Thursday, December 9, 2010

Khador Drakhun - WIP

The Drakhun fills an interesting role in the Khador army. Khador, typically known for being big and slow, is actually very fast. Using the right caster, you can slingshot this guy straight into its target. Strakhov with his feat and Vlad with his stat boosting are two quick ones. I've been working on my color scheme for the regulars in the army. This guy needs to stand out but still show he can throw down. So red on him with some damage. He's currently in progress so it'll change a bit from this state. The main colors I think are about done.

Flash with a little bit of light
Keep it red and dirty

High-ho giant horse! Away!

Profile with direct lighting
I'm looking forward to finishing this guy, possibly this weekend. I still need to track down a Shocktrooper for the dismount, but I can always use my Kovnik in the meantime.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gift horses, gifted to myself

My buying habits are a little crazy right now with the holiday season, but I think I'll be good with my recent purchases to keep me busy through a few months. After my game last night, I picked up a set of Khador Uhlans and Kovnik Markov. Plus, waiting for me at home were the Man-of-War Drakhun and the Widowmakers I ordered online. I have a serious back log of painting to do now.

Last Thursday was my usual Warmachine night, but I hadn't played in a few weeks. I met up with a buddy of mine, Caleb, at the FLGS. We actually played a two-versus-two match with some other guys at the shop. Everyone dragged 25 points out. My partner was another Khador player. Instead of intermixing our armies, it was pretty much one-on-one until someone died to support the other. So Caleb was my opponent with this more-or-less:

-Ripjaw (2)
-Spell Cast-astic guy attached
Mechani-Thralls (10)
Pistol Wraith
Machine Wraith

To match, brought this:

Iron Fang Pikemen (6)
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Greylord unit (3)
Koldun Lord
Demo-corp (3)

The plan was to use Transference, Hand of Fate, and eVlad's feat to just smash face. Here's what actually happened: first turn just got my line to jump forward; Caleb tried to Cripple my Pikemen through an arc node but was short by an inch, so I tried to charge it with the whole unit and almost one-shot it a CMA combined with Hand of Fate, which resulted in a very damaged light jack early.

Here's where things got nuts quickly. He moved the damaged jack just enough to free up one of the Pikemen who had a decent looking line to the caster. So, popped feat, got 5 guys all jacked up and tried to take out the witch. Pikemen slides in, gets within melee range, but his buddy gets a free-strike for breaking combat and with one die gets killed by the light jack. Super-Pikeman nails her, uses Transference to boost the melee damage, and causes 11 points of damage. This is turn 3 or 4, by the way. I used one of the other feat boosts on a Greylord - charge in, with battle wizard, kills four Mechani-Thralls with the melee/spray combo. A few other guys smack around some Mechani-Thralls, and my Koldun Lord takes out a Pistol Wraith. Little did I know, this made his Necro-surgeon the scariest model on the field.

My noble Pikeman gets crushed by a Slayer. Deneghra pops her feat (everyone gets sickly). Thralls come back and my Kodiak gets possessed by a Wraith. Koldun Lord gets eaten by a light jack but he took out the Pistol Wraith in the previous turn. So my scary turn gets turned on me completely and I end up behind the ball. Everyone being sickly means no charges or double attacks with the Great Bears. My Kodiak couldn't shake the Wraith, so in an act of pride, the Great Bears attack it from behind to kill the Wraith inside. No one dances with my girl but me, so that guy had to go. I knock out both its arms leaving legs intact. The Wraith pops out, then the cortex gets damaged, so the Kodiak is now a blocker. Until it gets smashed to pieces by combo-strikes the next turn.

Major threat now becomes the Slayer who finds his way to Vlad. Knocks Vlad down to 5 boxes with two attacks. Vlad hulks-out and destroys a healthy Slayer by himself using Martial Paragon and additional attacks. Here's where I lost the game. After the attacks destroyed the jack, I didn't move him far enough away. Next turn, Deneghra spells him with a boosted hit, beats his armor and does 6 damage.

Insane game and I'm really starting to learn the combos that work. eVlad might have to be my caster for a while now. I was incredibly impressed with the way he can do almost anything. The only weak point of the list was the Kodiak. I'm not sure if its because I used him incorrectly or if Caleb managed to control him out of being a threat, but its probably going to get phased out. I might throw in a Destroyer for the AoE or replace another unit for range other than the Greylords.

On a side note, I started writing this Friday and thought I had posted it. In the time between, I've managed to assemble the Drakhun, three Uhlans, Kovnik Markov, a unit of Windowmakers on resin bases, and an Assault Kommando Flame Thrower. So I've been busy.

I also managed to paint-up the Drakhun watching Monday Night Football. Photos coming later. I got a game set for tonight, so I'll try to take pictures and get a battle rep up too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hobby update and the big man

I finally took the big leap into nerdhood. Past the miniatures and painting, past the bad sci-fi movies and Monty Python jokes, but not quite past the ren-fest and costumes.

I played Dungeons and Dragons.

This was a big step. I'm glad that I'm out of college and what-not so it wouldn't become an on going event, but Tuesdays are now the gaming nights in my group. It all started with one of our friends who had always wanted to play but never had a "safe" group of guys to sit down and give it a shot. My friends knew all about my Warhmmer and Warmachine experience and just figured I knew all about D&D 4th edition. My knowledge extended only to that there were miniatures and d20's. So in order to get the full experience, my friend dove us head-first into the game.

