Friday, April 30, 2010

Army of Malal - 2,250 Warriors of Chaos list (version 1.0).

"There is a name whispered quietly and with fear even by the most depraved, the most evil, and the least sane of the worshipers of Chaos. That name is Malal, the Renegade God of Chaos. Any man who dares look within the unholy black pages of The Great Book of Despair, that foul tome held sacred by worshipers of Chaos, would find the following words: "...and he that went before now came last, and that which was white and black and all direction was thrown against itself. Grown mightily indignant at the words of the Gods, Malal did turn his heart against them and flee into the chambers of space . . . And no man looked to Malal then, save those that serve that which they hate, who smile upon their misfortune, and who bear no love save for the damned. At such times as a warrior's heart turns to Malal, all Gods of Chaos grow fearful, and the laughter of the Outcast God fills the tomb of space . . ."

In eons past Malal was cast out from the bosom of Chaos by the other Gods, or else abandoned them of his own volition, no one is sure which. In any case, Malal's relationship to the other Gods of Chaos is a strange one. All Gods of Chaos pursue purposes that are wholly their own, yet only Malal occupies a position so resolutely parasitic upon his own unfathomable creed.To be a follower of Malal is to be a Chaotic warrior bent upon shedding the blood of other Chaotic creatures. As such, Malal is both feared and hated by the other Chaos Gods. Malal's worshipers, too, are loathed by other Chaotics; they are outcasts beloved by neither the friends nor enemies of Chaos, dependent upon the least whim of their patron deity. Few men worship such a God; fewer still live long in his service. The bonds that tie master and servant ever drain upon the soul of the warrior, and it is a rare man that can loosen the bonds of Malal once forged."
Sounds pretty cool... but where does Malal come from? Well, since you asked!
"The concept of the Chaos God "Malal" was created by comics writers John Wagner and Alan Grant along with Malal's champion, Kaleb Daark, for the Warhammer Fantasy world in the Citadel Miniatures Compendium and Journals. In the comic strip adventure Kaleb Daark's mission allied him temporarily with the forces of good. He fights at the siege of Praag and confronts the followers of the Chaos God Khorne, and also finds himself at odds with the Skaven. Less mutated than other followers of Chaos, he is equipped with his soul-drinking daemon axe "Dreadaxe" with its pterodactyl-like head on a shaft of bone. His shield was shaped in the form of Malal's skull symbol, his armor was all-black with white details and his steed was a black mutant horse. Kaleb himself appeared pale, as the contact with Malal supposedly drained him of energy. His battle cry was "Dreadaxe thirsts for you!"

I've been crafting a themed Malal Warriors of Chaos list since the new WoC book was first released. The basic elements of my Malal force will be a small band of Malal followers being led by a "Kaleb Daark" style hero (a Chaos Lord). Since Malal's followers rarely get together, preferring to work alone, I wanted to force to be representative of a small "elite" force. As such the idea of the Chaos Chosen fit perfectly.

While my first attempt was a Chosen "deathstar" (months before it became all the rage at tournament events/etc), my version of the list isn't as "cheesy" as others I have seen but still features some pretty hard elements. 

In addition to the hard Chosen center the force is backed up by two hard hitting Chaos Knight units and three sacrificial bands of Chaos Marauders (modeled as Beastmen to represent the "Claws of Malal"). 

So what does my list look like? Glad you asked!
LORDS: (400)
Chaos Lord - Mark of Khorne, Juggernaut of Khorne, Shield, Soporific Musk, Axe of Khorne, Crimson Armor of Dargan, Necrotic Phylactery (400)

My first Chaos Lord build featured the Chaos Daemonsword as a way of representing Kaleb's "Dreadaxe". Instead I decided to go with a build that is focused on destroying other followers of Chaos. With both the Crimson Armor and Phylactery the Lord will be immune to Poison, Killing Blow, and the magic lores of Nurgle and Death.

In close combat he has 6 strength 6 Killing Blow attacks with a 0+ armor save to keep him alive. The model will be a version of Kaleb on his mutant steed and will not feature any Khorne related imagery - I am just using the rules to represent Kaleb's desire to destroy the forces of Chaos.

