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!

torsdag 20 juli 2017

Lords of War 2 - Lund

I went to what was probably the last Warhammer 40K 7th edition tournament in Sweden, on the same day that 8th edition was released.
I haven't played 40K since 3rd edition was introduced, & I didn't go there to participate in any gaming, but instead to enter what would be my first painting competition in 16 years.

I entered 2 categories with the following models:

I managed pretty well, placing second in both categories, which gave me 2 brushes & 2 gift certificates in the local hobby shop.
So why write this post, just to brag? No, while I am proud of my placements I really wanted to write this because of how well the tournament was organized & how friendly the community was, despite it being a tournament people seemed to have a nice time, laughing, chatting etc etc.
The feeling in the room was the same as some of the first tournaments I played in, & for that the people over at https://scattereddice.wordpress.com/ should get big credits.
I will end this post by showing you some pics of the great looking armies & models people used:
 Even Stormcast can look good!
Lovely banner!

 This was my favorite army.



Lovely Eldar army which won best painted.

This great daemonprince just screams Hellraiser to me!

Nurgle goodness

fredag 14 juli 2017

Painting Inspiration

Yesterday I had a day off so I decided that I should spend some time painting, so I took my stuff out, only to realize I was not really in the mood for painting. Being at the computer all day seemed like a waste of time so I started looking through some old stuff I had, trying to get some inspiration to paint, & it got me thinking, what inspires others to paint? I find that just looking at someone else’s painted models can help you find that motivation to paint your own miniatures. The Internet is full of some amazing looking miniatures, forums, magazines such as White Dwarf, even battle reports on Youtube all offer some good inspiration and there are hundreds of blogs out there dedicated to showcasing people’s armies.

Here´s my favorite inspiration sources:
I know some people get inspired by listening to a song or looking at a movie/tv series, I myself like having such things in the background when painting, my personal preferences are Vikings, Game of Thrones & ofc the Lord of the Rings movies. If you're more into the futuristic side of the hobby then I recommend Mad Max.
 How it feels like when you look at all the stuff that need painting, a journey without an end....

Running A Blog or Project Log
Running your own blog or a project log on a forum has also helped me in the past. You start to feel a sense of duty that you really should get your miniatures painted so you can share them with the world. This method is usually great at first but it does get difficult to sustain, especially if you don’t get as many comments and hits as you would like. I have had project logs on Warseer fade away into the warp but they are great motivators to begin with at least. Hopefully this blog will continue to inspire me to paint, even though my painting mojo is rather weak atm (lots of stuff going on with the new house)
Please do share your inspiration sources!

fredag 16 juni 2017

Pantheon of Chaos

Diego Serrate. Write down that name somewhere if you're into GW's old style. Diego is currently funding a second kickstarter pantheon-of-chaos-chapter-two.
I backed the first kick-starter & received some lovely models:

From left to right: Warrior, Hobgoblin, 2.nd warrior, a third warrior, Arnak the beastman, familiar & Gorgrat the Chaos champion.
So the first kickstarter was a huge success.  As you can see, I went only for a few of the available minis, mostly for the mortal Chaos followers. I was always more into the dark brooding Chaos warriors rather than the mutants, daemons or beastmen, I just like the unknown evil more (kind of like Jason Voorhees over Freddy Krueger). I received some very characterful sculpts, my favorite is this one:
I can't wait to get it painted! Now that the second kickstarter is a go I just felt that I had to write about these models, are they any good? 
With old school GW stalwarts such as Tony Ackland, Kev Adams and Tim Prow sculpting these models, the results were enough to make a seasoned Citadel collector start drooling after something new. This is imo an excellent set of models that will blend in perfectly with any collection of old school fantasy from the 1980's or 90's. Special mention must be made of the beastmen as an attempt has been made to produce something different from the goathead archetype, while I'm not into beastmen all that much, one really has to appreciate this.
The new stuff looks promising & I've pledged 9 euro myself for the Khalass Champion, I will probably add more to this pledge before the shipping start, I really like the PTW 11 warrior as well as some of the new Chaos Dwarves.

lördag 10 juni 2017

Kings of War

Back in 2013 I started playing Kings of War a bit, it was a simplistic game, but it gave us the feeling of a wargame instead of a DnD session with powerful characters & their followers, however due to the game not being all that popular around where I lived it became a side-game, one to take out when we either didn´t have time to play a proper game of Warhammer, or when we were tired of other games.

