Oldhammer Eldar Kill Team

A recent game against an Eldar Kill Team made me realise, Eldar are fun now! When I was in school I bought the original 1987 Eldar models off a local player from an ad in the paper, and painted them lovingly; but when I came to try them on the table it seemed that Guardians and Dire Avengers were pretty useless; back then everyone else played Marines, marines always got the initiative, and I’d get one ineffectual round of shuriken catapult shooting off before becoming embroiled in close combat.

But in Kill Team both seem effective and fun to play, and the available squads match up nicely with these 80s sculpts, so I can make the Eldar warband I always wanted to make. I’ve re-purchased them, now I just need to find time to assemble and paint them.

I’m thinking Alaitoc Pirates, to explain the archaic and varied gear? And some of them are just going to be a challenge to fit to the stats – Belgae and Irbic I’ll have to call Rangers, treat their lascannons as rifles and their power armour as the Eldar equivalent of stealth suits.

Jabberwocky

I have a vivid memory of being eight years old, tucked into bed by my grandmother in her guest room. The room seemed very grand to me, with its huge bed and decorative wallpaper, and its balcony overlooked the river where boats lay on silver sand, with names like The Lady Kay, which made me think of Arthurian tales and far-off places. The view was in the eyes of adults marred by a junkyard on the far shore, but to my eyes the mountains of twisted metal and looming dinosaurian cranes were equally fantastical. I’d wake to the distant sound of crashing metal and draw the curtain and look across the water and watch the great claw endlessly lifting and dropping piles of scrap.

But it was bedtime, and my grandmother was tucking me in, and I asked her if I could read to her a little before I went to sleep. I wanted to read to her from the Battle Bestiary, and I wanted to find in it something she could relate to. I knew that in the study nearby were old hardcover books of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, with beautiful John Tenniel illustrations, so I read the entry on the Jabberwock.

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BOYL 2018

Rigg’s Shrine

Amazons battle to defend Rigg’s Shrine at BOYL 2018.

This was a chaotic but fun game with some great people – nobody even gave me a hard time for showing up with round bases to a 2nd edition game. We had at least two different sources for the Goddess Rigg’s stats, so her abilities ended up changing round by round depending on whose notes we were looking at.

My Amazons started off guarding the approach to the shrine. They maintained a truce with the Pygmies on the basis that both groups hate the Slann, and marched across the table through the jungle to fight off some of the Norse invaders. Having dealt with them they took out the Slann leader with an extremely long shot fireball, before heading through the teleport gate into the shrine and all arriving on different floors.

Rigg found herself in a room full of leopards. The leopards wisely decided discretion was the better part of valour and tried to climb the ladder, leaving her free to help clear the main temple of outsiders, slaying the Norse leader in an epic melee.

Helsreach

A brief visit to Helsreach; it was late in the day and the Tyranid’s retinue didn’t get to do much other than make their way into town and murder anyone who questioned whether they ought to be there.

Amazons vs Slann/Dark Elves

Some Blades & Heroes skirmishes between the Amazons and Dark Elves, and some shots with the Slann from the Lustria game.

Hannah and Ben took joint control of the Amazons in the second game; it was one of the high points of the con for me when I asked Hannah which side they wanted to play and she enthusiastically said “Amazons!” I really got into the lore of that faction while I was working on them – they’re probably my favourite thing I’ve ever painted – and it was nice to feel like that was just as cool to someone else.

The Amazons won that engagement.

Amazons WIP

WIP photos of my 1984 C30 Amazon warband for #BOYL2018.

I love the Amazons of 2nd edition, and when I heard they were doing Rigg’s Shrine for BOYL this year it was the perfect excuse to go out and buy them all.

This faction is such a wonderful melange of varied 80s influences – There’s Mysterious Cities of Gold and von Daniken’s ancient astronauts, 70s feminism, punk rock, and native imagery.

They’re a rule-breaking faction, bringing boltguns to a swordfight, and bringing some gonzo to the pathetic aesthetic of early WFB.

Tunnels & Trolls

My 1986 copy of Tunnels & Trolls, an update of the 1975 pamphlet version with art by Josh Kirby, who later did the covers for the Discworld series. I don’t think I’ve ever actually played this outside of the gamebooks, and it’s a curious system: Monsters are represented by one number, growing weaker as they take damage, and in combat everyone rolls a bunch of D6 and adds them together to produce a single total for each side, with the losing side sharing out damage equal to the difference.

James Holloway talks about it in this episode of Monster Man.