Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Battle Report 750pts Dwarves vs Elves

First off this was the first battle for my opponent so a lot of rules were ignored, no magic items; 1 hero 2 core and 1 special unit.

Runesmith w/ shield, 10 Thunderers w/ shields, 20 Longbeards w/ great weapons & shields, 13 Ironbreakers*

Lvl 2 Mage mounted on barded steed, 10 swordmasters, 10 seaguard w/ shields and 10 Silver Helms w/ shields* **

*mixed command on both sides.
**I reviewed his list once and saw he missed some models from what he paid for but didn't check a second time and he cheated himself of 10 seaguard

not my opponent, this time

We deployed on a small 30x30 table no terrain already within shooting range of each other. Ironbreakers w/ runesmith on my left flank, longbeards in the middle and thunderers on my right. Silver helms across from my ironbreakers, swordmasters across from longbeards and seaguard across from thunderers, mage was out on that flank too.

First Turn:
Marched longbeards and ironbreakers out a mighty 6", shot and killed 2 seaguard. He moves up silverhelms & swordmaster, magic and shooting kills 4 longbeards - TURN ELVES

Second Turn:
Just for funsy i charged his two units with mine, longbeards understandly failed but ironbreakers put on their booster packs and rolled a 12 charging the silverhelms. Shooting all 10 shots missed the mage who moved out too far. Combat w/ the new dwarven rules of +1 S on charge and runesmith giving armor piercing i killed on silver helm, he fails to get past super parry, they lose by three and flee off the table, ironbreakers pursue but no juice left in their jet packs. He turns seaguard to face whole of my army with ironbreakers now behind his lines, swordmasters charge. magic kills 2 or 3 ironbreakers and shooting fails him again. I lose 8 longbeards and kill 5 pointy ears in return, lose combat but stay stuck in TURN DWARVES\

Third Turn
Iron breakers advance toward seaguard, thunderers wound the mage. combat kills 5 longbeards and 3 elves, combat locked w/ 2 swordmasters and 3 longbeards remaining. Thunderers again fail to hit anything. His swordmasters finish off longbeards, again his shooting does nothing but another ironbreaker dies to magic. TURN ELVES

Fourth Turn
Ironbreakers attempt charge get nowhere close. Thunderers shoot swordmaster wounding three times but they parry 2 times leaving the swordmaster. swordmaster rolls snake eyes on charge, seaguard charge ironbreakers and mage hides behind combat away from thunderers. seaguard hit all 9 times with rerolls wound 4 times (needing 5s) but cant get past armor and parry, i kill 6 in return he runs, i restrain and turn to face mage.

Fifth Turn
Thunderers kill remaining swordmaster, ironbreakers corner mage. seaguard rally moves away. mage finally pulls off second spell targeting runemsith but it blows up in his face killing his mage but wounds my runesmith.

Sixth Turn
Thunderers kill last seaguard

With 7 or 8 Ironbreakers, runesmith and all 10 thunderers I would call that the resounding victory a veteran should have over the newb. Spent time afterwards going over what went wrong, and finally reviewed his list and saw the mistake, but with how ineffective they had been i doubt a few more seaguard would have mattered much. But most importantly he was introduced to the major rules and concepts of Fantasy, he enjoyed it and got hooked with lore, he also learned to hate the dice. And I got to strike off a few grudges, while adding 1 for those pesky swordmasters.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Snakes of Ithaka

Salutations folks!

Today I want to share one of my current hobby projects. Recently I reread Brotherhood of the Snake by the excellent Dan Abnett (Ebook from the Black Library ) and it has inspired me to embark upon a new army, namely the Iron Snakes. For those not familiar with the Iron Snakes they are a Ultramarine successor chapter based on the planet of Ithaka and its moon Charybdis located in the Reef Stars. The Reef Stars have long been plagued with raids by the Dark Eldar or "Primuls" in the local tongue as well as a massive Ork invasion as depicted in the novel. The Iron Snakes are also briefly included in the new Space Marine Codex. With this project I will have an actual "Codex" army (Black Templars don't count, GW). That being said, the Iron Snakes make use of some idiosyncratic methods of warfare not seen in a purely Codex chapter. For example, each tactical squad is depicted as having an apothecary in it. I fully intend to model this for my Tac squads, but not to have them count in game terms except in command squads. The Snakes also make use of war spears and combat shields, habits taken from hunting the great sea wyrms of their home world and also similar to the Classical Greek Hoplite style of fighting. I have modeled and begun painting on two examples of this so far and I intend to model more spear and shield models as well as models with bolter and shield and combat blade and shield.