HEROES: (680)
Exalted Hero - Mark of Tzeentch, Flail, Shield, Disc of Tzeentch, Bloodcurdling Roar, Book of Secrets, Golden Eye of Tzeentch (219)
Exalted Hero - Chaos Steed, Mark of Nurgle, Shield, BSB, Banner of the Gods (301)
Chaos Sorerer - Mark of Tzeentch, Level 2 Fury of the Blood God (160)

The other characters in this list all serve a very specific purpose. The BSB and Sorcerer will be deployed in the Chosen unit to give them the benefits of magic resistance 2, Terror, and Stubborn. Meanwhile, the flying Exalted will be harassing the enemy flanks and flyers or rushing off to kill enemy war machines. Not sure how I will model the flying aspect of this (perhaps he will be riding a Malal daemon or Malal inspired flying mount?) but I really like this character build and I want to include it in the list.

CORE: (174)
Chaos Marauders x 11 - Mark of Slaanesh, Musician (58)
Chaos Marauders x 11 - Mark of Slaanesh, Musician (58)
Chaos Marauders x 11 - Mark of Slaanesh, Musician (58)

Three units of minimum Core units, these guys are just bait. They will deploy near the Chosen to take advantage of the Stubborn rule and pull enemy units into position for a counter charge. As mentioned above, these units will be modeled as Beastmen to represent the "Claws of Malal". The number 11 is the number of Malal.
SPECIAL: (854)
Chosen x 16 - Mark of Tzeentch, Shields, Champion, Favor of the Gods, Standard, Banner of Rage, Musician (414)
Chaos Knights x 5 - Mark of Slaanesh, Musician (220)
Chaos Knights x 5 - Mark of Slaanesh, Musician (220)

The "meat" of the list - two hard hitting units of Chaos Knights and a solid block of Chosen. The "always Frenzy" banner of the Chosen allows them to ignore the units of Marauders that may be fleeing through them, and increases the chance of getting the "good" rolls on the Eye of the Gods table (in addition to their Stubborn and Terror abilities). The Mark of Tzeentch is for increasing their probable 4+ Ward Save to a 3+ Ward Save when they get a roll of 12 on the EoTG chart.
RARE: (140)
Chaos Warshrine - Mark of Slaanesh (140)

The Warshrine is basically just in the list to supercharge the unit of Chosen or the units of Chaos Knights as needed. Mark of Slaanesh keeps it from running off the table due to a bad failed panic test (or two), or from fleeing units of Marauders that may come too close. Not sure what the model will look like, but I am tossing around ideas such as a defaced Chaos statue or a sort of shrine to Malal.
Total Points: 2,248 (of 2,250)

Malal approves! What do you think?

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bellower - Issue #2 now available!!

Here it is! Out now! Take a look!!

It was a long hard road but the second issue of the Bellower is out now! This latest issue focuses on the long overlooked Ogre Hunter and includes our first fan made army list; The Red Death - the Ogre Tribe of Jhared the Red (the first Ogre Hunter). 

If you have feedback, praise, suggestions, or contributions for future issues, let me know - I would love to hear from you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Work work ...

Something need doing?

I've been busy working at my new job, finishing the second issue of the Bellower, and dealing with random new home things. Not a lot of time for drinkin' or modelin' which is a damn shame as I have quite the hankering for both.

I did manage to play five games of WHFB last weekend at the local store, Titan Games. Got in three with the Beer Gut Tribe on Saturday against Dark Elves, Orcs & Goblins, and Orcs & Goblins again (three different players). I won all my games, two by a large margin with the last one being a bit closer. All of them were 1,000 or less which is a rough place to be when building an OK army list. 

Sunday I went back and played two more games, this time with my Ogres being proxies for a Throgg Troll army! First game was against Brets and it ended with 3 dead Trolls on my side and nothing on the board on turn 5. Second game was a team game with a Skaven ally against the combined forces of the Brets and the Empire which ended in a win for the forces of Troll-Skavenry. Fun was had by all?

Actually I think I am gaining a bit of an unwanted reputation. The overall level of play here is not what I am accustomed to from the gaming scene in Austin. I think I need to dial back my desire to win all the games I play and go easy on some of the new players I am up against.. something I am sure won't be easy for me at first but will reward me in the long run with a stronger community and gamers who want to play! 

The Bellower is almost done. I know I said that about two weeks ago but this time I really mean it! I was waiting on an article that has since been cut due to the late date. I was hoping to have it out today but I am waiting on some touched up images and I need to slap it all together. It will be done this weekend! This I swear!

