Author Archives: Wudugast

In The Green Wood – Part 1

Ever since I painted a pair of dryads back in February I’ve had an itch to tackle some more Sylvaneth. I’ve gathered together enough for (you guessed it) a Warcry warband which I’ll chip away at over the next little while. First to emerge from the woods we have this Spite-Revenant.

Spite Revenant Sylvaneth ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (1)Spite Revenant Sylvaneth ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (2)

Like the dryads this one was fairly quick and easy to paint up so I’ll aim to get a few more done soon-ish.


A Plague On All Their Houses

Long, long ago, when I first started this blog, I painted up a squad of Plaguebearers. For anyone who doesn’t want to dig that far back into the archives – and who could blame you? – here’s a reminder of how they look.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (1)

I like to think my painting skills have developed a bit since then but on the whole I reckon they hold up fairly well. However for some reason I stopped working on them after completing 18 models, rather than rounding them up to a squad of 20. The other day however I spotted the remaining pair looking lonesome and dejected in a box of odds and ends and decided that it was well past time I did something about them.

For the first one I tried to keep it fairly close to the style of the originals, albeit with a few new flourishes. This turned out to be harder than I expected, recreating the old style from memory taxing my brains and memory to the extent that the whole thing turned into a bit of a chore.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (2)Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (3)

For the second one I decided to say “stuff it, let’s just get it done” and abandoned the old style in favour of painting it entirely in various styles of disease-ridden, bruised and tortured flesh.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (4)Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (5)

He looks a little different to the older models but he ties in fairly well with some of my newer servants of Nurgle.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (6)

With these two done the whole squad is ready to get out there and spread some diseases.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (7)

This also brings me another squad closer to getting my Death Guard army up and running so at some point I’ll have to dig everything out of their boxes, tally it all up and have a think about what else I want to paint up. In the meantime however I thought this was a good moment to turn my attention away from 40k to look at a game I actually play instead, and put together a little Warcry warband of Nurgle daemons.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (8)

Lead by a Sloppity Bilepiper (still the most fun thing to say in Games Workshop’s catalogue) the warband also includes four Plaguebearers, two swarms of Nurglings, a Beast of Nurgle (the converted tree creature) and the Daemon Prince of Nurgle who normally leads my Death Guard, currently moonlighting as a Plague Drone.


Prince Duvalle

Probably my favourite vampire miniature of all time, Prince Duvalle leads the Crimson Court – a band of Soulblight vampires for Warhammer Underworlds. I know there are a lot of strong contenders out there but as a vampire lord this guy just ticks all the right boxes – even if he does, from some angles, appear to be taking a sudden and inexplicable interest in his own hand.

Vampire ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (3)Vampire ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (4)Vampire ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (2)Vampire ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer (1)

The rest of the Crimson Court are nice models too of course, and will certainly be making their way across the painting desk sooner or later, but Duvalle jumped straight to the head of the queue.


Sword of the Dark Prince

Swaggering off the painting desk like the beautiful bastard he is, here’s a Myrmidesh Painbringer, a prideful and hedonistic warrior of Slaanesh.

Myrmidesh Painbringer Wudugast ConvertOrDie Chaos AoS Slaanesh (1)Myrmidesh Painbringer Wudugast ConvertOrDie Chaos AoS Slaanesh (2)Myrmidesh Painbringer Wudugast ConvertOrDie Chaos AoS Slaanesh (3)Myrmidesh Painbringer Wudugast ConvertOrDie Chaos AoS Slaanesh (4)Myrmidesh Painbringer Wudugast ConvertOrDie Chaos AoS Slaanesh (5)

I’ve been saying that Slaanesh needed mortal infantry for a very long time so I was absolutely delighted when these were released back in the spring. He was great fun to paint as well – and I feel like I’m finally, after all these years, getting the hang of gold.


