Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 2011 Painting Points

Ogre Bull Champion - 2 points
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Five Crossbowmen - 5 points

One Mercenary Cannon Cree - 1 point

Total Points in March 2011: 13 Points
Total Points in March 2010: 14 Points
Total Points in March 2009: 13 Points

If you are interested is reading the system I am using for 2011, check here.

Adepticon 2011: 1000 Point WFB Tournament - Part Four


The journey has almost come to an end. Adepticon is tomorrow and I am finalizing a few last things before the big day. At this point, I have decided on a final list which should be solid enough to compete with everything but the most powerful builds.


When it came to the list, the big decision was whether or not to take my unit of crossbowmen as a generic unit or as the Markmens of Miragliano. I concluded that the MoM would be the better choice since I would be hitting on 3+ most of the time and could potentially be hitting on a 2+ with the right combination of spells and luck. This means that at 15 models, I have a good chance to dwindle down a larger regiment in a turn or two. Assuming that is the case, I can use the ogres and Cursed Company to clean-up.

As for Vespero’s Vendetta, I am planning to use them as my mage/war machine hunting unit. The unit is small (I would argue too small), but if I can panic my opponents with the power of the MoM, they may ignore Vespero long enough for him to be effective. Otherwise, anything wasted on Vespero will mean that my MoM will have more time to shoot.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beastmen vs Dogs of War Battle Report


The roar of the great shaman could be heard as the beastmen cleared the edge of the forest. This was an ambush, and the Coin Collectors had fallen into it.

In this battle report, I play Ryan’s Beastmen army as part of the Garage Hammer campaign. We were playing Blood and Glory with 2000 point armies.

Ryan’s Beastmen
Great Shaman
BSB
2 large blocks of Bestigors
1 very large block of Gors
A couple chariots
A small unit of harpies
A Pumbagor (nicely painted!)

My list was pretty typical for the moment.
Merchant Prince with Tilean Plate Armour, Enchanted Shield, Ogre Blade, Talsiman of Preservation, Barded Warhorse, and Boldness.
Hireling Wizard Lord w/ Level 4 and Channeller
Paymaster w/ Master of Intrigue and Armour of Fortune
Crossbowmen (15) w/ command and pavises
Braganza’s Beseigers
Vespero’s Vendetta (10)
Cavaliers (5) w/ Warbanner
Ruglud’s Armoured Orcs
Mercenary Ogres w/ brute and bellower
Mercenary Cannon
Mercenary Cannon
Mercenary Elves w/ longbows and Banner of Eternal Flame

Early Turns
The early turns of the game saw my forces pick-off a couple of bestigors. The elves turned to face the harpies, but failed to wound them before they could reach my mercenary cannon. The ogres moved to intercept the chariots and Razorgor.

Middle Turns

Ogres crush the Razorgor and cause the chariot nearby to flee. Vespero’s company is overwhelmed by the second chariot, though they do get in a couple of wounds before running off the battlefield. Ruglud’s orcs fall a critical animosity check and sit out the turn.

In comparison, Ryan’s harpies hit my cannon on the right flank and killed the crew. The whole of his army advances forward, losing a couple more models to the combination of the second cannon and the odd crossbow shot.

Late Turns
The game ends with the large blocks getting into close combat with Braganza and the DoW knights. The late game also saw Ruglud’s crew get assaulted, take some wounds and run off the board.

Conclusion

The game concluded with Ryan having won by ~870 points. The only reason the results were that close was due to him losing his great shaman late in the game to a miscast. Still, the difference meant that I had earned 5 league points for this round and will be able to claim a hex next turn.

Lessons Learned
1. I want to beef up the unit of ogres to 6 models. I think I will also include a standard in the unit.
2. I could have done a better job with how I positioned Vespero’s Vendetta. The small unit against a chariot was not the best match-up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Answer...

This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Building a Better Vespero


One of my favorite models is Vespero from the regiment of renown unit of the same name. I just love the dynamic pose and striking way his cloak flows on the model. The problem with the unit has also been that it is expensive for what is does on the battlefield. The new Indy GT list has attempted to improve upon him, but generally speaking, Vespero’s Vendetta still lacks the ability to be an effective unit on the battlefield.

As a quick review, Vespero’s Vendetta costs a base 120 points. This gives you 4 duelists with WS 4 and a special parry plus Vespero who is WS 6 and causes opponents to lose a single attack on the first turn of combat (assuming that they are not immune to psychology). You can also include additional models in the unit at a cost of 8 points per model. The problem with the unit is that unless you increase the model count and purchase the trait to allow them to scout, they don’t have a suitable role on the battlefield.

