Thursday, September 30, 2010

Battle Recaps- Core Comp Practice

More Core Comp practice Tuesday night where I got a game and half in and the last practice before the 5 games over two days that is 2010's Core Competency tournament. My first game against Steve and his Lizards. Steve wanted to run his 7th ed style MSU lizardman list with Lord on Carnosaur and an Engine of Gods. This was great list in 7th and Steve got alot of milage out of it. With the new artillery rules in 8th being so much more consistently deadly, he saw quickly why its a bit risky. I got 1st turn and without the Engines 5+ ward My Cannon trashed the Engine..killing the priest, 2 crewman and 3 wounds on the Steg, eliminating the threat of the Engine before he even got to go.New Cannon rules are brutal against mounted single monsters. Anyway it went down hill from there, I am sure Steve would have made a decent game out of it but with no magic phase and some fluky failed cold blooded panic checks (his general twice) its was a seriously up hill battle for Steve and we called it.

Game 2 versus Chris's Warriors of Chaos was a knock down drag out where I didnt win the game for sure until turn 6. Chris has great MSU warrior list that is perfect for Core Comp. Yes despite the all talk of gigantic blocks are the way to go in 8th, MSU is still extremely viable in the hands of a competent player with enough smaller threats on the table you can take your opponent focus off the huge block of Warriors, until its too late and they crush you.or pay the price. Magic was nuts in the game with 4 big miscasts, 2 per side. (including me rolling double 6's on two dice throwing a crappy magic missle at fodder, which reduced my level 4 to a level 1, thankfully this was in turn 5) in terms of a Battle Report or Recap. I'm going to try a slightly different format here where I list each unit in both lists with a brief recap of its Performance throughout the game. A more detailed Recap, than full on report...I just haven't had the time needed to a full on turn by turn write up yet.
(games where 2400 point with 900 points of core for the tournament requirement)

This went very well for the Empire..spell on the card is "Shield of Thorns"

The Empire

General of Empire - Killed by Exhalted Hero Riding with Chaos Knights..when I failed 3 out 4 Ward Saves he's didn't do much other than provide that great "9" leadership and give me a extra banner, sometime, thats
Wizard Lord
- (Lore of Life) Reduced to Level 1 turn 5 via miscast, had another miscast that killed a Chaos Knight in contact with him as well. He did get off one Dwellers Below on the Mauraders on foot..but only killed 8 Rundown and Killed by Three Surviving Chaos Knights with my Swordsmen
Warrior Priest- Rode with my Knights..took out the Chaos Chariot and forced feeling marauder horse off the board
Captain, Battle Standard Bearer.- Attached with Free Company- defeated and broke 10 marauder horse, finished off some dogs, broke and ran down remaining foot marauders to rear charge the Sorceror Lord and remaining Knights for the Win.

28 Swordsmen- Hung in for 3 turns but eventually broke and run down in combat with Chaos Knights
10 Handgunners- Entered tower turn 2, shooting turns 3-6 help thin out units and killed broken/ fleeing stragglers (forsaken, dogs)
10 Handgunners 2- Killed by Forsaken, some shooting kills
30 Free Company- with BSB see above, game MVP
9 Core Knights- see Warrior Pries above.
20 Flagellants- Tarpitted the Warriors and Sorceror Lord most of the game thanks to an un-maximized contact forced by the Tower in the center of the board. that only allowed 4 models per side to engage..1 Flaggy lived keeping the points on the board.
5 Pistoliers- Had good luck this day..lots of small shooting kills and finishing off flee units...survived the game..a rarity
Great Cannon- Misfired and exploded while trying grape shot incoming forsaken turn 5.
Mortar -Charged and Destroyed by Forsaken turn 3
Steam Tank -malfunctioned turn1 going for 5SP, the got it together ran down 10 warriors with Halberds. took its licks from combat abd magic, having 5 wounds on it but a gamble for 3 Steam Points turn 6, pays off with and lucky "1" and the tank charged the Chaos Sorceror Lord and his Warriors for the win.

10 hounds and 10 forsaken is a good flank rush

Chris got lucky on the Chariot with 4 kills on impact against a 1+ save..but he should have charged the pistoliers.