Goddam Electric – Part 2

Oh oh… Hobby time has been stripped down to a bare minimum this month and those few hours I did manage to claw back from work I ended up spending kitbashing Redemptionists for Necromunda. All well and good but those are not the red-robed fanatics I was supposed to be looking at! Now, with the minutes and seconds that make up July slipping rapidly through my fingers I’d better make good on my promise to add something to my Adeptus Mechanicus army every month of 2021.

Back in June, when I was full of misplaced confidence, I reckoned I’d get three Electro Priests painted – enough to complete the squad. Time has made a fool of me on that score, but I did manage sneak in an hour or two and get this guy finished.

Electro Priests Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer40k (1)Electro Priests Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer40k (3)Electro Priests Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer40k (2)

Whew – a close call there! Next month I’ll get the other two done (and this time I mean it!).


Road To Redemption – Part 2

Last week I showed off a bunch of Redemptionists that I’d put together from the new kit and talked a bit about my thoughts on the converting process. The fanatic building bug has well and truly bitten me though so over the weekend I snuck in a few hours and assembled some more. Last time I was mainly focussed on building the first few members of my Redemptionist gang, this time I’ve been adding to the ranks of my Cawdor instead – although there will be one very fanatical Redemptionist further down. Now some of you may be thinking “Hang about Wudu old chap, Cawdor are Redemptionists – and Redemptionists, for that matter, are Cawdor” – which is true, to an extent.

I’ve chewed over this issue here more times than I can count now so I’ll keep it brief. In previous editions of Necromunda the Cawdor and the Redemptionists were separate entities, albeit with strong links in the backstory. Now however the Redemptionists have been rolled into House Cawdor fully, and which has left many people – myself included – feeling a little bit short changed. As a result I’m making a new Redemptionist gang alongside my already well established mob of Cawdor.

The key issue I’m wrestling with here is that the kits for the Cawdor and Redemptionists are very different aesthetically. Yes, there are more similarities between the two than there are between – for example – a Cawdor and a Goliath, but equally the differences are far greater than they are between a standard Goliath ganger and a Stimmer or Forgeborn. To illustrate my point here’s a pair of models painted by the Games Workshop studio – the Cawdor is on the left, the Redemptionist on the right.

Cawdor vs Redemptionist

Because of the clear aesthetic differences between the two kits I won’t be mixing and matching – all members of my Cawdor gang will be made from the kit on the left, all members of my Redemptionist gang will be made from the kit on the right. However because I want to include Redemptionist weapons in my Cawdor gang, and vice versa, I’m going to need to do more kitbashing.

All of this brings us, in meandering fashion, to this chap – a Cawdor ganger wielding the Redemptionist’s signature weapon – the Eviscerator (that’s a chainsaw with an inbuilt flamethrower for those unfamiliar with very silly 41st Millennium weapons).

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (5)

The new rules also allow members of a Cawdor gang to lean even further into their neo-medieval trappings and go in battle with a sword and shield so of course I had to make one of those too, raiding the more obscure corners of my bitsbox to do so. The hooded head comes from the Nighthaunt Lord Executioner, whist the shield once belonged to a Bretonnian Man-At-Arms.

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (4)

Next up we have a Flagellator. These are a new type of hanger on exclusive to House Cawdor, a hardliner who takes a dim view of sins like “laziness”. If a member of the gang is sufficiently injured in a battle they may find themselves in recovery – i.e. busy healing and unable to fight in the next battle. However if remaining in the gang’s hideout means getting a vigorous and regular beating from the Flagellator they may well decide they’re feeling much better after all and join their gangmates on the relative safety of the battlefield instead.

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (1)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (3)

Out of all the WIP models I’ve shown recently he’s the one I feel needs the most work, so if you have any thoughts the comments box is always open.

Edit: I intended to show the artwork that I’d based this model on but forgot until long after I’d published the post. This piece is taken from Necromunda: House of Faith by Games Workshop.

