|Is Paul tickling that camera tripod or casting a machiavellian spell here? Probably both.|
Having overcome the first back injury caused by a spot of spontaneous country dancing since at least 1892, Orlygg lurched musically back into the world of Oldhammer in a slightly stiff fashion; with his love of everything Old School Citadel, largely, intact. The Warlords of Albion gaming group met once again at the Wargames Foundry, Newark, the spiritual home of Oldhammer, on a chilly February Weekend to lark about with little lead men.
As has become atypical, the resulting engagement was fought over the 'big table' (built by Shaun McLaughlin in 2001) who's flock has been churned up by so many of our battles - the table that is, not Shaun. Though I can point out that the table has been spruced up with a number of additional fields since the last time Warhammer Third Edition sprawled nostagically across it!
I won't attempt to make sense of the game here, as true to form, I spent most of my time chatting to the other players and exploring the ranges of miniatures on show (both from the Foundry's stock and classic '80s Citadel originals). I can say that this particular battle was a manic affair fought between a large force of elves, and their allies, with the beleaguered, but stoic, force of dwarfs.
Tom Reynolds, Warlord Paul, Nik Turner, John Ratcliffe, Chris Howell, Matthew Street, Andy Atom Taylor and co were present on the day and we had a couple of new members to greet too, most notably James the Yank Patterson, who had gladly abandoned the 4th of July for the insideous allure of Slaanesh and Midlands pastries.
|Paul looks more sinister than usual here. That is hardly a magnaninous visage is it?|
As with all games of WFB3, the battle lasted for hours but was fought to a satisfying conclusion, thanks to Paul's ever-skillful GMing and the 20 minute turn rule. We have used this time rule as a basis of our games for some time now and is well worth using yourselves to speed up play. Conceptually it is simple: each side has a mere 20 minutes to complete their entire turn with any moves, magic or combat left unresolved being abandoned. Focus then switches to the opposing side. Additionally, we also begin each game with the majority of the regiments a turn or two away from each other to ensure that combat begins relatively swiftly.
The Mighty Avenging Tartan-Shirted-One (Bryan Ansell) and his son, Marcus, were our hosts as usual and were as welcoming as ever. I joked with Bryan if he had recieved any royalities from the recent reprinting of the seminal Slaves to Darkness, and he told me that GW had just sent him a copy. They were as eager as ever to discuss anything about their current and classic miniature ranges, and here you can see Stuart Klatcheff and Andy Atom Taylor perusing one of the many trays of treasures that are 'just lying around the place'.
Deep in game, Chris Howell adjusts the range of his wood elf archers before unleashing a wash of elfy arrows on the advancing dwarf infantry. For notoriously brittle troops, these regiments proved to be astonishingly effective at thinning the enemy ranks, thanks to some adroit dice rolling and clever manuvering.
Synchronised hand positioning aside, can you spot some of the larger units fielded during the battle? A mighty dragon lurches across the fields of Albion, as does a Griffon (which was later spitted by a bolt thrower) and three custom-made tree men built by Andy avoid the flames around the ruins. Quite why the dawrf slayers were deployed miles away from these dangerous foes is a mystery probably only understood by their general.
Here's a challenge for any true Oldhammerer. Can you spot a character from the Crude, the Mad and the Rusty in this photograph? Big clue - only Achilles has an ankle weaker than he!
Stuart's painting output would make Axl Rose's album release schedule look positively frequent, but despite having the slowest brush in the west (and east, south and north combined) he fielded a lovely unit of irregular archers who fared quite well (no doubt due to their thick layer of protective gloss) until they were torn to peices by James' Beasts of Slaanesh.
Chris Howell's elves had seen further work since we last met and thay really did look superb ranked up across the table. These remarkable units are a mere fraction of his collection. I am not sure if the drinks can is part of his army or not, though.
Lanky lensman, Tom Reynolds, also brought along some elves to the game, though these were of the high variety, with a few dark ones lurking about too. Expect his excellent photographs to appear online in 2019 at the earliest.
An ever present problem for the dwarf commander is how slow they move. These massed ranks of shorter guys took a real battering from elf missle troops and monsters as the game progressed.
An ever present problem for my troops is how they don't really move at all! To be honest, I don't really enjoy playing in these larger games (I prefer being a spectator) as I am more of a skirmish gamer. Our next planned game is going to be a smaller scale siege game, that perhaps incorporates some of the original Warhammer Siege rules.
Dwarf artillery were positioned on the high buff overlooking the battlefield. With the river's bend protecting their position they looked pretty secure. Enemy flyers made short work of them later on in the battle but the organ gun proved it's worth time and time again.
What do you reckon about this, eh? Could it just possibly be an unpublished piece of art from '80s White Dwarf that the Ansell's have found in their collection? You'd be wrong. It is in fact an 'after Gary Chalk' illustration by our very own Matthew Street named 'A Gathering of Dragons'. It is a visual representation of one of our previous battles presented in the style of the original White Dwarf battle reports. Matthew gave this remarkable illustration to Marcus Ansell who promptly framed it!
Here's a nice close up of two of the flyers that caused so much havoc during the battle. Tom's slate bases give these models a little '90s chic as well as help support these big models on their relatively tiny bases. Nice painting, eh?
Yet again, I had the privilege of opening Bryan's cabinets of chaos and handling some more classic Citadel models. This time, I went straight for the famous unreleased Guard Captain from the Empire range. The one that recently sold for £1200 on eBay. This is, of course, the original painted model from the famous advertisement (which also sports the Nuln Spearman) and I unashamedly snapped my first selfie holding it - much to the amusement of some of my fellow enthusiasts.
I also had a closer look at the unreleased dwarf wizard who appeared in the original run of combat cards. Holding a tiny piece of Citadel history like this is quite exhilarating and I couldn't resist placing it back into the cabinet next to my own 'Were-Ansell' Midlands Troll in Foundry getup I gave Bryan a few years ago.
With the day drawing to the end, there was little left to do but pack up the legions of models and spend a little hard-earned cash on just a few more miniatures for the leadpile. The Citadel Collector, Steve Casey, couldn't resist mumbling a few appreciative noises about the Indian Mutiny range and how much he loves WW2 Germans now before collasping in the mud outside the Foundry premises. The soggy English weather had bogged down many of our cars in mud and we all had to help push them out back into the road; Steve single handedly freed Tom from his muddy prision and returned over £200 of recent GW releases at the same time.
Having such fun with a bunch of like minded individuals, sharing stories of our collecting adventures and generally mucking about with toy soliders is so rewarding. And if anyone ever asked me what Oldhamer really means again, I would simply repeat the previous sentence.
Forget the rulesets and go find some real friends.
|"Typical, those cuffs have been painted in light blue when surely everyone knows that 101st always used indigo," Steve complained indignantly.|