perjantai 19. toukokuuta 2017

Dem olde wolfboyz

With the completion of this unit I now have roughly 600 points of O&G rank and file ready. An achievable goal for me could be 1000 points of rank and file by july because then I could field a 2000 point greenskin army. At the moment I´m looking for both trolls and black orcs as they would bring rank & file points up faster and with less paint job than boyz or gobbos.

Most of the models seen in this posting came to me from a Finnish net auction I won a couple of months back. I had a couple of wolves and riders before but that auction gave me enough to field a 10 strong unit. A couple of the wolves are not originally made to go with a rider but will do just fine in the mix. And I´m not completely sure if all the riders are real wolf boys. But they fit and I´m fine with that.

Front view of the unit. The leader in the middle of the front rank is riding a larger
wolf than the normal troopers. I think that one might be from one of the gobbo chariots
as it has some sort of harness around it´s body.

 From side. The trooper furthest to the left has a wolf that I think is a 
vicious giant wolf from BC2 monster starter set. The trooper was missing
his cleaver and got an axe replacement.

The trooper with spear and shield will become a standard brearer 
later when I get inspiration to paint a flag of some sort for him.

As next I will be working on a MD9 Goblin war chariot and a couple of fanatics. The chariot is missing a wheel and the scythes so I´m going to do some converting there.

My blog is now very close to hitting 20000 views. To celebrate that I will hand out something oldhammerish to one of my followers. So when the counter reaches 20000 I will draw a random winner from my followers and send him/her an oldhammer suprise!

´till next time!

tiistai 9. toukokuuta 2017

Oldschool gobbos

I´ve done a lot of blogging (at least on my scale) lately but managed to push my O&G army forward a bit too. A couple of these gobbos were ready about three weeks ago when I had completed a unit of orc arrer boyz. The rest have been done after that.

General view of the unit.

The unit is 20 strong including a banner to meet the troop minima for O&G as per WFB: Armies. I might expand it later as I have a couple of extra gobbos waiting. In 20 models there are perhaps 18 different sculpts which is nice. A lot of variety in this one. I really haven´t done any recearch on them but I think there are C12 goblins, Iron claws and Grom´s goblin guards there. Could be something else too.

Top view.

I´m always strugling with banners and shield and was very happy to choose a very simple desing for these guys. And as they are gobbos they are not known for their artistic skills and it doesn´t matter if their shield look like they´ve been painted by a five-year-old.

Front look from another angle. Put my favorite 
skulps in the front row.

As my orc boys are just in need of final highlights I can now say that I have a ´legal´ O&G army in my hands. Minimas on 20 boys, 20 arrer boys, 20 goblin arrers and 20 gobbos are met. But to be a playably army it still needs characters, more units, fanatics etc.

 With shield and light armor gobbos are worth 4 points. And still suck.

The next unit to be painted is a group of ten wolf riding gobbos and their steeds. All metal, all oldschool.

 Thumb selfie and a wolf boy.

lauantai 6. toukokuuta 2017

Where is he now - the Wood Elf Falconer

Was it lobbying by WEETA (Wood Elves for Ethical Treatment of Animals) that put a stop on using falcons as part of wood elf armies? Or the fact that it takes a long time to train a bird of prey to attack something else than it´s natural catch?

The rules for falconers appeared in the rule book of 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. In the WFB: Armies the only list to include them was that of wood elves.

The reason for them being cut is propably pretty mundane. General streamlining of rules that came with 4th edition. Not being very sexy. Not fitting into the new look of Warhammer. You know the one with skulls and spikes everywhere.Rules too long and complicated for the 90´s.


 Looking at the profile line for hawk and rules for falconers we see that the hawk is basically a low strenght bow that can help you in close combat too. A falconer cost one point less than a lord´s bowman who´s missile range is 12" more and hits with better strenght. On the other hand the falconer gets that extra WS5 S2 close combat attack.