Flagellant

Lastly my Redemptionist gang needs a leader suitable to put the fear of the God-Emperor into any heretics, mutants or xenos-sympathisers who might be lurking in the underhive. I made his head a long time ago by splicing a Tomb King head with an Empire wizard’s hat but I’ve never found a suitable model to use it with… until now!

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (6)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (7)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Cawdor Redemptionist (8)

As usual I’ve no idea when I’m going to get paint on these guys but, with work due to get a little less intense now, I’ll try to get around to them soon.


Road To Redemption – Part 1

I’ve been bumping my gums about the new Redemptionists for Necromunda since they were first previewed so it’ll come as a surprise to precisely no-one that over the last week or so I’ve been using whatever time I could claw back from work to mess around with them, new sprues in one hand and clippers in the other. As usual with Necromunda the stock models are very nice but this is my gang – and so as far as possible I’m going to put together a bunch of unique characters ready to take the underhive by storm. Before we get started let’s remind ourselves of what the stock Redemptionist models look like (fantastic miniatures with silly anime hair-dos basically!).

Redemptionists

It’s also worth noting at this point that the Redemptionists can be used either to make a gang in their own right, or to bolster the ranks of House Cawdor. Now regular readers will know that I’ve already got a Cawdor gang – and for those who don’t know, or who’ve forgotten what they look like, here’s a cheeky reminder.

These Redemptionists however are, to my mind at least, very much an entity in their own right and so I’ll be putting together an entirely separate gang. I will however be using the new rules to add some more models to my Cawdor crusade – although none of those are quite done yet. Expect to see them soon though.

Anyway, to set the ball rolling and get myself familiar with the kit and the way it works I decided to build something pretty much straight out of the box. I find this is a good way to get used to the models you’re working with and discover any idiosyncrasies that might make your life tough when you move on to more involved converting or kitbashing later. Generally I pick a favourite model and build it as per the instructions, then apply what I’ve learned – as far as possible – when I start carving up their colleagues. In this case I built myself a nice, normal Redemptionist Brethren armed with a flamer.

Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

The one change I made here was to swap out his head for one from the Forge World Cawdor upgrade pack and straight away I encountered something that left me irritated. Cawdor heads do not fit easily onto Redemptionist bodies (or vice versa). Considerable trimming and tweaking was required to get the two to combine, not to mention a fair bit of muttering and swearing under my breath as well. I’m increasingly convinced that the Redemptionists were first intended as a separate release but somewhere along the road they were rolled into the Cawdor faction in place of the Cawdor specialist juves and champions which the other houses received. In fact I’m pretty sure I remember seeing an interview with one of the Necromunda designers which was released in the early days of the new edition in which he said that many people expected to see Cawdor and the Redemptionists combined into one faction but he intended to separate them further (that I said I may be misremembering or putting words into his mouth that he didn’t actually say and I’m damned if I’m looking back through the Warhammer TV archives to check). Either way the longer I look at these models the less similarities between them I see – where are the candles, bones and cobbled together weapons amongst the Redemptionists?

Anyway, be warned – if you’re planning to mix and match parts from the Redemptionists and the Cawdor gangers it’s far from a straightforward process. Not that I let it put me off – you know how I like a challenge. Still I wasn’t quite ready to go completely mad with the kit yet so for my next target I made another Brethren, trying for something stripped down and cutting away some of the flourishes and religious trappings. For the head I nabbed one from the Sisters of Battle Repentia squad (a kit I think might well be worth raiding again for future Cawdor conversions).  

Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

It wouldn’t be the Redemptionists if there wasn’t some mad bastard running around with a chainsaw as big as himself so that was my next move.  

Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

By this stage I was feeling a bit more adventurous so I decided that I would put together a Redemptionist Deacon with a Cult Icon – all the better to inspire his brothers to greater acts of unpleasantness and pyromania.

Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Lastly the House of Faith book contains rules for adding cherub-servitors to a gang so I had a quick dig around in the bits and put together these two little scamps.

