Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Battle of Champignon

A 2500pt 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Bretonnians and Warriors of Chaos.

Scenario: Blood and Glory
Bretonnians: Drew McLean
Warriors of Chaos: Nick Hoen
Scribe: Owen Top
Rubbish photographer and random narrator: Greg Johnson

A few notes before we begin. I had originally intended to write this battle report up in the same way as the last one (Battle of the Eerie Hills), however a couple of considerations changed my mind. The first was that this game did not turn out as close as one might have hoped for a battle report, which makes it harder to put in all the effort required. More importantly though, our noble scribe for the game, Owen, decided to infect his notes with his usual oddball humour. It seemed a shame to waste it, so I've decided to give it to you (more or less) as he wrote it. The notes vary in detail, so I shall make clarifications in red where required.

We were organised this time, and Owen even brought along a better camera so that we could take some decent photos. Unfortunately the photographer was me, and shortly into the game the camera decided to pack it in anyway (I maintain it was not my fault. Owen blamed his dad, but I failed to follow his logic). So most of the photos came from my phone, as per the last game. Sorry, folks.

Monday, 27 June 2011


(or, how to be a doofus and waste your time undoing what you have just done...)

So, I was reasonably happy with the progress I was making on my latest unit filler. Last night I planned to start painting him, but first I needed to undercoat him. I had taken pains to seal the foam I used for the rock on the base with PVA, so it should have had a nice plastic coating to protect it from the elements. With that in mind, I decided I would be cheap and use a non-GW flat black enamel I have used in the past...
As you can see, the spray did a great job of eating the rock my doggy is standing upon. It would seem that my efforts to seal the foam with PVA failed, which is strange - I'm sure I've done this successfully before. Maybe I was pushing my luck by using an enamel spray instead of a proper can of Chaos Black, however I'm not even sure if it's safe to use GW acrylic sprays on foam, or whether the propellant or something in the mix will do similar damage.
Anyway, this meant that rather than spend my time painting the model, I got to waste time repairing the damage I had done with putty. On the bright side, I mixed far too much of the stuff and ended up sculpting a leg and a half of one of my Ogres who have been otherwise sidelined for the moment...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Imperial Progress IV

OK, so this will be a much shorter post. At the same time as I was wasting my time trying to work out how to do my next 2 Ogres, I was idly putting together another unit filler. This one is less strongly tied to a particular unit, which might come in useful. It's a foppish Empire noble on a hunt with his pets.
I was somewhat inspired by the Empire Duellist figures in the online-only range, with silly tight pants and codpiece. I dug around and eventually found a pair of Dark Eldar legs that I figured would do the job, so I cut off all the spiky bits and then added details back on with green stuff. The torso comes from a cannon crewman, I think. The head and pistol arm are from the Empire General plastic kit. The hooded chicken comes from a Bretonnian knight, although it lost its fleur de lis.
I also further enhanced the already foppish hat with a proper rakish feather from the Greatsword set, just hooking it into the hat properly with a bit of greenstuff in place of the skull that came on the hat (which looked too grim and serious for this guy)...
The hunting hounds are from an old Wood Elf beastmaster, but I had to bend one of them a bit to avoid the whole Attack of the Clones vibe they would have had going on.
The guy is magnetised to the base, so it will go into a case easily. His first tour of duty will probably padding out a Halberdier regiment, but it seems likely he will see most use in something like Greatswords (stuck with babysitting the irresponsible nobleman).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Vampire Count Conundrum

UPDATE: This is an old article which relates to the Vampire Counts book which has since been replaced.
Love them or hate them, they have impeccable fashion sense. And man-sized weapons...

The release of 8th edition did remarkable things in terms of levelling the playing field for all of the existing army books. By the end of 7th edition, there was a fairly clear hierarchy in terms of the strengths of the army books – all armies were most definitely not equal. The extent to which this was rectified in a single fell swoop by the release of new core rules and a few FAQs was remarkable – I would never have said that such a thing was possible.

However, for all that the massive power gaps between some of the books were largely closed, not all armies have emerged entirely happily. I think the single biggest victim of 8th edition was the Tomb Kings book, however that was soon re-released, and the end product seems to be a happily mid-strength army list that does little to upset the overall balance of power. Maybe the well-documented phenomenon of “army creep” is finally behind us (dare we hope)?

Now that Tomb Kings are no longer on the bottom of the pile, I think the biggest losers in the current state of the game are their comrades in undeath, the Vampire Counts. This must come as something of a surprise, given they were in perhaps the top 4 or 5 armies toward the end of 7th edition. To be relegated to the bottom of the pile so suddenly seems rather dramatic.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Spinning the wheels

OK, so by this point I should really be posting something about having made further progress on my Empire, but the truth of the matter is that I have achieved very little recently. This has partly been a result of my being a bit busy, and multiple painting nights being cancelled. However, my lack of progress has also been due to my focus being a little bit skewed.

