Saturday, February 29, 2020

Skaven for War+squeek+

On a quick trip to Warhammer in Jinbocho Tokyo this week I picked up some Warcry cards for my Skaven (as well as treated myself to a 40K chibi pack. Which model did I get? Keep reading...)

I've enjoyed a couple of games of Warcry now using the Starter Set warbands that came in the box, and I have really enjoyed the overall experience. However one of the things that attracted me to the game initially was the opportunity to use other armies. Especially the Skaven, for whom I have a soft (corrupt) spot. After all, we know that Skaven get everywhere, so wouldn't it make sense for them to be exploring that part of the world as well?

So what comes in the cards, and do I have models that will work?

It looks as though I can definitely put together a band based on the majority of the cards, but it does appear I have a gaping hole (wound?) before I even get on the table. 

Let's see what I have. (For today I'll just use some old photos, so they won't exactly match the Warcry cards, but I think I have exact copies somewhere in my warband!). Let's start with one of the most iconic models in Skaven lore. The humble Giant Rat...
...(love these little guys - back in the day they were great little units of 12 or so that could slow our enemies down or nibble on small enemy units).


Next, one of the biggest units, our old friends the Clanrats. Fearful individually, fearless in big numbers (and they were used in big numbers in Warhammer Fantasy)...


Plaguemonks! These pustulent fanatics have all sorts of diseases to spread. Thanks to their decaying bodies they also are remarkably tough (for Skaven at least). Do I have any of them?
...Yes! Yes!

Stormvermin always look great ranked up, and I love the lore behind them and their armour and weapons. 

Night Runner (counts as)...

Finally in my current Skaven Clan I do have a Packmaster and Rat Ogres...

What about that gap I mentioned?
There is a gap in my current army. It is a large one too - monstrous in fact. That is Stormfiends. These are really great models that came out some time after I finished up my Skaven clan, and I don't have any of them! Sadly they just happen to be the most powerful cards in the deck (at first glance and judging by the expense.)

However, I'm also not going to try to get hold of any, as most of them seem to come in at 30-50 USD on ebay (before shipping) or more (close to 90 USD here in Japan new and boxed.)

I hope I can put together a fun Warcry warband with what I have. The next step will be researching other Skaven player's bands to see what they have and what is competitive. If anyone has any ideas please let me know!


p.s. The chibi 40K figure was just for a bit of fun. There are 5 possible models. You guessed it, I got the one I didn't want, the Eversor:


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tomb Kings Test - and the Return of the Old World?

Much of the gaming world been rocked this week with the announcement from Games Workshop that the Old World would be making a return...
...and with square bases? 

Be still my desiccated (Tomb Kings) heart.  
That would mean that I could dust off those square-based armies I have like High Elves and Skaven, and use them in all their ranked-up glory. 

That isn't to say that I wasn't prepared to use what I could from their ranks in Age of Sigmar (a game that I didn't get into because I really DIDN'T want to rebase all the hundreds of models I have) because I have just started renovating Tomb Kings with AOS in mind. However, IF GW really does bring the Old World back AND with square bases, then life would be a LOT easier for me. That is especially the case if old armies like Tomb Kings and High Elves are viable again.

Despite my excitement (and that of others out there) there could be a fair bit to worry about (or reasons not to get too excited.)

  1. This is a couple of years off at least - so maybe 2021-22?
  2. Who is to say that GW will keep the rules in a way that makes simply using your old models...easy? (After all, simply using all those old armies you have with a new rules set wouldn't bring any major profits. Would it?)
Still, this is interesting news that has already prompted miles of ink and countless YouTube videos.

In other big news, a Sisters of Battle limited edition box set sold out within minutes. I definitely want some of the Sisters to join my Black Templars crusade, but now it looks as though that will have to wait for another day (or year) or at least until some of new individual packs come out.

As for my current gaming, today I finished off a test model for Tomb Kings that could count as Grave Guard/ Tomb guard in games of Warhammer or Age of Sigmar. Here he is - a musician.

This old fellow was painted mainly using GW contrast paints to save a bit of time. Tomb Kings are pretty good for this as they are a lot of bone, cloth and textured surfaces (wood, leather, etc.) Although this is a very "classic" Egyptian-style scheme I think it works well for a this kind of army. 

One secret to working with this amount of gold is to keep things simple. In this case I drybrushed gold over brown (Gore Grunta Fur) to give a feeling of gold leaf or gold that was fading away. The shield works well because of this (IMHO). 

I'm going to sit on this test for a couple of days and see how I feel about it. As weird as this may be, I really like to take a quick look at models I paint the morning after they are done. That gives me a chance to see them under natural light (I usually paint at night after work) and to see how the colours that looked SO WONDERFUL the night before actually look.

If on reflection I still like the look I'll then move on to the other 9 in the unit. 

Best wishes for happy hobbying!

+Squeek Vermintide+

Monday, October 28, 2019


Had some great gaming over the weekend with new friends.

