Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lists of the Month (Savage Orcs)

For a new list, this month, i decided to go for something i've never played, with an army i just started, but am not planning on completing within the next 9-12 months. When Orcs cames out, i was simply in love with the models.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Further down the spiral... of completition. Ironguts Champion WIP #2

I just had to say it, sorry. So this was a pretty uneventful weekend, only managing 3 hours of painting and a small shopping spree to buy everything i needed to start my presentation tray. I should have a solid update this week, as soon as i get my hand on a styrofoam cutter. I'm excited to start it, and i have so many ideas in my head, i just dont know where to start with it.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ogre's Presentation Tray

With roughly a month to go before ND IV, i have to get going with my army, and get ready to present something decent. So today i started working on my presentation tray that i'll be using to showcase my army. It's basically an ice cave, like in Ogre Kingdom's fluff, that my army is using as shelter. It will be (hopefully) very dirty and very bloody.

To break from what everyone else do around here, they're gonna be presented at an angle, so it is a corner of the tray that will be the cavern's end. In front, all my monsters (because it doesnt really make much sense to put the monster in the back of the cave if you want to sleep/eat/brawl now, does it?), in the middle, my Ironguts deathstar, behind them a unit of 5 (or 6) Maneaters (Proxied as bulls for now). BSB and Firebelly will have their spot on each side, and my General/Slaughtermaster will be standing on top of a little bit of ice (presented here as a red can), looking over his tribe.

the can in the back will be a circus tent, stripe painted red and white. What is currently towel rolls will be ice walls, hopefully doing something that looks real enough. There will also be a giant icycle in the middle of the board, to break a bit from the "wall in the back, army in the front" look.

For now i'm considering a 24"x24" tray, which should be big enough to carry just about any Ogre's 2500 points list.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

To Greedy Fist or not To Greedy Fist

First, lets look at what the Greedy Fist is all about...

Q: If a Wizard is hit by a ranged attack from the bearer of the
Greedy Fist, does it lose a Wizard Level? (p62)
A: Yes.

So, for a good chunk of pts, you get a weak Wardsave, extra strenght, and the ability to stripe off wizard lvl with any spells or ability that does ranged dmg...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Ironguts Champion WIP #1

With my new airbrush, i had to start using new paint (Vallejo Air Color). So i had to change some of my recipe to fit with my new love affaire with Vallejo. First recipe i had to redo was the skin color. I built myself an Ironguts champion, using Mournfang's arms, weapon and heads, to try that new recipe on. First because i didnt want to commit my Mournfang's rider just yet, and second because i was tired of people asking me "ok, who's your champion?".

I'm pretty satisfied with the final look. I know its a bit rough, but i think i'll adjust the roughness as my experience goes on.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mournfang update #3

I had some time to work on the two units of mournfangs, and finished the skins, and i think the leather too. Still quite alot of work left, especially since i decided to go over each fur's bump to highlight it, taking roughly an hour each mournfang.

So what is left  ;
Saddle's Horns
Details (hoofs, teeth, skulls, etc)
Touch up (especially the underside, who i really missed quite a few spot with airbrushing)

Once that is done, it will be time to work on the riders. I'm pretty happy with the pants so far. Still a bit of touch up to do on them, but the result is pretty nice, and should work nicely with the rest of my army (yes, i'm still planning on repainting a whole army).

What is left ;
Metal bits (Helmet, Weapons/Ironfist, shoulderpads)
Skin (Got a test model under work to see how i'll do it)
Boots (leather + Metal)

Still need to decide if i want to go for the same gutplate as my old ogres, or maybe try some new color, still undecided.

Finally, a little update on my Firebelly, who got some love lately. I painted his mask the same purple that on my Rider's pants, and painted the same color on the isectoid face too, hoping to bring a little something between everything in my army (since he can't have striped pants)

Best and Worst army in Warhammer Fantasy.... really?

Sometimes, i really enjoy reading Battlereporter blog, and some survey gives good input on the world of Warhammer Fantasy. When i came across these results, i was puzzled.

Obviously, seeing the Ogres so far down kind of bother me, but i'd like to get a real look at all the choice there's in there.
Here's a rundown of the most powerful army in 8th eds.

% of all voters / army
46% High Elves
45% Skaven
40% Warriors of Chaos
32% Dark Elves
29% Chaos Daemons
28% The Empire
20% Lizardmen
20% Dwarfs
19% Vampire Counts
16% Orcs and Goblins
10% Ogre Kingdoms
9% Tomb Kings
7% Bretonnia
6% Wood Elves
4% Beastmen

#1 High Elves.

