Monday, 27 June 2011

Ona ta a'amin

Well I managed to get another model painted before the June deadline for the GIMPS 'Tale of x gamers' competition. Some of you got a sneak peek on Thursday when the model took to the battle field. It is a mounted Noble acting as my army Battle Standard Barer (click the picture to make it bigger):

This is my first real attempt at a conversion so I'd appreciate any feedback. I converted the banner from the Archer and Spearmen GW sets. Runes are hand painted again and are appropriate for the Battle Banner (see High Elf Codex). The lance is a Silver Helm lance blade and has part of an axe from the High Elf Dragon Lord kit.  The mount and shield are from the Noble set and the body and legs are standard Silver Helm so they fit with the rest of my unit. Really think the base gives something extra to this model.

So with the June painting deadline (29th) quickly approaching I have 2 days of painting left. Doubt I will get any more models finished as I'm out on Tuesday night and my own little Pixie kept me up till 3am last night so it's early to bed tonight! So with that I present my models (June quota) to be judged (by you my adoring fans):

That's 10 fully painted Silver Helms with mounts and 1 Battle Standard Barer Character. You can see the Silver Helms up close on a previous post (and also photos of them in a Black Undercoat - to prove I did actually paint them this month).

Friday, 24 June 2011

Mereth en draugrim

One day - 2 games. Nice!

The Warhammer battle

It was literally a "Mereth en draugrim" last night as my Elves finally proved their might and I won my first game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th Edition against a small war band of Chaos warriors. Due to young family commitments; meaning I couldn't get to the club until 8.30pm; Lee was a gent and agreed to play a quick 1200pt battle.

My force consisted of:
24 Sea Guard
13 Silver Helms
12 Sword Masters
1 Noble Battle Standard (mounted)
1 Level 2 Mage (the army general-mounted)

We rolled the Watch-tower scenario, and my Elves were defending a church in a small village. I'd like to think that it was the village of Rottenham which the Elves were defending while the human occupants went off to watch the 2011 Blood Bowl 3rd place play-off (Rottenham Redsox Vs Slaanesh 69ers - more on that later). Those nasty Chaos used the big game as a diversion while they raided the village (us Humans are clever though and asked some local elves to defend the village).  I didn't have a small enough core unit to occupy the church and so in the initial turns of the game the warriors of chaos easily took the tower. I held my units back and launched devastating volley of arrows into the Chaos Knights. Even with their strong armour the Elves managed to pick a few off before they had to reform into a 4 rank-deep unit ready for the inevitable charge. My Level 2 Mage was using his Lore of Shadow spells effectively to send various models into a pit of doom (although the high initiative of the Warriors did save their skin most of the time). The Chaos sorcerer did not have the same backing from the winds of magic though and with 2 miscasts in two turns he killed himself only taking 1 or 2 sea guard as he flung a burning head into their ranks.

Turn 3 saw the start of close combat between the Chaos Knights and the Sea Guard. The Sea Guard proved their worth (with a little help from a hex spell on the Chaos) and broke the Chaos Knights but pursuing them took my Elves close to another unit of Warriors.  My Silver Helms maneuvered to get into a good position to charge into the flank of the Warriors if the Sea Guard broke. However, when the Sea Guard did break and flee the Chaos Warriors stood their ground meaning they were out of charging distance for the Helms. I had to move the Helms forwards as a large band of warhounds was moving in on their rear. Worse was to come as the fleeing Sea Guard were charged in their flank (and thus horribly butchered) by a sneaky unit of Marauder horsemen who had manged to move around the sides of the village un-thwarted. This left me with my Helms and Sword Masters.

My mage launched as many augment spells on the Helms so they could take on both the Marauders and Warriors while my Sword Masters awaited charge from the Warhounds.

The Speed of Asuryan was with the Elves and the Sword Masters feasted upon the wolves killing all 14 before they had a chance to bite back.  The Helms managed to slay a few warriors and Marauders but were to demoralised after a front and flank charge and fled; luckily far enough for a chance to reform  and face the Chaos scourge again.

