Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Warhammer 3rd ed: The Artesia Project

In the previous post, I talked about the versatility of 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. It was my first love. The first war game rules I ever owned (though if I remember correctly, I'd played Blood Bowl, Space Marine and 40K long before I actually played my first WFB game). It's an extremely versatile system, and though the last thing I need right now is ANOTHER project, I've decided to resurrect the old Artesia project I've left in hibernation for years.

Essentially, I intend to create two armies representing the major factions of the Artesia universe as created by Mark Smythe. Well, that's what I'm telling myself to make the project seem less intimidating. What I'm actually talking about here is six, smaller (relatively speaking) armies that can be combined into two massive armies. On one side: Artesia and her Daradjans, the Middle Kingdoms and the Mercenary Forces allied to the Middle Kingdoms. On the other side: the Sultan's Army, The Dumeghal and The Islikid King Cyrus with his host of Demonic and Undead servants.

Modelling the Armies:

This will be a massive undertaking, which I expect will take many years to complete. Fortunately, I already own a great many of the miniatures I need for this project, which will bring together many of the diverse miniatures currently languishing in my great lead mountain.

Defenders of the Middle Kingdoms:

So far, my plan is to use the Perry Miniatures' War of the Roses  plastics  to form the bulk of the Daradjan, Mercenary and Middle Kingdoms armies. I already have these in my collection, so the initial outlay won't be too expensive. The plan is for the initial batch of Billmen, Crossbowman and Hackbutters to go into the Middle Kingdom's army (gunpowder exists in the Artesia universe, but doesn't feature much. However, as siege guns exist I can extrapolate that Hackbutts do too) while the Pikemen and Archers go into the Daradjan contingent. The plastic horsemen (not that I own any yet) will go into both factions. Note that the Mercenaries employed by Daradja will be included in the Daradjan faction, not the Mercenary faction.

The Middle Kingdom's contingent will be mostly later Hundred Year's War figures, most likely featuring another huge wad of Perry Miniatures. I'll only be doing very, very limited work on them for the time being, because they will be (beyond any shadow of a doubt) the  second most expensive sub-faction of the lot.

The Armies of the Phoenix Court:

The Sultan's Host, mostly late crusade/early Ottoman miniatures, has the dubious honour of being the most expensive as it will have twice as many points as either of it's two allied factions. In other words, it will be the biggest army in the project.

The Dumaghal will be interesting. They're knights in the service of evil. They're armour occupies a sort of mid-way point between classic full-plate and chaos-warrior baroqueness (but without the spikiness). I'll have to think long and hard about how to handle them.

Finally, the Islikids. My undead/demonic host. The Islikid himself I'll probably run as a WFB 3rd Lyche. His cannibal-undead (don't ask me to spell the setting's name for them) are described as ghouls, but given that they're intelligent, wield armour and weapons and are immune to non-magical weapons, I'll probably run them as Wights, give them a few levels of Shock Elite to make them decent fighters, and remove the instability rule. These guys will form the core of this small, but expensive army, accompanied by various mindless, ethereal or demonic nasties.

Multi-Faction Games:

So, in large games with all six factions present, the army organisation will look this:

Daradja and the Middle Kingdoms:
Middle Kingdoms (1,500 points), Daradjan Allies (1,500 points), Mercenary (1,000 points). The Daradjans will use the ally special  rules, the mercenaries will use mercenary special rules.

The Pheonix Court:
Sultan's Host (2,000 points), Islikids (1,000 points), Dumaghal (1,000 points). The Islikids and Dumaghal will use the allies special rules but will count as a single allied contingent rather than two separate ones.


  1. Could be pretty interesting mate. Don't know if you fancied taking a look at the new system from Crusader Publishing called Legion of Battle, designed to let you build whatever you fancy, and probably more accessible to others than WFB 3rd ed.

    Any thoughts on doing it in small scale as well instead of 28mm?

  2. It's not really viable. The existing ranges are either too late, too early, or just too limited in variety. Besides, I'm on a nostalgia kick. And I reckon I should be able to proxy the Middle Kingdoms force as Empire if I ever find myself coerced into playing 8th ed.

    1. And honestly, how accessible does it have to be? I'm providing all the figures. All anyone else has to do is turn up and let me teach them the rules.

    2. Well yes that's the point, you have to teach them the rules we can't go and gt them ourselves and work on our own armies for it if we are so inclined. There's one thing to be said for nostalgia, but then you end up with one guy really wanting to play a game, and him being the only one with rules.

    3. You make a good point, but I scanned all my old 3rd ed Rulebooks (with the exception of Mighty Empires, which I just downloaded from the GW website) a few days ago. Best of all, it's so old it's seemingly out of copyright, so I can quite happily pass along a copy to of the pdfs to anyone who is interested.

      And the great thing about 3rd is is you could make up whatever sort of theme army you like, combining as many races as you like. I know you can do the same thing with this new system you've mentioned, but this project is all about getting back to my gaming roots.

    4. Hey LL - the rules are still in copyright, you could get in trouble with GW for distributing PDFs of them. However, people can pick up the book quite easily on eBay for a fraction of the price of 8th. which in my opinion makes them much more accessible.

      The Artesia project looks great! Look forward to seeing it develop.

    5. They are? Wow, thank's for letting me know. I was told they'd expired long since. Thanks Zhu. I should have an Artesia WFB post up in the next week or so.

  3. Not heard of the Artesia Universe before but the maps do look tasty. Look forward to following your progress here. Another reason to dust off the old 3rd.