Friday, 27 December 2013

Finuval Plain: Bolstering the ranks

So a date has been set for the big battle, with the Elves scheduled to slaughter each other on January 2. This is pretty soon (less than a week away), so I'm scrambling a bit to try to get things as ready as possible. Over the last few painting sessions I've been working on adding to my existing unit of Swordmasters of Hoeth, and I'm now ready to call them "close enough" (my usual painting standard, really)...
23 new Swordmasters, ready to rumble. A random mix of metal models and the plastics from Island of Blood.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Coming soon: The Battle of Finuval Plain

It was around this time last year that a number of us gathered together and created the colossal battle report of Hel Fenn. Recently it has become clear that people around here expect this sort of thing to become an annual event – there have been lots of questions like “so what will the big game be this time?” To be honest, I hadn't intended for it to become a regular thing... But with so many people clearly itching to have another go, I kind of figured: why not?

I decided it would be preferable to avoid the armies that featured in Hel Fenn, rather than just featuring the same things over and over again. So that ruled out battles involving Empire and Vampire Counts. It left plenty of other armies to choose from, but it's not always the easiest thing to scratch together 20,000 points or so of painted models for a single race. In the end we settled for another classic match-up: High Elves vs Dark Elves.

The Battle of Finuval Plain is another famous battle in Warhammer lore. It was the climax of an invasion of Ulthuan by Dark Elves and their Chaos allies. It was basically a final stand for the High Elves after a disastrous campaign in which they had been repeatedly beaten and driven back on their own soil. However just as their fate seemed sealed, Tyrion and Teclis rose to prominence and led their people to victory. There are more details than that, but we'll save those for later.

I'm still trying to sort out exactly how large the game will be and who will be playing, but I think the game will be at least as large as Hel Fenn, and it will happen in the next couple of weeks. So watch this space...

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Onward Kislev!

Some time ago I managed to get my hands on some of the increasingly rare Kislev models that used to be part of the Empire army range back in 4th and 5th edition. I wanted them as part of my preparation for my ridiculously ambitious plans to recreate the Battle at the Gates of Kislev. I made a lot of noise about these plans a while back, however I've been focusing on other things since then. This doesn't mean I have not made progress. My painted Empire army has come along steadily since then, and the Chaos forces at our disposal are better prepared too (thanks largely to Owen, who is exceedingly mad and very fast at knocking out painted stuff). 

Anyway, the Kislev game has started to become a bit of a joke around here, as one of those things that is talked about, but will never happen. I've kind of treated it as an eventual goal rather than something with a specific time-frame attached to it, but it might be time to address that. I haven't done the maths yet, but we must be pretty close to having the painted army sizes I had imagined, and with Warhammer 8th edition coming to a close sometime in the second half of next year (so the rumours suggest), I feel I need to make use of the existing edition's rules, which work so well for large games (who knows what next edition will bring). 

One thing that has not advanced over the last year or more (actually it's more like 2 years. Sheesh!), which is the state of my actual Kislevite models. I have Horse Archers, Winged Lancers and Kossars, and they are all as unprepared as they were when I got my hands on them. This is unacceptable, as they are basically the only essential element in the game - the thing that will add the appropriate flavour. So I am finally starting work on them.

I decided to start with some Horse Archers, as I thought they might be fastest to paint. First I had to do some repairs, including adding tails - because the previous owner had not attached (nor included) a single tail to the whole batch of 12 of them (nor the 10 Winged Lancers that came with them). Maybe he doesn't like tails. Anyway, whatever the reason, I was well short in the tail tally. 
12 Kislev Horse Archers, looking for paint.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Lores of Magic: Lore of Athel Loren

There are no two ways about it; the Wood Elf book is old and in serious need of an update. Rumours currently suggest that this might happen around May 2014, but that's still 6 months away. So in the interest of completing my reviews of the Lores of Magic (there's only a few left now), I figured I might as well give the Wood Elves the treatment.

Interestingly, the extreme ancientness of the Wood Elf book has both its perks and its downsides in terms of the spells here. An echo of a bygone era...

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Dark Magic

I feel slightly bad that I've seen numerous searches hitting this blog looking for the Lore of Dark Magic, and of course they're all finding the old Lore from the previous book. Now that there is a new book, I should really be updating the review. If you actually were looking for the Lore from the previous book, you can find it here.

