Another Hole In The Head Pt. 7 …Characters! Flags! (and a battle report!)

Let’s. Get. This. DONE.

With the Last Regiment finally finished, the end of this project is tantalisingly close… so let’s keep on!

I’d separated out the remaining figures into five “Boss” figures – one of which would be promoted to Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody himself – and ten “Shamans” (one of which played Ghaz in the battle reports). This meant there was going to be a SERIOUS amount of of Orca magic going on.. which was fair enough, it’s not like they get much in the way of heavy weapons or missile troops…

So, I based all the remaining models on 20mm washers using a mix of superglue and quick dry PVA, primed them white and then gave them a thinned black pre-wash to help pick out the detail as the eyes aren’t what they were… you might notice a little bit of greenstuff conversion work to make the figures less uniform, including the odd arm bent up or down, as well as a greenstuff cape on Ghaz himself to give him a bit of extra presence. The jester’s hat on one of the shamans was another greenstuff effort, a tip of the hat to the classic old GW Ork Weirdboy from the 90s, and in case it’s not clear, the stuff coming out from the shaman’s outstretched hands is magic, not an oversized novelty foam finger.

Next up, flags. Having failed spectacularly with my freehand attempts with the Blood Angels, I decided to take a different tack – a Google Image search for “Warhammer Fantasy Orc Banners” got me this:

So much easier when someone else has done the drawing for you..

The paint schemes were the same as the previous regiments, and I extended that to the banners – mostly red (Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink), craft bone paint and Vallejo German Grey for black / dark grey bits.

For banner poles I snipped some black paper clips in half, arranged them in reasonably convincing poses and superglued them in place.. and now the big reveal!

Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody, seen here at the head of his horde doing his best John Travolta impression… you can tell by the way he holds his axe, he’s a woman’s Orc, no time to talk…
Orca Boss at the head of regiment of Boyz, now all flagged up and ready to rock
Ghaz and his Shamans at the head of his regiment of bodyguards
Head shaman rocking VERY fly hat
Dey’s over dere, GET EM!!!!!
The Mighty Horde!!

Now admittedly, Orca strategy is largely:


But it’ll still be nice to have all these Bosses to help keep the assault rolling forward

But before all that, Warchief Ghazrag had the small matter of an Ancien Regime force to match wits with in his quest for ever-holier stones…

The battle lines are drawn…
The Ancien Regime forces deploy with their flank anchored by the Steam Tank
Ghaz leads the boys in a pincer movement around the ruined church (or at least that’s the plan)
Supported by the Arrer Boyz, the Orca pile forward – Ghaz attempts to lead his bodyguard forward in the centre but is defeated by the terrain..
Watching the Orca thunder toward the Ancien Regime lines, the Steam Tank takes cover for a flanking shot
Ancien Regime Grenadiers fall victim to Orca Arrer Boyz but the line holds… “Let them come on, lads!”
Caught in the open, the Orca Warriors fall to the Steam Tank’s firepower!
Rifle regiment receive the first of many Orca charges!
Despite massive losses, the Rifle regiment holds, buying time for the Cuirassier cavalry to counter attack with a devastating flank charge
Grenadiers join the party, pushing home the counter-attack
Meanwhile, the “elite” Black Orcs are hit with rifle fire from the regiment positioned on the cliff, and straightaway fluff their morale check..
Not to be deterred, however, Ghazrag and his bodyguard are closing in on their objective!
Grenadiers and Cuirassiers make short work of the Savage Orcs
Making a last gasp dive for the objective after Witch-Colonel Murphy manages to teleport him down the hill, Ghaz is felled by rifle fire as the remaining riflemen burn through their remaining command points in desperation… the last bullet hits home, felling the Warchief!

Bugger, I cocked that up royally – I tried to keep the regiments together and failed abysmally, leaving them to hit the Ancien Regime lines piecemeal.. hopefully my new cadre of Shamans and bosses will inject some flexibility to round out the army..

There’s still a couple of war machines to build, plus I’ve got a couple of conversions up my sleeve.. and then maybe make some giant spiders.. and this is why projects never really get finished! The Curse Of The Wargamer strikes again…

Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’ll be back again soon

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 6 – The Last Regiment!

Yes, I’m still avoiding the Marines… but bear with me, I’m almost at the finish line with this project – and when the end is in sight, it seems perverse to switch focus to something else.

