Sunday, July 31, 2011

Micro Art Studio Ancient Base...


"Wait? Do you hear it?
What is that sound??

Yes, YES! It is the skittering of verminous feet over the tumbled ruins of our defeated enemies. Could there be any sound more joyous to the ears of the Children of the Horned Rat??"

(Apart, possibly from hearing the lamentation of their women)

Actually, that sound was the paws the delivery man upon the stone floor of my chamber as he backed out of my presence, having just delivered a package to my lair. A package containing a 50x50mm "Ancient Base", manufactured by Micro Art Studio in Poland. (Some of you will remember that this is the base that was arranged for me by Maelstrom Games as they had sent me a model without a base, necessitating a long and drawn-out series of emails about a replacement. My thanks to Tim at Maelstrom for sorting this out - much appreciated.)

Here are a couple of photos:

Now, I doubt that I will be able to paint this up to the level found in the image on the Micro Art Studio website...
Image from Micro Art Studio
...but I am excited to get hold of this as I think it will go really well with Scar-Scath, who I will be using as the Verminlord for my Skaven army. If I can get it right I think it will look great to have him standing over the ruins of a fallen race, perhaps with some Skaven or Giant rats scurrying forward at his command!

A word on the manufacturer. If you haven't already done so, definitely jump over to Micro Art Studio. I haven't used anything of theirs before, but from what I can see they have an amazing range of high-quality bases to fit just about any scenario or need. I am particularly interested in the range of movement trays. I tend to make up my own by there are times when something that looks really professional would be just right, such as a centerpiece unit or for a unit with a special character etc. (You can also purchase Micro Art Products from Maelstrom Games too.)

To the guy(s?) at Micro Art Studio - great job!
To Tim at Maelstrom - thanks again for sorting this out!

Now, let me slink back to my broken throne and return to my thoughts of domination and warpstone (and cheese, as teatime approaches...)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wannabe Ninjas or "Stinking death from above"? Decisions, decisions....


I've been away from my Clan for a long time...but now I have returned and (having first offed a couple of would be upstart warlords) it is now time to add some new capabilities to my growing horde.

The question is, what capabilities do I wish to add first?

The choices are...(don't worry about the warptokens...)
a.) Night Runners/ Gutter Runners.
b.) Plagueclaw Catapult.

Considering my current warlord clan units I can see some positives for either of these.

Copyright Games Workshop.
The Night Runner regiment seems to be a typical unit of skirmishers, with pretty average stats. I have never tried them, but from reading around some options seem to be:
+ Useful for racing across the field to complicate enemy battleplans?
+ Handy for trying to get to enemy war machines?
+ Ranged attacks with slings? (can you poison them?)
+ Tunneling with a warp-grinder and popping up behind enemy lines?
+ Hiding an assassin? (they seem like a low-threat unit so would probably be ignored by some enemies.)
+ Can be used as Gutter Runners in friendly games and would then get the "Sneaky Infiltrators" rule, allowing them to come on from any table-edge at some point during the game. An opponent knowing this might keep a unit back to protect any warmachines on his backlines, giving him less combat strength against my core units.

On the other hand, even the GW website says "These units of fast skirmishers are notorious for the low survivability of their troops". (Yes, I know that this is based mainly on the back story for the unit as only individuals who survive in this unit make their way to the Gutter Runners, but still...)
- Expensive?
- Low survivability?

Copyright Games Workshop.
The Plagueclaw Catapult would add another long range death-dealing Skryre device to my arsenal. I already have a Warplightning cannon but am interested in the PGC for use against large, low-toughness blocks of enemy infantry such as High Elves or Gobbos...
+ No armour saves allowed (against the toxic splash. Mmmmm, yummy.)
+ Causes panic
+ Large template
+ Can also be used as a Warplightning cannon (with a bit of careful modelling.)
- inaccurate?
- strength 2?
- a misfire of 3-5 allows your opponent to place the template anywhere...and that will cause some major havoc on our own (low toughness) troops.

Any thoughts? Have you had any successes with either of these units? I'd like to hear from anyone who has any ideas.

p.s.  At the moment my likely (regular) opponents are Orcs, Gobbos and High Elves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Conversion for Dual Use Plague Furnace/ Screaming Bell Kit

Hello my fellow Warlords. This entry in the Chattering Horde is for your beady eyes only - NOT for the man things, as in this entry we will look at a relatively easy way to keep your Screaming Bell kit as "Dual Use".

