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> [WM] Mercs: Hoist the black flag (updated 26/5!), Thamarite blackguards, cutthroats & sorcerors [from RtW 2011]
morsla
post Oct 12 2010, 08:54 AM
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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
-- H.L. Mencken

It's funny how these things work. Normally, I'm a pretty reasonable type - a devoted Cygnaran, occasionally fighting the Good Fight in the name of Trolls or the Protectorate. (Ignore those rumours about my Cryxian heritage - there's not a scrap of truth to them, and you'll not find a living soul who would vouch for them).

But then I heard that Tilaurin, long-term vassal to the Iron Lich, had revealed an entirely different facet to his nature. Underneath that soul-eating, thrall-summoning façade lurks a shining power for all that is good and wholesome in the world: a pious Morrowan, preparing to do battle in the name of hope and light. The very thought of it sends shockwaves throughout the Iron Kingdoms.

Of course, it wouldn't do to have the Road to War reportage unfairly biased to the side of Good, now, would it?

IPB Image

Enter Fiona the Black: sorceress, pirate, murderer, and devoted follower of Thamar - the Dark Twin. Where Morrow bid his followers to take an ascetic life of piety and self improvement, Thamar extols the virtues of freedom of choice. Freedom to forge your own way in the world, and to take what is owed to you... even if you should need to cut a bloody path through those who think they have more right to it.

I briefly considered taking Fiona's themed list, but I don't feel it's really playable at the moment - even with the late addition of Press Gangers. Having an entire army of Cultists is amusing, but you lose out on all the non-denominational black-hearted sorcerers available to a regular Mercenary army. Until some Thamarite units are released, the army would essentially be a pirate list without half their support models.

So, I've tried to build a list using some of the vilest villains to ever sign a contract.

I've gone for a Four Star Syndicate list (mercenaries that will work for either Khador or Cryx). The Highborn Covenant (mercenaries that will work for Cygnar; solos gain Advance Deployment) is a far more flexible option these days, as it would give Fiona access to gunmages and pistoleers. The Syndicate has a little more black magic in it, though, and that's what this army is all about.

Here's what I'm planning so far:

Mercenary army: Four Star Syndicate
50 points

Warcaster and Battlegroup

Fiona the Black [+6] Purchased
- Mariner heavy warjack [8] On order from PP
- Vanguard light warjack [5] Finished prior to RtW
- Buccaneer light warjack [3] Purchased

Cutthroats - Followers of Scions Khorva (assassins, murderers, thugs) and Drayce (thieves)

Fiona's Cultists: 10 Press Gangers [6] On order from PP
Doc Killingsworth [2] On order from PP
Bosun Grogspar [2] On order from PP

10 Kayazy Assassins [8] Purchased
- Kayazy Underboss [2] Purchased

Black Magic - Followers of Scions Delesle (necromancy), Nivara (sorcery) and Stacia (evocation and arson)

Alexia Ciannor, Necromancer [5] Purchased
- 9 Risen Purchased

Wrong Eye, lesser Warlock [9] On order from PP
- Snapjaw, Gatorman heavy Warbeast On order from PP

Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [2] On order from PP

Guns for hire - Followers of Scion Roth (mercenaries, brigands)

Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile [2]
Gorman di Wulffe, Rogue Alchemist [2] Finished prior to RtW


NOTE: I originally had Epic Eiryss in the list, instead of the Buccaneer. See post #10 for reasons why the list changed...


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Tilaurin
post Oct 12 2010, 09:13 AM
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A very nice intro post Ben, I feel guilty for having just gotten stuck into my list but I was a bit over eager and it was quiet at work wink.gif

I'm glad to see Orin Midwinter in there, while not a Thamarite he certainly feels like he shoudl be one, and Alexia certainly has the same feel to her. With eEiryss, Gorman, and filthy Kayazy there's certainly a lot of nasty in there - I'll do my best to heal and bring you to the flock of the good side rather than kill it all wink.gif

We should definitely have some sort of scenario for our grudge match smile.gif


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cmdr_roy
post Oct 12 2010, 10:05 AM
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Hmm only two 'jacks on one warbeast in a 50pt list, will it be enough heavy hitting ?
Looks like a good start, how much conversion work is going to occur i wonder, knowing you a little bit of work smile.gif


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morsla
post Oct 12 2010, 10:21 AM
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As many conversions as I can manage to squeeze into the list smile.gif

There aren't many heavy hitters, but I found it a bit tricky to put the list together. I definitely wanted Press Gangers (for obvious reasons... also, they make a good tarpit), Kayazy (lots of conversions planned) and Alexia (the original black-hearted lass), and that already takes up 25 points.

