The state of British primary schools.

Ok completely going off topic here but it has a very loose relevance. I guess my love of gaming started through my dad reading me the hobbit as a child, combined with Steve Jackson and Ian livingstones ‘choose your own adventure’ books. For those younger readers these 2 gents were the founders of games workshop but this series of books were set in a different fantasy world called Krynn. This also had a deep and diverse background to it.

Anyway I digress, I continued reading all through school which brings me to the point of this post. My better half is a primary school teacher and she has just had to purchase all the below books from her own pocket so that her class have something/anything decent to read. The upshot is that the school won’t be refunding her for this. How bad have things got in our schools!


The Throng of Karak Silvertop

I thought I’d post where I’ve gotten to with the throng so far. All pictures are taken with my phone on the floor so you’ll have to excuse any lighting issues. 

I’ve tried to photo each element of the army whether finished or not. 

A few bits (half the slayers) were purchased off eBay  fully painted. As I’ve probably stated before, painting and I have never been the best of friends so most are done to a tabletop standard with a wash, dry bushing and a bit of highlighting done here and there.

The War Machines and crew

One gyro is part painted and there are 4 unpainted engineers. Yes the flame cannon has no crew and yes it is a goblin hewer next to it.

The Runesmith Contingent 

3 unpainted and an anvil that never sees any use under 8th.


Bugman is part painted and I have the 30th anniversary white dwarf with gotrek and bugman shield bearers unassembled

Ungrim and the Slayers


If I end up using them I’ll probably finish painting them!


The Ranged contingent 

20 Irondrakes, 20 Thunderers and 60 quarrellers/Rangers (20 of which need painting)

The Anvils

32 Warriors/Shieldbeards and 20 Ironbreakers

The Rest

Basically a grudge thrower, dragon slayer and 2 doom seekers I missed from earlier shots and was too lazy to unpack the miniatures again to add them to earlier shots. I know most dwarf players seem to swear by them but I’ve rarely used the GT. Again if that changes I’ll probably move it up the painting  list.

Dwarves vs Empire – SELWG comp practice game 2 – pt 2


So we rolled dawn attack which is played as per the brb except Victory goes to the player that controls the most quadrants with a non fleeing fortitude unit (over 5 models with a standard), with 2 pts given for each nme quadrant and 1 for your own.


We rolled 2 hills (1 was scree – so dangerous terrain), 1 building with 3 walls and an Acropolis of heroes (impassable- units within 6″ are stubborn).


I lost the roll and so deployed first and used careful measuring to ensure I could fit war machines between units, which came to nought as both the war machines and iron drakes had to be set up on the right flank! The slayers were next to them, shield beards were dead centre and the hammerers were covering the left. Hatred was confined to my general.

Dan deployed centrally with most units. The hellblaster, archers and luminark were on my right (hidden from my cannon) and his Demigriffs were on the left. His level 4 got the spells: pha’s, speed of light, banish and birona’s. Both level 1s took shem’s.

Dwarf deployment 

Empire deployment 

Turn 1 

Dan started cautiously under the mistaken assumption that I would be barrelling straight for his troops, using his Knights to shield the halbadiers and as expected moving the stank into range of my cannon. It’s opening shot landed on the cannon but Dan choose this moment to start his impressive run of rolling 1’s to wound…

The dwarf cannon crew decided to show the upstart empire engineers how to use black powder and immediately took 6 wounds off the stank effectively neutralising it. The quarrellers then opened up killing 2 Knights. The gyro snuck off and hid behind the building.

Turn 2

The stank managed to overload, causing another 3 wounds to itself and its cannon shot plowed through the irondrakes failing again to wound (again!). Birona’s was dispelled but the boosted pha’s went off with the aid of the power stone. One the knight units planted itself in front of the hammerers to tempt a charge so they would open themselves to a flank charge from the Demi’s.

The dwarf cannon crew were overly cocky and failed to wound the stank and this gave the organ gun crew the chance to step up and they duely delivered, leaving just a smoking lump of twisted metal in the wake of it firing.

Turn 3

The empire continued to move away from the dwarf artillery and managed a single banishment that killed 2 quarrellers.

