Thursday 29 December 2011

Warmachine - The Final Hurdle(d)

Just in at last gasp, not only the final completed mini's of the year, but also the final mini's of my Warmachine Cryx Army. These were very late additions that came in right at the start of the month, but I've got them finished to draw a line under my Cryx force.

First up a Stalker to add to my other Bonejacks. I imagine it will be accompanied by pistol and machine wraiths most time it hits the table.

And last, but not least, >Master Necrotech Mortenebra and Deryliss.

Nearly all thought my force building I have tried to focus (excuse the pun) on building a Warjack centred force. They were the reason I was attracted to the game in the first place. I've struggled a bit, mostly through my lack of trawling fanboy forums, to get something that is effective. Not wanting to open my wallet to the ridiculous expensive of any of the Bane units would have popular opinion saying I've a weak force, it would seem. Also the better heavy warjacks come over my individual model spend limit (Death Jack excluded, but I picked him up £10 cheaper as an Ebay "bargain").
 But at the end of November I finally read up about this warcaster and her 'jack boosting powers. Better than just that, it would seem that her spells will get the most out of the cheaper end 'jacks I've been collecting. So I'm looking forward to her taking the field.

It was also useful that these final last minute additions were such a blooming pain to assemble. Any time I fancy adding to the force I should look at them and remember the blue language that hit the airways!

Friday 23 December 2011

Frugal Accounting - Year End

Well that's the year over for my accounting. Let the lies and accussations begin to fly.
But first the hard, indesputable facts:
  • Total Spend: 417.08 (average monthly spend 34.76)
  • Total Income: 411.37
  • Net Total Spend: 5.71

Two things stand out here. One is that my net spend over the year is under £6 ( under $9 for those across the pond). if I'd pulled my finger out and done a bit more selling I could have been in the black, but never mind. Still got to be happy with that. Another figure is that I spent over £400 pounds over the year. To be honest this is quite shocking, as I thought I'd been keeping quite a tight lid on my spend, but it just goes to show how it all mounts up, especially with a couple of bigger projects/spends dotted throughout the year. On looking through the accounts the main drains were:
  • Cryx: 99.49
  • Urban War: 97.91
  • 40k: 36.45
  • 28mm Fantasy: 44.73

And to think that back in January I'd announced that most of the spending had already been done on Warmachine! This does probably mirror where most the hobby activities have been focused this year, mind you, so I shouldn't be surprised. The obvious exception is Urban War, but that is one really for developing in 2012 (a subject for a later post).

Similarly the number of figures bought this year was unexpectedly high:
  • 28mm Bought: 161, Painted:87 
  • 10mm Bought: 37, Painted 19
But I have managed to painted more than half the number I bought this year. In some cases the completed models were even some of the models that were purchased the same year - turnaround bonus! It is by far the highest number I've painted over 12 months so I'm a very happy bunny.

But enough of the number crunching lets move onto the nostalgic highlights of the year.

Progress in January's plans were discussed and plans ammended in July at the six month point. Most of my plans for the second half of the year didn't really happen. I've not finished my Space Marines (mostly because I already had enough for my games) and my Doctor Who never took off at all. My Cryx, whilst not played too much are just about finished. My final 3 (another final 3 from before) are at the detail and basing stage, so a good evening should see them good. I'm desperate to get these done before the end of December to draw a line under this force.I did finish off a Future warband for Chain Reaction, and added and started new fantasy models, so on the way there.

Finally getting my ratmen through the "Songs of Blades..." campaign was great. Fun and rewarding. A new map based campaign (laboriously worked out by MacSver) should be in the offing next year. I had great success with the pod racing as well. It's numerous games were played with a variety of players and without exception everyone enjoyed themselves. When I've managed to get a game Arabiansquire this year we've been enjoying using TwoHour Wargames Chain Reaction or 5150 rules with Space Marines & Necrons or generic squads. It had been an ambition since the start of 2010 to use THW rulesets more, so I'm happy that we're managing it now. We could have donw with a few more games, but when times are busy there isn't always time to dedicate 2 or 3 hours in a day to one game. Hopefully there wil be more gaming time next year.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Lord Of The Rings Hexscape

The glorious dark forces stream forward
from their home base.
Halo*Star was doing a pre-Christmas visit so as Arabiansquire still had his Heroscape layout set up on the Hobby Shed table, we had a 4 400pt  force battle. Halo*Star and Arabianaquire were the forces of the Free People, and I played bth dark forces of Sauron.

