Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lovejoy's (Richard) Orcs & Goblins

Hello, Lovejoy here (Richard C - Orcs & Goblins).

There will now follow an at times discursive (some might say tedious) recap of my gaming history, so feel free to skip down to The Army section if you can feel your insides going grey at the prospect.

I have a few names online I suppose, but Lovejoy is my gaming moniker. It was chosen because of my fondness for the be-mulleted 1980s BBC TV character, a loveable, leather-jacket-wearing antique trader, rogue and philanderer. Ian McShane played the role, and Lovejoy was often portrayed sprinting across a bored housewife's lawn stuffing his manhood into his stonewashed jeans as a suspicious husband's range rover swept up the gravel drive, or else Lovejoy was passing off a fake Edwardian commode as genuine. I suppose the Lovejoy name is pretty relevant for me, as it says a lot about my nostalgic attitude to life as I get older. Like myself, Lovejoy delighted in old stuff which not all could appreciate. Like me, he was a collector of sorts, or at least an appreciator of beautiful objects. Like myself, the character was terminally stuck in the past. For me, it seems that my favorite stuff in life, as in gaming was better in the old days. The good stuff is largely old and gone, and I am given to misty eyed reminiscence over the past. Retro telly, music, and games - especially games...yes, I am Lovejoy. But I digress. Let's get on with it.

As an English kid growing up in the 70s/80s, it was only natural that I got exposed to this nerdery with The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and I quickly added D&D to FF. It was at the house of the older kid across the road, my AD&D DM, that I first saw miniatures. He owned the basics - the obligatory orcs and adventurers for gaming purposes. I have fond memories of his humbrol painted C35 Chaos Knights battling goblins on the original GW dungeon floorplans.

Soon I was collecting my own minis, the first being a blister of chaos goblin mutants, and soon after an early Perry Twins troll (Rattlebones Bowlegs, who is going to make a glorious reappearance in my new army).

Rattlebones is centre bottom.
A veritable cupboardload of gaming purchases followed, almost exclusively GW, and roleplaying related in particular. RPG is still probably my first gaming love, but sadly I can't find the time or players these days. I do still pick up both old and new material that interests me though. Old WFRP and the new One Ring game to name two.

My Warhammer Fantasy Battle gaming began with 2nd edition in about '85. By this time I had amassed a decent albeit completely disparate collection of fantasy models, utterly dictated by whatever the two or three local gaming stores in my grim northern english town actually stocked.

"Got the Man Mangler?"
"Just what's on the racks, son".

Never did score one. My meagre pocket money was obviously a restrictive factor too, but it's surprising how far a fiver would go in them days.

In retrospect we were spoiled - three local brick and mortar stores a relatively small city, each stocking some gaming content! Bloody hell.

Outside of modern GW stores, you're hard pressed to find the same number in London nowadays, I would bet.

I played countless happy battles in this edition, pushing weird groupings of minis across some offcut billiard table baize towards my little pals. The card buildings from Bloodbath at Orcs Drift were a major boost to our gaming, but it still saddens me slightly that we could never scrape together the necessary models to do that campaign justice. One for the bucket list!

One day..
On to 3rd edition. I had a couple of years with this, during which time I only managed a handful of battles as the cost of the game now meant that I had to rely on borrowed armies. My own collection wasn't enough to make up the units, numerically. The cash needed to stay in the hobby was ramping up, what with the hardback rules, tasty supplements such as Armies, Siege and the chaos stuff (which I jealously poured over at a spoiled friend's house - he even had the Mighty Fortress, the swine).

Needless to say, the lead itself was out of reach financially too. I just couldn't keep up.

Teen peer pressure had by now ushered in the need to apply eye watering quantities of Lynx deodorant, and to spike ones fringe with gel into a fashion which now looks utterly wank. Hormones were kicking in, and one felt that there was a necessity to indulge in more socially acceptable hobbies (motorcycles, guitars) in order to impress the womenfolk. So it was that my first gaming era formally ended the day I walked into the school library carrying a Middle Earth Roleplaying supplement entitled "Trolls of the Misty Mountains".

This is not the boy. It is
the character Trevor Cleaver
from 80s kids drama Grange Hill.
It does, however look very like said child.
"That's very mature!" came the derisive snort from the tubby red headed kid that no one liked overmuch. Others supported his assessment. I realised that, in the fickle arena of secondary school, I was even lower on the food chain than him. How had it come to this? I had a moment of clarity, or thought so back then. It was time to grow up and this stuff wasn't cool. And so I bade a sad farewell to gaming and took up guitar.

