Long time, no type

This blog is long overdue. Many times since my last post in January I have meant to report on events that I have participated in, and games I have played, but sadly my depression and anxiety have been increasing since last November, and this March it came to the point that I needed to seek help, and go back on medication. This has left me generally apathetic and each time I have sat down to type, sentences fail to form in my mind and my enthusiasm for posting wanes. Here we are in June now, and I have added nothing to Mug ‘O’ Dice since the beginning of the year. I have decided to make a quick post today, largely as a catch up.

In March I attended ‘Manticon 2019’ a weekend of ‘Mantic’ based gaming. They were holding two ‘Kings of War’ tournaments one singles and the other for doubles, I teamed up with my friend Neil Dennison and we took a Sea Elf/Realms of Neritica army along to the battle bunker at ‘Dark Sphere’ in West London. There was a good attendance at the event and we played some good games against some friendly and knowledgeable people. I wanted to improve my tournament record having failed to win a game during a ‘Kings of War’ tournament. Generally it is not about the result for me, but to lose on every occasion can become disheartening. Our first opponent was a Night Stalker/Ratkin combination that annihilated our army, we certainly learned from that game and our opponents were kind enough to give us some tips for our next round. Game two was against an Ogre/Forces of Nature combination a very friendly couple took us up to round 7, and it looked like we might actually take the game, however the final rounds swung against us, and we evaded victory once more. The final game was against a Dwarf/Dwarf combination a very tactical game and one in which I finally broke my trend as we managed to force a draw. Our final results netted us the wooden spoon, the sting of which was removed when the tournament organisers presenting us each with a ‘Mantic’ terrain box, which was very kind.

April came along and SALUTE 2019 happened, sadly I missed it due to work, which is a shame, on the bright side at least I saved some money. It has made me more determined to attend SELWG 2019 this year at ‘Crystal Palace’ on Sunday 20th October 2019. Follow the link to find out more:

https://www.facebook.com/SELWGSHOW/

May saw an end to the ‘Kings of War’ campaign that I have been taking part in at the ‘Tanelorn Gaming club’ at the ‘Magic Madhouse’ in Stratford, East London. I had enjoyed taking part in this campaing, which was run by my friend Guy Harper. I only managed to win my first game against an army of ‘Ratkin’, however I enjoyed everyone of them, playing against some very friendly people. My ‘Empire of Dust’ army faced deamons, Dwarves, Beastmen and Elves as they fought their way into the Isle of Valundar, my Pharaoh looking both for his long lost brother, and revenge upon those who sunk his fleet. He saw gaining shards of the ‘Fenulian Mirror’ as a bonus. The last game as a six way affair with the object of securing the mysterious tomb in the centre of the board. Melee took place across the table and many troops were lost, By the end of turn five it looked like my army would carry the day, sadly we had trusted in a pact with some Dwarves who attacked us in the rear and flank and stole the victory. During the game I was impressed how much hurt a simple troop of Dwarf Berserkers can hand out, and the damage that a Herd Brutox can soak up. It really was a great climax for the campaign.

Finally I have entered another doubles tournament with ‘Kings of Herts’ this time it is a fundraiser for the school where they run most of their events. To find out more about it, follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2266931370245040/

I am taking 1000 pts of ‘Empire of Dust’ my partner this time will be Mark Cunningham of the Bexley Reapers who I believe is bringing some ‘Varangur’ I am currently finalising my list and prepping the minis, I will try to blog about this nearer the time. Mark and Grant from the reapers are also organising a tournament to take place on 20th July 2019, I cannot make it as I am taking part in the race for life on the same day, but if you are interested, follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2178879795497410/

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First for 2019

Hello readers, welcome to my first post for 2019. This post will be shorter than my usual ramblings, and focus on my recent hobbying and hobby plans I have so far for the year ahead.

I have not played a game since mid-December, and due to various work and health related issues, it does not look like I will be rolling any dice until mid-February, when my Kings of War, Empire of Dust army will take their next turn in the campaign being played at Tanelorn gaming club “The Lost Isle of Valundur”. Our armies are now at 1,500 points, and my force has a new recruit in the form a ‘Soul Snare’ that I scratch built out of green stuff. I had an idea for this unit for a while and used a half finished model several times, its lightning attacks and health buff ability was really useful, however it got an upgrade in ‘CoK 2019’ where it dropped the aforementioned spells for an altogether more effective one that really suits the fluff for both the unit and the army: Drain Life, I’m looking forward to using this.

