September 24, 2009

Building a Mk2 Menoth army list

First attempts at making a decent list under Mk2. Pts limit indicate maximum allowed, but this is adjusted as each Warcaster has bonus Jack pts they bring to that total, effectively means that the first Jack is free.

Pop n Drop @ 15pts
Kreoss (+5 pts)
Hierophant - 2
Redeemer - 6
Deliverers (6) -5
Paladin Order of Wall - 2
Knights Exemplar (6) - 5

Flameguard Heaven @15pts
eFeora (+6pts)
Heirophant - 2
Castigator - 8
Temple Flameguard (10) - 6
Daughters of Flame (6) - 5

Amons Warjack Emporium @ 15pts
Amon Ad-Raza (+6pts)
Heirophant - 2
Crusader - 6
Crusader - 6
Crusader - 6

Exciting Exemplars @ 25pts
eKreoss (+6pts)
Heirophant - 2
Revenger - 6
Devout - 5
Knights Exemplar (6) - 5
Knights Exemplar (6) - 5
Exemplar Seneschal - 3
Exemplar Seneschal - 3
Rupert Cavalo - 2

Look out Heretics the Zealots are coming @ 35pts
eFeora (+6pts)
Heirophant - 2
Devout - 5
Devout - 5
Castigator - 8
Flameguard (10) - 6
Zealots (10) - 6
Monolith Bearer - 2
Daughters of Flame (6) - 2

Extreme Pop n Drop @ 35pts
Kreoss (+5pts)
Heirophant - 2
Redeemer - 6
Revenger - 6
Reckoner - 8
Paladin Order of Wall - 2
Deliverers (10) - 8
Deliverer Sunburst - 3
Choir (6) - 3

Feoras flight of fancy @ 35pts
eFeora (+6pts)
Heirophant - 2
Devout - 5
Castigator - 8
Zealots (10) - 6
Monolith Bearer - 2
Exemplar Seneschal - 3
Knights Exemplar (6) - 5
Knights Exemplar (6) - 5
Rupert Cavalo - 2
eEiryss - 3

September 23, 2009

Warmachine Mk2 looks GOOD!!! Yah for Menoth

Finished reading the Mk2 rules for Warmachine last night along with the new Menoth faction cards and I have to say I really like them. Sure a couple of units have lost abilities but others have gained them, and the cards are now a lot easier to read and understand. Long confusing ability descriptions have been replaced with short, clear, concise and unambiguous statements and Menoth seems to be far more balanced now as an army.

How did my units change then?

WARCASTERS
Kreoss
Has lost Retribution, which was by far my favourite spell, and Ward, and had his other spells made either more expensive or reduced in AOE. However, this is balanced out by changes to the units Kreoss would most likely work with particularly the Knights Exemplar

eKreoss
Elite Cadre has been changed a lot with Exemplar models (not just Knights Exemplar units) only getting Aegis or immunity to continuous effects. Key spells have had their points cost reduced by one notably Castigate and Cleansing Fire. As with normal Kreoss Retribution has also been removed, their goes the double up on Devout free strikes. Big changes though are the old Hallowed Vengeance spell that slams people is now a Special ability, and the inclusion of a new ability Imperishable Conviction when means eKreoss heals 1 wound every time any Faction model is destroyed in his control area.

High Reclaimer
Nothing major here except that his feat now only raises D3+3 rather than 2D6 models, meaning a minimum of 4 newly created models for the feat rather than a minimum of 2. Makes it more useful and takes away possibility of a poor dice roll. Soulstorm is also now an ability, not a spell, which is simply awesome.

Severius
Has gained +2RAT for some reason, one of many models that has gained increased RAT when they don't have a ranged attack!?! Big Big changes in his spell abilities making him very very dangerous now. Changes include:
  • Convert is now a special action not a spell.
  • Ashes to Ashes affects target model and d6 nearest, makes it trickier to use but gives you some nasty options if combined with the right unit.
  • Death Sentence costs 3 YES 3 less focus to cast gains +2 RNG and gives target faction model re-rolls to hit, instead of auto-hit. With 8 Focus you can cast this 4x per round!!!
  • Vision - costs 1 less focus.
  • Protection of Menoth - is listed as a spell, but without any stats so I am assuming its a typo
Feora
My favourite caster, has remained pretty much unchanged except for some minor surprises in her spell section these are:
  • Engine of Destruction gives her +4 MAT up from +2 making her MAT 10, SPD 8 & STR 11 when its cast.
  • Ignite is altered target friendly model/unit gains +2 to melee attacks damage rolls.
  • Wall of Fire now specifically states you cannot boost damage rolls.
eFeora
Big changes her, which I am a wee bit unsure of but they in combo with other units do make her a very dangerous caster to take. Changes are:
  • Caustic Presence - new ability, Fire Effects DO NOT EXPIRE in her control area !!!!!
  • Warjack Bond - cannot allocate extra focus to bonded jack
  • Cleansing Fire - new addition as it seems to be the standard spell for combat orientated Menoth casters.
  • Elite Cadre has been removed?!?
  • Also lost Blazing Aura, Flameburst (although this is reasonable, as it would have been devestating in combination with the other faction changes), and Hot Foot.
Amon Ad-Raza
Some nice modifications to this guy making him more worthwhile to play. First up he gains 1 focus giving him 6, and his Feat now gives all Warjacks in his battlegroup - not his control area his BATTLEGROUP - Perfect Balance as well as the normal focus bonus. Groundwork is modified ability meaning he cannot be be autohit when knocked down and is DEF is not reduced. Mobility spell costs 1 less focus, and gives models +2 SPD rather than +1" movement. Things he lost include:
  • Meditative stance - balanced by increased focus.
  • Tough - balanced by Groundwork ability, and Perfect Balance
  • Trip attack - woop big deal
  • Sand Blast and Divine Judgement - hoping this is a typo as these were good spells, but can live without them.
WARJACK CHANGES
Minor changes throughout the faction jacks, mainly +1MAT and +1RAT for most models, and +1POW on a lot of the weaker weapons. Major changes are:

Devout
Gained +1 MAT, had defensive strike simplified which appears to be a game wide change for this sort of attack. Its not as powerful but its still a free hit. More importantly, its Shield Guard ability now extends to ANY friendly model not just to a Warcaster.

