Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The heart of The Empire

Road to Adepticon IV

So here is my current Empire Army in its finished state, this is 3000 points, once you add items to the characters. If you've been reading the blog here at all there isn't much new other than my Arch Lector character (the guy with huge cape) got a finely detailed horse to match the BSB so they are on the same page. If you read the sidebar you saw my mural idea for the rear panel of this display did not pan out...when I look at these photos I can see in my mind how good it would look and I'll have to take another stab at for later in the year. For now- this is what going to Adepticon 2009. I have been working on this Army since December of 2006, and its come along way. I am quite happy with the way its looking, most of my best work is in this Army. I broke out everything in the photo and what list its in for the tournaments below, now items are listed as I'm still not 100% sure on some of those and I'm sure I will be tweaking the nuances of lists until Thursday. That's it for now...I be doing a write up on Adepticon 2009 in its entirity late Sunday or Monday.

My box display base...simple and effective, easy to carry around between games
The combined forces of Hochland and Talabecland on the march!

My BSB (left) and sometime Army General or Captain (right) as he is this year

Knights of the Blazing Sun following my Pistoliers, My Arch Lectors new Horse
can be seen here...the plastic horse from the general kit details out nicely if you take your time
I should have done that awhile ago.

I love trying to get close up mob shots like this. My mounted Warrior
Priests Rides with the Knights of the Blazing Sun,
Banners flying everywhere!

Another Warrior Priest leads the Greatswords and Flagellants
two of my key units.

My Wizard only shows up the second half of Escalation
here's hoping he performs better than usual.

The Empire Treasure and one of two pet monkeys (my objective Marker for Escalation)


Arch Lector on Barded Warhorse Championship, Escalation 3k
General on Barded Warhorse
Escalation 2K


Captain - Battle Standard Bearer- Barded Warhorse- Championship, Escalation 1k,2k,3k.
Warrior Priest- Great Weapon- Championship, Escalation 1k,2k,3k
Warrior Priest- Barded Warhorse, Great Weapon- Championship (as Luthor Huss), Escalation 3K
Battle Wizard-
Escalation 2k, 3K
Captain- Barded Warhorse
, Hand Weapon and Shield- Escalation 3K


26 Swordsmen Full Command- Championship, Escalation (all)
9 Free Company Detachment x 2- Championship, Escalation (all)
9 Swordsmen Detachment - Championship, Escalation (2k,3k)
5 Archer Detachment- Championship
10 Handgunners marksman with Hochland Longrifle - Championship, Escalation 2k,3K
10 Crossbowmen (musician) Escalation 3K, Championship
20 Flagellants- Championship, Escalation (all)
5 Knights with Great Weapons - Escalation 1K
6- Knights of the Blazing Sun Full command, lance- Escalation 2K as Core.

12- Inner Circle Knights of the Blazing Sun Full command, lance - Escalation 3K
9- Inner Circle Knights of the Blazing Sun Full command, lance- Championship
1-Great Cannon- Championship, Escalation (all)
1- Great Cannon- Championship, Escalation (2k,3k)
5-Pistoliers- musician, outrider with repeater pistol... Escalation 1K.2K
19 Greatswords full command- Championship, Escalation (2k, 3k)

Helblaster Volley Gun- Escalation 3K

Helstorm Rocket Battery- Escalation 3K

Friday, March 27, 2009

One week to go!

Road to Adepticon part III

This time next week..I should be well into game 1 of the Warhammer Fantasy Escalation tournament. All my free time of late has been geared toward preparing for Adepticon and both the Escalation and Championship tournaments I am entered in. Currently I am finishing up an extra horse I wanted to do for one my characters and Saturday I am finally starting this mural I want to add to my display base whether it makes it our not is dependent on how it comes out. While my freehand painting has gotten stronger over the years I am no trained artist by any stretch. I'll know whether my mural makes the cut on Saturday so I don't waste time on something I don't end up using. . I still want to touch up my Greatswords...but that will be the last few nights before the event. No more staying up until 4am the night before trying to finish that last unit you realized you needed. That is no fun, and for not having to do that I am thankful I must say if you play competitively at all, its just so much more relaxing once you have that one painted army you can fall back on, and if its got depth even better. After the new wave of Empire releases this summer I'll be able to field 4K painted so I am pretty much done with Empire, outside of anything themetic or additional characters I get motivated to do. Optimistically I want do the friday Lord of the Rings event and then either WFB Champioship or WAB singles on saturday and the either the WAB or WFB team tourney next year. So that's going to dicate how move ahead toward next year.

I've done a bunch of practice games mainly geared at the Championship with a couple different lists..my current list is definitely performing the best at 2-3 taking only one massacre (Bills VC) Giving the round 1 "best general" bidding system for the Championship, I am unlikely to face WAAC (win at all cost) tier 1 armys..meaning I'm not planing on facing any VC, Daemons of Dark Elves in round 1...so my last two practice games are against Lizards and Orcs on tuesday. The escalation tourney on friday should be alot more casual as its no special characters with list restictions so because of requirements and the point totals you should see more balanced lists.

