Death Covers the Land

When the Winds of Hobby Motivation are waning, the Lore of Death can usually still squeeze the odd beat out of my shrivelled necromantic heart.

As one can never have enough skeletons, I painted up a couple of old metal Marauder and Citadel warriors of bone and two others which were part of a bundle purchase and possibly produced by Grenadier or another long defunct manufacturer.

The Citadel figures are mostly slotta models with one that pre-dates this era. I went with my usual simple colour scheme of mostly black and iron while painting the more ornately armoured fighters with oxidised bronze plate.

Three armed skeletons in a medieval town setting

Another town falls to the walking dead

Three armoured skeletons, two in tarnished bronze plate mail

A former noble, touched by Chaos, fights on in death

The non-Warhammer miniatures of a sword fighter and a crossbowman are based on round bases as I will use them in skirmish games like Frostgrave rather than my Oldhammer Undead army.

Two armoured skeleton warriors with sword, shield and crossbow respectively

A soldier’s weapons drill never dies

Blazing Saddles

I finished the cavalry arm of my Tomb Kings army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle by adding a second rank to the spear armed skeleton horsemen.

Ten skeletons riding undead horses arrayed in two ranks

The Master of Horse still commands his riders in death

The horses are very old sculpts since GW never saw fit to replace them. For the riders, I mixed up parts from the original plastic skeletons with the Tomb Kings releases. As previously mentioned, I added horse blankets made out of tissue paper to give the models a bit more heft and have the riders stand out from their mounts better.

Two skeletal riders carrying bronze tipped spears

Galopping towards the foe on skeletal steeds

Side view of a ten strong unit of skeleton horsemen

Charge of the bones brigade

For future expansions of the army, I have two units of five horse archers each built and primed but first up is a squadron of chariots.

View from above on skeleton cavalry carrying blue shields and led by a banner bearer

Riding under the gleaming bronze war banner

The Tomb Kings Ride to War

Having recently picked up more infantry for my Tomb Kings I felt it was time to continue painting the already built and primed forces that are making up a 1,000 point core army using Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th Edition.

I don’t enjoy painting undead horses much more than life ones hence I had kept back the cavalry and chariots. The first five of a ten strong regiment of horsemen with thrusting spears are now finally done and I’ll keep working away on the second half interspersed with various other projects.

Five skeletons carrying blue shields and spears on skeletal horses

The vanguard rides out

I’m using some overarm thrusting spears for the unit to add variety and indicate that they are not fighting as knights with lances. The musician carries a metal horn in snake form that was part of an early version of the Khemrian infantry. I also equipped the horses with black saddle cloths made from tissue paper to give a heavier feel to the models and prevent the bone-on-bone look.

Eye level view of skeletal cavalry heading forwards

Skeletal hooves will trample all enemies into the dust

First Blood

We had our initial clash of arms playing Frostgrave in a Warhammer Old World setting. My mate picked Night Goblins with a Summoner while I took the Undead lead by a Necromancer. Wanting to familiarise ourselves with the core rules, we played a simple scenario with six treasures up for grabs. We also chose our spells without the need for additional templates or figures to represent them, so they were mostly direct damage or buffs.

The Night Goblins deployed in a horde in the left corner of the 3×3 table while I split my forces up into a group lead by the wizard and a second with the apprentice. While the Night Goblins initially swarmed over the first treasure pile, I sent my two thugs to search one each and attempt to carry it to safety.

Red, ball shaped creature with massive fangs sitting in front of wooden barrels

A squig hound guarding the loot

The first major skirmish erupted when a group lead by my apprentice clashed with goblin fighters in a house ruin containing more treasure. With an infantryman dispatched through a fireball from afar and a second being cut down by a lowly goblin thug, I lost this fight and any hope of a win.

A timber framed house ruin with goblins and a skeleton fighting inside

The scramble for the ladder

While one of my thugs escaped with a treasure undisturbed off the Eastern board edge, the second was threatened by the slavering squig. I managed to intercept it at the last moment with a man-at-arms, but failed to kill it. Shortly after, the Night Goblin apprentice blew up its own squig with a fireball, presumably to roast it in preparation for the victory banquet.

