August 28, 2009

Skitterleap 2010 - My Dwarves march again

5th and final Warhammer Tournament of the year (for me anyway) next weekend with Skitterleap in Wellington, another Pete Dunn organized event. Taking my Dwarves once again as, well, they are just to much darn fun to play. I think even when my High Elves and Vampires are fully painted I will probably still take Dwarfs, although my High Elves will definitely look better. Damn does my army look sad compared to the majority of those on display at recent events.

Anyway, modified my Call to Arms tournament army list and returned to my favourite combo of dual Hammerer units....

Dwarf Army List for Skitterleap @ 2,250pts

Lord
w. Shield, Shieldbearers, RO Resistance, RO Stone, RO Cleaving, MR Swiftness, RO Might, RO Warding, RO Furnace

Gives him a 1+ rerollable AS, MR 1, immunity to flaming attacks, and 4 attacks @ WS7 striking at S5 vs. T4 or lower opponents and S10 vs. T5 or higher opponents, and he always strikes first. Despite the range of Runic items he still comes in very cheap for a Lord, and doesn't fit into the uber-defensive just won't die category, i.e., no RO Steel or MR Spite.

Runesmith
w. Shield, RO Spellbreaking x2, RO Furnace, RO Stone, RO Fire, RO Striking

Standard set up for this guy although I have given him a RO Striking to bring him up to WS6. Thought about leaving him unprotected so I could take 3xRO Spellbreaking but opted for the RO Stone and magical weapon.

BSB
w. MR Gromil, RO Furnace, RO Cleaving, RO Might

Standard setup for this guy as well. 1+AS and immunity to flaming attacks combined with a slightly different weapon option. RO Cleaving gives him +1S, RO Might means that like the Lord the higher the Toughness of his opponent the higher his Strength.

Longbeards x20
w. FC, Shields, RO Stoicism, RO Battle

Contemplated giving these guys RO Courage but preferred to double their unit strength. That and RO Battle means that start any combat at CR6 which is pretty damn good.

Warriors x10
w. Musician, Shields

Warriors x10
w. Musician, Shields

These small units worked really well at CTA and at Horned Rat and will be a permanent fixture in my army lists from now on. Did try to put a Champion in each unit but couldn't quite fit the points.

Quarrellers x10
w. Musician, Shields

Quarrellers x10
w. Musician, Shields

My Chaos Dwarf Centaur killing heroes of CTA 09

Hammerers x18
w. FC, Shields, MR Grungi

The Lords unit meaning they are Immune to Fear and Terror. Placed near the Longbeards they can also re-roll failed Panic checks and every unit with 6" gets the 5+ WS vs. ALL missle fire. That and Stubborn means even without double unit strength (from RO Stoicism) they are not going anywhere.

Hammerers x18
w. FC, Shields, RO Courage, RO Sanctuary

Dropped Stoicism which would have double their unit strength and opted for RO Courage instead. Just too many fear & terror causing armies out there at the moment. These selections mean that I have two blocks of Stubborn, Immune to Fear and Terror infantry in the middle of my line along with a double unit strength, immune to panic unit all at WS5 and S4. RO Sanctuary also makes them MR1 along with the other Hammerer unit who can benefit from the Lords magical defence. So fear isn't hurting them, shooting gets knocked back by the 5+ WS, and magic isn't going to be hard to get through *snigger* - still you can have the best units in the world and if your generalship sucks, and/or your opponent is better you will still lose.

Organ Gun

Never leave home without it, if it weren't for the Gyrocopter I would field two of them.

Gyrocopter

The inclusion of only a single war machine is a major departure for me as I usually take the OG and at least one Bolt-Thrower. Had considered the Grudge Thrower so I could benefit from its longer range but once you equip it out properly, e.g., RO Accuracy, RO Penetrating, Engineer it comes at at 145pts + so its better left at home (pity as its a nice model).

TOTAL POINTS 2,243

Going to be a long first day though as I am driving down first thing in the morning rather than staying overnight Friday. As tournament starts at 8-8.30am I am going to have to leave pretty early. Good thing the Ashes are over or I would have been up all night watching the Cricket.

Vampires @ 2,250pts?!?

