Friday, October 16, 2009

Core Competency- Trial and Error

(My Empire 2008)

Not that I am expert by any stretch but having played the army exclusively now for three years I’d hope I’d have a particular insight . I read a lot of stuff on various WFB forums on how to correctly play Empire “The Empire” or the puny humans of the WFB universe.

The Empire has the most well rounded force in the game, they are average at everything but excel at nothing, Potent combination's of units do exist, and they do have access to some of the most powerful shooting in the game, as well as the exclusive and under used Detachment system. I am not a power gamer so I don’t endorse or playing Gunlines, running multiple Steam Tanks, basing every game around using the War Altar. I constantly struggle between the Theme of my army and its competitiveness, trying to be competitive with basically Strength 3, Toughness 3 army in the current power environment is my goal and its no doubt a challenge.

For this discussion I’d like to talk about the Empire in the context of one of my favorite local tournaments, Core Competency Which has one themed caveat that is the basis for the event, your army have 40% of your 2250 points( or 900 points ) must be Core Troops. This isn’t standard by any stretch in today's tournament environments. Most players in GT style event don’t run anywhere near 900 points of Core troops, In fact I played an fellow at last years Adepticon WFB championships who had the audacity to drop less than 300 points of Empire Core troops on the table for our match. Fortunately the Empire has some great, cheap core troops and I am sure going to use them. Here is my planned list for the event


Luthor Huss- Prophet of Sigmar , Army General

Warrior Priest, Icon of Magnus, Armor of Meteoric Iron

Captain of Empire, Battle Standard Bear with The Imperial Banner

Captain of Empire, on Pegasus, Sword of Striking, Pistol

The fist comment most people mention at this list, is what? No Lord..Normally I always take a Lord

however given the theme of tournament and that Special Characters are allowed Renegade Priest Luthor Huss fits in perfectly as my Army General for 180 points, you get a Fear Causer, with a 4+ ward save something any other character needs to take 70 points in items to gain. An Arch Lector will give you leadership 9 and and extra dispel die, which is very nice however he's 225 points after items, Empire Characters are for the support of your units not take on every bad ass enemy hero in the game. The goal of this army is support the blocks of troops against the number one nemesis of an Empire Army, "Psychology".

Fear, Terror and Panic wreak havoc on Humans and this Army has redundant psychology protection, Both Priests not only grant their units hated, but are immune to fear, Luthor Huss even Causes fear. The Imperial Banner allows anyone within 12" to re-roll any failed Psychology result and as well as any failed rally tests, yes, I am only leadership "8" but I'll take my chance with always having two rolls to roll 8 or less. The Captain on the Pegasus is my assassin, his role varies from game to game, from march blocking, to war machine or wizard hunting...he is always a target...but if they zeroing in on him they arent targeting your more important units.

Core Troops

900 points of Core are

24 Swordsmen/ Full Command

9 Free Company Detachment

9 Free Company Detachment

24 Swordsmen/ Full Command

9 Free Company Detachment

10 Handgunners, Marksman with Hochland Long Rifle

10 Huntsmen, Scouts Skirmishers

6 Knights Champion, Full Command

20 Flagellants, (core due to Warrior Priests)

The Swordsmen / Free Company Detachment combination is for me the back bone of the Empire, others will make arguments for Halberdiers, Spears, Archers as core blocks or detachments but in the end WS 4, with a 4+ Save to the front is great adjustment for the S3, T3 of the troops at 6 points each, its been a long hard stuggle to justify using my Greatswords over the second block of Swordsmen, where you pay 4 points a model more for Str 5 and the Stubborn rule..thru years of playing them, I've finally left my Greatswords for games above 2250 and am sticking with the grunts. 3x 3 units of Free Company is the way to go for 3x3 you get 6 attacks vs 5 against standard infantry and odd are with less room to strike back 5 men will remain to cancel your rank bonus. Protecting the flanks of the blocks is key, IF elite infantry or character flank my core blocks and characters

it is quickly game over for the Empire, all the rest of my core troops are there to help support those two blocks of infantry survive.

Special Troops

Great Cannon

5 Pistoliers, Champion w/ Repeater Pistol, Musician

Every Empire list should include 1 Cannon, even thou my luck has been shit with it of late, killing

that Dragon, Giant or Bloodthirster on a good day make this 100 points indispensable. IF your Pistoliers

stay on the table to make to turn 3 these guys are very useful, unfortunately they are always target number 1, so running off the table getting shot up or what not...most of the time they're cannon fodder, but if they are still on table turn 6, odds are the Empire has won the day...I go back and forth with these guys..dropping my Greatswords for Swordsmen allowed me to put them back in the list. we'll see how my last practice games go.

Rare Choices

Steam Tank, Engineer w/ Repeater Pistol

I played for the last two years without the Stank, In favor of messing around with other semi-useful Artillery. The Steam Tank is great but not for shooting the cannon...the way I roll misfires..I loving using something that doesn't force me to roll the Artillery a Terror Causing, Flank Protector that can dish out the pain in close combat I love it..not to mention I've been getting great use of the the S2 Steam Gun...If can just remember to make my engineer fire that repeater pistol when need be I'll be all set!.

