Warhammer Quest: Shadows over Hammerhal – So What’s New?

I have Blood Bowl to paint. I still even have Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower to paint…

As the follow-up from last year’s excellent Silver Tower, this naturally is very similar in many ways – namely the bulk of the core rules (albeit tweaked and added to) as well as all the Heroes and Adversaries being cross-compatible between both games. More on that later!

What’s the mean difference then? Why should anyone pick this up when Silver Tower still exists? Well, Silver Tower is a wholly co-operative game, whereas Shadows over Hammerhal takes that co-operative mentality and pits it against an extra player, the Gamesmaster! One of the main criticisms I’ve seen of Shadows over Hammerhal online is that the GM is an essential part of the experience, you can’t play the game without him. Whilst I understand this, Silver Tower still exists as a current GW product for those that still want that pure co-op experience (or uncooperative, depending on your gaming group). 😉

The GM’s role (unsurprisingly) is to run the game – controlling the various Adversaries as well as placing the dungeon chambers, according to whichever Dungeon the adventurers are currently battling through. Those who can remember the Roleplay Book from the original Warhammer Quest (ah the 90’s!) will get some real nostalgic kicks out of the dungeon campaign included in the Adventure Book. Enemies, traps, danger and glory ahead! Lots of variation between the various floors of the dungeon, considering the limited varieties of Adversaries included in the box. Lots of inspiration for making your own fiendish dungeon designs!

~

Speaking of Adversaries, another debated part of the set. In Silver Tower, we were treated to a whole tightly-themed collection of Tzeentch Daemons and Disciples. Whereas in contrast, Shadows over Hammerhal has a more eclectic range of minions picked across the spectrum of Chaos gods; Putrid Blightkings for Nurgle, Bloodreavers for Khorne and (returning from Silver Tower) Kairic Acolytes for Tzeentch. To top those off is the Chaos Sorcerer Lord, reimagined as a Slaaneshi follower.

Whilst at first glance these are a rather disjointed collection of chaotic kind, at the back of the Guidebook is a two-page spread for every hero and Adversary group – combining both a simple yet effective painting guide as well as some background information on what their places are in the setting of Shadows over Hammerhal. It’s these little background tidbits that help to sell the idea that these otherwise-opposing factions would work together, temporarily bonded together by the scheming of the Sorceror Lord Redomir.

I mean, I’ve not even starting reading the 30+ pages of new background material – setting the scene for the city of Hammerhal and of the twisting depths underneath. There’s a lot of new background material to soak in, really mixing the “shiny” fantastic look of the Mortal Realms with the seedy underbelly markets and taverns that encapsulated the Old World so well. I’ll probably post more on that when I’ve actually read it!

~

Back to Adversaries, rules are included for the following;

Chaos Sorcerer Lord (Redomir) – now as an Adversary rather than a hero. Sorcerer Lord vs Sorcerer Lord? Why not!

Putrid Blightkings – A fan favourite from the End Times. Same old, same old.

Bloodreavers – Their Weight of Numbers rule can be deadly, so don’t let that happen by them ganging up on your heroes.

Karin Acolytes – Pretty much same as in Silver Tower, except….

Since Shadows of Hammerhal uses full multi-part sprues instead of the single-piece models from its predecessor, the Adversary group now number up to 2d6 (ten models maximum per group). Returning Tzeentchian culprits like the Acolytes have been updated to account for this, as well as full rules options for all the various standard bearer and musical options. It’s almost like they want your Shadows over Hammerhal collection to be compatible with mother game Age of Sigmar. As a friend put it, it’s like Games Workshop are trying to get your to buy more models of the starting point of this set. Obviously, and it works!

~

Exotic Adversaries are back too! New ones include;

Blood Warriors – Their No Respite rule means they fight on until the end of their phase, even if they are killed!

Wrathmongers – The somewhat strange red-skinned brutes return with their Wrath-flails(!). They whip up a frenzy for nearby models – friend or foe! Blood for the Blood God!

Plaguebearers – Daemons of Nurgle, their strength comes in several attacks and abilities which can stun nearby heroes. I can imagine that getting frustrating fast!

Tzaangor – Same as in Silver Tower, but with updated group numbers and options for Icon Bearers and Brayhorns

Tzaangor Skyfires – Identical to the rules in the most recent White Dwarf mag (at time of writing). As this has already been covered in such publication recently (along with the Tzaangor Shaman (hero) and Tzaangor Enlightened (Adversaries) , I would of preferred something new instead.

~

The best thing about all these thematic variety of miniatures and the more open-narrative in Shadows over Hammerhal, is that one could easily add their own Adversary groups to the mix with existing Age of Sigmar models! Whilst any sort of low-level Chaos seemed to fit the bit nicely, with a bit of imagination one could easily substitute Chaos for something entirely else; Orruks and Gross, Zombies, Fimir, Ogors, Deathrattle Legions etc….

