Friday 27 December 2013

Tactical Painting. Again.

I've discussed the merits of tactical painting before. In that post, I reveal how by simply lowering one's standards, one is possibly able to engineer a whole new army - sort of like the one I did.

Well...more or less.

Following that rationale, I then got myself into some trouble, because my master plan to purchase more painted figures and get them tabled quickly backfired, leading to me landing a bit of a painting 'debt', really. And having painted fifteen of the sods, I was only half way through that debt.

Those fifteen were painted in May.

But, as 2013 zips up its trousers and gets up to close the door, I find myself able to scrape a tiny, moral victory against it: I've painted the rest!

That's right, 2013 - screw you and your evil machinations!

So these are they - painted, based and gloriously monopose - very much like their goblin predecessors you see pictured with them:

...and, because it seems to work for major retailers and fast moving consumer goods companies, I've taken the same product and adjusted some minor detail (picture taken without the flash), thus somehow suggesting extra value for the same price:

So now I have the seed of an Imperial (or at the very least, human) army.

As anyone who takes pictures of miniatures knows, the camera tends to be quite forgiving of bad paint jobs, and quite punishing of good ones. I'll let you draw your own conclusions here, but let it be said that I think the pictures, far from saying a thousand words, are possibly lending a hand. Perhaps in the region of one thousand one hundred words? One thousand two hundred? Suffice to say that the camera has been very generous this time.

Essentially, the figures have been very badly stripped, very badly cleaned and painted in a desperate rush using the simplest colours and painting discipline available. Black wash (Nuln oil, I believe the thing is called) was my ally here, highlights have hardly been done at all and the whole thing relies on the high contrast colour scheme bamboozling your eyes and guiding you away from everything that is wrong.

Still, don't let my self deprecation stop you - I will happily bask in your praise.

Thrilled as I was with this ostensibly final victory in 2013, I then leapt into action and produced some command figures - using up the last of the Battlemaster halberdiers and using some of the swordsmen figures. Specifically, I produced two captains and two banners, leaving me with a grand total of thirty four painted figures - just enough to split into two units of...seventeen men each.

That'll never do, so here's a picture of two units of eighteen men - each featuring a brave hero!

One of the things that has been sitting at the back of my mind as I've been working through this lot is that there is nothing expressly compelling these chaps to be 'good', as our naive black-and-white world view might like.

So I left a little tie-in, should I require it, by re-using the deaths heads on the banners, as I've done elsewhere. Implications on a post card, please.

And, if not used in the implied fashion, the fact that there is a lovely seed to an Imperial force will allow me to do more fun strategic painting (like cannons and knights) for the army whilst it grows, safe in the knowledge there is at least a core with which to do battle.

On a final note, know that these chaps will not feature in Terror of the Lichemaster - I have all of the required imperials in trustworthy, solid metal. These chaps are just a stop gap that made it to the front of the queue because I tried to take a shortcut and failed.

But, in completing them, not only will I advance my goal to one day play out that complete adventure, but also, that my fledgling Imperial army will grow by forty heads - taking us right up to that magical seventy that, as regular readers will know, is the entry criteria for a force to be considered an army.

Actually, on the final final note, may I wish all of you a merry Christmas. I know its already passed, but apparently, its the thought that counts (lets see how far I get this year with HMRC on that one...).

Should I not see you before the new year (I have an almost-two-year-old, so why don't you just wind those expectations down a notch, eh?), then I also wish you a Happy New Year.

Friday 20 December 2013

The Seacrette Seven: The Story of Victoria Seacrette

"'s not what it looks like?" stuttered Duggan, his eyes meeting the unblinking, laser-burning stare of Victoria.

"I think it's exactly what it looks like," she hissed through gritted teeth.  "Exactly!"

It happened to be the scene into which Victoria had stumbled. Warm sunshine glowed through a thousand lazy motes of dust, oblivious to the activity beneath them: Duggan above, Heidi below.

Trousers down, dress up.


Bits of hay gently floated to the floor, the frenetic activity that had so disturbed them now stopped.

Heidi, her face aghast, clapped her mouth shut and writhed out from beneath the scrawny Duggan to find her feet next to the rapidly shrinking boy.

"Victoria!" she gulped.

Victoria's eyes narrowed. "Heidi."

Duggan stepped forward, his finger raised. "Now don't you go starting anything, Vicky, there's a very reasonable explanation for all of this."

Victoria placed her hand on his naked chest, stopping him at arm's length. "Don't you Vicky me, you godless son of a bitch!" she rasped. "I won't be starting anything, but I will be ending something."

Heidi drew herself up to her full height and drew in her breath. The act of doing so caused her dress to fall back into place. "Don't you go threatening-"

In their frantic embarrassment, what neither Duggan nor Heidi had seen was the quiet clenching of Victoria's fists, the left a tight ball, the right tightly gripping the handle of the wooden pail she was carrying when she had entered the barn moments earlier.

Victoria instinctively led with the left. Heidi's nose was no match for the solid worker's hand that struck it. A brief surge of satisfaction registered with Victoria as she watched Heidi's eyes widen just before the impact. The wet crunch left little to any party's imagination as to the resulting state of Heidi's bridge.

Victoria's right hand followed through, swinging the bucket in a tight, vicious swipe that, now that Heidi had fallen to her knees, connected satisfyingly with the side of her head, the empty bucket disintegrating even as it's hollow thump echoed through the barn.

Duggan, too stunned by what he was seeing, tried to raise his arms and left leg in defence, hoping to ball up into a fortress of limbs. He never made it.

Victoria's now unencumbered right fist continued directly into Duggan's left kidney. Duggan did ball-up, but not in the fashion he intended. As he slumped to the ground, his chin, floor bound, met Victoria's left fist, ceiling bound.

