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.

tiistai 6. kesäkuuta 2017

Where is he now - the Forstjaeger

Among the lost troop types of 3rd edition WFB is the forester. The forester made it´s only appearence in the form of Empire Forstjaeger in the WFB: Armies.

Throwing spear as a weapon option is an interesting one. I have never used them myself so I can´t speak out of experince. A throwing spear has the range of only 4" and it strikes with the same strenght as the thrower. What is interesting is that if may be thrown when entering close combat both when charging or receiving a charge. This supersedes the normal stand and shoot rule. What is nice is that casualties inflicted this way are counted into close combat resolution. What is not that nice is the fact that to-hit-rolls for thrown spear used in this manner are done with -2 modifier. So you are rolling for 6´s to hit. Or worse. Being pretty heavy the throwing spear give a -1 armor save modifier. All that means is that for 1 point you get an extra S3 attack that hits on 6 or worse for the first round of combat. Not very effective in my opinion.

Any Forstjaeger unit may skirmish and for mobility that could be a good idea.

With maximum amount of 30 models and with minimum unit size of 5 you can field quite a many forstjaeger units if you wanted to. On a very forested battle field you could make pretty good use of them fielding small groups that set up traps and that way disencourage the enemy from using woods.

A C07 Ranger - John the trapper as seen on Oldenhammer in Toronto.
A perfect example of a forstjaeger.

So this is what makes foresters special. Foresters are the only troop type that is able to set up traps. If a unit of foresters stay still for a turn in woods they can set up traps that cause S4 hits to any model that moves within that wood on a D6 roll of 6. As there is no armor saving throw vs. wounds caused by traps they have the ability to do some damage. But are they worth staying put for a turn? Perhaps if you want to deny the enemy of the use of a forested area.

Once again the rules are somewhat unclear about setting traps. They do not tell you how big a forest can be trapped in one turn. There could be a very large wooded area in which the foresters are. Can they set up traps to whole of that area? Or should there be some kind of area template of something? Certainly some GMing is required for fair use.

Being skilled survivalists and expert woodsmen they can move through forests without penalty to movement. Reserve move however can´t be made within a wood.

All in all the foresters are an interesting troop type full of character. And Forstjaegers fit the empire army list nicely knowing the wast forests of that realm.

Sadly the foresters were discarded in the sleeklining known as 4th edition WFB and never returned. And to my knowledge traps too have not been seen since it the WFB world. Can someone confirm this? The Empire did have huntsmen unit in the 6th edition army book with new scouting rules and that unit stayed with WFB to 8th edition. Perhaps a slight nod into forstjaeger direction?

So in a nutshell for 4th edition the foresters were sucked into normal archer units but from 6th edition onwards they were renamed huntsmen, became scouts and lost the trap setting skill.

Perhaps the best line of classic Citadel models for forstjaegers would be C07 Rangers. Many many models there that represent survivalists, woodsmen, hunters etc. perfectly. In my opinion there are some models you could use from F2 and F4 series of fighters and men at arms as forstjaegers. Or you could pick some individuals from Marauder MM62 citizens.

An another from Oldenhammer in Toronto. Be sure to
visit that site if planning on getting a unit of forstjaegers -
so much inspirational stuff there.

A sort of edition 3.5 solution is to use Perry sculpted Empire archers that were presented in WD147 and in the green catalogue of 1992. These models are listed as archers but actually bear a marking of forstjaeger or bergjaeger in their slotta tab. This goes in line with the forstjaegers getting demoted to archers with the coming of 4th edition.

 Forstjaegers and bergjaegers by LM

There are a few examples around the internet of people building units of forstjaeger (here, here and here) but very few painted models actually. Please let me know if you have or find some.


This blog actually hit the 20 000 views mark a couple of weeks ago but the lottery I promised has not been done yet. I´ll try to get something painted and do the winner draw when posting about whatever gets painted next.

torstai 1. kesäkuuta 2017

Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB: The Oddities and random loose ends

This is the final part of ´Animal handlers in 3rd ed. WFB´ -series of articles. Please click here to find the other arcticles.

In this one I´ve tried to bring forward the more esoteric stuff that really don´t fit under the other part of this series. 


We met this guy earlier in the dark elf part of this series. He is a really odd one as the chaos dwarves of 3rd edition WFB exist only as part of chaos ally contingent or as part of a Khornate army. And there is no chaos dwarf beast master unit to take in either of those.

A chaos dwarf handler with four chaos hounds by LM.

If you have the model and wanted to use it in your chaos army I would just change the profile line on the chaos animal hadler to match that of a chaos dwarf and adjust the points value accordingly.

I´ve been trying to find a full 3rd edition chaos dwarf army list - fan made or something but with no luck.Sound out if you know of one.

Me and LM discussed the chaos dwarf handler model a bit just the other day whem LM had sent me these pictures. He pointed out that there is a certain resemblance in him to the 90´s big hat CD´s. And I have to agree - the face is just the same. Only the hat and beard have grown. Conclusion was that as the big hats are Perry sculpts this guy has to be too.


Sea elf handlers and their... um... creatures. From
this facebook posting by Richard Irvine.

I usually link my postings to Oldhammer community group on facebook to give them added visibility. One article from this series raised some discussion and the picture above was posted to that discussion thread by Richard Irvine.

