Thursday, 16 January 2020

Kings of War 3rd Edition (The corporate edition)

Kings of War 3rd Edition came out last year, shortly followed by its companion book Uncharted Empires.   I thought I would put down some of my initial thoughts on the new edition of the game, focusing on the points that are important to me (background, how does it effect my army).

The basic stuff:

The main rulebook is hardback and is just short of 400 pages long. It is split into three main sections.  The rules are the first 63 pages, the background takes you up to page 222, with the last section of the book being devoted to army lists for all the armies that Mantic currently manufacture miniatures for.

First of all the main rules.  This isn't so much a third edition as a tidy up of the rules, incorporating all the things that the rules committee have tried to clean up in their annual rules pack Clash of Kings, but couldn't as it would have made to big a change to the core of the rules.   Changes include fixing of the height rules to clear up the cover and line of site rules.

You now get a bonus to damage when charging of hills and some cleaning up of the charge rules. 

 The main change that I can seems to be the inclusion of a disengage rule.  In 2nd edition when you fought a unit but failed to rout it, you had to retreat an inch, and this caused some "discussion" as it could be interpreted in several ways, with some of the hard core tournament players using it to their advantage.   Now you stay in base contact, but if you start the turn engaged to an enemy on one side you can elect to carry out a free disengage before you issue the orders to your unit.   

Those are basically the main changes.

There changes to spells, such as Bane Chant no longer working on missile attacks, and certain spells now getting minuses to hit against units in cover.

Some magic items were also removed, some made only usable by individuals and some new ones added. Every magic item that effected shooting was removed from the game.

Individuals were changed slightly as well. All individuals are classed as yielding unless they have the 'mighty' rule. The yielding rule stops you from sticking your 50 point flag bearer in front of the enemy unit so that he has to charge him, leaving the unit exposed to be counter charged next turn by the horde of infantry cowering behind the hapless flag waver.

Breath Weapons were removed from the game entirely,  and are now simply shooting attacks, subject to the same limitations 

A couple of new troop types were introduced.   Previously infantry either came on 20mm or 25mm bases, but now a new class has been introduced.  Infantry are now all on 20mm bases, while the new heavy infantry are all on 25mm bases.  Titans have been introduced to cover all the especially large monsters that Mantic have been making and are on a 75mm base now.   

Chariots were changes lightly and you now need less models to make a unit and so the footprint has slightly changed.

Those are the rules. Generally keeping the game pretty similar is a good thing.  Some of the changes didn't quite go far enough fro me, and other went too far, but I shall summarise these at the end.

The background section is greatly expanded, and has a lot of detail about the origins of the world and all the different factions that inhabit it.  Its all pretty generic so theres not much to say here.  Orce are warlike, Elves are arrogant and Dwarfs live under the ground in great holds etc etc.  As a rule of thumb the more syllables in your name the more important you are though and the background never uses one word when you could slip in another couple of adjectives. Caverns aren't just dark or deep, but 'deepest, darkest', just to make sure the reader understands how dark and deep the caverns are.

The final section of the book contains the army lists. These are lists for all the armies that Mantic currently make models for, of which there are fourteen.  I cant comment on most of these as I have very limited experience of most of the. I will comment on two though, the elves and the Ogres.

The elves because there are a few things that stood out to me, and the ogres as I have fought more ogres than anything else so was able to make some sort of minor comparison between the editions.

The main changes to he elves were the reduction in power of he shooting infantry and the inclusion of palace guard hordes, both of which are problematic. These are problematic as it creates a massive disconnect from the fluff and makes the internal balance of the army very poor.  This is a problem fluff wise as the background of the elves makes a massive thing of elven skill with the spear and the bow.   It states that the elven ability with the bow is almost supernatural, but then they reduced the shooting ability of elves to 5+, which is pretty much the same as everyone else.  Not terribly supernatural then.   The Palace Guard hordes are now so good, and similar in cost to the mighty horde of spearmen (remember, elves favour the spear above all else) that basically every elven list will squeeze as many of the rare, elite palace guards as they can, leaving he other elven troops aside. The elves must be a very rich race if they need so many palace guards, lol.  I know that elven gunlines were a problem, but removing all the magic items and spell that benefit shooting and making the archers irregular probably would have been enough, now elven shooting is a rarity, apart from Silverbreeze cavalry who for some reason can shoot more accurately from the back of a moving horse than a static elven archer.

