Friday, 25 October 2013

Battle of Charnel Pitt (Skaven vs Orcs & Goblins).

Grey Seer Kraklich was not happy. The Council of Thirteen had sent him to the decrepit stronghold of Clan Pusfoot to aid them against a large force of Orcs who laid claim to the above-realm near their under-fortress Mount Cractanckle. There was a nasty smell of fungus in these constantly damp tunnels and with it the distinct tang of snotling dung. His mood was soured further as his thoughts strayed back to his own warren in Skavenblight and the deluxe breeders he had delivered barely a week ago. The Orcs seemed interested in an area close to the entrance to the warren where many of Cheiftain Gurbucks overambitious underling's remains were routinely dumped after various failures. The Orcs were to be warned off away from the area, with great pain and suffering.........

The following Battle Report is of a game I had last week against Orcs & Goblins. We played a typical Battleline game of 3000 points.
My Skaven army consisted of the following:

The Chittering Horde

Grey Seer Kraklich
Screaming Bell, dispel scroll, Rival Hide Talisman, 1 poxy warpstone token
Spells: Plague, Skitterleap, Wither,Bless With Filth.

 Army Standard Bearer Gussek Pustail, Banner of the Underempire, Poisoned attacks, tail weapon, halberd

Cheiftain, Mungik Pustail, Ruby Ring of Ruin, Poisoned attacks, tail weapon, halberd

Warlock Engineer, Skuk Halffur, Warp Energy Condenser, Level 1 wizard
Spell: Warp Lightning

Warlock Engineer, Bang Blacktail, Doom Rocket, Dragonbane Gem,

39 Clanrats, full command, Warpfire Thrower,

39 Clanrats, full command, Warpfire Thrower,

39 Stormvermin, full command, Warpfire Thrower,

39 Slaves, musician, Pawleader,

39 Slaves, musician, Pawleader,

39 giant rats, 5 packmasters,

7 Gutter Runners, poisoned weapons, slings, deathrunner,

8 Gutter Runners, poisoned weapons, slings, deathrunner,

12 jezzail teams (split into 2 units),


Plagueclaw Catapult,

Warp-lightning Cannon.

Against me:

 The Smelly Unwashed 

Black Orc General, Sword of Swift Slaying, Crown of Command,

Black Orc Army Standard Bearer,

Night Goblin Mage (level 4), Arachnarok Spider,

Savage Orc Shaman (level 2)

Black Orc Unit (horde)

Savage Orc Unit (horde)

Orc boys (probably 30)

Orc boys (probably 30)

Night Goblins (with fanatics) 25ish

10 Orc Boarboys

3 River Trolls

2 Boarboy Chariots

1 Bolt Thrower,

1 Stone Thrower,

1 Goblin Doom Diver

Sorry I'm a bit vague about numbers, next time I'll snag the army list. To be honest I don't like to snoop other peoples army lists (and vice versa) as there may be a cunning trap that didn't get sprung which can be used in a future game.

Set Up & Deployment

Due to a series of unfortunate events (that would, in my opinion make a good name for a book with a movie tie in) I was running very late so I asked Phil & Stuart to set up the terrain & I would just pick a side when I got there. Terrain pieces of note were A Sphinx, A Charnel Pit (where the cheiftain dumps his half eaten opponents) and a hill with an Anvil of Vaul. As I had a fair idea I'd be facing trolls I thought that was the place for me! We deployed one unit at a time and unsurprisingly I had more units (13 to be exact - The Horned Rat will be pleased). Despite Stuart's fewer units he did me the kindness of rolling lower than me so I could get first turn (very decent I thought). 

Some skaven ready for the off

My army looking beautiful

From the other angle

Turn One

Grey Seer Kratchclatch felt an unmistakable swell of  power as he saw the masses of skaven clustered around him, the hulking rat ogre ringing the bell also gave him great confidence. The large unit of black orcs gave him food for thought though. Perhaps I'll let them come to me. Chittering orders he sent the slaves to draw fire. Bong! The Bell rang and despite his express orders to stay back, the  moronic clanrats shoved the Screaming Bell forward narrowly missing the Warpfire Thrower in front. with that the battle of Charnel Pitt began.
Turn one was reasonably straightforward. The skaven advanced with a couple of units, but mainly natural skaven self preservation meant very few units advanced. Ringing the Screaming Bell resulted in it being shoved forward barely missing the Warpfire Thrower team in front of it! Of the spells my wizards had only Skitterleap was cast (with Irrisistable Force killing a few clanrats), sending the Doomrocket owning Engineer behind the Savage Orcs. He fired killed 8 or 9 Orc Boys I think. Jezzails on the left killed two boarboys, a few more casualties were caused by the Plagueclaw catapult & the Warp Lightning cannon.