The resulting gun-shot like crack both indicated the breaking of Duggan's jawbone and the conclusion of Victoria's attack.

Panting, she stared at the two figures, Duggan twisted over, unconscious, and Heidi sitting flat on the floor, blood streaming through her fingers as she clutched at her nose. The bleeding girl mewled in confusion and agony.

Victoria shook her head. Heidi had been a beautiful girl. Quiet how a snivelling wretch like Duggan had managed to attract her attention was quite beyond Victoria's imagination. Still, the bitch deserved to have her face re-arranged for messing around with other people's husbands, as far as Victoria was concerned.

She dropped the handle of the pail and turned to leave.

"Waid, pleade."

She turned to look at the pitiful form of Heidi on all-fours, trying to get to her feet. A brief pang of pity shot through her before the anger returned. Rage was a good teacher - both Heidi and Victoria experienced a first as Victoria learned the round-house kick.

Victoria closed the door of the barn, leaving both witless idiots unconscious on the floor. Burning the barn was a step too far, she realised - there was a difference in the sympathy one could expect between the jilted wife and the jealous murderer.

She had no real idea what to do now that she had beaten the two senseless. Doubt gnawed at her as she strode home - was she really planning on leaving? Where would she go? What about her marriage vows? She looked up at the forbidding darkness of the forest that ran alongside the road. Was that really a place for a woman?

She wandered through the village gates, turning just before the bridge. She sighed as she looked at the little tannery she and Duggan shared. Had the marriage really been that bad? This was the first time anything like this had happened, she thought.

Or was it? How would she know? Just because she didn't know, doesn't mean it wasn't happening, right?

Fire surged through her veins again as she recalled his puffing cheeks and her yelping cries of satisfaction. She looked around, daring any other woman to appear - no doubt the bastard would have had his way with half the bloody village - could she really kick all of their arses? Would she?

She slammed the door behind her and thumped up the stairs, her mind made up.

Except -

No. Sort it out, Victoria. You're leaving him, and that's that!

She could return home, of course. To her parents. Mum had always had her doubts about Duggan anyway and Dad would just be happy - he always was. And it's not as if they didn't have the space - Daddy had done quite well despite his lack of education. He just knew how to do business, is all.

But to return home would be to return a failure. To face the delighted stares of her younger sisters, both beautiful, both married to responsible, loving husbands. Could she face such condescension?

Victoria realised that she had stuffed the few items of clothing she had into a leather pack he had left lying on the bed. What on earth was she doing?

Think, Victoria. Just think. Go downstairs and sit down. Sit on your hands. Just until you have an idea.

She nodded to herself. Good idea.


Twenty minutes of sitting had done much to clear her head. In that time, she had both wept and sworn, kicking at his work bench and breaking her favourite tea pot.

The answer that kept coming to her was the convent up at Ratchitt. That's what happened to unfaithful wives and unwed daughters whose integrity had been compromised, wasn't it? Why shouldn't she do the same? They were bound to accept her. She was hard working and practical.

But Ratchitt was over a week's journey away. How would she get there? More importantly, how would she get there safely?

It was another frustrated kick that revealed an answer. The heavy work-bench, laden as it was with tools and skins, skidded across the rough floor, before shrugging off the load of skins upon it. There gleamed a beautiful axe, half a holster wrapping its head. Presumably the holster was here for a repair?

She reached over.

No, Victoria, it's not yours. 

Her hand stopped.

Neither is he, anymore. 

She touched the handle.

That doesn't matter. Taking this would be theft. 

The wood was sensationally smooth. She ran a finger up to the blade.

So? He's responsible for it! Besides there's no point going into the forest just to get eaten by wolves - you're hardly showing him then, are you?

Her hand clutched the handle. Suddenly she was holding it in both hands, testing its weight. She realised she was grinning.

Go on. Take a swing...


Victoria ran through the forest, desperate to put as much distance between her and the village as possible. The lantern jangled about in her hand, its light dancing crazily over the road and the surrounding trees.

You stupid, stupid girl! she thought. You'll never be able to return, now!

"Just take a swing!" she fumed, muttering to herself. "You couldn't have bloody done it outside, could you have!"

She didn't even register the presence of a fork in the road as she jogged along - she chose left.

"I mean, its not as if it didn't look sharp, is it, you daft cow! What did you think was going to happen?

"Besides, who builds these houses anyway! I mean, what a stupid place to put a wooden pillar! And to have the whole weight of the upper floor rest on it? I wouldn't build a house that way!"

She felt sick as she remembered the house collapsing behind her. She'd had just enough time to register what she'd done, stuff a few essentials into her pack and dive out the door before the whole thing came down.

She slowed to a walk. She had been jogging for some time now and the weight o both her physical and emotional baggage was telling. "You can't keep this up, dear," she announced to herself.

But you can't go back either. Nothing says 'divorce' quite like breaking your husband's jaw and knocking his house down, does it?

She stopped and sighed.

"Better find a place to rest."


Name: Victoria Seacrette
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Height: 6'2"
Night Vision: None
Alignment: Neutral
Psychology: No effects
Languages: Old Worlder

Career Class: Ranger
Career: Herdswoman

Name: Victoria SeacretteMWSBSSTWIADexLdIntClWPFel
Starter Profile52833245271233434233429
Advance Scheme


Total Advance


Skill Benefits


Current Profile52833355271233434233429
WFB Profile52335121-7758-

Fate Points: 3

Money: 8 GC

Animal Care
Charm Animal
Musician - Wind Instruments
Specialist Weapon - Sling
Animal Training
Herb Lore
Very Resilient

Leather Boots
3 Blankets
Small Cooking Pot
Flask of Water
Pan Pipes
Sling (and ammunition)


Of course, the line we're the most interested in will be the WFB profile, but I thought I'd include everything I've generated just to round the character off. My plans essentially are to give her an experience bump for each outing, and then use events in each outing (be that outing a small skirmish or a full battle) to determine further experience.

