Monday, 10 July 2017

Beastmaster complete, challenge failed

2 weeks until BOYL '17, 24 figures still to paint. Perhaps time to admit defeat?

My beastmaster is complete -


He's an Alternative Armies Dogman Elite, so arguably not proper Oldhammer, but then his hounds aren't very Oldhammer either. Apart from his mohican I was aiming for "ordinary" - his hounds should be the interesting part of his unit - and I think he's turned out quite well.


Unfortunately that's going to be the only unit of the warband that I finish before BOYL. While I'm sure there are some who would make good use of the remaining two and a bit weeks to churn out another unit or two, given that we move house on the Friday of BOYL there won't be much miniature painting in my near future!

I'm not sure what I'll be aiming to paint after BOYL, it probably depends what the wargaming options are in my new part of the world. I'm keen to carry on with my plans for this warband, but it might be one more project that ends up on the shelf...

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Legend of Kremlo

Back in March (life's been hectic!) an Oldhammer session that a number of us had arranged fell through, which left Paul and I looking for an alternative plan at short notice. Having long owned but never played The Legend of Kremlo the Slann from the first Citadel Compendium, and remembering that Paul was about the only person I know who owns any Slann, I suggested we give it a try.

Given the short timeframe, and faced with the hurdle that it's a Warhammer 1st edition scenario (but neither of us own those rules) we had to wing some bits of it (in hindsight not very successfully in places), but a good day's gaming was had which is what counts!

Part one - Skeggi


The scenario is in two parts, the first part concerns a Slann raid on Skeggi, a Norse coastal village somewhere in Lustria, which just happens to have the eponymous Kremlo as its chief.

Skeggi map for the Kremlo scenario. © Citadel Miniatures 1983

Our first challenge was setting up the table to match the scenario map as closely as we could. The map is pretty exact, and the table smaller than probably most Warhammer games at only 3 feet for the longest edge. I think we got it pretty close -


The Slann objective is to kill 12 villagers, and given there are 12 fishwives on the far side of the river from the village itself Paul quite sensibly attacked them. It then became a race to see if the other villagers and their local berserkers could get to the Slann before they could slay the fishwives.


As I mentioned in the intro we were winging the rules somewhat (or at least, playing a first edition scenario via second edition rules) and I'm not sure how much that impacted the outcome. As proper Warhammer geeks will know, in 1st edition strength and toughness are on a 1-6 scale (or more specifically, for toughness, an A - F scale). Recognising that the numbers for strength given in the scenario looked low we bumped these by 1 and used the 2nd edition charts - foolishly in hindsight as the combat resolution charts are given in the back of the Compendium!

This made both battles more lethal than they should have been, but this was offset in the first battle by an oddity of the scenario rules for the fishwives, or at least our application of them. These state that the fishwives become subject to frenzy if any of their number are killed - which in 2nd edition terms would seem a bit odd except in the case of missile fire (since you roll for frenzy when charging into combat, and it seems unlikely that the fishwives would lose one of their number to combat, leave combat and then charge back in). Anyway, we let them roll for frenzy while in combat, and suitably enraged they gave the Slann quite a hard time.

Not quite enough as it turned out to survive until the villagers came to their rescue, and with the fishwives dead the Slann made a tactical withdrawal fled into the jungle.


On to Zapotec


Enraged by this massacre, Kremlo leads the Norse in a revenge attack on Zapotec, his former home -

Zapotec map for the Kremlo scenario. © Citadel Miniatures 1983

Again Paul's scenery did rather good good job of recreating Lustria, but notably with much less river than in the scenario map -


The map and the scenario rules seem to hint heavily at how the Norse should approach this battle - except for one wooded hill the jungle is inpenetrable other than via narrow paths, and detailed rules are given for the speed of the Norse longship in different sections of the river and with varying numbers of crew.


So the obvious approach seems to be to have the berserkers man the oars, have the other clansmen (with throwing axes (or bows - but that doesn't seem very Norse!)) man the gunwales, and the scenario becomes a gauntlet run.


With our strength / toughness blunder the Norse had a difficult time of things, but conversely with a shorter river it probably worked out about right. Nonetheless, by the time they reached Zapotec there were only enough left standing for a doomed charge into their foes, although the Norse victory conditions are for Kremlo to poison the spawning pools which was still a possible outcome.


As the Norse player I wasn't too sad when Kremlo was shot down, and genocide was averted -


Conclusion


I'm glad to have finally played this scenario through. Given my lack of tactical acumen it's completely possible that I approached the battles entirely wrong, but they seemed to me to be much too linear with Skeggi being a race and Zapotec a gauntlet. The scenarios have plenty of narrative flavour but very little depth. There are options for up to six players, for example having different people play Kremlo's ambitious younger brothers, but while this would add tension it doesn't seem to change the tactical possibilities.

Also, much as I'm coming to enjoy the Lustria setting, I can't see myself adding to my handful of Amazons or my single not-Slann in order to visit very frequently.