Sunday, April 16, 2017

I feel pretty, oh so pretty . . .

Hi all,

Actually got out to GDub yesterday for real live games of Age of Sigmar yesterday.  The shop ran a 1000 point tournament, and I took my "Free Bretonnians", along with my newly (almost) completed Freeguild General on a Griffon.  The TO rules that the "Free People" and "Free Peoples" keywords were distinct by the rules, but it prompted me to bring a list that was probably better for the scenarios we were playing anyways.

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The pride of Bretonnia-that-was


I took two units of Freeguild archers as battleline, a unit of Grail knights, a Lord, a Damsel, a Standard bearer, and the aforementioned FG general on griffon.  Game one was 2 Places of Power (heros claim objectives, you get more points the longer you hold them) against a solid, but not oppressive Stormcast list, with a mix of Liberators, Prosecutors, Drake riders, a Celestant on Dracoth, one of the lantern guys, and the standard bearer from the starter set, the name of which I don't recall.  He'd built for resilience, which I discovered when my Griffon charged into a prosecutor unit that, thanks to stacked buffs, had 2-up saves, re-rolling ones.  Not the smartest move I could have made ;)

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Grail knights vs. Dracoth riders.  Not going to win this one.


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Griffin vs. Prosecutors.  This one I'll win, but it took much longer than expected.


First couple of turns went okay, I used my mobility advantage to get the alpha strike, sending my Grail knights against his General and my Griffon against the Prosecutors on my left.  The plan was to take and hold two of the objectives.  As it turned out, however, I didn't do much more than scratch the Stormcasts' armour.  Grail knights, while solid, are not as super killy as I recall, and the Griffon struggled to punch through the buff-stacked armour saves of his opponents.  This set up my opponent (a fun player I've run up against before) up to counter charge with his own heavy hitters.  As my units are generally most damaging on the charge, having fired mine to little effect, things weren't looking great.

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The Horned Duke charges in.  Still not winning this one.


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Standard bearer, in splendid isolation.


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Damsel vs. Celestant on Dracoth.  Really not winning this one.


An early lead in objective points was lost as the game turned into an attrition fight.  While the stormcast lack my mobility, they make up for it in equal or greater killing power, and better overall durability.  I tried to cycle a bit, pulling my standard bearer out, and sending in the lord, but even he couldn't do enough damage on his charge to counter the pressure I was facing in the center - and my big hitter, the Griffon, was bogged down, and eventually surrounded.

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It wasn't long after this I remembered that the Griffon could fly.  Away.


In retrospect, I should have redeployed the griffon sooner, rather than trying to grind.  I also needed to concentrate my forces a little more.  I forget that my Brets aren't as hard hitting as they used to be, except in large numbers, and I need to use my mobility to concentrate attacks on single targets as much as I can.

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Turn four, and a distressing lack of Brets on the table.


Forgetting this led to me being ground down and tabled by turn 4.  Solid learning game, against an enjoyable opponent.

Game two was Border War (objectives scored by number of models, the further into opposing territory, the more valuable) against a Nurgle Demon army led by a fantastic looking Forgeworld Great Unclean One.

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Papa Nurgle's Tallyband.


I've played this scenario before, and the key seems to be taking the objective in one's opponent's deployment zone - it's worth as much or more than any other two put together.  In my experience, this usually involved some combination of force concentration (to break through an opponent's line) and sacrifice play (you don't have to stop your opponent, just delay them).  With that in mind, I deployed so as to refuse a flank.  The plan was to concentrate the killy parts of my army in a way that would let me turn one of his flanks, and hold off his advancing units by feeding them peasants.

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Massed Bretonnian chivalry cares not for toxic slime.


I had some early success in this game, managing to rapidly clear out his speedbump units (including a FW plague toad he ran as a beast of nurgle, and some Nurgling swarms), which put pressure on him to defend the high-value objective in his zone.

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There used to be nurglings in front of those knights.  A good charge, and I think an Arcane Bolt from the Damsel took care of them.


While this left my grail knights exposed in the centre (they'd eventually go down under the combined weight of a unit of plaguebearers and plague drones), it left my Griffon free to sweep around to attack his backfield, and my heroes free to charge targets of their choosing.  Net effect was I ended up holding a central position, with my griffon on the high-value objective in his zone.

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Plague bearers dealt with, Plague Drones dealt with (mostly), Herald dealt with, and my Griffin on the sweet spot.

It also meant I was free to hold the objectives behind the lines with scruffy peasants, which added to my points, and put further pressure on him to attack.

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Don't discount scruffy peasants.  What they lack in fighting ability, they make up for in stench and numbers.



A critical moment came when he committed the Great Unclean one against my Griffon.  While he was able to do some damage, it didn't take me out, and I had good counter attacks.  A couple turns fighting saw my griffon rider emerge battered, but triumphant.

