Hello boys and girls, welcome to a pleasantly unscheduled post from yours truly. I have been quiet of late, being deeply immersed in writing the final dissertation in a 5 year mission to explore strange new academic worlds; to seek out new knowledge and new qualifications; to boldly, (after 42 years of consuming oxygen on this good Earth), finally get a bloody degree! This workload has meant that I haven’t really been in the right frame of mind for in-depth hobby stuff like the Chapel project lately – in fact, I hadn’t painted much of anything up until Friday night…
Now, by Friday, I had the vast majority of my dissertation written, and with time in hand, I decided to treat myself to a pleasant Saturday evening of AoS with my Brother-in-Lead Ross, who has one of the most awesome collection of OldHammer Daemons you are likely to see anywhere. He ‘let slip’ that he was going to run a Great Unclean One in a 1000 pt. list, and that caused a bit of panic, because I didn’t have anything like enough painted lead to match that… thus ensued a speed painting session of legendary proportions!
Firstly, I spent Friday night finishing up 18 venerable Nightmare Legion figs I got for cheeps on ebay a while back – the two standard bearers were missing their standards, there were no shields, and one of the troops was missing a head, so the job lot was dirt cheap at £2.30ish per mini. I had previously fixed up the broken bits and added some cool shields from Knightmare Miniatures, and they were already mostly base-coated so it was just a case of doing the metallics, weathering, finishing the bases and highlighting up the bone… but still, 18 finished minis in an evening was pretty frantic! Here they all are:
And here they are forming a nice 20-strong unit with my lovely C17 command squad to lead them:
Saturday day was a full on speed painting slog – I had 17 assorted undead based and undercoated… could I do them all in a day?? Well, I was certainly going to give it a bloody good go! First up we have some randoms from the recent Nightmare Creatures Kickstarter from Dark Art Studios:
Spirit hosts or banshees perhaps?
A couple of zombies
Some more (slightly weirder) skellies
As if that wasn’t enough, I also had nine of GW’s ‘Cursed Company’ Dogs of War minis undercoated and ready to paint! I picked these up a few weeks ago because I thought that they would go very nicely with the racially diverse skellies I got from the Dungeon Monsters Kickstarter last year. Here they are in groups:
No, I don’t know why the orcs are naked either…. Ahem. Anyway, I decided that I would use the champion ‘Richter Kreugar’ as a second Wight King, so I separated him from his unit but the rest got rolled into a 30-strong mob with the Dungeon Monsters KS skellies, the four skellies from the Dark Art Studios KS and a couple of randoms:
Ok, so they are a bit rough and ready – I need to go back and highlight the bone on Saturday’s output and finish the Cursed Company banner, but they are certainly good enough for table-top I reckon, and hell – 35 completed minis in 21 hours is pretty incredible, right? So why the mad rush? Well, partly it was two weeks of pent-up painting frustration, but mostly it was the result of the arms race mechanic of AoS… Allow me to explain.
In AoS, 10 Skellies gives you 10 attacks per turn, hitting on 4+ and wounding on 4+… Pretty naff, right? But wait – add another 10 skellies to the unit and you get a bonus +1 attack per model for a total of 40 attacks, (base 20 + bonus 20), while 30 figures gives you an additional +1 bonus per model for a total of 90 attacks (base 30 + bonus 60)… trebling the model count makes the unit 9 times hittier! Add in a command squad, (for no cost), and the champion gets you an extra attack, the musician gives a guaranteed minimum 6” charge, and the banner/icon bearer allows you regenerate D6 models each hero phase… Suddenly these chumps are looking a bit more serious!
But that’s not all folks – if you have a Wight King within 18”, he can use his ‘Lord of Bones’ command ability to grant the unit an additional attack per turn, so that puts our 30-strong unit of humble skellies up to a whopping 120 attacks (or 121 with the champion). But that still isn’t all! Add in a Necromancer with ‘Vanhels’s Danse Macabre’, and you get to do it all again in the same combat round! Phew! A maximum 242 attacks, which due to the power of mathematics should equate to 60.5 wounds… Enough to deal with a Great Unclean One? You betcha… last night saw a very rare victory for team Leadballoony and the forces of (un)death!
I think I’m getting a feel for AoS – it kind of feels like a computer game, where buffs and debuffs are king, and getting the army balance right is really important. Big heroes and monsters have their place, but massed ranks with stacking bonuses are pretty powerful, and your big beasties need to pick their battles carefully. I’m starting to enjoy it as a system, and I am quite looking forward to the skirmish version that is due out soon.
Anyhow, that’s enough waffle for this post, I need to crack on with my dissertation! It is due in on Thursday, and then I have a crazy few weeks of weddings and work travel to get through. Normal service will be resumed mid-June, when I am very much looking forward to cracking on with my warband for The Chapel project. Thanks for bearing with me during this time :-)