Tag Archives: Games Workshop

Holiday in Orkrania (Oldhammer Fiction) Part 3 – Grim Bearit

A fairly short section here to follow on to Part 1 and Part 2 of Holiday in Orkrania. Introduces a key character though – the wyvern riding Orc chief Grim Bearit.

 

Grundyr pawed the mountain crag uneasily. Grim pulled back the iron chain that acted a rein and halter for the great wyvern and grunted. “Enough. Stay will ya.

The wyvern sighed moodily—two jets of exhaled breath condensed like smoke in the air in front of it, but it stopped moving.

“That’s my girl,” said Grim, punching the beast affectionately on the neck. He sat up in the saddle and peered down into the valley. Through a break in the clouds he could see the green valley below. The stunties, longshanks and midgets called it Nstaad. Grim chuckled to himself. Soon he would give it a new name: Slaughterhouse!

Not for nothing had he assembled the largest tribe of orcs to come out of the Orkranian mountains in a generation. He knew what was down there and so did his boyz. Most of them were from the granites of course like himself—only weedy cowards still dwelt in Orkrania—too scared and snivelling to show their faces above ground. But the granites were overcrowed—no good loot or tasty man-flesh to eat their—it was an orc eat orc existence alright—hard as—and his teeth and gums weren’t getting any younger. He’d seen the writing on the wall last year (not that he could read or write though) and brought a hundred like minded orcs from his tribe with him—to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere. Those opportunities were made more urgent when the Broken Hand tribe had turned in on itself in a bitter fight for leadership. Grim knew he was best off out of that—well he had lost as well and would have been killed if he hadn’t fled with the core of his own bodyguard and those others loyal and foolish enough to back him against his brother—Snaarit.

It looked very green in the valley of Nstaad, but Grim knew there was gold down there as well—that’s what the stunties had been spending the last year digging up. Some of the boyz had said let’s get it now—break into their mines, but Grim knew better. Why fight over a few nuggets when the stunties would do them the favour of gathering it all together for them in one place, and then they could go down and take it all for themselves.

One of the little gobboes had sneaked in—done some recce work. The news he brought back was all good—the place where they kept the gold wad almost unguarded—just a few stunties in tents outside and old stunty who was probably the one in charge—the gobbo had seen him with a large key round his neck a few times—Grim would need that key. Then there was the old inn—it had walls, so could be defended, but there was not much to worry about there—it was run by a few fat halflings—they’d be easy pickings.

Grim grinned. He’d be feeding on fat halfling roast and drinking their ale by nightfall. He couldn’t wait.

Picker Pete Lightfinger – C04 Thief Painted

Picker Pete Lightfinger - FrontOne of my ambitions is to collect again some of the miniatures I owned as a kid when I played Warhammer – nearly 30 years ago in the mid to late 80s. I’m not sure if this is one of them or not – but I certainly had a number of the Townspeople and other general human types. Picker Pete Lightfinger - Side

This is from the C04 Thieves range and according to Stuff of Legends his name is Picker Pete Lightfinger – see below for the original catalogue image from the 1986 Citadel journal – and he was designed by the Perry twins.

C04 Thieves - 1986

For paints I used the new Citadel range as follows:

Hat

Base: Mephiston Red
Shade: Carroburg Crimson
Layer 1: Evil Sunz Scarlet
Layer 2: Wilder Rider Red

Coat

Base: Macragge Blue
Shade: Drakenhoff Nightshade
Layer 1: Altdorf Guard Blue
Layer 2: Calgar Blue

Trousers

Base: Waargh! Flesh
Shade: Athonian Camoshade
Layer 1: Loren Forest
Layer 2: Straken Green

Skin

Base: Bugman’s Glow
Shade: Reikland Fleshade
Layer: Kislev Flesh
Eyes: White and black

Hair

Base: Balor Brown
Shade: Agrax Earthshade
Layer: Flash Gitz Yellow

Shoes and Gloves

Base: Rhinox Hide
Layer: Mournfang Brown

Shirt

Base: Rakarth Flesh
Shade: Reikland Fleshade
Layer: Pallid Wych Flesh

Fur Sleeves

Base: Stormvermin Fur
Shade: Nuln Oil
Layer 1: Codex Grey (aka Dawnstone)
Layer 2: Administratum Grey

