Stane of Blood

On Saturday I travelled down to Woodmansterne in Surrey to take part in my first ‘Kings of War,’ tournament of 2020. ‘Stane of War,’ was a singles tournament for armies of 1495 pts, 4 games of 45 minutes in 1 day. I believe that particular point’s level was set, as it prevents repetitive selection whilst you select the troops you’ll take, and stops players spamming their army with powerful units. It kind of levels the playing field. I took a while to choose my army, as the ‘Empire of Dust’ has 7 irregular units, and it is tough to make a legal list with the unlocks you need to be effective. I wanted units that would take a charge and plenty of surge to allow me to get a few melee’s of my own started. My final list looked like this:

 

Ahmunite Pharaoh (Tome of Darkness),

Cursed High Priest (Shroud of the Saint),

Skeleton Spear Horde,

Skeleton Archer Horde,

Revenant Regiment,

Enslaved Guardian Regiment (Diadem of Dragonkind),

Enslaved Guardian Archer Regiment,

Desert Swarm Regiment,

Reanimated Behemoth,

Monolith.

This gave me 10 drops and a unit strength of 16.

 

Game 1: (Dominate)

My first game was against Grant and his ‘Varangur’. This matchup had been due to a challenge by Grant. We had been at several tournaments together and never played each other so as we were allowed to throw down the glove to anyone that was attending, Grant chucked his at my feet and I graciously accepted, even though I knew he would probably kick my butt. My first match at any tournament is never great, as I seem to need it to get me head in the game, and shake off the annoying nerves that dog me despite my mantra of ‘it’s only a game,’ I knew that the ‘Varangur’ had some fast troops and hit hard, so given the scenario I decided to keep my troops in close formation, move slowly toward the centre and deal with whatever came through first. Grants units were on my flanks by turn 2 and of course I broke formation to try and deal with the threat. This opened me up to Grants assault and he proceeded to pulverise my army. My skeletons did give as good as they took at first, but could not cope with the sheer ferocity of the barbarian warriors. Two lessons that I took from this game are as pointed out by Grant, if you have the ability to heal, you need remember to use it. Also if you are going to charge a unit, make sure that you actually have the correct angle, otherwise you might surge past you target, and offer up you flank in the same move.

Game 2: (Raze)

I believe that my opponent in this game was Marcin (but I am not sure). He had an impressive looking ‘Ratkin’ army. This was a tense game for many reasons, and I learned that the ‘Ratkin’ have some cool tricks, ‘Plague pots’, anybody? The main point of the ‘Raze’ scenario is to hold the most objectives by the end of the game. Other than the centre marker, you can start accruing objectives by turn two, so It does favour more speedy armies. However I was determined to do better in this game. It started well when my ‘Enslaved Guardians’ surged into and hammered his ‘Tunnel Runner Regiment.’ This decisive mover lead to me dominating the right flank, however the centre was soon in the hands of the Rats with their ‘Mutant Rat Fiend,’ glaring down upon my skeleton warriors, whilst being supported by a horde of ‘Shock Troops,’ and a ‘Rat Swarm’. I decided to claim my three outer objectives, that had been placed in the Rat’s half of the table, and keep my opponent from his remaining token placed in my half. The battle swung in the balance between the two forces until turn 6 when I rashly charged my ‘Enslaved Guardian Archers’ into his 2nd horde of ‘Shock Troops.’ Tis unit had been guarding the last objective. Although I won that combat, we rolled for a turn 7. My lust for battle had drawn me away, leaving a gap for his Rat Swarm to sneak through and claim his last objective, suddenly, my draw became a 4 – 3 defeat, so close, but no cigar.

