Monday, 16 March 2015

Giaks and Warhammer

It's a bit of a rarity at the moment to post about Warhammer, even though that was why I started this blog. I've been posting much more about D&D in recent months because that's what I've been doing most often, due to the campaign I'm running with my son's mates. I've not played any Warhammer or even Kings of War (which has actually been my default fantasy battlegame over the last couple of years) in ages.

Though I have an 'Oldhammer' logo on this page, I feel like a bit of an outsider on the Oldhammer forums sometimes - because the 'Oldhammer' that gets talked about mostly is 3rd Ed, and the Oldhammer I know is 2nd Ed. I know that Skaven are Ratmen, for instance, but I don't know why. I don't know when the Empire got so good at shooting, because according to the version I have it's the southern city-states (what would become Estalia and Tilea) that are the advanced human cultures in the NW of the Old World, and only they use black-powder weapons. Maybe I don't play 'Oldhammer' at all. Maybe it's 'Archaeohammer' (in which case, I guess 1st Ed would be 'Palaeohammer').

Anyway, one of the things I've been interested in since about 1985 is the possibility of fielding an army of Giaks in Warhammer. For those who don't know, Giaks were a goblinoid race from the Lone Wolf books. They're described as greyish, militaristic (which I think means organised as well as nasty) and a bit bigger than the Common Goblins of Warhammer. GW had the licence to produce minis for them, and released a boxed-set and a few blisters in the mid-'80s. All told there were 7 Giak models, including a banner-bearer, none of which I own. They also printed two pages of rules in the Citadel Journal (1 & 2). The pages include enough rules for 2nd Ed to make an army of 324 Giaks, arranged in 9 infantry regiments of 36 each. There are also notes about support troops such as wolf-riders. For anyone interested in further research on the Giaks, there's also Project Aon here where among other things there's loads of information on the Giak language.

There's no way I'll ever get the Giak minis to make up this army, because apart from anything else there are several units for whom no Giak minis exist. The Giaks in the list are armed with a variety of weapons - two regiments with bows, one with slashing weapons, one with pole arms and one with bludgeoning weapons. The weapons of the other four units are not listed but cannot include bows (no more than 25% of Giak armies may be armed with bows). The breakdown of the existing models is one banner-bearer, 3 with sword & shield, 1 with a sword only, 1 with spear and shield, 1 with a bow.

Unfortunately, given that the current 'Goblin Regiment' from Citadel only comes with options for bow or spear/shield, that means that a load of the weapons options will be unavailable even if one uses Goblin minis instead of Giaks. No hand weapons for Goblins? C'mon Citadel, what do you think you're doing? Even taking spear as being an acceptable substitute for pole-arm, I'd still need (at the very least) to find enough Goblin-arms for a regiment of swords (or other slashing weapons), and a regiment of club- or mace-wielding Goblins too. That's assuming that I make an army in which 2 regiments have bows, 1 has spears instead of pole-arms, and every regiment not listed as having a particular weapon has spears. So 5 spear-armed regiments out of 9. That really isn't what I want to do.

I fear it will be a long and slow slog before I get to the 360-or-so Goblins I will need for this project, and how I get at least 160 of them with weapons that Goblins 'can't have' I'm really not sure. Ah well, we'll see...

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