Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Painting - Evil Greeblies

I have been having a lot of fun kitbashing a handful of evil minions, cultists and general greeblie fellows.  After seeing some fantastic cultists here I was inspired to make my own.  With all the role playing and wargames I play and host they certainly won't gather dust on the shelf.

So I bought a box of Plague Monks from STP and when they arrived rummaged through the left over bits from Cody's Plaguebearers.  Here are the first two completed(minus basing) results.

I was really impressed by all the parchments and tattered robes of the Skaven plague monks.  The first chap has a plaguebearer head, severed heads attached to the plague monk staff and then one of the multiple gleeful Nurglings sitting on the staves top.  The second has the removed tail reattached to the cut off face of a plaguemonk.  I left the bottom jaw in place and I think it works well.  I cut down the clawed feet slightly to give the impression of rag swaddled feet instead.

I have a parchment toting cultist almost finished and Joel, a regular gaming buddy from thebrushofdoom, has said I can have access to his many many Empire bits and pieces to craft more miscreants.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

40k - Carthis Prime - Invasion

Last weekend I hosted a 40k get together with the local lads and some of the regular visitors.

It was a narrative team event where all victory points were added to a players team total.  This is the brief I sent out to the participating players.

Carthis Prime is a forgotten world on the fringe of the Ultima Segementum.  Carthis was once a populous world until disaster fell upon it's people. Overnight the cities of the world were torn apart, it's people vanished and the air itself was ruined with a toxic concoction causing it to be uninhabitable for centuries. 

Explorator teams from the Adeptus Mechanicus studied the world trying to divine what had caused this blight but if it was an attack or global disaster was never determined.  So Carthis was left abandoned for a very long time.  Eventually the Mechanicus installed massive atmosphere regulators on the surface.  Towering pieces of machinery which processed the trace toxins and finally brought Carthis back from its blighted torpor.

The Imperium has since deployed defence forces from the 'Hub' and installed minor fortifications on the surface and a Starport was built in orbit to sustain ships and troops moving through the region.

Now something on Carthis has attracted the attention of outside forces, be they xenos or human is unknown...

As we wanted to mix it up from the usual 1750 point games we play, each round was using different points and scenarios.

Some of the players were only available for certain rounds so I was to act as GM and fill in player where required.

So the Invading forces were
Ryan L - Tau
Aaron - Tau
Dan - Chaos Marines
Stu - Necrons
We figured the Chaos forces posing as Imperials would provoke the Tau into launching an attack on Carthis Prime.  Stu was available for the larger later game, so the Necrons reasons could be left up to the players.

The Defenders were
Ryan S - Space Marines
Alex - Space Marines
Cody - Grey Knights
All Imperial so a pretty straight forward alliance

Each player picks a force worth 200 points using the following FOC
0-1 Elite
0-2 Troops
0-1 Fast Attack
No unique units
Each player is allowed to pick 3 different models as being specialists.  Each player picks these models before the battle and assigns them a USR in the 40k rulebook.  For example Tank Hunter, Feel No Pain, Fearless, It Will Not Die etc  You may not duplicate special rules.

The 2 Tau forces commanded by Ryan and Aaron had very convincing wins against Alex's Marines and Dan's Chaos marines posing as Imperials.  That put the attacking forces well in the lead on campaign points.

Its on page 350 of the hardcover rulebook if people have it, otherwise
Standard FOC 1000 points
Cody and Ryan S had then arrived for the Starfort Assault.  Both joined Alex on the defending team while Dan revealed his true allegiance and sided with the Tau.
All 3 starforts had areas of open space where only flyers or skimmers could move.  All to wound rolls of 6 were AP2 to represent explosive decompression.  All forts had a laser battery which a controlling unit could shoot instead of their own weapons, hitting either the planet or enemy fleet to score additional VP.

I allowed the teams to have a good look at the Starfort tables before hand and they independently decided who would play on which table.  I thought this was more interesting  than random table assignment as they could attempt to put their forces on suitable terrain and predict who they may end up playing.

Ryan L played Cody.  Ryan has kindly sent me a full report of his games including a couple quick snaps of the action.  I will share these soon.
Alex played Dan's CSM.  Dan's Helldrake was invaluable as it swept across the starport, purging the strongpoints and bastions of the defending marines.  Dan also took control of objective areas early and managed to hold onto them for a convincing win.  Alex had the laser battery and managed to score a hit on the enemy fleet.

Aaron played Ryan S.
Aaron deployed a lot of crisis suits and Broadsides in a central tower.  He did alright early on but the defending marines soon took control of the outlying asteroid objectives.  Ryan's bike star got stuck into the crisis suits and in the end the marines had a big win.

Ryan L had to head home after that and Stu soon arrived for the big Planetstrike game.  

PLANETSTRIKE - 1750 points per player
uses the basic planetstrike rules on page 8 in the PLANETSTRIKE book
Attackers FOC
Compulsory 1HQ... that is all
Optional - 2 HQ, 6 Troops, 6 Elites, 6 Fast Attack, 3 Heavy Support
Defenders FOC
Compulsory 1 HQ, 2 Troops
Optional - 2 HQ, 6 Troops, 3 Elites, 3 Fast Attack, 6 Heavy Support

They played over a 12'x 4' table with 5 bastions and fortifications set centrally by the defenders.  So each side had 5250 points in total.

The Defenders opted to leave a lot of stuff in reserve and crammed as much as they could under a central Skyshield and in the bastions.  After the fairly ineffectual firestorm the attackers came on in mass.  They took advantage of the central deployment and were able to concentrate fire on the entrenched defenders.  The defenders had bad luck and 3 of the 4 Land Raiders carrying some elite forces came on the most isolated board edge.  This allowed the attackers to easily take control of the fortress then hinder any reinforcements.  By turn 3/4 I think the attackers had destroyed every defending unit so a massive win to the Invasion force.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and look forward to continuing Carthis' plight.  I didn't end up playing at all, but that proved handy as I was able to remind and clarify the odd scenario rules during the rounds for the players.  It also kept the massive Planetstrike game running along in some sense of order.

So Carthis Prime has been lost to Xenos invaders, how will the Imperium react?  Did the late revelation of a Necron presence have something to do with its initial downfall?  Will the invaders maintain their uneasy alliance?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Painting - Finished Dark Angel Deathwing Land Raider Crusader

This afternoon I put the final touches on the Deathwing Land Raider Crusader. 

The recipient of the tank is very happy with the final product and there has already been talk of a second one to join it, though that can wait until after I get a couple things done for myself.  For now this gets packed up safely along with a techmarine and some L&P chocolate for swift transit across the Tasman to Sydney.

The next project on the painting station is a kitbashed Mortis Engine for my Vampire Counts army to join the official one I already have.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Painting - WIP DA Deathwing Land Raider Crusader

I haven't posted any painting updates in a while but that doesn't mean I haven't been putting paint on plastic.  In between work, gaming, husbandly duties, helping with my Sister's Wedding and a lot of distracting GTA V I have been working on this Land Raider for a good mate.

My friend wanted a Deathwing Land Raider Crusader with some chapter images on it.  So after applying the base coat - thank you army painter spray range - and going around all the rivets and line work with agrax earthshade, then looking at it for a couple weeks I got to work on the freehand.  I used the Company and Sacred standards from the Codex as a basis.  I worked up the Chapter Banner image on the left and the Fortitude image on the right with a partial Deathwing Standard image on the front.

After those images were sorted I felt the need to restrict myself less.  After skimming over the previous and current codices I found a couple images of Imperial cherubs I liked and began painting them in a more relaxed manner as if I was painting on paper or a canvas.  This is the part of freehand work I like the most, not having to worry if it lines up right or is in the right ratio. Its just getting a hopefully cool looking image on the miniature.  Luckily I sent my mate a pic of the images at an earlier stage and he loved it. 

Next I painted very thin lines with thinned Scorch Brown then used Pallid Wych flesh to give an edge to these painted cracks and fracture points.  Seeing as the top right felt a little bit empty I then painted the traditional Dark Angel robed figure in the space.

