Sunday, May 31, 2015

Skaven defeeeat! (and silly mistakes...)

Image Credit: "Shame" by Grey World on Flickr (CC by 2.0)

No self-respecting warlord should ever admit defeat...

(after all, any sign of weakness is bound to hasten your demise or encourage thoughts of rebellion) but that was the undeniable result of a recent game against a combined Warriors of Chaos/ High Elf force, in which Squeek's clan was almost completely wiped-out!

Why was this? 

A simple, horrible, completely amateur deployment error - one that I am almost too embarrassed to admit to in public. 

DISCLAIMER: Now, before I share this error with you, let me say that the opposing commanders definitely led their troops better than me, and they most-certainly deserved to win! 

With that out of the way, what did I do?

Well (hangs head in shame) I placed my Hellpit Abomination and my Doomwheel too close together...

Remember kids...
...Doomwheel  ZZZzap + Multi-wound monster = Disaster.

So of course, first turn, 3 ZZzzap shots from my Doomwheel leave my HPA with only 1 wound, which he immediately loses to a charge. My Doomwheel then gets crushed by  a combination of Chaos cavalry and infantry, so "BOOM!", almost a 1/4 of my army gone on Turn 1 (and arguably my most powerful 2 units).
...and I forgot that I could fire my ZZZZapp in close combat.

Never mind! I fought on, and my slaves, plague monks and core did OK, but not well enough to claw back any significant points...

Here are a few shots of this humiliating defeat:

From top: G. Rats, Skaven Slaves, Clanrats, Slaves, Clanrats
Plague Monks, HPA, Doomwheel, Warp Lightning Cannon
High Elves and Chaos (from top): Bolt Thrower, Chaos Cav, High Elf Cav.
Chaos Chariot, Chaos Warlord, Chaos Warriors, White Lions (counts as),
Chaos Chariot, Archers, Silver Helms, Bolt Thrower.

Plague monks fail to drive off Chaos Warriors (even after using the
Plague Banner) and take a Chaos Cav charge in the flank.

My Goblin slave (counts as Skaven Slaves) grind it out with
High Elf Cav, while Clanrats attack a Chaos chariot (at rear)

Another Skaven Slaves unit attacks (counts as) White Lions and
a mage, but couldn't quite destroy the unit by the end of the game.

A hard lesson learned...

...but I will have my revenge! (shakes clenched paw at the sky!)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Storage Wars...results are in!

Credit: "Safe" by Will Folsom on Flikr (CC by 2.0)
I've been longing for some new miniature storage for a while now to complement my big old Battlefoam case. However every time I start researching the topic I get overwhelmed by the options or the complexity of trying to work out which foam options to go for. 
"Custom?" a hassle to work it all out...
"Pick and pluck"? Doesn't look very secure etc.

So, a few weeks ago I posted a poll on Google+ asking people to share what storage options they use for their miniatures. 

The poll system is dead easy to setup and only took a few minutes (which made it easier to understand why I see so many thousands of annoying "Which Jedi do you prefer, A or B?" polls in my stream...)

I asked:

Which miniature transport system do you use?
I'm thinking of getting a new miniature transport system. There are lots out there (more than I can include in the poll) but I'd like to know which are popular!

If your transport system isn't listed here or you'd like to comment on what system you use and why please leave a comment below. 

...below you can see the options and the results after 157 people had voted.

So, after 157 votes, the winner, at 36%, is: 
DIY/ Made it myself! 

Basically, the DIY option can be VERY cheap (literally saving you hundreds of dollars or pounds) and for most people is perfectly adequate for transporting models around to their FLGS or a friend's house.  I have DIY storage myself (see image above) and it serves fine for the most part.

I don't know why, but I was a bit surprised to see GW in second place in the poll. Sure, they have the perfect opportunity to sell cases, but I never found their cases to be anything other than serviceable (although their new cases look much better than the old ones in a "I'm on my way to a SWAT team call-out, rather than a mate's house" kind of way.) 

I have heard good things about KR, so they were definitely an option I was considering, and it was good to see they were getting some love in the poll too. I wasn't surprised to see people using Battlefoam - they have a good marketing operation and website and tons of case options.

Overall though, the results confirm that if I stay with a DIY solution I'm in good company. That's comforting, considering that I probably can't afford to splurge on a commercial solution immediately anyway!

Thanks to the 157 people who voted, and those who commented too...

...I'm off down to the "Hundred Yen Shop" to pick up some more storage!

Image: "Want some Tupperware?" by RageZ (CC by 2.0)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

High Elf beat down!


Simply the only word to describe the High Elf v. High Elf rumble that happened the other week. We had arranged to fight with 2,000 points of "whatever you want to bring" and guess who turned up?
Some other traitorous High Elf faction!

This was my second time out with my "Purple Sons" army. Here is my list:

The Purple Sons of Xereus (1,999pts)

+ Lords (545pts) +

x1 Archmage (285pts) [Lore of Shadow, Level 4,  Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown of Atrazar]

x1 Prince (260pts) [Light Armour, Shield, Ithilmar Barded Elven Steed, Armour of Destiny, BRB - Ogre Blade]

+ Heroes (289pts) +

Mage (135pts) [High Magic, Wizard Level 1, Khaine's Ring of Fury, Dispel Scroll]

Noble (154pts) [Battle Standard Bearer, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Lion cloak, Shield, Talisman of Preservation]

+ Core (672pts) +

x18 Archers (208pts) [Musician, Light Armour]

x5 Ellyrian Reavers (125pts) [Full command, Bows and Spears]

x5 Ellyrian Reavers (125pts) [Full command, Bows and Spears]

x8 Silver Helms (214pts) [Full command with Shields]

+ Special (353pts) +

x21 White Lions of Chrace (353pts) [Full command +Banner of the World Dragon]

+ Rare (140pts) +

x1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts)

x1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts)

Magic was Shadow on the level 4:
Melkoth's mystifying Miasma
Okham's Mindrazor

...and Lore of Light on the level 1:
Fiery convocation.

