Friday, November 28, 2008

The Painting Challenge, Part 2- Round 1

11/25@ Games Workshop, Oak Park

We completed round 1 of the painting challenge last tuesday, all in all it was great success. We had 7 of the 8 players attend as Joe ended up having to work late and unfortunately miss the round Pictures of all the all the armies can be found HERE or under "The Painting Challenge"
in the galleries sidebar. As Joe couldn't make it we had Nate stand in with the store lizardman army. We played two rounds of 500 points games, which were fast and furious many of them ending by round 3. Bonus point's were awarded in the style of "Mighty Empires" Empire Points to be used later in January.Each army was also judged on how they did this round and awarded 1 to 4 points based on completion to their "own" standard. combined these two rounds and the "completion score"
gave you your round totals.

ROUND 1- 500 points

Bill- Wood Elves
Completion Score 3
Game 1 - Massacre vs Beasts of Chaos
Game 2- Massacre vs High Elves
Round 1 Score -13

Billy- Skaven
Completion Score 3
Game 1 - Massacre vs Ogres
Game 2- Massacre vs Beasts of Chaos
Round 1 Score- 13

Chris- Bretonnians
Completion Score 1
Game 1 - Massacre vs Lizards
Game 2- Massacre vs Ogres
Round 1 Score- 11

John - Daemons of Chaos
Completion Score 2
Game 1 - Massacre vs High Elves
Game 2- Minor Victory vs Lizards
Round 1 Score -10

Bob- Ogres
Completion Score 2
Game 1 - Loss to Skaven
Game 2- Loss to Bretonnians
Round 1 Score - 4

Andre- Beasts of Chaos
Completion Score 1
Game 1- Loss to Wood Elves
Game 2- Loss to Skaven
Round 1 Score -3

Mike- High Elves
Completion Score 1
Game 1- Loss to Daemons
Game 2- Loss to Wood Elves
Round 1 Score -3

Next Round is 12/9..we'll have 9 players so far signed up...Joe will be back with his new Warriors of Chaos and Nate will bring his own Lizards and join the fun. 1000 points games...we will shoot for 2 rounds.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Empire vs Lizardmen 2250 pts

11/20 @ Chicago Battle Bunker, Downers Grove, IL

I made the trek out to the Battle Bunker to get a game in with a fellow named Steve I met the last time I was out there.I recognized Steve's army from his blog "Oden's Tales" so it was good to meet in person and do what we both love to do Play some Warhammer!

I brought a pretty generic list with an Empire General, Luther Huss, and 2nd priest and as always a BSB...Steve brought the Big Toad with a pair of level 2 priests and a beefed up scar vet.

The Empire

Empire General, Holy Relic, Icon of Magnus, Sword of Justice /Captain BSB ( Banner of Sigismund) /Luthor Huss /Warrior Priest/ 27 Swordsmen FC w/ War Banner- 9 Free Company Detachment x 2/ 10 Handgunners w/ HLR x2 /9 Knights FC w/ Banner of Valour /5 Knights w/ Musician/ 19 Greatswords FC -9 Swordmen Detachment/ Great Cannon x 2/ 5 Pistoliers, Outrider, Musician /Helblaster Volley Gun

The Lizardmen

Slaan Mage-Priest, 4th Gen, BSB,/ Scar Vet Hero /2- Lv 2 Priests/ 20 Temple Guard/ 10 Skinks X 3 /6 Chameleon Skinks/ 3 Kroxigor x 2/ 3 Salamanders

While neither of us had played the others army in a good while, I forgot how brutal the magic offense of this list was. Conventional thinking says "why pay for wizard when his spells are worthless with all those dispel dice, so you are just paying a 140 points for 2 dispel scrolls." Well I went with the extra priest, turns out I could of used the scrolls.
Turn 1

My army is somewhat deceiving in the deployement phase as although my model count is 128, detachments go down as one with the parent unit so I deploy very quickly even though I had double the models steve did. The plus one served me well and I won first turn although I had a difficult deployment and didn't have the best lanes of fire for my Shooters. I moved ahead conservatively which turns out to be a dumb move once I got a handle on how this army played. I decide not to charge the Chameleons who are in LoS of both my Knights..this was also a bad move, two bad moves and some lousy shooting nets me two dead Temple Guard on my whole turn.

