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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Oh Yeah, that other area of Wargaming- Terrain

(Grrrrrr.... Once again my love/hate relationship with Blogger continues as this hosting platform ate a large portions of my changes to this post and for whatever reason auto-save did not work....)

As summer turns to early Fall here in North America I take a pause from my intensive construction of my Warhammer Nippon Castle and the start of Castle Von Wittgenstein. (as well as numerous Warhammer Fantasy Battle units for various armies) I got to thinking about the overall amount of time that I and I suspect others engage in when it comes to terrain. It is my contention that there probably isn't as much compared to actual painting and assembly of miniatures which is to be expected.This in a way is a sad thing because one of the most rewarding areas of the game in my mind and in way one of the cheapest is terrain. Certainly when one considers the cost of Oldhammer; i.e that almost any miniatures have to be purchased off of eBay and not so nice prices, terrain is cheap in comparison.

When I say lack of terrain, I'm not saying there was none in our games, but rather a decided lack of attention to it  to a large degree. By this I mean buildings, forests/woods, rivers etc,were present, but not large scale projects I mentioned above. Even back in the day when 3rd Edition was the current edition of the game, I don't recall creating as much terrain compared to the gold standard of what we saw in White White Dwarf. Sure, in my gaming group we had the main board (cut into 12x12 sections for ease of transport), some trees, hedges and fences but not much else. Buildings were taken care of by the Warhammer Townscape book, but none of us attempted to create more elaborate pieces.
As an aside: over time I purchased another Warhammer Townscapes Book years ago and since I inherited our old terrain as a gaming group I reckon I have about 1.5 sets of buildings from the two books. I say 1.5 because despite this I don't have all of the buildings due to various moves and some being destroyed over said time-frame.For those not in the know, Warhammer Townscape was a book of card-stock buildings that one folded and glued, looking like this =>

For me the lack of terrain is odd when you consider the totality of the hobby. Even though I saw some of the excellent buildings created by Dave Andrews in various White Dwarf articles, it wasn't until after the heyday of 3rd that I really started constructing my own buildings. But a funny thing happened when I did I start creating them, I did so in a style very akin to 3rd Edition. This is probably not as "funny" when I think about it, for example (Willmark's Homemade Warhammer terrain)

Now, I posted these years ago on Chaos Dwarfs Online and are a slection of some of my terrain and the the style is distinctive, atat the same time familiar. But even with these I still wasn't doing anything too new, as a lot of the pieces were right from White Dwarf (not that its a bad thing).

I guess when you put it all together, terrain is one of the most under represented parts of the hobby (to a degree) but one of the most universally praised? Or put another way, gamers love terrain, but usually the last thing created. This in and of itself is surprising for another reason when one considers terrain is actually one of the cheaper areas of the hobby.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Nippon Warband Mercenary Scum!

That's right as outlined in my thread over at Dogs of War Online I've been working on again/off again on my Nippon mercenary force. I've got a lot of stuff on the bench right now but as we are in the waning month of summer here in North America mt thoughts turn back to painting. So with that I finally finished up a unit for the Warband of Nippon: a unit of 25 samurai.

As with all of the units of this army I'm making them flexible enough to be used in varying editions of Warhammer:
  • When used in 2nd Edition they will be fielded as ashigaru with hand weapons. 
  • In 3rd Edition they fall under Empire as a "Count As" force. From that list they use the stat line for Eratzsolder with light armor and hand weapons. 
  • For a true 5th/6th Edition Dogs of War force? Well... they don't really fit at all unless I used them as Norse Marauders but the base sizes don't really work. With that said I don't really think I can use them as is in any form really as the Core choices for  Dogs of War are pikemen and crosswbowmen. The only thing that comes close for the 20mm bases in the Special Choices are... dwarfs, not really helpful there GW.
So without further delay here are the ashigaru/ronin/lower class samurai as promised. They are not the best unit I've ever painted but considering the stop start nature of them at least they are complete. I tried to keep teh colors somewhat muted for most of the warriors as some later units will really stand out, these guys I wanted less, flash but still painted a few brighter colors.

