Sunday, December 18, 2016

Still Here - Actually Playing a Game Tomorrow

It's been a long while since I've posted anything. To be honest I haven't done much hobby-wise in the last month or so. I decided to remedy this so I set up a game session with my regular crew (Dennis, Jim, and Tom) for tomorrow night using my Oldhammer Donnybrook rules, Several others in our community are using the rules for Oldhammer games, including Thomas Grove over at Give 'Em Lead. In fact, he is detailing his upcoming campaign right now!

A magical artifact lay hidden in secret at the village of Rudeancruden for decades, but that blithering idiot of a priest went on about the thing in the tavern after too many whiskeys and now all of Averland knows the story. The Witch Hunter Marko Steelknife leads a detachment of troops to recover the relic and lock it away properly. However, the young necromancer Henrich Kemlar and the Chaos Champion Maulblade the Doomkin are also on the march, racing to take the artifact for their own. The damnable priest had no faith that Steelknife would arrive first and has compounded his foolery by feeding the talisman to his goats and setting the scampering creatures free! 

 Hilarity ensues...

Donnybrook uses a card driven system for the turn sequence. Here some of the forces available (haven't decided how many points to use - see below)...

There are many more characters than required so I'll let players choose the ones they want. I relaized I didn't make any d6 characters so the Undead player will get a d8 character with the zombies. When I run Donnybrook, I tend to balance things on the fly (or don't worry about balance and use random events to help shape the action). The default force assumes you have x number points of units - usually 4 to 6. Each point buys one unit. The number of models in a unit depends on the relative strength of the unit:

d12 unit - one model, usually a Character or Monster, You get one d12 Character free as your leader and alter ego on the table.
d10 unit - four infantry or three cavalry
d8 unit - eight infantry or six cavalry
d6 unit - twelve infantry or nine cavalry

For each unit, you may also add a Special Character worth the same die type as the unit you chose (if you pick one d10 unit, two d8 units and one d6 unit, you get one d10 character, two d8 characters, and one d6 character). If you choose extra d12 units, these DO NOT generate extra characters. Some characters must be attached to units, but do not necessarily need to be attached to the unit that spawned them.

What's with the different dice? These are the dice a character of unit rolls for most actions (armour saves are always d6 rolls) in the game. The target number is usually a 6+ (Morale is a 5+) and there are no more than half a dozen modifiers in the game, making it very fast to resolve the action.

Obviously this only roughly balances a fantasy force with all of the weapon and armour options available (not as important in 1690). I choose to ignore the differences. If you want to break the list building rules, you can, but I don't play that way (and make a terrible Warhammer 40k general). Also, every character and unit has special rules for my Oldhammer game, Again, these may or may not balance out. I really find that the randomness of the card action sequence tends to play havoc with balanced forces anyway as one side might have a lucky run and get to activate some units twice while the enemy stands naffing about.

Anyway, I'll try to remember to take pics and notes. Sometimes I forget to record stuff for posterity in the heat of battle!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The State of My Oldhammer Collection

When I started this site (almost two years ago), I had a lot of Rogue Trader models that I actually purchased from the store in the 80's and 90's. However I had ZERO Warhammer Fantasy models. In the 90's I slowly replaced original purchases with newer metal models and then the plastics. I gave away all of my old fantasy stuff.

When I decided I suffered a bout of madness in those years and wanted to rebuild those old collections, I set about tracking down the old collections - both my Warhammer Empire army (built from the 'transition' period post third edition and pre fourth edition models) and Undead army were still with the guys I gave them to and they happily returned them (they moved on to plastic models too and these armies were both stored away). My Dwarves and Orcs are still with the friend I gave them to, but he wants to keep them to have something to field against me from that era. The Skaven and Chaos armies were sold on eBay, which must have been great for someone because the prices were not what we see today!

I was taking inventory of my current fantasy stock yesterday (thus the prompt for this post). I now have a fairly large collection of Warhammer Fantasy models:

Bretonnians (1000pts - all Foundry modern casts of old models - five models painted)
Chaos (2000pts - around 2000pts are painted)
Dark Elves (Mengil Manhide's Regiment of Renown)
Dwarves (3000pts - all of four models painted)
Empire (2000pts - all painted)
Slann (1000pts - ten models painted)
Undead (2250pts - 1400pts painted)

These point costs can vary greatly with the choice of characters and magic items and would likely be higher since I usually choose such things conservatively. I also have a handful of monsters (like a Chimera and Giant), random additional races (Goblins and Skaven for Chaos warbands), and random humans (Adventurers, Militia, and Villagers).

Still missing from the list of armies I want are Orcs and Goblins, Skaven, and Wood Elves. The High Elves can stay on their island (not sure why I never liked them).

