Border Princes Teaparty was yesterday. And I didn’t do well. Ha! That’s an understatment. I did shockingly.
My first battle was against Ben and his lizardmen. I decided to weight my left flank, as this area of the board was more open than the rest, allowing me some more maneuverability. My right flank was left pretty much to a single unit of 25 slaves. It must be said, they did fantastically, protecting the flank from Skinks, Razordons and Terradons.
I think I did fairly well in this game. Though I ended up losing, it wasn’t by much. The Skinks and swarms were no problems, but breaking though the units of Temple Guard and Saurases proved almost impossible. The Globadiers occupied the central building quite early, and this gave them three turns of uninterrupted shooting, during which they wiped out a skink unit trying to flank me.
Really, I wouldn’t change much from this game. What let me down were important dice rolls. On more than one occasion my Warplightning Cannon landed a shot right on top of the Slann, only to roll no strength for the shot. The Jezzails also let me down, having two turns of close range shooting on the Stegadon and failing to take it out. Overall, though, it was a good game that was really fun to play.
My next game was against Jason and his Beastmen amy. The objective in this game was to be holding the building in the last turn of the game. Our battle field had a river through the centre, with woods on either side near the middle. This meant that the centre area was difficult to get through, and I only committed the Giant Rats unit to the entire centres defence. On the right flank I put the Jezzails and slaves, facing off against a Chariot, Minotaurs and Hounds.
The Beastmen had me on the defencive from the start, with two units showing up in my deployment zone in the first turn. This proved difficult for my right flank, but a shot from a Warpfire Thrower kept the one on the left at bay. By the second turn Jason had occupied the building with a sizable Gor herd. I had placed my Clanrat unit with the Screaming Bell across the only ford in the river, making it difficult for Jason to shift me.
For most of the battle we just sat on the river, constantly in melee combat. My Globadier tried to remove the Gors from the building with shooting, instead managing to destroy themselves with a disastrous shot of a Death Globe. My Stormvermin fared little better as they tried to beat back a single chariot and assault the building.
Jason was pretty much primed for a win, the house being worth 300 points, but on the last turn I managed to roll the building destroying bell toll. The Screaming Bell was only just within 18 inches, and it took the building down in a shower of rubble. This event not only deprived Jason of the 300 points, but gave me half points for the Gor unit inside the building along with his Battle Standard Bearer.
So it was a win for me, but really only by the luckiest of events.
My third game was against Andrew and his Warriors of Chaos. And yes, in typical fashion I totally forgot to take a picture.
His army was mainly cavalry, backed up by two medium sized blocks of warriors and three mounted sorcerers. In this game, I got totally thrashed. I managed to miscast in the first turn, giving Andrew a free spell. He cast some terrible thing on the Screaming Bell, managing to make all the hits against the carriage and destroying it totally. From here things went from bad to worse. Using Pandemonium he cut off my spell casting ability and quickly closed on my army. Without it’s Unbreakable centre, and thanks to some appalling rolling, the Skaven line quickly become overrun.
In fact, I did almost as much damage to myself as Andrew did, with multiple Ratling Gun misfires culling whole units of my own troops and things generally exploding at every opportunity. This really was the eye of the storm for everything going wrong.
So in the end, my meager middle-of-the-road placing became second from the bottom thanks to one terrible game. But that is what the Skaven army is for, self-destruction and chaos.
I did have fun, and got to play some good armies and players. This also gave me an idea on what I should be adding to my army, or using less of. Surely no one would have a problem with two Doomwheels?
Today I played a couple of battles against Brad and Matt. The other Matt.
I decided to run a slightly different skaven army than I normally take. Since the new army book is drawing ever near, I thought I might try out some stuff I don’t normally take.
My army looked like this:
Chieftain: General with Skavenbrew
Warlock Engineer: Level 2
Chieftain: Battle Standard Bearer, Banner of Burning Hatred
20 Clanrats x2 units: Full command
15 Stormvermin: Full command
20 Slaves x2 units
5 Globadiers x2 units
5 Jezzail Teams
The first game was against Matt and his Dark Elves. I hate Dark Elves.
His army was a couple of large blocks of Crossbowmen, 20 or so Black Guard, 20 or so Witch Elves and a Bolt Thrower. He also had two Sorcerers and a Hero of some description.
Basically, his army peppered me from afar with magic and shooting, quickly whittling down all my troops. My only glimmer of hope was when his Witch Elves pursued some Slaves into the heart of my army, where I had the opportunity to shoot and magic them to death in almost a single turn. Apart from this, the Dark Elves wiped me out while making it through the battle pretty unscathed.
