Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vampire Counts fighty 1,500 versus Warriors of Chaos.

Well I was supposed to play a 1,500 point game against Warriors of Chaos with my Vampire Counts today but it looks like that may be postponed until later this weekend. In the meantime I thought I would share this "fighty" VC list I was planning on bringing against the WoC. Trying out a few new things (for me) before I decide on what sort of "final" 2,250 list I will be working towards.

HEROES: (570)
Vampire - Nightmare, Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death, Book of Arkhan, Sword of Battle (208)
Vampire - Beguile, Dread Knight, Blood Drinker (190)
Wight King - Skeletal Steed, Lance, Heavy Armor, Shield, BSB, Banner of the Barrows (172)

The Level 2 Vamp will be my general and live in with the Grave Guard unit. His job will be to stay close enough to use his bound Van Hel's on the units which need it, IoN wounds, and other general magic mayhem. The mount is for the extra armor save and bonus attack. The plan here is to accept the challenge the WoC characters/champs have to make with the Grave Guard champ and use the extra attacks from the mount and sword of battle to kill RnF troops.

The second Vamp lives in with the Black Knights and the Wight King BSB. With a reroll to hit from the hatred banner of the unit, and a potential reroll to wound from Beguile, I am hoping to maximize the Blood Drinker to restore any lost wounds to the characters or the unit. If I can get the charge this Vamp and his unit should be able to cut through most things.

The Wight King brings the +1 to hit for the Black Knights and himself, plus his higher toughness and wound count will hopefully make up for his relatively low armor save.

CORE: (240)
Crypt Ghouls x 10 (80)
Crypt Ghouls x 10 (80)
Crypt Ghouls x 10 (80)

Minimal core, may swap out one unit of Ghouls for a unit of Zombies but the Ghouls have a better chance of tearing through Marauders - especially with some help from Van Hel's.

SPECIAL: (514)
Grave Guard x 16 - Heavy Armor, Shield, Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer, Banner of the Dead Legion (247)
Black Knights x 8 - Nightmare, Heavy Armor, Shield, Lance, Musician, Standard, Champ, Royal Standard of Strigos (267)

Grave Guard have the Unit Strength x 2 banner plus full command for support of the Lvl 2 Vamp. Black Knights bring the Hatred banner to stack with the +1 to hit of the Wight King for maximum damage on the charge. Unit should have a static CR of 4 against most units (rank, banner, BSB, and outnumber).

RARE: (175)
Varghulf (175)

I have yet to try out the Varghulf as he doesn't really fit with my theme of Skeletons/Army of the Dead. Wanted to see how he does and if I should consider a conversion of some kind to include him in my 2,250 list.

Total: 1,499 (of 1,500 points)

Would love to hear any comments or questions you may have regarding this list! This is a "new" direction for my VC army and one that I have not experimented with too much. Any help is appreciated.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Review - "Storm of Iron" by Graham McNeill.

I've been slowly amassing and reading a collection of Black Library books over the past year. I thought it would be cool to do a short review of each of these books as I read them. This is my first review - if you have any feedback on the format and content please share it. I can't promise all of my book reviews will be this detailed but I will try my best!

"Storm of Iron" by Graham McNeill

Epic battles. Everyone loves them. The few and the proud against the hordes of evil in a winner takes all battle for ultimate supremacy. These elements provide a good backdrop for human drama and character development, and can be seen in many instances of film, comics, television, and literature throughout the years.

"Storm of Iron" provides a Warhammer 40k take on this same ideal. An impenetrable fortress manned by a hardened force ready to die for their beliefs. To never yield or falter in the face of certain doom and a tragic end at the hands of a bloodcrazed and evil enemy.

But things don't quite go that way, which makes this story stand out as being a bit different from those in the past. The good guys don't win, in fact they serve as unwitting agents of their own destruction throughout the story. A series of bad to worst, the warriors in this tale are constantly forced to make decisions that will inevitably destroy them.

This book is at its best when confronting these choices, and the strained relationships between the principle characters on both sides. The jockeying between the Chaos leaders, all vying for the attention and respect of their master Warsmith, gives a sense of the twisted minds behind the Iron Warriors. The petty squabbling, and secret agenda of the Imperium, leads to many undeserved deaths throughout the ranks of the defenders.

The rest of the book is a series of workman-like tales of battle. A respectable attempt at outlining the vast conflict from both sides, this element of the story invariably fails to rise to the heights of the interesting characters. I often found myself quickly skimming through the same series of soldiers being blasted apart by artillery, lascannons, and bolters just so I could get back to the "important parts". This lends a sense of drudgery and boredom to what could otherwise be an exciting and fast paced story.

Given the scope of the story contained in this one novel, I don't know that it would be possible to avoid these pitfalls and I must give credit to Graham for creating a unique and interesting one off set within the 40k universe.

A good novel to read if you know nothing about 40k and the conflict between the Emperor and the forces of Chaos, but it does take some liberties with the source material which may annoy hardcore 40k fans.