Ogres got a light touch and most of their stuff appeared to be unchanged apart from some new units and heroes. One thing I did notice is that Seige breakers got a lot better.  Seige Breakers were ogres carrying massive pavise shields and huge clubs. They had excellent defence to the front, and hit like a ton of bricks. The pay-off to this was that they were slower than normal ogres and they're base armour was slightly lower when attacked in the flank or rear, which made sense. Now their speed and armour have been raised to match that of the the other ogres, meaning that you don't really have any reason to take normal ogre braves unless you were really wanting to save a few points. 

Unchartered Empire is Mantic's expansion, containing a number of additional army list consisting mainly of the ones created to cash in when GW blew up the Old World and the WHFB players found themselves homeless. There are thirteen lists in this book, most of which are 'theme' lists.  Theme lists are based on one of the lists in the main book, and have access to some units from one or more of the lists from the main book and have some unique units of their own.  

I cannot comment on the most of these so will limit myself to having a look at my main Kings of War list, the Twilight Kin.   

The Twilight Kin had a list and range of miniatures in 1st edition, but these were removed when 2nd dropped as Mantic wasn't happy with the direction of the background.  They did, however introduce a 'get you by' list which everyone used.  The list basically allowed me to use my WHFB Dark Elf army, and had equivalent troops for most entries.

The new theme list has pretty much gutted the old 2nd edition list, making it virtually unrecognisable.  It has removed chariots, dragons, elven cavalry, basic wizards, hydra's, buccaneers and shadows. In return we are able to make use of both Abyssal and Nightstalker units, which are apparently summoned to the battle by the elven wizards.  I shall perhaps right a more detailed description of the list in a future blog post. I have a game coming up on Monday to try out the new edition so will have a better idea.

So how is 3rd edition?   The core rules are pretty much the same and therefore pretty good, although there are still a couple of issues with the rules:

I think the disengage rule is a missed opportunity. It is now entirely possible for a unit to disengage from the unit it is fighting, turn 90 degrees and attack another unit that has exposed a flank, thinking that the nearby enemy unit is occupied.   This is known as a corkscrew and is a rules fudge. I think the fact that you can run across the front of an enemy unit to engage an exposed 3mm of an enemy flank is a real problem with these rules, and while I wont do it personally I know a lot of people that will happily do it.  This leads me into my second point, the game really needs zones of control, which would go a long way to stop a lot of the weird rules contortions.   Whether a unit is in the flank of another unit should also be measured form something else apart from the leader point, as it can also lead to some very odd rules interpretations, where you end up perched on a flank of a unit that you were facing the front of, purely because you were offset slightly.

I think the nerf to shooting went to far. I get that this is a melee based game but basically making shooting hordes pointless was a bad move.  People will just move on to other way of maximising their shooting potential, mainly by spamming wizards.

Not really an rules issue but Mantic really need to drop the obsession with individual models. Kings of War is at its heart an element game, and within 5 minutes of the new rules there were multiple threads on line concerning minimum model count.   Currently a regiment of infantry consist of 20 men, arranged five wide and four deep. This means the units will have a footprint 100mm wide and 80mm deep, which is what really matters for game purposes.  Instead of constantly talking about models and adding up individual models, all they needed to do was state that a regiment of infantry has a footprint of 100 by 80mm and should consist of between 10 and 20 models. Job done.  I don't know why fantasy games have this obsession with individual models, even when the rules make them effectively meaningless.

I still like the core of the game, and think it is excellent, but it has definitely had a shift in how it has been made.  It is done with rules in mind rather than background, and there is a definite disconnect between how some of the armies are described and how they actually operate on the table.  This is a shame and is what happens when the games direction is run by people that seem primarily concerned with tournament style gaming.   There is background here, but it seems secondary to setting up a game that can be played competitively and each army needs to play in a certain way.  I'm not really bothered if two armies play in a very similar way if I like the fluff, and it is justified in the background, but when there is a disconnect then I will start to lose interest. Vanguard, the skirmish game in the same setting has some great narrative scenarios, and this could benefit from the same sort of love. 

