Monday, 29 February 2016

Too many Plaguebearers....

I thought I'd make it, I really did.  Two weeks ago I had them all basecoated and the first five were pretty much painted - the rest couldn't take too long!  I hadn't decided on how I was going to do the bases though... and then I remembered  my son's Seraphon "needed" rebasing.  I'd ordered a load of plastic auqarium plants a while ago, with the thought to do jungle bases and scenery.  So... I ended up doing that, rather than sitting down and burning through the rest of the Plaguebearers.  The bases looked great though, and have prompted a re-think of how to do the Sylvaneth part of this project (has anyone seen a tropical treeman?) - but that's for next month!

In the meantime, here are the results of February's efforts (in descending order of finish).  I'll keep on with these guys till they are done (there isn't that much left to do really), but I'll probably backburner them while I get started on a Treeman and friends for March.






They've been played in two games, and have turned out to be much as I was expecting - a stubborn block that doesn't deal out much damage, but that can take a lot in return.  That said, in the last game they managed to take just one casualty over several rounds of combat, only to fail 18 resilience rolls in one turn! You can be as tough as you like, but when the dice go against you...

Changing my ways - Month 1

Well, I've left it as late as I can and I'm out of excuses - though may I offer: I have had an usually busy and stressful month. I'm afraid I have only two completely finished models so far! That said, all of my purchases are assembled, most are base-coated and the warriors are bit beyond that now. The hobby progress on here puts me to shame! Though its a fantastic source of inspiration to see what everyone else is up to. I'm sure I'm not the only one who checks the site pretty darn often (good bedtime reading after a long day).

In January I bought what I considered to be the core of an army. Those units I couldn't imagine being without. I already have a plan to play catch up on my painting in March by buying small numbers of big models. A character and some Dragon Ogres I think!

Month 1 Purchases:

Warriors of Chaos - eBay, £14.99 + £3.60PP

Knights of Chaos - eBay, £11.00 + £4.00PP

Pink Horros of Tzeentch - FLGS, £18.00

Total: £51.59

So, slightly overspent. This gives me a free reign not to try and add too much in March. I'd like to come in a little under if possible, because I have one eye on Forgeworld (Warhammer Forge) for May.
The basecoated horrors, can you believe I wasn't sure what colour to paint them?

I've included some progress pics. I tried painting all of my horrors a range of contrasting oranges, blues, greens and reds. It was a disaster! And a big waste of time. I ended up respraying them (hopefully not losing too much detail in the process) and have set about giving them the 'classic' pink treatment. A little disappointing, but I need to get them painted FAST and there's still plenty of time of play with other models in the future. Though the skin isn't too dramatic, I still intend to paint the warp flame and hands with a nice blue glow. That should give them a bit of a kick.

The Knights of Chaos had the ignomony of being built last and will likely be painted last. I'm thrilled to bits with the detail on these models though and they look just awesome on the new ovoid bases. I was surprise by just how big they are! They make Space Marine Bikers look svelte.



Finally we have the warriors. I'm pleased with my scheme and after completing the test model I know what steps I need to go through to get them completed. One issue has been that thinning and layering the different shade of clear paint over the base-coat of silver (which is itself highlighted) Is quite a time consuming first stage. Its really just gold, boots and gloves now, so they should come along quite quickly - fingers crossed.

The Warriors, showing off their billion layers of clear paint.


Well, there we have it for month one. I've certainly learned some lessons. Look forward to reporting on month two for you, and reading your posts.

Thanks guys.


The City of Silence - Month 1 Finished

So this is a painting blog, isn't it? Time to put some painted miniatures out there. 




First up are the Morghast Archai. I really wasn't sure about these models when I was assembling them. So odd. Fit together brilliantly, but looked really weird during assembly. With every layer of paint however, they really came together. I think these guys are some of my favorites of the new Undead miniatures.




Mournical sat abreast of his nightmare. It's dark red eyes widened with fear as the dark heralds swooped down. Landing with a touch that belayed it's mass, the Morghast turned towards him. "Where is your Master", it commanded. "He is sought". The ground churned beneath the giant creature of bone and armour. Spirits dug themselves out of the earth beneath it, seemingly lifting the herald off the ground. It's voice still echoed in his head as Mournical replied. "The High Lord remains in the palace, in parlay with the king of old. State your purpose, o holy herald, for I was to admitt none". To refuse a Herald of the Accursed One is a certain doom, but these are not unthinking beasts or slaves without understanding. Diplomacy is not unknown to them, for the Accursed One spends not his prizes needlessly. "Admitt us. The Supreme Lord has commanded us. All are to step aside and obey, as is His will". The threat was implicit. Though they were few, Mournical doubted they could defeat them in combat. His oath to the High Lord demanded he obey and admitt them not, but the Heralds cannot be refused. "Enter then, Heralds. We shall escort you, so your purpose may be fulfilled."













