Throne of Skulls

This weekend, I made the trip up to Nottingham again, this time to attend the Warhammer 40,000 Throne of Skulls event. Throne of Skulls has a tournament-like structure, but it is intended to showcase all aspects of the hobby rather than being a hardline Grand Tournament where actually winning is key.

They do this by scoring playing in three categories: actually winning games (which accounts for half your score) and favourite game and favourite army votes, which are awarded by your opponents (you basically pick two favourite games and two favourite armies) and account for a quarter of your score each. Tie breaks are done by the total Power Rating you destroy (yes, this works on Power Levels!), along with the number of times you Slay the Warlord, Linebreak and get First Blood.

The missions themselves are drawn up using the Open War card deck which, I have to say, really, really works and is probably what i will now default to instead of the ‘standard’ missions in the rulebook. Seriously, check them out – agree a points/Power Level, draw a Deployment Zone card, an Objective card and a Ruse card, and you are good to go! Army building and actual play follows Matched Play rules (three detachments maximum).

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Here Comes the Death Guard

I went with my Death Guard, and drew up the following list:

Battalion
Daemon Prince (Blades of Putrefaction, Suppurating Plate, Tainted Regeneration)
Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Curse of the Leper)
Plague Marines x 7 (2 Plague Launchers, Power Fist)
Plague Marines x 7 (Plasma Gun, Meltagun, Power Fist)
Poxwalkers x 20
Plagueburst Crawler
Plagueburst Crawler
Bloat-Drone (Plaguespitters)
Bloat-Drone (Flesh Mower)

Lord of War
Scabiethrax the Bloated (Miasma, Curse of the Leper, Plague Wind)

Patrol
Herald of Nurgle (Miasma)
Plague Bearers x 30

This is not what I originally intended to take, but my Death Guard characters and big block of 20 Plague Marines were still on the painting table, so I had to take what I had. I did not want to ‘spam’ units but, rather, take a variety of units that were representative of the Death Guard and the daemonic allies. The two concessions I made to pumping up the army and making things a bit tougher were the Suppurating Plate on the Daemon Prince (and my main problem with that is that it is what everyone does – though it is just too good to pass up, really…) and adding Scabiethrax, the massive Exalted Great Unclean One from Forge World. He is a tough cookie and, it has to be said, worth every point of his Power Level 30.

Was that a little too much for an event like this? Definitely not!

Enemy Forces

The vast majority of people took reasonable armies with a tough back bone – so, you would see Astra Militarum with a Baneblade, perhaps, or Marines with an Imperial Knight.

You also saw people who brought their A Games – the three Shadowsword armies, for example, the all Stompa/Morkanaut/Deff Dread armies, or the all Shadow Spectre force. One chap just brought along a Reaver Titan, which seemed like a fun approach (I think the record was him being destroyed in turn two by Eldar…).

Then you had the utter twats.

The one that springs to mind, and I seriously gave thought to walking into Bugman’s and reading my Kindle for a couple of hours if I had drawn him as an opponent, was some twonk who took eight Wyverns, three Earthshaker platforms and a super heavy, with some assorted other units.

My issue here is that this guy had given absolutely no thought as to whether his opponents would enjoy their games. No one at all. He just wanted to blow them off the table, as quickly as possible, for the least amount of effort. Consider, for a moment, what it would be like inside his head – he had taken an army that required no thought, no manoeuvre, just picking targets every turn and rolling a bunch of dice until they were deleted. You might imagine that he thought he was very clever in putting together such a force.

As it happened, he met two or three good players who were switched on enough to shut him down but, honestly, who goes to an event like this with that mindset, eh?

Battles Aplenty

So, how did I do?

Well, I haven’t been playing as much of 8th edition as I probably should, so I was fairly daunted, especially as my first opponent had brought an all-tank Militarum force which included a Baneblade (which I have not faced before!). However, you can rely on the Death Guard to be very forgiving as they absorb huge amounts of firepower.