More details are over at the thread at Dogs of War Online, including what is up next for the army and the Nippon Castle.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Old Worlder Ally or Older Wolrder Mercenaries?

As the title notes... but not really much of conundrum. The reality is these guys I just finished up could be used for one of three things in 3rd Edition Warhammer.

  • Part of a small force of Bretonnians; unlikely as they are by far my least favorite army.
  • Or as a Old Worlder Mercenary unit
  • Or as a Old Worlder Ally unit.
As I outlined here these minis are from my very first army, Bretonnians... which lasted all of one battle before converting them to Empire. (see I disliked them even back then!) Through the years they saw a few different configurations, even buying 5th edition Bretonnian warhorses and repainting them. Fortunately for me I did save the horses they came with and had a vague idea of making them into a terrain piece: horses around a paddock. But as in my previous post I noted I wanted to bring them back to 3rd Edition. They were mostly in good shape but a fair number of the horse tails were missing so green-stuff to the rescue.
    Regardless of how they are used there is still a further plan with them. I still have 10 more horses that I will expand to another unit. Once I have the riders for them I will split out the Templar painted knights for their own unit... Dues Vult! (Note- nothing more implied by that other then the Templars themselves.) These are left overs from my Imperial Knights who were rebased on armored horses and fit perfectly.

    Like the rest of the mercenary forces I've used brown bases for them and added a few half-buried shields and mushrooms to give them that 3rd edition look and feel.

    Anyways, here is the finished unit. Of special note is the Templar in the front row on the right of the standard bearer. He represents the first Warhammer minis that I ever painted. I've since repainted him a number of times and hopefully this is the last.

    Thursday, March 22, 2018

    Part VII- Repainting the Wood Elf Force

    I now turn back to a army that I haven't worked on in several months, my Wood Elves. As I last left the army it was at the state of adding my converted Wood Elf Dragon Rider. (Part VI described here).

    This time around, I've churned out twenty 4th Edition spear-men for my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force... Obviously they fill out the role of Warrior Kinbands in the 3rd Edition Army list.

    Couple of points:
    • I went with the 4th Edition range for several reasons, one being cost: the 4th edition range is not that hard to come by and the prices to round them out were fairly cheap. When compared to the 3rd edition elves they were significantly cheaper.
    • Availability- Not to hard to find on eBay.the 3rd Edition elves with spears on eBay are bit more and usually in smaller groups. I was able to assemble the unit fairly quickly.
    • Most importantly, I like the minis. I'm not sure the reasoning, but I've always liked these pointy ears.
    So I started with 12 that I had bought years ago; stripped the old paint off and started at square one. Got eight more off eBay last fall and just got around to painting them. So without further delay the next unit to come off the bench.

    As you can see I continued the autumnal feel with the basing. I also continued the green shields with the white swirl pattern to tie them into the rest of the army thus far.

    Next up for this army is... I'm not sure. I have another unit of wardancers currently standing at 7 out of 10, and two units of 20 archers formed from metal command/hero minis and miniatures from the plastic Warhammer Fantasy Regiment box set.

    Saturday, February 24, 2018

    3rd Edition Warhammer Chaos Dwarf Army list

    Special thanks to orlygg for the scan and the ones that appear in the "army book" below.
    Being the Mad Hatter that I am I decided a while back to post my "back-port" of a Chaos Dwarf Army list to 3rd Edition rules. I've been on the periphery of the Oldhammer movement, but felt compelled to give back by standing on the shoulders of those who got the ball rolling as it were.

    For those not in the know, back in the 3rd Edition days the Chaos Dwarfs only appeared in two sections in terms of armies in the game and then not even in their own army. They appeared in Warhammer Armies: as part of the Chaos Ally contingent and as part of the Khornate army listed in Realm of Chaos- Slaves to Darkness. Even then, the Chaos Dwarfs were different than what would appear in the 4th Edition rules in their own "Army Book". From there there, the uncertainly of 5th through 7th editions until Chaos Dwarfs Online spearheaded a resurgence and brought them back from the brink of disappearing.