This is one of the definite selling points of Shadows over Hammerhal for me. It makes me want to add some of my other collection to the mix. In fact, I’m in the process of writing my own rules for various Skaven critters to give a go and test one day. Having a lot of existing Chaos / Destruction / Death heroes for Silver Tower makes it a lot easier to write Shadows over Hammerhal Adversary rules for them. I might share them with out sometime…

I’m going to stop for now – still lots to delve into and even more to paint in the meantime, Thanks for reading, and let me know your thoughts as always!

(Ps I’m on Twitter – catch me there by searching for “Circus of Paint ☠️” or click the embedded link at the top!) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unboxing: Tzaangors (Thousand Sons / Disciples of Tzeentch)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I haven’t been completely idle. Alas, that’s an update for another time as I though I’d do an unboxing for one of my favourite classics to re-emerge from years past – Tzaangor!


First introduced in the Realms of Chaos tomes in years past, then more recently re-invisioned and actually made as plastic miniatures this year for Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. Now with this month’s twin-release of Wrath of Magnus and Traitor Legions – followers of Tzeentch can rejoice that we now have a full multi-part kit for the bestial blighters!

What’s in the box?

In the box you get six sprues (2 duplicates of 3 different ones);

(shots of front and backs of sprues)

 

Interestingly there are a lot of weapon options here. This serves as a duel-purpose kit for both Warhammer 40k as well as Age of Sigmar. You get enough standard pairs of close combat weapons for all ten, as well as the option to swap them all for the chainsword and Autopistol (40k only). In addition, there are also a couple great weapons (I spot an axe and a really long two-handed sword) as well as bits for a Standard Bearer and a Musician (Age of Sigmar only). In fact, you get two copies of the banner and trumpet so those could be great for converting duplicate Pink Horror units!

To finish off the box contents, you get the usual instructions as well as a bag of ten 32mm round bases.

Instructions are simple enough, but however here comes the main critique of this set. The instructions miss out how to assemble any of the Age of Sigmar specific options (shields, great weapons, command options etc.) I can cope with the instructions not telling me how to assemble the special optional head for the Twistbray (it’s two parts. It’s obvious!) but the rest seems rather odd being missing. I did notice how the instructions only mention 40k. Am I missing any Age of Sigmar specific instructions?

Overall Thoughts

I haven’t begun assembling them yet, but reading through what instructions I have makes these seem like a simple enough kit to assemble.

Hobby Plans

I was all set to go with the chainsword and Autopistol combo for the box to go alongside my slowly growing Chaos Marines for 40k.

However…

About an hour before I could leave work, come home and wrote this, GW posted this teaser on social media…


Utterly fantastic news! What a great surprise for my birthday tomorrow! 

I’ve been keenly waiting for this Battletome since Silver Tower got Age of Sigmar Warscrolls shortly after release.

That has thrown a spanner in the works though, so now I think the standard close combat weapons option would be best as I could use them across both systems. Whilst I love the aesthetic of savage Gor-Kin with pistols, I’m willing to compromise to greatly expand their usefulness.

I would finish with a comparison picture between this kit and the Silver Tower ones, but I have yet to put clippers and knife to the former. I’m gonna do that right now, so thanks for reading!

~Edit~


One made from kit on the left, Silver Tower monopose one on the right. 

~Edit~

I’ll just leave these here..

Tzaangor Hero! Tzaangor on Disks!

Hobby Time: Fun with Priming

Apologies for the long absence since my last post. I’m temporarily in-between accommodations so naturally my hobby times have suffered!

The idea for today’s post came about as I found my little book where I used to jot down paint recipes. Contained was a recipe for Nurgle skin that I forgot about, based off of a basecoat of Zandri Dust primer spray. I rather liked how garish and colourful the Putrid Blightking I practised on a while ago turned out.

So, why not try that again but this time with the Lord of Plagues I had awaiting some paint?

Since I’m not currently in a position where I’m able to paint properly, I figured I would at least try out the old Zandri Dust primer again;


I also gave it a light dusting of white primer over the top – a very quick way to get a solid warm basecoat to work off!

Naturally for my other Silver Tower models I wanted a cold, blue hue so off I went and bought a can of Macragge Blue spray. Following the same priming technique as above, a couple of examples;


Interesting note; if I got another (pair of) Skaven Deathrunners but for my AoS Skaven, I would of used Zandri Dust instead. They are painted in warm tones, see?

Speaking of Age of Sigmar, sometimes you can’t resist a good new release…


Sylvaneth! 

Spite-Revenants in particular, as I’m especially fond of the Outcasts sub-faction. I’m slowly aiming to work up to an Outcasts formation, then maybe onto the larger and more flexible Dreadwood Wargrove.