Game 3: (Control)

My third opponent was Mick and he was using a ‘Vampiric Undead’ army. Most of his army did not worry me, and I felt we were evenly matched. However his army general was a ‘Vampire’ upon and ‘Zombie Dragon’, and I had no idea how to counter it. Both armies are quite slow as neither can march. As they staggered toward each other I sent my ‘Archer horde’ and ‘Guardian Archers’ to deal with two troops of ‘Wraiths’, I had underestimated the ability of this troop type, and soon the units were locked in a stalemate, that my dice results did nothing to assist. As the game went on, neither side looked certain to claim control of the field, as Mick and I traded units, however on his turn 5, Mick’s troops turned the tide of battle by destroying 4 of my units. I was able to claim the left flank with my remaining units, but it was not enough. I lost the game objective 5 points to 2. I was impress with my ‘Reanimated Behemoth’, which had been able to smash through the enemy lines, and managed to survive a grinding melee against a regiment of ‘Revenant Cavalry,’ and a ‘Mounted Vampire’ (not the dragon riding one), and claimed the top left flank for the ‘Empire of Dust’, without any help from the other units.

Game 4: (Loot)

Similar to the ‘Raze’ scenario, tokens are placed along/near a centre line, and your units need to capture and hold these tokens. The difference in the scenario is that unlike the objective markers, you can pick up and move the Loot tokens around, in order to keep them in your control. My opponent in this game, Elliot, had brought an ‘Elven’, army. He had a good selection of ranged and melee units, but nothing large to worry me. I have already learnt not to underestimate the ‘Elves’, as they are and elite force with excellent shooting and fighting statistics. After the sides were set up and tokens placed, I made my plan of action. My ‘Behemoth’ would take the right flank, with the ‘Revenants’ and ‘Pharaoh’ in support. The centre would be covered by my ‘Monolith’, ‘Archers’ and both regiments of ‘Guardian’. The Swarm’, ‘Spear horde’ and ‘Cursed Priest’ were to take the token on the left. Elves are fast and can march, unlike my shambling skeletal warriors, I had to be ready for them trying to sprint to the tokens pick them up and run before I could reach them. Thank the ancient gods for ‘Surge’, a spell that is a gift to undead armies, and keeps us in the running, so to speak. As the game progressed, my plan to take the right was faltering, not due to any great losses, purely because the ‘Elves’, being more mobile than my troops, kept grabbing the loot. My ‘Swarm’ took the token on the left, were shot and killed by a troop of ‘Elven Gladestalkers’, who claimed the token only to be butchered by my ‘Spear horde’. Once these guys had the token they weren’t letting it go. In the centre, units on both sides had been killed. However the ‘Elves’ had made an early claim on the token and never really looked like losing it. We held 1 loot token each at this point. It all came down to the fight on the right flank. My ‘Behemoth’ was too busy slaughtering Elves to concentrate on the objective, and by turn 3 this was also in the hands of the Elven army, a late surge from the monolith and then the ‘Pharaoh’ had been just enough for the ‘Revenants’ to make contact with the ‘Elves’ holding this coin. After 2 rounds of combat and with support from the ‘Pharaoh’ and ‘Behemoth’ the ‘Revenants’ claimed the objective. Due to time there was to be no round 6. With 2 tokens to 1 and a larger kill score the ‘Empire of Dust,’ finally claimed victory.

Over all this was a really fun day. The tournament, planned and organised by Matt Gee ran really smoothly. The tables looked immaculate and great to play upon. Matt’s brother scored for the event and the results were calculated quickly, so that the event did not drag and you knew your next opponent and table with enough time to tray and move your army and grab a coffee before starting the next game. The opponents were all good gamers and such a fantastic level of painting. Next time Matt plans a tournament, I will definitely try to attend; rumour has it there may be on in August 2020.

Events

Hello MoDers,

Welcome to my first blog of 2020. I hope that the festive season treated you well, and that you have plenty of hobby aspirations for the year. This post is in fact about plans I have set so far, as well as a brief write up of my first battle this year.

At the end of 2019 I joined a ‘Facebook’ group for a number of ‘Kings of War’ players based in and around London. We use this page and a dedicated ‘What’s App’ group to plan and organise games at venues around the city. The main venue that I have attended since joining is ‘Bad Moon Café’, near Borough, South London. The group is very friendly and we exchange ideas and hobby advice as well as playing games.

