February 27, 2009

First games with Vampire Counts

I know I shouldnt have, as I am now keen as to use my Vampires and going to have to work damn hard to keep them on the shelf, but I played two Border Patrol matches last night with my Vampires.

Match 1 was against the new Chaos list, in this case consisting of a Nurgle Sorcerer, 20 Marauders and a unit of 5 Chaos Knights. Against that I had my Vampire, 2 units of 20 Zombies, 1 of 15 Skeletons & a unit of 5 Dire Wolves. The match went pretty well and lasted really until Turn 6 which was nice. Key points were the Skeletons charging the flank of the Chaos Knights who were stuck with a unit of Zombies in front and routing them, and then my General being killed when she charged the Marauders on her lonesome. LESSON 1 - DO NOT CHARGE ANY UNDEAD INTO ANYTHING UNLESS YOU CAN WIN THE COMBAT, and DONT CHARGE YOUR VAMPIRE ALONE. Mind you I only had to get 3 wounds to his 0 and I would have won that combat. Result Vampire died, my army disintegrated and at end of Turn 6 only the Marauders and Sorcerer were left on thef field.

Match 2 was a bit more complicated. Richard had his VC with him so we combined our border patrol lists against the same Chaos army and 500pts of Ogres. Our VC lists were modified slightly and we took:

- Vampire
- 30 x Skeletons
- 20 x Zombies

- Vampire
- Corpse Cart
-20 x Zombies
-10 x Crypt Ghouls
-10 x Skeletons
-5 x Dire Wolves

This game was incredibly enjoyable. With two Vampires we were popping up units of Zombies all over the board and at one point had 5 newly raised units causing havoc and march blocking all over the show. Best cast of the game saw a unit of 15 Zombies appear on the flank of the Chaos Knights. Unfortunately while the Ogres were wiped out the Chaos Knights went untouched and managed to rampage through the VC battle line. End result was my army was virtually destroyed, only my Vampire and two newly raised zombie units left and the enemy winning on VP 800 to 450, as they went for table quarters in the last two turns. LESSONS HERE - set up your raised units of zombies to flank charge not just as screening or march blockers. Also the 125pt limit on your hero for Border Patrol rules really makes it difficult for your Vampires, and why couldnt we keep the old rule whereby Necromancers were allowed to be Generals.

Still VC are fun fun fun, will have to get painting.

Match up next week is 1500pts of my High Elves vs. Calebs Chaos

February 26, 2009

Vampire Counts Dwarf Zombies

Had some fun with my bits box and a few spare Dwarf Warrior models last night and created the following unit of Dwarf Zombies... might make a few more if I can find the parts. Particularly happy with the guys in the front rank - 1 with the Spear through his gut, 1 with a Crypt Ghoul munching on him - and the ones in the 2nd rank with Spears in them.

Did you spot the ones crawling out of the ground feet first :)

High Elf Silver Helms & Shadow Warriors

Some pictures of the Silver Helms I completed the other night (although the Shields and banner flags still need painting) and the Shadow Warriors I completed a few weeks back (still need finish of the pupils). Paint schemes on both units is simple without a minimum amount of highlighting and washing as I basically wanted to get them finished - but they still look Ok, quite pleased with the Silver Helms.

February 25, 2009

Greetings to my international readers

Just checked out the visitors map gadget I installed the other day and noticed just how varied the readership of this blog is with visitors from Sweeden, the US and even Israel to name just a few countrys on there. So to all of my readers out there especially those of you outside New Zealand I would like to say thank you for dropping by and for following what I do here it is most appreciated...

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa Ka kite anō
Greetings and welcome to you all please come again :)

500pt Border Patrol list [Warhammer]

What the *beep* do I take?

Ok in order to maximise the number of games we play and to make things interesting we are going with 500pt Border Patrol lists at the Club tomorrow night. Border patrol rules are fairly tight but do allow you to depart from the set armybook minimums on core units:

  • 500pts maximum
  • 1 non-character hero costing no more than 125pts
  • At least 1 core unit
  • Only 1 special or rare choice
  • Only 1 warmachine including free choices, e.g., Dwarfs can only take 1 Bolt-thrower
  • No unit to have more than 25 models
  • No more than 4 units
This creates a bit of a dilemma for me as I am committed to playing my High Elves rather than my Dwarfs at the moment. Principally as the High Elves rely upon their Special and Rare choices to do the work. As I will be up against the new Chaos army, Vampire Counts & possibly Empire or Ogres having to go with a single Core or Special choice rely limits me. The 125pt limit on your hero slot also rules out a decent Mage as the base cost for a Lvl 1 is 100pts. So I have worked out a couple of basic alternatives for each of my 3 WHFB armies and will take all 3 with me on the night.

