Short story: The Market price: Coin like Blood Part I

Gerald the younger sat at the highest table in the grand ballroom of Corngrad, the room filled with swaying silks and velvets of the army of courtesans. The sounds of a ten man accompaniment playing the newest songs throughout all of the hundred kingdoms. The ten musicians being instructed by a singular white haired figure gesticulating for them. His brother truly spared no expense in greeting his return to the city. Though the letters outlining Gerald’s intent and reason for such a ball and tournament no doubt helped.

The nobleman felt a strange emptiness in the chair to his right, where his wife would’ve sat years ago. Now it seemed to forever sit empty no matter where he went ready for her return. The weight of her passing bore down on him despite the long years since then, like an anchor on his shoulders.

The glint of metal caught Gerald’s glance. Another chair down his son Gerald the third sat, giving his father a small gesture behind the table so that none but those near could see. His gold signet ring reflected the light against it’s polished surface. Issuing a slight sigh Gerald brushed his short beard with his hand and said. “What is it boy? If you need to relieve yourself, simply excuse yourself and go.”

The younger man blushed and stammered out. “No, father. I- I wish to go speak to the conductor for a few moments during their next intermission. According to Aunt Alexa they’ve been to distant Lantony, Argem and even Leona.”

“I’m not raising some courtesan or middling nobleman’s son. You’re to be a lord of men, a warrior. Act like it with your whims and desires, boy.” 

The young nobleman frowned momentarily, then leaned back and returned to smiling down at the gathered party. Gerald felt a thudding in his head start, blasted child ‘why doesn’t he act like a man, he’s seventeen already. Or was he sixteen?’ Reaching up a hand to rub at his aching temple he would look over the party. Drawing him from his observations was a muttering at his left, a soft velvet voice that teased at having iron beneath it.

“Let the boy talk to the conductor, dear Cadmael, it will do him no good to constantly be thinking of war. If you want him to be a leader of men you should let him follow the courtly traditions. Music, art, culture, poetry and maybe even romance? Hmmm Little Alexander?”

Gerald Cadmael Vandas turned fully to his sister-in-law and asked. “Tell me, does that make a good leader? Learning to make scribbles, to say soft flowery words… Does your son Chadrick say that when he trains with your men at arms? What do they call the young Prince of Corngrad? What moniker did they give him?”

Lady Alexa would give a small strained smile and flip her fan open waving beneath her face. “He is called ‘The Flower Prince’ for he has been well schooled in both war, love and courtly affairs. Somethings that your own Alexander has yet to be taught. Did you not see him blushing so easily earlier when talking to dear Greta? The poor lad will never win a lady like that.”

“Who is this Greta? A lady of my brother’s court, or one of your ladies in waiting perhaps?” Gerald spoke softly, keeping his voice level. “I’ve never seen the boy flirt or speak to a woman before, frankly I was starting to suspect-”

“Ha, perhaps it’s because you spend every moment you look at the poor child scolding him for his failings and flaws that only you see.” Lady Alexa would lean back and look at him then his son.

“I do not scold him, I instruct him.” 

“Ah yes, Gerald, you instruct your son like I would instruct a horse or hound. You expect him to be seen as marriageable material with those whip marks on his hands and neck? Bwah! for someone who calls himself his father you treat the poor child more like property.”

“Mark me and my words, woman. I instructed and raised him by myself. In the way of my father and his father. I did so alone. Pardon me if I choose to not spare the rod when I’m saddled with such a whimpering weak-”

The soft snap of the soft ivory ribbing of Lady Alexa’s fan silenced the table. Gerald felt a pit form in his stomach as the woman’s furious eyes returned back to him. The emotional mask she had held on for so long was broken, her eyebrow twitching and smile straining as she whispered to him. “If my sister still breathed- gods bless her. She would’ve put a hot iron to your jewels for how you’ve treated her only child. Now, you’re going to get up and ready him for his joust later this evening.”

Restraining a gulp Gerald adjusted his gloves and vest standing. In a harsh whisper he said. “This will be a discussion for another time ‘Bloody Rose’. Boy! Come, we must prepare you for your bout in the tourney.”

Gerald Alphonse Alexander Vandas the Third stood quickly to catch up to his father as Gerald the younger started to walk through the crowd, his shoes clicking against the marble in time with the music.

Gerald the younger shoved the servant aside. “Be out of my way, fool. Boy! What is taking you so long? It has been ten minutes, you should’ve had your armor on by now.”

Following in wake was the elderly Sergeant Erick and Gerald’s bodyguard Sir Yerrkin. Gerald could hear the Sergeant offer the Servant a respectful apology as he followed in the wake of his lord, Sir Yerrkin lifted a hand to stop someone from moving into Gerald’s wrathful path. 

A fist soon found the right door to pound on. Only a few heavy strokes however Gerald forces his fist to stop it’s movement as it soon opens. Shoving it open Gerald the younger saw a strange sight, three Thiest priests praying. Searching the room from the doorway Gerald would call out respectfully. “Forgive me- I am looking for my- I’m looking for Sir Vandas. A young knight, strawberry blond hair, meek of build, should come to my shoulder, about seventeen-”

“Behind the door- Father please, you’re squishing me.”

