Friday, 16 December 2011

Secret Santa's (The best thing about Christmas)

Hi everyone,

so here we are again, the final couple of days of 2011. I personally love this time of year. I prefer cold weather over warm, I love Christmas foods, getting to spend time with my family and friends, the pleasant feeling of dozing off in-front of a terrible Christmas movie after over eating. But one of the reason's I really love this time of year (and I'm not ashamed to sound greedy!) is the presents. Funnily enough it's not the presents themselves I love; it's the opening of the presents that I really enjoy. It's the same when I open a new boxed game or blister pack. A sense of excitement of the unknown, the expectation, the anticipation all mean's that it is one of my favourite things. I suppose in a way it's a really childhood feeling.   

So when I received a box in the post this week from an unknown address, which I was not expecting I was quite excited. I had an inkling of what it was but that didn't diminish the anticipation. When I did open it I found a beautifully painted miniature from an unknown person. Most years I join up to a secret Santa on librarium-online and I've never been anything but delighted with how things work out. I know Kuffy who organises the whole thing is a follower of this blog, so if you're reading this man, thanks for all the effort put in over the last couple of years.

So here is the mini I got

Secret Santa 2011
I'm delighted with this guy, one of the reason's is it's beautifully painted, secondly I have no idea what the miniature is or who produces it. It's really is a miniature with mystery, so if anyone can help me out, answers in the comments please.

Apart from that my hobby news is less exciting, I have been painting my Secret Santa to send off, but I don't think it would be fair to post pictures on the blog before the person receives it. It does look like I'm going to miss the Christmas deadline but I should be able to finish it early in the new year. I have also assembled the Cygnar Battlebox. Nothing hugely exciting but here's a picture anyway.

Assembled Cygnar Battlebox
Hopefully between these 4 and the mini's I have for the Merc's myself and my brother might have a few games of Warmachine over Christmas.

And that is where I will leave it. I don't think I'm going to post again until the new year so a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my followers (and casual readers). Thanks for reading my blog over the last 12 months and I hope you all have health and happiness in the coming twelve.

Enjoy opening your presents.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Eye on CoolMiniorNot No. 2

Welcome back to the second part of my (very) irregular look at what has caught my eye on CMoN.

When I saw this miniature I really had to highlight it and bring some extra attention to it.

Azumi by Fluffy

Not only is the painting absolutely top class, but what really impresses me about this piece is how the painter has managed to impart delicacy to the model. The subtle and amazingly fine freehand flowers on the robe and shawl, the turquoise on the blades and the beautiful white face all add a definite richness. These effects added to the beautiful bamboo floor effect really makes this an outstanding piece.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A third ever game of Warmachine

Hi all,

Phil and I got together last Saturday to have another game of Warmachine. This time we decided to push the limit out to 30pts. I can just about make 15pts with my newly purchased Mercenaries mini's, so I allied them with 15pts of Phil's Menoth. My list was this.............

Army Name: Menoth & Merc

Protectorate of Menoth
30+11 points, 13 models
High Exemplar Kreoss  +5 points
* Crusader  6 points
* Revenger  6 points
* Vanquisher  8 points

Magnus the Warlord  +6 points
* Freebooter  6 points
* Mariner  8 points
6 Croe's Cutthroats  7 points

Phil ran this list..........


30+11 points, 20 models
Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova  +6 points
* Behemoth  13 points
Kommander Sorscha  +5 points
* Juggernaut  7 points
6 Assault Kommandos  5 points
* 1 Assault Kommando Flame Thrower  1 point
4 Battle Mechaniks  2 points
Gun Carriage  9 points
Widowmakers  4 points

I took a couple photo's of the deployment but got so wrapped up in the game I forgot to take any during it. It got fairly tense a couple of times so I suppose it is only to be expected!

Overview of deployment

Sorscha with her Juggernaut and a Gun Carriage
Zerkova and her battlegroup 'Big B!' Along with a squad fo battle commando's
Oh my side of the table, Kreoss and his battlegroup; Revenger, Crusader and Vanquiser
eMagnus and his battlegroup; Mariner and Freebooter (the whole battlegroup mysteriously missing their arms!)
Croe's Cutthroats advanced deployed in the Graveyard.

