Monday, August 23, 2010

Grismeire Valley Campaign Turn 3 - Battle for the Pass Challenge Game

The small but powerful band of Beastmen huddled in the narrow mountain pass leading into Bretonnia between Poussenc and the recently constructed Vampire fortress. The Gors and Ungors of the force warily avoided the malevolent gaze of the sinister statue in the center of the pass, which was of unknown construction from ages past. The presence of the statue had caused dark magic to build up in the pass, which would serve the purpose of the Bray Shaman, and was the reason he had selected this particular site.

The Shaman carefully prepared his dark ritual, placing stones in intricate patterns around their ancient bronze chaos icon. Watching on in desperate horror their sacrificial victim, a captured Bretonnian lady, struggled against the chains that bound her. The ruined stone pillar was cold against her bare back, and it seethed with unseen dark magic.

The Beastlord looked around him impatiently. His instincts were warning him of danger, but he dismissed the sensation, believing it was simply the discomfort of being surrounded by so much evil magical energy. He would soon find out his instincts were right after all, for somehow the alliance had discovered their plans. A small allied band of High Elves, Bretonnians, and Ogres, with many great heroes to lead them, had been dispatched to prevent the ritual from taking place.

Due to its small and elite nature, the allied band had made its way secretly through enemy controlled territory to reach the pass right on time. The Beastlord was suddenly startled from his thoughts to hear the thundering hooves of heavy cavalry making its way down the pass. The skirmishing Ungor scouts sprinted back to describe the approaching forces to their leader. Knowing they were badly outnumbered and with surprise on the side of the enemy, the Beastlord reluctantly pulled his forces back down the pass to the north, abandoning their carefully prepared site and even their prisoner in their haste.

The two units of Bretonnian knights advanced far enough to spot the Beastmen as they withdrew. The knights, one unit led by a Duke and the other by his faithful standard bearer, reined up their horses near the intended site of the ritual. Rather than pursue the Beastmen, they dismounted and the Duke led them in a prayer to the Lady of the Lake, as they waited for their allied forces to catch up.

As the Beastmen withdrew north, they ran into the retinue of a bestial Vampire Lord, coming down the pass into Bretonnia to join The Master’s invasion. Together, they seemed to be a large enough force to face the enemy, though they had no time to prepare a strategy. Regardless of the odds, the Beastlord hoped to drive off the attackers so the ritual could be completed, and the Vampire Lord needed to make his way through the pass into Bretonnia. With a common need driving them, the two forces arrayed themselves for battle and launched their attack.

Initially, things went very poorly for the Beastmen and undead. Two small units of Ungors were sent into the mysterious woods and mysterious river to scout them, which turned out to be unlealthy for them. The massive Beastman Ghorgon got distracted by some shiny rocks, and was swiftly destroyed by the High Elf magical onslaught.

Elsewhere in the pass, a Varghulf and his loyal pack of Dire Wolves were destroyed by a combination of magic and High Elf Bolt Thrower fire. Due to a magic banner, the Bretonnian Knights of the Realm managed to charge into a unit of Minotaurs almost immediately, and easily wiped them out. The Questing Knights, led personally by their Duke, made their way across the river, losing a few to the swift current, in order to charge another unit of Minotaurs. Despite the presence of the Gorebull battle standard bearer, the Bretonnian knights again easily wiped out the beasts.

The bestial Vampire Lord cast a hex on the unit of Phoenix Guard that caused them to be unnaturally wary of their wooded surroundings. They chose not to move, which also held up a large unit of Ogre Ironguts behind them, buying much needed time. A unit of skeletons charged the Knights of the Realm and tied them up for the rest of the battle, killing a few here and there.

As the Undead and Beastmen advanced, they became bunched up around the sinister statue in the center of the mountain pass, which took turns firing blasts of deadly dark magic at the units around it. A turning point came when a lone Beastman chariot risked great danger to charge into the woods after the Phoenix Guard. Remarkably, the surprise attack of the chariot broke the normally stalwart Phoenix Guard. They scattered through the trees, taking the Elf Mage Lord with them. This reduced the potency of the magical assault the Elves had been hammering the forces of evil with.

Things were still desperate, however. The Vampire Lord and his Grave Guard bodyguard charged into a large unit of Orgres that had just smashed a Beastman chariot to pieces. The Vampire attempted to turn himself into a monster with the power of the Lore of Beasts, but the remaining Elf Mage just dispelled his attempt. His ruse having failed, things didn't look good for the Vampire, but he and his Grave Guard fought with incredible determination forged by the will of the Vampire, and defeated the Ironguts, who broke and ran for their lives.

