Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Club 200

Anybody who follows me on Twitter (@Gaz_T) may have noticed that over the last few weeks I have been involved with some discussions about painting. This has come up from a couple of events that oddly enough Ben Curry of Bad Dice Podcast Fame (@BadDice_Podcast on Twitter) had been too.

The first event was the Midlands Open and was down to the first game on Sunday. As usual on the second day of a tournament, you tend to get a few drop outs and a few of us were milling around waiting for our opponents to turn up or for us to be paired up against each other. Ben ended up playing a bloke with a High Elf army but Ben wasn't very happy about this as the army wasn't even painted! (Well it had been undercoated and had some shields painted) Naturally, Ben wasn't happy as he likes to play against painted armies which is one of the reasons why he goes to events. This caused some discussion where he aired his views on his podcast and we saw some comments made in the Feedback thread about the event, saying that the bloke had just become a Dad and was struggling for time. The next discussion that popped up was due to the Warmachine ETC event that Ben went to. Now Ben said he loved this because he enjoys playing Warmachine but he loves the Team aspect of the tournament. He also said he would go to more Warmachine events but due to attitude of being able to play with non painted models, he wasn't very keen. Again, this brought up comments about not finding time to paint, etc, etc.

So I jumped into these discussions as I agree with Ben, that at a tournament, it is nice to play with and against players with painted models. I'm not expecting Golden Daemon quality for what people have painted, but I'm expecting at least a few colours and some effort no matter the end result! A couple of people replied saying that why should they be forced to paint when they don't like it or that it was difficult finding the time to paint things up. I answered this with that you can always find time to paint and I was very honest with the fact that I'm not a massive fan of assembling and painting models, but I do because I enjoy using painted models.

Oddly enough while this twitter discussion was going on, a very interesting thread appeared on The Warhammer Forum. The thread was started by Old Fogey (aka Paul Whittaker who older readers may remember from some White Dwarf appearances quite a few years ago as well as a regular on the UK tournament scene), who is a TWF regular of the Painting part of the forum. Old Fogey, is a very good painter with a distinct style (realistic and grimey) and he actively tries to encourage people to paint. One of these attempts was the club 200, which is essentially a way of getting people to paint a bit each month to end up with a fully painted army at the end of it.

So back to the present and we come to the main course of this entry, I personally think that most people who have time to be in the hobby of miniature wargaming, can and should find time to paint. In fact I think this so much, I'm going to join the club 200 and show you all! So expect some updates about this project over the next few months, which should hopefully inspire some of you to pick up a brush and paint!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

ETC2012 - England Smash It!

Just a quick entry today, but I just want to say congratulations and well done to England at the ETC event over the weekend. For those of you who have no idea what the ETC is, essentially it's a massive tournament where teams of eight from various different countries play each other. Because it's a team event it works slightly differently to a normal tournament, as teams match up players to play each other. This results in teams having different styles of armies where some are designed to all out win whilst others are designed for bad match ups and are expected to loose the game but not give away to many points.

So without further ado, England had a Warhammer Fantasy Team and a Warhammer 40K Team this year (and I think a Flames of War one but I'm not sure about that). The Fantasy Team were looking at winning the event but lost two rounds against the teams who came first and second, but they ended up with a well deserved third place! And to top it off, the 40K Team smashed everybody and took first place, giving England overall best country at the ETC! Well done guys!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Dark Vengeance - First Leaked Pictures

Originally I was going to write about something else, something a bit meaningful and opinionated about the hobby. But I'm feeling a bit lazy today and besides something more interesting has happened.

Although GW has been clamping down on the rumor leaks, things do seem to be trickling through and today we seem to have some really cool pictures from the new 40K box set - Dark Vengeance.

Firstly the pictures (thanks to Warseer)....

Firstly apart from that these look great, these images appear to be from White Dwarf, which is suggesting that we may see the pre-order for these next week when it comes out (also this is backed up by the inside the back cover of this months with the Dark Angel Librarian vs the Chaos Sorcerer). This means we are most likely seeing the release on 1st September.

So what do I think? Well I think they look brilliant! I'm normally a bit reluctant to comment on leaked pictures as I prefer to see the models or pictures myself but these look really good. I love how the Chaos Marines have a individual look to them, although we could just be looking at the Character models for the set (at a guess a Lord, Sorcerer and Chosen Champion). My favorite out of the Chaos models is the Cultist as he looks nice and I love how he has a Autogun rather than a Lasgun. The Dark Angels look nice although I'm not too sure that they have a bit too much going on with the model due to all the Dark Angel Iconography. As usual GW seem to outdo themselves with each plastic kit and I think this one is going to be great (especially as we haven't seen the rumored Chaos Dreadnaught or Deathwing models yet!).

