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Friday, January 29, 2010

Tyranid Codex In Depth Review: Part IV (Special Characters)

Two things happened at work today....lots of meetings and then free wings and such for lunch.  This post almost didn't happen.  Nevertheless, we perservere through hardship. 

Special Characters

The Swarmlord - An aboslute monster, who suffers a bit from the problem that all Tyrants have, in that  he's slow.  But he does cut through invulnerable saves, cause instant death, is a super psyker, and can make the rest of your army stronger.  Still, at his cost and speed, I'll give him a B.

The Parasite of Mortrex - If nothing more, this is a pretty darn fun model to use.  Put him in with some Gargoyles, and he's safer.  I'm not really sure about his real utility, but the special ability is going to make your opponent sweat just a little about outflanking.  B, for giggles. 

Deathleaper - This is one of those units that you can't really look at in terms of killing ability.  Instead, focus on how many little things it's going to do to your opponent to make his game harder to play.  He can slow down opponents and make their leadership lower.  Hard to kill.  It's nasty business, and I like him a lot.  B+

The Doom of Malan'tai - Pure craziness in a single model.  Sure, he could die to a missile launcher.  But if you don't kill him, he's going to get all his wounds back, and then some on the next turn, and he costs less than a C note worth of points.  A no brainer, and an A+ (and that's assuming that he doesn't hit things in transports, which is debatable until the FAQ).

Ymgarl Genestealers - The crazy folks can be tough and mean, and the ability to come out of nowhere is nice, but you're getting pretty pricey for 'Stealers at 23 points a model.  I'd pass on these.  B-.

Old One Eye - Yep, he's a killing machine.  He's also amazingly expensive, even compared to the amazingly expensive new Carnifex.  C-.

Thanks for bearing with me as I worked through the Codex!  I realize that as a primarily Fantasy player getting back into 40K, my insights are not revolutionary, but I hope that in working my head around the Codex, I've been somewhat helpful to you as well!  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tyranid Codex In Depth Review: Part III (Elites, Fast Attack, and Heavy Support)


Lictors - I've always liked these for their ability to get into specific spots and threaten.  With their non-scattering ways, you can position them carefully.  Get in there and wreck some face.  B+.

Venomthropes - Cover saves for your army?  Yes, please!  Float these guys along with the crowd.  Worth an A.

Zoanthropes - You'll need these for some of the only tank killing shots in the army.  A 3+ invulnerable save makes them extremely resilient as well.    A+. 

 Fast Attack

Shrikes - Flying Warriors!  While these aren't bad, I think they're a bit pricey (once upgraded) for a unit that will easily call down a lot of heavy weapon fire.  Not a terrible choice, but you'll need to be extremely careful with them.  I give them a B.

Raveners - Like all deep strikers, you'll have to be both careful and a bit lucky with them.  These guys won't take a round of shooting well at all, so something else will have to be a target when they come in.  B.

Sky Slasher Swarms - Jump Infantry Swarms....more expensive and take up a Fast Attack slot.  Our first C.

Gargoyles - Cheap, fast, and awesome.  Did I mention that these suckers were crazy cheap.  In my opinion, these are the most unappreciated unit in the Codex thus far.  A++. 

Harpy - A flying MC in Fast Attack sounded so cool.  Too bad it's not that great, and can easily be taken down by small arms fire.  B-.

Carnifex Brood

Carnifex Brood - What can I really say that everyone else hasn't?  These guys got crazy expensive for what they provide.  You can get much better units for less or the same cost.  A C-, at best. 

Bio/Pyrovore - Nothing special, again.  In the case of the Pyrovore, just terrible.  C- again.

Trygon - A great choice, and it has real utility in the ability to tunnel other creatures in after it.  I don't know that it will have the same utility against Mech armies, but it's good stuff nonetheless.  B+.

Mawloc - Fantastic choice!  This sucker can wipe out Marine and Terminator squads as it enters the battlefield...and it can do it again and again.  I think long term we'll be seeing a few of these on the field.  A. 

Tyrannofex - Big, scary, and slow.  It'll tear up things like Orks, but I have trouble seeing it take down anything with a 3+ save or better.  B. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dark Elf Rank and File Complete

Tonight, I finished my last Corsair, which means I am done painting the rank and file of my Dark Elves.  I started last May, and have finished:

1.  A Lord on Dragon
2.  Three Sorceresses
3.  Three Heroes on Foot
4.  One Cauldron of Blood and Attendants
5.  Two Assassins
6.  Forty Five Spearmen
7.  Twenty Dark Riders
8.  Thirty Crossbowmen
9.  Ten Witch Elves
10.  Fifteen Shades
11.  Fifteen Executioners
12.  Five Cold One Knights
13.  Two Cold One Chariots
14.  Twenty Black Guard
15.  One Hydra
16.  Two Repeater Bolt Throwers

Lets call that around 5,000 points and 182 models.  I'll get an accurate count of what I can stretch it to once the last few models are done.  I have around eight models left, made up of various heroes, as well as a Manticore.  I have a mostly leisurely week and weekend coming up, with work only Monday through Saturday and the whole Sunday off.  I may be able to finish everything by the Beasts release on February 6th, but I won't rush anything.

Tyranid Codex In Depth Review: Part II (HQ and Troops)

Army Special Rules:  Yikes!  Here are a couple of really big hits that people are complaing about.  Synapse Creatures remain the same, except now they aren't Eternal Warriors and can be instakilled.  Shadow in the Warp can now cause Perils of the Warp results, but is only 12" instead of all over the board.  It's also a given ability instead of an ability that you purchase.  

Tyranid players will now have to be more careful with their multiwound monsters, as they can now be instakilled.  I can't say I hate this, as it will make people more careful with their units, instead of the previous 'Nidzilla tactic of just running everything straight forward without worrying too much about the big guns.  Shadow in the Warp is interesting.  The power wasn't that expensive previously, and the 12" range is a big hit.  Many psychic powers don't really need to get that close to work. 

Note:  We'll hit the Special Characters later in the week. 


