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Saturday, 11 April 2020

Bringing Out My Dead

Since the last time I presented my Undead (painted for BOYL 2019) I've added a few more pieces so I thought I'd do a post that presented them in their current status.

This army is mainly painted up to be usable in both 3rd & 4th Edition Warhammer which really is my main area of enthusiasm in the hobby.

Undead became my main army in 4th back in the day as they were cheap. I was also a fan of the "High Fantasy" style of Undead. When they got split in late 5th I lost interest with the Vampire Counts army never really selling itself to me and Tomb Kings meaning I'd have to start all over again. The Necromancer only list in 6th had de-powered Necromancers so lost the feel I wanted. Playing 3rd and 4th means I can get back to the Undead I prefer.

I've probably gotten in closer than I ever have with my photography here and some of the painting is making me wince now, however, the reality that I keep telling myself is that I'm not Golden Daemon Standard Painter. I paint to a wargaming standard so that I can get armies painted

This is my General - Lothar the Black Hearted

In 3rd Ed I take this guy as a low level Liche to lead my Zombies as they have superior Psychology Stat boosts.

In 4th this guys is taken as a heavily protected 1st level wizard to try to ensure that 2 dice are always rolled for the Winds of Magic.

My take on Dieter for 4th Ed. I'm a massive fan of the "Revenge of the Doomlord" scenario so having him painted up is a must for me. As per usual for me I still need to do his banner.

The very first unit I always pick for my Undead is my General's Body Guard - the largest unit of spear armed Skelies I can afford. 

My Grim Reapers, essential troops in 3rd.

Oh dear, these two are lot blurrier than I thought

These are my Skelies for summoning.

My White Knight/Assault Group Zombies. Painted up as Nordland because that's what my own Empire Army is. I have a second unit to get painted up that I'm considering doing as either (or a mixture of both) Altdorf and/or Middenheim as those are the Empire Armies used by my Brother.

Not an original idea, I've seen at least two armies with Flagellents painted as Ghosts and I've unashamedly nicked the idea because it works so well.

Bat Swarms - these are Black Tree Design ones.

Ghouls, I'm still experimenting with these guys, never really used them before but the models are nice and characterful and that's a good enough reason to use them for me.

Carrion, I still want to add more, at least another four I think.

Two units of Skeleton Horsemen that, yup, you guessed it, still need their banners doing...........................................

My Chariots, this is another unit I really want to add to.

My Screaming Skull Catapults - very rarely on target but every once in a blue moon they'll pull off a wonder hit!

Well that's it, my current Undead Army, there are definitely things still to be added like a box or two of Nightmare Legion (primed and ready for painting) along with some Wight Cavalry. I also have something a little bit special sculpted by the highly skilled Geoff Solomon-Sims.

Monday, 9 March 2020

My Big 40th Birthday Bash House Rules.

Below are the House Rules we used for my recent Birthday Bash, a 4th Edition game for my 40th Birthday, a 25,000 point extravaganza between the Empire and Orcs & Goblins.

Before that though I'd like to thank the following people.

Empire Generals
Chris Gillson
Alan Harper
Paul Douglas
Richard Irvine
Christopher Cale
Garth James - Special Mention for Organising the Venue and Suggesting a Theme for a Surprise Birthday Cake*

Orc & Gobin Bosses
Paul Mitchell - Special Mention - Supreme Warboss/Herder of the Orcs and Goblins
Harry Howells
Geoff Solomon-Sims
Richard Legg
Steve Beales
Mathew Street

A very Special Thanks to Diane Ansell and Foundry for hosting us, fantastic hosts as ever and they even supplied a *Surprise Birthday Cake (I believe this was baked by Lucy but I was too busy being thoroughly chuffed and embarrassed in equal amounts to remember).
Guys, I have made some amazing friends in the Oldhammer community and I am so grateful to you all for attending, it meant a lot to me that you flocked from all over England and Scotland to make this game happen. You're the best!
Now, on with the show...............................

Army Composition

Each Army will be comprised of several Contingents under the command of individual Contingent Commanders.

Each Army will have a Supreme Commander. For the Empire this will be the Emperor Karl Franz. The Orcs and Goblins can be lead by Morglum Necksnapper (but it does not have to be). Each of these Characters may confer their Leadership to any Units/War Machines/Characters within 12" in their Army regardless of Contingent allegiances.

