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.  


Saturday, August 8, 2020


 I needed a bit of a break from Egyptians - I finished my Asar Spearmen, I'll post pictures shortly - so last night I pulled out some Space Orks I'd primed months ago and never started work on, and began painting them up as a crew for Wiley Games' Galactic Heroes and Wasteland Warriors rulesets.  The figure with the heavy machine-gun is a Games Workshop metal figure from Warhammer 40K, the rest are from Knightmare Games and I think sculpted by Kev Adams.  

Group shot of the squad

I managed to do skintones and then most of the cloth - trousers, padded tunics, the ratty shirt worn by the heavy weapons guy last night.  Metallic bits, leathers (they all have backpacks and an assortment of belt pouches) and details will get done today I think.  

Saluting, or trying to see where that errant shot went?

I think I really nailed the skintones here - over black primer, I laid down a basecoat of Reaper "Driftwood Brown," and once that was dry gave it a heavy wash of GW "Agrax Earthshade" to accentuate all the creases and wrinkles in their ugly faces.  Finally I lightly built up highlights of Vallejo "Dead Flesh" which is a wonderful yellow-green.  The end result to me reads as a very organic, natural green instead of the more cartoony colors favored by Games Workshop these days.  

The Boss and the lone GW figure.  I like the cigar hanging out of his mouth.

The Knightmare sculpts have a ton of personality to them that is a joy to paint and some charming details - I like how each one has a different hat on, and the fact that they're carrying stick grenades on their belts.  The boss has a giant stogie clenched in his teeth and most of them having earrings or nose rings.  

They look so happy to be causing mayhem!

I'm looking forward to getting them done and on the table - maybe I'll play a quick solo game of Galactic Heroes this weekend to pit them against Captain Crash Carter and his Space Rangers. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Wargods Army, Part 3

Still plugging away at my Wargods of Aegyptus army, and pleased to report I'm nearly 1000 points of troops and characters painted and ready to play.  I take a lot of pride in not playing with unpainted figures wherever possible; I'll never shame another wargamer for bringing unpainted troops to the table, but I can be the "city on the hill" with my figures and hopefully inspire others. 

This Beastmaster (and the elephant that will be accompanying him) won't be seeing the table in 1000 point games, I don't think, but I could potentially field them in 1200 point games.  His skin and hair, the leather he's wearing and the green fabric are, as usual with this army, all GW Contrast Paints. 

These City-Dwellers just need the wood and metal bits detailed, then touch-ups and their shields and bases done.  Once they're all set, I just have one City-Dweller hero and my Harbinger himself and that'll bring me to about 1000 points. 

I do have more awaiting assembly and painting, however; an elephant to accompany my Beastmaster, a unit of archers and a champion to accompany them, and two chariots that will be reserved for bigger games, but I'm nonetheless excited for them.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Wargods Army Part 2

I've made some progress on my "Wargods of AEgyptus" army; a second block of ten Khemru have been painted (with red gems instead of blue, to differentiate them from the first unit), as well as the first of two champions armed with two-handed weapons.

Currently on the painting table, I have another four Khemru warriors (to bump these two units up to 12 apiece), a second champion, a Master of Words (aka a spellcaster) and a Beastmaster, a special troop type that Khemru can field.  He'll eventually be paired with an elephant to smash opponents' heavy troops with.  Also on the painting table is a unit of ten human spearmen; I might strip and repaint them; their skintone is currently two coats of GW Contrast "Darkoath Flesh," and the second coat went on a little blotchy.

Coming this week or next in the mail are an elephant, a unit of Basti archers and two chariots.  That'll put me at about 1500 points for this army and I'm not sure if I want to continue building up to 1750 or 2000.  I'm pretty happy with where things sit and I expect most games I'll be playing, at least locally, will be in the vicinity of 1000-1250 points. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Beginning a Wargods of Aegyptus Army

Right before lockdown began, some guys in the local wargaming community began talking about possibly getting some armies together for Wargods of Aegyptus, a fantasy game set in a Mythic, prehistoric Egypt produced by Crocodile Games. 

Now, years and years ago (pre-2010) I'd tried to drum up interest in my college gaming club without any luck, and sold off my books and such like.  My better half was kind enough to get me a new copy of the rulebook and the beginning of an army for my birthday this year, and now I'm getting some paint on them. 

These first ten are a unit of the Khemru, the Children of Khanum (soon to be bumped up to a unit of 12).  These goat-headed warriors have a fairly tragic backstory in game; a naturally peaceful race of healers and farmers, they've been forced to go to war to restore peace and the Law of the Gods to Aegyptus.  They carry maces to avoid drawing blood and shout appeals for peace before every battle. 

I've found it's been getting more and more challenging for me to sit down and assembly-line paint units, and to that end I bought a couple of pots of Games Workshop contrast paints to help speed the process along.  Their skintone is GW "Space Wolves Grey," all of the leather on their collars and armbands is done with "Snakebite Leather," and their kilts, standard-top and shields were done with "Warp Lightning Green." It really made things easier - the entire unit of 10 was done in about six hours spread over 3 days.  I don't remember the last time I painted 10 figures like this in less than a week. 