Warriors of Chaos

Chaos Sorceror Lord...with the extra Spell and using the Lore of Shadow, he had plenty of magic ammo to throw at me, Miasma, the Mindrazor, Pendulum and The Withering all went off, Pit of Shades never Chris had some bad luck with magic dice where he missed casting the spell by 1 and ending the magic phase early at least two big miscasts that killed alot of his warriors. His Lord was broken and rundown at games end.
Exhalted Hero BSB- rode with the Choas Knights..Killed my General, Broken and Ran down my swordsmen and wizard late game survive with two Chaos Knights.
30 Chaos Warriors- With Sorceror Lord..took alot of shooting and magic casualties before taking 6 kills from the Stank in the end 5 or 6 remained and were broken and caught by Free Company
33 Marauders ( foot w/ Flails)- Shot up, hit with Dwellers Below significantly softened up before charging my Free Company and BSB, losing and running and getting caught on subsequent charge
10 Warriors Halberds...Run over by the Stank, 3 stragglers shoot down by Pistoliers
10 Forsaken- Took numerous shooting casualties but still took out my mortar and unit of handgunners before being shoot down by my handgunners
10 Hounds- shot up, hit by a mortar..crushed by the flagellants..the over of which put my Flaggies into contact with the Chaos Warriors
10 Hounds (scaly skin) shot down by guns...(hand, and pistol)
10 Marauder Horse- Charged by my Free Company horde and BSB, lost..broken troops run off board by my Knights
Chaos Chariot...destroyed by Knights but did kill 4 on impact and 1 more in combat for 5 earned it points back.

A good game to Chris that could have easily went the other way, I'll be back next week with a full write and report on the Core Competency event.

good shot of my turn three, right before all the major engagements began

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Warhammer Forge

Exciting news! the new Forge World line of Warhammer Fantasy products is currently being unveiled at Games Day UK today. Aptly titled Warhammer Forge, they are shooting for the stars with alot of new models and a new book in the vein of the successful "Imperial Armor" series.The theme of the first book is a chaos variant..with alot cool looking Nurgly models and confirmation that Warhammer Forge is handling the new Chaos Dwarfs. However here at Plastic Legions, I am interest in Empire. we've got new Characters State Troop upgrade sprues ( man those kneeling handgunners are a must...of course I already have 30 built...sigh) and a Marienburg Landship..while things like the Landship and this Demi griffon with have experimental only rules (if previous FW releases are the measure) but that doesnt mean they don't make awesome (abet expensive) proxies for your armys...I can see that landship running with the Steam Tank rules No, problem ,etc. When it comes to Empire, and my wallet I just have to bite my lip and think of the words of Al Pacino, "just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" my poor lizard. Photo are from user Dapool over at Dakka Dakka, numerous threads crossposted at Warseer, links at TGN..all the usual WFB peeps check it out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Core Competency, Practice.

9/18@ Plastic Legions HQ

Core Competency is my favorite local Warhammer Fantasy Battles tournament. Now in its 4th year its expanded to a 5 game, two day event. If the past has anything to do with it and with increase in the local player base I expect to see an easy 30 tables filled at this event, quite possibly more. This year is bumped up from the traditional 2250 army list to more the 8th ed friendly 2400 points, the old stipulation of a 900 points "core requirement" still remains, hence "Core Competency". This last saturday I got together with a group of local veterans for some Practice. I don't have full bat reps just some commentary on the games and 8th ed overall and how the changes are sitting with all of us.

Four armies met Saturday for two games each, Empire (moi), Lizardmen, (Steve), High Elves (Brian) and Orcs and Goblins (Chris), the games were Empire vs Orcs, Lizardmen vs High Elves
Lizardmen vs Orcs, Empire vs High Elves.

My first game Empire vs Orcs was my first time playing Orcs in 8th Editon and my first time playing Orcs period, since the Adepticon last spring. My list was pretty much what you've seen me running in 8th ed so far:

Wizard Lord (level 4, Lore of Life)
Warrior Priest

Big block of Swordsmen, a 30 Horde of Free Company, 20 Flaggies, 20 Handgunners, Pistoliers
9 Core Knights (with the WP), Cannon, Mortar, Steam Tank.

