Tuesday 22 August 2017

The Goblin Wars.

The idea of this post is to create a narrative for the Goblin Wars, from the era of the 1st and 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle background.  It should be taken as a bit of fun, rather than a sacrosanct piece of research. As for sources I have only used the first two editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Forces of Fantasy Supplement, and the backgrounds of the original solid based Regiments of Renown sets. I have given and referenced the various sources throughout the article and a key at the end.

Why 1st/2nd Edition only?
Well firstly it is the background to my current project of painting early solid based Citadel Dwarves/Goblins. Also 2nd Edition my favourite edition, and although I never played 1st Editon, the background and 'feel' of it fits contiguously with 2nd, more so than that between 2nd to 3rd Editions. In additon, from 2nd Edition to 3rd there was a movement from solid based miniatures to slotta bases, and a change in design. Personally I like all three editions, and both solid based and slotta minautres, but there is a definite shift in artwork, design, miniautres, and gaming concepts. With this in mind, I wanted to capture that 'early' feel of the Warhammer Worlds background and the Goblin Wars in this update.

In compiling this 'history' I have also added several photographs of pre-slotta miniatures in little dioramas, using the exact character miniatures for each entry. The only exceptions were Jaggleburst and Grimfang, who did'nt have their own models. So I used pre-slotta miniatures who to me seemed to fit the description. I have added the photographs to give an extra feel to the update, rather than it being a dry feeling text only update. Also it gives me a chance to photograph the miniatures, which was fun. Whilst photographing I realised that I need to paint more stuff! :)

The Chronology of the Goblin Wars.


After centuries of living and trading together, the relationship between the Elves and Dwarves worsens to the point of hostility. The Dwarves and Elves embark on a costly racial war which lasts for hundreds of years. The end result is a victory for the Dwarves, but at a great cost in lives and resources. The Elves leave the Old World, apart from a few rural forest scattered settlements, which culturally later become the Wood Elves.

Just after this war, their is massive volcanic activity in the Dark Lands. This results in an influx of Goblinoids from their former fertile lands.

At this time, the humans are little more than primitives tribes in the Old World (3).

Early War.

Grom, the part-breed Goblin, kills Wulfrun Willowhand the Dwarf, in a bar room brawl, reportedly over the relative merits of Old Sam's Brown and Bugman's Best (5).
Grom contemplates going for a pint of beer.
Afterall, what could go wrong?...

This action starts the Goblin Wars, and Goblinoids of all sorts invade the Dwarven Realms and lands (3).
From this point, Rug Longtooth the Great Goblin Chieftan, starts to raid the lands of the great Dwarven leader Thorgrimm Brandimm. He is joined by Jaggleburst's Red Goblin forces, and Grimfang's Night Goblins (2).
Grom's Goblin Guard invades the Dwarven Realms...
...as does the Great Goblin Chieftan Rug Longtooth...
...Jaggleburst of the Red Goblins...
...and Grimfang's Night Goblins...
..whilst in turn Thorgrimm Brandimm defends his lands, and becomes a prominent Dwarven leader during the war. 

Bono Bugman is ambushed and killed in the Troll Country by the Cave Goblin leader Bogdan Legbreak (10).
Bono Bugmans last stand in the Troll Country.

With the death of Bono, his father Joseph Bugman forms Bugmans Dwarf Rangers, and then leads them into the Dark Lands in seach of revenge.  It was here that Bogan meets and joins forces with Golgfagg and his Ogres fresh out of the lands of the frozen north (10).
Josef Bugman takes up arms, and aided by his brewers, takes the war to the Goblins.

Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries sack Nuln, and then move North to take part in the Goblin Wars (8).

Mid War.
The Battle of Bugmans Brewery:
Joseph Bugman returns home weary from campaigning only to find himself under attack when Bugmans Brewery is assualted by Goblins, including Bogdan Legbreak, who takes great delight in taunting Bugman with details of the killing of Joseph's son Bono. The Brewery is overrun and all the defenders killed. Joesph Bugmans body is not found, so he is assumed dead... (4).
After much campaigning, Bugman is finally forced into a last stand on his home ground at Bugman's Brewery.

The Battles of Bogdan's Stronghold:
In the First Battle of Bogdan's Stronghold, Bogdan and Golfag fall out, and Golfag and his Ogres fight their way out of Bogdans camp (7).
Bogdan and Golfag fall out!!!

In the Second Battle of Bogdan's Stronghold Golfag and his Ogres switch side in the war and join forces with the Dwarves. He then leads a group of Dwarves to attack the Goblin camp and kills Bogdan (7).
Golfag joins the Dwarves, and routs the Goblins.

Bogdan's son, Mad Eyed Hog, takes command of the Chariots and the forces of the Cave Goblins (10).

The Battle of Zhuf Field:
Grom and Mad Eyed Hogg, along with other Goblins attack and capture the Dwarven smithy (5,10). It was reported that "Many Dwarf captives were taken on this occasion, but all were doomed to a horrible death. On every day for the following month Grom had a hundred Dwarfs brought before him. He personally sat on each captive until the victim died of suffocation" (5).
Grom and his Guards, in the ruins of Zhuf Field.

Battle of Gonnear:
Grom and his Goblin Guard meet the forces of Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries, defeating them utterly, and killing Mudat. The Toynal Tribe from with Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries consist, now disperses (8).
Grom looks on triumphant at another victory, as he routs Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries.

Battle of the Dwarf fortress of the Middenheim:
Goblin forces, including Grom and Mad Eyed Hog, attack the Dwarven Fortress. Grom is killed in the first assault, being succeeded by his second in command Crud Longbone, a very tall, thin, Goblin, with a distinctively long nose (5).
Crud Longbone takes command of the Goblin Guard in the ruins of Middenheim.

