Sunday, 28 February 2021

Project Backlog, Part 5

Silver Tower: Ogroid Thaumaturge

Combining bestial strength and ferocity with dark occult powers, the Ogroid Thaumaturge is a cunning and deadly foe. With snarled invocations the Thaumaturge hurls roiling blasts of energy into the enemy ranks, before stampeding into the midst of his reeling foes to gore and pummel the survivors to bloody ruin.

I wanted the Ogroid Thaumaturge to match the Tzaangors I painted in 2016. This meant blue skin, purple armour and mane and yellow tabard. What I needed to do, was getting its base to match the Shattered Dominion ones I'm using for the other Silver Tower models. I didn't want to buy a whole box of 40mm and 50mm bases just for one model, so I scratch built a base using some cardboard.

Using a 40mm base as guide, I cut a circle of cardboard which I then broke into smaller pieces. These were then glued onto the model's 50mm base after assembling. It turned out 40mm was too much and I trew away some of the cardboard. Next time I have to do something similar, I'll go for a shape 2 measures smaller than the base I'm using for the model. A skull and some textured paint completed the base.

I've tried to have the skin going from dark blue on the back to pale blue on the chest. While I didn't exactly get the transition I was hoping for, I'm still happy with the final result.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

The Scouring of Pale Gorge, Part 1

A Shortcut to Roasted Boar

The Ghyranite woodsmen huddled around the stranger sitting by the fire of the Inn of the Prancing Gryph-charger. Visitors were rare in that corner of Verdia, even more so if they came from Shyish. The pale Trade Pioneer had arrived that morning in the village and by the evening everyone that wanted to hear news from that distant Realm was at the Inn.
The stranger had told the crowd of the conflicts around Lethis and Glymmsforge, but it wasn't until he started telling of a strange wooded land stuck in a perennial autumn that the simple men were really captivated. And as he told them of a wizard that lived there and of his descent into necromancy, the woodsmen turned as one and spat onto the fire.
"Kalyustar, you say? And you call him Exile?" a tiny voice coming from the edges of the circle broke the silence that followed.
The woodsmen turned around and parted, revealing to the stranger a little creature, man-like but short and rotund with naked hairy feet. He was old, and yet his eyes sparkled like those of a young boy.
"And you lot spit on his name when you should thank the Everqueen for him! Really, your memory is as short as you are tall!"
"Here goes old Steve again!" intervened the inn-keeper. "You will excuse him, I hope, but he's the last of his kind and a touch bitter at us humans. Please, do continue! You were telling us of the Harrow..."
"Shut up, the both of you! And listen, you all! For this village wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand!"
The halfling pushed his stool forward, sat down and deliberately put his feet on the edge of the fireplace.
"So... it was after the Season of War. Back then I served in the Free Companies of the Gilded Hand. You know them, the sell-swords that protect those Chamonite traders coming through the Gate of the Seventh Shard. They were opening that route to the Fastness at the time. And then the 'Eadsplitta took over the Pale Gorge".
A whisper rose from the woodsmen. They had all heard the stories of the Runt Waaagh! from their grandparents.
"Yes, them greenskinz and grots... and they started to ambush the traders' convoys. So it was us that they sent in, the Venythian Rovers I called us. That was me and Rodrik, a fine captain of the Free Companies, and Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand."

We came through the Gate of the Seventh Shard on a bright Naive Hope morning. You could still smell the brimstone from the siege of Greywater Fastness in the air, even that far away. We set off to Pale Gorge, and Ghyran at the beginning of its seasons of growth took my breath away. We travelled for a day and set camp not far from this village. It was your great-grandfather that told us of an idol of Gorkamorka, Alyush. It seemed a good place to start our hunt and we made for it the morning after.
Rodrik and Kalyustar were just entering into the Gorge and I was watching over from its ledge when I spotted them. An ardboy boss and his mates, bullying over a bunch of smaller orruks.

