Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Preparing to Invade - Terrain Week

Since this is a holiday week, I thought I would just show off some of terrain that has been built for the WFB tournament.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Waaagh Cast - Episode 59 (Invasion Kenosha III Interview)

Episode 59 : A Couple of Tournaments

Show notes:
1. Sponsorship : Gryfalia's Aerie, Capital City Games and Mike
2. News/Rumors : GW Embargo, Response, Fine-casting, Price Hikes, BRB FAQ 1.4, Warhammer Forge, Interview with John Gaszak from Invasion Kenosha 3
3. Feature : 'Ard Boy'z Round 2 and Midwest Rampage - After Action Reports

We start out naturally thanking our wondeful sponsors this episode including Mike (A.K.A.- Amysrevenge) from the forums. We then get into a really lengthy what we've been doing section, followed by an even more lengthy news and rumors section. Tons to discuss! The new Embargo placed on European Independant Retailers by Games Workshop, the Fine Casting model line, F.A.Q.'s and more!

We move on to Warhammer Forges release of the first Chaos Dwarf models in the line before we move over to have an interview with John Gaszak plugging the Invasion Kenosha 3 single day tournament GT in Wisconson! We complete our show with a whopping ton of talk about the two tournaments we attended over the weekend. Chuck attended the Midwest Rampage held at our sponsor Gryfalia's Aerie and I went south a couple of hours to attend Round 2 of the 'Ard Boy'z tournament at Fantasy Books and Games in Fairview Heights, IL.

Studio Level Terrain Sponsor:
Studio Level Terrain

Games Workshop Relevant Links:
GW Embargo News from Maelstrom Games
GW Response via Webteam on Facebook
GW Announces Finecast Miniatures Line
GW May 2011 Price Rise List
GW BRB F.A.Q. 1.4

Warhammer Forge:
Chaos Dwarfs

Invasion Kenosha 3:
Invasion Kenosha Website

'Ard Boy'z & MWR Video's:
Joe's YouTube Video's from 'Ard Boy'z Round 2
Chuck's YouTube Video's from MWR

Please if you enjoy the show leave comments on the blog; if you have I-Tunes please leave I-Tunes Reviews. Any questions, comments, suggestions e-mail us at joe@waaaghcast.net; you can also call and leave voicemails at             1-217-883-4598       or username: waaaghcast on Skype. As always Thanks for listening!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Did the Midwest Rampage Prove a Point

The long standing attitude towards named units (i.e. special characters) has been that they should not be allowed in any kind of competitive event. While some events have eased up on this restriction since 8th edition arrived, most large scale events have continued this outdated practice of not allowing them. That changed this year when the Midwest Rampage decided to open the field to them.

Looking at the various threads and blogs from folks that attended this year's Midwest Rampage, the general opinion seems to be that special characters did not impact the tournament in any significant fashion. To quote some of the folks that attended this year:

I ran into Archaon and Mazamundi. I broke Archaon's unit through hex and augment spells and ran him down. I killed Mazamundi with an augument spell (mindrazor). They were enough of a threat that I had to deal with them. I didn't think their special rules and items were worth the points because they were fixed (you can't customize them). Necarch from IWFB.org

no, actually I think when they got hit with dwellers sometimes people cringed. I don't think anyone with special characters got any top places, and I didn't hear of any complaints. Brawndo from The Waaagh Cast! Forums

I saw Shadowblade & Chakax. Shadowblade got peppered by chameleons. The only influence chakax had was convincing me to tie up the TG unit with throw-away. Domus from IWFB.org

One of the things that I have not seen is whether or not anyone used Teclis or Kairos, as these two models are the ones most often cited as a reason why special characters need to be banned from play. While the results of any single tournament should not be taken as conclusive evidence for either side of the argument, I do find it interesting that when given the option, people elected to use what they want and yet still maintain a great atmosphere. Good Job Midwest Rampage!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

This Week's Peek...

Last Week's Answer...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garagehammer Campaign - Dogs of War vs. High Elves Battle Report

The apprentice had always been fascinated by the plaque that rested within an unsealed chest in the corner of his master’s study. He had seen his master remove it a few times and study the piece in an attempt to copy the magical formula inscribed upon it. Being an apprentice to a paranoid wizard lord meant that he was never told the actual nature of the formula; only that it was beyond his understanding. This became a point of obsession for the young wizard, as his cravings to understand the magical artifact drove him to an act of desperation.

As the wizard lord met with the paymaster to discuss their latest commission, the apprentice snuck into the study. Carefully he removed the plaque from its chest, cradling it like a mother would who wished to gaze into her child’s eyes. As he began to examine the plaque, he realized that the inscriptions on it were those used by the ancient lizardmen. While he did not understand the inscriptions, he knew enough of the language to know that this was indeed a magical formula.

“Your presence has been requested within the paymaster’s tent,” announced a servant who entered the room.

“Tell my lord that I will be with him shortly,” replied the apprentice.

“It has been requested that you come immediately,” responded the servant.

Fearing that he did not have enough time to properly return the plaque to its resting place, the apprentice quickly stashed it within one of the many secret pockets within his robes. Leaving the chamber, the apprentice glanced back at the empty chest, a moment of indecision filling him over whether or not he was making the right choice. The moment quickly passed though as he reminded himself of the terrible wrath he would face if his master realized he had tampered with one of his belongings.

