tiistai 9. lokakuuta 2018

Bolt from the Blue

The windswept field had been silent for hours, except for the assiduous work of four freeguilders. No words had been spoken while a row of shallow graves emerged on the edge of the battlefield. The Bloodbound corpses had been left were they had fallen, but each and every Averbury man had been laid to rest in the shadow of the forest edge.

Placing the guardsman's helmet he'd used as a shovel on top of the final mound, Lieutenant Leopold Scholz let out a deep sigh.
"That's all I can do for you lads. I thank you for your honourable service. In Sigmar's name," he muttered, thumping his forearm against his chest in salute. The Greatswords behind him echoed the gesture. Gunmaster Fersen was standing a bit to the side of the scene, deep in thought. He too bowed his head in acknowledgement of the modest ceremony.

"We sweep the forest now, then?" the engineer eventually called out after a moment of silence.
"Aye. We'll see if anyone else has wandered here in search of us, then we'll move on to where the khornates came," Scholz replied.
"We'll find that artefact and carry on with the mission."


Hours passed. Fersen, Scholz and the two Greatswords walked through the forest back to the portal they'd come from, each on them on high alert for any lurking danger in these unfamiliar lands. Sun was shining high in the sky, illuminating the forest in a warm golden light that made the woods much more beautiful than its misty counterpart that came before. There were even some birds singing merrily in the canopy.

torstai 4. lokakuuta 2018

Bloodhunters, Skullgatherers or Gorefarmers?

Greetings!

This post is a special one. Some might still remember the What Can We Learn from the Duardin? -pondering I wrote some time ago, wondering about the mindset and world-view of the mountainfolk and thinking what we could learn from them. This is something very similar.

In this post I will take a close look at what the Khorne Bloodbound are and how their society might work outside the battlefield. They can't just be raging foam-mouthed maniacs all day and all night, now can they? The aim of this post is to speculate what the lives of these skull-hunting, blood-grazed barbarians might look like when there are no freeguilders around to behead.

This post does belong to my Ponderings-category, so read on at your own risk. You have been warned.

So what are the aspects of the Bloodbound society we're going to scrutinise here? Well, here's my checklist:

- Subsistence Strategy
- Habitation Model
- Population
- Social Structure
- Worldview

We'll go through the list one topic at a time, slowly establishing a wholesome bigger picture of who these servants of the War God truly are. To support my deductions and speculations I use the models and background information provided by Games Workshop.




perjantai 28. syyskuuta 2018

Manhunting

Second battle of the Twilight Prince campaign!

My 60-renown Freeguild warband got paired with Khorne Bloodbound in a custom scenario called "Escape from the Silver Tower". The escaping warband begins the match on the table and tries to get off the opposite board edge, while the hunter begins off-board and tries to stop as many models from escaping as possible. Hunter's models arrive in their own movement phase on a roll of 4+. Scenario points are scored as follows:

Models that leave the board score points to the escaping player
+4p for each escaping model with Move 4"
+2p for each escaping model with Move 5" to 7"
+1p for each escaping model with Move 8+"

Enemy models slain before tehy leave the board score points to the hunting player
+4p for each slain model with Move 8+"
+2p for each slain model with Move 5" to 7"
+1p for each slain model with Move 4"

My opponent was the Escaping player and his Bloodbound were all worth 2 points for escaping or getting slain.

On with the story!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"That's.... that's quite a bunch," Wolfgang whispered as he looked upon the Khorne warband sprinting across the forest opening.
"You sure we have a chance here?"
"Of course, Gunmaster! We're the men of the Puffington Empire, a couple of screaming blood-perverts have nothing to say against our honest steel... and some gunpowder," the lieutenant replied, smiling as they both crouched in the undergrowth of the forest edge.
"Those buggers have no idea what they're sprinting into."

torstai 27. syyskuuta 2018

The Searching Party

"Scholz? Scholz, you still there?"
Leopold tried to open his eyes, but even the faint light that flooded in was enough to make his head feel like splitting. His breaths were laboured and slow. It felt like something was sitting on his chest.
"Sigmar's balls! You took quite the beating there... Not much left of your fancy breastplate now. Now where did I put my knife..."

