Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tourney Report- Bilbo's Birthday Bash.

8/22 @ Chicago Battle Bunker

As previously discussed here. I attended BBB this weekend at the Chicago Battle Bunker. The turn out was small, only 7 showed but it was group of dedicated veterans to the game. The median age of the players was definitely 40. why this game is attractive to us old grognards is something I'll talk about in a bit. The tourney consisted of each player bringing two 350 point armies, one good, one evil. Since we an odd number of players, Adeptus Windy City tourney organizers Brent and Jamie ran ringer armies of Angmar and Gondor. All forces of Middle Earth were well represent this day from Dwarves to the Army of the Dead to Mahud, plus the usual suspects. I was running Gandalf with some Grey Company as my Good Force and then a Cirith Ungol (Mordor) force that was too small for its own good. I ran out of time to finish the original 36 model force I had planned so I had to eat up 100 points by swapping in a Troll I had that was already painted. In the end My Mordor force was only 19 models so I knew I was in for trouble. Here is brief recap of my games:

Grey Company
(Gandalf the Grey, 3 Rangers of the North, 12 Rangers)

Game 1 VS Barad Dur.
Scenario- High Ground

The Barad Dur force numbered 35 I had to kill alot of models to get him to break and out maneuver to take the hill in the center of the table. Even thou my Grey Company horde of bows hits on 3+ I need 6's to kill armored Orcs with Shields. The Barad Dur force also had 5 Ward Riders coming down the flank toward Gandalf...My dice weren't so hot initially as I try shoot down enough Orcs to find a spot to take the hill, Gandalf was having great success throwing Sorcerous Blasts..taking out numerous Warg Riders and knocking enough orcs for a flanking position that some of my Rangers could charge them while they were prone..the game only last 10 turns, Once the Orc Swarmed the Hill I was too tied up to get enough of my own men on the hill or kill enough Orcs to break him...I came very close to breaking him but ran out of time on my last turn...I had Gandalf use his last point of Might to do a Heroic Combat cutting down the Orc tying him up and charging the Hill...Resulting in a Minor Loss for me.

Game 3 Vs Angmar

Scenario- Domination

The Angmar force consisted of Burdur the Troll Chieftan, a Cave Troll about dozen Orc infantry and 7 Orc Archers. The goal was to capture Objective points in each corner of the board. My dice were on fire this game and I was dropping orc like flies with bow fire as most of the Orc infantry had spears so I only needed 5"s to kill them, I was rolling ton's of 5's. I had broke the Orc force by the third turn however, there were enemy models on two of the objectives despite controlling two and Gandalf using "immobilize" with a couple rangers taking down the Cave Troll. I had Burdur killing a couple of my guys on the one objective where he was outnumbering me by one model and lone orc Archer bunkered up in cover in the other. Once I break the enemy..the scenario requires you roll a D6 and on a 1 or 2 the game ends. I rolled a 2" so even thou I had 20 something kills to his 2..the game ended a Draw...shows my this game I shouldn't have broken him so early and got into better position to grab the objectives. This was a close as I got to a victory today.


My Cirith Ungol force, Shelob's Banner

Cirith Ungol
(Shagrat (55 pt model) Orc Capt, Orc w/ banner, Mordor Troll, 3 Warg Riders, 8 Orc Warriors, 3 Uruk Hai)

Shagrat and Company

Game 2 Vs Rivendell
Scenario- Storm the Camp

Mordor outnumbered by expensive Elven warriors I thought this one might be tough, thankfully my Opponents 8 bowmen where playing very defensively and were defending his camp and not able to shoot my Warg Riders. The Troll waded thru the Elves like a scene from one the films and most of my Infantry mobbed the two groups of Elven warriors. I killed most of the elves breaking toward the end of the game, but with courage of 5, Elves dont run away easily and after two rounds or courage checks not a single elf fled the game. even thou I had two Warg Riders in his camp there were 6 bowmen defending, I had another 3 or models ready to get into scoring position next turn, among the Elf carnage, a lone spearmen broke from the combat making an end run for my undefended camp, as more Elves died, I tried to stop him but the lone elven captian ran interference and stop me. Once the lone Elf got into my Camp the game ended on the end of that turn. Outnumber in both camps (6 - 2 in his, 1-0 in mine) I suffered a Major Loss.
A major loss for a game the looked like I won, that's the scenario and the game.

My Troll, making uber hell for these Elves

the Elves came up short in this skirmish

Game 4 Vs Grey Company
Scenario - Meeting Engagement.

