Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Orks, orks, orks

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Gaming
Tags: , , , ,

I’m writing about [REDACTED BY INQUISTORIAL ORDER] at the moment, and that’s got me all fired up, so I painted this Ork Battlewagon. This is my first Warhammer 40,000 model since the spring, as I’ve been painting and playing The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game this year almost exclusively. I just realised, I go through a phase every year where I paint a ton of Orks over winter. Must be the long nights or something. Last winter/spring it was Deffkoptas, a Dakkajet, and a bunch of nobs. Next I plan to do a Forgeworld anti-aircraft gun and some Ork barricades (I got them just before they were discontinued. I even had to ring around the local stores to see if they had any left) to be a defence line fortification.

I doubt I’ll get to play with this battlewagon for a while, as my Ork army is so big it’s difficult to get it to my gaming club (it’s in a pub up the hill. I walk there, so I can drink). Heck, even 1500 points means a lot of carrying. It’ll definitely get an outing next time I fight Jes Bickham’s Tyranids.

This is my second painted battlewagon. I have two Forgeworld models (they used to sell the bottom half of their current Battlefortress as a Battlewagon, before the plastic kit was available). The second FW Battlewagon I’ve had a shameful ten years or so, having received it as payment for an article that featured my (then much smaller) Speed Freeks article in White Dwarf some time before I was editor. I better paint it really. It’s been converted in three different ways over those years, but is currently covered in big guns borrowed from the plastic kit, and will probably stay that way.

Battlewagon

It’s not a brilliant photograph, and I have yet to paint the crew, but I thought I’d share.


To tie-in with Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse (out now!), I was asked to write two short stories and they’ve both been released. The first, “Iron Harvest”, is a follow up to Baneblade, and follows Honoured Lieutenant Bannick as he leaves Kalidar to take command of his own super-heavy tank, Cortein’s Honour. It was great fun to continue Bannick’s adventures, and I got quite carried away, so it’s a pretty long short story. Um, by which I mean twice the commissioned length… So it’s a bargain for you!

The second is “Engine of Mork”, which is hot off the presses today! (Metaphorically speaking, as you know, it’s a digital story). I love orks, and I loved writing this tale of a mekboy mob down on its luck on a backwater world. A nascent Waaagh, Death Skull thievery, mek boy ingenuity and very big guns all feature prominently. Crump!


Today I bring you a link to “The King of Black Crag”, a companion story to my upcoming Goblin extravaganza, Skarsnik. Here’s what the Black Library say about it on their website:

While Skarsnik cements his position as Warlord of the Eight Peaks, a rival broods in the nearby fortress of Black Crag. Gorfang Rotgut, the infamous Troll-Eater, sits uneasily on his throne, unsure whether the upstart night goblin is potential ally or the deadliest of foes. Desperate to discover the truth, Gorfang sets off on a quest to visit the shaman Zarrgakk, whose wisdom will decide the matter. And any dangers that lie in Gorfang’s path will just have to hope that the orc warlord is in a good mood…

The story, about Gorfang and his hapless Overrunt Gabble came out yesterday for BL’s Digital Monday. I enjoyed writing “The King of Black Crag” immensely, and so I recommend it even more than I normally would (what with me having written it and everything, you kind of have to expect that).

More experiments

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Gaming
Tags: , ,

After some more fiddling about, I took these pictures of some Ork Nobs I painted a few months ago for my (still unfinished) nob squad. General photo lessons — more light, and a tripod. I may construct a lightbox. Still, I’m getting there.

Camera 010

My Waaagh! Banner nob is made up of bits from the old metal and new plastic nobs boxed sets. I need to get another light source, and a better backdrop.

Orksz 004

One of my favourite models. I’m amazed by the versatility of some of GW’s modern kits. With this one, I sorted out the background (more or less, it’s my sofa in my office), but I still need more light. And the angle’s all screwy, as I haven’t got a tripod. Need to fix that.

Orksz 006

A bit out of focus, and still needing more light. Although my Speed Freeks are Evil Suns in the main, I do plan to add another unit of shoota boys from the Bad Moons clan. It stands to reason that nobs from most of the ork households in a tribe would end up in the nobs mob, no matter their genetically predetermined clan affiliation. If I drop the background chunter and be honest, I actually just fancied a change from painting red!


I’ve been most vexed by photographs recently. I’ve painted some great models and I’ve had a fair few people asking me to share, but my pictures are rubbish. So I emailed top photo dude Glenn More at White Dwarf for some tips, and he sent me this really useful link that tells you how to do it properly. He also gave me some advice regarding camera equipment I’m too poor to act on for the time being.

However, by hamfistedly following his tips using a not-great automatic, a lamp, a box, and an Orc and Goblin army book for a stand, I managed to take this picture of my recently finished Mordor Troll (note, it’s a nice paint job but I foolishly cut off the side bars to his helmet, thinking it was flash. D’oh). Not bad, and a definite improvement on the blurry nonsense I used to come up with. It’s a bit out of focus and on the yellow side, but I’ll sort that once I’ve tracked down the manual to my camera.