My initial ‘Soul Snare’ was just an Ankh made out of green stuff and stuck to a 50mm base whilst I decided what to do with it. At Christmas I had some inspiration, I decided to build the entire model out of green stuff. I wanted to show it bursting through the ground, rising into the air above a well of souls, with tendrils of arcane power leeching out to steal the life force from enemy warriors. I decided to find something conical, upon which I could place a thin layer of green stuff and stretch it into a shape I was happy with, then I let it dry. I then painted it with Balor Brown, washed it in army painter strong tone, smeared it with PVA glue, and washed it again with army painter, then came dry brushing with Balor Brown, Zamesi Desert, Moon Dust yellow and Ushabti Bone, to get a grainy sandy look. I cut a Perspex rode to make the Ankh float, and used a mound of green stuff to keep it in place, I moulded it to look like the well of souls was drifting up toward the base of the floating Snare, ready to be expelled into the field of battle and rip the life force from the enemy forces. I rolled thin slivers of green stuff to create these tendrils and attached them to the Ankh. Finally I wanted to make the Ankh itself look aged, it was a clean golden colour, I washed it with strong tone to make it look dirty, and as an extra touch I stippled parts of the surface in Dark Angel Green, Scaly Hide and Toxic Mist to give the appearance of decay. My pictures do not  do it justice, but try as I might I cannot stop the camera from blurring at the wrong time and the brightness going just as I press the shutter button, I need to work on this:

Hobby for the beginning of the year:

On Saturday 23rd March 2019 I am going to take part in the Franticon Kings of War doubles tournament with my friend Neil. I was originally going to take my Halfling heavy League of Rhordia to match his Trident Realms army, sadly Halfling archers, generally the staple of my low point Rhordian forces were nerfed in CoK 2019 making them barely worth taking, so I have decided to dust off my Warhammer Elves and give them a bit of a play, they will make a good match for Neil’s army as I painted them as a Lothern Seaguard army when I used to play Warhammer Fantasy, I will write more about these when I freshen them up for the tourney in March.

https://www.facebook.com/events/245149449525248/

I had hoped to go to SALUTE 2019, sadly my job has disrupted this and have me working the weekend of April 6th 2019. However if you have the time available, I really to recommend purchasing a ticket and getting yourself down to Excel London and enjoying a day of games, painting displays, new releases and sales bargains, always a great day out.

https://www.facebook.com/events/621466248227439/

Finally There will be another Reaper tournament on Saturday 20th July 2019 and I am seriously considering buying a ticket, it was really good fun last time, and I know that Grant and Mark will make it even better this time around.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2178879795497410/

MoD September to November

Hello readers, I really must get more on top of this blogging, yet again I have let too much time go part without touching finger to key. This might be a long issue, it really depends on how much I remember there has been a good amount of hobby these past few months.

Isle of Valundur

I have played two games in the slow grow campaign since my last blog. I have faced off against an army Elves and a throng of Dwarfs, both enemies pipped my skeletons to the post in the Kings of War pillage scenario.

Game 1 against Guy’s elves was a bit of a slow starter, and I lost a token to him from the beginning as he placed a unit of scouts upon one that I had placed in his deployment zone (objective markers are placed before the role to choose sides), the marker had been placed in some difficult terrain, which meant he had cover and anyone that charged them would be hindered. The unit really did prove impossible to shift despite two direct hits from a balefire catapult, a hail of quivers from the guardian archers (a unit that is definitely worth it money) and a full on charge from revenant chariot unit who totally failed to scratch the Elves, who would not relinquish the objective. Centre table there was plenty of blood shed as a unit of Palace Guard marched toward an unreachable objective. My Skeleton Spears horde charge an enticing horde of Forest Shamblers, wounds were caused on both sides, but sadly it was my troops that crumbled. A Forest Warden charged out from the woods right at my Enslaved Guardian Archers, and although he drew some ichor, the Guardian counter charge proved decisive and the Treeman was downed. The game continued in this vein, with the final action taking place around the only marker my army had nabbed. My opponent did not want my deadites to have any objectives at all, and swooped his Drakon Rider Lord in to dispute the claim. The fateful dice role for turn 7 took place, a 5 was the result and the turn took place. I was reticent as I did not think my army could hold out. I turned my Behemoth around to face the Drakon Lord, and used my Pharaoh to surge her into the flank of the winged monster, with the doubled attacks, after the undead beast’s rampage was finished, there was nothing left but Elf jam and a few scales. A moral victory that earned the Behemoth ‘Man of the Match’ (on my side) and softened the pain of losing. Thankfully I did get an exploration phase and managed to find my first shard of the Fennulain Mirror.