The magic was a big problem. He was slinging spells at me, and I just didn’t have enough dice to dispel any of them. I also couldn’t get any spells off either, which was infuriating. I think I really should have changed tactic. I was trying the old pincer move, sending Globadiers and Clanrats up either side with the rest of the army in the centre, but it just wasn’t working. I think weighting more troops onto one flank may have been a better idea. At least then a larger amount of troops may have made it into combat. As it was, only a third of a unit was making it across the board.
Next game was against Brad and his Orcs and Goblins. His army was made up of 5 Wolf Riders, 30 Goblins, 25 Orc Boyz, 20 Squig Herders, 6 Squig Hoppers, a Rock Lobba and a Giant. Characters were an Orc Boss, Orc Shaman and Goblin Shaman.
This game turned out much better. The Warplightning Cannon took the Giant out in the first turn with a S2 hit doing 6 wounds. Some deadly shooting by the Jezzails sent the Wolf Riders running from the board, while the Globadiers and Warlock Engineer took a sizable chunk from the Squig Hoppers. The hoppers managed to break the Globadiers in close combat, but the Ratling Gun make short work of the single hopper left. The Squig Herd was wiped out by the Clanrat unit it charged, but when it exploded took out the Ratling Gun, Warlock Engineer, some Stormvermin, Clanrats and Jezzails, as well as the Orc Boss and some Orc Boyz. Nasty stuff. The rest of the battle was some brief fighting and maneuvering, but in the end I came away with a Solid Victory.
I had taken what I learnt from against the Dark Elves and applied it here against Brad. I weighted the battle line towards the centre, leaving just a couple of units on the fringes. The Globadiers worked much better when they stuck closer to larger troop units. The Jezzails also did much better, most probably because htey had smaller units to shoot at, rather than the sparse, dense units in the Dark Elf army.
So these two battles contribute to my armys progress in our groups campaign. The skaven have their first win on the board!
While I was around at Brad’s, I also pick up some stuff he had for me. To Brad miniatures are like crack, he just can’t help but buy them. He happened to have quite a few skaven lying around, so I took them off his hands to build up my own army with.
There are some metal miniatures in there I probably won’t use, but the bulk of this I can probably find a use for. There are quite a few of the current multi-part Clanrats. Since it looks like new Clanrats are on the way I think I might use these ones as Slaves. This should give me a pretty sizable skaven force.
Now I have to sort through all this stuff.
Brad, Jarryd and Craig came around today to fight the first battles of the campaign. Yes, we are undertaking a campaign, run mostly by Brad. It’s a good idea, as it will give me a chance to run some of my Skaven troops and see what I am going to need. In my usual style I forgot to take pictures of my first battle, and then just couldn’t be bothered taking any of the second one.
The special rule for this campaign is that armies are made up with one less Rare or Special option than normally allowed. I decided to forgo my Rare choice and build an army a little different to what I normally take. I had a Chieftain, 2 Warlock Engineers, 2 lots of 20 Clanrats, 2 lots of 20 slaves, 5 Globadiers, 3 Rat Ogres and 5 Warplock Jezzails.
First I played a 1000 point battle against Jarryd’s Warriors of Chaos. It was a fairly solid list, 2 units of wolves, 2 units of warriors, a unit of knights, a spawn and a sorcerer. Mu initial shooting and magic made a couple of big holes in his army, killing 2 knights and causing some wolves to flee. A unit of slaves went up against the spawn and managed to beat it after three turns. The rest of my army pretty much fell apart, but not after doing a bit of damage to some of the wolf units and a Chaos Warrior unit. In the end I was Massacred, but only just. If my Globadiers had of performed a little better I think that might have tipped the game in my favour, but as it was, they were more effective at killing themselves than the enemy. I also probably don’t need to shoot into my own unit quite so over zealously. In one round of shooting I did more damage to a slave unit than I did to the Chaos Warrior unit it was fighting, pretty much obliterating any chance it had of winning the combat.
