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:

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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

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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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Back at the table

Hello MoD’ers it has been quite a while since my last post, who knew the school holidays could be so hectic and disruptive. My little one went back to school this week, so hopefully blogging business is back to normal.

This summer has been a busy one, I had some games and got some painting done which has been cool, but still can quite get my bum in gear to complete some of the larger and older projects I have on the go.

The Kings of War ‘Summer Campaign’ got underway this September (a bit late in the season if you ask me), and due to several factors midweek gaming has become nigh on impossible. The website that the campaign is being run from is impressive,  and there is still time to report your Kings of war battles that have taken place since 21st August:

https://edgeoftheabyss.warconsole.com/

I have gone against the grain with this campaign and sided with ‘Evil’ taking my ‘Empire of Dust’ to battle. I seem to have a knack with the bad guys and out of the 5 games I have used them in, I have won 3 games, lost 1 and drawn 1. Not bad odds.

EoD Vs Elves:

EoD Vs Rhordia:

EoD Vs Kingdoms of Man:

My ‘Rhordians’ have managed to get in on the action however, in a rare house game when I had the house to myself at the weekend a colleague came over wanting to give ‘Kings of war’ a try. He has no army yet, so borrowed my ‘Halflings’ and proceeded to bash me with a huge dollop of beginners luck. It was a fun game, and I lost to my own army so the defeat was kind of anesthetised.

I recently took part in a facebook painting challenge, which focuses upon finishing old painting projects and minis you’ve had laying around. It is through the Facebook ‘MiddleHammer’ pages and the challenge produced some really good finished minis. You can see these at the: Warhammer a tale of middlehammer gamers post at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/middlehammer

Here are my entries so far:

A tale of two battles

Hello MoDers, as I said in my last post, I’m making up for misses blogs by posting at least twice this month. I have had a number of Kings of War games these past months, I am really enjoying the game and looking forward to a campaign that is taking place soon at my local gaming club ‘H.A.T.E’.

Rhordia Vs Basilea:

Baroness Thorne looked across the fields to the forces approaching from the Hegemony. ‘What could those zealots want with Rhordian farm land’ she wandered. As she looked across the land soon to be trampled and bloody, she noticed something that appeared to be an old well, no it was an ornamental spring, was being the emphasis, for what had clearly once been a lovingly decorated fountain, was a crumbling example of its former glory. The Baroness noticed that a statue remained intact although covered in vines, and then it clicked. This must have been holy land for the Basilean’s and they’ve sent out one of their crusades to take it back, well not on her watch!

This was a game of 2000 pts to prove the science of Rhordia over the religion of Basilea. The thing I like about the Rhordian list is the combination of Halflings and Humans, it leads to a characterful army which is still quite effective, a horde of Spearlings is very difficult to shift and the volley gun is very effective. You have to get used to how the army plays but they are certainly fun, win or lose.

In this game my opponent had an impressive looking army with a Paladin riding a dragon, a horde of knights and units Ur-Elohi (basically angels). I had added my Iron Beast, a regiment of house knights and two hordes of Halflings (1 spear and 1 archer).

This was actually a well-balanced game in which neither side held back and did their best to get at each other. On my left flank an abbess on a Panther drawn chariot smashed into my musket block, nullifying their ranged attack. On my right flank my Halfling scouts and Iron beast smashed a unit of panther riders, and then saw off a unit of the Elohi. My Halfling Howitzer kept taking shots at the left flank where support was sorely needed, but they just could not hit the side of a barn door. My house guard tried to support the musket block who had bravely withstood the raging Abbess, but neither seemed able hurt her. Sadly this exposed the house guards flank and both units were crushed as paladins and knights added their weight to the press. The Dragon swooped in and annihilated the Halfling spears, only to get a rear charge from the mercenary unit who hurt the beast but could not make it flinch. The dragon and paladins struck back and it was goodbye Mercs.

With my left flank all but crumpled, the middle in stale mate between my Halfling Archers and another unit of the Elohi, all my hopes remained with the right flank in which Baroness Thorne had successfully vanquished the Basilean forces with the aid of her house knights, Halfling scouts and the Iron Beast, and were turning to face the stronger threat from the left flank. I felt in deep trouble however as the mighty Paladin riding Dragon were very much still in the game and it was the Basilean turn. The Dragon having had a taste of the plump halflings, he fancied some more, broiled in their little tank. This time the dice favoured the little men and the Dragon rider failed to shift the half-track. In their turn the Iron Beast counter charged the scaly fiend and turned into mush. This turn also saw the Flail carrying nuns get charged by the Baroness and her knights, suffering a similar fate to the drake riding paladin. This had been the final turn of the game, the stale mate between Angel and Halfling mid table continued all other troops were too far to reach each other meaning points wise the two sides drew, and would have to settle their grudges some other time.