High Elves
Spears x25
Swordmasters x10
TOTAL 498pts

Vampire Counts
TOTAL 478pts

Organ Gun
TOTAL 498pts

In other news I finished my Silver Helms last night, and contrary to what I said in my last post now only have my Dragon Princes AND my Swordmasters Command Group to go with my High Elves. I do need to buy another couple of heros though at least 2 mages and 1 more noble.

February 23, 2009

Weekend progress & the joys of Trade Me

Or what to do when the weather cancels the cricket?!?

For the 4th weekend in a row all cricket was cancelled due to the weather and I found myself with a lot of spare time over the weekend. While missing out on cricket quite frankly sucks it is nice to get an extra day with my wife and daughter (I usually don't see them at all on a Saturday), that and I got some more time to paint etc - extra time with family during day means less guilt when I spend the evening painting stuff :)

Anyway made some significant progress through my backlog over the weekend at least in terms of getting the fiddly little things out of the way. Completed over the Saturday/Sunday were:
  • My terrain hills - all completely painted and ready to go
  • My terrain trees - also completely painted and ready to go
  • VC Lords & Corpse Cart - undercoated and waiting paint. Made up an awesome (if I do say so myself) base for the Corpse Cart (pictures up once its painted).
I am also only 2 maybe 3 nights away from completing my Silver Helms (8) and should get my Dragon Princes done by the end of the week as well. Once they are complete the only High Elf units I will have left are a unit of 10 Archers. No more High Elves means I can START PAINTING MY VAMPIRE COUNTS..... HOORAY!!!!!!

In other news I have to say it again - I LOVE TRADE ME - picked up two absolute bargains last week. First was a completed and very well painted HE Lion Chariot for $30 and second a full unit of 20 - YES 20 - Dwarf Hammerers complete with Command Group undercoated and ready to go for only (WAIT FOR IT) $70. Thats a total of 4 Hammerer blister packs and 1 hammerers command group blister packs with a normal retail price of $275-300 for $70!!!! Now I can field two units of these guys in most games, going to be freaking outstanding.

February 20, 2009

Golden Demon Award Winner - 2009

Just found this at High Elves.net recent Golden Demon winner in the UK - just amazing!!!

Warhammer Battle Report - High Elves (Picture Heavy)

High Elves vs. Ogres (1500pts)
Two matches, two results, two close run things

Inside this report
- Army lists (High Elves & Ogres)
- Turn by turn account
- Lots of pictures (will expand when clicked on)

Organised a single match against Stephen last night at the Club but we ended up playing two as the first finished in just under 2 hours and we had some time left over. Wasn't quite sure what he was going to bring as he has Ogres, Wood Elves and Empire. I was really hoping he wouldn't bring Ogres as I have yet to beat them with my Dwarfs as he just steam rollers over me each time. Empire I wouldn't mind so much as I have more experience playing against them than any other army, Wood Elves would be tricky as they are very shooty and very good at restricting your movement.

Either way I was going to play High Elves so I could play my newly painted Dragon!!!! To be fair Stephen would expect me to bring my Dwarfs so this might have given me a slight advantage as well :)

The Army lists
I had drawn up a number of 1500 pt lists for this match both with and without the Dragon, each emphasising a particular strength either magic, heavy infantry or cavalry. However, seeing Stephens Ogres I had to make some drastic changes to my list. Final lists for both armies were:

High Elves
Dragon Mage Level 2
w. Silver Wand & Power Stone
Spears x16
w. FC
Spears x16
w. FC

Swordmasters x13
w. FC & Lion Banner
Dragon Princes x5
w. FC & Banner of Ellyrion
Dragon Princes x5
Bolt Thrower

Ogres (from memory exact list up later)
Battle Standard Bearer
Ironguts x5
Leadbelchers x3
Bulls x6
Trappers x10 (2 units)
Gnoblars x20

