Thursday, 29 September 2011

Yavannie

Well I did manage to meet my September targets.

1) 7 Sea Guard:



These 7 models complete my full unit of 28 Sea Guard. As pointed out in a previous post I had the free hand 4 of the Shields:


This is the comparative shot (before I based them). Left - the plastic moulded GW shield. Right - my free hand attempt. With funky Elven rune to break up the white.

2) My other aim was to construct an Inn/Tavern to adorn the battle field. I'm really pleased with how this has turned out.

This is all made from cardboard, metal meshing from a document tray and wooden tea stirrers from McDonald's. Keep a look out for the detail on the doors and windows. Also check out the sign:

Kieron won the naming comp - I'm going to call it the Reavers Return Inn. The flaps at the bottom of the structure are for basing purposes once I have completed the project by painting it.


This name sign is connected with two tiny magnets to the main building meaning I can change it depending on which army I'm facing. The Green Orc, The Queen Ariel, The Brewers Droop or maybe The Spread Eagle.

                                       




My bonus for this month was the construction of a 4'*4' gaming table top for battles in Deepcar. Not an impressive bonus but very useful. After playing a few games on an octagonal poker table I was becoming increasingly aware of how in-appropriate this shaped gaming table was. So I went square. The battle reports below show off the table.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Auta miqula orqu

This time it was an old enemy of the High Elves... Orcs and Goblins. Will kindly agreed to travel to deepest darkest Deepcar for a 2000 point battle last night. Did the string of crushing defeats continue for the skirted ones? Read on...



Bar a unit of 12 unpainted archers (which will no doubt form Octobers painting target so I can field a fully painted 2000 point army), the above was the army I fielded.

I had two possible builds for facing Orcs and Goblins. The above (which I'll detail more in a   second) and an army list involving a Prince on a Dragon, a Dragon Mage, 2 units of Dragon Princes, 4 eagles and my usual core (as High Elves really don't have much choice when it comes to core units). My idea for the later army was to fly behind enemy lines, eradicate any war machines and then charge into the Orc rear. It all sounded fun and different but I felt I needed to win my first engagement against Orcs with Magic and only having a Dragon Mage limited that. So I went back to my trusty Silver Helm and Archmage setup.

Core: 28 Sea Guard, 12 Archers
Special: 13 Silver Helms, 12 Sword Masters
Rare: Bolt Thrower
Lords & Heroes: Lvl 4 ArchMage, 1 Mounted Noble, 1 Mounted BSB.

Everyone kind of expects me to take Lore of Shadows now I guess but after choosing Life against the Chaos I thought I would give it another whirl. With Life (and more importantly the Throne of Vines) I can ignore miscasts on a 2+ and also take Flesh to Stone which has the possibility of increasing my toughness by 4! Just as useful as Okkams Mindrazor really. I gave the Archmage a silver wand so he knew 5 spells (Throne of vines, Shield of thorns, regrowth, Flesh to Stone and Awakening of the Wood).

To further my spell casting dominance I took an Annulian Crystal (so I could steal and Orc Power Pool die to add to my dispel pool), a Banner of Sorcery (D3 extra power pool die) and a Radiant Gem of Hoeth making my mounted noble a level 1 High magic mage. This importantly gave me the inherent spell Drain Magic (I don't think I ever cast Courage of Anaerion).

So onto to setup: I was facing quite a large force. So large in fact Will had trouble setting up on my new 4'x4' gaming table.


I was facing 6 trolls, a large unit of Orcs, Squig herders, a horde of goblins with spears, snotlings, a pump wagon, goblin archers, goblins mounted on forest spiders and a giant spider. A goblin lore master was mounted on the giant spider, the goblin units and Orcs each had a shaman! I was glad I had lots of dispelling power to unleash. We played with an Elven Waystone and a magic stone circle. It was a straight forward mosh!

Turn 1 - I quickly advanced the Sword Masters into the pub. The Silver helms moved towards the stone circle and the gap for the charge at the Trolls next turn. With the goblin archers out of sight, the sea-guard hopped over the wall to get into shooting range of the goblin spears. Magic was very successful. I cast the Throne of vines, then the Shield of Thorns on the Sword Masters and even managed to pull of dispel magic! Almost perfect. During shooting I hammered the goblin spears with everything, 1 wound away from causing a panic test. Oh well. Over to Will.


