Mars Miniatures

Mars Miniatures

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dwarfs From Iron Claw, Essex, & Grenadier

Even more Dwarf reinforcements are on their way to Moria.  First up are 24 Dwarfs made up from a mix of old school lead from Iron Claw and also from Essex Miniatures.  While they are from 2 different companies, they are both sculpted by Bob Olley and are virtually indistinguishable from one another.  In fact, after putting them together as a unit, I have forgotten which are Iron Claw and which are from Essex.

 The Iron Claw Dwarfs are sold as "Gothic Dwarfs".  But Essex sells them as "Chaos Dwarfs".   At first, I didnt think of these fellas as Chaos looking.   In my blog's fluff, at this point at least, Chaos Dwarves have not yet been ostracized from the rest of Dwarf society.  Which is fortunate for Balin, Lord of Moria who has been resurrected by the Fell Gods of Chaos.  I myself wonder how Balin will be treated by the Dwarf Kings Thorgrim, Kazador, Gorrin, and others.  Also I believe Prince Ulther has a special rule about Chaos Dwarves, something about a tradition handed down to him to hunt them  Oh, its the Frenzy special rules that apply to Prince Ulther's Imperial Dwarves when fighting Chaos Dwarves.

At any rate, lets investigate these Iron Claw/Essex Dwarfs further before judgement...

Ok, let me discuss these guys from left to right.
1) Skeletor helmet dwarf does look Chaos-y, I will admit.
2) The Dwarf wizard Peter the Hermit is holding an upside down imp and thats pretty cool. Is he about to sacrifice it or just scold the lil fella?
3) Next we have the Grandmaster Jacques De Solay with his fancy "Order of the Golden Sun" Helmet which  means he is the Grand Poobah of this Lodge.
4) Our banner bearer here does look a bit ominous looking.  Perhaps a Nurglish banner, but the head at the top reminds me of a D&D Oni Mage, so perhaps its a Tzeentchian banner.  Ooh, btw the new Warhammer Quest has a Oni trollish looking monster.
5) Drummer here has a skull drum and bone drumsticks.  Mahabone, brothers!
6) This fella has an eyepatch.  One eye.  Osiris reference, anyone?  There is a definite and peculiar symbolism in this unit which an Inquisitor needs to look into.  (Perhaps with an Ordo Hereticus team and a couple of Virus bombs in orbit, just in case...) 

  Bane: "Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated... but we are initiated, aren't we Bruce? Members of the League of Shadows"
 Jack the Ripper:  "These symbols, the mitre, the pentacle star, even someone as ignorant and degenerate as you can sense that they course with energy and meaning. I am that meaning. I am that energy"

 Lord Blackwood"My powers and my assets were given to me for one purpose. A magnificent, but simple purpose: to create a new future. A future ruled by us."

OK, so maybe these Gothic/Chaos Dwarfs have some deeper sinister purpose.  Or perhaps they will save Moria from imminent doom.  At any rate, I get the feeling Balin is going to want to talk with these fellows.

 Here are some new fangled technology.  These Dwarfs are Thunderers, with their gunpowder weaponry.

 The fellow on the left is reported to have fought at the famous battle of Ork's Drift.

 Here we have some Grenadier Dwarfs.  They are heavy lead miniatures.  I get the feeling they have the highest percentage of lead of any figures I have ever held.  If I line my walls with these fellows, even radiation from nukes wont be able to penetrate it. 

 They do have their own primitive charm.  These guys are grim silent warriors.  Stubborn, tireless and persistent, they embody the great traditions of the Dwarven race.

 Here we have more old school Citadel miniatures.  This unit is called the Band of the Hawk.

 On the far left is Lord Commander Reinhardt.  He likes to crush his enemies with a deadly swing of his massive warhammer. On the far right is his second in command, Commander Guts.

 The Band of the Hawk is a mercenary outfit.  Dwarfs from many lands comprise their brotherhood.

 The bulk of their warriors are heavily armored paladins.

 Despite being mercenaries, they will fight for free to liberate the first legendary kingdom of Dwarvenkind.  Moria.  Khazad Dum. Dwarf Home.

Size comparison Left to Right:  Citadel, Iron Claw, Grenadier

Left to Right: Citadel, Iron Claw, Citadel, Grenadier

Next Post:  Dwarven Womenfolk & Bugmans Rangers

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Oldhammer Halflings, Hasslefree Dwarves, and New Terrain

Hail fellows and well met!

This blog will be getting some love and updates again.  Huzzah!

Ive been rebasing all my figures from 25mm round to 20mm squares.  That can only mean one thing...  Im moving from skirmish gaming to mass combat fantasy.