Orcs were
Lord Warboss
Level 4 Shaman

I panicked those wolf riders early, but they rallied and I couldn't quite finish them off
leaving 2 alive and full points on the table...sigh.

a 25 packs of Black Orcs, 2 units of Boyz, 2 Units of Night Goblins, Some wolf riders, 2 Doom Divers, 2 Stone Throwers, and a couple Chariots.
I started out hitting Chris pretty hard with Shooting taking out a Doom Diver turn 1 and shooting up and panicking his Wolf Riders. by turn 2 I had the Black Orcs running from a crushing charge from Steam Tank and good cast of Dwellers Below, took out his BSB.
However Chris came back hard...using the much talked about "broken item" the Power Scroll
to force an Irresistible Force on the Orc's magic big gun- "the Waaagh" I was all ready to use my Seal of Destruction on his his Waagh but I forgot about the Power Scroll, if I has remember I would left more distance between us. The Waagh totally crushed and a unit of Boyz aided by the Waagh and unit of Night Goblins with fantatics hit my Knights and with some bad dice I got crushed and poor fleeing roll left me rundown and they and my Warrior Priest were gone, My Free Company suffered the same fate I wasnt able to get a nasty buff on them, and there base stats even in horde formation the Orcs crushed them. Unable to flank then with the overruns the Orc were no behind me and Stank was across the table running the Black Orcs off the board.
my Flaggies were on the right flank and out of position, and I couldn't get them back in the game until a couple turns later. The Waagh screwed me up pretty bad, I couldnt recover. while I turned my Swordsmen around..the second unit of Night Goblins gets off a huge charge of 15 inches..running into my wizard who flees and gets caught and hits my Swordsmen in the rear with the overrun..things just went from bad to worse. It was downhill from there for me, I tried to turn the Stank around and get it back in the game but gambled on the Steam Points and the end a huge turnaround for Orcs..wining by 1200 points or so, ouch.

This pic sums up my demise well, stank chasing the Black Orcs off the wizard caught on a long charge by that unit of Night Goblins, who are easy to ignore until the nets come out and you wish you'd killed them.

Couple notes on this game- The Power Scroll, ouch!- brutal when used at the right time as Chris did here, on top of that until we see the new Orc Book, Orc Magic has its own Miscast Chart from 7th ed, that is incredibly forgiving in 8th edition, there is little to fear with most Orc Miscasts so if you playing Orcs look out..that can make the tough 8th ed Magic Phase even scarier. being on the receiving end of 3 killing blows on my General in a General on General challenge, its tough too swallow even with a 4+ ward. Again, not being able to score points on any unit that isnt totally eliminated is killing me in 8th edition. I can only field so many shooters and still field a viable infantry, lack of mobile shooters (my pistoliers who got killed early,) is hurting..I need to start hiding my pistoliers until turn 4, no doubt.

The Orc General, killed both my BSB and General, he was dropping Killing Blows left and right.

In other game, Lizardmen vs High Elves, apparently this tough match up for High Elves in 8th
with the Slann going toe to toe in the magic department, Saurus and Kroxigors eat Elven Infantry for lunch..Lizardmen won it big, setting my second game versus High Elves.

The armies stare each other down.....

Game 2 vs High Elves, Brian was running
Archmage Metal
Mage- Fire
Prince- General

1 big unit of Sea Guard, 2 Units of Spears, 20 archers, 2 units of Reavers, 2 Eagles, 5 Dragon Princes.

Battle of the toughness "3"'s, again first time playing High Elves in 8th edition, brian won 1st turn and start off with a bang literally, casting Searing Doom on the Stank, he rolls a miscast and his Archmage is now a level 2, and searing doom is gone. but the Stank took 5 wounds and was basically ineffective all game..while I used lifebloom to a get a couple wounds back, I was forced to gamble on steam points in few key situations that could have turn the game my way heavily but just didnt get the dice. It was back and forth all game, I held off his flank rush pretty well and fought off the Dragon Princes..but my Knights who held up the Elven General for a couple turns, eventually broke when i couldn't get the support in. While I did manage to kill one of the Mages...I could kill enough of his pricey characters, even after getting my BSB in solo on the flank vs two dragon prices with a flank and 6 attacks (mounted, with Sword of Strife) I could not kill or break them. I just left too many points on the board..we had big combat going turn 6 that drew if we went another turn "maybe" I could have flipped it. In end I think Brian was up by 600 with the extra banners he picked up..a good game..definitely some stuff I would do differently next time.

Brians High Elf army is one of the best looking around, period.

In the other match up Chris and Steve had knock down drag out that was as close to a draw and it could be without being a draw, with Slann with 3 wounds on it...keeping Steve full point instead
the 7th edition half we are used too.