The Orcs and Goblins passed all animosity tests and started their advance... or at least tried. The Gobin spider riders charged the pub where the Sword Masters were 'garrisoned'. The Trolls failed to charge the Silver Helms moving 4" closer for me to retaliate. The giant spider moved between the pub and the chapel. Will primed the pump wagon but it only moved 3" and as (bad)luck would have it got right in the way of the goblin spearmen. They wheeled slightly. The snotlings also had to wheel slighly. The Orcs and Squig herders moved to support the Trolls. During the magic phase Will threw all his power dice into casting some nasty spell which gave the spider riders poisoned attacks. I didn't manage the dispel. But my Shield of Thorns managed to take 1 spider down before combat. Not that combat lasted long. The Sword master butchered all the goblins before they could retaliate.

Turn 2 - I charged the Trolls. Quick reformed the sea-guard allowing me to move back behind the wall in preparation for the incoming giant spider charge. I left the Swords in the building - where they seemed pretty safe. Magic, I managed to cast Flesh to Stone on the Helms (now toughness 7 - beat that Trolls) and Dispel Magic again. Woot! Shooting. Not much in range so I took a chance shot at the giant spider with the archers and Bolt Thrower. Lots of hits and after random distribution - pretty much all on the Goblin Lore Master - who with little armour and no ward save quickly met his maker. Close combat and with the extra strength from charging I cut down 2 Trolls. They had a chance to hit back but couldn't touch the toughness 7 Knights. Will thought the combat resolution wouldn't be too bad, unit I rolled a 6 for my High Elf Battle Banner. The Trolls broke and I ran them down. However, on doing so we crossed a wall which killed 2 Helms! More than the Trolls! Nasty wall.

Will again tried to push his main goblin horde forward, but the spears fail animosity and cant move or cast for the rest of the turn. In a surprise move he moved the spider out to my flank to threaten the archers and Bolt thrower:


He wheeled the Orcs and Squig herders to face the Silver Helm flank and rear respectively:


As he moved the goblin archers within 8" of the Sword Masters 2 fanatics sprung out but seemed magnetically attracted to the chapel wall; SPLAT!

Magic and he casts Hand of Gork to move the spears closer to my line. All other spell casting attempts are easily dispelled. My turn 3.

With the Silver Helms in a very precarious position I wheel them to face the Orc menace. I wheeled my archers and Bolt Thrower to face the spider. Again I left the Sword Masters in the pub (they were having a merry old time waiting for the goblin archers to walk into the space between them and the chapel). Magic and I cast regrowth at full strength bringing the 2 dead Silver Helms back to life. Dispel Magic finishes my casting. Shooting, the Bolt Thrower misses but amazingly the Archers wound the spider considerably. It has 2 wounds remaining.

Surprise surprise the Orcs charge the Silver Helms. Will forgets to charge the archers with the spider being too pre-occupied with my large unit of Knights. He moves the Squigs closer towards the flank of the Helms. The archers move into the Sword Masters trap. The pump wagon, snotlings and Goblin spears get ever closer to the sea guard:


Magic and Will miscasts the Hand of Gork. It allows him to move the squigs to the rear side of my Knights. Maybe he thought his Orcs would hold. The miscast hurts my noble (1 wound left) and kills 3 Orcs. Will remembers he has goblin archers on top of the spider and shoots at the archers, killing a few. The following close combat sees the Silver Helms kill another 2 orcs. The fight back rebounds of the Silver Helm armour. With another great roll for the High Elf battle banner the Orcs flee and are cut down by the Knights (also taking my Knights a considerable distance away from the Squigs).

