April 30, 2014

Runefang VII - Dwarfs vs. High Elves 2400pts

Event: Runefang VII - 2400pt WHFB Tournament (Swedish Comp).
Battle: Game 3 - Watchtower
Controlled Watchtower: Yes
Opponent: High Elves (Mike King)
Result: 0-20

The scouting reports brought to the King by the holds Pathfinders brought a smile to the old Dwarfs grim face. The Elves he sought had been sighted, an army of pointy eared treacherous filth led by oath breaking scum whom the King and all his Thanes were Grudge Sworn to kill. Reaching for his great axe the King rose to his feet and hundreds of Dwarfs in the great hall fell silent as he spoke, announcing the call to arms. The hold’s throng would march once more to do battle with the Elves; the forces would meet at the site of an ancient watch-tower, Elven blood would flow, and grudges would be stricken from the Holds great book….
The armies deploy
 3 days later…

…the King was dead slain by an Elven noble atop a Great Dragon. Of the thousands of Dwarfs who had marched forth with him none had returned to the hold. From the beginning the battle had not gone well. Reaching the battlefield first the slower moving Dwarfs failed to garrison the watch-tower as the King and his Thanes argued over how to deploy their forces. Driven almost mad by their ancestral grudge against the Elven Nobles across the field from them neither the King nor his Thanes could agree on how to secure their vengeance.
Vanguarding Elven cavalry sneaky pointy eared ....
While they dithered fast Elven cavalry rushed around the Dwarf armies flanks, bright streams of Elven magic began to kill Dwarf after Dwarf and Elven archery killed still more. The Dwarven army lacking clear leadership responded as best it could. Artillery and Quarrellers began to fire at the few Elven units in range, and Gyrocopters raced ahead firing their steam guns at scouting Elven cavalry. But their efforts were not concentrated and while scores of Elves fell across multiple units, none broke and none were hit enough to remove them from the battlefield.

The advance begins but that damn fast cavalry swings round behind
Finally beginning their advance the Kings Hammerers moved with him toward the Watchtower, flanked either side by ranked units of Warriors from the holds various clans. Stout Dwarven legs were too slow however and ahead of the King a tide of Elves wearing Lion Cloaks entered the watchtower and took up position along its ruined battlements. On the right flank a massed horde of Elven heavy cavalry withdrew in the face of the advancing Clan Warriors. Their withdrawal drew the Dwarfs into the open where dozens were killed by quick firing Elven bolt-throwers. On the left flank the Clans advance was halted as Elven arrows darkened the sky and magic lit it up like lightning within a storm cloud.

Behind the Dwarven lines its single battery of Great Cannon came under attack from Elven fast cavalry. At the same time the Elven General and his Dragon emerged from cover. One cannon took aim and fired at the huge beast only for their machine to explode as its flaming shell misfired. So great was the explosion that the entire battery was wiped out; the only weapons capable of hurting the Elven Dragon now gone. On the left Giant Eagles swooped down from the sky and attacked the remaining Dwarf artillery, ranked Organ Guns attempting to put pay to the Elven Archers. These too fell silent leaving the throngs warriors at the mercy of Elven magic, archery and its Dragon.

Not seeing the disaster occurring behind him and oblivious of the fate of the warriors on his flanks the King and his Hammerers charged the White Lions in the Watchtower. Great axes wielded by both sides rose and fell. While the Elven blades were quicker those of the Dwarfs proved sharper. For every Dwarf that was killed 5 Elves fell. Over half of the White Lions defending the watchtower died in that initial charge. But they held and the Dwarfs were forced to fall back.

Reduced in frontage the Hammerers have fallen back from their first assault on the Watchtower
Only now did the King understand that his artillery had failed him. As he readied his Hammerers for another assault on the watchtower the Elven General on his Dragon emerged from behind the Watchtower and charged his flank. On the right flank those few Dwarfs not killed by magic or Elven artillery were now charged by the massive block of Elven Heavy Cavalry to their front. On the left Gyrocopters continued to kill and maim scores of Elven archers, but failed to destroy any units whole switching back and forth between targets. The Warriors on this flank though had now advanced upon the Watchtower aiming to succeed where the King had failed.

