March 26, 2014

Star Wars, 40k and a WHFB campaign

Its always good to get out of your normal gaming zone and try something new and last night I gave the Star Wars miniatures game a go at my local club.  Have to say that it was a lot of fun.  Very easy to play, models look great, rules are simple and understandable and the game itself grabs you pretty quickly.

Warhammer 40k
With the intent of keeping things interesting I'm also going to have my first ever game of 40k next week which should be interesting - now I just have to recover my models from my sons toy collection where they've been for the last few months.

Warhammer Campaign
With a slight influx of new WHFB players at the club I put together a quick campaign for us to work through as well just for a bit of fun - check it out here.

March 17, 2014

WIP - Building a High Elf Display Board Part 1

Continuing my display board building run with one for my High Elves and specifically my double Griffon Eltharion list that I might take to Runefang VII - if I can make it of course.
The plan - along with some extra scribbles
The first thing you have to do with any display board is plan it out.  Simple process to get it right:

  1. Get a sheet of paper the same size as your display board.
  2. Cut out for pieces of paper the same size as the movement trays for the units you are going to display, or just grab some empty movement trays the same size.
  3. Use the movement trays or equivalent bits of paper to map out where you are going to put things, then draw the terrain you might want around them.
  4. Don't forget to (a) leave some leeway for larger/different units if you want the board to be useful for multiple lists and (b) leave room for the space paper mache and filler will take up.
No. 3 is pretty important as I soon discovered that my original drawing wouldn't work as the terrain pieces would not be capable of fitting everything or allow me to comply with No.4.  Hence the original design for a large crenelated walkway and Elven tower were shelved.  

Starting point as with my other two boards was an $8 corkboard from Warehouse Stationary and some left over polystyrene that I had lying around.  Just rip the poly into shapes and use big pieces for the larger areas.  Once the PVA glue on these is dry I'll cover the whole thing in paper mache to give it the right shape, rigidity and strength.  Once the paper mache is dry a layer of poly filler will go over the top to allow me to shape things further and to provide a better surface for flock and paint.
 The big hill is going to get covered in snow at the top so the Griffons are sitting on snowy peaks.  Light snow covering on the rest of the ground with the exception of the area around the Phoenix where Ill try and duplicate the blue/red fire effects I have on its body and base.  I didn't write down my painting process for the Phoenix though so it will be hard to duplicate exactly - lesson in that I think.
I also have some pillars/columns made out of old wine corks and some left over balsa wood bricks so I can put a few ruins around the place.  I might also try and find a way to create a cotton wool cloud effect around the top of the mountain, not sure yet though.

The first stage with the army list its intended for set out to help building

On another note I thought Id also take a couple of pics of my work area, the collection of unpainted models and bits I need finish off and stuff.  Haven't done any painting for a while as the shower in the room above sprung a leak and I've only just finished taking the ceiling down and fixing it.
Oh and the army list I am planning on taking, giving it another test run tomorrow night at my local club, is:

Fluffy High Elves @ 2400pts
Eltharion the Grimm + Stormwing - Lore of Beasts
Noble - Barded Steed, Ogre Blade, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Luck Stone, BSB
Noble - Griffon, Swiftsense, Charmed Shield, Heavy Armour, Lion Cloak, Sword of Might, Golden Crown
Mage - Level 1, High Magic, Horse, Ruby Ring
15 x Archers - Light armour, musician
15 x Archers - Light armour, musician
5 x Reavers - musician, bows instead of spears
5 x Reavers - musician, bows instead of spears
5 x Reavers - musician, bows instead of spears
8 x Dragon Princes - full command, Banner of Swiftness
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Frostheart Phoenix

TOTAL 2,391pts - Swedish Comp Score 11.1

I've used a variation of this list and it worked pretty well. Swedish Comp means I had to adjust it.  In its original variation there was a single larger unit of Archers, 4 units of Reavers, two units of Dragon Princes one for each mounted character, and the Mage had the Ring of Fury not the Ruby Ring.

March 13, 2014

Nice surprise tournament 'Best Painted Win'

Following Pete Dunns posts on Fields of Blood as I regularly do and decided to scan through the FoB Honor Roll where he lists all of the award winners at the events that he hosts. 