Taking onboard some advice from Doug and Caleb over the last couple of weeks and my limited experiences with Vampire Counts to try and put together a reasonable 2,250pt list. Using the models I have I've come up with the following.

The Skeletal Horde
Really believe that a Vampire Count army should consist of Skeletons and Zombies and a few wolves howling in the background. Hence any large VC army I build will be built around the notion of the 'Skeletal Horde' a big force of Skeletal Warriors and associated undead support units. This means maxing out on Skeletons, Grave Guard and Black Knights the 3 Skeleton units in the army. Unfortunately at this stage my collection only includes 40 Skeletons, 10 Grave Guard and 16 converted Black Knights, not quite a horde -hence the inclusion of Zombies and other bits.

Vampire Lord Lvl 3 Mage + General
w. Dread Knight, Red Fury, Infinite Hatred, Walachs Bloody Hauberk, Wristbands of Black Gold, Black Periapt.

In defence this gives him a 1+ AS, 5+ WS in melee and 3+ WS against vs. missiles including magic. On attack he keeps his standard 4 S5 attacks @ WS7 - S7 on charge with Lance but he can re-roll or failed hits in every round of CC, and each unsaved wound generates an additional attack for a maximum total of 8 in any round.

Vampire BSB
w. Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death, Enchanted Shield, Book of Arkhan

Basic 3+ AS/2+ in HtH so not that great but options are limited. Book of Arkhan is necessary in case I don't get Vanhels when rolling for spells.

Crypt Ghouls x20

Skeletons x20
w. FC, Spears, War Banner

Skeletons x20
w. FC, Spears, Banner of the Dead Legion

Two units of 20 rather than a smaller unit that I attempt to raise up to 20 and beyond. Keeping Spears as they benefit in some areas, banners add a nice additional bonus in CR.

Zombies x20

Zombies x20

Dire Wolves x5

Dire Wolves x5

Fell Bats x4

Black Knights x12
w. FC, Barding, Banner of Barrows

Thats right 12 Black Knights. Figured why not have a single huge unit of fear causing, killing blow equipped heavy cavalry. Would have liked two units of 8 but one of 12 is good enough.

Cairn Wraiths x4
w. Banshee

TOTAL 2,246 pts

Only two heroes but of them the key is my General is will be damn hard to kill. And even with only two characters I still have 7 PD & 5 DD with the ability to save one DD for the next magic phase. The whole point of the army is to get numbers to bear as quickly as possible, hence 2 characters both tooled up as far as they can go and LOTS of units.

Thoughts on Vampire Counts

Played two 1000pt games with my Vampire Counts last night. The first against Kelly's Beasts of Chaos and the 2nd against Doug's Dark Elves. Took slightly different lists in each to try out some different unit combos.

1000pts VC vs. Beasts
Vampire
w. Flayed Hauberk, Dark Acolyte, Lord of Dead
Necromancer
w. Corpse Cart, Sceptre de Noirot
Skeletons x15
w. FC, Spears, War Banner
Ghouls x20
w. Ghast
Black Knights x7
w. FC
Dire Wolves x5

Basically I wanted to field my Corpse Cart and my other painted units so my selection was driven by this. Necro would spam Zombies everywhere while Vampire boosted Skeletons, which he did getting them to 30 in pretty quick time. Basically I lost this game quite heavily when my Black Knights failed to break one of the larger Beast units and a couple of Spawn killed my General. End result my army crumbled and I only had the Corpse Cart left by Turn 4/5.

1000pts VC vs. Dark Elves
Vampire
w. Dark Acolyte, Flayed Hauberk, Black Periapt
Vampire
w. Dread Knight
Skeletons x20
w. FC, War Banner
Ghouls x20
w. Ghast
Black Knights x8
w. FC
Fell Bats x4

Something a little different this time. Combat Vampire with Dread Knight albiet a weakish one and some bats for a bit of flexibility. Dropped Lord of Dead in favour of Black Periapt and larger unit of Skeletons at beginning. Managed to win this game quite comfortably. Got out maneuvered at the beginning and my magic just wasn't working with only a couple of small Zombie units popping up here and there. Key moment of game was charge of Cold One Knights. The broke a unit of Zombies and overran fulling 1 inch short of my Skeletons with the mounted Vampire. Next turn he charged them, they lost, broke, ran and were caught and killed. My General and his Ghouls saw off the Cold One Chariot and remainder of game consisted of endless shooting and moving until I finally routed the majority of Dougs army in Turn 5/6.

