December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.

Time for me to take a little break and enjoy my fortnight off work, nice when it closes down for the holiday period. Other than eating a lot, drinking a little bit, watching a lot of cricket and spending time with the family I fully intend to enter the new year - and the first night of my local gaming club for 2009 - with my painting/assembly backlog (at least for Warmachine) finished.
Just printed off a nice PDF copy of the Army Book for what might be my next WHFB army the 'Vampire Counts', going to do some research and seriously look at starting them mid 2009.

December 17, 2008

Make your own trees

Quick guide to making your own trees

I found some old wire in my garage last week and for some reason decided to start twisting it into tree shapes. The results have actually been reasonably good and I've gone on to make quite a few of them now and thought I would post a brief how-to guide here. I apologise in advance for the quality of some of the photos, its a skill I havent mastered yet.

The materials
First up is the wire I used. I had two different thicknesses. The one on the left is fairly solid basically No. 8 fencing wire sort of stuff which I used for the tree trunks. The other stuff is much thinner and better suited for the branches. Not sure how much No.8 costs, but you can pick up two good lengths of the thinner stuff from the $2 Shop for, you guessed it, $2.

The modelling plaster is also pretty cheap. There are a wide variety of types available from Toystores and Stationary outlets. Some are designed to be dryed in a standard kitchen oven, but the one I choose air-drys. It was also cheaper at $5 for a 500g packet.

The clay is really easy to use you can just rip off a chunk of what you need by hand. It drys overnight so you have a lot of time to mould it into the shape you like. Once dry it goes very hard and has a nice clean white finish to it. This particular brand is also available in other colours. Finally I used some terrain building pieces as bases to work from, but anything you can anchor the tree trunk to would be suitable.


The Building Process

Step 1 - The Trunk
You create the trunk by twisting the thicker No.8 wire in an appropriate shape. A key requirement here is to not twist it too tightly, as you want to leave little gaps throughout the trunk to thread the branches through.

Step 2 - The Branches

Take a good length of the thinner wire, you want it long enough to be threaded through and then doubled up, or tripled up if you want to create a 3 prong branch. Thread the wire through and twist it round the trunk pulling it tight to get a good solid fit.

The next stage is to simply fold the thinner wire back in on itself and twist it into the required shape, again anchor the ends by threading it through the gaps in the trunk.

Step 3 - Plastering

This step is fairly easy you just mould the clay onto the wire frame. I started at the bottom and built up a nice solid trunk. It is best to compact the clay as much as possible to keep the finished piece strong once its dry. To mould clay around the branchs roll small pieces out in a long sausage shapes then apply a piece the same length as the branch and simply fold it around.

For best results youll have to add 2-3 layers of clay to get the right shape, and I found that coming back the next day after the first layer had dryed allowed you to see where it had cracked and needed re-filling. Don't put clay over the entire length of the wire leave the loops at the end free.

Step 4 - The Foliage

For the foliage the first step i took was to cut the loops at the end of the branches. These formed when you folded and twisted the thinner wire. Cut these and you are left with a couple of nice reasonably sharp prongs to stick your foliage onto. For the foliage I simply used the same foam I pack my armies in, available locally from Pararubber (remember to buy off cuts if you can). I just ripped off small pieces stuck them onto the wire and then trimmed them with some scissors to get the shape I wanted.

The finished trees were then removed from the base they were originally moulded onto, the clay doesnt stick to it, and I then glued them onto pieces of cardboard ready for painting/flocking. The foliage pieces Ill remove and simply soak in green dye to get the desired colour, and possibly dry brush to add some effects.
Ill post the finished product once I'm done making them all - currently have 10 or so on the go. Let me know what you think.

December 16, 2008

New additions

Just received my order from Maelstrom Games in the UK. Arrived very quickly considering its Christmas time and mail to and from the UK is usually very slow around this time of year. Order contained:
  • Zealots Unit
  • Monolith Bearer - Zealots UA
  • Rupert Cavalo Piper of Ord
  • Reedemer
  • Wracks (3)
I'll have to put the Wracks onto TradeMe along with the spare Repenters (2) and Kreoss variant (1) that I have and wont use. I forgot I had Wracks in the Maelstrom order and have doubled up of them now and have more than I can field in any given army. Also placed another order with Maelstrom (last order for a long-time) for the following:
  • Zealots (2)
  • Idrians (2)
  • Avatar of Menoth
  • Severius
  • Deliverers (2)
  • Dwarf King Alrik Ranulfsson
The additional Zealots, Idrians and Deliverers are to flesh out my existing units of those to 8-10 models each. The Avatar gives me a nice unique heavy warjack to use and Severius creates some more options.

The Dwarf King is the one on Shield-Bearers which I have been trying to get locally for my Warhammer army for sometime now, have an outstanding order with a local retailer that has been unfilled since July. With him and the additional Organ Gun I purchased a few weeks back my Dwarf army is now complete.

I also managed to sell my 15mm Medieval English army a fortnight ago for just over $400 which was a very good price for a completed, painted and flocked force. Money came just in time for my big Warmachine order from the WarStore in the US. Also vaguely starting to think about a third WHFB army, either Vampire Counts or Orcs & Goblins... not quite sure.

December 15, 2008

Battle Report - Warmachine

Hordes & Warmachine 2v2 1000pts
Menoth/Everblight vs. Khador/Skorne

With Christmas less than a fortnight away this was the last game for 2008 amd it was a good one. Hanks EverBlight and my Menoth against Toshis Khador and Stephens Skorne. We each took 500pts, principally as thats all Hank and Stephen can field at the moment. Original plan was for Toshi and I to pack out 750-1000 pts each, but this would have left the game far to unbalanced and besides my kitchen table isnt that big!?!

I had a couple of alternate lists worked out, including a light warjack dominate one with Amon Ad-Raza. However, in the end I decided to stick with Kreoss principally as I know how to play him and a complicated 2v2 isnt the time to bring in Amon whose is very difficult to master. After various modifications (based mainly on whatever supersized Khador models Toshi brought) my final list was:
  • Kreoos
  • Devout
  • Devout
  • Devout
  • Revenger
  • Wrack
  • Wrack
  • Wrack
  • Choir (6)
  • Deliverers (9)
  • Eiryss

Going with a horde of light jacks was a big risk particularly against Khadors Drago and Behemoth but I wanted to experiment. The principle aim was to get the Devouts into melee range with the enemy casters where their Choir infused, Kreoss boosted attacks and bonus Defensive strikes could do some serious damage. The Revenger was there solely to march Lamentation as far forward as possible mainly as I wanted to shut down Khadors magic unit enhancements. The Deliverers while weak gave me a useful area effect weapon and helped divert some of the enemy forces away, and Eiryss allowed me to plan an alternative assassination route and to take out enemy sniper units.

Deployment & Initial turns
As my table is smaller than regulation size the deployment zones shrunk to 7" for normal and +9" for advanced deployment. Toshi had some new terrain pieces with him including some nice looking buildings. These went on one side forming a small village with two large forests going on the other leaving a relatively large clear space in the centre. Khador/Skorne deployed first with the village on their right, and forests on their left. Menoth/Everblight deployed second.


The board - Menoth/Everblight on left & Khador/Skorne on right
Khador/Skorne initial deployment - note Behemmoth & Drago on left
Initial Khador/Skorne movement
The first few turns were largely uneventful. Khador bombarded the Everblight line and the Deliverers who were stationed with them, Eiryss picked off the Widowmakers (RAT 9 is just awesome), and the Deliverers managed to kill *ahem* nothing. Menoth advanced toward the village looking to sweep round behind the main enemy battleline and go for the casters. The Choir had 'Safe Passage' and 'Ward' alternating with 'Lamentation' blasting out through the Revengers arcnode.
Menoth/Everblight advance


Kreoss & the Choir

In the centre things started to get interesting pretty quick. The movement of Everblights Archers & Eiryss on our right saw Khador divert resources that way to take care of them. This left the Skorne army open and the Everblight forces promptly charged in. However, a series of poor dice rolls cost us and we failed to inflict the damage we were expecting. Although the Deliverers did manage to kill a few Skorne troopers.

