mercoledì 6 gennaio 2021

The Children of the Eight-legged Mother - WQ Silver Tower Grot Scuttlings (2016)


Every year around this time I feel guilty for buying Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and never getting around to paint all of its miniatures. I usually promise myself to do that, start with something and then get distracted by something else. This year it was the Grott Scuttlings. What's funny is that I bought a lot of colourful Contrast Paints, with a plan to do them extra Tzeentch-y, and ended up with this Blanchitsu nightmare of mute colours covered in a variety of inks. This is what Bob Ross would call a happy mistake.

So here's the Children of the Eight-legged Mother: a band of mutant Goblins worshipping a Giant Spider, which they called "Mother". They haunt the forest and come out of dark nights to snatch children away and offer them to their Mother Goddess. Grimdark af.


For some reason, these yellowish-tan skinned Goblins give me a lot of 70s/early 80s vibes, something like Rodney Matthews meets the Dark Crystal. really dig that. Anyway, Happy New Year!

martedì 5 gennaio 2021

The Tale of the Black Troll of Colmart, part 3

  Continues from Part II.

"Oi boss! 'Ave you 'eard of dat Troll living down da ruined village?"

"Da Black Troll? Da one who ate the knights of da Duke? Har har har, dat's a good tale!"

"Dey say 'e's killed some stunties, too! A Trollslayer among dem."

"Did 'e? Sounds we have a real tuff guy down dere, eh?"

Lurpak looked at the leader. Was he having the same thought as he did? He didn't dare to suggest ideas, lest he might think he coveted his position of leader.

"What do ya want den?" asked Ogrod.

Lurpak smiled an unctuous, crooked smile: "Are ya finking the same as I do, boss?"

Ogrod looked at Lurpak, that oily bastard. He definitely wanted to be boss: he was cunning, but not brutal enough. He was a cowardly bastard, that's what he was. What did he have in mind this time? he decided to outsmart him.

"Maybe I am..." he declared.

"Ya're a genius den, boss! With dat Troll in our band no 'un could stand against us, no' even the Duke's knights."

Ogrod raised an eyebrow. That was either a great idea, or a real stupid one. A Troll in his band? Why not? If only he could be persuaded to join them? But how? He was sure Lurpak had a plan already, that greasy knob.

"I already know what to do... can ya guess my plan, Lurpak?"

"Convincin' the Troll will be no easy thing, boss, but if we can get 'im bound in ropes and chains, it's only a matter of time before 'e agrees."

"And how do you get a Troll in ropes and chains without 'him breaking dem?" Ogrod was so baffled he forgot that they were discussing his plan.

"First we get 'im to the ground, den we jump on 'im. 'E can break one, two, maybe free chains, but no'... a lo' of dem."

The Orc boss winced. It could work. It could also turn into a bloody mess.

"Ah, de 'Ell, I can't 'ide anyfing from ya!" he laughed. He could not turn down the offer at this point. After all, he remembered it was his plan.

For this scenario I have a whole force of Goblinoids trying to capture the Troll alive. The victory condition is to have the Troll on the ground (stunned or at 0 W), surrounded by at least 5 models.

The Goblinoids are divided into five units. As usual, I use WFB 3rd ed. rules with some Mordheim additions and a couple of house rules.

" 'Ait, boys. I'm gonna be at the centre," said Ogrod. "I'll 'ave a few of dem Gobboz wiv me, some armed for battle, some wiv nets to slow the beast down."

Ogrod is a lvl 15 Orc hero, with 4 Goblins armed with hand weapon and shield, and three with nets.

"Li'l Shrek will be next to me, leadin' dem Snotz. Dey'll carry what I call da Surprises."

Shrek is a lvl 5 Goblin hero leading 6 Snotlings. They are armed with two Mould Bombs (homebrew rules) - a Yellow Mould bomb (stunning) and a Red Mould bomb (blinding).


"Lurpak, ya'll be on my over side, with da Gobbo archers."

Lurpak is a lvl 5 Orc hero leading 6 Goblins armed with short bows.

"On the far left I'll 'ave Gridd with 'is Squigs. Dey'll sniff the beast out of 'is 'ole."

Gridd is a lvl 5 Goblin hero with 3 Squigs.


"On the far rite I want my faisful Clift. Good lad. Take da Gobboz wiv da spears and poke at the Troll to push it into our trap."


