tiistai 12. syyskuuta 2017

WIP - New elven guard

If you´ve been reading this blog you´ve propably noticed that I´m a big fan of Jes Goodwin elves. My high elf army is pretty much build around them and in my opinion they are the best elf sculpts Citadel/GW has ever produced. Unfortunately that elf series has some limitations regarding weapon and armor options. For example the models you could use for guards are all spear armed, wear light armor and have tabs for shields. The guard unit I´ve been using clearly has light armor, spears and shields.

If one wanted to have elven guard with heavy armor, shields and spears the melnibonean range is the answer. But what to do if you want to take halberds instead of the spears? And no shield. The high elf infantry in general lacks punch and if you are fighting orcs or dwarfs you would really like to have some troops that can generate those S4 hits.

There are models in the ME-32 Noldor - Deep elf alternatives series that are carrying a very halberd looking spear. But at least in the ebay the prices are horrendous. I´ve managed to get myself just a single model at reasonable cost so far.

For me it was the Black Tree desings that came to rescue. They have an elven royal guard range of models that has a command group and a few different troopers. The sculpts are in my opinion oldhammerish enough even if they stand bit taller than Jes Goodwin elves. The armor can be light or heavy depending on how you look at them and the weapons can pass for a halberd. And the price is very reasonable. Some people have had problems with long delivery times from Black Tree but my package came in about three weeks from the order.

I got models for my unit of 20 a couple of months back but as I was busy with painting orcs I didn´t touch these during the summer. And like I mentioned I was pretty fed up with painting pointy ears. Now I´ve found new energy to work with these and here are the first glimpses.

The very first finished trooper and a couple of WIPs. In my
opinion their weapon will pass for harberd or spear.

WIP  troopers, commander and standard bearer. The commander
has a more elaborately decorated armor than the rank & file.

Commander, standard bearer and a couple of troopers.
Colour theme is the same blue and white as for the rest of the army.

I think there are six different poses for troopers and a three
elf command group including commander, standard and musician (no pic here).

I´m trying to get this unit ready for Oldhammer Oulu meet that will be in 6 weeks (28/10/2017). As these are fairly quick to paint I think I will make it in time.

sunnuntai 3. syyskuuta 2017

Where is he now - Ulfwerenar

Where shapechangers in WFB 3rd edition Armies are available only to wood elves the ulfwerenar are unique to the norse. They can be fielded either as part of a norse mercenary contingent or in a norse army as per list published in WD107.

The Ulfwerenar are the only case of were creatures being included to official army lists in 3rd edition WFB. They form their own units and in that differ from shapechangers who hide among ´normal´ troops and are revealed in enemy proximity.

The later editions of WFB don´t have Ulfwerenar units; or much weres at all. The  Dogs of War regiment Beorg Bearstruck & the Bearmen of Urslo is perhaps the closest thing the later editions had regarding Ulfwerenar.

Once again a BIG Thank you to LM for providing me with pictures of his painted wolf-men. That´s one magnificent unit!!!

Just look at this unit by LM. Very very nice indeed.

THE RULES

The rules for were creatures are quite long and WD107 specifies the use of champions with Ulfwerenar a bit. Let´s take a look into those rules here and see what they mean. Taken from page 244 in the rule book.

  1. Units of weres may enter battle in either human or wolf form. If entering battle in human form, players will have to provide alternative models to use once the unit has transmutated. Once a unit of weres has changed to wolf-man form it remains in that form for the remainder of the battle.

    In the descripition on weres it is thold that weres have to distict form, that of a human and that of a wolf-man. Wolf-men are frightening creatures with powerful hairy body and a snarling wolf´s head. They walk upright and  can use weapons like normal men.

    Entering weres to battle in human form gives you a certain element of suprise. Wolf-men are far better in close combat that regular humans which means that the enemy might overlook them initially if entering in human form. But you are going to need a big pile of models as you need those replacements when the transformation takes place.
  2. Were characters may enter the battle in either human or wolf form. hey may not enter as giant wolves. Alternative models for all three forms will have to be provided. Were characters may change beween their three forms during the battle, and are obliged to make transmutation tests in some circumstances as described under 6,below.

    So in addition to normal and wolf-man forms, the were characters have a third form too. That of a giant wolf. And another model needs to be provided.
  3. All models comprising a unit of weres always have the same form. A single transmutation test is made as described under point 6. The result applies to the whole unit. If led by a were character the character model may assume a different forma and is concidered separately. Character models therefore test separately even if they are leading a unit. An ordinary human character may lead a unit of weres, but obviously may not transmutate.

    Having same form for all models in a unit is pretty natural.

    The underlined part of rules is changed in the WD107 Norse army list. There it clearly states that Ulfwerenar units cannot be led by ordinary heroes, although they can be led by their own were heroes.

    And when you get to rule 11 you realise that once again editing has been a bit limited as rule number 3 allows normal human leaders but rule 11 denies that.
  4. Were characters may only change to Giant Wolf form once they have changed to wolf-man form. Similarly, to transmutate from Giant Wolf form they change again to wolf-men and then change again to human form. It is not possible to change from human to Giant Wolf form (or visa versa) in a single transmutation.

    A good clarification on how were characters transmute.
  5.  A player controlling weres may attempt to tranmutate any unit or character at the beginning of the side´s turn. Once a were unit has adopted wolf-man form, it may make no further transmutations and fights the remainder of the battle as a unit of wolf-men. A were character is free to change between the three forms (human, wolf-ma and giant wolf), but must test in the following situations. If a were character is in hand-to-hand combat at the start of the side´s turn and is in human form, the player must test to transmutate into wolf-man form. If a were character is in hand-to-hand combat at the start of the side´s turn and is in wolf-man form, the player must test to transmute into giant wolf form.