But before this fresh assault could be launched on the building Elven magic and archery decimated their ranks and only ½ of the Dwarfs that started their assault made it to the walls. Clambering over fallen stone, and through gaps rent in the masonry Dwarven axes were met by those of the Elven defenders. This time Dwarf blood would flow in abundance and those few Dwarfs who survived long enough to retreat from the assault were then cut down by Elven archers and magic.

The final act, the last ditch attempt to kill the Elven General and capture the Tower
Meanwhile the King and his Hammerers had weathered the first attacks by the Great Dragon. The king himself had wounded the Elven General and now a small unit of Quarrellers, the only unit from the army’s rear still alive, charged in to support the King. Two ranked units of Dwarves against a single Elf and his Dragon. The outcome should have been victory for the Dwarves, but it was not to be. Every part of the Dragon seemed to kill – its claws, tail, wings and teeth taking Dwarf after Dwarf. As all his Warriors fell only the King was left and then he too was dispatched an Elven blade piercing his chest as a Dragons claw tore his head from his shoulders.

Of the once great Dwarven army that had marched onto the field of battle only a handful of warriors led by the sole surviving Runesmith still lived. Surrounded by a horde of Elven cavalry they fought on bravely praying to Grimnar for salvation…. Grimnar did not answer.

April 28, 2014

Runefang VII - Dwarfs vs. Warriors of Chaos 2400pts

Event: Runefang VII - 2400pt WHFB Tournament (Swedish Comp).
Battle: Game 2 - Blood and Glory
First Turn: Yes
Opponent: Warriors of Chaos (Neil Williamson)
Result: 0-20

180 years after the death of Urlak Steelpick at the hands of Chaos Daemons a 2nd Dwarven expedition has entered the northern wastes attempting to succeed where Urlak's throng failed.  This time the throng was larger and not an isolated expedition but part of a wider Dwarven effort to enter the lost holds of Norsca and retrieve heirlooms buried there for centuries.  One such expedition, led by two thanes - Regar Agadkak the Bronze and his Battle Standard Bearer Zundrgur Stonefoot had entered the remnants of an Imperial outpost.  On the march in the throng had passed the chaos preserved corpses of Dwarves from Karak Thorinkin.  180 years previously a few survivors of Urlak Steelpick's fateful expedition had made it south to spread news of their fall.  Now nearly 2 centuries later another Dwarven expedition marched stoically past dead Dwarves left in alternating states of decay and preservation.  Across the battlefields of the northern wastes Daemonic magic had preserved some dead, rotted others, and left some little more than piles of bones buried in rock and dirt.  More horribly still, many of the preserved corpses showed signs of torture and foul Daemonic practices  their bodies stacked out on the plains or nailed to trees.  Foul magic keeping their bodies fresh as a warning against Dwarven folly.

Runefang VII - Dwarfs vs. Daemons of Chaos 2400pts

Event: Runefang VII - 2400pt WHFB Tournament (Swedish Comp).
Battle:  Game 1 - Dawn Attack
First Turn: Yes
Opponent: Daemons of Chaos (Pete Dunn)
Result: 0-20 (although game was a bye so was scored as 20-0 in my favour)

Hereupon follows but  part of the tale of Urlak Steelpick Thane of Clan Morgral of Karak Thorinkin who fell in the Northern wastes some 400 years ago.   Entered into the annuals of the Hold as the Runefang campaign it follows his failed attempt to forge a path northward to recover the lost holds of Norsca from the hordes of Chaos.  Marching from Karak Thorinkin at the end of winter the Warriors and pathfinders of Urlaks clan were joined by members of the other clans of the hold.  Warriors from Clan Theolik the holds rulers, and Clan Vagar home to its Runesmiths accompanied Urlak along with many more from smaller clans seeking increase their influence within the hold.  Unsupported by the many in the hold Urlak was, bold, heroic but doomed to failure.  Not because the might of the Dwarfs of Karak Thorinkin was doubted, but for the real truth for Urlak's march north.  His son, Thonir Urlaksson had lost the Clan's banner in battle against Orcs north of the hold.  Shamed beyond measure he had taken the Slayer oath and marched north into the wastes.  After 80 years Urlak still mourned his son and now sought to lead an army north to find him...

