Azazel has done it again and managed to get me out of my hobby slouch with another one of his monthly challenges, this time it is the Jewel of July.
This challenge is all about characters and show pieces. I’m sure a number of the blogs will pull out some impressive large models but I have decided to ease myself back into painting with two more humble models.
The first is a dwarf slayer character that was released during the ret-conned Storm of Chaos expansion (I believe around 6th ed Warhammer Fantasy).
Garagrim Ironfist was the War-mourner of Karak Kadrin and son of the legendary Ungrim Ironfist. It was his duty to tend the Shrine of Grimnir and the temple’s store of runic weapons.
This was a model i’d been after for a while but due to not wanting to pay silly prices it had taken me a while to find him. Thankfully an Italian gentleman had put one up on ebay together with the dual pistol dwarf engineer for a very reasonable price. This might have been due to his base being missing but either way I jumped on it and the ‘free’ engineer was a bonus.
It did however mean I had to do something with the lack of base. He was still attached to the ‘sprue’ so I was able to put him in a slotta base but he stood half an inch up. This was fixed by, with my normal ‘attention to detail and foresight’, wedging half a ton of greenstuff onto the base.
If i’d been thinking at all, I would have at least tried to sculpt it into stone. Because I winged it, I instead wedged a number of elf heads onto the base and then added static grass.
The next character finished for the challenge was the second of my Waystalkers for my Wood Elves. I kept the paint scheme almost identical to the first, which was quite deliberate as the idea was they were the left and right hand of Haldrin Stormlight. The twin deaths.
I did try to up my game with him, adding a lighter green drybrush on the leaves and then far more highlights (the final picture shows the difference). He also got a red sprite rather than blue.
I’ve had this model sitting on my paint board since around June last year so I think it can fall under the neglected model title (even if that time frame is a good decade shorter than some of the other models I have) . I’ve periodically slapped a bit of paint onto it but in the last week I set myself the task of finishing this model and embargoed any other related hobby activity (buying/building/painting etc.) until I’d completed it!
With the restrictions in place it motivated me to get my arse in gear!
So I present Haldrin Stormlight (Glade lord/captain on great stag).
A couple of things you may note on the pictures:
Thanks to some advice from Azazel on alternative products (after my unsuccessful use of the GW Mordheim tufts with my normal static grass base on the Aggressors), I picked up some Army Painter meadow flowers. It was great advice and broke up the normally solid green base. I really like the product and would definitely recommend them.
You’ll also notice two duplicate pictures at the end of the post. But are they?
Ok the model is the same but in other news, I’ve finally bought myself a light box and the second photo is the first I’ve taken with it. This was after a recommendation on another blog I follow: St Andrew’s Wargaming. I had a quick chat with him and a few days later I received a TFJ ‘photo tent’ through the post. At only £16.99 it seemed a total bargain and if it didn’t work out, it was cheap enough that I wouldn’t be too annoyed (hell it was cheaper that most of the single miniatures that GW sell nowadays). So going forward i’ll be trying it out for all my hobby posts and I might give it a proper review once I’ve used it for a bit. The one thing I did notice straight away is there is less light reflection.
Further to my previous post, this month I’ve continued Azazel’s challenge to give some love to some long neglected models. The victims, I mean lucky recipients were the 4th ed. wood elf spearmen that one of the command groups in the last post will lead.
These will make up the bulk of my Crimson Guard (I may have just had an Action Force/GI Joe flashback with that name) and will be fielded as Eternal Guard.
These will be reinforced by 10 of the newer plastic Eternal Guard models (again part painted) and 4 oldhammer models (that are technically high elves and also need some love), to make the unit a more viable size when using them on the battlefield.
I do have the shields somewhere but they are with my stored figures/boxes at my folks so I’ll have to have a rummage when I’m next down there. I did take a quick look on eBay but frankly the cost of the old shields seems somewhat high.
I have also come to the conclusion that I really am crap at painting human/elf faces so I’m going to have to go away and watch some vids on this, as the base, wash and highlight didn’t work very well.
My painting time (or more accurately, lack of) over the last few months has been rubbish even by my standards. I have about 6 different projects on the ‘tray’ and am flitting between them without really progressing on any. So I made a concerted effort to at least clear something by the end of the month. (Edit: this post should have gone out at the end of Feb but I forgot to post it – doh!).