    So normal weres may attempt to transmute but were characters must roll in the above mentioned cases. Perhaps were characters are closer to animals than normal weres and because of that are less in controll of the transmutations.
  6. To effect a successful transmutation, the player rolls a D6. If the score is 6 the transmutation is successful. If enemy troops are within 12" of the testers, the player must add +1 to the dice if attempting to change from human to wolf-man, or from wol-man to giant wolf. If already engaged in hand-to-hand combat the player must add +2 to the dice if attempting to change from huoman to wolf-man or wolf-man to giant wolf. This reflects the were´s natural inclination to change into a more lupine form for combat.

    It´s not that easy to make that transformation. One really has to weight the pro´s and con´s of bringing the ulfwerenar on battlefield in human form. Unarmoured T3 models costing 15 points each are not something you want to attract missile fire to.
  7. A unit which is in wolf-man form when it charges, or when it is charged automatically becomes frenzied. No separate test is required to enter frenzy.

    In addition to better profile line the frenzy is the reason you want to have your ulfwerenar in wolf-man form when they go hand to hand with the enemy.
  8. A were character model which is a wizard loses all associated magical abilities when in wolf-man or giant wolf form. These are immediately regained when the character changes back to human form.

    The army lists for norse don´t have were wizards so this line can be disregarded when using ulfwerenar.
  9. Once a character has transmutated into the form of a giant wolf its personality changes, becoming far less human and far more lupine. A were in full giant wolf form is dangerous because it is subject to animal urges and motivations which may result in the character leaving the scene of the battle altogether. In giant wolf form were characters are subject to the psychological rules given for hatred. Were characters in giant wolf form hate the nearest enemy whatever it is. This overrides all other psychological effects caused by the enemy, negating any affect of fear for example. In addition, any were character charging or being charged while in the form of a giant wolf automatically becomes frenzied.

    As per rule book page 93 the unit associated charecters additional psychological reactions do not affect the unit that does not suffer from that same effect.  The rule for hatred aplies only to the were character. Once in giant wolf form the were character must test to see if it enters a fit of hatred as per the rules for hatred in rule book page 72. Once in that mode it will charge the nearest enemy where possible. This can cause the were character to become separated from the unit he was leading.

    In my opinion a were character in giant wolf form can no longer act as a leader of a unit. He is in effect a wolf now and no longer capable of leading. Therefore the next in command should step in and his profile should be used for further tests.
  10. A were character in giant wolf form and which is not engaged in hand-to-hand combat at the beginning of the side´s turn must make a transmutation test to assume wolf-man shape. If the test is failed, the player must make a further test rolling a D6.

    1-4. The character remains under normal control.

    5. The character must move towards the nearest table-edge at normal speed avoiding combat, if possible. As long as the model remains on the table, the players may test to transmute at the beginning of each of his following turns. No further roll is made on this chart. If the character has failed to transmute by the time the model crosses the table-edge, it is assumed to have left the battlefield and takes no further part in the game.

    6. The character must move towards the nearest table-edge as described above. No further tests are taken; the model is removed from play as soon as it crosses the table-edge.


    With some bad rolls you can end up with your were character running for wild. This is the risk you have to take if you use them. It certainly makes using expensive characters in giant wolf form pretty uninviting.
  11. Units of weres must be led by an ordinary were or a were character.
    See rule 3. Some inconsistency here. As WD107 clarifies this I would follow that ruling.
  12. In competition games, weres are only permitted to those armies indicated in Warhammer Armies, fundametally the Norse. In non-competition games players are allowed to make weres even weirder (if you´ll forgive the pun) by adding D3-1 dominant Chaotic mutations to each unit when in wolf-man form. Characters may be gicen D4-1 personal mutations in wolf-man and giant wolf form - these do not have to be the same mutations and can be generated separately. All random generation must take place before the game begins, preferable under the supervision of the GM.

    So a little hint towards chaos here in the last were rule. And a good point about generating the mutations under GM supervision.
I have to say that even for 3rd edition WFB the rules for weres are long and quite clumsy. Quite a lot of dice rolling and things to remember. But you could have streamlined the rules a bit - not cut the weres alltogether.

The were champion and two troopers. Champion is
a C22 Creatures giant werewolf and troopers are
C18 Nighthorrors wereman and wolfman. From LM´s collection.

PROFILE AND ARMY LISTS

First of all, in my opinion every norse army should have some Ulfwerenar. Just because they are a cool unit that no one else gets. They look good in their wolf-man form and that alone is a good reason to field them.

As we see from the table below, the weres are pretty expensive but they are tough too. As one can expect the profile leans toward hand to hand combat.

As per rules the Ulfwerenar can only be led by one of their own. If were characters are fielded they must be assigned to a Ulfwerenar unit as a champion. As you can not have more than one champion per unit of Ulfwerenar this means that you can never have more were charaters than you have units of weres in your army.


A norse mercenary contingent can have 0-10 ulfwerenar with 5-10 models per unit. A unit must include a were champion. You could theoretically field two units of ulfwerenar but they would be really weak that way. For mercenaries I would field a unit of 10 and wouldn´t try to pass them for normal troops but give them two-handed weapons and deploy them in wolfman form. With champion and a standard the unit would cost roughly 260 points. Pretty expensive but T4 gives some durability and WS4 hitting with S5 is a lot of punch.



If you are using the army list from WD107 you have more options. Now you could try confusing your enemy by deploying in human form and having such equipment that ulfwerenar could be initially mistaken bondsmen. You could potentially field 6 units of bondsmen each 20 models strong and hide a ulfwerenar unit of same size among them.

For a were strong ulfwerenar unit you could take 19 models including a standard bearer all equipped with shields. They would be led by a lvl 20 ulfwerenar hero. You would want to have shields as the bondsmen have that as normal equipment. That combination would cost you 556 points. Taking a relic banner would be highly recommended to keep them from breaking when not in frenzy. The additinal 25 points is not that much for 550+ points unit.

If almost 600 points feels to much you could take a lvl 10 hero and cut the cost by 100 points. Lvl 10 were characters are pretty tough too.

But keep in mind that fielding weres in human form comes with the risk. They might not transmute when you would want them to.



The rule book has different profiles for were characters of different levels in giant wolf form too. Most of the stats stay the same regarless of the level but you get more wounds and higher initiative. This is however changed in the WD107 and all were characters now use the common giant wolf profile regardless of the characters actual level.