I placed the Plaguebearers up front, Scabiethrax (he quickly became Scabbie over the weekend) behind them, with Miasma of Pestilence providing further protection – for a total of -3 to be hit on the Plaguebearers and most other things benefiting from Scabbie’s aura which gave them -1 to be hit. Then you had the daemonic saves, followed by Disgustingly Resilient…

It turns out that Guardsmen, even when they are in tanks, cannot shoot straight under those conditions. The Plaguebearers swarmed over the Leman Russ line, while Scabbie just caved in the side of the Baneblade in a single round of combat.

Good game, with a fun opponent – job done!

Game Two

Next up was an Ork player, going in with a Stompa, three Deff Dreads, two Morkanauts and a couple of characters. This was a tough battle and, while the Deff Dreads were dealt with quickly and I gave the Stompa a right smack in the nose (reduced to something around 15 wounds), this guy was just all over me. Scabbie was popped and the rest of my force was quickly following him.

The only reason I pulled a win here was because I seized two objectives early on(Death Guard are nothing if not great at holding objectives) and then burned my Ruse Card (we all had a Ruse Card which could be used just once over the weekend, which allows you to do something funky) to bring back a unit of Plague Marines who promptly popped up on his back line, mobbed a lone Mek, and stole his objective.

A very narrow win, but a win nonetheless. And if my opponent is reading this (highly unlikely!), you might well have earned a favourite game vote from me, my friend, but texting with whom I presumed is your girlfriend throughout the battle is Not Okay.

Battle the Third

This was one of my favourite battles of the weekend – six objectives on the table, one of which is the key item the armies need (all other objectives are removed once it is found), and I was up against Tyranids.

It has been years since I have fought bugs, and I was looking forward to seeing how they had changed. Grandfather Nurgle smiled on me early and the main objective just happened to be underneath one of my Crawlers. The Bloat-Drones also acquitted themselves nicely, with the Plaguespitters annihilating a six-strong unit of Zoanthropes and the Flesh Mower munching its way through 30 Hormagaunts before zipping around to generally create hassle among the remaining bugs.

The big swing in the game came when the Tyranid player cleverly timed his main assault so that everything nasty hit my line at once – even the Miasma-wreathed Plaguebearers took serious losses as Carnifexes, Gaunts and Genestealers all piled in at once. To cap it off, the Swarmlord dropped right next to Scabbie and charged in.

However… my opponent opted to attack with his Genestealers first, and I used the Counterattack stratagem to turn Scabbie around and clobber the Swarmlord. 24 points of damage later, and a major headache had been removed!

The fight ended up with a Trygon and ‘Stealers assaulting the objective I was holding, and they very nearly broke my defence. However, some tough fighting from Plague Marines and the Plaguecaster (who, unlike in every other battle I played with him, suddenly became good in close combat – and against ‘Stealers at that!) managed to finally beat them back.

My opponent in this battle was one of the greats at the event, and I would happily play him any time. Gold star to you!

And Then Eldar

The first battle on Sunday was against an Eldar force, and I knew I was in for a tough match. I get to the table, and I see all his infantry are Shadow Spectres, his three flyers are Hemlocks, and he has two Farseer Skyrunners.

His first turn was fairly savage, with even the Plaguebearers losing half their number, and things looked bleak. However, I had a turn, and things started to turn round.

This battle was tough – his Shadow Spectres, combined with the Alaitoc Craftworld rules, meant most of his units were at -2 to be hit. However, they are still Eldar, and rather weedy when hit in the face. The Plaguespitter drone annihilated a Spectre unit and then it and the Flesh Mower raced after his warlord and damn near mowed the Farseer down! The Farseer managed to (finally) get away with just three wounds, and the Eldar just pipped me for points (if I had got that Farseer, my own points would have been doubled and I would have got the victory).

First loss of the weekend!

Finally, Blood Angels

I fought Blood Angels in the last battle, and I had already been informed by James that my opponent was officially a Good Guy, as they had just fought. My opponent had been somewhat perturbed by James’ Shield Drones constantly deflecting his attacks – I had a feeling he would enjoy the combination of penalties to hit, Daemonic Invuns, and Disgustingly Resilient!