Redemptionists Necromunda 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

At some point I’d like to put together a Cawdor brother to act as Keeper of the Cherubs but at the moment that one’s still a way off completion. I do however have a few more models that are almost done – including the mad cardinal who’ll be leading my Redemptionist gang – so expect to see more of these at some point in the next week or so.


Amid The Ruins – Part 7

I do try not to use this blog as a platform to moan about how busy work and “real life” is at the moment, especially because I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my job and generally have a good life. That said it is bloody busy right now! Anyway I’ve been struggling to find the time to tackle the number of miniature’s projects that I’d like to and when I have found time to paint over the last couple of months I’ve often lacked the focus or energy for anything complicated. Terrain, of course, is the perfect antidote for this – being suitably quick and dirty to do with the big brushes, lots of washes and copious drybrushing.

As it happens I also have a number of odds and ends from the Warcry starter set kicking around so these were the obvious target for my efforts. To begin with I had three barricades, one small…

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (3)

…one medium….

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (8)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (9)

…and one large.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (10)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (11)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (12)

Then we have a wooden bridge for those gaps even a blood-maddened Chaos warrior isn’t prepared to jump.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)

I also found a chunk of rubble which I painted up at the same time.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)

Then there are these two wells. Given that this is the Eightpoints, a war torn Chaos infested landscape, I decided to make these as unappealing to drink out of as possible. Even if Nurgle hasn’t been spreading his influence you’d have to be pretty desperate to try this water – then again desperate is exactly what most people in the Eightpoints are.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (5)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (6)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (7)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (4)

Hopefully by the time we’re into August things will be a bit quieter and more relaxed and I’ll have more time to break out the brushes. In the meantime I have found a bit of time for kitbashing some new models so I’ll try to get some pictures of those up soon.


Shambling Bones

A couple of months ago when the Soulblight Vampires range was released I toyed with the idea of using the new skeleton warriors to kitbash grave guard. For those unfamiliar with the various ranks of undead soldiers in Games Workshop’s ranges the skeleton warriors are the rank and file, the grave guard are the elite wights – yet although the old grave guard models have held up very well to the passage of time, scale creep means they are now a lot shorter and less imposing than the newly released skeletons. Here’s a quick reminder of how the old grave guard look alongside one of the new skeletons (taken from the Cursed City box).

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (1)

Hardly the imposing undead champions they claim to be are they, not when the new boys tower over them in every respect. Keep in mind also that the hunched pose of the Grave Guard actually emphasises his size here, bringing his face closer to the lens of the camera and making him look bigger than he is. In the flesh the size difference is even more noticeable. Could I, I found myself wondering, mix parts from the two kits to make bigger grave guard?

Well the answer, it turns out, is yes. I wouldn’t call these an entirely unqualified success, I think on a second attempt I could make improvements, but overall I’m pretty pleased with these. For the first one I went for a straightforward sword and shield arrangement.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (2)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (3)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (4)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (5)

Pleased, and perhaps overconfident, following this success, I went on to try making one with a great weapon. Games Workshop’s two-handed weapons are always a horrible nightmare to assemble even if you’re using the right parts in the right places, going off-piste tends to turn into an exercise in which the entire lexicon of swear words gets worked through at least twice. Still, I persisted, and here’s the result.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (6)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (7)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (8)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (9)

The first thing that struck me here is that his proportions are very odd and his stance somewhat awkward. The same can be said of the first one, and indeed the stock Games Workshop skeletons – indeed the very awkwardness of the new models is one of their great strengths, placing them neatly in the uncanny valley and emphasising their inhuman nature. That said it’s always easier to appreciate these things when someone else does them, and criticise them as failings in your own work – and that’s exactly what I did with him at first. My solution in end was to steer into it and give him a tall, bat-winged helmet to really labour the point, and on the whole I think it works. Standing next to a skeleton warrior they certainly look a lot more businesslike and imposing than their predecessors did.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (10)

Now we’ll have to see how they look with paint on them. In the meantime any comments, suggestions or feedback is very welcome.