Learnt some good lessons in what was my 5th game with Vampire Counts....

Characters and the General
Only need one at 1000pts and he has to be well protected, i.e., a Ward Save. With Dwarfs and High Elves I only ever take 1 Hero choice in games at 1000pts, but with VC I was concerned about getting magic off. But in both games this didn't really occur anyway despite having 5 and sometimes 6 PD in each phase.

Skeletons, Zombies and Ghouls
Need to field more of them, basically at 1000pts I could spam the entire board with undead and go crazy hitting people all over the place. I understand the reasoning behind people fielding nothing but Ghoul units, but personally I think a Vampire army should be full of Zombies and Skeletons. Ghouls are cool but I want to field a Skeletal Horde type of army.

Fast movers
Need more of them and Black Knights need barding if they are going to be deployed off on their lonesome away from a Nehek casting character.

Couple more games next week, probably both against Dark Elves and then its off to Skitterleap the following weekend.

August 26, 2009

Latest Irresistible Force Warhammer rankings out

The guys at Irresistible force have finally updated all of the latest New Zealand and Australian Warhammer tournament results from the last couple of months. The big news are the Top 30 players in both countries which have shifted dramatically, and are important as I believe the Top 30 players are those eligible for the invitation only Masters tournaments held near years end.

Up 342 places to 207th in Australasia *woot*

As for me the two New Zealand tournaments entered has seen my ranking jump "342" places to, wait for it, 207th WOOHOO!!! Not bad considering. One more tournament this year, and then none until probably March/April next year. So lots of time to work on that. A Masters invitation in a few years time would be nice me thinks...

... But this also raises another question... is it 'Dwarfs' or 'Dwarves'??!? Personally I go with 'Dwarves'

VC Crypt Ghouls & Spirit Host complete

My latest painting efforts for my Vampire Counts army a unit of Spirit Host and my (finally) completed unit of Crypt Ghouls. Crypt Ghouls were supposed to be a unit of ten but I decided to use some larger bases to fill it out to a unit of 20. Continued the bloody look I started with my Dwarf Zombies but added some Pink to give them a sort of cheerful look as well :)

August 21, 2009

Dwarfs & High Elves vs. Beastmen

Introduced one of the more experienced members of our club to Warhammer last night. He plays pretty much everything else you can think of but after seeing all of the Warhammer armies at CTA 09 last week decided he wanted to try something different. Of course despite just starting out his 1000pt Beastman army looked amazing as all of his stuff does. Played two games during the night taking our time to discuss tactics etc.

I used my High Elves and then my Dwarfs just to give him a bit of variety against different armies. From memory his list was:

General
Sorceror Lvl 2
2 Big units of Warrior things
2 Chariots
2 Spawn
3 units of Hounds
1 unit of Centaurs

In Game 1 I was severly outnumbered taking only

Hero
Mage Lvl 2
Spear Elves x20
Swordmasters x10
Dragon Princes x5
Bolt-Thrower

Game was pretty brutal. The Dwarf Gods punished me for daring to use magic and caused my Mage to miscast in Turn 1 wounding himself and killing 5 Spear Elves. My little 3 unit army was completely surrounded and it wasn't looking good when magic killed another 5 Spear Elves who then promptly ran away. Enter the Swordmasters!!! I did warn Kelly about them, ASF with GW and 2 attacks each but in he went against a single rank of 10 with my GW equipped General. About 10 seconds later his unit of Hounds is decimated and I run into a big unit of Beasts who are also destroyed in the next turn along with his General. Then its into his Mage who is also cut down. While the Swordmasters cut a swath through his army the Dragon Princes got charged by the Chariots and wiped out as did the Spears, my Mage and the Bolt-Thrower by the Centaurs and Hounds. Game ended at an even draw with most of our armies wiped out. Fun 1st game.

