Monday 25 February 2013

Gromeo: Sponsored by the gods of Chaos


"Hang on," Nurgle said. "There's someone at the door."

Nurgle lumbered through to the wide doors serving as the entrance to this instance of his reality, little pulses of rust flashing out wherever his vast bulk happened to touch. The door handles rusted away as he pulled the doors apart.

"Khorne! Glad you could make it! Come on in, come on in." Nurgle stepped aside, waving Khorne through to the lounge.

"Hey, dawgs," Khorne barked. "Khorne's here!"

"Heyyyy," grunted Tzeentch, an arm growing through his back to meet Khorne's fist bump.

"Woohoo," mumbled Slaanesh, his voice flat. He didn't look around.

Khorne waved a brown bag. "Got snacks too!"

"Let me guess - a bag of Skulls and some BLOOD longtoms, right?"

"A bag of Skulls and some BLOOD longtoms," Khorne mimicked in a high pitched voice, glaring at Slaanesh. "Yeah - Skulls and BLOOD - what did you bring?"

"C'mon guys - it doesn't have to be like this," Nurgle chimed, holding his hands up in placation.

"Actually, Khorne, the last time I brought something, I brought a bottle of wine distilled from the pure desperation of innocent death row inmates, infused with sixty times six blind girls' first crushes, filtered for a thousand and one years through the agony of losing a loved one through a heart attack whilst copulating. To accompany that, I made crisps taken from potatoes harvested from fields drenched in the tears of insurance salesmen who came second in their sales targets, so they didn't get the pearl handled golf clubs. The fire upon which those crisps were deep fried was fuelled with the passion of eighty thousand football fans seeing their team score the winning goal in the world cup. And I made a tzatziki dip. Well okay, I bought the dip - two for the price of one, I think it was. Anyway, you can see why I'm disappointed."

Khorne pulled a face and continued with the falsetto voice: "You can see why I'm disappointed." His voice returned to its characteristic growl. "Fag! Fine - don't have any BLOOD, more for the rest of us. You stick to your passion flavoured dish liquid or whatever the hell it is you just said. I should kick your arse right now!"

"Yeah, figures you'd want to touch my arse - you've ben eying me up ever since I was blasted into existence!"

"Guys, guys, guys!" Nurgle rumbled as he rolled his eyes. "This is getting childish now. Its always nice to catch up, but we got stuff to do. These CV's aren't going to read themselves. Khorne, why don't you get a bowl," Nurgle pointed to the kitchen," and put the Skulls on the table. There's a good god." Nurgle pulled a chair out and beckoned to Slaanesh, who grimaced and sat down. They always sat this way - Nurgle opposite Tzeentch, Khorne opposite Slaanesh. Otherwise they never got anything done.

Khorne returned, dropping a crumbling bowl covered in limescale and full of Skulls onto the table. Slaanesh frowned as he gingerly poked the bowl with a finger. "Don't you ever clean up, Nurgle?"

"S'no point," Nurgle replied through a mouthful of Skulls. "It just gets dirty again."

Slaanesh stared at the corpulent figure, who shrugged.

"Ssso," Tzeentch hissed, "these are the CV's." He distributed the bits of paper evenly and the four stopped talking as they scanned the words. The gods have many ways of receiving prayer - given that these were petitions for championship, they had agreed that a curriculum vitae format was appropriate. Three pages max - the gods are busy too, after all.

"Loser," Khorne mumbled as he crumpled the pages of the first one and tossed it over his shoulder.

"Same," Tzeentch copied Khorne and crumpled the paper.

"Hmmm...maybe some potential?" He leaned over and showed the CV to Slaanesh. Slaanesh quickly scanned the first few pages, but shook his head. Nurgle crumpled it up and tossed the ball of paper into his mouth, the little face in his tongue snapping it out of the air.

"This dude came up last time as well, didn't he?" Tzeentch said, pushing the CV to the middle of the table, "Bit desperate, don't you think?"

"Yeah. I hate desperation - it smells...weak," Khorne said.

"I love the smell of desperation," Slaanesh said, scooping up the paper and breathing deeply. "Aaah. Although - he's not very desperate. Rejected. Maybe next time."

The others shrugged and nodded. Eyes returned to CV's.

"This is interesting," Nurgle grunted, some time later. "Looks like a half-orc. Very sexual, by the looks of things - just up your alley, really," Nurgle said, offering the CV to Slaanesh.

"So?" Slaanesh asked, taking the CV.

Nurgle stuffed another fistfull of Skulls into his mouth. "Tell you what I like about that one - he's been spreading disease. Looks like he's been nailing a whole goblin tribe, right. One of the little buggers had Rongcrotch - nasty piece of work I put together a couple of hundred years ago when I was on holiday. Seems as though he's been spreading rongcrotch all over the place. And, you know orcs and goblins - they're big on pillaging and raping. He's taken out over five thousand of the creatures with just his little-"

"Gimme that," Khorne snapped, grabbing the paper from Slaanesh. "Look, he's only killed twenty two goblins with an axe. Guy's a grade A loser."

"Wow. Five thousand guys with his dick versus twenty two guys with his axe. Seems the penis is mightier than the sword, eh Khorne?"

"Shutup, fag! What do you know about swords anyway? Keep your fag champion!" Khorne hurled the  CV back at Slaanesh, the papers swooping up into the air before drifting gently down to the table.

Slaanesh chuckled as he picked up the papers. "Given that he is half an orc, I must commend him on his list of conquests. I like his style. I think we should take him on."