So to sum up the rules themselves are still excellent, but the new background and army lists have left me feeling a bit ambivalent about the game. That nay change when I have got a few games under my belt, time will tell.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

New Year

No updates again for a while, still largely due to being busy the app making it very difficult to actually add decent photos. 

So we are now 5 weeks into 2019 and gaming activity is starting to pick up again. There was a bit of a lull over Christmas when family stuff took front and centre.
So what has been happening on the game front?
Pretty much more of the same really.  My Kings of War Vanguard Kickstarter from Mantic arrived on time last year and I have been painting up my Northern Alliance Warband to use with that.  I also had to purchase some Frostgrave Barbarians to use as basic grunts as Mantic haven't released any to use (why wouldn't you do this Mantic?).  With that completed I now have a pretty sizeable selection of models to choose from when playing the game.  I still need a few elves with bows to complete the warband, but I am not a fan of the Mantic elves and also don't think that they fit in with the Northern Alliance Warband aesthetics terribly well.  The best match I have found so far have been the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle Wood Elf Glade Guard, as they are all wearing heavy cloaks that if painted right would look the part. Unfortunately I only want 2 and even on e-bay they seem to be sold mainly in groups of 10.  I'll keep looking though and see if I can find some at a decent price.

I have managed one game of Vanguard so far, against Ian and it was good fun. We even managed to get most of the rules right.  I am going to raid my old WHFB Orc army and put together a second force so that I can run some demo games at the club to try and drum up some interest.
I have a game scheduled against Dave Knight in a few weeks and I hope he enjoys it.  In the end the basic rules are free so all you would really need are the power dice, which are pretty cheap to pick up and even then you only need one set so not an essential purchase as long as one player has a set.
The juggernaut that is Titanicus is also rolling along.  With the release of the Titandeath supplement the game now has a bit more depth to it, as there are now rules for individual Legios, giving each one its own character and style of play.  This is essential when every army in the game is basically using the same 5 models for their forces.  I have held off finishing my titans until the supplement came out but now that I have I have made a few decisions and am now starting to look seriously at getting the first of my titan forces completed.
My plan for this game has always been to have enough so that I can run games, including two full Titan Maniples, supporting knights and a good set of terrain.  I am almost there with regards to buying the titans that I need, and am really just looking to get extra weapons at this point to allows for more choice in the armament of the individual Titans.  I will probably pick up another Warlord, Reaver and couple of Warhounds and then let the game stew for a while to see how it matures.  I may also get some more terrain, as while all my Epic 40k terrain is suitable I don't think the buildings are really big enough so will be looking into getting some more, bigger buildings.
Baby Knights

Sort of painted Titans

There's now four Titanicus players at the club including myself so I should be able to get a decent amount of games in the future.
Games Workshop have also been continuing with their reboot of the Lord of the Rings game, or Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game as it is now called.   They have revisited it all and streamlined everything into a main rules book and a couple of books for all the profiles, meaning that my rag-tag collection of Lotr books can now be seriously reduced in size, which my bookcase (and long suffering wife!) are grateful for.   The new books have been accompanied with some lovely new plastic models and the return of a lot of older out of print metal models.  This has made me revisit my collection and look into expanding a few forces that I had bought bits of for the scenarios into full matched play forces, and I think I can accomplish another three forces on top of my large Rohan and Isengard forces without too much cost and effort.
The Genestealer Cult codex has finally dropped as well, signalling a serious return to 40k for me, after an absence of around 26 years.  While the current edition of 40k still has a few quirks I don't like, it is much improved from previous editions and the Genestealer Cult range, with the addition of the new vehicle and infantry models has to be my favourite range in 40k at the moment.  I have a large amount of them already that I have been buying up gradually so it will not cost much to get a playable 1000 point force. Just got to get the all painted now!
Love these

These are awesome too!