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Dark Magic
Dark Elves are the only race with access to Dark Magic, although nowadays they have the full range of the Lores of Battle Magic in the rulebook to choose from as well. So, with 9 Lores to choose from, let's hope Dark Magic stacks up.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Warhammer World Series – Dissecting the match-ups

Throughout the World Series, we were tracking how each army performed each round. Ideally this will help us to decide whether to re-use some of the match-ups next time around, assuming that the arrival of 9th edition and any new army books hasn't completely stuffed with our plans.

I'm going to walk through each table and give a brief summary of how they all went. Below is a table that shows all of the matches and gives a simplistic rating based on their battle point differences, but the table-by-table section will give a better picture.
Yeah, good luck reading that without opening it properly...
The analysis is always going to be a bit difficult by the time you allow for some wild dice rolls in some of the games. It's also going to be slanted by the fact that the tournament included plenty of players with a wide variety of skill levels – numerous Masters players and some who almost never attend tournaments. Such varying levels of experience clashing can produce some misleading results. Anyway, let's have a look at how things went...

Thanks to Ben over at Eureka Wargames Association for the use of some of his pictures here. You can read his account of the tournament here

Table 1: The Underground
Scenario: Watchtower (with modifications)
Skaven vs Night Goblins
Battle Points: Skaven 76, Night Goblins 64
Results: Night Goblins 3, Skaven 3, 1 draw
Table 1
This was probably the most wacky of the tables we set up. It involved an all-Goblin army against a Skaven army, fighting it out on the club's cave terrain. It was the only table to use the Watchtower scenario, and in this case the objective was not a building at all, but an open section of terrain (a chunk of warpstone being mined from the ground, made for the occasion by Owen of Terrain for Hippos).

This was always going to be a crazy game. And with the scenario, (control of the warpstone was worth 800 points) results were predictably wild. I know of games where the thing ended up controlled by a single Night Goblin Fanatic, and another where a single Troll survived to hold it after his unit passed a Leadership 4 Stupidity test to move onto it... The caves also caused some people a bit of grief, especially when the instruction to ignore the 1” rule for the impassable cave walls failed to get through in at least one game.

Anyway, after all this madness, each army walked away with 3 wins, and somehow one game even ended in a draw. All in all, I can't imagine a more ideal table for the tournament, and I'm glad we went through with it.

Table score: 10/10

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 3

This is the third and final part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. Below are the links to the first 2 parts:

Game 6 – Rowan Keating
Table 8 – Aerial Duel
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
  • Bretonnian Lord
    • General; Heavy Armour; Questing Vow
    • Virtue of Heroism
    • Sword of Strife
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Royal Pegasus
  • Paladin Battle Standard Bearer
    • Heavy Armour; Battle Standard Bearer; Questing Vow
    • Sword of Might
    • Gromril Great Helm
    • Warhorse
  • Damsel of the Lady
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
    • Warhorse
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 6 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
Rowan's army:
Vampire Counts
  • Vampire Lord
    • General; Lore of Vampires; Lance; Heavy armour; Magic Level 1
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Dawn Stone
    • Quickblood
    • Hellsteed
  • Vampire
    • Battle Standard Bearer; Magic Level 2; Lance; Heavy armour; Shield
    • Nightshroud
    • Hellsteed
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 27 Zombies
    • Standard; Musician
  • 20 Crypt Ghouls
    • Ghast
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 6 Black Knights
    • Barding; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician
This table was one of those constructed with a particular theme. In this case, it was as close as we could get to a workable “aerial duel” type of game. Rowan chose the Vampires and away we went.
After deployment and vanguard moves.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 2

This is the second part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. You can find the first part here.

