The Green Machine

Following on from the last post, in this one i’ll look at the next member of Group A. Namely Alistair and his Orc and Goblin army.

I’ve only ever played Alistair at Kings of War and he showed a frightening ability to learn from previous games and adapt his list and tactics. As such, although he may not have played 8th for some time, I can’t underestimate him and suspect his list is based on previous, well worked lists.

Again I give a warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!

OnG’s hold a special place in my warhammer heart and are the one army where I’m almost certain to run a reasonably fluffy list. Back in 3rd edition you had to take at least 1 unit each of 20 goblin ‘warriors’ and 20 goblin archers. As such I still almost always have a unit of each (though the archers are now by default night goblins). As such I was very curious to see what Alistair would bring.

Characters

Orc Warboss (General) – Armour of Destiny, Gold Sigil Sword, Wyvern – 340pts

The basic stats of the Orc warboss match those of my Beastlord, except he has one less point of movement and initiative. This means he is naturally tough and strong without upgrades. To make up for his obvious one lacking area, he has been boosted to initiative 10 (with the bonus of having a magic sword). He’s also been given a 4+ save and 4++ ward. Mounting him on a wyvern gives a hard hitting mount and also boosts his general’s bubble to 18″.

Black Orc Big Boss (BSB) – Tormentor Sword, Armour of Fortune, Shield – 157pts

The compulsory bsb. He is as tough as the general and reasonably well protected with a 4+ save and 5++ ward. Again he has a cheap magic sword that will allow him to deal with ethereal and gives any monster or character he wounds, the stupidity rule. Being a Black Orc, he is able to quell animosity (by causing D6 Str 5 hits on his unit – basically bashing heads together!).

Orc Shaman – level 2, Power Scroll – 135pts

A low level shaman. His scroll allows him to, once, halve the cost of any spell. This can be a nasty surprise, especially if it is a low magic phase as it will allow something like Foot of Gork to be cast when you are not expecting it!

Orc Big Boss – Spear, Lt Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command, War boar – 120pts

This boss will obviously go in the Boar boyz unit. He is armed to be tanky with a 2+ save and 2++ ward vs fire attacks. The Crown of Command will allow the unit to always take an leadership tests on an 8 (or 9 if in the general’s range).

Black Orc Big Boss – Sword of Swift Slaying, Heavy Armour, Shield – 117pts

Another black orc to place in a unit of boyz to quell animosity. The sword will overcome the low initiative of the Black Orc, allowing him to have a chance of removing threats to him.

Goblin Big Boss – Ruby Ring of Ruin, Giant Wolf – 72pts

The boss is a cheap way of improving the leadership of a unit that could well be out of range of the general. The Ring gives another decent cheap spell to cast to supplement the 2 shamans.

Orc Shaman – level 2, Ironcurse Icon – 105pts

Another low level shaman. Has the ability to give a 6++ ward vs warmachines to him and his unit (not that this will be of any use against me with my total lack of them).

Core

19 Orc Big ‘Uns – FC, AHW, War banner – 241pts

A fairly small unit of boyz. Upgraded to orc ‘elite’. They are comparable to my Gor (with the beast banner embedded). It is likely one of the black orc bosses will be in the unit and if they fail an animosity test it could really reduce their effectiveness due to the wounds caused. This is probably why they have the banner that adds +1 to the combat resolution.

40 Orc Boyz – FC, Lt armour, shield – 315pts

A solid block of boyz. In a straight face off, my two blocks should both be capable of beating this but probably not without suffering numerous casualties in return.

26 Arrer Boyz – FC, Bow, Lt armour – 212pts

I’ve found the best way to treat arrer boyz is as a normal block of orc boyz, that just happen to have a ranged capability too.

9 Wolf Riders – FC, short bow, Lt armour, giant wolf – 129pts

Its quite unusual to see a single unit at this size (although saying that, I also like to run them like this). This unit is a prime candidate for my Doombull

Special

9 Boar Boyz – FC, Spear, Lt armour, shield, War boars, Rangers Standard – 265pts

A very hard hitting unit if they get the charge off. Spears and choppers rule will give them Str 5 on the charge, which matches the boars. With the character added to it, combined with their 3+ save they are a pretty tanky tarpit too. The standard will mean they won’t have to take any dangerous terrain tests.

6 Trolls – 210pts

Standard trolls so no -1 to hit. The vomit attack is of no use on most of my army as I have negligible armour saves, so instead we have the standard 18 Str 5 monstrous infantry attacks. Nothing to be sniffed at. Oh and they are tough and have a 4+ regen save (of which I have no flaming attacks to negate). The downside is the low leadership and stupidity rule, meaning they will need to go near to the general to be effective.

Rare

Doom Diver Catapult – 80pts

This is the one credible threat to the doombull as it will ignore armour and causes D6 Str 5 hits. The ability to adjust any misses makes it particularly dangerous.

Ok this is my old Marauder wyvern not Alistairs


Evaluation

Sadly no pump wagons, snotlings or blocks of goblin infantry (though on the upside barely any artillery, no black orc boyz or savage orcs). A lot of the random elements that are in the book have been left out, instead a solid ‘reliable’ mass of orc boyz, backed up with black orc characters to help remove the animosity that can foil an Orc generals plans. He also has 5 units with fortitude (one of which can be bumped up with the bsb to get an extra pip of fortitude). This will give him an advantage in some scenarios against me.