I've got a great 1k list that should do very well and a well rounded 2K list, 3K is going to be a crapshoot because with two lords per army on the table things get crazy...I fully expect to see Dragons, Bloodthirsters and every other kind of big baddy...I opted for only 1 lord at 3K and am taking hordes of troops..my 3K list is 180 models..I plan on holding as many table quarters and objectives as I can to mitigate troop losses. I post some finished shots of my display before I head out, other than that look for my full Adepticon write up post event..I will post up some pictures during the event If I get the chance..looking forward to seeing some you guys next weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

White Dwarf # 351

I'm not going to make it a habit of advertising each months White Dwarf here, but this months has some significance. I know other people have it already as I've seen it mentioned on some of the more popular forums out there I just wanted to mention a few things. Outside of the huge War of the Ring feature ( which is ringing a bit hollow with me given that GW's current anti-veteran policies killed the awesome store wide campaign we were going to run thru the club.), the shots of the new Empire Huntsmen (which I am meh, on..the rumor of it being all new Militia was much more exciting) and of course the umpteenth porn-like tank spread ( you can't just have one super heavy right!) There is ton of awesome custom terrain featured in this issue..everything from set pieces for the all major LotR battles, some truly great Warhammer stuff AND best of all these custom Mighty Empires Campaign Maps..
Being a Mighty Empires junky..I cannot help but be truly inspired by these and I will be working on my own campaign map this summer, something of a similar depth of what you see below.

All three of these are just brilliant.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Road to Adepticon- Fresh Paint

Road to Adepticon- part II

Here's my newest finished pieces for my Empire. First up my mounted Battle Standard Banner the Ludwig Scharzhelm model, thou I just use him as a Empire Captain BSB. This model is one royal pain in the ass to work with..it unwieldly enough that you can't really paint it unless its in two pieces, and assembling the two pieces is tough as its top heavy. as glue wont hold it well accelerator was useless it took quite a bit of work and I won't be suprised if it falls apart. I ended using Super Glue, green stuff and pins to attach the banner and upper torso to the horse.

Painting all the detail on this guy took some time, I could still spend more time on him if I had it but I settle on it as is..I am overall happy with where its at, it completments my army well.

I am going to do some inking on the KF side of the banner, it needs a bit more pop. The letters aren't quite crisp enough.

Here are my Flagellants...I spent some time on these guys too...probably almost as much as the mounted BSB and this is 20 guys!

I love these guys they are money, they can't take charge from 5 Blood Knights with a Vampire Lord..but can hold just about anything else..Ancient Stegadon, No problem.

Speaking of VC, Bill came over today and we did a 2250 tourney style practice game. VC crushed the Empire hard...I made a bad call with my greatswords early and had another stupid dice debacle. I think I am projecting a pyschosematic mojo on myself when ever I play VC, as I just cannot beat these guys with Empire...I think the Stank is the only answer..too bad I won't have one on the table until the summer. Anyway more on mine and Bills game later..just wanted to put some pics up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Plastic Legions Forums!

In light of recent events I've set up some free forums in order to centralize a meeting/discussion place that allows for better feedback than blog commentary. As for right now it's geared toward our club night members, the users of this blog and it's followers . The forums can be found here.
I'll be approving all user accounts so go on sign up and will be activating accounts ASAP/
Thanks guys!

also please say who you are in your forum profile so we know!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Games Workshop meet the recession

I got a phone call yesterday that the club night at our local Games Workshop retailer was being shutdown. One casualty in part of a series of trickle-down cutbacks being ordered from Company (UK) Management. Over a dozen new employees in the Chicago Metro area got their walking papers to boot and as far as I know the lay offs were based on seniority and had nothing to do with any sort problems with the newly unemployed (which is the worst way to go.) Less hours open for business, less staff, less benefits = less operational costs. The part GW seems to be overlooking was this also means you sell less product, but more on that in a moment.

A brief history on our local club night. In June 07 when our local shop opened, the Store manager (Jeff) at the time had the brains and good sense to reach out to people over on the Adeptus Windy City Forums (the people who bring us Adepticon) Jeff got alot of positive response from area gamers. Myself and a bunch guys via AWC and former gamers who hung out at the former Hobbytown location all showed up for the grand opening. Alot of the online talk with jeff concerned the potential of having a "Club Night" where veteran games could come in after work and get a chance to play during the week..have the table space and feel comfortable there that the other folks there where serious gamers and not there to screw around. Initially it was invite only which we all liked. The genius of "Club Night" was it offered something to both sides. It offered us (old gamers/ vets) a great place to play and introduced to store to a bunch of players with expendable incomes. Attendance grew for just a couple to 6-8...to a dozen.

When we started running our fantasy campaigns and things just blew up. Not only did we increase the player base of club night but we easily turned a dozen or so 40K guys on to WFB and they all started WFB armies. In late summer of last year Club Night hit the saturation point where it was too big for the store. 30+ people in the shop after hours with 5 tables was just too much. People couldn't get table space and showed up thinking they could..too many people in the store led to difficulties in organization, people trying to reserve tables got nasty. Invite only had disappeared and random people where just showing up..many not to play to just hobby/hang out but there wasnt enough room for that either and people would be hanging out on the street in front of the shop 1/2 the night. In turn they had to reign things in a bit, tables began to get reserved for ongoing Fantasy campaign games, people just "hanging out" were kindly asked not to. Things returned to a more moderate weekly attendance of a dozen-15 people or so.

