Thursday, 24 January 2013

First Skaven Test Models completed

I picked up a Skaven army last year with the intent of using it as my tourney army if my Orcs and Goblins couldn't pass the muster. I guess I figured that if worst came to worst I would just six-dice the dreaded 13th and push a Hellpit at any problems. With my Gobbos mostly finished I'll now have time to paint up my Skaven. The following is my first attempts at a Stormvermin, Plague Monk and Clanrat respectively. I've gone for a real basic colour scheme that will then get dipped to save time. The Clanrat took me a mere 8 minutes (excluding dipping). Let me know what you think.








Wednesday, 23 January 2013

2400 Points of Gobbos Completed!

Well the day before the Arch Enemy tournament I managed to finish painting and basing my 2400 point OnG Army. This has taken me over a year but is finally done-ish. There are still many more units to enhance, add and convert before my OnG collection is complete. I've attached some photos for your viewing pleasure.
Goblin Wolf Riders - These guys never make it to turn 6

1 of 3 Goblin Wolf Chariots

Rock Lobba and Crew

The Core of the army, 2 40 man units and a 20 man unit of archers.

Squigs Go Wild!

This troll ate something fishy for dinner

One of my two Mangler Squigs, this one is named after my Girlfriends mother.

Snotling Pump Wagon, I had high hopes for these guys in the tournament but they did nothing but break my heart.

Precision Guided Goblins!

BSB

NG Great Shaman

My General!

Bonsai!

As I said there's a lot more to be done including a unit of Savage Orcs, more Squig herders and hoppers as well as some Giant Squigs!

New SCGT Comp out

Hello All, the new SCGT comp pack has just been released in the UK to much heated discussion and it will be interesting to see if this has any impact on the NZ scene. Traditionally most NZ tournaments are currently using the 2012 SCGT hard cap system and this seems to be working well. The main complaint would seem to be that it doesn't do enough to comp the real hard armies and that this is shown by them consistently winning tournaments. The issue here though is that NZ is a small country and a few good players is more than enough to distort statistics.

The new SCGT system goes further towards comping the power armies i.e. Daemons, Skaven, Lizards and Ogres using a pool system. Each army has a pool of powerful items and can only take a certain amount of them. This means you can take double HPA for example, but you're not going to also be able to take all those gutter runners and other toys. Notably some armies do not have any pools and can take anything they please (Beastmen, Wood Elves, OnG.)

I'll be interested to see how the NZ gaming community reacts to this new comp system and if there is a move towards it.

You can find the comp here: http://heelanassociates.co.uk/downloads/SCGT2013HouseRules.pdf


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Arch Enemy 2013 Tournament Report

Hello All, It's been awhile since I've updated the blog as the holidays, uni and manically painting for the Arch Enemy tournament have consumed most of my time. My first update then for 2013 is a tournament report from the recently run Arch Enemy tournament in Auckland New Zealand. This was a small tournament of 16 players played at 2400 points using SCGT comp. While the field was relatively small it was of a high quality with a couple NZ ETC players in attendance and no easy games. This was my first Warhammer Fantasy tournament so I was looking for a top half finish and hoping to just learn the ropes of tournament play before I start attending larger events next month. I took up my OnG list with double level 4's as follows:

Savage Orc Great Shaman - L4, Earthing Rod
NG Great Shaman - L4, Dispel Scroll

NG Big Boss - BSB, Standard of Discipline

40 NG - Spears/Shields, Netters, Muso, Standard
40 NG - Spears/Shields, Netters, Muso, Standard
20 NG- Shortbows, Muso
5 Wolf Riders - Shortbows, Spears
4 Fanatics

Goblin Wolf Chariot
Goblin Wolf Chariot
Goblin Wolf Chariot
8 Common Trolls
Squig Herd- 24 Squigs, 11 Handlers
Squig Herd - 24 Squigs, 11 Handlers

Doom Diver
Doom Diver
Mangler Squig
Mangler Squig
Rock Lobba
Snotling Pump Wagon

Game 1 Battleline vs Henry Poor's Empire

My first game was against a good guy named Henry playing a pretty well rounded Empire list:


Empire 2399 pts Player/General: HENRY POOR
Lords
ARCH LECTOR, War Altar
BATTLE WIZARD LORD, Lore of LIGHT
Heroes
CAPTAIN OF THE EMPIRE, BSB
BATTLE WIZARD, Lore of LIGHT
Core
10x ARCHERS, 5x ARCHERS Detachment, 5x ARCHERS Detachment
20x CROSSBOWMEN, Musician
40x HALBERDIERS, Full Command
Special
33x GREATSWORDS, Full Command
1x GREATCANNON
5x DEMIGRYPH KNIGHTS, Musican
Rare
STEAMTANK