And Phil's widowmakers did the same in the wood
Turn 1:

I got first turn and moved my whole army forward. I wanted to see could I get a shot off with the mariner against anything in the Khador army but unfortunately I had made the mistake of moving the Mariner before eMagnus so there was nobody in base contact to load the ship cannon. I'd imagine I would have been out of range of everything anyway. When Magnus did active he moved into base contact with the Mariner again and cast Bullet Dodger on himself and on the two jacks.

On the other side of my line everything also moved forward and Kreoss cast Defender's Ward on this battlegroup. With that my first turn ended.

Phil also moved everything forward, the Juggernaut moved into the tree's that were in front of him, the widowmakers took a few shots at Magnus' battlegroup but protected by Bullet Dodger they only succeeded in drawing the warjacks closer. The Gun Carriage on the opposite flank shot at the Protectorate Jacks but Defender's Ward negated a lot of any potential damage.

Turn 2:

Once again I moved everything forward, The Revenger running to try and get in contact with the Gun carriage. The Crusader got a shot off on the Carriage and took around 8 damage points off of the rolling fortress. Kreoss used his focus to upkeep Defender's Ward.

Magnus moved first this time then followed by the Mariner, who did get a shot off on 'Big B' knocking a point or two damage off of him.

Phil moved his Mechaniks  to repair 'Big B' which they did successfully. The giant warjack then shot at the Mariner who was protected from the worse of the damage by the Bullet Dodger spell. The Gun Carriage continued to pound the protectorate force but was finding it difficult to get past the Defender's Ward enchantment. The Assault Kommando's advanced in the shadow of the Behemoth.

Turn 3:

This is the turn that I attempted to go for broke! Firstly I moved Kreoss into the middle of the board and popped Menoth's Wrath, knocking down all enemy model's in his control range, which included the Juggernaut in the wood, all the Assault Kommando's and the Behemoth. Then I activated Magnus and used Kill Box before charging the knocked down Kommando's with him. The charge I really wanted to get off though was to get the Freebooter into close combat with the knocked down Behemoth and had loaded him up on focus for just that purpose. Unfortunately my distances were just out by about an inch, even with Magnus casting mobility! Of course I forgot about the Jury Rigged special rule until about 2 turns later which would have easily gotten me to where I wanted to be. So despite all my careful planning to get rid of the Behemoth early in the game I only succeeded in killing one Kommando. The Protectorate Jacks succeeded in taking another couple of damage boxes from the Gun Carriage but they were not able to get a charge in due to the craters it's huge guns left behind.

Phil's movement was seriously curtailed as Magnus was standing awkwardly right in the middle of the table. But the Gun Carriage was out of Magnus control range so it reversed backwards towards the Mechaniks who were crabbing toward the battle machine. Phil used his focus to stand up his behemoth and Juggernaut and sacrificed his movement for the Kommando's to stand back up. The Behemoth, the Widowmaker and Zerkova's shooting did little to no damage.

Turn 4:

I knew that now was the time I had to make popping both my feat's last turn pay off as Phil could move normally in his next turn. Magnus was dangerously close to the Behemoth, but I decided to ignore him and focus on the slightly softer target of Zerkova behind 'Big B'. I charged her and knocked her down with Magnus' Mechanical Arm. Then I proceeded to chop her apart using several of his Foecleaver X's Armour Piercing Attacks. (Yes, yes I do now know that this was cheating in two different ways! Using a special attack on the charge and using the special attack more than once in an activation. Both Phil and I completely forgot/didn't know about these limiters on special attacks, it was only our 3rd ever game of Warmachine remember! But we both commented on the time how super powerful Magnus seemed to be) With Zerkova taken out, her associated Behemoth powered down. On the same flank the Mariner charged into the Widowmakers and Croe's Cutthroat's shot at the Kommando's doing no damage.  On my other flank Kreoss charged at Kammando's and killed three. While the Revenger made a last desperate charge on the Gun Carriage to attempt to destroy it before the Mechaniks could get to work which didn't work. The too heavy Jacks continued to run toward the Carriage. I have to admit after this turn I was feeling confident. I had basically destroyed one flank of Phil's force and had the other side on the run.