Right at the start of the battle, two Stormravens swooped behind my army and dropped off Dante and his Sanguinary Guard to raise a bit of hell. Unfortunately, they ran right into Scabbie, who promptly ate Dante.

Mephiston and a squad of Terminators then dropped from the other Stormraven, and went after a Plagueburst Crawler. It sustained some damage (thanks invuns and Resilience!) before pulling back, and then Mephiston was faced with a choice – charge into Scabbie or the badly wounded Herald next to him. He chose the latter.

But forgot about Heroic Intervention.

So, a second Blood Angels hero ended up in Scabbie’s belly!

After that, the Blood Angels were kinda swamped – the Stormravens were shot down, the Vindicator and Redemptor mired in Plaguebearers who they were killing at a rate of 1 per turn, and the Hellblasters holding the far flank were over run by the Drones, when they were not killing themselves with supercharged plasma shots…

My opponent took all of this in his stride, even as he bemoaned Miasma, Scabbie, Invuns, and Resilience, and made this another of my favourite games of the weekend.

The Results

I didn’t think I had done all that well overall, as I had lost one game, and among 160 players, you only get the top slots if you win all your battles.

However, as it turned out, only one player had won all his games (Eldar), and he received very few favourite game votes and nothing for favourite army – so, the field was open to several players.

James had won two games but, by virtue of being a Good Egg, managed to scoop the award for Best Tau player. Unbelievably, I managed to get the award for best Chaos player: four wins, accounting for 24 points, 4 Favourite Game votes (another 12 points) and 3 Favourite Army votes for another 9 points – a total of 45!

That was enough to put me in second place, just three points behind the winner of the whole event (if only I had painted my models a bit better!).

All in all, this was a good, fun event, and it looks like we will be going to the next one!

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Women in Gaming

So, this week, I went and announced a gaming event in our offices that would be female-only. This is why I did it.

Those of you who hang around the web site rpg.net may be familiar with a recent post that described an incident of sexual harassment in the RPG industry. This led to discussions about the general treatment of women in gaming circles outside of actual employment in the industry, and prodded me first to write an article on this blog (which is sort of what you are reading now) but then to actually do something, however small, about it.

However, this was a culmination of something I have been considering for quite some time, and it started a while ago with one of those moments that make you stop and think… hmmmm….

It began with, of all things, an article posted on the website of the New Statesman (and if you think to draw conclusions about my political leanings from that, don’t bother, you will be way off base – I just find some of their articles interesting).  Anyway, I cannot tell you why I was flicking through their feminist column, as it held little to no interest to me back then, but I came across what might be described as a curious account.

The writer was talking about what it was like to be a woman in the modern age, and she mentioned that she never liked to walk down the street on her own. She did it, sure, but there was always something in the back of her mind that was concerned for her own safety.

My first thought? What utter rubbish. After all, this is 21st Century Britain we are talking about, not some… other country where violence is rife. I mean, I walk down the street all the time, and do not worry. I’ll happily walk down a dingy alley, at night, and not think twice about it. Perfectly safe. Wouldn’t even cross my mind that there is anything to fear.

However, I did have (what I hope is to my credit) the presence of mind to ask the women around me: are you ever concerned about walking down the street on your own?

And it turns out, women are.

It is a bit of a cliche, I apologise but the result of this was… Mind. Blown.

Never even considered it before, but there it was.

That was when I started thinking about it. For thousands of years, women have been mistreated for no other reason than they are women. Unable to own property. Essentially regarded as property themselves (and we are not exactly talking about a remote period of history for that). But while huge strides were made during the 20th Century, it did seem that being a woman was still (and forgive me if I go too far here) a bit of a crap way to live.

Think of it for a moment: being worried about walking down the streets of your own home town. Every day.

If that has not happened to you on a continual basis, I am not sure you can understand it. Pretty sure I do not know what this feels like.

However, you can muster enough empathy to do something about it and agree that it should not be normal.