A four-way Frostgrave game meant... 
...a lot of magic flying around but also failing to go off.
...junior crossbowmen dropping infantrymen and knights with shots to the head.
...wizards being lit up like disco-balls with the "Glow" spell - and then becoming human pin-cushions.

"Grenade front" by geremology is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

Overall, fun, fun, FUN, BUT:
there was a rules discussion, both from the point of view of RAW and RAI, about the Enchanter "Grenade" spell. So this spell basically allows the wizard to conjure a magic grenade, which can then be pointed at a target, explode, and do damage to everyone within 1.5 inches.
Does the target and those unfortunates around the target get a cover save from the exploding grenade?

Before I go on, I can admit to being a bit drunk by this point in the gaming day, so I may not accurately reflect the opinions of both sides of the discussion below as they happened between the players (or even that I remember all the points raised!)

Let's start with what the spell says:

"The spellcaster takes an object, commonly a simple rock, imbues it with magic energy and throws it at his target, whereupon it explodes into hundreds of fragments. The caster picks a target point within 12". Every figure, including allies, within 1.5" of that point immediately suffers a +3 shooting attack."

The questions we had were:
a.) if the target of the spell (let's say an archer) is partially obscured from the spellcaster's point of view by intervening terrain (such as a wall), and the spell is successful, does that target model get a cover save from the grenade when it explodes? 
The wizard can see the target, but not completely.

b.) do other models standing behind or around the target model get a cover throw of some kind? How does that work?

To my mind, for "a"...
the archer wouldn't get a saving throw. 
Although there is intervening terrain between the wizard and where the spell goes off, the grenade itself is exploding out in the open ON the archer (if the wizard chose the archer himself as the target), and the archer will take the full force of the blast. The spell doesn't mention about any kind of question around whether the grenade goes where you want it.

As to "b":
It seems logical that because it is a grenade, when it explodes the fragments will move outwards from that detonation point (e.g. the target archer). If the grenade is exploding ON the archer, then I would think the poor fellow (or lady) absorbs some of the blast and anyone behind him or next to him might get some kind of saving throw. Anyone behind THEM might get a better saving throw as there is someone else between them and the archer where the grenade exploded.

Note, according to errata docs, you roll the shooting attack for each victim around the grenade, which makes sense. 

The other opinion might be along the lines of: 
It is a shooting attack, as is clearly stated in the spell, and therefore as is noted on "Modifiers to shooting" in the rulebook "Every piece of intervening terrain between the shooter and the target gives +1". 
-The wizard can see PART of the archer but NOT the whole archer, so the wall is intervening terrain.
(In the case of our wizard and archer, neither of them is in CONTACT with terrain so no light cover or heavy cover rule applies.)
-This spell involved throwing a rock imbued with magic, therefore there IS a chance that the rock will hit the wall or be impacted by the intervening terrain in some way, hence the intervening terrain cover save mechanic is justified.

I don't disagree with the logic above, it makes sense according to the shooting rules and common sense. However the spell says:
"Every figure...within 1.5" of that point immediately suffers a +3 shooting attack." (emphasis mine) so I THINK that a shooting attack mechanic is worked out for all models "within 1.5 inches of that (grenade target) point". Anything before where that grenade goes off does not apply a modifier (e.g. intervening terrain.)

So what to do?
1. Target the ground.
I think the easiest way to solve this is to target a point on the ground the wizard can see, ideally not a person, so that you can maximize catching targets. The wizard player then can say "I'm not targeting the archer who is partially obscured from my view - I'm targeting a point on the ground that I can clearly see and isn't obscured."
In this case, the target archer wouldn't get a cover save because the grenade is going off right in front of him (he catches all those "hundreds of fragments") at a point on the ground that the wizard can see in full but others within 1.5 inches still might, depending on where they are standing.

2. Roll-off like good sports.
In the end, we basically had two opposing views on this grenade conundrum, so we rolled a D20 to choose one interpretation or another. Problem solved in-game, short term, with no hard feelings.

This seems to be a common situation - Rules as Intended, Rules as Written, rules DECIDED in a friendly way! The game continued, treasure was grabbed, warbands were annihilated, and a good time was had by all.

Does anyone have a different interpretation? If so please share.



p.s. If I have incorrectly remembered the various arguments on the day, apologies in advance to my fellow players who should definitely feel free to discuss below so that their perspectives are completely laid out and we aren't relying on my faulty memory, bias (and tipsy state at the time!) Thanks to all for a great game.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Finding Tomb King Treasure for Age of Sigmar.

After finishing up the Warcry Starter set (two warbands and terrain) I decided to delve into my Warhammer box and see what I could pull out as a next project.  This box consists of armies that I purchased over the years from ebay, and bits and pieces that ebay sellers had thrown in with other purchases as I got into painting High Elves and Skaven some years ago.

Lo and behold, from the dusty sands of the back of my closet (actually just...dust) emerged an army that I always thought was really aesthetically pleasing, but which I never got around to painting...

