Tuesday 28 February 2012

A Clash of Chaos

A 4500pt 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report with Warriors of Chaos on both sides - Slaanesh and Tzeentch against Nurgle and Khorne.

Scenario: Watchtower
Slaanesh and Tzeentch: Greg Johnson
Nurgle and Khorne: Owen Top

Owen has been spending a fair bit of time painting Chaos models over the last few months. Some of these models are his, however a large number of them are for our friend Ben, who is far too lazy to ever paint them himself. They have arranged a system where Owen paints Ben's stuff in exchange for piles of even more unpainted plastic. It's all very cunning.

A lot of what Owen has been painting has appeared on his blog over time, however it has never all been pulled together for group photos. I decided it was time to address this, and what better way than in a battle report? I borrowed Ben's models (referred to as the Benite Hordes), and they faced off with Owen's own recently painted legions. One regiment of Khorne worshippers abandoned me immediately before the battle, joining forces with the Khorne units already under Owen's control. Otherwise their forces are a clean split of Khorne and Nurgle (Owen) vs Slaanesh and Tzeentch (Ben). It made for a logical divide.

Given the point of this report was to put as much of the recently painted stuff onto the table as we could, the game size was dictated by the models available. Owen managed to scrape together 4500pts, so I matched that with the Benite Hordes and we were off!

Deep in the Chaos Wastes, where the land is a distorted nightmare and the air tingles with untapped magic, two mighty armies arrived at the same destination. In a barren valley, devoid of life, stood a strange tower. Its sides glowed with powerful energy, giving an eerie light to everything around it. At its top was what appeared to be an altar - one constructed of rock, flesh and bone in equal parts. Only in the Chaos Wastes could one find such a thing, and even there it was an unusual sight. The tower was dangerous, and offered great power to the one who controlled it.

Zaraash K'Yaargh, Lord of Khorne, Scourge of the Weak, Titan of the Battlefield and Collector of Pressed Butterflies, surveyed with field with barely suppressed rage. How dare these insolent fools get in his way? He would kill them all! The Juggernaut beneath him rumbled, hissed and squeaked as it fed off his rage. Zaraash scowled behind his enclosed faceplate. The squeaking noise was unacceptable. It was getting on his nerves, and he worried it undermined his imposing aura. He would have to take it back to his Chaos Dwarf minions to be serviced. As if sensing his displeasure, the great brass beast quieted and became still, although Zaraash could still feel its lust for battle.

At his side stood the hunched form of Cattarh The Bloated. He was a loathesome creature. He had once been a man (at least, Zaraash assumed he had been a man), however his unwholesome worship of Nurgle had changed him into something altogether different. The tattered rags that had once been a hooded robe revealed a twisted mess of flesh and metal. His face was mostly concealed by the hood, however what showed through was scarred and bloated. Cattarh's voice was a ruined mess, and he sounded like he was choking with every word he uttered. He was disgusting, and he made Zaraash angry. But then, a lot of things made Zaraash angry.

"It seems that those who worship the lesser Ruinous Powers share our objective, Lord Zaraash", gurgled Cattarh. Once again, the mere sound of the sorcerer's voice gave Zaraash the urge to hack him down where he stooped. Once more he managed to restrain himself with the knowledge that he needed the foul creature to gain control of the tower. He had neglected to tell Cattarh that he intended to destroy the tower once he was inside, but he would find out soon enough.

"Then we must be certain that we get there first," replied Zaraash. "Prepare your warriors for battle."


The Dread Horde of Zaraash k'Yaargh
General: Owen Top

Owen: "I may very rarely play Warhammer, and I may confuse my self about the rules and lose rather more than average, but there is nothing so pleasing to my heart as the sight of two vast and mighty armies locked in mortal combat. Especially if it ends up being a stupidly large game, and I painted all of it. So when the nefarious and manipulative Lord of Change known as 'Hoodling; The Sourge of Kislev' asked me to partake in a large game using all of my chaos stuff, and almost all fo the benite hordes, I was forced to accept.