Hive Tyrant:  He's more than twice as expensive as before, without upgrades, so that's rough.  He does come as a Psyker now, though, and can give units within 6" of him Preferred Enemy.  He's still a beast, but he's a bit more pricey than before.  Tyrant Guard is available as protection.   B.

Tervigon:  This thing is great, but can be chosen as a Troops choice, where it is an amazing option.  We'll touch on it there.

Tyranid Prime:  Powerful Upgraded Warriors who give their abilities to Warrior Units.  Giving WS 6 to Warrior units makes them pretty great, as most Characters will then hit them on 4's instead of 3's.  This is a great choice in my book.    A.


A big thing here is Mycetic Spores, which allow Tyranids to Drop Pod down. 

Warriors:  Warriors are almost twice as expensive as before, but are troops now and gain a wound!  Combined with a Tyranid Prime, these suckers are really nasty!  B+ (A if with a Prime).

Stealers:  These bad boys got cheaper, can take a Broodlord as an upgrade (who is also cheaper), and didn't really get a downgrade.  I like them a lot, and with fleet and infiltrate they can do some real damage.  A

Gaunts:  Termagaunts are a point more expensive than before.  For every 10 strong unit, you can have a Tervigon as a Troop choice.  Hormagaunts remain roughly the same. (Termagaunts get an A, if only for the Tervigon...I've never cared for Hormagaunts much, but they still do what they do well, so a B for them.)

Tervigon:  So here we have a Monstrous Creature that can score, and can also spawn more Termagaunts.  I think we'll be seeing a lot of these around, as they're an absolutely fantastic troops choice.  A+

Ripper Swarms:  Still great for tying other units up in close combat, these units have gained the ability to Deep Strike as well.  B+

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tyranid Codex In Depth Review: Part I (The Fluffy Bits)

As I'm thinking about easing back into 40K with the upcoming Blood Angels, I thought it would be a good exercise over the next few days to work through my thoughts on the new Tyranids Codex.  As usual, there's a lot of angst out there on the internet, with some whining that the new book is too tough and broken, and others arguing that it's too weak and unplayable.  I happen to think at first impression that neither of these is true, and that the book is really very interesting in that it has a lot of new options, but only time will really tell. 

Today, I thought we'd start with the easy stuff; that is, the background and painting parts of the book.

Initial Impressions:  Two things immediately grabbed me about the new book, one of which was positive and one of which is a little negative.  First, the new book is nice and thick.  Since the old book could sometimes be mistaken for a tiny magazine, this is an improvement.  For those keeping score at home, we get ninety six pages now as compared to the previous sixty four.  On the other hand, I don't like the new cover art as much.  The new cover art is "Tyranids walking about".  The old art, which was more "A Tyranid showing a tank what's what" was much more of an action shot, as compared to now. 

I swear this will come back to bite me, but I think the binding might actually be pretty solid on this book.  After having most of my GW books fall apart pretty rapidly, this would be a shock.  We shall see.

So for initial impressions, I give the book a B+.

The Background:    The first thirty two pages of the book are Tyranid background, and it's pretty darn fantastic.  You've got the general background about the fall of Tyran and the Battle for Macragge, but it's greatly expanded to offer more detail on what happened.  The book then expands into stories about the various Hive Fleets, looking at Behemoth, Naga, Gorgon, Leviathan, Kraken, and Jormungandr.  Each gets at least a couple pages of story.  The battle between Gorgon and the Tau is particularly good, as each race rapidly adapts to the other as they battle it out.

Also included in the section are timelines for each Fleet that help flesh out the details of their nastiness, and great maps that help show the progress of each Fleet as they eat their way through space.  Little jewels are dropped in these auxillary pages, like the fact that the Astronomicon is drawing the Fleets towards Terra.  Yikes! 

I'm going to give the Fluff an A.  It's a strong showing, and left me wanting more as I read about each war.

The Painting Section:  For some, the painting section of the book can really sell (or fail to sell) an army.  While the Tyranid's painting section is pretty good, it's nothing spectacular.  The new models (especially the Trygon) are fantastic looking.  Everything is well painted, as should be expected.  So all the basic stuff that should be in this section is there. 

There are three paint schemes represented:  Behemoth,  Leviathan, and Kraken.  These are the same that were in the last Codex, and that's fine.  What I would have really liked to see are some of the new Fleets represented, at least to get some fresh paint schemes in there.  I flipped through the painting section, and aside from the new models, it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before. 

I can't say the painting section really got me interested, but it was technically good, so I'll give it a B. 

Tomorrow, we'll start looking at the meat of the Codex, and all the smashy monsters (new and old) which make the Tyranids tick. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Temptation of Blood Angels

The internet is ablaze with rumors of Blood Angels being the next big release for Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop.  I love rumors, and have unfortunately been sucked in by the sheer awesomeness that I hear about the Blood Angels.  The question becomes whether I should start a Blood Angels army, and I've attempted to list some pros and cons to help answer the question.


1.  I have a ton of Marine models.  I easily have enough unpainted marines to handle the Tactical, Assault, and Devastator Squads, as well as the Rhinos. 
2.  They sound like they hit hard and fast, which is the kind of army that I was looking for in 40K.  I haven't been playing 40K for a while, because my marines, even the Raven Guard, seem plodding and sadly ineffectual in close combat.  Blood Angels have rumors of Furious Charge, flying transports, and all sorts of fun things like that.  So I think they could respark my affection for 40K.   
3.  I do like the color scheme. 
4.  The fluff appears to be moving from the unappealing "Space Vampires" theme to a much more interesting theme of schism within the Chapter between those who want to harness the violence inherent to their genes and those who want to try to rise above it. 


1.  I'm in the middle of painting 2,000 points of Imperial Fists, and have Dark Elves (almost done), Beastmen, Trollbloods, and Khador on my plate.  The painting docket is thus very full for an army that I'm not sure I'll get to play much.

2.  There will be some investment in new models, especially the very cool ones that always come out.  So that's some of my potential tournament winnings or spending money invested there instead of Beasts, which is also going to have some minor costs. 
3.  I already have a red and bronze/gold Dark Elf army.  So this won't be new painting territory. 

