torstai 31. elokuuta 2017

The Iron Grudge Campaign

Welcome to the Iron Grudge -landing page!

This post is here to pull together the many strings I've woven into this long narrative campaign I've been fighting with my regular Greenskinz opponent. There is no real structure to it in the sense of maps, scores or anything like that, we just sit down each time to talk about what would be a cool and logical setting for the next battle. This string of narrative games has progressed over a very long time now, as it all began even before the arrival of Age of Sigmar, and there are still some characters involved who have been there since the ancient times!

We're not actually trying to "win" the campaign in any sense, it's just an over-arching storyline that we use to create settings for our battles and to link all our games together. Each battle and each character becomes that much more dear to you when they stick around from battle to battle until they bite the dust.

So far we've had a great many games with a plethora of Battleplans and homebrew rules-twists to keep the fun at maximum, with the size of the battles ranging from small skirmishes to 400+ model megabattles.

This post is up here to place all these battles and accompanying short stories into a chronological order, with the over-arching storyline explained. Links to all the narrative battles and short stories can also be found right here.
The campaign is still ongoing and this landing page will always be up-to-date and available in the sidebar under Campaigns --> The Iron Grudge.


It all began when an orruk warlord called Urgokh da Choppa led his fledgling Waaagh! across the violent seas of the Realm of Beasts to land on the shores of the Diamond Bay. The coastline was guarded by the Wayfarer Hold, a strong duardin fort with a full garrison of Iron Company warriors. More of a military outpost than a civilian dwelling, the troops housed in the Waufarer Hold were grizzled veteran mercenaries that had traveled across countless untamed regions under the firm command of Ungrim Ironhelm, the Lord Commander of the Iron Company and the king of Kazad-Zul. Now these trusted clansmen had been assigned to keep the coastline secured while Ungrim was strengthening his grip on the lands his legions had acquired, intent on rebuilding a grand duardin empire from the ashes of the Chaos invasion that was now being pushed back by the Stormcast Eternals.

Alas, despite all their skill and experience the garrison was caught flat-footed when the ramshackle rafts of the greenskins stormed the shores. The warriors of the Wayfarer Hold marched out to meet the foe on the waterline, striving to contain the invasion until their families could be evacuated along with the merchants, shipwrights, runesmiths and other important personnel of the hold. The garrison was slain to the last duardin but the evacuation succeeded, leaving the unfortunate fort itself under the cruel attentions of its new greenskin masters. (The battle for this hold was actually played, in 8th edition WHFB, but sadly no pics or written records remain up to this day.)

Not long after the Wayfarer Hold had been lost, Commander Ironhelm began to muster an army to reclaim it. While his main army made camp deep in the heartlands of this new duardin kingdom, smaller patrols were sent out keep an eye on the foe to make sure nothing disturbed the war preparations. In the Battle of the Hollow Hill Thane Gorek Stonehammer's patrol came across a greenskin warband led by an orruk warboss Gorlag Stuntiedoom, resulting in a defeat that saw only a handful of duardin survivors escape with their lives under the leadership of Runepriest Largs Brokksson.

The survivors sought shelter in the nearby Splitstone Mines, joining their forces with those of the outpost to repel their pursuers. Led by grot wolfboss by the name of Azgar Swiftgit, the grot warband pulled off the Ambush at Splitstone Mines that saw no duardin escape alive to bring news of these defeats to Commander Ungrim. Runepriest Largs Brokksson was slain and his runic heirloom weapons were stolen.

Several days passed before the Splitstone Mines were discovered to have been raided and the Runepriest's valuable weapons to be missing. Letters were sent to warn each and every Iron Company detachment in the region, one of the messages reaching Thane Brom Alaricsson and his supply caravan whose next checkpoint would've been that ill-fated mine. Following the tracks of the grot raiders, Alaricsson's forces soon stumbled upon a freshly abandoned overnight camp. As they were about to search the site for clues wolfboss Azgar charged in with his warband, apparently having accidentally left the Brokksson heirlooms somewhere in this camp during his last night's stay. The Hunt for Brokksson Heirlooms could begin!