As a general rule, orcs are tough and not that dissimilar to Beastmen in stats. Where they differ is they have a lower weapon skill in general (meaning my troops will hit on a 3+ vs the Orcs return hits on a 4+), have a lower initiative (so will strike last) and a lower movement. They do gain an additional point of Str in the first round of combat but also suffer from animosity which can be both a boon and a drawback. However his 2 main units of orc infantry will likely have a Black Orc big boss in each meaning they will not suffer from it (though could suffer D6 Str 5 hits if they do fail it, which realistically means the wolf riders and boar boyz are the units that might fail the test.

He has taken a gamble on magic, with only 2 low level shamans and no dispel scroll so this may give me an edge.

As with Martin’s Dwarves, he has only 8 drops to my 10 so I’ll have the edge on him which should help with some scenarios.

His general being on a monster, means it can’t join units and so cannot assist with scenarios that require fortitude (bar killing stuff of course). I might again be able to use this to my advantage.

Scenarios

1. Eliminate 

The bounties will be placed on his 40 Orc boyz, Orc Big Uns and Boar boyz respectively, whilst mine are on the Gor, Bestigor and one of the Chariots.
This means he could leave one unit (e.g. the Big ‘Uns) protected (perhaps on the central objective) and this would still leave his Trolls and Arrer boyz to assist in hunting down my two units. The Doom Diver will likely be gunning for my chariot so i’ll have to ensure it is only dropped after the diver to make sure it out of range. This will mean that the wolf riders and general will likely be gunning for it as an easy two points.

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

With 5 units capable of capturing, he has the advantage here. The Wolf Riders (and to some extent the Boar Boyz) will be his quick reaction force able to run and capture anything unattended. As such i’ll want to eliminate them quickly. This would then leave us both with a combined fortitude of 5 (though he would still have the edge on capturing quadrants, as his fortitude is split between 4 units).

3. Invade

This is played length ways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. No two ways about it, I can see this will end up a straight fight as we both storm forward. I’ll have to use my chaff smartly to weigh the matchups in my favour. Bestigor may have to go 6 wide and in 7 ranks for this one rather than horde formation.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side).

I will really struggle with this one and will have no option but to take the fight to him to reduce the number of terrain items he can capture.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. I’ll have to treat this one in a similar way I would the dwarves. The difference is I don’t necessarily need to capture them first. With the sheer number of his units, Alistair can afford to try and capture all three if needed.

6. Wicked woods

I can’t treat this any differently to the dwarf game. Capture the woods and throw everything else forward to get in the way.

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Master of the Longbeards 

In a series of three posts, I’ll be looking at the army lists of my opponents in Group A of the competition, evaluating the army and then trying to work out how I would win the scenarios in their shoes.

Fair warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!

The first of these posts will focus on the Dwarven Throng of Martin H. Now I will state, straight off the bat, that Martins original list was partly re-written by Steve (my co-adjudicator) to make it ‘comp legal’ and then refined my myself to replace the most glaring uncompetitive elements (e.g. remove Brimstone cannons on the Gyros), fixing the odd clash of items (having both Great weapons and Runic Weapons on a character, when you can only use one) and adding additional artillery runes. Martin was very happy with the choices so kept with the revised list. So what was the composition?

Characters

Dwarf Lord (General) – MRo Gromril, Oath Stone, GW, 3*Ro Warding – 251pts

I like this lord. He is very defensive with a 1+ armour save and 4++ ward. He also pumps out 4 ASL, Str 6 attacks. Giving him an Oath stone is clever as it means his unit,  if charged in the flank or rear, never lose their rank bonus and still get their parry saves (which would be 5++ in the first round due to shieldwall). The downside is he has to accept challenges but with his saves, that shouldn’t be an issue. They also cannot flee as a charge reaction (as if Dwarves would) but this isn’t an issue for this list, as none of his main units have that option anyway due to immune to psych’.

Thane (bsb) – Gromril armour, shield, MRo Valaya – 158pts

A fairly standard bsb with 3+ save. The banner adds to the inbuilt dwarf Magic resistance and ensures they will dispel at +4 (so they will match or exceed all enemy cast bonuses from the wizard level). It has an added bonus of allowing you to dispel all ‘remains in play’ spells on a 3+, crucially without using dispel dice (and also without checking the rulebook, I believe it occurs out of sequence, so at the start of the Dwarf players turn. This means it can get rid of items that might impact movement). Suffice to say this is one of my favourite runic banners.

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking, Ro Passage – 103pts

Again there is nothing surprising in this build, not that it makes it any less effective. A 2+ save with auto dispel rune. The Ro passenge allows his unit to avoid taking dangerous terrain tests but has mainly been taken as you can’t have duplicate rune combos. The great passive effect of the Runesmith is he gives his unit AP. When you are packing all Str 4 troops this is essential for beating armour saves (as combined gives a -2 to armour saves).

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking – 93pts

A carbon copy of the above but without the Ro Passage. Each of these will be placed in a different unit as the AP effect doesn’t stack.