Goblin Lee has written a very good examination of the WFB: Armies Wood elf army list. His pro´s and con´s for falconers are as follows:

Pro's
The rules for Falconers (WFB page 97) mean that you can have an 
usual missile unit, or light flanking melee unit.
They fit in very well with the design concept of the Wood Elf army, and would look great 
on the table. I have never seen a unit of them used.
As a unit they also have good armour and weapon options.
A small unit size of 5-10 means you don't need many miniatures to field the unit.


Con's
Falconers aren´t very good, with a Strength 2 Falcon attack in either shooting or melee.
They may make for an interesting small units, but the army has already has 
Wardancers/Scouts/Beastmasters for that role.
Still they might be good to add to an army for character.

I agree with Lee´s list. For me the most important thing stand there as the last line: to add character for an army. There are certainly a few units in 3rd edition WFB: Armies that are really not that usable if you just want most bang for a buck. But for me Oldhammer is not about that. It´s about having fun with your friends. Collecting miniatures and assembling an army with background and character. Therefore if I were ever to build a wood elf army I would certainly try to include a falconer unit in it.

It´s a pity that the falconer´s are not listed under the troops that can do skirmishing. Having that choise would suit them and make them more maveuverable and therefore more usable. Perhaps they could be used to secure a flank and to harrash enemy skirmishers in their normal formation.

Citadel did not make models for falconers so what to do if you wanted use them in your army? There are several options available if you are ready do some conversions. There is of course Skaw model himself.

I´m not a fan of Skaw skulpt but paintjob on this one IMO is nice.
From MiniPainting.se site.

Other Citadel products with bird of prey are wood elf captain with hawk and MD4 Elf attack chariot crew member Aesilanan Woodmage. Neither of them look like the falconer pictured in the Armies and are perhaps a bit pricey if you just want the bird.


Perhaps the best alternative could be em4-miniatures 0162 Wood Elf Hero - with hawk model. Being pretty cheap you wouldn´t be in too much pain for cutting of the bird. Or you could use the model as it is. Even though he has a bow in his back and that weapon choise is not available for a falconer in Armies.


If you are looking for just the birds Dark eldar Razorwing flock or Reaper Miniatures´ Murder of crows set might be just what fullfils your needs.







 Razorwing flock from DakkaDakka forum. Murder of crows by Reaper Miniatures.

Both Marauder MM62 series and July 1985 C46 Villagers had a human falconer in them. The same C46 villager appears in the Blood on the Streets scenario models.

With the arrival of 4th edition the falconers as a unit were cut from the army list. What we got as a replacement was a special character Skaw the Falconer.

Skaw the Falconer as in 4th edition WFB Wood elf army book.

Along with Gruarth the beastmaster he is everything that was left of wood elf animal handlers when moving from 3rd to 4th edition. This form of Skaw was carried over to 5th edition as wood elf army book from 4th edition was not updated for that. Skaw dissappers from the 6th edition army book but makes a return of a sort in 8th edition in the form of Araloth the lord of Talsyn who has a hunting hawk called Skrayn. There is another set of rules for Shaw in Scribd but I have not been able to find out wether it is official or some fanmade stuff. But he sure looks very herohammerish there!

If you liked this article be sure to check out the previous one with the Dwarf Sapper.

torstai 4. toukokuuta 2017

Where is he now - the Dwarf Sapper

Disclaimer - The following monologue by an old dwarf sapper is purely fictional and does not fully fit into the official Warhammer fluff. Don´t take it too seriously.

"Yeah - looking back it was the Battle of Dungal Hill that started it. After that so called `glorious victory´ every damn dwarf kid wanted to a miner. Heroes of the Dungal Hill. Heroes my ass. And we were just too blind to see what was happening. The guild elders told us that it´s just a mode quirk that will wear out in a couple of years. How could we not see what was coming!”

*sip*

“It took a few years but slowly things started to change. We the sappers were still an important asset in almost every army. You know - building stockades and bridges. And even doing demolitions if needed. With our tools and prefabricated materials we could set up a defensive strongpoint in a matter of minutes. That´s what I call professionalism!”