But Phil played a blinder in his turn! He activated Sorscha, moved her past my Protectorate Jacks closer toward Kreoss and popped Icy Gaze making Kreoss stationary. He then cast Boundless Charge on the Juggernaut in the woods, who proceeded to charge Kreoss and chopped him into tiny pieces, thereby completely inactivating the Revenger, Crusader and the Vanquisher, with about three full damage boxes between them! The Mechaniks completely fixed the Gun Carriage and with that one turn Phil completely turned the game in his favour.

Turn 5 and 6:

I knew I was now in serious trouble but I  was determined to go down fighting, I charged the Juggernaut (who had charged and killed the Freebooter) with Magnus and completely destroyed him in one turn (using the wrong rules!) Phil used the Gun Carriage to blow away the last of Croe's Cutthroats and slow down the Mariner. Eventually the game came down to Sorsha blasting Magnus out of his boots with her Hand Cannon and so ended the game!

Wrap Up and Comments:

That game was one of the most singularly enjoyable war games I've ever played. Down mainly to the swings in fortune. I thought I had the game wrapped up by the end of turn four,  I had the majority of my force alive and kicking apart from one dead Cutthroat, while Phil had one dead Warcaster, an inactivated Behemoth and a seriously damaged Gun Carriage. But with clever use of his feat and magic and me leaving Kreoss wide open for a charge from the Juggernaut (which I honestly had nearly forgotten about hiding in the trees) Phil swung the game dramatically in his favour with one ballsy move. Completely taking out half my army in one swing of a giant axe. It was always going to be a struggle to come back from that blow but if Phil hadn't managed to kill Magnus with Sorscha, she was about to get a faceful of a very angry former Cygnar hero in the next turn. As we were using the incorrect rules it would have been quite probable that Magnus would have chopped her down where she stood.

So if you've made it through that wall of text, congratulations. If you've noticed anything we were doing wrong (apart from the obvious!) please let me know as we're still finding our way in the game and we'd love to her from more knowledgeable players.

Until next time............

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Chipping the Jack!

Hi all,

Over the past couple of days I've done one or two extra bits and pieces with the Warmachine Mariner Jack. Firstly I blocked in the major colours that I wanted to paint the armour.
Basic colours blocked in
Then. I went at it with an old paintbrush and warm water. The warm water melts the hairy spray underneath the paint causing it to flake away in natural looking ways.

Battledamaged Jack
I really like the effect this method gives. The next step is to add shading and highlights as well as 3D-ing the chipped paint effect.

Until next time............

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Painting the Merc Mariner Warjack

Hi all,

just a very quick update about what I've started working on. As you probably guessed by the title of the post it's a Mariner Warjack for the Mercenary Faction in Warmachine. I just love this Jack mainly because it uses an anchor and ship cannon as weapons!

Inital Work
So there is not much to show you guys just yet. I've pinned him together and basecoated him with Chaos Black spray paint. This was then followed by a couple of thinned down layers of Boltgun metal to get a nice even coat of metal.

What you cannot see in this photo though is the layer of Matt Varnish I sprayed over the metal, followed by a layer of hairspray when the varnish was dry.

I made the wooden planking from coffee stirrers, in an effort to recreate a ship's deck planking.

More updates as I progress.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

First Games of Warmachine

Hi all,

Phil and I have just spent the day playing our first ever games of Warmachine and what a blast we had! For the first game I went with Menoth and Phil went with Khador. We settled on a slightly unusual 16pt limit. My list consisted of mini's from the 2-player battlebox with some extra's. It looked like this.......

Protectorate of Menoth
16+5 points, 7 models,
high Exemplar Kreoss
*3 Exemplar Cinerators

So I deployed Kreoss fairly close to the Crusader with the Revenger on my left flank. The Repenter and Cinerators were on my right flank.
Menoth Deployment

Kreoss Deployment

Khador Left Flank

Sorcha Deployment

Over the first 2 turns both factions raced right at each other (like we had a pair!)

The Revenger blew through this unit 
And charged into the Widomakers behind, leaving the Crusader to mop them up
On the other side of the table things were not going so well.
The light Warjack was not able to take the huge hits or break the defence of the heavy warjack and eventually was boxed
The Cinerators did not have much more luck
Kreoss makes his move while Sorcha is looking the other way!