Game 3 – David Lowe
Table 16 – Super Sub-Optimal
Scenario – Battleline

  • Saurus Oldblood
    • General; Cold One; Great Weapon; Light Armour
    • Luckstone
  • Skink Chief on Ancient Stegadon
    • Spear; Light Armour; Battle Standard
    • Enchanted Shield
    • 2 Giant Blow Pipes
    • 4 Skink Crew
  • Skink Priest
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
  • 20 Saurus Warriors
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Spawn Leader
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 2 Jungle Swarms
  • 3 Kroxigors
    • Great Weapon
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • Troglodon

David's army:
  • Beastlord
    • General; Shield
    • Sword of Swift Slaying
    • Armour of Destiny
  • Gorebull
    • Frenzy; Heavy Armour; Battle Standard
    • Brass Cleaver
    • Charmed Shield
    • Gnarled Hide
  • Bray Shaman
    • Lore of Beasts; Magic Level 1; Braystaff
    • Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • 24 Gor Herd
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Foe-Render
  • 9 Ungor Raiders
    • Short Bow; Musician
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • 10 Chaos Warhounds
  • 1 Razorgor
  • 1 Razorgor
  • Jabberslythe
  • Spawn of Chaos
After a strong start, my game against Hieu had dropped me back into the middle of the pack. My next opponent would be David Lowe. After looking at the lists, David chose the Beastmen because he was more familiar with them. As it happens, this was another questionable choice – the Lizardmen definitely had the upper hand on this table throughout the tournament.

This game started late because I was chasing a couple of things from a TO perspective, and the game itself didn't exactly move like greased lightning. We didn't get to the end, but enough things happened to get a result. I didn't get a ton of photos because I was a little distracted.
That Carnosaur is really a Troglodon. As if anyone in their right mind has the proper model. Poor, useless sod...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 1

The weekend saw the second running of that most unusual of tournaments, the Warhammer World Series. I was organising the event, however once things are up and running, the World Series is not the most difficult tournament to run. So I was also able to play the “bye-breaker”, which was needed because we had an odd number of players. So Baron von Gumby, most feared of non-competitive players, would ride once more! As usual, I took photos during my games and will give a bit of a run-through of how they went.

For those not following earlier, the World Series involves players arriving at a table and finding 2 pre-determined armies waiting for them. They then dice off to choose between the armies, the loser of the roll-off gets to choose table sides, and they play the scenario assigned to the table (generally Battleline). The full list of tables and armies has already been published, but I will repeat the ones I played on here for convenience as we go along.

Also, as I was the gumby player, I would not be rolling off with my opponent to choose armies – I would let them choose, and then we would roll off for table sides. Given I wrote nearly all of the pairings, it seemed the only fair way to do things. Besides, then I wouldn't have to try to choose what to use...

Game 1 – Nick Gentile
Table 5 – Family Feud
Scenario – Battleline
As usual, Nick is excited about being excited.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

More Empire standards

My Empire army has accumulated 3 painted Battle Standard Bearer models over time - one mounted, one on foot, and the special character Ludwig Schwartzhelm as a bonus. Normally this would be enough, but there are a couple of factors here. My army now consists of 2 distinct sections - the purple and white of Krakenberg, and a smaller contingent wearing the yellow and green of Stirland. The existing BSBs are painted for the former, with nobody left to fly the flag for the latter (Ludwig looks a little too important for the Stirlanders). I was aware of this shortcoming, but the Stirland group is not overly large, so I figured it was unlikely to be fielded as a force in its own right anyway. 

Of course, that was without planning for the Warhammer World Series, and its habit of splintering my larger armies into numerous smaller forces. This time around my Empire will be used for 4 different armies, and one of those forces is entirely in Stirland colours. In the end this was the prompt I needed to get moving and make them a BSB of their own.

I have a fairly large pile of second-hand Empire models, and I found what appeared to be the exact same BSB character, mounted and on foot. I figured this would work well enough for me. I removed the skeleton-angel-thingy banner that comes in the multi-part plastic character kit from both of them, and gave them both magnetised shoulders instead. Then I made up a new magnetised banner arm for them to share, using a Greatsword standard. I figured I would never need them both to be standard bearers at the same time (go away, World Series. I can see you in the corner, plotting to upset my plans again), so I plan to make them a couple of extra arms so that they can also stand in as regular characters. I don't know what I'll do for that other arm yet, but I didn't really have time to dwell on it at this point - I'll come back to it.
A BSB, and an Empire Captain with a crippling battle injury - loss of a limb at the shoulder.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Warhammer World Series: the final pairings

It's taken a while, but here are the remaining pairings we will need to accommodate our current number of registered players. I have also added these match-ups to the main list I released earlier.