*sip*

 “But at the same time the use of miners on a battlefield was studied at the Dwarven Royal Military Academy (DRMA) and miner education was increased in every vocational school across the dwarven realms. Being a sapper was no longer considered ´cool´ and we got only those kids deemed unfit for being a miner.”

*big sip*

“Then came the big sieges of Barak Varr and the Iron Rock and sealed our faith. You know - in a pitched battle you have to be able to build that stockade or bridge fast. And it was us sappers who could do that. Sieges are different. They take time and the generals soon noticed that normal grunts could do the earthworks and tunnel digging themselves. It didn´t matter that it took longer - they had all the time in the world. The grunts did with no extra pay and our union was not ready to renegotiate the sapper salaries.”

*a really big sip*

“So the commanders did some quick math, money made our world go around and all of a sudden we were no longer needed in those sieges. Over the time we were sort of forgotten. No longer were we called even for a normal campaign. We became obsolete. Many sappers re-educated themselves to miners, many became unemployed. And stayed that way. Structural unemployment - that´s what the clan elders called it. Ah - then there´s me - building fences and walls for rich ladies´ gardens all around the Empire to put the food on the table for my family. How sad is that?!?”.

*falls silent*

One of the troop types that was lost with the streamlining of rules that happened when WFB went from 3rd to 4th edition is sappers. In the 3rd edition WFB: Armies the dwarves were the only race to employ them. What we got with 4th edition is miners who were just normal infantry grunts with two-handed picks and no special skills.

Five lovely sapper teams by TL. Check SoL for
more Oldhammer dwarf engineer models.

Sappers appeared in the 1987 published Ravening Hordes - The Official Warhammer Battle Army Lists for 2nd edition WFB. They are indroduced under the dwarf army list as special troops. Once again WG has been faithful to their ever appearing unconsistency - there rules are there but the sappers don´t exits in the army list itself! How typical.

2nd edition WFB - the rules are there but troop list
and points value are missing. From Ravening Hordes.

For 3rd edition the rules evolved a bit. The unit size for sappers is fixed as a two model team and rules for building streamlined a bit. Same options for building and demolishing are retained with small rule modifications. And now there´s the points value too.

Sappers as per 3rd edition rule book. Now with points value too.

The tactical  use of sappers is not widely - or actually not at all - discussed in the 3rd edition books. In the Ravening hordes we find this paragraph that gives a good idea on where and how to employ them.

Build cover. Stand and shoot. Sounds good to me.

Warhammer Siege brought us detailed rules for castles and how to attack and defend them. Sappers are mentioned there under special troop types. They gice certain bonuses to mining and contruction works.

Sappers are recognized in the Warhammer Siege.

With 4th edition the sappers were lost. What we got instead was the dwarf miners. Who in the beginning were just another unit of infantry but carrying two-handed picks. No building or demolishing. Nothing special. The tactical use of building stockades as described above lost. Just a bunch of new models to be bought. Pretty dull. I guess the original sapper rules, even in their simplicity, were just too complicated for the new way of playing Warhammer.

4th edition Dwarf miner unit from Dwarf army book page 87.
Could it be any more uninspiring?

Dwarf sappers make a reappearence in a form of Dwarfen expert engineers in the 6th edition WFB. Very little information about them can be found apart from this page kindly delivered Josh. But as we see they construct walls and do other kinds of building and demolishing works. The rules cover just the wall building and all else is left for GM to determine.

6th edition "sappers".

At the current end of the line for sappers/miners stands the AoS. At least in this Warscroll for dwarfs (or Duardin?) there are miners who can set up underground and emerge in your movement phase no closer than 9" of enemy anywhere on the battlefield. Either they dig really fast or they can really well predict where the enemy is going to be.

A miner unit can have a biting  mule drawing a steam harpoon armed cart and their leader can wield a steam drill. And the miners can throw blasting charges too. Not my kind of miners really.

