Sunday, November 29, 2009

Win some you lose some.

Well the Beer Gut Tribe performed about as well as I had expected them to during yesterday's tournament. I won my first two games and lost my last. Going into the final round I was in first place by two points but I probably finished somewhere south of 5th place. Not a bad showing but not the three wins I needed to make it into next month's championship tournament.

I meant to take a bunch of pictures during the event but I only grabbed a couple and they didn't turn out very well. The picture above is the only one that was somewhat usable. Oh well. Here is a quick rundown of the games I played and highlights from each.

Game #1 - Jeff's Skaven.
  • Jeff is one of the better players in our scene (if not the country) and he brought a pretty ugly Skaven list from the new book.
  • List consisted of a Grey Seer on foot, two level 2 Plague Priests, BSB, two or three units of Clanrats with Ratling Guns, big block of Plague Monks pushing the Plague Furnace, a unit of Censer Bearers, Hellpit Abomination, Warplightning Cannon, and two or three units of Slaves.
  • Neither the Plague Priests nor the Grey Seer got Wither (thank goodness) but the Grey Seer did take the Dreaded 13th Spell.
  • I got turn 1 and pushed everything forward with a unit of Trappers heading towards the WLC to limit it's shots and charge it on turn 2.
  • Managed to get buffs up on all the Ogre units and Bangstick a Ratling Gun off the board.
  • Scraplauncher pulled off it's first amazing moment of the day by scoring a partial hit on a Plague Priest in a unit of Clanrats. Plague Priest then fails his "Look Out Sir" roll and is destroyed by a Killing Blow on the roll of 6.
  • Hellpit Abomination moves up the left flank towards a unit of Ironguts with a Butcher. Rolls triples, then 6, moving into the flank of the Ironguts with a super-charged S7 fury and crushing them all.
  • Leadbelchers move behind the Hellpit Abomination and blast a couple of wounds off the beast before charging the rear by themselves (while a unit of Bulls fails it's Fear test and stays put). They are quickly absorbed/eaten but manage to do one more wound to the beast.
  • Bulls get their courage up and charge the flank of the Hellpit Abomination and manage to do the last 3 remaining wounds to "kill" it. Jeff rolled a 2 and the beast stays dead for good.
  • Meanwhile on the right side of the board the Maneaters and characters slam into a unit of Clanrats who are crushed but slow down the unit long enough for the baited Plague Monk unit nearby to manage a counter charge on the unit's flank (only touching the BSB Bruiser).
  • This combat goes on for the rest of the game with the BSB managing to kill all but one of the Plague Monks while the Maneaters and Characters take multiple T tests each turn (probably in the neighborhood of 30 or more).
  • Grey Seer manages to cast the Dreaded 13th spell on the unit of Bulls which killed the Hellpit Abomination. It goes off with Irresistible Force and the 4 Bulls are turned into 4 Clanrats.
  • The Ogres have their revenge on the next turn when the Grey Seer miscasts and blows himself up (rolling a 2 on the miscast table).
  • Final score is close with a narrow victory going to the Beer Gut Tribe.
A close fought game that was a lot of fun. There were moments of "WTF" on both sides of the table and the game could have gone either way at many points. This was my first game against Jeff and I hope to be able to play with him again in the future. In other news - the updated Skaven book is no friend of the Ogre Kingdoms (then again who is!?). My next opponent is a familiar face, Jeff's father Mike.

