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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Lamplighter Hills I – Through the Clandestine Arch

Lamplighter Hills I – Through the Clandestine Arch

If you’re ever in such dire need to travel fast and unseen between the realms, search for one of the Clandestine Arches. Whereas most Realmgates are pompous constructs that bring you in an instant from one place to another, these gates merely offer you access to a shadowy realm between realms, a corridor to travel hidden from unwanted attention.

The ‘Ash Marshes’ they call this place, a desolate and brumous plain filled with nothing but ash, rocks and marshy hollows. Dark by day, pitch-black by night, they say – but I’ve never encountered a sunrise there.

– Marulius the Severed, Hammerhall beggar

Not much is known about Ulgu, the Realm of Shadows. Divided in thirteen regions the Shadowkin live in this realm, as do some of the Fyreslayers. But there is more – splinters of this realm float between the other realms, connecting them and filling the empty void like a slowly creeping wall of fog. One of these splinters are the Ash Marshes. Once a populated region, it touched the Realms of Shyish and Chaos, bringing horror, mutation and deathlessness to its vast plains. Now only very few mortals still live in the marshes, with most of its inhabitants turned into nightmares made flesh.

Do not think this inhospitable land is uninhabited. Tribes of hooded Marsh Striders roam the ashen wastes, some of them may even help you and trade with useful goods. But the darkness holds many terrors, things that once were mortal, shivering masses of flesh with too many or not enough limbs. They will follow you, surround you. So don’t stop, never halt for too long.

And should you see lights in the dark, like from a dozen lanterns – run. Just run. Although I suppose you won’t get away from it as it travels fast and knows neither fatigue nor sleep. It will find you and it will speak to you. It will offer you its help. To guide you, to protect you from those terrible things in the dark. And it will name its price. A terrible price, but you will pay it. Don’t make the same mistake as we did and refuse its offer…

– Marulius the Severed, Hammerhall beggar

The Marsh Striders are the remnants of a once prosperous culture, now damned to travel the marshes without ever stopping as only constant movement outpaces the shambling creatures of the dark night. They clad themselves in leathery clothes, hoods and masks to battle the ash that fills the air. No outsider has ever seen a strider without this gear and and it remains unknown how much humanity is left in these people.

Far worse is the creature that is called ‘The Lamplighter’ by the tribes. A stitched together brute with a multitude of arms and hands, holding lanterns and candles to light the plains’ darkness. It doesn’t seem to be either daemon or undead, it just is. Whenever it finds travelling outsiders, it offers guidance and protection at a price. This price varies, but always is of a sinister nature. Her arm and your feet, seven fresh eyes or even a whole member of the travellers’ group. Upon payment it guides the travellers unnaturally fast through the marshes without any hostile encounters or hazards right to their wanted destination. Should the travellers refuse the offer, the Lamplighter wanders off and the flesh nightmares will come.

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Posted by on 24. April 2017 in AoS28, Specialist Games

 

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AoS28 – even more projects?

AoS28 – even more projects?

Holy cow, this post took a lot of time to make – my first draft is still from early March. 😀

However, this only proves how much I have been on the fence whether to start this side project or not. 😕

Through The Inquisitorium (an Inq28 group on Facebook) and several of the blogs I’m following I stumbled over another shiny (or rather gritty) new project.

AoS28 – the darker version of GW’s child-friendly Age of Sigmar. With roots in Inq28 and Blanchitsu the setting is really appealing, but I’ve still been undecided whether to delve into this new world or just stand outside and behold the marvellous works of others.

One of my strongest hobby motivations is playing with those miniatures I create. Therefore all my future models must serve some gaming-related purpose before getting a transfer from the “interesting ideas” list to the “to do” list. Often the final purpose won’t ever be reached, e.g. if I eventually don’t end up playing the warband / team / army etc., but that’s fine.

Nonetheless, creating models just for the sake of having a new model is something I rarely do.

Now I’ve been confronted with this new way of doing AoS and I really like it – but the question is: “For what purpose should I create models in this setting?”. The only fantasy game I play at the moment is Mordheim, which already has this built-in dark atmosphere. Additionally the setting specifically excludes anything related to the Old World, which somewhat collides with my first idea to simply combine both AoS28 and our own Mordheim setting The Sealed City.

So I browsed my Pinterest account for inspiration and stumbled over an old MTG artwork I pinned like ages ago – the Lamplighter of Selhoff. 💡

Lamplighter of Selhoff ©ClintCearley

With some minor adjustments this artwork could easily be turned into a miniature and would capture the atmosphere of AoS28 quite well. With the Lamplighter as a centre piece and possible leader for the warband I then searched for fitting companions. Thanks to Pinterest my search soon began to revolve around the Silent Hill franchise. To my own shame I never had much contact to the games, but at least I’ve seen both films and regardless of all the plot and acting flaws, their visuals are great. 🙂


Especially the Armless Man is one of my favourites – therefore I wanted to include a lot of them in the warband and this finally led me to a warband choice. A strong, monstrous leader and lots of shambling, brainless minions? That’s exactly what The Undead represent in Mordheim. The Lamplighter as the vampire (for gaming purposes probably from the Necrarch bloodline) and Armless Men as his trustful zombies.

Brethren soldiers


With a warband list in mind, The Undead’s mandatory heroes dictated the next additions to my troupe: a Necromancer and three Dregs. Three humans, shunned by their kin, ill-trained, but loyal to their master’s cause? This description fits the miner-like soldiers of Silent Hill’s fanatical order well enough.