Removing his foot that had jammed the door open Gerald would allow the young man to come out from behind it. He hadn’t even donned his chest plate, only the greeves. Inhaling he would mutter, “Sloppy ill bred boy… You shame yourself, What if we were under attack or you were in the field.” 

Alexander would shrink back slightly, rubbing the back of his now bruised head. “S- s- sorry father I-”

“Do not call me father, you’re wearing the armor of a knight not the sleeping gown of a still teething babe. Stand up straight, you’re in the presence of a Lord, Knight now!” 

“Ah you must be Lord Gerald Cadmael Vandas, Yes? I am called Theogin by my brothers, but you may call me father, brother whatever you wish.” One of the Thiests priests stood and dipping his hands into his sleeves.

Gerald looked over the man, he wore the robes of the Thiest Church, a deep crimson with a black wolf’s belt slung over his shoulders and a metal helm dangling at his hip opposite from a longsword and dagger. “I am Lord Gerald Cadmael Vandas, I didn’t know that this room was to be used as a chapel. I would’ve sent Sir Vandas to equip himself in the stables.”

The priest gave Gerald a small smile, his bright white teeth showing that they’re missing along one side. Lifting a hand he would say. “There is no need to apologize, We simply felt an urging from the gods to speak with the young knight before his joust and lost track of time. He is quite adept at Theological debate and discussion. He knows many prayers from the heart quite in pressive for a boy of his age, yes? Most are interested in the pleasures of the flesh, either the belly or well below that.”

“Ah yes, He has had the finest instructors that our house could provide him. Begins every day with prayer and ends it the same. Nothing strengthens a knight’s resolve more than training and the gods. Right, Boy?” Puffing his chest out. 

“Y-yes, Your Lordship. After every meal, My drill instructor Erick taught me the legionaire’s battle prayers as well.”

“Did he now? Though I would think that your back doesn’t strengthen your resolve much? Perhaps I should speak with the Drill Instructor Erick, he seems to have forgotten a few prayers for the Mother and Father to teach you.” The priest positioned his arm on the young man’s shoulders and add. “If you would allow me and my brothers to assist the young knight in his final preparations he’ll be on the field in a matter of minutes, yes?”

Sir Yerrkin spoke, “Sir Vandas hasn’t earned the right to have a squire yet, it wouldn’t be proper-”

“Oh you assume me to be a squire then Sir knight- What was your name? Ah It doesn’t matter. No, I’m not going to squire for the boy, simply finish our prayers and rites while assisting him in donning his armor. Agreeable?”
Working his Jaw Gerald bit out, “Vary well, Sir Vandas. I expect you to conduct yourself like a knight of our house ought to. Remember what I said about fighting other men.”

“Fight with valor till the last drop.”

Nodding Gerald turned on his heel in one smooth motion Sir Yerrkin followed after. The Sargeant stayed a moment longer, Gerald faintly hearing him say. “Make ‘em eat the fecking dirt lad, then roll them under then beat the little princeling’s arse.”

After rounding a corner into the covered way of the courtyard Gerald felt Sir Yerrkin’s hand on his shoulder, jerking his arm away he rounded on the knight hissing out. “What is it, you stiff necked baboon? What questions rattle around your saddle bag shaped head.”

“I- Sire, Sir Vandas needs a squire, yes? Or he won’t be able to joust, he hasn’t earned it yet but he still needs one. Who-”

“Are you volunteering? Do you truly wish to belittle yourself with such a lowly position as to be Sir Vandas’ squire for the day?” After a moment of the Knight’s silent contemplation he’d continue. “Or would you rather sit in the noble’s box with me where you could perhaps play at your political play you so enjoy? Talking in the ear of this noble and that.”

Stiffening his shoulders he’d say. “If you were to command-”

“Do not speak those words unless you want their full repercussions to fall about your neck Yerrkin. Link a vise gripping about your honor should the boy lose. My House’s honor.”

Sir Yerrkin would give a firm nod. “Sire, he is your heir. I am sworn to you and your house, he deserves to be given the chance to gain the honor and privilege of a squire. This bout of jousts I hope that you will grant him it.”

Gerald turned from his guard pacing slightly. “Why would you risk this for me Yerrkin? Twelve years you’ve served me, and my father five years before that. Do you- You want him to replace me. Sir Yerrkin, is this perhaps the truth.”

“Sire No!” Stepping closer the Knight would kneel. “Let the Gods forsake me should I ever prove untrue Sire. I simply believe that if you where to allow your heir a squire and perhaps a group of men to lead then you could resent him less your ire for his murder of his mother might be eased. I offer my honor on the line this day for you my lord.”

“You- You’ve been true all these years, I- I trust you Sir Yerrkin. Stand and be free of my doubts. Should you wish to Squire for Sir Vandas I shall not attest it.” 

“The prancing Laddy won’t be needing a Square like Sir Yerrkin to be doing his doing. I’ll be about it. Been training the lad since he could pick up a stick, might as well see him fight with a bigger one for the first time.” Sergeant Erick interjected walking down the hall to join them, his cane tapping along the ground. Giving Sir Yerrkin a small smirk looking down at the kneeling knight.

“What is so funny, you up jumped peasant?”