Game 2 I took my Dwarfs along

Thane w. MR Swiftness
2 units of Quarrellers
18x Hammerers
10 xSlayers (with 5 Giant Slayers)
Organ Gun

Lots of shooting cut his army down. He was learning how NOT to use his fast hound units as offensive weapons as they got brutalised by the Slayers and Quarrellers (love those guys). Basically I monstered through his entire army losing 7 Slayers, 6 Hammerers and a unit of Quarrellers while Kelly lost his entire army.

Spent next 30 minutes or so discussing various things he could do, how best to use fast cavalry, chariots etc and other nasty ways of winning etc. Very fun night nice and relaxing. Taking my Vampire Counts up against him next week.

Only 10 more weeks of gaming left in the year then its pretty much no more for me for at least 3-6 months as cricket season starts and my 2nd child is due so I am going to have no free time at all post November *sigh* the Joys of Parenthood, already lost my Hobby room to my daughter wonder what will go next?!?

August 19, 2009

CTA 09 Final tournament results out

Final results for latest tournament were just released. Scoring system was:

Battle Points - 40%
Sportsmanship - 20%
Composition - 25%
Presentation - 15%

A score of 16.67/25 for composition is pretty standard for Dwarfs with a good balance between shooting and infantry. I only had 5 DD and 2 Scrolls. My Lord wasn't over the top in terms of protection with a basic 1+ re-rollable AS which compared to Generals in other armies is pretty tame, e.g., Chaos Demons, Chaos Warriors, Wood Elves. I also had nearly 50% of my army points invested in core troops, so I am really not sure where I lost out in this area.

Presentation score of 8/15 is understandable, particularly given the really amazing armies that were on display at the tournament so I am reasonably happy with that. It puts me kind of in the middle which is cool.


Looking over the results though I can't help wonder what a better comp score would have meant for my finishing position. I have more battle points than the armies in 10th and 11th, 14th and 15th, but worse comp scores which seems to be the major reason I finished in 18th not higher. What exactly is a Dwarf player supposed to do???

Mind you what really cost me was my poor decision making in my final game after getting a strong advantage following deployment. That and my general running away and dying in Game 3 giving my opponent a 650pt turnaround in VP. Would have swung the scoring in that game from 9-11 in his favour to maybe 12-8 or 14-6 in mine.

For the New Zealanders out there

August 18, 2009

Final Tournament Report - Game 5 & more pictures

Game 5 vs. Wood Elves

I am really starting to dislike Wood Elves just can’t beat the dainty pointy eared little buggers although I have come close on one occasion. At least this time I was up against a different opponent looked like Nick and I were going to be playing each other again. Would have been fun but its always great to play new people which is the whole point of tournaments really.

My opponent Phil (who finished 5th overall in the tournament) had a tree heavy list with a Treeman general and four large units of Dryads all beautifully painted. Completing the list were a couple of units of fear causing fast cavalry, some warhawks, Treekin (Ogre type things), a couple of Mages and some Scout type guys. Terrain didn’t suit me at all as it contained three very large forests, two in Phils deployment zone (he won dice roll and choose sides), and one large hill in my zone.

Deployment

Basically I planned to castle up around the hill and wait him out while trying to prevent all of the forests moving toward me and stumping my movement. Unfortunately he spread his forces across the board splitting his units of Dryads and Riders minimising my initial targets. In what turned out to be a big mistake I stuck my Lord with a unit of Longbeards rather than the Hammerers. This meant I had no units immune to Fear (or Terror). The basic idea had been to use the Hammerers Stubbornness to hold up one flank while the Longbeards did all the work.

Turns 1 – 3
Basically lots of shooting from me and lots of movement from Phil in these turns with those damn forests just creeping closer and closer with the Treekin Ogre type things, the mages and his Treeman hidden among them. Shooting was pretty effective though with the Quarrellers and Organ Gun (which begun to roll 8’s and 10’s consistently again) shooting down two units of Dryads and wounding one of the mages.


Near the end of turn 3 I had lost only a solitary Bolt-Thrower crew member, while the Wood Elf graveguard was reasonably full so I was getting a little bit over confident. My Bolt-Thrower also distinguished themselves here as they were charged by the Scouting guys, killed two in combat, caused them to panic and eventually flee of the table?!?