A stone gargoyle looking down on a fight between a skeleton and a red ball shaped creature

Intercepting the hunting squig

With just yards to go, my second thuggish zombie was brought down by a flurry of arrows, dropping its treasure token.

A zombie standing next to a yellow glass token

The zombie tries to shuffle away with the treasure

The Night Goblins now had control of the table, and my skeleton’s charge against the apprentice failed to wound him. Shortly after it was smashed to pieces, and my surviving Necromancer decided to slink away into the darkness.

Goblins with bows taking aim at a skeleton warrior

The Night Goblins rule the field

With a final treasure score of 5:1 for the Night Goblins and a kill ratio of 6:2, I failed to capitalise on my early gains and positioning. Already being outnumbered, delegating two thugs to treasure carrying duty from the start was probably not a good decision in hindsight, though I very nearly got away with a second treasure while the goblins had secured none thus far. I had expected the main combat to swing my way, but the loss of an infantryman at the last moment through magic and the quick defeat of the second destroyed my main fighting force.

Frostgrave is definitely a very killy system, fittingly reminiscent of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. A high attack roll will not only often win the combat but also directly cause a maximum amount of damage, and it is quite possible to lose soldiers through a single strike or spell. Especially with consistent rolls of 20. Thanks, blue die of death.

A blue twenty sided die showing a twenty result

Natural twenty

Framed picture of a comic book strip showing two dice plotting to kill their owner

Some Dork Tower advice – I am sleeping with my eyes open

Welcome to Mordgrave

This week will see me dusting off my copy of Frostgrave to finally have a game. A mate and I are planning on getting a campaign going, hopefully recruiting along the way.

Rather than setting the story in Felstad, we’ll be drawing on the background of the Old World however, so it is more akin to Mordheim with wizards and various fantasy races. As gangs, I am therefore drawing on my existing Warhammer Fantasy Battle armies without having to paint everything from scratch. For the first gaming session I put together Night Goblins, Dwarfs and Undead, only needing to finish painting a shaman and warrior of their respective armies which had been long overdue anyway.

Goblin in black robes wielding a staff facing off against Dwarf with shield and hammer

Old enemies clash

While there are no different racial characteristics and stats in Frostgrave, I selected the war bands to reflect some of their archetypes. The Dwarfs are fewer in numbers but with better equipment and stats due to their troop types.

Group of six Dwarfs in a medieval city

Enchanter, Apprentice, Marksman, Knight, Man-at-Arms and Thug

For the Night Goblins I am mainly using the Kev Adams sculpts by Knightmare Miniatures, reinforced by some Citadel figures from my Warhammer Fantasy Battle army.

Band of Goblins amidst medieval houses

Witch, Apprentice, Infantryman, Man-at-Arms, War Hound, Archers and Thugs

The Undead are raised from my Warhammer 3rd Edition forces, with zombies representing thugs and skeletons other troop types.

Skeletons, zombies and wizards on a cobblestoned street

Necromancer, Apprentice, Men-at-Arms, Infantrymen and Thugs

How these work as gangs in Frostgrave, we’ll find out. A drawback of using “soldiers” from other armies is the lack of figures representing certain character classes like thieves, but with a bit of artistic licence and kit bashing I could add them where needed. In any case I would want to stick with classes to fit a certain fantasy race, and where that is the case, miniatures will also be easier to find.

We Are Legion

I completed the second half of my latest regiment of Skeleton Warriors for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, bringing it to six ranks deep. The figures are again kitbashes using parts from three different generations of plastic Citadel models. For the shields I used some ornamental bosses this time to add further variety.

Fifteen skeletons in three ranks with shields and handweapons

Newly risen skeletal warriors on the charge

Having completed a third regiment to use with Warhammer 8th Edition in addition to the two units in my 3rd Edition army, I thought it would be imposing to bring them all together in one large skeletal horde.

Line of skeletal warriors advancing across rough ground

The dead surge forward under black banners

Skeleton warriors formed in deep ranks

An endless tide of vengeful dead

Close up view of skeleton warriors marching under a black banner hung with skull trophies

The dead reap a grim harvest

There are still some scythe and pole armed skeletons to paint in my Oldhammer collection, so their ranks are set to grow further over time. For the dead shall walk the earth.

View down onto dense ranks and files of skeleton warriors

The skeletal horde sweeps away all life in its path