“Oh nothing, tell ya in a minute. Sire, let me Squire for the boy.” The older man took a step forward. “As your father had me first squire for you before you earned a noble brat to do yer doing.”

“I’m- I’ll allow it.” Gerald would soon turn and start to walk down the cobbled corridor of the keep’s courtyard he heard an amused voice of Sergeant Erick say. “Oh by the way Sir yur-kin, Yer kneelin in horse shit.”

Path Of Conquest: Dave’s InSPIREing Blog – Part 4 “Drones sir, Thousands of ‘Em!”

Milestone 3 has been completed! We have now successfully converted our First Blood Warband into regimented blocks for the Last Argument of Kings massed battle system.

The Spires now sit at 1250 points and comprises the following:

As you can see, the main thing we have done this month is increase the sizes of the regiments that we already had in order to make them legal for Last Argument of Kings. I’ve added in some retinue and some upgrades into this list so let’s have a look at the new stuff in greater detail.

Biomancer

This lovely chap comes with the Biotic Renewal Draw Event as standard which is in itself a wonderful thing. There is an awesome combo (that I have shamelessly pinched from Andy Sparks – THANKS DUDE!!!) that enhances the healing ability even further. The Essence Transfer Biomancy lets you heal 2D6 wounds on an infantry regiment, at the expense of suffering 2D6 wounds on the regiment that the Biomancer is part of. This is brilliant for keeping your frontline regiments intact, but only whilst your Biomancers wound pool remains stocked. By adding the full Mastery of the Flesh Retinue, the Biomancer is able to use 2 Draw events per activation. This means he can Essence Transfer a pile of wounds onto a regiment that needs it, and then use the Biotic Renewal to heal D6 of those. It probably won’t heal up all of the wounds lost but it limits the amount lost for sure.

Mimetic Assassin

We have added the Degenerative Aura mutation to our Assassin. This is a really effective upgrade that bestows the Decay(3) draw event on regiments that are in contact with him or his regiment. This forces an enemy regiment that begins its activation in contact with the Assassins Drone regiment to roll 3D6 per stand at the end of their activation, and suffer a wound (Not a hit, a WOUND!!!) on the roll of a 5 or 6. It doesn’t cause resolve checks but it does ignore enemy defence and evasion so it can be really effective and certainly makes opponents think twice about engaging the regiment. Normally a good way of neutralising this would be to engage the character in a duel, but lets face it – who wants to be duelling an Assassin?!

Force Grown Drones

We have taken all 3 of our regiments up to 4 stands strong (16 models), each with the Pheromantic Node. Unlike in First Blood – you have to pay for the banners, and it is quite expensive at 25 points (the same as another whole stand!) but we already have them painted up and to be fair, rerolling charge distances isn’t a bad idea, plus they count as a leader so if we find our support characters engaged with something nasty, we wont take as many wounds as we run away! The reason I have gone for 4 stands instead of the minimum 3 is mainly because they are rather fragile and I want to be able to absorb a decent number of wounds without the unit being removed. No amount of healing will bring back a unit that is destroyed!

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I actually got this force onto the tabletop recently (well – a slight variation of it, but broadly the same!) and it did really well. The drone wall was able to control the board really well, the assassins regiment got stuck in and wiped out a regiment of Milita and a Theist Priest in one glorious flank charge. The heavy hitters all dealt consistant damage with the Marksmen, Vanguards and Abomination all racking up quite a kill tally.

There was not anything really I would have changed, though there were a couple of times I messed up the order of the cards and couldn’t benefit from the Biomancies and Pheromancies. Still, that is all something that will come with practice and the list performed well against a solid opposing army.

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So what next? As we move into Milestone 4, as are going to take ourselves up to 1600 points. I will add in a regiment of 3 Brute Drones for additional combat punch, and will increase our 3 Force Grown Drone regiments by another stand or two each. To round off the points, we will make our Assassin even more deadly by giving him the Venom upgrade. The force will (hopefully end up looking like this.

Will i stay on target? Will i run out of blue paint?! Will I follow through with my insane idea to name ALL my drones? Stay tuned next month to find out! You can follow the work in progress of this project on my instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/david_resinbunker_richardson/). Give it a like and a follow!

Path Of Conquest W’adrhun Milestone 2 and 3

Well it’s been an absolutely crazy few months but that path keeps going and the W’adrhun keep on getting painted. I walked into this excited for the W’adrhun and all they were bringing to the game and the feeling definitely hasn’t faded over time. I am just as excited for this army as I was at the beginning of the year and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of their amazing sculpts.

Last Milestone saw us end off with a fairly sizable first blood army, we are now looking to branch out and move to a mid sized The Last Argument of Kings list. We will be finishing that unit of Braves this month and bringing them to 12 models strong, we will be adding 2 stands to the Blooded giving us 20 models of blooded, and finally we will be adding Hunters and a Predator for some early pressure and ranged firepower. This will set the framework for our second warband and get us ready for the glorious Raptor Riders we will be adding next month.

The Predator we are adding this month is a very solid character with plenty of fantastic and tricky options he can take. We will be using him as our Warlord and his Supremacy is a thing to behold, rerolling charges for the turn and a litany of other bonuses based on the weight class of a regiment is just too good to pass up. With our Predator we bring out our trusty Hunters, Fast and deadly with the drawback of being fairly short ranged are their claim to fame. Hunters pack the coveted Deadly Shot, along with ap1 to help crack armor are solid stats. One could be confused looking at their 14 inch range and think they need to be right up on your opponent to effectively shoot but their Strong Arm rule solves that issue by letting them get unobscured shots at max range.