Just a few more days to go, folks...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Another finished Mangler Squig

I think I need a bigger mace...
4 days after I decided to try to sculpt a couple of Mangler Squigs from scratch, the second one is completed. He is very different from the first one, but in the end I am pretty happy with them both. They came together much faster than I feared they would, and with only a rough idea in my head of how I wanted them to look, I'm very satisfied with the final product.

This guy was only half-finished at the start of today. Late last night I had attacked him with a bit of green stuff and a dremel in a few places, before deciding I had done enough and I was starting to handle and have to re-work what I was doing before it had set (the dangers of over-enthusiasm). Then this afternoon I managed to find the time to pull out more green stuff, and get him to a point that I decided was good enough.
This guy is much happier than the first one I made, who was clearly a real sour-puss. The teeth were one of the things I was most worried about on these guys, particularly with the open mouth. In the end I think they turned out fine, which was a relief.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

First Mangler Painted

After spending much of Tuesday putting together my first home-made Mangler Squig, I was keen to get some paint on him and see how he turned out. I got my chance last night, and here is how he turned out:
One surly Mangler Squig, ready to spring into action on the tabletop.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Sculpting Mangler Squigs

Or perhaps the title should really read: "mangled sculpted squigs", or something similar...

I have a pretty large Orc and Goblin army, however it lacks any of the new bells and whistles that appeared in the latest army book. I have purchased a few Arachnaroks, but none of them are painted yet. And I don't even own any Mangler Squigs. When you add in the fact that I've never gotten around to painting any Pump Wagons, my army is missing a lot of the tricks to make it fun. It's something I've always been planning to address, but I've been focused on other things.

When planning lists for the World Series however (just over a week away now), I made a list using my Night Goblins, and it just wouldn't have been enough fun without any Mangler Squigs. So I committed to a list that includes 2 of them, which means now I have to do something about it. And being a tight-ass who balks at the cost of one of the Finecast Mangler Squigs Games Workshop are peddling, I figured I would just make my own.

After all, how hard could it be?

Experienced, skilful sculptors and discerning lovers of miniatures may wish to stop reading now...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Warhammer World Series: The armies

Thanks largely to Duelling Paintbrushes, it's taken me a lot longer to get the army lists and match-ups organised for the World Series than I would have liked. Sorry to those who have been waiting to see them. Anyway, it's now 2 weeks from the tournament, and I've finally got almost all the pairings sorted. Here is what we've got, and the final few tables we should need will be announced shortly...

You'll notice that most of the tables look like they're just going to be basic pitched battles. In the end, most scenarios just make games more unpredictable without necessarily adding more interest. As a result, I've generally shied away from them - given people are not using the same army over and over again, there is no real need for the extra random element.

EDIT 12/11/2013: The list now contains 18 pairings, which at the time of writing is the number we need to accommodate the registered players. I will put together a couple of reserve pairings, but these ones will all be used.

Table 1 - The Underground
Scenario - Watchtower (no building - objective will use a marker)

Orcs and Goblins
  • Night Goblin Warboss
    • General; Great Weapon
    • Armour of Fortune
  • Night Goblin Big Boss
    • Great Weapon; Light Armour; Battle Standard
    • Standard of Discipline
  • Night Goblin Shaman
    • Magic Level 2; Little Waagh
  • 40 Night Goblins
    • Netters; Shield; Spear; Standard; Musician; Boss
    • 2 Fanatics
  • 40 Night Goblins
    • Netters; Shield; Spear; Standard; Musician; Boss
    • 2 Fanatics
  • 20 Night Goblins
    • Shortbow; Standard; Musician; Boss
  • 10 Squig Hoppers
  • 4 Trolls
  • 21 Squig Herd
    • 12 Squigs; 9 Night Goblin Herders
  • 5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
    • Spear; Shield; Musician
  • 5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
    • Spear; Shield; Musician
  • Mangler Squig
  • Mangler Squig