Over the Christmans break, I'm hoping to start her story as game, pretty much from where we've left her today...

Wednesday 11 December 2013

The Seacrette Seven

A vast swathe of October, the entirety of November and so far, this small chunk of December, have been consumed by real life.

The unavoidable variety of real life, specifically.

And, as much as I consider life to be the lesser of two evils, sometimes I just wish it wasn't quite so real. Or, at least, if it intends to be as real as it has been of late, at least to spread that reality evenly over the year, rather than carefully saving it up for a time when I look sort-of comfortable so that it can burst out of behind the bedroom curtains and beat the shit out of me.

What I don't have for you today is any further progress on the Lichemaster, or the Dark Elves, or any modelling work at all, in fact. Not a thing. Painting has happened, but pictures have not. And we all know the rules: pictures, or it didn't happen.

But what I do have this evening is the first stage of the outcome of a joyful dip into fantasy wonder much akin to my first forays into the Realms of Chaos.

Long time (well, June...) readers might already remember Victoria Seacrette and Dumbel Doore - possibly even their involvement in the events at the village of Mourning Glory. Coupled with the recent completion of Albi Schutz and Antonio Epstein, I realised that I have enough painted figures to do some dungeoneering. That is not to say that I've forgotten about my alternative adventuring party - but rather, that I've found synergy between the Terror of the Lichemaster objective and dungeoneering.

So by way of connecting point A (The Realms of Chaos one) to point B (the painted adventuring party one), I must reveal that I have broken out the polyhedrals,  the rulebooks and the character sheets, and generated four characters.

Using Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rules.

The 1st edition, to be precise.

Now I had considered using the sensei rules included in the Realms of Chaos books. There are a few tables and some equipment to generate and I'm sure its interesting to do - but hardly the same fare as act of generating a chaos champion. Why, I think generating a sensei warband might take nearly as long as ten minutes, if one was to dawdle.

Fortunately, by using the WFRP rules, I instead was to sip from the smooth, well matured cup of narrative randomness that only comes from many tables, allowing my characters to slowly reveal themselves to me, some being forthright about themselves, others being coy or playful.

Of course, not all things were random. I shall specify the method I used and which bits I used the its-my-stuff-and-I-can-do-what-I-like override. I trust you will approve of how few times that golden hammer needed to be used.

The figures, sculpted as they were, already told me a story. The story allowed me to make the class selections and determine which age range they would come from.

Drumman Bace and Ferrero Rocher

The figure of Albi Schutz was evidently going to be of the Fighter class. He looks experienced - a tough and practical soldier who had lived through many battles. We agree that he's already peaked - perhaps been through a few tough campaigns, but unable to let go of the adventure and battle of excitement, or possibly just not knowing any other way. So, he continues with adventure. Somehow I get the impression he's not very good with money management - never a beggar or a wastrel, but unable to focus on any goal long enough to practice any intelligent financial planning or to enable a life outside of adventuring.

We looked at each other for bit, before he told me his name: Drumman Bace.

The figure of Antonio Epstein was, having eliminated the other models, obviously the Rogue of the party. Straight away I knew he was (to anchor us in the Warhammer world) a Tilean. Regardless of world, his influence was fully and solidly Italian. Stereotypical, really, in that he's not as fond of the fight as his boisterous and challenging words might suggest he is. He is a risk taker, though - just not a fighter. He seems to be an irrational optimist. He won't tell me any more, though.

"Roll some dice," he suggests, winking. "You'll see who I am."

His name is Ferrero Rocher.

Victoria Seacrette and Dumbel Doore
The figure of Libby (from Hasslefree) we already know a little about. She's introduced herself as Victoria Seacrette - and the name checks out. She wasn't lying. In fact, the single outstanding characteristic about her is her unfailing honesty. Not borne of simplicity or stupidity, just of a wise head on young shoulders, perhaps coming from the fact that its a tough life in the Warhammer world for ladies. She never intended to be an adventurer - it seems she had some man problems earlier in her life and having set herself upon the course of an adventuring life has found supreme liberation at being in control of her destiny. She's never looked back.

Of course, she's bigger than other ladies, a fact that she's well aware of. Fortunately, she's embraced who she is and is certainly found playing to her strengths.

She will be of the Ranger class.

The figure of Gymlet is also a known quantity. He, too, has proven to be honest about his name: Dumbel Doore. It is a 'humanisation' of his Dwarf name, which I don't yet know, but he's been around humans for so long now that he doesn't mind. Dumbel strikes me as a mischievous fellow with a robust sense of humour. He is hardly the dour dwarf, though: he is chatty and cheerful and although he hasn't admitted it, I suspect he practices yoga. He is certainly far more vigorous than he lets on. Curiously, although he witters away happily covering a wide range of topics, he doesn't actually tell me much about himself: not so much from lack of trust, but some sort of throwback to his upbringing or maybe his culture? He just doesn't talk about himself.

"S'rude," he mumbles, before showing me how far he can bend his thumb back. "Double jointed, see?If you really want to know something useful about me, then have this: I love roast lamb. Love. It."

Dumbel will be of the Academic class.

They haven't yet revealed how they've met or quite why they now work together, but despite Drumman's age and experience, Victoria seems to be the party leader. These two certainly have an interesting dynamic - she asks him for advice, but he's happy to let her lead. The other two seem to trust her and are both bemused by and proud of their adventuress leader.

