Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two Posts in One Day! This Time: Skaven at 2,500 points!

2, 500 points of Skaven. Also Mr. Frog- one of my ferret's favorite toys.
My last game at Games Workshop kind of caught my opponent off-guard. You see, they've been playing 2,500 point games there in preparation for that tournament that's coming up. I really want to get more familiar with my Skaven, as they're my favorite Games Workshop race, so I decided to write up a 2,500 point army for them.

I sat down with my "army construction software" and began to crank out an army list. As usual, it focuses on heavy hitters surrounding what is more or less a bunker for my Grey Seer.

This is a fairly standard list, it just incorporates some units which are regarded on the internet as... less than effective. Personally, I like them, so in they went.

1x Grey Seer w/ Power Scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon (325 pts.)

1x Chieftain w/ Battle Standard, shield, Sword of Might, Foul Pendant (122 pts.)
1x Warlock Engineer (lvl. 2 Wizard) w/ Warp-Energy Condenser (120 pts.)
1x Warlock Engineer w/ Doomrocket (45 pts.)
1x Assassin w/ Blade of Corruption, The Other Trickster's Shard (170 pts.)

53x Clanrats w/ full command, shields, Poisoned Wind Mortar weapon team (314.5 pts.)
40x Clanrats w/ full command, shields, Warpfire Thrower weapon team (270 pts.)
40x Skavenslaves (80 pts.)
40x Skavenslaves (80 pts.)

7x Gutter Runners w/ slings, poisoned attacks (126 pts.)
6x Rat Ogres & 4x Packmasters w/ Master-Bred Rat Ogre (287 pts.)

1x Hell Pit Abomination (235 pts.)
1x Hell Pit Abomination (235 pts.)
1x Warp-Lightning Cannon (90 pts.)

Total: 2,499.5 pts.

As usual, my army is led by a Grey Seer. I know he's a magnet for enemy fire and spells, but Curse of the Horned Rat is just too good a spell to pass up, especially for dealing with elite units like Tzeentch Chosen or Phoenix Guard. Just cast it with a Power Scroll, get Irresistible Force, and watch your troubles melt away. Sure, you'll blow up some Clanrats, but they're Clanrats- plenty more where they came from!

The Warlock Engineers carry their usual kit, so they can be skipped.

New to the army is an Assassin. I've armed mine with the Blade of Corruption, so every wound he inflicts (at Strength 5) is doubled. Sure, there's the possibility of him rolling two ones and killing himself, but with his re-rolls to hit in melee, he should be fine. He also carries The Other Trickster's Shard, a personal favorite of mine. Forcing an enemy model to re-roll all passed ward saves should help power through those doubled wounds, hopefully killing the target instantly. Should he fail, he's a whopping 170 points given up, but that just means I'll have to be careful where I reveal him- going after softer targets like battle standards rather than Lord-level models.

My core choices remain the same, so no comment needed there other than that this time I've included a Warpfire Thrower to deal with multiple wound and/or regenerating models.

My Special choices are again unremarkable other than the fact that I've upgraded one of my Rat Ogres to a Master-Bred Rat Ogre. This gives the unit a champion capable of standing up to hero-level characters in a challenge and tearing the limb-from-limb. With his vastly improved stat-line, I feel he's the only Monstrous Infantry champion worth his points.

Rare is more or less unchanged except for adding a second Hell Pit Abomination. I've heard that running two gives your opponents fits, so I scrounged up my scratch-built one from before there was an official model and threw it into the army.

There you have it, my 2,500 point Skaven army. Maybe I'll even get a game in with it once I start understanding this math course I'm in...

Ogres Vs. Orcs: Mini Battle Report

Battle lines are drawn
After a total drubbing at the hands of my regular fantasy opponents' Orc & Goblin army, I challenged him to a rematch- this time using my Ogres!

