May 29, 2013

Loremaster Ho!!! Army list for 2nd game with new High Elves

Up against Jeff Kents Lizards tomorrow (I think - or it could be his Full Monty Dark Elves) with my new High Elves.  Once again i find myself struggling to include all the new toys.  My Flamespyre arrived yesterday and has already been assembled minus the stand which I intend replacing with a metal rod for extra strength, and I'll be giving that a run.  Also finished painting my Loremaster conversion last night so I'll bring him out as well.

Still as with all High Elf lists in 8th Edition you run into the inevitable core tax problem - although has been reduced somewhat by the ability to take Silver Helms and Reavers - but still can't take all the toys, but then most armies can't.

Anyway for tomorrow nights game I intend on fielding the following:

Loremaster - 320pts
w. Shield of Merwyn, Dragonbane Gem, Book of Hoeth, Sword of Might

Taking this guy instead of a Level 4 giving him the Book is kind of cheesy but will be fun.

Mage - 170pts
w. Level 2, High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury

Noble - 149pts
w. Battle Standard, Armour of Caledor, Great Weapon

These two appear to be my bog standard options as they are in every list.  The only thing that seems to change is the Lord choice i.e. Loremaster or Level 4.

16 x Archers - 180pts
w. Musicia, Standard Bearer

16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician

5 x Silver Helms - 125pts
w. Musician, Shields

5 x Silver Helms - 125pts
w. Musician, Shields

Taking Silver Helms instead of 3 lots of Archers & 2 Reavers because (a) I've finished painting my Dragon Princes and I wanted to use them and (b) I can't fit standard Dragon Princes into the list so proxying them as Silver Helms is the next best thing. 

24 x Phoenix Guard - 400pts
w. Full Command, Razor Standard

Finally getting these guys out again because (a) they were my favourite HE unit in 7th and I wanted to, (b) Martial Prowess makes them just that little bit better and (c) they are better than Swordmasters atm.  Under 8th rules the core tax basically meant HE armies lost one Special choice as the points had to be in core.  For me this meant dropping one of PG, WL or SM and I usually opted to drop PG and concentrate on having GW with re-rolls.  Times have changed though.

27 x White Lions - 431pts
w. Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon

Still very vulnerable to mundane shooting with only a 5+ AS and the same in combat and without re-rolls they are not quite as effective.  But ASF from 3 ranks of GW is pretty damn good. And at I5 not many things go before them. 

Eagle - 50pts

Eagle - 50pts

Would prefer Reavers as I quite value the Vanguard ability plus with a bigger frontage Reavers can roadblock more of the enemy, but still Eagles are solid - well except for the one model that lost its wings a couple of weeks ago.

Flamespyre Phoenix - 225pts

Not sure on this guy yet - as a Dwarf player he's just a big Cannon target that will get blow away in Turn 1 but with a Loremaster and a couple of good Signature spells plus the 'Attuned to Magic' special rule he might survive a bit longer than you think.  Will definately come in handy against big blocks of Skaven and Night Goblins - but again only if he doesn't get shot out of the sky in Turn 1.  Got the model because its cool and I want to paint it but whether I use it or not is still debatable.

TOTAL 2,395

Only 9 drops so I am going to get out deployed but good mix of fast movers and big blocks.  Probably not enough shooting but having access to the Ring of Fury and the signature Lore of Fire spell helps here.

May 26, 2013

DIY High Elf Loremaster of Hoeth

Taking a leaf out of Joel's, from The Brush of Doom, book I decided to kit bash my own Loremaster of Hoeth.  Unfortunately I made the strange decision to throw away my massive collection of bits last year and consequently didn't have much to work with.

But that being said I found more than enough to put together what is IMHO a pretty good looking Loremaster albiet without the Octopus and Love Heart accessories found on the GW model. 

Yes I know the guy is supposed to have a GW and no shield, but running him with a Magic Sword and the Sheild of Merwyn is something I have considered and I like the look (oh and it covers up the mess I made after cutting off the Lion Cloak).  The Book is a reasonable stand in for the Octopus and if you really want to be cheesy their is no reason you couldn't give the Loremaster the Book of Hoeth - would make 1 dicing spells a lot easier.

The head is OK but Ill see how well I can chop the head of one my spare metal Swordmasters as that might make a better looking model.

May 24, 2013

Thoughts on 1st game with new High Elves

Well that didnt go at all well.  Up against Calebs Warriors of Chaos last night lead by a Daemon Prince and with 2 blocks of Knights and 2 of Juggernauts I got tabled so not very pretty.  In terms of the new book it wasn't a good start but did give me an insight into a couple of things and reinforce some others.  So how did the army perform?

The new 'High Magic'
To be honest I still struggle using magic properly and its not something I have every really used to best effect, probably the Dwarf in me rebelling against it.  The new lore is OK, Drain Magic helped remove regneneration on the Juggernauts a couple of times and the 2D6 S4 spell is not bad either.  Unfortunately after my L4 miscast in Turn 1 and lost 3 levels to a power drain I didn't really have anything left to play with.

The Good
- The lore attribute granting the increased WS
- Drain Magic

The Bad
- Lack of long range spells, they're all 18-24"
- No uber spells above S4, so while the lore is solid it lacks a Pit of Shades, Purple Sun, Final Transmute equivalent.
- Once you get into combat the majority of the lore becomes redundant

- Stick it on a Level 2 with a Scroll and Ring of Fury and use him to cast Drain Magic and buff WS.
- Its not the best lore for an Archmage with the Book.

The Book of Hoeth
Worked pretty well except in Turn 1 when I re-rolled one dice and miscast...

The Good
- Re-rolling 1 dice per cast and dispel attempt works wonders

The Bad
- None really

Don't use its ability if you already have a '6' sitting on the tabletop or you can kiss your caster goodbye.
- If a caster doesn't have it then that caster shouldn't try and 1 dice low level spells.

Banner of the World Dragon
Stuck it on the Dragon Prince bus because well it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Good
- Essentially nerfed 1/2 of Calebs army making the DP all but immune to their attacks.

