Sunday, August 28, 2011

And Now For Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

I like historical war fare but my group will not get into it for the most part. I am slowly working on some ancients though and while I took the time to really study DBA I think instead I will use the HotT rules as they seem a little easier to build armies with. With that in minds I've finished some of my IV cen. Indians...

Using Coates & Shine models I built three stands of shooters, or long bow men. This is 6 AP of army and I have nothing for them to fight yet, LOL, as I have no other 25mm forces prepared so they are very much safe right now.

Not the best paint job, but, not the best mold job either!
 From the same box I built three war bands. I know they have spears but I just don't see them fighting in a formation that would be like spears, more likely it seems to me they would fight... well... like a war band lol.Another 6 AP, half way done.
I know, I got flock on that dude's shield. I did not see it until the preview of this post.

I have three Coastes & Shine elephants on my point board and when they are done that is another 12 AP and  a finished army. I will probably use one of the elephants as a general. This is a pretty basic army I know but I think it will be solid. Three behemoths to smash my enemy with support from flanking war bands a rains of missilery shouldn't be too hard to command effectively.

As for enemies I'm going to do up a Greek army...
I will enjoy adding some more to this force.
...you can see the first stand of blades I have done. The cyclops are from Eagle Games Age of Mythology. I based them as behemoths, if you're astute you'll be saying "Hey Diceman one of those bases are WROOOONG!" and you'd be right. The cyclopes on the left is based for 15mm, the right for 25mm. If you'll recall I have a 15mm goblin army and 15mm elf army and though he would be good in either of those as an optional behemoth.

All of these models are based on peel and stick floor tile, which I have been warned will warp and twist and do all kinds of nasty nasty things. But, I based my Bretonnian bowmen on them months ago and nothing has changed with them. Maybe its the brand, maybe its the weather, maybe I'm in for a lot of sad disappointment.

I am hoping to have my Bretonnian battle standard bearer, general and prophetess on foot done soon. Also, I had club night last night and this week I'll be putting that up on the OTHER blog about them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kill Team: Game Review

I don't often review things, and I don't often review video games although I do play a lot of them... okay I play COD: Black Ops Zombies a lot.

Anyway, last week I downloaded the game Kill Team (officially Warhammer 40,0000: Kill Team ) on a whim as I've recently been exploring 40k again. I was really surprised by how solid a game it is. I played through the first mission twice in  a row with two different characters and didn't get bored. There are only 5 mission which is the big flaw in the game I think. I know it's only an Xbox arcade game but I really could have used another 5 or even 10 missions.
The premise is pretty familiar to anyone who plays/reads 40k and the selection of characters is solid (librarian, assault vanguard veteran, techmarine, devastator vanguard veteran) and they have a good blend of ranged combat / melee combat. The upgrades are unlocked pretty smoothly, although I will be honest and say I'm not sure how.
The controls play easy; left stick moves, right stick shoot and four more buttons to melee, throw grenades, use a special ability unique to each character and do some sprinting. The co-op was solid as well, a friend came over and he and I spent an evening blasting our way through the game and had a good time doing it.

The game tracks stats such as how many kills you had and how many times you die, common stuff, but it also tracks how many BULLETS YOU SHOT which just sells it as a solid game in my book. So I guess i'm saying if you like mindless shooters, lots of carnage, science fiction and/or solid graphics you should give this game a go.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ultramarines vs. Orks (bat rep)