There are horror stories in gaming of actual sexual assaults taking place. I have no knowledge or experience of that, and do not feel qualified to discuss it. What I want to get at is something that, in its own way, is a bit more insidious; the constant pressure being applied to women, every day, that makes them fearful to walk down the street – or into a gaming convention, or a gaming store, or sitting down at a table with a bunch of guys to play.

That is just not on. It is not decent. And it is not how we should be living our lives.

(If you flatly disagree with that sentiment, I am not sure I can reach you, but I would perhaps suggest that you ask the women in your life – family, friends, and colleagues – whether they are ever concerned about walking down the street on their own, as their answers may just surprise you).

(You might also consider the things said here, which are described from a viewpoint I can never represent – but think about what it would be like actually going through those events).

The next step, of course, is to start analysing your own life and what you have witnessed – and if you are anything like me, your first conclusion will be ‘not much, really.’ But is that true? Really? Remember, you might not have known that women are afraid to walk down the street, so what else is going on that escapes your attention?

For me, I recalled an incident that had happened a while earlier. We had this guy in our gaming group who, frankly, was not the most pleasant of people – fun enough to talk to, but I had already caught him cheating and pegged him to be ejected ‘at some point.’ Hadn’t done anything before, obviously, because, you know… confrontation, and I really just wanted a quiet life.

Anyway, I was on one side of the office working, while the others had gathered around a table and were chatting. And I heard said guy opine that the reason one of my staff members won games was because she used her breasts to distract her opponent. She was not present at the time, but it was said quite openly.

That is not an okay thing to say about a woman you game with on a regular basis.

My mistake upon hearing that was to file it under ‘okay, we really need to lose this guy.’ What I should have done was thrown him out immediately. I know that now. Suitably warned, today I keep a far tighter rein on what goes on in the office.

And the guy? He is gone. He was made to feel so uncomfortable that he left of his own accord. Which avoided confrontation (if that had happened, he would have just lied about everything, and that would have seriously honked me off), though I did miss the chance to say a few choice things to him.

I know that was not handled well, and believe I am better equipped to sort things out if it happens again.

The point is, all those casual comments do have an effect. They are not always taken as jokes, however intended. They can seem threatening, even if you do not mean them that way.

Have I made comments that went over the line?

Hell, yes.

I can fairly cringe at some of the stuff I have said in the past and, furthermore, I cannot promise that I won’t say such things in the future (seriously, I cannot believe my mouth sometimes).

But I can try. We can all try.

So, that is why I decided to hold a women-only event at our offices (which, incidentally, I will not be present at).

It is not about coddling women. It is not about women being thin-skinned. It is not about these things not happening around you, in gaming and out.

It is about women still being mistreated and disrespected for no other reason than they are women.

Even if you are not the problem itself (you probably have said inappropriate things at some point in your life that made the women around you uncomfortable, whatever your intentions), it is a problem that exists and is around you right now. Even if, like me, you were previously unaware of it.

(I do wonder what women think of us, that something so obvious to them is utterly invisible to many of us, but I digress…).

And to those of you who think me sexist or an SJW… it is one day dedicated to women only, in a small office, not the end of civilisation. As things stand, you have the rest of the year to yourself. You can give women one day.

(Incidentally, I am not sure the term SJW is really an insult. Social: we all live in the same society. Justice: justice is always good, surely? Warrior: warriors are cool…).

I’ll leave it there for now. I mentioned at the start that I had been planning an article about this, and this one is only really half of it. I have also been ploughing through various web sites and Youtube channels posted by people (well, guys) who are raising concerns about the advance of third wave feminism into tabletop gaming, and I have a few things to say about that.

Want to let things percolate in the mind a bit first.

Greater Blight Drones of Nurgle

I actually polished these three models off yesterday, but I held off making this post until now, as I had a battle against James earlier today and intended to use them… and he keeps an eye on my Facebook page. He just loves it when I use the smaller Foetid Bloat-Drone (something to do with it almost wiping out his Tactical Squad with one shot the first time it appeared) and, obviously, him seeing these bigger versions before the actual battle would have ruined his voyage of discovery…

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Naturally, just adding one to the Death Guard would not have been sufficient, and would have lacked a certain… impact. So, I did three.

