Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Tale of Four Warlords: The 8th Wonder of Ghur

I've always loved Tales of Four Gamers, or Warlords as they're called now. There's just something so satisfying about seeing the different armies and forces grow over the months. With that in mind I went to Eric, Jimbo, and Mitzy and we laid out a plan for our own Tale of Four Warlords, The Eighth Wonder of Ghur!

The murmur in the tavern rose and fell as the inhabitants of Excelsis plied their last glimmerings for a night of boozy frivolity. Men and women drank and talked hip to shoulder with stout duardin, while haughty aelves snickered from private booths, sipping upon more refined drinks. Nagashites debated with sigmarites amongst the teetering bar stools and all the while bellowing ogors downed entire kegs of ale, their raucous laughter booming within the cramped confines. More or less it was a typical night at the Drunken Dracoline, one of the city's most reputable taverns. More or less.

During a lull in the chatter one voice rose above the others in its excitement, "I tell you, I've seen it! The eighth wonder, it's true, it's real!" The shabbily dressed man took a swig from his mug as his audience jeered and laughed at him, his words only slightly slurred by the six empty tankards that were already scattered in front of him. An impressive feat for a manling, one of the duardin nearby had begrudgingly exclaimed. "No, no, it's true. I was there. Well, my expedition was there. We saw it. It was as magnificant.. magsificant... magnifi... Amazing! Just as the stories have claimed," he struggled through his drunken stupor. 

Throughout the tavern ears perked up at the mention of the mythical claim. In a far corner a lithe and deadly killer continued to sip upon her questionable vintage, feigning interest in her counterpart's story as she leaned back ever so slightly to better hear the tale unfolding in the tavern's center. At the counter a stern looking man, wearing the robes of a servant of Sigmar's stormhosts peered over his mug at the drunken commotion, transfixed upon the scene. Meanwhile, in a shadowy corner a peculiarly armored aelf nursed his drink while staying alert to the commotion, following every word with piqued interest.  

"Aye, if it's as real as you say, then where is it? Better yet, what is it?" one of the men feeding the storyteller more drinks questioned. His companions hooted in agreement, jostling the drunken man as they too pressed him for more details. Beaming from the attention and the unusually strong ale the man leaned forward upon the beer stained table in a conspiratorial manner that didn't quite match the volume of his voice. "Well, north of the Talon Coast, past the Gloaming Marshes. and through the Valiant Valleys of Valorus," he continued, gesturing wildly. As he basked in the attention, the tavern's curious connoisseurs committed every detail to memory, while a particularly large and aggravated looking ogor approached the drunken group from behind, scowling at the storyteller with a look that would melt a mournfang. 

"Once you reach the ruins of Zoatalx you head west towards the Arxarcanum Mountains, but be careful," he exclaimed, splashing his stale beer all over the ogor before he could finish the sentence. "Oh," he remarked as he turned towards the mountainous maneater. "I'm... I'm so sorry," he stammered, attempting to blot out the stains with his own ragged hat. "Don't worry mate, ogors never mind a little bit of rain," one of his compatriots remarked with a smirk. The ogor turned his icy glare towards the group, then back towards the clearly nervous man.

"Not funny!" the ogor shouted, ploughing his fist straight through the man's face in an explosion of gore. Staring in shock for but a moment, the man's friends quickly drew what weapons they had and fell upon the ogor. It wasn't long before the other ogors and boisterous occupants of the tavern joined into the squabble. As the violence spread through the crowd the three eavesdroppers took their leave, slipping out during the raucous commotion, back towards their respective masters' with the few details they were able to glean. As the brawl continued, outside a nearby window a diminutive green figure picked its way out of the trash heap it had been sampling. Peeling a fruit rind from its head the grot rubbed its greedy hands together in glee. "Dis iz gonna get me in good wit da boss! He always wanted da wonder. I wonder what wonder it could be." The grot scampered away into the darkness of the city, squealing to itself in glee as the race toward the lost wonder of Ghur began.

So what is this all about you may be asking? Let's start with the basics. A Tale of Four Warlords is when four different hobbyists commit to building new armies from the ground up over a pre-selected amount of time. Each month everyone tries to add roughly the same amount of stuff, this means built and fully painted. There are usually games along the way between the players, but not always. It almost always ends in a giant four way battle though between the completed armies.

With that in mind, how is that going to work for The Eighth Wonder of Ghur? Eric and I, though both stateside, live on opposite sides of Lake Michigan, and Mitzy and Jimbo are on the completely opposite side of the Atlantic from both of us! Surely there is no way we can get any types of gaming in. Well, while we won't be doing regular gaming as it progresses (maybe Mitzy and Jimbo will), this Tale of Four Warlords will still culminate with a massive mega battle between all of us. How is that possible? Through the magic of Adepticon! We were all planning on attending one of the largest wargaming conventions in North America anyway, so we will be setting aside one evening while we are there to host the final confrontation of the four warlords! This will be covered on Mengel Miniatures for sure, but possibly as a video as well. If you're planning on going to Adepticon you can even come watch us duke it out in person. 

Instead of building to a full 2,000 point army though, each of us will be aiming to hit roughly 1,000 points, which will be perfect for the timeframe, and also make the four way game more manageable. Each month we will have set goals to complete, this could be painting one battleline unit, or adding a monster to our force, or something along those lines. I will be doing a monthly post here showing off my progress as well as theirs, probably around the start of each following month. Eric will be covering his progress on his Mortal Realms multicast (podcast, video, blogging), and Mitzy and Jimbo have their Mitzy and Jimbo Show on youtube. We will all also be posting regular updates on Twitter using the #8thWonderofGhur and #T4W hashtags. You can follow me us at @mengelminis, @stonemonkgamer (Eric), @EATBATSmitzy (Mitzy), @jimbo9jimbo (Jimbo).

Our challenge for the first month is to build and paint our armies' generals, which means by the end of September we will be showcasing off some freshly painted minis. We will also have a score sheet we'll be following to reward people who stay on schedule with bonuses for the final game. We'll make sure to post that up soon. The biggest element of this for us though is the narrative element. Above and beyond the standard Tale of Four Warlords structure, we will chronicle the events of our warlords each trying to locate and secure the mythical Eighth Wonder of Ghur for themselves. This will mean backstories, little bits of story, and a suitably narrative battleplan and game for the finale. There may even be some curveballs you won't see coming during the build up to the finale. Expect updates through the end of February 2019, with some potential last minute updates in March if anyone needs the extra time.

I will be building the Daughters of Khaine of Khar Nair led by Hag Queen Lathori Bloodsorrow over the course of this event. I've liked the look of Morathi's bunch since they came out, and this gives me the perfect structure and motivation to get a Vanguard sized force of them done. Since this is a narrative event, we won't be enforcing the force guidelines of Matched Play, meaning you don't need battleline units if you don't want them. That being said, I personally plan on taking my army to the Vanguard tournament at Adepticon as well, so I'll more or less be sticking to the Matched Play guidelines, with a few extras added for the finale of the Eighth Wonder of Ghur.

Expect the first major update from me during the first week of October!

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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