Due to the issues I have listed, I have been exploring the idea of an alternative use for the models that fits into the theme of the original rules. To this end, I have been designing a list that uses the unit as a ‘count as’ unit of duelist accompanied by an elven ranger. This seems to be a better approach as it allows me to create a superior Vespero and give his unit the ability to ambush.

Elf Ranger w/ Blackbeard’s Cutlass, Talisman of Protection, and Duelist accompanying 9 Duelist 206 pts
Vs.
Vespero’s Vendetta w/ 9 duelist plus Master of Intrigue 190 pts

Using my ‘counts as’ approach, I now have a Vespero with a magical weapon that has 4 attacks which hit at Str 5 and causes a -3 to saves. He also has a superior 6+ ward save and forces his opponents to re-roll any successful hits during a challenge. He can also ambush with his unit of duelist, thus getting the drop on any war machines or wizards hiding in the backfield.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Adepticon 2011: 1000 Point WFB Tournament - Part Three

I believe I am close to settling on a final list for the 1000 point tournament at Adepticon.

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When it comes to this list, there are a couple of things that I still need to settle on.

1. I debate whether or not I should include a wizard. I fear that someone is going to show with a level 4 lord, but don't want to sink the points to match it. Another option would be to drop the tome and instead blow points on a Plaque of Chotec (dispel scroll plus on 4+ the spell is removed).

If I were to drop the wizard, I could include a simple Merchant Prince as a lord. This would allow me to upgrade the ogres to armour piercing and give the crossbowmen a flaming banner. Seems like it would give the overall army more punch, but at the price of being an easy target to magic.

2. I wonder if it is worth taking pavises on my crossbowmen. I like the 5+ save against shooting, but 2 points a pop is alot at this point level.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Garagehammer Campaign - Turn 1 Results




Grant: 28 points: purchased 2 tiles, a mine and a castle. 0 left
Aaron: 17 points: purchased 2 tiles. 1 point carried over
CDMB: 13 Points: purchased 1 tile and 1 castle. 1 point carried over
Witeks: 20 points: purchased 1 mountain tile and a mine. 0 left
Taz: 4 points: purchased 1 tile (using her land grab from last week). 0 left
John: 4 points: purchased a castle 0 left over
Ryan: 12 points: purchased mountain tile. 0 left over
Chris: 8 points: Purchased 1 tile. 0 left over.
Luke: 7 points: purchased a castle. 3 points carried over.
Tom: 4 points: 4 points. 4 points carried over.

Here are the strategic events:
Tom: Building Boom (upgraded castle to city)
John Land Grab (gets 4 points off a tile next building phase)
Luke: War Tax
Ryan: All or Nothing
CDMB: Building Boom (used PBttOracle) (upgraded castle to City)
Taz: PbttOracle
Witeks: Scouts
Grant: Headhunter
Aaron: Survey the Battlefield
Chris: Fortune Favors the Bold

Here are the random events:
Witeks: Harvest Moon 160 extra gold
Luke: Knowledge boom
CDMB: Fame/Infamy
Taz: Fame/Infamy
Tom: Knowledge Boom
Grant: Hidden Cache
Chris: Disaster (nothing happened)
Aaron: Harvest Moon 220 extra gold
John: All's Well
Ryan: All's Well

Grant rolled for his river mine and got 90 gold.
Witeks rolled for their mountain mine and got 150 gold

Here's how the points are breaking down after turn 1:
Grant(3) – 1 empty tile, 1 castle, 1 river mine
Aaron(3) – 3 empty tiles
CDMB(3) – 1 empty tile, 1 City
Witeks(2) – 1 empty tile, 1 mountain mine
Taz(2) – 2 empty tiles
Ryan(2) – 2 empty tiles
Chris(2) – 2 empty tiles
John(1) – 1 castle
Luke(1) – 1 castle
Tom(1) – 1 castle

So that's about it. Finally, here's how much gold everyone has.

Grant: 165 gold (1 empty tile, 1castle tile, 1 river mine for 90 gold))
Aaron: 295 gold (3 empty tiles and 220 harvest moon) (Aaron, let me know how you want to use this.)
CDMB: 100 gold (1 empty tile and 1 city tile)
Witeks: 360 gold (1 empty tile and 1 mountain tile + 150 for mine +160 for Harvest Moon)
Taz: 50 gold (2 empty tiles)
John: 50 gold (1 castle tile)
Ryan: 50 gold (2 empty tiles)
Chris: 50 gold (2 empty tiles)
Luke: 150 gold (1 castle tile, war tax)
Tom: 75 gold (1 city tile)

Round 2 Match-ups
Luke v Grant
Taz v Tom
Chris v Witeks
Ryan v John (if this is difficult please let me know)
CDMB v Aaron

Screaming Down to Bloomington: Aftermath

Last weekend, I attended the Waaagh Cast’s tournament at Gryfalia's Aerie in Bloomington, Illinois. The day started with a pleasant drive down that took me about 2.5 hours. I enjoyed a quick stop at Burger King to get some breakfast and arrived with plenty of time to check-in and get settled. I parked about a block from the store and made a couple of quick trips to bring my stuff inside.