My current Chaos army is not the most finely tuned instrument since it consists entirerly of cool modelling and painting ideas with no thought at all given to how it plays, so I'm really not sure if it'll work or not. I have sworn might oaths against cheating (my poor grasp on the 8th ed rules meant I took some illegal things last time I fought the Hoodling) and girded my loins against the coming onslaught."

Owen rolled Fleshy Abundance and Cloying Quagmire for his lesser Sorceror, and then got Magnificent Buboes, Plague Squall, Curse of the Leper and Rot, Glorious Rot on his Sorceror Lord. So, a bit of everything.
Cattarh the Bloated leads the Bile Toad Appreciation Society into battle

CLoK - Chaos Lord of Khorne, Khor'Phaak Zaraash K'Yaargh
A mighty Khor'Phaak (Khorne Lord) and collector of pressed butterflies.
Great weapon; Juggernaut of Khorne; Crown of Command; Dawnstone; The Crimson Armour of Dargan
387 points

SLoN - Sorceror Lord of Nurgle, Cattarh The Bloated
Sorceror Lord of Nurgle and part-time puppy obedience coach.
Level 4 using the Lore of Nurgle Talisman of Preservation; Warrior Familiar
355 points

SoN - Chaos Sorcerer of Nurgle, Muccus the Foul
Sorceror of Nurgle and amateur billiards champion of the Chaos Wastes
Level 2 using the Lore of Nurgle Dispel Scroll
    165 points

EHoK - Exalted Hero of Khorne, Charagax Blood-Fist
Khorne hero and seafood salesman
Chaos Runesword; Chaos Armour
    175 points

BSB - Exalted Hero of Nurgle, Shamagoth The Under-The-Weather
Nurgle BSB, lists his hobbies as sneezing, hawking, coughing and spiting.
Army Battle Standard; Banner of Wrath; Great Weapon
208 points

CMoK - 30 Chaos Marauders of Khorne, The Brotherhood of Hackeration
A secretive religious order devoted to hacking things up with rather large axes. Marauder Chieftain; Musician; Standard Bearer; Great Weapons
200 points

CMoN - 30 Chaos Marauders of Nurgle, The Bloated Boyos
A close-harmony male-voice choir, dedicated to singing the praise of Lord Nurgle. Off key.
Marauder Chieftain; Musician; Standard Bearer; Flails
200 points

Dog1 - 5 Chaos Warhounds, A Deluge of Daemonic Doggies
30 points

Dog2 - 5 Chaos Warhounds, A Downpour of Daemonic Doggies
30 points

CWoK1 - 30 Chaos Warriors of Khorne, The Gore Spatterers
They are mean and nasty and don't wash behind their ears.
Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer; Halberds; Shields
570 points

CWoN - 20 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle, The Bile Toad Appreciation Society
On a cheerful road-trip to the next Ms. Leprousy World contest with all their pets along!
Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer; Shields
380 points

CWoK2 - 20 Chaos Warriors of Khorne, The Blood Spillers
Perpetrators of the Great Red Cross Blood Bank Heist of 2011.
Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer; Shields
380 points

MHoK - 5 Marauder Horsemen, The Blood Hooves
Five wildly drunken frat boys out for fun
105 points

CKoN1 - 10 Chaos Knights of Nurgle, The Slug Society
Mighty and enraged warriors who slurp and slosh thier way to war upon great slugs
Knight Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer
480 points

CKoN2 - 10 Chaos Knights of Nurgle, The Fly Bretheren
Large angry men who ride to war upon mighty flies.
Knight Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer
480 points

DO - 3 Dragon Ogres, The Sons of Scrofula
Great diseased dragon ogres who like to steal candy from babies
Light Armour; Great Weapons
231 points

War - Chaos Warshrine, The Sinister Shrine of Shor'Schlop
130 points

The Slug Society advances

Total: 4506 points

The Benighted Hordes
General: Greg Johnson

I am the first to admit that this is not the most carefully constructed Warriors of Chaos army you will ever see. Both of us were making an effort to use most of the models we had available, so the list really represents what I could lay my hands on. I chose a decent wizard, an amusingly dangerous lord and a BSB, and then swept through buying the biggest units I could. You will note there are no Marauders in this list - Ben doesn't have any. In this particular case I don't think that matters, but in more general terms it could be a problem for him.

