måndag 13 november 2017

Cheaphammer, does wargaming really need to be expensive?

I came to think about this post while I introduced a friend of mine to X-wing, he was looking at my warhammer stuff & told me he really like the look of various wargames using miniatures, but had never gotten into it due to it being such an expensive hobby.
Does wargaming really need to be expensive?
No, I will not tell you that my wargaming hobby has been cheap, quite the opposite, but I do believe it's very easy to play miniature wargaming quite cheap.

For starters, miniatures, there are tons of great looking miniatures on the market, Games workshop is the spearhead & have very beautiful minis, but they are also quite expensive, it's often the first place a beginner will go for their first army. While the miniatures are of good quality (though definitely not the best) they are getting increasingly pricey, especially if you're buying your paints and terrain from their stores, even when you go down the rather cheap route of say Storm of Sigmar, you need to pay at least 15-20£ for what can only be useful in skirmish gaming. I don't find this to be a bad thing, but sometimes you want to play other formats than skirmish.



Instead of going straight for the mainstream minis, shop around online. There are loads of sites selling quality minis at much lower prices, even as little as £7 for 50 men!
EM4miniatures are offering the same ones as the ones found in the Fantasy Warriors game, Orcs & Dwarves, they look rather ok:

 
 
There are 3 variants for both races, which gives you plenty of troops, 21£ will give you 50 of each sculpt, that´s 150 models! If you don't feel the need for 50 of one type of troop, the cost a measly 0.21£ per model.
 
& the best thing, they paint up really well!
 
 
Note even if you´re not into fantasy EM4 is still great for you as they also offer some decent looking futuristic models such as these:
 
 

 
 
Reaper is another Company which offers very cheap models, these can be found in their Bones range, these are a bit more expensive, but still cheap & combined with the models from EM4, they can be used as excellent characters, making them stand out a bit, Reaper also offers some nice monsters such as these:



 
The russian Company known as Tehnolog is another Company that offers great models for wargaming, their plastic is a bit soft, but still take paint rather well, it´s hard to find their models in 28mm scale though, but they have plenty of 56mm scaled models that work great for Ogres & other such monstrous infantry:

So you can get rather cheap armies full with monsters & characters for way less than 50£, in fact I think you can get a decent army for a mere 30£.
 
Great looking Tanks can be found from Tehnolog:
 
In fact I bought 2 of these tanks myself to expand my 40K 2:nd edition Chaos army. They look really nice in the flesh & offer lots of options when it comes to assembly.
 
Mantic is another company that offers cheap models in masses, both for fantasy & Sci-fi games. They have some of the best zombie miniatures out there imo:
 
So now you have your army, but paints seem to be expensive as well!? Well my answer to that is the same as with the miniatures, shop around, there are various art outlets that will sell the appropriate paints for half as much as Games Workshop & even other companies focused on wargaming offer cheaper paints, I really like coat d arms paints myself.
 
Finally you need some terrain, for this I'm going to suggest something that can be used for models as well, toys. I haven't found many toys I like for wargaming, at most maybe a dinosaur to use with Lizardmen (which are all unpainted & a much later project), but something really useful from the World of toys is army men accessories, look at these great toys:
 
They're perfect for fantasy wargaming, paint them up & no one will even notice they're old toys & they cost next to nothing on ebay, there's a bunch of other stuff available as well, such as bunkers, trees, Watch Towers etc etc.
You can make excellent hills by just using some cardboard, glue, green paint & baking powder (to fill in the holes of the cardboard).
 
Another thing to remember is that wargaming isn't all about huge battles, and although they might look cool, you can have just as much fun (or more!) with skirmish games. These types of games give the players control of small warbands of typically 5-15 minis with a focus on personalities and special abilities. Obviously buying a handful of miniatures costs far less than forking out for 100 and it also means you can afford the high quality ranges if you prefer that route, I still believe Storm of Sigmar is one of the best releases made by GW over the last couple of years, even if you don't like the rules. Mantic has their Vanguard kickstarter which looks promising & also offer full warbands for a mere 20$!
Personally I think Song of Blades and Heroes is one of the best fantasy skirmish games out there and well worth a buy. I've heard that Ganesha games is currently working on some sci-fi rules that work well with the 40K universe.
 
