Archive for the ‘Tournaments’ Category

After High Command a small group gathered for a game of Survive: Escape from Atlantis.

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This was good fun with some good opportunity to indulge in a spot of back stabbing.
Following this was Curry and bed.

The next day was High Command tournament day as already described in part 1 (you see – hazy already!) and a bit of chilling out in the room to catch up on some real world work.

Early evening I played my one and only game of Warmahordes against a very affable chap called Andrew Walters (shouts out if you ever find this Andrew). I had bought a few models off Andrew so it seemed like a good idea to have a game too. I played Gunny and Andrew played eHoarluk. I have to say I was totally taken by surprise by the speed of the eHoarluk list and the game was a bit of a walk over. Oh well…. you live and learn and it was good to play a game and see a different Troll list in action.

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In the evening we played a couple more board games. Sheriff of Nottingham and Galaxy Trucker.

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Both good games, but of the two Galaxy Trucker caught my imagination more. Probably the scientist in me pulled me in. I’ve since acquired the app for my Smart Phone and it’s great gaming concept in a fun and simpleish system.

I’ve been suffering from a heavy bout of real-life-litis recently so no gaming to speak of right now. However, I’m making the effort to post this before I forget.
SMOGCON 2016 was sadly spoiled for me as I had a lot on my mind 😦 Nonetheless it was nice to get away for a bit and play a few games in good company as well as the destroyer of peaceful sleep seen below 😉
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The action started with a few games of High Command.

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I quite enjoyed this and it is a simple game if a little slow. I played Trolls, won a tournament game, tweaked my deck a bit and met a handful of pleasant chaps so it was time well spent. For the record, and it’s already a bit hazy, the deck seemed to work when using cards that stopped others rushing into territories. The two cards in question were the Troll Sorcerer and Mulg.  In addition I found Sons of Bragg and the Fellcaller to be effective in reducing resource costs to get my guys into the fray. The deck I have made hinges on these cards although the two games I lost I found it was down to VPs in the final count. My last action therefore was to top up my deck with more cards that had VPs assigned to them.

My painting has been nonexistant recently. Very dissappointing and looking unlikely I will have any decent entries to the P3 competition this year.
However, I did manage a 50pt game this evening with Gunny and the Mountain King. Across the table Skorne and a shed load of elite infantry.

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In the first turn the forces closed on each other exchanging a few opening shops. By turn two heavier blows were begining to land. The Mountain King and Pygs got stuck into Skorne elites causing a few casaulties. Using the Mountain King’s new found Assault ability I was even able to direct a couple of sprays at the enemy Warlock.

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Sadly the Mountain King was smashed by Tiberion in the 3rd turn and things were begining to look a bit desperate for the Trolls. However a the Skorne Warlock was exposed and Gunny and the plucky Trolls set about raining shots on him. The Pygs and Highway Men enjoyed the most success and the two Death Star shots from the Highway Men took him to within a box if his life.
Looking at the table and the clock we decided it has been a good game and called it an honorable draw. The Mountain King was a little more effective with Assault but as fragile as ever to the enemy big hitters. Nonetheless I enjoyed using him and I hope he will get more table time now that he is a little better.

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Second game with Gunny against Legion again but this time eVayl. Same list as the last game but this time Highwaymen instead of Scattergunners and I put my tier two trenches down.

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The Legion list was small and elite including an Angelius, Zuriel, Typhon, 2 x Forsaken and 2 x Deathstalker. Looking at eVayl’s spell list this was going to be a very maneuverable force with lots of stealth and possible assassination threats. I decided to go with the usual strategy of rushing the burrowers forward to tie-up the centre ground and then look to punch a hole for the heavies and Gunny to assassinate at range.
First round went as planned but the Legion redirected making it harder for the Burrowers to get a substantial number of attacks on one beast.