In game 2 I faced Conrad’s Dwarfs, a totally different prospect to the Elves, and although dwarfs are not the fastest movers in the game, they weren’t slow in getting into the action. With my 150 point boost I upgraded my Enslaved Guardian Archer regiment into a horde and gave them healing brew. This unit has proven to be reliable and effective, by doubling their number I increased their attacks to 18 and strengthened their nerve. I also brought in a Swarm regiment to act as a screen. Given the table size and points value of our armies, we altered the role for objective tokens from D3+2 to D3+1. I duly rolled a 1 so we only had two objectives to fight over. I decided to split my army in two, sending my Skeleton Spear horde and Chariots under the guidance of my Pharaoh for an objective that had been placed in the centre of the table. The Guardian Horde, Behemoth and bugs went for the other marker which had been placed on the far right of the table. My tactic was just to go for it and see how Conrad reacted, and moved all my units toward the objectives. In the shooting phase my Revenant Chariots took a shot at a regiment of Berserker Brock Riders although they hit they could not scratch the tough dwarf hides. My Behemoth needed a 6 to make her shot, and she hit her target, causing 3 wounds on the nearest horde of Dwarf Ironclads. In response to this Conrad used his suped up Dwarf King to push back the Chariots with a Wind Blast spell he acquired earlier in the campaign, putting them in a poor position for their next round. The Dwarfs moved up rather quickly and but not much else happened in round 1. In the rounds that followed there was plenty of action, with the Brock Riders and Mounted King making the first charge of the game, initially bouncing, but eventually destroying the Revenant Charioteers. In turn the Guardian Archers vaporised both of Conrad’s Dwarf Berserker troops in separate shooting turns. In the centre of the table there was a tussle between two hordes of Dwarf Ironclads and my horde of Skeleton Spears, there was charge and counter charge for three turns, and my Spears held out, taking and inflicting pain. In the end however they were overwhelmed by the tenacious Dwarf units. (On the walk home I realised that I had forgotten to use the units phalanx and life leech special rules, and only remembered the ‘Pipes of Terror’ special bonus in the first turn. The result could have been quite different, darn my faulty memory). This victory gave the Dwarfs the centre objective. The Brocks and King raced across the table towards the left side. Whilst my Pharaoh, Behemoth, Guardians and Bugs turned to face the approaching enemy. My Guardians shot a volley at the weaker of the two Dwarf hordes, destroying the unit and claiming some revenge for their downed skeleton brethren. The Brocks and the King charged the Guardians who duly collapsed under the force. The Behemoth stepped forward and was willed into the flank of the king, he scored 7 wounds but was unable to make the King leave the field. My opponent was then left with a dilemma, he was presented with a possible flank charge on the Behemoth with his Dwarf Ironclads, but this would mean leaving the objective and relying on a 7th turn to make it back, he was eager to take out my giant beast, but took the route of common sense over the thrill of gambling away his lead. This decision served him well the dice was rolled for the extra turn, but a 3 decided that the game came to an end. His Dwarf horde held one objective, my Swarm held the other, with a unit strength of 3 in comparison to my unit strength of 2, the Dwarfs carried the day. I did not get an exploration phase this turn, but earned enough points for three units to gain veteran status, one of these was my mighty Behemoth which has somehow become ‘Stealthy’.

Grumpy Old Tin

23rd October was SELWG 2018 at Crystal Palace, sadly I could not make it this year, but my friend Nik came over from Austria to attend, he stayed over at our house, and was generous enough to gift me with some products from is small gaming production line ‘Grumpy Old Tin’. In the past he has sent me some fantastic wooden buildings made using his lazer cutting skills. Now he has started making his own flock, grass tufts and mosses. I’m particularly fond of his scenic wild flowers. Check out his wares at www.grumpyoldtin.com

King of Herts 2

In October I attended a brilliant doubles tournament in Hemmel Hempstead run by Matt Green and Paul Roberts. This was to be my second Kings of War tournament and my first in the doubles format. I put together a 1000 point ‘League of Rhordia’ list which consisted of mostly Halflngs. I was partnered by the very talented Rusty Shackleford who brought his Dwarfs. We were to play three games, we definitely played the pillage scenario, but I have forgotten the other two scenarios that were selected. We faced three alliances: Neritica with Elves, Werewolves with Vampires (basically two lots of Undead) and Neritica with Dwarfs. We did not win any of our games, but we came close and scored enough points to avoid last place. Our first and last games were really close, however the Undead alliance tore our troops asunder, my poor Halfings did not know what had hit them, although my Master Sergeant gave as good as he got, holding out against a horde of Werewolves (at least for one round). The games were really fun, and I think learned a lot from Rusty and my opponents. Matt and Paul were excellent hosts and event organisers creating a great atmosphere. They also arranged for  ‘The Pit’ gaming shop to be on hand to sell some great deals, and sent out an order to local eatery ‘Burgitzza’ who do a nice line in burgers and pizzas. If you have the time I thoroughly recommend that you attend one of their Kings of War events.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1841774202605061/

The guys also gave tournament goers with some lovely laser cut wooden terrain pieces, Rusty was kind enough to paint up mine and he also gave me a painted Dwarf Waystone, and a dead Halfling wound counter, all painted beautifully:

