Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gamesday Fantasy - Beastmen rumors?

While there was very little in the way of Skaven at Gamesday 2009 I did come across this picture of a Nurgle-tree while browsing through a collection of pictures on the web. He is a big nasty one he is.

"What!? I'm hungry!!"

This same tree showed up recently in the scenery section of White Dwarf and from the "News... In Brief" there is this cryptic comment:
"If you go down to the woods today you're sure for a big surprise... especially if it's one of the dark woods that cover the Old World. Not the traditional end to the rhyme, but it's what certain games developers have been singing recently. What does it mean? Find out in a few months' time."
Sounds like the Beasts of Chaos are baying from the darkened woods... for my hard earned cash! Any Beast players read this blog? What are you looking forward to in your new book!? I'd love to see the addition (re-addition?) of Chaos mutations, more special characters, and a big gribbly monster.

UPDATE - spent some time poking around the net (most notably WarSeer) and discovered some info about this evil tree. The tree is the creation of Chad Mierzwa who has a large Nurgle Beastmen army and the tree just happens to be a part of it. His work has a tendency of making it's way into White Dwarf and army books but hard to say if this has anything to do with a new Beasts of Chaos book.

Also came across a post from dandini who says:
"I was lucky enough to chat with John Blanche at Games Day UK, and had quite a comprehensive look through his sketchbook. Nestled somewhere in the middle of the book was a picture of a chaos tree, above the tree was a khornate symbol, and the image was copyright 2008.

I asked John if this was an indicator of an upcoming Beasts of Chaos release and of them having an evil treeman unit. He said that he wasn't allowed to give any info on future releases but gave a wry smile as if I'd uncovered an easter egg in his book!"
So is this tree a harbringer of Beasts to come? Who know... it looks pretty damn cool though.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beer Gut Tribe smashed in some 'eads at 'Ard Boyz!

What?! How the hell ...

I got second place in round one of 'Ard Boyz today - beating out a nasty VC list, casty double Slann LM list, and Dragon/double Hydra DE list. Final tally was 1 Draw and 2 Massacres.

First place was a Kairos DoC list with tons of Flamers and a giant unit of Horrors. Third place was a Thorek Dwarf list.

I'll try and get some details up tomorrow - right now I am still in shock! Going to be playing in round 2 for the regional competition! I am very happy and very proud of my Ogres. To those that said it couldn't be done - you were wrong!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to 'Ard Boyz we go!

'Ard Boyz! What madness lies within the twisted walls of your average tabletop gamer's mind? Soon I will find out as I venture deep into the territory of "cheesed out" lists in "waac-ville".

Even Thor is getting in on the "beardy" action!

Things I expect will happen in my three games today:

1. My Ogres will be completely outmatched in the magic phase (even with Skrag and two Butchers)

2. I will be tabled very early in a game (or two, or three), most likely by heavy shooting or magic.

3. The scenarios will be "good" to me and I will score a few points but lose all my games.

Things I would like to see happen in my three games today:

1. My Tyrant completely and utterly destroys a Lord or two.

2. The Scraplauncher or Slavegiant will do something spectacularly terrible that works out to my advantage.

3. I win at least one (or two, or three) of my games, hopefully against players who bring very hard lists.

Wish the Beer Gut Tribe (and me!) a bit of luck - they will likely need it! Best of luck to all the brave OK generals taking Ogres to 'Ard Boyz today. Maw the force be with you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Progress Report - Painted Ogre Butcher.

Yup. There he is - one Ogre Kingdoms Butcher. All painted and stuff. I still need to do some touch ups and seal the model (gotta find some Dullcoat!) but otherwise I like how he turned out.

I wish I had put some extra bits and bobs on his base, but live and learn. I really like how the blood/gore turned out (especially on the hammer) and the model as a whole is one of my favorites from the Beer Gut Tribe. Comments and critiques are welcome and appreciated!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Carpe Noctem - The Invocation issue #2 out now.

Another month and another WHFB e-zine is released to the web! This time we have a new issue of The Invocation - the Vampire Counts webzine produced by the fanged fiends at Carpe Noctem.

You can download the new issue here. Watch out! It is a hefty 45mb!

I really enjoyed the first article in this latest issue of The Invocation which goes over the magic arsenal available to Vampire Counts players (similar in style to my Basics for Beginners - Ogre Kingdoms articles). While I don't agree with all of the opinions it presented I always find it interesting to read another view on commonly used magic items.

The rest of the issue covers a wide variety of hobby articles including; a painting competition, zombie painting, army showcase, forum user projects (which include work towards two different army lists/rule sets within the Vampire Counts book - some of which are quite complex), cool art, a comic (sweet), battle reports, and tactics articles. There is certainly something here for everyone - a most impressive selection!

The look and layout of this issue is fairly consistent with a heavy use of "stained" paper backgrounds and black fonts. The overall feel is one of workmanship, but the sheer amount of content makes up for any lack in the design department. Plenty of pictures (where needed), cool illustrations, and decent font choices/spacing make this webzine pretty easy to read.

I would love to see this webzine switch to the landscape format used by some of the other notable community zines, but I know (from experience) that can be a pain to format. Limiting the use of different fonts would go a long way to producing a more "unified" look to the publication though, and I don't like the script font choice used for the lengthy piece of fiction included near the end of the issue.

