Monday, 8 February 2016

From the Vault: All in the Name of Conquest

Some games live long in your memory. This particular game occurred almost 9 years ago (March 2007), and was peculiar in that it is the only time we have ever played a game, and then been forced to go back and recreate it for a battle report because we found it so entertaining. Obviously this is now a very "obsolete" version of Warhammer and most of us will struggle to remember the nuances of the rules from back then. But I still remember the game fondly and thought I would share it here rather than leaving it languishing upon an old archived version of the club's website. You'll have to excuse the quality of the photos etc. I think we were using my 3.2 megapixel digital camera. Sounds horrific, but I think it was almost respectable back in the day...

All in the Name of Conquest

A 7th edition Warhammer Fantasy battle report by Greg Johnson and Peter Spiller

A group of us recently attended Conquest, which is a long-established Warhammer Fantasy tournament (among other things) held at Melbourne High over Easter. This time there were only 20 players attending, and given that there were 8 HGC members going (and one defacto member who was an old friend over from Germany), there were good odds of us playing games against each other.

Pete and I met in the 4th round and being regular opponents we settled in for a hard stoush. The game ended up being a particularly amusing one, and so after the tournament we decided we should revisit it and turn it into a battle report. Given the well-planned manner in which this was recorded then, you'll have to forgive us if our account is not 100% accurate (though I think it is, and nobody else saw the game so I think we're pretty safe).

Drycha's Vengeful Host

Greg: It took me a while to work out what army I wanted to take into Conquest this year, but in the end I settled for Wood Elves. Even then I had trouble deciding whether I wanted Wardancers, Wild Riders and the rest, but in the end I decided that I would like to take Drycha. Last year a friend took an army that was very similar to this one into the same tournament, and performed moderately (including handing me and my borrowed Vampire counts our biggest win of the tournament - thanks, Aaron!). I figured I could do better, and Drycha looked like fun to use. I was originally going to include a unit of Wild Riders anyway (they are Forest Spirits after all), but in the end I found myself starting to paint them on the day before the tournament. It wasn't long before reason took over and I abandoned them in favour of less ideal (but more painted) options, in a few more Dryads and the mounted mage.

In the end I came equal 4th in the tournament, which was a pretty good result given that I ran into 2 Daemonic Legions along the way. The army has no answer to Greater Daemons (especially the Bloodthirster), and losing all my saves while my opponent keeps all of his makes it a pretty tough assignment. I lost to both, but learnt a few lessons by the second game and came out with a few more points. I had to learn to curb my aggressive playing style, which was somewhat on display in this battle report.

For those who don't know what Drycha can do, she is basically a very angry Dryad Branchwraith with 5 Strength 5 attacks and rerolling failed hits, but only 3 Wounds and Toughness 4. So she's dangerous but weak. She can deploy elements of her army in Reserve and they enter from forests rather than table edges. She can also teleport herself and a unit from one forest to another, but can't charge as she does so. She gains attacks for lost wounds, is a Level 2 mage with 2 bound Treesingings, causes Terror and adds 2 additional dispel dice to the pool. Basically she's a walking basket of special rules. Oh yeah, and in case I missed that point, she's really, really, pathologically, unrelentingly angry. At me. At you. At everyone!

For spells, I rolled Treesinging and Fury of the Forest for Drycha, and Treesinging and Call of the Hunt on my mage. This last one was critical, given that it would go some way to compensating for Pete's Vanhel's Danse Macabre, which he would at least have in the Book of Arkhan. I managed to win the roll-off for table edges, planted my BYO forest in the middle of the table, set up fairly spread out and I was good to go.

Army List:

  • Drycha
  • Spellsinger
    • Elven Steed
    • Glamorweave Kindred
    • Ranu's Heartstone
  • 12 Dryads
  • 10 Dryads
  • 10 Dryads
  • 10 Dryads
  • 3 Treekin
  • 3 Treekin
  • Treeman
  • Treeman

Alexei von Carstein's Dread Legion

Pete: The last time I entered Conquest I used Skaven, and while they didn't go too badly some things were a bit beyond them (ie passing Ld10 Terror tests). I felt like a change, so I used Vampire Counts this time. (Nothing to do with not having to take inconvenient Psychology tests or the fact that my re-vamped undead probably look a bit nicer than my 'sea-of-brown' Skaven.)

