Sunday 28 April 2013

All is not as it seems

At the club on the weekend, I arranged to play a 2500 point game of Warhammer. I was experimenting a bit - trying out an Ogre Kingdoms army for the first time since the 8th edition book arrived. Yes, I am a long way behind the curve - I've been a bit focused on Empire stuff for the last couple of years. My list deliberately shied away from most of the stuff you see in competitive Ogre tournament armies, and was a bit random. I'll include my list down below in case you care to see what I came up with, but suffice to say it was more a product of fiddling and including a lot of variety than it was a serious army.

My opponent was Nick Cook, who is just starting to play around with Warriors of Chaos lists again after giving up on them a couple of years ago under the previous book. He does have a small army's worth of models from that period, but clearly he was not interested in using most of those for these experimental games. In fact, his army was a complete mess. He had warned me there would be some proxies involved, but just how dire the situation would be was not made clear until he started looking for models at the table.

Below is a photo of Nick's army. I have already told you it's a Warriors of Chaos list, so that will help you. Now see if you can work out what each unit is meant to represent. Go on, I dare you...
Proxies of Chaos, assemble!!
To say that Nick received a lot of crap for his efforts is a gross understatement. To make matters worse, if he'd just been organised enough to warn me an hour beforehand, I could have scrounged up some far more accurate models for him to use. As it was, the Ogres in the back row and Oscar the Grouch in the front row all came from what I happened to bring along, whilst the Warmachine Myrmidon next to Oscar was stolen from Pete, who didn't need it at the time. 

Whilst I play the thinking music and you continue to ponder what the hell could be in that list, here is a picture of the man himself, Prince of Proxies and the Sultan of Substitution, Nick Cook:
Nick makes a poor attempt at a bow in acknowledgement of the adulation/ridicule he was bombarded with for his efforts.

Sunday 21 April 2013

New page added - Tournament Reports

It's amazing to see how much content has accumulated on the blog since its inception nearly 2 years ago. Things have a habit of getting buried over time, and I figured I needed to do something more to help people find what they might be looking for (or what they might not even know is there).

Despite it being one of my goals for the blog, I have not yet managed to put together a really good number of high-quality battle reports. Whilst I still intend to work on this, it occurs to me that I have something along a similar vein, in the form of my tournament reports. Some of these are basically a Battle Report "Lite". They are also all competitive games from events, so they're actually of more interest to some people than your average scratch game-style battle report.

On the Tournament Reports page you will find links to all of the events I have covered since starting the blog. At present the count is up to 11 events, including some 70 games in total. It's no wonder I feel a sense of tournament burn-out sometimes...

Anyway, if you like to read about games of Warhammer and haven't seen these before, take a look.

Tournament Reports Page

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Empire in Flames 2013 Report, Part 2

This is a continuation of my account of Empire in Flames 2013. If you want to read about the first day, you can find it here.

My army ended up having a reasonable day on the first day of the tournament, so I was now poised to play some of the contenders for the top places. We will see how that went.

On to Day 2. Also known as Day of the Elves. You will see why...

Game 4: Battleline
James Milner: High Elves with Wood Elves 
James claimed to have left his normal glasses at home, but mentioned something about the previous night being a big one, so his real motive for wearing sunglasses remained open to interpretation.
James' High Elf and Wood Elf army. The Maiden Guard are actually just more Archers in the list. Because an Elf army can never have too many bows, apparently.
 High Elves
  • Archmage (Level 4, High Magic) with Dispel Scroll
  • Noble (Battle Standard Bearer) with Great Weapon, Dragon Armour, Charmed Shield, Radiant Gem of Hoeth (Level 1, Lore of Metal)
  • 15 Archers with Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame
  • 15 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 19 White Lions with Standard, Musician, Banner of Sorcery
  • 7 Swordmasters with Blademaster, Talisman of Loec
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers
  • Great Eagle
  • Great Eagle
Wood Elves
  • Noble on Elf Steed with Dragonbane Gem, Hail of Doom Arrow
  • 11 Gladeguard with Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pennant
  • 10 Gladeguard with Musician
  • 8 Dryads
Comp: 6/10?

Having moved across from New Zealand recently, James has been a regular at the club for the last few months. However, I was yet to play him. He was a member of the Shirts off Warhammer team that beat Hampton at the VICCs a few weeks back too, so clearly some sort of redemption was in order.

I'm afraid I forgot to take a photo of deployment, so you'll have to make do with a shot from my first turn. I think James actually got the first turn, however not a lot happened then. His magic was basically all out of range (as he was sitting well back with an army of bowmen facing off against a fairly quick combat army), and the range and cover minimised the damage from his shooting. I did take a wound on the Mournfang, courtesy of my usual failure of armour saves. 
Partway through my first turn. As you can see, I wasn't wasting too much time advancing with the monstrous cavalry. I think the White Wolves moved after the photo. They're no good back there. Note the single tree in James' deployment zone. We figured an army composed of 25% Wood Elves should get a bonus forest 1/4 the normal permitted size...