Necromancer: Nord Kalot


Converted from the generic Empire Battle Wizard. Lovely kit. So versatile, and tons of bits! Tried to get more of the "High Priest" look, and less of the "creepy guy living in a basement" look.




The elder of High Lord Karashocks two remaining Necromancers, Nord was a wizened, bitter and pragmatic man. Bordering on two centuries old, he has seen more than his share of tragedy and loss. Despite this, the former Lord of the Graves speaks more bitterly than he acts. Though his words are often harsh, his actions show a surprising care when it can be afforded. When there is little room for kindness however, Nord has no qualms about abandoning pretenses to serve his purpose better. He believes firmly in the ascendancy of Nagash, and wears his remaining trappings of his order proudly.







Bone Giant: Seidi

A classic model from the Tomb King range. I have quite a few of those in the City of Silence This guy was actually one of the first models I ever painted. It used to look terrible. Stripped, reposed and rebased, the Bone (Marble) Giant is ready to destroy something. It's also really good in-game. 




Of all the reanimants in the City, the great statue of Seidi. Carved in dark marble and clad in ancient armour, the Giant stands across the eastern gate, first in the line of Reanimants along the Marbled Path. As the gate was betrayed, and the enemy let in, time was cut short. In desperate hours, Seidi would be unleashed to carve a swath through the heart of the enemy. Yet it is slow to wake, and requires great spells. With the eastern gate fallen without a fight, there was no time for the statue carvers to bring life back into the powerful monuments. Thus they stood silent for centuries, their purpose frustrated. Now, as the city stirrs once more, the earth shall tremble beneath its feet. All shall fear it's mighty assault, or be destroyed beneath it's massive blades!








Spirit Hosts: The Unforgiven

Green! I love the old-school green magical energy from the 6th ed undead books. It's much more "magic energy" than the blue-ish look that the GW scheme has. So I made my own. This is actually the second set of Spirit Hosts, so I reposed these guys to make them more varied. Might make a painting guide for the green eventually, as I've had a few questions about it already.





Not all who lived in the city of Stilluna fought to their last breaths. The weak, the young, the sick all died in their homes or in the streets, unable to defend themselves. Yet there were some amongst the people who could fight, could bear arms and defend others. Some who fell to the dark influences of Chaos and cowardice. These are the Unforgiven. They are bound to the city by force rather than will. As a reward for their terrible acts of betrayal, the scions of the dark gods bound them to this place as eternal torment. Their spirits would have to watch over the ruins they brought about, forever lamenting their fate. As the city once more heeds the call of war, these damned spirits are dragged along. They scream under the commands of their betters, but fight for a chance of redemption, and for the chance of eternal peace.








Grave Guard: The Moonfire Guardians

Now this is a solid kit. Really good reimaginings of the classic metals from back in the day. My only issue was how bad the great weapons looked. Monopose wielders and a boring weapon makes the unit really uninteresting. So I had to convert them all. Most of the weapons are Chaos Warrior stuff, but there's a solid mix here. Very pleased with the conversions overall.




They stood silent as the tomb. In each boney hand, an ancient, rusted weapon. The old gold and armour spoke of long years in waiting, guarding. Mournical had known some of these men once, when their flesh still clung to their bones and their mouths still drew breaths. Now they were naught but bones, and he didn't know which amongst them he had counted as a friend. Pale lights shone from within their eye sockets as they tracked the Blood Knights. Heads slowly followed them, though the Moonflame Guardians did not move. Do they even need a speech, Mournical thought. They've been dead nearly as long as I. Tradition demands respect though, and the guardians of the king must surely still expect that. "Wights!", a word strange to use about men he once longed to be. "We march forth once more. Long has your guardianship been. Long has been your restless slumber. Rejoice then, you souls of this proud city! For we march to war and vengeance against the dark gods, and all who have wronged you!". Short, he thought. But


"Be silent, Mournical. We remember your face. Show us what four hundred years of damnation has tought you in the art of war".










That's it for month 1. It's a bit of a mammoth update, but I hope you guys have enjoyed it. Truth be told, not all of the models are finished. But 95% there works for me, as I have a deadline to meet. I'll probably go over them again later to finish the last details.All of the bases will get snow as well, eventually. But I need all hands on deck to finish my army for SCGT2016.

We're supposed to paint at least £50 worth of models a month. I have a feeling I may have exceeded that.