Milestone 3, while a little smaller, adds several of my personal favorite units from this army, The Raptor Riders. These guys are beasts and exemplify exactly what you want to be doing with the W’adrhun, hit hard and hit fast. Raptor Riders have a laundry list of special rules and each one is huge, Flurry, Deadly Shot, Fluid Formation, and a Barrage too is just icing on the cake. Their stat line is nothing to sneeze at either, March 8, and 5 Attacks each make these things deadly harassers and give them the ability to hit well above their light weight class. Raptor Riders are critical early game units for W’adrhun, giving us the ability to threaten large sections of the board early and allowing our mediums to come onto the board aggressively and in a great position.

As of the end of month three we are really starting to flesh out our W’adrhun and you should be starting to get a feeling of how this army plays. W’adrhun plays aggressively but they are not your normal Point and Click Aggressive army, you need to pick your fights and pick them right. Our battle cries give us the ability to punch way above our weight class and turn most fights in our favor but they require planning and require target prioritization. The best advice I can give to newer W’adrhun players is to set up your chant tokens while you make your command stack. This will allow you to see where you will hit your battle cries during your turn and possibly help plan them just a little more easily.

With milestones 2 and 3 come and gone we are nearly half way done with this Path of Conquest, The army is over half way completed and we are beginning to understand how to army ticks. Milestones 4 and 5 seek to fill out the army with more staples and also add the powerhouses of Warbred to our disposal. With all that being said, keep on painting, keep on playing games, and keep up the great work with all the great pictures you guys have been posting all over the place.

Audun54’s Dweghom Parts 3+4

Full Army shot before Fireforged were finished

Greetings my fellow Path travelers! The last two months have been incredibly busy but I am still maintaining a good pace with getting the Dweghom of Grel’Hof ready for battle. June saw the completion of my Milestone 2 and part of Milestone 3 by accident. When making my First Blood and Last Argument lists I did not realize that I had included my Milestone 3 Dragonslayers in my Milestone 2 First Blood list. So instead of being sensible and just painting what was called for I went ahead and did the whole regiment! Then do to various delays I put off this article until I had also finished the rest of Milestone 3 as well. Given that this will be the Milestone 2 and 3 update combined.

Now my list stands at a Hold Raegh accompanied by 24 Hold Warriors with a Leader and Standard Bearer and 12 Dragonslayers with a Leader and Standard Bearer all supported by a Tempered Sorcerer leading 12 Hold Ballistae with a Leader, 12 Fireforged with a Leader, and 3 fearsome Inferno Automata. Now lets do a breakdown of what we’ll be doing with this army.

=== The Last Argument of Kings ===

Dweghom – 800/800

Grel’hof

Hold Raegh [80]: Select as Warlord

– Hold Warriors (6) [260]: Standard Bearer

Tempered Sorcerer [95]: Fireball

– Hold Ballistae (3) [165]: Leader

– Inferno Automata (3) [200]

Characters: 2

Light Regiments: 2

Medium Regiments: 1

Hold Raegh

Hold Raegh and Tempered Sorcerer

Quite a few people I know really love to tool this character up to make him a regiment annihilating monster. Trust me that I can definitely see the appeal but I prefer to run him with minimal upgrades for a very simple reason: the Raegh does not need the help. At Clash 4 with 6 Cleave 1 attacks he is already plenty dangerous and his high resolve makes his regiment virtually immovable. Why spend the extra points on making him deadlier when I can just bring along even more Dweghom?

Hold Warriors

What is a rank and flank battleline without a solid shieldwall to anchor it? Raw stats wise Hold Warriors are not much to look at but they makeup for it with dependability. Solid Defense paired with a character’s high Resolve makes it so they can grind their opponent into dust.

Dragonslayers

When you want any living thing sliced apart though that’s where Dragonslayers excel. Abomination rampaging along the lines? Dragonslayers will take care of it. The main difficulty with these guys is that they are not very fast and are Heavy infantry. So while they can and will kill anything on the battlefield they simply cannot be everywhere at once. This is why it is better to give them a specific mission or target to focus on. Destroying the right target at the right time will often time be the difference between victory and defeat. A tired adage admittedly but still accurate.

Tempered Sorcerer

Now we come to the most infamous and most popular unit in the Dweghom roster. Other’s have written more extensively and exhaustively about the terror this character inspires. I personally have had the most luck with just giving him a Fireball and sending him off to battle with either Hold Ballistae or Fireforged so that he can Volley and set people on fire throughout the game. Again I like to keep my character’s cheap so that I can bring more soldiers to the field.

Hold Ballistae

Like the Hold Warriors, Ballistae are a solid reliable feature of Dweghom warhosts and for good reason. They are decent shots but are shockingly durable. With a range of 24” and Defense 3 from the front these Light infantry honestly feel more like a Medium or Heavy in practice.