The boar riders sprang forward, but the rest just stood back yelling at us. They were in the open and between my hunting bow and Rodrik's pistol we felled the first.

Kalyustar and Rodrik then charged in, and though the boss' boar gave Rodrik a good kicking, the lads killed another orruk and the boss realised it was a good idea to run away.

Kalyustar then blasted the boyz cresting the hill. I added my arrows and two of them went down.

'Forward to victory!' cried Kalyustar, orruk arrows pinging off the barding of his horse and off Rodrik's armour. And, oh boy, if it wasn't a spectacle when they slammed onto those arrow boyz!

And no matter how much the ardboy boss yelled, at that point all the greenskinz turned tail and fled.

I could barely see through the undergrowth, but the shimmering in the distance told me Kalyustar had summoned one of his protective spells. I guess that saved the lads' skin when the arboyz charged them.

But then I heard the crackling of Kalyustar's bolts and the shouting of the boss suddenly stopped.

I had to move carefully, for the slope I was on was treacherous, and though I managed to get to a better position, my arrows bounced off the arboys' armour.

I kept firing, but really what won us the day was Rodrik's grit. I mean, he was bleeding from a dozen or so wounds, and yet he did not give a single step back. That Freeguilder really knew how to hold the line!

The battle was over and the lads went through the loot carried by the orruks. They got themselves some trinkets and the like. Me... I was more interested in the boars! Three roasted shanks were exactly what we needed to get ourselves some respite!


The Venythian Rovers

Exploration rolls: 3 - Threat Level: 3 - Map Fragments: 0 - Spectral Lanterns: 0 - Battles Won: 1
Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand (Archmage, from Grand Alliance: Order): Grave-sand Ossuary. Wounds suffered: 1 - Enemies killed: 5
Captain Rodrik (Freeguild General, from Grand Alliance: Order): Potion of Aqua Ghyranis. Wounds suffered: 3 - Enemies killed: 4
Steve Boffin (Huntmarshal, from The Empire Compendium). Wounds suffered: 0 - Enemis killed: 1

Project Backlog, Part 4

Silver Tower: Brimstone Horrors

When a Blue Horror is wounded it vanishes in a cloud of smoke, and is replaced with a pair of Brimstone Horrors. Savage little sprites formed from living fire, these diminutive Daemons leap and crackle as they worry at their enemies' shins and set fire to their battle-garb.

This week I was a little busier with work, so I had to sacrifice some hobby time. The Brimstone Horrors were perfect for that as all it took to paint them were a yellow, an orange, a red and a black drybrush over a white undercoat, followed by a yellow glaze, which I easily squeezed in during my breaks.
Now I don't want to jinkx it, but it seems that tackling my backlog has taken me out of hobby enthropy! In six weeks I've painted 10 models, rebased 50 more and converted and painted a terrain piece! I think I've never been so productive!

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Villains of the Hinterlands, Part 1

Badruk Eadsplitta's Runt Waaagh

"It has become increasingly rare to encounter those specimens of orruks reported of in the chronicles of the Age of Myth, the Greenskinz.
Nonetheless, they are occasionally spotted in those remote corners of the Realms spared the worst of war. Perhaps is this lack of extreme conflict that prevents those Orruks from growing stronger or from being deeply touched by Gorkamorka. Besides their smaller size and comparably saner behaviour, or perhaps because of them, Greenskinz also appear to be more tollerant towards grots. It is thus not uncommon for such tribes to comprise both orruks and grots on a regular basis, rather than as an alliance spurred by the common thirst for violence.
When these Runtz, as the other orruks call them, are found by the roaming remnants of defeated Great Waaaghs, it takes very little to start them on the path of the Waaagh. These Runt Waaaghs are generally brief, but as always when orruks are involved, violent affairs. If they are not quickly stopped by determined opponents, the continuos conflicts pursued by their new leaders strengthen or madden the Greenskinz. By the time they emerge from the hinterlands, the grots have been weeded out and a new Ironjaw or Bonesplitter tribe is ready to join the nearest Great Waaagh.
One such Runt Waaagh was formed shortly after the Season of War in Ghyran. Following the horrific siege of Greywater Fastness, Ardboy Boss Badruk and his mob roamed far and wide until they stumbled upon an alliance of Greenskinz and Moonclan Grots. Badruk immediately issued a challenge to any and all bosses, orruk and grot alike. In quick succession he beheaded three orruks, but did not keep count of the grot bosses. Or perhaps they were more than five and he lost count.
As the heads were piling up, the tribe Great Shaman, Worgutz Deffskull, stepped forward, hailing Badruk as the Eadsplitta and their new Warboss. A high pitched scream of indignation came from Loonboss Gripe Neckstabba and Madcap Shaman Flug Sourtongue, but that was immediately drowned in the orruk boyz' chanting. A couple of green flashes from Worgutz eyes scorching the ground in front of the grot leaders closed the deal."
from 'The Greenskinned Menace' by Alhacleas Pyrarius