I took an infantry-heavy list which I'd like to think was reasonably balanced. It had a couple of characters who could fight reasonably well (the Vampire Count and the Vampire Thrall), decent amount of magic (the Count and a pair of Necromancers) and enough infantry to look vaguely Legion-esque. The Grave Guard could actually dish out some pain as well as take it, which was handy. Some Dire Wolves and Ghouls were handy for cleaning up light enemy units and generally getting in the way of things, and a Banshee was usually good for shrieking at things or holding up monsters/chariots/etc when combined with the BSB (or both). I say 'usually', since against an army that was immune to her scream and uniformly equipped with magical attacks she'd probably be as useful as a water-soluble boat, but at least she's only 90pts.

I rolled pretty well for spells - Vanhels Danse Macabre on the Count, Gaze of Nagash on both Necromancers and Invocation of Nehek for everybody. 'Pretty well' is a bit of an understatement since I couldn't really think of a better selection to have against Wood Elves (maybe some Hellish Vigor would be nice, but I'm getting greedy). Even with Drycha generating an obscene number of dispel dice, I was feeling reasonably confident about my magic phase.

When it came to deployment, I did my usual anti-Wood-Elf-huddle-in-the-corner thing. As long as I a) avoided being flanked and b) kept topping up the Skeleton units with Invocation, I could probably hang around in the face of the maddened wooden blender army long enough for the Vampires and Wights to do their choppy thing and save the day. In theory, anyway.

Army List:

  • Alexei von Carstein - Vampire Count
    • Great weapon
    • Level 2 wizard
    • Ring of the Night
    • Cursed Book
    • Wolf Form
  • Zlad von Carstein - Vampire Thrall
    • Nightmare
    • Battle Standard
    • Sword of Might
    • Flayed Hauberk
  • Abel Yemenov - Necromancer
    • Level 2 wizard
    • Book of Arkhan
    • Dispel Scroll
  • Vargas Raschid - Necromancer
    • Level 2 wizard
    • Power Familiar
  • Bone Legionaries - 19 Skeletons
    • Full command group
    • Light armour, shields
  • Dust Legionaries - 19 Skeletons
    • Full command group
    • Light armour, shields
  • Legion Militia - 16 Zombies
    • Standard, musician
  • Flesh-Eaters - 9 Ghouls
  • Corpse-Eaters - 9 Ghouls
  • Night Stalkers - 5 Dire Wolves
  • Night Prowlers - 5 Dire Wolves
  • Legion Elite - 20 Grave Guard
    • Full command group
    • Heavy armour, shields
    • War Banner
  • Druellagh - Banshee

Don't ask me why this particular image is so fuzzy. The better version chopped off the labels.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cancon 2016 KoW Aftermath - Part 3

This is the final part of my tournament account. You can find the previous part here.

Game 5: Loot!
Lockjaw, Kingdoms of Men

  • Berserker Horde - Pathfinder
  • Berserker Horde - Fire Oil
  • Berserker Regiment
  • Berserker Regiment
  • Beast of War - Ballista
  • Beast of War - Ballista
  • Siege Artillery
  • Siege Artillery
  • Ogre Shooter Horde - +1 to hit
  • Wizard on Pegasus - Inspiring
  • Wizard on Pegasus
  • Wizard on Pegasus
  • Army Standard on Horse - Boomstick

Coming into this game I was on 2 wins and 2 losses. I'm afraid at this point my photo-taking broke down entirely. I was aware of having already failed at it in my previous games, so I decided to give up and focus on playing my games instead. I've patched together something approximating the battlefield so you can get a handle on what I'm talking about, but from now on you're on your own. Best of luck to you...
This was the table and deployment. More or less. The little compasses are the loot markers.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Cancon 2016 KoW Aftermath - Part 2

This is part 2 of my tournament account. You can find part 1 here.