The party so far..
Next time, I'll post the character sheets of each character and hopefully reveal more about each, including their 'translation' into WFB terms. You'll be amazed at how closely the dice ended up reflecting their character...

Just before we move away from the party, Victoria suggested there might be other members of the party we've not yet met: when I asked if the party had a name (as some do - there are even adventurers who formalise their relationship in contracts...), she grinned and said, "Why, the Seacrette Seven, of course."

She raises her finger to her lips. "But they don't know that. Yet."

Friday 6 December 2013

The Tenuous Link Between Women and Warhammer For Adults...

Being, as I am, a father of a not-quite-two-year-old, I don't often get the opportunity to catch up on events down on planet earth anymore. Those of you who have already run the gauntlet of parenthood will presumably be nodding sympathetically, because you have assumed (probably quite correctly) the thing I am going to say next.

For those of you thrice damned not blessed with children, allow me to explain: the Apple of My Eye has learned to throw tantrums.

One day, everything is fine and normal. She is nothing but pure honey and everything she does results in light shining from the heavens and angels singing.

The next day? Possessed by the enraged result of the unholy union of John McEnroe and Gordon Ramsey, both experiencing acute ritalin and nicotine shortages whilst simultaneously boosting on raw glucose.

Now let it not be said that Mother Nature is not equipped with a sense of humour. The good lady is clearly well appointed in that space, for she elected to lay just one more burden on these confused and outmatched parents: the common cold.

Time for Yet-Another-F$^@ing-Growth-Opportunity!

But, its not all bad. Silver linings have been sought and silver linings have been found.

In gaming terms, it has been a very good few weeks. I have had occasion to game on two different days, in the same month, with both activities being known and sanctioned by The Minister of the Interior. You will be able to see the exploits of one of those games on this internet website over here.

"Hang on just a second there," I hear you say. "Two gaming events, without lying, and all your limbs still bend in the fashion God intended? How?"

I've finished my Christmas shopping.

No, really.

All done. I suspect this is something to do with the next evolutionary step of man - the combination of the parenthood gene and online shopping. Responsibility and accessibility resulting in survivability.

Not quite sure what I'll have to do for the other eleven months of the year, though. I'm also not entirely clear the level of expenditure is sustainable. But let's allocate the resolution of that problem to, well, a New Year's Resolution. Putting problems in a different accounting year works for big business, right?

But anyway, enough rambling. I logged on tonight with the intention of updating this blog with something I've not honestly thought about before, and therefore, clearly, neither have you.

Okay, you probably have.

That is the topic of girl nerds. That is, nerds who are female. This is different to nerds who pretend to be female (or even, females who pretend to be nerds - be warned, we can tell!) - I am specifically referring to that unknown quantity which fascinates, excites and thoroughly terrifies The Male Geek:

The Female Geek.

The Minister of the Interior is a good sort, really: she enjoys the occasional heartwarming action movie and will celebrate International Rugby with the best of them.

But, bless her cotton socks, her eyes glaze over with Not Another Nerdy Notion Disorder as soon as I try to explain the complex political situation affecting the occupants of Rivendell, or why it is that Luke is able to tell Leia where he is when he ends up hanging handless from the antennae of Cloud City, or indeed that the M41A pulse rifle is in fact based on the Thompson sub-machine gun.

And, to her credit, she did spend an entire weekend in Warhammer World with me when I attended the last GW sanctioned tournament I would ever go to, trying desperately to look like she was having fun, what with 'all that opportunity to look at the extremely interesting armies' everyone had brought.

Still, she's not a Female Geek. She won't even play Munchkin.

Yet there are some who will.

One came to my attention through the presentation of a Liebster Award. You who blog will know about these things: they circulate like funny cat videos.

I've yet to follow the rules for these things (a few have been fired across the bow), in that I've not yet nominated anyone else for one. I truly appreciate that people highlight their regard for the blog through the medium of Liebster - but I don't send them on as I don't know or understand the inner workings of the creator of Liebster and so find myself unable to credit the thing in case it was not initiated as a serious activity.

In this case, however, the sender and her other nominees where so curiously interesting, I thought I'd mention it. You will find Warhammer For Adults nestled amongst some pretty unusual bedfellows over at Dragons And Things - you know, where one might find Dragons, as well as all sorts of other things.

Go on. Take a look. Christmas might be a good time for you to get some gift ideas from Geek With Curves. Perhaps you need some advice on Anime Tattoos over at Girl Gone Geek. Or cut the crap and redevelop your blog in Devcember (not a typo) with the Steph over at Nerd Allure. Imagine their reactions when they see Warhammer For Adults in their referrer stats...

Anyway. Thanks for the award, Ruth - and thanks for some of the most fascinating time I've had on the internet to date.

Speaking of awards, I was also accorded a very special honour by Nico, who most of you might know as some sort of painting deity. He is, in fact, French, and from what I can see over on the oldhammer forum, painting is built into them on a DNA level, much like gesticulating wildly or shrugging.

Still, he is head and shoulders above his countrymen, because he has an awesome chaos army, and awesome skaven army, an awesome epic army and now, of course, a game winning champion now prosecuting his wars for him...

Thank you, Nico. You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. May it be that your children one day put you in the best retirement home money can buy.

In my next post, however, regular service will resume - I will take photographs of miniature things and discuss them, or possibly make up stories about them. Perhaps both. It is unlikely to include any links to fashion.

I'm sure you will be pleased.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Role Play vs. Roll Play...


I was planning to get around to ranting about just the same thing, but he got there first.

And he has historical references, so his would be better anyway.

Friday 8 November 2013


Tonight is one of those bitter-sweet nights.

Bitter, in that I am unable to go to blog-con and meet a large proportion of the English Oldhammer community for another weekend of action packed 3rd edition.