I used my huge amount of drops to force him to deploy his army relatively equally his board edge and then castled in my left hand corner facing his Steam Tank, Arch Lector and Demigryphs and effectively leaving his Greatswords and Halberdiers out of the game. The game consisted of us trading artillery fire with very little effect as his Cannon blew up in the 2nd turn and he was consistently able to get Protection of Pha off making it nearly impossible to get any effective fire off. Apart from this his magic phase was relatively uneventful and mine was marred by my Bunker suffering from animosity either 3 or 4 turns out of 5, essentially shutting down my magic phase. I baited his Demigryphs into charging my trolls and forced them to run over two fanatics but only killed 2 bringing them down to 2. The trolls were stubborn but had to test on their own leadership due to the constantly squabbling General and fled. The game ended on turn 5 with a giant combat with my remaining blocks against his Demigryphs (1 remaining with 1 wound), Arch Lector (1 wound left) and Steam Tank and him losing combat by 2 but managing to pass his leadership tests. I had also managed to hit his mage bunker with a chariot and win the combat but he again passed his ld test. In the end he had picked up points for a squig herd, the trolls and a bunch of chaff, while I hadn't managed much of anything.

Result: 21-11 Loss

Thoughts: This was my worst result of the tourney and for a few reasons. I tried to play too aggressively against a list that was going to have to come to me, I was crippled by animosity and I threw away points too easily in vain attempts to do something. The best example was deploying a squig herd on their own, while they are immune to psych, they are relatively slow and all it takes is one lost combat. The other main point is that the game timed out as I was winning combats and incredibly close to getting big points. I needed to play faster in future games so that I could take advantage of my army's resilience.

Game 2 (Blood and Glory) vs Brian Smith's Dark Elves.

Brian had come up from Hamilton with a nasty Dark Elf list but one which was more suited to different match-ups than against me.

Dark Elves 2400 pts Player/General: Brian Smith
Lords
Supreme Sorceress, Lore of Shadow
Heroes
Death Hag, BSB, Cauldron of Blood
Sorceress, Lore of Fire
Core
5x Dark Riders, Musician
5x Dark Riders, Musician
34x Corsairs,Full Command
5x Harpies
20x Warriors, Full Command
Special
38x Witch Elves,Full Command
19x Black Guard, Standard Bearer, Musician
19x Black Guard, Standard Bearer, Musician

Brendon deployed heavily on his left side with the Dark Riders on his Right Flank. I deployed pretty centrally with my Manglers facing him but out of arc of the Corsairs to slow his advance towards me. I began the game by swinging my army around to envelop him. My Doom Divers took one unit of Dark Riders off the board and the Rock Lobba started smashing into the Witch Elves. The next few turns saw me eliminate Brian's chaff with artillery and magic as well as grab both units of Black Guard using fanatic traps and chariot/squig herd charges. He struggled to get where he needed to be as he was unable to shoot down the Manglers and was unwilling to pop them with any of his combat blocks. I managed to bait his Witches into charging my Wolf Riders and double flank charged them with a unit of squigs and NGs after they overran, wiping them out. The last turn of the game saw my Trolls make it into the last 15-20 Corsairs as well as a rear charge from a chariot which decimated them and I caught them as the fleed.

Result: 24-8 Win

Thoughts: This was a great match-up for me and I felt I made the most of it. He had bunkered a unit of warriors with his general so I was never going to break him but I managed to get virtually everything else in his army. Also I had played without Hand or Foot of Gork and managed something.

Game 3 (Dawn Attack (Modified)) vs Phil Wu's High Elves

Phil is a stalwart of the Auckland gaming community and it was great to meet him and have a game against him. He plays a well rounded HE MMU army.