Leopold recognized that voice. Wolfgang Fersen. The Gunmaster. He wanted to reply to the man, to ask him where the bloody hell he'd been, but instead he focused on keeping his breathing shallow. That way it didn't hurt so bloody much. There was the sound of ripping fabric, a few shlinks and chops of a knife slicing things, and the weight on the lieutenant's chest lifted.

He sprang upright to a sitting position, drawing his lungs full of fresh air time and again with hungry gasps. He wolfed down the air like he was sitting at some noble's banquet after having subsided barely on army rations for months. How was it possible that air tasted this good? Leopold cast a quick gaze around his immediate surroundings, seeing the crouched Gunmaster in front of him holding the badly battered front piece of his breastplate. The leather straps of the piece of armour had been neatly cut.
"You look like shit, Scholz."
"Same to you, Gunmaster."



There were shapes of men walking about in the fog all around them, some of them strolling as if on watch, others digging up the soft soil with their hands and helmets. They were clad in the colours of the Puffington Empire. Averbury men, here in the mysterious woods? What was going on?
"Care to explain these chaps strolling about?" he asked Wolfgang while carefully trying to feel the condition of his broken nose with his hands. It was a bloody mess.
"Not much to explain there. Searching parties were sent out after us when we didn't return to the encampment, and these brave men here found the curious mist through which to travel here. They found me running away from that monstrous orruk and drove it off, so we could get back here to find you and bury the dead."

lauantai 22. syyskuuta 2018

Encounter in the Woods

First battle of the Twilight Prince campaign!

My 40 renown Freeguild warband got paired against Ironjaws in the Skirmish Battleplan "Clash at Dawn". The aim is to kill over half of the models in the enemy warband while the ranges of missiles and abilities start off short and get longer each round. The first warband to reduce the enemy force below half strength by the end of any battle round is declared victorious.

On with the story!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A pair of timid footsteps was audible in the silence of the woods, the sound of twigs and tussocks crumbling underfoot muffled by the veil of fog covering the land. Two freeguilders made their way through the landscape, ascending a steep hill to take a better look around them. All they saw was the fog.
"I don't like this, Eamond," said the one carrying a handgun, his young features rigid with fear. His movements were quick and shaky as he wiped the aiming monocle over his right eye clean with his palm.
"I don't think we ever should've slept on duty. T'was not worth this!"
"I hear ya, Calvin. I don't like this either, but what can we do? At least this ain't lavatory duty!" The older man sneered, placing his sword temporarily under his armpit to free a hand for scratching his golden beard. The pistol in his other hand pointed at the sky, loaded and ready.

perjantai 21. syyskuuta 2018

Twilight Prince Campaign

Welcome to he Twilight Prince campaign landing page!

This is a slow-grow campaign organised by our local Age of Sigmar community to help people paint their stuff and have fun. It is more competitive than my usual campaigns, but laid-back enough to leave room for some pretty sweet narratives. There are also points to be scored in painting your army units and writing a background for them etc., so lots of extras to add to the points racked up in games themselves!

The idea is that three Skirmish games lead up to a series of regular AoS games, with the Renown and Point maximums increasing with each battle. The games are player in two-week cycles, so each month sees two different scenarios. 

Skirmish
- 40 Renown 
- 60 Renown 
- 80 Renown 

AoS Matched Play
- 750 points
- 1000 points
- 1500 points
- 2000 points

Welcome aboard on this adventure!

This campaign is an ongoing one and will receive regular updates, so keep an eye on this post.

torstai 13. syyskuuta 2018

Map of Azamar Ankor

Greetings!

I promised you an in-depth look at one of my new maps, so here it is: the home and playground of my Dispossessed army, the mighty Realm Eternal, Azamar Ankor!


In the Realm of Ghur there is an impossibly ancient mountain range wrapped around the body of sea called Diamond Bay. Harsh elements and roaming packs of monstrous predators have kept the Free Peoples of Sigmar largely away from these parts, and even the fabled Stormcast Eternals haven't set foot in this region for centuries; there's no reason to, for no sane person would ever consider forging out a living in this hostile environment.

That is, if we're talking about those pesky umgi and elgi sorts.

maanantai 10. syyskuuta 2018

Twilight Duty

 A measuring staff struck the wet forest soil, emitting a muffled thud in the vast silence of the woods.
"Another one here, Eamond!"
The named militiaman trudged hurriedly to the caller, carrying a bunch of small, brightly coloured flags in his arms. Upon arriving at the staff Eamond picked one of the flags, a merry yellow one, and drove its pole into the ground.
"Good. Now let's see about the width of the firing sector," said the Gunmaster, counting up the black and white stripes along the planted staff, from the ground up.
"Seventeen, so that should make it around...." the engineer mumbled as he took up a strange gadget from his belt, something remotely sextant-shaped, and peered through its many lenses back towards the camp across the dark open fields.
"...a hundred and fifty paces to the north from here," he finally exhaled, pointing to his left. The accompanying militiaman began slowly shambling to the given direction.

"How's it looking, Wolfgang?" a burly man inquired as he walked up to the Gunmaster, followed by a guardsman carrying a shouldered handgun. Turning around, still deeply in his thoughts and calculations, the engineer managed a quick reply.
"Barely tolerable, Lieutenant. Your men are slow as slugs."
"Can't argue on that, it's what you get when assigned a penalty detachment," the huge man smiled, twisting his moustaches with his left hand while the right held his greatsword against his shoulder. The handgunner behind the officers rolled his eyes, safe in the knowledge his superiors couldn't see it.

It was painfully true, Gunmaster Wolfgang knew. Ever since he had joined the regiment of General Breuer on their drill march into the wilderness of eastern Averbury, he had pleaded for a chance to set up target practice for the cannon crews. It hurt Wolfgang's tender heart to see how the raw recruits handled their charges, the madly expensive cannons from the Middendorf Arsenal. He felt it was his duty to teach these greenies how to show respect towards the machines of war that would save their lives on countless engagements in the future. After days of following the general around, trying to make him realise the importance of this course of action, he had finally been given the permission.

What he had not expected was to receive a detachment of two men suffering a penalty for sleeping on duty, and the lieutenant who supervised the lazy curs as they aided the Gunmaster. With so few men it had already taken hours to set up the flags marking firing sectors and distances, long enough for them to miss the supper by a long shot. Wolfgang was deeply bitter for having to shamble here in the darkness of this rain-fresh forest edge, while across the grass plains the lights of the palisaded encampment were clearly visible in the night, promising food, drink and warmth. All the luxuries the general was no doubt enjoying even now, rejoicing in this practical joke he had played on the engineer. The man would pay, Wolfgang thought. He would write a letter of complaint to the higher echelon as soon as he got back to his tent.

"AAAAAGH!"

A sudden cry broke the Gunmaster from his thoughts. He cast a gaze to the handgunner but the youngster was fine, although seemingly terrified and fit to wet his breeches. Lieutenant Scholz let his greatsword slide off his shoulder, gripping it with both shovel-sized hands as he took a couple of steps towards the direction the militiaman had gone.
"Eamond? Don't play the twisted ankle excuse on me again, we'll finish the job we came here to do!" the officer bellowed into the darkness. In reply they heard only silent whimpering.

The trio started towards the sound along the forest's edge, wading amongst the roots and tussocks in the dark. Eventually they emerged on the scene, finding Eamond sitting in the bushes gripping a colourful flagpole that had pierced the skin in his shoulder. Wolfgang could hear the handgunner, called Calvin if he remembered correctly, sighing in relief. The Lieutenant's expression softened as he walked up to the lad.
"Fell on your face, did ya? How in the name of Sigmar will you ever defeat servants of the Dark Gods if a Ghurian bush is enough to best you in combat? Now, let me see that," he said as he knelt beside the soldier.
"What?! You've got stubble on your cheeks and here you sit whining and whimpering for THIS?! The stick barely even scratched the muscle beneath!"

The militiaman flashed full-blown red in the face, stuttering a weak reply.
"B-but ser, it ain't the wound I got scared of. There's that right-mystic bunch o' mist o'er there by that oak. I was plantin' the flags nice an' quick but somethin' whispered me name from its depths..."
Lieutenant Scholz cast a sideways look at Wolfgang, concern written on his wheather-beaten features.
"Ooh I'm sure it's nothing, lad. Here, let me take a look," he said, picking up his greatsword and bending the bushes with its blade to peek across. A large concentration of white mist was hanging around the roots of an ages-old oak, all covered in moss and barely carrying a leaf on its bare branches.
"Riiight..." Scholz sighed, stepping across the bushes to the other side.

Wolfgang followed him, intrigued, while Calvin helped up his comrade as they set after their superiors. By the time the Gunmaster reached the oak, Scholz was already standing by the mist.
"Peculiar indeed... One'd expect this to appear on the low plains we made camp on, not here beside this one damn tree," the officer wondered, mockingly grasping a fistful of mist in his gloved hand.
"I say we return to the camp now," suggested Wolfgang, looking at the two frightened youths in their company.
"It's been enough measurement and markings for one night, and I for one crave for a bite before going to bed. Gotta catch that quartermaster before she goes to sleep and locks up the supplies."

Turning back to the Lieutenant, he saw the huge man was nowhere to be seen. Puzzled, he looked back to the recruits who were visibly pale with horror.
"Where's Scholz?"
"W-w-we don't know, ser..."
Raising an eyebrow, Wolfgang walked up to the mist. What was going on here? Kneeling down, he ran his fingers across the ground. The footprints of the officer were still there, fresh in the soil.

As he heaved himself back up again, he found himself standing in a spherical room with a colourful mosaic floor and full-mirror walls. Drawing his repeater pistol from its holster, the Gunmaster spun around to take in his surroundings. He was once more in a forest, although a slightly different one this time. Dark, foreboding trees shrouded in the same white mist as before, yet now it dominated the scene. Sitting dumb-struck on a fallen tree trunk he found his friends, Lieutenant Scholz, militiaman Eamond and guardsman Calvin. They all stared him for a long while before the officer dared to voice a question.
"You real, Wolfgang?"
"Yes, yes I believe I am. Where are we?"
"No clue, but now that you've rejoined our merry company I say we find out."

The Lieutenant got up and hefted his greatsword, setting off into the mist-shrouded woods. The recruits exchanged a look and drew their weapons before following him.
Just when I thought this twilight duty couldn't get any more infuriating, Gunmaster Wolfgang thought to himself as he jogged after the soldiers.





lauantai 25. elokuuta 2018

Speedpainted Levies

Greetings!

Before going on into the two new maps I've made and the narrative skirmish campaign that's coming up, let me show you some speedpainted Svedonnians I managed to finish some time ago.

Here they are, 24 Met-at-Arms from Momminiaturas, painted so fast and easy I almost feel ashamed (almost!):

Well, what's the technique then? These two pics must seem like nothing more than the usual sloppy paintjobs my blog's filled to the brim with. Oh, but believe me, the time I spent on these chaps doesn't warrant quality like this at all!

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

As you can see there is texture on the tabards and shields of these pesky peasants, just like it should be. What's special about them is that I only applied one thinthinthin coat of each colour. No layering, no highlights, no drybrushing.

Step by step:

 First I basecoated them all Abaddon Black. Then, I took the largest brush I have and went wild with some Dawnstone, making sure I made all the details more visible from the plain black.

 Second, I took up some White Scar and drybrushed all models again, this time taking care to use a vertical motion so that this lighter colour only caught the areas where light would hit (brushing down across the model, top to bottom, then lifting the brush back up and repeating).
 Third, I gave the regiment a heavy wash of Nuln Oil, followed bya drubrush of White Scar as in Step 2 above.

Lastly, after all these messy layers of blacks, greys and whites, we have the lighting already done on the entire regiment! The highest parts and bumbs of the models are white/light grey while the deepest crevasses remain black/dark grey.

Then I picked the main colours I wanted to use: Caledor Sky, Yriel Yellow, Mournfang Brown, XV-88 and Ironbreaker. I thinned each one generously on a wet palette and applied them carefully to the models of the regiment, so that the previously done lighting effects show through.

The skin of the Men-at-Arms was done by simply applying two layers of Reikland Fleshshade over the lighting effects. This is a messy technique and the results might not please everyone's eye, but it is an extremely fast way to get your endless masses of mooks to an acceptable tabletop standard within a reasonable time.

That's all for now, next we'll take a look at one of the new maps!