Core

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields – 394pts

This is a solid unit of elite dwarves. Immune to psychology so they can’t flee as a reaction (and ignore fear etc.) 4+ save with T4 makes them reasonably defensive and they have the numbers to stick around. My only issue with them is I’ve found them to lack punch against really tough armoured opponents.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism – 429pts

As above but the banner rune makes them stubborn, so no matter what they will always take any leadership test on at least a 9 (or 10 if in range of the general). This means they will hardly ever run and will have to be killed to the last Dwarf.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism, Ro Sanctuary – 444pts

As above but with an additional rune (again due to the runic item duplication restriction) that gives Magic resistance (1). This means that against direct damage spells their save improves by +1 (to 3+).

10 Quarrellers – standard, GW, Heavy armour – 150pts

A small unit of shooters to protect the warmachines and shoot up enemy chaff. The standard allows them to capture/score in many of the scenarios and the Great Weapons gives them Str 5 in combat as standard.

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Special

2 * Gyrocoptors (run as 2 single units of one) – Steam Gun – (2 * 80pts =) 160pts

The Dwarf chaff unit and I still rate this as one of the best chaff/harassment units (if not the best) in the game (the others being Dark Riders, Razorgor & the Ogre Cat). It is the ability to fly, drop bombs when marching and the template weapon that make me rate it so highly. The drawback is, I often find it so useful that I don’t actually like using it as a throw-away unit, which is why I labelled it also as a harassment unit. The price puts it more in line with a chariot than a true throw-away unit such as the Razor or Cat.

Cannon – Ro Forging – 145pts

The compulsory cannon. Given forging to reroll misfires. This will be deadly for my Doombull and is a priority to eradicate.

Rare

Organ Gun – Ro Forging, Ro Accuracy – 170pts

Ah the organ gun. You know it, you love it (if a dwarf) or hate it (if you are on the receiving end). With runes it will cause between 2-20 Str 5 AP hits. Hitting on a 3+ at short range, 4+ at long, rerolling one misfire dice. The 30″ range is what sets it apart and makes it superior in my eyes (and even before runes are taken into consideration) from the hellblaster. This thing can be deadly and I need to find a way to neutralise it. At the very least, a wall of Ungor Raiders, will provide hard cover for my units giving the OG -2 to hit.

Evaluation

Ok, above I stated my issue with this Longbeard build is it lacks punch. However with 3 such units and the synergies with the Lords oathstone, the banners and AP from the Runesmiths, it becomes more of a game of attrition with the dwarves blunting the initial attacks and then grinding the enemy down. It is very dwarfy and could be very effective, especially if enemy units were first softened up with shooting. They also have the advantage of hitting my blocks on a 3+ vs my 4+ back at them, though they will normally only wound on a 4+ (as will my Gor). The Bestigor will have the advantage in this though as the GW’s will wound on a 2+ and will ignore the armour save.

In general, he has 3 slow combat blocks. I have plenty of chaff that can be used to slow them down. I can see Razorgor being used to assassinate his runesmiths. The Harpies will have to target the cannon as a priority and the Doombull the Gyro’s. The chariots will be used to distract the cannon (hopefully!).

With only 8 drops to my 10, I’ll have the edge on him and with the scenarios, he won’t be able to castle (probably why he has the rarely seen 3 combat blocks).

Scenarios

So if I were using this army, how would I try and win each scenario?

Full details of the scenarios are here but I will give a small recap of the objectives of each.

1. Eliminate

His 3 bounty tokens will be on his 3 combat blocks. Mine will be on: the Gor horde: the Bestigor horde: One of my Chariots (Yikes!). Thankfully he picks the chariot before deployment. This means I will place this out of range of his cannon and as far away from his troops as possible and will play hide the chariot. The Doombull can start near it, to intercept any pesky Gyros.

With an additional token in the centre of the board, it makes sense for his 3 blocks to start centrally ready to ‘surge’ (ok shuffle, they are dwarves) forward to capture that if possible. With poor movement they can’t start too far away. He will likely try to soften up my forces first with shooting. I will definitely be trying to flank his forces with one of my blocks and will try and deploy on one side of the board (on the opposite side to the OG). If he’s smart that side will have the unit with oathstone.

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

This is an issue for me as he has more. He has 4 separate units with fortitude and can add the bsb and general to increase the units fortitude. This makes it likely that he will hold one quadrant with his shooters (art + quarrellers), another with his other blocks (he could have it so his fortitude was 3 in one quad and 4 in the other). He could then advance to capture one of mine.

The most I can manage is one block with fort’ of 2 and one with a fort’ of 3. However I look at it, I’m at a disadvantage and will have to destroy a number of his blocks to win (or try and pin them into just one quadrant). In theory the quarrellers is the weak link. As with everything, deployment is key. Using his blocks size and movement against him.

