Tuesday, 29 November 2016

An Epic Disaster

This weeks game was to be the first outing for my recently painted Epic Armageddon Blood Angels, against Fraser and his Orks.
 
We played a standard tournament scenario, with 3000 points each.
Having played Guard in Epic for the last fifteen years or so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect so took a bit of everything:

Tactical Detachment
Tactical Detachment
Assault Detachment
Devastator Detachment
Death Company
Terminator Detachment
Bikes
Land Speeders
Predator Annihilator
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk

Fraser brought (very roughly)

STompa Mob
Stompa Mob, with super stompa
Blitz Brigade
Boyz Brigade
Big Gunz
Fighta Bomber
Fighta Bommers
Stormboyz Brigade
Speed Freaks

Pre-game saw Fraser put his objectives on the extreme edges of my table edges, while mine were placed more centrally.
 
The blood angels deployed fairly centrally, hoping to make use of the cover and their faster units. Fraser put a stompa mob on each flank, obviously looking to take the objectives he had deployed on each side, while putting his infantry in the centre.
 
Fraser has a habit of being a jammy git, and this started of looking like it was gong to be no exception as despite the odds being in my favour he won the initiative roll to go first.
 
Early game saw the Blood Angels advances into cover, while the Orks advanced strongly on the flanks, leaving their centre on overwatch. I decided to take a punt with the first Thunderhawk and did a ground assault on the large Stompa Mob on my left flank.  The marines managed to survive the interception from the Ork Bombers, wiping them out in the process but in the ensuing assault the terminators were wiped out, for the loss of only one killa kan.  As usual Fraser had passed all of his armour saves, while I had failed mine, resulting in the Terminator formation and accompanying Thunderhawk being wiped out.
 
Fraser retaliated with some fire from a few formations, resulting in a few blast markers and one stand of marines being eliminated.  The marine land speeders then engaged the Ork Speed Freaks, wiping them out for no losses.  Fraser retaliated by killing two of them with his blitz brigade.
 
I then brought in the second Thunderhawk, carrying the Devastators and Death Company.  Fraser reacted with his other squadron of Fighta Bombers, and after all of my anti aircraft fire had missed completely he managed to inflict a single hit on the Thunderhawk.  I was not worried as Thunderhawks have a 4+ re-rollable save and 2 damage points, so they should have been safe.  However I failed the save, and the re-roll and then to add insult to injury I rolled a 6 for the critical, bring the Thunderhawk crashing out of  the sky, killing everyone on board!
 
Turn 1 was complete and half the blood angels were dead, for the loss of 3 planes and a single Killa Kan on the Ork side, so I decided to call it a day.
 
So a fairly typical game against Fraser, with him being a jammy git and me failing miserably. In the end he did not really have to do anything, as my assaults all turned out to be suicidal, thanks to poor dice rolling on my part and excellent on his.  In hindsight I probably should have continued playing, but at the time I couldn't really see the point as the main assault elements of my army were gone, and I had no real answer to all the Stompas and mini titan.
 
It was a pretty disappointing evening, as I was hoping for more from the mighty Space Marines.  I am trying to make a point to play them differently from my Guard, so I went for an aggressive assault based approach, which in this instance didn't pay off (although to be honest, nothing generally ever pays off against Fraser).
 
Next week we get to go through the charade all over again, except this time it is with the new version of Basic Impetus!
 
In other new Gary managed to actually pass a cohesion test, which is apparently pretty noteworthy.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Targe 2016

This Saturday saw my annual trip up to Kirriemuir for the last show of the year, Targe.

This year was a bit different though as I had volunteered to put on the club demo game this year, and had opted to take my War of the Ring Isengard and Rohan collections.  It was really just an excuse for me to get most of my collections on the table and have enough time to play to a conclusion, as on a Monday there just isn't enough time to have a really big game. To top it off I had managed to add another two units of Uruk Hai to my collection, mostly by just retouching old second hand models I had in the garage and then re-basing them to match my existing collections.