  • Morghasts - 36£
  • Necromancer - 9£
  • Spirit hosts - 16£
  • Grave Guard - 25£
  • Total - 86£
Yup. A little bit over. But that's what happens when you're painting up a tourny army. My pace is usually a lot slower. And I believe I have some picture practice to do. sorry if these pictures are useless.

Until next time, Darth out!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Free Companies of the Gilded Hand - Month 1, Week 4

Guns of the Grudgebreaker

The Grudgebreakers are now complete! This week I worked on Burlok 'Coghead', Engineer and First Mate, and his pride and joy, Gertrude the Belching Lady. 

Burlok 'Coghead' - WIP
Burlok 'Coghead' - painted

For Burlok I've used the Cannon crew body with apron and tools and the right arm with the mallet. The mallet was chopped off (and used on Boldrin, the beardling in black) and replaced with the telescope from the cannon. The left arm is from the Quarrellers, with the pistol swapped for a crossbow. I chose the crossbow because it is slightly better in Mordheim and because the only handgun from the Quarrellers without the left hand not sculpted on is held in such a way that it would have been hard to fit it onto Burlok. For AoS I'll count him as having a handgun, just as in the warscroll. As always I've sculpted a suitably piraty hat.
Gertrude the Belching Lady is Burlok's favoured cannon and the most accurate artillery piece on board the Grudgebreaker.

Gertrude, the Belching Lady
There was no major conversion going on for her, just the usual hat sculpting for the crew and then mounting the Cannon itself on a 60mm base so that I could add the spare shells to it and turn the model into a mini diorama.

And here you have the whole crew assembled at the docks of Duskhaven, a harbour in Ulgu where me and Warboss Kurgan will set our next campaign.

The Grudgebreakers
I'll post a battle report as soon as we play our first game!

Fyre Slayers Month 1 progress

Well, this first month has been a little bit of a bust on the painting front. A tooth extraction knocked me a bit behind schedule, so for this first month I have managed to complete my Runemaster, Ghorth Baalsson (although I will do more on the base), do a bit of prep work on my unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers, and get my magmadroth glued together.

Most of the painting on Ghorth is relatively straightforward, with skin a very dark grey, with green and red as the primary contrasting colours. I wanted the hair to really stand out, so after basecoating with black, I re-base coated the hair portions in white to really get a vibrant colour.

Front of the Runemaster. He is built up a little to make him stand out a bit more.
The smoke coming out of Ghorth's brazier was basecoated in white, then built up from pale yellow to dark brown. If you were a very good painter I could see some OSL looking really good.

Rear of the Runemaster
I have done his scale cloak in a very dark red as I did not want it to dominate the model, but I wanted to continue the colour scheme. Bright red or green would have dominated the model, so I went for a very matt finish.


Below are the Karl Sindri and his Hearthguard.

The magmadroth is a lovely model, and he is a great centrepiece model. Size wise he feels like a dwarf - broad and powerful but not tall.


Games wise I have managed to get in two games. One was a game against a friend with a Goblin army - we used wounds to limit army sizes and I absolutely hammered him (all his army wiped out and I lost around 5 models). The next was a four player game, where we used the SDK points system to choose small armies of around 750 points. This felt quite balanced, with the Khorne Daemon player took the game with a rampaging unit of 20 odd bloodletters supported by a Bloodsecrator and a Herald!

At this point the aim is to complete by the end of March the Hearthguard, the Magmadroth and a Battle Engineer.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Exalted Assistant Manager of the Apocalypse - Month 1

Firstly, Wow! This has taken off! Great to see so many people posting, it's great to see all the lovely armies coming along!

Normally 99.989% of my hobby is spent hunched over a table painting stuff, but this month I've spent most of my free time actually playing! We've now got so many new players all wanting to game I've had to do a lot of buying, building and list writing so I can get something on the table and give them a battle.

We're playing 100 Pool (SCGT) games so I've blown my budget out the water straight off on a Khorne themed army (I'll post the army list I've been playing with at the bottom).. Anyway, at least from now on I can concentrate on getting some stuff painted.

So the main models I've actually got done is some of my Marauders. All converted from Blood Reavers because they're awesome models.

I wanted the core of my army to look non-specific (god alignment-wise), so I could happily mark them Khorne one game and Nurgle the next, or whatever. Coming up with a colour scheme that doesn't lean towards one of the Gods isn't easy, once you eliminate their specific colours.. well there isn't much left! So they're mainly black, brass and silver. I really needed an accent colour though so decided on a very deep red, any specific Khorne models in my army will be a much brighter, blood red.