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Empire in Flames 2013 Report, Part 1

Well Empire in Flames is over for another year, and as usual I am going to give a run-down of my experiences at the tournament. Anyone who follows this blog will know how much work I set myself to get my army ready for the event, which was unusual in its format – players fielded 2000 point armies, 500 points of which were an allied force. I managed to get talked into fielding an Empire army with Ogre allies, with the Ogres all dressed to match the main army as per my existing unit fillers. This was a good plan, admittedly. It was just trying to convert and paint 3 Mournfangs, 2 Ironguts and a Sabretusk in 2 weeks that was the problem.

In the end I managed to get the new models finished on the night before the event (as is traditional), and I was ready to play. I've posted my army before, but for your convenience here it is again:
My Empire in Flames army. Apologies for the flash; the white table was playing havoc with my camera's lighting.
1500pts: Empire
  • Arch Lector on War Altar with Armour of Destiny, Sword of Might, Shield = 324
  • Captain of the Empire on Barded Steed with Battle Standard, Full Plate Armour, Shield, Talisman of Endurance, Biting Blade = 149
  • Battle Wizard (Level 2, Lore of Light) with Dispel Scroll = 125
  • 40 Halberdiers with Full Command = 270
    • Detachment of 6 Archers = 42
  • 9 Knights with Standard, Musician, Great Weapons = 218
  • 4 Demigryph Knights with Standard, Musician, Lances, Shields = 252
  • Great Cannon = 120
TOTAL = 1500

500pt Allies: Ogre Kingdoms
  • Bruiser with Heavy Armour, Charmed Shield, Great Weapon = 125
  • 3 Ironguts = 129
  • 3 Mournfang Cavalry with Heavy Armour, Iron Fists, Standard, Gleaming Pendant = 225
  • 1 Sabretusk = 21
TOTAL = 500

When I arrived at the event and got my scorecard, I discovered that I had been given a 4 out of 10 for composition. This was probably fair enough, given that for all my list had little shooting and only moderate magic, it did include 2 units of monstrous cavalry which could be pretty powerful in a smallish 2000 point game.

As usual, I will try (and probably fail) to be pretty brief in my descriptions of my games.

Game 1: Battleline
Nick Hoen: Tomb Kings with Lizardmen
Nick Hoen, who appears to be undressing that iced coffee with his eyes...
Nick's Tomb King and Lizardman army
Tomb Kings
  • Liche High Priest Level 4 Dispel Scroll
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
  • 17 Skeleton Archers Standard Bearer Musician
  • 3 Sepulchral Stalkers
  • 4 Necropolis Knights Standard Bearer Musician Entombed
  • Tomb Scorpion
  • Tomb Scorpion
  • Hierotitan
  • Skink Chief Dragonbane Gem Javelin Shield Light Armour
  • 12 Skink Skirmishers Javelin/Shields
  • 12 Skink Skirmishers Javelin/Shields
  • Stegadon
Comp: 6/10

Up first was a grudge match with the man responsible for me committing to the mad plan of trying to get those Ogres done in time for the tournament – the Father of Lies himself, Nick Hoen. Of course, the joke had been somewhat on him. He had been at my place the previous evening, frantically trying to paint half his army before the event. It turns out he had committed to a stupid plan as well. Whereas I was done by midnight, he was still going at 2am. Of course, this kept me up to. So maybe the joke was on me after all. Anyway, at some point during the evening we decided we should grudge each other in the first round, so here we were.

Friday 12 April 2013

Mournwolves finished!

Well it's just after midnight before Empire in Flames, and the Mournwolves are finished! Not only them, but the Ogre Halberdiers and Sabretusk are done as well.
My Mournwolves, ready for action.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Mournwolves ready for paint!

Actually, the title is slightly misleading. It should really read "almost ready for paint". But it's so close that it might as well be true. Last night was a night of pretty intense modelling, interrupted for an hour or so when I went off to lose at indoor soccer (boo!). I started as soon as I got home, which was a bit before 6pm. I headed for bed at just before 1am. So it was probably 5-6 hours spent at the painting table, labouring away on these guys. And for my efforts, they are now basically ready to be painted.
My Mournwolves basically finished, although they need a banner.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Mournwolf rider progress

Time continues to tick by (as it tends to do). I now find myself with only 3 nights left before Empire in Flames, and I have a lot to do. I didn't post an update yesterday because the previous evening had been a write-off with no chance to make any progress at all. This meant I was pinning a lot on last night to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, I didn't come close to what I was hoping to achieve.