The result was a large shock and a very nice surprise to see my name down as the winner of 'Best Painted' at Ruination the 4000pt event I attended in January this year.  From memory we applauded the top 3 and pretty much left it at that on the day, so to see this crop up on the Honor roll was pretty cool (congrats to Mike King to for Best Sports). 

My 4000pt army from Ruination
It was the first event that I was able to take my Dwarven display board too so its nice to know that the effort I put in was worth it.  But still its a surprising result for me as the event was attended by a large number of players whose painting and conversion skills are simply amazing e.g. Sam Whitt whose numerous armies are highly deserved winners of the best painted accolade at most of the events he enters.

Still not sure if my Dwarfs will get another tournament run at Runefang over ANZAC weekend but I am hopeful that I'll be able to attend, still building up the necessary brownie points at home first :)

March 12, 2014

First games with the new Dwarfs

After two weeks with the new book and having filled a small exercise book with numerous lists I have also managed to get in two games with the new Dwarfs.  Both were highly enjoyable and showed just how good some of the key changes in the new book are.

List wise I have to admit that I am struggling to get away from my normal play style and utilise all the new toys and possible combos.  Consequently there is a very familiar feel to what I've been taking, that and I don't have any of the new models yet.  I played the first game against Ogres and the second against Vampires, the latter with lists fitting an 11pt Swedish comp score limit.  Impressions so far:

Hatred Grudge roll thing
Used it vs. Ogres and rolled a 1 so it didn't do much.  Forgot about it completely in game 2, going to have to tattoo it on my hand as I can see it being something I will forget about (much like Stormtrooping my Germans in FOW).

+1 Strength on the charge
Is pretty damn good, and yes it is more than possible for a Dwarf player to get off a lot of charges.  Combine this with a Runesmith in your unit and its an even better rule.  I was using 2 blocks of GW weilding Warriors and 1 block of Hammerers in each game; Runesmiths in each of the Warrior blocks.  Yes you strike last with GW but you still hit like a very large truck in return.  There are not many high AS enemy blocks out there that will want to take a charge from Hammerers hitting a S7 on the charge. This rule also helps with your characters if they are not taking a GW or a Ro Cleaving/Ro Might.

Thinking that two will be mandatory in my lists from now on.  For 98 and 103 points I can kit out two with Shields, Ro Stone and a single Ro Spellbreaking each; the second one also has Ro Furnace to obey the rune rules.  That AP is a great addition as is the MR1.

Organ Guns
Used two last night vs. Vampires and I misfired constantly but with Ro Forging it didn't matter.  Not sure if they are as good without a Master Engineer to buff their BS but still that extra 6" of range and the extra dice worth of shots works wonders.  Rolling to hit I don't mind so much as the extra range and shots balance things out.

Used two units of 10 vs. Ogres and they are pretty good.  The ability to move and shoot makes them a solid unit particularly as they are S5. But 10 of them plus a musician costs 160pts and for that I can take an Organ Gun with a Ro Forging with nearly double the range and more shots (possibly) at the same ballistic skill.

MR Groth the One Eye
Every unit within 12" of the Standard Bearer is Stubborn!!! Took it in both games on the Hammerers with a Warrior block on either flank.  Absolutely awesome.  Give the BSB MR Grungi & 2 RO Slowness and put him in the same unit and you have a very nice stable, reasonably protected, not going anywhere battleline.

Character setups
Working out a few different combos for my characters and have settled on a 4 character set-up for my standard list, possibly 6 characters if I take 2 Master Engineers.  The basic template will be (at this stage):

w. Shield, Shieldbearers, MR Snorri, Ro Fury, Ro Might, Ro Fortitude x2

This gives him 5 wounds, Toughness 6, a 1+/5++ and 5 attacks hitting on 2's at S4 vs. T4 or less or S8 vs. T5 or greater (not including the +1S on the charge).  Alternatively swap out the Ro Fury for the Ro Parrying and you lose 1 attack but your enemy is at -1 to hit him.

Battle Standard Bearer #1
w. Shield, MR Grungi, Ro Slowness x2

3+/4++ and 5++ for units with 6" plus opponents roll 2d6 and take highest off distance when charging.  Put him with Hammerers in between two blocks of Warriors and see what happens.

