Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ogre Irongut conversions

Continuing the expansion of my Ogre tribe, I put some Ironguts together.  These were something of a tricky proposition.  I had decided to use Dwarf shields as part of an ‘armoured bra’ so beloved of fantasy illustrators (though rarely with the effect seen here), but they prescribe a certain width across the chest.  Irongut arms, meeting as they do in the middle to hold their massive great weapons, do not have a lot of spare room between forearms and body.  This caused no end of readjustments and resculpting as I would put the body sculpting into place, then attach the arms and find that everything was pushed out of place.  In the end, I had to extend the arms at the wrist to allow the hands to actually reach both arms at once.  It’s not a great solution, but I’m hopeful it’ll look less ridiculous once I get some paint on them; everything looks worse when it is highlighted in lurid green.

One advantage with Ironguts is that they need a lot less shaving on their heads, since big helmets are the order of the day.

Ironguts come with a load of shields that I gather are supposed to be liberally attached about their persons in lieu of actual armour.  After the hassle of painting Gors and Ungors with shields attached, I’ll think about whether or not to do that once I’ve finished the paint.

This reminds me of the Beatles (a bit).

I vaguely intend to finish the work on the battalion I’ve got before doing much else sculpting- or painting-wise, so the next up will be some command groups for these girls, the Cows and the Leadbelchers.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Beastmen vs Orcs & Goblins (2000 points); 28Nov11

The final battle from turn 13 of the Border Princes campaign was another scuffle between my Beastmen and Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins.  Frankly, after the high stakes game over the greenskins’ home territory this seemed like a playful scrap between old friends (er, which it is).  I made a conscious decision to use as few proxies as possible for this game, which dictated my army fairly effectively.  Indeed, only the Minotaurs weren’t represented, though they did take part as unit fillers for the Ungors.  Of the following list, I don’t have any Harpies at all, normal Ungors were doing duty as Raiders and the Minotaurs were filling out the ranked Ungor herd.  Also, the small Gor herd is unpainted.  OK, so it’s not that much of a big deal, but playing without proxies is more or less unheard of in our gaming group.

Great Bray Shaman, level 4, Steel Claws, Jagged Dagger, Talisman of Preservation, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Wargor, BSB, Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, heavy armour, shield, (BSB)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

39 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G1)

20 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G2)

2 x 6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)

30 Ungors, full command (U1)

Tuskgor Chariot (TC)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

31 Bestigors, full command, Banner of Discipline (B)

Justinmatters took a similar list to the one that soundly thrashed me earlier, losing the Trolls, the Rock Lobber and the Night Goblin Shaman and generally tidying up the bigger units.

Black Orc Warboss (W)

Orc Big Boss, BSB (BSB)

Savage Orc Shaman, level 2, War Boar, Dispel Scroll (SOS)

50 Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command, Ranger’s Standard (BU)

5 Wolf Riders (WR)

30 Black Orcs, full command (BO)

30 Squig Herders (SH)

14 Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (BB)

20 Arrer Boyz, full command (AB)

Appropriately, it’s a Battle Line.  We only roll the minimum five terrain pieces, but one is a Settlement of Order (again) which has an Acropolis of Heroes represented by a tower among some Blazing Barricades (wooden stakes in the picture, apparently they haven’t been lit).  Fittingly, there’s an Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork) in the North with Blessed Bulwarks stretching incongruously away from it.  The lonely looking building in the South West is a Haunted Mansion that we instantly forget about.  The Savage Orc Shaman takes Fists of Gork and Gaze of Mork to keep favours even between his gods.  For about the third game in a row, I get all my favourite spells: Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor on the Great Bray Shaman and Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir for the Bray Shaman.  Sadly, there’s no Wizard’s Tower for the Bray Shaman to relax in.  The small Gor herd go in ambush, but I reason that there’s nothing that the Raiders are going to be able to achieve in the backfield so they stay in my deployment zone to get in the way of everyone as usual.  I take first turn, but with these two armies, neither of us is concerned about taking that extra round of shooting before combat.

The ambushing Gors are right on their game and arrive in the West, right behind some slightly startled looking Squig Herders.  Everyone else simply sets off at a run; there’s no point hanging around waiting for the Orcs to advance when we can meet them half-way.  I do forget about the Harpies though, silly me.  I start the magic off well with 5,4 dice.  The Bray Shaman puts Curse of Anraheir on the Big ‘Uns, partly to slow them down, partly because they’re a huge unit and mainly because I know Justinmatters hates the spell with a vengeance.  The Squigs are Enfeebled for -2S, but an upgraded Miasma on the Arrer Boyz fails.

