Saturday, 14 January 2023

The Ironfang Pirate Fleet - The Swordfyshes, part 7

I bought a box of Beast Snagga Boyz before Christmas, from eBay, to make into Pirate Ardboys but I have only just found time to start work on them.

The Beast Snagga Boyz to Pirate Ardboys conversion plan was very simple:
  • Build as standard but cut off both hands and replace with orc/ork hands holding swords and axes
  • Add bits box parts (mostly from Empire Pistoleers) like weapons and baggage
  • Greenstuff hats, eye-patches, beards, crabs, etc.


Orlop Durg

This one nearly had a blunderbuss. The Beast Snagga "thump gun" had a lot more high-tech looking details than I had expected, but after cutting and scraping them all off it just looked like a pipe, and not a piratey flintlock gun, so I used the alternative right arm and added ork swords (the left arm is shared by both build options). He had a bionic eye, so I shaved the lens off and added an eye-patch over the space left.





Kazok Trunnel

A simple handswap for this one, right from Orc Boarboy, left from Ork Boyz.





Kragdag Stay

This one had a bionic leg, so I cut it above his knee and added a lower-leg from the mounted Orc Boss legs. *

The bone hatpin is from the Crypt Ghoul kit. The wicker fender on his base is from the (MESBG) Lake Town House kit.





Belay Bazod

Another handswap. Both from Ork Boyz, but the right was from the pushfit "Assault on Black Reach" Boyz.






+++





Grapnul Gog

I also bought a single Brute Boss from eBay to replace the Brute I had used to make Old Mudgob, and make up the numbers so my Warcry Ironjawz could also serve in my Age of Sigmar army.

With the Brute Boss and the first 4 Ardboys built and greenstuffed, I plan to start painting them before I build the rest.

+++

* The mounted Orc Boss parts came on the orc command sprue that had been added to the regular Orc Boyz kit when they took out the metal command parts - I'm pretty sure it was first released in the 6th edition WHFB starter set box. I had loads of them left over from that time, squirreled away in my orc bits box as I have never been a fan of cavalry models - I've only every used one unit of Boar Boyz in any of my orc armies over the years, and they were built from an even older kit!

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Further Adventures in The Scarlands - part 17, No Mercy



As Krashhart walked out from the crumbling tower, into the overgrown courtyard, he took off his broad-brimmed hat and sighed. He wasn't happy about what had to be done. He wiped the sweat of his head (it was unseasonably hot here) and put the hat firmly back in place. He had no choice, best to just get on with it he supposed.

"Mates." he said, not loudly or forcefully, but the gathered crew of the Swordfysh all stopped their work and chatter and looked to him immediately.

"Not only has we been pushed out of the swamps what we tried to dry-out. Not only has the Ironforged Ogors has now claimed the new-expanded swamps and wetlands as their territory. And them ogors are clear dead-set on the further expanding of that same territory." 

There was rumbled agreement and frustration from the crew. He held a hand up for quiet and continued.

"Not only all that, but now it looks like they has Badrok Anchorage in their sights." the noise erupted again - they were getting really angry now.

"We is not going to sit back and give them it mind. I have an idea to two to give them a bloody nose for the audacity."

So Krashhart laid out plans for an organised counter attack, deep into the Ogor's swamplands. But that was not popular with the crew. They didn't refuse, but it was clear there was no kind of enthusiasm for it.

So he outlined his thoughts for, at the very least, a solid defence. But there was little appetite to tangle with the monstrous creatures at all now, if it could be avoided. 

"No sense is sailing directly into a storm, time and time again, if all ya gonna get is struck by lightning!" one of them had said. And there was general agreement. 

Seeing the way the wind was blowing, Krashhart changed tack. "Right then, if that be the way it be. We just need long enough to pack. Listen, I've got another idea..."

~ ⦽ ~


A day or two later Krashhart, Old Mudgob and Docker Goff had been patrolling the woods around Badrok Anchorage, giving the defences a final check, when they found themselves ambushed - Krashhart swore loudly - they had only walked into a blasted trap!


Storming out of the forest, Skargat and Cargo pounced on the orruk pirates. Skargat's massive axe made short work of Docker Goff.


Krashhart replied in kind as best he could - sparks of green energy flared around the Gristle Grinder as it thundered into Cargo's head and knocked him out cold.


Krashhart roared at Mudgob to leg it: The Shaman did as he was told!


Leeway, Battendown and Lugger arrived. Alerted by all the shouting and the recognisable noise of the Gristle Grinder hitting something, hard.


But so was the ogor Maneater Barag, who also turned up at that moment.


Skargat barrelled into Krashhart, swept his legs from under him, and sent the Warchanter flying. He landed hard and all the wind was knocked out of him.


