Friday 24 February 2012

Miniatures update!

Oh, I forgot to post this on the end of my battle report. I feel like a little change, the miasma of Nurgle floats about my house as we recover for a family bout of 'flu. I have rolled off for two new warbands - the plague lord and the changer himself will soon (hopefully) grace our battle field so that we can represent each of the four powers in battle. I hope to have these miniatures ready for April.

Here is the first completed model - a 1980s minotaur (Perry sculpt?) from the Nurgle warband.

Hope you like my latest effort. I have now moved on to work on the characters, namely the Nurgle champion and sorcerer.

A Dark God's Whim Part 2

All Throgg had to do was pass his stupidity test! Four games into the campaign and he had consistently failed every test bar one. On the one occasion he passed, Throgg terrified the Khornate battle line to such an extent that the lot of them turned and fled. Those would managed to past their fear tests promptly found themselves vomited over by the giant, green monster. In that wonderous moment, my troll utterly destroyed Dan's other chaos hound and left his surviving beast with a irrational fear of humans. Sadly, he has never passed a test since. 

After standing around for a while, Throgg turned around and wandered off the battlefield. My fear causing monster had simply wandered off!

Meanwhile, Dan lined up his beastmen ready to charge and engage my own. On his right flank, a second smaller unit of beastmen led by Ironchron the chaos champion advanced against my skaven and sorcerer. 

The charge of his right flank was devastating! My skaven were badly mauled due to Ironcron's frenzied blade. The smell of blood drove the chaos warrior to the heights of battle lust and he chased the ratmen across the table and off the table. Now both Dan's champions had left the field- one frenzied, the other very dead!  My sorcerer, Jaketh, retreated back out of range and blasted the advancing beasts with fireball spells. Dan wheeled his unit in an attempt to charge the side of my beastmen. It was at this point that Slakesin saw his chance and charged across the battlefield to engage the unit. The Slaaneshi champion was armed with a very, very nasty weapon - a parasitic blade. For every wound scored, the wielder is also able to take a single characteristic point from the wounded creature's profile. 

Slakesin was already WS7 and 4A and by the time the five beastmen were felled he had become a 10 across the board monster! On my right flank, Mange completed his deranged chomping of my chaos thugs after passing his fear test. 

The game moved into its final phase. A brutal battle of attrition in the centre of the field. Dan's double handed weapons took a terrible toll on my beastman but even the rabid beasts of Khorne could not withstand the terrible impact of lightening bolts, fireballs and WS 10, S10, A10 stats of Slakesin. Frying the chaos hound with the final act in the game as Dan's forces broke a ran. Slaanesh must have smiled in pleasure to see his minions chasing after the hated enemy inflicting free hacks all the way to the table edge. Ironcron and his minions managed to escape to fight another day.

With the game over, we decided that the parasitic blade was too powerful for the games we were intending to fight. We decided that Slakesin would have considered such a weapon too unpleasurable and would promptly abandon it on the battlefield. Rolling off for rewards, Slakesin received a chaos weapon with the freeze ability and the face of a beast of Slaanesh- we imagined that the blade morphed into this chaos weapon. He was entitled to new followers as well, rolling on the table saw me gain 5 chaos dwarfs. Ironcron survived the battle and also earned himself a reward. A chaos attribute, growth, that saw his body swell to enormous size and 7 new Khornate thugs ready to join his bruised warband to avenge themselves.

We decided to introduce new models for Slakesin and Ironcron at this point and I plan to paint them up ready for the next game in April.

Smoke clung at the air like ephemeral wisps of hate. Ragged piles sprawled across the clearing as the surviving Slaaneshi beastmen picked through the corpses of the dead. Gluttonspoor's body lay some distant from its fellow dead. Slakesin stood over it, a new chaotic axe in his hand. 

It was over.

For now. 

