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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Warhammer 3rd edition, back to the best edition- Part II

As I outlined here I've really returned to my roots as it were in regards to Warhammer. Unlike the ass-hats of the OSR movement on the D&D side however I bear no malice or ill-will towards anyone who plays a different version of Warhammer than I do. I find their "your fun is wrong" statements amusing if nothing else. And with the demise of the traditional rule-set of Warhammer Fantasy Battle this is more pronounced with folks going either the Age of Sigmar route, 9th Age or Return of Kings.

For me its why bother? Yes its cumbersome, but with the good olde' orange rule book and Warhammer Armies you have all you need to play a great game.

Talk about value on this thing: It has 11 of the 12 armies contained within (Norse appeared in White Dwarf #107). In addition there are new rules for war machines, and great rules in my opinion for allies and mercenaries which Warhammer always seemed to struggle with to find a good balance for.

So with that in my mind here is where I stand for each of the armies and potential future plans:

Dark Elves- When complete they will total around 4,000-5,000 points. Details on the progress of the army can be found here. For the most part I largely have all the minis needed and just need to round out a few here and there to fill up certain units rank and file. They also have 25 hobgoblins as allies which I'm looking forward to painting (see below).

Wood Elves- As I've been outlining here on the blog they will come in around 4,000 points when complete. Like Dark Elves these pointy ears are a repaint of my existing models. As I also noted, they originally served as allies for my Empire force, but over the years I collected enough to field a force in their own right.

Almost all the models are 3rd edition ones with a few 4th edition ones mixed in like the Glade Guard serving as Kin Band warriors. 
One of my most heavily converted dragons, circa 2006

High Elves- This will be tougher. Not because I don't have minis but because I have a force of at least 10,000 points of High Elves painted and another 4,000 points unpainted... But they are a 5th edition force in composition and models. This isn't a problem per say, but I'm not going to convert them back to 3rd, but rather leave them as is. Easy enough to play 3rd edition games with them, but unlikely to get a lot of the 3rd edition/4th edition range save for two: one being that ever elusive Elven Attack Chariot (for me).

The Empire- Actually my second army in 3rd Edition (more on that in a bit). Like my High Elves these guys are more configured for 4th-7th than 3rd edition. The good news its easy enough to use them in 3rd edition which I did in a battle around December.

Bretonnia- When I first played 3rd Edition I played my initial force as a Bretonnian force... Now I I can't stand Bretonnia due certain posters on a website that promotes them (you know the one). Ever wonder why the Word of Hashut #10 is the way it is? There you go. Right now I have a mixed force that is probably around 1,000 points. I don't really see my doing anything with them anytime soon.

I will be finishing up a Bretonnian canon however as it was one of my first mini purchases ever. Maybe even a small scenic base too. 

Chaos- My chaos force is largely done. it dates back to 1991 and sports a lot of original paint jobs from that time. As of late I've been splitting out the 5th/6th edition minis from the earlier ones. One "new" unit is a repaint of chaos warriors on foot. Right now I have 16 and have been scoping out the remaining 4. Highly unlikely to field 20 at once as the point cost would be over 1,000 points, but they will look cool none-the-less.

A unit of 25 Beastmen with some gors from 5th/6th and Talisman plastic Beastmen is also "under the brush", but back burner right now. 

Skaven- As my buddy Dave collected them way back when he got all of them from the joint plastic regiment boxes. As a result of this over they years they never had much appeal. I'd say I have 10-20 plastic ones. I could see a unit or two for allies, but I'm highly unlikely to gather a full force especially when one considers the amount of minis needed to field a Skaven force.

Orcs- From my Chaos Dwarfs force I've got more than enough to field a Orc and Goblin force but not too many in the way of 3rd edition minis. If I did I'd be looking for the orc and goblin war-machines to round it out. Hell I might just get them anyways as the minis are so cool.