Middle Stages & the Grand Melee
By this stage things were getting very confused with soul tokens, fury markers, focus points and spell tokens scattered everywhere. The Everblight and Skorne armies were heavily engaged in the centre of the board while the Menoth light jacks were finally beginning to flank around the village.


Skorne & Everblight moments before the initial melee charges.
Note the Behemmoth distracted on the left, and out of the initial fighting.


The grand melee goes poorly for our side as Skorne and Khador
begin to dominate
Khador's big jacks though were causing havoc and rampaging everywhere, although they initially concentrated on killing the Menoth Deliverers rather than the stronger Everblight forces. Again some unlucky dice rolls including a failed Slam attack by an Everblight beast saw the melee drag on and gave Khador's big jacks time to return to the fight.


Everblights caster (unpainted) all alone against the enemy

On the Menoth side the Revenger was destroyed but it had served its purpose in pushing the enemy casters back away from their forces, albiet temporarily, with Lamentation. The Devouts were now cutting their way through the Skorne flank and were getting set to hit their caster. However, at this point things began to go pear shaped for our side.

The Devouts attack the Skorne flanking units
The end of all things
Kreoss's feat was the key card in our hand this match and we used it reasonably well knocking down the majority of the enemy forces with ours all in position to charge home. However, once again the enemy casters notably Vlad were just out of reach (having pushed back to avoid Lamentation) and they were saved from Kreoss wrath.


A Devout attacking the Skorne caster, Vlad is just behind it and
destroyed it next round

The remaining Everblight units attempted to wipe out the knockdown Skorne units but failed as did the Devouts who launched their attacks at the two enemy casters who now advanced into contact. The Skorne caster saved not once, not twice but three times from Death by her ability to leech damage (or something like that), she ended the game with one damage box left.

Kreoss battling it out near the end

The final act saw the Everblight forces destroyed and Kreoss left all alone with the Choir (soon decimated by Khador bombards) and a single Devout. He managed to last two rounds of combat, but was eventually cut down surrounded on all sides. The end result a good but very close victory to Khador/Skorne with 2 caster kills and no losses.

Picture of the Day

Toshis Khador Behemmoth - just an awesome paint job

We break now for Christmas, probably no more games until the first week of January. Would like to make that first one an Epic 2000pt+ match against Khador.

December 11, 2008

Painting backlog & future orders

After 3 nights of solid effort my painting backlog has finally been cut down. Since Monday I've managed to finish painting, basing and touching up the following models:

- Castigator
- Reckoner
- Devouts x2

I've also rebased and touched up the 2 Devouts I recently purchased from a gamer in Auckland. I can't say enough about the work this guy did on these models the paintjob was great, I just fixed up a few scratches here and there, and he had modified them so the shield on one was on the opposite arm.

Currently finishing off my Exemplars Errant and eFeora, before moving onto the Idrian Skirimishers. The Deliverers & Rhoven and his bodyguard are going to have to wait until I strip them right back and re-undercoat them. Also have 3 Wracks to put together. Also placing another order soon, this time with Vagabond Games in Auckland for:

- Severius
- Reznik
- Aiyana & Holt
- eEiryss

Starting to miss playing Warhammer a bit lately. Definately not missing all the painting I still have to do on my WHFB stuff though.

December 9, 2008

Latest painting efforts

The alternate blue/grey paint scheme for Menoth is out, and I've started work on the following units using my original Red/White scheme.
  • Deliverers
  • Castigator
  • Reckonner
  • Exemplars Errant
  • Epic Feora

The similarity with Khador's red scheme is a minor irritation but highlighting and details give you enough differences. Ill get some photos up soon to show the actual results, but I thought of one way to make the Heavy Warjacks stand out.

With the Reckonner I've treated the main head plate in a similar fashion to the Choir's scrolls and inscribed some Menoth crosses and some appropriate spiritual verse, in this case something from the Prime Remix book. Kept the words in English, but future models Ill put into Menoth script.

December 3, 2008

Menoth Font for MS Word

Downloaded the Menoth font from somewhere and have just been trying it out, works well. It turns this:


High Exemplar Kreoss

into.... this








Just awesome :)

Great basing work

Was just directed to this BLOG by a guy on the WargamersAU forums. It shows some great paintwork, but more interestingly a really great idea for the basing of his Warmachine army. Fantastic work all round.

December 2, 2008

Army List - Warmachine

Warmachine Battle Royale
2000pts Protectorate of Menoth vs. ????

Planning to have a 2000pt Epic battle vs. Toshi's Khador or a mixture of Circle/Orboros or whatever sometime soon. Problem is I cant quite get to 2000pts without proxying some WHFB pieces in as additional troopers and even then I only just get to 1853pts. Once my outstanding orders come in though I should be able to push the 2000pt barrier pretty easily, just need another non-epic Warcaster. Might go with Reznik as his abilities esp. vs. Hordes are quite good, or maybe ill just get the card for standard Feora and play the Epic model both ways? Anyway full list for the proposed Battle Royale is:

[List is far from perfect in terms of unit composition - but these are the only units I have *sigh*]

Epic Feora
- Devout
- Repenter
- Revenger
- Castigator

Kreoss
- Crusader
- Crusader
- Reckoner

Amon Ad-Raza
- Devout
- Repenter
- Repenter
- Revenger

Vassal
Choir (6)
Daughters of Flame (6)
Deliverers (10)
Exemplars Errant (8)
Cleansers (10)
Idrians (10) + UA (2)
Temple Flameguard (10) + UA (2)
Visgoth Rhoven & Honor Guard

I might split the Flameguard & Cleansers into two units, not sure, but either way with Epic Feora and Rhoven they become an extremely strong unit. If I proxy another couple of figures I suppose I could take another Choir and have two of (4) figures each which would allow me to split my forces slightly better. Also need to get a Dervish for Amon but that will come later. Still waiting on the following models:

From Maelstrom (UK)
- Redeemer
- Zealots (6)
- Monolith Bearer
- Heirophant
- Wracks
- Rupert Carvalo Piper of Ord

From guy on WargamersAU
- Wracks
- Choir troopers (9)
- Choir leaders (2)
- Reclaimer
- Devouts (2) [Possibly]

Still waiting to finalise price & postage on WargamersAU purchase

Protectorate colour schemes

Ok, tried the blue/grey/white colour scheme for my Protectorate stuff, starting with Rhoven and his bodyguard from the Legends book. Looks kind of OK, but then the Devout just looks stupid to be honest. So i'm going to paint strip them all and go back to my Red/Purle/White scheme that I have adopted so far. After all the work I put in on the Choir I would rather have my entire force looking the same.

Other news, I just cancelled a Warmachine order with my local retailer mainly due to time delays in getting the goods, and the price they charge. Placed an online order instead with Maelstrom Games in the UK. Prices are excellent and they offer free postage worldwide which is a big bonus.

December 1, 2008

Tournament Report - Warmachine

Played a 5-man mini-tournament at my place over the weekend which will hopefully be the first of many to come over the summer period, although we are planning a big battle royale with 1000-2000+ pts each next time round. Armies etc involved were:

  • Me w. Protectorate
  • Toshi w. Khador
  • Richard w. Orboros
  • Hank w. Everblight
  • Stephen w. Skorne

Games were played assaination style, e.g., kill the enemy caster you win, rather than tallying up victory points with each side taking 350pts. I varied my list from game to game, benefits of playing at my place with my entire collection close by, and Toshi had worked out some complicated draw for the day.

Game 1 vs. Everblight
Hank's Everblight have caused me a few problems in the past mainly with their ability to move through terrain and his big guys tailstrike ability. Key change for his army this time was the absence of any archers, although he still had those annoying shredders and a new unit whose name I forget. List for my army for this battle was:


  • Kreoss
  • Devout
  • Revenger
  • Idrian Skirmishers (6)
  • Choir (5)
  • Deliverers (6)

I went straight up the middle first, aiming for his caster who was well shielded. Basic plan was to get my Revenger in close and cast Lamentation through its arc-node disabling most of the Everblight magic, and then getting Kreoss into range for his feat. Deliverers were there to provide some indirect fire onto the knocked down Everblight stuff after Kreoss's feat went in. Game progressed quickly enough, the Idrians killed one trooper from an Everblight unit then got slaughtered by a shredder and some ugly spell. Main units advanced into combat quickly and I had a good run at his caster and scored some good hits on all of his units. Big problem though, I left Kreoss open to a charge (again) and he was killed after Turn 3-4.

