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 A couple of the wolves are not originally made to go with a rider but will do just fine in the mix.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