figures. Does this mean he actually played Warhammer Fantasy Battle with thses gorgeous models? What a battle report that would have made, eh?


'Eavy Metal Special: White Dwarf 116

My last couple of articles have been based on research from White Dwarf 116, published in August 1989, and in my opinion, the heart of the golden age of GW. Many games are mentioned within its pages; Blood Bowl, 40k, Warhammer, Space Hulk, Space Marine and so on. Never again would so many great games be created, expanded and discussed. 

There are a series of pages dedicated to miniature painting, as you would expect, and I have a selection of them here for discussion. If you are anything like me, these older paintjobs are more of an inspiration than the more modern displays of NMM and so on. I paint old school miniatures in an old school style, and to get that style right needs careful study of the period. 

First up, the Staff Studio pages. 

Check out those mug shots! You'll notice Oldhammerers amongst them, Tim Prow and Andy Craig at the bottom of the six, while recent interviewee, Phil Lewis lurks next to a young Mike McVey. The article kicks off with a stage by stage of Citadel's Blue Dragon by McVey. Now this is a model I don't really have any experience with, as regular readers will know, dragons always intimidated me due to their size but since completing work on the Great Spined Dragon, I may one day paint a smaller beast. The paintjob is obviously for the purpose of this stage by stage, as it doesn't really match up to McVey's masterful blending that you see elsewhere. However, the Citadel Knights are magnificent are they not?

There are more of them on the next page. 

Starting with the knights, the first thing that strikes me is the quality of the painting on the horses. Beautiful colours and realistic representations of the different breeds of horse available. Its clear that the 'Eavy Metal boys spent some time refining their horse painting skills and consulted real life horses in the process. there was a lovely article published alongside the Imperial Guard Rough Riders that really went to town on the different colour schemes.

The chaos swarf Blood Bowl players are excellent models and have been painted with an interesting pink and grey colour scheme. Not something I had considered doing before, but works really well for these stunties. Discoveries like this a really useful for developing your painting skills as half the battle is coming up with a decent colour scheme. The three Star Players are the work of Tim Prow and Andy Craig, as are the Blood Bowl dwarfs and are probably familiar to many of you. A solitary plastic skeleton twangs his bow at the bottom right, and thirty years later these are still be best plastic skeletons ever produced, especially with the added armour components. A very simple colour scheme shows him off to perfection.

Paint one of those skeletons before you die. 

They make a second appearance (the skeletons, that is) as part of Kevin House's diorama "Death From Above", which was used to showcase the second fantasy miniatures book, as is worthy of a mention here. The two 40k vehicles are also excellent and I love the use of real cobbles for the rocks on the top picture.

Finally, two pages of Fraser Gray magic. There is no need to describe what is on show here, the Greatest Miniature Painter Of All Time's work needs no introduction. The fact that he achieved his distinctive look with enamel paint just heightens his genius. 

How did he do it?


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Citadel Painting Range circa 1989

With the recent release of some repackaged paint sets from GW, with a rather familiar demon on the cover, and a series of postings on the Oldhammer Community Facebook page I thought I'd share these as Old School paint is rather en vogue at the moment. What we have here is one of those '80s adverts that White Dwarf ran that covered all of the major ranges that GW put out. Warhammer got one, so did Warhammer 40,000 as did WFRP and Bloodbowl. 

Over two pages you can see the five major sets and the associated paints in each. Additionally, the information box above gives quite a lot of detail about what each colour was recommended to do. This is really rather useful for those of you trying to capture the 'Old School Look' of the Citadel painters in the late '80s. 

Gotta love that photograph of Mick McVey too! 


Acceptable in the '80s: Marauder Orcs and Dwarfs

White Dwarf 116 had little Warhammer Fantasy content. As I have said in previous posts, the game was finished with and a new success was looming on the horizon, Warhammer 40,000. For the next couple of years, articles that expanded on the skirmish system published in Rogue Trader in 1987 were expanded and developed to turn the game into a fully fledged battle system. Additionally, we are now in the era of the BIG BOX GAME, and so a great many pages of White Dwarf were spent detailing these releases, most notably the first edition of Space Marine. 

Still, there are gems hidden here and there. Such as the subject of today's post, the Marauder Orcs. I have shared by opinions on the Goblinoids before, and you will be aware that only Kev Adams can truly bring these creatures to life in miniature form. But I must admit, the Morrisons did a really good job with theirs!