Then Mantic released Kings of War 2.0, & around the same time GW decided to destroy the World of Warhammer as we know it through the End Times & replace it with Age of Sigmar.
I will not bash on Age of Sigmar, I've presented my thoughts on that earlier & lets just say it isn´t everyones cup of tea. If you´re not into any other game atm & are looking for a replacement for warhammer, or are new to the hobby, then try out Kings of War!
Why? You might ask, well here´s my top reasons to do so:

1. It´s easy to learn, no matter if you´re a wargamer veteran, or a complete beginner, Kings of War has an excellent rules-system which is easy to learn, but hard to master. I learned the game after reading through the free rules & trying it out in just a single game!
The game is fastpaced, is consistent in its rules & is very easy to get get a hold of, imo it was refreshing to be able to play a wargame pretty quickly and without having to spend hours hunched over a rulebook or having to engage in 1v1 unit skirmishes. I was able to play a full sized game with nearly all of the rules in play the very first time!

2. Cheap: Well this is relative, but most people who will read this is old warhammer players looking for a new game to play with their old miniatures, & the fact is, due to the way Mantic has designed the armies & the allowance of allies, you can basically port anything into Kings of War & have rules for it. Also note that even a new player can get a decent sized army quite cheap if he decided to use Mantic's own models along with some Reaper Bones models for characters. Besides Mantic doesn´t force tournament players to use Mantic figures like that other game company.

3. Fast to play: I am a father of a young child, full time worker who has very little spare time, setting up a game & playing it usually takes quite some time, time me & my friends don´t have too much of, but Kings of War allows us to play a 2000 Point game about twice as fast as warhammer. This speed of play is largely attributed to how straightforward the rules and unit stat lines are. This means that once you have a grasp on the fundamentals you don't find yourself looking up rules and charts every few minutes. The fact that units are treated as a collective rather than a group on individuals also means time is saved as miniatures are not removed as casualties and as a result, a whole unit can be deployed on a single base.
This doesn´t really appeal everybody, claiming that indiviual models should be more than woundcounters, but even in warhammer most troops are just that, & imo it´s more fun that you don´t have to remove all those great looking models I´ve painted as soon as the unit starts taking wounds, it also allows you to make scenic bases, or if you´re not into that, at least very characterful unitfillers.

4. It has tactical depth: Yes, the game might be streamlined, it's simple, but not simplistic. Movement is key in Kings of War, a flankcharge doubles the amount of attacks the attacker gets to do & a rearcharge triples it, this means that no one can rely on deathstars or overpowered spells, but rather a mixed style which takes movement & tactics into account is needed to win the game.

5: Magic is great support, but not necessary: The spells in Kings of War includes the standard damage dealing spell, one which causes a bit more damage but has a shorter range, a healing spell, a movement spell, a buff spell & a spell that pushes away units. Used correctly these spells are very powerful tools in your army, but you can´t rely on them to win, which imo is just how magic should work, Kings of War focuses on units & movement & ultimately, if you are like me & tire of time wasting rule-book checks or quarreling over interpretations of rules then KoW is a real breath of fresh air.

6: The armies: There is a total of 20 armies in Kings of War, which include both the normal fantasy races such as elves, dwarfves, orcs etc etc, & some very unique armies such as Night-stalkers (living nighmares) & Trident realms (fish people), & as you are allowed proxies, you can build whatever army you like & find rules that suit them.

7:It´s supported: Kings of War is fully supported by Mantic & they have a healthy discussion with their players to make sure the game stays balanced & fun! An example of this is the Clash of Kings supplement which removes some of the best magic artifacts & adds new ones in its Place to balance the game further.
Also this summer they will launch a worldwide campaign, which will decide how the World of Mantica will change, meaing that every game counts!