Ugh...this was the 30 model GC force, 6 Rangers of the North and 24 Rangers..not something I wanted to face..because it was the absolute worst match up of the tourney for my force considering Chris was the tourney leader (and eventual winner) and I had yet to win a game I was hoping I'd draw the Gondor ringer amry or the Army of the dead, hell even defense 7 dwarfs would have been preferable. With the limited number of players and need for alternating good evil match ups..there wasnt much to be done, I got the Grey Company..and on a table that was an open field to boot. Remember Faramirs Ride in Return of the King..think of this game like that but Gondor where the bowmen and the Orcs on foot..ouch I got pasted.
Major Loss.

I managed to get into in combat in game 4, but it didn't matter

Despite going didnt really feel like that at all...only in the last game did I feel like a loss 2 of my other games were razor tight and my 3rd game...were I stole the victory from myself. I did win the tournament "Best Appearance" award which was what I was shooting for..all the armies at this tournament were at or well above table top standard, so the "Best Appearance" was nice..I got a $20 Blister for that plus I won the pre paid raffle getting another Mordor Troll box (look out I am fielding another troll!, LOL), plus everyone I left over Adepticon 09 custom priority tokens..all in all a good haul.

Cool terrain piece used as display board, with some Army of the Dead and Barad Dur.

Brent and I spent some time talking about the lack of turn out and the draw of this game to the older crowd. The turn-out definitely got affected by a being too late in the summer (several notable local college age players returning to school) and several other locals just having pre existing commitments. The tourney also got cut from a two day event to one day event which kept some of the out of town crowd from attending. This is designed to be a LotR circuit event but a combination things kept that from happening this year which again hurt the draw. This tourney was as professionally run as it gets. So if your looking for a great game to get into with well run, professional events with great support look no further, go buy a box of troops and one Hero and you are up and running in the LotR SBG, if you're new to LotR and playing WotR you've already got the models so go ahead and give the skirmish game a try...keep an eye on the Forums at Adeptus Windy City for more Chicago area Lord of the Rings events. In the mean time I am going to do what I can get some more LotR gaming happening with my group.

Besides this whole D6 skirmish system (including High Seas and Old West) being the best ruleset GW has created one of things about the draw of these games is they tend to draw a more mature I mentioned earlier I don't think there was a person in attendance under 35 at this event, there were no power lists or people trying to one up each other with list making, or rules shenanigans, no unber competitive Dbags blowing their stack because they just failed their break test. Just a bunch of guys chillin out rollin some dice on a Saturday afternoon and that's damn refreshing.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hands On- Space Hulk.

Like lots of folks today, I got my mitts on the new Space Hulk game as it full contents were out for view at the Chicago Battle Bunker.

On the Termies- Some the nicest Space Marine models I've seen for period, In fact when I got home I immediately went and grabbed my Black Reach terminator and my Standard Terminator Sgt (and with FW shoulders pads to boot)and these models are nicet than both!! There is no doubt these will be showing up in BA armies everywhere. These are full sized, two piece models like the ones done for Assault on Black Reach...but the models are even more detailed. If this is the future of GW plastics we are all happy campers. These models are just awesome. Ron over at From the Warp has more.

On the Stealers- Awesome dynamic poses..many can work with exisiting Tyranid armies, The Broodlord is stellar, just as good as the Marines in their own way.

On the Accessories- Lots of cool bits the Dead Commander on the throne a few other things I wasnt quite sure what they are but lots of little widgets.

On the Board and punch out tokens- Very heavy cardstock, super high quality, nothing you are going to easily damage. absolutely top shelf.

On the paperwork- everything is glossly 4 color..with well illustated diagrams. GW is setting the bar for itself extremely high with this package. I hate to sound like drooling fan boy, but this box is one of the sweetest products I've seen from GW period. Let the Design studios run more projects guys please.

On my conversation with GW staff- regarding the controversial Limited Edition status.
My own take after seeing box my conversation and listening to complaints about non supporting the game past this release is this. There is no doubt all these models are going to cannibalize sales of standard boxes and some models for both Nids and Blood Angels. (especially with new codex's for both coming in 2010) I am sure creative converters will figure out a way to change chapter iconography( which wont be easy since they are loaded down). A non limited edition would simply be too much, $100 for the models alone is a steal forget about the rest of the stuff. Currently the original Space Hulk sells for $400 on ebay. Think of this as a collectors item. I seriously doubt you will ever have a problem getting rid of it at more than you paid for it and you can thank it being a limited edition for that. In case you are wondering its flying out the door. Prediction...completely sold out by October 1st. (if not sooner)

(excuse the mediocre photos, I was at the bunker today for another tourney and I snapped these quickly between rounds, I did get to spend about 10 mins going over the box and handling the models)

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Grey Company

My Grey Company for the upcoming BBB tourney this saturday is complete. This is a 350 point army consisting of Gandalf the Grey, 3 Rangers of the North, and 12 Rangers of Arnor. The Ent is just there for scenic purposes, I've been working on these guys solid for the last 3 weeks or so.
I spent a solid weekend getting the display base together..the trees are from the Citadel Tree set and need some solid touch up and repainting, the textures are Cork, Sand, with Woodland Scenics foliage, buffalo grass and some actual wood chips from the yard. Models are based on "forest" resin bases from back-2-base-ix.

