Sunday 29 December 2019

Temple of Moderate Peril

So after many weeks of painting the Undead I've taken a bit of a breather from figures and worked on some terrain instead.

I received this Mayan Temple terrain a little while ago but it had to wait whilst I completed the Undead but it was really good to get it completed. I bought it on Kickstarter an went for the basic temple package without the pyramid which really looked nice but was going to be too large to use in a game.

The Temple comes with an elaborate roof section so I knocked up a substitute roof so I could use the proper roof as a piece of terrain in it's own right. The Mayan's liked to have a colorful display on their buildings so it took a bit of work over several nights to fill in some of the details, though I didn't do all of them.

I also cracked open the Army Painter dip for the first time in a while and used that to bring out the details that I hadn't put colour onto, this as normal worked really well and brought the pieces to life.

I had a couple of extra pieces that didn't get attached to the building so I plan to make up an extra stone column with them on which should provide another bit of cover for the table.

I've also been working on some Deadzone / Star Saga scatter terrain this week. Whilst the weather hasn't been good enough for me to spray the buildings I have managed to crack on with some of the scatter terrain.

Between the building kits and what came with Star Saga I've got a good amount of scatter terrain to add to the table and can use some of the crates as the supply crates that can be looted in game. I've also got all the bits of interactive terrain which where added in Escalation which should add some extra interest to the games. I should be meeting up with John in a few weeks for some Deadzone so this terrain should get onto the table fairly soon.

Thursday 26 December 2019

The Four Horsemen: In the Vanguard

Whilst Mhorgarath advances with the main host of his army his minions scour the lands ahead for fresh recruits. In particular they seek old battle grounds or burial sites where corpses can be found in large quantities, of course they also can also make new servants by killing the living.

The most infamous band known simply as the Nazar ( or evil eye ) is lead by three Necromancers who between them have brought thousands of servants into the service of their master. As such they have the choice of the very best of Mhogarath's  sentient servants and often turn the freshly slain enemy to their own uses.

This means they are never short of troops to pursue their masters orders and command a much larger force than most other factions commit to the vanguard of their armies.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

The Four Horsemen: Pestilence

and Pestilence with his crown

We knew something terrible lurked in the marsh beyond the wall so sent a messenger to request help from the city. Several months later two priests arrived to lead all the able-bodied villagers away to clear back the land behind the barrier.

That was the last time we ever saw any of them alive, I curse the gods that it was not the last time we saw any of them at all.

Shambling, crawling and hopping the host of Pestilence breaks free of the walls that the villagers had hoped would keep them contained. The infected villagers are joined by two monstrous Goreblights and preceded by a host of infectious toads and grubs.

Monday 23 December 2019

The Four Horsemen: War

War carrying a sword

If the others where given to wondering they might ask why he was so loved and gloried by the mortals? No matter how much misery he brought them they still lusted after him and believed he was the ultimate answer to all the questions and struggles of their lives. Great statues and monuments where raised to his glory but none of them ever satisfied his need for more bloodshed.

But then his presence was required for them all to ride in tandem and his arrival always brought them into the mortal plane. He was War and the mortals loved him.

The forces of War are joined by that most fearsome of Undead Warriors, Lady Ilona. Enemies flee before her and those that are brave enough to stand and face her are enthralled by her powerful magic and only come to their senses as she strikes them down.

Sunday 22 December 2019

The Four Horsemen: Famine

Famine with his scales

The most patient of the Four his works often follow in the wake of the others when the mortals have occupied themselves too fully with War, or Pestilence has struck them a sudden a blow. With the power to parch the land and turn crops to dust in the storehouses he is not glorified like War and in the times of plenty the mortals do not give him a second thought. But once the crops fail and hunger begins to bite in their stomachs, then they remember him and the horrors that only Famine can bring.

The Skeletal warriors of Famine trudge across a dusty land ready to do their masters bidding, they bring with them fearsome catapults which launch enchanted missiles into the enemies ranks.

Saturday 21 December 2019

The Four Horsemen: Death

Death on his pale horse.