This blog started with:

 - 28mm LOTR/Song of Blades/basic D&D dungeon skirmish, then became
 - an Oldhammer 1st edition game blog, with larger and larger units

As my retro lead miniatures collection has grown, my gaming table will now also expand in scope.
Ive got alot of new terrain for battles above ground.  Time to take the battle out of the dungeons, my little stunties. Similar to how Expert D&D to Basic, its about the Overland Wilderness adventure.

The time has also come for my rules set to be upgraded as well.  From now on, the story of the Dwarves of Moria will be told through the lens of...
7th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, with the 6th Edition Ravening Hordes booklet for army lists.

Onwards to some pics...

An idyllic farmland on the southern borders of the Shire.  A motley force of Hobbits approaches a group of Dwarves marching to Moria.  They trade news of happenings in the wide world. 

Lobelia Sackville Baggins has taken command of the Shire Militia. 

Despite the fact that most of them are eating, drinking, or smoking pipeweed, the Hobbit Militia can be a dangerous foe.  Especially when motivated by the ever present threat of Lobelia's broom.

A Fenryll Water Well.  A bit fiddly to put together, but worth it.

Dwarf Trading Post from Ziterdes.  Very light weight foam resin.  Durable and a pleasure to paint.
Readers of this blog should know how much I love Ziterdes terrain and buildings.

I made alot of fences/stone walls/bocage using wooden paint stirring sticks as bases.  The actual stone walls are from Warlord games, which in turn are from Italieri.  I bought 3 boxes and now have enough to fill a full gaming table.  With Woodland Scenics trees and bush foliage, Im happy with them.

Wheat field is a door mat.

Another Ziterdes building.  A half timbered farm house.

These Hasslefree Dwarves have heard of the plight that has befallen the expeditionary forces in Moria and have decided to lend a hand.  And an axe or two.

These fellas are plenty characterful. 

They are slim compared to modern GW. 

They are smaller  than 80s Citadel Dwarves as well.

But they are on par with Ral Partha, Alternative Armies and LOTR.

Suddenly, the ground rumbles as a large brutish creature comes into view.
It wears armor and carries a large spiked ball on a chain.  Even without the weapon, it has tusks reinforced with steel.

At its side is a barrel of something.
Its roar is like a trumpet.  It looks about confused.

The Hobbit Militia approach cautiously.  Foolish or brave, the halflings inch closer to the large lumbering beastie.

Lobelia calls out to the beast "You are trespassing on our lands, strange creature.  And frightening our children.  Please come no closer to our village, or we will be forced to use our secret weapon..."

The other hobbits gulp and look at Lobelia, wondering if the Chaotic Beastly Mutation will heed her warning.

 Lobelia: "OK, beastie, you asked for it.  Behold our weapons of mass consumption!"

Hobbits appear carrying all manner of crates, sacks, and barrels.

In the sacks are deliciously fried bird drumsticks.  And some cornbread muffins to boot.

In the barrels are some Shire Ale, Elderberry Wine, and some Bugmans Brew.

In the crates are all manner of pipeweed.  Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, and Southern Star.

The halflings were able to figure out that the beastie was desperate from lack of beer.  The barrel on its belt was empty.  So not only did the Shirelings quench the beastie's thirst, but fed it with a great feast.

So pleased was the great beast that it pledged loyalty to its tiny new found friends.
In turn, the Elephant Beastman was named a Hobbit-friend.

The Hobbit children came out reciting an old poem:
Grey as a mouse
Big as a house
Nose like a snake
I make the earth shake
As I tramp through the grass
Trees crack as I pass
With horns in my mouth
I walk in the South
Flapping big ears
Beyond count of years
I stump round and round
Never lie on the ground
Not even to die
Oliphaunt am I
Biggest of all
Huge, old, and tall
If ever you'd met me
You wouldn't forget me
If you never do
You won't think I'm true
But old Oliphaunt am I
And I never lie

So why use 7th with Ravening Hordes?  Why not use 6th?  Well, they arent that much different.  But 7th is less fiddly, like getting rid of lapping round.  Why use Ravening Hordes?  I think its universally accepted that the army books arent balanced, 7th worse than 6th.  But that doesnt matter to me, as Im not a power gamer nor a tourny gamer.  I come from the historical wargamer background, so points dont matter much to me.  Its about scenario building, in which case, points can help in designing a good battle.  My gaming groups of the past and present have always been of the same mindset.  So back to the question... why Ravening Hordes, if not for the better balance?  Simplicity.  I need less special rules/unit rules to remember.

Well, thats enough for one post.  See you fellows on the next one!