Game 3: Dominate!
Clint Richards, Twilight Kin

  • Dark Lord on Dragon with Ensorcelled Armour
  • Dark Lord with Blade of Beast Slayer
  • Wiz with Fireball, Bane Chant and amulet
  • Dark Knight Reg with Blessing of the Gods
  • Dark Knight Reg with Potion of Caterpillar
  • Reaper Guard with blade of Slashing
  • Reaper Guard with Brew of Haste
  • Reaper Guard with Fire Oil
  • Hydra
  • Gargoyles
  • Spear Horde with Brew of Strength

I had never played against Twilight Kin before, but they were similar enough to Elves that I had some idea of how to approach things. This game turned out to be my favourite game of KoW so far, and I really wished I had been taking photos toward the end. Oh well. I have consoled myself by trying to reconstruct the game using Battle Chronicler. At least then you might be able to follow what I'm talking about. The description (such as I remember things) is in the captions.
Deployment: I didn't get to choose table sides, but this was the side I would have gone for. I put the Volley Guns in a defensive position behind the water, overlooking the central control area. It then became something of an arms race on my right flank as we tried to out-flank each other.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Cancon 2016 KoW Aftermath - Part 1

Cancon is over for another year and I've now had about a week to recover from the trip. As usual I will give a bit of a run-down of my time at the event, but this time it will be a little bit different. My preparation for this tournament was not the best. I put minimal effort into creating my army list, packed at the last minute, and headed off to Canberra. It was only once I had arrived in Canberra that I realised that I had not actually brought everything I had packed with me. I had left a bag behind. The bag contained my rule books, dice, tape measures, some of my movement trays, the paints I was going to finish off my bases with, and also my camera. The night before the tournament I was using a kitchen knife to cut the lid of a pizza box into makeshift movement trays.

In the end my situation was not as severe as it might have been. After laughing at my situation Nick reached out to some of the Canberra locals and a couple of them arrived with some proper movement trays, which worked a whole lot better than the pizza ones would have. People loaned me a copy of the rulebook and Uncharted Empires, I found a spare tape measure in my car, and I bought some dice from one of the stalls at the event. So I was more or less back on track, but the only camera I had was the one on my phone, which still seems to be less than ideal for taking photos of games. I fiddled with it for a bit, but pretty quickly abandoned it as a forlorn effort. I decided to just focus on playing the games and enjoying myself. So this will not be a detailed run-down packed with details and photos.

My army list is below. It is notable for its almost complete lack of magic items. The Duke on the Ancient Winged Aralez should really have had something, most likely 6+ defence. The horde units are also all pretty powerful and would benefit greatly from an item to boost their speed or grant them Pathfinder. Oh well, I wanted to jam lots of things into the list and this was how it panned out:

  • Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez
  • Baron on Aralez
  • Wizard on Horse with Bane-chant, Inspiring Talisman
  • Halfling Master Engineer
  • Horde of Honour Guard with Dwarven Ale
  • Horde of Honour Guard
  • Horde of Dogs of War
  • Regiment of Household Knights
  • Regiment of City Militia
  • Halfling Volley Gun
  • Halfling Volley Gun
  • Halfling Iron Beast

Game 1 - Kill!
Jeff Galea, Elves

  • Dragon Kindred Lord with Medallion of Life
  • Green Lady
  • Mage with Bane-chant, Inspiring Talisman
  • Horde of Kindred Tallspears
  • Horde of Kindred Archers with Heart Piercing
  • Regiment of Stormwind Cavalry with Brew of Courage
  • Horde of Drakon Riders with Dwarven Ale
  • Horde of Chariots with Caterpillar Potion
  • Bolt Thrower

So I turned up at the first round without having actually played a game with Rhordia, and with my head muddled about with a combination of KoW and Warhammer rules after playing the latter far more recently than the former. Fortunately the first round was a simple scenario - Kill! That would help me muddle through.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Basing versatility

It has been a pretty quiet holiday period for me in terms of hobby activity. There has been a lot of other stuff going on and it's seen me either too busy or too tired to sit down and try to do anything productive. However next weekend is Cancon, and having committed a long time ago to going, I finally need to start paying attention and work out what needs to be done.

I've made the trip up to Canberra for Cancon maybe 15 times in the past, and every single time I have played Warhammer Fantasy. That is not really an option this time, with the choice coming down to either 9th Age or Kings of War for those who were looking for a game of that type. I chose Kings of War, put in my registration, and then gave it no further thought. It's only now that I've really started considering what army to take. I couldn't really pick something requiring a lot of preparation, so I've settled for something different that still uses what I have already available - League of Rhordia.

Unfortunately I am decidedly weak on the Halfling front, so my army will really just be making use of the human choices in the list so I can use some of my Empire stuff that doesn't get a run in the Kingdoms of Men. Exciting stuff like Wolfygryphs and Volley Guns and Steam Tanks...