The sculpts ooze the cruel malice of the orc race very well but still retain the comic touches of earlier releases. I am particularly fond of the different interpretation of the armour. The Morrisons give us a rather Mongol themed look that is distinctly different from the Citadel range. On the downside, these models are large. This was the beginning of the increase in size of models that the later '80s saw and the the design change from realistic clothing and weaponry to oversized 'comic book' equipment that still presides to this day. Still, this is still a characterful range with plenty going for it. Does it have any fans out there?

Also released in WD116 were some Marauder dwarfs. Sadly, there are no painted examples here and the range is shown purely through old fashioned line drawings. I don't really know a great deal about the MM10 dwarfs, as my knowledge is primarily of the renaissance style dwarfs that came a few months later. Any readers out there care to review these? If you have a large number of these models it would be interesting to hear you opinions on them or even see some photographs.



Monday, 26 May 2014

Charge! A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Third Edition Era Skirmish Game?

One question that I get asked a lot is 'does WFB3 have any skirmish rules?' And the answer is always the same, 'no'. I would usually go on to say that the game was written in the age of the DIY gamer, who just changed the rules to suit their particular situation as and when. Sadly, this attitude is no longer present in many people who approach miniature wargaming in all its forms. Too often do I read the words of individuals who complain about rules not being balanced or fair, yet they remain hopelessly obsessed with keeping up with the Jones'.

"Oh, this version of 40K totally nerfs my list!" 

Play the other version then!

"Oh, but my gaming group only uses the latest version of the ruleset. And we only use the latest versions of the models, too!"

Find some new mates then! 

Over here in the Oldhammer Community we have no such problems. The rulesets we use are old, old and old. Still, I do sometimes yearn for a simple version of the game that could be used to play tiny narrative scenario using only a few figures. Then, flicking through issue 115 of White Dwarf I made a discovery. One of those 'hiding in plain sight' jobs. 

I am referring to the game 'Charge!', written by the bods in the Design Studio circa 1988 for use with the Combat Cards range. Reading through the rules, you can see that Warhammer and WFRP are clear influences. As are the streamlined rules used in the Fighting Fantasy books. Now I know my readership, you will not want a longwinded analysis of this ruleset, but would much rather just read the article in your own time. 

So here it is. 

As you will now now if you have a flick through Charge!, the system is very simple. Yet character creation, magic, victory points, scenery creation and special rules and what not are also covered. All in 5 pages or so. It was rather satisfying to finally find out what all of the funny symbols that appeared on the front of the combat cards were actually for. 

Long time readers may well remember my article on 'Attack!', an even easier set of rules for using the Combat Cards with, though dependent on a chessboard for a playing surface. However, this article also had a series of special rules that may well be appropriate to using Charge! as a skirmish game. 
having read through these rules are a fairly confident that they could be used with little adaption to run a good sized skirmish game. With some clever photoshopping it would also be possible to photograph my miniatures and create my own 'Combat Cards' with their own stats. This would provide a really easy entry point for all of those people interested in Old School gaming but put off by perceived issues not being familiar enough with the rules. 

What do you lot think? Is there scope for a skirmish game in the spirit of old school Warhammer here?

Please share your opinion. 


A Warhammer Bestiary: Chaos Cultist

The holidays are upon me once more. Lots of family time, including a trip to the beach, has been spent I have left this blog alone for a while. I often find that this is a good thing, as endless updates of every tiny Oldhammer related thing I do would be tedious, would it not? 

So to kick things off once more, let's revisit Brugal Vassel in a little more detail shall we? Those of you who have read the battle report concerning the Daemon-Prince and Woodcutter will no doubt be familiar with this miniature, as he played a leading role in that scenario. 

As many of you will know, I am working on painting fabric at the moment. I enjoy setting myself little targets and working on them through the models I select for this series. In years past, I must admit to often choosing miniatures that were well within my comfort zone (plastic Space Marines) but I grew dissatisfied that the models I was producing were not of the standard I was after. I felt that they lacked 'a style'. Now, I am forced to select models based on the Bestiary and in many cases come across things that I would have never previously thought about painting. 

For the Chaos Cultists mention in the Bestiary I chose the first model that does not have its origins in the Warhammer range. This miniature was part of the Cthulhu collection put out by Citadel in the mid '80s. Later, it was included as part of the Shadows Over Bogenhafen range as an example of one of the cultists. In that regard, I chose to paint it up as it would cover both bases - a suitable cultist model and an opportunity to paint fabric. 

