Blood on the Snow… or the mud

A few weeks ago we had the chance to play the 2nd ed. WFB scenario called “Blood on the Snow” by Matt Connell, published in White Dwarf 91 (1987). It is a four player story which, at least on the surface, pitches dwarfs and humans against a band of respectively orcs and goblins. It is a rather fun scenario with lots of potential as each player has objectives, which very likely will run contrary to otherwise obvious alliances.

The backstory is basically that a keep, built to guard a cave connected with the cult of Sigmar, has fallen into the hands of vile greenskins. The keep was manned by dwarfs, when it was overrun, and now two small armies of men and dwarfs trying to reclaim the place from the invaders.

My battered copy of White Dwarf 91 (1987)

The scenario takes place during the early winter and it thus suggests the use of snow terrain, which is cool, but I did not have any and we therefore renamed the scenario “Blood in the Mud” and placed the story during the early spring instead, when the valley was filled with mud, not snow.

Beyond this change I also added a few components to the individual armies in order to create a bit more diversity and invest the game with further dynamics. A few simple things, such as giving the orcs an owlbear for instance. Otherwise we ran the thing more or less as written. With some banter, beer drinking and smoke breaks it took us roughly seven hours to play, which was longer than expected, but perfectly doable for a Saturday where we began around noon.

The table lay-out as depicted in White Dwarf

It was a close shave, but in the end the dwarfs and humans conquered the keep and kicked the orcs and goblins out of the valley. This was by no means a given and the game thus had a lot of great tension. The overall winner was the human fraction, who succeed in gaining most of their objectives, and the bigtime loser was the orcs who undoubtedly have the toughest task in the scenario, as they pretty much are left to defend the keep while the goblins are allowed to roam the battlefield as they please.

If interested, you can find the individual rosters here:

Blood in the mud_dwarf roster

Blood in the mud_human roster

Blood in the mud_orc roster

Blood in the mud_goblin roster

And here you can see the checklists for the individual objectives:

Blood in the Mud_Victory Points

For the whole backstory you will have to dig out the old issue of WD.

This is what the game looked like. I am sorry for the slightly dark pictures. We played in a somewhat murky room, which did not allow for good photos.

The battlefield as it looked in our interpretation

The armies are advanciong

 

Singing pilgrims on their way to free the captured Cave of Sigmar

Dwarfs marching into the valley

 

The goblins rushing out from their Winter camp in Sigmar’s sacred cave which probably would need a reconsecration after having housed the little gobbos for an entire winter

Wolf riders were the first to leave the cave. Note the stone thrower in the background. This machine really proved lethal during the game

Wolf riders again

Humans moving into the valley

Orc archers leaving the keep to take up a position outside the walls

Humans advancing through the small farm established by the dwarfs in the valley

Orcs with spear ready to defend the bridge

Wolf riders fleeing in panic through the farm after having been hit with a stone from their own stone thrower…

Goblins fleeing towards the advancing dwarfs after having seen their wolf ridring friends on the run

The owlbear slowly moves across the bridge

The dwarfs have to make up their mind – should they face the owlbear or go straight for the bridge?

The troll, a part of the goblin army, was more or less stupid the whole game, but it still managed to hassle the human troops quite a lot.

The dwarfs ready to cross the bridge

Humans and goblins clashing

Human Archers and men-at-arms fighting the stupid troll who kept regenerating wounds

Enemies facing each other while arrow flew both ways

Goblins approaching the dwarfs

The dwarf crossbows succeeded in killing enough orcs to make them flee back into the keep, which inflicted more panic and thus dissolving the orc force, leaving the keep wide open.

The final combat ends. The pious monks ran the last goblin unit off the table and thereby the cave and the keep was recaptured from greenskins

 

Brunhilde Oldhammer-style

One of the many lighthearted minis produced by Citadel back in the day is definitely this so-called barbarian, sculpted by one of the Perry brothers, I believe, and released in ‘87. The model is funny and delightfully absurd it its use of the Viking tropes culled from Nineteenth-Century historicism. The template for the pompous lady is of course the character of Brunhilde from Wagner’s “Ring”, specifically as Brunhilde was portrayed by Amalie Materna (1844-1918). Or at least how Materna later came to be received in popular culture as the archetypical ‘fat opera singer’ as in ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings…’ etc. Sadly the mini was not sculpted with the iconic wings on Brunhilde’s helmet, but it is still close enough to be a clear homage.

The glorious Amalie Materna (1844-1918) as Brunhilde.

As to the mini itself I did a fairly simple paintjob, going for a reuse of the same colours on her shield and at the bottom of her robe. A slight unevenness in the sculpting of the face, combined with her round cheeks, makes her face rather hard to finish in a satisfying way. Somehow she looks a bit cross-eyed no matter how you do the eyes, but I guess this is part of her charm. I enjoyed painting her anyway, and I am glad to have her in my collection.

Some time ago Foundry rereleased her along with other classic barbarians from Citadel. Mine is a Citadel original, but it certainly is nice to have her available again at, if not little money (this is Foundry we are talking about), then at least a cheaper price than what we often see on Ebay.