So having finished up the “Orcs Of Colour”, that left me with just a single regiment of 30 Orca Warriors left to do.. then there are the shamans, of course, plus I reckon I could probably knock together a couple of stone throwers.. and I have an idea for a “superheavy”…

Anyway, point is, I can see an end to this project, so I took a deep breath and dove straight into the final regiment. Based on 20mm squares of wine box cardboard, white primer, prewash with thinned down black ink – it’s a poor man’s zenithal primer, plus it helps my Mr Magoo eyes pick out what detail is what.. in addition to covering up any gaps that might otherwise be left a glaring white.

Other than that it’s the usual scheme – Army Painter Goblin Green skin washed with Army Painter Green Tone, red bits are Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink with a unifying drybrush of yellow… The metallics are Vallejo Mithril Silver washed with Smokey Ink for a rusty effect as Orcs of any universe are not known for their weapons maintenance.

So, pics:

As you can see, I gave them a flag – Google Image search for “Orc & Goblin Banners”, printed it out and painted it up… Damn sight easier than trying to do freehand and this may yet be the way forward with the Blood Angels
These pics don’t seem to have come out too well.. guess my phone is unused to the amount of sunlight we’ve been having..
Flags & banners make a huge difference to the spectacle – of course, now I have to go back and give the other regiments a flag each..
The ladz on parade
Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody leads his mighty horde

Regular readers will have noticed the progress of Warchief Ghazrag The Bloody across the world of Hyperia in pursuit of capturing some holy stones…

(had to do it)

So far they’ve battered both Ratticus McStilton III’s Virum Nascii and the Sky Marines of the Grand Alliance, so next up will be a face off against the Ancien Regime now the gaming shed is back in business… Can we make it three in a row? Let’s see!

Stay thrifty out there, we’ll be back soon

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 5 (And A Battle Report!)

It’s the summertime and the weather is fine, and I’ve been out in the garden knocking back wine…

Time to step away from the Blood Angels for a bit – I’ve lost confidence in my eye for detail (nothing to do with ay criticism, by the way – all the comments I’ve had have been positive, in fact far more positive than I deserve), and I think I need to do a fair bit of freehand practice to get my skills up to snuff before having another go at my command figures. So it makes sense to go to a smaller scale, right?

Well… yeah, actually. See, the issue I had with the BAs was with the smooth surfaces and details like the campaign badges and banners (which also highlighted the downsides to painting with housepaints rather than model paints in some instances… X-D) . The details that are picked out for you on the sculpts – pipes, aquilas etc – I wasn’t too bad with. And with my Orcs, there’s plenty of those. This lets washes and drybrushing take care of the heavy lifting – plus any mistakes you can hide within a regiment of 30, right?

So here we are – a regiment of 30 Black Orcs (Orcs of Colour?):

These lads are the heavy hitters, the elite of the orc infantry, and 30 of them is a big solid linebreaker whether you’re playing Warhammer Fantasy, Kings Of War or Hyperian Wars
Paint scheme was basically the same as the other ladz, but a black wash dulled down the skin tones.
I gave myself a hand by priming these white and then prewashing with thinned Smokey Ink to get to the parts other painting layers can’t reach….
Warchief Gazhrag The Bloody leads his army
A mighty horde!
Fancy seeing this lot coming at you?

So that’s Gazh the Warchief, a regiment of 16 Archers, 2 regiments of 30 Orcs each, a regiment of 25 Savage Orcs and now the Black Orcs – one more regiment to go and then we’re on to the Shamans, and I’ve got a few ideas for support units…

And then, to battle!

Having already kicked the arse of Ratticus McStilton and his Virum Nascii, da boyz fancied a taste of ‘oomie flesh….

Lt. Carruthers’ Sky Marine platoon deploys to the left, with support from an Artificial, Gazhrag’s boyz to the right. The objective is the sacred stones in the middle of the ruined temple… wonder what the Orc Warlord might be wanting with all these stones?
Sky Marines deploy forward with command section and mortar anchored on the low hill in the centre
And there’s the OPFOR…
The ladz barrel forward
No. 3 Squad takes casualties from surprisingly effective Orc archery
Nos. 1 & 2 squads hold the hill overlooking the temple, but it looks like they’re getting company soon
Black Orcs crash into the Sky Marines on the hill
Sky Marines retreat in good order despite taking savage losses, but the Orc regiment following the Black Orcs catch them in the open
Sky Marines fight bravely, but 30 Orcs are 30 Orcs
Command section let fly with rifles and mortar, Jim running down all his Command Points to hammer these ladz before they massacre his troops up close and personal. The “1” you can see is the regiment failing it’s morale check – being within 12cm of unsuppressed enemy troops they are captured (or cut down by quickfire .303 rounds and bayonets)
Next turn Jim won the initiative and turned the attention of the command section onto the Black Orcs – concentrated casualties in the regiment’s rear quickly caused them to become suppressed and surrender too!
However, the command section can’t face two ways at once and the second prong of the Orc attack strikes
Two survivors are all that’s left of No. 3 squad!
Surviving Sky Marines consolidate on the low hill for a last stand

But to no avail, as the Orcs crash into them from both sides!

