Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A tale of Oldhammerers Play Along: Update


Holidays are brilliant. I get to sit on my arse while painting and listening to Motorhead very loudly. Good times never last for long so I am enjoying the time I have before I go back to work.

Painting time has helped me hit my targets for my play along at home, much to my relief. By this point, in all honesty I had expected to fail; just another project started with enthusiasm and left alone within days. There is a long way to go of course but its a solid second step.

5 Elven guard with a standard bearer is 84 points

2 Archers are 28 points, bringing me to a total of 112 points painted since the 19th of this month.

To say I am pleased is an understatement, maybe some semblance of willpower is beginning to manifest itself in me after my first couple of decades of dicking about.

These guys join 4 Seekers (72 points) and a Silver helm (37 points). Bringing the grand total to 221 points. Phwoar, I am sure the collective hoards of the Warhammer world are having their underwear menaced by the mere thought of them. Maybe not.


Hmmm, so photography is quite a skill. A good picture can really present a miniature to its best. Sadly my camera skills could be considered in need of improvement at best and down right shoddy if reviewed honestly. The best pictures I could get off my phone involved daylight from the front and a backlit screen from behind.... not exactly professional but hopefully it gives an idea of what these guys actually look like. My phone seemed to especially enjoy picking up all the dust and rogue static grass on my laptops chassis and in many other pictures did its best to ignore the miniatures completely.

For the next batch, I will try and get a more advanced set up prepared after calling upon the knowledge of a mate who knows a darn sight more than I do.


One of the best aspects of doing anything is the opportunity to learn and improve as you go along. Even in seven miniatures, I feel I have improved in some aspects and learned valuable lessons in others. The way I produce skin has improved steadily, my mixes are getting closer and more sympathetic each time. The last guardsman I painted being my favourite in that regard.

I also learned that the material bit on the spear looks shite in green. The one Guard painted like this may well change but for now, I will leave it as a cautionary tale to myself.

An old White Dwarf also yielded a gem painting tutorial which I have followed on the last two Guards and they are a massive improvement. I may well go back and update the older miniatures.

Moving Forward

Up next will essentially be a ditto, 5 more Guard and 2 more Archers. A bit bland but important for several reasons; firstly it allows me to get the Guard unit up to a minimum size unit according to Warhammer Armies, which for me would be one hell of an achievement. Secondly, it means in a following month I can bring an Archer unit up to a similar state.

As I have a few days left of December and enthusiasm to spare, I hope to find the Silver Helms lance and shield so that they can be painted up and attached. There might also be some greenstuffing to do to smooth out a join for him.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Compatability mode

Set Up

As readers of this blog will know, I am an avid proponent of Warhammer Fantasy Batlle 4th and 5th edition, which often does not get the love I feel it deserves. The wealth of background information, army books and campaign packs really help complete the image of the Warhammer world for me. However, the main rule set is not a patch on Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition.

Most races are well represented in Warhammer armies. Dwarves have their many different varieties of hardcore infantry with lots of warmachines, Chaos is its wonderfully varied self, Dark Elves have their signature Cold ones and Witch Elves but once again the High Elves get the shaft a little. Especially with Kithbands, Warrior Kindreds and Ships Companies being more or less the same things with only minor equipment differences, I thought it was time to spice things up a bit and have a controlled merging of generations.


What I didn't want to do is to make the army better; no that way lies madness and power gaming, this is not the way to fun gaming for everyone. My goal is simply to add variety. Every pro will be suitably counteracted with a con such as additional points cost or restrictions.

I will use the experience system in Warhammer armies to designate statistics and will not deviate from that. If a bit of extra variety is needed then skills from the Warhammer 3rd edition rule book will be used.


I am leafing through the 5th edition and most rules heavy High Elf army book ever created. While it is great and characterful it is also very fussy, with countless special rules for each unit type. Not what I want but excellent inspiration for background etc. so I will work through one army list entry at a time.

Dragon Princes of Caledor

Noble Elves that are descended from those that once (or some that still do) ride dragons. The kin of Kings and blatant warmongers. These arrogant little bastards do little other than train their martial skills and swoosh around in a superior manner so in my mind they have to be +4 Elites, the best that can be fielded but will only ever ride on their little dragons (horses) fully equipped and armoured. I imagine anyone that tells them different will be met with sneers and sarcastic remarks. As they are elite troops, they need to be restricted, tying them to the amount of dragon riders in the army seems like a sensible idea, helping give that Caledorian theme.

Silver Helms

Already described admirably by Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 48. This has been uploaded by some kind soul for your convenience here http://www.scribd.com/doc/100191674/Warhammer-Armies.

Ellyrion Reavers

Already described admirably in Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 48 as Shore Riders.

White lions

Rugged woodsmen that have a reputation as brave and capable warriors, often used as bodyguards for important people. While they spend much of their time in the field as lumberjacks and monster slayers par excellence, not all of their skills are based on fighting despite their ferocious reputation . I would make them +3 Elites, with the Foresters skill. Often used as the bodyguards of Important Elves, their availability depends on the amount of higher level characters also present.

Phoenix Guard

The Phoenix Guard protect the Shrine of Asuryan, they are well trained and drilled, sworn to a magically induced silence and spend long periods of time on guard duty. They have never been represented as exceptionally powerful and occasionally causing fear due to being unnervingly quiet. However, this is not an option that is available within the restrictions I have set myself and moving outside of these starts the slippery slope toward power gaming. The best fit within the parameters is as +2 Elites with no additional special rules.


Messengers of the white tower, secret agents who root out spies and agents of the chaos gods, these guys are martial artists that have no peers. Able to use a greatsword as others wields a butter knife, they have to be +4 Elites. No other rules really fit them or are really required, they will go through what ever enemies are in front of them like a hot knife through butter. Most often they are used as the hand of the white tower, directed by Wizards and Seers to intervene at critical points. Because of this their restriction would tie them with Mages on the table.

Lothern Seaguard

Already described admirably in Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 49 as Merchant Companies


 Already described admirably in Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 49 as Kithband etc.

Shadow Warriors

Already described admirably in Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 50 as Seekers.


Already described admirably in Warhammer Armies for 3rd Edition Pg 49.

Shut Down

I had forgotten how bad at using Photoshop I am so the cards are not perfect but they present a general idea. If you have any ideas, comments or rotten tomatoes to throw, please let em now what you think!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Age and Resurgence


Getting older is a double edge sword. On one hand I have more hair on my chin than my head, my knees and ankles crack as I walk and my short term memory is shocking to say the least. However, it does give you a wider (if not somewhat sketchy), sense of time and long term planning.

Recently, I spotted my High Elf shadow warriors on my shelves, remembered writing about them "a few weeks ago" on the blog, then wandered off again, probably distracted by something mundane such as employment or the need to find sustenance.


I have been following the tale of four Oldhammerers blog posts on the web, enjoying reminiscing about the original TOFG in White Dwarf and remembering how I had been following along at home. A thought then struck me, I could follow along with these gentlemen at home and maybe even reach my lifelong goal of having a well painted full army. The goal I had missed first time round by starting one army, changing on month 3 and never catching up. Maybe this time I would succeed?

It was at this point I realized that I was already behind as they had started in September and it was now December. To catch up, I was going to have to get organized quickly and and maybe increase my monthly point count but I was sure I could do it! The challenge was set, 1000 points by August and I knew I wanted a High Elf army, so I opened up Warhammer Armies and quickly thrashed out an army list:

Spellbard(118)                                                                                   141           
Warhorse(6), Barding(4), Protective symbols (10) and Woad(3)

Earl(88)                                                                                             103           
Halberd(2), Heavy Armour(3),  protective symbols(10)

17 Elven Guard(216)                                                                        264           
Standard(14), Heavy Armour(17), Halberds(17)

10 High Elf Archers                                                                          140           

7 Silver Helms(245)                                                                          259           
Heavy Armour(14)

5 Seekers                                                                                           90

                                                                                                  Total 997

I adhered to my own limitations of <25% characters allowance and >50% units allowance. I firmly believe Warhammer should be about units and not heroes which this restriction represents nicely. The Spell Bard would be the figurehead leader due to looking more dynamic and important on a fine steed but practical leadership would most likely come from the hero on foot. I wanted variety in the units where possible so went for 1 unit of melee infantry, 1 unit of ranged infantry, 1 unit of skirmishers and a unit of melee cavalry. This gives me a nice rounded force to take on all comers with that should be fun to play with and to me seems quite elfy.

This activity reminded me that one of the great strengths of  the High Elf army list is that it has no compulsory troops choices, so it lets you choose more or less what you want. Which is neat and makes life easier on the leadpile and therefore my wallet.

Climbing the mountain

With my army list in hand I headed to my leadpile to see what I could dig out. A quick search revealed:
20 metal sword masters,
15 lothern seaguard in a horrible state of paint after being purchased off ebay some time a go,
5 Silver helms,
16 metal archers
and a hero on a horse.

The swordsmen were quickly thrown back as their weapons did not represent halberds in any way shape or form, the mounted hero went back too as it was of no use to me. This left me with Seaguard to represent my Elven guard, which their heavily bladed spears could do in a pinch, all the archers I needed and most of the cavalry too. I then remembered the shadow warriors on my shelf that I had blogged about "a few weeks ago." It turns out that a few weeks was in fact over a year... Amazing how time flies isn't it? So after my first sift, I had the majority of my units but no characters. Ho hum, I will have to shop around a little to find something suitable but still, it was a solid start.

The shopping list

Mounted mage: It seems to be nigh on impossible to find a nicely done, mounted female mage. I have Googled until my eyes bled (slight exaggeration) and even asked the Mrs to help me look. The only model I actually liked is from GameZone miniatures, it from their faux Bretonnian range but is genuinely a thing of beauty. Sadly it is also almost impossible to buy, even the vendors own website would not allow me to purchase it. I will, however, persist as I now have it in my head that she would be perfect. If anyone knows where to get it please let me know.

Hero on foot with a nice big spear: Fortunately there are quite a few of these about, I will most likely use a converted version of this fella or the crewman from the old Tiranoc Chariot. I have wanted this miniature for years and think his antlered helmet will fit in nicely with the planned "natural look" of the army as opposed to the often used flames or phoenixes. (Edit: Ooooh or maybe a maiden guard)
Units: I also need 2 more Silver helms, 1 shadow warrior and 2 more seaguard. Blimey, Seaguard can be expensive on EBay these days! 20 quid for 4 miniatures seems a piss take when I bought 15 for £25 not so long ago. Still, patience is a virtue and I am sure there are still bargains out there to be had, especially as I am only looking for 2.

The plan

To hit my targets I cannot mess about painting bits here and there then panicking because it is almost August. No, this way is my usual route and its destination is failure. Instead, I drafted up a painting plan, separated in to 8 sections (no particular order), one each month until the target. I already have 4 painted Seekers and one Silver Helm so they do not need to be on the list.

2 Archers, 5 Guard

2 Archers, 5 guard

2 Archers, 5 guard

2 Guard, 4 archers, 1 seeker

3 Silver Helms

3 Silver Helms



This should leave me with needing to paint on average 7 models a month or a big spangly character, a feat that even I should be able to accomplish...maybe. Well I will try anyway. Whipped up with enthusiasm for the project, this is exactly what I did. In quick succession I painted my first 2 archers and 2 Elven (sea)Guards.

Since taking this picture, I have almost completed a third (sea)Guard and half completed the units standard bearer. You may notice that the spear shafts are black and a bit messy. This is down to my indecision on how to best proceed, I put up a plea on the Oldhammer Facebook page for advice and was met with a wave of sagely wisdom, many good ideas and smutty comments. I have decided that I want to see what the unit look like as a group before deciding a colour, they may even stay black but we shall see.
Progress so far

I intend to buck my usual tend of getting distracted and actually stay the course with this project. I am hoping that by publicly declaring it I will not suffer from waning enthusiasm as quickly as I usually do...