Monday, April 29, 2013

At Last...Buboe Sourwing Takes Flight

 Well, that took a long time.  About a year, actually.  About this time last annum, I posted the conversion and green stuff work I'd done on Buboe, as well as the (I hope) queasily creepy, disturbing and repugnant history of my Nurglesque champion.
I started painting him, got to a certain point and just stopped.  I wasn't happy with him and I felt stuck.  Also, he was desperately top heavy and kept tipping over onto his face all the time, poor guy.  Slowly his scenic base grew to include green stuff boulders with metal shavings in them and recently the Nurglings, and now he is fairly well balanced.
Finally I sat down with him this afternoon, and decided to just finish him, even if I wasn't completely happy with him....
 I think he looks acceptable, if not great, and I'm glad he's done and can go hang out with his pals in Buzzgobb's chaos horde...  Buboe is an oldschool Citadel Beastman mounted on a Ral Partha Plague Fly...

The green stuff blanket I used to disguise Bubo's original lead base as he crouches on the fly's back came out better than anything else on the mini, I think...
 How to use Buboe in game terms?  I had originally intended to make him a champion, but now I think I'll field him as a sorcerer...more appropriate, I think, because he's so puny...
 I figure the fly could in most games count as a normal chaos steed, or I suppose I could add more Nurglings to the base and maybe use the model as a palanquin of Nurgle...(?)

...The bell tolls for thee!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Nordmark Jaegers

"Two summers past, the Baron von Refn conceived a plan to take some two hundred men over the Black River and raid some of the outlying encampments of the horde of the Chaos Lord Buzzgobb Phesterlick.  This was to be in revenge for the massacre at Frog Hollow and the many other crimes this foul being has committed against our folk.  Although the Rangers of the Mittelmark were present to serve as scouts, our Lord Baron was deeply concerned by the prospect of moving with a large part of his army through the largely unknown territory east of the river without a stronger force to screen his movements and to ascertain the position of such a dangerous enemy as the one we faced...
The Baron and the Margrave of the Nordmark went through the communities of that northern third of our country and spoke to the militia captains and other leaders there.  They returned with a score of volunteers:  stout, woodscrafty hunters, loggers and trappers of the Nordmark Militia Companies.  These men are part of a new breed springing up in our frontier land.  Most came to the Black River country as children, and those that grew up in the thickly wooded hills and mountains of the Nordmark learned in their youth the skills of moving, hunting and fighting in the woods and rugged country.  They are superlative woodsmen and archers, and are quite capable of creating all manner of trouble and misery for those bandits and monsters that trespass in their territories.  
 As most readers well know, the various militia companies in our land are raised largely from amoung free-holders and are required to stand to only in defense of their own marks...the Baron having no authority to compel them to march against an enemy beyond their own borders...yet many amoung the Nordmark militias have proven to be daring and enterprising men, happy to ply their skills in the Baron's marching army in exchange for a little hard silver and the right to keep such loot as they might find upon the stricken field... 

...the great majority are freemen, with their own homes and small farmsteads, and are glad to supplement their rather spartan incomes by marching with the Raven standard...

The mixed successes of the Baron's raid  are recounted at length elsewhere in these chronicles, but there can be no doubt that the Jaegers of the Nordmark did great service on that campaign.  They worked carefully and closely with the Rangers of the Mittelmark, and with Snorri Head-Biter's Dwarf Slayers, screening our advance and retreat on all sides, and laying ambushes and snares for the enemy with cruel cunning.  In open battle, they served as a company of archers, and with their tall bows worked great mischief in the ranks of the enemy, to the delight and admiration of all our folk..."
                                                                                               - Olorrin, The Black River Chronicles

I've been fascinated since Childhood with the English Longbowman of the Hundred Year's War, and as I've gotten older, I've only come to find him more and more interesting.

That commoners, middle-class or poorer men, largely unarmored and armed with hunting bows, men who'd join up for a campaign and then go back to their farms when it was all over, could so come to dominate the battlefields of medieval France  is pretty amazing. 