I rolled +1 armour save on my Chosen, which I was reasonably happy with. 3+ armour would give them a much better chance of living long enough to swing those great weapons. I rolled Mystifying Miasma, The Withering, Enfeebling Foe and Okkam's Mindrazor for my Sorcerer Lord, so I was pretty happy there too.

LoT - Chaos Lord of Tzeentch, Erek the Everchanging
Rides a Disc of Tzeentch. Chaos Armour; Shield; Chaos Daemonsword; Talisman of Protection; Dragonhelm
350 points

SL - Sorcerer Lord, Emund the Elusive
Level 4 Wizard using the Lore of Shadow Chaos Armour; Talisman of Preservation; Sword of Might; Enchanted Shield
350 points

BSB - Exalted Hero of Tzeentch, Earnest the Serious
Rides a Barded Chaos Steed Battle Standard; Great Weapon; Chaos Armour; Talisman of Endurance
199 points

Dog - 5 Chaos Warhounds, The Puppies
30 points

CWoS - 38 Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh, Horde of Distraction
Halberd; Chaos Armour; Standard; Musician; Champion
648 points

CWoT - 30 Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch, Guardians of Change
Chaos Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Champion
530 points

Chose - 28 Chosen of Chaos Undivided, The Butchers Eternal
Great Weapon; Chaos Armour; Standard; Musician; Champion Rapturous Standard
630 points

CKoT - 9 Chaos Knights of Tzeentch, The Knights of Nie
Barded Chaos Steeds; Ensorcelled Weapons; Chaos Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Champion
430 points

CKoS1 - 5 Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, The Armoured Amour
Barded Chaos Steeds; Lance; Chaos Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Champion
285 points

CKoS2 - 5 Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, The Tin-Clad Titillators
Barded Chaos Steeds; Lance; Chaos Armour; Shield; Musician
245 points

O1 - 3 Ogres, Mo, Larry and Curly
Heavy Armour
105 points

O2 - 3 Ogres, Beau, Barry and Burly
Heavy Armour
105 points

DO - 5 Dragon Ogres, The Scaly Menace
Great Weapon; Light Armour
385 points

CS - Chaos Spawn, The Special One
55 points

War - Chaos Warshrine of Tzeentch
150 points

Total: 4497 points

The armies face off, with the Benighted Hordes in the north and the Dread Horde of Zaraash k'Yaargh in the south

Thursday 23 February 2012

Slow and steady

Last night I finally managed to complete the 11 Knights Snow Leopard that I've been working on for the last week. I've been painting on every evening except one, and by the time they were done I was really ready to move on. It probably took me around 12 hours of painting to finish the batch, which still doesn't sound as long as it felt.
11 Knights Snow Leopard, done at last
The same group from behind, showing the cloaks
As with the other Knights Snow Leopard, I have held off from painting markings on the cloaks. I may come back and do it later, at the same time as I look at things like freehand detailing on banners. For now I just want them done and to move on. There are still 10 more models to do before the unit is complete, and it's going to be touch-and-go as to whether I will make my February target. One thing that can be said for these painting goals - normally it takes an impending tournament to drive me to sit down and paint on a frequent basis, however the monthly targets seem to be having the same effect.
The final batch
My plan has been to paint more knights in March, however I am starting to wonder if I should break things up a bit first. On the bright side, the remaining knight unit has no gold detailing or cloaks and simpler shields, so they might be a bit faster to get done. I can hope...

Monday 20 February 2012

New gallery!

Well, despite my lack of blog updates over the last week, my efforts to paint all of my Knights Snow Leopard have continued. As is always the case, I find that my progress is depressingly slow. I broke the 21 Knights into 2 groups - the first of 11, the second of 10. I figured those would be manageable batches for painting, although now I am wondering whether 3 groups of 7 would not have been better.