I have not played Warhammer 40,000 for years! I did miss it but my group fell out of it and my financial needs resulted in me selling my two armies. Well, as my posts have shown I've returned to the game and this weekend I got to play my first game in years, with my son Matthew no less! We player with the contents of the AOBR box only and I set up the table and he won the deployment rule then  had be deploy first. As you can see below I did a pretty standard spread expecting him to deploy opposite but instead he deployed entirely on the far side of the toxic river! The little bugger was going to force me to slog it across the table to him.
Deployment... sneaky bugger across the bridge
Turn 1: He won the roll for first turn and had me go first, I slogged my way across the battle field and rolled terrible for my Run run roll, nothing better than a 3.  I did not turbo my deff koptas as I didn't want to rush in on Matt, he had never played before so it seemed a good idea to give him some space to plan. I did not expect him to camp on his turn though, LOL, he pitched a tent and didn't move a single model. His fire was able to kill a handful of boyz, not something I needed with two or three more turns of movement in my future.
Turn 1... Orks are hoofing it as hard as they can
Turn 2: Again I ran and ran poorly, my boyz actually rolled a 1, sigh. My deff koptas did turbo this time placing them around his back and I planned to roll them in for some rokkit shooty fun next turn. He fired some more and did a wound to the koptas and killed some more boyz.
Turn 2... still hoofing it, getting tired
Turn 3: more running on the part of my boyz and nobz mobs. The warboss needed to get into close combat and I was going to run them right across the toxic river to accomplish this. My deff koptas wounded two terminators, which is pretty good since i'm only rolling three attacks but they made their saves so nothing came of that. In Matt's turn he blasted more boyz and shot two of three koptas out of the sky, they then promptly fled nine inches away from the scary terminators. So by the end of turn three I had lost 2 koptas and 16 boyz and he had taken not a single loss.
Turn 3... almost there!
Turns 4, 5 and 6: well, things change when the orks get into assault range. I had rolled terrible run dice and it took me forever to get to the space marine line but I did, and when I did the nobz with warboss successfully defeated and ran down the terminators. The boyz engaged the tactical squad and killed two to their lost one but the marines held their ground (go figure). One of the highlights occurred in turn 5 when my warboss assaulted the dreadnought, I had nothing else with a chance to hurt it. The combat went in his favor since Matt missed with his attacks and the warboss hit twice, then rolled a 6 on a penetrating hit and blew it up taking a wound in the process.
Last assault of turn 6
The finale came down to my warboss charging the remaining space marines and captain. I figured he would be dead but poor Matt rolled all misses, 11 dice and he missed with them all (3 for the captain, 8 for the tactical squad) and I couldn't believe it. My warboss directed all his attacks at the captain and hit with two of three, wounded with both and killed the captain. The game was over and I had won 3kp to 2kp.

It was a very enjoyable game and I forgot how solid 40k is as a war game. Since we played with only the AOBR box stuff and the reference sheet provided there were some things that didn't get included. Like Waaagh! and the Iron Halo for the captain, so on and so forth. I'm going to type up a more detailed reference sheet so that we can play with more rules next time.

The best part was getting to play a war game with my son though. They don't seem sold on the idea of war gaming and it would be nice to have that connection with them.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Because I Could Not Stop for Death...

...he rode up in a black coach and threw my argumentative butt in the back all the while screaming like only a wight on an errand can do.

All due respect to Emily Dickinson and her fine poetry of course.

The carriage held but ourselves / And immortality
I received this fine WFB model from my friend Greg on my birthday last year. I have been slow to finish its assembly and get it painted but it easily fell under my 'get them done' parameters for the moment and thus it was got done.

We passed fields of gazing grain / We passed the setting sun
I had some trouble with the curtains. When I was finished the first time I was unhappy with it some how but wasn't sure how. So I asked my finest reviewer, my wife, and she easily said "Those curtains are wrong, you need to put a black wash on them. This is a funeral coach, not a happy coach." The black washed worked wonderfully.
We passed before a house that seemed / A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible, The cornice but a mound
I also struggled with the vampire that lays in his coffin in the back... and by struggled I mean "didn't do the darn thing at all". When I primed up this puppy I completely forgot about the sleeping vampire and he is sitting in my big brown box. So, next time I do a round of priming I'll get him in.
Since then 'tis centuries, and yet / Feel shorter than a day
I don't know how it will perform on the table and frankly that is going to completely revolve around how many power dice I roll and how many of them I re-roll into a six. So, that's pressing some odds I think. I do promise you all though that the next time the Vampires take the field he will be in their muster.

