Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Karak Norn Book of Grudges entry, Athel Loren must pay!

Last Thursday I had a game against 3000 points of Dwarves.  Hoo boy what a game!

I'll make a quick listing of both lists (from what I can remember and my horrible scribbled notes) then go fully into the battle report!.
3000 Pts - Wood Elves Roster - The Great Hunt, War Host of Athel Loren

Waywatcher Lord Sylvos Greystorm the Huntsman, Ranger General of Athel Loren (1#, 247 pts)
1 ×Wood Elf Highborn, 247 pts (General; Scout Kindred; Hand Weapon; Longbow; Extra Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Shield; Extra Attack)
1 The Bow of Loren
1 Dragonbane Gem
1 Arcane Bodkins
The Stalkers of the Silent Path (10#, 240 pts)
10 Waywatchers, 240 pts (Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Longbow; Extra Attack; Scouts; Skirmishers)
The Farstriders of Lady Dreamsinger (20#, 268 pts)
20 Glade Guard, 268 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Longbow)
1 Banner of Eternal Flame
The Twilight Host (14#, 186 pts)
14 Glade Guard, 186 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Longbow)
The Handmaidens of Dornatha, the Verdant Rage (9#, 120 pts)
8 Dryads, 120 pts (Causes Fear; Skirmishers)
1 Branch Nymph
Archdruidess Nysa Greystorm the Storm Maiden, Hierophant of Athel Loren (1#, 325 pts)
1 Spellweaver, 325 pts (Level 4 Upgrade; Hand Weapon; Longbow)
1 The Rhymer's Harp
Lady Nepenthia Dreamsinger, Stormsinger of Athel Loren (1#, 112 pts)
1 Wood Elf Noble (Battle Standard Bearer), 112 pts (Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Battle Standard Bearer)
1 Rageth's Wildfire Blades
1 Dragonhelm
The Spears of Loren, Storm Wardens of Coeth-Mara (18#, 291 pts)
17 Eternal Guard, 291 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std)
1 Guardian
1 Razor Standard
The Wolfkin, Feral Knights of Durthu (6#, 390 pts)
6 Tree Kin, 390 pts (Causes Fear; Flammable; Scaly Skin)
The Outriders of Twilight, Huntsmen of Kurnous (10#, 296 pts)
9 Wild Riders of Kurnous, 296 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Spear; Light Armour; Fast Cavalry; Magic Resistance (1))
1 Wild Hunter (Spear; Light Armour)
10 Elven Steed
Scryah, the Last Shadow (1#, 50 pts)
1 Great Eagle, 50 pts (Flyer)
Gwynador, the Scion of the Sethayla (1#, 50 pts)
1 Great Eagle, 50 pts (Flyer)
Dornatha, the Verdant Rage (1#, 285 pts)
1 Treeman, 285 pts (Causes Terror; Flammable; Large Target; Scaly Skin; Stubborn; Thunder Stomp)
Ce'Nedra the Thorn Maiden (1#, 140 pts)
1 Branchwraith, 140 pts (Level 1 Wizard; Causes Fear)
1 A Cluster of Radiants

The Karak Norn Clan - 3000 points

Dwarf Lord w/ ASF rune, +1 armor save and 4+ ward save on shieldbearers.
Dwarf Runesmith on Anvil of Doom w/ the 2+ ward save vs. missiles
BSB Thane w/ Rune of Valaya
Dwarven Dragonslayer w/ Flaming Rune weapon
20 Warriors w/ shield and full command
20 Rangers w/ greatweapons and full command
20 Longbeards w/ full command, shields, 5+ ward save rune standard
28 Slayers w/ full command
27 Slayers w/ full command
20 Dward Quarellers w/ full command
Organ Gun
Bolt Thrower w/ some rune that made it stronger
Cannon that was flaming 
Grudge Thrower with some Accuracy rune

Those were the two 3000 point lists.  That was a lot of dwarves to chew through but man.. it was a blast here is the actual report however.

The deployment was using the diagonal Meeting Engagement zones and fortunately for both of us neither army had any models placed in reserves in the beginning of the game.

As you can see the Dwarven Rangers and Wood Elven Waywatchers both had the same idea, deploy from behind and attempt to bushwhack.

