Pipers At The Gates of Dawn

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A week ago I had chance to finish these weird beauties. Three servants to the elder gods produced by Metal Magic sometime around ´89. They come from their very nice Dunwich Detectives line and to my mind they are among the best monsters from this range.

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What I really like about these models is their completely alien feel. They perfectly capture that uncapturable sense of strange otherworldliness that Lovecraft laced his so-called Cthulhu mythos with. And indeed they were rather strange, but also very fast, to paint. The minis have few details, no obvious facial features, in fact barely a head, and lots of weird formations on the skin, which can be a bit disorientating. But you gotta love these minis.

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They’ll be serving as demonic mutations in my private Oldhammer universe, where they’ll play their strange horns deep in the hidden valleys of the Black Mountains, where most of our small games are located for the time being.

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Ahh.. Can you hear it? That: “muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes; to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic Ultimate gods, the blind, voiceless, tenebrous, mindless Other gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep.” (H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath)

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But back to the dark elfs I’m working on now.

Cheers

 

 

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More mean, green dum dum boyz

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Yep, I’ve been painting greenskins again. As always they were a joy to paint. The goblins are not among the greatest figures of their kind but I really do like the little skinny fella with his hair in a knot. I guess he is one of the gobbos sculpted by the Perry twins but here I might be mistaken. The mini looks like a miniature orc and especially his face is very different from the usual facial features sculpted by Kev Adams.

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And speaking of Kevin Adams, the heavily armoured night goblin champion is undeniably not one of my favorite goblins. The mini is clumsy and lacks both character and a sense of dynamic quality. A trait which I think is characteristic of the goblins from around this time (the early 90’s).

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The two orcs were sheer pleasure to paint. Especially the hooded orc is great with the ragtag spear and his evil yet slightly stupid facial expression. Minis like this one is exactly why I keep returning to the Citadel greenskins from this periode.

 

 

Well, that’s it for now.

Cheers

Martin

 

 

Temple of the Blood Jewel

 

 

During the last week of April we played a small game of Oldhammer. A fierce struggle between a band of badass dark elves and the sinister inhabitants of an ancient, ruined temple deep in the Black Mountains where the fabled Blood Jewel lies buried. The backstory was quite simple. The warlock Amren was ordered by his mistress to find and bring her the Blood Jewel. The elves searched long for the gem and finally learned that it was hidden in a secluded temple of Law high up in the Black Mountains. The gem was hidden centuries ago during an attack by the servants of her Demonic Highness Manaar. The priests of Law were all slaughtered and the secret of the hidden gem forgotten except by the spirits of the dead who now have whispered the place of hiding to the dark elves during their necromantic rites.

Amren selected a small group of warriors to help him sneak into the ruins of the once great temple. But the servants of Manaar still dwell in the place and praise their demonic goddess with feast of blood each new moon. Amren’s elves therefore captured and bribed the goblin Bik, who served as guard in the ruins, to escort the warband through the secret, unwatched passages leading into the core of the ruins where the gem lies buried. The warlock Amren also chose to hire the muscles of Melvyn, a huge ogre mercenary willing to embark on the adventure for ample payment in gold and carry the equipment needed for climb through the steep mountains.

Thus armed and ready the dark elves entered the heart of the temple, ready to storm in, grab the jewel from its hiding place beneath an old statue and get out of the temple as fast as possible. This however proved more difficult than anticipated. The ever watchful demon Manaar alerted her servants to the presence of intruders and soon the dwellers from underneath the ruins were milling forth to kill the elves.

Amren and his brave company succeeded in grabbing the gem and almost succeed in taking it out of the ruins. In the end however the forces of Manaar cornered the last elves and one by one the last ones fell heroically until the last survivor was Melvyn, who sneaked out while no one was watching.

What a great game we had with good character developments during the game and lots of in-character interactions and empathy. This is really what all Oldhammer is all about for me.

Here’s a few random shots from the game. Sorry for the blurriness!

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Technicalities

The setup of the scenario is quite simple. A statue is to be placed in the middle of the battle field. Underneath this statue the blood Jewel is hidden. The statue has 6 wounds and T5. Melvyn is strong enough to move the statue by force. This takes two turns of undisturbed labour.

The elves enter the battlefield from one of the four corners chosen randomly. As long as the goblin scout Bik is alive they may leave the battlefield through any corner they wish (due to his knowledge of the ruins); if he is dead they have to leave by the way they entered.

We did not use any unit formations during the game. All miniatures counted as single models and acted as such. We also ignored all rules of panic, but used the rules for push backs and fear.

 

The servants of Manaar

The dark elves are hugely outnumbered but the enemies keep entering the battlefield in random numbers and from random sides of the table. Here is the list of the inhabitants of the temple:

 

1  Giant rats [10]

2  Guard dogs [10]

3  Goblins [24]

4  Goblins with bows [6]

5  Orcs [24]

6  Orcs with bows [6]

7  Skavens [6]

8  Cultists [12]

9  Hobgoblin overseers [3]

10  High-priests of her Demonic Highness Manaar [3]

11  Ronk the Troll*

12  Lucia – The Chosen of her Demonic Highness Manaar* 

The ones marked with an * are single characters.

 

Each turn the player defending the temple rolls a D12 to see which type of creature arrives and a D6 to see their numbers. Then a D4 is rolled to see from which side of the table they enter. The creatures always arrive outside their charge range from potential enemies. The number marked [] is the total amount of each creature in the temple. Once all have arrived on the table they are discounted from the list and the player rolls again to find a new result.

 

That is more or less it. We applied some special rules to the game. Rules for the use of rope and some other small stuff taking inspiration from the terrain and scenery used. Do the same. Look at the battlefield and make it interact with the game.

 

Dramatis personae

First we the elves and then the creatures. We printed the pictures of the elves and used them as cards during the game.

Amren

Tuas Melvyn Maela Drestina Cynbel Bik Aedha

 

The Dwellers in the Temple

1. Giant Rats

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 2 0 3 3 1 3 1 4 4 5

5

Poison bite +1 to S

 

2. Guard Dogs

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 3 0 3 3 4 4 1 6 4 6

6

 

3. Goblins

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 2 3 3 3 1 2 1 5 5 5

5

Light armour, shield, hand weapon

 

4. Goblins with bows

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL

WP

3,5 2 3 3 3 1 2 1 5 5 5

5

Light armour, shield, short bow (16”/S3)

 

5. Orcs

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 3 3 3 4 1 2 1 7 5 7

7

Light armour, shield, sword

 

6. Orcs with bows

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
4 3 3 3 4 1 2 1 7 5 7

7

Light armour, Sword, Bow (24”/S3)

 

7. Skavens

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
5 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 6 6 5

7

Sword, light armour, shield, sling (S3 / range 18” / can fire 1 or 2 shots)

 

8. Cultists

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7

7

Light armour, shield, sword

 

9. Hobgoblin overseers

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 5 3 4 5 2 4 3 8+1 6 6

6

Light armour, two-handed sword

 

10.  High-priests of her Demonic Highness Manaar

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
3,5 5 5 3 3 2 5 2 8 8 8

8

Light armour, sword

 

11. Ronk the Troll

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
6 4 1 5 4 5 2 4 4 5 6

6

Club/Vomit/Thump 

 

12.  Lucia – The Chosen of her Demonic Highness Manaar 

M

WS BS S T W I A LD INT CL WP
4 5 4 4 4 2 4 3 8+1 9 7

7

Heavy armour, hand weapon, shield, Roll D3 Chaos attributes

 

 

 

Cheers

Martin