The scenario I opted for was from The Lost Tales, and details how Rohan, led my Theodred the Kings Son crossed the River Isen and headed North to try and defeat the forces of Isengard before they could enter Rohan. It did not go well for Rohan, as this action led to the first battle Isen Fords, and ultimately Theodred's demise.
Deployment

The game involved my entire Isengard collection, around 300 models and most of my Rohan, of around 100 infantry and about 60 cavalry.  In terms of points they were roughly equal, working out at about 2500 a side.
Forces of Isengard

The Riddermark

The game itself played pretty much as expected, with the clearly outclassed Rohan trying to shoot as many Uruk Hai as possible before the two forces contacted each other, at which point the Rohan were pretty much ground to dust.  In the end there were only a couple of Rohan formations left on the board, and a lot of depleted Uruk Hai formations.

Lines close on each other


Dunlendings take the ruins


Warg Riders appear.


I did not see much of the show itself as I was running the game all day, but there looked to be the fairly usual mix of historical games floating about, with a smattering of sci-fi and fantasy, although they mostly appeared to be sponsored by the companies that made their games.
Not to many Rohirrim left at the end of the day.

As for the game itself, as expected the Rohan got a drubbing. I like the War of the Ring rules, principally for the turn sequence and the way heroes can break the turn sequence, but there are a lot of flaws.
 The main one being that the game is basically one of attrition, with whoever has the heaviest armour inevitably winning.  The Uruk Hai are a very heavily armoured force, with their basic troops all having heavy armour and shields, or pikes. The Rohan however are not, with the basic infantry not even having armour (god knows why, as the models are wearing armour), plus the army does not actually have any heavy hitters in it, apart from the Royal Knights (and that's pushing it!).  I think I am going to have a serious look at the rules in future and try and find a way of balancing them out a bit more.

Running the game also didn't leave much time for shopping either, which I considered a good thing as I did not want to make any impulse purchases. In the end I pretty much stuck to plan and bought myself a carry case from Figures in Comfort to hold my expanding Dark Elf army for WHFB/Age of Sigmar/whatever.

One nice surprise was a prize in the painting competition!  I had entered my Stormcast Eternals, but did not really expect to get anything from them. I then completely forgot about it as I was paying the game until Kenny came through from the main hall and fetched me as I had won first prize in the Sci-fi fantasy group category! That was a pleasant surprise and meant that it was the 2nd time in 3 years that I have won that cup, with a runner up prize last year.
Yay!

All in all a pretty good day out, and it is was a change to attend a show from the point of view of putting on a display. I thought it looked not to bad, especially as I hadn't really put to much effort into the terrain. This game was all about the massed troops rather than any interesting scenery/terrain.

Frazer actually helping!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Mordheim, Season 3, Game 6

Game 6 of our Mordheim campaign, so we are now half way through.
This week we were down the dwarves, as Ian had other matters to attend to. This left:
My Undead (warband rating 128).
Dave's Marienburgers (warband rating 196).
Andy L's Witchhunters (warband rating 191).
Rory's Protectorate of Sigmar (warband rating 107).
Andy's Skaven (warband rating 162).

The mission was simple, another ruined village, with a bad guy and his minions in the middle. They were guarding a relic that was either very helpful if you were a good guy, or you wanted to destroy if you were a bad guy. 
Deployment was as always random and I ended up sandwiched between Dave K and Rory, and having just managed to get the cash together to replace my vampire vampire I ended up going for Rory's Protectorate of Sigmar (PoS from now on).
Early on and the game split into three parts.  The Witch hunters and the Marienburgers went straight for each other and large fight ensued, with Dave managing to take down Andy L's freshly painted Ogre double quick thanks to some lucky shots. 
The other Andy's Skaven made a quick rush towards the objective, hovering up treasure tokens as they went, and then got caught up in a big melee in eth centre of the table.  I headed my Undead towards Rory's PoS as my warband was still quick weak and I didn't want to risk to many more losses.  My undead managed to make short work of the PoS, accounting for every member of their warband for no losses, although the vampire came quite close!


Mid game saw the Skaven see off the evil lord and his minions and as he was an evil type he promptly destroyed the artefact, denying it to any of the good players.  The Marienburgers, having seen this decided that enough was enough and decided there was no point in sticking around and left the field carrying their few casualties with them.  The witch hunters were quite happy at this, even though their losses meant that they had to make break tests every turn. 