This looks like a lot of effort and money and to be frank it is, but its a hobby so I just do what I want, when I want to keep it enjoyable. The collecting and painting of the miniatures is as important to me as the gaming so I'm quite happy to spend a long time preparing stuff for the tabletop, and don't see it as a chore (apart from the basing. I really dislike basing models).
The cost of all of this is being covered by selling off old stuff.  Like every wargamer I have large amounts of unused models lying about, either from stalled projects that were never completed (or even started in some cases) or older models from when I was younger.  I have been selling all of it via E-bay and Facebook.  There is a nostalgic movement for older Warhammer miniatures at the moment, meaning that I am able to sell old miniatures and books from that era for decent money.  Its a win-win as I get rid of old stuff that I am never going to use, it helps fund my ongoing hobby purchases and these old miniatures go to someone who is going to give them a second lease of life. Otherwise they would probably end up in a landfill somewhere as I get fed up with them lying around and just bin them.
It has worked out very well so far, with my hobby costing me very little money in the last year or so.  I have a substantial Adeptus Titanicus force, along with rules and terrain and I think that the whole thing has probably cost me a total of 50 quid, above the money I have raised from selling on unused parts of my collection.
The club attendance also continues to grow, with more than 50 attending most Mondays now.  It is starting to get difficult to find a space to put up your table.  Having this many members means that there is a huge amount of choice now, and so far this year I have played:
L'Art de la Guer (twice)
What a Tanker
Kings of War Vanguard
and will be playing Adeptus Titanicus, Vanguard and Lord of the Rings in the near future.
All in all its looking like its going to be a busy year, hobby wise. Certainly for painting and hopefully for gaming.
I am also playing in another Kings of War tournament in March, during which I expect to get soundly thumped, and am off to Salute in April for a weekend away with a mate.
My youngest has also caught the X-Wing bug, and has been spending his Christmas and birthday money on spaceships. he recently got given a 40k dreadnought for his birthday and loved building it so is looking to pick up some more in the near future. 

Stay on target!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Mid Year

July already!  How did that happen?

So as we are half way through the year I thought it was about time to have a quick look back at the year so far, and cast a few thoughts on the year ahead.

Gaming wise the year has been about average. I don't record the amount or type of games that I play, so cant really be very precise on this. It feels like I have been playing the same amount of games as usual though, although what I have been playing has been slightly different.

We have playing a Lord of the Rings Battle Companies campaign, and we area about 9 games in now,  I opted for Warg Riders as we needed an evil force to even things out and I had enough of them that I wouldn't need to do any painting.  They started out pretty weak, largely due to poor numbers but are starting to come into their own now as more and more of the wargs are turned into proper cavalry.

I played in a tournament!  I am a big fan of the Kings of War rules from Mantic. it is a great replacement for WHFB.  I am always up for a game and another club member has been talking me into playing. After an initial surge of interest in the game at the club it seemed to have hit s bit of slump, so entering the tournament was a way of getting some games in. After an enjoyable days gaming I even managed a third place, as well as picking up the best army award which was a nice end to the day.  Between jobs, a wife and two kids I really struggle to find the time to get away for a full days gaming, but I will probably make an attempt to attend the next one in October.

Go me!

I have also managed to play a few games of Art De la Guerre, the ancients rules.  They have been the preferred set among the competition gamers after the demise of Field of Glory.  I have a half painted arab army that will probably be finished nearly next year (maybe) and am looking forward to giving that a few more tries.  I managed to try the Strongsword rules, from Westfalia and they seemed to be quite playable.

In general though I have struggled to get games for the rules that I am interested in. I haven't managed to get much interest in Kings of War, Conan boardgame, AVP or Shadespire. I had great hopes of Shadespire but have failed to drum up much interest in it, which is a shame as it is a great game.

Another thing I have been doing is reviewing my collection and deciding what I want to keep and what I could probably get rid of. I have some stuff that hasn't been out of the box for years.

So far I have been sorting into "keep", "maybe keep" and "get rid off".  