  • Warlord
    • General; Heavy Armour
    • Warlock-Augmented Weapon
    • Enchanted Shield
  • Chieftain
    • Great Weapon; Battle Standard
    • World's Edge Armour
  • Warlock Engineer
    • Magic Level 2
    • Warpstone Token
  • 4 Rat Ogres
    • 2 Rat Ogre Packmasters
    • Whip; Light Armour
  • 8 Gutter Runners
    • 2ndWeapon; Poisoned Attacks; Throwing Stars
  • 40 Clanrats
    • Light Armour; Shields; Standard; Musician; Clawleader
    • Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team
  • 41 Skavenslaves
    • Slave Musician
  • 20 Stormvermin
    • Halberd; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician; Fangleader
    • Standard of Discipline
    • Ratling Gun Weapon Team
  • 17 Giant Rats
    • 3 Packmasters
    • Whip; Light Armour
  • Warp-lightning Warp Cannon
  • 3 Rat Swarms

Friday, 1 November 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Mission failed

Well, it's now November, which means Duelling Paintbrushes is over. And, as predicted in my previous post, I have failed to achieve my original target. It comes as no surprise, but unfortunately I didn't even really get very close. By the end of October, I had painted a Sorceress, 10 Cold One Knights, and 15 Spearmen. I had built commenced painting of the two mounted characters I needed to do, but they were nowhere near finished - and I had only just managed to complete the assembly and undercoat the 12 Crossbowmen. Not exactly covering myself with glory, there. Oh well.

Those mounted characters only got started very late in the process. I didn't really have the right models on hand. I knew I had a Malus Darkblade model kicking about (minus the old goofy cow-like Cold One he came with), so I figured he would do the job of a lord character. But I hadn't really worked out how I was going to make a BSB. When it came to the crunch, I ended up using a Cold One Knight's legs, a Corsair's torso, arms and head, and some extra spiky head-pieces from one of the Knights. The sea dragon cloak took some chopping and green-stuffing to get it to sit OK over the saddle, but it worked fine in the end.
Malus has traded in his ancient (and rather terrible) Cold One for a newer model.
My converted BSB. I was pretty happy with the pose, in the end.
I couldn't find a more exciting weapon for him, so he just stuck with a normal Corsair sword.
Sea dragon cloaks are not made to sit on Cold Ones. A bit of chopping and covering my handiwork with green stuff and the problem was solved.
By the end of the month, these guys had a couple of base colours on them and nothing else to speak of. They were probably about 10% painted. Not really inspiring, and certainly not usable. However, last night (November 1st - otherwise known as the day after the challenge was over) was painting night and I was determined to improve the situation. I was up until after 1 am (trying to multi-task between painting and constructing army lists for Warhammer World Series), but I'm calling these guys finished now.
My Dreadlord and BSB, ready for battle. They both have different coloured mounts from my regular Cold One Knights, to help them stand out.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Spearmen done

It has taken me a week, but I have now finished with the 15 Spearmen I was painting for Duelling Paintbrushes. In something of a recurring theme with my painting, the unit is not really "finished" per se - there are details like teeth that I should really be picking out, and the banner should have a design on it. But given that time is tight and I may well replace the banner with a less cumbersome one later anyway, I think they've received all the attention they're going to for a while.
15 painted Spearmen. They were a lot faster than those stupid Cold One Knights.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Warhammer World Series update

It's now just over 3 weeks until the Warhammer World Series, and preparations have been moving along pretty slowly. Despite a great many people expressing boundless enthusiasm for the event, we still only have 17 paid players as I write this. This won't even cover the cost of the hall, so it makes it hard to make other plans.

As an added incentive to get people to pay up, I will be increasing the cost of entry from $40 to $50 on November 1st. Anyone who wants to sign up after that will be paying a premium rate for making my life harder than it has to be...

We're still only part-way through writing up lists and matching them up, but hopefully in the next couple of days I will be in a position to publish some of the pairings so that people can have a look-see. Watch this space...