To be honest, its actually pretty fun. We all grab a few beers and our character sheets, I'm painting everyone's characters, and if we need goblins or other strange creatures, I probably have it in Warhammer models. I'll admit: I always judged D&D as the pinnacle of nerdhood. The ultimate form of the modern nerd. But I am happily alright with the game. I think it all has to do with who you play with. Your group can either make it a huge deal with earth shattering consequence, or just another fun board game with an infinite level of potential. I have yet to buy my own d20, but my roommate has promised to sneak one into my stuff and  release an Ogre-style "NERD" during a party.

So that has taken up a good chunk of my hobby time. Work, as always, gets the better of me when I have to drive home in the dark. My airbrushing has gotten a lot better and I picked up the Forgeworld Masterclass book. Fantastic book, highly recommend it to anyone who wants to step their game up. Ironically, I've been practicing it on my Warmachine stuff. I had a Berserker just laying around. I figured that if it can blow-up if you use it too much, they'd probably recycle the pieces or not use the best parts to make it. I went for a weathered and rusty  look. The plan is to source-light the furnace and other elements to make it look like its going to pop at any moment.

big axes, tiny feet

Heavy boiler on the big man

Don't look it in the eye! Its a challenging gesture!

With red being a strong Khador color, I'm debating on the plan to update the other jacks, but I will say my Kodiak is getting camo and some damage added. Until then, roll high and stay warm.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Primed to prime

Priming is one of those subtle arts that our hobby is connected to whether we like it or not. Personally, I always found priming annoying because Virginia is a swamp. A months ago, I found a great article on Massive Voodoo about a different priming method than most people use.

Snow priming involves black primer, white primer, and good weather. First step, prepare models:

Jr. and Nemo (click for larger)

Here we have Nemo and a Journeyman Warcaster from Warmachine. Get 'em ready, get 'em in a box. Start with a traditional prime of straight black.

Your models are black!

Sorry for the focus issue, but you get the idea: the models are now black.

Now here comes the tricky bit. Take your white primer, hold it far away from the model, just enough to dust it. If its humid out, hold it closer otherwise it'll dry before it hits the model. The ideal angle is 45 degrees above. You only want to spray it from the top angles. The result should look like this:

Snow prime for the guide coat

What this gives you is a model that has a built in shadow and highlight. By keeping the spray only on the topside of the model, the white areas are where light would hit in normal lighting conditions. I've been using this trick for a while now and its very effective in setting up your light/dark relationships. If you wanted to be really clever, when you paint the first coat, water it down a lot and you can keep the set highlight you have here. Not always the best but very quick. Here's a close up on Jr.:

No flash used for this one so you can see a little better with one light source

I haven't tried this trick with any other colors than black and white. There are a lot of different companies that make great colored primer. No reason why something like this wouldn't work with other colors. I am tempted to try it in reverse and have a model "lit" from below instead of above. If you got any neat priming tricks, let me know. Getting a good prime coat down really helps the model out as a whole.

P.S. Here's a link to the Massive Voodoo article where I learned initially about this.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Un-Dead Post

Definitely not dead. Just busy with life, work, and the rest. I've been going through a small crisis with Fantasy and been trying to find my way through it. Doing so, I've come to a few conclusions:

1) It seems like the magic system has finally been totally dominated by Life Magic. Every time option comes up, Life is the immediate answer. Its become a crutch for players that like the instant gratification play-style. Throne goes up, 6 dice go down for Dwellers, main combat unit removed. Playing with my wood elves, I've been experimenting with Beasts. Beasts is an incredibly rewarding set, even without the top spell. Its most basic spell can turn any losing battle into a fair match. Even the old lores are good. My recent acquisition of some Vampire Counts is going to see some Fire/Vampire/Death combos flying around the board. 

2) The fun is still there, so long as the Internet sits out. The Internet is a fantastic resource for information, tactics, opinions, and character builds. My issue is when that becomes the sole resource for list building. Its a shame when you see two lizardmen players using the exact same build for their Slanns with the same gear on their Skink Priests. They just seem to be running through the numbers during play, following their guides to win without knowing what to do if the field changes. The games I've found the most rewarding are the ones where I've had to adapt a whole new strategy because my plans fell through. 

3) Purpose leads to performance. There are some awesome units in the army books that almost never get played because they are difficult to use. My opinion on this is that they're being used incorrectly. These forgotten units and heroes can add a lot of variety to the army and create interesting situations. Seeing 4 units of 10 skinks doesn't look interesting, but throw in terradon riders and a razordon unit, spice of life people. Play the units you want to play, learn where they're strong, and they will perform. Warhawk riders: I'm looking at you.

I think a lot of the problems I've had with 8th edition stem from stagnation. The group I play with are not fans of adjustments or trying new tactics without reading them on the Internet first. I decided to take a slight break from Warhammer, not playing as many games, but picked up something new to revive my love for the hobby. 

I picked up Warmachine a long time ago, but got a bad taste in my mouth after playing a game with someone who had a reputation as a power gamer. It was probably my fourth game ever, still learning the rules but my opponent agreed to play me. Needless to say, I lost. Badly. It wasn't just the loss, it was the attitude the guy had. As a new player to the group and the system, you always end up eating teeth to learn. Being a tool doesn't help new players at all. Disheartened, I put the models up on the shelf. So when I hit a slump with 8th, I looked more into some elements of Warmachine and re-read the rule book. Slowly but surely I'm figuring it out. Each game I get a little closer to the caster-kill. 

