Glory of Ages Battle Report

A new scenario popped up in a recent White Dwarf, Glory of Ages. Basically, you have multiple armies and take turns at being piggy-in-the-middle – one army against many. The aim is to have all armies take their turn in the middle, completely outnumbered and see how long they last. You total up the turns survived after every army has had a go, and the player who lasts the longest is the overall winner. If an outnumbered army somehow manages to beat the forces fighting against it, it gets a Glorious Victory and wins outright.

Crucially, you cannot change your army list in any of these battles, so you need to have a good defence as well as powerful offence.

So, Alan pulled together 2,000 points each of Vampire Counts and Skaven, while I did the same with my High Elves and, making a showing for the first time, Dwarfs.

 

Round One

We kicked off on Friday with Alan’s Vampire Counts in the middle of the table, against my combined High Elves and Dwarfs. The end was predictable (the army in the middle is supposed to lose these fights), with the undead being smashed in turn four – Alan survived three full turns and so earned three points in this mini-campaign.

 

Round Two

We played again yesterday, with my Dwarfs in the middle against the combined Skaven and Undead hordes. Now, I tend to get pretty bloody-minded in battles like this, trying to get that elusive Glorious Victory. However, I had my doubts whether the Dwarfs could pull that off (the High Elves will be another matter, but we will have to see how far they get), but I did think they could last a long time and they had been tooled up to do just that;

Warlord: Rune of Adamant, Rune of Luck
Thane: Battle Standard Bearer, Rune of Stromni Redbeard, Rune of Battle x 2
Janna Bugman (female model of Josef)
Longbeards x 20: Shields, Rune of Battle
Longbeards x 20: Shields, Rune of Sanctuary x 3
Longbeards x 20: Great Weapons, Rune of Slowness x 2
Cannon: Rune of Forging
Cannon: Rune of Forging, Rune of Burning

I knew the cannon would not help much as they would get over-run pretty quickly, but I figured a Toughness 10 Warlord, beer-swilling Janna and a Battle Standard adding +3 to Combat Resolutions (+4 when with the Longbeards carrying their own Rune of Battle) would make this army tough to break. Oh, and all Longbeards get Stubborn, so I would always be rolling break tests on Leadership 9 or 10. And be immune to Fear.

Still, my little force looked very small when set up on the battlefield.

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And it seemed to shrink further when the opposition was lined up on two sides.

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Turns one and two were fairly quiet, with Skaven war machines duelling with Dwarf cannon, to little effect on either side. The two horde armies advanced and the Dwarfs manoeuvred a little to face them. Things started to hot up though as the Skaven’s Hell Pit Abomination crashed through the Dwarf lines and targeted the two cannon, wiping them out by the end of turn three.

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This caused me to advance my Longbeards towards the enemy, principally because I did not fancy a charge in the rear from the Abomination! This broke the battle into two halves.

On the left flank (looking at the photo above) my Warlord and the Longbeards with him led the Skaven a merry chase. They smashed the Stormvermin (just hiding behind a rock on the picture above), then turned about to face the Abomination as half the Skaven line failed panic tests (they soon recovered, but the Stormvermin were lost).

A battle for the ages erupted as the Abomination crashed into the Longbeards, later aided by Rat Swarms. My Warlord was soon wounded and the Longbeards began to suffer attrition but not before they killed the Abomination twice (damn thing kept getting back up!). I fancy that if it had gone down and stayed down the first time, my Warlord and Longbeards could have caused the rest of the Skaven some serious issues, but it was not to be. They finally fell on turn six under the weight of rats and fleshy monstrosity.

Meanwhile…

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The other two Longbeard units had made contact with the Undead – and were making good account of themselves. Despite efforts from Necromancers and Plague Carts to keep the Undead lines bolstered, the Dwarfs were winning their battles against the zombies and Grave Guard.

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Even when the Black Knights joined the fray with a flank charge, the Longbeards held firm and smacked some dead horses silly in return. Janna went toe-to-toe with the Vampire Lord and managed to last a whole turn against him, before finally succumbing. In the end though, the advancing Skaven Grey Seer managed to finally get the Dreaded Thirteenth spell off against a weakened Longbeard unit, turning all of them into rats.

The last Longbeard unit, led by the Thane Battle Standard Bearer, defeated both the Grave Guard and Black Knights, then went on to scare off the Skaven that had been created by the Dreaded Thirteenth. They finally met their end against a combined force of Zombies (led by the Vampire Count!), Ghouls and Plague Cart. Just too many dead people to fight against!

However, they had made an impressive last stand, one that will surely be remembered (and plenty of entries to the Book of Grudges to boot!).

The Dwarfs had survived seven full turns, putting the tally at the halfway stage at 7-3 in my favour.

 

We are hoping to get the Skaven vs. the Elf/Dwarf force done this week, and Alan will have his work cut out for him. I figure he has to last at least eight turns to have a chance of countering the High Elf battle, which will take place afterwards (and will be the last in this series).

Everything to fight for!