Blessing of Vengeance
Has lost 2 ARM?!? Defensive Strike ability simplified, Bushwhack imprint added similar to old ability just modified slightly and shield loses excessive repel.

Castigator
Combustion attack has range 2" now instead of 1" making it very nasty indeed especially when you take him with eFeora.

Crusader
Open Fists now hit at P+S 14 rather than 11 making them an even better Heavy option.

Reckoner
Assault rules clarified and made easier to understand, Critical splash removed and fire damage added to all attacks.

Avatar of Menoth
Has gained +2 RAT when he doesn't have a ranged attack?!? Menoths Gaze has been simplified and Flameburst has been modified reducing its range from 3" to 1" but it no longer requires you to disable just DAMAGE an enemy model.

Fire of Salvation
Affinity with Kreoss has been substantially altered. He can no longer put an upkeep spell on it regardless of range or LOS and maintain that upkeep spell for free *sigh* I loved this ability. However, his FoS weapon gains Dispel which is kind of useful and his Fist like the Crusader is now P+S 14

INFANTRY
Primary change here is that when taking an infantry unit you either take a standard unit (Leader + 5) or a large unit (Leader + 9), no more adding in 2 troopers here, 3 troopers there etc. They have also gotten rid of stat differences between unit leaders and grunts which makes sense to me as the whole difference thing got confusing at times. Field Allowances for key units have also been increased!!!!

Holy Zealots
No big changes here, except Firebomb is now POW 12 not POW 14 and they have lost Prayer of Protection.

Monolith Bearer
Not sure I like these changes. Has lost 1 ARM, tough and Fiery Assault meaning that he dies more easily and when he does the remaining Zealots don't go crazy and run and attack for free. Holy Monolith now only adds +4 ARM to each model in unit, not +4 DEF and +4ARM but effect lasts for a turn not a round.

Knights Exemplar & Exemplars Errant
Both unit types are now FA 3 thats FA 3 I repeat FA 3 thats all I have to say on this - did I mention FIELD ALLOWANCE 3. Just imagining an army of eKreoss, Exemplar Bastions, 3 units of Knights Exemplars, and 3 of Knights Errant with say Fire of Salvation.

Temple Flameguard UA
Nothing major here except that FRIENDLY FACTION MODELS CAN IGNORE THEM WHEN DETERMINING LOS FOR RANGED ATTACKS so I can deploy these guys in shield wall with a unit of Deliverers or Zealots behind them and fire away.

Daughters of Flame
Oh how I LOVE THEE!!!! I AM KEEPING YOU NOW - Shank and Stealth are gone but in their place is Anatomical Precision meaning if their damage roll fails to exceed the targets armour they still do 1 point of damage, e.g., THEY WILL AUTO KILL ANY ONE WOUND MODEL THEY HIT.

Flameguard Cleansers
No longer explode so I can't run them into the enemy and deliberately blow them up, but they also get rid of that stupid irregular armour rule.

Deliverers
OH JOY OH JOY OH JOY - They lose misfire and get the Rocket Volley special ability a combined ranged attack that boosts the POW and AOE for every model involved up to AOE 5" and POW 16

Deliverer Sunburst
Loses inaccurate and gets Range Finder giving them +2 to attack rolls when grunts in base to base, add this to the aiming bonus and the Sunburst is now... wait for it... RAT 9 - thats RAT 9 for a RNG 16 AOE 4 POW 16 weapon!!!!!

Choir of Menoth
Much much improved. Now SPD 6 so they can keep up with everybody, have gained +2 ARM and every model sings the hymns not just the unit leader. Killing the Priest also does nothing to their ability to chant. These guys are now even better than they were.

Visigoth Juviah Rhoven and Honor Guard
The only change I am not happy about. They are still an OK unit but no longer the great unit they were - thats all I am going to say on the matter.

Heirophant
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME gains +1 ARM (without needing to be in B2B contact with caster), +2 RNG on Harmonious exaltation and he can now Heal any Friendly living model not just his warcaster.

Paladin Order of the Wall
FA is now 2 and he has gained +1 ARM. Stone and Mortar does lose the +5 DEF bonus, but he can now make free strikes while in stone and mortar stance and can attack ANY model in range.

Vassal of Menoth
SPD 5 not 4 and Field Allowance is now 2 not 1 - so I am DEFINATELY buying one more of these.

Idrians
Rules have been simplified but personally I don't care as I don't like the unit, will never get around to painting them and will never use them. Just don't like them.

Overall thoughts
I like the changes, so damn cool. Sure 1 or 2 units have lost out but overall Menoth has become a lot nastier in many critical areas. Going to be fun playing under the new rules which are also simplified to follow especially the changes to LOS, Unit formations and Warjack system disablement.

September 22, 2009

Warmachine Mk2 rules are out

Final rule set for Warmachine Mk2 is out and available online, minus all of the pictures and neat formatting. There will be no more changes after this cut so I have a lot of reading to do...