Phils last act of Turn 3 was to charge my Gyrocopter with his Warhawk riders. This particular combat lasted until Turn 5, with his riders only able to score a single wound on the Gyro while the Gyro killed off 2 of the Riders and caused the remaining one to flee a few rounds later.



Turns 4 - 6
This was where everything went peared shaped. I got overly fixated on the Treeman and forgot all about the ‘FEAR CAUSING’ fast cavalry approaching my flanks and rear. Consequently, I ended up advancing a little too far forward and getting both of my Longbeard units and my General stuck surrounded by forests and essentially unable to move.


The Generals unit in fact did nothing the entire game except move then get stuck among the trees. The other Longbeards chopped down some of the Tree kin Ogre thingys, but then I had a brain explosion and pursued them INTO A FOREST – DUH!!! Where they remained stranded for the rest of the game.


While these units were going nowhere the Treeman and fear causing fast cavalry charged the Hammerer unit guarding my flank and rear. While I scored a few wounds I was eventually outnumbered, fled, was caught and wiped out. While my General and Longbeards looked on the Elven fast cavalry proceeded to hack through the rest of my army always causing enough wounds on each unit to win combat and outnumber them forcing them to flee. The Longbeard unit stuck in the forest also got pounded by magic knocking them down to under half strength and I ended the game with very few points left on the table.

MVP of the game - my Gyro

Another harsh lesson in how NOT to play against Wood Elves, I really needed more Runes of Spellbreaking.

Final Result
Wood Elves (1676 VP) massacre my Dwarves (653 VP) winning 4-16

Tournament Wrap Up
Well after all the results were tallied I finished 18th which wasn’t what I was hoping for. With 42 battle points heading into the last game I was aiming for at least 8 more in Game 5 so I could hit my goal of 50. After finishing 14th with a similar Dwarf army at Horned Rat II I thought a finish in the top half of the field was definitely possible. With two wins in my first four games I should have done better than I did, but then again there were some very good armies and some very (very) good players finishing only just ahead of me, and in the top half of the field.

My two wins was also 1 more than I was aiming for, my goal was for a 1 – 2 – 2 record for the weekend. It could easily have been 3 – 2 for this tournament with my game against the Chaos Dwarfs coming to the final turn and only just going against me - a very enjoyable weekend though. Big thanks to John Tailby who organised the whole thing.

Next tournament on 5th/6th September
Going to be attending Skitterleap in a few weeks time, was vaguely thinking of taking my Vampire Counts but I will stick with Dwarfs. Given that I have only played one game at 2,250pts with my Vampires and only 3 all up taking Vamps would NOT be a good idea. So my Dwarfs will get one more chance in 2009 to make a name for themselves, will make some slight adjustments to my list though.

August 17, 2009

Tournament Report - CTA 09 Day 2 [lots of pictures]

Game 4 vs. Chaos Warriors

Of the three games against the forces of Chaos this was the only one I approached without any apprehension, basically as I had played against Chaos a lot of knew what to expect. My opponent, Alistair, also had what was by Warriors of Chaos standards a weak list.

Enemy army list
General on Hell Stead - 1+ AS, I had to re-roll hits and 1's rebounded on me
BSB on steed
2 Sorcerers on disks
War Shrine
Chaos Chariot
27x Marauders (Generals unit)
16x Chaos Warriors (BSB unit)
5x Hounds (2 units)
20x Marauders
4x Chaos Ogres

Deployment & Strategy
Alistair chose sides and set up first. His side choice gave him a large hill on my right behind which he deployed his Sorcerers and Chaos Chariot (to protect them from my S7 Bolt-Thrower), and a small area of difficult terrain on my left. He deployed all of his forces well behind the 12” line denying me any shooting. The Chaos Warriors deployed right of centre (my right) in centre with Generals Marauder unit and War Shrine between them, the 2nd Marauder unit went on my far left with the Chaos Ogres. Both units of Chaos Hounds went in the corners of the deployment zone essentially to secure those two table quarters.