Still, I recommend giving this webzine a look if you love (or hate) the Vampire Counts and I am looking forward to seeing the next issue when it comes out later this year.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Progress Report - Skeletons!!!

Spent a few hours this weekend assembling a box of Skeleton Warriors with my new "foam safe" CA glue. The fumes are still there, but my skin does not seem to be as irritated with the exception of my eyelids. My sinuses and lungs are a bit messed up as well, but it is a far cry from what the "old glue" would have done to me. The only drawback so far is the longer set time this glue has. It has forced me to get creative with how I can keep the various skulls, bony shielfd arms, torsos, and weapon arms attached while the glue sets. A small price to pay for my health I suppose... as long as I assemble and glue in moderation I think I will be okay!

Here is a small WIP pic of the Skeletons I am working on at the moment.

"Aye! We ain't go no 'eads! Why does 'orny get a 'ead?"

This batch of 10 has a Champion and they are all equipped with spears. While I don't intend to use the spears in game, I like the look of a mixed unit with some spears in the back. It looks more like a creepy undead rabble and less like and ordered legion of self-aware skeletons.

I am also working on a few unit fillers for my skeletons. Here is the first, made with skeleton bits and using one of the "Gothic Graveyard" bases from Iron Halo.

Are they singing or screaming? Can skeletons even talk?

I plan on getting more of the Iron Halo bases, they are really high quality and I want to use them to base some of my characters too. The resin is nice and solid and the casting/sculpting is top notch. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for cool resin bases to make their armies stand out.

Well that's it for now! I am going to make an effort to post more WIP updates here each week, along with my oft-neglected beer reviews. I have a stack of reviews waiting to be published on the site, and whole shelf of beers in my fridge awaiting review. I have been slacking on the drinkin' portion of this blog! No longer! More beer!

Alaskan Brewery - Alaskan Amber

Beer Type: Altbier

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle that same generic (and slightly crappy looking) logo, this time with a boat on it and a red label. Crappy label or not, this beer has a unique orangeish-amber color that I haven't seen from too many beers. A really nice foamy white head, something I don't see a lot of in bottled beer.

Smell: A bit of fruit (citrus) and grain. Not a huge nose on this beer.

First Drink: Caramel and a sour citrus. A little sweet but not too malty. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, pretty much what I expect from an Amber ale. Quite a bit of carbonation but I don't mind that in this beer (especially if it lent itself to the lasting head).

Last Drink: Just a hint of hops, but it is barely noticeable. A sort of apple taste is lingering at the back of my tongue as well.

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer, and I wish I could get more of it!

Notes: Yet another beer from my trip to Fort Collins, CO. I like this beer better than the Pale Ale I also reviewed, but they are both quite good.

Verdict: 4 out of 5. Wish I had another one right now!

Links: Beer Advocate and Alaskan Brewery.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Review - "Blood for the Blood God" by C.L. Werner.

Another recent purchase from the Black Library and another book review for the site. Still working my way through a fairly massive stack of books, hope to have another review up within the next few months!

"Blood for the Blood God" by C.L. Werner

The "glorious king" Teiyogtei Khagan was once worshipped as a god on earth. An unstoppable warrior of the Tsavag tribe, Teiyogtei managed to unite the warring tribes near the Chaos Wastes - aided in part by an extraordinary weapon known as the Bloodeater. A weapon crafted on the Black Altar deep within the Chaos Wastes, the Bloodeater thrived on raw hate imbued by a fallen daemon Teiyogtei had slain. While he held this weapon no one dared oppose the will of Teiyogtei, to do so meant a swift and brutal death. And so it was within and without the tribes until the Skulltaker came...

The Skulltaker - an executioner of Khorne who had come to kill those who had been deemed traitors of the Blood God. In an epic battle between Teiyogtei and the Skulltaker, Teiyogtei slays the champion of Khorne with the Bloodeater but at the cost of his own life. Once destroyed, the Skulltaker's mortal shell is banished for over five hundred years - but prophets claim the Skulltaker would return once again to wreak his bloody vengeance on the descendants of Teiyogtei. And that is where the story begins, with the Skulltaker having returned to tribes intent on adding a few skulls to the Skull Throne of Khorne.

Werner does a great job of depicting life within the northern lands of the Chaos Wastes, highlighting the humanity of the Chaos hordes while emphasizing each Tribe's particular beliefs and traditions. The story is at its best and most interesting while delving into the political relationships between each tribe and their Warlords. The region is held in place by each tribe in a sort of diplomatic stalemate that has formed between them. The stalemate is finally broken when the Skulltaker returns to the lands intent on cutting the legacy of the King Teiyogtei from the flesh of each tribe's Warlord.

The fight scenes within the book are fairly one dimensional and overly simplified and there are quite a few of them in the story. Most encounters with the Skulltaker can be summed up with the following series of events:

1. We can kill this guy! Who does he think he is! We are the descenders of Teiyogtei and have been gifted by the ruinous powers with wondrous abilities and magic weaponry.
2. Go my minions! Kill this intruder! The Skulltaker is a myth!
3. Holy crap he just killed hundreds of my best warriors. I will have to be careful fighting him.
4. Oh crap. I can't kill this guy.
5. Oh crap, I am dead.
6. Skulltaker takes the Warlord's skull as a trophy for the Skull Throne.