As folks got settled, I enjoyed checking out the various armies. Everyone with the exception of me came to prepare for the Adepticon Championship tournament, so there were some beautiful armies on display. Sadly, this was my only regret for the day as I did not bring a camera with me to capture the festivities.

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Since my opponent’s are writing battle reports for our games, I will skip discussing details about each game and just focus on the results and my views on the event. Overall, I came in dead last, which is what I was expecting. My army is very much a work in progress and without it being painted, I knew that I wasn’t actually in the running for anything. That said, I never felt like I was blown out of the water while playing. Things were close until the final turns when things would finally come apart.

In terms of the organization of the tournament, Chuck and Joe did an outstanding job. Even though folks were treating this event like a primer for Adepticon, the games always felt casual and welcoming. The scenarios were well written and varied enough that games didn’t feel repetitive or cookie cutter.

Another great thing about the event was that fact that everyone got two custom dice from the store. This may have been a small token, but it was nice to feel like I left with something even though I didn’t win anything.

Overall, the event was a blast. I am eager to hear when the next one is happening as I would like to make the trip down again. Hopefully the next one I attend will be on the slightly smaller side so I can field a fully painted army and have a chance at winning an award. Otherwise, I will just attend for another guaranteed day of pure fun.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Around the Net: Jokaero and Grey Knight Special Character



The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Answer...


This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chaos Daemons vs Space Wolves Battle Report

In the aftermath of the Space Wolves assault on K’Nosha Prime, three worshippers of chaos were able to get past enemy lines in an attempt to reach a secret space dock. The wolves had sent a kill team to retrieve them, as it was believed one of them may possess vital tactical data. Knowing that they were being stalked, the forces of chaos unleashed a band of daemons from the warp to stop the marines and see their minions to freedom.

In this battle report, Ernie and I play a game of Special Operations: Killzone. The mission for this game was 34.6 Person of Interest. In this mission, each team is trying to retrieve the Persons of Interest (PoI) from the center of the board. We played the game on a 4’x 4’ with heavy terrain. We also decided to use the Fate and Secondary Missions cards for the game.

When it came to the force I was using for this game, I elected to use my Chaos Daemons. I am quickly finding them to be my army of choice for Killzone, mostly because I like the simple play of them and how the army works at this size. While selecting my forces, I decided to drop the Slaanesh elements from it and focus on Khorne and Tzeentch.

Bonecrusher w/ FNP
6 Bloodletters
1 Fleshhound of Khorne w/ Blade Master (+1 Attack and Rending)
2 Horrors
1 Flamer w/ Resistant (+1 toughness)

Ernie gave me a surprise when I arrived and revealed that he was playing his Space Wolves. It had been a long time since I had faced the grey beards, and was honestly expecting him to bring his orks to the game. When it came to his list, it was a nice mix of terminators, scouts and wolves.

When it came to draw cards for the game, I first drew the Reverse Engineering card for my secondary mission. This card has me select a model with a non-standard equipment choice as my target for the game. If I can kill the model in CC, I earn an extra 10 mission points. Ernie had two models that fit the requirements, so I wrote down that I was targeting his Wulfen model for the mission.

As for my Fate card, I drew ‘Die, You Git’. This card allows me to re-roll any/all failed re-rolls to wound by a single model during a single enemy’s phase. When it came to the Fate card, I wrote it down and forgot about it. Since all of my CC attacks are with power weapons and I am typically getting 2.5 swings per assault phase, I just felt like I would never need it.

Early Turns
The early turns of the game saw Ernie quickly move his wolves into position to grab two of the PoIs. He also set his scouts into overwatch to sniper my forces as they came out of hiding. During my turn, I ran my Khorne units forward and had the flamer jump ahead. As for the horrors, I moved them into a position to get some shots if Ernie chose to move out of cover.

Middle Turns
The middle game saw our forces clash in the center of the board, each side trying to grab the PoIs. I was able to bring down one of Ernie’s terminators with my bloodletters. In exchange, his other terminator was able to bring down my bloodcrusher with the help of a well placed sniper shot.