I have now just started some weathering on the hull and some real work on the weapons.  Some careful sponging of Scorched Brown on the hull edges is all I have managed so far but I intend to add some streaks from the rivets with weathering powders and scorch marks around vents and the engine.  This is all between heists with Franklin, Michael and Trevor of course.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mordheim - Warband progress

So over the past few weekends we have continued to play a game or two of Mordheim.  I even bought some Helldorado miniatures from Slave to Painting to supplement the warband.  They are very nice metal miniatures with very little flash or mold lines present.  Once I get around to painting them I will share.

It is interesting how things begin to scale in it Mordheim.  Initially I was doing very well with my Tilean rogues but as the xp ticks over the more monstrous creatures of the cursed city begin to claw their way to the top of the heap.   We have enjoyed some massive terrain choked multi player games.  Dan's Possessed Carnival has gotten away with a massive amount of Wyrdstone due to the rest of engaging in combat with each other and being very wary of his leveled up pair of Possessed.

Dan's Dark Carnival and Aaron's Undead are bringing some intimidating warband members to the table.  Dan's possessed and mutants are maxing out their strength stats through good fortune on the advancement rolls and Aaron's Vampire boasting an increasing statline finally found his suit of Gromril armour.  Yes Aaron if you buy him a shield that's a 3+ armour save.  The 18" charge/run he has from the Sprint skill is the icing on the cake.

Where does this leave the humans?  Well some expensive losses from henchman deaths and Esante getting robbed after a game! Have really knocked the Gankers about.  With the human statline capped earlier than the Chaos blessed and Vampires it's down to a good selection of skills to accumulate.

Esante got hit with a chest wound putting a permanent -1 on his toughness but I soon gained Resilience to count strength against him in melee at -1.  His good fortune with Step Aside and Parry rolls also means he is annoying as ever to my opponents, I'm sure my heavily accented commentary during the game has nothing to do with it.

Corrus my warband leader has 3 attacks now!  Thats a lot in Mordheim, with his paired swords he is quite formidable in combat.  The above image depicts Corrus, on the right about to tear Dan's Carnival mutant - Kissing Booth I think, a new one but with a fluff of the rolls my leading combine harvester got the smack down.  He then suffered a Head Injury, this could have been my chance to get Frenzy, stacking nicely with all the attacks.  But no, Corrus was struck with Stupidity like his rebellious swordsman Esante.  Here's hoping for a leadership boost next time.

The other heroes haven't really done anything to shine yet, though Tyro the promoted swordsman has done well with his random ballistic skill increase and a crossbow.  The rest just have to do their best to pick off vulnerable enemies and maintain distance before the inhuman monstrosities close in.  In our multi player games where your deployment zone is determined by a dice roll I seem to keep ending up next to the undead and that 18" charge.  As long as Esante is in the front the others shall be fine.

This weekend just been, we dusted off the original Necromunda rulebooks and had a couple games of that too.  It has been many many years since I played it but most of the mechanics from the pseudo 2nd ed 40k era came back to me.  In the two games that were played no one actually made it into melee, though I did intend too but you get so close with a plasma pistol and of course you are going to shoot it!.

So now we can skip between Fantasy and 40k settings too.  Good motivation to paint up some odd characterful miniatures for both systems.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Warpfire - The Undead finish 3rd!

On saturday Warpfire was held in Wellington.  It was a 1000 point no comp event and boy was it fun.

I don't know if it was the smaller games, the shared table space or the 5 games in one day but I don't think I have laughed so much at a wargaming event as I did at Warpfire - all for good reasons I might add.

So thankyou to all the chaps I talked too and played against.  As usual it was nice to catch up with players who I only see at Warhammer events.  Thanks to Pete Dunn for organising the event and subbing out due to odd numbers and big thank you to Locky for Umpiring the event and bringing back some meaning to painting scores.  For the post event rabble over the now and future painting markings have a look over here.  I for one was under the impression there always was a criteria and it had just been generously ignored over the last year or so.

Anyway if you having Dice problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a 6 ain't one... well most of the time...

Game 1 - Jeff 'Pink Shirt' Kent - Orcs and Goblins... or was that dwarfs in disguise...
 Jeff had a large block of Savage Orcs, 2 Spear Chukkas, Rocklobba and Doom Diver lead by a Black Orc BSB and a Savage Orc Shaman Lord.  Jeff castled up on a hill and I enquired as to the where abouts of the Orcs stolen dwarf helms.  We got straight into it and things did not go well for Jeff.  Misfiring and inaccurate warmachine fire plagued him and I pushed through a couple Curse of Years and Gaze of Nagash over the 3 turns the game lasted.  The Savage Orcs got whittled down while my Dire Wolves and Crypt Horrors got rid of his warmachines.  In the turns remaining Jeff and I worked out I could claim the maximum bonus points netting me a big WIN.

Game 2 - James Millington - Warriors of Chaos, look an actual army.
I enjoy playing James and this time was no different.  James had a Hero on a Daemonic Mount, Tzeentch warriors, couple dog units, Trolls and Skullcrushers.  This game used the Fortitude rules so if I could kill the mounted Hero it would be a big plus for me.  The game quickly became a grind as my Crypt Horrors blocked up the Skullcrushers and Trolls while an ever growing Zombie block held up the Tzeentch warriors.  After a couple dud rolls the Banshee and Engine cleared their throats and did some decent scream damage swinging things in my favour and after James made an exceptional amaount of ward saves I broke his Hero in combat and ran him down giving me the win.  I did not get maximum bonus points and James did not have too many standards but I got a big WIN all the same.

Game 3 - Hamish Gordon - Empire, well WoC masquerading as Empire right?
I was feeling good about this match up.  This was the kind of army my screams do well against.  Two units of 4 Demigryphs, block of knights and a couple characters.  Should be able to take this right... right?  So... I go first, have my movement phase then move onto magic.  I take 3 dice and attempt to cast Curse of Years I think?  It all gets a bit fuzzy here as my 6 comment above comes to haunt me.  There we go two 6s for an IF and the Master Necromancer yanks the chain the warp toilet, down the hole he goes...  So with the average leadership of my army being 2 my undead horde craps itself and pretty much falls apart.  Max win for Hamish. Hamish is gracious in victory and after we and our neighbouring players have a good laugh we play again for fun where he still wins but on less points and more bonus points for me.   LOSS for me.  Have to pay that VC tax sometimes.

Game 4 - Peter Williamson - Bretonnians, terrible list right?
I have played Peter before and know he is a cunning creature but looking at his list of knights, men at arms, archers, trebuchet and mounted yeoman I was feeling like the screams and regeneration of my army would stand strong against them.  Nope! I moved my Master Necromancer and his Zombie entourage into the Skullvane Manse that dominated the board and moved my other units into the 'box' where we would score bonus points.  I will point out now that the start of the game was delayed simply by all the terrible 'box' jokes from all the players along our stretch of the table, myself included.  I blame Joel and James ;P  Anyways through great application of Beast magic and maneuvering Peter slowly took my army apart.  I was still ok with this until his Men at arms unit and Prophetess charged the Manse where the moistened bint turned into a freakin Dragon!  Much gnashing and stomping of Zombies ensued and my Necromancer vanished from the table as did his control over my remaining undead forces.  I think Father Lukin the Necromancer simply hid really really well within the Manse, it was a Greater Fire Dragon that the Prophetess transformed into afterall and he wasn't having a bar of that.  LOSS

Game 5 - Neil Williamson - Bretonnians, time for revenge on the Williamson name.
Like Peter I have played Neil before and knew this would be a nice friendly game to end the day on.  Unlike his son Neil had gone for a simple theme, Knights, Knights, junior Knights and flying Knights!  Surely against all those armour saves the screams would power up?  The lack of magic in Neils army let me add many many zombies to my units and repeatedly cast Curse of Years on his main knight block only for him to throw all his dice at it in his own phase.  Neil did his best to out manuever the slow undead but I managed to hold him up with Wolves, Bats and Zombies.  Neil had one character with a Wyrmlance as well to ruin my regenerating day with and try as I might to block him up he did manage to charge out of his escorting knights through a gap and into the Crypt Horrors with a supporting unit.  I did manage to break a flanking unit of knights early on as my Banshee lurking in a zombie unit screamed like a champ and sent them packing.  Neil then charged the rear of that same zombie unit with his Pegasus knights and along with the central combats the game turned into a grind of hooves, lances and reanimated limbs.  About half way through the game we had attracted some spectators who reminded us that this game contained a curse box in the centre of the table, not only that but my Mortis Engine and banshee seemed to appreciate the crowd and performed for the masses.  After being left on a single wound and having no more zombies left to absorb bleeding CR the banshee let fly and double 6'd, screaming the peggy knights into oblivion.  I then screamed into the main knight block with the Mortis Engine and double 6'd there too!  Following this the ragged remains of the Bretonnians fled from the undead but not before taking a ridiculous amount of strength 1 wounds from the cursed box.  I followed this up the next turn by rolling an 11 to Neil's disbelief finishing off what he had left and ending on a big WIN.

