Friday 16 October 2015

Skulzinschitte: The Dread Throng of the Doomlord

So the last time I wrote, I mentioned a battle report.

I know. I know.

It was all very exciting - in August. But now it's October, and your incessant inner monologue is probably voicing an opinion about those who chose to skip September. If it makes you feel any better, I began crafting this blog post on the 4th of September.

Still, in some circles, it is claimed that many things are better late than never. With the exception possibly of bullet proof vests and those little puke bags one gets on planes, I suspect the statement is otherwise true.

Don't mistake anything above for any variety of apology - it is not. But - an apology follows:

What you are about to see are two 'sets' of miniatures. Miniatures I've painted... and miniatures I've not. They are painted (if, indeed, that is how you choose to describe their coat) - we'll have none of that naked lead business here, what with being the respectable outfit that we are! What I mean to say is, I've not painted all the figures you will see.

Equally, I have no idea who has painted the things. I have acquired these over my collecting time and have always promised myself that they will be stripped and repainted one day. The day is coming soon, but has not yet happened, you see.

So, sorry. Some of the figures are rightiously fugly.

Nevertheless I thought it best to proceed with the various mismatched figures - because this is how Warhammer was for me when I was a kid. We could only afford a few figures or units each, so a whole army only came together when we all came together and collected our enamel encrusted blobules together for a game. Of course, none of us encrusted our blobules in quite the same way, so it was a beautifully mismatched affair.

Good times.

So, the army you are about to lay your eyes on (and, indeed, the vast bulk of the report), follows in that glorious heritage thick paint, scratched extremeties, goblin green bases and rudimenatary terrain. I'll say sorry, because it is a bit of an eyesore, but I believe I appeal to your inner child as we join together on this curious road down memory lane into the bizarre interior of Warhammer 4th edition.

Let us begin with the forces. In this post...

The Dread Throng of The Doomlord


The Doomlord himself - Dieter Helsnicht (Necromancer Lord).

Equipment: Chaos Runesword*, Staff of Flaming Death, Manticore

Spells: The Dark Mist, Summon Skeletons, Drain Life, Raise the Dead

725 Points
Dr Darkington-Blackness (Master Necromancer)

Equipment: Skeletal Steed, Barding, Staff of Damnation

Spells: Wind of Death, Gaze of Nagash, Vanhels Danse Macabre

334 Points
Oppa-ra (Tomb King)

Equipment: Blade of Leaping Bronze

150 Points
Ludwig von Bluddenskulls (Vampire Count)

Equipment: Dragonslayer

Spells: Hand of Dust

325 Points



Rank and File

Two Ghosts

Equipment: None

70 Points
8 Mummies

Equipment: Light Armour, Two Handed Weapons

392 Points
6 Wights

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Shield, Wight Blade, Banner, Musician

314 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Light Armour, Shields, Spears, Banner, Musician

256 Points
20 Zombies

Equipment: Banner, Musician

88 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Two Handed Weapons, Banner, Musician

276 Points

NOTE: There is a Wraith  in the unit:

Equipment: None

75 Points

20 Zombies

Equipment: None

80 Points


 A Screaming Skull Catapult

Equipment: Screaming Skulls

74 Points
 Army Totals:

Characters: 1609 points (51%) ...This happened because I forgot about the wraith!
Rank and File: 1476 points (47%)
War Machines: 74 Points (2%)

*A brief note on the selection of magic items:

Now I know that there is an entire game that can be made out of just selecting the magic items for characters and units in 4th ed. I know that this is one of the elements that, if not handled in a responsible manner, could make the game absolutely unpalatable for players - I still remember coming across dread combinations that made me quake at the thought of engaging enemy character models.

In this case, I just randomly determined them. I randomised how many the army might have, then which categories they might have and then finally the items themselves. Once I had determined all the items for the army, I then allocated them to the characters and payed the points accordingly.

I found this approach meant that characters had a small choice in their items, but that the opportunity to have a 'killer combo' would therefore only be based on luck. I also reasoned this would be a good way to get some of the more obscure items out onto the field.

