Thursday, November 30, 2017

Welcome

Welcome to the Old School Miniatures Company

We are a miniatures company dedicated to producing wargaming figurines in the aesthetic of the golden age of fantasy wargaming: the late 1980's. We work with venerable sculptors as well as new talent. Our staff is composed of gamers who are driven by their love of the hobby and want to share their hobby with as many others as possible; but we can't do it for free.

Our target niche is filling the miniature gaps in the old bestiaries in a way useful to wargames and making miniatures that have that special nostalgia factor from our childhoods. We hope that you love our miniatures as much as we do.

Our Gnome and Misc Ranges are up and running! More KickStarters coming soon for Carnival of Chaos and Alpine Dwarves

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Work Bench: 3 rank and file undead gnomes done

Here are pics of our skellie gnomes. Next we will be adding a 4th rank and file model and 3 command models.

Remember to take our survey [no longer requires a google account] and let us know what sort of project you'd like to see Byron sculpt next for OS Miniatures.

Let us know what you think about the skellies in the comments below. Seriously, what do you think? Sorry about the photo quality; its hard to focus on tiny things.







Friday, September 15, 2017

Dark sinister Sculpts from the work Bench: Gnomish Necromaner and skellies

Gnomish Necromancer

Here's a glimpse of another gnomish project in the works. This project will be to produce a single regiment of gnomish undead. This legion of legend will include a necromancer, 4 rank and file halberd poses and a command.

The necromancer is nearly complete, but the skellies have obvious work that still has yet to be done. The Skellies are also gnomes and share the same diminutive height as other gnomes in our ranges.


Rank and File 1


Rank and file 2

rank and file 3

rank and file 3

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Old School Miniatures wants your opinion

Take the following survey to let us know what sort of minis you'd like us to make next.

Take our survey here
[it's been updated so you need not have a gmail account]

We look forward to mulling over the responses and consulting our experienced soothsayers.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Discussing Dwarf Mountaineers

Back in the days of yore, when proud miniature smiths still made their miniatures with metal, GamesWorkshop printed a curious one page article in White Dwarf. This article featured dwarves in strange alpine attire with skis and blunderbusses. This obscure article, lost in the swirling currents of game meta theory, is still in living memory for the more wizened and aged (and quite often bearded ) members of our community. I, of course, am referring to the Dwarf Mountaineers.
So let's dive in and comment, criticize, and consider them. 

Let's start by looking at the Bold Print Rules.


Scouts
Mountaineers are scouts. For people well versed in Warhammer 3rd ed. there was a distinction in warhammer 3rd. ed. between Scouts and Skirmishers that was very different from subsequent editions. In later editions Scouts could deploy outside of their controlling deployment zone. In 3rd edition, scouts essentially function as skirmishers do in later editions. Skirmishers in 3rd edition benefited from a loose formation, however were largely unable to enter into close combat.

Terrain
Mountaineers allow the dwarf player to place a single sloped hill near their deployment zone. The rule is 1 slope regardless of the number of mountaineer units, so this doesn't add up. This rule is important as it makes the subsequent rule substantially more useful.

Movement
Dwarf Mountaineers wear skis. These skis give them a movement bonus in the very particular circumstance when they happen to be moving downhill. In this circumstance they may move twice as fast. However, it's not clear if they may also reserve move at this speed. 

The Ski Charge
These skiing dwarves may charge upwards of 9"! ... so long as at least some portion of their charge distance is downhill. The rule also requires that they start at the peak of a hill. This raises a few questions. The rules do not appear to preclude the possibility of starting at a crest, going downhill for a few inches and then up a steep slope. This rule would require significant intuition on the part of the GM. The charge distance of 9" confuses the question of whether they can reserve move. Typically, a charge distance is double the move distance, in this case the charge is 1.5 times as large. So either the unit can reserve move totally a move of 12" meaning its charge distance is actually a slower move, or the unit cannot reserve move and essentially makes total moves (movement plus reserve) equal to normal dwarves.

Additionally the ski charge allows the mountaineers to fire their blunderbusses during their charge. This is a useful rule, if you are luck you will be able to make the enemy panick and ski directly into a pursuit. If you are less lucky you may be able to peg off a few models and negate an enemy rank bonus. 

Mountaineer Yodel of Doom
This rule is essentially meaningless. Since one could already acquire a magical instrument with battlerage, the rule doesn't change anything. 

Next let us consider the Mountaineers and their equipment.

These mountaineers have regular dwarf stats and come in units of 5 to 10. With a maximum of 15, this equates to 0 to 3 units of mountaineers. 

Blunderbusses are a rare weapon in any edition of warhammer. In every iteration, they have different mechanics (see 2nd ed. ravening hordes, the Empire war wagon, or the chaos dwarves.) In 3rd edition they were more comparable to arquebusses but with less range, less strength (at long range, much less), and variably comparable armor penetration. The Arquebus is objectively better, unless the enemy is between 6 to 8" away and heavily armored. Other than the magic instrument the mountaineers offer no alternative gear options in warhammer 3rd ed. 