Everyone passes their animosity checks.  The Squig Herd reforms to face the ambushing Gors who inconsiderately arrived behind them.  Presumably just reforming without losing half of the herders is quite a feat for the unit.  Other units mill about a bit, the Big ‘Uns don’t risk marching thanks to Curse of Anraheir and the Boar Boyz move backward for no apparent reason.  The Shaman get 6,4 power dice but the phase itself is something of a trade.  I dispel Fists of Gork, and in turn Enfeebling Foe is dispelled.  Apparently I didn’t need to worry about my failure to hex the Arrer Boyz as they fail to do anything at all to the Bestigors.

It’s turn two and there are realistic charges on.  That makes me a happy Beastmen player.  The Harpies charge the Wolf Riders, who realise that they’re too close to flee and hold instead.  The ambushers charge the Squigs and the Bestigors fail to charge the Black Orcs.  In the West, the hapless Raiders get sent to hamper the Big ‘Uns.  Poor little chaps.  Their counterparts in the East move into one of the many buildings, unsure of what to do with themselves, though the Bray Shaman realises that Wildform is going to be needed on the other side of the table and sets off behind the battle line.  Finally, the Ungors move up to try and tempt the Boar Boyz into charging over the blessed bulwark, and hence dangerous terrain.  This turn we only get 2,2 magic dice.  Wildform on the Harpies is let through (interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever cast it on Harpies before; there are usually bigger units that need it more) and Enfeebling Foe (-2S again) works on the Squig Herd with the Savage Orc Shaman failing to dispel it.  Level 4 versus level 2 wizard can make a big difference, though you do have to pay for it.  The Wolf Riders are beaten soundly by the steroided Harpies and the survivors are run down, though this does leave the Harpies with their flank presented to the Boar Boyz.  The Gors kill a bunch of Squigs, but not enough to break their steadfast and so they hold thanks to the presence of the Warboss.

The Boar Boyz happily charge the Harpies and the Big ‘Uns accept that they’ll have to fight through the Raiders to get to a foe worthy of them.  Magic comes up 1,1 to Justinmatters’ horror, and he throw both dice at dispelling Enfeebling Foe.  It comes up just short; I know how that feels.  Amazingly, one of the Boar Boyz is killed by a Harpy, but only one of the winged pests lives long enough to flee from the combat.  The Boar Boyz choose to restrain, presumably to offer a counter charge if necessary when the Black Orcs are inevitably charged by the Bestigors.  Needless to say, the Raiders are wiped out.  After a lot of thinking about it, Justinmatters elects to keep the Big ‘Uns where they are having worked out that he would contact the Chariot first and give up a flank charge to the Gors.  The Squigs are beaten mercilessly again, and this time they’re not steadfast.  They need a 3 to stay in combat…and get it.  Dang.  Still, at least the number of actual Squigs left is getting manageable; I’m not so worried about the Goblins.

The Gors and the Tuskgor Chariot both charge the Big ‘Uns; it’s on for the big scrap.  The Bestigors make their charge on the Black Orcs this time.  Meanwhile, the Ungors move up to the barricade (I reasoned that the benefit was better than a tiny chance of killing any Boar Boyz with dangerous terrain, and more importantly it blocks off a flank charge on the Bestigors) and the Raiders in the building move out to get in the way a bit.  I roll 4,3 magic dice.  Withering on the Big ‘Uns is scrolled but Wildform on the Gors works after a failed dispel.  The combat between the Gors, the Tuskgor Chariot and the Big ‘Uns is every bit as epic as we hope, with amazing casualties on each side, including the Orc BSB under a dog pile of goat bodies.  After we collect up all the dead models to work out the combat resolution, it emerges that the Orcs came off significantly worse, and need insane courage to stay in the fight… and get it.  Still, neither side can take another round like that one.  The Squigs finally get tired of being hexed and beaten up, fleeing from the Gors (or more accurately perhaps, the demise of the last Squig lets the Goblins herding them know that it’s time to leave).  The Gors reform to face the flank of the Arrer Boyz.  The Bestigors do me proud and smite the Black Orcs mightily despite the penalty for attacking a defended obstacle.  It’s enough for both the Black Orcs (who flee) and Justinmatters (who offers me his hand in defeat).  Victory for the Beastmen!

This was one of those games where almost everything seemed to go my way, and nothing went for Justinmatters.  The only bit of good luck he had was holding with the Squigs and the Big ‘Uns when needing low numbers, but that only delayed the inevitable.  In the case of the Big ‘Uns, they certainly couldn’t have taken another beating like they took in the first round against the Gors, particularly since they’d have to suck up all the attacks from the Gors first (at S5 thanks to Wildform and the Beast Banner).  For my part, I had good luck with the dice just where I needed it, starting with the ambushing Gors arriving in the first turn just where I wanted them, and continuing for pretty much the entire game.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ogre Leadbelcher conversions

After the success (in my opinion) of my Ogre Cow conversion work, I have gone back to the sculpting to get more Ogresses for my slowly growing tribe.  This time, I made some Leadbelchers.  Sculpting the breasts on the Cows was easy because their arms are by their sides.  Leadbelchers, by contrast, have their arms together in the middle to hold on to those outrageous cannons.  It took quite a few attempts to get a results I was happy with.

