Here are some Witch Aelves, the start of a burgeoning force of Daughters of Khaine for GW’s Age of Sigmar game. Appetite for Age of Sigmar seems to wax and wane somewhat at Chateau Argentbadger and I’ve actually ended up giving away the Slaanesh Daemons I had painted to a friend. So when excitement started to build again I treated myself to a couple of boxes of Daughters as they have extremely nice miniatures. Regular readers, if there are any, will know that I’m a sucker for a dynamic sculpt so an army of dancers seems like an easy sell to me. In game these are the basic troops available to the faction. With no ranged weapons there’s not much choice but to throw them right down the other side’s throat at the first opportunity. This suits my preferences nicely and has been fairly effective in a couple of games. The Witch Aelves are all attack and no defense (fittingly, considering that their choice of armour is that fantasy staple: the chainmail bikini) and I’ve lost the whole unit a few times simply by allowing the other unit to attack them before I could get my swings in.
These first three are the command group. I have to admit that it’s not super-clear who is meant to be the champion but we finally worked out that it is the Witch Aelf shown here in the centre on the basis that she has the biggest hat and the fanciest knives. The lighting is showing the skin up as a bit shinier than it really is but I’ll put that down to bad photography rather than bad painting. The white hair is part of my ‘vision’ for the force – how I imagined them looking even when I was buying the kits.
The light blue brings a nice bit of colour to the unit along with the bright white hair. I thought about doing the gloves and leggings the same colour but decided it would be too bright. If this army lasts long enough in my attention to require a second unit I’ll probably go with red cloth to differentiate between them.
I feel that the bronze armour gives a bit more contrast with the skin than my other choice which would have been the steel colour of the knives.
Finally, the unit all together.
Next on the painting table: Troll Whelps (again).
The chap is the Stone Scribe Elder for my Hordes Trollbloods army. He’s the Command Attachment for the Krielstone unit I painted a while ago. Having a Stone Scribe Elder keeping the Krielstone bearer company allows some additional benefits for being under the Krielstone aura; you get to pick one of the three each turn. Firstly is more strength – obviously this is the simplest one and therefore the one I use most of the time. Second is making Incorporeal enemies stop being Incorporeal so that they can be it with normal weapons. I can see that this would be useful if I faced those types of armies, but it hasn’t come up for me. On the plus side, it has an amusing name of Spirit Chaser (a pun since part of the Trollblood story is that they really love to get drunk). Finally I can choose to put out fire and other continuous effects on the rest of my army. In theory this sounds good but in practice I find that my little dudes are already dead from whatever applied the fire and the big ones don’t really care much about another low-POW damage roll.
I enjoyed painting the Stone Scribe Elder; he’s covered in various scrolls, belts, lockets and other kinds of bling that meant it took ages to complete the job. The green clothes are to match the rest of his unit, although since I’m limited to one of each in any army it doesn’t matter much apart from aesthetically. I do find the way that the cloak billows out rather odd since there’s no movement at all in the rest of the miniature; perhaps that beatific expression is due to a particularly satisfying fart.
Next on the painting table: Witch Aelves.
Here are a set of Troll Whelps to go in (surprise, surprise) my Hordes Trollbloods army. They’re a bit odd, both in terms of fluff and rules. Ruleswise, Whelps are considered Solos even though they can only be taken in sets of five. They rarely start on the table and don’t have any attacks. Instead, Whelps can be ‘shed’ by Warbeasts when they take damage and then eaten later to either heal damage or remove excess Fury. In terms of how this relates to the story, I have no idea. Presumably Whelps don’t literally fall out of damaged Trolls so I assume that they’re meant to ride them in nooks and crannies about their person. I’m also not really sure why the Whelps randomly have overgrown parts of their anatomy, for example the one with the giant finger.
I kept it simple with the painting, as befits the cheapest miniatures in the entire army. The Whelps are quite amusing to paint and have the same kind of silly vibe as GW’s Goblin ranges. I have another set of Whelps to get through so I decided to do one group with light blue skin and the next lot with dark blue. I can’t see me actually needing ten Whelps in any game, but it’s nice to have the option.
Next on the painting table: Stone Scribe Elder.
Here is the Satyxis Blood Priestess, a caster attachment for my Warmachine Cryx army. She gives allows your Warcaster to upkeep one spell for free which is quite handy for the Witch Coven – I always seem to be short of Focus for them, despite having literally the highest Focus stat in the entire game. Her main draw is on the sword though, as it has a variety of effects beyond the obvious. Notably, she can dispel ongoing effects on units, which can be quite useful to remove some of the more crippling spells from your own units (admittedly at the cost of stabbing one of them in the back).