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Post-battle action.  Nothing left of Papa Nurgle but some stains, and I suspect a raging staph infection


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Plaguebearers kill peasants, but not quickly enough to drive through to the objective.


He committed his remaining unit of plaguebearers to the fight, but wasn't going to grind through to the objective in time, leaving me with clear control of all four for the two remaining turns.  Big win to me.

This was a game where I think I generally played it right, and a few things went my way when they needed to.  In this list, the Bret Lord and the Griffon rider are the things that actually kill stuff, but I also used my units together well, concentrated attacks, and made sure to eliminate threats before moving on.  I played to the scenario, and it worked.

Third game was Escalation (army comes on in three waves, over three turns, fighting over three objectives), against an army that really showcases what you can do with the new version of the game - a combined force of elves and dwarfs.

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Dwarfs, led by an elf.  It's a brave new world.


This was a tight game, and a fun one.  I packed most of my effective force into my initial deployment wave, which consistent of the Griffon, the Lord, and my Grail knights.  These ended up looking across the table at a Dwarf cannon, a unit of ironbreakers (which ignore anything under Rend -1 - and only the Bret Lord and Griffon have Rend -2), and his general, some kind of elven sniper guy).

The cannon is a bit of an issue.  While it's not super accurate, it has (perhaps unsurprisingly) the potential to blow large holes in things, and can, for example, easily one-shot my Lord.  Getting to it is a priority, but it meant exposing my guys to at least a couple turns of shooting - and he could easily hide it behind the line of iron breakers, which meant probably another turn of exposure before I could work my way around.

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Knights, about to grin and bear it.


The plan was to try and score some early points, and then put enough pressure on that something could get through to the cannon and shut it down before it could do too much damage.  It mostly worked; I got my first wave stuck in quickly, and chewed my way through to the cannon before it could get more than one effective hit in (I caught a break in that his dice were a little cold shooting), and my second wave brought in my peasants in the backfield to hold an objective.  By turn three, with all forces on the table, I had a decent edge in points, and while he was in a strong position to counter-attack in the centre, I had a good shot at winning.

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Love this shot - The Blue Laird under a pile of choppy elves.


He had a unit of elves with these giant falchion things - not sure what they were called, but they got bonuses against monsters, and put the hurt on just about anything they came in contact with.  They chewed through my griffon efficiently (with the help of some concentrated shooting), as well as most of my heroes.  One of my favourit pictures from the day was them swarming my battle-standard bearer, who went down swinging.

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Peasants sensibly far from the action.


At this point, the game more or less came down to dueling mistakes.  The aforementioned standard bearer should have gone in the other direction, to intercept a unit of sword masters marching in to take the centre objective.  At this point, we each had uncontested control over one objective, and were fighting in the middle.  If he could take it turn five, he'd catch up and win; if I held it to turn 5, I'd win.  By sending my standard bearer to fight in his backfield, I'd given him a change to reach the centre - and even if he didn't get stuck in, he'd take it by virtue of numbers.  Instead, he decided to shoot the damsel holding the objective off the table (he had a number of small, but really effective "sniper" units), rather than moving up to directly challenge for control.  His mistake cancelled out mine, and I won the game by a single point.

The whole day was a blast.  I had three good games, three good opponents, (big thanks to all three) got to try out a new toy (even without access to the synergistic buff, the Griffon is a big gribbly monster), and learned a bit more about how Brets  / Free People(s) are likely to work in AoS.  I won two games, lost one, and walked away with best appearance, which felt good.  Brets still need the charge, but they aren't an all-or-nothing charge army.  What they bring to the table now are mobility and versatility.  Concentration of force is key, and knowing where to put what resource.  Getting bogged down in an attrition battle is death.  I'm starting to really enjoy playing with them, and will keep picking away at the painting queue, along with my Khorne (which I've been working on as well).

FMB


Friday, April 7, 2017

Puttering and Progress

Hi,

Been a busy week, but managed a couple evenings of picking away at stuff.  For starters, a couple more Bloodbound finished up, one warrior and one bloodreaver.

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Nothing too fancy on these guys, just aiming for solid table top.  I'm actually pretty stoked for my Khorne stuff right now, as a new book has just dropped (mine is waiting for me at the store).  Among other things, it makes it much easier to run a combined mortal / demon Khorne list, adds some new toys (eg, new prayers for Slaughterpriests, of which I already run 2), and offers new formations.  I might have to break down and pick up some Bloodletters to go with my Bloodcrushers, and even a herald or two.

I've also been working on the "Bretonnian" Freeguild general.