Gold Cup

Base: Balthasar Gold
Shade: Agrax Earthshade
Layer: Gethenna’s Gold

Bag

Base: Rhinox
Shade: Agrax Earthshade
Layer: Gorthor Brown

Sword

Base: Leadbelcher
Shade: Nuln Oil
Layer: Chainmail (aka Ironbreaker)

Belt & Scabbard

Base: XV-88
Shade: Agrax Earthshade
Layer: Tau Light Ochre

Base

Stirland Mud with a drybrush of Terminatus Stone
Grass tuft Gamer’s Grass – Light Green

Finished with varnish of Ardcoat and then matt of Lahmium Medium

Eowyn Miniature Painted

So another miniature from Hobbit Strategy Battle Game that I painted fairly recently – this time Eowyn. She is also doubling as an Elven magic user from the D&D game I play with my son and at his request her dress is white to tie in with the D&D character – otherwise I tend to be a bit boring and try to copy whatever I see in the official Hobbit or LOTR rule books!

Eowyn - white dress front
Eowyn – white dress front

I tried proper layering for this one – so the white dress starts off with a brown base and then gets built up – up close in the photos you can see the nuts and bolts of this quite clearly but from more of a distance this looks better I think.

Eowyn white dress back
Eowyn white dress back

Boromir Miniature Painted

I have started getting back into miniature games over the last couple of years – inparticular old Warhammer stuff (now known as Oldhammer for Grognards like me!) and Hobbit or Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, which is a skirmish level miniatures game also by Games Workshop. I’ve had some great fun playing that game with my son and also doing a bit of painting. Here’s a recent figure that I’m quite proud of: Boromir! 

Boromir miniature painted by Mark Lord
Boromir miniature painted by Mark Lord

I think I probably need to work on the photography a bit – this is just using some card a smartphone and some lamps – but hopefully you can see it ok!

Total War Warhammer First Impressions and My Greenskins Campaign Video

So I started playing Total War Warhammer last night and also a bit this morning before work – just a couple of hours so far, but here are my first impressions:

  • It’s a bit simpler than other Total War games – which is no bad thing – the interface has less clutter and units for example have fewer special powers, which makes battle management easier.
  • There’s no prologue campaign to wade through – which again is good – you just go and decide which faction you want and get going – although the advisor tips are quite heavy to start with.
  • It’s genuinely fun and I wanted to keep playing. I think partly because there’s no concerns over historical accuracy, the silly stuff like battlefield artillery feels right, whereas in other games like Rome it seems out of place and contrived.
  • The Warhammer world isn’t quite the one I knew and loved from Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition – some of the humour has gone and been dumbed down into things like shouting Waarggh! a lot. The orc animations look a bit daft to me, but that’s down to the direction Games Workshop went with figure design. But I think Creative Assembly seem to have faithfully recreated Warhammer as it was before Age of Sigmar.
  • The factions are quite few – again this is good – with a game like Rome II I just feel overwhelmed – I’d like to play all the factions, but I feel I never will and anyway how different are they. But with this playing a campaign with each faction seems manageable and they also feel quite different too.
  • Battles work quite well and basic tactics work better than other Total War games did before getting lots of patches. They seem to have got things right from the start this time round.
  • I found some of the graphics disappointing – I think it’s the underground battles actually that look  a bit rubbish. Overground it all looks a lot better.

Here’s a screen capture video of me opening the game – it shows the opening video and the start of the Greenskins campaign.

Top 5 Reasons Why I’m Excited about Total War: Warhammer

As you might know if you interested in strategy PC games, Total War: Warhammer is just around the corner – due for release next Tuesday! I’ve already pre-ordered and can’t why to play.  Here’s my top 5 reasons to be excited about the new game.

