Tag Archives: Warhammer

Armies of Yesteryear: Warhammer Orcs and Goblins

I just got a brand new mat from Cigar Box Battle Mats, and I love it. To celebrate, I thought I’d photograph my old Warhammer Fantasy Orcs and Goblins on it. I haven’t played a game of Warhammer Fantasy since about 2003, so it’s been a while since these miniatures have seen battle. I’ve been using a few here and there for RPGs and skirmishes, but that’s about it.

The WAAAAAAGH is too big for me to photograph all at once, so I just took pictures of the individual units. This was my main WFB army from 1995 or so until about 2003. Previously I played Undead, but when GW split them into two different army books I never really went back. I was on a pretty limited gaming budget back then and couldn’t afford it.

Most of these miniatures were picked up in trades on Bartertown or in the boxed sets. The paint jobs aren’t terrible, but neither are they as good as they would be if I was painting them today. I tried to do a decent job as fast as possible so I could field them quickly. (I didn’t play with unpainted miniatures then, and I still don’t now.)



First up, two units of archers. Night Goblins on the left, Orcs on the right. The Goblins came from the 4th edition boxed set. My friend bought the set for $60 bucks. It included Goblins and High Elves. He took the Elves and the rules sold me the goblins for $20. A good deal then and would still be now. The Orcs were old style Arrer Boyz, mostly plastic but a couple of metal ones too. This was the era when core troops were pretty much all the same sculpt with no variation. The armies today look better, but say what you will about the old style: at least they ranked up with no problems. Out in front are three Night Goblin Fanatics, as well as the old version of Skarsnik and Gobbla. In the back is the old Orc Rock Lobba.



Moving onwards, here’s a unit of Goblin Wolf Riders and my main unit of Goblin spearmen (also from the 4th edition boxed set). Way in the back you can see an old-school Doom Diver Catapult.



Next we come to my main core units of Boyz. On the left is a big brick of Orc Boyz from the 5th Edition boxed set. I forget who sold me these, but it was someone who was only interested in playing Empire. In the middle is my elite unit of Black Orcs (the old-school sculpts). This unit is one of the only ones I paid full retail for. On the right is another unit of Orc Boyz. These are mostly old Heroscape Orcs I picked up in trades. Once I had an opponent in a local tournament object to me using them, because, technically, they weren’t “purely GW miniatures”.  I took the unit out of my army and still trounced him. Then I told him to fuck off. Also in the picture is one of my Orc Bolt Throwers (which are now apparently crewed by Goblins in the newest version of the rules). More on the characters in front later.



A better shot of the 5th Edition Boyz. In front are three Goblin Squig Hoppers. I loved the absolute randomness and fun of playing goblins. The Fanatics, the Doom Divers and the Squig Hoppers…none of them ever worked how you wanted them to, but they were just too fun not to include in the army. I don’t think any of the Hoppers ever killed anything. They always got shot before they could even make contact with an enemy.



These guys won many a battle for me. Back in 4th-5th Edition, Savage Orc Boar Boyz were insane unit killers. I had 12 armed with spears and could usually break any unit on the charge (except for Dwarf Ironbreakers…Ooooo, how I hated them). Next to them is another Bolt Thrower, another unit of Orc Arrer Boyz (also from the 5th Edition boxed set) and another Doom Diver Catapult.



Lastly, here’s another shot of the Orc Arrer Boyz. To the right is another Night Goblin archer unit (from the 4th edition Boxed set), a Night Goblin shaman, and a few more Fanatics.



My Night Goblin archers couldn’t hit the ground if they aimed at it, but that’s not why I played two units of them. I did it for the Fanatics. I would always equip one of them with a Madcap Mushroom. That would be the guy riding the 8 Ball.



A close up of one of the Doom Diver Catapults. The new model is pretty cool, but it’s also three times as big. I like the old one better.



The old-school Rock Lobber. I was supposed to have two of these, but I got burned in a trade on Bartertown. I will always remember the name and email address of the asshole who screwed me. He lives in Healdsburg, California. So, Ben, if you’re reading this, go fuck yourself.