3. Invade

This is played lengthways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. My speed gives me a bit of an advantage, however the narrow width means his shooting will be far more deadly and as soon as I get in range the organ gun could punish me. The saving grace on that is that he will have to advance his troops early to ensure he can move into my half and they may block his lines of fire with careful placement. Although I’d love to hang back and intercept and destroy his blocks in order to avoid his shooting and then advance to his half, if he times his advance to my side well and with the stubborn nature of his blocks, it would be a huge gamble.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side). Again I’m at a disadvantage as unless I move my General or BSB into each Ungor Raiders unit (highly unlikely but you never know as it could turn a defeat into a victory or at least a draw), the most I can capture is two bits of terrain vs his four and so will definitely need to advance to capture terrain on his half whilst destroying any  fortitude units I encounter on route (are you noticing a trend here?). I’ll have to almost treat this as a battleline game but make sure I’m in scenery at the end. Thinking about it, the general in Ungor is looking more attractive, despite the drawbacks.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. Logic dictates I need to spread them out across the table rather than have them all on one side, as that will favour Martin, especially with his unit advantage and low movement. I should also consider going only 5 wide on both units as I want to grab a counter fast and hold onto it so steadfast will definitely be one to do. Chaff will be key to holding him up. The Ungor trick might be viable if one is uncontested on the far side but will have to watch out for the Gyros.

If I had the dwarves, would I play the odds game and send a block for each token or would I concentrate on two, using artillery to cover the others? I’d probably use the blocks to capture 2 of them and if unopposed try and sneak the third with my quarrellers.

6. Wicked woods

Holding the woods is key and moving into it early is essential. You have to hold it for at least 7 player turns (of 12) to ensure a win. The key will be to move as much chaff forward as possible to obstruct his blocks at every turn to maximise the turns a unit is in it. Everything not in the woods becomes sacrificial, whether chaff, doombull or Bestigor.

The question becomes if he has practiced the scenario and whether the damage that the wood causes will out him off moving in early.

SELWG 2017 Warhammer Competition Kicks Off!

As well as the game against Paul on Friday, the draw was also made for the groups in the competition.

With a last bit of recruitment on the Friday, I managed to get the numbers up to 16 which allowed 4 groups of 4.

The draw was made by the independent adjudicator: Cormac. After the draw (very low tech – names from a bag) the groups looked like this:

Group Split - 9.9.17

You will note that some entrants already have points for early submission of their lists. Alex (group D) was the person who was recruited on Friday, hence no army type is noted (though it will likely be filthy High Elves!).

Overall, we have a really good spread of armies in the competition, with 12 of the 16 possible options taken (we are missing: Ogres, Tomb Kings, Daemons and Wood Elves).

All army lists have been uploaded to the club forums (with a small delay on Group D so not to give Alex an unfair advantage).

Group A – Drakwald

Group B – Asuryan

Group C – Zorn Uzkul

Group D – Hellpit

For a reminder of the comp rules and restrictions see the earlier posts.

  1. Points and Secondary Objectives
  2. Scenarios
  3. Army Lists and Restrictions
  4. Terrain

 

The Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent – 2017 SELWG whfb competition list

As I am running the comp this year, I committed to bringing an army that no one else was using (if possible). One of the reasons was so I’d not bias the army restrictions as I wouldn’t know what I was taking. Of the many I own, it was looking likely to be a toss up between Wood elves and Beastmen. I actually had no preference between them as would happily use either but with the majority of lists in, there was a good chance that one of the other entrants would be using wood elves so I duly submitted my list to Steve M (my nominated 2nd adjudicator) so he could check it (and ensure I qualified for the bonus points of course). If you are curious, the other possible options not being taken were: Tomb Kings, Daemons and Ogres – non of which I own.

So with the army chosen by process of elimination, I decided to use the list taken in my last game.


Khazbar was perplexed. It wasn’t a feeling he was used to or even understood. His position had been clear, he was the voice of the gods and leader of the herd. Sure there had been a few set backs but that hardly warranted the rise of Bashor to usurp his position as head of the tribe. Only his quick thinking, mixed with a fair amount of grovelling had allowed him to keep his position as shaman and indeed his head. It had been a calculated risk to ‘gift’ the suit of armour and axe of strength to the new chief but that combined with the hint of more to follow had allowed him to retain a semblance of power, second only to Bashor.


Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent 

Bashor the Bloody – Beastlord (General), Ogre Blade, Armour of Destiny, shield – 238pts

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman, level 4 – Lore of Beasts, Talisman of Protection, Brass Cleaver, jagged dagger – 335pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor (bsb), Heavy Armour, shield, Beast Banner – 191pts

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman, level 1 – Lore of Shadow, Dispel scroll – 100pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull, Arabyan carpet, Gold Sigil sword, Dragonbane gem, Ramhorn helm, Gnarled hide, Heavy Armour, shield – 353pts

48 Gor, Full Command, Additional Hand Weapon – 409pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

37 Bestigor, Full Command, Heavy Armour, Standard of Discipline – 489pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1Razorgor – 55pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

Total – 2,500pts

I’ve again gone with a Beastlord as my general. Putting him in the Bestigor with their standard gives him a 12″ LD 10 bubble, which should ensure units stick around or at least rally. The Ogre Blade gives him S7 and together with hatred will allow him to match the Bestigors damage output. The armour should provide an element of survivability.