After their success against the hounds the Sword Masters stormed the Church and quickly outed the Chaos Warriors. The small Chaos war band had underestimated the speed and strength of the Elves and finally fled the Rottenham.

The Elves secured the village and readied for the return of the Rottenham Redsox and their coach load of fans. The grim faces of those that did return told the story. The Redsox had lost 2-0 to the Slaanesh 69'ers.

The Blood Bowl Game

Maybe the Sox shouldn't of agreed to play away at the home of the Slaanesh 69'ers for this important 2011 GIMPS Blood Bowl 3rd place play-off. We got an absolute drubbing from the Chaos team. In the early turns of the first half it looked as if a well placed kick would allow the Sox a quick drive breaking turn alas they got bogged down and on turn 5 ended up with all but 1 player eating dirt! The Chaos slowly walked the ball down to the line for a turn 8 TD. With 3 players in the Dead and injured box already the Sox had to bring on Helmut Wolf, but after 1 turn the ref saw that giant chainsaw and quickly sent him off (boo hiss!) before the second half got underway.

The second half started just as badly for the Sox. They tried to break through the front line of the Chaos but several double skulls later (and after forgetting to pick up the ball) it looked like the Chaos were heading for a second TD. The Humans had a chance to redeem themselves, but Handy Powell (the Resox's 'not so' star thrower) failed to catch the hand off to enable him to long bomb it to an unmarked receiver and level the score. Instead it dropped at his feet and the Chaos hit back to make an easy 2-0 score line.

The only weapon left in the Sox arsenal was Pixie Lott the Halfling. Derek Drooley the Ogre managed to fling him down the field, he ran to the line for a 1 turn TD, but failed the Go-for-it roll, tripped and Knocked himself out. It was all over for the SoxLizzard the BlitzerSlaanesh blessed chaos warriors (the apothecary had already been used to bring a badly hurt Ogre back into the game).

The winners of the Rotherham league and 4th place in the 2011 GIMPS Blood Bowl tournament, Rottenham Redsox may grace the killing field again (once they have liked their wounds)! Here is a team photo before the match... look how happy they all look.

I have really enjoyed the 2011 Blood Bowl tournament that Dan has so kindly organised. The banter between players has been first class too. Lets hope for another successful tournament next year! Here is a sneak peak of what to expect:

Lle ume quel
So what have I learnt... well seems that the Lore of Shadows offers some fantastic spells for the Elves to harness. Maybe I was lucky to get both a hex and an augment. The Silver Wand getting me the third spell is always worth the 10 points. Furthermore the elves can hit hard and fast (always striking first and generally being able to re-roll failed hits) so the sword masters are great for destroying the smaller units. The Elves don't last long when hit back though! So to win those important combat resolutions you need the standards and the ranks. With the latter the 3 ranks of Helms worked really well even though in the entire game they didn't actually make a charge. So looks like I need to paint another 5 in my July quota!

N.B. When Lee gets annoyed his Welsh accent shines through. He he. He will also moan that I cheat all the time, what with a Halfling on my Human BB teamand rolling parry saves fro my Sea Guard when I shouldn't. In fairness with that latter point he also made some illegal parry rolls so :b .I won end of. 

Friday, 17 June 2011


These late nights holding the baby have meant lots of painting time and as to not be outdone by a certain "Cheaphammer" I have now completed the 10 Silver Helms as my June painting target.

The unit has a full command setup and I have decorated some of the miniatures with runes out of the High Elf army book. All models including the unit champion (centre) are armed with a lance for the +2 strength bonus on charge. To keep with the idea that this unit is primarily to be used to charge down the enemy in hope that they break quickly and be mauled during the pursuit I used the runes of Charoi and Senlui (Strength and Swiftness) on the standard and some shields!

It is hoped that this mounted unit will be my main damage dealing unit in the army I field. As the picture shows they are currently on a tray which can hold two more mounted miniatures; and this brings me to my aim for July. I am going to paint a mounted Prince (army general) and a Battle standard to include into this unit. Here they are in their unpainted glory:

The prince will be an OOP metal Dragon Prince (I have even managed to swindle a dragon prince horse head out of Mr "Cheaphammer" himself) and the battle standard will be modified from the pieces shown. I will concentrate on the battle standard first as I have an old Prince Tyrion model that will suffice for the army general if time isn't on my side.