I knew the focal point on these models was always going to be their pale skin so I spent a while trying to get that looking nice and then painted the rest of the model as quick as possible, there's going to be at least 20 of them after all! Also went for a snow base scheme, think it helps balance out all the black.

I've also managed to get a test model painted for my Warriors. Again, wanted that classic black armour look.



This being a test, I've used both Silver and Brass on him, but I think I prefer the Brass so will probably do more of that on the rest, Happy with the test though so ready to crack on with the rest,

So, as I said, I want a core of generic and then expand into one God or another, since I had to get an army on the table to get playing and since I already had the AoS starter set, it seemed easiest to start with Khorne,. Basically the Bloodsecrator is such a good buff to them, it just made sense.


So far, in all my games I've been summoning Flesh Hounds, they're great. I already had 2 of these models which I bought from eBay a while ago to make a (now aborted in favour or AoS) Mordheim Warband, got 2 more with my AoS set and a swap, 1 more from eBay and I had 5. Got one painted up as a test scheme..

Quite happy with the result, but not convinced with the metallic teeth. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but hey ho.. that's why it's a test. Might change it.

Summoning is great and all, but I've had issues with it for this army, which I'll go into in army selection. But summoning the Hounds has been great, They can re-roll charge rolls so you can summon them and have a good chance at getting that difficult 9" charge off, plus they're hitty with 4 Attacks each and can unbind spells, which they're almost always within range to attempt.

So that's all I've got painted but I have got a fair bit built.


Got my Lord of Chaos finished. He got nerfed pretty hard when the Chaos book came out, no more bringing on units out of nowhere! But to be honest, I agree with the nerf, that was stupid powerful and I was already worried that I'd be bringing on a unit of Knights behind their lines every single game and it would get boring. Anyway, he got a new rule that he can turn into a Demon Prince or a Spawn so I'm happy. Plus his Reperblade can do 2D6 damage once per battle, so I gave him an extra big one!

Also got the Knights built.


So far they've been quite good in game, even with only 5 of them. That's good, cos I don't fancy painting 10., always struggled to get through painting cavalry. I gave the models Glaives because it looks the best, but I didn't find they were great in game. I never killed any unit on the charge (generally send them into tough stuff) so I think it's best to give them Ensorcelled Weapons for the extra attack. A 4+ Save and 3 Wounds each make them pretty survivable.

Got the rest of the Warriors built.


These were difficult! I'm using the Blood Warriors from the starter set. They're fantastic models, but they're made so that simple head swaps isn't an option! Most of the heads are attached deep into the torso. Even with a grinding tool on a Dremmel, it was hard work to get them off without destroying their gorgets or shoulder pads. It seems the box sets you can get of them are more multi-part which would make it simple, but I had these and the box sets are expensive!

Really happy with the result though. Exactly how I wanted them to look. Especially pleased with the Standard Bearer, he's made from about 4 or 5 different kits!

I decided early on that I needed 2 sorcerers in my list and now that my Lord can turn into a Spawn should he die, I got a friend to pick me up Sayl & Nightmaw when he was at Warhammer World (I feel it would have been daft to pass up on!).



Really nice models! Nightmaw looks straight from The Thing! Can't wait to get some paint on him/it. Since I'm going with the snow scheme I've tried to make the basing so there's plenty of places to add icicles.

Ok, anyone who read my first post might be wondering where Archaon is! We'll he's built and he's got a bit of paint on him but not much! I will be taking my time with him and I'm concentrating on stuff I'll actually play with in every game, I have got his base mostly done..


It's crazy big! I've pretty much finished painting it.. but it'll look a lot more interesting when all the snow and ice is added,, I hope.

So I mentioned that I've spent more time than I normally do playing and list writing so I'll include what I'll be playing next.

We're using the SCGT Pools and House Rules

Chaos (Khorne) 100 Pools SCGT

Lord of Chaos, mark of Khorne (7)
Sorcerer Lord (7)
Sorcerer Lord (7)
Bloodsecrator (7)
Slaughterpriest (6)
10x Warriors of Chaos, mark of Khorne (10)
20x Marauders, mark of Khorne (8)
5x Chaos Knights, mark of Khorne (10)
2x Skull Cannon (14)
2x Khorgorath (12)
10x Bloodletters (5)

Total: 93 pools + Summoning Pool of 7 = 100

Summoning:
5x Flesh Hounds (5)
10x Bloodletters (5)
Herald of Khorne (4)

Total Summoning: 14   -50%  = 7


Originally this being a Khorne list, it was all combat but it wasn't doing very well. Turns out you absolutely have to have some shooting to take on things like Ripperdactyls (don't get me started!). Hence the Cannons and the Slaughterpriest, Hope these change help! I'll let you know next month!