This again will affect the way you use your were character. In my opinion there is no sense in using the giant wolf form for other were characters than level 5 champions. Imagine your lvl 25 hero charging out of his parent unit in giant wolf form only to shot to pieces by an enemy that chose to stand & shoot. A lvl 5 champion might benefit from giant wolf form. They do not provide leadership bonuses in any case so combined with profile changes it might be worth trying.

Another shot of this beautiful unit. The flag is a Wargame¨Designs
28mm Viking/Saxon flag that fits the theme perfectly.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Closest thing to ulfwerenar in the later editions is the Dogs of War regiment Beorg Bearstruck & the Bearmen of Urslo that came with the 5th edition in 1998. At that time the norse are seen as deeply affected by powers of chaos and their lycanthropy being a gift from chaos gods. In this regiment only Beorg himself is clearly a were creature. His model is clearly a half-man-half-bear creature and the rules state that he fights with claw and teeth. The normal troopers are more or less touched with the mark of were bear affecting their appearance and giving them a higher-than-normal-men profile. Unlike Beorg they wield normal weapons and wear armor. There are no rules for different forms and  every model has just one profile.


Bearmen of Urslo. Beorg himself is not that bad a model
but the rank & file don´t impress me much.

I have to say that I did like the old Norse better before they all went chaos. The norse in 3rd edition were described as fierce and brutal like the land they live in. They love battle and are concidered untrustworthy but they are not all grim & dark chaos that they were turned into later.

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

I think I need to take a deeper look into the were creatures as whole in the Oldhammer world. There doesn´t seem to too much material available on them. And things I have managed to find are somewhat conflicting...

tiistai 8. elokuuta 2017

Where is he now - Elf shapechanger

Introduced in the 3rd edition WFB Rulebook the shapechangers were made available only to wood elves in the WFB: Armies. The shapechangers resemble werecreatures in many ways but there are differences too. Weres in WFB have usually a normal man-form and a half-wolf form. Were characters can turn to full wolf form too. Shapechangers on the other hand have three animal forms in which they will randomly turn to.

Unlike norse ulfwerenar the elf shapechangers are not fielded as seperate units but they are hidden inside normal units a bit like goblin fanatics. Ulfwerenar will get their own article later.

The rules for shapechangers are quite long and it´s worth taking a good look into them here. Rules are presented on the page 99 in the 3rd edition rulebook.

  1. Models representing shapechangers are indistinguishable from ordinary members of a unit. The controlling player secrectly allocates each shapechanger to an ordinary unit of its racial type. Up to 20% of any unit may be composed of shapechangers hidden in this way. Each is represented by a normal model of the unit´s type. It is important that the player makes a clear note of shapechanger/unit allocation and shows it to the GM.

    So for every four models in a unit you can have one shapechanger hiding there. Wood elf archer (including Lord´s bowmen) units have a maximum unit size of 20 which means you could field 16 archers and 4 shapechangers. With Warrior kinbands you could field 6 shapechangers as the maximum unit size is 30 models. I don´t think it´s stright out forbidden to hide shapechangers in a unit of cavalry but the whole idea of doing that is so strange that I wouldn´t allow it as GM.

  2. If a sheltering unit begins its own turn within 12" of an enemy unit, the controlling player must roll a D6. If the score is 5 or 6, all shapechangers in the unit change shape. If the covering unit is charged in the enemy turn, shapechangers roll to change shape immediately. Shapechangers who enter combat still unchanged may roll at the beginning of each of the following combat rounds (regardless of which side´s turn it is) until they change shape.

    It´s a big disadvantage not to have control over your shapechangers. They will change shape on random so you really can´t make plans that depend on them changing.

  3. Roll a D6 to determine which creature the shapechangers change into. All shapechangers from a unit change into the same creature:
    1-2 Giant wolf
    3-4 Boar
    5-6 Bear


    More unwanted randomness in my opinion. Bear is a great option with S4, T4, W2 and 3 attacks. And they cause fear. Giant wolves are quite good with high movement, WS4 and 2 attacks. But boars are not worth the 28 points the shapechangers cost. Even with those two attacks they get (see rule 5) and frenzy (see rule 7).

    Another disadvantage with shapechangers is the fact that you will need four models for each shapechanger. One for normal for and one for each animal form too. That certaily raises the level for using them.

  4. Shapechangers may not wear armour or carry a shield. They may carry a single weapon - usually a hand weapon.
    No suprises here. Armour would be in the way of shape changing and you have to be able to protect youself in unchanged form too.


  5. Shapechangers retain some of their human or elven qualities and are cpable of wileding weapons as well as making animal attacks. They have characteristics equivalent to the animal thay change into, with an additional attack from any held weapon. This additional attack is made with animal´s WS.
    Here we learn that  a shapechangers transformation is not complete to animal form but instead he becomes a sort of hybrid between his original form and the animal he turns into.

  6. Once changed into animal form, the shapechangers must move as fast as possible towards the nearest visible enemy. They are now concidered to be a seperate unit, and the models representing them are removed from their covering unit. The models representing their animal forms are placed on the table and make an initial move that turn. If their covering unit is already in close combat or is being charged, the shapechangers move into the front rank but cannot leave the unit until that engagement is complete.

    Upon the shape change the controlling player loses what little control he had over the shapechangers. They will move on their own and as per rule 7 charge when able to do so.

  7. Shapechangers in changed form, must charge the nearest enemy as soon as they are able to do so. They automatically enter frenzy as soon as they engage in hand-to-hand combat.

    Frenzy is a powerfull thing. Troops stay frenzied as long as they are in base-to-base contact with the enemy including pursuit. Frenzied troops add +1 to both  ´to hit´ rolls and to ´to wound´ rolls. They also get +1 to any saving throw they make. As shapechangers are unarmoured the last don´t count for them. Unless you want to rule that they get 6+ saing throw while frenzied.

    Frenzied troops will always follow-up and pursue. They are immune to psychology effects, don´t take rout tests and can´t be routed. They will either kill the enemy of die trying.