Steve's moves some Skinks and the Sallys ahead, then moves his priest in the best postion he can and starts blasting me. Power Dice are 11 against my 4 Dispel dice. The Slaans spells are Iron ( Rule, Trans and Forge), Light (Gaze) and Fire (fireball) while both priests have the Death lore with 2 Dark hand of death, a Walking Death and Drain Life. Magic rains from the toad sending two surviving pistoliers running and taking my vanilla knights right off the table, In the shooting phase The Salamanders (who I don't often have too much of an issue with against my big blocks) are rolling hot and blow up a rank of 6 on my swordsmen, 5+ saves against shooting are for naught. I think to myself if this is how the whole game is going to go its going to be a long one. well- in reality a short one.

Turn 2

I now realize I need to get into close combat quick to avoid to much offensive spell assault, I charge my large unit of knights at the chameleons on the edge of the forest...taking the hassle of being in the woods over being wacked by the next magic phase. The chameleons flee and get away. not good. I move everyone else ahead full but with a large forest between my main block and the Slaan, Its pretty clear we aren't going to get into close combat, unless steve wants to. My Helblaster is way out of position on my left flank, the skinks on the side moved into some woods as bait, One of my cannons, misfires (malfunction) the other has the Slaan in its sights but the best I can come up with is another 2 Temple Guard.

The Lizards start moving back, I now see his game plan-bait, retreat, magic, shoot, there will be no close combat unless I can get some guys in or he wants it. The Krox come forward against my softer units..the Scar Vet plows thru the woods toward my one cannon that can get the Slaan and charges my Handgunners who go down fast again 5, Str 7 attacks Magic and Shooting again inflict some stiff losses on my side, Including the Cannon crew with the LoS on the Slaan . The Sallys are just crucifying my swordsmen, I can't roll a 5+ save today.

Turn 3

My Knights have LoS to charge the Sally's but with the woods slowing them down they are way short, My Swordsmen and Greatswords press ahead with noone to fight my shooting comes shallow, lots of targets but doing not much of anything...I am totally nerfed here..frustrating.

3 Kroxigor charge my Knights who failed charged the Sallys, The Scar Vet Killed my handgunners, not having to worry about the cannon turned around and now rear charges my Knights..My Knights get pounded in CC..but Luthor gets in a couple wounds...thou I break I am also fortunate enough to escape, Magic and Shooting keep taking there toll, My swordsmen unit is down to 10 plus my General and BSB, and won't do much in CC if I should ever get into one.

Turn 4

I try to charge with my Swordsmen by the Sally's flee and get away, My Greatswords (unscathed) move toward the other unit of Krox but are out of range..their detachment is in range and charges them, my other detachment comes behind the greatswords hoping to block the inevitable overrun so I can wheel and get my Greatswords into them next turn. My shooting is useless, remaining cannon has no target or missed, the helblaster has no target and another unit of handgunners out of range with no targets. I run those handgunners into the woods toward unit of skinks who are camping out in the woods holding the quarter all game. My Knights with Luthor Huss rally and turn to face the Scar Vet and the Krox.

The Scar Vet Charges my Knights alone, the Krox either don't charge or can't reach. The Scar Vet challenges Luthor Huss and he accepts. Luthors 4+ ward save, saves his butt as I save off all the wounds and end up doing 1wound back at him. I win combat and run down the Scar Vet and charge into the first break of the game. His Sally's don't rally and keep running but are still on the board, he also has some skinks running from an earlier turn that finally leave the game.Steve's magic wastes the rest of my Swordsmen..leaving my General and BSB alone.
His Krox blow through my Swordsmen Detachment running down the few fleeing guys and end up planted well behind my Greatswords and the other detachment. His Skinks in the woods charge my handgunners and I flee and roll very low..they get caught but bring the skinks out of the woods, right in front of the Helblaster! (surprise)