But in the end Sorcha overpowered him despite the Crusader running full steam ahead to try and lend a hand. With that our first game ended. What the rulebook said should be a 45 minute game took us the guts of 5 hours! I suppose this is what happens when tow beginners are looking up rules and stat's every couple of minutes. Despite the length of the game we had a great time though.

From here we decided to have a second game. I decided to play with a slightly different Menoth list at 15pts. Phil went with Cryx this time. My list was..........

Protectorate of Menoth
15+5 points, 4 models
High Exemplar Kreoss

I deployed Kreoss with the two heavy Warjacks with the Revenger on my left flank.
Initial Deployment
Phil's Cyrx Deployment
Deployment and Terrain (Is that a Rhino wreak in The Iron Kingdoms?)
Things did not go well from here!
Both my warjacks were destroyed by a combination of Dynergra's Feat, the Cryx warjack and the mechanithralls. On the other side of the board the Revenger was slowly but surely making it's way through the other thrall unit before being destroyed by Dynergra. Kreoss in the meantime was assualted by the heavy warjack, the bone jack  and the remaining mechanithrall. He succeed in killing them all but with only two wound boxes remaining. This left him weakened enough for Dynergra to charge across the board and finish him off one to one as the last two remaining models on the board.

This second game took only 3 hours, so we'd already knocked 2 hours off of our previous best! Another really enjoyable game with the winner coming down to a head to head between the warcasters.

Overall a great day of gaming. It's already given lots to think about. Coming from the GW universe the game definitely plays very differently. The over-aching meta-game with focus, feats and buffing/nerfing spells really is enjoyable. Added to the skirmish game feel of marking wound boxes and low number of models  it really gives the game a unique feel. Obviously being a newb I have not even scratched the surface to the possible synergy between warcasters, warjacks, units and solo's. It's something I look forward to discovering in the future.

Until next time..........

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New additions to CoolMiniorNot

Hi gang,

I've added a couple of new pictures to my CMoN account. I've been looking through my photobucket account and picking out possible usable photo's. So while they are newly uploaded to CMoN there is some old paint jobs in here. I'd love if you voted on them.

Lord of the Rings Elf (Painted Approx 2004)Vote Here!

Dwarf Slayer (Painted Approx 2006) Vote Here!

Imperial Guard Pysker (Painted Appox 2006)Vote Here!
Imperial Guard Catachan Trooper (Painted Approx 2007) Vote Here! 
Ork Grot Cannon Loaders (Painted Approx 2005) Vote Here!

Old School Legion of the Damned (Painted approx 2008) Vote Here!
Lizardman Sauras Unit (Painted 2010) Vote Here!

Next update will have Warmachines!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Starting Warmachine

Turns out that I am very easily sucked in to new things by another person's excitment.

My wargamming buddy Phil, picked up the new Warmachine Starter box last week and in the intervening days we've been having a large email conversation about the game and warmachine in general.

My previous experience with Warmachine is very very low. I bought Prime MkI a couple of years back and never even finished reading the rules let alone having a game! I bought the orginal metal Khador battlegroup mainly for the miniatures and not in any great expectation of playing any games.

First Warmachine Purchase (can't believe I have this photo after 3 or 4 years!)
I have only ever painted one mini from that battlegroup

My first and only painted Warmachine mini
I'd say this guy was painted maybe 3 years ago? I remember being quite happy with the battle-damage and the glowing eyes. Looking at them now they could definitely be improved on. I am still quite proud of the rust effect I achieved with the metal though.

So for the last 2 to 3 years I've been happily beavering away on the great GW side of the hobby, having a look at any new Privateer Press releases that I came across online but never buying one apart from Durgan Madhammer when I picked up the MkI book.

I bought this guy because I thought he looked cool!
So Phil (and I'm sure hobbyists everywhere can recognise this) has gotten me really excited to give this game a try. So based solely on the fact that I already have one Merc Warcaster, and I love the look of the Merc Jacks (especially the marine ones) I've decided to start a Merc faction in Warmachine.

So last night I popped into my FLGS (Gamersworld in Dublin, which seemed to be running a huge MTG event) and purchased two items.

The current Warmachine Rulebook
The Mariner Warjack
So over the course of the long weekend in Ireland I'm going to sit down the the MkII rules and see what they are about, next week I hope to put together the Mariner, and on the 5th have my first ever game of Warmachine with Phil.

