Monday, 18 May 2015

First Wyvern Done

Time is ticking away in the lead-up to Moonstruck, but I am making progress. I have now completed the first of the Wyverns, and have made a very small start on the second one.

This first Wyvern is the old Marauder one - the one that was current when I started into the hobby. I was excited when I found this model at an affordable price in a second-hand stall, however for all that it included the saddle, it didn't have the correct rider. I may have to convert one. For now though, I plan on painting the Wyverns without riders. I can steal painted Boar Boyz for the job if I don't have time to do new riders before the tournament. It's called prioritization. The things that have a viable backup plan can wait until last.
The Marauder Orc Wyvern, painted in a scheme inspired by the one used in White Dwarf (it's similar but not identical)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Moonstruck: Going back to my Worldroots?

I mentioned previously that Moonstruck had sold out, and that I am one of those who entered. The tournament is in a few weeks, so I really need to make a list.

This will be my first tournament since Cancon in late January, and it is also my first using the End Times rules. This means 50% Lords, access to the Lore of Undeath, and Legion lists, as well as Battlescrolls from the End Times books. This all stacks up to mean that I have absolutely no idea what to expect. The scope for the creation of terrifying armies has increased dramatically, and I don't have a feel for how well the comp system will reign it in.

With all this in mind, I took a long time to come up with an army. I couldn't really make an army based on what I expected to meet on the table, because I have no idea what that will be. What I needed was a concept I wanted to play with, and eventually I settled on one I have been wanting to use for a long time: The Court of the Everqueen.

From a background perspective, the High Elf Everqueen holds court in the forests of Avelorn (or did, before the End Times). She is protected by a maiden bodyguard, and the forests are full of forest spirits and the like, much like Athel Loren. It has always seemed like a good theme for a list, however the High Elves never had the ability to put things like Treemen into their list, so any effort to recreate the army as a whole would generally have been using Wood Elves.

The End Times changed this, by combining the different Elf armies into lists like the Host of the Phoenix King and the Host of the Eternity King. Suddenly it has become possible to field forest spirits alongside High Elves. I don't really know how long the End Times rules are going to be doing the rounds, so it makes sense to take the opportunity to finally field my Avelorn list at Moonstruck.

In keeping with the confusing nature of the End Times, there is now more than one version of the Everqueen to choose from. I have decided to go for the full-blown crazy version of her: Alarielle, Incarnate of Life. She's ridiculously powerful, but she's 540 points. And the plan is to surround her with some pretty sub-par stuff to fit my theme, so I figure she will be OK. Here is the list I think I am going to use:

  • Alarielle, Incarnate of Life
  • Durthu
  • High Elf Noble (BSB) with Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Dragon Armour
  • Wood Elf Spellsinger (Level 1, Lore of Undeath) on Unicorn with Dragonbane Gem
  • High Elf Noble with Dragonhelm, Heavy Armour, Great Weapon
  • 18 Maiden Guard (Lothern Sea Guard) with Spears, Bows, Light Armour, Full Command
  • 18 Maiden Guard (Lothern Sea Guard) with Spears, Bows, Light Armour, Full Command
  • 18 Dryads with Branch Nymph
  • 6 Treekin
  • 5 Dragon Princes of Caledor with Standard, Musician
  • 5 Sisters of Avelorn
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower

The list should be interesting. Alarielle gives everything within 12" Regeneration, and can heal wounded models each turn as well as having her Life magic to work with. It could mean things like Treekin and Dryads grow a fair bit of spine so long as they stay within her range. A few of the characters have fire protection to help resist Flaming Attacks - the easiest way to bypass Regeneration. Durthu is the only significant combat punch in the list, although at least I have a moderate amount of shooting.
The characters. I need to re-base Durthu, I guess. Sigh.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Wyvern and Arachnarok progress

I see that Moonstruck has now sold out, with all 90 places gone. That's pretty cool. It's nice to know that people are still able to get excited about a Warhammer event despite all the uncertainty around the game at the moment.

