Commander Bernhardt paused at the edge of the jungle and peered into its dark, overgrown depths. According to his client, a cache of precious material waited somewhere within. Thick vines covered everything from the towering trunks to the bright dish-like leaves of plants. Despite the setting sun, chattering, cawing and chirping still exploded from within.
Forced to eat his horse after his last disastrous contract, Bernhardt accepted the pittance offered and intended to make this a quick success, even with the dregs he managed to round up to his warband. Taking no chances on ambush, he instructed his men put the jungle to the torch. It went some way to calming the ravings of the former halberdier who served as their guide.
His run of bad luck held. Soon after the fires took, a commotion rose within the jungle, something that set his guide to flight, a gibbering wreck of tears. The man was no more use so Bernhardt let him leave with only a look of derision for his cowardice. Then he saw what had spooked him.
Bernhardt gritted his teeth and drew steel. He called his men to form back on him but they had already spread out with their torches. Cursing under his breath, the commander hurried into the fiery jungle.
Then the screaming began.
Our first faction will spark nostalgia with seasoned Warhammer players as it re-imagines Commander Bernhardt and the Grudgebringers from the Shadow of the Horned Rat video game (updated and available from gog.com). A long-term hobby goal of our Freeguild player, Stevo, he decided this the perfect time to live that dream.
I managed to sneak into the mercenary camp and check out some work in progress shots of the warband. For the first month, we agreed to start with a basic hero and a battle line unit choice. Since Commander Bernhardt has been down on his luck, he has lost his horse and must foot-slog for the time being. Stevo’s approach to building his force is based around the idea of, ‘Why use a good miniature when a great one will do?’ To that end, he chose Forgeworld’s Theodore Bruckner from the Tamurkhan book to represent Bernhardt. Here is a progress shot of Stevo’s interpretation of the legendary character, complete with Grudgebringer sword.
Leading his first unit, the Grudgebringer Infantry, (Empire State Troops) is Lieutenant Gunther Shepke. He comes from the stunning Manan’s Blades kit which is still available from Forgeworld.
As these are work in progress shots, we’re yet to see how Stevo approaches the jungle themed basing and how these guys look in their battle arena.
Keep an eye out for the next instalment where we find out what Commander Bernhardt met in the jungle.