July 23, 2014

Veni Vidi Vici - The Romans are coming

I've always been a history buff. Two periods in particular fascinate me the Punic Wars and Caesars campaigns in Gaul.  Consequently I've always wanted to paint up some Roman minis.  Evan from my local club kindly gave me a box of 1:72 scale Romans from Warlord games at Panzershrek and they are my new project.  I'm going to take tips from Scott Bowmans blog Scott's Wargaming and look at building a replica of the fortifications Caesar built around Alessia.  The figures aren't the right sort being imperial praetorians but they'll be good painting practice.




Trials & tribulations of limited comp - Dwarfs or Ogres for CTA

Call to Arms lists are due in a fortnight from now and like most Dwarf players I am struggling to get my head around the restrictions the minimal comp has imposed on us.  The key limitations are:

  • 500pt max unit size.
  • Max 4 template weapons, spells not included.
  • Max 5 warmachines, two-for-one count as one.
  • Max 4 flyers
Mike Kings admitted he wrote the comp before the new Wood Elf and Dwarf books came out and his intent was to get more people taking Bolt-Throwers which is cool.  Unfortunately for Dwarfs there are some problems with this limited comp:
  • Dwarf Bolt-Throwers are no longer 2:1
  • Everything except Organ Guns has a template 
  • While Gyros are no longer war-machines they do have templates.
Consequently, if you take 3-4 gyros you can't take any war-machines except Organ Guns.  If you take 4 war-machines (other than organ guns) you can't take any Gyros?  What to do - especially when you know (having talked to social gamers like Jeff Kent) that other lists are going to be filthy as heck.

I'm considering two options an Ogre list or a fun Dwarf list.

DWARFS @ 2400pts
Runesmith 
w. Shield, Ro Breaking, Ro Warding x2, Ro Stone, Shield
Runesmith
w. Shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking x2
Thane
w. BSB, GW, MR Grungi, Ancestor Rune, Ro Stoicism
30 x Warriors
w. FC, GW
30 x Warriors
w. FC, GW
30 x Miners
w. Champion, Steam Drill
35 x Slayers
w. Standard, Strollaz Rune
Grudge-Thrower
w. Ro Accuracy, Ro Forging
Gyro
Gyro
Gyro-Bomber

Slayers will vanguard up (if I win the roll) and just have fun.  Thane gives one unit of Warriors stubborn, Gyros have lots of fun.  Gyro-bomber because why the hell not.  30 Miners can deploy either as normal troops or can choose to ambush (normally ambushers can't but the wording in the Dwarf book allows you the option of choosing either type of deployment).  For the scenarios being used - Blood n Glory with 15" deployment zone, Meeting Engagement with close deployment zones and Watch-tower - this list could be fun.  

Or I can just puss out and take Ogres

OGRES @ 2400pts
Slaughtermaster
w. Level 4, Lore of Heavens, Charmed Shield, Crown of Command, Dispel Scroll, T.of.Endurance
Bruiser
w. BSB, Rune Maw, Lookout Gnoblar, Heavy Armour
Butcher
w. Level 2, Lore of Great Maw, Hellheart
28 x Gnoblars
w. Musician
9 x Ironguts
w. FC, Standard of Discipline, Lookout Gnoblar
8 x Bulls
w. FC, Lookout Gnoblar
3 x Mournfang
w. Musician, Heavy Armour, IF
3 x Mournfang
w. Musician, Heavy Armour, IF
Sabretusk
Sabretusk
Sabretusk
Ironblaster
Ironblaster

No Pete Lite or ETC comp means I can take the Dispel Scroll/Hellheart double and two Ironblasters.  Sabres and Gnoblars give me 4 chaff units to chuck in peoples way.  Only requirement here is that I have to paint up 2 Mournfang.  Other stuff I need I can borrow.

Outside of NZTC I haven't taken my Ogres to a big points tournament just events at 1000 & 1200pts so this could be fun... but with McCrae not playing Dwarfs at CTA if I take them and do well I will get closer to him and that Dwarf General Icon???!?? what to do???




July 21, 2014

Panzershrek WHFB Army Parade

Almost forgot to post these but I managed to get photos of some but not all of the armies that were at Panzershrek this month.  Unfortunately I didn't get all of them.  But I hope these are enough to wet your appetite



Mine













Some of Sam Whitt's medal winning best painted Dark Elves


WIP - AoW Dwarf Slayers

Painting, painting, painting Slayers are starting to take shape although the small faces are causing me problems as my brush supply is rather limited right now.  Still aiming to have these guys ready for Call to Arms but in the last couple of days I have started leaning toward taking Ogres.