Turn 5

My knights kill the Krox and move ahead but the Slann is totally obscured by the forest and the Skink priests are out of range sight. My Greatswords do a full reform so they don't get rear charged by the other Krox unit and my General and BSB join the Greatswords as my only unit of any size left The Helblaster lites up the Skinks blowing the whole unit away. My Cannon finally has a target ( the second krox unit) I put a cannonball alway thru the flank and bounces 10 into the third skink unit and I come up "6"."1"."1" on the wound i only kill 1 Krox! and then a bunch of skinks. (no "1"'s there go figure)

Steve's Sallys dont rally agian and run off the board!, another break for me..thou the die has been cast on this match up. He has no charges and uses his magic phase to waste my remaining knightsleaving Luthor alive with one wound. His Skink priest magic missles the remants of a free company detachment. We are both way low on units, all his tied up in the Slaan and Temple Guard while mine are now in my Greatswords.
Turn 6

Not much left to do here other that try to save points, I have luthor join the Greatswords, so all 4 of my Characters are alive and in the one unit my Cannon misfires, Kaboom. I have nothing left but the helblaster (no target) my Greatswords with no one in range

Steve calls the game on his turn since its obvious he has won, he moves some loose skinks around to make sure he has some table quarters in the movement phase before passing on the magic and shooting phases to end the game.With all my characters alive, with full unit of Greatswords and the HBVG...I still have 1020 point on the board...with extra 200 for TQ's that steve picks up I narrow avoid a massacre with 800+ difference...a SOLID VICTORY for the SLAAN and his Lizards. Although I must say if he bothered to play out turn 6 he most likely
could have gotten the Massasacre as I would of had to face another brutal Magic phase.

Tough, Tough game. Steve has been playing for a shorter period of time than I have, but he plays and practices in a much more competitive environment than I do here at the Bunker where the majority of players are tourney oriented while my local players are not. In short- he schooled me big time on how a tourney style Lizard Army works and It was a good lesson to learn. Now that I know what I was in for, I of course would have done all sorts of stuff differently. Live and Learn. I take my hat off to Steve as a great opponent and sportsman, I look forward to the rematch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here be Daemons!

Time as come at last to reveal that secret army I have been talking about the last few months. While Daemons isn't some great revelation, as there are Daemon players coming out of the wood work and they are the poster kids of new power creep armies on the fantasy scene these days. That aside they work well for personally as I wanted a low model count army I could get done by years end..when I found the Spearhead online on closeout for a $110.00 I snatched it up immediately and my deal with the devil was complete.

I couldn't ask for a army with completely different play style than my Empire. I played my first game with these guys the other day and I massacred my pal Joe's Orcs and Goblins..No shooting, 1 was all close combat.

There are definitely some things I don't like about the army book, and they are the things I see tourney players abusing. First of all heralds for each god should be unique and you sure as hell should not be able to take identical gifts, being able to run 4 Khorne Heralds outfitted the exact same pure bullshit and I dont what GW was thinking there. Anyway you wont see me running identical heralds...My army is a Slannesh/ Khorne with a Slannesh Herald BSB and a Khoren Daemon Prince, (yes only two characters at 2K) I wouldn't even dream of running a Bloodthirster in anything less than 3K.. (not that I even have one)

I painted these guys up based on the pictures in the book. with a few personal touches here and there. they are really only 90% done at this stage with base flock, some touch ups and bit of extra highlighting to come...The Painting challenge is 6 days away and I have 4 models done. All the other models are base coated and washed already so it should not be to tough. 500 points is 21 models of just detailing. and if I run out of time I am will certainly be at the 3 color standard
The Skulltaker model obviously took the most time (about 9 hours so far since sunday night) 3 or 4 models a night should get me there- right on schedule

The one model I have done you don't see is my test Daemonette...I doing in style similar to Demons in "Hellraiser" (pale blue/ black leather)with a bit of red/purple to tie with the Khorne models.

I will have follow up pictures of the full 500 points in the next "Painting Challenge" update, this was just a preview. I highly doubt I will be using these guys for anything but fun games and our store campaign but with power creep of the new fantasy books you never know!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Painting Challenge, Part 1.

