Saturday, 8 September 2012

Milestone Reached!

In this post:

Terror of the Lichemaster milestone reached!
Undead army milestone reached!
Two educated men outsmarted by a camera!
I buy a modern citadel product!

Lets start at the bottom of the list.

I went to visit Andre in order to play my first game of Warhammer 3rd edition in twenty years. You can find him on the map. Its always nice to actually meet people that you have only dealt with digitally. They never live how or where you would expect them to, and they never look how you thought they would.

Once the niceties had been attended to, Andre showed me his gaming set-up. I'll talk about that in another post, but two of the things he had on the table were the Citadel Battlemat and, well, another Citadel Battlemat. What blew my mind is that it is not the crusty paper roll that was produced a few years ago, but its actually a cloth (or cloth backed) 6'x4' gaming mat.

You can iron it.*

So I bought one. It meant I had to have a conversation with a GW store worker (marine?) with a serious BO problem, but even so, the product is still worth it.

In fact, so pleased was I with the thing that I broke out the figures and took pictures. It makes staging much easier for me. These are the pictures I will show you today.

What I won't do, is show you pictures of the battle.

I know, I know. I'm sorry. I had left my camera at home, you see. As the proprietor of a blog, it is simply irresponsible. Were blogging a licensed activity, my license would be revoked.

Fortunately (no doubt for Andre as well), Andre is married to a very nice woman, who has a very nice camera. She offered to lend it to us, and the two of us had a go with the thing. I don't think I'm a stupid man. I don't think Andre is a stupid man.  We combined our intellects and assaulted the camera with verve.

We were overcome. In the end, we decided that it was better for our own states of mind that we play than we dither with his wife's extremely powerful and confusing camera. Also, we would have had to do a lot with the lighting. And we hadn't played Warhammer 3rd ed. for twenty years - we reasoned that you, dear reader, would be forgiving. Like men released from prison after a twenty year incarceration, our minds were only on one thing.

I can summarise the battle very simply: I took Undead. He took Wood Elves. No Wood Elves were harmed in the prosecution of that battle. The treeman (technically not a wood elf) was also unhurt.

Now that you have dealt with your disappointment, we can move onto a silver lining of this specific cloud. As a result of preparing for the game, I had to paint some figures. Let us bask in their glory now.

Stage 1: Buying into the game

For the purposes of constructing my army, I've used the Warhammer Armies book. I realise that we are amongst gentlemen here, old-hammerers of distinction and class, so I know of no compelling reason to enforce the distasteful habits associated with vendor-supplied army lists. But, as I consider Warhammer Armies a thing of beauty that has largely informed my interpretation of fantasy warfare, I have elected to bind myself to its tenets. 

So, in order to buy into the game, as it were, one requires simply this: a General, 20 skeletons and 10 grim reapers (skeletons with two handed weapons). 

Although I've discussed this milestone before, I thought it would be nice to look at the thing again. And it allowed me to play around with my figures, scenery and the new battlemat.

31 figures!

Stage 2: Cleaning up a bit, really

Just another 10 grim reapers. I pictured this as I thought this would be the next logical step for those pursuing an undead army. I like the figure 20 more than I like the figure 10.

41 figures!

Stage 3: Enough units to manoeuvre with 

What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster?

I suppose it sort of is, as it's not an animal, vegetable or mineral. It's a liche, to be sure, with 20 of his favourite zombies.

62 Figures!

Now feels like the right time to some close-ups. Below: grim reapers!

Zombies! And the liche:

Skeletons, comprising of enough of the Nightmare Legion to be considered the Nightmare Legion:

Stage 4: Inviting some friends to play

I've had these chaos dwarves hanging around for a while. They looked bored. As an open minded, 21st century, equal opportunity employer, I thought it prudent to offer them an opportunity with my undead.

Figures: 72!

And you can see them a little closer too, if you like. Looking at the picture, I see that I have forgotten to  do any highights to the banner, which I destroyed earlier in its life through varnishing. I've corrected the damage, but it looks very flat.

Hooray for chaos dwarves!

So, what we have here is a legal (*cringe*) Undead Army. Let's talk about the milestones.