While some of the story's characters are interesting and unique, many come of as your typical Fantasy cliches and are treated as such. Some stretches of the story can drag as Werner like to use long-winded descriptions to get across simple plot points. If you can work your way through these few tedious sections there is plenty of fantasy action to be had with treason, war, magic, bloody battles, and a rather unexpected ending as your reward.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would love to see more stories which center around the Northern Chaos tribes. This may not be the best example of Werner's writing, and I still prefer the Witch Hunter series over this book, but if you are looking for a blood-drenched tale of death and doom then look no further.

Verdict: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Ard Boyz: Scenarios are out - Beer Gut Tribe army list in the works.

The preliminary 'Ard Boyz scenarios are now available via the Games Workshop website. They are pretty basic, no real shockers there for me personally. I don't know that I care for the second scenario which gives the advantage to Immune to Pyschology troops (as if Daemons of Chaos or Vampire Counts needed any help). As an Ogre player I like the focus of the other two scenarios; free Stubborn on my BSB's unit, and a focus on killing my opponent's Army General? Awesome.

I haven't written it in blood (or stone) yet, but here is my current list for 'Ard Boyz:
LORDS: (721)
Skrag the Slaughterer (400)
Tyrant – Heavy Armor, CLS, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Beastkiller, Wyrdstone Necklace, Greedy Fist, Greyback Pelt (321)

Skrag rides near some Leadies/Bulls for screening and charge redirection. Tyrant lives in a unit with the BSB, Siege/Skull Butcher and the Maneaters. He is my Large Target killing machine, and magic weapon eating buddy.

HEROES: (589)
Bruiser – BSB, Lookout Gnoblar, Heavy Armor, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Luck Gnoblar, Tenderiser (229)
Butcher – Siegebreaker, Skullmantle (180)
Butcher – Bangstick, Dispel Scroll (180)

BSB and Siege/Skull go in the Maneaters, Bangstick Butcher probably in with the Ironguts. 1 Scroll and 6 DD should get me through the worst (I hope) until I can get into CC.

CORE: (610)
Bulls x 3 – Bellower, AHW, Champion (147)
Bulls x 3 – Bellower, AHW, Champion (147)
Ironguts x 3 – Bellower, Champion (174)
Gnoblar Trappers x 10 (60)
Gnoblar Fighters x 20 – Groinbiter (42)
Gnoblar Fighters x 20 (40)

Fighters will sit on table quarters or take objectives as needed, Bulls are bait/flankers, and the Ironguts will go 40mm/Knight hunting as needed.

SPECIAL: (725)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Gorger (75)
Scraplauncher (165)
Leadbelchers x 2 – Bellower. Champion (130)
Leadbelchers x 2 – Bellower. Champion (130)

Can't have a Skrag list w/o some Gorger love! Leadies are there for flyers/fast cav and flank support/bait. The Scraplauncher is just another hassle for my opponents to have to deal with and can be used in CC to break ranks if needed.

RARE: (355)
Maneaters x 2 – CLS, HA (180)
Slavegiant (175)

I wanted two units of ME but couldn't fit them any the Tyrant in. Slavegiant is flank support/shoot me sillyness.

Total Points: 3,000 (of 3,000)
Are you planning on attending this year's Fantasy 'Ard Boyz? What are you taking and why?

Monday, September 14, 2009

2,250 list review from Saturday's tournament.

While I often add my thoughts and commentary on a list before the army hits the tabletop I rarely share my thoughts on a list after it has been played. Well starting today I want to keep track of the effectiveness of the lists I play – what works and what doesn't?

Starting with the Lord choice...
Tyrant – Heavy Armor, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Cathayan Longsword, Gut Maw, Wyrdstone Necklace (281)
I typically play my Tyrant in one way only; get into close combat and kill a lot of rank and file troops or challenge and crush an enemy champion or character. I usually build my Tyrant to live up to this challenge although he doesn't need a lot of help - the Ogre Tyrant is a close combat machine.

Heavy Armor is a must for 6 points and I usually give him a magic Gut Plate to up the armor save to a 4+. In this list I went with the Gut Maw which "heals" the Tyrant if he wins a challenge, restoring a number of wounds equal to the champion or character he has killed. This only came up once in last weekend's tournament when he smashed a Saurus champion and was able to add +1 wound to his profile. The armor save was often negated by 1 or 2 points giving him (most often) an armor save of 5+. Overall I am still not a huge fan of the Gut Maw but I can see it having a place in the OK army.

I am a huge fan of the Cathayan Longsword at the moment. The addition of +1 to the Tyrant's WS and Ini makes him more of an equal to truly elite fighty Lords and allows him to hit sooner in extended combats or challenges. The Cathayan Longsword also confers an armor piercing bonus of -1 which gives the Tyrant's attacks a -3 AP thanks to his strength of 5. This is a nice even number for armor piercing as it makes a 0 or 1+ armor save something that can actually fail.