Initially under Jeff's management club night operated under his supervision and it was unpaid..meaning it was being done as a business tool, extracurriculary for him, as time went on he had to assign staff to it and even they willingly supervised it unpaid for a time period as they were playing too (they were off the clock andjust there to make sure we didn't burn the store down) We had some awesome games then staying there absurdly late in evening with just few of us finishing some epic game. Eventually full-time staff had to be paid to run it and the overtime pay hours caught the ire of GW command who wanted to know why they were keeping the store open late on Tuesday...overtimes a no-no in retail. It was allowed to continue given new hours (we had to be out by 10pm) and once it became an issue most of the core players on Tuesday help contribute by making all there weekly/monthly purchases on Tuesday night so the shop could show the sales to back up its existence, Once my current pal and manager Anthony took over he even amended the schedule on tuesdays so the store incurred no overtime staff costs. In the end it fell victim to economy and nothing we can do can change that.

GW's retail mindset in the Chicago Metro is pretty simple you have a bunch of small hobby centers to get people introduced, get them hooked then send them out to the Battle Bunker for games, tourney's, events etc. Problem is perception isn't reality and the Chicago Battle Bunker isn't in a centralized location for the Chicago Metro it's on the very Western fringe an hour drive if you live downtown or on the popular Northside, it could easily take you 2 hours to get there in traffic between 4-7 weekdays. That was the beauty of the Oak Park store close enough for the city guys and suburban guys like. The staff was very consistent with new employees often being people who had frequently hung out there so it was very easy to build a "community" of like minded gamers there. IF you know anything about business you know that when/if a community develops around your business you will inevitably be successful.

I know this from personal experience as this same thing happened to me in the early 90's around my first business..it became wildly popular due local support with a hot economy behind us..we expanded into my own current operations. (we bit off more than we could chew, being over ambitious but that's a whole other story)

Let's recap GW-OP sales were solid, community growing, long term staff, popular store, as far as I have been told its the best performing store in Chicago Metro outside the Bunker. What should we do?, let's throw a wrench in the mix, can 1/3 of the staff, cut back hours and try to make it like a crappy Mall retail location (who like all mall retailers are most likely getting creamed by the recession ) then lets cut the staff down to one guy alone on weekdays (this will be an utter hell for that individual in our store for sure) making the customer service complete shit.

The disconnect here makes absolutely ZERO business sense to me especially when you read GW's recent financial report where the CEO comes right out in a notice to stockholders and says, "As a niche business we are not effected by the usual macro economic factors" what that means is people will buy their plastic crack no matter what- over paying their rent, paying their cellphone bill, even over eating..its like being addicted to real crack. (There is a guy whose is a recent hanger on at clubnight whose unemployed racking up his credit cards buying GW product. Bill and I were joking around on the phone yesterday about starting a GW detox program for people) What that illustrates is sales are based on health of the brand name not on any individual product. When the brand is hot people are always willing to give it try even in light of bad press or a bad economy. Meaning if your operations aren't over extended you are recession proof. If you do have some bad apples shut them down and devote those resources to the good apples. Like expanding Oak Park to a mini-bunker was great idea that got shot down hard when space next store became available. (so instead of an extra 10 tables and potential huge scene developing around the shop we got a yogurt shop.)

We (Club Night Gamers) will make out ok, we have great group of players and email lists to stay in touch...a couple of us have the ability to host 6-8 people at our own places and for me yes this will mean more forced trips to the bunker. Which I dont mind, I just hate that staff is always different, and I have yet to see my pal Eric (who got transfered out there)

I know alot guys who had the motivation to buy exclusively at the OP shop, its was our FLGS, so it needed support..now that there's less motivation (no club night) So those 20% discounts all over the internet are a lot more attractive. Between this and GW killing it's own organized tournament scene in 2009 Games Workshop is 0-2 for the year...not looking to good. I feel sorry for Jeff, Anthony and Eric who started the OP shop and developed it into something special as they had the good sense to find out what their customers wanted, listen to them and adjust..they've done the right thing for the customers and the company but instead of being rewarded for a good job they get shit on for it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ancient's Update

Lo and flipping behold, my Celt Warbands from Wargames Factory which I pre-ordered over a year ago finally showed up yesterday..Quite the deal for those of us that waited it out..as my two boxes of 24 turned into 4 boxes of 32...(they increased the model count per box, and double the order free of charge for the people who stuck with the pre order thru the delays) Couple things of note they are less detailed and slightly larger than their Warlord Games counterparts. That's not necessarily a bad thing the scale totally works combined together and they will be quick to paint which is a good thing because between Warlord Games, Renegade, and a few other loose figures I picked up I know have well over 200 Celt Warriors to eventually paint, not to mention one the free swag models at Adepticon is a Celt Warchief..sweet. Sounds 150 into 6, 25 man blocks...then maybe 50 as Skirmishers, plus my 4 Chariots....then all I need to is 2-Dozen Cavalry and might have close 2K in points...seriously Warhammer Ancient Battles..makes the upcoming War of the Ring look it has a low model count...LOL! I'll post some comparison shots of my built models soon!.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Men and Daemons