The next few hours were spent by the apprentice dwelling on a scheme to return the plaque as he went thru the routine of serving his master. He expected at some point that he would be asked to retrieve some trinket or spell component for the wizard lord. Only when he realized that they were to leave immediately did the realization settle in that he was not going to have a chance to return the plaque any time soon. This thought gave the apprentice a brief wave of excitement as he thought it would give him more time to study the relic.

As the sun began to set, the Coin Collectors left the capital in route to the site they had been hired to defend. As they cleared the edge of the city, a ghostly figure watched the army’s departure. It could sense the presence of a magic it had longed to re-discover. Knowing that it could not retrieve the item alone, it withdrew to summon the aid of allies.

This is my last battle report for this season of the Garagehammer Campaign. My final opponent for the campaign was Chris Yu, a locally known High Elf player who had recently won Player’s Choice at the Adepticon WFB Championship. I was very curious to see how this game was going to play out as I had yet to play a High Elf army in 8th edition.

When it came to Chris’s army, he had a nice mix of speed, magic, and shooting. There were a couple of large blocks (spearmen and swordmasters), a pair of archer units, a decent size unit of dragon princes, four great eagles, and two chariots. When it came to characters, the army was lead by a level 4 wizard and a BSB.
My army was pretty much the same as I have been using all season with a few minor changes. I decided to swap out the ogre sword for a sword of strife on my merchant prince. The fact that he can take 125 points of magical items is a boon and I knew I needed more attacks and less strength against an elven army. I also included a level 2 wizard with the lore of shadows as I wanted the ability to drop miasma on units when the need arose.

When it came to the campaign, I needed to challenge Taz if I had any chance of gaining ground. Chris on the other hand was sitting on top of the leaderboard, so everyone was avoiding him in an effort to prevent him from gaining more ground. Since neither of us was able to get in any key challenges, we ended up getting paired together for the final round. While this meant our game would not have a huge impact on the campaign, it did give us a good reason to finally get to play each other.

The Early Turns

The first turn of the game started with Chris advancing his forces towards me. I knew the eagles were going to become a problem by turn two, so I responded with my knights charging one of the eagles that were close to my lines. When it came to magic, Chris had a couple of unlucky rolls, while I was able to get off the Blades on my Marksmen and a Miasma on one of his eagles.
The second turn of the game saw the high elves reaching my lines on multiple fronts. Each of my cannons faced the charge of an eagle while Braganza’s Beseigers were hit by the thunder hooves of the Chris’s dragon knights. Elsewhere, my knights faced a horde of spearmen that were being lead by a BSB and wizard and supported by the charge of a chariot. It was a brutal round for me as forces collapsed to the might of the elves.

The Middle Turns

The middle of the game took an interesting swing as my ogres rallied from an earlier flee and began to become a factor on the battlefield. Within the span of two turns, they were able to destroy the swordmasters, one chariot and an eagle. No small feat considering the odds against them. If Chris was shaken by the turn of events, he did not show it. As the middle turns wrapped up, he continued to strike with the skill of an elf, slaying the marksmen and both of my wizards.

The Late Turns

The late turns were spent matching up my ogres against the wave of destruction that Chris was mounting. Bravely they stood as the spearman, dragon knights, and last chariot lined up to charge. Elsewhere, Vespero made his way to one of the archer units and was able to slay them. Having completed his task, I left him to ponder what it felt like to survive a game. Across the field, Ruglud was able to rally from an earlier bout of panic and remain on the table as the game came to a close.


The game concluded with Chris earning 18 campaign points and me receiving 4. Even with the surge of the ogres, I was unable to close the victory point gap between our armies. When the results were totaled, there was a difference of ~1330 points between us. As the game concluded, I was impressed at the power of the high elves and Chris’s skill at using them. The tactic of drawing me out with the eagles was a great plan and really helped Chris to close the distance between our armies. In retrospect, I should have given my shooting attacks a chance to deal with them instead of rushing in with my best stuff.

When it came to the ogres, I was truly shocked at the amount of damage they were able to accomplish. This had been the first time I had decided to use my prince’s ability to improve their armour save and it felt like it made a real difference. Ogres that are armed with great weapons and have a 4+ save are monstrous if they can get into combat.

Another thing I was surprised by was how little magic impacted the game. We both had powerful wizards, but the dice were brutal and what few spells that had gotten off seemed to do little to change the course of the game. Both of us losing our key spells (Final Transmuation for me and Re-Growth for Chris) may have been a key factor in why magic played such a small part.


As the elves walked away, the Plaque of Chotec clearly in their possession, the Chronomancer watched on. Its long slender fingers caressed the Orb of Kronos as it pondered its next move. Clearly the world had changed in ways that it had not expected, so it would need to find better instruments if it was going to free its imprisoned brothers. As its hands began the complex movements of a spell, it concluded that there would need to be blood in the sun before the next invasion could happen.

Monday, May 23, 2011

40K - Is It Time?

With the Outpost Gaming League over and my last game for the Garagehammer Campaign happening tonight, I am left wondering what I want to do next with my hobby. I find myself being drawn back to 40K and wanting to spend a little less time with Fantasy as of late. Don't get me wrong, I still love the game and want to play it, I just have the urge to do more with round based models.

The problem I am having is that there are to many options and I cannot get myself to settle down on a specific one in order to focus. I think what is creating this renewed interest in 40K is the coming of a new Necron codex. However, I also keep finding myself circling back to the Imperial Guard and Dark Eldar books for ideas as well.