High Elves 2397pts Player/General: Phil Wu

Lords

Archmage, High Magic

Prince


Heroes

Noble, BSB, Barded Elf Steed


Core

27 Spearmen, Muso, Std


27 Spearmen, Muso, Std


10 Archers, Muso


Special


15 Whitelions, Full command


5 Dragon Princes, Muso


Tiranoc Chariot


Tiranoc Chariot



5 Reavers


Rare


RBT 100


RBT 100


Eagle 50


Eagle 50


The scenario was a standard Dawn Attack except that each player had an objective marker that was randomly placed along their 12" line after deployment and unknown to me, units that couldn't fit in their deployment died instead of coming in on reserve  (this was a TO ruling). My deployment was an absolute disaster. as nearly all of my chaff, a block of NG and a block of Squigs were forced to deploy in my left corner which was made even smaller by a piece of impassable terrain. This resulted in my squigs dying automatically. To make matters worse my bunker came down on the opposite side of the board. The game started terribly with Phil getting first turn and hitting the lone NG block with everything he had, causing a panic test which they failed and fleeing them off the board taking some of the chaff with them. I was 600+ points down before I got to touch a die. The rest of the game saw me attempting to claw back points where-ever I could as Phil picked apart my army as my units couldn't support eachother. Ultimately I was able to pick up the White Lions with Foot of Gork, dealt with all of his chaff for the loss of most of mine and baited his Dragon Princes and a unit of Spearmen into a combat with the Trolls which I managed to win and kill them all. The price for this though was that My Orc Great Shaman had to leave his unit to pass his leadership onto the Trolls, he still had a LoS but failed it and got killed by a Reaver Bow in the last turn. This gave Phil the extra couple hundred points he needed to take the game from a draw to a very minor win as we had eachother's objectives.

Result: 18-14 Loss

Thoughts: I tried to put on a brave face about this scenario and the ruling that my unit had died in my opponent's favour but to be honest I was pretty upset. That being said it's no one's fault and Phil was a great opponent. I played my heart out to get the result I did and nearly came away with a draw/minor victory. I had no choice but to solo the Orc as I needed to pass a ld test to get the trolls through that combat. I picked up hundreds of points with this move and risking my Orc on a single Look out Sir was an acceptable risk that I'd take again. I also wasn't happy with the scenario and the added random location of objectives. There were some total massacres in this round and it was largely due to people getting screwed by their deployment rolls. It's all well and good to say that a good player manages it but I don't think that's entirely true and I think the scenario hurts some armies far more than others (Quick high ld. armies couldn't care less). Lessons learned though and I felt I had done well to get what I had.

Game 4 (Battle Line (Modified)) vs James Brown's Beastmen

Jame's Brown had brought a beautiful Beastmen army to the tourney and I was quietly confident about this match-up.

Beastmen 2399 pts Player/General: James Brown
Lords
Flying Doombull
Beastlord
Heroes
Wargor, BsB
Bray Shaman, Lore of Beasts
Bray Shaman, Lore of Beasts
Bray Shaman, Lore of Beasts

Core
45x Gor Herd, Full Command
Tuskgor Chariot
Tuskgor Chariot
Tuskgor Chariot
10x Ungor Raiders, Musician

Special
5x Harpies
5x Harpies
7x Minotaurs, Musician, Standard

The scenario was a modified Battle-line where each army had an order of march for deployment (decided prior to the tourney) and each unit came on in that order from left to right as if it were re-entering the table. The catch is that if one side had more units than the others then each time the side with more put down a unit, the opposing side would move his units again in order from left to right. The net result was that Jame's had virtually an entire free movement phase (no marching thank god) against me. To add insult to injury all units counted as moving for the first turn so my war-machines would be unable to fire. The game saw me claim the Harpies with my war-machines to keep my fanatic screens intact and playing cat and mouse with his chariots to keep them away. His Doombull went hell for leather at my lines but chose a longish charge against a war-machine which he failed so ended up in combat with a unit of NG and the Trolls. I used my Mangler to stall his Gors so I could deal with James piecemeal. I threw every trick in the book to kill the Doombull who survived Rock Lobba hits, 2 Fanatics, a Mangler and 5 rounds of combat. The Minos charged the trolls to help him out but were already depleted and were destroyed. He used a shaman to suicide a Mangler and got the Gors in behind the Doombull ready to hit me with a second wave. I managed though to cast an IF Curse of da Bad Moon and killed 28 Gors, I also charged them with a Squig Herd but lost the combat to a musician and exploded. The game ended with his 3 Gors + BSB+General in combat with a block of NG, the beasts lost combat but passed their re-rolled ld.7 and I managed to finally down the Doombull. This was the end of Round 4 and the game ended.

Result: 18-14 Win

Thoughts: I need to play quicker. Timing out in Turn 4 cost me a huge amount of Victory points as I was all but certain to kill his Gor unit and characters in the next 2 turns and he no longer had anything that could take points off me. Part of the slowness was my inexperience and the large army but the non-standard scenario took longer to set up and understand. Again I was also unhappy with the scenario. I gave away a free movement phase to my opponent and tbh if I had been playing one of the Ogre Armies I would have given away 2 movement phases and seen him in combat in the 1st turn if he had won the roll for first turn, essentially seeing me tabled before I could roll a die. No 1st turn war machine shooting was also pretty harsh and again something that would not have affected Ironblasters.