Dwarfs- Like the Wood Elves the Dwarfs are an outgrowth of needing allies for my Empire force in larger battles (as I was the only one playing the "good armies".) The Dwarfs are the force I've changed the least over the years. What I have done is add more minis to them. The leftover from the Battle for Skull Pass box set have also made their way to the army. Right now I have four units to go with the 6,000 points of painted minis I already have. They were also the first force I thought of painting in a coherent scheme rather than individuals except for one unit where I purposely painted each mini different. As a result the unit is a miss mash of colors but the army is predominately green and yellow. All in all the force works.

Slann- Ahhh Slann. I have zero Slann minis unfortunately and I think I only ever actually saw a few in person painted (Dave had some). For some reason they were fairly hard to come by in the States in the late 80s and to try and collect them now? $$$

Undead- This will be a bit easier. Due to summoning spells in 3rd edition WFB everyone had a Undead plastic box set. Because of this I have one unit of cavalry, one unit of infantry and some extras. Coupled with the zombie plastic box set from 6th means I have the nucleus of a small force but needs some touching up on the first two. At some point I envision a small force along the lines of the ones presented around White Dwarf #142ish.

"Extras"
Norse- Only appeared in White Dwarf #107 and I have to say it let me with a meh feeling for the army. I have a few scattered Norse minis, but don't see myself undertaking this task for another human army largely composed of  infantry. Don't get me wrong the minis are cool, but where are the Norse riding war mammoths???

Nippon- My attempts at Nippon have been on again and off again as the mood strikes me. Now not a 3rd edition force the army list for 2nd could be modified to work with 3rd. I have a sizable force but its going to take a lot more time and a lot more lead. I do have almost every ninja model from the range which is kinda cool!

I think if I could get 1-4 of those damn Temple Dogs it would help!

Mercenaries and Allies- based on having so many armies I can usually field any allies needed. In terms of the mercs? I have the following:
  • Chaos Allies- both chaos dwarf war machines, a mortar and multiple bazukas!
  • Old Worlder Ally contingent- toyed with the idea of converting my Bret force to this contingent.
  • Halflings- Got a fair amount of these for a small ally force. 
  • Giants- Two giants, one old school.
  • Ogres- Unit of 8 detailed here.
  • Half-Orcs- this is going to be a quest. I want the 2nd edition range which goes for $$$ on eBay. 
  • Hogoblins- 25 old school hobgoblins including Baron Brightgore on the painting table!
That about rounds out where I stand in Oldhammer, a lot done, quite a bit to go by that's the fun of it. 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

What's on the painting bench?

Like a lot of wargamers/painters I've got a dirty secret. What is that you ask? Far more lead and plastic to paint than time. Just take a look at what is on the painting desk sitting in the "bull pen" area as it were. Show of hands who is just like me? Its said that 50% of gamer/painters admit to having way more minis to paint than time to paint them all. The other 50% is lying.

An even dirtier secret? This picture doesn't include all of my dark elves that are being repainted.And a dirtier secertx2? This doesn't include about 2-3,000 unpainted 4th through 6th edition High Elves, or terrain that is fully created but not yet painted! Arrrghhhh.



In away this post touches on one of the most ironic things about the hobby. When I was younger I had more time than money for miniatures (still did pretty well). Now that I'm older I have less time, but more money (comparatively speaking) for the hobby. Now the prices have of course gone up! Some days you're the bug, other days the windshield.

Included in the photo are (some highlights)
  • 2 Dragonmasters (one is mostly painted- an old butterfly wing conversion. Only the rider needs to be redone- He'll most like go to my 3rd Edition in progress Wood Elf Host). 
  • 16 chaos warriors on foot
  • 20 3rd edition hobgoblin warriors (including Baron Brightgore)
  • 4 dwarf units 
  • 18 (at the moment) Glade Guards to be utilized as Warrior Kinbands.
To close  I'd like so say I'm doing well shifting through my mountain of lead and plastic but who knows? I'm having fun, that's the main part, but I'd like to make some "progress". Yeah I know, Denial is just a river in Egypt either...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Part IV of the Repainting of my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force- The 1st Treeman

This post will be a bit shorter, but the subject matter isn't, not by a long shot. A mighty Treeman! For those not in the known, Treemen are fearsome in 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. An opponent who doesn't do their best to take these guys out early in a game is foolish.