Anyway, after several sittings (totaling maybe 8 hours) I still have not finished the first batch. They're getting there, but they still have a way to go. Here is how they currently look:
11 Knights Snow Leopard, looking mostly painted
The purple, white and armour are done on these guys. They have a basecoat on the gold details, but that will require 2 highlights. Then there is the skin and facial hair on the faces that are showing, before I have to move on to the horseflesh and saddles. In truth, they're not that far from done. But when I know I have another 10 to do before the end of the month, it feels like my progress is painfully slow.

In other news, as the title of this post suggests, I have added a new Gallery section to the blog. You can find a link to it in the header bar, or you can go directly to it from here.

Noakes organised a photo session at the club over the weekend, and Liam and Adam kindly volunteered their time and cameras (thanks guys!) to try to get some decent shots of everyone's models in the less-than-optimal conditions that could be arranged. The shots of the stuff I brought along are in the gallery, although I thought I would include a couple below as a teaser...

Monday 13 February 2012

Preparing more knights

Knights! Everyone loves knights. Well actually, since the arrival of 8th edition, a lot of people don't seem to rate cavalry at all. I think this is foolish, and I've discussed it before. In fact, I ended up fielding all-cavalry armies in both Book of Grudges and Axemaster last year. I admit, this was partly to prove a point to the nay-sayers (I'm stubborn like that). But I don't regret it in the slightest, and nowadays I find myself drawn more and more heavily towards knights when I am making lists.

Partly as a result of my repeated heavy use of knights, I have painted up a large number of them. Nevertheless, my plans require more. A lot more. Thus I find myself preparing my remaining 21 Knights Snow Leopard for painting, in order to round the unit out to 40. If I can get these done before the end of the month, I will have achieved my painting goals for February.
We're waaaaiting...

Thursday 9 February 2012

White Wolves finally painted

The final batch of White Wolf Knights is done!
My slow and steady painting progress continues. I have now completed the 9 White Wolf Knights who have been sitting partially painted in my cabinet for the last year or so. It's quite pleasing to finally put them into the "done" pile, especially given that this means I have now painted all of the White Wolves I ever plan to paint. I have a completed regiment of 40 now, although that does include 2 standards and musicians. I may paint a couple of extra hammer arms and arrange to magnetise them so that I can swap them in and out.
All that remains of my February painting goals is 21 Knights Snow Leopard. It still sounds like a lot, but I am starting to think I can meet my target this month.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

For the latecomers – welcome to 8th edition

A number of people I know are what could best be described as occasional Warhammer players. They might only play a couple of games in a year, and sometimes even less than that. My wife is one such player; previously she might have attended a tournament or two during the year and maybe played the odd practice game, however since the arrival of our son she simply hasn’t had time to pull out the models and learn the new rules. This means the transition to 8th edition has entirely passed her by, and I know she is not the only one.

This blog post is a crash course in Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition for those who played the game in the previous edition and have not yet had a chance to properly consider the new rules. There can be no substitute for reading the rulebook (something a lot of current players could learn from), but this should at least give you an idea of how the game now works.

February painting goals

Well I feel that I did a good job of digging a hole for myself in January, in terms of my painting goals. They were a touch ambitious, but probably would have been achievable had I not been buried in preparation for Cancon. As it was, I fell short. I painted a Volley Gun but no crew, ended up leaving 7 Swordsmen unpainted, and never got to the Celestial Wizard I wanted done. Basically I did what I had to in order to be ready for Cancon, and the rest fell by the wayside.

Not one to learn from my own mistakes, I have decided to continue with the whole monthly painting pledge thing. No doubt I will struggle with my targets once more, however I am now shifting my focus towards things that need to be painted for the big battle at the Gates of Kislev, so ambitious targets are inevitable.