While our next Mighty Empires campaign isn't until mid January it certainly is currently on everyone's mind. Looking for a club night event to run that somehow went in tandem with the numerous store events running between now and the end of year. Anthony and I put our heads together and came up with this event. If you read White Dwarf you may have notice an ongoing series called "The tale of 4 gamers" where 4 guys start new 40K army's from scratch paint them and play a series of games along the way until they have completed full armies and the games they play along the way form a mini-campaign. We are going to expand on this idea and bring into our Mighty Empires campaign full swing.

Bill and I both have the played the same army going on 4 campaigns now, (Empire and VC respectively) so for us changing armies was a priority, most the rest of the gang switches on a pretty regular basis and as long as you only run the army once, no problem. The bigger issue for the guys with Army ADD...(don't we all have that to an extent? LOL, I have the making of FIVE WFB armies myself) is the painting.

I hate playing against unpainted its often confusing keeping tabs on whose who when everyone is grey plastic or pewter and two- once you start playing tourney's like I do where everyone is painted, going back to unpainted is just a drag.

Hence the Painting Challenge: Over the next two months 7 of us (hopefully 8) are taking either new armies from scratch or using unpainted armies we have recently started working on. Every two weeks we will meet bringing our freshly painted blocks of 500 points out to club night and play a series of escalating matches. 500 pts. 1000pts, 1500 pts, 2000pts by the 2000 point round we are playing our newly painted armies just in time for the new campaign. The tie-in is that in all these escalating games points are recorded and will be used to purchase bonuses in the next campaign!. What these "bonuses" are is TBA...and while the wont be game breaking they will make it worth your while to participate. In the next couple months I'd like to feature all of the participants in so they can show off what they are working..I'm be talking pictures of all them and some of the guys will be participating directly!

First up is Bill and he sent me some photos earlier today of some awesome looking Dryads from his new Wood Elf army. After a long stint with Vampire couldn't go wrong in trying to change things up by switching to Woodies!... so without further adieu...Here's Bill:

Plastic Legions 1st ever guest article!!!

Greetings Plastic Legions readers, if you have been following the blog here you may recognize me as one of the regular players in our Mighty Empires Campaigns (Go Vampire Counts!) Well after 4 solid campaigns of playing the undead I finally decided it was time for a change. Seeing as we are taking a short break from the campaign we figured this would be a great time to work on new armies for the next campaign…I'm sure John will fill you all in with our painting challenge. Anyway I have had a bunch of Wood Elves sitting around gathering dust, so this should be the perfect time to get them completed.

1st up is a 12 man (or should that be 12 stick?) unit of Dryads. I really like these models and I wanted to do them justice. Also I'm a huge fan of Autumnal color schemes. So obviously you can see where I drew my inspiration from.

They are really simple, Reddish brown with multiple washes of Sepia and Devlin Mud. But I felt that they were missing the blazing autumn color that I so love… So I picked up a bag of Woodland Scenics clump foliage "fall mix" and proceeded to layer it onto the dryads. This stuff can be described as dyed shredded sponge. I took clumps and shredded them up even further, then dipped them in white PVA glue and stuck them to Dryads. Really couldn't be simpler, and I personally like the effect.

Over all I think it turned out pretty good, a little concerned about the brightness of the foliage against the darkness of the unit, hopefully it won't look to unrealistic.

Comments and Critques are welcome.

Be sure to check back for more guest articles as *hopefully* I will be documenting the growth of this Wood Elves force all the way up to 2000 pts.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WFB players!, I want your input

I often wondered why the competitive tourney standard popped up from 2000 points to 2250 in recent years. In my own gaming I have recently defaulted back to 2000 points whenever possible as personally I find the game much more balanced and rewarding with less room for new book power creep to rear its ugly head. I found myself saying "Hey" it's only 250 points how much of a difference can it make?. I am not exactly sure (just an idea from my own perspective) but I wouldn't mind examining the idea in more detail for an article.