Although we could have played the Hex battle rules, we are are more familiar with Heroscape, so used the stat cards available from boardgamegeek to set the forces up for a "capture the flag" style game.

You'll be glad to here that Sauron's dark shadow will not be falling over you for now, as the good forces eventually managed to flank round the over-stretched dark forces to win.

Aragon and a Rohim guard take on a Troll

The Elven guard flank round and cut off the enemy
from their own home glyph. The game is up!

Friday 16 December 2011

Zombies and Looting in the Country

After the Zombie Apolcalypse there is no point trying to defeat them, just try to survive around them.

In this "All Things Zombie" 3 player scenario (Arabiansquire, Halo*Star and myself) Arabiansquire controlled the family boarded up in their home, Halo*Star had The Goons, a set of mobsters, and Arabianknight controlled a trio of Ex Territorial Army cadets.
The Force makeup was:

  • Family: Dad (Rep 5, Shotgun, bat), Ashley (Rep 4 Pistol, Chainsaw), Granny (Rep 3, Shotgun)
  • Goons: Steve (Rep 5, Machine Pistol), John (Rep 4, Pistol), Bill (Rep 4, Pistol)
  • ex-TA: Sgt Wells (Rep 4, Submachine gun), Terry (Rep 4, Submachine Gun), Spoon (Rep 4, Bolt-action Rifle)


The Ex-TA came in from the woods at one end of the table. The Mobsters came via the road behind the garage at the opposite end. The family were holed up in their boarded cottage. All the buildings (garage, generator shed, cottage and rear workshop) were considered to be standard ATZ buildings.

Starting Zombies were generated as per the rural rules. Worth noting for history that the large group of zeds on the opposite side of the garage from the Mob were a result of Halo*Star rolling seven consecutive "2"s!

The Mobsters work their way round the area, missing
some approaching zombies.

Meanwhile the TA take cover behind the workshop
as some undead emerge from the woods

As the zombie horde is drawn to the gunfire, most the mob open fire
but one can't fight off a brace of dead and goes down.

The weekend soldiers clear the are and make it to the front door
 of the workshop.

On the other side of the cottage the two surviving criminals
run round the back of the genrator enclosure, hoping their
now ex-colleague will provide a feast distraction.

"One stands guard, two go in" are the orders for the TA.
They bump into a trio of other survivors who, after a tense
moment or two decide to joint the soldiers.

The two mob men make it to the kitchen door...

but are greeted with a pistol blast from Ashley and
forced to duck back.

Ill advisedly, Ashley decides to follow up but
gets gunned down by the goons  reaction fire.

Coast clear, the final soldier enters the workshop.

Not wanting to rush through the door again the mobman
rips off the boards covering the window - only to be immediately
blasted my Dad's shotgun.

All alone the final suited criminal decides to leave.

The group in the workshop make a break, but with a couple of poor
activations are cut off.

They attempt to blast a path clear...

But fail and beat a hasty retreat, leaving the cottage occupants
to patch up.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Warmachine - Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

As promised here are the other two Cryx models who have been staring at me for months now like my dog looking for his dinner. As with the other two I've more battled through with these to the end. Yet another ugly sculpt for the Necrotech, but prefering a 'jack based army it's preferable to have one. This is one of the reasons I like generic rulesets, if you don't like a model just use another one, but thats a different topic for another day...

I would like to say, however, that i DO like the scrap thrall sculpt. Very "in theme" and nicely done without being too cartoony. Pity that they are such minor players really.

This post was meant to be a bit of a triumph, as these guys were my last Cryx models. Unfortunately the thing that spurned me on to finish them - a couple of games last week - had me looking around and I've accidentally bought a couple (Ok, three) more. But then I will stop. Honest. It's easy to buy a couple of extra cheap models, but when you next want is a Heavy 'jack at £17+ it's a bit easier to not get sucked in. Hopefully!

