2017 Recap and New Year Resolutions

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First off a happy new year to you all, I hope the upcoming year brings you everything you want it to!

In a completely unoriginal post I’m going to recap my 2017 and what I will be aiming for in 2018.

2017 Objectives

So at the start of the year I listed the following objectives. I’ve noted how I did against each of them in Red.

  1. Continue with whfb but get my wood elves onto the table (and possible the high elves). I played one game with the wood elves. The High elves were loaned out to Steve, for him to use in the whfb competition which somewhat stopped the ability to use them.
  2. Finish painting my dwarves. This means around 40 miners, 16 Quarrellers, a gyrocoptor, grudge thrower and crew, 2 doomseekers and a load of characters (3 runesmiths, 4 engineers, Bugman, a dwarf lord and the white dwarf on shieldbearers – in this case Bugman and Gotrek). I’ll ignore the raft of unit fillers I have lined up. Ok after  listing them out, it’s more than I first thought, so realistically i’ll be happy with completing the miners, quarrellers and the Gyro. Failed miserably. I managed to finish the gyro and a few of the characters. Basically the models I used in games.
  3. Continue painting my wood elves (you can see where this is going). Most are painted but I definitely want to finish the 3 hunters (being used as treekin), the 10 Wild Riders and flock the bases of most of my older models. Although I didn’t finish the models listed, I did start to make strides into the Wood Elves, rebasing the older models and getting through a chunk of the unpainted older archers. 
  4. Continue painting my High elves (ok, ok, so I enjoy building models and not necessarily painting them). Quite a few are painted but I definitely want to finish the Sisters of Avelorn, the remaining 10 Phoenix Guard and the Lion Chariot. As noted above I loaned out all the HE’s.
  5. Finish painting the Beastmen. 10 harpies, 15 Bestigor, a Beastlord and Malagor to go, so this should be easily achievable. Done! (with the exception of Malagor). I have also picked up some additional Minotaurs (and have more due in 2018 through a kickstarter) that will also need painting.
  6. Buy a house. Not at all gaming related but may definitely impact on it through time/stress. If we find the right place, I may even be able to finally move up all my other gaming stuff from storage at my folks (especially my legion of lead/white metal orcs and gobbos). Failed! The new aim is for summer 2018.
  7. Continue the D&D campaign. The first session is already booked in so I can tick this one off already! Done!
  8. Try KOW. This will definitely happen in the first 3 months. I just need to book in a date. The more I read up on this the more I want to try it. I’ll probably be shot for saying this but in some ways the mechanics are similar to AoS, if only as each unit has a fixed value that is needed to be rolled to hit or to damage (rather than looking it up on a chart). The main difference (that matters to me) is that KOW is ranked unit combat rather than skirmish and that is why I have limited interest in AoS. Mike Carter from the Blog, Until Somebody loses an eye, has written an excellent article on switching from Warhammer to KOW. Done! I did enjoy KOW and played a number of games in the inaugural club competition. 
  9. Possibly try out Ninth Age rules. I was very much up for trying this out but after what seems like just a year of their version 1 being released, they are again revising the rules. Changing after such a short time period is putting me off slightly as it seems that there is potentially a lack of consistency. Either that or  after the initial beta the game was still rather unbalanced. (Although I do know that one of the changes with the next version is reducing the number of magic lores substantially – which is for the best as they went overboard last time with far too many). Failed!
  10. Try Malifaux. We do have an official henchman at the club, so he should be able to hook me up with a game. I may still end up buying a starter set anyway as there are a few of the models that I really like (The Viktorias, Lady Justice and Lillith). You’ll notice a theme around the masters having swords. Failed!
  11. Try one of the Starwars games (Armada or X-Wing). My preference is Armada, as who doesn’t want to use a Star Destroyer, however there have been a number of starter games of X-Wing at the club and a few of the chaps have already bought into that game so it may be the easier one to try (and potentially cheaper). Failed!