I have no idea what to do here.  Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Minions Madness 2010!

I recently completed painting what used to be, under the old Privateer Press system, 1000 points of Trollbloods.  It was a lot of fun for Tale of Painters on Librarium Online.  I still have six months of Tale of Painters entries, however.  So for those last entries, I decided to work on Minions.  Specifically, I'm going to work on the four Minion Warlocks. 

As soon as I saw the picture of Wrong Eye and Snapjaw (the Gators), I had to pick them up, and the Armored Bear wasn't far behind.  At that point, since they can all work with Trollbloods, it just seemed natural to go for all four.  So these will be my projects for the next few months (on the Trollblood side of things), and it looks like a great time. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hot Hot Executioner Action

I got into the Dark Elf army because of three things:  dinosaurs, pirates, and ninjas.  It was actually a leaked picture of Lokhir Felheart, months before the book was released, that got me buying up the models for the army.

One of the units that I really liked the look of were the Executioners.  The models have very fluid poses, like they're going to slice and dice you up.  I went out and bought fifteen of them, right off the bat.  Then the rules came out.  My Executioners have never seen the table.

A small part of that is they're part of the dwindling number of Dark Elf models I have that need to be painted.  That should all change in the next couple weeks.  And I'm thinking about running them.  Backed by a Cauldron, with an ASF banner BSB, they're not too terrible.  I could run fifteen for size, plus the BSB, and that wouldn't be too bad.  Sure, you have to control for the BSB's frenzy, but that's not the hardest thing in the world.  And they've got some nasty abilities at that point.

I'm not saying they're great, I'm just saying that (like my Corsairs) I should give them a shot.  So here's hoping, Executioners.  Don't let me down.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Models that Inspire Me: Chaplain Terseteegen

Until I had it independently verified, I couldn't quite believe that this was a model that someone had painted.  It's just perfect, especially the face.  The really amazing things to me are the level of detail, especially on the armor and face, and the subtle yet effective shading.  The battle scarring on the armor is believable, and the shadows and light really make this stand out.   This is definitely the kind of painting that makes me want to work harder to get my stuff looking better.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kommander Sorscha

What a gorgeous model, and a great centerpiece for the Khadoran army.  I had hoped that my paint job would do her justice, and I think it turned out pretty well.  I'm particularly happy with the metals, and I feel that my face painting is slowly but steadily improving. 

What's more exciting for me is that Sorscha represents as bit of a milestone for me.  She marks the completion of one half of my Khador army, and she also is the final model of the original 500 point army that I picked up for Khador.  Of course, that points system no longer exists, and I'm not sure that that 500 point army is viable in Warmachine Mark II as a force, but it's still something. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brawler Bash III and Grail Quest Madness!

The organizers at Brawler Bash III, Raleigh's fantastic WFB Indy GT, have let me know that they plan to offer free admission to Brawler Bash for the winner of the Best Sportsman award at Grail Quest!  This is a fantastic offer, and I really appreciate it.

Brawler Bash III will take place March 6th and 7th as part of the Triangle Simulation Society's Spring Fever in Raleigh, NC.  It's a great GT, and I know I'll be in attendance!  Information and registration can be found at http://www.trianglesimsociety.org/WHFBTournament.html!

Grail Quest will be held February 20th at Sci Fi Genre in Durham, NC.  This is Grail Quest's second year, and I plan to make it a fantastic tournament and build on last year's successes.  We have eighteen players preregistered so far!  For more information, please visit www.thebigbluewaaagh.com/grailquest.  To preregister, please email grailquest2010@gmail.com or visit or forums at http://thebigbluewaaagh.com/phpbb2/viewforum.php?f=16&sid=fc8739720f2fc45dc35561167e417876 or http://z6.invisionfree.com/Scifi_Genre_Forums/index.php?showtopic=4951.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why Wargaming?

For anyone who missed it, this is from Big Red at Bell of Lost Souls.  I actually mailed the article to myself, and am thinking about printing it up to go up on the wall.  I think it concisely covers all the things that make our hobby great. 


So this one has been a long time coming...

As I embraced the wargaming hobby, I never really pondered the why until I bumped into Phil Kelly at Adepticon 2 years ago and he posed a question to me:

"Why Wargaming?  Why that over board games, video games, or any other types of games?"  

At some level I blame the LEGO space-men.  When I was very young my parents took me to the Galleria in Houston, TX (a big fancy place for a country kid like me) and I got one of the first LEGO space sets ever made. I started the adventures with the little plastic men right then, and over the year, the play led to invented rules, then simple games, then more advanced games, and look where I am decades later... *help me*

It was a good question Phil asked. A really good one and it got me pondering the things I feel bind me to the hobby and how the hobby enriches my life.  In a nutshell here is my list:

1) Its a Physical Hobby - No pixels, or ephemeral experiences.  I get to lay my hands on awesome real world TOYS and play with them for years.

2) Its a Visual Game - To this day few things stop me like a beautiful table with 2 well-painted armies on them.  No cardboard chits, or save-games for me. (I'm also a sucker for giant battle dioramas at museums)

3) The Worlds - Whether you play in the Imperium of Man, the Old World, the Iron Kingdoms or anywhere else, there is something about those rich fleshed out universes that wargaming gives you a window into.

4) The Depth of the Hobby - This is a big one. From the painting to the reading, to the converting, to the army building, not to mention the playing, the hobby can support as much effort as you can throw into it.  Like any grand hobby, it can last a lifetime, and not leave you high and dry after a few days of playing.

5) Math - At some level wargaming teaches math, statististics, and probability.  Some players are calculators and can figure the odds in their heads instantly while others are instinctual and "feel their way through the odds" after a lot of games under their belts. Utilizing math in your everyday life is a good thing in the long run.

6) Its Social - I get to actually hang with like-minded players and have a great time rolling some dice and moving toys around, not virtual people in far away lands.

7) A Touch of History - Regardless of genre, there is an underlying ribbon of historical warfare and command implicit in wargaming, and it touches something grand inside all of us.

8) The Painting - Yes its always been a love-hate relationship, but few things bind you to a hobby like the pride of a fine collection of handpainted models under your belt.