What's even more fascinating to me, as I grow ever older and more cynical, is that the English ruling classes realized the potential of this weapon, and, unlike the French, who seemed to take pains to prevent the development of a martial culture amoung their commoners, embraced it and encouraged it!  So much did they do so that by the time of Agincourt, the English men-at-arms and knights seemed to accept their role in battle as being protectors and supporters of the longbowmen, who did the real killing.  Remarkable.

Obviously these fellows are far from being the spitting image of the English Longbowman, but I did very much want some English Longbowman-type troops for the Baron von Refn's army.  They will count as  Forstjaegers as per the entry in the 3rd Edition Empire Army list, and I gave them a forest-friendly color scheme to suggest that role...

Most of the troopers in this unit are pre-slotta Citadel troops or foundry re-casts...there are a few Grenadier figures in there as well, including some Julie Guthrie Adventurers to add a little bit of a 'back-woodsmen' feel...

If anybody can recommend a really good history of the English Longbowman, I'd be grateful for the intel...

"For the Nordmark...Loose!"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dimtree's Loot Part 2: (Da good part wot got all da fightin' and an' stuff!!!)

 Neel's lads bore to the left, moving up the muddy, slippery little slope toward the farmhouse.  As they crested the rise, they caught sight of the Space Pirates, suddenly much closer now.  Abruptly the clatter of an autogun rang out, and a handful of red laser bolts lanced toward them from out of the downpour, passing just over their heads and rather discomfiting Neel.  "Oh wow! he shouted, ducking and dancing about a little in his startled excitement...Oh, Wow, hey...!  Hey, Guys!  I think they're trying to kill us!  We should probably try to get to cover or somefing!!"  Neel's lads were a step ahead of him, which was typical, really.  They swept  to the rear of the farmhouse and threw their weapons up on the back garden wall, ready to engage the enemy.

Rikk and Vivyun's boys loped toward the little orchard, moving as swiftly as they might in the drenching downpour and clinging mud.  "Don't worry, Lads!  called Rikk, trying to make himself as small as possible behind his advancing boys, using their bodies for cover... I'm right behind you!"  Not particularly encouraged by their leader's example, the boys raced forward anyway, quickly passing through the orchard and closing in on the barn and stables.  Mykhul followed just behind them,  hoping, probably vainly, that he might be able to exert some control...


 The Young 'uns overall deployment...The very small stands of trees at top and bottom are not actual terrain, they just mark the table corners.  Rickk's Pyros are at top, near the table edge.  On their left are Vivyun's Eviscerators, with Mykhul following behind, trying to supervise the attack...they are trying to use the little orchard to cover their advance.   
 Near the lower table edge, Neel leads his knuckleheads towards the hard cover and treasure in the Farmhouse.  (maybe he's not so dumb after all...)
 Rikk and Vivyun's combined frontage about 12" ...

8"  between Vivyun's left and Neel's right...

The Young 'Uns run forward...having passed his stupidity test, Neel leads his boys to a firing position at the farmhouse wall.  Vivyun and Rikk are herded forward by Mykhul, Rikk's boys ending up near the edge of the little orchard, Vivyun's boys more or less out in the open, Mykhul trailing a little behind...

As he reached the Farmhouse wall, Neel could see that the Space Pirates weren't wasting any time.  They were coming straight on, and fast!  On the Pirates' flank, the great, horse-like creature was advancing at a terrifying speed.  Neel noticed that some of the little humies at the center of the Pirate line were halting near the big snappy bush...One of them hefted a great weapon onto his shoulder.  Neel saw him aim it straight at Vivyun's mob!

"Uh...hey!  HEY!  Neel called to the Stuntie.  Hey, Karma!  Karma, Man!  Think about it!  Do you really want to do that to yourself?"  

The Stuntie was so startled by the appearance of the long face behind the wall that his shot went wide and burst in a pillar of fruitless smoke and steam, a ways off to Vivyun's left.

Neel grinned happily and threw a peace sign the stuntie's way.  "Hey!  I'm proud of you, man!  Thank me later!"