Road to Adepticon, Part I

In preparation for Adepticon. I adjusted my work scheduled so I could get a few free weekdays this month to try to get a ton of practice games in. With two different events to compete in...and rusty as hell with my Empire. (I've only played 4 games with my Empire since late October) I knew yesterday was going to be rough, and I was right. I managed to squeak in 4 games yesterday and man where they brutal- as they should be in prep for a tourney environment., I tried out a new list yesterday featuring the Emperor of the Empire himself, Karl Franz. I've run Karl before and my results are pretty similar...while his static bonuses (18" leadership 10, Magic Resistance 3, 4+ Ward Save) are great, they become awesome when combined with presence of the Imperial Banner, which allows re-rolls of any psychology tests for everyone in range. So with both the BSB and Franz in the same unit, your looking at re-rolling Break Tests, Panic, Fear, and Terror on Leadership 10. For an army whose main problem is that it runs away easy being an enviroment where asll the top tier Armies are immune to psych and cause fear, terror ..etc., this is huge benefit. Not to mention the Emperors legendary Hammer Ghal Maraz..hit most things on a "3" as auto wounds with no armor saves with unsaved wounds being d3 wounds. All this sounds great except that he and the banner are 1/4th of your army.

The reason I mention Daemons is that in my playing Daemons last the 4 months I've played 15 games and only lost 3 games outright and 1 that was an objective win for Bob's Ogres even thou I tabled him. and one was the fluky auto-kill of my GUO via the Blade of Realities in my last game with Nate. The other versus Bills Wood Elves in 1500 pt painting challenge match up.
My tourney record for 2008 playing the Empire was 3-7-2..... So my soft Daemon lists (soft vs tourney standards, they aren't easy by any stretch) are winning about 85% of the time while my Tourney Empire is good only about 40% of time. So it was no suprise yesterday that playing Daemons had made me Lazy...it dulled my thinking on the fragility of my Empire, even with Great Emperor himself...if you don't use your brain your going to get crushed...hence some recaps from yesterday.

My List

Karl Franz, BSB with Imperial Standard, Captian on Pegasus, Warrior Priest
Swordsmen, Greatswords, 4 detachments, Flagellants, 1- Handgunners w/ HLR, 2- "Vanillia" Knights, 2 Great Cannons.

Game 1. Vs Alex's VC
VC Lord on a Dragon, Blood Knights with Vampire Hero, 2- Zombie Blocks, 2- Skeleton Blocks,
The Black Coachs, 2 units of Hounds, Bats.

Bad Deployment, Both cannons misfire on turn 1, Dragon in my rear, blood knights in my face..
massacre by turn 4....we reboot so I can pull my head out.

Game 2 vs Alex's VC

Much better deployment makes for a much better game, again dice rob me of key hits on the Dragon from my cannons, a long overrun killing some dogs exposes my Greatswords to a flank charge from the bloodknights.. while my Flagellants frenzy pulls them to far away and they got locked with some Skeletons all game. The Emperor can't handle the Dragon and VC lord alone with addtional support from the GS or Flaggies. I stick it out 6 turns but cant protect my cannons, another massacre but a decent showing despite.

Game 3 vs Ken's DoC
Bloodthirsters, 3 Heralds (Khorne on Jug, Nurgle, Tzeentch, ) Horrors, Letters, and Plaguebearers, pair of Fiends, Fleshhounds and Nurgling.

Brutal list but my head is in the game this time....BT eats a cannonball turn 1 takes a pair of wounds...Flys behind my big block Flank charges Karl Franz's unit. while the Khorne Herald charges in my face....despite counter charges...the Juggernaught killing blows the Emperor and I fail my ward save he's dead before ever getting a swing, BT eats my BSB...unit breaks and is destroyed..however the leaves the BT open to alot of shooting next round and my lowly handgunner gun the big guy down...despite losing my point soak..its pretty even at turn 4.
Greatswords chew up the dogs...but both my units of knights tied up by Nurglings they whole freaking game...I kill them and keep both units on the table..but sure could have used else where in the game. My Flagellants tie up plaguebearers all game but eventually die but my Peg Cap kills both fiends with detachment support. In the end Ken's get solid victory soley by the point cost of his Heralds..I needed to kill the Tzeentch herald and I couldn't too much magic with the Hellfire banner was tough combo with only 3 DD.

Game 4 vs Anthony's Orcs and Goblins

Orc- Grimgor, Block of Black Orcs, 2 big Blocks of boys, 2 block of Night Goblins with 3 fanatics each, pair of Shamans on Boars...10 Squighoppers, 4 Bolt throwers, 2 Doom Divers.

