You either had to have been cut off from social media or have blocked out any GW related items to have missed the news that a new edition of 40k is on the horizon.
With the recent advancement of the plot line in the gathering storm books, I think we all surmised that it was in the wind and the only question was in what form it would take.
Tangent time: I make no bones of the fact that I went off GW for a while after the destruction of the old world. I had no issue with the advancement of the story per say but my beef foremost was with the fact they made AOS a skirmish game. I also loved the old world setting and all the fluff. I have most, if not all the novels and reread them often, meaning I had a lot of emotional investment in the setting. I also had issues with the company line at the time stating they were a ‘just’ a Miniatures company (I forget the exact comment). The number of rule books and codexes produced seemed to contradict this.
The new CEO has done a lot to improve the position of the company in the customers eyes. The new community team is doing its job well and GW appears to be listening and more importantly acting on feedback (whilst still looking after the profit line of course – they are after all a plc with shareholders to answer to). Even before the launch of the new edition they have an FAQ out and whilst it doesn’t answer all questions and skirts around a few key issues, is something the company wouldn’t have even bothered with a few years ago.
Tangent aside, in the last two years I’ve tried to get into 40k but struggled to do so. This was in part down to a number of reasons but in the main it was:
Rules – they are vast requiring many different books to get access to them all. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I liked this ‘depth’ with whfb, although 40k appears to suffer from a greater bloat than fantasy due to there being multiple codexes for some factions (looking at you space marines). I also struggled somewhat as many of the rule names (model abilities in particular) were the same between 40k and whfb but the mechanics operated differently. This made it difficult to easily transition from one system to another.
This, combined with me giving Kings of War a go (with its streamlined rules), made me appreciate one of the reasons why the AOS rules are so much simpler. It allows more accessibility to new players. I can honestly say if the KOW ruleset had been the same as whfb I wouldn’t be playing it now. Simplifying the 40k ruleset will very likely make me play it.
I do think the change will be far less drastic than that made to whfb. For one, they won’t be destroying the universe and changing the setting. They likely will be progressing the story as they are doing with AOS though. This is both good and bad. It allows gw to release new Miniatures but could mean that some races are destroyed along the way (as the squats were many moons ago). The FAQ does state that all existing races will be in the new system. The same was said in AOS but you can see many of them are being phased out/changed.
I also believe that AOS was also more aligned with 40k in its phases when launched to allow transition between systems to be more intuitive.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar unit cards as per the AOS style. This would be of particular benefit for vehicles which would have masses of wounds and it would replace the current issue with glancing to death.
All this however is speculation. The Warhammer TV Facebook page is doing a live q&a session tonight at 17.15 GMT to further answer some questions. Again this is the ‘new’ GW face as they would never have bothered in the past. The cynic in me does wonder how much different the new edition will be that they are going to this much trouble and considering it is their primary cash cow…
Curtesy of another Mierce Miniatures purchase (the wolf front and centre) I was able to finally finish my Stampede for my Kings of War herd army (although I realised I need to finish the eyes as soon as the photo was uploaded). Another box ticked in the road to army completion!
So far, most of this year has involved playing Kings of War. Whilst i’m more than happy with that, as i’ve been thoroughly enjoying it, i’m also hankering for some games of 8th edition. Yes I know the balance sucks and the rules are massively over complicated in comparison but the list building is infinitely more satisfying as is the Magic and item choice.
I really enjoyed playing the Beastmen last year but fancy a bit of a change (not least as I’m using them as herd in KOW). Whilst not writing off playing either them or my dwarves (if I play Dan or Luke, i’m sure i’ll dig them out to at least try and be competitive), I don’t want to use them too much, so this year I am going to give my elves a bit of an outing. I’ve played the high elves a few times with mixed results so definitely need some more practice with them, however I am going to start out with what is possibly rated as one of the most difficult armies to use*, the Wood Elves. They have a play style i’ve never really got my head round and last time I fought with them was in 4th edition whfb so I think I am likely to get my butt kicked a fair few times. Still that is nothing new and as long as I learn from the losses i’m happy to take a beating or two 😉.
* no idea if that is true but seems to be the general consensus online.
As always i’ve knocked together a number of lists a couple of which i’ve put below and then given some thoughts and comments around them. Many of the combos are nothing new to players familiar with wood elves and some seem to have been universally agreed as not quite worth the points (e.g. The waystalker and bow of Loren) but I still want to try them out and to my knowledge we don’t have a dedicated wood elf player at the club (Greg did use them for one round of the 2016 whfb comp but his usual army is dark elves), so in general, peeps won’t be used to the tricks/play style.
Now one thing that I will need to do is glue together a load of the models and their bases to make things easier and that’s before I even look at what needs painting!