Thane Alaricsson routed the forces of Azgar and found the prized artefacts, partially settling this fresh grudge by returning the heirlooms to Brokksson's clan.

Still amassing forces and supplies for a large coordinated attack against the Waaagh!, the Iron Company had detachments and supplies flowing in from all four winds. One of these supply caravans was waylaid by grot warchief Urzy da Sneaky 'Un, whose warband managed to destroy the majority of the transported goods despite Urzy alone escaped this Caravan Calamity alive. Thane Snaddri Roreksson delivered his greatly diminished convoy to the army's main encampment along with news of this particularly cunning and elusive grot leader.

Finally, after weeks of careful planning and preparation, the Iron Company launched its counter invasion towards the coastline of Diamond Bay. A vanguard led by Thane Thorlek Durragsson had been tasked with finding a safe crossing across a ferociously flowing river for the army to pass. Yet upon finding the perfect crossing the vanguard also came across a mob of grots guarding it, and the Battle for Grot's Crossing commenced. Under the leadership of the infamous orruk warboss Stuntiedoom, the duardin vanguard was routed and Thane Thorek slain. It took Iron Company several days to find a safer crossing, each day giving Waaagh! Urgokh more time to prepare for a decisive engagement.

During the duardin assault by land, a flotilla led by Captain Garin Baragorsson ambushed a greenskin cargo vessel on its way to the captured Wayfarer Hold. In an attempt to hinder the Waaagh!'s war efforts, the Sea Battle of Diamond Bay saw Captain Baragorsson boldly board the enemy ship only to be defeated in one-on-one combat by Captin Croll Rustaxe. The orruk captain was the only living creature to survive the fight and it took him a couple of extra days to navigate three tied-together ships to the shore all by himself. This was yet another setback for the Iron Company's counter-invasion that left the enemy as strong as ever for the final conflict.

Eventually it all came down to the Battle of Bronze Plateau where Waaagh! Urgokh faced the Iron Company of Ungrim Ironhelm on an open battlefield, both armies led by their respective leaders. The fighting was fierce and bloody, but as the dust settled by dusk it was the duardin who came out on top. Wolfboss Azgar Swiftgit and Warboss Gorlag Stuntiedoom were both slain in the carnage and the Waaagh! was driven back onto the shores of the Diamond Bay.

After days of repose, tending to the wounded and collecting battlefield loot, the Iron Company set out to build holdfasts and outposts onto the lands they had just reclaimed. They left behind a hastily constructed graveyard for their fallen, and just as the last of the duardin were about to leave, some wandering greenskin survivors of the recent battle mounted a daring attack into the duardin burial site. Sending their warriors away to continue the march, Ungrim Ironhelm held the rear with a handful of his most trusted friends in order to protect the piece of those now put to rest. This occasion passed these five duardin companions into legends as the Heroes of Chiselwind Cemetery, for they decimated and routed the imprudent assailants!

Even after their defeat at the Battle of Bronze Plateau the battered Waaagh! did not give up. Urgokh ordered his trusted (well, by greenskin measures anyway) chieftain Urzy da Sneaky 'Un to get his remaining army at the gates of the relatively nearby Free People city of Bochenfels without "da 'umies noticin' anyfink."

Unfortunately Urgokh's "remaining army" still meant orruks, grots, troggoths and other monstrosities beyond count, enough to engulf a fortified city. The reasons why an orruk warlord would direct his forces against a new target while there were victorious duardin currently reclaiming their lands from under his control is beyond many historians and scrollkeepers, but they all agree on one thing; Warlord Urgokh da Choppa is by no measure the average dumb brute that can normally be found leading upstart Waaagh!s on destructive rampages.