I chose not to do any alteration work to the Gnoblar, since it’s too small to be worth bothering with.

I put a bit more work into the hair on this pair, as I think it’s the weakest part of the sculpting on the Cows.  I’m fairly happy with the improvement, but I think that there is still more I can do to get better.

The Leadbelcher heads have flaming brands in their hair, teeth or even skin in one case, so I had to model the hair around that.  It’s not my finest work, but it’ll serve for now.  In retrospect, I’d have been better starting the hair before I attached the head, although that might have caused other difficulties.  It is something I need to give a bit more thought to before I do more Leadbelchers.

Not too bad, though I say it myself.  I can still get a lot better, but I think that the sculpting is significantly better than on the Cows, so I am learning a bit at a time.

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Beastmen (2200 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2400 points); 21Nov11

This is it.  This is the big battle of turn 13 of the Border Princes campaign, at least for the Beastmen and the Orcs & Goblins.  You can keep your Malko, you can keep your special territories.  Here, the Beastmen march out of the woods and into the home territory of the Orcs & Goblins.  Luckily for Justinmatters, you get a ‘free’ fortification bonus to add to your defences if you have to face an attack on your starting territory, so I’m coming in at a slight points disadvantage.  I’ve been trying out a list with multiple Bestigor herds, and thought that I might as well just use the same army that narrowly beat Furycat‘s Empire in its previous battle.  Frankly, the list is tricky to use since having so many bodies means that inevitably some are far away from the general and the battle standard bearer; not good if you have terrible leadership and rely heavily on passing leadership checks.  Still, more testing is always useful, and there’s a certain satisfaction to putting down such a number of bodies.

Great Bray Shaman, level 4, Steel Claws, Jagged Dagger, Talisman of Preservation, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Wargor, BSB, Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, heavy armour, shield, (BSB)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

40 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G1)

20 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G2)

2 x 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)

30 Ungors, full command (U1)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

24 Bestigors, full command, Banner of Discipline (B1)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B2)

I never have the slightest idea what’s coming from Justinmatters.  The Orc & Goblin army books have incredible choice, and he likes to play around with army composition even when he’s found something that works.  Having our master theorycrafter (Furycat) on hand while playing with the list usually means that something wicked comes out.

Black Orc Warboss (W)

Orc Big Boss, BSB (BSB)

Savage Orc Shaman, level 2, War Boar, Dispel Scroll (SOS)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2 (GS)

50 Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command, Ranger’s Standard (BU)

5 Wolf Riders (WR)

30 Black Orcs, full command (BO)

33 Squig Herders (SH)

6 Trolls (T)

14 Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (BB)

20 Arrer Boyz, full command (AB)

Rock lobber, Orc bully (RL)

For the first time in my Warhammering, we get Battle for the Pass.  So both potential ambushing units go straight back to the battle line.  Still, if I’m going to do a Battle for the Pass, it might as well be against an army with hardly more shooting than me.  Most of the terrain is normal (in the sense that it doesn’t actively attack the armies), but a Settlement of Order in the centre has Blazing Barricades and a Wizard’s Tower as its Easternmost part.  It’s probably worth noting that the hills we use (excellent quality hand-made by Justinmatters) have impassable cliffs on them, which I’ve tried to show in the maps.  The Savage Orc Shaman rolls Gaze of Mork and ‘Eadbutt, with the Night Goblin taking Sneaky Stabbin’ and Gork’ll Fix It (a name which never fails to bring a smile to my face).  The Great Bray Shaman takes Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor, with the Bray Shaman selecting Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir and mentally picking a comfy seat in the Wizard’s Tower.  The Beastmen take the first turn.

The first Beastmen turn begins with me failing my stupidity check, having deployed the Bestigors 6 wide; too wide to fit through the gap in the buildings ahead of them.  They sheepishly reform to 5 wide and head forward.  No-one else slows down their headlong assault apart from the Gors in the West who have to form an orderly queue behind the Bestigors to get past the cliffs.  I roll 5,4 magic dice.  The Bray Shaman rifles through the Wizard’s Tower, selects Flock of Doom and kills off four of the Wolf Riders.  The last one ‘bravely’ notices the stern glare of the Warboss right behind him, and keeps his cool.  A three dice casting of Amber Spear on the Boar Boyz fails with a roll of 1,1,2.  Enfeebling Foe is dispelled on the Big ‘Uns, but an upgraded casting of Miasma (-3) does go off on the Trolls.