My opponent:

++ High Elves 8th Ed (Standard) (1998pts) ++

+ Lords (800pts) +

Archmage (310pts) [High Magic, Level 4, Book of Hoeth,  Ironcurse Icon, Talisman of Endurance]

Eltharion the Grim (490pts) [Heavy Armor, Longbow, Stormwing (and Lance), Talisman of Hoeth, The Fangsword of Eltharion, The Helm of Yvresse]

+ Core (500pts) +

x22 Archers (200pts) [Longbow],

x22 Archers (220pts) [Longbow]

x5 Ellyrian Reavers (80pts) [Elven Steed, Light Armor, Spear Only]

+ Special (698pts) +

x5 Dragon Princes of Caledor (145pts) [Dragon Armor, Elven Steed, Ithilmar Barding, Lance, Shield]

x5 Dragon Princes of Caledor (145pts) [Dragon Armor, Elven Steed, Ithilmar Barding, Lance, Shield]

x26 Sword Masters of Hoeth (408pts) [Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Musician, Standard Bearer Banner of the World Dragon]

Magic: Lore of Life
Throne of Vines, Regrowth, and others!

What you will notice is that neither of us really bought a lot of High Elf "Toys" with us. Our group is quite casual, and so it is quite common for people to just use stuff that isn't very "popular" for a laugh.
Case in point when looking at the lists above:
1.) No Frostheart Phoenix in these lists.
2.) No super-hard characters. As you can see above, Eltharion isn't really tooled up too heavily.
(Yes, we both brought Banners of the World Dragon and Books of Hoeth but hey, who wouldn't these days! )

In my group, we are pretty casual players, so I was happy to play an opponent who has a lot more experience than me and is happy to share his wisdom (as this was my second time using High Elves). Of course, this also benefits him in the long run, as he will get a better game each time, but still, I appreciate it!

Key moments in the Battle:


The Purple Sons:

A couple of things helped me later in the game.
a.) I got the side of the board with the watchtower, allowing me to move my level 4 and archers into the building:

b.) I put my two bolt throwers on opposite sides, meaning he would either have to divert some forces to deal with the opposite flank, OR take some finely-crafted, character/ monster/ cavalry-killing bolts of Elven death throughout the game...

Opposing Deployment

NOTE: A level 4 Life wizard is nestled in those Swordmasters...

Lots of archers, and a big block of Sword Masters in the centre with a Level 4. At the bottom of the photo above, you can see the two blocks of cavalry that are hoping to make short work of my bolt thrower across the board.

Key moments in the game:

Reaver Redirection:
While learning to use my Reavers for the first time (hey, Skaven don't have fast cav right?) I managed to divert the incoming cavalry that would have toasted one of my Bolt Throwers. It took my opponent several turns to deal with that flank, diverting his forces from the main battle at the centre.

Swordmaster Slaughter:
In the centre, the first part of the battle turned on the Swordmaster v. Silver Helms and White Lions throw down. There was a ton of bloodshed, augmented by magic buffs on both sides, but in the end, the Swordmasters, despite their bravery, couldn't beat the White Lions and Heavy Cav.
Winning this netted me 718 points, because his Wizard was in this unit as well..

Eltharion takes a Tumble:
Previously mounted on Stormwing, the Elf Prince has to walk into battle after his trusty steed suffers some unlucky hits and dies. This severely limited his mobility on the right flank as he sought shelter in a block of archers, meaning my Bolt thrower was now threatened by only his Cav.

Eltharion, at centre, stands alone on the right flank.
Eltharion takes shelter in a
block of archers.
His Revenge
After losing his main block, my opponent gamely fought on, bringing his archers forward into combat and moving his remaining cavalry in en masse. My Silver Helms and Prince took care of the first block of archers, but then found themselves way in front of my White Lions when they chased the archers, and now faced by Eltharion, a full block of archers, and two (regenerated) blocks of Dragon Princes...

The Prince and Silver Helms quickly cut down the archers...
...but will soon find themselves flanked and surrounded...
Eltharion and his archers face the oncoming Silver Helms
The White Lions look on in horror, knowing they are too far away to help.
Without the White Lions, the Silver Helms quickly get cut down.
In the end though, the White Lions come up and finally, finally, Eltharion goes down. I can't remember if that was to the Silver Helms or the Lions, but he had survived (with a truly awe inspiring set of saving throws) massed bolt thrower fire (again and again and again), magic, and hand-to-hand combat!

Result? Victory to the Sons of Xereus!


  1. Shadow magic is pretty good. Miasma and Ockham's mindrazor helped me at key stages in the battle, and the Withering really helps High Elves by weakening opponents.
  2. It sucks to face Life magic. Regenerating Dragon Prince units anyone? This meant that I just couldn't kill enough of them to get them off the board and out of the way...need to stop these spells if I possibly can.
  3. Reavers. Keep them cheap and specialized (Bows or spears) and use to redirect. I like my eagles (because I think they look great) but these guys could be my chaff of choice now.
  4. Bolt Thrower placement. I only had two, so opposite ends of the board made my opponent face some difficult choices. No-one likes to be needled by bolts in your face every turn...
  5. Silver Helms performed just as I had read online. Overall good performance, but after the first round of combat they get bogged-down and can't grind out a win.
  6. Shooting with bows? Don't expect to do anything major in terms of wounds.
This was a fun battle, in which I learned a lot from the experience of just using the army and the opposing general. Next time, I have a feeling his list will be a little more...
...hard core!

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