A unit of High Elf Spearmen, who had previously done nothing but run away from the Varghulf, managed to line up for a flank charge on a unit of Beastmen containing the Bestlord, at the same time as an Ogre Gorger charged their front. The Beastlord slaughtered the Gorger, but the Spearmen killed enough of the Beastmen to make them flee. The Elves pursued and the remaining Beastmen scattered up into the rocky sides of the pass.

The Beastman Shaman, left in charge, bravely stood at the end of a bridge to take the charge of the Questing Knights. The brave Shaman was promptly shot down by the pesky High Elf Bolthrower. Instead, the Questing Knights and their Duke charged over the bridge into a large unit of Ghouls, which they failed to make much of a dent in. Meanwhile, the Vampire Lord and his Grave Guard continued their advance up the middle of the pass, charging and seeing off another unit of Ogres.

Now approaching the planned site of the ritual, the Vampire Lord finally transformed himself (appropriately for the surrounding) into a Mountain Chimera. He annihilated the Ogre general, while his Grave Guard finished off the rest of the Ironguts. Seeing the slaughter caused the two remaining Ogres in another unit, as well as a unit of Bretonnian Peasant Bowmen, to flee for their lives.

With the battle drawing to a close, most of the Beastman army had been destroyed, and the Shaman killed. The alliance had succeeded in preventing whatever dark ritual the children of chaos had planned. However, the bestial Vampire Lord did manage to fight his way through the allied army in the pass and make his way into Bretonnia. He also took with him the sorcerous tome that was to be used in the ritual, along with the rather well endowed sacrificial victim.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Renegade Imperial Guard Infantry Squad

I've finished converting and primed my first squad for my renegade Imperial Guard army. It's just a basic infantry squad, with one guardsman upgraded to carry a flamer. You can read about my conversions on this post. The Wargames Factory models take a little extra work to get them to really look good. I ended up cutting the left hands at the wrist and re-gluing them at different rotations to fit the guns better. That seemed to work out pretty well. I also had to file down the back, front, or top of some of the shoulders to get the arms at the angles I wanted.

Below are some pictures of the first primed infantry squad.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tyranid Trygon/Mawloc size comparison

Someone left a comment a while ago asking about the size of the Trygon/Mawloc model, and I've finally gotten around to taking some comparison shots. So here is my Trygon next to a Termagant, a Tyranid Warrior, and a Hive Tyrant. As you can see, the Trygon model is pretty big.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Renegade Imperial Guard Conscript Conversions

Now you get to see what I plan to do with all those headless Old Guard Grenadiers I'll have left over after converting my renegade Guardsmen (which you can see here). I'm going to make Renegade Conscripts out of them!

I plan to use the Victrix Limited plastic "Napoleon's Old Guard Grenadiers" for the bodies and arms of my conscripts. I'll do my best to try to replace the weapons with some spare Lasguns to give them something of a futuristic look. This will likely prove difficult, however, because of how some of the figures are holding the muskets, and because the hands and arms are typically closer together on these figures than on Games Workshop ones, making it difficult for them to hold the Lasguns.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Renegade Imperial Guardsman Conversion

I've been contemplating it for a long time, and finally I am actually starting on a new Warhammer 40,000 project. Specifically, I'm starting a renegade Imperial Guard army.

The concept behind the army is that it started out as an Imperial nobleman's palace/household guard. The power-hungry nobleman fell in with a chaos cult, and began plotting a coup with their support. He spent his considerable wealth building up his household guard until he had his own personal army. He then used it to stage a coup, overthrowing the Imperial ruler and taking over control of his home planet for himself.

Because of their origin as royal palace guards, I want the uniforms of the soldiers to be fancier and a little more ostentatious than the typical Imperial Guard uniform. They would have to look good standing at attention in an opulently furnished palace as visiting nobility walked by.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tyranid Trygon/Mawloc

I've finished painting my Trygon/Mawloc! As I've mentioned before, my concept for the paint scheme for my Tyranid army is that as the creatures age, their skin gets darker. I figured a creature as large as a Trygon much take a while to grow to adulthood, so I made it fairly dark. I think I'll go with the same color for my Carnifexes. It was done by base coating with Foundation Red, highlighting with Blood Red, and covering the whole thing with Leviathan Purple wash.