So it was that, a few nights later, the band of Ogrod was nearing Colmart.

"Oi, dem Trolls smell like Squig shit." said Clift. Gridd, the Squig handler, gave him a sideways look.

"Worse dan dat," chuckled Shrek, who didn't like Gridd at all. "Dey smell like Squig vomit, he he he!"

"Shu' up you lot," ordered Ogrod. "Gridd, go 'round the village on da left and find the beast. Lurpak, go on da other side an if ya see 'im gi' us a shout."

Slowly, the Goblinoid band entered the village, expecting an ambush at every corner.

The Black Troll had smelled them, too. It hadn't met Goblinoids for a while. There were many of them, and they were making a lot of noise. It decided to hide (Stupidity test successful), as it usually did, and ambush them at the right time.

Ogrod and Clift were now in Colmart's central square. There was Troll shit everywhere, and pieces of metal here and there: belt buckles, rusted daggers, arrow-heads. A Troll's stomach can easily digest bones, clothes and even leather and usually only leaves metal behind.

Ogrod looked at his vanguard: Lurpak was slowly prowling through the woods on the right, but Gridd had stopped: he was half hidden among the fields and wildly gesturing at him.

"I fink 'e's found the Troll," he said. "Let's move slowly."

The Troll was waiting: where were they? The noise had stopped. It was listening intently to locate his foes, not knowing to be in fact surrounded by them (Stupidity test failed). This gave the Goblinoids the time to get close.

"Be quiet, stupid beast!" ordered Gridd to Orange, who was growling. As an answer, Red also started growling. And the Troll heard that (Stupidity test passed). There they were, hiding among the grasses! It charged, waving his great axe, and brought it down on Purple. 

"Nooo!" groaned Gridd. Purple was his most loyal Squig. Poor, good boy. The other two Squigs jumped at the Troll, but were unable to bite at his legs. Gridd also attacked with his Squig prodder, but didn't dare to get too close to the monster.

"Well done!" shouted Ogrod to Gridd. "Keep it distracted, we're coming'!"

Those Squigs were nasty and they were constantly drooling on its feet. The Black Troll swung his axe left and right but they were jumping back and forth, avoiding it and snapping their jaws at him. It was getting really upset. And that Goblin with that metal spear was getting on its nerves, too...

Meanwhile the rest of the Goblinoids were getting close. Ogrod's Goblins threw three nets, two of which landed on the Troll's back, and one on Orange (1 on the To Hit roll). Lurpak and his archers swung a volley of arrows at the Troll and managed to hurt him (1W). Gridd cursed at them, as some arrows flew too close to his Squigs. Roaring, the Troll freed himself of the nets, but lost precious time (2 attacks). Orange freed itself, too, losing his single attack. Now all the Goblinoids were in position for the final attack.


"That's it, we're ready!" shouted now Ogrod. "Get out of da way, Gridd!"

The Squig handler did not wait for the boss to repeat that. He turned his tail and flew - that was a mistake, because the Troll saw him (free hack attack) and smashed him to the ground. The Squigs, deprived of their minder, went mad and continued to yelp and bite at the Troll's feet.

"Bring out da Yellow Suprise!" bellowed Ogrod. Shrek looked at the Snotlings and nodded. They started to jump up and down excited, and one of them ran out of the group holding what looked like a large yellowish puffball mushroom and launched it at the Troll...

 The Yellow Mould Bomb flew, a bit too far maybe... it passed the Troll and landed just a few feet away from him (failed BS roll resulted in the bomb landing 1d3'' away in a random direction, effectively 3'' beyond the maximum range of 6''). Then it exploded (the 2d3 roll resulted in an explosion with a 4'' radius), and engulfed the Troll and the two Squigs (ending less than an inch away from Ogrod). A yellow cloud of spores covered the fields, and within moments the Troll and the Squigs were lying on the ground, twitching as if in a dream (everyone who is not a Snotling or doesn't breathe is stunned and to the ground).

The cloud dissipated almost immediatedly (roll of 1 on 1d3 rounds) and as soon as that happened, Ogrod gave the order.

"Pin 'im!" he shouted. "Don't le' it get up!"

The Troll was just beginning to come to its senses, when it was overwhelmed by a mob of Goblinoids - there were Orcs, Goblins and Snotlings, each holding a rope, a chain or a net. He tried to move but could not - his legs and arms were bound and his head was covered with a large bag.

