Tuesday, December 15, 2020

OWAC IV Preparation: The Waaagh Kev'adumz (the Heavy Hitters)

I've posted recently about Project Greenskins, my ongoing plan to build a big, old school Warhammer Fantasy Battles army of orcs and goblins, complete with Goblin Green bases and all metal figures, the majority of which being Kev Adams sculpts.  I've joined Iannick Martin's excellent Old World Army Challenge for their fourth iteration, using it as impetus to build out at least the core of an army, and in so doing, given my project its "official" name: the Waaagh Kev'adumz.

I'd posted an initial army list with my introductory post at the OWAC blog, but after finding and repainting my Barnorsk Great Orcs, I realized they really covered the Black Orcs I'd originally planned on including in my army. Some revision was in order, along with double-checking my math, especially once I realized the default Orc chariot in the Warhammer Armies book was drawn by Wolves, not Boars. I ended up going to the "Chariots" section of the main rulebook for WHFB 3rd edition and calculating out exactly what the model I'm using would end up costing points-wise.

What I ended up with could be considered, along with the Black Orcs painted earlier this month, the "heavy hitters" of the army - the orcs, especially the Big'uns, and the trolls providing a lot of the muscle for the army, with the drawback of not being as mobile. Maybe OWAC V will see the speedy, shooty side of the Waaagh Kev'adumz!

Here's what I'll be painting over the next six months:

Yorzolg the Conquerer, Level 25 Orc Hero, Light Armor and Shield (146), riding in a Boar Cart* with 2 Crew armed with hand weapons (86): 232

Bogloaf, Level 15 Orc Hero, Shield, Army Standard Bearer: 139

The Black Fire Boyz, 14 Orc Big'uns, Spears, Standard and Musician (168), accompanied by Grubrot, Level 15 Orc Hero, Double-Handed Weapon (92): 260

Dem Lads Ova Dere, 11 Orcs Boyz, Standard and Musician (110.5), accompanied by Arzenut, Level 5 Orc Hero, Light Armor and Shield (36): 146.5

Dese Lads Ova Here, 11 Orcs Boyz, Standard and Musician (110.5), accompanied by Zartanesh, Level 5 Orc Hero, Light Armor and Shield (36): 146.5

Cannon Fodda, 12 Goblins, Standard and Musician: 56

 The Big Lads, 4 Trolls: 260

Total: 1,240

Rank and File: 705 (56%)

Characters: 535 (44%)

*As a four-wheeled vehicle, Yorzolg's ride is technically a "Wagon" in WHFB, slower and less maneuverable than a regular chariot but able to carry a larger complement of crewmembers. I'm picturing something akin to an Orcish version of the ceremonial chariot used to parade Julius Caesar during his Triumph in HBO's Rome. It might not be the best use of points in an army, or make the most tactical sense, but it'll be a showy centerpiece and look really cool on the table and that's what counts.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

OWAC-Bound and Warming Up


This year I'll be taking part in the fourth Old World Army Challenge, using it as an impetus to get a good start on my Orc and Goblins army project. I've built a straightforward, no-frills 1000 point list, using what I have on hand and planning a few strategic purchases from Warmonger Miniatures and Knightmare Miniatures, that should be comfortably doable within the six months of the challenge, and might possibly end up with a few extras getting painted as well, depending how things go.

To my great glee, my friend Neil has decided to build an Averlander force in parallel to my greenskins, which means once things get better on a virus front, he and I will be able to play Warhammer 3rd edition...an edition neither one of us is old enough to have experienced firsthand during its heyday. 

That will begin January 1st, and in the meantime, I decided to warm up by finishing some figures I started a year ago. These are ten "Barnorsk Great Orcs," originally released by Harlequin Miniatures circa 1996 and recently rereleased by Black Tree Design. I picked these up from the Indiegogo campaign Black Tree ran and they're kind of what catalyzed Project Greenskins for me. Getting them cleaned up, based and ranked made me decide I wanted a metal army, with as few duplicate sculpts as possible, and as many sculpted by Kev Adams as I could get my hands on. 

I'd gotten everything but the wood, leather, brass and details finished a year ago; I redid their skintones, as the highlights were too high-contrast for my liking, and then finished up the rest and touched up the few spots where the paint had been scraped off during their year in a box in the closet with some goblins and a Frostgrave warband.

The shields are some classic Warhammer shields I'd gotten through one of the Oldhammer Facebook groups, and I did them with brush-on primer after sticking them to a piece of cardboard for stability. Drawing inspiration from classic 'Eavy Metal examples from the late '80s and early '90s, especially studio painter Colin Dixon's work, I painted gruesome little snaggletoothed faces on each shield and did a bigger version on a piece of paper for the banner. I've done paper banners before (including for my Averlander Mordheim band two years ago), but this is definitely the most complex yet. Good practice for the OWAC, since I've got two units of Orcs that will be getting similar.

