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


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!

Back with the orcs again

Here I am once again with more orcs. I have painted way too many of those lately and they really start to bore me now, but those two I post here and a few more, which in fact are finished, were the last I needed to do at this stage. This means that I will be able to focus on other stuff, the results of which I will be able to show you soon. In fact all I need is some time to take photos of the minis, which sometimes can be a bit of a hassle. You probably know what I mean.

There is not much to tell about the Citadel orcs you see here. Both are really nice models of an orc vintage I love. I chose a somewhat dark skin tone for both of them, which I at this moment seem to prefer over the lighter tones of green I also use. But this varies constantly and in a few months it will probably be the lighter tone I prefer again. This switches all the time.

The orc on the right is of course of Talisman fame. I was not trying to copy the colours used on the character card from the game, but the image must have been on my mind somehow, as there certainly is a lot of similarities.

The orc character card from Talisman, 2nd ed.

I will be back soon and this time not with orcs… or goblins!

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


Yep, still more greenskins

So here I am again with another mix of greenskins and this time the mix is particularly eclectic. First up is one of Kev Adams’ early 90’s night goblins. I was never really taken with the night goblins from this era, but they are certainly nice and smooth to paint and still way better than the later, plastic incarnations of the gobbos – at least to my mind.

Speaking of smooth painting the next one is an early 80’s pre-slotta so-called Red Orc from the Fiend Factory line. This is a very crude sculpt indeed and somewhat of a challenge to paint, but I must admit that I rather like the odd moon face and the strange body proportions of the red orcs.

Then we have another familiar face from the Fiend Factory line – a pre-slotta goblin archer. The outlandish fishlike face (and feet with only three toes!) of the goblin made me paint his skin tone blueish or turquoise. I don’t know if this was I wise decision but sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see where things end up. This sculpt is in many ways much better than the red orc, but I would still choose the red orc over this fella.

Finally, we return to Kev Adams with a goblin he sculpted for Crooked Claw Miniatures. Like most of his Crooked Claw gobbos this is a fun and wicked looking chap with lots a character. Good stuff.

Luckily I have now finished painting the last greenskins I was planning to do and I am thus now stated painting other stuff. Hurra. However, on the blog the next post will still be showing greenskins as I will post the remainder of my work as well. Nevertheless, bear with me, other stuff is coming down the pipeline.

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.

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. 





Orcs with bow and arrow

OK, I admit it, this is not the most interesting blogpost ever, but in order to get the ball rolling on the blog again I will show you my output as it gradually is finished. Here we thus have two orcs, mostly done a while ago, but they somehow stranded when it came to the basing, which I finished a little more than a week ago.

What you see is one of Nick Lund’s gloomy orcs released by Grenadier. These orcs don’t match perfectly with late 80’s Citadel orcs but when put together, like here, the difference in size or scale is really not a big problem – at least to my mind. Ideally I would love to have a whole unit of Lund’s orcs to be used along with my citadel orcs, but this will probably never happen and I thus keep painting these aesthetically very different orcs and pool them into one big pile o’ green menace with my citadel ones.

The other orc is of course one of the troopers from the Regiments of Renown set ‘Harboth’s Orc Archers’, sculpted by Mr. Adams and released in ’87. These are some choice orc archers and I love the set. I never actually bought the regiment as a box, but over the years I think I have collected what would be the contents of the box. Based on the numbers of these orcs floating around on online auctions this set must really have been one of citadel’s bestsellers.

By the way, the shield on the back of this orc is also by Grenadier – at least the original is. Grenadier has used it on a number of 80’s evil fighter types and I nicked it via press mould and green stuff and gave the shield to this happy orc chap.

Up next I will present our new fantasy campaign.