Dwarfs, Rat-kin and Rhordia:  

Baron Pence stared out across the Northern marches, once a region of wealth and power for his family, until the seams of the gold mines ran thin, and the land had over time been converted to crop rotation, trying to put nutrients back into the soil. Sadly two races of Mantica seemed unable to forget this land was once rich in gold, and constantly vie over old mines in the belief they’ll discover a new load. This often leads to damaged crops and ruined soil. As soon as new came that the nearby dwarf kingdom has sent a new expedition to his lands he gathered what forces he could to drive them back to the mountains, he heart fell when he arrived to find the Dwarfs were the only ones with an interest in the mines.

This was a game of 1500 pts in a three way battle between Dwarfs, Humans/Halfling and Rat-kin. A marker was placed in the centre of the table to represent the game objective, which was to have as many units in the centre by the end of the game. The Dwarfs deployment centre was at the end of the table, the Rat-kin and Rhordians had the table corners opposite this. In order to prevent two players ganging up on the other, and the same person going last each time, we introduced an initiative role at the beginning of each round which certainly livened the game up a bit. We also set up our troops at the same time to minimise any advantage of seeing where we were placing our more valuable units.

I got the first go in the first round, and used this to get near both enemies. My plan was to hold the centre objective with my Iron Beast, and horde of Spearlings. My fast and hard hitting mounted units were to take the fight to the Dwarfs, while the Halfling scouts and Archer horde covered the right flank against the Rat-kin. This was the only round I got first go, and spent most of the game going second or third. It did not hamper me too much and my Rhordians caused a good amount of damage, but took a high toll in doing so. My Iron Beast underestimated a horde of elite Rat-kin troop, and was destroyed by the ravenous vermin. My Honour Guard vanquished a unit of hardy dwarf rangers, only to get into a war of attrition with some Berserker Broks that did not go the proud Rhordian’s way.

As the game wound down my right flank remained in the control of my Halfling Archer horde although the scouts had all been slain. My Baron had destroyed the Dwarf cannon and crew and in a canter back to the right flank he met up with the only other surviving character, a battle wizard, together they headed to the Halfling horde to regroup. Meanwhile the battle between Rat and Dwarf raged, with heavy losses on both sides, but when the dust settled the Rat-Kin had victoriously claimed the old mine shaft, the battle was theirs.

Games days, Frostgrave and Hanomag conversions

Hello MoDers, It has been a busy yet fun filled month so far, I decided it was time for my mug to pour forth its content.

In late February we had ‘HATE CON 1’ my local gaming club opened its doors to welcome gamers from far and wide to sample a variety of games old and new, and experience the fantastic ambiance of the ‘Bethnal Green Workingman’s Club’. There really was a wide variety of games to choose from such ‘Hero Quest’ and ‘Wings of War’. I volunteered to run the one of the two Frostgrave tables; which was a bit of a baptism by fire given the fact I’d only played twice myself prior to this. I had read the book about a dozen times, but with my sieve like memory I still made a few errors, that certainly did not appear to effect the fun had by the players, but did make it a little too difficult to wound the warband members. Still if you want to learn how to play a game you can’t do much better that to GM five games in a row.

Some of the club members ran a table that allowed people to delve into a number of bits boxes, and put together any weird and wonderful structure that you could imagine, for a small monetary offering, through this and some other generous donation the HATE club raised £100 for the charity ‘Mind’.

Due to work commitments I had to wait a whole week and a half before I got some more gaming action. But when I did I chose to play Frostgrave yet again, it is such an addictively fun game, so many nuances that make no game alike. This time it was a three way affair, to parties from the school of Witch craft whilst the other followed an Elemental mage. The rounds were quite evenly balanced with most wizards getting their spells off. There were some distinctly different styles of play, my witch mainly used spells like ‘Telekinesis’ to get to the treasure tokens, whilst her missile troops took pot shots at their opponents. The other witch kept trying to summon a daemon to take the fight to his enemy, and the elementalist kept magically boosting his warband enabling them to make some devastating attacks. Both my opponents lost their apprentices, the elemental trainee summoned an imp who then charged and attacked said junior mage and tore him a new ear hole. As the game came to an end I had three treasure tokens, the other witch had two, and the elemental mage also had three. It was looking like a draw, and then my apprentice snagged the last token, the other players did not make it plain sailing, but she managed to scuttle off the board and bring my witch’s hoard to four. She needed it though as she lost half her party during the scuffle and would need to hire some new hands.