...months passed as the Throng moved northward, many a battle and skirmish were fought, shelter taken in small holds in the northern mountains and among the humans of the Empire.  No sign of the denizens of Chaos had been found but now with the first of the lost holds just a few days march away Daemons had come.  A virtual plague of Horrors, vile gigantic flying insects whose bulbous abdomens drip venom on the ground over which they passed, other strange creatures of foul aspect and at their head a Daemon Prince a herald of Tzeentch whose corrupted presence tainted the very air around the battlefield.

Opting to surprise his enemy Urlak chose to attack at Dawn, but from the start his plans proved flawed. The creatures of Chaos cast their web of tricky and deceit over the battlefield thickening the morning shadows.  The Dwarven army arrived on the field of battle dispersed and disorganised - Urlak, surround by his Hammerer bodyguard, his battle standard bearer Thoradan Granitedelver next to him steeled himself to face the huge Daemon army before him.

April 19, 2014

WIP - Heresy era Word Bearers & High Elf Terrain Board

Well I have managed to get some painting in over the last week.  The roof leak is fixed but I am now, unfortunately, down to a single paint brush which isn't that ideal for details and small areas.  The others all died slowly and painfully over the preceding weeks and the budget hasn't allowed them to be replaced. (Photos aren't that great still waiting on new camera)

Painting wise I've focused on my 30k collection after my motivation took a big boost from playing my first game of 40k a fortnight ago.  No gaming since then and none at all for next 2 weeks means no practice for my Dwarfs before I head off to Runefang VII next weekend.
Full squad of 10 - Champion in black helm with Powerfist
For the assault troops I swapped out the FW pistols and chainswords on most of the models for GW ones.  The FW ones tended to break and had somewhat limited poses, they were also difficult to fit. That and I like the more solid look of the GW ones better.  Models are still waiting for me to order some Word Bearer shoulder pads from FW - which I will soon as the budget allows.  There are some very dodgy numbers of the fitted shoulder pads that I will paint over as they are rubbish.
Word Bearers Champion (Sergeant) with mix of MkIV & MkVII armour

Also finished adding bits to my other FW/GW marines including some purity seals that I found lying around.  I'm going to make some more of these and start adding skulls and possibly flayed skin looking stuff onto most of the models.  The Champion above has FW MkIV Legion armour and backpack.  But I swapped out the MkIV helmet for a horned GW one.  He has a bolt pistol in a holster on his right hip so I also had to add a Boltgun in his right hand and a chainsword, also GW standard  Once I get my brushes sorted Ill touch up the XVII and the shoulder pad and try to put some script on the purity seals.

I also managed a little bit more work on my High Elf display board before I ran out of polyfiller.  The layer of paper maiche helped solidify everything and once I get filler all over it Ill start painting.

Pillars are going to get a layer of filler that I will try and mould into Doric columns, and I'll flatten out the terrain around them to create a stone floor with a symbol on it.

Not quite sure where I'm going with it but we'll see but my lack of enthusiasm for playing High Elves kind of makes a board for them somewhat redundant. So I might re-jig it to suit my Word Bearers.  Just have to work out a terrain scheme that works for them.  My High Elves all have snow bases while the Word Bearers are getting a mixed brown sand/light grass base - so whatever I decide I am stuck with.