PS. Don´t forget that you can buy stuff on the second hand market as well, flea sales & Ebay allows you to sometimes get a real bargain, that´s how I got my second Fantasy Warriors box, it cost me roughly 12 $ with close to 100 models!


tisdag 31 oktober 2017

Magic cards for sale

This isn't a real blogpost, it´s just to have a place of some pics of my magic cards I have for sale on a big auction.

Wasteland
 
 
Underground Sea
 
Tundra
Volcanic
 
Tropical
 
Scrubland
 
Bayou
Badlands/Taiga
 
 
Savannah/ Plateau
 
Beta Giant Growth
 
 
Altered Art Inquisition
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

lördag 28 oktober 2017

Orctober

Orcs.
Since Tolkien, the fearsome orc has remained a facet to fantasy media across the board. They featured heavily in the Lord of the Rings, even gaining the mighty Uruk Hai among their number. With Tolkien, orcs were smaller, spindlier, savages and cowards, their skin was often dark.
In D&D, they were a race of boar-men, with snouts and tusks and no discernible other traits save for a desire for violence.
Warhammer made them bigger, and the common green skin which we associate with Orcs, well some popular rumours say it came about through an accident with Warhammer minis.
However there´s green orcs before that, which we can see in Tim Kirk's Orc painting from 1975:

 
 
 
To celebrate Orctober, many in the old & middlehammer community paint orcs this month.
This year I decided to do the same.
I have this old game I got in the 90´s, Fantasy Warriors.
 
I never got around to play with it back then, we had warhammer & no one needed yet another miniatures game. It does have its merits though & it came with over 100 models, a few years ago I got a second box from a garage sale & used some of the dwarfs to make a Hordes of the Things army.
I never got around to paint anything else, but did try the rules a few games & while it isn´t as great as Kings of War nor as fun as warhammer, it did have some interesting mechanics & I can see myself playing this game a couple of times in the future, so I decided to paint some of the orcs from this set as my Orctober challenge.
 
 
I went with a more brown/green skin tone, as I think the one GW & WoW Orcs have is to cartoony. The skintone was Foundry's Moss green, I like the way it came out.


The entire unit is 25 orcs strong, they were painted in a basic tabletop standard, made to look good from afar & nothing else. The bases were painted Goblin green & then had old green flock which I have left from the 90's, fitting considering these models are from 1992.
Overall I like these orcs better than GW´s, they don't look as big & ape-like, more in tone with the way Tolkien described them, if there´s anything to complain about, it´s that the details on the plastic is quite soft.
I figure that if I continue with this challenge 2-3 years I will have a full Orc army for Fantasy Warriors in a few years, without losing precious painting time from my other Projects.
The Orcs can still be bought from em4miniatures, they´re very cheap & if I didn't already have over 100 Orcs & close to 100 Dwarfs I would be buying some more, if nothing else because you can't get it any cheaper.
Happy Orctober!



fredag 13 oktober 2017

Allies in Warhammer

Allies, a way to circumvent your army's weaknesses or a way to include something fun & characterful?
I saw a thread on the Facebook middlehammer group page that discussed allies, this got me thinking about how I feel about allies, how I used to feel about it back in the day & how our gaming group used allies.