Monday, 21 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Emergency paint salvage

Last night I was painting away on the unit of 15 Dark Elf Spearmen for Duelling Paintbrushes when there was something of a mishap with my old pot of Bleached Bone paint. I took the lid off, and found that all of the paint that had been residing in the lid had remained sitting on the pot itself. Somehow it had come cleanly away from the plastic lid and formed a dome-shaped semi-rigid container of old paint. This wouldn't have been a real issue, except that it had also taken a fair amount of liquid paint with it. This meant a waste of usable paint, which is something I abhor. So, it was time to take some emergency steps to reduce the waste.
Eh, what? Don't think I've seen this before. At least, not for a while.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Cold Ones done

We're nearly two thirds of the way through October, but I finally have a unit to show for the time I've spent painting. I'm calling the Cold One Knights done, even though there are really details I would ideally have liked to touch up. The fact of the matter is that I'm sick of this unit. In my last post I declared they were almost finished, then I managed to waste 2 or 3 hours just painting the black details - mainly cleaning up things that had been painted over. I got the grumps and am now willing to call them done as-is.
10 Cold One Knights, more or less finished.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Effort <> Results

Well, we are nearly halfway through October. So my 1000 points of Dark Elves should be half-finished by now, right? No, not really. I'm still working on my first unit. As I suspected, Cold One Knights are slow to paint. At least this time, my lack of progress is not for lack of effort. I think last week I probably spent somewhere between 15-20 hours on these guys, and they're still only mostly there.

I am a little torn over how I feel about all this time I've spent. I am pleased to have focused this much after my previous lack of application. It's far more time than I would normally spend painting in a given week, even when I'm motivated to work on something, so it means Duelling Paintbrushes is having an impact. But it's frustrating that I don't have much to show for it.

Part of my problem is that I tackled these models in the wrong manner. As is my usual approach, I completely assembled them and glued the sand onto their bases before I commenced undercoating and painting. Then the first things I painted were the bases and the armour. I mean, they're heavily armoured cavalry. Armour is a major component, right? This approach has served me well enough for all those Empire Knights I've painted. Unfortunately in this case, it was a big mistake. 
My batch of 10 Cold One Knights, who are still only mostly painted.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Failure to launch?

We are now more than a week into October, and the Duelling Paintbrushes challenge that goes with it. Unfortunately, my progress has been very limited. I have been stymied by a number of things. One of those things is the timing of the new Dark Elf release, which feels like it has stalled my enthusiasm and momentum as I wait for confirmation of what I should really be painting. The new book is now out, although I am still waiting for my copy to arrive. From a brief flick through it at the club on Saturday, I don't think the changes will have a major impact on what I'm painting. But that is yet to be properly confirmed. 

Secondly, my motivation in general for painting Dark Elves is still not at a level equal to where it might have been for some other armies. I intended to write about this, but I haven't even managed to get around to that yet. 

Finally, I have allowed myself to be distracted by other things when I could have been making time to paint. Hopefully I will be more disciplined over the next few weeks - I will have to be if I want to get anywhere close to my goals for the challenge.

I did manage to sit still long enough to paint up the Sorceress, however I kind of messed about with the colour scheme of the swirling magical energy on the model, and it never got close to what I had in mind. In other words, I really need to go back and re-do it. Whether I get around to that during October will depend on how I go with the other models I need to paint.
I like this model, but all the swirling energy is confusing to paint. Especially when you're silly and start trying to mix colours. The stuff winding around her body is confusing, too. It is painted like a vine on the GW example, but that felt wrong to me, so I thought I'd make it part of the magic.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Getting Started

Right, so we're already well into the second day of October, and thus far I have achieved absolutely nothing for Duelling Paintbrushes. This is slightly symptomatic of my time as a whole recently, where it seems to be challenging to make the time to paint, blog, or do anything else hobby-related. I will have to make more of an effort if I want to avoid total embarrassment in the painting challenge.

The Dark Elf book comes out in a few days, and hopefully I will be able to firm up my plans for the army required for Warhammer World Series once I have had a look at it. In the meantime I am somewhat in limbo. I have gathered together a basic collection of models. I think they should all be in the final list, and even if some of them end up not being required, I'll still want them done in the long run. So, here is what I plan to paint:
A pile of unpainted evil Elves. The BSB is just a stand-in for an as-yet unassembled model, and if I use Malus Darkblade as the Highborn, he'd best find a lizard to ride. The Witch Elves lurking in the background will probably elude my paintbrush for now...

Friday, 27 September 2013

Take me to your toaster

Many years ago I saw a Gary Larson cartoon with an alien carrying an English-Martian dictionary, saying "Greetings, Earthling. Take me to your toaster". Apparently the internet never noticed this particular cartoon, so I can't include it here. So I guess you will have to take my word for it. Guess you had to be there, eh (if it's not on the internet, did it ever really happen?)...