So after packing up Locky whent through the results and to my confusion I had not been called out before hitting the top 5.  I ended up 3rd overall which I am extremely happy with and have my first Warhammer Fantasy podium position.  I did score well in the painting category and netting as many bonus points as I could really helped.  I also now have the Vampire Count Icon for the NZ rankings.  I dont think I will hold it for too long but having it currently in my dead clawed hands gives me some motivation for future events.

So again thankyou to all the fellas I played and caught up with and of course thanks to John Murrie for the ride home and Adam 'the people's champion' Richards for the entertaining conversation while doing so.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Warpfire - The Rise of the Necromancer

After enjoying a mix of Mordheim and 40k over the last three weekends, I will be heading to Wellington tonight.  This Saturday Warpfire is being played, a 1000 point one day Fantasy tournament.  There is no comp and you can check out some of the lists over on Fields of Blood.

Now I had this list worked out well before the 'veto' option got lifted, should be good for a fun days gaming with some different scenarios.

Master Necromancer, Level 3, Lore of Vampires, Seed of Rebirth

Tomb Banshee

5 Dire Wolves
25 Zombies, Standard
20 Zombies, Standard
20 Zombies, Standard

6 Crypt Horrors
2 Fell Bats

Mortis Engine

It is unsubtle and moves about as a large brick.  With a multitude of 1+ saves and low model counts to fight against I will be praying to Nagash to roll high on the two screams I have.

Tonight we also officially start a Dreadball league where I shall be coaching the Star Spangled Strikers in the debut season.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mordheim - Back to the Cursed City

Over the last couple of weekends I have enjoyed playing Mordheim again.  Full credit for this goes to a good friend of mine, Dan.  Dan is down this way from Auckland doing some training and in his little free time of the weekends we have started a new campaign in the ruins of Mordheim.

Dan has also brought all his homemade terrain with him.  His very nice collection paired with my vast amount of terrain sets, mean we can cover the table pretty thoroughly with loads to spare.

It's really nice to feel the warband evolution with these skirmish games as after 4 games in I have a couple models developing a 'personality' which I'll touch on further in a moment.

When choosing warbands and restricting ourselves to the main book, Dwarves and Orcs and Goblins I chose the humans for simplicity.  Looking over my options and future skill sets I went for Middenheim gaining the Strength bonus on my heroes straight away.  Dan went straight for Cult of the Possessed and for our first game we rolled Surprise Attack.

Now this scenario had Dan with only part of his warband on the table and he had to spread them out.  I then deployed onto a random table edge and got the one closest to two of the Cult's isolated members.  After a first turn charge on these two cultists and beating them into the ground Dan immediately routed and so my Warband was named, The Dirty Gankers!

When choosing models I had a look over some of my random pieces and selected some old Confrontation miniatures I had painted years ago.  They had a variety of weaponry and fit the Assassin theme I was now going for.  I had already made a handful of Empire militia with hooded Wood Elf heads so they were perfect as well.

So in my four games I have ganked Dan's Cult, followed up with routing him in a Street Brawl, my Captain Corrus has slain a young Chimera while Cody's Undead warband got put back in the grave by Dan's cult and finally voluntarily routed as Dan's Cult and Stu's Greenskin Warband, the Dirty Skids allied against me after I saw off Aaron's Undead.  Quite an eventful few games.

Now individuals showing their prowess have certainly been Corrus the Captain, armed with dual swords, heavy armour, shield, a lucky charm and now a Dueling Pistol for good measure.  He has put a handful of enemies out of the game (starting strength 4 helps!) and as I mentioned against all odds killed a young Chimera in the Monster Hunt. 

Brio the Youngblood in turn has not had the best experience in the city yet.  This young man suffered a terrible leg wound early on, reducing his movement permanently.  Not to be stopped he picked up the Sprint skill to compensate - triple movement when running and charging lets him keep up with the able bodied folk and least.  Now fate has cursed him with an Old Battle Wound as well!  This means on a 1 his gimpy leg keeps him from the action all together.  At least he is hardened now after charging a mutant across a rickety walkway saw him put out of action, he gained immunity to Fear though so he is learning from his trials. 

 Esante the shadow killer

The last real member of note is Esante.  Esante has used his dueling pistol and sword to good effect in every game, this cocky duelist from Estalia has done serious damage to members of the Cult though not without some costs.  Esante earned Hardened early on, this made sense with the close quarter fighting against the children of chaos, then after a serious blow to the head he was cursed with what some may call 'Stupidity'!  This has had little effect yet though as if he is forced to walk ahead and do little else it merely represents his swagger and disregard for danger in the ruined city.  This was proven in the last game as he charged a Squig only then to be counter charged by the Orc boss and a Troll!  Surely this would be the end of Esante, but no.  Esante dodged the greenskins attacks with his Step Aside ability and deft parries from his sword.  He then proceeded to take not only the Squig but also the Orc Boss out of the fight!  Luckily the chance to voluntarily route came soon after and Corrus called the retreat saving Esante from further assault from the Troll.  Esante would go on to berate Corrus as surely a fighter of Esante's skill would have bested the Troll in time.  I will point out that when controlling Esante I do talk in a silly accent which funnily enough reminds the other players of Inigo Montoya.

So these games will continue over the next few months giving us a nice faster alternative to full scale Warhammer Fantasy and 40k when time is short.  I look forward to painting up the other members of the warband and seeing what rivalries develop.  Good news after the last game is that aside from my hired Elf Ranger being killed by Dire Wolves - oh dear, how sad, never mind.  Esante finally found another dueling pistol so can fire each turn now,  this simple fact will put the fear of God into the other warbands, at least that's what Esante will tell himself.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Call to Arms 2013 - 40K

On the weekend I participated in this years Call to Arms, the annual Wellington Warlords tournament convention.

I used my Eldar as I have been very very happy with the new Codex and the mobility it gives me.  I took advantage of the Iyanden supplement as those who know my armies will always see a wraith unit.
Photo courtesy of Cody

So here is the list

Farseer, Jetbike

5 Wraithguard, cannons
Wave Serpent, holo fields, Scatter laser, shuriken cannon
5 Wraithguard, D-scythes
Wave Serpent, holo fields, Scatter laser, shuriken cannon
5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent, holo fields, Scatter laser, shuriken cannon
6 Windrider Jetbikes, 2 cannons
5 Rangers

Nightspinner, holo fields
2 Warwalkers, 2 Bright lances each
Wraithknight , Heavy cannons


 The missions were all rulebook ones which made things nice as simple.  Points were awarded for a Win, Draw and Loss with bonus points for slaying the Warlord and most expensive unit.  Players then awarded a Sports score after the game - more on that later.