These guys are just a point more than the Bloat-Drone and while their main weapon is probably not quite as good, they are a little tougher and regenerate every round. Which will please James, I have absolutely no doubt.

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Painting-wise… despite being a Forge World model, they were a piece of cake, if anything even easier than the smaller plastic Bloat-Drone. Standard Death Guard green and metal all round, a diseased flesh underbody, then a bit of brass. Simples!

Now, while these three guys hitting the battlefield will look all kinds of impressive, I have seen this week that a new Bloat-Drone kit will be coming out. Assuming I pick up a couple of those (and why not, eh?), that is going to be a total of six drones of various stripes roaming the battlefield.

James’ delight will be absolute.

Coming Soon to Prospero

I was going to do a quick review of all the new goodies in the latest White Dwarf – but stuff that, you’ll see them for yourself on Saturday, and I don’t think it is really anything that you haven’t really seen before.

No, what we will do instead is have a look at the new Forge World miniatures that have just been previewed on Warhammer TV that are going to be destined for my Prospero forces!

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First up… Custodes Terminators – as Mr Cottrell himself said on Warhammer TV, they are bigger and golder than normal Termies!

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Forge World being what it is, they are going to force the more wallet-conscious to make a choice – Custodes Terminators can also have Firepikes (did I get that right?).

But the model I am really after…

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A Thousand Sons Praetor!

I was going to try to swing the Warhammer World exclusive Praetor for my Thousand Sons but sod that, the Space Woofs can have him – this one is going to be my new general!

Speaking of Space Woofs, they also had a quick leak for their Terminators..

What was that? You still want to know what is in White Dwarf? Well, the new Hellblasters, Intercessors, and Inceptors are arriving this month (I want the latter especially, tooled up with plasma!), and the Grey Knights and Chaos Space Marines have the odd Codex coming (typically, I have recently sold my Grey Knights, and I went Death Guard for Chaos, so the generalised Codex is less interesting right now – though I have had a hankering to do Kharn and his warband in the past…).

The Hobbit gets a blind troll and a large budgie, and the new Forge World Thunderhawk looks a bit tasty.

Oh, and apparently the XBox Blood Bowl 2 is going to be getting an update soon that adds a bunch more teams, including Amazons – now that I am interested.

But I think that is a decent enough round up of White Dwarf. I am now going back to gazing at that Thousand Sons Praetor…

Thousand Sons Tactical Squad

I still have not leapt completely into Horus Heresy mode, but the occasional model is getting done here and there. This weekend, the Thousand Sons received their first Tactical Squad!

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The basic idea is that I am doing both a Thousand Sons and Space Wolves force, with the thought that someday I’ll play a Prospero campaign. Not sure how realistic that is, but we’ll see how things go!

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This squad marks the completion of the Betrayal of Calth set, and now I will be cracking on with the Burning of Prospero models. The Sisters of Silence and Custodes are already built and undercoated, and are destined to be next on the painting table, ably joined by Ahriman and the Tartaros Terminators (the latter of whom will be Thousand Sons).

As for the Mk III Space Marines of that set, twenty are destined to be Tactical marines for the Thousand Sons, which will neatly fill the ‘compulsory’ slots for that army (I have some Grey Slayers on their way from Forge World who will do the same for the Space Woofs), and then I have to make a decision on the last ten of the Mk III marines. I was thinking they should be another Tactical Squad for the Space Wolves, but maybe I should investigate the support options instead…

Event Report – Battle Brothers

Warhammer World ran their Battle Brothers Event for Age of Sigmar this weekend – and I was in attendance!