Wow! That was a long post! My apologies, and well done if you made it to the end!

G

PS: Just realised I said I'd mention our experience with summoning, but this has gone on long enough. Long story short.. I've decided to keep summoning to a minimum in my army.. I'll try to write an extra post in Month 2 as to why, but why we're also using the Summoning Pool.











Balance of Power Review



Balance of Power



The newest installment in the Realmgate Wars series, and the focal point for the next few months of releases. Like Ghal Maraz before it, Balance of Power is less narrative book, campaign book or army book so much as an amalgation of all these. There's a lot of story, tons of incredible artwork, 10 battle plans and warscrolls up the wazoo. All in all an excellent resource on the ongoing Realmgate Wars story line.


The book is divided into 4 plots, each with accompanying battleplans, characters, twists warscroll batallions. In order to best review each part, I've divided this into those four parts. The book starts out partly where the last one left off, with the Hallowed Knights and Sylvaneth in full retreat from the forces of Nurgle. Note that I'll be talking major spoilers and adding some speculation of my own. This isn't a "this and this and this happens" review, so be warned.




War of Life

The Battle for Athelwyrd is lost. Alarielle's last haven is taken, and the forces of Order are in full retreat. Fleeing Torglug, a Lord of Plagues, they reach the Sea of Serpents. Several battles are held here, each of them cool in their own right. The Sea is frozen solid so they can flee across it, and battles happen as you would expect when armies run across Ice they can break. They eventually reach the other side, climb a giant tree, and have the climactic battle. This section had two major problems for me. It was covered in more detail in the "Guardians of the Everqueen" book, which means that reading it again is pretty uninspiring. The second is the rank repetetivity. Flee, fight, disaster, relief, flee, fight disaster relief. This happens three or four times during a single story arch. It's better here than in the Fluff book, but it's not great. A shame.


The battleplans are excellent. Battle on Thin Ice and The Hidden Artifact are two solid plans, largely well designed, and very fun. On Thin Ice lets you potentially sink entire squares of the battlefield. It's a great game for casual encounters, and probably fits the best with large battles. The Hidden Artifact is a capture scenario with a simple twist. You don't have to declare which unit is holding the secret objective. The carrier can't run or fly though, so some clever trickery needs to be used. I think this is an excellent scenario which may not work if you pile the carrier on a unit of fast-moving, hard hitting cav. The enemy gets to outflank you, but that may not be enough. I have played it though, and it was great fun as my Sylvaneth opponent used Wyldwoods to teleport in front of me.


Character-wise, I think this story did little for Grymn and the Lady of Vines. As the two main Order characters, I had expected a little more life out of them. Especially Grymn. They put him in a good place after Ghal Maraz (or a bad place, so to speak). A Lord-Castellent taking charge of a running retreat after his Lord-Celestant is slain. The fluff book touches a lot more on this, but Balance barely graces it. Mostly due the break-neck tempo of the story. Torglug, a Lord of Plagues from Ghal Maraz is back as the main villain. I feel that he works well, even if he falls a little flat without the other Nurgle named characters around him. He's clever, but comes across as another monologuing villain without someone to bounce dialogue off. He was a bit of a joke in Ghal Maraz, going up against the Glottkin and the Maggoth Riders, but he comes more into his own. I like him, but the fluff book really fleshes him out.


Going into the climax of the War of Life, and things start to happen. First off, Seraphon VS Skarbrand. In an excellent little scenario, a Slann and his cronies vs Skarbrand alone. They do a solid job of showing both the implacable and mystical nature of the Seraphon, as well as the terror of Skarbrand. These are both the first arrivals of Skarbrand and the Seraphon in the mainline campaign books, and it works. It ends with the Slann unable to kill Scarbrand, instead banishing him. Solid ending, as Skarbrand is supposed to be dangerous enough to have challenged Khorne himself.
Next up is the main event. The Celestant Prime makes his arrival. Another "first" for the Realmgate Wars, even though he has had several stories already. It's well described. The Prime is rightfully revered as a sort of avatar or messiah of Sigmar. It's nice to see that. Unfortunately, the impact is lessened a bit by some dodgy/hilarious combat scenes, like him being smacked cartoon style so high into the air that he can't be seen. Thee Great Unclean Ones later, he pulps Torglug's skull like an orc in blackfire pass. This is by far the most interesting point. The hammer of Sigmar [I]purifies[/I] Torglug's soul. He was about three seconds away from becoming a demon prince when the Prime blew his mind, and that last remnant of a human soul was cleansed! Sigmar takes that soul to the forge, and he is later reborn as a Stormcast Eternal! This has some pretty massive implications. As long as you aren't a demon [I]you can be saved[/I]. The dark gods no longer function as they do in 40k (if you needed further confirmation of that). The battle for the souls of the 8 realms is also literal. Just as the chaos gods corrupt, Sigmar can cleanse. It's an exciting theme that will no doubt turn up again and again. I'm actually refreshed that GW are being so outright about it. There's no ambiguity here. In an age of greyscale and grimdark, it's interesting to see a conflict that is about Light vs Dark, no ifs and buts.


