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.

 

 

The Curious Case of the Goblobber

Ok, this may be old hat to you, but I recently noticed something odd concerning the Goblobber while flicking through the 3rd edition rulebook for Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Now, we all know what the brilliant Goblobber and crew from ’87 looks like. A masterpiece by Michael Perry from the golden age of Citadel captured splendidly on the box art for the war machine. 

The glorious Goblobber as we know it

However, on p. 105 of the rulebook we see the Goblobber with the bow-part mounted reversed. What is this about? It is clearly the same model as the one from the box cover. Did something happen to the model between the two photos? Was the bow loose and mounted wrongly by the photographer when taking the picture for the rulebook?

The Goblobber as seen on p. 105 in the Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook p. 105.

This is certainly curious. I started googling images of the Goblobber and while most people have assembled their ‘lobbers with the bow in a traditional way, such as this one, brilliantly painted by Jaekel.

The Goblobber painted by Jaekel

But I also discovered this by Orclord on the Stuff of Legends page.

Orclord’s Goblobber

Here the bow or crossbeam is also mounted the ‘wrong’ way round and the caption for the image even comments on this without further explanation.

What is this about? Is there a connection here? how this did happen twice? I am puzzled and I clearly have too much time on my hands when having time to ponder such hobby oddities. Does anyone of you Oldhammer scholars have some info to share concerning this, which can shed some light on the matter

Again, sorry if this topic has already been discussed to death on Facebook or some other forum.

 

Orcs once again

As mentioned previously I am all about painting greenskins at the moment for a scenario we are playing later this year. So, as said, be prepared for a number of posts about orcs and goblins on the blog. Hopefully you won’t find it too dull. While I usually get bored when having to paint large numbers (more than four or five really) of the same type of minis in a row, the greenskins do a lot to help prevent burnout due to their fun, diverse nature. The orcs or goblin of the Perry’s and Adams are really an eclectic bunch when it comes to physiognomy and general look. Thus all one has to do is to vary the skin tone in order not having to paint the same green again and again and each orc and goblin by this really turns into a little world of its own; a quality which is lost in lost more recent greenskin models, I think.  

What we have here in this post is troopers from two Citadel speciality sets. First up is an archer from the Harboth’s Orc Archers box, released in that golden year of ´87. I really love this set and always had a thing for bow units.

The second orc is of course from Ruglud’s Armoured Orcs, also produced in 87. I like the armour and iconic, weird helmet on this one, but his face is definitely not, at least to my mind, Kev Adam’s best work. Nevertheless, I think the troopers from this set work very well as a special unit. Their heavy armour does make them stand apart from most others orcs produced during the same era, making them really useful when one wants to portray a special, hard hitting unit, veteran troops or such things. Good stuff.

A giant scorpion to hide in giant boots

img_1001Wow, long time no see! December just went by with lightning speed and January more or less the same way, but let’s see if the coming months will give a bit more time for blogging about miniatures. At least the weather is improving which means better light and thus better photos. I don’t have any fancy photo lamps and have to limit myself to natural sunlight which is a scarce thing here in Copenhagen at the moment.

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The big boy you see here is of course the citadel Giant Scorpion, released in 1987 I think. It’s a really big mini and certainly looks scary as hell. My wife even called it a disgusting piece, which should be considered as a credit to the sculptor who really succeeded in creating a menacing, spiky scorpio-beasty here.  I’m quite taken by the mini as a whole but to be honest, the face (snout?) part of the scorpion looks rather cartoony, which in a way runs counter to the vibe of the rest of the figure.

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Like it’s contemporary cousin, the giant spider, the scorpion as a pain to assemble. At least my butterfingers had a hard time getting all the legs in place, without their pose looking completely ludicrous. In the end I think a succeeded and I’m happy to say that I like the result a lot. I chose a sort of natural colour scheme for the scorpion which perhaps is a bit dull, but such dull things seem to appeal to my rather drab way of thinking.

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The scorpion is soon to star in a little Rogue Trader scenario at my house on March 6. A scenario entitled “Valley of the Scorpions” (I told you I was drab!).

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Cheers
Martin

 

Problem solved!

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By the help of the good people on the Lead Adventures Forum my ‘mystery piece’ is no longer a mystery. As it turns out it indeed is a Grenadier model, produced in ’87, for the Dragon Lords series of boxed sets. This one is entitled Encounter at Kohmar-Lolth. A great name isn’t it? Very Robert E. Howardian. The piece was sculpted by Andrew Chernak.

Encounter at Kohmar-Lolth box

As I suspected two torches and even a crystal ball on a pedestal is missing from the throne. I’ll definitely have to try and make something similar once I get going at the model. As you can see from the picture below a lot of other stuff was also included in the original box, which apparently never made it into the collection I acquired last year.

Encounter at Kohmar-Lolth box backside

I’m actually looking very much forward to get started on this model now. Keep an ey ut for the lich king of Kohmar-Lolth on this blog!

The Boyz Are Back in Town

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Here you see my latest output – five more greenskins. Technically they’re all orcs as the little fellow you see among the classic Citadel orcs is an orc from Metal Magic. However in my collection he’ll be serving as some sort of elite goblin. Elite because he looks way more well-equipped and fierce than most 80’s-era Citadel goblins.

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I’m no huge Metal Magic fan but they did a lot of fine models, but I’m not sure their orcs are to be counted among them. Somehow their orcs lack personality or that certain quality which makes the miniature vibrant. At least that’s how I fell about their orcs. Nevertheless I have quite a few of these Metal Magic orcs and eventually, once painted, they’ll constitute a nice alternative to my Citadel greenskins.

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Most of the Citadel orcs were produced in that golden year of 1987. The only exception is the one in a brownish red/yellow tunic holding a bow and grabbing for his scimitar. He is one of the Orcs of the Red Eye-range released in ’85 (I think) for the Middle-Earth universe. Not that this makes him different from the other orcs in any way!

IMG_1601The shield you see in the middle, on the slightly blurry picture, was inspired by Eddie on the cover of the first Iron Maiden record. The guy on the shield ended up looking somewhat more like an undead Ziggy Stardust but being a major Bowie-fan this hardly matters.

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Iron Maiden 1980

Iron Maiden 1980

Ziggy Stardust

Ziggy Stardust

Ah, what geeky fun we have with our miniatures.

Cheers

Martin

Some orcs and their spiritual leader

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I finished basing these orcs some days ago. Somehow I always end up postponing the basing of the minis; starting new projects or fiddling around with other thing instead of completing what is right in front of me. I’m sure this may sound familiar to quite a lot of you. However, usually when I start working on the bases I find it quite fun. Thus I’m not sure why I try to avoid doing the bases in the first place.

This band of merry orcs were all produced by (of course) Citadel, in ’87 I believe, and they are absolutely classic minis. At least the two guys on the left as well as their shaman are perfectly loveable orcs. The last one with the bow is less eye-catching but he was fun to paint. The shaman on the other hand was a pain in the ass. He’s covered with small, fiddly details and while they may look great, they certainly took forever to paint. By the way, the white face on one of the shields looks surprisingly smudged on the photo. In real life it looks very different and much better. I guess the minis were over-lighted when I took the photo.

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As a little twist I gave the shaman a familiar. A giant ladybug! I’m quite fond of this little detail.  What do you think?

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