So far the keep pile consists of:

My Dark Elves (or Twilight Kin as they are known in Kings of War)
All my Lord of the Rings (It's Lord of the Rings!)
All my Fantasy Skirmish miniatures (for Mordheim, Storngsword, Otherworld Miniatures game)
AVP  ( I like the IP a lot and the models are lovely. I don't get to play but like the models and enjoy painting them)
Conan (great boardgame).
Late Romans (will probably rebase for ADLG)
WW2 Germans (Chain of Command is a great game!)
Shadespire (still a great game and I will keep pushing)
Epic (another great game).
40k Genestealer Cults

Maybe Keep:

My old WHFB Orc and Goblin army. It hasn't been out of the box in a long time, and is now teetering on the edge of the sale pile.
Malifaux ( I enjoyed painting them but there doesn't seem to be any appetite for it any more).
Rogue Trader Orks (I have collected a large amount of older GW Orks to use with 40k 2nd edition, but again I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of them so selling them on is a possibility)


Void 1.1 (I haven't played this in a loooong time so will see about getting rid of them)
Urban War (I still have Koralon and Gladiators for this, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite for it so away it goes).
Warmaster (Chaos army is already away, but there is still a large Dwarf army to sell)
Full Thrust (I still have a couple of fleets to sell. I got rid of all the books last year)
Space Hulk (I have the 1st edition, plus the Death Wing and Genestealer supplements so should get a decent amount for them).

I am still in the process of selling a lot of my older models and that will continue for a while yet. I sold a big pile of books last year but the models take much more effort to sell.

Too much stuff.

Looking ahead there are a few things coming up that I am interested in.  Age of Sigmar 2 from Games Workshop has just been released and it is looking very pretty. The new models are great (especially the ghosts) and the new endless spells look like great fun. There is no real appetite for it at our club though so I have resisted it so far.

There is a new Lord of the Rings ruleset imminent. GW have reviewed the game and relabelled as Middle Earth Battle Game, so hopefully this will be the ultimate edition. If it looks any good I will pick up a copy.  Most of my visits to Middle Earth are scenario, narrative based gaming though so I don't really feel any pressure to pick it up.  I skipped the Hobbit rules, probably due to a vague sense of disgust as the movies were so terrible but might pick this up.

40K Kill Team. Warhammer 40k has a severe case of bloat these days. With entire armies of knights and superheavies possible it is all a bit much to put on one table.  Kill Team may be the solution, with only about 10 models a side on a small table. I would still like something a bit larger (perhaps 40-50 models a side with a couple of vehicles) but it could be fun to play this small.

Adeptus Titanicus:  40k in a decent scale.  The cost is likely to make me want to cry and but I am following it with interest.  I love the models and the rules look interesting.

Giant Robots!

I am also looking to the 40k codex for the Genestealer cults (GSC). I love the models and have amassed a load of them before 8th dropped. I haven't touched them yet but will follow the new codex with interest. Some new Cult models were accidentally leaked by GW recently and they are very nice. I like the GSC as the faction does not suffer from he bloat of the older races as GW have tried to shoehorn more and more models into the range in an effort to get more money form those people that play those races.


These new games have all caught my interest this year, but as usual will depend on whether or not I can get anyone to play them!  There are a couple of people in the club who already play 40k so should be able to get games of that, and Kill Team should be ok. Adeptus Titanicus may be a hard sale though!  I may end up buying a little bit of everything, just to paint as at the end of the day I spend far more time painting miniatures than gaming with them.

I am going to try and get a few more games of Otherworld Skirmish in as well. There are a couple of people who may be interested in giving it another bash, and I have a large collection of fantasy miniatures painted that need using from something.

Painting wise I am just planning on just enjoying myself this year. I spent the first part of the year working my way through all the Shadespire expansion, a big pile of 15mm cavalry and some new units for my Kings of War Twilight Kin.  I am probably going to spend the rest of the year painting one-off models that have caught my eye. At the moment I am painting some fantasy models from the excellent Westfalia and Hasslefree ranges, as well as working on some terrain.  I may paint some Predators and at some point in the future feel the need to paint up a 40k Kill Team as well, but at the moment I am painting for the sheer pleasure of it.