Battle Standard Bearer #2
w. Shield, Ro Stone, Ro Iron x2, Ro Parrying

2+/2++ vs. flaming, 3 wounds, toughness 6 and opponents at -1 to hit him.

Overall, the new book is working well just having problems deciding what units to take or not to take.... did manage to work out a decent list (at SWC of 11.2) with 4 Gyros, 2 Gyrobombers and a Flame Cannon that seemed like fun.

March 11, 2014

Are Dwarf Organ Guns... broken!?!

I have to ask this question after spending several hours struggling to put together a Dwarf list that conformed to an 11pt Swedish Comp limit for (hopefully) my next New Zealand WHFB tournament Runefang VII.  It was a struggle but I finally came up with a list I will try out tonight.

Now my final list contains two Master Engineers and two Organ Guns, both Organ Guns have the Rune of Forging (one with Burning as well to comply with Rune rules).  Now this is where things get really interesting as the list and these runes effectively create warmachines that can NEVER (well hardly never) MISFIRE, and I do mean (hardly) NEVER.

We can do it by combining a Master Engineer with an Organ with a Rune of Forging and here's how.

Organ Gun Rules p.49 of Dwarf book
"To fire... roll two artillery dice... if one of the dice rolls a misfire... all shots... suffer -1 to hit.  If both dice roll a misfire... roll a d6 and consult the black powder war machine misfire chart in the warhammer rulebook"

Engineering rune rules p.65 of Dwarf book for the Rune of Forging
"A warmachine engraved with the rune of forging can re-roll THE artillery dice whenever a misfire result is rolled, however you must accept the result of the second roll."
Note that the wording is "THE" artillery dice, not "AN" artillery dice or "ONE" artillery but "THE" plural meaning if I roll a misfire on both dice the Rune of Forging lets me re-roll both of them.

Now this is where it gets really interesting...

Master Engineer Special rules p.35 of Dwarf book "Artillery Master"
"If a Master Engineer is not fleeing, a single war machine that is within 3" of him can use his BS and re-roll one artillery dice.  This dice cannot be the artillery dice that determines the distance a cannon ball bounces or a flame cannons burst of flame moves."

Note nothing in here about Organ guns.  The situation these three rules create in the shooting phase is this:

  1. I choose to fire at an enemy unit with an Organ Gun inscribed with the Rune of Forging.
  2. To support it a nearby Master Engineer uses his Artillery Master ability.
  3. I roll two artillery dice.
After No.3 several things can happen

Scenario 1
  • Dice 1 = misfire & Dice 2 = number of hits
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using artillery master 
  • Dice 1 re-roll = another misfire
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using Rune of Forging
Scenario 2
  • Dice 1 = misfire & Dice 2 = misfire
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using artillery master & Re-roll Dice 2 using Rune of Forging
  • Dice 1 = another misfire 
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using Rune of Forging
Scenario 3
  • Dice 1 = hits & Dice 2 = hits
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using Artillery Master to get more hits
  • Result Dice 1 = misfire
  • Re-roll Dice 1 using Rune of Forging
If these scenarios work there is effectively no way an Organ Gun can misfire, unless you are very unlucky, and I will generally always get the chance to improve the number of shots I have at any target. Put a Rune of Accuracy on the Organ as well (which grants +1 to hit) and even rolling one misfire doesn't hurt you.  Put Grimm Burloksson in the list and he can even give you re-roll's to hit.

A little voice in my head says you cannot re-roll a re-roll making all of these scenarios invalid - but there is still something fishy about how strong Organ Guns are now.  I don't mind but I am guessing that they are going to take a composition score beating at some point.

Would be very interested in other players interpretation... 

March 10, 2014

The new Dwarfs: a Stumpy review Part 2

Of all the discussions around the new Dwarf book at NZTC a large number were about the new special characters and the Anvil of Doom.  Some things don't quite make sense, others I really like and some things I will definitely miss but overall like the rest of the book the changes are pretty good - with the exception of the Anvil of Doom.

