Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Bodies, But Does It Have The Hitting Power?

So, I've run into the idea that my army just doesn't have the sheer volume of models required to beat other horde armies. This idea has led me to revise my army list in the hopes of eliminating enemies like goblins and their ilk in melee. I tweaked my army list a bit to see what it would look like without the Rat Ogres, and with some Plague Monks splashed in.

Grey Seer w/ Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon- 290 pts.

Chieftain w/ battle standard, halberd, Armor of Destiny- 122 pts.
Plague Priest w/ flail, level 2 wizard, Dispel Magic Scroll- 164 pts.
Warlock Engineer w/ Doomrocket- 45 pts.

40 Clanrats w/ full command, shields, Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team- 270 pts.
40 Clanrats w/ full command, shields, Poisoned Wind Mortar Weapon Team- 265 pts.
40 Skavenslaves- 80 pts.
40 Skavenslaves- 80 pts.

6 Gutter Runners w/ slings, poisoned attacks- 108 pts.
30 Plague Monks w/ full command, Banner of Eternal Flame- 245 pts.

Doomwheel- 150 pts.
Warp Lightning Cannon- 90 pts.
Warp Lightning Cannon- 90 pts.

1,999 pts.
205 models

What I like here is the volume of models. What I don't like here is the lack of high strength weapons with which to deal with big, scary stuff with lots of armor. I really wonder if the lacking Rat Ogres / Hell Pit Abominations will be missed. The Plague Monks sure crank out a lot of attacks, and that Plague Priest will be a nightmare in close combat, but is he really enough?

Also, you may have noticed that the spell casting Warlock Engineer has been replaced with the Plague Priest. He will be better up close, but I have to trade for (in my opinion) an inferior spell list and the risk of placing an unarmored character in the thick of the fighting. I'll be sure to burn that Dispel Scroll early, because once he's in combat I don't expect him to last too long.

Of course, what I may do is trade out that Dispel Magic Scroll for an upgrade from the Banner of Eternal Flame to the Plague Banner. Of course, in order to make that call I'll have to run the army through a few tests...

Friday can not get here quick enough.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fredricksburg and Skaven

Skryre- best clan in all Skavendom.
Well, the ol' Tournament bug hath bitten again. Demitra sent me an email saying there was an upcoming tournament at the Game Vault in Fredricksburg. I intend (traffic and schedule permitting) to attend, and so I have been writing up army lists in preparation. This is one of those lists, so should you not be interested in this sort of thing feel free to skip this post.

My overall thinking with this list is the ability to attack any sort of enemy unit at range. Magic, shooting, and Skavenslaves will combine to keep threats away and (hopefully) eliminate them before anything truly scary makes it to my lines. I want to finish my opponents off at arm's length, not allowing them to make it anywhere near my vital Grey Seer and Battle Standard Bearer- the keys to my army's resiliance, and the heart of my strategy.

There is no room for a Warlord to act as my general, his point cost is better spent adding to my army's firepower rather than chopping stuff up in melee, which is exactly where a soft army like mine does not want to be. Sure I have the press of ranks, but I lack close combat specialists like Stormvermin or Plague Monks. These units, in my opinion, struggle to attain the moniker "close combat specialists" in the first place, with Stormvermin only really beginning to twinkle (not shine) in the Strength department. Plague Monks have their Toughness, Additional Hand Weapons, and Frenzy to fall back on, but without a Plague Furnace (as I am) they're just not a close combat nightmare, which is what a melee army is looking for.

I did try throwing together a more melee focused army, but all I could pull out for my sledgehammer units were Plague Monks (as mentioned above sans Plague Furnace) and my Rat Ogres. I didn't have the points to slip in double Hell Pit Abominations, and without that kind of punch (and with a spell caster general) I just didn't feel safe striking out across the battlefield.

