Saturday, August 28, 2010

'Ard Boyz results

Game 1 - Tomb Kings

I was able to use Gutter Runners to take out one screaming skull catapult. The 13th Spell took out his elite Skeletons. Not completely, but enough for them to be a non-factor during the game. The Hellpits did tear through the army. It was my first time playing against Tomb Kings, so the magic was interesting to counter. I won 24-0 on battle points.

Game 2 - Vampire Counts

Mark had a VERY aggressive l;ist. He was basically all ghouls and the entire army got a vanguard move. First turn I used Plague, Scorch, and Vermintide to lower the model count of his ghoul unit who also had the Vampire Lord, then hit the unit with the 13th Spell and took out the Lord. Even with his army crumbling around him he hit me hard with the fast line, and the Black Knights with the regen banner were a huge thorn in my side throughout the game. I squeek out the win 16-8 battle points.

Game 3 - Warriors of Chaos

A very Warrior heavy list, he had some key units in reserve because of the scenario while I only lost a unit of gutter runner and a naked Warlock. First turn, hit the Chaos Warrior unit with the general in it with Plague, and they lose 9 or so models. Then I follow up with the 13th Spell and kill every last Warrior, leaving the General standing by himself. THEN, I hit the Chaos Lord (General) in the face with the warp lightning cannon and killed him. Horrible rolls by my opponent and amazing rolls by me, and I take the game 23-0 battle points, and win the 'Ard Boyz 2010 Preliminary round held at Pandemonium.

Here was my list for those interested:

340 Grey Seer, talisman of preservation, dispel scroll, skalm
305 Grey Seer, foul pendant, power scroll

115 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, doom rocket, warp-energy condenser
100 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, forbidden rod
110 Chieftain, bsb, enchanted shield, talisman of endurance
015 Warlock Engineer
015 Warlock Engineer

285 30 Storm Vermin, full command, storm banner
170 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields, spears
155 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields
082 40 Slaves, musician
082 40 Slaves, musician
115 25 Giant Rats, 5 packmasters
115 25 Giant Rats, 5 packmasters

090 5 Gutter Runners, poisoned attacks, slings
090 5 Gutter Runners, poisoned attacks, slings
090 5 Gutter Runners, poisoned attacks, slings

250 Hell Pit Abomination, warp spikes
235 Hell Pit Abomination
150 Doomwheel
090 Warp Lightning Cannon


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting ready for 'Ard Boyz!

After my final practice game and some very minor list tweaking, I am ready to play Saturday. I think my list is balanced enough to face whatever is thrown at me while hopefully being able to deliver my game plan to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women! But before that, hows about we look at what I think will show up on Saturday based on what I've played against, what I've read about online, and what I think are some of the stronger 'Ard Boyz type lists:

1. Skaven. I don't think I will necessarily be the only Skaven player at my location. There really isn't any preregistration, and I don't know how many will show up, but Skaven are one of the more powerful armies in the new edition. I suspect I will see another Grey Seer led army with at least one Abomination.

2. Lizardmen. This is more or less cheating because I assume Gargunki will show up, but the Lizardmen are a very powerful army in the new edition as well. Slaan with Lore of Life, buffing his entire army, protecting himself from miscasts, and casting The Dweller's Below!

3. High Elves with Teclis. Teclis is just filthy in 8th Edition, and I think there will be at least one played. Maybe 2 or more! Teclis backed by another level 2, and loads of elite troops with great weapons that have ASF.

3. Empire. Possibly the strongest in 8th Edition, with huge gun lines but also the ability to take good level 4 Lords with the BRB magic Lores. Also taking Priests to add dispel dice. I think I'll see a level 4 mage lord before a War Altar.

5. Dwarves. And we have our second gunline. Dwarves do it better, but I don't think their anti magic is as game controlling as some people believe. Sure, they have a lot. But there can possibly be so much magic flying they just will not be able to stand up to it. In return they will blast you off the table with bolt throwers, cannons, grudge throwers, organ guns, and flame cannons.

I think those are the major 5 armies that will be present and do well. I won't count out any of the other armies though. Orcs and Goblins as well as Chaos Warriors will probably show well. Demons are still very good and at high points levels and with special characters, I'm definitely fearing Kairos Fateweaver lining up across the table. Especially with his spiffy new model being released. Dark Elves are also very potent, with a million spell dice and lots of Hydras!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A closer look at 8th Edition rules.

There are a lot of people who still haven't played many games of 8th Edition, and are assuming things play the same as before... and are playing wrong. Take some time and read the entire book, and then read it again. After reading Jervis Johnson's article on the Games Workshop website about some of the Easy to Miss Rules, here are my thoughts on his points.