I decided to tackle first the oldest items (in age rather than time spent on the painting board, as that ‘honor’ goes to the Glade Lord on Great Stag who is probably verging on at least 6 months. *hangs head in shame*).
In this case the oldest were a wood elf 4th ed. command group. These I painted to match the 1st and 2nd generation wood elf plastic archers I completed over the last few months.
This was very much inspired by Azazel’s neglected model challenge. I’ve only had these models since the early 90’s…
And as a bonus, I completed a second command group (also 4th ed.). These were the matching set of the above but for a melee unit. They were designed to go with the old 4th ed. metal wood elf spearmen, of which I have a load and yes they are also part painted from way back in the day and have now joined the paint board. The spearmen are entitled the Crimson Guard (for reasons that will soon become obvious) and will be fielded as Eternal Guard.
The standard bearer in this group is one of my all time favourite wood elf sculpts. It’s just something about the way he grasping the cloak round himself (and has nothing to do with me wishing I could do that in the artic bloody cold we currently have here!). This is offset by the champion being one of my least favourite.
The banners have yet to be completed but I’m going old school with them and will be sketching/tracing a yet to be decided design onto paper and then painting it, before cutting and glueing it to the pole (in a similar way to my Orcs from the same period).
I’ve been a bit quiet on the hobby front recently, work, illness etc. both contributed to this.
I have however managed to finish off the 15 second gen GW plastic wood elf archers that I’ve had sat, part done in the paint queue for months (and lying around in a box unloved for who knows how long). These have been in my monthly paint pledge for so long that my soul Jan pledge was to complete them (and yes Bloodbowl almost side tracked me).
I kept the paint job fairly consistent with the first gen plastics completed last year but added a bit more colour (mainly as the green was starting to get too much).
This takes me up to around 85 standard archers painted for the army and on that front I just have some waywatchers left to complete. I’d say there is light at the end of the tunnel but I still have a chunk of the more esoteric models left (kurnoth hunters for treekin, Wildriders etc.).
I’ve had a set of the very first plastic wood elves since they were released. They were terribly painted by a younger me before I understood the concept of undercoating. You can get away with that on metal but plastic is far more unforgiving. So as part of my Oct monthly painting pledge I stated I would repaint them.
These 9 models were the only things I managed to paint during Oct which is a bit poor even by my standards, though there were some mitigating circumstances.
1) Total War Warhammer 2 is still a new shiny thing and ate into my evening painting time.
2) I spent a week in the Luxembourg.
3) The sculpts are horrible. I won’t lie, these are hands down my least favourite GW WE sculpts ever. If I had to describe them in one word it would be ‘clunky’. That combined with the fact it was a repaint really demotivated me. (So I cheered myself up by building my final 10 Wildwood Rangers).
Being a lazy sod (on the painting front), I repeated the mistakes of the past and decided the previous paint job would do as a base coat. (Running out of white primer and not being able to pick any up helped the decision too).
As such I went with the previous colour scheme (shockingly forgoing the normal warlock purple) but this time adding highlights, washes and the flock to the base.
The one thing I wasn’t happy with was the flesh wash. I used a really liquidy, 15 year old (ish) pot of reikland flesh wash. It’s not really worked.
I also haven’t touched the original hair. I’m going to have a think what I want to do with that.
So bar the above item, I’m happy to remove these from the painting table.
Next up on the table are 15 second generation plastic WE archers (I know I’m a glutton for punishment). I’m going to try and blitz these with the minimum effort necessary. I will intersperse these by trying to finally finish the Glade Lord on Stag that has been loitering for 3 months.
However I may also be distracted by the other item I bought in Oct and finished building yesterday. Something a bit different for me as it’s 40k related. More on that later.
This will be less of a battle report than a recap of the game played on Friday vs Steve. This is for a number of reasons including: it was the first time I had played the wood elves in 20 odd years, so for once I wanted to concentrate on the game and also Steve only decided to play high elves after I bought my army along for him to have a look at so I didn’t have my normal battle rep templates prep’ed.
We had decided in advance to play the wicked woods scenario and two other Club members (Luke and Paul) were also trying it out on the night so we were able to get some good feedback on the scenario.
His list was rather hurriedly put together as he had been planning on bringing his WoC and as such, he missed out a few crucial bits (armour on the bsb, upgrading the archmage to lvl 4…). It was something like:
Archmage – general – ToP – Lvl 3, I want to say book of hoeth (which I think he forgot to use all game).