So to any WFB players who check in here I'd like your input. I like to see your 2000 point list and how you'd change it to 2250, what would add/ you dump those extra point in characters?, troops? or fancy rares or expensive magic items? I'd like input on as many armies as possible, so if you find yourself with the time please contribute here. I will take in as much info as I can, analyze and post the results...should be pretty interesting as I'd love the input of players from the US/ UK/ EU/ AUS/ NZ or where ever! if you want to comment on this "idea" please do in comments section..but if your interested in contributing please email your 2K and how it would change at 2250 to Keep in mind these are generic lists geared at open tournaments so your list should be viable against all comers. Army Builder or Excel files are ideal...but I'll take whatever format you got! Thanks in advance for helping out!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Plastic Legions- The state of things

Just a general rundown of where my heads at, hopefully some of you can relate so this isn't only for my own benefit.

Warhammer Fantasy Battles- The state of WFB here in my neck of the woods is strong. Between my local shop (Oak Park) and the Chicago Battle Bunker I now know two pretty large groups of organized players that are playing all the time and I also hear there is decent scene at the new Niles shop. Club nights everywhere are thriving, and personally I am making the effort to get out play some people from other stores on a more regular basis. Despite the complaints about power creep in the new books I feel WFB can be a balanced game..while subject to same failures as any game by those who want to power game, our last campaign was a really great example where I felt games overall were very balanced. The playing field has evened in terms of our local player skill in the last year and we seen alot more Draws and alot less Massacres for the most part and that's a good thing....I'm looking to illustrate this point a bit further by hosting the 1st Plastic Legions tournament here at my place in November. That is "IF" I can get 8 people to all commit to the same day (which is proving problematic) so this may get pushed to the post holiday season. Regardless- the idea is a "General's Tourney" with balanced armies held in check with rigid comp requirement playing a variety of tough scenarios. Personally I love the idea..we'll see if it becomes reality. Overall the there is lot of excitement over new Chaos mortals book and the upcoming Lizards book..the new plastic models I am seeing are amazing and I look forward the upcoming releases for Empire in 2009. WFB seems to be stronger than ever from where I sit.

Warhammer 40K- You can't mention one without the other so lets start with a gimme I am sure I am not alone in the opinion the Apocalypse was an absolute failure in terms of "game" viability...the people I know that played in various Apocalypse events were only disappointed despite the explosion of model sales at the time of its release I just think the mass appeal of people wanting play games of that size is extremely limited. 5th edition seems to only breathed half a life back into a player base that seemed to be slowly slipping away. Despite the initial rush that the new rules have brought to the game. I still know several people- that after giving it chance -have since abandoned the game completely. While 40K's popularity overall remains undiminished I sense a lacking in our local environment, that I can't quite put my finger on.

I had a conversation the other day with a friend and we were talking about the rules as in they don't fit the "size" of game..I feel that as a skirmish game- the focus should be on "smaller" not "bigger" games. GW always wants to make the game bigger, even more epic with bigger and badder models (to sell of course) and for me the rules just get lost there. Again I have to mention the "true line of sight" fiasco as part of my own lack of forward progress on the game, Initially it really sounded cool, but in reality it wasn't. Perhaps moving to more squad based mechanic for the bigger games is the answer I really don't know..I read the new rules they sounded cool..but not enough to set up a game and go out and still get blown off the table if I lose 1st turn? I feel there isn't a game out there that could benefit more by dropping the "I go" , "You go" model more than Warhammer 40K. That being said...the 40K scene is absolutely thriving on the internet..there seem to be 20- 40K blogs to every Fantasy Blog so there is no loss in popularity across the thing everyone agrees on..we all love the models -but will that continue to carry the game as older players move on and new players have way too many options and distractions? I guess we will see, 40K is not going anywhere anytime soon. That is for sure.
I'm looking forward to checking out the Imperial Guard releases this year.

Lord of Rings- I wish there was more interest in this, the skirmish style rule system is awesome and easily modable to variety of other games ( see Legends of the High Seas.) I've read about a guy translating 40K to the LotR games model for smaller squad level games, which sounds interesting. Anyway there is strong local following for LotR in Chicago, that I personally am not involved in but they are organized and motivated. Some of the guys from our shop got me into the game and I like it quite a bit and look forward to playing it seems to be the game most of our local crew is interested in when we are not playing WFB.

