Another Hole In The Head – 20mm Fantasy Orcs

You know what, I think I might have a problem.

So, as a distraction from my 1991 Blood Angels tribute act – and why I might need one of those is a matter for a different discussion – I suddenly found myself with a bit of a yen for a bit of rank & file, sword-n-sorcery stuff. Jim and I are both familiar with the excellent Caesar 1/72 fantasy stuff, having used their Orcs as the basis for Da Skooderia – not to mention having painted about a billion of their Ratmen for ourAnd Still They Come.. Hairy Japanese Bastards Pt. 3,147,923 totally-not-Skaven army.

So it was that a harmless bit of window shopping – initially with the idea of a horde of easily painted skeletons – led to the discovery of an online hobby outlet (forgotten which one, sorry), which although out of Undead, did have a load of their Orcs in stock. Even better – on sale. 5 boxes of figures, sans the boxes themselves – 34 figures a box, so that’s 170 altogether, £25 the lot. Done.

I’ve started to organise them for Age Of Fantasy from One Page Rules, but these should do nicely for WHFB, Kings Of War and of course Hyperian Wars, and first up is this 16 string unit of archers (15 from this order, supplemented by a leftover from Da Skooderia) – based on 20mm single corrugated card squares (chopped from the very box these lads came in, no less).

Primed white and painted using mostly Vallejo Goblin Green for the skin, Hot Orange for the red and Filthy Brown, and a couple of tan/ brown craft paints. Washed with Army Painter Green Tone, Vallejo Brown, Smokey, Red and Black inks and a very light bone drybrush, based in a mixture of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and Jarvis flock drizzled on. So, pics:

The lads on parade
The two poses used in the regiment – 15 of the guys on the left, only one of the right hand chap, so he gets to be in charge

Can’t see these guys making a huge contribution, as whatever the system, Orcs aren’t known for marksmanship, but still, they look nice from two feet away.. although don’t look too closely at the eyes and teeth!

Right, 16 down, 155 to go – the addiction clearly incurable, the addict prepares another fix…

Stay thrifty and safe out there and see you soon for some battle reports (hopefully..)

It’s A(nother) Mash Up! The Battle At The Farm, 9th Ed Style #new40k #RogueTrader

This is becoming something of a tradition, so I won’t go too much into the background here. Suffice it to say that back in the original (read: charmingly kitsch but practically unplayable) version of 40k – the mythical Rogue Trader era:

Thanks for stealing my childhood, you bastard

And in the back of said tome was a scenario entitled “The Battle At The Farm” which basically involved the survivors of the Crimson Fists ambushing an Ork patrol who have designs on some loot left in said farm. Back before there were box sets, this book actually had counters as proxies for miniatures… somehow can’t imagine that happening in the age of Indomitus 😉

So with the release of 9th ed and the core rules available online (kinda.. more on that later!) -and with our little bit of Leicestershire coming out of lockdown, thank CHRIST – it was an ideal opportunity to break out the Orks of Da Skooderia and the scratchbuilt Crimson Fists to do battle once more. Here’s how it went down:

The field of battle – the Farm located in the centre, filled with Marines ready to do the business
Remember these guys? I could swear, 8th only dropped yesterday and we were all psyched for Dark Imperium..
There’s trouble afoot – Orks deploy onto the hilltop
Orks survey their target – Crimson Fists burnt out Rhino APC added for scenic flavour
With no targets to shoot at because the Marines are being cowards, hiding in the farmhouse, hrugg splits his force – Hruk leads two squads across open ground toward the farmhouse while Thrugg leads a flanking manoeuvre through the orchard
Turn 2 and with the Orks in range, the Marines reveal their first squad – Orks in the open, 3+ to hit…
Happily – and in marked contrast to the last time we fought this battle – the Crimson Fists have missile launcher operator who can actually see, and promptly wastes four Orks on the hillside
Remaining greenskin legs it!
Hruk’s force engage frontally, hoping to tie the Marines up in a firefight- remember we’re using RT rules here, Orks are BS 3 (or 4+ in modern 40k)
Impressively, they actually cause a kill! Although 9th comes with some nifty cover rules, none of them are in the core rules.. so we bodged something, decided on a -1 to hit when in cover. Back in the day (1987), Marines were T3 and a 4+ save, so a lot more fragile!
Orks advance across open ground, hugging what cover is available and laying down the dakka…
..concentrating it all on the Crimson Fists’ missile launcher operator, who falls to a lucky bolt shell!
Meanwhile. Thrugg leads his depleted ladz in an advance through the orchard..
The Imperium strikes back! Pedro Cantor and the other two squads deploy from hiding, one taking on the Orks in the open while Pedro leads a counterattack through the orchard
Now the Marines prove why they’re humanity’s finest – Pedro and his counterattcking squad drop five Orks in one round of firing!
Meanwhile it’s a full on firefight outside the farm – Marines drop three Orks but lose two of their own to Ork bolter fire, while Hruk gets a third with his plasma pistol
It’s up close and personal in the orchard – Thrugg fails his charge roll but his ladz pile in, while Pedro Cantor performs a Heroic Intervention (amid much checking of rules) – it was here that we realised, hilariously, that although GW put exhaustive descriptions of pile ins, Heroic Interventions and such, nowhere in the core rules have they actually explained how you resolve close combat X-D thankfully we’ve done this before….
Pedro Cantor and sidekick drop two Orks without so much as a scratch in return…
Having wiped out Thrugg’s boyz in the orchard, the Marines consolidate forwards into the woods toward Da Boss
In front of the farm, three of Hrud’s ladz fall to Marine bolters and another flees the scene
His plans in ruins, Thrugg decides to go down swinging – the way an Ork should! He hurls himself at Pedro Cantor, inflicting a wound with his plasma pistol…
Brushing aside the pain, Pedro Cantor grips the frenzied Ork boss…. crushing his skull with his power fist. Even an Ork boss can’t ignore that!

With that, that left Hrud and a sole Ork Boy on the table facing nine Marines and a wounded Cantor – so we called that a solid Space Marine victory! I wonder if it’s actually possible to win this as an Ork, certainly every battle report I’ve seen or read has the Orks taking a kicking…

9th is quite fun, even just dipping a toe as we were with our converted 1/72 figures, and we didn’t use any Command Points or Stratagems (not in the Core Rules) so I’d be up for giving it a go again, especially with GW’s 40k app giving you rules and codices for £3.99 a month… maybe I can persuade Jim to put it on his iPad… The absence of the core hand to hand combat mechanic was a hilarious omission though, so I’m not sure I’d trust GW’s editing/ quality control team with actual code! Maybe we’ll hold off until we’ve heard from some of you out there in the blogosphere how you got on..

Meantime, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty, see you soon!