"The new host that we had tidings of has come first, from the River by the way of Andros, it is said. They are strong, battalions of Orcs of the Eye, and countless companies of Men of a new sort we have not met before."
Over the years, new strains of Orcs appeared in the armies of Mordor. Morannon Orcs are just one of many breeds of Orcs. Stronger and more heavily armoured compared to normal Orcs, Morannon Orcs form the bulk of Sauron's army in the Battle of Osgiliath, the Siege of Gondor and the Battle of Pelennor Fields.
Here's how I painted and based them:
1) Using Green Stuff, make a tile pattern on the base of the model, leaving a small gap or two on each base.
2) When the Green Stuff has cured, undercoat it with Abaddon Black (Chaos Black).
Here is the last of the Khazad Guard (for now), some metal Dwarf Warriors (they previously had greenstuff "capes" on them which is why a large chunk of detail is missing, but we have to work with the tools we are given), with Murin and Drar.
I probably could have done a better job on them, but got a bit lazy this month (I will try and resume normal service next month, but I have lots of exams so can't guarantee this).
Ashrâk is a Goblin Shaman, bitten by a Venom-back Spider. Somehow, the Goblin managed to survive the encounter, and whenever he leads his Goblin followers into battle, swarms of tiny spiders crawl over him.
I really like this model, just the back story for him seems a little weird, and that, combined with his rules, just makes me think of Spiderman all the time. In games I'll probably just use him as a normal Shaman, except when I want Venom-back Spiders.
Flói rushed towards where Balin & Gimli were talking quietly, who stopped and turned to look at Flói when he approached. “Balin, Gimli. There are Easterlings approaching the river ahead. They appear to be interested in the goods that we found there. We must secure it before they can.” Balin nodded thoughtfully, before Gimli spoke. “Gather the Dwarves. Our axes will taste Easterling blood.”
Gimli, 6 Dwarf Warriors with Shields, 5 Khâzad guard, and 1 Dwarf Warrior with Banner
Balin, 6 Dwarf Warriors with Shields, and 6 Khâzad guard
Dwarf Captain with Shield (Flói), and 12 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf Bows
Easterling Captain, and 8 Black Dragon Warriors with Shields
Easterling Captain, and 8 Black Dragon Warriors with Shields
Easterling Captain, 7 Black Dragon Warriors with Shields and Pikes, and 1 Black Dragon Warrior with Banner
Easterling War Priest, and 12 Black Dragon Warriors with Bows
Flói’s archers marched forwards, their eyes on the nearby ford and Easterling archers. “Black Dragons,” hissed Balin, as his and Gimli’s Dwarves advance across the bridge and leapt over the river. The War Priest uttered words of the Black Speech, before moving to join the phalanx that had formed, standing behind the fluttering banner.
A volley of arrows flew through the air, a trio of Easterling archers falling, whilst the Dwarves thick armour protected them from harm.
A Dwarf collapsed, an arrow in his neck, uttering strangled noises, with an Easterling being slain in return. Gimli growled; some of the goods had been taken by the enemy, although they’d managed to secure two. “Barak Khâzad!” yelled Balin, and the Dwarves crashed into the Easterling line. Balin and Gimli quickly sought out the enemy leaders, each engaging a Captain.
The Dwarf archers, attempting to secure the Dwarves right flank, slew another 4 of the enemy bowmen with a deadly volley, the four returning arrows claiming a single Dwarf. Swirling melee erupted, Axe and blade being stopped by shield or armour. Balin grimaced as a blade swept under his shoulder, fatally wounding, but not killing, him. The Khâzad Guard showed why they were chosen for their duty, as four Easterlings were slain, to a single Dwarf.
Balin and Gimli both surged forwards, Gimli skilfully throwing an axe into the Captain, fatally wounding him. Their followers quickly leapt into the battle, whilst the plunder was being safely carried away, by both forces. Another, smaller, Dwarven volley flew into the air, and one of the Easterling thieves was slain. Archers attacked bowmen as the Easterlings dropped their bows to attack the nearby Dwarves, one of the Black Dragons beheading a Dwarf.
With three mighty yells, Balin’s axe struck the Easterling captain twice, and the leader of the men fell to the floor. Both Dwarves and men lacked the stomach for a prolonged fight, but Gimli managed to slay the evil captain he was fighting, with only a single Dwarf and Man dying elsewhere.
“Hold them!” shouted Flói, as the Dwarves attempted to break past the Easterlings. “Cowards!” yelled a Dwarf as one of the Easterlings fled to retrieve the fallen goods. Another Dwarf archer fell at the ford, as the last captain gave a mighty yell of “For Sauron!” his blade piercing the thick Dwarven armour of Balin, slaying the Dwarf. The Easterlings killed in the Dwarves blazing fury was little to make up for the loss of one so mighty.
“Reform!” the War Priest cried over the screams of the dying and clash of metal on metal, and the Easterlings fell back. The Dwarves had managed to escape with some of the goods, and the army hit the reformed line of Easterlings. A trio of Dwarf arrows flew into the neck of an Easterling thief, slaying the wicked man.
Gimli and three other Dwarves surrounded a Black Dragon, easily killing him. Flói grinned as he killed an Easterling, his axe flying through the man’s neck. The first Khâzad Guard fell, although his death was avenged, as another man fell. At the ford, two more Dwarves were slain, their body’s swept away downstream.
The two Easterling thieves fled, realising their allies had been killed by archers, and didn’t want to suffer the same fate. The Easterling Captain’s blade burned hot, easily slicing through the armour of a Khâzad Guard. Another Easterling fell in revenge.
A Dwarf archer fell in combat against two of the enemy archers, but was avenged by his allies. The burning hatred of the Easterlings met the fearsome rage of the Dwarves as the men stormed forwards.
The Easterling Captain’s blade was still steaming from the heat pouring out of it, but Gimli carved through his shield, wounding the man. An Eastern Warrior and Khâzad were thrown into the river, their bodies sinking to the depths. Realising death was imminent, an Easterling archer fled, drowning in the river. The War Priest groaned as an axe bit into his leg, and he limped backwards, but Dwarves were dying all around.
A Dwarf grabbed some of the plunder, and ran towards the Easterling encampment as he escaped the battle. The Easterling Captain, War Priest, and Banner bearer were all slain in the swirling melee, and their army fled.
- Evil broken – 3 victory points to good
- 2 objectives carried off side – 6 victory points to good
- 1 objective carried off enemy board edge – 5 victory points to good
A review of the Finecast model: Ashrâk the Spiderkin:
So what do we get? One model, with some flash, which is what you’d expect, and I didn’t have any air bubbles on mine. It’s a single part miniature, so you don’t have to worry about gluing it together. No problems here really.
The sculpting on this is really good. Each part is highly detailed, but there isn’t much room for conversions, and if you want to remove the spiders you’re going to have to re-sculpt some of the cloak, cloth and staff. Also, he lacks a bit of metal armour, as it’s nearly all cloth, so may stand out from the rest of your Goblins (although this will make it easier to spot him in the heat of battle).
If you want to remove the spiders, than carefully carve them away before re-sculpting the areas to make the sculpt look more natural. If you want him to look more like the rest of your goblins, then you could try and sculpt some armour on him, which would make look a bit fat, or sculpt cloth over your other Goblins to make them match him.
Overall, I’d give Ashrâk a 7 out of 10 if you don’t like the spiders, 8 out of 10 if you do like the spiders. If the spiders were optional, he’d be a 8.5 out of 10.