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The Highywaymen ‘water-falled’ on the Angelius but only managed a couple of points of damage. The Burrowers also failed to make an impact on Typhon and Zuriel. To be fair my dice were poor but this meant I had lost the initiative.
The Legion beasts ripped into my Infantry causing heavy casaulties leaving me in trouble for the scenario  and opening up the table for the Legion to attack my Battlegroup.
In my next turn I took two (somewhat diminished) death star shots from my Highwaymen which in hind-sight would have been a better option in the previous turn. I also had a go using the battlegroup to drop some templates near eVayl using Dozer’s Bank Shot to gain more control over the scatter. This tactic clearly has merit and I can see it being very good in the right circumstance. I do need to plan the activation order carefully to make the most of it and remember all the buffs and synergies.
From here in the Legion played a game of hit and run and Gunny failed to get any traction in inflicting serious damage. In fact it was looking like I would fail to kill a single model so I turned Gunny on a Deathstalker to avoid this embarrassment only to allow Typhon to rear-end him into oblivion.

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Another good learning experience. Although I didn’t do well I was faster and used more of the aspects of the Gunny list that should make it a good one. I need to make some trench templates – although they had little effect in this game I can see them being useful in others. I also made the mistake of putting my objective in one trench meaning there was less space for models – must remember not to do that next time.

Highwaymen in progress. Took a while to construct these guys. I was a little disappointed with the variation across the models. There are basically 4 sculpts: 3 x 3 and the leader. Nonetheless the sculpts are good for plastics with a good amount of well defined detail. There were a few mold lines to clear up and gaps to fill but nothing too horrendous. I’ve taken the trouble to do it properly for these guys as too often I’m a bit lazy about this.
First step is scraping or cutting the worst away with a scalpel. I’ve then taken to using a bit of wet and dry wire wool to achieve a smooth finish. After this my usual black primer with an azimuthal white. Note the darker undercuts in pics 2 and 3. This picks out any remain imperfections that need attention. In pic 4 an awful mold line was discovered and needed some quite aggressive tidying up to get to the siultuation in pic 5. Once these are gone another light dusting of white finished them off.

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First practice game was a 35pt affair vs  eAbby. This was going to be a refamiliarisation exercise rather than a competitive game, so I took Gunny and what is pretty much my old sub-par list with Dygmies + Fellcaller, Scattergunners + UA, Bomber and Impaler. I used to take two Bombers, but as I have a semi-painted and built Dozer and Smigg they made the list instead. It was probably a tier 2 list with minor benefits I didn’t take, but I’m not too worried about that at this stage. The eventual plan is to upgrade to 50 via max Highwaymen and a Blitzer but I’m keeping it small and familiar to begin with. The Scattergunners should probably go too, possibly replaced by a War Wagon or 2nd Blitzer, I may even try the Mountain King with Gunny ….. but I digress.

eAbby was accompanied by a Carnivean, Scythean, Raek, Shredder, Swordsmen, 2 x Shepard and 2 x Deathwatcher. I’ve played these models before and always found them troublesome, especially the heavy beasts. However we rolled a scenario that favoured a backfield shooty Warlock which at least meant I didn’t need to worry about this aspect. I got first turn and deployed as seen below.

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I’ve learnt that it is best to have a rough strategy rather than just ‘going for it’ and improvising. With this list there are basically three waves of attack. The Dygmies go in first with the intention of occuyping the middle ground early and posing a fairly credible threat to anything centre board turn 2. If they can hang in there for a turn or two the Scattergunners can get in and start spraying without fear of hurting the Pygs via their UA. It is likely they will get get tied up too turn 3. However, by now Gunny and the Heavies should be in a good position to start laying down the big blast templates and with the help of Gunnies feat they should enjoy protection from blast damage in turn 3 or 4. Finally, all being well, it should be possible for Gunny and his Heavies to find the gap needed in the mid to late game to knock out the opponent’s warlock.

The game itself roughly followed this plan but could have gone either way. The burrowing Pygs failed miserably to made any headway in attacking the Legion heavies but I did at least learn a new trick of giving them Snipe via Gunny to give them the range needed to attempt this. Thankfully they did do a reasonable job of jamming the centre ground allowing the Scattergunners and Fellcaller to get some reasonable sprays in.