Round 1
So first off it was Emperor's Will and I was up against Luke Forrest with his beautifully painted Tyranid army.  You can read a very entertaining battle report here on Luke's blog MONKEYCHUKA.
He sums it all up pretty well, I play against Tyranids quite a bit at home so knew what a lot of his units did and were capable of.  You may like in Luke's article the comment about D-scythes, they were particulary useful in thinning the monstrous hordes.  The Wave Serpents really demonstrated their potential for dishing out mass fire as well over the terrain heavy board.  Luke was very fun to play against even though things were not going well for him and after losing his last piece of synapse he called the game as his scattered termagants fled the Eldar force.  WIN full 13 points

Round 2
Next it was Crusade and I was facing Alistair Allan with his yellow and black Tau.  The board had nice blocky pieces of urban terrain and deployment was set at Hammer and Anvil.  I set my grav tanks up hard against the cover while Alistair set up his forces including an infiltrating Shadowsun, Kroot and Stealth suits.  I made an awful lot of cover saves, I admit that and when my grav tanks got to move it only improved.  What I had expected to be a long range shoot out turned into a close range fire fight in the early turns with Shadowsun and the Stealth team attacking aNightspinner and Wave Serpent early on.  She did manage to destroy the Nightspinner but I locked her down in melee for several turns after my cannon wielding Wraithguard thinned her unit then assaulted, eventually killing her - turns out she is just as bad in combat as most other Tau.  My Dire Avengers used Battle Focus to good effect darting from concealment to gun down Kroot before dashing back to their objective. The Riptide hunkered down behind the same cover most of the game until concentrated fire topped off my my War Walkers destroyed it.  The Wraithknight moved down the board and by the end of the game assaulted and killed a lonely Fire Warrior on a rear objective.  4-5 Drones were all that was left of the Tau force where I think I had only lost the Nightspinner, some Jetbikes and a couple Dire Avengers.  WIN full 13 points

Round 3
So the end of the day had me facing my own kind in The Scouring. Ryan Pike had the other Iyanden list, though very different to mine.  He had Wraithblades, Wraithguard, Wraithseer, Warp Hunter, Hornets, Wraithlord, Fire Prism and only a single Wave Serpent.  There was plenty of terrain depicting an Ork refinery and as Ryan had first turn I set up defensively.  The objective roll had me in control of the higher value objectives and after cheekily telling Ryan I was going to roll a 6 to seize the initiative, I did just that!  I moved my forces to take advantage of his openly deployed units and after a single round of shooting I had destroyed his Wraithlord(also warlord), Wave Serpent, Warp Hunter, Fire Prism, Rangers and thinned his Wraithguard and I was in control of 4 objectives.  Ryan then called game and shook my hand!  I felt bad as this was the fastest game I had ever played but Ryan was still incredibly happy, I told him I would have given him 10 for sports if I could have.  I had destroyed all his ranged attacks and he was right in that I would pick away at his remaining units for the rest of the game.  Seemed he was happy to go home early too as I then spent the next 2.5 hours wandering about watching the variety of other games being played.  WIN full 13 points.

Round 4
So first game on Sunday was Purge the Alien and Hammer and Anvil deployment with Night Fight.  I had was facing the flying chaos list of Jordan Greene.  He had 2 Helldrakes, flying Daemon Prince, Defiler, Obliterators and 3 units of chaos marines in Rhinos.  Now I think Jordan had already wound himself up over this game and multiple times on Saturday he had said he didn't want to play me.  Cody has been rocking a chaos flying circus so I was familiar with the units and made good use of the boards length.  Jordan went first, deploying his Rhinos and embarked units hard up against some simple buildings.  That was his first turn as he had reserved the rest.  I swung the Wave Serpents wide on each side giving me LoS to the transports.  Being just within the maximum range and using the scatter/shield combo to twin link then bypass cover I destroyed 2 Rhinos.  Jordan's forces then were joined by the rest of his army bar one Helldrake.  Having units still onboard the Wave Serpents and being out of Vector Strike range meant I took little damage and would continue to do so.  The Wraithknight destroyed the Defiler at range with his heavy cannons and over a couple turns of evasive movement I had destroyed Jordan's Obilterators, last Rhino and both Helldrakes only losing my rangers I think.  Jordan called it on turn 4 awarding me full points as he went in search of coffee. I will say Jordan had some terrible luck at times including rolling multiple 1s when shooting the rear armour of a wave serpent with the deep striking Obliterators. WIN full 13 points.

Round 5
So it was the last round and it was Big Guns Never Tire.  My last opponent was Brendan Dee and his heavily armoured Imperial Guard.  I had faced Brendan before in a tournament and knew he would be a tough opponent.  Brendan had first turn and had rolled the warlord trait which bestowed Stealth and Move through Cover to his entire army and we were on a heavy Cityfight board.  Brendan took out my Nightspinner straight away with his Manticores knowing I would have retaliated onto his Aegis protected parking lot the same way.  Now I made a massive mistake straight away and only realised it too late.  I had moved my Wraithknight up the board aggressively, something I had previously told myself not to do.  I think it was his durability through all the other games that did it but it was a mistake nonetheless.  I should have just sat in a building in my zone holding an objective and using his long range attacks, I should have, but I didn't.  My army knocked around his chimeras and a Psyker unit but there were still plenty more Guard.  The Brendan's trio of Vendettas came on the board and along with disembarking melta squads the majority of the Guard army brought down my Wraithknight Warlord for the first time.  There was the Warlord point along with most expensive unit and the game point for being a Heavy choice.  From there I did knot give up and used my shrinking army to do what damage I could to his scoring units.  I managed to eventually kill his warlord and unit in melee again with the cannon Wraithguard.  My D-scythe Wraithguard got into the guard lines destroying a Manticore and many Guardsmen before being focus fired down.  In the final turns my Fortuned Farseer turbo boosted into Brendan's zone contesting an objective and IF it had ended on turn 5 I would have pulled a win out of my proverbial arse, but no the game continued and to my suprise the Vendettas deployed small guard units to contest my objectives!  After some desperate shooting and damned improved cover saves by the Guardsmen I had lost the game.  Brendan and I tallied our scores and I had still gotten the 2 bonus points for this round.  As Brendan had only scored 1 in a previous game I was up by 1 Battle point for the event.

When everyone was finished and the tables packed away Carson, our TO went through the results.  I had managed to pick up Best Painted which was very nice as both Luke and Brendan's armies were amazing.  Nathaniel got Best Sports.  Then Craig Stewart got 3rd with his Imperial Guard/Marine force.  Carson then told us that by 0.14 I had come 2nd and Brendan 1st.  I was very happy for Brendan as we had played a massive game and I was curious to find out where I had lost the lead.

After telling a few of the Fantasy players the 40k results I went back for a chat with Carson.  I had lost 3 Sportsmanship points over the event.  I was very dissapointed at this as even though I had been very strong in most of my games I felt that they were still fun and usually light hearted.  I then put forward my opinion on the Sports scoring for the event.  I have played in an increasing amount of Fantasy events in the last 2 and a bit years.  In Fantasy events in the Wellington region there is a clear expectation that you will get full Sports scores unless something dire happens, a reduction in score is then discussed with the TO, so without a second thought I awarded 6 out of 6 in every game as they were all good blokes to play against.  This was not how Carson, Brendan or a couple other players saw it.  Carson stood by his players pack as he should as TO, I will point out that the Sports or expectaion was never talked about at all during the event, Luke and I in the first round even assumed it was out of 5 until we double checked.  Brendan came from his Autralian experiences where out of say 30 you would only get around 20 somehow saving the higher Sports scores for your favourite opponents, this is why we vote our favourite player.  I gave my feedback for pro default scores and left it at that and with Cody who I might add came 5th with his Daemon/CSM flying circus and John Murrie who graciously gave us transport headed home to Levin.

When I arrived home I recieved a very lengthy message from Brendan Dee.  He explained his difference in expectaion of the soft scores and wanted them adjusted as he had not awared me full points in the last round.  I was honestly just happy I had not pissed someone off, but in a shining example of Sportsmanship Brendan contacted Carson and asked that I be given the same score as I had awarded him, knowing full well I would take the lead.  Carson sent out the final results and breakdown last night with an explanation of the change to me having first place. 