Warjacks and warbeasts add another 22, leaving me with only 9 points to spare. I could turn those into a second heavy warjack, but I'm not sure which solos to drop. It's possible that I could squeeze in a Nomad (dropping Gorman, Grogspar and either Orin or MacNaile).

I have some masked and hooded heads (from Druids and Cutthroats) to use on the Kayazy, and will try to get hold of some Cygnaran risen for Alexia. Given my adversary, I might buy some Precursor models... I can take press-moulds of some details (heads, holy symbols) to decorate the bases, and then use the figures as Thrall Warriors biggrin.gif


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cmdr_roy
post Oct 12 2010, 10:25 AM
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Ive got some Cygnar risen models if you want to swap some around.
Not sure you need MacNaile, ive found he is ok but better when you have more AOE shots to pump out, like with Bart smile.gif


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morsla
post Oct 12 2010, 10:39 AM
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Trencher risen would be great - when I buy the box, I'll have lots of spare Winterguard and Flameguard zombies.

MacNaile's currently in there because quad-arm pistols are cool (and I can't take Versh!), and because a RAT 7 Mariner with Nonokrion Brand should be able to reliably take out important solos, support units and officers anywhere on the table smile.gif

I'd love to include some more Warjacks as I like painting them (speaking of which - your newest Pirate jacks will be done by the weekend). I'm kinda tempted to drop eEiryss for a Buccaneer... swapping Disruption for ranged Knockdown. I've never actually used Eiryss in any incarnation, but have the NQ model ready to paint. The Buccaneer would give me a figure able to slam and throw nets, and could help me to take down heavy beasts and jacks (knockdown + charge with something like Snapjaw).

On the other hand, Eiryss becomes a bit more scary when she can ignore models for LOS, and she helps me to take out important solos.

As mentioned in the other thread, this is the first model painted for the army - it's Fiona's personal Vanguard, with a trident and the ternion brand. I did this one quite a while ago, so it might need a bit more work to blend it with the newer models.
IPB Image


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Tilaurin
post Oct 12 2010, 10:57 AM
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If you want any bits, let me know - I have a bunch of spare stuff and I'll likely be ordering myself some stuff too.

Damn, I do love that vanguard.


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cmdr_roy
post Oct 12 2010, 12:34 PM
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Vanguard is nice, will be good to see the Mariner kitted out nicely as well smile.gif

QUOTE
speaking of which - your newest Pirate jacks will be done by the weekend

Sweet! Ive still gotta pay for them too, better send me an invoice smile.gif Is this an appropriate time to mention i have finally gotten around to cleaning, basing and undercoating the other unit of 10 Sea Dogs ?? Not sure i need a 2nd unit, but i want them. Also need to think about expanding my range of 'jacks....hang on this is your army diary, back to normal programming.

Eiryss is ok, but i think a bucaneer will be better, knocking stuff down is super fun.


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post Oct 12 2010, 11:54 PM
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A great start to the diary Ben, the intro is fantastic smile.gif

As always I am keen to see the products of your painting desk.

Cheers.


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morsla
post Oct 14 2010, 09:56 AM
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I had planned to think a bit more about whether to take a Buccaneer or Eiryss.

Then I walked into the LGS after work yesterday, saw a Buccaneer on the shelf, and promptly bought it. Apparently I have a soft spot for little diving-bell shaped warjacks, and I've always built my armies for style before purpose smile.gif

Compared to the Firefly on my painting desk at the moment, the Buccaneer is tiny. It can comfortably hide behind a Menoth Cinerator. It's hardly the most sturdy of warjacks (ARM 15), but I think it should look a little bit more imposing next to the regular troops... so I've decided to raise it up a little on the base.