An overall enjoyable read, and am I curious to read more about the characters who survive the bloody conflict outlined in this book.

Verdict: 6.5 out of 10.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Skrag list update and Chaos Dwarfs at Chicago Gamesday!?

Quick update from the tournament I attended yesterday at BattleForge: Skrag and co. kicked ass! I went undefeated with two Massacres and one Solid Victory against one VC and two WoC lists.

Highlights from Game One vs WoC (fairly balanced list w/ a mix of troop blocks and cav)
  • This game was the one where Skrag scored the most kills for the day - a total of 8 models.
  • 3 Gorgers came in on turn 2 and tied up the two large troop blocks of Marauders and Warriors.
  • Skrag and the Butchers dominated the magic phase killing 5 Chaos Knights with Bonecruncher.
  • Scraplauncher scored a direct hit on a unit of Chaos Warriors and killed a total of 9 with only 3 coming from Killing Blow.
  • Trappers lured a Chaos Sorc, Chaos Spawn, unit of Hounds, and a unit of Horsemen into a woods for most of the game.

Highlights from Game Two vs VC (hard list with a VC Lord on Abyssal Terror w/ Frostblade and Red Fury plus Beguile plus a huge Deathstar of Black Knights w/ two Wight Kings)
  • My goal for this game was to not have Skrag killed by the Frostblade.
  • Managed to destroy the Black Knight Deathstar on turn 2 after being charged by it on turn 1 due to irresistible Van Hel's.
  • Skrag managed to stay in combat with the VC Lord for 3 turns, dealing 4 wounds to the mount and rider before finally failing the last vital Regen save and dying to Frostblade.
  • Gorgers proceeded to trap the VC Lord and kill him with Killing Blow - mount crumbled due to CR.
  • Game ends as a Massacre for me!

Highlights from Game Three vs WoC (hard list with a Gateway spamming Tz Daemon Prince)
  • Turn 1 my opponent kills Skrag with irresistible force Gateway.
  • I proceeded to crush the remainder of his army with only the Daemon Prince alive at the end of the game.
  • Scraplauncher runs from Terror causing Daemon Prince only to stop 1/8" away from the table edge and rally on a 5 during the next turn.

So all in all it was a good day! I really like this Skrag list but as this was a "Hobby" tournament the lists were supposed to be more friendly. Not sure how well this list would do against some of the nastier things out there (monster mash type armies for instance) but all the games I played were really fun, even when it looked like I was going to lose on Turn 1.

In other news .... Chaos Dwarfs were confirmed at the Games Workshop Chicago Gamesday!?

I want to believe - but is this the previously rumored "non-human" race to be added to the game? Until we get more solid information I remain skeptical. Besides, GW has plenty of other armies they could work on updating before adding a new one (HINT HINT).

UPDATE: Read this thread over on Chaos Dwarfs Online and it seems the mention of CD at Gamesday might have been blown a bit out of proportion?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ogre Kingdoms - Skrag the Slaughterer 2,250 list.


Skrag the Slaughterer (400)

HEROES: (524)
Bruiser – BSB, Heavy Armor, Luck Gnoblar, Wyrdstone Necklace, Greedy Fist (189)
Butcher – Siegebreaker, Skullmantle (180)
Butcher – Bangstick (155)

CORE: (310)
Bulls x 3 – Bellower (115)
Bulls x 3 – Bellower (115)
Gnoblar Fighters x 21 (42)
Gnoblar Trappers x 8 (48)

SPECIAL: (465)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Scraplauncher (165)

RARE: (540)
Maneaters x 3 – Great Weapon, Heavy Armor (270)
Maneaters x 3 – Great Weapon, Heavy Armor (270)

Total Points: 2,249 (of 2,250)

So here it is, my 2,250 Skrag list. I decided to go "light" on the Gorgers and only take 4 (of the possible 8). While 8 could be truly devastating I think 4 gets the job done and then some. 6 might be a way to go but that would mean dropping a unit of Maneaters or perhaps the BSB.

Things I like about this list:
  • It is fighty (all OK lists are but this one especially).
  • It can actually use Gut Magic (although it can still be shut down with scrolls and mages).
  • It has Terror and ItP/Stubborn units.
Things I do not like about this list:
  • It doesn't have a lot of units (and the few that are on the board cost a lot).
  • It has unpredictable units (2 potential bickers, 1 frenzy, and 1 Scraplauncher).
  • It does not have a lot of protection against shooting (and it gets shot quite a bit).
I have played with this list twice now (one win and one draw) and I am still undecided on a few things. The BSB has his uses but overall I feel the points might be better spent elsewhere. I don't want to run a third Butcher so that leaves me with a few options:
  • Give him the Tenderiser (for a unit with the Siegebreaker Butcher for max magic GW madness).
  • Drop him from the list and add two units of Leadbelchers (would require losing the Bellowers on the Bulls as well)
  • Drop him and add two more Gorgers (with a few points left for another unit of Gnoblar Fighters perhaps).
  • Drop him and add another Scraplauncher (which I would probably do if I had the model).
Playing this list in a local tourney at BattleForge Games this weekend so hopefully that will help me decide on a direction to go with. Would love to hear any comments or suggestions so if you have some please leave me a message!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Emissary - the only nerd accessory I need.