The Anvil of Doom Suck
I've only ever used the Anvil once in a tournament and that was at 4000pts where I found it really good but only because it allowed me to move units.  In standard 2400pt games I have never taken one.  Nothing in this book convinces me to change my attitude towards it - I will however rework the model to turn it into a cool looking unit filler.
Now a fancy looking unit filler
Anyway in regards to the AoD it is now used in the magic phase, not the shooting phase, and striking runes now works like standard bound spells.  The changes to the Anvil represent, to my mind, the biggest in the new book and quite frankly the one thing that GW stuffed up.  The basic changes are:

  • Anvil no longer has its own characteristics - in the old book it was a warmachine with T10 and opponents in the shooting and magic phase rolled to hit on that toughness.  Now they roll vs. the toughness of the Runelord (T5).  It still counts as a warmachine (I think) except when people shoot or cast at it. WTF?
  • Anvil Guards & Runelord buffs - you still gain two wounds which are basically those on the Anvil Guards so no changes here and the 2 guards have the same WS5 S4 characteristics. The guards do not get the AP bonus offered by Runelords/Runesmiths for some reason.
  • Armour & Ward Saves - have improved to a 5++ against everything vs. the old books 4++ vs. shooting and ranged magical attacks and 6++ vs. close combat.  
  • Movement - yes it moves but only 3 inches (but where is the new model with its wheels?), but honestly who is going to move it and why?  If it wasn't a warmachine I guess you could charge with it?
  • Additional PD/DD dice - you gain 1PD and 1DD per phase for every Anvil of the field; not bad still the same but you are still down dice with the RL/RS no longer giving you any.
Now we come to the big changes the 3 bound spells/runes that the Anvil can cast.  First up there are two problems with one minor and one major:
  • PROBLEM #1 Casting - Dwarfs get +2 to dispel but no bonus to cast as they effectively have no wizard level.  So vs. an enemy mage of say L4 they are immediately at a disadvantage when it comes to casting.  
  • PROBLEM #2 Miscasts - The runes are bound spells.  You roll PD to cast them.  So you can miscast.  But what happens when you do?  There is nothing in the book that tells you?  Do you roll on the standard miscast table or on the warmachine misfire table?  The standard miscast table won't work as a Runelord is not a wizard and does not have wizard levels.  Consequently, several miscast results do not apply to him.  The warmachine misfire table also doesn't work becasue.... there isn't one anymore... the old Anvil had one.  The new one doesn't????  Clarification - as innate bound spells there are existing rules covering miscasts but I would still like some official clarification here e.g. if I miscast a bound spell from the Ruby Ring the ring gets destroyed??
Except a FAQ to come out pretty damn quick from GW about this as these are serious omissions from what is otherwise a great book.  The new runes of the Anvil are:
  • Hearth & Home - all units within 24" are ITP, vs. re-roll fear and terror tests or re-roll fear, terror, panic and break tests with old Anvil.  Not to bad but given that Longbeards/Slayers are already ITP and that BSB's give you re-rolls anyway and you're always going to be L10 not really useful.
  • Oath and Steel - augment spell that increases a targets AS by 1.  This is new and replaces the only useful thing the old Anvil did which was ANVIL CHARGING.... sorry GW but you stuffed up here.
  • Wrath and Ruin - blah blah same old 2d6 S4 magical hits range 24" but without the ability to target any enemy anywhere on the board (or D3 units) and to ground flying units/models.
For all these changes which make the new AoD useless a Dwarf Runelord pays an extra 170pts.  Yes thats 5 points cheaper than the old book... but seriously?? WTF??

Thorgrim Grudgebearer
Really can't comment on this guy as I have never used him and at 650pts without a lookout sir if with a unit why would you bother.  Only T5 for a guy on what is basically a warshrine/chariot but with 7 wounds.  His attacks and stuff are pretty cool and the best thing he does is give you +3 on the grudge table meaning that you are extremely likely to get army wide hatred at the start of the game.

Ungrim Ironfist
This guy I really like.  Why?  Because he's a Slayer with an AS and a WS, one that you can take as a General and put into a unit of Slayers.  With 4 attacks at I5 WS9 S6 with killing blow he is going to hit hard in combat especially vs. Daemons with the new slayer rules.  A 4+ WS or 2++ vs. flaming is also grand and he's T6 so will be hard to put down.  350pts though so I think people will take him in themed lists i.e. with a lot of Slayers but not in standard lists where for 280-320pts you can get a decent Lord.
Ungrim Ironfist - the Slayer King
Thorek Ironbrow
I know said GW lets take the only Dwarven Special character that has always been banned by comp. everywhere and make him so useless that no-one will bother to take him anymore and thats what they did.  Enough said, move on, grumble grumble... but not something that affects me as I've never been an AoD player.