Lessons Learnt

So what did I learn. Stop making unrealistic goals and being too specific with them! Having a young child throws the best laid plans out of the window!

2017 Achievements 

So what did I achieve in the year?

Kings of War – Played 6 games and entered the club competition.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle – Played 10 games. This included finishing the 2016 competition and starting the 2017 competition.

D&D – Continued the ongoing quest line with the group.

Battle Reports – I ensured I wrote reports for every game played. This is an element I enjoy almost as much as the games.

Painting – I did get through a chunk of miniatures and the standard is definitely improving. Possibly for the first year in a while, the number of models purchased may have been less than the number painted!

2018 Objectives

So for 2018, i’m going to keep my objectives simple.

  1. Continue to play Warhammer Fantasy. This will, as ever, be my primary objective. What can I say, I love the game, flaws and all.
  2. Continue the ongoing Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
  3. Continue to paint.
  4. Try out the new 40k.
  5. Enter the club Blood Bowl competition.

Although I would like to enter the 2018 Kings of War competition, I think realistically I won’t be able to commit to it due to time constraints.

And with the Blood bowl competition due to start in Jan, I was thrown a curve ball by my other half when she bought me these for xmas (New Edition of blood bowl, Dwarf Giants with dice and pitch and the Goblin expansion pack). Hmmm new team option now available!

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Hobby Update – Hobbitses

I’ve been a bit slack on the painting front recently. It’s been a bit of a combo of things, mainly work related but also hitting a bit of a painting wall (I think due to the old wood elf plastics I’m half way through). It has meant that I currently have 6 different batches of miniatures half painted on the table and i’m switching between them without finishing any of them.

After saying that, I have however managed to finish one set of figures, 4 hobbits. My mum is a huge LoTRs fan and has around 8 GW figures in a display cabinet with various other figures. I thought i’d surprise her by buying the same figures and painting them up as a present for xmas. The other 4 will be done when I remember to take a picture so I know which ones she has!

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WHFB – Beastmen vs Dwarves – SELWG Competition Game

On Friday I faced off against the second opponent in my group, Martin and his Longbeard heavy Dwarves.

It was another game I was looking forward to immensely, as I’ve played Dwarves a lot in this edition but I’ve not played against them in some years and with his three stubborn blocks of Longbeards, cannon and Organ Gun, I was about to have a taste of my own medicine! On top of that, I’d never played Martin, so it was a double bonus!

As normal, any mistakes are down to memory and notes.

Khazbar was secretly pleased. Bashor’s decision to relocate the herd to new grounds was not going down well. There had been constant grumbling and he had already been forced to put down 3 challenges to his leadership. That they had failed was slightly vexing, still there were plenty more fools who could be goaded into stepping up. The important thing was to ensure that if they failed, they didn’t live to cast aspersions on him.

The one doubt that had been gnawing at him was the route of their migration. It followed a pass that was dangerously close to the holds of the stunted ones. He looked around and tried to console himself with the size of the herd. Surely they wouldn’t try anything against the might arrayed before him. Would they?…

Terrain

For the second game in a row, map pack 5 was randomly selected from the terrain table, which consisted of 4 buildings, 2 walls/fence sections, 1 hill and 1 wood.

I was player A, so set down the first bit of terrain and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

Martin rolled the Invade scenario which I wasn’t disappointed with, as I’d not only never played this but I thought my movement should give me an advantage, as the scenario required a player to have to move fortitude bearing units in the opponents half at the end of the game. This competition scenario played as per the battle of the pass scenario from the rule book so was played length wise.

In terms of spells, Khazbar had the following for the Lore of Beasts:

Pann’s impenetrable pelt, Savage beast of horros, The amber spear and Wyssan’s Wildform.

Wazzock took Melkoth’s Miasma from the Lore of Shadow.

In terms of secret missions, I took raid the baggage and Martin took take a message.