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Winged Aralez

When thinking about my army list for Kings of Herts I wanted some mobile fire power to assist the Honour Guard unit that I was taking. The obvious idea was Halfling Ranger Cavalry, and I was taking a troop of these, but felt I still needed something more. Flicking through the pages of ‘Uncharted Empires’ I noticed that as well as being able to mount your mage upon a horse, they also have access to the Winged Aralez. According to Armenian mythology  an Aralez is a dog like spirit that live in the sky and are believed to decend to the field of battle and lick the wounds of dying warriors which can heal or even resurrect them. People have used many different miniatures to represent these majestic creatures. I have tried to stick to the dog like description and used the ‘Games Workshop’ Thunder Wolves to model my own Aralez. I currently have two hordes of Honour Guard and an Winged Aralez Ancient (not a GW mini), but I did not have anything to represent the middle ground, the simple Winged Aralez. I had enough parts left for one more Thunder Wolf, but no wings. I had used Griffon Wings for the Ancient, but decided they would be too large for the younger Aralez. I looked around and asked my friends Nik and Neil for advice, and eventually resolved upon finding some wings from an old school Wood Elf Falcon Rider, I hit e-bay and found just the thing, when they arrived I was ready to start. I had already decided that I would stick to the tan body colour that I had used with the Honour Guard, but I wanted the mane, wings and tail to have a fiery appearance, to show the Aralez had taken on some of its master’s hot temperament during the bonding that all Aralez riders must go through. I was happy with the finished piece, but had an issue, originally I planned to use the old ‘GW’ Supreme Patriarch ‘Thyrus Gormann’ as my mounted wizard, however his staff prevented him from sitting upon his mount. After a quick trip to my bits boxes I had a combination of High elf and Empire knight parts and with some help from some green stuff I quickly assembled a new wizard to ride the beast into battle. This meant that I was still painting the night before the tournament, but that is nothing new.

Franticon

Over the weekend of 23rd – 24th March 2019 Dark Sphere Megastore in Shepherds Bush will be the venue for a huge ‘Mantic’ event which is co organised by the Frantic Gamers Podcast. There will be tournaments of ‘Kings of War’ (including Kings of Herts 3)and ‘Deadzone’ and the ‘Dreadball’ 2019 UK National Championship. I’m going to the Saturday and plan to take part in the Kings Of War doubles tournament. For more information follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/245149449525248/

*** Excelsior ***

Gaming Galore

Hello MoDers, I’m trying to squeeze this blog in before September ends time really does seem to fly these days. So in the past month since my last blog I feel like the hobby gates have crashed open, and I loads of gaming opportunities have come my way.

After my experiences at the ‘Shroud of the Reaper’, tournament that I took part in at the end of July, I have been bitten by the tournament bug. During the day a few people recommended that I take part in as many tournaments as possible, to get some game time and become more skilled using my army. Daniel Read directed my to ‘Kings of Herts,’ a Hertfordshire based gaming group who hold regular singles and doubles tournaments. He tagged me in on their Facebook page, and after making sure I was not due to work the weekend of their next tournament, I asked if anyone needed a partner to team up with, thankfully Veteran ‘Kings of War’ player Rusty Shakleford offered to partner my Rhordians, with his Dwarves, and I was set for my 2nd ‘Kings of War’ tournament, my 1st doubles. I’ve been working on my list, we have 1000 points each to spend on our half of the army and I’m working on some new ideas, such as a Wizard upon a Winged Aralez, here’s the progress so far:

If you want to check out ‘Kings of Herts,’ here is their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2034232993516266/

Just after I paid for my ticket to ‘Kings of Herts’ I received an invite to a ‘Kings of War’ slow grow campaign by my gaming friend Guy Harper. This takes place at the Magic Madhouse in East London, when gaming club ‘Tanelorn’ run a gaming afternoon every Sunday. I was really grateful to be considered for this campaign, as it would give me a chance to build up my ‘Empire of Dust,’ army and get some much needed gaming practice. Another thing that really appealed was that being a slow grow campaign it does not take place every week, which makes it more easy for me to take part.  I played my first game in the campaign two weeks ago and against a ‘Ratkin,’ general. As it was the 1st round of the campaign we had 750 points of troops, inclusive of our generals. Both armies looked quite balanced and even though I won a solid victory, I think a lot of that was due to some good luck on my part, and some very bad luck on the part of my opponent. It didn’t help that both sides were coming under act from hidden goblin assailants during the shooting phased, although this did add some fun to the proceedings. My army in this campaign currently consists of a Pharaoh in a chariot, a horde of skeleton spear warriors, a behemoth and a unit of enslaved guardian archers. We have 150 pts to spend on our next forces, I’m thinking about adding a soul snare, or maybe some chariots.

If you’d like to track the progress of out campaign, here is a link to the campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231771117514137/

There are two other tournaments that I am interested in attending this year, there is a ‘Shroud of the Reaper’ Christmas event. As I am expanding my ‘Empire of Dust,’ forces, I may swap out my 500 points of Dwarfs for some skeletal allies instead. The tournament is taking place on December 8th 2018 in Guildford, here is a link if you want to know more.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1935057850120876/

Finally there is ‘Kings of Herts 3,’ which is going to take place during a Mantic weekend of Madness called ‘Franticon’ which is being held at the Dark Sphere Megastore in West London on 23rd and 24th March in 2019. I am hoping to go to the doubles tournament with and Empire of Dust army.

https://www.facebook.com/events/245149449525248/

Passing of the Shroud

Hello MoDers, with a combination of this heat sapping my will to write anything, and going on holiday only a day after the ‘Shroud of the Reaper’ tournament took place, my post event report is somewhat delayed.