Then Skargat went after Old Mudgob; He was on a rampage!


The crew charged in to help Mudgob, who managed to narrowly escape the Tyrant's axe, just as Hrothgur turned up.


Skargat charged into the Swordfyshes with Barag, who took out Battendown. Leeway and Lugger hacked at the Tyrant.


As Hook and Yardarm came to help but they knew it was already too late as soon as they got there.


Old Mudgob saw the plight his crewmates were in and summoned a Foot of Gork to stomp on the ogors. But Leeway fell and that meant half the crew were out of action already. It really was time to leave!


More ogors were on the way too, just in case there was any remaining doubt.


The orruk survivors grabbed their wounded mates and dragged them off to safety, leaving victory celebrations to the ogors.

~ ⦽ ~

In the time that remained before they boarded, Mainstay explored the woods nearby and found a good amount of the sparkling powder known as Switfwind Dust. Dakmeff explored the deeper, most timeworn, ruins of Badrok Anchorage but he found a horribly be-toothed beastie and only just escaped with a minor flesh wound.

When his gut wound had finally healed Mr Flea explored the woods and searched a dead Gnarloak grove; in the hollow of a tree he found an unsettling Sacrificial Dagger made of carved obsidian.

~ ⦽ ~

Krashhart, Old Mudgob and the most seasoned crew spent a long night discussing the next course they were to set. 

They came to the conclusion that the treasures of the Prowling Forest were probably not worth all the trouble. As much as they had enjoyed getting into the scraps they'd had with the Ironforged Ogors during their time here, there were bound to be easier ways to find loot.

It did not take long to pack up all the gear stowed in Badrok Anchorage. The Swordfysh had not been moored there long and the mess that surrounded the pirates' camp had not had time to grow to its usual sprawling dimensions. They were practically minded and left behind everything that was too big to fit below-decks and anything that would not be useful aboard ship, or in their coming adventures.

A short time later, with the crew all aboard a heavily-loaded Swordfysh, the anchor weighed and mainsail unfurled, they set a heading out of the Scarlands and into the unknown.

~ ⦽ ~


Showdown at Blubberfen

Deployment: Outflank
Victory: No Mercy
Twist: Gaze of the Dark Gods

This was the last game of the campaign. And, hooh boy, I could not see any way I could win: I knew that both my reserve Battlegroups would have to use at least one Move activation (to get out of the 4" zone of death at the edge of the board) and that they would be far from my other fighters, who would be under heavy pressure and in dire need of their help.

My plan was to use movement to avoid the ogors as much as possible and try to only get into fights when I could stack the odds in my favour a bit. Krashhart used the Gristle Grinder to good effect and took down Cargo but it left him at the mercy of Skargat, and the title of the Victory card clearly said how that would go!

I should have put the two Ardboyz in the Hammer Battlegroup (rather than one each in the Dagger and Shield). Knowing that group would come on last meant they should not have had to weather the storm of ogor assaults for the first one or two Rounds! Viktor knew they have less Wounds and lower Toughness than Brutes so he wisely focused attacks on them whenever he could.

In the Aftermath Sequence Mudgob and Leeway earned a point of Renown each. Mainstay and Mr Flea found some small treasures. And then Mr Flea finally recovered from the gut wound that has dogged him for over half the campaign. (Some might say his recovery now was suspiciously convenient...)

Viktor's side of this final tale is here.

Dramatis Personae

The Swordfyshes, a crew of pirate Ironjawz

The watch on deck:
  • Lord Krashhart - Warchanter Explorer
    3 Renown, Agile Warrior, The Gristle Grinder, Broken Leg (-1 Movement)
  • Old Mudgob - Weirdnob Shaman
    3 Renown, Idol of Mork
  • Lugger Dag - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (2 swords)
    3 Renown, Aqua Ghyranis, red bandana
  • Hook - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and hook hand)
    3 Renown, Greater Itxi Grub
  • Yardarm Gark - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and sword)
    3 Renown, Jabberslythe Blood, blue bandana
  • Leeway Ruk - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka
    1 Renown, Itxi Grub, Fractured Arm, red bandana
  • Kaptain Battendown - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    3 Renown, red cloak and squig-parrot
  • Docker Goff - Ardboy with Big Choppa
    Blight Serpent Venom, black top hat and red shoulder-plate
The watch below:
  • Flotsam - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and sword)
    2 Renown, Carnosaur Fang Elixir, blue bandana
  • Bulkhead Krug - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka
    Itxi Grub, broad-brimmed hat, beard.
  • Mr Flea - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    Sacrificial Dagger (Perishable. Once per battle. Action. D6 damage to one visible enemy within 1"), drummer
  • Dakmeff - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    1 Renown, barrel on his back
  • Barnacle Nog - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    3 Renown, backpack of bones
  • Mainstay - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    Switfwind Dust (Consumable. Bonus Action. +1 Move to end of activation), Red shoulder-plate and red bandana
Reputation: 7
Glory: 0
Quest Progress: Explore the Gnarlwood - ongoing
Encampment: Badrok Anchorage (a Timeworn Ruin), Secure

~ ⦽ ~

All good things...