So to my readers, is it time I jump back into 40K?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

R.I.P. Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

I awoke this morning to the sad news that Randy "Macho Man" Savage had passed away from a car accident. As a child, the Macho Man was one of my favorite wrestlers. Even as an adult, he still held a special place in my heart as I always loved his outrageous personality and style. He was bigger than life and yet always reminded me of a better time when things seemed more innocent. His flying elbow, while simple when compared to what is done in the ring today, was a sight to behold and one of my favorite finishers. He was a true great in his profession and will be missed.

Give God a big "Oh Yeah" when you get to the gates Macho Man.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Garagehammer Campaign - End of Turn 5 Results

Ok guys! Here's the official update!

End of turn 5 building updates:
1) Chris: 22 (19+3 carried) Castle on J2 and L2 (4 each). Castle and city on F4 (12 total). Carry 2
2) Grant: 18 (16+2carried) Castle on K5 (4). Castle and city on K7 (12 total). Carry 2
3) Taz: 21 (20 + 1 carried) Took D4 (12). City on D2 ( 8 ) . Carry 1
4)Tom: 19 (13+6 carried) Capital on A3 ( 8 ) . Carry 11
5) CDMB: 10 Took G7 ( 8 ) . Carry 2
6) John: 10 City on B2 ( 8 ) . Carry 2 (John has a Capital on A1)
7) Luke: 7 (4+3 carried). Carry 7
8 ) Aaron: 4 Castle on J4
9) Ryan: 0
10) Harrison: 16 (7+5 carried + 4 purchased w/Gold) Took E5 and A7 ( 8 each).

Strategic & Campaign Events!
1) Luke: War Tax & All is Well
2) Aaron: Praise Be To The Oracle & Harvest Moon (+150 Gold!)
3) Tom: All or Nothing & Treasure Trove
4) Ryan: Scouts & Rebellion (no gold generated this turn)
5) John: Building Boom (Capital on A1) & All is Well
6) Taz: Survey the Battlefield & False Alarm! (Disaster! without any actual disasters.)
7) Harrison: Fortune Favors the Bold & Harvest Moon (+130 Gold!)
8 ) Grant: Head Hunter & Knowledge Boom
9) CDMB: Diplomacy v Grant & Government Corruption (-80 Gold)
10) Chris: Land Grab & Knowledge Boom

Challenges!The order of challenges (smallest Empire to biggest) is the same as above.

Luke v. Aaron


Ryan v. CDMB

Harrison v. Grant

John v. Chris Yu

Gold Collected this turn:

Luke 200 Gold (100 + 100 for War Tax)
Aaron 275 Gold (125 + 150 for Harvest Moon)
Tom 175 Gold
Ryan 0 Gold (due to Rebellion)
John 225 Gold
Taz 250 Gold
Harrison 515 Gold (225 + 160 for Mountain Mine + 130 for Harvest Moon)
Grant 300 Gold
CDMB 195 Gold (275 – 80 for Government Corruption)
Chris 375 Gold

Finally, the overall score update! (Ties listed alphabetically)

1) Chris - 10
2) CDMB - 9
3) Grant - 8
T4) Harrison, John and Taz - 7
T7 ) Ryan and Tom - 5
9) Aaron - 3
10) Luke - 2

This is by far the craziest turn as far as random events went. This last round will be extremely interesting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

This Week's Peek...
Last Week's Answer...

Pirate Viking Painting - A Plea for Positivity

Pirate Viking Painting posted an outstanding article today about keeping things positive. I have re-posted it here, but check out his site and give your support to his idea for more positivity.

I really do not do this very often but I am going to post about something that has nothing to do with painting miniatures. It does, however, have an enormous amount to do with this great hobby of ours.

The Internet is a funny old place, people hide behind their anonymity in order to make snide comments. Complex issues are summed up in 140 character bursts which are frequently massively over simplified. People actively “troll” to trigger long strings of furious comments that somehow enhance their self worth. More than anything else, people bitch and moan.

It is getting to the point where I find myself actively avoiding seeing any comments sections of websites at all because they just depress me. This is a real shame as the Internet can be an enormously potent tool for discussion and debate. Now I am not naive, I know that the idiots who “troll” comments forms will never go away as long as there are sad people whose self worth is boosted by the rage and upset of others. What I would like to see is a greater responsibility on the part of we, the bloggers, to make sure that we present news and opinions in a positive and non inflammatory light. There are sites – you know who you are – who seem to post deliberately inflammatory editorials to spark what they call discussion. I suspect that the problem is that advertising revenue on the Internet is tied to page views and rows bring page views. Oops, there I went, see how much deliberate thought this takes? That last comment violated rule 7 below.

So here is my thing. I hereby pledge to do the following on my blog:

1) I will keep all criticism constructive.
This is an important one, if you don’t like something about a model then specify what it is and more importantly what you are doing to correct it.

2) I will make no sweeping generalisations.
This leads on from above, do not say “that model is rubbish”, say “not convinced by the sword” and then – following rule 1 – “so I’ll replace it with...”

3) I will not signal my dislike for a range/model that I have no intention of buying.
This really annoys me. People who do not like a model, who have no intention of buying it, throwing around cynical snipes which ruin the enjoyment of all those who do like the range. If you don’t like it you won’t buy it. That is fine, there is no need to express your less than humble opinion to the world. (example: I genuinely felt like the only human on Earth who thought the Stormraven was kinda cool)

4) I will not base my opinions on photography alone.
Miniatures often do not photograph well. I will have a model in my hot little hands before I make any judgements upon it.