Late Turns
The late turns of the game saw Ernie move two of the PoIs off the board with the help of one of his wolves and a grey hunter. As they were capturing them, my forces continued to assault what remained of Ernie’s team and press forward. I also snagged the last PoI and began to move him towards my board edge. The game concluded with Ernie having only a single wolf remaining and failing his leadership test to continue the game.

Conclusion
With the game concluded, we sat down to figure out the scores. I knew it was going to be close, as I clearly had the edge when it came to kills, but Ernie played the smart game and focused on capturing the PoIs. As we figured out the scores, Ernie revealed that he had drawn the ‘Traitor” card for his secondary objective and had selected one of my horrors to be the traitor. In the end, I had score XX points, and Ernie had XX points.

Lessons Learned
1. Never trust Tzeentch! How cool is it that the game was won by Ernie drawing the ‘Traitor” mission and playing it on a horror.

2. I need to really think about when is the right time to drop a player below 25% and start forcing the test to end the game. In this case, I controlled the board and had the tactical advantage when it came to forces remaining. The smart play would have been to pull back and secure the last PoI before dropping Ernie below 25%.

3. I need to remember that every decision matters. I had won the roll to see who would go first. I selected to go second at the start of the game. After the game, we talked about my reasoning why I elected to go second. Reflecting upon it, I really didn’t have a good reason and really just made a gut call during the moment. Looking back now, the call didn’t cost me the game, but it didn’t help me either considering the primary objective.

4. For the first time, I have to admit that I am a bit concerned about balance with the game. This concern has nothing to do with what actually happened in our game, but comes from the thought that a team composed of only bloodcrushers could be over the top. Again, not something I am worried about for casual games like this one, but it is something to consider when playing Killzone on a more competitive level.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Monday Mission (Consuming Darkness Part Three)

Monday Match-up for 03/14/2011

Consuming Darkness - Chapter Three

Special Conditions

K'Wars: The Consuming Darkness was written in 2006 using the Cities of Death rules and the edition at that time. There may conflicts with the current edition and how the mission was originally written for the event.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Empire vs Dogs of War 2200 - Part 1

Special thanks to Steve G (Noght) for writing this battle report up for our game yesterday.

Quick Battle Report vs Dogs of War, 2200 points.

Kind of an odd scenerio: Torrential Downpour, -D3 magic/dispel dice each magic phase. Additional penalties to shooting and WarMachines...

(There were 10 Armies in the Tourney, 5 of would classify as Hand to Hand Armies: 4 WoC, 1 DoC, and 1 VC. I'm doomed if I draw one of those guys withe the shooting and magic penalties)

I ended up vs the Dog of War which was a fortunate match up for my Empire Army.

Empire:
122 General of the Empire w/FPA, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might
161 Arch Lector w/Meteoric Armor and Ironcurse Icon, GW
220 Halberdiers x40 w/FC

133 BSB Captain w/FPA, Holy Relic, Biting Blade
265 Light Wizard Lord w/Talisman of Endurance, Dispel Scroll
145 Swordsmen x20 w/FC

300 Flagellants x30
254 Knightly Orders x10 w/Standard, Musician
185 Crossbow x20 w/Eternal Flame Standard, Musician

65 Master Engineer
150 Mortar x2
200 Cannon x2

Dogs of War:
Merchant Prince (General) & 5 Cavaliers
Lvl 4 Shadow Wizard Lord
Lvl 1 Life Wizard
Paymaster (BSB) & 15 Crossbowmen
Elf Ranger & 11 Merc Elves (Ambushers)
Braganza's Besiegers x10
Vespero's Vendetta x10
Rughad's Armored Orcs x10
Mercenary Ogre x3
Mercenary Cannon

Terrain and Deployment:
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Dogs of War 1: Moved up his Ogres, Cavaliers, and Vendetta. Miasma in Halberdiers lowering Init, failed Pit of Shades. Out of Shooting range.
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Empire 1: Knights, Halberdiers, Swordsmen and Flagellants all move up. Precision Artilery, bounced a cannon through 2 Orcs and put 2 wounds on Cannon. Bounced a second cannon through an Orc and put 2 wounds on Wizard Lord. Orcs fail Leadership and flee off the board. 2 wounds on Ogres from Xbows.
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Dogs of War 2: Moved his Wiz Lord into Besiegers Unit, moved up his Ogres and Cavaliers. Failed Vendetta charge on Cannon. Shot down 5 Halberdiers with Crossbow units.
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Empire 2: Knights Charge Ogres, rest of Army moves up. Pha's Protection on Knights, Speed of Light on Flagellants. Kill one Vendetta with Grapeshot, Rain preventing other 3 artillery shots. Knights do 8 wounds to Ogres destroying them and overrunning towards Paymaster's unit.
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Empire vs Dogs of War 2200 - Part 2

