Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Dragonlord, flowers on bases and Grudge of Drong planning

As 'rust fatigue' was setting in I took a quick detour back to my high elves. Recently I ordered purple and pink flowers from Gamers Grass as a test. The one thing I regret about this is not ordering yellow and white flowers as well. Will have to do that at a later date. I used these to finish the bases of my (recently rebased) High Elf (Aelf)  army. I also dropped the rattlecans and picked up my brushes to paint a second Dragonlord. This one I found half assembled in the bottom of an 'I'm quiting Warhammer' box I purchased second hand. A nice find and now added to my army.

Flowers just add that little something extra to an Aelf army.

As a related project I recently got an app from a friend proudly showing the second hand purchase of the Nemesis Crown campaign book from 2007. I - in my role as the unobservant observer - thought I saw the 1996 Grudge of Drong campaign book and instantly alighted. That manic obsessive compulsive hobby syndrome kicking in. I just had to play Grudge of Drong especially as he is a collector of Dwarves and I have a High Elf force in the works. Nicely rebased with flowers I might add. Here's another picture :)

The Spire Guard on the right is so happy, he can't stop blowing his horn.
I picked through the Grudge of Drong. The campaign tells the story of a high elf colony upsetting the balance between to grudging Dwarven clans. One Dwarf clan has won access to gold and gem deposits from the other ages ago. The second clan blocked access to the Dwarven trade routes by building a fortress in a pass and imposing tariffs. Both have added to their books of grudges. The high elves colonists upset this grudging balance of power by opening their own trade routes over water. Thus results in a lot of ale swilling, fighting and behind the scenes political maneuvering. In game terms it results in three smaller clashes ending in one major set-piece battle.

The Sword Masters have more grass as they practice their skills with precision cutting of flower stems. In other words they probably read too much Yoshikawa
One of the interesting elements in this book is that GW suggest armies per mission. These are specified in the book, including their points cost in Warhammer Fantasy 5th edition. That allows for an interesting approach to model collecting. I decided to put the army lists in Excel and see how I could translate this to the Age of Sigmar ruleset. The biggest trouble here is that AoS has less characters then older Warhammer editions. The Dwarf lord is basically a Warden King and he has only one weapon set. Luckily the slightly older free warscrolls offer a bit more rules allowing you to get the right game stats for a Warden King with a two handed weapon in stead of a weapon and shield. It does not mention how well flowery bases look, even on models with a paint job you're no longer really proud of.

I never expected to have so much fun arranging flowers on a 28mm scale.
A few weapon stat changes are nothing to worry about in Sigmar when it comes to allocating a points cost. The point system for competitive play in the General's Handbook doesn't worry about details. For instance an Aelf Archmage on foot costs the same as one riding an Aelf Steed (one riding a dragon is a different story as it has a different warscroll). It is up to the player to model his miniature properly to get the advantage of being on a horse. That makes the point system rather simpler then older Warhammer editions where you paid extra for banners, magic items and other options. Now how does this hold up when you allocate the same units to a fight?

Enjoy the soothing effects of lavender while being grabbed from above by the huge claws of a griffon.
The first skirmish: Battle of Grudge Pass sees High Elves trying to smash a Dwarf rebellion as a favour to Queen Helgar. The armies in the scenario see 1490 points of High Elves fighting 1504 points of Dwarves. Translated to Sigmar the same forces would be 920 points versus 1280 points, mostly because dwarf troops have gotten a bit stronger while High Elf spearmen and archers have gotten a bit weaker. Dropping a third of the models in the Miners, Ironebreakers and Thunderers units brings the dwarf forces down to exactly 920 points equalizing the battle from a points perspective.

The second skirmish: 'Ambush on the Dwarf Road' sees High Elf colonists, stirred up by Dwarf Queen Helgar, ambush a group of Dwarves from the rival clan. In the original rules 980 points of Elves fight 992 points of Dwarves. In Sigmar this would be 860 points of Elves versus 828 points of Dwarves. Removing 1 Shadow Warrior from the Elf army and adding 1 Slayer to the Dwarves makes the Sigmar points an equal 840 vs 840.

Occasionally it feels as if my paint skills get worse the more I practice...still better than bare plastic I guess. 
In the third skirmish: 'The Brewhouse Bash' Dwarves attempt to rescue their favorite brewer who has been captured and locked in one of his own vats by High Elves. I have recently received the ultimate miniature for this Dwarf brewer from Ral Partha, so I might have to make a tweak here. Aside from that the points were Elves 1489 vs Dwarves 1491 in the old system. In Sigmar it would come to 820 vs 1428. The trouble here is once again caused by the fact that both High Elf spearmen and archers are down to very basc troops while most of the Dwarves have gotten rather stronger. The solution might be to add a few spearmen and archers and take 10 of the Shadow Warriors and 13 Swordmasters from the previous scenario here, or fight a lopsided skirmish.

Last but not least is The Battle of Krag Bryn. Here 2992 points of High Elves fight 3162 points of Dwarves while Queen Helgar looks on from the sideline with another 540 points of Dwarves, only joining in if attacked by Elves or if the Dwarf side seems to be winning. n Sigmar terms the large armies translate to 1988 points of High Elves versus 2240 points of dwarves. With a few easy troop switches this is quickly balanced out to 2240 versus 2240 points. With another 540 points of Dwarves looking on.

Did I mention that there are no dragon riders in Grudge of Drong?
Now I'm not sure if I want to balance this out or play it like the original version. I do know that I will need to increase my High Elf Spearman. I have 10 of the plastic warriors and will need another 38 to come to the exact size of Grudge of Drong (30 if I tweak the rules, 20 if I use my Lothern Sea Guard to represent Spearmen). I also need 32 High Elf archers (rather ugly plastic models that are hard to get these days), 1 bolt thrower and 5 extra dragon princess (Dragon Blades). I also needed 3 Great Eagles but a quick visit for sage advice on the Oldhammer Facebook group sorted me out there (more on that in another (hopefully shorter) post. In other words I'll probably be trolling some second-hand sites the coming weeks as scaling miniatures from different manufacturers to Games Workshop tends to lead to disappointment (but advice here is very welcome!).

The nicer part of this project will be the terrain. Grudge of Drong features three cardstock buildings. I have (shall we say) 'obtained' scans of these that I will use for size to make my own buildings from polystyrene or foamboard. I also get to go wild on imagining and building two abandoned mine shafts a bridge, a river, a road and some other easier terrain.

All in all this is going to be an awesome project to run alongside the Shadow Wars stuff and hopefully switching between the two will keep the hobby spirits high. Now do I check if my potential opponent is fully on board with this or should I just start....never mind the Great Eagles are already on order...


  1. Grudge of Drong! Classic, and from my favorite era of Dwarf figures too. The current high elves (as in the Dawnspire) are by far the best, as contemporary scale creep and hyper detailing really suits the elves.

    For archers, you could go with the Shadow Warriors/Sisters box, but that would be costly with 30+. (£90!)

    For Eagles, I think that the LotR/Hobbit plastic eagle is by far the best.

  2. I've got the eagles covered from Battlezone Miniatures (, never mind the awful picture). I'm trying to source the archers second hand for now as I will need the regular Shadow Warriors as a separate unit in the game.