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At this stage Abby popped feat and the Legion beasts gained Flight. The Carnivean came down one flank and the Scythean straight at my Battlegroup putting Dozer and Smigg down to a single box. This was now the Trolls moment to try and punch a hole through to Abby and assassinate her. Gunny managed to knock her down with Critical Devastation, although she was carrying enough transfers to probably keep her safe. Nonetheless the remaining Scattergunners and Pygs did their best to finish her and a cheeky Arcing Fire shot from Dozer and Smigg put some hurt on her. The Bomber bravely stepped away from the Scythean, riding out the free-strike, but even his two boosted bombs were not quite enough.

Unfortunately I had left Gunny dangerously close to the Scythean and I must say I thought this meant game over. Somehow Gunny survived the onslaught giving him another bite at the cherry with the heavily wounded Abby crouched in a wood. The Trolls firstly attacked Abby’s beasts that were transfer targets successfully removing the Raek but leaving a badly injured Shredder.

Gunny just needed to escape the Scythean…..
Earlier in the game we had been disussing how the Bomber might do this and realised a friendly Push power attack would do exactly this and stop free-strikes to boot. The Impaler circled behind Gunnbjorn and did the deed freeing him up to have a go at Abby. I’m pleased to say he had a superb hit roll followed by a decent damage roll and Abby was a goner.

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Dead chuffed to win, especially against arguably the best Warmahordes player presently at my club. Having said that we did do a lot of mutual coaching and the 35pt game took a good three hours to get through. Clearly there is no way the games at SMOGCON are going to be like this so regular practice including timed turns will be essential. I’m not looking to achieve a placing at SMOGCON but I would like to be a credible opponent.

So, main three learning points:

1) Dozer and Smigg are very nice. The Arcing fire is a nice addition to the Gunnbjorn assassination gunline tactic.
2) Don’t forget the option to push a model out of melee: friendly model or foe!
3) Snipe works on units as well as beasts. This is potentially good with Pygs and will be even better with Highwaymen.

Lets hope its onwards and upwards for Gunny and co. from here! 🙂

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I checked the SMOGCON website yesterday and it told me there were 54 days to go. While I am quite excited about attending what is currently the only tournament I make the committment for, I am hopelessly underprepared. I’ve barely played Warmahordes since the last SMOGCON and my plans to up my painting have come to nothing – in fact my painting standard has dipped since last year.
Although I’ve left this late there is still time to get myself in reasonable shape. I’ve decided to set myself three targets following on from the experience last year:

1)  Enter a Warmahordes tournament which will require rehearshing three lists.

2) Learn High Command and play a couple of tournaments in this lower key system.

3) Prepare a couple of entries for the P3 competition but avoid making this the focus of the weekend.

Thinking about the fairly tight time scale and my limited preparation time, I’ve decided to go back to familiar territory and concentrate on Trolls. Reading Battle College and the PP forums the Troll meta has evolved since I last studied them. Particularly noteworthy is the improvement in choices for Gunnbjorn via Dozer and Smigg and Highwaymen, the minor buff the Mountain King recieved and finally Calandra’s Elemental list which seems to be favourite. I’m also quite interested in doing a Runeshaper list with Doomshaper but I’m far more familiar with Grim who I’ve enjoyed playing. Gunnbjorn will of course be my number one and I will consider which two of the other three I use nearer the time. I’ll paint the new models I need for these lists and if any look promising they will become my  P3 entries. Of course it goes without saying I’ll be using Trolls in High Command too, and just for a giggle I’ll use the same three Warlocks in this system too. 🙂

Without further ado I dug out Gunnbjorn for a 35 point this evening…….

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We departed SMOGCON about 4ish on the last day. Overall I had a good weekend and I will probably be back again in 2016. The most positive aspects for me were the PP lectures, the higher profile P3 painting competition and simply getting away for three days in good company. On the downside I missed the non PP systems, was annoyed with some aspects of the painting competition and didn’t play as many games as I should have done. The latter grumble is entirely my fault and I intend to practise more thoroughly for next year and get stuck into a tournament or two.

The painting competition is something I’ve given a fair amount of thought to and I’ve listened carefully to feedback. Mark felt the entries lacked high level techniques like NMM and freehand. His winning Terminus had these aspects so these are techniques I will practise for next year. My freehand is shocking so Ken suggested buying some ‘how to draw fantasy books’ and I’ve since done exactly that. I’ll post some pics of any work I manage to get round to doing. I’m also going to try exchanging some WIP with Mark over the coming months to see if I can raise the bar on my work – hope you’re still up for that if you’re out there dude!