9) The Psychology of Play - Few things these days let you really try to understand your fellow player, and outwit him on the tabletop in a display of pure light-hearted competition (and a bit of dice-luck). 

10) The Hidden Gifts - From attention to detail, eye-hand coordination, focus of thought, color theory, and countless others the fringe benefits of the wargaming hobby are myrid, and often not overt at first glance.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Painting Faces 202

Yeah....not like this.  

One of the things that I've been having a lot of trouble with is painting faces.  Specifically, female faces are giving me some trouble, as I had to paint Eyriss and the alternate Khador Manhunter.  The problem with female faces is I end up with something that doesn't look shaded, or a woman with a five o'clock shadow.  Now, with Eyriss, this wasn't too much of a problem, as her face is shaped like a weird football anyway, but I've really been looking to find some techniques that were a bit beyond basic face painting. 

So I was thrilled this morning to run into this article on GW's Twitter feed.  There is some amazing advice in this article.  You'll need to be logged into the GW website to access it, but I highly suggest it!  There's also help for undead and non-human faces.  So here it is:  Painting Faces Redux.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tourney Batreps from 01/10/2010

After my big win at the first tournament on January 9th, I felt pretty good entering day two.  The one thing I didn't like was my list.  Since the tournament on the 10th was a League tournament, we had made our lists long ago and been playing with them for a few months.  Unfortunately, I had decided after my first game or so with the list that I really hated it.  It violated two of my cardinal rules, in that it was slow (or at least felt slow) and the units were too expensive.  It also didn't have a lot of "shock" hitting power.  The list was:

Lord with ASF Dagger, Potion of Strength, Pearl of ItP, Regen Armor
Hero with Pendant, Soulpiercer
Cauldron with Rune of Khaine, Manbane
Scroll Caddy
2 Assassins with Rune of Khaine, Manbane
23-24 Spears with War Banner
2 Units of Dark Riders
20 Black Guard, ASF with the Ring
Seven Shades
1 Bolt Thrower

The Lord and Hero go in the Spears.

Game One

In my first game, I played Todd and his High Elves.  He had big units of Phoenix Guard and White Lions, two Tiranoc Chariots, mounted Lord and Hero in a Unit of Dragon Princes, two Level 2 Mages and the Banner of Sorcery, a bolt thrower, and two giant spear units. 

Todd played very aggressively, charging all his folks forward.  He was pretty bent on destroying the Black Guard with his High Magic, despite the Ring of Hotek being in there, and this went pretty badly for him.  He also liked to save dice to cast the High Elf spell that raises my casting values, despite the fact that I had no magic phase.  I think he may have been worried that I had some sort of cunning plan, unaware of the fact that I learned to play with Bretonnians and thus developed no strategies in this game except for "Charge!". 

Todd had deployed his White Lions off to one side of the board, and they were pretty much a nonfactor in the game.  He also inadvertently let me shoot his Dragon Princes in the flank with a Bolt Thrower a couple times as they chased Dark Riders around, which led to just the Prince and Noble Surviving.  Without the White Lions and Dragon Riders around, my Spears and Black Guard were able to kill the rest of his army, and by the end, he was charging his Noble and Lord into the Black Guard, which used their Combat Res. to run him down.  I had a few bonus points, and was sitting near the top of the tourney at this point.

Lunch was the finest (non-alcohol serving) place to eat, ever.  That's right, the K&W Cafeteria.  At this point, a scary lady who was serving broccoli gave me the evil eye, and I'm pretty sure that's what led to round three.  Crikey!

Game Two

In the second game, I ran into Blair, who is our local VC player.  While he's been playing for less than a year, Blair is very talented and a great guy to play against.  However, he had been making disparaging comments on the quality of the K&W Cafeteria, so I was ready to take him down.  Blair will also write a much better Battle Report for this match, hopefully, and then I'll post it here.

He brought a Lord Vamp, a Hero Vamp BSB, a Necro on Horse, and a Corpse Cart.   To ride shotgun, there were Blood Knights, Wraiths, Grave Guard, and some Ghouls and Zombies.   Lots of magic dice, and some bound items.  Yum. 

More or less, we managed to create an ubercombat in the middle of the Board, as everything charged everything else.  Although I almost broke once, I managed to hold on and eventually kill his Lord and BSB.  Meanwhile, while he killed lots of guys, most of them were Spearmen, so pointswise I had a big win. 

Round Three

For the third round, I was tied for first place.  Unfortunately, so was Lance, who is an excellent player, and who also had a lovely Dwarf Gun Line.  He had two units of Longbeards, two Units of Hammerers, four bolt throwers, two Organ Guns, a BSB, a Thane, and the Anvil.  Before the game began, I was pretty excited about my upcoming draw/minor win or loss. 

Basically, he had an excellent answer to most of the things in my army, like the Hydra, in the form of one billion flaming shots each turn.  If I had been in super cunning tournament mode, I guess I could have hidden a good part of my army in the woods for the whole game.  I'm just more friendly/aggressive than that, though.  Plus, I hate thinking.  See the "Charge!" strategy, above.

His anvil did explode on the first turn.  So I had that going for me.  When this happened, though, he pulled the rest of his army behind a hill, and formed his Hammerers two wide and ten deep with the BSB (and the remaining army) behind them.  In practice, this meant that I now got to use my two blocks of troops to pound away at his Stubborn LD9 rerolling units for the the rest of the game, with neither side really doing much of anything.  I killed one unit, and hacked on the other, and we called it a game.  I had a little bit of an advantage on scenario points, and edged him 13-12. 

I ended up in third place for the day, behind Ian Holland and Chad Hoggan.  The tournament was a great time, and I enjoyed all my games.  Thanks to Chad and Chris for organizing and running the league/tourney.  I'll be there next year!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grail Quest 2010

 Hear Ye, Hear Ye, and soforth and suchwith and something or other!