5) I will treat others with respect.
Other people’s opinions are valid, they are entitled to them, yes, even if you think they are stupid.

6) I will not summarise highly complex issues of business.
I know nothing about running a multi-national company, I know nothing about running a miniatures company, neither do you if you are honest. Maybe a handful of people in every ten thousand know anything about these things. I will not make sweeping comments about things I know precious little about.

7) Suspicion is not proof.
I will not make accusations without proof of indiscretion. Snide cynicism is an unhealthy humour.

8) People are people, even on the Internet.
What a lot of people seem to forget is that every miniature ever made was created by the blood, sweat and tears of at least 1 person. Maybe lots of people. All of those people worked hard, are proud of their endeavour and will see any flaws in their creation far more keenly than you. All that ignoring the above 7 rules will achieve is to hurt someone’s feelings.

There, now I would love to turn those 8 rules into some sort of active pledge that we would all endeavour to uphold. Unfortunately I am just a very little fish in this great big pond and don’t have the sort of clout that would be needed to get this universally adopted. Any volunteers?

Oh and to settle my mind I would like to throw my hat into the hurricane of fury associated with pricing. NO-ONE is forcing you to buy models. No-one is forcing you to choose one miniatures company over another (anyone who raises the tournament compatibility thing only has a right to if they ACTUALLY ATTEND THEM and the vast majority of us do not). If the models are expensive, save up for them. If the models are more than you think they are worth, do not buy them. Everyone can afford this hobby at some level. So you can’t afford a 4000 point vostroyan guard army? Of course you can’t. You probably don’t own a Ferrari either. I want a huge number of things that I cannot afford. I don’t buy them. I don’t feel that I should vent my spleen to millions of people about it. Try not to grumble automatically just because someone is successful. This was brought home to me when I realised I used to make anti-Microsoft jokes while using a Windows PC. Ridiculous.

That is all, I just wanted to get that off my chest as it has been driving me nuts lately. If you have read this far I salute you. Stay positive people.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Waaagh Cast Interview

Just finished recording a segment for an upcoming Waaaghcast episode. Very fun, though I was nervous as hell. I'll update everyone once the episode goes live!

Garagehammer Campaign - Dogs of War vs. Brettonians Battle Report

"Honor, Chivalry, and Faith," shouted the paymaster as he paced before his army, "These are not reasons to fight".

Reaching into a pouch along his side, he drew a single gold coin from it. Holding the coin aloft so all could see, he declared, "This is why we fight. This is the only thing that truly matters."

This week's epic battle was between my Dogs of War and Christopher's Brettonians. This was my first game against them in 8th edition, so I was really eager to see what kind of chaos they could bring to the table. Christopher did not let me down, fielding a nice arrangement of units that would give me a complete taste of what the army could bring to the table.

As we deployed, Christopher established an anvil in the form of two trebuchets and a large block of archers at the center of his deployment zone. On his southern flank, a small unit of pegasus knights descended from the clouds to strike anyone who dared to get to close to his lines. Along his norther flank, a decent size unit of grail knights gathered to face my ogres that were to the west. Just south of the grail knights, a large regiment of realm knights and errant knights gathered.

Early Turns
The early turns of the game saw Vespero's Vendetta get charged from behind by the pegasus knights. As Vespero fell, the other regiments of Sir Christopher moved forward. Both trebuchets rained rumble and stone, but little was lost.

During my turn, the ogres slowly advanced to meet the charge of the grail knights. At the same time, my merchant prince and cavaliers moved to face the block of archers that were dwindling down my knights with each turn. During my first magic phase, my wizard lord attempted to unleash the full power of final transmutation. In response, a beautiful prophetess shattered her magical mirror, causing my wizard to double over and suffer a wound.

Middle Turns
The battlefield became blood as both sides clashed across the table. The ogres met the grail knights at the center of the northern front. Faith and cold steel were no match to the raw power that had been armed with the best weapons that money could buy. Elsewhere, the cavaliers were thinned down to a standard bearer and the merchant prince. Knowing that another volley would be their last, they prince charged the knight errants.

Late Turns
As we reached the later rounds of the game, magic became a factor as I was able to finally get off a couple of Final Transmutations. Elsewhere, the pegasus knights charged Braganza's Besiegers and broke them. Surprisingly, the swift knights were not swift enough and the Besiegers were spared from being run down. This gave the Marksmen time to turn and unleash a volley of crossbows into them.

The Brettonians proved to be just as deadly as the trebuchet found its mark and sent a large boulder crashing onto the head of my wizard. At the same time, the knights of the realm charged the notorious Ruglud's Armoured Orcs. Eight orcs were no challenge for the knights, as Ruglud was broken and beaten. Knowing that they would be next, the cannon crew nearby fired one last shot. Who knows if it was fate or luck, but the cannonball smashed into Christopher's BSB, working its way past magic, faith, and armour to score a kill.

As Christopher closed out the game, he charged is archers into my prince, hoping to finish him off. Overwhelmed by the sure number of peasants on his flank, the prince's nerves left him. The errants were quick to respond and run the prince down for his lack of courage.

This was the first game of the campaign that felt epic. This is not to say that my other opponents were not fun and that I did not enjoy our games. The difference between those games and this one was that this game truly felt like a story was unfolding before my eyes. The game had the kind of flow that made it impossible to accurately determine who had the advantage. Each twist seemed to be followed by another and luck seemed like a fickle lady who couldn't decide upon her champion.