BSB – with light armour…
Level 1 Mage – MR (1) item
16 Archers – music/standard
6 Silverhelms – standard, shields
6 Silverhelms – standard, shields
5 Silverhelms – standard, shields
15 Phoenix Guard – standard
15 Phoenix Guard – standard
15 White Lions – standard
7 Swordmasters – standard
7 Swordmasters – standard
I’ve obviously missed a few bits as this is around a hundred points short of 2500.
We rolled map pack 4, so that was 4 hills (2 were scree), a river and a wood (which turned out to be normal).
We were both trying High Magic. Steve took a Soul Quench on both the level 1 and level 3 and he also got Tempest and something else he never used.
I also took Soul Quench, Fiery Convocation, Apothesis and walk through worlds (no doubles).
After Terrain was laid it looked like this. The central wood is the ‘Wicked Wood’. The wood to the left is the one from the terrain chart and the one to the right was the wood elf ‘free’ wood (for which I chose the almost compulsory venom thicket). Due to being player ‘B’ on the terrain table I was lucky to be able to place the wood and with my wood form a forest barrier.
Its worth noting that both armies were new for us. I last used WE in 4th edition and he has never played High elves. The unfamiliarity, together with breaks from the table (to drum up support for the competition) and just generally chatting, meant we really didn’t get too far with the game. A lot of rules were forgotten by both sides.
After deployment it looked like this. The sisters did vanguard forward slightly, as did the warhawks. The leftmost glade guard were those with the flaming banner and poison. The two glade guard with trueflight (no modifiers) were in the centre of my lines. The waywatchers also gained poison from being in the venom thicket (which of course I forgot).
Steve won first turn (despite me having finished deploying first) and he immediately advanced as swiftly as possible (which wasn’t too fast as it a moment of genius he had placed the river in front of his lines). Having normally played WoC he was surprised that he actually had a shooting phase! The bolt throwers and archers opened up on the sisters and gladeguard respectively, with both units taking a few wounds. Magic was highly ineffective as with 3 dice each (thanks to my channel) I was able to block soul quench.
The wood elves responded by pushing up aggressively on the left with the warhawks blocking the silverhelms (this might have been a mistake, I probably should have charged them rather than using them as I would an eagle, in order that they take advantage of the killing blow and additional strength on the charge). The sisters decided to withdraw to save their points. The Spellweaver joined the scouts in the woods so she could get the casting bonus.
Remembering (for once) a tactica I read about removing the greatest threats first, Scarlock and his unit swiftly removed the bolt thrower opposite them but the scouts on the other flank failed to repeat the task and only wounded the other one. The waywatchers showed why they are so feared and wiped out one of the silverhelm units. The waystalker started his operation assassinate and picked on the enemy bsb wounding him. The 2 central glade guard units took down most of the right most swordmasters and a boosted soul quench removed a number of the archers (though I failed to show this in the below diagram!).
The high elves realising they were outclassed in the shooting war pushed forward. A number of charges were declared but only the frost Phoenix and nearby Silverhelms completing theirs. The wicked woods claimed its first four victims of the game. A double casting of Soul Quench against the spellweaver was shrugged off. The eagle moved to threaten the back of the elf lines and the remaining 2 Swordmasters on the right realising the folly of charging bow armed troops, decided that actually they would just march up to get in the way.
In combat, one warhawk was slain and the others beat a hasty retreat.
The Warhawks rallied and the nearby Dryads moved over to protect the archers by blocking charges. The remaining sisters moved over to prevent the eagle charging the flank of the glade guard. The Phoenix Guard took a further 4 casualties from the wicked woods.
The scouts again failed to remove the remaining bolt thrower. The waystalker not wanting to be shown up, also failed to wound (and thus kill) his target, in his case the opposing bsb. The remaining 2 swordmasters were killed and the other unit took a number of casualties. The high elf archers once again took a shoeing.
Not worrying about restraining themselves, the Wildriders charged the Silverhelms, who took one look at their crazed whooping loony cousins and legged it. Barely missing a step the frenzied riders careened into the frosty but with its ward strengthened by the strong winds, it shrugged off all damaged. They still won combat thanks to the musician, so retained frenzy but their position was now looking perilous.