Whatever the case, Urzy orchestrated a cunning ruse against a freeguild Toll House on the Bridge Road and managed to take it over without any word of warning reaching the city that lay only a few leagues beyond this important river crossing. Urgokh approached the oblivious city with all the might of his forces at his back.

The Siege of Bochenfels is one of the bloodiest battles in this campaign up to this day. A massive horde of greenskins and other monstrosities crashed against the walls of the beleaguered city, defended by Governor Warwick Lemming's freeguild garrison and Thane Morek Furrowbrow's detachment of Iron Company mercenaries. After a day of chaotic fighting the walls were breached and the Waaagh! poured into the city, destroying everything they could lay their hands on. Governor Lemming was slain during the storming of the front gate, but Thane Furrowbrow led the remaining defenders in a heroic rearguard action as the civilians fled the carnage through the back gates.

Urgokh had acquired himself a city and all the greenskins tribes from the surrounding regions rushed to stand under his tattered banner, swelling the ranks of his Waaagh! to gigantic proportions.

After being wildly successful in reclaiming the lost lands all across the Diamond Bay, the Iron Company had drawn its forces back to the heartland to rebuild and fortify their kingdom. As the word of Bochenfels' destruction reached Kazad-Zul, the royal seat of King Ungrim Ironhelm, a war council was called together to decide on how to react to this threat. Some lords and thanes argued against taking to the field when the threat was not directed against their own race, while others relished any chance to split orruk heads. A decision was made after news arrived of the hold's runelords having rediscovered the art of creating Gronti-Duraz, the huge ancestor statues roused to fight alongside their descendants. The clans of Kazad-Zul would march to war once more, and the preparations were begun.

And so they marched, legions upon legions of warriors travelling through the Grudgeforge Realmgate to seek the ultimate defeat of Waaagh! Urgokh and eliminate the threat forever. Each fort, mine and outpost in the kingdom was left with a minimal garrison to fuel this all-out push to seek vengeance once and for all.

The first challenge they faced was Shaman Trazleh trying to complete a Ritual in the Damned Forest to summon a terrible beast to rampage in the region. Slayer King Malakai Smensson and Brewmaster Dorinsson led contingent of Iron Company duardin in a daring assault to stop the ritual. The Shaman was indeed slain but the ritual was still completed at the very last possible moment, summoning a terrible beast that followed the retreating duardin and decimated a legion of young beardlings that were guarding supply routes in the rearguard of the advancing Kazad-Zul legions.

On their advance through the wilderness towards the supposed location of Urgokh and the main bulk of his Waaagh!, Runelord Ranuld Silvethumb and Runepriest Durin Chiselmane discovered the hidden hideout of Urzy da Sneaky 'Un and his grot tribe. The Scrimmage at Sneakpass was a bloody affair where the elusive grot tribe was shattered and its devious leader slain, ridding Urgokh of yet another of his most capable chieftains.

With the duardin legions descending into the forested lowlands from the mountains, Brewmaster Burlok Dorinsson set out to catch Wolfboss Elgar and his nomadic tribe of grot wolfriders that were reportedly roaming the region. Due to painstaking preparations and some luck, the grots walked straight into the Ambush at Fenrus Ruins. A brief but bloody battle took place and the greenskin tribe was wiped out, except for its leader who slipped away by leaving his underlings to their deaths in a truly admirable grotty fashion.

Currently Commander Ironhelm and his duardin legions are making their way through the forested lowlands after descending from the mountains. The news Brewmaster Dorinsson brings of yet another decimated enemy tribe lifts the mood of the marching clans, a much-needed source of joy to those still mourning the loss of the beardling cohorts...

tiistai 29. elokuuta 2017

Skyraid on Mattock Mines


Once again the time has come for another Narrative Battle Report. Ever since I started keeping book of my matches in my hold's Book of Grudges, I've received quite a few challenges from the local club. It seems like there are many factions and heroes that want to have their own entries in this tome, depicting all the gruesome ways they have wronged the duardin of Kazad-Zul by.