Download Warmachine Mk2 PDF here

Bit of a warning the Rules document is 63 pages long, while the cards document is 266 pages as each individual unit, solo and warjack card is printed on a separate A4 page.

I've also found a new local retailer which looks very good, reasonable prices (big discounts on certain brands) and most importantly cheap shipping. Click on image to go to their site.


For NZ gamers they offer a good option, but in some respects I will still buy most of my stuff from Maelstrom Games in the UK as free postage still makes some items cheaper (if only by a few dollars).

September 18, 2009

Battle Report [Dwarves vs. Warriors of Chaos 2000pts]

Lord Bredgar Stonecutter watched with pride as the forces of Clan Morgrall deployed for battle. To his right were a full regiment of his Clans Longbeards, old, grizzled veterans of the Clans endless task of protecting the Thorinkins Northern borders.

On either flank Quarrelers extended their lines and readied their weapons. Behind them Engineers of Clan Ragnell were busy digging entrenchments to secure the great war machines, an Organ Gun, and an ancient rune inscribed Cannon, whose use Bredgar had paid much for.

Around Bredgar his personal bodyguard of Hammerers, drawn from the finest Warriors of his Clan, tightened the buckles on their armor. Lifted aloft by his Shield Bearers, Bredgar’s thoughts were saddened only by the sight of the second Hammerer regiment that accompanied his army. The remnants of his kinsmen, Lord Kurgin Hadrinsson, personal bodyguard their burnt and heavily battle scared armor seem light in comparison to the darkness in their eyes. They were all that was left of the army destroyed by Archeon and the forces of Chaos during the Day of Blood. Shamed by their inability to die with their Lord, they had sworn eternal vengeance on the forces of Chaos and had marched from Karak Thorinkin with Bredgar uninvited, but not unwanted. Above them flew the Battle Standard of his clan, and from the lips of the bearer came a mighty blast as the Clans war horn announced the approach of the enemy. Gripping his axe, inscribed with Runes of Swiftness, Cleaving and Might, Lord Bredgar watched as the forces of Chaos arrayed themselves before his troops. Immediately to his front were Chaos Warriors and their bare-chested almost bestial Marauder henchmen. On their flanks were the units that concerned Bredgar the most, fast moving Marauder cavalry, Chaos Chariots and Warhounds and a huge block of fearsome Chaos Knights.

Upon seeing the Dwarf battle calmly waiting before them the Chaos flank units rushed forward moving to outflank the Dwarven battle line. Trusting to his Warmachines and Quarrelers Lord Bredgar ordered his troops to march forward his gaze set firmly on the Chaos General whose great warhorse caused him to tower above the Chaos Warriors that formed his macabre bodyguard.

Lightning flashed through the sky distracting Bredgar. Chaos magic flickered toward the Quarrelers and Organ Gun on his left. Soon the sky was alive with energy as the Runesmith accompanying his forces attempted to counter the waves of dark magic at Chaos’s command. Equally matched at first the Runes proved unable to keep the lightning out for long and soon screams of anguish were heard as Quarrelers, and Engineers manning the Organ Gun were cut down.

The howls of glee coming from the Chaos Sorcerers were soon cut off, as a cloud of Crossbow bolts cut a swath through the Marauder cavalry and Chaos Warhounds who accompanied them. The loud rapid volleys of the Organ Gun, and the crushing BOOM of the Great Cannon added to the sounds of battle. Both struck home, the Organ Gun decimating the Marauder cavalry to its front, while a Cannon ball scored a direct hit on one of the fearsome Chaos Chariots.

Lightning and fire continued to crackle across the sky, and soon more Dwarfs, including a Hammerer in Bredgar’s bodyguard were left burnt and dead upon the ground. Runic magic continued to hamper the best efforts of the Chaos Sorcerers, and yet more Chaos troops were cut down by Dwarven missile fire.

Advancing forward his eyes locked firmly on the Chaos armies General, Bredgar offered a silent prayer to Grimnar as to his right and his left the remaining forces of Chaos charged into his Quarreler units. Chaos Knights and the remaining Chaos Chariot torn each unit to shreds, neither having any hope of withstanding their furious assault. Marauder horsemen and a Chaos Sorcerer continued to trade missile fire with the Cannon Crew, who now turned their sights on the Chaos General.

KABOOM!!! A thunderous noise was accompanied by the sight of rune inscribed cannon ball striking the ground directly between Lord Bredgar and the Chaos Generals unit. Bouncing it ripped its way through the Chaos Warrior unit, and before Lord Bredgar’s eyes the Chaos General was torn in half as the Cannon ripped through his upper body. At the sight of his falling body a huge cheer went up from the assembled Dwarven ranks, and an even mightier one from the Cannon crew. This was matched in its ferocity by the charge of the Chaos Warriors and Marauder infantry who upon seeing the death of their General sought immediate revenge.

Gripping his Axe and securing his footing on his shield Lord Bredgar hewed left and right cutting through the Chaos ranks. Around him, his Hammerers and the Clans Longbeards battled fiercely against the forces before them. On his right the Longbeards gave a great roar and raised the Battle Standard High as the Marauders fled the field of battle.

Rushing forward the soon enveloped the flanks of the Chaos Warrior unit and joined Lord Bredgar who cutting down the abominable forces of Chaos. As the Chaos Warriors broke, victory was still in the balance as to Bredgars rear the remaining Chaos Chariot had smashed into and destroyed the second Hammerer unit, before doing the same to armies Great Cannon.