WIN FOR EVERBLIGHT

Game 2 vs. Orboros
My first game against Richards stuff. Modified my list slightly here and dropped out the Idrians and Deliverers and took a unit of Exemplars Errant (to try them out). Also dropped the Revenger in favour of another Devout, and included a small unit of Flameguard just to hold up one flank and divert some of Richards resources. Main plan was to get Devouts into combat asap and use Kreoss to boost their attacks against his caster. The small number of troops/units he had meant that I had a better than even chance of getting to his caster quickly. Game went pretty well for me. The Flameguard took a hammering but survived long enough to tie down the Orboros right flank. The Errants got destroyed by the Orboros caster who had advanced right at me, but one survived to keep the caster locked into melee. This allowed me to move both of my Devouts up into combat range. Their defensive abilities helped protect Kreoss from getting hit by some nasty ranged attacks, and their defensive strikes brutallised a couple of Orboros solos. Final act of the game was a series of boosted attacks on the Orboros caster by both of the Devouts resulting in him being squished into a very small pile of goo.

WIN FOR PROTECTORATE

Game 3 vs. Skorne
First game against Stephen as well, at least with Warmachine/Hordes. Wasn't really sure what he had as I've never seen a Skorne army before but after swapping cards it looked rather nasty. I changed my list again for this battle and dropped all of my infantry in favour of the following:

  • Kreoss
  • Devout
  • Devout
  • Castigator
  • Choir
  • Vassal

He had some pretty strong infantry units and some strong beasts and solos so it was reasonably matched. Game went pretty quickly, I basically charged my guys straight ahead with the Castigator in the middle of a V with the Devouts on the flanks and the other units behind. The Choirs Safe Passage & Kreoss' Retribution and Protection of Menoth enabled me to close quickly suffering no damage until we hit melee range. Initial rounds of combat saw the Devouts absolutely slaughter the Skorne infantry units, and then the large beast thing that Stephen had. Moment of the match though was the Castigator's Slam attack on a medium based solo unit which threw him back through an entire unit of Skorne infantry. Result all of the infantry died and the Solo was killed off next turn. Along came Kreoss' feat and even with the Devouts disabled the Castigator had the Skorne warcaster all alone and eventually smashed them to pieces.

WIN TO PROTECTORATE

Review
Things went pretty well overall. The units I was familar with did a great job especially the Devouts who are just fantastic. The infantry units took a hammering however, notably the Errants and the Idrians but then I hadnt used them before and deployed them to far ahead. The Flameguard did their job Ok, and the Deliverers were surprisingly effective even though they are guarenteed to miss every time with their -4 penalty.

Read Khador's perspective here

Nasty Trick
Cast Kreoss's Retribution on a Devout with Infuse from the Choir. Any unit that attacks them, must first take a Defensive strike at +4 (+2 for attack, +2 for infuse) with a boosted damage roll at +2, suffer -2 MAT when they attack back and a Retribution damage roll if they hit me. If the rolls are good its actually possible to kill or seriously disable another jack in your opponents turn of combat.

November 26, 2008

Painting Backlog

Spent last two nights assembling and undercoating various models and realised that I have a substantial backlog of figures to paint. Used the pinning system for first time as well which worked an absolute treat, especially when putting Epic Feora together with all of the little fiddly bits that go on her armour. Her and the arms on the Daughters of Flame.

Also begun work on a new colour scheme for my Protectorate of Menoth units going with a combination of blue/grey/white highlighting different areas. First units to get the new scheme are a Devout and the Legends unit Rhoven & his 2 Bodyguards. Not quite sure how it will work out yet, but advantage of metal models is you can always dip them in paint stripper and start over. Painting backlog for Warmachine is without a doubt the longest although I still have more than a few WHFB figures to complete as well.

November 25, 2008

Army Update - Protectorate of Menoth

Managed to sell my 15mm Medieval English army over the weekend so I had some spare cash to add to the ranks of my Protectorate. Dropped into Heroes for Sale yesterday and picked up some Idrian Skirimishers and their Unit attachment and placed orders for the Piper mercenary, a Redeemer, Zealots unit box, and a Zealot Monolith Bearer. Nolw have just under 2000pts.

Also scanning White Dwarf for ideas on new colour scheme for my Protectorate models, I like the red/white/purple thing I have, but I'm now looking at a more subtle blue/grey look. Other big news on the gaming front is that Games Workshop have just realised a 'Bits' catalogue allowing people to place specific orders for individual sprues. Makes finding extra shields and customising your models that much easier.

November 21, 2008

Another loss to Khador

Played 2 matches against Toshi's Khador last night, the final night at the club. Lost both the first one quite badly. The second due to some really poor decision making. Starting to get somewhat upsetting getting beaten all the time (well majority of the time). I like Menoth, like the story behind them, like the figures, but like my WHFB Dwarfs I've picked a tough army to master and am learning some very hard lessons.

Deployment lessons
Same as for WHFB, don't let the enemy dictate your deployment or how you use your forces, set up in the manner that best works for you and your troops. In Game 1 I needed to be in position to get into melee combat quickly while minimising any damage from Drago's Bombards. Unfortunately I deployed to far back and then advanced particular units to far forward on their own allowing them to get isolated.

In Game 2 Khador's Jacks were bunched together and I followed suit rather than spreading myself out and using the terrain more to my advantage. While melee is Menoths fortee it is better to get into that melee on your terms, e.g., as with Dwarfs get the firs charge.

Unit activation lessons
Activating the Choir and Vassal better than in previous games, although I keep getting the abilities mixed up particularly the Vassals Enliven. Having 2 Choirs is a definate must - 1 to Chant Safe Passage, the other to Chant Ward giving your Warjacks complete immunity from ranged and magic attacks.

Using Kreoss much better now principally as I have decided to only use Kreoss as my Warcaster so I can build some familiarity with his abilities. Key mistake was not getting forward fast enough to get Lamentation into play. This would have dramatically reduced Khador's effectiveness.

List composition
While Devouts get a bit of bad press in some forums etc I think they work well, particularly the Defensive Strike ability. This is really fun to use after an enemy Jack has been knocked down. If they forfeit their move to attack then you get to hit them with another Defensive Strike first, as technically they have ended their movement phase (by not moving).

Units I am definately missing though are Redeemer's so I can shoot rockets at models knocked down by Kreoss feat, e.g, the drop and pop tactic. Also need another Choir, some Wracks and some Zealots pluts unit attachment. Next purchases will definately be the Zealots and some Irdian Skirimishers.

Anyway last night was the final official club night at the Duellists until January 15th, so outside of casual games and posts on modelling, painting and product reviews etc I wont be blogging as much over the next couple of months.

November 20, 2008

Product Review - Citadel Washes

Product Review
Citadel Washes



"If you havent already purchased and used these, THEN DO IT NOW!!!"

I cannot say enough about this product. The box set contains the entire citadel wash range thats 8x12ml pots in the following colours: Asurmen Blue, Baal Red, Badab Black, Devlan Mud, Leviathan Purple, Ogryn Flesh, Gryphonne Sepia and Thraka Green. They act in the exactly the same way as inks and other washes, e.g., Flesh Wash but are far superior. In short if you want to add some amazing detail to your models then you HAVE to HAVE these as they allow you to do all sorts of things both subtle and quite bold. The colour range is great and so far I have used them all, except for Asurmen Blue (nothing blue to paint at moment), to great effect.

Badab Black
I initially thought this was a weaker version of black ink, which it is, but it seems to perform better offering a more consistent coat. Best use found for it so far was applying it to armour over top of a layer of Boltgun Metal the effect is to create a dull 3D weathered effect on the armour that really heightens the realism. I still use Black Ink for chainmail areas though. I also applied it over the Scab Red armour of my Daughters of Flame which resulted in some nice detailing.