February painting goals:
  • Paint the remaining 7 Swordsmen from January
  • Complete the 9 partly-painted White Wolf Knights who have been sitting on a shelf for a year
  • Paint the remaining 21 Knights Snow Leopard to round out the unit
It's quite a lot of models, however 9 of the models are partly done already, and I have found Knights to be a fairly rewarding thing to paint - they're worth lots of points, they're covered in armour, and they look funny in sufficiently stupid numbers. If I get bogged this month, I suspect it will be because I need to put green stuff cloaks on the Knights Snow Leopard before I can start painting them. We shall see.
In a grand display of industry, I have already started on my February goals. The Swordsmen are done! This is actually a significant milestone for me, because it's the first regiment in my army that I consider finished, including the full complement of Ogre unit fillers. OK, so there is no freehand on the banner or anything like that, but if I get inspired I can come back to that later...
The final wave of 7 Swordsmen is complete
Unfortunately, seeing the unit arrayed fully now, I begin to wonder if there are enough Swordsmen in the unit. The Ogres are more dominant than I had expected, and they make the regular guys look a bit thin on the ground (despite there being 28 of them to only 3 Ogres - far from the worst ratio of unit filler-to-troop I have seen). It could be that units will only look right to me when there are more regular soldiers in there. I guess we will see when I get another completed unit up and running - things like Halberdiers will be in larger units than 40 models.
The completed regiment of 40 Swordsmen, complete with unit fillers
From the top, showing how the fillers mesh in. Maybe they would look less dominant clumped closer together?
And from the back
In all, I am happy enough with the unit. Maybe I will find myself adding some more Swordsmen later, but not in the immediate future. I have Knights to paint!

Sunday 5 February 2012

My year ahead

Looking forward at the year to come

2011 was a pretty busy year for me. It was my self-proclaimed Year of the Empire, which saw me focus (almost) exclusively on Empire in tournaments, as well as in terms of painting. By the end of the year I had gone from having a couple of painted units to a quite large painted army. I had also played in 4 tournaments, which saw me qualify for the Australian Masters in December, and added a 5th tournament to the tally.  

I say “almost” because there was a tournament where I did not use Empire last year. That event was the Victorian Inter-Club Championships (VICC). A tournament with a twist, it included 2 rounds where members in the team paired off and played together in a 4 player game. This, combined with all 3 other members in our team taking Forces of Destruction, saw me pull out the Orcs and Goblins for a last hurrah with their old army book. Given the unusual nature of the event, I figured this didn’t really count as a violation of my Empire resolutions – it would have looked pretty odd having Empire and Beastmen lining up side by side. Hampton went on to win the Warhammer Fantasy section of the event, as well as the Warmachine and overall titles. All in all, it was a quite productive year.

With all my resolutions wrapping up at the end of 2011, I was a little bit rudderless at the start of this year. Logic would dictate that I declare 2012 to be the Year of the Ogre, or Year of the Orc, or something similar. After all, it worked rather well with the Empire. However, I wasn’t keen to be locked into a particular army for another entire year. There were also a couple of main considerations that confused things:

Thursday 2 February 2012

Cancon 2012 Aftermath: Part 3

This is continued from Part 1 and Part 2 of my tournament report, which covered the first 2 days of the 3 day tournament that was Cancon 2012...

Well we made it to day 3! I was more upbeat coming into the final day than I had been the previous days. There was less to do, only 2 games to get through, and we were not running late. All in all, it was shaping to be a good day.