Anyway, with this in mind I managed to get myself to sit down and finish my unit of Republican Guard, so I now have the 40 models I need to field a horde of Dogs of War in the Rhordia list. They're funny - pikemen so heavily armoured they waddle along at the speed of Dwarves. I also needed to do some work on my Wolfygryphs, because they're on 50x75mm Warhammer Monstrous Cavalry bases, which is not right for use in Kings of War (they should be on 50x50mm). So some re-basing was required.
Bases! As usual I cheated as much as possible and asked Pete to 3D print me what I needed. But wait, you can't fit Demigryphs on those...

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Shattered Dreams and Hopes Lost

My last post described the rules we would be using for a moderately large game last weekend. The intent was to try to break the pattern that we commonly see in multiplayer games, when the larger game turns into several smaller parallel one-on-one games with little interaction between them. Well we tried things out, and this is how they went.

This was never intended to be a really fancy report and I was playing at the same time as taking pictures, so the presentation is not all it could have been (some of the photos are really blurry). Oh well.

We played with about 17,000 points per side, with each player commanding a little over 6,000 points. It was all kind of thrown together with the models that I already had at my place, so the composition of the armies might not have been all that it could have been.

High Elves (Empire West)

  • Prince on Star Dragon with Shield; Armour of Destiny; Star Lance
  • Teclis (Lore of High Magic)
  • Archmage (Level 4, Lore of Death)
  • Annointed of Asuryan
  • Noble with Battle Standard; Halberd; Armour of Caledor
  • 50 First Spearmen with Full Command
  • 40 Lothern Seaguard with Full Command
  • 15 Silver Helms with Shields; Full Command
  • 12 Archers with Standard; Musician
  • 12 Archers with Standard; Musician
  • 15 Dragon Princes of Caledor with Full Command
  • 40 Swordmasters of Hoeth with Full Command; Razor Standard
  • 30 White Lions of Chrace with Full Command; Gleaming Pendant
  • 40 Phoenix Guard with Full Command
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
  • Frostheart Phoenix

Empire Centre

  • General on Imperial Griffon with Great Weapon; Full Plate Armor; Talisman of Endurance; Dragonhelm
  • Balthasar Gelt
  • Wizard Lord (Level 4, Lore of Life)
  • Captain with Battle Standard; Barded Warhorse; Full Plate Armor; Shield; Sword of Might; Dawn Stone
  • Warrior Priest with Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
  • 30 Knightly Orders with Great Weapons; Full Command
  • 16 Reiksguard Knights with Full Command; Banner of Swiftness
  • 60 Greatswords with Full Command
  • 60 Halberdiers with Full Command
  • 40 Swordsmen with Full Command
  • 5 Demigryph Knights with Full Command
  • 20 Handgunners with Standard; Musician
  • Great Cannon
  • Helblaster Volley Gun
  • Celestial Hurricanum
  • Steam Tank

Empire East

  • Arch Lector on War Altar with Armour of Destiny; Mace of Helstrum
  • General on Imperial Griffon with Great Weapon; Full Plate Armor; White Cloak of Ulric
  • Wizard Lord (Level 4, Lore of Heavens)
  • Wizard Lord (Level 4, Lore of Light)
  • Captain with Battle Standard; Barded Warhorse; Full Plate Armor; Shield; Opal Amulet; Sword of Anti-Heroes
  • Warrior Priest with Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
  • Master Engineer
  • 30 Knights of the Inner Circle with Full Command; Steel Standard
  • 30 Knightly Orders with Full Command
  • 60 Flagellants
  • 60 Halberdiers with Full Command
  • 60 Halberdiers with Full Command
  • 40 Spearmen with Full Command
  • 20 Handgunners with Standard; Musician
  • 16 Crossbowmen with Standard; Musician
  • 16 Crossbowmen with Standard; Musician
  • 5 Demigryph Knights with Full Command
  • 40 Greatswords with Full Command
  • 5 Outriders with Sharpshooter
  • Great Cannon
  • Great Cannon
  • Helblaster Volley Gun