But couldn't I just drop the Grey Seer, add in a Warlock Engineer, and go with a Warlord instead? No, not really. Magic is a very powerful force in this edition, and without the Grey Seer's +4 to dispell I just don't like my chances. This is a much more defensive army than I normally like playing, but I want to win in a tournament game and that leads to the need to adapt tactics. Throw the Skavenslaves forward, shoot and cast spells into the ensuing combat, and watch the enemy units just melt away. Anything that survives gets offed by my melee assets (of which I do have one very effective unit in my figure case).

Okay, here's what I'm thinking:

Grey Seer w/ Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon- 290 pts.

Cheiftain w/ battle standard, shield, Armor of Destiny- 122 pts.
Warlock Engineer w/ level 2 wizard, Warp-Energy Condenser- 120 pts.
Warlock Engineer w/ Doomrocket- 45 pts.

40 Clanrats w/ shields, full command; Poisoned Wind Mortar Weapon Team- 265 pts.
40 Clanrats w/ shields, full command; Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team- 270 pts.
40 Skavenslaves- 80 pts.
40 Skavenslaves- 80 pts.

7 Gutter Runners w/ slings, Poisoned Attacks- 126 pts.
6 Rat Ogres & 4 Packmasters- 272 pts.

Doomwheel- 150 pts.
Warp Lightning Cannon- 90 pts.
Warp Lightning Cannon- 90 pts.

2,000 points

The army has lots of multi-wound inflicting stuff for offing things like monstrous units (infantry, cavalry) and lots of poison combines with this to eliminate big monsters. Plenty of templates for killing off massed units, and redirection units that can be shot into.

Oh, for those saying I don't have enough warm bodies in this army, that's 186 models there.

I'll keep thinking about this army, but this layout seems good enough to try to get some practice games in with (assuming the Springfield G.W. still exists) and I'll be giving it a shot here pretty soon (Friday?).

For now however, it's just a sweet, sweet dream...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Super (Sized) Smash Brothers

Well, that's it! My Super Dungeon Explore game is completely painted. With the two Rexes pictured above, I have a complete set (barring Candy and Cola, who will be added soon) of SDE ready for tonight.

...At least until the Caverns of Roxor expansion later this year...

But let me tell you, this is quite a feeling of accomplishment. I think I painted the miniatures rather well, and that leads to my swollen head.
That's one more project off the ol' "Coming Attractions" list.

Now to get ready for some hero thwomping tonight.

Tipping The Scales

Well, I've almost finished painting up Super Dungeon Explore, and here are my latest minis. Ironscales are the "elites" of the Kobolds, and are equipped with heavy armor and a gigantic shield with which they can shield their companions. Having completed these four little fellas, I'm off to paint the last two minis in the game; the Rexes.
As you can see I've already put a dent in them, and now it's time for a Nuln Oil wash over the stone and bandages. Following that I'll tackle his skirt thingy, and then his teeth and spines. The end is near! Rejoice!

Can't Sleep, Kobolds Will Eat Me...

Yep, it's 4:00 in the morning here and I can't sleep. Thus I have done some painting. Up front are the newly toned down Dragon Priests, and behind them are the freshly washed Rexes and Ironscales. Now I will go lay in bed until either I fall asleep or my alarm forces me out of bed.

Or both.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Consul-ation Prize

Tomorrow's big deal.
Tomorrow we're (and by we I mean Demitra, my fiance', her brother, and possibly two or three more) going to be getting together to play Super Dungeon Explore. If you haven't noticed, I've been doing a bit of painting for that game recently, and I'm really hyped up to pull it out. I have a very firm grasp of the rules, and along with that comes the responsibility of being the "game master" if you will. It would be difficult to instruct the players as to how the game is played from the Heroes' side of the table, which means its pretty much up to me to play as the Dark Consul. This is a bit of a sticky spot for a few reasons.

Firstly, it'll be a bit counter-productive instructing the heroes as to how to work in concert with one another while I'm trying to kill them. I'd like to try to win the game, and I have as much experience playing the game as my fiance'. What I have over her is time here at work to peruse forums and analyze tactics. I know what characters are vital to the heroes' survival, and which ones can be ignored. I know how to make combos and how to break combos. I know that, when used correctly, a swarm of Kobolds can down any hero in a single well executed turn.