"Hang on - what's he asking for?" Tzeentch asked. "He must want something? Money? Eternal life? What's his deal?"

"Lets see here." Slaanesh looked over the pieces of paper, turning them over as he squinted at the text. It doesn't look like he's asking for anything. He doesn't actively worship any of us. It seems like he just... talks to himself a lot. But what he says, I like."

Nurgle nodded. "Yeah. I like it too. I bet if we offered, he'd come on board for sure."

Tzeentch shook his head. "It doesn't work that way. They've got to ask - you know that."

"I can't believe we're still talking about this loser!" Khorne cracked open another can of BLOOD.

Nurgle rubbed his chin whilst his eyes explored the ceiling. "Well - he does have rongcrotch - that'll kill him if he doesn't do something about it. I could up the symptoms for a while, if you like?"

Tzeentch frowned. "I don't like. It feels wrong. He's yours anyway - aren't they all if they get one of your illnesses?"

Nurgle nodded. " much as I hate to admit it, I think you're right. Just this once - don't go getting ahead of yourself or anything."

Tzeentch rolled his eyes and shook his head.

Slaanesh neatly organised the CV's into a manageable pile, putting the one under discussion on top. "I dunno. I like this guy. And despite being forced to eat Skulls, I'm in a good mood today. I reckon he deserves a blessing, even if he doesn't ask for it.

"Go on then - what's his name?" Nurgle asked.

Slaanesh peered down at the paper. "Gromeo."

"Gromeo. Grrrrromeo." Nurgle scratched his chin again. "I like the sound of that. Great Green Gromeo. Okay - if you bless him I'll bless him."

"Whoa, hang on. Bird boy here says its a bad idea, so what gives?" Khorne spat, poking his finger at Tzeentch. "If you bless him, I'll curse him. Simple as that!"

Tzeentch aimed a sideways glance at Khorne. "Mutt face has a point. Personally, I don't care one way or the other, but tell you what - if you lot are going to do this, then I'll pop something of my own onto him too. Hows that sound?"

"It sounds ridiculous," Khorne said, rubbing his eyes. "And mutt face? C'mon Tee, you got something better than that, surely?"

Slaanesh looked at Nurgle. "You bless him, I bless him, he curses him and Tzeentch just does whatever he does. I can live with that."

Nurlge grinned at the others. "Yeah, I'll bet Gromeo can live with that too. I'll go first. He's already green, so that's a given, but I want him to be like me. I'll grant him Immensity."

Slaanesh nodded. "I'll make him a proper lady killer. I'll grant him Musk."

Khorne sighed. "He's a cock. I'll grant him Fear of Blood."

Tzeentch clicked his teeth in frustration. "It's always the same with you guys. You can do anything you want to and this is what you lot come up with? Fear of Blood? Really? I'll make up my own. Nurgle - I see your Immensity, and I raise you Enormously Fat. Slaanesh? Lady killer? Because he's so fat, he's going to find it hard to chase the ladies - it'll take him four times longer to walk somewhere than anyone else. Khorne? I like the fear of blood, but I'll twist that too. His own blood will be rich and powerful. He might not be able to stand the sight of the stuff, but I'll grant him Regenerate. Deal?"



"Fine. Deal!"

Grom: famous special character for the orcs & goblins and leader of a regiment of renown.
Romeo: Romantic lead in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Gromeo: Epic punnery bringing some culture to the oldhammer movement and allowing the world of warhammer to experience the true madness of chaos.

So, as a realms of chaos character, lets discuss young Gromeo. The whole idea of Gromeo started when  I went to play Andre the first time. Basically (much like back in the day) I was trying to get every painted figure I had into the game. I had Grom sitting there and I realised that I could easily make a RoC character out of him. Thinking of a big fat green character immediately took me in the direction of Nurgle, which worked out really well, as it allowed me to take my undead in that army. So the first game of Warhammer 3rd ed. I played in many years happened to be a realms of chaos army too. In that instance, I rolled up a character in the truest sense of the word, with the only choice I made being to use an entry level goblin as the starting stat line. No surprises then when the muppet leading the army (this brave champion of chaos) ran off the table in the first turn!

But the idea stuck. Suddenly, I had a real use for my custom Grom. I still wanted to have a Grom as I had known him from the 4th edition: a ginormous, chariot riding, elf-hating, regenerating goblin lord. But now I also wanted that story to encompass Realms of Chaos. Hmmmm...

Unfortunately, the problem specifically with Realms of Chaos is that once you start modelling or painting characters to be dedicated to a certain deity, it makes it much harder for you to repurpose the model. I realise that any sane opponent would let you, but it just wouldn't feel right to me. So this makes it hard for me to commit one way or the other. Nurgle was also a little hard for me to adjust to, because whilst I like the concept and the figures and whole idea of Nurgle, I just don't like The Lost and the Damned. The book is the bastard child between 3rd ed. and 4th ed. and pretty much breaks the charm that 3rd ed. has. I like the line drawings in the earlier works and I don't like the overpowered list in LatD.

But I digress - the point is, as a goblin, I wanted to be able to use Gromeo elsewhere. How could I integrate him into a Slaanesh army? What about Khorne? Khorne already has goblins, so that's a plus, right? But then the idea of this crazy goblin Casanova spreading disease through his lusty pursuits crossed my mind. I love the idea of turning the current GW universe on its head and looking for the role playing roots of these games. Why are goblins these idiotic one-dimensional illiterate hobos living out in the wild? Why can't we have clever goblins, and well dressed goblins? Dare I say it? Sexy goblins? I took the same approach with Rogaine in Bridge Over the River Chai - orcs don't have to be stupid.

