The Attack on Linden Way


Two weeks ago I had the chance to run the third Orc’s Drift scenario – the attack on the small settlement of Linden Way. In this scenario the orc tyrant King F’yar’s tribe lead the attack and they were indeed joined by the orc king himself and his ten orc strong personal guard. You probably know the scenario, but just to repeat the story anyway: The orcs attack the settlement and the small community of civilians have to flee off the table while a group of 30 soldiers and the village mayor Leofwine take a last stand against the orc horde. 

The orcs are more or less bound to win this one and it is thus up to the human player to make the orcs pay dearly for the attack. The villagers have quite different stats, some are rubbish, some surprisingly strong, which certainly took the orc player off guard a few times during our play. In the end the orcs of course butchered the soldiers. The orcs lost five archers in a whole, not to the soldiers though, but thanks to the inn keeper’s ferocious father who drove them off the table edge!   

The scenario set-up in the campaign booklet

The two first scenarios in the campaign are incredibly hard on the orcs and while this one seems fairly easy, it still took quite some time to play. To catch the fleeing villagers is no easy task and the orcs, moving as units, really had a tough time preventing them from escaping. On whole we had quite a good time playing this but I admit that it at times became quite fiddly and cumbersome when moving the orcs around.

King F’yar was really an indispensable asset here. Having him flying around the village on his wyvern gave the orcs a much-needed flexibility and ensured that the ten archers placed at the top of the watch tower had very little impact on the game. 

The highlight of the scenario is the villagers. They have a ton of character and fostered numerous hilarious situations and jokes during the game. Ranking the three first scenarios this third one comes in second as the most fun. The first scenario is still the best in my book. Now I am looking forward to concluding the campaign – perhaps at some point during the autumn. We will have to see about that.

I took some rather crappy pictures during the game which looked like this. 

Our version of the scenario set-up

Villagers and soldiers leaving the houses in the settlement

Villagers preparing to flee

Archers on the look-out in the watchtower

Advancing orcs

King F’yar flying into Linden Way

Orcs on the move

Fleeing the village while the soldiers prepare to stand their ground

The soldiers

Orcs approaching Linden Way

King F’yar considering a charge


Closing in on the village

King F’yar changing his position

Almost inside the village

The village baker on the run

Hiding in the bushes

All of a sudden the mad hermit Barrachus charged out from the ruin, attacking his hated enemy orcs. This certainly stopped the orcs for a few turns before the hermit was killed

King F’yar fighting the archers in the tower

Orc heroes taking the lead

King F’yar hunting villagers

Magar Ironfist sensing someone sneaking behind him inside the ruin

And a few moments later the storekeeper was dead

The soldiers taking their fighting position

Orcs closing in ready to charge

The inn keeper’s farther charging the orcs

King F’yar swooping after the cowardly mayor Leofwine who attempted to lure the enemy out of the village

The soldiers receive the first charge

And then finally the orcs swallowed the soldiers and killed them all


The last drifting orcs

This is my take on the orc minis known Bagrash and Magar Ironfist made famous through the Orc’s Drift campaign. You will find numerous examples of those two painted on the web and my take on them does not differ widely from what you will otherwise find. Nevertheless they were great fun to paint and prime examples of the wonderful orcs, sculpted by the Perry’s I believe, before the wacky Kev Adams-style took over.

Painting wise I would point out that the skin colour on both orcs was the same, but I gave the Bagrash model a yellow glaze for the sake of variation, which changed the hue of the skin tone completely. For some reason I really like the idea of my orcs and goblins having rather diverse green skin colours.

Both orcs have a ton of character and I’m not sure which one I like the best. However, when looking at third Orc’s Drift scenario, where they make their appearance, the choice of model to represent Bagrash is a bit odd as he is a shaman. The mini hardly screams sorcerer or tribal mage and I guess whoever selected the models for the campaign just liked the figure or simply picked a random orc to be Bagrash. Does anyone know the story behind the selection process?

Unless I at some stage get my hands on the fabled Hagar Sheol miniature and I get inspired to paint my Guthrum Mane giant, those were the last minis from the Orc’s Drift campaign I had to paint and thus my little endeavor has come to an end. Nice. Now I will have to see if I could not getting around to playing the campaign. In my group we have so far played the two first scenarios twice but never gotten around to playing the last two parts.