Painting wise I’ve been quite busy too. After my last game of ‘Kings of war’ in which my ‘League of Rhordia’ army got a royal kicking from some surly dwarfs, I decided to kit them out a bit. Impressed by the carnage wrought by the ‘Steel Behemoth’ the dwarfs have at their disposal, I decided to fall back on some trusty Halfling engineering and construct an ‘Iron beast’. I don’t think that ‘Mantic’ currently do a model for this vehicle, so I decided to get converting. My dwarf opponent had used the Empire steam tank from old Warhammer as his behemoth, I racked my brains before deciding that halflings would have to have a Halftrack. I scoured the web for a suitable 28mm model halftrack and found the ‘SD.KFZ 251/1 AUSF D HANOMAG’ by ‘Warlord’. Having found a suitable base, I got some bits and pieces together to take the WWII out and hammer the fantasy in:

Once I had a basic idea what I wanted to look like, but before adding glue, I decided on the paint scheme. I wanted to have a large crest somewhere on the vehicle, and the elongated bonnet gave ample room for this. I used the last of my green stuff to make a basic shield shape, and some lumps of coal for added detail in the back. I was pretty much decided on having a rooster as the shield emblem, but could not decide how it should look, after a few practice sketches and some more web surfing I was ready to free hand paint my avian centre piece. I think it worked well.

My last chore was to select and paint a crew from the plethora of Halfling sculpts I’ve purchased over the years, I’d say they are my second favourite fantasy race after Dwarfs, so I had a few to choose from. I finally settled on two from the ‘Arcworlde’ range and a third from my old Halfling Blood bowl team finally with all painted and assembled it was time to take some pics, it was a rare bright and sunny day so I popped into my back yard and found a suitable spot for some photographs. I think I may enter this piece into the Salute 2016 painting competition, there is still a little work to do basing and highlights, but I’m definitely happy with the progress so far.

Sadly it is lent at the moment so I have no beer recommendations to make. Hope you enjoyed reading, and until the next post, take care.

Four have fun in Chelters…

I had the recent opportunity to take a trip down to Cheltenham to visit my older brother Daniel and his wife and child (Ruth and Oscar). Daniel and Oscar both enjoy a bit of fantasy gaming, and have a small collection of Warhammer Fantasy figures. I had toyed with the idea of taking a small force of Dwarfs from my collection to put their armies to the test in a three way skirmish. However I remembered that I have been trying out some alternatives to Warhammer, and decided to carry something that is quite a bit lighter, but still loads of fun; Lord of War.

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In my earlier posts I have spoken about this card based skirmish game, as I have backed the kickstarter campaigns that they have launched to get the game of the ground, and make improvements. There are currently three box sets that feature six races Dwarfs, Orcs, Elves, Lizardmen, Templars and Undead. There are also some booster sets and other accoutrements that assist with and enhance game place, such as the foam battle mat. The basic rules to the game are really easy to pick up; and as you improve the advanced rules and boosters sets come into play, maintaining the enjoyment of the game.

On my first day in Cheltenham; Daniel took me to a local pub called ‘The Sandford Park Ale House,’ which an excellent establishment, that serves a wide variety of beers crafted around the UK and beyond, they also serve some really tasty food; specialising in a great selection of cheeses. They are also wheel chair friendly which is good for Daniel. We found a free table, ordered our first round and I cracked out the card, I had opted to take my ‘Templars Vs Undead’ card to the pub as they are in plastic card protectors and I did want any errant spills damaging my game. I read the rules to Daniel, and then showed him how to play, as I had been shown by the ‘Black Box Games’ team that were at SALUTE this year. After three pints of ale, a large plate of cheese and a bowl of chips, we had played about four games in three hours. We used both races twice each, and I beat Daniel each time, although I have to admit having played on two occasions previously, I had a bit of an advantage.