Belegar Ironhammer
The rules for this new character were released weeks ago so everyone knows what he does and its pretty damn awesome.  There are a couple of things that people raving about him overlooked though:
  • Basic stats - WS8 S4 T5 W3 I4 A4 L10 4+ 4++ and immune to KB/HKB for 305pts.  Not bad especially as he gets +1 to wound is ASF and once per game can double his attacks for one round of combat (nice in a challenge), and gets the standard +1S on the charge.  But for 305pts I can get a Lord that does nearly the same thing.
  • Oath Stone - yes he has one which is ok, but it means he has to accept challenges.  
  • He only has a 4+ 4++ which is Ok but not fantastic.
The model is pretty damn cool though.

Josef Bugman
The only decent SC in the old book that you were allowed to take and many people did.  As an individual character he is a lot better than he was although 10pts more expensive.  There are a couple of issues with him though:
  • Rangers - are now rare and coupled with the no Anvil charging they are less likely to appear in peoples lists from now on.  You no longer have to take Longbeard Rangers to play Bugman but if you want to they are going to cost you 17pts a model - for a WS5 S4 A1 I2 warrior?
  • Liquid fortification - upgrade to his drinking rules effectively makes the unit he is with stubborn (roll 3-9 on 2d6) but possibly also Flammable (roll a 2 on 2d6) or gain +1T (roll 10-12 on 2d6).
I'll probably still take him just for the Stubborn thing and because he isn't bad in combat but I wouldn't expect him to live very long as he only has a 3+ AS with no parry (despite the shield) as his weapon is magical.

Grimm Burloksson
Most definately the best special character in the new book.  A unique Master Engineer that for 165pts gives you some serious buffs and also a machine in combat, that and the model is just fantastic:
  • Master of Accuracy - on a 2+ you can increase a unit of Quarrellers/Thunderers range by 2d6", give a warmachine is BS5 and re-roll an artillery dice, or models in unit with 3" can re-roll to hit (and thats any unit not just Quarrellers or Thunderers) - Irondrakes or an Organ re-rolling to hit sounds good to me.
  • Close combat - WS4 S6 with a weapon that on a 5+ will destroy any magical weapon of an opponent that he hits, not wounds, hits.  
  • Shooting - BS5 great stuff at RNG18" S4 AP 2d3 shots - very nice indeed especially if he gives himself re-rolls to hit.  

This guy will be the first new character model I buy and I will be taking him as why wouldn't you.  

Final thoughts
The new special characters are, Thorek and the AoD aside, pretty damn good.  Bugman is still worth taking for fluff reasons but as Ranger lists are not really that viable anymore its debatable whether you'll see him that much.  The 3 new special characters though are pretty darn good but for me Grimm Burloksson is the one Ill go with initially at least until I get some AoW Slayers after which I'll try the odd Slayer themed list.

Part 3 to come... the new Runes

March 7, 2014

The new Dwarfs: a Stumpy review Part 1

Other than a weekend of fantastic gaming the best thing about the NZTC was the new Dwarf army book delivered into my hands by Pete Dunn who ordered in a batch of them for local Dwarf players, somehow managing not to burst into flames or come down with a strange rash.  Thanks Pete much appreciated.  Got no sleep on the Sat night as I was up to all hours reading it and have been making endless lists all week and trawling Bugmans Brewery reading global opinion.  Yes I know there have been lots of reviews of the book but I wanted to give my thoughts.

The Book
Like all of the new hardback releases the new Dwarfs is a well put together tome.  Some repetition of old artwork in places but most of what you get is brand new and its fantastic.  The picture of Dwarfs fighting Skaven on p.32 is a particular favorite.