There’s no animosity, which (in a rare event) we actually remember to check at the right time.  There’s a bit of shuffling about, mostly just to change some odd formations from deployment; though I’ve no idea why they were deployed that way in the first place, particularly the Trolls and Black Orcs.  Still, what do I know?  The surviving Wolf Rider moves to get in the way of the Harpies on the hill.  The greenskins rolls 1,1 for magic, but then channel.  The Savage Orc Shaman then makes a serious of spot-on rolls to blow away the Bray Shaman with an ‘Eadbutt (perfect on the casting total, perfect on the distance. exactly met the required roll for wounding and did just enough wounds to kill him and no more).  Savage Orc surgeon more like.  The Rock Lobber is more orcy though, and misfires which will prevent it firing next turn too.

The Gors charge into the Trolls, and everyone else continues to trundle forward.  The Harpies shuffle to get past the blocking Wolf Rider; looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t just charge him.  With 5,2 magic dice, the Trolls receive -3S thanks to an Enfeebling Foe that the Shaman couldn’t dispel, but a dispel scroll is used on Withering the Big ‘Uns.  The Trolls are indeed mashed by the Gors, with the remnants run down in the pursuit.  It’s about now that I realise my mistake…

…As the Big ‘Uns pile gleefully into the flank of the Gors.  The Boar Boyz join in on the front corner too, although the presence of the Harpies restricts the contact.  The Squig Herders poke their enraged charges into the Ungors too.  The only saving grace is that the Black Orcs and Arrer Boyz are too busy getting stuck into each other to contribute much other than a trivial number of casualties on each unit.  The Orcs roll 5,5 for their magic, but can’t cast any spells since the Savage Orc is too busy fighting Gors and the Night Goblin is jeering wildly at the Black Orcs.  Not surprisingly, the Gors are beaten heavily in close combat, and flee the table with the Boar Boyz in pursuit.   The Big ‘Uns just casually reform to face the centre of the table. watching the Harpies panic out of the corner of their eyes.  Plucky resistance is put up from the Ungors against the Squigs, and they only lose by 1.  Sadly, they fail their break check despite the presence of the General and are run down.  To make matters worse, the Bestigors then panic and flee too.

The Raiders charge the building (not because I think they’ll do anything, just to get them out of the way) and the Bestigors charge the Black Orcs.  At least, that’s the plan.  In fact, the Raiders lose a couple to a stand and shoot reaction from the Arrer Boyz then panic and flee, which in turn causes the Bestigors to panic and flee too.  So my left flank is a total mess of panicked goats, and is still better than my right flank which is mostly trampled into the dirt.  Imagine the smell.  Still, at least the herds that panicked last turn manage to pull themselves together and rally.  With 6,4 magic dice, I put Enfeebling Foe (-3S) on the Big ‘Uns, but Miasma fails on 1,1.

There’s not much for the greenskins to do this turn since the Beastmen have all fled out of range.  The Squig Herd moves a bit closer to the building, presumably to keep out of reach of the Bestigors, and the Black Orcs reverse for no apparent reason.  We roll 6,3 magic dice and the Night Goblin Shaman casts and Irresistable Gork’ll Fix It on the Eastern Bestigors to further spoil their day.  The resulting Calamitous Detonation gets 3 of the Arrer Boyz, but they come up as 1,1,1 to wound.  How’s about that then?  Gaze of Mork is comfortably dispelled.  The Rock Lobber tries to atone for the earlier misfire, but scatters a shot far from its intended target.  Still, it’s an improvement.

Oh well, it’s time for the silly matchups now, as the Bestigors charge the Big ‘Uns in a display of pointless heroism suicidal tendencies.  The Gors (one of only two units not to have fled during this game) charge the Arrer Boyz since they’re out of range of both the General and the BSB.  The Harpies finally charge the Rock Lobber and the Raiders pile into the Wolf Rider.  The fleeing uints turn round to watch the carnage.  I generate 5,2 power dice, and start to feel reasonable about the Bestigors’ chances against the Big ‘Uns since Justinmatters didn’t dispel the Enfeebling Foe on them from last turn.  A four dice casting of The Withering on the Arrer Boyz rolls 1,1,2,2 thereby not only failing, but ending the magic phase and ensuring that there are plenty of dispel dice to get rid of Enfeebling Foe.  Dang.  The Rock Lobber is killed off by its natural predator (the Harpies) but the Raiders don’t even manage to force a single armour save out of the Wolf Rider, who easily holds.  The Arrer Boyz are mildly inconvenienced by the Gors, but are brave enough to repulse them from the building as the Black Orcs visibly salivate at yet another presented flank.  The Bestigors are beaten senseless before they get to swing, and I offer Justinmatters my hand in defeat.  Victory to the Orcs & Goblins!