Friday, 3 August 2012

Midlands Open Aftermath!

So the dust is settling from the Midlands Open and it's easily become my favorite Warhammer Fantasy event. It's nice and local which is great as my wife can drop me off at the venue for me to enjoy the social side a bit more, and its nicely run without any issues or problems. It's also very refreshing to see a UK tournament running something different to a weekend of just playing the Battleline scenario as that can get a bit dull.

So how did I get on? Well last year when I went, I used a fairly filthy Dark Elf list and came 90th out of 92 players! This year I did a bit better which I will reveal later in this post.

As I had painted a Lizardman army for Call to War, I painted up a few new additions to the army and ended up using the following list....

Slann Mage-Priest (General)
- Battle Standard Bearer
- Dispel Scroll
- War Banner
- Focus of Mystery
- The Focused Rumination
- Knows The Lore of Life

Saurus Scar-Veteran
- Light Armour
- Cold One
- Burning Blade of Chotec
- Dawnstone
- Charmed Shield

Saurus Scar-Veteran
- Spear, Light Armour & Shield
- Cold One
- Amulet of Itzl
- Venom of the Firefly Frog

26 Saurus Warriors
- Full Command

10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skinks
10 Skinks

5 Chameleon Skinks
5 Chameleon Skinks

21 Temple Guard
- Full Command
- Banner of Eternal Flame

Ancient Stegadon
Ancient Stegadon

Total -  2394 pts

The idea behind this army was that it tries to take advantage of the Win/Loss/Draw system being used at the Midlands Open by not giving away to many points. This revolves around the Temple Guard protecting the Slaan, whilst the Slaan casts Regrowth and buffs on the army to stop the units from being finished off as well as using the Spell Attribute to heal up the characters and Stegadons.

Game 1 - Justin and High Elves
When I first saw the draw, I was slightly worried as I know a combat High Elf army can be quite tricky to face and if Justin had brought the right combinations it would be a bad match up for me (as having low WS on most units is bad against high WS and ASF!). Justin brought a decent list but one that didn't worry me as much as I thought it would. He brought a Lv4 with Life, Lv2 with Shadow, BSB, 30 Seaguard, 14 Seaguard, 25ish White Lions and 25ish Swordmasters and 3 Eagles.

With the secret missions I chose the one where I got 400VPs for having more units in a wood, as I thought it would be easier to get as I have more mobile units. Plus with him having the Lore of Life meant it would be more difficult to finish units off to claim the points for them. I tried to fool Justin into what my mission was by sending my Stegadons and Skinks towards his big Seaguard unit which his general was in. The bonus was that this unit was near a wood and hill which meant I could go for three possible missions. This game boiled down to me trying to pick off his weaker units and holding with my Temple Guard ready to take on his White Lions and Swordmasters. This lead to a mass brawl in the centre of the board and Justin trying to get off a big boosted version of Soulblight which would effectively give him control of the game. Luckily for me I was able to double six the dispel and then swing combat round into my favour with some decent dice rolls. This ended with the game being a win to me, although we didn't get to finish the game (partially down to me and Justin chatting as well as his mate turning up and watching our game and we chatted to him too). I was able to get my secret mission as well which I was pleased with.

Game 2 - John and Chaos Dwarfs
When I found out I was playing John Broome, I was quite worried as he's quite a good player but also because he was using the Forgeworld Chaos Dwarf list. For those of you who don't know, the Chaos Dwarfs are quite a nasty list as they have some very good combos and decent shooting and monsters (although the list can be a bit dull). John brought a Lv4 with Hashut, Lv2 metal, BSB, 30ish Hobgoblins, 35ish infernal guard, Iron daemon, 2x Magma Cannons, 1x Deathrocket, and a Kaadi Destroyer.

When I first saw his army, I did not have a clue how to face it and I decided to hold back and try to conserve points rather than face it. I picked Hills for my secret mission as I had a hill in my deployment zone and then hoped that I could hold out. Then during John's turn 1 I realised that everything isn't as bad as I thought and changed my plan to rushing him and ignoring the Iron Daemon and Destroyer. This led to me poisoning the Destroyer which then Melted itself in Turn 2 (it has to take a toughness test or loose D3 wounds and I had picked some off already), and then I was able to get into combat with his main block and smash it up. Unfortunately I wasn't able to kill the Chaos Dwarfs off quick enough and the Iron Daemon came in and we had a mass combat in the centre of the board and John was able to grind out the Temple Guard. We both got our Secret missions (his was woods) but John beat me by around 800 points.