Spellweaver – Talisman of Preservation + Lore of Shadow – 265pts
Glade Captain – BSB – Great Eagle + Helm of the Hunt + Hail of Doom arrow + Starfire arrows + Asrai Bow + Asrai Spear – 208pts
Shadowdancer – AHW + Potion of Strength – 120pts
Waystalker – Bow of Loren + ahw – 110pts
Dryads (10) – 110pts
Eternal Guard (23) – Light Armour + Shields + Asrai Spear + FC + Banner of Discipline – 321pts
Wild Riders (10) – Asrai Spear + light armour+ shields + FC + Banner of Swiftness – 325pts
Waywatchers (10) – Asrai Bow + ahw – 200pts
A combined arms list. The Eternal guard will go front and centre in a wood with both the spellweaver and shadowdancer embedded there. With the heroes it gives the unit 5 ranks, enough to take some casualties and still remain a threat. I’ve chosen the Lore of shadow, as it’s the Lore I’m most familiar with and I think complements the strengths and weaknesses of the army. The shadowdancer is to be used as a force multiplier/assassin/bodyguard.
They will be supported by the Glade guard who curtesy of their arrows will be firing with no modifiers.
The Dryads are there to be used as my chaff or to flank charge where possible.
The mounted hero is there as mobile support first and bsb second. He can strip regen and is ideal to remove Chaff either at range with the hoda or in combat with his 4 Str 5 AP attacks on the chg (+ the eagle). The eagle allows him to Keep up and support the wild riders with frenzy tests if nothing else.
The wild riders are the recognised anvil. The banner ensures that they will have the charge range on almost everything. 10 may seem overkill but allows some casualties and still maintain combat effectiveness.
The Treekin are my anvil. They are tough and should be able to hold up any unit I don’t want to engage with for a number of turns. They will be supported by the wardancers who will either help the combat by removing the rank bonus or can be used as a speed bump, particularly vs anything with impact hits.
The warhawk riders are my flexible arm. They can help remove chaff, hunt warmachines or assist in combats.
The Scouts are tasked with either removing War machines or high toughness low armour troops (such as trolls) from the get go.
The Waywatchers will be going for any high armour low toughness troops. Knights are a prime example. Monstrous cav are also an option but may require the assistance of the spellweaver.
The waystalker will either assist with the Waywatchers or will take on character assassination.
Glade Lord – Ogre Blade + Armour of Destiny + Potion of Foolhardiness + Steed + Shield + Asrai Bow + Starfire Shafts – 267pts
Another combined arms list, which is similar to the first. The Eternal guard will again go front and centre in a wood with both the characters as above.
They will be supported by the Glade guard and Dryads.
The wild riders are the main hammer for all the reasons stated above. They will be augmented by the Glade lord in the unit. He might be considered a controversial choice but I like having combat characters and his ld10 will help to control the riders frenzy and if the spellweaver sucks herself down a hole, I’ll still have a general! He can also help remove regen and gains an extra attack on the charge.
The mounted hero is again primed as both a mobile support and bsb. This build gives him a bit more survivability over combat oomph (especially vs cannons). The more I see the eagle bsb, the more I like the flexibility it offers.
The warhawk riders and scouts are included for the same reasons as above (and I love the models!).
Finally I’ve included 2 units of Waywatchers due to the flexibility they offer.
I am wondering if I need to fit in the waystalker somehow as bow of Loren or not, the ability to snipe characters/champions, on paper at least, seems too good to pass up.
There are a number of units not represented in the lists.
Wildwood rangers – quite deliberate as I don’t own any of the models!
Sisters of the thorn. My gut feel is that these are the ultimate avoidance unit and it seems like they are mainly used to bunker the lvl 4. Maybe I’ll try them further down the line but for the moment, they are consigned to the back burner.
I’d love to fit a treeman into the list but I play in a cannon heavy meta and experience has taught me that the big guys won’t last long enough to contribute. A better option would perhaps be the treeman ancient as with 6 wounds and Lore of life, the survive-ability increases and I can see me giving it a go but it is still a risky choice.
Glade Riders – Although I like the idea of them turning up and running around the back field causing havoc, the random ambush rule just puts me off, especially knowing what my single dice rolls are like.
The first list also feels like it’s lacking archers. I’m almost contemplating an all Glade archer core, 2 units of scouts and 2 of waywatchers. 100+ bows maybe overkill…
In the second of my competition battles (and second game in two days), I played against my old adversary Dan. I was really curious what he would bring, as not only have I faced Dan in battle many times at Warhammer (though not at KOW) but he was also using one of my favourite armies, dwarves and i wanted to see how different his list would be from what I would create (the answer is: quite a bit).
Dan’s Dwarf list – 2000pts
Mounted Berserker Lord – 140pts
Army Standard Bearer – 50pts
Stone Priest – 120pts
Stone Priest – 120pts
Shieldbreaker Horde – 215pts
Shieldbreaker Horde – 215pts
Rangers Regiment – 180pts
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar – 230pts
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Gem of Zellak – 240pts
Flame Belcher – 85pts
Flame Belcher – 85pts
Greater Earth Elemental – 160pts
Greater Earth Elemental – 160pts
The entire army has the headstrong rule so can ignore wavers on a 4+. I don’t think this is one of the more useful army traits but it is what it is.