Early in the day I went to my less than local Games Workshop location for a warm-up match. My opponent, much to my surprise, was also using Ogres. Instead of the more balanced approach I had opted for, he went for the total Gut-Star, deployed in Horde formation (6 wide, 4 deep if I recall correctly). I forgot to strip the unit of its buff spells during my magic phase, so the Gut-Star was impossible for me to deal with. I lost in a total massacre.

Needless to say, this dampened my spirits immensely going into my rematch.

We started by discussing what models were where in our armies (who was my Battle Standard Bearer, who was his, etc.) and then began deploying terrain.  I rolled a 6 when determining the number of terrain items, resulting in us to needing ten pieces of terrain for the battle.

Now, contrary to people's belief at my not-so-local G. W., randomly generating terrain is an OPTIONAL rule, so instead we opted to just choose from whatever terrain was available. This led to the usual jungle-themed board we're used to. Also, as usual, we agreed that random types of forests is a stupid rule, so all forests would be "normal" forests. Random forests just tends to clutter up the game, and adds an unnecessary level of complexity to an already complex game, so might as well just remove that hiccup altogether.

We then rolled for scenario, and got "Battleline". Cool, a simple scenario. Just bash your opponents' skulls in. Perfect for Orcs & Goblins vs. Ogre Kingdoms.

Yes, we set up terrain and rolled for scenario in reverse order, but it tends to lead to a more interesting battlefield, so as far as I'm concerned it's okay. Also, we have a standing agreement that "The Watchtower" is a stupid scenario, so we would re-roll it if it came up.

My opponent won the roll to deploy first, and we set about forming our battle lines. I opted to have my Ironguts hold the center of the line, flanked by my Bulls. The Leadbelchers would attempt to get a few potshots in at the Black Orcs, and then, after thinning out their numbers, would attempt to off anything that stayed in the Orc & Goblin backfield (in particular that stone thrower).

Having deployed fewer units and finishing setup before my opponent, I easily won the roll to go first with the +1 modifier. My army advanced toward the center confidently. In my magic phase I began throwing up buffs on my units, preparing for the coming onslaught of choppas. My Slaughtermaster took a pair of wounds from casting spells, but I was confident that with his Bloodcleaver he'd be back in fighting shape in no time.

The Orc & Goblin line advanced in kind, releasing the three fanatics from the mass of Night Goblins in which his Battle Standard Bearer had bunkered up. One impacted my rightmost Bulls, inflicting a single wound before dying in the forest behind them. The other two sat in front of the Night Goblins, ruining my hopes at getting a charge in against the weedy little things. The Trolls ambled forward daring me to charge them.

Uh-oh. This could be very bad indeed.
During The Orc & Goblin Magic Phase I managed to fend off the Foot of Gork (or whatever it's called, I don't own the book) managing to keep the greenskin deity from flattening my Ironguts. It took all my Dispel dice to do this though, so The Hand of Gork easily went through, moving the Warboss' unit behind my lines. Behind my Tyrant's Irongut unit, to be precise. This coming charge could be a game-ender if I didn't quickly reform to face the coming threat.

The Orc & Goblin shooting managed to put a pair of wounds on the Leadbelchers, and killed an Irongut.

Over to my turn, and my Tyrant failed his re-rollable Leadership 9 Stupidity test (he's a Mawseeker, you see). He and his Ironguts wandered forward six inches, setting up a perfect Orc charge. Oh, no. My left flank Bulls charged the Trolls, hoping to blow through into the Common Goblin unit sheltering the Great Shaman behind them.

The rest of my battleline held position. My Slaughtermaster continued to throw up buffs, taking another wound which he negated with the Bloodgruel spell.

Shooting led to both Leadbelcher units unloading into the Black Orcs, felling three of the brutes. That did not go as well as I had planned...

In the ensuing combat between the Trolls and the Bull Ogres, my opponent swung with two trolls at my Slaughtermaster failing to wound him even a single time. So much for that assassination attempt! The Bulls handily defeated the Trolls, and they fled sending my Bull Ogres into the Common Goblins behind.

