Monday, February 28, 2011

Club Night and Two Fights

Last weekend's club night was not as good a turn out as I had hoped, there were only three of us. I got to play a game of warmachine mk2 which I haven't played before (even though I have plenty of army) and I got to fight Ron's High Elves again. Here are some pictures, forgive their quality I had only my camera phone to work with, I thought something is better than nothing.
This is the set up for warmachine; I played mercenaries (Gorten) and he played Khador (the Butcher). The scenario was to either take the two towers or destroy the enemy war caster.

At this point his Kodiak (i think) had taken the left tower and Boomhowler and Co. had take the right tower.

This was after his Kodiak charged out of the tower into a driller, tore the hell out of it and threw it through Gorten (doing 9 damage) and into the other driller. Sam and the Devil Dogs were making their way to assist.

And last turn (third turn); Butcher charged from the tower into Gorten and slew him with a single hit... game over.
I am not liking warmachine much anymore. I've got a lot of mercenaries but I'm having trouble getting mark 2 cards (I refuse to pay 20 dollars for the cards I don't need) and .50 cents each is fair I think but the ten dollars shipping is an insult. Also, unbalance in the game makes it unfun to play in my humble opinion. I used to be a HUGE warmachine fan, but I find it frustrating that Gorten (or Magnus) with maximum focus can be killed out right by the Butcher with a single hit. Really defeats the point of playing I think. I didn't do anything wrong and though I was safely out of charge range but even then, I don't think it's right that I have to cower from Khador... just doesn't seem to play well.

The following are from the High Elves vs Bretonnia, not in chronological order.

This was after his 8 swordmasters and noble charged my 20 men-at-arms... just a horrible slaughter of 18 dead on the charge. I didn't expect them to hold up too well but such a massive beating was sad to see. The two remaining guys did kill one swordmaster though, I was proud of them. They ran of course and got run down.

This was deployment: High Elves (l to r)- 10 pheonix guard / 15 swordmasters with noble / 25 sea guard with mage / 10 dragon knights. Bretonnia - 8 kotr with lord (unseen) / damsel on foot / 20 men-at-arms / damsel on warhorse / reliquae with 12 pilgrims / 16 bowmen / 8 errants with BSB

This was the approach of the reliquae towards the sea guard... he intelligently pulled the mage out to stand behind the unit and sling light magic from there.

They are engaged after loosing four models to stand an shoot, ugh!

After the swordmasters had run down the men-at-arms they took aim at my damsel on foot. She had the lore of beasts and the TRANSFORMATION OF KADON... which I failed twice and the slew her. So sad!

The knights errant and paladin had charged, slew two, and RUN DOWN the 10 dragon princes without taking a loss themselves. Just a horrible result for Ron, he rolled terrible. They then swung around to flank charge the sea guard which caused them to flee, the reliquae failed to runt hem down though!

This was after the sea guard fled, the mage cleverly moved out of both the charge of the reliquae and the knights but stayed nice and close.

Unseen here but the swordmasters were swinging around to get the bowmen; both the knights units were moving to engage but I had pulled out the paladin and lord, the lord was pursuing the swordmasters from another direction and the BSB was going to get the mage. My bowmen fired on the mage firs though and three good arrows later he was dead.

My lord charged the flank of the swordmasters after they charged the bowmen who fled from them. He took only one wound and killed three, they failed their leadership test and fled off my deployment edge.

Ron wanted to call the game at that point. He felt he had lost and I stated it was a draw which he thought I was being nice about. This very much wasn't so. He still had 3 fortitude and I had only 5, we needed to get the other down to two. Sounds good except he had around 15 sea guard left and 5 pheonix guard while I had only 8 kotr, 8 knights errant, a lord and a paladin bsb. That sounds like I have advantage but not really. I couldn't afford to loose much and neither of his units were safe for my knights to charge since he had ASF. Those pheonix guard are hard to beat down and fifteen spears can really mess you up. I think I could have beaten him but he could have beaten me too.