He has several elements that I would say obviously work together.
Core – The 2 Shieldbreaker hordes have average hit and defence stats and again average horde attacks with the normal high nerve. They do have CS2 so will damage more easily. I would expect these to form the centre of the army.
Standard bearer – I suspect this will closely follow the 2 hordes as their source of inspiring.
Support. 2 Flame Belchers. 2 sources of 18 attacks with a 16″ effective range that always hits on a 4+ (as we are not using CoK rules) is enough to give me the shivers after my experience with Efreets. I suspect they will also be backing up the 2 hordes and used to soften up anything that came close to them.
2 Greater Earth Elementals each supported by a stone priest in order to surge them. They can also inspire the elements and cast bane chant on anything within 12″ of them (though they can’t BC + surge in the same turn). The Earth elementals only have 8 attacks and an average hit roll, however with CS 3 they will damage any of my army on a 2+ and surge gives them a good chance of hitting the flank. They have a high 6+ defence and a solid nerve meaning it will be difficult to shift them. In some ways the high CS attacks of the elementals and shield breakers are wasted on my list as I tend to have low defence so it doesn’t make a huge difference.
Fast attack. Rangers – 24″ ranged attacks, combined with vanguard means they will be attacking early on. They only have average hit and def stats and reasonably low attacks. I would expect them to advance in order to project an early threat to stall my advance and to try and clear out my chaff.
2 units of berserker brock riders. This is the true fast element of the army. They have high attacks and nerve and are fearless. They have TC1 and vicious so will hit reasonably hard on the charge. This is offset by their average to hit and defence stats. One unit has pathfinder to help ensure they don’t lose TC1. The other has the scrying Gem that makes his opponent have to lay D3+1 units before he does. With his higher unit count, this means he will know where the majority of my army is deployed so I need to have a plan straight off the bat.
The final part of his army is a mounted berserker lord. 8 attacks with CS1, vicious and hitting on 3+ means he will kick out a solid number of wounds. He does have nimble meaning he can easily get into flanks, round units but has individual so won’t double/triple attacks. He also inspires brock riders so will likely roll with them.
As expected with Dan, he has built his army thinking about synergies. I can see how I would run his list with the horde core backed up with warmachines. His brocks could be run as a pack or on each flank and his elementals run the same way. Saying that, i’m not sure if he would run it the same way though!
His army is slow and so he has tried to offset this with the Gem, forcing me to lay between 2 and 5 drops before him (depending on who won the roll and his D3 roll). As he starts with 13 drops vs my 11, he would always have a slight advantage and using the Gem will also mean that he will likely be reacting to my deployment. This could actually go against him as not only should I be able to anticipate how he will deploy based on how I lay my units, but due to the slow speed of dwarves I feel you should not be reactionary in deployment but lay according to the objectives rolled (though perhaps this holds true to some extent for all armies).
The key for me will be to overwhelm sections of his army quickly. His biggest attack range is an 16″ charge from the brocks and 16″ fire range from the flame belchers. Yes the Earth Elementals have a maximum charge of 10″ plus a potential 8″ surge but this is unlikely to occur. This means I have the edge in movement speed and so need to utilise this to multicharge. If he splits the brocks, then one unit of beasts will block them to set up a counter, leaving the other (or a Brutox) to target a flame belcher.
I can see me utilising a refused flank a lot with the herd, the centre anchored with my horde, Brutox on both flanks.
Guardian Brutes – Horde – Blessing of the Gods – 255pts
Brutox – 220pts
Brutox – 220pts
We used Neil’s terrain chart and rolled Map 5, which contained: 4*buildings, 1*tree base, 2*WHF, 1 hill.
Hills are height 2, Trees and buildings height 4.
I won the roll and so was designated player A.
Terrain deployment instructions Map 5.
Player A places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere on the table, but not In any DZ, at least 6” from any table edge, & both buildings no further apart than 6” with WHF linking both buildings in nay configuration.
Player B places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere but In any DZ at least 6” from any table edge, & both buildings no further apart than 6” with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration. Also must be at least 12” away from nearest building in A above.
Player A places 1*tress anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
Player B places 1*hill anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
I was hoping that I didn’t get loot again and when we rolled Pillage, I was more than happy as it was another first for me.
We rolled 7 objectives and Dan placed the first token. When finished the Terrain and objectives looked like this.
We then rolled for sides, which I won and again in my normal display of tactical acruity picked the side I was already on. As such I had the first drop and Dan deployed his gem of something or other which forced me to lay an additional unit off the bat.
I again followed my rough deployment plan that I had sketched out and had used the night before, not worrying about Dan’s deployment strategy too much. He did pretty much do what I was expecting using a symmetrical deployment but with the Brock riders all on one flank.
Dan then won the roll for turn choice and decided to go first.
As normal I’ll caveat that any mistakes are down to memory or lack of photos/notes.
Turn 1 – Dwarves
The dwarves started aggressively, the infantry moving up as far as they could and the Stone Priests each surging an Elemental.