The very first time I used allies was with my Chaos army back in 4th edition, this was in the very beginning of my warhammer experience.
I owned a few models such as a Chaos Knight champion (used as a lord), plenty of beastmen & warriors (monopose plastics), a sorcerer on disc & nothing else, I wanted to field some cavalry, but Chaos cavalry back then was only available as metal models & for a 12 year old it was a lot of money to get a full unit, but allies were there to save the day, I bought 2 boxes of skeleton cavalry, it cost the same as 2 Chaos Knights, but gave me 6 models instead, enough to field a unit. I made one a standard bearer, gave them the Doom Rider banner & then they were a mainstay unit in my army for many, many battles, even after I had bought a full unit of Chaos Knights these were part of my army until I had my harpies & daemons (all metal ofc) as well.
It was a good unit, able to run through terrain & it hit hard with autohits @ S5, yet I never felt like I was cheating when using this unit, not even when one of my characters started using Book of Ashur to get Necromancy magic to help them out, it felt like it was part of the army.
A friend of mine who played Bretonnia had some Lothern Sea Guard in his army, not because it was the obvious better choice when compared to his peasants, but becaue he wanted to use his neatly painted elves from the 4th edition starter, no one complained about allies!
But then I met a greenskin army, it was a new guy to play against, he knew one in our group & was welcomed to join in on the fun, he used some Hobgoblin allies in his army, this made him ignore greenskin animosity & it meant he basically had a bunch of undercosted units without their drawback & this time it felt like someone was cheating when using allies.
It didn't stop me from using allies, but I always used allies that felt like they fit in, as an example:
My Chaos warriors had both daemon & beastman allies, as well as Skaven (no war machines though), mostly it was due to the 4th edition book so I had the models, but it felt right to ally in these kind of units, heck I even tried a lone greater daemon once, but only for a special scenario.
My Empire had a unit of Wood Elf Archers led by a champion with Hail of Doom Arrow, sometimes they switched for a unit of dwarf slayers, both of these units added something I already had access to, but was both better at it & still felt like it fit thematically, Humans have allied with Dwarves & Elves on multiple occassions.

The Warhammer World is full of stories about desperate alliances, during the Great war against Chaos, humans allied with both Elves & Dwarves, however there are even stories of greenskins attacking the Chaos forces, knowing full well what  would happen if Chaos won.
In the siege of Quenelles Wood Elves allied with Bretonnia.
At la Maisontaal Abbey an Undead & Skaven Alliance was beaten back by Bretonnians.





Choosing allies in warhammer is very easy, you get to pick allies from certain books, 25% of your army may be anything you want from those books & well this has led to several misuses in the  World of Warhammer.
Over the years I´ve seen allied Greater daemons, Wood Elf armies with Dwarf Organ Guns & said Dwarf armies include high level spellcasters etc etc.
This have led to some groups banning allies altogether.

Imo allies are great, it's a way to add flavour to your army, to paint up a unit from another army just because you like it, or to just win at all costs...
If you use allies for certain scenarios, or have a great theme, then great, if you include them just to counter a weakness in your army or to get away with something your army aren't allowed to use normally, then maybe not so great.
If you've read my blog before you know what rules my gaming group used when it came to Warhammer 5:th edition, if not, then here´s a reference:

Minimum 33% RegimentsMax 33% Characters (Bretonnia may have 50% characters)
No unridden large monsters
No allied characters or warmachines except Dogs of War
No Power 3 spells
Magic Items with a points value of more than 50 cannot be included
Only one war machine, for each regiment in the army
No Fly High

We got around the biggest problem of allies by not allowing warmachines or characters (Dogs of War was the obvious exception).
Imo one of the things allies shouldn't be used for is to use extremely powerful characters/war machines to get around the normal restrictions or weaknesses of your army.
You want some shooting with chaos, fine, ally in some Dark Elves, but avoid the Bolt Throwers.
Want magic with Dwarves? Ally in a lowbie Empire wizard & his bodyguards (maybe some halberdiers?), make sure you add a backstory to it.
Mercenaries is another explanation, but do those mercenaries have to be led by Tyrion or Teclis?
My Point is that usually there is a good explanation for an alliance, it can be anything from a common enemy, or old kinship (Dwarves & Empire come to mind), but one should choose allies in the spirit of the game, warhammer is already an unbalanced game, you don't need allies to make it even more unbalanced.
Alliances between races that are not only believable, but probable, is the best kind of alliances.

Proper allies!

Some alliances I find probable:

Chaos: Allying between themselves is very probably, other probable allies include Dark Elves, greenskins & Skaven.

Empire: Dwarves of course, Dogs of war, Bretonnian Questing Knights would work well too.

