Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Deployment Zone’s – Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos Campaign: It has begun!

The Deployment Zone’s Tamurkhan Campaign has begun! Phase 1 – The Champions of the Dark Gods kicks off with the previously posted scenarios and with over 60 participants signed up! Please don’t forget to notify me of your results within the next two weeks. In the next few weeks I will be posting some battle reports of the campaign (both my own as well as some of the other games reported to me).  The second phase will start in two weeks on March 7th and the newest scenario will be posted in about a week or so.

Episode 10 of the Deployment Zone podcast will also contain a summary of the first phase of the campaign so make sure you download it when it's available!
Enjoy the campaign and thanks for playing!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beastman WIP - Chariots and Characters

Hello folks,

With the Deployment Zone's - Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos campaign kicking off on the 22nd, I figured I should attempt to get a post or two in that isn't going to be campaign related.

I've finally pegged down a good theme for my Beastmen list and I think it will work out well.  I've modified 3 chariots, pinned together an annoying Razorgor and modified existing chariots to fit my theme as well as assembled a finecast Malagor to be my Great-Bray Shaman model.
Here are some of the WIP:

Here you can see where I had to cut off the "spokes" on the Orc chariot as well as the whip section to glue to a Gor hand weapon.  I glued an Ungor arm to the Gor as well.  Both chariots received similar treatment.

Here you can see the Orc Boar Boyz boars converted (i.e. assembled) to serve as Tuskgors.  The liquid Green stuff is also pretty awesome.  The Razorgor...seriously...F this model and it's god damn spikes wtf.

Here is the assembled and works in progress shots of the metal Razorgor chariot and the plastic Tuskgors.

Finally here is the Finecast Malagor Dark-Omen model - both in pieces and assembled as well as a 50% painted Ghorgon.

More to come shortly!  Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Deployment Zone’s - Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos Campaign Phase 1: The Champions of the Dark Gods

The Deployment Zone’s - Tamurkhan, Throne of Chaos Campaign Phase 1:
The Champions of the Dark Gods

Tamurkhan sat atop the massive bulk of his toad dragon and observed the chaotic melee taking place below. After emerging from the twisted Gallows Tree, the chosen of Nurgle had unleashed his furious campaign to conquer the North before working his way down through the Kurgan on his way to the Mountains of Mourn. Several weeks had past and Tamurkhan had not slowed his steady advance towards the Mountains of Mourn until his horde had come across a massive sprawl of ruins where there stood the remains of a blasted black basalt ziggurat. The ziggurat looked as if some force or foul sorcery had exploded within it and rent it asunder and a great azure flame blazed from within. The ruin of the ziggurat, with its flames burning above the tallest of the blasted spires, had attracted thousands of blue cloaked warlocks and mutants to gather and give praise to the Changer of Ways. Without hesitation Tamurkhan had roared a challenge and sent his horde forward to annihilate the gathering of his patron’s hated foe. The warlocks and mutants had reacted quickly and the battle had been joined, Tamurkhan’s rotted horde smashing against the arcane might of the Changer’s flock. Blue flames and ebony lightning arced and flickered across the battle field as entire war bands were annihilated in seconds. Units of rotting and filth spewing marauders clashed against feathered mutants and horrors whose features changed like melted wax. The blue flame spat out horrific creatures out of nightmare, their pink rubbery hides shimmering in the afternoon’s sun. A kaleidoscope of colors would flash across their skin whenever they would open their massive tooth filled maw and belch gouts of iridescent flame that would utterly disintegrate whomever it touched. Kayzk the Befouled and his knights of corruption thundered across the battlefield smashing into the pink horrors. Eldritch blades emblazoned with blasphemous sigils of rot and ruin tore through the flesh of the daemons with ease and sent them screaming back into the realm of chaos. The legion of the maggot lord hurled themselves with renewed vigor at the basalt ruins of the ziggurat upon watching the horrors dispatched by their lord’s elite cavalry.