In summary I had a really fun day in Bexley, taking part in a really well-run tournament and getting in four games along the way. A lot of work had gone into making the gaming experience a pleasure from well themed gaming tables to personalised dice trays. There was some spectacular armies on display it was clear to see that a lot of effort and no small amount of talent, had gone into their completion.

My Rhordians faced off against the ‘Forces of Nature’, ‘Varangur’, ‘Undead’, and ‘Dwarfs’. Sadly I did not manage to achieve even one victory in fact I finished in last place. However I did achieve my main goal of not getting tabled, and more importantly I had a lot of fun.

Army List

For many years I have been a Dwarf player, and became very skilled in using the gun line tactic that many Dwarven armies use to great success. One of the reasons I had for a change of army when I took up ‘Kings of War’, was to have a mobile army that actually moved toward the enemy without getting flanked, isolated and wiped out.

As I mentioned in the ‘Counter Charge’ podcast ‘Rhordia Revealed’ the league has a very good range of mobile units from Halfling Ranger Cavalry to the mighty Honour Guard. I set my mind on having a mainly mounted army. In Clash of Kings 2018 Rhordia was gifted two fun looking formations. I’m not a great fan of formations per se, as I love to create my armies free hand, and would hate Kings of war to take the Warhammer Battle Scrolls route. Army construction os one of my favourite part of the hobby, it links in very well with fluff. However as an option they seemed interesting.

The formation I was interested in was the ‘Thoroughbred Mounts’ which consists of a Regiment of Halfling knights, two troops of Halfling knights and a mounted Halfling master sergeant. As well as providing four units of nimble light cavalry the gained the added bonus of 1 inch to their movement and the Hatred special rule. I really wanted to try this out. Sadly I did not read the formation set up correctly when I went through the book, and thought that it was 1 regiment, 1 troop and a Master sergeant. it was only when there were 25 hours left until the army list had to be submitted, that I noticed my error, I had no more Halfling knight miniatures at my disposal, my draft list needed a total overhaul.

With only a week left until the tournament I had to think fast. In response to an earlier blog, by one of the event organisers, Grant Alexander, the suggestion of using the 25% allowance for allies. I now had to seriously consider this option. I still have my Warhammer Fantasy Empire, High Elf and Dwarf armies as well as a Kings of War Empire of Dust army, as Rhordia is a neutral army either of these could have come to my aid. As mentioned earlier my preference was always for the Dwarves, and they have some really great units at their disposal. On Twitter @Thunder_Ox suggested I brought in a solid shooting unit, in response to the same blog. A colleague at work, Neil Dennison, who is quite au fait with the Kings of War Dwarves and he suggested a unit of Dwarf Rangers with a Ranger Captain for inspiring and possible a unit of Earth Golems for added strength. With the models at my disposal, this was a viable option and the one I went for in the end.

My completed army list looked like this:

20180722_065626

Rhor’s Lunch Wagon:

Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez (Mind Fog and Blade of Slashing)

Honour Guard Horde (Chalice of Wrath)

Honour Guard Horde (Staying Stone)

Battle Shrine

Halfling Knights Regiment (Hammer of Measured Force)

Halfling Iron Beast

Mounter Halfling Sorcerer (Wind Blast, Drain Life, Myrddin’s Amulet)

Halfling Howitzer

*********************************************************

Dwarf Ranger Captain

Dwarf Ranger Regiment

Earth Elemental Horde

I had not realised at the time of submission that the staying stone had already been nerfed and now only strengthened the units waver level and not their breaking point. I had chosen this item in-order to keep the Honour Guard in the fight longer as they had themselves been nerfed in the Clash of Kings 2018, leaving Rhordia with very few units that can take a hit. Had I read this part of the Errata before making final selection, I believe I would have re though the selection. My other post game tournament thought on this list is that I should have selected the Volley Gun over the Howitzer, as indirect fire was not really required in these games, and the Howitzer which is pretty hit or miss was only effective in one out of my four games.

On the day I was most impressed by the units of Honour Guard which are pretty much a paper tiger, if they get the charge, they hit hard and with a large amount of attacks, there are not many units that can stand after these guys have struck them. Throughout the day these chaps wiped out a horde of Earth Elementals in one hit and a Horde of Brock Riders in another. I just need to find a way to keep them in the game once they themselves have been charged. My most disappointing units were the Howitzer as stated and the Duke on Aralez Ancient, but this is largely because I did not really know what to do with him.

Conclusion

At the end of the day I learned several things, the first is to really get to know how your army works, practice and practice so that you don’t spend a lot of the game making errors because you don’t know the best way to set up or how best to manoeuvre your troops. Sadly I do not get to play very often so I am not sure how to achieve this.

Get used to and do not forget the chess clock, at the beginning of the day I was more preoccupied with not forgetting to click the clock at the end of my turn, determined not to accidentally run out of time. By the end of the day, I was quite tired and regularly forgot to tap out.