With two losses on the day, not exactly the confidence builder I was looking for with my list going into this tournament however both games were kind of "Shit happens" games not exactly the tactical face offs I am used too playing as seasoned players as I was, however as we are all finding out "Shit happens" is kind of what 8th Edition is all about so you just got to roll with it and enjoy the games. I probably get 3 more practice games in before Core Comp so hopefully I will fair a bit better.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I've recently picked up DungeonQuest by Fantasy Flight Games. A remake of 1985's DungeonQuest as with all things FFG they try to make it bigger and better and generally it succeeds. The game has a great presentation, with a colorful and study board, chits, cards and miniatures. The object of game is navigate a series of individual rooms (tiles) to get to center of board (the dragons treasure room) collect as must loot as possible and get out before the sun goes down. (24+) turns.

Of course the Dungeon is filled with numerous monsters ,traps and obstacles..doing its best effort to kill you all the way along. Standard play is up to 4 players or solo. I've played about a dozen games now, 3, with 3 players and the rest solo. While this is a random beer and pretzels type game, there some strategic thinking going on for sure. The most contested issue with game is the new combat system which is a rock, paper, scissors (RPS) combined with "war" (the generic card game)..While I had few problem with combat, myself I have found a lack of clarity with the use of "power cards" (special cards each character or monster has, that gives them a special attack or ability in combat) to be slightly annoying. Also the RPS mechanic that every character has access to all three types of attacks (Melee, Ranged, and Magic) isn't very thematic in terms identifying with your character, I've found it makes combat too easy and everyone feels the same. While no one has survived in my multiplayer experiences yet..(very close), I have survived the solo game numerous times, thru luck of the draw and and having figured how to play the combat when drawing against a blind deck.

The back of the rulebook also provides numerous alternative ways to play which is always nice, I spent some time over this long weekend figuring out way to create an alternative combat system that makes each character and monster somewhat unique, cutsdown on the RPS randomness and give you a reason to actually try to escape (a little used combat option, I found in my play) I feel it fits the scope of the game nicely and works as an alternative play type. (particularly in solo play) Obviously if you don't play DungeonQuest this is of little interest to you so I am writing is as a separate piece in my "featured articles" sidebar.

In short FFG's new Dungeonquest is great game, while along the lines of Talisman it plays in a quarter of the time, and the learning curve is really like 5 can just sit down and play. On our last Club meeting 3 of us sat down for an hour or so and had a great time in Dragonfire Dungeon before hitting the 4 x 6's for some 8th edition Warhammer.

If you do play check out my alternative combat system there are still a 1000 ways to die. I'd just tried to make the combat a bit more interesting.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Foam Wars

If you follow the goings on in the hobby industry thru the blogosphere, you’re no doubt familiar with “Foam Wars”. Foam Wars, in short is the epic struggle of miniature transport tray and bag manufacture Battle Foam against it competitors for Intellectual Property infringement., specifically Outriders Hobbies and potentially Sabol Designs.
Sabol Designs has been around since 2000, and was basically the main stay for miniature transport and casing options outside of Games Workshops products here in the United States for some time. Sabol designs is also a monster terrain maker responsible for some of the epic display pieces such as the Red Orktober mothership seen around Adepticon/ Gen Con and what have you, check out for more. Sabol Designs does not use laser cut foam, but the pluck style foam we’ve all seen for years.

Battle Foam’s LLC, says they were created in 2005, However being involved in this hobby since 2006, I can say they weren’t a blip on the radar until probably late 2007 or 2008 In the last 3 years the company has exploded with tons of slick and well made products and with uber aggressive marketing on hobby forums, events, podcasts, You Tube and even recently purchased the defunct 40K Radio. Battlefoam is currently the most visible, and assuming profitable company in the US for Trays and Bags. Battle Foam sells Laser Cut Foam that they say uses a proprietary technology, at this time they do not have a patent, but have filed a patent application. Under U.S. law "patent pending" does not protect an invention until the actual patent is published and/or issued.

Outriders Hobbies is a one man outfit that to the best of my knowledge, figured they could do the same thing Battlefoam does but without the overhead of big company, cheaper. They sell the same Laser Cut Foam Trays that Battlefoam does and for allot cheaper, This being the core source of the conflict.

Battlefoam filed suit against Outrider Hobbies of (Foam Corp, as they are also known) for trademark infringement early this year. The pertinent claim, among the many claims was "customer confusion" taking place in New Hampshire, so the suit was filed there.

This is an old legal tactic used by many the unscrupulous over the years, I know because it was done to me. In a trademark case over naming rights to a company I was involved in late 1990’s.