Sunday 19 February 2012

A Dark God's Whim

A Dark God's Whim : A Warhammer Third Edition Chaos Warband Battle Report Part 1

Lazily, the putrid, cloying smoke from the guttering black fires rose into the darkness of the cave in lengthy, lubricious tendrils. Gidea, the daemon, squatted inside her saltpetre circle, her long, curled fingernails scratching abstract patterns in the grey dust. She looked up as Slakesin approached warily. Quickly, her child-like face twisted into a look of pure desire that flashed across the silvery surface of her eyes. 
She smiled lewdly. 
"You asked for me?" Slakesin asked.
A fire popped close by sending a shower of pink, glistening sparks up into the blackness. 
It is time," she uttered in her small voice, "the gods demand a meeting of maces, a song of swords and a dance of death. We must march north to meet them once more."
"Who? Doomaxe?"
"Yes and no. His warband still walks the paths of the gods but he, alas, is no more. Killed by his own kind - replaced by Gluttonspoor after Cragfell. The minotaur now leads the band!"
"The clearing! Where else?" As she spoke, Gidea curled her child's body around the curve of the circle while her eyes flicked coyly up at her master. A finger caressed the dust, straying dangerously close to the white, granular powder that trapped her within Slakesin's cave. "Can I leave this ward? Shall I accompany you?"
"No!" Slakesin responded. "You stay here!"
Reluctantly, she withdrew her finger and placed it back between her lips.

I have decided to publish my new battle report here rather than on my Warseer project log as a blog just seems a more natural place for such an undertaking. I shall still publish my painting on Warseer but this blog will become my main focus on the internet. I shall life the first part from Warseer and then continue to add updates to recount the battle in as much detail as I can recall.

Here is Dan with his warband, the Doomaxes. They are lead by a level 10 Minotaur champion called Gluttonspoor. Originally, he was just another member of the warband but over the last few games he has become the prominent character. Dan decided he was tired of his previous champion (do to his extremely poor performance in battle) and that Gluttonspoor was appalled at this brazen contempt for the glory of Khorne killed him and took over the leadership.

Starting from Dan's right we have a unit of five beastmen armed with hand weapons, Ironcron, a level 15 chaos champion with frenzied morning star, a larger unit of ten beastmen armed with a mixture of hand weapons, spears and two handed axes, then its Gluttonspoor himself and finally Mange, the chaos hound.

Here's yours truly with the Throng of Exquisite Pleasure, Slaaneshi warband. From my right we have three thugs with a mixture of hand and double handed weapons. Then comes Throgg the most simple of the Warhammer world's trolls. Slakesin, level 20 champion with magician and temporal instability (voluntary) attributes, a unit of ten beastmen with a mix of hand and two handed weapons, a small unit of skaven led by Scutterscamp a level 10 hero and Jaketh a Chaos Sorcerer.

Two, unnatural shapes, startled by a sudden movement, screeched through the grey dawn as the shambling beasts, armoured warriors and chittering ratmen emerged into the clearing like a spreading bloodstain. The weak light caught a sharpened blade here, a dented shield there and illuminated the painted shields with a sickly wan light. The Throng of Exquisite Pleasure milled out and lazily formed line. Queazy, purple smoke still hung in hazy drifts among the armed creatures though it was fading quickly as the day's heat began to tell. To the north, the battle line of the Doomaxes was gathering. In comparison, their preperations seemed rushed. Manically, the beastmen fought each other as they were shunted by a gigantic minotaur into their proper places. Swords slammed on shield rims as hot, steaming breath filled the air. Somewhere a horn sounded, the battle had begun!"

The starting positions of the Throng. Note- the large pile of Third Edition rule books ready for consultation. 

And the Doomaxes. Slightly outnumbered but much better painted. 

Here were have the forces at the end of the first turn of movement. Movement restrictions mean that some of the larger units can only move 3" so the independent characters tend to advance out into the front of their warbands. We had agreed before hand that the Dark gods needed amusement, hence the battle itself. One of the orders the gods had given was that the champions had to meet face to face so Dan and I ensured that this would occur early on in the game. I tend to win the roll off to begin, due to the small scale of the board we realised that this results in Khorne always getting the first charge in. Nervously, I waited for Gluttonspoor to blaze across the table and smash into Slakesin. Mange can also move fast and Dan decided to send him chomping savagely into my thugs. 

Gluttonspoor had 3 attacks and a high strength. With the charging modifiers in place I was bracing myself for an absolute pounding. Slakesin had four wounds so I knew that I could withstand the first onslaught but a damaging attack this early on the the game could have been a disaster. All Dan had to do was roll 3+ on his dice! Have a quick look at what he achieved! 