Now I've not had any time to spend on the hobby for around a month now - and I've begun to experience withdrawal symptoms. I find myself staring longingly at my bureau, pregnant with leaden opportunity, before being dragged back to the real world with something along the lines of "you didn't hear a word I just said, did you?" or "if you were watching her like you were supposed to, she wouldn't have poured cat food into her pyjamas now, would she?"

But the evening is also sweet, in that real life has no requirements of me currently (for a change). The Minister of the Interior has retired for the evening early and The Apple of My Eye is sleeping soundly.

Too excited to paint (which requires discipline, patience and some concentration), I thought I'd assess where I was with my new Dark Elf army. Since my last post, the thing has grown somewhat. Enough to have attracted the attention of The Minister of the Interior, who has now placed sanctions against lead economy.

So, growth plans for the army have been suspended for the immediate term.

History has taught us that we're often our most innovative when placed under some duress. I suspect the duress under the spotlight here is possibly greater than domestic clampdowns on imaginary armies, but I'm under enough duress to consider other ways of expanding the army.

I think I've mentioned somewhere else that part of my job is to explore the re-use and future-use of software components. I've not? Oh - well, part of my job is to explore the re-use and future-use of software components. Calling on these peculiarly practical skills given the current predicament, it wasn't long before I spotted two synergies between the Dark Elves and the forces of Chaos. Curiously, the first synergy was not the more obvious Chaos-armies-of-Slaanesh-can-have-dark-elves synergy, but rather, Dark-Elf-armies-can-have-chaos-hounds one.

And so I started.

Trying to find where the hell the chaos hounds were. I knew I had some, somewhere.

You know how these things go. You open a drawer and scrabble around a little. Wood elves? no. Skaven? Forgot I had those, but not what I need right now. Pre-slotta undead? Hmmm...

Time to re-organise. Recent trade efforts have also been stymied by my lack of organisation (look - another synergy - re-organise and you can a) get the chaos hounds and b) trade!).

Of course, re-organising is itself an act of madness, as what starts as an activity to determine an outcome (find the chaos hounds!) becomes a series of lead trips where you begin to imagine what all of these things might look like painted, or what the giant might look like if you converted it this way. And its always nice to find things you forgot about (Siege works? Ace!).

Anyway. To cut a long story short, I eventually reorganised. It was still chaotic, but in a different way - I could now access all of my chaos assets, at the expense of other figures. No doubt I'll re-organise early next year when it crosses my mind that I need the pump wagon or the death riders.

Still, there is a reason for the post: whilst reorganising, I paid particular attention to the forces of chaos. You may recall that I've already spent some time exploring that avenue, so investing time on this option would theoretically pay dividends in the short term - because painting just a few of these will probably double the size and capability of the force.

So these are they: the forces of chaos. Unpainted, of course:

We kick off with my chaos thug horse unit. Yeah, I know, its a bit of a demotion for Kaleb Daark, but he really doesn't scale well with any other chaos infantry. In this case, the steeds are actually the marauder chaos steeds, which are significantly smaller than their citadel counterparts, but perfect for Kaleb. The scale also comes with an implicit indication of rank - small horse? Thug. In this case, the thugs are citadel thug infantry selected because their pose is especially suitable for sitting on a horse. The chaos warrior will become the unit standard. I do have other thugs for the three riderless steeds, but I'll have to remove them from their bases. As you can see, I have enough to make eight chaos horse-thugs.

Next up are the citadel steeds. You'll notice eight steeds here, as well. Anyone see a trend? These horses are much bigger than the marauder ones, so can be used either for Marauder Horse, or for Chaos Warrior Horse, depending on...

...the juggernauts. Only seven here, but I'm sure by now you've clicked - one more, and I'll meet a magic number for a particular realm of chaos army. So, these could either be used in the true Realm of Chaos context, or, if I decide to employ the citadel steeds above as Marauder Horse, these can serve as Warrior Horse on chaos steeds.

Here we have the riders. Yes, one of those is the Khorne juggernaut marine. You'll note I have seventeen riders, so I can get by without him, but somehow I think I could still use him - besides (synergy time!) - I might elect to pursue a Chaos Renegade army for Rogue Trader (after all, I love making up stories to explain to the doctor how it is that a soldier shaped blip showed up on the X-Rays again!).

Look - its those pesky chaos hounds - together with some friendly centaurs! Not as many as I thought I had, so will have to keep an eye out for more of these.

Flesh hounds of Khorne. Back on theme now. I realised to my horror that I am missing two heads. I bet you get this too when you're made to vacuum in your house: that sickening sound of something heavy being sucked int the machine, rattling its way up the pipe. Like me, you probably reason that there is no way that could be any of your valuable, precious lead, because you'd never be that careless, right? I seem to remember just such a sound occurring twice in rapid succession not that long ago, shortly after I had repackaged the hounds. It can't have been, right? Right?

Anyway, some thugs. Target was twenty four (three eights, you see...), but I have a few more. Of course, three will be selected to ride with the thug horse units.

Another shot, 'cos there's lots of them. This unit also consists of 'chaos warriors' - its entirely possible I will poach from this unit to form chaos marauder infantry, depending. Almost all of the thugs have heavy armour, so this isn't the light infantry option that it might be to other chaos armies.

And from the other side. Don't look at me like that - I know you love poring over pictures like this.

Chaos sorcerers and RoC specific Warriors. Of course, some of the specific warriors have already been painted (or converted to the cause of Nurgle), but these are enough to have either deity specific characters, or just to 'flavour' units as I need to. Also, the beast master, minus his scythe.

The more 'regular' chaos warriors.