Why is that? With stat-lines like these, these guys are (wait for it) monsters! WS of 8, S of 6, W of 6 and 4 Attacks? A Treeman is right up there with giants in terms of sheer hitting power in 3rd Edition Warhammer.

Image thanks to Goblin Lee's blog
I won't go into every detail as it has been covered depth and with an excellent analysis of the whole Wood Elf army by Goblin Lee here. I will say that I'm interested to see for myself how they perform in my revamped force. In the past the Wood Elf host wasn't so much an independent force as it was an ally contingent for my Empire army (as I noted previously).

The Treeman model in question was painted fairly well before I stripped off the paint a few months back; should have taken a pre-photo. The main issue with it was for some reason I used gloss coat to seal it rather than matte finish, don't ask me why. I purchased it in the mid 1990s when my forces were transitioning to 4th and 5th. I've always liked the look of this one compared to the classic range of Treeman in the 1980s. So with that in mind future ones I purchase will be of the same era miniature-wise.

The repaint went very fast and I'm pleased with the results. As you can see because I use black to undercoat the colors come out darker and "moodier" if you will. I do this on purpose as I've never been able to reconcile my painting style with white undercoating; don't know why.

The only real issue I struggled with was whether or not to add fall foliage to the Treeman itself rather than just the base as I have been doing with the rest of the Wood Elf host. In the end I didn't like how it looked so I just went with the base to tie it in with the rest of the force. A active Treeman pounding the snot out of his foes shouldn't be red, orange and yellow for leaves denoting the upcoming hibernation season for trees. Plus I want to avoid comparisons to the 7th Edition Wood Elf forces that are based on seasonal color schemes.

And so here he is. Finally got a natural light bulb for the painting desk again, but the grays on the bark are coming out a bit muted. In actuality those parts are a bit lighter on the higher points.



The next post, Part V will most likely focus on the painting of my general and mounted wizard of my bludgeoning force.






















Sunday, June 4, 2017

The one that got away, a Tale of eBay Woes

I'm fairly certain we've all been there before, that one time when you scored something on eBay only to get it lost in the post? In my case the only time I've ever had something not show up was a miniature.

My tale of heartbreak goes back about 10 years and the kicker was getting something for $20 that is now in the $150-200 range (bangs head).

To which mini do I refer? This one... the Elven Attack Chariot (sigh)


As best as I've been able to uncover, the delivery service dropped it off at the wrong address. My old address was 58 Frostholm Dr, I figure that they dropped it off on the next street over at 58 Fairholm Dr... The delivery service said it was delivered (I think it was UPS) but the home owners did not receive it.

So like a fisherman, this is my tale, the one that got away. But in this case it really happened...honest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Branching out, Miniatures-wise

While my first love for miniatures is and remains Citadel/Games Workshop (despite my love/hate stance with the company) I have been recently been looking at other lines. One that caught my eye a few months back was Otherworld Miniatures. Currently, I'm in the middle of working on multiple armies and terrain for Warhammer; enough to keep me busy for years. But while looking for art  male half-orc assassin artwork for D&D I came across the guy below. I finally decided to take the plunge and have since purchased they mini below and I am waiting on its delivery: DAD10 – Male Half-orc Assassin

Not my paint job but I like the look of it.
Really looking forward to this guy and getting some paint on him. Perhaps my next character in an AD&D game? I really like the look of the example above too.

As and aside I also like the look of Dragonrune Miniatures from the early 2000s which have a strong Warhammer influence. I found them around 2001 as far as I can recall.  I've been seeing more of them popping up on eBay lately. The ogres are especially appealing. The company didn't last all too long but can now apparently be procured from Armorcast. Perhaps a topic for a different day as I really like the look of the ogres.

UPDATE (6-22-17): After a bit of an adventure he finally arrived from the UK.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Getting the drop on the opposition in AD&D, a visual.

After playing RPGs and war-games since 1982 I've come across tons of art; some good, some bad and some in between. Of the old school artists from the early days of TSR are Tramp and Bill Willingham; 2nd Edition artists like Elmore are OK, but I'm neither pro or con for the most part. I've also played a ton of Warhammer (especially 3rd edition) so I'm also partial to art from Games Workshop stalwarts like John Blanche.