Deployment & Strategy
Terrain set up had a small village on the left hand side of the board (my left), two small forests on the right edge one near either deployment zone and a hill on my side near the right. I got Stephen to set up first after I choose table sides to see where he would put everything especially the Hunter and the Leadbelchers. He basically deployed in line with the Leadbelchers and Hunter each anchoring one flank. The Trappers went into the Village on the left and the forest closest to my deployment area on the right. Stephen as always is a very fair player and gave me a couple of tips regarding set up, notably relating to thoughts on what I shouldn't do which was nice of him. Anyway I wanted to give my Dragon Princes the chance to flank charge either end of his line with the infantry holding up the centre. With my mage rolling for Fireball, Fiery Blast and Conflaguration of Doom I had the best possible spells I could get for the Lore of Fire (in my opinion) so he was my ace in the hole - particularly as Stephen had no magic in this game; surprising for him as he uses it well.

Ogre Deployment

Set up was as shown in map above, single unit of Dragon Princes on the left was the one without the Command Group and they were held back the entire game until the Ogre battleline had passed them and presented their flank. The DP on the right facing the forest had the Banner of Ellyrion (love that banner) meaning they could ignore the terrain and flank the Ogres pretty quickly. The Gorger was a worry but I gave myself 2 turns before it arrived and assumed it would head for the Bolt Thrower (which it did).

Turn 1
The Dragon flys into the village causing the Trappers to flee, and the Dragon Princes on the right advance toward (but cannot charge) the forest against the other trapper unit. The remaining units all move up slowly but begin angling toward the right flank with the aim of setting up in a line between the hill and the closest forest. The left flank DP move forward to get within charge range of where I anticipate the Ogres to be about Turn 2-3. The Dragon Mage casts Fireball and Fiery Blast on the Leadbelchers killing one and wounding one, and then Conflaguration of Doom on the Ironguts. The BSB deflects the spell onto the Gnoblars though where it kills only 2, yes 2, Gnoblars before disappearing (Stephen rolled 6 I rolled 4). In hindsight I should have finished off the Leadbelchers as they were the biggest threat to the Dragon. The Bolt-Thrower took down one more of them though and wounded the other.

High Elf movement at end of Turn 1

Dragon takes a nap in the village

Stephen replied by moving the remaining Leadbelcher toward the Dragon and killing the Mage on it. The rest of his line moved forward. So Turn 1 ends with my General dead and the Dragon riderless but still fighting - points to Stephen, and a slap on the wrist for me for moving my Mage to far forward again. Have to remember that a Dragon Mage is not a truly offensive melee weapon.

Turns 2-3
The DP on the right charge the Trappers but fail to kill them all, which in the end was a good thing as it gave the rest of the Ogres time to move into a flank position. The Ogres continue to move forward minus the remaining Leadbelcher who is killed by the Dragons charge and the Village based trappers who continued to flee.
Dragon vs. Lead belcher - guess who won

Stephens Ogres are now angling straight at the hill on my right and I have moved the 1st Spears out in front of my units to act as bait and hold them up. Unfortunately I don't position it properly and it is flanked charged by the Gnoblars and Bull Charged (in the front) by the Iron Guts at the end of Turn 2. Somehow it survives a round of combat only to lose in Turn 3 and be overrun, with the Ironguts rampaging into the flank of the Swordmasters who had gotten stuck out of position.

DP charge into Hunter
(Gnoblar unit in bottom right-hand corner is helping massacre the 1st Spears)

The aftermath of the 1st Spears demise
Ironguts flank charge the Swordmasters

The good news for me in these turns though were the Dragon Princes trampling over the Trappers and into the Huntsman doing some serious damage. While it took another turn to kill him these kept this strong unit in a good position to flank hit the remaining Ogres. The Bolt-Thrower also takes out more of the Bulls.