Secondly, I'm honestly sick of being the "Bad Guy". I was the Evil Overlord throughout a Descent campaign not too long ago, and I had a blast annihilating the heroes in that game, but after a while it got tiring being the odd man out. It becomes mentally exhausting trying to outwit a group of people, and it's a bit isolating being everybody's opponent. It really would be nice if somebody put out a game where there was a team of good guys and a team of bad guys. Hear that aspiring game designers?
Overlord to be?

Thirdly, this is sort of an intro game. As such, I sort of feel bad beating the snot out of the newbies. Yeah, I'm the Dark Consul, and yeah I'm supposed to want to smear the heroes all over the pavement (or is it cobblestones in a dungeon?), but if I crush them too severely and/or too quickly (which you want to do before the heroes get too much good stuff) it'll put people off of the game, and that's not what I want. I also don't feel right playing to lose. It's no fun for me, and I honestly feel it's insulting to the other players. What I really ought to do is point out some stuff here and there while keeping the game on a "lower difficulty setting" until the players have their feet under them, and then go for the throat. This is a very fine balancing act, though, as I could either end up rushing them before they're on equal footing, or I could end up waiting too long and having them roll over me in short order.

I guess what tomorrow is is an attempt at making the game fun and challenging enough for all of the players to have fun and be challenged, while keeping anybody from becoming bored (which could happen if I kill a hero early) and avoiding having the game become bogged down in rules explanations and analysis paralysis. The game rests upon the edge of a knife. Stray too far in either direction and it will become a chore for somebody.

Maybe next time I'll be able to pass the mantle of Dark Consul on to somebody else. Until then, the teaching/opponent/outcast job lays firmly upon my shoulders.

Worshiping The Dragon

The Dragon Priests are finished, and with them my aspirations for painting today. I think the highlights on their cloaks came out a touch bright, so I'll hit them with a Nuln Oil wash before I head off to work, and then varnish them (humidity permitting) tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow's projects- four Ironscales and two Rexes. No before picture today as I'm a touch pressed for time...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Final Update For The Night: Gougers

Well, my last project for the evening has been completed. The Gougers are now awaiting varnish (it's way too humid outside to hit them up now) and I'm about ready to call it quits for today. Now I'm down to the two Rexes, the four Ironscales, and tomorrow's project:

...the Dragon Priests. These guys have a lot going on on them, so they'll require a lot of attention, and hopefully I'll be able to provide that before work tomorrow. For now it's watching after pets and grabbing dessert.

Until tomorrow.

SDE Real Time Update: Kobold Flingers

I hope I maintained the look I was going for with these guys. I went for a filthy, oily look on the bandages, and tried a Nuln Oil wash over Khaki. The final look pleases me, but I don't know if the scuzzy look of the Flingers' bandages clash too much with the otherwise cleanly painted minis. Honestly, after the wash I was not able to bring myself to pick out and highlight every last bandage, so I just hit the most prominent ones.
Now on to the Gougers. I have to run some errands, and that will give the wash plenty of time to dry. These guys should come out looking a lot brighter than the Flingers, as you'll soon see.

What A Bunch Of Knuckleheads

Ready to off some heroes.
My Super Dungeon Explore collection continues to inch toward completion. Last night and this morning saw the final touches being applied to the above Kobold Knuckleheads. These guys, along with Gougers, are the most common enemies the heroes will encounter in the dungeon. In the pictures on the cards these fellows (and all of the kobolds for that matter) are depicted a lot darker on their cards, but I primed all of my models white for a reason! No, not because I'm a glutton for punishment (painting over white primer is a nightmare), but because I wanted a bright, attractive set of miniatures to game with. I think I've achieved that with these minis.
Now I'm waiting for the Baal Red wash to dry on the Flingers. I stocked up on this stuff at my FLGS yesterday, as it's out of production and it's a key element to painting a red that transitions smoothly between highlights. Also because the new red glaze from Citadel (Bloodletter) is just awful. Seriously, don't waste your money on it.