I may even update he blog again at some point!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Random Kings of War

Another Monday night and another games of Kings of War.

This week Ian and I opted to use the Clash of Kings 2018 supplement, and also the random cards that were released alongside. We used the 2k points, with my usual Twilight Kin, while Ian brought his Ogres. Ian was hot of a tournament at Common Ground Games so I expected a difficult night.

My list was fairly standard fir, consisting of:

Horde of Crossbows, Peircing 1
2 Regiments of Reaper Guard
2 Bolt Throwers
Regiment of Blade Dancers with Ram of always wound on a 4+
Troop of Blade Dancers
2 Troops of gargoyles.
Regiment of Dark Knights with Maccwars Caterpillar
Horde of Abyssal Riders
Banner bearer with Bloodboil
High Priestess with Inspiring
Minor Noble.

I had ditched the usual spearmen as I find them pretty lackluster, and didn't really expect to be facing any cavalry anyway. For this evening a single unit of Corsairs would be doing double duty as Reaper Guard.

Ian fielded the following:

2 Hordes of Berserker Braves
2 regiments of Berserker Braves
2 Hordes of Braves
1 Giant
2 Mounted Biggits (one with Lightning bolt, one with dragon breath)
1 Boomer Hero with Bloodboil
2 Wizards, one with Griffon Banner.

We used the new random cards, and this entails drawing random objectives for each player, one set of conditions for the game, and 1 stratagem card for each 500 points.

The condition we drew was poor scouting, meaning that the armies only had ot deploy 9" from the center line, rather than the usual 12". useful for Ian's Ogres as he was keen to get stuck in as soon as possible.  

The objective cards each have a major and minor objective on them  and you draw two at the start of the game.  You pick one card to be your major objective and reveal that to your opponent, and select the other card to use as you secondary objective, which is revealed at the start of turn 4.  

My objective were quite good, and worked well with each other. My major objective was to rout the three most expensive units in the Ogre army, with bonuses if I managed to do it in melee. the three most expensive usint were the 2 hordes of Berserker Braves and the giant. My secondary objective was to select the most expensive unit remaining on the board and if I managed to rout that it would be worth an additional 2 victory points. These two objectives had quite good synergy and meant I could concentrate on routing ogres, rather than any positioning shenanigans.

Ian primary objective was to capture the objective in my side of the table, with bonus points for capturing the central objectives, while his secondary objective was about killing as many points of my army as possible while losing as few of his.

My deployment was fairly straight forward, with the Crossbows, flanked by the two regiments of the reaper guard covering the open ground in the center of the board, while I put my faster units on my right flank.  Ian deployed almost his entire army on his left flank, ready to burst through the trees and start routing my Twilight Kin.

Early game and the Ogres advanced quickly, trying to close the ground with my nervous looking troops.  I decided to just get stuck in and advanced straight at my opponent, with my knights charging and doing a lot of damage to the giant, and the Abyssal Riders routing a suicidal Biggit that had approached too close. 

Ian retaliated by routing my knights ad advancing with the rest of his forces. turn two and I got stuck in routing, routing several units, with the Abyssal Riders managing to get two of them, thanks to using the "Unstoppable Charge" Strategem card.

Mid game and the Ogres were starting to look a bit thin on teh ground, with the elves giving a good account of themselves. the Blade Dancers accounted for two ogre regiments, before they themselves were routed, while the lone Elven hero decided to try and take out the badly wounded Giant.  He failed his first attempt, but miraculously the giant fluffed his return attacks, giving him a second chance. Despite some good hits he didn't manage it and was squashed flat fro his lack of performance.

Late game and things started to unravel for the Ogres, withe the crossbows finishing off the giant, and the two units of Reaper Guard routing one of the two remaining Ogre Brave Hordes. The other Ogre Horde had managed to get around my flank and had been tackling my bolt throwers, but by this time I had scored all the victory points I could and was going to comfortably deny the ogres any of their objectives so I wasn't too bothered.  We called it at the end of turn 5 as there weren't enough Ogres left on the board to achieve anything.