    So with this in mind I attempted to create an army listing in the same vein as how they were presented in 3rd Edition, but using the organizing concepts of 4th Edition and beyond. That is to say I combined orcs and goblins into the list, even though in 3rd Edition they are listed as hating all dwarfs including Chaos Dwarfs. Oldhammer is what you make it and I'm not too worried about the 3rd Edition Warhammer police breaking down my door by breaking a rule. Then again, with Games Workshop Legal? Who knows...

    Knowing a fair amount about graphic design and having produced both the Word of Hashut and Gold and Glory ezines it was a fairly easy task to replicate the look at feel of Warhammer Armies. The problem wasn't the design but rather it is my illustration skills which have atrophied over the years. Sot it was a lot of scans were in order, namely from White Dwarf, Realms of Chaos- Slaves to Darkness and Warhammer Armies.

    Be warned, this has NOT been play tested so who knows how it will work! You'll also note that there is space for adding rules for the Chaos Dwarf Juggernaut. Strangely, Games Workshop created the model back in the 80s, but never created rules for it. The production run of the mini was limited and goes for quite a bit on eBay. At some point I'll add rules for the miniature and its accompanying crew.

    For more details on Chaos Dwarfs in the 80s and early 90s, be sure to check the excellent site Realm of Chaos, a leading light in the Oldhammer movement.

    The 3rd Edition Chaos Dwarf Army list can be downloaded here, let me know what you think.

    Saturday, February 3, 2018

    Creatues of Chaos Incoming!

    As if I don't have enough to paint already and adding to the fact that my painting desk is groaning under the weight of copious amounts of unpainted lead. What do I do? Of course, I purchase more minis. I've been eying the excellent range of Creatures of Chaos by Andrew Taylor for several months now and finally got around to pulling the trigger. Suffice to say I'm eagerly awaiting these guys from the UK.

    My purchase was of the cockatrice, chimera and manticore with a toss-up between the chimera and manticore as to which one I want to paint first! NOTE: these are not my paint jobs:

    If you are in the market for these guys, whether for role-playing games or for war-gaming you could do a lot worse. These guys look excellent and cant wait to get my grubby mits on them. Link to Langley Miniatures. I'll just have to remember to post my progress here as my various projects underway are scattered across multiple sites.

    Lastly, more Old School miniatures in thesame vein goodness can also be found here, great stuff really.

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    Warhammer 3rd Edition- Old Worlder Mercenary Contingent

    One of the coolest things about 3rd Edition Warhammer are the rules for Allies and Mercenaries. While not perfect, I think they are the closest they have ever come to being truly playable in the various iterations of Warhammer.

    This post is about the Old Worlder Mercenary Contingent, but first a bit of backstory.

    As I noted here, my very first step into Warhammer Fantasy Battle was in 3rd Edition. Since the other guys had already picked armies and we didn't want to duplicate any one army I had a few choices to go with, all on the "good side". I had always liked knights back in the day so Brettonia it was. A few stops at the local games stores left me with the following for my very first games (around1988)

    • 10 Chevaliers D'Honneur
    • 22 Archers
    • 1 cannon and crew
    • A bunch of assorted models I recall fielding as Brigands. 
    I only ever recall playing against Dave's Skaven before converting them to an Empire force which would become my first real army. Jeff had some he sold me some Empire halberdiers I think to bolster the force and aide the conversion of the army. As knights of the Empire I used epoxy glue to add aluminum foil to paint barding! Ugh. The lengths we went through to make the models WYWIWYG. Nowdays I could pull it off with green-stuff but back then my skills at modelling werent so good and no one knew what green-stuff was.

    After a while my dislike of all things Bretonnia grew as well as eventually creating three 10+ units of Empire Knights which the need for Brettonian knights standing in as Imperial ones diminish. Even so, I bought some 5th Edition Bretonnian horses a number of years later repainting and remounting the knights; and then promptly did nothing with them. I was fortunate in that I did save the original horses having a vague idea of using them as steeds for a paddock and stable terrain piece. A casualty of them sitting at the bottom of various bits boxes for years was that almost all were missing their tails. No big deal as I recreated them with green-stuff that came out quite well. Moral of the story: never throw anything out!