 Here are some of my works in progress:

The shield and spear models I had to do a bit of cutting and scrounging in the old bits bag. The hands are from a Vanguard Thunder Hammer and a right hand with a grenade. The left arms are also grenade throwing poses. The spears are High Elf spears taken from the Fantasy Spearmen set. The shields are a non GW product. They are off of the Wargames Factory Saxon Thegn box set. I removed the boss and filed away the metal rim. The model with the trident I intend to use as my company Captain while the model with the traditional combat shield will be the Company Champion. Throughout the entire force, I want to try to maintain the classical Greek theme as well as the nautical roots of the Ithakan wyrm hunters. My next big challenge will be to get some sort of scale hide bits to use as wyrm trophies and make/find some more Greek style short swords.

That is all for now, good readers. Look for more of the sons of Ithaka over the coming months as the army takes shape both in models and lists (or something else if my hobby attention shifts to something else.....). Happy gaming!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Warmachine First Impressions

Greetings folks!

Not too long ago I managed to get in two games of Warmachine. These were my first games ever with the system so I thought I would offer a few of my first impressions. I am not really going to go into much detail on the two battles since they were both learning games more or less for all of us involved.


I like the models Privateer Press has put out for the various Warmachine factions. The designs certainly aren't revolutionary, but they certainly fit the Steam Punk/Sorcery aesthetic. My main complaints come from the choice of poses and mold designs they have gone with for models. First of all, the plastic Storm Blades I recently purchased were god awful to put together. They really need to leave the models on the frames rather than cutting them off to package. Whatever process they use to clip the models from the frames leaves a horrible amount of plastic left over to trim off and file down at the cut points. The system of pegs used to attach limbs is also fairly clumsy and even a slight miss clip can cause attachment issues. The posses themselves are also not the most fluid or natural.

My test Storm Blade model.

The Rules

So what did I think of the actual game? Well, my first impressions were positive. It is a much smaller scale game then what I normally prefer, but I had fun in the two games I played. Warmachine seems to be a much more skirmish level game and the rules are pretty balanced to reflect that. Even the larger 60 point game i played didn't have that many models on the table. Even for teaching games, the two I played went by pretty fast. The action starts early and never really stops over the course of a game. Attacks can be boosted in damage fairly easily, making most units incredibly deadly if set up correctly. I look forward to getting some more games under my belt so I can get a better perspective on the rules.

That is all for now folks. I will come back in the future with a more in depth article after I get some more games under my belt. Until then, look for a article on my current 40k project in the near future as well as a look at what is on my painting table. Happy gaming folks!

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Dwarf book write up- dont expect much, unless you are expecting a really long post with some weird pics thrown in after a really long post title

Oh god the remade another good guy book i am sure it sucked

It finally happened, they re-did the Dwarf book, and beyond my wildest imagination they made them better. Not a little bit, but a lot. Possibly enough to make them competitive; only time and battles will tell if this is the case. But as I read the Dwarf book it was an improvement all the way around. For once the book didn’t get smaller, the lore didn’t get more vanilla, magic items, or in this case runes, didn’t get nerfed. Units got better and they introduced new units that are actually worth a damn. New points, new stats, new characters and new runes and rules. As I read the book it seemed every facet had improved. Now I will not go into every change because that is too much and on the internet there can be too much of a good thing, it also keeps the GW lawyers at bay.

To start I will cover changes, updates to lore.
 Not much here, they have named a few more holds and karaks. Most interestingly they have added Norscan Dwarfs, beyond the fact that they exist and don’t worship chaos nothing more to report on that front. Some interesting background on Throgrim the High King and some of his exploits and some more background with the new characters introduced.

Several general rules added to the dwarfs, some were just rehashes of old ones. Maybe most interesting is Ancestral Grudge: possibility of dwarves hating everybody now.  There is also Resolute which gives them a buff when charging, and lastly shieldwall which gives them a bonus when charged. They also have rules for Dwarven Handguns and Crossbows now.
They introduced Ancestral Heirlooms-premade runic items, at first I was terrified that they seriously cut back runes because of this. However! They added a new twist to runes, now when certain runes are stacked they give interesting benefits beyond simply adding the bonuses up they have new twists.  For examples Rune of Fury 1. +1 attack, 2. +1 attack and frenzy, 3. +1 attack, frenzy and any successful to hit roll gives an additional attack.
Pretty much every unit got a bonus, way too many to add to this already long post. Interestingly Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers are cool, and now they seem worth getting, and for a lot fewer points than the Gyrocpoter was before. Irondrakes are an ‘elite’ missile unit- basically ironbreakers with cool guns.