Anyway, so once you throw off the constraints of the background, well, the (read: your) world's your oyster, really.

So Gromeo was born. A corpulent goblin lover boy, spreading a deadly STD leading to the deaths of thousands.

As part of the campaign Andre and I are looking at - we discussed the 'lead' characters and how powerful they should be. In the end, we agreed that Gromeo should start at level 15 - this gives him credibility to lead, without making him ridiculous. The Half orc element is a not to Grom's ancestry in the Regiments of Renown.

I then decided that Gromeo would be a neutral champion - not dedicated to any of the gods in particular. This led to the idea that each of the gods might offer a little something to get him started. To this end, I did not take any marks (or their modifiers) but instead, elected to choose two blessings and to roll for two curses. I chose Musk (from Slaanesh) as the only plausible explanation of Gromeo being able to bed a female from any species. I took Immensity from Nurgle, well - I don't need to explain that one.

Initially, I rolled Irrational Fear of <colour> for Khorne's reward. I was happy with that, but when I was looking something up I came across the Fear of Blood attribute and the lure was just too great - it was the absolutely perfect curse from Khorne! Andre and I agreed to change it, so Gromeo is now terrified of blood. With Tzeentch, I rolled 'Create your own', which I basically interpreted as the perfect opportunity for me to create the Grom within Gromeo. So I added Enormously Fat, which basically bulked Gromeo out to be the absolute beefcake he is and I added Regenerate. To compensate, I then reduced his movement to 1. One thing I didn't realise is that with Enormously Fat, one also gets +1T, -1I - with Enormously Fat and Immensity, he ends up with T6 - something I might reduce, as that's a little much. Also, he has no chaos steed or weapons, as proposed by Orlygg in his warband creation method, so I'm happy that he's 'okay'. That said, he does have a chariot (which explains how the bugger gets around). The key thing with the toughness and the regeneration was to make sure that there was a lead character who had some staying power for the campaign. The Fear of Blood is an excellent limiter to this character, meaning he will most likely have to act like a proper general and stay out of the fight. We'll see.

So these are his stats:

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl WP
Level 15 Half Orc Hero 4 5 4 4 4 3 5 3 9+2 6 8+1 8+1
Stat Adjustments x 0.25 +2 -2
Gromeo's Stat Line 1 5 4 4 6 3 3 3 9+2 6 8+1 8+1

Special Rules:

Reward (Nurgle)Immensity+1T, -1I (applied to stat line)
Reward (Slaanesh)MuskAny model within a 4" range must pass a WP test or move into base to base contact with Gromeo
Attribute (Khorne)Fear of BloodWP test if wound caused within 6", or unable to do anything for the rest of the turn
Attribute (Tzeentch)Invent Your OwnReward consists of the following:
Enormously Fatx0.5M, +1T, -1T (applied to stat line)
Half Movementx0.5M (applied to stat line)

Sunday 24 February 2013

Gromeo! Gromeo! Wherefore art though, Gromeo?


"Gromeo? Did I hear you right? You're asking about Gromeo?"

You see a haggard old man grinning at you. He pats the stool next to him, indicating that you should sit down. He nods his head to the bar to suggest that a drink might help to lubricate his throat - a prerequisite to helping you.

He's filthy and the many stains you see on his torn and tatty clothes suggest that he's got all the major food groups covered, as well as blood, shit and pee. What can you do? No one else responded to the call for Gromeo. You sit down and wave the barman over. Coins change hands and drinks are delivered. The old man brightens up. You raise the question again.

"Well, son, if we were to start at the beginning... and I think you want to start at the beginning? Yes? Good.

"Reason is: you need to understand about Cornelius and Lada Niva. I don't know how they met or what led to that poor bastard marrying Lada, but somehow, Cornelius ended up being married to this right bitch of a lady. Big. Not fat, mind, but tall and broad shouldered. She could chop firewood as well as any woodsman and I certainly wouldn't want to get in a fight with her.

"As I understand it, they came down here for the same reason most if us end up in the Border Princes - they were getting away from something. In his case, it was druids.

"Now I hear you say 'nah - surely not? Druids are peace loving carers of nature, aren't they?' Truth is, I don't know, but he'd done something to piss them off royally and he had to get out quick. Looking at how things developed... well, I'm getting ahead of myself. Point is, I can see why they mighta been angry with him.

"So anyway, down he comes, Lada in tow and they set up a farm out here. Way down south, right up close to the Blood River - so we're talking about a hundred miles from here and pretty much right on the border of the Border Princes. Everything south of that river is just called the Badlands. Goblins, trolls, all sorts of shit live down there. The river is really the thing that keeps them in check. They got the land cheap. I guess they couldn't afford anything better.

"So anyway, as I said, Cornelius was a druid. Oh? I didn't say that. My bad - he was a druid. That's how come he knew the other druids and pissed them off - I think he was buggering around with druidic things he ought not to have touched. And really, the same story here. For a few years, we didn't hear a peep outta them. They came up a few times each season for supplies and they went back to their farm. I mean, they looked like shit, but that's what happens when you live out in the middle of nowhere for years. Its not like you look any better.

"But a few years in, suddenly things are happening. Cornelius seems to have struck it lucky with the land, 'cos its the most fertile land in the whole area - or was it? He had bred or grown or made up or whatever-the-hell-it-is that-farmers-do-to-get-new-plants a new type of grape, which he called the Rosinci grape. But the thing is, it just grew wherever he dropped the seeds. He was producing this stuff way out of season - it just didn't make any sense. After a while, we all just got to thinking he must be doing magic. Probably druid magic - they can manage weather and things, I believe. Initially, we weren't too worried, cos he was so far out in the styx that he wasn't going to challenge the farm trade up here. And - if your operation gets too big, well, Prince Pandar will slap a trade tax on you, faster than you can say the word 'tax'.

