31 December 2020

2020 Reflections

Well, lots of people are looking forward to the end of this year. It certainly didn't pan out the way we thought it might 12 months ago, but at that time much of SE Australia was suffering from massive bushfires.  Between that and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have had a worse year than I. For me, 2020 has not been so much about loss as about disruption (The six months without blog post is telling in itself): 4 job changes, 4 house moves, lots of time apart from my family, and I am writing this NYE blog post in solo quarantine.  We are however, all safe and well, and have much to be thankful for.

This year I have discovered Twitter and it has become my main hobby platform for regular stuff, though blogging is better for bigger battle reports and the like. I wonder if Blogs will go the way of forums and Google groups? Are they an artefact of internet hobbying that has had its day? Not sure...

Rather than spam a bunch of pics, I'll let my twitter #MyHobbyYearInFourPhotos tell the story of our mostly 40k and Warhammer fantasy focused 2020, though the new edition of Blood Bowl was the focus in December. It was cool 

My World Eater force was fun to build

It was cool to have our stuff shown on the GW Hobby Roundup show on Twitch!

We got our Dwarf and Beastmen armies on the table for our first ever game of WHFB

Space 1889 - a game almost 3 decades in the making!

I also finished my annual reading challenge (just!), which is my 8th. I really enjoying doing this each year

I am currently participating in AHPC Season 11, as is Reilly- which is a LOT of fun to do together. As per usual I am being magpie but my main focus is getting my Beastman army finished, and building my Caesarian Romans for Infamy Infamy.  Then there is a little War of the Roses side project and maybe a dabble back into Ronin...

and 2021? I'll take it as it comes and just enjoy the games I get to play.

I hope your year ends well and that 2021 sees you smiling more. Be well.

27 December 2020

AHPC XI: Nurgle Blood Bowl team

My new team: the Quarantine Breakers!!!

Presenting my new Nurgle Team! Actually the lad gave it to me for Father's Day..last year..but it just some attention for the new edition of Blood Bowl.  It was one of those WIP projects that didnt quite get finished before AHPC XI started (we were too busy playing!) so all that counts are the two 1 point balls :-)

For the Beast of Nurgle (now called a Rotspawn) I am using this guy which I already had: https://tasmancave.blogspot.com/2013/05/beast-of-nurgle.html

The only problem is that the team only comes with two of the four pestigors, which are key players as the only ones which reasonable agility for ball handling. Unfortunately, additional pestigor models aren't available for sale. The search continues...

I really like how the colour scheme, and was after something other than the usual pale green and yellow you usually associate with the Lord of Decay. I must admit to following the "Deep Sick Divers" recipe at the Tale of Painters: https://taleofpainters.com/2019/07/tutorial-nurgles-rotters-blood-bowl-team/

I did modify a few colours, namely:

- Flesh was a base of Celestra Grey, Druchii Violet wash, Ulthuan Grey highlight, and Pallid Wych Flesh ultra-highlight

- Metallics were old school GW Dwarven Bronze with an Agrax Earthshade wash and Runefang for scratches and dents.

- Pustules were either Pink Horror with Tentacle Pink highlight (yes my original 1990s era Tentacle Pink FINALLY put to use!), or Uriel Yellow, Baal Red wash and a Flash Gitz highlight

Modelling note: 

The Pitch lines were done by painting the thin edge of a paddle-pop stick white and then pressing it to the turf (Reilly's idea)

25 December 2020

Merry Christmas

Festive wishes to all!

I know that many are in lockdown or quarantine (as I will be from tomorrow). Despite the trials and tribulations of a challenging year, many have it worse than I.  Happy holidays and happy hobbying!

23 December 2020

AHPC XI: Chapel Ruin

 One's first entry of any AHPC season is always satisfying, and its great to get one inside the first 24hrs:  day off work is helpful in this regard, as is needing it for a big Christmas Eve battle! Presenting my Ruined Temple.  Its fantasy themed but generically useful. 

Its a MDF kit I got at CanCon a year ago from a small Australian company Terrainheim (based in Adelaide p see their nice stuff here https://terrainheim.com/).  I find MDF challenging to work with sometimes but am happy with how this came out*  I added more colour inside to suggest a former splendour, with coloured tiling etc. I think it worked out ok.

I added some extra blocks and bits as fallen rubble

It fits a good block of defenders so Archers can defend it and lurkers hide within and spring from ambush, like this block of 20 Gors of my Bloodsnout Tribe.

So I am off the mark for AHPC XI with 1.5 terrain cubes and a Chamber for a total of 50 points.


Meanwhile, the Lad is furiously painting his first entry of Dwarves for Thursday's battle.

* I have a club buddy who, since discovering 3D printing, says that "Friends don't let friends use MDF terrain" but its still the year of COVID so what the heck!