So what's the take away?


From a points perspective, these motley dwarves are a steal. A normal dwarf (7pts) with a blunderbus (2 pts) and with the scouts ability ( 5 pts) would cost 14 pts. Montaineers only cost 10 pts. Without the terrain rule, their movement and charge rules would be seldom used. Even without that consideration, it is useful for a dwarf player to have access to scouts that are comparably cheap. 

With the addition of the mountain terrain there enter a few more considerations. First, is that dwarves typically do not have access to units that can charge 9"... at least not in Warhammer Armies 3rd ed. (There are those who would field a converted unit of dwarves riding diminutive beasts of burden. Yay, Oldhammer!) While the addition of the hill terrain makes the skiing rule much more likely to be applicable, the ability to deploy a steep hill is a massive benefit in itself. Placing a steep hill for only 50 points (minimum cost of a mountaineer unit of 5) could be a significant tactical advantage for the placement of artillery, ranks of ranged troops, a fortified position for a shield wall, part of a choke point to diminish your opponent's advantage of numbers, or simply to block LOS.

Leave your thoughts or battle experiences in the comments below.


The rules are the property of GamesWorkshop, and used under fair use without permission. No claim is made against their copyright or any other associated rights for their work. We connote no support, endorsement, or conflation of source by/with GamesWorkshop.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Are Gnomes Good?

For those who don't feel naturally drawn toward the delightful diminutive people, the first question is often "are gnomes good?" In other words can gnomes win their share of battles? When I asked around for advice on fielding gnomes, the advice I recieved was that one should include as many allies and monstrous hosts in order to dilute out the "weaknesses" and "liabilities" that gnomes present. I think this sells gnomes short and warrants further investigation.

Let's discuss: are gnomes good? The answer is not a robust yes, but rather a "it depends". And this should be expected for any race, as the game wouldn't work if a single race were objectively better. 

The Gnomish stat-line is as follows:
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
I
A
Ld
Int
Cl
WP
Pts
Gnome
4
4
3
3
2
1
3
1
8
7
7
8
5

Relative to a standard Warhammer Human they trade 1 Toughness for an additional Weapon Skill, Ld, and WP, and cost the same points.

So, we have to ask, are they better than a human? 


Well it depends.

In warhammer third edition, the additional WS gives them a decisive edge in close combat. That is 3 WS vs. 3 WS requires a 5+ to hit. But, 4 WS vs. 3 WS requires a 4+ to hit. This means against a human, Gnomes hit 50% more often! This comes with the trade off of toughness.

Standard 3S vs. 3T wounds on a 4+. 3S vs. 2T wounds on a 3+. That is only an increase of 33%.

If we only consider close combat, gnomes will kill 50% more humans, but in return suffer 33% more casualties. This means that hand-to-hand conflicts with gnomes will be deadlier on both sides, but slightly more for their opponents.


What about against other races?

This comparison becomes tricky as gnomes cost 5 pts and Elves and Dwarves cost 8 points. To balance this out we can arm the gnomes with a spear and shield (+2 pts.)

Elves have higher initiative. So they will attack first. Against a gnome with shield they hit on a 5+, wound on a 3+, and get past armor 5/6 of the time. This means an elf will wound a gnome 10/54 of the time or 18.5%. If we factor in 18.5% casualties, gnomes fighting back hit on a 5+, wound on a 4+, and have spears increasing their attacks by 50%. This means that in reply gnomes will reply to elves wounding elves 20.3% of the time. This scenario implies a situation in which neither the elves nor the gnomes charged. If the elves charged, they get a +1 to hit modifier, this would increase their dished out wounds to 27.7% and decrease the gnomes' reply to 18%. If the gnomes charge (since in 3rd edition charging didn't prevent back ranks from attacking with spears.) The Elf initial attack will cause 18.5% wounds and the gnomes will reply with 30.5%. Elves have a higher movement speed and are 2" more likely to get the charge over gnomes.

Summary: if neither charges Gnomes have an advantage of 1.8%, if Elves charge they have an edge of  9.7%, if Gnomes charge they have an edge of 12%.

As with any race, fighting dwarves is tough. Gnomes have higher initiative and will attack first, they will hit on a 5+, wound on a 5+, and benefit from an additional 50% attacks from spears. This results in a total wound chance of 16.6%. after taking casualties, dwarves will reply with a 5+ to hit, a 3+ to wound, and a 5/6 chance of passing the gnomish armor. This equates to a wound chance of 15.4%. As above this implies neither side charged. If the Dwarves charged their wound chance increases to 23.1% against the holding gnomes' 16.6%. Conversely, if the gnomes charge their chance of wounding increases to 25% and the dwarves decreases to 13.8%. Gnomes have a higher move speed than dwarves and are more likely to get the charge.