Skaven Turn 1
 The Orcs moved up. Well everyone except the River Trolls who failed their dumbass test, so they ambled forward a couple of inches. The filthy goblin shamen cast Itchy Nuisance on my Doomwheel reducing its random movement down to d6", which put a severe spanner in it's works, figuratively of course. Some shooting from the war machines killed a few clanrats and the bolt thrower shot the warlock engineer , hitting and wounding but luckily only causing the one wound so he survived!
Orc & Goblin Turn 1

Turn 2

Turn 2 started a charge declared on the bolt thrower by the now rocketless Warlock Engineer.The Gutters Runners arrived punctually on the Orcses backline ready to sling poison death with wild abandon! The Doomwheel trundled a mere inch or so meaning it didn't reach the orcs unit (curse you goblin shaman!) so the only combat was between a wizard and a goblin war machine crew (the stuff legends are made of). Or so I thought, as during the magic phase the Screaming Bell destroyed the bolt thrower,doom diver & rock lobber in one fell swoop. Plague was cast on the black orcs killing some but that was the only spell in range. I had rather stupidly moved my other warlock engineer out of 12" needed to Skitterleap around the place, it was a mistake I would rue, a lot. Shooting killed some more boarboys and such and the Plagueclaw catapult killed some more black orcs with it's flaming pots of magical pukey goo (courtesy of the anvil of Vaul) which I thought should have a negative modifier on any leadership test due to the complete wrongness of the stuff. With the paradoxically diseased yet cauterising gloop being hurled around my second turn ended. 
Skaven Turn 2
The orcs charged a lot into my slaves and Doomwheel effectively destroying both. The orc chariot charged mt warpfire thower on the right, which was supposed to burn it, cause a panic test that it was supposed to fail, making me look smug, but unfortunately failed to wound the bloody thing! The warpfire thrower on the left misfired I think, that or it is completely positioned wrongly on the diagram making it hard for me to discern its fate. The now 6 orc boar riders charged the jezzails on the right whom with a decent stand & shoot got them down to 4. 3 Night goblin fanatics were released when they approached within 8" of my slaves but amazingly none rolled over 7" to actually hit them (the fanatics then proceeded to spin around for the rest of the game being nuisances.
Orc magic was unmemorable for me, I think the Night Goblin Shaman took a wound from a miscast but I can't remember from what.
Orc shooting consisted of the Arachnarock model shooting my brave Warlock Engineer to death.
Orc hand to hand phase went well for them, destroying the Doomwheel, a unit of slaves and a Warpfire Thrower. The giant rats were locked in combat with the trolls, but the best thing to happen is the orcs boar riders bounced off the jezzails, losing combat by 1 and fleeing! It was then I realised the jezzails must have been using pool balls in socks or some other unpleasant weapon.

Ors & Goblin Turn 2

Run Piggy Run!

Turn 3

Now this is where the diagrams stop making as much sense as I'd like but as long as the gist of the battle is got then we're still cool, right? Charges were clanrats on the savage orcs, slaves on the orc boys and the stormvermin on the chariot that killed my Warpfire Thrower on the right. It's at this point that I have to admit how poorly I used both the Stormvermin Unit (my only proper combat unit) and Warlock Engineer. The Stormvermin faffed around and never achieved anything mainly due to being kept away from the centre of the battlefield by the flaming, magical war machine carnival that I had placed in their way. The Warlock was wasted as the only spell he had Warp Lightning is a magic missile spell that can't be used in close combat. D'oh! Added to that if I had taken him out of the unit of clanrats he may have riddled with the Nehkaran Sphinx & gotten Loremaster of Death magic which would have been so cool. I also didn't move my Grey Seer unit as there were fanatics whizzing about in front of them (forgot to put them in the picture) so the only spell I could cast was again was Plague so the Black Orcs & night goblins got some more of that.
Shooting was the jezzails wiping out the fleeing boarboys, the other jezzails and gutter runners shooting the Arahnarok (killing that nuisance of a shaman). But not the big bloody spider though!
Close combat resulted in the Stormvermin barely defeating the flank charged chariot, breaking it and destroying it. All the other combats were nasty attritional things. one thing of note was the skavenslaves actually won combat against the Orc Boys but due to the proximity of the general wouldn't oblige me by running.
Skaven Turn 3

The Orcs boys charged into the flank of the ever so slightly steadfast clanrats. The Night Goblins and Black Orcs moved up.
Magic was uneventful as the Savage Ors Shamans spells failed to get through.
  All the combats were stalemate except the Savage Orc/Orc Boys/Clanrats orgy that ended up with some fled and dead rodents.
Orc & Goblin Turn 3

Turn 4

There was little movement on my behalf as the only unengaged combat unit was the Stormvermin and they were in the middle of nowhere. Magic was pretty unimpressive. My jezzails put a couple more wounds on the big spider and that was about that.