Bretonnia: Empire & Wood Elves

Lizardmen: None

Greenskins: Skaven

High Elves: Empire or Wood Elves

Dark Elves: Slaaneshi Daemons

Dwarves: Empire

Wood Elves: Bretonnia

Undead: Chaos, have also been known to ally with Skaven

Chaos Dwarves: Chaos, but also greenskins

Skaven: Chaos, Undead

I would use either the rules we have for allies (no characters or war machines) or make the allies look like small contignents, so maybe a lowbie character to lead them, some of the more common troops & max 1 of something rare (Empire for example could be a unit of Halberdiers, a level 2 wizard & a single war machine). Using allies can be great fun, it allows you to be creative, to field something new, but always remember the first rule of warhammer, both players should have fun!

torsdag 28 september 2017

Daemons of Chaos

So I will probably miss the mark on this months tale, not because I haven't painted anything, in fact I'm working on something a bit bigger than the other models in my army, however it isn't just because of this either.
A very friendly guy by the name George Kirke, made a post on the Kings of War Facebook page, he offered old 4th Chaos Daemons to anyone who wanted them, for free! He just wanted postage covered, I was lucky enough to see & comment on his post first of all, so I received this Little package:
As you can see these are Daemons of Khorne, & now I have to rework my list, because I need to have some Daemons in my list, I'm not sure which ones to use, but I'm leaning towards the Flesh Hounds as I can just finish the paintjob that´s been started on them & I think they fit better into an army made from what I've painted so far.
Immediatly when I recieved this package I began working on these models & therefore put aside the current model I was working on, hopefully I will have something to show you very soon.

Thanks again George!

tisdag 5 september 2017

Building an army worthy of winning a tournament - Part 3

So I reached the final, this was my first ever final & the guy I was up against was the same guy playing Lizardmen in my very first tournament. I knew he was a very skilled player & I also knew that his list was very nasty unless you had great armour or very high toughness.

His list for reference:

Slann Master Mage Priest: Amulet of Xapati, Sword of Swift Slaying, Amber Amulet, Dispel Scroll & army standard with Banner of Sorcery.

Saurus Hero: Flail of Skulls, Cloak of Feathers, armour & shield.

Skink Shaman: Dispel Scroll.

Skink Shaman: Van Horstmann's Speculum.

Saurus Champion: Black Gem of Gnar.

14 Saurus Warriors: Command.

Stegadon: Extra crew, giant bow, Jaguar Standard.

4 Kroxigors.

1 Terradon.

5*10 Skinks with bows, poisoned arrows & in skirmish formation.


Yikes, 50 skimishing skinks with S4 Arrows, some hard hitting units, flyers & what is probably the most powerful character in the game.

Ever since 5th edition was released I´ve had a hate-relationship with Lizardmen, you see, there are some things in this game that is broken, or too powerful, but generally you only see 1-2 such things in each army (Empire has flagellants & helblasters, Chaos has Knights & Dragon Ogres, certain armies have very powerful characters, skaven has powerful warmachines when they work etc etc), but Lizardmen really feel like an army with 0 weaknesses.

They have the Slanns, powerful characters with stats like that of a Dragon, as well as being powerful spell casters & allowed to carry more magic items than other characters of the same level!

Armywide Cold-blooded rule which is just as good as having +2 Leadership on all units.

Sauruses are a slightly weaker version of Chaos warriors, not quite as good as Flagellants pointswise, but still less than half the points of a Chaos warrior while also not being a 0-1 choice & having free heavy armour, a unit of 10 can easily wreck a unit of 5 Chaos warriors, while still being cheaper.

The army has the best "chariot" in the game with Stegadons, Kroxigors are basically Dragon ogres & of course they have the unit I hate most in this game, skirmishing skinks with poisoned weapons. These guys cost a mere 5,5 points per model when having the full load out. Sure the range is rather short @ 16", their profile is that of a speedy goblin, but each arrow hits as hard as a crossbow & they can move & shoot. Imagine these guys with Movement 6 running around your troops shooting them to death while never getting catched. They are hard to catch & deal a lot of damage, I hate them, & when you finally do catch them, they are worth next to no points at all!  How can a game-designer make such a powerful unit available for so few points. Did I mention that I hate them!?