As well as being the end of this campaign it is, very sadly, also the end of an era: Viktor is moving away from Manchester and leaving the UK, to live in Sicily! So the stories of our lunchtime games at his house have reached their last chapter.

Viktor has easily been my favourite Warhammer opponent I have ever had the pleasure to play with. Our expectations and preferred styles of gaming are aligned so closely that we have always enjoyed the experience when we face each other across the battlefield, no matter what the setting.

And there have been quite a few settings over the years: The Harrowmark, The Bleeding Wilds, The Scarlands, The Prime Dominion, Low Commorragh, Duskhaven, the Piremoor, Phos, Tor Megiddo, Malfactus Rift, Sal's Ford, Vercuso on Sartosa, and many more. Some were only briefly visited, some we lived in for months on end and returned to time and again. Many of them were conceived and realised cooperatively between me and Viktor. With significant input from David, Rob, Lee, Ade and Tommy - who joined us as often as they could make it (and there is continuous hobby chatter between the whole group on Messenger) but many campaigns have just been the two of us meeting up nearly every week to play a game or two.

For the last 15 years Viktor and I have always seemed to want the same thing from our games and I have definitely found my unfolding narratives enriched by writing them in parallel with Viktor; we have both enjoyed bouncing ideas off each other and passing story threads back and forth.

I don't know how many games I will be able to get now they aren't available at lunchtime, so close to my office. My evenings and weekends have usually been pretty tied-up with family stuff, so finding time for gaming (not to mention finding new opponents!) will definitely be a challenge for 2023 and beyond.

Viktor; I'll really miss you mate! I wish you all the very best for the next phase of your adventure in the Med. I really hope we get to play each other at the Warhammer Fest Warcry Rumble in April!

Buona fortuna e buon viaggio!

Monday, 26 December 2022

Further Adventures in The Scarlands - part 16, Blubberfen


While all around them the crew unpacked the ship, stowed their dunnage and argued over the best spots to sleep, Krashhart and Docker Goff discussed a plan to defend the edge of their new territory - the eastern swamps at Blubberfen Bog.

Packing up Brakenthorn Tower had not taken the crew long and sailing the Swordfysh skyship to the new encampment at Badrok Anchorage had been almost like a holiday for the crew. They were in high spirits and had come to think of the timeworn ruins as home very quickly.


The Swordfyshes found the ogors in the swamp, but the pirates were spread-out over too much swamp. They had lost sight of each-other and become disorganised.


Krashhart, Old Mudgob and Lugger spotted Skargat lurking far too close to their new encampment. They had intended to swamp towards the monster as soon as he was sighted and overbear him. But things immediately went awry.


The Tyrant bellowed orders to his crew and they came running without a moment's hesitation. Skargat's previously shaky authority over his followers was clearly now absolute.


Cargo and the Crusher pounced on the pirates, Krashhart turned to face them and the Gristle Grinder glowed with ghostly green flames in his hands.


Old Mudgob took the initiative, seeing the evolving situation for what it was. He ordered Leeway to dash back. The Shaman followed behind, but still kept an eye on how Krashhart was fairing.


And Krashhart seemed to be doing well: he appeared to be about to make short work of the Ogor pirate!


Skargat and the other ogor were on the way though.


Krashhart left Cargo reeling - the Warchanter thought the ogor Maneater was done. He charged at Skargat; worried that the Tyrant and his bulky cronies were surrounding Old Mudgob.


Meanwhile Blackpelt and Hook sighted one-another and closed the gap.


Skargat swung his massive axe with malice and floored Krashhart as he ran.


The Tyrant turned to chase Old Mudgob.


Docker Goff, Yardarm Gark and Kaptain Battendown arrived but found a very different scene to the one they expected.


Old Mudgob skidded to a halt, turned and joined them and together they faced down Skargat as he barrelled toward them. The green energy bolt that Mudgob hastily blasted at the Tyrant just seemed to fizzle out as it hit him. He was barely even scorched.


Docker cursed at the Tyrant, unleashing a stream of insults and taunts that had even less effect than the magic.


The battle was nearing its final phase - the next few moments would decide the result without a doubt.