It was now over to the Orc & Goblin turn, during which the inevitable happened. The mass of orcs with two Choppas each rushed the rear of my Irongut unit. This was very bad news. The Black Orcs charged my Leadbelchers, who fled, and the charge was redirected into my Bull Ogres, only managing to get a few into combat due to a bad charge roll.

The Magic Phase for the Orcs & Goblins was very short due to a lack of valid targets for spells, as was the Shooting Phase, so on to close combat.

My Tyrant used his Make Way! movement to get into the fighting rank, while the battle standard toting Bruiser stayed away from the ruckus. Shouting out a challenge to any who would dare face him in close combat, he was shocked to be paired up against the Orc Warboss. Hmmmm... He must have something up his sleeve. After a flurry of blows from the Warboss, modified by a -1 to-hit modifier from the Tyrant's Glittering Scales, and failure to wound due to the Tyrant's Toughness of 6, the Warboss stood dumbfounded. Now it was the Tyrant's turn. With his 5 attacks at a whopping Strength of 7 the Tyrant inflicted three wounds. Two of those wounds were save by the 4+ Ward save. Unfortunately for the Warboss, the Tyrant had brought The Other Trickster's Shard, which forces a re-roll of all successful Ward saves. A second wound was let through the Warboss' magical protection, and once multiblied into D3 wounds each, the Warboss fell with 5 wounds inflicted on him. Combined with the Ironguts' ability to slaughter Orcs, the Overkill bonus was enough to win the combat for the Ogres. The Orcs held. and the Ironguts reformed to face the now Strength 3 Orcs.

The Black Orcs killed a Bull Ogre in their combat, but between the Tyrant's Leadership of 9 and the battle standard's re-roll, they held their ground.

From here the battle is a blur, as I forgot to take pictures from this point on. My Ogres continued to throw up buffs, and the Bloodcleaver continued to restore wounds lost to Gut Magic spells on my Slaughtermaster.

The Bulls on the right flank finally broke from the Black Orcs' onslaught, and they fled the battlefield.

The Common Goblins were broken by the now Strength 5 Bulls, who elected not to pursue, as they were getting out of my Slaughtermaster's range to buff up my army, and were about to get charged by a Giant. The Giant did indeed rush the Bulls, but after a failed "Thump With Club" attempt the Ogres were able to shred the Giant handily. Luckily the Giant died falling away from combat, and failed to squish any Ogres.

The Ironguts annhilated the Night Goblins, taking both their standard and the battle standard.

The now Strenght 7 Bull Ogres crashed into the rear of the Black Orcs, and the game was called.

This battle went a lot better than my last two games. I was able to get up, and keep up, my Gut Magic spells, and this helped me deal with the Orcs' immense hitting power on the first round of every combat. The hero as well as the zero of the match is definitely the Tyrant. He almost lost me the game, but with his immense close combat prowess he managed to avert disaster.

This was a much closer game than it appeared, as had some vital Orc spells gone off, of had they gone off with more effect, I would have lost the game immediately. I was incredibly lucky on two occasions when Gork's Warpath failed to kill my Ironguts, despite going off with Irresistible Force.

In the end it was a hard-fought battle for both sides, and an enjoyable game. Thanks to my opponent for a most enjoyable evening!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ready to Rock

Ready to kick some Orc butt.
Well, I got another match against the Orc army that so thoroughly trounced me last time set up. I'm looking forward to some vengeance, but to be honest I'm a touch worried about the greater volume of units my opponent will be bringing to the table. That's one downfall of elite armies, your opponent can drop cheap units to see how you're going to deploy. With only five units plus characters, the Orcs & Goblins will easily be able to out-deploy me.

