The Daughter of Lahmia

As I mentioned in my return post, I’m working on an Undead warband for Mordheim. I’ve always toyed with Undead armies. I’ve found the background fascinating and the models – for the most part – pretty awesome. The two things that always stayed my hand were the fairly (and by fairly I mean very) dull core choices and I fucking hate painting skeletons. Actually no, I don’t. I fucking hate painting lots of skeletons. And a I have a general, roll my eyes, dislike of zombies.

So a Mordheim warband is a good fit as I get t avoid the things that bug me about the Undead army whilst indulging in the stuff I like. Namely vampires. Plus, with all the End Times stuff going on, I wouldn’t know where to start with a Warhammer army at the moment. My brother has kindly leant me the first 4 books and so far I’ve read…none of them. In my defence Batman comic books are an easier read right now.

On to the Vampires themselves. For a long time the Undead army was just the von Carstein dynasty – or more accurately a rip off of the hammer horror vampires of old right down to the silly outfits and the . The introduction of the Necrarchs, Blood Dragons, Lahmians and (latterly) Strigoi was a seminal moment in the evolution of the Vampire Counts and suddenly presented us with noble families that conjured images of a supernatural war of the roses-esque Undead fight for power. Which is actually pretty cool.

For gaming the Blood Dragons were the lure. For uniqueness of army selection and awesomeness of vampire model the Strigoi won out. But for background and pure fascination the Lahmians has always been my go to house of choice. The Lahmian Court is where it all began. Lahmians are the purest of all the Vampires. They are bewitching, beguiling, enthralling and yet utterly savage and evil. The juxtaposition amuses me.

Needless to say when I toyed with the idea of an Undead warband it was always with a Lahmian at its head. Then I impulsively bought one on eBay. Then I bought a few more things and I had to conclude: well, shit, looks like I’m doing a Lahmian warband…

The story I wanted to tell with my Lahmian was one akin to a wandering succubus. Forever displaced from her homeland and unable to stay in one place for too long, I wanted the Necromancer and her thralls to reflect a journey that would have taken her from one corner of the Warhammer world to the other. If the numbers of models available to me weren’t so limited I could have told a far richer story.

99070207004_WightKingNEW01

The Necromancer is actually the Wight King model. I liked the idea of a Sorcerer King, ruling a land tucked out of sight from the prying eyes of Gods and men, so utterly convinced of his magical might and right to subjugate, having his will and all he built stripped away in the face of the Lahmian’s ancient power and beguiling beauty. Even in death the sorcerer cannot slip the bewitching bonds of his mistress, being driven mad as in his undeath he has all the urges and desires of a living man. He hungers but cannot eat. He tires but cannot sleep. He lusts but can never feel. He’s forced to watch an endless parade of simpering fools fawn over his beloved, all cursed to fall from favour, all blessed to die at her hand or someone else’s.

Thralls

The Beloved and Thralls I wanted to feel like great warriors fallen from grace. Their souls, minds and very bodies a secondary consideration in favour of their mistress. In the same way I chose a sorcerer king type for my necromancer, the thralls all had to feel far flung. They don’t get much further flung than a Dark Elf Blackark Fleetmaster. Both Neil and Lee raised eyebrows at this choice more so than the Empire Duellist and a Bretonnian Grail Knight, but the important thing to remember is the powerlessness that mortal minds have against something as ancient as a vampire, even the iron hard will of an Elf. There was something aptly perverse about having a Grail Knight as a thrall. The idea of a Grail Knight abandoning his sacred oaths is all but unheard of. And for the Grail Knight his soul would be forever tormented by that fact. Utterly committed to the Lahmian yet disgusted at the dishonourable wretch staring back from his reflection. The Empire Duellist is an entirely more straight forward affair. Enthralled and yet emasculated by the presence of a Fleetmaster and a Grail Knight he pledges the service of his household guard to her cause, foolishly believing it has trucked favour. A man so hopelessly lost spends as much time challenging his tenuous allies as he does fighting the enemies of his beloved.

I did seriously consider getting an Ogre Bodyguard as the Warband progresses to convey just how far the alluring immortal had travelled. Essentially the dimwitted Ogre would follow the Lahmian around in a state of childlike infatuation. In the end, however I decided to opt for a Vargheist instead. It tells a very different story but, I think a far more compelling one. The creature is all that remains of the Lahmians once true love. Driven to ever greater acts of wickedness through insane jealousy he embraced too deeply the creature that lurked within him. Devolved into a near mindless beast, the Vargheist is the Lahmian’s shadow, protecting her from any and all. Too savage to be instinct, too bestial to be anything other than a lost creature.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – this is why I love Mordheim. A few simple decisions surrounding model selection and the story changes from a wandering vampire with a drooling lustful Ogre in tow, to a once great Lahmian princess with a gaggle of enthralled hangers-on and the twisted shadow of her true love, devotedly at her side.

