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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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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Rhordia – A camp in crisis

Hello MoDers, as usual I have totally failed in my plans to make regular posts, even with ‘The Shroud of the Reaper’ tournament at Bexley Reaper Gaming Club just around the corner, I just cannot get my blogger head on.

The reason for my title is that I am currently floundering in my attempts to get an army together for the afore mentioned tournament. On paper my army is no larger than 1500pts, so it is 500pts short. The army list needs to be ready and with the organisers by 14th July 2018. I do have the option of allies to boost my ranks if necessary, but allies in an army bring their own tactical issues that for many reasons put me off that idea. And I really want to go all Rhordia if possible.

Not only is the army not ready on paper, but a lot of it is still pretty much a work in progress, something that is not helped by the results of a recent eye test, as it would appear I am starting to need glasses, I thought my painting speed was slowing down (although did not think that entirely possible, I am already a tortoise if the painting world).

I had one practice game, all I’ve managed as I squeeze my gaming in between work responsibilities and spending time with my family. The game was a brutal affair in which I took a Rhordian force of 1500 against an Ogre army of the same value. Due to poor pre game planning, once the loot scenario had been selected and my impetuous style of play, my army was totally wiped up, and the Ogres did not lose even one unit. Not the confidence boost I needed in my first game after 10 months. It was good to be back at the club (H.A.T.E in Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club), and nice of my opponent to take time out if his Sunday to roll some dice with me, but there was a definite mixture of emotions between getting to play, and being tabled.

So I need to get an army list together with which I am both happy and confident by 14th July, and I need to be able to have the miniatures ready to take part by 21st July. I have counters, and a chess clock (Stiil not used), I also have wound counters, although not the ones I had hoped to be taking. I am almost there, I just hope that on the day, I can have an army that is both fun to play with and challenging for my opponents so that they have a good game too. 18 days to go, so we’ll see.

To Bexley with Rhordia

Hello MoD’ers I hope that this sunny Saturday finds you well. I am a little tired this morning as I was up in the early hours guesting in the ‘Kings of War’ pod cast ‘Counter Charge’ it was an episode aimed at revealing the League of Rhordia. I was asked to speak about how the fluff based around Rhordia inspires my army composition. Although I was quite tired it was a fun experience, and I think you’ll enjoy listening when it comes out. I want to thank Daniel Read for recommending me and Mark Zielinski and the guys for allowing me to contribute.

As I said about two blogs ago, I am due to take a part in a Kings of War tournament. Although I have not yet managed to squeeze in a game, to shake out the rust and remind myself of the rules, I have at least decided which army I am taking. The decision was between ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’. Although I have had more gaming success with the forces of the Pharaoh I find that the diversity of the Rhordian army list allows more fun with both army selection and in painting and preparing the army I eventually take.  So with that decided I had to think about the type of force to take.

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The next decision was army composition. What type of army should I take? Should I go with a balanced forced?  Take a mainly infantry based army or perhaps side that is strong in cavalry. My main reason for entering the tournament is the opportunity to play four games in one day, and that temptation close so to home was too much to up on. I am not going with any aspirations of being crowned tournament champion, for me this will all be about fun, and I going to select an army with this in mind. The final decision also depends upon what I can get ready in time for July 21st 2018. Although I was hoping to go with hordes of Human and Halfling infantry, it is just not feasible, so I am going with a smaller paint load and opting for the cavalry option.

The actual army I will take is still in the decision making process, but I will add smaller blogs whilst it takes shape. Until then however here are some photos of the army in preparation:

Salute 18 & Reaper shouds

Hello MoDers,

I am sorry for such a long gap since my last post, in which I also apologised for long absence. I have not had a great deal of hobby to write about to be fair, but that is about to change.

I don’t recall if I told you about my recent experiences, I broke my right (painting) hand in November.  In December I had shoulder surgery due to an old sporting injury, same side, so not real use out of my dominant arm for a while. Then just as I was recovering, coming back to strength, I contracted pneumonia and ended up in hospital, you could say my paining/gaming mojo was completely wiped out as I had no absolutely no motivation to pick up a brush or scatter any dice in anger.

As I began to recover for a second time, I decided I had to do something to get back in the game. First thing I did was to buy a ticket for ‘Salute 2018’ which is on Saturday 14th April. I’m hoping my visit there will inspire me to climb back upon my hobby horse. I will also write a report of my day there for your delectation.

The second act in reclaiming my pastime was to enter a ‘Kings of War’ tournament (Shourd of the Reaper by Bexley Reapers). I feel it is a bold move as it will force me to accomplish several things. The first, which is quite important, is to re-learn the rules, as I was not a regular player in the first place, and the last game I played was in September 2017, I do not have the greatest memory, I always forget rules that can benefit my play, and often struggle to remember exactly how things like movement work, I often slip back to a default setting which is basically the ‘Warhammer Fantasy 6th Edition’ which is the one I got most play time with. So I need to have a re-read of the KoW rule book, watch some of those recorded games that get published on ‘YouTube’, and get in as many practice games at ‘Hackney Area Gaming Enthusiast’ (HATE) as I can. I need to do all of this before 21st July, so wish me luck.

