Thursday, April 28, 2011

Warhammer Plus Math Equals FUN!

My friend came over last night and played his first game of 8th edition. He has played dwarfs since fourth when we both started and he has many older models... unpainted but that is another story. I played Vampire Counts both because I felt it would give him and advantage and because I wanted to try out a couple new units: cairn wraiths and a necromancer on a corpse cart. This isn't a battle report, this is an expose on the insanity of playing the undead right now.

Amongst my units was my nice chunky block of 20 crypt ghouls, which, theoretically should be solid infantry. Not overpowering infantry but 20 models with 2 poison attacks each is something worth throwing at the enemy. By the current rules these puppies (undead, filth-encrusted puppies) throw out 15 attacks with weapon skill 3 and strength 3.
Grrrrrrrrr....
So I threw these guys at a unit of longbeards, a big unit, actually 30 of them with heavy armor and great weapons along with the dwarf lord in the mix. Let me say I did not expect them to win the fight or overcome the foe in melee, but what did happen is what irks me about the current flow of Vampire Counts games for me. Allow me to enumerate...
  1. Crypt Ghouls attack: 15 attacks: 3 are poisonous automatic wounds, another 3 are rolled for wounds (so out of 15 attacks I got 6 wounds on the enemy, not bad, a solid solid hit considering the toughness of the dwarfs)
  2. Dwarfs make three of six saves... so again, solid. If you look at the math out of 15 attacks 7.5 should hit (4+ to hit) and then strength 3 vs toughness 4 means 2.5 should wound. Also, since poisonous attacks wound on a 6 to hit automatically there should have been 2.5 automatic wounds out of the fifteen dice. So getting 6 wounds was solid, and he should make only 2 out of those (5+ heavy armor) which he made 3 making it really just about dead on average.
  3. Dwarfs attack back, including the lord. Now, he had to take a Fear roll first which he of course passed (leadership 10 and all that). His lord does only 1 wound (odd bad luck) and then his long beards do 8 (really good luck, since there were only 12 attacking). I'm fine with this, after all this is longbeards and a dwarf lord. I expected to take a solid six to ten casualties.
  4. I have no saves (oh you silly naked crypt ghouls) so nine guys go back to the ground.
  5. THEN HE COMPLETELY ELIMINATES THE REMAINDER OF THE UNIT WITH THE COMBAT RESOLUTION.
Seriously!? This needs tempered some. He had the fight, next round they would have died to a man (undead man admittedly) BUT ELEVEN CASUALTIES FROM COMBAT RESOLUTION IS COMPLETELY UNBALANCED. There is not even opportunity to raise more from the dead, the entire unit is gone! That was a solid combat for the ghouls, they did some hurt and stood their ground. But how can one play with undead when they are wiped out before you can raise more to support them?

This is a huge flaw in the game currently. There is no undead unit I can throw against the majority of my foes that can stand a full turn. I used 30 skeletons this game and they fought 30 dwarf warriors, the two battled six times and at the end of the game 2 skeletons still stood and they had killed only 6 dwarfs in return. This is after the unit had 14 models raised back into it, so really it was 44 vs 30.

I'm on a bit of a soap box I know...
Pleasantly fragrant.
...but come on! I am hoping the tromb king's army book shows me some hope. As it stands they VC have won a single match, and mostly get pounded into nothingness very quickly.

Obviously as I've posted this if you want to correct me, please do so, and if you have an answer, give me that as well.

You can use my soap box even.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HiJaCKed!

Can you imagine stuffing your face with chocolate cake and sitting down in front of your partner's PC only to find his blog completely open and waiting for a new post? Well, neither could I until this moment . . . chocolate cake has never been sweeter!

So he's behind our house coaching 10-12 year olds (soccer) in the wet grass and I am snatching a few lines here on his blog. Tomorrow I head for Chicago for an educational conference I am not quite prepared for--with that in mind, it's not like I should be doing anything else at the moment. Did I mention the chocolate cake?

You are really lucky to be acquainted with such a great guy. Someday, you will tell others that you knew him when. Until then, be good to the big guy. Marvel at his work. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Magnus is a traitor, goblins ride spiders and Death Angel is a challenge indeed!

Well, lots to share today. I had a wonderful easter and broke half my temporary crown. At this point I'm ready to be fed chicken soup for the rest of my life.

AAAANYWAY...
Magnus and his battle group.

A more "atmospheric" photo with the tower.
Magnus and his battle group is part of what made Warmachine for me. I started the game WHEN IT LAUNCHED and was the first person to have it in my town. I ordered a Cryx box and a Menoth box and wanted to play Menoth. My friend immediately wanted Menoth and wouldn't play unless he had them (the bastard) and so I went with Cryx. I kicked a lot of @$$ with Cryx, and probably still would but financial pressures caused me to part with them. Later I obtained Magnus and fell in love with him because, really, he's Bruce Campbell from Army of Darkness. He is a hard warcaster to play though as he has trouble closing the deal when I'm playing him. In the original rules I did mucho mui grande pain to my foes with him and his war jacks but he just couldn't bring down the finishing blow.