I have the attention span of a small dog (SQUIRL!) and tend to switch back and forth between armies. I'm currently working on Slann (pics soon) but there's no telling what's up next!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery

At long last, decades in the making...

Whew! The Germans still had powerful weapons with the machineguns mounted on the halftracks and probably could have wreaked more havoc yet, but the magician was still stalking around south of the river and he had the potential to damage the vehicles (though he was hiding, now being the ONLY target left for the halftracks south of the river). There was more that happened, but either I didn't have photos or it ended up not being relevant to the story.

  • There were two trolls south of the river, and the SS managed to blow one to kingdom come with a panzerfaust, but I failed to capture the moment. 
  • The squad on the bridge riddled the archer with bullets reducing him from his starting d10 skill to d4, making him virtually useless.
  • The Evil High Priest successfully cast Summon Insects late in the game (after failing the casting rolls earlier) and followed up with Curse which made it difficult for the AC crew to shake the effects for several rounds.
  • There were two mummies that got shot to pieces by machineguns.
  • The Germans had a medic with them on the bridge that allowed rank and file soldiers to use the Wound Save chart, but all three victims of arrows failed and were killed anyway!
So how did all of this work with Donnybrook? Actually great. I'll offer some ideas in a follow up next week, though I'm considering the commercial aspects of publishing supplements so I'm not sure how detailed I should get. Let me just say if you are an experienced gamer, working out mods for Donnybrook is not all that difficult. The vehicle rules are the hardest part and I'm not sure they are right yet, though they worked very well for my solo game.

In any case, it has been a near lifelong dream to play this out on the table and I had a blast! I'm looking forward to a second round with some of my friends.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Well, I only manged to finish twenty zombies instead of thirty. Work was just crazy in October.

The standard bearer is a minor conversion of one of the Citadel Skeletons. I used green stuff to bulk up his limbs and fill in the hollows of his cheeks. I think I'm going to go back into the standard and paint a slogan or something to make it a little cooler. I still want this mob at thirty so I'll try to add more between all of the other projects I'm juggling.

On another note, providing my own treat for the holiday, I stumbled on an 'in blister' Test Bed Slave today on eBay while looking for a Citadel Fantasy Adventurers box set (which I also bought). The auction was listed as 'Warhammer 40000 Adventurers', and why not? That's what it says on the package! My normal search has been for 'Rogue Trader Adventurers' and has been fruitless for months. I often search different words for the same item (including mis-spellings - it is amazing how many entries are out there for Slaan and Rouge Trader), but it was pure luck I found this. That model completes my Rogue Trader Adventurer collection. Huzzah!

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery coming up in a few days. The comic format is more work than it appears... Hats off to those who treat us with these on a regular basis!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery

Coming next week...

Thought I'd try out the comic book battle report that some of the Oldhammer community use so well. I finally had a chance to play this game and I used Donnybrook with mods for fantasy AND submachineguns! No idea what this is? Check out these posts... or just stay tuned for the mayhem!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


See? I have been working on these...

I almost have another eight to make up the minimum unit size of twenty. It doesn't look like I'm going to make thirty by the end of the month, but the Slann distracted me. Win-win really...

I recently discovered that when I worked out the points for my existing Undead army, I made some mistakes (for instance all magic items cost 25 points plus their specific trait cost) and the army is actually closer to 1400 with the addition of this unit and another Undead Hero. A single warmachine gets me to 1500 and with all of the models I have on hand (a second unit of eight undead horsemen, three mummies, three chariots, four carrion, and an undead catapult) I am well over 2400 points! Woot! I mean, Unnngh!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Yes, I'm suppose to be painting zombies, but, c'mon! I HAD to try out one of these models. Behold the mighty Haciend (Ribbit) and know fear!

I decided to go with warm earthtones (in this case, GW XV-88, Agrax Eathshade, Balor Brown, and  Zamesi Desert) for the rank and file Slann and use bright colors on their gear. I haven't decided if I want to add freehand icons on the shields yet, so I just went for a mottled texture for the moment.

The character models will trend more toward green, but a muted olive or green brown and the venom tribes will be dull orange/yellow and black. I haven't decided how to paint the cold ones, but might go with blue like the old school advert to contrast with the frogs.

Right! Back to zombies...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

So... Frogs.

Ok, this happened...

I like buying Oldhammer stuff in lots rather than piecemeal. These were individual auctions on eBay, and seemed a little pricey until I broke it down - the total came out to roughly $11 per model which is pretty much the same as modern GW stuff. The chance to get it all at once (with free shipping as well) made this something I couldn't pass up. I've always wanted a Slann army, and this gives me a great skirmish force to build on...