"What? What do you mean 'can he do that?' Of course he can. This is the Border Princes, son. You got an army big enough you can do whatever you like.

"Anyway, back to Cornelius. He's getting trade barges and some of the bigger ships right down the black gulf to the Blood River. That's a big risk for anyone on that straight, 'cos of piracy and whatnot from the south. But barges were going there. Turns out, the wine he was making with these grapes was second to none. By the time the stuff got to the likes of Couronne and Altdorf, it was shifting at fifty gold pieces a bottle! Fifty gold pieces! Who pays that kinda money for one bottle of wine, right?

"So anyway, this creates a huge problem for Cornelius. Think about it: you got a farm out in the middle of nowhere. You've got a lotta land, all these grapes and whatnot - what's that? Yeah, he grew other stuff as well, sure. Anyway, so he's got all this land and he's hundreds of miles from anywhere. Nothing but bandits and chaos to the south. How does he protect himself? What about labour? Who's working this farm? Remember, they're hundreds of miles from anywhere. And if the labourers get wind of the money he's making? Surely they'd want a cut, right?

"So, he's got problems, ol' Cornelius. Security issues, labour issues and probably soon tax issues too. What do you reckon he does? You don't know? Let me tell you: he sets up a trading post and he starts to set up a town. But who's he trading with?"

You lean back as the old man jabs his finger at you.

"Goblins, son. Goblins. The son-of-a-bitch organised cross river trades with the little buggers - and who'd've thunk it - he actually seems to have won them over. Pretty soon the little shits are hooked on trade crap from the north. They're trading him whatever they've pirated or stolen for tailored trousers, Estalian tobacco and sixty piece cutlery sets. See, what he'd worked out that I think none of us ever got, is that goblins are shit scared of fighting. They're shit scared of everything. If you just give them the opportunity, why wouldn't they want to make an honest living like the rest of us?"

The old man cackles to himself as he waves his hand to the bar and the rest of its occupants. Broken noses. Stitches. Naked blades. Wanted posters. Dice. Prostitutes. The only honesty here is that they're not trying to hide. This is the Border Princes.

"Okay, so its not quite as simple as that - the outcasts of the orcs and goblins did the trading. The more organised tribes, well...they were still iffy about the whole thing. They say they didn't trade, but the point is, the trading post grew and grew. This little town, which ended up being dubbed 'Corntown' cos the thick-as-pigshit goblins couldn't pronounce Cornelius' name, just grew and grew. Not thousands of inhabitants, but still - hundreds. All sorts of lowlifes - goblins, orcs, those freaky yeller gits from the east over the mountains. And some of us - others like Cornelius trying to make a new life for themselves.

"But now the trading post means that there are others that need Cornelius' trade to continue. He sort of becomes the mayor of the town and he's recruiting his labour right there. Some even say he had some trolls doing some of the heavy work on the farm. You're nuts to have goblins work anything within a mile of you, but trolls? Anyway, maybe it was his druid magic.

"So years go by and Cornelius works his farm. By now, he's paying Prince Pandar's taxes, he's paying all these labourers, he's managing Corntown - despite all the work, he's just not making the money. Production issues, unreliable labour - crime in Corntown itself - it was a deadbeat town after all - all of this is bringing him down.

"And poor Cornelius - it might have been different if it weren't for Lada. Man - she was a mean bitch. I've never seen a woman bitch like she did. She was always on his case - telling him her clothes weren't good enough and that other ladies always had better stuff. Going on about how their farming villa wasn't good enough for the wife of a mayor. How come he couldn't get consistent results from the goblins - surely a real man would be able to? You know - that sort of thing. If I was him, I woulda bought me a pistol and shot the cow between the eyes.

"But he just put up with her. Crazy.

"I don't know much about magic, but from what I do know is that it takes a lot of energy to do. Really hits you hard. So Cornelius, once young and fit and healthy, is now completely wasted and stressed - always under pressure from Corntown and Prince Pandar and his vixen of a wife. Surprise! He can't do his magic like he used to. You get the picture - the farm starts taking the hit as the normal laws of nature set in.

"What's that? Oh yeah. Gromeo. That's what you were asking about, wasn't it? Ah look, my cup is empty. Yeah, rum'll do nicely, thanks.

"So Gromeo was this jolly-fat-bugger-of-a-goblin, right? I'm talking about a five foot girth, right? No jokes. He was huge. The bloody creature could barely move.

"But let me tell you - funny as shit, man. I have never met, nor will I ever meet, such a thoroughly pleasant goblin. Don't get me wrong - goblins are goblins and they're a repulsive little species, but Gromeo - he had something special. He had a real deep voice - good for singing. He was a good talker too - knew a few different languages. And what a joker! Man, he would sometimes crack this whole bar right up with some of his one liners.

"And this is the weird thing, right - ladies loved him. Loved him! I've never seen a human get that much tail, let alone a goblin. And a fat bugger like him - I don't even know how he did it. But yeah - a total ladies man. Er...goblin. And he humped anything that walked. Apparently, by the time he crossed the Blood River into Corntown, he was on the run from three separate goblin tribes - 'cos he had done every single female in all three tribes!

"Yeah! I know! Goblin women! You ever seen one? Man alive - thicker'n a pig with a face and smell to match. But anyway, that's how he got his kicks.

