Saturday, 24 May 2014

Warhammer Fantasy 1000 point Empire Army

So today I Finished my 1000 points for the Miniature Empire's "Tale of 4 Gamers".



This is how they looked 3 months ago



The Army is called the 1st Company Lustrian Expeditionary Forces.

It is a cavalry based force that I assembled for the Miniature Empires "Tale of 4 gamers". The idea is each participant picks a new Warhammer Fantasy force and needs to have the required points FULLY painted by each successive dead line!

I went with a cavalry (border patrol force) theme as I generally play a very "smash mouth" style of play, getting in peoples faces and forcing them to react to me rather then concentrate on their own game plan.

This army list seemed to allow me to do this and of all the Warhammer Fantasy miniatures these were the only ones to really appeal to me (Thanks to Lano at the miniature empire for the patience in helping me pick this force list)!

GENERAL


The General is an Imperial Grand master. Total points cost (with shield) 159 points. 179 points with shield and a sword of might.




The General is called Giorgio Custoras.

He is the illegitimate son of a minor lord of Wissenland and a tanners daughter

Giorgio rose to prominence when he was only person of noble blood still alive and not grievously wounded at the battle of Big Little Horn while still a pistolier and under the guidance of Dogstein his outrider mentor. Together they managed to rally the surviving men of the line and fight a successful rear guard action until relief arrived.

As the only positive outcome from an ill fated campaign, which was dogged with defeats against the separatist of the great plains, and numerous logistical nightmares from the start, this “battle” was grasped upon by citizens, bards and town criers alike and this “victory” of the “Lord of the people” soon captured the popular imagination of the Empire and Custoras was knighted by Franz himself in a carefully orchestrated public relations exercise.



Not  comfortable with the “Lord of the people” label because of his ignoble birth Custoras still craves the acclaim of his knightly peers, often taking commissions to put down peasant revolts to distance himself from this acclamation. But is growing into this calling as he understands the political advantage this gives him and his confidence in his own abilities grows (although he never feels fully at home in either camp).

Men of the line wear red caps to emulate Custoras and call themselves “Custoras’ Red Caps”, and even the knights and Gryph knights have emulated this practise by lacquering the head armour of their mounts red.

Since his true father revealed himself to Custoras at the age of 14 he has been a trusted lieutenant of his father as Custoras knows without his support he will soon be forgotten and overlooked for commands and is often given the dirtier and more covert missions by his father, which he carries out with a cold resolve as a necessary evil and gives him a greater understanding then his half brothers of how the true politics of the Empire works.


His first commissions met with some success against Elves, Skaven and Orcs, although the Elven encounter was nearly a political disaster as they were granted a charter of safe passage by the Count of the area. It was only after a massive bride was paid to the Count from the treasure stolen from the Elves that the attack was blamed on a roving band of Orcs and Skaven, Custoras encountered on the same patrol (whose heads he presented as evidence) instead but Custoras was forced to accept a commission as a lieutenant in the 1st Company, Lustrian Expeditionary forces until the affair blew over.

During the training of the expedition forces (which he oversaw), Custoras soon whittled out any undesirables and ensured the garrison force almost entirely consisted of the remnants of the forces he had commanded (and become beloved by) at the battle of Big little Horn.
 

Despite Showing himself a man of vigour and excellent health for his advancing years, the expedition commander Baron von Magellan was found dead of a suspected heart attack in his bunk the morning the expedition was due to set sail, although the Barons personal physician voiced his belief that Magellan showed symptoms of poisoning and suffocation.

Unfortunately the physician was found dead in a back alley close to the Imperial offices where he was due to file his report, believed to be the victim of a robbery.

In order not to miss the tides Custoras was promoted to expedition commander until the replacement commander arrived via the second supply ship bringing additional forces. Unfortunately the replacement commander fell overboard during a midnight stroll of the decks while on route on the same ship as Dogstein and his outriders (rumours persist that the cabin door showed signs of forced entry). The event was particularly puzzling as Baron Von Estellian was from a naval family and was known to be an excellent swimmer.

Even without finding the fabled Talisman of Teotiqua the establishment of an Imperial trading post and possible colony on the Lustrian coast would ensure the fortune of the commander of any such enterprise. All Custoras needs to do now is stay alive long enough to reap the benefits!