Want please! For those who may be interested in purchasing this for me my birthday is coming up ....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2,250 Vampire Counts - Army of the Dead

So I spent a majority of this week's hobby time painting up my first Vampire for my newly started (in December) Vampire Counts army. I have been putting off assembly of a 2,250 list to focus on my Ogres, but with them mostly completed (base coats count right!?) I have been itching to get my Vampires up to tournament strength.

Here is my current VC draft list. I am still not 100% on this list and I am thinking about scaling back the magic a bit to make way for a little more utility. I was going for a not "cheesy" Vampire Counts army by avoiding the commonly seen items (Drakenhof, Dreadlance/Red Fury, FROSTBLADE!) in favor of a Skeleton-centric/casting list. A smashing hammer of Black Knights on an anvil of Grave Guard. Not sure how well it will work out in practice, but this is the basis.

2,250 Vampire Counts - Army of the Dead

LORD: (360)
Vampire Lord - Dark Acolyte, Dread Knight, Lord of the Dead, Balfefire Spike, Helm of Commandment, Wristbands of Black Gold, Black Periapt (360)

Level 3 caster lord - plan is to ride this fellow around behind the main line and pump up the Skeleton Warriors with his dice. After this is done he will switch over to support for the heavy hitters of the Wraiths and Black Knights/Wight King. Not a very combat orientated guy but hopefully he will do okay. In a perfect world I would find the points to give him Fly and buy him a level 3 upgrade but that would mean dropping Banshees from my Wraith units and I don't want to do that yet.

HEROES: (468)
Vampire - Nightmare, Dark Acolyte, Lord of the Dead, Walach's Bloody Hauberk (198)
Wight King - Skeletal Steed, BSB, Accursed Armor, Sword of Kings (165)
Necromancer - Additional Spell, Book of Arkhan (105)

The Level 2 Vampire goes in with the Grave Guard for troop support and march enabling. Wight King with the Accursed Armor goes in with the ranked Black Knights. Necromancer is just there for Van Hel's and extra dispel dice. He lives in one of the Skeleton units.

CORE: (440)
Skeleton Warriors x 15 - Champion, Musician, Standard (140)
Skeleton Warriors x 15 - Champion, Musician, Standard (140)
Zombies x 20 - (80)
Dire Wolves x 5 - (40)
Dire Wolves x 5 - (40)

Very minimal core. Makes me nervous having such small Warrior blocks but I assume my Lord and Vamp will be able to beef these guys up. Will likely run the Dire Wolves in one block of 10, possibly with the Lord inside. Considering dropping the Zombies for another unit of vanilla Skeletons (no command or banner) but I think the crappy dead guys have there place in a list.

SPECIAL: (529)
Grave Guard x 15 - Great Weapon, Champion, Musician, Standard, Banner of the Barrows (274)
Black Knights x 9 - Champion, Musician, Standard, Standard of Hellish Vigour (281)

The workhorses of the army, these guys will do the majority of the killing. Considered dropping the Black Knights down to 5 but I want to see how this mini-deathstar of mounted skeletons can do first.

RARE: (450)
Cairn Wraiths x 4 - Banshee (225)
Cairn Wraiths x 4 - Banshee (225)

I love Wraiths! Probably the most "un-friendly" thing in my list, these two units of 4 should be pretty devastating, especially against armies with little to no magic offense. I just recently got a box of Blood Knights so I may swap out one unit for those in future iterations of this list.

Total Points: 2,247 (of 2,250)

So there you have it - a list full of vampires and skeletons (nevermind that Necromancer and Zombies, they are skeletal enough to count). Would love to hear comments, thoughts, and suggestions on this list. I have only played about a dozen games with my VC so I am always learning something new about the bloodsuckers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Magic Items & Big Names

Here is the (much delayed, sorry) final installment in my Basics for Beginners: Ogre Kingdoms articles. DISCLAIMER: I don't claim to be the end all be all of WHFB knowledge but I do know what works (and what doesn't) for me. There are many different tactics available to a warhammer general, but less so for an Ogre one - your mileage on these items may vary.

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Magic Items & Big Names


Most OK Generals only use a couple of these Big Names, and even then they are used for very specific purposes, often in combination with other Magic Items.

Kineater: A very defensive upgrade. Rerolling panic checks within 6" is nice but if you are rolling a panic check you are probably already in a bad spot. Can be good when playing with a lot of low leadership troops or a deathstar of some sort.
Strengths - Good at keeping your General on the table.
Weaknesses - Only really useful for one, maybe two units as Ogres are quite wide.