"Har har!" laughed Ogrod. "We did it! And with minimum losses!"

"Actually Gridd and Purple are alrite, boss," confirmed Clift, poking their moaning bodies on the ground (both passed their survival roll on the Casualty Table). "You're a lucky basterd, ahn't you Gridd?"

Just at that moment, Shrek was coming up from the main building, dragging a large, two-handed axe which looked of Dwarfish make: "We found lots of gold, boss, a proper treasure! And this one, too: I reckon it would make a fine weapon for ya. Be careful, cuts like 'Ell!"

So it was that the village of Colmart was freed of the Black Troll that haunted it, but at the same time the name of Ogrod rose to fame. Tales of dread told of a ruthless Orc Boss leading an army of Goblinoids which included the Black Troll. Ogrod the Headtaker, he was named, after his habit of decapitating prisoners with his Great Axe and displaying their heads as grim testimonies of his passage. Not only the lands around Colmart, but the whole duchy of Gisoreux was now in the grip of his fear: whole villages were depopulated, and castles would rather pay tribute than face a siege from the Goblinoids.

sabato 26 dicembre 2020

The Headtaker - MM25 Marauder Orc (1989)

Got this on eBay, who knows when. It was definitely in a bundle. I am not an Orc lover, to be honest, but this figure looked cool. So when Phil Gregory aka oldmanpaints launched his Old Orc competition for Orctober, this is what I found in my lead pile. Literally, the only Orc there was.

I learned only later that this is a Marauder MM25 Orc, sculpted in 1989 by Aly Morrison and sold in a blister of four. I love the heavy armour that defines Black Orcs, heavy scale hauberk that contrast with the later Middlehammer silly plates with spikes and horns. The shield was missing and I decided to play with a couple of Elf heads taken from the GW Zombies sprue, and so the Headtaker was born.

I had lots of fun painting this, mostly because looking at other painters motivated me to improve and experiment. Besides conversion, which is not so common for me, I tried Blood for the Blood God colour with some interesting results. 


The final result is a very brutal-looking Orc, displaying the heads of two Elfs, probably captured scouts, while he wields his bloodied axe and offers a bloodied grin. Glorious.

The Tale of the Black Troll of Colmart, part 2

This a battle report, following from Part 1. The rules are again WFB 3rd edition with Mordheim and common sense additions to make skirmishing more interesting.

Unhappy was the court of Marcus, Duke of Gisoreux. Two of their best knights were dead and one shamed, and the Black Troll still haunted the ruins of the village of Colmart. Who would save the honour of the Duke? If only most of the other knights were not already engaged with other quests... but alas, Duke Marcus's call for more valiant knights to fight the Troll had no response.
Truth be said, most of those so-called quests his knights were engaged in were vague at best, but these are details that epic tales like to forget. No one questions the bravery of the knights of Gisoreux without consequences (unless the one questioning is a Black Troll, ca va sans dire).

About that time, two pleaders were admitted to a hearing with the Duke. Fred and Wendel were their names, and they were Dwarf miners from the Mountains to the East. They were as shady as a Dwarf miner can be, so shady that the Duke was tempted to have them kicked out of his palace.
"Harken our words, my lord!" called Fred. "We have heard of the Beast that plagues the eastern marches of your lands, and come to offer our help. Trolls are foul creatures our race is familiar with. We know, in fact, a champion who has made a name by slaying them: his name is Gugnir Trollslayer. We would be honoured to serve you and have you and your subjects freed of the Monster!"
The Duke's attention was picked. Gugnir Trollslayer was a mighty name, so mighty no one would have doubted the warrior's prowess.
"Our kin, however, lives far to the East and we are poor. We ask you no money, but to cover our travelling costs and those of the Trollslayer... and if he succeeds, he would also require a suitable reward."

"Of course!" said, the Duke. "Ask my bailiff for whatever you need, and you shall have it. Bring me the Troll's head and your champion shall have gold aplenty. Go forth and return with mighty Gugnir!"

Dwarfish travelling costs turned out to be significantly higher than Human ones. Especially Gugnir relied on a special diet requiring raw meat from freshly killed livestock, and a single luxury room at every stop. He also needed a private coach, just for him, furbished with suitable materials such as silk, silver plating and a coachman in livery. The bailiff, not wanting to discuss with his Master or to get involved in the preparations, agreed to give the Dwarfs a large bag of gold, leaving the details of the trip to them.