Late War.

The war dragged on in a battle of attrition, with the Dwarves strength being slowly weakened (3), until they  were able to to lure the main Goblin forces into a pitched battle...

The Battle of Mad Dog Pass:
The largest and final major battle of the Goblin Wars. Mad Eyed Hog, Rug Longtooth, Crud Longbone, and Golgfagg are all recorded as having fought here (2,5,7,10,) . The outcome is a great Dwarven victory, but at a cost which leaves the Dwarves weakened.
Crud Longbone leads the Goblins forces to defeat at the Battle of Mad Dog Pass.

Crud Longbone is killed and Grom's Goblin Guard wiped out (5), Mad Eyed Hogg's chariot force is dispersed (10), and Golfagg returns to the Frozen North (7). It is not recorded what happened to Rug Longtooth.

The Dwarves continue to clear the remaining Goblinoids from their lands and drive them into the Dark Lands.

The Battle of Black Fire Pass:
Harboth's Balck Mountain Boys await the Dwarves at Black Fire Pass...

In order to push and pursue the Goblinoids into the Dark Lands the Dwarves fight the battle of Black Fire Pass for it's control. The Pass was garrisoned by Harboth's Balck Mountain Boys, a group of Orcs who took part in raiding the surronding area through out the Goblin Wars (6). They are eventually joined by Notlob's Orc Artillery (9).
...as does Notlob's Orc Artillery.

Both these regiments succeed in holding off the Dwarves for some time until they are both defeated and driven off. It was rumoured that Harboth spent his declining years cattle rustling in the deep south (6), whilst Notlob makes his escape.

Notlob makes his escape; "if only I has a bow I could have shot these Dwarves before they got here!" (he might have said...).

Post war.

The Dwarves continue to clear the Bad Lands between their realms and the Dark Lands. This is only achieved with the help of the of the primitive Human tribes, and a subtle shift in power starts to occur as Dwarven culture and power starts to decline as humanity's rises (3).

The Dwarves clear the Badlands and the Dwarf Realms.

Meanwhile the Goblinoids who fled regroup, and many form new Regiments of Renown such as Throg's Despoiling Hobgoblins, Eeza Ugezod's Mothercrushers, and some Orc Archers led by someone looking very much like Harboth.....

(1) 1st Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
(2) Forces of Fantasy: 1st Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Supplement.
(3) 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
(4) Regiment of Renown: Bugman's Dwarf Rangers.
(5) Regiment of Renown: Grom's Goblin Guard.
(6) Regiment of Renown: Harboth Black Mountain Boys.
(7) Regiment of Renown: Golgfag's Mercenary Ogres.
(8) Regiment of Renown: Mudat's Half Orc Mercenaries.
(9) Regiment of Renown: Notlob's Orc Artillery.
(10) Regiment of Renown: Battle Chariots of Bogdan The Goblin Warlord.


  1. Great stuff!

    I am also planning to run a convention game in the fall, featuring the original Ziggurat of Doom scenario, with Thorgrimm Branedimm as the leader of the Dwarves.
    See http://snv-ttm.blogspot.be/2017/08/game-for-crisis-2017-oldhammer-wfb1.html

    1. Wow!! That is awesome. Love the Ziggurat. Great to see Thorgrimm Branedimm in action in the classic scenario. Thank you for sharing, I am following your blog with interest. :)

  2. Nice job bud - love the background for the Goblin Wars and you've brought the various characters to life with your minis! Must admit I wasn't aware of Mudat's part in it!

    1. Thank you, glad you like what I have done. I wanted to tie together the various strands of 1st/2nd edition background into a narrative, and then add the relavant miniatures for photographs. I was fun to do, but I need to paint more miniatures for it really!

      I had now idea about Mudat's Half Orcs either until I started re-reading the old Regiments of Renown backgrounds. I like how some of the Regiments of Renown interacted with each other.

  3. Excellent work piecing together all the different infos to build a picture of the campaign, and all the miniatures look great. Fun to think the Dwarfs already had pubs whilst humans were still running around in animal furs and hitting each other with clubs.

    I concur there is definitely a different feel to the earlier citadel releases and warhammer, which you have really caught here. Great stuff.

    1. Thank you Zhu, I really enjoyed finding all of the source material. It was fun to re-read all the old backgrounds, and then link them with photographs of the relevant miniatures.

      I wanted to capture the feel of the early ranges of Goblins and Dwarves which comes through in the first two editions of Warhammer, and also the background and miniatures from pre-slotta Regiments of Renown. This is why I have seperated oit my pre-slotta Goblins and Dwarves into a seperate collection and project.

      You're right about humans. Despite the Half Orcs sacking the already founded human settlement of Nuln, it seems that that humans were still backward barbarians. Not a pub in sight! :(

  4. What a great trip down memory lane, and fantastic work piecing all the information together into one timeline.
    There was a lot more character in the older stuff, keep up the great work

    1. Thank you, I am pleased with how many people are enjoying the timeline idea, and enjoying reading the old background, and seeing the old Goblins and Dwarves.

      When reading all the old backgrounds a while ago I wondered if it was all just randomly written. If it was, I wondered if it could be brought together to create a timeline for the Goblin Wars, from just the eary old infomation.

      The idea was a bit of fun, but also I wanted to have a framework for my old pre-slotta miniatures. I decided to seperate the pre-slotta miniatures from the later slotta ones so I could pursue a project that kept that early Warhammer feel to them. So naturally I thought sorting out the background might help with that too, and place the miniatures in a 'historical' context.

      I agree, a lot of the old pre-slotta miniatures have a lot of character. It's that aspect I wanted to capture and maintain by keeping them in a seperate collection, painting and basing them in a slightly different style, and having the background timelined for them. It was enjoyable as well. :)