Khazbar is tooled for combat to try and generate additional power dice. The cleaver will help get more attacks and if he goes in the Gor horde with the bsb, he will be on S5 with AP, before any buffs, which should help with units the Gor by themselves would struggle against. He has kept Lore of Beasts, if only due to the abysmal showing last time. I’m still not convinced that Shadow isn’t the way to go but at least this way I’ll get a good run of games to give Beasts a go, to finally make up my mind.

The BSB and Doombull are running the same loadouts as normal. The BSB will likely go in the Gor to bump them to S4. The Doombull will fly around making a nuisance of himself.

Wazzock is being used as a scroll caddy. I dropped the chalice as I found it too situational. He went Shadow rather than Beasts due to the low casting cost of miasma.

The raiders are fantastic value for money, I can’t believe it took me so long to use them. I currently only own 10 so two units of 5 it is. They together with the Razorgor and to some extent the Harpies and chariots, will be used as chaff and some as force multipliers.

The Bestigors are the hard hitters but like the Gor they are still rather frail. Horde formation, doesn’t allow the most flexibility in movement either.

I’m still not 100% convinced about the list, 10 drops isn’t a huge number and with only 2 units with standards, i’m going to struggle to win some of the scenarios. However, the two units I do have are large and should help to ensure I maintain/capture objectives. It will also mean I need to destroy as much of the opponents unit fortitude units as possible, whilst chaffing up everything of theirs I possibly can.

All I have left to do is finish painting the remaining 15 Bestigors and 10 Ungor Raiders before the comp starts.

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 5 – Terrain

In the final post of this series (thank god I hear you say, I can’t deal with any more of these wordy posts, where the hell are all the pictures!) I’ll look at the terrain table.

I will hold up my hand and say right now that i’m not a fan of the terrain table in whfb 8th edition. I know it can be argued that it was designed to work in conjunction with the rest of the rule set but it bugs me that almost everything has to have some special ability. Why can’t a river just be a river. Isn’t it enough that it has impact on movement or removes steadfast etc. Why on top of that must it give you the ability to cast spells etc. Having something that also gives you loremaster of Death seems massively overpowered. I’ve also found that when playing games, most of the time people forget about the terrain abilities too.

Well because it was my comp pack, I decided to follow Steve’s lead from last year and get rid of most of that crap (If you don’t like the decision, you can step up and run it next year and include all of it 😀).

If you read the blog, you will know that i’ve been playing Kings of War this year and in that rule set, the norm is to use Map Packs (one of the best known in the community is a random map generator from http://www.epicdwarf.com/. Like everyone his site is struggling a bit from the recent photo bucket change of terms but the random terrain generator still works fine). Although it is a fantastic tool, I don’t actually like the presentation (see below example) so instead thought about producing my own in battle chronicler (again example below). The issue with this was the amount of effort it would take to produce on top of everything else.

Epic Dwarf map example
Epic Dwarf map example
1. Terrain
Battle Chronicler example map

Neil (who is running our KOW comp) decided to go down a different route and put together his own terrain chart. In this he created 6 separate maps with fixed terrain but the placement could be variable and was down to the players (within certain limits). I think everyone in the competition really liked using this table and a number of the additional comments on the survey asked to use something similar. So with Neil’s permission I adapted it for use in the whfb competition.

You will note that, despite my personal dislike for the magical element of all terrain in 8th ed. I didn’t completely get rid of all the random terrain ‘abilities’. I appreciated that some players actually like this randomness, so I kept the rules for woods and marshes and also included the odd other item in some of the maps (all items I deemed to be not game changing)

So below is the current version of the terrain setup document (edit: updated with v2)

WHFB 2017 Competition Terrain setup v2

In most wargames getting the terrain setup acceptable, without too many rules & taking a fair amount of time can be a challenge. So here is a process that hopefully will not be too challenging & avoids the dreaded barren table with a few sparse pieces stuck in the corners. Players will still have some input into the final position of certain items. (This was adapted from Neil’s KOW pack).

After deciding scenario/mission, roll on the table below (D6).

Collect terrain listed, & determine player A & B with a roll off (player highest roll). Then follow the deployment instructions.

Some general points:

If placing terrain using the exact measurements proves difficult, use the distances stated as a guideline

Buildings: All have three levels (including Fozziks folding fortress) and can be no more than 6” across. A maximum of 20 wounds worth of models may garrison a building. (e.g. 17 HE Archers & an Archmage) Count the number of starting wounds (e.g. Archmage always counts as 3).

Woods: Can be no more than 12” across – roll a D6 when entering to decide the type. In addition: Dangerous Terrain if Ca/MC/Ch march, charge, flee/pursue, overrun or if Flyer entering/leaving; No Steadfast (unless Stubborn); Lone infantry characters and Skirmishers characters count as Steadfast.

  • 1-3= Normal Forest,
  • 4= Venom Thicket [Unit has Poisonous Attacks; counts as Dangerous Terrain],
  • 5= Abyssal wood [Unit causes fear]
  • 6= Fungus Forest [Stupidity]

Rivers: – all normal.

Marshes: Can be no wider than 9” – roll a D3 when entering to find the type. In addition Dangerous Terrain except Skirmishers; Ca MC and Ch fail test on a 1 or 2.