The display itself is a MDF sandwich staring with a 12 x 12 1/4 inch tile, then I added mdf, cork, mdf, cork, mdf. All shapes where cut with my mini scroll saw and holes for the bases drilled out with forstner bits, I then used a rotary hand sander to clean up and bevel the edges of each layer. The it was just a matter of gluing it up adding sand, paint, etc.

This was my first try at making a scenic display base from scratch, normally I use full pieces of terrain, for instance I am using my Osgiliath/Last Stand Ruin for my Mordor display. I'm definitely happy with the way it came out and the combination of MDF, Cork and Hirst Blocks has my mind racing with new ideas (Lustria Blood Bowl arena anyone?)

The 40mm hole is if I want to run Gandalf or another Hero on a horse down the road, I have a 40 mm plug I made thats currently drying. I wanted to make enough holes so the base was flexible enough to be usable with a 600 point army..getting everyone but some additional grunts on the base.

I haven't really gotten to play these guys much, as I have mainly been playing my Orcs. tomorrow night thou I will at least get a few games in and see how they play. Both my armies have low model counts, my Mordor is way lower than I wanted it to be.. when you start making courage checks at 50% of your model count, you want as many models as possible at your point total. I just didnt have time paint everything so I had to use whats already painted, as it stands I still need to paint 2 Warg Riders, and Uruk Hai, and 2 Orc Spearman, shouldn't be a problem by Saturday.

I'm a ridiculousnewb at LotR SBG at the competitive level..unless I am playing other new players, like myself I think I am in for a rough ride but I have my rulebook ready, so well see how it goes. Who am I kidding anyway..I am just shooting for appearance awards these days..meta gaming the rules actually trying to figure out how to win just isnt my forte'. I'll make sure to do a good write up of the whole event should be a fun one. I'll make sure to get my Mordor army on their display base posted by Saturday as well.

Forge World for Warhammer Fantasy

While the big news of weekend for most is unveiling of the mystery box as Space Hulk, its no surprise around here as it was confirmed to me at Chicago Games this year..Since I've been privy and correct on advanced info regarding 40K 5th Ed, War of the Ring, the Plastic Valkyrie and now Space Hulk I wish that people on the various forums would quit saying I'm full of shit, or making stuff up to get hits on my non monetized blog, when I post something on here its for your guys benefit, I already know whats up so the only reason I do it is to have something to talk about with my fellow bloggers/ readers- I have to tell you reading negative stuff about yourself is a real drag when all your trying to do keep people as interested as you are by telling let them what your lucky enough to find out. (ok enough crying)

Anyway the bigger new for me this weekend and I have thank 023 for this one, is that the word from Games Day Germany is that Forge World is branching out into two division one with remain as is with its 40K line while other will start producing stuff for WFB while also handling publications for Warhammer Historical. Since I dont play 40K, Forge World hasnt had much to offer us WFB players other than a half dozen monsters and some outdated terrain that you find better and cheaper elsewhere from competitors. I am glad to see Forge World step into creating fantasy pieces and although my wallet will surely regret it and the shipping snafu's and the potential of having to go the next Games Day to get in the next FW line are downright scary I am still really looking forward to see what they come up with!

Space Hulk

So Space Hulk arrives The funny thing is there isn't any mention of the said mystery box and I have not gotten the accompanying newsletter yet. From the content photos It looks like all pieces are plastic, its not existing models, but individual "FFG" game piece style models. there is no 3D terrain..just cardboard punchouts. It still looks very cool but nothing on par with all rumors out there regarding the contents. Also selling via the website doesnt really meet the speculated the limited release rollout (i.e "stores only") For whatever reason I am thinking there still might be a surprise to come, as in this might be the standard "new' edition and there is a fancy limited edition with all the bells and whistle waiting to be announced..It does say "while stocks last" on the splash photo so..maybe not..I will update this later today should details change. Make to check out the Space Hulk, First Contact page as well. I am going to pre order this as I only ever played the old Space Hulk PC game and it looks like a great 2 person board game.