“Those creatures are tremendous in stature!”
“Wait until you see the reds of their eyes, lads”

And so Gazhrag The Bloody scored another victory, albeit having lost half his archers, his elite Black Orcs and a regiment of regular Orcs in the process… and we ironed out a few more kinks in the Hyperian Wars ruleset, hopefully bringing the publication date to three days before the heat death of the universe.

Stay thrifty out there – Jim’s got something he’s really excited to tell you all about… 😉

That Was Another Year That Was – The Great 2021 Hobby Retrospective

Well, we survived a second year of The Great Plague. As the hangovers and queues for booster shots and lateral flow tests subside for another year, let’s take a little look at what we’ve done hobbywise…

Here in the UK, we kicked off the year with a third and (so far) final lockdown – and when the weather is freezing and dark and Nurgle’s apostles are rampant across the world, it’s always tempting to hunker down with some nostalgic reminders of a happier time. Which is exactly what we did – my pet project, while Dan rolled on with his, was the creation of a DIY Space Fleet set, the short lived 1991 precursor to Battlefleet Gothic. And seeing as this project involved squares, it was perfectly suited to lockdown remote gaming.

Speaking of my compatriot, Dan’s 1991 Blood Angels and the “quick fix” (where have we heard that before..) 20mm fantasy Orc horde have been trundling along merrily this year even if they haven’t quite met with completion – and when summer rolled around, bringing with it Freedom Day and crushing disappointment as we nearly nearly nearly won the Euros, we put on our BIGGEST GAME EVER, in which said greenskins would play a pivotal role… And Dan has sworn faithfully that he will undertake no new projects until these are done, meaning he’s got some serious papercrafting to do -I might help out a bit there, as he’s got 3 Rhinos, a Thudd Gun, a Land Raider and a Land Speeder to make and I vividly remember 2017’s Leman Russ build taking quite the toll on his sanity.

For myself, I managed to get my Accidental Tyranids (Hive Fleet Imprudens) finished, and now Dan’s got his 1991 style Terminators completed I can see some Space Hulk on the horizon (perhaps with this kind of scenery…), particularly if the Omicron variant dooms us all to another lockdown.. I also knocked up a test figure converted from Valiant Miniature’s oversized 1/72 WW2 infantry, with the intent of knocking together a Levy force for Firefight and using the rest as Brood Brothers to augment my Hive Fleet Imprudens ‘Nids. To date I have produced precisely 1 figure, but that said I have been busy writing rules… not going to raise anyone’s expectations too much on that topic as these things take SO LONG to come to fruition in reality.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our addiction to granny grating. Dan got the ball rolling in 2020 building his Imperial Guard army for Epic, and that rolled out in 2021 into mini Kings Of War and teeny weeny Star Wars forces that saw action toward the end of the year using the classic early 90s ruleset “Hellfire”.. and the air was thick with “I AM YOUR FATHER” “THAT’S NOT TRUE, THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE” squeaked out in Chipmunk voices.

We’re SO cool.

Honourable mention goes to Dan’s terrain cloth, built using the techniques shown on Mel The Terrain Tutor’s video (and wherever you are Mel, we wish you well and hope to see you again soon- stay safe brother) – and seeing as we’ve got loads of the dust sheet left, we’re planning a desert cloth, a snow cloth, and also a proper retro single colour flock as shown in the early 90’s White Dwarf battle reports, so stay tuned on that. Oh, and of course our brief fixation with zombiesTHAT was quite the game!

For our blog, this was another good year statistically – 18,221 views up from 18,065 in 2020, although visitors were down to 7343 from 8265 in 2020.. Likes were way up though, 245 from 171, and comments 186 from 150, all time bests on both fronts. Comments are a bit of an iffy metric to judge on, as WordPress counts all the comments we make too, but the “likes” are encouraging – definitely a sign that although we may be getting less “passing trade”, we have a solid base of folks that know what we do and enjoy/ have forgiven us for it.