Well, this battle is the first of those challenges. Some Kharadron Overlords have decided that one of the mines under my clans' control would be better off under their's. We shall see about that.

The Battleplan was Staking a Claim from the Kharadron Overlords Battletome. My duardin expedition is garrisoning a mine that the Overlords want to acquire for themselves by having more models (and no enemy models) within the walled area around the mine at the end of the game. Both sides were also allowed to re-roll any Run rolls in their haste to get to the mines, and any unit standing wholly within the walls becomes immune to Battleshock. We played at 1000 points, still using the older points at the time (not the GHB 2017 ones yet).

Note: My opponent's army was indeed the Kharadron Overlords, but due to the state of his army project and the speed at which this game was agreed upon and set up, his forces will contain a lot of proxies. He has two genuine skyvessels on the board, but his heroes and infantry will be represented by various Dispossessed models. I'll do my best to use the correct unit names during this report in order to make the flow of battle easier to follow.

On with the story!


Thane Karzug Goldfinder emerged from a sparse treeline with cohorts of warriors marching at his side in no particular rhythm. They had been patrolling the surrounding wilderness for the better part of the morning, searching for any signs of greenskin or brayherd tribes trying to establish hideouts nearby. Karzug did not fancy the task he had been given. He was an impetuous and relatively young lord, and although he knew this duty was every bit as important as the rest it still bugged him that he had not been able to join the great campaign against Waaagh! Urgokh. He had watched the legions march gloriously into the Grudgeforge Realmgate under the direct command of  Commander Ungrim Ironhelm himself, only to return to his outpost the next day.

Each mine, outpost and holdfast of the clans of Kazad-Zul retained a minimal garrison now, the majority of their able-bodied warriors chasing greenskins on the grand campaign. In addition to keeping the mines themselves running, each garrison had been tasked with guarding the lands against any rampaging warbands that might disrupt trade or supply routes. Even at more peaceful times it was difficult to cover leagues over leagues of forests and mountains with limited manpower, let alone now.

Karzug waved to the cannon crew curiously peering down over the edge of the rock they had entrenched their warmachine on. They waved back casually, everything was fine.

Admiral Rangil Isakson stood on the deck of his Frigate as it ploughed through the grey mass of clouds. This raid was not the easiest one to pull through. It made Rangil somewhat uneasy to know that he would be striking against members of his own race, albeit these distant cousins preferred to live under the mountains rather than skyports. A floor hatch opened before him and one of his Arkanauts poked up a goggled head from the heat of the ship's interior.
"We're gettin' close, m'lord. Requestin' a permission to drop altitude an' engage."
"Granted," the Admiral replied before turning to nod to the Skywardens hanging from the railings of the Frigate. The airborne warriors forwarded a series of sharp hand gestures to the Gunhauler vessel flying nearby, and the crew gestured back. The raid was ready to commence.

As one, the skyvessels of the Drakebeards clan dived into the belly of the clouds to re-emerge below them.

"Oh by Grungni's hairy arse, not these wazzocks..." Karzug cursed as two heavily armed and armoured skyships dropped down from the grey skies.
"Alright lads, let's show 'em who owns this mine!"
He drew his hammer and started forward, followed closely by his Thunderers, Longbeards and Warriors while the cannon prepared to fire its first shot.

The skyvessels swooped down onto a rocky hill just across the plain, ropes falling from the sides of the Frigate to land a company of Arkanauts on high ground. Soon after the landing there was a loud boom that echoed across the landscape as the mine's cannon hurtled a shell across the field, scoring a glancing hit on the side of the smaller Gunhauler. The impact and the resulting explosion tore a hole into the ship's hull while the crew hung onto the railings for their lives.

The battle for Mattock Mines had begun.