So I gave away, jumblesaled or lost 90% of a terrific 1980s collection of miniatures, rpgs and boardgames. Things like my entire MERP collection, Runequest stuff, Regiments of Renown sets, Battlecars, Nightmare in Blackmarsh and numerous other beloved oddments and curios. I expect that some of you did the same and lost some stone cold classics too. Ah well, let's not dwell...

About 19 years passed, and I was now working overseas. An American friend convinced me to sit in on his Vampire: The Masquerade rpg, not that I took any persuading, basically. It was easy because I was/am in Japan, where nerdery is fairly rife and far less stigmatised. Within a couple of weeks I had amazoned the necessary books and dice to run my own Call of Cthulhu games, and, egged on later by another Brit friend I made in the gaming community, I even began to think about taking up Warhammer again.
"Listen to them", he said, as I watched him stoop over his game of 7th edition. "They call you. 'Buy us..paint us', that's what they are saying..."

I did indeed listen to him, and his slightly crazed interpretation of the little men and their wise words.
Giving in to temptation, I bought a shiny new Bretonnian battalion, army book and the obligatory standard bearer from a shop in Osaka. And it felt frigging great! With 7th edition I experienced a glorious homecoming, a rediscovery of my long buried, core being, or something.

What a great ride it was, for the next few years. I liked 8th fine, too - but then the bad thing happened. The Old World's destruction left me very disappointed. I suppose we don't need to go into that here, you all know the score.

It began to dawn that Oldhammering could offer a future-proof solution for those armies, now left high and dry and gathering dust. Also, what a fantastic excuse to indulge in some collecting. Not so many pocket money woes as an adult - grown up moolah finally allows the mustering of that dream army. Here in Japan, I have at least one opponent in Mr Bekir. I now have those elusive rulebooks for 3rd edition as well, so the future looks bright.

The Army

I am using the 3rd edition Armies book in order to make my list.

Since getting those first goblin and troll minis I mentioned, I've always had a hankering to own a Kev Adams style Orc & Goblin force. The Goblinmaster's unsettling little faces - sitting in a distressing halfway house between comically mischievous and utterly evil - have always fascinated me. The characterful gobbo classics in the old Citadel Compendiums and White Dwarfs such as the goblin chariot, lead belcher and skull crusher really define the best of that early era for me.

The majority of the proposed force. The Ruglud Kommandos
at the rear left will probably need stripping.
I was able to get in on a recent Kickstarter called Greenskin Wars which included the old Crooked Claw minis from Adams, and also added in some new sculpts from the man. They are fantastic and completely reminiscent of that old citadel manner I describe above, especially in the realisation of the new warmachines.

I also have some other Kevin Adam's goblins - some Heartbreaker, some Warmonger (sometimes described as Foundry's happy/fat orcs).

I also miraculously unearthed some minis from the initial collection which escaped the purge.

My intended Army List is as follows :-

Level 20 Black Orc Warboss on Boar
20 Stickas *
20 Gobbos *
20 Boyz *
20 Arrer Boyz *
3 Goblin Fanatics
4 Trolls
1 Skull Crusher Stone Thrower

Lovely Kev Adams gobbos with spears...
The asterisked * units denote those which are mandatory according to the guidelines in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book. For the challenge, I don't really have to do these required units I suppose..but I have chosen to, as I would like a fairly balanced and by-the-book army for 3rd.

Fat Foundry Arrer Boyz at the rear,  goblin archers to the fore.
I think I've made a bit of a rod for my own back here, what with 88 infantry and a war machine!

I'm not looking to win and plaudits here with the challenge - I'm not a terrific painter (but probably not too terrible either). Freetime is in extremely short supply as I have two very energetic sons under the age of 4 who need constant attention. I work fairly long hours. My personal goal is just to actually finish, and along the way do some kind of justice to these leering, vile looking critters.

With any luck, Lovejoy's Orcs & Goblins will be on the march in 6 months.


  1. A cracking intro post. Made me laugh out loud on a couple of points. I nearly did a 3rd Ed O&G army (opted for 4th Ed Empire) so I'll be following yours with interest and living vicariously!

  2. Fantastic post Richard! We share many of the same background, especially the high school part! Looking forward to your work on this. And aso to your rambles...keep them going, it's quite entertaining!

  3. I took up bass guitar, myself ;-)

  4. After reading this I was stuck with the Grange Hill tune in my head all bloody day!!

  5. Cheers everyone!
    There will be more meandering rambles, you can be sure of that. I have a feeling that said posts just might reference a certain 80s television show I like, and draw illustrative connections with it.


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