Both games were fun, well the warmachine not do much but I probably just need to get back into the saddle. I'm going to dust off some undone Cygnar and see if they hold up better against the clearly over powered Khador. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

When "Elf" was a class...

I cut my RPG teeth on the red box, you know the one, damn near every gamer with thirty years under his (or her) belt knows this box.

I can still remember the feel of those polyhedrals and the look of the dark wax shoved lovingly into those numbers. Ah... brings back memories. My first character was a Magic-user with his feeble single casting of Magic Missile and 1d4 hit points. I named him Thife because I meant to make a thief and misspelled the word so made him a Magic-user instead.

I've talked about my golden days of role playing in the past so I won't go on and on about it, I've got another reason for this post.

I no longer role play but I do still read role playing games because I'm a freak who enjoys rules and rules sets. I've read through thousands of pages and sometimes they blur together but I am aware that they are always compared to my beginnings which would be a standard set; the Red Box, Hero Quest, Risk, and later Warhammer Fantasy Battles (5th edition if you're interested). I'd like to think I'm not biased for the most part but I am very biased when it comes to RPG rules. I am of the mind that rules should be open enough to allow exploration of the character and the fantasy environment while maintaining some boundaries of "reality" within the context of the game world. The basic D&D rules really allow this nicely in my most humble opinion. Sure there were things that could be changed and fleshed out by the basic need was met with a quality that isn't easily reproduced. I've got all kinds of theories about why this is so but that isn't the purpose of this blog post either, it's these guys.

Labyrinth Lord is probably one of the best old schools I've read. The art work is fabulous and the writing is excellent. If I still role played this would be my tool of choice, and not the advanced compendium either! I like the seven classes, I like that there are only 10 levels of elf, and I like that human's great ability was they had four natures.

So, I guess I'm plugging this product for no particular reason than its good. I'm going to try to put together a war games battle using the rules as they are perfectly good skirmish combat rules. When (if) I get to do that I'll try not to forget to photo it and batrep it.

 ALSO! My sons and I sat down to play the new Risk game last night...

...and it was brutal. Risk is a notoriously long game in my experience and it always comes down to the huge trade in that leads to one meanie (usually my wife) running through the world in a single turn of glorious blood shed. That is the essence of what I don't like. Now, if you read the original rules there was a 12 army per territory limit which is logistical in nature and when imposed makes the game better but requires a points system with either turn limits or time limit to play. The current version gives you objects to aim for with three being the game winning combination. Each objective gives you a randomly assigned benefit and all of them are nice. ANYWAY I DIGRESS because really I wanted to say that Christian won the game by turning in a large trade in and stomping through the map going from one objective to three in a single turn.

Well, I guess you can change the rules but not the victory huh?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oh, sometimes I get so busy...

...that I don't really get time to take some pictures of what I'm doing and get a blog going. Sorry about that. But I am still alive and this weekend is club night SO I should have at least one batrep for next week and maybe two or three.

As an aside I highly recommend this website. We all need some good instructions and this guy seems to have the answers in my humble opinion.

Also, we bought a new hutch so I got the old one, I'll photo that as soon as possible along with the displays and give you a peek.

Happy gaming!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

High Elves vs Bretonnia...

Ron is a new inductee into the world of Warhammer and he is passionate about his High Elves. He has a growing army that he is learning to use with some serious threat even though he has less than a dozen games under his command. I invited him over last night to duel on the board and we agreed to 1,500 points. I have a four foot square battle board so that many points will fill it up pretty well. The following pictures show his deployment and my deployment. I built the battlefield and gave him choice of deployment zones. We then deployed one unit at a time with the first to complete deployment benefiting from a +1 to the roll for first turn... which was immaterial as a Brettonian player I would be stupid not to pray first for the blessing giving him choice.

From left to right: knights errant with paladin battle standard; peasant bowmen in defensive stakes (back); men-at-arms; damsel; grail reliquae; peasant bowmen skirmishers; knights of the realm with general

From left to right: reavers with mage; seaguard with noble; dragon princes; swordmasters with noble (general); pheonix guard; white lions
We had agreed to four turns then random determination from that point on; a d6 roll of 4+ would mean we play another turn other wise the game would come to an end.