 

 

Three Orctober Orcs

Here I’m back with a quick post showing some orcs I finished a little while ago and thus catching the very end of Orctober. Time slipped away from me these last weeks and I have not been able to find the time for blogging. Hopefully this changes in November. At least I have a bunch of minis to show you, which I hopefully will find the time to photo this coming weekend – not only fantasy, but also Sci-Fi stuff.

But back to the orcs. They are really a random bunch of greenskins. The pictures are not that good. They look a whole lot cruder here than when I look at them with my (old tired?) eyes. I guess you know the feeling. The first one on the left is one of the very first minis ever I have owned. It has thus been with me for quite some years now. Back in the early 00’s I stripped most of my old minis of their paint and this one has been resting in the lead mountain unpainted up until recently. It was accordingly a rather nostalgic moment for me to actually repaint this chap after what amount to 20 years or so. I still love this orc despite this particular mini is suffering from some severe mold lines rather stupidly going through his face.

The other two orcs are of the savage kind. The one in the middle from the early 90’s is completely goofy and over the top. I don’t really like the model, but I painted it anyway and it was actually a nice mini to work on. In order to have some fun with the model I added a big cartoony arrow to the already extremely cartoony model. By the way, what exactly is that thing on his head? I have no idea. The last one on the right is a classic, cool savage orc. You gotta love these savages. So cool and angry looking!

That’s all for now. I will be back soon with more painted stuff and perhaps a battle report from when we played the old Blood in the Snow scenario ’87. Yeah!

This is a stick-up!

A few weeks ago we played a little game of Rogue Trader. The set-up was a simple; a classic objective. One player had to get a transport across the table while the other had to capture or prevent the transport from getting out. To spice thing up a bit we planted two groups of so-called Floaters on the table. They moved randomly D8 inches each turn but were otherwise identical to the Floaters described in the Deathworld Flora of the Rogue Trader rulebook. Having jungle and swamp terrain handy at the moment due to our Isle of Dread campaign the scenario took place in a somewhat similar setting.

The background narrative, feeding into an ongoing story, ran something like this:

The enigmatic gang leader Krulak has had a series of victories recently, not in the least after having dealt a group of orks a severe blow at a confrontation deep within the industrial jungle of Rustville. Krulak’s usual strategy is to take a cautious role rather than actively seeking confrontations, but it has come to his ears the renegade scientist Dr Kitchener is in the process of smuggling some off-world eggs from a rare species down on the planet of Kenwah III. The habour for the eggs is the illegal spaceport, position close to the small rural community of Dusty Meadows. Once on the planet the eggs are placed in a small transport vehicle. The smugglers Dr Kirchener has hired for the job is a group of space nomads from the now destroyed planet of Delborh. Since the destruction of the planet the Delborhrians have travelled the galaxy and earned their living as traders and smugglers. The group of Delbohrians Dr Kirtchener has hired is led by Fylaz.

When we entered the scenario Fylaz and his group of Delbohrians were on their way through the swamps to Dr Kitcheners secret lab in the wilderness. At the spaceport the Delbohrians were met by Dorffs, an ogrynn henchman, who is to accompany them on their way and keep an extra eye on the shipment.

All of this has caught the ear of Krulak’s spies and despite the fact that he has no real knowledge as to the use or nature of the illegal eggs, Krulak has decided to steal them from the Delbohrians. He has thus equipped a small raiding party for the mission, led by his right-hand man The Nazz.

The fight was a close one. The Nazz and his gangers almost succeeded in capturing the eggs, but in the end the Delborhrians succeeded in delivering the eggs to Kitchener. The game was fast and tremendously fun to play because it was so close at all stages. I had actually had the opportunity to playtest the scenario with Thorbjørn, AKA Dr The Viking, two days before, and he helped me fine-tune the scenario – especially concerning the Floaters (Thanks for the lesson in probability calculations!). The Delbohrians also won the first time the scenario was played, but the two games were very different, which in itself is quite fascinating.

Oh well. Good times. This is what the game looked like.

The 4×4″ table

Delbohrians and the transport

On the move through the swamp

Sneaking up on the caravan

Gangers crawling on their hands and knees to be in cover

The Floaters are getting close

Novi Batzer has activated his Camo-Canopy which has power for 10 turns. You can follow the countdown on some of the pictures

The Nazz makes a run for it with the transport

Floaters on the lake

Here it ended for The Nazz

 

Earth Elementals…ish

I finished these two elementals for a scenario we are going to play later this month. The large one is the Citadel Earth Elemental released way back in 1984 (I think) and thus certainly a mini of a certain age. I really love this earth elemental – it is large, hulking and has this great genie pose with a ton of character. It even seems, sort of, to have found its way into the art work of the WFB 3ed rulebook where a very similar earth elemental is depicted om p. 272.

The earth elemental drawn by Tony Ackland

The small one is a Golem from the Night Horrors range released around ´86. He is also sometimes found listed as an earth elemental and I will be using him as an elemental in the scenario, but I have in fact not found him listed as an elemental in any official Citadel material. The tab also reads Golem.