  8. If, at the beginning of their turn, there are no enemies within 12" of the shapechanger unit, they automatically return to their non-animal form. This small unit may then be moved independently, or may be assimilated within any friendly unit of foot models outnumbering it by four to one or more.

    When this happens the player actually gets to move the shapechangers by his own will. For ake of cover from missiles it could be a good idea to assimilate them to a friedly unit. There are no rules for how the assimilation is done but I suppose moving to contact with the unit you want to assimilate the changers into would be enough.

  9. When a covering unit takes missile casualties, the chance of a shapechanger being hit is proportional to the number of shapechangers present. The GM may determine this as he sees fit. If a unit has it´s full 1 in 5 allocation, a shapechanger will be hit on th e D10 roll of a 9 or 10, for exmaple.

    Compared to goblin fanatics and skaven plague cencer bearers this is a disadvantage. You may lose valuable models to lucky shots.
Shapechangers cost an extra 20 points that is applied after equipment has been added.

In general shapechangers are pretty costly and too random and uncontrollable to field if you just want to get best bang for buck. With some luck they can be a nasty suprise to your opponent but in my opinion it´s too dependant on how you roll.

The overall complexity of rules and random behaviour of shapechangers is propably what led to them being cut from 4th edition.


But they are certainly charasteristic and do fit a wood elf theme very well. And again, no one else gets them and that alone is a good reason to have a few in you wood elf army.

Wood elf shapechangers have weapon options for spears and double-handed weapons. As rules allow only one weapon/model is suppose that the hand weapon is discarded if taking the spear or the two-handed option.  Having a weapon wielding elf-animal-hybrid can create some need for bending the rules a bit. For example as per rules a bear has two claw attacks. If a bear form shapechanger is wielding a two-handed weapon is think it can´t use it´s claws but perhaps does bite attacks instead.

There is not much info to found regarding the shapechangers around the internet but here are couple of blog´s you might want to take a look into:

 If you concider building a shapechanger force for your wood elves and don´t know where to get those animal form models here are some suggestions:
  • Midlam miniatures. Good looking boar men. I would remove the skull emblem from belt but othervise I like these.
  • C38/27 series has some boar faced beastmen that one might use but they seem to be armoured and too evil looking for my taste.
  • C18 Night Horrors has a couple of weremen, wolfmen and a bearman.
  • IronWind metals. This series has all three animal form from a single manufacturer. Elvish weapons could be easily added to these.
  •  A couple of werebears by Reaper.
  • Otherworld miniatures werebear.
 If I were to use wood elf shapechangers I would perhaps use the IronWind ones as they fit together and it would be easy to model some weapons on their hands/paws.

Let me know if you have painted some shapechangers. I would love to see the pictures and if we so agree link them here.

maanantai 24. heinäkuuta 2017

Trouble at the Fur Hunters´ Hut - 3rd edition WFB Battle Report

When the alarm sounded captain Chaelamin felt perhaps a bit too much satisfaction for being right as the situation was grave serious. He had made his men to take up defensive positions and to set up guard posts around the fur trader hut. They had not protested but he had seen the looks in their eyes. They had been marching all day and would have wanted to rest.

But now it was both his own seekers and the fur hunters he had sent out to guard dute that had spotted the enemy. And Chaelamin himself could see green shapes emerging from the morning mist.

"Get those civilians inside and away from the windows!!!" Chaelamin shouted. To his disappointment some of the fur hunters had their families at the site and they would only be in way now. As if the dwarfs POWs weren´t enough.

Reports were coming in now - there were greens skins coming in from every directions. They would have to fight. Chaelamin only wished that the dwarves would come as agreed.

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

Big boss Grumbud listened to the goblin chief with disgust. That git was trying to tell him how to lead the raid. The only reason he had tolerated the goblin so long is that his own mob was still too small to make the attack themselves. They need the loot and to get the loot he needs the gobbo chief and his troops. But if the chief would get itself killed Grumbud could keep all to loot his boyz.

"Oi, Rhybag! Me wantz u and ur gobboz to attacks from ze otter side of ze hut. We meetz in da middle rightz? Ze first boss over ze wall getz a speshul prize."

Chief Rhybag hurried on it´s way. Grumbud knew that all boyz and gobbos should be in position now. As the sun rose he ordered the advance. And then the alarm sounded. The elves had noticed them.

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

Lord Dumbell heard the horn and knew something was not right. He made sure that they were not under attack themselves and reformed his units from marching columns to a battle line. He could see the building where the exhange of POWs was supposed to take place but he could see the goblinoids too. There were at least one unit of orcs and goblins right between him and the hut site. And he could see arrows being fired from the wall that protected the hut´s yard.

They would have to fight through the orcs and goblins to make it to the exhange. Dumbell made sure that the elf prisoners were secured and then the dwarves moved in.


This is a battle report about a 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle scenario I GM´ed a week ago. The scenario required three players each playing goblinods, high elves or dwarves. The scenario background was that the warring elves and dwarfs had agreed on armistice and an exhange of prisoners of war. Elves and dwarfs are to meet at an elven fur hunter hut for the exhange.

Not knowing about the POW exhange a small tribe of orcs with their goblin supporters are looking for easy loot. They have surrounded the fur hunter hut and are to attack.

Each side has their own objectives and some special rules. Each player received a written briefing and list of troops before the game.

BRIEFINGS, SPECIAL RULES AND LISTS

Orcs & goblins:

Oi gitz!!! You´z big boss Grumbud of ze purple ´edz tribe. Yer luck wiv ze lootz ´az been poor an´ ze boyz iz gettin´ restless. Nothin´ dad a good ol ´ead bashin´ won´t keep in line but ya really need to get ´em fightin´ ze enemies an´ not each other. Ya ´as gotz a tips from ze gobboz dat dere iz da pointy earz ´untin´ ´ut wid lots an´ lots of ´idez ´n supplies to grab nearby. Ya ´az promized to take dem gobbos wid uz to share da lootz. Dem scumbagz ´as no gutz to go an´ bash ze tree ´uggerz demselves.
Dem gobbos say dere iz lots but not lots an´ lots of dem fancy pantz at ze ´ut. Ya haz cum up wid da brilliunt planz. Yer boyz an´ ze gobbos ´as ze hut surrounded an´ you´z ´as ordered everywun to attacks at ze first light.