Turn 4 and I wheel the Knights to face the goblin spearmen rear. A final fanatic almost crashes into my unit! The Sword Masters exit the building to face the goblin archer flank. Magic and I miscast awakening the wood (yes even with the 2+ save from the Throne of Vines... ergh). It does no damage to the giant spider. In fact the magic detonation wipes out 4 Sea guard. I do manage to again pull off dispel magic but Will uses his remaining dice to dispel my Shield of Thorns. Shooting and another wound is taken off the giant spider. 1 wound left! The snotling horde is reduced to 1 wound by the sea guard. No close combat.

The Spider finally charges the archers. The pump wagon is 'pumped ard' and impacts into the Silver Helms killing 2 instantly. With the snotling horde in the way the goblin archers can't charge and are forced to move forward. The goblin archers wheel to face some sword master fun. Magic is un-eventful. No Shooting. Close combat and the archers break and flee off the battle field. The Spider chases them but doesn't quite reach. The Silver Helms Crush the pump wagon but don't overrun far enough to reach the goblin spearmen.

Turn 5 I charge both the goblin spearmen and archers. Rotate the Bolt Thrower to face the spider. Magic and I cast Flesh to Stone on the Knights. The Bolt Thrower misses the spider. Both the Sword Masters and Silver Helms win combat comfortably. The goblin archers are run down. The Spearmen escape the silver helm hooves. 4 die as they fail dangerous terrain tests running through the sea-guard.


Wills turn and all he can do is reform the fleeing spearmen, wheel the giant spider to face the Bolt Thrower - so he throws in the towel and admits defeat.

A Crushing victory for the High Elves. We only lost 1 unit of 12 archers (worth around 130 points). I managed to remove the Spider Riders, Trolls, Orcs (with Shaman and General), Goblin Archers (with Shaman), the battle standard in the goblin spearmen, and the Goblin Lore master. A very nice result and I now know how Kieron felt after our last battle! It does indeed feel good.

Now lets head back to the pub!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Asca

Time for an update... and to show you all how far behind schedule I am (real life just got in the way).

I have managed to complete (except the bases) the last 7 Sea Guard for my unit of 28:


It's now the 20th September so what has taken me so long. Well I have been away with work a lot this month and after Augusts painting marathon I had to spend some time with the family. But also I ran out of Sea-Guard Shields! So did I order more from Games Workshop? Take a closer look:


The shield on the left is a sculpted version from the "Island of Blood" base set. I didn't order any more sculpted pieces. The shield on the right is my hand painted substitute. Pretty good huh? Well I think so. Basically I copied the motif in Chaos black and then painted in the detail. Took ages but the look is worth it! 4 of the above models have the hand painted Shields.

The keen eyed observer will also notice in the first picture that the Inn/Tavern is also under construction (and a random picture of me and the wife). I'm trying to add a little life to the print out Townscape building. This includes making proper windows out of a stationary tray and also raiding McDonald's for some tea/coffee stirrers to add a Tudor look to the building. I'll also make the doors out of these handy bits of wood (thanks to Kieron for the tip there).



So I'm a little behind and have to hurry along. I have a few more nights out on the town (my socialbly acceptably way to say I'm off gaming!) so may struggle to get this complete.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Lle naa curucuar

Another battle and another loss for the High Elves. I'm starting to see a pattern developing. The 2000 point battle was against Lee and his Chaos army; obviously keen for revenge. It was a straight forward battle. This is how we both setup:


As expected Lee came to the field with his usual tactic - large heavily armoured units (Warriors, Chosen and Knights) that would march forward quickly to engage me in close combat. These were supported by a chariot, a large unit of blood hounds and the war shrine. Two Chaos sorcerers (lore of Death and Fire) completed his army.

Predicting this setup I went for a stand back and shoot defensive setup. 28 Sea Guard in 2 ranks, 2 Bolt Throwers (see Kelly I do listen) and 10 archers I was hoping would whittle down the Chaos numbers before, as our Orc enemy would say, 'da big Krunccch'. Once the Chaos broke through this line I would have 5 Dragon Princes and 18 Sword Masters waiting to show their martial prowess and slaughter these northern raiders. I also wanted to test my magic weighted army so took a level 2 Dragon Mage of Caledor and a level 4 Archmage.