I'm not too worried about most of the Orc army, to be honest. The only unit that truly terrifies me is the Black Orcs. Those guys can crank out a sufficient volume of high-strength (5 if I'm not mistaken) attacks to shred my units before they get to swing. If the army I'll be facing is anything like the last army I was up against, my Ironguts will have to make a choice between going after the Black Orcs to eliminate them as a threat or attacking the enemy general's Orc Boyz bunker in an attempt to cut the head off the snake. I guess I'll have to make that decision on the fly.

I'll try to remember to take my camera with me for this game so I can post a battle report once I'm done.

For now, however, it's off to paint my movement trays and maybe to my almost-local G. W. to get a practice game in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not That I Am, But If I Were...

Well, the registration for Warhammer Fantasy Battle at the NOVA Open is finally up. The grand total to attend is $70, and I've already made my stance on the price point of the event clear. The thread on DakkaDakka got me thinking, though. What if I were to scrape together the time and money to attend, and were I to change my mind about plunking down that much money on a tournament?

What army would I bring?

Well, since i'm pretty sure your army list needs to be approved beforehand, that rules out double-Hell Pit Abominations. With that in mind I got to thinking. My Skaven army would need some more stuff to get into competitive shape, and even then it may get too low a comp score (also, I'm done painting Skaven for a good, long while).

This brought me to my back-up army, the Ogre Kingdoms. They wouldn't require too much to be purchased in order to get them to the tournament's 2,500 point limit. In fact, I could get away with just two additional boxes of Orges (or a single battalion, and get some more Ironguts, too). I'm not too adverse to slapping a bit of paint on a few more Ogres, either...

With that I went about firing up my netbook, pulling up my "army construction software", and brainstorming a possible Ogre Kingdoms army. Lemme tell you, even at 2,500 points, you don't really get a lot of ogres. My final list came out to be:

1x Tyrant general w/ The Tenderiser, Glittering Scales, The Other Trickster's Shard, & Mawseeker Big Name (300 pts.)
1x Slaughtermaster w/ Bloodcleaver, Wyrdstone Necklace, & Ironcurse Icon (250 pts.)

1x Bruiser battle standard bearer w/ heavy armor, Charmed Shield, & Talisman of Preservation (209 pts.)

11x Bulls w/ standard, bellower, & ironfists (470 pts.)
12x Bulls w/ standard, bellower, & ironfists (510 pts.)
10x Ironguts w/ standard, bellower, Banner of Eternal Flame (520 pts.)

2x Leadbelchers w/ Bellower (120 pts.)
2x Leadbelchers w/ Bellower (120 pts.)

Total: 2,499 pts.

This army is lot like my 2,250 point army, it's just not as top-heavy feeling. I've done away with all the gnoblar upgrades, as I really like the idea of an ogre army consisting of nothing but, well, ogres. I feel I should probably have a Butcher in the second bull unit as back-up magical support (replacing one of the Bulls and a unit of Leadbelchers, but Gut-Magic has kind of underwhealmed me in my last few games, and that's with a lord-level caster behind it!

My Tyrant remains the same offensive powerhouse he's always been, looking to clobber the snot out of big monsters and characters. He's very good at it, so don't fix what ain't broke I say.

The Butcher loses his tooth gnoblar and luck gnoblar, making him a bit more vulnerable, so he'll need to lean on his bloodcleaver fairly heavily, and get straight into combat. I sometimes wonder if I could run my Ogres with no magical backup, but that'd probably just leave me too open to spells like the Purple Sun of Xereus or the Dwellers Below, which can decimate my army without even trying. Of course, they'd probably just be Power Scrolled through my magical defense any way (assuming the item is allowed).

My Bruiser battle standard bearer loses a fair amount of his kit as well. He's reduced to his basic ogre club instead of his previous fancy-pants Cathayan longsword. No luck gnoblar for him, either. He'll just have to rely on his 2+ to ignore the first hit he takes, and his 4+ ward save.

