This the Blood Hag, the command attachment for the Satyxis Blood Witches in my very-slowly expanding Warmachine Cryx army. As a command attachment, it’s not actually mandatory to take her and the Blood Witches can get on just fine without her. Having said that, I almost always do bring the Blood Hag along as she has the Dark Shroud rule which decreases the armour value of enemies standing near her. This really increases the value of plinking attacks such as the Satyxis models tend to specialise in, or otherwise enables my army to bring down big, tough models more practically. She can also dispel upkeep spells on miniatures she hits; obviously this can be useful to knock an armour boost off an enemy Warjack but it can also come in handy to strip crippling de-buffs from my own side. Finally, the Blood Witch grants Side Step to her unit which allows them to get to annoying places that other beers cannot reach, either to contest scenario elements or apply Gang where it is needed most.
I felt that I had to keep to more or less the same colour scheme as her unit of Blood Witches which rather limited my scope here. On the other hand, I think that the Blood Witch somehow wears the pink and red combination rather better than the girls so perhaps it isn’t such a problem anyway. She does have an overhanging hood which, while very fitting for the miniature, makes her a pain to photograph nicely.
Here is the Blood Hag leading her unit of Blood Witches. She becomes the leader (taking over from the pointing one just behind her) if taken.
Next on the painting table: Slaughter Queen.
This Jaga Jaga, the Death Charmer. She’s a Warlock for Minions army in Hordes; the first one I’ve put paint on. As a Warlock, she is the leader of my force and losing her is game over for me. On the other hand, she’s got loads of cool spells and abilities; I’ve heard Warlocks in Hordes compared to both King and Queen for chess. For me, her main two draws are her Feat and her spell Signs and Portents. The former allows you to blow up your own infantry to (hopefully) kill enemy models; this obviously sounds counter-productive but it is an auto-hitting attack so can be quite handy for taking out high-defense annoying models like Kayazy Eliminators. My general approach has been to get the Soul Slave to case Ghost Walk on a jamming unit, have them get as deep as possible and the blow-up the ones in my way to take out key models in the other army. Signs and Portents means that every attack my models make (when within Jaga Jaga’s Control area) gets to add a die to both attack and damage rolls, then drop the lowest. This is amazing dice manipulation and means that Jaga Jaga often gets dropped for me when I’m worried about whether I can hit anything on the other side of the table; for example swarms of light infantry.
I started off rather overwhelmed by the sheer amount of detail on Jaga Jaga’s miniature as she’s very busy with jewelry, snakes and other bling. As I worked though the painting process I enjoyed it more and more as the whole miniature came to life under my brush. I had a bit of a challenge finding suitable colours for each part that didn’t either overshadow another part or clash but in the end I think that the whole thing works rather well and I’m really pleased with the result.
A bit of trivia – Jaga Jaga’s melee attack is with a poisonous snake. However, the big purple one is actually a Tatzylworm (head crest, lots of eyes) and so presumably it is kept around for decoration and she fights people with one of the smaller snakes.
Next on the painting table: Satyxis Blood Hag.
This is a Hag Queen, another hero choice for my Daughters of Khaine army in Age Of Sigmar. She’s a cheap support character who has mainly found success in my games by staying away from actually fighting the other side and instead by encouraging everyone else to do the fighting for her (which they do, apparently with glee, considering the number of dice rolled per model). Whenever someone has managed to pin down my Hag Queens to combat, that pretty much is the end of the story for them.
The Hag Queen was a quick easy model to paint and get out of the way (especially after how long it took me to get through the Bloodwrack Shrine). I’m not over enamoured by the sculpt but it’s an easy enough process to slap some colours on her and call it good in the name of completing a project; I will admit that this goes double for miniatures that in reality I will hardly ever use on the tabletop. In general I’ve found the Witch Aelves and their associated characters to be pretty quick to get through, though I would still pale at the thought of dealing with 3 units of 30 which I understand is a tournament staple. After the Hag Queen, I have just one more Daughter of Khaine to finish (the charmingly named Slaughter Queen) before I have finished the whole lot… for now.
Next on the Painting table: Jaga Jaga, the Death Charmer.