Wood Elves Turn 1

The Wood Elves start out by throwing down the gauntlet and charging with the Dryads.  Remarkably enough I roll box cars on the charge and make the distance as well as suffer 0 casualties from his stand and shoot from the Quarellers.  The Dryads wipe out the Quarellers and reform while the Glade Guard pelt the S2 unit of Slayers inflicting some pretty impressive casualties for being S3 at long range.  The Spellweaver casts thorn of vines and gets off the Toughness spell and casts Dwellers on the unit with the BSB and General inflicting some casualties.  The Waywatchers and their Lord manage to slaughter the Organ gun and cause my opponent to look at me with a look of thinly veiled contempt hehe.

Dwarves Turn 1

The Slayers in group S1 charge the Eternal Guard while the Bolt Thrower and Cannon inflict 2 casualties on the Treekin.  The Grudge Thrower manages to veer off course and misses the Glade Guard unit 1 while the Rangers turn to face the Wild Riders that were previously in their flank.  The General and his unit of Longbeards move forward while Slayer unit 2 bumbles forth to slay some archers.

The river btw was rolled as a River of Light - the Slayers suffered 3 S4 hits from the fire spell.  The Wild Riders forest the previous turn was an ordinary forest while the forest that the Longbeards entered was a Wildwood.

The Slayers and Eternal Guard combat results in the Slayers losing and hanging out.

Wood Elves Turn 2

The Wild Riders start the turn out by charging the Rangers.  The Treeman charges the Unit of Dwarven Warriors and hitting their flank.  The Waywatchers inflict a wound on the Bolt Thrower crew while the Treekin move into position and the Glade Guard continue to whittle down the Slayer 2 Unit.  The Great Eagles fly into flanking position while the Treeman causes the Warriors to lose combat and fail 2 LD10 tests.

The Treeman runs down the Dwarven Warriors and overruns into the Bolt Thrower.
The Wood Elves recast Throne of Vines, Regrowth and Toughness spell.
The River of Light gives the Slayers Init 10 and WS10.

Dwarves Turn 2

The Dwarves start the turn out by charging the Eternal Guard with the Longbeards, the Slayers 2 charge the unit of 20 Glade Guard suffering many casualties by making contact.
The Runelord casts some fury rune spell that causes one of the Great Eagles to pop in an explosion of fire and feathers and giving 2 wounds to the other one.  The Cannon inflicts another casualty on the Treekin while the Grudge Thrower reduces the unit of 14 Glade Guard down to below 25%.  The Wild Riders are defeated and run off the board by the Rangers while the Bolt Thrower is chewed up by the Treeman.  The Slayers fail to actually inflict any casualties relying on the general and his longbeards to do all the heavy lifting.  Meanwhile the other slayers manage to butcher the Glade Guard to a man.

The result was the Eternal Guard lost but where stubborn 9 and held.

Wood Elves Turn 3

The Dryads attempt to come to the aid of their Spellweaver and charge the Longbeards in the rear while the Great Eagle slams into the flank of the Grudge Thrower.  The Treekin reform to get into better position and the Waywatchers slaughter the Runelord.  The Glade Guard fail to slay the lone Slayer (the Dragonslayer I later found out) and the Treeman reduces the Bolt Thrower to splinters after doing a few wounds last turn.  Regrowth/Throne of Vines and Toughness spell all go off.  2 Miscasts avoided due to Throne of Vines - phew!

Slayers took 1 wound from the Lore of Light spell from the river.

Dwarves Turn 3

The Dragonslayer turns around to get into position to charge the Glade Guard next turn while the Rangers march to come to their general's aid.  The Grudge Thrower crew battles with the Great Eagle and the Treekin suffer yet another casualty from that damn fire runed cannon.  More casulaties are inflicted on both sides.

Slayers took 3 Str4 hits on 2d6 from whatever spell it is in Lore of Light but took 0 wounds. Figures.