So, for 2022? As stated, Dan has vowed not to embark on any more projects until he’s finished his Marines and Orcs, and I know he has some more units planned for the DIY Guard. My goals are writing, testing and God forbid actually self-publishing some rules.. also my aforementioned Levy platoon and Brood Brothers… also, I quite fancy rounding out my 2nd Ed 40k Orks into a legit army.. but granny grating has called to me with it’s siren song and whispered to me of…. well, let me leave this here:

So, how about y’alls out there in the blogosphere? What are your goals for 2022?

Stay safe, sane and thrifty out there, may your booster jabs be side effect free and may you forever test negative….

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 4 – Yet More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

How do – and while my compatriot mires himself in paperwork organising something Very Big Indeed, allow me to plug the gap by showing you a little more progress with another project of mine… because it wouldn’t do just to focus on the Blood Angels tribute act, now would it? Even though we’re somehow already in August and I’ve probably missed the boat to take them to Warhammer World for a 30th birthday bash…. oh well.

This lot are part of my “other” lockdown project – I was fancying a fantasy horde army, went looking for Undead 1/72 figures and instead came across a job lot of Caesar fantasy Orcs going cheap because they’d lost their boxes. We’re already familiar with the Caesar Ratmen, having painted something like four billion back in The World That Was before the pandemic struck, and at something like £25 for about 140 figures or so, I really couldn’t say no.

So here we are, another block of 30 greenskins and home made movement tray, giving me a second regiment of Orc Warriors – these will get used for Kings Of War (will be fun trying that in a different scale), OPR’s Age Of Fantasy, Warhammer Fantasy, quite possibly Age Of Sigmar (especially now that 3rd edition rules are out and available to download, and of course our own Hyperian Wars ruleset (essentially Apocalypse: Earth reskinned and reorientated for fantasy).

These lads are all based on 20mm by 20mm square bases cut from wine box cardboard – judge all you like, it’s ecologically friendly and economical – glued on using tacky PVA glue, and then primed white. White? Yep – apart from being how I primed the Blood Angels and therefore all I had in the shed, I find this suits my “go bright and wash down” style of painting and help me get around the obstacles of teeny tiny miniatures and increasingly wonky close in vision.

The paint scheme is also similar to the Blood Angels – Army Painter Goblin Green washed with Green Tone ink, Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink, Vallejo Filthy Brown (and a few brown craft paints) washed with Brown Ink for the browns, Mithril Silver washed with thinned Smoky Ink for the metallics giving a worn, battered effect. I’ve stuck with the “3 colours and metal” approach for the entire army, but as with the Ratmen, I’ve tried to make no two Orcs look exactly alike. They’re Orcs, after all – uniformityjust wouldn’t look right.

The bases are painted craft chocolate brown, then painted with PVA and dunked first in sand, then powdery earth from the veggie patch in the garden and then flock added in patches.

The moveent tray is done the same way as the bases – I figured I’d rank the Orcs up in 5 of ranks of 6, so that’s a frontage of 100mm x 120mm. Add 5mm each side for breathing space and that adds up to 110mm x 130mm. I cut this out of the winebox card, added a lip of hot glue round the edges to keep everyone more or less in formation, painted it brown, slapped some PVA on and drizzled with flock, sand and earth. Then, because of course it warped like an absolute bugger, I painted the back with PVA, left it upsode down for 24 hours and hey presto, nice and flat. No messin’.

And with that, pics! Here are the lads all ranked up:

And here is the army so far, 101 figures by my count – 16 archers, 25 Savage Orcs, and two regiments of 30 Orc Warriors apiece:

Why are they on the beach? Well, after the last year, everyone deserves a holiday…..

And for those interested, here are the profiles we’ve given them:

Orc Warrior:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)

Orc Archer

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1253292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)

Savage Orc

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)

So as you can see – ‘ard, but pretty thick, and not great at shooting stuff. The Savage Orcs rate elite morale as they’re, well, Savage – if you knock off a couple of those lads, the rest are less likely to cut and run than yell WAAAAAARGH (unless GW has trademarked THAT too) and come pelting at you to beat you to a pulp.

They’ll be getting their tabletop cherries popped pretty soon, but I’m also intrigued to see how they fare against the slippery Ratmen – fast, lethal but with fragile morale against the brick wall of green…

Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!

Another Hole In The Head Pt. 3 – Even More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

After taking what seemed like a decade to finish the last Devastator squad for my retro Blood Angels project, I fancied a quick fix – get a project done, get the dopamine high and then move on to the next. So, the obvious thing was a big block of 30 Orcs (Caesar Miniatures 1/72 Fantasy Orcs), right?

