Monday, 15 January 2018

New year, new challenges

Happy new year, everyone! I hope the holiday season was good to you, and Santa showered you with an unseemly amount of hobby goodness.

Naturally I spent the holiday break doing things other than updating the blog, which has become a bit of a theme. But I have been up to a few hobby-related things, so it's clearly time for an update.

First up, I am in the midst of preparing for the annual pilgrimage that is Cancon. For the third time I will be playing Kings of War at the event, and this time I have decided to take Elves. I think I have only used Elves once, in my first ever game of KoW. And naturally I will not be playing any practice games. In fact I don't think I've actually played a game of KoW since last Cancon. So yeah, what could go wrong?

Of course, it wouldn't be tournament preparation without trying to use the event as motivation for getting something painted. This time I have decided to paint up the Green Lady, a sabre-toothed pussy cat for her, and a regiment of Stormwind cavalry. In Warhammer terms this is Ariel, Queen of the Wood Elves, and a regiment of Silver Helms. 

Every time I go to paint Elves, I am reminded how much hard work I find it. They have far too many fiddly details that you either spend ages painting properly, or feel like you cheaped out by trying to ignore and hide it. This is probably why I've been avoiding painting these Silver Helms for about 15 years... It's time. I'll just try to ignore the stares of the 30 or so unpainted ones that were sitting behind this batch.

As for Ariel, I've had the model for about 20 years when I got her as part of the prize for the first tournament I ever entered. She has sat partly assembled for most of that time. Better than her husband, I guess. I got Orion at the same time and he's never even seen glue...
OK, so she's meant to be on a 40mm base. She balances remarkably well on a 20mm though, which is what she'll need to do when she is being the Green Lady. After all, she's just an Elf. A really, really tall Elf.
I have a plan for Ariel. Someone mentioned that I should try to paint the wings using the new Chameleon "colorshift" paints sold by Greenstuffworld. This seemed like an excuse too good to pass up, so I immediately ordered some, and they arrived pretty efficiently from the other side of the world. Anyway, apart from experimenting a little on the board I use for spraying undercoat on models, I haven't actually used these paints yet. It will be interesting to see how that goes and if it works for what I have in mind.
Fancy paints! Oh, and some brown stuff, because I've never tried using it before. Meant to be good for making knives and stabbing weapons, as beloved by terminators everywhere...
The New Years tradition of a big game was sort of upheld this time around. I had been sitting on a copy of Warhammer Triumph and Treachery for quite a while, and we decided it would be fun to give it a try. Naturally we then compromised the plan by using more players, models and table space than is perhaps advisable. We had 6 players with 3,000 points each, and whilst it did more or less work, it was a bit too slow. I think the game is better suited to armies more like 1500-2000 points. Oh well, next time, eh?

Once again we used modified rules for 8th edition, tweaking a few things in order to address some of the stuff that bugged us about the core rules. I did take a few photos, but nothing too exciting. This is what I got:
The table was somewhat improvised using what we had on hand. I knew I had terrain. Didn't realise we didn't have matching cloths or boards that were not falling apart... But hey, at least we had snacks.
My army. 3000 points of Ogres including a solid regiment of 12 Ironguts. Actually, this is only most of my army. Someone (Nick Cook) decided to turn up with Skarsnik (who I had foolishly painted up recently), and he promptly rolled for every unit in the 5 opposing armies to force things into reserve. In my case this meant my Sabretusks and a regiment of Ogres. Others fared worse.
Owen's Chaos Warriors lined up very close to one of my flanks. At least the 20 Chaos Knights were facing Pete instead. Oh, and it turned out he had 30 Chaos Warriors arriving late courtesy of Skarsnik's antics.

