Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gorebull Battle Standard Bearer WIP

Here's a WIP of my custom Gorebull BSB for my Beastmen army v.1.

Not really much to say other than he'll get painted and all that jazz soon as I'm able.

Conversion Information:

Ghorgon/Cygor Kit: Skulls, Horns
Minotaur Kit: Minotaur, Banner
Citadel Woods: Tree Trunk
Daemon Prince Plastic Kit: Shoulder Pads, Back Spikes and Leg Guards.

Also the movement trays you see that the Gorebull is standing on are from Base X of War and they are the Dark Wood Trays that are halfway painted thus far.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deciding on Beastmen Lists for OFCC 2012.

List Decisions for the Beastmen Army for OFCC 2012.

Now that I have collected and committed to playing and painting my Beastmen in the next OFCC, I am honing what list I will take and what is going to fit my playstyle the best and be fun to play. I’ve come up with two lists that I think I will nail down to playtest and build/paint. Based on the performance of last week’s game of Beastmen vs. Daemons, I made some necessary adjustments to both augment some strengths and account for some weaknesses.

2800 Beastmen Roster - The Savage Hunt, Warherd of the Drakwald

Rorg Doombringer, Horned King of the Drakwald (1#, 316 pts)
1 Doombull, 316 pts (Beserk Rage; General; Hand Weapon; Shield; Causes Fear; Frenzy; Stomp)

1 Sword of Swift Slaying
1 Armour of Destiny

The Blood Guard of the Doombringer (3#, 207 pts)
3 Minotaurs, 207 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Causes Fear; Extra Attack; Stomp)

Ruld Soulstealer, the Prophet of Ruin (1#, 315 pts) - Lore of Death
1 Great Bray-Shaman, 315 pts (Primal Fury; Level 4 Upgrade; Hand Weapon)
1 The Brass Cleaver
1 Talisman of Preservation
1 Ironcurse Icon

Bane Knights of the Soulstealer (29#, 388 pts)
28 Bestigor Herd, 388 pts (Always Strikes Last; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour)
1 Gouge-Horn (Always Strikes Last; Hand Weapon; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour)
1 Banner of Eternal Flame

Trogar the Render, Harbinger of the Doombringer (1#, 245 pts)
1 Gorebull (Battle Standard Bearer), 245 pts (Always Strikes Last; Beserk Rage; Hand Weapon; Great Weapon; Battle Standard Bearer; Causes Fear; Frenzy; Stomp)
1 Armour of Fortune
1 Gnarled Hide

The Fleshtearers (3#, 177 pts)
3 Minotaurs, 177 pts (Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Causes Fear; Extra Attack; Stomp)

Kagaroth the Shadowhorn (1#, 105 pts) - Lore of Shadow
1 Bray-Shaman, 105 pts (Primal Fury; Hand Weapon)
1 Ruby Ring of Ruin
1 Shadow-Hide

The Shadowherd of the Doombringer (29#, 257 pts)
28 Gor Herd, 257 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)
1 Foe-Render (Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)

Da'Kor, the Bloodbeast of Drakwald (1#, 275 pts)
1 Ghorgon, 275 pts (Beserk Rage; Causes Terror; Frenzy; Immune to Psychology; Large Target; Stubborn; Thunder Stomp)

The Greyhorns, Ravagers of Ruin (20#, 160 pts)
20 Gor Herd, 160 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)

The Spiteful Spears, Thorns of the Drakwald (30#, 195 pts)
29 Ungor Herd, 195 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Spear; Shield)
1 Halfhorn (Hand Weapon; Spear; Shield)

Malagar the Untamed (1#, 80 pts)
1 Tuskgor Chariot, 80 pts (Primal Fury; Chariot; Swiftstride)
1 Gor Driver (Spear)
1 Bestigor Warrior (Always Strikes Last; Great Weapon)
2 Tuskgor

Jorga the Shattered Axe (1#, 80 pts)
1 Tuskgor Chariot, 80 pts (Primal Fury; Chariot; Swiftstride)
1 Gor Driver (Spear)
1 Bestigor Warrior (Always Strikes Last; Great Weapon)
2 Tuskgor

Total Roster Cost: 2800

The first list emphasizes the use of two units of minotaurs each sporting a character. The BSB and the Doombull champion each unit and provide two major threats to deal with as opposed to one unit of minotaurs. The Great Bray Shaman uses Lore of Death and is in the large Bestigor unit which serves as the anvil for the two minotaur unit hammers. The other Bray Shaman uses the signature spell for Lore of Shadow in order to provide a hex for whatever unit the minotaurs charge. This army is a pincer army that relies on the various high movement units (minotaurs and ghorgon, chariots, etc..) maneuvering to kill a unit a turn with combined charges. The Lore of Death is to hex enemy units and kill the characters located within. Each minotaur unit starts out with 22 and 21 attacks which will increase as the units win more fights. This army relies heavily on Bloodgreed and Lore of Death to accomplish it’s goals while the Gors serve as harassing units or anvils for the special units. This army is more versatile than the other list posted and will force your opponent to pick his targets and split his fire.

The downside so this army is that the Minotaurs can easily lose effectiveness once they start taking casualties, especially from ranged fire. The other downside is the lack of Lore of Beasts in the army which means that the Gors won’t be as effective as I would like them to be.

2800 Pts - Beastmen Roster - The Savage Hunt, Warherd of the Drakwald

Rorg Doombringer, Horned King of the Drakwald (1#, 316 pts)
1 Doombull, 316 pts (Beserk Rage; General; Hand Weapon; Shield; Causes Fear; Frenzy; Stomp)
1 Sword of Swift Slaying
1 Armour of Destiny

The Blood Guard of the Doombringer (7#, 443 pts)
7 Minotaurs, 443 pts (Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Causes Fear; Extra Attack; Stomp)

Trogar the Render, Harbinger of the Doombringer (1#, 164 pts)
1 Wargor (Battle Standard Bearer), 164 pts (Always Strikes Last; Primal Fury; Hand Weapon; Great Weapon; Battle Standard Bearer)
1 Armour of Fortune
1 Gnarled Hide

Bane Knights of the Soulstealer (29#, 388 pts)
28 Bestigor Herd, 388 pts (Always Strikes Last; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour)
1 Gouge-Horn (Always Strikes Last; Hand Weapon; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour)
1 Banner of Eternal Flame

Kagaroth the Shadowhorn (1#, 80 pts) - Lore of Shadow
1 Bray-Shaman, 80 pts (Primal Fury; Hand Weapon)
1 Shadow-Hide

Ruld Soulstealer, the Prophet of Ruin (1#, 325 pts) - Lore of Death
1 Great Bray-Shaman, 325 pts (Primal Fury; Level 4 Upgrade; Hand Weapon)
1 The Brass Cleaver
1 Jagged Dagger
1 Talisman of Preservation
1 Ironcurse Icon

The Shadowherd of the Doombringer (24#, 217 pts)
23 Gor Herd, 217 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)
1 Foe-Render (Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)

Da'Kor, the Bloodbeast of Drakwald (1#, 275 pts)
1 Ghorgon, 275 pts (Beserk Rage; Causes Terror; Frenzy; Immune to Psychology; Large Target; Stubborn; Thunder Stomp)

The Greyhorns, Ravagers of Ruin (20#, 160 pts)
20 Gor Herd, 160 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)

The Spiteful Spears, Thorns of the Drakwald (30#, 195 pts)
29 Ungor Herd, 195 pts (Ambush; Primal Fury; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Spear; Shield)
1 Halfhorn (Hand Weapon; Spear; Shield)

Korsk the Feral (1#, 77 pts) - Lore of Beasts
1 Bray-Shaman, 77 pts (Primal Fury; Hand Weapon; Extra Hand Weapon; Extra Attack)

Malagar the Untamed (1#, 80 pts)
1 Tuskgor Chariot, 80 pts (Primal Fury; Chariot; Swiftstride)
1 Gor Driver (Spear)
1 Bestigor Warrior (Always Strikes Last; Great Weapon)
2 Tuskgor

Jorga the Shattered Axe (1#, 80 pts)
1 Tuskgor Chariot, 80 pts (Primal Fury; Chariot; Swiftstride)
1 Gor Driver (Spear)
1 Bestigor Warrior (Always Strikes Last; Great Weapon)
2 Tuskgor

Total Roster Cost: 2800

The second list changes the composition of the army slightly and the method in which it is used. The major change is the shift from a Gorebull BSB to a Wargor BSB. The BSB keeps the same weapons/equipment but the Bestigor unit now has the BSB and a Level 1 Shadow mage while the Gor unit houses the Greater Bray Shaman and the Beast Bray Shaman. The minotaur unit now becomes a unit of 7 plus the doombull for a massive minotaur bus that charges forward and bludgeon’s whatever it hits in tandem with the two chariots and the Bestigors. This army has one additional character in the form of the Beast Bray shaman. This list is also far less subtle in that it is a charge forward and slam into the nearest unit army. The minotaur unit will start off sporting 39 attacks which will increase by 4(front rank only) per round of winning combat (unless some die). The army also gains an additional effective anvil with the Beasts Bray shaman casting Wyssan’s Wildform on the unit of 29 Gors, having a unit of Str 4 and Tough 5 is very difficult to deal with.