An ideal scenario would have seen me complete the Ogre riders for the Mournwolves, meaning everything was ready to be undercoated and painted. It sounds pretty unrealistic perhaps, but I was hoping to make use of moulds to clone certain components so that 3 riders would really be not much more effort than 1. Good theory, eh? Well, real life is never so simple. For starters, I didn't have enough cloned rider bodies. I had 3 bodies in total, but one of them was the master, and I try to keep the master untouched in case I need to re-make moulds with it later. I put in the green stuff to make another rider clone, but it meant that guy was never going to be finished.

Next I realised that I was about to run out of the arms I was planning to use as the base for my "Ogre knight" arms. As in, I was down to a single copy of each arm. And I didn't have moulds to make more. This was a big problem, and saw me immediately melting down other moulds to free up enough Instant Mold, making moulds of these last few arms, and throwing some green stuff in immediately. Then at least I had some backups on the way, even if I was about to basically break my own rule and modify my master copies. Ah well, time was short.
The moulds I was frantically making last night, complete with their first cloned components.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Mournwolf Progress

I confess I am feeling the pressure at the moment, knowing that Empire in Flames is only 5 days away.  I am fast running out of time to get my EiF army ready. At this point I think I will be able to put something painted on the table for every unit, but I'm not convinced I'll have time to finish that paintjob. Time will tell, I guess.

With the notable exception of Saturday night when I was lazy and did my usual thing of playing Halo with friends, I have been spending most of my available time trying to make progress on the Mournwolves. I have decided to call them this because "Mournfang Wolves" doesn't feel like a final title. I didn't post an update on Friday because the sum total of my progress on the Thursday night was assembling and then butchering the remaining 2 Mournfangs. At this point they looked like this:
He giveth and he taketh away: I glued together these guys and then promptly started hacking at them as I had the first guy. One lost his lumpy forehead so brutally that there was now only a hole...

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Building the Mournfang Wolf

I made decent progress on my Mournfang prototype last night, but he's still not finished. Some things remain to be done, and others may require some rework. As of now, this is what he looks like:
Starting to look more like a wolf and less like a Mournfang
From the other side

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Maiming Mournfangs

Off with his saddle, toes, upper rear legs, the top of his head, part of his face, what passes for a tail... Poor guy.

Last night I sat down and started to work on converting my Mournfangs into wolves. Well, I started work on one of them, anyway. He will be my prototype. Given that I really have no idea what I'm doing, I figured a prototype might be a sensible place to start. As I sat down and started to analyse the model (with a Wolfygryph alongside for comparison), I realised just how much I was going to have to do. The following is the rough list of what needs to be done to make a Mournfang into a wolf, as per my requirements:
  • Cut down the saddle attached to the model’s back (without even using the extra saddle bits, it’s still way too tall)
  • Fix the head. This means lengthening the snout, narrowing and hiding the back of its existing mouth where the big tusks are meant to be attached, cutting all the lumpiness off the top of its head, and maybe doing something to make the ears more prominent
  • Replace the ugly 3-toed feet with paws
  • Build up the model’s rump to a reasonable level in proportion to the rest of it
  • Give it a proper wolfy tail
  • Try to change the proportions of the legs a bit, in particular the upper section of the hind legs, which are totally different from a wolf’s
  • Cover all the bald spots with fur

Monday 1 April 2013

Another Empire in Flames

Despite having made resolutions not to enter too many tournaments this year, it doesn't mean I'll be steering clear of them entirely. Empire in Flames is one of the annual events that we host at the club, and it's coming up in less than 2 weeks. I was uncertain about entering, however I was kind of talked into it by Nick. He was very tricksy, and basically got me to think about it as a modelling project. This was far more appealing than entering it competitively, so it got my attention.

The reason EiF presents opportunities from a modelling perspective is that it's trying something a bit different this year. Instead of regular armies of about 2400 points, players will be bringing 2000 points, of which 500 points are an allied force. So it's 1500 points from the main list and 500 points from another army. In effect the 500 point army is a force in its own right, so much adhere to all the usual restrictions (must have a general, minimum 25% core, minimum of 3 non-character units, etc). This makes things a bit rigid, as you're effectively cutting the 500 points up into at least 4 bits (a character and 3 or more units). I was finding the idea of that a bit off-putting – you're basically being forced to use the 500 points to field some chaff, which didn't really appeal to me.

As I say however, Nick managed to talk me around. He got me excited by the thought of fielding an Empire army with Ogre allies – specifically, Empire Ogres dressed the same as their Empire allies. I have always stated that one of the end goals of my Ogre unit filler project was to have enough of them to be able to pull them out of the Empire units and field them as a themed Ogre Kingdoms army in their own right. Well, EiF has basically become a step toward that eventual goal.