Everything went quite well this time round, with my dice all behaving themselves and rolling pretty well. Ian had a pretty poor night, with some atrocious dice rolls.  I managed to get the momentum on my army early on and kept it, which seemed to be the way to succeed at Kings of War.

The different cards were interesting and I quite liked having asymmetrical objectives in the game. The stratagems were also interesting but the only one that made any real difference was the "Unstoppable Charge" one, which allowed me to rout two enemy units in one turn.

I still consider myself a novice at Kings of War, with only about a dozen games under my belt but I am still enjoying the game and think there is a large amount of traction left in it yet, especially with the cards generating random scenarios and the annual refresh from the Clash of Kings book.  I just wish they would get on and sort out the Twilight Kin to a full list so I can see what to paint next.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

More Epic

Third game of the year, and another game of Epic.

Mark and I have been talking about getting in a game of Epic for a very long time, and we finally managed it.

I stuck with my Guard, while Mark brought the "13th Legion" list, which I had never heard of or seen in action.  We had previously agreed to play without any flyers, and as such I had some extra points to spend.  After some thought I added in a Super Heavy Tank Company, consisting of 2 Shadowswords and Baneblade.  I thought some added anti-titan firepower would be useful ,and if nothing else they could be used for picking of Land Raiders that I know Mark is quite fond of.

Mark's force consisted of lots of Infantry detachments, some of which were mechanized in a combination of Rhinos and Land Raiders.

Deployment was fairly standard, with the Chaos Marine spread evenly across the board, and the guard doing something similar.

First turn and against all the odds the Guard managed to get imitative!  Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I activated the Super Heavies and used them to vaporize two Land Raiders, killing the troops inside and breaking the formation. Not a bad start.

That set the tone for the game, with my Guard performing quite well and only failing a couple of activation tests throughout the game.  Mark had some terrible luck with some poor saving throws and unlucky activation rolls.

We managed to play three turns, with me able to force the Chaos Right Flank and break through to the their back field, and Mark able to push on his right flank and get some serious gains.  In the end we ran out of time and had to call it a night.  The final score was something like 1-0 to the Guard on objectives, but as you would usually play a fourth turn and it looked like the game could easily go either way we decided to call it a draw.

Another excellent game of Epic, and against a new opponent, fielding an army that I had never played against as well. Also, my lone Sentinal Ace, Geoff, once again was the soul survivor from the Sentinal Squadron. Gonna get that man  a medal.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

An Epic return

2nd Game of the year, plus 2nd Blog Post.

Ric and i had arranged to play this game before the new year, as generally that is how far we need to plan ahead to get a game in.

This time it was 3000 points Epic, Standard tournament game, Imperial Guard vs Eldar.

The table

Guard mustering for war

Eldar, lots of tanks

I opted for my fairly standard guard list, with a mixture of infantry, tanks and a few pieces of artillery.  Ric opted for a very tank heavy list, with everything mechanised apart from a few scouts.

This game was defined by two things:

  • The Guard won initiative, every turn.
  • Poor Activation and Rallying Roles.

We played three turns, and my Guard won initiative every turn.  That has never happened. I cant remember the last time I had the initiative in a game of Epic, mainly due to the poor strategy rating of guard against the much better ratings of Eldar and Marines. 

Poor Activation roles was a serious issue in this game, especially for myself. My poor old tank company never managed to fire a single shot all game, failing its first activation, then the Eldar managing to get past their supposedly impregnable armour  and kill enough tanks to break the company.  
Loads of tricksy Eldar Tanks.  Too many for my liking!

Guard Infantry in a sticky Situation

Rallying was poor on both sides, with one Eldar tank formation broken on the first activation of the game (Artillary for the win!) and never managing to rally for the whole game. 

Activation continued to be poor on both side, with my guard especially suffering an annoyingly large (even for me!) number of ones.  In turn three we both managed to fail at least 50% of our activation tests, leading to a lot of frustration.

The final act of the game was a failed activation test on a group of Eldar Vypers, which broke the formation and forced them to withdraw, which actually handed the Guard the victory with 2-1 on objectives.  

