Friday, August 15, 2008

Let loose the Dogs of War!

So as a project for the summer/autumn I've started a small Dogs of War army. The inspiration is that this is an opportunity to create a fairly free-form Warhammer army, that I can build upon and add variety to as time permits. It isn't to be constrained by set ranges of figures; and it will also allow me to deploy several races in one army, just like I always used to when I first played Warhammer - 20 years ago!

As is the way with many players, I thought it would be nice to provide a back-story for this army too. As it would help rationalise the disparate figures together and allow for numerous food based puns to be used. Enjoy our first instalment...

Allesandro Panini was given a simple task; "recruit a small force my boy. Protect the mercantile interests of Focaccia abroad, and you will be well rewarded." Allesandro was young but more effectively schooled in matters of diplomacy and court intrigue than in matters of war. Essentially he was the sort of effete wastrel who cluttered the universities and cafes of Focaccia talking more about wine, women and philosophy than about conquest or riches. Yet when the halls of Bureaucracy elected one as a fitting candidate for the realms of politic, he knew the options were to respond and prosper, or to wind up with a stiletto knife in one's back, and an awful lot less attention from the ladies of court.

He set about to recruit troops and adventurers from wherever he could. They were to be cheap but capable of moulding into a presentable military threat. But which most importantly would ensure he himself could remain home and limit the risk to his own beautiful existence.
Firstly he sought some form of commander, as it would only be a small expeditionary force in the first instance, having little of the city guard within it's ranks, he felt no need to lash out on the expense of a mighty captain of arms. Instead he found in the murky depths of the dockside a hireling wizard hailing from the Norse realms - Jarlsberg the Hefty.

Jarlsberg had some experience of leading Norse Marauders from his native lands, but had also the rudiments of magic at his command, knowing the shamanic rites of Beasts. He had travelled far south with trading and raiding parties, and had washed up in Focaccia, after a less than successful raid into Araby. Allesandro recognised a man he could buy off with food as easily as gold, and his at least basic talents in two fields would serve his troops well. Additionally his strong yet mellow temperament would not clash with Panini's...

But what of Infantry, the Leyden Puritans were a natural choice, having long been established in the region. This force of mainly religious and political exiles from the north of the Empire, shared a similar tongue with Jarlsberg, and were known for their outright loyalty, so long as the pay was regularly delivered on the first of every month. They were well versed in pike drill and in their own commander, Robert De Bilder, had an able and inspiring leader. Allesandro issued those he could with helmets and breastplates, and with some lengthy negotiations, bought their services to his cause...

It was a fitting start, and with a show of magical pyrotechnics and parade ground drill, he was able to at least impress his sponsors, but he knew such a force alone would be terribly vulnerable. Allesandro knew he needed troops to guard his flanks, and to hit back at fast and dangerous foes; but from where?

Time would tell.

Jarlsberg took only an hour or so all told, despite touch ups. Whilst the Pikemen took an age, around 16 hours for the unit I think. one thing I always find with metal models is that the extra detail, and rougher texture of the figures extends the time required for a decent paint job. And this was with uniformed troops too. I'm particularly happy with the standard though, pinched from a spare Empire standard bearer arm, it looks the part in this unit.

Lastly the stone slabs on the bases are ingeniously simple, they are simply painted card. I think they help add to the 'Mediterranean' look to the bases.

1 comment:

  1. I love fluffy armies - it's what Warhammer should be about - They are so much better than the maxed out armies, with a painting style that copies the hot lead in White Dwarf.