Next I fought Brad and his Orcs & Goblins. 1 Boss, 1 Shaman, Wolf Riders, a Squig Herd, a chariot, Boyz, Night Goblins, Snotlings and Squig Hoppers were his go. I have not played against Squigs before. Man! Do they ever hurt! I wasn’t quite expecting such a diminutive fungoid creature to break out such mean stats. I realise they are little bouncing killing machines, but this was painful! I did equally as poorly against Brad, though this time I think this was due to luck and not Brad’s generalship. He used his units sensibly, but there were a couple of times that it all just went his way in spades. Multiple units rolling 6 for Animosity in a single turn and my Globadiers continued inability to hit anything are but a few. This game was a lot closer, though. While his main units ripped into my units pretty badly, my smaller peripheral troops did some shocking damage. A single Warlock Engineer is responsible for causing (what was left of ) the Orc Boyz to run from the battle.
I’m pretty happy with the list, and how it performed. The Rat Ogres could probably be taken out and replaced with something like more Clanrats or Plague Monks. At such a small size I think putting in some more ranked units would be a better idea, and the Rat Ogres just kind of peter around at the moment. I could probably also replace the Jezzails or Globadiers with more ranked units. I like the Globadiers more, but the Jezzails did a much better job against the Chaos and the Orcs. I think two units of Slaves might be one too many for 1000 points, but coming to a total of 80 points for the two of them, it seems silly not to take them. Keeping the Warplighting Cannon out of the battle was a good idea, though. While it can be a powerhouse of a machine, the absence of larger, heftier target for it to shoot at negated it’s overall usefulness. Sure, shooting 20 guys in a line is great, but is it worth risking 100 points over?
So Gobbocon was yesterday. I’ll give you the clipped note version, then expand on it a bit. Four battles, around 2 and a half hours each, 1750 points. Each battle had a ‘hook’, like one random character that was frenzied, stuff like that.
My first battle was against Brad. Figures! $40, and I end up playing the guy I normally do.
He was running his High Elves today, probably because they are the ones mostly painted. The game hook was that one randomly chosen character on each side was subject to Frenzy and Stupidity. His Elf Hero was effected, while it was the Damsel for me.
While this didn’t really effect me much during the game, Brad’s frenzied character was forced to charge the Grail Knights. He subsequently lost and fled, was caught, and destroyed. There went his major hitter. The rest of the battle was really close, I only managed to win by a couple of hundred points. Honestly, I think this has been one of our better games.
The next battle was against Greg N. and his ‘forest’ themed Ogre Kingdom army. It was a really interesting army, with the Ogre Bulls converted to have hair all over their bodies, and the Yetis looked a lot like Bigfoots. The hook from this game was that you could take any one item from your opponent and use it as your own. I took Greg’s Jade Charm (is that what it’s called? It rerolls Psychology tests), which meant that his General couldn’t reroll his Stupidity tests. He decided to take my War Banner. Personally, I would have taken my Lance of Artois or Icon, though the lance didn’t really effect his Ogre units, so I can see why he didn’t choose this. As it were, he took my War Banner, but he already had a War Banner in his list. This rendered the second War Banner useless, so essentially he had lost one whole Magic Item choice.
This was a good game too. The first three turns were very tenuous, with no charges and lots of micro-moving of units. We were both testing to see who would dive in first. I’m pretty sure he was wary of my charge range and power, and I was wary of his Fear. In the end, he declared the first charge, which fell short, and soon it was on. My knights broke through the left and right flank, but I had real trouble with the Rhinox Rider, as well as the Yeti units. Because of the Yetis -1 to hit, they were proving just a little too tough to hit at high numbers.
The whole game basically came down to the last combat on the last turn, with multiple units involved in an elaborate flank-charge-fest. I managed to scrape through and kill enough guys to secure a win.
I think one of Greg’s problems was that he didn’t use his Gnoblars to bait the Knights very well. They seemed to stick way too close to the Bulls. I would have had them come out a lot more, fleeing from the Knights charges and leaving them well within the Ogre Bulls charge ranges. As it was, he let me charge into combat and over run into fresh units, giving me a hefty advantage.
Also, he had some Trappers that set up just behind my lines. The Mounted Yeomen turned around to deal with them, and after killing a couple the Trappers just cowered behind the rocky outcrop and took no further part in the battle. If he had of sacrificed his Trappers and gotten them closer to my rear units, march-blocking or even getting into combat and tieing up some Knights, then I think the game would have been very different. I came away with a very convincing victory.
Third game was against Mark H. and his Dark Elves. This was a difficult game from the beginning, as I am still trying to get a handle on how the Dark Elves operate. The game hook for this battle was that the building in the centre of the battlefield contained the Goblin who had been causing all the previous trouble. You got 100 VPs for being the closest to it at the end of the game, 200 for having a unit inside, and 300 for having the character that was Frenzied in the first battle inside.