Anthony rolls the "Waaggh" spell which is brutal as both his Shaman have powerstones , thanks to an irresitable force he gets Waagh off 3 turns out of 6 and and it would have been four if I didn't roll boxcars on the dispel pretty solid game outside of that...flaggies kept Grimgor tied up long enough to keep him and the black orcs out of the game since they were postioned on the flank side to help protect the doom diver, Fanatics wreaked absolute hell thru both our lines
Franz slaughtered in the minor combats he was in but I couldn't get the unit into anything other than Goblins, My Greatswords got hit by both units of Boys and so went down after a while
all in all not a bad game...but with a 1000 point block left unscathed, I only killed about 800 pts of his stuff vs his 1600 of mine..with supplementals he pushed it up over 1200 and a massacre.

Notes: rough day but all fun games...I don't think I will run Karl Franz as the extra 200 I get back helps me get what I was desperately lacking today , a 4th block..even better a hammer block unit. I've had the most success with my 3 Priests giving three blocks all hatred plus other options with Flagellants in for good measure....plus the magic defense goes up to 6 dice.
Captain on a Pegasus has got to go all well as at 150 points he didn't earn them back at all
even thou in some circles he's a must a have for me...it's not working, unfortunately for me
the new steam tank isn't out until may...but you will see it on the battlefield for me this years.
I'll update my progress on my next mega game day coming up 3/24.

Mighty Empires V- Final

3/10 @ Games Workshop, Oak Park

Standings after 7 Rounds

Bill- Wood Elves - 13- Best General
Bob- Ogres - 9
Chris- Bretonnians- 9
Nate- Lizardmen- 7
Leo- High Elves -5 ***

Good Team Score- 43-

Good Teams Wins the Campaign!!!- congrats guys, congrats Bill!!!

***-Leo's game vs Joe is still outstanding but matters not to overall score Leo can improve his personal score however.

Kenny- Daemons of Chaos - 12
John- Daemons of Chaos- 8
Billy- Skaven- 6
Andre- Tomb Kings- 6
Joe- Warriors of Chaos- 4

Evil Team Score-36

Another Mighty Empires campaign concludes 7 rounds, 69 games with one outstanding match the last round really crushed the Evil teams hope of victory. Overall I enjoyed the change upswith version of rules but with time contrainsts of Club Night and the organizational difficulties of this more complicated rules set, next time I plan on following things up with a back to basics Mighty Empires, with open challenges and only strategic events, I'll looking at combing the favorites of the strategic and campaign events table into one "events" table with lots of options. It will make for a shorter turn and more choices..we embark on a 2 month Lord of the Rings Campaign next month..so look Mighty Empires VI-this summer!

Final Map will be posted tonight!

3/14 - Sorry it took so long to get the map up!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mighty Empires V- Round 7

Standings after round 6

Good Team
- 38

Bill- Wood Elves - 13
Bob- Ogres - 7
Chris- Bretonnians- 8
Leo- High Elves -5
Nate- Lizardmen- 5

Evil Team- 41

John- Daemons of Chaos- 12
Joe- Warriors of Chaos- 4
Kenny- Daemons of Chaos - 11
Billy- Skaven- 5
Andre- Tomb Kings- 9

Round 6- Evil Teams Wins again!

Strategic Events

John- Headhunter
Ken- War Tax
Bob- Sabotage
Bill- Land Grab
Building Boom
No Guts, No Glory
All or Nothing
Chris- Survey the Battlefield

Campaign Events

John- Famine loses 250gp
Bill- All is Well
Corruption -100
Andre- All is Well
Leo- Raid + 160
Bob- Harvest Moon +250 gp
Raid +100
Joe-All is Well
All is Well
Nate-Raid +100


John- 155
Bill- 325
Bob- Buys Point (250) +250
Chris- 250
Andre- 250
Nate- 250

Daemons of Chaos vs Bretonnians
Result: Daemons Massacre 5- Brets-1

Wood Elves vs Tomb Kings
Result: TBA

High Elves vs Warriors of Chaos
Result: TBA

Lizardmen vs Daemons of Chaos
Result. Lizardmen Massacre 5- Daemons 1
Daemons lose Tower Fortress.

Skaven vs Ogres
Result: Ogres Massacre 5- Skaven- 1

Our recent Mighty Empires Campaign concluded this evening and I went out with a huge thud..dropping from 2nd place overall to who knows where after getting sandbagged by the new Lizardmen tonight..I ran my Nurgle core for the 1st time tonight and it was a Disaster. I played and beat Nate once already when he ran the Slaan..and he came back with a Killy Old Blood on a Carnosaur with the Blade of Realities...If people where worried about New Lizzies being soft on VC and Daemons..don't fret... the Great Unclean One with 10 wounds, 4+ armor ,4+ regen and 5+ Ward....get's killed in one hit with an auto kill vs leadership check and I roll and "11"...pretty stupid..I hate save or die items. Bottom line is its my fault I knew he had the thing and I should have kept the fatman behind my Herald and Plaguebearers..and not thought my Dogs could hold the turn (he got into me on an overrun) Anyway another one of those Murphy's Law type games I hate. More in the Campaign log coming tomorrow. Oh did I mention I miscast 3 times in the 1st, two turns!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

War of the Ring- Playtest!