Monday 5 December 2011

Warmachine - Epic Asphixious and Warwitch Siren

Nothing like lining up a couple of games to give you a push to the painting table. These have been sitting in a partially painted state (along with a couple of others) for weeks. Part of the reason is that I don't particularly like the sculpts. eGaspy just looks awkward and the almost skipping pose of the Warwitch looks strange on the table. As a result these have been painted to a table top finish, with very much a focus on the word finish! They are done, look OK on the table and I can cross them off my list. Sometimes I think you've just got push on.

Two more similar candidates are close on their heals...

Monday 28 November 2011

Re-starting the Warmachine

Deneghra advances with her two heavy 'jacks
Managed to get some time this Saturday to get along to our local club. For a bit of a change (slightly motivated by the chance of a game this week with MacSver) we dug out some Cryx mini's. I had planned to play as before, using the Cryx and Cygnar starter Battle groups , as these reduce the options enough for us to play. Arabainsquire had other ideas and wanted a Cryx vs Cryx battle (no doubt inspired by a couple of games he's seen recently at the club).
Arabiansquire's heavy metal come forward to
meet the challenge.

So I managed to cobble together a couple of 15pt lists that I hoped would work closely enough. The problem was that the new forces and unfamiliarity led to some tactical mistakes (either forces too far forward or too cautious to get into the action), so despite it being fun it didn't quite work out.
The Cankerworm gets reeled in and finished off.

I'll probably go back to the original Cryx/Cygnar combo next time until we can become more familiar with the game again. My bargaining position would probably improve of course if I actually painted my Cygnar!

Saturday 19 November 2011

By The Pricking of My Thumbs...

The first members of my new beastmen (with a touch of chaos) based warband, in preparation for my next Songs Of Blades and Heroes campaign.

From left to right, an old pre-slotta mini that I recognise from an old catalogue somewhere, but I'm damned if I can find it again. Any help would be appreciated. Next up is an old Heroquest Chaos Warrior, a D&D Young Minotaur re-paint, a Marauder Beastman and a Games Workshop Beastman (Gor?). The blank sheilds are still crying out for an emblem of some sort, but the consistency of my freehand (or lack of!) means that I would be using a decal of some sort.

Still to finalise stats for my force, as SoBH doesn't have beastmen, and I've the remnants of my initial pool to finish off - which are a pretty varied bunch.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

The Horrors Of Chaos

Not that I want to give too much away, but my preparation of the second Songs Of Blades campaign has seen me delving into the darker tomes of fantasy literature for inspiration, so I thought as a change I'd display some non White Dwarf artwork.

The lovely little forest scene is from the old Warhammer reference tome "Realm Of Chaos - The Lost And The Damned" (published in 1990) and shows some followers and creatures of  Tzeentch cavorting through the thickets. Unfortunately I can't see who created this piece so, as usual, if anyone can provide some insight in this missing fact I'd be most appreciative.

As ever Copyright obviously stays with the original owner (be it Games Workshop or the artist) and I hope that any interested parties will take these posts in the admiring showcase spirit that is intended.

Monday 14 November 2011

Songs Of Blades and Heroes - First Campaign Thoughts

Campaign Thoughts:
This campaign has been a while in coming - there was a years delay between agreeing to play and actually rolling he first dice. The intention was always to get a flavour of how the warband developed during a run of games and to see how the variable battle conditions effected play. I never expected the weather rules to have such an impact on the game. But the snow, heat waves and thunder storm all had vital roles in the games we played, impacting on the movement and activations of the both forces. Similarly the terrain board terrain played it's part - more so than we've seen in general one off games. I will definitely be using these generators for one off games in the future, as they add a bit more thought to how you play your force and dice. The scenarios also helped even the playing field as well. There was no way my Ratmen could ever face up to the Dwarves in a straight to-the-death battle. But victory conditions being applied they had a chance to at least snipe round the edges and pick up enough victory points to sneak a win. I would recommend their use to those players who fancy fielding the "weaker" races to make the battles more competitive.

I don't think either players managed to fully change their dicing tactics. By the end of battle #5 it was noticable that with the leader bonus there were mostly 3 activation dice being rolled for most figures (with 2+ being the target). I think this is where the Thunderstorm caught us out in the final battle (although MacSver needed to roll at least 2 to get his dwarves to move).