The two armies had been embroiled in battle for hours as Tamurkhan finally sighted his quarry. Floating upon a blazing disc of blue and orange flame stood a two headed mutant hurling fire and lightning into the melee. Two sets of eyes turned and focused on Tamurkhan and the rot lord smiled and a deep rumbling laugh began to erupt from his belly. Little pockets of corruption spewed out of mouth and lungs as an unholy bellowing laugh shook Tamurkhan’s befouled form. The bubbling, wet laughter could be heard over the din of battle as it echoed across the battlefield. Eyes turned towards the massive bulk as it launched itself from its rocky overlook and hurled its mass into the battle below. The toad dragon smashed into the earth, its bulk crushing dozens of warriors both friend and foe. Bubebolos slithered its way across the battlefield, smashing aside thousands as Tamurkhan’s roars of challenge echoed across the melee. The chaos sorcerer turned both heads and raised all three of his arms and hurled incantation after incantation at the massive monster thundering towards him. Bolts of eldritch energy bounced off the toad dragon’s hide harmlessly and the ropes of liquid flame that the sorcerer hurled seemed to do little or no damage as they slapped wetly against the toad dragons hide. Tamurkhan was almost upon him when the sorcerer tried to fly away on his blazing disc. Bubebolos then exhaled a cloud of unspeakable foulness that consumed the sorcerer and his disc. A cry of absolute horror was cut short as the sorcerer’s skin began to slough off his bones and he fell from his now corroded disc and landed on the battlefield with a wet plop. A roar of triumph from Tamurkhan caused the remaining forces of the Changer to break and panic. Within the hour the forces of Tamurkhan had overrun and annihilated their enemy and they stood gathered around the azure flame that burned within the center of the blasted ziggurat.

Tamurkhan then turned his gaze eastward towards the Mountains of Mourn…

Scenario Rules for Campaign Phase 1 – The Champions of the Dark Gods

Special Scenario: Altar of Battle (3 CP to the victor)

The Scenarios: (roll a D6 to determine what battle you play – or you may elect to play the Special scenario instead)

D6 Result

1-2 Battle line (1 CP to the victor – see the Warhammer Rulebook)
3-4 Blood and Glory (1 CP to the victor – see the Warhammer Rulebook)
5    Meeting Engagement (2 CP to the victor – see the Warhammer Rulebook)
6    Battle Royal* (2 CP to the victor) as a Grand Battle (if the models are available) or a Storm of Magic scenario (2 CP to the victor) as chosen.
* - Narrative scenario from the Warhammer Rulebook

Special Rules for all scenarios:
Chaos Wastes: The battles in this phase take places in the Northern Wastes under the baleful influence of the winds of magic and watched by the Chaos Gods.
When a Miscast result is suffered by any Wizard, this may be re-rolled but the second roll must be taken even if it is worse. Additionally, if Power Drain is the result of the re-roll, treat the result as Dimensional Cascade.

Victory Effects:
Victory effects will be listed when the final scenario is released.

Special Scenario:
The Altar of Battle

The lightly shaded areas denote the deployment zones.

This scenario represents the final stages of the nightmarish battle at Zanbaijin. Here Tamurkhan and the other Chaos lords vied for favor of the Dark Gods.

This scenario is for two, four or six players, forming teams of equal numbers.

The Battlefield:
The table is set up using the rules presented on page 142 of the Warhammer Rulebook, with a bias given towards ruins, fallen statues and impassible pillars. In addition, the center of the table should have a single large temple ruin (using the Temple of Skulls terrain piece would be ideal). The ruins will serve as the Altar of Battle and will have its own special rules and serve as the objective.

Each player rolls off (re-rolling ties). The player with the highest score immediately selects a table edge and deploys their army within 8” of that edge, and then the second highest player selects a table edge and deploys their army within 8” of the edge and not within 12” of an opposing army, then the third and so on. Should there not be enough table edges, then the players will select a friendly player’s side to deploy on. Any player may hold up to half the units in their army in reserve if they wish.

First Turn:
The player who set up first has the first turn. In the event that there are more than two players involved then the special multi-player turn sequence shown on page 407 of the Warhammer Rulebook is used instead.

Game Length:
The game lasts for six turn or until a previously decided time limit.

Victory Conditions:
The Altar of Battle has special victory conditions based upon gaining Victory points other than the usual way (see below). Victory points are also counted for each side rather than player (in multi-player battles).

• Destroying a unit of making a unit flee off the table: 1 Victory Point
• Per enemy General killed: 1 Victory Point
• Being in control of the Altar of Battle at the end of the game (fleeing units can not claim or contest an objective): 5 Victory Points
The side with the most Victory points at the end of the game wins.

Scenario Special Rules:
The Altar of Battle

This ruin is a focal point for the swirling vortex of power that surrounds Zanbaijin. In order to control the altar, a side must have a unit within the ruins and no enemy units may also be present within 12” of the ruins center.

Any unit upon entering the ruin for the first time is assailed by malevolent spirits. The unit must take a Leadership test on 3d6 and for every point it fails the test by it takes a Strength 2 hit with no armor save allowed. This is a magical effect and it only occurs the first time the unit enters the ruin.

