Battle Report!

Lightning sundered the dark skies above, a rumbling roar of thunder burgeoning forth from its wake. From within this thunderclap, a wailing scream swept across the lands. The malign portents fortold great and terrible things that even Nagash couldn’t have imagined. Souls poured forth from his ancient prison, which had once housed his host of countless heroic souls. What his plans were for them mattered not now, they were freed from his grasps but not entirely out of his reach. As quick as their escape, the great necromancer sent out his legions to quickly reclaim them. He would not let these valuable souls be lost to him nor would he allow his enemies to steal away more from him.

Streaks of white and gold light shot across the skies. These souls flew as far as they could to escape their nightmarish prison. Yet despite their best efforts, their immaterial form could only carry them so far and soon they fell to the ground, exhausted from their flight. It would take time for these ancient heroes to recover their corporeal forms and they could only hope that the legions of the undead wouldn’t find them before then.

A wall of sigmarite clad warriors approached, their eyes set on this heroic soul. They were not alone though, as the rattle of skeleton warriors quickly deafened the fields. Cold lifeless eyes stared out at their quarry, rusty blades drawn and ready to seek out victims.

Two Necromancers worked their dark magics from the safety of some abandoned buildings. Their minions had spotted long-ranged snipers and they knew that their lives were in peril if they should catch the attention of these hawk-eyed marksmen. A Wight King and a Knight of Shrouds moved forwards, undaunted by the threat.

The Lord Celestant sat atop his Dracoth surveying the scene with the Errant Knight Questor faithfully waiting nearby. That lost soul had dropped near here and Nagash would torture it no more. The stormhost had positioned themselves defensively but needed to move quickly to secure the prize, for the enemy could be seen just a few paces away.

Another flash of lightning and boom of thunder let the stormcast get into position without letting the enemies notice. The Vanguard-Raptors set up their longstrike bows atop an ancient ruin, hopeful that the vantage point would allow them superior covering fire. Liberators appeared out from a set of ruins, looking to get the first strike at the enemies. A lone gryph hound pounced forwards, sniffing for prey.

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Just as the stormcast seemed to have set up their advantage a pair of Morghasts crept up behind them, ghostly howls announcing their presence. The lord celestant looked over in horror as the raptors had become isolated atop their perched vantage point. The giant creatures flew forwards propelled by their ghost wreathed wings and their halberds sung as they slashed through the air, cutting down two of the vanguard raptors where they stood.

Elsewhere on the field, armour skeletal warriors erupted from the ground, the Grave Guard surged forth with unnatural speed and fell upon the roving liberators. Their blackened blades pierced through the sigmarite armour with ease, spurred on by the enchantments of the necromancer puppet-master. The liberators fell one by one until the entire unit was wiped out, thunder summoning them back to Azyr.

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The grave guard continue their march after wiping out the first unit of liberators!

The lord celestant and errant knight charged furiously towards the morghasts, hoping to save the surviving raptor stranded on the ruins above. The morghasts met their charge but the tempestos hammer rung out solid blows, obliterating the skeletal monstrosity. The errant knight slammed his sword through the other one, sending their abominable spirits back to their undead master.

Amidst the chaos, the gryph hound took the opportunity to secure the soul. Crystallized in an amber husk, the soul glowed radiantly. The hound carefully took the gem in its beak and scampered back into the safety of the battlelines. The Lord Relictor and his following unit of Retributors quickly stepped into battle formations around the gryph hound; no harm would come to it while it carried such an important treasure.

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Protect the puppy!

Just as the vanguard raptor began to set about his work, a sudden chill pierced through him. The silent mask of the knight of shroud materialized, his blade already sundering the soul from his lifeless victim. There was no flash of thunder to save this soul.

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Shroud knight claims the last raptor

A horde of skeletons now charged ahead, enraged by the gryph-hound soul thief. Relentlessly they threw themselves at the wall of retributors. Hammers smote them as they approached but with each skeleton destroyed, another would soon rise to take its place. A unit of liberators moved in to assist their brethren but they were soon surrounded by the grave guard, blades still stained with the blood of their first victims.