Templates: Everything is hit. No more partials. But if an old army book still lists partials as being 4+ to hit, you have to play with the old army book rules! I am going to have to dig through some old army books so I know who these armies are.

Sequence of play: This was something Brian of the GLWL brought up on their forums, that I made use of in our game at 3000 points. Charges are declared one at a time. Charge reactions are carried out immediately! Before the next charge is declared even. If you then charge a unit who is already fleeing, it flees again automatically. I made use of this in my game vs Lizardmen and had a unit of Saurus fleeing from my table edge all the way to his table edge in a single turn, allowing me to score points for the unit the next (and last) turn when they ran off the table. Also, charge moves are carried out after all reaction, but before the compulsory movement phase. This is different than last edition.

Pursuing and Fleeing: units with the Swiftstride rule (mostly cavalry) roll 3d6 and take the highest 2 dice totals.Flying units flee and pursue on the ground! This means they will not flee 20" anymore. And finally, models with random movement always move their random movement. Yes, my Doomwheel and Hell Pit Abomination do flee and pursue 3d6 inches TOTAL.

Magic: If a wizard fails to cast, his magic phase is over. Be sure you don't throw 2 dice at a low level spell first thing, you may always roll 2 or 3 and be done. The same with dispelling. You may still dispel after failing, but not with that wizard... losing his magic level bonus to your dispel roll.

Reforming: A unit can get specific situation reforms if it destroys an opponent and does not overrun, or passes a leadership test to not pursue a fleeing unit, or it destroys a fleeing unit and passes a leadership test, or is the loser in combat and passes a leadership test. That final version of combat reform applies the combat modifiers you lost by! Steadfast also applies. Swift reforms are a thing of greatness. If you have a musician, you can take a leadership test in the movement phase to reform and then move regularly, without marching. If you fail you may only reform.

Panic Tests: are taken immediately after they are triggered. But only one test is taken per phase.

Flaming attacks: cause fear in war-beasts, cavalry, and chariots, and allow you to re-roll to wound vs units inside of buildings.

These are some of the interesting ones that have come up again and again vs new 8th Edition players. The rest of Jervis' article is a good read if you aren't completely familiar with 8th Edition yet.

Any other rules you have missed in 8th Edition, only to later find out you've been playing them wrong?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2500 Skaven vs Lizardmen

I have been good about getting a lot of games in to really learn the new rules system before 'Ard Boyz. Tuesday I played Ramon (plan-9)'s Lizardmen in a close battle. We set up terrain and rolled a scenario this time, and got Dawn Attack. Interesting deployment rules, but otherwise a normal fight. The deployment was kind to my army. The Lizardman deployment was not as kind. He was forced to deploy both blocks of Saurus to the right flank with his Stegadon. His Slaan and Skink/Kroxigor block to the left flank. His Salamanders were the only unit in the center. I ended up with most of my units in the center, with my Grey Seer in some Clan Rats on the left flank, and my Abomination and some Slaves on the right flank. *Note: I did proxy my Doomwheel as a Plagueclaw Catapult. I wanted to test it out before buying an Orc and Goblin Rock Lobba to convert. We both Scouted our units. The Chameleon Skinks tried to make a play for my Grey Seer, but I counter deployed my Gutter Runners to be prepared to deal with them. My second unit of Gutter Runners used their Sneaky Infiltrator rule.

I rolled a 6 to steal the initiative, and we were off to the races. The Abomination shambled forward, heading for the Cold Ones and Skink block. I immediately turned and marched the Gutter Runners towards the Chameleon Skinks, ready to unload poisoned slings. They didn't make it that far though, because my Warlock Engineer cast both Warp Lightning and Scorch to eliminate the threat. The 13th Spell was cast naturally, and dispel scrolled. The Lizardman turn was spent moving forward. I dispelled Throne of Vines, and then scrolled The Dwellers Below. The Lizards didn't get much from their Salamanders because of poor rolling. I was definitely fearing these things more than anything but the Slaan in the Lizard army.