Game #2 - Mike's Warriors of Chaos.
  • Mike and I have played a few times and it is always fun. Well, the two times I had to play his Tecilis list at BoLSCon might not be my favorite moments in WHFB history but they were still fun.
  • He brought a slightly unusual WoC list with unmarked level 4 Sorc Lord, level 2 Chaos Sorc with the Mark of Nurgle, Exalted BSB, three units of 20 Marauders, two or three units of Marauder Horsemen, a unit of Chaos Knights, two Chariots, and two Hellcannons.
  • Mike got the first turn and began moving forward with one Hellcannon in the middle of the field and another on the far right flank near his Marauder blocks.
  • In his opening volley with the first Hellcannon he misfired and rolled the "all wizards miscast" roll. His casters survive thanks to the Puppet. My first Butcher does 3 wounds to himself (after he was already able to cast Trollguts on his unit due to the Sorc Lord's miscast) while the second Butcher rolls a 1.
  • That would have been the game but Mike (in a move that proves to be his downfall) modifies the miscast to the "Butcher can no longer cast spells" outcome (later I found out he had the Black Tongue and probably could have killed him at any time).
  • With Gut Magic out of the picture things are looking grim for the Beer Gut Tribe.
  • After fleeing from a Chaos Knight charge on the flank, and a double Chariot charge in the center of the board, I set up Mike for the counter charge with my Slavegiant and Maneater units.
  • Mike flees from all the charges which allows me to redirect my charge into two additional units who also flee.
  • By the end of my turn 2 half of Mike's army is fleeing on one side of the board while his blocks of troops move up the right side.
  • Mike's Horsemen and Knights fail to rally and run off the board while the Chariots manage to turn around.
  • Sustained Hellcannon shots decimate the Irongut and Maneater units.
  • In turn 4 I charge my Tyrant out of his unit at the Hellcannon and deal 2 wounds.
  • Marauders charge the Tyrant's flank on turn 5 but he manages to hold (testing on a 4).
  • My turn 5 I charge a unit of Bulls into the flank of the Marauders who break while the Tyrant kills the Hellcannon before chasing the Marauders off the board.
  • Ganes ends as a decisive victory for the Beer Gut Tribe with only one unit of Marauders and the three characters left alive on the table.
What started out as a complete loss thanks to the miscast outcome on the Hellcannon misfire chart turned out to be a really fun game with some close calls on both sides. All of this thanks to the kindness of my opponent. Much appreciated Mike! Going into the last game of the day I was in first place with two win and ahead in overall points. It was a tie between opponents between Jordan's Wood Elves and Dylan's Dwarfs. I manage to draw the Wood Elves and I am sure you can guess the outcome of this one ...

Game #3 - Jordan's Wood Elves.
  • Jordan is one of the best players in the country and always gives a good game. That said I have yet to enjoy any of my games with him as he always ends up playing lists that seem tailored to destroy Ogres.
  • His WE list consisted of two level 1 scroll caddies, a Hail of Doom arrow BSB, Ancient Treeman, three units of Dryads, three units of Archers, Waywatchers, three units of Wild Riders, and some other bits I can't recall. It was mostly a forest spirit army.
  • This was only my second game against Wood Elves and I still hate them.
  • Jordan got turn 1 and moved up his Dryads and Fast Cav while shooting the crap out of my Ogres and Slavegiant.
  • I manage to get one or two Gut Magic buffs up but he quickly removes them in his magic phase.
  • Tyrant ends up fighting the Treeman and does two wounds in the first round. This combat goes on for two more rounds but the Tyrant fails to do anything while the Treeman gets about a wound on average each time and holds.
  • Treeman was equipped with the Annoyance of Netlings and D6 poison attacks.
  • Treeman finally breaks and flees but the Maneaters and characters fail to catch him and slam into a nearby unit of Dryads.
  • More Dryads and the Treeman charge back in and kill the Maneaters off but not before the Tyrant manages to land the killing blow on the Treeman.
  • Meanwhile the Slavegiant and a unit of Leadbelchers kill a unit of Dryads but are charged in the flank by Wild Riders and die (with the Slavegiant falling on the last Leadbelcher and killing him off).
  • Meanwhile the WE BSB has left the security of the woods and is standing in the center of the board shooting at some remaining Bulls.
  • Scraplauncher takes the opportunity to land a direct hit on the BSB and kill him outright with a roll of 6 for Killing Blow.
  • Game ends as a loss for the Beer Gut Tribe with only the Scaplauncher, Tyrant, BSB, and one Butcher remaining.
Why is it the Wood Elf army isn't considered a "strong" army? Compared to Ogres they have everything going for them but I can see how things go wrong with a bunch of T3 troops running around. I don't like Dryads. I don't like Trees that kill. Still, it was a fun game all around and I managed to kill about half the Wood Elf army which is good considering I expected to be wiped off the board by turn 3. Thanks for the first fun game Jordan!