Over the weekend I managed to make a bit more progress with the stuff I am working on for the Orcs and Goblins. First up was the salvaged Wyvern. After building a basic shape for his neck out of wire and green stuff, I was able to sit down for an hour or two on Friday night and add most of the detail. A brief bit of fiddling at the club on Saturday saw me add some horns and clean up a few things, and the Wyvern himself is basically finished...
One scaly Wyvern neck. Not identical to the existing parts, but close enough.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Salvaging something scaly

Recently I managed to find a chance to dig through my Orcs and Goblins and do a proper inventory of what I still have sitting around in boxes, waiting for their chance to be painted and played with. It took a long time. One of the things that I did establish is that I have a good reserve of Wyverns and riders...
3 Wyverns and 5 Riders (3 old Azhags!). Actually, it's 2.5 Wyverns. The silver one is missing bits. Like a head, neck and shoulders.
A friend dropped past whilst I was doing this and suddenly got excited at the prospect of how many Wyverns one could fit into a list under the new 50% Lord restrictions introduced with the End Times. For 2600 points (the size of Moonstruck, the next major tournament), the answer is 4. You can jam 4 Wyverns into a single list, and have quite a few points left to equip them. Apparently this is enough to be exciting and/or silly, and now I am under instructions to paint up 2 more Wyverns to accompany the 2 I already have ready to go. Oh, and the second Arachnarok. Kill me now...

Anyway, I am an idiot and agreed to this plan. And if I actually survive painting the second Arachnarok, I will be very happy to have it finished. But I have decided to focus on the Wyverns to be begin with. Specifically I am working on the one with no head, neck or shoulders. Details, really. It's not like half the model is missing. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Something old, something new

Over the last couple of weeks I have continued to make gradual painting progress. The game a bit over a week ago highlighted to me that my Dwarfs really needed some additional characters to plug some gaps, so I've been working on that. Here we have to two latest additions: Belegar Ironhammer and Kragg the Grim.
Belegar is a modern model - part of the new era of multi-part plastic characters. Kragg is a bit older - he's a Runelord from back when metal models still contained lead.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Old Differences

A 6000 point battle between my Dwarfs and Ben Leopold's High Elves.

Thorgrim Grudgebearer, High King of Karaz-a-Karak, waited impatiently as his throne came to a halt and was lowered to the ground by his sweating, huffing thronebearers. He then heaved his considerable up out of the chair and stomped across to stand before the small gathering of elves waiting near a copse of trees. With one hand on his hip and his belligerent expression, the dwarf king made no attempt to hide his irritation. Cradled in his other arm was an enormous tome that all present knew to be the Great Book of Grudges.

"Where is he?" he demanded. "I haven't come all this way to argue with a bunch of effeminate flunkies."

The gathering of armoured elves stiffened at the insult. The finery of their war gear and their regal bearing surely made it clear to even a witless Dwarf that each one of them was an important noble in his own right. He was being deliberately rude. Hands strayed to the hilts of weapons, but none of them deigned to answer his demands. They too knew how to be impolite.

Their continued silence was not lost on Thorgrim. His grip on the book tightened and he glanced back to where he had left his axe leaning against the throne, clearly wondering whether he should not retrieve it and put it to use immediately. He was right on the verge of doing so when something shifted in the shadows under the trees, and another elf appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Thorgrim jumped slightly, then covered his surprise with an even deeper scowl. "Alith Anar. There you are. What do you want? Shouldn't you be off tormenting some of your own kind somewhere?"

The Shadow King stared at the dwarf without any apparent emotion. "Lord Thorgrim. I have come to retrieve something that belongs to me."

Thorgrim sniffed. "Have you now? I can't see why I would let you take anything else from me. You still haven't returned that bowl you borrowed." He fingered the book meaningfully, making it clear that the debt had been recorded in detail.

"The Vessel of Shadows was not borrowed. It is mine by right," sniffed the elf. "It bears my name upon it."

Thorgrim spluttered. "Yours? It was crafted in Karaz-a-Karak by dwarf hands. It has nothing to do with you! Give it back!"

"I will not," refused the elf quietly. "And now I have come to lay claim to the Blade of Sorrows. That too is mine."

"You're daft!" snorted Thorgrim. "Just because you're a miserable coot who has not respect for the property of others doesn't mean the thing is named after you. Take your pointy-eared army and shove off!"

"Very well," said Alith Anar calmly. "I shall retrieve the blade myself once you and your warriors have been dealt with."

With that, the elf swept his cape up across his face and dashed off into the trees, looking for all the world like a child playing at Vampires and Victims.