So because of what I see to be confusion over the expectation of soft scores we had this little problem at the end.  Again full credit to Brendan for pushing this change through, you sir are a gentleman.  I am still of the opinion that full sports should be the default expectation or at the very least the process be addressed at the start of the event, I know the local Fantasy players agree.  In the results a few players lost a point in Sports and I would not be suprised if this was down to not catching a first round blunder and awarding 5 out of 6 like Luke and I almost did.  Other than that it was an incredibly smooth tournament and I thank Carson Turnbull and my opponents Luke, Alistair, Ryan(sorry...), Jordan and Brendan for some fun games.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stone Falls - WHFB - The Night Lord Cometh

Finally we have the tale of what lies buried beneath the Stone Falls

Torchlight illuminated the rough granite walls of the cavern. Lukas' congregation moved aside as he stalked past them. His black robes dragging through the spilt ichor of the arachnids who had until moments ago made this cave their lair. “Put those corpses in the ante chamber, the fallen shall still serve the Night Lord” he barked.

As his followers hauled aside the remains of man and eight legged beast, Father Lukas Gistofarian snatched a torch from the hands of a stooped man, Lukas recalled the man, Pioter had come to their group from the alleyways of Nuln. A life in the powder choked slums of the Engineer's city had robbed Pioter of health and livelihood but here in this group all were equal under Lukas' tuition and guidance.

Lukas held the torch aloft and with a gnarled hand scrapped the lichen from the ancient stone work. Runes from ages past marked the worked stone, a door concealed in the natural rock. Lukas whirled around, his men looking at him expectantly.
“Bring the tools and get to work. This is what we seek brothers, the Night Lord's resting place!”

Robed men from all walks of Imperial life toiled at the door. Their tools breaking the seals set in place centuries ago. Hired blades from Marienburg looked onwards, looks of amusement and contempt directed at the fanatical group. Lukas cared not for the opinions of the mercenaries, as long as they defended his men while they were at task. Their ignorance at the significance of this find would soon be resolved when the Lord of Eternal Shadow walked this world once more.
Stale air filled the chamber as the seals broke. Escaping gases from an ages confinement caused a fit of coughing and retching amongst the mercenaries. Now his followers sneered and shared knowing looks. The hired swords may be hardened individuals, but the constitution to consort with that required of Lukas' flock was beyond them. As a pair of heavy set men in tattered clothes shoved the doorway open, Lukas stepped into the darkness drawing his enchanted dagger.

A massive chamber cut from sand coloured stone opened before him. Four thick slab sided pillars supporting the ceiling and dust caked webs hung between them like funerary shrouds. Father Lukas stalked I, drawing a length of twisted black ironwood from the confines of his vestments. Muttering arcane words under his breath, the wand responded and emanated an otherworldly purple light.  

Leading his men, Lukas forged on through these forgotten chambers. Passageways were lit with torches and oily smoke trickled into rooms where the walls were decorated with faded scenes of battle. Images of crude towns set to flame and legions of skeletal warriors marching to war were seen by living eyes for the first time in this age. A well or pit of sorts dominated the centre of the next large chamber. Clicking and scraping noises echoing up from its Stygian depths. Brave or foolhardy men clambered to peer over the bricked edge, one dropping his lit torch into the darkness. The group strained their vision to follow the fire's descent and as it finally hit the bottom far below the men recoiled. Something moved in the depths, undulating past the patch of fitful illumination, something old and terrible, better left to the subterranean world than be seen by the fragile minds of the surface. Even the horrors witnessed and committed by these men were paltry in the presence of what they failed to comprehend below.

Lukas considered stealing a glance but caught himself. He needed his wits about him as unknowable threats could conceal themselves anywhere in these forgotten halls. “Away from there you fools” he cried, his words breaking the bewilderment of the men. “We do not seek what lies below. Our liege will be in an elevated chamber as befits his station in command of the Berserker's legions. Away from there and search these other passages.”

Days passed in the dark barrow, flickering torchlight failing to mark the passage of time. As his men worked at internal seals within the complex. Lukas made forays outside into the forest air,  word had come to him that the curious bastard Otto Mannfried was rushing about the area, spooked at portents and signs. Well so he should be, once the Night Lord was freed these hamlets and hovels within the Reikwald would burn. How dare they lay claim to the Darkthorn wood, when the Nightlord had ruled it with blade and an army eternal.
As the excavations continued, alcoves filled with tribute caskets were found.  Coins, gemstones and trinkets of past conquest were ignore.  The material goods were of little concern, let the sell swords who stood guard in the entry caves take their fill when the faithfuls work was complete.  They had found the last door at the end of a long stepped hallway.  Etched into the stonework was a massive knotwork design of ancient tribal design.  In the centre of the swirling mass sat a fanged skull, it's surface stained to an inky finish absorbing the torchlight.  Lukas screeched orders to his followers who burst into renewed action.  Picks and massive pry bars were hefted up the stone steps and labour on the door ensued. 
As Lukas supervised the work he was oblivious to what was going on further back in the complex.  Adventurers from Stone Falls had discovered the caves and the mercenaries within.  Negotiations had failed horribly at the ends of sharp blades and crossbow bolts.  The adventurers, an embittered trio had worked their way through the cleared halls dispatching Lukas' followers with extreme prejudice.  They had slaughtered the watchmen and their hounds in the pillared entrance.  The men in the well chamber had all perished to the adventurers magic and weapons, the scout in the group pinning a faithful brother to the very stone walls with the force of his arrows.  A pagan man of the forest split open clergymen who did their best to defend themselves with spear and tools.  The third invader, a man of luminous complexion flung bolts of arcane energy as his malformed homunculus cut apart Lukas' flock with its talons limbs. 
The screams of the dying echoed up the staircase alerting Lukas to the grisly demise of his men.  With panic he urged on the labourers.  Swiftly the intruders swept up the steps and set to murder. Lukas called on the power of his wand and ensorcelled the pagan druid with dancing blades.  As his followers bled upon the ancient flagstones a final burst of frantic action had the last standing follower break the seal on the final doors.  A gust of stale air exhaled from the doors, cold seeped into Lukas and the trio from Stone Falls.  The luminous mage fled as a crash of stone sounded within the darkness of the crypt, a heavy metal footfall followed and living shadow crept through the opening.  As the pagan and archer cautiously retreated Lukas turned to witness the resurrection of his Night Lord.  The heavy stone doors rumbled open and a figure clad in layered plate strode out. The towering warrior surveyed the carnage, his empty sockets pooling with living darkness.  Lukas squealed in delight as the arisen warlord took another step toward the interlopers but his euphoria was cut short as the ranger fired a lethal arrow into Lukas' sunken chest.  Lukas' voice devolved into a wet gurgle as blood erupted in his throat, his knees cracking as they hit the stone floor.  He looked pleadingly at the Nightlord but his silent call for help went unanswered as the ancient Wight moved on past, an unknown goal the priority of his reinvigorated undead mind.  When Lukas's skull split upon the cold flagstones his dying sight drank in the image of his risen sovereign ignoring the intruders and disappear from view as he descended the steps.  With the last of his vital fluids seeping away Lukas felt the final defilement as the adventurers gathered their resolve and looted the corpses of about them, his own fingers prised apart and the arcane tool pocketed like a common trinket.  With his final pulse of life Lukas heard the confused mutterings of these men, these living fools.  The Nightlord had been freed and now he would gather the rest of Morkhain's fallen court and these lands of men would burn once more.....
...Lukas peered through milky orbs, his mind working at a crawl to comprehend the scene before him.  He moved with faltering steps, his body now one amongst legion.  Across muddied ground stood a wall of scarred timber where tiled and patched roofs sheltered within.  Lukas rasped and worked his rigor stuck jaw, his groan echoed by those animated around him.  A mental push caused the entire horde to surge forward like pieces on a board.  Lukas understood now, he knew even as the mind that was his own faded away, that he would serve the Nightlord, now and until the Empire itself was ash.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stone Falls - WHFB - The Hand of Sigmar

Today's prelude to the big game has been created by Joel over at The Brush of Doom , he will be commanding the men of the Empire.