I have a troll!

I have a troll!


I’ve been playing in a mini Warhammer tournament at my local gaming club these last few weeks, and it looks like I’m coming in third! Yeah, that’s right, that’s a zogging exclamation mark right there. I’m proud, proud for bronze, because I’ve been playing with nothing but Night Goblins.

The restrictions of the tournament were few — 1500 points, no special characters. When I told my old opponent Jes Bickham about this, he jokingly scoffed, “What is this, the dark ages?”

The pendulum of opinion both inside and outside GW swings to extremes over time. Sometimes “the hobby” is all about the rules, sometimes it’s all about collections of miniatures. At the moment, it’s on the collection setting. But really, these games, and the restrictions we imposed, were about our collections, not beard-gaming.

We play all kinds of games at the club, and our organiser decided on small-ish armies to make the games quick, and no special characters for no better reason than to make us choose slightly different forces to normal.

In my case, no special characters meant no Skarsnik. Nope, really. Skarsnik has become a mainstay of my army. In fact, I can often be heard to declaim that I am Skarsnik. That’s in between berating my Goblins for running away/not running away/ being the wrong shade of green. You may guess, I am tipsy. Screw tea with my war, I drink!

With no Skarsnik, my army’s leadership is a lamentable low of 7. So there has been a lot of running away, but some surprising successes. Here’s my list:

  • “Tiny” McFearsome – Night Goblin Warboss, Armour of Silvered Steel, Ogre Blade. (So-called as he’s tiny, an ancient but still awesome Marauder-range Goblin hero sculpted by Trish and/or Aly Morrison. They’re Scottish, which explains the “McFearsome” part).
  • Bouncer Zig – Night Goblin Big Boss, Great Cave Squig, Sword of Strife.
  • Tolly Grin Cheek – Night Goblin Battle Standard Bearer, Bad Moon Banner.
  • Fingzap – Night Goblin Level 2 Shaman, Dispel Magic Scroll
  • Da Red Hats – 40 Night Goblins with nets, banner, drummer, champion, three fanatics and spears and shields.
  • Spiny’s Stickers – 30 Night Goblins with shortbows, banner, gong basher, champion, two fanatics and Old Moonhat the Spiny (boss).
  • Gutfurk’s Arrer Boys – 30 Night Goblins with shortbows, banner, gong basher, champion, two fanatics and Boss Gutfurk.
  • Bouncer’s Boyz – 10 Squig Hoppers
  • Da Snappin’ Death Balls – Squig herd, 16 Cave Squigs, 12 Night Goblins.

We all played three games, with the number of victory points scored by each player totted up to give a leader board.

Round One

Tomb Kings, led by Pharoah Ashley. I lost horribly, as I fed my units one at a time through tiny gaps in scenery where they were shot down. Frankly, neither Tiny nor I wish to discuss it.

Round Two

A victory against Count James of the Empire, memorable for Bouncer’s Boys hammering across the board then rolling the entire opposing army up from left flank to right. The squigs died one by one, but hilariously ended the game, one man strong, chasing thirty handgunners down the battlefield.

Round Three

Also a victory, against Evil Lord Charlie’s Dark Elves. A great game this, really close, until victory in the last turn came about due to the panicking of my opponent’s large unit of Executioners by… Goblin shortbow fire. I laugh uproariously to say it. The darkest and best of Har Ganeth ran away like the wet elf-goths they are, right into one of the many, many fanatics whizzing around their position and… Well, they all died, and their general legged it off the board, shrieking like a schoolgirl. Some awful animosity rolls here, though. I failed four tests, and twice I got the dreaded “1″ result on the table, which killed about 15 gobboes off. If you don’t know, “1″ on the animosity chart means d6 strength 3 hits on the nearest animosity-prone unit (2d6 if the unit is a horde), and the same back as your target retaliates. Neither unit, and this is the killer, can do anything for the rest of the turn afterwards, which is awful. It’s the first game I’ve suffered this since the latest Army Book came out. And Ouch. Oucy ouch ouch. My advance was stymied for most of the game, leaving me at the mercy of those damnable machine-gun crossbows Dark Elves tote.

Still, Tiny won the day. He only died once in the tournament, and in true Gobbo fashion, only had to fight one melee. In the narrative I constructed in my head, Skarsnik will be most displeased. Concerned by Tiny’s feisty nature and occasional outbursts of tactical acumen, Skarsnik sent Tiny away on a “speshel mishun”, hoping that the better-than-averagely-competent Goblin would die in the process. Unfortunately for the King of Karak Eight Peaks, Tiny returns in glory.

When I nearly walked out of the pub without my figure case, I explained that Skarsnik told me that, should Tiny survive, I had to leave him behind. The battered Lord Charlie said “I like to think you’re actually that mentally unstable.” Oh how we laughed, like at the end of an episode of Thundercats.

Little does he know, eh Skarsnik? Eh? That’s right.

I am Skarsnik.