I almost always give my Tyrant the 5+ ward save with the Wyrdstone over the more expensive and situational Spangleshard - although I am interested in seeing that item in action at some point.

The sword and luck gnoblars are the first things to go if I need the points but it is great to have some insurance on that crucial saving roll (from the luck) and I have found the extra two attacks from the Gnoblars (mostly wounding on 6's) to be effective as well. I think of them like a mount's attacks, and horses seem to always wound when you don't want them to.

During the three games I played this past weekend the Tyrant only participated in two challenges and won both of them. He wasn't crucial to my success in any situation but I was still glad to have him "on my team" when it came time for close combat. Overall he fared as well (if not better) than I had expected.

Next up are my Hero choices...
Bruiser – Heavy Armor, Cathayan Longsword, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Greatskull, Gnoblar Thiefstone (207)
Basic anti-magic loadout with the magic armor that makes all rolls of double count as a miscast if the spell is targeted at the Bruiser or the unit he is with, and a Thiefstone for magic resistance 1.

Not a single spell was directed at the Maneater/Tyrant/Bruiser unit in the three games I played. Was that a coincidence or was it because of the Great Skull? I have used this item a few times now and it has never come up - not once. I can't say I am terribly impressed.
Bruiser – BSB, Dragonhide Banner, Lookout Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Heavy Armor (234)
Ah the Dragonhide Banner. Certainly overcosted and probably not worth it, I doubt I will be running this again... unless I can find a way to combine it with the equally useless Thundermace!

A Bruiser BSB without magic items just isn't that good. He had next to no survivability (just his 5+ Armor Save) and I tried to keep him on the ends of the unit as much as possible to ensure he wasn't in combat.
Hunter – Sabertusks x 2, Longstrider, Sword of Battle (235)
The Hunter. His job was to deal with Forest Spirits and Wraiths, neither of which came up in my games. He shot his Harpoon Launcher almost every turn in every game and failed to kill anything with the exception of 1 Cold One Cav in the first game. A total waste of points, I don't think I will be bringing him out again any time soon.

Not the "best" character loadout I have ever used but none of them died in the three games I played either so it wasn't all bad. Now on to my Core choices...
Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Ironguts x 3 – Champion, Bellower (174)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)
The Bulls were the first to die in most of my games, but it was always for a good cause. Trading 150 victory points for a chance of getting back 200+ is a good trade off in my opinion (killing the Army general, destroying a block of infantry, claiming standards, etc).

The Ironguts failed to do anything impressive in most of my games. I have to say I am very disillusioned with Ironguts in general. I know most Ogre Kingdoms generals swear by them but I find that they rarely hit with their WS3 and they still have next to no survivability with their 5+ armor save since they tend to fight nastier close combat troops. One to two units is the max I plan on running in any one list, I just don't like them for the points when Bulls can do almost the same (bad) job for a cheaper price.

My Trappers were the MVP of this army list - killing two characters in the first game, and grabbing table quarters and sharp stuffing things in the last two. I wish I could field two units all the time without having to take a Hunter.
Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Scraplauncher (165)
I have really come around to liking my Leadbelchers, especially with the champions randomizing incoming hits from shooting and magic. It does sting to lose 120 point per unit, but by keeping the units small and relatively inexpensive I have managed to make their points back in most games I play. If I have them alive at the end of the game - great! This weekend they did not misfire at all and did an average of 12 shots with 4-6 hits and 3-4 wounds per volley. Not too shabby.

The Scraplauncher did not perform any massive hits with its shots but my guesses were also really off for some reason. It did perform rather well in close combat against the Vampire Counts list I played and in one instance actually saved me from losing a combat thanks to it's rank busting unit strength. Nicely done! Now how about those Rare choices...
Maneaters x 2 – CLS, Heavy Armor (180)
Slavegiant (175)
The Maneaters made back their points and more in every game I played. I know some people frown on the idea of a "Death Star" but I don't consider two Maneaters, a Tyrant, and two Bruisers to be equal to such a thing. To me that unit is simply a character delivery system to ensure I get the most points back out of the points spent gearing them up. The unit survived every game I played and did plenty of damage. Points well spent I think.

My Slavegiant has really been on a losing streak for the past few month but this past weekend he made up for it by rolling two "Yell and Bawl" rolls when I needed them, crushed a unit to death the one and only time he died, and helped win or at least tie some combats that were not going the Ogre's way. All in all I am very glad I took him and I really want to get another model sometime soon.

So there you have it... certainly some changes I would make if I were to play this list again but overall it was fairly effective in the matches I played. I think I learned a thing or two about these units and hopefully my lengthy ramble has proved to be informative to someone reading this out there.

As always comments, critiques, rants, and rebuttals are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tournament results - a hard luck story.

Well the tournament I attended yesterday went well overall, although the ending may haunt me for weeks to come...

Got to the store to find one of the regular players had locked his keys (and army) in his vehicle. Made a quick call to my insurance company and got a truck to come out and slim jim the lock. All was well and I felt a surge of good karma come my way. Had a cup of coffee and I was ready to take on the Warhammer world!

I left my camera at home. Crap. Without my camera I didn't bother to keep track of everything that went on in my games but here is a "short" recap of the important moments as I remember them.