Fireforged

Basing was finished later that night

These fiery lads fit a very interesting role in the Dweghom roster in that they are quite literal tanks in the proper military sense. Heavily armored so that they can hold the line or break through while armed with anti-armor cannons makes these a priority target for any enemy. Given their high armor and ranged attack that also makes them a perfect bodyguard for the Sorcerer. They are not melee specialists but they have decent Clash while their high Defense makes them very difficult to shift out of combat. In either the next Milestone or the one after they’ll be accompanied by a Flamecaster to make their short range firepower significantly more threatening.

Inferno Automata

Honestly, this unit is one of the main reasons I picked Dweghom for my Path of Conquest army. Pseudo daemon possesed Light Cavalry equivalent running around on fire? How could I pass that up. Their speed more importantly allows me to put my opponent on the backfoot from the very beginning of the match. That high speed also makes them very flexible by making them excellent flankers assuming they survive by the time battlelines clash.

In addition to getting everyone painted up, the Dweghom of Grel’Hof actually took to the battlefield this month! Both in a demo game between two newer players and against Karnthis’ Nords the Dweghom emerged bloody but victorious.

Now by the end of July I aim to finish Milestone 3 which would have been the 12 Dragonslayers and 12 Fireforged bringing some much needed anti-armor assets to the army.

=== The Last Argument of Kings ===

Dweghom – 1185/1200

Grel’hof

Hold Raegh [80]: Select as Warlord

– Dragonslayers (3) [255]: Standard Bearer

– Hold Warriors (4) [180]: Standard Bearer

Tempered Sorcerer [95]: Fireball

– Hold Ballistae (3) [150]

– Inferno Automata (3) [200]

– Fireforged (3) [225]: Leader

Characters: 2

Light Regiments: 2

Medium Regiments: 2

Heavy Regiments: 1

Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 3 “The Clone Wars”

Milestone 2 has now been and gone, and this collection of models is beginning to look like an army now. The target for this month was to achieve the following:

I’m delighted to say that not only did I manage to complete the above, but I actually went one better and did all 12 Marksmen clones and all 12 Vanguard clones. This puts me nicely ahead for the next milestone.

We are now at 800 points, which in my opinion is probably the upper limit for First Blood. Here is a brief rundown of the units we’ve added in this Milestone:

Biomancer

This character brings yet more healing to the force with his Biotic Renewal draw event. When combined with the Pheromancers Accelerated Hibernation I fully expect to be able to reliably replenish casualties I suffer. He is poor in combat, so will need to be protected from enemy combat troops and characters.

Mimetic Assassin

This character is incredibly good in First Blood. Characters are normally quite vulnerable as they are not protected in a regiment (like in Last Argument). The Assassin however has an Evade stat of 3, which we are boosting by +2 with the Heightened Reflexes mutation, meaning that ANY wound he takes from Clash, duelling, direct damage magic or shooting will be saved on a 5 or less. Cleave is irrelevant to him! He’ll just dodge the massive axes! He has a decent number of attacks as well and will go first in duels thanks to his quicksilver strike special rule. His only slight weakness is a lack of Cleave, but he’ll certainly pull his weight in combat

Vanguard Clones

These are elite close combat troops. Each Clone has 2 attacks and a decent defence score, backed by evade 2 as well. Much like the assassin, they lack cleave, but sheer weight of attacks will tell against most enemy regiments. They’re also quite fast with a movement of 6 so can really to where they are needed.

Marksmen Clones

These are elite ranged troops. They have everything you need to smash enemies at a distance with lots of shots, a long range and the wonder arcing fire special rule, letting them use a friendly regiment to draw line of sight. They are only lightly armoured so careful positioning is needed to keep them alive, though the healing abilities of the Pheromancer and Biomancer will keep them combat effective.

We now begin Milestone 3, and this is going to be an interesting month as we convert the above First Blood Skirmish force into a 1250 point Last Argument of Kings force.

The obvious things changing will be the size of the regiments. Infantry, cavalry and Brute regiments all need to have a minimum of 3 stands of troops (a stand is 4 infantry models, or a single Brute/Cavalry model). Right now, all of the units apart from the Abomination are under this minimum threshold, so we need to bulk out what is already there. We will expand both Clone regiments to the minimum of 3 stands. We will also need to increase the Force Grown Drone numbers to make up for their below average individual stats, so I’m going to take all three of the drone regiments up to 4 stands worth of miniatures with 16 drones in each unit.

By the end of the next milestone (11th August if I stay on target!) The army will look like this:

This means that I need to add the following to the force: 6 x Marksmen Clones, 6 x Vanguard clones & 21 Force Grown Drones which should be perfectly achievable in a month.

This will give me 3 regiments of drones, each with a character embedded in them, and each fulfilling a different battlefield role. The assassins regiment is tasked with spreading decay into enemy regiments, whilst the biomancers regiment is simply a pool of wounds to be spread around the other regiments with the harvest essence ability. The Pheromancers regiment is purely there to keep him alive and healing.

The damage dealers will be the Abomination and the two Clone regiments. They are proper elite units that can go head to head with almost anything else in the game.

Stay tuned to see if I manage to get the next batch painted up!!!

Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 2 “The Force (grown drones) Awakens”

We are now officially one month into the latest Path of Conquest Marathon. Paint has been spilled! Brushes have been brandished, and clippers have done their brutal snippy work!