So there you have it. Two wins and one loss and three fun games against some of the best players of WHFB I know. Win or lose you can't really beat an outcome like that. While I (probably) haven't made it high enough in the rankings for next month's tournament I still had a lot of fun and sometimes I need that reminder of why I play this game at all. For the fun times.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Tournament of the year - Ogre Dark Horse list.

Last tournament of the year, and this season, happens tomorrow at BattleForge Games. This one is for placement in the "Tournament of Champions" next month. As of this writing I am 11th in the rankings and I need a place in the top 9 to participate. This year's events have really put a damper on my first (and last in Austin) tournament season but I am hoping to have a good showing tomorrow to squeeze into the finals.

Tomorrow's event is a "Hobby" tournament which means that painting score and some light comp are involved. That should make for some "soft" lists but since it is the last tournament of the season I expect to see some nasty stuff on the tables still.

With that in mind here is the list I will be playing during tomorrow's three games:
Tyrant – Heavy Armor, Luck Gnoblar, Cathayan Longsword, Beastkiller, Greedy Fist, Wyrdstone Necklace, Greyback Cloak (311)

A now "classic" build - I have been using this loadout for my Tyrant almost all year and I love it. It is a more defensive build but I have yet to lose a challenge with it. Destroying magic weapons is something I love to do. My biggest success was eating a Frostblade but I almost always manage to eat at least one magic weapon each game. The Tyrant is deployed in the unit of Maneaters with the BSB and Cookbook Butcher.

Bruiser – BSB, Heavy Armor, Sword of Might, Gnoblar Thiefstone (194)
Butcher – Bangstick, Dispel Scroll (180)
Butcher – Halfling Cookbook (155)

Nothing too crazy here. BSB has the SoM for a little extra wound potential and Wraith killing. The Thiefstone is good for initial magic defense before I can get my Gut Magic buffs up on the Maneater unit. This is the first tournament list I have taken with the Cookbook and I have to say it is pretty cool. Played two games today with this list and the Cookbook spared me a couple wounds (about 1 a game) but I am still not sure I would take it over a Dispel Scroll in a more competitive list.
Bulls x 4 – Champion, Bellower, AHW (186)
Bulls x 4 – Champion, Bellower, AHW (186)
Ironguts x 4 – Champion, Bellower (222)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)

How did I live with my Ogres before I started playing with Champions!? They have saved my ass on so many occasions since I don't know if I can go back to playing without them. In a game against WoC today I cleared off an entire army and only lost 3 Ogres thanks to the Champions. Running these units a little wider with 4 wide instead of 3. Makes for more attacks but also means I have to commit to a charge - not a lot of room for error.

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

I stopped shooting with my Leadbelchers and I haven't lost them in the past few games. I often find the threat of the shots is enough to keep units at a distance. I use their shooting ability only when I think I can weaken or destroy a unit, usually in the case of flyers or Fast Cav. Scraplauncher has been a real disappointment the past few games, almost always scattering 8-10 inches away from my target and misfiring about once a game. Here's hoping it does better for me tomorrow!

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

Fairly minimal Rare selection but you need a unit of Maneaters to use as a character delivery system. The Slavegiant is fun and I have him painted so he makes the list. In a more competitive list I might drop him for more Maneaters but he has been doing really well lately and seems to enjoy jumping up and down quite a bit.

Total Points: 2,248 (of 2,250)
Not really my "ideal" list but I wanted to ensure all of my models in play were painted as I lost a third place spot during the last tournament because they weren't (stupid Hunter...). In the two practice games I played today the list performed well so I expect to win at least one or two of my games during the event. Here's hoping I can go all the way and grab a spot in the finals!

Since I am a dark horse to win tomorrow's event, and place in the top 10, I thought a review of a Dark Horse beer would be appropriate. Here is one I really enjoy from the Dark Horse Brewing Company out of Marshall, MI. I'll be adding photos of each beer as I review it so those reading at home can track down the ones they wish to try.