Again Malhindir is garbed with eleven runes appropriate to the stature of this figure, Might/Glory and the eternal flame.

Again leave me some feedback on what you think of the style/colour scheme.

Kudos for knowing what 'Narie' means (without using google now!)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

'The Shadow does not hold sway yet'

The shadow of painting fatigue is but a distant blur on the horizon at the moment. I expect that to change as this blog continues.

So my starting point - Well as the previous post noted I purchased the 8th edition of Warhammer: The Island of Blood. This came with several Elf models including 10 Sword Masters, 10 Sea Guard, 5 Ellyrian Reavers, 1 Mage and 1 Prince riding a Griffon. From gaming past I had Prince Tyrion, a Bolt Thrower, a hero on a horse drawn chariot, 20 archers and 20 spearmen. Like many fellow wargamers I have a young family and so need to reduce costs (by avoiding GW at all costs). I have been hitting Ebay for some cheap models to flesh out that initial force. Purchases include: 1 white lion chariot, 14 Sword Masters, 8 Shadow Warriors, 2 High Elf Dragons, 18 archers, 20 spearmen (doubling as sea guard), 2 Bolt Throwers, several heroes and mages, 18 Silver Helms.

I do have a single confession to make, the purchase of a box of Dragon Princes from GW!

All together this has built quite a force. I had no plan in mind when buying the models... I just went for what looked fun to paint and put on display in the house (the Memsaab is still getting used to this idea)!

Since my teenage years my patience with painting has improved. I have already painted a unit of 11 Sword Masters with a Mage support. I think they look good but welcome any comments/criticism regarding the paint job. I am basing all my models as if on a grass covered battle field (boring and easy).

The unit has all command models and this is the level of detail I want to carry across the entire army:

My initial thoughts were to have the unit supported with as High Magic Mage (Lv II). I added several runes from the High elf army book to his cloak:

I have also already painted a Tyrion, a single Bolt thrower, Hero on a Chariot and a Prince on a Dragon. I will add pictures of these models at a later date.

For now the question is where from here. Well after playing 3 battles at the GIMPS club I have a feeling that my main power house unit will be Silver Helms equipped with heavy armour, Shields and lances. This unit will have full command models and be supported by a mounted prince and a battle standard. So...

MONTH 1 I will paint a unit of 10 silver helms. I have already finished the barded mounts. Just the riders to go. I have separated the lances off the models for ease of painting.

MONTH 2 I will paint the mounted battle standard. This will be a conversion using the mounted Prince GW model and the standards from the spearmen and archer units.

Please leave me some feedback below...

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Warhammer Strikes back

Pedich Edhellen? ah... probably not.
This is my first blog and as the title suggests it's all about Elves. Not the cute midget fairy types, the more Germanic mythological interpretation - a race of divine beings empowered with magic (and of course fairy like pointed ears)! Yes I'm a fantasy freak and now a war-gaming geek.

I, like many before me, probably have J.R.R Tolkien to thank for my unhealthy obsession with elves; further reinforced by my D&D playing parents. In 1989 they introduced me to HeroQuest - a table top board game where 4 adventurers set forth to explore and conquer a monster ridden dungeon. I being 9 at the time always wanted the play as the Barbarian, a tall muscular fellow holding a rather large broadsword... cool! I called my Barbarian 'Axon'.
 A strange name now I think about it. I think it was my nick-name in the He-Man fan club, but it seems a strange fate that I ended up in a Neuro-imaging career. Anyway I digress...
I soon learnt that rushing ahead with Axon and taking on gargoyles alone spelled ultimate doom. My dad (who usually played the role of the gamesmaster) seemed very empathic towards me (or realised I wouldn't play again) and Axon was quite often resurrected to fight another day. Soon I got bored of Axon, running up to Orcs only to be cut down time and time again. As I got older my eyes wondered to characters who could stand back, shoot at the bad-guys from a distance, and run away if the action got too intense. The Wizard and the Elf. The wizard, with his low hit points, was far to puny for my tastes so I went for the Elf and never looked back (except to run away from those Orcs).

