Sunday, 29 November 2015

Kings of War Battle Report! AKA Minty pops his KoW Cherry!

I haven't been getting my fantasy wargame on lately mainly due to the storm of apathy that Age of Sigmar provoked in our gaming group. For a while I've been wanting to play Kings of War and last week Vinny expressed an interest. So as two experienced gamers a 2000 point demo game was the order of the day. We downloaded the free rules and it's another episode of Good vs Evil - This Time It's Personal! My Wood Elves vs Vinny's Undead.

We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Tactics!

Rather than bore people who read this about my non valid tactical thoughts on Kings of War, I just picked stuff that I wanted to use to see how the game works. With only the vaguest of ideas of how the game plays and what stats are more important than others I brought a force, not entirely dissimilar to my Warhammer 8th Edition army. So I brought Minty, a *Tree Herder, a mage armed with a Sabre Toothed Pussycat, Regiment of Kindred Archers, troop of Gladestalkers, 2 regiments of Stormwind Cavalry, Drakon Rider Horde, Hunters of the wild, and a Horde of Tallspears. As I mentioned before, my grasp of the game was shaky so learning what shit does would help with any future plans. Vinny's forces were Soulreaver Cavalry, Zombie regiment, Ghoul regiment, Zombie Trolls, a Necromancer, 3 regiments of Skeletons, a Vampire, some **Werewolves. Vinny also provided his rather splendid battleboards for our mutual enjoyment along with his themed scenery and also Pat came along to provide neutrality and some **fingers of fudge.

Initial Deployment

Vinny lost the roll for intial set up. I deployed rather haphazardly with cavalry and fast moving units to the flanks (bar one centrally placed Stormwind unit) with the general idea that rolling up flanks has some sort of tactical benefit. Vinny did something similar with his Werewolves and Soulblight cavalry out on the flanks either in an attempt to counter my rolling up flanks idea or in some twisted parody of my valiant Elf masterplan. Vinny then won the roll for first turn and elected to go second. After the customary handshake and good luck type salutation (along with a secret crossed fingers behind my back play) the game was on!

Elf deployment

Undead Deployment

Turn One

I advanced my units up fairly aggressively with the hope that Vinny would do the same and give me lots of easy charges next turn. As I had moved most of my army to within charge range next turn but not close enough to let Vinny charge me, my movement was fine except for a slight miscalculation (or just plain stupidity) where my archer regiment was about 1" out of shooting range. The Gladestalkers plinked a couple of damage off the skeletons nearest them and as I hadn't equipped my mage with any zap type spells my turn ended with little to show for it.

First Shot from ****TRIPODCAM©

End of Elf Turn 1

Second Shot from TRIPODCAM©

Vinny advances and decides my leaving the Stormwind an inch or two out of the Soulreaver charge range was a bit of a dickmove. Good naturedly of course. The forces of Undeath shuffle forward giving me plenty of choice for my next turn. The Balefire Catapult targeted my Stormwind unit that are dressed up as Wild Riders. The reason for this is probably because of several shitkickings Vinny's army has received from them. Luckily he missed. The Ghouls surge forward 3" and a lightning bolt damages the other Stormwind unit mildly.

Dick Move #1

End of Undead Turn 1

Minty surveys the battlefield

Turn Two

Movement Elf Turn 2
This turn I declared quite a few charges. Now this is where my lack of experience showed. Not really knowing how good/bad units were I declared the following Stormwind#1 into the Soulreavers, Minty into the Zombie Trolls and the Tree Herder into the Ghouls. In the centre of the table Stormwind#2 charged the Revenants and my Drakon Riders charged into the Werewolves in the woods over on my right. The only things I didn't move were my Tallspears and Archer units. Little is acheived in the shooting phase as the archers cause I think a total of two wounds and the Mage forgets how to heal his mates. Of all the combats only the Stormwind vs the Revenants causes a rout. The rest are reasonably successful but all get beaten back. most annoying was to prove to be the Drakon riders vs the Werewolves not playing fair by skulking in the woods. Only causing a measly 4 damage. I will come to regret that. 