Dogs of War 3: Vendetta charge failed again. Ambushing Elves pop up behind lines. Cast Superior Miasma for -3 on Knights. Elves shoot 2 Swordsmen, Xbows kill a Knight.
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Empire 3: Halberdiers and Swordsmen move up, Knights and Flags hold, Xbows turn around. War Machines pound him. Grapeshot kill 2 Vendetta, flee. Both Mortars hit Besiegers and cause them to flee off the board.
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Dogs of War 4: Cavaliers charge Flagellants. No Magic gets through. 3 Knights die to flank Cannon shot, flee. 2 Halberdiers and 3 Xbows die to missle fire. Mercenary Prince fluffs his attacks, Cavaliers kill 5 Flagellants, who kill all 5 Cavaliers, combat is a push.
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Empire 4: Knights still flee. 9 Winds of Magic, Upgraded Pha on Halberdiers and Swordsmen. Shem's Gaze on Lvl 2 Mage, killing her. Mortar kills 7 Archers, Mortar kills 10 Crossbows. Both stay on board. Flagellants lose 1 to Prince, 0 wounds in return, win by Ranks, General flees and is run down.
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Battle continued with Vendetta killing the Cannon, finally. The Halberdiers killed the Paymaster and remaining Crossbowmen. The Elves were destroyed by Crossbow and Mortar fire. 2250 VPs to 100 VPs. Had I got any of the Melee armies I'd have been destroyed. Battle proves that Multiple Small Units are at a disadvantage vs War Machines and step up, especially T3 guys.

Empire vs Dogs of War 2200 - Part 3

Again, thanks to Steve G for writing today's battle report. He was a really nice guy and it was a pleasure to play against his empire army.

This battle was tough and I don't think I would have lasted as long without the special rule slowing down his cannons. Vespero also struggled to take out his target in a reasonable time frame, and Ruglud turned on his fellow mercenaries and followed that up with running off the board. (Which seemed to be the general theme for the day.)

Lessons Learned...
1. Watching how Steve's army played, I am determined to include more warmachines in my army after Adepticon. I need the pie plates and templates to deal with the large blocks. 47 crossbows/long bows were not enough shots.
2. I love Ruglud's Orcs, but across the three games, the number of times they squabbled or turned on me were to numerous. I believe I may post on the Dogs of War forum a suggestion on how to improve them while still keeping the animosity rule. (Maybe a reasonable point deduction or reducing the possibility of them doing something bad.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What is the Deal with Drinking at Tournaments?



I recently had a discussion with another TO and one of the points he made was regarding how he was having alcoholic beverages at his tournament. In fact, his tone regarding the presence of alcohol seemed to imply to me that somehow this made his event better than those that did not serve such beverages. I am no prude when it comes to drinking. I enjoy having a honey weiss when I go to Buffalo Wild Wings or a good bottle of wine when eating at Fogo de Chao. I just don’t need it to be part of my gaming experience, nor does it factor in when it comes to my opinion of an event.

As I read various forum threads, especially ones related to Fantasy events, this seems to be a common opinion. Again, everyone is entitled to what they think and enjoy, I just don’t understand it. I have been to large events and have experienced the problems that can come from having a bar available during the tournament. I ‘fondly’ remember playing in one such tournament and my opponent showing up and playing with beer rage. It just seems like more trouble than it is worth.

When it comes to deciding upon what events to attend, I first evaluate potential candidates based upon how closely the event/tournament aligns with my own personal hobby goals. Do I feel like I am getting some sort of value for what is being asked of me (be it entry fees or time) is what I also ask myself. When comparing a tournament against these two requirements, access to alcohol just doesn’t come into the process.

In conclusion, I don’t have an issue with an event offering alcohol; I just view it as a non-factor when it comes to making a decision on whether or not I will attend. Why the community embraces the presence of it during the tournament seems odd to me as I personally prefer to share a drink after the day is done. In the end, we all enjoy different things, I am just hopeful my readers can help me to understand the other side of the discussion.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vampire Counts vs. Dogs of War Battle Report


The rain began to fall on the peaceful town of Pleasant Prairie as the Coin Collectors made their way to the outpost. The locals had already gathered as was customary every couple weeks to socialize and play games of chance. The paymaster enjoyed the leisurely atmosphere of the outpost and its patrons. These were mellow people who enjoyed a good game and well brewed ale.

In this battle report, I play a league game against Ben and his beautifully painted Vampire Counts army.