That was a good game, but I made far too many mistakes in it.  Justinmatters didn’t need to work very hard to get the win, surely the easiest I’ll hand him in a while (I hope).  It was a bad start when I didn’t measure the width of a gap between buildings and had to mess about reforming a unit when they should have just started at the correct width.  The killer mistake was sending the Gors against the Trolls.  Or more precisely, the mistake was when I committed them.  I should have waited a turn to let my army keep up instead of going for a long charge that opened up their flank to the hardest unit in the other army.  Alternatively, I should have used the Harpies and Raiders to delay the Big ‘Uns for a turn or so.  That brings me neatly to my other major mistake: poor focus.  I’d become too keen to get rid of the Rock Lobber, and I wasted a few opportunities to use the Harpies (and the Raiders, to a lesser extent) for blocking and redirecting, which would have been far more useful.  I don’t really consider throwing the Bestigors into the Big ‘Uns as a mistake, since the game was effectively over by then; I wouldn’t choose it normally though.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Painted Ogre Cows

After the conversion of a few of my Ogre Bulls into Ogre Cows, I was uncertain enough about the results to decide that I should paint them first before building an entire army of these big lardy ladies.  So here are the results, and I am happy.  Although it’s not hard to tell which parts are my addition to the work (to me, the pinnacle of achievement for conversions is that people don’t realise it’s a conversion), they look good enough for my tastes.  Particularly at tabletop distance, they look perfectly satisfactory, as some of Furycat‘s Tomb Kings found out last night (prior to being trampled mercilessly into bone dust).

So anyway, pretty pictures.  Here’s a sight that you don’t want to see coming down a dark alley toward you.  Most of the painting is as simple as my usual style (i.e. base coat, wash, drybrush), but I did quite a few layers on the skin since it is the main feature of the miniatures.  I think it comes out reasonably well, with plenty of depth to go with the rather expressive Ogress faces.

Painting such large models is quite forgiving if you’re as clumsy with a brush as I am.  There are plenty of large areas where even I can’t make too much of a mess and where the detail on the miniature can make even the laziest highlight come out looking lovely.  By way of an example, the trousers on the club-wielding Cow are simply green paint with a single wash and a heavy drybrush to bring out the contours, and they look fine to me.

One funny thing is that people have commented on how ugly they are.  Which I can’t deny, of course: they aren’t pretty.  But the normal (i.e. male) Ogres are rather ugly too, as least as much so as this trio, and I’ve never heard any mention of it at all.

I definitely need to work on the hair sculpting for the next batch.  In my opinion, that is the weakest part of the work I did on these.  Still, I think I know how to improve, so stay tuned to see if I’m right.

I have decided that I’m happy enough with these that I’m going to embark on my all-female Ogre army in earnest.  Well, maybe not all female; I’m not sculpting tiny breasts onto Gnoblars for a start.  Anyway, next on the hobby table: Irongut sculpting.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Painted Great Bray Shaman

I have been in something of a painting mood (by my slow standards) recently so I finished off my Great Bray Shaman.  I am very happy with the work and he seems, to me at least, like a fitting leader for the warherd of winter.  The painting isn’t going to win me any prizes, but it’s good enough by my standards. When he is in amongst his traditional honour guard of Bestigors it doesn’t matter much anyway; all miniatures look roughly similar at tabletop distance.  I really enjoy using the Great Bray Shaman in games, since he’s fighty enough to put in harm’s way (and generally benefits from it thanks to the Jagged Dagger) but also allows me to have fun in the magic phase.

Here’s the Great Bray Shaman howling his primal fury at the uncaring sky.

Modelled by my glamorous assistant, Argentbadger v2.0.  He insisted on helping me with the photography, and indeed who am I to stop him?

This is probably the angle from which the backwards-lean looks worst.  At least it doesn’t seem so awful when it’s not blown up to gigantic size.

I think that the Steel Claws look dirty and battered enough to at least slightly hide their origins as Spare Marine equipment.  Thanks again to Furycat for the parts.  They’re still ridiculous weapons though.

Next on the painting table: Ogre Cows (or Bulls, or indeed just Ogres).

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Painted Minotaurs

Here are the Minotaurs I finally got round to painting after only a year or so. I must say that it was quite a change to paint a small number of really big miniatures after all those Gors, Bestigors and Ungors. Overall, I’m actually quite happy with the way they turned out. The minor conversion work I did doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, especially so at tabletop distance. I think that these miniatures get quite a bad press considering that they’re pretty nice to work with. I think that not painting them bland beige like the ‘official’ colour scheme helps a lot though. Without further ado, here are some photos.

The Three Amigos are actually a bit of a pain to rank up since they’ve got big muscle-bound arms sticking out at inconvenient angles.