Well, yeah. I mean I bought these things on a whim, for a steal, and almost forgotten about them over the last couple of months. But now – well, my fellow Brits, we have something to look forward to.. freedom by June 21st! Assuming COVID cooperates… That said, my other half is NHS and I can definitely say that her morale has been improving greatly over the past couple of weeks, which I’m taking as a good sign. I think it’s safe to say that one way or another we’ll be getting some games in come the summer.

So with that in mind, let’s get these greenskins together!

Here are the meat and potatoes of the army, a big block of 30 Orcs arranged 6×5 on 20mm cardboard bases, with their own movement tray. Primed white, Goblin Green for the skin washed with Army Painter Green Tone. Reds were Vallejo Hot Orange washed with red ink, and then the whole lot got a yellow drybrush. The browns were craft bone and Vallejo Filthy Brown and Vallejo Mithril Silver for the metallics which then all got a wash with Vallejo Smokey Ink.

I painted the bases dark chocolate brown, then gave them a coat of PVA and dunked them in sand, an extra coat and then flock (Jarvis medium green) and repainted the edges with chocolate again.

So that was the how, these are the results:

And here is the army so far, all lined up and ready to conquer the kitchen table…
And one movement tray – wine box cardboard (judge me at your leisure) – 20mm bases 6×5 makes for 100mm x 120mm, add in a lip 5mm around making for 110mm x 130mm footprint, edged with hot glue for a border. Painted PVA on the underside before doing anything and this seems to have counteracted any warping. Then it was two coats of chocolate craft paint, bit of PVA, drizzle on sand and flock, and done!

So there we go, that’s 71 figures for my Orc army so far, a fair bit done! I’ll head back to the 90’s Blood Angels next, I think, got a hankering to build some vehicles….. Lots of cardboard hanging around the house going “Build with me”… so let’s see what happens next.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty, 114 to go til freedom!

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…
Oh, SERIOUSLY???
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!

New Project Inbound! Guerilla Renegade Tank

A quarter of the world is on lockdown (as of Thursday – probably more now). Try and wrap your head around that – a quarter of the world. We are living in unprecedented, historic times as coronavirus wreaks its’ havoc across the globe. Indeed, as I write this the UK is locked down, all non-essential travel forbidden.

Which kind of rules out our regular games night. Pretty certain going to play soldiers and drink beer with your mate doesn’t count as essential travel. So this has left me picking through the pile of toy soldiers we acquired in an eBay haul waaaaaaay back in 2012, with an idea in mind.

I’ve long fancied doing a “renegade” army, Chaos but without featuring Chaos Space Marines (as to my mind, they should be as rare as Loyalist marines) – just as the vast bulk of the Imperium’s battles are fought by the Guard, surely the vast bulk of Chaos forces will be cultists? But all the Codex stuff leans heavily on Traitor Astartes or full on Daemons.. not what I was looking for.

However, the good folks at One Page Rules have got you covered! Their Renegade Guerilla force – I believe it’s based on the Rebels from Star Wars, but it looks like a pretty good fit. We dig their Grimdark Future game, having had a couple of good scraps last year (plus it includes solo rules for when you’re missing your gaming buddy). Plus I liked the idea of a Chaos cult not really understanding that that’s what they are – having been educated in the Siege of Vraks by the excellent Arch Warhammer (a great listen while you’re cleaning, painting, decorating etc) – the rebels initially had no idea they were fighting for Chaos, initially believing they were the true loyalists… and that fits into a vague idea of the Star Wars and 40k universes being the same thing from different perspectives, Star Wars rebels thinking they’re noble freedom fighters against the repressive Galactic Empire, the Galactic Empire knowing that repression and stringent restrictions are the only way to fight Chaos/ The Force….

…or indeed coronavirus…

So I planned my list. I’ll show the infantry when they’re done, but let’s start off with the armoured component of the force – a Creighton-pattern light assault vehicle, a design native to the world of Hazzard Prime.