Late game saw the Skaven head off towards my warband, while the witch hunters started moving towards the centre of the table.  I didn't fancy fighting the Rat Ogre in a fair fight so started withdrawing and shooting at them, hoping that the fear and low leadership on the Skaven would keep them at bay.  As it turned that is exactly what happened. the witch hunters finally failed a leadership test and fled the field, and I used my one remaining zombie to block a choke point, keeping the Skaven rat ogre from charging my warband.  Meanwhile I had managed to shot down some giant rats, and, in a great stroke of luck the leader of the Skaven warband.  A fear causing ghoul was stuck out the front to act as bait and the Skaven all promptly failed their fear tests and froze in place, allowing me to start shooting at them. Andy decided at this point that there was no point in hanging about and also fled the field, leaving the Undead victorious!
Another interesting game, and certainly not the result I was expecting. In the end my warband preformed well, with some excellent shooting, and the zombie proving to be extremely resilient in the face of a giant rat and an rat ogre.  Still never managed to cast a single spell though!
this time deployment played a big part, as the two toughest warbands deployed quite close to each other and so ended up fighting it out. If I had ended deployed next to either the Marienburgers or the Witch hunters the result would have been very different. In the end I had no casualties and so managed a good search of the battlefield, finding a decent amount of loot. This allowed to re hire a ghoul killed in a previous game and leaves me with enough cash to splash on some fancy toys although I haven't yet decided what those will be. I may save the cash to buffer against future losses.
My warband is getting quite strong now, with the Ghouls becoming quite powerful and the three dregs starting to become quite resilient, which is what I am aiming for with them.
As I won I got to pick the next scenario, which could either be a descent into the catacombs in search of treasure, or a raid on an enemy camp.  I opted to raid Dave and his Marienburgers as that would help to prolong the campaign for a game or two, which would be a good thing.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Epic Blood Angels

I finally finished my Epic Blood Angels.

It took a while to get the whole force together, especially the Thunderhawks but I think the army is finished. There is certainly enough to play 3000 points, which is the standard at our club.

Many thanks to John for starting this of by gifting me a box of unwanted Epic stuff. I did the marines fist as I don't really enjoy painting armies any more and their red armour makes them easier to paint.


The Full Army

And again

"modern" Thunderhawks

Original Thunderhawks, proxying as Stormtalons until I find a better alternative

Tactical and Devastators

Assault Marines and Death Company. Tanks on the Left.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Lost

This is going to be a bit of a personal post, rather than my usual reporting on the weeks gaming at my local club.

I lost my dad to Leukaemia this week. He was diagnosed in December last year and was initially given only 2-5 months to live.  He managed to fight on for 10, even though his last few months were spent coping with all the cumulative conditions that were taking their toll on him.

We all knew this moment was coming but that still cannot prepare you for when it does.  Luckily we were all there when he passed and it was peaceful so we have that to be thankful for.

The prospect of losing my father had made me slightly philosophical lately about the ways that he has influenced me as a person, and also how he has influenced my two brothers.

My dad was fairly old fashioned, working hard for his family but also spending a lot of his time pursuing his own interests, while my mum raised us. He never backed down from a fight  and was always very active in whatever he was involved in. He spent a lot of time on committees for the various organisations that he was involved in and tried a lot of different things, jobs and travelled a lot during his life.  

My fondest memories of my dad was always when we were playing board games together. My dad liked to keep busy, so quite often the only way to spend decent time with him was playing cards or a boardgame. He was always happy to  play board games with a slightly impatient and fidgety child with poor attention and would quite happily explain rules several times, or give advice on things we had missed. The games we played varied a great deal, from cribbage (a particular favourite of his) to monopoly and even Talisman and Space Hulk!  He was never derisive of my hobbies and interests, even though many were and while was not full of false praise would do his best to support my hobby.

We shared a similar interest in reading as well, especially fantasy, sci-fi and historical dramas.  I was a late reader, not really taking to it until I read the Hobbit when I was well over 10 years old. I remember talking to him about how much I enjoyed it and that I couldn't wait until my birthday to get my hands on the Lord of the Rings. Low and behold a copy was gifted to me a few week later, totally out of the blue and by surprise.  It has a hand written message from my parents inside and remains one of my most prized possessions, even though its a bit worn and starting to fall apart. I have other copies of The Lord of the Rings, but that is the one that I always come back to and enjoy reading the most.  As an adult I would read books and pass them on to my dad, and when he was finished we would discuss what we thought of them and their merits relative to other things we had read. Even during his illness I was still passing books across to him to read, so that we could discuss the various characters and themes in them during my visits.