With the success of my first Empire Ogre conversion, I was all fired up to make the other 2 that would sit in the Halberdier unit. I decided I wanted to make one look exactly like a big, ogre version of the old single-pose 4th edition Halberdiers I was matching, right down to the pose. The other I would make bending over, driving the spike of his halberd into a victim lying on the ground. All good, right? Well, not so much…

Monday, 20 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Shadow

And finally we have the Lore of Shadow. I admit that when people are talking about this Lore, all I ever hear is “Okkam’s Mindrazor RAAR OMGWTFBBQ!!1!” People seem to get very excited by the possibilities of this spell, especially when they’re talking about casting it on something like High Elf Spearmen. It may shock people to discover that this Lore does in fact have more than 1 spell (I know I was surprised). So let’s have a look through them.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Metal

The Lore of Metal is a slightly strange Lore, with 2 of its damaging spells lethal against the right targets, but literally useless against others. If you allow for this fact (knowing that sometimes these spells will do you little good), the remainder of the Lore offers a range of augments and hexes, with a nasty super-spell at the end. It’s an interesting mix. Is it worth taking?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Death

I remember the Lore of Death getting a lot of attention when 8th edition first came out. The Lore was loaded with spells designed for sniping characters out of units, and players were getting excited by the potential for truck loads of power dice as a result of Life Leeching after casting The Purple Sun of Xereus. Evil plans were devised around this less-than-subtle ploy, resulting in some very hit-and-miss games. This sort of approach probably contributed to a lot of the negative backlash we saw in the community in regard to 8th edition, and has fed into tournaments placing caps on the maximum power dice you can ever have at once, and bans on the Power Scroll.

So, in keeping with its theme, the Lore of Death did its share in trying to kill Warhammer in the Australian community. But now that the dust is settling and the game is still here, is the Lore of Death the abomination some players might have made it out to be?  

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Heavens

With the exception of Skink Shamans (who have no choice), I have only seen one person actually elect to use the Lore of Heavens in 8th edition. This would obviously suggest that the Lore is far from popular (at least where I play), however does this mean it is no good?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Fire

I remember when we were first looking through the 8th edition rulebook, and went pretty quickly through each of the Lores of Magic. At the time, I dismissed the Lore of Fire as the least impressive. It was an offensive Lore that somehow still lacked the ability to do serious damage (most other Lores had at least 1 spell that was more menacing). So, looking at the Lore more closely, do I still feel this way?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Beasts

The Lore of Beasts is favoured by a lot of players for low-level "backup" wizards. This is because of the Signature Spell, Wyssan's Wildform. When you're looking at a level 1 wizard, the wisest choice of Lore is generally the one with the best Signature Spell, as it's the only spell you can guarantee he can select. Other than this though, I have not seen this Lore used heavily; it is not the Lore of choice for lord-level spellcasters.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Life

 The Lore of Life gets a bit of bad press at the moment. The Lore is extremely popular, to the point where it can seem almost ubiquitous. In just two tournaments, I have already fought at least 5 armies with a level 4 Life mage. Indeed, in the first tournament I was using the Lore of Life myself (had I realised everyone else would be using it too, I would have chosen something else...).

OK, so why is it so popular, and why does this displease opponents?

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Light

Often people are undecided what Lore of Magic they are going to take with their wizards (those of us who have a choice, anyway). This can be a major decision, in particular now that the Lore selection is effectively part of the army selection. In some ways this is appropriate, given your choice of spells will often affect what troops will work most effectively with them, and vice versa. I thought I would run through the different Lores and discuss their uses, and which armies they work best with.

I have decided to start with the Lore of Light, which is what I took most recently to a tournament.

Steadfast and the Horde

A Horde of Black Orcs. Choppiness to spare.
I think the rules for Steadfast and Hordes are two of the most exciting rules to be added in 8th edition Warhammer. These rules are, in effect, the first time there has ever been a reason to field more than 25-30 models in a single unit. There are exception to this statement – unbreakable models have always benefited from being in as large a unit as you could afford, and the Unit Strength rule did make a small difference (or a big one where Fear was involved) – however for most units, fielding 40 models or more in a single unit was inefficient. The number of models fighting would be much the same as when the unit had only 25 models, and rank bonus would be largely unaffected. Every model dies when the unit breaks and is run down, so why spend the points on the extra 15 models?

Monday, 6 June 2011

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only War(machine)

I think a lot of the Jacks in Warmachine look pretty cool. But things like this are a bit gangly for my taste...
I am going to be honest with you. I had barely even heard of Warmachine or Hordes (Warmahordes) before 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy was released. I am aware that the game has been around for years, and that there have been people playing it in the past. However, it was not until 8th edition was released, people tried it, and a lot of them found they didn’t like it, that Warmahordes really leapt into prominence for me.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Battle of the Eerie Hills

A 4000pt 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between The Empire and Vampire Counts, by Greg Johnson and Ben Morrison