If you're looking for a quick game that's easy to get into and fun to play then I highly recommend Kings of War. It's a fantastic game for both veteran wargamers and new players a like! The only downside imo is that it lacks a world I care about & the crazier stuff of herohammer is nowhere to be seen, but I have Warhammer 5:th edition for that, when playing a balanced wargame I prefer Kings of War over any other game atm.

fredag 2 juni 2017

My thoughts on Age of Sigmar & the current route of Games Workshop

When the old World was destoyed by Games Workshop, I didn't really mourn it, I was already at a state where I just didn't care much anyway, 8th edition was imo one of the less fun versions of warhammer fantasy, only 7th edition was worse imo.
I was looking at other games such as Fantasy Warriors & Kings of War several months before Archaon managed to destroy the old World.
I read the fluff of the End Times, I enjoyed the little nods to the fans by bringing back old characters all the way from the 80's into the story & I really looked forwards to see what would come next.
Then came the Age of Sigmar, it was nothing like warhammer, but the rules were free so I gave it a go, 2 games later, both involving Nagash, & I was sure that this wasn't the game for me. It was not the mass combat system I craved & yearned for, but neither did it feel like a skirmish game, it was something in between. The rules were unbalanaced & without a pointsystem it was open to abuse. The setting lacked the depth the Old World had etc etc.
I moved on to Kings of War, started playing X-wing as well as older versions of warhammer instead.

As unbalanced as it looks...

Lately a few guys at the local hobbyshop has started showing some interest in Age of Sigmar, as I have played Kings of War beside them I have gotten minor glimpses of their games. In my opinion Age of Sigmar  is a game for children, built around a hobby for adults. The kids the rules are made for are unable to really do the necessary work to get to play (& probably lack the funds as well), the adults that actually can do the necessary work and get some fulfillment out of doing so are bored by the simplicity of the rules and disappointed by the lack of any kind of balance (well at least me & my friends are).
Yet what I've come to realize is that this game might not be for me, but it is a great gateway to get new people into the hobby, especially younger people, with that in mind I bought the new mini-starter box, Storm of Sigmar:
It's a rather cheap box, I got mine for less than 20$. In it we find 13 models, 5 Stormcasts, 3 Chaos Warriors (Bloodbound) & 5 Chaos marauders along with some nice unit cards. There is a small rulebook which contains some minor fluff, the rules & a short campaign. This will be a perfect start for any new player, I will introduce this to my son once he is old enough.

About a week ago, Games Workshop released a new expansion for Age of Sigmar, this is called Warhammer, Age of Sigmar: Skirmish
While I prefer Warhammer 6th edition skirmish or Song of Blades and Heroes for my smaller games, I must admit that this cheap book is yet another perfect gateway to get new players into the hobby. The book is rather cheap & to start playing you only need a small warband of 4+ models.  The rules in skirmish are very simple as they basically work just like Age of Sigmar, which might not be everyones cup of tea, but it's perfect for new players, you just have to stay away from certain models which GW somehow missed (yes I'm looking at you Knight Azyros). As said, the core rules are the same but the army construction is tweaked and unit movement is removed, now all models move as individuals. This 40 page book starts with some fluff just like Storm of Sigmar, although more detailed, then it tells the backstory of the setting the skirmish games are set in, namely Shadespire, a place cursed by Nagash. There are 6 scenarios in the book, 3 of them are great for single games but you can connect them all for a larger campaign.
Each model is assigned a renown cost, & you decide before the game how much renown you can spend on your army. Almost every faction is represented here, but all of the big models are left out. This is a Skirmish game, so monsters would be a little odd. However sadly several of the old World races are missing as well.
Imo these two sets form a great way to get new players into wargaming, I reckon that if I convert the free Stormcast elemental from White Dwarf to a character & add a nasty character to the Bloodbound (maybe the free Slaughterpriest), I will have two 40pts armies, so in total 10 scenarios to play through with a mere 15 models. If we change sides this means 20 games for less than 40$, not bad imo. I can go even further by buying another Storm of Sigmar starter, this leaves room for changing around the lists in skirmish as well for a mere 20$ extra. After the introduction of this game, one can move on to games that are more complex.
While I doubt I will ever fully embrace Age of Sigmar, this along with a lot of other interesting releases made by GW lately (especially Slambo, specialist games & Made to order), does show that Games Workshop is once again on the right track, who knows, maybe my son will get to experience the same kind of magic I felt when I started 23 years ago with the magical World of Warhammer Fantasy. I really do hope so.