Thursday, 28 May 2009

The warband

The minis I'm using will not really be touched until I am past all my ork minis and perhaps a few others. But hopefully over the duration of summer I'll be able to get them finished. Either way, this is a look at what they are - very WIP wise.




I am thinking of doing them purple, a mid-tone and each having a black hand print on their heads. Thinking of anyway. Will have to see how I feel in a few months. I have called them the "Dark Hand", hence the hand print.

War on the street

Halibel covered his ears, the caterwauling of the Sigmarite priest echoed across the open plaza. Through gritted teeth, he grunted his orders to the rest of the band. They spread out, moving slowly along the centre of the plaza. Almost cautious like. That was until Ulquiorra spotted the humans. A group of males, wearing long sleeved cloaks and tall, high brimmed hats walked with a swagger through the ruins. Burning torches lit their way in the gloom, the ruddy red glow catching the purified, silvered weapons and the pristinely polished pistols held in black gloved hands. Each wore a silver icon of a hammer behind a flaming comet. Halibel felt sick, it seemed that Ulquiorra felt the same; the multi-limbed monstrosity howled a bestial roar and sprang out of cover. The possessed being bounded from ruin to ruin, nimbly avoiding the dangers; before falling upon a crazed fanatic and a devoted of Sigmar. His blackened tongue flicked out of his mouth in a hiss as he leaped upon his quarry. The three clawed talons that acted as his arms lashed about him in a flurry, the black nailed tearing flesh from bone with ease. Halibel’s demented grin of jubilation melted from his face as he watched the silver icon glow gold for a brief moment, and the realisation that neither of them fell. The fanatical flagellant merely shouted his prayer louder at the searing pain that flashed across his chest, and in response he swung the overly sized flail at Ulquiorra. The weapon, unlike the rest of the band, was unclean, its spiked head was matted with what Halibel could only guess was flesh and brain matter. In fact, to the magister’s eyes the entire man looked out of place. In stark contrast to the sharp, clean, pure clothing of the witch hunters themselves, this man and the others like him, were sorely an anomaly. Each wore a tore tunic of a red fabric; the edges were ripped and worn, like they were rarely taken off. The tunic exposed pieces of flesh through the holes, each inch of these humans were scarred or bleeding in one manner or another. Halibel had know of this, a self inflicted wounding – something about it, he recalled, was similar to those worshippers of the Dark God Slannesh. He watched in horror as this specific fanatic caught Ulquiorra hard in the head, blood as black as night gushed from the wound and the possessed human dropped hard to the floor.

On the other side of him, Halibel watched as one of his mutants grabbed a large breed of a dog and dashed its head out against the stone tiles of some ravaged building. In its death throws the mutt dropped a glowing green crystal from its mouth – wyrdstone! The mutant picked up the powerful stone, and began to wave and prance around – that was until a filthy, woman brained him from behind with a makeshift mace. Cursing Halibel turned back to the other half, where he was just in fine to watch the last of his coven fall beneath the silvered weapons of the blessed witch hunters. He could see that two were true killing blows, as the initiates fell, their corpses spasmed as they slid down to the floor. It was enough for Halibel, and he called a retreat.

************

Halibel dumped the rotting piece of wood on the floor, frustrated. It wasn’t here. One of the cult’s patrons, one of the many fools wishing to forget about the city’s plight and drown themselves in depravity, had told his ‘partner’ of a stash of gold, and “glowing green rocks”. Now Halibel and his followers were hunting through the dilapidated remains of what once appeared to be a market place – or just a large street, it was hard to tell what rubble and remains would have been there before the city’s destruction.

“Next one, its not here.” he muttered, gesturing to the others in the same building. As he turned to leave, there came a pained shout from the street. Carefully picking his way over to a ruined wall, he glanced up and down the open area outside the building. At the far end he spotted humans, ones he had fought with before – the rich, pompous ones they encountered many months ago. Sighing he began to bark orders at the cultists; it was never easy being the leader. Halibel stealthily slipped out of the building, to get a better look at the street, taking shelter behind an upturned cart less than a dozen feet from the building, and his fallen mutant.

Quickly Ulquiorra and the others began to spread out, looking for the prize before the humans did. But it was not to be. As the twisted man-goat neared a small burnt out pie shop he witnessed two men emerge, a large blackened chest was hefted between them on a makeshift stretcher.