As I have written before, I have always found fabric a difficult subject to get looking right on a model. So, I had a quite glance through my WD archive and read a bit of what has been published online. Piecing together all this information, I managed to concoct my own method which seems to produce good results. What struck me was how simple the technique was in the end. Basecoat over white, in this case Imperial Purple, and shade with the base coat mixed with black, probably 40:60 black/purple. I watered this mix down and carefully applied it where I though the folds were at their deepest before tidying things up with the basecoat once more. Once dry, it was very simple to add a little Bleached Bone to the basecolour and highlight the edges of the folds. I kept the paint here very fluid, almost like milk, as I find it so much easier to apply in this state. I added a little white to this highlight mix and added an extra hint here and there too. Everything else was finished off using my usual method. 

The job was done in about one hour.

What do you think?


Monday, 19 May 2014

A Warhammer Bestiary: Were

Here's my latest painted figure. A Night Horrors werewolf. Now, I am sure that many of you are familiar with the Night Horrors range as it is really rather collectible, not to mention home to one or two rather pricey models. I have heard it said from others that this particular range is rather difficult to complete but I couldn't say for sure if this were true as I have never had any real problems getting hold of any of the models in the collection. 

Werewolves are rather rare in the Citadel Miniatures world. I cannot actually think of many suitable models for representing them. In fact, I more modern times they have been removed altogether from the background, of at least it was so when I was still reading the fluff. With the speed and reversals of background change in the last ten years they may well have an entire army book out by now! 

Unusually for a living creature, the werewolf has become linked to undead armies. I have always found this rather strange as, despite the bestial urges, weres are ultimately alive. During the 1980s, the alignment of weres in Warhammer was rather ambiguous. The Bestiary remarks that they are neutral beings, and just as likely to be kind as they are callous. The choice of their behavior is up to the GM or players, though of course the more beast the were becomes the more likely he is to devolve into a giant wolf, with all the animalistic urges such a creature must act upon. 

I like the way the rules suggest you use the were. Transformations to wolf man need to be forced by the characters will and a 6 needs to be rolled in order for the change to take place. Being in close proximity to violence may well change this to a 5+, while hand to hand combat will allow a player to use a 4+ to ensure change into a wolf man. The rules are really rather interesting and I really do recommend having a read of them if you have a copy of WFB3 to hand. 

Of course, then there is the threat of transforming into the unpredictable giant wolf. A creature likely to attack friend and foe!

All in all, the weres are a rather complex unit which have a strong bond with the Norse, though are not found exclusively there. The background suggests that many woodcutters and forest men are secretly weres, living peacefully in the forests of the Empire and ensuring that their changes harm nothing but the wild animals of the woods. 

This was a fairly simple paint job really. Ink washes and drybrushing were the orders of the day when it came to completing the wolf fur. I found this took quite a bit of work to get the right tone but achieved it by switching from adding white for the highlight to adding Bleached Bone. The trousers were done using my normal method, as were the torn apart shoes. The eyes were dotted yellow and the lips were painted. I have found that when doing mouths that mixing in the skin tone with red or purple produces a better result that just using paint straight from the pot. 

Try it.

Onwards to more humans now. A trilogy infact! Chaos cultist, warrior and sorcerer. I better get painting!


Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Daemon Prince and the Woodcutter Scenario Report: Part 3

The melee continues in front of the cottage's weather beaten beams. Having stopped the Nurgle charge, the Slaaneshi forces begin to fight back, felling a pale skinned thug and pushing his companions back. Behind them, the struggle between the two champions remains a deadlock. 

As the flail wielding warriors meet and clash the surviving goblins begin to move across the clearing to regroup by the road. Their wolves can smell the fresh blood that has been split to north and snapped eagerly at their bits. Their new leader, Grombottle, is puzzled to see a strange statue in the place of what he was sure was a tree before their charge. Only, the statue seems to be crumbling... And from within, a devilish red light can be seen...

With a bone crunching crack, the statue implodes to reveal the twisted form of a Bloodletter! The daemon of Khorne springs forth inspiring terror in all who witnesses its daemonic birth. Spotting followers of the hated Slaanesh, the daemon becomes frenzied and attacks the closest fighter.

Fear is a powerful force. Despite their familiarity with the creatures of chaos, followers from both sides flee in terror of the daemon. Their panic spreads to the goblins, who save for a single soul rooted to the spot, run for the safety of the woods. Voight's nerve fails him and he too retreats back into the woodland. The few chaos followers who master their fears turn to face the daemon, eager to fell the creature and attract the attention of their dark patrons. Nurgle or Slaanesh, they fight together.

