Sunday, July 30, 2017

More Heresy, different scale (and how Wargamers are awesome people)

For others, the Great Crusade ended long ago. For us, it will not cease until all the worlds of Mankind are united once more and the Emperor's golden age returns.

One of the best thing about this hobby is the friendships you make along the way, and the camaraderie that ensues. Last year, during the Analogue Painting Challenge, I helped Greg with a future Oldhammer Empire army project he was working on, by sending him some figures and helping him out with some questions he had. I had previously used Greg's knowledge of everything Epic/Horus Heresy to help kickstart my own Epic project and I was glad to return the favour, and fantasy Oldhammer is certainly one of my specialty! So I told him I would send the figures right away and we could work out a payment arrangement later.

Greg graciously offered to pay me back by painting service. A few options were on the table, including some Epic, but I decided to go with 28mm 30K figures, provided by Greg (apparently he has a gigantic hoard of Heresy marines!). These will fit nicely if I ever want to play some smaller Heresy action, and since I didn't see myself painting both sides of that, it seemed like the best option. 

To make things more interesting, I sent him the following request : 

"So you can paint for me a unit of Marines in Mark IV armour. Here are the restrictions : 

- You get to decide the Chapter, between Blood Angels, Imperial Fists, White Scars or Salamanders. 
- I don't want to know in advance. I enjoy surprises, so I only want to see them when they are finished, either in pictures, or when I open the package. 
- My only colour request : if you pick Salamander, make them a somewhat bright green. 
- Remember or write down the recipe. If I need more we'll find another deal for you to paint a few more for me" 

I'm a sucker for surprises, and I also wanted to let Greg have some fun with this. He's the 30K specialist, so I was really looking forward to see what he would come up with. 

The box arrived at my place yesterday, and I was floored by the quality of the paintingb once I opened it. Inside the box there was a hand written note (how rare is that nowadays) from Greg explaining his choice and all the extras he had put into the squad. 

So before I go into the details, here is the Squad of the VIIth legion, the Imperial Fists, that Greg painted for me. It is a veteran squad of 10 in Mark IV armour :


Aren't they awesome?! I think Greg did a fantastic job! I was expecting Salamanders or Blood Angels, to be honest, as the other two seemed to be the most difficult to paint (yellow and white are usually not a painter's favourite) so I was super happy when I tore the first bubble wrap and I could see some yellow! Of the four choices, they were probably my favourites. Greg mentioned in his letter that he actually painted this chapter to see if he could manage the yellow. I can confidently say he managed all right!!


These are GW Mark IV plastic models but Greg really went the extra miles by using many upgrades from Forgeworld, like Mark III helmets, shoulder pads and decals, as well as basing them on GW new urban base. 


I'm hoping these are just the first squad of a small Imperial First force in 28mm (and yes, Greg wrote down the exact recipe for painting these, as requested). 


So yeah, super happy with this deal, and a reminder that people in this hobby rock!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The battle of Blanchepierre (an Oldhammer 3e Battle report)

Burgold Festus looked at the small village in the distance; he could see the colours of the Duke of Ambroise floating in the wind. He hated Bretonnians, with their clean and shiny armours and their ridiculous chivalry code. “Honourable or not, Chaos doesn’t discriminate”, he chuckled to himself, “they die all the same”.

His diversion had worked wonderfully, and now Blanchepierre was him for the taking, with no Bretonnian knights in sight. Next to him stood his allies, Slaanesh Knights in disgustingly colourful colours. A necessary evil, he thought to himself. They would have their crude “fun” with the poor villagers, as promised, but after that Nurgle’s rot would overrun the village. More souls for Papa Nurgle. “This is going to be a great day” he whispered to himself. Then he shouted his command, and the lumbering horde of Chaos shuffled towards the hapless village…

Last february Chris (i.e. Blue) from Blue's Marauding Miniatures came from Vermont for an Oldhammer afternoon of clean and fun bloodshed. We played in my game room of the new house, actually the first Oldhammer game played there. It was a lot of fun. With the Analogue painting Challenge in full swing, I didn't have time to write a proper report, and then life got in way and yadi yadi yada here we are in late May and it's really time I do this battle report! 

The game was between my Chaos force, an unholy alliance of Nurgle and Slaanesh (the venerial disease army) and Chris' noble and pround Bretonnians. We played using 3rd edition rules, and our armies both came from Warhammer armies (in my case the normal Chaos list), although I used the Nurglings stats from the Realm of Chaos LATD book. We also used Warhammer armies to randomly determine our wizard's spells.