I’ve really enjoyed painting these three chaps.  They’re covered in bling which means there’s plenty of interesting angles to get round (especially since those mighty horns get in the way so much).

This one is the most annoyingly top heavy of them, he looks like he’s about to fall over at any moment with those dainty little hooves, huge torso and upraised arms.

The great weapon wielding Minotaur is my favourite. I just like the stolid, calm, bovine gaze he’s putting out, as though he’s not in any hurry to feast upon your family. After all, it can be done at his leisure.

Next on the painting table: the Great Bray Shaman.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Beastmen (2200 points) vs Empire (2000 points); 14Nov11

After a good thumping at the hands of Furycat‘s Empire in my last game, I was looking forward to getting my own back in turn 13 of our Border Princes campaign.  I decided to go for an army with many, many bodies in it; not actually as many as possible in the point limit, but enough that I was reduced to using the chariot as a unit filler for Bestigors.

Great Bray Shaman, level 4, Steel Claws, Jagged Dagger, Talisman of Preservation, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Wargor, BSB, Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, heavy armour, shield, (BSB)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

40 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G1)

20 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G2)

2 x 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)

30 Ungors, full command (U1)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

24 Bestigors, full command, Banner of Discipline (B1)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B2)

Furycat decided to finally bust out his long-theorycrafted Lore of Fire army.

Arch Lector of Sigmar, War Altar, Dragonhelm, Luckstone (AL)

Wizard Lord, level 4, Sword of Justice, Power Stone, Lore of Fire (WL)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone (BSB)

Battle Wizard, level 2, Seal of Destruction, Lore of Fire (WB)

Battle Wizard, level 2, Rod of Power, Lore of Fire (WF)

2 x 30 Swordsmen, full command (S1 and S2)

20 Crossbowmen (C)

50 Halberdiers, full command (H)

2 Mortars (M1 and M2)

Great Cannon (GC)

Yet again, we get Blood and Glory as our mission, with the maximum 10 pieces of terrain.  There is a Scree Slope and a Wizard’s Tower in the West and a Dwarven Brewhouse in the North, but the rest of the terrain is either normal or lying mysteriously in wait for us to blunder into it.  All three of the human mages take Fireball, with the Wizard Lord getting Flame Storm, Fulminating Flame Cage and Piercing Bolts of Burning, and the others taking Flaming Sword of Rhuin on one packing the Rod of Power (in the East in case Battle Chronicler isn’t clear) and Burning Head on the other.  The Great Bray Shaman gets Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor (turning down Pit of Shades due to the happy absence of any Steam Tanks) and the Bray Shaman has Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir.  The Beastmen get the first turn and take it gladly.

The game begins well for the Beastmen with the ambushing Gors showing up in the West, though the Raiders had their map upside down and appear in the East, far far away from the action.  Other than that, it’s a simple movement turn: everyone moves forward as fast as possible.  There’s not much point holding back when I can’t do any damage at range.  We get 5,3 magic dice, but it doesn’t do much as Enfeebling Foe (on the Swordsmen), Miasma (on the Crossbowmen) Amber Spear (thanks to the Wizard’s Tower, on the Wizard Lord) all dispelled with dice and Withering on the Swordsmen stopped with the Seal of Destruction.  Thankfully it doesn’t get destroyed.

There’s a little bit of shuffling in the Empire line to face charges cleanly, but the overall line remains rather solid-looking.  The Empire get 4,4 power dice and start it with a very high 4-dice casting of Flame Cage on the Gor Horde.  I could try to dispel it, but I doubt I’ll match the roll even using all my dice, so I leave them to their fate. One of the Battle Wizards fails to Fireball the Bestigors, but the Wizard Lord shows him how it’s done by killing a few of them with Piercing Bolts of Burning.  The Battle Wizard in the West tries to save his life by Fireballing the Harpies breathing down his neck, but it’s dispelled.  I accurately predicted that Furycat would try that at the end of the phase, so I kept dice back for it, reasoning that the Harpies flapping around in the backfield would be more useful at this stage than a handful of Gors in a big unit.  The Bray Shaman uses the Chalice of Dark Rain and all three of the Empire artillery pieces obligingly fail to fire.  The Crossbowmen do better though, killing 4 Bestigors on their own, despite needing 6s to hit.