In the last two battles against Lee I have taken the lore of Shadows. When replacing my 15 strong silver Helm unit with more Sword Masters and Dragon Prices I knew I had to change tactic. I expected to be facing the lore of death so took the Lore of Life (N.B. the Dragon mage has to take Lore of Fire). It seemed to make sense to have that balance.

My first turn and I advanced the Sea Guard into shooting range of the Warriors. My Sword Masters ran to the safety of the nearby building (it was the Heroes Sanctum making them stubborn if attacked). I flew the Dragon mage into the magic stone circle, thinking magic resistance (2) would help him. During my magic phase I manage to cast Throne of Vines to up the magical power of my Life spells and reduce the risk of miscasts. My Dragon mage threw several fire balls at the Knights and used his spell stored in a magic ring to no effect. Shooting was just as successful. I think we managed to kill one Knight!

Now the keen eyed observer may notice the beautiful auburn locks of the dragon mage atop of his moon dragon. Look closely they wont be there for long! The Chaos Knights fail to charge the dragon. All other units move closer to my front line. The Chaos magic phase and I fail to dispel a direct damage Lore of death spell that targets the Dragon Mage instantly turning him to dust. Nearly 200 points down in turn 1. Ouch. My dragon gets to fight on but is now rather stupid! The war shrine blesses the Warriors with +1 attacks. That's gonna hurt.

Still he passes his stupidity test and flies over the advancing Chaos ranks ready for a rear charge next turn. Shooting is a little more successful, the Sea Guard wipe out the hounds and the Bolt Throwers start to whittle down the Knights and Warriors. I cast Stone Skin (+4 toughness - remember my archmage was on his Throne!) on the sword masters hoping to dissuade the Chaos from storming the building.

The Chaos continue to advance on my position. With most of my arrows bouncing off his armour it was to be expected. Magic sees the Dragon princes surrounded by a flamming cage, this fries one on the spot and has the added benefit (for Lee) of preventing me charging the approaching Chosen next turn. All other spells as dispelled easily by the level 4 archmage.

Turn 3 and my dragon passes another stupidity test and gets to charge the Knights in the rear. My Sword Masters come out of hiding as they are now in a position to charge into the warriors flank should they fail the charge against my Sea Guard (which with Lee's luck at charge roles would be a safe bet). But just in case I fast reform the sea-guard into a 4 rank block. More ineffective shooting leads us into the first close combat. The Dragon takes 2 wounds but dishes out some damage back. Even with the rear charge the combat ends in a draw. The chaos hit me back hard.

The Warriors charge the sea guard, the chosen charge the Dragon Princes and the war shrine charges the Sword Masters:



The Dragon finally wins combat but the Knights Hold. The Princes do extremely well against the Chosen and combat is drawn. The sword masters manage to do something good for the elves breaking the shrine and chasing it down to wipe it off the field. Now for my secret weapon my Archmage, I challenge the champion of the warrior unit. Lee has a smug look on his face unit I tell him my Archmage is wearing robes which means he can only be wounded by magical attacks! With the champion out of the way the entire Sea Guard unit fight on to draw combat.

My turn and I rotate the sword masters to pressure the rear of the large chaos warrior unit. I cast stone skin on the sea guard to offer them a little more protection against the warriors. Shooting with one bolt thrower at the only unit not in combat, the chaos chariot reduces it to 2 wounds. Time to face another round of close combat. The Dragon Princes are finally wiped out. The warriors break the Sea Guard (failing a leadership 9 test by 1) and they flee to safety. The warriors pass a leadership test to hold and reform to face the Sword Masters:


Then comes a big turning point in the game. My dragon is facing the 3 remaining Knights. It has 1 wound remaining. With lower initiative I sense the death of my dragon coming, but the Knights are demoralised and fail to wound it. I attack back killing another Knight. 1 Knight and the mounted sorcerer (looking suspiciously like an Elf) left with a Thunder stomp to come. I'm smiling... that is until one of the horses bites my dragon and kills it! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo! 


The two remaining Knights reform to enter the battle. Another Chaos turn and the Chosen charge one Bolt Thrower the chariot the other. Neither lasts very long. The warriors fail to charge the sword masters.