I finally got my War of the Ring playtest in. It took awhile to set up but I got two actual full games in not just running thru the store demo armies today using my own Mordor Force, Couple things up front, the game is great fun, a couple of the rules are a little wacky to me (I'll go into that in a bit), but overall I think its great. It not a replacement for Warhammer, it is much more macro of a game than Warhammer and while very strategic based on the missions and overall dymanics, its still about throwing dice and lots of them. I played 2- 1000 point games today..I think the standard once the game is out and running will be 2K- but 2K in this game is ALOT of models, 150-200 models. War of the Ring is game a with Hordes of troops where monsters and heroes rule the day, just like in the movies. It much different than the strategy battle game in most respects even thou it uses the same models, which might take some getting used to.
I played the same list in both games, I didn't have my Camera as the majority of the models were unpainted.

My List- Mordor

Epic Heroes

Gothmog/Warg (with Warg Riders)

Ringwraith on Fellbeast

Shagrat and his Tower Guard (1 company, Legendary Formation)

Infantry Formations-

Mordor Orcs, 3 companies, Hand Weapon and Shield
Captain, Banner, Drummer

Mordor Orcs, 3 companies, Hand Weapon and Shield
Captain, Banner, Taskmaster

Mordor Orcs, 1 Company- Bows

Cavarly Formations-

Warg Riders, 3 Companies, Hand Weapon and Shield

1000 points/ 72 models.

Game- 1 Vs Gondor w/ Rohan Allies (Anthony)

Epic Heroes

Aragorn (with Warrior of MT)

Theoden (with Riders of Rohan)

The King of the Dead

Infantry formations-

Warriors of Minas Tirith, 3 Companies- Hand Weapon & Shield

Warriors of Minas Tirith, 2 Companies - Bows

Army of the Dead, 3 Companies- Hand Weapon & Shield

Cavalry Formations-

Riders of Rohan, 3 Companies, Hand Weapon & Shield, Throwing Weapons

1000 points/ 73 models

We rolled for a mission and came up with High Ground, we nominated on hill on the battlefield as the victory area, the then rolled for deployment and we rolled Maelstrom. Which means No models start on the table and you roll a D6 for each unit. Table edges are numbered, 3,4,5,6
you roll a D6 for each unit on 1,2 it stays off the table 3+ comes in from the corresponding table edge. You need to be careful because it real easy to get rear or flank charged when you opponent can come in from the same edge as you.

In this game our models came in over the first 3 turns on a pretty even level. The Army of the Dead came on from the edge 6 (my left table edge) early on and the majority of my models did as well. I had Shagrat and his Guard and Orc Infantry coming on the #4 table edge where the majority of the good forces where. My Infantry made into the near by woods by Shagrat and company just caught in the open and on the next turn 2 Companies of Gondor Bowmen show up behind him on the hill and let loose. 16 shots wounding on 5's, on which he rolls 5 hits. In WotR hits are kills. The one rule I think is a bit odd, is IF you only have one company (8 units ) and its reduced to less than 50%, its automatically destroyed. Even if its a Legendary Formation with 125 point Hero in it. So just like that they are killed- dead by 30 points of cheap infantry. Seems like the should get some kind of save or something or be able to flee to another unit. The answer is of course to have more companies in your formation, I could have had 3 companies with Shagrat if I did, those 5 kills from archers would have meant nothing until I was reduced to just the core company. Annoying my favorite hero is dead but I carry on.

Theoden and his Riders mix it up with some Orc Infantry and I lose combat and am disordered but regroup and am back in the fight..My Nazgul is flying around throwing the Enfeeble spell at Theoden and Co. and its seriously gimping him. Magic in WotR is another thing that seems odd, The first spell of the phase always go off..the effects can vary based on dice, and you need to roll to see if you can cast more spells..its bit odd, but as you will see in game two- magic is very powerful, we barely dipped our toe in it here as I had the only spellcaster (the Nazgul)

I got to see the results of great cavalry charge on the other side of the table..Gothmog and Warg Riders rear charge the Army of dead who are holding the high ground...I pass my Courage test and we storm in. Cavarly gets a base 2 attacks per company + 6 extra each company on the charge, plus I burn one of Gothmogs 4 points of might to try his Epic Strike ability giving him another 5 attacks, plus I have rear charge and am using Gothmogs fight skill giving me even more dice. I end up rolling over 30 attacks and do 19 kills leaving on 5 Army of the dead (one more and it would have been an Auto Wipe out given the above rule) the King and his cowards are disorders and do regroup moving away only to be killed by the Flying Ringwraith. Who also is still fighting with Theoden, throwing spells and is dominating that side of the table...his hard to kill ability and 8 defense makes him unstoppable you can swarm enough attacks on him to come up with enough rolls on the "Hard to kill" table to get him.