Lying in his bed unable to sleep and watching the heavy curtains stir at the window Theogonist Otto Mannfried considered all of the small differences he had observed of late. The air felt thicker somehow the fine food and wine he had grown accustomed to in his piety was tasting off, and the ravens that lived in the Chapel were restless and aggressive.
Assuming that it was just his tired mind seeing patterns where there were none, Otto tried to tell himself that he was being overly vigilant of things that held little consequence and that he should, in fact, be focusing his attention on his work as Head Inquisitor of the Riekwald Forest.
Unfortunately, over the next few days the sensation didn’t go away and instead intensified notwithstanding Otto’s best attempts to ignore it. It instead began to sharpen into an acute feeling of displacement, a persistent pressure in the back of his mind.
Despite his intuition’s insistence that there was some significant disturbance in the normal rhythms of his life it wasn’t until a visiting Sigmarite Seer Sister made a passing comment that be began to pay it any credence. She too had noticed an odd taste to her food and a sinister shiver in the air. Otto had long ago learned not to dismiss the observations of the Sisters and this combined with reports of unexplained phenomena in the surrounding villages was what finally spurred him into action.
A visit to the Wizard’s College in Altdorf was swiftly arranged to consult with the great Gunther Schwarzenhertz. As it happened the visit could not have been better timed as Gunther was preparing his order for an "upcoming struggle" that would test the steel of the Empire, the power of the mages, and the faith of the priests. The final criteria of this supposed struggle made Otto uncomfortable but he made no mention of it to any of his brethren lest they consider him wavering in his devotion.
The Wizards of the Amber Order had heard through the beasts of the forests that a great evil was awakening and calling the allies of dark to his side. The ancient records spoke of a powerful Vampiric evil known as Ithric, His body immune to the holy water, sacred symbols, and silver bullets forged in the Chapels of Sigmar. Otto knew that centuries ago Ithric had been banished from the realm by the most powerful witch hunters of the age. Thereafter, the Light Order had established a silent sentry to guard against Ithric's return. They were charged to wait, to watch, and if necessary cast this abomination from their dimension forever. Reports from the watch spoke of disturbances of Ithric’s known hunting grounds and Gunther pleaded with Otto to join forces with him to seek out the source of the evil and put to rest whatever had awoken. Otto hesitated, asked for time to gather his thoughts and his forces. But really he had to change his breeches.
Upon returning to his chapel, Otto was greeted by his priests who had received a call for help from Marienburg. The rumours had reached the great trading seaport and the merchants were refusing to travel through the Reikwald forest. The call for help spoke of great rewards for all who answered. Otto's cunning mind put the two together. He can join the crusade of Gunther, continue to gain power and influence while expanding his inquisitorial reputation, AND get paid handsomely...not that that was a consideration given his vows of poverty.  

Tomorrow will have the introduction of the last force, my Vampire Counts.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stone Falls - WHFB - A Master of the Black Arts

The next tale in the lead up to Saturdays game comes from Ryan, who will be my ally in command of the joint Vampire Count forces.

Ithric had always wanted to go one step further that his peers. He dreamed of a life beyond the horizon, going further, discovering more, experiencing everything that life would have to offer. It was unfortunate for him that the lottery of this world had drawn him as a farmer’s second son who would forever live under the shadows of his betters, toiling until the grave, or so was expected of him.
His curiosity with texts and arcane knowledge was piqued in his youth when a travelling nobleman was in the area. Though he was forbidden to interact with the entourage, he waited until night fell and snuck inside the carriage while it was empty. Discovering books of old sorcery and mystic science that he did not fully appreciate, he was immediately enthralled by the potential that was enclosed in the pages.
The theft of the books sparked an outrage that lead to a witch-hunt, and Ithric had to think fast. Not entirely sure of where he got the idea from, he framed another local child who was summarily burnt at the stake. That boy’s face would be present in many nightmares throughout Ithric’s early adult years.
While having to work on the farm during the day, his night forays into noble libraries near and far developed his roguish talents and further expanded his secret cache of knowledge. One night as he snuck out he unwittingly passed a pack of bandits who would later sack his town. Upon his return vengeance burned in his heart, the skies split, and the dead rose. The bandits were not expecting a follow up attack; and while many of their number fell, they were hardy men and Ithric was a novice in the practical arts of his chosen career. He was nailed to a tree and left for the wolves by the remaining bandits.
His sorcery, though amateurish in execution, had a raw power behind it that drew a nearby vampire’s attention. He found Ithric’s broken body barely clinging to life and gave him the blood kiss; one could always use young and talented followers. The vampire had underestimated the young acolyte though, and as is the way of their world the student eventually betrayed the master once he had learned all he could.
The blessing of vampirism had invigorated Ithric, and his necromantic arts had progressed dramatically. The winds of magic blow in strange directions however, and many years later his activates drew the witch-hunters. His library was raided and burnt to the ground. He was gravely wounded, and fled to the south. Vampires are hard to kill and they never forget.
Many centuries passed, Ithric learned many arts from both living and dead - knowledge almost never obtained willingly from the subject. Ithric always knew however that one day he would return to his home, a sleepy hamlet now known as Stone Falls….

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stone Falls - WHFB - Bretonnian Intro

So in preperation for the big game this weekend, the players have been putting a bit of effort into introducing their armies.  Here is an extremely good tale from Wil who shall lead his Knightly forces against the undead hordes.

North West of Axe Bite Pass is a sparsely populated wooded area where only a few hardy souls live. They subsist by burning the forest to supply charcoal for the Empire to the West and for the Brettonian lords to the north. The stretch of land farmed by the charcoal burners itself is fairly lawless despite being wedged between these two human land.  

Old Blackfingers Krevan had been living and burning charcoal in this land for more years than he could remember. Though his wife had died some dozen years ago, he and his young daughter Ondine still survived by making sure that when outlaws and roving bands of Orcs ravaged the local area that they hid in a secret cave whose entrance was just obscured by a series of boulders in the local stream.  This hiding strategy had seen the two of them survive a series of attacks which had recently changed in nature. Where previously, they had been attacked by roving bands who made plenty of noise and were focused primarily on pillage, now increasingly the charcoal burners, especially those living close to the waterfall, were just completely disappearing in the night, leaving only their blood and a sign of struggle in their hovels.

Blackfingers Krevan was preoccupied about the safety of his daughter and was increasingly considering taking her north to find her a good serf-family to marry her into in order that she could be safe from this life in the woods and would guarantee that she could at least have a good bowl of onion soup to drink on holy days.  

It was because Blackfingers Krevan was these mulling on these concerns while burning down some stumps for the best charcoal that he missed the sound of horses moving through the forest. On hearing the snort of horses and smelling the sweat of unwashed men that Blackfingers dropped to the ground and tried to make himself as small as possible. Where was Ondine? The last time he had seen her she was undertaking the weekly wash of the cooking dish in the stream. Hopefully, he thought that she would have time to get into the cave, if only she could hear the horses over the sound of the stream.

The sound of the horses came closer and closer. Blackfingers realised that he was going to get caught if he did not move now. Maybe he could make the cave if he moved fast? He shambled to his feet and bolted for the stream.  Too late…. The riders must have spotted him and he heard shouts as several of the riders reined in their horses to turn and pursue him.

Blackfingers Krevan ran as hard as he could towards the stream. But it was futile, it seemed that this was no ordinary raiding band there were dozens of mounted figures chasing him. A mailed fist smashed his face breaking his nose and several of his remaining teeth. Blackfingers Krevan slipped to the ground unconscious.

He awoke when a bucket of water was tossed into his face. He ached all over and his nose was all pain. As he struggled to focus his bruised eyes he realised that he was surrounded by mailed figures, covered in blood and water he was completely at the mercy of the invaders.

One of the armoured bedecked men moved to interrogate him.

“Serf, before we hang you for fleeing from your liege lord Bois de Lyon and the Knightly Order of the Rose, you had better tell us everything you know about the disappearances in the dark…..”

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stone Falls intro - gaming with a narrative

As with most people I wargame with, we prepare and play our games and lists around a tournament model.  While this is suitable most of the time it is nice to work with a narrative in mind for some fun games.  I have enjoyed slowly working on the Hub for 40k and some of the other guys have shown interest in the actual story going on in and between games.  Now its Warhammer Fantasy's turn.

Next weekend four of us are going to play a 2v2 game of Warhammer Fantasy using 2500 points each, so 5k a side.  Joel and Wil are bringing Empire and Bretonnians while Ryan and I both bringing Vampire Counts.  Joel had suggested a town setting and brought up Helmgart, south of Marienburg.  Now I read into the background a bit more and Helmgart itself is a Fortress watching over Axe Bite Pass, so it was time to pick a neighbouring town.