Ya haz dem four set up areaz - wun at each side of ze ´ut. No set upz closer dan 16” of dem ´ut - ya not want dem ´ippies to spot ya too early. Ya wanna ´ave ze ´utz surrounded - not lettin´ ze pointy earz run away iz we. Ya haz to set at least wun mob of dem boyz or gobbos on each area. Rememba dat dem gobbos iz not to be trusted - ya haz to ´ave a mob of dem boys or wun of dem shamanz ur chiefz in da same are wiv each of dem gobbo mobz.


Ya needz to get dem buildingz intactz as ze lootz iz in dere. An´ ya not mind if dem gobbos getz bashed and not haz to share da loot wiv ´em.

Commo´n ya gitz, weez gunna ´ave a proppa bashin´!!!

Success conditions:
 Complete success: Both buildings survive and are captured by your troops. Gobbo chief Rhybag is killed or routed off the board. No more than 50% of boyz are lost as casualties.


Partial success: You capture the hut site but one or more of the following happens: one building is destroyed / chief Rhybag survives and is not routed off board / more than 50% of the boyz are lost as casualties


Failure: Hut site is not captured or both buildings are destroyed. Boss Grumbud is killed.



Elves:

Sir, You are in charge of the four dwarven prisoners of war whom as by the armistice agreement are to be exchanged to four elven warriors captured by the dwarves during the hostilities.

The exchange is to take place at this fur hunting hut your small troupe reached late last night. Your scouts caught a sight of some goblins along the road here two nights ago but the scoundrels hurried back to the cover of woods and have not bothered you since. Upon arrival you set up a defensive perimeter inside the l hut´s walled yard and ordered your troops to rest with guards on duty. Scouts were sent to patrol the nearby woods.

The prisoners are locked up in the storage building with their hands tied so that they cannot escape in case the dwarves try some foul play. The prisoners are unarmed but their equipment is held by your troops and is to be returned to their rightful owners upon exchange.

There are six hunters present and you have taken them under your command. To your big disappointment there are some civilians including a child at the hut. You have ordered them to stay in the main building to be out of your way until everything is clear with the exchange.

You have very strict orders from lord Darcassan not to jeopardize the armistice in any way. Your most important job is to get the four elven prisoners in your custody and to safely escort them along the road to safety. As important as that is to release the dwarven prisoners of war to their brethren and guarantee their safe exit from the area. In case there is a confrontation of any sort you are to preserve your troops as far as possible but without endangering your most important mission - the safe exchange of prisoners.

Scouts may be set up anywhere on the map within 15” of the huts. Civilians must start the game in the main hut. Everyone else sets up within the logging hut perimeter.

The dwarves should arrive in the morning from the east.

Godspeed!


Special rules:
The dwarf prisoners start the game with their hands and feet tied. They set up in the storage building that is locked. They cannot move or fight and if attacked will receive free hack hits. The prisoners have normal dwarf profile. They start unarmed (improvised weapons) and unarmored. If there is an elf model within 2” of the storage building door, the elf player may declare the release of prisoners at any time. From that moment the dwarf player gets the control of the prisoners. He may then choose if he wants to put them in normal or skirmishing formation. After release each prisoners gets a hand weapon and a shield. If the prisoners spend one turn putting on their equipment (no movement or others actions) they can add light armor. The prisoners are considered saved if they exit the battle field via the road to east.


The main building has two windows on the long side and one on each end. There is also one window next to the door. The storage building has no windows. Both buildings are wooden with very flammable roof. Two models can use missile weapons from each window and two models can engage in hand to hand combat through a window. The building is divided in three sections. Each section can have 6 models in it. Therefore there is room for a maximum of 18 models in the main building. Models in the building don´t have to be in base to base contact but are still considered to be in normal formation. Models cannot be pushed back from a window position. A model not engaged in hand to hand combat may be moved to another window during the elf player´s movement or reserve phase. Rank bonuses do not affect combat resolution when fighting through windows. A model/turn may climb in/out of a window in movement phase when there is no model on the other side in contact with the window. Moving through window uses the models movement completely. Moving through window may put a model in base to base contact with enemy. They will enter hand to hand combat, but moving through window does not count as a charge.


Success conditions:
Complete success: All dwarven prisoners escape to safety. All elven prisoners escape to safety. All civilians escape to safety. No more than 50% of your troops are lost.


Success: At least ¾ of dwarven prisoners, elven prisoners and civilians escape. No more than 50% of your troops are lost.


Minimal success: At least ½ of prisoners and civilians escape.


Failure: Less than ½ of prisoners survive. Fighting between elves and dwarves break out.


Dwarfs:

Lord Dumbell! Take care of the prisoner exchange. Do not harm elf prisoners unnecessarily. Return with our brothers. Do not kill any elves unless they attack first. Slight bruising is acceptable. No more than four kegs of ale per warrior a day before return.

You enter the area from east beginning from turn 2. You may deploy as many units as you wish. Units not deployed on turn 2 will be deployed on subsequent turns on your will. Safe exit at same location.

Axes high!


Special rules:
The elven prisoners start attached to one of the dwarf units. They must set up in 2x2 formation and be placed in base to base contact with the back side of the unit they are attached to. They cannot fight and don´t affect the combat resolution rank bonus of the unit they are with. In case they are attacked they may be moved out of harm’s way to another side of the unit. If there is no room and they end up in combat enemy can score free hacks vs. them. The prisoners will move with their parent unit including rout etc. Missile hits against the unit will be randomly divided between the dwarves and the prisoners. The dwarf player can at any time declare he has released the prisoners. At that moment the elven player issues their control and they will act on his turn. The prisoners have normal elf profile and they are unarmed (improvised weapons) and carry no armor. From release on they will act as skirmishers.