The Stuntie glanced around at his comrades, as if in need of reassurance that he was not going mad...

See Private Weird's first turn here!

Round Two

The second round begins.  Neel almost passes his stupidity test.  Almost.  His boyz keep their wits about them, however, and fire boltguns and missile launcher at the rapidly approaching Zoat!  The boys turn out to be only marginally more competant than their leader, however.  Only one bolter-boy hits, and he rolls a fat 1 to wound.  The missile launcher misses completely, which is too bad, as I was keen to see the Zoat vanish in a spectacular fireball sort of thing.

Anyway, at the center of the line, Viv leads his eviscerators forward 4" and they let go with their boltguns at the pirates advancing between the Zoat and the Space Dwarves.  Rolling to hit, they score 2 hits and 1 wound.

Rikk's Pyros run their full movement toward the farm, cackling with unutterably fiendish intent.  
Mykhul runs forward 4 inches and bears left another 4 inches, ending up just behind Viv' left flank.
Final tally:  Private Weird needs to roll an armor save for 1 pirate...

See Private Weird's second turn here.

 Round Three

 Round three begins.  Neel doesn't even come close to passing his stupidity test.  He rolls a fat twelve.  Once again, his boys ignore his 'leadership', seize the initiative and vault over the farmhouse wall, dropping an inch of movement, they spread out through the yard and run forward, ending up about an inch or so from the back of the front wall.  Poor Neel is left behind.  "Hey!  Where's everybody going?"

Vivyun's boys hold steady despite two of their number having been cut down.  On his next roll, however, Vivyun is gripped by frenzy and runs straight toward Ulysses, roaring and bellowing incoherently.  His boys fail to pass their own check, frenzy, and follow him forward their full movement.

Boss Mychul moves forward four inches.  As he rounds the corner of the farmhouse, he catches sight of Bert the Zoat and blazes away with his bolt pistol!  He scores a direct hit, but his bolter shells burst harmlessly on the creatures tough hide!
 Rikk's pyros move straight forward 4 inches....As they close the range with Captain Ulysses, they begin to giggle uncontrollably then open up with their bolters!  Rikk and all three of his bolter boys hit, rolling to wound, they roll two 3's one 4 and one 5 on the Pirate Captain's band...4 wounds!

Round Four

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dimtree's Loot Part 1

They had been on Nepenthe for thirteen days.  For thirteen days, it had rained.  On the eighth day Boss Dimtree and thirty of the boys had been torn apart by a barrage of Plasma cannon fire as the mob had tried to storm a breach in the walls of the city of Nyx.  That had left Boss Mykhul as the biggest, cleverest and meanest of the lot.  Nobody was much the sorrier for the death of Dimtree.  He had not been an Ork of the Wailing Reach, but was a foreigner.  A tough, capable foreigner, but a foreigner, just the same.  Nobody had much liked his grey trench coat or his black bowler hat, or that eastern fringe accent of his.  But it was still a tough thing for Boss Mykhul to fill Dimtree's boots.  The boys that remained, the fifteen of them, were watching him carefully.  Watching to see if he had the makings of a boss.  Should they stay with him, or break up and let themselves be absorbed into the mobs of bigger, better bosses?  That is what they had been thinking, and Mykhul knew it.  So he'd led them out into the rain and the mud, away from the siege of Nyx, desperate to show them his mettle, for he still had a trick up his sodden sleeve...and it would be a while before anybody thought to get an account of the remnant of Dimtree's mob...

The beat mercilessly, unceasingly upon their heads, pounded the earth into gluey, sticky mud that sucked the boots right off their gnarled, stinking feet.  Many of them were barefoot, now...their feet had been soaked for so long that they had lost all feeling in them, and so were unaware that they had lost their boots until it was much too late to go back and find them.  Orkish tolerance for adverse environmental conditions is considerably greater than that of  Men or Eldar, but after thirteen days of ceaseless bombardment, the rain was definitely starting to get them all down.  At some point Neel, who, for reasons best known to himself, occasionally concerned himself with other peoples' problems, had come up with the idea of 'pottery boots'.  He had slathered and sculpted some particularly thick and viscous mud around the feet of  some of the unshod Orks and then tried to fire the 'clay' with Rikk's teams' heavy flamer.  'Pottery boots' had been a bad idea in that it had not worked, but it had also been a terrible idea in that it's attempted implementation had resulted in several casualties.  Morale had really gone downhill since then.