This is a Bloodwrack Shrine for my Daughters of Khaine army in Age of Sigmar. I’ve used it as my general in the rather few games I’ve played in the system and it has done an adequate job holding the centre of my line. I consider it an anchor of sorts since it is considerably tougher than the rest of the Witch Aelves, although this is probably fitting since the army as a whole has opted for the famous ‘chainmail bikini’ approach to armour.
I didn’t spend over long painting the carriage itself, partly because I want the focus to be on the crew and bath (!) and partly because it’s not really very exciting to paint. In retrospect I would have swapped over the skin colours between the Medusa and the Shrinekeepers; the contrast between the dark brown skin and dark green scales on the Medusa doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped. On the other hand, I quite like the way that the bath of blood looks considering how simple it was to paint. Overall I’m pretty happy with the end result and it makes rather a nice centrepiece model.
Observant readers will note that my Bloodwrack Shrine is halfway between the proper build and a Cauldron of Blood, which is the other build option in the kit. This is because I got part way through assembly when I realised that the Bloodwrack Shrine is meant to have a huge mirror mounted where my Medusa sits (she is really meant to be in the bath). Even in a world where magical bikini-clad elves push baths filled with blood around the battlefield, it struck me as a bit silly to bring a mirror along – surely it would get smashed the first time they rode over a bump in the road. More importantly, I didn’t fancy my chances of painting a mirror that didn’t look awful. Even more observant readers might also spot that I’ve put the dais on the wrong way round; the central spike is supposed to be at the back. Oh well.
The blood shows up really nicely against the relatively drab skin of the snake part of the Medusa. The kit comes with another two characters (they ride the other build) so I’ll get them out of the way shortly and put up a family photo.
I deliberately kept to the same colour palette as the regular Witch Aelves for the Shrinekeepers except for using silver armour rather than bronze (which would blend in too much with the carriage).
Next on the painting table: Hag Queen.
This is the second Gun Boar for my Hordes Minions force. I don’t currently use two in my army (though I can imagine builds that might do so) but I got them both together as part of a set. There isn’t much to add from a gameplay perspective beyond what little I wrote for the other Gun Boar.
I did a darker colour on the skin for this Gun Boar, aiming to go with more a of a wild boar / warthog look. I don’t think that anyone is getting this mixed up with a specific real life pig but it looks different from the first Gun Boar so it works fine on the tabletop. Most of my paint work looks rather better at tabletop distance rather than these zoomed in pictures! It’s probably worth noting that the basing is the work of the Gun Boar’s previous owner too; it seemed pointless to remove the corkboard since someone had gone to the effort of pinning the whole ensemble together.
Next on the painting table: Bloodwrack Shrine.
Here are small unit of Blood Sisters, part of the Daughters of Khaine force I’m gradually building up. They’re basically the melee equivalent of Blood Stalkers, trading a fairly trivial ranged element for more close-up stabbing action. We don’t play anything like enough Age of Sigmar for me to have any strong thoughts on how best to use Blood Sisters; I’ve generally just rammed them into something that isn’t already swamped by Witch Aelves and hoped for the best.
Just like the Blood Stalkers, the Blood Sister kit is great fun to assemble and paint. Blood Sisters are actually meant to have a sort of face mask and sensible hair thing going on, but I much prefer the ridiculous flowing manes so I used the alternative heads (that are meant to go on the Blood Sisters instead). In general I tried to keep the same palette as the rest of the force but went for a dark red on the snakey-bits as I felt that would be more fun to paint at the time.
I dedicate this post to Azazel‘s Scenic and Squaddie September challenge. Many thanks to Azazel for leading these monthly blogging challenges.
Next on the painting table: Gun Boar (again).
This is a Gun Boar, part of my growing force of Minions in Hordes. You can probably learn just about everything about the Gun Boar’s role in the game just by looking at it – a big gun for shooting people far away, and some fists for punching them (usually quite effectively) when they get closer. I usually just let the Gun Boar lurk around the edge of the engagement area and shoot at targets of opportunity. It is also cheap enough that I don’t mind pushing it to contest a zone for a turn, though of course that is almost inevitably the last thing it does in that game.