Oh, and Alarielle is being planted in a war monument. Expect her to grow back as a warrior goddess of life. Probably with a new model, new Sylvaneth and taking the fight to Nurgle.


Overall, I liked this story. Not an amazing read, but the finish with Torglug made it worth it.





War in Shyish

 

This one is shorter, and much less involving. And possibly contradicting established fluff. Long story short, Neferata is under siege. She's losing by a mile, and none of the other Mortarchs seem willing or able to help her. Sigmar, being the chummy guy he is, sends a stormhost to rescue her. He's been trying to find Nagash, and maybe restart an alliance. Helping Neferata might help with that. The forces of Slaanesh (yes, she's still around) are beaten. Nagash speaks through Neferata saying "maybe we could make a deal", end story. It's a whole lot of nothing, with a little bit of character work on Neferata, and setting up the next plotline in the Death arc. As talking about this requires me to spoil the excellent Audio Drama series, allow me to use another spoiler tag.


At the end of Bridge of Seven Sorrows, the Lord-Celestant of the Bullhearts was captured by Nagash. It was also made abundantly clear that Nagash [I]hates[/I] Sigmar. This clashes with the story in this book. Either that is a mistake, or Nagash is up to something. The Great Undead One wanted the Lord-Celestant so he could unravel the mysteries of how Sigmar keeps the Stormcast souls from him. If he's figured that out, he may be up to something even more sinister. It's also important to note that most of the Bullhearts escaped their confrontation with Nagash, so Sigmar knows that the Supreme Necromancer hates him. Possible double/triple-crossing in the future of this arc. Add Mannfred, who is clearly disloyal, and Neferata, who serves out of need, and you have a betrayal-a-ganza in the brewing.


Not hugely fond of the scenario here, but I think it has potential. Need to try it. Can't really say more :P


All in all, a rather lackluster introduction to the realm of Death. It's clearly meant to set things in motion. It feels rather like the part of a Bond movie before the theme song.





War in Aqshy

Fyreslayers! A new Stormhost! Skarbrand! Some skaven break into a clan lodge, steal most of their Ur-Gold and one of the Runesons. The Fyreslayers are notably annoyed and counter attack. At the end of that battle, the Stormcast show up. They've got so much ur-gold that the Fyreslayers og "into the mouth of hell and back, that'll cost ya". Which they do. They intend to break into a mighty fortress of Khorne and steal Skarbrand's collar. With that, they can neutralize him, taking the dude out of the war. We've already seen how powerful he is, so this is clearly important.

Marching along, they get ambushed by skaven and khornflakes. This goes terribly for the bad guys. Then they break into the fort (using Fyreslayer cheating tunnels), and smash open the inner gate. Turns out that was a bad idea, and will have bad consequences later. Even worse, Skarbrand returns out of nowhere (remember how he fell through a portal? Oops.). He kicks so much ass that the Stormcast and Fyreslayers evacuate.
This story introduces us to the Fyreslayers. It’s a solid introduction if you haven’t read the BL book or the Battletome. Most of the core elements of the Fyreslayers are here.  Honestly, I wasn’t super fussed about this section. It introduces a new Stormhost and a new Lodge, but otherwise feels a little brief.  It’s tried well enough into the narrative, being affected by a previous section and affecting the next. Ultimately this part feels like setting the wheels in motion for the next part.
I like Lord Sargassus, the new Lord-Celestant. His warrior chamber is a part of the Hammers of Sigmar, and he sits in Vandus’ shadow. He’s also more cautious and diplomatic than the Lord-Celestants we’ve seen so far. I enjoyed the sense of “had this been another Lord-Celestant, they would have acted differently”. It really separates them into characters when you feel like the person they are affects the story. Neither Vandus nor Gardus (do all Celestants end with a –us?) would have called it quits. There’s great potential in a guy who failed his mission because he cared too much. The Fyreslayers were a bit flat though. Ur-gold is better than Runesons is the extant of their characterization. That and getting Stormcasts to drink their magma-beer.