Chaos West

  • Daemon Prince of Khorne with Chaos Armour; Daemonic Flight; Exalted Gift (+3 Strength)
  • Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury with Greater Gift (+2 Strength?); Greater Gift (+1 Toughness)
  • Keeper of Secrets (Level 4, Lore of Slaanesh) with Greater Gift (+2 Attacks); Greater Gift (something)
  • Herald of Slaanesh with Battle Standard; Greater Locus of Swiftness; Greater Gift (2+ Armour)
  • Herald of Nurgle with Lesser Locus of Virulence; Greater Gift (Fencer's Blades)
  • Karanak
  • 30 Daemonettes of Slaanesh with Full Command
  • 20 Bloodletters of Khorne with Full Command
  • 40 Plaguebearers of Nurgle with Full Command
  • 10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
  • 6 Beasts of Nurgle
  • 6 Fiends of Slaanesh
  • 23 Flesh Hounds of Khorne
  • 4 Bloodcrushers of Khorne
  • 5 Seekers of Slaanesh
  • Soul Grinder of Slaanesh with Daemonbone Claw; Phlegm Bombardment

Chaos Centre

  • Belakor 
  • Chaos Lord of Tzeentch on Daemonic Mount with Barding; Shield; Hellfire Sword; Talisman of Endurance
  • Sorcerer Lord of Tzeentch (Level 4, Lore of Fire (yes I know)) on Disc of Tzeentch with Talisman of Preservation, Sword of Anti-Heroes, Scaled Skin
  • Exalted Hero of Tzeentch with Battle Standard; Shield; Barded Chaos Steed; Dawn Stone; Sword of Might
  • 30 Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch with Halberds; Shields; Full Command
  • 20 Chaos Warriors of Khorne with Shields; Full Command
  • 25 Chaos Warriors with Halberds; Full Command
  • 40 Chaos Marauders of Slaanesh with Flails; Full Command
  • 20 Chaos Knights of Tzeentch with Ensorcelled Weapons; Full Command
  • 12 Chaos Knights with Ensorcelled Weapons; Full Command
  • 8 Dragon Ogres with Great Weapons; Light Armour
  • Hellcannon

Chaos East

  • Galrauch, The Great Drake
  • Great Bray-Shaman (Level 4, Lore of Beasts)
  • Wargor with Battle Standard; Great Weapon; Trollhide Armour
  • 50 Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh with Halberds; Full Command; Banner of Swiftness
  • 40 Gor Herd  with 2ndWeapon; Full Command
  • 3 Chaos Chariots (operating as a single regiment to keep things tidy)
  • 28 Chosen with Great Weapons; Shields; Full Command
  • 10 Chaos Ogres of Slaanesh with Great Weapons; Heavy Armour; Full Command
  • 1 Doombull with Great Weapon; Armour of Destiny; Gnarled Hide
  • 11 Minotaurs  with Great Weapons; Light Armour; Full Command
  • Dragon Ogre Shaggoth with Great Weapon; Light Armour
  • Dragon Ogre Shaggoth with Great Weapon; Light Armour
  • 10 Chaos Knights of Slaanesh with Lances; Full Command

There was some debate over how best to handle deployment. In the end it was a roll-off. The losing side had to deploy one of its 3 contingents first. Then the winning side had to deploy 2 of theirs, then the losing side had to deploy both of their remaining contingents before the winners placed their 1 remaining force. In this case the Empire won the roll-off, so the last thing deployed was the Empire centre (me).
The forces lined up along the table. The circles show the area of the rifts if they are opened (control comes from unengaged units standing on the marker in the centre at the start of their turn).

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Field of Shattered Dreams

This is a scenario intended for use in large (multi-player) games of Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition.

The intent is to allow 2 teams of players to fight an objective-based scenario, but where there is more point to controlling the objectives before the end of the game and where it is easier for players to take a direct hand in each other's area of the field (rather than pretty much playing 3 separate games alongside each other, as can happen in a game like this).

The Field of Shattered Dreams

Deep within the borders of the Empire, a coven of Chaos sorcerers performed a ritual to open a rift into the Realm of Chaos. This rift was intended to allow a flood of daemons to enter the mortal plane and cause havoc within the heart of the Empire whilst an army of mortal Chaos worshippers advanced under the cover of the confusion that followed. 

Well that was the plan, anyway. Unbeknownst to the sorcerers, their actions had drawn the attention of the Colleges of Magic in Altdorf. A response was hastily arranged, and at the height of the ritual the Empire wizards struck. The spell could not be entirely stopped, but the outside interference caused the rift to fragment, shattering into several smaller parts. These smaller rifts lacked the direction of the original spell, and as such they fell dormant, waiting for someone to seize control.

A mad scramble ensued as the mortal Chaos invasion force rushed to claim control of the rifts, whilst the Empire response force held what they could and waited desperately for aid.