As per usual I have fallen behind with posts and I wanted to bring you up to date with some of my recent painting projects. I feel I am getting better (especially if I look at the models I painted at the end of 2011 which I am NOT going to post) and am enjoying painting the circle bits and pieces. I am beginning to develop a phobia of painting full units but am throwing myself into painting single miniatures in the snatches of time I get to paint.
Kaya the Wildborn (painted late December)
Lord of the Feast (Painted (very quickly) in December)
eKrueger - looks a bit better in the flesh - I struggle to photograph my greens
I am attending the Golden Troll 35point open in Chorley next weekend, I am taking my circle who I have been playing most of my games with over recent months and in order to adhere to the two list requirement I have had to select a second caster.
I have been planning for some months to try out Morvahna the Autumnblade as a caster as her fluff is strongly themed around Tharn heavy armies - which is largely what I have constructed with Kromac.
I am hoping that her more attrition based style will provide a nice counter point to Kromac who is often seen as an assassination caster and that by using her I will get the most out of the unit of blood trackers I have also been painting over the last month or so.
I have yet to use her very much, only having had a few games but I will need to user her at least once next weekend so we will see how she fares.
Please excuse the terrible photography - I don't seem to be able to find much time to photograph models during the day at the moment.
I managed to get my Warpwolf Stalker painted in time for the York Inter Club Challenge this weekend (more on that topic later).
I think he's looking pretty good and I got to use some of the larger basing clumps on his base as there was plenty of room. Im trying to be a little less subtle with my shading as I am finding that when I take the models down to the club and out of the natural light that I paint in that it can be hard to spot that I have done any shading at all.
The skin is painted with the Reaper Dark Elf Skin Triad and the golds are a mixture of Reaper Antique gold, New Gold and Devlun Mood. The sword I painted using darker shades of the Reaper Metalics range which I found helped me to create contrast between both halves of the blade. In the past I have used the brighter metals and found them too close to each other.
I also marked the bases with white lines for now but I intend to do something a bit more interesting on these when I have more time.
I have put together some Mannikins for my circle army - the sentry stone is not yet finished so I have not taken any pictures of that but I thought Id best take some pictures of the mannikins as Im not sure how well they are going to hold up to going in my army case!
I decided to round out my list for this weekends Hull VS York Team Challenge with the unit as I don't know how much terrain to expect on the boards at York and these little fellows have the ability to change into small clumps of forrest.
My plan for the weekend is to hide in these small forests until the York team go away - at which point I will be able to steal some control points!
I have finished painting my Gnarlhorn Satyr (or big angry goat man as I like to think of him).
I wanted to give him a nice glossy brown coat with hints of reds so he would fit in with the colours I used on Kromac. I experimented with basing using water effects for the first time in an effort to make a river for my very own 'Billy Goat Gruff'.
I am pleased with the way he came out and I am now cracking on with a host of other models in an attempt to have a fair bit painted for the big 'Hull VS York Team Challenge' a week today.
Please excuse the large number of photos, uploading them is easier than sorting through them all!
I've managed to get in a lot of games with my Kromac led, Tharn inspired Circle Orboros force over the last month. Whilst I have had my share of thrashings, overall I feel I am performing better with them than I did with my Cygnar.
A big thank you to Paul, Kenny, Jim, Nick, Chris, Mark and Ben for the practice games (and anyone Ive missed out). I came away with 7 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses from my first 12 games (if only Hull City could do the same) and thought I would record my thoughts on how the different units I have used have performed.
This might not be the best idea as it gives all my opponents an insight into my tactics but who know's maybe some of you will follow suit on your blogs to help me understand your lists?
I really like Kromac. He has a great spell list and a powerful feat aswell as being a really great model.
He has been responsible for dealing the final blow to the opposing warlock or caster in most of my wins. Unless he is against the toughest of warlocks if he can get into combat he generally has enough fury with his feat to beat down most casters.
His spell list provides an interesting counterpoint as with 'Bestial' which I tend to cast most turns he has the ability to shut down spells and arcing within his command radius. I assume this is going well as he is yet to be spell assassinated, but as it prevents the opponent from even attempting to use spells I cant be sure how many games it is saving him.
He has 'War Path' which has come in handy in every single game I have played in, usually on every turn after turn one and before the last turn.
'Rift' is a very situational spell, I would use it a lot more but generally can't find the third fury needed - if it cost 2 fury it would probably get cast a lot more but it is useful to have in the toolbox. I have been told some people have used it for assassination but I haven't found an opportunity to try this yet.
'Inviolable Resolve' is a spell that allows me an armour buff for a model or unit. I am hoping this will make my Tharn Ravagers a little more survivable but may end up using it on a Warbeast in the fullness of time. I generally cast it early and keep it up-kept so it is a nice addition to the spell list without being too exciting.
'Wild Aggression' is a nice spell which boosts a war beasts melee attack rolls - this combined with the stalkers frenzy can be very useful against high def targets.