Modeling and painting is almost non-existent for me right now. I managed to slap together a flying Vampire model, a Vargulf, and I am in the early stages of assembly for the Beastmen that will be used as Marauders for my Malal themed WoC army. Things are moving slow but I hope to get more done once the Bellower is back on track! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 16, 2010

WHFB 8th Edition confirmed for July?

Read this on WarSeer and Snake Eyes Box Cars - WHFB 8th Edition might be out as soon as this July! The source is none other than next month's White Dwarf: 
"Its confirmed folks, Warhammer Fantasy is hitting us in July 2010. The source? Mays white dwarf. Double page spread that has Empire fighting Orcs with "Warhammer - July" Underneath it!"
"Also, visited Warhammer World recently and the miniatures hall is missing Skaven And High Elf armies...could this be linked to the rumoured starter box"
Looks like we'll be seeing more details about 8th Edition cropping up within the next few months. I've read through the various rumors circulating the web but I will refrain from spreading more of that possible hogwash around... time will tell...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boars and Trolls - New plastic O&G models available for advance order from GW.

BLARRGGHH! Plastic vomit ahoy! GW just added the new plastic Boar Boyz and River Troll models to their advance orders page. Most exciting! I've been waiting awhile for the plastic Troll sprues to help me make my WoC Throgg/Troll/Monster army and from what I have seen things look good. Take a look at the sprues:

While there does appear to be a lot of "river" and not enough "troll" in these plastics I have to say I am pretty happy with the overall look of the models. It also appears as if the fins and river bits can be left off the main body to allow for other Troll creations.

And if plastic vomit isn't your thing perhaps you'll be more interested in plastic boars that don't look like old and outdated?
Boars! Just in time for anyone looking to make some Razorgor or Tuskgor chariots perhaps? The faces are a bit odd on the boar models but I think a lot of it comes down to their new paintjob. I'll be interested to see these new models up close and on the table. What do you think?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Word of Hashut - Issue #8 out before the Bellower issue #2.

Arrgh! Curse you Willmark! You and your legion of malicious dark dwarves have beat the second issue of the Bellower out with the latest release from Chaos-Dwarfs online - Word of Hashut issue #8!

You can view or download this vile atrocity here.

Ahh, it's okay. I can't stay mad at you when your webzine looks this good! Great model picks, solid articles, interesting layout, special rules and units, Mordheim and Bloodbowl support, and not one but two ads for the Bellower! It just doesn't get much better than that...

Check it out and get your evil stunty fix for the week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vampire stuff - The Invocation Issue #4 review.

Hey! I know, I know ... I am a little late to the "look there is a new issue of this webzine out now" party. I can't help it! Busy life, lots going on, blah blah blah ... but I am getting to it now aren't I!? 

For those who didn't know the new issue of the Invocation came out at the end of last month. You can view and/or download it here. I've spent some time going over the content, but as the subject has been covered on other blogs I will save you the long version of my review. Instead you get bullet points! Yay! Everyone loves bullet point lists!!
  • I like the cover, although a little less text might have been nice. 
  • Still appreciating the switch to Landscape format.
  • The use of the same backgrounds and fonts for multiple articles can be confusing. Some variation would really help the varied content stand out a bit better.
  • The Bellower ad looks pretty cool.
  • I enjoyed reading the tactics articles scattered throughout the new issue.
  • The comic was radical.
  • Model photos looked good and I enjoyed seeing them included in some of the articles.
  • The painting tutorials were really well done and helpful. 
  • Battle report was a fun read and well laid out.
  • Way too much fiction, didn't even attempt to read it, this isn't a literary webzine it is a WHFB one! Please don't keep doing this!!
So there you have it, my "review" in bullet points. Some really good content here for anyone interested in Warhammer. A little bit of everything which is what I like to see, but way too much space devoted to the fiction. With content like this, and a more creative layout (use of varied backgrounds, fonts, etc) this zine could be one of the best on the net. This is still one of the best issues of the Invocation I have read and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this. 