Oh dear for Dan! 

I responded in my following magic phase. I attempted to cast Acquiesence on Gluttonspoor (something I have tried and failed to do in previous games) and unbelievably I pulled it off. Failing his magic saving throw saw Gluttonspoor stagger around in an haze of pure delight (anathema to a follower of Khorne) for a couple of turns and die. 

The battle was in its early stages and his champion was dead. Luckily, Ironcron saw the danger and rallied his troops pushing them forwards to meet my beastmen head on. 

Friday 17 February 2012

On to the miniatures then. This post hopes to show off what I have achieved since I started the Third Edition project in August. First up, the ethos (guess I do have one then) as I am attempting to paint up my miniatures using only the original paints available during the period of interest. 

Namely these three sets.

And the contents look a little like this.

In addition to these colours I have banned the new (and rather good actually) washes from my painting arsenal. Luckily, I have a full set of 1980s citadel ink washes also. 

This is to be coupled with the fact that we ONLY play with ORIGINAL citadel miniatures from 1985-1992. If they are older than this - they cannot be used!

First up, my Khornate beastmen.

Slaaneshi beastmen.



Champions and Characters 

Chaos Thugs 



These models represent the last six months of work. What do others think? Any comments or criticisms? 

So do I have an ethos? Well I guess not but I do have some ambitions. Firstly, I would like to own a mint condition copy of all the big box games from my period of interest: Bloodbowl, Space Marine, Adeptus Titanicus, Heroquest, Advanced Heroquest, Space Crusade, Advanced Space Crusade, Dark Future and so on. Secondly, I would like the full set of WHFRP publications produced by GW and Flame over the same period. Finally, a complete collection of miniatures from the original Realm of Chaos release! Some big wants then... 

I cannot imagine ever managing such a collection but to get close would certainly be an achievement. One thing I have managed to do though is complete my collection of Warhammer Third Edition rulebooks and supplements. In fact, I have started to use them exclusively for gaming. So if you're an interested party whose intrigued by the 'lure of Warhammer3' just what do you need to play? How much would they cost me? What do they look like? 

Let's have a look.

1) Warhammer Fantasy Battle Third Edition Rulebook (1987)

These rules come in two forms. The hardback and softback editions. They contain full rules for the game, the magic system, background as well as a card counter based scenario in the back of the book that can be cut out a played. Not that I ever have! My venerable copy is showing its age but my its binding is still holding up (there are many gripes online about the quality of binds of these old books but I have had no problems). The first thing that struck me is the quality and range of the artwork. A huge number of artists contribute and their style and execution can vary but art is is (rather than mere illustration). Secondly, the wordiness of the text. The rules are shockingly complex at times and their a few instances in battle that do not see a rule option. Additionally, there are a great many modifiers to add to dice rolls during the game - from everything to additional magic spells to the stupidity of a troll. Expect to pay anything from £5-20 on eBay, though I have seen mint copies go for much more.

Warhammer Armies (1987)

This book contains the army lists. Yes that is right. A book of lists for every army available as well as additionals for allies.    Very little background material though as WHFRP had the monopoly on all of that but plenty of other detail about magic weapons, items etc. Originally, points values were not that important in Warhammer as it was primarily a game run by a GM similar to the roleplaying games of the 80s. This book was published to help gamers construct fair armies for competitive reasons. Not essential to play Third Edition but useful when building larger armies. Expect to pay £5-15 pounds but again I have seen mint editions go for more. 

Warhammer Siege (1988) 

The most complicated rules you have ever seen involving sieges in the Warhammer world and 40k. Never actually used this rule set so I cannot really comment beyond the fact that the level of detail intimidates me! Expect to pay £5-£20.

Realm of Chaos - Slaves to Darkness (1988)

Well here we have the most important book GW ever published (in my opinion) and an absolute melting pot of crazy ideas and gaming bizarreness. If you've never seen this book you'll be amused and probably a little disturbed by its contents. You have full rules for the daemons of Slaanesh and Khorne, skirmish games, daemonic battles and loads and loads of other things. As balanced as a sunken ship you do not play games using these rules if you are interested in super slick army lists refined to the ninth degree.   The armies and characters that you can build using this rule set are truly terrifying. Daemons have stat lines of 10+ for example.  It was also the book that outlined the Horus Heresy in more detail and contained rules and background for Rogue Trader (as 40k was then known) as well as WHRP. Expect to pay £25-40. 