The Warpwolf Stalker has the ability to be an absolute monster when combined with Kromac's warpath spell, he can charge a target, kill it with one swing of his whopping sword and then use his frenzy ability to get a free attack and kill again and then use his frenzy ability to get a free attack... Rinse and repeat until everything within 2 inchs is dead. Then why not use the death of the last available model to trigger warpath - move 3 inchs into the range of more baddies and keep swinging where you left off. In theory you can kill swathes of models and still have enough fury to use his animus to make a full advance at the end of your activation.
This apetite for carnage has seen me keen to get him into the fray which while effect does leave him open for counter attack. As with most Circle warbeasts he is very fragile and he has proven relatively easy for my opponents to take him out on the next go if I play him too aggressively. I have had more success in recent games by holding off on the frenzy ability and instead using prowl to give him stealth in terrain and using warpath and his animus to move him 9 inchs at the end of his activation with the aim of minimising retaliation.
I included the Gnarhorn Satyr after reading his rules and being so amused by the amount of abilities he has regarding slamming. I have always found slamming to be one of the most entertaining parts of Warmachine and the Gnarlhorn must be the king of the slam.
This has lead to some amusing situations in games, using the free warpath move to set him up for the perfect angle before his activation and then slamming a jack or beast into the heart of an enemies army. This has not yet won me a game but it has come close and I have one or two ideas for support pieces to make the Gnarlhorn into a more versatile tool... but that is for another post.
The blood trackers have been my main unit of infantry and I have been impressed with them. In some games they have not faired well but in others they have been fantastic. The key to getting the best out of them seems to lie in picking the right unit to be their 'prey'. The prey ability grants the blood tracker unit addition bonuses to hit and to damage their prey. Once they have killed their prey they can immediately choose a new prey.
I have found when using the full 10 woman unit that the ability to choose a new prey can be very handy as it is likely that with 10 shots you can kill your existing prey with the first handful and then switch to the next target that you intended to shoot at anyway and get an extra bonus.
I have found that the 6 woman unit instead of the 10 is not very survivable and I wont be counting on them for end of game play - whereas the full 10 generally seems to be able to be around to try and effect things later in the game. They even managed a caster kill against an unfortunate Ben and his Skorne horde.
Also these girls are the first Weapon Masters I have owned and even though their effectively only power 9 - 3 damage dice is just very cheeky. I just wish they got it in melee too!
Nuala Blood Tracker Character UA
Nuala offers a lot to the blood trackers. The main two bonuses are quick work (allowing them to throw their spears after combat) and Reform (a free 3 inch move at the end of their activation). I have not managed to use quick work to any great effect but reform is a hugely useful tool and can allow the ladies to hop off an objective - kill a load of stuff and then hop back onto the objective. This combined with stealth can sometimes put them too far away for retaliation.
I have used a war wolf to fill out lists as he only costs 1 point. He is useful for running in to contest an objective when you need to stop someone scoring a command point but I have not really used him for much else yet.
Tharn Ravagers (Late Additions)
I have only had a few games using Tharn Ravagers but I felt I needed some medium based infantry to protect Kromac. They have filled this role well so far and it was a problem I had decided definitely needed solving as his medium base left him very open to assassination as he could only hide behind the two war-beasts. Until I have had more games I will not comment to much on what their strengths and weaknesses are beyond this.
In which, a new faction is started and the Great Devourer Wurm claims a newly painted warlock.
I have recently decide to start a force for Hordes. As Hordes is a game that is twinned with Warmachine I have often found myself facing Hordes with my Cygnar army and whilst I have a good idea how the alternative system works, I felt that until I played with a Hordes force I likely wouldnt get a good feel for it.
With this in mind I selected 'Circle of Orboros' as my faction, as I was very tempted by them in the first place. The other really tempting faction was Trollbloods but Hull Warmachine is well represented in that department (Drax and co.) and more importantly because Trolls are blue much like my Cygnar. I need a break from painting blue.
So faction selected I managed to procure a cheap Kromac the Ravenous model(s - its complicated) from eBay.
This weekend I managed to finish painting his human form (he turns into a big angry were-wolf man when he gets mad - this requires a second slightly bigger and entirely more angry looking model).
I have tried a number of techniques on this model, I was happy with my ability to paint green robes after my recent jaunt into the world of 54mm, so I went for the same colours for Kromacs robes. These look a fair bit brighter in person.
After seeing Andy McBirnie's Cryx (winners of the painting competition at the recent tournament I ran) I decided that I needed to have a bright colour on the models to give them an instant impact from a distance. I decided to try and achieve this by going for vivid red hair. I was pleased with the way this came out - it looks slightly brighter in the flesh than in the pictures below.
I used a base coat of Reaper Ruddy Leather and then worked highlights up with Magma Red, Lava Orange and Explosion Orange (the names may have got slightly muddled - but it was the volcano triad anyway).
Painting flesh is always something I have struggled with, my Cygnar are improving thanks largely to the instructions given to my by the inestimably talented Jim Bowen. In order to give Kromac a more rugged manly outdoors feel (unlike my gun mages who look like they sit in darkened bedrooms all day playing with their pistols....) I went for the tanned flesh triad by Reaper Paints over a brown base and using brown washes.
I still think I can improve on this but it is definitely a few steps better than I was a couple of months back which is pleasing.