Boss Mykhul decided it was time for a little speech.  "Don't lose heart, chaps! he grunted, streams of rainwater cascading off of his fine, broad-brimmed hat.  "I'm sure we're very close, now!"

"That's what you've been saying for like, the last last few days!  moaned Neel.

"And I'm hungry!"  snapped Rikk, in a high, clipped sort of tone that implied that he thought that everyone should think that that was the most important thing in the world right now.

"Me too,  moaned Neel.  The note of profound self-pity in his deep, bass voice might have been comical if it had made its appearance in less trying circumstances. As it was, it was just irritating.     "I wish we had some wentils.  Me auntie used to cook wentils for me all da time when I was a wittle runt..."  The rivers of rain water gushing down his long, craggy face made it impossible to tell if he was crying or not.

Rikk perched his gloved hands on his sharp hips and stuck his chin out defiantly at Neel.  "Actually, NEEL, I happen to know that your auntie NEVER cooked lentils for you!  Know how I know?  Hm?  Hm?  BECAUSE ORKS DON'T HAVE AUNTIES, NEEL, and we don't have mums neither!  And that makes YOU a liar!  And nobody likes a liar, do they, lads?"

Having delivered that sudden, devastating salvo, Rikk rocked back on his heels, crossed his gangly arms over his skinny chest and grinned smugly around at the others, apparently expecting a wave of validation and applause.  Everyone ignored him.  In fact, everyone had ignored pretty much everything Rikk had ever said in his whole entire life, but that didn't stop Rikk from imagining that he was constantly surrounded by adoring worshippers who hung on his every word in an awe-struck hush. 

Vivyun sat very still and silent on a large stone which he had found and had been carrying around to use as a stool for some time.  For whatever reason, Vivyun liked to think of himself as a cool and contemplative sort of Ork, and worked hard at holding his violent temper in check.  But an Ork is an Ork, as they say, and occasionally Viv's carefully penned frustrations exploded, transforming him instantaneously into a sort of green and crimson Catherine's Wheel of psychotic violence.  Boss Mykhul knew the signs of one of Viyun's fits coming on...a tightness around the mouth, a twitchiness in the skin around the eyes....Recently Mykhul had been watching Viv carefully.

The irredeemably piercing, pompous, phaggy tone in Rikk's voice set Mykhul's teeth on edge, but he clung grimly to the task at hand.  Leadership isn't always easy.  In fact, it rarely is.

"Look, boys, I know it's been tough, but I'm telling you, we must be very close, now!  There's only so many places the treasure can be.  We just have to keep looking."

Vivyun's red-rimmed eyes twitched again.  

The problem, of course, was that when the Dead Boys, as the Orks called the DEAD MEN, the local Space Marines chapter, had obliterated Big Boss Dimtree with a deluge of plasma fire, they had also burned up his treasure map.  Boss Mykhul had had a pretty good squint at that map, but he had had no chance to make a copy of it, and so for five days they had wandered in what Mykhul THOUGHT must be the vicinity of the old farm where the loot was buried.

How Dimtree had come into posession of that map was an interesting little story in itself.  On the way to Nepenthe, WarBoss  Ranzack the Black's fleet had overhauled and captured a small space schooner belonging to the humie pirates of a certain Captain Ulysses.  The Orks, with overwhelming numbers on their side, had been down with killing and eating the lot, but Ulysses had bought life and liberty for himself and his crew by handing over to Dimtree a map which he SWORE showed the location of a magnificent cache of ill gotten plunder.  Dimtree had been hopinging  to slip away from the siege of Nyx with a few good lads and find the treasure first chance he got, but Space Marines with Plasma cannons had cut short his plans.

