Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Bridge of Sorrows

 A 2500pt 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between the Empire and Vampire Counts.

Scenario: Watchtower
Empire General: Greg Johnson
Vampire Counts General: Peter Spiller

Well, this battle report has been a long time coming. When I first started painting my Empire army, I decided I would base my colour scheme on a friend's Vampire Counts army. I've talked about this before, and the plan was always to set them up as arch-rivals who fought bitterly and frequently. Despite several shifts in focus as I put my army together, I have retained the original colour scheme and the general concept (even as I mixed other things in with it, like my heavy Ulric-worshipping wolfy theme). After all this plotting and painting however, the Empire and Vampire Counts armies had never met on the field. Pete lost enthusiasm for using his Vampire Counts due to the problems with the previous army book under 8th edition, and started waving my High Elves around instead. This culminated in him finally catching up to me in the final round of the Masters and clouting me over the head with my own army. Oh, the indignity.

Anyway, the Empire and Vampire Counts books have both been re-released recently and it seemed like a good time for the armies to finally meet. This coincided with Owen building a shiny new toll bridge to show off, so it was decided that a battle report was in order. As usual, this is where things started to go wrong...

Pete's Vampire Counts suffer slightly from 7th edition syndrome, or more accurately from not having been adapted to the newest army book. This means he's missing a lot of the more interesting units that were recently added to the list such as Vargheists, Terrorgheists, or any other gheists for that matter. That doesn't mean he can't make an army, but it does mean his options are limited. I took this into account when I was making my list, and tried to put together something that might be of a similar power level. I don't think I was unsuccessful as such, but that does not guarantee an even contest.
My Crossbowmen take the field at the start of the game.

As the game didn't really turn out the way we would have liked, I have decided to forgo the fancy maps and fully-fledged narrative in favour of a fairly comprehensive set of photos and the notes as taken by our dedicated (and mostly mad) scribe Owen. I've cleaned them up to aid slightly in readability, but mostly left them as-is. First though, the army lists...

Wednesday 18 April 2012

A bridge too far?

The toll bridge recently featured on Terrain for Hippos.

I feel I am an endangered species at the moment. All around me, people have fallen in love with games like Warmachine, Infinity and Confrontation. Skirmish games seem to be the new black, but as I have stated before, they don't really do anything for me. I prefer the look and feel of a battle - the larger the better. As such, Warhammer is more suited to my tastes and I have stubbornly clung to it, even as those around me have found new favourite systems.

There is nothing wrong with there being variety in the games people play. At the club on the weekend I think there were a bit over 20 players, and between them they were playing 6 different systems - Warhammer, 40K, Warmachine, Infinity, Confrontation and Blood Bowl. Dystopian Wars has been making waves as well (hur hur - sorry, I'll get my coat). Variety like that is healthy in a club, and it's probably a far superior situation to where the club would have found itself a few years ago, where only 1 or perhaps 2 systems would be played at any one time.

However, for all that it's good that people are finding new games that they love to play and that there are ever more options for people to choose from, it does present some problems. The arrival of 8th edition Warhammer helped spur this surge in interest in other games, as not everyone found the new version of the game to their tastes. This coincided with the change of rules requiring a shift in the make-up in people's armies - units were getting larger and previously unused units were worth considering. Like it or not, for most people this meant painting (and sometimes acquiring) more models. In other words, more commitment.

Monday 16 April 2012

Mercenary General painted

Yesterday I finished painting my first model in weeks. In truth he didn't take very long (probably only a few hours), however my focus has been sufficiently lacking that I think it took me 4 sittings to actually get everything done - a little bit here, a little bit there. In some ways this is probably appropriate, since I'm certain I've had this guy for more than 10 years. No point hurrying, right?

Anyway, here he is: the old Mercenary General model from the Dogs of War range (to be used in my Empire army, of course):
Dogs of War Mercenary General

Monday 9 April 2012

Converted Venators

In terms of productivity, I think April has begun more promisingly than March did. I have not yet painted anything, however that does not mean that I have been sitting idle. My Venators have now been converted!
27 converted Venators
A closer look at some of them
As you can see, some of these models are pretty keen to get a new paintjob. You may also note from the second picture that a number of the horses required new tails. Being second-hand models, the tails were always going to be an issue. I have far more horses than I do tails. I set about rectifying that particular issue by using Instant Mold and green stuff to create more. I think 9 of the horses in this unit have been re-tailed in the process.

All of the knights have been given custom shields in order to make them better match the proper Voland's Venators models. Again, I used Instant Mold to get the results. Any other course of action would have been far too painful when repeated 27 times. Below are the steps I ended up using.

Monday 2 April 2012

Getting back into the groove

Well, perhaps the title should be "trying to get back into the groove". My somewhat unplanned rest month of March is over, and I don't want my lack of productivity to continue. It was nice not to feel like I was under pressure to paint stuff last month, but it didn't stop me from feeling a bit guilty. A lack of progress updates (thanks to there being no progress to report) meant that my blog updates slowed to a trickle as well over the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, April is a new month and an opportunity to get back on the productivity wagon. Recently I have been trying to decide what to work on next, and made some marginal progress on preparing a few things without actually getting anywhere with them. I've re-based, undercoated and even started painting an old Mercenary General model. I've assembled some artillery crew, but they are not even properly based yet. However, the thing that looks most likely to grab my attention is... more knights.

That's right, more knights. Yes, it's probably some sort of illness, but I'm pretty sure it's one of those that is not officially recognised yet. I realise I already have more than enough knights for any regular game I might wish to play, however my ambitions for the big Kislev game remain undimmed and I already had these models lying in wait. The plan is to round out my "generic" knight unit, based around a handful of Voland's Venators, to a nice round 40 models, to go with the White Wolves and Knights Snow Leopard. Currently I have 13 models in the unit painted, so another 27 are in order.
My messy workspace from last night