On my other front, Ben took a Black Knight bus packed with Vampire characters. Then Skarsnik sent the bus itself into reserve, leaving the Vampires at a loose end during deployment.
Pete's High Elves lost a whole group of things to reserve, including his Archmage, a Bolt Thrower, and a horde of Spearmen.
Nick's Goblins didn't lose anything to reserve, on account of the whole reserve thing being his fault for bringing Skarsnik. He was lucky to be able to deploy in the corner, because by this point he wasn't making many friends...
Nick Hoen's Chaos Warriors, trying to decide if they wanted to kill Ben or Nick Cook first. I think his Hellcannon started off the table.
The table with less junk on it (apart from my marshmallows). It would have been more congested if everything was on the field at the start of the game.
I got the first turn (I know, right?). In actual fact, I got the first turn every single time throughout the game (the turn order is randomly determined each turn for Triumph and Treachery). It was bizarre. My Ironguts charged and smashed through Owen's Chosen and ended up fighting his Trolls.
Owen's Trolls fought my Ironguts to a standstill with a dazzling display of regeneration rolls, which was pretty funny.
But because he was fighting combats against me, Owen's large unit of Chaos Knights could only glower sullenly at Pete's stuff. Actually I think the Swordmasters had fled his charge, so when combat came around he had no choice but to resolve the Troll combat.
Hoen's fancy marauder cavalry (what are they called? Hellstriders?) went in and dealt with some of Nick Cook's Spider Riders, but managed to trigger fanatics afterward and came away a little damaged.
Most of Hoen's Chaos decided to face the Great Green Threat in the corner, rather than Ben's undead next to him.
Ben mostly looked at Hoen (not exactly returning his favour of looking the other way), but did decide to send a horde of Grave Guard and a few Wraiths my way.
Nick had bombarded Pete's forces with artillery in his turn, which meant the Dragon Mage was now just a Mage, who had to go hide in one of the units as his reserves marched onto the field. Unfortunately his Archmage took aim at the Mangler Squig with Spirit Leech and only succeeded in blowing up himself and half the White Lions. It was impressive, in a way. And yet Pete was not impressed. Go figure.
All the vamps in the bus, c'mon and let me hear you say "Vlah!"
So in Turn 2 I got the first turn again and decided I had to do something about the 40 Grave Guard encroaching upon my personal space. So the 3 Mournfang went in, boosted with a little assistance in the form of +1 to hit, +1 strength, +1 toughness and regeneration... Turns out that's quite a lot, and they killed more than half the undead unit (would have been a lot worse in normal 8th rules). The Ogres charged the Wraiths, hoping to wear them down with combat bonuses. I didn't account for how well Ben was going to roll, however. Those Wraiths were chainsaw-wielding lunatics and it wasn't long before they would be chasing the shattered remains of my regiment through my deployment zone.
I formed up my lines facing Owen, but was busy in combat on the other front, so had to settle for a little shooting.
Ben successfully got Hoen's attention, and most of the Chaos stuff turned to face him...
...Except Throgg and his Trolls, who went through the Arachnarok like a hot knife through butter. One round. That was all it took. Killed it outright.
It was just about mutual annihilation between the Mournfangs and Grave Guard. This one guy did ride out the other side eventually. It was a good effort.
Run, these Wraiths are monsters!
After Pete failed to kill the Mangler Squig, it then rampaged through most of his line, doing wonders for his state of mind. So he decided to retaliate with "the Birb". The Frostheart Phoenix charged into the flank of Skarsnik's regiment of Night Goblins. It was already wounded, but after all the Goblins had poked at it, it still had a single wound left. Skarsnik's mob lost fairly badly, and then Pete produced a Treachery card that disordered the unit, which in our rules meant they also lost steadfast... Skarsnik fled.
The bird caught the fleeing Goblins easily, and it resulted in the other Night Goblins with Nick's BSB also panicking and fleeing. His entire battle line had just folded. To add insult to injury, Pete then revealed that he had another amazing Treachery card that prevented Nick's fleeing Goblins from rallying. So they continued fleeing through Hoen's forces and departed the table. Poor Nick. Sort of. Stupid Skarsnik...
Ben was pushing into Hoen, and the Marauders offered no resistance.
Owen's poor Chaos Knights being blocked by Pete's remaining Silver Helms. Owen was too busy fighting me to be able to declare the charge.

My Ironguts had gone through Owen's Trolls with some help from the Leadbelchers in the flank (there was a very handy pursuit roll that had made that happen), but fell just short of the Chaos Warriors.
Owen took the opportunity to charge me instead, but my Ogres held firm. Then the Leadbelchers arrived in the flank again, and stuff got ugly.
Having "handled" most of Owen's army, my forces turned toward the rear of his Chaos Knights. By this point my units were copping various Bolt Thrower shots and Treachery cards from other players as I was well on top, but being on one end of the table rather than in the middle probably spared me a bit from the worst of it.
Ben's Vampire Lord managed to get himself into a challenge with Hoen's Chaos Lord, and I believe they basically cut each other down over a couple of rounds.
The net was closing in on the Wraiths. The Hunter had a magic weapon, which was of particular concern.
In the closing stages Owen's Knights finally got to charge my Ironblaster, but bounced off it embarrassingly. They might even have lost combat. Either way, it was not a great effort.
Obviously I failed to take lots of photos. Pete's "Birb" ended up charging the rear of Nick's Trolls all alone, despite being on a single wound, and managed to destroy them. Then someone shot it and it died the final death. But its fury had been terrible to behold, and Pete ended up with a decent pile of gold by the end. I think Hoen and Ben had also harvested a bit from each other, but in the end the damage I had done to Owen (and Ben's Grave Guard) was pretty catastrophic, and I came out well on top.

As I say, we came out of the game feeling that it bogged down a little too much with over-sized armies (waiting for 5 people to move 3000 points of stuff each is a long down-time between turns, and it can be even longer if you drop further down the turn order the next turn). However the system was fun, and I suspect we shall give it another shot at some point.

In the meantime though, Kings of War! Cancon! Man, I have some painting to do!


  1. Great battle! I find Triumph and Treachery games always go longer, so I am impressed you went for 3000 points. I actually have a TnT game coming this weekend, though at a lower points limit (1200 or 1600).

    Looking forward to seeing these elves painted up, as that is my current focus as well (though not for cancon, wrong side of the country).

    1. I do think smaller games are ideal, now that I've actually tried a game of TnT. Was still good fun, though.

      I find every time I sit down to paint Elves, a little part of me dies looking at all the detail. Hopefully most of me will survive this process.

  2. So no mention of my amazing fear rolls? Every SINGLE time chaos warriors or chosen had to fight Ogres, they failed the fear roll.
    Also, the reason the knights did not charge pete (and where thus out of position most of the game) was him playing one of those treacherous triumph cards which forced me to declare against someone else in combat. Or to put it another way, fearful that the twenty-knight block would blend basically anything, he forced me to fight Greg, whereupon I failed a fear test like a pro.

    1. You were exceedingly good at fear rolls, weren't you? I admit I had forgotten that in the weeks since. Never before have such craven Chaos Warriors taken to the field. You did manage to make my Ogres look very effective with your insistence at always fighting at WS1...

    2. Sir, the people and their hippos demand photographs of colour flipping Ariel! I posted pics of my WIP Morkanaut on my blog, you must reciprocate!

  3. T and T is a great rule set but anything more than 1800 points can be a bit of a grind especially if you have not played in a while. Great looking game!

    1. Cheers. Yes, it seems everyone except me has actually tried TnT before. I am a bit late to the party. Now we know how slow it can get, and how nasty some of the treachery cards can be. Lessons learnt!