"Anyway, so he arrives in Corntown. Somehow, he hooks up with Cornelius and gets a job as the foreman, running the work crews. All of a sudden, everything is better. The goblins, the trolls - the other lowlifes and arse-holes that all ended up working for Cornelius, they're towing the line. As I heard it, he was mean, but fair. He'd kill anyone who stepped outta line, but he was always able to get them to deliver the goods without too much fighting. I don't know what the deal was, but I'm pretty sure he was taking a cut of Cornelius' profits. Had to have been. When I met him, he'd just bought him one of those Fjord GTO imports from way up north.

"I mean, this chariot - full oak interior, leather arm rests, cup holders, sixty inch wheels - the whole shebang. She was a beaut! Had it custom made to be pulled by those wolves the goblins love so much. So you can see he was making some money - no one down here had a ride like that.

"Anyway, things go well for a while, but it seems that Cornelius didn't pray to the right gods. Or something. Actually, I don't think he was religious? Oh? Druidism is a religion? I didn't know that - thanks for enlightening me. Well anyway, the point is that the gods had not smiled on Cornelius, despite young Gromeo sorting all the shit out. About a year after Gromeo was taken on, a massive disease sweeps through Corntown. Goblins, orcs, humans - all of 'em dying like flies. Even the big buggers like the ogres. And not just Corntown - this was happening south of Blood River too - those goblin tribes I mentioned? All of 'em - wiped out.

"Cornelius and Gromeo do the best they can with what's left, but they just can't stem the damn plague.

"In desperation, Cornelius sends Gromeo deep into the Badlands. 'Just get any workers who will come' seemed to be the general instruction. So off Gromeo goes, trying to recruit some new workers and revive Corntown.

"Now, whilst all that's going on, Lada - Cornelius' wife, you remember - was also trying to work out how to solve the problem. From what I understand, Cornelius had taught her some druid magic way back when his started to fail. I don't know that it made any difference, but she started to look at other magic. Now Corntown was on the Old Silk Road - that's how most of the goods from the east get up north - once they've paid transit taxes, of course.

"It sometimes happened that magicians from the east would come by there. This is where things get a little hazy now, but as I understand it, Lada managed to convince one of them to teach she and Cornelius some other magic. Bad magic. Not the sort of thing anyone should get involved in.

"What happened next? Well, the two of them caved in to all kinds of weird shit. Crazy rituals, howling at the moon, probably drinking their bathwater - I mean, full on witchcraft. I think Cornelius' mind had just snapped under the pressure. Lada - she was always just batshit crazy anyway.

"But - say what you want, suddenly, the farm was fine again. One year on from the plague, its as if nothing happened. They say that Cornelius and Lada found a cure for the disease. No one has been down to Corntown to find out - we don't need no plague up here. But - we're seeing boats almost every week head on up the peninsula to Blood River. They still come in light and they leave heavy - full to the brim with this rosinci wine.

"Back to Gromeo. One day, he gets back. He's got a few goblins and some more trolls. Its a small work force, but he's manage to drag them over hundreds of miles of barren Badlands, so it shouldn't be a problem to get 'em working the farm. But suddenly, the disease is cured and the farm is fine. Cornelius meets Gromeo and tells him that they've cured the disease. They don't need the goblins anymore. He can stay, but the rest of them can bloody well piss off. Now this is a problem for Gromeo, because as I understand it, these goblins pretty much considered him their chief. They've fought their way through all manner of crap to get up here and they're expecting a nice cushy day job with regular food and pay. To find out they're no longer needed? Well, they kicked off something awful, as you'd only expect from goblins.

"Well anyway, the now healthy citizens of Corntown eject Gromeo and his goblins from the farm. I know that, cos he told me as he passed through here. He was spitting blood, let me tell you - I've never seen him so angry.

"I asked him what he was going to do - he told me he knew some people up in the mountains. He said something funny, then - he said he was going there to 'take some advice'. He didn't seem like the advice kinda goblin, so that surprised me, but still, that's what he was doing.

"So that must have been last season, now. I haven't seen him come back this way, but I'm pretty sure he will be back. If I know Gromeo, he's got plans for Cornelius and Corntown...


Andre mentioned a narrative campaign in his introduction when he joined the blog.

So that's one side of the story. Also, as you may have heard - there is some or other event happening in Nottingham sometime or other. Something to do with oldhammer. I thought I would try and attend.

Anyway, Orlygg has proposed some Realms of Chaos activity. Some people are interested in that. I'm sort of interested too. So, Andre and I had a chat, and it turns out, because we're all adults and we can discuss things - that we can link our campaign to the production of characters for this Realms of Chaos activity. This has long been in the planning, because I've mentioned Gromeo before - as some of his retinue has already been explored. We're just lucky that there's some event coming up that we can use this warband at.

I've already defined young Gromeo, but I'll detail his coming into existence in another post later.

It wasn't hard to repurpose my custom Grom to be Gromeo (see what I did there?). All I did was change the name.
Gromeo out for a ride in his Fjord GTO
We've already met Cornelius. Andre concealed his identity be cleverly calling him 'Necromancer'.

Cornelius Niva
So at this point, you're probably thinking: WTF? What about Bridge over the River Chai? You haven't finished that. This is now two posts of stuff that have nothing to do with the continuation of that story! Rest easy, pets. Chai is not forgotten. Rather, this story has been clogging my mind like a hot fat in a drain pipe. Now that its clear, the regular flow of words my continue, leading to me completing Chai. Its all in hand, dear reader - all in hand.