Ironguts overrun into the 2nd Spears

The Gorger makes an appearance

Turns 4-5
Things get confused here with the lower right hand corner of the map descending into one huge melee with Ogres everywhere. In a series of battles Stephen displays some good tactics and wipes out both units of Spears and the Swordmasters capturing their banners with his Iron Guts. The Gorger also makes an appearance and hits the Bolt-Thrower before overruning.
The Dragon returns
(Note the Ironguts hitting the Swordmasters top right)

Swordmasters are destroyed but Dragon gets ready for rear-charge

The DP hit the Ogre left flank & Dragon overruns the rest
(Note the captured banner with the DP & the absence of the other Ogre units)

The only positives here for me were the Dragon Princes on the right killing the Hunter and getting a hit on the Bulls and Gorger, and the other DP flank charging the Ironguts. A series of good dice rolls and lucky overruns see the DP units wipe out and overrun the Ironguts, remaining Bulls and the Gnoblars recapturing the Elven banners and leaving only the Gorger alive. They are added in this by the Dragon rear charging the Ironguts and helping to break them. What at Turn 4 was looking like a massive Ogre Victory with the HE army nearly routed quickly turns the other way with almost the entire Ogre army destroyed in the space of one turn.

Turn 6
This turn culminates with the Dragon and Gorger fighting it out and the Dragon victorious and the only remaining Ogre unit - the trappers who fled in Turn 1 - finally rallying and returning to the game right on the table edge. End result is a massive victory to the High Elves thanks to the timely rear charge of the Dragon and flank charge of the DP on the IronGuts and Stephens unlucky dice rolls - he failed 2 yes 2 close Leadership tests to see his units break. In the end it was those failed break tests and the attack of the 2nd DP unit that cost him the game.
Final match up - Gorger vs. Dragon

Big thanks to Stephen for another fun, friendly and fair game - which once again ended quickly, what happens which Ogres march 12" and HE 10"!!!! As a comparison the 2000pt Skaven vs. New Chaos battle on the table next to us was only in Turn 3 by the time we had finished.

February 18, 2009

Building my own terrain - Hills

Making your own hills

I had a go at these the other night and found the whole process incredibly simple and more importantly very very cheap. Was inspired by the work of Simon one of the guys at our local gaming club whose terrain adorns all of the gaming tables and is just fantastic.

What you will need
- Some polystyrene (i.e., from appliance packing stuff)
- Modelling plaster
- Cardboard
- PVA Glue
- Flock
- Scissors
- Knife

Total cost of all this was $0 for the Polystyrene I just grabbed some from the Recycling area at work, the Plaster is $4, the Cardboard $0 - also from recycling, PVA Glue $5, Flock $6 and the Scissors and Knife were just lying around the house anyway.

The modeling plaster is easy to work by hand and dries really quickly so keep the unused stuff in a container.

Basic process
Cut out some pieces of Polystyrene to the required shape, keep it about 3-4cm high and flat on top. Glue it to a piece of carboard that is also cut to shape and bigger than the polystyrene pieces.
Add the modelling plaster around the edges to give it a nice sloped look, to fill in the gaps and to keep it stuck to the cardboard. Put it into the hot water cupboard to dry overnight.

Spray paint it, PVA glue it and then flock and paint. Finished pictures up once I have got them done, Ill complete my trees at the same time.

High Elf Dragon complete & Vampire Counts underway

Bugger the New Years Resolutions I want to paint some Vampires

Finally finished my High Elf Dragon the other night, although the riders seat could have some more work on it I have decided its good enough and that I am fine with it. Here the pictures, enjoy.... [I have to point out that I didn't paint the rider, I brought the Dragon unpainted with the painted rider as is off TradeMe]

As for ideas etc for re-painting my entire High Elf army I have ABANDONED THESE completely. Why? Because I can't be bothered repainting the army all over again, I really want to start my Vampire Counts, I kind of like having them around as a reminder of my first attempts at painting, I really want to start my Vampire Counts, they look good enough, and I really want to start my Vampire Counts.

Did I mention I really want to start my Vampire Counts

So, my Painting/Assembly backlog has now been cut right down with the majority of the Elves disappearing and I am now firmly started on my Vampire Counts. Currently assembled are: 2 units of Dire Wolves, my Grave Guard (10), some Crypt Ghouls (10), and the beginnings of a 30 strong unit of Skeletons. No painting as yet though. Some pre-completion pics of those units for you.... [I'll get the completed pics up in stages as I work on them]

I've also partially assembled the 2nd unit of High Elf Dragon Princes, flocked all of the High Elf movement trays, finished the Shadow Warriors (pics tomorrow), and made up magnetic movement trays for my Vampire Counts.