In this case -even thou both parties live and work in the state of Arizona. Battlefoam choose New Hampshire as the venue. This is usually done in order to financially strangle a less than affluent defendant with expensive travel and legal costs in order force an out of court settlement or to get them to comply with the Cease and Desist. Unfortunately in IP and trademark cases most of the time it comes down to, he with the deepest pockets wins. Fortunately for Outrider Hobbies, the proprietor has a legal background and was quite capable of defending himself., for free.

Since Battlefoam didn’t even file its claim of proprietary laser technology until 2009, Outrider should have been able to make and sell all the laser cut foam he wants until he’s legally unable. Given that having to travel to New Hampshire for a court appearance, and “Patent Pending” threats didn’t dissuade Outrider Hobbies (there were all other kinds of ludicrous claims in the suit including industrial espionage) Battlefoam pushed on with its “customer confusion angle” however the confused customer turned out to be a former associate of Mr Battlefoams previous company Diablo Bats. (a baseball bat manufacturer). Diablo Bats, has its own sorted history and conflicts with Major League Baseball, which if you look into doesn’t exactly shine a pretty light on Mr. Battlefoam. In the end the New Hampshire Judge dismissed Battlefoams suit as basically a waste of his time..scolded Battlefoam with extreme prejudice, basically accusing him of manufacturing evidence. Battlefoam was ordered to pay all of Outrider costs in the matter.

It does not end here, lets back track a little with Sabol designs.

The long standing rivalry and animosity between Sabol and Battlefoam begins immediately with Battlefoam entry into the marketplace. Battlefoam is manufacturing trays for Sabol and GW products and it doesn’t need their consent to do so. Battlefoam had/has videos on You Tube that were clearly claiming the other foam trays sold by those companies were inferior to Battlefoams. Competition for sponsorships attention and Ad and hall placement at last years Adepticon was the talk abuzz in the vendor hall. Make no bones about it. Battlefoam has made it clear. They intend to be the monopoly in this small industry if they have anything to say about it.

Just last month at Gen Con, Battlefoam employees apparently observed the WarStores booth. selling Sabol transport bags containing Outrider Hobbies foam trays. While has turned out to not be true (they were only displaying Outrider Products not selling them) The circumstantial damage was done and this dragged Sabol into the Laser Cut Foam Tray argument, that is still unfinished between Outrider and Battlefoam. Remember the New Hampshire judge just threw out Battlefoams case for not being pertinent to New Hampshire as a proper venue and for finding Battlefoams witness To be “not credible”- it never got to core trademark issues at hand.

(which again is- can outrider make and sell Laser Cut Foam Trays which are similar to Battlefoams, whether or not we know if the exact same method is used and Battlefoam has any legal right to this process is still unclear)

Early this week, Battlefoam sent out what amounts to a Cease and Desist Letter to both Sabol and Outrider. Sabol doesn't sell Laser Cut foam and they say they are somewhat confused and understandably annoyed by the letter. Outrider has now a made a public disclaimer that it is not affiliated with Sabol in anyway. After day of bad press on forums and blogs Battlefoam then issued a statement clarifying that this isn't a C&D letter but a just "friendly" warning that if you continue to work with Outrider you'll be as liable as they are in any future action concerning infringement on their supposed looming patent. The clarification is essentially nothing more than a carefully worded cease and desist/warning . As for Battlefoam- after the New Hampshire debacle They've hired a new very expensive lawyer, who is the former Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Arizona. I get the feeling Mr Battlefoam spends his days scouring the Internet looking for people who are infringing on his potential patent and IP, If you look at the battlefoam website, they are now apparently makers of custom foam for Guns and medical equipment?, when/if this patent is approved do not be surprised if you see another round of lawsuits in other industries where IP infringement may be applicable for some other unsuspecting small business.

The reason I bring this all up is, in life we have a choice with who we do business with, despite all the people in hobby worldwide, it, in the grand scheme, is not that huge a sphere of influence. Is it right for Battlefoam to attempt to stifle any competition when they've essentially already cornered the market?. No one can say that Battlefoam do not make superior , well made products, it surely does, however they are not cheap. Is trying to destroy the cheaper competition thru legal shenanigans, threats, and intimidation in name of business ok to you? Is Battlefoam's quest for foam monopoly ok by any means?, where do you draw the line?. I've stopped myself from buying several Battlefoam products twice this year due to this Foam Wars nonsense The hobby sphere is quite big enough for multiple product manufactures of this kind. The fact that Battlefoam can not understand or control that and responds with these types of actions must make one seriously look at what products you buy and exactly where your money goes. Spend wisely my friends, life's too short.

Living Dice

Read: Foam Wars Part Deux


blogger templates | Make Money Online