I have two more figures to add to this unit, and another unit of 12 Khemru to do, followed by ten human warriors, allied to the Khemru cause.  That plus a few characters will give me my first thousand points. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Perilous Tales Episode 2: Dead Men Walk!"

I've done quite a bit of painting in the last week, and tonight managed to put aside time and get the dining room table cleared off enough to enjoy a solo game of "Perilous Tales," Mike Hutchinson's two-fisted game of solo pulp adventure. 

I rolled up "Voodoo Cult" for my villains, and had recently acquired some figures from Brigade Games' Caribbean Empires line that fit the bill; in the 1930s, Romero-style gutmuncher zombies weren't a thing yet, just Haitian "dead men walking," and Brigade Games offers a couple packs of traditional voodoo zombies as well as a pack of bokors and sorcerers.  That one of these voodoo priests was sculpted to look like Bela Lugosi's character in the 1932 film White Zombie was a plus. 

Location was Hangman's Swamp; I chose "Mired," "Raging Storm" and "Disaster Strikes," which I decided in this instance would take the form of a sudden alligator attack.

Objectives were rolled and came up with "Rescue the Prisoner," "Disrupt the Ritual," and "Forbidden Knowledge." So the heroes had to go in, rescue a hostage, tamper with a sinister idol, and walk away with the knowledge of how to raise the dead.  Tall order!

So who would be the heroes to accomplish all this?

L to R: Monique Marmelstein, Carl Kolchak, Green Hornet, Kato, Von Dostmann
I decided on the masked vigilante known as the Green Hornet for my Leader, giving him the traits Tough and Crack Shot, with Kato as the first Teammmate (equipped with Brute to simulate his martial arts expertise).  Next on the team was investigative reporter (and occasional monster hunter) Carl Kolchak, with Eagle-Eyed as his trait; he was paired (over his objections) with junior reporter Monique Marmelstein, whose uncle owns a controlling share in the news service Kolchak works for.  She got the trait Discretion to be able to nope out of danger.  Rounding out the team was Dr. Otto von Dostmann, adjunct professor of archaeology at Miskatonic University (Crazed, and thus immune to horror checks).

Putting everything together, I decided that Susan Carlisle, heiress to the Carlisle Railway fortune, had disappeared under suspicious circumstances; Carl and Monique, covering the story for INS, determined that the trail led to Hangman's Swamp.  The Green Hornet and Kato, investigating independently, came to the same conclusion, while von Dostmann was himself following up on rumors of strange lights and drumming coming from the depths of the swamp.  Encountering each other on the edge of Hangman's Swamp, the five decided they'd have better luck working together. 

Entering the swamp, Kolchak immediately noticed a heavy thunderstorm rolling in; pushing forward, the Green Hornet was suddenly savaged by a vicious and hungry alligator, taking a staggering six wounds before the reptile broke off its attack.  The noise of the fight brought a dead-eyed, shambling zombie to investigate. 

Kolchak and Monique took shelter under the dead, twisted hangman's tree as the skies opened up in a torrential downpour.  Von Dostmann dashed forward towards the strange, half-octopus, half-dragon, half-humanoid statue looming out of the darkness, and a second zombie arose from the muck to menace Kato. 

Soaked to the skin and running his hands curiously over the slick, cold stone of the idol, von Dostmann almost didn't notice the figure suddenly illuminated by a flash of lightning; the voodoo master, Murder Legendre, had arrived to deal with these interlopers!

The Hornet and Kato dealt with their respective zombies, though Kato took a significant beating from the dead man he faced; however, no sooner had he caught his breath than the Hornet found himself facing a ghoulish little imp that sprung from the slime, capering and mocking him. Von Dostmann, muttering "Ach du liebes bisschen" squeezed a shot off at Legendre and went back to examining the statue.  Hornet kicked the little imp away and sent it scampering into the half-sunken ruins.  Monique ran up to examine the idol as well, and another zombie rose up behind the Hornet.

The group concentrated fire on Legendre, killing him swiftly; then rifling through the dead man's pockets, von Dostmann came away with a well-worn notebook - the secrets of life and death were his! Von Dostmann resumed studying the statue, joined by Carl Kolchak, while Monique and Kato rushed to untie Susan Carlisle.  A final zombie rose from the swamp but was swiftly dealt with.  With the heiress free and newfound knowledge, the group left Hangman's Swamp behind...

When the Green Hornet got mauled by an alligator in the first turn, I was sure that this game would end badly for the heroes.  Instead, I scored 11 victory points and turned it around for a basically flawless victory.  I'm not sure I ran Murder Legendre correctly, though; I think I confused myself with some of his special rules and the flow-chart of actions that "Lurker" type villains take.  I'll run it by Mike Hutchinson in the Facebook group to straighten myself out and probably rerun this scenario.