The elf was graceful, quick and carried a rather smashing looking longbow. My obsession with elves escalated. I even went to archery class at the local comprehensive with my Dad to shoot some arrows! 3 years later in 1992 (some 19 years ago now - gee am I that old) Games Workshop released the 4th Edition of Warhammer:

A game of fantasy battles between races that occupied the old world. The box art depicted a massive elven force taking on some green-skins. Turning the box over showed that it comprised of some rather nice looking elven archer and spearmen models to pit against their goblin foe equivalent. As I was now a 'geeky' teenager (and now salivating) I just had to buy it straight away. I had taken my first steps into wargaming. But I never made it to the top of the flight...

I was daunted by the prospect of painting nearly 100 models. They were so small with lots of intricate detail. My patience was to thin as a teenager. If ever I slipped with the paintbrush I got so annoyed that the entire miniature had to covered as quickly as possible with black paint. I think I managed to finish painting 1 elf before getting bored when realising my attempt didn't look as good as those depicted in the game brochures. I still played the occasional game of Warhammer after school, with my friend, at the GW shop in Wolverhampton but my attention was waning because I just couldn't paint to the standard I wanted to.

I recently dug out that sole elf... maybe I kept him to torture my inner geek, a permanent reminder that I could never paint an entire army good enough to grace the battle fields of Ulthuan:

In 1994 with the release of Blood Bowl I thought my wargamming days were over. I liked the small table top board games, they were quick, simple and involved a whole lot fewer miniatures and dice! My boardgaming hobby continued and developed through my University years. I abandoned Games Workshop and I discovered Euro-games in the early naughties - (see I quite often played games like Settler's of Catan while consuming incalculable amounts of cheap-ass whiskey - mainly to forget my PhD woes. As my University chums departed for pastures new I still wanted my gaming fix. I scoured the Internet looking for like minded individuals. One day in 2008 it paid off and I found a board game group that met in Darnall, Sheffield. I posted on their forum and one cold October Tuesday night decided to give the group a try. Of course I took some friends with me... just in case they turned out to be nutters! They weren't.

Over the following year during my many visits the board gaming club several people from a mysterious GIMPS club turned up. They talked of their wargaming exploits and even invited me to play Blood Bowl (hey wait a minute I use to really enjoy that game - people still play it?). The dull wargaming light at the back of my mind sparked into life. It took another few years and a Baby (maybe to escape my parenting duty) before I accepted the offer and entered the GIMPS den.

I still don't know why the club is called the GIMPS! Maybe I never will.

I sat playing my blood bowl games as part of a 2010 league. Around me people were fielding grand armies against each other. Orc, Skaven, Ogre, Lizardmen, Dwarfs and even ELVES. Rolling 20+ 6-sided die and generally having fun - even with large unpainted forces. I wanted a piece of the action. That light was burning ever so bright. I learnt through various conversation with club members that in 2010 Games Workshop were releasing the 8th Edition of Warhammer - Elves vs Skaven. I snapped it up - able to combine the Elves from the 4th edition with these new miniatures. The miniatures had come on a long way since the early 90s. Much more detailed than before. Different poses for the individual models within a unit, it looked beautiful. I dug out some of my old miniatures and was intent on finally painting and fielding a fantasy eleven army.

The later I have done on 3 occasions now... in all 3 battles I have lost. But this hasn't quelled my desire to get back into wargaming. The former is the reason for this blog. The club is starting a White Dwarf'esk 'Tale of 4 gamers' competition. The idea is to paint a set target of miniatures each month then score each other for completion of the target/paint job/conversions etc. I like others entering am hoping this will keep my enthusiasm alive past its initial charge. I will be posting my completed paint jobs up on this blog for others to see.

Baby number 2 has arrived but I am still hoping with 1-2 hours a night I will be able to meet the goals set...

Lets see how it goes.

For now...