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When we returned to Daniel’s home, Oscar was back from school; Ruth was cooking up a roast pork meal, the smell of which had me salivating when we entered the door. Daniel went for a rest, and I offered Oscar a couple of games with the ‘Dwarfs Vs Orcs’ pack, we got one and a half games in before Ruth wanted to serve up, I won the first but the unfinished game was declared a draw as we had both eliminated 10 cards including two characters. Oscar enjoyed the game so much he wanted to go and buy a set on our way to the coach station the following evening.

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The next day Oscar showed me his largely unpainted figure collection, he has some lovely rare metals in there, finds at local auctions apparently. I suggested that we could do some painting that morning, and upped the stakes by challenging Daniel, Ruth and Oscar to a speed paint session. We all chose a figure we wanted to paint, I set up the table, and after Daniel finished having a natter with our Mum on SKYPE, the hours painting session started. As usual with these things the time flew by, Oscar finished his figure (A High Elf Sea Guard) before the time limit ended, while the three oldies were left wanting more time.

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In all I though good efforts were made by everyone taking part. We all had a look at the figures and discussed them, and then it came down to me to pass judgement. Daniel came 4th with his Wood Elf Scout, Oscar was awarded 3rd place for his High Elf, Both Ruth and I had that little extra detail on our figures that made them stand out. However, given that I have more painting experience, and was judging; I declared that Ruth had won with her Chaos Warrior. So my Orc (Whom I had decided was a Chaos Orc) took 2nd place.

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So I had a fantastic weekend visiting family, and got some hobby time in too.

I’ve had some really nice beers since my last post, the dark ales I drank at the ‘Sandford’ were beautiful, but my pick of the most recent ones has to be:

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A nice strong dark ale, perfect for a slow drink whilst you paint you figures, but at 6% make sure you don’t imbibe too many.

Fantastic Friday

Last Friday (01/08/2014) was a rather fantastic day, not only did I find a bar that serves a huge variety of crafted real ale and locally resourced pork pie, thick with meat and served with lashings of homemade piccalilli. But I had also managed to arrange a game at Dark Sphere, for the highest points value I have played in a long while.

Wanstead Tap is a bit of a cross between a Deli, bar and café. Located in Winchelsea Road, Forest Gate, London. They serve a variety of beers from local micro-breweries, and London seems to be able to boast a plethora of them, as my rather blurred pictures show. The range is steadily growing to include ciders, soft drinks and caffeinated beverages. They serve a rich line of pork related snacks which I could not resist, and Friday is their special ‘Pork pie’ day where a local man makes delicious pork pie that is so popular it does not last much past the lunch time rush.

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If you’re not of the meaty persuasion there is also a vegetarian option. I certainly plan to return, and after her slice of tiffin cake, my wife wants to know when we can go again. The ‘Tap’ is family centred and therefore child friendly, so if you are in the area; check it out, you won’t regret it. You might want to check out their web page:

http://market.wansteadium.com/thewansteadtap/

Dwarfs Vs Lizardmen 2500 pts:

‘Alric Bronzetooth viewed the scene before him with some trepidation. He had mustered the clans after news that a huge army of Greenskins were headed toward Ulriks-Haffen a small town just south of his stronghold; and with which they had strong trade links. But the information from the human scouts had been faulty, yes there were creatures here with green skin, but there were also plenty with blue, orange and various shades of brown. He had hoped to strike a few grudges against some Orc and Goblin necks, but these were clearly Lizardmen and a long way from home, he had no previous dealings with these creatures, but they threatened an ally and an oath is a Dwarfs bond, so if it was a fight these lizards wanted, that’s exactly what they’d get.’

My opponent had an impressive army, a large amount of Saurus and Skink warriors, but also two Stegadons, and a Slann mage priest. Most of his Skinks were skirmished with those dastardly blow pipes that shoot poisonous darts, and he had 4 units of 3 Terradons, I knew these would be a problem if not dealt with quickly. I found the lack of Kroxigors and Salamanders strange for a Lizardman army of this points level, but it is nice to see different armies in use.

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I went with a horde of Iron Breakers into which I slipped my general the Thane Alric Bronzetooth, and as I expected a magic storm, I added a Rune Lord. These were supported by two units of 20 warriors each with a Rune Smith for magic defence and armour piercing. To cover these troops from distance and to weaken the oncoming forces, I selected Thunderers, Quarellers, 2 Bolt throwers, 1 Stone Thrower and a cannon, all runed up.