By way of warning, though, you would be wise to anticipate at least the next post to not be turn seven of The Bridge over the River Chai.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Well hello again.  I thought I would put a few photographs of my armies on here as I have talked about them already.  First up are a photographs of my first attempt at turning out and army.  The miniatures are what I had lying around, austerity measures dictate that I must use what I've got before I buy anything new.  The undead army is a mix of figures including some Citadel miniatures, 'Grimm Reapers' rescued on Ebay, Mantic miniatures, and a few others.
This is the host

The Skeletons...
The Zombies
The Ethereal's
The Necromancer
Next up are the Wood Elves.  The miniatures are all from Citadel and some are older than others. They were my second attempt at an army and I was happier with the overall result.

The army as it is now...I have a few more units to add
War Dancers

More archers....
The Treeman "Colin",  he is almost single handedly reponsible for this armies victories!!
The Mages
The General "Fondelrod the Firm"
Well thats it for now.  I'll get photographs of my Chaos army on here when it is finished.  Just ten Beastmen away from completion........
Anyhoooo got to go.


Tuesday 12 February 2013

Goblins! And a new Contributor! And some RoC Credentials!

Oldhammer day. It's coming soon. I'll tell you more as I work it out.

In preparation*, you may have noticed the vast hordes of chaos churning out their warbands. Now, I have plans. There are things forming in the material plane a the very limits of my vision.

Dark things.

And, of course - let us not forget Ellen Degenerate. Perhaps you remember her? No? Her path to chaos was forged in the defence of the Wyemm Seeyay. Unfortunately, you'll have to read the whole thing to chart her descent into madness. She'll be tricky to model, but with a warband currently consisting of exactly one (1) goblin, it should be easier to get her on the field than some of the other warbands out there.

But that's all for another time.

A little while ago I mentioned the tactical painting of goblins. As opposed to the strategic painting of goblins. Now I've always loved goblins. I love their little underdog-y pathetic-ness. I love their individual uselessness and their collective awesomeness.

So, when I did those 30 plastic goblins, it was more than my poor soul could handle. I had been led into  temptation and there I drank deeply from the cup. It was green, friends. Green.

Now I must have goblins. Bearing in mind that there is still some tactical use of my existing figures, I can currently throw around 40 goblins, a few warmachines and, of course, Grom, at the table.

This is the expansion plan:

Specifically, it is 18 goblin archers, 18 goblin warriors, 2 wizards, a leadbelcher, a goblin battle standard bearer (in the shape of the goblin king - I have other plans for his chariot) and 4 trolls. One of each sort.

I do have other goblins, but they are from the 4th edition. As lovely as they are, I thought I'd have a go at the 80s ones first and then determine the future for the '92 night goblins and common goblins that I have. This cluster you see here was just enough to satisfy the 40 goblin requirement expressed for the orc&goblin army in Warhammer Armies (including the infantry Groms).

In related news, allow me to welcome Andre Viljoen as a contributor to the blog. As he's already introduced himself, I can simply go on to say that he and I have indeed had a few games of the ol' 3rd edition. Three to be precise.  Having now acquainted ourselves with the rules, we're going to have a go at a campaign. It'll be a narrative campaign - no complex campaign rules just yet.

But, as he has already mentioned, there might be goblins involved. Those above, to be sure.

*Not that Oldhammer day is all about Realms of Chaos. Its just that RoC turns 25 this year. Regular warhammer will feature too.

Introducing: Andre Viljoen

Gaj has kindly invited me to join him on his blog and as I have accepted his offer I shall introduce myself.

I am Andre and I live very close to Gaj down in the south of England. In a place known to most people as Southampton. If you look at the opponent finder map we are almost in each other’s back yards when compared to most of the other listed followers. Anyway I will do my best to live up to the work Gaj has done on his blog and no doubt I will fall short. For example my spelling is atrocious!

I have been quietly following the numerous blogs, about early 'Warhammer Fantasy Battle', and I have enjoyed them all. I started to collect and build up armies about a year ago and I have managed to make some fair progress. My first project was an undead army using the considerable pile of "Mantic" Undead I had lying around. As a first attempt the results were OK. I was practicing various techniques at the same time as getting used to painting again....and it shows. So I have put this army to one side as an allied force and I will have another go at the Undead later using old Citadel miniatures or the ones produced by Foundry Miniatures. My next project was a Wood Elf Army using a mixture of "classic" and some current miniatures. I was happier with the results of this and I am still adding to this army. My current project in a 'Nurgle' themed Chaos Army (more Imperial Cult than Norse Raiders).

Gaj and I have had the good fortune to play three games of Warhammer over the last few months. These have been very enjoyable and are getting better with every game. We are currently planning a campaign set in the Border Princes. We will initially use the armies we already have and then add to these. I believe Gaj is planning to work on Orc's and Goblins. I was thinking of building a "Border Prince" Army using a combination of the "Old Worlder" Ally and "Old Worlder" Mercenary Contingents as a guide.

Well that it from me. I will get some photographs, of the above mentioned armies, onto the blog as soon as I take some.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Battle Report: The Bridge Over the River Chai - Turn 6

Turn 6 is just chaos. Unmitigated, random, chaos. The dwarves suffer one casualty, whilst the orcs get the turn prize for killing the most... orcs.

Turn 6 starts like this:

The turn starts like this

Movement Phase

Master B'tor continues to flee after his stinging defeat by Morgrim. The dark elf crossbowmen know better than to question their captain and watch him pass by without a word.