Boom!

I mentioned in the last post that I had not been happy with the mix of Magic Goop I had created last weekend and thought it a bit weak, and so the shading it created was too light. Well, I mixed up a new batch last night, and it did just the trick – these are the Dwarf Cannon I painted up over the weekend, now with a fresh coating of the Magic Goop.

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I haven’t yet worked out what Rune sickness is going onto to these (so much to choose from!), but I now need only two Organ Guns and then my Dwarfs have a good 2,000 points to take to the field with.

I also re-Gooped the Grot Mega-Tank – if you take a look at the last post, you will see it now has a lot more definition (the whole point of the Goop, really).

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For any non-regulars here, I should perhaps explain…

 

The Magic Goop

This is not my idea at all, but a variation on the Dipping Method you can find on the Internet (and, frankly, the guy who came up with this should be working on the Space Programme or something…). This is how I do it.

Get yourself some water-based wood varnish. In the past I have used Ronseal Quick-Dry Satin Walnut Wood Varnish (a mouthful), but I switched to Homebase’s own earlier this year as it was about half the price – a mistake, as the Ronseal is a better mix, though the difference is largely marginal.

Anyway, get yourself a jam jar and fill it up to just under 3/4 with the wood varnish. Top it up with water and mix well. This mix is what I call the Magic Goop on these pages.

Why is it magic?

Well, paint your models as normal, but only do the base colours – no shading or highlights. Then, when dry, get a big brush and douse the model in the Magic Goop, head to foot.

The model will be instantly shaded. This method means you can paint models very quickly (a blessing for Tyranids or Orcs!) and you will either speed up your painting drastically or (if you are not too good like me) make your models look better. If you are really lucky, it will do both!

Once you have had a bit of experience with the Magic Goop, you can start doing ‘part-Gooped’ models, as I do with my Dark Angels (only the weapons, chest eagles and purity seals are Gooped) and High Elves (everything gets Gooped, and then the pink and black goes on top afterwards).

There are some things even the Magic Goop has issues with – blue does not react all that well to it, and you will notice that there is a distinct lack of blue models on these pages! However, the flip side is that it does yellow brilliantly, traditionally a colour that is not always easy to shade and highlight. It also gives models a ‘dirty’ look, as though they have been wading through the Somme, but that often works out very well for wargaming models! If you are after a clean look (High Elves, Tau and some marines, for example), then you can part-Goop.

Unless you are a stunning painter (in which case you may not go near this method with a barge pole!), I would recommend everyone to try it. It is very cheap (a pot of wood varnish will last you a year, even if you are painting every weekend), and will either make your models look better or speed your painting up – or both!

 

 

The Grot Mega-Tank

Well, I managed to sit down for some painting this weekend but I did not get round to finishing off Belial and his Deathwing Knights – that was really a pipe dream.

But I did manage to finish off the Grot Mega-Tank!

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This has always been a favourite of mine and I finally managed to get round to picking one up! I like the whole ‘land ship’ feel to this, from the prow/ram and turrets (it seems to work best when delivering a broadside!) to even a depth charge mounted on the side near the back!

I debated on the colour scheme for quite some time. I knew it had to be different from any of my Ork clan colours and, for a long time, I was going to copy the blue that Forge World has done it on their site. However, I never really like doing blue (it is the one colour that does not go well with the Magic Goop) and while I don’t think I will ever do a Death Skullz army, a blue Mega-Tank would clash with it if I did.

In the end I went with bright red – I figure the Grots have managed to put this thing together and feel they have something to prove, so they will go with the brightest colour they can find!

As for battlefield use, that will have to wait, as you need a unit of Grot Tanks before you can field this bad boy. However, I am doubtful as to its effectiveness. Sure, it can move up to 12″ and fire all of its weapons, but you are just as likely to crawl along at 2″. There is also the problem that it is most effective when presenting a broadside to the enemy, as this is where its armour is weak. Finally, with all those weapons, it is somewhat expensive points-wise, and I am not sure it will ever earn its worth on the battlefield (like a lot of other Forge World items – not necessarily a bad thing). I think I would deploy it only when I am 100% sure the rest of the army is strong.

Incidentally, I also painted up two Cannon for my Dwarfs (just two Organ Guns to go for the 2,000 point army!) but I had to mix up a new batch of Magic Goop this weekend and I think I made it a bit too weak. The Mega-Tank also suffered from this (you can see a lack of shading around the bare metal areas and part of the red, though the yellow came out well enough). So, I think I will thicken the mix up bit and re-Goop both Dwarfs and bits of the Mega-Tank. Will show off the results later this week.

I also managed to progress just a little further on the Secret Army, though I am still figuring out the colour scheme. However, this may be the first army I have ever done that requires no shading and no highlights. Intrigued? Sound odd? Stay tuned!