Sea elves are mentioned both in the 3rd edition rulebook and WFB: Armies. There is no official army list for sea elves but they are well present (or actually included) in the high elf list in WFB: Armies. High elves don´t have animal handlers in their army list but in true Oldhammer spirit I would see no harm done if someone used them.

But what pack animals for sea elves? As per rules the sea elves can swim. Therefore I would be tempted to look for such creatures that can both swim and move on dry land. A giant crab perhaps? Let´s see what the bestiary can offer us.

A giant leech can swim and move on land but can only survive in tropical conditions and is in every way very unelfy thing. For being unelfy I would not use a giant leech.

A giant frog is an amphibian and a lot more suitable to elven style than a leech. But for some reason it can´t swim as per rulebook. A funny things is that a swarm of frogs can move through water, bogs, swamps etc. with no difficulty. Frogs generally don´t live in salt water but require fresh water instead. For reason mentioned before - no giant frogs for sea elves.

Giant snails live in the forests of Bretonnia. In the real world there are sea snails that live in saltwater and can grow pretty big. A giant snail presented in the bestiary is a pretty worthless piece on a battle field with it´s M2. But they are cheapish and a have a slime attack that will put any enemy not killed by it out of action for D3 turns. Perhaps giant sea snails could be used to tie down a valuable enemy unit in some situation. A giant sea snail could be seen as somewhat seaelfy.

There is no giant crab in WFB 3rd ed. bestiary. If you wanted to create one for your sea elf animal handler I would suggest using a giant scorpion profile as a starting point. Poisoned attack would have to removed and no-negative-bonus for terrain changed to water movement. In my opinion crabs are even better armoured than scorpions so I would perhaps give them a basic saving throw of 3+ to compensate for losing the poisoned attack. Points value would stay the same.

Snakes exist in WFB 3rd edition only in the form of a serpent swarm. A serpent swarm can cross narrow bodies of water and in real world snakes are usually pretty good swimmers. And there are sea snakes too. As we are talking about a fantasy setting I could imagine a giant sea snake that can act on dry land too. One could use a 1st ed WFRP stat line for a giant snake as a starting point to creating one for WFB.

Another creature that could be used and even has a model produced is the dragon turtle. Appearing in the Tragedy of McDeath campaing for 2nd edition WFB a dragon turtle is a powerfull creature. Perhaps a bit too powerfull to be a beast pack animal. Realm of Chaos 80´s blog has nice pictures of a painted one.

You could of course create what ever you wanted with guidelines given in the rulebook. Sea mammals could be interesting to make. Imagine a group of walruses or sea lions!


From the Collecting  Citadel miniatures -site:
"In the mid-1980s, Citadel Miniatures held the license to produce figures based on fantasy author Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series of novels. These figures were nominally produced for use with the STORMBRINGER! fantasy roleplaying game. When Citadel lost the Eternal Champion license, many of the Melnibonean figures were recycled into the Citadel High Elf range and some of the Pan Tangians briefly appeared as part of the Citadel Chaos line. A few of the Melnibonean Personalities figures were recycled into the Empire line."

Part of that Eternal Champion series was this Pan-Tangian Tyger Handlers set we´ve already seen with the Slann. 

In Chaosiums 1991 adventure pack "Sorcerers of Pang Tang" the Pan Tangians are described as being: "...a foul people, of unbridled cruelty and misogynism".

In the city of Hwamgaarl there is a "University of lucid perversity". A name that suggest strong Slaaneshi influence on teaching. Or how about "The Gallery of the Quivering Flesh". How Slaanesh does that sound?

Later on under the headline of people and culture it is clearly told that: "The Pan Tangians have embraced Chaos as the means of their success".

Interesting thing is that there are demonic powers listed in the adventure pack and those power resemble a lot certain chaos attributes.

What is really suprising is that a tiger is described in the encounter tables to be the holy animal on Pan Tang that goes where ever it wants and does what ever it wants. We are told that if a tiger enters a city and eats someone there will be no one to prevent that. So having a handler with a whip and leash to lead a Pan Tangian tiger sounds like something that´s pretty much against that goes-and-does-what-ever-he-want tiger, doesn´t it.

But then the tiger handlers are found in the Pan Tang Digest part of the book. There we learn that the handlers are usually encountered alone. If they are in a band they should have a number of tigers with them. And they should be eager for a fight. As by the book the handlers wear light clothes and move bare footed. The models produced don´t match with this that well.

Under the creatures part the tigers are described as huge orange felines with black stripes. They are never encountered in packs but that propably counts only for wild tigers. Being sacred animals has taught them not to fear humans.

TheOttoVonBismark´s colorful sabre-toothed tigers.
So how to use Pan Tangians in WFB 3rd edition? Perhaps just the way Goblin Lee is doing. He is building a chaos army using Citadel´s Pan Tang line of models. Lee seems to planning a seaborne paint theme for his army. Don´t know how Slaaneshi colors would sit on those models but University of Lucid Perversity and The Gallery of the Quivering Flesh would just sort of push me that way.


But is there a better way to end this article and at the same time this series of articles than with some heavy metal. At least the name of both the band and the song go with the theme. Here is Tygers of Pan Tang: Hellbound