We started to get stuck in right away turn 2. My Gutter Runner sneaky infiltrators arrived on the back edge of the board, ready to attack the Skink Priest. My Abomination charged into the Skinks, and I charged my Slaves into the Cold Ones to keep them occupied. I failed charges on both my Plague Monk and Giant Rat units. Curse you random charge distance. I got Plague off, and killed some Saurus in one unit, and skipped to the second unit killing some more. The 13th Spell went off naturally again, and was scrolled again with the Cube of Darkness. The Gutter Runners did their job and killed the Skink Priest, after unloading their 10 poisoned sling shots into him. In close combat, the Slaves were cut down mercilessly as expected, but held Steadfast as expected. The HPA cut down many Skinks, but not as many as I would have liked. I took 4 wounds in return from the Kroxigor great weapons. It was starting to look like a mistake charging into the unit, but with the deployment I had little choice.

The Cold Ones cut down the remaining Slaves, just in time for me to set up a charge next turn with my Storm Vermin. The Slaan magic phase was fairly uneventful again, and the Salamanders failed to kill more than 4 Plague Monks. Poor rolling for the Lizards.

I quadruple charged the Salamanders with 2 units of Gutter Runners and both Giant Rats and Plague Monks to the front. My Storm Vermin make their charge into the Cold Ones. Magic is mostly undamaging, and in combat I wipe out the Salamanders. The Cold Ones and Storm Vermin square off, and the Warlord challenges and kills the unit Champion. The Cold Ones hold.

The next turn, the Saurus make a miraculous charge into my Clan Rats with the Grey Seer by rolling box cars! He barely survives with one wound remaining. The next turn he gets some more buffs cast onto his unit before being killed. The rest of the combats are mostly ground out, with the Clan Rats including the BSB getting a flank charge on the Skinks and Kroxigor to finally break them. The Salamaders eventually break from the Clan Rats because of the heavy casualties they took from magic before charging in. The Slaan narrowly escaped a charge late in the game and we end on turn 6 after much bloodshed.

After turn 6 we tallied up our points. Neither of us were able to take out the enemy Generals, and I had only captured one standard, so we looked to Victory Points. The Skaven pulled out the victory by about 450 victory points. A minor victory, and a closely fought game! Magic was hardly a factor until the late turns when the Slaan was able to use Life after the Grey Seer was dead to buff up and Regrow his Cold Ones. It wasn't enough though. Glory to the Horned Rat!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writing an 'Ard list for Fantasy

I've been playing quite a few list variations lately, both to get ready for this years 2010 Warhammer Fantasy 'Ard Boyz and to also get used to the different units in the Skaven army in 8th Edition. There are still no scenarios released for the event (less than 2 weeks away), so any of the list speculation can drastically change based on the scenarios. A fortitude scenario could require the addition of more units with standards, where some severe magic restricted scenarios may change my list's outlook.

Here is a look at my current list and some of the ideas that went into it.

310 Grey Seer (G), lvl 4 plague and ruin, talisman of preservation, dispel scroll
305 Grey Seer, lvl 4 plague and ruin, foul pendant, power scroll

115 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1 ruin, doomrocket, warp-energy condenser
100 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1 ruin, forbidden rod
122 Chieftain, bsb, shield, armor of destiny

250 30 Storm Vermin, full command, lichebone pennant
235 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields, spears, poison wind mortar
155 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields
066 32 Slaves, musician
066 32 Slaves, musician
023 5 Giants Rats, 1 packmaster
023 5 Giants Rats, 1 packmaster

250 25 Plague Monks, full command, storm banner
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks

235 Hell Pit Abomination
235 Hell Pit Abomination
150 Doomwheel
090 Warp Lightning Cannon

21% Lord - 615
11% Hero - 337
26% Core - 772 (818)
17% Spec - 520
24% Rare - 710

First off, 2 Grey Seers. I believe level 4's are almost mandatory in 8th Edition. +4 to cast, +4 to dispel. So what is better than 1? 2 of course. Both Grey Seers will have the 13th Spell in case something unfortunate happens to one or the other. My "suicide" Seer will Power Scroll away and throw 6 dice at the 13th Spell and Plague with reckless abandon, while my General will reserve his Ruin spells for situational needs. There may be some times where I can even throw 2 Dreaded 13th Spell's in the same turn.

My Hero selection is mainly to support my Lord's spell casting. 2 more channel rolls, another 5+ channel roll, and a suicide Warlock that will add d6 power dice once per game. If I remember to use it, the Doomrocket is devastating. Every army in 8th Edition needs a BSB, and I prefer mine to be protected rather than to have an expensive banner.

My Core choice is pretty standard for my army. With the Storm Vermin, I went with the Lichebone Pennant to give the Grey Seer General another small protection in the magic phase. Hopefully a 3+ ward vs Death magic is enough (4+ ward plus MR 1). I only had enough points to fit in one poison wind mortar, but it is the best weapon team if I can only have one, imo. My Slaves are 30 strong for both Steadfast, but also maneuverability. I'd rather have 2 units of 30 than one unit of 60. The Giant Rat darts are little flank runners, Fanatic activation units, and extra deployment buffers.