Army Rules
Some key changes here that I really like and which I think are a big positive:

  • Ancestral Grudge - been some grumblings about this but I like it.  Adding hatred vs. Skaven fits in with the army history and the D6 table works well.  Fluff wise you can look at it as a Grudge roll i.e. is the battle a personal grudge between generals, between characters or armies.
  • Dwarf crafted - means no more -1 to stand and shoot for Quarrellers & Thunderers.  Minor change but it helps.
  • Resolute - +1 strength on the charge.  I like it.  Some grumbling that "Dwarfs never charge" but that's complete BS.  I used this on Monday vs. Ogres to great effect.  
  • Relentless - same as old book but removes -1 to flee and pursuit rolls.
  • Shieldwall - +1 parry save when charged.  Very nice bonus but not one that is widely applicable as any model with a GW automatically loses his parry save as do any characters that put Runes on their weapons.
  • Natural resistance - no change here +2 to dispel.  
Dwarf Armoury
Couple of minor tweaks here but significant ones:
  • Handguns - lose their +1 to hit but gain (along with crossbows) Dwarf crafted. Going to miss +1 to hit but honestly I've always preferred Quarrellers.
  • Pistols - quick to fire & dwarf crafted makes them more likely to hit when standing and shooting.
  • Oath Stones - not sure about this.  Big change is you can pick it up and move.  But you also cannot flee from a charge and it only really benefits HW/Shield models.  
  • Shieldbearers - adds +2 Wounds to your Lord!! Golden. Give him some of the new runes and you can have a Lord who is T6 with W6.  Word of warning - Shieldbearers no longer make a Lord immune to KB and HKB as in the old book.  
  • Heavy armour - nearly everyone gets it
Lord/Hero Changes
Some big changes here some good, some bad, some just blah.  But overall I'm happy.  Players who relied on Anvils are not however as it has been nerfed hard and you can almost guarantee that you will never see an Anvil in a game again.  Pity really as I had just finished painting mine. Key changes are:
  • Master Engineers - are now only BS4 not BS5 as with old book.  Still have their 3 attributes to aid with shooting.
  • Runesmiths/Runelords - give any unit they are part of AP which is just awesome.  Still some debate here as to whether this would apply to units in the shooting phase - I don't think it would.  Runesmiths gain MR1 and Lords MR2 which is nice.  But big change they no longer gain free DD but have to channel them like normal wizards.  Some major grumbling here but... ITS FAIR. It brings us in line with the other armies and we still benefit from free MR and the ability to take multiple scrolls.
  • Anvil of Doom - NERFED BEYOND DEAD enough said. 
4 core units now - Warriors, Quarrellers, Thunderers and Longbeards. 
  • Thunderers - now 12pts instead of 14 which is cool but without the +1 to hit and with shorter range I'll stick with Quarrellers.  
  • Longbeards - no longer an upgrade but are slightly more expensive at +4pts more than a standard warrior rather than 3.  They do gain ITP but this has a down side in that you cannot flee as a charge reaction.  
Big change here is the inclusion of Gyros as a special rather than a rare choice and some minor points tweaks.
  • Hammerers - two changes (1) they now have 2 attacks base and (2) any Hammerer in a unit can accept a challenge meaning you can't challenge out my characters anymore.  Will still be my main unit and will hit ever harder now.  S7 on the charge, with AP if they have a Runesmith.  
  • Ironbreakers - can Gromil shieldwall giving them a 5+ PS or 4+ on the turn they are charged with the shieldwall rule.  Cinderblast bombs and Drakefire pistols on champion are nice additions.
  • Miners - are cheaper at 10pts and have ambush deployment now, gaining soft cover on the turn they arrive.  But without the Anvil charge they are less useful if not useless.
  • Slayers - two changes that count (1) Deathblow - you kill a slayer it always gets one attack back before it dies (2) you can take the Slayer King as your army general and give your Slayers a 100pt banner.  However, they still die easy.  A tough skin save i.e. like Savage orcs would have been a good change here - but might have made them over powered not sure.
  • Cannons/Bolt-Throwers/Grudge Throwers - lose their Engineers and effectively lose a wound.  Bolt-throwers cost more at 55pts vs. 45pt in old book.  No other changes.
  • Gyrocopter - everyones raving about these at 80pts (down from 140pt) and with ability to take up to 6 of them and give 3 vanguard I can see why.  The new Brimstone gun is cool but i'll stick to the template (which has no more partials).  They also gain a Terradon like bomb run.  Lots of talk about 4-6 being the minimum in any army.  Me I prefer infantry but can see myself taking at least 2 from now on.  Great change.
Oh dear what have they done and look two new toys.
  • Rangers - in RARE!!! really?!?  Why?!   I understand the fluff and see how it fits in but honestly Rangers as a core unit choice made more sense. 14pts each is Ok as they come with GW, HA and throwing axes as standard.  But they cannot take a magical standard (as Longbeard Rangers used to be able to) and max out at WS4 S3 vs. WS5 S4 for Longbeard Rangers.  They now also compete with the other rare choices.  
  • Organ Guns - they must roll to hit, BOO but fair and acceptable.  But on the plus side they roll 2, thats right TWO, artillery dice to decide shots so max of 20 AH HA HA.  They also only misfire when both dice misfire and you can give them runes.  What does that mean?  It means add the Ro Forging and your Organs will NEVER EVER misfire EVER and with their range increased to 30" they are going to decimate opponents.  
  • Flame Cannons - I can't quite understand the rule changes but I think they are back to the old 7th Ed rules so could be cool again
  • Irondrakes - very very cool 15pts for a WS5 BS3 S4 T4 warrior with a RNG 18" S5 AP Flaming weapon that is quick to fire (HA HA), and which can move and shoot without penalty (as its dwarf crafted).  Add in Forge-proven Gromil armour which is basically Dragon Armour with a better AS and these guys are awesome.  
  • Gyrobomber - very cool, very very cool.  