Bring spare equipment. I thought I was pretty prepared with spare movement trays, pens, army lists and card cut outs to use as proxy units to balance upon hills and other difficult terrain. However during my first game my tape measure broke as the metal tip came off and the tape disappear inside the casing. Thankfully my opponent was prepared and allowed me to use his spare not only in that game, but for the rest of the tournament. Thank you very much Steven Pearce.

During the game it might be a good idea not to assist your opponent by setting up a pathway of individual characters for a strong unit to smash through and over run into the flank of one of your valuable regiments. Whilst my mounted mage was busy blowing back a unit of Naiad Wyrmriders, I took my eye off the ball and left him within charge range, allowing them to plough through the mage and the reaper special character and into the flank of my Halfling Knight regiment who crumbled under the onslaught. Two lessons there, be less impetuous and concentrate on what you are doing.

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I would like to thank my opponents from the day for 4 great games of Kings of War: George Harris, Alistair Austin, Dan Woodley and Steven Pearce. I’d like to thank Daniel Read for pre-tournament practice. And I’d also like to thank Mark Cunningham and Grant Alexander and the rest of the ‘Bexley Reaper Wargaming Culb’ for making the tournament possible. I’d also like to thank Mantic for softening the sting of coming last by sponsoring the wooden spoon prize. In all I had a great first tournament.

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Rhordia – A camp in crisis

Hello MoDers, as usual I have totally failed in my plans to make regular posts, even with ‘The Shroud of the Reaper’ tournament at Bexley Reaper Gaming Club just around the corner, I just cannot get my blogger head on.

The reason for my title is that I am currently floundering in my attempts to get an army together for the afore mentioned tournament. On paper my army is no larger than 1500pts, so it is 500pts short. The army list needs to be ready and with the organisers by 14th July 2018. I do have the option of allies to boost my ranks if necessary, but allies in an army bring their own tactical issues that for many reasons put me off that idea. And I really want to go all Rhordia if possible.

Not only is the army not ready on paper, but a lot of it is still pretty much a work in progress, something that is not helped by the results of a recent eye test, as it would appear I am starting to need glasses, I thought my painting speed was slowing down (although did not think that entirely possible, I am already a tortoise if the painting world).

I had one practice game, all I’ve managed as I squeeze my gaming in between work responsibilities and spending time with my family. The game was a brutal affair in which I took a Rhordian force of 1500 against an Ogre army of the same value. Due to poor pre game planning, once the loot scenario had been selected and my impetuous style of play, my army was totally wiped up, and the Ogres did not lose even one unit. Not the confidence boost I needed in my first game after 10 months. It was good to be back at the club (H.A.T.E in Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club), and nice of my opponent to take time out if his Sunday to roll some dice with me, but there was a definite mixture of emotions between getting to play, and being tabled.

So I need to get an army list together with which I am both happy and confident by 14th July, and I need to be able to have the miniatures ready to take part by 21st July. I have counters, and a chess clock (Stiil not used), I also have wound counters, although not the ones I had hoped to be taking. I am almost there, I just hope that on the day, I can have an army that is both fun to play with and challenging for my opponents so that they have a good game too. 18 days to go, so we’ll see.

To Bexley with Rhordia

Hello MoD’ers I hope that this sunny Saturday finds you well. I am a little tired this morning as I was up in the early hours guesting in the ‘Kings of War’ pod cast ‘Counter Charge’ it was an episode aimed at revealing the League of Rhordia. I was asked to speak about how the fluff based around Rhordia inspires my army composition. Although I was quite tired it was a fun experience, and I think you’ll enjoy listening when it comes out. I want to thank Daniel Read for recommending me and Mark Zielinski and the guys for allowing me to contribute.

As I said about two blogs ago, I am due to take a part in a Kings of War tournament. Although I have not yet managed to squeeze in a game, to shake out the rust and remind myself of the rules, I have at least decided which army I am taking. The decision was between ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’. Although I have had more gaming success with the forces of the Pharaoh I find that the diversity of the Rhordian army list allows more fun with both army selection and in painting and preparing the army I eventually take.  So with that decided I had to think about the type of force to take.

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The next decision was army composition. What type of army should I take? Should I go with a balanced forced?  Take a mainly infantry based army or perhaps side that is strong in cavalry. My main reason for entering the tournament is the opportunity to play four games in one day, and that temptation close so to home was too much to up on. I am not going with any aspirations of being crowned tournament champion, for me this will all be about fun, and I going to select an army with this in mind. The final decision also depends upon what I can get ready in time for July 21st 2018. Although I was hoping to go with hordes of Human and Halfling infantry, it is just not feasible, so I am going with a smaller paint load and opting for the cavalry option.

The actual army I will take is still in the decision making process, but I will add smaller blogs whilst it takes shape. Until then however here are some photos of the army in preparation:

SALUTE 2018

Hello MoD’ers,

It is three days now since SALUTE 2018 finally took place and as always it was an excellent show. I arrived early as usual and nabbed a ‘decent’ place in the queue. From here I planned my day, the first stop was to be the ‘Badsquiddo Games’ stand then the ‘Northumbrian Tin Soldier’ and ‘Warploque Miniature: Arcworlde’ stalls to make some early purchases. I eagerly eyed up the speed painting tables at the front of the hall, but quickly struck that idea from my list, as I was wearing my new ‘Dr Who’ T-shirt and it is white, I don’t want any paint flecks on that quite yet.