The downside to the Wargor BSB list is that the Bestigor unit has two characters in it and the unit of Minotaurs lose 8 attacks right off the bat on the 2nd rank and will continue to lose more attacks the more rounds of combat the army wins.

Of the two lists I have posted, I am unsure which list I will move forward with to playtest. I really like having two units of minotaurs but on the same token I dislike how easily they can be shot up and destroyed. I also really like having my big Gor unit augmented with Wyssan’s Wildform, yet having that will mean that I do not have my two units of minotaurs. I’ll play both lists at least three times to get a good feel for the methodology involved in playing and make my decision.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wood Elf Army Tactica: Fighting Dwarfs - Part 3

Warhammer Fantasy Army Analysis: Dwarfs – Part 3

This final installment of the Dwarf Army Analysis will cover the Rare selections and the characters available in the army book and how a Wood elf player handles them. In the previous posts I have covered the Core and Special selections. I will be doing other armies as well such as Skaven and Lizardmen (those two and dwarves being the most difficult to play against).

The Rare selections in the Dwarf army are absolutely frustrating to a Wood Elf player. They are either warmachines or flying machines. In addition to being warmachines, they are also painfully unique (translate unique into broken and annoying).

Flame Cannon

The Flame Cannon is a holy terror to the Wood Elf army. The Flame Cannon shoots a Flame Template that is Str 5, d3 wounds and has a -2 armor save. Right off the bat it wounds most Wood Elf units on a 2 and negates most of their armor saves. It has the ability to kill an entire unit of Treekin which is no easy feat. The flame template gets placed and an artillery die is rolled to determine the distance. This means that you can not have any units closer than roughly 12 inches away if you plan on charging the Flame Cannon. If you are too close then there is a great chance that you are going to have your unit melted by the Flame Cannon.

I recommend slaying this warmachine with magic namely: Amber Spear or Dweller’s Below. You have to be exceptionally careful when you engage Dwarf warmachines because if the Dwarf player has enhanced his warmachines (cannons,grudge throwers/etc..) their attacks are considered magical.  This is an exceptionally annoying issue when they take "Rune of Burning" because suddenly the Wood Elves have to deal with magical and flaming attacks which negate the Forest Spirit Ward Save.  If you plan on charging the Flame Cannon, you will need to probably use Eagles or Wild Riders since they have a high movement and swift stride rule.

Organ Gun

The Organ Gun is the most frustrating warmachine in the current game. The Organ Gun has a 24” range that is Str 5 and has a -3 armor save. The most annoying thing is that the Organ Gun automatically hits and does not need to roll. Unless you are lucky and the Organ Gun misfires you will be taking an artillery die worth of hits. The issue is that this really prevents you from taking advantage of the Waywatchers and Skirmishers rules and pushes the Wood Elf player’s advance back until they can appropriately deal with the Organ Gun. I have a lot of issues trying to take out Organ guns since I can’t land close and enjoy the minimum range rules like the Cannons and the Grudge Thrower. You really have to move within range and nuke it with spells like Amber Spear or Dweller’s Below. Shooting at a T7 model is difficult to be effective with but it’s a rather less painful method of dealing with the Organ Guns. Sometimes you get lucky and can overrun into an Organ Gun but for the most part they inflict their toll before being killed. Unlike other units and models in this army, there is no really good method to deal with this model since you have to be in its range to land your main offensive spells for Life/Beasts Lore.

Due to the high toughness of warmachines, I rarely recommend shooting them with regular archery fire since you will need a 6 to wound rather than a 3 or a 4 in close combat. You need to fully utilize your warmachine hunters appropriately when fighting Dwarfs. This means your have to keep your Eagles out of the line of fire and hide them in terrain appropriately and know when to charge. You don’t want to land a charge only to have your entire flank disintegrate because you left it unsupported. Sometimes however, there really isn’t another option and firing at the Organ fun works.


The Gyrocopter functions as a flying monster for all purposes and functions as such. The Gyrocopter has a Flame template attack at Strength 3 and has a -1 to armor save. The main concern that the Gyrocopter causes is the ability to wipe out an archer unit. I rarely see a Gyrocopter on the field and if I do I will do my best to drop it out of the sky before it can reach near my line. I will generally move my Glade Guard into short range so that I only need 5’s to wound it or have my Wild Riders in range to charge the model from the flank or rear. Otherwise I would try to hit it with Treekin or high toughness models with a decent Strength.

The next section will contain the characters of the Dwarf Army. Most of the heroes and lords in the Dwarf army are included inside a unit and are generally the same as most other characters.

Dwarf Lord/Thane

The Dwarf Lord and Thane generally are placed within a unit such as Hammerers or Ironbreakers. A Dwarf Lord can be mounted upon Shieldbearers (read: mount) that can fight alongside him, but the real issue is when either the Lord or Thane has an Oathstone. The Oathstone is a royal pain for the Wood Elf army. The Oathstone when invoked makes the unit immobile but also it no longer has flanks or rear. The lack of flank or rear means that the dwarfs in the unit can do their full attacks from any side and you don’t have your standard combat resolution that you normally would receive from the flank or rear. Since it is a rarity to see a Dwarf Thane/Lord outside a unit, the chances of Waywatcher slaying them is very remote. The main problem that you will face with a Dwarf Lord is when they join a unit of Hammerers and the unit becomes not only Stubborn but also Immune to Psychology. Then you face a synergistic combo that makes a tough unit even tougher.

Rune Lord/Runesmith
 The Runelord/smiths are the holy priests in the Dwarf army. They function much in the same way as the Warrior Priests in Empire in that they grant additional dice. If the Runelord/smith take the Anvil of Doom then they are given an additional dispel die and now have access to casting “runes”. The big attack that the Runelord can unleash is a Wrath and Ruin rune that affects d3 units for 2d6 Strength 4 hits. This generally will kill a unit or severely deplete one of them. Then I don’t normally have an issue dealing with the Runelord/smiths, especially if they are on an Anvil. If a Runelord is on an anvil, then I can generally Killing Blow the Runelord off the Anvil of Doom with the Waywatchers/General.

Daemon/Dragon Slayer

The Daemon/Dragon Slayer is the least dangerous of all the heroes since he has be placed either alone or in a unit of Slayers. You want to avoid him in close combat since he is easily slain due to lack of armor save and is very vulnerable to missile fire.

Dwarf Engineer

So because the Dwarf warmachines were not annoying enough, the Dwarf army has access to Master and normal Engineers. The Engineers provide augments to their warmachines by allowing them to use their Ballistic skill when firing, re-roll artillery dice, and reroll the Misfire result. The Master Engineer can also entrench his warmachines and grant it hard cover. Overall the Engineer pops up often enough to make the already excellent warmachines in the Dwarf army even more remarkable.

The primary method in dealing with characters in the Dwarf army is patience. You have to decide which characters are the most important to slay and impact the army. I generally stick to this type of methodology:

1. Kill the Runesmith off the Anvil of Doom

2. Look to kill the General, his LD of 10 and that will reduce the 10 to a 9 throughout the army.

3. If a Master Engineer is available and away form his unit then you will want to assassinate him as soon as possible and remove his augment ability from the warmachines.

The Dwarf Army is an extremely tough opponent for the Wood Elf army because not only do the Dwarfs have access to numerous flaming attack options, units with good armor saves, and overall impossible to break Leadership; but because the Dwarfs have access to unmatched shooting. The trick to defeating a Dwarf army is to properly prioritize what unit is going to need to die first and out maneuvering the Dwarfs to get the best position and focus firing your targets.
I hope this series of army evaluations have been helpful to a few Wood Elf players who combat Dwarfs. I will be continuing this series with Lizardmen and Skaven in the future.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Wood Elf Army Tactica: Fighting Dwarfs - Part 2

Warhammer Fantasy Army Analysis: Dwarfs – Part 2
This is the next installment of the Dwarf army analysis where I will be discussing how to handle the Special selections of the Dwarf army. Once again the purposes of these articles are to demonstrate how I handle Dwarf army units using the Wood Elf army.