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The Armies

My Battle Brother for the weekend was James (the chap who plays through the Realmgate Wars campaign with me), and he had been painting up his Daughters of Khaine. It is a fairly simple force in concept:

Cauldron of Blood x 2 (one as general with the Phoenix Stone and Tenacious)
Witch Elves x 2 (units of 20)

Now, I had started thinking about taking an army that was cool and fluffy but, after looking at what James was taking, I realised we were not going to be making any friends, so I went for Seraphon:

Eternity Warden (wit Phoenix Stone and Tenacious)
Skink Priest (with Priestly Trappings)
Saurus Guard x 3 (units of 10)
Eternal Starpost Battalion

I think you can all see where we were going with these choices.

The Witch Elves would run ahead and absolutely murder anything they came across (the number of attacks they put out is utterly insane), relying on the overlapping Blood Cauldron auras to effectively give them two 5+ saves against any and all wounds.

The Seraphon would advance and sit on any objectives with a 2+ re-rollable save that ignored Rend of -1.

I figured that this force would look weak upon deployment in a game that has lots of big monsters and tough Heroes, and it would not be until the second turn before opponents started realising just how nasty it was…

 

Game One

Our first opponents were a couple of young lads called Matt and James, and they too had Seraphon and Dark Elves – however they had brought nice, fluffy forces and we had brought an absolute monster along.

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I turtled down on the right flank, while James gave them a solid left hook and swept round. The elf player on the opposing side had an amazing ability to make saves, so that Anointed on the Phoenix lasted a long time, but those Saurus Guard kicking out D3 damage (thanks to Eternal Starhost) proved an inevitable end.

They took their loss well and were amazingly good-natured (always nice to see in younger players – and older ones too, for that matter), and staged a last ditch defence with the Bolt Thrower crew charging into my rampaging Saurus Guard (and came ‘this’ closer to taking down a unit, thanks to some miserable saves on my part!) but, in the end, the sickness of our force told.

 

Game Two

This is where we started having to up our game. We faced a great pair of chaps who had also come to the event loaded for bear – Ogors teamed up with a Warherd (that is beastmen, but where the smallest/weakest fighter is a Bullgor!).

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We could tell that, upon deployment, they thought they had this game in the bag – and I was not too confident myself, knowing that Rend -2 Bullgors would rip through my Saurus Guard like tissue paper. However, as the lines crashed together…

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The Witch Elves utterly mauled the Ogors and a flanking move by a bunch of Bullgors was annihilated by the Saurus Guard (though only because the lizards struck before the cows – had we not done that, I would have evaporated). It was at that point our opponents realised what they were facing and, full credit to them… they congratulated us on it!

The battle then turned into a real slog. The Ogors fell quickly but the Warherd was just plain nasty – at 1,000 points, this is an absolutely solid force and would recommend it to anyone.

We prevailed in the end but, talking to our opponents afterwards, they thought they got completely hammered. I don’t think they realised just how close we had come to breaking either. This battle could have gone either way and it was probably just the Witch Elves smashing the Ogors early on that pulled us ahead. There certainly weren’t many of the girls left at the end of the battle…

 

Game Three

Now, this was an interesting one, in many ways! We faced a Flesh-Eater Court/Bonesplitterz combo run by a Father/Son team. The father was very Italian and the son very… well, drunk!

(At one point, I think James suggested the son keep track of turns by having a pint for each one, and then just counting the empties to see where we were in the game!).

This one was a lot of fun, and our opponents were clearly doing something right as they went on to win one of the painting awards, along with the event championship!

The Battleplan played was Escalation, and that immediately caused the first problem. Both my force and James’ relied on synergies and we could not deploy everything needed to get all our buffs. The second problem was that the Bonesplitterz were fielding a Kunnin’ Rukk with Arrow Boyz, and we had never faced that before. Heard about it online, but this was the first time we had actually seen it.

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One of James’ Witch Elf units and its Cauldron of Blood disappeared under a hail of arrows in the first turn, leaving a massive unit of Savage Orruks to roam the centre of the table. When his reinforcements came along, James decided to leave the Bonesplitterz to the Seraphon (thank you for that), and contest an objective with the Flesh-Eaters.