The Facebook group page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/414256149261614/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

If you are interested in visiting the ‘Bad Moon Café’, their website can be found at: https://www.badmooncafe.co.uk/

My record since 3rd edition ‘Kings of War’ is not great, my games have been closer, but as well as still making poor strategic decisions, I have been having phenomenally bad dice rolls. In the game I played on Thursday I was averaging 2 to 4 hits and 0 wounds for most of my rolls, both in ranged and melee attack. The game was fun, although the noise build up in the café was quite distracting. I find that I am always learning things in this game, we had a brief discussion about a unit’s front arc and line of sight and where it is measured from, which was eventually solved by the group members.

My opponent Matt Gee’s Ogres are a stunningly painted collection that is exquisitely based along a piratical theme. I haven’t fared too well against Ogres in my games, and hoped my undead units would stick around a little longer than usual, but in my eagerness to get into a brawl, I let my units get flanked, something that I let happen far too often. Matt is as skilled a gamer as he is a painter, and it did not take him long to pound my skeletons into dust. I did at least manage to claim one of the four objectives, but wasted my ‘Idol of Shobik’ to do so. After the game Matt gave me some tips in relation to my ranged units and the use of ‘Surge’ that I will try to remember to put to use next time.

The events that I am hoping to go to this year include a number of tournaments, both single and doubles, and with any luck I’ll make it to SALUTE 2020.

1, ‘Stane of Blood’ a singles event of up to 1495 pts being held at Woodmansterne village hall, Carshalton, SM5 3, United Kingdom – 25th January 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/woodmansterne-village-hall-carshalton-sm5-3-united-kingdom/stane-of-blood-i/1171951633009988/ – I plan to take my Empire of Dust with me to this event, and am close to have decided upon my army selection, which will definitely contain a unit of ‘Guardians’ and possibly ‘Shobik’.

2, ‘Franticon’ is a 3 day event at Dark Sphere in Shepherd’s Bush Megastore, Unit 8, W12 Shopping Centre, W12 8PP London, United Kingdom – 6th to 8th March 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/dark-sphere-shepherds-bush-megastore/mantic-franticon-2020/375353553116306/  – Over the course of the weekend there are a number of ‘Mantic Games’, based tournaments and hobby events. I am planning to take part in three events:

Friday March 6th – Vanguard (Ante Bellum) – I hope to take a ‘Rhordian’ war-band to this event, but still have not actually played a game of Vanguard since it came out in 2018.

Saturday March 7th – KoW doubles (KoH) 2000 pts (1000 pts each) – I am preparing to take a ‘Force of Nature’ army to the doubles event, since I received a batch of ‘Treemen’ in the ‘Halflings and friends’, Kickstarter by ‘TTCombat’, I have been itching to use them. I don’t currently have a partner for this event, I was hoping my Neil Dennison who partnered me last year would be up for it, but we seem to have lost touch.

Sunday March 8th – KoW singles (Erit Bellum) 1650 pts – For the third tournament of this event, I will be taking my ‘Empire of Dust’. I will decide upon my troop selection after ‘Stane of Blood’ and probably just add an extra unit whilst tweaking the others.

3, Shroud of the Reaper – La Calavera’s time – a 2020 pts singles tournament which is held at Freemantle Hall, 51-75 Bexley High St, Bexleyheath, Bexley, DA5 1AA – 21st March 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/freemantle-hall-51-75-bexley-high-st-bexleyheath-bexley-da5-1aa/shroud-of-the-reaper-la-calaveras-time/396843571225954/ – Again my ‘Empire of Dust’, will make an appearance and I hope to make good use of Mark and Grant’s special character.

4, Jack of Herts – School fund raiser – a 2000 pts singles tournament which is held at Aycliffe Drive, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 6LJ, United Kingdom – 13th June 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/521036865375109/ – Other than making sure I could make the event, I have not thought much about which army I will take, but as I will be most familiar with my Empire of Dust by this time It will probably be the one I take. Paul and Matt always host a great event and I am looking forward to making the trip to Hemel.