I retaliate with a charge against the warriors. We make it in. My archers rotate to shoot at the advancing chosen. My Sea Guard reform and I cast Stone skin on the Sword Masters. With stone skin protection the sword masters draw combat against the terrifyingly strong warriors.

Another chaos turn and the chosen charge the archers the chariot charges the sea-guard. The archers realising they don't stand a chance against the chosen flee through the gap between the chaos warriors and the sea guard. Still with their stone skin the sword masters again hold their own against the warriors.

The final turn sees the Sea Guard unit succumb to the chariot. They are run down as they flee. But Sword Masters finally win combat and in turn run down the remaining warriors and slam into the chariot. This is all that remains for both side:


Even though I outnumbered the Chaos in the end, both his characters were still alive while mine were making compost. That was a difference of 500 points so I lost the battle! Again!

Lee played a great game and I really enjoyed the battle. Playing with a new magic lore (life) did raise some questions though:

1) When I cast throne of vines can my mage still move while 'sat' on the throne?

2) The Throne of vines increases the abilities of some of the spells. For example stone skin starts off as +2 to unit toughness, but if cast from the throne increase to +4 toughness. The question is, if I cast it from the throne (to get the +4) but the throne is later dispelled does it reduce to the normal +2? The rules state that it offers +4 toughness when cast (therefore it suggests it would hold). We played that it doesn't hold!

I'll probably play lore of life again. I might even make a throne vine to put my Mage on! That will be Octobers project!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Rima ten'ta!

Well this guy made it out alive:


Last night the Elves took on the Bretonnians... and to put it simply we got a good pasting! I think the Elves forgot their weapons. Out of 1600 points the only Elves left alive were this Sword Master and a unit of 10 Archers (even these 11 ran as fast as they could away from the Knights of Bretonnia). The only casualties suffered by the brave Bretonnian force were 5 Knights Errant, 6 pilgrims and about 10-14 Men-at-arms. The archers were so ashamed of their high elf commander that they have left for the forest and declared themselves Wood Elves!

So where did it all go wrong... well everywhere. We played the Meeting Engagement scenario. Kieron setup in a tight formation around a sanctum of disorder, leaving only the Pegasus Knights in the open. His Grail Knights and Men-at-arms were off field in reserve:



I had just as much luck with the reserve roll, loosing my BSB and my 21 strong unit of Seaguard. I spread the remaining Elves across the battle line (my first mistake). I used the Sword Masters to try and chase down the Pegasus Knights. My archers were placed mid field to shoot at anything that moved. I placed the Helms close to the edge of the battle field to circle the trees and slam into the Bretonnians. My eagle was behind the Helms ready to swoop into action (I wanted him to take out the Trebuchet).

Kieron prayed giving me first turn. He did vanguard the Pegasus Knights to safety away from the Sword Masters before I got to move. My first turn I moved the Helms into a charging position beside the trees. I forgot to bring on the BSB to compliment the unit (second mistake - and one I kept making until about turn 3). The Sea-guard marched into the mid-field. With nothing notable nearby anymore the Sword Masters made the long march towards the rear of the Sanctum of disorder.

My first magic round should of indicated the warhammer Gods were against me. With Kieron's force setup so tightly it gave me a great opportunity to cast the pit of shades vortex spell. With nothing else to cast I rolled all 4 (yes 4) power dice for the super-charged version - and miscast! Luckily I had the Staff of Solidity so could ignore the miscast. Great a vortex spell on a closely grouped army cast with irresistible force. It scattered off the field! Grrrr....

Shooting was equally ineffective. My archers peppered the Pegasus knights but the arrows bounced off their armour!

The Bretonnian reserves came straight on to support the army in the Sanctum. He moved the Knights Errant towards the archers and the Pegasus Knights towards the Silver Helms:


The Bretonnian magic phase saw a direct damage spell kill a few Helms.

Turn 2 and I charged into the Grail Reliquae & Pilgrims with the Silver Helms (3rd mistake). Again I forgot the BSB leaving the Knights without the battle banner considerably weakened.