Aaaanyway, I have painted a couple of Dark Elf bolt throwers. As October has not yet begun, these will not count towards Duelling Paintbrushes. But I wanted them done and I've been sitting on them for so long that it felt like they were due. The bolt throwers are of the old 4th edition "toaster" variety, due to their being shaped a bit like 2 bits of toast having popped out, side-by-side. I always preferred these models to the newer version, although you'll notice that I've used the more recent crew, as the original ones were the old Marauder miniatures (and for all that Marauder Dwarfs are the best things ever, they never seemed to get the hang of Elves and they all look a bit goofy with big, bulbous noses). 
Relatively new crew manning antique bolt throwers.

Monday, 23 September 2013

The 7th army

When my painted Empire reached a playable size (well over 2 years ago now - in fact, not that long before I started this blog), they became my 6th painted army. They had been preceded by High Elves, Wood Elves, Orcs and Goblins, Dwarfs, and Ogres. As anyone who has been following this blog can attest, I then made a point of focusing on painting Empire, building them up to an excessive size.

Through all of this, there have been two other armies sitting in cupboards, waiting for their time in the sun. Those armies are Bretonnians and Dark Elves, and they have been waiting their turn for years. Both have had the odd model painted now and again, but I've never gotten around to sitting down and painting up a proper force of either.

Well, it seems like that is about to change. Apparently deciding that it was about that time of the year again, Owen the Hippo appeared, brandishing paintbrushes with wild abandon and challenging all and sundry to another round of Duelling Paintbrushes. This time it was decided that the challenge would take place in October, and the 1000 points that each participant painted would be required as part of one of the 1500 point armies being used for the Warhammer World Series in mid-November.

I had a few options that I could focus on for the challenge, however the main contenders were to flesh out my Empire Ogres to a fully autonomous 1500 point Ogre Kingdoms army, or to finally get around to working on one of those long-shelved (although never really forgotten) armies. When Nick Gentile (of The Dwellers Below) expressed interest in painting up a High Elf force for the challenge, it seemed logical to pair them off against an army of their arch enemies, the Dark Elves. We then set about plotting a pair of well-matched armies for the occasion.

About halfway through the process it occurred to us that the rumour mill was strongly suggesting that the next army to be updated for Warhammer Fantasy was the Dark Elves, and that this major overhaul was meant to be occurring in early October. In other words, all our careful list planning was about to become meaningless. It sounds like nearly all the models are being updated as well. The timing was less than ideal. Not to be deterred, I decided that the chances are good that a relatively similar list can be planned out when the new army book is available, and I would just work with the existing list in the meantime.

In terms of what I have to work with right now, here is my mighty Dark Elf army as it currently stands:
All my painted Dark Elves. About half of which are assassins...

Friday, 13 September 2013

Axemaster 2013 Aftermath – Day 2

So my first day at the tournament had been less than ideal. I had scraped one very marginal win, but was on only 20 of a possible 60 battle points coming into day 2. At this point Nick's rather unusual comp system started to take effect, with half of everyone's comp scores applied before the draw was determined for round 4. The other half of the score would be applied at the end of the tournament. With my pretty poor list, this meant I would effectively be getting a bit of a boost up the tables. I guess this could be a good thing...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Axemaster 2013 Aftermath – Day 1

It's taking me a while to get around to my tournament reports nowadays, so once again I will declare my intentions to keep things briefer than normal. Who knows, I might even achieve it this time...
My Wood Elf army list for Axemaster 2013
I've discussed my army list before, however I will repeat it here for convenience:
  • Highborn on Great Eagle with Longbow, Light Armour, Shield, Helm of the Hunt, Stone of the Crystal Mere, Ogre Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness
  • Glamourweave Spellweaver (Level 4, Lore of Beasts) on Unicorn with Longbow, Dragonbane Gem
  • Noble (Battle Standard) with Asyendi's Bane, Hail of Doom Arrow
  • Branchwraith
  • Branchwraith
  • Branchwraith with Cluster of Radiants
  • 10 Glade Guard with Standard, Musician, Banner of the Eternal Flame
  • 10 Glade Guard with Standard, Musician
  • 16 Dryads
  • 15 Dryads
  • 12 Wild Riders with Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pendant
  • Treeman
  • Treeman
  • Great Eagle
I went into the tournament with pretty modest expectations. We will see how these panned out.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Campaigner Interview

The Campaigner is a relatively new magazine covering all things wargaming and miniature-related. Recently I was interviewed as the Featured Hobbyist in Issue 5, which is available for free online. You can read about it here. Also included in the issue is an interview with Owen and Grot, from Terrain for Hippos. Go check it out!