Ben’s Vampire Counts
Vampire w/ +2 Power Dice
Vampire Thrall w/ +2 Power Dice
Wight King BSB w/ Regeneration Banner
40 Skeletons w/ Full Command
40 Skeletons w/ Full Command
40 Grave Guard w/ Great Weapons, Full Command, and Banner of the Wights (+1 To Hit)
Black Coach

Since we scheduled our game in advance of playing it, I admittedly tailored mine to include a unit designed to deal with vampires; the Witchhunters. I love these old models, but at 230 for the pair and them counting as a hero choice, they are a very conditional unit that really can only be justified when I know I will be playing a force that they are effective against.

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When it came to the scenario, we rolled Battle for the Pass. I was happy to have finally rolled a mission that was not Dawn Attack or just a generic bash in the middle. While setting up, we discussed our differences of opinion when it came to Dawn Attack and random deployments. It was great discussion and really helped settle into what was going to be a fun game.

Early Turns

One of the things about this game that I was interested in trying was the special deployment rules for scout and ambush. Since the long board edges were impassible terrain, I knew my unit elves were only coming in from behind Ben’s lines or way back in my deployment zone. As for Vespero and company, I had a chance to take the offensive with him and deploy him such that I could get the jump on a unit.

The first turn started with Ben moving forward with the coach, grave guard and skeleton regiment with his vampire general. The other skeleton unit with the thrall swung around to face Vespero. During his magic phase, the thrall was able to cast its magic missile spell with irresistible force at Vespero’s Vendetta. Everyone in the regiment but Vespero was killed in the volley. In exchange, the thrall rolled a 4 on the miscast table and killed 13 skeletons and wounded itself.

In the second turn of the game, the black coach hit my ogres and paymaster and effectively broke them while only scoring a few wounds. This caused the orcs to panic and also make a break for the woods. During my turn, my elves moved onto the board near the exploding skeletons and were able to drop a few more with longbows. My crossbow units were also able to drop a few grave guard, but not in any numbers that truly mattered.

To say that the undead were swarming the paymaster’s lines would have been an inaccurate description. Instead, they moved in tightly formed ranks that stretched forever. At the front of each regiment, the glaring eyes of a sentient undead could be seen leading its soulless minions. This was not a fight the paymaster felt he could win.

Middle Turns

The middle of the game saw me charge the grave guard with my merchant lord and knights. It also saw me charge the vampire lord and skeletons with the witchhunters. Thinking this could be a chance to turn the tide; I took my shot… …and missed. The failure of my units to actually kill anything caused both the merchant lord and witchhunters to break from combat. In comparison, the combined efforts of Vespero and the elves were able to deal with the skeleton unit and thrall that had stayed behind.

Late Turns

With most of my big units either wiped out, Ben had little trouble with wiping out what remained of my army. Braganza’s Besiegers took a charge from the vampire lord, but died in a wave of skeleton delivered blows. With only the elves, Marksmen and wizard remaining, I declared defeat and congratulated Ben on a well played game.

Conclusions

This was an interesting game for a number of reasons. One, Ben was a great guy to play against. Second, his army gave me a chance to test how to handle dealing with large blocks of undead. Finally, I never felt out of it. I feel like my biggest mistake was being too aggressive with the charges. Not sure how I would have changed my approach, but I can say that it should have been done differently.

Lessons Learned…

1. I really like the double punch of scouting Vespero’s Vendetta and ambushing with the elves. The combination worked well and gives me a strong option for dealing with warmachines and attacking the rear lines of the enemy.
2. I don’t want to drop the cavaliers as I really like the conversion work I have done with the models. With that said, I need to find a better approach to using them.
3. Until I can build my version of hot pots, I may need to rely on a lore with a template.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Screaming Down to Bloomington: Part Four

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When it comes to hero level choices, I am required to take a paymaster for the army. The paymaster, unlike most BSB models, can purchase magical items. Also like a BSB, he dies if the unit he is in breaks.

Before talking about how I have decided to equip him, I should discuss where I am going to place him in my army. They way I have been playing him as of late is to place him with my ogre mercenaries. However, I am anticipating that I will need the paymaster to provide some additional support and take more of backseat roll. With that in mind, I have decided to kit him to be a supporting character that will pump up the unit he joins.

Looking at potential units, especially core choices, I believe the paymaster is best placed within a unit of crossbowmen. Of the crossbowmen units I will be using, I believe that a generic unit would be the best choice since I can also use a magical standard to really pump up the unit.

Since he is joining the unit to support it, I have decided to purchase a paychest and upgrade it to be a magical item. Of the choices for magical paychests, I have elected to go with the silver chest. The silver chest allows makes the paymaster and any unit he joins attacks magical.

