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

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!

A Firefight In The Grimdark Future

Here in dear old Blighty the foul weather continues, and so therefore does our temporary tactical withdrawal from the gaming shed and into the centrally heated sanctuary of my living room.. which means, skirmish games!

The other week we pulled out a forgotten classic from the 90’s, Alternative Armies “Firefight”  –

Firefight
Mmm, nostalgia… 😉

-and tweaked it to run with 3D scenery and no squares, but for this week we returned to the folks at onepagerules.com to check out their skirmish level adaptation of Grimdark Future – Grimdark Future Firefight.

Now, straightaway there’s not really much difference between the two, aside for rules where models are wounded and may revive, it’s basically the same game. That said, the mission statement is One Page Rules – the whole point is for it to be easy to play, not weighted down with complication. So this shouldn’t be taken as criticism!

We rolled out the 2nd Ed 40k plastics again, Dan taking a Battle Brother team and me a force of Orc Marauders:

Battle Brothers:

Captain – Quality 3+ Defence 2+, Fearless, Hero, Relentless, Tough (3)

Advanced Tactics, War Chant, Storm Rifle, Destroyer Armour (Tough +3)

3 Battle Brothers – Quality 3+, Defence 2+, Fearless, Veteran Infantry, Storm Rifle

Battle Brother – Quality 3+, Defence 2+, Fearless, Veteran Infantry, Heavy Machine Gun

Orc Marauders

Warlord – Quality 3+, Defence 4+, Heavy Armour, Cyborg Body, War!!!, Ultra Axe, Bad Shot, Furious, Hero, Tough (3)

3 x Goblin Herd – Quality 6+, Defence 6+, Good Shot, Pistol

6 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Carbine, Bad Shot, Furious

4 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Heavy Machine Gun, Bad Shot, Furious

 

So as you can see, pretty different approaches, very much an elites v horde approach! My plan was to use the HMG equipped boyz and Goblins to provide enough covering fire/ meat shield (respectively) to advance my boyz into melee, particularly my Warlord who should be absolutely lethal! Dan simply planned to gun down as many of my ladz as possible before cleaning up the stragglers in melee.

We figured that should provide a good cinematic scuffle, so pulled out the small urban board, decorated it with some appropriately grimdark scenery, and set to business.

The battlefield, with 5 objective markers laid out as per the deployment rules

The Boyz take to the field.. Dan wondering a little about his list at this point, as quantity does have a quality of it’s own!

A target rich environment for the Battle Brothers!

“Right Brothers, our Veteran status and skills mean we hit on a 2+! Ohhh…”

Orc Marauders move up, Gretchin functioning as a walking shield – Dan’s lads have managed to wound my Warboss (in power armour in the centre)

The fallen on Turn 1! 1 Gretchin but two of my ladz…

Turn 2 and the boyz get stuck in! Orc Marauder attacks the Battle Brothers captain, distracting him all sneaky like.. so the Warboss piles round the back of him to krump him dead ‘ard when he’s not looking, putting two wounds on him!

Elsewhere, Battle Brother fire downs another Orc and Gretchin mob, while a solitary Brother prepares to defend Objective 3

Captain downs the Orc, but  that Warboss is krumpin’ pretty hard now, that’s 3 wounds on the Brothers’ leader!

WAAAAGH! First Brother falls in melee, and the Orcs take Objective 3!

Dakka fills the air as the Captain and another Brother are embroiled in melee..

The Captain falls to the Warboss! A Brother charges in to avenge the loss…

Turn 4 comes to an end with the Captain and a Brother dead, two more in melee and Orcs in possession of four of the five objectives. We figured at this point the Battle Brother with the heavy machinegun would cover his comrades to help them disengage and make a tactical withdrawal..

So there we go, pretty solid Orc victory but at quite a price and given a little more luck with the dice Dan’s Battle Brothers might well have handed my my arse fair and square!

Thoughts on the game itself – tricky one really. There’s nothing about it that makes you go “wow, that’s so cool”, and certainly it didn’t feel terribly pacy or perilous… but there again, it’s incredibly intuitive and it just works. 5-10 minutes reading the rules and you’re away – 40k can’t seem to manage that, with endless codexes and Chapter Approved and FAQs.. but there again, if you’re a big company, you have to provide “support” to your player base… and support means new stuff, and new stuff means added complexity..  I don’t know. What I do know is that the One Page Rules guys have a really solid system here, well worth checking out. My only bugbear is one that seems to plague pretty much every ruleset we try – why oh why oh why oh why  must I move and then shoot? Why can’t I shoot then move? Well, maybe I’m an outlier in this regard!

Anyway, winter draws on, so that means lots more skirmishing to try, and next up we’ll be taking our Black Ops system out for a trial run as Atlantic Alliance Special Forces go hunting aliens! See you there, and stay thrifty out there..

I Have Seen The Future…. and it is GRIMDARK!

As some of you know, Jim and I are basically Wyloch groupies, and have been ever since we stumbled across his series on how to craft DIY 40K vehicles, skimmers, walkers etc out of hot glue and random crap he has lying around the house. He’s basically nerd MacGyver.

Anyhoo, recently he’s been putting up some battle reports using the system formerly known as 1page40k – Grimdark Future. This is billed as a fast playing, easy to use, quick and dirty version of the 40k we all know and sort-of-love, sort-of-loathe. Rules and army lists are free to download from the One Page Rules website here. And seeing as we are drawn to free stuff like a moth to the flame of a slow burning crack pipe, we were all over this.