Thoughts so far
I really like the new book, the new rules and the unit changes.  Yes Rangers are now rare but they were never an auto-include for me so that won't affect my play style.  Organ Guns are just awesome now so I'll be having 2 of those in my army and my lists probably won't change that much except they will be a lot nastier in combat and Ill be taking 2 Runesmiths minimum from now on.  

Others may Grumble but I think the books done a good job with these changes.  The army is nicely balanced, we have the ability to forge a horribly strong gunline that is also tough in combat as well as a beefed up combat army.  On the whole I think GW, with the exception of the Anvil, got it right and the new book was well worth the wait.  Would have loved another 50-100 pages of fluff but you can't have everything.

.... big question is what have they done to the RUNES???

March 4, 2014

Bucketheads back from NZ Warhammer Team Champs

Well the weekends over and along with it two days of fantastic gaming.  The New Zealand Team Championships wound up late Sunday evening after the end of 6 highly competitive rounds.  Among the 16 teams and 64 players at the event there were some truly hard as nails filthy as they come lists, some tough but nice lists and several "I'm taking it because I like the model"s or they're the only ones I have lists (like mine).
Ogres from the Mountain Claws Tribe ready for battle
First up congratulations to the winners of the event and a massive thank you to Pete Dunn for organising everything and to Peter Williams for volunteering (once again) to umpire the entire tournament.  Much fun was had by all and the venue was fantastic only a short walk away from shops, Hells Pizza and a pub.
The only disappointment for me was that there was no Beauty Pageant meaning that I didn't get a chance to photograph everyone's armies and there were some stunning ones on display throughout the event.
The venue near the end of Day 1 - things were getting rather rank odour wise by this stage

As for Team Buckethead things didn't go that well for us, we weren't expecting to finish near the top of the table but were hoping to do a lot better than we did.  Unfortunately our approach was less "scientific" than most other teams in regards to picking our match-ups. While our opponents consulted spreadsheets and mathematical tables to get the ideal opponents we simply took turns chucking ourselves under the bus and volunteered to take on armies that we felt like playing.  That and our "just throw dice and go for it" approach didn't help our cause.  A classic quote of the event from Adam Richards our Dwarf player pretty epitomised our tactics over the weekend.
"I'm going to ancient power my Anvil because at least if it blows up then his Ogres can't kill it.... DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM...."
Bucketheads Results
Our armies were:
- My Ogre Kingdoms built around a Gut Star
- Brendans Beasts based around lots of magic and 3 hordes
- Adams Dwarfs with no warmachines or shooting
- Reagans Empire with his Karl Franz Knight bus
Fellow Bucket Heads Adam (left) and Brendan (right) don our team helmets to take on Sam and Fern Campbell in the first round of the tournament
Round 1 vs. Beauty & the Beasts
Ogres vs. Dark Elves 7-13
Beasts vs. WoC 2-18
Dwarfs vs. DoC 0-20
Empire vs. Empire 6-14
Help I'm surrounded by Elves