Thorgrim snorted and was stomping back toward his attendants when an arrow hissed out of the trees, over his shoulder and punched a hole straight through the Throne of Power's carved stone backrest. He bellowed in rage at Shadow King's insolence.

"You'll pay for that, elf!"

Note that this won't really be a battle report per se, given that I'm not going to bother putting together maps and the rest. But the game was between two fully-painted armies and I have a camera, so I took some photos.

The Armies
Neither of us was trying all that hard to pack real punch into our armies. 6,000 points is relatively close to the limit of what we could both field with these races, so it was as much an exercise in putting most of our models on the table as it was a contest. 

It would seem I need to paint up some more war machines. I'll never be taken seriously as a Dwarf player when I'm only able to field one war machine for every 2000 points in the army. I mainly just wanted to use Thorgrim, in a game where he wasn't going to absorb most of my points and make things weirdly balanced.
  • Thorgrim Grudgebearer
  • Belegar Ironhammer
  • Runelord with Great Weapon, Master Rune of Balance, 2 Runes of Spellbreaking, Master Rune of Gromril
  • Thane with Battle Standard, Great Weapon, Strollaz's Rune, Master Rune of Grungni, Rune of Slowness
  • Grimm Burloksson
  • Josef Bugman
  • 50 Longbeards with Great Weapons, Shields, Full Command, 2 Runes of Slowness
  • 24 Quarrellers with Great Weapons, Shields, Full Command
  • 20 Thunderers with Shields, Full Command
  • 38 Ironbreakers with Full Command, Strollaz's Rune
  • 20 Hammerers with Shields, Full Command, Master Rune of Valaya
  • 30 Slayers with Full Command, 2 Giant Slayers
  • 12 Miners with Standard, Musician
  • Cannon with Rune of Forging
  • Grudge Thrower with Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Penetration
  • Gyrocopter
  • Gyrocopter
  • 16 Irondrakes with Full Command, Strollaz's Rune, Rune of Sanctuary, Trollhammer Torpedo
  • 11 Bugman's Rangers with Shields, Full Command
  • Organ Gun with Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Forging
High Elves
Apparently Ben's list originally had 8 bolt throwers in it, but I think he realised he'd probably shred through my units a bit brutally and pared them back. For some reason Ben doesn't seem to like Dragon Princes - half his cavalry models were these, but every single one of them was just riding around as a pimp Silver Helm. Such indignity for the noble sons of Caledor.
  • Alith Anar (Army General)
  • Loremaster with Armour of Caledor, Sword of Might, Power Stone
  • Archmage (Level 4 High Magic) with Book of Ashur, Talisman of Endurance
  • Prince on Griffon (Swiftsense, Swooping Strike) with Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Lion Cloak
  • Prince on Star Dragon with Star Lance, Other Trickster’s Shard, Armour of Destiny, Shield
  • Caradryan
  • Korhil
  • Noble with Battle Standard, Armour of Silvered Steel, Halberd, Luckstone
  • 11 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 5 Reavers with Bows, Musician
  • 9 Silver Helms with Full Command, Shields
  • 12 Silver Helms with Full Command, Shields
  • 10 Silver Helms with Full Command, Shields
  • 40 Spearmen with Full Command
  • 21 Spearmen with Full Command, Banner of Discipline
  • 8 Shadow Warriors
  • 20 Swordmasters with Full Command, Razor Standard
  • 21 White Lions with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Great Eagle with Swiftsense
  • Great Eagle with Swiftsense
  • 6 Sisters of Avalon
  • Frostheart Phoenix

We used a slightly larger board than normal at 8'x4', and then I did a good job of ignoring a quarter of it anyway. Apparently 6,000 points of Dwarfs is still not really all that much.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Thorgrim finished and a little RafRage

OK, I can finally call this model finished. As I suspected when I set out to paint the banners on the back of the throne, the process was not exactly fast. It probably wasn't helped by the amount of fumbling with incorrect techniques and correcting clumsy mistakes, but I got there in the end.
He does look more completed with the banner flapping behind him.
One of the banners deviates wildly from the original because I didn't like it at all. In the end I've gone for a representation of Karaz-a-Karak, based on the rune the Dwarfs use to present it. It makes more sense to me than the random Dwarf waving 2 axes about. I don't get why that would be the High King's banner. On second thought, maybe that's meant to be Grimnir. Whatever, he didn't make the cut.