Edit 11:30am CST-: Looks like this is all she wrote folks, disappointing there isnt more to rumors about the 3D plastic terrain would have been sweet but honestly that doesnt really hold up with $100 price tag, I am digging the new miniatures and am glad its not recycled sprues of other stuff.

BoLS posted a kick ass You Tube intro video as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

GW - product update

A just couple things for those of us who mostly appreciate all things Games Workshop. Here's a brief reiteration of info that's out there for those that don't want to do the digging.

September- Space Hulk - 10 Terminators, Metal Librarian, 20 Genestealers, Metal Broodlord. 3D terrain. Is not Prepainted. Word is these are existing models. However speculation remains that it's new Space Marine chapter (i.e, one without its own Codex) so perhaps a conversion sprue. Its limited release going to Stores only. It's all but officially confirmed this is the mystery box. (Note two different Black Shirts told me at GD the M-Box was Space Hulk)

Current info matches up with below released teasers

-August/september they are selling a box set for around £50. (@$70 USD)

-It is a completely stand alone set that is not related to any race.
Rumor- New Space Marine Chapter

-It is something that GW has never done before.
Limited Release/ Design Studio led Project

-Some local stores are only getting one shipment; when that sells out it will no longer be available.
Limited Release

-You can't advance order it. You have to be there on the day to get it.
Limited Release

-It is not Planetary Empires.

-It is a board game.

Also WFB Orc player re-joyce next month is new release of killer new Azhag the Slaughter plastic kit..the photos where up on Warseer months ago and the plastic Wyvern
screams of tons of conversion possibilities.
(edit 8/21-- Arghh..scratch the above.this turns out to an $82.00 metal model..what a waste!!!!)

Space Wolves- New Codex, New models, Warseer has the best, most current info.

- New Army book and new plastic Models based the Skaven art for Computer Game WAR. Skaven are much more sinister looking than some of the older models plus they are bringing back the Doomwheel!..with a smaller new plastic model. We are a going to see of ton of the older Skaven armies out of mothballs and back on the table in November, that's for sure.
(Edit 8/21- Confirmed September White Dwarf)

December- I'm not seeing, reading or hearing much for December releases they are a variety of new Models for all the lines coming out before years end perhaps December is the month for the lot of them..we are also so for some kind of War of the Ring release..I assume before years end.

2010- Word out there is that 2010 is the year for Fantasy as this year was Dominated by 40K..two 1st quarter releases with a new Beast of Chaos army book and lots of new models and a new Tomb Kings of Khemri army book with new models.(likely slipping to second quarter) 3rd Book is speculation but Bretonnians is the leading candidate. Rumors of WFB 8th edition are out there as well..with the continuous power creep of the new books only a new ruleset can pull everything together.but I don't think they can do it until the oldest of those 6th ed books get a redo which after above only leaves Ogres...with Woodies and Dwarfs being the 1st books of an 8th Ed.

The GW website has been updated with ton of free articles from White Dwarf of late all you need to do is register, Check out the White Dwarf Archive and Astronomican for some good stuff.

Monday, August 3, 2009

2009 Golden Daemons SCAMMED

Nothing like a good rant to start out the week right, although I type this with as much sadness as disgust. While I know this kind of stuff goes on I hate that its at such a high profile. What we have here are a pair of complete assholes in operation at their finest. Apparently the winning Gold Golden Daemon entry in this years Fantasy category (not sure what specific category) Was not painted by the person who entered it as their own work. Not only that but this asshole walked away with three Golden Daemons all of which were painted by someone else but again represented as his work. The best is this shallow gem of a human being known as Marc Schmelze apparently either didn't clue the painter in that you need to show up and present your own work or the Painter was dumb enough not to care as they themselves exposed this scam on Cool Mini or Not by brazenly tagging the piece as this years Gold GD winner, then citing the painter by name and the guy who won as the collector. This is crazy ballsy and stupid. If you physically can't get your ass to Games Day, you cant win. End of Story. The rules are clear. Mr. Schmelze obviously orchestrated this scam whether or not the painter is culpable or some clueless dimwit is still unknown. GW knows whats going on here is correcting the error and re-assigning trophies to the proper winners and will of course enforce permanent bans on both these idiots.
Being that I was there this year and the fact that the Golden Daemons are the absolute highpoint of Games Day this pisses me off to no a painter/ hobbyist..who strives to get something I might think is good enough to one day make the 1st cut..I know how much work goes into these events. For some fucking tool to come in and buy himself three trophies makes me want inflict some serious pain. So Mr Marc Schmelze please go fuck yourself..and Karol Rudyk...get your head out of your ass- too bad you blew're obviously a great painter.

Original story courtesy of Dave Taylor Miniatures


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