  • 1= Earthblood Mere [any unit in the marsh has Regen (6+)]
  • 2= Khemrian Quicksand [Mo/MI//MC removed on Dangerous Terrain failure]
  • 3= Mist wreathed swamp [Hard Cover; In test or D6 models are removed]

Walls/hedges/fences (WHF): all normal and all give hard cover. 1 WHF length = 12”, so 3*WHF= 36”

Hills: Can be no wider than 12” – all normal unless stated.

Unless otherwise stated all terrain should be 3” apart (exception WHF, which touch/link buildings).

 DZ = Deployment zone

 

Terrain table (D6 roll).

Map 1) 2*Buildings, 1* hill, 2* woods, 1*WHF, 1*Elven Waystone* [Impassable; Channelling at +1 w/in 6”]

Map 2) 1*River 1*building, 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]), 1* woods, 1*WHF.

Map 3) 2*Marsh, 2*woods, 2*hills.

Map 4) 1*River, 4*hills (2*normal, 2*Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), 1*woods.

Map 5) 4*buildings, 1*woods, 2*WHF, 1 hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain])

Map 6) 2*woods, 2 hills, 2*marsh.

 

Terrain deployment instructions Map 1.

  1. Player A places the 2*buildings, anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 6” from any table edges. Also each building must be between 6”-9” of each other.
  2. Player B places the hill in any DZ, at least 9” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  5. Player A places 1* WHF in any deployment zone, at least 6” from any table edge in any configuration, but all pieces must be touching each other.
  6. Player B places 1* Elven Waystone anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 12” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 2.

  1. Player A places river 2ft from any short table edge running from long edge to long edge (4ft length).
  2. Player B places 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]) anywhere on the table except in DZ’s, and no more than 6” from any table edges.
  3. Player A places 1* tree base in any DZ no more than 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 building with WHF touching in the opposite DZ that the trees are in, no more than 6” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 3.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and at least 6” from any table edge.
  2. Player B places 1* hill in each DZ at least 6” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 4.

  1. Player A places river 18” from any long table edge running from short edge to short edge (6ft length).
  2. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, except in a DZ.
  3. Player A places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the second hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ.
  4. Player B places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the other hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ. (it is allowed that 2 hills end up in the same DZ)

Terrain deployment instructions Map 5.

  1. Player A places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere on the table, but not In any DZ, at least 6” from any table edge, The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration.
  2. Player B places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere, but In any DZ at least 6” from any table edge The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration. Also must be at least 12” away from nearest building in A above.
  3. Player A places 1*trees anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]) anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 6.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and no nearer than 6” from any table edge & at least 6” apart.
  2. Player B places 2*marsh in any DZ at least 9” from any table edge. Both can be in the same DZ.
  3. Player A places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.

 

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 4 – Army and List Restrictions

Out of all the parts of the competition pack, this section was going to be the one that would make or break it and would be the deciding factor on who would want to enter.

Last year’s pack contained quite a few hard restrictions, blocking you from taking certain choices. I kept this for some of the items (e.g. no end times/special characters/allies etc. – see first set of bullet points below). However I wanted to change the slant of the list building making it more open but penalising entrants for taking certain combinations. As with life, you are self determining but your actions can have consequences! This is where the difficulty lay, what would make up these restrictions and how would I make these decisions (whilst not favouring any army I may choose to take).

Having a multitude of previous GT and other tournament packs available to look at really helped and gave me a good understanding of what combos most tournament organisers thought to be overpowered. Most of them seemed to be similar no matter what part of the world the pack originated. Different tournaments did however choose to implement restrictions in different ways, normally via a scoring system, if you take xx unit you add so many points to your ‘score’, whilst others reduce points. This ‘score’ is then added/deducted from your total tournament score.

With our format this approach wouldn’t quite work so instead I opted for two distinct restriction sections. The first was a general section, which incorporated many of the previous tournaments restrictions but instead of the outright ban, it penalised a player if they took 3 or more choices from the section. The second section was army specific and again penalised a player if they took certain choices from their army book.

For each of the sections, if they breached the restrictions, they would be deducted 20 points (and it was cumulative so it could be 40pts in total, 20 per section and could mean you started with a negative score). Each points ‘fine’ was roughly the equivalent of winning a game so entrants could choose to ignore the restrictions but would have to be confident of their ability to get results to offset this.

Empire vs Chaos
Random stock photo added to break up the wall of text

I do wonder if this makes it overly complicated but it was one of the few ways I could think of to incorporate many of the restrictions fed back without banning everything.

The army building section of the comp pack, in its current iteration (v1.4 at present) is below.

Having gone through this process I have a lot of respect for individuals who do this every year for tournaments. It takes a lot of effort and is easy to make mistakes (I made a number that club members were kind enough to point out – hence I am up to v1.4 at present – though the latest version only contains rules clarifications and as such i’ve not released it yet).

Army Lists

  • Each Army must be no more than 2500 points. These lists will be checked and cleared by an adjudicator and will be open to all once cleared.
  • No End Times Rules or Armies.
  • No Allies may be taken.
  • Wizards must use the same magic lore that they started the competition with throughout the competition. However, wizards that are allowed to generate spells from multiple magic lore’s are allowed to do so. For example, Skaven wizards that are allowed to generate spells from either Plague & Ruin before each game will be allowed to.
  • No Special characters are allowed.
  • No Forge World rules/stat lines apart from Chaos Dwarfs.