On February 20th, I'll be hosting the Second Annual Grail Quest at Sci Fi Genre in Durham, NC.  Grail Quest is a 2,250 point Warhammer Fantasy Battle Tournament consisting of three rounds.  Like last year, I'll be putting my own money into the prize pool to make it extra prizey!  Last year, we maxed out Sci Fi Genre's capacity with twenty-three, but this year Sci Fi has expanded and we have a capacity for over forty players! 

We'll also be submitting our results to the NC Master's Rankings this year, and are proud to be associated with The Big Blue Waaagh (www.thebigbluewaaagh.com). 

For more information, visit our website at www.thebigbluewaaagh.com/grailquest.  You can find our forums from there, or email with any questions or comments to grailquest2010@gmail.com.

So be there, or be a smelly peasant!

Three Little Batreps from January 9th

Like I mentioned, this past Saturday was an open tournament in Charlotte, NC.  There was a comp system in place, which used a checklist of "bad things" you could take in your army, each one giving a point.  The only limitation was that you couldn't go over twelve of these points.  In general, there were some pretty hard armies there, including mine.  Considering I was playing slower, softer Dark Elves on Sunday, I took a variation on one of my old favorite speed lists.

My list was (approximately):

Dreadlord on Black Dragon with Pendant and Crimson Death
BSB on foot in Black Guard with Regen Armor and Soulpiercer
Death Hag with Cauldron
Three Dark Rider groups of five with Crossbows
Twenty Black Guard with ASF, Ring of Hotek
Cold One Knights with Standard of Slaughter
Cold One Chariot
Reaper Bolt Thrower

Game One

My first game was against Eric and his Tomb Kings.  He had (very approximately):

A Casket of Souls
A Hierophant on Foot
A Prince on Chariot
A King on foot with Destroyer of Eternities with Tomb Guard
Tomb Guard
Two Blocks of Skeleton Archers
Two units of 3-4 chariots.
Two Scorpions
Screaming Skull Catapult

There wasn't a ton of cover options, and he went first. He didn't move much, and his catapult missed twice.  It was, in his own words, a very windy board.  I had to let most of his magic go, but it didn't cost me too much at that range.  I failed to dispel the Casket, and it killed a few Dark Riders. 

In my turn, I moved up, and more or less grabbed my ankles in preparation for his next round of magic and shooting.  I just had to take it, since there was no cover and no chance of him coming to me, so I put everything out there to give him too many targets. 

Luckily, his Catapult refused to play ball again.  He did have a Scorpion pop up and charge my Dragon, but he went for my Lord and his attack bounced off my pendant.  His Archers shot repeatedly into my Hydra, but couldn't do much of anything to it.  I dispelled his Casket. 

I then flew my Dragon to where his Prince and Chariots were hanging near his board edge and breathed on them.  I positioned the Black Guard so that he'd charge them with his Chariots in order to get away from the Dragon. 

He shot at my Dragon with his Catapult, but failed to wound.  His other Scorpion misfired and died before it came on the table.  He did manage to get his second group of Chariots into my Chariot in the side, which caused my Chariot to flee into the woods.  Unfortunately, he failed to restrain and chased me into the woods as well, which destroyed his Chariot group.  My Black Guard ate his Chariots. 

I charged my Dragon into his Catapult and smashed it.  At this point, he had some skeletons, his Casket, and Tomb Guard with King.  I brought the Dragon back on the board behind his Casket.  Unfortunately for me, he had Banner of the Sands, and reformed his Tomb Guard and charged the Dragon.  With the Destroyer of Eternities (or whatever it's called), he beat up on the Dragon and Rider, who fled off the table.  Whoops!

The game ended with a Solid Victory for me.  I didn't pick up any of the bonus points though, so I wasn't at the top for round two. 

Round Two

In the second round, I played Dan R. from Charlotte and his Empire.  He had (Dan, correct me where I screw this up): 

Arch Lector on War Alter
Two Priests
A Wizard
Lots of Cannons and Hellblaster Volley Guns
Small Groups of Shooty Troops
Three Units of Knights

Once again, there wasn't a lot of cover, and I opted to just throw everything out there.  His cannons killed my Hydra immediately and put some wounds on the Dragon.  It was exceptional aim and rolling.  He also managed to use the Orb of Thunder to stop my Dragon from flying.  My dragon hobbled around killing some small troups, and eventually came into contact with his Alter.  It beat the Alter to death slowly, barely surviving with one wound, which I eventually lost to small arms.  The Lord survived, but on foot. 

In the meantime, the middle of the board had remained kind of blah, with not a whole lot of killing going on anywhere. Small points were exchanged, but the game ended in a draw.  Oddly, the scenario extra points were worth almost as much as the regular game, and I ended up with as many points as someone who won big.  This put me in fourth place for the final round.  First and second place were well ahead, though. 

Round Three

In the third round, I drew Jon from West Virginia.  He was a great guy, and a lot of fun to play against.  Unfortunately, everything that went poorly for him did.  He had an Empire Army, but was not gun heavy and had no Alter. It did have a Steam Tank, but he deployed it pretty far over on one flank.  My Dragon went on the opposite flank.  It's a pretty easy sum up:

My Dragon advanced up his flank.  He couldn't see it with his big guns.  Then the Dragon his a unit on one flank of his line, which fled through the rest of his army.  This more or less paralyzed the army, and the dragon continued down the line, eating and making happy dragon gurgles. 

I should stop here and mention that my Dragon's name is Steve.  Jesus is his copilot and he enjoys fly fishing.

I got him to charge my Cauldron with his Steam Tank...and the Cauldron beat his Steam Tank to death over eight rounds of Combat.  The Cauldron can manage some impact hits, and I had plenty of Strength Six attacks going back.  Thanks Manbane!  I'm buying an Engineer hat for my Death Hag. 

Halfway up the field, I stopped moving my Black Guard.  There was simply nothing to do, as Steve had chomped his way completely through Jon's army.  I've never seen a Dragon get that excited. 

Because the game was over so very quickly, I had time to make sure and score every possible bonus point.  The guys at the top table drew, and this vaulted me to first place.  It was unexpected, but a lot of fun.   I had a blast, and went out for proper libations in order to prepare for the next tournament on Sunday. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Charlotte Tournament Results

Well, the weekend in Charlotte went well.  Saturday was a one day regular RTT tournament.  Our Durham group performed well, with (I believe) all six of us in the top half of the 18 people there.  I took first, with Lon Sims taking second.  I'll get the full standings up if and when they go out. 