Darkness falling, Lord Bredgar halted his pursuit of the fleeing Chaos infantry and called his remaining troops to him. Smoke, fire, ash and blood covered a field of battle littered with the bodies of hundreds of Dwarves, Chaos Warriors and Marauders. Both sides had fought themselves to a stand-still, each had suffered grievous loses, and each had failed to secure a victory.

September 16, 2009

Protectorate of Menoth Collection - what to keep?

As much as I enjoy playing Warmachine, and running with an army of Fanatical Religious Pyromaniacs called the Protectorate of Menoth, truth is I am going to have to sell some of my overly large collection.

I'll keep enough (or more than enough) to continue playing as it is a very very enjoyable game, but needs must. Question is what do I get rid off?!? Its hard to figure out what to keep as the new Mk2 rules aren't out yet and this may change things a fair bit (if the test rules were any indication). So what do I have, and what am I going to do with it?

Warcasters
eKreoss
Kreoss
eFeora
Feora
Amon Ad-Raza - still needs his weapon to be fixed
Grand Scrutator Severius
High Reclaimer - still unpainted

No changes here Ill keep all of these guys, although I generally stick with eFeora in games over 750pts and Kreoss in games under 750pts. In Mk2 the ability to take any caster you like means that eFeora will come out of the box more. Amon Ad-Raza could probably go and I might get rid of my eKreoss model as I can always proxy in the standard Kreoss but use eKreoss's cards.

Heavy Warjacks
Avatar of Menoth - still needs painting, some many fiddly little details on it
Crusaders x2
Castigator
Reckoner - might get rid of this guy as I hardly ever use him

Light Warjacks
Devouts x4 - the best warjacks under Mk1 rules, they have been nerfed by Mk2 so I dont need 4 of them anymore (used to like running all 4). So maybe sell two of them
Revengers x2
Redeemer - still needs paint, and should be kept as it fits into the standard pop-n-drop list
Repenter x2 - ill sell these as I never use the things, one still unpainted

Solos
Exemplar Seneschals x2 - still waiting to be painted, will definitely keep
Vassal of Menoth
Monolith Bearer
Paladin Order of the Wall - still waiting on paint

No changes here as these are all key units to have.

Units
Visigoth Juviah Rhoven & BG - will have to get rid of him if Mk2 rules nerf him as badly as they appeared to intend in the play test version of the rules
Wracks x3
Choir of Menoth Acolytes x12 - OK so I have a choir fetish, don't really need 4 full units though
Choir of Menoth Warpriests x4
Daughters of Flame x6 - these are definitely going as I never use them
Deliverer Sunburst - Mk1 Rule #1 never buy it or use it / Mk2 Rule #1 - Mk1 Rule 1# no longer applies and this is a definite keeper; still hasn't been assembled or painted
Deliverers x10
Exemplars Errant x14 - one unit unpainted, and Ill keep all of these as you can proxy the sword carrying ones in as Knights Exemplar
Flameguard Cleansers x5 - going bye bye as they no longer explode under Mk2 rules meaning my favourite tactic of using them as flame throwing suicide bombers is now redundant.
Holy Zealots x10
Temple Flameguard x10
Temple Flameguard UA

Mercenaries
Idrian Skirmishers x10 - definitely going bye bye, good unit but I can't be bothered painting them and I will never use them
Idrian Skirmishers UA
Rupert Cavalo
Alyana & Holt - will sell these guys too, got them after seeing how well Toshi used them to support Khador but honestly I will probably never use them

Anyway I think thats everything I have, not really sure been a while since I got them out. Looking at the list of unpainted models I much actually put all of the Warhammer away for a couple of months and paint some Warmachine models.

September 15, 2009

Upcoming painting projects

So much to do over the summer and before the next tournament season.

High Elf Modeling/Painting Backlog
Currently repainting and rebasing my entire High Elf army giving them a darker purple scheme with uniform runes across the army linking their banners and shield emblems together. Also rebasing them all using Iron Halo bases and going for a snow based theme. Work still to be done includes:

Final touch ups on snow areas on bases
Basically I just need to apply a few coats of thinned down white to the snow areas to bring out the colour, and clean up a few areas where the metal models in particular have been chipped. Once complete I'll give them all a quick coat of Purity Seal.
  • Phoenix Guard x20
  • Sword masters x20
  • Spear Elves x20
  • Dragon Mage
  • Mounted BSB
  • Archmage on foot
  • Mage on foot

[Pictures up once they are done]

Units needing more work
After the snow touch ups above are done I will focus my attention on the other units that will make up my eventual High Elf tournament army. These will need some serious re-touching mainly to enhance the shading and overall look of each model. Basing work also needs to completed.

  • Dragon Princes x6 (4 more being left for a while)
  • Shadow Warriors x5
  • Spear Elves x20
Models/Units awaiting assembly or replacement
The rest of the army is need of a lot more work though. I still have a lot of key units that need to be completely paint stripped or simply replaced with new models, and one that needs assembling. Unfortunately, this is going to take a while as the old budget is a bit tight.