A couple of character models. On the left was my Warboss. He was an exclusive Games Day miniature that my friend picked up for me. On the right is Nazgob, the Orc Shaman. He was a new miniature when I bought him. GW still makes him today. He was originally wearing bright blue, but I recently repainted him and he looks much better.



Skarsnik and Gobbla, a very fun (but not very effective) Night Goblin team. I don’t think I ever won any battles with Skarsnik as my general;, but it was always fun to see which of my own troops Gobbla would eat. On the right is my old Warboss before I got the Games Day miniature.



Last but not least, Gorfang Rotgut. I added some bitz from the zombie boxed set and added a shield to his shield. It was one of my first conversions. I once played a campaign against my friend using Gorfang as my army commander. My friend played Dwarfs. I got crushed. No sour grapes here, I still had a blast. But I realized that Gorfang was one of the most overpriced (points-wise) and ineffective special characters in the game.I chose him because he had a hatred of Dwarfs (believe me the Dwarfs felt the same way), but that didn’t help. In the end, my Orcs got curb-stomped by the Dwarfs. I think I won one out of eight battles.

I picked up a Battle for Skull Pass boxed set about two years ago, mainly for the Dwarfs. (I’ve always loved Dwarfs, and my friend kicking my ass with them did nothing to diminish that.) I considered painting up the Spider Riders and adding them to the WAAAAGH, but decided against it. I also thought about buying the Arachnarok Spider, but again, decided not to, even though it’s a really cool model. After all, I never play Warhammer anymore. I’d like to, but I’m not about to try to keep current with whatever version of WFB GW  is hawking, or whatever new units they come up with to replace units they arbitrarily deem obsolete.

Grom the Paunch didn’t make it to the table here because his chariot broke and is awaiting repair. Not that it matters. I never won a game with Grom as my general (Goblin generals suck), and, come to think of it, I never won a game with anyone in a chariot as my general. Chariots are huge targets for war machine and missile fire, and whenever I fielded Grom he got shot to death by turn 3, or his wolves got shot and effectively stranded him wherever they died.

More Armies of Yesteryear to come!

Bringin’ the Thunder

Two posts in one day! I did a little more work on my Dwarf Army recently and I thought I’d share the latest additions to my bearded host with you. I decided to paint up the artillery and some handgunners, so here they are.


First up, the artillery: two Dwarf cannons with crew. The one on the left is the old-school metal cannon, the one on the right is the plastic (much smaller) cannon from Battle for Skull Pass.


Next is a unit of Dwarf Thunderers from Battle for Skull Pass, along with an OOP Dwarf Lord holding a pistol. Ten Thunderers do not a unit make, IMHO, but there are enough for a skirmish or two.


This is my organ gun (painted previously). Together with the cannons, it should make life difficult for anyone in front of them.


Here are most of the shooty units in my Dwarf Army…coming along slowly but surely. Apologies for the blurriness. Up next: Miners!!!!




The Dwarves are Upon You!

I have found a cure for my painting blues. I’ve decided that rather than drive myself crazy painting things I don’t want to, I’ll take a break and get started on those Dwarfs I’ve been meaning to paint for a while. Here are the results.

It’s a modest start: one unit of Warriors, one unit of Miners, a small unit of Quarrelers (that’s crossbowmen, not argumentative dwarfs), and an organ gun. It should be noted that with the exception of the organ gun and its crew, none of these are GW models.  Like I give a shit. Both the Warriors and the Miners are from Black Tree Design, the Crossbowmen are from Mantic. I placed them around some Gale Force Nine Battlefield in a Box Rocky Outcroppings.

First up are the Miners. I love the look of Black Tree’s dwarfs, as they are all metal and chunky, reminiscent of that old Citadel Dwarf range, which I really like. The only criticism I have of them is that there isn’t enough variation in the packaging. Out of 20 figures, I got 5 of one sculpt and 4 of another, while conversely I got 1 each of two very cool sculpts. Oh well. I did my best to paint them with enough variation so that they are individualized, but I tied the unit together by using the same dirty colors across the board (they’re miners, after all). I used some leftover mat board from my Modular Roads project as movement trays.