The Rangers, who had vanguarded, shot the slavering Brutox in front of them but caused minimal damage.
Turn 1 – Herd
The herd responded cautiously, edging forward, ensuring they remained out of charge ranges on all fronts
The Chieftain opened fire on the nearest Brock Riders causing as much damage as the rangers had the previous turn (almost bugger all).
Turn 2 – Dwarves
The dwarf advance stalled on all fronts with most of the infantry following the lead of the herd and also creeping forward. The exception was the Brock Riders who continued to move up to threaten the herd left flank.
The rangers again shot the Brutox who roared in frustration at the puny midgets in front of him.
Turn 2 – Herd
The Chieftain again shot at the same Brock Riders but failed to do anything of note. The Beast pack on that flank moved up to do what it is good at and blocked the two units of Brocks and their lord.
On the far flank the Brutox piled into the rangers, healing as it did so, horns and blades tearing bodies apart and wavering the unit with the force of the charge.
The central units also chose this moment to strike, with the Stampede smashing the nearest Elemental into dust. The Guardian Brutes on the other side of the wood, hit the other stone monster so hard that cracks appeared all over it but unlike its twin, it managed to retain its form.
The final beast pack moved up to block the path of one of the Shieldbreaker hordes so they couldn’t counter the Stampede.
Turn 3 – Dwarves
In a wave of charges the dwarf forces engaged the herd. One unit of Brock riders and their lord tore apart the interfering dogs and eagerly eyed up their next target. The other unit of brocks noticed the flank of the stampede was just within their sight and made them pay for that opening. The Flame Belcher near them supported the attack by trying to burn away the Brutox with limited success.
Unable to get to the Spirit Walkers, the horde of Shieldbreakers charged the blocking unit of dogs. The remaining Elemental eager to get away from the Brutes, turned and also charged their flank. Suffice to say the dogs were ground to paste in short order! The remaining unit of Shieldbreakers, their path clear, hit the Brutes but bounced off after a lackluster round of hindered attacks.
On the other flank, the second flame belcher softened up the Longhorns and the Rangers, shaking off the effects of the previous combat, counter-charged the Brutox and continued to chip away at it.
Turn 3 – Herd
With the left flank hanging in the balance, the Chieftain and Brutox, in a gamble, both charged the damaged regiment of Brock Riders, knowing the result of the ensuing melee would decide that flank. They failed to remove the unit and were now in a bad position and prepared to sacrifice themselves for the cause.
The Tribal Spirit Walkers finally able to contribute and buffed with a bane chant, smashed into the flank of the elemental which was removed in short order (edit: with 70 attacks incoming we just double 1’ed it). The Guardian Brutes and Longhorns both charged the horde of dwarves in front of them but despite inflicting massive damage the horde remained.
On the far flank, the Brutox continued to regenerate damage and finished off the rangers, over-running to clear the building.
Turn 4 – Dwarves
A charge to the flank of the Brutox, from Brock Riders, resulted in one large corpse but the Chieftain was a tougher proposition and survived the effort of the other Brock unit to remove it. The left Shieldbreaker horde held back in order to allow the Flame Belcher to soften the Spirit Walker horde before the next combat started. The other Belcher continued to target the Longhorn Regiment.
In the centre, the second horde of Shieldbreakers counter-charged the Brutes and despite being hindered routed the unit.
Turn 4 – Herd
The Chieftain again charged the damaged Brocks but displaying the stubbornness that defines their race, the buggers just refused to die.
The remaining Brutox moved up ready to contest the objective nearby.
The fight in the woods continued with the Spirit Walkers inflicting massive damage on the Shieldbreakers but due to the nearby ASB they held their ground. On the other side of the woods, the other unit of Shieldbreakers had left their flank unguarded and the Longhorns, now almost fully healed thanks to Khazbar, took full advantage, shattering their formation.
Turn 5 – Dwarves
The two units of Brocks crushed the Chieftain and his chariot between them and turned to face some of the unclaimed objectives (edit: we again just double 1’ed this).
The Shieldbreakers charged the Spirit horde and achieved what the herd unit had failed to accomplish and destroyed them in the combat. This result was helped by the Flame Belcher first taking out the nearby Shaman.
Turn 5 – Herd
With very little remaining to the herd at this point, it’s options were limited. The Longhorns moved up to contest the central objective, Khazbar again healing the unit. The Brutox charged the Flame Belcher and although inflicting a massive 17 wounds, failed to shift it! (edit: we just rolled the break test, but due to an actual double 1 result, for fun, we then rolled to see what the damage would have been ).
Turn 6 – Dwarves
The Dwarves realised that the game was still in the balance and the brock riders moved off to secure objectives.
The Shieldbreakers made a hindered charge against the Longhorns but failed to shift them. Likewise the flame belcher could only wound Khazbar.
Turn 6 – Herd
The Brutox again charged the nearest flame belcher and this time the dice were more favourable and removed it from the table, claiming the nearby objective.