The ambushers charge into the Great Cannon, the Harpies flap into the Wizard, the Bestigors in the West crash into the Swordsmen and the Ungors scurry over to the War Altar.  Sadly, the other Bestigors don’t quite manage to contact the Crossbowmen (and lose another couple to the stand and shoot reaction), and the Gors sit still cursing the Flame Cage surrounding them.  This turn, I get 5,5 magic dice.  Flock of Doom on the Wizard Lord is dispelled, but Enfeebling Foe on the Swordsmen fighting the Bestigors is let through (-1S).  Withering is dispelled on the Arch Lector; it’s like the spell casters are saving the dispel dice for themselves.  The ambushing Gors get Wildform, mainly for the anticipated contact with the Swordsmen next turn.  Indeed, they handily spike the cannon and overrun into the waiting Swordsmen.  At this stage, it’s all going perfectly for me, but it doesn’t last.  The Harpies flap hopelessly at the Battle Wizard, wounding him for the loss of one of their own, and the Bestigors are even worse.  They fail to kill a single Swordsman between them, lose a few and are run down by the wildly celebrating State Troops.  At least the Ungors hold the Arch Lector in place, although they don’t actually wound him.

The glorious Swordsmen reform to face the flank of the Ungors to extricate the Arch Lector from the endless tar pit he’s found himself in.  Furycat rolls 4,4 magic dice, and starts off with Speed of Light and Flaming Sword on the Swordsmen fighting the Gors.  Flame Cage fails to cast on the Bestigors (rolling 1,1) but Soulfire blows up a few Ungors after the Great Bray Shaman failed to dispel it.  The unengaged Battle Wizard blows up 4 of the Raiders in the East, though the plucky musician holds.  Finally, a Healing Hand on the wounded Battle Wizard is dispelled.  Both Mortars miss by a long way, but the Crossbowmen continue to prove their worth, pincushioning anther few Bestigors.  Despite all the augment spells being thrown around the Gor vs Swordsman turns out to be a grinding draw, but the Harpies do pull down the Wizard on their second attempt.

The Harpies flap into the Mortar in an attempt to atone for their performance against the feeble Battle Wizard, the Bestigors charge the Crossbowmen at the second time of asking (but lose another three to stand and shoot) and the Gors, enjoying their freedom of movement, hammer gleefully into the Halberdiers.  With 6,2 power dice, a Curse of Anraheir on the unengaged Swordsmen is dispelled, but the Wizard Lord can’t muster the strength to dispel Mindrazor on the Ungors.  It nearly comes good, as they take the War Altar down to a single wound; they reform to face West in anticipation of the Swordsmen next turn.  The Harpies continue their display of ineffectiveness, losing two to the Mortar crew but holding.  Even worse, the Bestigors lose to the Crossbowmen (what is it with Bestigors this game?) but hold.  To make up for it, the Gors go absolutely crazy on the Halberdiers, losing only about five after some dire dice from Furycat and killing around 30.  The survivors flee and are run down; I can’t really blame them after that display.

Not surprisingly, the Swordsmen charge the Ungors.  There’s no other movement since just about everyone is in combat, but the Battle Wizard realises that the Wizard Lord is on his own in a pub, and heroically heads over to join him.  The winds of magic blow weakly at 2,1 but after channeling with both magic users and pulling a couple of dice out of the Rod of Power gives the Empire 7 power dice to play with.  The Wizard Lord kicks off what is shaping up to be an unpleasant magic phase with an Irresistable Flame Cage on the Gors; the resulting detonation wounds him but leaves the Battle Wizard untouched.  Speed of Light on the Swordsmen is dispelled and Soulfire toasts another Ungor.  The Mortar finally kills something in the shooting phase as a scattering shot clips the Gors and blows one up; they’re doing better in close combat.  Indeed, the engaged Mortar crew beat another Harpy to death for no loss, though the survivor does hold.  The Bestigors and Crossbowmen carry on grinding each other down.  At least the Great Bray Shaman is getting good value out of the Jagged Dagger today.  Over in the West, the Gors kill a few more Swordsmen, but they hold.  Finally, the Ungors bust the War Altar to great cheers from me, but otherwise lose narrowly and are run down by the Swordsmen.  Still, they did take a few with them.  The Arch Lector turns to face the Great Bray Shaman, intent on swapping insurance documents.

After much deliberation I reform the Gors; the explosion from the Flame Cage kills 15 of them, but fortunately they hold.  We roll 5,4 dice for magic. Curse of Anraheir on the Swordsmen is dispelled, as is Savage Beast on the Great Bray Shaman.  Enfeebling Foe does work on the Crossbowmen; I’m down to only a few Bestigors and have had enough of having them picked off by these scrubs.  By this point the Great Bray Shaman has racked up so many power dice from the Jagged Dagger that I might as well use some, so I put the upgraded version of Miasma on the unengaged Swordsmen, mainly to discourage them from charging the Gors.  The Bestigors kill a few more Crossbowmen, but they’re stubborn thanks to the Brewhouse, so they’re not going anywhere.  Over in the corner, the Gors finally lose combat to the Swordsmen after failing to get Primal Fury for five rounds in a row (they did 4 wounds, which were all saved), and are run down when they break. Oh well, at least they got the cannon.  The last surviving Harpy still can’t muster a hit on the Mortar crew, who finally put it out of its misery.