We did faff around a bit with 3rd turns but not much happened bar some more failed charges and the Phoenix guard in the woods being further decimated by the dangerous terrain rolls.
After game thoughts
I’ll ignore the lack of turns played and just give some general thoughts on the army build and the scenario.
We really enjoyed the concept of the wicked woods (as did Luke and Paul) however there were a couple of things taken away (and this backed up feedback received from Dan and a different Luke in their game a few weeks before). Firstly, there is no incentive to enter the woods before the final turn. The potential damage from the dangerous terrain and the woods attacking, combined with the removal of any form of save, meant it was too risky to enter it. 15 Phoenix guard (even with a 3++ ward) were decimated in two turns and Paul had 17 of his 30 strong unit of Chaos Dwarves similarly ‘culled’. As it stands it is more likely that most players will hold off and rush it in the last go, or avoid the woods and treat the game as battleline, killing the other army before then moving into the woods in the last turn. In this respect it is similar to the KOW dominate scenario.
We all talked about it for a bit afterwards and whether the damage should be changed and a few of us will continue to discuss it further. However, to keep it as simple as possible, one option maybe to award 1 or 2 VP’s for each turn you hold it (uncontested) instead.
Half a game isn’t enough to give any in depth analysis, however even in the few turns played I was able to make a few observations.
Waystalker, I love the idea of him but I think you realistically need 2 (one with the bow perhaps the second with the fireball ring), if only because the individuals you are targeting (BSB/support mages etc), you want to take out asap and this improves the alpha strike. The issue is that they still only shoot with S3 and I question if you would ever make back their points. A lvl 1 deathweaver could potentially do the same job for similar points (with a shorter range) and could add more utility with a dispel scroll and the chance to add more dice through both channels and the Lore attribute. Still I’ll persevere at least for another game or 2.
Lord on Stag. I love the leadership boost and the loadout but I worry that the extra point of toughness and other advantages of putting him on a monstrous mount are outweighed by the total lack of any lookout sir, meaning he is an easy 288pts for anyone sporting a cannon. I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off putting him on a normal steed, which would free up some points. Alternatively giving him the armour of destiny for the 4++ ward (which would in turn boost his armour save) should improve his survivability. I just struggle relying on a 50/50 chance of a save.
I have a similar dilemma with the bsb on eagle. He benefits more from the mount but has the same drawbacks. I should probably change his helm for the charmed shield. Yes he would lose a pip of armour but it would give him a measure of protection from warmachines. I was also too timid in his use, he should have supported the Wildriders attack on the frosty. It might have made the difference in routing it, if only for the flank charge.
Spellweaver on unicorn. Seemed ok (bit too early to tell). The MR(2) combined with her ward, completely stopped one round of magic missiles. Again I worry the mount might make her a target but the ward and Lore attribute should give her much more protection than the lord.
Lore of High Magic. I quite like the Lore as it is really versatile, however that is also where is falls over. It doesn’t specialise in any one thing. About the only thing either of us successfully cast all game was Soul Quench. The Lore attribute for wood elves is potentially good (not that I remembered it in our game). I am still thinking shadow maybe the way forward but probably only if I ran an eternal guard block as without them I would, in the main, just be wanting withering to help out the shooting.
The waywatchers were everything I had read they would be. I can see why a lot of players take two units.
The archers were all solid, both hagbane and the trueflight variants. 4 units (including scouts) seemed to be about right though I’d be tempted to just take two units of the scouts if running EG in core.
I used the sisters incorrectly to start with and need to make more of their spells. Curse is excellent and shield of thorns is a great way to replace any models lost.
Likewise I used the warhawks incorrectly and should have just charged them in. It might have failed but if not, they would have stood a chance of removing the silverhelms save. Apart from forgetting stand and shoot, I’m not sure holding was the best option.
I probably shouldn’t have charged the wildriders into the frosty but with the number of attacks they were pumping out, the odds were I should have gotten at least 1 or 2 wounds through. Losing 3 from it’s return attacks just goes to show how much of a glass hammer they are and you need to ensure you break their targets on the charge.
I did really enjoy using the wood elves. The style is completely different to what i’m used to. I will definitely use a very similar (if not the same list) next time to give them another go before chopping and changing, though i’d be tempted to drop the lord for a shadow or darkweaver (possibly the latter as i’ve never used the lore). I feel I also need an eagle in the list for chaff duty. It would make me feel more confident about using the wild riders.