Remember those 4D “3D puzzle”tanks from 2017? Pair the M1 Abrams turret with the T-72 body to break up the silhouette, cut down the 120mm cannon t represent a short range “fusion blaster”.. then decorate with cardboard and stowage..
Fusion cannon made more sci-fi with the addition of guitar string… targeter? Cooling device?
Comin’ atcha…
More stowage on the rear of the turret, plus a guitar string antenna
And then, I watched “Fury”! So greenstuff sandbags suddenly became de rigeur..
Front and rear, naturally
That’ll stop those laser cannon beams, no problem
Primed! Added a commander figure in the hatch from the pack of Airfix soldiers I recruited for the infantry.. more on them in a separate post!
Painting! Slapped cheap tan craft paint over the black – never mind two thin coats, this bastard needed four, but hey, it’s not like I’ve got a deadline :-/ Camo triangles were done in Vallejo Olive Drab and the whole thing got a wash of Vallejo Brown Ink thinned with W&N matt medium.. the “freedom” sigils were stippled on with red craft paint.
Pin wash with Vallejo Smokey Ink, followed by sponge chipping Vallejo German Grey… in the heaviest weathered parts I went in with the teeny brush and put just a tiny stripe of Vallejo Silver in to represent paint and primer coming off – all this freedom fighting leaves precious little time for maintenance, you know.
Done! In situ with tank commander painted..
..and here facing down it’s nemesis, the Hazzard 1977th PDF Leman Russ, the mighty “General” himself!

I’ll be showing the infantry soon, and then it’ll be nice to have another faction to scuffle on Hazzard Prime – plus these guys will probably count as “baddies” (whether they agree with it or not) which will provide a nice bit of balance when we next do a REALLY BIG GAME – and we will… things might seem grim now, but it’s not forever.

Till next time, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands and don’t do anything stupid. If you’re NHS and reading this, then thank f*ck for you and may any and every deity protect you going about your duties. The world will turn soon enough, hang in there folks.

Apocalypse Earth: Black Ops Playtest – Sweep & Clear

For a while now we’ve been playing with the idea of “scaling” the Apocalypse: Earth setting for different games – just as back in the day GW had Epic, 40k and Necromunda for massed battles, intermediate and small scale skirmishes with different levels of detail, we’ve been toying with the idea of a 6mm mass battle version as well as an intimate, up-close-and-personal RPG (of sorts) set in the shadows of the Apocalypse: Earth universe.

To begin with, we thought we’d shift the focus from Allies v Holy Soviet Empire, and shine a light on some of the small scale behind the lines security.. Now, one of the factions that we haven’t explored too much on the tabletop are the extraterrestrials – the iconic Greys! If you’ve read the fluff, you’ll know that the main reason the Atlantic Alliance has the jump on the other sides in terms of technology is due to an alien spacecraft crashing in the deserts of Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. Ever since then, Alliance scientists have been busily reverse engineering every aspect they can, creating the UNIVAC artificial intelligence to run the everyday infrastructure (and maybe more..) of Alliance nations, and the ARPANet instant electronic communications network, as well as the antigrav tech that powers things like the Silverbug gunships.

But although we haven’t seen the Greys in open battle yet, behind the lines it’s a different story, as elite security teams drawn from the best Allied combat units fight desperate small unit actions against alien infiltrators!

Accordingly tonight’s game pitted our gallant Alliance Special Forces team against an unknown foe, sweeping across an abandoned industrial sector..

The battlefield laid out.. SpecForce team in bottom left, with four objective markers four the team to check out and clear
The team deploy into cover
The team approach the first objective, cunningly concealed behind the two crashed cars..
Specialist Stewart trains his weapon on the objective, setting overwatch as Specialist Hill moves in to check the objective..
..we roll on the threat table, and out come two Mind Slaves with light weapons!
Clearly taken by surprise, Hill’s rounds go wild, missing completely!
Mercifully, Stewart is on overwatch, dropping a mind slave instantly. The second one attacks Hill in close combat, but the specialist has clearly recovered his composure and takes it down swiftly and brutally!
The team move cautiously toward the next objective..
..but the GM has some nasty surprises in store! We’re trying to figure out a way to simulate sod’s law in combat.. this is getting us some of the way there!
To Specialist Hill’s immense relief, Objective 2 turns out to be blank!
Hill and Moss clear Objective 4, but Objective 3 spawns a pair of mind slaves with pistols, stunning both Stewart and Hunt, and wounding Hunt’s leg into the bargain!
Thankfully Hill is on overwatch, and despite being hit with a jam, he clears the stoppage and takes down the two mind slaves with a couple of clean head shots.

And with that, the game is over! A resounding victory for the Special Forces team, but bear in mind that this is the lowest threat level, and would be an encounter that takes place at the start of a campaign. A fun, and at times pretty tense mission, looking forward to more playtesting on this!

Till next time, stay thrifty (and dry..) out there, see you soon!