When it came to the results, the game ended with a difference of 15 victory points between us. Without a doubt this had been the closest game I have played in 8th edition and reaffirms my belief that this game was something special. (Christopher seems to share my opinion as well, so check out what he wrote here.)

Lessons Learned...
1. Nothing beats a good game with a great opponent. In a way, this game felt alot like the 40K games I have with my buddy Ernie. I love these kind of games that are just relaxing and the fun of the game is in what happens and not the end results.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buyers Beware: Dragonfire Laser Crafts

Typically I don't like to post these types of threads, but I have reached a point with a company that I feel I need to take my complaints to blog-o-sphere in an effort to warn others. The company in question is Dragonfire Laser Crafts out of Indiana. They do a wide range of laser engraved products including laser engraved tokens.

On Feb 19th, I placed an order with them for 60 engraved wooden tokens for Invasion Kenosha III. Along with the purchase, I asked if I they could use the image from the website. On Feb 22, I heard back from James Murphy stating that they could not use the image online and if I could provide another image that was in a line form. The same day, I responded with an B&W image and asked if this image was still to complex. Having not received a response, I created a simple image and emailed it to Mr. Murphy on Feb 25th.

On March 23rd, I had not heard anything, so I wrote James asking for a status update. After 6 days, I still had not heard anything, so I attempted to use the other email listed on their site. At the same time, I began look for phone numbers to call. The ones I found listed were all disconnected. At this point, I opened a complaint with Paypal.

On March 31st, I heard back from James. He stated in his email that they did not like the quality of the images and what I wanted to do. Upon review, the images were fine in my opinion and I asked for them to be used. On 4/5, I heard back from James that it wouldn't be a problem. That was the last time I have heard from Dragonfire Laser Crafts. Since that time, numerous emails by me have been ignored and I have failed to find a working phone number for the company. As of last week, I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in an effort to resolve this problem and to receive a refund. Note: I failed to renew the complaint with Paypal in time, so I burned myself in that regard.

I don't have an issue with stuff getting delayed, I placed the order almost six months from Invasion. My problem is that Dragonfire Laser Crafts has continually failed to keep me updated on the status of my order and has only responded when I have escalated my concerns to a 3rd party. Why they would think this is an acceptable business practice is beyond me, but it has forced me to look elsewhere to find a replacement keep sake for Invasion.

If anyone has any suggestions on another company that does affordable custom tokens or similar and is very dependable, please let me know.

Update: It would appear that I am not the only person having problems recently with Dragonfire Laser Crafts. Check out a couple of recent complaints filed on Amazon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Uber-Spells Rampaging Across the Midwest

After listening to a recent interview with the TO for the Midwest Rampage, I thought I would post my rebuttal to his comments about magic and lower point games. In the interview (which can be heard here), the TO implied that magic ruins the game at 1500/1600 points. Since my preferred game size is in the range mentioned by the TO, I feel I have enough experience to counter his argument and point out why I think 3000 point games are just as flawed when it comes to magic (but in different ways).

The main point of contention was that the uber-spells have too much of an impact at the ~1600 point size. While I agree that the spells have the ability to swing the game, one key factor is that typically an army is not going to invest in more than one wizard (most armies can only field one level 4). Along these lines, if someone invests in two wizards, what are they sacrificing from their army? If that player is blowing ~300 points on a single model, what could have been included that would have played a better role. Also, a player that likes to gamble on the big spells with lots of dice will typically find that they lose that caster to a miscast or because they are afraid to place it in a unit because of potential miscasts. In a sense, since the percentage of investment in the character is a lot more at 1600 points, most players will not gamble unless they do not have another choice.

Another reason people may be getting a false impression about how the uber-spells are impacting the game is that most players try to build the exact same kind of army that they would for games at 2400 or 3000 points. A person who brings an army with 3 or 4 units can expect to suffer badly from one well placed uber-spell, the same can also be said about a well placed rock thrower or pair of cannon balls. At 1600 points, a unit of 20 medium costs (~8-12 pts per model) units is a large unit. When you field a unit of 40 such models, a player shouldn’t be surprised when it gets hits by a Final Transmutation. The trick is to find a nice balance between the number of units in an army and the model count in each unit. I personally think the formula is different at different game sizes.

In comparison, at 3000 points, a player that wishes to spam wizards can do such with little issue and still include everything else that is considered “nasty”. Killing one level 4 has less of an impact when the player still has another plus a level 2 or pair of level 1’s. Even scarier, because the cap is raised on lord and hero choices, a player can invest in the more costly magic items that will help increase their potential for harm. Suddenly you have multiple spellcasters who have the ability to pump extra dice into their pool.

When it comes to the threat of a wizard, I always include something in my army that serves as a mage hunting unit. At 1600 points, that “counter unit” has a reasonable chance to succeed at its goal of killing its target while still being cost effective to be included in the player’s army. At 3000 points, you need to replicate the solution and also provide a different solution to account for the counter to your original counter. (Try saying that 5 times fast.)