The wight king strode forth with an unnatural gait, his very deathly presence inspiring his warriors to an even more heightened frenzy. The shroud knight drifted down closer to the thick of the battle, hoping to glide in and take the life of the gryph hound and secure the prized soul in the process. Skeletal hooves thundered from far away, their speed as frightning as the Black Knights they carried. Yet their intimidating image was not enough to scare away the lord celestant..

The dracoth roared as it charged in to join the fray, halting the skeletal cavalry in their tracks. Hammer blows turned one of the riders into powder before it even had time to retaliate. The errant knight leapt in front of the shroud knight and issued his challenge; betting his soul on the strength of his sword. The shroud knight gave out a rasping chuckle, the souls in his thirsting blade ready to claim another.

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Off screen deaths: Relictor and Knight of Shrouds

The relictor tried tirelessly to keep his allies alive, yet the liberator and retributor line slowly but surely thinned against the onslaught of undying skeletal warriors. The grave guard pushed inwards, quickly overtaking the liberators and even forcing the relictor into combat. Seeing the battle edging into their favour, the necromancers rushed forwards using their powers to bolster their forces. Lightning snapped in quick succession as numerous souls were taken back into Sigmar’s waiting forge. Even the relictor had to utter one last prayer before he was reclaimed by a crash of thunder.

The gryph hound, soul tightly held in its beak, ran as fast as it could to safety. It turned momentarily to see the warriors fighting to ensure its safety. It felt cowardly to leave his allies, yet he knew that his mission was of great importance.

The shroud knight watched carefully as the gryph hound fled, hoping for an opening to give chase. But just as he thought he had a chance, the thick blade of the errant questor cleaved through his spectral form. He gave out one gasping cry before dissipating into the ether.

The graveguard clambered over the rocks and ruins where the liberators once defended, surrounding the last remaining retributors. The heavy-clad warriors did not tire from their work though. Each hammerfall laid waste to another skeleton or two. One last bludgeoning crack of the thunderhammer smote the last graveguard into dust, but only one paladin was left standing.

His breath was heavy and wounds deep, in the distance he could see the lord celestant singlehandedly decimating the enemy cavalry. It gave him hope that this battle could actually be won, until the baleful tomb blade of the wight king sank through his armour. He could feel his soul darken as the blade bit into him; he would not see Azyr again.

Enraged, the errant knight rushed into meet his foe but a loud deafening sound halted his advance. Horns bellowed for a retreat and bells tolled summoning the remaining followers of Nagash to return. The errant knight and celestant withdrew carefully as did the necromancers and wight king. The gryph hound and the prized heroic soul was no where to be seen, long since fled into the safety of his allies. The stormcast had claimed victory here and with that, a new hero into their ranks.

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Battle Report

So yea, I don’t update this as much as I should. Maybe I should change that.

Anyways, BATTLE REPORT:

A violent storm swept through the ancient ruins, scattering the forces across the plains. Though not in contact, they all knew that the treasure they sought was at the site of the old necropolis. Everyone knew, including their enemies.

The Necromancer looked up from his books, leaning hard against his staff as his host of Skeleton Warriors lurched forth to claim the first burial chamber. They began digging relentlessly in hopes of uncovering the treasure before their enemies did. Beside him the Wight King watched in silent musing, waiting for the enemy to close so that his tomb blade can drink once more.

Across the field a small party of sigmarite clad soldiers approached. Separated from their brethren, the Lord Celestant rode forth atop a pale blue dracoth, waving their war-banner high in hopes of rallying them back together before the undead were upon them. The Errant Knight stood near, repeating the protectors’ oath. He will lay his life down for the general if need be, but until then, he steeled himself for the battle ahead. A lone Gryph-Hound pads around the ruins, as the Vanguard-Raptors check over their longstrike crossbows.

The skeletons dig tirelessly but find nothing of value. The deathmage grips an enchanted timeglass hanging from his belt and watches as dark sand leeches out and flies towards the dragon-mounted rider. A choking pain takes hold as the spell takes effect, the thread of life shortening.

The vanguard raptors take this opportunity to strike back, launching a long ranged assault to wound the necromancer, sending him retreating back to safety. Despite the arcane attack, the Celestant rides forward to secure another cache of hidden treasures, hoping to find the artifact, the accompanying Questor does similar to another hidden tomb. The gryph-hound too finds something and begins clawing away at the dirt.