The grotesque horde of Burgold Festus


Burgold Festus, Nurgle Chaos champion, with heavy armour, shield, parasitic blade: 139 pts
Doras Varn, Slaanesh Chaos knight, with shield, heavy armour, barding, war horse : 94 pts
Lorhal Kuvax, lv 10 sorcerer, with heavy armour: 88 pts

5 Marauder horse, with barding : 245 pts
11 Marauders: 427 pts
20 beastmen,with shield and light armour : 260
7 Nurglings : 210
5 Chaos centaurs, + lv 10 hero : 292 pts
1 Jabberwock : 200
1 minotaur : 40

Total : 1995 pts

The army of the Duke of Ambroise


Duke of Ambroise (lvl 20 Hero), Warhorse, Barding HA, S, Lance HW (mighty strike) : 125 pts
Baron de Turenne, army standard bearer (lvl 5 hero), Warhorse, barding, HA, S, Lance : 95pts
Bertrand (lvl 10 Hero) LA, LB, Hail of Doom: 85pts
Wizard (lvl 10 Wizard): 90pts

8 Knights incl lvl 10 hero: 444 pts
18 Archers incl lvl 5 Champ: 206pts
14 Scouts: 168pts
16 Spears incl lvl5 champ:187pts
15 Dwarf Warriors incl lvl 5 champ: 238pts
8 Mounted Squires incl lvl 5 champ: 261pts
Organ gun and Crew: 101pts

Total: 2000pts

The scenario was as follow :

It is the early Spring; for most of winter, small Chaos warbands have launched raids into the county of Bastonne, pillaging and looting the poor villages near the forest. The harsh winter conditions have made it very difficult on the Duke of Ambroise’ forces, and with a nice early Spring the young Bretonnian noble is hell bent on revenge. While bivouacking at the small village of Blanchepierre, he receives words of a Chaos force gathering at half day distance from the village and quickly assembles his soldiers for a surprise attack, leaving but a small garrison at Blanchepierre.

The Chaos force, much smaller than anticipated, is no match and the Duke is pleased with himself. As he settles down for a night feast with his commanders, he receives an urgent message from one of his scout; the battle was but a mere distraction, and the main Chaos force is headed straight for Blanchepierre. The Duke quickly gathers his troops and forces marches towards the small village, fearing what may become of his vassals if he doesn’t reach them in time.

Chaos objectives

- Take the Village of Blanchepierre (having at least one unit within it at the end of the battle), kill the villagers and rape their women.
- Smash the Bretonnian forces into oblivion.

Bretonnian objectives
- Hold on to Blanchepierre
- Fend off the Chaos attack and drive them back

Special rules :
- During set-up, the Bretonnian player must put up one unit of infantry as a garrison in the village of Blanchepierre;
- The Bretonnian must set-up his forces in the northeast corner;
- The Chaos forces must set-up on the northwest up to the middle of the table, opposite Blanchepierre.

Unfortunately I hit the wrong button on my camera without noticing and most of my pictures were ruined! So I write this AAR with mostly Chris pick.

The table - side view

The table from the top
Chris generating his wizard's spells


"Steady lads, we have to hold the village!"

The Slaanesh contingent, in all it's pinkish glory

Nurglings and Nurgle Marauders, with Burgold Festus in front,
clad in sickly yellow. I used a Skaven rat-ogre as a minotaur

A good look at both armies set-up
The Chaos Centaurs quickly move towards the Bret's flank

The Beastmen lumber towards Blanchepierre

First blood! The Centaurs charge the mounted squires


Clash of cavalry


The Bretonnian Knights boldly move towards
the center of the Chaos force

In the back left, the organ gun is getting into firing position...

Protected by their Sorcerer's magic and a little luck,
the Beastmen make good progress and avoid the archers volleys

No match for the Chaos centaurs, the squires break! 

Mon Dieu, catastrophe! The Bretonnian spears panic at the sight
of the fleeing squires and break!

"Sire, the Chaos Knights are almost in our line of sight!"

The archers can now smell the foul breath of the beatsmen

Incoming!

In the center, the Nurglings move forward,
hoping to entice the knights into charging them 


After wiping the squires, the Centaurs are moving
in position for a Spearmen massacre

Combat rages on in Blanchepierre,
Bretonnian archers holding their own at first

"Unleash Hell"

The Chaos general learns of the immense destruction power of the Organ gun,
as 4 (!) Chaos knights vanish into a blaze of destruction

Burgold Festus smiles; the knights cannot hold their enthusiasm,
and figuring an easy win, charge into the hundreds of puss filled Nurlings

The desperate struggles of the archers leaves many casualties in their ranks

The remaining shell-shocked Chaos knights charge
into the flanks of the Bretonnian knights,
running from the Organ gun, while both the minotaur
and the Chaos warrior are getting ready to join the party

On the other flank, Bretonnian archers move away from the Jabberwock,
the stupid beast finally moving forward

But hold on! Bertrand, the valorous Bretonnian hero
advances to face the beast, sword at the ready!