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This he did convincingly, facing down a Varghulf, Ghoul King and Crypt Horrors. In fact, he held on to the objective right up until the final Crypt Ghoul reinforcements came along. They proved too much for him, and the girls were wiped out.

Meanwhile, I was facing two units of 30 Arrow Boyz, plus Boarboyz, all in Kunnin’ Rukk formation.

So, I turtled.

The Father’s face when I removed two Saurus Guard as casualties after a round of shooting from that lot was a picture. Knowing he had to shift me, he charged.

That might have been a mistake, as my Saurus Guard were now dishing out D3 damage, and Arrow Boyz are not all that in close combat.

They managed to grab two objectives, but my Saurus Guard steadily advanced.hacking their way through the Orruks. The game ended when a single Saurus Guard broke from combat to grab the centre objective while his mates hammered more Arrow Boyz into the ground. A victory, but so very, very close to defeat – after the first turn, we did not have any idea how we were going to deal with those Bonesplitterz!

 

Game Four

After a good night’s rest, we were back on the Sunday morning, this time facing a combined Death force – and just looking at their army before deployment, I knew we were in trouble.

Arkhan, four Morghast Archai, and a Mourngul, surrounded by a whole bunch of Spirit Hosts and Banshees.

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I could see what was coming, so I raced for the objective on our side of the table and camped, waiting for the inevitable.

I did not have to wait long. James started confidently, but quickly got bogged down by the Mourngul (reducing to a single wound at one point, but it just kept coming back!) and torn apart by the Morghasts. While he did manage to do some damage, there was no holding back the undead and the game ended on turn 5 with them launching an assault upon my Saurus Guard around the objective, with Mourngul and Mortarch leading a massive unit of summoned skeletons.

This game actually ended in a draw, so it came down to points, and I had a feeling it would prove distinctly lop-sided. So, I was surprised to hear that the only unit we had completely lost were one of the Witch Elves (everything else managed to hold on just long enough!), while the Morghasts and Spirit Hosts were had nobbled proved sufficient to grab a minor victory for us!

 

Game Five

By now, we were well into the thick of things in terms of fearsome opponents, and when our last match was being set up, I knew we were in for another tough time – Ogors matched with Beastclaw Raiders.

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The Mournfang Riders, along with Yhetees and Fimir crashed into the Witch Eves, and while they managed to give one of the Cauldrons a good bashing, the Daughters of Khaine remained firm.

The problems were more on my side of the table. The Stonehorn had rushed forward in the first turn and trounced my Skink Priest, while the Saurus Guard had advanced (which I probably should not have done) into a wood to contend another objective. The Skink Priest went down, and I was left without re-rolls on the saves.

However, as it turned out, I suddenly became quite good at rolling saves without re-rolls – which was all the better when the Eternity Warden went down, meaning I had a basic 4+ save against Rend -2 nasties!

We were tabled right at the end of turn 5 but, by that time, we had wracked up enough points on the objectives to claim a decent enough victory. It was the Witch Elves that managed to grab the objective in the enemy deployment zone (briefly, but it was a good points boost), but I am going to say it was the Seraphon that won this one – not only did one unit hold a forest (and the objective in it) from an entire warband of Ogors, plus Gargant, but a single Saurus Guard survived the (frankly murderous) attacks of the Stonehorn for two consecutive turns, denying our deployment zone objective (and a bucket load of victory points) to the enemy!

As expected, we suffered on Favourite Game votes (I blame James and his Witch Elves), but we managed to secure fifth place in the event. Result!

 

End of the Weekend

There was not a bum game among any that we played, and we did not even hear about ‘That Guy’ let alone meet him throughout the weekend. People brought tough armies (some tougher than others, sure), but they also brought along a really good attitude. Every game was pretty much played for laughs, and no one really tried to ‘game’ their way to victory.

There was also the appropriate amount of blaming one’s team mate for disasters!

I think the team/Battle Brothers events are going to be moving into my top slot of Warhammer World games, as they really are a great laugh and no one takes things amazingly seriously.