Ultimately, the game is flawed at any level and there will always be players who abuse the system at any point size. When it comes to the issue of the uber-spells, I am of the opinion that the fundamental reason that comments like the one made by the TO exist because folks have a false sense of equality. It is not a matter of the actual mechanic, it is a matter of people feeling it is unfair that one model can remove 20 models, but that 20 can only remove one. Simply put, building a big unit takes a lot more time than a single model. When put in this context, I understand why the comments are made, but I don’t feel it validates them. The game is designed to represent a magical setting where high magic exists. Along those lines, the cost of such a wielder of magic is a lot more than a single model that is in a unit, which makes sense in terms of the mechanics. Whether or not the mechanic is the best for keeping the spirit of the game (i.e. fun) is a matter of opinion and not fact.

Good Luck to everyone attending this year’s Midwest Rampage. I have been following the blogs about it and it sounds like a great event if you like two day tournaments. If you would like more details about it, check out this link. If you would like to read a great blog that chronicles the journey of one person as they prepare for the Midwest Rampage, I highly recommend Random Digression Wargamer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Warhammer Forge Newsletter #7

Warhammer Forge Newsletter #7


Hi there,
This week’s newsletter contains a veritable feast of new releases, so without further ado we bring you the first of our eagerly awaited Chaos Dwarf kits!

Chaos Dwarf Iron Daemon
Chaos Dwarf Iron Daemon

The Chaos Dwarfs possess a mastery of steam technology that would make the Engineers of the Empire baulk in awe. The Chaos Dwarfs fuel these war machines with the resources of their cruel land. Primarily this is a form of coal which is ensorcelled to burn hotter and more constantly than would naturally be possible, but lesser materials such as wood can be pressed into service if needs be, and rumours abound of infernal devices that run on blood, ground bones and screaming souls.

The Iron Daemon is a compact, steam-driven armoured traction engine. Its boilers allow it to haul smaller war machines and munitions to the battlefield, and simultaneously operates pressure-fed cannonades. This means that the Iron Daemon is a powerful war machine, a fully mobile artillery piece capable of smashing down fortifications and hacking apart ranks of soldiers with murderous ease.

The Chaos Dwarf Iron Daemon, designed by Tim Adcock, is a complete resin kit supplied with three detailed crew, sculpted by Thais Mariblanca Lopez. It is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 23rd May.Experimental rules for this deadly war machine, taken from the forthcoming Warhammer Forge book Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos, are available to download now from the Forge World website.

Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard
The Infernal Guard defend the Black Fortress to the death against any who would assail it, and carry out the will of their lord without question. Their ranks are made up of Chaos Dwarfs to which some stain of failure or dishonour has befallen, and in the eyes of the cruel and unforgiving Chaos Dwarf society such a taint can stem from merely possessing blood ties to a failed battle commander, knowing defeat beneath the gaze of a Sorcerer or presiding over slaves who revolt.

Whatever the cause of such dishonour, the Infernal Guard offer the solace of Hashut’s grace in death and anonymity in life. Upon taking the cult’s oath, names and past kinship are shorn away and their faces are sealed beneath hot iron and bronze masks which sear into their flesh. Only if they achieve great glory are the masks removed, exposing the warrior’s scarred face to the world once more.

Drilled mercilessly by their Castellans and barracked in the burning deeps beneath the Black Fortress, only the strongest survive within the ranks of the Infernal Guard and few can withstand them in battle. Fewer yet can hope to break their line so great is their martial skill.
Alan Bligh's Experimental rules for these fell warriors, taken from the forthcoming book Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos, are available to download now from the Forge World website.

Infernal Guard
Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard

The Infernal Guard, sculpted by Edgar Skomorowski, is a detailed resin kit comprising ten Infernal Guard armed with hand weapons and shields. The kit contains ten differently detailed heads, two different styles of body and five individual designs of weapons, each festooned with the brutal detail of the Dawi Zharr. This kit is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 23rd May.

Infernal Guard with Fireglaives
Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard with FireglaivesThe Fireglaive is a compact repeating handgun that also incorporates a single-edged blade that can be wielded much like a halberd. The Fireglaive is a complicated weapon to manufacture, and a difficult one to master, so their use is largely confined to the elite and to the Chaos Dwarf Daemonsmiths that fashion them.

The Infernal Guard with Fireglaives, sculpted by Edgar Skomorowski, is a detailed full resin kit comprising ten Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard armed with these deadly firearms. The kit contains ten individually detailed helmets, two differently detailed and posed bodies and two different Fireglaives, allowing for a great deal of modelling potential. This kit is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 23rd May.

Infernal Guard Command Group
Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard commandCommanded by a Castellan, himself a once-shamed member of the Infernal Guard who has since won glory in battle and earned the right to bear his face to the world again, the Infernal Guard march beneath the cruel iron visage of Hashut, the fell daemon-god of their dark race. The clamour of their iron-shod strides are accompanied by the dolorous pounding of cruel drums.

Sculpted by Edgar Skomorowski, the Infernal Guard Command Group comprises three full resin figures: a Castellan, Standard Bearer and a Musician. The set also contains weapon options for the Castellan which allow the Command Group to be used with both of the Infernal Guard kits released in this newsletter. It is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 23rd May.

Warhammer Forge at Forge World Events
Games Day France – Sunday 22nd May 2011

Warhammer Forge sculptor Edgar Skomorowski and graphic artist Sam Lamont, as well as Forge World sculptor Simon Egan, will be attending Games Day France, which is held on Sunday 22nd May at the Parc Floral de Paris. They will be bringing a display of work in progress miniatures and artwork with them, as well as future releases that have recently been handed to our Production team.

