Thursday 28 November 2013

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Dark Magic

I feel slightly bad that I've seen numerous searches hitting this blog looking for the Lore of Dark Magic, and of course they're all finding the old Lore from the previous book. Now that there is a new book, I should really be updating the review. If you actually were looking for the Lore from the previous book, you can find it here.

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Dark Magic
Dark Elves are the only race with access to Dark Magic, although nowadays they have the full range of the Lores of Battle Magic in the rulebook to choose from as well. So, with 9 Lores to choose from, let's hope Dark Magic stacks up.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Warhammer World Series – Dissecting the match-ups

Throughout the World Series, we were tracking how each army performed each round. Ideally this will help us to decide whether to re-use some of the match-ups next time around, assuming that the arrival of 9th edition and any new army books hasn't completely stuffed with our plans.

I'm going to walk through each table and give a brief summary of how they all went. Below is a table that shows all of the matches and gives a simplistic rating based on their battle point differences, but the table-by-table section will give a better picture.
Yeah, good luck reading that without opening it properly...
The analysis is always going to be a bit difficult by the time you allow for some wild dice rolls in some of the games. It's also going to be slanted by the fact that the tournament included plenty of players with a wide variety of skill levels – numerous Masters players and some who almost never attend tournaments. Such varying levels of experience clashing can produce some misleading results. Anyway, let's have a look at how things went...

Thanks to Ben over at Eureka Wargames Association for the use of some of his pictures here. You can read his account of the tournament here

Table 1: The Underground
Scenario: Watchtower (with modifications)
Skaven vs Night Goblins
Battle Points: Skaven 76, Night Goblins 64
Results: Night Goblins 3, Skaven 3, 1 draw
Table 1
This was probably the most wacky of the tables we set up. It involved an all-Goblin army against a Skaven army, fighting it out on the club's cave terrain. It was the only table to use the Watchtower scenario, and in this case the objective was not a building at all, but an open section of terrain (a chunk of warpstone being mined from the ground, made for the occasion by Owen of Terrain for Hippos).

This was always going to be a crazy game. And with the scenario, (control of the warpstone was worth 800 points) results were predictably wild. I know of games where the thing ended up controlled by a single Night Goblin Fanatic, and another where a single Troll survived to hold it after his unit passed a Leadership 4 Stupidity test to move onto it... The caves also caused some people a bit of grief, especially when the instruction to ignore the 1” rule for the impassable cave walls failed to get through in at least one game.

Anyway, after all this madness, each army walked away with 3 wins, and somehow one game even ended in a draw. All in all, I can't imagine a more ideal table for the tournament, and I'm glad we went through with it.

Table score: 10/10

Thursday 21 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 3

This is the third and final part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. Below are the links to the first 2 parts:

Game 6 – Rowan Keating
Table 8 – Aerial Duel
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
  • Bretonnian Lord
    • General; Heavy Armour; Questing Vow
    • Virtue of Heroism
    • Sword of Strife
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Royal Pegasus
  • Paladin Battle Standard Bearer
    • Heavy Armour; Battle Standard Bearer; Questing Vow
    • Sword of Might
    • Gromril Great Helm
    • Warhorse
  • Damsel of the Lady
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
    • Warhorse
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 6 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
Rowan's army:
Vampire Counts
  • Vampire Lord
    • General; Lore of Vampires; Lance; Heavy armour; Magic Level 1
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Dawn Stone
    • Quickblood
    • Hellsteed
  • Vampire
    • Battle Standard Bearer; Magic Level 2; Lance; Heavy armour; Shield
    • Nightshroud
    • Hellsteed
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 27 Zombies
    • Standard; Musician
  • 20 Crypt Ghouls
    • Ghast
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 6 Black Knights
    • Barding; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician
This table was one of those constructed with a particular theme. In this case, it was as close as we could get to a workable “aerial duel” type of game. Rowan chose the Vampires and away we went.
After deployment and vanguard moves.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 2

This is the second part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. You can find the first part here.