I've arranged one photo per game round with the photo taken at the end of the round and all casualties remaining on the table except units completely eliminated.

The first turn was pretty predictable in that his army approached mine, missile fire was exchanged and few casualties were lost to it (I lost one he lost one) but the surprise was on my right flank where my knights errant with paladin battle standard bearer charged his white lions on my first turn. He marched them forward which put only 14 inches between us and my swift stride charge slammed into them. He had successfully cast shield of saphery on the dragon knights which had to be undone when my magic phase rolled around and I tried to blast them with chain lighting when he announced they carried the banner of the world dragon and I could not strike them with magic. I did throw the lighting into the swordmasters, then the pheonix guard and finally it bounced to the white lions in total doing around ten casualties across the three units but it took the damsel throwing a total power/miscast and doing 1 damage to herself, luckily no friendly units were close enough to be hit by the small blast template. In retrospect I may not have been able to bounce it to the white lions since they had been engaged in close combat by the knights errant. I read the spell but wasn't sure and to me it would be able to but I'll have to look for an FAQ on it. The white lions / knights errant fight was brutal for a first turn fight with my paladin challenging the champion who refused and did not participate in the fight. His ASF GREAT WEAPON BADASSERY killed four of my eight knights and when I replied I did five in return, won the fight but they held their ground thanks to stubborn.
Turn 2
 Turn two was a little gritty, if that term can be applied to a game of warhammer. In Ron's turn he moved the reavers with mage directly in front of the men-at-arms firing into them and doing only 1 casualty, he also maneuvered his pheonix guard to set up a charge on the knights errant next turn and rallied his swordmasters which fled from massive casualties (chain lighting) last turn. His dragon princes charged my grail relique as well. My movement had me maneuver the knights errant out of danger and towards the swordmasters as well as charging the reavers with both knights of the realm and men-at-arms. Magic was ineffective for both of us really as Ron's spells were dispelled and although I got chain lightning off on his pheonix guard their ward save allowed me only one or two casualties. The melee with the reavers was brutal, I eliminated them to a model but his assault on the grail reliquae was no less brutal with six casualties even through a 5+ ward save from the blessing; they held their ground though thanks to stubborn. I forgot to mention but our missile fire was also useless, not a single injury caused.
Turn 3
Turn three was really more preparation for turn four than anything but we didn't get there. His movement showed the pheonix guard turning again and the swordmasters turning, both aiming for the kngihts errant. I was basically running them around with my superior movement and staying out of their charge arc I had no intention of charging those swordmasters who would, although only five plus a noble, scissor up my four knights errant and standard bearer I knew that very well so I rode around them aiming for the seaguard. I did charge the pheonix guard with my knights of the realm and general though. Magic was all me and a chain lighting spells ripped into the seaguard killing almost half. Missile fire from both of us went nowhere again and close combat was only the dragon princes and grail reliquae. He killed only four of the remaining six battle pilgrims and they in turn actually killed one prince.The pheonix guard, having been charged in the flank failed to kill any knights and they in turn killed three; they failed their break test and were run down.

By this point it was late, nearly 11:00 p.m. and we both had work in the morning so he decided to call it. At that point it was a victory for me, but, I don't necessarily feel it would have continued to be so. I had held up nicely and my peasant units hadn't really been tried yet. I believe that my knights would have gotten his seaguard but the swordmasters could have charged the knights of the realm the next turn and I do not think they would have weathered a rear charge from them so well. Also, those three dragon princes were about done with the reliquae and while the men-at-arms were ready to charge them I'm not confident they wouldn't have been sent packing and the princes wouldn't have rolled up both units of archers and the damsel since she couldn't spell them to death.

It was a fun game, and though Ron saw his defeat I saw only and advantage that would not last if he had some so so luck and a good battle plan. As a last bit of photographic  I present this...
The peasant's aimed down their bows, ready to skewer the high elves should they have the shot... now if the damsel would just move.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If You Give a Mouse a Camera...'d think he would take some damn pictures of the two battles he fought this weekend at club night!