“THERE!” he bellowed, his finger pointing at the two men shuffling further and further away from his followers. “Get it!” he bellowed, with as much authority he could mange, from his hiding hole behind the cart. Ulquiorra was the first to react, his near naked, purple form a mere blur as he sprinted towards the two men, ready to render them into pieces. But instead he was sent flying to the floor, as in a brave, yet ultimately stupid, move, one of the humans – the leader perhaps, Halibel thought, as he considered the oversized peacock feather flopping from his hat – had lowered his shoulder and launched himself into the speeding possessed, thus stalling his hunt for the treasure. Unfortunately for the imperial the possessed being was not easily stunned, and was quickly back on his feet – black clawed hands raked the worn clothing of the mercenary. Clouds of white tinged with black hung around the combat, as the captain unleashed two elegant pistols at almost point-blank into Ulquiorra. The act just angered his further, so much so that his next strike, struck the man in the head, knocking him clean off his feet.

Elsewhere, he could hear the sounds of metal upon metal, evidence that the cultists elsewhere were engaging the rest of the mercenaries, out of view. To the other side, he witnessed a third arrow strike the already wounded mutant; making the abhuman beast stumble again. Then, suddenly – as quickly as they came – they left. A couple of corpses littered the floor, the rest of their wounded being dragged away under the umbrella of bow fire. The treasure was his! The ragged remains of his warband shuffled around the corner, a wounded mutant dragging a leg whilst being supported by a cultist. Halibel cared not. The prize was his.

Monday, 25 May 2009

In the past...

I forgot to mention my games a week or two ago now. I really need to write up some battle reports. (Damn you Fable II!). But I played a Witchunters warband, and well... it was quick and hurt a lot. A lot. I won't go into too much detail, but almost everyone in my warband were taken out of action in that game - including my possessed! Luckily my heros survived. However, now we come to the horror of my dice rolling. For almost every game I play, at least two henchmen are actually killed. I always end up rolling a 1 or a 2. Its horrid! I have had to buy back so much of my warband its near mind boggling. So I lost a few here and had to replace them, but luckily I had enough gold to do so, and bring in a new mutant! Wooo. Although, my existing one had a chest wound, so is now T2. >__<

My next game, vrs the Marienburg warband. This was a fun game, it was a treasure hunt; which I won! :D Admittedly that was because he routed, but still. My possessed again did the business - and now has W3 and WS5, S&T4, can charge 15" and a 5+ ward save. WOOOOO!

I have increased the size of my warband now, adding in some much needed support in the form of more brethren. This is how my warband looks now.

Magister - Axe, Bow.
Step aside

Possessed
Sprint, Step Aside, extra arm mutation

Mutant - Hammer x2, axe
extra arm mutation, step aside, jump up

Mutant - hammer x2
stinger tail mutation

beastman - mace, axe

brethren - mace, axe

brethren (2) - spear

brethren (3) - mace, axe


As you may see, I favour the mace/hammer. The reason being it stuns people much easier, and few people really have armour, and if they do its generally a max of 6+ so I don't have to worry too much about reducing armour.

For easy of playing...go plastic.

Who uses playsheets? I do. Who knows what a playsheet actually is? Well, it is simply a piece of paper with the main, most important rules on it. If this is the case, why do I value it so much? The simple fact is, because it speeds gaming up. The playsheets have on them the most important rules - "to hit", and "to wound" charts, armour modifiers, scenarios, exploration charts etc. Admittedly theses examples are for Mordheim, but there are ones for Fantasy and 40k out there as well - they are pretty much the quick charts in the back of the mini 40k rulebook.

I have printed and designed some of my own - or premade ones - for Mordheim and would be lost without them. Upon these plastic, laminated sheets are most of the main rules and post-game actions, which means that there is no need to go hunting through the rule book for the right pages for how much wyrdstone a warband gets etc. I love them, and have expanded my collection to now include the scenarios, the shop list and the skills lists. This is all for ease of use and speed. I have made a number of copies of these, they will be circulated at my gaming group when I'm there so that other players have the same resources available to them as I do.

In all, what I'm saying is... consider it. It works for 40k and Fantasy as well, and generally speeds things up considerably.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

An essay a week, keeps the hobby away

So these past few weeks have not been the most busy in the world of hobby stuff. This being that I have had a lot of uni work to look after - four thousand words in about four days. Admittedly that was my fault for leaving it so late. But that's why I haven't done much. I did however get all excited over starting Mordheim, so cracked out the possessed warband I've had for a while. I had to order some bitz for conversions but these won't be done until the summer.