As an aside, recently my sons made the middle-school soccer team as they go into 7th grade. I'm really excited, they've been playing in the youth soccer league for years and it's really cool to see them in a school jersey...
On the left is Christian (16) and on the right is Matthew (15)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PP: Sam MacHorn

Painted a few years ago Sam MacHorn and her crew have been fielded pretty regularly. I am woefully short on warjacks for mercenaries even though I have two heavies and five lights, the dwarf/human dichotomy prevents mutual use. Which is dumb I think, but what ever. Sam is nice because she is a jack marshal and I can field Gorton, take the Devil Dogs and attach my Talon to her and that is a little more warjack presence for my points. Plus they are just a solid unit really capable of tearing an enemy warjack to pieces if they let you get there.
Front on view
Griffon rider's view.
I think they are a nice set of models, especially the guy flinging the GIGANTIC steel chain net! That guy is screaming for a gladiator conversion. I will say I think I got a few to many of the dorky looking gunners, but there is only one variant and he is just wearing a night cap. The pick-axe looking thing horrifying though, I can't imagine what kind of wound it would do to a person.

I do have one gripe, Sam herself. Seriously, do Privateer Presses modelers only look at Playboy to design their ladies? No woman on the battlefield, for any reason at all, is going to strike a "come hither" pose like that. What, is she shooting a trick shot over her shoulder off a bird into the warjack's eye? Seriously, if you Google "come hither" you get Sam MacHorn's pose on a dozen models dating back to the 1950's... by this point modelers should really be trying to move beyond that.

Well, I guess I shouldn't gripe, at least she isnt' in a chain mail bikini eh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PP: Ogrun Bokur

I have been steadily working to move models off my hobby table and either into my display case or into a storage box. I think I said before I started with large and the Bokur definitely classifies as large, larger than some light warjacks and almost as large as heavies. I've never used a Bokur and now that I have one I probably will just to see how it works. I'm not sold on his abilities but I'm shaky on Privateer Presses current incarnation of Warmachine.
Comin' at ya!
He was primed white when I got him in trade so I brush primed him in black, then decided on a red armor scheme. The PP version has a lot of green and iron but I decided to make mine look a little different and went with red armor (obviously) to make him stand out. It just seemed logical to me a mercenary who's entire job involves TANKING (i.e. redirecting aggression towards himself over his employer) he should probably stand out some. Plus red is a color of war, probably make him a little more threatening I think.
Is he compensating with that spear?
I tried to paint him as quickly as possible. I really have so much on my board right now I just need to move things off. If you look at my Ultra marines tactical squad you'll see i'm going towards battlefield paint jobs. A painted model, no matter how poorly, can still kill the enemy :)
There goes the Hulk...
Also I re-based my Gorman di Wulfe (Rogue Alchemist by trade) and clear coated him. He is about 3 years old, maybe a little older. I was trying to rip through some mercenaries and my paint work was focused on one color with some details then dipping. I think he is more than serviceable in his role as mercenary solo annoyance. He typically dies very quickly as my opponents are threatened by him greatly, probably a lot more so than they should be. In a single game he successfully assisted in the destruction of a Khador heavy and since then he's had a great big target painted on his shirt. /shrug.
Look what I have in my pocket...
Soon I'll put up pictures of my Sam MacHorn crew, till then may your charges always roll box cars.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blood and Glory! (batrep)

Last week my friend Darrell brought over his WoC army and fielded them for the first time. I took some photos and thought it would be nice to put a batrep up. My batreps are never that detailed but they are liberally peppered with idiosyncrasies that I think makes them good reads.

We played a basic pitched battle of 2,500 points and I set up the battlefield. A mysterious river, two mysterious woods, a stone watch tower, a couple 'fences' in the form of stone walls and a ruin that was an idol of Gork (or possibly Mork) and we were set to go. We rolled off and I got to pick deployment and went with the opposite side of the river knowing his deployment would be "split" but not really. Rivers mostly do not impede movement but the mysterious nature made him nervous.

We began deployment and I will combine that with army build...