Ok, High Elves have some very good choice, like 4+ Wardsave infantry, and Great Eagle. But they do not really have much to deal with big monster beside magic. Teclis might play a role in that ranking, but when you take him out, its not much of a #1 to me. Maybe Low-mid Tier 2, at best.

#2 Skavens.

They definately deserve to be in tier 1. Very cheap tarpit, one of the best monster in the game (I'd actually rank it above the Hydra, TK's and Ogre's easily), and some magic to turn the game at any times in a game (dreaded 13th is scary, but alot more spells are also very scary).

#3 Warrior of Chaos.

Tzeentch Shield wearer, warshrine and the hellcannon definately make it a Tier 1 army. But its not all, Khorne Marauders with flails (or great weapon), Mage casting with a 6+ bonus, and overpowered (yes i said it) special caracters makes it a very tough army. It can be built in many interesting and well performing theme, but sadly the Chosen Death Star seems to be the only one people play. Another definite Tier 1.

#4 Dark Elves.

They are not necessary what they used to be, but still alot of solid choice in there. First, the Dagger and the Inverse Wardsave, two of the most powerful item left in the game (and that will most likely dissapear with their new army book, whenever that comes out). Second, Hydra, and pretty much their whole special choice, are very good. Witches are simply amazing to take down anything, their Cold One Knight are also very strong, if we forget about their stupidity and Black Guard are a very good elite troop that can eat through just about anything. I'd consider them Middle-Late Tier 1.

#5 Daemon.

Quite Frankly, its hard not to put them in Tier 1. Just like Warrior of Chaos, their got GREAT special character, most of their troop choice are also very strong. I didn't get the chance to play them much in 8th ed, so i can't really comment further.

#6 Empire.

With the 8th Ed, warmachine really got a major boost, and most Empire army seems to be about bringing the most warmachine possible every game. With that in mind, i'd place them Low Tier 1 - high Tier 2, since you can take down the rest of the army (well, except that Speculum carrier) relatively with ease.

#7 Lizardmen.

There's really just one build that really scares just about everyone, and its the amazingly-tweaked-caster Slann. It's hard not to place that single model in the most broken thing possible. +1 dice to cast, and redirect miscast? Oh, and loremaster? great.... The rest have some strenght (like T4 and relatively good armor all around), but nothing to put them in Tier 1. Mid Tier 2 at best..

#8 Dwarfs

Just like Empire, warmachine leads their army to victory, and just like empire, they seems to bring as many annoying warmachine as possible. With their low movement all around, i'd place them just behind Empire.

#9 Vampire Counts

Quite frankly, no clue where to place them with their new book. I think they'll be middle Tier 2, just like every other new army book.

#10 Orcs and Goblins.

Nothing really makes them powerful. Sure, the Savage Orcs Deathstar is nice, so is the "OMG, LOOK AT THOSE FANATICS!!!", but its all. A fun army to play with or against, but nothing as competitive as Tier 1, or even top Tier 2...

#11 Ogre Kingdoms.

11, really? We got boosted pretty much all around with the new book, and 8th edition is really nice to monstrous infantry. I personally think we are mid-top Tier 2, ahead of Lizardmen (when comparing with everything, except broken Slann). But the fact we're still very vulnerable to Initiative test and warmachines, I do not see how we could be ahead of Empire or Dwarfs. It's again all about what kind of army the opponent brings. If the empire goes infantry heavy without warmachine, it could be a walk in the park... if he brings 2 cannon, mortar and such, not so much.

#12 Tomb Kings

Probably one of the weakest book recently released. Sure there's a few interesting build that can tear through just about any army (like Death Mask Chariot Deathstar), but most strong build have great weakness. Since Tier 2 is getting packed with all the new army, they'd be bottom tier 2 - Top tier 3.

#13 Bretonnia

Sadly, the breton are probably one of the army who suffered the most in 8th ed. With just about every army being steadfast against their army, and the fact they are pretty weak once charge is over, they don't really have the punch required to bring themself ahead of anything except the weakest army.

#14 Wood Elves

The unloved wood elves, weakest of the elves. They still got a few tricks up their sleeves (like a folded tower with 10 story and 100 archers in it), but most tricks are either boring, or very boring. They are at the bottom, and #14 seems about right.

#15 Beastmen

beside the minotaur bus, nobody seems to be able to come up with a solid list for the beastmen. I never actually played with the army, so i can't say its 100% true, especially since i think there's still a few interesting build possible to make that army viable. But for this one i'm going with internet, and placing them #14, just ahead of the poor Wood elves.