Close combat saw mt slaves explode and the trolls wiped out by my rats. Yay! The orcs pursued into the jezzails (not so yay!).

Take that trolls

Skaven Turn 4

The remaining Boarboy chariot charged the warp lightning cannon (in a way I was glad because the stupid thing had misfired twice) and destroyed it with impact hits! The one remaining Night Goblin charged the Screaming Bell unit. The Orc Boys destroyed the jezzails on the left. The Night Goblin got crushed by the Grey Seer. Then I overran into the Black Orcs (yea, I now realise I'm not supposed to) so we fought another round of combat. The Black Orc general failed to wound my grey Seer . My Clanrats won the combat against the Black Orcs but unfortunately the general had the Crown of Command so he didn't run.
It was now pretty late so game over.
Orc & Goblin Turn 4

The game was pronounced a draw. I lost 880 points. Orcs & Goblins lost Rock Lobber, Doom Diver Catapult, Bolt Thrower, Boar Boy Chariot, Trolls, boarboy unit (10), Night Goblin Unit & a shaman. whatever that adds up to around 700 I reckon. As neither score is double the other everyone's a winner. Or a loser. Anyway thanks to Stuart for another great game. My next post will have my conclusions from the battle. Thanks for reading!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Skaven Army Pusfoot, a 20 Year Work in Progress

After a recent game of Warhammer using my beloved Skaven army I decided to share it with anyone who might be interested. I've been collecting skaven since 1992 so there are a lot of old figures with old paint jobs on them. As I am very much a fair weather painter (I generally only paint when I'm playing) my rate of figure completion is rather erratic. As I've been playing quite a lot recently I have been painting more too so my army may well after 20 years get finished!

First picture is of the army as I brought it round to Phil's for a game. My two most notable absentee units were my plague monks and my rat ogres. Apart from a few barely base coated models I used  to make up numbers for the game this is what I brought.
The battling rats of Clan Pusfoot
This is one of my Skavenslave units. I have two units of approximately 50 meat shields who many people on the internet think they are broken due to their low points cost and ability to tarpit big fighty units for a couple of turns. Observe how I have two types of basing themes in this unit (90's goblin green verdant valley and my more recent standing on a ravaged pile of crap brown). Part of my mission is to base all my Skaven the latter method. The three models in the front row on the right are all Black Tree Design ratmen who look not too bad at all, even though slaves can no longer have standard bearers! Some of the models at the back are veterans of The Neverending Night Of Paint (a rather unpleasant paint marathon I undertook to finish my army for a game in GW Thurrock many years ago) and partly why it takes me so very long to proper finish any model.
Bugger all points of almost mayhem
This is my Clanrat with spears unit. Multi-schemed bases, this unit was the first one where I actually decided on a colour scheme (worm purple) and an overall look (spears all pointing the same way). The command figures need to be rebased as well. I haven't officially named this clan, although I am leaning towards Clan Manktail. Other possibilities are Clan Skulk, Clan Wurm and Clan Halftail.
Unnamed Clan in Purple

My Stormvermin Unit. I love the models but they unfortunately attract an awful lot of attention on the battlefield so rarely see the battles end. I am waiting for them to do something impressive so they can have it immortalised on the big red banner. Last battle out they flank charged and routed an orc boar chariot and nothing else so the wait continues......
Stormvermin baby, yeah!
This is my main Clanrat unit. The ever brave Clan Pusfoot. They never run (due to the Screaming Bell) so unless they get wiped out to a rat, I'm pretty certain they last the distance. They have a Pythonsque foot on their banner which has only just seen it's first battle and it wasn't captured so I'm happy with that. The main colour of this unit is the archaic Battle Green paint, of which there is very little left so this unit may eventually become two tone.
Clan Pusfoot, yay!
Giant rat units are one of my favourite units in the game. Cheap, fast moving and expendable. Just what any budding Skaven general needs. They are rife with mutation as well so plenty of opportuinity to chop them up a bit. I have modelled a standard stitched into the back of the central giant rat even though it is forbidden! I just don't play the rules do I?