Mountaineater: Pretty bad. High cost, limited use saving throw.
Strengths - Good at avoiding cannons and bolt throwers.
Weaknesses - Pretty much all it can do.

Longstrider: Movement 7 is almost always a good thing.
Strengths - Great when used in combination with flank charges. Good for outrunning opponents if you have to break/flee. Can make a Tyrant a mini-monster that runs around with a large weapon.
Weaknesses - Only useful on lone characters which makes them a shooting/magic target.

Giantbreaker: Not all that useful, but +1S can have its advantages if you already have a Slavegiant in your list.
Strengths - Makes you hit stuff harder.
Weaknesses - You can't flee or refuse challenges. There is also the "hidden" cost of requiring a Slavegiant in the army. +1S isn't always that great in a high strength army (but taking this allows you to get to the quite ridiculous S9).

Deathcheater: Terrible.
Strengths - Makes your opponent reroll their rolls to wound.
Weaknesses - That is all it does and it only does that once a game.

Beastkiller: The name says it all really, this big name is for those that like to go Monster hunting.
Strengths - Immune to Psych and the multiplied wounds make this a must for those facing down a lot of Large Targets.
Weaknesses - Doesn't work (or stack) with Magic Weapons.

Wallcrusher: Pretty crappy. Just +1 impact hit.
Strengths - Good for some scenarios I guess.
Weaknesses - It doesn't add this impact hit bonus to a unit with the Character in it.

Mawseeker: A good upgrade when used in conjunction with the Jade Lion. +1T makes Bruisers and Tyrants much harder to kill.
Strengths - You're Character is one tough mutha.
Weaknesses - He is also one Stupid mutha. It can be risky and put you in bad positions if you fail your Stupidity check.

And with the Big Names covered we can move on to the Magic items.


Just the OK ones, not counting any of the Common Magic Items. 3 are useful and 2 are not.

Thundermace: A tricky weapon to use effectively, the Thundermace is often overlooked in favor of the Tenderiser. The potential damage output is good, but it can just as easily be a no hit wonder.
Strengths - Plenty of potential damage with the small blast template at S4 (and some S8 fun too).
Weaknesses - Rolls against the highest WS in a unit which can make actually hitting units with Characters difficult.

The Tenderiser: AKA "The Standardiser" for its prevalent use in many Tyrant builds.
Strengths - Great for killing multiple wound models.
Weaknesses - Against RnF it is just an expensive Great Weapon. Can be xxpensive to use on a Bruiser making it more appealing to Tyrant builds.

Siegebreaker: One way of dealing with high WS but low to average Initiative models and units.
Strengths - Adds +3 to S and it works well on a Butcher, putting him into Chariot smashing territory. Great for smashing things with no Initiative. Allows the ridiculous S9! Wonderful for smashing Steam Tanks.
Weaknesses - Against low WS but high Initiative troops it can be quite worthless.

Skullplucker: 30 points for killing blow. What a deal!?
Strengths - You get killing blow.
Weaknesses - You lose your Ogre Club, and only get killing blow for 30 points.

Bloodcleaver: Only used on Butchers, and then only if you are desperate.
Strengths - It can get you a wound back. Can be okay when equipped on a Slaughtermaster with their higher WS but that means 3,000 point games.
Weaknesses - You have to be in combat with your Butcher to use it and the Butcher already has a spell to get back wounds. If you want your Butcher in CC take the Siegebreaker for 5 points more.


A lot of specialty type equipment, some of which is mostly useless. Buyer beware!

Mastadon Armour: A second chance at life with 1 wound but it will cost you.
Strengths - You have a chance of not dying.
Weaknesses - Your chance is on a 2+ and you only get back one wound, and the wound had to be caused by something that wasn't in close combat. Basically you are paying 50 points for Heavy Armor with the possibility of saving the wearer.

Greatskull: Magic mayhem that combines with other armor.
Strengths - Another line of magic defense and good in combination with some items.
Weaknesses - It is costly and it is not guaranteed to work.

Bullgut: Unit Strength buff on the charge, makes Bull Charge hits AP for the bearer.
Strengths - Good with Longstrider if you want a quick flanking model, stacks with other armor.
Weaknesses - Pretty minimal usage given that any good player will avoid being flanked or allowing a Bull Charge.

Gut Maw: Armor that stacks and heals for those going Character hunting.
Strengths - Good to use against characters that can be killed and have to accept a challenge.
Weaknesses - You have to kill your opponent in a challenge to get the benefits.

Greedy Fist: Armor that stacks for those going Wizard hunting.
Strengths - Magic offense/defense in the same package, great for bringing solo wizards down to earth. Great for eating magic weapons, especially high cost big effect ones.
Weaknesses - Only useful against Wizards and Characters with magic weapons. Doesn't work as well without a Ward or Regen save to back it up.


2 good, 2 not as good.