  • Archers x10 - probably need 10 more, and will most likely replace the whole lot with a new unit box as I only have the old Edition models which are painted like rubbish.
  • Bolt Throwers x4 - four old school models which I kind of like, need to be paint stripped cleaned up and redone. Will order some Iron Halo 50x50mm bases to put them on, but only enough for two.
  • Silver Helms x8 - the models are fine just need to some touch ups on the shields and some shading. Otherwise the only really need some Iron Halo bases and they are good to go. Not a priority as I never use them.
  • Shadow Warriors x5 - undercoated but not yet based, need a lot of cleaning up. Looking at a WarPuppy skirmisher movement tray for these guys.
  • White Lions x15 - still in their box. Will be my final project, kind of a reward to myself for finishing everything else.
Vampire Counts painting backlog
Not as much to do with these guys as I went through a really frantic period where all I did was paint VC units. I have enough for a complete army but still need to complete a few units which have been sitting around undercoated for well over 6 months. Units left to complete include:
  • Vampire - awaiting paint
  • Wraiths/Banshee x4 - awaiting paint
  • Dire Wolves x5 - awaiting paint
  • Black Knights x8 - Tomb King conversions need undercoating & everything else
  • Fell Bats x4 - need final touch ups to be completed, will do these first
  • Wight King BSB - needs undercoating and painting
  • Wight King - needs touch ups and rebasing
Dwarf modelling backlog
Basically I dont have anything to do with these guys. I could probably look at gluing the warmachine crew members to the warmachine bases, and touch ups on some of the individual models but I like the army the way it is. Still have some units that I havent got round to painting though, and that have been sitting in a box for well over a year now.
  • Miners x20 - BfSP variant, nice looking models not undercoated or anything, would be fun to paint but I am still working on how best to include them in any army.
  • Thunderers x20 - BfSP variants, need some touch ups and rebasing but otherwise OK. Again never use these guys as I prefer the Quarrellers longer range.
So much to do, so little time.... and of course there is always my back log of unpainted Warmachine figures including a couple of Warjacks, the Deliverer Sunburst, a full unit of Knights Exemplars and various bits and pieces to be reattached.

However, I plan to sell off most of my Menoth army over the next few months as I have way too much and will in all honesty not get around to using most of it.

September 14, 2009

Australasian Warhammer Fantasy Rankings update

With the latest tournament rounds added to the Australasian rankings I have managed to move up yet again after finishing 9th at Skitterleap, gone from 207th to 147th so not doing to badly at all. Still seems to be composition scoring that is helping me a lot though (ranked in Top 100 for that) so next year I am really really going to work on improving my Battle Points.

Slow period for posts

Going to be entering a bit of a slow period post wise over next couple of months. Cricket season starts next week which will eat up my weekends till April next year. My son is due in 5-6 weeks meaning I only have 5-6 nights left at my local gaming club before I am back on nappy duty again, and tournament season is over (at least for me) till April/May next year.

Consequently, the only posting I will be doing over next couple of months will be painting related as I endeavour to finish off my High Elves and get them ready for the 2010 tournament season. I will also be finishing my Vampire Counts and possibly rebasing my Dwarfs as well. The aim is to have all three armies completely done by April 2010. Heres hoping...

September 10, 2009

Something a little different

Rediscovered this online story this morning the Little Ninjai forgot how good it was, highly recommend it


About a little Ninjai trying to find out who he is etc, nice story lines, good animation fun way to pass the time. Click on image to visit website.

September 9, 2009

Inaugral Stumpy Tournament Awards

With tournament season over for me in 2009 its time time to hand out some awards in recognition of an amazingly enjoyable 6 months of competitive gaming.

Bugmans 'Best Event' Ale
Call to Arms 2009

Huge tournament, lots of players, lots of fun and some good results albeit not as good as I had wanted. Thanks to John T for organising it so well. Big thanks also to Pete D from Wellington for organising so many events down there this year as well.

Grimnars 'Good Bloke Axe' for my favourite opponent
Nick E (Wood Elves)

Incredibly nice guy and a very good player. Had two games against him in tournaments now, lost both, the second one only just. Nearly played him a third time at Call to Arms 09, look forward to running into him again. My battles against him are forming the basis of the Wood Elf Wars stories on my other blog (which I really need to get typed up).

Druegars 'Nemesis Crown' for the hardest opponent
John T (Dark Elves)

And Dark Elves in General to be honest. Two matches against John ending in 20-0 and 18-2 defeats. Nice bloke and my vote for favourite opponent in at least one tournament, but damn are Dark Elves hard to beat.

Gnoblar award for single worst moment in a game
The Terror causing Giant

Lots to choose from but has to be, Runefang II with my High Elves. In about Turn 2 an Ogre Giant waded into the middle of my army causing 2 units of Dragon Princes to fail Terror tests and flee into impassable terrain. AHHHHH!!!

Chaos Spawned 'Dice of Evil' for game in which the Dice Gods went against me
Game 4 of Skitterleap vs. Jack D (Dark Elves)

My normally resolute and stubborn Dwarfs fail every single leadership test for 3-4 consecutive turns. Result, my entire army runs away and is slaughtered. Turn 6 ended with my only my Gyrocopter on the board.

Whistans 'WTF' award for that ??? moment
Dwarfs vs. Dwarfs at NICON 09

Up against Ken's Dwarfs at NICON the two of us were looking forward to a knuckle dragging slug fest when what happens? A dice roll randomly ends our game in Turn 4 just as both of our respective Dwarf lines are about to rampage into each-other. You have never seen two guys so unhappy about a game ending early - we did carry on though after submitting the official results.

Ulthuans 'Unbelievably Pretty' Army Award
Lava Goblins @ Call to Arms 09

Out of all of the armies I have seen at various tournaments this had to be my favourite by far. Pretty to look at and also very effective as it won that particular tournament [Pics].

Some recent Blogger finds & thanks to my followers

Been trawling through the Blogosphere a bit more lately. Have found some extremely good blogs out there, many belonging to the people who actively follow Stumpy Heaven - and I would like to sincerly thank you all for doing so - and others to blogs followed by my followers (confused yet?!?).

Among my recent finds have been...