20 December 2020

AHPC Season XI is upon us - Project reveal

With just over 24 before the start of AHPC XI, a frenzy of prep is underway in the Man Cave with both Dad and Lad entrants this year.  Sidetracked only significantly by actually playing games and trying to finish off some projects on the desk.  Mostly we are both focusing on Warhammer Fantasy projects and a couple of Blood Bowl teams, but I was distracted this week (what a surprise*) by the great initiative of a "World War of the Roses".

A period that has called to me for years, unsuccessfully, until now.  My initial inclination was for the Yorkists (having served in the destroyer HMS YORK for a year) but Alan already has a force for them** so its the Lancastrians for me, with this lovely starting pile of Perry happiness. Actually they might be my first Perry figures now that I think about it - how did that ever happen?

So amongst the Dwarves, Goblins and Beastmen, expect to see some Billmen, Men at Arms, Bidowers, Prickers and more. Rules wise Lion Rampant is always an option but I'm keen to explore the new Never Mind the Billhooks rules which came out in Wargame Illustrated 393 and has a good FB group. If I get truely excited perhaps I may expand it to a WAB army.

Hope everyone is having a merry Festive Season despite any COVID challenges, and good luck to all in the Painting Challenge!

*Yes, I'm bloody hopeless!

17 December 2020

The Grudge of Drong - Second Battle

The second battle of the campaign is The Ambush on the Dwarf Road, whereby the Dark Eves try to intercept and dispatch renowned Dwarf Runelord Grung Hadvarsson the Hairy, enroute to the Dwarf stronghold of Krag Bryn where the final battle will occur.

The Dwarf army caught was column of march formation at the start of the battle

The Dark Elf ambush is sprung!

I changed things up a little in Deployment to inject a little more Fog of War. Instead of alternating deployment of units, I had Reilly write out his order of march for his Dwarf column before the game, and Gav separately lay out his Dark Elf ambush on a map. They then deployed according to these plans.  It added a bit of realistic friction (on both sides) to the start of the game as the ambush was sprung!

Dark Elf Executioners keen to get stuck into the stunties!

Dwarves went directly onto the offensive, advancing while harassing the Dark Elf rear with the Gryocopters and their steam cannons.

From the start, Dark Elf shooting and artillery was relatively ineffective against the Dwarf armour at long range, while the gyrocopters were consistently annoying. The Dwarves got a lucky break in catching a unit of executioners in the flank but the combat dragged the Ironbreakers off to the wing which effectively removed them from the rest of the battle.

Dwarf Ironbreakers catch Dark Elf Executioners in the flank...

..and pursue them to destruction!

With the light fading, the Dark Elves threw their remaining strength at the Runelord's unit, trying desperately to break it and take him down. The War Hydra was unleashed!

Not only did the Dwarf unit shrug off the fear test, they threw back the beast and slayed the Executioners! It may have been mentioned that the War Hydra would have performed better had he not been the only unpainted unit on the table...

As night fell the Dark Elevs withdrew and RuneLord Grung led the survivors of his force towards the Dwarf stronghold of Krag Bryn.

Another fun battle getting back into Warhammer 8th edition - it always amazes me how quickly I can forget the intricacies of a set of rules!

14 December 2020

With the Strength of a warm Mars bar...yet again!

This may indeed be reminiscent of an historical incident (see  http://tasmancave.blogspot.com/2009/10/with-strength-of-warm-mars-bar.html) but it has a good twist...

Reilly and I went into the local GW store recently, on the release day of the new edition of Bloody Bowl. We have played the old version a few times*. Just to take a look. You understand. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Cool, its the new Blood Bowl set. Lets check it out!

Me: Its got some good heft, must be a lot of goodies inside.

Me: Oh, it includes the full hardback new Rulebook ? (Alert: Interest level rising)

Me: And the new Black Orc and Noble Human teams too? Yes, they are very nice (Alert: Moral fortitude crumbling)

Me: Reilly hold this and feel the weight while I get the paint we need.

(and this is the best bit)

Reilly (to the GW shop assistant): We'll take this. I'll pay. 

Shame minimised, happiness significant. We are now into building not one team each but two. 

The first game of the new edition!

Reilly's new Underworld team taking shape

Most amusing moment thus far - Underworld star two-headed Goblin "Patches" O'Hooligan thrown for a match saving TD without any re-rolls by Troll team mate Bork Bulge-belly. The next day he tried it again, except Bork was feeling a bit Hungry and ate him. The very next next turn, Bork (fuelled by his Goblin nachos snack) casualtied one of my Nurgle Warriors! 

"Patches" O'Hooligan in happier times, scoring a TD

WIP shot of my Nurgle Warriors (that were a Father's day present last year)

* about a hundred matches or so. Probably more actually.

12 December 2020

The Grudge of Drong - First Battle

Today saw the first game in a new Warhammer Fantasy Battles campaign between Reilly's Dwarves and club mate Gav's Dark Elves. The Grudge of Drong is a campaign setting from the 5th edition of the rules  and published in 1997 - it comprises four linked scenarios. We have adapted it for use with 8th edition and switched out the High Elves for Gav's High Elf army.