Game 1 - Eric's Lizardmen
  • Eric (nice fellow who I had never played before) brought a fairly tame Lizardmen list. Lord on Carnosaur (always bad news for Ogres) but not with Blade of Realities (can't recall what his kit was), Scar-vet on Cold One, level 2 Skink Priest, and a Skink Chief on Ancient Stegadon with the Stegadon Spear. The rest of the list contained one unit of Skinks with blowpipes, one with Javelins, one unit of Cold One Cavalry, and two blocks of Saurus Warriors - one with spears.
  • My entire focus during deployment was to avoid the Carnosaur with my mini-star and go for the Cold One Cav and Saurus.
  • He had less to deploy and I was able to avoid his Carnosaur by placing my Maneaters with characters last.
  • Deployment looked (mostly) like this:

  • Everything moved up on Turn 1 (with the exception of the Scraplauncher and Hunter).
  • On Turn 2 my Trappers in the woods on the left passed their Terror test against the Carnosaur (awesome).
  • Leadies moved up on the left and blasted away some Skinks that were screening the Carnosaur.
  • Scraplauncher scores a direct hit on the unit of Saurus with Spears but only kills 1 Saurus.
  • The Maneater unit charges the Cold One cav who flee 4" and are caught and killed.
  • Slavegiant redirects its charge into the Saurus w/ spears, Yells and Bawls and keeps the Saurus tied up for a round.
  • Ancient Steg w/ Skink Chief attempts to charge the Slavegiant's flank but can't fit in between the two Saurus units sideways and moves backwards instead.
  • Meanwhile on the far right flank the unit of Bulls charges the Skinks, loses one to stand and shoot before winning combat and chasing the remaining Skinks down.
  • The Hunter and Trappers keep the Carnosaur busy while the Skinks move towards the Maneater's rear.
  • Skink Priest drops a Comet on a unit of fleeing Leadbelchers, the Sraplauncher, and Hunter. The Hunter survives while the other two units are destroyed.
  • Trappers move up and kill the Skink Priest with sharp stuff in revenge for their fallen Gnoblar brothers.
  • Maneaters charge the Saurus unit to help back up the Slavegiant (who is down to 2 wounds remaining), kill two ranks on the charge and proceed to chase down the fleeing Saurus and kill them.
  • Skinks get their revenge by shooting the Slavegiant to death who then falls on the Skinks and kills the remainder of the unit.
  • The Ironguts flank charge the remaining baited Saurus unit (with Scar-vet), win CC, and laugh as the fleeing Saurus are chopped down as they run into the Trappers who have spent the game bickering in the nearby forest.
  • Trappers realize they are awesome, leave the forest and hurl sharp stuff at the Skink Chief on the Ancient Steg but fail to kill him.
  • Game ends as a Victory for the Beer Gut Tribe with only the Ancient Steg and Lord on Carnosaur remaining.

Game 2 - Ralph's Vampire Counts
  • Just the other night Ralph and I were discussing the list he planned on bringing to the "Hobby" tournament (it seems that as an Ogre player I am the unofficial opinion maker for what is "fair" and what isn't) and in a strange play of luck we were matched up against one another.
  • Ralph's one nasty character was a level 3 Vampire Lord w/ Infinite Hatred, Red Fury, the Cursed Book, Dread Knight, Bloody Hauberk, and the Balefire Spike. The rest of his list was made up of a Scouting Vamp, two Wight Kings, one on foot with the Black Axe, one as BSB with the Nightshroud and Sword of kings, a big unit of Black Knights (where the characters went), two units of Skeleton Warriors with full command and magic banners, a Varghulf, a unit of Fell Bats, one unit of Dire Wolves, and a block of 12 Ghouls.
  • My goal was to not get charged by the Black Knight unit while avoiding the Varghulf.
  • Deployment looked (something) like this:

  • Ralph got Turn 1 and used it to get his trap into position by moving the Wolves and Scout Vamp up in front of the Ironguts while the Bats moved to screen the Varghulf near the Trappers.
  • Trappers pass yet another Terror test and pop out to sharp stuff the Fell Bats but fail to do any wounds.
  • Leadbelchers move up and blast away at the Bats, dealing 4 wounds and leaving one base.
  • Meanwhile the Ironguts have charged the Terror causing Scout Vamp and Dire Wolves, managing to survive a challenge and killing all of the Wolves before chasing down the Vampire as he fled.
  • The Scraplauncher fired ineffectually at the Black Knight unit, killing one Knight.
  • Hunter shot at the Varghulf and hit before the nasty creature made its Regen save.
  • The Bulls near the Maneaters move up into a position to flee from the Black Knights, while the far right Leadbelchers do the same.
  • Ralph charges the Leadbelchers who flee, leaving a nice tasty flank for the Maneaters to take advantage of.
  • Ralph manages to IoN back all the Fell Bats before flying them directly in front of the Maneaters and blocking their charge.
  • Meanwhile the two units of Trappers are swarming around the Varghulf and throwing sharp stuff, hitting and wounding approx 8 times but the damn thing Regens all of the wounds.
  • Maneaters charge the Bats while the Bulls charge the Black Knight flank in an attempt at holding them in combat.
  • Scraplauncher and Slavegiant charge a unit of 5 Zombies which have been raised in front of the Skeleton units preventing a combo charge.
  • Ghouls charge and kill the unit of Leadbelchers on the right flank, then overrun into the Bulls before killing them as well in the next combat.
  • Maneaters crush the Bats and overrun out of the charge arc of the Varghulf behind them.
  • Bulls hold for the turn they charge, although the do not win close combat against the Black Knights.
  • Black Knights turn to face the Bulls and the Vampire Lord moves the fight them, dealing 4 wounds in a challenge against the Bull champion.
  • Bulls lose combat and break, are run down, and the Black Knight unit hits the front of the Maneaters (with a frontage of 3 and no ranks).
  • Slavegiant and Scraplauncher beat the 5 Zombies but only the Slavegiant manages to overrun into the nearby Skeletons as the Scrappie only goes 3" (needing something like 4" to make it).
  • Luckily the Slavegiant rolls a 1 and Yells and Bawls against the Skeletons winning the combat by 2 and allowing the Scraplauncher to charge in and help next turn.
  • Hunter fails two Terror tests, one which almost puts him off the board, and another when he needs to charge the Varghulf to keep it from charging the rear of the Maneater unit.
  • A massive clusterfuck of a fight continues in the middle as the Ironguts charge the Black Knights flank, followed by the nearby Skeletons charging the flank of the Ironguts, followed by the Scraplauncher charging the flank of the Skeletons after destroying the other Skeleton unit.
  • Tyrant manages to hold on in a non-challenge fight against the Vampire Lord, even after a turn of the Cursed Book being used.
  • Game ends due to time on Turn 4 as a Victory for the Beer Gut Tribe.
  • A truly brutal (and fun) game, with many things not going well for the Ogres but with them managing to still claw their way to victory.

Game 3 - Thomas (Goatboy)'s Warriors of Chaos
  • This game was played on table 2 of the tournament and was for third place in the prizes.
  • Thomas brought a hard but not too terrible list that had a Chaos Lord in a big block of Blasted Standard/Tz marked Chaos Knights (w/ a level 1 Nurgle Sorc in the block as well), another big block of Khorne marked Chaos Knights (w/ Exalted Hero on Juggernaut), three units of Marauder Horsemen, a Warshrine, and a Hellcannon.
  • I was excited for this game as I have never had a hard time killing Chaos Knights with a Maneater/character unit and I knew he would be looking for close combat to get the win.
  • Deployment looked like this (same table as the first game so same terrain for the most part):

  • Thomas had Turn 1 and moved his Horsemen up for the screen and flee.
  • Ironguts charged the Hellcannon while the far left Leadbelchers moved up and shot half the nearest Marauder Horsemen unit off the board.
  • Bulls charged the Horsemen in the middle, both of which fled through the Knights but failed to panic anything (shocking).
  • Far right Leadbelchers moved up to bait the Khorne Knights while the Slavegiant moved to a flanking position.
  • Ironguts deal three wounds to the Hellcannon before being flank charged by the Chaos Lord's unit of Knights.
  • Khorne Knights charge the Leadbelchers who flee, leaving a tasty front charge for the Maneater unit and a flank charge from the Slavegiant.
  • Maneater unit blows through the Chaos Knights and they are chased down as they flee.
  • Ironguts are obliterated by the Hellcannon and Chaos Lord, Leadbelchers manage to kill off the remaining Horsemen with another round of shooting before running off the board from the rampaging horde.
  • The rest of the game consists of the Chaos Lord unit falling back to not allow the Maneater unit to get a charge, while the Scraplauncher and Hunter fail to do any additional wounds through shooting.
  • Game ends as a Draw with the Beer Gut Tribe needing 4 more points to take a victory.
So there you have it, three games played, two wins and one draw. What is so tragic about that you ask? I was one point away from taking third place (my last opponent Thomas took it from me). It came down to the fact that I had two unpainted units on the table (my Hunter and a unit of Trappers) so I basically double screwed myself out of a top three finish.

From now on, I am not pulling any Ogre punches. I could have taken a "harder" list but I chose to go with something "soft" and lost out on prizes because of it. Lesson learned, better luck next time. Tomorrow I will post my specific thoughts on the list, what worked and what can be improved in the future.

Thanks to all of my opponents for three great games - win or lose I had a lot of fun and that is why we play the game right?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Beer Gut Tribe goes to WAR - a 2,250 list for today's tournament.

Headed off to one of the monthly tournaments at BattleForge Games today, this month it is a "Hobby" one. During the last "Hobby" tournament I went 3-0 but I still didn't get into the top 3 for prizes. Here is hoping I can make it a little closer to the sun this time around. I am also using this as a chance to try out items and combos I would normally never use so I can gauge their effectiveness in a tournament setting. My pain is your gain if you are a regular Ogre Kingdoms player!

Tyrant – Heavy Armor, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Cathayan Longsword, Gut Maw, Wyrdstone Necklace (281)

Basic "challenge machine" Tyrant. If I had the points I would give him the Greyback Pelt as well for the -1 to hit in CC. Gut Maw allows me to take some wounds and still gain them back assuming I win the challenges the Tyrant fights.