5, Clash of Kings – 10th to 11th October 2020 – Firestorm Games, 15 Trade St, Cardiff, CF10 5DT – https://www.manticgames.com/games/events/tickets/kings-of-war-tickets/clash-of-kings-tournament-2020/ – I went to my first ‘Clash of Kings’ last year at ‘Element Games’, in Stockport, last year. It was a really well run and exciting event. Getting away from London and having a weekend of war-gaming was brilliant. However it was not cheap, the event ticket, train fare and hotel rate all mounted up. With the ticket costing £70, I will need to think about whether I can attend this year.

6, Salute 2020 – 18th April 2020 – Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Docks, London E16 1XL – http://www.salute.co.uk/salute/salute-2020/ Not specifically a gaming event, although there are various participation/demonstration games going on, SALUTE is a hobby event where sculptors, developers and stockist come to display their new products and sell all sorts of gaming goodies. I cannot always make it due to work commitments, but I definitely hope to this year.

Nearly 2020, time for a project update

Hello MoDers,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2019 has not been a great blogging year for me for various reasons. On the bright side however my hobby opportunities have increased since becoming involved in the Kings of War tournament community. I have taken part in tournaments both local and away from London, which in turn has driven my project completion rate up a notch, so that I can have a greater choice of units from my chosen Kings of War armies. Currently I am collecting:

Empire of Dust, League of Rhordia and Forces of Nature.

I have not played with the former two since the release of 3rd edition, because I have been focusing upon my Empire of Dust army.

As this December 31st this will be my final post of 2019, so I’d like to share with you my progress on my current painting projects.

Sir Jeffrey Hudson:

Prior to the release of Kings of War 3rd edition I was toying with the idea of taking part in the whole 3 day ‘Franticon’ event in March 2020. Having just bought the ‘Ice and Iron’ rules expansion for Vanguard I was really intrigued to play with a ‘League of Rhordia’ faction. I wanted to represent each warrior type in the war band as a Halfling, I have a perfect Captain, some great House Hold Guards and even a Mage or two in mind.

Having been given some of the war bears from the TTCombat ‘Halfling and Friends’ kickstarter, I thought they would be a perfect mount for a Halfling Honour Guard. With the idea firmly in my head, I found a suitable Rooster rider from a TAG kickstarter and went to work. With some cutting and filing and plenty of green stuff, along with some plastic confectionery from my bits box, I made some good progress.

As tradition dictates I bought a bottle of ale to drink whilst I hobbied, the beer itself ‘JHB Bitter’ from ‘Oakham Ales’, gave me some inspiration as to what I should call the fella when he was finished: “known as “Lord Minimus” Sir Jeffrey Hudson, also, was an adventurer, courtier and duellist in the service of King Charles I, he was only 3′ 6″ tall but his modest strength was more than made up for in character”, I decided that this was a great back story for my Halfling honour guard.

Monolith:

Sadly when 3rd edition Kings of War was released I had to wait for the new ‘Uncharted Empire’ supplement to come out, to find out that the ‘League of Rhordia,’ took quite a hit, and lost a large amount of the units it boasted in 2nd edition. It is still a very capable army to use and thankfully kept the ‘Aralez’ one of the things that add character to the list. Sadly the Halfling presence was greatly reduced, which put a halt in my progress with my ‘Halfling/Rhordian’ war band. I do not know if the changes in 3rd edition Kings of War have transferred over to Vanguard yet, so I may still be able to go ahead with this idea at the ‘Franticon’ tournament at ‘Dark Sphere’ in London this coming March.

With the release of 3rd edition Kings of War, my Empire of Dust army also faced some changes. One of these was the evolution of the ‘Monolith’. Before it was a kind of scenery piece, that you could place during the set up phase. It could boost the spell casting of your army’s magic users, if they were within 6 inches of it. Although I had a model to use for this, I couldn’t work out what to do with it, so never added it to my army list.

The new Monolith is an entirely different beast. It can move, has real staying power and once per shooting phase can cast Surge (8) upon any EoD unit within 24 inches. I have used it a few times and it works very well. I decided my current model needed a lot of work to keep up with its new role as a Titan. I went to work with my converting kit and a new pack of ‘Mantic’ insect swarms. I’m quite happy with the assembly so far, but still have a few more details to add.