"You keep saying dat, but I'm tired and I wanna get outtada rain..." groaned Neel.

Some five miles or so away, near the city, there was a sudden series of muted flashes.  Slowly the audible report of multiple artillery impacts came rolling over the muddy fields.  ...thudda...thudda... thudd...  The boys flinched.  The memory of cruel Space Marine faces peering at them down plasma cannon barrels in the final seconds before the holocaust was still sharp in their minds.

"'Ey, it could be a lot worse, said Mykhul, trying to sound cheerful.  You could be over there getting pounded to pieces with that lot..."

"At least THEY'VE got a roof over their heads."  sneered Rick.

"My feet hurt!"  moaned Neel.

Vivyun's eyes twitched. 

"Ey!  came a shout.  It was one of the boys.  A ranker.  A lookout.  "I fink I see sumfin'  It''s a building or sumfin!"

Everybody stood up quickly.  Everybody except Vivyun, who stayed rooted to his stone, red eyes stabbing at nothing, mouth drawn tight as a garrotte in use.  

The others scrambled through the puddles and muck over to where the lookout stood craning his neck and waving excitedly.

"Over dere!"

Some ways off they could see, through the grey, shifting curtain of the downpour, a cluster of little structures perched on a small rise.

"That's gotta be it, boys!"  crowed Mykhul.  Soon we'll have a roof over our heads AND the treasure!!  And when I've killed you all and taken the treasure  for we've divided the treasure equally, let me say that again...when we've divided the treasure equally...we'll be rich and never have to sleep in the bloody rain ever again!"  

Even Vivyun got up.  Cramped, cold, foot-sore but galvanized now, by the thought of wealth and a dry, comfortable place to hole up for a day or two, the boys crowded forward toward the humble farm buildings.  Happy thoughts of warm meat scorched on an open fire, dry floors on which to make cozy nests, and fabulous riches drove their tired limbs though the muck...and then they saw something.  Far off, beyond the farm buildings, they saw a little line of skinny people moving toward them, and something else...something that looked like a big horse...

"HUMIES!!"  shrieked Rikk.  Trying to help themselves to our houses and our loot!!!  Do something, Mykhul!"

The humies were indeed making for the farm....trying to reach the cover of the buildings before the Orks could.

Mykhul stared at them for a moment through his field glasses..."Woo-arghh!  Those ain't just any humies!"

"Oh no!  groaned Neel.  They aren't Dead Boys, are they, Myk?  Cause that would be like really, really heavy!"

"No, they're not Dead Boys, Neel!  snapped Mykhul.  Thems is Ulysses' space scum, that's who they is.  This means that the treasure's really there for sure, and they're trying to beat us to it, the backbitin' basturds!   Come on, Boys!  Get over there and kill 'em!  Er...I mean...follow me!"

At the very thought of filthy humies trying to make off with their treasure and shelter right under the boys' very noses, Vivyun's already unappealing face was appallingly transformed.  His lips screwed themselves up into a terrifying, rictus snarl.  His eyes bulged, and the veins in his forhead bulged out even farther....

"This...this, lads...this calls for a rare blend of tactical acumen...AND EXTREME VIOLENCE!"  he bellowed.  It was the first thing he had said all week.  Up the muddy slope he bounded, bolt pistol blazing, his gangly, spindly legs transporting him at an alarming speed...

"Awright, boys, barked Boss Mykhul, his chainsword blaring and farting blue-grey smoke.  "LET'S get STUCK IN...MUSIC!!!!"

While I'm working with this theme, I might as well nominate this particular performance of this song as my Oldhammer anthem for Ernie's Oldhammer soundtrack challenge...or one of them, anyway...


 Dimtree's Loot

The Players:  Mouse & Private Weird
The Rules:  Warhammer 40k Second Edition
The Armies:  Space Orks, Space Pirates
Game Length: 8 rounds (?)
The Objectives:  Capture the Farmhouse, under which the treasure is buried, Exterminate the other side, Have fun.
Terrain:  Farmhouse and Farmhouse stone walls:  provide hard cover.  Farmhouse is flammable.
                Stock shed, stock fences:  Provide soft coverShed is flammable.
                Barn:  provides soft cover.  Barn is flammable.