As for our armies, I think the Seraphon were solid, so long as they did not meet Rend-2 or mortal wounds. The Daughters of Khaine are vicious and can really catch people off guard (you don’t really see them in ‘net’ lists), but they suffer badly against any force that can dish out a similar amount of attacks. I think James might try the Sisters of Slaughter next time…

Oh, and I know someone will ask – just under 50 people attended this one.

Event Report – Seeds of Hope

Games Workshop had another one of their one-day free events for Age of Sigmar this weekend. So, we loaded up the car and made the trip into the wilderness of the North to attend!

This was (I think) a dry run for their 2,000 point ‘tournament’ event in a month or two, being a three-round, 1,000 point event, using all the Matched Play rules. I went up with Andy and James, who took Ogres (Gutbusters) and Daughters of Khaine respectively, while I went with my Hallowed Knights:

Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Fulminators x 4
Liberators
Judicators

So, a nice, compact force that was not too over the top but it had it where it counts. The Lord-Celestant was a Legendary Fighter (giving his hammer +1 attacks) and he carried the Phoenix Gem (healing him every round).

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I did not count up the attendees, but it was well attended, with more participants than any other Age of Sigmar event I have been to, I believe.

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My first game was against a chap called Andre who hailed all the way from Florida (he hadn’t flown over just to play, he was in the UK for other reasons!) with his Ironjawz. Now, I have picked up some of these guys, but had never played or faced them before, so was interested to see how they went.

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It didn’t go well!

In the first turn, the Lord-Celestant grabbed an objective, putting the Hallowed Knights in the lead (as I did not think his Warchanter or Megaboss could get to an objective in the first round), and the Fulminators charged into the Ironjawz flank, wiping out an entire unit of Brutes as they went.

Then the Ironjawz just turned around and mauled the Stormcasts! There were still some high points, such as the Lord-Celestant abandoning his objective to kick the snot out of the Megaboss (though he was badly wounded in the attempt and was quickly pulled down by a Brute), and a desperate last stand by the Judicators, who managed to destroy another Brute unit in close combat!

However, victory was very firmly in the hands of the Orruks.

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The next battle was against a combined Chaos force, which included Nurgle and Khorne daemons, with a big unit of Bullgors, all led by a Great Unclean One. This battle had a random placement of objectives in the second round and, just my luck, mine landed right in front of the Bullgors – so, they needed to be dealt with!

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As it turned out, just about everything went my way in this fight – the Fulminators wiped out the Bullgors in a single charge, and then went on to clock the Great Unclean One. Even the Liberators did respectable work, tying out and bashing a combined Bloodletter/Plaguebearer force.

Victory for Order!

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The final battle was against a Deathrattler force, and things went well, initially. The Fulminator charge was pulled off flawlessly, wiping out a big Grave Guard unit, and though they got bogged down by a Wight King who was reducing their hit rolls, they finally managed to fight their way through him and his Skeleton Warrior bodyguard.

So, they were ready to plough forward and grab the enemy objective from a single unit of Skeleton Warriors – easily done!

However, I had let two Tomb Banshees sidle up the middle of the table to attack the Liberators and Judicators guarding my own objective. Nothing to worry about, as they are only Banshees – so I thought…

As it turned out, these Banshees were way, way more effective than the ones I had used in the past! Their screams almost annihilated my units and they were even bringing Stormcasts down in close combat!

If my Lord-Celestant had not doubled back to support them, I would not have had five models on the objective to claim it, and victory might not have happened – that game was a lot closer than it looked!

And that was the Seeds of Hope event – a very enjoyable day and while the Death Faction was the overall winner of the event itself, Order was able to claim Warhammer World for the Season of War summer campaign.

Yay!

I have to say, this was probably the best Age of Sigmar event I have been to. Everyone was very friendly and there were no TFGs in evidence – at all. Like, none. There were no forces that looked terrible to face, and I did not meet anyone who was absolutely determined to win all their battles. A very positive experience, and I am looking forward to the next one!