I  had a chance to get some feedback from Ron Kruzie the PP Studio Director. Ron felt some aspects of my models were underpainted, for example straps and belts. Personally I like that style to draw attention to the more striking features of the model, but I had this feedback last year too so clearly it is an issue, at least in painting competitions. Ron also said that some of my zenithal lighting was not quite right. He suggested picking a direction the light comes from and thinking very carefully about how that would  illuminate the figure. Finally, he felt in some places another highlight would benefit my models. In addition i picked up from Ron that Windsor and Newton Series 7 brushes are his first choice (I’ve ordered some to try alongside my Rafaels) that attention to detail in telling a story is essential in a diorama, and that he uses a lot of two brush blending with saliva to do the PP in-house style. I’ll need to find out more about this.



Lots to think about. I’m feeling quite enthused to take this learning forward ….. Just need to find the time!

The final day of SMOGCON was perhaps the most important to me due to the judging of the inaugural P3 UK competition. I had been keeping an eye on the cabinet over the weekend and there was some nice stuff in it but nothing really spectacular. I thought I might have a chance so I entered all of the categories including the Diorama category that was the leanest. On the final morning I put a few finishing touches to my models and took them down to the cabinet. I was a bit surprised to find they were starting to judge the entries even though there were 30minutes to the deadline! Nonetheless I got my stuff in, and knowing Mark had still not put his stuff in, warned the team manning the cabinet there might be others to come. Sure enough Mark turned up pretty much on the deadline and pulled the model he had been working on all weekend out his bag. It looked ok but he then pulled out a Terminus model that he had previously done that looked fantastic. For a moment I selfishly hoped he wouldn’t enter it, but had he not the whole weekend might have been a washout for him, so I was pleased he got it entered in the nick of time. It went straight to the judging table and the model immediately made an impact. Talk about cutting it fine!

I have to say I was surprised the team were making a bit of a mess of the deadline and even more surprised the judging was being done in the dingy corner of a room under poor artificial light. While I’m having moan I will also say that the entry pack had promised numerous medals that didn’t seem to appear and the diorama category seems to have been ignored entirely which is pretty bad form. On the plus side the prize money for the winners was far in excess of anything I had seen at events before. Finally, my best entry, Extreme Ghetorix was dropped and broken during the judging which didn’t down too well! To be fair the organisers were very apologetic and I did receive a fistful of vouchers to spend in the venue shop which did make up for the repair work that will be needed.

The results: As I was walking back from the shop with a bag full of new Troll and Khador stuff, I noticed people were gathering for the announcement of the winners. As the list was read out  I will admit to being disappointed I had not won anything this year, not even a medal! However, I was delighted to hear that Mark’s Terminus took the best Warrior model category and went on to win best in show. Well done that man, and for a model that he was not even going to enter! I dashed off to deliver the good news, and being the humble chap he is, Mark initially didn’t believe me. 

So, the painting competition was a bit of a washout for me, but there are important lessons for me to learn. I did manage to get 15 minutes of feedback from Rob the PP studio director which was invaluable. I’ve put a few pics below of my stuff and Mark’s winning Terminus. I’ll be commenting on what I picked up in a later post.



Late in the afternoon of the second day I grabbed a game against a Skorne player. The chap was a nice guy from Norway and he was playing a Xerxes list with heavy infantry spam. It’s a type of list I have seen before but he had taken two units of Incendari.

There was a forest near the centre of the board so I decided to go with Grim Angus. We closed on each other in the initial exchanges and it look fairly even.



Unfortunately I made a big mistake not using Grim’s fear to stop charges and with the Skorne heavy infantry I the centre of the table sporting weapon master I lost the Mountain King and Bomber very quickly. Another loss but it was good to play a pleasant over-seas opponent. 

In the evening we went for a curry (and a damn good one too!). Before coming back to hear all about the new Gargantuan’s release. There was a really good atmosphere in the room as the PP guys introduced the video. The new Gargantuans were much better than the new Colossals. The Desert Hydra in particular caught the imagination of the audience and it looks like a really exciting new addition for the Skorne.