Summary: if neither charges, gnomes have an advantage of 1.2%. If Dwarves charge they have an edge of 6.5%. If Gnomes charge they have an edge of 11.2%.

Against Orcs gnomes win. The deciding factor here is gnomish initiative. With Gnomish hatred of Orcs, the two side hit and wound at the same cumulative rate.  However, since Gnomes attack first there are fewer Orcs to respond. Gnomes dish out a wound rate of 22.2% and the orcs reply with 17.2%.  If Orcs charge, the Gnomes wound with 22.2% and the Orcs follow up with 25.9%. If the Gnomes charge they wound with 27.7% and the orcs reply with 16.0%.

Summary: if neither side charges gnomes have an edge of 5%. If Orcs charge they have an edge of 3.7%. If gnomes charge they have an edge of 11.7%.

Goblins are problematic. Arming a goblin with spear, shield and light armor (+2 pts) so that they cost 5 pts, Gnomes are in a pickle. Assuming neither side charges, Gnomes have higher initiative with hatred they hit on a 3+, they wound on a 4+, get passed armor 4/6 of the time resulting in a total 22.2% of wounding. In reply the remaining Goblins hit on a 5+ with hatred, wound on a 3+, with 50% additional attacks from spears gives them a total 25.9% chance of wounding. If Goblins charged their wound chance increases to 50%, with a a reply of 22.2%. If Gnomes charge their wound chance is 27.7% with a goblin reply of 33.3%

Summary: if neither charged that round, goblins have an edge of 3.7%. If Goblins charged they have an edge of 27.8%! If Gnomes charge, the goblins still have an edge of 5.6%.

Another factor to consider is that despite these claimed advantages, often the winning side is based on point density. For example the best gnomes I could place into close combat would be with heavy armor, shield and spear in a by-the-rules 3rd ed. game. Where as the dwarves could deploy either a unit of dwarves with pikes and light armor, or +4 shock elite Hammerers with heavy armor, shield and great weapon. If there is a large point game and both sides have +3 ranks, I may have more gnomes in total, but if I cannot win close combat I am at a decided disadvantage. For example against a unit of 20 Dwarf Hammerers (5 ranks, 4 files) any number of gnomes beyond 30 (5 ranks, 6 files) won't be of any added advantage in a straight up close combat. However, this logic also applies against goblins. Gnomes with heavy armor, spear, and shield will soundly beat goblins, even if armed to the teeth as in the example above. This goes to show the importance of elite troops and gear. 

What about ranged combat?

This advantage falls away against ranged attacks. Gnomes, like Halflings and Skinks are more vulnerable to ranged fire. If gnomes cannot make it up to close combat then their hand-to-hand advantage is moot.

Analyzing ranged combat is tricky. To simplify the analysis we will assume the following gear/race combinations Gnomes with crossbows, Humans with crossbows, Elves with longbows, and Dwarves with crossbows. We will simply compare their likelihood of hitting and wounding, and then relative to their points cost - a wounds inflicted per point, if you will. Straight off the bat, Humans with crossbows are objectively better. They have more toughness and cost the same. No sense in analyzing that further.

Gnomes only come out ahead in one circumstance: when shooting at elves at close range. In this one circumstance They have a 4.16% chance of wounding an elf per point compared to the Elve's 4.04% chance of wounding a gnome per point in the same circumstance. In all other circumstances gnomes are at a disadvantage against other races in ranged combat.

What about those other stats?


Another general advantage is their Ld and WP increases. WP is typically negligible but it does give them a slight magic resistance. The Ld bonus is an all around advantage that ensures that your gnomes will stick around the battlefield more often.

Another aspect to consider is gnomish magic. In Warhammer 3rd ed. Gnomish wizards had unparalleled access to illusion spells. These spells can give a player an underestimated and often unexpected advantage.

In summary, I think that Gnomes come with particular advantages, especially in close combat, however, the loss of toughness is a significant liability, putting them at great disadvantage in ranged combat. They present a unique tactical quandary to the experienced Warhammer General.

We'd love to hear your opinions and insights below. Do you think gnomes are good? We look forward to battle reports and tactical experiences after we mail out our first batch of kickstarter Gnomes.


Warhammer is a trademark of Gamesworkshop and no claim against that trademark is made here. The game is copyrighted and referenced here without permission for commentary and evaluative purposes.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Gnome Armylist

Hello Old School Miniature fans,
We present for your Old School gaming needs: a Gnomes army list compatible with Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd ed. We designed the armylist to be a mix between a fantasy army list and aspects of the medieval Swiss army list. The list limits the number and caliber of heroes forcing the player to rely on the illusory magics of the gnome wizards and their rank and file troops. We think that it presents a unique tactical question for experienced players.

Please forgive our low quality doodles, we hope that you and your friends find this satisfactory for your needs. Feel free to leave feedback, comments, tactical advice, or to share a battle report.

This is our army list, it does not connote any support, endorsement, or officiality by Gamesworkshop.Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended.
Reserved to their respective owners