You’ll be able to purchase our MkIII Armoured Boarding Space Marine and Chaos Dwarf Hellsmith Event Only models, as well as the recently released Eldar Lynx with Pulsar and Eldar Lynx with Sonic Lance, and the mighty Phantom Titan.
Warhammer Forge models such as the
Marienburg Land Ship, Theodore Bruckner on Reaper and the Empire Ironsides Handgunner Conversion Kit will also be available alongside limited numbers of the Chaos Dwarfs kits announced in this newsletter.

The reservation period for Games Day France is now closed, and we will be sending out confirmation e-mails over the next week containing an order number, the total cost in Euros that will be payable on the day and details of any items we are unable to supply in your order.

Ead Brown
Forge World Customer Service Manager

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Raising the Dead - Part Seven

When it came to the design of my hierophant, I wanted it to remain more skeletal than a “typical” mummy. I also wanted it to be larger and standout when compared to the more basic skeletons that would be used for the archers.

I started the conversion by using a basic skeleton from the tomb king kit. I swapped out a plain skull for one that was more ornamental in design from the chariot kit. Next, I took two arms from the tomb king archer kit. Once assembled, I used green stuff to create additional bandages and brown stuff for the metal bands and heavy leather sections. On the back of the model I added a couple of plastic chains from the marauder kit.

When it came to the staff, I used a plasticard rod for the staff and topped it with a bit from the high elf range. I created some wraps using green stuff. Once the green stuff was dry, I applied a bit from a spear and a chain bit with a skull from the marauder kit.

Introducing Remus Tut the Unleashed

Monday, May 9, 2011

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Raising the Dead – Part Six

The last unit in my army is a regiment of skeleton archers. This is what I am calling a filler unit, as I will continue to add to it as I exceed the 1000 point foundation I am building. My ultimate goal is to have ~50 models in this unit when I reach the mythic 2000 points.

Now that I have access to a camera again, I can update everyone on what I am doing from a modeling perspective. When it comes to this army, my goal is to have every model in it have some level of conversion work. Not an easy task, but one that has seemed to given me inspiration.

One of the ideas that I had for this army was that the basic skeletons would be smaller than the more elite ones that form tomb guard units and characters. When it comes to the models, I decided to use the vampire count skeletons as a base for them. For the bows, I am using the ones off the glade guard kit. Amazingly, if you hunt around, you can build a 10 man unit of these guys for ~$10.00. To further make them appear more like tomb king models, I added green stuff to the model in the form of bandages and rags.

15 Skeleton Archers w/ Champion, Musician and Standard Bearer - 120 points

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Is Fair the New Good?

One of the major changes to the WFB environment since the advent of 8th edition is the inclusion of units with a huge number of models. This may be driven by the horde rules and how they have influenced the meta-game. The thing I ponder regarding this change is whether or not it has impacted the quality of the armies being fielded. Another way to put it, “Is average the new good?”

I don’t claim to be anything but an average painter, but I do put my heart into my work. When someone gives me a complement, I take it seriously and am very thankful for it. On the same token, when someone criticizes my work, I tend to listen with filters. The thing is either way, I normally get a fair judgment once I account for all of the feedback. I think the same is true when reviewing the feedback given to others regarding their work.

When it comes to feedback that others receive, this is where I am noticing a trend in opinions. It seems to me that folks are being more generous with the complements than they were a couple of years ago. Pieces that are table-top in quality, and labeled as such by the artist, are garnering a lot of positive feedback. While I have nothing against positive feedback, as painting a single model can be a labor of love, I do wonder if this pattern is the result of a larger underlying current.

If we look at the last couple years, the market has enjoyed an explosion of new painting products that have allowed the typical painter to achieve table-top standards in a shorter time and with less effort. Wonderful products like GW washes and Army Painter’s line of dips and spray paints can make the choir of painting that much more bearable. The results from these products can be nice, but rarely would I consider them outstanding or breathtaking. Based on this thought, I am lead to wonder if it is something else that is causing this uptick in positivity.

Maybe the "average is good" trend is the result of the community realizing on some level that the size of the game has gotten to the point that we need to embrace shortcuts if we are to meet the typical painting demands of the hobby while satisfying our own collective ADD. Spending a lot of time on a single model doesn’t seem so bad when you only need 16 of them to play a game. Spending the same amount when you know that you need 100+ more of them can be a chilling reality that freezes the life from a hobbyist’s motivation.

In conclusion, we should embrace the trends in positive feedback that are happening. They help to inspire all of us as we strive to meet our personal goals within the hobby. While we may not all be equals with a brush, we all are companions on the journeys that we take with them. So continue to celebrate this journey and share your feedback with whoever inspires you to continue on the path. For no matter whether it is the destination in the form of a finished model, or the journey itself in the way of various painting techniques, we all like to know what we are doing right at the end of the day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Raising the Dead – Part Five

At this point, I have spent 690 points out of a possible 1000. I need to now focus on the core choices in order to meet the army composition requirements. As I mentioned earlier in the week, my army is going to include a unit of chariots. Along with the stalkers, the chariots are meant to be my hammer unit that crashes into the enemy and keeps them from advancing.

3 Chariots w/ champion, musician and standard bearer – 195 pts

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

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Raising the Dead – Part Four

Keeping with the theme of the army, I wanted to include a unit of Sepulcheral Stalkers. I like the models and think the rules are interesting enough that they could prove to be fun when fielded. Since this unit was an automatic for me, I figured I would use today’s entry to discuss my overall theme for the army.