April 15, 2014

Runefang VII Tournament Lists out: Elves everywhere

Pete Dunn released the list for Runefang VII yesterday.  Apparently they scored between 11 & 18 on Swedish comp making some a lot easier than others, although I still haven't figured out which is which yet.  At 11.3 I guess my Dwarfs are theoretically at the hard end of the scale, 4th lowest score by the looks of it, for the event which is somewhat strange.  Guess that is balanced out by my generalship which generally involves picking whatever side of the table I happen to be standing on if I win the dice roll, plonking everything down kind of in the middle and then advancing straight up the guts aiming for the biggest enemy unit so I can throw lots of dice.

Should be a fun event, as always, although turnout is very low compared to recent years with just 16 players instead of the usual 24-28.  It will make the race for the top either horribly one-sided or very tight.  The armies being taken to the tournament and their respective Swedish comp scores where available are:
  • Warriors of Chaos - 3 (13.2, 11.3 & 11.0)
  • Dwarfs - 2 (11.3 - mine & 18.4).
  • High Elves - 2 (12.7 & ?)
  • Wood Elves - 2 (12.2 & ?)
  • Ogres - 2 (12.0 & ?)
  • Tomb Kings - 2 (13.0 & 13.7)
  • Skaven (11.3)
  • Bretonnians (14.2)
  • Dark Elves (11.2)
So no Orcs n Goblins, Empire, Vampire Counts or Daemons.  Whether that's due to the vagaries of Swedish comp and the ability to fit lists within the 11 max. restriction I'm not sure.  Very interesting to see so many Elves turning up particularly the Wood Elves.

Examining the lists I'd hate to face Peter Williamsons Bretonnians with its 7 units of Knights and one of Pegasus Knights.  I have a lot of GW but seriously its going to be hard yacker trying to kill that lot. The WoC lists and the Dark Elf one look like the big threats though.  But what do I know? 

The other Dwarf list was interesting and very very different to my own.  Alastair Allan's Dwarf list includes:

Belegar Ironhammer
BSB - Shield, MR Grungi, Ro Sanctuary x2
Runesmith - 2 x Ro Spellbreaking, Shield
Grim Burloksson
12 x Thunderers - Shields
12 x Thunderers - Shields
20 x Quarrellers - Shields, SB, Mu, GW
20 x Ironbreakers - Full Command, Ro Stoicism
10 x Miners - Champion, Steam Drill, Blasting CHarges
10 x Irondrakes
5 x Rangers

So 2 special characters, arguably the best ones in the book - although Grim is highly situational and personally I still rate Bugman as a solid choice.  The small unit of Rangers is interesting as is the unit of Miners whose uselessness without an Anvil is only slightly mitigated by getting ambush.  Can see Grim going with Alastairs Quarrellers and the other characters jumping in with the Ironbreakers to create a stubborn very hard to kill unit.  But at 18.4 its the easiest list of the bunch. 

Personally its not the kind of Dwarf list I would play as I prefer my big blocks of infantry (I have 3 of 28+ models) and at least one decent high strength warmachine.  If his shooting doesn't work in Turn 1-2 its going to go badly although the Gyrobomber could cause a few problems.  But aside from Belegar, Grimm and the Irondrakes who have S5 attacks everything in the list is S3 or S4 so it will struggle against the various Monsters that are floating around, and the high AS units.

April 14, 2014

Alternative Gyrocopter models

Along with WHFB I also play Flames of War, although gaming is restricted to tournaments lately, whose WW2 miniatures are absolutely fantastic.  Recently Battlefront the NZ company responsible for FOW started up two new editions of the game.  The first focused on Vietnam and the second on the Arab-Israeli conflict.  After seeing the Stanton brothers WW1 Biplanes standing in for Pegasus Knights (I think) at Call to Arms a few years back I've been looking for some kind of alternate mini for my Gyro's that followed a similar theme.