Up next are the Warriors. Again, I like the look of Black Tree. These guys are doubly cool because they’re so armored up, I could easily use them as proxy Ironbreakers. (Quick Math: I get 20 of these metal dwarfs from Black Tree for about $40. The same unit of “official” GW Ironbreakers would cost me $100.  I’d say they’re likely to be Ironbreakers most of the time.)

I didn’t make any banners for either unit yet, because I kind of suck at scratch-building banners. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it.

Last are the Quarrelers and the organ gun. The organ gun is an old-school GW metal version. I actually like the newer version better, but this one is fine.  I have mixed feelings about the Mantic Dwarfs. They definitely have a look all their own, and you can’t beat the price at about $1.50 each. I really dislike the fact that in this pack of 10 dwarfs, you get a bunch of head variations but can only really use 5, as the other 5 dwarfs are all one piece. The one-piece dwarfs are the dwarfs that are firing the crossbows, pretty much the front rank. There is a noticeable lack of detail on these models as opposed to the ones with separate heads. In addition, they don’t really rank up well unless you want the back rank to be facing off to the side. A somewhat annoying design flaw.

So, what next? Well, I have all the dwarfs from the Battle for Skull Pass boxed set awaiting painting: 12 Warriors, 10 Thunderers, 8 Miners, a cannon and crew, a Thane and 1 Slayer. (I’ve always thought Dwarf Slayers are stupid.) I have an unbuilt unit of Mantic Shieldbreakers that seem to have the same annoying lack of detail on the one-piece models as the Crossbowmen. And I have another regiment of GW dwarf Miners (making that 15 more miners in total, minus my unneeded second command group). I have another dwarf cannon and crew, and a proxy Flame cannon to paint, plus a few lords and heroes…So the army is a long way from complete, but I need to get back to my other projects for now.

AD&D Campaign: The Tears of Yevona

Once again, I figured I’d share some of the miniatures I’ve been using for my ongoing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 campaign.  If you’re inclined to check out more, you can find some earlier posts here and here.


The Player Characters

First up, the PCs. Left to right: Elvar, the mage; Azrael, the bard, and Dematose, the cleric. Elvar is Reaper’s Halmar, Young Wizard (Reaper 03449). He is holding an uncorked potion bottle in his hand, and what I painted as flame is supposed to be vapor, I guess. I kind of like the flame look, even though I clearly suck at painting fire. Azrael is a Dark Sword bard from their Elmore Masterworks line. Dark Sword makes some incredible miniatures, and this may very well be the best bard I’ve ever seen. I’m ok with the paint job, even though my diamond pattern kind of fell apart halfway through. Dematose is Privateer Press’s Bastian Kinnet, Battle Chaplain of Morrow. I’m really happy with the way he turned out. Missing from the group is the ranger, Gough. He’s missing because his player owns the miniature and wanted to paint it himself. Of course, 2 years into the campaign, he’s not fully painted yet, even though my friend has painted other miniatures in the meantime. This is because my friend is a shithead.

This is not my friend’s paint job.


If interested, this is the miniature he chose for Gough. it’s another Dark Sword miniature, this time from their George R. R. Martin line: Wildling with Great Axe. Very cool.

The Butcher Bruvvers

If you followed the first link above, then you know who the Cudgel Gang is. When the players last encountered the Cudgel Gang, they left a few of them alive, including the dastardly leader, Quin Payden. Well, since then, Quin added some new recruits to the Cudgel Gang, and even replaced the ones who died with  some thugs who look remarkably similar. Above are the two newest recruits, the Butcher Bruvvers. These are Heartbreaker Miniatures: Half-Troll with Ball and Chain and Half-Troll with Club, from their fantasy sculptors line. In their recent rematch, the PCs got some much-wanted revenge. They managed to kill almost every member of the Cudgel Gang, including the Butcher Bruvvers. The only one who escaped was (you guessed it) Quin Payden, vowing revenge. It’s a good bet he’ll turn up again.