The dwarves pounced on this moment of weakness with the quarrellers opening up on the wounded knight unit. In a display of dwarf accuracy, they wiped out the last 3 Knights. The other unit of quarrellers and the hammerers then combo charged the remaining knight unit, whilst the gyro moved to redirect the Demi’s. The resultant combat was as one way as you could imagine and the end result was dwarfs 1, Knights dead.

Turn 4

The empire strikes back, with halbadiers charging the quarrellers and the Demi’s at the gyro (which held). Pha’s and speed of light were dispelled and birona’s was scrolled but I failed to destroy it. The luminark fired at the organ gun but failed to wound (at this point Dan had rolled 4 1’s to wound with his shooting). The halbadiers smashed the quarrellers but they held due to groth’s. The Demi’s caused just one wound to the gyro and he held for the same reason.

The shieldbeards charged the halbadiers and the quarrellers and slayers marched towards the centre. Due to angles the hammerers could not charge so reformed to face the halbadiers (a totally noob mistake born out of frustration). The organ moved towards the centre to try and get in range whilst the cannon caused some wounds to the luminark. The Demi’s finished off the gyro and reformed to face the hammerers flank.

Turn 5

The Demi’s charged the hammerers. The boosted birona’s was cast with irresistible force killing one of the lvl 1’s and wounding the lvl 4. The combat continued between halberdiers and shieldbeards with beards holding due to stubborn. Likewise the hammerers took a mauling.

In the dwarf turn the quarrellers charged the halbadiers flank and the slayers charged and killed one of the archer detachments and over ran. The cannon wounded the Hurricanum. The hammerers failed to reform on a 9 even with the BSB reroll.

Turn 6

The hellblaster was finally in range of something and shot a rank off the slayers. Birona’s and speed of light went off and in combat the hammerers and shieldbeards (together BSB and general) were wiped out. The quarrellers broke but survived.

The quarrellers rallied and as a final parting shot The cannon killed the Hurricanum.


At the end, due to both of us forgetting the objectives, Dan won 2-1. A final turn reform of the irondrakes cost me control of one of his quadrants and the game.


Again myself and my opponent failed to remember the objectives. It shows that we mainly play battleline.

Overall I was reasonably pleased with the game, I lost but it was a close thing. Dawn attack can always be challenging especially with dwarf low movement meaning units can effectively be out of the game due to it.

Magic – I would have been better off saving the dispel scrolls for crucial combats rather than trying to take out his spells early in the game. In fairness his later magic phases were brutal with maximum power dice from turns 4-6 there was always going to be a limited amount I could do. As suspected, light together with the Hurricanum buff and warrior priest buffs destroyed me in close combat.

I do need to think about moves in advance and consequences. A case in point was the hammerers. If I had moved them to receive the Demi charge I probably would have taken them apart which would have allowed them to either then flank the halbadiers or charge one of the chariot/war machines making the outcome a very different thing.

Armies, armies everywhere.

I had great plans to finish the battle report whilst holidaying in the Lake District but Sod’s law, the house we rented had no wifi so I’m reduced to using my phone to post. So instead I thought I’d take stock of the different armies I can currently field and where I want to go next.

The Throng of Karak Silvertop 

I think it’s obvious from previous posts that my current preferred army is dwarfs. I can field a good 6000 points and shockingly most of them are painted (not particularly well but good enough). Below is the throng of Karak Silvertop (my 2500pt SELWG comp entry).

So what else (I don’t hear you ask) can you field?

Like most fantasy players, I have bits and pieces from most of the armies but I’ll just list those where I can field a solid force.

The host of Vaelin Al’Sorna (High Elves)

This is my most recent army but was started when I purchased the 4th ed. boxed set back in the day. It is currently running around 5000 pts and is half painted. It has most of the toys with the exception of the flamespire Phoenix and the skycutter chariot.