Dwarf Hammerers

The Dwarf Hammerers unit is a very tough unit to deal with; they function very similar to the Wood Elf unit the Eternal Guard. I generally see this unit in blocks of 20 to 25 (sometimes 30 in bigger games) since they cost as much as an Eternal Guard. They sport a Weapon Skill of 5, Strength and Toughness of 4, a Leadership of 9 and have the Stubborn and Bodyguard special rule. Should they be joined by a Dwarf Lord (model with Royal Blood) then they become Immune to Psychology.

I have seen this unit used primarily as a Dwarf Lord delivery system into close combat. I have found since the unit is Toughness 4 and have armor save of 5+ (provided they use Great Weapons which they almost always do), I can easily outmaneuver this unit and shoot it from the flanks which will hopefully reduce their number since Strength 4 bows will wound on 4’s and reduce their Armor Save to 6+.

Since this unit can take a runic banner, I attempt to avoid getting into close combat with it until I am certain that I can overwhelm it and defeat it in a single charge. The last thing you want to do is get bogged down into combat with a bunch of Weapon Skill 5 Strength 6 dwarf hammerers that are both Stubborn LD10 and Immune to Psychology. Should a Lord be included in the unit then the main advantage that the close combat units of the Wood Elf army have which is Fear/Terror does not matter and the attacker is forced to strike on 4’s rather than 3’s.

This unit is perhaps one of the most difficult units to deal with for the Wood elf army unless you synergize your attack by getting a flank/rear charge off and have Lore of Life Flesh to Stone/Throne of Vines augment. If you are able to augment the unit with the appropriate buffs then the Strength 6 Great Weapons will still need 6’s to wound and if you cast the Damage shield spell it will go off before any attacks are resolved. Also, if you can score a rear charge with Wild Riders, you can not only negate the armor save of 5+ with their spears but it’s a serious hammer in their back. It also does not hurt to attempt Dwellers Below or an Amber Spear against this unit. I do not recommend however attempting to engage this unit with Eternal Guard or Dryads (at least ones that are not augmented by Wyssan’s Wildform or Flesh to Stone) since these two units lack the staying power against the Great Weapons.

As a general rule however, I would reduce this unit with ranged attacks/spells before committing one of my
heavy infantry/monstrous infantry units into charging it from the flank or rear.

Dwarf Miners

The Dwarf Miners unit is an interesting unit because it essentially has the Ambush rule and it’s not a unit I see on the table very often. I find this very odd since the Dwarf Miners serve as a fairly decent Warmachine hunting unit. This unit shares the stat line with Dwarf Warriors and can be handled relatively in the same method. You need to be wary of their Blasting Charges because S6 Flaming attacks can hurt your Treekin or Treeman.

Dwarf Ironbreakers

The Ironbreakers are the heavily armored infantry of the Dwarf army. They sport the same stat line as the Hammerers but they have a 3+ armor save since they use a hand weapon and shield. I have found that Dwarf players will use a large unit of Ironbreakers as the backbone of their army, the anvil that their enemies can be crushed against. This unit can be deceptive to engage, a Wood Elf general may decide that since the Dwarf Ironbreakers only have Strength of 4 and no Great Weapons that perhaps the light infantry would be the best opponents to engage.

I avoid getting into close combat with the Ironbreakers if any at all possible. I have had a lot of success using Waywatchers that ignore armor saves with Killing Blow (or I use my Scout Highborn with the Bow of Loren/Arcane Bodkins combo in the Waywatchers unit) to whittle down the unit then engage it with augmented Treekin (Wyssan’s Wildform or Flesh to Stone) or attempt to blast it apart with Amber Spear or Dwellers Below. If you are able to get a flank charge or rear charge against this unit, then they will generally fold after a round or two. They are not stubborn like the Hammerers and while they have gromril armor you can still generally reduce their save to a 6+.

Dwarf Slayers

The Dwarf Slayers could possibly be the most annoying and horribly frustrating unit in the game to get locked into combat with. The Dwarf Slayers share the same stat line as the Dwarf Warrior except for the Leadership of 10. The stat line is where all semblance of similarity ends. The Dwarf Slayer is one of the most annoying offensive models ever, the Slayer rule means that they will always equal the toughness of the creature they are fighting up to Strength 6. They can switch between Two Hand Weapons or a Great Weapon. Slayers can upgrade to any number of unit champions and the worse part of all, the entire unit is Unbreakable. No matter how many wounds you do to the unit they do not break. The Slayer unit can easily cut through Treekin, Treemen and any other high toughness unit in the game with very little trouble.

The Slayer unit is not a unit that you will want to engage in close combat, the lack of armor means that they are easy prey to ranged combat. Typically I would focus fire on one unit and attempt to Dweller’s Below or Amber Spear the unit. I would not engage the unit in close combat unless I was able to minimize the amount of attacks the Slayers would output by getting a flank or rear charge off on this unit and even then I’d only use Wild Riders or Dryads to kill.

Dwarf Bolt Throwers/Grudge Thrower/Cannon

The Special selection warmachines in the Dwarf army are your standard annoying warmachines that you will encounter in 8th edition. The most annoying aspects of the warmachines are that they can be “inscribed” with runes to give them additional strength, armor piercing and most importantly flaming. Each of these warmachines has the capacity to one shot a Treeman if the rune of flaming is given to the model which can absolutely ruin your day. I always attempt to slay the warmachines using the following units/options.

1. Great Eagles (provided they don’t get shot out of the sky) and Heroes on Great Eagles.

2. Wild Riders/Dryads work wonderfully against warmachines.

3. Amber Spear/Dweller’s Below/Magic Missile spells (including Ruby Ring of Ruin)

4. Treeman – if you are able to break through with a Treeman into your opponent’s backfield, you will be able to wreck havoc on his warmachines.

5. You can attempt to kill the warmachine using ranged attacks but in every instance you’ll be needing a 6 to wound and that’s a difficult option based on other units at/around the warmachines.

The primary issue with Warmachines in the Dwarf army is that they can not be ignored. You can not sit back in your deployment zone and shoot, shoot, shoot because the Cannons, Bolt Throwers and Grudge Throwers are going to template/cannonball/bolt your units to death. The warmachines have to absolutely be dealt with as soon as possible. One way to protect some of your best units is to get into combat with the right unit and be protected in close combat. I tend to shield my Treeman against Cannon Fire with one of my Heroes with the Stone of Crystal Mere on his Eagle. Also, if you can swing your Great Eagles around to where they force your Dwarf opponent to split his fire, you’ve saved yourself some template worry for at least 1-2 turns. I will also tend to keep my archers in woods to prevent cannon balls from hitting them as well as any other obstacle that will serve as a barrier. The bolt thrower is also easy to avoid by going into hard cover and forcing the -2 to hit, especially at long range so that they have a -3.

All in all, that is the breakdown for the Special selections for the Dwarf Army and how I as a Wood Elf player deal with them. Of all the special units – warmachines aside, the most difficult to deal with is a tie between the Slayers and the Hammerers. Stubborn and Unbreakable are extremely annoying when you are attempting to cause panic tests from ranged shooting.

Things to remember with the Special selections of the Dwarf army are that they are weak on the flanks/rear, granted they are still Dwarfs but if you can win combats and cause those break tests when you properly utilize charges. The Wood Elf army has such a high mobility that there should be very little issue maneuvering into position. Don’t forget a flier as well; a rear charge even with a Great Eagle is enough to cause concern to a Dwarf player if his flank is exposed. The Special selections get even more perilous to handle when they are augmented by characters, but I’ll discuss that in the next post about the Dwarf army.

The next installment will concern the Rare selections and the characters in the Dwarf army.

Hope this is helpful to you all, thank you for reading.

I'll be doing an evaluation of the Wood Elf army book based on how I use the units in some of our up and coming episodes of The Deployment Zone podcast.

Friday, December 9, 2011

From the Workbench - Ghorgons and Eagle Riders WIP

This week's From the Workbench is going to display the two assembled and converted Wood Elf Nobles/Spellweavers on Great Eagles and a comparison of a 3rd party Ghorgon and the new Games Workshop multi-kit.

The first few images are of what will be used as a Wood Elf Noble on a Great Eagle.  This has been a fairly effective model on the battlefield and I am very pleased I decided to include it in my lists.  I purchased another Eagle from and the Games Workshop Wood Elf Noble with Bow.  I cut away/filed off the tree trunk the Wood Elf leans on then pinned him to the saddle of the eagle.