Special choices are my utility units. I wouldn't prefer Plague Monks when trying to maximize every unit's potential, but they get the Storm Banner into my list. I think the Storm Banner will be essential vs Dragons, Terradons, Great Eagles, and Empire and Dwarf gunlines that I know will make some sort of appearance. The Gutter Runners are the other part of the defense against those units. 1 or 2 units max will Scout, and the rest (1 or probably 2) will deploy as Sneaky infiltrators. Maybe even all 3 infiltrating to try to guarantee a unit of poisoned slings firing on enemy war machines turn 2.

My Rare choices are the big guns of the army. The Warp Lightning Cannon is the best effectiveness per points cost unit I think, but I only have 1 of them. The Doomwheel is a straight up Monster killer, and I expect to see lots of them. And the Hell Pit Abomination, while I think slightly weaker in 8th, is still one of the best Monsters in the game. Maybe use one as a distraction up the middle, and the other as a support unit, they dish out a ton of damage. I thought about dropping one for more war machines, but for now I don't have the models.

We'll have to wait another 2 weeks or so to see what the scenarios have in store for my finalized list, but for now I am leaning towards this strategy for the first 8th Edition 'Ard Boyz.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2500 Skaven vs Warriors of Chaos

On Tuesday, Ramon and I gave it a go with my Skaven army and his Nurgle tainted Warriors of Chaos. I ran some updates as the game went on through my Twitter page. Here is the official battle report!

Ramon's Warriors of Chaos army:

Chaos Lord, mark of nurgle, chaos steed, armor of damnation, chaos runesword
Chaos Sorcerer, lvl 2 nurgle, mark of nurgle, 4+ ward save
Exalted Hero, bsb
20 Chaos Warriors, mark of nurgle, hw/shield, banner of wrath
20 Chaos Warriors, mark of nurgle, hw/shield
20 Chaos Marauders, mark of nurgle, hw/shield
17 Chaos Marauders, mark of nurgle, flails
9 Chaos Knights, mark of nurgle
Chaos Chariot, mark of nurgle
Chaos Chariot, mark of nurgle

My  Skaven army:

Warlord (G), war-litter, shield, warpforged blade, armor of destiny
Grey Seer, lvl 4 plague and ruin, 4+ ward, dispel scroll
Warlock, lvl 1 ruin, doomrocket, warp energy condenser
Chieftain, bsb, foul pendant, spellshield
30 Storm Vermin, war banner
30 Clan Rats, spears, shields, mortar
30 Clan Rats, shields, mortar
20 Slaves
20 Slaves
20 Slaves
25 Plague Monks, plague banner
5 Gutter Runners
5 Gutter Runners
Hell Pit Abomination
Warp Lightning Cannon

Starting off, Ramon deployed most of his army in the center. His Knights were ready to charge right up the middle. I loaded my center with Slaves, but my Doomwheel and Abomination on the opposite flanks to counter his chariots, and then scouted both squads of Gutter Runners on the same flank as the Abom, just 12" away from the Chaos Chariot.

I rolled and won the first turn. My Abom and Doomwheel charge forward their random movement, and the Gutter Runners swarm the chariot, ready to fire. Most of the rest of the army just hangs back. First turn magic phase I cast the Dreaded 13th Spell on a natural roll of 28 on 6 dice. No Irresistable Force, but Ramon hasn't taken a Dispel Scroll! He doesn't get double 6's to dispel, so I turn most of a unit of Chaos Warriors  into Clan Rats, and they are removed as casualties. Both of my mortars misfire, and one blows up! My Gutter Runner squads put 2 wounds on the Chaos Chariot. On the Chaos turn 1, I failed to dispel Magnificent Buboes on two dice by rolling a double 1 and ending my dispel phase with the Grey Seer. He took a wound that I forgot I should have taken a ward save for.