Gryphonne Sepia
Without a doubt MY FAVOURITE WASH in the pack. After a tip from Keith at the Club I have been using this to great effect on the white areas of my Protectorate of Menoth units. The process is quite simple and much easier than the methods I have used previously all you need to do is: (1) apply a layer of Bleached Bone, (2) apply a layer or two of Sepia Wash, and (3) highlight the raised areas with Skull White. The overall effect is quite good. My Choir of Menoth is a good example - although with the first one (in the photo) I applied the Sepia after the Skull White.

Devlan Mud & Thraka Green
Also really good for adding detail to cloaks particularly near the bottom where you can add very subtle (especially if your brush work is better than mine) wear and tear effects from fabric being worn through dirt and grass.

The Other Colours
Haven't found any specific uses for the other colours yet other than to highlight colour sets of the same type, e.g., using Leviathan Purple on Purple Cloaks. The Ogyrn Flesh is good it is kind of in between Elf Flesh and Dwarf Flesh in tone but with a more dull pinkish shade to it.

Anyway, final say - BUY THESE THEY ARE BRILLIANT.

November 14, 2008

Battle Report - Warmachine 750pts

Menoth vs. Cryx
750pts Epic Warcaster Battle

Only a brief report on this game as I was enjoying it too much to take any notes and didnt have my camera with me. Anyway the evening started in some confusion with 4 of us all seemingly turning up to play the same opponent who himself didnt show up?!? Rather than wait we sorted ourselves out with the 2 Everblight armies fighting eachother (somewhat confusing that) and myself going up against Cryx.

The game went quite slowly as I was using some of the new units/warjacks I ordered recently, that and my opponent hadnt played Cryx in a long time if ever so we were both kind of feeling our way through the right tactics. My list for the battle was:
  • Epic Kreoss
  • Revenger
  • Castigator
  • Reckoner
  • Devout
  • Vassal of Menoth
  • Choir of Menoth (Warpriest & 5 Acolytes)
  • Daughters of Flame (Standard Unit)
  • Temple Flameguard (10) + Unit attachment
  • Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
Terrain set up was fairly good, we had two standard tables joined together with the terrain spread out across the whole lot and the tables divided into 4 sections. The one we choose had a large village in the middle with walls and several forests on either side, a hill on the cryx side of halfway gave them some added bonuses as it looked down over the village & table centre.

Overall the game see-sawed back and forth with both sides taking relatively heavy losses throughout, but a number of bad calls on my part in terms of using units in the right order, and some surprising Cyrx abilities saw them triumph. Final turn of game saw Epic Kreoss immobilised by the Cryx warcasters Feat and fighting a Bonejack and a unit of Pirate things (?!?) all on his lonesome. He some how survived the first round of combat despite taking 14 damage points and then narrowly missed out on lasting another round but was eventually cut down.

Unit/Warjack Review
The Castigator
Really not sure what this was capable of as it got destroyed in only the second turn by a large unit of very powerful Cryx infantry. Only contribution it made was to give them something to hit.

The Reckoner
Could have gone quite well but as it was the first time I had used him it didnt go too well. The assualt capability is particularly good allowing you to fire the ranged weapon as part of any charge attack. That and the choking veil give it good defence against a lot of units. Unfortunately it lost both of its arms relatively quickly and was reduced to marching around head butting people for the remainder of the game.

The Devout
Loved this warjack. I used him to guard Kreoss for most of the game before charging him into combat. With good DEF and ARM plus a P+S 14 reach melee weapon its a great Warjack to use. The defensive strike ability was also fantastic a free attack on any enemy model that moves with in 2" of it at +2 and with a boosted damage roll. Hits result in the enemy unit losing -2 MAT in its turn, so if you pick the right target you can effectively stop any attack on it before it begins. The defensive bonuses it brings to your Warcaster are also good, but in attack I think its better used.

Daughters of Flame
Two melee attacks which can be combined at a base MAT 7 (or 8 for leader) make this a powerful unit, however I positioned it wrong and it was killed pretty quickly by the Cryx pirates. I think the best thing to do with them is position them behind (despite their advance deployment) another unit and then have them charge through.

Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
Good unit to have particularly against Cryx as Menoths Sight allows you to remove Stealth etc. Their ARM bonuses are also good as are their 2" reach PWR 14 melee attacks. Need to work on better use of their special abilities though.

Vassal & Choir
Once again I wasnt activating these guys in the right order - really going to have to get that right or their abilities wills simply be wasted. Safe Passage was an option I definately didnt use enough.

Epic Kreoss
I'm used to normal Kreoss's abilities but Epic was good, I particularly liked one spell that at 2 Focus turned a normal melee attack into a Slam attack with all the normal bells and whistles. Sanctified and Retribution were also great. Once again 'Retribution' proved to be my favourite spell. Casting it on my Revenger he was back striked by the Cryx Hunter who did 5 damage to the Revenger (killing it) but 14 damage to himself resulting in his death.

Retailer Review - Wargames Supply (NZ)

Retailer Review
Wargames Supply





W: http://wargames.co.nz/
P: Shop 38, Downstairs, BNZ Centre, 1Willis St, Wellington 6001, New Zealand
T: +64 4 473 7350

About the Store
Wargames Supply was established in 2004, to provide the New Zealand war gaming market with the best war gaming products from around the world. They stock and can source items for a wide variety of gaming formats, publishers and manufacturers including:

  • Games Workshop
  • Privateer Press
  • Foundry
  • Osprey
  • Rackham Miniatures

Their collection of source material for alternative games notably ancients formats is particularly good.

Shopping Options
Like most retailers Wargames Supply maintain a website with online ordering capability, they also take orders by phone and via email. The online ordering system is well set up and requires a simple registration to gain access. Registration allows you to track the status of your orders and maintain & update your personal details in much the same way as Amazon and other large retailers. The website is well set up and very easy to navigate. A number of sections are missing images but from talking to them it is because the owner manages the webpage in his spare time and finds it difficult to constantly maintain. Phone orders are easy to make as the staff are very friendly and helpful. I would also recommend visiting the store in person as it is usually busy and they occassionally get in hard to get items that go rather quickly.

My Shopping Experience
I have to be honest here and say that my personal experience with this store was quite poor. I placed two orders online near the end of October 08 and recieved no feedback etc from the store on the status of those orders. Compare this with the Warstore in the US who sent a response almost immediately. A key issue was that the website does not provide details of which items are in stock and which need to be ordered in, or of the time it will take for orders to be filled. Despite the small size of the order I placed it took over a month for the items to arrive as the shop had continual problems with its overseas suppliers. It took several phone-calls to the store to check on the status of my order. The items did arrive though and were extremely well packaged. Shopping in person was a much better experience though.

Final Say
While my personal experience with this store was poor the members of my gaming club have nothing but positive comments to make about them and it seems that I was just unlucky. Overall, I would recommend them to New Zealand based gamers (those in the lower and central North Island anyway) but if you are planning on ordering online call them and check they have the items in stock first.

November 12, 2008

Retailer Review - The Warstore (US)

Retailer Review
The WarStore




W: http://www.thewarstore.com/
P: 47420 Main RoadSouthold, NY 11971USA
T: 631 765 0047

This reasonably well known supplier is located in New York in the United States a long way from New Zealand but still highly recommended for gamers on this side of the world. The Warstore stocks pretty much everything and what it doesnt stock it can get hold of at usually discounted rates, this includes Games Workshop merchandise. The cater for a wide range of games and stock (or can source) items in the following ranges:
  • Games Workshop (Black Library, Historicals, WHFB & 40k, Citadel)
  • Dice, templates & Game Aids (Army builder software, GF9, Chessex etc)
  • Paints, Tools & Glue (from variety of manufacturers)
  • Terrain, Buildings & Bases (All sizes & wide range of manufacturers)
  • Figure Cases & Card Protection
  • Fantasy Miniatures (Huge range of suppliers & models)
  • Sci-Fi Miniatures
  • Historical Miniatures & Rulebooks (10-54mm & above)
  • Strategy board & card games
  • Collectible cards
  • RPG's

The online shopping option is very easy to use, and so i'm told is the phone ordering system. Email confirmation of your order, reciept of payment and shipment of your goods (including a tracking ID) is extremely quick and contains more than enough detail to follow the status of your order. Key advantage is that the system tells you what items are in stock so you know before you order if you will have to wait any longer for particular items.