The terrifying onslaught of Meedy Ochre is enough to send Suderfedd's (suddenly not so) Big Boy's Brigade running, but not fast enough to avoid a nasty beating for a couple of orcs. Looking to save face, Rogaine charges the giant with his boar cavalry, startling the stupid creature and causing it to rout.

Also, Wineghum's mystic mist dissipates, granting the dwarf warmachine crews cherished access to light and targets. Ethan Ohl, previously of the cannon crew, joins the Earthquaker crew and helps them tend to their wounded and prepare the machine to fire.

Over on the orc side, Rogaine's Lamentable Regiment of Boworcs watches as the goblins battle desperately with the Fireaxes and charge in to help. Well - not to help, as such, but just to hit dwarves. Certainly one of the top five activities orcs like to get up to.


Mystic Mist
Ended and disappeared

Charged @ SBB, pursued @ SBB, moved 12", wounded 2, routed
Routed off the table
Joined EC
Turned around, moved forward 3"

Charged @ MO, pursued @ MO, wheeled left 4", moved 8"
Charged @ S, moved forward 3.5"
Charged @ F, wheeled right 1.5", moved forward 4.5"
Routed forward 14"
Moved 5" @ cliff face
Turned left
Moved forward 3", wheeled right 1"
Moved forward 5"

Shooting Phase

Unfortunately, the nigh-unstoppable goblins, having surprisingly and successfully pushed the dwarves back for two consecutive turns, are undone by their artillery support.

The orc man mangler crew, having selected the Firehammers as the target, fail miserably to land their stone anywhere near those dwarves, placing the stone instead on the Steelaxes. Firehammers? Steelaxes? I know, they sounded similar, didn't they? Easy to confuse the two, really.

Anyway, they kill a dwarf.

But they also manage to kill 5 goblins and 4 orcs. So Kibarkid's lot, having so far been the underdogs of the match, let up against the dwarves and flee in horror as they realise that the sky is falling in.

Shot @ GF, wounded 3
Shot @ SQC, wounded 2
Shot @ CGC deviated, missed

Shot @ EC, missed
Shot @ F deviated @ S, K3C, RLR, wounded 1, 5, 4


"Ow! Waddidja do that for!" Nayz Ulsprai squealed, rubbing his head where he'd been cuffed.

"Look wot yer gone an' done!" Pannerdol barked, jabbing his finger into the sky.

Nayz followed the distant rock as it descended into a cluster of greenskins close to the river. "Wosn't me," he whined.

"Was too! If yer'd been doin' yer job instead of gawping at the giant like some kid at a circus, we'd have been dead on! But we ain't, are we?" He looked at the ruckus that was ensuing. "Great - now they's runnin' away. Good job, genius!"

"Aw boss - s'only goblins!"

"S'only Kibarkid's lot, is wot it is. You wait 'til I tell 'im it was you wot shot 'im! You know he's a biter!"

Bennilinn, who was watching Pannerdol berate Nayz from the other side of the Man Mangler, instinctively reached his hand down to protect his crotch. There were many rumours of Kibarkid's reputed savagery - and none of them had any happy endings for anyone taller than him. 

Ibupp Rowfenn also shifted uncomfortably at the mention of Kibarkid. Still, Kibarkid was all the way down there (and possibly dead - he might have been killed by Nayz, after all), so he moved on to the thing that was really concerning him. 

"What's a genius?"

"It's a knob, like Nayz over here!" Pannerdol spat. 

"But I ain't never seen a giant before! An' I ain't never seen Rogaine chasin' one neither!"

"Look - quit yer whinin' and thank whatever god that spawned you that you's got two balls, cos once Kibarkid gets ya..." Pannerdol snapped his teeth shut. 

"Is that what happened to Rogaine?" Ibupp asked, addressing the crew generally. 

"Wot, Kibarkid?"

"Yeah. He's only got one 'nad left, ain't he? Rogaine?"

Bennilinn locked eyes with Ibupp. "Nah...surely not?"

Nayz looked up. "Cor! Really? Kibarkid an' Rogaine?"

Ibupp shrugged. "I dunno. Alls I know is Rogaine is only half the orc he used to be, if you gets my drift-"

"As will you be if you don't get this damn thrower loaded! Get on with it, you gossiping wenches!" Pannerdol screeched as he rained blows down on any crew members he could reach. 


Combat Phase

In what turned out to be a very quiet combat phase, the dwarves quietly dispatched pretty much everything they were facing. The now ethereal skeletons were clearly no match for the dwarven elites and winked out of existence.

Possibly a little stunned from the orc missile strike, the Steelaxes kill all but one orc, who finally reaches an understanding of his situation and runs away. In their mercy, the Steelaxes watch the little feller run off (Ed: don't dwarves hate all greenskins?).

S1 vs F
Round 1

A1 I2
Skeleton2 <- Dwarf10 (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton3 <- Dwarf5 (1W)
+1 (charged) = 1
+2 (wounds) = 2
I vs S2
Round 1

A1 I2
Skeleton1 <- Dwarf4 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton2 <- Dwarf3 (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton3 <- Dwarf2
A1 I2
Skeleton4 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
+1 (follow-up) +3 (wounds) = 4
RLR vs S
Round 1

A1 I2
Orc1 (std) -> Dwarf2
A1 I1
Orc1 (std) <- Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I2
Orc2 -> Dwarf1 (mus)
A1 I1
Orc2 <- Dwarf1 (mus) (1W)
+1 (charged) = 1
+2 (wounds) = 2
Free Hack 1
A1 I1
Orc1 <- Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I1
Orc2 <- Dwarf1 (1W)

Reserves Phase

There's nothing much to say about the reserves phase. Still, there is a certain beauty in the orc line and how it seems to have every direction on the compass covered...


