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.