Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sir Johann Treuehardt's men-at-arms

 The Baron Von Refn has many resources to call upon when his realm is threatened.  His militia companies stand ready to defend their districts, and the volunteer levies will answer the call to arms when the situation is desperate.  The Rangers and Sheriffs stand watch on the borders and along the roads, and are invaluable assets in battle.  Then there are the monks and knights of the Holy orders, brave men who fly as fanatics to the defense of the realm.  And there are the men of the Baron's own household; some fifty strong...yet there could no hope for the survival of the Black River colonies, were it not for the Baron's knights and the men at their command. 
 One of the most important and respected of these knights is Sir Johann Treuehardt, whose family has served the Von Refns for three generations.  Each Knight of the Realm is required to maintain a 'Marching Order' of three mounted or ten men-at-arms on foot, whom he can bring to the Baron's standard in time of strife.

 Sir Johann, however, proudly maintains a full company of thirty halberdiers and billmen, well paid and loyal fighters always ready to move to a fight at a moment's notice.  Cynics will say that the wealthy Sir Johann needs the extra men-at-arms to watch and guard his extensive lands in the Mittel March anyway, but this does not diminish his high standing with the Baron...


I copied the green and white color scheme for this regiment from a unit of Bretonnian men at arms featured in a Rogue Trader era issue of White Dwarf.  (Around #140, I think)  Alas, once  I had painted everybody's shirt and trousers in some combination of green and white, I came to the conclusion that the color scheme I had chosen was actually, unfortunately, really kind of boring.
 The half-finished unit sat around gathering dust for a while, until I decided that a red heart taken from a bunch of 40k Eldar transfers might add a spot of color which might make the unit more now you can all have a good laugh at my "Imperial Halberdiers of Biel-Tan".

The Halberdiers can't use thier shields in close combat, but they can be of use in protecting the troops from missile fire as they advance upon the I have a lot of the boys with their shields slung on their backs, or shifting off their fore-arms onto their shoulders, as if they are closing with the enemy...

"Come on, Boys!  This is what the Baron pays us for!"

 "Give 'em the Baron's steel!"



Friday, August 10, 2012

Jenni Troll Spitter

 Named 'Jenni' for the sweetheart of the dwarf who built it, and 'Troll Spitter' for a spectacular shot which bisected the wind-pipe of the troll chief Mugwump Worm-Belly at the thirteenth battle of the Maiden's Peak, this Bolt Thrower is a fine example of the several heavy crossbows in use by the Dwarves of the Thunder Mount.
 Although not as effective as cannon or stone throwers, these weapons are easy to break down and can be transported on the backs of a pair of mules, making them deployable at short notice and even in the most rugged terrain.  Best employed in batteries of 3 or so machines, they can be an effective counter to large monsters or flying creatures, and highly useful as defenses of fixed fortifications.

The Dwarfs are, for the most part, not one of my favorite GW figure lines.  The GW Dwarf models have always been a little too roly-poly and Disney-esque for my taste. Although some of Games Workshop's Dwarf figures from the early 80's, particularly their Norse Dwarfs, are quite pleasing to me, I generally prefer a more dignified, Tolkien-esque look for my Dwarves.  In recent years Citadel has begun to use an altogether comical look for the Dwarfs, a sort of 'beards with feet' look, which I REALLY don't like.  This means I look to other manufacturers for most of my needs. (they're cheaper, anyway).  There aren't a lot of Dwarf Bolt Throwers on the market, however, and this one, which at least has the advantage of being nice and eighties, will do for my collection.

It's been a heck of a busy last few weeks, but I'm glad I had enough time to get this little set finished.  It came with a small bull dog model, which I intended to use to represent my fourth crewman, but he has disappeared...I think my wife, chronic dog lover that she is, took a liking to him and made off with him.

"Oh, he's a big, fat green bastard, he is, boys!  Nice and juicy! Steady now! Ready...Aim..."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Whelps of the Warp

 "In the Autumn of that year, the Mad Hunt came for the first time.  In the nights leading up to All Hallows Eve, men heard unearthly howls and wailings drifting across the Black river...sounds that chilled them to their very marrow.  The Sheriffs and militia stood double watches through the night.  On the night of Sam Hain, the Mad Hunt swam the river just to the north of the point where the Snake River flows into the Black, and swept howling up through the hilly country north of the Snake.  Directly in their path lay the little hamlet in Frog Hollow.  Frog Hollow had been founded in the summer of that year by a little group of newly arrived immigrants, many of them Tileans, and some of the houses of the little settlement were as yet but half-builded.

 Despite the Baron Von Refn's explicit instructions to all settlers to build Palisade walls before all other considerations, the settlers had neglected to fortify their new homes. The reason later given was that the colonists had arrived late in the year, and considered the certain impending assault of winter to be a more immediate threat than the possibility of attack by monsters.  Thus when the shrieks and bellows of hideous chaos hounds shook them from their beds, they were quite unshielded.  The little town's militia were outmatched by the horrid beasts of chaos, and they were soon scattered with great loss into small bands fighting desperately in isolated houses.  For a time it seemed that there might be hope, for the stout, barred doors of the houses kept the hounds at bay, but then a troop of evil men with hair dyed the color of blood arrived bearing bows and fire, and shot burning arrows and into the shingle and thatch of the roofs.  The poor folk huddled inside were thus left with a choice between burning alive in their homes, or being torn apart in the open by the fanged terrors of the hunt...
 ...Some thirty innocents died in the disaster, but many others fled up the road to the bridge at Plum Creek, their retreat shielded by the gallant stands of a few brave militiamen.  The Hunt put the whole Hamlet of Frog Hollow to the torch, and, after taking time to torture and devour a few captives, made their way up the river toward Plum Creek.  Here, they were halted by a valiant defense of Plum Creek's militia spearmen on the bridge itself, supported by archers firing from the riverbanks behind them.  A number of beasts were wounded, yet things might have gone poorly had not the Rangers and Sheriffs of the North Mark appeared suddenly on the far bank and attacked the Hunt in the flank.  There was wild fighting and some loss there on both sides before the Hunt at last withdrew...stopping briefly to gloat and offer prayers to their filthy God in the blazing ruin of Frog Hollow, they passed back down to the Black River, hurled themselves into it's dark waters and vanished into the night.
 The Rangers tracked the Hunt to the Banks of the Black River.  Here they found a hound and a huntsman who, too sorely wounded by Rangers' arrows to cross, had been left behind, and these they put to the sword.  Thus they Children of the Dark Gods did not escape without paying a price, though the losses our dear and innocent folk were by far the more grievous.
 Many of the Frog Hollow settlers wished to leave the Black River country following the disaster, but the Baron convinced them to stay.  He bade them build their houses close together on high ground, and sent men to help the survivors enclose their community within a wall of stout logs, strengthened with towers, and lent some of his own men to serve there as a garrison...
                                                                                    - Olorrin, The Black River Chronicles
This nasty bunch are the first wave of  my chaos hounds for the Mad Hunt.  3 more groups are sitting around on my desk, waiting for me to sling paint on 'em...Great old figures....the handler is one of the greatest Chaos warrior figures GW ever produced, I think...although, if you look at the army list entry, animal handlers are supposed to be Beastmen, not Chaos warriors...oh, well...