Another tournament requirement is to have a 2000 point KoW army ready for that date. My two armies: ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’ as about 800 point fully painted, which leaves me 1200 points of painting to go between now and July, nothing like a tight deadline for a procrastinator like me. This task leaves me with a decision, do I take my characterful, but not very successful ‘Rhordians’ or the more deadly, but oh so much bone painting require skeleton army. I am open to suggestion:

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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’.

Squire Gordon Zola of the League of Rhordia

Happy February MoDers, hope the year is going well for you.

I have not played many games this year. In fact the games of ‘Kings of War’ and of ‘Frost Grave’ that I wrote about in January are about it so far. I have however been able to catch up on my painting. I have a number of incomplete projects (what hobbyist doesn’t?) so I decided to knuckle down and get on with it. My ‘kings of war’ army is taking a bit of time to complete. I just don’t seem able to stop myself from getting distracted by new paint jobs.

So I have decided to start small, and work my way up. What could be better that a character who’s been left in a state of under-coat for too long. Introducing ‘Squire Gordon Zola’, one of the four leaders from my ‘League of Rhordia’ faction in the ‘Kings of War’ campaign I’m taking part in at ‘H.A.T.E club’. Zola represents the Halfling leadership and has risen to a level equivalent to the Human Barons. He shares responsibility for the city of Ciabatta with Baron Pence ( who’s family fortunes are not what they used to be). With this model completed the last of the leaders will be ready to take to the field of battle.

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The colour scheme for my Halflings is blue and purple, the house colours of House Zola. His family emblem is the Rooster, I needed to include these elements to the miniature I have chosen to represent the Squire. The beauty I decided upon was sculpted by the talented Alex Huntley of ‘Warploque miniatures’ and comes from his ‘Battle for Troll Bridge’, starter box set.

When I begin a paint job I like to undercoat in a light brown, tan coloured paint, which I then wash, at the moment I use ‘Army Painter’ Strong tone wash. I find it brings out a lot of the features on the figure. I then stare at; and contemplate which colours will go where. Once I have decided upon that I get down to the primary colours.

These then get washed to add tone and depth, then I layer different shades of the main colours until I’m happy with the look. I follow up with some shading and high-lighting. This is quite a lengthy process, which is one reason that I take so long to finish an army. I don’t claim to be a master painter, I know that I am not, but I am pleased with the final look. Here are the four leaders from my League of Rhordian army in all their finished glory:

Duke Brock Wurst

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Baroness Rose Thorne

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Baron Arthur Pence (with his battle wizard)

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Squire Gordon Zola

My little girl saw my painting on this last occasion and deicded that she’d like to get involved (Yes!) so here is here first (yet to be complete) painted mini.

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Wolf conversions and Campaign days

Happy 2017 MoD’ers, here is my first post for the year. I do hope that the festive season treated you well and your eager to make this as good a year as you can, I know I aim to.

Since my last Blog I started on a new figure project. I finally had assembled enough pieces for my Rhordian Duke mounted upon a Winged Aralez Ancient (Huge flying dog), for my ‘Kings of War’ League of Rhordia army. I had most of the bits and bobs within the lead and plastic collection that I have dotted around the house. However for the main body I wanted something large and impressive, I scoured the web for suitable miniatures, and the answer was presented by eBay in the form of an alternative model for the ‘Space Wolves Thunder Wolf’ produce in resin by a European company listed below. One of my 1990 sculpted GW Griffons parted with her wings, and I sent off to ‘The Assault Group’ for one of their splendid mounted Dwarves.

The back story for this character is based upon the fluff provided for the League of Rhordia within Mantic’s: ‘Uncharted Empires’. Rhordia is a melting pot of races formed through adversity in the form of Orc raids that almost broke the Republic before it got going. The population of Rhordia is made up largely of Men, Halflings and Dwarves. Whereas the first two are given specific stat lines, the Rhordian Dwarves are not catered for. I use Dwarf figures when I want to represent their presence within the army, and use the stats that have been provided for the specific Rhordian units they are representing. I do this more for the character of the army, than any specific bonus of including dwarf troops.

This character came to power when his family used their Dwarven skills for smoking and preserving meats, made their adopted town of ‘Chipolata’ a thriving city known for mainly for the sausages and delicate meats they produce. Money brought them power and that bought then position. I wanted to choose food related names for my character, and came up with Duke Brok Wurst, in honour of his family’s business. I decided on Black and Yellow as the clan colours and gave him Bronze armour to show his status. As he is mounted I decided to go with the lance and shield option he came with, but added a spare Warhammer to the saddle, as a typical dwarf side arm.