A couple of weeks later, the Dwarfs were approaching Colmart. Gugnir was muttering, as usual. Gugnir the Mad was his real nickname among Dwarfs. He was technically a Trollslayer by vocation, even though he had not yet killed a Troll. But he was a mighty warrior. He was muttering because he was out of alcohol: he had agreed to follow the two miners and be paid in booze. They had travelled on foot and slept in the cheapest inns, sometimes in stables. Gugnir had not once complained about this, but when the wine was finished he always became nervous.

Wendel and Fred are two level 5 heroes, one armed with a two-handed hammer, the other with hand weapon and an arquebus. Gugnir the Mad is a level 10 hero, armed with a two-handed axe of Piercing (reduces armour save by 1). Being a Trollslayer, he is subject to Alcoholism and Frenzy.

The three Dwarf heroes approach Colmart

"Where's this blasted Troll?" asked Gugnir. "Let's kill it and get something to drink."

"It must be here... can't you smell it in the air?"

"I can't smell after that time I got hammered in eastern Kislev. Damn their vodka and those crazy drinking games." 

"Did you compete against Humans?"

"Those kossars are half Goblinoids if you ask me. I won in the end. We all passed out but I was the only one to wake up the following morning. Lost my sense of smell, though, vodka burned my nose nerves... or something."

"I think it is near." said Fred. "You hide behind a house and I shall bait it with my arquebus."

Fred spots the Black Troll, while the other two Dwarfs hide.

"I smell Dwarfs," thought the Black Troll. He had bad memories of Dwarfs. Stringy, dry-meated Dwarfs in the mountains, full of tricks. "Me no like Dwarfs. This time I play trick on them."

The Troll succeeded again in his Stupidity Test and decided to steer clear of the arquebus range and walk behind a house.

The Black Troll is an ambush expert, at least among Trolls.

"I'll distract him," said Fred. "You go the opposite side and take him from the back."

"Hey ho! Stupid brute, look at me!" yelled Fred, his eyes peeking from over a low wall. BLAM! shoot his gun, emitting a puff of smoke. The bullet missed the Troll, who look more puzzled than angry. Was that Dwarf challenging him, or playing some new trick? Meanwhile, Wendel and Gugnir were sneaking behind him.

After some consideration (3 on Ld test successful) the Troll decided there was no trick: that Dwarf was challenging him, and so he charged. Just when the two Dwarfs were almost upon him, he sprinted towards Fred!

BLAM! shoot again the Dwarf, and again missed (roll 1). "Take this, you stunty!" yelled the Black Troll, raising his stone axe over his head. Fred tried to hide behind the wall, crouching pitifully and praying to all the Dwarf Gods, but to no avail. With a mighty thump (Thumping attack) the Troll's stone axe reduced the Dwarf miner to a pulp. 

"That'll teach you!" sentenced the Troll, looking with satisfaction at the mess he had made. He stood there in contemplation (Stupidity Test failed) while the other two miners charged him, yelling wildly.

"Die, you bastard!" cried Gugnir. Wielding his mighty two handed axe, whose edge never blunted, he inflicted several deep wounds (2, leaving the Troll at 1W). Wendel, by a wrong decision, had taken a different charging route and was still on the way.

The Black Troll screamed from pain and turned towards the Trollslayer. "I knew it was a trick!". He was so angry it made him sick, so sick he felt the urge to vomit.

"Bleaargh!" went the Troll, and Gugnir was engulfed by the wave of digestive acid from his belly, and fell screaming.

"Shit." was all Wendel thought, finding himself alone and only a few yards away from the Troll. It took a moment for him to turn his heels and run away. Unfortunately for him, the Troll was still angry with Dwarfs (Stupidity Test successful!) and it ran after him. 

No Dwarf can outrun a Troll. Wendel's life passed in front of his eyes in a blink. "If I die, I'd rather die fighting!" he resolved, and so he turned and faced the Beast, who had meanwhile regenerated his wounds. "Take this!" cried the Dwarf, hacking at the Troll's leg (1W). "You take this! And this! And this!" cried the Troll, unleashing a shower of blows on the Dwarf. When he stopped, Wendel's corpse was barely recognisable as a Dwarf, or even a humanoid. 