On Sunday, we had the NC Winter League Championship tournament, with 18 people attending.  Four of the top five spots went to Durham players.  Congratulations to Ian Holland and his VC for taking first, and Chad Hoggan and his Brets for taking second.  I took third. 

Both tournaments were a blast, and I look forward to travelling down to Charlotte again . Parker Banner Kent and Wayne is a great store, and the Charlotte folks were nothing but friendly.  My six games over two days were a blast, and meeting some new players from around the state was awesome!  I look forward to them coming up for some tournament action up here in Durham. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Comp Systems: The Charlotte 01/09 Approach

I'm headed down to Charlotte in the early a.m. tomorrow for two days of Warhammer Fantasy tournaments.  The second day (1/10) is a state league championship tournament which I've been working my way into for a couple months.  The first day (1/9) is a store RTT at Parker, Banner, Kent and Wayne, a great store down that way. 

They've come up with an interesting approach to composition down there.  Basically, they use a checklist, and any army that shows up can play.  Any army that scores higher than a 12, however, can't earn any points, and thus can't win anything at all, really. 

I'll give that it's easy, and it's fine for a one day RTT, but I wouldn't use this anywhere else.  It's a bit too broad, and too punishing in some areas while easy in others.  For instance, my Dark Elf army can skate through with a variety of builds, while my buddy's VC is hard pressed to score well.  I think the idea that 12+ can't play is the hardest part though.  I've never thought that any legal list should be eliminated, although some can be heavily penalized. 

There is no easy or correct way to do composition, although I'm a fan of the WPS system, if I had to choose one.  Any ideas on different composition systems that you like?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheap and Easy Homemade Magnetized Movement Trays

Magnetized movement trays have been a fascination of mine since my first day of Warhamnmer Fantasy, ever since my first opponent walked into our game with lines of Wood Elf archers and cavalry attached to strips of sheet metal and was moving the trays easily without the models so much as quivering.  Since then, I've looked into a lot of different methods.  I've tried:

1.  Sheet metal.  I don't have a professional metal cutter, and I didn't like how jagged my work turned out. 
2.  Premade magnetized bases and trays.  By the time I found these in stores, a lot of my models were already on bases, and I didn't want to switch them to the magnet bases.  Also, I played Bretonnians for years, so the standard base sizes didn't really work. 
3.  Metal Paint.  I could never find this locally, and it was expensive on the internet. 

Finally, I developed my own cheap and easy method. 

Step 1 - Put Rare Earth magnets on the bases.  Try http://www.amazingmagnets.com/ for the magnets, or look at your local hobby shop.
Step 2 - Build your own trays.  You can use the GW trays that you can cut into various sizes, or trays from other companies.  I've also used cheap thin plywood. 
Step 3- Buy some small, inexpensive washers.  You can generally get a hundred or so for a couple of bucks at your hardware store.  Glue those suckers onto your trays. 

I like to flock my trays to match my army bases.  In the picture above, you can see one of my old trays made out of plywood (in the bottom left), and GW trays with washers.  They make large fantasy games so much easier to deploy and pack up, which adds a lot to enjoyment. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beastmen Rumor Roundup III

More and more keeps coming in!  We're going to run out of Beast Man pictures!

No Daemon Prince at all.

No marks what so ever, as already mentioned.

Wargors are T5, yes that's a wargor - the hero one. (his stats being 553452438)

Doombull - M6, WS6, BSwhocares?, S6, T5, W5, I5, A5, Ld8, Frenzy, Fear, Bloodgreed (+1 Frenzy if win), D3 Impact hits, and unit gets frenzy if the doombull is (starts frenzied) but doesnt use primal fury

Mutations! - +1 init (cheap), 5+ scaly skin (cheap), armour piercing (cheap), model and unit are stubborn (pricey, but oh so worth it)

4 pages of Items

Minotaurs at mid 50's points wise, same stats as before but 1 less initiative. Option for shields and they do cause 1 impact hit with no min. distance.

Harpies can scout for additional points! (woo)

Magic - Lore of the Wild (7 spells!) 0-6 like the old Tzeentch
0- Bestial Surge - 7+ movement spell, doesn't make you charge though, might be faq'd

1- Viletide - 7+ 5d6 S1 24" magic missles

2 - Devolve, 9+, enemy units within 12" take ld, amount failed = # of wounds with no AS

3 - bray-scream, 10+, one character within 12" makes a breath weapon attack at s3 with no AS (I like this one)

4 - Traitor-kin, 10+, all enemy models within 12" riding a mount of any kind suffer number of attacks = mounts attacks w/ same S. same for monsters & handlers and chariots. no AS bonus for mounted or barding, etc. (Hello Hydras! biggrin.gif )

5 - mantle of ghorok, 13+, friendly character within 6", model gains +d6 S and +d6 S (max 10), if 1 or more 6's rolled, model suffers a wound with no saves of any kind (Interesting one, and can be potentially devastating)

6 - Savage dominion, 16+, 'summon' a giant, gorghon or jabberslythe, place at any point on table edge and move as if returning from pursuing an enemy off the table

Cenitgors can be core from the Warhoof guy (mid 100pts) (who looks bloody terrible IMO), has a Unicorn Helmet, hates Welves and MR2.

Wargors are cheaper than current beastlords by 10pts. Beast lords are around 1 MoN (current book price) more expensive, Doombulls are similarly increased in price.

Gors are same price, however the sheild/AHW costs 1 point.

Unors are 1 point more and come with shield, option for spears. Option for cheap SC upgrade.

Ungor raiders are BS3 and armed with Shortbows, 50% more expensive than currently.

All 3 types can ambush, these are the only ones that can, this includes characters.

That Bestial Roll thing I mentioned before is called Primal Fury, though someone may have covered that

Beastmen Rumor Roundup II

Courtesy of Nethrag on Herdstone:

Marks are gone.