But this post isn't about that. This post is about something so over the top gonzo. So over the top that it's epic bad/good. So cool that it is hard to quantify. So of course its something from 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeon and Dragons. I should also note that despite 2nd Edition being my favorite version of Dungeons and Dragons and how I run it (see here) I'm not a particularly huge fan of the Forgotten Realms.

So with that said this nothing short of pure awesomeness.


At first I never paid this much attention back in the day: I don't currently have or need the book. But the more I look at it I've come to realize just how gob smacking cool this is! All too often over the years I've seen knights fighting hordes of bad guys ad nauseaum, orcs, thieves climbing demon idols, menacing beholders and mighty dragons on the wing and everything in between.

But getting the drop on some town guard flunky in such an unorthodox way? That's the stuff that legends are made of! And to do it with a loaf of ciabatta bread, left-handed? You don't get much more pimp than this move. Imagine the consternation of said city watchman heading back to the guard tower:

Master at Arms at the Tower: "So, William, did you bring the outlaw scum at the Sleepy Dragon Inn?"

William: (sheepishly) "No, I... uhhhhh... couldn't find him."
 
Master at Arms at the Tower: "Why is your face and neck covered with bread crumbs?"

I mean really who's going to own up to the fact that some dude in a tavern got the drop on you with his freaking DINNER! A plate maybe, a hunk of bread????

You might loathe 2nd Edition AD&D, you might not like the art (I've certainly seen better) you might not like the subject matter. But when is the last time you got the drop on someone in the game with one of your characters utilizing a loaf of bread? I'm guessing never.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Part III- The Repaint of Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers

Part III- The Repaint of Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers

Like a lot of my 3rd edition models these guys have undergone many paints and then subsequent repaints. As I noted during the initial post of this topic I had to paint a lot of models quickly back in the day as I was the only player of "good" armies; meaning in larger battles it was always me, allying with... myself. So being an Empire player primarily back then meant Wood Elves as an ally contingent.

I was fortunate enough to grab a box set of Skarloc's Woof Elf Archers around 1989 (the box is long since gone.) Their initial paint job was rushed quite a bit, I don't remember much by they were obviously clad in a lot of green. The second repaint left them likewise green but still rather flat and using 5th/6th edition shields.

For their last (hopefully) repaint I took my time. I actually finished them about a month ago but with a two-week vacation I'm just getting around to posting this. As you can see I went with the same autumnal feel for the color palette I've been using for all of my reborn Wood Elf force, along with appropriate flock.

The photos are bit yellowish as I've been having a hard time getting to the store to get natural light bulbs for the painting/photography area.





Overall, I'm pleased with how they came out. For the shields I opted for a simple white swirl pattern which I had for several painted Glade Guards. I echoed the color on the banner which is a stylized pair of wings.

Next up is a Treeman which is almost complete. Until next time.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Part II of the Repainting of my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force.

Part II of the Repainting of my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force.

The first unit of the rebuilt force can be found here.

Despite a major flood in the man cave of the basement, I was able to continue to churn out some more units. I've been working on two units simultaneously, one unit of 10 Wood Elf Wardancers and a unit of 20 Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers which will be used as Guards or Lord's Bowmen. The archers are nearly complete, but the Wardancers are fully complete!



As you can see, I've used some regular Wood Elf warriors and champion models to give them a unique look and feel. I have another unit of Wardancers that I'm still assembling models for. This unit is the left overs from the first unit in the sense of the actual War Dancer models. Back in the day I used the ten models I had as Sea Elf Wardancers for my High Elf force. These models were all  actual minis from the Wardancer range, but for the rebirth of the army I decided to spread them out across two units instead, make sense? The second unit will look more like the Wardancer troops depicted in the Warhammer Armies book.

In keeping with my first archer unit I repainted, I continued the look of fall foliage on the bases and movement trays. I plan on doing this for the entire army to give it a unified, autumnal look.