I also don't like the pose much - the stock figure is plodding slowly forward, dragging a net behind it. If I can find some wire mesh (I know it exists... just don't know where to buy the stuff) then I'll make a new net that's in the process of being thrown. An ancient White Dwarf mag had some conversions using aluminium wire mesh that was sold in auto body repair kits... so maybe I should try the Autobarn store in the city.

I'd also like to reverse the grip on the Gaff, and have it in an overhand stabbing pose - striking out at whatever gets tangled in the net. That could be tricky, as the arms join on to a flat shoulder joint. If I cut the entire shoulder away using a jeweller's saw, I should be able to tilt the shoulder upwards enough to get a natural looking pose for it.

Gameplay-wise, what do I lose out on by dropping eEiryss from the list?

Anti-warjack stuff: disruption and preventing focus allocation.
Dispelling enemy upkeeps.
Stealth and Pathfinder
Anti-warcaster threat

Instead I gain:

Durability: it's not hard to kill, but it still has 21 more damage boxes than a solo.
Utility: as a warjack, it can perform slams, and boost attack or damage rolls.
Reach: on a cheap SPD 6 warjack. It can run in and tie up enemy snipers and solos.
Ranged knockdown

Plus, it looks cool. I'm looking forward to putting it together.


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morsla
post Oct 18 2010, 08:37 AM
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Mission accomplished smile.gif Some hours and one broken saw blade later...

I don't really like the standard pose for the Buccaneer: shoulders hunched, arms held low, net dragging along the ground, and one foot raised up - plodding slowly forward.

IPB Image

I wanted mine to look more active: turning to one side, feet firmly on the ground, stabbing outwards with the gaff hook, while swinging the net. That was going to take a bit of work, so I got out the jeweller's saw...

The first job was to cut the right shoulder off the torso, and tilt it upwards. This arm would be holding the gaff in a reverse grip, so the shoulder needed to be raised a little. I also cut the gaff from the hand, and pinned both ends back in place using a piece of wire drilled right through the handgrip. When checking the angle, I decided to also cut the hand away from the wrist: pinning it back in place, to allow me to rotate it into a more natural pose.

The head and left arm were much easier to position. The head has a single pin to hold it in place, turning to look in the same direction as the spear. The left arm has two pins, and is held backwards... the net is still closed, so would presumably be at the beginning of a swing - it would open out more as it was thrown. I straightened the net a bit, too.

The legs were a bit tricky. I've cut halfway through the joints at the ankle and toes, and flattened them both out. I attached the legs with a pin through the hip joint, so that I could angle the knees outwards in a more natural stance.

These are the pieces that I ended up with:
IPB Image

The Buccaneer is also a bit tiny for a warjack, so I've based it on a bit of 3mm plasticard. This will be hidden under the basing details later on. I'm not a fan of gaming figures perched atop huge bits of rock, so I prefer adding extra height in a more subtle way.
IPB Image

This is what I've ended up with. It's facing the opposite direction to the Vanguard, which is nice... giving the battlegroup some symmetry, and meaning that the models can be placed right next to each other without arms and weapons getting tangled.
IPB Image


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cmdr_roy
post Oct 18 2010, 09:27 AM
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Nice conversion Ben, thats what i like about 'jacks, easy to repose with a bit of cutting and some wire smile.gif
Are you going to do much to the Mariner ?


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morsla
post Oct 18 2010, 09:44 AM
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I'm not sure yet - the Mariner is part of my Pressgang order (which includes pressgangers in it, in some kind of weird self-referential loop...) and probably won't show up until December.

I think I'll either do some fairly minimal conversion work (Thamarite runes, etc) or it will end up being the most complex of the warjack conversions. I don't really like the stock pose, but I'm not sure what I can do to change it, short of rebuilding the arm and leg joints.

The first of the infantry should arrive from Defiant this week: Alexia's Risen, and the Kayazy Assassins. I'm planning to convert whole units in one go, but don't want to paint them in large groups - after painting RPG figures recently, I've found that I really enjoy painting single models a lot more than units.

I think I'll paint them in groups of three, all from a single unit. That way I'll get minimum units painted in a couple of batches, but won't get too bored... it's much easier to stay motivated when I can do lots of work on a figure, instead of incrementally working on the same detail across 10-20 figures.


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Tilaurin
post Oct 18 2010, 09:51 AM
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The Buccaneer looks awesome Ben!