By no means am I quitting on GW games. Just taking a slight break from them to stay fresh. If you've been having some hard times with 8th, it always helps to take a breather. Focused in on some painting projects, like my new Vargwulf. Maybe I'll post up some of the Warmachine stuff I've been painting. Until then, kick back a bit and watch the leaves turn colors.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If A Tree falls in a forest, does it get a 5+?

So as promised, I'm going to run through a bit of what I've learned about Wood Elves in the new edition. I still cannot understand why there are so few WE players. I think it may have to do with the common image of the WE's being tree-huggers or that they're codex is out of date. Those trees are not for hugging, put them to work.

The adjustments to the army organization has granted the Woodies a nice little push. In a 2500 point list, you can easily fit a Highborn (leadership 10) and a level 4. The other hero choices are also incredi-cheap. Before you had to choose between going for that Altered Kindred running around or a strong hero to sit in a unit. Now you don't. I've been practicing with my support charge Eagle riding Highborn. Since lone, mobile heroes are sitting ducks when it comes to missile fire, I have him kitted out with the Shield of Ptolos (+2 save against shooting, plus light armor, plus mounted should make him a +0 against normal fire) and the Brooch (WE item, +3 ward against non-magical). For that extra punch, the Ogre Blade grants +2 strength, 4 attacks at initiative 8. I have been reconsidering the weapon recently. The Dawn Spear might be a better option (cause a wound, the unit is -1 to hit for the combat) because he never goes in alone and Woodies have decent WS. Spellweaver: level 4 definitely and with the Rhymer's Harp. Plug him into a Glade Guard unit, that unit is going to be crazy annoying the entire game.

A BSB is almost required for every army now and WE are no exception. The issue with all Woodies is their survivability. T3 isn't going to keep them in the fight for long. So the re-roll is great for them. I can't bring myself to get a magic banner on the BSB. Armor of Destiny works well to make him stay in there at least a turn longer than normal. The unexpected hero from this section has to be the Branchwraith. Murder of Sprites and Cluster of Radiants gets you a D6 of poison attacks and an additional Dispel Dice. Don't forget that he's also I8 with 4 attacks. Leading a unit of Dryads, he can bring the hurt as a support charge or against a small unit of normal troops.

Glade Guard are the same but definitely require more of them. The always-stand-and-shoot banner is practically required. I've been fielding a large block of 20+ and they consistently work out well. Dryads are not as strong as before but I wouldn't run without them. Grab yourself about a dozen and they'll treat you well if you pick-and-choose your fights. Eternal Guard are an interesting slot here. The Highborn means you can take them as a Core instead of Special. Same cost as the GG, but no bows; +5 armor with additional hand weapons AND spears (weird I know, but their fighting style is cool like that). My 18 block with the BSB in there makes them Stubborn and dishes out a ton of attacks. The Razor Standard gives them a little extra punch which is sadly missing from the unit. If you're not feeling the models, another GG block is probably the way to go. Glade Riders are almost exactly the same as before only not as good.

Treekin Support Charge. That should cover Special Choices.

Kidding, there's a lot of depth in here now. Eagle Riders are almost viable for hunting missions. Wild Riders got dumped on but don't fear, they are incredible at Warmachine hunting. The vanguard move gets them close and since they're movement 9, they should be on top of things early and often. Try them out with the Banner of Swiftness. Now you got a 20" marching unit that can re-form due to Fast-Cav rules, Immune to Psyche, with a ward save against non-magic. My last game saw a unit of 5 take out 5 warmachines from my Empire opponent. Treekin should be in units of 4 or better. A 2x2 square puts out a lot of hurt without taking up much space.

The double eagles are hard to pass up. Way Watchers are having a bit of trouble but marching and chasing a heavy armored unit the whole games is a lot of fun. The Treeman still keeps it real. He can even go toe-to-toe with a Hellpit for a turn or two. Don't forget that the army has Forest Strider. That means the Treeman can move around nicely and has the Tree Singing ability.

At 2500, you should be seeing a sizable army forming. Wood Elves, much like their cousins, are points heavy. The cheapest thing in the army is 12 points a model. I played against a Dark Elf player this last weekend. Great match, even if I was vastly outnumbered. He fielded three big blocks: 40 Corsairs, 25 Black Guard, and I think close to 30 Witch Elves. A unit of 10 Cold Ones, a hydra, small block of archers and regular spear-elves to wrap up. BSB and two casters (lvl 4 and lvl 2) leading the way. I ended up winning but it was a drag out fight. My points left were in the Eternal Guard unit (~240), the Glade Guard (~240), and all three of my heroes (~700), and I had killed his general, taken two banners, and his BSB (add ~200). The remains units he had were the Black Guard and the Witch Elves (~650-ish). So a win, but hard fought. I'll post my list if people are interested.

In summary, I guess Wood Elves didn't change all that much from the way I was playing them before. The re-direct army of the past is now the super-quick army of now. So long as you're not taking a unit in a straight fight, the Wood Elves can do quite well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wot was that? ::shank::

Hey, everybody. Sorry I've insanely busy with life and work. But I have had a chance lately to do some projects. I took a quick break to play in a doubles 40K tourney. My buddy and I ended up winning for the second year in a row. His sisters, my Tau. Crazy fun times.