The miniature is quite nice, if predictably cheesecake-y; it seems de rigeur for ladies in these games to go about with only a bikini top on. Presumably the Scharde Islands are really warm, and that hat is intended to keep the sun off and not to keep the Blood Priestess’s ears from getting cold. Anyway, I stuck with the black and pink theme that I used for the Warjacks and was rather pleased with the outcome. The skin tone worked out well on the body and arms but I couldn’t seem to get it to look right on her face. I stopped painting eyes on miniatures of this size long ago as they don’t really show up at tabletop distance, though their absence is rather strange looking in these blown-up photos.
Next on the painting table: Troll Whelps.
This is a Dire Troll Mauler, another heavy Warbeast for my Hordes Trollbloods. The Mauler is the simplest of Warbeasts – no ranged attacks, just glorious face-punching melee action. To make life more interesting, it does come with the Rage Animus which is a pretty important spell for the faction. This allows extra strength to be applied to any model which can turn even fairly modest Warbeasts into heavy hitters, and makes mighty Mulg a hilariously powerful fighter. Since losing the Mauler means losing access to Rage, I try to keep it back as a second wave so that I can make my other Warbeasts hit harder for longer before losing it.
Nothing too complex for the painting; I mainly stuck to the established scheme that I’ve used for my other Trollbloods. I really like the miniature with its huge hands and expressive face. It would probably make a fairly nice generic cave monster for fantasy RPG, or perhaps a villain’s henchman in a superhero game.
I dedicate this post to Azazel’s Dauntless-Diabolical December Challenge. I reckon that the Mauler fits the ‘It’s for Monsters’ criterion rather nicely.
Next on the painting table: Stone Scribe Elder
Here is my next miniature for my slowly-growing Druze Bayram Security army in Infinty. This Hunzakut with Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher is actually part of the Haqqislam faction but is co-opted into the Druze for some reason. Actually it occurred to me that Infinity is quite unusual in that the mercenary faction takes many options from ‘main’ forces rather than the other way round, for example in Warmachine. I’ve enjoyed putting the Hunzakut on the table as she’s quite annoying to deal with thanks to her stealth abilities and can deploy near to objectives. This gives me some useful board control tools and also saves having to waste precious orders walking around. Offensively the Rifle isn’t much to write home about but every now and then having the Light Grenade Launcher in the right place can make a fairly entertaining mess of an opposing fireteam (at least, until Joe realised that they don’t need to cuddle each other at the end of each order).
Like so many of Corvus Belli’s miniatures, the pose here is very sweet and evocative, while not being the standard ‘I have a gun and I’m shooting it’ approach common to many games. The colour scheme is the basic white and green to match the rest of the force. I assume that the box in her right hand is supposed to be a mine though it looks a lot like the ghost traps from Ghostbusters to me. Unless I buy any more, I have just four miniatures remaining to complete the army and I will probably do a group photo at that point.
Next on the painting table: Dire Troll Mauler.
Here is Barathrum, a character Warjack to go in my Warmachine Cryx force. In this context ‘character’ means that they are unique for some combination of fluff or game reasons; anyway, I can only have one Barathrum in my army regardless of how cool it is. The main reason I picked up Barathrum as opposed to any other Cryx heavy Warjack is that it is specifically allowed in the Scourge of the Broken Coast theme force, and since that is the one I’ve been buying miniatures for, I figured that Barathrum should also be in my collection. So far, I haven’t seen any particular synergies that link Barathrum to the Satyxis (about whom more later) that make up the majority of the theme force so I assume that there is some kind of story reason for its inclusion.
I really struggled to get started with Barathrum’s paint job since it is covered in various layers and raised edges I was hardly sure how to approach it. In the end, I more or less painted from the inside to the outside with black for most of the carapace and bronze for the edging. Of course, I also used pink for some of the bits and bobs to bring a bit of colour to the otherwise rather drab machine. There are also elements that I assume are supposed to be actual bone so I painted them accordingly; this is probably because Cryx are the baddy faction and prone to adorning their stuff with skulls etc. Indeed, they’d look quite fine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. One of the things I like about Barathrum’s miniature is that it is rather more dynamic than most Warjacks in the PP range. Barathrum is clearly advancing whereas most of the other Warjacks are just standing around like they’re admiring themselves in a gym mirror (I consider this particularly fitting since they generally give the impression of having skipped leg day a few times too many). There are meant to be a couple of tusks on the side of Barathrum’s head but I couldn’t get them to look good during assembly so they went straight into the bits box.