For some unknown reason that I cannot surface, an assortment of figures following the same broad outlook on life (and death) becomes an army when it reaches 70 figures. Less than 70 figures? Gang. 70 and onwards? Army. I don't know why.

So the Undead Army milestone is simply this: it's now an army.

But there is another, richer milestone. I've painted enough undead rank and file to cover the forces of the Lichemaster in The Terror of the Lichemaster. I'm still missing the commander-in-chief, but I'm sure we'll all sleep better tonight knowing that his forces are ready for him when he arrives. Now I need to start working the Imperial side.

So, what's next, now that I have an army? I was hoping to move into another army to create an opposing force for the undead. Having learned from experience from the game against Andre, I realise that I need to spend some more time on the undead, as they're quite bad at warfare.

There are two angles to this - the first is that now that I have enough rank and flle, I can focus on the more interesting things like the war machines and the corpse cart. I have some cavalry to throw at the problem and I believe I've sourced some carrion crows as well.

The second, and probably the route I'll explore next, is that I can pursue the creation of a second army, which could be both the opposing force and, when larger forces are required, part of the undead army.

If we consult the knowledge locked deeply within the tome of The Lost and the Damned, we see that Nurgle is also an equal opportunity employer, seeing the undead as boon members of his armed forces. Things have to be done in multiples of 7, of course, so I'd need to paint two extra skeletons and another zombie, but that is achievable. We see now that this force would not become part of the undead, but rather, the undead would become part of a Realms of Chaos Nurgle army.

In a bizarre and unplanned twist of fate, I have more RoC champions of Nurgle than of any other deity. It must be destinee destanie destany fate!

*Cool iron, use a cloth over it. Iron the material bit, not the grass bit. It's a gaming mat, not a pair of jeans...


  1. Congratulations on recommencing hostilities and painting up enough undead for the Lichemaster - a mighty fine horde (or is that over-egging it a bit for 70 figures?).

    Braver still - you went into a GW store ;)

    Just think, that sale assistant may have been under Nurgle's sway - destiny indeed!

  2. Awesome post. I really like the look of your army. The addition of chaos dwarfs was a nice touch. I am getting to the point where I must have at least one halfling or dwarf unit it all my armies.

  3. Nice work, Gaj, they look great!

  4. Great post Gaj, I look forward to seeing the army growing into a horde of Nurgle - and hopefully a few battle reports with pictures along the way!

  5. I second the praise on your latest post. Its nice to see your undead horde forming up with a suitably morbid colour scheme. I am also pleased to hear that you have finally got to play a game of Third. The first of many more I hope!

  6. Heartiest congratulations on reaching this most stupendous achievement, Gaj. Seeing your shambling horde of undeath has really spurred me to crack on with my own cadre of casket monsters. Also, how the hell people can play complex tabletop games whilst simultaneously taking photos and notes - I'm looking at you Orlygg! - is simply beyond my meagre ken too, so no need to make apologies.

  7. You had me there! All that talk about sabotage, while you were secretly painting up a whole undead army?!? Just brillant!

  8. Great force, I love the ramshackle look you get as a result of perhaps limited wins on eBay gives the army a very organic look if you catch my drift. I also like to follow the armies lists, it's a choice though on passion I'm happy to break it.

  9. Much congrats on the painting front...looking good...I hope to replicate your feat someday actual tabletop fighting possible!

    Tell us more about this gaming mat...sounds like a good option...I may need to put one on my F'ed up table top to ,ale it playable again...sigh...

    I look forward to hearing about your continuing adventures.

  10. Thanks all! Of course, I did it all for you. And me. Mostly me.

    Perhaps the most surprising thing is that I managed to do 23 figures in 1 month. Granted, zombies are easier to paint as one can be as messy as they like, but still - the other two thirds have taken me about 18 months... hopefully, here's to an accelerated painting programme!

    ...and, a battle report that's more than one paragraph long!

  11. Well done Gaj!!

    It is only appropriate that the Liche Master's horde lie ready in anticipation of the master's return isn't it?

    Love that Liche. Had completely forgotten about that figure...and proper Chaos Dwarves not those high-hatted impostors of later vintage.

    All very chilling I must say.