I cant think of a more undeserving victory than this.

Still great fun though and as always Ric was a gentlemen throughout, even in the face of my increasing frustration. The Guard must have run out of batteries for the radios or something.....

Next week a return to one of my favourite games, Chain of Command....

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Still Going

The blog has been quiet for about 6 months now, mainly due to work and life pressures.

It was getting hard to find the time to do everything that needed doing, let alone the nicer, hobby related things. I decided that I would spend what limited free time I had painting and playing with toy soldiers, rather than writing about them.

Things have eased up slightly, so there may be a small return to the blog, or I may spend more time painting. We shall see.
Not really much has changed in the 6 months absent from the blog, with gaming continuing on a Monday night at my regular club, Falkirk District Wargames Club.

I have decided to abandon 9th Age completely, as I don't think it is really what I am looking for in a game.  I wasn't sure before but the publication of V2 of the ruleset was the deciding factor, as the game now feels more like work than recreation. The Dark Elf book is  a real mess, with all sorts of stupid names and pointless rules appearing so I have just given up in disgust.

I have continued to play Kings of War though, and despite being terrible at it I have enjoyed the games I have been playing. I am still using Twilight Kin, despite there being no proper list and it getting no attention in the upcoming Clash of Kings rules update. To that end I am now converting my Warhammer Orcs to also use in the game. This should involve a minimum of painting as I only need to include a few thing to make the army viable under he new rules system. 

I bought a large 15mm scale Egyptian army for use with Field of Glory in December 2016. Unfortunately Field of glory has pretty gone the way of the Do-Do, as v2 of the game went out ot print and the Caliver Books published v3, which no one picked up due to the prohibitive cost of buying a new rulebook and army lists for a couple of rules tweaks.  
Our club has since moved on to L'art de la Guerre, which is a French derivative of DBA, recently translated into English.  Unfortunately by the time I got wind of this the game was sold out pretty much everywhere and there appeared to be no plans for a reprint. I was very lucky and thanks to sharp eyes of a club member I was able to get a copy from a gaming store located in Dorset. I still have to paint the miniatures, but thankfully the new system requires far fewer so I anticipate being able to get them on the table sooner rather than later.

My 2018 gaming opened up with a game of Lord of the Rings against Dave Knight, and we opted to carry out the assault on the Deeping Wall from The Two Towers., with Dave rolling a die and ending up as the defenders, leaving me to take the roll of the Uruk-Hai.  The game went badly, probably more due to my ineptitude than anything else, but I think it is a hard scenario for the Uruk's to win.  I must admit to being "slightly" pessimistic during the game and this is the main thing I need to work on this year.

Dunlendings try to scale the wall (and fail!) while the Pike wait for the breach to be created (get on with it!)

Still no progress, and pity the poor Dunlending that climbs a ladder only to be confronted by an irritated looking Aragorn!

As usual for 2018 I don't really have any plans.  I expect to play some games and paint some stuff. It is a hobby I do for fun and relaxation so I try not to make it stressful by giving myself artificial targets.

There are very few purchases planned this year. I was looking at the impending Batman boardgame kickstarter, from Monolith, that same people that made the excellent Conan game, but a 200 quid service bill on my bike and an impending family holiday to Florida may have scuppered that idea.

I have been slowly buying Genestealer Cult models of Warhammer 40,000 and now have a fairly significant collection, to the point where I just need to pick up the more specialist parts of the list.  There is no codex for them in 8th edition yet so I am in no hurry to get this done and probably won't put brush to model until the later part of the year.  

While Genestealer Cult has got me back into 40k again (sort off) I still think the system is a bit lacking. To that end I have been slowly trying to work out how to convert my favourite system, Chain of Command to use 40k models and setting.  40k is a very different beast to WW2, with some weird and wonderful stuff going on but I am making slow progress and hope to have some sort of working prototype soon. That pretty much sums up what's been gong on, and this might be the last post for a while, or it might not.  I shall wing it and see how it goes.

Twilight Kin in action (another loss!)

The Fellowship flee from Moria, pursued by Wargs.