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

Terrain Talk Pt. 20 – Under Golgothan Spires

So I’ve finally got my big DIY project underway – my granny grating Epic Squat army, based around the old 2nd Ed Space Marine battle report, “The Battle For Golgotha” from somewhere around 1993, which was set in the aftermath of Warlord Ghazgkull’s 2nd invasion of the world of Armageddon and (spoiler alert) finished with the heroic Commissar Yarrick being captured by the Ork..

Little did I know that between then and now, GW would immortalise this encounter with a novel and of course the Squats themselves would fall.. and then rise! But honestly? I’m more interested in recreating those gorgeous pictures that hooked me as a nipper.

I mean, just LOOK at this… breathes there man or woman with soul so dead as not to be enchanted??

Looking back through some of the pictures you’ll notice some big jagged rock spires – maybe not the most realistic terrain, but certainly cinematic, and CERTAINLY eye-catching. So monkey see, monkey make..

We start with a chunk of Celotex insulation foam (the same stuff I bought a big sheet of back in 2017, to make hills and stuff from)
And a sheet of what I believe is ePVC – I bought some speakers on eBay, and this was part of the packaging.. Terrain Tutor approved basing material, cut into a wobbly lozenge shape, bevelled and sanded.
Glue one to the other, and start hacking chunks off with a DIY knife
A bit more hacking and glueing of excess bits to create contours and make sure the spires aren’t all the same height
Covered the whole thing with filler (spackle, to our American friends)
Important to cover the whole thing, as spray paint can melt the foam and play havoc with your masterpiece!
Next up, I concocted some DIY Mod Podge by mixing up black craft paint, PVA, filler and water to get in all the nooks and crannys. This also worked as a good “pre-prime” coat to ensure nothing was left exposed to the spray paint.
But first, some detail – cat litter! I splurged PVA into various likely looking spots on the piece and drizzled cat litter onto them.
Cheap & simple, but an incredibly effective trick – I would credit who I nicked the idea off, but it’s lost to the mists of history..
And then…. WTF??? A WHITE undercoat??? Stained with yellow & brown paint washes????
…but then we bring back sanity with a thinned black wash over everything…
Bone drybrush to catch the contours and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how we apply the “leopard spotting” technique to our rock formations! Credit to Lukes APS for clueing us in to that one.
Finally flocked with Jarvis 3 tone system as used on our board, hills and as espoused by Mel The Terrain Tutor himself, praise be upon him… a little bit of Garage Floor Dust (TM) in there as well. I finished up by sealing it with watered down PVA and sprayed with matt varnish to protect it. Dan’s Blood Angel and Epic Battlewagon shown for scale

This was a really fun little build, and didn’t take anywhere as long as I thought it would, so I think a few more may be in the offing as I’ve still got a fair bit of ePVC and insulation foam..

As Dan mentioned, HQ is down for a bit of redecoration and reorganisation for the next week or so so there’s time to build some more stuff for us both.. in the meantime, stay safe, stay thrifty and Slava Ukrainia!

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… 😉

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. X – Characters

And we proceed into the end phase of this projectwell, probably.. after nigh on TWO YEARS (!) I’ve finally got the supporting characters for Captain Tycho’s HQ.

Presenting:

From left to right – Librarian, Medic, Chaplain
Side view on Chaplain – he was based black, drybrushed up and then washed with black again – yellow and bone parts shaded with Vallejo Skin Wash and I tried to feather the wash a little with a wet brush… looking at the close up though I can see a few issues!
Medic – I was happier with him, based in Dulux Jasmine White (yep) thinned with Windsor & Newton medium, given a very thin coat of Skin Wash to warm the whole thing up a bit – slightly heavier wash on the yellow and/ bone parts
Librarian – I did the blue with Wilkos Duck Egg Blue, washed with a craft blue and did a thinned down wash over the silver on the power sword to suggest a “power” vibe

The back banners were my attempts at freehand and I think it’s undeniable that I REALLY need to get my eyes checked – I think I may have another crack at these, drawing them out on paper first rather than going in freehand!

Captain Tycho and his supporting cast…

Hmm. Looking at these from two feet away, they look OK, but under the unyielding light of camera close up, I’m not happy. Glasses and retouching I think are the order of the day – anyone out there have any experience of this sort of thing?