Deployment

I won the toss to decide on ends and as it was pretty even, chose the side that all the models were on (purely for ease). As normal the chaff was laid first, with the Ungor Raiders deployed as a forward screen to give hard cover vs the Organ Gun. One Chariot, the Doombull and Harpies were all deployed behind buildings to give them cover from the Cannon and other ranged units in the dwarf army.

Martin deployed his units in a double rank, horde formation, forming a wall of stubbornness blocking the open terrain on his right flank. The warmachines were interspersed between the blocks and his Gyro’s were placed to make use of the cover of the buildings.

Despite Martin finishing deploying his units first, I sneaked the first turn.

(Note: Martin forgot his movement trays, hence the McGivered envelopes used instead).

2. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment

Beastmen Turn 1

With an almighty roar, Cattleclysm flew forward into the shadow of a house near the dwarf lines. The rest of the herd responded in kind and stampeded straight towards the mass of stunties.

The two units of raiders tried some speculative shooting towards the war machines but failed to do anything. Magic was similarly ineffective with the 2 Runesmiths smothering the winds of magic before they could coalesce into a form Khazbar could use.

3. Turn 1 - Beasts

7. Turn 1 - Beastmen8. Turn 1 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 1

The front ranks of the dwarf lines consolidated their positions, with the right most unit advancing slightly. The Longbeards in reserve executed a reform into a column and moved in lockstep towards the buildings. The quarrellers spotted the nearby Doombull and hurried into the nearby building. The two Gyrocoptors flew up in support throwing their bombs on the frothing bull beneath them. The lack of air at altitude had obvious affected the judgement of the dwarf daredevils, as despite multiple explosions, the Minotaur remained unharmed.

The Organ Gun opened up on the Beastmen runts who had dared to target it and obliterated 3 of the twisted ones. Under the stern gaze of Bashor, they held their nerve.

The cannon the targeted one of the Razorgor and the crew could only stare as the shot ricocheted off one of the tusks, leaving it unharmed.

4. Turn 1 - Dwarves

9. Turn 1 - Dwarf10. Turn 1 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 2

Cattleclysm charged at the cottage, smashing the door from its frame. Despite tearing the first three quarrellers apart, their sacrifice gave the others enough time to repel the assault.

Khazbar could only growl in frustration as spell after spell was nullified by the runepriests. To top it off his increasing irritation then caused him to lose concentration. Something would have to be done about them!

With a look of feral cunning on his face, Khazbar sent the Razorgor charging into the flanking unit of Longbeards, taking control of it’s primitive mind he directed it to attack the interfering Runesmith. His control did nothing more than handicap it’s natural aggression and it fluffed it’s attacks and was summarily cut down.

Casting fearful glances behind them, as Bashor bellowed at them, the Ungor moved up to block the central Longbeard unit and the Organ Guns field of fire. The pressure was obviously too much for them and all the shots they then fired at the dwarf unit, failed to inflict any damage.

5. Turn 2 - Beasts

11. Turn 2 - Beastmen12. Turn 2 - Beastmen13. Turn 2 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 2

After barely breaking a sweat over the Razorgor, the Longbeards decided they needed some more light exercise and so charged into the nearest chariot. This was too much for the crew who legged it after the dwarves carved them up a little. Deciding they still needed a further workout, they followed up and crashed into the immense block of Gor behind.

With a bit of breathing space, after having repelled the Doombull, the crossbow armed dwarves targeted the raiders that were blocking the Orgun Guns field of fire, slaying one of the two remaining short horns but more importantly giving it a clear shot on the Bestigor.

With a shouted command from the dwarf lord, the two warmachine crews swivelled their machines and opened up on Bashor and his bodyguard. Both Gyrocoptors also moved up to support the attack and engulfed the unit in a double helping of boiling water. When the smoke and steam had dissipated, there were fourteen bodies in a dismembered and parboiled state!