Before painting the golem, I was a bit confused as to what was what on the mini, but after I began working on him things started to make sense and what started as a slightly skeptical attitude towards the mini turned into something way more positive. It is definitely not the greatest sculpt produced by Citadel, but is has a lot of charm and you got to love the power pose.  

Now I really need to get my hands on the fire, earth and water elementals as well. The collecting never ends…

Isle of Dread, Chapter 4: Camp raid

In this fourth chapter of our Isle of Dread-campaign the camp of Malcon deWitt and his group was attacked by a mysterious patrol of amazons and tribesmen. The attacking patrol was on its way back to the heart of the island, where their stronghold is placed within an ancient, ruined temple. On their way they discovered Malcon’s camp. Curious as to the origin and plans of these strangers the amazons decided to kidnap a member of Malcon’s group in order to interrogate their victim at a later stage.

When the amazons attacked the camp Malcon and most of his men were out hunting and collecting fresh water. There was only four members of the party back in the camp, facing the attackers. However, their fellow travelers heard their cries for help and rushed back to the camp, attempting to get there in time. What no one from the hunting party knew was that a giant constrictor snake pursued them back through the jungle. While the returning hunters thus rushed to the rescue they were at the same time attacked from the rear by the giant monster.

In the end Malcon and his party succeeded in fighting off the attackers. They also managed to capture a tribesman and an amazon and thus had the opportunity to question them as to what was waiting for them in the heart of the island. more about this in the next chapter.    

The rules for the scenario were quite simple. Beforehand we rolled which four models from Malcon’s group would be left in the camp during the attack. Rasmus, playing the camp group, luckily rolled all characters, which certainly made it difficult for the attackers. Malcon and the rest of the hunting party would return on a 5+ (rolled on a D6), tested at the start of each turn.

The giant snake would enter the table the turn after the hunting party came onto the table. Again, Malcon was lucky, and entered the table in the second turn of the combat, which all in all made it rather difficult for the tribesmen and amazons as their momentum more or less was nonexistent. As a side note I can mention that all the amazons were each equipped with one dose of magic Koka Powder. The powder could be imbibed during the Magic Phase and give the model one extra action that turn.

The aim of the attackers was, as said, to kidnap a victim and drag a model off the table. We thus established that when fighting you could roll to knock unconscious or to wound as normal. When hitting to knock unconscious the opponent would count as having double wounds; hence you will note some small red dice on the table.  

This is what the game looked like. We were playing in a slightly underlit basement, which shows in the pictures.  

The 6×4 table we played on

The peaceful camp just prior to the attack

Jolly and Ricco hear something approaching the camp and prepare themselves for trouble

The patrol of amazons approaching the camp through the underbrush

Malcon, Peter and the men-at-arms rushing back towards the camp

The camp. One of the soldiers is moving the two pack mules away from the action

Amazons approaching

Bringing the mules into safety

Tribesmen advancing together with the amazons

The giant snake following the trail of Malcon and his men

Ricco hiding in the bushes in order to sneak around the approaching enemies

Jolly Drake shouting the alarm

The hunters rushing back to the camp

amazons and tribesmen entering the clearing where the camp is located

Tribesmen charging forward

The giant snake

Ricco all of the sudden found himself in deep water

Jolly face to face with a fierce amazon

Ricco fighting off tribesmen

The hunters returned in time to protect the camp. Malcon’s hound Kenza was the first to charge the enemy

Ricco slays the last tribesman

Jolly having downed an amazon with two lucky shots from his sling

Kenza, the hound, suddenly was surrounded by enemies

Peter the Melancholic was the first to discover the giant snake hot on their heels

One of Malcon’s loyal fighters face to face with a tribesman

The enemy pushes into the camp

Ghimar, the barbarian, and Malcon charge into the tribesmen and amazons

The situation was looking dire

Amazons attacking

Peter joins the struggle to help

The enemies proved no true hallenge to Malcon and Ghimar

The snake killed creeps forward into the camp

Fighting all over the camp

The snake takes on its second victim

Ricco and one of the fighters did what they could to hold back the tribesmen

Malcon started to chase off the last of the attackers

The snake was inside the camp now

Mopping up the rest. Malcon attacked the snake and sent it back into the jungle

A few, old gobbos

Here’s three old, early 80’s pre-slotta gobbos finished a while ago. They look rather different from each other, however, the Ral Partha one on the right is really the odd one out. This one is, of course, sculpted by Tom Meier; an old favorite of mine. While painting the Meier goblin it suddenly dawned on me that the little chap is going commando, so to speak. You can almost see it in the photo. Tom Meier sculpted a number of trolls with a bare bottom, but I didn´t know that he did the same with at least this goblin. Perhaps he did more; semi nude orcs? Elves?

I really love these old goblins and the sense of wicked menace they convey. Particularly the Meier goblin is really oozing grim evil, but the other two have something of the same. Most will probably prefer the humor Kev Adams brought to the greenskins, but I really dig this early stuff.