Game 3 – David Lowe
Table 16 – Super Sub-Optimal
Scenario – Battleline

  • Saurus Oldblood
    • General; Cold One; Great Weapon; Light Armour
    • Luckstone
  • Skink Chief on Ancient Stegadon
    • Spear; Light Armour; Battle Standard
    • Enchanted Shield
    • 2 Giant Blow Pipes
    • 4 Skink Crew
  • Skink Priest
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
  • 20 Saurus Warriors
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Spawn Leader
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 2 Jungle Swarms
  • 3 Kroxigors
    • Great Weapon
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • Troglodon

David's army:
  • Beastlord
    • General; Shield
    • Sword of Swift Slaying
    • Armour of Destiny
  • Gorebull
    • Frenzy; Heavy Armour; Battle Standard
    • Brass Cleaver
    • Charmed Shield
    • Gnarled Hide
  • Bray Shaman
    • Lore of Beasts; Magic Level 1; Braystaff
    • Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • 24 Gor Herd
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Foe-Render
  • 9 Ungor Raiders
    • Short Bow; Musician
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • 10 Chaos Warhounds
  • 1 Razorgor
  • 1 Razorgor
  • Jabberslythe
  • Spawn of Chaos
After a strong start, my game against Hieu had dropped me back into the middle of the pack. My next opponent would be David Lowe. After looking at the lists, David chose the Beastmen because he was more familiar with them. As it happens, this was another questionable choice – the Lizardmen definitely had the upper hand on this table throughout the tournament.

This game started late because I was chasing a couple of things from a TO perspective, and the game itself didn't exactly move like greased lightning. We didn't get to the end, but enough things happened to get a result. I didn't get a ton of photos because I was a little distracted.
That Carnosaur is really a Troglodon. As if anyone in their right mind has the proper model. Poor, useless sod...

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 1

The weekend saw the second running of that most unusual of tournaments, the Warhammer World Series. I was organising the event, however once things are up and running, the World Series is not the most difficult tournament to run. So I was also able to play the “bye-breaker”, which was needed because we had an odd number of players. So Baron von Gumby, most feared of non-competitive players, would ride once more! As usual, I took photos during my games and will give a bit of a run-through of how they went.

For those not following earlier, the World Series involves players arriving at a table and finding 2 pre-determined armies waiting for them. They then dice off to choose between the armies, the loser of the roll-off gets to choose table sides, and they play the scenario assigned to the table (generally Battleline). The full list of tables and armies has already been published, but I will repeat the ones I played on here for convenience as we go along.

Also, as I was the gumby player, I would not be rolling off with my opponent to choose armies – I would let them choose, and then we would roll off for table sides. Given I wrote nearly all of the pairings, it seemed the only fair way to do things. Besides, then I wouldn't have to try to choose what to use...

Game 1 – Nick Gentile
Table 5 – Family Feud
Scenario – Battleline
As usual, Nick is excited about being excited.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

More Empire standards

My Empire army has accumulated 3 painted Battle Standard Bearer models over time - one mounted, one on foot, and the special character Ludwig Schwartzhelm as a bonus. Normally this would be enough, but there are a couple of factors here. My army now consists of 2 distinct sections - the purple and white of Krakenberg, and a smaller contingent wearing the yellow and green of Stirland. The existing BSBs are painted for the former, with nobody left to fly the flag for the latter (Ludwig looks a little too important for the Stirlanders). I was aware of this shortcoming, but the Stirland group is not overly large, so I figured it was unlikely to be fielded as a force in its own right anyway. 

Of course, that was without planning for the Warhammer World Series, and its habit of splintering my larger armies into numerous smaller forces. This time around my Empire will be used for 4 different armies, and one of those forces is entirely in Stirland colours. In the end this was the prompt I needed to get moving and make them a BSB of their own.