Next up I assembled and painted the Elf Sorceress on a Giant Owl model from  I have been using her as my Spellweaver on an Eagle in my 3k games but I think I may shift to putting my Spellweaver back in the unit of Eternal Guard and use this model as another Noble with an Always Strikes First "staff".  I've has a lot more success using Eagles and Heroes rather than the lone Spellweaver on her owl.
Here she is painted with and without the flash and also with her buddy the unpainted Noble on an Eagle.

Lastly we come to my dilemma.  I wanted to use a Ghorgon in my list so badly but didn't want to kitbash one.  After months of searching online I found a 3rd party sculpt that I liked and that also looked like the image in the Beastman army book.  Then on Dec. 3rd, Games Workshop releases the new Ghorgon/Cygor plastic kits and I of course pick up 2 because it's plastic crack and I'm an addict.

Now I've got a problem...which one do I use?  Do I use the new GW Ghorgon or do I continue to use my $90 resin Ghorgon?  Do I use one of them as unit filler or attempt to figure out how to use 2 in a 2800 point list?  

I really, really like the new Games Workshop plastic monster so this sucks!  Either way, here are some images of both of them so that folks can see the size and quality comparison.

Lastly, the plastic kit also included a very large menhir stone that I can use in either my Wood Elf army as a nice unit filler or as a Herdstone for my Beastmen army. 

Thanks and feel free to leave comments and/or recommendations on which model to use.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wood Elf Army Tactica: Fighting Dwarfs - Part 1

Warhammer Fantasy Army Analysis: Dwarfs – Part 1

I recently had posted a battle report of my Wood Elves vs. Dwarves and one of the poster’s here mentioned that he was still very interested in reading an army analysis of the Dwarf army from a Wood elf perspective.  So in response to his request, I will be providing a series of Army Analysis and Evaluation posts from the Wood Elf Army perspective where I analyze the army and the unit and provide examples of how I handle them.  The purpose of these posts will be to provide insight to the readers on how I play and how I perceive certain units with the Wood Elf army.  

There are only really three armies in the Warhammer Fantasy game that I have a constant struggle playing against; Lizardmen, Skaven and Dwarfs.  So these three armies will be the first ones I analyze and discuss.  This is not to say that all the other armies are easy to play against, it’s just those three give me the hardest time and despite my assertions that the Wood Elf army is “fine”, I really never expect success when I encounter those three armies due to the age of the Wood Elf book and the overall balance and efficiency of the other books. 

So without much further ado:


The Dwarf army is an interesting army when you compare it to the other armies in the Warhammer world.  They really have no magic, superior shooting to everyone in the game and the most important feature: they are dwarfs.  The Dwarf army is essentially the perfect mesh between a close combat and a ranged army, something that this Wood Elf player strives to emulate in his army. 

1.  The Entire Army is Leadership 9 or 10. – The entire Dwarf army being such a higher leadership causes issues for many Wood Elf players who attempt to create panic tests in Dwarf units.  The Wood Elf army also have several units (half the army practically) that causes Fear/Terror.  Having any army that is LD9 or LD10 is very difficult since Dwarfs also share another feature that Wood Elf units have…
2.  The Entire Army is Weapon Skill 4 or higher. – Much like the Wood Elf army, there entire army is Weapon Skill 4 or higher which means that when Wood Elves square off in close combat they are generally hitting on 4’s rather than 3’s.  The Dwarf army being Toughness 4 affects the Wood Elves combat effectiveness, especially when the Dwarf army is LD9-10 and has a very low chance of failing a Fear/Terror check.
3.  The Entire Army is Toughness 4. -  Many armies have varied levels of Toughness throughout their army.  The Dwarf army only has Toughness 4 for all of their units (minus Heroes/Lords and Warmachines), which means that Wood Elves are generally having to roll 4’s or 5’s to wound with their standard units rather than 3’s. 
4.  Superior Warmachines and Shooting. – The Dwarf army possesses the Dwarven Handgun which provides them with a +1 to hit and it’s also Str4 and armor piercing.  The Dwarf army also has access to the Grudge Thrower, Organ Gun, Cannon, Gyrocopter, Flame Cannon, and the Bolt Thrower.   Where the Wood Elf army does not suffer penalties for moving and shooting and at short range one of their units has Str4 shooting, the Wood Elf army in no way has access to firepower of this magnitude  since the Wood Elf army does not have access to any warmachines.
5.  Access to numerous Flaming and Dispelling options. – The Dwarf army possesses the ability to make practically every warmachine in the army possess Flaming Attacks by adding a specific Rune.  This single feature is very troublesome against Wood Elf armies since two most durable and combat effective units in the Wood Elf army (Treeman/Treekin) possess the Flammable rule.  Coupled with the effect that both the Lore of Life and Athel Loren both yield a Regeneration spell, Flaming template weapons are brutal to the Wood elf list.  The other issue is the access to multiple Dispel scrolls in the form of Runes of Spellbreaking and the Spelleater runes.  The magical standard available to the army can also automatically dispel all stays in play spells making things like Throne of Vines or Transformation of Kadon both difficult to cast and use. 

6.  The Dwarf Army is Movement 3. – With the new charge distance being 2d6+ movement and the Dwarf army having the Resolute ability, this movement rate is not a big concern.  You no longer can reliably be 7 inches away to always out distance your Dwarf opponent for charges and points denial. 

7.  The Dwarf Army has no magic. – The Dwarf Army not having access to magic is about as troublesome as the Beastmen not having a strong shooting phase.  It’s a non-issue.  The Dwarf Army may still be very effective in the Magic phase and don’t forget their Anvils of Doom don’t suck!

8.  The Dwarf Army loves Great Weapons. – Other than your warmachines, the entire Dwarf Army except for Thunderers and Ironbreakers has access to Great Weapons.  The fact that the Dwarf Army is wearing heavy armor already means that being Toughness 4, Strength 5 or 6 with a 5+ armor save isn’t such a bad situation to be in.  The army using Great Weapons means that they are not suffering from their Initiative of 2 and wounding most armies on a 2 or 3 and this is especially annoying against the Toughness 3 Wood Elves. 

So we have established that the Dwarf Army is tough, slow, strong , shooty and reliable.  The Dwarf Army is very effective in both close combat and the shooting phase of the game while maintaining a pretty formidable dispelling phase in their magic phase.  So, how does a Wood Elf army that is not very strong, tough or durable like the Dwarf army stand up to their bearded nemesis? 

Basic Tactica vs. Dwarfs

First and foremost, when dealing with Dwarves you have to capitalize on the key elements that Wood Elves have that Dwarfs do not; mobility and speed.  Mobility and Speed allow the Wood Elf army to not only reposition quickly but also set up for flank and rear charges with ease.  The main advantage of the Wood Elf army against Dwarfs is that the Wood Elves should always be able to pick their battles and rarely allow themselves to be charged at an inopportune time. 

I'll start the Tactica breakdown with some Core Units:

Dwarf Warriors –

The core unit of the Dwarf Army: the Warriors.  I normally see Dwarf Warriors fielded in blocks of 20 with Great Weapons.  This means that they are sporting an armor save of 5+, an initiative of 1 with Always Strikes Last and a Strength modified to 5.  Whenever I am facing a unit wielding Great Weapons I will do my best to engage them not only on the flank or rear but with my heavy infantry units.  Treekin and Treemen are my chosen units to deal with Great Weapon wielding Dwarf Warriors, however if I have a flank open I will use Wild Riders or Dryads.  The Dwarf Warrior unit is your basic rank and file dwarf for all intensive purposes, they are Toughness 4 and Weapon Skill 4.  There is very little chance I'll be able to really utilize Fear or Terror since they will be LD 9 or 10, so I need to expect that I'm going to be hitting on 4's rather than 3's.  Ideally, I will attempt to cast Flesh to Stone on the unit I have chosen to engage the Great Weapon wielders in order to make the "To Wound" roll a 6 again rather than a 4 or 5. 

Dwarf Longbeards -

The upgrade to Dwarf Warriors, the Longbeards, are even more troublesome and annoying than their cousins.  These Dwarfs are now Weapon Skill 5 and Strength 4, couple that with Great Weapons and you have a Core unit swinging at Strength 6 that will generally hit on 3's.  As a Wood Elf player, I only have access to a few high Toughness units.  Therefore I can not and will not commit one of my overly expensive units to combating Longbeards in close combat.  This type of unit I will shoot with my Glade Guard and attempt to cast Dweller's Below or Amber Spear on.  I will not be able to capitalize on Fear, Terror or Panic since the unit is Immune to Psychology so that puts another check on the "do not charge" list.  If the unit is equipped with Shields rather than Great Weapons, the unit becomes slightly less dangerous and I feel more comfortable charging it.  As a general rule however, I would reduce this unit with ranged attacks/spells before committing a unit into charging it on the flank or rear. 