Dark Horse Brewing Company - Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Beer Type: American IPA

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle with an off-white label and a picture of a crooked tree. Beer poured a hazy amber with a thick off-white head that left plenty of lacing.

Smell: Some fruity aroma (apricots or oranges?) at first, followed by floral hops and some malt. Smells damn good!

First Drink: Sweet malt followed quickly by a sharp bitter hops. Oddly refreshing!

Mouthfeel: A little dry but not overly carbonated which makes it work.

Last Drink: Not a lot going on here, just tastes like a damn good IPA. A little bit more "dark" biscuit flavors are coming through in the aftertaste along with more of the bitter hops.

Drinkability: Can't complain! It tastes like a better (more refined) version of the first homebrew we made! 6% ABV makes the time fly while drinking a few.

Notes: Drank this on a recent trip back to my home state of Michigan. Then I drank it again. Then I brought some back to Austin with me. Now I want more and can't get it here. Oh well, I have something to look forward to when I move back home!

Verdict: 4.25 out of 5.

Links: Beer Advocate and Dark Horse Brewing Company.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Progress Report - Do you like Dags?

Haven't managed to complete much model work yet. Spent the first couple days of being unemployed worrying about benefits, finding a job, moving, etc. Realized it is too early for me to worry about any of that stuff yet - better to spend time painting while I have it! Then I got sick ...

In between bouts of nausea (and all the wonderful things that go with it) I managed to get a test model done for more Dire Wolves. I am pretty happy with this model given that it was the first time I have worked with a miniature that was primed black instead of white. I had to learn some new techniques, plus I had no idea how I wanted to paint the Dire Wolves.

Feedback is welcomed and encouraged as always! I am a novice painter and I find that I learn more from doing (which is so often the case), but I am open to suggestions.

I started the model with a dry brush of Dwarf Flesh, followed by a few washes, highlights, some4 undercoat, more washes, and ... here we are.

I don't think the new model will be quite as pink, although I like the gross fleshy look. It doesn't look quite dead enough yet. Not sure what it needs.

Here are his buddies, in various stages of paint WIP. I don't really like these models too much but I think they do look a bit better when they are painted.

And as a treat for those who have made it this far into the post, I present ZOMBIES!

My first unit of 20. I have another 20 I plan on making, but we'll see ...

And that's all for now! I also managed to get one of my Blood Knight models assembled for use as a Vampire BSB (it's the Standard Bearer) but aside from the primed model there isn't much to show yet. Going to focus on completing these Dire Wolves, finish up my Skeletons, and then it's on to the Characters and special choices.

Hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving holiday. I'll be celebrating with a Quorn log, tons of mashed taters, and Wild Turkey shoot!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Progress Report - Good news / Bad news.

First up, a bit of good news. I am going to have a lot more time to work on models in the next few weeks. I'm hoping to complete the assembly, basing, and priming of my VC force so I can get into the painting and hopefully complete the army before the new year.

The reason I have all this time to spend on models is because of the bad news. I was laid off from my job on Friday. I should be able to collect unemployment until I find a new job but it will still leave me a bit light on cash for any hobby spending for the forseeable future.

Also planning a move back home (Michigan) to be closer to my friends and family - this takes me far from the established WHFB scene here in Texas. Hopefully I will be able to scrounge up some games or get my friends back home addicted to collecting models of their own. I know I will miss the outstanding tabletop scene here in Austin. I didn't know how good I had it...

But enough about me and my (as of lately) crappy life. How about some more WIP pictures of my recent VC model work?

A finished Wraith with green stuff'd hood from the front.

I struggled a bit with the hood at first as it was covering too much of the skull below. I opted for a sort of "half cowl" look with tattered rags and I am pretty happy with the results.

This one was a bit tricky as I had to blend the green stuff hood with the original sculpt.

It looks a bit jaunty but I don't mind. Perhaps this particular Wraith is quite happy about his lot in unlife.

Also finished this little Skeleton unit filler. I bet this guy will be the life of the party.

Last but not least we have a fully assembled and primed Vampire Lord (being played by the mounted Mannfred von Carstein model).