  1. Bloodbath at Orc's DriftFirstly it’s because I’m an old git (relatively speaking) and remember playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles when it first came back in the early eighties. Spent many a happy hour with school friends playing McDeath and The Ziggurat of Doom, not to mention the epic Bloodbath at Orc’s Drift – which I’m sure included a badge saying “I bathed in blood at Orc’s Drift.”
  2. I stopped playing though when I left school at started University – a couple of games while at Uni, but that was it – I finished with Warhammer on it’s 3rd edition. So it’s fascinating to go back to the game and see how it’s developed.
  3. I also love Total War games – again getting into them right at the start with the first Shogun game. Somehow I still think that was the best – battlefield tactics somehow just worked better – a bit less real time rushing around perhaps? I’ve been looking for a Total War Warhammer game for ages. There’s some mods but an official game is where it’s at.
  4. Totalwar dogfightThere’s some great new features for the game that will make it unique for Total War games – flying stuff and magic. I can’t wait to play with those things. Also the idea of Orc and Dwarf nations that don’t follow the standard nation building rout of these games will also be fascinating to play. I think I might start with the Orcs!
  5. Perhaps if Creative Assembly pull off this game, they’ll get the change to do Lord of the Rings Total War – or Game of Thrones. A strategy game for either of those licenses would be awesome!

Here’s a trailer that hope will get you excited as well!

New Game that I’m in to: Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game

Recently my 8 year old son and I visited our local Games Workshop – he was really excited to see that they had Hobbit and Lord of the Rings miniatures – being an avid collector of Lego for both these films. So we’re mulling over getting into the game! I used to play Warhammer when I was a teenager, so know a bit about gaming with miniatures and painting them up. Before we take the plunge and get a whole set of figures – we’re thinking about the Hobbit Escape from Goblin Town starter set – I ordered 3 dwarfs just to practice painting. I did the undercoat and then my son did the dry-brushing beards, armour effects and the blue tunic bits and the boots – I worked on the more detailed bits like flesh tones and helped tidy things up a bit. They’re not the best painted miniatures ever, but I think they turned out all right!

Onto the game itself, Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game is a bit like Warhammer but more skirmish orientated – I managed to find a copy of the rules at my local library and we’ve had a couple of games using my son’s Lego figures – we found the rules simple to pick up but also with enough nuances to make it interesting – I think we might be getting that starter set soon!

Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett: Book Review

Ghostmaker by Dan AbnettGhostmaker by Dan Abnett is the first Warhammer or Warhammer 40k tie-in novel that I have read.

When I was a teenager I was an enthusiastic player of Warhammer and to a lesser extent Warty Thou as we we called Warhammer 40K. The Black Library books have now become a publishing force in their own right that is just part of the massive Warhammer franchise. It really is impressive to see what the Games Workshop guys have done over the last 20 or so years. I do still yearn for those youthful days when White Dwarf was a bit more accessible and not just a Games Workshop mag – you could have all sorts of articles in there once upon a time, as long as they were RPG related.

Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett follows the fortunes of Gaunt’s Ghosts or the Tanith First and Only regiment that he commands. The book takes us from their unfortunate formation (there were supposed to be three regiments, but when Gaunt gave the order to abandon their home planet, most of the troops were lost), through a number of battle encounters with the forces of Chaos. Chaos seems to be the main enemy nowadays, although I do remember Space Orks used to play quite a big role, but perhaps not now?

The plot is fairly episodic with each chapter based on a separate engagement, but there are threads running through it – for instance the resentment felt by one of the characters, Major Rawne, towards the hard-faced Gaunt, who he hates for letting Tanith be destroyed. But I do get the impression that the book works almost like a comic strip (where Abnett) has his routes, with each chapter forming almost a separate story. I have also read that the book is made up of a collection of short stories from Inferno! magazine, which would explain things.

Between each chapter the story swings back to the planet Monthax where the Tanith First and Only are currently based, each of these interludes serves to introduce the next story in effect. However, we do eventually end up with the last fifth of the book telling us what happened to the regiment on Monthax. It’s quite a good ending to the book – a good way to bring some of the characters together.

The book is perhaps a bit too geared towards war and battles for my liking – it can be unrelenting, and sometimes this just becomes a bit of a blur as you read – one section could be much like another. However, it is well written, gritty and page-turning stuff. I can see myself trying one or two more of these books. Especially if they are less episodic than this one.

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