ON MY SIDE: I placed saurus warrior cohort of 40 with command dead center of my zone. To their left went a skink and kroxigor cohort that was 32 and 4 strong. To the far left flank went a troop of 5 terradon riders, their premier on the battlefield even! To the right of the saurus center was the stegadon (a true staple of my army) and to its right was a salamander hunting pack of 2 with 8 handlers. Far on my right flank stood ready a cohort of 10 cold one cavalry. Behind my line stood my slann (Quetxapopalotl) with a loyal skink priest. Quetxapopalotl carried the plaque of dominion and the cupped hands of the old ones while his priestly retainer carried the cube of darkness. The priest could only take the lore of heavens and he was a level one and took the signature spell, the slann took the lore of metal which seemed like a good idea against the WoC and his discipline allowed him all seven spells.

ON HIS SIDE: His center consisted of 10 chosen ready to rip some heads off. To their right stood a unit of 10 knights of chaos looking terrible, to their right was a hungry hellcannon and nearby was a nice regiment of marauders. To the chosen's left stood a chaos sorcerer on a chaos dragon (the general) and behind him a warshrine. Further right stood two regiments of 12 chaos warriors; one with pole arms and the other with dual hand weapons. Deployed opposite my cold one cavalry was a unit of 10 marauder horsemen.

Deployment...
I don't know about his tactics but mine had three aspects; flank the enemy with my terradons to drop rocks on the hellcannon, flank his line with my cold one cavalry, and hold my ground using what little missilery I had to reduce his numbers. I was unsure how much damage the terradons could really do and I know a hellcannon is a tough nut to crack but I was hopeful that it would break loose if I killed the crew and go crazy on his side. I knew the cold one cavalry could really do some hurt but I just needed to be patient and not let them go nuts, I had given them the skavenpelt banner so they would have frenzy but that meant keeping them out of charge range. Over all I was really counting on my magic, giant bow and salamanders to do some hurt.

Turn 1: I won initiative and did very little, I "marched" my terradons on a wide flanking route and I moved the salamanders forward hoping for a successful fire spout. Magic turned out to be out of range but I dropped a couple augment spells on my units. I did not think they would do any good that turn but better safe when you roll eleven power dice. The salamanders proved to be out of range but the giant bow slung a good shot and hit the dragon successfully inflicting 2 wound on it... I was OVERJOYED at the least.

His turn he moved everything forward everything except the horsemen and the cannon. His magic was not too threatening with my dispels being successful and his cannon did a few casualties to the saurus. I was not too worried as I knew that just 20 saurus could stick it in there for a long time and 40 would be brutal to break. He rolled for the eye of chaos for his chosen but they just got a Ld boost, nice but not threatening to me. I didn't expect to break anything anyway /shrug. He did have to roll on the mysterious river and it turned out to be something that would be dangerous terrain if he did anything BUT a normal move; being the smart guy he is he did only a normal move going into it so had no concerns; it also granted units in it the poison rule.
Turn 1 end...

Turn 2: I shifted a little, moving the saurus up to seem more threatening and the cold one cavalry began their maneuvering toward the flank. If he was going to charge anything with the chaos dragon I wanted it to be the saurus warriors who had the best chance to hold their ground. The salamanders shifted foward again, I needed that fire to do some hurt. My magic phase was okay, I blasted the chosen but did only 1 wound and hexed the knights. I knew there was hurt coming and I dropped an augment on the salamanders that would give their ranged attacks magic and armor piercing. They did successfully hit the closest warriors unit with flame and did a few kills. My giant bow hit the dragon dead center again BUT did not wound him.