My first mistake

The 1" shuffle back combat resolution looks a trifle unheroic 

Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield.
Vinny's turn is rather unpleasant for me, and at the same time rather weird. The Soul Reaver cavalry and Zombies charge the now not-so-cocky Stormwind, the Zombie trolls bowl into Minty, the Vampire lord charges into the other stormwind unit whilst the Werewolves counter charge the Drakon riders. The shooting phase sees the Necromancer Bane Chant the Zombie Trolls and the Balefire Catapult proves just how bad eyeless sockets are for targeting by missing again. In combat the Soul Reavers and Zombies cause a nasty 24 wounds on the stormwind but Vinny duly rolls a double 1 to rout them. A you didn't rout my cavalry dance was swiftly enacted then it was back to the carnage. The Werewolves showed the Soul reavers how to fight properly and routed the Drakon Riders. The Zombie trolls cause 9 damage on Minty scaring the bejasus out of him! The second Stormwind take 4 more damage but withstand the onslaught from Mr Vampire. At the end of the turn things look pretty evenly balanced.

My Stormwind Cavalry are not in their happy place.

Turn Three

It was now time to get stuck back in. Charges were Stormwind #1 into the Zombies that had just flanked them, Minty back into the Zombie Trolls, Tree Herder back into the Ghouls, Stormwind#2 into the Balefire Catapult and the Hunters of the Wild into the Wraiths. The rest of the movement consisted of the Tallspears advancing towards the Werewolves and Wraiths with a mind to charge one or the other if the opportunitypresented itself and to keep my rather rubbish mage out of the way. My melee phase was pretty cool.Stormwind#1 routed the Zombies, rather than move away from the Soul Reavers and give them the chance to advance towards my other units I shuffle back so if they did charge them (a forgone conclusion I thought) any movement would get them further from the main action. Minty caused a respectable 7 damage on the Zombie Trolls but I then failed to rout them! This would be uncomfortable next turn. both the Tree Herder and Stormwind#2 routed their opponents whereas the Hunters just bounced off the Wraiths (I didn't know how tough they were).

End of Elven turn 3

Zombie Trolls seem to be tricky opponents.
Vinny starts his move by charging Stormwind#1, Minty, and the Hunters with Soul Reavers, Zombie Trolls and Wraiths respectively. He then moved his werewolves into the position in the picture below using Nimble, annoying. He Bane Chants all over the Zombie Trolls and then Vampy zaps the Stormwind#2 unit for 2 damage. Melee is pretty eventful as Minty is routed, and the Hunters waver.

Dick Move #2
The Soul Reavers then inflict another 4 damage on the Stormwind#1 and in the subsequent Nerve test rolls the dice pictured below! Snake Eyes two turns in a row! Surely these guys are living a charmed life? If I thought my you didn't rout my cavalry dance was enjoyable, Vinny's I didn't rout your cavalry two turns in a row dance was even better!

24 damage points is meaningless when you roll like this!

Turn Four

As the Stormwind were now living on borrowed time (an unkind word would probably rout them) I thought I'd try to get my money's worth out of them by charging the Zombie Trolls. My Tree Herder charges the skeleton spearmen and the Stormwind#2 go for Mr Vampire. Tallspears, and both Archer units turn to face the Werewolves shooting a couple of wounds from them. The mage heals the damage on the Hunters. in the melees the Zombie Trolls are routed and the Stormwind advance 6" towards the Necromancer. The Tree Herder inflicts not enough damage to rout the Skeletons and Stormwind#2 fail to kill the Vampire lord.

Operation: Stormwind Cavalry hide from the Soulreaver Cavalry

Finally got rid of the Zombie Trolls
As with most good wargames units were getting a bit thin on the ground. Vinny got some double charges off - the Vampire and Skeletons into the Stormwind#2, Wraiths and another Skeleton unit into the Hunters. Also the Skeleton Spears charged into the Tree Herder. I was surprised to see the Necromancer not move out of the Stormwind#1 front arc but like I said before very little was going to rout them so I had an inkling of what was coming. The Werewolves scooted around the back of the Tallspears into within spitting distance of my archers. The Necromancer fails to damage my Stormwind#1 with his arcane jiggery pokery and is now in very real danger of death by horse. The melees go as I expect with the skeleton Spears bouncing off the Tree Herder and both my Stormwind#2 and Hunters unit taking an early bath.
Hunters of the Wild get a kicking!