The Longhorns, glee in their eyes, wiped the last of the shieldbreakers from the woods, the blood of their corpses would help feed the trees and keep them healthy for some time. This had the added bonus of allowing them to claim the central objective.
Turn 7 – Dwarves
In a hopeful move the Brock lord charged the Brutox but his feeble attacks failed to shift it from the objective.
The remaining flame beltcher fired everything at the longhorns in the woods, its cleansing fire burning away large swathes of the wood and the beastmen with it! (Edit: this was about the first time Dan rolled more than 4 wounds with a flame belcher all game!)
Turn 7 – Herd
In the final acts of the game, the Brutox healed most of the damage on it but this effort distracted it and it failed to do more than a scratch to the Brock Lord.
A win for Dan with 2 objectives to my 1. (Edit: I’m sure his flame belcher was not in range of the middle counter but either way he had won).
In terms of remaining points for the tie-breaker claculation, Dan had 985 pts and I had 350pts remaining.
So close to a draw! Damn the fickle turn 7 dice gods.
Again it struck me how fast the game is. Dan’s train was delayed and he only got to the club around 8, but we still finished the game by 10.30. True neither of us spent ages over our turns but playing 8th we would have likely started at 7 and be just about wrapping up for 11 (depending on how close the game was of course).
Dan and I were also chatting about chess clocks during the match (comp or not it’s always a very social game between us) and we are both intrigued about them. I can see us giving it a go in a future game.
So what went well?
Again I was reasonably happy with my deployment strategy. There was a good chance he was always going to be able to react to my drops so having the plan in advance (and just about correctly guessing his) really removed the bad decisions I often make if I do the reacting. Again it wasn’t perfect but it’s allowing me to make small tweaks to the drops and learning to work these into ‘the plan’
Managing to fight most of the central battle in the woods really worked in my favour as his big blocks were hindered in their initial charges. I know Dan shook his head over that and won’t make the same mistake again.
For the second game in a row I really felt the lack of pathfinder on the guardian brutes. In this game this came down to where I deployed them. Putting them opposite the wood was just stupid, at the very least I should have swopped them with the longhorns.
My positioning of the Stampede after combat (for the second game in a row), was awful and allowed it to be flank charged and removed in one round of combat. Part of this was down to forgetting about the difference between whfb wheeling and pivoting as the beast pack would have blocked the wheel. The other part is looking around after combat and deciding what I need to do. In this case even moving slightly forward would have meant they couldn’t be charged.
On turn 3 before I dual charged the brocks with the Chieftain/Brutox, I instead nearly nipped the chief through a gap into Dans back field, figuring he could then hunt down characters/warmachines. What held me back was, if I had done this, then the Brutox would have definitely died that turn and the Brocks would have had free reign. By charging the Brutox and Chieftain there was a chance that I could have killed the brocks which would have allowed the same scenario and if I didn’t then the brocks would have to kill both of them to get back in the game. I’m still not sure if it was the right decision, it probably was but the doubt remains especially as I could have gone after his ASB and or the flame belcher. Got to love second guessing yourself!
Overall, another very fun game. There were far less rule queries in this one and that was likely due clearing them up in the previous nights game.
Thoughts on my list so far.
Just in general, I’ve been pretty happy with the items selected. CS1 on the spirit walkers has been really helpful in most games and made a big difference. Elite on the brutes has worked really well, though as per a suggestion on the Herd FB group, I would be tempted to put that on the stampede as not only do they have more attacks but it’s also the cheaper of the items and I keep screwing up and allowing the Stampede to die to flanks…
After previously having to cancel my game with Greg, we managed to re-organise the game for a Thursday night, though this time we would both be using our competition lists but in a friendly game. It was good to get another practice game in after my previous drubbing by Neil as it showed I definitely needed to get to know my army better. It was also the first time I’d played both Greg and this army, which is always an added bonus. Greg is one of my fellow D&D adventurers but we’ve never managed to have a battle before. You can follow his adventures and see a different perspective of this battle on his blog: It’s a Small World
I’m not sure if booking in this game, the day before my second competition game, will help or hinder…
I will apologise in advance for the pictures, as some are quite dark. I also forgot to take them on a number of turns.
Greg’s Twilight Kin – 2000pts
Horde of Crossbowmen – 250pts
Regiment of Blade Dancers (brew of courage) – 215pts
Troop of Scouts – 130pts
Regiment of Dark Knights (Potion of the Caterpillar) – 230pts
I know for a fact that Greg’s list was mainly shaped by the models he has available but that doesn’t stop there being a number of things that concern me with it. It’s the first time I’ve faced any shooting and the big horde of crossbows with their high nerve and 24″ range will potentially create a no go area. I will need to disrupt them asap.
Likewise the 2 bolt throwers with their huge range of 48″ will be hitting my forces almost immediately and likely targeting the Brutox or Chieftain (that is why one of the reasons I have 2 large monsters, to hopefully cause indecision). Lacking flyers, I may struggle to reach them easily.