On his turn he reformed his marauders to face the terradons and blew a charge with the knights. His horsemen successful charged my cold one cavalry in the flank but the rest of his units just moved forward still out of range. During their charge the marauders discovered the wood was a blood wood, but that amounted to nothing the entire game. His cannon did more hits, but this time on the skink/kroxigor cohort and his sorcerer threw more magic but I dispelled most except an irrepressible spell did a couple kills on the saurus... which was better than them getting sucked into the realm of chaos. There was one close combat and the horsemen surprisingly drove off the cold one cavalry! They failed their leadership roll of 8 on a 6/6/5 and fled towards the edge of the table; he was crushed when his pursuit roll was only a 3 though!
Turn 2 end....
Turn 3: I promptly started my turn by failing the rally roll for my cold one cavalry on a 6/6/4... this was looking bad for a four-hundred some point unit. The saurus called a charge on the sorcerer and dragon which they did successfully and the skinks counter charged the knights since they failed their chance and smashed into them. My terradons flew over the cannon raining down stones. It is worth nothing here his dragon was far enough ahead that the saurus impacted only them... the large unit of chosen was not close enough to be engaged... thank goodness. Magic went very well and I blasted his chosen killed all but one (very very happy with that) and did nothing else as I had few power dice (only 3) and failed with my last spell. Of note here is that my two dice (three with discipline) was cast with irresistible force resulted in a nasty miscast that I used the cupped hands of the old ones to put on his sorcerer instead. The blast killed a couple of my saurus but his sorcerer and dragon both took a wound, well worth it. My missilery did little as the salamanders over shot then ate some skinks and the giant bow did two kills on the warriors of chaos. My falling stones, of which there were 14 of a possible 15, inflicted two wounds on the cannon and killed two of three crew. Close combat was sweet even though is dragon and sorcerer tore up several saurus they successfully killed the wizard and stood their ground, the dragon did not run off though and I had a fight on my hands. The skink and krox cohort took a terrible beating from the knights, but they gave even better back and drove away the knights; KROXIGOR + GREAT WEAPON = KNIGHT KILLER... and couching them in 32 meat shields surely does not hurt.

In his turn Darrell smashed his line into mine where ever he could. A warshrine, a single chosen and a block of warriors of chaos into the saurus; the salamanders welcomed their own close combat with the other block of warriors. His horsemen tried to charge the fleeing cold one cavalry but they failed their charge and even though the cavalry fled they did not flee off the table, it was very close though. His cannon tried to nail my slann but he scattered into no mans land. Close combat was a TERRIBLE MESS and he beat the ever loving crap out of my saurus. Below you can see the before and after shots and see how few are left but they held their ground. His warriors did well against the salamander hunting pack and killed most of the skinks and wounded the salamanders.
Turn 3 center during the close combat...
Turn 3 my right...
Turn 3 my left...
Turn 4: Well at this point it was all in if in at all... The cold one cavalry rallied and turned around to face the oncoming charge. The skink/krox unit charged the marauders rather than be charged and the terradons and stegadon did a pincer on the warriors on the end of the saurus. Magic was weak with some augments and failed spells on few power dice, oh well last turn and all. No missilery at all. Close combat was a psychotic mess, but when the dust cleared his dragon was dead, his war shrine had stood ground and the warriors on the end were no more. He had a miserable go of dice and didn't do the hurt he needed to. My salamanders went down in blood and the marauders killed all but two skinks... four kroxigor were still standing though which was bad for them and they took some fair loss but did not run.

On his turn, game turn by the way, we discussed together options he had. Darrell is new to the game and I didn't want him to miss out on those last turn plans we all do. We did some quick math and realized to pull off a draw he needed to make something run. He tried nailing the terradons first with the canon but we realized it couldn't kill enough so we tried the saurus... again not so much. It really came down to the horsemen and cold one cavalry, but now that they were on their game he couldn't do enough and they struck back hard. The game ended in a victory for me but it was a solidly fought game. He made some common mistakes we all do early on and he won't make them again. I know, I AM SURE, I got lucky this time. My cold ones should have run off the table and my slann was spared attention for the most part.... he won't make those mistakes again.
Turn 4 close combat birds eye...
Turn 4...

I just finished a scad of models that i'll post in the next couple of days... and its late so I'll probably modify this post tomorrow, but I had to get this out before I forgot it all...