(Spring 09)


So far I have this list or slight variations of against High Elves, Beasts of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos, Lizardmen, Daemons of Chaos, Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings.. 10 games in total. Results are mixed, generally against the same of lesser tier army's the list does very well, if not winning, Drawing or losing as result of an incident that's got nothing do with list performance, Against top tier armies like DoC It really boils down to luck, (an all Khorne list scoring an 18 WPS recently tabled me in 5 turns.) Although I had very good game against a Core Comp VC list the other night that could have went either way turn 4, and didnt go my way.. The real counter to things like VC and DoC is the War Altar solely to be able to cast a bound 5 "cleansing flare", I do run alot of Warrior Priests so it fits my Theme, however I dont see myself getting one anytime soon and the fact that making the army competitive could rely on one gimmick from one unit irks me to point of not using it.

If all else fails I may bump Luthor Huss up to an Arch Lector on a horse and trim some points elsewhere..the jury is still out on that decision I'd still like to get in a few more practice games in. I'll be following up on this and WFB in general over the next Month as the tourney approaches.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ebay, Screwing you, your hobby and more!

Ok Rant time, as gamer, modeler, collector or hobbyist we all use Ebay, I've been using Ebay since February 2000 I use it constantly in my professional life as well. I've been smelling something bad coming for awhile now when they raised their fees and started screwing with payment options. They have slowly but surely being trying to shoehorn everyone into one payment system they have 100% control of, so if you want to sell something, they are now your partner and you will be forced to pay out the ass for the privilege of listing your products with them.

I've also always viewed Paypal as a necessary evil- again you have the fees but it sure is convenient. Welp back in July when Ebay bought Paypal it went under alot of peoples radar, again another thing that should have been subject to Anti-Trust law becomes a mechanism to royally screw us the consumer. Not only are any payment options OTHER than Paypal or credit cards (who you know they got some kind of deal with) being banned as of the end of this month..Here is crazy part..You can't even ask a buyer to voluntarily pay the 3% Paypal fees for their purchases!!. if you do your auction get rejected and you're threatened with being banned. For years I have been selling expensive equipment on Ebay, I pay the ridiculous 8.75% fee to Ebay and I ask the buyer to pay the 3% Paypal fee if they CHOOSE to use Paypal for conveinence and getting quicker shipping otherwise..send me a check and wait for it to clear. Nope not a seller you're either set up to take credit cards and pay their fees or pay Ebay as much as 15%.!! off the top depending on the auction , No checks, money orders or wire transfers, they want your money and damn sure figuring out how to get it. Now granted 15% isnt a big deal if your selling a few things a year that are relatively cheap...but if you sell toy soldiers for a living or expensive technical equipment like I do, 15% adds up real quick...Its the entire wholesaler discount -In fact with out the option to pass some these costs off to the buyer..this is going to put a whole lot of people out of business. Now that ebay has total control of the Payment systems..they will just start raising fees whats next 20% then 25%...this is no joke.

Earlier this year I sold a $4000 piece of business equipment on ebay and under these new policies it would have cost me $600!!! to sell it on Ebay..are you flipping kidding me! for $600 I expect a hell of alot more then what Ebay does which is essentially nothing. Sure they provide the mechanism but If you think the deserve more than 3% over $1000 for an auction that you have to list, maintain, manage, and answer questions're crazy. I rather pay a yearly fee as a member and reasonable percentages based on sale totals, your seriously better over going to a broker for big ticket least they do all the legwork for their 15%. I for one am sick of being raped by these and other Corporate assholes, I know there alot of Ebay boycotts out there and I am joining in but what other options do we have? Anyone have any bright ideas? I've been using Craigs Lists but since you're not committed to buy its alot harder to actually sell things plus you have to meet in person, etc.. This is freaking depressing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Blessing of Sigmar

The Blessing of Sigmar, while I have had this model for sometime, I never quite figured out what to do with it. Here it is as my 40mm objective marker for my Sigmarite themed Empire army I've been playing of late. It just the stock 2 models on a standard 40mm square with a piece of plastic card over it and a left over section from the Pegasus Hobbies gothic ruins kit in the back . Shield is from the General kit. I'm quite happy with the way this came out, I may touch it up a bit if I get the nerve to enter it in the Adepticon Rogue Daemon or something but otherwise its good to go.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Sunday Tourney

@ Games Workshop, Oak Park

I had the rare oppurtunity to get out on a Sunday afternoon and actually do some gaming so I headed over to my Local GW to participate in one their 1000 point WFB tourneys they run once a month. I figure at 1000 pts, no restrictions..people be running some pretty tough lists. I saw a rare opportunity to run my Daemons of Chaos, as there are just way too many choices with Empire at 1000 points to think about. Using Daemons of Chaos at 1000 points I have pretty "dum dum" bullet proof list.

15 Bloodletters Full Command
15 Bloodletters Full Command
6 Flesh Hounds of Khorne
2 Bloodcrushers, Champion, Musician
1000 pts.