Lugger spotted a bunch of gnoblars trying to sneak along the western flank and headed right at them.


Kaptain Battendown repositioned himself in an attempt to get even a small advantage, while Skargat smashed Yardarm.


Blackpelt and Hook duelled.


Leeway Ruk hurried to help Hook but the Crusher was right behind him.


Lugger crashed into the gnoblars, injured one and stomped another into the bog. The two survivors squealed and scattered.


Skargat punched Docker Goff out cold and turned on Old Mudgob. The shaman clenched his fists and sparks fizzed and popped from them.


Blackpelt and the Crusher both dealt with their opponents quickly.


Hook went down just moments after Leeway fell.


As Docker lay in the wet mud, coloured lights flashed all around him and he was sure he could hear the thumping beat of distant music...

~ ⦽ ~

Bulkhead Krug and Mr Flea went to poke around the woods surrounding the ruins they now called home. They found a likely spot for treasures in the Stranglegrove Swamps and went fishing. Bulkhead caught a Greater Itxi Grub, which he was very proud of. Mr Flea struggled with a festering gut wound and found himself on the loosing side of a battle with a Gnarloak! Bulkhead pulled him out of the carnivorous tree but also told the rest of the crew about it when they got back to camp.

Mainstay went to explore the ruins of Badrok Anchorage in more detail. But he delved a little too far into the deeps and found a swarm of angry Bloodwasps, each horrible insect was as big as his fist. They noisily chased him out of the basement where they made their nest and he ran screaming from them. He slunk back to his hammock well after dark, having hidden in an empty storehouse that still had a working door.

~ ⦽ ~


Showdown at Blubberfen
Deployment: Hold Out
Victory: Drive Them Back
Twist: Murky Swampland

This was our final game of the year, and the penultimate of this campaign.

As we knew we were drawing near to the end of this story, we wrote our own Campaign Arc for the last three games: "Showdown at Blubberfen" (starting with our previous game - The Ironforged Ogor's second attack on the Swordfyshes' siege-dam). The Arc is based on the structure used in Rot and Ruin, but with new Battleplan cards selected for the Deployment and Victory that fit our story well. We will draw three Twist cards each game and secretly bid Resources to see who gets to choose the one used. Resources can also be spent on buying an extra Wild Dice,

There are two possible Battleplans for each step in the "tree", which we fight depends on the result of the previous game. Each win for the Swordfyshes follows the green arrow, each win for the Ironforged follows the red.


Viktor won the game last week, so this was the middle step of the sequence on his side. Winning this game makes the finale game on Viktor's side at the bottom of the tree.

As we both knew the Deployment and Victory cards we would be using I had a plan for this game. Only two things went wrong with it:
  1. It was a bad plan
  2. I didn't follow it anyway
I should have banked on Viktor's last Battlegroup being loads of Gnoblars and camped around their deployment point, so I could trap and slaughter them as soon as they arrived. I also should have avoided fighting multiple ogors at once each turn - they are so blasted tough I can only reliably take them down by ganging-up on them at least 2 or 3 to 1.

Dramatis Personae

The Swordfyshes, a crew of pirate Ironjawz

The watch on deck:
  • Lord Krashhart - Warchanter Explorer
    3 Renown, Agile Warrior, The Gristle Grinder, Broken Leg (-1 Movement)
  • Old Mudgob - Weirdnob Shaman
    2 Renown, Idol of Mork
  • Lugger Dag - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (2 swords)
    3 Renown, Aqua Ghyranis, red bandana
  • Hook - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and hook hand)
    3 Renown, Greater Itxi Grub
  • Yardarm Gark - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and sword)
    2 Renown, Jabberslythe Blood, blue bandana
  • Leeway Ruk - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka
    1 Renown, Itxi Grub, Fractured Arm, red bandana
  • Kaptain Battendown - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    3 Renown, red cloak and squig-parrot
  • Docker Goff - Ardboy with Big Choppa
    Blight Serpent Venom, black top hat and red shoulder-plate
The watch below:
  • Flotsam - Orruk Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and sword)
    2 Renown, Carnosaur Fang Elixir, blue bandana
  • Bulkhead Krug - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka
    Itxi Grub, broad-brimmed hat, beard.
  • Mr Flea - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    Gut Wound, drummer
  • Dakmeff - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    1 Renown, barrel on his back
  • Barnacle Nog - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    3 Renown, bag of bones
  • Mainstay - Orruk Ardboy with Ardboy Choppas
    Red shoulder-plate and red bandana
Reputation: 7
Glory: 0
Quest Progress: Explore the Gnarlwood - ongoing
Encampment: Badrok Anchorage (a Timeworn Ruin), Secure

Viktor's version of this tragedy is here.