I like this book. In fact I will be revisiting my dwarf army, which has long been ignored due to how much they sucked. Now I can’t wait to try out all their new stuff. I have already bought two of the new characters Belegar Ironhammer a lord and Grimm Burloksson an engineer who gives nice buffs. In addition to these I will be adding hammerers, more iron breakers, iron drakes, organ gun and maybe some gyrocopters. Sorry for the long post but this is what happens when I have been away too long. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The True Ending of an Era

 WARNING! Nostalgia heavy article incoming!

Lo Pan is not pleased!

Well folks, today it is with a heavy heart I report on the new White Dwarf Weekly and Warhammer:Visions. Let me first state that I purchased the digital edition of White Dwarf Weekly from the Black Library, and I did not purchase Warhammer:Visions though I have perused it through various means. That being said, let us take a look at the new White Dwarf. What do we now get for $4 a pop? Well, you get approximately 30 pages worth of content with a focus on what new releases came out during the week, Paint Splatter, Jervis Johnson's column, a two page blurb about the new Tyranids, a small assembly guide for the new Dwarf kits, a brief rules section on a new Dwarf character, Designer's Notes, and in a most unusual return of a reader letter section. I read the entire magazine in around the time it took for my pot of coffee to finish percolating this morning (disclaimer: I am a quick reader, but this is a very short publication). So what do I think of all of this?

While I realize that this was going to be a short publication, I did not expect it to be this short. If you add up the pages of each magazine (assuming 30 as the average) you get a whole magazine of roughly 120 pages. While I welcome the return of a rules section, I have a sneaking suspicion that the rules included will in fact turn out to be extracts from a forthcoming army book, rather than anything novel. I do hope I am proved wrong over the coming months, but I hold little hope. As for the reader letter/question section, I could really care less about it in the current format. One reader submission was met with a product plug, and a modeling question regarding how to properly model Tau Battle Suit support systems, I spit upon the response they give! Just stick something on and make sure your opponent knows what it is?! Are you kidding me!! Let us go ahead and chunk the entire concept of modeling out the window shall we? This half assed response to a serious question, and a question that hits on a glaring problem with GW kits, is to my mind unacceptable. Given the now weekly release schedule, and the focus on new releases to the exclusion of most everything else, I find it highly unlikely I will be purchasing this on even a semi-regular basis if this is the level of content to expect.

Specialist Games on the cover!

Now we turn to Visions. While I enjoy a good coffee table picture book as much as the next person, and be assured that is what Visions is, I am wholeheartedly disappointed that my 12 years of subscribing to White Dwarf will end with this. Yes, the pictures are very pretty as to be expected, and there are a lot of them. The battle report, if it can indeed be called that, is basically a photo spread with a few annotations. While it could be argued that this is indeed a good resource for painting and modeling, what does purchasing this magazine solve that a Google search could not produce? And let us look at the store listings section. We get Europe, Canada, and NO North America. I really hope this is a mistake and not a sinister precursor of things to come.......

What up new White Dwarf?

 Now should anyone be truly surprised by what each magazine contains? The answer is "no". GW was very upfront about what each magazine would be like. I think a lot of the disappointment that myself and others feel is based off of hoping for something that was never promised. As I already stated, I have a back catalogue of White Dwarf's going back over ten years. The White Dwarf magazine of my youth was a completely different beast to what the magazine contains now.  White Dwarf used to be a truly hobby oriented magazine. Battle reports with point values and turn by turn analysis with charts of movements and actions, conversion projects, new rules to be tried out, exploration of background lore, and an honest to the warp reader mail column featuring "Dirty Steve". You got content for all the primary game systems as well as the odd Specialist Games article. New releases were of course  highlighted, but they were not forced down your throat.

So as always, where am I going with this? I am very disappointed in what I am seeing so far. The very notion that a skimpy weekly magazine is supposed to draw people into the stores to make purchases that they weren't already going to make is ridiculous. Why would I purchase a weekly magazine that contains little that could not be seen through the GW official website for weekly releases? Why would  I purchase a physical copy of a small publication that I undoubtedly will not keep when I could just get an electronic copy? Why would I spend money on a picture collection that in all likely hood could be seen via a quick image search online? Did anyone even ask these questions before they made this decision? Am I bitter about the direction GW has decided to go? Damn right I am. While I may come across in this article as a bitter old gamer who just wants the rose tinted past to come back, and in some very justifiable ways I am, I feel that anyone who has been around the hobby for any amount of time will have to ask some serious questions. I am reserving judgement on the new release schedule as far as models and books are concerned, though I already have a few thoughts on it. Until next time dear readers! Be well and happy gaming!