Army lists will be as follows:

Standard army                        2500 points

The following composition restrictions apply:

Army section Percentage Restrictions
Lords and Heroes Up to 50% No Triples and a maximum total Wizard level of 5 in an army (e.g. one level 4 lord and one level 1 wizard or one level 3 and one level 2. This level cap includes items that specify they have magic levels (such as the wizarding hat) or that increase a user’s magic level but excludes items with bound spells such as the fireball ring. Note: this cap includes units with magic levels, such as Warlocks).

No flying Wizards (unless the wizard/unit has an innate fly ability. If you have to buy the fly upgrade, whether it be wings or a mount etc., then it may not be taken).

Core At least 25%
Special Up to 50% No Triples
Rare Up to 25% No Doubles*

2016 Semi-finalists and finalists only:

Lords                                       Up to 25%               No doubles

Heroes                                    Up to 25%               No doubles

The above restrictions are fixed. The next 2 sections list a number of optional restrictions. You can choose to go over them but if you do Victory Points will be deducted. This could result in starting the competition with a negative score. 

General Restrictions:

Armies meeting 3 or more of the following general restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage.

Level 4 Wizard who selects Death Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Level 4 Wizard who can selects Life Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Crown of Command,

Banner of Discipline,

Folding Fortress.

Light Council (at least 3 wizards in the army with lore of light),

3+ units and/or characters classified as Monster

3+ units and/or Characters with 1+ armour save.

3+ units and/or characters with the Flyer special rule

Characters over 425pts in cost (after any upgrades/items)

Any Unit exceeding 450pts (after any upgrades/items)

5 Warmachines* Includes, Steam tank, chariots and models with war machine weapons such as Ironblasters, Gyrocopters, Hellcannons. (Engineers count as 1 warmachine choice. Each Dwarf Rune counts as ½ a warmachine, so 2 Runes count as 1 warmachine choice, even if the runes are split between machines).

* Certain army books allow you to take double the normal amount of warmachines in your list than is normally allowed (e.g. Elf bolt throwers, Dwarf Gyrocoptors, Goblin Spearchuckers, Pump Wagons etc). In the above restrictions, taking 2 of these count as 1 selection (so you could take 2 Elf Bolt throwers from the rare section and they would also only count as a single warmachine out of your 5 warmachine limit).

Army Specific Restrictions.

Armies meeting the following restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage (this is cumulative with the above deduction so the maximum deduction could be 40pts)

Beastmen: 2 choices from; Herdstone with 3 wizards, Doombull.

Bretonnian: None

Chaos Dwarves: 4 or more choices from; K’daii Destroyer, Lvl 4 with Hasut, Magma Cannon, Iron Daemon, Death Shreiker, Hell Cannon.
Daemons of Chaos:
3 or more choices from; skullcannon, Great Unclean One, 3 or more Beasts, taking units aligned to a chaos god who hate another unit aligned to a different chaos god in the army. E.g. Tzeentch hate Nurgle. (Note, no matter how many opposing aligned units you take, it only counts as one ‘choice’. E.g. you could take 2 units of pink horrors and 2 units of bloodletters and this is only 1 of the 3 restrictions, not 2 of them).
Dark Elves: 3 or more choices from; 2 Bolt Throwers; 1 unit of Warlocks, more than 2 units of Dark Riders, 2 or more characters mounted on Dark Pegasus’, Cloak of Twilight.

Dwarves: 2 or more choices from; 20+ Irondrakes, 2 or more Gyrocoptors, Having 3+ runes of spellbreaking in any combination.

High Elves: 3 or more choices from; BOTWD, Book of Hoeth, 2 Bolt Throwers, Unmounted Frost Heart Phoenix, more than 2 units of Ellyrian Reavers.

Empire: 3 choices from; Two Great Cannons, Steam Tank, 5 or more Demi-Gryph knights.

Lizardmen: 2 or more choices from; 2 or more Scar vets or old ones on Cold ones, 3 Skink skirmishers, Slann Priest with channelling staff and Harmonic Convergence.

Ogre Kingdoms: 3 or more choices from; Iron Blasters, Hellheart, Mournfang, 2 individual sabretusks.

Orc & Goblin: 4 choices from; Mangler squig, doom diver, rock lobba, 25+ Savage Orcs big Un’s.

Skaven:  3 or more choices from; Hellpit Abomination, storm banner, 50+ Skaven slaves, Warp Lightning Cannon

Tomb Kings: None

Vampire Counts: 2 or more choices from; Terrorgheist, Red Fury on Vampire Lord, 2+ Vampire lords

Warriors of Chaos: 4 or more choices from; Daemon Prince, Hero on Disc, Hellcannon, Skullcrushers, 2+ Chimeras, Character with 3++ ward.

Wood elves: 4 or more choices from; Waywatchers, Acorn of Ages, Moonstone of Hidden ways, Each unit with Trueflight after the 2nd, Each unit with Hagbane after the 2nd, Each unit of Wildriders/SotT (combined) after the 2nd, 70+ models with 30” range shooting.

