Sometimes even I am struck speechless by the generosity of my dwarven hosts. A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to examine the corpses of a band of marauders that had struck one of the trading caravans traveling from Hammerhold through te Ashen Wastes into the realms of the Ogres, to there trade fine dwarf-wrought steel for vast amounts of Auroch and Yak pelts and meat, raised by the Ogres in great number on the slopes of their great mountains.
The creatures were apparently fast-moving slavers, striking quickly at a lightly defended part of the caravan before carrying away their victims, their mutated hindquarters enabling them to outpace any pursuers as none of them were mounted.
The six bodies I were given to study had been felled by crossbow bolts and shotte as the dwarven escort counter-attacked. It is possible by the muttering of the caravan guards that i overheard that the creatures also had infantry support, but no bodies of such were provided to me and the dwarves were reluctant to discuss them with me.
The bodies were badly decomposed when they arrived to Hammerhold but I have included several sketches based on the bodies, the equipment and witness-accounts from the caravan personnel to illustrate how imagine how they looked in life.
The creatures were all large, the smallest of them twice the height of a dwarf, with the weight to match, the largest of them being the size of a Bögenhafven prize bull; a most imposing stature! I would hate the sight of such a grand creature bearing down on me, intent on my demise!
Other than their bipedal form, they had few similarities. The two smallest of the herd were still twice the size of a dwarf, and lightly armoured, in the manner of the depraved men of the northern ice wastes, with tight-fitting helmets concealing their features. While the clime of the Ashen Wastes is very differnet form that in the north, such similarities could mean that these raiders either do war or perhaps even trade with the northmen.
Given the position of their horns it is unlikely that the helmets can ever be removed and may indeed have been forged right on their heads! Such as act would surely mean that the creatures either possess some form of magical resistance to fire or simply and astonishing willpower and stamina to endure such pain. Surely such as act would tax even the enduring dwarves!
Two of the other corpses were much larger, being the size of a smaller bull. They were very similar in both features and gear, possibly they were brothers, or at least part of the game grouping in whatever society these creatures live in?
Weighting close to a thousand pounds even dead and unarmoured, they must have made exemplary linebreakers on the charge. I have a hard time imaging even a dwarven shieldwall standing up to such a creature.
Their armour were more advanced than their smaller brethren being heavily armoured over their entire figure except for their massively muscled arms with great slabs of iron.
Still, their protection was fairly primitive, being strapped on with leather straps instead of fitting them properly, making it clear that their gear was either looted or perhaps traded, clearly it was originally meant for someone else.
Only the gauntlets and great, high helmets seemed to really fit them well.
As for physical features I was much intrigued by the massive tusks sprouting from their lower jaws and contrasting with such brute features, their finely coiffed beards which even several weeks after death still smelled faintly of perfumed oil. It is clear then that despite their barbaric appearance, these were civilized creatures, not merely roving marauders.
The next centaur-like creature also proved interesting. It was built closer to the ground that the others, with a somewhat smaller lower body and a grossly oversized, almost ogre-like upper body and unlike the previous specimens it had armour clearly made for it. Clad in a close-fitting breastplate, great black laquered pauldrons and both forelegs armoured in thick greaves and heavy bracers on both arms and wielding a great blade a fair bit longer than my own lanky form, it too must have been fearsome in life.
The creature either fought helmetless or its helmet had been lost in battle but it too had similar tusks as the previous ones together with short, thick horns sprouting from heavy brows.
Given the higher quality of its armour, most of which seems to have been custom-made for it, I feel that this creature must have been the leader of the band, or at the very least the second in command to the last creature.
The least creature of the six was also the largest of them, the humanoid portion almost the size of a Ogre and the quadruped part as large as any prize bull I ever saw at a market!
It too was only partly armoured, wearing a finely crafted gutplate with a ghoulish face molded into it, perhaps a image of one of the creature's foul deities? It also wore and elaborate helmet and… [Read More]
Version 2.0 Beta is upon us! And with that there are a host of new spoilers to talk about. However, it’s only fitting that the Court of the Damned blog provide a summary review and basic tactica for recently spoiled Court of the Damned entry in the VC 2.0 Book.
The basics of what you need to know (copy and pasted straight from the thread which you should visit for further detail):
1)Gains War Platform and base change from 50x100mm to 60x100mm
2) Unholy Dominion: All models in enemy units within 6" of one or more models with this Global Rule suffers -2 Agility and -2 Defensive Skill
3)Ghostly horde attacks changed from 2d6 to 8
4)Court of the Damned gains Mounts Protection (6+) (mounted version only) but loses innate defense (5+)
The biggest, most meaningful change for the court is its switch to a war platform. This role allows it to provide a big boost to VC core units or create a death star type build in a unit of barrow guard. With that said, let’s look at the main candidates:
Ghouls: Ghouls are our naturally most agile infantry unit so seem like a good synergy fit for the CotD’s unholy dominion. This unit will put out a high volume of S3 wounds at a high agility step due to their having 2 attacks a piece and poison as well as a new boon (hatred that kicks in after the first round of combat). With these abilities, I see this unit as an anti-elf unit. They will often strike simultaneously with elves and the output of S3 with poison makes them a fantastic unit to deal with lightly armored troops. Furthermore, this unit does not especially need character support. The best counters to this unit will be still be the units that can normally counter ghouls. I expect ghouls to do very well against 5+ and 6+ armor, average against 3+ and 4+ armor and be countered hard by units that possess 1+ and 2+ saves. Like all VC core, ghouls will experience losses in droves but provided the right match up and having great enough numbers by the time the second round of combat arises, this unit has potential to be effective.
Skeleton spears: Similarly to the ghoul unit, the CotD should synergize well in providing attacks at a high agility step in combination with the new agility buff for spears. Whether or not this unit charges or takes the charge it should put out a high volume of attacks (due to fier and horde) at a high agility step in the first round of combat (this will diminish somewhat when first round agility bonuses subside). The defensive skill debuff will also help the skeletons to hit whilst it won’t reduce incoming damage. Compared the ghouls this unit will benefit more from character support, most notably Lamian vampires will be able to reduce enemy agility by a further -1 or make the skeleton unit offensive skill 6 with commandment. This can also be done in a more expensive unit of barrows. All things considered, this unit is very solid and will counter the units that spears counter well e.g. cavalry. As there is no getting away from t3, light armor dying in droves (especially when striking at lower agility) this unit would benefit most from additional character support. With a lord level character in the unit, this unit becomes something just a level below a death star and many units might choose to simply counter by ignoring this unit. Imo, this plays in to the VC players hands by denying the opponent core points which are usually the easiest points to get when playing VC.
Barrow Guard with halberds: I have specified halberds in this entry as this is the weapon that will make the most use of unholy dominion’s initiative debuff. The already “elite” skeletons can be stacked with further synergies, including commandment (in a Lamia list), a cadaver wagon and the new banner of the barrows. This unit with a character is likely to cost around 40-45% of 4500 point army and what you get is a unit with the potential to hit on 2’s with a high volume of S5, lethal strike. Pretty deadly! Unlike the previously reviewed core units which might tempt a few charges, there is no way an opponent will willingly charge this unit if it is fully tooled out with the requisite synergies. Whilst not much is touching this unit in combat, you can’t get around the fact you are movement 4 and have put the vast majority of points in this unit. In this build, armies that can excel at the chaff game will cause problems as will armies with other means of out maneuvering. The surefire way to defeat this list is to avoid the deathstar, pick up points for the unbuffed VC core units and everything else that is not in this unit. Other tactics include looking to take out some of the unit synergy – war machines will likely be perfect for this role. However, other ways to mess with this unit include use of dangerous terrain, whether on the battle field or spells that force DT’s. Pinning the unit with rear and flank charges should also be possible in lists that rely on a variety of MSU-medium sized combat units that work in tandem.
As a mount:… [Read More]
Episode 11! Thats a year of hobby (I missed a month)! It would be great to get some feedback on this "series" if anyone actually enjoys seeing what we have done each month. Is there something you would like to see more of?
"Mercenary" WIP. I've always wanted to do a unit of Mercenaries, but since I'm a practical being, the prospect of modelling 7-8 unique models that all have to be magnetized was a bit daunting. I do love converting, but this specific project was just something that I had to push myself into. I decided to help myself with some easy bits, that had been used by many other ogre players, and if it turns out too "ordinary", I will have a new hunter model at least!
I have continued to work on my WotDG Pestilence project! To paint my once Chosen, I have used full Duncan's Painting Guides on Youtube, and the entire army is built around the colors he uses in those videos. My first thought was to make it a swamp theme with cliffs. However as I just bought a winter table (as you can see in the latest 9th Scroll), I decided to change the swamp to an icy lake. The Pox walkers behind the bases will be my barbarian regiment, along with some Games Workshop Nurglings. I used the same techniques for the walkers as I used for the Once Chosen. The Snails will be used as warhounds and were made from actual snail shells and goblin spider legs. I am hoping to have a game ready army for the Danish tournament Battle of Copenhagen in February.
This month I have been really trying to clear my painting table for space. I have so many models and not so much space. I had half painted my Vampire Spawn so finished those off. They were a bit of a modelling project as I had lost 2 legs somewhere and re-positioning the models to fit the ruined building was a bit of a task! I like to add some humans that are getting eaten/killed etc to give the army a bit of character, and this was no different.
The Bats were taking up a lot of space and only took a little time to paint. They were done using exactly the same scheme as the Vampire spawn, down to the eyes, to give coherence to the bats of the army. I also added some unfortunate humans being chased and carried off by the "Happy Bats"!
A special Episode of Ammertime Podcast. Henry interviews Bjarke from Dreadstreets about there current kickstarter!
Dreadstreets is a new skrimish-style board game. The team are currently in the process of releasing their terrain set which is a very affordable set of 16 modular buildings:
Whats great about this terrain is that it completely flat packs..You can fit a building between two slices of bread as Bjarke is demonstrating here:
dreadstreets.com [Read More]
WHATS GOING ON!!! So I got all 5 rounds of Michigan GT here and also 1 round inside a garage before Mich GT. I could add more, but I'm lazy so here you go....
Round.99 vs KoE
Round 1 vs Chris Walkers Sylvan Elves
Round 2 vs Chris Mince's Zombie Dragon
Round 3 vs Young Man Logan's High Elves
Round #4 vs More zombies -.-
Round #5 vs Joel Flints Empire
On Flying Skiffs and Their Mysterious Decline (Part I) (Steam Bombers)
One of the things that so much surprised my military sponsors during their ill-fated last conflict with Hammerhold was the appearance of fast-moving light flying skiffs of precious unknown design. Their appearance allowed the normally slow dwarven forces excelelnt scouting capabilities and even some skirmishing quite on par with that offered by our own Reiter squadrons, especially when combined with accurate fire from concealed Ranger squads.
This being one of the explicit purposes with my studies with the dwarves, I asked Queen Haephaestia for permission, as was graciously allowed to study these marvelous creations both at dock and at flight. The Hammerhold fleet consisted of two heavily armed skiffs, at least four smaller vessels, and one much larger ship, which acted as a supply ship to the rest of the fleet as well as a potent combat platform in its own right. This chapter will detail the two skiffs.
The one depicted in the woodcut above is the "Ancestral Wrath", a swifter twin-sailed design.
While both skiffs were unique, and indeed according to my hosts, all such vessels are, being the remnant of a lost age of dwarven splendour, they still have many similarities. All such vessels are shaped much like a shallow-keeled boat, with a prow much like a northern longboat, and are kept aloft in disregard of all known natural laws by a powerful Runic Engine on the back of vessel, which somehow provides lift much like the wings of a great beast does. Such power is unpredictable though and the skiffs are known to dip and swerve almost at random, making them quite unsafe to sail in close quarters.
Indeed on several occasions Reiter squadrons tried to trap these swift Skiffs against the mountainside to limit their mobility, only for the mountainside to erupt in a shower of bolts as well-concealed Ranger Troupes made their presence known.
Such a unpredictable mount requires a very special crew, and even among a folk that tolerates the weirdness of Ranger Troupes, the insane fatalism of the Seeker Sect, the insular eccentricity of the Engineer Cult, and the single-minded fanaticism of the Forgemaidens, the crew of such vessels are seen as both unhinged and dangerous and are seldom welcome in polite company.
Having a almost instinctive understanding of the eccentricities of their runic engine, split-second reflexes and a love for speed and the open sky that is most undwarven, they tend to twitch uncontrollably and feel at ill at ease inside most smaller chambers of a Dwarfhold.
They are also heavy drinkers, which for dwarves is saying something! Whether in the sky or on the ground.
While primarily used for trading with cities and Holds than cannot be reached by land (all such flying vessels are technically part of the Dwarven Trading Navy, not the militia or the Queen's Army) and scouting, the skiffs can defend themselves in combat with a light grapeshot cannon(originally invented to scatter the vast Harpy hosts congregating in some mountain areas long enough for the skiffs to break through) and a large munition of bombs that can wreak great damage to lightly armoured infantry to slow to shift in response to a sudden assault dive.
The crew are generally organized with a older, more experienced captain steering the Skiff and a junior apprentice manning the Grapeshot cannonand dropping munitions.
The single-sailed "Flying Hammer", masted much like the longboat it so resembles, was the second skiff i was allowed the take notes off.
It is to me a mystery why the dwarves claim to no longer have the ability to make more of such miraculous vessels, for dwarven memory and bookkeeping are both exacting and ancient (their eccentricities regarding their Queens notwithstanding) so surely such a thing would not be allowed to become lost?
But sadly none of the dwarves I questioned would answer my questions in this regard, merely gesturing angrily at the Skiff's figureheads and making oblique references to the skills needed being lost in the "Schism".
Interesting enough the intonation on the words used for this Schism suggests that whatever it was, it was a great rift of both physical and political/religious nature.
However as the figureheads offer no clue to me, I have little idea as of what they mean.
I guess time alone will tell if this lost knowledge will be reclaimed or if the remaining vessels will surely grumble as the great statues of the dwarves do
Of the Dwarves: Notes on Physiology, Military and Habitat, vol III, by Krugman Bartliebhafer, Imperial Scholar. [Read More]
This months hobby progress from the Ammertime Team:
Henry - Not much to show for this month. I have been in Mongolia for 3 weeks and organising a 100 person event. I found time to make a good start on my forest ranger conversions though They are built from a number of different GW kits but mostly a combination of the Shadow warrirors and leftover Wildwood ranger kits from my forest guards.
Casimir - This month was the lead up to Giant Fanatic and as such I've been rushing to complete everything for my list. The list I started out with was quite ambitious, with a lot to be painted. In the end I didn't manage to finish a second sphinx but basically everything else was completed. I finally finished my Shabti unit which has been years in the making. Painted my second colossus, also made from a Kratos action figure, you might have seen the first one in the 3rd edition of the scroll. I added one more winged reaper to my unit and polished off my architect conversion. All in all its been a pretty hectic month.
Lasse Giant Fanatic 2017! I planned to make an narrative army, where I only used my hero - and special points on minotaurs. The pictures show my 4 heroes! This was the list:
Minotaur Chieftain [495pts] Battle Standard Bearer, Flail, Upgrade to Totem Bearer, Bronze Breastplate, Potion of Swiftness, Talisman of Greater Shielding
Minotaur Chieftain [450pts] Flail, Upgrade to Totem Bearer, Aaghor's Flayed Hide
Minotaur Chieftain [370pts] Flail, Eye of Dominance, Mithril Mail
Minotaur Warlord [684pts] Army General, Beast Axe, Heavy Armour Crown of Autocracy, Hardened Shield, Talisman of Supreme Shielding
1x21 Mongrel Herd, shield, Standard
3x10 Mongrel Raiders - Ambush & Scout [120pts]
1x35 Wildhorn Herd, PW, FCG, Banner of the Wild Herd
1x7 Minotaur, PW, FCG, Stalker’s Standard
1x7 Minotaur, PW, FCG, Aether Icon
1x3 Minotaurs [261pts] GW
1x3 Minotaurs [255pts] PW
Rasmus - I have been experimenting with ice effects on my bases and completed some Once Chosen for my Warriors of the Dark Gods army!