 CORE UNITS


In keeping with the theme of the force the core unit is a unit of 10 Knights (only 9 pictured) with full command group of Captain, Standard bearer and musician. The Knights have barding, shields and lances. 250 points.


Giorgio Custoras also ensured the contingent of Knights consists entirely of second or third sons of various lords who have no lands to inherit and therefore are almost entirely dependent on the expedition (and therefore Custoras) being successful to ensure their fortune and future, soon earning the nickname “the second sons of Custoras”.




The last Bretonnians

I needed 10 Knights for the squadron of knights

There was no way I was going to fork out another £15 for a box of Knights so rooted through a box of old minis in the loft and found two old GW Bretonnian Knights.







Stuck a couple of spare bits on this mini (i.e. Shield, lance etc), and hoped no one would notice.

Of course they did!

As the campaign is story driven I have decided the "Last Bretonnians" were originally part of the Bretonnian forces charged with "escorting" the Imperial forces through Bretonnia to make sure they behaved themselves and did not wonder off to rape and pillage (like you do on tour).

As the stories of the riches to be won grew and grew during the trip, the Bretonnian escort decided to abscond from their duties once at the border and joined the Imperial Expedition!

Unfortunately the "last Bretonnians" comrades were all massacred during an ill fated charge at Blood pass trying to establish their bridge head."The last Bretonnians" were absent from the battle due to being laid low with dysentery!!!!

In a vow to avenge their lost comrades and regain their honour they now insists in being of the front rank of all charges. They have slowly been equiped with spare equipment from the Empire stores as their equipment wears  out.

Its a lot of fluff but it saved me the £15 of buying a whole new box of knghts.

SPECIAL UNITS

Demigryph Knights

The first of my special units are my Demigryph Knights, it is a minimum unit of 3 with a full command group of Champion, Standard bearer and Musician, they also have barding, shields and lances. 204 points.

At first I was not impressed about the £30 odd quid they cost me but they have won me battle after battle and are absolutely nails in combat!



Considering the key role they are playing in my battles from day one I paid these fellas extra attention as they end up in loads of photos!




Outriders


The second of my special units are my Outriders, it is a minimum strength unit with a  Sharp shooter. The Sharp shooter is armed with the Grenade launching blunderbuss and the rest are armed with repeater rifles. I will revisit my points soon and see if I can give them barding as they can only move OR shoot and keep getting gunned down. 125 points

At first I was not impressed with the figures but a couple of head swaps and I now love the look of these miniatures!

 First up their leader Lucias Von Dogstein.


I was struggling with the look of this miniature until I spotted this head with an eye patch in the left overs from my Empire general and then it all clicked into place
As Custoras' enforcer I wanted him to have a intimidating look so gave him a glaring look to the eyes. The wound to the back of the head is due to me taking a lump out of the head taking it off the spur so just painted it as a wound
Known simply as “Dog” among his pistolier charges he is a 35 year veteran of numerous campaigns and the outrider mentor of Custoras and his father before him
Despite his prominent role in the battle of Big Little Horn (where he lost an eye) his young charge Custoras was hailed as the victor by the ruling aristocracy as they would not allow a low born outrider to be seen to succeed where numerous nobles had failed before him and grasped onto the idea of the young Pistolier Custoras rallying the troops as he was at least the bastard son of a noble

With the death of so many noble sons while in his charge at the battle of Big Little Horn, Lucias soon fell out of favour as a mentor and his income dwindled as a consequence
Custoras and his father always understood Lucias’ worth (especially in his current financial straits) and Custoras’ first act as new commander was to commission Lucias with a charter to “form a body of “Salty Dogs” for the role of harrying, scouting and various covert endeavours for the 1st company Lustrian expeditionary forces"

Really was not feeling these miniatures UNTIL i started sticking on the different heads from the left overs from the Empire General, and the White wolves heads from the Empire Knights set and suddenly it all fell into place and I really started to pick up a head of steam with them.
Centre of picture is "Wilded eye Joe"

Centre of picture is "Crazy Bob"

As with Lucias I went with the overall black theme and muted colours to emphasize the covert nature of their missions (and they were much quicker to paint from the black undercoat!)
Also because of their muted colour scheme I really went to town on their faces so they would have bags of personality so they stood out when under scrutiny from the other gamers at the MEGC.

HEROS

Level 2 Battle wizard with Horse.

