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:

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Three games in June

Hello MoDers,

I cannot believe that July is already upon us. June was quite a busy month for me, and I did not get around to typing up a blog. I have mainly been spending a lot of my spare time with my family, so not really had the chance to hobby. I did get a few games however.

Game wise, I played three times using different gaming systems. The first was a ‘Kings of War’ style ‘Triumph & Treachery’. I played a game of this in May, so when the opportunity came up to give it another go, I jumped at it. ‘T&T’ has a strange mechanic with the random turns, decision changing cards, and the fact that you are allowed to build pacts with opposing players. In both of the games I have tried I fell victim twice to this final factor, yet somehow it enabled me to win both games. My attitude with both games was to just throw my units into any fray available, and hope for the best. Though risky it is a strategy that can gain a lot of coin, and it is the person with the most coins at the end that wins the game.

For the game in June I took my Rhordians, and went against Orcs and Varangur. In the first round my Duke tar-pitted the left flank by getting charged by an Orc Boss and some Boar Boyz , and surviving for 3 rounds. This freed up the rest of my army to tackle any Varangur that approached on the right. My artillery was not overly effective, luckily some melee combat did go my way, with my Halfling Knights sacrificing themselves to slow the enemy enough for the foot troops to form an effective position. The Greenskins had a long standoff against the Blood crazed humans, both sides opting to target any missile they had at my Halflings. When round 4 came about, the Varangur and Orc clashed in a grinding press of muscle and steel, in the end the stubborn orcs refused to give any ground, but it was not enough for them to gain victory. The objective of this game was to gain control of a magical tower, at the same time that the mighty forces clashed, my Halfling mage dashed through the gated entrance and claimed any magic held within, a sneaky victory, but a good one.

My second game the following week was a regular ‘Kings of War’. Having spent the day decorating the kitchen, I was quite tired, with no real mood for playing strategically. I decided to put a mobile Elf army together and see what happens. My opponent on the other hand is a very tactical player and had hoped for someone that would offer a challenge for his Orcs, I let him down on this point played recklessly, without a care for my troops or the outcome. There was an extra twist to the game itself, as we needed to choose a scenario. Normally I love these, as they add a difference to the game, making one think about each action rather than going hell for leather as one might in a pitch battle. On this day however it just added my confusion, I went against my pre planned set up, one thing led to another, and the Orcs carried the day butchering my elves and stealing all the loot. By the end of the battle I was down to two wizards. Strangely though; I was quite happy with the result.

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For the last of my June games I went back to ‘Warhammer Fantasy 8th ed’. My opponent for this game had been asking to have a go at the old game for some time. I was happy to oblige. I went with my High Elves, a similar list to the week before as I did not have time to re-pack. He brought his Warriors of Chaos. I set up with cavalry on one flank and infantry with artillery on the other. The game started well with plenty of charging and combat on both sides. However I seriously under estimated the power and toughness of the chaos troops, and although I struck first on most occasions, scoring many a hit, I could not wound them for toffee. By round five my entire army had been routed as the forces of chaos claimed victory. I did enjoy re-visiting this games system, but after a year and a half of ‘Kings of War’ the rules are a bit clunky, compared to the more basic, free flowing ones provided by ‘Mantic’.

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:

IMAG0232_1

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

IMAG0233_1

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

IMAG0231_1

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

IMAG0234_1

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.