King F’yar by Tony Ackland

Tony Ackland’s drawing of his orc on wyvern

Wow, this one really challenged my photo set-up and skills. Sorry for the odd pictures!

What you see here is of course the orc on wyvern sculpted by Tony Ackland and released by Citadel back in 1984. This would indeed, to my knowledge, be the first model to pair those two and thus sparking a long working relationship between orcs and wyverns. The model a few years later came to represent the power-hungry King F’yar in the Orc’s Drift campaign. Nevertheless Ackland’s wyvern seems rarely to show up painted on the web. I am not sure why, but my guess would be that the style simply is too archaic and pre-“golden age” Citadel, even to the tastes of many within the Oldhammer community.          

The model is fairly big, even by today’s standards, and the lizard-like wyvern completely steals the show. I really love the strange looking, winged beast. I had never seen the sculpt before I went to the first year of BOYL. I cannot remember who had brought the orc wyvern, but it certainly caught my eye and I captured one for myself on Ebay a few months later.

Tony Ackland is a magnificent artist, I love his drawings, and his sculpting on large models, like wyverns and war machines, is brilliant. His work in smaller scale however is not as good, and the orc riding the wyvern was quite complicated to paint. It has quite a lot of details, but all of them sculpted in very low relief, making then hard to interpret and paint. The fangs of the orc, for instance, are barely anything but hinted lumps and this you will find repeated in all other details as well. This leaves the orc somewhat unsatisfying to work on, and while I am very pleased with how the wyvern turned out, the orc is I bit frustrating to behold. But then again, this is some of the stuff you have to face as a collector and painter of old lead.

Nevertheless, I am quite happy to finally having painted Ackland’s wyvern. It is a striking sculpt, and now I also have the joy of finding a practical way to store this rather fragile chap!

Elderly dwarf and baker

I have been painting Orc’s Drift miniatures off and on for a while now and here you see two further specimens from that list of distinguished models. Two lovely chaps. To the left we have a dwarf elder who in the campaign scenario is named Gymlet. It is a splendid little sculpt with a ton of character. He was a pleasure to paint; especially working on his face was fun. The other mini is another villager – the baker – with all the old school charm of the entire ‘villagers’ range. Both sculpts are quite simple, without many details, but I guess this is exactly what makes them work so well. Unadorned and simple, yet full of life.

With those two painted I have finished most of the minis connected to the campaign, missing only a few orcs and of course King F’ar on his wyvern. In fact, I have finished those as well, but they still await proper basing, but they will show up in a blog post very, so if interested, stay tuned. 





Drifting with the orcs again

Here’s some rather hasty snapshots of a selection of the character models from the last two scenarios in the Orc’s Drift campaign pack. I’m sorry for the slightly blurry images – I somehow couldn’t get the camera working right despite the fact that the lighting was good.

First up is the inn keepers father. It’s one of the better minis from Trish Morrison’s line of townsfolk and villagers from ‘85. A line which has caught quite some flak over the years but I must admit that I find most of them charming.

The second model is Mayor Leofwine and while the miniature isn’t exactly screaming “mayor” it has a certain imposing air to it. It’s slightly rough around the edges, but the cloak was a delight to paint.

Speaking of rough sculpting we arrive at Bertolac – a fighter who seems closely related to the Young Fighter miniature from the Adventurers Starter Set from 1985. Especially the head and the face of Bertolac is crudely shaped and a bit difficult to paint, but the I guess he’ll look just fine on the tabletop. The shield motif I copied from Gary Chalk’s rendition of Bertolac in the campaign material.

I also copied Chalk when painting the fabled Osrim Chardz; one of those rare dwarves that can be rather costly, especially when looking at the “Buy Now” prices on Ebay. I could not help myself using Chalk’s rather bold, bright colours from the depiction of Osrim on the Orc’s Drift box cover but I think they work well on the mini and while it certainly was a bit intimidating starting to paint this one I’m fairly pleased with the end result. The model is perhaps a bit too busy on the details, but he’s a cool little piece. The miniature itself seems related to a whole little group of dwarfs with the King Gorrin from the Dwarf Lords of Legend  (1985) and Pulper Spikehead from the Chaos Dwarf Renegades (1986) boxes.


Osrim Chardz by Gary Chalk in an ad for the Orc’s Drift box

My personal favorite from the lot however is the old dwarf adventurer who in the campaign material goes by the name Beli. I really dig the seasoned, melancholy look of this guy. In many ways this mini sums up all I love about Citadels dwarfs from the 80’s and I never really get tired of these models.