And its not chaos if you don't have chaos dwarves. Seven of the best, together with a tenderiser.

I do have some bloodthirsters and whatever the Slaanesh daemons are called, but I didn't find them in my re-org. Or rather, I found my 'monster box' - which contains just that - all the monstrous things I have. I didn't open it - I just assumed they were still in there.

Where does this leave me? Well - now I want to paint the the thug cavalry. And make a chaos spawn out of the bits box.

Oh - and the hounds, of course. What did I want those for again?

Saturday 19 October 2013

Terror of the Lichemaster - Phase -. 2 / 17 painted.

Part of my day job is to look at opportunities to re-use things. So, when things are made, how do we make them so that they could be reused in different ways by different things, you see.

So it was when I selected Albi and Antonio to be the first up to be painted.

Firstly, I thought they would be quite easy to paint, so that was a plus.

Secondly, I thought they looked like suitable adventurers, should such a thing be required.

Thirdly, I remember the old AD&D range that Citadel released where they would release a thief or fighter pack or whatever, where each pack had three figures in represented the various levels the characters would be at.

It occurred to me that Albi could be the senior level version of Antonio (who himself could be the senior level version of John-boy (coming soon!)).

And finally, as I must build a fledgling Imperial force to support Phase 2 of the Lichemaster project anyway, they could serve as characters (or even just warriors) in said force - when I get there.

Oh, and of course, that means that I'm two steps closer to completing the second phase of Terror of the Lichemaster - painting the characters.

Anyway, here they are:

Obviously, Albi is a fighter. No-nonsense shoot first and ask questions later sort of chap. Antonio, of course, is a lover. I figured him to be the type to spend a lot on designer clothing in order to impress (hence the Pringle jumper).

Seen in the context of an adventuring party, I would see Antonio as the rogue type of character, something along the lines of a conman or a bard. I don't think we have any doubt as to what Albi represents in the party, which would make Victoria some sort of ranger, with Dumbel still being the party wizard. Maybe later I will try to generate WFRP characters for them.

In other news, I seem to have started a dark elf army:

You know, because everyone needs dark elves.  And no, I didn't paint them.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Wasn't me.

Now I'm not in the business of 'paying for ass*', as such an activity might crudely be named these days, but I rather suspect that if one did come across a prostitute, instruct said prostitute to invent an act called an 'asscannon' in order that one might benefit from said act, it would be still be significantly cheaper than this one:

I daresay, like me, most of the readers of this blog will have been watching this auction (and its sister, the chaos dwarf juggernaut) with morbid fascination, imagining what it is that the buyer might say to their spouse by way of explanation.

In other news, bargains are still to be had on eBay, so don't give up, kids!

*Of course, as a married man, it could be argued that I am very much in the business of paying for ass. Over and over and over and over again. Year on year without fail. Until death us do part, in fact. But I'm a glass half-full kind of person.

Sunday 6 October 2013

A Finisher of Things

...which, as any longterm reader of this blog will know, is not me.

But, as the saga of the Bridge Over the River Chai has now drawn to a close, I am able to return to other members of The Unfinished.

Lets start with the last things that went into the painting queue:

Terror of the Lichemaster. These have been just lying around in a box for some time now. A few nights ago, my powerfully cruel imagination forced to me to consider the what-if scenario of one of these figures contracting lead rot. Panic struck, and I undercoated them as soon as I was able!

These are just pictures of the named characters - the others are coming.

Scenario 1:

Scenario 2:

Scenario 3:

Where's Krell, you ask? Well, I've already got a painted one of those. It was all I could do to get the time to even photograph these, let alone dig around trying to find him.

And the whole lot, scrounging for some love.

Unfinished that have seen a paintbrush - 15 halberdiers, their various commanders, a troll, a skull chucker and the iron claw chariot - a figure I've come to hate...

Unfinished that haven't even seen a paintbrush - two chaos figures from the August painting challenge I never finished (because of these two), some goblin command, the iron claw stone thrower, the remainder of the dungeoneering party I was putting together and some other assorted baddies:

But just as despair is about to set in, perhaps we should consider the good news? Because painting has happened, you see - some people may even remember these chaps from the Bring Out Your Lead! 2013 get-together. Off the back of many threats made aeons ago to produce a chaos army of Nurgle, I finally got around to painting some chaos warriors. Long time readers my recognise Onowitz Mann'fluh, which was produced as part of that plan over a year ago now.

Now Nurgle's magic number (or whatever its called) is seven, meaning that most units in the army must be comprised of seven figures or multiples of seven. Mild OCD suggested to me that I would never be able to cope with the incomplete rank such a number of figures would produce. So, a conversion - once again, champions of Slaanesh seem to be much better suited to Nurgle:

And then regular grunts:

What follows is a relatively modern figure - probably my favourite of the last two decades. Being a character of Nurgle, he was a no brainer:

...and relax - back to old lead:

As I was trying to get the unit painted quickly, I decided to select models that were equipped with two handed weapons, meaning I wouldn't need to paint shields. Of course, all chaos warriors are equipped with Shields, but I can't imagine any of the lovely oldhammer community would mind if they didn't happen to bring them along...

This next chap was given to me as Gratnak Nakk - the half orc from Forenrond's Last Stand. Quite how the giver arrived at that conclusion, I don't know, but he has always been a half-orc from that point on. Of course, the gods of chaos are equal opportunity employers, so he was welcome:

And Mann'fluh. Sometimes a chaos sorcerer, sometimes a banner bearer. As the army develops, he may very well become the army standard.