What a fantastic hero! What a fantastic story this will make!
Such courage! The hero strikes first

...and then the Jabberwock swaps one immense
claw at the valorous hero, who dies on the spot 

The Jabberwock looks at his defeated foe,
wondering what should be his next move; to eat or not to eat?

BOOM! Blanchepierre's defenses break,
and the Bretonnians flee in disarray

FREE HACK! The Beastmen gleefully run down the poor archers
and enter Blanchepierre.
"WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST!" screams the Beastmen leader!

The knights finally manage to get rid of the Nurglings, but are now
attacked from both flanks; the Bretonnian knights admirably stand their ground


The Dwarves try to move to help their Knight allies,
hoping the Jabberwock too stupid to move

Alas, the mighty beast wants more blood today, and
charges in the dwarves rear, who run for their lives

To the very end, the Bretonnian knights fight with valour
Their left flank crumbling under Centaurs assaults, Blanchepierre lost to Beastmen, the Jabberwock feasting on his allies, the Bretonnian general has no choice but to concede defeat. His army is in shambles. Chaos has won!

Post mortem
  • It was a glorious victory for the Chaos side (i.e. me). My plan worked better than I had hoped; the Centaurs were supposed to annoy Chris left flank while my strong center would crush the opposition and crash towards the left flank. But the Centaurs managed to cause havoc and almost single handedly destroyed his left flank. This set the tone for the whole battle.
  • Chaos centaurs : first time I use them. Not the last...
  • Organ gun : not to be fucked with! I made a fool of myself by leaving my very expensive Chaos Knights in sight of this engine of destruction, and I dearly paid the price. This is way more powerful than in later editions! 
  • Chris needs more war machines; they are deadly.
  • This was the first time I've used, or seen a Jabberwock in a WFB game. It was fun, and he managed to play a fun role in the game. 
  • I was so happy Chris' knights went for my Nurglings; the little critters are great at bogging down opposing powerful units. With their numerous wounds and their immunity to psychology, they take forever to kill! By the time they were all gone his knights were attacked from all sides.
  • As usual, Chaos in 3rd edition is very strong, too strong probably. I always feel a little bad at how good they are in close combat, especially the troops with multiple wounds like the Beastmen and Centaurs.
  • Bretonnian elite knights are good AF! Wow, attacked from all sides and they kept their cool. The lack of combat results modifiers really help elite troops stay in battle for rounds and rounds and rounds. Chris would probably need more of these guys too. A bitch to paint, surely!
  • It was good, clean fun. Chris is a great guy to play with, we have the same laid back attitude to wargaming and it made for a great time.
  • Vermont makes good Bacon. Why you ask? Because while most people bring wine or dessert when invited, Chris brings a whole pack of Vermont bacon! 
  • We have to do it again. I'm thinking of starting another Oldhammer army soon, and I'm aiming at something easier to play against than Chaos. Chris should be happy! More on this probably in the fall.

Analogue Challenge Post-mortem (or better late than never)

Better late than never

(Apologies for my complete absence the last two months, I needed a small break from the hobby after being burned out by the challenge! Well, that and a lot of time had to be spent on spring gardening/pool start-up/etc.. Anyways, here is the very late post-morten of my 3 month) winter Analogue challenge)

Well, it was a fantastic Challenge for me, finally! My last few challenges have been plagued by a house flood, health issues and a house move, but this year I was ready and all in, and I managed by far my very best total, with 704 pts. My previous best was 510 pts, so I can safely say this was my most successful challenge (I participated in the last 5 challenges).


Here I am, proud owner of 150 new painted figures!

I really worked on my productivity this year, my main goal to make good progress on various gaming projects, and I achieved that. I was completely burned out at the end, so that was a pretty good sign I worked my butt off during three months! I also managed to participate in all bonus theme round, terrain excepted, so that was also a good accomplishment for me.

It wasn't all perfect, of course, as I manage to lose the 30K duel quite badly, lost my race to the finish with Curt and got into a tie with Sander for a 80s GI Joe duel! Of course, these duels were mainly there for fun, and they achieved their objectives! Although I do owe some figures to some people!


A better view at 3 months work
What I really liked this challenge is that I managed to finish or almost finish 4 sides for my gaming projects : an Emperor's Children force (2/3 done), a Sci-Fi Skirmish force (done), a Pulp Cobra side (almost done) and a Halfling force (more than I need!).

The Emperor's Children :





The Vordania II Insurrectio



The Halflings


And the Cobra 



As well as a few Oldhammer figures, Zombicide and more!







So yeah, that was fun. As with most summer, I don't expect this place will be filled with new painting, but I'll try my best to prep stuff for the Fall. Maybe a few new painting here and there, of course.

Next post I'll try to finish a battle report I've been working on. Played an Oldhammer game this winter and didn't yet write the damn battle report!