Kruel and the Gang

Another weekend, another Warhammer preview – this time devoted to the Stormcast Eternals and their latest adversaries, the scheming orc Kruelboyz. Now the Stormcasts do look nice, it’s a range that’s come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, but being essentially a filthy orc myself my attention has been squarely focussed on this new breed of swamp-lurking greenskins.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of my regular readers but I like these a lot. They’re nasty, spiky gits, much more in keeping with the wicked hordes of older fantasy fiction than the “misunderstood” tribal barbarians popularised by World of Warcraft and other modern sources. They look exactly like the kind of evil scum that might be found lurking in a wild and overgrown swamp, ready to carry off their unfortunate victims to a terrible fate. It may say nothing good about me at all but that’s exactly the kind of qualities that draw me to a faction and so of course I’ve been watching this release develop with interest, my fingers hovering expectantly over my sadly over-worked wallet whilst my pots of green paint shove their way to the front of the desk ready to be liberally applied.

Beyond this rabid enthusiasm however two things have struck me whilst looking at these models; where are the normal orcs and why are these ones looking so damn serious all the time?

Kruelboss

In Praise of Normal Orcs

Over in the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium the greenskins are also gearing up for war. This time around the new models will be bring a range of new hunters and beast-wranglers to the faction – the so-called Beast Snaggas, some of whom even ride into battle on giant squigs.

New Orc

In the world of Warhammer 40k all orks belong to a tribe (that’s your personal collection – my army, Da Murdaboyz, being one example). Most orks are also part of one of six major clans (the Goffs, Evil Sunz, Snakebites, Bad Moons, Blood Axes and Deathskulls). A tribe may be made up exclusively of orks from one of these clans or it may contain members of several or all. Each clan has its own idiosyncrasies and defining traits, Bad Moons are wealthy show-offs for instance whilst the Deathskulls combine a superstitious obsession with the colour blue with a hunger for stealing everyone else’s property as soon as they can get their hands on it. Adding a third layer of complexity are the various ork “kultures” – the Kult of Speed for example, or the new Beast Snaggas. Some of these kultures tie themselves in well with certain clans but, and this is the clever thing, it’s not an exclusive arrangement. Take the Kult of Speed. These orks take their species’ love of hurtling around at a breakneck pace, something every ork enjoys to some extent, and turn it into a lifelong fixation. As a result they find a natural home amongst the nomadic petrol-heads of the Evil Sunz clan. The Goffs meanwhile are the meanest and most brutish orks of all, serious and ill-tempered they like the simple things in life – straightforward fighting with muscles and fists doing all the real work and none of that fancy nonsense getting in the way. They may take a dim view of the Speed Freeks and their time wasting antics, tinkering around with motorbikes or having silly races in the dusty wastes outside the camp when they should be concentrating on proper things like fighting. However that doesn’t mean that a few buggies or bikes will be out of place in a Goff army. After all it stands to reason that a Goff who races his way into combat atop a speeding bike will be able to enjoy a lot more fighting than his mates who have to walk all the way, and probably won’t reach the site of battle until the best killin’ has already been done. Meanwhile a Bad Moon might find himself tempted by a vehicle of his very own, and if he is he’ll buy one that’s fancier than anyone else’s – at least until the local Deathskulls steal it and paint it blue…

In practical terms this means you can make your army your own, choosing the parts of the Ork background that you find most appealing without finding yourself “locked out” of adding particular models to your collection. This works because, stripped back to the bare lead, plastic or resin, all these orks look relatively similar. There’s not much to distinguish a Bad Moon from a Goff until you’ve decided whether to paint him in garish yellow or cover him in black and white checks. These clans and kultures which have brought excitement and pleasure to so many hobbyists over the decades are rarely more than a coat of paint deep.

Over in Age of Sigmar however the differences are rather more intrinsic. A Kruelboy is a lean, spiky creature…

Gutrippa

… quite different to a hulking brute like an Ironjaw.