Warmachine Mark II due in 2010

Recently announced - Warmachine is due for a complete makeover with a 2nd Edition set of rules coming out in 2010. Read more about them here

Epic Warmachine Battle Report (Part 2)

Menoth (1500pts) vs. Khador & Orboros (750 pts each)
Oh yes, oh bugger, damn I nearly had him, look pretty flames & oh @#&! I died

Inside this post
- Awesome Khador & Orboros Pics
- More Menoth pics
- Stuff on what happened
- Final thoughts

Ok, again I apologise for my hazy memory, Ill let the pictures do the talking and ill add some thoughts in after each one.

First Encounters
Initial match ups were on the centre where some annoying guy called Gudrun the Wanderer who you have to kill TWICE, and he held up my entire battleline (damn reach weapons). On the extreme right my Exemplars marched through the forest with Ruperts help straight into the Manhunters and the Zealots also raced up the middle.

Feora's group advances

Feora's Battlegroup runs into Gudrun

Very little damage was done by Menoth here as Khador and Orboros pounded away at me successfully. I also (not sure why now) advanced Rhoven & my Seneschals to far forward instead of hanging them back and letting the other units take the brunt of the initial attacks.

Daughters of Flame dance around an Orboros Warbeast

On the left the Daughters of Flame bounced their way around the various Orboros Warbeasts hoping to get in close to some of the interesting solos Richard had out that way. The Acrobatic ignore free strikes ability is just too cool not to use. Pity the Daughters are so weak.

Toshi's Khador Scrapjack and Drago

The carnage in the middle
Oh crap here come the Iron Fang Pikeman. Straight up the middle boosted combination attacks on my Warjacks cause around 35-40 points of damage across all of them and more importantly knock them down. Consequently, for the next 2 turns this single unit of Khador infantry effectively took Feoras Battlegroup out of the Battle.

Damn Iron Fang brutalise my Warjacks

Other happenings, where the minor scraps with Orboros and eKreoss's slow and confused wanderings from the left toward Khador. What follows after this is brutal and all lit by the holy fires of Menoth. Unable to do any damage with my now badly hurt Warjacks I rush Feora forward and pop her feat. RESULT - the entire Khador army goes up in flames with the exception of the Old Witch who is just out of range.
Feora pops her feat - result fire tokens everywhere and no more Pikeman

With the Exemplars finally taking out the Khador solos on the right, Eiryss is also free to loop around the back and hit the Witch. But it is the Holy Fire of Menoth that proves the winner here killing over the next two rounds almost every Khador unit it touches - Aliana & Holt go down, the Iron Fang Pikeman are burnt to a crisp (aided here by Feoras casting Blazing Effigy on the Reckoner) and the remaining Khador units are badly hurt.

Close up of Toshis' MoW and the Old Witch

While this is all good for me, it is also quite bad because it has come at a severe cost. In getting to this stage Khador have almost wiped out Feora's Warjacks and forced her to come in range of the Old Witch and on the left Orboros have just done stomping all over (or should I say devouring) the Flameguard, Daughters and the Avatar leaving them free to outflank me.

The Khador/Orboros perspective - about a turn after Feora pops her feat

Orboros begin their rampage

So what happens next?!? Well despite a friendly reminder from Toshi I once again FORGET KREOSS'S FEAT!!!!!!!! AGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! End result, Feora gets stomped although it takes the Old Witch several boosted attacks and 8 Focus to do it and even then she only just finishes her off. eKreoss who pretty much did nothing the entire game also gets eaten by the Orboros army who undamaged are free to rampage through the Menoth battleline. While the Exemplars and Zealots are still alive without my casters or Warjacks the battle is over with a solid but very close victory to Khador & Orboros.

Final Thoughts
After nearly 5 hours, yes 5 hours, of game play this once again came down to the very last turn with both of my casters going down. In the end it was some poor tactical choices on my end, and seemingly forgetting all about Kreoss that cost me the game. The Seneschals and Paladin never got to do anything as I deployed them badly and advanced them to far alone. Rhoven & his bodyguard were also put out on a limb. On reflection I should have placed my infantry behind my Warjacks done all I could to boost their DEF & ARM and protected my flanks with the smaller units like the Daughters and Temple Flameguard. The Zealots + Exemplars would have then been free to pop out from behind the jack screen and hit my key targets. The small deployment area also hurt me as did the sheer number of units as I had to spread out a long way. Mind in even on a normal sized table I doubt that the result would have gone any differently. A number of dice rolls went my way, Feora's feat was just outstanding and the Jacks performed well when they could. It was the combination of unit abilities and tactics from Khador & Orboros that finished me off and my inability to get the best out of some of my key units that cost me victory.