My shopping experience
I recently ordered a large amount of Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth items from the Warstore after a recommendation from a club mate. Placed the order online on a Thursday, recieved email confirmation of details a few minutes later and confirmation of dispatch of goods the next day. All up the order cost NZ$270 including postage and arrived well packaged on my doorstep only 7 days later. Compared to Amazon and even a lot of NZ based stores this was absolutely brilliant. The Warstore also refunded that part of the order they couldnt fill, one of the Warjacks I wanted, before I recieved my complete order.

Advice for New Zealand buyers
The key barrier to purchasing from the US is the cost of postage. One reason I think that E-Bay doesnt allow overseas bids on most US auctions, and also why many Amazon suppliers don't ship here. The baseline cost for shipment to NZ is around NZ$50-70 depending on the exchange rate as all international orders are sent via UPS. So I strongly suggest placing large orders, or combining orders with friends, to split postage across more items. Sending 1 item at NZ$50 isnt cost effective ordering 10+ is, particularly as postage costs only increase slowly with item numbers.

Final Say
I would highly recommend this retailer to anybody looking to purchase wargaming items. For NZ based gamers this retailer is also a must for those hard to locate items e.g., certain Warjacks for Warmachine that are simply not stocked in this country. In simple terms it is actually quicker, easier and cheaper to purchase these items from the US than placing orders in NZ stores and waiting for them to source the items.

Warhammer Battle Report - 5000pts

Grand Royale (5000 pts)
Battle 4 of Sigmars Betrayal Campaign

King Druegar Stromnisson himself leads the throng of Karak Thorinkin into battle against the full might of the Empire Army. Of the four battles this was by far the most enjoyable and one that saw the balance of power shift both ways in almost every turn. Dwarven artillery decimated the Empire ranks on one flank, while Empire Knights crushed the other and Empire magic competed with Dwarven runes and the Anvil of Doom.

Dwarven Army List
Dwarf Lord
w. MR Kragg the Grimm, RO Fury, RO Snori, RO Stone, RO Resistance & Shieldbearers
Rune Lord
w. Spell Eater Rune, MR Balance, RO Spellbreaking & Anvil of Doom
Dwarf Lord
w. MR Alaric Mad, RO Cleavingx2, MR Gromil, Oath Stone
Daemon Slayer
w. MR Swiftness, RO Fury & RO Striking
Master Engineer
w. RO Stone & BOP
Battle Standard Bearer
w. MR Stromni & RO Sanctuary
Runesmith
w. RO Stone & RO Spellbreakingx2
Runesmith
w. MR Dismay, Spelleater Rune, RO Stone
Master Engineer
w. RO Stone, RO Warding & BOP
Warriors x20
w. Shields, GW & Musician
Warriors x20
w. Shields, GW & Musician
Longbeards x20
w Shields, GW, Musician & SB w. RO Slowness
Longbeards x20
w. Shields, GW, Musician & SB w. RO Stoicism & RO Battle
Quarrellers x10 (3 units)
w. Shields & Musician
Thunderers x15
w. Musician
Thunderers x10
w. Musician
Hammerers x18
w.Shields, Musician, SB w. RO Stoicism
Slayers x10
Cannon
w. RO Forging, RO Reloading & Engineer
Cannon
w. Ro Forging, RO Burning & Engineer w. BOP
Cannon
w. RO Forging, Valiant Rune & Engineer w. BOP
Organ Gun
GrudgeThrower
w. RO Accuracy, RO Reloading & Engineer w. BOP
Bolt-Thrower
w. RO Penetratingx2, Engineer w. BOP
Bolt-Thrower
w. RO Penetratingx2, RO Burning & Engineer w. BOP

All up this gave me a lot of options for set up and some decent anti-magic ability with 10 dispel dice, 3 RO Spellbreaking and 2 Spelleating Runes. The overall mix was: 4 Lords, 5 Heroes, 9 Core units, 7 Special and 1 Rare. Would have loved another couple of Organ guns and more Slayers but I only fielded what I had (dont like proxying stuff anymore).

Empire army was again very cavalry heavy but this time backed by large units of Empire foot soldiers. Two of Halberdiers and one of Swordsmen each with detachments of Handgunners. A unit of Huntsmen and an Ogre Hero completed the mix. The large complement of Wizards and Priests also gave the army some strong magic abilities boosted further by the inclusion of numerous power stones and bound spell items.


Deployment & Terrain Set Up
Terrain consisted of a number of large forests dominating the centre of the board and the right flank of my deployment zone and a large hill in the centre of the Empire deployment zone. Dwarven left flank was largely free of terrain with exception of small forest right on edge of Empire deployment zone creating a large empty area in middle of board. Empire moved first and advanced along two main axis.

Initial Turns
Shooting was simply outstanding in first few rounds with huge numbers of Empire Knights simply blasted out of the saddle by the Cannons and Bolt-Throwers at long range. Those few Knights that remained were then further decimated by the Organ Gun and core missle units as they moved in closer. The carnage included 15 of 18 Blood Knights (think thats what they're called) who were systematically cut down, first by Cannon and then Organ Gun fire. Unlike Game 3 in this one my dice rolls were spot on with major hits coming from everymissle unit and artillery piece. Empire magic also proved unlucky with the Spelleater runes both coming up 4+ and taking 2 powerful spells out of play - but not as it turned out the worst one (Conflaguration of Doom) which was held back for later.

On the right flank the battle was more in the Empires favour. While one of the 2 units of Knights was wittled down early it was magically unbreakable and soon entered combat against the Dwarven units on that flank. While the left flank reamined solid and unbroken Dwarven units were cut-down and overrun piecemeal on the right as the Empire Knights were joined by the Halberdiers and Swordsmen. The only melee combat that went well was the charge of the Slayers in the centre, who helped by the Anvil of Doom, were able to rout the Huntsmen and charge into the Ogre Unit. This proved a double bonus as it kept this powerful character out of almost the entire battle and prevented the entire centre of the Empire army (inc. its key infantry units) from marching in only Turn 2.

Middle Turns
This is where combat was joined. The surviving Knights on the left flank now cut through the Dwarven missle units although the Thunderers amazingly cut down a couple of Knights in melee. The Thunderers rout allowed this weakened (2/18 Knights were left) but still powerful (as it contained a Warpriest, Captain & Battlemage) to plow into the Dwarven centre toward the embattled right flank and the Anvil of Doom. On the extreme left though the other Empire Knights failed their charge and were themselves charged by a unit of Warriors and another of Longbeards. Their supporting Cannon also routed the Outriders in close combat (after Grapeshot first weakened) them allowing it to fire into the Empire units that could have supported the Knights. While it took 3 turns the Knights were eventually routed, the Outriders destroyed and the entire Dwarven left flank secured from harm.

Disaster on the Right & game end
While the left was going well for the Dwarves the rest of the board wasnt. The Slayers were eventually cut down by the Ogre and Empire infantry and the entire Dwarven force on the right flank was surrounded and destroyed by Empire Knights and Halberdiers. The turning point of the battle though, and one which led to it being a draw was the casting of Conflaguration of Doom on the Hammerers. 18 strong with the accompanying powerful Dwarf Lord this unit was poised to flank charge the Red Knights and their accompanying characters in the centre. If successful this would have allowed the Longbeard units on the left to hit it in the rear surrounding and hopefully destroying it, thus securing the left and centre of the board for the Dwarven army.

Unfortunately some extremely good use of magic by Jason saw the Conflaguration of Doom kill all 18 of the Hammerers leaving King Druegar Stromnisson alone on the battlefield. The game ended with Druegar challenging and killing an Empire Warpriest and the remaining units on both sides consolidating their respective table quarters.

Final result
Overall the Dwarves lost approx 3000 pts worth of units, 1 standard, the Anvil of Doom & the Battle Standard. Also to fall were 3 Dwarven Lords and 2 Heroes. The Empire lost approx 2800 pts, no banners and a few characters but also held one table quarter. End result was a draw with Empire gaining approx 380 pts more than the Dwarven army. With the Hammers @ 241 pts & the RuneLord & Anvil of Doom @ 465 pts, their deaths in the last Empire turn were crucial to that result.