I have a fairly large pile of second-hand Empire models, and I found what appeared to be the exact same BSB character, mounted and on foot. I figured this would work well enough for me. I removed the skeleton-angel-thingy banner that comes in the multi-part plastic character kit from both of them, and gave them both magnetised shoulders instead. Then I made up a new magnetised banner arm for them to share, using a Greatsword standard. I figured I would never need them both to be standard bearers at the same time (go away, World Series. I can see you in the corner, plotting to upset my plans again), so I plan to make them a couple of extra arms so that they can also stand in as regular characters. I don't know what I'll do for that other arm yet, but I didn't really have time to dwell on it at this point - I'll come back to it.
A BSB, and an Empire Captain with a crippling battle injury - loss of a limb at the shoulder.

Monday 11 November 2013

Warhammer World Series: the final pairings

It's taken a while, but here are the remaining pairings we will need to accommodate our current number of registered players. I have also added these match-ups to the main list I released earlier.

Just a few more days to go, folks...

Friday 8 November 2013

Another finished Mangler Squig

I think I need a bigger mace...
4 days after I decided to try to sculpt a couple of Mangler Squigs from scratch, the second one is completed. He is very different from the first one, but in the end I am pretty happy with them both. They came together much faster than I feared they would, and with only a rough idea in my head of how I wanted them to look, I'm very satisfied with the final product.

This guy was only half-finished at the start of today. Late last night I had attacked him with a bit of green stuff and a dremel in a few places, before deciding I had done enough and I was starting to handle and have to re-work what I was doing before it had set (the dangers of over-enthusiasm). Then this afternoon I managed to find the time to pull out more green stuff, and get him to a point that I decided was good enough.
This guy is much happier than the first one I made, who was clearly a real sour-puss. The teeth were one of the things I was most worried about on these guys, particularly with the open mouth. In the end I think they turned out fine, which was a relief.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

First Mangler Painted

After spending much of Tuesday putting together my first home-made Mangler Squig, I was keen to get some paint on him and see how he turned out. I got my chance last night, and here is how he turned out:
One surly Mangler Squig, ready to spring into action on the tabletop.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Sculpting Mangler Squigs

Or perhaps the title should really read: "mangled sculpted squigs", or something similar...

I have a pretty large Orc and Goblin army, however it lacks any of the new bells and whistles that appeared in the latest army book. I have purchased a few Arachnaroks, but none of them are painted yet. And I don't even own any Mangler Squigs. When you add in the fact that I've never gotten around to painting any Pump Wagons, my army is missing a lot of the tricks to make it fun. It's something I've always been planning to address, but I've been focused on other things.

When planning lists for the World Series however (just over a week away now), I made a list using my Night Goblins, and it just wouldn't have been enough fun without any Mangler Squigs. So I committed to a list that includes 2 of them, which means now I have to do something about it. And being a tight-ass who balks at the cost of one of the Finecast Mangler Squigs Games Workshop are peddling, I figured I would just make my own.

After all, how hard could it be?

Experienced, skilful sculptors and discerning lovers of miniatures may wish to stop reading now...

Saturday 2 November 2013

Warhammer World Series: The armies

Thanks largely to Duelling Paintbrushes, it's taken me a lot longer to get the army lists and match-ups organised for the World Series than I would have liked. Sorry to those who have been waiting to see them. Anyway, it's now 2 weeks from the tournament, and I've finally got almost all the pairings sorted. Here is what we've got, and the final few tables we should need will be announced shortly...

You'll notice that most of the tables look like they're just going to be basic pitched battles. In the end, most scenarios just make games more unpredictable without necessarily adding more interest. As a result, I've generally shied away from them - given people are not using the same army over and over again, there is no real need for the extra random element.

EDIT 12/11/2013: The list now contains 18 pairings, which at the time of writing is the number we need to accommodate the registered players. I will put together a couple of reserve pairings, but these ones will all be used.