July 18, 2014

Panzershrek XIII - Day 2 Dwarves vs. Ogres, Empire & Druchi

3 games today not the usual 2 so a great bonus as sometimes 5 games in a weekend just isn't enough. After my terrible Day 1 with only 14 points earned out of a maximum 60 I really needed to turn things around.  My main goal tournament wise this year remains securing the Dwarf General Icon which right now means I have to get better results than McCrae Louden is. Given that he secured approx. 30 points on Day 1 I wasn't off to a good start.

Game 4 vs Ogres (Darren Butler)
Darren had IMO a solid looking Ogre list.  2 Blocks of Bulls, 1 of Ironguts, and 2 lots of 3 Mournfang plus the almost mandatory 3 Sabretusks and Ironblaster combo.  Darren choose sides leaving me with one that was fairly open giving my warmachines good LOS and an impassable building to guard my flank. My plan was to shoot the Ironblaster till it was dead, then go after the Mournfang.  Gyro's would hover about getting in the way allowing me more time to shoot and hopefully the Thunderers could hold off the Sabres before they hit my artillery.  From memory I got first turn and for ancestral grudge rolled a 5 getting Hatred.

This is about Turn 2 when the first Gyro march/charge blocks Darrens Mournfang.  He did something interesting on put his BSB in a block behind his battleline rather than in the Gut Star.  Going to have to try that.
Add caption

The opening turns saw so extremely successful shooting with the Ironblaster taking wounds (after misfiring) and several Mournfang going down to the Stone Throwers.  One Gyro charged the Ironblaster in the rear (after it turned around following its misfire) beat it on CR and chased it down when it fled.  No combat yet but I had moved my troops forward slightly.

The first big combat
 The first major charge was on my part with my GW Warrior horde hitting his Ironguts.  These had moved ahead of the rest of Darrens army so the plan was to smash through them and then overrun out of harms way.  In the rear the other Warriors finish off the Sabres.
Ah bugger
 Combat went well but I missed positioned my Gyrocopter.  When the Ironguts broke and ran I was 1 inch off capturing them and couldn't chase the full distance as the Gyro got in the way.  End result Darren was able to flank charge my Warrior Block complete with BSB and Runesmith.  I lost on CR and my block got run down.


To stop the rest of my army helping out the 2 remaining Mournfang charged my Hammerers and died extremely quickly.  In the rear of Darrens army my Miners had come on and been charged by his 2nd Bull block keeping them out of the battle.

After my horde was destroyed the Hammerers and remaining Warriors moved forward but I relied on shooting to do damage concentrating on one unit at a time.

 Unfortunately while I managed to kill off most of Darren's units his big Bull block ran away from me and it contained his BSB, Slaughtermaster and Firebelly.  My Hammerers and Warriors couldn't catch it and I was using the Gyros to wipe out the remaining Ironguts so had to rely on shooting.  4 direct hits from the Stone Throwers onto the Bulls and 3 failed Lookout Sirs from Darren saw me put 3 wounds on his BSB, 2 on his Firebelly and 4 on the Slaughtermaster.  But I just didn't have enough turns to finish them off and his luck wasn't poor enough to allow me to get the kills I needed.

Final Result 12-8 Win 

Game 5 vs. Empire (Reagan Ridge)
Reagan is a club mate and I had played his list before so knew it was heavy on shooting.  He won roll off for sides and choose the one with hills on it.  I didn't mind this as once again I got a building to protect a flank and to block LOS for advancing Gyros.  Basically, I planned to advance straight at him aiming to time any charge with the Miners coming on behind his Warmachines.  The Gyros would advance in front of my infantry within the MR Grungi's protective bubble while my artillery took out the empire artillery and cavalry units.