With Men-at-arms, Chaos Cultists and bitz from the Genestealer Cult they could be recreated as models. Even those hoodless Skitarii heads might be usable. Exchanging their too modern flashlights for lanterns also carries on the Lamplighter’s theme while their weapons are already just a hotchpotch of improvised junk. 😆


For the necromancer’s post I’m still torn between two design approaches:

  1. The ragtag hag: Dahlia Gillespie in the film’s tattered version. An evil crone that lives among the Lamplighter’s retinue and is able to cast black magic, maybe she is even the Dregs’ mother?
  2. The cult master/mistress: Inspired by the order from Silent Hill Revelation the necromancer could also be a cultist of some sort, invoking the dark arts of flesh magic to create even more (armless) minions for his master. The artwork by Mavros-Thanatos is a especially nice base for such a model:

Finally I will need both Ghouls and Dire wolves for the warband. Unfortunately I’ve no real vision for them at the moment. :/

What do you think about my ideas and AoS28 in general? Do you find the setting compelling; the warband above fitting? 🙂

 
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Posted by on 24. April 2017 in AoS28, Specialist Games

 

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Where do you get your bitz?

Where do you get your bitz?

This question occurs on a regular basis in all of my hobby-related groups on Facebook and while I was typing my usual answer for the third time this week, I already had several answers on the previous post asking for specific shop links.

Well, as I am a lazy person, I came up with the idea to just make a bitz source post on my blog and simply paste the link on future occasions.

So, without further ado – let’s get started. 😀

Keep them!

I often see posts in trading groups, where people offer all their bitz despite still playing and building the respective army. Some even trade away all leftovers from a kit as soon as they finish building the unit. Don’t do that! Yes, you can get rid of those three dozen similar Ork Boy axes, but keeping bitz is the base for a good bitz box. And with a well equipped one you won’t need to ask for bitz that often (you just need to find them, but organising your bitz collection is a different topic).

Building a large bitz box might seem as a big space commitment (especially if you organise your bitz properly) and ties up your money to some degree (e.g. with high value parts like grav cannons) – nonetheless you will be rewarded. Not only do you not need to get so many parts elsewhere, you can also draw inspiration from the parts you have lying around. Many of my own conversions use parts, which I have found in my bitz box and fit perfectly. Browsing the web for specific bitz rarely rewards the same serendipity effect for me.


Trade them!

Somewhat contradictory to the first advice, but still a viable source. Most (or at least many) of us are part of some gaming groups with lots of different armies and therefore bitz sources. If you don’t play Space Orks, you may still need one of those Ork Boy axes for an Inq28 mutant or a Mordheim dreg and the Ork player will certainly part with one of his dozen axes. Also it is possible to trade your needed parts for some less valued ones from your own bitz box, helping that Ork player in his own conversion work at the same time. 😉


Buy them!

Now we get to the bitz shops – of course all of them are based in Europe (like me). 😀

Bitsbay is my favourite bitz seller. Based in Italy you won’t get your bitz cheaper anywhere else (especially with their monthly 33% or even 50% sales). Unfortunately the low prices come with two drawbacks: 1. Out of stock: Cheap offers sell out fast, so you often have to wait for new stock before you can get your cheap bitz. 2. Long delivery times: Italian Post isn’t that fast – expect your goods up to three weeks after the shipment notification (based on my experience with shipping to Germany). If you’re on a budget or don’t care to wait, Bitsbay is definitely the place for you.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Low prices, monthly sales
  • Cons: Long delivery times, low stock

Tabletopbitz sells only Warhammer Fantasy / AoS bitz, but has a huge range of parts. They also offer a lot of old stuff like Khemri bitz. Prices are higher than on Bitsbay.it, but still reasonable and shipping is usually fast and secure.

  • Range: AoS, WHFB
  • Pros: Huge WHFB assortment
  • Cons: No in-built English translation

Bitzbox has both a wide range of AoS and 40k bitz as well as an unique ‘patreon’ offer. For $5 a month, you can order as often as you like without paying any additional shipping costs. Additionally they process orders and deliver really fast even to continental Europe. If you need parts on short notice or want to get a bitz flat rate, you will be happy with this seller.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Shipping flat rate, ‘in stock’ e-mail notifications

Bitzarium is a French shop with lots of kits from both 40k and AoS and even sells parts from some of the bigger kits like the CSM Maulerfiend or other vehicles. All of my orders were delivered within one week after payment and the packaging was always more than secure for your precious bitz.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Some big kit bitz in stock

 

Another German shop for 40k and AoS bitz. My only order there was processed all well, but I always wonder how they come up with their prices. Some parts are seriously undercosted, but many small parts like heads or shoulder pads often cost easily five times the price I pay on Bitsbay.it.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy, Mantic
  • Cons: Weird bitz pricing

Miscellaneous

There are still many bitz shops I haven’t tested yet, but I will still provide some links for you. Maybe you can test them for me, so I can add another review to this list. 😉


Not recommended!

Bitsandkits often lures people with regular 50% sales, thus making cheaper offers than even Bitsbay, but (at least for me) this comes with a price. Whereas many people have had good experiences with this shop, mine were mostly bad. Missing parts, broken parts, wrong parts and no intention to replace the parts. Contacting the owner was difficult and resulted only in an insolent answer from his side. He still owes me money / bitz and therefore I can not only not recommend this shop, but will also actively discourage people from buying there.


These are my thoughts about ‘Bitz and where to find them’. Let me know if you have questions or anything to add like additional reviews or even shops I haven’t heard of yet. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 17. April 2017 in Review, Tutorial