Wood Elves Turn 4

Treekin rear charge the Slayers fighting the Eternal Guard and the Treeman charges the Cannon.  The Magic phase goes off pretty well with Throne of Vines and Regrowth.  The Glade Guard inflict 1 wound on the Dragonslayer.  The Slayers are wiped out by the Eternal Guard and the Treekin but the Dryads fall in battle to the Longbeards.  The Treeman crushes the Cannon and overruns into the Grudge Thrower helping the eagle pulp it.  Longbeards lose combat but manage to stay due to getting snake eyes on their break test.  Figures...

Treekin recieved WS10 and I10 from the River.  Wildwood has yet to actually do anything to either of us.

Dwarves Turn 4

Dragonslayer charges and slays the remaining Glade Guard. The Rangers make a full advance while the Eternal Guard, BSB and Spellweaver all fall to the Longbeards.  The Treekin and General are touching corner to corner so they both hang in there.

Treekin took 2 S4 hits but no wounds from river.

Wood Elves Turn 5

Treekin and unit maximize after last combat with the Treekin making the LD test.  Still not sure if we did that legally but oh well.  The Great Eagle, Treeman and Waywatchers move forward.  Waywatchers land some substantial casualties on the Rangers and the General falls to the Treekin.

The Treekin recieved ASF and +1 attack from river.

Dwarves Turn 5

The Dragonslayer charges into the flank of the Treekin and the Rangers make a full advance.  The Longbeards take 3 Str 4 hits from WildWood the Treekin take 3 but 0 wounds.  The Dragonslayer gets pulped by the augmented Treekin as do the rest of the Longbeards. Treekin reform to face the incoming Rangers.

Wood Elves Turn 6 - Final Turn!

The Waywatchers move into position to provide LD10 bubble to the Treekinand Treeman.  The Treeman moves forward and the Treekin charge the Rangers.  The Ranger reduce the remaining Treekin into kindling after taking some pretty substantial damage and run him down.  Hrm...not good.

Dwarves Turn 6 - The Final Round!

The Waywatchers flee from the Ranger charge (cowardly I know but whatever) and the Rangers redirect into the flank of the Treeman.  The Treeman for some reasons channels the power of whoop ass and does maximum carnage to the Rangers by his Strangleroot stand and shoot, 5 wounds in close combat and 5 wounds Thunderstomping.  He wins combat and chases down the Rangers.

Wood Elves win!

Seriously one of the closest games I've played.  I find is mind boggling that at 3k points we were both reduced to literally less than 25% of our army.  I had 2 rare selections totally a little of 500 points and my General left while he had a unit of rangers in the last turn.  That is a ton of carnage.  I had a blast.  The river really served as a bane and a boon to both of us during the game but at the same time it was actually kind of fun.  I will post a follow up to this report tomorrow or the next day where I'll examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Wood Elves vs. Dwarves.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First game of Storm of Magic!

So there has been a lot of buzz about the new expansion for Warhammer Fantasy, Storm of Magic. I’ve been rather excited about the expansion and finally got my first game of it this Sunday. I had a totally blast playing Storm of Magic. My buddy Josh and I had decided to play 2500 points + 625 magic & monsters and scenario 2 out of the book.

Now before I get into our game, let’s talk about the actual book itself. I don’t know if any of you have had the chance to actually read through this expansion yet but it’s worth the money for the book. The book itself is a full color, 154 pages, has an enclosed cover (opens on the front cover rather than side) and also it has a spinner for the Winds of Magic on the inside front cover. The actual game is changed by the expansion modifying the army composition and the Magic phase of the game. I’ll make a brief list of things that are new and changed in Storm of Magic.

• Army Composition has been altered. You may take up to 25% additional points worth of forces in Artefacts, Monsters or Pacts. E.g. – 2500 army list + 625 monsters/magic = 3125 pts total.
• You have terrain features called Arcane Fulcrums which help your casters shape the flow of the Winds of Magic. They also serve as the main victory conditions and the font from which your wizards can cast their epic spells.
• The Magic phase now has you roll 4d6 for your casting dice and your opponent gets the two highest of the four rolled for dispel dice.
• New spells available – Cantrips, Ascended Lores, Ascended Spells.
• Magical Flux – the wheel in the inside cover of the book determines what Lores of Magic are in ascendancy during your Magic phase.
• Dozens of monsters listed in the book including older expansion creates: Truthsayers, Fen Beasts, etc.. not to mention you also have Forge world monsters included as well – Great Spined Chaos Beast, Exalted Bloodthirster, Plague Toads, etc…
• New Mysterious Terrain to completely disrupt your game!
• Crazy new artifacts
• Sorcerous, Daemonic or Undead pacts – Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts or Daemons available for “killer” deals!

