Friday 26 February 2010

First game with the Wood Elves

I played my first game with the wood elves last night, a 2k pitched battle against their arch enemies, the beastmen. I was a bit apprehensive about the army, it looked very small and weak compared to the big blocks of muscle and horn across the table. Things started quite badly with some abysmal dice in the shooting phase - 30 Glade Guard shots and just 4 chaos hounds dead. The next turn was similarly disappointing, my dice really letting me down - even the Hail of Doom Arrow failed to cause a single wound. I was starting to think that my pre-game thoughts on the power of shooting (or lack of) would turn out to be true.

By turn 3 combat had started. Dryads were torn apart by minotaurs, but the doombull failed to make an impact on the wardancers thanks to their shadows coil dance. A second wardancer troupe led by a noble leapt in and sliced the mighty beast to pieces. The wardancers went on to rashly charge a full unit of bestigors in the front, thinking it was suicide, but caused massive casualties and eventually defeated them, with a little help from some dryads.

Towards the end of the game the one surviving unit of glade guard finally found their aim, felling a giant and a tuskgor chariot. There were quite a few dead elves around, but even more beasts. A solid victory for the wood elves in their first outing.

Looking back at the game, I played the elves reasonably well but was far too cautious. My treeman ancient spent most of the game hiding in a wood, worried about bestigor axes. The wild riders defeated a tuskgor chariot but then were defeated by a unit of bestigor, even though they managed to get the flank charge. I learned some lessons for my next game, was pleased with their debut but doubt they would have such an easy ride next time.

I'm still puzzled by the beastmen. The lack of skirmish troops really hurt them in this game, it was reasonably straight forward to neutralise the slow blocks, deal with the fast troops, then turn back to pick off the infantry units at leisure. Maybe I'm missing something, but they still look poor at the moment.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Ork Warboss reboot

Just a quick update. Most of my painting time at the moment is going into the elf army, but I did recently finish the ork warboss and took some decent photos. There are still a few rough bits here but he will probably stay in this form for a good while. Of course, just as he was finished I discovered the benefits of using a Big Mek so he's not actually seen action yet!

Saturday 13 February 2010

A rustle in the forest

I forced myself to slog on with the wood elf army and managed to paint 6 more wardancers. Compared to previous efforts on the army, it seems quite paltry, but I'm pleased with this effort. Why? Because my enthusiasm for the wood elves has waned as I switch most of my efforts to the ork army, the very fact that I could temporarily divert to crank these out is a good sign. The last time I put the orks to one side, for example, it was over a year before I came back to them! I am determined not to make that mistake again with the wood elf army, so while 6 wardancers seems like a drop in the ocean, it does spur me on. Little acorns and all that......

The other rustle in the forest was made this week by my first encounter with the new beastmen army. My regular opponent has collected and played beasts since we first gamed together, so I was looking forward to seeing how his army got on with the new rules. First thing I noticed was that it had shrank......his 2000 point force seemed considerably smaller than previous armies. It seems that most units have experienced a points raise, especially the characters. Next thing I noticed was that they were all huddled together in more compact units, not running wild and free (i.e. skirmishing) like the old army. Some units can still ambush, though in a slightly different fashion to the previous version.

After the game, against my "weakest" fantasy army of Ogre Kingdoms, we decided it was roughly a draw and discussed the changes to the beastmen list. In summary, they have become less manouverable, remained about the same in shooting capability (that's virtually none still then), have possibly gained a little in combat effectiveness, lost considerably in magic due to their magic users being far more expensive and with more expensive casting rolls, suffered a little in psychology as base leadership of leaders is lower, seen a price rise on most units and ......well we had to stop and sob into our hands at this point.

Of course, it's quite ridiculous to make a sensible judgement based on one game and we have not given up hope just yet. The beastmen still have to face my dwarfs, my high elves and my upcoming wood elves, not to mention the chaos army, after which we will have a better idea, though I shudder to think how they will cope with these more effective armies. Unless we are missing something, it does seem that the book was thrown together with little thought to effectiveness or even background. Perhaps the upcoming 8th edition will address some of these concerns, but if they do then I think we can look forward to some fairly radical changes to the way the game plays!

Anyway, let's end the post on a diffferent note. A dozen brightly garbed elves leaping for joy at the castration of their enemies (oops, sorry beastmen players).

Sunday 7 February 2010

Even more gubbinz

"Err boss, I fink I we is goin da wrong way." That's what the little grot is probably shouting.

