We’re on a road to Erehwon

Not so long ago, a company far, far away (from me anyway), released a new game.  Warlords of Erewhon, published by Warlord Games and written by Rick Priestly, is a cracking game that extends the bolt action family of games into fantasy skirmishing.
IMG_1198In the large hadron collider that is his brain, Rick has smashed together the desire to play with some of your favourite old skool fantasy toys and some modern, clever-yet-simple game mechanics. WoE, or Erewhon to those in the know, is fun, fast and simple.

As the title suggests, these rules are not tied to a particular world. Its inspiration is pretty much any fantasy tropes you enjoy. Ninja rabbits? Sure, use the Samurai list. Amazons? Yep, got that. Mammoth riding neanderthals or berserk viking warriors? The barbarian list will cater for either, or both. The flexibility and choice of the lists means you can use any models you have. I have faced a smurf-necromancer leading the undead; and chaos dwarves (little GW dudes with big hats). Both worked, both were fun games. In addition to the 12 warband lists in the hardback book, the author has published new armies (along with revisions of the existing ones) at his blog, This Gaming Life. It is well worth keeping an eye on this site, as he has been adding material fairly steadily since launch.

Gaming buddy Brad and I have been playing a bit of WoE recently, and this time I actually remembered to take some photos! My orcs lined up against his barbarians. All the models on both sides were painted years ago and it was great to see them on the table once more.


The big dude at the back is an old Chronopia model


Orcs with hand weapons and shields


Orcs with halberds


Today’s Warlord and bodyguard; the Uruk Hai beserkers are fun figures

And Brad’s Barbarians


Combat can be brutal, which is just the way I like it. It can also be uncertain. While your rock hard hero will probably take out that squad of archers, there are no guarantees. And in a game where if you loose half your starting units you are will pretty much loose the game as your warband breaks and runs, this means every combat can make a difference.

It also means a brave move at the right time can turn things around. I thought I had this game won, but Brad charged his remaining coherent unit deep into my battle line and killed my warlord. It left them exposed and badly mauled, but broke my army in the same turn I broke him and turned a likely loss into a narrow victory!


The Barbarians form up their battle line


Who let the dogs (of war) out?

For players of Bolt Action, the rules are both familiar, but distinct. Orders are re-skinned, so while the same dice are used, the orders themselves have differences. The largest change is to Ambush, which is more like “Reserve Action”, and allows a unit to react to an enemy unit nearby, interrupting their turn allowing you to counter-charge or fire a spell, or what-ever other dastardly plan you may have.

Moral works differently too. Pins are still crucial, and are accumulated through receiving wounds or coming under fire. Units might end up fleeing and being able to rally, and get back in the game, but more likely too many pins and a unit will break and be eliminated. Did I mention combat was brutal?

Heroes are tough, but don’t totally dominate. This is a game of small units more than individuals. And a fine game it is, I suggest you give it a go if you get the chance.


We are the figthing Uruk-Hai!

OK, so not only are there orcs running around the Wesfold but now the mighty Uruk-Hai have turned up. Rather rough, but they’re orcs and they just kept shouting to hurry up with the painting and get them on the table.

uruk04Together with the earlier orcs, I can now field a modest Orc army for LoTR, but more likely is that I will use the Uruk as elites to make up 5 or 6 point warbands for larger games of SAGA. Having used my Rohan as Scots with no complaints I plan to use the orcs as Vikings. I hasten to add here, I’m not trying to typecast the Vikings – but their battle board seems to translate well to warriors with swords and no fancy stuff. Add a few beserkers and the orcs with SAGA Viking rules seems a good match.

uruk07 uruk01I am reasonably happy with the warriors; as you can see I didn’t take much time on the freehand eye symbols on the shields. I don’t think the orcs would have either. I used a flesh wash over a brass and gun-metal drybrush on the armour. I thought it might make it look rusty. It turned out warmer than I expected. You learn a bit everyday, I guess.


I did not want them to look too uniform, so although I used a limited palet, I didn’t seek to make the armour or shields to much alike. Even the same figures look a bit different, which is good.

uruk02Lurtz is present, of course; union rules you see. No Lurtz, no start.


So there you have it. Tremble weaklings, for there is manflesh on the menu tonight!


There are orcs on the Westfold

It is somewhat ironic I find myself painting orcs just as the 40K Ork Codex is updated.  As the photos make clear, I’ve been working on GW Lord of the Ring miniatures. orc01

Quite some time ago, there was a movie tie in magazine that included a sprue each edition. The magazine was just the sort of thing a 12 year old would have loved. On the other hand I saw a cheap source of toys- the magazines recycled at the time, the miniatures languished undercoated but otherwise ignored.

I did paint a Rohan warband that I have used for SAGA. I think these orcs are destined for the same. Without trying to typecast any particular races, I think orcs will run OK as the Viking faction, which is the simplest of all the factions available: dudes with swords.



I can arrange these into a 4 point war band, enough for a small battle. Another dozen dudes will (hopefully) be finished shortly that will lift things into a warrior heavy 5 point (or even stretch to 6 points if needed).

See you around the battlefield.