His Knights and Abyssal riders are very hard hitting and so I will probably use my normal tactic of blocking them with my dogs and lining up counter charges behind them.
The Hydra isn’t too dangerous until it takes damage when it’s attacks multiply. I think the trick will be to ignore it (as if!) or try and take it out in one turn.
The lord on dragon I can foresee being a nightmare. Def 6 makes it difficult to wound and with fly, it means it can get behind my lines and cause considerable disruption. I’ll need to ensure a second line to try and prevent this occurring.
The Shadows and Heralds of woe are his version of chaff, but are a little expensive for that role. They do have the ability to get into range very quickly and start targeting my own chaff to take it out early.
Lastly his regiment of Blade Dancers (witch elves) I can also see causing me some trouble. They have a lot of attacks and have rules designed to let them keep attacking unless they are routed.
Overall a lot of hard hitting units backed up with some good ranged attacks. The one thing I must remember is to very much concentrate on the objectives and not killing his army (unless that is the objective of course!). Not doing so nearly cost me the first game.
Guardian Brutes – Horde – Blessing of the Gods – 255pts
Brutox – 220pts
Brutox – 220pts
Terrain and Scenario
We did roll on Neil’s terrain table but it was one with a river and as we were playing at Greg’s house with limited terrain, we just asked one of his sons to place the pieces on the table and then rolled for sides, which I won.
We had a house (H4), Hill (H2), Marsh (H0 – difficult terrain), Ruins (H1 – difficult terrain) and a row of walls (H1).
The scenario was Kill, which was quite nice, as it was Greg’s first game, so kept things simple.
As I won the roll for sides, I got the honor of laying the first unit. Rather than reacting to Greg’s drops, I pretty much kept with the pre-match deployment I had devised (refused flank). As we were using a kitchen table that was roughly 6-3 rather than the standard 6-4 board, it did mean that you didn’t have the space to complete double rank deployments.
After deployment it looked like this. I then won first turn which I elected to take.
Turn 1 – Herd
On the left flank the beast pack began ‘operation human shield’ and rushed up to block both the Shadowdancers and Abyssal Riders, which allowed the Stampede, Chieftain and one of the Brutox to move up into their charge distance with no fear of retaliation in the following turn.
In the centre, the horde of Spirit Walkers moved at the double to ensure they were able to use the wall to hinder any attacks against them. The Brutox and Longhorns maneuvered to try and block any attempt by the dragon to land behind the herd lines. The right beast pack decided to mince around not quite sure of what they were doing but vaguely trying to stop the heralds of woe from also getting behind the lines.
The Guardian Brutes meanwhile marched up to threaten the Twilight Kin shooters, realising they had the best chance to survive the inevitable hail of bolts coming their way. It helped that Khazbar had decided to skulk behind them to offer his support.
Turn 1 – Twilight Kin
As expected, the crossbow horde opened fire on the horde of wild eyed, stamping, horned monstrosities that was, both in front and threatening them. The nearby priestess, also looking a tad worried, launched a fireball into them but both attacks failed to inflict significant damage.
The Dark Lord then joined in the fun and threw a lightning bolt into the Brutox opposite him causing minor damage. The Shadows and Heralds of Woe looked at one another and decided that some battersea dogs just wouldn’t ever find a good home so decided to euthanase them. (Cue tumbleweed for overseas readers who likely won’t get that reference…)
On the far flank, the Bolt thrower crew were looking even more worried than their crossbow brethren, as the hulking giant they had just fired at, ripped the bolt out and started looking their way
Turn 2 – Herd
The Brutox started the charge, smashing to pieces the bolt thrower that had just shot him. The crew member he then ate appeared to agree with him, as some of the damage previously inflicted healed over.
The other Brutox, deciding to outdo his sibling, then fully healed himself.
The Minotaurs unable to contain themselves, stormed into the crossbow horde causing significant damage. This was helped by the bane chant Khazbar threw on them and then a heal in order to help them survive the inevitable counter.
Turn 2 – Twilight Kin
Realising that they were in danger of being flanked, the Abyssal Riders pivoted so any charge would hit their front arc. The Shadowdancers next to them, lost control and butchered the beasts in front of them.
The crossbow horde, with very little option, counter charged the Brutes and the single wound caused was enough to waver them. The bolt thrower and priestess decided to target Khazbar with bolts and flames respectively and although pierced and singed he remained standing.
On the herd right flank, the Heralds and shadows again combined their fire, this time against the Brutox who bellowed in pain as he accumulated arrows in his hide. The Hydra and Dark Knights used the distraction of the noise to charge the Spirit Walkers but the charge was hindered and the horde held.
Turn 3 – Herd
With a bellow of rage, the Brutox crashed into the flank of the Dark Knights whilst the spirit horde, seeking revenge hit their front. Despite bodies and mounts flying through the air from the impact, the Knights weathered the brutal charge.
The other Brutox and Chieftain combined to charge the Abyssal Riders and again, despite significant damage, the horde held and prepared to unleash hell.