My dad also always had unbuilt model kits lying around the house when I was younger. My oldest brother built a lot of model plains when he was younger, and my dad had a few kits lying about the house that he always insisted he was going to build when he was older and had more time.  He also had a model railway layout in the loft, that I remember spending a lot of time playing with. Those kits never got built, as my dad was always looking at something new to do and upon his retirement he built a G scale model railway in the garden. There followed years of us discussing various model making materials and techniques as my dad tried to create something a bit different and we discussed the best use of materials and techniques.  

I think my lifelong love of gaming stems from those happy times playing board games when I was younger, and the early exposure to my dads model making (intentioned rather than actual activity) cemented my love of model making and gaming. I still greatly enjoy gaming of all types, and although time is limited by work and other commitments I try and play at least once a week, and if not playing then I am always at least reading about games, or assembling and painting models.

When my kids came along they both developed a love of trains, and we all enjoyed family trips to  Falkirk for the model railway show. My youngest Blair still loves trains and always asked to run a train around the garden when visiting my dad.  He has a Hornby model railway gifted from my mum and dad one Christmas and we are looking forward to making a layout for it in honour of my dad and so he has something to remember him by.


Me and my dad at my graduation in Dundee, 2010.
There will be no gaming for a few weeks while we come to terms with this, but I'm sure I will be back to it soon enough, after all what better way to remember him than by continuing to do one of things that he had such in influence on.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mordhein Season 3, Game 5

A short turnaround for our Mordheim campaign, with only two weeks between games.
 
All the usual suspects were there, with the campaign starting to have a two tier feel to it.
 
The Witch hunters, Dwarfs and Marienburgers all seem to be doing quite well, with the Skaven slightly behind them, and bringing up the rear are my Undead, sans Vampire and Rory's protectorate of Sigmar (PoS). 


Undead


Witch Hunters


Protectorate of Sigmar


Dwarf Treasure Seekers


Marienburgers


Skaven (they had had their first move by the time I took this so had spread out a bit)

 
Warband ratings range from over 200 fro Dave's Marienburgers to as low as 80 for the PoS. I was definitely in the lower end of the pile with a rating of just over 100, with the others all floating around the 160 mark.
 
The mission this time was a search and grab, with some Dire Wolves and Warlocks on the board to make things a bit more complicated. We also changed the table around slightly this time, using a 6'x6' table with everyone deploying equidistant from the objectives. This would make for a much fairer game.
 
Deployment saw me sandwiched between the witch hunters and the PoS, which was not exactly ideal.
 
Early game saw a cautious advance from the Undead, trying o stay out of trouble and just get through the game unscathed, while elsewhere the Dwarfs and Skaven got stuck into each other, and the Marienburgers began sniping at the PoS. 

Undead advance with zombie trailing along behind


The Undead managed to shoot down one Dire Wolf before the Witch hunters engaged them, and came of it pretty badly. the Witch hunters sent in their war hounds first to pin the undead in place, survived the Undead counter attack and then annoyingly passed all their fear tests to launch an all out assault.  Two ghouls and a Dire wolf went down to the assault, leaving the undead in a bad position.

Witch Hunters gang up on the Necromancer


Just before the witch hunter assault.

Elsewhere the PoS had fled the board after losing two casualties to shooting from the Marienburgers, and bizarrely the dwarfs failed a rout test after a couple of casualties, surprising everyone with an early bath.
 
At this point in the evening I received a phone call and had to dash off to deal with a domestic emergency, effectively meaning that my Undead left the board without the opportunity to retaliate to the Witch hunters assault.
 
I am unsure what happened after that but from I can gather the witch hunters carried the  day, with the Skaven taking an early bath and the Marienburgers narrowly missing out on victory.
 
So a short evenings gaming, and another minor disaster as two ghouls id not survive the evening. The only good thing was that I managed to save enough money to resurrect my vampire, although at this late stage in the campaign he is nowhere the force he could have been.  the undead will struggle on, but with only 9 "men" they are definitely on the back foot.  if only the necromancer could actually manage to cast his spell when needed.....