The Gunhauler fired its own skycannon in return but the shot went wide as the ship slowly began to tip to one side. The hit it had taken had seriously damaged its aiming optics and stabilizers. The larger Frigate was yet unharmed as it floated ominously towards the mines, its heavy gun spitting out a shot that struck the edge of the rock upon which the cannon stood, the shrapnel tearing apart one of the crew members and sending another running for his life.

Almost as an afterthought the Arkanauts still aboard the Frigate opened fire with their carbines, the powerful aethershots tearing into the ranks of the Thunderers to punch straight through mail and flesh.

Yet more ropes fell from the Frigate, landing another company of Arkanauts to assault the Mattock Mines. Under the covering fire of the two skyvessels, both companies ran forward as shells and shots whistled above their heads to strike even more Thunderers from their stunted feet. One aethershot found its mark on Karzug's shoulder, blasting apart his runic pauldron and drawing blood.
"You're lucky I'm not wearin' me favourite suit of armour t'day!" he bellowed amidst the downpour of bullets, cinder and shrapnel.

Every single duardin in Goldfinder's garrison knew the importance of this mine, the wealth it produced and the help it lent to the war effort against the hated greenskins. None would turn their backs and run, the mine had to be held at all costs!

Thane Karzug Goldfinder charged in towards the approaching Frigate, followed by his Longbeards. The Thunderers found cover behind the walls and popped a few shots at the enemy infantry to keep them at bay, causing two Arkanauts to stop dead in their tracks with smoking holes in their skysuits.

The Warriors saw the Gunhauler was in trouble, losing altitude and tipping to one side more and more. They let out a resounding warcry and charged, surrounding the low-hanging skyvessel from all sides. Grabbing the railings, pipes and gun barrels, some of the Warriors hauled themselves up onto the ship's deck and started laying about them with their axes, cutting down the Arkanaut crew and hacking viciously at any important-looking valves and  engines until the whole thing belched out a cloud of black smoke and dived prow-first into the ground.

The Warriors picked themselves up from the ground, dusted off their gear and turned around to lend a hand elsewhere on the field.

Karzug and the Longbeards ran under the Frigate, seeking to stay out of its cannon's sights. They grabbed the landing ropes that still hung from the vessel's railings and dug their heels into the ground. With all their strength and the weight of their armoured bodies they tried to drag the ship down, or at least hold it in place. The Frigate's engines roared as the crew tried to steer it away, the entire form of the ship groaning under the strain.

Having dealt with the Gunhauler in such a short order the Warriors now charged into the Arkanaut infantry, engaging in a bloody duardin-on-duardin melee where axes, gun butts and cutlasses traded blows.

With the Longbeards holding the Frigate in place, Karzug climbed up the ropes to emerge on the deck of the ship. His eyes locked with those of Admiral Rangil Isakson and he began to make his way to the stern, swatting aside resisting Arkanaut crew members and smashing his runic hammer into the ship's structure every now and then. Each blow from his heirloom weapon struck with the might of a lightning storm, sending cracks spiderwebbing across the surface of the hull from each point of impact.

Just like its smaller counterpart, the Frigate groaned, let out a gout of flame and smoke from its engines and collapsed straight down onto the ground. As Karzug and Rangil both struggled to pull themselves out of the smoking wreckage, the Skywardens who had been floating around the vessel up until now surged down into the Longbeards. They ran their cousins through with long skypikes on the descend, driving their polearms through plate and mail with sheer momentum. WIthout even bothering to recover their pikes from the fresh corpses, the Skywardens drew their vulcaniser pistols and began firing summarily into the mass of steel and duardin.

The Warriors wasted no time in disposing of their opposition. Despite a couple of clansmen falling to cutlasses and pistols, the wall of shields tightened around the Arkanauts and axes swung out in gleaming arcs, wetting the ground with thick duardin blood as the invaders were driven down.