And now, the picture dump:

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Entering the Exclusion Zone


Watching a recent video on the Tabletop Minions YouTube channel, I was reminded of Osprey Games' "Zona Alfa" - a skirmish game released earlier this year, involving gangs of scavengers negotiating the dangers of an eldritch "Exclusion Zone" in the Soviet Union, filled with weird radiation, the walking dead, mutants and worse threats.  Author Patrick Todoroff also released a free document through Osprey at the beginning of the Pandemic covering solo play.  

I dug my copy out and started reading it - I think I'd initially bought it to harvest ideas from for Wiley Games' Wasteland Warriors, but reading it I find myself liking it more and more as it's own thing, and the solo rules are, to be perfectly frank, just the thing right now.  Cases of COVID-19 are rising in my county and right now, I don't leave my apartment except to get groceries every other week because people just don't follow the rules to keep us all safe.  I speak especially of my upstairs neighbors who are throwing parties every weekend.  

I happened to have some Grenadier "Future Warriors" figures, now released through Moonraker/Forlorn Hope Games, based and primed, and some Copplestone "Future Wars" figures ready to prime.  I got the latter into the primer box and took advantage of what are probably the last decent priming days of 2020 to get them mostly spray-primed (I'll be touching them up with brush-on primer).  The former, however, I quickly got some paint on this week. The troopers in NBC suits will be my team for solo games, and the bikers will serve as bandits on the "Zone Hostiles" list.  "Big Nick" is going to be a stand-in for the bandit leader "Big Nicolai" in one of the sample scenarios in the rulebook. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

First Six Hobgoblins

 One of the neat things in 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles is Mercenary Contingents - you can spend a portion of your points on a mini-army of mercenaries who might potentially desert in battle.  It's a calculated risk from the gaming perspective (and one that, as Warhammer got increasingly tournament-focused, I can understand why it was culled) but a nice excuse to paint something different for a bit.  

Because WHFB 3rd Ed. as the ur-ruleset I'm using for Project Greenskins (figuring that painting enough figures to field an army under WHFB 3rd will be more than enough for Dragon Rampant, Oathmark, Warlords of Erehwon, etc), I noticed that there are no rules for including Hobgoblins in an Orc and Goblin army; there were, however, rules for a Hobgoblin Mercenary Contingent.  So, since I'd already bought, cleaned, based and primed a half-dozen hobgoblins from Knightmare Miniatures, I decided I might as well commit to some Hobgoblin Mercenaries.  In other games they might be "Great Goblins" or just a unit of Orcs with pointier noses.  

So that puts me at:

Project Greenskins - PAINTED:

  • 6 Goblin Archers
  • 6 Hobgoblins, inc. Command
  • 3 Goblin Champions

Project Greenskins - PRIMED:

  • 12 Goblins, inc. Command
  • 24 Orcs, inc. Command x2 (two units of 12, to be bulked up)
  • 8 "Boglet Bounders" (aka Squig Hoppers - if push comes to shove I might use these as Fanatics)

 Project Greenskins - ON THEIR WAY

  • 6 Hobgoblins
  • 1 Hobgoblin Commander, Mounted
  • 1 Hobgoblin Beastmaster
  • 22 Orc Archers, inc. Command

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Project Greenskins

 It's been a bit since I've posted here - got tied up in a painting project for a friend for most of October.  However, I'm back to getting some painting done for myself, and I've even organized a specific, ongoing project for myself; I'd already bought quite a bit for it over the last year, but I've formalized it now.

I'm building an "Oldhammer-inspired" force of orcs and goblins, basically being the sort of thing I dreamt about as a teen looking at issues of White Dwarf.  I'm holding myself strictly to the following rules:

  • Every figure has to be metal, or predominantly so.  
  • Every figure has to be painted to the best of my ability - no slacking off on guys in the back row.  
  • Square bases, painted Goblin Green.  
  • Every unit must have a full command. If there's no banner sculpted on a standard pole, I need to paint a paper banner and attach it. 
  • I have to meet the minimum figure counts for various unit types specified in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book from 1991.  If it says an army requires a minimum of 20 Orc Boyz, then I need to paint a minimum of 20 Orc Boyz.  
  • It's not "done" until I build a Baggage Train.  

 So far I've finished off three Goblin Champions and six Goblin Archers:


One of the archers is a Harlequin figure rereleased by Black Tree Design; I've got some more I'd painted previously that I'd like to strip and repaint now that I've really gotten a handle on painting greenskins to my liking.   The rest are all from Knightmare Miniatures in Spain.  