Game 7: Watchtower
Chris Mackonis – Warriors of Chaos

Chaos Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut with Sword of Antiheroes, Armour of Morrslieb, Dawn Stone
Exalted Hero of Tzeentch BSB on barded chaos steed with 1+ armour save, War Banner
Chaos Sorcerer of Tzeentch with Dispel Scroll (Level 2 Lore of Tzeentch)
15 Chaos Warriors of Khorne with halberds, shields, full command
15 Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch with shields, full command
5 Chaos Knights of Khorne with full command, Blasted Standard
 5 Chaos Knights of Tzeentch with full command, Banner of Rage
13 Chosen of Khorne with halberds, shields, standard, Lichebone Standard
5 Chaos Hounds

The last couple of times I had played the Watchtower scenario in a tournament, I was using an all-cavalry army – so I couldn’t enter the building. This time I actually had units that could enter it, but I would be asking them to duke it out with Khorne warriors. Man, it sucks to be an Empire State Trooper. Chris was running a beautifully painted Chaos Warrior army, and under normal circumstances I would have said that it was not a very tough list. Under the circumstances however, it looked more than handy enough to get the job done…

I won the roll-off for control of the Watchtower, which was very exciting and all. I could have placed my Crossbowmen in there and been slaughtered in turn 1, but I decided against it. Unfortunately it meant that I would have no advantages, as my “controlling” the tower meant that Chris would get the first turn. That was a pity. I would have liked another turn to shoot at the sinister Chaos men.

I deployed with my White Wolves lined up to pass just to the right of the tower, with the Inner Circle Knights next to them. The Halberdiers were lined up just left of the tower, with the Crossbowmen to their left and the Swordsmen sitting further back (as usual). The Cannon was on my far left, with the Volley Gun, Mortar and Engineer sitting near the Halberdiers. Chris set up with the Chosen immediately opposite the tower (they had rolled +1 strength), with the Warshrine behind. The Tzeentch Knights and BSB were next to them, opposite my White Wolves, whilst the Khorne Warriors faced off with my Inner Circle Knights. The Sorcerer floated behind the lines. To my left of the Chosen sat the Khorne Knights with the Lord on Juggernaut, the Tzeentch Warriors, and finally the Warhounds.

Chris rushed everything forward at basically maximum speed, with the Hounds disappearing into a forest as they eyed off my Cannon on the left. Not much happened in the magic phase, and in the shooting phase the Warshrine gave the Chosen something so remarkable I can’t remember what it was.

In my turn I decided to try to dictate terms. I charged the Tzeentch Knights next to the tower with both units of cavalry – the Inner Circle Knights could only get a couple of models into contact because the tower stopped me sliding the White Wolves further along. I decided against charging with the Halberdiers, as the Khorne Knights were in the perfect position for all my shooting…

Unfortunately my magic phase was a complete fizzer – I didn’t get anywhere near enough power to bolster my troops in combat. They were going to have to take their chances with the Knights. My shooting phase was also disappointing. The Cannon blew up aiming for the Lord and everything else rained shots down on the Khorne Knights but only managed to kill 2 of them – nowhere near enough to stop the slaughter that was to come.

The charge of my Knights was thoroughly underwhelming. I killed perhaps 2 or 3 of them, but lost half a dozen models in return. I managed to barely win combat, but they held. That meant I was ripe for a counter-charge.

The Khorne warriors crashed into the front of my Inner Circle Knights, whilst the Khorne Cavalry ploughed into the stoically waiting Halberdiers. The Hounds tried to charge the Crossbowmen, but found they were too far away and instead halted at the edge of their forest. The Chosen entered the tower and the Tzeentch Warriors continued their advance toward my Crossbowmen.

Magic and shooting were unremarkable, however combat was ugly. The Khorne cavalry (led by the Lord with 8 attacks) carved a bloody swathe through my Halberdiers. In return I think the Warrior Priest knocked one of the Knights off his horse, but I had been soundly thrashed. I passed my Steadfast test and held. On the other side of the tower, the fight went poorly. The Khorne Warriors went beserk, cutting down half of my Inner Circle Knights before they could swing. They killed a couple in return (and I think the White Wolves killed another Knight), but I had been badly beaten. The Inner Circle unit fled and managed to outrun the Khorne Warriors, whilst the White Wolves were Stubborn and held their ground against the enemy Knights.