Bruiser – Heavy Armor, Cathayan Longsword, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Greatskull, Gnoblar Thiefstone (207)
Bruiser – BSB, Dragonhide Banner, Lookout Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Heavy Armor (234)
Hunter – Sabertusks x 2, Longstrider, Sword of Battle (235)

The Bruiser buddies go with the Tyrant in a unit of Maneaters to make up my mini star of Ogre doom. Once you add in Sword Gnoblar attacks you are looking at 27 attacks from the unit, plus impact hits (hopefully) on the charge. In a game earlier this week I charged a unit of Dwarf Hammerers and killed 10 on the charge and won combat by 2 (even against the double US banner, and super CR BSB combo).

The Dragonhide banner is probably the worst magic banner in the game and certainly over costed. It allows rerolls of 1's for 'to hit', 'to wound', and armor saves on the turn the unit with the banner charges. If it is charged it gets none of these bonuses. Luckily you still get to take benefit from the other magic effect of the banner - immunity to 'Ice Magic'. Yup. Watch out Kislev armies!!

Hunter is going Monster/Wraith hunting.

Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Ironguts x 3 – Champion, Bellower (174)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)

Basic fodder and redirection/flank support. Double the Trapper units equals double the fun! Actually they are quite powerful when near the Hunter and using his Ld of 9 to stand up to Large Terror causing targets. Here's Sharp Stuff in your eye you damn Dragon!!

Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Scraplauncher (165)

Shooting is fun, especially when you have no real control over the results.

Maneaters x 2 – CLS, Heavy Armor (180)
Slavegiant (175)

Maneaters form the chewy (ItP) and crunchy (Stubborn) center of my Tyrant/Bruiser/Dragonhide/reroll/27 attacks candybar. If this unit does not get the charge it may still hold up in CC (with Stubborn and a reroll from the BSB) but I am hoping it won't come to that. The Slavegiant is just fun and hopefully he stuffs something into his pants this game (last time it was a handful of Troll Slayers).

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

I have played a couple games with the Dragonhide banner now and it has actually been kind of useful. If you don't get the charge ... well you have probably lost already anyway. Here's hoping it goes well today and I have some fun games! I'll try to be better about grabbing pictures for my poorly written Battle Reports.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vampire Counts - 2,250 Skeletal Horde.

I spent the last few days gluing together models! Wow!!

This is very exciting as way back in January I developed signs of a super glue allergy (which is most inconvenient in this hobby). After visiting a dermatologist (and getting no help), a helpful recommendation from realgenius (thanks by the way), and a little internet research, I discovered "foam safe" CA glue. I still have to wear gloves when I do my gluing but the fumes are almost non-existent and my lungs, eyes, and skin are not getting all messed up from the glue. I can build again!!

With that in mind I have been trying to get my Vampire Counts army assembled to a point where I can play it in the regular 2,250 events around town. I think I am pretty close to being able to field this list (with some massive skeleton assembly).

I am still going for something that could be considered "friendly" but has a shot at taking on some "Heavy" lists. The idea is lots of Skeletons, but I would love some critical feedback from VC players and haters.

LORD: (450)
Vampire Lord - Level 3, Nightmare, Flying Horror, Red Fury, Walach's Bloody Hauberk, Wristbands of Black Gold, Black Periapt, Balefire Spike (450)

Flying level 3 lives in the unit of Black Knights but can charge out if the opportunity presents itself. I'm probably being paranoid but I built this guy to stick around - 2+ AS, 5+ WS, 3+ WS vs shooting or magic missiles.

HEROES: (467)
Vampire - Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death, Book of Arkhan, Sword of Battle (200)
Wight King - Skeletal Steed, Lance, Heavy Armor, Shield, BSB, Banner of the Barrows (172)
Necromancer - Dispel Scroll, Extra Spell (95)

Level 2 lives in with the Grave Guard, Necro might as well or I will put him in a unit of Skeletons. Wight King lives in the unit of Black Knights with Lord for +1 to hit/Hatred/S6 on the charge/Killing Blow mania. Only one scroll but I hope that will get me by any really bad spells with my 6 DD.

CORE: (516)
Skeleton Warriors x 20 - Musician, Standard (172)
Skeleton Warriors x 20 - Musician, Standard (172)
Skeleton Warriors x 20 - Musician, Standard (172)
Dire Wolves x 5 (40)

Skeletons! I love skeletons, I know they suck but I just love the look of them on the table and modeling them is fun in a sick way. The small unit of Dire Wolves is there because I had 40pts left and couldn't decide on a better way to use them. They will most likely get blasted off the board but at least they present a target for one turn, and maybe they can march block something.

SPECIAL: (502)
Grave Guard x 15 - Heavy Armor, Shield, Champion, Musician, Standard, Banner of the Dead Legion (235)
Black Knights x 8 - Heavy Armor, Shield, Lance, Musician, Standard, Champ, Royal Standard of Strigos (267)

Character bunkers mostly, also the units I expect to actually kill things.

RARE: (275)
Cairn Wraiths x 5 - Banshee (275)

Gotta have some scary fast movers! These will likely support the flank of the Black Knight/character unit.