The warband development was interesting. I had thought after the first two battles that the rats were onto a hammering every time, especially as the cash reserves of dwarves vastly out weighed those of the rats. I thought that Vargen's force was going to become huge. But with a couple of wins battled back it became apparent that the cash being generated was in many cases hardly covering the costs of the loses. We both ended up with more powerful warbands (point wise) but not as much as I'd invisaged. Only one warband (Blightvale Autho-RAT-y) made it over the 400pt mark, and that was put to rest that very battle with a tactical mistake by myself and a mass moral failure from a Leader kill. With a much longer campaign (planning has started already) we will see how they develop. Riches won; experience points spent; casualties replaced: will be interesting to see how they balance out.

Overall the main thing was that we both had a lot of fun. Even the final battle, in which only one, hopeful, aggressive action was taken was entertaining. It was nice to be able to field a thought out themed force. I know that MacSver, who has invested in quite a few extra dwarves now, is looking to continue his dwarves into the next campaign. My rats have also been fun, if not difficult at times. But then I managed a couple of wins with them (no mean feat), so they can hold their snouts high.

A different force for the next campaign, though. I've a lot more unpainted figures I want to press into action in another theme...

Friday 11 November 2011

SoBH Battle #6 - Final Battle

Battlefield: Swamp
Weather: Thunderstorm
Scenario: On Difficult Ground

(New additions/changes to the warbands are in italics. Full stats shown for new recruits)

Valgen Maest's Warband (366 Pts)
  • Valgen Maest : DWARF COMMANDER (1XP) 95 Pts
  • Ovthur Whurdar: Crossbowman (1XP) 32 Pts
  • Falster Vonlyr: Elite Warrior (1XP) 52pts
  • Gnok Radamal: Elite Warrior 46 Pts
  • Harthic Urduum: Warrior (1XP) 40 Pts
  • Tyban Duerstenr : Crossbowman 24 Pts
  • Horget Goodseeker : Crossbowman 24 Pts
  • Venfi Fiendbreaker : Skirmisher 18 Pts
  • Bolbir Dwifik: Thief 36 Pts
The Blightvale Autho-RAT-y (344 Pts)
  • Skeener - Leader (1XP) 75 Pts
  • Rusineth - Swarm Master (1XP) 46 Pts
    [Heavy Armour]
  • Masssch - Warrior (1XP) 46 Pts
  • Kritsk - Warrior  27 Pts  
  • Skritskik - Warrior 27pts
  • Grisak - Champion Warrior 35 Pts
  • Durlik - Thrower  (1XP)27 Pts
  • Ikineth - Standard Bearer (1XP) 27 Pts
  • Rat Swarm (x1) 22 Pts
The Setup was as above. All the table was considered swamp (and therefore broken/rough terrain) except for the road. Other terrain features (pond/bog, woodland) were considered appropriate for the "On Broken Ground" special rules (risk of death upon entering). The battle was played to a time limit unless one force was completely defeated.

When the weather was rolled it became apparent that this battle was going to be a long slog. The swamp was already reducing movement length by one category, which meant that the Dwarves were needing 2 actions to just move at all. The Thunderstorm rules also meant that if a "1" was rolled the model became stuck for that turn and couldn't move, even if it had rolled enough other actions to do so.
With the rats needing at least a kill to try and win (and draw the campaign) they manouvered themselves into a disorderly column and made as best haste as possible down the road. The dwarves, having started in the far corner from the road were making heavy work of making any progress.
After quite a few rounds the main rat force had moved up table, whilst the dwarves tried to move in table. Both sides were avoiding the potential perils of crossing terrain pieces. The group of warriors had moved round to square off with the approaching dwarves, whilst the beastmaster (and his lagging swarm) manouvered into a flanking position.
The main rat group held back from the ranged dwarves that had moved up to protect the advancing warriors. They knew that with the swampy condition a long range charge was out of the question. The dwarves also took a risk (a false risk as it turned out) and moved into the forest areas to get out of the bottleneck and give good flanking protection to the advance crossbows. The Rat Leader positioned himself round the corner from the ranged foe, but close enough to give his warriors as much a boost as he could with his leader skill. Time was running out and any successful attack was likely to be the winning one.
But at the last gasp the rats threw a succession of triple ones on the dice (much to MacSver's amusement) and the attack faltered. The swarm-master was too far away to make an attack, so retreated to not get caught by a crossbow bolt. The lead crossbow dwarf took the last action with an extremely long range shot which missed.