This guy was a pain in the ass to get together as there were a ton of gaps that needed filling and I used one of the Iron Halo resin bases which required pinning and lots of glue to keep him standing upright. He is a bit tipsy and doesn't quite rank up with other cavalry models too well but I really like this model so I guess I will make it work.

That's all for now! Comments, suggestions, and critiques are welcome and encouraged as always.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review - "Grey Seer" by C.L. Werner.

A recent release from the Black Library and another book review for the site. Finishing up the new Gotrek and Felix book "Shamanslayer" right now and should have a review of that coming sometime in the next few weeks.

"Grey Seer" by C.L. Werner

Fans of Gotrek and Felix are probably already familiar with Grey Seer Thanquol. Reading that series is not required to enjoy "Grey Seer" but I did enjoy reading Thanquol's recollections of his past failures (blamed mostly on the "Demonic Dwarf" and his "Man-servant"). As a stand alone novel (or the first in a new series?) "Grey Seer" delivers a classic fantasy story full of ratmen, smugglers, monsters, sewers, bizarre magic, and raucous battles.

The story begins with Thanquol being summoned to the Council Of Thirteen - the dread rulers of Skavenblight. After managing to not being burnt to a greasy smear by the horrific Skaven of the Council, Thanquol is sent on an important (and dangerous) mission - to find and recover a mighty Skaven weapon known only as the Wormstone (which has been lost for several hundred years).

Thanquol's quest sends him deep into the treacherous realm of Under-Altdorf (the Skaven realm that lies directly below the Empire city of Altdorf) where the Skaven rulers are a little too happy with their current situation and not excited to see the Grey Seer and his entourage of albino Stormvermin. Conversely, Thanquol is disgusted by Under-Altdorf's dependence on the humans and sees their reliance on the "manflesh" as heretical in the eyes of the Horned Rat. Shortly after arriving, and bullying the local leaders into at least pretending to help him, Thanquol discovers his "new" best friend - Boneripper the mutant Rat Ogre (Thanquol has gone through many different Bonerippers, most of which died at the hands of Gotrek).

While some of the Skaven characters in the book represent the "heavy hitters" of the Skaven elite, the human characters featured in the book are mostly criminals or those associated with them. One exception is a mysterious figure who controls a vast network of servants across all of Altdorf and leads the band of "heroes" to stop the maniacal Skaven from controlling the Wormstone. The relationship between the denizens of upper and under Altdorf is the primary focus of much of the novel and provides some interesting moments for fans of Warhammer lore.

Overall the storyline is a basic one. Villain sets out on an impossible quest, villain meets another villain, villains meets resistance, big fights ensue, magic is used, warpstone is snuffed, and the musk of fear is sprayed all over. The end?

I found the book to be an enjoyable read and better by far than some of Werner's more recent work. Werner manages to craft a believable world of Skaven, complete with interesting rat-characters, a good old fashioned mystery, and a huge magical showdown deep under the city of Altdorf. Those interested in Skaven culture will find plenty of new information here while those looking for an entertaining (and easy) read should be entertained as well.

I'm sure this is far from the last we have seen of Thanquol and I look forward to more stories set in the dark and dank world of the Skaven.

Verdict: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Beastmen news and rumors.

Came across a few Beastmen tidbits today while checking the web. First up is this picture which appears to be a scan from WD featuring one of the "new" Gor models (click through to see a larger version).

It doesn't look all that different to me, perhaps most of the changes are in the head and torso? Things of note regarding the new Beastmen models (according to the rumors):
  • Gor models have a few different (not new options) weapons, poses, and shields.
  • Gors come with hand weapons and there is no option for halberds on the sprue - this probably means that option won't be in the book either.
  • Ungors will come with 20mm bases - hope you Beast generals are ready to re-glue a few models! This could also mean the end of mixed herds.
  • Ungors are a little different from the existing models (one or two new heads for instance) and still come with options for spears, shields, and hand weapons.
  • Ungors also come with short bows.
  • Mention of new special characters (and models) which include a Shaman named "Malagor the Dark Omen" and a Centigor special character called "Ghorros Warhoof".
  • Existing Lord and Hero models will likely not be updated.
Hmm. These are just rumors so as always take it with a grain (or two) of salt, but they do come from "respected" rumor sources in the community so it is likely they are mostly accurate. No sure how I feel about Skink style Ungors running around with Short Bows. It just doesn't seem very "Bestial" to me. Spears or Javelins I could see but not Bows (as a funny side note there is a part of the new Gotrek and Felix book that touches on the fact that Beastmen can't shoot bows).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Progress Report - Wraith WIP pictures.

