Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I Got

Okay, I love and hate blogger at the same time. It is so damn hard to put pictures in a post that it really gets on my noives some times, but I might just be an idiot, who knows.

ANYWAY! I didn't mention yesterday what miniatures I scored at the convention soooo...

First we have Gamesworkshop's Army of the Dead for the Lord of the Rings game (obviously). I got these puppies for 16 bucks and I'm happy as I will be using them as 5 stands of Spirit Hosts for my Vampire counts army. That is 325 points of ethereal ass-kickers totaling 20 strength 3 attacks. I think this will be a formidable unit so long as I don't let them become terribly outnumbered. I never liked the Warhammer Spirit Hosts and when I saw these a few months ago I knew this was my answer.

Next is Wargames Factory Viking Huscarls. When I saw these puppies on their website I knew I had to have them and I got them for a low low 18 dollars. So 32 crazy vikings for almost fifty cents each is awesome in my book. I have no idea what I'm going to use them for but really do you NEED a reason to put 32 vikings on the table? No.

Mantic Games' Elven War-host was my big reward from the GAMA organization for working the convention and it is much appreciated. 50 foot soldiers with a mix of bows and spears backed by a bolt thrower. I could construct a Warhammer army out of them easily enough but I have my undead to focus on right now. So we'll see, if you're needing elves badly send me a message and I'll talk to ya. Mantic makes great stuff!

Rusted Heroes' Duke Rathar. A very nice looking miniature that I have no idea what I'm going to do with. He will be a nice addition to my collection of cool painted miniatures with no great purpose but I don't know when I'll get to him. There was a character card in the package but I haven't explored what game it goes to or what it's used for.

I also got a variety of dice and a box of magic cards as rewards, GAMA is pretty good to its volunteers IMHO and I am happy with the loot I got.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


(it really cheeses me off that pictures are such a bear to work with on blogger!!!!)

The convention was quite nice but I ended up bringing home another hundred miniatures to paint!

I took about fifty pictures and picked out this handful to share with you loyal readers. I'll illuminate on the picture as I remember. This one right is the Song of Blades and Heroes / Splintered Light booth. Their 15mm figures are really nice and the many they had on display were great to look at. I wanted to buy some but ultimately didn't have the money.

The ubiquitous boffer weapons. This was Edwyn Armory I think, I might have that name wrong. They make great stuff but it costs more than your butthole.

This is the Wargods of Aegyptus booth and this game looks like fun. I have the rules and have read them but their miniatures are out of my price range. This is their display case and the Titan in the middle is gorgeous.

Elfball, some think its really just a flimsy game reason to build miniature armies for GW's Bloodbowl but I think this looks like fun!

I can't recall the name of these manufacturers but they had tables and tables of great stuff. Again, WAY out of my affordability.

This card dungeon was cool and this company offered a deck of cards to build a 30 second dungeon. The demo showed the deck was very cool and fun but it retailed for 20 dollars and that was a little high in my opinion. My friend demo'd it with me and I'm pretty sure if the price had been closer to ten he would have bought a deck.

Some people demoing Summoner Wars. I didn't, not much into card games although I do play Magic some and a little bit of World of Warcraft.

A very dice wooden tactical model of a ship from Dragonfire. These are very cool if you are into role playing and you need a nice sea encounter.

More from Aegyptus... love the crocodile guys.

And that is it. I spent 60+ hours working security so I only got to play in a dungeon delve by the RPGA and the prize I won there I gave to my friend as he really wanted it. They gave me some nice rewards for all my work but I really missed not getting to do any of the events. By the time I was finished for the day I was either too late or too tired. If you haven't been to Origins and you are in Ohio you should really give it a go, even just coming one day out of the four.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Origins is coming

Well if your a convention goer than you know that Origins is rolling out next week and I'll be there as a henchman. I've been attending Origins for about ten years now, maybe a little less, and the larger part of that time I have been a volunteer for GAMA and worked the security at Origins. Since all the people who ran security when I started are GONE now I have been delegated the role of "manager" and I will be working my fat arse off trying to keep everything secure from LARPers, RPGers, board gamers, card players, and every other 'ers' in the world. None of us (meaning I'm an 'er' as well) are inherently dangerous when you get us all together... its just a little like Waaagh! from WHFB.

So I'll try to blog from the convention as I'm taking my computer and a camera. I'll do my best to take some cool pictures and put up a couple cool posts.

We both know that probably isn't going to happen. LOL!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dead!

I just completed a trade with my friend David and I am now going to have a nice chunk of the undead to command. I have always wanted an undead army and never gotten one... which I don't know why I haven't. I have many other miniatures, scads really, and it is odd that I've never put the energy into building one. Anyway, I have it now and this is what I've got...

In trade I got-
  • 36 Mantic Ghouls
  • 20 Mantic Revenants
  •  2 Games Workshop Varghulfs

I already had-
  • 20 Games Workshop Skeletons
  • 2 Games Workshop Corpse Carts
  • Rackham's The Almighty Crane (at right)
  • Reaper's Talarand, Blackguard (in my flickr)
  • Reaper's Malek, Necropolis Mage (in my flickr)
  • Reaper's Judas Bloodspire (in by flickr)

I also have some odds and ends such as-
  • 9 of Reaper's Skeletal Warriors (from the Warlord line)
  • 8 of Rackham's Warriors of Mid-Nor

I'm not so sure I can make use of it all smoothly, the Warlord skeletons are 28mm and look much bigger than regular GW skeletons or even the Mantic skeletons so I don't think I'll be putting them into the army. I am planning on "pointing it out" for Warhammer and Magic & Monsters. The Almight Crane is so going to be a Wight King it's not even funny. I know he is on a larger than standard base (40mm square) but I don't do any tournament play anyway so this should be just fine. After I'm done building them I'll post the army!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If a rose smells the same... does a skeleton point the same?