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

Hope you liked this first look on lost troop types. Sound out if you want to read about foresters, falconers or something else that was lost in history.

tiistai 2. toukokuuta 2017

Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB: Hobgoblin Hobhound Handlers

This part of ´Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB´ -series of articles is about Hobgoblin Hobhound Handlers. It discusses rules, models, tacktics, pictures, links, pro´s and con´s and everything related to Hobgoblin animal handlers. Please click here to find the other arcticles.

As we see a hobgoblin mercanary contingent can have 0-6 hobhound handlers. And with unit size of 1-4 handlers each with 2-6 hobhounds you can field from 2-6 handler team. Smallest team would have one handlers with two hounds. The biggest one could have four handlers and 24 hounds.

Good thing about hobgoblin handlers is the T4 which gives some resilience vs. missiles. On the bad side is the poor Ld, Int, Cl and WP line. You can´t expect them to keep their cool in a stresfull situation.

Dark elves, Chaos and Orcs & Goblins can employ hobgoblin mercenaries as per WFB: Armies. 

Hobhounds and a houndmaster model from 1987 flyer.

C27 preslotta set of hounds and a handler was produced by Citadel in the early /mid 80´s. A single handler costs about 12€ in ebay. Hounds can be aquired for about 18€/piece. If you are looking for the models in ebay you should search for C36 in stead of C27 to get the right results.

Somewhere the Tea´s getting cold brings us this C27/36 handler and his hounds.
Check out that blog for those alternative handlers!

There are some good alternatives for houndmaster available in the C36 series and DL2 deluxe boxed set. In the latter the is one who´s even named houndmaster. Those guys seem to sell for just under 10€/model in ebay.

 C36 hobgoblin, C36 discipline master and a DL2 houndmaster.


LM´s hobhound pack and their DL2 houndmaster.

Greenskin Wars has a nice range of hobgoblins available including a houndmaster. Check out their facebook site for the whole series.

A Greenskin Wars hobgoblin handler by Diego Serrate.



Rules

 WFB rulebook tells us that hobhounds are riding animals but again there has been a change of mind in GW and WFB: Armies has them only as pack animals. A hobgoblin mercenary contingent does not include any mounted troops. Only the contingent commander can have a mount but his only choise for one is a temple dog.

Wether to use chaos attributes is in my opinion up to players and the GM. As no character will be mounted on a hobhound the 1 in 6 chance would perhaps be for each hobhound pack to see if they have those D3 dominant attributes.

LM´s hounds from another angle of view.

Tactics

A hobhound pack can be difficultish to use. They have great movement, WS4 and 2 attacks. So you want to get them engaged. But they are vulnerable against missile fire. And with low psychology profile of the hobgoblin handlers you are likely to break if you have to make that panic test.

Perhaps setting up to a protected flank where missile fire can´t be concentratred agains the pack and going after skirmishers and warmachines could work. And if opportunity presents itself then taking on othervise engaged enemy unit´s flanks or rear. Again the base size works against usability a bit. You want to have a large pack for survivability but it can become somewhat unwieldy due to it´s size.

Another pack and handler by Thantsants.


 Pro´s:
 Good looking hounds and handlers
Unique to hobgoblins
Fast
WS4 and A2
Handler´s T4

Con´s: 
Handler´s psychology profile
Vulnerability to missiles

perjantai 28. huhtikuuta 2017

Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB: Slann Animal Handlers

This part of ´Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB´ -series of articles is about Slann Animal Handlers. It discusses rules, models, tacktics, pictures, links, pro´s and con´s and everything related to Slann animal handlers. Please click here to find the other arcticles.

Goblin Lee has disected the Slann army list in this posting. Animal handlers are discussed there on a generel level whereas I have tried to dig in a bit deeper. Lee has a huge collection on Slann and if you are looking for something Slann related go to his blog first.

TheOttoVonBismark blog has article about slann animal handler concentrating on sabre-tooth tigers.

+Copper Oracle+ has written about slann and their beast too.