When the doors officially opened our horde of game obsessed hobbyists swept into the arena ready to spend our hard earned pennies on small plastic figurines and any available accoutrements. I made it to Annie Norman’s ‘Badsquiddo Games’ where they were still setting up and yet mobbed by eager enthusiasts. Eager both to chase up a mail order for her delightful mounted shield maidens, and to purchase some more that I had not noticed when I had made my initial purchase on their website, I was greeted by a friendly lady that was assisting Annie. They allowed me to take my mail order away with me and gave a great show price for the amazing mounted hearth guard models I had found, they are really lovely models, and my current photo does not do them justice.

Whilst speaking with the helpers at Annie’s stall I learned of a game that they are developing, one that I know my little girl will absolutely love: ‘Gunnypeegs’ a rather intriguing Bunny Vs Guinea pig war game. I believe there is going to be a kickstarter for this, I will keep you posted. I bought a pack of the pigs and bunnies that are currently available.

After this I went on the hunt for the ‘Northumbrian Tin Soldier’ and promptly, somewhat fortuitously got lost, finding instead the ‘Macrocsom’ stand. These guys recently completed a kickstarter for a wargame that involved skeletal Dwarves Vs skeletal Goblins, finances stopped me getting involved but I could not help but notice some fully fleshed dwarves, in WW1 Russian uniforms riding upon sturdy looking ponies. My eyes then drifted from this shelf to one just below which was populated again my troops from WW1, the were Goblins resplendent in German uniforms and Halflings representing the British ‘Tommy’. I just had to have a pack of the furry foots Brits. These minis come from their Weird War range, when I spoke with the stall holder (I apologise as I have forgotten his name) he told me that they hope to have a kickstarter for this range, it will be called ‘Mud Fields’ along the line of their previous campaign. He also said that he hoped to include a fourth race, possibly Turkish Orcs. This is definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

SALUTE is a very popular convention, I go whenever I can, work has a habit of getting in the way, but I am glad I made it this year. However this makes it a very busy tiring day, and the temptation to spend is everywhere, within the first hour and half I had spent £116.00 on various stalls, including ‘Barwell Bodyworks’ and ‘Coritani’ for basing and scenery goods. By midday I felt ready to leave, but with still so much to see and do, I stuck it out and I glad I did, as I watched an interested demo game of ‘Drowned Earth’ as dystopian future skirmish game, and spoke with the developers of ‘Death Match’ and gladiatorial game which entails fighters from several races fighting each other (naturally) but also working together to take on large monsters that are released into the arena, such as the wonderfully sculpted ‘Sky shark’.

I meandered through the central aisle looking at the wares at various merchant stands, when I noticed the ‘Crooked Dice’ 7TV stall and gaming tables. This is a games system that is based upon cult TV series. I played this a couple of years ago at Salute when the game on show was a variation on ‘Robin Hood’, this time the game based upon ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and I just had to get involved. The last time I played this system I bought it straight afterwards, but sadly failed to play it again which is a shame as it is a really fun system with some innovative game mechanisms that can really turn events upon their head. During this game I had control of Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo, I managed a difficult jump with Raphael placing him in a crowd of ‘Foot’ warriors with ‘The Shredder’ but Raph had a disguise kit and could not be attacked. When the Foot warriors left the vicinity Raph removed his disguise and charged Shredder, using his character skills of ‘Temper’ and ‘Ninjitsu’ he stunned the and put shredder out of the game. It was a bold and unusual move which took an otherwise dangerous opponent off the board. This is the 2nd edition of 7TV it runs more smoothly than the previous version and needless to say, I bought the new version then and there.

By the end of the day I was really exhausted, the soles of my feet felt bruised and battered, as did my wallet, now I face the long wait until SELWG in the autumn, which may be the next time I can get my hobby on.

Salute 18 & Reaper shouds

Hello MoDers,

I am sorry for such a long gap since my last post, in which I also apologised for long absence. I have not had a great deal of hobby to write about to be fair, but that is about to change.

I don’t recall if I told you about my recent experiences, I broke my right (painting) hand in November.  In December I had shoulder surgery due to an old sporting injury, same side, so not real use out of my dominant arm for a while. Then just as I was recovering, coming back to strength, I contracted pneumonia and ended up in hospital, you could say my paining/gaming mojo was completely wiped out as I had no absolutely no motivation to pick up a brush or scatter any dice in anger.

As I began to recover for a second time, I decided I had to do something to get back in the game. First thing I did was to buy a ticket for ‘Salute 2018’ which is on Saturday 14th April. I’m hoping my visit there will inspire me to climb back upon my hobby horse. I will also write a report of my day there for your delectation.