Our last game was with a team of two ork players. One of the best games I've had of 40K in a while. It inspired me to get back into 40K a little, but don't worry. Fantasy is still getting the majority of my time. Recently, I've been working on my Wood Elves and my Beastmen at the same time. They're looking pretty mean at each other across my desk. It got me thinking of some good ambush units in the 40K world. I usually run my Kroot like that but Snikrot has it down pat. Hence my for fun project:

This bad boy is about two hours of good work from done. I love painting green skin. I'll update again when I got him finished. Snikrot was also the test model for my new airbrush. Just wait till I get it on Mork's Teeth.

For the Beastmen front, I've been looking at Chariots. They're an iconic piece of the army and make for an intimidating line if you drop 5 or 6 core choices like that, so I've been working them up. 

The chariot is finished but I need to work up the boars and the base, but a good start.

Expect another painting update and some cool Wood Elf tricks up next. They might not be popular but they will still hand you teeth at the end of the day. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NoVA Open Report

Hey hey, everyone. A bit late coming off of the weekend of the Open, but here's the rundown of my experience. I went in with my Lizardmen ready for an uphill fight. I wanted to win at least half my games on Saturday, but depending on my draws, I was ready to be fed a steady diet of my own teeth all day.

Here's the gist of what I brought:
Slann - Lore of Life, Cupped Hands, BSB - Banner of Eternal Flame, Loremaster (I forget the real name of the Discipline), Becalming Cognition, Magic Resistance (3)

Skink Priest - Level 2, Cloak of Feather, Plaque of Topek

Skink Chief - Ancient Steggadon, Steggadon War-Spear

Core choices were 2 x Saurus Blocks of 20 with full command, 22 skinks with banner and muso. along with 2 kroxigors, and a small 10 man skink unit with blowpipes

Specials looked like 17 temple guard with full command, razor standard and the mask of EEE! on the champ, 3 Terradons, 6 chameleon skinks. I only took 2 sallys for rares.

I felt pretty confident with my list, because I had been testing it a lot. Worked in some solid blocks with annoying units while trying not to do a lot of repeats.

Game 1 - Chaos Demons: First time I had played against demons in the new edition. If someone told you that Demons got nerfed in the new edition, someone lied to you. The guy brought a pretty balanced list, which I was glad about. The Masque - definitely the MVP. I had a chance to charge her in the first turn with my steggadon. 2D6+1 impact hits would have settled that out-right, but I whiffed the charge. Needed a 6 to make it, rolled a 3 (nice going, Jeff-Rey). From there on, I could not make a leadership test to save my life. Chain panics and the Masque making thing complicated doomed me. Overall though, I had a great time playing against my opponent, Josh. He had a gorgeous jungle themed army, and we were both in the right mood for the first game. Result: Loss

Game 2 - Wood Elves: I was looking forward to this match, because not only did I just transfer from Woodies to Lizardmen but my opponent also brought strips of steak for each of his matches. Best Hangover fix: Warhammer and steak. I challenge you to find a better one. The game was pretty back and forth for a while. The Wood Elf movement phase is just as impressive as it was before. The climax of the game was when I flank charged a 38 block of archers with three heroes in it. If I could crack it, it'd be game over. My temple guard did what they could. All three heroes make-way, fend me off, then re-set for the next attack. Moving at the speed of "elf" is no joke. They might be a little stringy, but when they squeak something like 13 attacks through, best give respect. He also showed me a really crazy way of equipping an eagle riding lord with Eternal Guard stance, maybe a post for a later date cause that guy can hold it down. Result: Loss

Game 3 - Orcs and Goblins: This was one of the weirder match-types: Fortitude Points. If you hit 3 or lower, game over immediately. You count your banners, BSB, and the general counts as 2. I had about 6, my opponent had 9. The winner was determined by who had the best ratio at the end. This was the first time against a Savage Orc boy list. There wasn't too much to comment on this one except that went the TG's pick on a weaker unit while they have the regen spell up, its not even funny. I managed to get my Skink Priest behind a unit and pushed it almost into the TG's with Wind Blast. Wind Blast is a really underrated spell. Getting units out of position is a great advantage. I broke Grimgor Ironhide's unit twice with some combo charges and both times he got away. I ended up winning by chewing up his night goblin unit which had a BSB (2 points) and 2 more of his Savage Boys. By the end, I had 5 of 6 remaining, he had 5 of 9. Result: Win

Game 4 - Lizardmen: Its a cold-blooded grudge match, people. We both had really similar builds with only slight variations. He brought two steggs, I had one; I brought a Level 2 priest, he didn't have one; he brought more chameleons and I had my TG's. My opponent had a really interesting build for his Slann but also had Becalming Cognition, so neither of us were banking on getting the double 6's to cast. That actually kept things really close, until I got Comet of Cassandora off. It took 3 or 4 turns to come down and made a total mess of the board. The game ended with his ghost Slann locked in combat with two other units chopping away uselessly. Great match, its interesting to see the difference in play styles with similar armies. Result: Win

So I hit my goal of going 2 & 2 for the weekend. since I lost two games I got my name in the random raffle, and ended up with some ChessEX Dice. The real highlight was during the award ceremony for me:

I was awarded the "Heart of Gold" for Sportsmanship in Fantasy. My mind is still blown. No joke, its extremely humbling to get something like that in a competitive situation. All the guys I played were great opponents and the Fantasy community there was fantastic (pun intended) to pick people's brains. Playing at that level, you learn a lot very quickly from very experienced people. I told myself that I was going to take a break from Fantasy after the Open, but coming off the weekend, I'm already neck deep into my new project.