The Slann get the smallest number of animal handlers with just 0-4 and can divide them into 1-4 units. Each handler can control 2-6 beasts. We see some pretty interesting beasts that are unique to slann: cold one warhounds, giant scorpions, giant spiders and sabre tooth tigers. One would expect to see giant frogs as a neast of choise for such froggy creatures the Slann are but for some reason those have not been included.

Slann profile suits being a animal handler pretty well. T4 gives you some protection versus S3 missiles and good LD and CL should keep you from running. But it´s still a bit risky if you field a large pack of 40 something points creatures. A level 10 hero is 82 points as an animal handler and has T5 and W2. And could be given some magic armor that wouldn´t slow him down but would add protection. It´s of course a question of what kind of risk you are willing to take and how many points you can afford.


C22 Slann Cold One Warhounds and Handler set appeared in the WD96 alongside with other slann models. There are two slightly different warhounds and just one type of handlers.

Another add of cold one warhounds and slann handler.

Two sets were sold on ebay on Q1/2017 for 17€ and 24€.

For giant scorpion and spider models were made available as part of C29 monsters series.

Giant scorpion and giant spider on 1996 catalogue.

Both giant scorpion and giant spider are really nice large models. You can pretty easily reposition their feet, claws and stinger if you want a different pose.

Another add of the giant spider model.

Top view on the giant scorpion from a 1987 flyer.

There is also a Fiend Factory FF50 giant scorpion that looks a lot smaller than the C29 one. The same applies for a FF49 giant spider.

FF50 Giant scorpion.

FF49 Giant spider is really small compared to C29.

As  both giant spider and giant scorpion are big valuable monsters I would go for C29s. In my opinion they present the idea of such creatures better than the smaller ones
C29 Giant scorpions seem to sell for 15-20€per model and giant spiders go for about 10€ in ebay.

If you want you could go for midhammerian forest goblin giant spiders or products from other manufacturers. I still think that the C29s are the best models available for both giant spiders and giant scorpions.

Sabre tooth tigers were produced as a part of Eternal Champion line of models. The set was called Pan-Tangian Tyger handlers.


A couple of sets with two tigers and both handlers were sold for 28€ and 39€ lately. If you are looking for just the tigers be prepared to pay 10-15€ each.


Cold One Warhounds


Rules

The warhound model resembles the description very well. They are indeed ugly, alligator-like creatures with scaly skin and big teeth. Having two attacks is nice but WS3 and S3 reduces their close combat ability a bit. T3 and W1 mean that cold one warhounds are a little fragile agains missiles but basic saving throw of 5 or 6 compensates that a bit. In close combat they benefit from the terrible smell they emit as their opponent gets a -1 to their hand to hand to hit roll.

Cold one warhounds are subject to stupidity before they make their first charge. That means that they have to make a stupidity test in the beginning of controlling players turn vs.the unit leaders Cl. Fortunately the slann have basic Cl of 9 which means that you won´t fail that test very often. Only when it matters the most. And as mentioned the stupidity wears off after making that first charge.

Whipping into a fury -rule reduces cold one warhounds´ usability somewhat as you really have to concider when to declare charge. You propably should try to make that first charge agains an enemy that is already engaged or othervise in such state that it can´t move away from harms way before you get to charge.

Being so furious cold one warhounds must allways pursuit their victims. This is another slight tactical disadvantage that using them has.

Two slann cold one warhounds from Jon´s wargame minis blog.

Tactics

Because of the whipping-rule I would use cold one warhounds to threaten enemy flanks and warmachines. Warmachines can´t manouver to safety and you can pretty safely declare a charge when targeting them. Against normal units I would try to tie the enemy down with another unit and charge them next turn with warhonds. If enemy breaks the warhounds would pursue and the other unit could hold and be used for other tasks.

Because of the disgusting smell rule warhounds could be used to tie down bigger enemy units with same or lower WS.

Goblin Lee´s warhound horde.

