Thursday 6 June 2024

The Old World - How I feel 4 months in

Hello! It has been almost 4 months since my last post. Obviously this is disgraceful, but it's hardly my first offence in this regard, so let's just agree I'm a terrible blogger and move on...

Over the last few months I've played maybe 10 games of The Old World, sampling lists from the Empire, High Elves, Wood Elves, Dwarfs and Ogres. I've also watched a number of other games, and spent a fair bit of time talking about the game with friends. This hardly makes me an expert, but at least I've had a chance to get a feel for some things. I've also spent far too much time preparing more base adaptors. Pretty sick of those, and I need so many more...

We did try a 6000pt game to see how the rules scale. It felt like it ran pretty well.

I currently have mixed feelings about The Old World. There are things I like about it, and things that displease me. It's still a battle to work out how many of these feelings are simply based on resistance to change. I'm sure some of them are. I'm old and bitter. Anyway...

Monday 12 February 2024

Adapting to the brave new old world

The Old World is here, even in Australia (which had to wait a few weeks more than the rest of the world to get our hands on the physical books). We've already played a few games, asked lots of questions, only found some of the answers, and are generally still in the process of coming to terms with things.

The game definitely feels like a new edition of Warhammer Fantasy, probably most closely aligned to 6th edition (with a few things borrowed from other places). However, there are a number of things that feel like they're going to come as the biggest shock to returning players:

  • The addition of the Fall Back In Good Order and Give Ground alternatives to properly fleeing
  • The disappearance of the magic phase, with spells being cast differently and scattered throughout the turn
  • Base sizes

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Cancon 2024 Aftermath - Part 5

This is the final part of my report of a recent 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy tournament. You can find the previous part here, or go back to the start here.

Game 5 - Finish The War
Adam Wonderley - Wood Elves

  • Spellweaver (Level 3, Lore of Life) with Moonstone of the Hidden Ways, Dispel Scroll
  • Spellsinger (Level 2, Lore of Athel Loren) with Dispel Scroll
  • Alter Kindred Noble with Great Weapon, Hail of Doom Arrow, Helm of the Hunt
  • 12 Glade Guard
  • 10 Glade Guard
  • 10 Glade Guard
  • 8 Dryads
  • 8 Dryads
  • 5 Glade Riders with Musician
  • 5 Wardancers
  • 3 Warhawk Riders
  • 5 Wild Riders with Full Command
  • Great Eagle
  • Treeman
This felt like things coming full circle. When I used the forest spirit army at Cancon maybe 19 years ago, I played Adam with his Wood Elves. It was a draw. And here we were again, this time on the top table in the final round. We had a bit of an audience as a few people who knew us both pulled up chairs to watch the clash that might decide the fate of the tournament. I declared that whatever happened, this time it would not be a draw... The scenario was a normal battle - the bonus points were for standards and table quarters etc instead of them just being worth 100 victory points.

There was a river cutting the table in half, which is probably not ideal on the top table. It wouldn't matter so much for this match, with 2 armies loaded with skirmishers. It did mean having to commit to plans with units like the Treekin, though.

Monday 5 February 2024

Cancon 2024 Aftermath - Part 4

This is the continuation of my report of a recent 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy tournament. You can find the previous part here, or go back to the start here.

After 3 wins, I was getting perilously close to the top of the tables. By this point however, I had realised that there was only one Daemonic Legion list in the entire tournament, and I was not going to have to play it (which was nice, because they were basically kryptonite to a forest spirit army). I don't know where all the daemons had gone, but maybe we could win this thing!

Game 4 - Steal Their Supplies
Kieran Pink - Bretonnians

  • Bretonnian Lord on Warhorse with Gauntlet of the Duel, Gromril Great Helm, The Heartwood Lance, Virtue of the Joust, Shield, Grail Vow
  • Damsel of the Lady (Level 1, Lore of Life) on Warhorse with Dispel Scroll
  • Paladin Battle Standard Bearer on Warhorse with Banner of the Lady, Questing Vow
  • 6 Knights Errant with Musician
  • 6 Knights Errant with Musician
  • 6 Knights of the Realm with Standard Bearer
  • 5 Mounted Yeoman with Shields
  • 5 Mounted Yeoman with Shields
  • 3 Pegasus Knights with Musician
  • 8 Questing Knights with Standard Bearer, Banner of Chalons
  • 8 Grail Knights with Musician, Standard Bearer, War Banner
  • Field Trebuchet
This scenario involved 2 objectives. One didn't move and needed to be controlled at the end of the game. The other was a little cart that could drive around each turn and could be captured and carried with you. Control of those objectives at the end of the game dictated the bonus points.

Bretonnians had the potential to be a problem for my army. My armour penetration was only so-so, Bretonnians can easily add a rank or two to my none, and they would generally out-charge me. The Grail Knights in particular could probably kill anything in my army, especially on the charge. On the bright side, a single Damsel with one dispel scroll is not a lot of anti-magic... This game was also notable for being the only time all tournament that one of my spellcasters rolled The Call of the Hunt (a movement spell).

How we setup. I decided to keep a small unit of Dryads in reserve, given there was a forest right in the middle of the Bretonnian deployment zone. If nothing else, I thought it might mess with my opponent.