NOTE: on the Ultramarines page is an update; tactical squad has been finished and posted.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trollbloods and RAFM

I'm trying to plough through some models on my paint board. It's crazy how messy my area is and I need to get it taken care of. I'm going to box some stuff up and I'm going to get stuff painted and off the table into the case. When I looked around on what to dig into I decided it was logical to start with things already primed or large that wouldn't go into a box easy, which is why the Dreadnought got done. I'm almost finished with the tactical squad (coming soon) but I DID get finished with these guys...
Not Smurfs, much tougher than they!
...a full unit of Kriel Stone Bearer and Stone Scribes for my slowly growing Trollbloods. This unit came in with a packaged trade and they were already assembled, and they are larger models, so I primed and and slopped them up! I'm honestly not sure how good they will be in combat. The stone can be charged with fury just like a battery, but limited to the number of figures in the unit. That fury can be pulled back out to be used by the warlock... soooo.... I guess that will come in handy. I do think it is possible that it will let my warlock leech off more fury from the warbeasts and let me be more aggressive with them. We shall see.

Here are some other pictures...
Front view of the stone bearer.

Helicopter view...wuppawuppawuppa...

Head on view of the unit.
I will say that a unit of six models maximum it wouldn't have hurt to add at least one more pose. These will be accompanied by the Trollbloods box, which I did not paint, but is still painted quite nicely.
Not my paint work.
I got them in a trade as well and they came painted. I did paint brown on the bases and I need to add something to the basing to make it closer to what I have. I think they are quite nice and I really like how the two Trollblood Impalers are painted two shades of blue. 

Finally, I was down in Portsmouth, Ohio some weeks ago and I stopped by an old gaming store haunt; Castle Comics. I have been there in years but when I was a teenager it was my go-to place for game materials. Which actually had some pretty thin pickings looking back, to me then though it was a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. ANYWAY, when I was back by I was surprised to see it had not changed much except to degrade, which was sad. Much of the game material were the exact some ones, with very little new. I was looking through several blisters of miniatures when I came by this...
Old School at its finest.
Specters of Darkness by RAFM Fantasy, so old that he plastic blister is yellowing and cracking. I love finding old miniatures like this and these are just wonderful. I don't know if i'll ever open the blister or paint them. I like having things in the package for some reason. I got them for the price listed, five bucks was a great deal and I'd bet that is the same picture from oooooo 1989.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why Can't I Use a Short Bow?

So I started warhammer with the wonderful 5th edition box set (feel free to skip to the "I WANT TO KNOW WHY?") with it's wonderful packaging of scads of plastic saurus, skinks, archers, and knights... just such a good box. Since then they have only gotten better imho. Those skinks were all armed with short bows, a wonderful little 16" ranged weapon of death. In the hands of the capable skirmishing skinks who dipped the stone arrow heads (or maybe tooth arrow heads) in poison these were great troops. Low on toughness sure, and no armor to speak of (although then I think they had 6+ scaly skin) they were still a solid missilery support unit. Then 6th edition came out and we lost our short bows.

I WANT TO KNOW WHY?

Source
Short bows are not so over powered that they need to be removed, in fact they are not over powered at all. I'm not saying that GW should undo the addition of blowpipes, I think this is a great addition but it seems completely illogical to have produced so many models with short bows and not at least write it as a single line option in the skink skirmisher entry for the 7th edition book. I'm hoping they fix this with the 8th edition army book, just a single line is all it takes, watch:

  • Exchange blowpipe for short bows.......... 1 pt per model.
Easy enough. As you can imagine I've done this as a house rule. To me, 1 point is sufficient as the blowpipe/short bow dichotomy is pretty level. One may have a longer range but the other gets more shots and doesn't suffer from range modifiers. I do like the short bow better because a 16 inches of range can really make a difference over 12 inches. Plus, my skinks HAVE SHORT BOWS! I remember the 6th edition book did have a list int he back for Southlands army lists that allowed skinks with short bows and skinks on cold ones. 

Well, rant over, I just was compiling an army list and become characteristically irritated by the lack of this unit option, thought I'd share ;)

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