 

Mad Idea no. 457

While painting this weekend, I was re-watching Pacific Rim (it is a guilty pleasure) and a thought occurred. If you are a regular here, you will know about my work on a couple of Star Wars Codexes for 40k. Well, I seem to remember there was a  range of Pacific Rim robots about 8-12″ in height. Or, to put it another way, in the same ballpark as 40k Imperial Knights. Plus, there are many other robots in this scale, such as Gundam, Battletech and many other kids ranges.

I know of someone who is using the Pacific Rim as Imperial Knights, but I think we can go better. Pacific Rim robots (and others) with their own datasheets. And, you know what, I may not even bother with points values and force lists – just grab your favourite robot and duke it out using the 40k rules.

Bears some thought, and a trip to Toys R Us may be in order, but stay tuned. If these models don’t even need painting, this could end up being some very fun and easy gaming! If I do anything about this, I’ll make sure I do some datasheets that you can download from here…

First Peek at Codex: Galactic Empire

Well, my planned painting this weekend was completely shot. I had planned to polish off a Grot Mega-Tank, a Deathwing Knights squad and Belial, all of which are about half-done (some more half-done than others). However, the arrival of an XBox One and the trinity of Battlefield 4, Forza 5 and Destiny pretty much put paid to that. Efforts must be doubled and I’ll see if I can get through at least one of those units during the week…

However, not all is doom and gloom. Layout of the Star Wars Codexes has actually begun! A lot needs doing here but I am hoping to get them both finished this month. The background chapters have started to go into the final layout, and I am hoping the army list chapters will be done this week. Then it will just need the rest of the background, the ‘hobby’ section and final tweaks done. I already have a printers primed, so it looks like I may succeed in getting these done before Christmas!

Anyway, a quick peek inside Codex: Galactic Empire…

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Star Wars Codexes

Now, how cool are these?

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rebelcodex

My plan for a Star Wars 40k continues to take shape! I am hoping to have these complete for Christmas, hopefully in hardcopy (though time is short for that).

As for the game/army lists themselves, playtesting continues. The army lists seem to be hanging together very well, with just the odd adjustment and (ahem) correction being made. The games are getting larger, and vehicles are beginning to make their presence felt, as you can see in the photo below. We have yet to try an AT-AT, but my worry about the Rebels being undergunned seems to be largely unfounded right now.

Oh, and Jedi are working out well!

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Wheelz for Orkz

I have always been a bit lacking in vehicles for my Orks (well, aside from my clanking walkers section, which is fairly impressive) which is a bit odd as at least one of my clans is supposed to be a variant of the Evil Sunz. So, last weekend I resolved to fix that!

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These were painted up using my patented Quick Ork Vehicle scheme – undercoat black, drybrush the whole thing Gun Metal, and then apply clan colours and details. Magic Goop over the whole thing. This is very, very fast and I reckon I could do a veritable fleet over a single weekend. The only real pain in the bum is the wheels they put on Ork vehicles – those metal plates that you have to paint round with black ‘rubber’ are an irritant. A small and simple one, but it is the only slow part of the process.

I wanted to keep them cheap, so the only real upgrade are boarding planks, though I fitted a reinforced ram onto one because, well, they are orks.

This now gives me four Trukks, three for the ‘Evil Sunz’ and one for the Shoota Boyz among my Bad Moonz.

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Speaking of the Bad Moonz, they were not going to be out done and added their own wheels in typical Bad Moon affluent style – they got a Battlewagon. Didn’t want to go silly with the upgrades on this, so it was fairly decked with Big Shootas, and I added an ‘Ard case and Zzap Gun for some possible high Strength fun.

I have already tried the Trukk/Battlewagon combo in battle against the Dark Eldar this week, but I completely fluffed it up. I tried to engage across the whole battle line at once but with Armour 10 Trukks, that just don’t work. What I should have done was massed all the vehicles on my right flank, while anchoring the centre with my Morkanaut and Killa Kanz. It would have completely wrong-footed the Talos/Cronos lurking in the woods around one objective, and overwhelmed the Dark Eldar around another. I could then have dealt with Deep Striking Raider Gunships as they appeared and swung round to claim the objective in the centre with little opposition – and that would have been the game. Even if I ran out of time to go for the left-most objective held by the Talos and his mates, two objectives would have been enough to win.

It was exactly what I had done (to a lesser extent) in the battle previous to this one, and I am not sure why I did not do the same thing again. Probably just to eager to put my foot down and get some serious speed out of my new toys!

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Also added this chap, a Mega-Dread because, well, I simply don’t have enough walkers. He needs a base (the same one as the Morkanaut uses will work) and I suspect it is a little too expensive for what it does (better Armour than a Deff Dread, but no more Hull Points, no better in close combat and the value of the Kilkannon is debatable). I’ll see if I can get a photo of all the Ork walkers at some point – they will make for an impressive formation in an Apocalypse game if nothing else.

Could always use another Stompa or two though…

I also got round to putting together a Grot Mega-Tank (love that model, though I need the Grot Tank Mob before I can use it in a game) as well as a squad of Deathwing Knights (finally!). I’ll be seeing if I can get those painted up this coming weekend…