Warhammer Battle Reports - 750 to 3000pts

Sigmars Betrayal: The Empire Campaign
Dwarfs (Druegar Stromnisson) vs. Empire

This was a series of games fought between myself and my brother's Empire army (extremely well painted, VERY VERY cavalry heavy, and all magnetically based for easy movement). It consisted of 4 games each larger in scale culiminating in a big 5000 pt battle. Each game was fought over a larger than standard table which was 72" long, giving us 18" deployment zones and a 36" gap between our respective forces (good for me, not good for him).

Battle 1 - Border Skirmish (500 or 750 pts?!?)
Where the evil Empire's plan to extend its borders and betray its ancient oath of friendship with the Dwarves first makes itself known. Simple battle over our out-sized board. Terrain consisted of a few forests, one large hill and an area of impassable terrain that we both agreed completely blocked LOS (even from the hill).

Empire forces consisted entirely of Knights and some outriders. Dwarfs relied on a single Runesmith, 2 core units of Warriors & Quarrellers and as much artillery as it could afford within the points limit. Outcome was better than expected with Dwarven artillery smashing the Empire units to pieces before they got within charge range and the warriors finishing off the remnants once close combat was joined. VICTORY TO THE THORINKIN

Score: Dwarfs 1 Empire 0

Battle 2 - Border Incursion (1500 pts)
Much bigger battle this time. Armies were largely the same as for the 500/750pt game but with the addition of a few more characters. For the Empire this included more Outriders, more Knights and some Ogre Dogs of War. The Dwarfs added some Slayers to hold up one flank, Thunderers to help vs. the Knights and as many additional Warmachines as the rules allowed. This game also included the debut of my Grudge Thrower - which was impressive when it hit people, but my guess work was way off when using it; guesses for Canons were 'as usual' bang on. Result more Dwarven slaughter of the hapless Empire Knights who got themselves bottle necked behind the impassable terrain.

Worst moment of the Battle was the Grudgethrower missing the large block of Knights it was aiming for and landing instead on top of the Slayer Unit engaged in melee combat against the Ogres. End result 2 dead Ogres and 6, yes 6, dead Slayers. Needless to say the remaining Slayers were butchered by the surviving Ogres. End result though was still VICTORY TO THE THORINKIN

Score: Dwarfs 2 Empire 0

Battle 3 - Major Confrontation (3000 pts)
This battle was very different from the first two and very difficult for my side. The extra 1500 points gave me more warmachines and a unit of Hammerers, with accompanying Lord of course, as well as additional units of Longbeards, Quarrellers and Thunderers. The Empire forces were bolstered by even more Knights, with the Ogres sitting out, Warpriests and a couple of Battle Mages. Upon reflection the battle was decided at setup when I deployed the majority of my warmachines on a large hill in the left hand corner of my deployment zone. The other units deployed around them except for a unit of Quarrellers, some Warriors and a Bolt-Thrower out on the extreme right flank. While this gave me some good massed shooting it also meant that once melee combat was joined the Empire Knights rolled right through my entire force with overrun after overrun. With some Empire units containing 15+ Knights it was exceedingly difficult to score enough hits to force panic tests.

End result was a resounding Empire win. Although we only played 4 of 7 turns (all of these games were played with 7 turns due to size of table) the outcome was never in doubt. My artillery failed miserably, although the Organ Gun did extremely well against the Out-riders, and one Bolt-Thrower managed to skewer a BattleMage foolishly riding solo. Consequently, large virtually undamaged empire units charged into my ranks rampaged over everything and effectively wiped out my entire force in a single turn of carnage. Empire magic also decimated several units, including the Hammerers who Jason targeted constantly, and in the end I was grossly outnumbered with two exposed flanks and no where to run. VICTORY TO SIGMAR.

Score: Dwarfs 2 Empire 1

Battle 4 - Battle Royale (5000 pts)
The final battle of the week and the most enjoyable. Full report in next post.

November 4, 2008

Newest additions to Protectorate Army

Thanks to the Warstore in the United States and TradeMe and Heroes for Sale here in New Zealand I have been able to add a number of new units/solos to my Protectorate army, including the first of my Warmachine Legends units. New units/solos are:
  • Epic Feora
  • Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
  • Castigator
  • Reckoner
  • Devout
  • Deliverers Unit
  • Exemplars Errant Unit + 2 Troopers
  • Daughters of Flame

The Legends stuff is pretty damn exciting especially the new Exemplar unit which is going to be almost impossible to kill. Just have to wait for the models to come out.

November 3, 2008

Warmachine Battle Report - 500 pts

Death to the Heretics
Protectorate of Menoth (Kreoss) vs. Khador (Zevanna Agha the Old Witch)

My first game against Rob the Club President and resident Warmachine expert. He's the guy we all go to whenever we have rules questions, consequently most nights every game being played will be interupted with shouts of "Rob, can we..." or "Rob, is this right..." etc. Originally I was going to be part of a big 3v3 match but swapped out so another Menoth player could have his first go at a larger battle.

Big change for this battle was the addition of my Choir of Menoth unit, albiet with 2 Cleaners proxying for a couple of the Acolytes (still waiting on the models). This would, if I used it right, give me some important bonuses re: my warjacks notably 'Safe Passage' which would negate Khador's advantage in RAT troops. I won the initial set up and split my force with the 2 Crusaders, the Revenger, the Choir, the Vassal and Kreoss on the left flank and the Temple Flameguard + Attachment (12) on the right.


Unit placements after both sides have made initial moves

Rob's Khador contained one large Warjack a Devestator which gave me a slight advantage in numbers only, but his supporting units were somewhat stronger. A Mage-hunter, a group of Widowmakers and a large unit of Iron Fang pikemen. His warcaster was one I hadn't faced before - Zevanna the Old Witch whose accompanying Scrapjack would later cause me a lot of problems. The DEF & ARM bonuses available to the Iron Fang unit, and Zevanna's feat were particularly difficult to deal with.

Crusaders with Iron Fang Pikeman in distance


Flameguard and Kreoss move up the right flank

Initial moves saw Khador go to the right of the board, my left flank, where my Crusaders and Choir were moving. Kreoss and the Vassal, which Rob didnt notice until I first used its special actions (AH HA HA), hid behind the nearby village building. The Revenger and Flameguard rushed the right flank with the aim of circling round behind any units that engaged the advancing Crusaders. First blood though went to the Widowmakers whose shooting caused serious damage on the right hand Crusader. Khador magic also laid down some nasty area affect spells that reduced my movement options somewhat.



Close up of Rob's great paintjob on his Devestator

Turns 2-3 were where it started to get messy. The ranked up Iron Fang unit ran full tilt into the Crusaders and used massed attacks to cause more damage crippling one of them and slightly damaging the other. However, after his initial success Rob threw a series of disastorous dice rolls that saw most of his attacks, across the board, miss by a wide margin or cause no damage. The Choirs use of Safe Passage and the advance of the Crusaders also chases the Widowmakers and the Mage Hunter out of the Forest to the left, as the Devestator advances to meet the Flameguard (if only I had known what it was capable of).


Flameguard (foolishly) take on the Devestator

Things could have gone really well for me in the next couple of turns. With the Pikeman missing their attack rolls my Warjacks were well poised to have a go at Zevanna with one of the Crusaders now moving around the Pikemans flank. However, I failed to use the abilities of the Choir and Vassal effectively and basically screwed up the order in which I activated my various units/solos. Rather than leaving Zevanna open to a charge from a Crusader and my Revenger I was only able to hit her with a magic bolt from the Vassal, although this did do 5 damage. Meanwhile the Flameguard scored 1 point of damage on the Devestator before it rudely bulldozed them out of the way (great ability that) and rampaged forward as though they werent there.



The Scrapjack eyes up the Flameguard!!!