Paymaster
Equipment: Heavy Armour, Shield
Traits: Master of Intrigue
Magic Items: Silver Paychest

Monday, March 7, 2011

Screaming Down to Bloomington: Part Three

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In my last post, I wrote about the general I am going to use for the tournament. In this post, I explore the wizard I am going to field in the tournament. Since the tournament is 2200 points, that means I can 550 points worth of lord choices. I don’t think I would typically double dip into the lord choices, but I need to sink points and a level 3 wizard just seems like a better choice for this tournament.

When it came to selecting magic items for the wizard, I decided to save points by not upgrading him to a level four and instead purchase the arabyan tome to get an additional spell. I am just of the opinion that the one point difference between a level 3 and 4 is not significant enough to spend the 35 points when the bigger reason for the higher level is the additional spell choice. I also decided to give the wizard a talisman of protection (6+ ward), just to give him some kind of protection.

Another feature of the Dogs of War Indy list is that most characters can purchase traits. Of the three traits available to wizards only, I decided to go with the channeller trait which allows the wizard to channel on 4+ instead of a six. I did consider the madness trait, but the cost of 35 points and the fact that it makes the model stupid seemed too large a cost just for an additional casting dice each turn.

The final decision for my wizard was which of the eight standard lores I would use with him. Currently, I prefer the lores of shadows and metal, so those are the two that I focused on. In the end, I still need more practice with the lore of metal, so I am going to go with the lore of shadows.

Hireling Wizard Lord (Lore of Shadows) – 225 points
Equipment: N/A
Traits: Channeller
Magic Items: Talisman of Protection (6+ Ward) and Arabyan Tome (+1 spell)

The Monday Mission (Consuming Darkness Part Two)

Monday Mission for 03/07/2011

The Mission - Chapter Two

Special Conditions

K'Wars: The Consuming Darkness was written in 2006 using the Cities of Death rules and the edition at that time. There may be conflicts with the current edition and how the mission was originally written for the event.

Screaming Down to Bloomington: Part Two

Every army must begin with a general, and that is where I am starting with my force. When it comes to Dogs of War, there are three non-special character choices for the army. The first is a mercenary general, which is a rather generic choice that upgrades one unit of pikemen or cavaliers with a magic standard (assuming you want to spend the points). The second is a mercenary wizard lord, which is a generic level 3 wizard that can access one of the eight standard lores. IMO, this is a better option than the general only because of the spell-casting ability. The down side of a wizard is that base cost is almost double that of a general.

This leads us to the third option, which is the merchant prince. The merchant prince is a new unit that was added with the Indy GT list. Only slightly more than a mercenary general, it has two special rules that really enhance a Dogs of War army. The first of these rules is a superior magical standard rule that allows any non-RoR unit to purchase a magical standard. The key difference between this version of the rule and the mercenary general version is that this one allows me to upgrade a unit of crossbowmen with a magical standard. The second rule for the merchant prince allows for me to upgrade one non-RoR unit with either armour piercing or an additional +1 to a unit’s save.

Another interesting feature of the merchant prince is that he is allowed a maximum of 125 points in magic items. That is a huge advantage that allows for some very powerful combos that are not usually seen on lord level characters. Since the Waaagh Aerie’s event does not allow for special characters, the flexibility of the merchant prince allows me to recreate Borgio the Beseiger in a way that makes for a general that plays very similar to the special character.

Merchant Prince – 308 pts
Equipment: Barded Warhorse, Tilean Plate Armour
Traits: Grizzled Warrior and Boldness
Magic Items: Giant Sword, Talisman (4+ Ward Save), Enchanted Shield

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Random Images for 03/06/2011

Outpost Gaming on 02/19/2011
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Has the Internet Ruined the Sense of Discovery?

I am always fascinated by how the internet has changed our world. Information travels so fast, and opinions on anything are so accessible that it can be overwhelming at times. When I look at how the internet has changed the hobby, I question whether or not it has hurt it in some ways. In particular, I wonder if we have lost the desire to discover things as individuals.

As an example, let us take a new unit from a recently released book, the Arachnarok spider for Orcs and Goblins. Without the presence of the internet, the only way someone could learn how good it is or the best way to play it would be via experience and personal conversations. In a way, someone wanting to play the spider would have to discover the best use for it in their army. With the internet, before someone purchases the model, they can go online and read dozens, if not hundreds, of opinions, battle reports, and tactical breakdowns on how to use the model. In a way, all of the intangible potential of experiencing the model has been taken before a player has ever even touched it.

When it comes to this potential risk, who is to blame for it? Should players do some level of self regulation when it comes to managing that potential that I spoke of earlier? The alternative would be for the global community to set-up standards to prevent such degradation of potential. The reality is that such a standard would be impossible to achieve and even more impossible to enforce.