My looted wagon has been finished, just waiting for it to be painted now. A slight hiccup is that my lootas are delayed due to lack of stock, so I might have to start work on the nobs instead. Not much left now to make it 2000pts! =D

Also, I brought Bloodbowl because it looked like a good, fun game. Some me and a housemate could play during a day with minimal fuss but also have a lot of fun.

Words from the street

These are two battle reports from my first two games on Saturday. The first was against Marienburgers and the latter a Carnival of Chaos. I lost the first but technically won the second as he voluntarily routed, but had more wyrdstone.

**********


Halibel gazed across the misty street, his head throbbed from the cudgel that struck him down. Groaning he squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to remember what had happened. The cult had been following a band of humans, not too shabby or worn by the looks of them, who had wandered past their secret hideout. Using his knowledge of the area, he planned for a number of 'road blocks' or accidents to happen that would funnel them into an area that was favoured by the chosen of the shadow lord. That was the plan anyway. Unsteadily he regained his feet, one of the brethren stood by to steady him. The carnage was immense. Dead lay scattered around the street, his possessed warrior Ulquiorra sat hunched over a number of dismembered body parts, of whom Halibel could only assume was the two brethren that were killed. It appears the humans had managed to survive, though judging from the bloody strains and drag marks, there were not entirely unscathed.

The ambush worked well at first, the archers were taken by surprise as Ulquiorra charged out of the light mist at them that they missed with almost ever shot. After that it was quite swift as his three clawed arms just raked down them, as well as their guardians. It was however, the right flank that Halibel had failed on. He had misjudged the intellect of his opponent, and they were not walking into an ambush unaware as they should have been, but rather walking in with full knowledge of it being a trap. The first signs of this being so was the bullet that tore through brother Hans' throat before they were in clear view. Then they came. Halibel had watched from afar, watching and praying for the Shadow's help and power. First the mutant, Ush┼Źda, was one of the first to engage, receiving the brutal strikes of a large two-handed sword. His beastman ally, that was found wandering the ruins, was joint in a fight with a young, finely dressed lad – all bright silks and cloth, a small amount of dust had gathered, showing that he had travelled comfortably. Gripped in his hands was a halberd, the weapon was obscene in the youngling's hand, clumsy strikes were easily stopped by the bulging arms of the half man, half goat. That fop was finally dropped by the beast, a large welt bigger than the one on Halibel's head had formed quickly.

Yet, it was not the fop that interested Halibel the most. The human with the long coat and twin pistols was spotted among the brawl. The leader, Halibel had assumed. Not a very good one it seemed, for in an act of stupidity he stepped between a battle raged beastman and his death. The crushing blow from the blood matted mace was enough to see him off. Halibel scratched his head. Then again, he was not exactly infallible. So intent upon the fight ahead he failed to spot the warrior who had crept around behind him and brained him when his attention was elsewhere. The rest of the fight he was slowly being filled in with by the remaining groups. The main thing that happened was his fighters had bottled, fleeing into the hidey holes along the street. The humans had then grabbed their wounded and fled.

“This one lives my lord.”, a masked brethren stood behind him, one of his own hung loosely in his arms, blood streaked his pale flesh. Halibel limped over to the man, cupping his slack face in one hand, Halibel gazed into the stunned man's eyes.
“You failed. That will not be tolerated.” he growled. Quicker than expected of his frail, wounded form, he tore his axe across the brethren's throats, opening up his veins to the open air. The wound sprayed blood in a crimson fountain, something Halibel had found himself to enjoy. The blood coated him from head to foot, as the crimson fountain continued he found himself raising his hands to the sky and laughing. And laughing, and laughing and laughing...


**********************


Halibel caught his second glimpse of the putrid caravan as it rumbled down the ruined street, it wheels making a loud clacking sound. Turning away from his advantage point at a ruined window he looked to his group, it was smaller than before, but one of his initiates was ready for the final test. Again it seemed his plans were being spoilt. He had heard of a large number of the shards being in this area, but hadn't factored that another group would be so quick as to get there same time as he did. Cursing he gestured the band to spread out and find them, his head throbbed still from the previous battle – laughter bubbled to the top of his throat but he fought it down.