Hero (an Alligator Warrior, not pictured here, that I bought some time ago)
Wizard on Litter
4 Bull Slann Riders
12 Spawn Band Warriors (or Bull Slann - the models seem to work for either)
4 Venom Tribe Warriors
1 Slann Beastmaster with 2 Slann Warhounds (never seen this model on eBay before)

Not an all conquering horde, but it will be fast and fun to paint and I can add to it as I go. My immediate goal is to get another Bull Slann Rider and 6 Venom Tribe Warriors to make 'legal' units. I also want to boost my Spawn Band to 15 models - perfect for 3x5 formation or 4x4 if the Hero joins them. Although I'd like to add an Elite unit, the thought of fielding 10 or 12 of the same model makes me shiver - maybe Jaguar Warriors as the model looks easy to add some variation by bending the arm. I'd like a unit of Human Slaves as well, though I'm looking at converting my own (more on that at some point as I already have ideas).

Anyway - no idea when these will join the queue (they are still in the mail anyway), but I was excited with the purchase! Yes, I'm still painting Oldhammer zombies too - I just haven't had time to take photos (see the 70 and 80 work weeks thing above).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Rogue Trading

My debit card has been deteriorating with growing cracks cutting into the magnetic strip. I still had two years left before I was due to automatically receive a new one so I went online to place an order and stumbled on the ability to request a card with a custom image...

How freakin' cool is that? Like all things of this nature, you have to submit an appropriate image, promise that it's not copyrighted, etc. Your submission has to be approved by a live person so the process takes a few days. With literally hundreds of images I could choose from, I decided to grab something from the last few weeks. The image fit well into the negative space around all of the important business bits. Apparently if decide I want something different, all I have to do is go back to the site and request another card (for a small fee of course).

We live in remarkable times!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More 'Real' Oldhammer

Stumbled on some more old photos last night...

This was 1998... From left to right... my brother, Dennis in plaid... Me in blue... Jim in grey... and Tom wearing the Kiss shirt. My wife took the pics. This was actually a mini tournament (Quindiacon!). The table was divided into two 4x4' boards. We each played three games, one against each other player. I don't remember the points, probably 1000, but this was my army...

Dennis had Chaos, Jim played Orcs and Goblins, and Tom had Bretonnians. The point totals were kept from each game and the prize was that I would paint a model for the winner (wheee). Tom was the day's winner (in fact I think he won all three of his matches) and I painted the original Green Knight in a red and white scheme to be his new army general. I think he still has the model...

A few weeks later, we played a large game with Tom and I running Dwarves and Bretonnians facing off against Jim and Dennis wielding an Orc and Goblin horde! This was a 3000 point game on a 4x8' table. I have zero memory of how this game turned out and seemed to have taken no more photos of it.

I think every one of these models are still in Jim and Tom's collections.

Lastly. a pic from 1994 and I shit you not, it was in black and white!

Yes, that's me and yes, we did have color film back then. I think Sara was experimenting with black and white photography at the time. Check out the wooden stepped hills! The 'grass' was a roll of green paper taped to the table. I think the tower in the background was made from a Quaker Oats container. The game was 4th edition, my Skaven vs Jim's Orcs and Goblins, though the only clue is the Skaven army book. I happen to remember this game because the Doomwheel suffered a Warpstone Generator mishap and ended up rampaging through my own army and the story is retold every time we relive past glories (sigh). I got my revenge a few years later though when my Empire cannon killed Jim's Orc general on the first half of turn one and routed two-thirds of the enemy army before he even got to move!

I actually have lots more pics, though generally you can't make out most of the models very well. Between us we had Bretonnians, Chaos, Dark Elves, Dwarves, the Empire, Orcs and Goblins (lots of those as we had two armies), Skaven, and Undead. There was also a contingent of Scarloc's Wood Elves that showed up from time to time.

We played a lot more games back then. I'm going to have to organize an Oldhammer day sometime soon...

Monday, October 3, 2016


And that's the difference when you're painting something with motivation...

Zombies are in no way uniform so making a coherent unit can be a challenge. The plan is to vary skin tones between the five shades above, while painting the exposed muscles and bone the same and keeping clothing uniformly dark, though not always black (in fact I plan to mix in a few reds to match the skeleton units). Eyes, teeth, and weapons will all be painted the same.

However, if I were to paint six models in each shade, the result would still seem very patchy. By varying the number of each, and weighting one toward roughly half, the end result will be more unified. In the case above, we'll call them Pallid (x11), Grey (x8), Bone (x6), Green (x3), and Blue (x1). The figure in parenthesis means 'times number of models'. More than half will be sickly skin tones (Pallid and Bone) while the other colors will end up as accents... and yes, there are only 29, because the hero will make thirty.