Stay safe and thrifty out there, back again soon!

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….

I Am The God Of Hellfire, And I Bring You…

Hellfire!

See?

This is a ruleset I picked up in the dim and distant period of history known as my childhood and recently rediscovered during an attic clearance, along with it’s sister ruleset “Hell By Starlight” – both written by Jim Webster, both published by Wessex Games in the mid-90s, and both entirely “miniature agnostic” as the current term goes. I have a vague memory of mail ordering this aged 14 or so from Miniature Wargaming magazine – yeah, I got all the birds, me.

Reading through it, there were a few nice concepts so I invited Jim over, laid out the terrain cloth and Jim brought his DIY granny grating Star Wars armies to try things out and see what we could do with it. The scenario was simple, with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker leading company sized forces of infantry with a couple of attached speeder scouts battling over control of the hill in the centre of the table.

Imperial stormtroopers form up on the left, Rebel Alliance to the right
Imperials deploy north west table corner, Vader to the fore
Rebels deploy southeast, trusting to the contours of the ground to conceal them – after all, only Imperial stormtroopers are this accurate.

The game plays basically IGO UGO, with adjustments via command points from the leaders. Each one generates D8 command points which can force each unit under their command to perform extra actions – all the D8s were at Jim’s so we used 2D6 to represent both Luke & Vader being Strong With The Force. These could do things like force extra movement actions, firing etc.

The first few rounds were mainly both sides advancing to contact using the terrain for cover, both Luke and Vader generating command points like crazy to frog march their troops along – meanwhile the scout speeders on each side zipped around the table trying to snipe at each other or any targets of opportunity.

Vader storms up the hill at the head of his stormtroopers.
While Vader powers up the hill, Luke sends his detachments left and right to try and envelope the enemy in a crossfire
Imperial fire kills Rebel HQ – fortunately Luke survives to take direct command of the Rebel Scum (TM)
The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Having secured the hilltop, Vader storms down the hill into the teeth of Rebel fire, shrugging off blaster hits that shred his Stormtrooper bodyguard – Luke Skywalker fearlessly dives into melee combat with his father… cue much Chipmunk voiced “I am your father…” “That’s not true… that’s impossible!”
With their HQ destroyed and Luke locked in combat with Vader, the Rebel assault stalls under fire – although they do manage to take down the last Imperial speeder
“Luke.. I know what you’re getting for Christmas..”
Imperial stormtroopers drive off another assault while Luke & Vader duel – “Luke, I know what you’re getting for Christmas…” “Why do you keep saying that?”
Stormtroopers gun down the last Rebels trying to mass for a final assault, and Luke falls! Vader powers down his light sabre, his work complete – “I felt your presents”

So there we go, a fun little game with a suitable cinematic ending. Hellfire has some fun concepts – the idea of your troops deteriorating as the battle continues, becoming more susceptible to poor morale is a neat one, although I think the way it’s executed in practice is a bit fiddly. The idea of HQ generating command points – well, you don’t need me to approve that, as GW have worked it into the current and last versions of 40k!

My only criticism is that it feels incomplete – obviously, the production values don’t really stand up viewed from 2021 perspective but given this is a 30 years old from the pre-internet era, you wouldn’t expect it to- but a few more specific examples of how certain mechanics work would be nice, a lot of the rules are very open to interpretation and you’re never sure if you’re doing things the way they’re supposed to be done.. that said, it was fun and that’s the end of it, really. However – we’re going to try refighting this using our own ruleset which we’re developing for large scale battles in the Apocalypse: Earth, Future Force Warrior and Hyperian Wars universes, and Hellfire has definitely given us some ideas to try there. So if you find a copy of this floating around Ebay, or just a car boot sale. it’s definitely worth picking up.

Respect to the author Jim Webster, in the unlikely event of him reading this, and we’ll be trying out his other set “Hell By Starlight” in a future post.
As always, stay safe and thrifty out there… the Omicron Variant is waiting like a microscopic Grinch to steal Christmas….

EDIT – thanks to Pete S/P for pointing me towards Jim’s own site here: https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

And that’s me off for some wine & cheese at a business meeting….