After playing for about a year with basically a chimera minus the turret, I got my act together and bashed together this looted wagon. My original idea was to make it magnetised, allowing me to swap options, but as it took me this long to get this far I decided to just glue it all together and hope for the best. It's got a nice mix of ramshackle and solid, slightly more robust than a trukk.

The skorcha is something that I haven't really used much, but I just love the little grot in the turret so decided it was a must. The passengers will usually be burna boyz, so there's going to be some serious pyrotechnics involved.

Saturday 6 February 2010

More ork gubbinz

After the recent game I realised that I had a few holes in my army, due to re-arming units and never really finishing the burna boyz squad. So over the weekend I decided to get together some big shootas.

The two in the centre are meks, they will travel in a looted wagon with the burna boyz. Each has on oiler grot strapped to his back, though this is a bit hard to see in the photo. One has a mega blaster, one has a big shoota, hopefully that will give me an option or two when the burnas are out of range.

The other two boyz are armed with big shootas. The one on the right will probably be seconded into the 'ard boyz squad, while the one on the left is destined for the slugga boyz squad - he is well 'ard, toting his big shoota with just one hand, maybe I should rethink which squads they belong to! I did toy with the idea of him resting his barrel on an unfortunate grot's head, but it didn't really come together.

I have been having more thoughts on the composition of the army, the main problem being that every time I browse the book I think virtually every choice would make a nice painting project and/or add an amusing/useful option to the army. And that's before the new ork releases in the spring. It's little wonder that GW give so much love to the greenskins if I think like a typical ork gamer, they must sell figures by the wagon load.

Friday 5 February 2010

First game for the tankbustas

I didn't have high hopes for the tankbustas' first game, for two reasons. The main reason (and this is obviously the one that's the most scientific) is that newly painted troops always seem to die a horrible death in their first outing. The tankbustas are currently half painted, but still I was nervous. The second reason I doubted was that 99% of commentary by ork players on various forums is that they are sub-standard and should be lootas instead.

So how did their first game progress? They started the game in a looted wagon, 10 of them, with a big mek along for the ride. His kustom force field deflected a few shots but by the end of the first turn the wagon was immobilised. The tankbustas jumped out, the big mek stayed in the wagon, muttering to himself as he whacked a few pipes with his uge spanna. The bustas ran up a hill, hoping to get line of sight on either of the 2 Tau vehicles floating around. The big Hammerhead seemed a very tempting prospect. But their chance for glory was foiled by a pair of deffkoptas, which zipped out from behind a rocky outcrop and, with a very lucky shot, destroyed the hammerhead! All the boyz cheered, except the bustas of course, they made a mental note to target practise on the koptas when they got back to camp (if mental notes are possible in those thick green heads).

In a way it was a blessing, there was now less thinking to be done, there was only one possible target to aim at. The devilfish was side on too, even the bustas could hit that! Well, 2 out of 9 managed a hit, and a cheer went up as the thing exploded and klunked down on to the ground. The tankbustas had their first kill!

As for the rest of the game, they were free to target at will. A pair of broadside suits were next in their sights, and two turns later they had been destroyed. As the game came to a finish, they turned their attention to the Tau general, again in a battlesuit. Obviously the shooting practise throughout the game had paid off, as 4 out of 8 rockets slammed home, blowing the Tau commander away.

A very satisfying debut for the bustas, quite possibly the best first game ever for a newly painted unit. Though, as they are only half painted, maybe it doesn't count. I did feel a bit sorry for the bomb squigs, deprived of any targets very early in the game. Perhaps next game, they will see some action. And I have grave doubts about how celebrations back at camp will turn out, those kopta pilots are in for a rough ride!

Monday 1 February 2010

Ork Warboss

I have had this character in a partly painted state for about a year, so I was quite glad to finish him off. I am still amazed by the detail of the sculpt, for a starter set figure it takes some beating! I turned the head to look along the power klaw rather than straight ahead, and I added a little trophy rack.

The painting standard is similar to my mobs, though I spent a little bit more time on highlighting and touching up details, adding check patterns, etc.

I have been thinking about the ork army recently and finally have a better idea in my mind about how I want it to pan out. The tankbustas squad are part painted and will be the next major addition, after that I will probably add a squad of little runty grots. A unit of burna boyz are also assembled, they are just waiting for a looted wagon to be cobbled together so they can ride round flaming stuff. And I should really get round to painting the koptas.......
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