The original plan was to have the following completed:

Did we complete it? Well mostly, actually. The Executor, the Drones and the Abomination are all done. The Pheromancer got half done before I had a typical fit of Dave madness and decided I wanted to convert the model. To make up for it I did paint more Drones than I needed to and I have pretty much assembled the whole 2000 point army.

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This is a pretty nice 400 point First Blood List. Let’s go into a bit of detail with the units and how they’ll be used in the skirmish system.

High Clone Executor

This chap has zero upgrades in the initial list, but that is ok as he is pretty decent in combat anyway with Cleave 1 and 5 attacks. He can dish the pain but he cannot really take it, with only a defence of 2 to keep enemy attacks at bay. He’ll be best hitting already engaged enemies where they can’t surround him and beat him up with superior numbers.

Force Grown Drones

In first Blood they are quite simply a meat wall that will not die. You can’t buff them as easily, especially at low points games, but they are incredibly useful to pin enemy regiments in place. Because the maximum regiment size is capped at 12, it is rare that an enemy will be able to take out all the Drones in one go unless they gang up with multiple regiments. This means that they can keep receiving healing from the Pheromancer to keep going. It is terribly frustrating to play against!

Pheromancer

This chap will be the engine room of my small Spires Force. He’ll keep the drones fighting with his Accelerated Hibernation Pheromancy ability. He is to avoid combat at all costs and to simply keep the other units topped up with wounds.

Abomination

Yes, I’m bringing a Monster to the table at 400 points. No I do not care! First Blood is where monsters shine! They have less to fear with smaller enemy regiment sizes and can quite easily swipe most enemy units and characters off the board in a single charge. The only way I’ve ever successfully dealt with it, was with a combination of a mage using firedart and her own barrage, plus 12 imperial rangers. It took so much firepower to bring it down!

It is safer in combat, but its very effectiveness is its weakness. In First Blood, you cannot shoot into combat, so ideally you want to dive in, ravage an enemy and leave a few models engaged. With 10 attacks, Cleave 1 and flurry, plus impact attacks, this awesome unit will leave little left standing at the end of its activation which leaves it vulnerable to take all the enemy ranged firepower.

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Milestone 2 begins immediately and I am expanding the force listed above to the following:

I will be adding in 6 Marksman clones to the Executors Warband for some ranged punch, and will add a Mimetic Assassin and a group of 6 Vanguard Clones for some elite close combat power. Finally I will bring on another support character in the form of a Biomancer, and he will deploy yet more Force Grown drones to add another pinning block to the force. With 2 characters and 3 regiments to do this month, I’d better deploy the blue paint and get cracking! Oh, and I’ll finally finish that Pheromancer.

Audun54’s Dweghom Part 2

Dweghom Milestone 1 full shot
Dweghom Milestone 1 full shot

Milestone 1 is complete and I met my goal. It took a bit to fully nail the colorscheme I wanted aside from the given of using Turbo Dork’s Let Them Eat Cake and Sweet Dreams. Knew that I wanted to do something different from my more grounded Hundred Kingdoms scheme and decided to go with blue fire and orange cloth to accompany the purple. Decided to also prepare for the future milestones by making sure everything was primed and some of the future units at least basecoated. Didn’t get as far on that goal as intended due to a combination of increased ability to demo in person and the beginning of 1.5 playtesting.

Regardless I was able to successfully complete 1 Inferno Automata, the Hold Raegh, the Tempered Sorcerer, 6 Hold Warriors, and 6 Hold Ballistae. Also thanks to Walter’s Workshop’s speed painting challenge I also painted the Tempered Steelshaper. One challenge I decided to take on for this army while painting is to make sure that there are a variety of beard colors and some variation in skin tone. The latter will be more evident as I get more painted since this time was more about figuring out the general recipe for the army. I am predominantly using Scale Color and Turbo Dork paints for this.

For the weapons I decided to go with Scale’s Necro Gold highlighted with Victorian Brass and Heavy Metal for the blades and the hafts/ballistae are Turbo Dork’s Six Shooter highlighted with Scale’s Heavy Metal. That steel recipe is also what I did for some details like the designs on the shoulder pads. Was originally going to go for a gunmetal but found that when the armor shifted that the shift color made the gunmetal very hard to see. For the clothes I used Indian Shadow followed with layer of Kalahari Orange. After that I did some stippling with Tenere Yellow followed by a wash of GW’s Casandora Yellow. The skin in this milestone was primarily Indian Shadow followed highlights in Arabic Shadow and Pink Flesh.

I am particularly happy with how the fire on the automata and sorcerer turned out. That is all Turbo Dork paint, about five layers of Ice to Never followed by Da Ba Dee on the edges and Pearly Gates in the crevices. Ice to Never is supposed to be a colorshift but it’s not too noticeable with mine since I think that bottle was part of a dodgy batch but it’s still a lovely shade of blue that looks nice and ethereal.

Decided also to try a more traditional method for basing. Wanted to have it look like they are taking the field after a light snow has fallen. So I based with a mixture of unpainted sand, grit, and green meadow flock. Then I glued some flower tufts from Huge Miniatures on the characters and those will make an appearance later as well. Once that all set I dabbed some modpodge on to the ground for sealing and lightly on the flowers then dusted them with some old Citadel snow flock I had laying around. Really happy with how it looks and think it provides a nice complement to the overall paint scheme.