Around the same time the Pathfinder game I host weekly had come to an awkward halt, as a player had dropped out due to family commitments and our unbalanced party got it's collective arse kicked by a pack of Yeth hounds.  Now as this was my 'break' from GMing I was happy enough to go back to running a game.  The plan was to start on the second part of Rogue Trader 40k Lure of the Expanse, but I felt it was time for an original home grown game, especially as with only 3 players I can organically change the story to suit what they play.

While the players created their new characters we talked about a world setting.  Do we use a commercial one like Faerun for Forgotten Realms(pre 4th ed...) , the Golarian setting of Pathfinder or something else.  We chose a setting of our own creation, dark and gritty as we felt the pregen worlds of the D20 systems were a bit generic fantasy at times.  Not too many Gods for the divine classes to draw upon and start in a localised setting where I dont have to describe the politcal and religious views of other countries yet.  So with  my head leaning towards the Warhammer Old World, Ferelden from Dragon Age and Westeros from GoT, the town of Stone Falls was born.

While the RPG version of Stone Falls is not exactly in the Warhammer world the comparisons and story elements are close enough.  So in the last two weeks the adventure the players have embarked on with their D20s is acting as a prologue to the massive battle to take place on Saturday.

I will share the adventures of Duncan the Eidolon, Marcus the Ranger and Lou the Druid - there was Ferdinand the Magus but ahem... well you'll see.  In the meantime here is the narrative setting from a Warhammer perspective.

North of the Helmgart Fortress, nestled in the dark boughs of the southern Reikwald sits the town of Stone Falls.

Stone Falls is named after a waterfall in the deep forest, whose torrent plummets from a lofty rocky crag into an abyssal pit deep into the earth. No one knows what lurks in the stygian waterways below the forest, but visitors to the Falls hear peculiar sounds from the subterranean depths intermingled with the crashing waters.

Stone Falls the town is situated off the main road, closer to the arterial trade road from Marrienburg than the ones to Carroburg and the capital of Altdorf. The town is normally a quiet place where travellers will divert their wagons and carraiges to seek the warmth and ale of the Drunken Drake Inn within the town's thick wooden walls.

The locals call this part of the Reikwald the Dark Thorn woods, as brambles, briars and thorn bushes grow to immense size. Whether some peculiarity of the soil or stemming from a darker cause, the plant life clamours for space and intertwines so that daylight is a rare sight within the forest canopy. Here in the darkness, tribes of malicious goblins plot their raids and thefts on the townsfolk. The Beastmen, children of Chaos gather around monolithic Herdstones and divine portents from the dark powers. Men with minds addled or murder in their hearts make camp and speak of foul deeds and dark intent.

Some citizens of Stone Falls live in defiance of the danger within the southern Reikwald, making their homes outside the walls. Here in the space between the town and the dark arboreal interior sit small farms. Growing enough for the townsfolk and little else these muddy plots of land provide a clear track of land for the town's sentries to spot any would be assailant. The skilled bowmen who patrol the towns borders have felled many an invader across these fields.

Recently the rangers and woodsmen who brave the Dark Thorn woods have reported an increase in animal attacks. Where normally the fauna will shy away from people, now they charge and openly seek to harm the woodsmen. Spiders the size of dogs and larger have been spotted amongst the shadowy trees and those who still follow the old ways speak of an ancient evil, returned to reclaim its fallen domain.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hub Part 2 - Round 3

So after the carnage in the darkness with the spies - I forgot to mention it was night fighting for the first 3 turns. The forces in the Hub moved their operatives to take control of weapon caches and ammo dumps.

This scenario concocted by Joel had a central objective worth 3 VP.  Now if any shooting attack passed within 6" there was a chance the ammunition exploded harming whatever was nearby.

I did not play this round, my Inquisitor took to the side lines as Cody arrived with his Grey Knight force.  In the ruined streets around an Imperial garrison the elite of the Ordo Malleus found themselves surrounded by Tyranid forces.  The two Dreadknights promptly took control of the central objective while their Terminator armoured brethren took defensive positions behind the garrison's defence lines.  Alien beasts surged from the dark streets and a fierce fire fight raged.  Stray fire even detonating the coveted supplies.  When the smoke cleared I believe the Grey Knights had control of the objective and set about purging the area of the xenos beasts.

 The Blood Angels found themselves encountering an enemy from the darkest days of their history.  The Daemons had come for Sanguinius' children.  The Inquisition did not receive a report from the Astartes forces on the outcome of this engagement which bodes ill for that Imperial detachment.  The zone in which they fought had the remains of some large archaic building in it.  It is feared that it may have been a repository from the Hub's earliest days and that corrupt artifacts were present to attract the warp creatures.

Here are the intercepted communications from the Ork vs Tau battle.

Orks - sniper drones + cover + night fight = bad! However the warboss got the last laugh as the falcon claw missed, and promptly responded with Power Klaw to the face!

Tau - Rumours of an ork force in the mountains led the Tau commander to move in for suppression. Despite the low light conditions the Tau forces used superior firepower and night vision technology to utterly annihilate the Ork forces, leaving some straggled young orks sulking in the background. Despite complete tactical superiority again the Tau commander issued a challenger to the Ork commander who was presumed to be almost expired thanks to the many rounds of fire his squad had suffered. Slinging his guns the ork and Tau commander charged each other. Despite landing a direct hit the siege gauntlet suffered a major malfunction and did not damage, the commander ejecting to safety and his bodyguards fled but were cut to ribbons. (Loss 2-1)

So even though the Imperial forces suffered losses this round their early successes had put them back in control of a majority of the Hub's strategic areas.  As the various commanders healed from their injuries and reassessed their forces, information about the whereabouts of their most hated opponents came filtering in.  Little did they know they were being lured into a trap!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hub Part 2 - Round 2

So a few weeks ago we played the second session of our local narrative 40k campaign.  Here is the next report at last.

Game 2 was an interesting one that Joel had concocted.  Each side had their 750 point force but at the bottom of both turn 1s, a spy would arrive for each side.  This unit had the stats of a Space Marine Captain including Iron Halo.  They had to be placed 12" away from your own units then scatter 2d6.  You could only score Line breaker with your spy but it would be worth 3 points.  We had a standard objective each as well.

So the match ups were my Inquisitorial force vs Daemons.  Orks vs Blood Angels and Tau vs Tyranids.

My forces met the Daemons in the ash wastes outside a storage complex.  The Inquisitorial mechanised forces formed a defensive line amongst the slag heaps.  Flesh Hounds lead by a Herald rushed the right flank using the terrain to counter fire lanes.  Invoking the Book of Names the Herald bolstered the Hounds save.  The Great Unclean One took a defensive position behind a massive heap to cover any agents escape while Daemonettes and Horrors headed toward my lines.

The spies arrived and the Daemonic agent hung safely on the left flank well behind the daemon infantry.  The Inquisitorial agent misplaced his rendezvous position and found itself deep in the enemy lines, end zone in sight but the Nurgle greater Daemon close by.

The Chimeras and acolytes within did their best to thin the Hound pack but their increased save and speed had them barrelling through the Imperials back lines.  The Inquisitorial agent failed to escape the GUO and did its best to fend off the monstrosity but the Iron Halo failed and he was destroyed.

The Daemons agent ran up the flank now dealing with the Flesh Hounds but last minute mass fire destroyed that agent as well.

I think the game was a draw or minor win to the Daemons and I learnt that the Flesh Hound pack is a very fast threat on the table.

Highlights from the Tau and Ork camps

Orks - Both spies happened to be in the same building! As they broke from cover they both got brutally cut down. This game ended a turn too early for the Orks to claim the necessary objective (only got 3 rounds in).