On the Gondor Side, Aragorn has the ability to make a pretty sneaky move. He can burn a point of might (In which he gets one "free" every turn) to invoke an Epic Journey...this immediately removes Aragorn and his formation from the table and allows them to be replaced anywhere on the table as a free move..they can't charge that turn (maybe shoot too, don't recal) but all of a sudden Aragorn is up my backside behind my Warg Riders and a Formation of Orc infantry who are now Holding the high ground. I also had my bowmen behind Aragorn (late late arrival via deployment) and the troll lumbering around and I was about to see what he could do.

On my turn I charged the Troll in and he busts up some Men of Gondor good..since he is a monster, he only fights the company he is touching which thanfully isn't Aragorn...so I kill a bunch of guys, win combat and Gondor falls back and reforms...This allows Gothmog and the Boys to come around in there move phase and eventually rear charging Aragorn. Aragorn calls out an Epic duel trying to kill Gothmog and fails and more Men of Gondor die. The next turn I get the Ringwraith into Combat as well, and that seals the Deal, Aragorn and Company are killed, but since its Simaltaneous combat here...He get's to see how many of my troops he can take down with him..He calls out another Epic Duel (using the 1 free might he has per turn, quite
handy!) This time he manages to kill Gothmog and my Warg Riders in the process. I killed Aragorn but its took, A Troll, Gothmog and 5 Warg Riders and a Ringwraith on a Fellbeast to do it...yes folks..Aragorn still is the man to beat in WotR...what you expect from the King of Gondor.

Theoden and a couple guys make a final attempt to storm the High Ground, but with 3 Companies of Infantry there..It dubious despite the King of Rohan's formidable stats. I bring the Ringwraith over in the move phase he's got distance to charge in the fight phase so Theoden Faces 3 companies of Orcs with a Ringwraith on his Flank and is scattered into the winds...MORDOR wins.

Anthonys "3 Kings" list was a good one, but splitting his forces proved to be fatal, I had enough infantry on the right side of the table that with the Nagul & Fellbeast, I kept Theoden out of the important part of the fight long enough to swarm Aragorn, an early rout of the Army of the Dead was key, but in the end the MVP for Mordor was the Nazgul, Watch how the Tide Changes in Game 2.

Game 2 VS Fallen Realms (Jeff)

Evil VS Evil is never a good thing, the Fallen Realms are the evil empires in WotR that are the Dark Lords auxillaries, with Mordor allies its an incredibly potent force, as I soon find out

Epic Heroes

Knight of Umbar (Nazgul)

Dalamyr, Master of Fleet
(Both with Corsairs)

The Dark Marshall (Nazgul)
(with Morgul Knights)

Infantry Formations

6 Companies of Corsairs of Umbar

3 Companies of Black Numenorians

2 Companies of Corsair Arbalesters

1 Company of Half Trolls

1 Company of Goblins

Cavarly Formations

4 Companies of Morgul Knights

1000 points/ 115 models

Jeff works for GW and has been going around promoting this game so he's been playing it for awhile at this point. When I saw all the extra companies at 1000 points..I knew I was in trouble we rolled "Clash of Swords" as the Mission (i.e he who racks up the most kills) and again Maelstrom Deployment. Jeff came out of the gate huge by getting everyone, but the Half Trolls on the table in Turn 1. I had Gothmog and his Wargs, the Trolls, my Bowmen and 1 Infantry formation sitting out. Again- Shagrat and his legendary formation turned out to be a waste without additional company support. He comes in on the #5 table edge..but so does most of Jeff's army..I do get a Charge off...but its not enough attacks against his big formations and the strike backs cut him down. Jeff obviously has figured out the Magic phase and he uses the spell "wings of terror" to give both his huge infantry formation of Corsairs and His Morgul Knights (both led by different Nazgul) movement as if they are Flyers. This is incredibly powerful as I find My Ringwraith on his Fellbeast Charged turn one by 48 Corsairs led by the Knight of Umbar and Dalamyr. Dalamyr has "Epic Poison" which lets Jeff reroll all misses that turn- that formation put out over 30 attacks on the Nazgul, so with rerolls he came up with 10 hits...which gives him 5 rolls on the hard to kill table...he easily kills my MVP from earlier in the afternoon and on the first turn!!...ouch two heroes dead turn 1, Its up to Gothmog.

Gothmog tries the Half trolls on for size..despite my huge amount of attacks...I cant close the deal. Half Trolls are "indomnitable" which is "unbreakable" if you play warhammer...meaning you got to kill every last one on of them and they dont run away. With two wounds each...I still had one left...after two rounds of combat.

My troll comes the far #4 table edge all by his lonesome, Again Jeff is using the magic ability of his Nazgul in each of his main formations to move each all over the map. Offensive Spells put wounds on the troll and he can't reach the Morgul knights on the Charge but they can easily reach him and he is killed...of the other side both my Infantry formations brace for impact against the Corsairs and Black Numenoreans..My Orc's bounce off the Numenorians...and the Sheer number of attacks from the Corsairs on the charge kill my other 3 orc companies easy...I disengage Gothmog from the Half Troll and get a charge on the Corairs...Gothmog burns his might to Challenge the Knight of Umbar to a Heroic Duel and kills him...yeah Gothmog!!!.
The celebration is shortlived because in the following fight my Wargs and the leader go down hard...I had some bowmen on the table and they got killed by a company of goblins!..Goblins..killing Orcs?? who heard of such a thing. Anyways I got TABLED in three turns, my previous game went the full 8 turns...Bad deployment and against someone who knew what they where doing and knew the value of large formations. Magic is very powerful- that is for sure, jeff's movement just killed me..I think there are magic counters for alot of these spells...but my one caster was dead before I could even cast a spell.

