Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Going retro

No, this is not a suggestion that I have decided to become an Oldhammerer or something like that.

There may be an element of spoiler in this post, so if you're trying to avoid finding out what has been happening in the End Times, don't read on. I think by now most people that care are across things, though.

The destruction of the background that I have known and loved as a Warhammer player has left me more than a little bit nostalgic. I have not yet read the final End Times book, but I will do so when it arrives on my doorstep (I have ordered a copy). I've read the other ones though, and it's pretty clear where things are heading. And by the end of the Thanquol book, there's really not much left of the world. In fact, I am somewhat curious to see how the remaining events can fill a whole book. Apart from Nagash's undead forces, the only major settlements left standing against the Chaos and Skaven in the old world seem to be Karaz-a-Karak, Averheim and Athel Loren. Perhaps the Forces of Order are done, and all that remains is the Forces of Destruction bickering over the ruins.

I have always been an Elf player at heart. My first armies were High Elves and Wood Elves, and despite sometimes spending years without touching those models (I've been avoiding them recently because they're just too popular), I've always considered them to be the true heart of my collection. It is somewhat strange then, that the thing I find most depressing about the events of the End Times is not the destruction of Ulthuan. Nor is it the smoking ruin that remains of the Empire, which I focused almost exclusively on for the last few years. Instead, it's the obliteration of the Dwarfs.

They may not have always made for the most enjoyable games, but the Dwarfs have always felt like an important part of the Warhammer background. Their glorious history, sad decline and grim determination to hold on to what was left gave them a strong identity and depth of character that I always found appealing. And they had great models back when I started playing in 4th edition (Marauder Dwarfs 4eva!) The ruined holds made some of the best background for things like Warhammer Quest, and glorious campaigns to retake them were probably the most appealing in terms of potential campaign material.

The End Times is basically the end of all that. The Skaven have given the Dwarfs such a pasting that nothing really remains. And if I fail to let go and move with the times, the Dwarfs will be a large part of the reason why.

Anyway, it's with these thoughts in mind that I am finally breaking out of my hobby malaise and painting something. Now that he is dead, it seems the perfect time to paint up Thorgrim Grudgebearer. The same could be said of Belegar, Kazador and Kragg (all of whom I have kicking about), but Thorgrim feels too iconic to ignore, and I feel the need to work on him before he fades into irrelevance. I want to paint him (and maybe some of his contemporaries) up and take him for a bit of a spin on the battlefield.

Now, I have never really liked the more recent "viking boat" model of Thorgrim. I'm a traditionalist, and I like the original model. I've had a second-hand one for about 10 years, which means it's probably his turn for some love and attention (although he is by no means my longest-suffering model). I've re-based him to be consistent with the more recent model (which can actually rank up properly in a unit), and he's just about good to go.
Back in black. And really not fitting on his new 40x60mm base. Barge-ass.
In keeping with the retro-ness of it all, I think I'll basically be painting him like GW did. That's not my habit at all, but I am feeling very nostalgic at the moment.
Yep, that's the biggest pic I could find on the net. Behold his tininess. I'll do something about the flags. Mine lacks banner poles at the moment - I'll have to make some. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

On a road to nowhere?

My hobby efforts have stagnated of late. After a frenzy of activity preparing for and reporting on Heffengen and then Cancon, I am a little burned out. However, that is not the true source of my recent lack of motivation. What has really been killing my hobby mojo is the End Times and the threat of 9th edition coming close behind. 

The End Times books have been coming thick and fast since End Times: Nagash first appeared in August last year. The fifth and final book in the series is due to be released on Saturday. That's 5 supplements in 7-8 months. The level of uncertainty caused by this steady stream of change has made it incredibly hard to focus. In fact, it's been hard to even really absorb everything that has happened. I've managed to read each part of the story before the next one arrived (sometimes barely), but that's about the limit of it. I really have not had a chance to make use of any of it at all.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 7

This is the final part of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 8 - Battle Line
Sarah Mathews, Wood Elves

  • Glade Lord on Forest Dragon with Armour of Silvered Steel, Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon, Starfire Shafts, Asrai Spear, Asrai Longbow
  • The Sisters of Twilight on Ceithin-Har (Forest Dragon)
  • 6 Glade Riders with Musician, Standard Bearer, Spears, Longbows, Starfire Shafts
  • 6 Glade Riders with Musician, Standard Bearer, Spears, Longbows, Hagbane Tips
  • 6 Glade Riders with Musician, Standard Bearer, Spears, Longbows, Hagbane Tips
  • 6 Glade Riders with Musician, Standard Bearer, Spears, Longbows, Trueflight Arrows
  • 6 Wild Riders with Standard, Banner of Swiftness
  • 6 Wild Riders with Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
  • 6 Wild Riders with Standard
  • 3 Warhawk Riders
  • Great Eagle

Swedish Score: 14.7

Wood Elves. Wood Elves with no glade guard and no magic. Oh, and 2 dragons! How awesome is that? Of course, this meant another list with no BSB and (in this case) no magic at all. I guess when you’re spending all your character allowance on a couple of big monsters, sacrifices have to be made…
No dragons for the first 2 days, and then 3 in the final 2 games?

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 6

This is a continuation of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 7 - Battle for the Pass
Dustin Flack, Dark Elves

  • Dreadlord on Black Dragon with Armour of Destiny, Other Trickster's Shard, Seadragon Cloak, Shield, Lance
  • Master on Dark Steed with Black Dragon Egg, Heavy Armour, Seadragon Cloak, Shield, Lance, Brace of Repeater Handbows
  • Master on Cold One with Potion of Strength, Luck Stone, Heavy Armour, Seadragon Cloak, Halberd
  • Sorceress (Level 2, Lore of Metal) on Dark Steed
  • Assassin with Sword of Anti-Heroes, Charmed Shield, Dark Venom
  • 5 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows, Shields
  • 9 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows, Shields, Full Command
  • 28 Dreadspears with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 6 Cold One Knights with standard, Musician, Gleaming Pendant
  • Hydra with Fiery Breath
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • 5 Warlocks

Swedish Comp: 13.5

It’s a brave man that will go into a tournament without a BSB (unless you’re talking undead or something). In Dustin’s case I gather this was largely a comp-driven decision, but an army with little magic and no battle standard is likely to have a hard time of things.