Behemoth:

Another EoD unit to be visited by the change fairy was the ‘Reanimated Behemoth’, which is now on chariot based monster. It no longer has the option to take a mini catapult, but can be given the ‘Drain Life’ spell, which has less range, but is a really useful ranged attack option which I believe fits the fluff of an undead army much better. I had already begun to tire of my ‘Ghostly Stegadon’ miniature which was one of the first EoD units I painted. I wanted something different. I had already been painting an old ‘Games Workshop’ ‘Tomb Scorpion’ to be a scorpion husk within my army. However that unit has been removed entirely from the EoD list. Straight away I decided that with a few changes the scorpion would make an excellent Behemoth. I had a vision of a giant scorpion with a pile of skull trophies mounted upon its back, shooting death rays from its eyes. I had to attempt to recreate that idea, and am quite happy with the way it has turned out.

I’d like to say thank you for reading my posts and sticking with me throughout what has been a tough year. I have a few blogging plans for next year and hopefully more hobby opportunities. Work seems to be settling down a bit, so hopefully my anxiety and depression won’t have so much of an impact on me in 2020. Happy New year!

Clash of Kings 2019

Hello MoDers,

I know I said my next article would be after SELWG 2019, however after my first weekend long ‘Kings of War’, tournament I just had to write something about it, it was utterly fantastic.

I decided to represent the ‘Empire of Dust,’ as I am most practiced with this army. Don’t worry I am still Halfling obsessed. I just seem to be better able to utilise the abilities of this army, in a way that provides a challenge for my opponents, whilst giving me a better opportunity to obtain those elusive victories. I took the following 2000 pts army:

Ahmunite Pharaoh – Mreb’s Grimoire – Drain Life – Spell Syphon,

Cursed High Priest – Myrddin’s Amulet – Fireball/Vicious – Drain Life,

Idol of Shobik,

Bone Dragon,

Reanimated Behemoth – Light Balefire Catapult,

Soul Snare,

Skeleton Spear Horde – Brew of Strength – Casket of Damned,

Skeleton Archer Horde – Heart Seeking Chant.

Enslaved Guardian Archer Horde – Chant of Hate.

Upon first view, it looked quite a small for a force that cost 2000 pts. I think that my selection, especially with the spells and other buffs I added, I kind of tied my hands a little as most other armies at the tournament were much larger than mine, and after getting out flanked and pretty much overwhelmed in my first three games, I several valuable lesson over the weekend, this one was: ‘More boys, less toys”.

20190928_094058

On the Friday evening I played a practice match against Richard Massie, who went on to join our team ‘Jacks of Herts’ for the weekend. He played with The ‘Trident Realm’ and they are quite tough, each unit has ‘Ensnare’, and Richard had brought along two ‘Kraken’, (giant squid monster) which have ‘Regeneration’, this means that unless you take them off in one round they have the potential to heal any/all the wounds you give them. They did this to great effect and I could not really focus on the rest of his army. I had been lucky enough to take out his two units of ‘Naiad Heart-piercers’, before they could do any damage, however his two ‘Leviathan’s Bane’, more than made up for any damage those units might have caused. Half way through this game came another lesson: ‘Know your army’, my memory is not the best for this, however it was good to find out before the actual tournament, that the Stats for ‘Guardian Archers’ are: Me (4) and Ra (5), not the other way around. I really dislike making mistakes, and am glad I learned from this before the proper games started. This is what practice games are for.

Over the weekend I played six games of ‘Kings of War’, against five different races from ‘Pannithor’ (‘Salamanders x2, Orcs, Abyssal Dwarfs, Vampiric Undead, and Night-stalkers’) with six brilliant hobbyists (Dan, Jez, Caillem, David, Tom and Andy). Of my six games I lost five, and finally broke my duck by gaining my first tournament victory in the grudge match: Undead V Empire of Dust (I like to think of there being an ancient grudge between these two evil factions). Four of my losses were quite close, and could have gone either way. However my Skeletons were smashed to smithereens by an unstoppable green tide, played very well by Jez Gurney. Two more lessons from these games were ‘Set up according to your strategy, not theirs’, and ‘Play to the scenario, it not all about killing’ (Unless you are playing the kill scenario). Also if you buy a spell or magic item, make you you use it, I wasted 30 pts on ‘Spell Syphon’, and did not use it once.