Anyways now it’s on to Milestone 2 where I’ll be painting two more Inferno Automata, six Hold Ballistae, and 18 Hold Warriors since I want to have both a well rounded First Blood force and a small Last Argument warband.

Path of Conquest 2: This Time It’s Personal

So here we are again, the second Path of Conquest. For those who have recently joined the community, this may mean nothing. Path of Conquest was an event for four gamers from OnTabletop to build an army each. Para Bellum did their official one, and another group of Vanguards did an unofficial one. Both were very interesting and it was great to follow along with other gamers and see what people could make of their armies. At the time the only four factions were the Hundred Kingdoms, the Spires, the Nords and the Dweghom. Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, we have the W’adrhûn arriving. 

For this Path, I have chosen to build a 2000 point W’adrhûn army. Now, I’m not a power gamer and one of the main things I love about Conquest is the strength of themed armies. By theme I mean that the mechanics of the army fit their playstyle. For example the Hundred Kingdoms are a bunch of mortal men fighting far more powerful races, to win they must work together. By combining aspects of their combat they succeed best when their units rely on synergy. Often the careful and dogged commander of the Hundred Kingdoms forces sees his efforts rewarded.

Spires are ruthless and callous, throwing away lives to the grinding gears of war. With mass-produced drones and clones making up the bulk of their forces, they have little concern for destroyed units, so long as the enemy pays a higher cost. 

Furthermore, the Dweghom, fuelled by unrelenting rage, represent their staunch nature with high defence and resolve and an elite army. Their slower but unstoppable pace truly represents the rage-filled hearts that tried to break the world – and nearly succeeded. 

Last but not least, we have the bare-skinned Nords foraying south to raid the richer lands of the Hundred Kingdoms, their varied monsters and frenzied humans portray the harsh life and frantic pace of war they wage. 

The W’adrhûn are a young, yet diverse and eclectic culture. To represent this as best as I could, and to showcase as much of the upcoming catalogue as possible, I have chosen a bit of everything to include in my army. I have three warbands, each led by a different character. Within, I have some sturdy units of Braves, Blooded, Hunters and Slingers. Later in the Path they will be joined by the Queen, the Raptor Riders and the Warbred. To begin with, my First Blood force will be centred around the Warband box, a small number of Blooded, Braves and Hunters will accompany the Predator and the Scion of Conquest respectively. Then as time goes on I will have a larger force, featuring the Raptor Riders and greater numbers of Infantry. As we arrive at the larger points threshold of the Last Argument of Kings ruleset, I hope to begin introducing the Queen and her Warbred. Finally, with minor reinforcements bringing up the totals, my W’adrhûn warhost will be ready to enter the Gate and stand with their uneasy allies against the oncoming storm of the Old Dominion.

I am immensely excited to be part of this project and I hope that you will follow along with us and enjoy the armies that we create.

For those curious about my first milestone, please see the army list posted below.

=== First Blood! ===

The W’adrhŭn – 399/400

PoC FB W’adhrûn list

Predator [85]: Select as Warlord, Death

– Hunters (4) [48] 

– Slingers (4) [52] 

Scion of Conquest [130]: Crescendo, Death

– Braves (4) [40] 

– Blooded (4) [44] 

Characters: 2

Light Regiments: 2

Medium Regiments: 2

Heavy Regiments: 0

—–

https://armybuilder.para-bellum.com/lists/2cc5d4f3-d222-4170-9ecc-c0ef82b13e2a

Mustering the troops-BTJ’s month 1

Hi, and welcome to the start of my lot of articles for Conquest Eternal’s Path to Conquest series. Basically, 6 vanguards are gonna spend the next 5 months working up to a fully painted 2000 point list of their chosen faction. I’ve chosen to build an army for the Hundred Kingdoms, because quite frankly, I just love the theme.

The way this works is months 1 & 3 we work on a new 400 point First blood list. Then months 2 & 4 we take the previous month’s list, take it up to 600 points for FB and then round it out to 800 points in The Last Argument of Kings. Then month 5 is take the 2 800 point blocks and finish out to 2000 points. Obviously, if you’re following along you set your own goals, it’s not about matching us(or exceeding us, but if that’s your goal soar high you glorious mad(wo)man!), but about getting some hobby done that you can be happy about.

So, with that being said, what does my staring list look like, hypothetical reader of mine? Kinda like this;

=== First Blood! ===

The Hundred Kingdoms – 399/600

100k

Noble Lord [80]: Select as Warlord, Arms Master

– Household Guard (8) [104]: Leader

– Household Knights (2) [110]: Leader

Theist Priest [65]: Holy Fire

– Militia (5) [40]

Characters: 2

Light Regiments: 1

Medium Regiments: 2

Heavy Regiments: 0

—–

If you’re curious about the logic behind this list, there’s no great mystery involved. It’s literally just the contents of the Hundred Kingdoms Warband box that’s available, cause it’s a good starting point for both First Blood and The Last Argument of Kings, so I wanted to take advantage of its contents as much as possible. I went pretty light on options for both the characters because Househould knights are a fair chunk of points at this level so wanted to maximise bodies. 17 minis is a decent starting point for First Blood, and it means I’ve a damn solid starting point for bulking out these units next month when we move to TLAoK.