Each Army may include an Army Battle Standard Bearer. For the Empire this will most likely be Ludwig Schwarzhelm (although it does not have to be). The Orcs and Goblins are free select an Army Battle Standard Bearer following the normal rules. The Army Battle Standard Bearer will allow Units/War Machines/Characters within 12" to re-roll break tests in their Army regardless of Contingent allegiances. NB: Whilst the Supreme Commander counts as the Contingent Commander for their Contingent it is entirely possible Characters of this magnitude may not fight with their contingent and it would be remiss of them not to delegate command to a trusted lieutenant. Therefore, a Supreme Commander (and ONLY a Supreme Commander) may delegate command of their Contingent to another Character. That Character then gains the ability to confer thei r Leadership to any Units/War Machines/Characters within 12" of their Contingent.

Contingent Rules

The Contingent Commander can be any Character or Special Character allowed by the list (and the Contemporary Special Character List). This Character automatically gains the ability to confer their Leadership to any Units/War Machines/Characters within 12" for their Contingent. This ability is not usable by a different Contingent. Similarly, each Contingent may include a Contingent Battle Standard Bearer that will allow Units/War Machines/Characters within 12" from the same Contingent to re-roll break tests. Each Contingent can include any of the rank and file to the limits listed. For example, all Orcs and Goblins contingents can include Black Orcs, Big'uns, Netters and Squig Hunters but only one unit of each per Contingent.

Steam Tanks
Only eight Steam Tanks were made so whilst an Empire contingent may include more than one Steam Tank the Army as a whole can not include more than eight.


Using a 6th Ed model here. Each unit in a Contingent may (it's not compulsory) have a single Champion to lead it. This Champion is paid for from the Character allowance as usual. Each Contingent may include one Hero level Characters (either Warrior Hero's or Wizards of level 1 or 2) per 500 points of the Contingent total, paid for from the Character Total. So, in a 1000 point contingent you could have two Hero's or two Wizards or one of each. These are paid for from the Character allowance as usual. You may include one Lord level Character (either Warrior Lord's or Wizard's of level 3 or 4) instead of one Hero Level Character per 1000 points from 2000 points onwards. These are paid for from the Character allowance as usual. So, if your Contingent is 1000 points you can have two Hero level Characters but no Lord level Characters. If your contingent is 2000 points you can have four Hero level Characters OR three Hero level Characters and one Lord level Character. If your contingent is 3000 points you can have six Hero level Characters OR five Hero level Characters and one Lord Level Character OR four Hero level Characters and two Lord level Characters. Etc.......... 

Army Standard Bearers (Full Army or Contingent) count as a Hero level choice.

Non Special Character Elector Counts

Looking at the four Special Character Elector Counts they all share a stat line three share a price so, should a Contingent Commander of Nordland (me me me), Ostermark, Talabheim/Talabecland, Stirland or Wissenland/Nuln want to represent their Elector Count then they can do so for 90 points (including heavy armour (+3 points), a warhorse (+3 points) and warhorse barding (+4 points)). They have a mixed profile between a Lord and a Hero, except they seem to have a lower initiative than either! Each has to be equipped with a Runefang and can have one other magic item - yes, just two magic items not three! They can be a General but they aren't a Lord level Character so they're a bit of a gamble and Orc Warlords will have an advantage over them in hand to hand combat. NB: Elector Counts count as a Lord Choice.

Contemporary Special Character List

The Emperor Karl Franz (Empire Supreme Commander) - LORD Ludwig Schwarzhelm - HERO
Reiksmarshall Captain Kurt Hellborg of the Reiksguard - LORD Grand Theogonist Volkmar the Grim - HERO
Thyrus Gormann, The Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic - LORD 
Boris Todbringer, Elector Count of Middenland - LORD
Aldebrand Ludenhof, Elector Count of Hochland - LORD 
Valmir Von Raukov, Elector Count of Ostland - LORD
Marius Leitdorf, Elector Count of Averland - LORD
Tzarina Katarin, The Ice Queen of Kislev - LORD

Orcs and Goblins:
Morglum Necksnapper (Orc & Goblin Supreme Commander) - LORD
Oglock The 'Orible - LORD
Gorfang Rotgut - HERO
Skarsnick, Warlord of the Eight Peaks - LORD

The Orc and Goblin list of Contemporary Special Characters is a lot smaller.................. them's the breaks I'm afraid.............. it just means your own Characters get an airing! Common sense should apply when selecting who uses each Special Character. The Elector Counts should fight with their troops and Skarsnik would lead a Contingent with a high proportion of Night Goblins (I really hope my Cavalry aren't facing that Fanatic nightmare....................).

