More Hyperian Wars Escalation – The Dauntless Redux!

We live in an increasingly turbulent world. Our cousin races – the Ee’la, the Stoc’d – withdraw into themselves, thinking only of their own interests. The Beasts – Orca, Grub, Virum Nascii, Lacerats – their numbers grow by the day, encroaching onto those territories claimed by Man. The Dead pour from the dark places.. and even while all this takes place, still we turn on each other.

Our Sky Marines perform above and beyond the call of duty but in the face of peer and near-peer competitors it is vital that we shore up our technological to maintain overmatch in the face of these perils. And so we are proud to unveil a new generation of Skycutters to ensure that our forces go into battle equipped the very best in firepower and protection from perils both physical and enchanted. To this end, we present our latest and best battlefield weapon – the Allied Sky Vessel “Dauntless”

Her power fields and wards will provide unmatched protection against conventional and magickal attacks, whilst a Vrilfire cannon can cut a swathe through enemy warriors. Vril-tipped missiles equipped with Artificial Cognisance can bring down threats up to and including the largest dragons employed by the Beast races, whilst reinforced liftwood levitation engines ensure maximal mobility. Noospheric networking allows the Dauntless class to network with lesser constructs such as the Whippet, as well as with platoon command sections and Masters Of Artificials on the ground
The Dauntless combines speed, protection and lethality into one construct, ensuring our society has nothing to fear from the Dead, the Beasts, or any other threat that the world of Hyperia may choose to throw against us
She can be seen here flying the colours of the 301st Skyborne, a tried and tested formation who have defended the Grand Alliance against many foes
Live fire combat testing proved the efficacy of the design, the Skyborne being highly appreciated of her concentrated firepower

Yep, I got into the recycling again…

Actually, I’ve been meaning to do this for AGES. Ever since I saw this:

This is the lid of a bottle of laundry detergent. And looked at the right way… it has an air of steampunk, Adeptus Mechanicus-style menace, doesn’t it? And given that the previous incarnation of the Dauntless was basically a toilet roll tube with pretensions, I’d long wondered if I couldn’t do something a bit better.
Filled the body with caulk and popped a ping pong ball in there to be the liftwood core
Some EPVC (I think) from an eBay purchase provided the wings – you’ll have seen the same stuff used here as base.
Bevelled the wings and glued them on using a mix of quick dry PVA, caulk and superglue.
Jet thrusters from a pair of now-dead biros
Chin cannon (thinking steampunk/ fantasy A-10 here, so something analogous to the iconic “Avenger” cannon) – this was made from a mysterious leftover part from an IKEA bookcase!
Missiles added for those hard to reach targets! These are rawl plugs, attached to the wings with the same mix of PVA and superglue
Something this big needs a base equal to the challenge! Pretty sure 2005 virus protection isn’t much use in 2022, so this CD will do, with a Tactical Rock added to cover the hole
Cardboard added for armour plating and rivets daubed on as blobs of PVA with a cocktail stick, and then we bring the primer! White, to match the Whippet
Cat litter added to the base for scenic effect
Primed and ready for painting…
And done! Painting was the same as the Whippet, and the basing mostly used the same idea – I did a little bot of leopard spotting on the rocks before drybrushing them with cream and using the tried and trusty mix of PVA and superglue to attach the ping pong ball liftwood core.. Thumb added for scale!

So there we go – I’m really, really chuffed with this build, it came together really well and I think it looks the part too… full of menace, hovering across the battlefield dispensing Vrilfire death to the enemies of the Grand Alliance… let’s see what those filthy Greenskin savages, rat abominations or misguided religious zealots can come up with to match her!