Love the scenarios. One is a twist on The Ritual, and the other is a four-player ambush scenario. Look like a ton of fun to play. This section even includes a Time of War sheet for the Burning Catacombs. Good stuff on the gameplay-front here then.



Vandus and bros' big adventure


In a book that introduces a lot of new stuff, this is the motherload. This is the where the balance shifts. Archaon makes his entry into the Realmgate wars. Vandus Hammerhand and his Warrior chamber has arrived in some mystical land to prevent the Watcher King, a Gaunt Summoner, from achieving some mysterious goal. The Lord of Change Kianthus, Tzeench’s general during the Battle of Burning Skies, is imprisoned here. The gate that Sargassus broke earlier holds the last key to unleashing him. The demon must speak the truth as long as it doesn’t have that key, and due to the nature of its punishment, knows far more about the Mortal Realms and the Void than any being should. Ergo, the Gaunt Summoner wants that, and Vandus needs to stop them.
Long story short, the Watcher King plans to betray Archaon. Talking with the demon, he learns shocking things about Archaon. I’ll tackle them in their own section.
To cut to the chase, Archaon shows up. Isn’t particularly pleased about his demon trying to betray him. Cue awesome chase sequence. Archaon and the Varanguard slaughter the demons. Wheat and scythe comes to mind. There’s a brilliant little picture attached to the scenario here as well. It’s pretty hilarious. Reading this section makes me think Benny Hill.
Archaon kills the Stormcasts. All of them. The entire host is slaughtered by him and the Varanguard. Vandus was literally torn apart in slow motion, guts and blood spraying for all to see. The Everchosen then thrust his hand into the magical energy that is Vandus, toying with the very fabrics of him. He then beheads Calanax. Even Ionus is slain. It is a catastrophic defeat for the Stormcast, and a complete victory for Archaon.

This section is the absolute highlight of the book. It’s tense, twists, and is a joy to read. It even has some Chaos-on-Chaos action. Archaon does not disspoint either. The Watcher King does a solid job of providing twists and giving Archaon a worthy entry. And unlike a lot of the other sections, this story feels both satisfyingly finished and sets up the next book. If you have the impression that the Stormcast will go from victory to victory, this section proves that the Realmgate Wars won’t be so easy.


Archaon


I’ll just quote the book here.
“What secrets does he most seek to hide?

The secrets of his past,’ answered Kianthus. The name he used when he was a champion of light, a name that still burns wit injustice and injured pride – burns so fiercely that he could be turned against the gods once more”

Let that sink in. Archaon, the Everchosen, could do a Horus [i]against[/i] the Chaos Gods. Archaon, destroyer of worlds, could become a champion of light. Combine that with the effect that Ghal Maraz had on Torglug (cleansing him), with the constant notes of Archaon’s ambition being as high, or higher, than godhood, with his refusal so serve any one Chaos god. We might be looking at a reversed Horus Heresy here. Archaon and the Varanguard turning, perhaps even turning into a third faction set against both Chaos and Order. Or we might not. Archaon won, and the Gaunt summoner was eaten/destroyed. Archaon now hold the true name of Kianthus, and thus secrets of the Mortal Realms, the realm of Chaos, and the Void, which he should not have. That may just be generic “secrets”, but given that Archaon is the single most powerful individual outside the Gods themselves, this is potential for something massive.

Also to note is the wording of Archaons thrust into Vandus’ spirit.
“Pink sparks leapt wherever Archaon’s touch threaded the stuff of the Lord-Celestant’s soul”.
Archaon may just have corrupted Vandus. Vandus might also go Horus on us. Vandus “exemplified” the God-Kings warriors according to Archaon. This is also pretty massive. We could see a Horus, or something else. Maybe Archaon and Vandus go together and spite ALL the gods. Who knows? I don’t, but the possibilities are endless and fascinating.






This is getting absurdly long. Sorry about that. Is this book necessary in your life? Maybe. The scenarios overall look like a lot of fun. That’s 10 solid scenarios for you to play, each with a lot of replayability.
 If you enjoy the fluff, I’d get it. With the reservation that the first story is infinitely better covered by the Wardens of the Everqueen, and the two middle stories have a filler/setup feel to them. Still, this is the introduction to a lot of elements that will be showing up going forward, and may be worth it for that.
I enjoyed the book. It was a solid read, and I’ll be playing the scenarios a lot going forward. It’s not quite the must-have, but there’s a lot of value here. I certainly don’t regret reading it for myself.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Carnelian and the forces of Order: - Month 1

Hi all

Purchases

At the end of January, my only aim for February was to purchase 2 boxes of Liberators.

I failed.