Whilst all of the Four are needed to bring an Apocalypse to mortals and should therefore be equal, Death is widely regarded as their leader. Know by many names and often called the Grim Reaper by mortals he is known only as Lord amongst the Four. He is the one that Necromancers strive to evade and only a lunatic would seek to master him and bend him to their will.

When he rides forth he strips the souls from all living things and the land loses the colour and vibrancy it once had, only the husks of those who’s souls have been reaved from their bodies remain in a land a shadow of it’s former self.

The forces of Death are joined by Mhorgarath the Faceless and a Liche Queen, both have traded large parts of their souls for great power and whilst seeking to evade Death have passed well into his domain.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Undead: Final Units

I've hit the home stretch this week with the Undead with the last of the extra units I have to paint being completed. These where the catapults and some extra skeleton infantry. With these completed I have all the units I have models for painted up and ready to take the field, hopefully sometime over Christmas.

In order to add some ranged options to the army I picked up three catapults during the Mantic sale and crewed them with some spare Skeletons I had left over from the two hordes. In v3 of KoW the artillery has become much more reliable by getting two shots which hit less hard than the one shot they generally had before. So whilst they still hit on 5+ having two shots each means that you should get a least one hit a turn (on average) if you field two rather than the three required under v2.

Catapult Stats

The Undead have the advantage of being able to use Surge on their artillery so it can move and shoot during the same turn, though of course only in a straight line. With the Ignores Cover special rule they are perfect for sitting behind your slower infantry line and adding wounds onto targets with a greater height, which is everything from cavalry upwards.

The other models are the Revenant Infantry which I got a sprue of again during the sale, this was to help use up the last of the normal Skeletons to produce a unit. I'm not as keen on the models for these chaps as the normal Skeletons as though they share the same bottom half the top half has been sculpted much more side-on than the normal ones. This makes them look a little odd on the base in my eyes.

I had enough for two Troops worth though I would likely run them either as a Regiment or combine with the Vanguard models to make a Horde. The Revenants come with Def 5+ and hit on 4+ so they are tougher and more punchy than the standard Skeleton, also -/17 nerve on the Regiment is very nice and would make them hard to shift.

Revenant Inf Stats
They could also be used as Skeleton Warriors and whilst the Regiment isn't great having two Troops to use as more durable chaff could be useful.

Skeleton Warrior Stats
As they are more likely to be used as Revenants I based them up to be added into War's contingent with the catapults being added to Famine's retinue.

I also found some time to build up the Deadzone terrain I got during the Mantic sale. This is all made of good quality plastic and uses a connector system which means that pretty much every piece can be connected to every other piece no matter which box set it comes from.

In Deadzone you want lots of pieces of terrain that limit line of sight as the playing area is quite small and you get a significant bonus for getting a clear shot in. Also height is very important and having various heights to play with makes the game more interesting. With that in mind I've created building of various heights and tried to ensure that every building has more than one entrance/exit that units can move and shoot through.

Next step will be to get the buildings sprayed up and add some detailing. I also have lots of bits of scatter terrain to paint up to add even more variety and interest to the battlefield.

Friday 6 December 2019

Barrow Wights, Saved my Life

The Barry Whites as they became known in KoW v2 are the last unit in my initially planned list to be completed, though I still have an extra couple of units to finish off that have been added during the build.
This was the unit that I hoped would pull the army together and explain why it had four different basing schemes for the same army. I had initially planed to have the barrow on the same base as the Wights but it was very quickly obvious that they would not all be able to fit so I split it into two sections. The first section is the barrow and will be used as blocking terrain on a normal Kings of War table. It includes a barrow entrance made out of blue foam and some bits of building facade I had left over from the Vanguard building set. These along with a normal mirror on the back of the tunnel with a 2 way mirror on the front allowed me to setup an infinite mirror when combined with a couple of LED's. I haven't yet tidied up the wires at the back hence the extra mats behind it.
The Scenic Base section of the Unit
I also added a Reaper Wizard type and skeleton book bearer to help tell the story of something being unleashed from the barrow.
Both Parts Together
The Wights are from Mierce Miniatures and aren't the cheapest models in the world and come in many many parts so where a bit of a pain to get together, being metal they also give the horde a real heft. They do however look the part and make really nice Wight's so the effort was certainly worth it. The Barrow Wight's are another hammer unit in the Undead army and are interesting in having both fly and shambling rules, they also pack 18 attacks at 3+ with Crushing Strength(2) so they would be powerful enough in a head-on charge but devastating if they managed to get onto a flank.