When developing a theme, I like to search for imagery that grabs my attention and is within my ability to replicate. As of late, I have been on a kick doing nude imagery on banners and vehicles. Maybe it is some kind of hidden fetish, but I like to paint naked women. Along these lines, I wanted to have some eye catching banners that used my current interests but also seemed to fit within the fluff of the tomb kings. This search for a theme lead me to examining the Khalida model.

I really love the Khalida model, but since most folks shun special characters and she is too expensive for a 1000 points, the best she could be for now was inspiration. She did give me the idea though of looking up the Egyptian pantheon and finding a goddess that has some kind of relationship to snakes. While my research was not extensive, I did find the goddess Wadjet who was the protector of Egypt and the pharaohs. She is depicted as a woman with the head of a snake, though some depictions of her are the reverse with her head being human and her body being a serpent. Either way, she seemed like a cool goddess to use as a template for my army.

3 Sepulcheral Stalkers – 165 pts

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Raising the Dead – Part Three

Typically I would dive into the core units after exploring my lord and hero choices, but for today’s entry, I wanted to explore the rare choice I plan to include in the army. The new book allows for a lot of cool choices, so deciding on only one was a bit of a challenge. Using the advice I have given others, I decided to narrow down my choices to the ones that fit into the theme and strategy of my army. Using that advice, the necrosphinx and necrolith colossus were out of contention.

Of the remaining choices, I quickly decided that I did not have an idea for how to make a screaming skull catapult that would fit into my theme. This left me with the hierotitan and casket of souls. One of the advantages of both units is that they help with the magic phase. In the case of the hierotitan, it grants an extra d3 to each friendly spell cast within 12” of the construct. In comparison, the casket of souls adds an additional d3 power dice to the pool. Between the two choices, the ability of the hierotitan seems to be less useful when there is only one friendly caster on the board. In contrast, the additional power dice can be used by both the hierophant and casket.

While the edge goes to the casket, I still wanted to compare the two units, as each also offers a certain degree of offensive capability. Again, both units play a role in the magic phase. The ability of the casket is to cast a bound spell that causes an enemy unit to take a leadership test on 3d6 dice. If the test is failed, the unit loses the difference in wounds with no saves allowed. On the other hand, the giant can cast two spells; Shem's Burning Gaze (light) and Spirit Leech (death). Here as well, I just felt that the ability of the casket was more appropriate to my game plan.

Casket of Souls – 135 pts

Monday, May 2, 2011

Raising the Dead – Part Two

In addition to the hierophant, I have decided to include a Tomb Prince in my army. Basically this guy is the general with a few additional perks to him. The two important ones are that he lends his WS to any unit he joins, very useful when placed in a unit, and his ability to curse the unit that kills him. A strange combination of rules as the one makes me want to protect him, while the other lends itself to making him a suicide bomber of sorts. In the end, I think it would be foolish to use him as a suicide unit, so I am treating the second ability as simply a nice to have when things go sour for him.

When it came to how I was going to kit him out, I knew early on that he was going to ride a chariot. My whole reason for doing this army was to include a monster block of chariots in the army. At a 1000 points, that monster block is not really that monstrous, but it is still large enough that I wanted for him to be riding a chariot to accompany the core choice.

As for equipment, I began with deciding on a magical weapon for him. Since he will be in a unit of chariots that are going to hit at a very low initiative, I decided to give him the I 10 sword. Also, since the overall theme of the army is that they are dedicated to the worship of a snake goddess, it seemed to make narrative sense that the weapon his goddess gifted him with would allow him to strike quickly like a cobra.

Next, I gave him the talisman that grants a 2+ ward save against flaming attacks. Since these guys are flammable, I am betting that my opponents will target such attacks at him. I don’t think this strategy will happen a lot, but I do expect it to happen enough that the 5 point investment is worth it.

The last item I have him was the enchanted item that allows him and any unit he joins a 6+ ward save against warmachines. Again, for a few points, the addition of a ward save seems worth the cost.

Tomb Prince w/ Int 10 sword, 2+ ward save against flaming attacks, 6+ ward against war machines and a chariot - 180 points

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Raising the Dead – Part One

At the end of this week, we see the release of the much anticipated Tomb Kings book. Unlike the Orc and Goblins release from March, I am very excited at the release of the new rules and models. Since being announced, I have been playing around with ideas for a small army to be used at next year’s 1000 point tournament at Adepticon. Today I begin the process of spelling out what the army will look like in the months ahead.

One of the few things that my Dogs of War share with the new Tomb Kings book is that I am required to field a specific type of character in every army build. Every army is required to field a hierophant. The purpose of the character is to raise the army and acts as the anchor for it staying on the board. Similar to a vampire count, the army will crumble if the hierophant is killed.

When it came to deciding on what level of hierophant to use in the army, the process came down to whether or not it was going to play an active role in the game or just be very passive and basically hidden to avoid harm. In the end, I decided that I really want him to play an active role, so I elected to go with a liche high priest.

Another important rule about the hierophant is that it must take the Lore of Nehekhara. The interesting thing about this lore is that the augment spells can affect all friendly units when cast at the higher levels. Considering that, I felt that I needed to have a level 3 caster to give me a reasonable chance to get off the desired spells.

Since the loss of the hierophant will cause my army to crumble, I felt I should spend some points to provide him with a reasonable level of protection. To this end, I gave him the 5+ ward save talisman. Maybe not the best kit, but should provide enough protection against the well aimed cannonball or such.

Liche High Priest w/ 5+ Ward Save – 205 pts