Flammable just means that you can set the building on fire if you want to.  Despite the heavy rains, Nepenthians are very skilled at making their buildings waterproof.  A building can be set on fire using a flamer, a plasma grenade, melta-bomb, or other thermal weapons.  Use of such weapons inside a structure will cause it to burn on a 1-3 on a d6 whether you want it to burn or not.  Burning buildings must be vacated within 1 round of their being set on fire, and become impassable terrain for the rest of the game.

Will have to wait until tomorrow to get the board set up...just don't have the strength to do it tonight,and anyway, I still need to paint the barn...

  War Boss Mykhul's Yung 'uns...  (apologies for the dinged up and part painted figures..should have them fixed up by tomorrow night...)

Magnificent Myk:
Mykel:  Ork War Boss with mesh armor, frag grenades and melta bombs, chainsword and bolt pistol.
Mykel is a Cool Customer.  This means he can re-roll ONE failed leadership check during the game.

Rikk's Pyros:
 3 Ork boys flak armor, melta bombs, bolters.
1 Ork boy:  Flak Armour, flamer, melta bombs
Rikk:  Ork Nob with Flak armor, melta bombs, knife and bolt pistol.   
Rikk is an utterly despicable bastard and a complete coward.  He is subject to Cowardice.   On any round in which his team is fired upon or charged by an enemy, Rikk must make a leadership check or run his full movement toward the nearest table edge.  Rikk's boys are not necessarily as gutless as their leader is...if Rikk fails his leadership test, they may make their own test to see if they stay in the game. If he is within 9" of Big Boss Mykhul, Rikk (and his boys), may use Myk's leadership to make his test.

Neel's Lads:
3 Ork boys with flak armor, frag grenades, bolters
1 Ork boy with flak armor, frag grenades, missle launcher.
Neel:  Ork Nob with flak armor, frag grenades, knife and bolt pistol.  Neel is a rather decent sort, but unfortunately he is also quite stupid.  He is subject to Stupidity as per page 66 of the rulebook.  Neel's boys are not necessarily as stupid as he is.  If Neel fails his stupidity test, his boys may make a test on their own, to see if they can evade the baleful influence of their leader.  If within 9" of Myk, Neel and his boys may use Myk's leadership to make their test.

Vivyun's Eviscerators:
 3 Ork boys with flak armor, frag grenades, bolters
1 Ork boy with flak armor, frag grenades, heavy bolter
Vivyun:  Ork Nob with flak armor, frag grenades, chainsword and bolt pistol.  Vivyun is subject to Frenzy as per pg. 77 of the rulebook.  The rules above apply to him and his team as regards leadership checks.

A sort of how about this?  plan for the board...the rear, right corner of each 'complex' of structures is about 12" from the left/right side of the board, and the rear of the board.  The barn/livestock pen complex has more structures and better fields of fire given the positions of the windows, but only provides soft cover...

2x4 instead of 4x4?  Okay, that wasn't hard. Basically trimmed off the 12" of space the opposing forces would have been advancing through as they closed in on the farm area.  About 12 or 13" of space separate the nearest corners of the two structure complexes....

Shots of the final Board...

 I unfortunately don't have a  model suitable to represent to the cool wrecked car on your board, P.W. so I've laid down a hunk of lichen at that spot.
 The Farmhouse seen from the front...
 The Watch Plant at the front of the animal pen.  Watch Plants are commonly used by farmers on Nepenthe and other parts of the Wailing Reach to guard livestock.  This relatively small specimen has been fairly recently planted and is still too small to be (much of) a threat to man-sized creatures.  Until it reaches its full size, it can still be an effective deterrent to smaller predators.

The Ulysses Gang!
...Assembled in a hurry.
...On a budget...
Ok, really lame, I know !  Whadda ya want?  I had like 2 days!

Next...It's clobberin' time!