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.

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Of battles and beer

Time for an update, I have been quite busy at work so when I get home I’ve been a little tired and in no mood to type, paint or do very much that can be seen as constructive. However I have been lucky enough to play two cracking games recently and I thought it was high time I blogged about them and the beer that I have sank in victory and commiseration.

Sadness:

On Tuesday 12th August I woke up early full of energy and enthusiasm for the game of Warhammer I had been planning all weekend. That energy and enthusiasm however took a bit of a beating as I turned on the radio to the sad news that Robin Williams had died. I’m not sure why that effected me as much as it did. I did not know him personally, he was a man, a very funny man from film and television, and now he’s gone. I still cannot bring myself to un-follow him on twitter. But I do not want this to be the tone of my report.

High Elves Vs Empire:

Luckily I had already put my army list together, I was facing a good opponent in Daniel Reed at Dark Sphere, and his elves were itching for some revenge. I was not sure who to take to face them, but decided upon my Empire army. Whereas Dwarfs are my favourite, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Empire and have had an army since the 4 edition of the game. I tend to theme my armies and currently have a work in progress of a post ‘Storm of Chaos’ Witch/Chaos hunting style army, the sons of the empire trying to purge the home soil from the taint of the dark gods. Possible not the best thing to take against 2500 pts of High Elves, but I was determined to use them

I had some luck with the dice at first winning set up and first turn and made a good number of early wounds. However the skill of my opponent and his army of choice started to shine through and although I had troops left on the field at the end of the game, it was nothing short of a massacre victory for the asur.

Daniel had a ‘Frost Heart Pheonix’ which proved it was well worth its points, holding its own against a unit of Demi griffon knights. The High Elf magic was potent and devastated more than one of my units. The Hight Elves had the upper hand from after round two, but one moment I’ll treasure is when I used a hex scroll to turn his Mage into a frog:

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The game was rather long and very enjoyable and after packing away we visited ‘The Pineapple’ a local pub for some post match brews. Nothing overly different in the range of beers here sadly, but I did get to sample a bottled light ale:

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Dwarfs Vs Chaos Warriors:

Last weekend my nephew Oscar finally got to collect his ‘Birthday present’ and to try his Chaos Warriors out against a new foe, my Dwarfs. Oscar went for a Nurgle marked warrior heavy force with two units of knights. I opted for my horde of Iron Breakers with supporting warrior unit. I also tried out the Iron Drakes which thankfully weren’t too shabby, and the rejuvenated Flame Cannon, which was pretty a game winner for Grungi’s boys. Oscar’s troops took a barrage light artillery before making their first move forward, His Dragon Ogres taking most of the impact. It was about two rounds before any combat started and it was a daring charge by a unit of Chaos Knight’s into the Iron Breakers. The knight stayed for two rounds with small losses between the units, they eventually fled and my thane lead an over run right into some fresh warriors of Chaos with their ex-halted champion, a good opportunity for a personal challenge. The Thane had to endure 6 blows as these mighty leaders traded blows each causing a wound, but neither stepping down. Dwarf numbers proved superior and the remaining warriors carried their leader away in a flow of armoured bodies running for the hills. The forces of Chaos did claim some souls however, I forgetfully left my Gyro-copter to the path of 20 Marauders, and my Dwarf warrior unit could not hold against the charge from the rallied Chaos knights and were mercilessly mown down as the broke from combat. The funniest moment for me other than some attempted game board sabotage by my older brother Daniel, was the fact that my miner unit chose to spend the majority of the game under ground only popping up during the final round to say hello.

Some post game advice was given to my Nephew to buy more cannon fodder troops to tie up his opponent’s artillery, and then it was time for lunch.

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As I was at hope for this game I couldn’t resist a tipple, and cracked open a few bottles from the Badger Brewery which were kindly donated by Daniel as a visiting gift:

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I final nod has to be given again to the Wanstead Tap, I took my brother and nephew there for some lunch and we tucked into some meaty pork pie and a lovely beer from a Bristol brewery, very nice:

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