The remaining Arkanaut company saw their Admiral's peril, and as soon as Rangil managed to pull himself out of the Frigate's carcass his subordinates charged into the fray, pistols blazing. The sudden assault of the Arkanauts caught the Longbeards off-guard, their exposed backs getting riddled with holes and vicious cuts.

With a final push the Warriors lobbed off the heads of their last opposition, finding themselves standing upon a mound of bleeding duardin corpses. They had triumphed, yet no victory, big or small, could be celebrated when fought against one's own kind.

Thane Karzug flew into rage at the death of his Longbeards. He shouldered into the enemy formation, swinging his hammer to shatter skulls and cave in armoured chests. A shield to the face, a hammerblow to the head. A knee to the belly, followed by a headbutt. A sideways strike to the neck with the hammer, a shieldbash to push the blood-gurgling foe away.

There was a terrible mechanical efficiency to the way Goldfinder moved as he left a long gory trail behind him.

Karzug stood atop the prone form of an Arkanaut he had just slain, his runic hammer slowly dripping blood onto the ground. The remaining Arkanauts turned and ran in terror, leaving Admiral Rangil and two Skywardens alone onto the corpse-strewn battlefield still bristling with angry warriors from the garrison.

"T'was a grave mistake comin' here to steal our mine. A mistake ye won't be makin' again," Karzug panted from beneath his horned helmet.
"The only mistake I made was not bombin' this place to the ground before launchin' the assault. A mistake I won't be makin' again," Rangil replied. With that, the Admiral took a few backward steps and turned away, his Skywardens jogging away after their lord.

The Skywardens grabbed the Admiral's arms and lifted him off  the ground, flying away and leaving the garrison gazing after them. There was no sense in giving chase, the day was already won.

A group of miners emerged from the mine entrance, the expression on their faces astounded as they beheld the scene before them. Two smoking skyvessel wreckages dotted the landscape, the ground between them littered with slain. One of the miners whistled in awe.
"What is this, Goldfinder, unwanted visitors?"
"Merely a delivery of  metal and weapons, albeit in a less-than-optimal condition," the Thane replied, turning to grin at the miners.
"What are ye waitin' for? Get yer arses over here and start pullin' these things apart. The Ironhold will drink a toast in our name when we send all this in the next supply caravan!"


A victory to the Dispossessed!

Interestingly enough, I had a unit of 20 Miners in reserve for the duration of the entire game, ready to pop up when needed. Well, as it turned out they weren't needed at all! My army pulled the whole thing off with around twenty or so casualties, as opposed to the opposing army that had nothing but their general and a single depleted unit left at the end of the game. This was the first time I was playing against Kharadron Overlords, so I cannot say what could've been done differently as I am not familiar with the faction's playstyle. More hanging back and just shooting, I guess? It really is hard to say, the scenario required both armies to rush to the target area in order not to lose instantly so perhaps that kind of negated the strongest attribute of the Overlords.

What I did find out was that the Kharadron Overlords are an extremely difficult faction to write a narrative battle report about. Flying skyvessels and floating infantry, how is one supposed to just mow them down with axes in close combat? It took me a good moment of silent thinking but I can say it was pretty entertaining to try and find a way of describing the melees against flying gunships. Not the most flexible subject of action-packed storytelling but what can one expect from a universe of high fantasy!

Next up? The (so far) final part of the Beardling Tutorials, followed by a Path to Glory campaign. Yup, I'm dusting off my Aelves once more, the same army that did relatively well in the local league several months ago. They have been reinforced with some new units and are soon ready to go to the club for some good-natured competition!

perjantai 18. elokuuta 2017

Thematic Terrain

Time for a quick look at my recently expanded collection of terrain!

The last terrain-related posts I made were some homemade ruins and barricades, right? Well of course not, there was this huge watchtower and all not too long ago! How could you not remember that?
Anyway, this time I haven't built any of these myself, I merely painted them and sat down in awe to marvel at their beauty. Some of them have also made appearances in battle reports and tutorials without any special mentions.