After receiving inspiration from Mart's Basing blog, I decided I needed to acquire some more basing materials. I read several articles online and came across a company called Silflor who produce a staggering range of basing tufts, clumps and sprinkles at a very high quality for a competitive price. I found a UK distributor and ordered a big box. I wanted to try a few of these on the base, whilst the Circle Orboros and the Tharn in-particular are a slaughtering horde of butchers - there is still very much a tree-hugging flower-power vibe to them so I wanted to make sure I worked in lots of plants.
In order to do this without obscuring all of the paint work I used cork to create a rock platform for him to stand on and survey the battle. (thanks again for the tip Mart).
In which; a past is described and a future envisioned.
In the last few months I have rediscovered a passion for wargaming which had long lain dormant. Why I fell out of playing wargames and painting miniatures who can say. I had not really found much of an opportunity for the pastime since I left university. Now the cynical reader might easily suppose at this point that my time at university was spent playing with toy soldiers instead of studying. In order to dispel this notion, and 'nip it in the bud' as they say, I will clarify;
"No, I did not spend all my time at university playing toy soldiers, instead I squandered the opportunity to fully concentrate on my wargaming endeavors and instead, like many of my generation split the time mainly between good honest toil and good honest drink. This only left a small amount of time for wargaming which I only really participated in as a pleasant counterpoint to my efforts towards producing a dissertation thick enough to be confused with the latest edition of the Warhammer rulebook. Had I the opportunity again I am sure gaming would have featured slightly more prominently!"
That issue addressed, it may surprise you that moving away from my university town of Scarborough in order to start full time employment in the bustling and vibrant city of Hull, I again let the opportunity to engage in wargaming pass as I threw myself into my work - only for mortgage sourcing, home building and entrepreneurial endeavor to ensue.
4 years pass.
Possessed of the rarest of rare- a free weekend, I chanced to nip into Games workshop in Hull city centre with a vague notion of buying the latest edition of the monthly periodical 'White Dwarf'. This magazine will need no introduction to the intended readership so I will offer none.
Whilst visiting the store, or 'Hobby Centre' as I believe they fashion themselves, a pleasant young lady in a blue games workshop t-shirt (yet another rarity in the extreme) offered me a flyer for 'Hulls Angels' gaming club. The flyer, whilst dog eared and riddled with hasty scrawlings out and a multitude of amendments made in blue biro was to me the Golden ticket that I had unknowingly being searching for.
A few weeks later finds me in Hull city centre once more - on this occasion intent on intrepidly exploring the wilderness of George Street. My journey took me through the street offering virtually every delight known to consumer soceity's modern gentleman. From book stores to board-game shops, from clubs offering exotic ladies to establishments promising laser combat themed entertainment.
On this day none of these could sway me from my intended goal.
And so I discovered Hulls Angels gaming club and was suitably amazed that such a place could exist in little ol' Hull. A vast long house of permanent gaming tables open almost every evening and each weekend. I had scarcely imagined such a treasure house!
A few weeks pass and I am becoming ever more regular a sight at the club but despite this picture of perfection not all was as it should be.
Whilst I was now able to play wargames as often as I could like (and as infrequently as my then girlfriend, now fiance, would let me). I found I was not enjoying my game of choice (Warhammer 40,000) as much as I had all those years ago. Whether this dour note was struck by familiarity or any inherent problem with the gaming system, I do not know. I hope that absence will make the heart grow fonder and that I may again dust of the black templars, eldar or vostroyan army cases and lead them into battle anew with gusto and enthusiasm. However that day may be a little distance off.
Before I could really dwell on the problem I was facing the solution presented itself. Or rather, it was presented to me in the form of a demo night for a game I was unfamiliar with ran by a gentleman I had not yet met.
That game was Warmachine - and it was also Hordes I suppose, but for the purposes of this blog I will address them as one and the same. The game was demoed expertly by two chaps called Nick Langrick and Mark Coultas who I have since come to know better and been beaten soundly by.
During the demo night I saw the enthusiasm and potential in the new game being played in Hull and endeavored to purchase myself a small force so I could give this game a whirl along with several other chaps who had attended the night.
In doing so I found myself again hooked with wargaming and also pepped with a new determination to improve my painting - something I had never been happy with.
In order to find regular opponents and gaming opportunities I established Hull Warmachine - an entity with the objectives of running regular Warmachine club nights and slightly less frequent but still decidedly regular events such as tournaments and campaign weekends.
Through doing so I have met and befriended some extraordinary people and some more ordinary (another rarity in this hobby) ones as-well. I will perhaps revisit the growth of the group and the successes and failures of early events in a later blog but I will progress to the point and purpose of this, already long winded rambling.
I have set up this website (in the manner I believe is now becoming fairly common amongst gamers at the club) to document my recent painting projects and gaming exploits. This will not necessarily be exclusively Warmachine or Hulls Angels related but may provide interest to some of you.
I have attempted to run a blog before and failed miserably but I am hopeful that the stipulation that this one maintains a focus (or fury) for wargaming and miniature painting, that I will be able to generate the necessary content more easily.