Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From the Depths of Hell

Skryre Lord Skreekits' engineers have been toiling away in their subterranean laboratories. The Hell Pit Abomination is just about finished.


I'd purchased a plastic Warp Lightning Cannon/ Plague Claw Catapult kit so I could build it as the catapult and use the spare cannon parts on my other Skaven models. The ornate barrel, trimmed down, makes a nice shackle, and a bit of chain from the Warhammer Giant completes the appearance that he's broken loose.


I swapped the mechanical hand onto the smaller of the spare arms and then attached it to the torso using putty to match the musculature.


The masonry was cut away from his right hand, requiring the finger to be resculpted. I'm still not sure what I'll have him resting on. Maybe the hunk of warpstone from the catapult? But then I'll need to find something else to use as the catapult's counterweight. Perhaps a bell or a sculpted piece of warpstone?


The larger arm that I cut the mechanical hand from required the most work. I used Kroot rifle stocks for the claws, attached to Killa Kan arm pistons. Some plastic card was used to fill out the "wrist" and the arm underneath was built up with putty and sculpted bandages. The fuel cell on the shoulder is made from a plastic Warlock Engineer's backpack, connected to the arm with tubes from the Doom Wheel.


The Abomination just needs some basing and he's ready to prime and paint. (Which, based on my track record, means he'll be finished by the middle of next year, right before I get back the the Terrorgheist and Garden of Morr...)

I've got a second Doom Wheel in the works as well. The driver and bellows operator have been converted and the warpstone arc generator on the front has been replaced with spare parts from the plastic Warp Lightning Cannon to differentiate it from the first one.



And yes, I totally make race car noises while working on the Doom Wheel!

'Til next time!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Skaven War Machine

I had teased these models a while back on my Facebook page, and now they're finally finished– Conversions of the plastic Rat Ogres from the Warhammer starter set. I did a little work on all of them to make them unique and to match the style of my existing unit.

The places where the fur flattens out along the seam of the two body halves were built up with putty. Extra armor plates were made with styrene card and hex rod cut to form the nuts and bolts. I trimmed one of the tails, swapped the heads, and added a hook hand using part of a Chaos Marauder banner. Extra blades were added to one of the claws to further distinguish the two models.



My original Rat Ogres incorporated mechanical arms from Inquisitor model Krieger Thrax. I had one left over, minus the claws, so they were recreated with styrene card. The other Rat Ogre needed some Skryre-tech, so I used spare parts from Space Marine Dreadnoughts and Ork Killa Kans to give him a piston-driven arm. The blades are from an old Imperial Guard– er, Astra Militarum tank's dozer blade.


The fuel cells on his back are made from beads with a little putty work.


Here they are, painted up and ready for battle!


The whole unit, ranked up with Skweel Gnawtooth leading the pack:



Normally, packmasters are placed in the back rank to drive the Rat Ogres forward, but since Skweel is a unit champion, he needs to be in the front rank. His different base size won't allow him to fit in with the rank-and-file Rat Ogres, so he needs to be placed on the side of the unit. I made a little bump-out for him to stand on.


It's removable, and can be replaced with a standard edge piece for when he is inevitably killed.


Up next: The Hell Pit Abomination. This is one of the most complicated kits I've put together. You wouldn't think so from looking at it, but the front portion of his body is about 10 pieces, not counting the arms or heads!



I already did a little customization like removing the excessive spikes from his tail, but I want to take it further and make him a distinctively Skryre-themed model. I plan to replace the masonry he's resting on with some kind of warpstone contraption and use the spare arms to add more mechanical cleavers to him. We'll see what happens when I start tinkering...

'Til next time!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Campaign Update: Hanging by a Thread

Our Players

Justin Cunnane: Chixl's Warhost (Lizardmen)

Jason Pierson: Waaagh Blackfang (Orcs & Goblins)

Louis Mule: The Murderous Legion (Dark Elves) 

Josh Affrime: The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron (Ogre Kingdoms)

Steve Stiefel: The Roving Province of Sigmarheim (Empire)

Rob Hawkins: Skryre Lord Skreekits' Lightning Engineer Cult (Skaven)

Last time, I wrote about my crushing defeat at the hands of Josh's Ogre Kingdoms army, The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron. Jason fared a little better (well, a lot better) in his assault on Steve's headquarters. Waaagh Blackfang crushed their opponents, driving the Roving Provence of Sigmarheim out of their fortress. Steve's Empire gunline and Steam Tanks weren't able to inflict enough casualties to stop the onslaught of Jason's massive unit of Orc Boyz. In the woods west of Malko (Territory 63) the Orcs scored another victory. 



Both of Steve's banners were massacred, and with no headquarters in which to reform, they were utterly destroyed. Now, Steve finds himself in the same predicament as Lou, with three turns to recapture his headquarters.


That got me thinking about an alternative to being flat-out eliminated from the campaign once your headquarters and banners are gone. We are on the verge of losing two players, and we're only at the halfway point. The battles thus far have been at the 1000 point level, and will jump to 2000 points in turn 10, so they haven't even been able to play any full-sized games.

It's also no fun to sit it out out while the remaining players continue with the campaign for a few more months. I floated this idea past the others and they all agreed, so we've implemented the following rule:

When a player has no HQ, and their final banner is Scattered or would be otherwise destroyed, causing the player to be removed from the campaign, the banner instead retreats 2 territories into any unoccupied territory. If there are no unoccupied territories, it will retreat 3 territories instead.


The banner continues to follow all the rules for movement and Living off the Land, and retains its army's special campaign rules, but it can no longer capture territories or ally with other realms. It fights and retreats as normal, but if Scattered it instead retreats 2 territories, following the rules above.


Though the banner cannot formally ally, it may lend support to any one battle it is adjacent to, and may support either side, regardless of the alliance table. The banner represents the remnants of the realm's army, roaming the land as warriors without a kingdom.

This allows the player to continue participating in the campaign, moving around the map wreaking havoc, aiding previous allies where they can, or simply harassing the realm that knocked them out. With a single banner they can still issue orders, move and fight some battles, but not be in a position to affect the territory counts or win the campaign.

And with that, we've officially reached the halfway mark of the campaign. 10 turns remain. The walled city of Malko has been secured by the orcs of Waaagh Blackfang. The Roving Provence of Sigmarheim has been cast out of their fortress at the hands of the green tide. The Dark Elves' Murderous Legion are still a few moves from recapturing their own headquarters. Chixl's Warhost is slowly scouring the Dark Elf presence from their realm. The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron is steadily rolling down from the mountains. And Skryre Lord Skreekits' Lightning Engineer Cult is feverishly toiling away on some new monsters to unleash on the battlefield. (Hopefully I'll have some new Skaven models to show off soon.)

'Til next time!