You may have noticed that, despite the Vampire Counts book being out, and despite my having talked about it a bit, there hasn’t been much in the way of actual gaming – lists, or armies, or plans, or anything like that – going on in the Castle von Von.
This is because I’ve been waiting for a parcel, from a far-off land. That parcel arrived today and contained something I never thought I’d lay eyes on again…
I’ve got my old army back!
Well, most of it. The Heresy Ghouls and dodgy Dire Wolves were sold off before the rest, while the ‘Varghulf’ (zombie Griffon) and Bat Swarms (Warhammer Quest bats crowding onto 40mm bases) have been nicked off with in the three years they’ve been away, which is irritating – but the stuff I care about and can’t easily replace or rebuild is all present and in more or less the state it was in when I left it!
The downside is they’re in the state they were when I left them. Some of these paintjobs – in fact, scratch that, nearly all these paintjobs – are embarrassingly bad, with my “get it on the board quick sharp” methods having not extended to “and looking like I’ve made an effort would be nice too”. The conversions are, well, the sort of thing you’d expect from someone who hadn’t done any hobby for a couple of years and hadn’t done much other than ‘build it, paint it, play it’ before that.
They are rubbish, really. BUT THEY’RE MINE. And now I have them back, and I can make them… better.
A unit of forty Zombies, kitbashed with Empire Militia. Back in the day these were Sylvanian Levy and consequently have a bias towards spears, halberds and various farm implements that could be either, although I couldn’t resist the odd zombie armed with a blunderbuss or his own severed leg.
I have two units of twenty-five Skeletons, too. Only about half of them have shields (the rest are former crossbow-toting Militia, whose loss I still keenly feel); one unit has spears, the other has painstakingly accumulated swords and shields. I think they’re going to run together into one big unit, but I’m not sure which weapon to go for.
Grave Guard! These are the old metal Foot Reiksgard, and there are twenty-seven of them. Originally there were several different builds for this unit, different sizes and weapon combinations, but from here on in it’s great weapons all the way along (I’ve removed the eight or so shields to avoid confusion).
The Order of the Black Cross, or the Black Knight Fun Bus, depending on which side of them you’re on. Twelve distressed and damaged Empire Knights, whose ooky-spooky cotton wool cobwebby dry icey stuff has long since fallen off. Notoriously inept on the table too, and not just because I occasionally forgot they were there…
Emmanuelle the Banshee, and behind her, her spectral associates, who I am unable to refrain from dubbing ‘the Black Monks of St. Herod’. That Blackadder marathon the other day was a mistake, I see that now. Anyway, they’re the last models I painted for the army, and it shows; they’re almost satisfactory!
The Necromantic brigade. I think that fellow at the back was going to be a spellcasting alternative Vampire Lord, but now he can go back to being a Master Necromancer, once I’ve tidied up that rather hamfisted attempt to dispose of his topknot (as is only right and proper).
And finally, the titular Vampire Counts! Front and centre, Lord Ruthven, Grand Master of the Order of the Black Cross; Mannfred von Carstein (not the dreadful spiky baldy one, the proper one); the Countess Marianna Chevaux (could never quite decide what to name her so let’s call her what GW did); and you can’t see Varney the Battle Standard Bearer, which is good, because he’s really badly painted.
There’s a lot of work to be done on bringing these up to speed and up to snuff.
I can’t wait.