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 2 – Points & Secondary Objectives

The next few posts will cover in no particular order, various sections of the comp pack. I’ll try and explain why the choices were made (at a superficial level at least). One thing I was very conscious of, was not putting in (or leaving out) any restrictions that would benefit me. It’s one of the reasons that I committed to bringing an army that no one else was (if possible), so that I wouldn’t know which one I would be using until well after the pack was written.

Putting together a pack is quite a daunting task. The second step for me after getting the survey set up was to go online and try and find and download every comp pack I could find to see how others had put together packs. Even though 8th ed. whfb has been out of vogue for a few years, I was still able to to find and download around 15 (quite a few curtesy of links on warhammer.org). Most were of limited use but many did list out restrictions on the most common over powered combos for specific armies which I would utilise in the list building.

I also got hold of the last few years packs for SELWG and decided to follow some of the format from this, as it would keep it recognisable for people who had entered before.

So in this post I’ll cover the points on offer. As per the last SELWG comp, points would be split into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.

Primary are awarded based on the outcome of the game victory conditions and are available at all stages of the competition.

Tertiary are only available in the group stages of the comp and are bonus points awarded for completing the game and for having a painted army. Neither of these are game breaking but encourages players to both finish the game and it’s always nice to face a painted army on the table no matter the standard of the painting (whether pro painter or just an average tabletop standard).

Secondary are available at all stages of the competition and are smaller missions that can add to your competition points. Most of these were taken from a combination of the the secondary missions available from the previous two SELWG whfb competitions. I added one new objective, “to see what I can see” (yes the name is part of a children’s nursery rhyme but no bonus points for remembering the rest of the song which involves a bear and a mountain). The other change made was to reduce the points from 7 to 6 for a successfully completed mission. There was a point to this.

Knockout rounds – The final added restriction was that in the final rounds, if you didn’t have a fully painted army, you would only get half points. I’m still not sure about this restriction, it seemed pretty harsh but quite a few paid competitions do have restrictions on having fully painted armies. As a compromise, I made it so if a player didn’t have a fully painted army but got maximum points for a win and mission completed, (15+6 = 21/2 = 11 – rounded up) they could still have a chance of going through if the opponent lost and also completed their mission (5+6 = 11).  If you get a straight win and your opponent lost you will just go through (at 15/2 = 8 vs 5 points).

So below is the ‘Game Format and Scoring section’ of the 2017 SELWG comp pack.

 

  • Primary Tournament Points

Games will be Won, Lost, Drawn, as per the tournament scenarios victory conditions. In the event of a tiebreak scenario in the knockout rounds, use victory points as per the rules in the BRB (pg 143 Tournament Points will be awarded as follows):

WIN = 15 points      DRAW= 10 points   LOSS = 5 points

  • Secondary Tournament Points

For each battle pick a ‘Secret Mission’. This must be done after deployment, but before the first turn is underway. Players must note down their mission, and hand it to someone at another table for safe keeping until it is revealed at the end of the game.

  • Each Player completing their secret mission is awarded = 6 points (Note the change in points from last year)
  • Each ‘Secret Mission’ can only be used once during each league stage and resets for the knockout stage.

“Raid the Baggage” – Have more Fortitude bearing*** Friendly units in the Enemy deployment zone, than the Enemy has Fortitude bearing units in this deployment zone, at the end of the game.

“Cut off the Head” – Kill the Enemy General in hand to hand to hand combat by the end of the game. Any mount does not need to be killed. An Enemy General fleeing at the end of the game does not count.

 “Hero-Hammered” – To have amassed the biggest tally of dead Enemy characters at the end of the game. For calculation purposes, each Hero level character is worth ‘1 point’, each Lord level character is worth ‘2 points’. Self-inflicted deaths (such as from Miscasts or Skaven targeting their own troops), still count towards your opponents score.

“To see what I can see” – When you write down your mission also specify one hill or building that is outside of your deployment zone. This piece of terrain is the tallest in the area and will give your general the advantage in spying troop movements. If, at the end of the game, you have a unit *** occupying that terrain feature and no enemy units occupy**** that terrain feature as per the rules in Scenario 4 (Secure), your mission is a success.

“Take a Message” – Specify a model in your army to be a messenger. Specify a fortitude-bearing unit in the enemy army that contains your spy. Get your messenger model into contact with the spy’s unit. If the spy’s unit is alive at the end of the game your mission has succeeded. The messenger model does not have to be a character model.

  • Tertiary Tournament Points (only available during the group stage)

In an attempt to encourage the completion of games and that they are played using painted armies, but also to reward hobby activity, the following points are available in each battle:

If your army is fully painted (minimum of 3 colours per model and a painted base) = 2 points

If the game is fully completed on the night, each player shall be awarded = 2 point

Total Game Points

A maximum of 25 TPs are up for grabs in each game.

  • Bonus Tournament Points:

Submission of your Group Stage 1 tournament list by 11 August = 5 Points

Knockout Rounds

When taking part in the knockout rounds, if your army is not fully painted you only receive half the tournament points (rounding up). e.g. a win would be worth 8 points. (Note it is possible to still win the knockout stages even with this handicap).