No heralds, No BSB, no Magic.....just one hero, lots of combat muscle and magic resistance. I figured yeah DoC are broken but this list would be a good match up for VC, DE, various gunlines, or monster lists I expected at 1000 points. So I show up at shop and couple guys I know are playing both running Skaven (getting amped for the new book) another pair of guys playing High Elves and then Wood Elf players. Small event, three games. It will only take an afternoon. Surpised at the army selection and I'm the guy brings Daemons??, ok here goes.

Game 1 Vs Skaven
3 Engineers (one is the General)
20+ Clan Rats
Warp Lightning Cannon
2 Poison Globe Throwers
10 Jezzails

Shooting is the bane of the DoC especially if you get into an avg/poor dice funk. My Magic Res is saving me big time here. Joe is throwing Warp Lightning at me 5 times a turn early on. My Fleshhounds dodge a bullet and are into the Jezzails in round 2, but not before both my Bloodcrushers are fried off the board. I eat up the Jezzails and Skulltaker and 1 unit of Letters go after the clan rats, while other goes after the WLC. I run the cannon off the board, get tied up with the rats and get clobbered by more Warp lightings and the Engineers pistols..not having to make panic checks is sure nice. I eat up the Rats but his engineers are hitting me hard, finally I get my dogs on them but the globe throwers are also a pain and Skulltaker goes down to shooting in the end I have 3 Dogs and 1 lone Bloodletter hold the unit standard and a captured standard. Skaven had only the Globe throwers left. I win with minor victory...close game

Game 2 Vs High Elves
Noble on Eagle (General)
28 Spearmen FC (ranked 7 x 4)
12 Swordmasters
10 Archers
2 Repeater Bolt Throwers.

Whenever I see Swordmasters at less than 3000 points, I have to wonder what these HE guys are thinking- Phoenix Guard are better for the price and for 180+ points a pair of normal chariots or a Lion Chariot and bunch more archers would have been way more useful. No matter- the massive block of Spears threatening 3 deep was some what intimidating. The Fleshhounds quickly chew up one Bolt Thrower, get around back and chase the other crew off the board, finally coming an rear charging the Spears. The HE general takes on the blood crushers single handedly and dies quickly (he does kill one). The Swordmasters charge one unit of letters..I figured I lose the charge hold them a turn and get the freed up Bloodcrusher in the flank. Nope Kevin my opponet has some wretched dice...loses combat, breaks and is run down. On turn 4 I have both blocks engaged with Skulltaker in the front, one unit of the flank and 4 dogs to the rear. Despite the 21 attacks to the front...I stay above half and they get slaughtered. The 10 archers try to kill the lone bloodcrusher..I make a bunch of lucky saves the lone unit breaks them. Tabled on turn 6 no last licks for the Elves. Massacre 2-0

Game 3 Vs Wood Elves
Spellsinger (General)
10 Dryads
10 Dryads
12 Glade Guard
5 Wild Riders FC

Will's a good player and also 2-0 at this point having played him before I know it will be a good game. I have my hounds and Bloodcrushers on each flank, Both units of letters up the middle. He has Dryads in the middle, he treeman on the one flank and the GG on the hill. he also get's his extra 6' forest template and on 3 x 4 table with a large forest in the middle its going to be tough. Wills got two treesinging's happening and with only two core dispel dice...I can't stop both ofter..will is moving the extra forest around blocking my advance...My Hounds make down the flank and get flank charged by some dryads..They hold the depsited being flanked and my Bloodletters come in on their flank and they get run dogs make it all the way back to Archers on the hill. there are only two left, but I and making alot great rolls for Demonic instabilty or just making my 5+ save. Will gets the Treeman in the forest and moving the forest around makes me take skulltaker out of the unit and moves over to the bloodcrushers ( I am trying to get Skulltaker against the Treeman because of the Flaming attacks) will knows this and it trying to keep Skulltaker the hell away from his tree. Finally the Treeman charges Bloodletters who are in the forest with him, I block two treesinging's and win combat by 1,
The treeman is breaktesting on a stubborn 9 and rolls an eleven and gets cuttdown by 12 Letters...OUCH. That was pretty much game right there. The other unit of dryads Flanked my other unit of Bloodletter..they got weeded down to the lone standard bearer but couldnt close the deal when everything else came charging in turn 6...even had the one lone fleshhound sticking it out against the archers solo..finally he died...but once the other unit of Dryads went down..I still had both Bloodcrushers, Skulltaker and about adozen Bloodletters against 5 Glade Guard and the Spellsinger. Game over, Wil concedes. (either a Solid or a Massacre we didn't compute it) closer game then it ended up -the treeman running was a fluke but its happened before. Ending at 3-0 , I win the tourney and get a $30 box as a prize. All in all a great afternoon...still doing with it Daemons, is somewhat bittersweet. Fleshhounds are so ridiculously overpowered for their cost it isn't funny, its like having a unit of mini heroes from another army (WS5, S4, T4, two wounds) running around at move 8 with MR 3, the Magic Resistance 3 is just pouring salt in the wound they were definitely the MVP of the day..and did all the heavy lifting....Stupid Daemons....


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