Also we have...
What sound do these guys make?
...some Forest Goblin Spider Riders. These are from the BFSP box set and originally I was going to paint up all the box but parted with many of them. I saved these guys and the miners I had painted up. Technically I could field them as an allied unit with my Vampire Counts and I might as I have no cavalry for them yet. But I am also thinking about selling them. The picture isn't so good (the best its going to get though) but I feel they are a solid high quality battle field paint work. It is a solid unit for any army though, poison attacks and spears and all that jazz.

And finally me and my son Matthew played Death Angel by FFG yesterday. WOW that is a hard game to play. We made it to the last room but it destroyed us, which wasn't a surprise since we lost four of eight marines getting there. Great game though, easy to learn and nice flow to it. We played through the entire game in about 45 mins including time for him to learn the rules.

Well, hopefully I will finish the 20 skeletons, 20 saurus warriors, 5 cairn wraiths and 1 tomb banshee on my table tonight so I can show you all. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

HAPPY EASTER!

To all my fellow bloggers I wish a Happy Easter! This is an important holiday for me religiously and spiritually and I am glad to share it with all of you. :)

I have many blogs to catch up on, you've all been very busy but I won't be doing that until Monday. Also, I've got some interesting pictures and other comments to put on my own.

See you all soon :D

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Minecraft is Changing Our World

Mark my geeky words! Notch's invention is going to change our world dynamically. Many will look at this and either..

  • Not know what Minecraft is so not really understand what I'm saying or...
  • Think I'm a nut job (which may or may not be true) which is irrelevant to my point.
Basically this guy is building a computer inside a virtual space which has big implications if you sit down and think about it for a little bit. I'm no genius, okay, but I can do some competent home computer repair and have been known to swap out hardware. I'm not so skilled that I can build one from scratch and I can't program (well I did some in BASIC woo hoo!) but I understand what programming is and can recognize html even if I don't know what it is saying. There are two impacts Minecraft is going to have I believe, Penny Arcade sums up one nicely...
Pardon the French, all credits to those guys.
If you need more evidence of the impact this potential has reference Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw on the The Escapist. He tears everything a new butthole and even in tearing Minecraft a new butthole he saw the implications I'm... implying?

Anyway....

Beyond the fact that creativity is on like Donkey Kong if you allow yourself the time to explore what can be done in a virtual 3D environment that only partially takes physics into account you have to understand that the ability for more people to expand their creative nature in something that has been mostly limited to those with either money or ability can result in some very exciting results. What I'm saying is; if my 12 year old sons can RIGHT NOW spend hours working with a 3D environment, then the 6 year olds that are doing it right now will find it second nature as they move forward. My parents have trouble using their cell phone's many features and it is not a smart phone. My sons are actively working to build insanely impossible structures which, with sufficient time, will seem possible to them. If the architects of the future are playing Minecraft right now, then you can expect some really amazing structures in thirty years... maybe even skulls with lava flowing from their eyes. 

THE SECOND MORE IMPORTANT IMPACT IS THE ABILITY TO CREATE WORKING TECHNOLOGY WITHIN A VIRTUAL SPACE. We are fundamentally limited in our own world due to resources, physics, and basic ole' reality. Should we be able to create a greater space within a limited space to expand our abilities to accomplish things this can lead to some really wild possibilities. I understand that sentence was wildly vague but that is because we are looking at the beginning of a new stage in civilizational development and you can't tie that s*$t up in a nice tidy bow!

Right now they're building fairly simple machines but with time and others taking control it is only a matter of time before you see a combination of some equipment that exists today. Add a Kinect, some open source software, mix in something like Minecraft if not Minecraft itself, a little holographic technology and you've got a team of people manipulating virtual materials to produce virtual results with real world applications.

I'm not saying we are gonna build a machine to make food come out of nothing...
Like this...
...but really there is some technological wizardry being developed and it is only a matter of time before it really  changes things. 

I could go on and on but I'm going to show some self control and stop there. But, if you haven't played Minecraft yet for the love of mercy do so as soon as you can... and make a huge statue of a warrior holding up the head of medusa with water falling form her eyes over and over.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Game Night and Dwarfs VS Vampires

A couple Saturdays ago was club night and I got a chance to play Darrell and his new dwarfs. I also watched his dwarfs pound Ron's high elves (ouch) and we played some game from Wizkids that was about laying tiles with strings which was pretty good. I've only got a couple cell phone pictures from the night. After those is a nice big AAR for the battle.
This was the Wizkids game. I lost both games but it was still very cool.

Ron and Darrell pitting their armies against one another. They elected to play on an open field, which was a horrible mistake for Ron. Darrell had A LOT of guns.

The AAR between me and Darrell...