In my turn I rallied the Inner Circle Knights, but there were now only 3 of them along with the Warrior Priest, facing at least a dozen very, very angry Warriors. My shooting did what it could against the advancing Tzeentch Warriors, dropping a rank off but generally making little difference. In combat the Chaos BSB succumbed to the attacks from my characters, however the champion of the Knights refused to break and cut down the last of my White Wolves. It was very sad. My Halberdiers continued to be slaughtered by the Khorne Knights, however my Warrior Priest stood up to the Chaos Lord in a challenge and managed to survive for a round. I still lost, but still didn’t break (Ld 9 with a reroll).

The Khorne Warriors charged into the Inner Circle Knights again, intent on finishing the job. The Chaos Hounds charged my Crossbowmen, however they lost a couple of their number and were spanked in combat once they arrived. Unfortunately the Tzeentch Warriors decided to hit the Halberdiers in the flank, which was rather unsporting – they were having a bad enough day as it was. The Warshrine charged into my General and BSB as they duelled with the feisty Chaos Knight champion. The Chosen decided to leave the building, having lost several of their number to a Mortar shot the previous turn – they felt it was safer out than in. The Chaos Sorcerer wandered up near my General and BSB, but didn’t manage to cast anything exciting.

The Halberdiers continued to be scythed down by their opponents (including the Warrior Priest, whose time was well and truly up), however they remained Steadfast thanks to the damage that had been inflicted upon the Tzeentch Warriors by my shooting – mine was the only unit with more than a single row of guys (for now). The Khorne Warriors waved their halberds around wildly and managed to kill all of the remaining Inner Circle Knights. My Warrior Priest decided to take this personally and cut down 2 of them in return, before refusing to break and standing firm against the unstoppable tide of angry. My General and BSB failed once again to kill the Knight champion, and now the Warshrine had arrived to add to their irritation. They lost combat, but they held.

My game was going poorly, but I continued to try to achieve something. My Wizards left the Swordsman unit and spread out, trying to get into more advantageous positions. My Crossbowmen were filled with delusions of grandeur after their heroic efforts in combat in my previous game, and declared a charge on the rear of the Tzeentch Warriors who were still in the flank of the Halberdiers. This effort was still heroic, but that doesn’t mean it was a good idea…

I shot a number of Chosen with my Volley Gun and a couple more with the Mortar, but it was not going to be enough to slow them down. They were eyeing off my Swordsmen, who were moving to shield the recently departed Wizards.

My mounted Warrior Priest’s resistance against the Khorne Warriors came to an end, however there were now not a lot of them left (maybe 6). Maybe there was hope. My General and BSB managed to win their combat and break the Warshrine, however the infernal knight Champion had no interest in running away or dying, and stayed put.

My Halberdiers were reduced to a single row of models in their combat, however I believe between them and the Crossbowmen frantically clubbing the Tzeentch Warriors on the back of the head, I reduced them to 0 rows and thus held. I think I also dragged the last Khorne Knight down, leaving the Lord to fight on by himself. Certainly I did not run away – two could play at this Chaos Knight champion’s unbreakable game!

The Chosen ploughed into the front of my Swordsmen as expected, whilst the remaining Khorne Warriors turned to face the remaining enemies in the centre. The Warshrine rallied, so the invincible Knight would soon have help again. After combat my single remaining Halberdier finally broke, however the Crossbowmen held and kept the Tzeentch Warriors in place, leaving the Chaos Lord to run down the Halberdier by himself. The Chosen made a terrible mess of my Swordsmen who broke, but managed to both escape their pursuit and not run off the table. It was all very scientific.

Naturally I could not kill the Knight champion with my characters, and so he held once more.

It was coming up to the end of Turn 4, and I realised I could steal the game in a filthy and devious manner if the game happened to end on a 6 that turn. My Wizard Lord sprinted straight at the tower, making himself the closest model to the unoccupied building. It would be mine! My Swordsmen rallied and hoped something terrible would happen to the Chosen before they charged in again…

Enter the Volley Gun, which belched a great cloud of smoke and butchered the remaining 5 Chosen in a cloud of shredded armour and gore. Yeah! That’s how it’s done. Of course, this was after my magic phase, where my Wizard Lord decided to show the Chaos Sorcerer how magic is really done. Generating a decent power phase, he hurled Chain Lightning at the Sorcerer, reducing him to a cinder. Seeing the pitiful plight of my General and BSB, he then walked the lightning into the combat, incinerating the Chaos Knight champion before hitting the Warshrine but being unable to hurt it. The Knight was dead! Huzzah!