Game 3 - John and Tomb Kings
Tomb Kings have lead to some mass debate on the internet with some people thinking that they are rubbish. Personally I think they are a good army but very glass hammer like and you need to have a good plan in place as I don't think they are very flexible. So I always try not to underestimate them, and I'm usually proved right. John had a double Liche Priest with one on Nekhara and the other on Death, with a couple of Lv1s on Light, 4 units of 10 archers, 2 units of 5 horsemen, 2 units of 20 warriors, a 5 and 4 Necro Knights, 2 Screaming Skull Catapults and a Casket.

The was using the Meeting Engagement deployment but without your units not turning up. I chose the mission to get three units into my opponents deployment zone due to how close you are to them and we started playing. This game boiled down to John Irresistibly Forcing Smiting three times during the game but suffering no ill effects to his Heriophant! Each time he was able to get most of his army in coverage and due to getting it off three times in a row, he was able to chip away at me. Then to add insult to injury he was able to cast a purple sun off which killed my Slaan on the last turn of the game! I enjoyed this game but I think it could have been closer than the big victory John ended up with if he wasn't as lucky with his spells.

So Day one ended with me on one win and two losses, which I was happy with as I was already doing better than last year, plus my losses had not been down to me playing like a numpty. As usual with the Midlands Open, a lot of people went off for a Curry and some drinks and as I had been dropped off by my wife I was able to enjoy this too. But being old and not drinking regularly, led to me waking up at 5am Sunday morning with the sweats and a banging headache! A couple of quick showers later and a quick nap I was feeling much better and ready to tackle Day two.

Game 4 - Gareth and High Elves
Originally I was to play somebody with Tomb Kings but as usual with two day tournaments, some people don't turn up on the second day due to either enjoying themselves too much the night before or just being frustrated with how they got on the Day before. So with a few people not turning up, all the players without an opponent got redrawn against each other and I ended up against Gareth. His army was interesting and had Lv4 on Life, Lv2 on Death, Lv1 on Metal, Noble on a Great Eagle, 2 big blocks of Spearelves, 20 odd Archers, block of White Lions, block of Phoenix Guard and a bolt thrower. His army was interesting as it did not include a BSB and didn't seem to have many chaff units.

This game used the Dawn Attack rules and as usual my opponents army deployed pretty much as he wanted, whilst mine got a bit scattered. I had chosen kill the general as my mission as I reasoned he would either put him in his most expensive unit (White Lions) and he probably wouldn't have the usual unkillable Mage set up. This game hung around two combats - Firstly I was able to charge my Temple Guard and Stegadon into his Spearelves which contained his General and thoroughly beat the unit. Gareth took his break test and rolled highly and then said he had the re-roll Ld banner on the Spearelves. A re-roll later I had run his unit down and secured my secret mission. The second combat was against his White Lions with my Saurus unit, and he was able to get Miasma off against them and the White Lions beat them quite thoroughly. Then I made a massive mistake and forgot that the Saurus were Steadfast, failed my break test and nearly had them off the board! Gareth then charged them again, there was a bit of a fight and he broken them and run them down. I was starting to get worried now as the game was getting a lot closer but in the end I was able to get a Win.

Game 5 - Dave and Orcs & Goblins
I was up against Dave Sweeting, who is fairly well know for using the greenskins on the UK tournament circuit and took what may players consider the standard Orc tournament list - Black Orc General, Black Orc BSB, Lv4 Savage Orc, Lv2 Savage Orc, Black Orc on Boar, two Goblin Bosses on Wolves, big block of Savage Orcs, Massive Block of Night Goblins with Bows & Nets, 2 Bolt Throwers, 2 Rock Lobbas, 2 Doom Divers and 2 Managler Squigs.

I was quite worried about this army as I knew it would shoot a lot and I was dead scared of the Managler Squigs. So much so I deployed my main force on my right flank whilst Dave had deployed his artillery and squigs on his right (so we were as far away as possible). My plan was to swing around the right and try to take out his main blocks. What I should have done is just run at him as I was being far too cautious with my deployment and first couple of turns, which led to Dave being able to control the game. Key moment was his Lv4 miscasting Foot of Gork which went mental on my army, then on his and killed his caster! This meant the game was a lot closer than it would have been and I tried to dwellers off his Savage Orcs which had been Hand of Morked over my Saurus unit. The game ended with a Win to Dave by 78 points and I was kicking myself for forgetting to try and poison a Doom Diver to death.

So at the end of the tournament I finished 74th out 100 and had secured two wins! I was very pleased with how I had done, and while I think I could have played better I think I did very well considering I don't play as much as I should do. The tournament was enjoyable as usual and I would like to thank Luke, Dan and Si for organising it. I would also like to thank my opponents for a very enjoyable weekend and five great games!