End of Undead movement

Turn Five

Time was getting on so it was shit or bust time. Stormwind #1 charged the Necromancer, Tree Herder into the Skeleton Spears and both units of archers into the Werewolves. My mage who had spent the last four turns doing next to nothing set his cat on the Wraiths. Some rather wicked rolling on my part sent them packing back into whatever graveyard they came from with their incorporeal tails between their legs. Melee phase caused the redemise of the Skeleton Spears and the Necromancer. My archer units sort of bounced off the Werewolves. 

The Wraiths are destroyed by a playful kitty!

In KoW archers charging Werewolves is an actual thing.

The werewolves charged my Gladestalkers and the Vampire Lord charged the Stormwind #1. Inevitably the Stormwind finally succumbed to the severe beating they have received from turn 2 and finally routed - not bad for a unit on 28 damage! The Gladestalkers withstood the Werewolf charge and we called the game due to it being late and we both had work in the morning. So after some totaling up the game turned out to be a draw, a hugely enjoyable, eventful draw that really got me enthused about Fantasy Wargaming again!

Werewolves charging archers is more common.

The inevitable Vampire/Stormwind Cavalry on 24 damage combat.


Well apart from the inactivity during my opponents turn, I really enjoyed my first Kings of War game. I think both Vinny & Pat were similarly impressed. The game is quick and easy to play with, I suspect lots of tactical aspects as well. From the point of the game, I think my biggest mistake was not double teaming the Soul Reaver with the Dragon and Stormwind#1. Had I done that instead of going for the Zombie Trolls who were effectively blocked in by the Ghouls I could have got rid of them turn 2. Although my unbelievable luck with the Stormwind got me a draw when a victory to Vinny would have been a fairer result. In the future a Bane Chant equipped mage would make my archers not so rubbish and could've swung the combat with the Hunters and the Wraiths. I'm sure knowing the stats of my opponents units would have helped with decision making. But then that's the fun of learning an entirely new game system. So my next KoW action is to start planning my Forces of Nature army.

Thanks for reading.

*    I didn't think Treeman was GW's I.P. but just in case it is, Tree Herder it is.
**  Masquerading a Varghulfs.
***Not, in any way the Slaanesh type.
****I bought a tripod.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Are Forge World Offering A Reach Around?

This notice is currently doing it's nut around the internets today. It seems like some top notch troll work to me but if it is true there could be some new ultra cool new models for some of my favourite games! The bit about "dreams and rainbows" suggests GW is looking to get in on the My Little Pony/Care Bears Christmas present market but if they bring out a decent King Redwart model and some new preciouses for me I'm happy. Some people are I'm sure coughing whilst making the "Cash In!" exclamation, but who knows? Bullshit or Happy Times? The gradual incremental advances of minutes will tell.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Lookin' For Adventure

Another WIP post this! My hobbying has taken a rather 40Kish turn this last couple of weeks, mainly in the form of Necromunda and it's motorised form Gorkamorka. For those out of the know, Necromunda was a gang warfare in the cramped spaces of an Imperial Hive World whereas Gorkamorka was a Mad Maxesque Orks driving around fighting each other in trukks (patent pending probably) and also devolved humans and mutie raiders. I bought Gorkamorka, assembled the vehicles (ish) played a game then went on to the next flavour of the month. Then I found the rules for Necromunda in the Ash Wastes and started collecting my young son's vehicles whenever they got broken before recycling took it's toll. I think the main reason Gorkamorka (henceforth GM) died on it's arse for me was the lack of variety, Orks, Orks, Grots, Humans and Muties. That was the factions available and two were the same anyway. The game itself was a blast but I just couldn't get invested in it. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when I saw Mad Max: Fury Road and ready to invest the shit out of a Post Apocalyptic cars running over pedestrians and each other type game.

Fury Roaders

Here are the fruits of my labours. This is pretty much what happens when you watch Mad Max and have lots of toy cars lying about the place and the will and conviction to use a Dremel.

Cheapo Tow Truck

Immediatley below you will find the remains of one of my sons toy trucks that had a serious RTA that resulted in the semi destruction of the cab and presumably the horrible death of it's imaginary driver. I kept the frame and made a new open topped crew compartment for spacious comfort out of some bits of plastic I found lying around. A plastic sprue frame to connect fore and aft, and a big ram at the front, should complete this model and I think it will be the flag ship of my wheeled fleet.

