Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Uzgrim's Marauders: The Challenge

Image from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8d/c6/73/8dc673d03258f4291b519c9cb45e04f9.jpg
Uzgrim's story...

Rotgut shifted his grip on his war mace, its blood stained shaft familiar in his scarred hands. He looked across the filth of the camp to see Uzgrim, the Marauders’ hulking warlord, picking at the remains of a spit roasted sheep surrounded by his favoured warriors. Nazdreg was there, as was the stupendously foolish Naznob, the leader of the newly recruited Snortas. As far as Rotgut was concerned Naznob's Snortas were pig-loving glory hunters.

‘Oi, Boss!’
Uzgrim looked up, his heavy chin thick with mutton grease. And worse. Rotgut opened his mouth wide, baring sharp yellowing teeth, laughing long and hard.
‘It's time that you wasn't da boss no more.’

Uzgrim had known this was coming. If not from Rotgut, then from another ingrate upstart. Having dragged his Marauders over the Middle Mountains they'd run into some dirty beard-wearing Northmen, fresh of the boat smelling of salt water and blood. Orc blood. Too much orc blood. In fact, in their three bloody meetings Uzgrim had been bested every time and now his own boys were beginning to doubt him. But fighting for position was part of the job, a good part. ‘It's a…’ thought Uzgrim, ‘a meritocra… a merit…  Gah… Survival of the watzzit… Meanest.’

Uzgrim took a final bite of the greasy meat, throwing the bones to the snotlings lurking in the trees at  the edges of the camp. Getting to his feet, unarmed and leisurely, he stepped up to Rotgut, disdaining the heavy bladed choppa offered up by Malfang. To take it would be to admit weakness, fear. Malfang, his personal standard bearer and long term ally, would know this,, the gesture more a test of his leadership than an offer of support. Malfang’s loyalty would last no longer than Uzgrim's strength.

A ragged circle of boyz formed, hooting, jeering, spitting and laughing. Rotgut raised his mace in the air, barking out a guttural challenge, jabbing a thick finger into Uzgrim’s chest. The import of the gesture was clear and Uzgrim's response was instant. His forehead connecting with the bridge of Rotgut’s stub nose. The blow had little effect beyond rocking Rotgut’s head back. It was all the opening Uzgrim needed, his tusk-like teeth tearing a ragged hole in his opponent’s thick neck.  
Rotgut slumped to the blood soaked ground, his challenge undone.

Uzgrim looked over at Naznob, the boar rider looking on at the bloody scene unmoved. ‘Feed him to the pigs.’

The truth…

Behind this clunky story lies a germ of gaming truth written on the grassy (tablecloth) plains in what my boys call ‘Daddy’s playroom’. It's a painful truth. In five games of third ed. Warhammer, itself a painful if rewarding learning experience, Uzgrim’s Marauders have won precisely no battles. Admittedly the first, against a skeleton horde, might have just about gone their way but since then things have gone downhill fast. The next three games saw Uzgrim take on a Norse warband. In the first he drove his chariot straight off the table (thanks to a massively buffed Stampede spell. (The lessons learned. We decided to limit modifications to magic saving throws to just one point to avoid auto success).

The next was closer, this time we had the help of a neutral third-party force made up of black orcs and ogres who tied up the Norse for a while.

In the third encounter with the Norsemen Uzgrim  recruited a giant, a move countered by the Norsemen dragging along a huge unit of Fimir. When the giant rocked up drunk things looked bad and they got worse as the unit of two stone throwers was put out of action by Winds of Magic. Uzgrim's lesson - don't put too many eggs in one basket...

In the final battle, Uzgrim found himself facing an Undead gun line. This was an uphill struggle from turn one. The giant’s second drunken appearance didn't help… The lesson from that one? Maybe use advance forces? Perhaps bring in the victory points conditions to give more static lists a reason to leave the deployment zone. And maybe leave the giant at home, drunk side-changing monsters sound hilarious but actually aren't that entertaining if they happen to be on your side, twice! Uzgrim, who thinks Giants look very cool, thinks a better strategy might be to bring two along…

The deal…

While Uzgrim may have survived this time, the boys won't be giving him another chance. If the Marauders don't see victory in their next outing his fight for leadership is going to take place on the tabletop. Dice and heads will roll. Matt, if you're reading, you'll be rolling for the challenger... Could this be the end of Uzgim? Only time will tell!

Uzgrim's Marauders - Boar Boyz

Just a quick post tonight to record the latest unit to join Uzgrim's marauders:

I need (actually need) some more of these boys. Not because the completist in my knows that there are many more to collect but because I didn't think about how they'd rank up when I based the boars. Having put them all roughly level on the bases it turns out that boyz's arms stick out too far so I need about another three boars to base further back on the bases to space them out.

So, if anyone has any boars to sell/trade please do get in touch.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Enter Irongrim...

I'm not entirely sure how it happened but tonight I pulled the trigger on a new project - Uzgrim's new sparring partners - the most magnificent Irongrim's Conquerors. Here's how they looked in White Dwarf 133:

Oddly the picture doesn't show anything close to is listed as being in the army, I can only assume that they didn't have the models painted, so I'm not entirely sure what the army would have looked like. The good news is that I fully intend to find out how that lot looks (though it could take some time). The other thing I spotted that disappointed me is that unlike Uzgrim's army this lot don't have named characters and units, hopefully I'll find that in another issue of WD when I have time to look.

I've begun with the pikemen which are my absolute favourites of the range. This lot just bagged on ebay for more slightly than I'd hoped to spend...

I guess I need another eight spearmen (dwarfs) now...

Coming soon... the mother of all wants lists!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Finally, some painting is happening...

After too long away from the paint station things are starting to pick up with Uzgrim's Marauders once again. First up, Ugbad's standard bearer got a lick of paint.

The banner is an attempt to replicate the original paper banner, this time onto a plastic banner that I cannibalised from some plastic goblins. I'm fairly pleased with how it came out though I think I need to be bolder with my colour choices as it looks a little more muted than I'd hoped. Here's the original, it's much brighter than mine.

And here's today's effort, the mounts for my next unit.

Next week's task is going to be painting the riders but before then I have an Oldhammer opponent to insult by bringing these riderless pigs to the tabletop!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Uzgrim's Marauders: Thank You White Dwarf 123 and 133

Uzgrim's Marauders featured in White Dwarf 123 where they were given a brief background story and showcased in all their glory as a fabulous army deal that came in at £70 including postage. Looking at the contents of a parcel that cost not much less than that (and which contains just few of these models) I rather wish I'd invested at the time (though I'd almost certainly lost them by now).

WD123 some great close-ups of the unit making up the army. As you can see the whole range wasn't used so there are quite a few more duplicate poses than I'll be collecting.

You even got free stuff for you £70...

To top it all off, there was a story attached and some handy paper banner designs.

What I'm wondering is who wrote that text and who painted the models? If anyone can help answer those questions I'd really like to know the answers. Not least because I need some more Orc names for my other heroes and I think it'd be grand to ask the original writer for some suggestions.

The Marauders were back ten issues later in White Dwarf 133, most of the material we've seen before. The army shot is one that most people will know:

They appear again on the back cover has a nice picture of them facing off with Karashalla's Reavers. 

I'm still trying to work out who is going to win this one...