And so the battle ended. The rats were cagey, and the dwarves couldn't make headway in the mud. That would be the match summary.

Battle Outcome: Draw.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

SoBH Battle #5

Battlefield: Open Ground
Weather: Heat Wave
Scenario: Take The Land
Defender: Ratmen

(New additions/changes to the warbands are in italics. Full stats shown for new recruits)

Valgen Maest's Warband (366 Pts)
  • Valgen Maest : DWARF COMMANDER (1XP) 95 Pts
  • Ovthur Whurdar: Crossbowman (1XP) 32 Pts
  • Falster Vonlyr: Elite Warrior (1XP) 52pts
  • Gnok Radamal: Elite Warrior 46 Pts
  • Harthic Urduum: Warrior (1XP) 40 Pts
  • Tyban Duerstenr : Crossbowman 24 Pts
  • Delgar Faderg: Magic-User; (1XP) 41 Pts
  • Bolbir Dwifik: Thief 36 Pts
The Blightvale Autho-RAT-y (407 Pts)
  • Skeener - Leader (1XP) 75 Pts
  • Hasnaar - Shaman (1XP) 46pts
    [Equip: Magic scroll]
  • Rusineth - Swarm Master (1XP) 46 Pts
  • Masssch - Warrior (1XP) 46 Pts
  • Griszarr - Warrior (1XP) 46 Pts
  • Kritsk - Warrior  27 Pts  
  • Skritskik - Warrior 27pts
  • Durlik - Thrower  (1XP)27 Pts
  • Ikineth - Standard Bearer (1XP) 27 Pts
  • Rat Swarm (x2) 22 Pts

The pillars represented objectives to be captured and held.

The ratmen decided to use their superior movement and rushed forward for the opening turns to take the nearest objectives and rack up some  early victory points.
The advance group of rats had managed to reach the area around furthest away objective at the same time as the dwarves. But at the crucial turn, the commander (ie me!) took the decision to fall back and not be surrounded by the tough dwarves. In hindsight, pushing on to the objective could well have won the game, that'll teach me not to pay attention to the scenario enough!
An experienced crossbowman took out one of the new rat recruits on the group fringe before a warrior rushed in and attacked at the same edge.
Another knockdown was won, whilst the crossbowman fell back as the rat reinforcements arrived by way of a rat swarm and their master.
Things looks dark for the dwarves. The rats swarms round the lone dwarf warrior, whilst the crossbowman was frozen by magic.
But a series of rolls that would have seen MacSver run out  of Las Vegas(and me with out a shirt on my back) had the warrior fighting off rat attack after rat attack. The crossbowman did fall, but the crucial action was at the other side of the melee.
With the rats tied up by the warrior a lone crossbowman skirted round and shot down the rat leader with a single bolt, killing him outright!

With all the action happening such a small area there was mass panic in the rat ranks, as they fled, or at least tried to several of them couldn't flee far enough away from their foes and were destroyed. WIth the rat force wiped out the dwarves controlled the battlefield and the win.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Vasa Vasa Everywhere

...oh my, what a load to paint!

How often does this happen? You get into a new game, carefully buying a starter set to see how it goes, then before you know if you're having a peek at Ebay to see the state of the second hand market and bidding on more troops.

Well you can chalk up another notch on the "excited bargain" bid-ometer. A Bargain too good [for me] to pass up came up, and although with a bit of self-control I picked up a good sized force. Too big to completely field  in Urban War I'm sure (still only played the demo game a couple of weeks ago) and I don't know if it's big enough for Metropolis (which doesn't bother my Skirmish force head anyway)

So what did I get?

10 Suppressors (2 Baton, 8 Gauss Rifle), 3 Snipers, 4 Grenade Launcher Suppressors, 6 Archangels, 1 Archangel Sergeant, 2 Black Legion, Kali, Neura, Konrad and a Pacifier. And I suppose you can add in the included Mercs USCR force (as they were included). Not bad for under £44 all told - so quite chuffed.

"All" I need to do is figure out an easy colour scheme to get through them!