Spent some time last weekend working on the final assembly of my Vampire Counts army. It has been almost a year and I have still yet to finish and play a 2,250 game with my new toys. What a shame.

To rectify that situation I worked on completing my unit of 5 Wraiths with Banshee. Here are a couple WIP pics before any green stuff was added.

The bodies are from the Lord of the Rings "Army of the Dead" models but I have removed the heads and hands and replaced them with Skeleton/Grave Guard bits. The scythes were made from Grave Guard standard poles/arms with Zombie scythe blades attached to the top. It was a bit difficult to find a pose that was radically different so I tried to go with ones that looked active and "realistic" - whatever that is for an undead monster.

And here is a group shot with the previously completed Banshee model. I have since completed the Wraith models with green stuff hoods and gap filling. I like the way they turned out, look for pictures of them to be added here soon.

Also wanted to share a couple links I have enjoyed the past few days:
  • Games Workshop's Astronomican is pretty awesome. I know most GW gamers like to give them flack for a lack of fan support but I think pages like this are a step in the right direction.
  • The Trading Post is a new Fantasy Blog hub with news and a long list of great Fantasy blogs you should check out.
  • Noeste's blog has a great post detailing his Dragon Ogre conversion - something I wish I had the time and money to try out for myself. While you are there take a look at his Female Marauders of Slaanesh which are also quite awesome.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Slayerbrotherhood - The Doom Seeker Issue #2 out now.

The second issue of The Doom Seeker has just been released. You can download it here or read it here.

While I am still a fan of the idea behind this webzine, and I applaud the New Slayer Brotherhood community for their continued efforts, the overall presentation of this new issue is still rather poor. A cluttered layout, mix-and-match font styles, and abundant use of clipart fail to impress visually while the content is a mixed bag with few standout pieces. My favorite thing featured in this latest issue is the awesome cover art. Very "Dwarf Slayer".

As a whole this issue seems to focus more on the entirety of Warhammer with very little Slayer-centric content (only 6 pages of 32 in total), and the presentation is lacking a unified vision. I hope future issues can maintain a more focused approach to the Slayer army while including some of the additional content featured in issue #2. Perhaps a longer duration between issues would help increase the quality of the articles used - I am sure there is not a ton of content readily available for any Storm of Chaos army (even the mighty Slayers).

What would a post about Slayers be if it did not feature at least one mention of beer!? Here is a brew I reviewed after my trip to Fort Collins, CO last winter.
Odell Brewing Company - 5 Barrel Pale Ale

Beer Type: English Pale Ale

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle featuring a red and beige Odell style label. Beer poured a clear amber-gold color with a thick off white head.

Smell: Some toasty malts, spicy hops, and caramel sweetness.

First Drink: Lots of earthy flavors and a little bit of the hops. Plenty of sweet malt, almost too much to make out the hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and well carbonated. No complaints here!

Last Drink: More of the hops flavor now, with a bit more mellow biscuit sweetness.

Drinkability: One of my favorite Odell brews so far. A nice little departure from the normal pale ale, but not too far out there.

Notes: This is my last beer from my trip to Fort Collins, Colorado last January. I need to go back and get more of Odell's excellent beers!

Verdict: 4 out of 5.

Links: Beer Advocate and Odell Brewing Company

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Beastmen release confirmed for Feburary!

BEASTS! Take a look at this sweet new cover for the new book. Pretty cool. Reminds me of the Ogre Kingdoms cover! The image is from the new Games Workshop newsletter along with this:
"In the dark places of the world, the Beastmen have been gathering in number and in February they will unleash their rage on the Warhammer world with renewed vigour. A feral army of twisted monsters, the Beastmen have inhabitant the dark forests and wild places of the world since such places existed. To lead a Beastmen army is to field vast herds of braying, brutish beasts who worship Chaos in all its forms, and who fight to level the civilised world.