But NO, why would I do that. So without pictures and without a record of my fights I am going to have to just present synopsis. Sorry there isn't more... I promise to take pictures and write some notes NEXT time.


Anyway, club night and I had two challengers to my brand new Bretonnians. They are in production so while all units were used, only one was painted and the Reliquae itself was absent although the decorative base made a showing.

My first fight was against a healthy 1,000 points of Ron's High Elves. He is a relatively new player of Warhammer and this is his first army based on the models from the Island of Blood box (such a good box!). He recently went nuts and bought several more boxes of models but hasn't had much chance to assemble so his army hasn't grown too much. He fielded...
  • 5 elyrian reavers with a champion
  • 5 dragon princes with full command accompanied by a level 2 wizard
  • 10 swordmasters with full command and a noble armed in kind
  • 10 sea guard with full command and a noble armed in kind
... he had no magic items but three characters and what I would say are solid units if lacking attrition. I hate facing swordmasters, I'm not one to cry out a unit's rules are broken but I would slap anyone who said shooting and spelling any unit of swordmasters into oblivion was Beardy. I took...
  • 8 knights of the realm with a prophetess of the lady at level 3
  • 8 knights errant with a paladin as battle standard bearer and sword of might
  • 20 men at arms with command
  • 16 peasant bowmen with defensive stakes and full command
...pretty standard really. I was looking to exercise the prophetesses magic and took lore of heavens as my lore.. he took high elf lore and clearly planned to make use of drain magic.

The opening pitted my missilery against his swordmasters doing too little casualties for when my knights errant with battle standard charged them. Normally I would not do that but as I've stated he is a new player and it seemed inappropriate to use 10 years of warhammer tactics on him. The knights errant are a solid unit and with a hero in it I figured they could at least, coupled with their high armor save, give them a fair fight... WRONG. Those buggers chopped them up good and when the knights failed their break test they ran too little and were run down. On my left flank the prophetess' magic had smashed the dragon princes to 50% and a charge on the reavers drove them off the table, they fled but weren't caught then fled after failing their rally roll next turn. During the end game the swordmasters charged the men at arms which promptly fled. The prophetess blasted them down to only four models, the archers down to three and when they charged again the men at arms I stood my ground (haha!) and he still killed a third of the unit with three swordmasters and a noble. I killed the four models remaining though and that brought the game to a close. Some mistakes were made, he isn't very good with magic yet.

The second game was against my friend Darrell's Ogre Kingdoms and he is relatively new to warhammer also. He brought a numbers heavy army and decided not to field any wizards and only a single magic item. I do not remember all the specifics but there were two units of 8 bulls, two units of 5 with great weapons, a hunter, a tyrant, a giant... hmmm some others including two lead belchers... like I said I don't truly recall. I took my entire Bretonnian contingent including a level 3 prophetess and a level 1 damsel; several magic items including the silver mirror which turned out to be useless since he had no magic.

As we lined up I decided my best odds against the monstrous infantry that are ogres was to throw both lances at the same unit and hope to smash them and push into his rear forcing him to either let me maneuver around to charge him in the behind or split his focus. Darrell is no idiot and immediately recognized the danger there so we began a hero placing contest to try to gain strategic advantage. I won that part of the fight and on my turn one after he marched forward with his entire line I charged my kotr and knight errant with general and battle standard bearer into the same block of bulls, killing four on the charge and suffering only 1 wound on each in return; he promptly fled and I ran them down putting me behind their line. That will probably never work again so long as I live but it was cool to see it happen once. The rest of the battle involved him charging into my peasants and men-at-arms and battle pilgrims. The pilgrims and men-at-arms held their own pretty well and I was proud to see them see off a unit of ogres bulls. Of course it was 8 bulls vs 20 men-at-arms and 12 pilgrims with the reliquae but a victory is a victory! His giant fell to the knights of the realm and his tyrant fell to the knights errant so he called it after that. He had suffered some pretty heavy casualties but we did alot wrong with the ogre kingdom rules so the same thing might not happen again!