Hobby Update – Grudge Thrower

I’ve been very quiet on the hobby front of late, that isn’t to say that I haven’t been beavering away but my output has been more about gaming and writing up reports than painting.

Although my painting has been limited I have managed to finish assembling and priming around 2,500pts of Lizardmen, so i’ve not been totally idle!

Determined not to let another month go by without finishing a model, I did knuckle down and finish off the last of my unpainted, static, dwarven warmachines.

This was in the form of the Grudge Thrower (or Catapult to you and I). I once again painted the crew in matching colours, but different to the crew of the other warmachines (the idea is each crew are easily recognisable to the general based on clothing colour). The grudge thrower itself was a finecast model and is slightly warped. Based on this, I can understand the distaste that many have for GW’s range in this material.


Using the Grudge Thrower in game

This is often thought of as one of the holy trinity of dwarf warmachines that you should always take (the other 2 being the cannon and organ gun). I will say it’s rare I field it, if only because it has up until now, not been painted! I also don’t like loading up too much with warmachines as gunlines are boring to play against!

That said it is probably the most versatile of the machines. The ability to both cause a Strength 9 hit with D6 wounds at the centre of the template and Strength 3 on everything else even partially under the template. As an added bonus you can even try and hit things that are hidden from view (though it always scatters in this situation).

Where dwarf warmachines excel is their ability to buff themselves with runes and this one is no exception. The 3 which are highly recommended are the:

  • Runes of Forging – allows you to re-roll the artillery dice (to prevent misfires or change the scatter distance) – 25pts
  • Rune of Accuracy – allows you to re-roll the scatter dice (to boost the chance of a direct hit) – 25pts
  • Rune of Penetrating – Increases the strength of the hits by +1 – 40pts

Out of the 3, the +1 strength is the auto take for me. S10 on the central hole is good but it’s the S4 on the other hits that is the money shot. It allows you to devastate toughness 3 elves and the like and give a 50% shot of killing most other higher toughness infantry.

Forging and then Accuracy are useful and if you have the points take them as they really make the catapult deadlier but the misfire chart for non black powder weapons is fairly forgiving so you can chance not taking forging if you want to save points.

The above aren’t the only runes available, you can give it flaming attacks to deal with regenerating critters, though it’s more common to give that to cannons.

One trick is to place the grudge thrower far on a flank and stick a rune of immolation on it. It’s range means it can still hit most things and due to the threat, an opponent must divert something to neutralise it. If it is destroyed (or at a moment of your choosing), you can cause it to explode, inflicting 2D6 strength 4 hits on anything in base contact. That is funny but is a waste of the warmachine. If doing this, I like to combine it with a small unit of 10 Quarrellers or Thunderers as a guard. These shooters will easily tackle the normal light cavalry sent to take out the warmachine and will mean your opponent will have to divert something more substantial. If they do this then they are not concentrating on your main battle line which is never a bad thing.


Hobby Update – The missing Wildriders

As I realised in my last post, I completely forgot to post any pictures of my wildriders. These were actually finished over the xmas period and the only thing that have been changed since is i’ve added some woodland flowers to the bases. (At the time I hadn’t been able to find these as they had been put in ‘a safe place’ – or temporarily lost – during the house move).

The colours echo the rest of the army in order that it retained that coherent feel. The only thing different was the hair. I quite like the contrast it gives.

The stags were painted in the same way as the great stag previously painted, using red washes to give it a red deer tone (as they are local to where I grew up).

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noted that there is a variation in the colour of the leggings (or whatever the correct clothing term is) between some of them. I actually painted them in two batches and didn’t realise I’d gone with different colours. I’d say that i’ll go back and repaint them but with all the unpainted bits in boxes, it won’t be for some time.


As a unit in 8th edition, these guys are a brutal, glass hammer. The abilities are only amplified by their plethora of special rules.

They have a base move of 9 with the fast cavalry rule. So they are as fast as you can be in the game without being a flyer and can vanguard 12″ before the first turn to really threaten. They also get forest stalker, so ignore dangerous terrain checks when in woods and also gain the wood elf bonuses when fighting in woods: fight in extra ranks (meh for these guys, which i’ll cover later) and the ability to re-roll ‘to wound’ rolls of 1 (rider only). It is very easy to forget that these bonuses apply to them, as it’s rare that cav of any other army will go near woods (and you almost have it hard wired into you to avoid them!)