You can read more about the campaign and its rich background of racial hatred and Dwarf schisms here: 


Scenario 1 is the Battle of Grudge Pass, with a Dwarf rebellion being intercepted by an Elf force. We played it as a 2k point battle using the battlefield layout in the book with flanking hills giving artillery of both sides a commanding view of the valley.

The Dwarves stepped off quickly, belying their short legs. Their artillery was in fine form - the Cannon's opening shot killed the Cold One Chariot outright and the Organ Gun dispatched a unit of Shades which emerged from cover at close range!

The Dwarf gunline and its field of fire was a keystone to the Dwarf battle plan

Under this barrage the Dark Elves moved to close with their executioner units, under the cover of their dark magic and missile fire

The Dark Elf artillery focused on the Dwarf Ironbreakers, whose armour took a battering but they stayed unbowed and in the fight!

The stunty artillerymen retained their fine form, dispatching the enemy Hydra with a single shot. That is the penalty for showing up to a battle in an unpainted state!

The Executioners raced into combat with the Dwarf Longbeards, desperate to get to grips with the Dwarven Lord who was the key to Victory.

The Slayers advanced undeterred and with strikingly ginger hair

Dwarven Thane with the Battle Standard
The clash of steel echoed throughout Grudge Pass.

Wielding his massive Coldblade, the Dark Elf Master challenged the Dwarf Lord to a duel. This proved to be a somewhat fatal misstep and he was laid low.

Meanwhile the Dwarf Gryrocopter strafed and bombed the Dark Elf lines without mercy

With the rest of their army disintegrating around them, the Dark Elf Executioners threw themselves at the Longbeards once again and succeeded in taking down the Rebel Dwarf Lord. It was a pyrrhic Victory and one hard fought.

A fun start to the campaign - next up is the Ambush on the Dwarf Road...

04 December 2020

Bestigor Regiment completed

The Painting Challenge good for getting figures done, but I find that prepping for it is just as useful in spurring me to finish projects in progress and clear the desk.  Earlier this year (during AHPC 10) one of my submissions was a 10 figure Bestigor Unit with great weapons.  Since then I have added another 10 figs to the unit but the banner bearer has been sitting idle waiting for attention.  This week I finally finished that and a unit tray to hold them all.

This 20 fig unit can be split into two 10 model units, each with Champion, Banner and Musician

Overall I'm pretty happy with how this hard hitting unit has come out. I deliberately made them stand out with brighter brass armour and light aqua clothes. Their backdtory is that they ambushed an Imperial nobleman's woodlands picnic and tore up the brightly coloured party tents to wear as trophies!
I'm rather happy with how the pics have come out too - trialling some new LED lighting I got for Father's Day - should be very useful for my AHPC 11 submissions!

01 December 2020

December and six months on!

Somehow I've gone from a few updates a week to a monthly summary to nothing for six months. Well, thats 2020 for you! 

Happily, amongst all the other mundungus of this year, I've done quite a bit of hobby.

We've played some great Warhammer Fantasy games, mostly pitting Reilly's Dwarves against my growing Beastman army but with the odd clash again Dark Elves in there too. Got to say that this was some of the most fun I have had gaming ever. The sheer madness, crazy events and wonderful sight of big blocks of ranked troops was really cool.

Reilly is now working on a Forest Goblin army

We also snuck some Battlegroup Tobruk in there, with the ongoing campaign with Alan and SlowPainter John.

Winter WW2 Bolt Action game from a few months ago to re-Christen the Man Cave

We are now playing quite a bit of 40k with the new 9th edition rules and Indomitus boxed set.  Reilly has progressed his Salamander and Necron Armies while I aded to my World Eaters and have started some Black Templars. The narrative Crusade system in a lot of fun.

Indomitus Day unboxing

Always great to have Comrade James over for a game!

Reilly's Necons

We also got to play in a large 8 player Sharpe's Practice game which saw some wonderful big cavalry actions on the flank. Well over a hundred horse in action at one point - rather spectacular!

The Battle of Xanthe - full report here: http://pauljamesog.blogspot.com/2020/11/battle-of-xanthe.html

On a more obscure front, my long desired but never started Space 1889 VSF army has gone from in blisters to mostly painted. My French have had their debut (Battle report at my other blog) and we have a big 6 player game coming up this week - cant wait for that!

The upcoming Analogue Painting Challenge Season XI has me excited to join in once again - one of the highlights of every year. It will get me posting again more regularly I hope, with plans for a new army afoot.  Having really hit his stride with painting this year, the Lad is also entering so that will be great to do together.   Project wise, lets just assume that there will be beastmen and lots of random twists and turns - as always!

I trust this finds you all well, happy and hobbying!