As a father, one of the most important things in the world to me is to make sure my children experience as much of life as possible. With my daughter, we have started a journal called “Animals We have Petted”. The idea of the book is to capture the first time we pet a species of animal that we have not petted before. You quickly go thru the usual suspects, like domestic dogs and horses, but there is genuinely something very exciting when we can record something unusual or rare.

I am sure at this point my readers are asking how keeping a journal about petting animals is related to experiencing the wargaming hobby. The answer is that the internet has changed how we experience things, not that we do experience something. In my example, the internet has made it easy for my daughter and me to see any animal we can think about. As an example, type coconut crab into Google and look at the images of that creature. The point is that we found a new layer or level of experience that we could share with something we both love. I think the same is true with this hobby.

The internet has taken away a layer of experience from the hobby, but not the hobby itself. Just because one aspect has become obvious, doesn’t mean that there are not other ones to explore. In the end, we make our own experiences, and no advances in technology can rob us of that. I think that is why I may start another journal for myself, “People I have Played for the First Time”.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

News: Outpost Gaming League Meeting Tonight

6610 Green Bay rd
Suite 106
Kenosha WI 53142
(next to Red Robin)
Phone (262)653-1170

There is still time to join the WFB league being held bi-weekly at Outpost Gaming in Kenosha. The league meets tonight starting at 6 pm.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Wednesday Peek

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

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dwarves vs. DoW Battle Report

“If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is little people,” barked the paymaster as he lowered his helmet onto his head.

“So that is why you never hire dwarf mercenaries,” questioned Chase.

“It is just unnatural in my opinion,” replied the paymaster.

“Anymore unnatural than animated skeletons or rats that walk like men,” retorted the captain of the crossbowmen.

“Bah… What do you understand other than firing a crossbow.”


In this battle report, the Coin Collectors find themselves facing off against an army of dwarves as part of the Outpost Gaming league that I am running. (Click here for details) The league default army size was 2000 points, so I needed to field a large number of units that were not “ready for primetime”. With that said, I selected units that I felt fit my overall play-style and interest.

The scenario was basically a victory point game with the diagonal set-up. I won the roll and deployed first. When deploying, I set myself back enough to avoid the 24” range of the dwarven shooting.

Merchant Prince w/ barded warhorse, grizzled warrior, boldness, cunning, mambrinio’s golden armour, giant sword and disc of Sotek
Hireling Wizard w/ level two and arabyan tome (lore of metal)
Paymaster w/ heavy armour, enchanted shield, and 5+ talismans
5 Cavaliers
10 Marksmen of Mirgalino
10 Braganza’s Besiegers
5 Vespero’s Vendetta
10 Ruglud’s Orcs
15 Cursed Company
3 Ogres w/ extra hand weapons
12 Mercenary Elves w/ Razor Standard

My opponent was Joe R, a smart young man that was very well versed on the 8th edition rules. He was fielding a nice mix of different dwarf units with a single large horde, a few shooting units, and a few warmachines. While I don’t have the exact details, nothing about his list seemed unfair or abusive.

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Early Turns

The early turns of the game were clearly in my favor. I had positioned my shooting units to shower the enemy with arrows, while my CC units were positioned to intercept any units which got to close to my line. As Joe advanced, my shooting units were on target and worked hard to dwindle the dwarven numbers.

Mid-Turns

The middle turns of the game saw me make a critical decision that would eventually play a critical role in the outcome of the game. Joe had to close the distance between our armies if he had any hope of winning. Knowing that I had range with my cavaliers, I decided to charge a unit with them and my merchant prince. On the surface, this was a good decision, as I wiped out the unit and overran into the warmachine hiding behind it.

Late Turns

The late turns of the game saw my cavaliers run into a wall and be destroyed. I also saw my ogres fall to the horde block which was intentional as I wanted to slow the advance of the horde unit. Vespero’s unit was also shot down at this point.

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Conclusion


This was such a fun game. My opponent was a great person and very polite. (Anyone who asks to look at a model before picking it up is cool in my book.) Who would win was always up in the air, so when the final results were tallied and I had lost, it didn’t feel that way.

Lessons Learned…
1) I need to plan ahead when I make a move. I should have anticipated the cavaliers getting charged by the dwarf horde and forced into the impassable terrain.
2) At larger sizes, I tend to ignore units in my army and only focus on what gives me an immediate bang. Vespero’s Vendetta was wiped out purely because I just left them sitting on the board and ignoring them for the first four turns.
3) I need to understand how dwarves work in the magic phase. After the first round, I basically ignored my wizard since my opponent had so many dispel scrolls and bonuses to dispel.