In other news, I have started collating the photos I took at Axemaster last weekend, but I'm yet to start writing the tournament report in earnest. In the meantime, here are a few shots of the models I updated as part of my preparation.
2 units of Glade Guard with their horrible 15-year-old paint jobs updated a bit.
The Treeman on the right is nothing new, but the one on the left was hurriedly updated on the Friday night to make him a bit more presentable and a better match for his mate.
My Spellweaver. She is not newly painted, but this rather flawed army list was mainly her fault. She filled my head with silly ideas about lots of Dryads and Beasts magic. She has a lot to answer for...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013

Last year we tried running a tournament with a difference, and it went so well that it is happening again this year, in an expanded 2-day format. Here is the player pack....

16-17 November
Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition rules
1500pt pre-determined armies (read below)
2 days, 7 games
$50 (late entry)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Preparing for Axemaster

Axemaster is now only a bit over a week away, so I finally had to submit my army list the other day. General opinion seemed split as to whether I should take Wood Elves or Orcs and Goblins, but in the end the decisive factor was that the Orcs were going to be a bit too much work to get ready in time. After fidgeting with Wood Elf lists for a while, this is what I eventually submitted:

  • Highborn on Great Eagle with Longbow, Light Armour, Shield, Helm of the Hunt, Stone of the Crystal Mere, Ogre Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness
  • Glamourweave Spellweaver (Level 4, Lore of Beasts) on Unicorn with Longbow, Dragonbane Gem
  • Noble (Battle Standard) with Asyendi's Bane, Hail of Doom Arrow
  • Branchwraith
  • Branchwraith
  • Branchwraith with Cluster of Radiants
  • 10 Glade Guard with Standard, Musician, Banner of the Eternal Flame
  • 10 Glade Guard with Standard, Musician
  • 16 Dryads
  • 15 Dryads
  • 12 Wild Riders with Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pendant
  • Treeman
  • Treeman
  • Great Eagle

Total Army Cost: 2599

The list above may well confuse some people. It's a bizarre combination of relatively competitive choices and silliness. I'll try to explain some of it for you. The worst decision in the army is the level 4 mage. Putting her on a Unicorn (and consequently upgrading her to Glamourweave kindred) costs 85 points and really just makes it harder to protect her. But I converted a model for her years ago, and she's one of my favourite conversions. She was one of the reasons I decided to use Wood Elves. 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Now what?

I made a resolution at the start of the year that I would use an army other than Empire at at least one tournament this year. There are a number of events coming up in Melbourne, however with my resolution not to go overboard with tournaments this year, I am only really expecting to enter one of them - Axemaster. That being the case, it seems to be crunch time if I am going to follow through on my resolution.

Axemaster is a 2600 point tournament running on the 7th-8th of September. The player pack can be found here. It's a well-established event and traditionally tends to be one of the largest on the Victorian calendar. I'm actually the defending champion from last year, but given I have no intention of trying to win anything this year, I expect someone else will take the title. All I need to worry about is what I want to use instead of Empire...

Monday, 29 July 2013

Storm of Chaos to rise again

You may have seen hints of this around the net, but I thought I'd post about it for the benefit of those who haven't. 9 years ago now, Games Workshop ran a global campaign called Storm of Chaos. Next year (on its 10th anniversary) a group of fans is organising to make the campaign live again. Have a look at their website below:

Storm of Chaos website

Despite it being 11 months out, there are already draft army lists for most of the forces involved in the campaign, and it seems the planning is well under way. They will be looking for people to play-test the army lists in order to ensure they've got things right, as well as getting involved in the campaign proper once it kicks off. I think it might be nice to run some themed events next year in line with this, so I will be keeping close tabs on the project in the meantime. Who knows, my Teutogen Guard might even get some use as something other than Greatswords...