This game was enjoyable, though Mark did wipe the floor with me. His army was very compact, and centred mainly around the Couldron of Blood and the sizable Black Guard unit he was fielding. I managed to force his army into a bottleneck between the central building and a forest, but that didn’t seem to help at all. His Black Guard basically stood firm the entire time, hitting me with rerollable attacks until most of my Knightly units were paste. It didn’t matter if I got the charge off or not, the Black Guard had Always Strike First.
I did manage to get my Pegasus Knights around his rear and wipe out the Cauldron of Blood crew, which took out a little of his power. But the Black Guard just kept on keeping on. His Spearmen stood firm in another flank, using a revealed Assassin to wipe out slews of Knights. His Repeater Crossbowmen even managed to wipe out the Mounted Yeomen in one round of shooting.
Mark’s battle plan and army composition can’t be faulted. He had a good mix of units, the army was intelligently built, and he knew what unit he needed where. I think I need to sit down and look closer at the Dark Elf book, and get some more games in against them. They are a hard army, but I can see clearly where their weaknesses lye.
The fourth and last battle was against Peter C. and his Beastman army. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of this, because I clearly cannot be trusted to follow anything through.
The hook for this game was that your opponent rolled all your dice for you.
Basically, I think this won me the game.
Peter is a new tournament player. I’m not too sure how long he has been playing Warhammer, but he has a pretty good command of the rules. He used his army smartly, though he was a little meek in some of his assaults. His major downfall though was that I was rolling for him, and was doing a shocking job. While he made above average attacks and impossible saves and Leadership tests, I couldn’t even manage to pass Drunkard tests for his Centigor.
It was a really, really enjoyable game, one of the best all day, but I can’t really assess Peter’s generalship from it. I do look forward to facing him in the future, though.
Gobbocon saw me in 5th place, not that far removed from Wind of Magic. I even won myself an Old Blood on Carnosaur. What I will do with an Old Blood on Carnosaur, I do not know.
Yes, it has been a little while. Six days or something. And to be honest, not a lot has been achieved on the miniature painting front. Unfortunately real work keeps getting in the way. If I can just get it finished, then I can go back to painting Grail Knights.
Yesterday was Australia Day, so a public holiday for all! Brad, Jarryd and Craig came around for some battles. Australian indeed!
Myself and Brad ran our proposed tournament lists. While setting up for my first battle against Jarryd’s Warriors of Chaos, I noticed a slight oversight on my part. I had only purchased three Grail Knights! I usually like to run about 5, as they are fairly hard hitters. Oops!
The battle against Jarryd was interesting. He had taken an army that leaned towards Nurgle, making a bunch of units hard to hit, but causing -1 to my WS. He had a very different Chaos army than I had fought against previously. No War Shrine, lots of Warhounds and a couple of Spawns. The Warhounds were dispatched fairly easily, but the Spawn were neigh impossible for me to beat. I didn’t have trouble hitting them, but wounding them proved to be a challenge.
If I had managed to get a knight charge on one, that probably would have been fine. But Jarryd managed to consistently move his Spawns 11″ across the table for two turns, something I did not expect. The initial 11″ inches was fair enough, but to roll 11″ for times in a row for movement. Unheard of!
It was a very close battle, with both sides losing masses of troops. In the end, we came up with a draw, which was an acceptable outcome. The new Warriors of Chaos seem quite hard and versatile, especially with the selection of gifts and magic banners they can use to augment their lower numbers.
Next I fought Brad, who is currently running a ‘Dark Elf’ army. I say ‘Dark Elf’, because his army on the table was made up of not even half Dark Elf models, most being High Elf stand ins for troops he promised he was “sticking together”.
I deployed with the bulk of my army weighted towards the left flank. There were some woods on the right flank that created a funnel, and I figured that some archers and the Knight Errant should be able to hold that area, especially since I know Brad is always keen to avoid funnels. I probably should have committed some more troops to the left, though, like the Pegasus Knights and the three Grail Knights.
This is about half way through the battle. Those Bretonnians at the bottom of the picture… they are dead. The Dark Elves seemed to be cutting swathes through me, and I largely couldn’t do anything about it. Part of this was the large number of armour and ward saves I failed, but it wasn’t just that. I don’t think I had the right troops fighting the right Dark Elves, which isn’t surprising really, given that I have never faced the Dark Elves before.