Turned left, changed formation to 4 files (2nd manoeuvre), moved forward 2.5"
Moved forward 2", halts within 4" of RLR
Changed formation to 4 files

Wheeled left 1.5", moved forward 1", halts within 4" of F
Moved forward 1", failed 2nd manoeuvre

Magic Phase

Wineghum casts mystic mist again. The spell choice presents no problems, but the target does offer a mini-dilemma: cast the spell on his own man-mangler and try and save some of his army, or try and confound the approaching dwarves, who are getting awfully close now that he's run out of undead.

In the end, you can always rely on a goblin to save his own skin.


Mystic Mist
Rolled 1D3 dice in secret

Casted Mystic Mist @ F and I, 6 MP remaining

Rallying Phase

Master B'tor rallies! Aching both physically and emotionally, Master B'tor has occasion to pause and reflect on things. A true captain, he elects not to leave his men (elves?) behind, and returns to the fray. Besides, how many feet does one need, anyway? Surely that's why we've all got spares?




Master B'tor patted Sea Biscuit, using a gentle rhythm and the barest hushing sounds to bring the beast to a standstill. It offered an inquisitive growl as it turned to sniff at its master's bloody stump where once a foot had been.

"No, no," the elf said gently. "No eating for now. That's. My. Leg." He grunted in pain as the realisation of what happened flooded through his nervous system.

Slowly, he turned sideways and slid down the side of the cold one, making sure he had a firm grip on the rein. Sea Biscuit and himself had been through a lot together and many other cold one riders were jealous of his control over the giant lizard, but now was not the time to drop his guard. Cold ones responded to blood - and right now, he was the only one doing the bleeding.

Gingerly,  he shifted his weight onto his left foot. He rubbed the beasts neck as he cooed and sushed, leaning up against it as he looked around. Finding a suitable rock, he dropped to all fours to secure the reigns under the boulder. Sea Biscuit should stay relatively calm here, he reasoned.

He crawled away from the cold one, getting himself to a safe distance in case something happened and the creature attacked.

"Right," he said to himself. "You've seen this done hundreds of times, right?"

Right. But you've never had to do it. And you've never had to do it to you

He dug a small hole and pushed whatever leaves and twigs he could reach from his sitting position into it. He tore away the ruined trouser leg and bundled the bloody rags into the hole too, making up the base for a small fire. Finally, he pulled out his hip flask and poured most of the contents onto the cloth. He poured most of the rest of the flask onto his stump - shit, that stings something awful! - before pouring the final measure down his throat.

The whisky had been filtered for sixty years - even by elven standards, the stuff was smooth. What a shame he was going to burn it. He clacked his flint stones together, sighing as the liquor soaked materials caught the sparks and whooshed to life.

He stared at the base of the fire for a short while. The pain was there, but it was in the background now.   Perhaps he didn't have to do this? He looked at his stump. Blood oozed through the haggard, dirty mess.

"Nothing for it, son," he'd heard himself say to his crew when this sort of thing happened to them. "I don't need crew with infections. Bite on this..."

Good point. He loosened his belt, folding it double and clutched it between his teeth. He pulled his dagger from its sheath. He trusted this blade. It was the sharpest thing he owned. Curiously, it had never drawn blood. Fitting, perhaps, that he should punish himself with it first - he had been an idiot, after all. He'd been far too eager to skewer the damned dwarf to realise the dwarf had a plan.

His eyes spotted a suitable stone just next to him. About the size of his hand and very heavy. "You'll do," he said to it as he picked it up. He stretched his wounded leg out, pointing his aching stump towards the fire. He settled the edge of his dagger against his shin, just a little higher than the wound. He held the stone up high.


He held his breath.


He bit deeply into the belt


He closed his eyes.



Sea Biscuit roared in fright as he heard his master's voice screech through bloody teeth. The creature wrenched at the reins, rearing and snapping.

"Easy, Sea Biscuit," he heard Master B'tor say. "Easy." The elf sounded... different. Weaker.

The cold one sniffed as it detected the smell of burning flesh. He looked at the fire, cocking his head.

"Here. Got. Something. For you."

Sea Biscuit's eye narrowed as it tracked the little chunk of flesh that sailed through the air...


Master B'tor nodded his approval as he watched the cold one snatched the chunk of leg he tossed out of the air. "Good boy."

The pain in the now shorter (but clean) stump was much worse the second time. "I guess that's because I knew it was going to happen," he grunted. He looked at the deep bite he'd left in his belt before wrapping it around his leg and binding it as tightly as he could.

Hurts like a bitch, that does. The burn was more painful than the cut, he reasoned. Absolute bitch!

Gently, he rolled onto all-fours, before tentatively raising himself upright.

You can do this. 

He hopped closer to the cold one.

And again. 

And again. 

One more time. 

Sea Biscuit seemed to be looking at him as if evaluating Master B'tor's worthiness to ride him. Elf and cold one stared at each other, neither gaze shifting. Slowly, Master B'tor brought his left hand around in front of him, pulling the creatures stare down to his hand with the movement. In that instant, his right hand shot out and punched the beast squarely on the nose.

"Behave yourself - you don't want another piece of this!" he growled as he grabbed the reins and hauled himself up onto the stunned creature's back.

He yanked on the reins and kicked Sea Biscuit firmly in the ribs, directing the cold one to run back towards the dwarves.

"Now. Let's go kill me a dwarf..."

Battle Navigator

Turn 6 (you are here)