Gifts are 1 per army.

Doombull doesn't seem to make minos core (there maybe a special character that does, I don't know)

Minos are S5 basic (plus the other rules we've mentioned) and have recieved a 15 point price hike, so potential there for lots of S7 or hand weapons for extra attacks at S5. Seem decent.

Razorgor, are a unit like minos. M7 T5 4A, S5 with +1S on the charge. same cost as the new minos. Seem decent.

Harpies are special......bugger....

Bestigor are same stat line, no price change and are now special.....I honestly can't understand that move at all. Seems ridiculous that they have actually made bestigor worse than before?!?! I really hope my mate has missed something but I don't believe he has. (maybe like an awesome banner because them and the BSB are the only ones capable of taking a magic banner)

The core chariots still have a gor and a bestigor on them.

Ambush now is quite different.

To ambush a unit you must have an "equivalent" unit deployed on the board. Have no idea what that means for joined characters etc.

Can ambush from turn one.

No leadership check required, it now works as such --> Roll a dice for the unit ambushing. On a 1, your opponent gets to place it any board edge. 2-3 it doesn't turn up that turn, 4 turns up on the left flank, 5 turns up on the right flank, 6 you get to choose a table edge. Sounds pretty crap to me.

Centigor massive price hike, are now just classed as normal cav, but are still in light armour, don't seem to be any different otherwise except for the drunken changing to roll a dice at the beginning of the game.1-2, +2I, 3-4 -1M but a reroll on the leadership check to gain hatred once in combat, 5-6 stubborn.
Nothing like what I was hoping for to be honest.

5 rare choices. All seem pretty useful.

Giant and spawn stay the same it seemed.

3 more all are the same points and are a bit more expensive than an upgraded helpit abomination. None have any saving throw or regen etc.

Cyclops giant thing. Anti magic in a basket, not only does every wizard within 24"? need to pass a leadership check to cast spell that turn, any they fail to meet the casting value of, count as miscasts?!?! Seems insane to me.
Has a stonethrower that it can move (not march) and shoot with.
Has a standard attack profile (so not a table like a giant) which is 6 S6. T5 5W.

Jabberwocky thing. that 12" leadership check or suffer wounds for how much you fail by is for every unit within 12" but it does need to have los to the jabber thing (think its that way round rather than the jabber needing los to it, but could be wrong). again T5 5W.

Other big thing.
T6 6A S6 killing blow. Can instead of attacking do a single attack that killing blows on a 4+. If it makes a killing blow then it regains d3 wounds.

A few of the better gifts/items.

gift 20points, +1A
gift 15pts, 5+ scaly skin

this one seems pretty insane. 25pts. bound one use only power level 5. All enemy arcane items within 18" are destroyed. The bearer of each item that is destroyed takes d6S4 hits.......ouch to say the least.

Other items that he could remember

GW, reroll missed hits, 40 points
2 handed weapon, +1d3 attacks, if 6 has rolled ignore armour.

however there didn't seem to be ANY ward saves except a 2+ ward against flaming attacks (which also gave the unit a 4+ ward against flaming). There was a light armour which gave regen for 50 points. (obvious combo with those two assuming one's a talisman and ones an armour, you can bet your life it'll be more expensive than a simple 4+ ward which it basically is).

Beastmen Rumor Roundup

I've compiled the latest Beastmen rumors here.  Sounds like great stuff!  Credit goes to Nethrag and Ravik on Herdstone. 

Herds have split, both ranked up but ungor get the option to skirmish

Unruly has gone

New rule for "herds"- when in combat take a leadership check.  If passed the unit gets hatred, if you roll insane courage you get hatred and frenzy. Didn't seem to be a downside if you failed.

Bestigor capture standards if they simply win a round of combat, get to add it (and any others they capture) to their combat res.

Minotaurs get frenzy if they win a round of combat, for every round they win they get a cumulative extra attack! Minos can only ever pursue or overrun 1d6 (they can now overrun)


Centigor, still special not fast cav. No drunken every turn, instead roll a dice at the beginning of the game. Effects range from +2 I, to -1 movement to something else he couldn't remember.

New unit Harpies

New unit. Some kind of jabberwoky thing. Enemy units in 12" take Ld check, for every number they fail by take a wound no armour. seemed to be 5's across the board. If it takes a wound in combat enemy takes a S5 hit. 275 points.

Think he said about a gorgon thing, mainly 6's.

There was a normal giant, then there was a cyclops giant which was basically a giant with only Ld8, but armed with a stone thrower and every (enemy?) wizard within 24" has to pass a leadership check or not be able to cast spells.

Gorgon ( i think it was) looks like a giant minotaur, and eats people

Cygor is a cyclops giant-gor that gets rerolls to hit against undead, daemons (I think) and things with ward saves. Tragically WS2. Stone Thrower.

Jabbersclyth is the jabberwocky thing. Flying, poison, terror, largetarget, 12" tounge attack, strength 5

Doombulls have D3 impact hits, normal minos have 1 each. Each round of combat won gives minos an extra frenzy attack for that combat (lost if combat ends or you lose a round).

Beastlord allows a reroll on the beastial roll when fighting against humans (Empire and Bretonians) which basically means it's likely the unit will get what is effectively eternal hatred. Something to do with insane courage adding in Frenzy to the unit he's with with that in-combat-roll thing

Great Bray Shaman are T5.

The Wild Lore has a spell that summons either a Jabber, Giant, Cygor or Gorgon from a board edge of your choice. Not RIP, but may aswell be from the desription. If the monster takes a wound then the caster takes a T test to see if they take a wound. If the caster dies then the monster disappears.

First spell of the lore was something like all friendlys within 6" get to move D6 towards nearest enemy in sight or forward. Not too sure on that one.

There's another that makes the mounts of a unit attack the riders.

2 chariot types, ungor and gor. Ungor one is core, not sure about the gor one, but is pulled by razorgors from what I was told (didn't see that page)

No gargoyles, but we do get harpies.

No marks that he could see.