The rider has elite WS 5 and 1 strength 4, Initiative 5 attack. They also have frenzy which adds an extra attack and with the normal armour piercing wood elf spear and the devastating charge rule, they gain a further attack and +1 to their strength when charging (so 3 Str 5 attacks each with enemies taking a -3 to their save). Having the elven Always Strikes First (ASF) rule, means they are normally re-rolling any failed hits too.

They have a 5+ armour (that can be increased to 4+ if you buy shields) and have an inbuilt 6++ ward save. They also cause fear. It doesn’t normally do much in this edition but against a low leadership foe, if they do fail a fear check, they will be reduce to WS1 and likely won’t be hitting back easily, which is nice.

The stags are no slouches and aren’t just there to look pretty. They give an extra WS3 Str4 attack at initiative 4. It is generally accepted that the stags benefit from frenzy, so they also gain an extra attack, but it should be mentioned that some ‘rules lawyers’ argue that in the rule book, Frenzy applies to a model so it should be just one extra attack per model (that could come from either the elf or the mount) not from each of them.

The downsides of the unit are: because of frenzy, although they are immune to panic, fear and terror, they cannot flee if charged, they just have to sit there and take it when that happens. That’s normally a problem, like most cav, you really want these guys to be doing the charging to make the most of their increased strength and attacks.

It terms of using them, units of 6 or 7 in a single frontage makes the best use of them. I prefer this to a unit of 10 or so, as that way you make the most of their attacks as supporting ranks only allow the rider to make a single attack. Any additional attacks are wasted (including from the mount). That said, having a unit of 8-10 with an embedded character on a great stag, makes a superb centre piece unit and the additional bodies allows them to absorb fire and retain combat effectiveness.

I’ve used them both ways and i’m currently preferring to field a couple of units, as that way if one is shot to pieces, you still have one left to threaten with and they do act as great deterrents, you can place them to threaten areas of the board and then finish off any loiterers with missile fire.


Hobby update – Wood Elves (and a bit of blood bowl)

It’s come to that time of the year when the competitions I’m most interested in, at the club, have kicked off.

Namely the Warhammer fantasy 8th (which I’m running) and the second Blood Bowl season.

As there are bonus points on offer for fully painted armies, my wood elf painting continues and I managed to finish off my Glade Captain on Great Eagle.

I feel like I’m slacking a bit recently as I’ve completely failed to create any fluff as yet for him. He doesn’t even have a name! (A sure sign that he is destined to become cannon fodder!!!)

The model itself is finecast and I am slowly coming to understand why so many people really dislike the stuff. I now own a number of models in it and by and large the moulds are ok. Even with my limited range of them there are a number that are slightly warped or have casting, let’s call them, inconsistencies. My main issue with them however is I don’t particularly like to paint them. The surface feels different to metal, plastic and other resin (yes that is listed in my order of preference).

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. The model itself was painted in the same scheme as the rest of the army. Yep green and fuchsia. To distinguish the great eagle from its smaller Warhawk brethren, it received a double black banding on its wings. I also tried to paint the leaves on it to resemble ivy and I’m quite happy with the effect.

Blood Bowl Kick off

The second season of Blood Bowl has now started and due to the delay of a Kickstarter (I’m not impressed with Willy miniatures at present. A delay I expect but it’s the poor comms that is inexcusable), combined with moving house, meant that I was totally unprepared and so ended up entering my Norse team again.

The commissioners had decided that last years teams wouldn’t carry over from the previous season, so it was the same faces but no skills in attendance. I once again decided to go against the grain and forgo rerolls in favour of big guys! I also took a thrower, something that most Norse teams don’t (at least in the starting lineup). I also favoured a healer over a 12th player. The team chosen was:

Gronn Fjord Raiders (GFR)

Uday Ragekill (Yhetee) – 140k

Erik Longhorn (Berserker) – 90k

Flokki the Swift (Runner) – 90k

Bjorn Grimurson (Thrower) – 70k

Beorg Two Skins (Ulfwerner) – 110k

Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) – 110k

5 linemen – 250k

Apothecary – 50k

Fan Factor 1 – 10k

1 Reroll – 60k

Total – 980k

First Game – GFR vs The Stirling Strikers

Having failed to play all my league games last season and recognising that my club time is limited, I decided to try something different this year. I’m going to leave off playing any friendlies until after I’ve played my club games! I may be shooting myself in the foot but in this vein I lined up my first game vs Si and his Humans.