Dwarf Quarrellers and Thunderers

I am aware that these are two separate units, each armed with different weapons.  I am also aware that the weapons they use have different properties.  I normally see both of these units armed with Shields which grants them a 5+ armor save.  Both of these units have the same stat lines as the Dwarf Warriors, especially the Ballistic Skill of 3.  I treat both of these units mainly the same as far as how I deal with them.  I will however split this up after the basic tactica is discussed.    I generally see 2 units of either on the field, and they normally will have warmachine guard duty. 

This unit I will always use my heavy infantry or monsters like Treemen to charge them with.  Their crossbows are only Strength 3 and will require 6's to wound the Treemen or Treekin and they will not affect my armor save.  I find it very hard to flank/rear charge these types of units unless my flying units manage to get behind them.  These units do not last long against heavy infantry.
This unit is more troublesome than the Quarrellers.  While they have the same stat line and armor, they possess Dwarven handguns.  The Dwarven Handgun is Strength 4, 24" range, Armor Piercing and also grants a +1 to hit due to their fine "craftmanship".  (And people complain that Glade Guard longbows are overpowered...idiots)  This unit requires me to use a different tactics when engaging them, I will generally attempt to shoot this unit to death rather than get within short range.  Due to the numerous annoying units that  require my ranged attention in this army, I am normally forced to commit my unit of choice to close combat with these guys - Dryads.  The Thunderers will receive a -1 to hit because the Dryads are skirmishers which cancels out the Dwarven Handgun +1 to hit and while they need 4's to wound, there is no armor save to affect so the Dryads are rolling their 5+ ward save.  I will generally send the Dryads in first to eat up the Stand and Shoot reaction and then commit the Wild Riders or Eagles if the Dryads took too many casualties. 

The primary idea with the ranged units is that you need to be very aware of which unit you are charging.  The Thunderers serve as the Dwarf heavy armor killers while the Quarrellers serve as cheaper warmachine guardians.

Dwarf Rangers

The most annoying units in the entire Dwarf army are the Rangers.  While the unit can be upgraded from Warriors, Longbeards or Quarrellers; I normally see them upgraded from Great Weapon wielding Quarrellers.  This unit has the capability to get behind the Wood Elf line and take out key units like a Spellweaver or Hero on an Eagle.  I will normally deploy my army where the Dwarf player will not be able to deploy his Scouts anywhere advantageous (read anywhere closer than 12" from table edge i.e. 11.5")  Should you be able to counteract the Scout placement and keep them out of your backfield, then they are easily killed with ranged attacks.  Should you unfortunately have them sneak in behind you then I recommend using Dryads or Wild Riders to chew them up in your backfield before any substantial damage can be done. 

That will do it for the Core section of the army book.  In up and coming posts I'll be doing the Special and Rare selections and a few characters. 

I'll also be using this format moving forward for the other armies like Lizardmen and Skaven.  Keep in mind these tactics are how I fight the army and may or may not be the best methods but they are my methods.

I'll be doing an evaluation of the Wood Elf army book based on how I use the units in some of our up and coming episodes of The Deployment Zone podcast. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Havoc - 3k Tournament for Toys for Tots

This past Saturday I participated in the Holiday Havoc Toys for Tots tournament at Dice Age Games in Vancouver, WA.  It was a small tournament only having ten players, I would have liked to have seen more but I think due to scheduling and the holiday season that we could only get what we could.  The tournament was based off the holidays and so each scenario was designed with a holiday theme associated with it.  The tournament organizer Jim, did an excellent job of setting up the tables and pre-labeling the Mysterious Terrain.

The tournament had the following qualifications/restrictions/features:
1. Closed list - I rarely play against someone and not exchange lists before hand so this was a tad bit weird for me.  It didn't matter however since all my opponents and I exchanged lists anyway out of habit.
2.  Pre-determined mysterious terrain.  Each table had the terrain already established and a key was placed on each table.
3.  3000 points, no Grand Army Rules.  (Perhaps my favorite feature of the entire tournament)
4.  Everyone needed to bring a Christmas themed model to be their Santa's Helper.  I had a Snoopy wearing a Santa hat for mine. He was righteous.
5.  Everyone had to pay $20 in the form of a toy for Toys for Tots or you could buy one of the predetermined Toys at the store as well.

The other big thing I wanted to establish was that this was termed a "Friendly tournament" where we are grading Sportsmanship as an important factor. The prize support was entirely based off raffle tickets rather than "so and so won all his games so he gets the prize".  It really helped create a more friendly atmosphere for the tournament in general.

Since the tournament was a "Closed List" tournament, I was not able to obtain my opponent's lists.  That makes it hard when I'm attempting to recreate the lists in Battle Chronicler so I'll have to do a shoddy summary for all three games.  If my opponents send me their lists via the Ordo website then I'll do another report where I  show some battle scenes.  I realize it would be 1000x easier to do this if I took pictures but my god damn SD card got fried on my phone and SanDisk is slower than hell getting me a replacement. grrr.....

All three scenarios can be seen here since Raindog managed to obtain 3 copies of the scenarios and posted them on the Ordo.  They can be found here along with some pictures taken.

Game 1: Wood Elves vs. Lizardmen

This scenario was "Battle for the Pass".
The Special Rules: Each player had a Santa Statue in their deployment zone.  You needed to capture your opponents while still maintaining control of yours.

Lizardmen are a tough army against opponents with high strength.  They are exceptionally difficult for Wood Elves to defeat when they have big blocks of models and lots of monsters.  My opponent Mike and I had a great time, it was a really close game til the last turn where he managed to turn the tide with his general.

This game I set up with all my flying units and fast cavalry on the left flank and the rest of my army near the right center. When it became my turn I shifted all my army to the right side and decided to overpower and dominate his flank.  This tactic was working out very well and I was confident of a victory until my opponent got Throne of Vines off and then Flesh to Stone at +4 Toughness two turns in a row on a unit of Saurus Warriors.  My plan had been to blow through that unit, reform and hit his Temple Guard in the rear with Treekin/Eagles and hopefully wipe out the left and center flank.  Sadly, my Treekin were not able to break the unit until the last turn.   My Eternal Guard, Treeman and Dryads were grinding against one of his Ancient Stegadons and his general on a carnosaur.  Mike secured victory in the last turn by killing the last Eternal Guard at the top of turn 6 and his General using the Blade of Realities slaying my toughness 10 Treeman by scoring a single wound.

I lost this game because of 3 major factors:
1.  I did not want to annihilate my sportsmanship score by shooting his General off his carnosaur turn 1.  I should have done this because the Blade of Realities was perhaps the most deciding factor of our game.  Oh well =).
2.  I wasn't able to prevent Throne of Vines and Flesh to Stone from being cast 2 consecutive times in a row which was absolutely brutal.  I can't complain much because this is the same tactic I use on my Treekin to make them Toughness 9.  Huge, huge help to my opponent getting those spells off.
3.  I should have maneuvered my Wild Riders into a better position because I threw a 296 point unit into a block of Temple Guard unsupported due to overrun.

Overall, it was a few errors in judgement but a great game nonetheless.

Wood Elves lost 16-5 by a 400 point victory margin.

Game 2: Wood Elves vs. Orcs and Goblins

The scenario was "Watchtower".
The Special Rules:  The watchtower was Santa's sleigh and if you controlled it you were able to have it attack for you.  Those reindeer don't mess around.  The sleigh functions as both the Watchtower and an Oathstone.

I have a love/hate relationship with Orcs and Goblins.  I either completely annihilate them or I get thrashed.  I played against Matt who brought a rather impressively balanced Orcs and Goblins army.  He brought 2 Giants and 2 units of Black Orcs in it.