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Still work to do on him - more highlights in several places, more work on the details, and I need to assemble the back banner, but he's far enough along that you get a clear sense of how it'll work when finished.  I don't know if he'll be completely ready by next weekend (when I'm hoping to try him out), but he'll be good enough for gameplay anyways.

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The list I'll be running is build around him, a big block of knights, a damsel on peg, and a min unit of archers to fill out the battleline requirements.  That's it ;)  I'm hoping to use my mobility and stacked buffs to be able to focus 900 points on small sections of my opponents' armies.  We'll see if it works.

FMB

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bits and pieces

Hi all,

Didn't get much time for puttering this weekend, but did get an hour or two with the Cub down at the G-Dub, and we brought our brushes.  Managed to pick at a couple more of the Khorne chaos warriors.

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Don't know as they'll be winning any awards, but they'll do just fine for gaming purposes, which is where they'll see the most use.

Speaking of gaming, I'm planning to attend a 1000k Age of Sigmar tournament in a couple of weeks.  The plan is to bring my Bretonnians, and I've got a secret weapon in progress.

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Although the Brets are legal, they won't be getting any love from GW in the foreseeable future.  That said, there are opportunities in the new game not to be overlooked.  One is that Brets now share a key word, "Free Peoples" (i.e., a thing that fosters synergy) with much of what used to belong to the Empire army - including their heroes.  One of these "Free People" heroes is a general on a griffon, and he comes with a fairly useful command ability (buff a unit for morale, charge, and to hit purposes).  Also, as he's riding a Griffon, he's a bit of a beatstick.

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The problem, of course, is that Brets themselves don't have a griffon rider, and the old Empire model doesn't look at all appropriate for a Bretonnian army.  Hence this fella.  It's the griffon from the Isle of Blood set, cut down, and with some Bret pieces and green stuff, (notably bits from the Green knight) added in.  There's a back banner I'll add once painting is done (glueing it now will make it hard to paint).  It'll serve nicely.  Hopefully I can get it painted up in time for the tournament.

FMB



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Only took a few years

Hi all,

So, many (many) moons ago, I started picking away at some 1/72 French, part of my ongoing existential crisis about what scale in which to play the period.  Finally, after some internet-based inspiration (I'm look at you Johnny Rosbif) and a trip to Benno's Forum, I finished up the last base for the first complete unit of French.

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The original plan was to use these for Black Powder, if and when I actually get enough painted up to play.  Basing is a little unconventional for those rules, but should work just fine.  I stuck with the larger, almost element basing I started out with, for much the same reason - it looks good, and deals with the overhang that results from the use of multiple poses in 1/72 ranges.

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I've got some voltigeurs to use for skirmish markers, and have some French Hussars up and prepped as a next step.  I figure I'll paint these guys until I start to get bored, them maybe go back to some GW stuff.  In the mean time, I'm scratching a historical itch, and enjoying myself in the doing.

FMB

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sprog wars: The revenge of Sprog.

Hi,

Got my butt handed to me by the Cub today, as we managed to sneak in a game of 40k before he headed back to his mom's post-March break.

The game was notable in that both of us took rather different forces than usual.  Cub went armour heavy, and unbound, with a Redeemer, Predator, and 3 (!) Dreadnaughts, whilst I moved away from my usual recipe of more boyz =   better by taking my Dakka Jet, my full suite of Deffkoptas, and a Battlewagon.

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Cub had himself a massive turn 1, with his Landraider scoring a penetrating hit on my Battlewagon (which subsequently managed to get itself stuck in difficult terrain), and an aggressive drive toward my forces.  His LR Redeemer is a bit of a nightmare for me, as it not only has ridiculously heavy armour, but is equipped with the perfect weapons to sweep orks off the table in droves.  To kill it, I need to get my power klaws into b2b contact, but that means exposing my boyz to flamey templates of doom.  It's always an issue, he knows it, and he's learned to use it effectively.

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That said, Warboss Binky and a power klaw are a solution to many problems, and via the power of the Waaagh, I was able to put an end to the Predator fairly quickly.  This set me up for a charge against the Landraider the following turn - if I could weather the firestorm.

In a bid to ease the path a little, I threw the PK -equipped Nob from the mob that had been in the (immobilized) Battlewagon against the Redeemer, but sadly, managed to do little more than scratch its paint.

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In the meantime, my Deffcoptas screened the approaching dreadnaughts - which proved fairly effective.  One Dread I've had little trouble dealing with, but a vanilla, Ironclad, and venerable, all marching towards me, proved  a tougher nut to crack.

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Turn 4 saw the arrival of my Dakkjet.  I love this model, got it for Christmas over a year ago, and have yet to play it, so this was a much-anticipate moment.  Also, something of a disappointment.  In a flurry of high-caliber shoota fire, the 'jet managed to force a total of 3 armour saves, and kill the grand total of 1 marine.  Warboss Binky got in his charge, but between he and the Nob tagalong, only managed a couple of hull points and a destroyed assault cannon.  The following turn would not be pretty.