Historicals- I'll lump these all into one, As a former History teacher my interest in Historical Wargaming is huge. Warhammer Historicals fall into this catagory but unfortunately both my attempts to play have been less than successful. Legends of the High Seas seems to have more people creeping out of the woodwork that want to play..its just matter of getting together for a game and with my schedule that's tough. As far as Ancients go...I wanted to get it together with Rich from Chicago Terrain Factory for the WAB doubles tourney at Adepticon 09- but Wargames factory has really dropped the ball on helping me make that happen...They STILL haven't shipped the Celts I ordered back in April! I tried to get around this by getting the Warlord games models but after building two boxes of those- there just isn't enough variety in the Warlord games models and poses (which aren't that conducive to easy ranking either, double whammy) . This made it very difficult to stay motivated to keep building and keep the project on track. I was content to wait for the Wargames Factory models to ship so they could breath some life into my army so I would not be bored to tears when faced with painting the 100+ models . When they didn't ship as promised- again in October I eventually had to renege on Rich for Adepticon and ask him to find another partner. I needed to be well into painting by now..not still waiting on my freaking models. I feel like total shit about this, but better I saying it now than waiting until February when I'd have to go..."umm sorry I don't have time to finish my army". I should have just ordered my whole Army from Renegade last spring..I really like the models that I do have..and they where AVAILABLE...the whole Ancients thing right now is kind of a let down.

On the postive side...I have come into some gaming cash lately between selling a bunch of old collectibles on ebay and dumping off some other stuff to online retailer. I came up with enough to pay for the GW table everyone is griping about and I took a 25% bump in value buy agreeing to trade from the retailer.. I'm seriously looking at Flames of A) I love WW2 gaming, and B) I know some guys that are starting to play. 15mm kind of throws me...but its good way to spend my trade dollars, I'm not 100% committed so we'll have to see but if I could get out once a month to play some FoW....I'd be very happy as I hear plenty of good things about it. That also brings up the point how cool would 28mm WW2 gaming be using the LotR system as base for platoon vs platoon skirmishes?? damn that'd be cool..there are a ton of great models out there..Anyway don't be shocked to see some Flames of War here at Plastic Legions should I get into it.

This is getting a bit long so save the future rambling for another least this is where my gaming head it at.

Mighty Empires IV Concludes

11/4 @ Games Workshop, Oak Park

Final Standings

(Anthony) Night Goblins- 21
(Andre) Ogres- 16
(Joe F) Vampire Counts- 13
(Joe D) Dark Elves- 8
(John K) Tomb Kings- 7
(John H) Empire-7
(Kenny) Dwarfs- 6
(Chris ) Warriors of Chaos-5
(Bob) Skaven- 3
(Mike) High Elves- 2

Eliminated in Round 5
(Bill) Vampire Counts- By Night Goblins
(Leo) High Elves- by Dwarfs

Another Mighty Empire campaign comes to a close. Anthony once again prevails showing he is the master of playing Orcs and Goblins countering Kenny's Dwarf Gunline with huge block of Trolls in a final round invasion of the Dwarf Capital.

We take up a new Mighty Empires in January, our house rules have evolved to a point where they are functioning very well, there are a few needed tweaks (like the removal of terrain special features, which were all over the place had zero bearing on anything) but otherwise its working quite well. One thing that still bugs me and that's inherent to a map based campaign and that is you always end up playing who is next to you on the map which results some guys playing weekly..(for instance Mike and Andre must have played 5 times) Open challenge's aside
having neighbors to invade is the I don't really see anyway around if we stick to map.
I've been discussing some changes with some the guys for next round. So the ideas being tossed around are making it much more narrative based, with a tree or node based campaign with lots of specific scenarios..that way at least if your playing the same opponent often the games with be different. I think 2k games standard with reinforcement option are ideal, although I like to squeak in some Smaller games at the start of the campaign and work up..With a good rules set in place making a more advanced dynamic map is ideal. Since Anthony has won 3 of our 4 Campaigns..he's volunteered to sit the next one out and GM. meaning we can blind assets on the map the only he will have knowledge of..this creates so new possibilities I am looking to explore for Mighty Empire's V. We have a great group players right now and I hope everyone can return for the next in Mid January 09.


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