I won’t profess to being a top player but I’m far from being a newbie. Si was quite new to the game so I made sure to point out any really bad decisions and let him backtrack on a few occasions.

I won’t go into too much detail of the game but it ended up a 3-0 victory to me.

A couple of highlights (or lowlights perhaps) included:

My team were on the end of a complete ‘shoeing’. Seriously, I’m used to beating 10 shades of shit out of other teams and having 6 of my team in the injuries box (only badly hurt thankfully) was a complete turn around.

Si completely surprised me by laying in the boot a fair bit, even when he was seriously down on players (although the sending off curbed his enthusiasm to do it πŸ˜‚). Such blatant disregard for the rules and underhanded tactics are to be applauded and were the source of much amusement and consternation. With only armour 7 it was a great tactic to use against my team!

At the start of his second half kickoff, I did my usual heavy flank tactic, looking to steamroller down one side. He then rolled a perfect defence and moved all his players to the other side, out of the ‘danger zone’ and looked to turn the tables as he swept up the field to crush my ball carrier. This turn around quickly reversed again as he proceeded to kick the ball out of touch (even with the kick skill), allowing one of my Ulfwerner to run in a quick two turn touchdown. It just shows how things can change in a game and is one of the reasons I enjoy B.B. so much!

Hobby update – Wood elves and Bretonnians

With my move (hopefully) happening soon, I’ve been trying to clear my painting board beforehand. The last two pieces on it? I’m pleased to say I’ve finished (more or less).

The first is my wood elf bsb. I attempted some thing new for him, a bit of freehand on the banner. It was meant to be a tree but frankly the trunk ended up a bit botched. Still it’s a first for me and I’m going to try and replicate it (and improve it) on the back of the banner.

The second item was something that has sat unfinished for a good number of months. Mainly as I wasn’t sure how to do the detail I wanted. In the end I bought a black fine line pen to mark out the pattern and once that was done I filled it in with paint, though after reorganising my paints I initially did it in Caliban green and had to go over it in black. The bad thing was I didn’t even realise I was painting green not black at the time!

To break up the yellow, I then attempted my seconded bit of freehand in as many models and did the stripping round the lance. Not perfect in any sense but still I’m not disappointed in it.

I just need to remember where I’ve put the shields.

Hobby Update – Wood Elves

I’m starting to get the hang of Azael’s challenges now. Randomly half paint a bucket load of things, wait for the next challenge and then finish them off in the first few days of the month!

Ok that’s not quite what happened here but happily enough I finished off a squad of models tonight, that I’d been working on, in preparation for our next competition.

The Kurnoth Hunters are by far my favourite model to have been released since AOS came out. I heard a story that the design had actually be done towards the end of 8th edition/during end of times but the decision had been made or to release it at that point. I’m not sure of the truth of that but either way they are sweet models and I am more than happy to field them as Treekin. They will be joining my two old Marauder treemen and original Durthu model to form a 6 strong unit.

I will have to credit Turkaldactyle for the blossom colour inspiration and he has done a far better paint job than me but I’m still pleased with how they turned out, especially the swords (though as ever as soon as I took pictures, I couldn’t but help note bits I want to go back and do, such as the fungus on the champions body etc.).

Hobby Update – Space Marines

+ + + + + Urgent comms burst Inquisitor Marleck + + + +

Inquisitor, the listening post based in the gedron cluster picked up this scrambled message. Despite running Terran protocols the data serfs were unable to reconstruct the full message. Heavy interference and jamming occurred from the originating location.

Inquis%#+^^ Marleck. It is as we suspected $€}%*+^#] I have seen it with my own eyes. The &^}%*€€* a contemptor, ancient, Shadow Sentinel @*^^**+$€<. ALPHA LEGI**+}€#€#. Lucius GritΒ£&@*^%**

+ + + + + Message Terminated + + + + +

The last few months have seen me make my first Forge World purchases. The first was an impulse buy to pick up the last chance purchase of the Mann’s Blades command group. I mainly got these as I thought the musician model was really unusual. With only limited Empire models (and no inclination to start that army) they are going to be remaining in the blister for the present, though I have thoughts of Mann having fallen on hard times and being reduce to leading my halfling contingent (just need to strip the 30 odd old hammer halflings painted my sister in the late 80’s!).