Tomb Kings!

Now that Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition is no longer (officially) with us, what would I have that could be used for Age of Sigmar? (I know that there are warscrolls for TK units, but they aren't going to be updated). Would I have anything that could be used for Legions of Nagash?

With the very kindly help of multiple people on the Warhammer group in Reddit, it appears that yes, I have enough to make a small army that could be fun to play. As I only play friendly games, I could probably also stay on square bases (ducks for cover...)

Here is what it looks like (sorry for the bad pictures). Note that there is plenty of conversion work to be done (and no shields are attached as I will paint these separately for convenience.)

Skeleton Charioteers - use as The Sepulchral Guard

x10 TK Tomb Guard - use as Grave Guard.

(Back) x3 blocks of 10 skeletons - combine into a blob.

x2 blocks of 5 skeleton cavalry - use as Black Knights.

x10 Ghouls and x1 Tomb Banshee.

(L-R) Necromancer, Tomb King (use as Wight King?), Necrotect (use as ???)


  • X3 blocks of 10 skeletons. (Two of which have musicians and standards).
  • X1 unit of 10 Tomb Guard - counts as Grave Guard.
  • X2 units of (5) Skeleton cavalry - counts as 10 Black knights.
  • X1 unit of Sepulchral Guard - 7 assorted skeletons made from Skeleton charioteers models.
  • X1 Tomb King. Could put on a spare skeletal horse and use as a Wight King on Steed OR I have a High Elf Star Dragon I could put him on? (Counts as Lord on Zombie dragon?)
  • X1 Necromancer
  • X1 Tomb Banshee
  • X1 unit of 10 Ghouls.
  • x3 TK chariots that could act as grave site markers.

I also have (but can't use for AOS): 
X1 metal screaming skull catapult (metal, unassembled) 

Finally I have an additional X4 skeleton horses x4 skeleton archers and X1 metal skeleton barricade model from an old limited edition release (Harry the Hammer) that I came by. If I can get the bits for another skeleton horse I could probably kitbash the archers into riders and replace their bow arms with spears/ lances.

I'm looking forward to taking these on in a time-saving fashion, so will probably go with spray undercoat and Contrast paints. Already my mind is turning towards seeing how I could get up to 1,500 points relatively easily and add some Oooomph:

-Arkhan the Black?
-Another necromancer and a block of skeletons?

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Welcome to Warcry!

Welcome to Warcry!

I heard a lot about Warcry - Games Workshop's latest skirmish level system - on release in the summer, so I decided to pick up a Starter set when I was in the UK.

The simple reason is that it ticked many boxes for me:

  • Low model count for each warband.
  • Good opportunity to try Contrast paints.
  • Starter set comes with lots of gorgeous terrain and nice models
  • Quick to play - under an hour by the looks of things!
  • Streamlined rules with minimized steps (compared to 40K etc.)
  • Interesting setting.
It was a royal pain to haul the 5Kg box half-way around the world to where I live (Japan), but seeing as the same set is double the price locally, this made commercial sense, even if it made for unwieldy hand luggage! (I was asked more than once at airport security about the box content - my honest reply got me a thumbs up at least once.)

After getting home I went to my local GW to buy some paints, glue and new brushes. The Citadel Colour app for Android actually proved very useful for doing an inventory of my existing paints prior to setting out (those that could be rescued - it wouldn't register a lot of my older paints at all) Although I didn't buy the Warcry set in Tokyo, I still wanted to support GW, which I did in style by purchasing new paints, brushes and spray primer. These alone weren't cheap, but as usual the GW staff at the Jinbocho store were incredibly helpful and full of good advice on which contrast paints to start out with etc.

Once I got down to assembly, it felt pretty good to get back into painting and assembling, although my clippers were dull from disuse and age! Overall, it took me a couple of weeks of painting in the evenings - accompanied by Season 1 of "Vikings" of Amazon Prime video - to get everything up to tabletop standard. 

In the end I used contrast paints for large areas of flesh, and the "Classic" method (base coat, wash, layer, highlights) on some of the other areas. I think this turned out OK. Here are some images of the final ready-to-play warbands and monsters.

Warcry Untamed Beasts:

Warcry Iron Golems:


Monsters (Furies and Raptoryx)

Warcry Terrain

As well as the warbands in the box, there is a really nice selection of high quality terrain. However BEWARE putting this all together as suggested in the instructions. Apparently the way that you need to use the terrain for the actual game means that some of the pieces will need to be used separately, when if fact you might think you need to glue everything together.

You can find an excellent guide to this over here:

...and a video walkthrough based on that guide here:

(All credit must go to Waywalker studios for their excellent article on this, and to BlackJack Legacy for the video - which also credits waywalker.)

There are lots of guides around for painting the terrain, but I went with Gray primer and Agrax Earthshade washes, followed by a Deneb Stone drybrush.

Over time, I'll probably add some details like blood stains, rust, patina, rivets etc, but now I feel I am ready for a game!


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