When it was announced that the Tomb Kings range was being discontinued, I could not resist the last opportunity to get my hands on some of models from that range that I have always admired. I ended up buying the Tomb King with Great Sword, a box of Tomb Guard and a box of Necropolis Knights - all of which are now waiting for me at my local GW and local FLGS. I managed to get the Necropolis Knights at 20% discount which was sweet, so the whole lot set me back a total of £61.80 which means that I am £11.80 over budget into March.

I was so pleased to get the Necropolis Knights. Those models are just fantastic.

Eventually I will expand this army with Neferata and some Morghast Archai when the time feels right. I may add some Skeletons at some point as the Tomb King Skeletons box set is still available. However, I have heard that this kit is not as good as the Vampire Counts Skeletons box. In any event I would be happy for my Tomb Guard to stand alone as a personal body guard to the Tomb King, so skeletons are low on my priority list.

In the meantime, my Tomb Kings will act as allies for my friend's Khorne Bloodbound army so that our armies are of roughly equal size under SCGT comp.

In Praise of Age of Sigmar

February really focused the benefits of Age of Sigmar to me. I fancied picking up a couple of units of Tomb Kings and I did. In the past, they would not have been easily playable until I picked up around 10 more boxes of that same army. In AOS I can chuck them straight into my Stormcast army as soon as I have built them.

I can even just hand my Tomb Kings to my friend when we play - he is new to AoS and has less models than me in his Khorne army. I've told him to learn the 3 warscrolls for my Tomb Kings units and he will be good to go. There is no hint of power-gaming by mixing alliances since the synergies don't cross armies. Since the Death faction is separate from Order or Chaos, it will not be unfluffy either.

Hooray for Sigmar!

Painting

In terms of painting progress it was, as always, much slower than I had envisioned. I have almost finished my Prosecutors entirely but boy did the wings take a long time! On the first model I wasted a lot of time before finding a decent technique so the last two were not so painful:



I have also basecoated and washed my Retributors and hope to have them highlighted before the end of the month:






If anyone has any tips for photos using just a camera phone and single desk lamp, please let me know!

My unpainted models are a unit of Liberators, a Gryph-Hound, a Lord Castellant, a Knight Venator and a Knight Heraldor to paint up which I should hopefully get finished by end of March as it's only 9 models....

I am planning to base this army using Lustrian Undergrowth as per the Hallowed Knights featured in this months Visions. Following their inspiration, I might have to add a giant bird to my army too!

March targets

Finish painting my Stormcasts, as above.  In terms of purchases, I still need to bulk out my Liberator units but I am also particularly fond of Genestealer Cult.... so March may be tricky....

Monday, 22 February 2016

HobbyHammer - Tales of Sigmar: Seraphon Month 1 FINISHED

HobbyHammer - Tales of Sigmar: Seraphon Month 1





For the first month I got a bit eager and started painting early. Hence the reason this is a post at the beginning of the month... ooppss. 

Budget = £50 

Start Collecting Box bought from Triple Helix = £37.50
Skink Starpriest bought also from Triple Helix = £9.00
Delivery Charge                                                 = £3.49
Total                                                                   = £49.99

Firstly, month 1 has a lot of models to paint mainly due too the awesome price of the Start Collecting box.

OldBlood on Carnosaur

I started with the centrepiece model for the army. Probably a bad idea, but my hobby juices were flowing. I have another blog which details how everything was painted so I won't go into massive detail about how and what colours I used. If you want to see this please visit http://www.hobbyhammer.com 

I started testing out basing schemes at the end of last year and came up with a dried earth base with a blue underglow as if the Seraphon are causing the earth to change with their magical presence. 


Here are pictures of the OldBlood Finished, I have named the character Chrak'gar - The leader of the land dwelling Lizards. This is the army I will be using mainly for the Rise of Empires campaign running alongside the Tales of Sigmar. The fluff and backstory will be here




Skink Star Priest

What good is a Seraphon army without these little cunning lizards?
I have gone for a generic blue for the skinks. This model is fantastic, a joy to build and paint. The painting blog for this can also be found at http://www.hobbyhammer.com.




Saurus Warriors

In the starter box, you get 12 Saurus Warriors, a good start for this unit. I will eventually add another box to make 32 of them.

I didn't go for the standard blue for these as I believe they look more like Komodo Dragons, therefore I went with a green base colour for the skin and scales.




Saurus Riders on Cold Ones







Month 2 - March

Budget = £50.01

I have also bought the Thunderbeast Box set which set me back £100 and a Basttie - £30 so this will cover March and April and part of May. In March I plan on building and painting a Bastiladon and 3 Ripperdacytl Riders, April will then cover the Stegadon, Engine of the Gods and Trogolodon.