    Now this brings me to the present. A month or so back I stripped down the archers and primed them just for the Hell of it. But in doing so I got to thinking. About six months I have reassembled one of my Bretonnian cannons that I saved the frame for 20 years (the barrel was part of a crappy home built steam tank, now since destroyed). Did this mean I was going to reassemble my Bretonnian? No. With a perusal through the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book it became clear it would be more fun to paint them up as scummy mercenaries! This has the added benefit of the fact that I'm the administrator of Dogs of War Online, homeland of mercenaries!

    A few nights of stripping paint, redoing horse tails and finding shields and were all set. Note the shields will be repainted; some of them sport their crappy 1988 paint jobs. Paint jobs reflective of me not knowing what the Hell I was doing back then..

    Snooty Bretonnian knights on the way to becoming scummy mercenaries!

    So now the force becomes:
    • 10 Tilean Condotieri or 10 Estalian Caballeros
    • 22 Archers now equating to 20 Frieforstjaegers*
    • 1 cannon and crew (probably will just end up as a small diorama type piece)
    • 9 crossbowmen I've had for odds and ends to form a small unit of Tilean crossbowmen. 
    • Going to add 20 pikemen from either the Pike and Shotte range or the Perry Miniatures range*. 
    • 20 Bretonnian brigands. I did have a few here but foolishly traded them, I'll need to reacquire these guys.
    • I also was able to rehab 10  unarmored 3rd edition horses; I'll be looking for more knight figures on eBay sans riders to fill them out.
    • Still need to decided on a mounted contingent commander.
    * Yes, the rules say a maximum of 20, but I'm not too worried about the 3rd Edition Warhammer police breaking down my door at 2 AM for rules violations....

    ** Perry miniatures obviously, seamlessly integrate with the other minis. Minis from the Foundry line are another possibility.

    Free Foresters at the ready!

    So with that I'll have a nice, tight Old World Mercenary force. In a pinch they can shift to an Old World Ally Contingent as needed or even a small Bretonnian force (yuck). The only downside is that only Empire, Bretonnian and Dwarf armies can field Old Worlder Ally and Mercenary contingents...

    As an aside, I also now have enough minis from the various armies to field almost all outside of pygmies, Skaven (I have some but not a lot) and Fimir. My ultimate goal is to have enough to field all these! But for some reason Old Worlder strikes me as cool as I haven't really seen any truly dedicated forces on the internet. And that's my goal to have enough dedicated minis rather than always pulling from the main army.

    Last part for those wondering- yes I'm still working on my scale Castle Von Wittgenstein and my Nippon castle. In fact I'm working on a ton of stuff and going wherever my muse takes me! Its a fun ride, updates over at Chaos Dwarfs Online and Dogs of War Online.

    Monday, January 1, 2018

    Death on the Reik- Scale Model of Castle Von Wittgenstein

    My favorite RPG might just be 1st Edition WFRP, followed by 2nd Edition AD&D. So with that in mind my thoughts have been turning to iconic images from 1st Edition WFRP. And if I don't have enough "irons in the fire" as it were when it comes to Warhammer projects my thoughts have been turning to the next large scale terrain project.

    What got me thinking about it is this: 
    T1 The Village of Hommlet was a classic, seminal module for many and the Moathouse (meat grinder thought it was/is) stands a indelible image of AD&D. I think for me it would be fairly easy to do something like this, but its already been done as it were. And I should add its an excellent model all around so no need to do it again.

    So with that in mind, my thoughts have started to coalesce around this, a scale model of Castle Von Wittgenstein from Death on the Reik.

    It's certainly an ambitious undertaking at a 25-28mm scale, but after this I think I can pull it off:

    I don't think anyone has ever done something quite like this in terms of an old-school module as a terrain piece, that is in WFRP terms.

    Now, I do have the module (obviously) but one thing I'd have to decide early on is which route to go. What do I mean by that? The floor plan/map is not the same as the art which is to be expected.
    The tougher route to go with is the art because its just that one picture from the cover and the backside not shown would require some guess work based on the map.

    NOTE: I've posted this a couple of different places (Chaos Dwarfs Online and the RPG Site) to gauge interest/ideas/feedback.

    Right now this is in the idea phase only.