This will be the first time ever that the Beastmen have had their own, completely stand-alone, army list. The forthcoming Warhammer Armies: Beastmen is full of twisted monsters old and new, and an all-new lore of magic. The Beastmen are the original inhabitants of the Old World: in February 2010 they come to reclaim it from the hands of Men.

Make sure you check out December’s White Dwarf for more on the Beastmen."
New Beasts in Feburary! I am very excited about this release but my wallet is less so. How about you? What are you hoping to see in the new Beastmen book?

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Dwarf FAQ/Errata released - Alas poor Thorek...

What the!? A new Dwarf FAQ?

Changes worth noting:
  • Thorek may only use his re-roll once per game.
  • Shooting attacks at the Anvil are not randomized on the warmachine - only on the crew.
  • Dwarf Rangers do not count as Warriors once upgraded.
  • Some clarification on Slayers from the Storm of Chaos book.
Well. Damn. So much for Thorek being overpowered! I wonder who else will be getting the "nerf stick" applied to them with new FAQ/Errata releases!?

UPDATE: My friend Thane Demolira pointed out that most of the GW tournaments have been playing Thorek this way for the past couple years so this isn't totally unexpected. Also, shooting attacks at the Anvil were never randomized and the Dwarf book already covers this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Skaven - 2,250 Clan Moulder Freak Rat Romp!

I love monsters. The Skaven have their Clan Moulder who love monstrous rat creatures. Here is a monstrous rat creature list made with the new Skaven book that I hope to proxy and try out (perhaps collect, assemble, and paint):

LORDS: (225)
Throt the Unclean (225)

HEROES: (270)
Warlock Engineer(15) - Level 2, Shadow Magnet Trinket, Warp-Energy Condenser (150)
Warlock Engineer - Level 1, Dispel Scroll, Warpstone Token, Warpmusket (120)

CORE: (1255)
Rat Ogres x 10 - Master Moulder w/ Electro Whip, Packmasters x 3, Skweel Gnawtooth (580)
Rat Ogres x 10 - Master Moulder w/ Thingcatcher, Packmasters x 4 (485)
Giant Rats x 26 - Master Moulder w/ Thingcatcher, Packmasters x 3 (155)
Giant Rats x 9 - Packmaster (35)

RARE: (500)
Hellpit Abomination - Warpstone Spikes (250)
Hellpit Abomination - Warpstone Spikes (250)

Total Points: 2,250 (of 2,250)
Two big units of Rat Ogres w/ Packmasters and a big block of Giant Rats with Engineers. The smaller pack of Giant Rats is for harassing flanks or claiming table quarters. Giant monsters do what they do best - kill things! I have never played Skaven. Just looking for something fun to play with and model and huge mutant rats seem to be on my mind at the moment. Suggestions for the list are welcomed and encouraged!

It has been awhile since I featured a beer review on the site. I still have a huge backlog of beers I need to review but I thought this one was thematically appropriate.
Indian Wells Brewing Company - Lobotomy Bock

Beer Type: Doppelbock

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle with a red "cartoony" label on it. Beer poured a dark reddish black color with a thick head.

Smell: Bready... a bit of sweet dark aroma (chocolate?).

First Drink: A little bit of chocolate but nothing that really sticks around.

Mouthfeel: Thin and a little flat feeling (more carbonation would be nice).

Last Drink: More malt and bread flavors but overall this is a very simple beer.

Drinkability: Seems a bit like Shiner Bock in taste and mouthfeel, but I feel like there should be more going on.

Notes: This beer is 10% alchohol but you can't really taste it. Not great, not bad, this one is just alright (and my brains are still intact).

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Links: Beer Advocate and Indian Wells Brewing Company.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Skaven madness has been unleashed!

The new Skaven book is upon us! Run for your lives!!

I have only seen one game with the new book but it was a doozy - a classic Skaven SAD list vs a zombie spamming Vampire list. The Skaven won the game but blew up half their force in the process. Fun!