The sound of skeletal hooves thunder across the plains as the Black Knights ride into view and immediately begin searching for the artifact they all sought. A troupe of Grave Guards burst from the ground as another Necromancer approaches the field. A shrill cry comes from the gryph-hound that alerts the raptors to these new foes, sending a swift barrage of bolts to them, shattering armour and bones into shards.

Out of the mist, step out the Retributors, flanking the deathless army while the Lord Relictor steps forth near the leader of the stormhost. “Pardon my late arrival,” the raspy voice emanates from behind the deathmask. The priest quickly prays to lift the affliction on the general, which Sigmar delivers with divine power. The vanguard raptors make a quick reload to unleash another volley this time to destroy the nearby necromancer before he could invoke any spell.

His death throes are silenced by the thundering stampede of the heavy clad retributors as they launch a swift assault on the first necromancer. The wight king swings back with his death-tainted blade, cleaving one of paladins in half, sending his spirit flying away in a flash of lightning. The skeletal warriors turn as well and charge in a frenzied rush towards the fray, their blades hacking and stabbing with tireless arms.

While the black knights continue their search, the band of Liberators finally step onto the field to rejoin their warhost. They immediately dive into the deathly knights, hammers raining down heavy blows. Yet despite their attacks and the seemingly faltering knights, their enemies never seem to stay down long.

A grave chill sweeps across the ruins as Keldrek the Shroud Knight glides onto the field, flanked by his accompanying Morghast Archai. Monstrous wings let them fly forth with demonic speed, their halberds singing deathly wails as they destroy a unit of liberators instantly. Sending souls flying back to Sgimar, while a few unforunate ones are swallowed into Shyish.

The remaining retributors drive their grandhammers onto the skeletal horde, finding no end to the reanimated foes. The paladins fall slowly one by one to the relentless rusty blades. Bolts fly in to dash the skeletons apart from the raptors’ bows, but it does little to thin out the ever growing number of undead. Out of desperation, the Retributor Prime, makes one last attack to the wight king, caving in the lifeless skull, crown and all. The lone paladin cries out in victory before he too is taken by the swarming skeletons.

Yet his fight was not in vain, as a flash of light beams through the ruins as the artifact is finally unearthed by the errant knight. The general of the warhost is glad, yet cannot help but feel the heavy toll paid to obtain it. Nevertheless this was the crucial time, as a gathering storm in the horizon looked to sweep them all away once again, securing the artifact was imperative. Ordering the dracoth to blast the ruins, they quickly were ablaze, making it all but impossible for enemies to approach, hoping this would buy them enough time.

The black knights trample over the last of the liberators as the morghasts turn their attention on the lord and knight. Screaming souls echoed as the giant demonic creatures flew through the air, halberds slam down, looking for more souls to claim, yet the errant questor turned them aside all the same. His blade hummed with fury as he brought the gigantic slab of metal down onto the beast, shattering their dark armour and bone through and through. One of the beasts collapsed immediately, the spirits that inhabited its twisted bones dispersing with a ghostly wail.

Just as the skeletal beast drew closer to take another swing, the artifact shook the ground. As if summoned by the ancient relic, a huge storm whipped across the ruins. The lord celestant hung onto the treasure desperately and grasped the arm of the errant knight. Though the winds may scatter their forces again, they had secured the objective. This was a victory for the Stormcast.

Perhaps some photos next time, if I remember.

For anyone wondering, I set a terrain piece on fire with my Ruse Card. Helped keep the objective nice and clear!

Retribution!

So, I’ve neglected this blog a for a while now. Life is a bit crushing at times; especially adult life. Work and stuff just kinda takes away a lot of hobby time, but I suppose one must carry on.

That is to say, I have been working on stuff, just not as much as I’d like. I’ve also been buying stuff as well (which I should probably cut back on!)

Let’s update this in chronological order then, shall we?

So from my starter box, I had finished my squad(s) of Liberators. I was quite happy with the Romanesque colour scheme; it fit well with the shields and overall look. My next task was doing the Retributors.