GW greatest achievement!

Realm of Chaos- The Lost and the Damned (1990) 

The follow up. This contains rules for the forces of Nurgle and Tzeentch as well as more material for WHFRP and Rogue Trader. Not as ground breaking as Slaves to Darkness but still packed with monstrous ideas and shockingly powerful daemons. Extensive rules are given to help you create your own narrative campaigns as well as army lists galore. One big difference with these lists compared with FB today is that they are randomly generated using dice rolls on charts. So a warband could easily contain numerable  races (humans, chaos dwarves, centaurs, dragons, fimir, dark elves etc) rather than focusing on one. Expect to pay £50+ though I have seen copies go for over £100!

Welcome traveller to my blog. Before we begin, I have a small confession to make - this is my first ever blog so please forgive any mistakes, dead links or poor quality pictures. It wasn't the blog, it isn't your display settings, its just me!

How to start? Well I have been inspired to produce this blog by the inspirational work of Gaj over at Warhammer for Adults and with the limitations of my project log over at Warseer click here to see! However, I am in no way as eloquent as Gaj so I am afraid you will have to put up with my ramblings. 

So why third edition then? Well, it was my first and you never forget the first time - do you? I can still remember the trip I took with my father to Wonderworld in Bournemouth in 1988 (when I was 9 years old) to purchase the book. Some months previously, I had been bored in a newsagents with the old man as he flicked through issue after issue of railway modelling magazines- a constant chore of my childhood I can tell you! Gazing around, I spotted an incredible image of a gigantic orange robot creature blasting away with its weaponry. I was transfixed. It was issue 108 of White Dwarf and my life changed forever! 

So nostalgia played a big part but then the actions of Games Workshop PLC. I left the hobby around 1991-2. The Amiga beckoned, as did the pull of beer and girls and my childhood collection was left behind. Then in 2004 I returned to GW and got into 40K. This was at the end of the Paul Sawyer years at White Dwarf and the magazine was continuously producing decent articles. I built a Sisters of Battle army, read many of the Black Library novels and generally loved it once again. Sadly, things changed. The giant issue, endless editions of 40k and WHFB, price increases etc and by the summer of 2011 I had had enough. Games Workshop was no longer for me. The soul had gone. It was over. 

Only I missed it. To sate the need for a citadel fix I dug out my old, battered copy of Third Edition and had a flick through. The inspiration flowed back through me once again and for a moment, I  returned to the newsagents.  I visited eBay and put a bid on issue 108. That bid led to to other casual bids  and I started collecting the old 80s chaos champions that Jes Goodwin did back in '88. Opening the small brown packets as the arrived at the front door reminded me of the excitement of ripping open blister packs back in the day. The detail and character of the miniatures also impressed me. While I cannot deny the sculpting prowess of GW these days their output seems to lack something for me. Something hard to define is missing. Whatever it is, the classic models I was buying filled the void and I became hooked. One thing that surprised me was the price of miniatures from the period I am interested in (1985-92) as they seemed to be consistently the most expensive models to buy. The rule books too! Warhammer 7th edition, 6th edition, 5th edition, 4th edition rulebooks were selling (or even not selling) for tiny amounts. Third edition was different. I had to fight to purchase the books. There were certainly other collectors out there as keen as I was. My discovery of solegends cemented the fact. I made the decision to switch back to Third and started selling off my entire collection of GW stuff that I had amassed since 2004. In all, I must have made several thousand and re-invested the cash into collecting as much citadel stuff as I could from the 80s. 

However, I wanted to play. A mate (who had just got into 40k) expressed an interest in trying out a game or two and we settled on Realms of Chaos warband skirmishes based on the rules presented in Slaves to Darkness. They seemed to offer lots of opportunities to paint and game with a wide range of figure types. Also, the warbands could be relatively small so would be easy to assemble. I agreed to do the bulk of the painting and we began at the end of July 2011. We have not looked back since! 

This blog will attempt to chronicle our exploits.