My ranking ;

Warrior of Chaos
Daemon of Chaos
Dark Elves

Ogres Kingdoms.
Vampire Count
Orcs And Goblins

High Elves
Tomb Kings
Wood Elves

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

How-tos ; Magic

So today, we'll talk about Magic. No, not Magic the Gathering, so you can keep on bathing and taking showers. We'll talk about one of Warhammer Fantasy most important phase, the magic phase. You can have the best possible combo (for example, a Slann Mage-Priest with Focus Mystery, Focused Rumination, Soul of Stone and Becalming Cogitation), if you do not play your magic phase correctly, you may end up with a very crappy magic phase, and a 400+ pts caster doing nothing.

How many casters?

Some people like all their eggs in the same basket, some other like to spread the love around. I'm personally in the middle. A lvl4 and a lvl1(2) is usually my favourite combo, allowing two lore to be chosen and increasing your change to get a good spell for your matchup (in case you're not tailoring your list). The extra caster also gives you an extra chance at channelling, which should theorically bring 2 extra dice / games. A second caster would be the first time to be removed if i ever need pts, but otherwise, its always a good idea to bring an extra one. When it comes to choosing which lore for the lvl1(2) one, its usually a good idea to go for a lore with a good signature spell like Beast, Shadow or Heaven.

How to dispel and Magic Defense.

When thinking about magic phase, its not all about casting, its also about dispelling. If you do not manage your dispel dice correctly, you may end up with a Dreaded 13th, or an Infernal Gateway whiping half your army.

Obviously, there's no strategy that can guarantee you an easy dispel phase, and each army/lore have different parameters that can modify the result. For example, if you are playing against a Goblin army, you may have to consider dispelling worthless spell, just to avoid him stealing you a dispel dice, and weakening your magic defense.

First thing to know, is your ennemy, and which spell he has. You have to keep it in mind at all time, to make sure you do not let a powerful spell through expecting something else that will just never happen (because of range or LoS). Knowing what can be cast at all time is a great help in knowing what to dispel.

Second thing to consider, is what spell you can survive if it goes through, and which you can't. For example, if you ennemy is casting a buff on one of his unit, but the unit is not in combat and you have no plan to charge him next turn, it might be a good idea to let that spell through. Same goes for debuff. If you think it won't affect your overall plan, no reason to throw dispel dice at it.

Third, what is a game breaker and what isnt? a 2D6 S4 magic missile on your unit will hurt, but considering its on average 7 hits, and 5 wounds on T3, is it really that bad?

How to cast and managing Risk.

Each magic phase is different, each ennemy is different, and each army is different. So how to adjust your playstyle? With managing Risk. Most of the time, you'll have between 4 and 7 spells available, and roughly 7 power dice.

There's two way to approach this phase. 1st one is the obvious; throwing 6 dice at a spell that will obliterate one of your opponent unit, with the risk following that tactic, and the second, is to force your opponent to throw dispel dice. Except in very rare occasion, i'll never throw 6 dice. I even rarely throw more than 3 dice at a spell.

When it come to casting, a good rule of thumbs is to consider that each power dice should be a 3 or better. So if your lvl4 want to cast a spell with a 11 requirement (including your caster), use 3 dice. Your chance of success are roughly 90%, with only 7% of miscast. Going with 2 dice could work too, but its only 58% success, so its better used when you have a limited power pool, or not really anything worth risking a miscast.

Here's a table to keep in mind at all time ;

DiceMiscast7+8+9+ 10+ 11+ 12+ 13+ 14+ 15+ 16+ 17+
2 3% 58% 41% 27% 16% 8% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
3 8% 90% 83% 74% 62% 50% 37% 25% 17% 12% 8% 7%
4 13% 98% 97% 94% 90% 84% 76% 66% 55% 44% 35% 26%
5 19% 99% 99% 99% 98% 96% 94% 90% 84% 77% 69% 60%

What to cast and when.

Another very important part of your magic phase, is deciding which spell to cast first. If you go with your most important spell (like regen for Ogre, Mindrazor for Shadow, or Dweller Below for Life) first, your opponent will obviously try to dispel it with all his dice. If you decide to keep him for later, your opponent will most likely keep his dispel dice to dispel it. In both strategy, you should be able to cast one or two lesser spell without much problem. Going with smaller spell first might cause you to lose concentration on a bad roll, and just never manage to get your big spell off. Going the other way around risk you to either miscast or lose concentration.

My favourite approach (with my ogres) is to go for smaller spell first, trying to get as many through as possible. +1 Toughness, 2d6 magic missle, sometime a fear test, and then BAM! regen.

So there it is, how i approach each magic phase.