5. Turn 2 - Dwarves

14. Turn 2 - Dwarf15. Turn 2 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 3

Cattleclysm again stormed the building. This time the Quarrellers weren’t able to contain the psychotic Doombull and 5 deaths was enough to convince the remaining duo that they ought to report the situation to their liege in the safety of the main lines.

Smelling it’s favourite food, dwarf patties, the remaining Razorgor, charged into the dwarf unit opposite. A few minutes later, it was the dwarves who were feasting on the haunch of the butchered animal. They then made short work of the chariot that had joined it it the assault. As the crew died, they cast last confused glances at the unit of smirking Bestigor that had pulled up short during the charge and left them to their fate.

In a move displaying all the courage that Harpies are renown for, they bravely moved up behind the gyro’s threatening to rear charge them.

Not liking the thought of facing the horde of dwarves and seeing easier prey, one unit of Ungors moved to attack the cannon crew. The plucky raiders managed to kill one of the dwarves whilst only losing one of their number!

The other remaining Ungor came to the realisation that by staying in the open he was dead meat and also charged forward, swerving to avoid the same horde but targeting the Organ gun crew instead, attempting to tie it up in combat. The dwarves hadn’t signed up to the game plan though and the only thing he gained for his trouble was a swift execution.

Khazbar saw yet another one of his spells dispelled, this time by one of the hated smiths invoking the runes on his stave. His temper finally snapped and he forced Savage Beast on himself. Imbued with unnatural power he laid into the Longbeards in front of him, crushing skulls with each swing. Each kill allowed him to absorb their souls and he visibly started to glow with power.

6. Turn 3 - Beasts

16. Turn 3 - Beastmen17. Turn 3 - Beastmen18. Turn 3 - Beastmen19. Turn 3 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 3

Neither Gyro were falling for the old ‘leave myself open for a rear charge’ trick and both moved and targeted the Harpies, with 3 of the bird women falling from the sky. However they had done their task and distracted the Gyrocoptors from attacking the more valuable Bestigor.

The organ gun crew again turned their attention to the Bestigor. After half the barrels failed to fire, they realised that an arm of the freshly killed Ungor had wedged in the firing mechanism and moved to clear the blockage.

The Ungors, getting carried away with their success, flew into a frenzy and managed to kill another of the cannon crew.

Khazbar continued his rampage and in the process drew in more souls. The Gor in his unit, followed his lead and butchered an entire rank of the longbeards.

7. Turn 3 - Dwarves

20. Turn 3 - Dwarf21. Turn 3 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 4

Bashor led the remaining Bestigor into combat with the Longbeards. Khazbar threw wildform on them, boosting both their strength and toughness. The dwarf lord quickly issued a challenge and Bashor, not liking the look of the heavily armoured dwarf, pushed forward the champion to accept. He looked on in shock, as not only did the lord fail to kill him but the champion managed to wound him in return! Distracted and shaking his mane in disbelief, one of the dwarves managed to also wound him. He looked down at the gash in surprise and then took down four of the dwarves in retaliation. In the general melee the dwarves and Bestigor continued to slay one another but the wiley dwarves concentrated most of their attacks on the vulnerable Shaman, swiftly bringing him down.

Seeing Khazbar swollen with power, the Runesmith desperately invoked his runes to dispel Savage Beast but the Great Bray Shaman, aided with his enchanted weapon, still continued to slay dwarves left and right, as did the Gor accompanying him.

The heroic Ungor finally finished off the cannon crew, spiked the weapon to ensure it would serve no more purpose and then looked around, drunk on power, for their next victims.

8. Turn 4 - Beasts

22. Turn 4 - Beastmen

(Edit – after writing this and looking at the photos, it looks like the dwarves may have charged the Bestigor in turn 4, with the turn 3 Bestigor charge having failed. My notes didn’t say either way but it’s the only thing that makes the photos make sense, especially with the unit positioning and lack of casualties caused in turn 4).