When the expansion was released I purchased the book, the new finecast Cocktrice, a box of magical vortexes, two packs of magic cards (ascended lore ones), 2 sets of arcane fulcrums and 2 old metal Albion Truthsayers. I have not yet found a use for the Cockatrice but I’m sure that will change as I play more games.

Now many people feel the Magic phase is already overpowered in Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. Hi, it’s not. Here’s the deal and I’ll make this brief cause I’m sick and tired of hearing people bitch about the magic phase in Fantasy.
1. Magic does not scale – anything taken to the extreme is overpowered at lower point levels. If you’re playing at 1500 points and your opponent brings a level 4 caster, pretty sure he’s going to dominate the magic phase. Why? It’s a god damn level 4 and you’re playing 1500 points. If that doesn’t work for you allow me to spell it out in plain words. If you bring a bazooka deer hunting – guess what? It’s going to kill the shit out of that deer. Was that a good choice? No, probably not but you brought it anyway. That goes the same for any phase – if I bring 4 units of 20 Glade Guard and you are playing Warriors of Chaos, pretty sure I’m going to dominate the shooting phase. Same god damn principle – pull your heads out of your ass it’s not 7th edition anymore. There are some seriously bad ass spells in 8th edition but I really feel that if you are playing at around 2400-3000 points, which btw seems to be the accepted level of play for a LOT of people, then the “unit slayer” spells aren’t as scary because you have a ton of more units left to keep going.

2. The Magic phase is random – Just because you brought 2 level 4 Wizards and a level 2 and are absolutely going to dominate the magic phase doesn’t mean you won’t roll snake eyes for your magic dice. It’s the CHAOTIC Winds of Magic. You know from the Realm of ….Chaos.

3. Yes you can throw up to 6 dice at a time per spell. Ok, please do. Please get an Irresistible Force roll and drop a template on your own troops or get sucked into the warp. Every IR option is bad. Some aren’t as bad as others but they still result in something going horribly wrong.

4. If you and your friend are playing at a lower point level and you look across the table and see nothing but level 4’s and level 2’s then perhaps your buddy should examine the definition of a “friendly game.” But that’s a rant for another post.

With the Magic phase in a standard game being random already – you can image how funny it to roll several random options in Storm of Magic. Dependant on what the spinner lands on, that determines what Lores of Magic are in Ascendancy which gives the casters access to cataclysmic spells and bonuses to casting certain spells.
So this Sunday I played against Skaven using the 2nd scenario out of the book. We had 3 arcane fulcrums and I threw together a list for fun. One thing I did not want to do was use the same list I do in my normal games for Storm of Magic. The reason is because my normal Wood Elf list only has 1 caster and even then she really is there just to augment a unit or two.

There is one rule I’m going to stress above all others in Storm of Magic:
The game is insanely random – don’t attempt to take it seriously.

My Wood Elf list was rather tame and used some units/combos that I don’t normally take:
Treeman Ancient
Level 4 Spellweaver w/ Lore of Life and Deepwood Sphere
Level 1 Branchwraith with Cluser of Radiants and 18” magic missile
3x 12 Glade Guard w/ Banner+Mus
10 Wild Riders w/ FC
6 Treekin
4 Treekin
2 Eagles
14 Dryads w/ Champ
Young Forest Dragon*
Living Deadwood Staff*

Josh brought:

Grey Seer on Bell
Warlord on Bonebreaker
Plague Priest Level 2
Warlock Eng w/ Doomrocket and Level 2
40 Stormvermin
40 Clan Rats
30 Clan Rats
40 Plague Monks
5 Rat Ogres w/ Handlers
Ratling Gun
Warpfire Thrower
Bonebreaker Giant*
Hydra w/ Flaming Breath*

So to briefly summarize the game:

Turn 1 – Nothing spectacular happened for Wood Elves – Magic got shut down completely and did some casualties to his Rat Ogres. Meanwhile he nukes the Truthsayer and does 4 wounds to my Treeman Ancient with the Doomwheel.