Game 5 (Meeting Engagement) vs James Cardno's Wood Elves





Wood Elves 2400 pts Player/General: James Cardno
Lords
Highborn
Spellweaver, Lore of Life
Heroes
Noble, BSB
Noble, Great Eagle
Core
15x Glade Guard, Standard, Musician
15x Glade Guard, Standard, Musician
15x Glade Guard, Standard, Musician
10x Glade Guard, Musician
8x Dryads
8x Dryads

Rare
Treeman
Treeman

I got to deploy first and deployed Balls to the Wall to rush James with everything I had. I knew if I coiuld trap him in his corner I would carry the day. The game was an all out rush and James' army really couldn't handle having so many units thrown at it. I hand of Gorked Squigs right into his lines and threw everything at his Bunker as often as I could. Eventually this paid off as Foot of Gork and Rock Lobbas combined to completely destroy his Bunker. There was plenty of luck on both sides though including both of my doom divers blowing up due to misfires in the first turn, my bunker squabbling 3 out of 6 turns, Treemen who wouldn't die, and a Noble on an eagle who survived 19 Fanatic hits only to be cut down by goblins. In the end James' only had a Treeman and a unit of Dryads left on the table.

Result: 28-4 Win

Thoughts: This game went well and was a good match-up for myself as he could never escape in Meeting Engagement. I was frustrated though by my army constantly screwing itself. The game was closer than the final result for most of the game as every time I had my foot on his throat, a random roll would force me to take it off and go into crisis management mode.

Game 6 (Battleline with Objective) vs Thomas Van Roekel's Ogres

Thomas is a 2 time NZ ETC player and was in 2nd place at this point. I felt I was close to a podium finish but needed to ensure that if I lost here it was not by much.

Ogre Kingdoms 2400pts Player/General: Thomas van Roekel
Lords
Slaughtermaster, Lore of the Great Maw
Heroes
Bruiser, BSB
Fire Belly, Lore of Fire

Core
9x Ironguts, Full Command
6x Ogres, Bellower, Standard Bearer
Special
4x Mournfang Cavalry, Bellower
2x Mournfan Cavalry, Bellower
3x Man Eaters, Scout, Immune to Psychology
Sabretusk Pack
Sabretusk Pack
Sabretusk Pack
Rare
Ironblaster
Ironblaster

One of the key events of this game was I failed to roll either Foot or Hand of Gork, turning my General into 230 points of dead weight when I really needed those for this match-up. The first few turns saw Thomas destroy all my war machines effortlessly, panic chaff of the board but fail to advance due to his inability to get rid of the Mangler Squigs and the requirement to keep a unit in his deployment zone to hold his objective. With no foot of Gork and no war-machines there was very little I could do. I eventually gave up one Mangler to kill and Ironblaster and he was unable to safely advance towards me until Turn 5 when he killed the other Mangler. In the meantime his 2-man mournfang unit had fled off the board. His turn 6 saw his Gutstar charge a Squig Herd, take some losses but win and were held by the steadfast squigs using my General's leadership. The next turn the other Squig Herd charged the Gutstar and I won the combat. He failed his first ld test but made the re-roll and the game ended.

Result: 20-12 Loss

Thoughts: My army did everything it could to destroy itself this game and I felt I did well to get what I did. I wanted to take the fight to him in Turn 5 as I rated my Squigs but animosity prevented my general from moving. I had opportunities for a few more points here and there (his Firebelly escaping a dimensional cascade) and my heart skipped a beat when he failed that first leadership test but he had a solid list with no free points and I bled througout. Great to play a top player.

End Result: 3rd Place!

I did just enough to take out third thanks to a few good wins and no major losses. I'm pretty happy with this and had a great time.

Thoughts

  • I wasn't impressed with the modified scenarios as they felt harsh on some armies and not on others. I felt that I was disadvantaged by these scenarios and that without drastically changing my army concept I couldn't really mitigate it. That being said the TO was awesome and a big thanks to him.
  • Playing to lose and conserving points is a very important skill. In my last game I took a certain loss and mitigated it as much as possible. I felt that if I had played to the same level in the first game I would have picked up more points.
  • I need to play faster! Timing out cost me more points than anything else in the tournament.
  • Tournaments are exhausting, I was shattered at the end of each day
  • I need to reduce the randomness of my army, Animosity was crippling and a Black Orc BSB is a must. I thought I could get away with it but I was wrong.
  • Two Level 4's is too much I'll be taking a L2 and a L1 instead.
  • The naked Pump Wagon is going to be retired, it achieved nothing but being an extra drop which I didn't need.
Thanks for reading and any thoughts/input is most welcome.