Once a side is in control of the Altar of Battle, that sides Wizard’s gain a +1 to their channeling attempts and may call down the Wrath of the Gods upon their enemies. This is treated like a Bound Level 5 direct damage spell. Select any point on the battlefield and place the Large Template. Once placed rolled a D6, on a 2+ any enemy model beneath the template takes a Strength 4 hit. On a roll of a 1, the opposing player gets to place the template instead!

Narrative Battle:
The narrative battle for this scenario – The Battle Royale is represented by the Battle of the Azure Flame detailed in the story above. Other than the location – it follows the same rules as detailed on page 406 of the Warhammer Rulebook.

The campaign officially begins February 22, 2012 however if wish to start early you are more than welcome. Please make sure to report your battles to me in person, at or message Sylvos through the Ordo Fanaticus forums (


Friday, February 3, 2012

How important is the Deployment Phase? Part 2

How important is the Deployment Phase? Part 2

In the first part of this topic I wrote about how critical deploying correctly is when playing a war game. During Episode 7 of The Deployment Zone podcast, we again discussed this topic at great length where we spoke about not only how critical it is to deploy correctly but also some methods of deploying. In this post I plan on describing some methods that I use when deploying both my Eldar and Wood Elves. In addition to describing those methods, I will be touching on how army composition and build will also determine how you deploy.

Warhammer 40k:
The first game system I’ll be discussing is Warhammer 40k. I currently have two fully painted armies in 40k, my Ulthwe` Eldar and my Black Templars and a few partially painted armies like Space Wolves and Dark Eldar. Each of these armies not only functions differently but also requires a different deployment strategy to capitalize on the army strengths. I will only be touching on the Eldar deployment in this post, I may discuss the deployment methods for the Black Templars, Space Wolves and Dark Eldar in another post but for now we will stay with the Eldar.

In Warhammer 40k 5th edition there are three types of deployment options and also three mission types (unless you play one of the expansions or the Battle Missions book). I will first go over how I use the Eldar since that is a completely different play style over the Black Templars. The nicest thing about Warhammer 40k is that if you mess up your deployment it does not automatically guarantee you a loss or a difficult game.  The ability to use vehicles and other movement options makes the game is much more forgiving when you deploy poorly.

Regardless of the mission type (Annihilation, Capture and Control or Objectives), I will deploy my Ulthwe` Eldar like it was an Annihilation mission if I know I have the first turn. I have discovered that with the Eldar, when you are playing 40k you need to treat the game as an Alpha strike where you surgically remove the key units first then you are able to accomplish the mission goals.

In the pitched battle scenario, I place my relatively static units near the center of my deployment zone while the fast moving skimmers are put to the far corner near some form of cover. The plan behind this is when my opponent places all of their big units or guns directly across from the skimmers, first turn I can zip 36” across the board and suddenly my opponent’s entire army is out of position. This tactics is exceptionally helpful against footsloggers and elite armies that have to get into close combat as quickly as possible. The entire idea behind deploying in this fashion is to not only ensure that my opponent deploys poorly to counteract my deployment, but to also secure a strong flank where if they turn to face my skimmers they have now provided their flank to my long range weapons or other units.

When the mission is Spearhead (my personal favorite), I will aggressively deploy on the line with all my transports and war walkers in order to get in my opponents face as quickly as possible. That or if I know that I am facing an army that has horde-like traits, I will line up on the line and my opponent will attempt to do the same in order to reach me easily at which point I will fly back 36” and bombard them with fire as they cross the board. The goal of deploying on the line is to draw my opponent into placing key units near my key units so I can quickly assault and remove important models. It also allows me to hopefully pincer my opponent by flying the skimmers behind the army and bombards their units with long range fire from the opposite corner.

Lastly, the Dawn of War mission (I despise this deployment type) where I deploy only one unit which is generally either pathfinders or a unit of Storm Guardians in their transport right on the line so that my opponent is forced to deploy near their edge. I will then fly back on turn 1 as everything enters the table and attempt to secure a flank. If I am going second, I still deploy aggressively but rather than lining up on the line for all three deployment types, I will intentionally deploy near one side of the board where it appears I am out of position and then on my turn (provided I survive whatever bullshit alpha strike 40k allows you to unleash in the first turn: Imperial Guard and Grey Knights I’m looking at you) I will use the advantage of speed and mobility to zip across the table and decide where the battles will take place. Essentially, when playing Eldar and using their transports/jetbikes/skimmers you have the opportunity to use speed to your advantage. Only the Dark Eldar surpasses the Eldar in mobility and even then the Eldar have the other benefits which can and will be covered in tactica articles in the future.