Stay thrifty out there and see you soon – we’ve just noticed that it is (drumroll please) Orctober!!! So no prizes for guessing the next few posts themes…

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

The Fawcett-Fairchild FV1066 “Whippet” Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform

As tensions across the world of Hyperia escalate, the Grand Alliance coalition of willing floating cities and aero-states are finding it necessary to deploy Sky Marine task forces with increasing regularity. As by necessity these task forces are small in terms of numbers, despite their high quality training and equipment they are vulnerable to near-peer competitors able to deploy overwhelming numbers. To this end, the Alliance military-industrial complex have been tasked with developing easily deployable “force multipliers”. The Fawcett-Fairchild “Whippet” class Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform is such a device, crewed by a single Sky Marine, Vril-enabled Artificial Cognisance enabling it to track multiple targets, prioritise them and engage with twin belt-fed 1-inch canons – all the while networking with “senior” constructs such as the Dauntless-class Skycutter.”

You know that feeling when you see a piece of junk that you’re about to throw out and all of a sudden a voice in your head says “Keep me… I am destined to be more than this..”…

Yes, it’s a junk build. Missed these, haven’t you? 😉

So it was with a simple plastic cap off a bottle of guitar string cleaner – there was just something about the proportions that I thought looked right in 1/72… coupled with the fact that Dan had mentioned a new RTS called Iron Harvest that he reckoned I might get a kick out of…

OK, failed to take any pics of the build process, it seems. So – I began with the clear plastic spray top that forms the body of the mech. Next, I bored some holes in it and used cocktail sticks, snapped in half at the “knee” joints and sealed with superglue to form the legs. A mix of superglue and quick dry PVA did wonders to fix the legs in place to the body.

Next up, the cannons – two more cocktail sticks with sort of grippy bits on them (look at the pic, I don’t know how best to describe them!) – these got the superglue/ PVA treatment straight to the body. This works really well – PVA gives a flexible, sturdy bond but it takes time to dry, whereas superglue is quick drying but brittle. Mixing them seems to do wonders, and there doesn’t seem to be any side effects like Mel The Terrain Tutor describes from mixing superglue and hot glue.

The ammo belts you see feeding the cannons are cut from IDE cable (credit to Zrunelord from TMP there), chopped about 5mm by 10mm and given the magic glue mix, and the shiny thing on top is a defunct watch battery – gives the thing a nice bit of weight.

On the top you can see a chopped down superglue cap, and a couple of thin pieces of card glued to the front for armour plating, and just out of shot are a couple of drinking straws trimmed to represent exhausts:

Old brush bristle got repurposed as an aerial, and the rivets are our classic method of PVA blobs dabbed on with a cocktail stick
Finally I drew round a paint pot on a piece of corrugated card for the base. And with that, time for priming!
White, as was the style of the time..
Prewash with thinned black paint & Vallejo Smokey Ink mix

And once again, I forgot to take pics of the painting process, so here we are with some finished beauty shots:

Basecoat of Vallejo Russian Green, washed with Arm Pinter Green Tone and then thinned Vallejo Brown Ink with a pin wash of Vallejo Smokey Ink.. then drybrushed back with Russian Green, and mixed with craft tan to lighten it. Weathering was Vallejo Skin Wash streaked on to simulate rainwater and then sponge chipping with craft black and Vallejo Mithril silver for where bare metal pokes through (not too much, Sky Marines undertake regular maintenance of their armoury). The brass ammo belts were Mithril Silver washed with Skin Wash, and the base painted with chocolate brown before covered with dry soil, sand and Jarvis flock before varnish
Seen here about to kick some greenskin ass.. “They are to our right, left and centre.. they can’t get away now!”

Stay thrifty out there, and if you’re so inclined you can now follow us on Instagram! Just search “@skinflintgames” – see you in the next one

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… 😉

A Clash Of Evil – Hyperian Wars Battle Report

It’s customary in many a fantasy trope to regard humanity as besieged on all sides by innumerable hordes of vile creatures, united as one in their desire for destruction – but on the world of Hyperia, this ain’t necessarily so! As it turns out, be they human, elf, dwarf, or Baddie (TM) – pretty much everyone hates everyone else in roughly equal measure.

And so to today’s battle report, which pits Dan’s Orcathe followers of Warchief Ghazhrag The Bloody – against the Virum Nascii ratman horde of Ratticus McStilton III!