With the Flameguard now out of formation, thanks to the Devestators bulldozing, the Scrapjack now came into play. I had largely ignored it so far but this was to prove a costly mistake. Next thing I now it gets the 'Slaughter' ability (one successful attack allows you to move 1" and attack again and so on) saw it trample through the Flameguard wiping out all but 2 of them. These later went on to kill one of the Widowmakers before being taken out by the ScrapJack in the next turn.


Flameguard for breakfast!!!
I stopped taking photos at this point as the game was getting really intense. Khador's ability to freeze my units, notably my Crusaders, stopped my attacks on Zevanna and ended any hope I had of engaging her in close combat. I did try and clear a path by having one Crusader pick up and throw an Iron Fang trooper. This saw him land on and kill a Widowmaker after first bowling the Manhunter out the way, squishing him flat in the process. With the Choirs Warpriest killed I had lost their ability to chant, although the remaining acolytes did cover themselves in glory by advancing behind the Iron Fang unit and dispatching 2 of them with their holy sticks.
At this point however I made a fateful mistake advancing Kreoss out from behind cover without his supporting Revenger. Zevanna dropped her feat, those Menoth units that could move were now faced with damage rolls if they did and the Devestator and Scrapjack charged into Kreoss. The Devestators Rain of Death attack caused 16 damage to Kreoss in the 1st round of combat leaving him almost dead. Despite the Revenger charging the rear of the Scrapjack and Kreoss finishing it off with only 1 damage point left (after the Scrapjack took a few more) the battle ended with Kreoss being exploded into a pile of goo by another Rain of Death. The end result a solid victory to Khador (we count victory as killing the other warcaster not by adding up VP's) who celebrated by watching little pieces of Kreoss rain down all over the battlefield.

October 31, 2008

Guide to storing & transporting your army cheaply

How to store & transport your miniature army
A review of the various options open to wargamer

As my Warhammer collection began to grow I realised that I needed to transport it more safely and securely rather than simply piling everything into a shoebox. Warmachines and character figures especially were important to protect. Dwarf warriors etc are not so problematic, but once I started getting High Elves my problems with a lack of transport really started. So what are the options? There are several that I have reviewed and tried, and this a summary of those and my view of their relative merits.

Official Carry Cases
Available from official GW retailers and sell at most New Zealand stores for around $90 - $180 depending on which size. Each comes with pre-cut foam inserts each of various sizes. The basic model case can hold 118 figures including some larger pieces and is adequeate for a 1500-2000 point army but only if its infantry heavy.




The standard size carry case

The larger case has double the carrying capacity of the smaller model but is a limited edition and hence a lot more expensive. I haven't seen any stores in New Zealand that stock it but some Australian suppliers do, including the GW store. However, the retail prices is A$180 which is well over NZ$200 no matter what the exchange rate.





The limited edition army case

The cases are well made and the foam is good quality, and I know a few guys at the Club and locally use them. However, there are other options available that are much cheaper. While these are nice I personally would not recommend them as simply put you can get the same functionality for much cheaper elsewhere.

Egg Cartons & Office Storage Products
A tried and tested New Zealand favourite and one my wife suggested. The benefits of these are that they're cheap, or if you grab them from your local recycling centre absolutely free. The can be cut up to fit into any size cardboard box you might have. The egg recesses are a nice size for any size model and can easily hold large size figures such as horses (always a problem). You have two ways to do with egg cartons - the egg tray or the standard dozen and 1/2 dozen carton.



The egg tray is a great place to start. Quite easy to carry and each can hold 30 standard size figures at 1 per hole, or double that if you have Dwarfs or other small stuff. Or if you dont mind double up on things. If you cut out the tops of the gaps between each insert you can also make areas big enough to hold horses and still leave room underneath for the smaller stuff.



The other option is the standard egg cartoon which while smaller has the advantage of having a lid which you can close for further protection. The drawwbacks? Well they aren't foam so the figures can get bumped around, carrying them can be difficult and its hard to put in larger models and ones with long bits, e.g., Knights with Lances, High Elf Spearmen and Ogres.

But there is a way to get around the carrying issue and thats simply to use shoeboxes, or ready made office product storage boxes and cut your egg trays etc to fit them. The file storage box of this size, designed to fit files of slightly bigger than A4 size, is perfect for carrying egg cartons around. You can fit about 1.5 full egg trays into one and still have some slight room around the edges for dice, templates and a tape measure. Alternatively grab something a little bigger and stack your cartons to carry more.




Combining official stuff & standard office products
Alternatively to get the best of both worlds you could try combining each of the elements above. A few retailers sell the GW type storage trays (like below) as separate items. However, these while having all the advantages of pre-cut foam are expensive. The one below is from Australia and retails for A$44, so buying them singly means costs nearly double compared to the standard GW carry case.




Or if you like your free egg cartons but want something a little more functional to carry them in, then go for a standard briefcase or cheap tool box. I picked up one similar to the image below at the Warehouse for NZ$20



Its a cheap sturdy product that can hold alot of material. Using egg trays and egg cartons I managed to fit 4 layers of figures into it along with movement trays, dice and everything else I needed. The lift out tray was also good for extra bits like glue, terrain etc. Unlike cardboard carry boxes its also waterproof, can be lockable depending upon type, and is easy to carry.


Making your own foam trays
So far our best option for storage trays have been the pre-made official versions. But hey, foam is cheap so why not make them yourself. There are a number of options available to you here. First up is the top-quality speciality foam made for camera cases etc. This is either cut to shape, comes in standard box sizes without any inserts cut into them, or comes in a neat little segmented unit that allows you to create inserts by pulling out individual squares. The advantages of this stuff is that it is often more flexible and easy to use than egg crates. It stores your stuff far more safely than egg containers and you can stack it more easily. However, it is very expensive, more expensive in most cases than buying the official GW type carry trays.

So I recommend going with the option I, and most of my Club mates, use which is to buy cheap foam and cut it up yourself. Locally the best place to go is Pararubber, a store that sells foam mattresses etc for camping and specialises in swimming pools etc. They sell foam blocks (like below) cheap as chips in a range of thicknesses and sizes.

Better yet as they also cut foam to suit individual customers they tend to have off cut bins where you can buy foam even cheaper than normal. For cost comparisons you simply cant beat them. Heres why?


  • GW Storage Tray - holds 36 standard figures and costs NZ$60+
  • Egg Carton - holds 30 standard figures is free but doesnt protect your stuff well
  • Foam blocks - hold as many figures as you cut holes for and costs NZ$3-10 for a block. Plus you can cut them to fit big models, e.g., Giants, Dragons, Heavy Warjacks etc that egg cartons and GW trays CAN'T fit.
So thats what I use. A simple plastic toolbox, a large one, and a whole bunch of foam trays I picked up from Pararubber. Total cost for the toolbox, and enough foam to store all of my Warhammer and Warmachine pieces thats approx 10,000 pts of Warhammer, 1800 pts of Warmachine and around 400+ models was.... $20 for toolbox and approx. $50 for all of the foam.

October 29, 2008

Making my own magnetic bases & other stuff

Another great site I would highly recommend is WeeToySoldiers.com sadly its owner has said goodbye after 2.5 years but has left his site up and running. There are a huge range of good articles on there among them the following:

He gave permission for people to copy his content so Ill be printing a lot of it out, and duplicating some of it on Stumpy Heaven to preserve it. The magnetic movement trays article I will be putting to good use as part of my High Elf Army project

October 28, 2008

Choir of Menoth - Painting the Acolyte

Went to Wellington over the weekend and stopped by Wargames Supply and picked up a Choir of Menoth Warpriest and Acolyte. Still waiting for them to get my online order sorted out. Ill give it to the end of the week and if I havent got it ill be cancelling it. For a store that is only 150km away their service is pretty crap, especially in comparison to the Warstore in the US who dispatched an order I made online with them last Thursday 2 days later. I expect to get that order before Wargames Supply's one.

Anyway, I really enjoyed painting the Choir unit. Wanted to make the Warpriest stand out and decided to really go to town on the detail on the Acolyte. Overall, the results were great and the best that I think I have done so far and I am very happy with the outcome.