Ironjaw Brute

They’re both orcs, and they can certainly look good mixed together in a large army, but what they really need is something to tie them together – a missing link as it were. Where are the ordinary orcs?

Back in the old days of Warhammer Fantasy Battle the Orcs and Goblins range had at its heart mobs of Orc Boyz. The kit, when it was retired with the coming of Age of Sigmar, was well past its best but it continued to serve a key function – tying all the other orcs together thematically.

Normal Orcs

With these green lads at the heart of your army you could add in some Black Orcs (disciplined orcs in heavy armour), Big ‘uns (orcs but even bigger and tougher) or Savage Orcs (orcs who distain clothes and other trappings of civilisation and go into battle with nothing but bone clubs and loincloths). Standing side by side the Black Orcs looked very different to their Savage cousins (they were wearing a bit more for starters) but a mob of Orc Boys created a visual link that brought them together. As the greenskins have migrated across to Age of Sigmar the various specialised “types” have lived on – the Savage Orcs rebranded as Bonesplitterz, the Black Orcs as ‘Ardboyz and the Big ‘uns getting a swanky new range of models and becoming the Ironjaws. Now there are swamp themed orcs as well. What we don’t have however is the missing link, the ordinary boys who may not be fancy or particularly original, but who bring everything together – who take the disparate mobs of Kruelboyz, Ardboyz, Bonesplitterz and Ironjaws and forge them into an army.

Why So Serious?

For the most part the various settings and games under the Warhammer umbrella are on the one hand very serious, and on the other very silly. Take Blood Bowl for instance, a game which the players can – if they so wish – take very, very seriously indeed, developing for themselves the mindsets of chess grandmasters, whilst at the same time playing with undead footballers, drunken dwarves, pogo-ing goblins, chainsaw-wielding loonies and orc cheerleaders. Warhammer 40k paints itself as a very serious business (look no further than the 700 novels that make up the Horus Heresy series) but it also includes space vampires, space werewolves, all kinds of demons and other craziness that more sober sci-fi would never abide. Orks of course are the ultimate expression of that silly side. Even when 40k is trying to be sensible and grown-up, picturing the grand narrative of a declining and stagnating empire brought low by the flaws within our all too human souls, the orks just fart around at the back enjoying themselves. Collectively, they are the whoopee cushion on Roboute Guilliman’s chair.

Orc Cheerleader

Warhammer works well when it can be taken very seriously – look no further than the reams of historical and cultural background in the “House of…” books for Necromunda for example. However it needs that spark of silliness to bring out the flavour. All that Necromundan nitty-gritty is wonderful but it’s still a game of punks vs. aliens, and it still includes the character Smartacus, an ogre who leads an uprising after an accident turns him into a genius.

If the Kruelboyz have a flaw then it’s that they’re not very silly. Indeed for the most part they look serious and scary. Now there’s nothing wrong with that – as I said I really like that aspect of them – but really the Ironjaws aren’t particularly silly either, the Black Orcs/Ardboyz were always grim and dour and that only leaves the Savage Orcs doing their best to keep things daft and looking ever more out of place. But if the orcs aren’t silly then who is?

Gutrippa 2

To me that’s the one remaining problem with Age of Sigmar. The setting has grown from its challenging birth into something genuinely interesting and impressive. When it first launched six years ago it felt unfinished; the backstory little better than fan fiction, the models borrowed from WHFB with confusing new names and the rules leaning as much on players yelling at each other as on rolling dice. Nowadays it’s grown into an engaging, complex world in which even cynical old hands like me look forward to discovering the next chapter of the ever developing story. However these days it’s a sensible world for grown-up people. The goblins – in the form of the Gloomspite Gits – are as silly as ever but the Orcs have their serious faces on, and much as I love the look of the Kruelboyz I miss those daft old orcs. Perhaps in time though we’ll have both – serious orcs for serious battles and silly old orcs farting under the noses of those snooty Stormcasts.