The models above were painted randomly, but I learned that exposed bone shows up better against the Grey and Green. When I have a sort, I'll choose models with obvious skeletal bits for those colors. Also any red clothing will go to pale monsters - the grey skin reads like blue with the warm color next to it and the green and red combo are right out for this evil army.

So five guys in one day - and to think I was worried about painting thirty models by the end of the month!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Something Stinky This Way Walks

I've had a rough time focusing on a single project of late. I had a goal to paint all of the Rogue Trader Adventurers by the end of the year, but my inability to find the Test Bed Slave model so far has derailed my progress. I still have ten or twelve others to paint from the range and I can easily do these at the rate of two per day, so there's still plenty of time. If I manage to find the model, I'm sure I'll be inspired to jump back in. I also have a few models left to paint for my Last Stand at Brandon's Star IV scenario, but again they've been sitting on the painting table and wandering through the room hasn't pulled me to the desk to finish them. It's going on more than a week that I've painted anything.

That means it's time to turn my attention to something else. I've been really into zombie apocalypse books recently (and Z Nation which I actually enjoy more than the other Zombie TV series), so for the spooky month of October, I decided to add a unit to my Oldhammer Undead army!

The plan is to paint a maximum sized unit of thirty of these rotting shamblers, including a wight or wraith hero and the goal to to have them table ready by Halloween. They will be armed with double-handed weapons and come in at 150 points (including the standard bearer) plus the cost of the hero (TBD). That will put me reach of 1500 points total with the addition of a couple of support units like chariots or stone throwers, both of which I already have squirrelled away.

That may be pushing it. While they lack fiddly detail like belts and buttons, there are still multiple areas between iron, cloth, flesh, muscle, organs, and bone, all of which need different techniques. On the plus side, these areas are a little difficult to distinguish on some of the sculpts so can be painted as the mood strikes!

I actually have more than thirty, but not quite enough for two units of twenty. If I manage to finish these lads by Halloween, I may treat myself and pickup another half dozen from eBay. These models go for ridiculous prices, but it may be worth it to see two units (my eyes glaze over at the thought of the ability to field up to 100 zombies)!

More very soon...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rogue Trader Adventurers

Next up, a couple more models for ship's crew, the Old Pirate and Pilot Rav.

There are lots of scenarios in the Rogue Trader book that include space ports or fights for space craft (yes, more space ship conversions on the way to go with Natasha's Luck).

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rogue Trader Adventurers

Up next, the Mad Punk, destined to be a crewman for one of my space ships...

... and an Imperial Official. This model will be one my Administratum pulled into the defense of the Astropaths in the Last Stand at Brandon's Star IV scenario.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rogue Trader Adventurers

Next up, is one of my favorite adventurer models, the Hive Ganger.

... and here's another of the half naked guys for the ladies... seriously, dude, the guy above you has a chainsword for Emperor's sake!

More on the way...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rogue Trader Control Towers

Well that WAS easy and I am well satisfied with the results!

The first coat of paint was dark hammered brass that also contained a subtle texture. After that was dry, I sprayed the towers with a yellow ochre from a 3/4 angle above which left the undersides of details a bit darker for quick shadows. Then I painted in a few details, mostly metallic bits and did one drybrush highlight on the walls - I think it was Foundry Sand 10B, but it will vary depending on the shade of your base coat. I kept these as accents to a minimum as the original buildings I am copying are pretty monotone.

Next up was an oil dot filter... if you're unfamiliar with this technique it's basically what it sounds like. Apply oil paint - in this case I used black, burnt umber, burnt sienna, ochre (this one may seem redundant over this base, but it blends with the other colors to add variety), blue, and white - in small dots scattered across the model. Then use a clean brush and apply mineral spirits to the model, drawing the brush in vertical strokes to mimic runoff. There are lots of tutorials online. You get some wonderful random effects and it's hard to mess this up - if you get too much grime, just add more mineral spirits and a sponge to remove it. The hardest part about using this the first time is getting up the nerve to randomly splatter you model with paint! Finally, I use black weathering powder to accent all of the bullet holes.

That two tone look between sections in the photo above is an illusion - the angled walls catch the light differently, making some look darker...

The windows are just the clear plastic. At first I thought this would look cheesy, but the interior has enough shadow to make the windows appear opaque and they reflect the ambient light of the room for a very realistic appearance. They also lack the texture of the walls and have a slight recessed look to aid in the illusion they are a different substance.

Something I forgot to do was highlight all of the cracks I scored in the plastic. I could do it now, but they might look strange on top of the weathering. Oh, well, one point of this project was quick and dirty and they look great on the tabletop...

Well, now what? This challenge didn't take long, was super easy, and fun... Maybe I'll get the chance to put something else together this month. Anyway, still looking forward to seeing what other people come up with!