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/

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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:

20181109_111722

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/