This wizard also has barding and a dispell scroll. 141 points


This is Marcus Darklore, one of two of my compulsory Reaper miniatures proxies. I hate the GW versions and went straight over to the Reaper section and picked up this fella. The horse is also a reaper miniature. It is actually a pegasus miniature and I have kept the wings in case I get to upgrade the figure at a later date.

I have usually elected to use fire magic in the games I have played so far, so have gone for the red and yellow clothes scheme. I also figure it is in keeping with his flamboyant nature and the mini itself is in a really flamboyant and dynamic pose.



The narrative is that he is slowly going demented as the expedition drives further and further into Lustria.

Same of this dementure will be due to his pompus nature but there will be a whole thing going on about the influence the Skull is having over Marcus (if any). It was found by Marcus in the remains of a ruined temple during one of the first battles they had in Lustria and somehow it channels Marcus' power and was instrumental in Marcus turning the tide of the first battle in Lustria and allowing the establishment of their beach head.

Rumours are rife amongst the camp that animated arguments can be heard coming from Marcus' Tent at night even though his elevated status means his does not share his tent.


To show this edge to the figure I painted the pupils red. It is a subtle effect that gives the figure an understated odd effect until someone points out the red eyes. Is it the eyes reflecting the flare of his fire spell or something more sinister in nature?  

Level 2 Battle wizard 

Standard level 2 battle wizard. 100 points.

Unlike everyone else in the army this fella is on foot. The reason is certain spells are only available to unmounted figures (and there is one spell which is a real game changer at 1000 points), so I left this figure on foot to keep these options open.


This is my second Battle wizard Raggedy Man, Rags for short, the second of my compulsory Reaper miniatures proxies. 

As soon as I saw this fella on the Mini Empire shelves I knew this guy was the one! and the whole back story nearly immediately fell into place as I always wanted some one based on the character of Ben Gunn from Treasure Island in my army either as a scout, wizard etc from the start.


The back story is he was originally a wizard of the celestrial order, who was hired by a Privateer crew to forecast the storms as they raided the unpredictable Lustrian coast 15 years ago.

Unfortunately they were spotted off the Vampire coast and ship wreaked by the Vampire Count to add to his growing ranks.
Raggedy man was the sole survivor of the attack managing to use his magic to fend off the undead horde long enough to escape.


He was found by a Skink patrol half mad from hunger and brought back to their temple for interrogation.
His torture at the hands of the Skink Priest pretty much eroded what was left of his sanity after the attack of the undead and his flight through the treacherous jungle.
After it was decided that he posed no threat and was indeed alone he was allowed to roam the city like an unwanted pet scavenging what food and shelter he could around the city.
Over his 15 years with the lizards he now speaks their language fluently and has a working knowledge of their customs and geography but has long forgotten his own name.

He was found by Dogstein skulking around the Imperial camp and between incoherent babblings about the end times and numerous requests for cheese, Custoras and Dogstein soon realised  that he was a gold mine of knowledge and a possible envoy between themselves and the indigenous Lizard men and other local factions (especially in relation to possible trade).
The Raggedy man was sequestered into the Imperial forces (but is forced to tent downwind to the rest of the camp) and is slowly being reintegrated into human culture although he attempted to escape the night he first saw Markus Darklore and his Skull and now constantly makes warding gestures in Markus'’ direction.
How Rags will react to finding out he will not be sent back to the Celestrial College at Altdorf is anyone’s guess and Custoras is now keeping him on a very short leash.

The idea was to make the clothes as faded as possible but try to show that they would have been the best quality at some point. I deliberately gave him a darker skin tone to represent the fact he had lived outdoors for 15 years in the Lustrian sun.
I went with the negative eyes as it is an effect I used years ago for my Dark Elves and always loved the effect and I like the idea that the wizards eyes should change while spell casting as they are tapping into dark forces to ply their trade.
I finished this mini from start to finish in under 2 hours and it was so nicely cast it pretty much painted itself and I really am becoming a fan of Reaper minis!
SUMMARY

To summerise the 1000 point army consists of;

Grand Master with shield, and sword of might.                                      = 179 points
Unit of 10 Knights with full command group, shields and barding            = 250 points
Demigryph Knights w/ full command group, shields, lances and Barding = 204 points
Outriders w/ sharp shooter, hand mortar and repeater rifles                    = 125 points
Level 2 wizard with Horse, barding and dispell scroll                              = 141 points
Level 2 wizard                                                                                      = 100 points
                                                                                               TOTAL = 999 points

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