Approximate positions after 1st turn - hellblaster and cannon in centre of Empire army were problematic.  A big block of Greatswords was on the Empire right and a block of Halbierders on their left.  Lots of missile firing detachments interspersed between them.  Demigryphs advanced on my left to be shot at by Thunderers and my Cannon, Pistolliers advanced on my right.
The key moment in Turn 3 - the Miners come on and can move up into a forest.  They throw their Blasting Charges at the Hellblaster killing it and then charge the Empire Engineer
My horde and the Hammerers aim left for the Great Swords keeping away from the main Empire shooting which was on my right.  2nd Warrior block angled right to keep the Light Bus Halberdiers out of the way.  Aim was for the Hammerers and Horde to munch through the Empire flank and meet up with the Miners in the middle.
Stupid detachments kept getting in the way but Hammerers meet Great Swords
  By Turn 3 things were going pretty well, yes the Demigryphs and Pistolliers were in my rear and busy killing off the artillery but my 3 blocks were getting stuck into the Empire ranks.  Detachments kept getting in the way though.  On the right I charged one detachment while in the centre Reagan opted to charge my Hammerers with his Greatswords.  I was 2 files wider than him and my guys had 2 attacks each vs. his one.  We were also both Stubborn so it wasn't going to be pretty.  Light magic kept going off making people -1 to hit etc.  Meanwhile the miners have finished off the Cannon and turned into some Archers.

Turns 3 - 6 revolved around the multiple close combats.  The Hammerers and Greatswords chopped away at each-other and the Greatswords were doing ok with magic buffs helping them.  That was until my GW Horde hit them in the rear and wiped them out.  Meanwhile my artillery crews had hung on long enough to stop the Demigryphs from moving up behind my troops.  While the Miners had died my blocks were still intact.  Turn 6 was marked by the Demigryphs finally getting to charge the Hammerers who after finishing off the Greatswords had turned to face them with only 5 models and the BSB left.  Soon only the BSB was left but I done enough damage to only be down by 3 on CR and he held on L7 with a re-roll nice one....

Final Result 11-9 win

Game 6 vs. Dark Elves (Charlie Lloyd)
Charlie had lots of shooting but minimal magic just two units of those fast cavalry things.  But he did have 2 heroes mounted on Chimeras and another on a Dragon.  For this game I opted to do the one thing I normally don't do with Dwarfs... I castled.  Warmachines tight into one corner everyone else bubbled around them just the Gyros and the Thunderers out in the cold.  No room anywhere for Charlies monsters to do anything other than charge GW wielding Dwarfs.
Dwarfs deploy in the dreaded castle formation.
Charlies beautifully painted Dark Elves - snow looked great. These guys were kitted bashed from Dark Eldar legs and HE Shadow Warrior heads and torsos.

Seeing this set-up Charlie could have deployed on the other side of the board - I put my warmachines down first so he knew right away what I was doing.  He could have castled in the opposite corner and maybe run a few units around to shoot me and we could have had a 10-10 draw.  But being a good sport he decided to go for it and opted to advance and try to crush me.  Unfortunately his shooting couldn't do anything.  He fired everything he had at the Hammerers for 4 turns (50+ shots a turn) into them but was taking off maybe 5-6 models each round.  
This is near Turn 4 by which time all 3 of the big monsters are dead and I have started to advance.  So far I haven't lost a single unit whereas Charlie has lost a lot.
Gyros proved amazingly useful against T3 Elves
 Meanwhile my Stone-throwers even with indirect fire (thanks to the RO Accuracy and my Engineer) were dropping rocks right on top of his monsters.  First the Dragon and its rider died.  Then a lucky cannon shot bounced through a Chimera killing that and his chariot.  Then another Stone dropped on the 2nd Chimera killing that.  Turn 3 and half his points and all his characters were squashed.  But he kept shooting.  I also opted to move out of the corner and charge what was left of his army.  My horde needed a 9 to reach one of his blocks I managed to roll an 11 and Charlies bad luck continued as my GW Dwarfs just pulverised his Elves.  
Game near the end - I take my first casualty when 1 of the Gyros is killed.  My Horde has muched through one unit of Dark Elves and my artillery is slowing taking off the rest.  There isn't much left for Charlie to do.

A very lop sided match up for the Dark Elves who relied on the monsters to kill stuff but couldn't get them past my artillery.  I voted for Charlie as best Sport as I enjoyed the game and honestly he could have sat back and played for points by hiding in a corner but he made a game of it which made it fun (for me definitely and hopefully for him).

Final Result 20-0 Win

So Day 2 and the tournament was over.  After a poor Day 1 were I only got 14pts I picked up 43 on Day 2 which when combined with painting scores boosted right up the table into 10th spot.  Still 5 behind McCrae but it continues my good run of form giving yet another finish in the top half of the field (if only just).  Final Results are below.  My two big losses came to the guys who finished 1st and 2nd so they don't hurt quite so much.


Next event is Call to Arms in Wellington for which comp is heavily against Dwarfs - max 4 templates and 5 warmachines - but Ill take them.