Dark Elves for Round 1 and things go well till my magic starts failing.  Closer game than the points suggest
Team mate Reagan (right) without his Helmet - Shame!!!
Round 2 vs. Nerdymen
Ogres vs. Empire 0-20
Beasts vs. Brettonians 0-20
Dwarfs vs. Vampires 0-20
Empire vs. High Elves 5-15
Turn 1 and things don't look too bad but... I pushed the Bulls too far forward trying to get the Hellheart near the Light Mage bus in the tower.  Things go wrong soon afterward
End of the game and its just the Slaughtermaster left 
I got absolutely slaughtered in this game by a beautiful looking army.  This hand painted banner by Graeme Fry (I think) was the stand out model of the tournament for me and his High Elves have to be seen to be believed they are amazing
Round 3 vs. Legion of Doom
Ogres vs. Wood Elves 20-0
Beasts vs. Dwarfs 15-5
Dwarfs vs. Ogres 5-15
Empire vs. Dark Elves 9-11
Up against Wood Elves with a lot of shooting 60 Glade Guard in all and 3 Treemen

Ogres charge straight into a couple of Treemen while those damn archers clean up the Mournfang.  I got lucky though killing the Treemen allowing me to rampage through the rest of my opponents army.  
Brendan in action in Round 3 a great win to him earned through some very smart tactics
Round 4 vs. KRAK Team
Ogres vs. Lizards 7-13
Beasts vs. Dwarfs 5-15
Dwarfs vs. Dark Elves 0-20
Empire vs. Vampires 17-3
Up against Hagen Kerr's lizards in Round 4 - thoroughly enjoyable game that saw me finish with 3 models left on the table - an Irongut, my Slaughtermaster and a single Bull.  Absolute carnage and a lot of fun.
Brendans fantastic looking Beastmen army
Round 5 vs. Basilliers
Ogres vs. Vampires 5-15
Beasts vs. Empire 1-19
Dwarfs vs. OnG 10-10
Empire vs. WoC 0-20
I volunteered to pit my Ogres against Basil's VC's but then stuffed up by not hanging back.
Ironblaster kills one Terrorgheist with one shot doing 6 wounds.  The other though comes back later to cause carnage
Round 6 vs. HAM
Ogres vs. DoC 10-10
Beasts vs. Dwarfs 0-20
Dwarfs vs. High Elves 0-20
Empire vs. Lizards 0-20
Things start getting nasty around Turn 2-3 in a great game
Taking on Daemons in Round 6 - a massively enjoyable game against a nice opponent.
Big moment in game as I get rear charge off on the Daemon thingy's - the Gut Star just wouldn't die.  Really enjoyed this match up and it was a fun way to end the tournament.
Our final individual points tally put Reagans Empire with 37 on top, followed me with 29, Brendan with 23 and Adam with 15.  Nine 0-20 defeats during the event really didn't help us much but honestly some of the match-ups were never going to turn out well as the opposing lists were hard as nails but we certainly tried our hardest.  But we all agreed that a solid day of gaming the day before any future event would be necessary to get all the STUPID out of our systems before the real thing.

Personal Gaming Highlights 
The knock down drag out battle between my Gut Star and Basil's Crypt Ghouls in Round 5 where my Slaughtermaster's immunity to Poison and my ability to continually buff his toughness kept him alive for 4 turns.

IF'ing the Regeneration spell from the Great Maw after the Gut Star charged the rear of a DoC unit, rolling double 1's for the miscast result losing 3 Ogres to the hit but saving them all with Regeneration.

A handful of Ogres deploying in line and charging Hagen's Cold-One bus and wiping it out before he surrounded me and drowned them in missile fire.

Seeing Reagan earn himself a big win 17-3 against a tough opponent.

Meeting Luc the youngest competitor at the event at 14 (I think) who brought a pretty cool Ogre list.

The games in general, the event, having a beer and a feed at the pub after Day 1, the venue (just superb)... and finally...

Adam's extra large cojones when using the Anvil of Doom...