Giant Wolf – http://bitspudlo.com/products/storm-hounds-2

Wings – Games Workshop (Citadel) Old style Griffon

Dwarf – http://www.theassaultgroup-shop.co.uk/index.php?p=7&tags_match=Fantasy

Hammer – http://www.thebattleforge.co.uk/

Although I hve a number of things to do to complete the model, the KoW International Campaign ran this weekend (14th Jan) and I really wanted to get him involved as the legendary hero you were allowed to put together. So I included him in a 2000 + 200 pts army list that was an even balance, and took it to my local gaming club: H.A.T.E @ Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club, who were running a special Saturday opening for the campaign day. He I face a new opponent, a rather skilled, but very friendly ‘Empire of Dust’ pplayer. The sides appeared evenly matched, but I had not experienced the pain of an army with the ‘Surge’ spell, they were on me in second and tore my Rhordians apart. Despite this I had a really fun game and would certainly like to face him again.

However, one thing I have noticed in many of my games is the ‘tactic’ or should I say reticence of war-gamers allowing their figures to get involved in the melee, unless they can be the ones to charge. They appear to literally be scared of holding units in place to take the initial impact, opting to actively avoid combat unless they get the bonuses a charge provides. Whereas this may seem sensible to many, it can lead to a boring scenario of either allowing yourself to constantly be the one who is charged, or both players hang back and have a rather dull game. Maybe games designers could do something about this, perhaps design skills and/or magic items that can be used to force the players into moving at your units and risk receiving the charge; I believe the ‘Warhammer Fantasy’ Dwarf army list had a taunting rune that did such a thing. It would certainly avoid the situation where two competitive players don’t really get a game, as both are too stubborn to move.

Well that is all for now MoD’ers, hope January goes well for you, and hope to be more regular in posting this year, 2016 was a complete mare.

Painting and the V&A

Sorry MODers, yet another delay to posting my blog. I had meant to produce a number of smaller articles between my last instalment and this one, but as usual the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune have kept me from that goal.

One of the things that prevented me from taking time to type a quick report here and there was a sudden passion for painting and creating, both my Rhordian and Empire of Dust projects received some love, as did some smaller tasks on the side.

As I have become more involved with ‘Mantics’ Kings of war, the lure of building more than one army has taken hold, and having already started a Khemri army just as the Warhammer world blew up, I have decided to put the troops to good use. George Harris a good friend from HATE the Bethnal Green based gaming club gave me a large number of pre-painted GW Tomb King skeletons, and the unpainted body for the classic (if unloved) Nagash miniature.

After some cleaning and inking, I based the skellies into a horde and a Regiment. Nagash’s torso was due some love and reparation. I visited my bits box and after a little digging I was struck by inspiration, just by adding some ogre arms and a metal skull, I had the perfect parts for an ‘Idol of Shobik’ an animated statue to some long forgotten deity, adding some much needed muscle to my undead warriors.

One of the many ‘Kickstarter’ projects that I have backed this year was the Diehard miniatures: Oldhammer Fantasy figures. I received my rewards in the summer; and lovely sculpts they were. I decided to paint the old school wizard, and knight with great sword straight away as they were exactly what I needed for some Rhordian Characters. These miniatures were fun to paint and took no time at all to finish.

In-order to make my Rhordian’s a little different I have gone down the route of scenic basic, I wanted to portray the agrarian society that was depicted in the army book, and have been putting as much effort into my bases as I do with my troops, sadly this does mean I take even longer to finish my units. It’s definitely worth the effort however.

About two weeks ago the committee at my local gaming club, HATE, announced that we had been invited to attend the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, to play some games, as part of an active exhibit in the V&A’s conference ‘Parallel Worlds’. Our task was to represent the club by playing a game of two, and talk to any visitors that showed interest. Who’d pass that up. My good friend Daniel Read asked if I’d like to play a game, and after getting permission from the ‘Boss’, I put together a 2500 points list for Kings of War, using Elves with Rhordian allies. We had a great game using a scenario called ‘Invade’ where both players need to get their soldier to cross the table and into the enemy deployment area. Daniel had taken Dwarfs, who proved to be as tough as ever, but we managed to stop them making any headway, sadly this was true of my own forces neither army got past half way by the end of the game. If it had come down to kill points, I believe my opponent would have carried the day, which is what makes scenarios so fun, you really have to think about your strategy, and generally after you have already selected an army to play with. It is much more interesting than the place units, then move, roll and kill or a straight open combat.

Finally I wish to mention a website that is run by a close friend. It deals in games such as X-wing, Munchkin, and has a good range of ‘Mantic’ products all at good prices. If you need some gaming goodies please check out: www.kabgaming.co.uk

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.