Meanwhile, a panicked beastman of Slaanesh scrambles over the woodcutter's wall. A terrifying change overcomes the human. Hair sprouts through his skin, his face twists into that of the beast! Jon is none other than a werewolf. Enraged by the invasion of his garden, the were lashes out at the beastman but fails to connect with him as he flees. The beastman scales the second wall and is away.

With the panic over, the motral fighters of both sides engage with the daemon. The bloodletter lashes out with his teeth and hellblade but fails to even land a blow on the mortal with the green helmet. The thug, Felix, parries frantically with his weapons and defends himself with almost inhuman bravery. Slowly, his fellow mortals begin to surround the daemon but Felix has been noticed by his god.

Feeling the eye of Slaanesh focus on an underling, leaving her actions unacknowledged, Blandidir strikes out with her magical blade. It finds its mark! The daemon's daemonical protection cannot withstand the blow and the entity retracts back into the warp as quickly as it came. 

Leaving in its place the cursed statue. Brugal Vassel realises that the daemon is bound within the statue once more.

"This is no shrine to Our Prince," he declares, "but an abhorrent entrapment of Khorne! This is a place of worship of our enemy not our Lord! 

Rage boils inside Brugal at the trickery. Somewhere there is a traitor to their coven. Someone keen to see them unwittingly do the Blood God's work. His anger boils up into a flaming fireball spell. Brugal unleashes it at the Bilestaff, the Nurgle sorcerer and strikes the cancerous magician down. 

As the powerful mage collapses, the remaining Nurgle forces loose heart and flee. One is cut down while the other narrowly escapes a second fireball attack form Brugal.

At the end of the skirmish, Blandidir controls the clearing with most of her warband. There is little left to do but contemplate their betrayal and to seek answers elsewhere. Slaanesh, pleased with what he has seen this day rewards the coven well. Felix, for his bravery fighting against the daemon and not suffering a scratch despite its frenzied attacks, discovers a set of giant fangs begin to protrude from his jaws. Perhaps in recognition, or indeed mockery, of his engagement with the daemon. Blandidir feels her god's attentions flow through her body with delightful spasms and pains. Her strength is much increased, despite her outward appearance. This gift will not doubt be enough to ensure no stalemate next time she meets the Nurgle champion, Voight in open conflict. 

The Daemon Prince and the Woodcutter Scenario Report: Part 2

As the sun begins its slow decline into west, the chaos warband spreads itself out across the road. Their bright and garish colouring catches the light while the metallic amulets that adorn many of the folds and creases reflect the sun's rays around them in wild, dancing shades. The leader of the group, now exposed as a female dark elf, emerges from the canopy cover flanked by a hulking chaos warrior. 

"Brandidir!" A voice howls from east. "Brandidir! Beware the gigantic spider that lurks to the south east! Its crawled from its hole and is just sitting there!"

The dark elf glances across the clearing at the sound of her name. She spots a peasant man fleeing in earnest towards her. As his feet eat up the furlong between them, she watches as he prizes a simple silver band from his finger. Instantly, his simple clothing vanishes and in its stead appears the hulking form of an armoured warrior!

Illusion then! But why?

"The shrine? Have you found it?" Blandidir calls out eagerly, her eyes flashing with impatience. 

"Not yet, just that damn spider! Its enormous!"

As the hurried exchange is made across the clearing, the goblins gather their strength and charge across the open ground, levelling their weapons and collide with the spider and a crack of impacting bodies. The wolves snarl and snap viciously as the goblins mill around thumping the arachnid's bodies with their weapons. Grubshat recoils and then counter attacks, her slicing mandibles striking out for goblin skin and wolf throat. 

The remaining goblins spread out and block the road between the bricks of the woodcutter's garden and the old fence of the hedgerow. Their wicked eyes glean nastily towards the cottage and its occupant and wearily towards the advancing chaos worshipers. 

The warriors of the chaos group advance at a pace and form a rough line across their side of the road. The woodcutter, his eyes blazing, grips his axe haft with his rough fingers and watches, poised for action. 

"What are you goblins doing here?" Are the words of the pink haired clubman. 

"Wee iz 'ere ta doo in dat bugga, Grubshat! An' yoo pinky sodz iz not crossin' dat dere fresh'old or wez will fillz ya full of arras. Itz da boss' scrap an' nuffin ta doo wiv yoo!" Comes the gutteral response. 