As I get the models together I’ll write some more solid background and maybe a short story or two. And maybe you might even see some photos of painted models. But let’s not get a nose bleed about it.

Vampire Counts Army Book Sneak Peek

Pages have been made available of the new Vampire Counts book. As we’ve come to expect from the latest incarnations of the Warhammer Armies books, it is beautifully realised. And judging by the book, articles on the Games Workshop website and elsewhere, they’ve finally figured out how to have varied armies.

Presumably the answer was to create new units. Seems obvious when you say it out loud.

Anyway, below is some shiny images, after which I’ve provided the interview with Phil Kelly. If it’s anything like his Dreadfleet interview I’d save for when you can’t sleep…

Vampire Counts Model Preview

This natty little video has hit the interwebs showcasing some of the new Vampire Counts models due for release. As one would expect, there’s a massive and completely bonkers warmachine, but I kinda like it. And the character models are awesome.
Enjoy.

A Grave Mind

I picked up the brand new Garden of Morr from my local Games Workshop today. I would like to make it clear that all I went in for was plastic glue to build my outstanding cruisers. I walked out with the plastic glue and the Garden of Morr.
And why? Because it’s fecking gorgeous.

I know I’ve not been terribly complimentary about the Games Workshop lately but this is more them as a company not the hobby. When I first saw the kit on the Games Workshop website I loved it and it fit in perfectly with the ‘Blood in the Barrows’ scenario that I wrote for Mordheim.

So, today, I walked in to my local store and saw the kit in the cabinet and immediately bought it. Because it’s lovely. Obviously not literally because that would make me mental. As a piece of terrain it’s just epic. 3 crypts, a statue, a gate and wall sections.

The length of the wall sections and the fact that the crypts are mounted on their own bases makes the kit nice and versatile. In Warhammer it can be a small feature or cover the end of a board. The crypts are small enough to be unobtrusive in a game but large enough to be objectives.

The detail is lovely. Skulls all about the place, the railings and the skull shaped gates are excellently done. The statue is perhaps my favourite part, making it a focal point or just a snazzy piece of terrain in its own right. Its ease of building (as with the entire kit) makes it perfect for those relatively new to the hobby.

My only criticism is there isn’t much in the way of variety. The only real choice is to leave things off like the gargoyles and grave stones, which kind of defeats the point. It’s really only a minor crumble for what is otherwise an excellent piece of terrain but it would have been nice for a few odds and sods.

For £25.50 it’s not bad value. There’s a lot of plastic in the box and the option of positioning the buildings wherever you want on the board makes it one of the best value kits available. Go buy it.

The Dead (re)Awake

So it seems that Vampire Counts are getting some new releases. This will most likely mean a new book is about to land as well. It could be my imagination but it seems that the Vampire Counts have had more iterations than any other army. Or, at least, most iterations in the shortest space of time.

It’s always been an army I’ve thought about doing but the thought of building dozens of skeletons and zombies appalls me. Plus the Blood Knights are a staggering £61 for 5! When I asked my local GW manager why they were such a rip off he told me it was essentially like buying 5 special characters. Which apparently makes it okay then. But comes rather unstuck because it works out at £12.20 per model. To put that into perspective you can get a Vampire Count Lord blister with a Vampire on steed AND on foot for 10 pence more. Or a Sorylian Battleship (which is fooking massive) for 5 pence more.

Sorylian Battleship

Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon / Terrorgeist

But back to the new releases. So we have the compulsory multipart big beastie which, for the Vampire Counts, is nothing new and probably kinda essential now every army is getting massive, fun house mirror, creatures. I really hope they don’t try to do a big kit for every army. There’s just no need, just units that are capable of taking the bit beasties down. The kit itself does seem quite cool, although it feels like, weirdly, the Terrorgeist option was the first thought and the Zombie Dragon they decided to chuck in at the last-minute. Which is a shame as the Zombie Dragon would, I imagine, be most people’s first choice.

Vampire Counts Tomb Banshee

The Tomb Banshee is a bit of a disappointment, as have all banshee models. The paint job may be partly responsible. The Tomb Banshee, again like all other banshees, is a restless soul – an ethereal being – so why the effing eff is she ginger?! Although, considering this is part of the new wave of sculpts, I think the model is unpleasantly stylised.

Vampire Counts Cairn Wraith

The Cairn Wraith I quite like. I find the rag that doubles as a stand a little off-putting but overall it’s pretty cool. It’s a model I’d happily buy just to paint and would work great in a suitably gribbly Mordheim scenario. I feel a slight modification to the Blood and the Barrows scenario…

Garden of Morr

And finally, the Garden of Morr. As with 99% of Games Workshop’s scenery, I love it and I want it. It’s a brilliant kit and, thankfully, not fixed to a base which means a couple of kits gives you a fairly decent graveyard, again, for Mordheim. The walls and gates will also work well with the other walls, hedges. I think £25.50 is a little steep but I could just about swallow it for a cracking bit of scenery.