Total Points: 2,250 (of 2,250)
I don't think the list is terrible and I have a pretty good idea how to play it. What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Painted Skeleton Warriors unit - one down and many more to go!

Skeletons! I am nearly done with my first unit of Skeleton Warriors so I thought this would be a good time to share their WIP pics (on a nice sunny morning when I don't have to go to work). Still need to add some static grass to their bases, and I may go back and add more definition to some of the metal swords, but otherwise these are done!

Click on the pictures to see the enbiggen'd version.

Front shot, although my camera felt the one skeleton way in the back rank was the most important. Perhaps it failed it's Fear test and was too afraid to focus on the champion and command rank.

A 3/4 side view to show off some of the back rankers. They are important too! (mostly because they take just as long to paint and there are a lot of the little buggers) Pay no attention to the dog hair stuck to the bases, my final basing won't include (much) of the stuff.

The skeletons march to war on my gaming table. Fear their mighty weapon skill of 2! I can almost hear their creaky, cracking sounds as they shamble forward in search of new recruits to add to their ranks through death.

Still working on my first Vampire Counts list but right now it looks like it will have quite a few of these bony bastards. They aren't terrible to paint but all of the little details makes them a bit of a chore and this is only the first of what will eventually be a legion of 80 or so Skeleton Warriors (not counting the Grave Guard and Black Knights which would push me up towards 150 or more). Comments and critiques are welcome and encouraged.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Skavenblight Gazette - Issue #7 out now!

*chitter chitter*

Just in time to feed the growing needs of Skaven generals everywhere, the 7th issue of Skavenblight Gazette has just been released. You can view and download the new issue here.

My favorite article has always been "Ask Seer Squeek" but there is plenty of Skaven goodness to be had in the latest issue including - a review of the upcoming book Grey Seer by C.L. Werner (cool), rules for creating your own all Skaven Blood Bowl league, kitbashing Plague Censer Bearers, Mordheim musings, and a few other interesting articles.

I can tell plenty of time went into crafting the issue and it shows - the look, layout, and quality of this new issue is all top notch. It makes me wish I had my own Skaven force in the works... but that way madness lies. Wonderful hairy rat man madness...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dwarfs of Chaos - New Indy GT Army Book Released.

What the!?!

Just downloaded and skimmed through this brand new IGT Army Book release after reading this thread over on WarSeer. From the thread:

IT’S HERE! The Indy GT Dwarfs of Chaos Army Book

Below you will find the link to the new Indy GT Dwarfs of Chaos Army Book, a complete, 92-page Army Book in the Games Workshop tradition.

The book—professionally written, designed, illustrated, and thoroughly play tested—will be legal for use in participating Independent Grand Tournaments. As of this writing, the Crossroads, Conflict, Colonial, Destruction Derby, NEWCC, and War Camp GTs will allow the book as legal, and we expect the number to grow with the publication of the book.

About the authors
Written by Kevin Coleman. Kevin has been writing background and rules for Warhammer for well over a decade with his work appearing in White Dwarf Magazine, the Games Workshop Website and the Citadel Journal including such articles as Gnoblars Hordes, the Dark Elf City Garrison army list, Goblin Ecology, Mighty Champions and more. Kevin has also worked as a games designer and writer for other games and magazines including Fleer, Inc.’s customizable card game, Ophidian 2350.

Book design by award-winning graphic artist Matt Birdoff. Matt has been a professional designer working in the entertainment industry for over 15 years. His recent works include logos for DC Comics, sports card designs for Topps, Inc., style guide design for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey, The 39 Clues book and card series from Scholastic, among others.

Additional background material and fiction by Justin Hill and Jarrett Messing. Justin is the author of the Black Library novel Forged in Battle (as Justin Hunter). His internationally acclaimed first novel, The Drink and Dream Teahouse, won the 2003 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and a 2002 Betty Trask Award, and was banned by the government in China. It was picked by the Washington Post as one of the Top Novels of 2001. His second novel, Passing Under Heaven, won the 2005 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Encore Award.

Note that this book is not endorsed in any way by Games Workshop.
I would recommend following this link and downloading the pdf of the book. You can also view it online in your browser here.

First impressions - holy crap this book looks awesome. Really well done. Great layout, wonderful pictures and illustrations; just a really solid presentation. My next thought upon reading through some of the content is "HUH?! They do what now!?".

As is often the case when first seeing a new army book my gut reaction is to cry OVERPOWERED! I need to see some of these units and magic items on the table ,but it looks a lot like a "lets take this other armies stuff and make it better and cheaper" type book. I hope the "play testing" that was performed was done so by veteran tabletop players, those who can spot the nasty WAAC combos and exploit them to the fullest. I have my doubts.

I'm sure there will be much uproar in the WHFB community over this book, especially at the events this book is already "approved" for. As much as I love fan made units, characters, rules, etc - I have to question the intent here. How does the creation and use of this book in WHFB tournaments further the competitive tournament scene in the US? How does this tie in with official prize support from Games Workshop? What kind of legal issues does the release of this book bring up?

A lot of questions about this book and not a lot of answers. I suppose only time will tell as we see how it all unfolds. In the meantime ... look at the pretty pictures and enjoy a little Chaos Dwarf fun.