Success conditions:
Total success: All dwarf prisoners exit to safety

Partial success: At least ½ of prisoners exit to safety

Failure: Less than ½ of the prisoners survive. You have to shave your head, dye your beard orange and seek your death in the troll caves.



THE GAME

 The elf player did his initial set up secretly on a piece of paper. Then the orcs ond goblins were put on the table. And after that the elves. Orcs would move first.



Orc boyz and trolls advancing from north and led by Grumbud himself. Defending the wall are elf archers. Chief Rhybag´s gobbos and the orc shaman are just barely visible in the horizon.

 Orc arrers and gobbo stickas closing in from east.

And from west more boyz and a mob of wolfboyz. In the woods the elf fur
hunters are taking aim on green skins.

The fur hunting hut and it´s defenders. On top left corner a unit on seekers. Manning the north wall are archers. In the bigger building are the ship company and civilians. Dwarf POWs are held in the smaller building. In the yard there is also captain Chaelamin mounted on his horse and the fur hunter´s hunting dog´s with their handler.

First blood was drawn by orc arrers who really didn´t want to share the loot with stinking gobbos. Failing their animosity test they wheeled a and shot at gobbo stickas killing three of them.

Suprisingly everyone else passed their anomosity tests and moved towards the hut. On elf turn there was very little movement. On shooting phase everyone who could shot at advancing orcs & goblins. Some were killed but not enough to force a panic test.

On turn two the trolls did what they do best and failed their stupidity roll. They staggered on and ended right in front of the main orc boyz unit preventing them form advancing. Grumbud decided to take matters into his own hands and left the boyz unit he was with to join with trolls and bash some sense into their thick skulls.

Elf captain and hunting dogs left the hut yard to face the gobbos and orc shaman coming in from south. A single fanatic was released from the gobbo unit by the elf presence but the loonie did not reach his target.



And then came the dwarfs. Between them and the hut site were just the orc arrers and gobbo stickas. And the stickas were just preparing to charge the elf seekers in the forest in front of them.

On turn three big boss Grumbud managed to get the trolls under his command and bashed some sense into them. They and the boyz would be ready to storm the yard next turn. Orc arrers retreated away from the advancing dwarfs and stickes charged to elf seekers who chose to stand and shoot.

On the other side of battle field wolf boyz changed the elf hunters who received the charge shooting with their hunting bows. The lone gaoblin fanatic in the middle crashed into hut wall and died. Two of the hunting dogs were roasted by a fireball from orc shaman.

In the top left corner stickas charge the seekers. The fanatic is just about to make his final move and head straight into the wall.

The elf captain decided to take out the orc spell caster and charged him. The remaining dog and his handler retreated back to safety of the walls. The ship company that had stayed in the main building started to move out to be ready to face the orcs and goblin.

The elf archers defending the north wall took aim on trolls directly in front of them and scored a huge amount of hits. And managed to down a troll. This was too much for the others who broke and took big boss Grumbud with them! Suddenly the orc leader was on the run.

Luckily for the orcs the boyz mob was not affected. They would charge soon.

Chaelamin took care of the orc shaman quickly with one thrust of his lance. Seekers killed a couple of stickas but lost one of their number too and were pushed back. Hunters could not hurt the wolfboyz and were pushed back too.

The dwarfs marched as fast as they could. They could see that the elf situation was getting worse every second.

Big boss Grumbud´s not so glorious flight from battle.

As Grumbud and his bodyguards were out of the way the boyz mob was able to charge the elf archers defending the northern wall. Chief Rhybag´s stickas turned their ranks to face the elf captain who had slaughtered the orc shaman and peppered him with javelins. And against all odds wounded him.

Orc arrers who had been running away from the advancing dwarfs were positioning themselves to be able to charge the ship company next turn. After moving they released their arrows and a single marine was pierced by a red feathered arrow.

Both the seekers and the hunters were slowly being grinded down and pushed back the stickas and the wolfboyz. They could kill a few gobbos every now and them but the sheer number of enemies meant that they could not win a round of combat. At the north wall defending archers were pushed back by the boyz who were now in the yard for the first time.

Luckily for the elves the other unit of boyz was a bit of stuck behind the gobbo unit and could not engage anyone.

Desperate to buy some time the elf captain charged to goblin horde in front of him. The lone hunting dog handler and his remaining hound joined in too. Close combat was raging all over. Again the elves were pushed back in every single combat. They were really on the edge of braking.

The last remaining seeker trying to hold on against the stickas
while captain Chaelamin and the hunting dog handler charge the gobbos.

The dwarf thunderers had finally marched in range of the orc arrers. They took aim and BANG! Three of the ten muskets misfired and two dwarfs were killed. And no hits scored on orcs. It really did not start well for stunties.

The dwarf POWs in the smaller hut had been alarmed by the noises of fighting and they managed to break themselves free. Armed with what weapons they could find they bursted out of the shag and charged right to the flank of the orc boyz pressing hard on elf archers. That was the boost that the defenders needed. Several orcs were killed and the rest were pushed back. The situation was stabilized at least for a while.

On the next orc turn the arrers charged to elf ship company now defending the south wall. The marines did not fare well and got pushed back into the main building. On the north wall elves and dwarfs killed a number of boyz. A single dwarf was lost too. Rest of the orcs broke. The archers did not choose to follow but the dwarf POWs wanted to avenge their brother and went into pursuit. That put them into a dangerous position as wolfboyz had taken care of the last of hunters and would be able to charge the dwarfs next turn.

Hunting dog handler and his hound were slain. Now it was just the elf captain fighting the gobbos. He got pushed back. The stickas finished the last seeker.


At this point the elf civilians saw their chance and using windows as exits bolted towards the dwarf lines for safety. Seeing the wolfboyz that threatened to dwarf POWs the elf archers formed a shooting line to protect them. They would not jeopardize the chance for peace with the dwarfs.

Once again the elves were pushed back all around. Their captain was hit several times but his armor protected him against the weak goblin weapons. Ship company was being reduced to less than five elves but the survivors held on swearing to protect the fleeing civilians.