Okay, so, off the beaten path I've gotten this idea in my head to take a few products and compare them in regards to the differing rules systems I might find. I've decided to start with Mantic Games Undead Skeleton Command box which retails for a reasonable $14.99.

Inside the box is ten plastic skeletons, one of which can be assembled as a standard bearer, one bearing a horn (really, how does he sound it?) and one as  a champion of sorts. I'm going to apply this to the following rules sets; Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Fantasy Warriors, Martin Hackett's Magic & Monsters, and Hordes of the Things.

Warhammer: from the Vampire Counts army book they would be ten skeletons with light armor, shields and hand weapons with a command group leading them rolls in at an even 100 points; 80 for the soldier and 20 for the upgrades. This would be a relatively small unit of skeletons and wouldn't last too long considering they are only weapon skill 2  and an armor save of 5+. Some necromantic assistance though and it should be able to hold on were it to take on units of equivalent points value... mostly. Front rank bringing to bear 6 attacks if there was a Corpse Cart close enough to give them the Always Strikes First rule and should you put a vampire with the Crown of Command they might be something to be worried about at 100 points. You could also give them a magic standard up to 25 points, perhaps the Banner of the Dread Legion allowing them to double their unit strength and maybe bringing the fear rules to bear and chase away an enemy. A fairly versatile 100 points and a solid unit I would think. Being a Lizardman player I would compare them to Saurus Warriors where I'd only get 6 or 7 saurus with a command... but I'd also have a 4+ save and 11 attacks.

Fantasy Warriors: they would be found under the Undead Warrior Profile in the Fantasy Warriors Companion rules. Ten skeletons would come in at... ONLY 30 POINTS! Wow, that isn't many at all. Worth of 1 (which is average), average quality, light armor and shields. Not a terribly bad profile by FW standards if one compares it to human Men-at-Arms which have a worth of 1, average quality and medium armor with pikes but would be 50 points for ten. If you were to compare this to the points percentage with WHFB you're gonna need a lot more Mantic miniatures. FW is played in a standard 2,000 points as well and instead of being 5% of your army as with WHFB you're looking at 1.5%.

Magic & Monsters: looking up skeletons in Martin's convenient listing of troops on page 231 the closest entry we find is skeletons in chain mail with shields and axes. No big deal, looking up axes we find we need to ditch one point to make it swords instead. We find that the Mantic box comes in at 70 points. Hackett makes no special rules for musicians or standards unless you are using the morale rules which he encourages you to no use, so for our purposes they are window dressing. They will have a move of 5, defense factor of 7, power of 10, and agility of 30. As far as comparing these to other troops, really all that is important is that their weapons apply the standard modification to the enemies DF and their DF is okay, but could be better. Humans armed exactly the same would have a DF of 10 instead of 7 but cost three more points per model. In Magic & Monsters their alignment would be 'undead' which means they can only be in an undead army... totally undead army. Hackett recommends a 1,600 point force so these 70 points is going to give you around 4% of the total points needed, not a whole lot but since Magic & Monster's heroes tend to be costly it is to be expected.

Hordes of the Things: in the army lists under 'Generic Undead' skeletons would be classified as Hordes which should have from five to eight 25/28mm models, so we can squeeze two elements of Hordes from a single Mantic box set. This is only 2 points of a standard 24 points force and frankly Hordes aren't terribly effective in battle. Their greatest strength in the game is that they can be brought back in by expending PIPs allowing the recommended SIX HORDES to come back over and over. So two hordes would be around 8% of your 24 point army. There isn't a lot to compare it to by the HotT rules but you can compare it to Lurker elements (the only other 1 point element) which has to stay in their 'lurking area' and can't leave it give the Hordes considerably greater mobility and application than their 1 point counterparts.

So, there you have, the best application of your fifteen dollar ten skeletons is probably in WHFB, at least until I get home to reference Magic & Monsters.Using them with HotT would also be aesthetically pleasing but you would be hard pressed to switch their use to other games unless you made special bases, which is feasible considering how Mantic plastics are constructed.

Obviously there are other rules sets out there and if you have one you play regularly PLEASE feel free to let me know and I'll even modify this post to add your entry. I plan on doing this with a few more sets of models at least just because I enjoy the exercise.

One last thing I'd like to do is boil down the dollar to point ratio, goofy I know but bear with me eh? So basing the points off a $14.99 price tag we get...
  • Warhammer is fifteen cents a point (or $2.95 per percentage point)
  • Fantasy Warriors is fifty cents a point ( or $9.99 per percentage point)
  • Magic and Monsters is twenty one cents a point (or $3.75 per percentage point)
  • Hordes of the Things is $7.50 per points (or $1.87 per percentage point)
So, over all you may want to apply Mantic's skeletons to either Warhammer or HotT as one is giving you a really nice dollar to point ratio and the other a nice dollar to army percentage ratio, either are a safe bet. Fantasy Warriors is ALL OUT though, no good deal at all even if it is a good game. You will need scads of skeletons and while Mantic is quite affordable even if you hop on The Warstore and ditch four bucks off the price tag you are still paying a lot to the Fantasy Warriors rules.