That’s all for now.




Meet the Fimbuls


As promised in the last post I here bring you Borinn and Snorinn Fimbul. The father and son who lead the small band of gold fever-crazed dwarves from the second scenario in Games Workshop’s Orc’s Drift campaign from ’85. Borinn and Snorinn along with 11 other members of their race have thus settled on the plateau of Ashak Rise where they are now completely absorbed in washing gold nuggets out of the silt from the River Canis as the Severed Hand tribe come marching into the scene on their way to meet up with the rest of the orc tribes at Orc’s Drift. Combat of course ensues but the dwarves have a delightfully non-heroic objective.


I really like this pair of miniatures. They have everything I hold dear when it comes to vintage Citadel dwarves. They are very distinct personalities and practically ooze adventure and fantasy. The pair was also very well chosen for the scenario – Borinn, the father, has a stately feel to him as he calmly smokes his pipe, while Snorinn, the son, is smaller, more slender and caught in a dynamic pose. Borinn is originally part of the Dwarf Adventurer range and his son Snorinn belongs to the range of Norse Dwarves.


Along with the Fimbuls you see the three pack mules also part of the scenario.

All good stuff.






Bow-wow Bow-wow


Ok, so here we continue with models relevant for the Orc’s Drift campaign. What you see here is the orc champion Grashak Kra, who was already presented last week, and his pack of wild hobhounds rushing towards Ashak Rise and the dwarf miners working there. Something which takes place during the second scenario of the campaign.


I don’t think there is a colour-canon for painting hobhounds but some Google searches confirmed my general impression that people mostly have approached them very traditionally. I wanted to add something to the miniatures, making them slightly weirder and perhaps even a bit wilder. The minis themselves have a certain monkey-like look and this I took as a que for the baboon-like heads and combined it with fur inspired by hyenas. The result is pretty strange but also very dramatic and drama is, I think, what these minis need in order to work well. Because, honestly, the hobhound minis have a certain goofiness to them, which counters the very idea of them as being the fiercest, meanest sort of warhounds around.


Nevertheless I’m rather pleased with them and it certainly took some time to gather ten of these pre-slotta beasties (from 1984 I believe). Luckily Mr. Phreed kindly provided me with the last three I was missing. There was, I think, only produced three different hobhounds and as you can see I ended up with six of the same dogs. I could not bring myself to do any conversions on them. Although I considered adding some armour here and there.



Next up is the dwarfs from Ashak Rise.



Severed Hand Personalities’s been a while since I posted anything on the blog. It’s not that I haven’t been painting rather the opportunities for taking pictures (I haven’t advanced beyond using natural lighting yet) and finding time to actually write the posts have been limited lately. Life you know… Well, what I have been doing is painting stuff for and from the legendary Orc’s Drift campaign from 1985 for Warhammer Fantasy Battle 2ed – the first large campaign-box Games workshop produced – which you of course all know.




What you see here is the orc characters for the second scenario “Ashak Rise”. First we have my take on Hagar Sheol – the leader of The Severed Hand Tribe. I was debating myself for some time what to do with this character as it gradually dawned on me that I probably would not be able to lay my hands on the original scenario model anytime soon.

The Hagar Sheol scenario model. A rare and expensive Little chap

The Hagar Sheol scenario model. A rare and expensive Little chap

Thus I started looking for a replacement. However, once I accepted that I would not be able to use the original I thought why not try to make my own Hagar. So that’s what I did. I rummaged through my pile of unpainted orcs and found a suitable model to convert and set out to make the model resemble Gary Chalk’s fine, fine portrait of Hagar on the cover of the Orc’s Drift scenario booklet. I must say that it was an extremely fun project, but the collector-part of my brain is still nagging me and I’ll probably never be complete at ease before I tracked the original Hagar down. Nevertheless I must admit that I’m very fond of my version.

Frontcover of the Orc's Drift booklet with a drawing by Gary Chalk

Frontcover of the Orc’s Drift booklet with a drawing by Gary Chalk


The other orc is a ‘scenario model’ who goes under the name of Grashak Kra. A fierce, cool orc champion of the sort I love; punky, wild and wicked. He also appears outside the Orc’s Drift universe as an ordinary orc champion and is very easy to find and thus not expensive in any way.


That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more Orc’s Drift stuff coming up soon.