No one heard of the unfortunate Dwarfs again. But all their leftover gold and Gugnir's ever-sharp axe - being inedible - became part of the Troll's treasure hoard. And the fame of the Black Troll of Colmart grew, and travelled far and wide...

mercoledì 9 dicembre 2020

The Tale of the Black Troll of Colmart, part 1

This is a tale from a time long gone. There was a village on the west side of the Grey Mountains, named Colmart. Its inhabitants were farmers and miners. They lived a simple, honest life, until one day the Black Troll arrived.

Some say it came from a cave in the Mountains, some from a bog in the valley. It did not matter: the villagers could not defend themselves from the Beast and only a few escaped with their lives, most being devoured by the monster...

This is a Warhammer battle report. Yes, I'm bored and with Covid-19 there's no one to play with. I am still painting and I want to use my miniatures, so I'm playing short games with just a selection of them. I am using WFB 3rd edition as a base, tweaking the rules with some Mordheim additions to make skirmishing more interesting. Want to see cool picture of metal miniatures and read the ramblings of an Oldhammer is isolation? Scroll on.

The survivors ran to the court of the Duke Marcus in the city of Gisoreux. The Duke summoned his paladins and three of them volunteered to face the Black Troll, and swore to bring his head to their liege. You must understand that in that time wizards were still held in great suspicion and no one would think of bringing one along. Oh no, the people of that time though a valiant man with a shining sword and a trusty steed could solve any problem. Those were different times...

I will be using a Citadel Stone Troll one one side, using standard rules from WFB 3rd edition with two tweaks: one, the Troll has a save of 6 because of his thick skin; two, being along and not distracted by Goblins running around, he is more focused and his Stupidity test is done against a Cl of 6 instead of an Int of 4. Also, he does not need to take Stupidity tests if he is attacked - he will defend himself as long as someone tries to hurt him.

The challengers will be three recently painted Carolingian knights from Artizan Designs. Fine old school metal miniatures, absolutely ok to represent Warhammer knights from a long gone era. They are lvl 5 heroes on horseback, armed with lance.

The names of the three knights were: Ser Folkwin the Brave; Ser Amalfred the Steadfast; and Ser Gaidwald the Fearless. They rode to the eaves of Colmart and started to look for the monster.

Our Black Troll was no common Troll. He was more cunning than others (Stupidity Test successful), and on smelling riders he decided to hide behind a building and wait in ambush.

Our knights, however, were not to be surprised so easily: circumventing the main building of the village, they easily spotted the Troll. "Charge!" cried Ser Folkwin. In spite of the creature's fearsome visage, all three knights fearlessly rode towards it (three Fear tests passed).

The clash was terrible and the Troll was pierced my many blows, but still his thick skin protected him from blows that would have killed a lesser creature (he received 2 W and was left with 1). He waved his great stone axe, trying to defend himself, but the knights were too fast for him.
But lo! two wonders happened in that moment: the wounds of the Troll, by some sorcerous power, started to heal; and the monster, turning to Ser Folkwin, discharged upon him and his steed a river of gastric juices (Vomit attack). The knight miraculously survived the attack (Troll's roll to wound: 1), but so foul was the smell of the Troll's half digested last dinner that the horse could not take it, and bolted away (Ld test failed - not specifically in the rules but it made sense to me to have one).

Meanwhile, the other two knights still lunged their spears at the Troll, eventually felling it. The Beast was defeated... but, wait! 'It is not dead! He is regenerating again, oh Gods protect us!'

The Troll got up, screaming rage, and a hail of blows fell on Ser Gaidwald, who soon lay battered in the sand. "Folkwin!" cried Amalfred, seeing himself lost. Folkwin heard his companions and finally managed to calm his horse (Rally test successful). Turning towards the fight, he screamed a battle cry and rode back.
Too late, he was: the Troll made quick work of Ser Amalfred, and turned to face Folkwin again. The brave knight, finding himself alone against the horrendous monster, attempted a half hearted attack and then fled for his life. The battle was over.

After riding back to his Duke, his weapons blackened by Troll acid, Ser Folkwin reported his defeat and the tragic demise of his companions. He never bore the nickname "the Brave" again. He became Folkwin the Shamed, left the service of the Duke and became a Knight Errant.

Thus ends the first part of the Tale of the Black Troll of Colmart. It continues with Part 2 here.