Dwarfs advanced and would be in charge range next turn. Their flamethrower had come to range of the gobbos in combat with the elf captain. Not caring too much for the elf´s safety they launched their fiery ball but it missed both the gobbos and the luckily the elf too. The forest they were partially in caught fire. The former dwarf POW headed for safety of their own lines.

During the last couple of turns it became clear that the orcs had secured to hut site. The ship company was killed to last elf inside the main building. Dwarf quarrelers got to charge chief Rhybag´s gobbos and rescued the elf captain who was down to his last wound at that time.

As all the civilians and POWs were behind the now combined dwarf/elf line and orcs firmly holding the hut site I called it a day. Dwarfs and elves would be happy to retreat and orcs had no interest in following them.

Forest fire rages after careless use of a flame thrower.

So how did each side fare? 

The orcs secured the hut site with both building intact. But roughly 50% of the boyz were lost and big boss Grumbud was routed himself with chief Rhybag surviving. A partial success was awarded to orcs.

The dwarfs lost one POW and got a partial success too.

The elves managed to get all civilians and POWs to safety and only one dwarf POW was lost. On the other hand almost all elf troops were killed. I awarded the elf player with a partial success too. Even if there was no such category in the briefing.


LESSONS LEARNED

 It took us roughly three hours to play this scenario. I had not had time to play test it so I was pretty anxious to see how it worked. On general level I am happy with the result. I felt that the players were having a good time and I didn´t have to interfere too much with GM´ing. Thank you guys for playing!!!

If I were to GM this again I would perhaps change the roles of elves and dwarfs around. Now the dwarf player spent most of his time just marching. Quicker troops would mean more action.

The trolls could have been too powerfull for this scenario. Now they actually worked against the orc player. I might reduce their number to one in any case.

The elf player´s success conditions are a bit too harsh. I would remove the No-more-than-50%-of-rour-troops-are-lost requirement for the side that starts in the hut site.

The orc player needs to play actively as TL did in this game. I was expecting to see a break out try by the elves but LM chose to defend the yard and wait for dwarfs. And as we saw it worked well enough.

Elf civilians running for safety.

Hope you enjoyed reading. Sorry for crappy pics. Forgot my camera home and had to use mobile.


tiistai 18. heinäkuuta 2017

The greeny vs. The skweeky

Yesterday I had a chance to play for the very first time with the new O&G army I've been painting. Just a normal pitched battle vs. LM's skaven with 2000 point limit. I didn't have much choise of troops as I have just a tad over 1000 points of rank & file ready.

We used full deployment rules and as I had my wolfboys as an advance force I was able to make the skaven set up first. It also allowed me to designate a flanking force. 

All pictures by me and LM.
The situation after scouting moves and skaven turn 1. The skaven line from bottom to top: beastmasters with giant rats, ally chaos dwarf mortar, clanrats, a jezzail, slaves, clanrats, slaves, ally chaos dwarfs, behind trees a jezzail, stormvermins and scouts.

On the top right behind the trees is the main orc unit of 28 boyz. On the other side of that forest is the orc general and his three troll bodyguards. The light green area marks the orc baggage train. Next the the yellow field is unit of goblin stickas. Then in thin line orc arrer boyz and in deep formation gobbos. Another unit of orc arrers and a goblin chariot are just outside of this picture.

Here´s the end on the long goblinoid line with chariot and arrers facing the giant rats. My mecrenary giant and a orc shaman were sent to flanking action. They would enter on turn 3 from skaven right flank. My plan was to try to hold the center with a weak force and try to crush the flanks with my main units.

 First combat occurred between the goblin wolfboys and stormvermin. I charged with the wolves as I didn´t want them to be shot to pieces by that jezzail and skaven scouts. I also wanted to give time for my orc boyz and general and his trolls to ove in. Gobbos lasted for several rounds though being pushed back multiple times and not winning a round of combat.


To my suprise the skaven center didn´t push hard in the beginning. Only the chaos dwarfs moved forward to counter my boyz and trolls.

The chaos dwarf mortar managed to score a direct hit on gobbos killing 5 and forcing a panic test but the brave gobbos held on.

Gobbos before being mortared.

Gobbos after being mortared.

On the orc far left goblin chariot charged the giant rats and their handlers and managed to push them back.

On my turn 3 the flanking force entered the battle. Mercenary giant stayed loyal to the orcs and was now threatening the skaven right flank. Orc shaman cast a mystic mist on the mortar and the closest skaven clan rat unit.


Around turn 4 our centers started closing on each other. A total of two plague cencer bearers and two fanatics were released clogging the battle field effectively. The cencer bearers decimated 12 goblin stickas and the rest did the only reasonable thing and fled the field. My fanatics fell short of their target but were blocking the slaves pretty effectively.

Goblin stickas after being hit thrice by cencer bearers.

On turn five everything went terribly for the orcs. First both my fanatics died by rolling snake eyes. Then the wolfriders who had fought the stormvermin for so long finally broke. And because of that the boyz mob panicked. Just when everything would have been ready for them to charge the skaven. Then skaven scouts managed to sling shot down a troll and the orc general broke. My right flank vanished in seconds.

At that point more than half of my troops in points value were either killed or running and that was the break point we had agreed on. Orcs and goblin fled the field. The skaven were victorious.

Thank you LM for a good game once again. I´ll be back!

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

This was my first time playing 3rd edition WFB with green skins and I learned a lot.

- Goblins are not as bad as you would think
- Orc arrers are pretty useless as missile troops, I´ll use
them as bow wielding boyz in the future
-  I sould have contested the center with my best troops,
it takes a way too much time to march from the flanks
to get to where the action is
- Don´t expect your orcs to manouver like elves



lauantai 8. heinäkuuta 2017

Troll trio and lottery draw

I´ve reached my goal. I have 1043 points of rank file orcs & goblins done which means I can now field 2000 points of green skins. Some of the boyz will need some highlighting in the future but they are in a playable state now and I´m fine with that. As I´m leaving for my son´s finnish baseball summer camp tomorrow I won´t be able to paint anything before the games I´ve agreed to have with a couple of my friends.