The Stampede, doing what it does best, obliterated the Shadowdancers and started to eye up the juicy flank of the Abyssal riders.
In the centre, realising that there was a giant dragon looking intently at him, Khazbar decided it would be prudent to move out of the way and scuttled round the side of the building. The fear of the attack disturbed his concentration enough that he failed to cast any spells. The Guardian Brutes ignoring their waver crashed back into the Crossbow horde and when they had finished had left nothing but bits of limbs and blood soaking into the ground. Looking around for their next target, they spotted the nearby Bolt thrower and Priestess.
Turn 3 – Twilight Kin
The Abyssal riders, wounds regenerating, charged into the already damaged Brutox, who shrugged off their blows.
The Shadows and Heralds again fired everything at the nearest Brutox and the weight of fire was enough to bring the great beast down. The Hydra and Knights likewise combined again to hit the Spirit Walker horde and this time wiped the frothing lunatics out.
The Priestess, looking at the horde of red eyed, snorting Minotaurs, decided discretion was the better part of valor and ran round the side of them launching fireballs into their flank. The nearby Dark Lord and Dragon, noticed that the movement of the Guardian Brutes had left open a path into Khazbar and duly ran him down. The momentum of the charge then carried the monster and rider into the flank of the Stampede and it also tore them apart.
Things were not looking so good for the herd across the battlefield…
Turn 4 – Herd
Determined to avenge his masters demise, Wazzock ordered the remaining forces of the herd to attack and across the lines units charged in. The Longhorns attacked the weakened Dark Knights finishing off the unit.
The Brutox and Chieftain routed the Abyssal riders and turned to face the threat of the dragon ignoring the remains of the Abyssals as they ran off the field.
The Guardian Brutes ignored the flank of the Hydra and took out the final bolt thrower.
Turn 4 – Twilight Kin
In the final turn of the game (it was late and a week night), The Twilight Kin tried to maximise the destruction of the herd army. The Hydra charged the only unit in range but failed to do anything to the elite Longhorns.
The Heralds and Shadows both shot at Wazzock, who shrugged off the wounds.
In the final roll of the dice, the Dark Lord and Dragon hit the already damaged remaining Brutox, removing it from the board.
After totaling up the remaining points, it was 865 vs 725 in favour of the Twilight Kin. Because it was within 200 points it was a draw. Hat off to Greg for the moral victory, especially in his first game.
The first thing which jumped out is although the rules are far more streamlined than whfb, I still am still lacking in knowledge and we had to look up rules a number of times and I also got some of the rules incorrect (in fairness it was only my 3rd game).
An example is not remembering how regenerate works. The first 2 turns I had it in my head that you just rolled two dice rather than dice equal to the wounds taken (I also forgot to roll on another turn but that was my own fault). It could have been the difference between the right flank Brutox living past the Twilight Kin turn 3, rather than dying to the accumulated bow fire.
Not managing to cast a single Bane-Chant after the first turn shows that you can’t rely on magic in this game either!
I did have fun and was pleased I finally managed to play against Greg.
My biggest mistake (bar normal deployment) was probably the pivot of the Stampede after killing the Shadowdancers, I not only left it’s flank exposed to a potential charge from the dragon, when the Brutox and Chieftain already had that flank covered but if he had charged the Abyssals, it would have moved them away from the rest of the battle for the remaining turns.
The left flank beast pack did its job by blocking both the dancers and Abyssals but the problem with the double block was they had to get close enough to do so, that it was stuck in place and when Greg chose not to charge them my Stampede did nothing for a turn.
I had been expecting my Shamen to die quickly which is why he used the amulet the first turn. It was just slightly unlucky that the pivot of the brutes left him exposed to the charge.
What went well?
I was pretty happy with the deployment, in so far as I knew where I wanted things to go and they worked reasonably well. I found this worked more than the indecision and reacting to his deployment. Yes there were some questionable placements but the issues around these were more to do with what I did with them afterwards.
I did the right thing in ignoring the hydra. Without the additional attacks it receives when damaged, it is pretty meh (although it’s a fantastic model he uses for it).
Using the guardian brutes against the crossbows was definitely a good choice. The crossbows really struggled to damage them and once in combat, it was only ever going to go one way. With the large route value, I needed a lot of attacks to remove them quickly, however the question is whether another unit would have been a better option. The Stampede has enough attacks and hits hard enough that it might have taken out the unit in one turn and then would be in a central position to then decide where to go. Their pathfinder rule would also have helped from that position. But it would have been a waste of their high TC. A Brutox would also have worked in the role but in a different way as it would have held them up for the game but may have struggled to remove the horde.
Parking the spirit walkers behind the wall massively helped them survive due the hindered charge scenario. I’m not sure if we played the counter charge correctly though. The walkers definitely need a chaff cover. They need to get the charge it as they take damage too easily. Already I have a good idea of what my v.2 list will contain.