Tau - After a tactical withdrawal into the ruins outside of the city, the force was again ambushed, this time by the tyranids. Accurate fire from the sniper drones brought the big monsters down quickly and the fire warriors moved to secure vital supplies for the expedition. The headstrong commander wished to try his new onager siege gauntlet issued by the fire caste, leading his bodyguards into a withered ground of tyranid warrior class creatures. Severe almost mortal damage was averted thanks to overall control off the battlefield though the loss of all crises suits was disappointing. (Win 8-4)

If we were to play that scenario again the agents would have to come in like normal reserves as one player would always be at a disadvantage with both arriving at the same time, then one being very vulnerable.

This round resulted in an even bigger advantage to the Imperial Forces and their allies. Next round involves some resupplying

Sunday, June 2, 2013

High Elves - a couple games in

So since the High Elves came out last month I have managed to get a couple games in against Cody's Chaos Warriors.

Now I will point out that Cody is fairly new to Warhammer Fantasy so he is learning his army while I get to try out the new rules. I did get major wins in both games but have yet to play a more experienced Fantasy player.  A lot has already been said on many other blogs and forums so I apologise if I seem to be parroting what already has been said but this is after actual gameplay.

So things I have learnt..

Lords - Loremaster or Archmage, not both - They both have their uses.  In the first game I used a Loremaster with a large Swordmaster block in what I saw as a Hoeth themed list.  The ability to spam Magic missiles and buff the unit for combat with wildform was fantastic, nothing flash in CC though.  I did not miss the bonus to dispel but in a tournament environment it could bite me in the arse.  The second game had with with a ranged list and an Archmage.  I used Shadow and to good effect.  I got withering so forced that through onto prime targets.  An initiative drop from Miasma followed by Pit lay waste to a block of Chaos Warriors.  Really depends on your army build of course.  I used Alith Anar in the second game and was too eager with him, deploying him with Shadow Warriors behind the Chaos lines.  Unfortunately for Alith the Daemon Prince he shot twice with his portable Both thrower made both its Ward saves and 4++ only keeps you going so far.  I do think he has some great uses for his points and will use him again but from within my own lines.

Book of Hoeth - With either of the two casters above in your list of course it's an auto include.  I haven't made good use of it as I haven't faced an enemy caster of higher level but it will be invaluable.

Core - Nice to have the variety.  Reavers are great, I did take bows and spears on mine and 2 units did the trick against the Chaos chaff.  I used LSG in the first game about 25 strong.  They sat back and fired most of the game then reformed deep for combat in the final turns.  I think I'll stick with Archers, the extra range, cheaper cost and Martial Prowess make them a better all round choice as armour won't save your T3 elves in the long run.  Nothing wrong with Spearmen if you want to support your elite melee units but I wont need them yet. I used a 5 man Silver Helm unit in the second game, redirected some Skullcrushers and then died horribly, did what they were supposed to then.

Special - I used a unit of 21 Swordmasters with BotWD and they did alright but I was facing an army with a lot of magical attacks so not too fair for Cody's dual DPs or ensorcelled knights.  I like the Swordmasters but when you look hard at the White Lions and Phoenix Guard I just think they are better in a small supporting role.  In the second game I tryed White Lions with BotWD, sure less attacks than the SM but with Martial prowess, the extra strength and stubborn you can clearly see why they are the go to unit.  I would love to include a block of Phoenix Guard with Razor in a couple builds I've made but as I do not own any they can wait.  Shadow Warriors were a cheap nuisance so I can see myself always squeezing in a 5 man squad.  I used a 5 man Dragon Prince unit in the first game which got a lucky flank charge on some Skullcrushers and after some terrible Chaos saves ran the crushers down.  As others have noted a big unit isn't that flash so if I use them their unit size will stay small.  I have yet to try the others but plan on using some chariots.

Rare - The drop in price of the bolt throwers has been a blessing as with all the MC and MI about it gives some punch against them.  They have been effective in both games and with the different fire modes I'll be including 2+ in my lists.  I proxied some Sisters of Averlorn and had success with them.  The AP against evil doers and potential against regen and ethereal complements the rest of the shooting.  In both games I also proxied a Frost Phoenix, in both games it was great as a support unit to the combats with either the SM or WL.  It even saw off a Chimera in the first game.  I do however know that in the cannon rich tournament environment I play in it may not last long, I was usually lucky to have a functioning Terrorgheist in my VC but that's because I played with 2.  This really has me on the fence as to whether I spend the money on one or not.  Eagles still do the job well but with Reavers and cheap Silver helms you can spend those Rare points elsewhere.

So my current list I will try next looks like this, very Nagarythe themed but still functional and only slightly changed from what I used in the second game.  It is very shooting based but it's a nice point of difference from my Vampire Counts.

Alith Anar
Archmage level 4 - probably shadow, Book of Hoeth, Ironcurse Icon(I had 5 points)

Noble, BSB, heavy armour, Reaver Bow, enchanted shield

10 Archers, m
17 Archers, m, st
5 Reavers, bow/spears
5 Reavers, bow/spears
5 Silver Helms, shields, m

5 Shadow Warriors
Tiranoc Chariot
25 WL, fc, BotWD

5 Sisters

Now I was going to use the Frost Phoenix again but for 240 points can include another  BT and more Sisters.  3 Tiranoc chariots or 2 Lion Chariots?  Even more Shadow Warriors?

So please any suggestions would be welcome.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Be afraid...

Quick update here: So my Warriors of Chaos are slowly coming together. Put together this bad body last night:

Lots of green stuff to smooth the joints and I may have made a few construction mistakes heh. All's well that ends well. He will be counting as a Chimaera with regeneration and flaming breath.

More to come hopefully soon...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hub Campaign - Part 2 - The Imperium Strikes Back - Round 1

This past weekend we finally got organised and had the second part of my narrative 40k campaign.  Joel from Brush of doom had concocted some interesting scenarios for us to play out, all of which bit him in his green Ork arse!

So the participants on the side of the Imperium were Ryan with Tau, Conan with Blood Angels and myself with Inquisition/Grey Knights before Cody took over. We were flexible with force building for the narrative so instead of Coteaz I took a normal Inquisitor and we counted that they unlocked the Henchmen as troops per Coteaz's rule  The forces of Destruction were Stu with Daemons, Aaron with Tyranids and Joel with Orks.

All the games were 750 points with no flyers, special characters, fortifications and allies.  Only one troop was required from the players codex but like last time a force had to include either a Chaos cultist unit or an Imperial Guard squad.

I will report on games I played in and have some notes from Joel and Ryan to add.

I used a kitted out Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, 3 units of Henchmen - 2 units with plasma in psybacks, 1 with melta in chimera, Eversor Assassin, Psyfleman Dreadnought.

The first round had a suprisingly destructive rule attached.  Due to the forces of Chaos laying booby traps/IEDs or having daemonic forces lurking in the Hub's shadows, whenever any save made by a model in cover was required, the targeted unit had to make a leadership test.  If passed normal armour or cover saves were taken, if failed the cover save was worsened by 1 and the unit took d6 S3 hits in addition to what they were saving from.  

I played Joel, Inquisition vs Orks.  I got the warlord trait which allows the warlord and unit to outflank so after a couple turns of our forces exchanging fire my Inquisitor, his attached unit and their chimera rolled onto Joel's back field and poured fire into his Loota block.  Joel did take out my Imperial Guard squad holding an objective with his Nob bikers but prior and post assualt shooting took them out. The Imperial fire combined with shadowy attacks ruined Joel's boyz.  Joel also failed to notice an Eversor Assassin hiding behind a Razorback which took out his scouting Deffkopta in the first turn.  Joel suffered badly from the scenario rules loosing a lot of Orks to weakened cover saves and the S3 hits.

The other games were in the 'good' guys favour putting the forces of Order way out in the lead.

Joel's perspective - the biker gang found themselves on the wrongside of the tracks getting intercepted by the Hub Inquisition.  Despite putting on a good show a late sneaky back field arrival by the Inquisitor put an end to the fun.

and Ryan's - A patrol was ambushed in the city ruins by Daemonic forces while performing reconnaissance for a potential Tau outpost.  Significant loss of life from the Fire warriors Drone section of the expedition, however the Daemons were held back and the objectives secured.

I believe the Blood Angels and Tyranids performed mutual destruction on each other either getting a draw or minor victory to the Blood Angels.

Next, Game 2 involves a bit of espionage...