Friday, October 31, 2008

GENERAL: Warriors and Salamanders

I read my latest issue of White Dwarf over the past two days. I was looking forward to the launch of the Warriors of Chaos army book for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, as this is the only army I currently own for the game. I play a mortal list so this book would be vital to my next 6+ years of Warhammer gaming.

When I read the battle report I was incensed!

I have contributed to a thread on The Warhammer Forum on this very subject but I thought I'd record my thoughts here too.

I've been playing GW games for 20+ years, but I stopped playing WFB in 3rd edition and just began again in 7th. So I'm a veteran but a newbie to WFB. I chose to play mortal Hordes of Chaos and my buddy picked Dark Elves.

Boy did I get a run around in those early games we played. The problem was that I played a mixed HoC army with light magic, two Warrior units and just one unit of Knights and my opponent just danced around me, whittling my units away with magic and shooting, then delivering a decisive charge in the final turns of the game. It was very clear to me that it didn't matter how hard my units on foot were, if I couldn't get them into combat they were useless.

My fortunes changed when I began to include units and items to negate the enemy magic users, war machines and fast cavalry. Furies were my linchpin but Book of Secrets, Marauder Cav and bound magic missiles helped too.

Now they've improved the Dark Elf army book (much needed I agree) but what the devil have they done to the Warriors? What options do I have now to keep those march blockers off my flank, the mages and bolt throwers from skewering my expensive models?

Surely the inaugural battle report with the new book will advise me?

No. Apparently my plan is to hope my opponent decides to take me on in close combat. Are you kidding me?

Nobody wanted to charge me before, why would they want to now when my Warriors are even better in combat? Can't GW see the effect that this will have on most games?

Your opponent doesn't ever want to make combat so he uses his movement to march block you and his magic and shooting to kill you before you get there. The WoC hasn't got great tools to stop those things so he drops his foot troops and gets more knights. That means the opponent wants to get into combat even less, and he has to kill you even quicker, so he invests in more magic, shooting and annoying support units. So the WoC gets more Cav to make it into combat quicker. Etc, etc.

IMHO the WoC book would have been far better with units a range of abilities which would have allowed greater tactical flexibility for the WoC player AND his opponent. What about skirmishing Marauders in small units with throwing axes and throwing spears? Thugs (that's going back a bit I'll grant you) with bows? Re-introduce some Chaos Dwarf units?

The way it is now is exactly how Alessio describes it in the battle report:

Chaos runs at the guns, and then either a) Chaos is shot to pieces or b) Chaos reaches the gunline in reasonable numbers and cuts the enemy army to pieces.

Reading the battle report again I think that maybe Alessio was actually having a sly dig at the WoC book in his comments about gunlines.

Ahem. With that little rant out of the way I want to point you toward my first battle report of The Gauntlet Tournament. This was versus the new Space Marine codex iteration of Salamanders.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

GENERAL: Fight the good fight

I wasn't expecting to blog at all today but I'm so loaded with cold I came home from work early. In between a hot bath, working my way through my Google Reader list and reading the latest issue of White Dwarf I decided to write up another battle report.

This was my last practice game before the Gauntlet Tournament and I took on Neevesy's Imperial Guard army.

Monday, October 27, 2008

GENERAL: Practice makes perfect

Another day, another battle report. This game was my first against the new 5th edition Space Marine codex. Vanguard and Sternguard and a Chapter Master in a 1000 point game? Uh oh...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

GENERAL: News from the front

Thanks to everyone who has offered sympathy and advice regarding my frosted models. While I haven't had time to look at fixing them just yet, I will in the near future.*

As promised, here is the first in a raft of battle reports detailing the exploits of my Blood Angels preceding and during The Gauntlet tournament. This game was fought against Gary's Chaos Daemons which he was also trialling for the tournament.

*Once I get rid of this damn cold and stop working every hour God sends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

GENERAL: Normal service is resumed

I'm back from The Gauntlet tournament.

I finished 15th out of 32 with one win, one draw and a loss. Congratulations to Francis whose Orks took the top spot and Derek whose Imperial Guard won best painted.

I had hoped to compete in that category but I had a disaster the day before the tournament. I finished all my painting and varnished the models to protect their painstakingly applied paintjobs. Then the f***ing varnish frosted my models.

I now need to look into techniques to try to save them. Binning all my cans of Games Workshop varnish is a good start.