If I am going second in any of these scenarios, I will deploy almost the same but when placing units on the board I will attempt to place them in 50% or more cover. Many Eldar players deploy using the “Reserves game” where they keep certain key units off until later turns. I personally despise using this type of deployment because with the exception of my War Walkers, I do not use reserves unless I am forced. Every turn that a unit in reserves is off the table is another turn that the unit has lost effectiveness and utility.

I chose these types of deployment strategies because I needed to find a way to capitalize on the speed, mobility and the elite aspects that Eldar exemplify. I center my deployment around setting up lightning strikes where I will hurl 3 wave serpents full of Warlocks and Guardians directly at my chosen target from the opposite side of the board. Using appropriate war gear, I can outfit my transports to move 36” in a turn and if necessary contest any objective in the 11th hour. At some point in the future I will record a battle with my Eldar and post the video up to display the deployment types.

When the new edition of 40k drops this summer, I am almost 100% certain I will have to once again alter how I deploy in order to keep up with the new rules and the mission types. That said - we will now lead into the next section of this post – Fantasy.

Warhammer Fantasy Battles:
Where the deployment phase in Warhammer 40k tends to be rather forgiving, in Warhammer Fantasy it is absolutely punishing if you deploy poorly. Deploying poorly does not necessarily mean you are going to lose but it definitely makes the rest of the game rather difficult to get back into position and have your army operate well. In Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition there are six different battle missions where each scenario uses a different deployment zone and victory conditions. I deploy relatively the same for almost all the scenarios due to the fact that just like my Eldar, the Wood elves have the advantage of mobility and speed which far outstrips most of the Warhammer Fantasy armies. The six battle missions are Battleline, Dawn Attack, Battle for the Pass, Blood and Glory, Meeting Engagement and the Watchtower. Of the six battle missions only one of them has a random deployment method which is Dawn Attack, but even then you can still maintain a good strategy for deploying by rolling for each unit and then making the decision as to where they will be placed in their designated area.

I have provided a very basic example of how I deploy with my Wood Elves in order to move and reposition quickly against most opponents. Even if my opponent is very fast, I am still able to get into position with most of my units before the opposing player can cut me off. This type of bait and switch deployment is called “Shifting Flank”. The images below should give you an idea but I will briefly describe what the thought process and methodology is behind this type of deployment.

As you can see the army is deployed just off center and then spreads out heavily on one flank. This deployment will work for all of them with the exception of Dawn Attack due to the randomization of where units go. This will also work well for Meeting Engagement since the diagonal deployment allows you not only shift quickly to one flank but if your opponent has lined up along the opposite 12” line with you, you can easily fly over them and have rear charges set up for the next turn or march block. Getting back to the description, with the army heavily located on one flank (especially the archers) my opponents generally will place their most devastating units directly in front of the units on the right side.

Once the first turn has started for the Wood Elves, I immediately attempt a swift reform with what units I can and with every unit except my archers I move the full movement (either 10”, 18” or 20”) to the opposite side of the board and suddenly my opponent has his entire flank exposed or a good portion. This is exceptionally devastating when my opponent is unable to realign his forces for at least 2 turns in the meantime I have forced certain fights to happen before my opponent was ready or the unit would be steadfast. This type of deployment took many, many games to finally master and now that it works well I am able to really capitalize on the first two to three turns in most games and gain the advantage early on. I can move my very effective melee units where I need them while still peppering key units with spells and ranged fire. The eagles and mounted characters are then able to either flank or rear charge engaged units or hunt warmachines that plague the Wood Elves. The shifting flank does have its issues and against Ogre Kingdoms, Beastmen, Skaven and other Elven armies where you will have to move and act quickly if you deploy in this fashion and wipe out key units otherwise these armies which have movement that matches yours can cut you off before you are able to fully capitalize on your deployment.

Another deployment strategy is using the units appropriately such as my Waywatchers. I have already posted a tactics article on them about how they can be used effectively. I almost always try to remove the heavy cavalry or other mounted units with waywatchers. I encourage the use of the Shifting Flank deployment method for any Wood Elf player. The ability to take flying units, fast moving cavalry and very mobile forest spirit and elven units are a distinct advantage that not many armies can use.

I do hope this article has been helpful and has provided an insight into how my games with Wood Elves go. Please feel free to leave comments and thank you for reading.