Beastlord is Ld 9

Doombull only Ld 8, but can confirm he gets the d3 impact hits. I asked if he made minos core - he wasn't sure and then he had to go.

Another thing I remember from the last convo was that the chariots tuskgor (or whatever they're called now) were S4 basic but didn't get charging bonuses.

There was an option to upgrade the tuskgor to razorgor which i think he said got up to S6 on the charge (not sure if that's stays core (doubtful) or if its S4 +2 or S5 +1).

Can also confirm that first spell, every unit within 6" moves d6".

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beastman Picture Update: The Razorgor!

The Razorgor

Okay, I'll give you a moment here. 

Take your time. 

Okay.  My initial reaction was despair.  That is one ugly model.  But the more I look at it, the more I fall in love with it.  I hope it's awesome on the table, because I will be fielding quite a few.  I don't really care what it does.  All that matters is that he looks like Chunk from the Goonies and Alf had a love child.  Everytime that thing charges, I'm yelling "Heeeeey Yoooooooo Guuuuuys"! 

New Beastmen Pictures!

Hi all! 

Thanks to Scryer in the Darkness on Warseer and Waaagh_Gonads at Dakka for the pictures!  Over the past year or so, I've been collecting Beasts with my tournament winnings.  I have 100 of the old Gors and Ungors, ten Centigors, four Chariots, the characters, two Spawn, and some Bestigor command.  I held off on buying Minotaurs and mass Bestigor in the hope that they'd be improved.  Well, here they are:






The Group Shot

You should be able to click on each picture to get a larger view. 

I've seen that the new Minotaurs are taking a lot of flack, and it's easy to see why.  They do look like their faces have been bench pressing the other Beastmen.  I think there may have been a little bit of oversculpting on the musculature.  However, I also believe that the paintjob poorly shows the models, as the highlighting and shading is extreme and makes those crazy face muscles really stand out.  With subtle shading and  highlighting, I don't think it will look bad.  At the end of the day, I like them more than the old Minotaurs, and I'm still down for a few boxes. 

I really like the new Bestigors.  You can either hate or love the giant horns, I suppose, but I'm in the second camp.  They stand out more now, not just like Gors in better armor.  I'm going to pick up a box or two. 

The new Gors and Ungors aren't really my concern, as I already have quite a few.  The new Gors are pretty nice, but I'm glad to miss the Ungors.  It kind of looks like a regiment of old men are attacking.  The new character in the middle is pretty interesting, and I'll most likely pick him up. 

I'm actually kind of excited for the poster shot, as I've been holding off on buying Hounds or a Giant.  Now that I know they'll make the new book, I can go ahead and do that.  I've got a lot of greenstuffing ideas for a Beasty Giant...

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Homemade Magnetized Carrying Case and Trays

So I've had a productive couple of weeks.  I managed to finish:

Forty-five Dark Elf Spearmen
Fifteeen Dark Elf Shades
Two Dark Elf Heroes on Foot (the one with the great weapon and the female with two hand weapons)
and Eiryss for my Khador army.

Just like I have lulls in painting, I guess sometimes there are bursts of activity.

Anyway, I also managed to completely magnetize the bases of my Dark Elf army, minus a couple units that aren't travelling with me anytime soon (extra Spearmen and Repeater Crossbowmen).  This is because I'm attending two days of tournaments down in Charlotte this weekend, and needed to carry enough units for two entirely different Dark Elf lists.  Thus, my regular Army Transport wasn't going to cut it.  I needed to break out what my wife calls, "The Kiddy Coffin"...

This bad boy was built by my friend Ray in Fayetteville, NC.  He started by building a good sized trunk (it's 2.5 feet across, 1.5 feet front to back, and eight inches tall).  Sheet metal trays are arrayed along the bottom, with room for extra.  On  the left, magnets have been punched into the wood like studs in order to hold individual models.

Right now, I've got (left to rightish) fifteen Shades, three Sorceresses on foot, three heroes on foot, two Bolt Throwers, a Hydra, a Cauldron of Blood, ten Witch Elves, twenty Black Guard, fifteen Dark Riders, five Cold One Knights, twenty-three Spearmen, a Lord on a Dragon, and two Cold One Chariots in there.  And there's some room to spare.

The best part of this case (aside from its amazing capacity) is it's ability to carry models without any damage.  You can take this case with all these models inside, hold it upside down and shake it, and none of the models will move or fall.  This means that, in transit, there's very little risk of models falling around and getting paint scratched off, or worse, broken. 

You could easily make your own case like this from an old dresser drawer or the like, if you didn't need a lid.  Rare earth magnets and sheet metal make for an easy, and durable, case. 

Now off to Charlotte!

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the cheap homemade magnetized trays I put together. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Bellower, Issue 1

Something I always enjoy is reading the fanzines out there for various factions, or for any Warhammer experience, really.  I've really liked reading The Stronghold's Bellower, an online magazine devoted to the hotness that is the Ogre Kingdoms.  Check out the the almost 1200 point Special Character in there (with his mammoth), and some great artwork.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year (Plus some Pesky Resolutions)

First, for those who haven't seen it, one of the funniest Warhammer videos ever produced:

My Dark Elf army is the greatest power for evil! from Flyweight Films on Vimeo.

Here's what I accomplished last year:

- Eleven local WFB tournament first place finishes, one second place finish, and one third place finish.
- One local 40K third place finish.
- Expanded my tournament visits to Fayetteville, High Point, and Charlotte, NC.
- Finished painting my 3,000 point Raven Guard Army, 500 points of Trollbloods, and on 4,000 points of Bretonnians.
 - Started painting 3,000 points of Imperial Fists, 1000 points of Trollbloods, 1000 points of Khador, and 5,000-6,000 points of Dark Elves.
- Administered Tale of Painters of Librarium Online.
- Started this Blog.

And my resolutions for next year:

-  Get into some Warhammer Fantasy GT's.  Specifically, I'm thinking Brawler Bash III in Raleigh, NC, and Battle on Beale in Memphis, TN.
- Finish the above painting projects.
- Start my Beastmen army and work on painting it throughout the year.
- More magnetizing!
- Compete in the NC Master's Rankings.