The Bulls are bulked up to a total of 12 models each (once the Slaughtermaster joins the eleven-strong unit). This should give them a bit more staying power against dedicated big guy killers. Should they get into combat unmolested, that's all she wrote for most enemy units. Note that these units have been stripped of their light armor. I figure more warm bodies is probably better than a 6+ armor save. They still have ironfists, however. I just like the versatility of having either a fourth attack or a 6+ ward save depending on what their opponent merits.

The Ironguts. They're unchanged from the 2,250 point list, even though they're a gigantic fire-magnet. I think I should probably have bulked them up, but that would eliminate target priority issues for my opponents. Still, a few more bodies (three or so) would make the unit that much more of a threat...

My Leadbelchers are there almost to keep me from having to buy another battalion. I can't help but think that there's nothing they can do that Ironguts couldn't do better. Maybe I should re-tweak my army to not include these dudes and see how it looks? Then again, they are mainly there to thin out flanking units...

In the end this is all just wishlisting, though. Maybe if another tournament set the point cap at 2,500 points, I'd have to ponder this army more deeply, but as long as I'm not willing to shell out for the NOVA Open (and that won't be for a while, if ever) this is all just speculation any way.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coming Up for Air

Well, since it's been a while since I last posted, I figured I'd give a quick status report. Entirely Anima progress, I'm afraid. Those of you hoping for some 40k goodies will have to wait a bit. I've finished painting another wanderer, Akio Kageshima, and gotten a couple of Samael figures (Fallen Angel Dinah, Fallen Angel Ophiel, Konosuke, Dark Cheshire, and Janiel) painted.
Now, however, I'm in the middle of my final for this class, a research paper on nuclear waste disposal, for which I get to read through 300+ pages of government reports (so far). This has, as one would expect, caused painting (and photographs thereof) to come to a halt. Even this post is being snuck in between reading reports as my eyes were beginning to glaze over.
I'm hoping to get my bibliography and outline done tonight so that I can start putting a dent in painting either Bael or Shinigami Ayl. At this point I can only hope. There will be a two-day gap between my class ending and my next two classes beginning, so here's hoping I can sneak in a game or two then, as right now it's totally out of the question. I'm hoping to go over to my local G.W. or over to one of my friends' places for a game of Warhammer Fantasy, but who knows?

...But for now, back to studying Yucca Mountain.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just Before the Nose Hits the Grindstone

Don't mind that yellow dot on Kujaku's sword, it's been fixed.
Last night, after returning home from work, I suffered a touch of sleeplessness. This led me to work on Kujaku until the wee hours of the morning (well, not too wee, as Craig Ferguson had just started, but late enough). I entered a sort of zen-like trance, and just kept adding colors to miniatures.

Contrary to my previous beliefs, Kujaku is wearing a brown yukata with a cherry blossom print on it in her artwork, rather than a purple and white one. This made painting her much easier, but I still had to deal with layering pink and white over a brown basecoat, followed by a little yellow dot in the center of each flower. This girl is simply covered in flower patterns, so I had to spend quite a bit of time freehanding cherry blossoms.

One thing I didn't notice until a good deal of the way through the miniature is that she has a samurai helmet tied to her left (your right) shoulder. This came as quite a shock when I looked closer at what I believed to be the usual token piece of armor on female miniatures. Luckily I was able to catch it before dullcote-ing the mini. Once I finish the draft of this paper it's off to my FLGS to grab some Mecherite Red to start on my next miniature.

Now, focus!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For Now Blobs Of Black, But Soon...

Well, it seems The War Store is out of Infinity starter sets, and I know for a fact my FLGS doesn't carry the game, I've decided to start painting my Anima: Tactics miniatures again. Since I'm currently out of dark red to start with, my initial faction; Church is out as I'm going with a red, black, white, and gold color scheme. My Samael force is also out as I was going to go with dark red and deep purple for their colors.

A touch miffed, I went through my Saga I & II book to see if there were any miniatures that didn't require red in their color scheme. It turns out Kujaku Hime and Takanosuke (the sword carrying girl and leaping ninja respectively) have no red in their paint scheme.