I've also started on some Hobgoblins, also from Knightmare, as the beginnings of a mercenary contingent; while most of the army has dark, burgundy red as a unifying color, the mercenary contingent has a brighter red-orange color with yellow accents, inspired by an old photo of Chaos Dwarf Hobgoblins from probably around the days of 5th edition.  

After these are done, I might do something different for a bit, or I might continue with greenskins; I have a dozen orcs from Warmonger Miniatures primed and ready to go, and another dozen goblins from Knightmare as well. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Diehard Sci-fi Troopers and an AAR

 I'd hit a bit of a painting slump again - I'd start projects but feel no sense of passion towards them or desire to finish, but finally got myself motivated and finished off a couple figures this weekend while watching Reaper Miniatures' virtual convention.  They won't win any awards but I'm pleased with them nonetheless.  

 These are "E-Corps" Sci-fi troopers from a recent Diehard Miniatures' Kickstarter - I've got a fifth figure with a rocket launcher but I didn't want to put two special weapons figures into a squad for Fistful of Lead: Galactic Heroes, so I stuck with the sniper.  I've got a Warbot on the way from Diehard which will be painted in these colors and added to their squad.  

I also got motivated enough to clear off the dining room table, set up some scenery and hold a solo game of Galactic Heroes.  I decided on a simple scenario: A corporate spy carrying a hard drive full of secrets has crashed and hidden out in an abandoned, overgrown colony town.  The E-Corps asset recovery team has been sent in to retrieve him and the hard drive (I pulled an old Grenadier robot I'd previously painted to stand in for E-Corps' Warbot).  Unfortunately, a gang of Space Orks had also seen the ship crash, and were looking for the spy...for lunch.  


I decided that any time a figure spent an action searching a building, I'd roll a D10, adding 1 for each building that had previously been searched.  On a modified roll of 10+, the spy had been found; if I didn't get a 10 before the last building, he'd be there.  For added mayhem, I decided a natural "1" on the D10 roll would mean that an Alien Monster had been lairing in that building, and had been awoken.  

Naturally, a "1" was rolled on the very first building checked, and suddenly the Orks had a Ravenous Bug-Blatter Beast on their hands:

"Davy," the Ork in the coonskin cap, managed to hold the Bug-Blatter Beast up in a draw, locked claw to bayonet, until "Cap'n," the Ork in the officer's cap, managed to run up and kill the Beast instantaneously! "We ain't got time for dat nonsense!" says Cap'n!

Meanwhile, Pvt. Sit-Down leveled his shotgun at the Ork Boss and...click! Out of Ammo! Seeing this, "Bomba," the Ork in the bomber cap, raised his SMG and...click! Out of Ammo! "Tanka," the Ork in the tanker cap, charged Pvt. Blaze and obliterated him in a single go.  

The Ork Boss charged at Sit-Down, chainsword raised, and got clocked right between the eyes with Sit-Down's shotgun butt for a solid Wound! Taking advantage of the situation, Captain Ando of E-Corps advanced to the edge of the roof he was on and took a long shot with his autopistol - which paid off in spades when the Ork Boss collapsed to the ground stone dead!

Tanka then charged Sit-Down and, much to his surprise (and Sit-Down's), got hit in the chin with the shotgun butt hard enough to lift him off the ground and send him sprawling, out of action.  Why Sit-Down even bothers loading that shotgun is now a mystery, given what an unstoppable weapon the butt of it is. 

Davy, though shaken by a sniper bullet, wasn't about to accept Sit-Down's battlefield supremacy, charged in and headbutted the shotgun into metallic splinters.  He and Sit-Down began shoving back and forth, neither gaining a clear advantage but Sit-Down definitely beginning to weaken.  

Meanwhile, Captain Ando found himself dueling Cap'n on the roof of one building, Sgt. Clutch the E-Corps Sniper took out Bomba with a well-placed shot, and Wally the Warbot climbed the tower that Baldy, the Ork heavy weapons specialist, had holed up in and began punching him with metal fists.  

Sit-Down finally fell, out of action, but by that time Davy was the last Ork left on the field.  He turned and half-staggered, half-charged Sgt. Clutch - and was knocked out by one swing of the rifle butt.  

Exhausted, with two men out of action and Wally spilling oil from a hole blown in his side, E-Corps grabbed the corporate spy and called it a day.  They had completed their mission. 

Monday, August 10, 2020


 As of this evening, work is officially done on my Ork Boyz from the last post.  Not much more to say here, other than that I'm really pleased with how they turned out.