Dwarf Turn 4

With no other targets in range, the organ gun shredded the remaining few harpies.

The dwarf BSB and remaining quarrellers, both charged the Ungors. After slapping the frenzy out of them and cutting down 3, the final member of the group realised they may have gotten a bit too big for their boots and unsurprisingly legged it towards the edge of the battlefield.

The Bestigor/Longbeard combat continued to wage but with a brief lull in combat as the Dwarf Lord finally slew the Gouge-Horn.

With the flanking Longbeard unit rapidly depleting, there was no longer a target rich environment for the Gor, so they turned their attention to the embedded Runesmith. The Smith was made of much greater mettle than his kin any shrugged off everything thrown at him.

9. Turn 4 - Dwarves

Beastmen Turn 5

Cattleclysm, scenting blood in the air, ignored the obvious target in front of him and flew into the rear of the ongoing combat, roaring a challenge as he flew. The already wounded lord decided he didn’t like the odds of that fight and decided he was better off skulking in the ranks of the unit. His ability to hide looked far less likely as the Doombull, Beastlord and Bestigor’s combined attacks made mincemeat of the unit. It was only the power of the ancestral standard that kept them in the fight.

In the other combat, sheer weight of numbers finally won out and the Runesmith and his remaining bodyguard fell beneath the cloven hooves of their adversaries.

10. Turn 5 - Beasts

23. Turn 5 - Beastmen24. Turn 5 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 5

The two Gyros moved to give the Gor block their full attention and the steam guns went to work removing a number of them.

The, so far, untouched, unit of Longbeards, charged into the rear of the Doombull. His heavy armour and rage ensured he still inflicted more damage than he received.

The battered units of Bestigor and Longbeards kept their fight going and by the end, the combat had drawn.

11. Turn 5 - Dwarves

Results

Me – Win (15) + Fully Painted (2) = 17 points

Martin – Loss (5) = 5 points

Conclusion

That was a very, very close win.

To put that statement into perspective. The comp pack states that a unit must have 5 models (3 monstrous), including a standard, general or bsb, to constitute a scoring unit. After the final fight I had 4 Bestigor left and the Beastlord (so 5 models), which gave me a scoring unit strength of 3 (2 for the general and 1 for the Standard). His Longbeard unit had 3 longbeards left plus the general, so with 4 models, it was one dwarf under the 5 minimum so neither the unit standard or general counted.

If he had managed one more casualty on the Bestigor, or if I had failed to kill one of the dwarf longbeards in his general’s units it would have ended up a draw! As I said, very very close.

There were a number of mistakes made by both of us. My biggest one was splitting attacks from the Gor unit between the Longbeards and the Runesmith for two consecutive combats. Not only did he pull an amazing amount of saves out the bag on the Runesmith and the last few dwarves but there was no need for me to split the attacks. I should have directed all of them into the unit to remove the stubborn banner and then run down the Runesmith. It just shows how frustration can influence decisions as with the amount of dispels he had thrown out in the game, I just wanted to kill the Runesmith.

The Razorgor, again, each only hit with one of their four attacks. Tactics may talk about using them as ‘assassins’ but I haven’t ever had much luck in that roll. I still think the best use of them is to sit in front of enemy units to redirect/annoy.

On a side note, his lord shouldn’t have managed to avoid the Doombull’s challenge as being mounted on an oathstone he has to accept challenges.

In terms of what went well. The Gor herd was excellent. 50 is definitely the right number to pump out a shed load of attacks whilst absorbing casualties.