When preparing for BOYL! 2013, I decided to roll up a chaos champion. In a curious twist of fate, he actually came out relatively well and normal. Not only that, but he got a chaos steed! This, then, is Baron Bodiyoder:

And, because I like I know you, dear reader, like army shots, I thought I'd take a look at what I could scrape together that was expressly and obviously of chaos. I know I could throw the goblins in there as chaos goblins, but we've seen a lot of goblins lately, so I thought I'd spare you. Also, They were under a lot of other things that would mean I would have to not take this picture and organise my painting station instead. I think you'll agree, this was probably the better outcome:

Its nice to finish with those that have successfully escaped from The Unfinished - heres to many more months like it!

Thursday 3 October 2013

Battle Report: The Bridge Over the River Chai - Post Mortem

Post Mortem

And just when you (and I) thought this little shindig was over, it turns out there is one final piece of administration that requires processing - the post mortem. This is really the place where the final thoughts of the participants are captured and where we discuss the game, really.

Of course, if you are new to the blog (or at least, to The Bridge Over the River Chai) then you may not realise that this entire battle has taken just about a year to chronicle.

Yeah. An earth year. In the vicinity of (but not exactly) three hundred and sixty five days.

Which is not to say that the game was played in one year - only that the time to tell the story took about a year.

Anyway, the net result of publishing a post mortem quite some time after the players completed their participation means that their thoughts and comments are possibly somewhat out of context. As I write this, I don't actually know what they have said, but I thought I'd put it out there that if they do say anything confusing or unusual (more so than perhaps they normally would), it might be because what you are about to read is historical.

That's what having kids gets you.

Winners and Losers

Warhammer is about fighting. And fighting, I think you'll find, tends to put things into some pretty black and white categories, chief amongst them being winning an losing.

Although the story was all centred around the legendary Percolator, possession of this device was not the overarching victory condition. When Dreamfish and I looked at the story, we thought that if it was, then players would move in as quickly as possible to claim the thing, hand it off the fastest/toughest character and then leg it off the table.

That's not to say that wouldn't have been an interesting game. But, we thought, if we're going to have a remote game, we're bloody well going to do it properly and wring the maximum value out of the armies once assembled.

So if we look at the game from the winner/loser point of view, we find much to our surprise that the Dwarves have claimed a nominal victory!

Storyline wise, that actually makes sense. The orcs did bicker amongst themselves a lot before finally engaging and when they did engage, their line was not cohesive or supportive at all.

From a dwarven perspective, it seems fair to consider that no enemies crossed the river, suggesting that if nothing else, their lands were still 'safe'.

And, of course, when you see the survivors, it gets a little clearer...

Orcs & Goblins - DA Swedicine Purfurds

Dwarfs - Ironbeard's Conquerors


Gamesmaster: Dreamfish
Remote Gaming

By far the biggest remote game we've played to date. The brand new table with its river and hill sections, the bridges and some unseen miniatures allowed us to entertain our ever demanding audience once more.

The separation of tasks between Gaj and me proved to be most valuable. The collaboration allowed us to work out the scenario, discuss and introduce new elements to the game as it progressed.

The Blood Formatting Engine helped with the technical annoyances of formatting. Using standardized templates various presentational formats could be generated by the push of a button.

Battle Chronicler was used for making the overview pictures and the players used it to get a better estimation of the unit positions and/or distances.

A private sub-forum on the Oldhammer Forum was used to publish each phase. Communication with each individual player was done by email or PMs.

The Game

When we created the scenario we hoped it would draw out the units to the center. The GM controlled chariot and the Percolator definitely contributed to achieve that goal. Obviously, the players did the rest.

Throughout the game I tried to be as objective as possible and keep true to the narrative before anything else. The decisions made during the game were always well-motivated and with approval of both players.

We used the Hamete Virtual Dice Server to log all dice rolls. The Dicelog proved invaluable to the game and it took over 800 dice rolls to complete it.


The WFB3 Rule Reference and WFB3 Army Builder Data Files helped a lot to maintain an overview of the rules, although some minor mistakes did slip through, rule wise, this was the best game I've played to date.


Both players were enthusiastic and committed to the game. Their experience and knowledge of WFB3 varied. One player in particular enjoyed asking questions, while the other had a more "go with the flow" attitude.

Not everything was game-related and even though we live miles apart, you get to know each other a bit. During the course of the game, someone got promoted, acquired parenthood, children got neglected and marriages being put to the test.

I'd like to thank the participants and the community for supporting us. Special thanks go out to Gaj for his cooperation and for bringing the story to life.

Player A: Thantsants
Remote Gaming

A great experience - the Dicelog made dice rolls easy snd Battle Chronicler enabled us to keep track of where units were, although sometimes it became a little tricky to visualise LOS - Dreamfish was most helpful here with great and impartial advice. Speaking of which, Dreamfish did a great job of relaying all the necessary information to keep game ticking along nicely.

The Game

Why oh why did I forget that most true of all military maxims that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Especially when that enemy turns out to be your own bickering army! Having spent ages considering the best deployment of my units to reduce animosity and ensure they arrived at their objectives in a timely fashion with support, the whole thing fell apart as the Goblinoid ranks fell to bickering anyway. To compound things the Dark Elf units found that mountaineering wasn't their forte as they tried to get to grips with the Wood Elves in the face of some terrifyingly deadly Dwarf artillery.

The plan had been originally to wipe out the Wood Elves with the Dark Elves - Hate is a fine thing as the Goblin spears were to find out when they won several combats in a row against a vastly superior Dwarf unit! Once the Wood Elves were dealt with, the Dark Elves were to sweep down the right flank, cross the river and take the baggage and artillery area. Meanwhile the Orcs were to advance on the Dwarven left flank, screening Rogaine and his cavalry as they made a dash for the Percolator. As you will have read from Gaj's highly entertaining write-ups that bits of that happened...