On Turn 2, my Hell Pit Abomination charges the unit of Marauders with flails, and my Doomwheel makes it to the opposite Chaos Chariot. My magic fails, as I fail casting Plague on 4d6 as my first spell. This turn I do kill 2 Knights with my Poison Wind Mortar. When I fire the Doomrocket from my Warlock Engineer, I over roll my perfect distance by 2 inches, but this manage to kill 15 Maraders! The they flee and eventually run off the board. The Doomwheel shoots the chariot for 3 wounds, then finishes him off in close combat. I thought for a second I may be in trouble with my HPA charging into Marauders with flails. But poor rolling on Ramon's part, and good rolling on mine saves the HPA of all but one wound. Impact Hits, random attack, then the Thunderstomp are too much. The Marauders flee and are run down by the Abomination. The Gutter Runners finish off the far side chariot, but are then out of most of the rest of the game. Chaos turn 2, the Knights charge my Slaves that I have positioned as road blocks. My second unit of Slaves flees from the Chaos Warrior charge. They redirect to my Storm Vermin and I accept, but the Warriors come up an inch short on their charge roll! In combat, the Knights slay 9 Slaves, but leave enough so that they remain steadfast, since I killed 2 Knights in my shooting phase. They make their Steadfast roll, which is at Leadership 8 with a BSB re-roll, and then do a Combat Reform after losing to face the Knights.

In turn 3, the Warlord and his Storm Vermin charge into the Knights flank. The Grey Seer, sensing imminent combat if the combat doesn't go well, leaves his unit to perch himself on the hill next to the Warp Lightning Cannon. He then casts Plague into the swirling melee in the center of the field. The Grey Seers kills 5 of the remaining 7 Chaos Knights, but at great cost. He also kills 10 Slaves and 17 Storm Vermin (including their champion)! The Chaos Lord challenges, and like a fool my Warlord accepts. I figure I can wound him and he will have no armor save. For the first round I am at least correct. The Warlord inflicts 2 wounds on the Chaos Lord, and receives one in return. The Chaos Knights only lose by 1, and hold fast. On the other side of the battle, Clan Rats 30-strong charged the remaining 13th Spell plagued Chaos Warriors that were on that side of the fight. They finish them off and run them down. On the Chaos turn, remaining Chaos Warriors charge the Storm Vermin flank. The Chaos Lord kills my Warlord, and the whole combat is lost from there. The Knights hold, and the Warriors run down my Storm Vermin but fail to charge into the next unit.

With only a few units left, things are looking grim for Chaos in turn 4. The Hell Pit Abomination charges into the Chaos Lord and the Knight standard bearer who remain, and the Doomwheel charges into the lone Chaos Sorcerer who had previously left his unit of Warriors (surviving their destruction). The 13th Spell cast by the Grey Seer who is overlooking the battlefield from the cannon perch destroys the last Chaos Warrior unit on the field, leaving 7 Clan Rats in their place. The Doomwheel blasts the Sorcerer Lord and then runs him down in combat, running into the Chaos Knights. The combined attack from the Abomination and the joining Doomwheel are plenty, and the Chaos Lord is slain as the last model left on the field. On my side of the field, I lost my Warlord, my Storm Vermin, and a unit of 20 Slaves. I captured two standard and killed the enemy General. Skaven win 3150 to 655 (correction from the Twitter feed).

Some reflections on my army list and the game. First, Ramon now knows how important it is to take a Dispel Scroll at point levels high enough to include level 4 mages. He also mention he was interested in including his own level 4. It's a great idea, especially for the +4 to dispel. Death magic would probably also fit into his Nurgle theme if he had an undivided level 2 caster, and would be of use for some character sniping.

I think the Warlock loadout I included was the perfect setup. He channels one spell die on a 6+ and another on a 5+. The Doomrocket was worth its weight in gold. For only 150 points he is an excellent buy. While I still had over 34% of my army as core, well over the minimum, I was able to use my troops to setup my heavy hitters. Anvil and Hammer if you will. The Hell Pit Abomination is truly a beast, and while I don't normally use my Doomwheel as a close combat support unit, it did well in that roll during the game. I normally use it as a mobile tank that hunts multi wound monsters or heavy cavalry.

Overall a good game, and some good practice with the Skaven.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Caller

I won't often, if ever have 2 Hell Pit Abominations. But for 'Ard Boyz I am thinking about running two of them, so I needed a second HPA. I decided to go with The Caller's giant rat-thing mount from Necromunda. This thing is truly a foul beast, and looks like it fights right in with the other horrible experiments of Clan Moulder. Here are the work in progress shots. I need to go back and do some highlighting, and I need to finish up his base.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Battle Recaps

I've played 13 games of 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles so far. Here is my impression of the armies I have faced, in order how strong I feel the armies are based on my experience with them.