In terms of painting, I’m thinking this is the household of a small time noble in charge of a small provincial town, and the local priest. So to tie them together as the Noble Lord’s personal troops, the units are all gonna show his heraldry of halved green and yellow, cause those are colours I just don’t use enough. For the priest, well the Theist church kinda stole purple as a colour from the Armatellum dynasty, and this priest’s gonna flaunt that fact!

So, where does this go from here? Honestly, whilst I have a vague, half-formed idea in my head, it’s a very fluid one, so I’ve decided not to have a set end-goal of a list, but decide each month what I’ll add for the next one, and almost let the army build itself, so should be fun to see how it ends up!

Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 1

So here we are again. Another Path of Conquest series where you dear readers get to enjoy me slowly losing my mind painting up a 2000 point army through a series of milestones.

This time around I am amassing a Spires Army. Whenever I begin a new project I always like to pick a theme that I then shape my force around. My theme for this particular army is “MEAT WALL!”. I want to have a massive horde of Force Grown Drones led by supporting characters to keep replenishing their ranks. The full 2000 point army I have planned will look like this:

As you can see, there are a LOT of Force Grown Drones! These humble spear wielding meat-sacks will be the backbone of my force. They certainly have number on their side, but are individually weak. In my own experience, they benefit greatly by having characters attached to them to boost them, either by providing them with a boost to the number and quality of attacks they dish out or by increasing their resolve so that less of them run away (fall apart?) in combat.

The Biomancer will be the powerhouse of the list. I have shamelessly stolen this idea from Andy Sparks who used this build against me (to my absolute horror!). The Tier 3 mastery of flesh allows me to replenish the ranks of one of the frontline regiments with Essence Transfer and then activate them immediately. He then replenishes the casualties suffered by the first biomancy with his Biotic Renewal. It is really thematic and horrifying to face. His warband brings a pair of awesome Abominations for some late game rip’n’tear.

The Pheromancer is there to also heal up casualties with his Accelerated Hibernation Pheromancy ability. He also has the expensive-but-useful Pheromantic Drive which can allow a regiment to act twice, but taking decay in the process. This is really useful for Marksman clones firing double volleys at something or for really amplifying the damage that an abomination can do in a crucial turn. Worst case scenario you could even stick it on a Force Grown Drone regiment to unleash a total storm of rubbish attacks for a giggle. His warband also unlocks the wonderful Brute Drone regiment, who are fast and hard hitting with a decent number of attacks.

The Assassin will become a decay bomb with the lovely Cascading Degeneration mutation. He is also really tasty in combat anyway, doubly so with the Venom mutation. Whatever they connect with in combat will have the triple threat of a combat character, a storm of weaker drone attacks, and will receive Decay which will thing their numbers in their own activation.

My Warlord will be a High Clone Executor who will have a small bodyguard warband of Vanguard Clones (He won’t sully himself with Drones!). This regiment is incredible good in close combat, especially as i’ve upgraded them with an Assault Preceptor Commander. This grants them the Fury draw event for a massive number of attacks. The Executor also unlocks a regiment of Marksmen Clones. This ranged regiment is rightly feared for the large numbers of long ranged attacks that they can dish out. His supremacy ability is utterly brilliant (Possibly too good? In line for a nerf? Who cares! For now I’m activating 3 cards in a row on a crucial turn!). He’ll also add a nice bit of cleave to the force.  

So to summarise, The idea is to intimidate the enemy with walls of meat that simple wont die and who will engage the enemy in a war of attrition. The characters will lead the Drones, and will keep them alive and punching. The Clones, Abominations and Brute Drones will be the heavy hitters of the force that will deal with anything truly nasty.

The Path of Conquest challenge requires me to split the army into 5 milestones. Milestones 1 and 2 will initially be for the First Blood Ruleset. Then milestones 3-5 will bulk out the army to its final 2000 point total.

Milestone 1 begins with a 400 point First Blood force. Force Grown Drones are very cheap so we can afford to have a pair of fairly big units. When a Force Grown Drone regiment has 8 or more models, they get a free Pheromantic Node (which gives the benefits of a Leader and a Banner) so these chaps are hopefully going to be rather effective for their points. The force will be led by a pair of characters. A Pheromancer who is equipped with Accelerated Hibernation for healing shenanigans, and a High Clone Executor who is decent in combat, and who also brings his amazing Supremacy ability. We will round off the small force with an Abomination for a fast moving and heavy hitting punch. This gives us a bit of variety as well from a painting point of view, with two wonderful character models and a mighty monster straight away.

I’m looking forward to see how this force comes together. After painting a lot of metallic armour for my Hundred Kingdoms and Dweghom, I’m making it my personal mission to not use a single metallic colour for the Spires. The main scheme will be as follows:

  1. a bone colour for the weapons, rags and skin.  
  2. Blue/teal for the armour
  3. Purple for the Cloth and various other details

Hopefully I will be able to keep smashing out the large number models I’ll need to complete each month for such a horde army. To this end, my scheme will be fairly basic, using Games Workshop paints and shade washes. The bases will be done in my standard fashion.

Looking forward to seeing how we get on!