Wood elves 

Ok so no fancy names as yet as I haven’t used them enough to honour them. I can field around 4000pts and again they are about 2/3rds painted (though bases are not done). The army includes scarlocks archers my very first GW purchase back when I started in 3rd ed. They are also my favourite army though I’ve hardly ever used them in games. They are the one army I tend to purchase just because I like the models and I recently forked out and bought a box of kurnoth hunters to use as treekin as they are possibly the best models GW have ever produced.

Orcs and Goblins

Ah my 2nd great love. This was my main army from 3rd to 6th ed. I loved all of them from the bad ass blackorcs, to the weedy backstabbin goblins, to the childlike mischievous snotlings. Now more often than not you see savage Orc hordes backed up with a gunline. Effective, yes but would I field it, probably not. I love the randomness, the infighting, the pump wagons, the blackorc distain for lesser greenskins but most of all big hordes. Even before 8ths horde rule i would happily field 50 strong goblin blocks and a number of 30+ Orc blocks.

Warriors of Chaos 

I can just about field a 2500pt force that is character heavy. I used to love the Norse armies (and they are still my bloodbowl team of choice) but never overly warmed to the replacement warriors. My list features plenty of marauders, Knights and warriors.

Vampire Counts

Ok so I nearly didn’t include these. The majority of the ‘core’ are skeletons from 3rd and 4th ed. it has since been bulked up with vargulfs, vargheists etc. but in all honesty I don’t think I have enough core to legally field them in a 2500pt game. 

Going forward

So with 6 existing armies, what next? 

Well I’ll definitely be bulking out the vampire counts but using mantic models. Apart from being massively cheaper than GW, the undead are their best range and I prefer many of their models too. 


I have to admit that I love the GW beastmen models and cannot believe I own just 2 (though I do have 4 marauder minotaurs). This will soon be rectified though it will be a slow burn army creation. The main issue is whether to go doombull/ghorgon or Magic heavy build. The other question is whether I will get them bought and built before a later stage of the SELWG comp!

Dwarves vs Empire – SELWG comp practice game 2 – part 1

My gaming has taken a backseat recently. I was due to finish my last group game in the club 40k comp when my wife broke her foot so I became chief child/wife carer for a month. Thankfully I’m back on the wagon and managed to line up a game at short notice against Dan Whites Empire list.

Dan is a new club member, regularly enters tournaments and has quickly earns a rep as being a strong player (he basically destroyed everyone who played his standard Karl franz list). Last time I played him I used my high elf list (based around seradains cavalry prince). Let’s just say I was less than competitive (I won’t even make any excuses!). I promised that when next we fought I’d bring my dwarves (being my most familiar army) in order to hopefully provide a decent challenge.

We both decided to bring our league lists and use all the comp rules. Dans list was as follows:

Arch lector on war alter with cloak of ulric + charmed shield

Captain BSB with enchanted sh + dawnstone

Lvl 4 light Mage with talisman of preservation + sceptre of stability

Lvl 1 light Mage with power stone

Lvl 1 light Mage with dispel scroll


37 halberdiers fc

5 archer detachment

5 archer detachment

5 Knights with dhw + standard

5 Knights with dhw + standard

4 demigriff Knights + fc + steel standard

10 archers + music + stand



Steam tank



So as per usual I will try and evaluate the list and where I feel the greatest threats are and then when I face him I’ll completely forget everything and change my mind…

Well let’s start with the ‘cannon off’. His stank will be gunning for my cannon and let’s be honest mine will be prioritising the stank followed by the Hurricanum or luminark. Getting the upper hand (or not) in this face off will dictate how I play the rest of the game

The other standout item about his list is that he is running a light council and with  3 wizards and the war alter, he will not only definitely get banishment but have it twice (as well as potentially all the other light spells).

If I know Dan (and I’m starting to) his list will have some really good synergies. The war alter, arch lector ‘spells’ and Hurricanum (+1 to hit in combat) will add some very useful buffs to his troops. Combine those with the light spells and his average stat humans will turn into combat power houses. Blocking his magic will then be a key factor to winning this matchup (together with crossing figures that the dice gods will look favourable on me and just generally trying to be a better general!!)

All that aside, I won’t say I’m confident but I’m definitely not as worried about this match up as I think I should be. If I stick to my guns, I have a good chance of winning.