I am left with a couple of questions though. Having never played Warmachine before what will I get for the faction next? I was thinking the Merc Faction book, and the other Marine theme'd Warjacks as they really appeal to me. Maybe some Croe's Cutthroats and Steelhead Riflemen all units and mini's that I really like. Also where do I get the current up-to-date card for the Mariner? I think the one that came with him is for MkI.

More steam-powered adventures as and when they happen.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Hi gang,

the first thing to say is that this post is not supposed to be a review. Just a couple of pictures and idea's about what happened during my first game of GW's new product.

So Phil picked up a copy of this game. He pre-ordered it from the GW website but it turns out he would have received it more quickly if he had just wandered into our FLGS on the day of release. Speaking of this, I wandered past same said store on Friday evening and they had 60 copies in the window. I really wonder will they sell them all.

I rolled around to his house yesterday and Phil already had the seascape laid out on his kitchen table. Unfortunately his kitchen table is slightly smaller than the seascape so we had about two inches of either of the long side hanging over the edge. The first thing that drew my eye was the little details within the water; ghosts, sea creatures. sunken cities. Very emotive.

We decided to play the first scenario but with three ships per side rather than the one ship outlined in the initial rules. So Phil  had read through the rules a little and he filled me in briefly with the run of play. We then rolled off for the sides, I got the Dreadfleet, Phil the Grand Alliance.

After a couple of turns, the Shadewraith was engaged in a boarding action with Grimnir's Thunder. Both Captains had given each other significant damage and the dwarf ship was listing badly and on fire. The Heldenhammer then raked me with a broadside and had enough dice to role enough sixes to take me out.
The Sinking of the Good Ship Shadewraith
This was just after the Heldenhammer had hammered Skabrus to the bottom of the sea. Grimnir's Thunder eventually succumbed to a munitions explosion after it was totally immobilised having no power in it's engines.

On the other side of the board, the Swordfish had rammed the Bloody Reaver.

Sail to Port!
After the initial ramming the Bloody Reaver's shear resilience eventually wore down the Swordfish, despite Phil having a ridiculous amount of damage and special damage cards associated with it.

Damage Cards aplenty!
So it ended up in a straight head to head between the Bloody Reaver and the Heldenhammer and the writing was truly on the wall when the Heldenhammer got into a position to use it's steam hammer on the vampire's flagship. But the coup-de-grace was finally applied by the auxiliary from the Grimnir's Thunder.

My first impression of the game was that the components were very good, especially the ships and the seascape mat. If I had the money to spare I would nearly get the game alone just for the models.

I  have been reading some of the critical reviews about the game and in fairness a lot of them make very good points. The game with only 3 ships a side took 4 hours, (granted we were both learning on the go) which may be over long.

The level of randomness is huge, with the Swordfish at one stage being only one card away from being destroyed on it's crew and hull damage cards. Even the Bloody Reaver at the end of the game limped on for three extra turns because I did not draw the hull damage card that was required to sink it. You can cause huge amounts of damage but if your opponent is lucky drawing the cards they can get away it it.

I have read people critisise the fate cards also. From my first play through they seem like a fun way to mix things up. Then again we didn't draw a fate card in the first turn of the game that crippled one or several ship, like I've read in other blogs. Also the deck is small and could become quite repetitive with repeat use.

Overall I have to say though, I enjoyed my first game. Myself and Phil had a couple of good laughs and enjoyed ourselves. That is not to say the game is perfect or people don't have valid concerns or criticisms. I suppose how valid they are will be determined in time.

Wheither I would reccommend it our not is a dificult question. Leaving Phil's house yesterday evening I was tempted to buy a copy. But reading some of the reviews today really did point out some flaws which may not have occured to me, not having a huge amount of experience with board games.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Movement Trays and Magnets

Hi gang,

so last week I have been focused on getting work done on the ghouls in my Vampire Counts army. I have nine of the 20 man unit done and I should be able to finish the unit off by the end of this week if all goes to plan. Also involved in getting this unit done was to make them a movement tray. So I purchased some plasticard and Pollyfilla (Spackle in the USA?) and set to work using the cut off from a sprue to make the edging.

Ghoul movement tray marked off for a tweny man unit.