Empire. I only played on game against the Empire. I was able to take his war machines mostly out of the game and hit his Wizard with the 13th Spell while he was in a small unit of Crossbowmen. I wasn't too impressed with the Archlector / Warpriest casting abilities either. I think I would have been given more fits if he had more war machines, but I've been taking more units of Gutter Runners as well. The large blocks of infantry were at a disadvantage to my blocks, because I always struck first with higher initiative and similar statlines. I tied up Greatswords with Slaves and hit his shooting units with the 13th Spell (hit them instead of big nasty units because 1 cast would destroy a single unit), Gutter Runners, and fast flanking units.

Dark Elves. One small game vs Dark Elves doesn't tell me much about them in the new edition. This was the first 8th Edition game I played and it was only 1000 points. I definitely will need Gutter Runners to disrupt the lines of repeating Crossbowmen. I am really hoping for new Nightrunner models in the 2nd wave as well that I think will help close the gap. Again, not much to say with so little of the full strength of the Dark Elves on the board, but they were more of a challenge than the Empire.

Warriors of Chaos. Elite Infantry, tooled up characters, high level powerful casters, and that damned War Shrine. Warriors of Chaos were tough, but the game I played against them, the 13th Spell decimated his Deathstar unit and ended the game quickly. I am more worried about Knights in my flanks, and should focus on feeding Slaves to Chaos Warriors to keep them away from my caster units. Not much really unfolded in this game to show the true strengths of the Chaos Warriors.

Daemons of Chaos. Daemons took a big hit with the new edition, but I still think they are a contender. In the game I played and reported on, the Bloodthirster (or any other Greater Daemon) is a big threat. I actually think it's better for Daemons to take bigger units of core Daemons, because I think they got better (except the poor Plague Bearers). A Ward save and Fear army-wide makes close combat better, and faster movement gets them across the table faster every game. I used the 13th Spell against the Daemons to go straight for his core blocks and not allowing them to get to me. I think this was key, because his big stuff really couldn't widdle down my large units of infantry.

Orcs and Goblins. One of my three losses so far in the new edition have come to the Greenskins. Lots of war machines because of the new army list percentage system. Lots of large infantry blocks which is the strength of the new edition. Lots of points to spend on characters large and small without worrying about slots. I think the Orcs and Gobbos are much better in the new edition. For me, it was about focusing on one unit at a time, protecting my flanks from chariots and boars, and slowing down the big hordes. I have won 2 out of three vs Orcs and the games I won were because I succeeded in my game plan, and because in both games I won the large and unwieldy units had trouble maneuvering around terrain. Both times against different opponents I was able to use impassable terrain to protect my units, and is also why I would rather run deep for Steadfast than wide for Horde formation.

High Elves. High Elves are pretty tough with always striking first and lots of great weapons in the army. In an 'Ard Boyz situation they may arguably have the best magic with Teclis. I have played the pointy ears 4 times. One loss at 1500 points, a draw at 1500 points, and a draw and a win at 3000 points both against Teclis. Teclis is ridiculous, but I survived him both games. Otherwise my focus against High Elves was to use my Gutter Runners to attack bolt throwers, eagles, and archers. Also I used by big nasty stuff on the flanks to take care of chariots and cavalry. I tried not to ever engage head on, because I would get chopped down by ASF great weapons. I tried to always have support when actually engaging. The 13th Spell is excellent vs the High Elves because they like the elite MSU's. I like turning those units into rats! 4d6 dice does take a huge chunk out of the big blocks, but for me it's about removing a whole unit (even if it is a much smaller unit) at a time. This causes the panic tests, and ensures victory points that are only awarded for entirely destroyed units.

Lizardmen. The toughest army I've faced in the new edition. I've won one and lost one. Both games were decided by magic, when in the first game I turned his Slaan into a Clan Rat with the 13th Spell, and the second game I vaporized my Grey Seer with a instant death miscast result. The game collapsed from there but I still learned a lot. Cannons vs Stegadons... VERY NICE. Template weapons hit all parts of a model, so that strength ten Warplightning Cannon shot I just rolled? Good-bye Stegadon. The Slaan magic though makes him king of the magic phase when special characters (Teclis and Karos) aren't on the board. Adding a die to every spell cast, making your caster's 6's not count within 24" (so I'll just have to take 2!), and transferring miscasts to your enemy are some powerful attributes. Combined with Life magic is probably were the Lizardmen are their strongest. For me, I tried to focus on one side of the board and dance on that 24" line with my Grey Seer to actually get my spells off. Beware of poison Skink attacks on your big stuff. Those piddly little Skink units are actually high threat priority if you don't want your monsters to end up as pin cushions.