Battlefronts Vietnam range provided an opportunity as it included the Huey UH1-D Hog or Huey (Iroquios for us Kiwi's) gunship.  With a recent 40% off sale across their entire Vietnam range and after a chat to a club member who designs models for BF about their scale (they are roughly the same size as the current edition Gyro) I decided to order a couple of them to act as Gyrocopters for my Dwarfs.  At $40 for the pair its not the big a spend if they don't work out and I'll enjoy putting them together, but scale wise they should work and I like them better than the new ones.

Whether the models gain acceptance as legitimate alternatives is another story but considering the range of models I have seen people use in events over the years I don't see them being a problem.  If they work out I can grab a couple more, as they are cheaper, and possibly look at the Cobra's to act as Gyrobombers.

Still waiting for them to arrive though as the Vietnam sale was massively over subscribed and BF has had to put a lot of orders on backlog but hoping to get them soon.

April 12, 2014

Dwarfs for Runefang - 2400pt tournament list & 9th Ed?

Submitted my list (3 times due to a couple of errors) for Runefang VII yesterday.  Taking Dwarfs which will make this there first official outing under the new book.  List hasn't changed much from the old book due largely to the use of Swedish Comp for the event.  The comp limit for the event is 11pts which makes it much harder to take a lot of war machines, that and I still prefer big blocks of infantry.

Also read some horrible rumours about the new WHFB 9th edition basically becoming 40k but with magic and swords vs. psykers and guns.  If so its going to be freaking horrible (read them here). Really really hope these rumours aren't true because they will basically destroy WHFB as it currently stands.

Anyway my list for Runefang VII is:

The Throng of Karak Thorinkin
Thane (General) - 146pts
w. GW, MR Gromil, Ro Iron x2

Toughness 6, with 3 wounds and a 1+ AS.  Losing the old Ro Resistance which allowed us to re-roll AS still hurts (Dwarfs are the only army it seems that doesn't get this ability).

Thane (BSB) - 171pts
w. GW, Ro Fortitude x2, Ro Furnace

Toughness 6, 3 wounds, 4+ AS, 5+ WS and 2+ vs. Flaming.  Not quite as survivable but he'll do.

Runesmith - 113pts
w. Shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking x2

Runesmith - 88pts
w. Shield, Ro Spellbreaking

2 scroll equivalents one of which eats a spell on 4+ alah the old Spelleater rune.  One in each Warrior unit to give them Armour Piercing, or maybe with the Quarrellers to give it to them - FAQ still not out so you could argue that it applies to their shooting as well as CC attacks.

28 x Warriors - 310pts
w. Full command, GW

28 x Warriors - 310pts
w. Full command, GW

10 x Quarrellers - 140pts
w. Musician, Shields

10 x Quarrellers - 140pts
w. Musician, Shields

Blah blah standard core for me.  I like my big blocks.  Did consider taking a horde of 35-40 Quarrellers as my 2nd block but that would have left me with 3 units of infantry which isn't enough against all the skirmish and cheap redirector armies out there.

29 x Hammerers - 501pts
w. Musician, Standard Bearer, MR Groth One-Eye

Runic banner makes all units with 12" stubborn.  Redundant on the Hammerers as they are Stubborn already but I've used this rune a lot and its golden.  

Gyrocopter - 80pts

Gyrocopter - 80pts

Only problem here is I only have the one model so hoping I can borrow one from somewhere.  Was planning on using some alternate models but they haven't arrived yet.

Cannon - 150pts
w. Ro Forging, Ro Burning

Organ Gun - 170pts
w. Ro Accuracy, Ro Forging

+1 to hit and re-roll misfires (on both dice) mean this thing is going to hurt.  I would have taken two but Swedish comp really punishes you for using these things, go figure.

TOTAL 2,399pts Swedish Comp Score 11.3

So there we go.  Not a gun line and none of the other toys like Irondrakes and Ironbreakers, as I don't have the models and no special characters.  I would take Slayers but I don't have the models for a unit and couldn't fit the solo characters into the list, despite usually taking 2-3 of them.