I wanted to give this Gun Boar the classic pink pig look from children’s books and I feel that this has worked out reasonably well. I was not sure at all how to approach the hairy bits around the face and neck. Real pigs (at least, the ones on farms in my area) tend not to have huge manes of hair anyway, and more importantly I thought it would look really weird to have the Gun Boar sporting some snazzy blond hair. So in the end I took the simplest option and kept it to the same colour as the skin; it still looks a bit odd though.
Next on the painting table: Blood Sisters
This is a Gatorman Soul Slave, a Warlock Attachment for my Hordes Minions army. Warlock Attachment means exactly what it says; this chap has to work with my Warlock. He can cast one of the Warlock’s spells for free (albeit with a fairly terrible stat) and allows an upkeep for free. That latter part is almost worth taking the Soul Slave for alone; I usually run him with Jaga Jaga as she tends to run short on Fury all the time. The initial reason I included the Soul Slave with Jaga Jaga was to solve some order-of-activation issues for her Feat. The Soul Slave can cast Ghost Walk on my jamming unit (currently Boomhowler and Company) so that they can go into the most annoying places possible in their activation before Jaga Jaga activates and uses her Feat to blow them all up (hopefully to my overall benefit). Without the Soul Slave, I don’t get to move the jamming unit between casting Ghost Walk and using the Feat, making it much less aggressive.
The Soul Slave is meant to be some kind of zombie alligator. I don’t have the slightest idea how to paint alligator scales to look like they’re decaying, so after some consideration decided that just painting them green and enjoying myself would be more useful. The model is packed with character from the braziers across its shoulders to the manacles on wrists and ankles and I really loved bring him to (un)life. Sometimes a model just seems to want to be painted.
Next on the painting table: Gun Boar.
Here is a second Swamp Horror for my Minions force in Hordes. There isn’t much to say about it mechanically that I didn’t already mention in the post about the previous one. So I’ll just repeat a little of what I wrote there: Overtake plus Pull plus a 4” reach on the tentacles is extremely entertaining to play with.
When assembling the pair of Swamp Horrors I had the idea that I would try to do some minor conversion work on the position of the tentacles so that they didn’t look identically posed. As it turns out, assembling these little blighters is quite annoying and in the end I was glad to get away without doing something stupid like drilling into my fingers in the process. So, here we have another Swamp Horror in a dance routine, matching its sister. Instead, I painted it very differently so it would be easy for me to track which one had taken however many wounds in a game. Real life octopuses come in all sorts of different colours (and even if they didn’t, I have no qualms about making things up for giant land-based magic octopuses) so I decided to go out on a limb and make the main body purple. I think that this simple contrast between the skin and the cream colour of the underbelly and shell (?) looks quite striking. It was also a nice quick win to get this one done and off the table.
Next on the painting table: Gatorman Soul Slave
This is a Troll Basher, a light Warbeast for my neglected Trollbloods army in Hordes. I will admit that I only picked up the Basher as it happened to be exactly the right number of points to fit in the army list I was using at the time, so it’s quite funny that I’ve only now painted it since I’m even really playing Trollbloods at the moment. It turned out to be quite handy in the game, generally being somewhat cost-ineffective to kill and handy for contesting scenario elements. Since I generally had low expectations for damage output from the Basher I often ended up quite pleased if it could swat a couple of infantry and delay my opponent from scoring a zone for a turn before inevitably being smashed by a strong counterpunch.
The art for the Basher uses a strong ice and winter theme but I decided that I wanted to retain the overall blue and red colours common to the rest of my Trollbloods. Hence the flowing beard (which I think is uniquely hairy compared to, for example, Mulg’s rocky growths) got a bright red colouring rather than the white and pale blue palette used by PP’s studio paint team. Instead, I tried to give the idea of a frozen background by making the pelt he’s wearing have white fur so it looks like it comes from a polar bear or something. I feel that this helped to break up the overall blue-and-red-ness of the Warbeasts as a whole.
The sculpt has one oddity in that he has a necklace of rune-y, stone-y things. But because the lower part rather merges with the beard, especially when viewed somewhat from above as is usual when gaming, it looks like it’s a strap for a fake beard.
Next on the painting table: Swamp Horror (again)