I might pick up some tips from the Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume One. I bought this from Warhammer World as it never appeared in my local store (nor did the Lemartes model I had ordered for The Gauntlet tournament, but that's another story). I've just had a quick flick through so far but it looks fantastic, with loads of great photography, modelling and painting tips and the shock of seeing some non-Games Workshop products. I wonder what varnish they recommend?

I'll post up a review of the book once I've read it. Because of the tournament I haven't even read the Space Marine codex yet, so that will also be on the reading stand. As is the Siege of Vraks part 2. It's just as well I'll have a little more time on my hands now.

My blog, and the rest of my hobby related activities, fell by the wayside while I was speed painting for the tournament. With that out of the way I can return to my duties on my blogs. I'm trying to regulate my Blood Angels painting through the Warseer Tale of 40k Painters and the upside to cranking out a couple of new units in a short space of time is that I don't have to paint Space Marines for a couple of months. I'll photograph them, hopefully once I've rescued them from the frosting of doom, and post them as I present them on Warseer.

With my new-found time I can update my Battle Reports blog with my tournament games, review the books I'll read, sort out some technical issues with the blog (the photos and other niggly things I'm not happy with) and maybe even paint some of my Warriors of Chaos models for Fantasy.

Get ready for take off...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PAINTING: Running the Gauntlet

I haven't posted for a bit - in fact I've done very little else at all - because I've been painting like a daemon ahead of The Gauntlet tournament. That doesn't mean I've painted lots of models. In fact I've only painted a few, but they're to a decent standard. The Blood Angels hold a special place in my affections because they were my first ever 40k army so I want to paint them to the best of my abilities.

The main thing I needed for the tournament was more Troops so I began with 5 Tactical marines.

I chose a Veteran Sergeant with a powerfist to lead the squad. I had really wanted a Veteran with a lightning claw for a bit of variety, and to use the great model I have, but I was dismayed to find the Blood Angels codex disallows it. The special weapon I selected was a meltagun, again to add another dimension to my list.

All I need to do to finish these guys is stick on some transfers. Without thinking, I painted their kneepads black, like the first Tac squad I completed. I should really have painted them blue if I was going to use them as the second squad of my company, but I have decided to leave them as is and they will represent the 4th squad. I have left them at five models for the moment as they will be riding my Razorback into battle in my 1000 point list.

Once I'd completed my Tactical marines I moved on to my Death Company. I have ten models but concentrated on the first five as that was all I could fit into my tournament army list. These models are probably ten years old at least, and I converted them from regular marines as no dedicated Death Company models existed at the time.

I had painted them up and used them in many games, then I ripped off their regular backpacks and glued on jump packs to get them ready for 5th edition. I also added a jump pack Chaplain with a plasma pistol to lead them. Over the past week I have been building up the highlights and details I never painted the first time around. I really wanted Lemartes to act as the spiritual commander of the Death Company and indeed my whole army but the model didn't arrive in time for me to paint it up.

The tournament takes place on Thursday coming so I better get back to the painting table. If I don't blog before then, wish me luck...

Friday, October 3, 2008

PAINTING: Heavy armour

Despite being on holiday for almost three weeks I have keep my promise for the Warseer Tale of 4ok Painters Pledge. As I knew I'd only have limited time to finish my entry, I chose to finish my Land Raider. It was an ideal choice because I'd already put it together and painted the interior and it was a single, expensive model. Here's how it looks.

I'm really getting into painting vehicles; it's relatively easy to get good results due to all the sharp edges, I have my paint and weathering scheme nailed down and it grows the army very quickly.

The Land Raider took a lot longer than the Rhino, though. There are lots of thin layers of armour which means loads more highlighting and the Godhammer lascannons (how cool is that name?) were a pain to paint then glue together. I'm not looking forward to putting together the metal Hurricane Bolters on my Land Raider Crusader.

Due to the time constraints of the pledge I had to skip the 'mud' mix I usually use on my vehicles. The Land Raider still has all the paint chips and dried dirt, though.

The only bad thing about the Land Raider is that I probably won't be able to take it in my first tournament list. When I was buying my copy of Black Reach at Games Workshop last Saturday I found out about The Gauntlet tournament. This is held in Warhammer World and normally consists of three 1000 point games played between 40-50 gamers from the North East of England. I played in the tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and won best painted army in the first two years and overall in the last.

At 255 points the Land Raider will be too expensive to fit into my 1000 point list. On the other hand I have precious little else painted and ready to take and I only have three weeks to go!

I've posted up my first practice battle report on my battle reports forum here. It's clear from that game that I need to hurriedly paint up some Troops so Tactical Marines are next on my painting table.