Takanosuke will be a great miniature to get my feet wet with, as, being a ninja, he has a lot of black cloth accented by a touch of purple. Kujaku on the other hand will be a lesson in bringing up a black primer to light colors, as she's all whites, pale flesh, pink and pastel purple. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by her. I probably should have primed her in white, but I didn't have any at the time, and I tend to prime in batches...

Well, it's off to get as much of a start as I can before work. Let's see how good I can paint when I try.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Want a New Drug

I couldn't think of anything else, so have some Etna!
 I've been plodding through painting my Dark Eldar, when it hit me; I'm plodding. I'm not enjoying painting the miniatures like I should. When I paint MalifauX, Song of Blades and Heroes, or Anima: Tactics, I enjoy painting the minis. I remember painting my Confrontation Alchemists, too. They were a blast, and I spared no detail on them.

This just isn't possible with a 40k army.

Not for me any way.

What is the common theme of these mini games I so enjoy painting? They're skirmish scale. With maybe ten miniatures per side, I can lavish each one with the attention it deserves.

When you look at my Dark Eldar, you can tell there is a bit of a hurry when I paint them. Highlights aren't as crisp, occasional shading is missed, and certain reas (like eyes) are a bit "outside the lines".

Now, a portion of this can be attributed to the injury my hand sustained since I last painted a miniature to true "showcase quality", but deeper than that, I'm hurrying myself. Symptoms include, but are not limited to;

-Sloppy paint jobs
-Rapid fire unit completion
-Dipping minis
-Poor conversions
-Looking at painting as a chore

I've been exibiting all of these signs for a while now, and I can only think of one thing to bust me out of this slump. I need a skirmish game, ASAP. I've been looking for a good skirmish system for a while, and since I can't find an opponent for MalifauX, Anima, or Song of Blades and Heroes, I figure I'll look at Infinity. I'll still probably lack opponents, but damn if those models aren't sweet. The factions look like a cross between Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. If these models don't inspire me to paint, and to do it to the best of my ability, none will. I'm just tired of forcing myself to turn out sub-par results, and with my financial status the way it is, I may have to stick with skirmish systems weather I want to or not. Right now I'm having trouble saving up for a Venom, let alone the rest of the army.

Don't get me wrong, army scale games will always have a place in my heart, but right now 40k may have to go on the back burner. Sorry to Demitra, but between time and money I just may (note I said may) have to drastically slow down the slow-growth project.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Triumph Over Wyches & More

Well, I've finished painting my first Wych squad. They're darker than the rest of my army, but that's because I have a set paint scheme; jade green armor, black bodysuits, purple cloth, brown skin, white hair, red drug injectors and bronze weapons. I like that the squad looks different than the rest of the army. They're part of a Wych Cult that's not part of the Kabal proper, so they ought to stand apart from the more heavily armored warriors.

My Haemonculus units (the Haemonculi themselves as well as their Wracks) will have a more dominant purple in their coloration, as all of them wear long skirts that, being made of cloth, end up purple. I think that this differentiates the units enough that you can tell that they're from different parts of Dark Eldar society, come together to make a whole.

As to weather or not their transports will have differing color schemes, I don't know, but I'm leaning towards no. At most I'll probably wind up giving them different decals on their sails, but I may just wind up giving different sails different meanings. The double sails will carry the Kabalite Warriors, the single sails will carry the Wyches.

Finally, the humidity here finally cracked enough to let me Dullcote my minis! Hurrah! the trick I learned in an article on the G.W. website (see, it's occasionally good for something) worked. For those of you who are curious, once you get the decal to adhere to the model you go over it and the surrounding area with gloss varnish. When you go over the area with matte varnish (Dullcote in my case) the seam around the decal disappears!

Now to work up the drive to paint my second Wych squad. Maybe after I finish this next essay. Yeah, that's it.