Anyways, enough of the rant & onto the game.

I got some decent spells, Blast & fireball on my lvl 2, while the lowbie got Net.
My opponent draws his spells from the High Magic deck, but I haven't written down which spells he got.
I think about whether I should ante his Jaguar Standard or Black Gem, but decide to not ante anything, he antes my Crown of Command. He gets 2 winds of magic cards in his Banner of Sorcery.

To be honest I am not sure what my gameplan is in this game, the only thing I know is that I have to avoid the Slann & his saurus bodyguard since he will wreck anything that gets near him, 6 attacks @S6, hitting first, while the Saurus hero is doubling the wounds inflicted means that even the Ogres will be slaughtered in one round, I aim to kill his weaker units, hopefully I can get a charge on the Kroxigors to net some points.

I deploy very far back in this game since my shooting outranges his & my fast units are faster than his.
I got 2:nd turn which I think might be an advantage in this game.
He starts by moving forwards at a slow pace, while the skinks run ahead, his terradon fly high.
His shooting does nothing so we move on to the magicphase, thankfully he rolls very low, but I still use a dispel scroll according to my notes.
I send my hero up in the sky, aiming to kill the terradon before he can attack any of my warmachines, The rest of the army stays back, I want to keep shooting as long as possible until his skinks get in range with their short bows.
The hot pot misses the stegadon, but hits the skink unit next to it, my halflings & horse Archers aim for the same unit, trying to kill off at least one unit, but I get a total of 8 wounds caused. My hero kills the terradon & the riders fall to their death with a splat. All my spells get dispelled.

Turn 2 sees the lizardmen moving into better positions, some of the skinks get within firing range but the mainstay of his army is still far away. Shooting does very little once again, his Slann kills a unit of horsearchers with some spell I fail to dispel.


I was just about to start my second turn when the fire-alarm goes off, it turns out it's false alarm, but we lost a lot of time, so the organizer tells us that we finish the round, tally up the points & then the Winner is decided, my opponent talks to the organizer, saying something along the lines of it not being fair I get my turn since I know the game will end I can just pick out weak units to gain easy points while he can do nothing. Since I am a bit of a newbie on the tournament front I do not protest, I am happy with a draw as it looks atm.
We count up the points, I get 41 from his Terradon, he gets 80 for my Horse Archers. Normally this would be a draw, but due to circumstances, they have to have a winner, the organizer tells me he´s very sorry about it. I stretch out my hand to congratulate my opponent, when one of the spectators say:
"Ehm gjorde inte han ante på din Crown of Command innan?"
Which translates roughly to:
"Ehm didn't he ante your Crown of Command earlier?"
This nets me another 150 Victory Points, & there you have it, my first ever tournament win & my only one in Warhammer 5th edition. I won because I didn't ante anything, my opponent becomes a real douchebag & starts talking loudly with the owner of the store about how he should be the Winner since he has more straight up kill points.

I didn't see that guy participate in any more fantasy tournaments after that, although I have seen him showing up at various events he never seems to be playing anymore & he clearly doesn't remember me, but I remember him & the tournament as if it was yesterday.

Shortly after warhammer 6th edition was released, my Empire army was illegal (not a single core unit), so I sold off everything except the Mercenary Ogres which I could use with other armies, this is one of very few times I've sold warhammer models, I regret getting rid of it, not because it was a fun army to play, quite the contrary, but because those Kislev models are really cool & I´d like to have them today.

torsdag 31 augusti 2017

Finally painting again!

 
 
I finally got my paintstation ready in the new house, the first thing I wanted to do was to get back on track with my monthly tale, for this month I will be short on points & models, but at least 1 model is better than none.
This is one of my favorite Nurgle minis, he took a little while longer than the other warriors but I am very satisfied with the result:
 

Hopefully more to come next month!