The toughest fairies you’ll ever meet.

Not long ago, the PCs wandered into a faerie ring and were shrunk down to tiny size. They were promptly taken captive by faeries. Since I think most faerie miniatures look like, well, fairies, I decided to use these RAFM Dark Elves instead. They’d been laying around unpainted since the early 90’s, and it gave me an excuse to paint them. Soon afterwards, the PCs were given a chance to win their freedom if they could perform a service for the Faerie Queene. She sent them on the very dangerous errand of stealing the crown of Tarkhagal, the Spider King.


Not surprisingly, the Spider King had a lot of spiders around as guards. The PCs had to fight their way to him, defeating swarms of these guys in the process. The tiny spiders are from Mississinewa Miniatures. The big yellow ones are from Reaper (Reaper 03055). I painted them the color and pattern of an orb spider I found online, and based them with some Halloween decoration cobwebs. In the game, the small ones attacked in swarms and had weak poison. The yellow ones shot webbing and had stronger poison.

The Spider King?

Finally the party came face to face with the Spider King. Or did they? This is Meepo, a goblin who wandered into the faerie ring years ago and escaped the faeries, only to  fall into the Spider King’s lair. For whatever reason, Meepo was immune to the deadly effects of the spider venom. Instead, it drove him mad and increased his physical attributes. The real Spider King kept him around for amusement. Meepo is an old-school Warhammer Forest Goblin Spider Rider. While I have a huge WFB Orc and Goblin army, I never used Spider Riders because I thought they looked silly. (The new ones are much cooler- looking.) I had this guy laying around though, probably the result of a trade made long ago. I figured I’d put him to use as a boss, and here he is.


After a long battle with lots of spiders and a crazed goblin, the PCs thought they had killed the real Spider King.  On their way out, however, they got a rude awakening. The real Spider King, Tarkhagal, dropped from his lair in the ceiling and blocked their exit. That’s him above. I looked high and low for a little crown bit I could use for this big spider, but I couldn’t find one. I even looked at charms for bracelets. No dice. Tarkhagal is Reaper’s Huge Spider (03049), and he is huge. His leg span wouldn’t even fit on a 60mm base. I should have included a picture of a regular 28mm miniature for comparison. He’s about 3 times the size of one of the yellow spiders above.

Well, the bloodied, weary and poisoned characters managed to subdue Tarkhagal and take his crown, thus winning their freedom from the faeries. They’re currently back to their normal size and continuing on their adventure.

Why Did I Do This?

Recently, over on The Miniatures Page, I asked the Warhammer Forum whether or not I should just break down and buy The Island of Blood Starter box.  I figured I could buy the boxed set and use the High Elves, selling off the Skaven to recoup some of the cost of the set. There were many reasons not to make this purchase, and only one real reason why I wanted to (because I’m sick). For those interested in how the thread went, you can find it here: TMP Link. For those others who don’t want to bother, I’ll briefly recap below.

I haven’t played a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle  since about 2003 or so, and only recently got back into painting miniatures at all. I started playing WFB with an Undead army, prior to GW splitting up the Undead into two separate armies, Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts. With my army effectively cut in half, I decided to start another army that had been interesting me for some time: Orcs and Goblins. This would become my main army for most of the time I spent playing WFB.

Still, as any wargamer knows, sooner or later you want to try something new. I wanted to play the good guys for a change, and I specifically wanted an army with some decent cavalry. I started with some Brettonians, since they came in the boxed set; however I quickly abandoned them before I spread one drop of paint, because I read their army book and found them to be unbelievably cheesy/beardy/unbalanced. I moved onto Empire, but never really found the time to paint them, so I sold off what I had. A couple years later, I broke down and bought the High Elf Cavalry Patrol boxed set below, because it was a small force and didn’t require much of a committment in either time or money. I figured I could use it for some small skirmishes. I quickly added a regiment box of Silver Helms and a Regiment box of Spearmen to add a few more core troops to the force.

As you can see, I never even opened the boxes. They went into storage along with the rest of my miniatures, where they sat until last month. In the meantime, the game store that I patronized changed ownership. I never set foot in the new store, which I didn’t even know had  opened until a year later. That didn’t matter either, since they went out of business long before I pulled these miniatures out of storage.

Which brings us to last month, when I got the undeniable urge to paint up a High Elf army, even though I know I will probably never play them. Ever.

I took my dilemma to The Minatures Page, and I was pretty much universally encouraged to buy and paint more elves (although some folks told me just to paint what I have and keep it a skirmish force due to the cost, time, and let’s face it, stupidity of buying and painting a force I will likely never use).  Tiny Legions, a fellow TMPer, was kind enough to point out that the miniatures in Island of Blood are significantly larger than the miniatures I had, and even posted some comparison shots. In the end, I decided I would probably buy IOB anyway. But I didn’t.

Instead, I got a pretty good deal on the Battle Ready Battalion above, mainly becasue I found a place that has LOADS of GW backstock and wants to get rid of it. The BRB I got is from 2003, still mint in box. I picked it up for half price. Which now means I have more elves to paint. So, as of now, my High Elf Army consists of:

  • 21 Silver Helms (5 from the Cavalry Patrol, 8 from the Regiment Box, and 8 from the Battalion)
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers (from the Cavalry Patrol)
  • 1 Tiranoc Chariot (from the Cavalry Patrol, pulled by horses, not the current GW lion-pulled chariot)
  • 16 Archers (from the Battalion)
  • 32 Spearmen (16 from the Regiment Box, 16 from the Battalion)
  • 1 Repeater Bolt Thrower (from the Battalion)
  • 1 High Elf General on horseback (from the Cavalry Patrol)

Altogether, not too bad. A little cavalry heavy, perhaps. I’d like to have fewer Silver Helms and maybe a few more Reavers and another unit of Archers. And a unit of elites would be nice. I always felt sorta “Meh” about Phoenix Guard and White Lions (elves with axes? C’maaaaaan.) I’d opt for some Swordmasters, because they’re the coolest, and because i snagged an old-school blind Eltharion miniature from the same store., and he could champion the unit. And of course, I need a wizard, which means my army just isn’t complete yet.

Now for the worst part. I always wanted to play Dwarfs, because Dwarfs are hands-down my favorite fantasy race.  When I initially got into WFB, a friend of mine quickly laid claim to the Dwarfs, so I picked Undead so we could fight each other. I got my ass handed to me by his Dwarfs too many times to count. When I switched to Orcs and Goblins, I lost even more, because my own Animosity rules frequently lost the game for me.  I always wanted to play Dwarfs, and still do.

Which is why I bought this, too.

The Battle for Skull Pass, which was also discounted since it’s the last edition of WFB. I just bought it for the Dwarfs. Although the Goblins look very cool,. I painted enough green skin in the late 90’s to know that I don’t want to paint any more. So my plan is to sell off the Goblins. Perhaps I’ll keep the Troll, and I like the Spider Riders, which look way better than the old metal ones I have. We’ll see.

So now I have the makings of a nice Dwarf skirmish force:

  • 8 Dwarf Miners
  • 12 Dwarf Warriors
  • 10 Dwarf Thunderers
  • 1 Dwarf Cannon and Crew
  • 1 Dwarf Dragon Slayer
  • 1 Dwarf Thane

I don’t like the sculpt on the Thane, and I always found Dwarf Slayers of any type to be stupid.  Just my opinion. So, not content with what I have, I am awaiting the conclusion of a trade in which I have acquired 36 more Dwarfs: 18 Miners and 18 Hammerers, as well as a Dwarf Organ Gun. I’ll probably pick up a better Dwarf Thane model too. Lord knows there are plenty of them out there, most of them not even made by GW.

So now I have an additional 183 miniatures, including the horses, to assemble, paint and base. Did I mention I’m just as likely to play these Dwarfs as I am the High Elves? In other words, it’s probably never gonna happen.

Why did I do this? And why am I so looking forward to it?