Next up? I have a unit of 4th edition Wood Elf Glade Guards. I've always liked better than the 3rd edition models for the Wood Elf Host. For the 3rd edition force they function as Warrior Kinbands obviously. My scratch built Wain Lord chariot is another possibility along with my first Treeman repaint.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Most Craptastic ad ever in a Gaming Mag

Usually I'm a live and let live kinda guy, but this one made me roll my eyes so hard they almost popped out the back of my skull... THE DRAGONMASTER'S RING!!!!

How did I come across this? A brief bit of background: one of my most treasured gaming materials is my run of Dungeon from issues #1 through #81; encompassing the entirety of 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D adventures. in sadi mag. It took my years, but I got them all, Dungeon is an amazing resource. When grogs complain "there are no good 2nd Edition adventures" I point them to this excellent resource.

But I digress: last week I had a flood as the sump pump float in the basement  got stuck. Long story short I thought my Dungeon mags were safe inside their plastic tote and plastic bags to boot. I was wrong there was a small hole in the bottom of the tote. So, I've spent the last week and a boatload of electricity with the fans, the dehumidifier and my wife's hairdryer drying the basement and said Dungeon mags. In the process I come across issue #79 and find this "gem".

Here is the monstrosity of which I speak.


There is so much that is just wrong with this visual. Shouldn't this guy be in one of the man-bands of the late 90s or something rather than playing role-playing games? There are no words other than what ass-hat would be wearing this thing and looking like this guy??? The Franklin Mint really outdid itself with this tool. I really like the tag line: "The Secrets of the Universe are Within Your Grasp." Thanks god for that! Within my grasp you say???? And just $195, exclusively from the Franklin Mint???? Sign me up! And I'm fairly certain most "Dragon Masters" don't look like Vinnie from the club.

Ugh.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My journey (back) into 3rd Edition and the rebirth of my Wood Elves

Now that my Chaos Dwarf force is complete (for the most part) I decided to really start painting/repainting my other armies. But before that...

In the past I described how around 1987-89 my high school buddies and I played some amazing AD&D games and a bit later some Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay which I outlined here.

As we transitioned to the later grades in high school we started playing Warhammer Battle, at the time 3rd Edition. For some reason my buddies started playing the game earlier than I. As I would later learn they all picked  different armies so they could ally with each other for larger games. As I recall it was a follows: Jeff- Orcs and Goblins, Dave- Skaven, Pete- Dark Elves, Mike- Goblins? and Daryl had a small Chaos Force featuring Chaos Snakemen. For the most part when I started playing everyone else had largely stopped except Jeff and Dave.

As you can see all of the evil armies were taken except for Undead which didn't appeal to me. So as I started out I briefly played one game with my army as Bretonnian force before converting it to an Empire force. At some point I may post pictures of my Empire army but not now.

So what does this have to do with Wood Elves I hear you say? Glad you asked. Since there was only three of us playing regularly, if we all wanted to play it would be Jeff and Dave vs me! So with an Empire force, what to do? I had to buy and paint my own allies and hence where my Wood Elves came from. In fact my Wood Elf force which would grow to about 1500 pts was just that, an ally contingent that got bigger and bigger. I'm guessing Games Workshop did this but design... Later, my High Elf army would take the same path until it got to be massive, far larger than the Empire force.



I really haven't set out to repaint my wood elves this last month of so, I was repainting my dark elves, but for some reason I stripped down the Wood Elves and started them up with a unit that was one of my original Wood Elf purchases: a unit of 20 archers from the Warhammer Regiment Box set. I think searched the web, not a lot out there in the way of 3rd Edition Wood Elf minis (painted and presented) that is.

As you can see above I repainted them entirely in traditional greens like their original paint jobs, but wanted to make them look very autumnal. So I stopped at the craft store for some Woodland Scenics clump foliage- Fall mix for the bases and the movement tray. For the first try it's a tad too clumpy despite getting the handle of cutting the foliage it with my x-acto as I went.

So stay tuned for further updates about the rebirth/repainting of my Wood Elf Host. Unlike my Dark Elf army underway at the Oldhammer Forums I think I'm going to keep all my Wood Elf updates here on the blog.