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On the following turn, the Cub opened up with both his uber-flamers (gutting Binky's mob, and bringing the Warboss down to 1 wound) and his multi-melta, which left poor Binky as nothing more than a smoking boot on the table.

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The assault cannon on one of the Dreads took down my dakkjet, and things went downhill fast.  We called the game for time at the top of turn 5, with points tied, but I was down to the rump of a couple mobs, 4 dakka jets, and nothing that would be able to counter the mass of armour Cub brought to bear.  Even the cold comfort of a successful Sluggaboy mob charge (which wiped out his tac squad) wasn't going to do much to turn the tide.

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It was fun to get (and see) some new stuff on the table.  I was, honestly, disappointed in the Dakkajet.  While I can see some utility in it against other forces, against Marine armour it struggles.  Maybe I'll give the bomber version a try - and I've been itching to try the Forgeworld FightaBomma rules as well.

In other news, I've been picking away at the last base for my first unit of French 1/72 Napoleonics.  Saw a post over on RB and JtF the other day, and it fired me up a little.  I quite like the scale, the figs have improved marvelously since the old Airfix models, and it's got me reading the Black Powder rules again.

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I have enough figs on hand for a couple more units of French Infantry, and at least one of cavalry, plus officers.  I figure I'll work on these for a bit until it's time for another change.  There's no rush on this project, as playing BP will require a) more room than I have, and b) more opponents than I have, but I figure a judicious program of exposing the children to repeated viewings of Waterloo and Zulu may have the desired effect.

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I should have these fellows properly based in a few days, and will try to get a decent post out of it later in the week.  Until then, fare well.

FMB


Monday, March 13, 2017

Khorney


Hi all,

Having told the Cub recently that my AoS army was perfect for dads (it being rather Khorney), I felt obligated to do a little WiP post of the Khorne marked chaos warriors I've been picking at.

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I had some fun with these guys.  I picked up a bunch of space wolf heads on EBay, and a few extra axes, and managed a full unit of 16 guys with bare heads and axes all round.

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Kept the painting simple, with the same limited pallette as the rest of the army.

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Works pretty well, though, I think.  I'm eager to get these guys finished, and on the table - might be able to talk the Cub into a game to try them out.  In the meantime, there's 15 more to finish up.

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Enough to keep me busy, anyways.

FMB

Monday, February 13, 2017

Broken Silence

Hi all,

Been some time since my last post, mostly a mix of winter doldrums, painter's block, and a life that just seems to keep getting busier.  That said, the boy and I got in a Kill Team game yesterday ( our first game in AGES), and had ourselves a fine time.

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Note the new bridge on the right - thanks Secret Santa!


It was orks vs marines, with an objective based mission.  Cub ha first turn, but thanks to my (randomly determined) leader ability, I stole it ;)

I used the opportunity to push forward my deffcoptas, and seized the first objective.  Objectives in this scenario are "mysterious", ie., they have a randomly determined characteristic that's not determined until someone moves to control them.  In this case, the outcome was anti-climactic, as objective 1 turned out to be entirely mundane.

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On his turn, Cub moved up his marines, taking over the objective closest to his deployment - which, rather than a dud, turned out to be a bomb!  We'd be rolling at the end of each turn to see if it went of, something that let to a fair bit of hilarity as the game proceeded.

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On my turn, I took the third objective, which turned out to generate a mysterious cloaking field, and got a point for first blood, when one of my deffcoptas sniped a marine.  Adding insult to injury, one of my gretchin (unpainted, no less) took out one of Cub's marines.  That little guy is getting painted post haste ;)

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On his turn, Cub started to turn the tables, taking out a Deffcopta, bringing in an outflanking force, and cutting down the presumptuous grot in a hail of bolter fire.

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Thing now started to get hectic.  Both kill team had closed to close range / assault distance, and models were dropping all across the table.

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Marine armor began to turn the tide.  Cub did a good job focusing fire, and thinning out the ork swarm.  I lost my other Deffcopta, several orks, and most of my grots.  He seized the second objective, and by turn 6, had me below my break point, which meant I started to bleed models quickly.

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As it was, I squeezed out a win (3 points for 1 objective, leader kill, and first blood, vs Cub's 2 objective points), but things were very much going his way - had the game gone on another turn, he'd almost certainly have had it.

Cub had fun, and seems to like Kill team.  I might see if we can find some kind of capaign / team xp rules to use, as they're often fun.  A high point for me was getting the new bridge into the game - it was my present from Ian and Cath's Secret Santa this year, and is very much the business.

Hopefully this'll break the slump, and I'll be posting a little more frequently than once every 3 months ;)

FMB