The Bad
- Wasted on the Dragon Princes as honestly once they get into combat they're useless.

- Better placed on a unit that hits harder e.g. White Lions or Swordmasters not S3 Dragon Princes

Special Rules - Martial Prowess etc

The Good
- Getting that extra rank of attacks is golden especially for White Lions.
- The +1 to cast helps but personally Id prefer the +1 to Dispel
- Dragon Armour 6+ WS is great when combined with the High Magic Lore attribute

The Bad
- No RE-ROLLS!!!!!!!!

- Martial prowess basically means having to adjust your unit sizes, smaller blocks of WL, SM etc and changes the frontage you would put on most units i.e I fielded the Dragon Princes 4x3

Sisters of Avelorn
Had to proxy Spears for them (AH HA got some on the table) but they're pretty damn good. They survived combat against and killed off a unit of Chaos Knights over 2 turns so in combat are OK - mind you Caleb kept rolling 1's for his AS.

The Good
- BS5 with magical flaming S4 bows that are AP vs. Forces of Destruction, thats all you need to know

The Bad
- Units cannot take Musicians and are only L8

- If you have something that is BS5 dont deploy it so they have a forest stuck right in front of them that gives your opponents soft-cover.
- Small units of 10 would work better, maybe with a character? 

Dragon Princes
The Good
- Are now M9
- Can attack with one extra rank
- 6+ WS

The Bad
Still suck balls in combat

- There is a reason I played an infantry based HE army because DP bite.  They're basically fast moving Spearmen with a 2+ AS.  Now that sounds great but for less than the cost of 1 x DP I can get 3 x Spears providing 1 extra attack and saving me some points.  But then again, like magic, I struggle to use cavalry properly.
- If you going to stick the uber-Dragon banner on them and make them a bus then they will only work if you put a HIGH STRENGTH character in with them because that character is the only thing that is going to kill anything after the first round of combat.
- Next time I'll give them the Banner of Swiftness (making them M10) and treat them like heavily armoured Eagles.

White Lions
The Good
- Attack in an extra rank
- I found out I'd been using the Standard of Discipline wrong all this time

The Bad
- Still T3 Elves with basically no AS

- Block of 30 is good but only with the Dragon Banner and a hard hitting character.
- Without the Dragon Banner Id field units of 10 and deploy them 3 wide to annoy the crap out of people.

Core Units - Archers/Reavers/Spears
The Good
- Reavers are still great
- Surprised how effective shooting can be.

The Bad
- Archers are still only S3 T3 and die very very easily
- I only have 10 Reaver models
- I need more Archer models

- Bring back the Spear horde
- Reavers are the way to go

Final Thoughts
Ok one game isn't enough to give me that great an indication of how the new book works the game was more useful for highlighting the defecencies in my generalship and for reinforcing my infantry based style.  But there are a lot of positives in this book and overall its nicely balanced.  I was up against a very tough WoC list and had I rolled higher on one particular pursuit roll the game would/could have gone very differently.

May 23, 2013

WIP High Elf Dragon Princes

Been painting these guys full-time last couple of nights hoping to get them done or close enough to it before I use the new High Elf army book for the first time.  Decided to abandon my plans for the green/blue scheme and stick to existing purple one but with one change.  By accident I found that the blue looks quite good IMO with the purple so have started adding that to all of the figures.

Painting has had to stop though as I have run out of White Paint (and neither of the two local hobby shops have any Citadel white left) so I can't do any highlighting or complete the final few layers.  Paint job isn't fantastic - my Dwarfs are still my best painted army - but its not bad. 


Thinking of giving the banner a decent hand-painted design that would be suitable as a Banner of the World Dragon so plan on sitting down with pen and pencil to sketch it out.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo, the tops of several of the lances are missing courtesy of the rather flimsy and delicate nature of the new models.  I have some old Silver Helm lances lying around so will get around to adding the tips later as a fix.

May 21, 2013

First game with High Elves this week so heres my list

Facing Calebs Warriors of Chaos (or maybe his Lizards) on Thursday and taking the new High Elves for the first time.  I've written a score or more lists since getting my new army book but have finely settled on one to take at the club this week, will require some proxying but... so here it is.  Battle Report up on Friday.

Archmage - 285pts
w. Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown

Re-roll one dice each time I cast or dispel and getting +5 to cast (+4 for L4 and +1 for being a High Elf) add this to the Book of Hoeth and I can one dice some spells.  Oh and 2+WS vs. first wound

Mage - 185pts
w. Level 2, High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury, Barded Steed

Power Level 3 bound spell casting 2D6 S4 and 5+AS from the horse.  Going with DP Bus

Noble - 165pts
w. Battle Standard, Dragon Armour, Charmed Shield, Sword of Might, Dawnstone, Barded Steed

Slightly different combo.  Has 2+ AS with re-rolls, 2+ WS vs. Flaming, 2+ WS vs. first wound.hit; 3 attacks @ S5

16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician 

16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician
16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician

5 x Reavers - 105pts
w. Musician, Bows & Spears

5 x Reavers - 105pts
w. Musician, Bows & Spears

10 x Dragon Princes - 400pts
w. Full command, Banner of World Dragon, Star Lance on Champion

With the Mage and BSB there will be 12 models in this unit, unless I run the L2 around by himself.  Thinking of ranking them up 4 wide with the Mage in the 2nd rank.  This will protect him from combat while still allowing every DP to attack

30 x White Lions - 435pts
w. Full command, Standard of Discipline

Big target without the uber Dragon banner but still a big FOff block and with the Archmage in there you can give them a WS from the High Magic lore attribute.

15 x Sisters of Avelorn  - 210pts

OK don't have the models but I am going to get them.  15 S4 magical flaming attacks that are AP vs. the forces of Darkness armies. No musician though so vulnerable if they run.  Also considered a unit of 10 Shadow Warriors but at similar points these girls are just that much better.

TOTAL 2,400

So no Griffon, Loremaster or Flamespyre at least not yet and for me the big change is no Spears it was hard but I just couldn't include them but I'm going to have to work out some kind of cheese theme list so I can field them somehow (I have 80-100 of the models so don't feel like wasting them).

High Elves podcast & more Horus Heresy novels

I've never paid that much attention to WHFB podcasts although I have listened to the odd episode from various sources e.g. Podhammer, Helenhammer. This one though is well worth a listen for High Elf players (if you can tolerate listening to a bunch of drunken Australians) and it gave me a lot of ideas for list building - too many unfortunately as I have now had to change the list I was going to use this Thursday

Link to the podcast 

Couple of new arrivals in the mail box this morning as well from the Black Library (courtesy of some incredibly slow delivery times by - whom I won't be using again).

Been looking forward to reading these for sometime now so very happy to get them (finally).  The cover art on Betrayer is just amazing...I mean check this out Ultramarines getting slaughtered just brilliant

Looking forward even more though to getting my Flamespyre Phoenix in the mail sometime in the next couple of days - despite searching various sources I've had to order it from GW as a cheaper alternative couldn't be found.

May 19, 2013

High Elf Magic combos

One of the things I'm struggling with in terms of the new book is how to make best use of the Loremaster & the other magic options.  When I heard the LM was a L2 mage my assumption was that he would be a Hero choice, not realistic I know but there you go.  As a Lord his base cost is 230pts which makes him an expensive L2 despite his access to all 8 Signature Spells, it also makes my usual practice of leading a High Elf army with a L4 Archmage a questionable proposition.  Then there's the need for a Dispel Scroll caddy, typically a L2, and of course my desire to take a Dragon Mage for the hell of it. So what to do - assuming all lists are aimed at 2400pts?

The 'Keep it the same but add the new bits' list
Archmage - 285pts
w. Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown
Mage - 170pts
w. Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury

The 'Lets use the guy holding the Octopus' list
Archmage - 285pts
w. Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown

Loremaster - 305pts
w. Dispel Scroll, Armour of Caledor

The 'Who needs 4 levels list'
Loremaster - 315pts
w. Dispell Scroll, Armour of Caledor, Golden Crown
Mage - 150pts
w. Level 2, High Magic, Ring of Fury, Dragon Bane Gem

The 'Lets max it out list'
The Everqueen - 350pts
w. High Magic, Lore of Life
Archmage - 250pts
w. Level 4, High Magic, Earthing Rod
Mage - 145pts
w. Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury, Lore of Life

After working through lots of lists the L4 Archmage with Book and Crown seems to be the optimum build for getting the most points efficient character, others might disagree.  Taking the Loremaster though means having to trade off between:
  • Using a Lord choice as your scroll caddy.
  • Effectively doubling the amount of points I would normally spend on casters by using him with a L4.
  • Losing two magic levels by running the Loremaster solo with 1 or 2 L2's.  
  • Spending points on casters that could be spent on combat units.
Its a dilemma as I would prefer to take the Level 4/LM combo but if you do thats 230-300pts that you lose from your other choices effectively a single combat unit and when HE only really get 2-3 combat units outside of core at 2400pts thats a big call.

So maybe you just go Loremaster solo with a Scroll and thats it or the Archmage/Everqueen solo without a scroll caddy - and do you really need a caddy when you have the Banner of the World Dragon?

May 16, 2013

More High Elf lists - planning for next WHFB tournie

Another night where rather than get some work done I decide to make another collection of lists from the new High Elf book, which by the way gets better everytime you read it.  This time I'm working toward a goal "Horned Gobbo VI" on 22nd/23rd June down in Wellington another of Pete Dunn's 2400pt extravaganzas.

Now the list I end up taking depends on three things:
  1. Getting the all important spousal approval to attend the event :) 
  2. Getting and painting my Everqueen model in time
  3. Getting and paiting my Flamespyre Phoenix in time.
Assuming I get (1) then the others are entirely budget and postage dependent but I have worked out a couple of lists using only those models I currently own.  The two options I am going with are:

The everything gets here on time "Everqueen" List
Everqueen - 350pts
w. High Magic, Lore of Life
Level 2 - 170pts
w. Ring of Fury, Dispel Scroll, High Magic
Noble/BSB - 149pts
w. GW, Armor of Caledor
40 x Spears - 400pts
w. Full command, Banner of Eternal Flame
16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician
16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician 
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
27 x White Lions - 431pts
w. Full command, Banner of the World Dragon
10 x Swordmasters - 140pts
w. Musician
Eagle - 50pts
Eagle - 50pts
Flamespyre - 225pts

Total 2,400pts

I had to reduce the size of the White Lions here to fit under the comp. rules 450pt max unit size cap unfortunately.  Very core heavy list as you can see and it relies heavily on my ability to deploy effectively, get the White Lions into favourable combats and ensure my magic phase works to my advantage.  Everqueen + High magic + Lore of Life give you a lot of awesome buffs e.g. she grants 5+WS to her unit, High Magic buffs that by +1 up to a max of 3+ etc.  Not sure about the small unit of Swordmasters but we'll see.

The going with what I have oh thats pretty list
Archmage - 285pts
w. Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown  
Mage - 170pts
w. Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury, Level 2, Beasts
Noble - 270pts
w. Griffon, Swiftsense, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Reaver Bow, Lion Cloak, Halberd
Noble/BSB - 145pts
w. Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Sword of Might, Charmed Shield, Ironcurse Icon
35 x Spears - 350pts
w. Full command, Gleaming Pennant
16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
28 x White Lions - 404pts
w. Full command, Banner of Eternal Flame
8 x Dragon Princes - 312pts
w. Full command, Banner of the World Dragon
Eagle - 50pts
Eagle - 50pts

TOTAL  2,396pts

No Flamespyre and no Everqueen and I'm going for slightly more mobility here with the Dragon Prince bus, that I'd run 3x3, and the Griffon.  Noble on Griffon has a 2+ AS or 0+/1+ vs. shooting and the Reaver bow is a nice little addition.   BSB has 2+ AS, 6+ WS (2+ WS vs. flaming) and 2+ vs. first wound.  While Dragon Princes are only S3 in turns after they charge the Signature spell from Lore of Beasts should help that.  High Magic on the Archmage also gives buffs and helps out units.  

In the typical comp. system High Elves can take units of upto 550pts in size vs. the 450pt max set for everyone else to reflect their elite status.  This changed as a result of the new book which is fair given that it will take time to figure out what it does.  But it does mean that I can't field the block of 50 x Spears that I wanted to.         

In terms of the 600pt core requirement for 2400pt lists I am still figuring out a combo that works for me.  The one in the 2nd list seems pretty good but still comes in at 705pts or 105 more than necessary. Also considered 3 blocks of Archers @ 170pts & one lot of Reavers which totals 605 but I really like Spears and plan to take them in every army.

In non-gaming news our house is on the market and fingers crossed it sells quickly and we can get into the new house we put an offer on last week... while having more space for the kids is fantastic the new place also has..... a big space for a gaming room and small painting/study room so I can finally (hopefully) get a table permanently set up and start collecting some terrain. 

May 15, 2013

Alith Anar the Shadow King & WIP new HE colour scheme

I've had this model in my collection right from the word go one of the first I acquired when I started wargaming back in 2008 but until last night I had never tried painting him.  But the new HE book gave me the inspiration I needed and Ill probably try using him in the odd list as well.  Also worked on a Reaver and Dragon Prince model testing out how the new colour scheme would look on them.

For the test models I concentrated only on figuring out where to put the green and blue areas and getting the right shade on each.  So far it hasn't worked out that well and looks horribly rough.

Starting to think I might just leave everyone purple as honestly repainting everything is going to be a bit of a pain and I'm struggling to get the new scheme to work properly.  It looks great on Dwarfs but not so much on the High Elves.  I'll finish off the two test models to see what they look like and the IOB Swordmasters but I thats about it - as far as the rest of my collection goes Ill concentrate on fixing the basing by redoing all of the snow and tidying up some of the painting on a few models.

Alith Anar with a future Everqueen - well my Princess really

May 12, 2013

High Elf Army Lists - the joys of a new book

As would be expected I've spent a lot of time since Wednesday coming up with new High Elf army lists from the new book all with the intent of re-creating my 2400pt Tournament list to make best use of the new toys.  The new book creates a huge number of dilemmas though.  The new characters and units are fantastic and the changes to the core necessitate some serious re-thinking about the role of the that traditional High Elf unit the Spears.  Online discussion is already leaning heavily toward the end of Spears as a staple of High Elf armies with the majority of lists making use of Reavers and Silver Helm buses as core.

I have a couple of issues with this (1) its too early to say that Spears are redundant and I don't for a second believe they are, (2) I have a lot of Spears, (3) I don't have any Silver Helms, having junked my models ages ago, (4) Not planning on buying any Silver Helms, as I dont like the models and (5) I really like Spears.  But I've come up with a  lot of lists and in nearly everyone Spears hardly mention :(  and its been a lot harder than I thought.  

So I kept things simple and took my last High Elf tournament list and modified it to fit the new book, adjusting for points changes and removing/replacing magic items.  In building this and the other lists I have three goals in mind:
  • Making optimum use of the units/models I currently own.
  • Sticking close to my play style.
  • and most importantly of all Fielding a list/models that I'll enjoy using.
The last goal does mean that I frequently field armies that are not optimal or close to the prevailing meta - but honestly who cares. 

How my last HE Tournament List changes with the new book
Old Book New Book
Archmage - L4, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Crown of Command 360 Archmage - L4, Golden Crown, Book of Hoeth 285
Noble - BSB, Armour of Caledor, GW, Guardian Phoenix 168 Noble - BSB, Armour of Caledor, GW 149
Mage - L2, Annulian Crystal 175 Mage - L2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury 170
39 x Spears - Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame 386 35 x Spears - Full command, Banner of Eternal Flame 355
14 x Archers - Musician 159 16 x Archers - Musician 170
13 x Archers - Musician 148 16 x Archers - Musician 170
28 x White Lions - Full command, Standard of Discipline 470 28 x White Lions - Full command, Banner of the World Dragon 444
14 x Swordmasters - Musician 216 12 x Swordmasters - Musician 166
14 x Swordmasters - Musician 216 12 x Swordmasters - Musician 166
Eagle 50 Eagle 50
Eagle 50 Eagle 50
Flamespyre Phoenix  225
2398 2400

The new book makes an immediate impact on my old tournament list allowing me to add the Flamespyre Phoenix (the first new unit Ill buy) and 5 of the new/modified magical items:
  • Book of Hoeth - ok its not quite as nasty as it used to be, but re-rolling 1 dice is pretty good pity you can't do it to 6's to avoid miscasting.
  • Ring of Fury - 2d6 S4 is pretty good and much better than the Ruby Ring as a bound item.
  • Golden Crown - cheaper version of the Opal Amulet with a better save 2+ vs. 4+
  • Armour of Caledor - same as before but with the 6+ WS giving your GW noble an effective PS
  • Banner of the World Dragon - just awesome
But this list isn't exactly scary for a lot of people and it doesn't include all the toys I could take or make best use of the changes to the core composition.  So I also came up with these.

The pretty lady list
Everqueen - 350pts
Mage - 155pts
w. L2, Scroll, Golden Crown
Noble - 149 pts
w. BSB, Armour of Caledor, GW
Noble - 290pts
w. Griffon, Swiftsense, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Luck Stone, Sword of Might, Ring of Khaine 
16 x Archers - 170pts
w. Musician
14 x Archers - 150pts
w. Musician
14 x Archers - 150pts
w. Musician
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
28 x White Lions - 444pts
w. Full command, Banner of the World Dragon
Flamespyre Phoenix - 225pts
Eagle - 60pts
w. Swiftsense
Eagle - 60pts
w. Swiftsense

TOTAL 2,393

Only one combat block but lots of chaff and fast movers to annoy people and the Griffon will be fun.  Magic is also pretty strong and with the Everqueen & BSB in the White Lions with the Dragon Banner that unit isnt going anywhere in a hurry with 2+WS vs. magical and (base) 5+WS vs. non-magical.

Look at the pretty birdy list
Noble - 271pts
w. Griffon, Swiftsense, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Reaver Bow, Halberd, Luckstone
Noble - 317pts
w. Griffon, Swiftsense, Sword of Might, Shield, Golden Crown, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone
Dragon Mage - 385pts
w. Level 2, Dragon Armour, Gem of Sunfire, Ironcurse Icon
Mage - 170pts
w. Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury
15 x Archers - 160pts
w. Musician
15 x Archers - 160pts
w. Musician
15 x Archers - 160pts
w. Musician
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
Sky-cutter - 120pts
w. Bolt-Thrower
Sky-cutter - 120pts
w. Bolt-Thrower
Eagle - 60pts
w. Swiftsense
Eagle - 60pts
w. Swiftsense
Flamespyre Phoenix - 225pts

TOTAL 2,398

I have to admit this is a hits and giggles list and would be something for a fun night at my club as I don't see myself buying the new Skycutters - but another IOB Griffon would be cool as the models are awesome.  Absolutely no melee combat power here at all with the exception of the Griffons and the Dragon - so would require me to play a lot better than I usually do.

Dragon Princes Hooo
Everqueen - 350pts
Mage - 170pts
w. Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury
Noble - 144pts
w. Dragon Armour, Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might, Dawnstone
Noble - 149pts
w. BSB, Armour of Caledor, GW
15 x Archers - 160pts
w. Musician
15 x Archers - 160pts
w. Musician
10 x Archers - 110pts
w. Musician
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
5 x Reavers - 95pts
w. Musician, Bows instead of Spears
20 x Swordmasters - 300pts
w. Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame
9 x Dragon Princes - 341pts
w. Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon
Eagle - 50pts
Eagle - 50pts
Flamespyre Phoenix - 225pts

TOTAL   2,399

Could take White Lions instead of Swordmasters giving the Everqueen and BSB a stubborn unit to hide in.  Only have one mounted HE Noble at the moment so restricted there, although the old metal DP Champion is a good stand in for one - but model wise its BSB on foot only.

Still more options than these but after working on these and a host of other lists I have realised that whatever I do I will be fielding the following to some degree:
  • Flamespyre Phoenix - simply too good not to include it.
  • White Lion block - at 444pts for 28 + the Dragon banner its a solid unit
  • An extra character - new armour options/changes make Nobles more survivable and I want to field the Griffon.
  • Adding Reavers in somewhere 
For events that allow Special characters the Everqueen will also be getting an outing as she is just fantastic (and I can use my AoW female mage to proxy for her until the real model arrives).  She also makes Spears more survivable as if you stick her with a unit of them they gain a 5+WS and everytime she successfully casts High Magic it goes up by +1 to a max of 3+.  Yes they're Spears but buffed and with a WS they are a lot better than anything else of a similar stat line.

May 10, 2013

Thanks GW, new High Elf colour scheme & need help with 30k Word Bearers

First up big props to GW Australia for some excellent customer service. A new High Elf army book is already on its way out to me to replace the damaged one I recieved the other day, and I get to keep the damaged one which saves me the cost of returning it. Thanks GW thats awesome.

First run with the new High Elves will hopefully be in a fortnights time, and then again (if I can get a leave pass) at my next WHFB tournament Horned Rat VI. As stated Im using the new book as an incentive for stripping, repainting and rebasing my entire High Elf collection. The new paint scheme will mirror that of my Dwarfs - Ultramarine Blue, Goblin Green & Scab Red. Luckily I have A LOT of unpainted High Elves to practice on starting with 10 IOB Swordmasters.
The new scheme a WIP and still pretty messy
Current look is provided for comparison purposes and for showing the major differences between the IOB Swordmasters and the metal ones.  While I prefer the old metal White Lions and Phoenix Guard the IOB Swordmasters, Griffon & Reavers are fantastic - Seaguard not so much.
The old scheme soon to be replaced

Still have a fair bit to do on them but I'm liking the look so far - keeping it darker than with my Dwarfs.  Worked out a simple way of painting the gold areas - Vomit Brown, Dwarf Bronze and then Devlan Mud Wash (sorry still using the old names).  Basing wise Ill be stocking up on Flower tufts like those below - but in brighter colours - and no more snow.

I'm also facing a bit of a problem with my Horus Heresy 30k Word Bearers.  I managed to get my Forgeworld MkIII/MkIV Astartes looking pretty good with a nice dull look to them.  But I forgot to write down the process I used and have been struggling to replicate it.  You can see what I mean in the pictures below of a MkIII Astartes painted in January and the Chaos Terminator Lord I finished last night.

Basically the red areas on the Terminator Lord and a few GW MkVII armoured Astartes I've also started is too bright and doesnt have the same dusty/dull look.  Both models have had Moana Vale dullcoat/sealant applied to them but there is something I'm missing.

Any thoughts, ideas and comments are most welcome.

Stumpy's review of the new High Elves or Don't belive the Interweb

First up GW Australia got back to me extremely quickly and have already dispatched a replacement army book for me which is just awesome. Damage to the book aside I have to say its pretty damn good. 

Now I know there are bundles of reviews of the book out there but another can't hurt.  The key thing the new book has to say is "Don't believe everything you read on the interweb thingy"

One of the key rule changes that people kept mentioning was the loss of Swordmasters ASF and re-rolls in return for the ability to deflect non-magical missiles.  Now this bothered me as honestly I like the re-rolls so the first rule I checked was this one and.... the interweb was wrong... all High Elves retain ASF including those with Great Weapons meaning they still get to re-roll misses in combat (unless of course I missed something in the FAQ's) - Thanks to Tane for clearing this up, quick check on Ulthuan gave me more info - yes unfortunately GW weilding HE have lost their re-rolls but given we're all I5 or I6 they should strike first regardless.  Other than that what are the changes that stick out for me...

Archmages, Mages & Nobles are all significantly cheaper.  While a 15pt reduction on the Noble may not seem a lot its significant as thats 15pts that can now go into your Special choices, add in the 40pts I now save on the L4 Archmage I usually take and thats a 3rd Eagle in my typical 2400pt list.

Special infantry units have also had their points reduced by 2 e.g. Swordmasters are now 14pts each.  Again a subtle change but a big one.  My typical White Lion block had 28 bodies in it - drop 2 pts from each and I can put them up to 30 at approximately the same points cost. Chariots and various mounts (not Dragons) are also cheaper - Tiranoc Chariots in particular.

All in all the points changes are welcome but there are a couple of things that sneak in.  First Champions in Special unit can no longer take "25pts of magical items".  Now it is restricted to "25pts on magical weapons" or for Drakemasters "25pts on magical weapons or armour".  That is a big change as that 25pts was extremely useful for giving units items like: Amulet of Light (all attacks magical), Gem of Courage (basically roll l/ship like a lizard) and of course the Ruby Ring.  If you want these items (those that still exist anyway) they now have to go on characters.

The points reduction in Archers & Seaguard also means you have to take slightly more bodies as part of your core choices - if, and only if, you continue to field traditional core. With Reavers and Silver Helms in core you have huge options available to you but...  Silver Helms still come without a shield as standard and still cost 21pts which is too high IMO for something thats only S3/T3 regardless of its mobility & AS.

The Dragon Mage can take armour, becomes stubborn if within 12" of the Banner of the World Dragon (which is better than I realised) and still gets 50pts of magical items.  This guy will definately be in my first new HE list as I really like the model and the idea behind them - not a "meta" unit but who cares.

Nobles can ride Griffons - and Griffons (Eagles too) can get bonus like ASF and AP which is just awesome, particularly as it makes those nice IOB models useable now.  I tricked one out last night as a Griffon BSB and he came in at a shade under 400pts which is expensive but not bad.  If I get another model I could maybe take two of them?

The Loremaster is cool has all the Signature Spells from the core lores but is only L2 and at 230pts will mean making sacrifices somewhere else.  But.... in 2400pts you have 600pts on Lord choices so I see him fitting in nicely with...

The Everqueen @ 350pts the rules for her are just great really like the idea, the fluff, the rules and the model and she will be getting a regular run with my lists particularly if local tournaments continue to allow Special Characters.  The key rule for me with her is the 5+ WS she grants herself and any units she's with.  Couple that with High Magics new attribute that adds +1 to any WS and your looking good.

The other characters are nice as always but aside from Alith Anar - who has some nice changes and Cadaryan who I have also liked I am still unsure of the other options except to say that I still don't like Teclis.

Finally there is... HIGH MAGIC
This was a seriously undervalued/underrated lore in the old book and it has gotten a major boost here and it will be my default lore for High Elves now.  Some solid changes there with good/fair casting values.

Other things...
- Not quite sure about units of Tiranoc Chariots & Eagles (need for Warmaster ones)
- Would like them to start releasing the IOB Swordmasters as standard kits
- The Flamespyre is pretty cool
- Still not sold on RBT's in 8th Edition even with the points reduction
- Don't see myself running a Silver Helm bus anytime soon, but 2 units of Reavers as standard core definately.

Currently have 10 IOB Swordmasters and my AoW Female Mage in the process of being repainted in what will be my new High Elf army colour scheme (in honour of the new book) can see myself spending endless hours working on new lists.

Horned Rat is not that far off either...

May 9, 2013

New High Elf book arrives damaged - seriously pissed off!!

Got to work this morning and found a package from GW waiting for me containing the new High Elf book army book and the High Elf High Magic cards.  Started flicking through the book from the back and it was looking great until I came to pages 17-32 all which had a one corner ripped out and missing!!!

Not the start to the day that I wanted.... emailed GW Australia about it and will call their customer service number this avo.... GRRRR

May 8, 2013

No High Elf book so its back to Ogre Kingdoms

Was hoping to get a run at the new High Elves at my local club this week but that is not going to happen now. Even if the new book turns up at work tomorrow I won't have anytime to digest its contents.  In that case it will be at least a fortnight until I can give the new High Elves a run as I'm playing Flames of War next week.  So tomorrow night Ill be giving my Ogres another run against Brendans forces.  He's has been  playing Beastmen hardcore lately, even taking them to his first tournaments, but did express at Runefang VI that he might go back to his Bretonnians (he also has a nicely themed Orc army).
The Ogre Kingdoms list I plan on taking tomorrow is actually the one I was going to take to Runefang VI but put aside in favour of my Dwarfs.  It might still get a run at Horned Rat rather than the High Elves but we'll wait and see.

Ogres @ 2400pts

Slaughtermaster - 385pts
w. Level 4, Lore of Death, Fencers Blades, Glittering Scales, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem

Butcher - 185pts
w. Level 2, Lore of Great Maw, Hellheart

Bruiser - 164pts
w. Battle Standard, Sword of Might, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Lookout Gnoblar, Ironcurse Icon

9 x Ironguts - 432pts (yes this is going to be an Irongut/Character bus)
w. Full command, Banner of Eternal Flame, Lookout Gnoblar

8 x Ogre Bulls - 286pts
w. Full command, Ironfists

8 x Ogre Bulls - 286pts
w. Full command, Ironfists

4 x Leadbelchers - 182pts
w. Bellower
4 x Mournfang Cavalry - 310pts
w. Full command, Heavy Armour, Ironfists

Ironblaster - 170pts

TOTAL 2,400pts w. 6 drops.
 This is basically my Ogre army all done and dusted just missing a few more models that Ill try and squeeze into the budget (A Stonethorn, 2 more Mournfang, some Sabretusks and another Ironblaster) and order from the US before the next embargo kicks in (along with a few new High Elves as well of course - New Zealand prices are a @#$@!! rip off @ approximately double those in the US even taking exchange rates into account).  

Ah still no High Elf book!!! Hurry up mail

May 7, 2013

Word Bearers Terminator Lord - WIP

No High Elf book in the mail at work today as the mailroom took 1/2 the day off.  So I had to console myself by doing some more painting on my Chaos Terminator Lord for my 30k Word Bearers Force.  This is actually my 3rd attempt at painting him after the first two turned out badly and I had to resort to stripping the model and starting over.  Which brings me to PAINTING TIP #341 - Write down the process you use when painting a figure so you can repeat it.

I say this because I forgot to write down how I painted my original FW MkIII Space/Chaos Marines and consequently have not been able to duplicate the look on the Lord.  3rd time lucky though as this time he's turned out well although he still doesnt look the same.

Still have some finishing touches to do e.g. Mithril Silver highlights on the metallic areas but he's otherwise done.

Once I finish the last little bits on this guy I have some IoB Swordmasters getting a new paint job in honor of the new army book.

May 3, 2013

Woohoo High Elf army book on the way

Took a break from marking to check my email and found the following lovely message from Games Workshop.

Dear John Murrie,

Thanks again for shopping with us. The order below has now been shipped. If your chosen shipping method included tracking, we’ll send you another email containing your tracking number and instructions for how to follow your shipment’s progress. Thanks once again for shopping with and we hope to see you return soon.

Item Number Description Quantity (Ordered) Price Subtotal
60220210004 Warhammer Battle Magic: High Elves
1  (1) $10.00 $10.00
60030210005 Warhammer: High Elves
1  (1) $98.00 $98.00

I have absolutely no idea how long GW takes to ship stuff but I am hoping like crazy that there will be a nice little package waiting for me at work on Monday. 

On another note I've started painting my unit of IoB Swordmasters in what will eventually be the new paint scheme for my High Elves.  So far it looks good but I seriously need to get some decent brushes and invest in more paints as my current stock of the old-GW range is running out and solidifying quite quickly..

New Zealand Tournament Calendar - FOW Ahoy!!!!

After an enjoyable weekend of WHFB gaming at Runefang VI its time to reorientate myself toward Flames of War again as 5/7 of the next tournament events I hope to attend are all FOW.

NICON 1st - 2nd June
This is being held in Napier for the first time in years and if I can get there it should be a lot of fun. My first WHFB tournament event was NICON in Napier where my Dwarfs got a very cruel introduction to the realities of tournament play.  Its a Mid-War event utilising Eastern Front, Burning Empires and North Africa and I'll be running a 1500pt Afrika Korp Panzer Company.

Horned Rat 22nd/23rd June
Another one of Pete Dunn's Wellington Events - now renamed the Horned Gobbo, where I managed to pick up Bests Sporst last year (was a very nice surprise).  Pete also ran a campaign event at Horned Rat two years ago which was fantastic but alas not this year.  No comp on High Elves so maybe I'll take them, but I am leaning toward Ogres. 

Panzershrek Doubles - 20th/21st July
This is my clubs annual event and one I will definately be attending as the venue is only a few blocks away and its slightly easier to get there than Wellington & Napier.  2200pts Late War with each team members taking 1100pts each, 200 of which can be swapped between players e.g. one guy takes 900 and the other 1300.  Entering once again with Jeremy Gray and we're hoping to avoid the wooden spoon.  Our first Panzershrek we picked it up, avoided it by one place last year and this year I'd like to finish higher than that.  Still finalising our respective lists but at the moment it looks like we pretty settled on a Panther/Ersatz FJ list:

Jeremy's Panthers (CT)
2 x Panther D/G
3 x Panther D/G
3 x Panther D/G
1,150 pts 

My Ersatz FJ (FT)
CHQ - 2 x PF/SMG, 2 x PS
FJ - PF/SMG + 2 Squads
FJ - PF/SMG + 2 Squads
FJ Heavy Mortars - 2 x 12cm
Panther Platoon - 3 x Panther G (CV)
Recon Platoon - 1 x SdKfz 250, 2 x SdKfz 250/9
Heavy AA - 1 x 88mm (ROF 3), Gun Pit (RT)
1,050 pts

Call to Arms 3rd/4th August
The big Wellington event of each year that includes FOW, WHFB, 40k and WM with WM really dominating player numbers.  Had some great demonstration games for Dystopian Wars last year and 2012 was a first for me when I entered the FOW competition rather than WFHB for the first time.

Still debating whether to go FOW-LW or WHFB with the new High Elves at this stage, depends largely on how quickly I can get my High Elves repainted and based before August.

After these events things are definately FOW focused and depending on how the organisers go there are 3 events coming up August - October that I would really like to attend
  • FRACAS - 600pt FOW alternates between MW and EW
  • Market Garden FOW - was being set up by Bede Bailey but he has had to withdraw, hoping it might still get off the ground; scheduled for first weekend of October
  • Shannon FOW - Bob was contemplating setting up another small FOW event locally after the great job he did with FRACAS last year, so here's hoping.
On the Warhammer front we also have the following events scheduled for Oct-Dec
  • Skitterleap (WHFB - 2400pts)
  • Vermintide (WHFB - 1200pts)
  • Horus Heresy Campaign Weekend (WH30k ???pts)
Oh and of course after I alter the fabric of the universe and achieve a massive reversal in form the stars will realign and I could take Dwarfs to WHFB Masters... HA HA... ;)

May 2, 2013

Anti-HE moaning begins & another WHFB Tournament Report

Been spending  some time over at the Ulthuan forums since details of the new High Elf book have been released and confirmed across numerous websites and blogs.  One of the threads on Ulthuan details how non-High Elf players reactions to the Banner of the World Dragon.  It seems that certain members of the VC, DoC, Lizardman and other magic heavy or 8th Ed new book communities are already clammering for it to be comp'd out of existence much like the Book of Hoeth was in a number of tournament comp systems.  A 2+WS vs. all magic is awesome - but not I guess when 13th'ing and/or Final Transmutating etc entire High Elf units is your principle strategy.

Did some more trawling across various non-High Elf forums and general ones e.g. Dakka Dakka, Warseer, Carpe Noctum etc and honestly you would think the new High Elf book was bringing the world to an end.

Me I'm waiting until I get it, read it, and use the new rules for a few months before I pass judgement. The new HE book will be great, but the only thing I guarentee it will do is seriously deplete my bank account.  But we'll have to wait and see what happens here in NZ.. (postscript - I except my local scene to remain nicely balanced without any of the ETC type restrictions and a fair response to the new book as we saw with the new DoC, WoC, OnG and Ogres, but other parts of NZ aren't so progressive)

Watchtower vs. Vampire Counts
First Turn - No
Watchtower - Yes

Final game of Day 1 up against Glen Burfield's Vampire Count list.  Not his usual screaming list but still a tough match up given the number of pew pew targets and the various hordes of Skeletons/Zombies that I would have to wade through.  Glen's extremely well painted and based army consisted of the following:

Ghoul King, Red Fury, Ogre Blade, Other Trickster's Shard, Dragon Bane Gem
Master Necromancer, Level 4 Death
Necromancer, Level 1 Vampires, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin
Cairn Wraith
Cairn Wraith
Cairn Wraith
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
20 Zombies with standard
20 Zombies with standard
20 Zombies with standard
40 Skeletons with Full command and banner of swiftness
3 Vargheists with champ
8 Crypt Horrors
2 Fell Bats

So all up a somewhat terrifying prospect.  The hard part would be to prevent the chaff from hitting my war machines long enough for me to pew pew away the big monsters.  Oh and to hold onto the watchtower with its extra 1000VP to whomever had it at the end of the game.

Awesome a hill - like Dwarven crack really - lets deploy there.
Eww brush your damn teeth before you munch on my Organ Gun would you
Opening turns I shuffle forward slightly but concentrate principally on shooting.  In what would prove to be a bit of consistently poor Dwarven shooting the Cannon and the Grudgethrower both scored direct hits on a Terrorghiest and together did... wait for it... 1 wound.  It was left to the Organ Gun to blast away at the damn thing.
First VC charges go in including a big block of Skeletons and the Ghoul King into the Watchtower.  They would kill off the Quarrellers and then sit there all game along with 2 Cairn Wraiths and 2 Necormancers defying me to try my luck at dislodging them.  I never did as I had nothing that could take them on and was tied up elsewhere.  Lots of chaff, but I have Slayers in the way and the Hammerers are about to have some fun with the Crypt Horrors.  But those Damn Dire Wolves are just everywhere.
Too many monsters and not enough pew pew to get them all especially when you keep failing to wound.  While my units all get locked into combat the rest of the VC chaff and the 2nd Terrorghiest move around behind me.
HA HA take that - the Cannon gets eaten by Dire Wolves but a Dragon gets some payback when the Cannon crewmen stick around long enough for him to flank charge the Dire Wolves and finish them off.
A careful part of my deployment on the hill and the positioning/movement of the Dragon Slayers was removing any spaces into which the VC flyers could move/charge especially the Terrorghiests.  This kept them out of the battle for a few more turns and most importantly allowed a 2nd unit of Warriors to hit the flank of the Crypt Horrors after it ran through a unit of Dire Wolves.
The flank charge works wonders and the Crypt Horrors are under 1/2 strength.  But in the background the VC chaff and flying units have begun to plow through my warmachines.  Meanwhile Glen keeps pumping more guys into the Watchtower and I finally get a couple more wounds of the Terrorgheist when the Grudge Thrower hits it again (re-reading the indirect firing rules really helped - Scatter distance = dice - BS not the straight dice I've always used).
The Hammerers and Warriors chop through the Crypt Horros but the Terrorghiest has already moved to my flank and the Bats have made contact with my sole surviving Organ Gun.  Luckily after beating the Horrors I am able to reform the Warrior block to face the Terrorghiest and the Slayer is already in position to charge.  The Grudgethrower meanwhile gets a wound in on the other one.
Those damn monsters keep moving faster than I can reform and charge them
Ah ha take that - Dragon Slayer and 30 GW weilding Warriors hit a Terrorghiest which is quickly hacked into lots of very very little bits.  But unfortunately the other one is still around and its about to cause some major issues.
The Slayer dies charging the Terrorghiest but the Warriors remain and overrun slightly, I had a reason for this at the time but can't recall it now.  But the Organ Gun is down and the Bats are now into the Grudgethrower. 
I have nothing left that shoots and the remaining Terrorghiest now starts to scream/breath on the Hammerers.  In the background the 2nd Warrior block fed up with trying to charge flying units goes after some Zombies around the Watchtower in an effort to get some cheap points.
Bugger shouldnt have charged those Warriors off - the Hammerers are getting pounded and Turn 6 is fast approaching so I have no way of either getting the Watchtower back or charging into that damn monster - both of my Warrior blocks are still at full strength but are basically out of the battle too weak to take the watchtower and too slow to hunt down the VC chaff and flyers..  VC magic is also starting to bite and I need to try and save some points.
If we can just hold on it will be over soon.  But it was not to be.  The Terrorgheist keeps screaming and eventually it gets extremely lucky and wipes out the Hammerers in the last turn killing them, my General and my BSB
Warmachine crews are amazing the Grudgethrower holds on for round after round and even kills the odd Direwolf and one of the bats.
The reason I didn't bother trying to get the Watchtower back - along with 40 Skeletons it held the Ghoul King General, both Necromancers and two Cairn Wraiths.
How the game ended - my two Warrior blocks are all I have left, I've lost the Watchtower and its not a good end
I managed to kill quite a lot of the VC army but left the watchtower in their hands, all of the characters bar one Wraith and the Terrorghiest alive.  The death of the BSB, General and Hammerers near the end of the game really turned things around giving Glen approx 850 extra VP and turning the result into a 3-17 win to him.

Still it was a fun game and would have gone differently had the Cannon & Grudgethrower managed to work properly.  6 direct hits on Terrorghiests for a total of 2-3 wounds!!! Oh and I should have left the watchtower empty just gifted Glen a charge in Turn 1 and gave him 1000VP.