The Empire army may include Dwarf (see Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs) and Halfling Characters (stats below)

Both armies may include Ogre Characters (stats below).

Magic Items.

The Supreme Commanders can "dish out" the following Magic Items to their respective sides.

Empire Magic Item list:
  • The Jade Griffon
  • The Silver Seal
  • The Talisman of Ulric
  • The Staff of Command
  • The Horn of Sigismund
  • Fear Frost
  • The Hammer of Sigmar
  • Sword of Justice
  • Dragon Bow
  • Runefang
  • The Staff of Volans
  • Banner of Arcane Protection
Orc Magic Item List:
  • Magic Warpaint
  • The Collar of Zorga
  • Mad Cap Mushrooms
  • Morgor The Mangler
  • Skarsnik's Prodder
  • The Axe of Grom
  • Sword of Might
  • The Sword of Bork
  • Staff of Lightning
  • Mork's War Banner
  • Bad Moon Banner
  • Spider Banner
  • Gork's War Banner
  • Evil Sun Banner

On the whole these are Special Character Magic items with an approximate equivalent for the opposite Army (for example, The Hammer of Sigmar Vs Morgor the Mangler or The Silver Seal Vs The Collar of Zogar). The Supreme Commanders will let you know what items they have delegated you. You do not have to take the item but you have the option. If you do the magic item is paid for in the usual way.

The Empire Army can take 1 Runefang per Contingent (up to 9) in the Empire Army (they must be carried by the Elector Counts) plus 1 for Kurt Hellborg and 2 more may be carried by any other Character nominated by the Empire Supreme Commander representing Karl Franz presenting the worthy with the honour of carrying a Runefang to battle. This makes a possible maximum of 12 Runefangs. These will be paid for in the usual way.

The Orc & Goblin Army can take 1 Sword (or Axe/Cleaver/Mace) of Might per Contingent (up to 9) in the Orc & Goblin Army. Up to 3 more may be carried by any other Character nominated by the Orc & Goblin Supreme Commander. This makes a possible 12 Swords of Might. These will be paid for in the usual way.

Scrolls & Familiars
Wizards may roll on the Scrolls & Familiars table (below). Each roll costs 25 points paid for from the character allowance. Most rolls are of a Dispel Magic nature but there is a chance they will get a Power Scroll or a Familiar (NB: Familiars must be represented by a separate model). Each Scroll takes up a Magic Item slot so 1st level Wizards may only have one roll. Level 2, 3 or 4 Wizards may have up to two rolls. You can have multiples of the same item if that's what you roll.


On the day you will get a dealt a random hand of Magic Items FOR FREE that you can allocate to any eligible members of your contingent. You will be able to put back any of these cards for random replacements ONCE. This keeps magic items unique and very difficult to build a battle plan around.

Winds of Magic.

Each side will have a full deck of Winds of Magic Cards. A third "reserve" deck will also be in play (more on this later).

In the Magic Phase each deck will be dealt out amongst the players on that side. This means each side will get Total Power and each side will get Drain Magic EVERY turn.

Total Power will work exactly the same as per the rules, no change.

Drain Magic changes. Drain Magic works as per a Destroy Magic Scroll so it can be used once per turn to automatically dispel any spell being cast. There is also a chance it will destroy the spell.

All other cards work normally except that no cards are "Retain in Hand". Use them that turn or return them to the deck.

A third "reserves" deck will also be used, it will be the 5th Ed deck to distinguish it from the other two. This deck will be used to provide additional Winds of Magic cards from such Magic Items as the Chalice of Sorcery and it will provide the power cards stored in the Rod of Power (the user will simply surrender the cards he is storing back to the regular deck and replace them with power cards from the reserve deck). All reserve cards will be returned to the reserve deck once used.

Spell Cards

Multiple Spell Decks should be used so as not to limit either the Orc and Goblin player to 10 Spells or The Empire to 10 Grey Spells. A good number would be 1 per 3 wizards or 1 per Player. One interesting point noted by myself and Harry Howells was that the Orc and Goblin deck from 5th Edition is pretty much the same deck so this can be used to substitute in. 

Thanks once again to all for attending and to you humble reader for getting this far (if indeed you have).

Feel free to make use of these ideas for the basis of your own big games.

Laters All.