So I wanted to magnitise this tray, mainly to stop the models beening knocked over and after much searching in hardware and picture stores I finally came across what I was looking for in my local €2 shop.

€2 for 2 sheets of A4 Magnetic Paper

 So by sticking this to the movement tray and to the bottom of the bases of the ghouls I now have a front rank that defy gravity!

Finished front rank just hanging out
The magnetic grip is relatively strong but I doubt it would do for heavy metal miniatures but for light plastic miniatures like this it's just the ticket.
An interesting thing I took a while to figure out was that if the magnetic paper I stuck on the base of the miniature does not align with the magnetic paper on the movement try it will not stick! I had problems with the ghast mini not sticking to movement try when facing forward in the front rank. But if I turned the mini 90 degrees to the left or right it would stick no problem. Obviously I had cut the magnetic square for the base out of the A4 sheet, but turned it sideways when sticking onto the base, therefore the magnetic fields couldn't 'click'. I can only imagine this is something to do with the creation of the magnetic sheet.  

Until next time!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Skaven Test Subject

Hi gang,

I have spend my hobby time in the last couple of days divided between painting my Vampire Counts Ghoul unit (as well as constructing their movement tray) and trying to perfect the the colours I want to paint my Skaven army.

Finished Test mini
 So this is the scheme I've come up with. I have added a new page to my blog, where I am going to keep a record of all my painting recipes. This is more for me in the future rather than for you guys but hopefully someone else might find it useful. This Clanrat is the first miniature to be added to the list. (Very unlike Skaven to be the first in anything, they would normally leave that to the more brave/foolhardy races, preferring to stab them in the back when they are not looking and take their rightful place in their stead.)

I always knew I wanted to go with a blue colour with this army as it's not a colour you see many skaven forces, but I really did struggle with the skin colour. I obviously wanted it to be a quick scheme to paint and I experimented with a lot of different browns, ranging from Vermin Brown to Calthan Brown, and Beastial Brown to Khemri Brown but found that they were all too dark. The combination of the dark metal, the dark cloth tunic and the dark skin just made the mini look like a blob of browns from a distance. I eventually went with the classic Tallarn Flesh washed with Orgyn Flesh. I found this brightened the miniature up and defined the different areas of the mini a lot more.

I  also like how the metal turned out, for a very simple method which can be done quickly. This fits the image in my head of a skaven horde with rusty weapons advancing under the whips of their betters. The basing is going to be simple with a grey gravel base with a couple of tufts of dead grass.

Until next time.........

Monday, 12 September 2011

Initial Skaven Thoughts

Drawn by Adrain Smith, coloured by MajesticChicken (DeviantArt)

Hi gang,

I got to play my two first games with Skaven yesterday and I wanted to give some inital thoughts on them. But firstly I want to say that I am in no way a regular WFB player and in fact these thoughts should be seen as being from someone who has just started playing the game. With that statement out of the way onto my thoughts about the army.

So both myself and my regular opponent Phil have been learning WFB with the same army, namely Vampire Counts. As you can imagine while having enjoyable games they have tended to be quite magic heavy with little to no shooting or psychology. The combats have also tended to be large grind fests with neither side breaking and each Vampire respawning any lost troops in the magic phase.

The get around this we decided to start another army each, so Phil decided on Wood Elves and from my previous posts you should know I have gone for Skaven. As I have said we played two games with these armies yesterday. The first was a 1000pts game and the second was a 750pts game.

The First Game:
I used all the mini's from the Island of Blood Box set along with a 15 man(rat) unit of Gutter Runners. I placed the Engineer (upgraded to a level 2 Wizard with Skitterleap and Warplightening) in the unit of Clanrat Spearmen with a Poisoned Wind Mortar, the chieftain was with the unit of handweapon Clanrats with a Warpfire Thrower and the Giant rats with a Master Moulder were on the right hand side of my flank. Phil had 2 ten man units of Glade Guard, 2 five man units of Scouts, an 8 man unit of Dyrads, 5 glade riders and a hero of some kind with a bow that shot four arrows a turn. He deployed the 2 units of scouts and the hero on my right flank. Everything else was deployed in front of me.

So how did it go for the ratmen? Awfully! I got completely destracted by the flanking force of the scouts and hero, and didn't know whether to stick or twist and in the end fell between both stools and ended up being pincushoned by the elves bow fire.