In other news ... I am still toying with Vampire Counts lists in an attempt at finding "the one" that I wish to pursue to a painted state (before all others). This past weekend I played two games with a list that I found to be quite fun and challenging. Here it is ..
HEROES: (620)
Vampire - Dark Acolyte, Lord of the Dead, Night Shroud, Black Periapt, Sword of Striking (200)
Vampire - Flying Horror, Summon Creatures of the Night, Helm of Commandment, Cadaverous Cuirass (195)
Vampire - BSB, Infinite Hatred, Walking Death, Talisman of the Lycni, Flayed Hauberk, Sword of Might (225)

CORE: (354)
Skeleton Warriors x 19 - Musician, Standard, Champion (172)
Skeleton Warriors x 15 - Musician, Standard (132)
Dire Wolves x 5 - Doom Wolf (50)

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

Total Points: 1,249 (of 1,250)
Deployed the BSB with the Dire Wolves with the Wraiths nearby as well. The Flying Vamp was there to buff and support them as needed. The caster Vamp was my general and pretty much just sat back and raised up Skeletons for the duration. 

Ended up winning both games I played, one against a shooty/magic heavy Skaven list and one against cav heavy O&G. Fun! This list marked the first time I have ever used the Helm ... and I can't see myself going back to not using it. It really makes a big difference!

Still toying with ideas for what a 2,250 version of this list would look like. I have a few things in mind but I want to see them in practice before I commit. Working on building my winged foot Vampire so I guess that is a pretty strong indication of things to come!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Catch up! - Adepticon wrapup and stuff.

Well ... hello there! Time flies when you are working 10 to 12hrs a day all week. It was my intention to post the requisite "Adepticon wrapup" post on Monday and with so much time having past I find it difficult to remember what happened. "That's alright" I thought, "I can post a couple cool pictures and some highlights from the games". Good idea me but you forgot to take any decent pictures. Instead all you took was this...

Here you can see the Furry Fatbacks in all their pre-deployment glory. Well not all of it - there are still quite a few rats missing from that photo, but if you were wondering what the tables for Fantasy looked like (including the terrain setup) there you have it.

So here is my super quick Adepticon run down. Apologies to my opponents who may be reading this, I am terrible with names so I have omitted them from this post. If you played me and want to call me out just leave a comment!

Game 1 vs. High Elves and Wood Elves.
  • Army list was a mix of forest spirits (Dryads and Treekin) and HE shooting (bolt throwers and archers mostly). Both sides of the team brought one of their respective eagles.
  • Deployment went really well in this game with our magic facing down the units of forest spirits in the hopes of cutting down on their numbers before CC. 
  • Initial game went poorly for the FF (Furry Fatbacks) as shooting, skirmishers, and flying units took their toll. Both sides played it safe in the center of the board, waiting for a good moment to charge.
  • Gorger arrived on Turn 2 and attacked a unit of HE archers on a hill. 
  • Bruiser and Ironguts charged a weakened unit of Treekin (3 out of 4) with a unit of Plague Censer Bearers on the flank. Combat drew but the Treekin held. 
  • Next turn the PCB were charged in the flank by Dryads. The Ironguts and Bruiser lost their Toothcracker buff in the magic phase, broke from combat (even with reroll), and were chased down and killed by the one remaining Treekin. 
  • Meanwhile the Doomwheel began it's day of terror by driving around a nearby building, blasting some Fast Cav off the board, then proceeding to kill another unit of Treekin, and a HE mage hiding in the forest, before blasting off 16" into another unit of Dryads. 
  • The one remaining Treekin slammed into a unit of Slaves which was near the table edge. The Slaves then won combat but the Treekin held. 
  • Next turn the Slaves manage to land one wound on the Treekin who fails both saves and dies.
  • HE Archers hit and wound the Gorger 3 times in one turn to kill him off. 
  • Game ends on Turn 6 as a win for team FF!
Overall this was a fun game that went back and forth quite a bit. After my Ironguts and Bruiser died in Turn 3 I was convinced that was the end of the game. Luckily the Doomwheel thought otherwise and rampaged across the board - wiping out everything it came in contact with along the way. Our opponents were both nice gents with a good looking unified painting theme. We did run into a couple rules "discussions" regarding the Gorger and how he works but in the end it all worked out fine. On to game two!!