The Dwarfs: Darrell fielded a classic gun line dwarf army with a block of thunderers, a block of quarrelers, and 3 cannons. Accompanying them was a thane and a block of 25 warriors with great weapons.

The Vampire Counts: I fielded only my painted units and this made it pretty normal for me with one exception. There was a vampire lord as a level 3 wizard on nightmare, a vampire, a block of skeletons and ghouls, a block of dire wolves, my 3 spirit hosts and 2 varghulfs instead of only one.

The scenario we rolled was meeting engagement which was great for me as it drastically shortened the distance between us. When he chose his deployment side there was plenty of terrain to crouch behind but when we rolled for reserves I lost my ghouls, my wolves and one of my varghulfs to the reserves. I crouched all of the other units behind a ‘building’ on my left flank and completely denied him my right flank. As he had deployed first he was spread over his entire deployment zone. When rolling for first turn I fortunately rolled a 6 and got the firs turn as well.

The opening of the game I immediately called in my reserves and placed them on my far right. They were to be a sacrificial force and I hoped they would draw sufficient fire to allow my greater force to roll up his flank. I marched everything around the corner towards a cannon on a hill. A successful casting of VDM allowed my spirit hosts to base the cannon before close combat but the battle resulted in only 2 of the cannon crew being slain. He swung around a unit of thunderers to have line of site to my skeletons, vampire and varghulf coming up his flank and threw crossbow bolts and cannon balls at the right flank army which was a great distraction. The close combat saw me do away with his last cannon crew in his close combat phase.

The second turn I used more VDM to move my skeleton block with the vampire into close combat with his thunderers. The spirit hosts and varghulf began to make their way towards the next cannon and the thane. My magic so far had done little, and continued to do little either because I used up my dice with VDM or because my vampire lord was out of range. I was keeping him behind my line and the line was moving so quickly between march and VDM from the vampire on foot that he couldn’t keep up if I wanted spell casting even though it was only the second turn.  In close combat the thunderers took heavy casualties as did my skeletons and they fled from the undead which ran them down. In his second turn he did even more grievous casualties to my direwolves and varghulf but both were still in the game. He also blasted the ghouls with a cannon again but they were so far back and out of vampire range they could only slog forward. So long as he kept firing into them I was fine with that. He did blast both the varghulfs with cannon but they survived.

The third turn my skeleton block engaged his thane and my spirit hosts continued around his rear along with the varghulf. A successful casting of summon undead horde replenished the skeleton unit to its starting number. I also threw a magic missile spell at the warriors but they were not affected any. On the right my varghulf and a single wolf charged the quarrelers while the ghouls shambled forward stoically. Close combat saw the thane take a single wound and kill my vampire on foot in return though he fled and when I pursued it put the skeletons into close combat with another cannon crew but the thane ran far enough he didn’t get caught. The quarrelers killed the wolf but took enough damage from the varghulf which they failed to wound that they fled and the varghulf followed them off the table. Darrell decided to pass on his turn and call the game. It was late but he was also demoralized a bit.

Darrell is a good player but he is new to the game and I played the VC because they would be punished by the dwarfs if I messed up my tactics or took them on toe to toe. The game really wasn’t over. There was still a huge block of warriors with great weapons and the thane as well as another cannon. Both my varghulfs were badly wounded and the ghouls were very far away without a vampire to support them so I’m in no way confident I had him. Those warriors would have taken a lot to crack and a good cannon shot would have smashed either varghulf or my vampire lord, which when dead would cause my army to crumble.

It was over all a good match and it was an honor to fight Darrell and I look forward to bringing it on to him again soon!

Also, there should be anew page added to this blog as soon as I can figure it out. I'm going to try to collate the data from Martin Hackett's book into a more usable army book like format. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

IT'S JUST A FLESH WOUND!

I'm not dead but wow has my life been craaaaazy!

I had a dental surgery and now have a hole running from where a molar was into one of my sinus cavities. I can blow air through it! I shouldn't says the doctor so I do not do such and in time it will heal I am told. But, until then, IT IS FREAKING ME OUT!

I have been finishing up my friends WoC stuff for him and haven't done much painting myself. I am working on a batch of 20 peasant bowmen, the old plastic one pieces, and when they are done I am going to steal two of the four defensive stakes stands from my new peasant bowmen. I realized that missile troops now fire into two ranks (and long bows have volley even) so I only need 8 models wide in a sixteen model unit. This means my two units of peasant bowmen will be more compact and more effective at the same time. I might ditch 4 of the old bowmen unit (a mere 24 points) to enable another magic item in the army. It is pretty character heavy with two lords and three heroes and they don't have a lot of magic items and virtues between them. I got a box of grail knights in trade so this brings the army to a juicy 23 cavalry, 68 infantry and a guy on a flying horse.

I will get some pictures up of my warmachine soon, I'm touching up the bases and mean to photograph them by unit and put them up. So, hopefully before this day is out even!

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