Today I will be playing a few games here at home with the new book. I will post my thoughts on the book as a whole after seeing a few more games in action.

I have already noticed a continuation of the trend started with the Warriors of Chaos book - I could probably make a better Ogre-type force from the Skaven book. Is it really a new trend or do I just really love armies with nothing but Monsters and 40mm troops? Double Hellpit Abomination and Rat Ogre madness lists ahoy!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A journey to the Maw - the making of Mawster Blaster.

The latest issue of The Word of Hashut was released last month and if you haven't taken a look at it yet I encourage you to do so now. It features a ton of great Chaos Dwarf material and this time around the mad Dawi from Chaos-Dwarfs Online have included a good deal of Ogre Kingdom related articles as well. One of the articles featured (on pages 76 and 77 for those keen to read it now) in the latest issue is a set of rules for a character known as "Mawster Blaster" which were developed by me.

If I am honest, this article did not turn out as I was expecting it to. I consider the content used as a "rough draft" for what I had hoped the final piece would be. As an example...
  • The piece of art shown for the rules is amazing but it wasn't quite what I had in mind for the character (more on that below).
  • The rules were written and revised several times but I did not have a chance to play test them.
  • The name for the character was a placeholder to be changed once a proper back story had been written.
  • I was not able to sculpt or paint an actual model for the character.
Although it doesn't meet my own standards I am pleased with the overall presentation of the rules and the great piece of art used in conjunction with my "rough draft". It was a good exercise in game design and I learned a bit about balance (at least on paper) in the process.

I started the creation of "Mawster Blaster" with an idea - I wanted to see a model which featured a Dwarf riding on the back of an Ogre (similar to Master Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). Pretty basic but the idea really makes me happy.

My original concept for a character was a Dwarf Slayer who had lost the use of his legs in his search for a worthy doom. Disabled but not dead the Slayer hired an Ogre mercenary to carry him to his glorious death (the Ogre didn't mind as he got lots of ale, food, fights, and a share of the gold).

About a year later Willmark approached the Ogre Stronghold looking for ideas for an Ogre Kingdom tie-in for the upcoming issue of The Word of Hashut. I immediately returned to the Ogre carrying a Dwarf and thus "Mawster Blaster" was born.

While the basic idea remained the same (a Dwarf which did not have the use of his legs to get him around) the character changed in several major ways. The simple merc was replaced by a twisted Ogre monster from deep within the Chaos Wastes. The boisterous Slayer became a Tyrannical Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer Lord with a calcified lower torso lost to his devotion of dark magic. As the ideas began to take shape I wrote the first draft of the rules with a few things in mind:
  • Cost - I looked to monstrous mount options which already exist in WHFB to find a relevant example before settling on a Chaos Lord on Chaos Dragon as my basis.
  • Power - as both a Close Combat and Magic threat I had to keep balance in mind while adding just the right amount of overall capability for the point cost.
  • Unpredictability - I love flawed characters and I think they add a lot of fun and random chance to what can often be a very straight forward and boring game.
The first set of rules were far more complex and featured several "what if" type tables detailing the results of the Mutant Ogre's loss of sanity after visiting the Great Maw and what would happen should the Chaos Dwarf be knocked from his mount. While fun (and full of crazy Ogre flavor) these rules were too complex for the tabletop - although looking at the new Skaven book and some of the tables it features I have to wonder if I made the right choice.

I am currently working on some other "new" characters for inclusion in a TOP SECRET project already in the works but I hope to get back around to this character at some point in the future. I don't consider the rule included in The Word of Hashut to be final and I would love to hear some input from other players - especially if you have played with the published rules.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nathan Long on writing the new Gotrek and Felix book "Shamanslayer".

Came across this video on the Black Library blog last month and I thought it would be good to share it with you my dear (and few) readers. In the video (which is somewhat campy and ridiculous... in a good way) Nathan Long outlines his basic approach for writing, specifically how it relates to his Gotrek and Felix novels. Check it out!

My copy of Shamanslayer is in the mail (somewhere in the Western US) , or so Amazon tells me. Be sure to keep one non-patched eye out for a review of the book once I finish it (and find time to write the review).