I used skitterleap in the first magic phase to move my engineer to behind the scouts units in the hope of killing them in my shooting phase only to realise I had forgotten to give my engineer a gun! (No doubt some rival engineer had switched the real gun with a wooden dummy!) He was quickly shot to death in Phil's turn, thereby giving up the clear magical advantage I had as Phil had no wizards in his army. From there on my force was really split in half with one unit of clanrats shot by the two units of Glade Guard and the Glade Riders and the reminder running away. The second unit of clanrats with spears and the Chieftain being beaten by 1 in close combat with the Dyrads and being run down and the Rat Ogres and Master Molder falling from the combined fire of the scouts and Wood Elf hero. The only high point was the Gutter runners coming on behind the Scouts and wiping out one unit with poisoned throwing stars and the other in close combat. But by the end of the fourth turn it was all over and a convincing victory for the Wood Elves.

What I learned: 
  1. Skaven have really low leadership! Being used to playing Vampire Counts who never break in combat it was quite a shock to me how easily the Skaven broke. It was even more a shock how easily it is for the opposing player to run them down. If not in the turn which they broke but in the turn after. It really drove home to me the need for the extra ranks leadership boost the skaven have access to.
  2. ALWAYS know what your characters are equipped with. While the plan to skitterleap the Engineer behind the scouts and hero was a bad idea in the first place as I was never going to be able to kill them all even if I had a gun, to not have a gun at all was idiotic! We did have a good laugh at my stupidity though.
  3. Be focused. I really did get distracted by the flanking force and hesistated in my first turn. This allowed Phil to fire at me at will in his turn, as he didn't feel treatened by my units in any way. It was always an uphill struggle after the first turn.
The Second Game:
For this game we dropped the points down to 750pts. I removed the Chieftain from my list and coverted my Gutter Runners to Night Runners with slings. My Engineer Rolled Warp Lightening and Cracks Call (?) for his magic this game. Phil removed one unit of scouts, reduced the no of Dyrads and took away the command group from one of his Glade Guard. We left the table the same.

This time around I resolved not to get distracted by the flanking force (Phil used the exact same tactic) and instead marched both Clanrat units and the Rat Ogre Unit right up the middle of the board. The Night Runners scuttled up the side of the board. In the magic phase I got Warp Lightening off on the Dryads and rolled high for the number of hits and ended up killing 3. In Phil's turn he really had a hard time choosing what targets to shoot at but decided to shoot everything at the Rat Ogres. He succeeded in killing the Packmaster and one Rat Ogre. The final Ogre wandered into dangerous terrain 2 turns later due to stupidity and managed to kill himself. In my second turn I didn't move, but used Warp Lightening on one unit of Glade Guard who broke and ran off the table and hit the second unit with the Poisoned Wind Mortor, killing 8 of the ten, who also broke and ran off the table. The Night Runners on the flank targeted the Glade Riders with their slings and killed all five and finally the Warpfire Thrower killed 2 of the scouts on the right flank causing them to flee. From then on it was a mop up mission for the skaven, but not before my Engineer Clanrat unit passing a panic test on a roll of six when my leadership was a six. My other clanrat unit a turn later passed a leadership test on exactly the same score a turn later to stop them running of the table, only for their attached Warpfire Thrower to explode and wipe five of them off the face of the old world.

What I learned:
  1. Skaven have really low leadership! The game could have been quite different if I had not luckily passed two different leadership tests on a six. It seems lots of ranks of rats is the only way forward.
  2. Sometimes the dice gods are with you. See point 1 above. Also twice Phil rolled an inititive test to stop firstly his hero and then a dyrad falling into the crack from the Cracks Call spell, His inititive 7 models both rolled sixes.
  3. When Skaven magic and shooting hit they are very powerful. The second game only emphasied how much I missed my Engineer in the magic phase in the first game. I never got a chance to use the weapon teams in the first game but in the second game they were deadly to both elves and skaven.
  4. Stay focused. By giving Phil a lot of targets in the early stages of the game I forced him to make decisons. He wiped out my Ogres but that left the Engineer and the weapons teams to still cause a lot of damage. It was a lot better than dilly dallying in my deployment zone, which I did in the first game.
So two very enjoyable games with a lot learned about using skaven in WFB and I'm looking forward to using them again. I'm already planning on what to add to it and a Screaming Bell is really calling out to me! I also feel a Skaven Battalion with more clanrats/rat ogres and plague monks would be a good addition. Oh and an Assassin!