I once again set up on the left side and had the intention of dominating a flank and getting behind my opponent's lines.  This game I was playing rather aggressively but I made so many errors in judgement and had some pretty monumentally bad rolls that cost my the utilization of 1/4th my army for most of the game.  I started out pretty well on his left side, killing one unit and causing panic for a few others and having them run off the board.  I unfortunately didn't read the table rules about the special terrain and ended up losing half my unit of Waywatchers to a Sinister statue, that was a huge issue.  That was my first of three big mistakes in the first turn which haunted my the rest of the game.  The second came when I flew my Spellweaver over and she attempted to Dwellers Below his unit of Night Goblins.  I failed the casting attempt and ended up taking 2 wounds from a Spear Chukka and she died the next round from a Doom Diver.  The third and final error was misunderstanding where the Flaming Banner was and charging the unit with his general and 20 black orcs with flaming attacks with my Treekin.    Matt was able to get a lot of good charges off and his Night Goblins were dynamite at holding up my Wild Riders for 4 turns.
I also learned a new rule - you get +1 combat ress for holding the higher ground!
My archers also decided to almost all run off the table in the same turn, was rather sad =(.

I was doing very well in the beginning and it was beginning to look like I might break his army along one of the flanks until a few major errors in judgement happened.  In the end I lost, he still had his unit of 50 boys, an orc chariot, a unit of Night Goblins and other unit of Black Orcs on the board while I only had my Treeman, 2 eagles, 14 Glade Guard and my Wood elf hero on an eagle on the table.  Substantial victory to Matt and I had a great game.  Matt displayed a LOT of great sportsmanship and received my favored opponent choice.

I lost this game due to these factors:
1. I am always preaching about "Never single charge a unit, always combo charge, know what you are charging into, etc..".  Well... you have to practice what you preach.  Charging my Treekin unsupported into that unit of Flaming bannered Black Orcs was very ill advised.  It cost my a 390 point unit at the bottom of the second round and I was backpedaling in the center after that the entire game.
2.  I did not read the table terrain rules, I really regret doing that since I would have played a bit better on the flank and probably had more success on his flank than I did.
3.  I failed 3 crucial LD10 tests in a row.  This cost me 2 units of Glade Guard and my Waywatchers/General.  I was able to salvage one Glade Guard unit at the end but losing my ability to shoot for 3 turns crippled my army.
4.  I was too aggressive on the right flank and center.  I should have held off another turn before making my decision to control the center of the board.  Had I been able to slink around the back and get the appropriate placement I wanted I would have done a lot better.

Wood Elves lost again 18 to 7.

Game 3: Wood Elves vs. Empire.

The scenario was: "Blood and Glory".
Special Rules:  None

I played against my friend Roy's Empire army.  Roy had bunkered himself in behind a couple of fences and had spread out his army pretty well.  I decided to attack his flank when he began to Mortar the hell out of my army.  Three turns of him not rolling anything but "HIT" on the scatter die was a bit frustrating.  It was looking like I might lose the game before I even hit his line because he had reduced 4 units, 3 of which contained 6 Fortitude points down below 25%.  I was actually fleeing with my General.  The game was looking to be in Roy's favor and the Wood Elves were looking to go 0 and 3 for the first time ever in a tournament, (Hell me going 0 and 2 was a first!) until the top of turn 3 when I performed the following actions that turned the tide.
1. I discovered the Wyrding Well and began to replenish my depleted units.
2. My general rallied on a 2.
3.  I charged his 50 man block with his general and a banner with my Treeman.  He rolled 10, 10, 12 for his two leadership tests and his distance and runs off the table.
4. Treekin/Eagles/Eternal Guard defeat 2 units and cause Roy to fall below his fortitude and I win.

Wood Elves win 19-5.

Roy, Mike and I ended up winning the Raffle at the end of the tournament and I picked up this bad boy:

The tournament was an awesome and fun time, I bend my cap to Jim for running it.  I also wanted to thank Dice Age Games for hosting the tournament.  They had quite a selection and an excellent gaming space.

It was also a great mental check for me.  It was good to see that even with some really big mistakes that I shouldn't have made but I did, my army is still able to hold up pretty well even when things are not going my way.  Now I can say "I made this mistake and that mistake" etc... but that should in no way diminish my opponent's win.  They did well and I can't complain that I didn't have a good time.  I did not play my army the way I normally do and because of it I lost 2 games and almost lost a 3rd.

I'll be hopefully providing Battle Chronicler reports when my opponents send me their lists and I can show you the highlights.

I'll be going over all of these again on our podcast The Deployment Zone and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bringing a Knife to a Gun Fight.

Bringing a Knife to a Gun Fight.

One of the topics of last night’s podcast (Episode 3 of The Deployment Zone podcast) was list building and themes. After we finished recording and I was seeking the slowly diminishing solace of a good night’s sleep, a nagging thought was bouncing around in my head. There was a comment that Bryan made which was “Bringing a knife to a gun fight” which referenced when you bring what are considered sub-optimal units in a list.

That comment managed to bounce around in my head for good thirty or so minutes until I finally fell into what could be considered an exhausted slumber. After waking up this morning, which took longer to get out of bed and to wake up than I care to admit, that same comment resurfaced in my thoughts as my brain began to finally work.

I think the comment itself is brilliant because it really encompasses an idea that I feel should be used more and more often in war gaming. People get so caught up in what is the most competitive and efficient build for whatever army they play. They are more concerned with the easy win with minimal effort rather than exercising tactics and strategy. You don’t need to bring a bazooka when all you need is pellet gun.
I listen to a variety of podcasts through out the week; many of these podcasts concern themselves with covering the American, Australian and European tournament scenes. The reoccurring theme with many of these podcasts is the best build, the most optimal composition, or the best units to take in your list. While it is always fun to perform an analysis and state your opinion on what you think is the best unit or set up for this or that army, too often these opinions become the accepted standard for how that certain army should work. When this happens you then begin to see cookie cutter lists spring up with little or no variation in their composition or play style. I feel that this problem has only been exacerbated by the epidemic of “netlisting” where people go online and post the most recent tournament winning list for everyone to replicate. From an analytical standpoint this is an interesting method of seeing how well an army can perform with the most “efficient” build, but from a personal standpoint I find that this is a serious problem because it defeats the entire purpose of self discovery and inspiration. You no longer have to be an excellent player or even learn to play well, just download the most recent Adepticon, ‘Ard Boyz, Tournament of Skulls or list for your army and terrorize your FLGS. The netlisting issue seems to be more prevalent in Warhammer 40k rather than Warhammer Fantasy but I believe that is because there is a larger Tournament scene for 40k and a larger player base currently. While some may argue that this netlisting method “levels’ the playing field between the really good players and the not so good players, - you’re an idiot if you think so and please die in a fire. If you want to play a game where you don’t have to make your own list or put any thought into composition then go play checkers.

Creating your own army list is one of the most core principles of war gaming. Looking at an army and feeling inspired to collect, assemble, paint and play it for months or even years is what this game is all about. Using the units that you enjoyed assembling and painting should be personally rewarding because there was something about them that made you choose them in the first place. You should be able to write an army list and look at the finished product and feel pride that it is your creation and not something you downloaded off Warseer or Dakkadakka.

Now we get to the very meat of my post, bringing the proverbial “knife” to a gunfight.

First and foremost, I am a competitive player who regularly attends and competes in tournaments. I do very well and take pride in my performance at these events. I would also like to add that I do very well and win at these events using lists that contain what are considered sub-optimal units. Last night was an excellent example when Bryan and I were discussing my Eldar army and he said that he thought I would have a lot of trouble against heavy armor armies like Imperial Guard. He had a hard time believing me that I had no problem against those types of armies with the units I listed that make up my 1500 point list. It is examples like this where the bringing a Knife to a Gun fight analogy works brilliantly. Another example would be my choice to run with the Wood Elves as my primary army in Warhammer Fantasy. The common opinion both here in the US and also in Europe is that the Wood Elf army is the weakest choice to play. People do not regard the army very highly and really tend to underestimate it all the time. It is this misconception that really strengthens my belief that regardless of what the army being played is, the player is the determining factor. I have had people bring their “netlists” to the table in both Warhammer Fantasy and 40k and they were beaten soundly. The reason why they were defeated so easily is because they did not design their list, they did not formulate their own strategy when their list was being created, and they also tend to have their entire army fall apart when you negate how the army was intended to work.

Players that create their own lists and themes using models they like and play those lists a lot tend to become almost tournament level proficient with their army. I think that players do themselves a disservice when they don’t exercise their own creativity and fail to branch out with the army they have chosen. Just because the internet says that this unit isn’t optimal doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking, it only means you need to figure out if that model fits your theme and play style. You don’t really learn anything new about your army if you use someone else’s list.

I think players develop and become better by playing the armies that they design. I also think that a player that plays their own list and becomes proficient at their list will perform better than even the best “tournament” lists out there - even when they bring what are considered “knives” to a gunfight.

Now there is another topic that I could address in this post which is the difference between what people consider “Douchey” and “Friendly” lists but I’ll address that another day.