If any the guys from the NoVA Open see this, you guys put together a tight tournament that was a blast to be a part of. To the players, everyone had a great attitude for the whole day and I think I heard people laughing at least once at every table. Thanks for the weekend and the games. Until next time, keep rolling high.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Painted Lizards

Finally! Found some time to get some pictures up on here. Ok, a quick brief on the style of lizards I've put together, because I know on a few, people might jump on me. It has to do with the background (fluff alert) for the army.

The way I see the Lizardmen as servants of the Old Ones is to get people in-line. Specifically, demons. So with some of the models, I've tried to set them up with a demonic influence from exposure. My lizards have a tradition of taking demonic mounts and finding ways to break them for their own use. I have an Old Blood riding a Juggernaut and my Terradon riders on Screamers (more on those guys later. painting in progress).

Without further to do, let's get to some Core units. First up, the Saurus Warriors.

I wanted to get away from the traditional blue/green guys, so I went red on 'em.
I haven't gotten the entire unit done yet, but here's a group shot of them in progress.

The light is washing them out a little bit and my camera is actually a camera phone. Sorry, my real digital camera is in pieces.

Next up, the Skink/Kroxigor unit!

A lot of people dump on the mixed unit. But they actually have a decent bit of heartiness and surprising fighting power. Since there's a Parry-Save now, the 6+ actually will catch people off guard. I do have real Kroxigors but those trolls are too good to pass up. I mean, look at how the one reaches over the front rank.

My most well known Skink so far has got to be Jeff-Rey upon his noble mount, Gary.

Jeff-Rey started out as a handler for Razordons until he managed to kill a Chaos Knight by himself. That's a hard worker if I ever saw one. Here's a better look at the howdah.

The Slann is always a central piece for any lizardmen army. Mine has a bit of a different way of moving around.

Once I have it based, it will gel a little better. Everything still needs some touch up but I'll update these guys as they get more finished. Right now, I'm focusing on getting done what I can before the NoVA Open this weekend. If you're going, let me know. Its local for me (which is awesome) and I'm hoping to give it a good shot on Saturday. Let me know what you think of these guys, but remember, my camera sucks. Catch ya laters. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Temple Guard, or Where the Hell is My Shield?

Fantasy is definitely my game. I started out 40K style, but the past is where its at. My most recent army has been the Lizardmen, which are almost done with my habit of building armies. The first box of models I got for them were the Temple Guard. I love these guys. They look great, have cool weapons, and can be taken to almost be impossible to get off the board. I even did custom bases for them (I hate basing, by the way).

The ideal way to run a block of these fancy lads is to stick a Slann in there. With the new changes on line of sight for magic missiles and direct damage, he should be able to float up and fire even if he's in combat. This also makes the unit Stubborn on a 9. Cold-blooded will keep most lizards in place but on a Ld of 9, they aren't going anywhere. 

There are two other ways of making this unit stick: make the Slann the BSB, or throw in Chakax. The Slann BSB just makes that Stubborn 9 extra safe. Chakax is a pricey hero at 335 points but he makes the unit Unbreakable. Plus he's a challenge machine. Even assassins have to reveal themselves early and would strike last against him. Anything High Elf related is going to get chewed up because he's WS 5 with 4 attacks. His great weapon makes him strike at STR 7 and gets to re-roll the first round if he misses you.

The great issue is that unit is a ton of points. It usually ends up in the neighborhood of 1200 points with all your Lord, half your Hero, and a good chunk of Special choices. The worst part is the shields on the TG's only apply outside of combat. I hate that. Weapons that require two-hands means he just drops the shield as soon as combat starts. Sure a 3+ against shooting is nice, but most times you need the better save in combat rather than the shooting phase. Shooting is usually -1 or -2 to armor, which on 4+ Saurus warrior could be trouble but its not terrible. With TG's, I'd rather have the 4+ against shooting and 3+ in combat, and here's why:

The typical Saurus Warrior is around 12 points (depending on whether spears are taken). They got a 4+ armor and the parry save (a 6+ ward) in close combat. Temple Guard are 16 points, but only get a 4+ in close combat with no parry save. Weapon skill a little higher, and the bonus from the halberd. Those extra points get sunk into the special passive abilities with the Slann. Both units are equally tough, strong, fast, and same number of attacks. The TG's upgrades are really expensive after you start adding in enough to make them work. Without support, a 4+ armor elite unit isn't going to decimate other elite units. They'll stick but with a lot of your points into that unit, it's hard to get those linebreakers in the list too. 

So a 20 block of Saurus with full command is at least 100 points cheaper than an effective TG block. That extra 100 points is a skink unit or a terradon squad waiting in the wings. 

With Lizardmen being hearty and elite, you gotta find ways to save points. I'm going to have a few test games with the solo Slann. Next up, I'm going to run through the new lores with the hypnotoad. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

8th and the Open

NoVA Open is going down on August 14th. I ran across the announcement by accident on whiskey40k's blog a while back. Now, I'm by no means the ultimate tournament player. What's great about tournament play is the level of play you are working at. I love playing the garbage games in the shop and just fooling around with a crazy list where winning isn't the goal. The big part of what I like about WFB is the insane happenings that go on the battlefield. The win is nice, but if you lose because two of your own comets came down and wiped out half the board including most of your stuff? That's awesome.