The Painting Process
Started with a base coat of standard white (not GW but just normal house paint) over the top of a flocked base, used GF9 sand not GW stuff. First part I started on was the Acolytes main robe with a coat of Bleached Bone. This was followed by a layer of Gryphonne Sepia to help create a faded look. Once this was dry Skull White was used to highlight the raised areas leaving the Sepia and Bleached Bone in the recesses, and near the bottom of the cloak.

Once the Skull White was dry I added another thin layer of Gryphonne Sepia and smaller touch ups of Skull White to assist in highlighting more, then moved onto the rest of the model. The Scroll was painted in the same way but with a couple of additions. These were Snakebike Leather which was dry brushed on around the edges, as well as the on the sleeves and hand wraps of the Acolyte. Additional layers of Sepia wash and Ogryn Flesh also helped bring out the scroll's papyrus type colour.


The red areas were a bit trickier. I started with a base of Scab Red and highlighted this with Baal Red. Once dry Blood Red went over the raised areas followed by Warlock Purple. Unfortunately this made the robe look to pink, so I rewashed it this time with Black Ink which made an immediate impact darkening the robe and really highlighting the folds in the fabric. Further touch ups of Scab Red, Warlock Purple and Chaos Black helped finalise the colour with a hint of Leviathan Purple washed over as well.

The rest of the model was a big experiment. The Cross was painted the same way as the red robes, but with added highlights of Shining Gold. Shining Gold was also used to highlight the shoulder armour and parts of the Acolytes facemask which had already been covered in BoltGun Metal and washed with Black Ink. Over the top of the Shining Gold went small touch ups of Chestnut Ink and in a couple of small spots some Thraka Green (a suggestion from my wife) to age the metal somewhat.


The face and hands were fairly easy to do as I followed the technique I use for my Dwarfs. Dwarf Flesh followed by Flesh Wash then highlights of Elf Flesh, although this time I also used the Ogryn Flesh wash from the Citadal range. For a bit of creative difference this time I had a go at painting the eyes using Skull White to get the main parts and then little dabs of Enchanted Blue for the Iris's - took about 5-10 minutes to do this as I was literally adding one tiny drop at a time. For my first ever effort at eyes I think it turned out OK, although the right eye is a bit off centre.
The final elements were the writing on the scroll and the dirt on the bottom of the Acolytes robe. The dirt was the easy part. I wanted to get away from the clean white look, hence the use of Bleached Bone and the washes earlier. So to the bottom of the robe I added Devlan Mud and Thraka Green, washes I also added to the flock on the base. A slightly smaller amount of Ogryn Flesh wash was also added in some areas, notably the front of the robe. Then to really highlight the mud effect on the bottom of the robe I retouched the top half with Skull White to make it much brighter than I had originally intended. Overall, result worked out quite well.
The scroll work was fun to do. The cross of Menoth was just Chaos Black edged by Scab Red applied in very small amounts using a tiny brush. The I used Codex Grey to put some fake writing on the scroll work. Over the top of this to help age the scroll I added more Ogryn Flesh and a bit of Devlan Mud. Final touch was a layer of Purity Seal.

October 24, 2008

Warmachine Battle Report 1000pts 2v2

Unlikely Partners
Menoth & Circle vs. Khador & Everblight

This was a 2v2 match with my Protectorate & Richards Circle vs. Toshi's Khador and Hank's Everblight. Was scheduled for last week but I couldnt make it for various reasons. 500 pts each, meant 1000 pts aside. As the club has been purchasing a lot of new terrain lately (and making even more) we had a great board set up with a good assortment of terrain features. Khador & Everblight won the initial dice roll, choose their side, deployed first and moved first.
[For the Khador perspective click here]

The Armies
I wasnt quite sure what Circle had so got some advice from Toshi and asked around and saw strong focus on RAT troops helped balance out my weaknesses. Only real choice I had to make (as my model collection is still limited) was what caster to take and how many Warjacks. List for our side was:

Protectorate
  • Kreoss
  • Crusader
  • Crusader
  • Revenger
  • Temple Flameguard (10) + Unit detachment
  • Flameguard Cleansers (6)

Circle

  • Woldwyrd
  • Woldwarden
  • Baldur Stonecleaver
  • Druids of Orboros
  • Lord of the Feast
  • Sentry Stone
  • Mannikon
  • Wolves of Orboror

Hope I spelt and got those right. Khador went with 2 Heavy Warjacks, some long-gunner type guys, the solo with the Axe and a couple of smaller units. Not sure who the warcaster was (didnt write it down- oops!) but it wasnt Kharkev which was nice. Everblight was the usual assortment from my last match against him although he had a couple of new units in there this time round.

The Battlefield & Deployment
Played on a standard 6x4 size table with board dominated by a large village on the left and a range of forests on the right (looking from my side). A road through the majority of the board offered some good movement bonuses for Warjacks, and the number of walls etc also offered good concealment. However, terrain features were negated by the Everblights Pathfinder abilities, but this was balanced by Circles ability to create forests wherever they felt like it - very nice!!!

The Battlefield
Circle & Menoth deployment




Khador & Everblight deployment & 1st moves

Key was for us to work together. As Protectorate are melee troops I needed to get into close combat quickly. Plan was for Richards Circle to provide initial cover with the mobile forests and use his faster units to screen my tougher melee troops and Warjacks. Kreoss's spells and the Menoth unit orders allowed added DEF & ARM bonuses which worked well. Rather than spread ourselves across the board as Khador & Everblight did we concentrated in the middle with the intent of charging straight ahead right at the Khador & Everblight Warcasters ignoring their flanking units on either side. Kreoss's knockdown feat would be used as soon as the enemy Warcasters were in range and then we would move in for the kill.

The opening turns
These pretty much went as we hoped they would. The Khador bombards failed to hit and kill anything and some bad dice rolls saved the Flameguard and Cleansers from getting whittled down early. The Khador & Everblight flanking units (with the exception of the Longunners) played little part in the game as their forces seemed to anchor themselves behind the village and wait for us to advance to them.

Circle's Baldur Stonecleaver advances
The Circle & Menoth battlelines reach charge range

I think the initial moves from our side were a surprise with our heavy units all advancing directly up the middle. Only the Temple Flameguard and Cleansers diverged away from the centre as we stuck to our plan and went for the Warcasters. First casualities on each side were light until we were all within charge range.

Melee combat is joined
Now things started to get messy. The Khador Warjacks and Everblight monsters started doing some serious damage to the Crusaders - one is heavily damaged losing its left arm and suffering near fatal damage to its remaining systems. Shooting on both sides takes its toll but not as badly as either side would have hoped. Funniest moment of the initial charges was having Hank's Everblight infantry unit charge a Crusader with Retribution on it - 4D6 damage roll does 2 damage to the Crusader, while Retribution turns the attacker into a really really really small pile of goo as he is smashed to a pulp.

Khador & EverBlight forces rally after their initial charge attacks

A couple of great moves by Khador though nearly sink things. A Slam attack by Toshi (he likes those) knocks the undamaged Crusader back into the Flameguard unit, knocks it down and kills one of the Flameguard along with a key Circle character. With the other Crusader heavily damaged and the charge routes of key Circle units blocked our options are badly reduced. Things are going better on the left flank though as here the Cleansers (for the 2nd game in a row) actually do something other than die and roast the Khador Longunners.

Khador infantry watch as Menoth march forward

Cleanser Officer gives order to advance on the left flank

Everblight & Flameguard prepare for combat

The Templeflameguard are also able to advance pretty much unscathed toward the key Everblight units now hiding behind the village, and put themselves in a position to flank the Everblight caster.


Flameguard flank Everblight

The grand melee

The game was pretty much decided at this point. Even though serious damage had been done on the Crusaders and on some of the Circle infantry units Kreoss was now in position to use his feat, knocking down everything within 14". Some careful planning saw the remaining able Crusader move into combat with the Khador Warjacks, and the Temple Flameguard advance within reach range of the Everblight caster. Menoth took first blood killing a couple of Everblight units and scoring 3 damage on their caster. Fantastic shooting and magic from Circle then finished her off which sent the Everblight monsters into a panic. With the Everblight army now destroyed, Khador was now alone and severly weakened against 2 largely unscathed armies. We played out about one more turn here then called it quits for a solid Menoth - Circle victory.