This post is all about those special mentions.

We kick off with a groupshot. This whole bunch is from Momminiaturas, cast resin terrain that I basecoated black before applying a couple of very simple drybrushes and washes to achieve this look.

There's a dwarf stone golem which I play as a Gronti-Duraz (more on that later), two dwarven pillars that I left in two separate pieces on purpose (to simulate ruins/damage), two elven waystone-esque pillars that make great arcane terrain pieces for a game of AoS, two phoenix braziers that I gave blue flames just for that magical tingly feeling and finally the elven altar that made an appearance in the 3rd Beardling tutorial along with the other elven terrain. In addition I have some barrels, strongboxes and urns to be scattered around the battlefield in house ruins, settlements, walls etc.

All in all a nice collection of thematic terrain to add a little flavour to battles when used alongside more commonly seen hills, forests, rocks and rivers.

This golem is just humongous. Made entirely out of solid rock and inscribed with runes of power, this durable giant is going to wreak havoc on the field with its enormous hammer. I basecoated it black, rummaged through my paint storage for fifty shades of grey, grabbed my drybrush and just went to town. The final touch was picking out the runes with Lothern Blue to make them really pop up. Done!

There were no rules to be found for Gronti-Duraz (obviously), so me and one of my regular opponents devised a warscroll for it to be used in our narrative battles. I'll put the warscroll here, available for everyone, but keep in mind that it is purely made up and should not be used against your opponent without his/her total consent. And no, Matched Players, this model does not have a points value.

Pretty tough guy, this one. The aim was not to make him extremely powerful or to perfectly fulfill any particular role in an army, the abilities and stats are meant to make this angry duardin statue feel like and angry duardin statue when played on the battlefield. The buff to saves is mostly useless to shield-bearing Dispossessed units once they get into combat, and the unbinding is done much more cost-effectively by Runelords. However, Gronti-Duraz can take a punch (or twelve) and keep dishing out damage that rends apart whole formations of enemy warriors or severely slows down and bruises an enemy monster that was on its way to do the same to the duardin battleline.

In narrative megabattles this rockbeard is going to be an awe-inspiring sight as it wades into the fray, towering over a sea of warriors!

Finally, there are two MDF Realmgates. They arrived flat in an envelope, I pushed the pieces out, glued them together and applied some colours of my own to personalize them a bit. Quick and easy!
The fiery gate on the right made an appearance in one of the recent battles, scorching a bunch of unfortunate Grots before allowing them to travel through its gaping maw to reappear on the enemy flank. I'd say they are suitably sized for Age of Sigmar scale, acting as some lesser realmgates if nothing else. I'll be sure to involve these peculiar and dangerous ways of transportation in my games more often, they add a whole new layer of optional approaches and tactics to the battle at hand.

That's the end of the terrain gallery for now. Next up, a narrative battle report!

torstai 10. elokuuta 2017

Garrison of the Ironhold

I promised you more duardin content, and here it is!

To celebrate my army's new home, I took a bunch of the newest models I had recently acquired for my Dispossessed along with some older models with poor paintjobs to bring them up to shape. During a handful of evenings a total of 40 Warriors, 24 Slayers, 20 Quarrellers, three artillery pieces, their crews and a Warden King passed through my worktable.

Here they are in all their speed-painted glory!

To kick things off I started with 24 poorly painted Slayers that I've had for ages. I redid their skin and weapons, then brightened up their glorious mohawks and Braveheart-warpaints. Their bases received the very same treatment I use to unify my whole duardin army, I only need to add some tufts of grass to break the rather monotonous appearance of bare mud.

These old metal models are truly works of art. They all look astonishing and some of their faces are actually quite emotional. There is something in their design that the newer Citadel models lack despite being superior in quality otherwise.

Oops, sorry for the shadow here!
These 20 Warriors are Dwarf with Axe -models from em4miniatures, very cheap plastic one-posers that I use as beardlings in my narrative matches (they're about the same height as Battle for Skull Pass GW models but quite a bit thinner). The champion's hammer is from Stormcast Eternal Retributors and the banner came from a Freeguild Greatswords box.

Strapped to their backs are small round shields that also came from em4miniatures, perfect props for hiding that rather obvious injection spot that these fellas have in between their shoulder blades. And shields are always a good choice for unit of Dispossessed Warriors, not to mention that they're a perfect canvas for showing off some clan colours!

Dwarves with Crossbows from the same manufacturer. They make for a cost-effective unit of Quarrellers (which you want to have loads of anyway) and they look the part, they all have quivers of quarrels at their hips and hand axes hanging from their belts behind their backs. With the final addition of the shields I mentioned earlier, these long-bearded thinlings have everything one needs to become a Quarreller in the garrison of Ironhold.

I wasn't a fan of their weapons themselves, though. What kind of crossbow has tiny knobs like that for a bowstave? To fix this, I delved into my bits box and found 20 Repeater Crossbows which I cut apart to build proper prods for their tools of death. Now they are ready to patrol the walls from dusk 'till dawn!

Next up, some firepower. 10 more Thunderers to bring my total up to 34, with a fourth colour to add to my three-coloured duardin army. There's something magical about the combination of purple, silver and gold, don't you think?

I also took three old artillery pieces and repainted them to be worthy of the fortress they protect. A Cannon and two Flame Cannons (the second one is a conversion, obviously) from my entire arsenal of 3 Cannons, 3 Flame Cannons, 1 Grudge Thrower, 1 Organ Gun and a Bolt Thrower.

GW vs Black Hat size comparison. From left to right:
GW BfSP Warrior, Black Hat Dwarf Axeman, GW metal Ironbreaker, GW old plastic Warrior
20 Warriors from Black Hat Miniatures, by the name of Dwarf Town Guard Axemen Regiment. An affordable batch of twenty adorable models, clad in chainmail, swinging axes and brandishing large round shields. They have a bit of an old-Citadel-dwarf -feeling to them, which is pretty much the reason I bought them in the first place. They all have swords strapped to their belts and the champion holds his own aloft. Swords.

I (being a zealous Warhammer lore fan) dislike duardin using swords. Their physical dimension are why they don't use bows or ride on horseback and the same reason applies to using swords, in my mind. Their sword arms are too short. They aren't as swift and deft as aelves (those treacherous, thagging elgi...). They're sturdy and strong, attributes leaning towards the use of hacking and smashing weapons like axes, hammers, maces, mattocks... But at least the swords on these models look like their wielders, short and broad, which makes them easier to use in tight spaces (underground tunnels, dense formations...) and to think of as merely another form of hacking weapons.

Well, it's purely a matter of opinion. Unless you're a longbeard.

Then there's this fellow. You recognize him? You should.
He's none other than Grombrindal the White Dwarf himself, in his White Dwarf Subscription Model 2009 -form!

A truly detailed (and beardy!) model to paint, and a joy to behold. His pose is not threatening or aggressive or anything the newer models most often are. He's calm and tranquil, almost casual. To be fair, if you're an immortal demi-god warrior protector of your race then yeah you have a good reason to act like you don't give a damn. 'Cause you just don't need to.

I already have a Grombrindal model for Age of Sigmar and to differentiate these two models I gave this one a somewhat less grandiose beard. In colour, I mean, not in proportions. This whole model was done in a bit of a hurry along with all the models above, which left his beard look a little messy. I might have to revisit his facial hair with a brush later on to fix it, but for now he makes for an excellent Warden King model to represent Snorri the Ancient, the respected castellant of Kazad-Zul who commands the garrison while Commander Ungrim Ironhelm leads his legions on the field.

That's that for now, I'll keep painting here on the side while progressing my other endeavors such as the 4th part of the Beardling tutorial, a new narrative battle report and some terrain pieces. Until then!