As some of you may be aware, we did a fair few HW games in 2019 and the ratmen kicked some ass and took some names… but then The Great Plague struck and gaming (and thus rule development) all went down the pan. Now, mercifully, we’ve just got potential WW3 to worry about, and until someone invents a facemask that can stop a Satan II ICBM warhead… well, we might as well stop worrying, crack open a bottle and play soldiers.

Dan brought everything he’d got finished, including a commander I hadn’t seen before (!), and because our Virum Nascii horde vastly outnumbers… everything, really, I decided to stick to the basics – warriors, slaves, archers, Plague Priests, Stormtroopers and Warlord. All the special weapons stuff would stay home for now. This was a rough estimate in points values, but also so I could beat him without fear of emotional blackmail – the Orca are tough – thick, but tough – and hit hard in big blocks but have little missile weaponry and no magic (yet).

Rules, for those interested:

Orcs:

Orc Warrior:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Orc Archer

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1253292RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Bow160cm7+D61

Savage Orc

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1264282EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Orc General

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
12563124EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D62

Orc Shaman

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
12553103EliteDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D62

Filth (4+): Target friendly unit within 12” gets Poison in melee next time it fights.

Cracks (4+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 2 automatic hits with AP(2).

Sickness (5+): Target enemy unit within 18” gets -1 to hit next time it shoots.

Lightning (5+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 1 hit with AP(4) and Deadly(3).

Frenzy (6+): Target friendly unit within 12” may immediately move by up to 6”.

Pestilence (6+): Target enemy unit within 6” takes 1 automatic hit per model.

Virum Nascii

Warrior

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863361PoorDefault – Hold

Slaves

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1872361UntrainedDefault – Panic
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Bow150cm6+D61
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee6+D61

Poison Grenadiers

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863361RegularDefault: Advance (ranged)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Poison Grenade112+D68+D63 (Blast 3cm)

Stormtroopers

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1864361RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Assassins

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
2063461RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee8+D61

Warlord

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1854492VeteranHero
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons3Melee7+D61

Plague Priests

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1863371RegularDefault: Advance (Assault)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Hand Weapons1Melee7+D62

Weapons Teams

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1853471RegularIndependent, Default: Hold (Ranged)
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Vrilrifle148cm20+2D62
Ratling Gun636cm7+D61
Vrilfire Thrower1Template12+D62
Vrilgrinder DrillN/AN/AN/ASets up Ambush*

*Ambush – This unit begins in reserve. When it is placed, it may pop up anywhere more than 18cm from an enemy unit. Any friendly Virum Nascii units not already deployed may follow through the tunnel and pop and deploy with a unit facing touching the tunnel mouth in the case of a regiment or in the case of an individual character.

Master Of Engineers:

SpeedShooting SkillCCRInitiativeArmourHit PointMoraleNotes
1843492VeteranHero
WeaponRate Of FireClose RangePenetrationDamage
Vrilfire Pistol324cm12+D62

Dan brought the Orca general, two regiments of 30 Warriors each, a regiment of 25 Savage Orcs and 16 Archers – I brought the Virum Nascii Warlord, a regiment of 32 Slave archers, 2 regiments of 16 warriors each, 28 Slaves, 6 Stormtroopers and 16 Plague Priests.

We decided on a specific objective – controlling the sacred stones within a ruined temple. To win, a player would have to have an unshaken (unsuppressed) unit within half a move distance, so 9cm for the VN, 6cm for the slower Orcs. To war!

The objective – some holy stones within a ruined. “Why’s dey ‘oly boss?” “Cause dey’s full of ‘oles, don’t ask stoopid questions”

Virum Nascii win the deployment roll off, choosing their table edge and forcing the Orca to deploy first.
Hordes of chittering Virum Nascii swarm forth! Using a new deployment rule to simulate the increased flexibility of faster armies, basically everyone can deploy a double move forward onto the board – meant 24cm for the Orca, 36cm for the Ratmen.
Both side close for battle – Virum Nascii archers attempt to provide covering fire… this is comically ineffective

Orca attempt a flanking manouevre

Cunning Virum Nascii warlord uses his slaves as bait to try and lure the Orca into doing something rash…
Orca flanking manoeuvre hurtles ponderously toward Ratmen lines…
Plague Priests ambush a unit of Orca warriors, catching them in the flank

Ratmen warriors ambush a unit of Orca warriors in the rear, causing them to rout!