This game felt like one I should be able to win, provided I could keep the keeper from dying. Thus far this had proven difficult, but I needed to preserve the points if possible.
Deployment and vanguards. There is a hydra there somewhere. See if you can spot him...

Monday, 23 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 5

This is a continuation of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 6 - Battle Line
Alex Thompson, Dwarfs

  • Runesmith with Gromril Armour, Shield, Rune of Stone, 2 Runes of Spellbreaking
  • Runesmith with Gromril Armour, Shield, Rune of Stone, 2 Runes of Spellbreaking, Rune of the Furnace
  • Thane BSB with Gromril Armour, Shield, Master Rune of Grungni, 2 Runes of Slowness
  • Master Engineer
  • 28 Longbeards with Standard, Old Guard, Rune of Stoicism
  • 13 Quarrellers with Great Weapons
  • 23 Hammerers with Standard, Keeper of the Gate
  • Cannon with Rune of Forging
  • Grudge Thrower with Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Forging
  • Gyrocopter with Steam Gun
  • Gyrocopter with Brimstone Gun
  • 18 Irondrakes with Full Command, 2 Runes of Slowness
  • Organ Gun with Rune of Accuracy

Swedish Comp: 13.8

Dwarfs! Everyone loves dwarfs! Well actually, it seems like dwarfs love dwarfs and nobody else does. Anyway, this looked like a pretty traditional dwarf list with multiple runed-up war machines, a lot of anti-magic and Runes of Slowness galore to buy a bit more time for shooting before the combat blocks engaged.

With our respective lists, this game was always going to be a question of whether I could rush the line before the artillery cleaned me up. I had some small hope of improving matters with the soul grinder’s stone thrower and Pit of Shades, but with Alex having the equivalent of two Destroy Scrolls up his sleeve, it was unlikely I would get a chance with anything less than irresistible force.
Dwarf deployment, with another gyrocopter off to the right out of picture.
My deployment, after vanguards.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 4

This is a continuation of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 4 - Battle Line
Karl Anderson, Orcs and Goblins

  • Orc Great Shaman (Level 3) with Earthing Rod, Ruby Ring of Ruin, Talisman of Preservation
  • Orc Shaman (Level 1) with Feedback Scroll
  • Night Goblin Big Boss BSB with great weapon, Talisman of Endurance
  • Night Goblin Big Boss with great weapon, Obsidian Lodestone
  • Night Goblin Big Boss with great weapon, Dragonbane Gem
  • 40 Night Goblins with shields, spears, full command, Netters 2 Fanatics
  • 18 Savage Orc Big 'Uns with additional hand weapons, full command
  • 5 Goblin Wolf Riders with spears, shields, musician
  • 5 Goblin Wolf Riders with spears, shields, musician
  • 18 Black Orcs with shields, full command, Standard of Discipline
  • 1 Goblin Wolf Chariot
  • 1 Goblin Wolf Chariot
  • Orc Boar Chariot
  • Orc Boar Chariot
  • 2 Snotlings
  • 2 Snotlings
  • Goblin Rock Lobber
  • Snotling Pump Wagon with Spiky Roller, Giant Explodin' Spores
  • Snotling Pump Wagon with Spiky Roller, Giant Explodin' Spores
  • Doom Diver Catapult
  • Doom Diver Catapult
  • Mangler Squig
  • Mangler Squig

Swedish Comp: 15

I had come out of day 1 with only a single win, so I was hoping to improve on that. I generally like to at least “break even” no matter what list I’m messing about with and this was by no means the worst I’ve had…

Karl had a traditional orc gun line (when did gun lines become the standard way to play orcs? The world has gone mad). It was a bit of a concern for my keeper, especially when backed up by Foot of Gork. On the bright side, there was not a whole ton of combat staying power, so I might be OK if I could weather the storm.
Deployment, after some wolf riders used vanguard to move up on my flank.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 3

This is a continuation of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 3 - Meeting Engagement
Michael Clarke, High Elves

  • Prince on barded steed with Dragon Armour, Charmed Shield, Dawnstone, Giant Blade
  • Archmage (Level 4, Lore of Metal) with Obsidian Lodestone
  • Noble BSB on barded steed with Dragon Armour, Ogre Blade, Enchanted shield
  • Mage (Level 2, Lore of Beasts) on barded steed with Ruby Rung, Dragonbane Gem
  • 27 Archers with full command
  • 12 Silver Helms with shields, full command
  • 6 Dragon Princes with full command
  • 14 Phoenix Guard with full command
  • Lothern Skycutter
  • 10 Sisters of Avelorn
  • Great Eagle
  • Great Eagle
  • Bolt Thrower
  • Bolt Thrower

Swedish Comp: 14.6

Michael seemed pleased to see me. Apparently he’s been waiting for his revenge ever since Kurt Helborg rolled a 12 to run down his fleeing archmage a couple of years ago

The scenario was Meeting Engagement, and I won the roll-off to set up first. Only my daemonettes started off the table, which wasn’t too bad. My herald lurked near some other infantry and waited for her friends to arrive. I put the keeper, beasts and soul grinder over on my deep flank, in an aggressive position.
Deployment. I put my stuff down first, with the herald alone behind the bloodletters.