With regards to Gregs list, I found the Bolt throwers to be actually quite under whelming. I know they are cheap and you can’t judge based on one game but for less than the cost of both of them, you could get another unit of scouts or heralds and I’d probably go that route as they were able to reliably plink wounds off all game. It has made me think about revising my elf list to remove them. It is worth noting that because we were playing on a 3ft wide table they were within charge range within 2 turns, whereas a deeper table would likely have given them an additional turn. I’m still not convinced by them though.
Having read A lot of Swordmasters battle reps, I’d advise greg to concentrate fire on units rather than fire piecemeal.
On Tuesday I received a little package at work and when I opened it I found one Golem Enano (translates as Dwarf Golem) from the Spanish company Mom Miniatures.
I’m quite a fan of this company. They produce some of the cheapest miniatures available but they are also nice models. This is offset with them having a limited range of models but their dwarf range is a reasonable size and includes one of my favourite purchasable units that can be used as KOW Ironguard/WHFB Ironbreakers.
The model was resin and came in 3 parts, of which one was the base. The cast was pretty good, not in the same league as the models from Mierce but I think this is because the resin is softer. I did need to clean up some of the injection points and file down a couple of odd surfaces but the softer resin actually made this a 5 minute job. I will add that the resin is still hard enough to make this a solid model you couldn’t dent it with a nail, I used metal tools. After the compulsory wash to get rid of any casting agents (or whatever its actually called – memory is failing me!) I glued it together ready for priming.
For this model I primed it with a white base and used a mechanicus grey base. The whole model was then washed with drakenhof blue (what can I say I love this colour combo) and then drybrushed with Stormfang from GW’s dry range. Runes were picked out with Warplock Bronze. These are the one part of the paint job I’m not entirely happy with as they look too pristine so i’ll need to work out how to weather these. In a first, I actually tried to paint some gems! I kept them a fairly simple uniform green and painted multiple green colours starting dark and working my way lighter. Each coat taking up a smaller surface area of the gem. I suppose it’s a cheats way of trying to get a layer effect (unless this is the basic way of layering – i’m probably showing my ignorance here. One day i’ll watch some painting tutorial vids!). I did plagerised one of the example photos on the MOM site and added some flock to the main model, as well as the base, to try and give the impression of a weathered model that had stood still for a millennium before being called to service.
Overall the model was really nice to put together and both fun and easy to paint (the fact I did it all in 2 nights shows how much I enjoyed it). So below are some photos of the finished product including some with one of my normal dwarves so you can see the size difference.
For those that have not been following #monstermarch, it is a challenge run by Swordmaster of Hoeth on his blog to get us to paint those bigger gribblies that may be sitting in a box, to galvanize us to build and paint them during the month. Not having a particularly big monster, I committed to painting three smaller models, a Chieftain on ‘Chariot’ and two models being used in my Stampede (or ‘the pets’ as Swordmaster calls them 😀).
Progress of all the participants can be found here:
(The final post won’t go up until next weekend and i’ll add a link then but i’ve ‘finished’ my models early due to a cancelled work trip so posting ahead of time).
I’m a big fan of Mierce Miniatures and this is one of their range. Although it’s a fairly simple colour scheme, I’m really pleased with the grey base and blue wash and drybrush. It is fast becoming my favourite paint job, perhaps due to the simplicity (and I love the model which also helps!).
This is again another Mierce model (are you noticing a trend here?). This miniature, like the wolf, was pretty much done last week but needed a few finishing touches. As normal after reviewing the photos I noted a few bits that need fixing, namely the pupils, as he appears to be able to look in two different directions at once! I blame my not so steady hands.
Chieftain on ‘Chariot’
Ok so the eagle eyed amongst you may pick out the small inconsistency. Yes there is no Chariot. I may normally avoid proxies like the plague but I love the model and size wise it fits the profile (or base restrictions more accurately).
In terms of the model, it is again another Mierce miniature (like many I took advantage of their recent sale, as they are normally fairly pricey). It is at a stage where I’m almost ready to say it’s done.
The bones are deliberately left in a rough dirty state. I was aiming to show an aged effect. I do want to add a highlight edge to the purple straps but won’t be able to get to pick up the paint colour I want to use before the close of the challenge. The blade was deliberately left black with a nuln oil wash to darken it further. I will likely drybrush it but want to research onyx blades first.
In general I tried to add more detail than I would normally bother to do, such as picking out the studs in the saddle. Some more effectively than others but again not having the steadiest hand meant they lacked a uniform size. It makes me think I need one of those lights that surround a magnifying glass so I can really get to the detail easily.
For those at the club reading this (looking at you Dean), note the drybrushing on the riders fur. This is done in the same scheme as the above wolf and will be the basis for the rest of the Beastmen in the army. Kev, thanks for the purple colour recommendation.
I have kept to my normal simple flock basing as (a) I was being lazy (b) it fits in with the rest of the army. Inspired by turkadactyl, I will try and step it up when I finally get round to some of the wood elves.
Lastly I recommend checking out some of the other blogs for their entries as many of the painters are significantly more talented than me (though I’m definitely getting better!).