I still need to face a lot of armies to get a good grasp on what they have got in the new edition. I am at least happy with the fact that the armies I have been playing are considered the "tough" or "upper tier" armies. I'm glad I was able to get a game in vs the Empire, but I want to find a gunline to test myself against. Speaking of gunlines, I think the army I want to face most now is Dwarves. I know I will be marching through a hail of missile fire to get to them, but I need to practice some anti-Dwarf tactics.I have also NEVER played against another Skaven army. I'm looking forward to a mirror match to really test out my unit choices versus another Warlord's army building style.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

GW Local Store Rules? Interesting.

Does your local store have any screwy rules they try to impose? I played a game yesterday at the GW Hampton Village Hobby Center in Rochester, MI. I found an Empire opponent, decided on a pitched battle, and placed terrain. After we set up our models, he starts placing fences and walls in front of all of his models!

"What are you doing. Is that some sore of detachment rule I don't know about?"
"No. The store rule is that if you buy store terrain, you can always use it in addition to board terrain, and place it after deployment."

Uh.... WHAT? So GW stores now allow you to buy an in-game advantage with money, that is OUTSIDE the rules of the giant book I paid $75 for? That is an interesting (read as: asinine) way for them to boost their sales of terrain and encourage their players to actually strategize/powergame with these "fake" rules. I told him it was my first time ever hearing of this rule, and I was not comfortable being surprised with it. The manager ho-hummed and told him to remove his EIGHT fences that he had placed directly in front of his entire army. We played a real game of Warhammer, and the Skaven were victorious over the man-things.

So thank you GW Hampton Village. You made my decision for upcoming games that much easier, by not having to decide between playing at your store (with your idiotic house rules) or my other FLGS's.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Skaven review

I'm just home from my 3000 point game vs Orcs and Goblins and should go to bed, but I just ate a cupcake so I am WIRED and ready to type. After playing between 10-15 games of 8th edition so far,  figured I would be better off to review what I have been using so far. I started off by playing moderate lists, but lately I have been playing all 3000 point games to try out some different builds for 'Ard Boyz. So without further ado, here are the ratings:

5/5 Grey Seer. Magic has become more powerful in 8th, imo. A level 4 is almost mandatory. Not only for the +4 to cast, but more so for the +4 to dispel. The Grey Seer is pretty expensive coming in at 240, but the 13th Spell always being available puts one of the strongest spells in the game in your arsenal every single game guaranteed. The Screaming Bell also got a boost this edition as well, even though I prefer to field him on foot. The bell chart is better suited for this edition (hello T8 Saurus, how about you rethink that Life magic next time!), the Leadership range of your Seer is 18", and the ward of 4+ gets bumped to 2+ vs spells.

4/5 Warlord. You can build a great combat Warlord, or a very durable one with the much improved magic items in the BRB. I prefer the Grey Seer, but when I am not running dual Seers at high points levels, a Warlord is a good non-Bell General when you are putting your Seer in the line of fire (due to miscasts). Put him on a War-litter for the great extra attacks. Pox Rats and Bonebreakers took a hit... no more Look Out Sir.

3/5 Vermin Lord. Vulnerable to cannons, and vulnerable to miscasts. It would be pretty horrible to lose your 500 point rat demon to a miscast roll of 2-4 then another 1-3. Terror is toned down, but he still is a combat monster. Initiative 10 means you will almost always strike first (stinking High Elves), and the D3 wounds are great.

4/5 Warlock Engineers. Lots of great uses for these guys with the new and old magic items. I often use them for scrolls (dispel especially, but sometimes the feedback scroll), but the forbidden rod is an interesting choice on a sacrificial warlock. The warp energy condenser is always a great choice for an extra channel roll that gives a power die on 5+.

3/5 Plague Priest. Their stock went down in my opinion. No armor, and no other saves unless you spend points for a ward... but you want to keep the good ward saves on your Lords. For me, PP's now are a Plague Furnace delivery system, but even their value decreased. Still very good in combat... but you will get hit back in 8th edition and die. The Plague Furnace is very expensive and has no save. It's still very good with smoke attacks and crew attacks, and the big wrecking ball all dealing out tons of damage. But again, everything gets to attack back and will grind you down.

3/5 Assassin. They are better in the new edition, but they are much too expensive. And that is before you give them gear.

5/5 Chieftain. Every Skaven army should have a BSB. Every single army. I like to tool mine up with defensive magic items to increase survivability. A magic resistance item is nice, then attach him to your Grey Seer with a 4+ ward, now your Seer has a 2+ vs the deadly Death Magic you know you will see.

5/5 Clan Rats. Infantry is king in 8th edition, and the Skaven made out pretty well. I think all of the Skaven choices are great in the Core section, but the ability to add weapon teams makes them top 2 in the Core section. I love my move and fire poison wind mortars.