As you will know, the kit contains parts for both models, but usually, people use it as one or the other. Of course, using parts located on the scavenge pile of the inter-tunnels, you could always scrounge spare parts, but why do that? Especially when even without Warlock Engineer skills or Clan Skryre ingenuity you can achieve the same end? Yes, yes, you see it now!

So how do we achieve this? Arm yourself with a craft-knive, some plastic glue and a bit of patience, and read on!

WARNING: Before anything else, just remember that you are NOT going to glue the Bell or the Plague censer axle between the two stone columns on the platform.


1. Locate the Rat-ogre bell puller.
2. Carefully cut away part of the circle at the end of his chain, in a direction towards the bell puller. This cut should allow you to clip the part onto the end (axle) of the bell.

3. OPTIONAL: As you aren't going to glue the bell-ringer's chain to the axle of the Screaming Bell (you will just gently clip it on and unclip it) you may find that you may need to add a bit of weight to the bottom of the bell-ringer's platform. This is because otherwise the weight of the bell can pull the platform up in the air. I used a couple of spare bits from some Tau XV Broadside models, but I'm guessing that a couple of coins in the right place would do the trick. Image below:

4. Clip the chain onto the axle of the bell to use!

To convert the Plague Censer, there are two steps. The first is to convert the axle on the plague censer, the second is to convert the chain pulled by the Plague monk team that mans the equipment. See below some photos and more information.

1. You are going to make an extension of the Plague censer axle. Take 4 parts of sprue.

2. You are going to cut two equal lengths and glue these to the Plague censer axle. They will need to be a few centimeters long and at one end be joined so that the Plague Censer swinging team can clip their chain to it (see below). You will see in the picture below that I have scored the sprue parts and added some chips. Once painted this will help these parts look more like lengths of wood.

There are two parts to this. The first is to work on the chain. The second is to make a new platform for the Plague Monks (because the platform supplied with the kit is being used by the Rat Ogre bell ringer!)

1. As with the Rat Ogre conversion (above) we need to make sure we can easily clip the chain of the plague monk team on and off the new axle that we added above.
2. Carefully cut open the circle at the end of the chain that the Plague Monk crew are holding. The picture below will give you an idea of the size and angle of the cuts to make.

3. Using the platform that is supplied with the kit as a model in terms of size, cut a new platform for the Plague Monk crew from plasticard or any other fairly thin board/ card. You will then need to glue the monks to their new platform. Using a craftknife, score the surface of the platform so that when painted it will feel more like wood than smooth plastic. (The image below isn't ideal, but should give you an idea of this!)

You're done! Now you can exchange the Screaming Bell and Plague censer depending on your battle needs! The images below should help you see how the final pieces all go together. A few words of caution - treat these conversions with care and be careful when substituting the different parts. (The chains in particular are fragile).

Hope this is useful - go forth and be victorious!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Maelstrom Games Customer Service update.


It's been a long time since I've been on the Chattering Horde due to work and other commitments, but I thought I should post an update on the problems I had been having with Maelstrom over the fact that they had sent me an incomplete shipment.

In mid-June, a Maelstrom employee, Tim, left a message on the post where I had complained about their poor service, encouraging me to get in touch. 

To cut a long story short I:
...received a full explanation of the reason for the problem.
"I'm sorry that up to now you have a bad experience with customer support from Maelstrom Games. This isn't the experience we want our customers to have. "

...was offered a solution.
"In your case I'd like to offer you an quick solution as it sounds like you really need that base - something I sympathise with,  it isn't an ideal situation and I can only apologise."

...was dealt with in a timely and courteous manner.
"Needless to say that you can be sure that I treat this issue with the up most importance and I will personally make sure that a replacement base is issued."

...was informed of the follow-up action that would take place.
"Needless to say that you can be sure that I treat this issue with the up most importance and I will personally make sure that a replacement base is issued."

All good so far. I have taken up Maelstrom and Tim on their offer, and I hope that I will be able to report to you soon that all is well once the item I ordered is in my cold, clammy paws.

Thanks to Tim for making the effort to get in touch, and also for trying to resolve the issue. All I need now is to receive the item I ordered and all will be well! (Ironically, the item I asked for was also out of stock, but I hope that it won't take too long...)

When I get the item, I'll post another update.

In the meantime...

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