The Great Halloween Zombie Game Battle Report

******************************

It was unnaturally dark. Even for a man like Lt. Hunt, who had made the darkness his friend during many long years of special operations, it was unsettling. He turned to his team – all highly trained operatives, all experienced… all scared.

“OK. Whatever this is – whether it’s a virus like they say, or whether it really is the dead coming back.. right now it doesn’t make any difference. There’s a team of scientists stranded in the compound, half a click southwest. We need to get in there, break them out, and escort them to the egress point another half a click along the same axis where there’s a transport chopper waiting.”

He exhaled hard.

“As well as the obvious hazards, it’s probably safe to assume that Ivan has wind of them too. There’s no official intel, but don’t be surprised if there’s a Soviet patrol out there. Heads on a swivel – don’t let those things get up close, don’t let them bite you.. head shots, controlled bursts. Don’t burn through your ammo. Remember these things are slow, but there’s likely a lot of them. No full auto.

Moss, take point. Hill you’re with him. Clark, with me. Keep tight, keep moving. Let’s roll.”

******************************
The wind whipped dust into Sgt. Kaminsky’s eyes. He shielded them with his hand as he took a roster of his squad. Thirteen conscripts, two of them toting light machine guns. Enough firepower to deal with whatever they were likely to come across, surely – although these… things.. whatever they were – seemed uncomfortably numerous.

His troops – all scared, all conscripts, some as young as 14 – gripped their Kalashnikovs and took what shelter they could from the howling wind.

“This is a chance to gain the upper hand in this wat, Comrades. A chance to shorten this war and get us home to our families. Those kulaks in the compound have information vital to the enemy war effort and we MUST capture them, we cannot let them fall into the maw of these beasts”.

He signalled a heading. “That way. Capture the kulaks and two kilometres, hand them over to NKVD. Maybe we get off the line for a few days. On me, comrades,”

The table laid out – compound with besieged scientists in the middle of the board and zombie spawning points two per table quarters
Skalk Point generator station with scientists sheltering from zombies
Allied special forces team deploy on the northeast corner, evac point on the southwest
Holy Soviet Army rifle squad deploys at the southeast corner, evac point on the northwest
Zombies boil from their spawning points! Note the wrecked Soviet armour – purely scenic in this game, just there for atmosphere
Allied Special Forces lead off, methodically gunning down zombies as they advance cautiously – but return fire (yes, we give our zombies guns – they’re just not great with them) comes within a whisker of downing Specialist Moss! Happily his body armour saved the day – remember the SF team only has four models…
The Soviets form a gunline and massacre the horde of zombies shambling toward them
Meanwhile the Allied SF team take advantage of briefly clear streets to dash toward the compound and the stranded civilians
Another horde of zombies approach the Soviets squad from the flank
The zombie reaction roll obliges them to fire on the Soviets – downing two riflemen, but killing three of their own in the process!
The Allied SF team reach the compound!
Meanwhile the Soviets are bogged down by hordes of the undead!
Allied SF team gun down the approaching zombies and begin leading the civilians to safety…
Zombies fall under the SF team’s battle rifles but a couple of unwary civilians fall to zombie gunfire..
Holy Soviet Army squad hold in place, grimly massacring horde after horde of ghouls
“Go! Move, we’ll hold them off…” screamed Lt. Hunt – and then Dan pointed out that they were heading the wrong way! Cue much innovative swearing from myself… that was a pretty basic error!
More zombies fall under the Russian guns but the squad is falling way behind the Allied SF team…
Specialist Moss falls to zombie guns during a valiant rearguard action!
Changing direction – now that Dan had reminded me where my exfiltration point actually was – my civilians start to fall to zombie gunfire!
… and having reminded me where my exfil point was, Dan starts moving his squad to a blocking position…
SF and Holy Soviet survivors face off against each other…
“It is over for you, English. Hand over the civilians and come with us”
Needless to say, the SF team refuse – but 10 assault rifles at close range turn them to a boody pulp!