Cathayan Jet: Some magic defense against very specific types of magic.
Strengths - 3+ Ward Save is nice.
Weaknesses - Only useful against the base lores and it costs a lot.

Spangleshard: Random save that isn't as good as a Ward Save. You feeling lucky?
Strengths - You can nullify incoming wounds.
Weaknesses - You have to roll high.

Wyrdstone Necklace: Standard equipment for the character you want to live.
Strengths - 5+ Ward Save provides some extra insurance, especially when combined with a Luck Gnoblar or other magic armor.
Weaknesses - Crappy roll at the start of the game results in a wound.

Gnoblar Thiefstone: Magic resistance (1) for each stone gives plenty of insurance against incoming magic.
Strengths - Just 1 is often enough and you can stack them up to 3.
Weaknesses - Stacking can be costly, has to be on a character that isn't wearing the Wyrdstone.


2 essential, 3 not so much.

Hellheart: One way of getting a lot of magic off your back.
Strengths - Can blow up enemy wizards real good.
Weaknesses - Can also hurt you as they roll on the Gut Magic miscast table, one use only, your opponent can just decide not to cast the turn it is used.

Grut's Sickle: Stab your expensive Ogres to get one extra casting dice per magic phase. Not worth it.
Strengths - You may get off a gut magic spell.
Weaknesses - You have to cause a wound on one of your Ogres that can't be saved in any way. On a normal Bull that is about 12 points per dice, and it could easily kill one, causing a panic check. Your opponent could still dispel it, and you could still miscast. What a deal!

Halfling Cookbook: Minimizes the damage you might take from 3 Gut Magic spells.
Strengths - If you are casting these 3 spells a lot it can save you some wounds. Good in a Skrag list.
Weaknesses - For the point cost you could just buy a Bangstick or Dispel Scroll which are slightly less situational.

Bangstick: Bound spell magic missile.
Strengths - D6 S4 hits can really mess up blocks of troops or fast movers. Bound spell can draw out dispel dice each turn.
Weaknesses - Power level 3 can easily be dispelled on most turns. You have to be out of close combat to use it.

Skullmantle: Look scary and make things run away.
Strengths - Make things run away with your -1 Ld modifier.
Weaknesses - Won't do much against units with high leadership, immune to psych, or those near their general.


Like most of the OK magic items there are some real stinkers in here.

Brahmir Statue: Good if you want to make Chaos or Skaven run away.
Strengths - Can stack with Skullmantle for a -4 save which is pretty nasty.
Weaknesses - Won't do much against units with high leadership, immune to psych, or those near their general. Will of Chaos negates this negative to an extent.

Daemon-Killer Scars: Tyrant only Terror.
Strengths - You cause Terror.
Weaknesses - You already cause Fear and it doesn't cost you a bunch of points for it.

Greyback Pelt: If you don't have Yhetees you may find a use for this.
Strengths - Move through terrain and -1 hit aren't good enough for you!? You can stack it with Longstrider for some extra fun. Combined on a character with a Cathayan Longsword you can really mess up elite WS troops.
Weaknesses - You can't have Yhetees in your army.

Jade Lion: Re-roll psych tests.
Strengths - Used in conjunction with Mawseeker you have one tough mutha.
Weaknesses - If you fail one test it goes bye-bye.

Rock Eye: Good in really competitive/closed list environments I guess.
Strengths - Gives you a heads up for anything you can't see.
Weaknesses - You learn about hidden stuff and magic items, but not who has what.

Fistful of Laurels: Keep your expensive stuff from running away.
Strengths - Gives you a second chance for one bad roll you make.
Weaknesses - One use only and you still might fail by making another bad roll.


WARNING! Some of the worst magic items known to WHFB players are located within. Buy at your own risk!

Dragonhide: No.
Strengths - Just no.
Weaknesses - Everything. The highest point cost magic banner we have gives you ice magic immunity. That should say everything.

Rag Banner: Roll a crappy version of cold-blooded on panic checks.
Strengths - Can help keep your expensive units stay on the table.
Weaknesses - Still pretty expensive for what it does.

Cannibal Totem: Hatred (plus) against 40mm bases that keeps you from overrunning.
Strengths - It can help you kill other Ogres and 40mm sized units.
Weaknesses - How often does that come up?

Bull Standard: Make your Bull Charge impact hits count.
Strengths - Gives you another chance at killing things.
Weaknesses - You have to get a Bull Charge off with a unit that has the banner. May only come up once or twice a game if you're lucky.

Rune Maw: Slightly useful magic "defense".
Strengths - Something else gets blasted by magic (maybe). Makes taking Gnoblars a little bit better.
Weaknesses - Still a chance you will get blasted and it only redirects towards friendly units. Doesn't work for spells which do not directly target the unit carrying the banner.