Tournament play has its place. When there's something on the line, it can bring out the best and the worst in people. The best being a fun game with a competitive army where you get to see two players really show that they know how to play. The worst is a mix between people who don't know what they are doing, and people who get insane with rule-lawyering and suck the fun out of the game. Unfortunately, with the new edition, I think there's going to be a fair lot of both of those types. New rules means

The NoVA Open is going to be 8th Edition. I've been trying to get as many games in as possible so I can really learn the rules and tricks you can pull with the system. Part of the barrier to get into the new edition is to forget a lot of the implied rules from 7th. Like the charging system, ordering of charges, skirmisher units, etc. Everything is different. I got 6 games in over the long weekend at the local shop and a few more last weekend. I played my lizards and my opponent played skaven. We used the new book at 2000-2500 points. Here's a run down of what we gleaned from the new system:

Fat Christ, are they quick! Games that would normally take 2 to 3 hours to complete for 7th edition zip by in about an hour and a half. If you run with the new special terrain, it takes a little longer but not by much. Units might be bigger but with magic and your own units being bigger, models will fly off the board.

Gotcha now! Charges are 2D6 plus movement. Slow units just got fast, and fast units got insane. Plus depending on how you choose your charge reactions can make a big difference in who's getting down run by what.

Reach out and touch someone. Combat and charging are still huge aspects of the game, but you really have to find a way to get at someone before they're on top of you. Magic and shooting are the two easiest ways. Even though you don't even really need a caster in 8th to protect yourself, its really hard to say "no" to the new magic lores. Without balance, armies fall apart quickly.

Oh the humanity! There's a lot of ways to die in the new edition. Your well-painted, favorite unit can, and will be, trashed in more than one game. Units get more attacks, magic just being sick, even the terrain wants you dead.

All in all, I've been pleased with the changes with 8th. I didn't think that it would revamp everything like it has. I love to see old models come out again now that their useful. Its also bringing in a new flock of players into the Fantasy side of the shop. New players means new tactics. That's another great thing about tournament level play: you get to see stuff go down that you might not have ever thought of running. I think the Open is really going to help me amp my game as well as crash course into the deeper parts of the new book.

Now all I have to do is paint up the massive number of models I'll need for the Open. Awesome.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Late to 8th

The clock has run out and the book is ready. 8th edition is ready for pre-order. The price: manageable. Sure it's a bit on the expensive side, but really, you're only getting one. That is until the next edition. Personally, I want the gamer's edition with the bag. Because the only thing I was missing from my hobby of playing with toys was a purse. And, yes, I am getting one.

The dice are pretty interesting but I think that they should have more per set. Think about it for a second: 8 dice in a bag. Infantry getting to attack in two ranks; shooting in two ranks; horde formations. You're going to need more than 8 dice per set of rolling. They look amazing but I really don't want to buy two sets to get 10 dice to attack. Bit of a nit-pick but can't be positive about everything.

I'm loving the style of the new templates. The whole range of extras has such a great look and feel to it. I'm digging the Engineer's Ranging set but I probably won't get it. 

The one really crazy thing I like from the post on the GW announcement is that airship. I have to admit: I'm a sucker for steampunk airships. I got my hands on a really old White Dwarf which has plans to make a giant bog monster with a howdah (one of my new favorite words) on its back. Might have to make that guy a project.  

So what am I going with for my first 8th edition army? I got Ogres, Wood Elves, and Skaven, all of which I'm really comfortable with, especially Skaven. But I think I'm going to have to go with the small Lizardmen army I got to building. The Lizards have become a bit of a project army for me. I have always hated basing, but through the magic of the Internet, got a few new tricks up my sleeve. 

Lizards now are crazy magical. Bow before the glory of the Hypo-toad! Comets, lightning bolts, and re-rolls. Lizardmen have the magic phase down. Its pretty easy to go this route and load up on Engines of the God and spam Burning Alignment. I'm not such a fan of the typical lists for an army. Throwing in the random unit that no one uses or fielding a different lord can really throw your opponent off. I want to get those units that people general think are weaker in the Lizardmen and prove you can be competitive with them. I'm already fielding skink-kroxigor cohort units, razordons, and a skink chief on a steggadon (not an ancient). 

Now, I want to field kroxigors, but they are actually really hard to get your hands on. I really like the look of the new trolls, especially since they're in plastic now. So, I've been working on making trolls into Kroxigors by painting them up with more of a scaly skin look to match the real kroxigor and skink look I'm going for.

The real kroxigor is hunting his fat, ugly cousin.

I love these models. I just recently picked up a set of real kroxigors but I'm still going to field my fat kroxies. They look great reaching over a rank of skinks by the way. I'll get a group photo of these chaps when I finish them up. 

The local GW has the new book and I got to see a bit of Tuesday, but other plans pulled me away. I did get to see a Dwarf charge of 12", which was freakin' amazing. Hopefully I'll the breakdown of the new combat rules this weekend. Until then, be seeing ya.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ogres and Escalating

Warhammer 40K had kind of worn on and I wanted something different. Warhammer Fantasy filled that need of renewal perfectly. I wanted a quick army that could build fast and was straight forward as possible. Enter the Ogres.