I will now spend the rest of my freetime today attempting to make a Beastmen list that I like.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Product Review: Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos

Product Review: Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos

Warhammer Forge, the Warhammer Fantasy division of Forge World, has released their first Warhammer Fantasy supplement called Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos. The book provides lore, campaign outlines, scenarios, army rules and themes that centers around the coming of Tamurkhan, the Maggot Lord and his conquest of the empire of man.

The production quality of the book is absolutely top notch. Every single page is made of high quality parchment paper and the book is bound with a dark red leather cover. The pages are full color and the font they use varies from an “archaic” freehanded script to your standard print. The artwork is both unique and stunning, it provides you with a wonderful visual of what the author was trying to convey in his story. I have purchased my fair share of gaming books in the past and the quality of this supplement really rates at the top.

The story for this supplement was done very well. In this tale, Nurgle has unleashed his chosen champion Tamurkhan upon the world. Historically, the forces of Chaos have always come down through Kislev and smashed against the might of the Empire’s northern battlements. Tamurkhan, the Maggot Lord, decides to come in from the South and blazes his way through the Ogre Kingdoms, the Dark Lands and finally through the Border Princes to Nuln. Each chapter describes how Tamurkhan conquers, slaughters, dominates or enslaves both allies and foes on his way to the heart of the Empire. The story is so well done and it dominates the first 100 or so pages of the book. The author, Alan Bligh, does such a good job describing the blasted trail that Tamurkhan and his hordes of chaos carve through the Warhammer world and the events that transpire during the journey.

Now the next part of the book deals with the actual game world and provides the reader with not only new units to use but also how to run the actual story campaign and the scenarios to go along with it. I was already pleased with the book due to the story and I knew that the new units in the book were going to be well worth the $76.00 price tag, but I had no idea that the book would provide the campaign setting and outline for Tamurkhan’s storming of the Old World. The campaign outline was the proverbial icing on the cake. The campaign outline is designed for armies of both 2500 and 3500 points. This further reinforces my belief that Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition is geared towards higher level point values but I digress! The campaign itself is split up into six different chapters or phases and has it’s own limitations for heroes and magical items. Each “phase” corresponds with one of the six chapters in the story section of the book and each phase they recommend having as many battles as you have players in the campaign before moving on. Each battle you fight will have a random scenario to be chosen which is worth a set number of points. The side (Order vs. Chaos) that has the most points at the end of the phase wins that phase and the side with the most points will receive bonuses in the final scenario. I personally am looking forward to running this campaign with my friends and seeing how it plays out.

The bestiary is the next leg of the book that describes three main sections; Chaos forces, Empire forces and the Legions of Azgorh – the Chaos Dwarves. I will be providing a super brief run down of various units in this book and my thoughts about them. The first thing I wanted to make known is that the units in this book are actually well done. The Chaos units are definitely themed and do not suck! The point values actually reflect the model’s worth very well and I think the game designer did an excellent job on all three sections. In future posts I’ll do a full evaluation of each unit and special character in the book but for this post I’ll just list out the units and the chaos dwarf army.

Bestiary of Chaos:

Bile Trolls of Chaos – rare selection for Warriors of Chaos

Plague Toads of Nurgle – Core choice in Daemons of Chaos, Special Choice in Warriors of Chaos.

Pox Riders of Nurgle – special selection for Daemons of Chaos

Chaos War Mammoth – Rare selection for Warriors of Chaos (so awesome!)

Chaos Siege Giant – Rare selection in both Warriors of Chaos and Legion of Azgorh.

The Empire Bestiary is full of special characters that augment the army or have a pivotal role in the Throne of Chaos campaign.

The Marienberg Class Land Battle Ship – is a Rare selection for the Empire.

Now is the part that everyone has been waiting for! I will not be typing out anything other than what is listed and the type of unit it is. I will do a full run down in later posts about each unit.

Legion of Azgorh: The Chaos Dwarves

Lord choices:

Sorcerer-Prophet –Wizard (lore of Hashut, Fire, Metal or Death)

Hero choices:

Daemonsmith Sorcerer – Wizard (lore of Fire, Metal or Death)

Infernal Castellan – Infantry melee Hero

Hobgoblin Khan – Infantry melee Hero

Bull Centaur Taur’ruk – Monstrous Beast Hero

Core choices:

Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard – two options for outfitting – ranged or hand to hand.

Hobgoblin Cutthroats – infantry

Special choices:

Chaos Dwarf Infernal Ironsworn – Infantry

Bull Centaur Renders – Monstrous Beasts

K’Daai Fireborn – Monstrous Infantry

Magma Cannon – War machine

Deathshrieker Rocket Launcher – War machine

Iron Daemon War Engine – Unique war machine/chariot/something

Rare choices:

Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders – Cavalry

Dreadquake Mortar – War Machine

K’Daai Destroyer – Monster

Hellcannon – as per Warriors of Chaos army book

Chaos Siege Giant – Monster

The army itself is very formidable and should be fun to play and play against. I was exceptionally pleased with how well they presented the material. The army is more of an elite and specialized army but has a lot of flexibility. I was surprised that there was not a Lord level close combat styled character but that may be because the Sorcerer-Prophet’s are beefy enough to give even your standard combat Lord pause before attacking.

The last section and probably the most surprising was the Storm of Magic chapter. The designers actually included a Bestiary of the monsters located in this book for SoM! You can take the Chaos Siege Giant, Bile Trolls, Carmine Dragon and the Toad Dragon.

Final thoughts and wrap up for Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos.

I think that Warhammer Forge has managed to single handedly win me over with just one release. I was almost willing to order the 800+ dollar order to get a medium sized army of Chaos Dwarves, good thing fear of my girlfriend and my imminent death swayed me not to. The book itself is phenomenal, the content is amazing and the rules and bestiary are top notch. Two thumbs up in my book. I will now have a hard time NOT buying Warhammer Forge releases!

You can all expect a full run down of each unit in the Legion of Azgorh in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

By driven! Wood elves vs. Daemons of Chaos

Friday night yielded two rather fun games of Warhammer Fantasy for me.  I had the chance to take on a rather unconventional but fun Daemons of Chaos list.  We had decided to play at 3000 points with no grand army rules.  I've always had a bit of trepidation going up against Daemons since they are incredibly tough and have the uncanny knack of killing everything they go up against.  I had originally planned on using my Beastmen since I wanted to get more practice with them but I couldn't create a list at 3k that I was happy with (oh the joys of making "the list") so I chose to use my Wood elves.
So... here are the two lists brought.

Chaos United 
General - Daemon Prince - unmarked w/ ASF power and no armor saves power.
20 Bloodletters w/ full command
Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut 
3 Bloodcrushers w/ Standard bearer/mus
Herald of Tzentch w/ Loremaster? of Beasts power, Level 2
20 Pink Horrors w/ full command
Herald of Nurgle on Paliquin? Level 1 - annoying Miasma spell and Always strike last power - seriously F Nurgle.
20 Plaguebearers
Herald of Slaanesh - Level 1 
20 Daemonettes w/ full command
6 Flamers of Tzeentch
5 Nurglings
5 Seekers of Slaanesh
5 Chaos Furies
Opponent:  Derek

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#, 244 pts)
1 ×Wood Elf Highborn, 244 pts (General; Scout Kindred; Hand Weapon; Longbow; Extra Hand Weapon; Light Armour; Extra Attack)
1 The Bow of Loren
1 Enchanted Shield
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 (14#, 196 pts)
14 Glade Guard, 196 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 Durthu, the Verdant Rage (10#, 132 pts)
9 Dryads, 132 pts (Causes Fear; Skirmishers)
1 Branch Nymph

Archdruidess Nysa Greystorm the Storm Maiden, Hierophant of Athel Loren (2#, 330 pts)
1 Spellweaver, 330 pts (Level 4 Upgrade; Hand Weapon; Longbow)
1 Great Eagle (Flyer; Stomp)
1 Glamorweave

Lady Nepenthia Dreamsinger, Stormsinger of Athel Loren (1#, 125 pts)
1 Wood Elf Noble (Battle Standard Bearer), 125 pts (Hand Weapon; Battle Standard Bearer)
1 Armour of Fortune

The Spears of Loren, Storm Wardens of Coeth-Mara (19#, 303 pts)
18 Eternal Guard, 303 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)

Cyre Winterwolf, the Storm Lord of Athel Loren (2#, 171 pts)
1 Wood Elf Noble, 171 pts (Hand Weapon; Longbow; Spear; Light Armour; Shield)
1 Great Eagle (Flyer; Stomp)
1 Dragonhelm
1 Stone of the Crystal Mere

Total Roster Cost: 2998

We played two games - the first one ended in a draw but at around turn 4 I realized I hadn't been keeping track of what happened per turn so I asked if we were going to play another and was told "hell yes".  So...we have a battle report for 1 game!