They were fast, Halibel had decided as a number of the Nurgle blessed beings ran forward to claim as much wyrdstone as they could. So fast were they that they were out of range of his slower band quickly. Cursing he noted that Ulquiorra held one in his spare arm, but rather than bring it to him he sprinted off into the distance, his blood lust raging inside him. To the left he watched as one of his spearmen shoved his weapon into the bloated chest of a large, fat man with a green tint to his flesh. A rather ill fitting dinner jacket was stretched across his bulk, a ratty looking top hat was balanced upon his head. The spear sunk into the decaying flesh with a slopping sound that Halibel could hear from where he was stood, the fat man wore a slightly bemused look upon his face as he slipped to the floor, tearing the spear from the brethren's hands. Halibel began to chuckle as he watched the cultist brace himself against the man's bulk, both feet off the floor, tugging at the embedded spear he grunted loudly. It tore free in a loud, slopping sound and in a spray of greenish blood which squirted from his body like a fountain. The cultist was pulling so hard that when it tore free he was catapulted to the floor, landing heavily on his arse. Halibel roared with laughter at the spectacle, tears rolled down his face – the rest of the battle was a blur.

Ulquiorra had ripped up one of the blessed of Nurgle before the rest of them cowardly vanished back to their cart – the bloated body of their master being rolled away as well. The cult had won, but as he slowly wiped he tears from his eyes he realised he had lost the chance of a lot of wyrdstone. Nurgle would pay for this.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The fluff

Below is my fluff for my possessed warband. I still am yet to name them, but I aim to have one by the end of the week. I like the 'purple hand' but I think that is a GW cult already.

***********

The violent scene tore across his vision once more. A red sheet of slow, rippling liquid lapped at his naked feet. Before him a ruined city stood, burning and ripe with darkness – there were pieces of pure wickedness there. In the centre a sinister, impenetrable shadow hung, above the city. A pair of red, coal eyes peered from what might have been the head. The name “Mordheim” ricocheted around his mind forcefully. Halibel opened his eyes and was back in the small farm that once might have been prosperous. But now it was dormant and dead. The screams of those who once occupied it were now and forever silent. He missed them. In the distance he spied the city, a great spire of smoke still drifted from its ruined corpse. It had been nearly a month since the so named 'Judgement of Sigmar' had struck the city, it had quickly become a haven for those not wanting to be found or those serving a higher purpose. Like Halibel.


********


It had only been a week or two since he had entered the city, he had forgotten since time never seemed to flow here, but Halibel now had quite the gathering. His cult's den, as he called it, sprawled a single three story building. The ruined rooms were rife with debauchery that would make a servant of the pleasure god blush. Rough cloth died purple hung all over the building, the rooms used them as rugs or doors for the more private of events. Everywhere he walked the smell of the blue lotus clogged the air. The rare flower had some very interesting effects when burnt, the smoke became a powerful hallucinogenic and aphrodisiac. Something that helped him gather those needed. Nodding to two fully inducted brethren he picked out four females from a group in one of the rooms, each semmingly involved in an act more mind boggling than the last. The two robed figures wound their way past the profligate revellers to the chosen, and unceremoniously dragged them from the room. Taking one last look, Halibel took a deep breath and left, leaving the moaning and gasps to echo down an empty hall.


The drugged women were carried down to a darkened cellar, lit only by a dozen half burnt candles. The first female was lain across the stone tablet in the middle, a large arcane circle has be carved into its surface, deep channels cut into the rock. Pulling a curved dagger from beneath his robes, Halibel began to mutter a prayer. His words would bring his dark master's, the mysterious “Shadow Lord”, gaze towards his sacrifice. Plunging the dagger down, its highly polished surface cut into her pale skin with ease, in a moment of lucidity she arced her back, a tortured scream tore from her blood flecked lips as the blade gouged a rough circular shape in her chest. Her last, final gasp came as he ripped the vital muscle from her chest. Her corpse flopped back down onto the stone, the channels below filled with crimson, completing the arcane symbol. Turning, the bloody heart in his hands, Halibel dropped it into the burning brazier next to him. The hissing sound of meat being cooked filled the silence, the crackling of the coking meat suddenly gave way to roaring flames of black and white leaping from the brazier, forming a leering daemonic visage for mere moments before vanishing once more.


“Ulquiorra” he muttered. “Dinner”. From one of the darkened corner of the room a hulking figure emerged. It stood nearly a head taller than any other in the room, its hunched body was constantly racked with changes, as if the skin was being pushed at from inside. Its slack jawed face belied the possessed power. Halibel knew that either of its three arms could rip a limb off. As if illustrating his unspoken observation Ulquiorra picked up the heartless woman and in a sharp, vicious movement he tore her arm free from the body. Acidic saliva dripped from the creatures maw as its powerful jaws clamped hard on the necrotic flesh and Ulquiorra tore a chunk of pale flesh off, before gulping it down.