The second act in reclaiming my pastime was to enter a ‘Kings of War’ tournament (Shourd of the Reaper by Bexley Reapers). I feel it is a bold move as it will force me to accomplish several things. The first, which is quite important, is to re-learn the rules, as I was not a regular player in the first place, and the last game I played was in September 2017, I do not have the greatest memory, I always forget rules that can benefit my play, and often struggle to remember exactly how things like movement work, I often slip back to a default setting which is basically the ‘Warhammer Fantasy 6th Edition’ which is the one I got most play time with. So I need to have a re-read of the KoW rule book, watch some of those recorded games that get published on ‘YouTube’, and get in as many practice games at ‘Hackney Area Gaming Enthusiast’ (HATE) as I can. I need to do all of this before 21st July, so wish me luck.

Another tournament requirement is to have a 2000 point KoW army ready for that date. My two armies: ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’ as about 800 point fully painted, which leaves me 1200 points of painting to go between now and July, nothing like a tight deadline for a procrastinator like me. This task leaves me with a decision, do I take my characterful, but not very successful ‘Rhordians’ or the more deadly, but oh so much bone painting require skeleton army. I am open to suggestion:

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SELWG 2017

Hello MoDer’s, yesterday was a great day, you could kind of say I really got my geek on. For the first time in quite a while I was able to attend the annual wargames event that is hosted by the South East London War Gamers otherwise known as SELWG. This used to be a regular on my calendar, but for various reasons I have not been able to get there since 2012.

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The event is generally held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, with a generous mix of traders, demo/participation games and the famous SELWG bring and buy. The show is on a slightly smaller scale than events such as SALUTE, which is normally held at London’s Excel, but I believe that the SELWG venue has more character, and the show has a friendlier atmosphere.

I got to the venue at 0945 hours, and was surprised to see that the queue was much shorter by this time, than in my previous visits a few years ago, although in the remaining 15 minutes that were left before the show started a steady flow of expectant gamers added to the line of people waiting to get in, making the queue stretch away from the front door and away toward the Penge West entrance.

Once I had paid my £6 entrance fee, I strolled toward the bring and buys sale, not to peruse the wares on offer, despite the strength of the lure of bargains to be had, to drop off samples from my own lead pile that I had decided were never going to get the lick of paint they deserved, in hopes of making a small profit.

After the drop off I took part in my first participation game of the day, a watered down version of the world of Tanks board game, that had be set up and run by the Gravesend Gamers Guild, a brief yet informative briefing way provided, and before long I was propelling my Russian Tanks toward a deadly duo of a German Tiger and Panther tank. By virtue of getting first turn I was able to manoeuvre my T36 into a position that provided both cover and line of sight, and opened a barrage upon the Tiger that it was later to prove its undoing. This version of the game was only a basic version and quite fast paced, I believe we were given 40 minutes play time, but only required about 20. Buoyed by my unexpected victory, I marched off in search of paints and scenery.

A piece of advice when attending an event like this, is to make a list of what you actually need prior to attending, there are often so many treasures on offer that it is easy to become over excited and spend like there is no tomorrow. I have often gone home bearing the fruits of my show viewing, only to wander why I have purchased half the stuff I have my swag bag. This time I had a list, but there were still a few stalls that were able to tease the cash from under my grasp due to the fantastic produce they had on offer. My three top stalls had to be:

INFINITY-ENGINE – Dungeon Designer: This stall had some rather lovely, if a little luridly painted and somewhat macabre scenic pieces, useful for both role play games and table top war gaming. I bought a skeletal pedestal and set of stone monoliths that I hope to convert for use in my KoW Empire of Dust army.

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TITAN WARGAMES – Whilst ambling around the lower floor hunting down the items on my list, something truly wonderful caught my eye, and collection of wonderfully sculpted and painted Dwarf miniatures, units posed with differing weapons and shields which included a rather characterful squad of dragoons, toting various firearms and some rather striking characters. This is the first in the range by this fledgling company, and I hope that there is plenty to follow.

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CONQUEST GAMES – It was not until I was fatigued and ready to leave the show that I found the last of my top three. At first glance it seemed like just another stall for a miniatures company. However upon closer inspection the figures that this designer is creating hold such brilliant detail; and have a twist to the regular version for the warriors he is basing his armies upon, I am really looking forward to whatever he is going to produce in the future.

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Before I finish this month’s update I have to mention the really fun participation game by the Maidstone Wargames Society: Fenris Descending. This was an amazing and super fun table top game that was scratch built by the gaming club. From the horde of robots that were assaulting the planet (made from electrical components) to the rocks and buildings (yoga blocks and children’s dominos), all put together to form an amazing battle scene. The premise of the game was to control a squad of human warriors and their Mech support, to achieve a randomly generated mission, such as re-establishing a comms link, or laying mines. The enemy was a never ending horde of robots determined to assail and destroy the human settlement. To be successful, you needed to complete your mission whilst killing as many droids as possible, it was not easy but it was a lot of fun, and I believe the Maidstone gamers won an award for their efforts.