4/5 Storm Vermin. Much improved over last edition. Striking at initiative 5, Strength 4, and the ability to take a magic banner have kept these guys in my list every game.

5/5 Slaves. 60 slaves with a musician. 122 points. Steadfast Leadership 10 with a bsb nearby. The ultimate Anvil to hold up a unit. I deployed mine in horde formation tonight, only because they wouldn't fit in the deployment zone! After I lost a round of combat, I reformed into 5-wide and TWELVE deep. They stayed there for the rest of the game.

4/5 Giant Rats. They don't count as core, but 5 rats and a packmaster for 23 points make excellent MSU's to protect/roadblock on flanks, speed ahead to draw out Fanatics, or race down the flanks after war machines. Plus all the extra MSU's increase your deployment count to get your big bad stuff where you want it across from your enemy.

5/5 Gutter Runners. These guys are my top special choice in 8th edition so far. I need to be better about using them as Sneaky Infiltrators rather than only as Scouts, but they are KEY to fighting the war machines that are so much more powerful in 8th edition.

3/5 Plague Monks. I love plague monks, but it hurts me to see them now. Low initiative, no armor save. They die sooo easily with everything not only striking back, but usually striking first against your monks.

2/5 Plague Censer Bearers. Even worse, these guys took the biggest hit in the army. I used to run 10-15, now I leave them in my case. I3, no armor. They get plague attacks at start, but they have to be fielded in much smaller units than Plague Monks, so die much much faster.

3/5 Jezzails. I just think Jezzails aren't for me. I dislike the lack of mobility, and I just don't want to spend enough points to field a unit large enough where their firepower will actually make a difference.

4/5 Rat Ogres. Monstrous Infantry got a big boost, and I think our fast Rat Ogres are excellent flanking units now. In units of 3 or 6 running down the flanks. Though they still suffer from the Packmaster shooting rules. A smart opponent can render them useless with some shooting, but at least it takes shooting away from your other units.

4/5 Hell Pit Abomination. Fairly expensive, hurt by the easy availability of flaming attacks, but he is still a powerhouse that can sometimes win you games. Thunderstomp added to impact hits, added to hit crazy attack chart? Scary.

4/5 Doomwheel. The Doomwheel FAQ'd movement did nerf it's movement, yes. But I play my Doomwheel as a mobile gun platform more so than a flanker. D6 wounds is a straight up monster killer, and he can still hold out most of the time against a charge, getting to shoot back next turn.

5/5 Warp Lightning Cannon. I think this is one of the best rares in the game right now. Amazing for 90 points. The Skaven rares are all great, but the WLC tops them all with the new no-guessing for war machines.

There are some units missing from my review, but these are all of the things I regularly use, or have experience with. Things left out are unfortunately units I just don't field.

Also, happy birthday to me. I turn 28 in about 19 minutes. I am of course asking for more Skaven!

Event updates

So I've been posting a bit about practicing for Fantasy 'Ard Boyz, but now I know what other events are upcoming the rest of the year. I don't get to play in too many events year round, so for now I am happy to be playing in these:

August 28, Warhammer Fantasy 'Ard Boyz
October 23, Chapter Only 40K Tournament
November, Warhammer Fantasy Tournament

I'm really oping to find some more Fantasy tournaments locally. Please let me know if there are any scheduled for this year.

I am focused on Fantasy 8th Edition and 'Ard Boyz at the moment, but I am going to want to keep 40K on my mind. Last year's Chapter Only Tournament was a ton of fun, with interesting army list restrictions. The lists were 1250 points, and you could take up to 2 of each non-Troop force org slot. BUT, you could not duplicate any of the non-Troop choices. Last year I played with my Ultramarines and placed 3rd. This year I am going to focus more on painting a list fully and having fun. The tournament details haven't been released yet, so this is what I am thinking about starting to play around with to practice with my Space Wolves (the tournament might not be the same points or restrictions). Any thoughts?

Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a thunderwolf, 2 fenrisian wolves, frost blade, storm shield
Rune Priest, terminator armor, jaws, murderous hurricane
5 Wolf Scouts, melta gun, power weapon
3 Wolf Guard, power armor, power fists
10 Grey Hunters, 2 melta guns, power weapon, wolf standard, drop pod
9 Grey Hunters, melta gun, power weapon, wolf standard, drop pod
7 Grey Hunters, melta gun, power weapon, wolf standard, drop pod
6 Long Fangs, 5 missile launchers