I learned alot today on how to play this game, despite some of the awkwardness of some of the rules (alot of which comes from my perspective as a Warhammer player) I do like this and think it will be a blast. I got the full-on experience today...I'm in and expect to play alot of this in the coming summer. If you have questions about some of the terms..I am sure they are confusing even to the Skirmish game Vet...ask away.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's March already!!!??

Ok, this year is just flying by. Its been quite here of late as I briefly mentioned in my last sidebar. I've been working on a variety of things, too many in fact where as I am suffering from that dreaded project ADD we all try so hard to avoid. I am expecting a big backlog of stuff to start getting in to finished status in the next 2 mos, here is where I am at in March 2009:

Road to Adepticon- Just shy of month to go its all about Adepticon. With the current collapse of GW organized events, Adepticon is without a doubt the premier event in the US for the hobby. This will be my third visit to the convention and I am competing in two events. The Warhammer Escalation tourney on Friday and the Warhammer Championships on saturday. My goal this year is to win a freaking game!. LOL...last year I went a lowly 0-4 narrowly missing the bottom quarter due to high soft scores. I plan on keeping those soft scores and I've upped my game with a tougher Empire army and alot more experience under my belt. I'm bringing Flagellants and Greatswords, as well as my Inner Circle Knights this year, I've got some new models I'll be debuting, I'm doing considerable work on my display base and the whole army is getting a touch up..I'm well on my way "in progress" but I am sure I will be tweaking things until the last minute, (Just hopefully not until 4am the night before like last year). I want to get a bunch of practice games in this month as well, which I have been working on trying to set up..expect a full army spread and couple battle reports this month for sure on my "Road to Adepticon".

War of the Ring- A major distraction to my Adepticon plans is the new War of the Ring book for the Lord of the Rings line coming out on of all weekends, Adepticon Weekend . I love the skirmish game and don't get to play it enough so large scale battles is just icing on the cake. Rarity of playing is all going to change very soon. We've got a new summer campaign planned that going to comprise both the SBG (strategy battle game) and the new WotR rules. I've bought a bunch of new models (you need to for WotR, your couple dozen models for skirmish wont cut it.) and have been building and getting them primed up when I can. I've got around 80 models play ready for my Mordor force so far with another 30 or so waiting to be built..I'm playing my first game on tuesday afteroon, it will be bigger than demo games they've been running at our local GW, but smaller than what I expect to see one people get a handle on it post release. I assume you'll be seeing games in the 2K range as the normal in WotR. Lower cost troops and options for lots of monsters, mean games averaging 125 models or so. I can't wait. Look for lots of War of Ring talk here!.

On The Workbench- Again old projects still in the mix, Our current WFB campaign concludes tuesday evening, and my Daemons of Chaos army has grown along the way, I went from a Khorne / Slaanesh mix, to a Khorne/ Slannesh/ Nurgle trio to finally a Nurgle army led by the Great Unclean One with Khorne Support and just a few Daemonettes should I have enough campaign points to get a full 2250. Playing Daemons have been fun..but they really are the "For Dummies" WFB army..I love the models and will continue to paint and collect them, (I've been spending too much of my time working on my Forge World GUO, it will take me quite awhile to finish that monster to a standard I'm happy with) but when I want to play serious WFB I am still playing Empire.

Terrain wise I'm focusing on finishing my Osgiliath table I started last year..its gone thru a variety of changes and new additions since my last post on it...post Adepticon its my number one- modeling project until I get it to a fully playable status which will hopefully be soon. Other than that I've got my Old West posse and trio of buildings I want to do..AND believe it or not Wargames Factory is finally shipping my Celts- that are exactly one year behind schedule...hopefully I'll like the models more than my Warlord games ones, if so with new the Ancients edition coming out..I expect that my Ancient Celts might see some love this summer.

Recently I've started using some new financial software for keeping track of our families finances similar to what I use for my business. I must confess I was pretty shocked when I realized what I've spent on the hobby in the last 6 months and I need to back off a bit, no- alot for the time being. While I was seriously thinking about getting back into 40K with a new Imperial Guard Army this May, I am definitely giving it a pass for now..with so many other things "on the bench" I've got plenty to occupy my time this year for sure, not to mention my ideas for IG where going to be very pricey as in Forge World pricey. Anyway I am still on the bench for 40K for the near future, never say never but I will still write about it here and will definitely be monitoring my pal Bill's new IG army as it develops, maybe I can get him to talk about it here..but I still want to see the Treeman article first!.

That's it for how, Happy March people!.


blogger templates | Make Money Online