And there you have it. The end of my first Basics for Beginners: Ogre Kingdoms series of articles. I hope I have helped some new OK player out there in some way. I know what a dauting task it can be to make choices for an army list without solid experience backing it up. If you have thoughts and opinions of your own for any of the magic items available in the OK army books I would love to hear them! Leave a comment and we might all learn a thing or two about Ogres.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Games Workshop adds archived White Dwarf articles to website.

Check out the new White Dwarf archive on the GW site! It has articles! Information! Wow!

You need to register on the GW site to view these articles but it is easy to do. The Warhammer articles are broken up into a few different sections:
  • Collecting
  • Modeling
  • Gaming
  • Painting
As of this writing there are only 17 WHFB related articles available (the majority of these are from within the last year) but I expect we will see a lot more in the coming months.

Sadly we have to deal with the terrible Games Workshop website layout to access this information, but kudos to GW for doing something to help their fan base for a change!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trolls! Gamezone releases new Chaos Troll models.

As you may or may not know I am a little bit obsessed with the Warriors of Chaos Trolls. Trolls! They are big and dumb. Trolls! They puke on everyone. Trolls! Mutant Regen gets them fun new things. Trolls! You never know what kind of game they'll bring.

I am still working towards having my very own monster-centric Troll list at some point in the future, and I have played quite a few proxy games with the Throgg and his Chaos Troll companions. It is mostly a coin toss as to if you will win or lose with the Trolls but I always have fun playing with them and that is the most important thing for me.

The only problem I have with Chaos Trolls is their crappy GW model. I decided I was going to use Ogre, Gorger, and Spawn bits to fashion my own "Trolls" for use on the table but then Gamezone Miniatures has to go and ruin everything by releasing these bad boys:

Hell, you could even use these as Yhettees or Gorgers in an Ogre Kingdoms army and be doing well! I wish they looked a little less hairy but overall I am impressed with their Trollish bad looks.

While we are on the topic of Trolls, here is a quick and dirty Monster/Troll list I came up with for 2,250. I dropped all magic and magic defense to focus on straight Monster brutality. I really want to give this a shot sometime soon and see how it fares against some of the nastier lists out there.
LORDS: (605)
Kholek Suneater (605)

HEROES: (175)
Throgg the Troll King (175)

CORE: (540)
Trolls x 3 (135)
Trolls x 3 (135)
Trolls x 3 (135)
Trolls x 3 (135)

Chaos Warhounds x 5 (30)

SPECIAL: (693)
Dragon Ogres x 3 - Great Weapons (231)
Dragon Ogres x 3 - Great Weapons (231)
Dragon Ogres x 3 - Great Weapons (231)

RARE: (205)
Hellcannon (205)

Total Points: 2,248 (of 2,250)
Dragon Ogres will stay near Kholek - Trolls near Throgg. Hopefully their Ld bonuses will overlap enough to deal with the Stupidity. Hellcannon is there as a random source of problems for my opponent. I don't really care what it does as long as it is killing things or being an active threat. Hounds are throwaway fast cav blockers, bait, or flank guards for whichever side needs it. Possibly even a screen for the Dragon Ogres.

I considered adding two Shaggoths to this list but I just can't see them being worth the points! You can get more attacks with Dragon Ogres for less points and they don't take up a Rare slot. Anybody have any luck with them?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another bad day made better by beer and Ogres.

Today was going down the tubes fast (narrowly avoided getting laid off again, had to take a 10% pay decrease until Sept and then who knows what will happen) until I saw these:

Mongolian Ogre conversions from Jake Landis on his Master Splinter Pizza Kits modeling blog! Apparently Jake used to work for Games Workshop and is just getting this blog going. His first addition is these awesome Ogres and a few Gnoblars as well. Check it out!

Check this out too! It has been awhile since I did a beer review.

Deschutes Brewery - Buzzsaw Brown Seasonal Ale

Beer Type: American Brown Ale

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle with the now welcomed Deschutes label (a sort of off-white with a central image of a buzzsaw in this case). Beer poured a dark amber with an off-white head which faded with little lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt with a bit of caramel.

First Drink: Sweet with the malt at the front and another sweet honey like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but a little oily. Carbonation is just right.

Last Drink: Just a faint trace of bitterness but even that is masked by the dark sweet flavors or roasted malt and barley.

Drinkability: If you like Brown Ale you can't really go wrong with this one. Sweet like candy!

Notes: Picked this up in Fort Collins, CO on a road trip for the holidays. I haven't seen this around Austin yet which is a shame as I would certainly like to drink it again.

Verdict: 3.75 out of 5. A sweet and tasty beverage that left me feeling refreshed and happy.

Links: Beer Advocate and Deschutes Brewery.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WHFB News Update - Chaos Dwarfs and Lizardmen!

In the spirit of sharing more of the random WHFB related news and information I come across here are a couple of things I have been looking at this morning.

First up we have The Word of Hashut - the Chaos Dwarfs Online webzine.