So there we have it – a tale of horror, heroism and ultimately betrayal! In fairness to Dan, a) I forgot where my evacuation point was, which was pretty basic, and b) we had basically designed the scenario so that exactly such a twist was possible, also c) the SF team’s strength was mobility and training whilst the Holy Soviet Army was it’s usual slow moving firestorm self, so both sides really played to their strengths.

Most importantly, however, it was hugely entertaining and cinematic- hate to say it, but we definitely need more zombies for next year though!

Stay safe an sane out there, and we’ll see you again soon – if you want to have a crack yourselves, our rules are available here on Wargames Vault .

Dark Alliance Zombie Horde… Complete!

So, yeah, this big Halloween game… so as it turns out, there are things scarier than zombies and other people’s children turning up at your door demanding sweets with menaces. And one of those things is your kid testing positive for COVID.

Cue much panicking, PCR kits and all the rest – happy to say neither myself nor the good lady did catch the plague from the wee one (don’t ask me how), and as for the lad himself he barely seemed to notice it. So no brush with death – but it did set our plans back a bit and Jim & I met up for a painting session Sunday evening when my self-isolation period was up to finish the horde of flesh-eating ghouls.

Besides, November can be pretty scary in it’s own right when you suddenly remember that there’s Christmas just a few weeks away and you’ve done bugger all about it despite being stuck inside for 10 days with nothing to do but shop on Amazon..

Anyway, the point is, we’re all set, and the game is pegged for this Friday, but since we’ve been a bit quiet recently I thought I’d put up a filler/catch-up post to show you the lads all together.. the painting and basing style was exactly the same as what we used for the first group, so no point repeating myself here – let me show you what a ravening horde of 96 zombies looks like!

Like this…
And this…
And this…
Holy Soviet Army squad making a desperate last stand
“Not one step back, comrades!”
“BRAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNSSSSSSS”

So there we go, all set – the mission is basically going to be a Combat Search & Rescue across a ruined city with zombies popping up right left and centre – should be a lot of fun, so stay tuned for the battle report!

Stay safe,sane and thrifty out there… you never know what lurks in the shadows!

#Zomtober – Part Deux! More Dark Alliance Zombies

How do, Dan here once again and this is going to be a short one – this is the next tranche of the Dark Alliance Zombies that we started a couple of weeks ago, with the intent of doing a Spooky Halloween Game (details on that to come).

I’m not going to belabour the painting process because it really is exactly the same as we did with the first group, so this is really just a photo dump:

Zombie granny!
Zombie Martha Stewart!
Zombie babies…..
“Join the Holy Soviet Army, they said…..” in fairness, they probably didn’t give you much of a choice!

Some flash on some of these castings but for the most part they’re well done and paint up very easily – washes pick out the details and drybrushing accentuates them and there are some really cool poses. Jim, I’m looking forward to hiding out in the shed with these lads and a few ales!

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

The Big One Pt.3 – Conclusion!

(NB – If you’re new here, go check out Parts 1 & Part 2, because otherwise NONE of this is going to make any sense…)

As we left matters at the end of turn 2, the central valley was awash with (now largely dead) Ratmen, but the objective – the crashed spaceship – was now in the hands of a regiment of humble Virum Nascii slaves and heading towards the Baddies’ table edge, and to make things worse the sorcerous cabal of the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade had managed to conjure up a wall of psychic fire across the main approach route!

On the Goodies’ side, the PSLA (or Imperial Guard, depending on your viewpoint) finally showed up, adding a decent chunk of firepower, but as things stood, firepower was not the issue, we had plenty of that – getting it where it was needed was the problem!

Over on the Baddies’ table edge, Dan cackled malevolently as the Holy Soviet Army’s BIG GUNS appeared, in the form of Stompy Uncle Joe and the IS-6 Rampager (which would prove itself almost offensively useless, but there we go) and another regiment of Orcs arrived, but two more still languished on the sidelines – clearly too thick to find the batlefield.. and off we went for the next turn!

