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 ***

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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:

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.

20170607_230219

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.