Orca archers provide counterbattery fire, covering the advance of the Savage/ Feral (choose your poison) Orca – this is somewhat more effective than their Virum Nascii counterparts….
…causing both the slave warriors and slave archers to rout! Warlord Ratticus does his best to rally the troops…
With the Orca flank threat successfully dealt with, the Ratmen encircle the temple ruins…

First Ratmen Warrior unit sent in is duly demolished by superior Savage Orca numbers and strength…

But then (while the slaves are rallying) a second regiment of Virum Nascii Warriors attacks the Savage Orca from behind, routing them!
…Plague Priests catch the fleeing Orca and annihilate them!
Ratmen attempt to press home the attack in the temple, but the Orca are too strong and too many!
Arrow fire routs the Slave archers… again…
Lord Ratticus send in his finest, the Plague Priests – will they get the job done?
At the height of the battle, Warlord Ratticus charges Ghazrag The Bloody!
…and he is no match for his greenskin adversary!
Seeing their warlord fall, the slave archers leg it as the Plague priests start to struggle, with the Stormtroopers looking for an opening..

The slaves rally…

..but the Plague Priests die to a rat to a crushing assault from Orca archers and Warriors!

With just the 6 Stormtroopers and 20 odd largely ineffectual Slave archers against 16 much more effective Orca archers and a block of 20 Warriors, as well as Ghazrag himself, the surviving Virum Nascii realised they had no chance to take the objective and conceded the game. Victory to the Orca!

Although this was by no means a strictly competitive game – we were tweaking the rules on the fly and working out mechanics as we went – it was still really fun and pretty cinematic watching two VERY different flavours of Baddie go against each other! There are still more Orca to come and lots of special units for the Ratmen too so expect another faceoff in the near future… and of course what happens when these meet the Sky Marines of the Grand Alliance or the massed ranks of the Ancien Regime?

Stay tuned for more fantasy wackiness as we get into summer, and who knows, we may even get these rules out and published before the heat death of the universe…..

Stay safe and thrifty out there, slava ukrainia!

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!

The Tiniest Kings Of War

In which Lukes’ APS gives me an astonishingly cool idea…

Yes, I definitely have a problem. So currently I have the retro Blood Angels on the go as well as the 1/72 Orc horde that I’ve been working on, and a DIY Epic Imperial Guard army that I have big plans for… so it makes sense that having finished a regiment of Orcs, I should then go and start on something completely different and unrelated, doesn’t it?

And yet and yet and yet. I happened upon this video from Luke’s APS, one of our favourite YouTubers (How do, O Squire Of The North) in which he shows how to do the popular Kings Of War system in smaller scale on the kitchen table.

Now, Jim has had custody of our 6×4 in his converted garage – the lucky bastard – ever since we built it back in 2017, largely because I have nowhere in the house I could put it. However, despite the tyranny of wife and small child, I do still have relatively free access to the kitchen table. And although gaming nights are restricted to remote games for at least the next couple of months, said wife and small child might make for entertaining opponents.

And given the way the boy’s mind seems to work, I fully expect him to pull off a Cannae style double envelopment, perfectly co-ordinated and then celebrate his victory by stripping naked, eating the dice and farting out all 6’s, but we’ll see.

Now, in the video Mr. Fellowes 3D prints his 10mm figures and then bases them as regiments – this is a hallmark of Kings Of War, as regiments are based all together, 20 figures (for example) in a regiment glued to a single base as casualty removal doesn’t happen in this system. I do not possess a 3D printer and am unlikely to do so any time soon, but what I do have is…

Granny grating.