Turn 3 –

Baddies’ reinforcements – Stompy Uncle Joe turns up in the power station, the Rampager in the centre with another block of Orcs, and pay attention to the regiment of Virum Nascii Warriors top left- they’ll be important later on….
Goodies’ reinforcements hit the beach! The Guard arrive, along with the (literal) cavalry from the Ancien Regime, as well as the rest of the League Of European Nations troops
The Baddies secure the initiative and opt to move first – Virum Nascii Vrilseers conjure up a hole in reality for the Slaves carrying the spaceship to jump into, but it goes awry, scattering toward the power plant
Atlantic Alliance Silverbugs race forwards, gunning down Virum Nascii slaves and suppressing them
Just as her crew was readying to immolate the advancing Sky Marines, Inferna is riddled with Stinger TOW ADATS and Roswellium-tipped cannon rounds, exploding spectacularly!
Ancien Regime grenadiers finish off the remaining Ratmen in the valley, being reduced to just three men in the process!
Although the Virum Nascii slave regiment is now suppressed and unable to move, No. 2 Rifle squad picks up the spaceship and begins to move back towards the Baddies’ table edge!
A strong roll of Baddie activations sees the IS-6 Rampager managing to knock down a chain link fence, but despite twin 140mm cannons, two heavy and four light machineguns…. that’s all it accomplishes…. meanwhile the Orc Archer regiment picks up the crashed spaceship and hands it over to No. 3 Rifle squad who move further back toward the Baddie table edge – a very skilful hand of “Pass The Spaceship” by Dan!
Newly arrived regiment of Orc Warriors politely thank No. 3 squad and make off yet further with the crashed spaceship!
Although almost all of the Virum Nascii are dead by this point, a survivng Vrilfire rifle team manages to take down two Jagers! Such is the curse of the newly painted model…
Desperate to clear a path through to the rapidly disappearing objective, the M42 Stealth Tank decloaks and twin autocannons lay waste to Da Skooderia, leaving only the Warboss…
… who then rolls Frenzy, clearly thinking “Sod it – WAAAAAGH!!!” and charges straight up to engage Buffalo 2-7s HQ, killing Lt. Grant before Platoon Sgt. Mcauliffe finishes him off!
The surviving T-48 swings into position to block off the valley – between the wrecked vehicles and the wall of psychic fire, there is now no way through for the Goodie troops, it’s all down to the Rocketeers and Silverbugs..
… and then from out of the power plant comes Stompy Uncle Joe, the massive Soviet war mech immolating a Silverbug with his lightning launcher (taking out a Virum Nascii vrilrifle team as collateral damage, but hey)
The Goodies are throwing everything they’ve got in an attempt to force a passage – on the left the Sky Marines are advancing briskly through the hills to take on the remains of Da Skooderia, while Crimson Fists supported by a Centurion hammer at the centre, but the Baddies are getting away…
Remember the Ratmen warrior regiment from earlier? Well so did the PFH 237th’s cabal of sorcerers, successfully managing to teleport it in base to base contact with the Orcs currently carrying the spaceship..
With the dice gods smiling on him, Dan then successfully activates them (being teleported doesn’t mean they’ve had a turn yet) and they shoulder the spacecraft – then leg it straight off the board! It’s a firm victory for the Baddies!

So there you have it, a very smart Hail Mary play with a little luck on his side and my opponent snares victory! In fairness, had Dan not had the luck he would have won the next turn anyway, there was no way I was going to be able to get enough firepower into position to stop his troops running off with the objective. He damn near won at the start of turn 3 anyway, as the Virum Nascii Vrilseers created a reality tunnel for the Slaves to jump in to – had I not got lucky with it scattering, and not managed to suppress them, he would have had it in the bag right then.

Thoughts? Well, I think I did my usual trick of playing it like a straight up battle where the objective was to destroy the opponent – Dan on the other hand actually played the scenario… which was even more galling because I wrote the scenario!!! Reviewing the battle, he played very cleverly, and with all the ruthlessness that befits a Baddie general – the sacrifice of the Virum Nascii “rat bombing” me on Turn 2 and using the tough-as-nails Skooderia units to stymie me in the centre, then blocking the valley choke point with a psychic fire barrier… well played, sir, well played!

Right, after that MAMMOTH battle report I shall be handing the keys over to my colleague and going and lying on the sofa with a wet flannel over my head and quite possibly a large gin on standby…

Stay safe, healthy and thrifty out there wherever you may be in hobbyland, we’ll see you very soon!