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.