Epic Warmachine Battle Report (Part 1)

Menoth (1500pts) vs. Khador & Orboros (750 pts each)
Man on Man what a game!!!

Inside this post
- Menoth army list
- Menoth army pictures
- Khador army pictures
- Orboros army pictures

Had a truly massive and extremely enjoyable game on Sunday 15th against Toshi's Khador and Richards Circle of Orboros. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten round to writing about it till now so my memory is very hazy. Luckily Toshi has done a great write up on his blog Karchev the Terrible, so I'll content myself with adding the photos and a few missing details from my perspective.

Army List & First thoughts
Awesome stuff, I get 1500pts to play the possibility of taking 2 Epic casters and up to 3 casters in total with enough points to put out all of my key units. First choice I had to make were the caster choices. I quickly discounted Amon Ad-Raza principally as I still haven't figured him out yet. The High Reclaimer was considered as I was planning a big infantry force and his resurrection feat would be helpful. However, I dropped him in favour of adding some of my new solos. Severius with 8 Focus would also have been great but I decided to go with eKreoss and Feora instead. eKreoss would add +1 MAT, RAT & CMD to all of my Exemplar Units including the Seneschals and Rhoven's Bodyguard, and his feat was also damn good. Feora was also a solid choice, eFeora was considered but I dropped her in favour of her normal cousin as I like her feat better. In hindsight adding that third caster would have been a match winner as I could have hung them back as a reserve - at 54 pts the High Reclaimer would have been perfect. From memory my army list for the battle was:

- Heirophant
- Revenger
- Redeemer
- Fire of Salvation (proxied by a normal Crusader)

- Devout
- Castigator
- Reckoner

Avatar of Menoth
Choir (6)
Choir (6)
Zealots (8) + Monolith Bearer
Paladin Order of the Wall
Exemplar Seneschals (2)
Rhoven & Bodyguard
Knights Exemplar (6)
Daughters of Flame (6)
Temple Flameguard (10) + Unit attachment
Eiryss Mage Hunter of Io
Rupert Cavalo Piper of Ord
Wracks (3)

My deployed battleline

The Right Flank

The Left Flank

Basic thoughts/tactics were to concentrate of Khador and have a few minor units - Flameguard and Daughters of Flame (who I took only because I couldnt fit any Idrians in points wise) hold up the Orboros army. The Avatar of Menoth would also be helpful here supporting those units, with the Vassal giving it some bonuses. 2 of the Wracks were placed opposite the Oboros line as well to further offset its advance, the other on the right flank to cover a gap between a forest and the table edge. However, the limited deployment zone (we used my smal kitchen table) meant I had to spread my battleline out quite a bit which saw eKreoss and his battlegroup move to far out to the left.

The Khador Battleline

Against Khador my priority targets were the Old Witch and her Scrapjack. I wasn't planning on going for anything else. My Jacks would be used either to get in her face or to hold of the rest of the Khador army so the Zealots and Exemplars could get in there and finish her off. Other than the Old Witch (who scared me) the one unit I was VERY worried about was the Iron Fang Pikeman. I had played against the Old Witch IFP combo before and gotten severly mauled. I was hoping here that as this was Toshi's first run with them he might make a few mistakes (it wasnt to be). Timing my feats would also be crucial. Feora's would be great once she was in close but would entail risking here, the aim was to get as much of the Khador army as possible affected. Once they were all on fire eKreoss would pop his and give everyone free hits and extra melee attacks.

The Iron Fang Pikeman

MoW Drakhun & Woldwarden (I think)
Just love the paintjobs Toshi & Richard did on these

Against Orboros I have to be honest and say I didnt have a clue. I have a good set of tactics worked out against Everblight and Skorne, but Orboros are damn difficult to kill which is why I went for the hold them off until I kill Khador idea. Anyway here are the first lot of pictures, ill add some more details of the match in Part 2.

More of Richards Orboros