Motorised Murder Machine

The interior of a Motorised Murder Machine

Poncherello and Tubbs

One of my Wartrakks is crewed by a member of C.Hi.P.s and a fat Goliath. Basically two decapitated Orks given some humanity. I also had a blob of green stuff that I moulded into a skull for the front of the bikey bit (stop me if I'm getting too technical).

Fat Goliath & Poncherello

Odin on a Trike

I still have a couple of plastic dwearf heads that I don't have much use for so I decided to house it on another mutilated Ork.

Hells Angle #2 Wartrakk

There's No 'Arm In It

One of my trukks has the torso of a previously chopped up Citadel centaur and a MaxMini Ash Junker head on the other occupant. The centaur has one of those bizarre punk hairdo's that were so popular in 1980's Chaos Warriors circles that to be unspiked, was akin to following the Gods of Law! The aforementioned centaur also had his arm removed (I'm sure it was a good idea at the time) so I intend to attache some wire to a side mounted machine gun to give the impression of a servitor type guy(with punk hairdo).

One Armed Eli & Hydraulic Addict
My other dynamic duo are a human or elf head on the gunner and another Maxmini Ash Junker head as the pilot. Due to the Orkish heads being sunken within the chests of these models some cosmetic surgery around the bosom area is necessary. Straps and chest plates mainly.
Arnie & Pinhead
Below is some inspiration from forge world, some rather expensive vehicles that I'd like but won't ever buy*.
Forge Word's Grot  Mega Tank
Elysian Tauros Venator
Tauros Assault Vehicle

Hairy Ole Jeb & His Spinejuice Moonshiners

As part of my miniatures back story I came up with the smatterings of a world for them to inhabit. My idea is on the as yet undisclosed planet of deserts (not desserts - although I'd like that) there is a contraband substance called Spinejuice. This is a potent narcotic derived from the lumbar fluid of rare individuals on this planet. A tap is fitted to the unfortunate creatures spine which is connected to mini stills attached to the back. These mobile drug refineries are extremely valuable and need to be guarded closely so another criminal gang can't kidnap or kill the unfortunate mutant. So that is the idea behind Hairy Ole Jeb and the converted Skaven that are part of his entourage.

The pictures were taken with my new favourite thing at the moment which is my Samsung Tablet thing, partly because I suspect I will be blogging with it and partly because my proper camera is fupped.

Slave Train

The first two pictures are of my bastardised Warpfire Throwers who will shortly have the dubious honours of being pack slaves in Necromunda games, Spinejuice distilleries in other post apocalyptic games plus human depth charges in other games. Basically, when you have a model bent almost double because of the weight of the baggage being carried, their lives will often be unpleasant. I don't make the rules, I just sometimes go by them.

Two Worthless Members of 41st Millennium society

Another Two
The two models pictured below are where the pack slaves should aspire to. If they work hard, don't make waves within whatever evil organisation they are in, then they too, can be issued guns and shoot good guys whilst at the same time keep other slaves firmly crushed under their metaphorical jackboots.

Two Thugs
Hairy Ole Jeb (AKA nearly Naked Jeb) is either the mastermind of the evil Spincejuice Empire are just a low level cog within it, time and investigative reporting will tell.

Hairy Ole Jeb (or nearly naked Jeb)
The big bad mutie below is another of my long term conversions that is reaching the end of the tunnel of painted stardom. I really like this model, with his puny small right hand and his oversized chain wrapped left, he is just what any good mutant should be - odd.

A big bad mutant
Bessie the sump mule is coming along nicely two heads a demons tail and some baggage. Bessie first gained fame in Slag Valley Bullet #2. I say fame, what would be more accurate is a line in a largely unread Necromunda blog. It is my hope though, that via this blog and the SVB she will become the most famous sump mule of all time!

Bessie the Sump Mule

Other Ideas

I spent a sleepless night** last night thinking of other developments in my post apoc gaming and I got to thinking that my 3 Lizardmen Stegadons would make ideal riding beasts for less technologically advanced barbarians so some modular howdah construction abetted by liberal magnetising will allow me to use one stone to kill two Ptera Squirrels in one go. And with that rather obscure Rogue Trader metaphor I will bid ye all farewell.

Thanks for reading, and until next time stay frosty!

*Unless those six numbers come up.
**Not because of the Stegadons, more-so because I was having a sleepless night and the Stegadons ended up contributing to it.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Slag Valley Bullett, Necromunda Journalism.

The Invention of The Printing Press

I have a dirty little secret. Well, not really a secret just a less frequented blog really. My other blog is a pseudo newspaper based on the goings on in a settlement called Slag Valley in Hive Primus on the Imperial planet of Necromunda. The paper's name is The Slag Valley Bullett (formerly Star). It began over 20 years ago when Necromunda first came out and a good buddy of mine called Dave was the editor (Dave was the only person I knew who had a pc that had publishing capabilites). The first issue looked like this:

It described some of the events in our Necromunda campaign that had us battling regularly for dominance around Slag Valley, Fornication Gulch and the outlying settlements. Sadly only two issues were made but I kept hard copies of them and hoped one day I would have the means to resurrect the publication. The relative cheapness of scanners meant all I needed was a outlet to get it seen. Fast forward about 15 years and I have a pc, a printer, an account on Blogger and some spare time. The result was this:

The Modern Era

 This issue reported on a Necromunda game, a 40K skirmish and my attempts to model underhive creepy crawlies to chew up the unfortunate gangers that inhabit the underhive. Microsoft Works allowed me to make a good stab at proper newsletter and writing the thing is a bit of a laugh too. I found that the paper gave me ideas for things to (hopefully) occur within the game and eyewitnesses gave me inspiration for modelling projects and terrain pieces. Then within the last two years I actually started gaming on a fortnightly basis. This was mainly Warhammer with a few other specialist games. A Necromunda campaign was started but didn't last overly long as the new Wood Elf book came out. Meanwhile another issue was published:

This described the campaign as it was going on and had some amusing anecdotes. A change of pc meant Microsoft Office (I think I prefer Works) and another format change. Games were played, and articles created. One of my favourite parts was the character of my gang leader - Headcrusher of The Sons Of Slagarchy - he was always there to give a quote to any reporter willing to listen. Through him, insults could be given without affecting the facade of impartiality that my publication has. A couple of proffesional underhive eyewitnesses are being created at the moment - Gubble Hantz - prospector, Purgative Jessop - delivery man as well as Jessop's sump mule - Bessie. Also, other characters to give accounts such diverse inhabitants as Ole Hairy Jeb - crazed retired miner, Legless O' Shockaknossey - semi crippled security guard and Madame Fung - entrepreneur and masseuse.


Lately we've played a few games of Infinity (excellent game) and Bloodbowl (also excellent). Incorporating both into the Bullett was easy enough - as Infinity is a special ops type game, I referred to the goings on as industrial espionage uphive - and Bloodbowl just went in there reported upon by Dag Uterous  newly created sports editor. For the fluff purists, what I have done is heresy, but then there is an awful lot of it about in the 41st millennium!

Issue #7

The Staff

I'm also having fun naming my reporters. Aurelis Charga, Cuckold Stranglethorpe IV, Polac Greis : business editor, Dag Uterous; Sports Editor, Bespoke Kitchens, Pastor Pyranium Devout, Ricco Chunk, Ludley StangeCrippet Toe, Chagg Munsk, Skotk Jagerbloom, and Spatch Puberty are all contributing to the Bullett. I seem to have enough reporters now that I can send them out as a gang in their own right! I'm planning to make models for some of (if not all) these journalists to make objectives/hostages for future games.  

It's a bumper 2 page pamphlet!

For The Future

I've started getting into Inquisimunda (a Necromunda skirmish type game that represents small groups of Inquisitors, their retinues, bad guys and dice rolling. This will definitely mean more underhive  shenanigans but at the same time not totally on the planet of Necromunda. I also have a hankering to play 40K once more and more often than not, large battles don't sit well, fluffwise in Hive Primus. So I came up with a solution. As mentioned is issue #7 The Bullett is being syndicated by media moghul Gholam Jhites which means the Slag Valley Bullett may be absorbed into a new publication - The Imperial Chronicle - a galaxy wide journal of the events that shape the Imperium! This enables the reporting of information from every corner of the galaxy! So if I fancy doing an issue of Rjinn's World Agricultural Journal I can, or if the Catachan Botanical Monthly have a few interesting articles they will get some publicity too. So for all you bloggers out there why not try some real life (not real life) journalism to enhance your gaming experience?

Thanks for reading, and until next time stay frosty!