I had only planned one unit of these in the army as in KoW v2 they where a unique unit and at the cost of the models and the amount of effort it took to create the unit I'm glad it was just the one unit I had committed too.

As I had the models out to take some pictures I thought I would grab the rest of the army at the same time.

I have also completed a couple of extra models to add into the original list the first of which is a Liche Queen. These are the Undead's most flexible caster (non-legendary) with a real range of spells they can choose from and they are also fearless and flying which should help them stay in the game and avoid being disrupted.

The model is from Reaper and I wanted to add a splash of colour to her with the pink hair. If I ever paint up some Wraiths I think I would do them in the same scheme.

I've also added Mhorgorath the Faceless to the army, he is a real utility model with great mobility due to his inbuilt Boots of Levitation and a great array of spells, at 230 points he is a real steal.

That means the only unique character I am missing is Jarvis, but as he is a goody I think he can be left out of my collection for now.

I also found a spare Zombie villager and made up a Standard Bearer to go into the mix, just in case I need some extra inspiring or a cheap model to stick Bane Chant on.

So that pretty much completes the army for now, I have a few more models to paint to add some extra units in but it should all be over by Christmas.....

Sunday 1 December 2019

Undead: Building a Force

With the Undead army approaching completion it's time to start thinking about how to put a force together to go out on the table.
I like to try and build a group of units that will comprise the core of an army and then make tweaks with the extra units, this is especially true of a new army who I haven't had any experience with.

As Kings of War v3 is now out in the public domain and people are starting to play games it is interesting to see what direction people think army building is going to take. The general consensus at present is that alpha-strike & shooting is going to take more of a back seat to infantry and grinding style armies. This is rather fortunate for me as the Undead army I've been building includes a good amount of infantry and with the right build could grind with the best of them.

One reason for the idea that alpha-strike will be less dominant is the changes to Phalanx which hits Cav, Large Cav and Flyers with a minus one to hit as well as stripping Thunderous Charge. Of course this only works if people field Phalanx units so I have two hordes worth of cheap Skeletons to carry that threat. Undead do cheap infantry really well so I can also include really cheap Unit Strength two Zombie Regiments that can be used as chaff or objective holders. Ghouls are also really cheap and should hopefully provide some quick moving chaff that can bite back to the army.

The big advantage of having relatively cheap core units is you can then buy some expensive hammers to go along with them. At present I'm not sure if I want to go heavier with the Soul Reaver Infantry or Cavalry as the extra attacks on the infantry is nice but the cavalry moving at 8 gives that extra threat projection.

One thing I will want is a fair amount of Surge but as I've not played a Surge army before I'm not sure how much is enough, so that will be something to experiment with. Pretty much all the Heroes in the Undead army can have some amount of Surge so it is really a choice of how much is required and how tough & mobile the Surger's need to be.

I also have some catapults on order from Mantic as they where cheap on the Black Friday deal and whilst I'm not a massive fan of shooting armies I can see the benefits of having reliable long range damage against opponents who may want to sit back against a slower enemy.

The Wight Horde and Goreblight should be excellent units for getting onto and then into the flanks of the enemy. Again this will depend upon having enough Surge in the right place at the right time to pull the attack off so Mhorgoth with his ability to fly 20" and still cast is a massive boost to the army. You could also take a Liche King with the Boots of Levitation to carry out the same task or even both of them for maximum flexibility.

I think at least initially I would go for the build without the Catapults to see how things go and then add another Regiment of Soul Reavers (either foot or cavalry) and potentially a Regiment of Revenant Cavalry to attack as a fast hammer/anvil, much would depend upon what the opponent if likely to field.

So a fair old bit to think about and only getting some games in will help sort out the reality from the theory. But before that can happen I need to complete the army off, as I'm off work this week I hope to make some good strides towards getting the last of the original models completed and add some extra bits that have been purchased since the project started.