As well as the fun of seven games of ‘Kings of War’ over the weekend, there were plenty of shenanigans on the Friday and Saturday with games, quizzes and some special reveals from Ronnie Renton and the Mantic team in relation to ‘Kings of War 3’, and their new ‘Kickstarter’ project ‘The League of Infamy’:

https://www.manticgames.com/shop/what-is-the-league-of-infamy/

(There was also some mention of Mantic Halflings).

After all the talk and sneaky peaks at some beautifully painted ‘Mantic’ miniatures, I played a couple of really fun games. The first was called ‘Guns & Money’ a game of heists and hustles, in which you are armed with a gun shaped piece of foam, and need to bluff your way to the end without getting shot (too often) and amassing a fortune in ill-gotten gains. The other game was ‘Tiny Epic Defenders’, a great fantasy based co-operative board game with really interesting game mechanics. I played this with Paul and Matt from ‘King of Herts’ and it was a perfect end to a fantastic day.

I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I started my journey home on Sunday evening, but was lucky enough to have the company of Tom, the Night-stalker player I had face in my fifth game. We had an interesting chat about everything we heard about ‘Kings of War 3’ whilst we waited for our train to Stockport.

Over all I had a really good weekend. The Mantic team had run an exciting and enjoyable event, the host gaming centre ‘Element Games’ in Stockport was well very welcoming, and the Premier Inn across the road was clean, warm and very comfortable. I definitely recommend attending the tournament if you have the chance, the event has already been planned to take place in Cardiff in October next year:

https://www.manticgames.com/games/events/tickets/kings-of-war-tickets/clash-of-kings-tournament-2020/

I can’t wait until next year to get me ‘Kings of War’ fix, and so I have bought an early bird to the ‘Franticon’ weekend at ‘Dark Sphere’ in Shepherd’s Bush, London in March 2020. I have five months to plan and prepare 2 armies and a skirmishing force for the three day event, and learn to play ‘Vanguard’:

https://www.manticgames.com/news/mantic-franticon-2020/

Until then however my next stop is SELWG 2019.

September update

Hello MoDers,

Just a quick update to say hi, I have been a little busy with life stuff, but had a good amount hobby to balance things out.

In June I received my kickstarter rewards from TTCombat’s Halflings and Friends. I have been looking through this box and it struck me that I might have unwittingly started a ‘Forces of Nature’, army. The box contained 6 Tree men, that stuck me would make perfect ‘Forest Shamblers’, for Kings of war. The rewards also contained several packs of Halfling Goat riders that were just screaming to me for conversion. And don’t get me started on the beautiful ‘Cockatrice’ sculpt. Now I am building a Halfling based Forces of Nature army along with my: Rhordians, Empire of Dust, Elves and Dwarfs.  A war gamers collection is never done.

Mantic are due to release the 3rd edition of Kings of War, of course I had to pre-order a copy, I’m hearing great things for this and the new edition of Uncharted Empires which will update the current, non-core armies. There is also talk of new armies, so there’s loads to look forward in the world of ‘Mantica’, I mean ‘Palinthor’, the realm has had a name change.

At the end of this month I am travelling up to Salford, to take part in the Clash of Kings tournament. I have my usual goals of actually getting to play Kings of War, and having loads fun. I was not sure who to take, My trusty League of Rhordia, the Elves I used in February, or my Empire of Dust. This year I have had most fun preparing and playing with my Skeleton horde, and so I went with these guys, it will be my last game before the 3rd edition rules come in, so as I have over 2000 pts of these guys, they offer me the best choice selection. The next decision is which of the Pharaoh’s finest shall I choose.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1154552231385715/

Finally I couldn’t resist taking part in another TTCombat kick starter, ‘Desert of the Dead’. Can’t wait for those minis to appear.