As per my usual tactic I cast Okkam's Mindrazor... well I attempted to cast Mindrazor, my arch-mage failed to cast it with 4 power dice and his +4 bonus. Ergh! The Helms saw off a few pilgrims but they were stubborn and so left me caught in the net. Shooting was ineffective.

Kieron retaliated charging both the Grail Knights and the Pegasus Knights into the helms.



They didn't win combat and fled about 6 inches. The Pegasus Knights gave chase 7 inches wiping them all out and bringing them into contact with my eagle! No more magic for me. The eagle lasted just as long as the knights. About 60% of my force was dead by my turn 3.


Meanwhile the Knight Errant were chasing down my archers. We continued to pummel them with arrows but their armour was too strong. We managed to kill 1 as they charged forwarded. The initial charge came against the Archers, who fled (never to reform even though they were close to the BSB - some great dice rolling). The charge was successfully re-directed to the Seaguard.


My Seaguard lasted 1 round of combat before fleeing and again I was overrun by about 1 inch. The Errants were now in the charging arc of my Baron though. My Baron charged and with his battle banner won combat cutting them to pieces as he caught up with the fleeing Bretonnians. However retribution was swift and a direct damage spell killed the Baron outright.

I had 1 unit left by turn 4. The Sword Masters. They had sneaked around the back of the Brettonian army. A little goading (mistake... I've lost count now) aimed towards my opponent stopped him running away with the Men-at-arms. They turned to face me. I charged. The first combat was drawn, the second saw the Masters reduced to the unit champion... who cried "I'm outta here".

A devastating defeat for the High Elves. Next time we bring out the big guns. Kieron deserves bragging rights. He played a great game of warhammer. I feel like I was attempting to play Snakes and Ladders upside down and in a different room.



Thursday, 1 September 2011

Malia ten' yulna?

We are still awaiting the final results for the 'Tale of x gamers' competition for August. I have a sneaky feeling that Lee's Chaos army may take this months glittering prize. The war shrine and chariot conversions he did look fantastic. You can see them here:


While we wait time moves on and another month means another set of painting goals. Well it seems a no-brainer that I will complete the final 7 Seaguard. I need to raid my bits box (and other peoples) to complete the final rank. Here is what I'm starting with:


I have 3/4 'Island of Blood' seaguard models but they are missing the right arm and spear. Then I have some spearmen that I can convert with bows etc. Finally I have some spearmen from the old 4th edition of warhammer. I'll see what I can piece together out of this little lot.

I'm trying to reduce the amount I am painting as I am away with work in September and also have a few family shin-digs to organise/attend. So that will probably be it for my High Elves. But I will add some scenery to my ever growing stock for home-brew battles. I was initially going to create an Elven tower that could be utilised in the watch-tower scenario and fit the theme I have going. But as seems the way with painting/modelling projects I have changed my mind. Well a German Barmaid changed my mind. This one in particular:


I painted this model to be a Bloodweiser babe for my Human Blood Bowl team; the Rottenham Redsox. Now I want to use it/her again. I'm going to construct a Tavern/Inn as a piece of battle field scenery. After all aren't the best fights started brawling over a spilt drink or nice looking lady at the bar? I'm going to base the tavern on the card board building from the Warhammer Townscapes book.


I have acquired a copy of this 1988 book (pm me if you would like to erm... sample this old-timer). Obviously I'm not going to just print it out and glue it together, I want to sculpt the piece to give it a little more depth, life and texture. I will adorn the building with suitable figures, ones swigging ale, carrying barrels and generally showing good cheer. Here are a few of the said models:


These are old citadel miniatures. I also have this old Empire Helblaster Volley Gun miniature. He is meant to be carrying gun-powder... but hey, a barrel is a barrel. Just needs highlighting up to a suitable standard.


Willing to accept (and also begging for) any donations (in terms of drunk looking or Inn-keeping miniatures) for the project! To keep with the High-elf theme I was planning to call the Inn

"The Silver Helm & Spear"  

but also happy to accept other name suggestions. I always liked 'Dew Drop Inn'! But not very Elven. 'The White Lion' would fit but is to obvious. Any ideas? Winner gets a wanted posted on the Tavern wall!