My second foray into its products was more of a planned purchase. Just two items (because frankly I couldn’t justify buying anything more at their prices). The first was Leitpold the Black. A gorgeous mounted Empire general model (if you haven’t seen it: https://www.forgeworld.co.uk/en-GB/Lietpold-the-Black). I’m planning on using him as my general in my slow build Bretonnian Army.

The second was a Contemptor Dreadnought. If you know me, you will be well aware of my love of Dreadnoughts. Even in the previous edition of 40k I used them a lot (probably why I was trounced so much). Thankfully they are much improved this time round. “But why did you buy a forge world model when GW already produce a cheaper plastic version”, I don’t hear you ask?

Good question. Firstly, I buy dreadnoughts for their aesthetic appearance and the standard GW one is a very horrible static rigid pose. Not something that normally bothers me too much but I just don’t like the standard model. Secondly, forge world sell a number of chapter specific dread’s and some of them look stunning (two of which had really caught my eye, the first of which was the Raven Guard one). Thirdly I had an idea for my Shadow Sentinels Chapter fluff and the other Dreadnought ticked all the boxes.

So enough rambling. I present the hidden secret, the only visible link to the chapter’s gene sires. The most Ancient and Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought: The Twin is Cleft.

Yep it’s an Alpha Legion Dread. Having my own space marine chapter was always a no brainer. With that decided, I had to come up with a back story and having an unimaginative, unknown founding (mainly so I could try out different chapter tactics) was nothing new. Reading the Horus Heresy series, some of the stories that really captured my imagination were the those where members of the traitor legions found themselves defending the imperium, sometimes against their own legion brothers. The Alpha Legion in particular originally only defected in order to hasten the eventual defeat of Chaos. Would it not then be plausible that some of them would remain on the Loyalist side fighting incognito (as their legion was known to do)? Who knows, 40k lore is not my strong point but it’s my chapter and it’s what I’m going with.

In terms of the model, in the main it was easy to put together, even lacking any instructions. The one fiddly bit was the assault cannon. That was a total bitch to fit together. Seriously, why would you cast it in 6 parts just for the rotary section and connectors. If I had to do another, I’d seriously consider trying to pick up the plastic GW kit and using the cannon from that (assuming it comes in a single piece that is).

Hobby update and Neglected model challenge – Wood Elves /Ungrim

Thanks to another neglected model challenge from Azazel, I finally finished off 10 classic wood elf waywatchers.

Some of these had their first touch of paint back when I bought them in the 90’s*, so I think you’ll agree that they well and truly fall under this heading!

I’ve kept the reoccurring theme of various shades of green and then added warlock ‘purple’ so that they link into the army colour scheme.

They were deliberately given a very heavy wash so they’ll had a darker feel to them. I tried to keep highlighting to a minimum on most of the model, as this meant that the highlights on the individual leaves on the cloaks were far more prominent.

I even remembered to use some army painter meadow flowers on some of the bases as something new and such a simple thing really adds to my normal static grass base (so thanks to Azazel for the tip!).

The one think that I really noted could use some work, is the faces and in particular the eyes but I’m not confident enough to do anything about that yet.

* if I’m being honest, I had 6 of these from the 90’s and the other 4 were picked up in recent years from eBay after I realised I really didn’t like the new style waywatchers or the idea of painting them and preferred the original ghillie suit cloak look. It’s probably the detail on the newer models, I prefer the elegant models from a more civilised age.


And I thought I’d just slip in a quick updated couple of shots of the slayer king. The only difference is I’ve repainted the axe as it looked bloody terrible the first time round but you guys and girls are just too nice and didn’t butcher me over it on the original pictures πŸ˜€.

Oh and I realised the strange blue bit showing on/around the teeth of the dragon on his cloak was not some blended paintwork but some battle foam wedged it it! The offending object has now been removed.

Lastly I realise I’m posting this on the final day in Aug not Sept but I finished them this morning and couldn’t wait to post them.