Meanwhile, the newly revealed warrior in armour completes his mad dash across the clearing towards his leader. Only seconds from his group, he stops stock still alongside the tree that grows close to the hedgerow. What was that he could feel? A tickling, pulling sensation. A fine feeling and one he has experienced before when standing close to the magical items that his coven maintain in Drakberz. 

"Brandidir! Here! I think I have found the shrine!"

The dark elf passes a sign to the cowled follower in purple and the acolyte produces a preserved heart from a secret place within his robe. Advancing with the organ held high above his head, he slices open the ventricles and allows the cold blood to splatter across the bark of the tree. 

For the second time in minutes, an illusion flickers out and vanishes. In its place stands an ancient statue of a chaos warrior. Its stone grey green with age and cracked with the passing of the centuries. A strange tremor can be felt beneath the ground and the tickling and pulling sensation spreads out across the clearing and beyond. Almost like some kind of magical force was spreading out across the land itself. 

Despite the breaking of the illusion, the stand off by the road remains tense. To the east, the wolfriders continue to battle with the spider. Now wounded, the creature fights on as brown ichor oozes from its severed leg. Sensing victory, the wolves and their riders surge forwards once more. In the melee, their leader, Ripnose Snotz, goes down beneath a savage strike from the spider's hairy leg. Undaunted by the loss of their leader, the remaining goblinoids continue to hack into the meat of the arachnid. 

Unnoticed by any of the fighters in the clearing, the canopy to the north is again vibrant with movement. Only, instead of the bright colours of the chaos warband the hues on show are darker, mud splattered a filthy. The cloud of flies returns, thicker this time, intrigued no doubt by the commotion. They buzz and dance in excitement in ever darkening clouds. 

A new leader steps forth onto the soil of the clearing. Chaos armour hangs from his powerfully formed body in rusted plates. Bodily fluids run in glistening rivers from between the cracks of the armour and like the dark elf before him, he has the words of a letter in his mind.


We have been informed that a group of rival cultists have emerged from the fields around Drakberz and are making their way along the Old Forest Road. Our informant has reported this group to be followers of the Purple Palm, a Slaaneshi group active in the town.  I understand that they are well equipped with magical items that will be useful to our cause. 

Your instructions are clear. Locate this group, ambush them along the road and kill them. Their equipment must be looted and returned to me here, as the Deathfist will soon begin to push at our boarders once more. Spare the life of the acolyte Brugal Vassel though, he doesn't yet know it, but he is the informant feeding us with the knowledge we so desperately need. Father Nurgle has blessed him with a most fortunate illness and as the pustules burst, so the pus speaks to His servants of the perverse plans of the Purple Palm. 

Leave no other witnesses. 


The buzz of flies does not go unnoticed for long. Blandidir spins on her heel and notices the threat almost as soon at it appears in the clearing. Snapping a command, most of her warband forms a line of battle alongside the shrine. A beastman and thug remain between the group and the three goblins. 

They have been ambushed! 

To the south east, Grubshat finally falls to the goblin's attacks. Her body recoils for the last time and curls up into a broken ball. Howling their delight, the surviving wolfriders begin to ride around in a circle singing foul goblin songs. 

"I challenge thee, Slaaneshi fool!" The rusted champion calls out, pointing his sword towards the enraged figure of Blandidir. "Single combat in the eyes of the gods!"

Unable to refuse such a request, Blandidir strides forwards with her blade in her hand. Encouraging voices and foul jeers are uttered by their followers as they make their first moves towards each other. Soon, the fight is in earnest, but due to battle prowess and magical aid the two champions seem locked in a bitter stalemate. 

The acolyte, Brugal Vassel, starts a whisper amongst his fellows. The stalemate is obvious and only a change in circumstance will assure victory. A few moments more and they charge the enemy in support of their leader. 

As the dark elf's latest blow is deflected by Voight's blade, the Nurgle warband, perhaps guessing their foes plans, take the initiative and surge forwards. The faster moving troops run and clash together in a fury of blades, while the two slower flail wielding warriors stalk towards each other. A fire ball spell lauches itself from Brugal's hand, wounding the Nurgle sorcerer before he is able to act...

As the first drops of blood fall to the soil and its sour tang fills the air the cracks on the shrine begin to deepen. Small grains of stone begin to fall away...

The woodcutter, watching the struggle, hefts his axe once again as his eyes slowly turn yellow.