Table 1 - The Underground
Scenario - Watchtower (no building - objective will use a marker)

Orcs and Goblins
  • Night Goblin Warboss
    • General; Great Weapon
    • Armour of Fortune
  • Night Goblin Big Boss
    • Great Weapon; Light Armour; Battle Standard
    • Standard of Discipline
  • Night Goblin Shaman
    • Magic Level 2; Little Waagh
  • 40 Night Goblins
    • Netters; Shield; Spear; Standard; Musician; Boss
    • 2 Fanatics
  • 40 Night Goblins
    • Netters; Shield; Spear; Standard; Musician; Boss
    • 2 Fanatics
  • 20 Night Goblins
    • Shortbow; Standard; Musician; Boss
  • 10 Squig Hoppers
  • 4 Trolls
  • 21 Squig Herd
    • 12 Squigs; 9 Night Goblin Herders
  • 5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
    • Spear; Shield; Musician
  • 5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
    • Spear; Shield; Musician
  • Mangler Squig
  • Mangler Squig

  • Warlord
    • General; Heavy Armour
    • Warlock-Augmented Weapon
    • Enchanted Shield
  • Chieftain
    • Great Weapon; Battle Standard
    • World's Edge Armour
  • Warlock Engineer
    • Magic Level 2
    • Warpstone Token
  • 4 Rat Ogres
    • 2 Rat Ogre Packmasters
    • Whip; Light Armour
  • 8 Gutter Runners
    • 2ndWeapon; Poisoned Attacks; Throwing Stars
  • 40 Clanrats
    • Light Armour; Shields; Standard; Musician; Clawleader
    • Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team
  • 41 Skavenslaves
    • Slave Musician
  • 20 Stormvermin
    • Halberd; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician; Fangleader
    • Standard of Discipline
    • Ratling Gun Weapon Team
  • 17 Giant Rats
    • 3 Packmasters
    • Whip; Light Armour
  • Warp-lightning Warp Cannon
  • 3 Rat Swarms

Friday 1 November 2013

Duelling Paintbrushes: Mission failed

Well, it's now November, which means Duelling Paintbrushes is over. And, as predicted in my previous post, I have failed to achieve my original target. It comes as no surprise, but unfortunately I didn't even really get very close. By the end of October, I had painted a Sorceress, 10 Cold One Knights, and 15 Spearmen. I had built commenced painting of the two mounted characters I needed to do, but they were nowhere near finished - and I had only just managed to complete the assembly and undercoat the 12 Crossbowmen. Not exactly covering myself with glory, there. Oh well.

Those mounted characters only got started very late in the process. I didn't really have the right models on hand. I knew I had a Malus Darkblade model kicking about (minus the old goofy cow-like Cold One he came with), so I figured he would do the job of a lord character. But I hadn't really worked out how I was going to make a BSB. When it came to the crunch, I ended up using a Cold One Knight's legs, a Corsair's torso, arms and head, and some extra spiky head-pieces from one of the Knights. The sea dragon cloak took some chopping and green-stuffing to get it to sit OK over the saddle, but it worked fine in the end.
Malus has traded in his ancient (and rather terrible) Cold One for a newer model.
My converted BSB. I was pretty happy with the pose, in the end.
I couldn't find a more exciting weapon for him, so he just stuck with a normal Corsair sword.
Sea dragon cloaks are not made to sit on Cold Ones. A bit of chopping and covering my handiwork with green stuff and the problem was solved.
By the end of the month, these guys had a couple of base colours on them and nothing else to speak of. They were probably about 10% painted. Not really inspiring, and certainly not usable. However, last night (November 1st - otherwise known as the day after the challenge was over) was painting night and I was determined to improve the situation. I was up until after 1 am (trying to multi-task between painting and constructing army lists for Warhammer World Series), but I'm calling these guys finished now.
My Dreadlord and BSB, ready for battle. They both have different coloured mounts from my regular Cold One Knights, to help them stand out.