Jim took the Skooderia as Orc Marauders, I took the Hazzard 1977th as Human Defence Force. Long story here, but basically I feel the Leman Russ I built out of cardboard owes me some serious f*cking karma after it’s traumatic birth. OPR designer Gaetano Ferrara recommends 750pts per side to start, but because we were using smaller models we expanded up to 1000pts.

Well, it made sense at the time.

Anyway, lists:

Da Orc Marauders!

Warlord [1] 3+

(shoots at 5+)

4+ Twin Carbine (18”, A4)

, CCW (A3)

Bad Shot, Furious, Hero, Tough(3)   65pts
Orcs [10] 4+

(shoots at 5+)

5+ Carbines (18”, A2)

, CCWs (A2)

1 Rocket Launcher

(24”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3))

1 Heavy Machinegun (36”, A3, AP(1))

Bad Shot, Furious   215pts

RT -280

Commando Orcs [5] 4+

(shoots at 5+)

5+ Pistols (12”, A1), CCWs (A2)

1 Flamethrower (12”, A6)

Bad Shot, Furious, Scout, Stealth, Strider   145pts

RT 425

Power Armor Orcs [3] 3+

(shoots at 5+)

2+ Carbines (18”, A2), Energy Fists (A3, AP(2)) Bad Shot, Furious, Slow, Tough(6)   395pts

RT 820

Truck [1] 4+ 2+ Heavy Machinegun (36”, A3, AP(1)), Crew (A1) Bad Shot, Fast, Impact(3), Tough(6), Transport(11) Battle Ram (Strider)

Red Paint Job (moves +3” on Advance and +6” on Rush/Charge actions)

180pts

RT 1000

The Human Defence Force musters!

Commander [1] 4+ 5+ Assault Rifle (24”, A1), Energy Sword (A2, AP(1)) Commander, Hero, Tough(3)  55pts

Psychic [1] 5+ 5+ Pistol (12”, A1), CCW (A2) Hero, Psychic(2), Tough(3)  50pts RT 105

Infantry Squad [5] 5+ 5+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) –  90pts

includes Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Missile Launcher – pick one each turn: HE (48”, A1, Blast(3))AT (48”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3)   RT195

Conscripts [10] 6+ 5+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) – – 60pts RT 255

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Heavy Machineguns (36”, A3, AP(1)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3)  115pts RT370

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Missile Launcher – pick one each turn: HE (48”, A1, Blast(3)) AT (48”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3) 120pts RT490

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Laser Cannon (48”,A1,AP(4),Deadly(3)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3)  125pts RT 615

Battle Tank [1] 4+ 2+ Nova Cannon (36”, A1, AP(1), Blast(6)), Laser Cannon (48”,A1,AP(4),Deadly(3)), Crew (A1) Fast, Impact(3), Tough(12)  2x Heavy Machineguns (36”,A3,AP(1)) Storm Rifle (24”, A2)  Light Machinegun (36”, A3) 385pts RT 1000

We set up terrain with a ruined village to the east and a disused plasma generator station to the west, set objectives (one of the generators, central hill, ruined church and a ruined shop)…and GAME ON!

Human Defence Force won the roll off and force the Orcs to deploy first:

Jim’s ladz took the southern table edge, concentrating forces in the village – effectively conceding the plasma generator but with the intent of focusing on the central three and hoping to overwhelm the HDF at short range

Big Red packed with Warlord, Power Armoured Orcs and Commando Orcs with the task of seizing and holding the two village objectives. Meanwhile the other mob would head for the central objective in  the hills

HDF infantry cluster in cover opposing the main orc force – commander, infantry and conscripts along with heavy machinegun team

The HDF is ready – Hoo-AH!

And battle was joined!

Action erupts almost immediately as the Warlord, the Commando Orcs and the Power Armoured Orcs leap off their transport and straight away mix it up with the HDF heavy machinegun team – losing a PA Orc and another wounded

HDF range superiority proving effective as long as humie can keep his distance, but if the Orcs can get in close…

Boyz mob climb the hill, taking an objective and lobbing a grenade into the HDF squad

HDF missile team open up on da boyz

The General wades in to the fray

“Where dey all gone?”

 

Transport holds the objective while the Warlord makes his way through the village

Commando Orcs hold the forward ruins objective, giving supporting fire while the Power Armour Orcs advance on the conscript squad and the Command squad 

As we go into Turn 3, it’s 2 objectives to the Orcs, 1 to the HDF

HDF conscripts play cat and mouse with the VERY tough Power Armour Orcs

The General advances toward the Orc flank, a rolling firestorm…

From their perch near the plasma generator, HDF laser cannon team drop the Warlord

And as the final turn comes to a end, the General crashes into the Orc flank, taking the central objective and massacring the Commando Orcs.

End result, 2 objectives to the HDF (plasma generator and central hill) one to the Orc Marauders (ruined church, held by the transport)

Casualties – HDF lost a weapons team and some of the infantry squad, plus wounded Captain… the Orcs were pretty much down to the transport and their Power Armour elites, and even they were pretty beaten up.

So a pretty decisive victory!

Thoughts on the game? A LOT of fun. Grimdark Future is simple, fast playing and intuitive, absolutely brilliant for a quick throw down kickabout. We did wonder about the balance of point values given the pounding the Orcs took, but Jim did point out the he might just’ve sucked at playing the game.

So, a new system, and props to OPR designer Gaetano Ferrara for the effort he’s put into creating a fun and fast game that really benefits from not being supported by a major model company (more thoughts on that another day). We had a blast and next up on the list is OPR’s “Age Of Fantasy- Regiments” – we’ll let you know!

(Side note – free rules and army lists, 1/72 miniatures, scratchbuilt terrian and vehicles… could this be the cheapest wargame ever played?)

Try these yourself: onepagerules.com