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My dwarf artillery did its job well, but it can be boring for everyone if you just stand back and shoot. I have recently changed my style of play. I to be more conservative, play the gun-line and preserve my troops. My new method of play is just to throw the troops right into the press. I arm them up as much as possible, and this is proving a much more exciting and action packed stlye of gaming, with some surprising results. My Iron Breaker horde with 2 supporting units of warriors made short work of my opponent’s Skink Skirmishers. My IB’s somehow got themselves into and then out of the jaws of a well-planned trap. The surprise of the game for me was when the warriors with great weapons, finished off the temple guard and Slann Mage in combat. It was not all one sided, my other units of Dwarf Warriors were laid waste by a very angry Stegadon. And my gyrocopter with the ‘Brimstone gun’ was torn asunder by vengeful Terradons. However with the loss of their general the Lizardmen army had no choice but to concede.

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Of course when I got home I had to toast the Dwarf victory with a well-earned beer, purchased from Wanstead tap:

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A fine skirmish

I enjoyed my game at ‘Dark Sphere’ last month so much; that I have decided to try and make a regular thing of it. My tri weekly work pattern means every third Monday I should be able to get a game. Hopefully I will become reacquainted with the rules once more and maybe hit the tournament circuit once again. I’m not sure if I’m guaranteed an opponent every time, but I have already met a bunch of great people who have also been bitten by the Warhammer Fantasy bug.

For this game I decided to shake the dust off my Dwarfs and put the new army book through its paces. My opponent, a friendly gamer called ‘Daniel’ who was thankfully up to speed with the 8th ed rules; brought a beautifully painted High Elf army, so it was a great opportunity to strike a grudge from the old book and put the aloof sons of Asuryan back in their place.

After Daniel finished basing up, I was relieved to see that he had not brought any cavalry, but the sight of a lion chariot and two repeater bolt throwers was enough to make me pause for breath. The main thing that struck me about his force was how well it was painted, my dwarf models are old and not all completely painted, ‘damn my lazy streak’, but there was a beauty in his figures that seemed to make them shine like the glittering host they were representing.

We rolled for a scenario from the rulebook, which is not something I normally do; preferring to go straight for an open engagement or writing my own scenarios. We got ‘Meeting engagement’ which divides the table diagonally with a 12” no man’s land. Set up is decided by the role of the dice, each unit is rolled for on a D6, and any units for which you role a 1 do not come on during the set up phase but come into play as reinforcements later. Luck was with the High Elves on set up as all units passed, however I think that in my army both the fighting infantry units, an Iron Breaker horde and a Dwarf Warriors armed with great weapons must have found a few kegs of ‘Bugman’s XXX’, as they failed to turn up for the start.

After this however the tables turned as the dice gods were kind to me but not so good to Daniel, who didn’t have one successful magic phase, and although his elves aim during the shooting phase was true, they must have bought their arrow heads from the rubber emporium. The game wnet to 4 rounds and ended with victory for my sons of Grungi. Daniel was not without his successes however as his Sword Masters slaughtered my Warrior unit, taking out a T5 Runesmith, in one round of combat. When they tried the same trick with the Iron Breakers things weren’t so good for the Elves.

If the Sword Masters were man of the match for the High Elves, then the unit of choice for the Dwarfs had to be my duo of Gyrocopters, who weathered a storm of magic and arrow to caused havoc and sow mayhem amongst the pointy eared foe. The combination of steam gun and Brimstone gun proved a useful tool.

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Results aside, I had a really enjoyable game with a fantastic opponent. Sadly again due to the game taking place in a shop there was a total absence of beer, but I was able to make amends for that on the way home, by stopping off at the local supermarket:

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Birthday present part deux

I have made some progress on my nephew Oscar’s present the Chaos warrior. I’ve decided also to use this time to catch up with my back log of painting, and have decided to finish off a ‘Blood Bowl’ Dwarf conversion that I made into a standard bearer, he has been glues and fixed up and under-coated for the best part of two years, so while I wait for paint to dry on the Chaos champion, I’ll work on the Dwarf.

Out of the packet, prepared and washed:

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Basic colours:

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Inked and waiting for the next round:

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Warhammer Dwarfs 2014

Well it has taken me a while to put finger to keyboard in relation to this topic; and the new Warhammer Dwarf army book has been out for about 4 months now, many people will have bought the new figures and played a number of new list options. Be it a late review or not, I’ve been a Dwarf player since the late 1980’s and I’m going to post my thoughts about the new release.