Including the above Flingers, I have 14 more minis to go. Maybe I'll even be able to get a game in with my fully painted set soon. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dungeons And, Well, You Know...

More Super Dungeon Explore goodness, and this time I've finished up the heroes. Today I present to you my latest progress, and it's rather substantial.
The Glimmerdusk Ranger, Ember Mage, and Boo Booty were my first accomplishments. I especially like the way the Boo Booty came out, the gold is basecoated with the new Citadel foundation gold (whose name escapes me right now). This added a good bit of shading without me really having to layer the gold over and over. It's a shame the Ember Mage will probably never see use as Starfire the dragon is immune to fire...
Speaking of the big lizard, here he is! I was going to save the game's end boss for last, but I just couldn't resist. Alongside him are the Riftling Rogue and the Egg Clutch spawn point. I was less than thrilled how these two turned out, and despite giving them my best shot they came out sub-par. Oh, well.
And this is my final picture for today, the treasure chests are painted, as are the Deeproot Druid and his shapeshift, Angry Bear. You may remember the druid from a while back, but I wasn't pleased with how his fur cloak turned out, so I retouched it.

That's it for now. Astute viewers may notice the forward progress on the Kobold Knuckleheads in the background. Guess what my next post will showcase?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Final Results And A Bummer

Well, I went 2&1 in the tournament, and despite having the only fully painted and based army and playing friendly to a fault, I ended up with no placing of any kind, which is bummer number one. I'm a bit miffed about the whole painted army thing, but oh, well. Life goes on.

The real bummer last night is that my Friendly Not So Local Games Workshop is shutting down. The store is getting packed up and moved down the street about a quarter mile. That in itself wouldn't be so bad, but the store is becoming a one man store. A shame that, as my orders from now on will be placed on the internet, and my games will be played at home or in friends' basements. Game Parlor is out, as games happen on days I have to work. I'm just so glad I just spent hundreds of dollars on an army I was supposed to use to get out of the house and game with.

Time to start pimping Infinity I suppose. It's nice to have a game where you can spend about $100 and never have to buy another miniature. It's not nice to not have a player base. Now if I can get people's scheduled to synch up...

Any way, fare thee well GW Springfield, I barely knew ye.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Final Game Report

Well, as I lost my second game (from not paying attention to the objective) I totally forgot to snap some photos. On the upside I managed to win my last game. Now I'm waiting for the tournament results.

Tournament Report: Game One

My first game ended in an accidental win after my opponent (fielding an all cavalry Empire army) accidentally made an illegal assassination of my Butcher. He then proceeded to get smooshed by my Ironguts in short order. My Gutstar performed admirably so far, here's hoping they're the avalanche of destruction they're touted to be.

Pre-Game Update: Thunderstorms

Dark photo is dark.
Well, the weather has turned here in Northern Virginia. A thunderstorm is passing through the area, and with that comes rain. Rain is not good for paper, cardboard, and flock, so I have to find an alternate mode of transportation. This is where my pistol case comes in. I emptied it of Uncharted Seas minis and removed the bottom layer of foam. This allowed for the placement of books, templates, and my movement tray. Then I added the middle layer of foam, placed the models, and closed the case...

Perfect fit! I may now have a way to store most of my ogres (the Mournfangs may be asking a bit much) and carry them safely to and from GW.

Victory over nasty weather conditions!

Ready For Action

Well, I've got my stuff all together for the tourney today. I've been spending all night reading and re-reading the Warhammer rulebook as well as the Ogre Kingdoms book and all of the FAQs. I'll try to have some "live" updated from the tournament tomorrow, complete with pictures. We'll see how placing all of your eggs in one big bad basket pans out. For now, here are my mighty warriors all boxed up and ready to go.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bringin' The Cheese, If You Please

After much pondering, a few consultations, and more than a little time spent on Army Builder, I have come to the following conclusion: Ogres are where it's at. After rooting through my box of unassembled models, I came across two more Kroothounds and a pair of cavalry bases. Thus began my decescent into cheesedom.

