Three armies face off at the monastery of La Maisontaal in Vengeance of the Lichemaster (1986). We've already looked at the monks of Abbot Bagrian and the Skaven warband of Gnawdoom. The third army and last force belongs to the Lichemaster himself, Heinrich Kemler. In almost every respect, army of this powerful necromancer is identical to the one that he fielded in the Battle of Frugelhofen (which is the climatic battle that ended Terror of the Lichemaster, which precedes Vengeance of the Lichemaster). Kemler's line of battle includes:
- His bad self. The Lichemaster is a Level Four Necromancer who regenerates magic points by killing people.
- His undead lieutenants, Lord Krell, Ranlac the Black and Mikael Jaksen.
- An large mob of zombies and skeleton warriors.
There is, however, one important addition to Kemler's roster. It's not a unit or a hero, or even a new magic weapon. It is a spell. As the undead Lichemaster slays the hapless residents of the Frugelhorn Valley, he recuperates the vast magic powers that he once possessed as a living mage. Just in time for the Battle of La Maisontaal, he regains mastery of the spell Summon Undead. But what's more, there is a new modification to this spell. For the first time in 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Summon Undead can be used to conjure up undead cavalry. This will let Kemler raise some much needed mobility for his army of slow moving zombies.
The Citadel Journal Spring 86, the same magazine that published Vengeance of the Lichemaster and the modification to Summon Undead, also introduced a new line of Undead Cavalry miniatures sculpted by Bob Naismith. HOW CONVENIENT!
Well, this week and next week, let's take a look at some of the miniatures I painted for the Lichemaster's stable of death riders...
Above is "Goreprow" riding on "Bones" (C21 Undead Cavalry, Citadel, sculpted by Bob Naismith, 1986). He's the skeleton featured on the advert for Vengeance of the Lichemaster in the Citadel Spring Journal 86. This is just a great miniature. I love the way his robes seem to trail off into smoke or spectral ectoplasm. You can see that I tried to accentuate this effect with a judicious use of bright green paint.
Next is "Doomsmile" (C21 Undead Cavalry, Citadel, sculpted by Bob Naismith, 1986). When the Lichemaster was handing out scary names to his henchmen, Doomsmile was near the back of the line. Like "Goreprow" he's riding an excellent skeletal horse. At the time, the slender nature of these steeds required some significant technical advances pioneered by Naismith (as detailed in the introduction to the C21 range).
Here's my slightly converted version of "Doomsmile" (C21 Undead Cavalry, Citadel, sculpted by Bob Naismith, 1986) riding on the steed "Lizardskin". For those of you who care about these things, he's bearing a standard that reads "Out of the Tomb".
Above is "Death Dart" (C21 Undead Cavalry, Citadel, sculpted by Bob Naismith, 1986). I love the sense of movement in his horse. He really does seem to be darting forward.
And finally, my favourite is "Deathheart" (C21 Undead Cavalry, Citadel, sculpted by Bob Naismith, 1986). For me this miniature really captures the essential creepiness of this range: the slouching, plodding determination of both horse and rider. I'm happy with the way that the horse's many wounds turned out - I feel like he was well picked over by the ravens before being raised up to bear Deathheart.
Thanks for looking. Next week we'll finish off Vengeance of the Lichemaster by looking at the last four skeleton cavalry in Kemler's force.