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post Oct 18 2010, 03:47 PM
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Really nice Buccaneer repose, morsla. I still don't like the net very much on that model (it seems to thick to me), but you've done an awesome job with it.

The other nice thing about hacking up and reposing warjacks is that a few nicks and scratches and accidental cuts aren't a problem. They just add character!


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morsla
post Oct 18 2010, 05:32 PM
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I think I've done as much as I can to salvage the existing net, and am fairly happy with it - I might try painting it up as layers of rope, to make it look a bit different. If I did another (throwing) Buccaneer, I think I'd replace the net entirely with some metal mesh.

I got home today to find a box of miniatures waiting for me... thanks Dan & Defiant smile.gif

I have lots of troops ready to assemble now, but will paint up Fiona and her Buccaneer next. That will give me a battlegroup (and effectively a legal 2 point army!), and will let me play around with colours to make sure the colour scheme works. Since painting the Vanguard I've learned a lot, and would like to bring some of that into the new models. I've already gone back over some parts of the Vanguard (which was painted and varnished about three years ago) - adding some more Brass Balls to re-highlight the metallic areas, for example.

Kayazy Assassins: very simple conversions for this lot. I have a stockpile of heads from Croe's Cutthroats and Blackclad Druids, and will be replacing the existing heads with some more sinister ones. A unit of 6 + their Underboss will be the next things to paint, after finishing Fiona and her light warjacks.

Alexia and Risen: I'd like to swap out the Khadoran risen, preferably for more of the dead trenchers. Tilaurin has a trencher unit on his front lines that's suspiciously under-strength, and so it's only fitting that Alexia should be recycling casualties from an earlier skirmish.

Thrall Warriors: I have two Thrall Warrior figures - one from the boxed set, and another found in the discount pile at a games store. I also have two Precursor Knights. The pious champions of Morrow form the bulk of Tilaurin's forces, and they usually have little to fear from the undead - unless they should be led astray, or fall beyond the reach of their Battle Chaplain's prayers. I think I see a plan forming smile.gif

I'll remove the heads (these will become useful later...), shields and maces from the two Precursors, and replace them with the skulls and greatswords from the two Thrall Warriors. That should keep them close to the Steamroller conversion guidelines: they'll have the two most recognisable parts of the Thralls (weapons and heads), and will otherwise be clanking armoured zombies, ready to attack their former comrades.


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cmdr_roy
post Oct 18 2010, 07:58 PM
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Conversions sound good smile.gif


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post Oct 18 2010, 08:40 PM
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Right, that's it, I'm gunna.. well.. think of something conversion wise to do in response to all this wonderful thematic stuff you're doin.

Feel free to hop in my thread and throw ideas at me dude. ATM, all I can think of is having the charger mid-swing about to cave in a skellingtons head or something.


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post Oct 18 2010, 09:35 PM
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Nice job on the Buccaneer. Im not normally a big fan of warjacks in general, but thats really funky smile.gif
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morsla
post Oct 25 2010, 09:48 AM
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Small update (pics coming on Wednesday):

Alexia: Assembled.

Thrall Warrior: Assembled, using Precursor bodies and Thrall Warrior heads and weapons. The heads fit nicely into a 1.5mm hole, as they have a thick mounting peg underneath them.

I've also given them tattered robes, by taking some clippers, files, and a drill bit to the Precursor tabards. They look more like undead than Morrowan paladins, now. I'll paint them up in shining silver with white and blue cloth), and then add some rust and grave dirt to their armour.

Kayazy Assassins: 6 head swaps completed. 4 + Underboss to go. They look much better with hooded heads. It's also a relief to have some one-part models to work with. Even if I promptly cut them into pieces and re-pose them...

I've also started painting Fiona and the Buccaneer, though there's not much to see at the moment - just some purple, black and brass basecoats. I think I'll end up using four different metallics on the warjack: brass (slight green patina, polished surfaces); bronze (more heavily weathered, green/blue patina); steel (slightly orange-tinted oxidisation) and iron (blackened from heat on the boiler, more heavily weathered).

Once Fiona and the Buccaneer are finished, I'd like to start on a few of the Kayazy. Looking forward to trying them out in a game, now that I've had a look at their cards smile.gif


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