Halibel tore his gaze away from the spectacle. He had work to do.

The first round!

So, week one of the campaign kicked off today. I managed to gain a win and a loss, facing a Marienburg mercenaries and a Carnival of Chaos. The humans were tricky, and I lost because my best fighter was well out of the fight! I left my possessed out on the left to chase archers, while the bulk of my group got stuck in with the rest of the warband. That said, the possessed did munch through four people that game! As a result he gained the "sprint" ability and now has a very scary 15" charge range. I failed due to a rout test.

The game against the carnival was capture the wyrdstone counters. I decided not to, mainly because he had all but one of them by the second turn. I did do a bit of damage, the possessed once more gaining a kill and the "step aside" ability for a save in combat. I won as he elected to rout, giving me the win.

I currently have five shards of stone, which can be sold. I lost two members of my band, but brought a solitary one back. My next game I am considering selling the stones before the game so I can afford another mutant. He's going to have two hammers and a stinger tail - giving me two bludgeoning attacks and a single S5 attack. Will cost about 71gc though. He does also give me an extra dice on the exploration chart though.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Possession in the ruins!

As I mentioned below, my gaming group is just starting a Mordhiem campaign. Mordhiem is one of those great Specialist games that GW decided to relegate to near non-existence. They have gone as far as to remove most of the warband miniatures available to play with. They do however have the rulebook on their website for free, which is very good news. It also has the built in usefulness of containing the major legal warbands available in the game - with "Town Crier" adding numerous others later on.

As I said, the game has no support at all. I believe they review the rules once a year, but there are no articles or other kind of support for such a fun skirmish game. I have played Mordhiem breifly before and found it to be a very fun game, and one of the few that works best with lots of terrain.

The campaign is taking place a month after the landing of the comet that destroyed the city. The warbands are getting the chance to investigate the ruins for the first time. The rules are basic, more stuff will be added later as we progress, but the main thing at the moment is that players must ally with one other player for the first three turns - as in, they may not attack one another. After the three turns, its up to them if they want to break the alliance. I had the choice of two races - my beloved Dwarfs or the dark worshippers - the Cult of the Possessed. I chose the latter.

Fancying something a bit different, I went with the chaos worshippers. They are looking to be a pretty good band - if a little small. The cost of the basic warriors is a little steep as is the cost of the combat hero, the possessed. He has the chance to be a combat monster, starting at WS4, S4, T4 and W2 makes him quite tough, especially if you give him the extra arm mutation like I did. He now has three S4 attacks. I'm hoping he'll be able to do damage quickly, as he has no armour - he's going to need to use cover and combat to protect him. Below I'll include my starting warband.

Magister - Axe (75gc)

Possessed - Extra Arm mutation (130gc)

Mutatnt - Axe, Hammer, Hammer, Extra arm mutation (76gc)

Beastman - Axe, mace (53gc)

2x Brethren - Spear (70gc)

2x Brethren - Axe, mace (66gc)

1x Brethren - mace (28gc)


You'll notice my list is small, that is mainly because of the possessed. He costs 90gc base, and must have one mutation. This makes him rather expensive, and removes some money to play with - I just hope he's worth it. The other thing, is that I am favouring hammers/maces. The reason is they stun on a 2-5 roll, this makes them ideal weapons in combat. I'm planning on engaging with multiple enemies, so hopefully he'll get to club someone down and either the possessed/beastman/mutant will get the finishing blow. The spear armed brethren are there to defend my weak magistar with their 'strike first' spears, allowing him to either step in with an attack or get to a safer distance.

As of yet I am unsure of a warband name, fluff or colours. I'm leaning towards something purple, but it will not be for a while yet as I have the priority of the Orks first. Then there is another plan I have, before I get around to doing these guys. I am also awaiting some bits to test out on my armless mutant, so I'm in no rush.

The beginning

Once again, I'm going to attempt a blog. I am quite bad at these things, always forgetting them or just not having anything to say. This is to follow my hobby as a miniature gamer, including actual games, articles I can be bothered to write and any ramblings I come up with.

I have two current projects on the go, these being -

  • 2000pt Ork army
This is nearing completion. I just have, a looted wagon, 13 lootas, 8 nobs and the warboss to paint. All in time for the LO meet in July. I am getting there slowly.

  • Mordhiem!
My gaming group at uni has decided that its going to run a Mordhiem campaign. Wanting to get into this a little more, I've decided to join in. More later.

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