These are the heavy shock troops of the Stormcast army. Hulking brutes wielding giant smoosh-your-face-in hammers and clad in armour that would crush a normal human. These were also known as the Paladins (along with the Decimators and Protectors) in the army. With such a different role to play, I thought they should get a different colour scheme.

I thought a nice subtle green colour would be suitable for them. A more solemn colour, with an air of authority. Plus, Guan Yu looks badass.

It worked out quite well I think. Primed with black, I based the model mostly with Caliban Green and Retributor Armour, then shaded with Nuln Oil. I went very mild with the highlight in Warpstone Glow and Auric Armour Gold. I might go back over them just to highlight some bits a bit more now that I think of it.

These photos were taken a while back. Since then, I’ve also added a nice lightning effect to the hammer of the Retributor Prime which looks quite nice. I still haven’t gotten around to adding their ornamental back-piece yet, but that can wait.

I’ve already taken them into my first couple of skirmish matches and they are quite decent. They really pack a punch and definitely worth taking into battle with you. So much so that…

More smash

… another squad of them is warranted.

Prepare for a skirmish

So, the biggest new thing for Age of Sigmar is the new “Skirmish” game, which came out just this Saturday. Having had a bit of time to read through it, it looks like it will be a fun way to play Warhammer, especially since I have a relatively smaller force at the moment.

The rules are quite a bit different from standard play. Instead of controlling small tactical units of men, you control separate individual troops. This opens up a bit more freedom of movement, as you aren’t hindered by having to move an entire unit to engage. It also allows a bit more focus on your models and kind of build a backstory up for them (if you wanted to).

Units are recruited to your squad via a point-based “Renown” system. You and your opponent will start off with a set amount of renown with which to start building up your party. At first the amount of men you have in your group will be very small (depending on how many points you are playing with), but with each battle your renown will grow, allowing you to pick up more troops for the next chapter of your adventure.

Not only does completing a fight earn you renown, it also depends on how the battle resulted. A major victory will earn you more renown as your leader gains more reputation, but even in defeat you will earn some points to bolster your forces for future battles. Along with this, after a fight both players will roll to see what kind of rewards they will earn for the fight (extra renown being one of the rewards available), the victor having a bit more flexibility in what they reap.

To build up a skirmish army, you first need a leader amongst your men; a true hero. They will get special benefits such as artefacts and relics along the way. They are also the basis for your battle-shock rolls, so it is best to choose a leader with a bit of bravery. Once you have chosen your commander, you won’t be able to change your mind later, so make a good choice for your play style, as a lot of things kind of depend on your leader. There are many heroes to choose from for each faction, so the ability to change up each time you play through the skirmish campaign keeps things fresh.

The rest of your retinue will be composed of your regular troops that you can bring in, including other heroes, though you won’t be able to label them as your leader. The only limits to what you can bring with you would be that they should stay within the same Grand Alliances (Order, Chaos, Destruction, Death), so you could potentially have a very mixed tag-rag group of characters fighting together.

The campaign itself is split up into six skirmishes, each fight progressing through the story line. If you can achieve a major victory, you get a special bonus reward as well according to the mission. Winning a skirmish will not only give you benefits in the rewards roll, but also will provide a small boon for you in the upcoming fight.

Overall, I think this will be a fun way to play Age of Sigmar, especially if you don’t always have time for a full scale battle. My local Games Workshop will be holding skirmish battles each week with multiple people, so it will be fun to finally blood my warriors. Next week is when the first skirmish map will start, so I have a bit more time to prepare my troops for the upcoming campaign. Hopefully to bring back some sweet victories!

 

Fluffy lore

As many people are aware, Games Workshop has some pretty cool lore (or fluff as some refer to it). If you are familiar with Warhammer 40k, you know how ridiculous some of the reading materials can be. Age of Sigmar isn’t too much different, but instead of space awesomeness you have medieval-ish awesomeness.

Age of Sigmar is doesn’t have many books out yet, but I’m sure Games Workshop are working on it. So those of you who are lore hungry will probably have to wait while their monkeys on type writers are furiously pounding away.

However, you can check out one of the books now (and for free I might add). The Gates of Azyr (Realmgate Wars Book 1) is actually available on amazon for free (on Kindle). I’ve downloaded it and so far it is an alright read. The style is quite similar to the 40k books in my mind, so if you like that kind of stuff, this might be right up your alley.