Here are some more of my cheap as chips Skavenslaves. these have been painted fairly recently so the bases are built up. These have a fair old smattering of greenstuff rats, carbuncles and farming equipment instead of lethal weapons, but I think it gives them a certain air of patheticity that all slaves should have.

More indentured rats

Here's probably the most fun thing in a Skaven army. Warpfire Throwers. Anything that can kill 16+ models in one go and make the rest scamper off the table in panic has to be good. Oh yeah, and they frequently rout my own units too. But as any experienced Skaven general will tell you, every model in the army has it's own agenda!
Burning Love
Here are my Plague Censer Bearers. Currently not as good as in previous Warhammer editions but pretty lethal against certain armies all the same.
Frothing Rabid Smoke Kill
Plague Monks are cool. I love the idea of frenzied squeeking fanatics spreading tuberculosis like a knife spreads butter, plus the models are enjoyable to paint too!
Great Horned Rat Fundamentalists
Without doubt (well maybe a little) the greatest shock troops in the Skaven army. Rat Ogres kick arse in a major way but have been slightly fucked over by 8th edition. If you have a master moulder (counts as a unit champion) he has to go in the front rank in the middle, which if nothing else ruins the aesthetic of the unit and his chances of survival - which makes it a very unlikely place for any self preservation loving Skaven demi hero to be.
Here are my Jezzails and a Ratling Cannon. Note my weapons teams are in the transitional position between infantry and cavalry bases.
Pew, pew, pew! Dakka dakka!
I have 15 painted Gutter Runners, and they are amongst some of my favourite troops & miniatures. I have another 15 or so that I will be painting up as nautical pirate types, but that is for another blog entry!
Black clad Death Machines

So that was pretty much my army for a game I had last week, so Odin willing I'll get a battle report written up for your entertainment!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Wyrding Wells, Magic Circles & Zombie Pens.

As a renowned procrastinator (or at least a not very well known one) it's always a big thing for me to actually finish something. So imagine my surprise when I actually finish 5 separate pieces! So here is my attempt at pretting up my battlefields:

Wyrding Well

I really like how this came out. It is basically one half of a petri dish glued to an old CD with masses of greenstuff shaped around the sides to give it an uneven look. I dismembered then painted up a skink archer in the pool (to represent the healing spa properties) then poured about 4 spoons of Ronseal clear floor varnish. This set (eventually) and has given the pool the impression of depth.

Wyrding Well
 In game terms the Wyrding Well can generate some pretty cool effects (regrowth or unbreakability) but because the last couple of games I had it was represented as a bowl and a crisp packet no one hung around it to avail of the facilities. Of course we probably won't roll it up in the next ten games rendering my efforts worthless, but here's hoping!
Other Side

 Magic Circle

Next up is my magic circle. This is a rather easy piece to make. Find some stones, glue them to an unwanted CD (I find George Michael is best). Add sand. Spray black. Drybrush the shit out of it. Done.

A Magic Circle
In game terms any model within 6" gains Magic Resistance 2 so place your artillery pieces near it to give them lovely cannons a bit more game time. Or anything you think will get spell-humped early in the game. On a side note since I started building this piece, my mind keeps going over the scene in the film This is Spinal Tap where a model of Stone Henge is lowered on stage where a dwarf dances round it, but due to a cock up in scale the dwarf is far larger than the model! With that in mind I placed a dwarf ghost (actually cannon crew) beside it for scale.
Crap Henge


This fences were knocked up in about 2 hours. Cut the bases with tapered ends so it's easy to angle them in erotic ways. Then cut your lumber, I prefer my little box of balsa I got from fleabay but expensive oak would do at a pinch. Make tiny clay mounds, stick your fence posts into them glue your rails across them. Add sand, spray back, drybrush like bejasus. Done.
Getting DeFENCEive
I built 9 of these barriers which I'm hoping will catch the odd cannon ball that seem to be rather prevalent these days in Warhammer. In particular my treemen as they really don't like Khorne's Flaming Magical Daemonic Chariot Cannon of Movable Doom!

 Zombie Pens

After playing a few games of Necromunda I thought I'd make some terrain. These are two Zombie Pens (my scavvys like to keep them handy), they can also be used as Mutant Internment Cells, Ammo Dumps, Chemical Storage Areas or a handy place for holding captives/slaves/hostages/meals. I painted messages on the doors (CD cases cut with my Dremel) one says 'Keep Out' and the other meant to say 'Danger Zombies' but I ran out of room so now it says 'Dang! Zombies'.
Zombie Pen #1

Zombie Pen #2
So that's my offering for this week. I hope the can inspire someone to make a better version of my efforts!