My next blog will probably be after SELWG 2019, I’m really looking forward to this friendly war games convention. And to make it even better, my friend Nik is flying over from Austria to attend. So much hobby to look forward to:

https://www.facebook.com/SELWGSHOW/

Long time, no type

This blog is long overdue. Many times since my last post in January I have meant to report on events that I have participated in, and games I have played, but sadly my depression and anxiety have been increasing since last November, and this March it came to the point that I needed to seek help, and go back on medication. This has left me generally apathetic and each time I have sat down to type, sentences fail to form in my mind and my enthusiasm for posting wanes. Here we are in June now, and I have added nothing to Mug ‘O’ Dice since the beginning of the year. I have decided to make a quick post today, largely as a catch up.

In March I attended ‘Manticon 2019’ a weekend of ‘Mantic’ based gaming. They were holding two ‘Kings of War’ tournaments one singles and the other for doubles, I teamed up with my friend Neil Dennison and we took a Sea Elf/Realms of Neritica army along to the battle bunker at ‘Dark Sphere’ in West London. There was a good attendance at the event and we played some good games against some friendly and knowledgeable people. I wanted to improve my tournament record having failed to win a game during a ‘Kings of War’ tournament. Generally it is not about the result for me, but to lose on every occasion can become disheartening. Our first opponent was a Night Stalker/Ratkin combination that annihilated our army, we certainly learned from that game and our opponents were kind enough to give us some tips for our next round. Game two was against an Ogre/Forces of Nature combination a very friendly couple took us up to round 7, and it looked like we might actually take the game, however the final rounds swung against us, and we evaded victory once more. The final game was against a Dwarf/Dwarf combination a very tactical game and one in which I finally broke my trend as we managed to force a draw. Our final results netted us the wooden spoon, the sting of which was removed when the tournament organisers presenting us each with a ‘Mantic’ terrain box, which was very kind.

April came along and SALUTE 2019 happened, sadly I missed it due to work, which is a shame, on the bright side at least I saved some money. It has made me more determined to attend SELWG 2019 this year at ‘Crystal Palace’ on Sunday 20th October 2019. Follow the link to find out more:

https://www.facebook.com/SELWGSHOW/

May saw an end to the ‘Kings of War’ campaign that I have been taking part in at the ‘Tanelorn Gaming club’ at the ‘Magic Madhouse’ in Stratford, East London. I had enjoyed taking part in this campaing, which was run by my friend Guy Harper. I only managed to win my first game against an army of ‘Ratkin’, however I enjoyed everyone of them, playing against some very friendly people. My ‘Empire of Dust’ army faced deamons, Dwarves, Beastmen and Elves as they fought their way into the Isle of Valundar, my Pharaoh looking both for his long lost brother, and revenge upon those who sunk his fleet. He saw gaining shards of the ‘Fenulian Mirror’ as a bonus. The last game as a six way affair with the object of securing the mysterious tomb in the centre of the board. Melee took place across the table and many troops were lost, By the end of turn five it looked like my army would carry the day, sadly we had trusted in a pact with some Dwarves who attacked us in the rear and flank and stole the victory. During the game I was impressed how much hurt a simple troop of Dwarf Berserkers can hand out, and the damage that a Herd Brutox can soak up. It really was a great climax for the campaign.

Finally I have entered another doubles tournament with ‘Kings of Herts’ this time it is a fundraiser for the school where they run most of their events. To find out more about it, follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2266931370245040/

I am taking 1000 pts of ‘Empire of Dust’ my partner this time will be Mark Cunningham of the Bexley Reapers who I believe is bringing some ‘Varangur’ I am currently finalising my list and prepping the minis, I will try to blog about this nearer the time. Mark and Grant from the reapers are also organising a tournament to take place on 20th July 2019, I cannot make it as I am taking part in the race for life on the same day, but if you are interested, follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2178879795497410/

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 ***

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: