April 30, 2013

WHFB Tournament Report - Runefang VI Game 1 + High Elves

Dawn Attack vs. Beastmen
First Turn -No

The first of five pictorial based reports from Runefang VI - all pictures are quite big so click on them to see the bigger versions.
The Dwarfs of Karak Thorinkin wait for the impending Beastman advance
Up against Locky Reids Beastman horde complete with 5 mages and a fair bit of chaff.  Had never played Locky before but have always heard nice things about him so was looking forward to it.  Terrain was reasonably good though and after winning the dice roll off I was able to pick a side and deploy in a position were his hordes would find it hard to advance towards me.  With 4 scrolls and lots of shooting my basic strategy was to pew pew lots of stuff chaff first then the Gor Horde, then charge into combat before my last scroll was used up and his magic could take full effect. However, it would all come down to the random deployment, and I got very lucky with everything rolling well. 
3 Beast mages make best use of the Herdstone, 2 more are with the advancing horde units

Turn 1 - Beastmen advance, with Chaff aiming for my Warmachines and flanks, one surprise comes when Locky puts his unit of GW armed Gors into a building.  This allows me to move up a unit of Warriors close to it effectively blocking it in and preventing it from deploying anywhere close to me.  One OG is in the centre, the 2nd on the extreme right along with the Grudge Thrower and the Cannon is in the extreme left corner.  Slayers are stationed in each corner as well.
Dwarf pew pew takes an early toll.  The Gyro kills of 4/5 harpies while the Organ Guns, Cannon and Grudgethrower all target the Beastmen horde in the centre - killing over 1/2 of them.  Quarrellers take aim at the approaching Chariot getting it down to 1 wound and the Slayers on the flanks advance to prevent enemy chaff from hitting the distant war machines.
With no magic going off and units getting chewed up by shooting the Beasts are at least able to reduce the damage somewhat when the sole remaining Harpy charges the central Organ Gun
 
Slayers provide flank protection seeing of two charging units of Dogs and saving the warmachines deployed on those flanks.  The Slayer on my left would, after chasing the Dogs away, play no further part in the battle while the 2nd would be killed off my Beastmen missile fire.
Hammerers and Warriors advance toward the depleted Gor Horde choosing to ignore the Beastmen chaff trusting to their warmachines and Quarrellers to get rid of it for them.
The Quarrellers aren't to successful though and the Beast chariot, severly wounded it may be, manages to charge their ranks.  But its impact is light with only 2 Dwarfs falling and it is soon chopped to bits.
Meanwhile in the centre with one Beast horde stuck in a building the other is sitting face to face with a block of Hammerers and another block of Warriors.  Opting to save itself the Beast unit starts a tactical retreat leaving it up to the Gyrocopter to pew pew it.
About Turn 3 - Chaff on the left and right is basically all dead/fleeing or about to die.  The large Beast horde in the building has nowhere to deploy but back toward the Herdstone.  The 2nd horde is now at 1/4 of its original strength as more and more Dwarf pew pew takes a heavy toll.  Dwarven units are now perfectly positioned to charge home.
Beastmen magic finally works.  As the large horde moves out of the building (and a unit of Dwarves moves in) and redeploys a Purple Sun of Xerxes plows straight through the middle of one Dwarven Warrior unit killing 22/30 Dwarfs.
   
The big push - The Gyrocopter has buzzed over and tried (unsuccessfully) to pew pew the Beastmen mages, who shoot it down with a couple of Fireballs in response.  Meanwhile the Hammerers still at full strength and with their BSB charge into the depleted Gor horde.  The smaller block of Warriors still hurting from being Purple sunned opt to charge the unit of 40 Gors that has just emerged from the nearby building.  They don't make it but do go far enough to get in the way.
With the having made quick work of the depleted Gor Horde the reamining Beasts face a tough choice.  The horde whch has moved out of the building can only really charge the small block of Dwarf Warriors to their left front.  If they do they will leave their flank exposed to the Hammerers, or allow the Hammerers to charge their Mages positioned near the herdstone. They opt for something different moving forward slightly and extending their line to cover the mages.
If you won't charge me we'll charge you!!! 8 Dwarfs against 40 GW weilding Gors and the Beastmen General.  But its not completely bad as the Hammerers as killed the Beasts BSB and primal fury becomes strangely elusive.
Ah ha I have you now - Hammerers to the front and Warriors to the back.
    
The Warriors don't last long and the Gors overrun but not very far.  The next turn the Hammerers charge their front while the 2nd Warrior block emerges from the building to the rear of the Gors.  Meanwhile the Beastmen mages have redeployed away from the battle hoping to save themselves.
The position at the end of Turn 6
Despite trapping Locky's unit in a neat pincer move I was unable to deal it the killing blow and wipe it out.  GW weilding Beasts also chopped through my Hammerers who were unable to deal with their primal fury (once it kicked in as it did fail in the 1st round of combat) and the Warriors could only get in for two rounds before we hit the end of Turn 6.  With all of his characters, with the exception of the BSB, still alive and this remaining horde undefeated my VP tally is a lot lower than it could have been.

Tactically this was one of my best games although I was aided by (1) Locky moving his large block into the building, (2) some great pew pew killing A LOT of stuff and (3) his very poor magic phases (although having 4 scrolls helped me here).  

End result 
Dwarven VP 790
Beastmen VP 485
Result 11 - 9 win to Dwarfs 

And stepping away from Dwarves for a bit I placed a pre-order with GW for the new High Elf book and the High Elf magic cards today.  Should always be getting the May issue of White Dwarf in the mail soon and the first of several test pieces have been stripped ready for repainting in what will be my High Elf army's new paint scheme - more soon.

April 28, 2013

Back from another WHFB Tournament

Back home after another enjoyable tournament event Runefang VI in Wellington.  Didnt quite get the results I wanted but enjoyed myself immensely.  The usual suspects finished at the top of the table but a couple of new comers also made a good impression.  The best news from the weekend though were the performances of two of the 4 Dwarf armies (not mine unfortunately).  Tane and Simon both finished in Top 10, Tane 4th and Simon 9th (his 3rd Top 10 finish this year) really upsetting the normal run of play.

My "ahem" victorious Dwarves

As for me I managed the following results (full battle reports with pictures up over the next few days):
  • Dawn Attack vs. Beastmen 11-9 win
  • Blood and Glory vs. Daemons of Chaos (Nurgle) 0-20 loss 
  • Watchtower vs. Vampire Counts 3-17 loss
  • Meeting Engagement vs. Beastmen 20-0 win
  • Battleline vs. Warriors of Chaos 4-16 loss
The first win was a good one and one in which I played really well.  The loss to the Nurgle Daemons was actually a lot of fun but man are those guys horribly tough.  Against the Vampire Counts the result was largely down to me losing the watchtower and the loss of a chunk of points at the end of Turn 6.  Big win over Beastmen was due to good decisions, good rolls and some horrible, horrible luck on my opponents part.  While the last game was going my way until my opponents Daemon Prince went berko and chopped his/her/its way through 2/3 of my army all by itself.

Stumpy Heaven's Dwarven Heroes

Managed to finish 20th out of 28 players, something higher would have been nice but thems the breaks.

Big talking point of the last day was of course the new High Elves book.  A number of players had seen the free sample version released on ITunes (I think) and the issues of comp were already being mooted...

...new book sounds fantastic but its going to be freaking expensive to field all the new stuff judging by the costs listed on GW tonight (damn price gouging).  Have already decided on a new colour and basing scheme for my High Elves which I will be paint stripping and redoing in honour of the new book. Going to match the colour scheme I've used for my Dwarfs but with lots of flowers on the bases instead of rocks.  The snow is going bye bye as its all going yellow and frankly I'm over it as a look :)  First model already in the pot losing its paint.

April 19, 2013

Runefang VI - WHFB Tournie Lists & Attendee breakdown

Got a lovely email from Peter Williamson the TO for Runefang VI next weekend with all of the army lists for the event attached and a breakdown of the armies attending.  The big surprise is that the most popular race for the event is.... DA DA DA DA DA... DWARVES!!! (well I suppose Lizards tied with them but they're broken so whose counting)

The 28 armies attending the event breakdown as follows:
  • Dwarves - 4
  • Dark Elves - 1
  • High Elves - 1
  • Lizards - 4
  • Warriors of Chaos - 3
  • Daemons - 2
  • Ogres - 2
  • Chaos Dwarfs - 1
  • Orcs n Goblins - 1
  • Vampire Counts - 2
  • Empire - 1
  • Beasts of Chaos - 2
  • Skaven (boo) - 3
  • Unknown (???) - 1      
On another note when it comes to spelling the plural of Dwarf how do you do it - Dwarfs or Dwarves???  I tend to alternate between the two but see the latter as being more correct, what say the other stumpy's out there.

If you want to have a look at the army lists from the event you can download them here 

Ill try and do some kind of analysis of them tomorrow, but honestly unlike a lot of local players I dont have an encyclopedic knowledge of every armybook - heck I barely remember half of my own stuff - but Ill give it a go...

YAH THE STUMPIES!!!  and yes I am bringing 3 x Runes of Spellbreaking and 1 of Spelleating AH HA HA HA HA
 

April 18, 2013

Seriously amazing painting - Tomb Kings & Pre-Heresy Space Marines

Doing more internet procrastination last night and came across a blog by James Wappel in the US which covers 40k, WHFB and a range of other game systems & miniatures.  His work is simply awe inspiring.  The first post that took my eye was a unit of Tomb King chariots complete with customised themed movement try and bases - all hand painted.


During the hour or so I trawled through his blog I must have spent a good 10 minutes of that staring at his pre-heresy 30k White Scars.  They're a mix of GW and FW models and are again just awe inspiring. Well worth the look and most definately given my some inspiration - if I didnt get enough already from Pete & Charlies work on Fields of Blood.

 


April 17, 2013

Scibor Miniatures - upgrading WHFB Dwarfs

Getting enough models for a 2nd Hammerer unit and some decent unit fillers are (along with a display board) the only outstanding goals I have for my WHFB Dwarf army.  While I quite like GW Metal Hammerer models - although most Dwarf players don't - I'd would quite like to field something a little different.

Simon Switzer has two units of Mantic Dwarfs which are pretty good but not quite my cup of tea, although I did seriously consider getting some a year of so ago (there undead range is excellent if your a VC player).  One manufacturer I have had my eye on is Scibor Miniatures in Poland whose range of 28mm Fantasy models is very Dwarf heavy and very good. Unlike Mantic however I havent been able to find a decent review of the Scibor vs. GW but the general word is that the infantry are comparable perhaps 1-2mm out while the Heroes are oversized and not suitable.

For Hammerers there are a few different options of which the following are perhaps the best.

 
 
 
 

Terrain wise I will be ordering their Dwarf terrain pieces as unit fillers and for my display board - although it will have to wait a little bit for the budget to catch up.


But unfortunately thats where the order will have to stop as the alternative Hammer models cost 5.50 Euros each so getting enough for a unit of 30-40 is pretty high. 

But a box of 5 metal GW Hammerers will set you back NZ$48 meaning a unit of 40 with command from GW will set you back NZ$384.  Whereas 40 Scibor miniatures = 220 Euros or NZ$323 at the current exchange rate so not bad.

 Plus if latest GW release rumours are true then Dwarfs are due out in November which should mean new models.

But I see no reason not to pick up 1 or 2 of their alternate Slayer models... I mean who wouldnt want of these guys?

 
 

April 15, 2013

FOW Mid War Panzer company dilemmav - Which list???

Posted and then quickly deleted a proposed list for NICON the next FOW tournament I plan on attending, scheduled for 1st/2nd June.  Its a Mid-War 1500pt event that allows the use of North Africa, Eastern Front and whatever V3 official PDF's are available for that period. 

Opting to take my DAK Panzer Company but after thinking I had finalised my list I've hit the old "but what if" conundrum and come up with an alternative.  Now struggling to decide which list will be the most competitive.  The event consists of 5 rounds - 2 mobile battles, 2 defensive battles and 1 fair fight.

Option 1 - Tunisian DAK Panzer Company

CHQ - 2 x PzIII M
Panzer Platoon - 3 x PzIV F2
Panzer Platoon - 4 x PzIII M w. Schurzen
Recon Platoon - 2 x 8 Rad
Light AA Platoon - 3 x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm AA
Priority Air Ju87D

TOTAL 1,500pts (4 platoons)

On the armoured side this list is stronger with 9 tanks including 6 of the modern top version PzIII, these have an extra point of FA and are all AT9 vs. AT7 for the earlier versions.  Schurzen gives the 2nd Platoon added survivability in any assault vs. infantry and the Priority Air gives me the artillery support Ill need to hit/pin dug in infantry and to knock out enemy AT guns.  With 4 Platoons most scenarios would see me with just 2 on the table which is where the Priority Air has a big role to play providing additional fire power until the reserves come on.   But it is an all or nothing list basically pick an objective, deploy and go for it with not much room for tactical flexibility.


Option 2 - North African DAK Panzer Company

CHQ - 1 x PzIII H, 1 x PzIII J (Late)
Panzer Platoon - 3 x PzIII H
Panzer Platoon - 3 x PzIII J (Late)
Panzer Platoon - 3 x PzIV F2
Recon Platoon - 2 x 8 Rad
Light AA Platoon - 2 x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm AA
Schutzen Platoon - 2 x MG Sections w. Trucks

TOTAL 1,500pts (6 Platoons)

This list has more tanks 11 vs. 9 but 4 of these are more lightly armoured at FA5 and only have AT7, all of the PzIII's are ROF3 though although at FP4+ you do need that extra shot.  The big difference between this list and Option 1, other than 3 Panzer Platoons, is the inclusion of a small (mobile'ish) infantry Platoon to provide some flexibility, the increase to 6 platoons and lose of the air support.  Here I have the ability for the infantry to support the tanks in any assault or hold an objective on one flank as the Panzers advance on the other.  But without Air Support or Artillery I might struggle to dislodge entrenched opponents? Oh and I don't have a Kubelwagon yet...

So which list to take???

April 11, 2013

AAR 7/8 - Fallschirmjager vs. SS Pz Grenadiers

NATCON - Game 7 
Dust Up vs. SS PzGrenadiers (Tim Driver)

Enemy Company 
CHQ
2 x SS PzGrenadier Platoons
SS Heavy weapons Platoon
Panzer Platoon w. 3 PzIV’s
Assault Gun Platoon w. 2 Stu42’s
SP Artillery Platoon w. 3 x Hummel
SP AA Platoon w. 2 x Quad AA Trucks
SS Recon Platoon w. 3 x Pumas

My Tiger Skills – Motivate on a 2+

Deployment FJ in the village, Nebs to the right and Tigers behind the hill top
Great view of the enemy positions
 This was the most enjoyable game of the weekend. It see-sawed back and forth the whole time and just seemed to fly by. It wasn’t until the TO came by and gave us the 5 minute warning that we realised how long we had been playing. Overall this was a very competitive game against a very nice opponent and the highlight of the tournament for me.

The enemy SP Artillery that I worried too much about

Deployment 
I was the nominal attacker and decided that I would attack as I had a slight advantage in armour and favourable terrain. I also had a slight advantage in that I had played my first game on the same table and knew the LOS from various spots. Opting to start in the corner opposite to where I defended in Game 1 gave my infantry a lot of buildings to hide in and the Tigers a hill to hull down behind. I placed my objective as far toward to the board edge and my reserves deployment area as possible aiming to have the StuGs and 2nd FJ Platoon come on and rush it. Tim had 2 Platoons of PzGrenadiers, his Hummels and his Pumas on the board.


Opening Turns – The Phoney War 
Tigers pop up and down the central hill and try to snipe at the Hummels that were freaking me out big time (and narrowing my tactical choices unnecessarily). All they managed to do though was get tapped by the Hummel’s when a failed Storm Troop roll got them stuck in Tim’s LOS. One Tiger promptly blew up and I retreated the 2nd one moving it back to defend my objectives. Meanwhile the Sniper proved his worth by pinning down Tim’s infantry and came within a whisker of killing a Puma by shooting at its side armour (0 vs. AT2 and FP4+ for the Sniper), but only bailing it instead. Rocket fire proved effective in ranging in and hitting by not killing the dug in SS who kept making their saves. But really the only thing that happened in these turns was the Tiger getting knocked out.
FJ Sniper comes within a whisker of killing a Puma only bailing it instead

 2nd Quarter 
The Puma Platoon charges into the village, as the Tiger has pulled back, and starts to shoot up the dug in FJ although without effect and the Hummels knock out one of the Nebelwerfers.

Meanwhile the game changes when in Turns 3 & 4 all of my reserves come on the board. The StuGs move through the forest aiming for the ford and the nearby railway station (which it turns out had HMG teams in it, that I had completely forgotten about). One StuG got bogged down but the rest got across ready to tap the dug in SS. FJ AA guns also moved within 16” and began firing on the SS only one of whose teams was contesting the objective. The 2nd FJ Platoon also began moving through the forest.
PzIV's angle away from the Tiger which can see a long way up that road
FJ Reinforcements come on and I attack the enemies objective
Tim responded by getting some reserves of his own namely the 2 Stu42’s which managed to hit but not knockout the remaining Tiger forcing it to withdraw further. The Pumas meanwhile back tracked and raced toward the StuGs. I got a nasty shock when it was revealed they had AT9, so were the StuGs, 2 of which were promptly blown up.

 3rd Quarter 
With only one of Tim’s SS teams contesting the objective I decide I have the strength required to assault his position and force him back for the win.
 The SS Platoon is pinned down by the Sniper and loses a couple of bases to the AA Guns and Nebelwerfers. The StuGs also open up knocking out one of the Pumas and hitting, but not killing more of the SS. My assault goes in and this is where the HMG teams in the railway station whose presence I had overlooked really hurts. Defensive fire forces me back and the initial assault fails. More of Tim’s reinforcements come in – the mobile AA and his PzIV’s – the AA moves over the bocage toward the objectives guarded by the FJ while the PzIV’s move toward the railway station away from the Tiger.
The vital fight for the Railway station

The Pumas meanwhile have pulled back away from the StuGs but after failing a Storm Troop move end up in range of the Tiger – which is now positioned in the village. It promptly knocks one of them out and the remaining Puma fails its morale check and is destroyed. PzIV’s and StuGs trade fire with 1 of each getting knocked out.

Turn 4 is the key though with the 2nd FJ Platoon launching another assault on the dug in SS. The Sniper proves his worth once again by pinning the SS – he also proved a good foil for the Pumas who kept moving to avoid him – and the Nebelwerfers take out another team. This time the assault isn’t stopped by defensive fire and the FJ charge into the railway station. But some very poor dice rolls over 2 rounds of assaults only kill 3 SS teams while the FJ are nearly wiped out, only their Platoon Commander left alive. The FJ fall back, pass their morale and their sole survivor check but the SS morale breaks and they flee the battlefield


End Turns
Tim now only has 1 team guarding the objective. It gets pinned by the AA Guns and the sole remaining StuG also fires on it and then moves to assault. Despite 19 shots going into this one team he resolutely stands his ground and then repulses the assaulting StuG knocking it out and destroying the Platoon. The objective remains in the hands of the SS.
Give that man a medal - enemy command team defends his objective successfully
However, this one team is the only one in the area as the 2nd SS Platoon has been whittled down by the Nebelwerfers (who have lost another piece to the Hummels) and the Sniper (just awesome). The Tiger meanwhile has managed to take out another PzIV but the remaining tank manages to pass his morale check.
Nearly the end of the battle and the FJ assaults have failed
More Tiger fire fails to kill any of the SS reserve troops while SS infantry assaults the 2nd FJ Platoon commander killing him while Hummel fire knocks out AA Platoon. The game ends at this point as we have run out of time.
Enemy armour holds back afraid of the remaining Tiger

SS Infantry advance across the river and drive back the FJ reinforcements
End Result a very fair 3-3 draw

As I said the most enjoyable game of the weekend.  We could have both sat back and defended but I made an early decision to attack and go for the win and choose table quarters based on that decision.  The Pumas were the key to preventing me from assaulting the railway station successfully, their AT9 just cut through the StuGs.  While the SS in the station weren't contesting the objective I had to assault them and drive them back as the objective couldn't be taken and held successfully if they're were still in there.  The Hummels had LOS to the objective forcing the StuGs toward the station, and perhaps in hindsight if the Tigers had been deployed behind the village instead of on the hill their fire could have supported that attack - and taken out the Pumas earlier.  A damn good game.

Losses for Tim were 2 platoons his Pumas and 1 lot of SS PzGrenadier's, while I lost 3 Platoons – StuGs, FJ AA Guns and a single FJ Platoon - essentially all of the troops that attacked the Railway station.