Free Kindle Book on Amazon

It basically details the first ‘launch’ of the Stormcast pitting them against the Goretide army as they battle it out around the realm gates. Basically it is a narrative of the Age of Sigmar Starter Box. So if you picked up the starter kit you can play out the book basically, which is kinda neat I think. Regardless, it is a free book and who can argue with that price?

Happy reading!

Malleus Fulminata, assemble!

I finally finished painting the Liberator Prime for my units and now have 2 full units painted and ready to field!

I attempted to make a ‘marbled’ pattern on the primes; and inspiration I got from pinterest. Unfortunately I’m not nearly good enough to get that level of detail, but I feel satisfied with the effect nonetheless.

I feel that as I continue I will need to work on getting full paint coverage of my minis. It seems like there are a lot of small crevices which I miss when painting. I can’t really see it in real life, but the photos when enlarged reveal all the defects and missing bits and it is quite disappointing overall.

But, this hobby is kind of a learning process and I am learning. Hopefully I’ll be more competent at it before I get to the more difficult/demanding models. Especially the ones I want to look super nice.

Pardon the blur, don’t have a camera stand with me, nor a professional photo set up. I’m a poor hobbyist!

Prime Time!

So, start of the week. Time to quick prime this weeks projects:

Starting in black we have the Bloodsecrator and my three retributors:

 

And in white we have my two Liberator Primes:

 

Unfortunately, I was a bit too trigger happy on my Liberators and there is a bit of pooling on their tabard things. Not the best result, but a learning process none the less. It’ll probably mess up my painting a bit, but the shield might be able to cover ’em a bit.

As for why I am doing them in white: I saw a cool look on Pinterest the other day and I’m gonna attempt to emulate it with my one week of experience. Wish me luck!

Let’s get Chaotic, but not Chaos Black

So my Liberator units are almost done, just gotta paint up the Liberator Prime (their unit leader) and they’ll be ready to die for my glory.

But before I move on to painting those guys, I felt the need to try out the other half of the starter box. Not only that, but they’d be good test subjects for my newest buy: Spray paint.

As mentioned in the previous blog, hand priming everything is a fairly tedious process. Especially when trying to get it sufficiently even and coated. I thus opted to get a can of spray paint. While I’m sure a lot of people would go with the Games Workshop Chaos Black (which is nice I’m sure), I looked on the internet for cheaper options. Rustoleum seemingly had some decent reviews.

SpraysI’m not entirely sure if there is a difference between this and the Chaos black, but I tested it on the ‘Lord of Khorne’s doggy and got similar results to the one that got primed with in-store primer. They are cheaper for sure, meaning I can spend more money on actual colour paints than the undercoats.

One thing to keep in mind is to spray the miniatures in light coats or you risk losing some details as the paint pools into areas. Unfortunately I think I may have been overzealous for one of mine. But we press on.

As a warning to users: please use all spray paints in well ventilated areas. I did it in my apartment at the window (I have a cardboard box-corner set up) and just let them kind of aerate for a bit. Turning on a fan or ventilation system also helps to alleviate the smell.

Anyways, spray priming minis is far faster and convenient than hand painting. If done correctly, they come out very evenly coated and without a single visible brush stroke!

I went on to finish the doggy with some Khorne Red, Bugman’s glow, and Ceramite White for the face. I wanted to get a skull-white/pulled back flesh look for him, which was successful to a degree. I washed the figure with Reikland Flesh-shade and highlighted areas with Evil Sunz Scarlet. I used a bit of dry brushing technique on the bumpy-scales on it’s back, which gives it a nice bit of variation on colour. Overall, pretty happy with how he came out and how the primer has worked. The start of my Chaos army has begun!

Malleus Fulminata!

So with one miniature of experience behind me, I now move on to paint an army!

Keeping with a similar theme, I begin the task of priming the models. However, as I am not in the store and do not have everything available to me (such as Chaos Black spray paint) I must therefore prime the models by hand with Imperial Primer black.

Tis but a scratch!

I quickly realise that priming by brush is a lot more effort than by spray paint. Getting all the areas done and evenly without clumping up the paint proves harder than first thought. I will remind my future self to invest in a can of spray paint. I leave the shield hand off so that I can paint the ‘hidden’ areas a bit easier.

Starting similar to the last time, I go with a silver and red scheme. On the first two models I do though, I try for a gold trim on the shield. However, seeing the end result makes me revert back to the original plan. Once the base layers are all done, I glue the shield arm back.

While I like the results of the Nuln Oil shade, I have found that a liberal dosing of it darkens the colours far too much for my liking. My red shields and shoulder pads turn into a dark burgundy which seemed far too “Khorne-y” for my tastes. I had to put on several more layers of Mephiston Red to correct my colour. So for future reference, I think I’ll just apply the shade to areas where I need the darkening such as the silver bits.

After shading and re-colouring some of the base layers, I go on to do a bit of highlighting. For this part, I had to go buy a few more colours, namely: Runefang Steel, Evil Sunz Scarlet and Auric Armour Gold. These colours really help to bring out some of the features on the minis. I added a gold bead on the tassels on the waist-straps, which gives it a nice bit of pop. I kinda wanted to repeat that on all the ‘rivets’ on the armour but that would have been a bit too tedious for me.

One thing that I need to complain about the starter paint set though is the paint brush. After doing these two units, I’ve noticed the starter brush has begun starting to fray. While I can still twist the bristles into a fine point, they quickly separate into two-three prongs. Makes things difficult at times, especially with finer details. I’ll likely buy a replacement brush in the near future.

If you got any critiques or comments, feel free to let me know!

First dip into the paint pots!

So after plopping down a fair amount of money into plastic bits, the big question was: how do I make these dull grey plastic bits into an epic looking standing army?

My experience with painting in life has been spotty at best. I painted as a child in school (poorly), I attempted to get into watercolour (sucked at it), and I thought pastels would be an interesting medium to work in (messy and I was terrible with it). I think my greatest painting achievement was painting Gundam models as a teen, but even then they were sub par from my point of view.

I think one of the biggest issues was that I never learned the proper steps to painting, how to put layers of paint on, what order, how to blend colours, how to bring out colours, etc. So jumping into Warhammer painting was a more of a leap of faith.

Luckily, the guy at the local Games Workshop was very kind and seeing that I was a complete newb at this hobby gave me a quick tutorial at the store about it. I wish I had the foresight to take pictures of it at the time, but I’ll describe it as best I can and show you what I ended up with.

The first step is priming the model with a quick spray of black (Chaos Black in this case). This apparently provides a suitable layer of paint for you to add onto; it helps other layers of paint adhere to the model. Other colours would probably help as the base coat depending on what you are trying to do, but it seems that black is a pretty universal starting point (white/grey if you are going for an overall lighter theme).

Next up is the base coat of paint, the meat of the model really (in some cases literally). What the majority colour of the model will be is what you should paint first and at this point, you want to start with the ‘inner’ colours first as well. In my case, I wanted a very ‘Romanesque’ colour scheme, so silver (Leadbelcher) and red (Khorne Red) were my main colours. Thus far pretty straight forward.

Now this is where things kinda go into unknown territory: we add shading. In my mind, shading is something you do with extensive amounts of work, adding dark tones onto areas of shadow, adjusting to where the light source comes from, mixing paints to get the right colour, etc. Games Workshop have thankfully come up with an interesting kind of product aptly named shade paints. The starter paint set I bought has something called ‘Reikland Fleshshade’, but since my base colour wasn’t gold, the shop owner advised me to use ‘Nuln Oil’ as a shade instead. Basically taking a bit of this stuff and dipping into the recesses and nooks and crannies of the models. The shade will settle in lower areas (thanks gravity) and darken those areas accordingly, saving us a lot of time and effort!

The shade takes some time to dry, but afterwards we go onto the highlighting bits. Some parts of the model will be darkened quite a bit by the shade, so you may need to re-apply some base paint colours to brighten them back up to what you want, but the main point is that the shadowed areas will remain dark; just be gentle with the application of more paint.

Continuing on with the Roman army theme, I gave a lot of the accent/embellishment areas a nice coating of gold. With that I had my very first painted Warhammer miniature: a Stormcast Eternal Liberator!

Liberator - First

The first of his kind