Before you ask - yes, I really, really did generate the Staff of Damnation randomly. Yes, I know. That was really, really lucky. It was.


  1. Garth there seems to be a lot of battle missing from this report. Also, a whole army. Just what is it I'm paying for here? Do I need to buy some DLC to experience the full wonder? Are you utilizing micro - transactions??!!

    1. You, sir, are paying for entertainment, dished out in thrilling, suspense driving servings, sized by a team of psychotherapists to be just right for the common mortal.

      Whilst I accept that you are far from common, I cannot create services specifically for individual readers. I blame Blogger, Kim Dotcom and North Korea for this deficiency in service.

      Also, rest assured that there is at least, but not limited to, one other army in the very short term future on this blog!

  2. Yeah, where's the battle report?

    I don't think those zombie sculpts (in the last batch pictured) have ever been bested! Their just too good :)

    Bring on the batrep!

  3. Garth this is arguably some of your best paint work! Oh wait I just re-read the text er' um'...

    I guess anxiously waiting to the Yuletide for the rest of the report. LOL
    ;) j/k

    In all seriousness though I am looking forward to seeing what you have come up with.

    1. Yuletide 2017 at this rate :)

      I also might have a late entry for Orctober, so... hmmm. Better late than never, right?

  4. I haven't seen the manticore model painted in so long it seems to have brought a tear to my eye.
    I think the force looks great and is totally fitting with the bright paintjobs of 4th edition. Your dedication to randomized magic items is admirable, as I recall they could tip the game all on their own.
    Well done, my Skaven are finally finished, perhaps one day we can meet on the field of battle. And drink beer.

    1. Looking forward to getting the Manticore painted myself.

      I'm glad I did randomise them. I didn't find them especially overpowering in the game (although, one might pass comment on my strategic use of them). You're right in how different that was from my original 4th edition experience, where we actively worked to try and find the best combination of items - to the exclusion of all else!

      I look forward to meeting your skaven on the field some day! I don't suppose you'll be visiting BOYL anytime soon :) ?

  5. Very inteeeeeerrrrrrressssstink! I'm pleased to see some more 4th goodness.

    My own take on limiting effectiveness of magic items these days is that I tend not to take anything above 50pts and often disregard magic weapons in favour of a simple lance, additional hand weapon or double handed weapon.

    If both players are like minded and place units as king instead of characters this helps a lot too.

    I look forward to seeing more on this............

    1. I remember the 50 point limit as well, but I still found that we were creating power-combos out of the items that fitted - with many hundreds of items not seeing the light of day because there were just better things to use.

      I thought with the randomising, it would allow more expensive items (like Dragonslayer, for instance, at 125 points) whilst reducing the power-combo chance - something that I think worked very well. I would encourage this approach again, because it introduces a little of the excitement of Realms of Chaos (lots of things to randomise from) and then creates the challenge of not only working out how to use what you have, but then allocating points to cover the thing.

      But, you are dead right - if the players apply that Oldhammer ethos that no-one can quite define (but effectively contract with each other in order to ensure the other player has fun), the whole thing can be mitigated.

      I agree with you about the units being king. I have maxed out on the characters in this case, because that was a reality of 4th edition when it came out - again, mature gamers might be far less compelled to do so - this is also partly due to the figures available and the inclusion of special characters.

      I look forward to producing more on this - I am really hoping to get some 4th ed gaming going for BOYL (although I'd still want some 3rd ed. too...) - I think I'll be working up the undead as that's the easiest entry point for me right now...

  6. Loved reading this. I think 4th Ed definitely has a place within oldhammer when approached with the right spirit. It seems to be that, perhaps due to the nature of teenage boys, many of the older players forget that the rules specifically say not to use special characters without agreement and the magic expansions, especially Arcane, say how the system can easily be abused and make suggestions about how to tone it down. I think much of the current dislike of 4th reflects how people played it at the time, rather than the quality of the game itself.