Game 2 vs. Lizardmen and Vampire Counts.
  •  The composition of this force had me a bit worried - three units of Ghouls with two casty Vampires for support. Fighty Scar vet on a cold one, Engine of the Gods, another Stegadon, two Skink units, one unit of Terradons, and a big unit of Wraiths were all sitting on the table.
  • Our main force deployed center with the PCB in a nearby forest to deal with the Wraiths if they moved into position. 
  • Turn 1 the LM and VC shuffle up a bit, get into position, beef up the Ghouls (tons of single dice rolls coming up on 5 and 6), and begin to shoot. 
  • Regular Steg fires it's bolt thrower at the Doomwheel rolling a 6 for the hit and scoring a poison wound. The Doomwheel takes 2 wounds from the bolt and takes two tests, rolling a 1 on the second test and shooting directly forward for 18" (three rolls of 6). 
  • On the bottom of turn 1 the Doomwheel then goes 14" into the front of the EoTG before blasting both the Ancient Stegadon and the Skink Priest on top to death in the shooting phase. 
  • With the EoTG destroyed the rest of team FF holds back and plays it safe in an effort to maintain points. 
  • Regular Stegadon and Scar vet combo charge a unit of Bulls and a unit of Gutter Runners, both of which flee. The Stegadon then makes it into combat with a unit of PCB hiding in the woods. Steg fails its toughness tests and dies. 
  • During the magic phase we blast off three Wraiths leaving one left to hide in a nearby building. 
  • Gorger comes on in Turn 2, eats rocks from Terradons, and charges a unit of Skinks before finally dying. 
  • Meanwhile a unit of Bulls kills off the other unit of Skinks and hides from the massive units of Ghouls. 
  • Game ends as a win for team FF with the Skaven and Ogre units back near the table edge and well out of charge range of the Ghouls, Vampire, and Scar vet.
This game was really fun and tactical with two talented players from the Warmongers club out of NYC. Pretty sure I heard both of them talking about being a part of the US ETC team. Wish I could remember their names ... god I am such a loser when it comes to that. Hopefully I will come across them again some time as I play in the other IGT events around here and out east.

Game 3 vs. Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
  • This team's list was pretty nasty. Based around multiple hard hitting cav units and killy characters. It was something like two units of MoS Marauder Horsemen, two units of Nurgle Chaos Knights, Exalted Hero with Chaos Runesword on a Juggernaut, Chaos Warshrine, two units of Dark Riders, Harpies, a unit of Cold One Knights with hotek, reverse ward save, and the ASF banner, a unit of archers, Hydra, and a level 1 scroll caddy.
  • Team FF deployed with a refused flank which put a house, forest, and a hill between the cav and our units. Really great deployment, if winning was based on this alone we would have had it in the bag. 
  • The Doomwheel moved up turn 1 and got into position near the incoming Fast Cav behind a building before charging into the front of a unit of Nurgle Chaos Knights. 
  • Doomwheel shot and wounded three times but the Knights only failed one armor save and stick around. In CC it killed another Knight with impact hits but then broke and was chased down by the Knights. 
  • All of our team's magic was focused on killing the Exalted Hero on the Juggernaut as we had very little that could defeat him. The hero took one wound off of a warplightning but kept on coming right until the end of the game. 
  • On turn 2 my Butcher miscast and lost the Bonespitter spell which he was using to try and kill the Exalted Hero. He eventually threw himself in front of the Khorne killing machine in an attempt at saving the Skaven casters and drawing him away from the Skaven infantry blocks. 
  • Meanwhile the Gorger came on and charged into the unit of DE archers who again managed to hold on for several turns. The Gorger eventually succumbed but kept the unit busy long enough for the Gutter Runners to kill the DE scroll caddy who had ejected herself from the unit. 
  • Gnoblar Trappers managed to stone a unit of Marauder Horsemen to death from a building. 
  • A unit of Ironguts and a unit of PCB charged the Exalted in last ditch effort to kill him, dealing no wounds but eventually running him down after he broke from CC. 
  • Meanwhile the lone Bruiser is brutally murdered by the second unit of Nurgle Knights in an attempt at keeping them away from the Skaven. 
  • Game ends as a Draw on Turn 6.
This game started off well but my consistently bad rolls and a couple of impulsive decisions cost the Furry Fatbacks the win. Had we won the game I think we would have taken first in the event or at least placed in the top 3. As it was we finished in a tie for 5th place just 6 points short of first place. Oh well ... you win some you lose some. 

So what's next on my gutplate? Well first up is finishing the second issue of the Bellower! I was hoping to have issue #2 out yesterday but with the move, starting a new job, and Adepticon last weekend I am quite behind on completing the layouts. With any luck I should have it all done next week but I can't make any promises.

I'm also hoping to find time for a game or two with my VC this weekend, probably during the open gaming at Titan Games. While I love my Ogres I do need to get my head around these undead bastards - if nothing else so I can do something with the massive amount of models I have completed.

More stuff to come in the next few weeks including webzine and book reviews so check back in later!