Monday, September 6, 2010


As gaming systems go, it's hard to beat the D&D parody Hackmaster. Their first edition rules set re-created the labyrinthine expanse of first/second edition Dungeons & Dragons, along with their own special flavor of brutality (armor with its own HP value, criticals tables, crippling physical/psychological defects) and managed to add in something new in the form of not one, but four levels of lackey: the sidekick, the henchman, the protege, and the hireling. So, in the course of playing, our party managed to accrue a number of these, not the least of which was my shieldbearer, pictured above. This little guy's function is to follow your character around, stay out of combat, and when a tower shield finally runs out of hit points, he hands you another. He doesn't accrue hit points and can't stand over your character's body to defend him/her to the death. He just hands you shields, and maybe drags you over to the party healer. Maybe. If you remembered to pay him.  Since he's a halfling, I built him using green stuff, skaven parts, extra shields, and the odd pouch. He also has a bell on his belt, so I can find him under whatever rock he's cowering under after hostilities have ceased.

I liked my skaven-halfling so much I decided to build another, more to watch my back and shoot at things, not to mention guard our followers and pack-ape. If he looks a bit burly for a halfling, that's because skaven have a more rigorous exercise regimen and as such, are beefier. The head is from the plastic flagellant sprue, and is technically a blindfold, although I thought it made a fine mask for a thiefy-looking rogue. 

The Pack-Ape is a hardy beast no adventuring party should be without, chiefly because he can carry heroic amounts of crap up and down the ladders, pits, stairwells, and shafts you inevitably encounter. Of course, you have to have a minder or two to keep him from getting attacked and going apeshit (yes, there is an actual rule for him going apeshit ). I made this sturdy fellow out of some orc bits and every extra bit of stowage and crap I had in my characters bin, including shovels, pickaxes, a bucket, and ale barrel, and a large sack with a blue-stockinged foot sticking out of it. I almost stuck a sheep on there, too, but I couldn't find a place to hang it, convincingly. Yes, he's wearing pants. No one wants to see an ape's ass when you're in a dungeon. There are worse things to worry about.

Camp guards (occasionally used as random brigands), made from some spare empire spearman legs I got as part of a bits lot, along with burly armored skaven torsos and flagellant heads/arms/bits. These guys are pretty much there to guard the base camp and die pretty quickly whenever we take a few into a dungeon as extra manpower. Their stats are never very good, and we arm them with spare mundane weapons from the party's stores. 

Lest you think lackeys are limited to the fantasy realm, I made these guys from spare parts round about the same time I was working on my Admech Arch-Magos. Sharp eyes will spot the genestealer hybrid, epic titan bits, and the arm cannon from a Jagermech. 

I think one of them even has the command section of an old epic Manticore tank in there somewhere, not to mention the necron heads cleverly hidden under those cowls. 

Happy Labor Day!


sonsoftaurus said...

I like them all, but the pack-ape is great.

The_King_Elessar said...

I always love to see your AdMech stuff.

#2501 said...

I keep hoping we'll get the 40k equivalent of a pack-ape for Dark Heresy, but it turns out that servitors are A) expensive to buy, B) nearly impossible to steal, and C) really hard to build.