Pro´s
Nice models
Only Slann get them
Disgusting smell
Good speed
Two attacks
Con´s
Charge rule
Stupidity
(WS3 and S3)
(Must pursuit)


Giant Spiders

Rules

When acting without a handler giant spiders are immune to all psychology. This is unfortunately negated by the animal handler rules: All psychology tests are taken using the leader´s profile. Some GM discretion could be used here. In my opinion handlers shouldn´t fear same type of animals they are leading. And if the handlers don´t come in contact with the enemy the panic test for being charged to the flank should not be taken.

The handlers also negate in my opinion the move-through-wooded-areas-without-penalty rule and climb-trees rule. Even if the slann are jungle dwellers. And the packs don´t benefit from the slann ability to cross bodies of water without movement penalty.

Cause fear is a potent ability. You may neutralize your enemy before entering close combat if he fails the psychology check. Keep in mind that if you win a round of combat versus an enemy that fear you he is automatically routed.

Poisoned attacks and -1 armour saving throw bonus are both nice additions to giant spiders´ combat abilities. Chitinous armour combined with T4 and W4 make spiders pretty endurable.

LM´s FF49 Giant Spiders with their Slann handler

Tactics
Giant spiders are strong and tough and can take on almost anything that comes on their way. Still, having only WS3 means that you probably don´t want to engage anything that has WS4 or higher as you would have difficulties hitting them. So pick a WS3 enemy, make sure you get to charge him which you should be able to do with spiders´ M5, win a round of combat and see your enemy flee as you cause fear.

In a pack of giant spiders the handler is the weak point. T4, W4 and basic saving throw of 4,5 or 6 means that the spiders won´t suffer much from normal S3 missile fire. Crossbows and war machines are a far greater threat. A big risk is that some lucky shots could take out the handlers even with their T4. Consider taking a slann hero as a pack leader if using giant spiders.

C29 giant spider models are pretty large and require a board base which means that fielding many spiders will result in a big lump to pushed around. So some consideration in set up is required.

Goblin Lee´s beautiful C29 Giant spider. Be sure to check
this posting as there is also a giant scorpion and a big bug there.

Pro´s
Nice models
 Only Slann get them
Strong and resilient
Cause fear
Con´s
Average WS
 (Dislike of fire)

Another C29 Giant spider. This time from Somewhere the Tea´s getting cold.


Giant Scorpions

Rules

Giant scorpions are very similar to giant spiders in what comes to rules and profile. Same exceptions for psychology and movement rules that were discussed under giant spiders apply to giant scorpions too.

Something that has to be remenbered with scorpions is that tail attacks can only be made to sides and back. And claws can strike to front and sides. As the rules don´t say how many claw and how many stinger attacks a scorpion has I would let the player decide. You could attack two times with claws or stinger or once with each. Claw attacks gice -1 armor piercing bonus and tail attacks are poisonous.

A gourgeous C29 Giant scorpion by Martin

Tactics

Just look above. All that was said about giant spiders applies to giant scorpions too.

Yet another one from The Somewhere the Tea´s getting cold.

Pro´s
Nice models
 Only Slann get them
Strong and resilient
Cause fear
Con´s
Average WS
 (Dislike of fire)

Black and very chitinous looking spider from Goblin Lee´s collection.

Sabre-Tooth Tiger


Rules

Wild cats on steroids! Not as fast as the smaller elven kitties but WS4, S5 and A3 is a formidable close combat profile combined with -2 armor piercing modifier. T4 and W2 provide some endurance but still you want to close in fast and not let enemy shoot them or their handlers to pieces. No really weak points here.
TheOttoVonBismark´s colorful sabre-toothed tigers.
Check his blog for another look on slann animal handlers.
Tactics

Move in. Don´t get shot. Charge. Rip your opposition apart. Pack of sabre-tooth tigers is a good alternative for cold one cavalry as they are not restricted by whipping-to-fury rule. You will attract missile fire so again taking a hero as a unit leader could be a good idea.

A Celtos sabre-tooth tiger from "Amanthas the Huntress with Sabretooth" -set.
This image comes from Warmasterdk blog.

Pro´s
Nice models
 Only Slann get them
Deadly
Con´s
Can´t think of any