I've recently hacked the rules for AoS solo playing published in White Dwarf 458, so that I could use any model as the Adversaries, rather than just the three factions covered in the article. However, I didn't have enough models on round bases to be used as minions. So, I dug out my old Orcs & Goblins and rebased a few of them.

I had already done Badruk and the Ardboyz for Armies on Parade 2019. Since they were a matched play valid unit, I went for minimum sized matched play units for the other models, even if less are needed to play a solo campaign.

Now I have plenty of minions and bosses to play a solo campaign and, whenever it will be possible to go back to real gaming, a 1500 points army.

Since I was at it, I've also calculated how many more points I can get by rebasing the rest of the army. That will be another 1500 points allowing me to deploy either 1000 points of Gloomspite Gitz, 2000 points of Greenskinz or the whole lot as Grand Alliance Destruction army.

Anyway, that rebasing won't be done for a while. Now it is time to get some gaming done!

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Project Backlog, Part 3

Aenur, Sword of Twilight

Some say Aenur comes from the Celestial Realm, from one of the fabled White Towers, and that he is a Loremaster of the legendary Eldritch Council. Others claim that he is a Dreadlord in exile. Aenur himself says little about his past and those who are wise do not question him.

Like most hobby veterans, I was extremely excited, back in November 1999, when that month issue of White Dwarf announced the launch of Mordheim. To make things even better, the issue came with a give away: Aenur, Sword of Twilight, one of the Dramatis Personae fighting in the City of the Damned.
Either me or one of my brothers had given a go at painting it. I can't remember who, but the results must have been disappointing as when I fished it out of the backlog box I noticed there were still traces of stripped off paint on it.

This is the first model I've painted using only Contrast Paints for the non-metalic base colours, and I've to say I'm really pleased with them! After some highlights, I weathered his cloack and boots using watered down Typhus Corrosion, followed by a drybrush of Karak Stone when there were still some wet areas in the creases.
I have to say, it is satisfying to see a model painted after 21 years of neglect! And you know what? He might even soon see some action in the Hinterlands of the Mortal Realms.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Project Backlog, Part 2

Silver Tower: The Purple Coven

Marked by the Changer of Ways for their cunning and devotion, these warrior cultists fight with blade, sorcery and terrifying zeal. They are the chosen mortal warriors of Tzeentch, and with the proper chants and rites they are able to combine their gestalt magical might before unleashing it in crackling bolts of unnatural flame.

The announcement of the new, amazing Warhammer Quest: Cursed City reminded me that I have most of my copy of Silver Tower still on sprues since 2016. What could make for a better endeavour for my Project Backlog than to try and have them all assembled and painted before the release of the new game?

Like the other models from Silver Tower I've done, they were based on Shattered Dominion bases. And finally, I've managed to get the right green and yellow shades so that they are almost indistinguishable from the game tiles. The Adept conversion is not at all original, as many people also gave it the ghostly apparition from the Battlemage kit when the game was out. Still, it looks so good I couldn't pass on it!