In combat the Crossbowmen realised their folly in making Chaos Warriors angry, and all but one of them was killed in a spectacular display of gore. The survivor fled, but the Warriors let him go – they had bigger fish to fry (not looking at any tower-hugging Wizard Lord in particular).

With this sudden swing of victory points, I was probably actually winning the game. I picked up the dice to roll to see if the game would end, but alas I rolled a 5 – not a 6. The game would continue.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Cancon 2012 Aftermath: Part 2

This is continued from Part 1 of my tournament report, which covered the first day of the 3 day tournament...

So, coming out of day 1 I had a rather miserable total of 18 battle points. At least that combined with my 7 points per round of comp to give me a total of 39 – that sounded much better. I also hoped that day 2 would feel less frantic, as I no longer had to worry about the tournament getting underway successfully and would hopefully have more time. Of course, then we arrived slightly later than we would have liked (we were all distracted by a movie-length episode of Thomas the Tank Engine being watched by my 2 year old son), so the start of the day was busy anyway…

Game 4: Blood and Glory
Adam Bishop - Vampire Counts

Vampire Lord with Red Fury, Dark Acolyte, 2+ armour save, 4+ ward, Sword of Anti-heroes (Level 4 Lore of Vampires)
BSB Wight King with Dragonhelm, Potion of Strength, 6+ Regeneration
Necromancer with Black Periapt
Necromancer with Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
37 Skeletons with full command, Hellfire Standard
34 Ghouls with ghast
26 Grave Guard with great weapons, full command, Royal Banner of Strigos (hatred)
Terrorgheist with bat infestation thingy
Corpse Cart

The new Vampire Counts book had just been released in the last couple of weeks, so it was too late for it to be used in Cancon. Adam was the one brave soul who decided to bust out the old Vampires for a last hurrah. Given the problems with the old list, I felt this was a fairly courageous decision.

The table had a fairly large hill on either side and a couple of houses. My deployment zone gave me a hill for some of my missile troops slightly left of centre, however there was a house slightly right of centre that divided my lines. I placed my Crossbowmen on the hill, with the White Wolves to their left. Also on the hill were the Cannon and Mortar, along with the Engineer. It turned out all they were facing was a single Varghulf who then skulked behind another house as it approached my Volley Gun, which was on the ground in my centre, behind an obstacle attached to the house in my line. To the right of the house I put the Halberdiers along with the Swordsmen and Wizards. On my far right was the Inner Circle Knights. This time I decided to stack all 3 mounted characters into the unit, to give it a fighting chance and ensure I had leadership where I needed it.

My relatively stacked flank was in response to how Adam was deploying – almost his entire force had gone down behind the large hill that was sitting near the front of his deployment zone, on my right flank. Apart from the lone Varghulf in the centre, everything went behind the hill. From the centre, he had the Ghouls, then the Skeletons and the Grave Guard, with the Terrorgheist on the end. The Necromancers decided to float loose for some reason just behind the units, and the remaining Varghulf and Corpse Coat drifted around as well. The Vampire Lord started in the Skeletons along with the BSB.

Adam got the first turn and decided to advance (I think this was a change from an original plan to hide from my ranged attacks). The Varghulf in the centre found he could use the house to get about 15” from my Volley Gun, with none of my other shooting able to see it. The infantry moved up onto the hill and the Terrorgheist flew at maximum speed to sit hard on my right-hand table edge in front and to the right of the Inner Circle Knights. Magic was relatively uneventful, and the big beastie shrieked at my Knights and killed a couple, then waited for my reaction.
Large, grumpy and it has a terrible singing voice