My battle line at Deployment

Chaos Deployment



My deployment zone had a medium sized hill on the left and a very large forest on the centre right. I deployed in the middle of the zone using the forest to anchor my right side; Hammerers w. Lord and double strength Longbeards out front, MR Grungi L/Beards behind. The Quarrellers went on the hill and in front of it with the Organ gun to their right and Bolt-Thrower in the left corner opposite the Ogres. The small Warrior units went on either flank behind the hill and forest to protect against any flanking attacks.

Basic strategy was to anchor against the forest and use the Quarrellers and Organ Gun to fire across the front of my line as the Chaos infantry came charging in. The Gyro-copter would stay back until it was able to get in position to march block any enemy units and possibly chase down those that fled. It would also get in the way of the flying sorcerers where possible.

Turns 1 - 3 “Umm hello where are my targets
Alistair gave me 1st turn and I moved my infantry line forward angling slightly left and keeping the forest on my right. No real shooting in the opening turns except the BT wounding an Ogre, Quarrellers killing it off a turn later, and the BT missing the Chaos Chariot which popped out from behind the large hill.

Chaos relied heavily on magic to start with The Hounds and the smaller Marauder unit hung back in the deployment zone, while the Ogres, BSB’s and General’s units marched forward along with the Shrine and Chariot. The Sorcerers did most of the damage in the early turns magic killing off a few Longbeards and a couple of Warriors. Turn 3 ended with the Chaos Ogres failing a charge against the Warriors guarding the Quarrellers on the hill; only by amount 5mm mind you.

Turn 4 “Feel the pain
At the end of Turn 3 marches and ends slighlty short of my line offering me the first charge. As it would have been rude not to I duly charged. The Hammerers went in against the Chaos General and large Marauder unit and the Longbeards against the Chaos Warriors. In the shooting phase the Organ Gun wiped out the Chaos Ogres scoring 10 hits and 8 wounds after the Quarrellers had earlier scored 2 more after shooting first.


In close combat the Hammerers killed 5 Marauders, while in a challenge the Hammerer Champion is killed by the Chaos General. The Marauders lose on CR after failing to wound any Hammerers but manage to hold. In Chaos turn one of the Sorcerers miscasts and wounds both himself and the other Sorcerer who was in base contact putting them both below ½ pts – VP for me. The Chaos General issues another challenge which my General accepts both taking a wound each. The Hammerers cut down a few more Marauders who once again manage to hold. The War shrine also gets involved in combat against the Hammerers but fails to wound anything. In the other combat the Longbeards are hacked down by the Chaos Warriors over 2 rounds but manage to hold on despite losing on CR in both rounds.

Turns 5-6 “Choppy chop chop goes the Dwarf Lord”
Some horrible dice rolling on the part of the Chaos General, some good AS and hit rolls on mine see the Chaos General suffer further wounds. Around him his Marauders are chopped down even further, with the Gyro charging their rear and helping out. They lose on CR, break, flee and are chased down by the Gyrocopter and are wiped out, the War shrine also flees but gets away from the Gyro if only just.The Hammerers elect to hold, and later decide not to charge into the Chaos Warriors flank as this would have opened them up to the Chaos Chariot which had been hanging back behind the melee waiting to get in. Meanwhile the Organ Gun, BT and Quarrellers blast away at the Sorcerers killing both of them.

The Longbeards meanwhile continue to hold out for a few more rounds despite being reduced to 4-5 models after 4 rounds of hard combat. The Chaos Warriors meanwhile have only lost 1 Warrior.Their defence can’t last though and eventually in the last round of the game they are destroyed.The game ends with the Gyro chasing down the still fleeing Warshrine and the Hammerers and 2nd Longbeard unit facing off against the Chaos Warriors, and the Chaos Chariot which had failed to reach combat in time to contribute anything
Final Result
I was absolutely stoked with this victory my first comprehensive win over Warriors of Chaos at this level, albeit against a weaker list than I am used to facing, i.e., no Chaos Knights, no Demon (as in old edition books) and no Spawn.

Dwarfs (1441 VP) beat Warriors of Chaos (562 VP) 15 - 5

CTA 09 tournament pictures

Some selected army images from Call to Arms 2009 in Wellington over the weekend.

My army




My vote for 'Best Presented' army