I also finally managed to get Khazbar into combat with savage beasts on and it was impressive. He generated a shed load of power dice from the jagged dagger and this allowed me to overcome the persistent low winds of magic rolls. With the ‘Brass Cleaver’, magic weapon, this meant he was attacking with 8 (2+3+3) strength 8 (4+1+3) attacks and on average, this generated 3 additional dice per combat round. Not too shabby at all. Going forward, if I went this build again, I would probably forgo the additional attacks from the brass cleaver and go a slightly more defensive build with the fencers blades. This would drop the maximum attacks by two but would almost ensure that he always hit on a 3+ and anyone with a WS of 4 or under will only hit him on a 5+. This would likely make the difference of attacks negligible.

Even playing dwarves, I hadn’t appreciated how much of total pain the stubborn banners can be as it effectively makes any unit with one a tarpit, as I found out! Again the Gyro’s also proved their worth, though I think they could have been more effective in the game.

Overall it was a great, friendly game that went down to the wire. Probably my closest in a long time and i’d definitely play Martin again at a future date.

 

Bloodbowl – Selecting a team

Bloodbowl is by far my favourite GW ‘board game’ of all time. In the last 3 or so years alone I’ve racked up hundreds of hours of play, however I’ve not touched my figures or the board. This is because I’ve been playing it online instead. This has mainly been down to convenience. My club time is limited and so it’s far easier to log on and find a game this way. Whilst this is fun, it’s not the same and so I will be entering the blood bowl league. This will likely mean skipping this years Kings of War comp but I think it will be worth it.

So with this in mind, I dug all the (mainly) 3rd Edition models I could find (and the game) and bought them up to town.

As much as I love the 2nd ed. board, it is considerably narrower and so that and the box were left at home.

I don’t own a profusion of teams as some didn’t interest me, so what are my options?

Human – The jack of all trades team. They aren’t outstanding at one area but are pretty good in all of them. I still love the sculpts (with perhaps the exception of the blitzers) and also have an addition 4 metal human sculpts and an original Ogre, to go with the box set.

Wood elf – Probably the team I’ve played the least but I love the models (which I believe are more of Jes Goodwins). They were part painted and I’ve primed them for a repaint. This probably the team I’m least likely to go with.

Undead – There are several flavours of undead teams (khemri, vampire etc) but I have the original mixed team, with Mummies, ghouls, wights etc. They are very fun to play and have a wide range of quality (or not) available to be fielded, from total shite (zombies) to solid blockers and blitzers. They have the added advantage of being able to ‘recruit’ opposing players killed and almost never dying (or permanently falling apart) themselves. They are definitely a contending team entrant.

Orc – I really like the Orc team. They are a tougher version of humans. More armoured on average but not quite as flexible. I’ve had some great success with the team and have just gotten the new troll (as I couldn’t find my old one). I just need a Goblin or two to round out the team. These are a potential contender as the team, as I know them reasonably well and enjoy using them, however they come as standard in the new box, so I’m not sure if a number of players will be using them and I have a penchant for using teams/armies that others don’t, if only to add variety.

Norse – These were one of the newer teams before GW re-released the game (that still makes them, damn, maybe 15 years old?). They have all the flexibility of the standard human team, with throwers, catchers etc. but almost every player has the block skill. If they don’t have that, then they have at least a strength of 4 and frenzy. That is my kind of team. Where they fall down is having low armour. Still I like the fluff of having a bunch of raving nutters (more so than even the average player), on the pitch. As you may of guessed, at present, this is looking to be my number one team choice. I’ve even ordered 3 players I’m missing, 2 Ulfwerner from a company in Spain and a Snow Troll from Italy!

A yet to be purchased team. There is however still a chance of throwing in a wildcard. Black Scorpion Miniatures sell a range of teams at a reasonable price. I can’t comment on quality (having not bought any myself, though I know a few players who love them) however many of their sculpts look fantastic. They sell a great looking Greek themed human team and I also like their Amazons but the one that caught my eye was the new halflings releases, with their Knight helmets. They just look amazeballs! (I will add that I’ve seen similar halflings elsewhere but these just had a crisper feel). The only issue is, even with 2 treeman on the team, they will get butchered. But they look so pretty 😉.

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