Issue #5 is their 1 year anniversary and I have to say the production value of this ezine is damn fine. Lots of pictures, art, and a good layout that is tastefully done in the style of Chaos Dwarfs. I'm not sure I love the double page spreads but it does add a bit of "real" magazine feel to the project. If the intention is to keep WoH as an ezine it might be nice to see it adopt the more typical landscape orientation. All in all these are minor complaints and the quality of the content in this issue makes up for any of these perceived shortcomings (not a Dwarf pun I swear!).

One other thing I really like to see is the WoH staff's commitment to other WHFB communities around the net. Including them in their ezine helps create a sense of camaraderie that is often missing from WHFB related sites on the internet.

I really enjoyed reading this new issue and I am looking forward to the next! If I wasn't already working on so many unfinished army projects I might even start a Chaos Dwarf force of my own!

In other news, Games Workshop has released the long awaited Lizardmen FAQ from the new book released earlier this year. I don't have a lot to say about the FAQ at the moment as I haven't had a chance to really study it, but my initial reaction is simple:

GROW A PAIR GW! Just tell us what you wanted the rules to be damnit! Things such as "We handle it by discussing what we think should happen, and then rolling off if an immediate answer isn't forthcoming" DO NOT HELP.

No shit! That is what everyone does! That is what we always do when we encounter one of your ridiculous rules that conflicts with itself in the same damn sentence! These FAQs are your chance to fix your mistakes. Use them to do that not cloud the issue with a bunch of "we think it should be this" statements!

I'm sure there are more outrages to be had if I delve deeper into the FAQ but I think I will leave this topic alone for now as it is terribly frustrating for me. I can't be the only one who is driven nuts by this lack of attention to detail. Are there any particular GW rulings or FAQ/Errata comments that drive you nuts?

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Blogger URL -

Just a quick update to let y'all know that I have updated my Blogspot URL to be something a bit more memorable. The new URL for the Drinkin' and Modelin' blog is -

The old gnoblogok didn't seem to be memorable enough. Hopefully with the easier to remember URL traffic will increase and my plans to take over the world with Beer and Ogres can continue without issue!

If you have links please update them now! Thanks and sorry for any confusion this may cause!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Characters

In today's update I am going to take a look at the basic Character choices for the Ogre Kingdoms. The Ogre Kingdom army really depends heavily on it's character selections to win. Much like Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos, and Tomb Kings don't be surprised if you spend 1/4 to a 1/3 of your total points on them.

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Characters


Tyrant: One of the nastiest close combat models in the game, most people don't want to tangle with this guy and will try their best to take him out from a far, or by throwing bigger/scarier/killier things at him.
Strengths - 5 5 5 is the number of the Tyrant. Keep him alive and plowing through the enemy and you will do just fine. His Leadership of 9 helps with any nearby leadership tests that need to be made so be careful if you run him solo.
Weaknesses - Like all Ogres you have to watch out for missile fire (both shooting and magic). While the Tyrant is a damn fine Close Combat machine don't get too crazy with the charge or challenge. There are plenty of things out there that can do him harm (especially magic weapons that do multiple wounds)!
Upgrades - Heavy Armour is a must, and don't be afraid to max out his magic item allotment - I will go over the magic items in my next update. If you stick with the mundane selections go with the Cathayan Longsword or Great Weapon and Brace of Handguns. A Luck Gnoblar is good if you have a Wyrdstone as well, but don't bother with the Sword Gnoblars unless you have extra points to spend; they rarely cut it.

Slaughtermaster: It is pretty rare to see this guy in play as he is a Lord choice and can only be fielded in armies with a Tyrant. That makes him a good choice for 3000+ point games and that is about it. He is a Butcher in all other regards (except for being lvl 4 instead of lvl 2) and I will cover that below.


Bruiser: Your "mini-tyrant" and default general up to 2000 points.
Strengths - Good in close combat, can be your BSB.
Weaknesses - Low leadership for a general but still one of the highest in the OK book.
Upgrades - Same as the Tyrant for the most part. Heavy Armour is a must, and don't be afraid to max out his magic item allotment. If you stick with the mundane selections go with the Cathayan Longsword or Great Weapon and Brace of Handguns.

Hunter: You won't find many OK generals using the Hunter as he is fairly expensive, takes up a Character slot (that could be a Butcher or BSB), and has a lot of quirks.
Strengths - Can be a really good flanker, with the threat of a lot of damage from his harpoon crossbow. Allows you to take an additional unit of Gnoblar Trappers!
Weaknesses - Cats are pricey and can only charge out from the Hunter in pursuit. The Hunter cannot be the army general, and he is vulnerable to missile fire (gee, who isn't in this army!?).
Upgrades - Longstrider can be useful if you want quick flankers, Greyback Pelt is nice if you expect to get into close combat, Beastkiller is nice if you are going Monster hunting. The sabertusks are good for adding unit strength and chasing things down, but don't send them off on their own or they will most likely be shot to pieces.