The Arch Lector, apoplectic at the loss of his ride, charges the Great Bray Shaman.  The Swordsmen in the West fail to swift reform, instead lining up a charge on the Wizard’s Tower.  The other Swordsmen decide that they don’t fancy the look of the Gors so much when they’re hexed, and just move toward them.  The Empire get 3,2 power dice and start things off with a Flame Cage on the Gors.  I’ve seen enough of that spell for one game and dispel it with all my dice.  Instead, the Arch Lector tries a couple of cheeky single die casting of Soulfire (works but does nothing) and Armour of Contempt (fails anyway).  One of the Mortars finally gets a good hit, killing a few more Gors, but the other scatters hilariously onto the Brewhouse, killing the Battle Wizard just as he was heading to the bar.  The Bestigors kill all but the last Crossbowman (who hold since he’s stubborn) and reform to two wide facing the Arch Lector.

The Gors notice that 1) there’s a pub right next to them and 2) there’s a Wizard Lord in it drinking their beer.  They charge wildly at it.  For some reason I fail my stupidity check and charge the last surviving ambushing Raider at the Mortar.  The other Raiders leave the Wizard’s Tower to keep themselves safe from the Swordsmen; they’re careful to let the Bray Shaman stay in library-ransacking range.  We roll 2,2 power dice, and I put three of them into the Curse on the Swordsmen in the centre.  Sadly, with a roll of 2,1,1 nothing happens apart from the Bray Shaman looking embarrassed.  The Great Bray puts the upgraded Miasma back on the Swordsmen, -3 to their statistics this time.  Then I use a few more Jagged Dagger dice to put Withering on the Arch Lector, but it’s dispelled Irresistably.  Dang.  The heroic Raider does manage to kill one of the Mortar crew, but he’s killed by the others.  In the Brewhouse, the Wizard Lord issues a challenge to try and reduce the number of incoming attacks.  The Wargor happily retires to the back of the herd and sends his minions in to do the dirty work.  The herd moves into the pub and starts arguing about whose round it is.  Finally, the last Crossbowman is killed off and the Arch Lector is wounded, though he does hold.

Both units of Swordsmen realise that it’s all going to come down to the battle in the centre, so they start making their way over to it.  The Arch Lector, as the last surviving caster on his side, gets 6,1 magic dice and starts with an Irresistable Soulfire which does nothing except end his magic phase.  The Mortars try and blow up the Raiders, but one misses and the other misfires (and won’t fire next turn either).  In close combat, the Arch Lector realises that he’ll have a much better chance by killing off the Bestigors, and kills the last two; the Great Bray can’t manage a wound on him in return, but does hold.

It’s the last turn, so I’m going to have to make this good if I’m to win.  Sadly, I can’t actually do anything useful, so it’s all down to the Great Bray Shaman.  I have 5,3 magic dice and start off putting Withering (-3T) on the Arch Lector.  Savage Beast on the Great Bray Shaman is dispelled (I was anticipating that it would have been handy in the next turn at least).  I then use the remaining dice from the Jagged Dagger to put Enfeebling Foe (-2S) on the Arch Lector; I don’t think it’ll be needed, but I might as well use the dice.  It’s worth it, as he duly tears the Arch Lector to shreds.

Furycat knows he’s only got one meaningful target this turn: the Great Bray Shaman standing in the beer garden of the Brewhouse.  Both Swordsmen units charge in, and (after another miss from the Mortar) fail to kill him.  The Shaman does a few wounds to them, but still loses heavily to static combat resolution.  Luckily, he’s in range of the Brewhouse which allowed the Crossbowmen to be such a pain in the arse, and easily holds.  We total up the victory points since neither of us reached breaking point, and it’s very close.  Victory to the Beastmen!

Another great, tight game against my arch-nemesis Furycat.  Midway through turn 2 I thought this was all over and I had it in the bag, but a couple of catastrophic combats let the Empire back in (in fairness, they were only in a hole because of their terrible dice in turn 1).  Then there was a really interesting game of interfering with movement and it finally came down to the battle of the generals.

I quite enjoyed this list with the two herds of Bestigors, after a little worry that it might leave me short elsewhere.  However, both herds had a rare off-day and didn’t really do much apart from hand over victory points.  The Harpies were even worse.  Although they did more than earn their points by killing the Battle Wizard, I was looking for them to roll straight through the Mortar too.

One thing I definitely should not have done was throw the single Raider at the Mortar crew.  It would have taken improbable luck to kill off the crew on its own, and I just wasted the victory points.  Especially since there was half a board he could have lurked in.  Those victory points could easily have made all the difference in such a close game as this.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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