Ogre Kingdoms are larger than man-sized people who live up in the mountains. Practically every unit has the 'Dogs of War' special rule. This means you can normally field an Ogre unit in any other army that has 'Dogs of War' as a rare unit. Ogres are all S4, T4 and have 3 Wounds a piece. And that's a core choice.

Also built into every Ogre is the Bull Charge. If an Ogre charges more than 6 inches (since its movement value is 6, they have a full charge range of 12 inches), each Ogre in contact gets an impact hit. Plus every Ogre in the second rank grant +1 S to the impact hit.

Big dudes, cool rules, lot's of wounds. So what's the draw back? They are very expensive points wise. A normal Ogre Bull is between 35-43 points depending on how you outfit them. So if you want two ranks of Ogres, you're pumping a lot of points into one unit. The other issue is survivability. Ogres are T4, yes, but have crazy low armor. Ironguts have Heavy Armor but wield great weapons so they have to balance. Their magic, while really funny sometimes, is usually pretty weak. All Gut Magic spells cast on a 3+ but that also means dispelling is usually pretty simple.

I'm still excited about seeing Ogres in 8th Edition. I loved my Ogres when I got started. With the rumors of an additional attack at the end of combat from larger models, the old Ogre list is starting to creep back into my mind. I can see it now: the 3x3 formation of Ogre Sized units running down small units and taking their lunch money. With the additional rumors of Ogre Sized models in the second rank getting up to 3 attacks instead of an additional 1, that's quickly becoming 3 Impact Hits at S6, 18 attacks at S4, and another possible 3 Stomping Attacks at S4. Start adding command and heroes to units like that and Ogres get a new lease on life.

I first started out in Fantasy with an escalation league with my Ogres. Escalation leagues are a fantastic way of starting a new army or even a whole new game system. So if you're thinking you want to get into Fantasy when the new edition comes out, try an Escalation league. If there's enough interest I'll post on how to run one effectively for Fantasy. And remember, a lot of GW's already have the new book. Some of them are even going to be running some demos of the new rules in the coming weeks. Ask them and see if they're hosting a preview night. Until then, stomp ya laters! 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh yeah! Painting the models!

We've all done it. Played with the 'primer army'. You get a new unit assembled and want to play it to see if it was actually worth buying. As much as I try not to, I usually end up with a unit or two that's not painted on table. Even the tournament standard of three-colors is a thorn in side of some players. You spent hours painting your whole army up only to have your opponent show up with glue still drying on his units. I played my fully painted AND based Skaven army of 200+ models in a recent game. My opponent had one unit that was primed.

You don't have to be a great artist to get three basic colors on a model. There's a lot of quick, easy ways to paint up models to at least give them a little flavor on the board. You can go for a quick white primer coat, wash, then drybrush. Dipping is another quick and popular method. I don't understand why people dump on dipping so much. It's quick and easy, and if prepared right, can give you some cool results.

I like to play with painted models but not the bare minimum. Everyone's skill is at a different level but there's a lot of ways to pump your painting. Practice is always the best, but challenging yourself is even better. If you got a local GW, ask about painting competitions. They're a great way to learn new tricks and get pointers on your technique.

Blogs are another great way. There's a ton of really good resource material out there. My current favorite is a blog called The Painting Corps. The guys there are incredibly talented and track down good tutorials from all over.

Massive Voodoo is another site I go to often. I think they're German but also have some of the best sculpts and painting I've ever seen. They're tutorials are pretty easy to follow too. I've been using their priming technique for my Lizardmen with some decent results. Massive Voodoo also has articles on art theory in the event you're inclined towards the heavy artsy side.

Painting by Tinweasel: good work, decent tutorials. A little sparse on the progress photos but cool results.

The other resource I use is Cool Mini or Not. You want to see what a cool Vampire Counts or Empire army looks like, go check it out. Its a great place to get new ideas on old armies.

Those are my favorites. Let me know if you have anything that you use regularly to help amp your skills. Books, websites, other people. I love learning a new technique so if you got something cool, let me know. Once I get my new camera, I'll some progress shots of my own stuff up. Until then, be seeing ya.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Four Pillars of Great Success (7th edition)

In 7th edition, there's many ways to win. Everyone has their own formula to what makes an effective army. Fantasy is one of those beasts where you can still take the weaker units of your army, so long as you can use them effectively, you might pull the win. Fantasy functions best when you can blend the abilities of your individual units together. It's called "synergy": the product is greater than the sum of the two parts. There's a few things that I try to remember when I play any fantasy army.

There are four principles that were taught to me that really improved my game: Deployment, Combat Resolution, Don't Fight a Fair Fight, and Psychology.

Deployment is the fastest way to lose in WFB. In the current Fantasy edition, Player A places a unit, then Player B places a unit. This goes back and forth until everything is down. Then the Heroes and Lords are placed and the game begins. This style of deployment let's you react to what your opponent does. It also let's you pick off smaller units with stronger ones, put your cavalry in a good charging lane, figure out how to get into a flank charge, etc. If you don't deploy well, or worse, rush the whole deployment phase, the game can be over before it begins.