I began rolling dice to see what damage could be inflicted by my Ironguts if they were maxed out (two Sabretusks , a Butcher, and a maxed-out unit of Ironguts), and I must say, it's quite impressive. Assuming the 'Guts don't take too much of of a pounding on their way in (and they probably will...) I should be able to get fifteen ogres worth of attacks against any target foolish enough to take my charge. Did I mention that the charge will probably happen on turn 2? Well it will. You'd better get to blasting some Ogres off the board.

Of course, despite having quite a bit of close sombat punch, there remains an issue. Two actually. Both are linked to the same selection of models.

Do I take the Butcher for increased survivability (his lore attribute allows him to regrow lost wounds) or do I go with the offensive juggernaut that is the Firebelly? The Butcher carries the Fencers Blades, which bring his Weapon Skill up so high that many rank and file enemies (short of elite High Elves or Chaos Warriors) will need to roll 5s to hit him. He's also Toughness 5, allowing him to shrug off all but the most impressive hits. The downside? Despite his four attacks (albeit hitting pretty much everything on 3s) he's only Strength 4. I know, he's not there to kick butt and take names, but at least he could (as the army gneral) contribute to the slaughter a little. He's there to augment an already obscenely poverful unit, which will make it a juggernaught of destruction. His spells can be a bit overkilly.

...But then I have a saying, "Overkill is still dead".

Wrong Firebelly, but this one's cuter.
The Firebelly really maximizes what this army wants to do- massacre stuff. Spells like Fireball and Burning Head are always useful, and on Ironguts the Flaming Sword of Rhun is fantastic to the point of hilarity. "Okay, I hit you. With the +1 modifier I wound you automatically, so start pulling minis". Fulminating Flame Cage is a great denial spell- anyone who wants to take a Strength 4 hit on every last model in his unit is welcome to. Anyone who wants to stay put to avoid the effect can do so as well. Everything else in the lore? awesome as well. Plus it stops Regeneration. Now, however, we come to the awesome part; the dude has a breath weapon! That's right, 2d6 flaming hits on demand (once a game) to swing that all important combat your way. He just can't grow back wounds...

Why is the wound regaining such a big deal? "Blood And Glory". This scenario adds together points based on how many banners you have, plus your general counting as two banners. When your number of banners remaining reaches the size of the game divided by 1,000 (so in this case 1), the game ends and you lose. That means, with the single banner in my army, all it takes is the assassination of my General to end the game. I guess that pretty much leaves my hands tied with using the Butcher.

I did need to add six more Ironguts to my "gutstar", and so that meant buying one box of Ironguts and throwing in a pair of "unit fillers". For those who may not know, unit fillers are pieces of scenery added into a unit to bulk it out in place of adding more models. Mine are rocks on 40mm bases. Well, they're a bit more than rocks, they're covered in Ogre gear and have Gnoblars impersonating Ironguts standing proudly atop them, but they're much cheaper than buying a whole other box of Ironguts for two more minis, and they look way better than proxying a couple of Bull Ogres in their place.

For those who may care, here's what's going to stomp in faces tomorrow night:

Butcher, level 2 wizard, Lore of the Great Maw, the Fencer's Blades, the Dragonbane Gem, and the Ironcurse Icon (180 points)

17 Ironguts, full command, and the Standard of Discipline (776 pts.)

Sabretusk (21 pts)
Sabretusk (21 pts)

998/1,000 points

Three units (barely) causes this one to make the cut, and the two "junk drops" (the Sabretusks) will help me to see where the opposing army is going to deploy. This list will either win big (and I mean really big) or it will get slaughtered. That's my kind of gamble. I'll pretty much know if I'm going to win the tournament based on how my army performs, as I'm likely to be the only player there with a fully painted army. (even if it is only to marginal standards, I shouldn't get dinged there), and I consider myself to be a fairly good sportsman (unless my opponent is being... less than honorable).

Now, should I wear my Etna shirt, or should it be the "rules lawyer" shirt?

Questions, questions.