All I can say is - thank goodness for my individual characters, ther ability to ignore difficult ground, their magic and their fighting prowess! Although my army was pretty comprehensively wiped out and sent running for the hills, I do take great delight in their highly pyrrhic victory! The Percolator is mine, the cream of Dwarf nobility lies dead on the battlefield and I nailed that treacherous dog Master B'tor!


The house rules were great and I really appreciated Dreamfish's flexibility and fairness when interesting situations arose. The combat rules made them much more action packed than some of the grinding melees that can drag on for many turns in the original 3rd ed rules. I still think that stonethrowers are somewhat overpowered... or at least Dark Elves too soft!


The whole experience was highly enjoyable and this was down to the fantastic team effort of the all the participants. Dreamfish steered a firm and steady course as GM, Airborne was a canny opponent who kept me on my toes for the whole game and Gaj - thanks for the brilliant story telling which is what this game is all about!

Player B: Airbornegrove26
Remote Gaming

Dreamfish was a perfect host/GM making it work across three months and an ocean. I think we averaged one turn per week which is quite an accomplishment. All of the game aids mentioned by Dreamfish are easy to use. Communication was smooth and quick.

The Game

We met in the middle as Dreamfish intended then slogged it out for about 7 turns. Tactically my goal was to first crush the Dark Elves, and keep the Greenskins held up with my ranged weapons. As it turned out The Greenskins did the work for me with animosity. Mastor B'tor proved to be an awesome character and single handily destroyed my Woodelves. That is when my plan had to change. I vowed to keep lines and stay as a cohesive army. However around turn 8 the action got the best of me, and the game board became a jumbled mess of single unit combats. Isn't that how it always turns out, lol.

Note to self, dwarves are slow. My time table for my moves became a bit bogged down by being unfamiliar with them. However once they got stuck in they preformed admirably. The losses from the dwarf line turns 8-10 came more from terrible dice rolling (thanks dice log)!!! I also got excited and attacked that last turn when I should have probably consolidated. I really wanted to kill Thantsants characters though especially Wineghum.

Dice log is an amazing game aid and make things very simple. There were some points when I was on the edge of my seat about to hit roll, "Why dice log have you forsaken me!!!!!" It was my undoing in the end. Poor Borri rolled nothing but 1's for his challenge, ugh. Winghum helped dicelog out as well with some tactical mist, that might be the move of the game. Thantsants kept my warmachines down for 4 turns, then unformed my whole dwarf line the last time he used it.

Victory was mine but felt hollow. I held the river but at what cost? The Percolator had been stolen, and Morgrim and most of my characters where dead. It made for a heck of a story though.


Dreamfish stayed as impartial as possible, if a question was raised, all three of us made a fair and cooperative decision. We must remember this isn't about being competitive but becoming part of the story. Dreamfish's house rules really streamlined things, and the remote gaming game turn worked out really well. I especially like two rounds of combat back to back. It made things quite bloody!


Dreamfish was and awesome host/GM, Thantsants was a great opponent, and Gaj being our scribe has done an amazing job! I would gladly participate again. If anyone has some specific question about the game or my participation I would be happy to go into more detail so feel free to ask.

Writer: Gaj
Remote Gaming

It was a strange sensation being the chap who 'just got the outcome' after a turn had been played. Obviously, I could watch the instructions as they were revealed, but it was peculiar not being someone who could offer instructions, especially when I've got an idea of what I think should happen next!

Still, the processing for this game was the fastest we've ever had it. As I'm sure you'll have noticed on the various turns - those large blocks of arrows and numbers basically represent a battle notation that Dreamfish concocted that allowed us to work out what what was happening to whom quite quickly - before, these would have been long paragraphs of fluffy nonsense which could lead to confusion as to who the target was meant to be.

The Game

The game itself was stupendous - it absolutely delivered on everything I hoped it would - it was exceedingly bloody, it didn't end too soon and the sorts of things one felt they could predict (like warmachine effects, the giant or the gyrocopter) didn't come through at all - certainly the most twists and turns in a game I've ever seen. That's the huge advantage of a GM, I suppose!


I dunno - I wasn't involved this time :)

Looks like everyone else thought they worked okay, so that's good. I've long since come to see that Dreamfish knows more about this ruleset than anyone else, so we (they?) were always in good hands...


Of course, the games are entirely dependent on the players. In this case, I was very happy with the player behaviours. I don't think we railroaded them into behaving as they did - I think they were genuinely committed to the scenario and that drove ideal player behaviours - I suspect if they were drawn to winning over any other activity, the game would have played very differently.

From a personal point of view, I do feel like I let the side down as I started taking longer and longer to write up the turns. I think this led to a general loss of enthusiasm (not from the players so much, but it would have been nice for them to see their grand story complete in the same month they ended it...), which became infectious. The report itself became my scourge and curse as it then stared preventing me from looking at other writing projects, which has led to a general slowdown on that whole front. I would also feel a suitable level of guilt whenever I tackled other hobby work instead of writing, but in my defence, that was taken up both in the organising and the preparation for the Bring Out Your Lead! 2013 weekend.

One thing that is especially interesting for me now is that there are far more people playing 3rd ed. and reporting on it. Which does raise an interesting question - have these remote games now served their purpose? Have they contributed to the growth of 3rd edition gaming to the point that reporting would now be done much faster from games that are finished in the same day they start? What about those not fortunate enough to have players close enough to them - do they still see remote gaming as a viable method?

I'll note leave the post on a question, because this post is about closing The Bridge Over The River Chai. So, to Dreamfish, Thantsants and Airbornegrove - I say thank you! To all you poor sods that were waiting with baited breath for the conclusion to this - again, I say thank you! Especially, thanks for your patience with this.

Until the next one...