Grumpy Stunty
Just love it when you find another Dwarf player out there, we 4ft tall beard fetishists have to stick together. This is a great blog, a lot of 40k stuff but a nice clean layout, easy to read articles, and some excellent painting tutorials showing how individual figures are taken from assembly right through to completion. The Dwarf Lord below is from this blog, damn I wish I could paint like that.
The Glorious Works
Another 40k and Warhammer Chaos player from the UK. Bits of background fluff on his various armies. Some great painting guides, including ideas on modifying various figures and excellent photos of miniatures in his collection. The author is also a big contributor to various forums, and is a good source of advice on those that he visits.

Inane Courage
A blog of seemingly very dedicated Skaven player (I assume he has to be by the HUGE number of sprues he is attempting to put together). Has some really cool conversion ideas for his Skaven units, and good links to other sites. Nice open writing style as well.

Drinkin and Modellin
Actually started following this one a while ago but had to mention it here. Its a great blog by a guy called 'Randroid' (his forum username) one of the regular contributors at the Battle Reporter Forums that are my main visiting place (look the username 'Kiwi' to find me). Awesome blog, great reads, fantastic pictures and ideas and great contributions to the forum conversations.

Finally a big thanks to all of the people who follow and read my little blog. Never really thought it would go on as long as it has (300 posts & a year of blogging). Appreciate all of the comments and feedback I have gotten, and more importantly getting links to the wider world of gamers out there.

September 8, 2009

A year of tournaments what did I learn?

Deciding to enter some Warhammer tournaments this year was probably the smartest decision I ever made gaming wise. Managed to get to five of them in all, attending my first with my High Elves and my last four with my Dwarfs. Every tournament presented learning opportunities, new challenges, introduced me to great new people, and reinforced just how much fun gaming can be.

So what did I learn or get out of my experiences? Quite a lot!!!

#1 Game time
I played 27 games across 5 tournaments 25 at 2,250pts. In a single tournament I played more games at that level than I normally would in 5-6 months of going to my local club. We do play the odd 2,250pt game on Club nights (plus the odd 5-10k battle on weekends), but 750-1000pts means we get two in each night and makes it easier for newer players to get into the hobby.

#2 List building
Making a simple list isn't that difficult, nor is making a bigger list at least not at club level. You take what you like and have painted and go from there. But because your game time is limited it can take a long time to figure what lists work best, how particular units should be used (or even if they should be taken at all), and how to build a generic all-comers list. In club play you know who your opponents are and tend to build a list accordingly.

With tournaments you have to build a basic "all-comers" list as it could face any of the armies in the game and you need to be able to counter or at least minimise their respective strengths, while emphasising your own. Play testing, talking on forums, working on and modifying my army lists and then knowing that you are going to be stuck with the same army for five games means you really have to think about what you do.

#3 The rules
Simply put, playing 5 games in two days to a strict time table requires you to know the rules inside out and more importantly know your own armies rules. There is no substitute to learning from direct experience, and the constant and varied game play tournaments throw up means you quickly learn the core basic and advanced rules. You also start to figure out all of the tricky rulings that so often form part of the FAQ's. Club rules are great, but if everyone is doing it wrong in the first place it doesn't really help.

#4 Tactics
Ahh the steep learning curve that is tournament play. After playing the same opponents at your club all the time you all kind of know each others play styles. Tournament play taught me a hell of a lot about using my armies effectively, and a lot of neat little tricks to squeeze out those tight wins. Some of the lessons I learned, most definitely the HARD WAY in each case were:
  • Fleeing is sometimes the best strategic option you can take.
  • Patience is a virtue - especially for Dwarfs.
  • Calculate the outcome of a battle before you go in.
  • Just because you like a model/unit doesn't mean it will work.
  • Think 2-3 turns ahead.
  • DEPLOYMENT wins games.
  • There is a reason people spend time turning the facing of their units just so; redirection, redirection, redirection.
#5 Modeling & painting
Finally, if you want ideas on how to paint and base your figures go to a tournament. I really really wish I had gone to a few before I had assembled my stuff, just to look and learn. Some of the armies I have seen over the last six months have been absolutely stunning. So much imagination time and effort has gone into assembling, painting and basing various models and units it just boggles the mind. My High Elves have been in a constant period of re-development precisely because of the ideas I picked up at my first and subsequent tournaments.

#6 Tournaments are fun
Yes they are, even when your losing. Just need to store up some brownie points so I can attend more of them next year.

September 7, 2009

9th Place @ Skitterleap!!!!

MY FIRST TOP 10 TOURNAMENT FINISH!!!!

Got back from Skitterleap in Wellington last night my final WHFB tournament of the year, and probably last one till April/May 2010.

My overall results were
G1 vs. John T's Dark Elves LOSS 2-18
G2 vs. Dan M's Vampire Counts LOSS 8-12
G3 vs. Kieren N's Warriors of Chaos WIN 20-0
G4 vs. Jack D's Dark Elves LOSS 0-20
G5 vs. Kent J's Vampire Counts WIN 14-6

Once again Dark Elves prove to be my nemesis just cannot beat the damn things at tournaments. G1 was pretty much a whitewash after I moved badly and made some really poor tactical decisions. G4 vs. Jack's DE was worse as it should have gone much better for me. My Dwarves failed, and I mean FAILED, every single leadership test they had to take from about Turn 4 onward. Magic wiped out my Hammerers, then the rest and my Longbeards just runaway from everything. I was failing Leadership 10 Stubborn break tests with a BSB re-roll?!?! G2 was also a loss snatched from the jaws of victory when a 500pt unit of Longbeards with my BSB broke and ran. G3 was fun but the result has to tempered with the fact that my opponent was relatively new and hadnt played in a while. G5 was fun, managed to kill the VC General, after (AFTER) my Hammerers failed their leadership tests AGAIN and ran away AGAIN!!!! My opponent also kept making 6+ AS after 6+ AS as well as passing the majority of his crumble tests.

Didn't take too many pictures during the tournament and only a few came out well and were of new armies I hadn't seen before...

















September 4, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to Skitterleap I go

Very early start tomorrow getting up at 5am to head down to Wellington for my 5th and final Warhammer tournament of the year... Go the Stumpies!!!!



Hi ho'ing starts at 1.20

High Elves vs. Dark Elves @ 2,250pts

Tested out my WIP High Elf last night against Doug's Dark Elves. Promised to be a good game as Doug is a very good player, lots of experience, fun to play against and very helpful when it comes to ideas and advice on things.

He promised to bring a standard tournament list and he did, albeit a rather strong one which by his own admission would have suffered a bit on composition. But a hard test was what I was after, his list was (from memory).

Lord on Dragon
Sorcerer
BSB w. ASF Banner
Spears x20
Crossbows x12
Blackguard x15 (BSB's unit)
Cold One Knights x5
Hydra
Bolt-Throwers x2
Harpies x5
Dark Riders x5

Deployment
Doug won the dice roll and got to choose sides. Terrain was set up fairly eveningly with couple of hills on either side for our respective Bolt-Throwers and some forests to hide our Dragons behind. He opted in the end to stick with the Northern end and the larger forest meaning I had more open space to deploy in.

Deployment - HE Light Blue / DE Red

I made my first mistake here as I mistook his unit of Black Guard for Warriors, this would come back to haunt me later. His Lord went behind the forest, as did my Dragon Mage - we were both worried about our respective Bolt Throwers. His Mage went in with his Warriors and his BSB with his Black Guard. My BSB went on the left hand Spear unit, those without the Lion Banner, while the Archmage went with the P/Guard - in hindsight I should have dropped him out earlier. Swordmasters behind as usual to avoid any shooting, although the hills pretty much made that a waste of time. I also took the opportunity the forest provided me and stuck a single RBT in it principally so his flyers couldnt get both of them on the hill and also to be a pain for his Dragon should it come up that flank.

Turns 1 - 2
Rush everyone forward, cast some magic and kill the damn hydra. Magic didn't work too well, as the Black Guard had some annoying banner that meant anytime I cast something at a target within 12" of them and threw a double it became a miscast. End result 3 turns of miscasts for my Archmage which saw him take a wound and lose a magic level.

Initial movements in Turn 1

End of Turn 1 went to the DE with the Xbows causing carnage in my primary Spear unit, and the Lord on Dragon breathing over and killing one of my D/Princes. Not a fire based attack so they weren't immune to it unfortunately.

End of Turn 2 and the DE charge in

I was slightly out of charge range so moved close enough to entice Doug in during Turn 2. My RBTs scored the big kill of the opening rounds skewering the Hydra with 2 Bolts. Doug had slightly mis-calculated his placement and was just within range of my 2nd RBT in the forest and it was this one that put paid to the nasty beastie. My magic also got of this turn with the Dragon Mage buring a few Xbows and the Archmage making everyone Stubborn and sticking a nice little 5+ WS on the BSB's Spear Unit. This proved a good move as the next round in charged the Dark Elves. Cold One Knights into the Spearmen and BSB, Black Guard & DE BSB into the Phoenix Guard. Unfortunately I hadn't taken the Archmage out of the PG unit so he was stuck there unable to attack and unable to be harmed due to his Folraiths Robe. The DE Lord also hit the Dragon Princes in the rear. Combat was relatively even, except with everyone managing to hold on, dragging out combat.

Turns 3 - 5
The big melee in the middle continued throughout these two turns and right into the start of Turn 5. I started off by flying the Dragon Mage over toward the nasty harpies and Cold Riders. Magic and RBT's took care of the Cold Riders while my puny S2 Dragons Breath manage to get rid of the Harpies. In combat the PGuard kept losing the initiative roll to the DE ASF Banner, but were proving as hard to kill as always. End result was a grinding combat over 6 rounds between the PGuard and the Black Guard.

On the left the Spears and BSB managed to kill a single Cold One Knight while losing 5 of their number, and these units also found themselves locked in an ongoing combat. The only significant loss came when the DPrinces were butchered by the DE Lord and his Dragon who only just failed to overrun into the Spears to his front.

Turns 4-5 saw the DE Lord charge the flank of the Spears and challenge my BSB, who manage to hold him off for 2 rounds wounding the DE Lord a couple of times. In the same round that the DE Lord flank charged the Spears those same puny Spearmen managed to kill 3 of the 4 remaining Cold One Knights. The result the DE lost the combat and came within a whisker of running away. In the other combat the PGuard continued to be whittled down by the Black Guard, and the Swordmasters who charged into their flank were also butchered although they did manage to take out 5 Black Guard in the process.

My Dragon Mage also proved himself useful here fluttering around behind the DE Dragon and aiming spells at the DE Mage hiding among his Warriors (this unit didnt move for the entire game, and least not willingly). DE shooting took down my RBT on the hill, and saw my smaller Spear unit flee cut down to just 9 bodies from its original 20.

Turn 5 was a bit nasty though. My BSB is killed along with the Spears, and the DE Lord and remaining Cold One Knight hit my PGuards flank. They break, flee and are cut down. Turn 5 ends then with only a small unit of 10 fleeing Spearmen, a single RBT and my Dragon Mage left on the field.

Turn 6
AH HA HA - Go the Dragon Mage lots of magic and breath attacks on the DE Mage and Warrior unit kills the Mage and 10 Warriors causing the unit to panic and flee. The Spears are charged and cut down by the DE Dragon who fails to overrun far enough to hide behind the hill and out of sight of my Bolt-Thrower - but he misses, for the first time all game and nothing comes of it.

At the same time those damn DE Xbows manage to kill off my Dragon while the RBT's skewer my Dragon Mage. The game ends with only my RBT left on the table facing a DE army at slightly under half strength.

Final thoughts; did my list work?
Damn I lost, but it was fun - a big nasty melee which went for 6 rounds is what you like to see in Warhammer. That damn ASF banner was freaking horrible, and I might have changed what I did if I hadn't mistaken the Black Guard for Spears. Dragon Mage worked surprisingly well know that I wasn't charging him in. Swordmasters could be cut down to 7 giving me points for other units, and I would really like to field 3 not 2 units of Spears. Just need to work on some unit fillers.

September 1, 2009

Including a High Elf Dragon Mage @ 2,250pts

This has always been a tricky proposition for me. I have a Dragon Mage model which I really like, and which I put a lot of time into painting. I also believe the unit can work really well when used properly, the difficulty though is balancing out his points cost when using him in a standard 2,250pt list as for tournaments.

[some images of my Dragon Mage]

As part of my repainting efforts I am also working toward the use of more Spear Elves in my High Elf army as well as the Dragon Mage, and after months of trying getting a reasonable list together is proving difficult. Do you take what you like in terms of models? Or do you take what works and is effective? You can't take everything and with High Elves this is especially difficult giving the huge range of solid special choices available.

However, I have decided that for my first tournament of 2010 I will be using High Elves, and the Dragon Mage will be getting a run about. So after many drafts here is the beginnings of my WIP High Tournament list:

High Elves @ 2,250pts

Archmage Level 4
w. Folraiths Robe, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll or Staff of Solidity

Folraiths means he is immune to all non-magical attacks which means he can run around on his own and survive reasonably well. I tend to include him with my Phoenix Guard though as they offer the best protection for him. The key issue here is, given I like a magic focused HE army do I take the Staff of Solidity protecting my Archmage from the miscast or the Dispel Scroll which my Dragon Mage can't carry.

Dragon Mage Level 2
w. Silver Wand, Lore masters Cloak

Silver Wand is mandatory, although some players argue for the Seerstaff which allows you to choose spells rather than get one extra. Loremasters Cloak gives him and Dragon a 2+ WS vs. all forms of magic. Only issue is the units frailty against shooting but that can be minimized by careful deployment.

Noble BSB
w. Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Guardian Phoenix, Sword of Might, Gem of Courage

My mounted BSB looks better than my BSB on foot, that and taking him on a Barded Steed gives him a 2+ AS without having to resort to the Armor of Caledor leaving 50pts free for additional items. Guardian Phoenix, often used on Dragon Mages, gives him a 5+ WS and Gem of Courage allows him and accompanying unit to take a single break test of 3D6 discarding lowest.

First Spear Elves x20
w. FC, Lion Standard

Spear Elves are seriously underrated by too many High Elf players. Yes against infantry like Chaos Warriors they will get chewed up. But S3 attacks are sufficient against most standard infantry types and with the ability to hit in 3 ranks and ASF the odds go in your favor most of the time. Lion Standard makes the unit IFT.

Spear Elves x20 (BSB unit)
w. FC

Not a usual option taking two units of Spears, but as I said they are underrated and being a Dwarf player I value having more infantry on the table. White Lions would be another option with S6 and Stubborn, but they are roughly double the pts cost.

Phoenix Guard x18
w. FC, War Banner

War Banner is mandatory for these guys as they win on CR not by killing people. I really rate these guys and it is strange but I haven't seen a single other High Elf player at any of the tournaments I have been to using them. I mean they Cause Fear and have a 4+ WS which more than makes up for the puny S4 attacks.

Swordmasters x10
w. Bladelord

Swordmasters are great if you can protect them. I tend to run them behind my larger infantry units.

Dragon Princes x5
w. Musician

Only one unit this time and no standard or magical standards. One unit is enough in my opinion to give you some flexibility and makes up for my lack of Eagle models.

Repeater Bolt-Throwers x2

Two is pretty much the minimum number you see in most HE armies, or at least it seems to be internationally. Again the NZ players I have seen tend to diverge quite a bit from the norm, although they definitely love their dragons as they all had one at Call to Arms 09.

TOTAL COST - 2,241 pts

There were other options I considered and worked on including, but the inclusion of the Dragon Mage and the basic 250pt sink (a basic Lvl 2 Mage scroll caddie costs 150 - 180pts vs. DM 374 - 450) that it represents means that I had to leave them out

Shadow Warriors
Really like these guys. Yes they cost more than 10 standard archers but their BS is higher, they are scouts and skirmishers so are harder to hit and they get hatred in the 1st round of combat. Have enough to field 2 units of 5 or one unit of 10, which I tend contemplate for a while.

White Lions
Haven't assembled and painted them yet but have enough for a unit of 15. Personally I would only take them if I was going with a non-magic army, i.e., Prince, BSB, Level 2, Level 2 and would use them in place of the Phoenix Guard.

Chariots
Have one of each type which I could use but what do you leave out? And of the two options only the Lion Chariot is OK as a 1 model choice. The Tiranoic Chariot you really need to field 2-3 of to make them effective.

Archers
Standard choice is to field 10 without armour or any command to fill up the mandatory core choice. But I wanted something different here, and as I intend to get into combat asap having an extra 10 S3 shots in shooting phase didn't seem worth it.