Saturday 3 February 2024

Cancon 2024 Aftermath - Part 3

This is the continuation of my report of a recent 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy tournament. You can find the previous part here, or go back to the start here.

Game 3 - Break Their Will
Kierin McPartland - Wood Elves (Drycha)

What the hell, another Drycha army? I admit, I didn't see that coming. This was going to be a really weird game...

  • Drycha (Level 2, Lore of Athel Loren)
  • Branchwraith (Level 1, Lore of Athel Loren) with Annoyance of Netlings, Lamentation of Despairs
  • 12 Dryads
  • 11 Dryads
  • 8 Dryads
  • 8 Dryads
  • 8 Wild Riders with Full Command, War Banner
  • 5 Wild Riders with Standard, Musician, Banner of the Zenith
  • 4 Treekin with Elder
  • Treeman

Yeah, that's very similar to my own list - there's not really a lot of choice in an all-Forest Spirit army. The scenario was a variation of Blood and Glory from 8th edition - breaking your opponent was worth bonus points (the sooner you did it, the more it was worth), and the break point was based on characters and champions instead of banners.

Kierin painted up his army as a sort of "corrupted" version of the Forest Spirits, so we agreed that my Drycha was the good guy, and he was driving the baddies. That's the bigger unit of Wild Riders over to my left flank, behind the impassable ruins.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Cancon 2024 Aftermath - Part 2

This is the continuation of my report of a recent 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy tournament. You can find the previous part here.

Game 2 - Reclaim Your Lands
Chris Penwarden - Vampire Counts

  • Merneith High Warden of Nefreta, Castellan of Silver Peak
    • Lahmian Vampire Lord (Extra level, Lore of Necromancy) with Innocence Lost, Crown of the Damned, Sword of Might, Spell Familiar
  • Whats His Face
    • Necromancer (Level 2, Lore of Necromancy) with Book of Arkhan
  • Who Again
    • Necromancer (Level 2, Lore of Necromancy) with Dispel Scroll, Black Periapt
  • The Servants of the Upper Halls
    • 20 Skeletons with Full Command, Light Armour and Shields
  • The Servants of the Lower Halls
    • 19 Skeletons with Full Command, Light Armour and Shields
  • The Pets
    • 5 Dire Wolves with Doom Wolf
  • The Song Birds
    • 1 Bat Swarm
  • The Guardians of the Inner Sanctum
    • 24 Grave Guard with Shields, Full Command, Banner of the Barrows
  • The Miserable
    • 1 Spirit Host
  • The Drained
    • 5 Black Knights with Barding, Hell Knight
  • The Messengers of Darkness
    • 3 Fell bats
  • The Mother in Law
    • Banshee
(Chris bothered to name his units, so it feels the least I could do to include their names... However mean some of them might be.)

This scenario was a slight twist on the 8th edition Dawn Attack, where you have to roll to see where your units deploy. In addition, the wide zones were 3 inches further onto the field, so you could get closer to your enemy if you so wished. Chris and I then proceeded to roll almost entirely "in the middle", so the scenario didn't really do much to us. The bonus points this time were for controlling the table quarters (and more of them than your opponent).

It's always pretty warm at Cancon, and it was so noisy that I was already feeling my voice struggle after a single game, so I deployed a bottle of water in my zone to try to give myself a tactical advantage.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Cancon 2024 Aftermath - Part 1

The Old World is upon us, although in some parts of the world we can't yet get our hands on the books. Nevertheless the local community is abuzz with the new rules and what the game is going to be like. This the was the rather strange backdrop for what may yet be my last ever 6th edition Warhammer fantasy tournament. Of course, I probably thought that 18 years ago when 7th edition arrived. Time moves in mysterious ways...

I initially submitted a Drycha list that included 2 Treemen. That's tough, but without a BSB to help them hold their ground, and a list with not a lot of other options, I had assumed it would be OK. The organisers disagreed however, and asked me to remove one of them. So then I found myself with a list containing more Treekin and Wild Riders than I expected. I was rather concerned about how it might hold up, given a lack of real spine. Dryads are very solid, but with no ranks or real bulk, the Dryads were meant to be my staying power. Oh well, trees are trees, right?

  • Drycha (Level 2, Lore of Athel Loren)
  • Glamourweave Spellsinger (Level 2, Lore of Athel Loren) on Elf Steed with Dispel Scroll
  • 12 Dryads with Branch Nymph
  • 12 Dryads with Branch Nymph
  • 8 Dryads
  • 8 Dryads
  • 3 Treekin
  • 3 Treekin
  • 5 Wild Riders with Musician, Standard
  • 5 Wild Riders with Musician, Standard
  • Treeman
Full disclosure, I actually won Cancon maybe 19 years ago with a list a bit like this one - a Treeman Ancient instead of Drycha, no Wild Riders and even more Dryads. The army book was new and I was excited to finally be able to make an all-tree army. I didn't realise quite how tough the list would prove to be. I then won another tournament a few months later, which proved it was no fluke. I decided the army was clearly easy mode and retired it from events for a number of years. I went back to losing with things like Ogres and Orcs. As a result of all this, I knew the army would perform OK this time around. The list is a bit different with Drycha at the helm, but an army that's entirely immune to psychology was always a leg up in 6th edition - there's just so much less that can go wrong.