Turn 2 – Everything is in the perfect storm. I have Blood Forests surrounding my fulcrums, his units are all in the blood forests. I have Lore of Beasts in Ascendancy and High Magic. I have Dominance cause I occupy two fulcrums. I roll and get 22 casting dice. Josh get’s 12. I’m about to SHRED some faces and..I roll a 4 on the random Magical chart for the encounter and it says “no magic phase”.
NOOO!!!! CREED!!!!!!!!!
Doomwheel get’s popped by the Treeman Ancient while in the forest with Strangleroot attack.

Turn 3 – Things are going well for Skaven, they do some pretty important sniping and manage to charge my spellweaver on the fulcrum. Bonebraker giant squashes Treeman ancient. Plague Monks fall finally to the 2 units of Treekin and the Treekin overrun into the Grey Seer unit. Turn 3 Magic phase comes around for Josh and he rolls a 1 for the Scenario random magic chart. The entire battlefield revolts and reduces the strength of my army down to 1/4th of what it was. This was HUGE for Josh. I was laughing cause it literally was so random and chaotic that you have to laugh.

The rest of the game went pretty well. At the end we had no wizards on any of the fulcrums, we were close however. Very close. We ended up going with Victory Points where Josh came out ahead of me by several hundred.
Things I learned this game:

1. Use the Cantrips to get rid of the big monsters
2. Living Deadwood Staff = synergy with Wood Elves. Def. taking again – that’ll be a podcast topic in the future.
3. Taking a few crazy monsters may work out better than one big one.
4. Watch out for stupid terrain!
5. Don’t blow yourself up on the fulcrum. Just because you can throw six dice doesn’t mean you should.
6. Josh is obviously a savage cheater – It’s impossible for me to lose. UNPOSSIBLE! And you know he’s shady cause he’s playing Skaven! Just Kidding Josh – I had a great game.
7. The Ascendancy Lore spells are amazing. Wood Elves got some good options that I fully intend on using in the future. Seriously good synergy. I’ve also probably converted to the Lore of Life rather than Beasts for my other games. We’ll see!

I can see where people may want to play this expansion competitively but I would recommend against it. It’s meant to have fun and use crazy armies you wouldn’t normally see on the board. i.e. High elves using a Daemonic Pact or Ogre Kingdoms with a bunch of Unicorns.
In short (too late) – this is a fun expansion and I recommend it to anyone looking to Monster Mash or have a game that is steeped in crazy happenstance and random luck. Totally worth the wait.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Warhammer 40k Ard Boyz 2011 - Ulthwe` Eldar List

Ah, tournament day.
The feeling of sleep deprivation cause you had to get that one unit finished last night.
The gritty sensation in your eyes because you just can't wake up.
The constant yawning...
The coldness of the shower because you were so tired when your girlfriend woke you up that you didn't turn on the hot.
The bone-jarring sensation of being hit with ice cold water!
The praying that your dice don't suck.
Finally, the mad scramble to figure out where the hell you left your army last night.


Anyway - I'm super tired and feel like an idiot for staying up til 3 when I had to be at the gamestore at 9 for Ard Boyz.  Here's my list for today - if I'm awake I'll try my best to do some battle reports.

8 Warlocks (1 enhance, 1 embolden, 2 destructor, 4 normal)
Wave Serpent w/ Star Engines and TL Shuriken Cannons

10 Storm Guardians w/ 2 Flamers
Warlock w/ Enhance and Singing Spear
Wave Serpent w/ Star Engines and TL Shuriken Cannons

10 Storm Guardians w/ 2 Flamers
Warlock w/ Enhance and Singing Spear
Wave Serpent w/ Star Engines and TL Shuriken Cannons

5 Pathfinders

10 Wraithguard
Spiritseer w/ enhance and singing spear

10 Harlequins w/ 2 kiss, 1 fusion blaster
Troupe Master
Death Jester

3 Warwalker w/ 2 Scatter Lasers

5 Dark Reapers
Exarch w/ EML and Fast Shot

2 D-Cannon support platforms

Army is divided up into 2 major wings, we'll see how it rolls out today.

Rolls out....ha!