The Hydra was causing havoc on my peasant troops who, because the generals unit had been sliced up by magic and run off, were cut off from any access to higher leadership. Charges made against the terror causing Hydra were largely useless as the troops broke and fled. Not good!
This is the end of the battle, where only both of the units of Peasant Archers are left alive, and the Grail Knights are fleeing for theirs. All other troops have been eliminated.
The men of the match have to be the Grail Knights who, even though there were only three of them, managed to hold out for a couple of turns against Executioners and Black Guard. In addition to this the three Pegasus Knights managed to kill the Witch Elf Hero with the Cauldron of Blood (before they themselves were wiped out), so there were small victories for the Bretonnians.
I think my army composition will have to change slightly, but I have a better handle on how the Dark Elves operate now. My Bretonnian army is quite large and while this worked well against the Warriors of Chaos it was less effective against the Dark Elves. My current thinking is to take out the second unit of Men-at-arms, as well as the Mounted Yoemen, and boost the Grail Knights up to 5. I might also bring the Peasant Archers down to 10, so I have two units of 10.
Brad seemed to think I needed a Lord character which, given the increased liklehood of terror causing units, seems like a good idea. The extra leadership could make all the difference. I think it might be worth bumping the Damsel up to a Level 2 mage. At the moment she is equipped with a Dispel Scroll and Icon of Quenelles, but I think it might be worth giving her a little more casting power. The only problem is that there is only one item in the Bretonnian Magic Items list that effects the Damsels casting, but it is useless now that the magic rules have changed. Really now, the Damsel only has a chance of successfully casting if the opponent has next to no magic what-so-ever. Obviously this will be fixed, but as it stands, it is very crippling. The best the Bretonnians can hope for is a slightly robust defensive Magic Phase.
Really I need to run more knights, but there are a couple of problems with this. One, I don’t have enough knight models to do that. And two, I don’t really want to do that. But it is looking more and more like it will be a nessecity. I’m hoping that I can get a happy middle ground, push up the few unit I have so they are a little larger without doing away with all the peasant units.
I really think the tournament is going to be a test for my army.
I have been a bit busy over the last couple of days. Didn’t manage to get any painting in, which sucks, but it happens. I did start on stripping my entire Skaven army. The Skaven were the first army I ever collected all those years ago, and their army composition and paint job reflects that. So I’m stripping the models, and reworking the whole thing. I have high hopes for this little endeavour.
These are all the models that need stipping. I’ve divided them into two piles, metal and plastic. Plastic needs a longer time soaking in the Simple Green, so I am going to put them at the bottom of the paint tin, followed by the metal miniatures.
I have put all the loose bits at the bottom. If I just threw them in with the rest of the stuff, they would eventually make their way to the bottom anyway. This way, I know exactally where they are.
This is all the plastic in.
Followed by all the metals.
And in with the Simple Green. I actually ran out part of the way through and had to go buy another bottle.
Metals only have to soak for a couple of hours before they are ready to be worked on. Cleaning them off thoroughly is pretty time consuming, so this is how many have managed to clean so far. I’m quite happy with how it’s going, 99% of the paint is coming off.
Yesterday I had a couple of battles. Since my Skaven are in the drink, I am forced to run my Bretonnians. This makes it sound like a bad thing. It’s not. I quite enjoy my Bretonnians.
My first battle was against Jad’s Dwarfs at 2000 points. I decided to try out some of the troops I haven’t really gotten to use yet, so my army composition was a little different than normal. I didn’t run a lord character, instead opting for three Paladins and two Damsels. I also didn’t include any Pegasus Knights, and gave the Questing Knights, Knights Errant and Grail Pilgrims a bit of a stretch. Against the Dwarfs I did quite well, as you can see from the pictures above. I killed the Dwarven general, a Lord, in the second turn during a challenge. After that I turned my attention to each of the dwarf untis in turn. At the end of the battle, you can see my Knights of the Realm and Knights Errant have surrounded the Dwarfs with Great Weapons, while the Grail Knights and Grail Pilgrims have engaged the Slayers.
These are all the casualties in my army, 98% of which were caused by a single Flame Cannon. They are nasty pieces of work!
And this is the deployment against Brad’s High Elves. He ended up with a Minor Victory over me, as usual, his Swordmasters causing a great deal of trouble to my troops. I do think it was a lot closer than the last time our two armies fought, so I am pleased with that. He did field a Dragon, though, which I had trouble managing. It’s terror effects didn’t make much of a difference, but it’s hitting power and high LD saw it eventually come out on top in a number of combats.