Combat is decided by who can generate more resolution than the other side. You do this by killing other guys, standard bearers, battle standard bearers, complete ranks past the first (up to 3), outnumbering your opponent, flank and rear charges. It's very rare that all these elements will be in the same combat at once, but I've seen some crazy things happen in combat. If you have a unit that can't generate combat res through killing other guys, you have to give it ranks or a banner. If that unit can't really get ranks because its expensive, it better be able to kill some stuff. Combat orientated units need to be able to generate combat res somehow, or you're just wasting points.

Don't Fight a Fair Fight. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CHEATING. It means picking fights you can win. I'm not going to send my lone unit of gnoblars against a block of Chaos Chosen, even though I still managed to pass my Break Checks on double 1's two times in a row. My nickname was 'Gnoblar Leadership' for a while at the local shop. Now, a fair fight is usually one-on-one, head-on with equal numbers. That's not what you want. You want to hit units from the front and the side in the same round. You want to bring that fast, strong unit to smash up that 10 man archer unit. This uses the other two principles together. Deploying correctly, or at least well enough, and figuring out how to get a unit to win in combat let's you take out units and make it look easy.

Psychology is extremely strong in the current edition. Demons of Chaos and Vampire Count players will tell you. Fear and Terror change the game dramatically. Forcing your opponents to take multiple Leadership Checks in a turn is another way to utilize psychology. Low leadership units suffer the most against psychology, but an unsupported strong unit can suffer even more. Units that are Immune to Psychology are the first response when it comes to armies built around Fear/Terror units. ITP units are great but come with their own problems. In 8th edition, the rumor mill has been churning with changes to Fear and Terror, specifically making them not the devastating forces they are today. I've had many a combat lost by 1, and be forced to roll double 1's instead of normal Leadership minus 1.

These are just some general guidelines I follow when putting together an army for 7th edition WFB. Do you do something different? What mantras do you follow for Fantasy?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blog Highlight - Little Green Monsters

Hey there, I just found this guy's blog. He has some of the coolest Chaos Warrior conversions I've seen in a while.

In a world where Chaos is usually all spikey and standard looking, this guy gets some serious credit for converting up a pretty unique looking army. Check him out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

8th Edition Rumors

Ok, can't hold it off any longer. The Warseer Forum seems to be the place to get on top of these rumors. I know I'm not on the cutting edge here but I figured if I'm going to talk about it, I should at least have a way to show it.

The only thing in the rumors that I really have a gripe with is the movement stuff. Charging with random movement removes a lot of control from the general. Plus the War of the Rings game already has this kind of charging system. I really think this is someone wishlisting but I've been surprised before. I'm kind of bummed that charging probably won't let you go first, which is a big deal in the current edition, but with combat changing to allow more models to fight it might not be so bad.

Again just rumors here. Is there anything there that's exciting to you? Is it going to let you field that one unit you love but gets slaughtered in every game? I'm digging the idea of bows shooting in two ranks standard for my Wood Elves. Same thing with being able to field Eternal Guard and Tree Kin instead of an army of super-skirmishers.


One thing I will give credit to the Internet for is that there's a lot of information out there. With Warhammer being as complex and customizable as it is, its nice when someone can put it together for you in one (or a few) places. There's news sites, blogs, and forums that dedicate so much to the hobby, I'm just going to list a few I use.

For news, I like Bell of Lost Souls. They hit on a bunch of different hobby games which is nice. Its cool to see the other stuff, like Warmachine or Flames of War.

There are so many blogs dedicated to wargaming, there's no way to know them all. But From the Warp does a wicked decent job at putting them together. Check them out for a ton of great blogs.

Like any hobby or nerd related medium, there's podcasts. My personal favorite, Australians talking Warhammer; funny accents, good coverage. What more could you ask? World's End Radio is also good if you play 40K too.

Now, gaming is just one aspect. Painting is a HUGE element of my hobby. I've always been an artist so the fact that I get to paint these things is golden. I probably go to at least double the amount of painting blogs than I do gaming ones. I'll put together another post with all the painting stuff I go to.

Until then, check ya laters

True Purpose

I want to get into a little bit more about what I really want to do here. Like I've stated below, I love WFB. Its a challenge regardless of what the conditions are for the fight. It's not about who you bring to the fight as it usually is with 40K, but about how well you control your army. Even the big nasty units can be taken down by a well executed plan with lesser units.

I have only played in 7th edition. I know, I know. A lot of people are going to have issues with someone whose view of the game is narrowed by the fact they didn't play in previous editions. But I've played a lot of 7th edition. I help out at the local GW teaching people from the 40K to learn how to play WFB. With 8th edition coming out, I want to see how the game really changes. With the rumors floating around the net about the up-coming edition, I'm pretty excited. I don't want to go into all the rumors that are out there, but I will hit on some of them.

As a final note, we don't what will actually be true until the book comes out. So until then, grab some salt, dust-off a flame-shield, keep an open mind, and enjoy the ride.

Fresh Start

After thinking about it for a while, I've finally decided to actually make an account of some of my Warhammer experience. I've been playing a little over a year, which isn't much compared to some people. I started out in 40K but I quickly got hooked on Fantasy when I picked up the Ogre Kingdoms. Since then I've started a Skaven, Empire, and most recently, Wood Elves. I like the weird armies that have a lot of character. I think the real enjoyment of the game comes from having a good time with the people you play against. If both players have a blast, neither side feels like they've lost something, except maybe an hour or two.