Butcher: Think of him as a high point cost buff to all of your other Ogre units in addition to some magic defense. In lists under 1500 many people shy away from the Butcher but if you run into a lot of magic you will probably want to take at least 1, if not 2. Sadly he can't be the army general which can make his cost prohibitive in some instances.
Strengths - Gut Magic is great for buffing your units and played right it can really give your opponent a headache if they don't have a lot of magic of their own.
Weaknesses - Very little defense and he will hurt himself a lot. If he dies all of his spells in play go away so try to keep him safe! Gut Magic is just as likely to hurt the Butcher as help your other units so be aware of the risks before you cast!
Upgrades - Bangstick, Skullmantle, and Siegebreaker are the standard magic items for the Butcher (along with Dispel Scrolls of course). Don't take Luck Gnoblars and be sure you understand how Tooth Gnoblars work before you spend the points on them. The +1 is added before the spell is attempted so it can still be dispelled, or even miscast!

Well that is all for the basics for each Character option in the OK book. Like most characters in WHFB the magic items are what really matter and those will be covered in my next update! As always if you have any comment or thoughts of your own regarding the OK Characters I would love to hear them!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Rare

The Rare choices for the Ogre Kingdoms are a tricky lot. Similar to the Special units, many OK generals have a love/hate relationship with the Rare choices. Don't be afraid to give them all a shot before you decide which one works best for you!

Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Rare

While pricey, Maneaters are the elite troop for the OK. Think of them as slightly cheaper Bruisers that don't take up your Character slots. Heavy Armor is a must, but the other upgrades can be more situational. Typical unit size is 2-3.
Strengths - Stubborn and Immune to Psych make these guys great Character bunkers. Higher WS and BS make these guys better at killing other elite enemy units.
Weaknesses - Costly, making choosing your targets much more important if you want to get the most "bang for your buck". Weak against shooting and magic like all OK units, but tends to attract more of it from smart players. With minimal unit size and a few characters you can usually distribute the wounds enough to keep your Maneaters on the table.
Upgrades - Maneater upgrades are a point of contention among most Ogre generals. It mostly comes down to playstyle and which opponent you are facing (and what they are playing). Try out the different loadouts and go with one that works for you, and remember it is possible to have a mix of weapon loadouts among the unit (although this tends to lower their effectiveness).
- With BoH you can pick off lone enemy models or decimate most fast cav, plus have five S5 attacks in close combat! 24" + D6 inches means you can usually move 6" and shoot something on the first turn. The downside is you can't march and make use of your shooting so this had a tendency to slow down your approach and keep you out of CC longer.
- Great Weapon is a fine choice for Chariot smashing as it get the Maneaters to that dreaded S7 territory. S7 is nice against heavily armored troops as well but Maneaters can suffer in later rounds of comabt due to the GW always hitting last.
- Cathayan Longsowrd is good for taking on high WS and Initiative troops but I prefer the smashing power of the GW or shooting flexibility of the BoH over this option.

Slavegiant: While not as good as the typical Warhammer Giant, the Slavegiant still has its uses in an OK army list. They are wildly unpredictable and great fun in combat, and will often attract and absorb a lot of shooting (leaving your other Ogre units mostly unharmed).
Strengths - High leadership, can kill a lot of stuff if it gets into combat. Good at flank negation and great as an enemy flanker. Terror can be a huge asset against some armies but with the amount of Immune to Pysch or Fear causing enemeis out there it can also be a waste. I like to use my Slavegiant as a "set it and forget it" choice for a flank to either deal with Fast Cav or soak up shooting while my Ogres get into combat.
Weaknesses - Will get shot. A LOT. While decent in close combat it can still break due to combat resolution so be careful running him in alone! Wildly unpredictable with his attacks and the random chart for large targets is pretty bad.
Upgrades - N/A

Gorger: The answer to enemy war machines and gunlines. Many OK generals take 2 Gorgers if they are going to take any. 1 Gorger can sometimes be unreliable as they do come into play on a random turn.
Strengths - Unbreakable and Killing Blow. Add in their high S5 and T5 and you have a combat monster designed for wreaking havoc in the back lines or flanks of your enemy. Great in a Skrag list where you can take multiples in upwards of 10 Gorgers!
Weaknesses - Random, very susceptible to shooting. Be careful to minimize the number of possible shooting attacks that can target your Gorger on the turn he comes into play or you will have a dead pincushion instead of a hungry killing machine.
Upgrades - N/A.

And that covers it for the Rare choices! I have used all of these choices to some degree of success but like most Rare choices I find it is often more effective to "double up" at 2,000+ point games. Two Gorgers, two Slavegiants, or two units of Maneaters can often be more effective than a mix of the different types. Again, this mostly comes down to individual playstyle and tactics for each list. I prefer to run the Slavegiant and Maneaters over the Gorgers but in a Skrag list the Gorger can truly shine. Try out a few lists and let me know what works for you! Next time around I will cover the Character options for the Ogre Kingdoms, both the good and the bad.