I have 5 assembled and primed as shown and another 5 still on their sprues. I’m going to need another 5 for the smaller formation and at least another 5 on top of that for the Wargrove.

– – –

That’s all for now, probably won’t post until I’m settled into my new place and I can start painting again!

Silver Tower [WIP Part III]

Also known as just making more bases….


The Pink Horror got some teeth and gum work on its base. I know the middle tooth looks wonky, but that’s where I smoothed it so it would stick to the base. Most people would of done the gum first then the teeth in two sessions, not me though…all in one go!


The important thing I think is to not overburden every single base with details, hence why a little extra few organic bits for one Blue Horror and not the other.


Grot Scuttlings are nearly ready for priming. Enough said!


Finally, a quick snapshot from a recent game, can you spot the new Hero? Of course you can, it’s not hard!

Hobby Time: Chaos Sorceror Lord of Nurgle [complete]

I finished this one off since my friend wanted another ranged Hero for Silver Tower, and it was half painted anyway.

Remember Bubox Thistlebirch from a little while back? He got completed today;

Certainly not the best of my work, but parts like the robes I finished off a while ago turned out a lot better. It didn’t help that I forgot how I painted a lot of the model, such as the armour!

The base is a new one more recently sculpted to match up with what I showed last post. I figured even though this model is more for Age of Sigmar than it is as a Hero for Silver Tower, the basing scheme would work well in either game.

Silver Tower [WIP Part II]

As part of my basing scheme for the models in Silver Tower, I knew I wanted to vary the bases by board tile theme depending on what best suits the model(s). As you saw in my previous post I’ve starting doing a sort of generic tiles effect for the Adversaries such as the Kairic Acolytes. Here I continue with the first step done for lots more of such bases…


I knew however that two of the Adversary groups would be better served with bases matching these two more natural cave-style boards;

Hence these;

But who do these bases belong to?

Only another six to do for the Grot Scuttlings….

🙂

These fungal cave bases would also be appropriate for some some of the Chaotic”add-on” Heroes too, I have one in particular in mind but we’ll see about that…

😉

Silver Tower (WIP Part I)

As a fan of both the original game and of Tzeentch, the Changer of Way; I just had to divulge in this;

Most GW boxed games that are released nowadays I am only really interested in particular miniatures for whatever hare-brained project I have next, however with Silver Tower I didn’t just want all the miniatures (because they are beautiful) but I really wanted to play it too!

I have a particularly nostalgic fondness for the original Warhammer Quest, as it was the first ever thing I bought from GW way back in 1998 (it was in a sale at the time and I got it for £25! Bargain!) Despite how much I poured over the Roleplay Book dreaming of what new Monsters, traps and rooms I could devise, I never really played the actual game itself that much despite several “revival projects” I’ve tried and never completed over the years.

Not for Silver Tower, no no this one WILL be complete and played lots!

I’m not going to lie, this is going to take me a while and it wouldn’t surprise me if it took the rest of 2016 to fully paint and base everything up. I’ve spent most of the week in the time I’ve not been at work, sleeping or wasting more time on Fallout 4 to clean up and assemble the models. I’m not even done on this part yet such is the number of models and the amount of hours it takes to carefully remove mould lines (as subtle as they are) from these very finely-detailed miniatures! I’ve got most of them them assembled and ready for basing as you can see here;

(There’s still more to do!)

Not being one to things simple and manageable, I just had to decide on making custom bases for each and every model (Heroes and Adversaries both) because it just wouldn’t of been right if they didn’t match the wonderful and evocative board sections that come with the game. 

Enter my test subjects, the Darkoath Chieftain and one of the Kairic Acolytes;

To be fair their bases aren’t too difficult to make, it’s a two-step process for the bulk of the work. A layer of flattened Milliput goes down, edges are smoothed and irregular paving slabs are marked out. When this is dry I add a second flattened layer and this time carve more intricate “metallic” borders, making sure I have flat areas for the feet to stand on. When this second layer is dry, I file down everything that needs to be smooth and roughen up the paving texture remaining with an old metal GW sculpting tool. This should result in something like the picture above, although more special models like the Heroes and “bosses” like the Gaunt Summoner and the Ogroid Thaumaturge I’m going to embellish with two-tiered platform bases – literally a repeat of step 1 but flush against part of the metallic bordering.

I’ve not even talked about the two games of Silver Tower I’ve managed to play yet (one a demo game at GW and the other me teaching my friend how to play earlier on today). I’m going to save that for the next Silver Tower post as I have a bit of Batman Miniatures Game progress to report as well over the next couple of days.

I will leave you with one gaming tidbit though, the Exotic Adversaries are just plain mean to come up against as I learned to my great pain – that dastardly Herald of Tzeentch will pay! 

*cue game over for the Heroes…*