I dedicate this post to Azazel’s Mechanical November Challenge. I’ll admit that this is a bit of a cheat because I was planning to paint Barathrum anyway and it just happens to coincide with the hobby challenge; still, it’s not like anyone has any money riding on this so I’m going to count it anyway.
Next on the painting table: Hunzakut with Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher
This is Mulg the Ancient, a character (i.e. unique) Warbeast to go with my growing Trollbloods army for Hordes. Mulg is a fantastic beatstick, especially with Rage and Stone Strength applied. Indeed, Mulg probably could simply walk into Mordor… at least if he went fast enough to ever get there. As a result of this lack of threat range I’ve generally used Mulg as a second wave to sweep up whatever kills my front line. He also has a few tricks like being able to dispel incoming magic (quite rare in Hordes as far as I can tell) and can regenerate lost hit points at the start of a turn for free. Mulg costs a lot of points but I’ve always found him worth it, either in terms of his actual damage output or the effort required to kill him before he smites important stuff with his Runed Club.
As befits one of my Trollbloods, Mulg has blue skin and red… stuff on him. In Mulg’s case, the line between hair and random rocky outgrowths is blurred further by apparently having an actual boulder sprouting from his back. The official Privateer Press version of the paint scheme differentiates that from the hairy stuff and colours it like rock, but I felt that was too silly (or perhaps not silly enough) so I doubled down and did it all in red. I’m not a huge lover of Mulg’s sculpt; the tiny legs and huge arms/body of other Trollbloods is overly exaggerated here and despite being on a 50mm base his club sticks out in a way that it quite annoying for gaming purposes. He’s also made of metal which means the miniature weighs much more than the other Trollblood Warbeasts and meant that I had to pin just about every join during assembly. As is typical of Privateer Press sculpts, there were some substantial gaps to fill once I was done. So after all that I was pleased that the painting same out quite nicely.
Next on the painting table: Barathrum
These are the Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes, part of my Trollbloods force for Hordes. They’re a staple of ‘brick’ lists (i.e. ones that like to keep the core elements close together) in Trollbloods as they provide an armour bonus within a certain area. This makes the already resilient Warbeasts in particular a bit of a pain to deal with efficiently. Needless to say, this puts them high on the target list for anyone who can get past the wall of Warbeasts that I usually have the Krielstone Bearer hiding behind. The rest of the unit, the Stone Scribes, are pretty much ablative wounds for the Krielstone Bearer since they can pick up the Krielstone if they’re close enough when he dies. Otherwise, I just use them for getting in the way.
I like the sculpts on these guys, though it would be hard to guess that the Krielstone Bearer belongs with the Stone Scribes since they have almost no common visual identifiers. I picked green for the robe colour on this unit and otherwise they’re largely painted the same as my other Trollblood units. I tried to mix up the colours on the skin, metals the clothing/belts/etc so that none of the unit are actually identical.
I dedicate this post to Azazel’s Unit-ed October Community Challenge.
It’s hard not to think of the Krielstone Bearer as Obelix. I did have a brief try at glowing runes on the Krielstone but after a couple of goes of them looking awful I decided just to stick with boring old non-magical stone.
The Stone Scribes are much more interesting to paint than the Krielstone Bearer, so in some ways it’s a bit of a shame that they’re quite dull in game terms.
Next on the painting table: Mulg the Ancient
Here are two more remotes for my Infinity army, the Druze Bayram Security. Just like the Peacemaker, these are both ‘brought in’ from the PanOceania faction, which has the side-effect of making the miniatures frustratingly hard to find on a web catalogue for a new Infinity player like me (because they’re categorised under ‘PanOceania’ rather than ‘Non-Aligned Armies’). The Clipper (left in the photos) has a Missile Launcher which means that I really love to use it in the active turn. Being a remote, it can have various Supportware used on it by my Hackers to improve its accuracy and rather unusually for a remote it can also be part of a Fire Team. This makes it a really horrid piece to face when I can set the engagement. As a result, I’ve mainly lost it to camouflaged snipers gunning it down from halfway across the board in my reactive turn. The Fugazi (on the right) has some cool sensor equipment that I’ve never used well but I don’t mind because it’s really cheap and brings and Regular Order along. So if it does nothing but sit still and occasionally Flash Pulse some fools then I’m quite happy.
Nothing of note to say about the painting here; I just copied the Peacemaker as closely as I could manage. Trying to get straight lines along the green to white boundary gives me a new appreciation for all the talented painters out there who can do freehand.
Next on the painting table: Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes