Saturday, 25 June 2016

A Tale of 4 Gamers - part 5

Hi all

My apologies for the missed deadline yesterday, this was my fault not the other gamers as I have been in a state of shock since yesterday's announcement in the UK, but this a wargaming blog not a political one and so that is all I intend to say on that.

So this is the last part of the collecting and painting segment of our "Tale" based on the White Dwarf series of the same name.  For the last 2 months we have collected and modelled our warbands showing first the warriors and the levies working our way up the foodchain to the Hurscarls and Hithguards and now it's time to show the last pieces, the main man himself - the Warlords!!

This is the last chance for you guys to score our efforts, every point counts as we move from the painting table to the gaming table next time. Scores out of 5 please for both painting and the fluff provided by the gamers.

Andy's Faction

Waelwulf "the Fierce" stood by the doors of his Meadhall, built by him and his retainers with there own hands and standing as a show of his power and a mark of his lordship.  Here he dispensed justice in the view of the old Gods of his ancestors and away from the prying eyes of the Christians, who insisted he worship their weakling "Nailed God" blindly and with no thoughts of the old ways. 

Waelwulf spat his derision of the fools who prayed on their knees in their precious churches, looking to prayer to protect them when what they actually had was strong men like Waelwulf and his like, manning walls and hefting spear and shield.  He would show them what good their prayers were in the face of Viking axes and Norman lances.  He would take the war to the invaders, aye and the raiders from beyond the northern wall too and he would slaughter them, drive them from his shores and back to the rocks from which they crawled under.

Beckoning to Edgar to hoist his banner, he whistled for Freki - his massive hunting hound and strode across the bridge that bordered the edge of his lands and marked the outskirts of his small army's camp.  Seeing their lord coming toward them, the sergeants gathered their men into their units, bullying them into some sort of order with threats and blows.

"Men" he bellowed to the mass of hulking warriors.  "We are the sons of Danes but we are not Northmen, we are protectors of this land, this England but more importantly we are Men of Kent and we will defend our homes to the last drop of blood, we will sweep the vile invaders from our country and destroy their armies. We will crush them underfoot and their women and children will weep for their loss, but we will not stop until we once again stand as the masters of our land. For Kent, for England we will be victorious!"

So at last we come to the boss.  For me I could not wait! I wanted Waelwulf the Fierce to be a centre piece for the warband, something that drew the eye.  According to the rules he can be mounted on a larger base 40mm compared to the 25mm for normal warriors, so thats what he was going to come on, initially I was going to put other minis on the base with him but decided I wanted him front and centre all on his own, his retainers would be seperately mounted (but not contributing to the base size for gaming purposes).  My warlord was from the Gripping Beasts plastic model range that can be used for either Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Danes, I wanted him to sport the enormous axe that he came with but bizzarely there was no way to attach it to his hand (which came with a sword !?!) so I had to use the hand that came with the standard bearer, for the base I used some zombie heads from a wargames factory sprue for severed heads and some broken weapons and a shield to give it a bit of a feel.  The hound is from Warlord games and was liberated from my Ancient Celts army and painted up.  The standard bearer now sans arm needed a minor conversion to swap out the warlords sword for the standard pole and was good to go.

I also finished off the last unit of Hurscarls I had knocking about for a a full 6 points worth of troops, these bad boys are metal sculpts from Gripping Beast, there were a bit meh! to paint but in the end turned out fairly nice, including hand painting on two of the shields.

Finally here is a shot of the entire Warband....

Chris's Faction

So the last two units of the warband.......for now. Firstly 8 Hearthguard, the elite of the warband. These are Gripping beast plastic Viking Warriors. Nicely sculpted models but really not quite on a par with Victrix or Perry. A lot of mould lines and things like shoulder joints not fitting easily and requiring some work....and tree trunk axe handles. The minis themselves are however easy to paint. These are all mail clad. Now my usual technique fir mail is a black undercoat and build up layers of metallics and silver with dry brushing. However as the rest of the army has been done with army painter I needed it to tie in. So usual white undercoat. Gun metal for the chain and the usual paint palette for the clothing. Nice touch on these minis is the Thor's hammer necklaces. Bit more colour in the clothing. I'm actually very pleased with the AP effect on the chain especially after varnishing. For the Warlord I wanted a small vignette with a Raven banner. These are Foundry miniatures. Again these were simplicity to paint. Base colours, a bit more colour and patterning on the Jarls clothing. I used the same tan colour for his bearskin cloak to tie him in with the Beserkers. The hound came with the pack and was just too nice a figure not to include. Only figure in the warband not done with Army Painter, just dry brush and highlights over black. So all told I am very pleased with this warbabd which will sweep all in front of them into oblivion. The GB plastics sculpting I'm going to give 6/10....good but room for improvement. Foundry 10/10. All told this took me about 10 days to complete from start to finish. I'm pleased with the AP on these. They look much better in the flesh than photos and to turn out gaming quality minis that look good en mass and quickly it can't be beaten, once you've learnt it's subtleties and limits and enhancing with some little highlights. I'd recommend it to anyone. Jarl Ingulf Thornisson's Warband Warlord 8 Hearthguard 4 Beserkers 24 Warriors 6 points with enough figures left over to increase up to 8 points

Damon's Faction

Bjarke looked around at his captors talking in their strange tongue trying to recall the battle. He remembers clashing with the scots as they came charging down the hill in their skirts, remembers the bersekers, Ake, Colburn, Gunnar and Gosta fall under a hail of spears then nothing, "I must have been clouted from behind and now here I am tied to a tree" he thought to himself. A large scot walked towards him and spoke to him in his tongue.

Lachlan smiled as he saw the shock on the vikings face as he spoke in their language. "Tell me again where your ship is" The viking just spat at his feet so he drove the point of his spear though his calf muscle. Smiling at the screams that came forth from the vikings mouth. "I can cause you so much pain, tell me where it is and I swear on my honour I will give you a warriors death" Confusion crossed Bjarke's face so Lachlan continued " tell me where your ship is and I will free you, put a sword in your hand and if you kill me you can walk free" "This is the only chance I will give you to enter Valhalla"

Bjarke looked long into the eyes of the man in front of him and realised that he saw a kindred spirit deep within them, starring back and knew he was telling the truth. Looked at his bleeding leg and back at Lachlan. As if reading his thoughts the man known as Lachlan in front of him says " I'll get you patched up whilst my scouts check out your story so you'll be fighting fit by the time they get back and if you've told the truth you get the sword if you've lied I'll gut you like a pig"

I apporached my next unit of hearthguard (Toisech) in the same manner and again I have surprised myself again. Out came the magnifying glass again and I went for the tartan again. I was a bit more brave with the tartan as you can probably see from the pics. I am especially please with the bluish cloak and the red tartan I feel I've kicked it up a wee notch. Again each tartan took more than one attempt and a lot of patience. I have persevered with the eyes and again this is paying off as I feel their better again. I ended up mixing my colours as they were too bright or dark. The red I dulled down with a little brown and the blue i lightned with a little white trying to match the colours I found on the web. I really am enjoying this painting lark.

Rich's Faction

The tournament was well into its second day, Hugh had so far taken part in four Jousts and one them all. His men cheered and congratulated him each time but Francois and the other knights had looked on stern faced.

Hugh had always had to fight twice as hard as his brothers growing up. Without his fathers attention his solace had been days and days practicing with the men at arms and learning all he could. Maybe being the youngest son was not so bad. Maybe his destiny had always been this way. Maybe be was meant to win this tournament and head to Caen as a man with a reputation. Maybe that would bring him to the attention of the Duke, all he had to do was win one more joust.

Hugh fancied his chances, the Dane was all strength and bluster. He had won his four jousts up to now before the horses had began to move. Each of his opponents was intimidated by his size and his growling. Hugh saw how he ducked and leaned into the lance as impact was made. Hugh was subtle and skilful and he knew just how to beat the Dane movement and deft touch was the key.

Kirsten knew he could not beat the Norman in a joust. As a mercenary man who had stayed alive against the odds all his life he knew when he saw a more skilled opponent and he knew when to walk away. He had come to Normandy as a captured man and had fought for his maters entertainment earning his freedom after years of killing.

Kirsten needed to be part of the invasion but the Norman lords would not take a Dane with them not unless they thought it was to their advantage. If he could win here at Nee and go to Caen as a man who had beaten all of the Local lords the duke might see his value and let him come to England.

All that stood between Kirsten and England was one Norman. But this Norman was unusual he could actually fight. Kirsten Deathbringer would bring Death today but not with a Joust in his arm.

As the men faced off and assumed the couch position, Joust under arm as the horses faced off and snorted their challenges at each other the Dane suddenly screamed allowed. “ Are you a girl Norman!” Hugh was shocked what was this, this was not tournament etticate where was the respect. Hugh said nothing and faced his challenger waiting for the squires to drop the flags to signal the engagement. But they were hesitating and looked confused by this outburst. “ I said are you a girl Norman, or will you fight like a man today” The crowd were mumbling and looking at each other wondering what was happening the squires didn’t know what to do. “Fight me as a man Norman, fight me as the gods intended, fight me with axe and steel!” Kirsten dropped his joust and from his back drew his mighty fighting axe.

As Hugh breathed in to shout his protest to the tournament squire he caught Francois eye, the look the man gave Hugh was stern and questioning. Hugh knew what the look meant. He knew he had to fight and win today to win his knights respect. He knew he had to fight with steel as a man. He paused, his horse turned 360 in its hesitancy and confusion as he came round to face the Dane again Hugh shouted back. “Very well Dane I will fight you with steel,” then as Hugh drew his sword and held it aloft he shouted something else, “ but let it be to the death!. Francois looked satisfied and re took his seat. Hugh knew this was the gamble of his life. But he was a man of Destiny, and the Dane just another step in his path to glory.

Hugh kicked his spurs into the sides of Damascus his mighty white charger and time slowed.

The Dane had lost the initiative as the Norman began to move, he smiled and kicked his heels into his all black steed. The two men charged headlong the horses seemed to understand what was at stake and both were moving faster than they had ever moved before, the impact was going to be mighty.

Sword and axe raised high in mighty dual as in days of old the two men bore down on each other this was going to be headlong neither horse would be bowed neither man would shirk.

Within a few metres of each other now the Dane drew back ready to strike, as he did so his horse lowered his head to make room instinctively for his masters blow. The Norman knew this was his chance the Dane would be expecting his opponent to lower his sword and aim but Hugh held high as he recognised his moment he steered Damascus straight the horse was his weapon first and foremost the lowering of the black horses head had left an opening and the Norman charged straight for it. As the axe was descending to strike into Hugh’s side Damascus’s head hit home square into the chest of the Dane pushing him back in his Saddle and taking his axe arm backwards. As the momentum pushed the two men apart the sword came down. It was perfection it was instant and it was death. What had felt like minutes had been over in less than five seconds. The Dane was strewn on the floor sword buried through his neck. Kirsten Deathbringer had found his Death. Hugh Fitz Baldrick was now a legend to his men. He stopped and turned in his saddle looking to his retainers. Catching Francois eye he calmly formed his words. “Come my men we ride for Caen, and after that you will follow me into Hell” Turning he rode away his men scrambling to catch up. Destiny awaited.

This time I only had one figure to paint, my mighty Warlord Hugh Fitz Baldrick.
I decided to give it my best efforts. I was really excited by this weeks challenge as the other guys know Batch painting drives me mad its so boring, I have always preferred one figure to paint a time.

I decided I would forgo my normal approach of base, wash and layer and this time avoided the wash sticking to using more layers for a more gradual finish between layers.

I am extremely pleased with the result especially the free hand shield and helmet having never attempted anything free hand before.

In future I will use even more layers for an even more gradual highlight but for my first effort at a blended style I am happy.

Hope you all enjoy , now boys bring on the battles!

so that's it for this segment of the "Tale of 4 gamers" all four warbands have been collected, modelled and painted for your delight....ahem.

i'm glad i've been able to showcase the other members of the Nerd Herd's painting skills including the fledgling like emergence of Damon's new found interest in painting miniatures (and I hope to showcase more of his work as he progresses).  i hope you've enjoyed this part as much as we have.  Monday we meet for the first time since Salute in April (Chris being in Sussex makes it difficult to meet regularly) and we are going to be playing against each others warbands in a round robin style, each of us will write up one of the battles as an AAR and these should be featured on this blog as a conclusion to the series.

hope you enjoy


  1. Great stuff. Some really nice warbands. Enjoy the league format. It should be a good season. Can I suggest you each have a home terrain and fight home and away. Can I also suggest that you sign the gov petition, you will know the one. Don't agree with the actual reason, I would have preferred something about it being smoke and mirrors from their side, but I think it's our 1st proper chance to complain

    1. Thanks Martin, great idea about home and away, just had an image of fighting the Vikings over a pair of longboats lashed together!!

  2. You guys have clearly kept your best stuff till last. Great work all around. But what happened to Chris's fluff? Where is it? As it stands I can only score on what is posted here. And here are my scores.
    ANDY. Painting: 5, Fluff: 4, Total = 9
    CHRIS. Painting: 5, Fluff: 0, Total = 5
    DAMON. Painting: 4.5, Fluff:4, Total = 8.5
    RICH. Painting: 5, Fluff: 4.5, Total 9.5
    If Chris submits his Fluff I'll mark it. I'm looking forward to seeing your batreps. I was wondering if you'll be doing what the original Four Gamers did and have two teams join forces to fight the other two, and if so who'd team up with who?

    1. Thanks Bryan, sadly due to work pressures Chris was unable to meet the "fluff" deadline (ooh er!) so the scores will have to stand meaning he will have to work that much harder in the actual fighting!!

  3. Good read and minis from the boys!

  4. The boys done good.
    With the four factions up and running, so to speak, now looking forward to AARs of some hard fought games.
    I do think the yellow/blue helmet of Warlord Hugh Fitz Baldrick looks odd, but what do I know ?

    1. The boys did good Joe, we played loads of games so should have lots to talk about! :-)

  5. Last time I was at Prince August Model/Toy Factory they had their range of Vikings and Saxons at %60 reduction, and I was so very tempted to go mad and buy lots. This isn't helping Andy, its making me want to go back and BUY lots still.

    Very lovely, and superb painting.

    1. We used the warbands on Monday, it was a cracking day and the games looked amazing!