Until next time..............

Friday, 2 September 2011

Island of Blood

Hello gang,

now I realise that I am very very late getting to Island of Blood, but I purchased one in my FLGS for €70 yesterday evening. This coupled with the Skaven army book brought my total spend to €91. So I thought I would give a few inital thoughts about what I got for my cash.

The army book is the army book, I knew exactly what I was getting for €21. A monochrome book, with the exception of a few pages with the strict order of background/spells/unit descriptions/colour pages of models/points costs of models/back page summary. I am happy with this layout, some of the skaven artwork is great (especially the mirrored full page spread of a human city above ground sitting ontop a skaven one underground) and while I have not studied it fully yet, I look forward to getting a couple of solid years use out of it.

At this stage I have to say though I have looked through the full colour Tomb Kings and Ogre Army books and the sooner all armies get this quality of book the better. I think gamers and hobbyists are willing to pay extra money for a hardback, full colour rulebook.

Anyways onto the actual box o'mini's

I am delighted with it to be honest. I bought it for two main reason's. The first being that I travel to any games of WFB or 40K that I have. I have the small rulebook for 40k but I didn't for WFB and hauling that huge hardback version around with me was a pain! I love the little rulebook, full colour and easily transported in an army box or bag. Full marks to GW for producing it. Secondly for the skaven miniatures. Skaven have long been a favourite WFB army of mine.

I think I have already written a blog back in the mists of time about "Gateway Models". The model that you see that gets you into miniatures. That moment where you are either walking past a shop or (in my case) a friend says "look what I have" and pulls a box from his bag with a mini inside. I can remember that moment as clear as it was yesterday and not in 1995. From my friends bag appeared the old red GW style box with a huge yellow banner and black writing which red "SKAVEN DOOMWHEEL". From that box an unpainted silverly lump of metal was drawn and passed around to the group of us there to have a look at. I am not being glip when I say, from that moment I knew I loved miniatures and they were something I was going to be interested in for the rest of my life.

Anyway I degress, but as you can see Skaven hold an affectionate place in my heart but I've never collected them before. I saw the Island of Blood as an excellent way to begin and I am delighted, the skaven and elf mini's are simple one and two piece click together jobs but the detail is a joy to behold, as are the more complicated character models including the Rat Ogres and Griffin.In fact I found myself running my hands over the wings of the Griffin on the sprue feeling the details of the feathers. I think the miniatures included are top class. The High Elves mini's while never my favourite army are just crying out to be painted and the ranks upon ranks of filthy (but lovable) skaven are amazing.

So I am giving GW a thumbs up for this boxed game. I would like it to be a little cheaper, but I say that about everything! But I don't feel let down or overcharged in anyway at all.

I was just left to wonder though, why do they insist on including these in every boxed game they produce and what do people use them for apart from whipping the life out of each other?

Whippy weapons of death!
Talk to you guys next time!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Initial terrain work

Well this is a first for the blog.........terrain!

I normally don't make terrain as I don't play much games but for some reason over the last couple of weeks most of my hobby thoughts have been focused on terrain. I have been following Dampf's blog about using foam in terrain making over on his blog. 

What really caught my eye was this blog post and the way he used expanded foam and kitchen towel to make the rocks. 

So I just had to give it a go. I want to paint my ork bases in a red desert scheme and I had a feeling this method might turn out good rocks, which would complement this basing scheme. So this is the first 'test' rock I have produced. 

The Catachan is there obviously just for the scale. I have to admit I am very pleased with how this initial test worked out, considering all this is kitchen towel painted in PVA glue and then given a coating sand mixed with PVA for texture. I spray painted this with the GW orange foundation paint and give the recesses a wash with GW Red Ink and drybrushed the edges bleached bone. I didn't take any WiP pictures as it was meant to be a work through to iron out any kinks, but I was so pleased with the outcome I decided to post it up. 

I will definitely be making a lot more of these, both larger and smaller rocks to place around an Orky themed board and when I do I will do an indepth step by step guide.

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