On the face of it I like the new book, its hard back, contains a balanced mix of background (Fluff), rules, troop rules and costs, and the art work you might expect from a Games Workshop product. It is well produced and a pleasure to flick through.

However after my first scan through I was left feeling disappointed. I felt that a good opportunity had been missed. This book saw the introduction of two new units, (although the gyro-bomber is just the re-introduction of the gyro-copter bombing run from earlier an edition of the Dwarf army book). The dwarf player still lacks something to take the fight to the opponent, yes they now get bonuses on the charge, and have a host of weapon runes at the disposal of their hero characters, but when does a dwarf army actually get to charge on a consistent basis?

We have an army list that is totally devoid of any monstrous units, cavalry or chariots. The background states that the Dwarf Kingdoms are established within the mountain regions of the Warhammer world. However in all that time they have not found some mythical creature or beasts of burden to tame and put to some use. They are supposed to be the most creative race in the Warhammer world and yet the best war machine they can come up with is a light weight helicopter with a bomb? I don’t just play I collect, paint and model, I want a grand centre piece! Some kind of dwarf made dreadnaught or steam powered chariot. If Scibor can manage Dwarfs on bear back and West Wind Dwarven boar cavalry, then surely Games Workshop could come up with something better; that still fits within the rules and background of the sons of Grungi!

The sculpting of new models was pretty poor as well. I find that the elven models always look great as do the empire sculpts, in fact as each race has been given a re-boot I’ve been left salivating and wandering if I can afford to take up another collection. The two dimensional feel to the new dwarf figure such as that atrocious sculpt ‘Belegar Ironhammer’ left me feeling like no time had been put into planning the new dwarf army, although they had nine years to come up with ideas.

Putting the anvil of doom back in the magic phase has rendered it useless. The best rune, ‘Oath and honour’ has gone and the effects of the rune ‘Wrath and ruin’ have been reduced, which means that if you do get a successful strike past the enemy wizard, the effects will be minimal and possible not worth the cost of choosing the item. The Organ gun, a weapon that was more about luck than accuracy has also be worked over, now you have to roll the artillery dice, and any shot released still have to be rolled to hit and with the Dwarven BS of 3, its no likely, you better off picking a unit of 10 Thunderers where you will at least get 10 shots every round. As far as my collection is concerned its back to the shelf for these models.

 

I understand that changes have to be made, some of the old army rules did not fit well with the 8th edition Warhammer rules, some had been rendered obsolete and others had become over powered, so changes were needed. But I feel that opportunities were missed.

 

Having moaned and bitched about the changes that I dislike, what do I like. Well there has been a reduction in the cost of core troops such as Thunderers and warriors. Some new rules seem quite interesting, such as the new version of ‘Ancestral grudge’ and ‘Forgefire’. Also there appears to be no more -1 to hamper the roll to charge/flee. As I said I like the book itself, and despite what I said about the sculpting I do like the new Iron drakes and the new version Long beards, I also like the new gyro-copter sculpts despite the fact that assembled they are no bigger than a paint pot. The dragon slayer was rather cool as well despite displaying a rather elf level of agility.

 

I have done a brief comparison of the different Dwarf army books I have owned since 1993:

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1993:

  • 112 pages
  • 8 special characters including the double team ‘Gotrek and Felix’
  • 50 runes to choose from & 8 pre-generated magic items
  • A wealth of fluff and background (probably unequalled by the later editions)
  • 11 pages of painted examples
  • 15 page catalogue of now classic sculpts

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2000:

  • 80 pages
  • 2 special characters
  • 55 runes to choose from 0 pre-generated magic items
  • A good amount of fluff
  • 18 pages of painted examples
  • No catalogue
  • No new units or war machines

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2005:

  • 80 pages
  • 3 special characters
  • 63 runes to choose from 0 pre-generated magic items
  • Fluff and background okay largely based on troop type
  • 18 pages of painted examples
  • No catalogue
  • No new units or war machines

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2014:

  • 96 pages
  • 6 special characters
  • 52 runes to choose from & 6 pre-generated magic items (Some runes can now be multiplied for differing effects
  • A good amount of fluff and background almost equal to the first book
  • No catalogue
  • 1 new unit and 1 variation to an existing unit (sorry but I just don’t see the Gyro-bomber as new)

In contrast the book comes out really well, and just maybe it is better in some regard, if it wasn’t for those missed opportunities.