Game type: Battle Mission 1 - Battle Line
Deployment: 12" from long board edge
Mysterious Terrain - 2 Forests


As you can see the Daemons chose to consolidate their strength in the center and placed their fast moving units on the left side.  The Wood Elves chose to lean a little more to their left as well but with all the flying units in the army my opponent knew I could pick and choose what flank I wanted per turn.  I chose to keep my Waywatchers nearby this game for fear of his Flamers of Tzeench.  I however forgot three very important things - skirmishers, 6" move and 18" range shots.  Meh...anyway.  Daemon's got first turn which was unfortunate...

Turn 1 - Daemons of Chaos

The Daemon's first turn went pretty well.  the Flamers reduced the Waywatchers down to 3 models from 10 but they held their ground after a successful leadership test.  The Nurglings moved right in front of my line to serve as a speed bump so that Derek could maneuver his units better.  The Magic phase went pretty well for the Daemons: Wyssan's Wildform was cast on the Daemonettes, Phantasmagoria went off (I seriously hate that damn spell), Amber Spear and Miasma were dispelled.

Turn 1 - Wood Elves

The Great Hunt decided to do a little switcheroo here.  The Treeman and Eternal Guard charged the Nurglings, crushed them in combat and the Eternal Guard overran into the Bloodcrushers.  The Glade Guard with the Flaming banner killed a Bloodcrusher.  The rest of the army as you can see moved to the far right side of my opponent's flank while my Dryads moved up to prevent a flank charge on my Treekin.  Magic phase went well for me, I was able to get Throne of Vines off and hit my Eternal Guard with Regeneration and my Treekin with +4 Toughness making them T9.  Regrowth was dispelled on the Waywatchers =(

Turn 2 - Daemons

Here is where I began to sweat bullets a bit.  The Daemonettes and Bloodletters charge my Treekin.  The Plaguebearers charge my Treeman.  The Furies and the Seekers manage to swing up on my flank and rear.  The Magic phase fortunately was hugely favorable to me, the Herald of Tzeentch miscast Wyssan's Wildform on the Daemonettes and lost 4 or so Horrors to the explosion and lost the rest of their magic dice. The Flamers of Tzeentch absolutely vaporized the Dryads which was ...lame.  The Treekin, Eternal Guard and Treemen won their combats but the Daemon's held with minimal losses.  I began to respect the Monsters and Monstrous Infantry of the Wood Elves more and more.

Turn 2 - Wood Elves

This turn went well for the Wood Elves as far as shooting went.  I multicharged the hell out of the Plaguebearers with my Eagles and Hero.  I rear charged the Bloodcrushers with the Wild Riders.  The Spellweaver still had Throne of Vines up cast Regrowth on the Waywatchers restoring 4.  Regeneration was dispelled on the Eternal Guard but I still got Toughness off on the Treekin making them T9 once again.  The Treekin lost combat by 1 but still held with a 6.  The Plaguebearers and their multicombat didn't really do much and the Plaguebearers lost by 2 and were fine.  The Bloodcrushers weathered the storm well against the Eternal Guard and won the combat by 1 but both Wild Riders and Eternal Guard held.

Turn 3 - Daemons

The Daemons managed to get a pretty good magic phase going - Miasma was cast and nerfed the hell out of my Treeman.  Phantasmagoria was cast again which screwed my Glade Guard but we'll talk about that in a minute.  Flickering Fires of Tzeentch was cast inflicting 2 Str 6 shots on my Glade Guard.  The Flamers of Tzeench still on their unholy rampage inflicted enough casualties to make my Glade Guard run.  I rolled like a  2, 6 and 5 which meant I was running (thx phantasmagoria) and I failed my BSB reroll as well.  Lovely.  The nerfed Treeman and Eagles still manage to obliterate the Plaguebearers finally.  Here is where we screwed up and the Eagles and Treemen should have just reformed after winning but we overran a D6.  I think we were tired but that's ok it didn't impact the game much at if at all.

Turn 3 - Wood Elves

The Wood elf eagles flew behind the Treekin combat while the Treeman did his lumbering beast thing.  The Spellweaver had Regrowth and Throne of Vines dispelled as well as Flesh to Stone.  She did manage to get Regeneration off on the Eternal Guard.  The close combats continued to grind out, each side holding or only losing 1 or 2 models after disruption.  The Glade Guard that were fleeing ran off the table while the other archers put some hurt on the Flamers of Tzeentch.

Turn 4 - Daemons

Turn 4 went pretty well for the Daemons.  Bolt of change and Flamers reduced my recently regrown Waywatchers down to just my General.  The Daemonettes were boosted with Wyssan's Wildform and the Treekin were hexed with Curse of Anwhatever.  The Treekin ended up dying in close combat finally and the Daemonettes and Bloodletters reformed to face the two Eagles in their rear.  The Bloodcrushers died against the Eternal Guard, Wild Riders and Hero...finally..

Turn 4 - Wood Elves

This round went well I think.  I charged the Bloodletter block with both Great eagles and the Hero hoping to  do enough wounds to slow them down.  The Spellweaver got absolutely nothing off this turn since she rolled a 2 and a 1 for power dice.  The General joined the Glade Guard and killed the remaining Flamer (yay!)  After my charges were resolved I immediately realized my mistake in that I should have charged the Bloodletters with my Eternal Guard or Wildriders and not the Hero but oh well.

Turn 5 - Daemons

I began to get tired cause I dont really remember where he moved his Pink Horrors but I do know that I was pretty effective at dispelling his casting except for Phantasmagoria got off AGAIN.  The Eagles and Hero were slaughtered and the Bloodletters slammed into the flank of my Treemen that was engaged with the Daemonettes when the Bloodletters caught a fleeing eagle.  The Treeman however still held!

Turn 5 - Wood Elves

The Wild Riders rear charged the Bloodletters block while the Eternal Guard flank charged the Pink Horrors.  The unit champion of the Eternal Guard was slaughtered by the herald of Tzeentch.  The Bloodletters and Daemon Prince were killed by the Treeman and Wild Riders.  The Daemonettes were still holding tough however.  The Pink Horrors lost by a lot and lost a rank of models but managed to combat reform.  The Spellweaver was able to cast Regeneration on the Eternal Guard but Throne of Vines, Regrowth and Flesh to Stone were dispelled.

Turn 6 - Daemons

Not much happened this turn other than the Daemonettes reducing the Treeman down to 1 wound and the Pink Horrors holding firm against the Eternal Guard.  The Treeman whiffed on his attacks against the Herald and once again Phantasmagoria was cast  and the Treeman held!  Glean magic was cast which stole Regrowth and replenished some of the Horrors lost in the previous round.  Grr...

Turn 6 - Wood Elves

This round went well but almost went badly.  I managed to get Throne of Vines, Regrowth and Flesh to Stone off on the Eternal Guard.  The Wild Riders did a valiant charge to assist the ailing Treeman.  I had hoped that the 6 Wild Riders left would be able to turn the tide and kill the Daemonettes.  I was wrong.  The Daemonettes chewed through the Treeman and the Wild Riders, killing both units.  The Eternal Guard managed to wipe out the Pink Horrors and secured the win.

The Wood Elves win against Daemons of Chaos.

I made some tactical errors that game as far as charges and placement of certain units.  Over all however I liked that this game was just brutal.  I will continue to use the Spellweaver and Hero on Great Eagles.  That worked out very well for me and I'm sure that in time they will be shot off their mounts but I'll just have to exercise caution around warmachines.

MVP's for Daemons - Flamers of Tzeentch - killed 3 units that are very essential to the Wood Elf army.
MVP for Wood Elves - Treekin - holding out that long against 2 melee blocks which allowed me to get into position = huge.

I really enjoyed this army.  Props to Derek for using a Daemon Prince and all 4 heralds for his theme.  I think that having all 4 powers present lead by an unaligned really gave me pause since I wasn't sure how to prioritize targets well.  This army was also deceptively brutal.  Loremaster Beasts meant that he could at any time turn into a Dragon or augment every character with +3 str/attacks.  Frightening synergy with Heralds/Daemons.  Great game Derek, thank you!

Hope this wasn't too long of a read, I'll be working on a method to shorten the Battle Reports and make them a little better.  I'll also be going over this battle and the draw I had on the new Podcast called
The Deployment Zone . (Also located on iTunes).