Here are the three trolls that eventually took me over that 1000 point treshold. I went with green skins and brown leathery clothes for everyone as I dared not to experiment as my deadline was pressing on.

The one on the left is a Marauder MM40/1. His weapon hand has been slightly repositioned be his previous owner. I liked the more dynamic pose and left it as it was. In the middle is a classic C20 trolls Shakined Bone Bender. Big ears, lots of nice details. Really like that one.

The troll furthest to the right is an unreleased Marauder troll again with a repositioned arm. As with the MM40/1 I felt that the change was for better a left it be. He has a lot of warts, perhaps a bit too many for my taste. And I´m not sure what to think about the snot coming from his nose.

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A couple of weeks ago I promised a lottery draw between my readers when I hit 20 000 views. I finally got that lottery done and the lucky winner is: Tim Edwards. Tim - please sound. You will receive a suprise Oldhammer package in near future.

maanantai 3. heinäkuuta 2017

Hell on two wheels

Well - not exactly. Just a goblin wolf chariot I finished a few days ago. I´ve been very busy painting my O&G army as we are playing in two weeks and want to get everything needed ready. I´ll be GM:ing a three palyer scenario with orcs, dwarfs and goblins and we´ll have at least one pitched battle with 2000 point armies. That will be skaven vs. O&G so we are expecting to see a lot of running away and all sorts of cowardise. And if we have time I´m hoping to face the dwarfs too.





The chariot completed is a MD9 Goblin war chariot. The original paint job is pretty flamboyant and in my opinion too neat for goblins so I took another approach to subject. I tried to get it look like old dry wood that has been out for long and discolored. For some reason I had a viking ship in my mind. Perhaps it was the idol on the joke what caused that image.

The model I have was missing one of the wheel scythes so I replaced both wheels with plastic ones from a 90´s high elf chariot and made new blades from plastic goblin spear points. I didn´t like the shaman crew gobbo and used an arrer instead. The standard pole was left out mainly because I suck at painting banners.

The wheel on this side is listing a bit as it was fixed with some green stuff and I wasn´t careful enough with securing it´s position when drying. After all I´m not too sad about it. It´s gobbos - their equipment should look like it´s been put together by a five-year-old.

Finally a top view as I wanted to show you the river sections used in these pictures. Those are from Oakbound studios and are designed by Fimm McCool. Very good quality pieces of scenery.

Now I just need to finish one troll and that will take my O&G rank & file point value well above 1000 points. Four days to do that - I think I can make it.






maanantai 19. kesäkuuta 2017

Where is he now - Dwarf Mountaineer

Was it the climate change that melted the glaciers connecting the dwarf keeps and therefore making the ski troops obsolete? Or did the yodlers just blow themselves up with those blunderbusses of theirs? Perhaps we´ll never know...

The dwarf mountaineers appeared in WD116 where there was both rules and a new mini for them. Here´s the rule page:


Being scouts the mountaineer act in every sense as skirmishers except that they can charge normal troops and they don´t have to run away if charged by such (WFB rules page 101). Their points value is pretty low as normally scouts cost you additinal 5 points. "Correct" value for a blunderbuss armed dwarf should be 15 (dwarf 8 + scout 5 + blunderbuss 2).

A blunderbuss is a pretty rarely seen weapon in WFB. It has a range of 16" and it hits with S3 and -2 armor modifier on 0-8" range. For 8-16" range the strengh is reduced to S1 and no armor modifier. One of the mountaineer´s special rules is that the blunderbusses can be fired when doing a downhill charge or ski charge as it is called. With the blunderbuss´ tendency to misfire on to-hit-roll of 1 this can lead to pretty hilarious situations. Imagine exploding dwarves speeding down a hill side - yodeling as they come!

The rule about using a blunderbuss in ski charge lacks the explanation on how the casualties caused by shooting are handled. I would use the throwing spear rule as a basis so that the wounds caused would count directly towards close combat result. The other option could be to count them seperately which could lead into the unit that is shot at breaking before melee. Use a GM or agree before playing how to deal with this.
The ski charge is a nice special rule that lets your mountaineer charge triple their movement rate when going downhill. To help one to able to do that charge a player employing mountaineer can place one hill on his side of the table. That can give one a tactical advantage as you could place your heavy artillery and missile troops on that hill too. Perhaps the best way to use mountaineers is as artillery guards. Make use of the hill you get to place and blast away with everything you got. And if the enemy gets close engage him with your mountaineer.

On normal movement mountaineers can do double their movement rate if doing down a slope. Good skiing skills mean that they do not suffer penalties on going down a steep hill. They can also negate movement penalties for moving in a forest on a downhill slope.

Muontaineers can have a special magic instrument in the form of Yodel of Doom. The yodel puts the mointaineers in the state of battle lust that gives them a +1 to hit rolls on first round of close combat and on all following turns if they are not pushed back. Yodel is a must for mountaineers!

Dwarf mountaineer diorama from WD.

The original model is pretty sought after and you propably won´t get one for cheap. The only examply on ebay when this was written had a price tag of 84€ on him. And with minimum size of unit is five you´ll be paying A LOT to complete one.

Luckily Ral Partha produces a good alternative model in the form of DW020 Ullr the Intrepid. His weapon is not exatly a blunderbuss by the looks of it rather than a short musket or something like that. But as this mini costs only a friction of what the original mountaineer model does I think most of us can live with the not-trumpet-like barrel. Or can make one with some green stuff.

And this kickstarter should be a must for all mountaineer fans. A full unit of skiing dwarfs with real blundersbusses, a banner and all. Looks very promising!

A wonderful dwarf mointaineer from Billy Bunter´s Collection.

What I would like to see is a painted unit of mountaineers. I wonder if any of my readers has one? Or even better - a battle report including these alpine dwarfs.

If you want another view on the mountaineers Orlygg has written about them in his Realm of Chaos 80´s blog.