Yep, we’re back there again. I must admit to being really pleased with my DIY Imperial Guard army built with this stuff (and I know Jim’s got something similar in the works) and I figured that this could be the way to go to build armies for Kings Of War – happily, Mantic make the basic rulebook available for free on their website and this contains two army lists, one Orc and one Dwarf, so I figured I’d start there.

I reduced the footprint of each regiment or troop by half, cut the bases out of wine box corrugated cardboard, painted the bottom with PVA to counteract any warping and then cut out the infantry shapes from the granny grating and hot glued them to the bases. These got primed grey and then painted up using a similar scheme to my 20mm Orcs – Army Painter Goblin green washed with Green Tone for the skin, Vallejo Hot Orange washed with Red Ink for the red, Filthy Brown washed with thinned Smokey Ink for the browns. I used Mithril Silver for the metallics and washed them with Smokey Ink to create a worn down, beaten look.

I painted the base dark chocolate with craft paint and then painted over that with PVA, dunked the baes in sand.. and when that was dry I selectively added PVA and then flock on those patches.

In Kings Of War, measurements are taken from a central point on the base, and I decided to mark that point with a standard – this would also help unit identification, (as well as looking cool.) The pole was just another piece of granny grating, cut to fit and hot glued in, and the standard was simply a bit of scrap paper (an envelope, if memory serves) painted Hot Orange, washed with Red Ink and then painted with appropriate logos (eg Axe for the infantry, clubs for the Trolls).

With all this done, I took them out to the shed for varnish…

And belatedly realised I’d picked up the wrong can and sprayed primer instead.

Sigh.

Happily, the repaint was pretty simple – no need to worry about paint layers obscuring fine detail, as there was no detail. So here we are – pics!

Orc commander – he got mounted on a washer, with a small piece of gravel to illustrate his truly heroic nature.
Troll regiment
Orc “Ax” infantry regiment
Orc archer support troop
Orc “Morax” elite heavy infantry troop
Cavalry regiment
Ready to conquer the kitchen table

So there we have a 750 point battle ready warband for Kings of War on a budget of £0! Next up are the Dwarves (as I’m FINISHING this project before starting anything else…) and then terrain – we’re going to need somewhere to fight over and some properly scaled terrain features, and I’ve got a good few ideas for that, so stay tuned.

Full disclosure – I learned everything I needed to make this army from the Battlecraft YouTube Channel, so all the techniques you need, go there and check him out. Credit where it’s due.

Wherever you are, stay safe and stay thrifty.. and if you happen to be part of the astonishing vaccine rollout program, then thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you are literally saving the world. The Emperor protect you!

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 Pt.2.. More 20mm Fantasy Orcs

So as we established in the last post, I clearly have a problem. I get all excited about my 1991 Blood Angels Tribute Act project, complete one squad and then straight away get diverted into 20mm fantasy orcs.. for some reason.

Anyway, I’ve finished another regiment – want to see?

Presenting… Da Red Shoo Ladz

This is a regiment of 25 Feral Orcs (for Age Of Fantasy Regiments) armed with axes – we’ll figure something out for Warhammer Fantasy and Hyperian Wars. I won’t belabour the painting process seeing as I’ve already described it here, basically it’s a crib from old 90s White Dwarfs – all bright primary colours and of course, Goblin Green!

The command figure has red boots, so hence- Da Red Shoo Ladz.

There are only two poses but with a bit of careful angling on the base (20mm squares of single corrugated card) you can make them look like a properly rowdy, Orky mob.

I also made them a movement tray:

A 110 x 110mm square of corrugated plastic card – enough to allow 5 x 5 20mm bases and allow space for a ridge of hot glue around the edges. Then texture paste, spray black, drybrush up with earth tones and add flock and sand to taste.

And here they are with the previous unit – now named Da Red Arrers (sorry, couldn’t help it) in support:

So that’s 41 down, 130 to go! Just hope we can get a decent game in with them in the near future as the second wave gains pace…

Stay safe, stay thrifty, see you again soon!