Lists of the Month (Ogre Kingdoms)

After seeing another blog looking for writers on 2 type of article (one being list of the week), i decided to start something similar. From now on, i'll gather from new Fantasy book, what i think is amongst the best (or the funniest) list possible. It's all about personal taste and playstyle, but i'll try to give some good insight on using those list to their maximum capability.

For this first article, i decided to go with something i'm very comfortable with ;

2500 pts of Ogre Kingdoms.

Lords  (15.4%)

lvl4 of Maw
Fencers Blade
Crown of Command
Dispel Scroll
Dragonbane Gem

Heroes (14.4%)

Heavy armor
Talisman of Preservation
Ironcurse Icon

Additional Hand Weapon
Hell Heart

Core (25.2%)

10 Ironguts
Standard Bearer
Look Out Gnoblar
Standard of Discipline

10 Gnoblar Trapper

10 Gnoblar Trapper

10 Gnoblar Trapper

Special (20.9%)

3 Mournfang Cavalry
Standard Bearer
Heavy Armor

3 Mournfang Cavalry
Standard Bearer
Heavy Armor

1 Sabertusk

1 Sabertusk

1 Sabertusk

Rare (23.6%)

1 Thundertusk

1 Ironblaster

1 Ironblaster

Far from a very straight forward list, this is based on one "deathstar" (That's what my loosing opponent likes to call it) containing all my character, 2 tarpit heavy cavalry, utility units, and roadblocks, lots of it.

The idea behind this is to always have your opponent place his most juicy target before you since you can place 6 units totalling a little over 200 pts before comitting to anything really worth it. Obviously, when doing so, you place them in a way where they'll still do their job, no matter where he deploy. So Sabertusk goes on each side and middle (staying 8" away from anything to avoid fear check if they get shot down). Gnoblar roughly in the middle, staying apart enough to leae rooms for big units, and avoid a clogfest later in the game.

Sabertusk should always be moved in a way to makes sure that your opponent have to charge them, and get out of position if he wants to move at all. Obviously, that's only viable if there's no warmachine easily reachable.

Gnoblar, are basically your easy ticket to a counter charge once your opponent decide  to go after your big units. Placing them roughly 10" in front of your deathstar will almost guarantee you to get an easy counter charge. If you can place them in a way that an overrun give you their flank, its even better. Trapper upgrade is just icing on the cake. It could be better to invest it elsewhere (like adding 2 Ironguts, and cutting somewhere else), or adding 3 extra units, but frankly, who wants to paint 60 gnoblars? And at some points, too many units could just bring trouble during movement.

The thundertusk is usually used around the deathstar, to provide CR with Thunderstomp and its 10 total attacks. Obviously, the ASL aura is also very good, which is why he's never far behind combat.

The Ironblaster are strickly used to kill big monsters, or opponent cannon. I rarely use them for anything else, since they are also very good in close combat. In a 6 turn games, they'll usually spend 2 turn shooting, and the rest charging/fighting.

So this is it, my 2500 pts list, that i've used with great success so far. I've beaten Dark Elfs, Empire, Breton, Tomb Kings, Lizardmen, Goblins and Skavens so far and i can't wait for the next challenge.

Monday, 9 January 2012

2 Ironblaster Part 1

Christmas been pretty eventful, with a new baby, and Star War The Old Republic release. One is a good excuse to lack time, the other isnt, i let you guess which  I still managed to get alot of airbrush done, to at least get all my model their base color done.

First thing, i have to say that an airbrush is simply the best thing to get to speed up painting. Even if you never consider getting advanced skills with it, its still a wonderful gadget to get paints done nicely, in a very short time. Like most of my Ogre army, i used my model as learning base to my airbrush, so there's alot of mistake, and alot of things i would have done differently. It's a learning process, and i think the Ogres models are the best one for that.

So first of, my Two Ironblaster.

So this is currently where i'm at.

The "fur-less" cannon is basically done, i might add some black to its end to show the soot. The other one still need highlight, and some further shades.

The Rhinoxes itself needs lots of works.First i need to highlight the hair, one by one. Then i need to do the gray/pink skin, the horn, and various details.

The big horn on each sides also needs lots of works ; first i want to shade each ribs on it (like the first one), then there's the straps to paint and the metal bits. The front metal plate are staying as their are, as i think its a very nice color for rusted metal. (used the same technic on the jaw above the cannon).

The part on the back, where the ogre will be standing, still needs all the metal and various detail done. I'm not 100% sure i'll keep the wood as is, as i think i might do some shade in the recess to give it a more, i dunno, old or worn look. The wheels are almost finished, all i have left to do is paint the chains on it.

As you can see, still ALOT of works left to do, but even if i decided, or was forced, to keep them like that, with a painted rider, this could easily pass as painted models.

Next up ; WIP Mournfang low riders.