Monthly Archives: August 2013

Painted Thunder Archers

Here are two Thunder Archers (or Ten Thunders Archers, as they are called in Malifaux Classic edition); the third from the box was sold away to another local player as I didn’t think I’d ever want to field three at once.  They were brutal in the previous version of Malifaux, fully capable of taking out two minions in a single activation at a huge range, or splashing damage onto hard-to-hit targets.  Of course, they were terrible up close but Ten Thunders as a faction isn’t short on melee fighters so that was never a problem for me.  Second edition Malifaux appears to have toned them down a bit (at least in the test ruleset I was using) which is probably for the best.

Assembling these guys was another task not intended for the clumsy or inexperienced.  They are nothing like as bad as the legend that is Yan Lo‘s beard, but the head, hat and scarf are actually four separate pieces, and the individual arrows are very thin.  The blue Archer is supposed to have a single arrow in his hand coming out of the quiver, but after snapping the first (of three) taking it off the sprue I decided it was more hassle that it was worth.  I could have painted them both to look like they were part of an army or something but part of the charm of Malifaux in general and Ten Thunders in particular is the lack of similarity between miniatures so I decided to just go for completely different colour schemes.  I didn’t intend it that way, but I guess that the red ribbon on the bows ties them together a little.

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Putting this one’s head together was super annoying, and even after a lot of work it still looks like his hat sits too high on the head.  It’s not too noticeable at tabletop range though.
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I really like the dynamism of this chap, but I can’t help but think that this is not the optimum position for firing a bow if you have any intention of having the arrow go where you want.
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Next on the painted table: Lucas McCabe.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ogre Kingdoms vs Orcs & Goblins (500 points); 08Aug13

A good evening of gaming started with my slow grow campaign game against Justinmatters at 500 points.  My list is as noted previously, but for convenience, here it is again.

Miss Madras, Firebelly, additional hand weapon (FB)

Heidi’s lasses, 5 Ironguts, musician (IG)

Helga’s lasses, 3 Leadbelchers (LB)

Blackcat Bone, Sabretusk (ST)

Justinmatters has quite a bit of amusing story around his list (which can be found on his own blog) but for the purposes of this battle report, the main gist of it seems to be ‘throw Goblins at stuff and hope that the other army runs out of dudes first’.  This application has been surprisingly successful.

Goblin Big Boss, Shrieking Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness (BB)

Night Goblin Shaman (S)

30 Goblins, musician (G1)

25 Goblins, musician (G2)

30 Night Goblins, musician (NG)

12 Squigs, 5 Herders (SH)

We used Battle Line again without consciously deciding not to roll, then randomly get 3 pieces of terrain.  Two of them are just boring old houses and the last is some Blessed Bulwarks that we will inevitably forget about.  My Firebelly once again rolls up Cascading Fire Cloak and discards it in favour of Fireball; the Night Goblin keeps Gork’ll Fix It.  I win the first turn and make the Goblins move first on the principle that they might as well be in range by the time I get my turn.

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Nothing exciting here, as everyone marches forward in a straight line.  Well, when you have no ranged attacks, there’s not much choice but to get stuck in quickly.  With 3,2 magic dice, the Shaman puts Gork’ll Fix It on the Leadbelchers and I fail to dispel it.

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I see an opportunity to rid myself of the pesky shaman early so I charge with the Sabretusk, making it easily.  My other units move up to 12″ away from the Goblins; short range for the Leadbelchers (who’ll need it with Gork’ll Fix It on them) and optimal charging range for Ogres vs M4 enemies (they need an 8 to contact, and I only need a 6).  We get another big magic phase (3,2 dice) and I try my luck with the big version of Fireball.  It goes off and takes out a bunch of Squigs and Herders, though I did forget that they’re Immune to Psychology and hence wouldn’t panic.  The Leadbelchers thin out the Goblins with their Big Boss for good measure, then the Sabretusk puts a wound on the Shaman before fleeing and being run down.  It was a risky manoeuver, as killing the Shaman early is worth a lot, but I have to do it in one round (not out of the question against WS2, T3 and W2) as the Sabretusk will certainly lose to static combat resolution and flee, risking panic if it gets close to my lines and baiting the Night Goblins closer if they choose to pursue.

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The Night Goblins take advantage of the free move from chasing down the Sabretusk to charge into the Leadbelchers, but both units in the West fail their charges into the Ironguts.  As it happens, I’d probably be quite happy to accept one of them, but receiving double charges has rarely been good news for me.  The unengaged Goblins in the East wheel to keep their options open.  We get 3,1 magic dice and the Shaman helpfully kills himself with his Magic Mushrooms while putting Gork’ll Fix It back on the Leadbelchers with Irresistable Force.  The hapless Night Goblin doesn’t live long enough to ‘enjoy’ the resulting Calamitous Detonation but it does put a couple of wounds on a Leadbelcher and take out a rank or so of his erstwhile companions.  More are mown down as the Firebelly uses her breath weapon, but the Night Goblins are comfortably within range of the Big Boss who keeps them in line.

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The Ironguts happily take the ‘can’t possibly miss it’ charge on the Big Boss’s mob of Goblins, beating the general to death and generally trampling Greenskins left and right in a very satisfying manner all the while only taking a single wound in return.  The Goblins are Steadfast of course, but passing it on 6 is not so easy and they flee, ending up only an inch or so away from the pursuing Ironguts; I needed to follow up to make sure I was safe from a flank charge in return by the Squigs.  The Leadbelchers and Night Goblins continue to chew each other.

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The fleeing Goblins rally, and everyone else reforms to trap the Ironguts.  The Night Goblins take out the last Leadbelcher but are still taking bucketloads of wounds back, they hold steadfast on Ld5.

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The Ironguts have no way to avoid the multiple charge next turn so they just go for plan A: straight up the middle into the rallied Goblins, then face-tank the inevitable counter punch.  A single Goblin lives long enough to flee and the Ironguts reform to take the Squigs in their front arc.  Meanwhile, the Firebelly makes a mess of her attacks on the Night Goblins and loses to the musician on combat resolution; happily she holds.  That could easily have been the game right there.

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Of course, everyone piles into the Ironguts, and I’m just down to hoping for bad rolls from the Squigs here.  They do me proud and one of the Ironguts survives on a single wound, which is probably critical to the mauling they then dish out; one more wound would have really impacted the amount of damage I handed out.  The Goblins are Steadfast and manage to hang on, but the 1 surviving Squig and his Handler fail to muster the Insane Courage they’d need, go wild, then apparently run off to the Night Goblins, taking out 5 of them (while doing no wounds at all to either unit close by).  Thanks to that piece of luck, the Firebelly then takes out most of the remaining Night Goblins who finally fail their leadership check and are run down.  Who would have thought that Steadfast on Ld5 would be so reliable!

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There’s not much choice here, I just charge the Firebelly into the flank of the Goblins, hack them apart and run the survivors down with both units.  We don’t bother playing on to see if the last Goblin can rally before he makes it off the table.  Victory to the Ogre Kingdoms!

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That could have been the funniest game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle I’ve played in ages.  Justinmatters’ list is ridiculous and hilarious; dealing with 100 Goblins is outrageous at 500 points, especially so when I only have 10 of my own miniatures on the table.  As usual, a couple of different rolls could have made a big difference; notably the Firebelly fleeing from the Night Goblins in turn 3 or the Squigs putting a single extra wound on the Ironguts in turn 4 could very easily have turned the tables in Justinmatters’ favour.  Otherwise, there’s not much to be learned from the tactics – we just ran at each other and the dice went my way when I needed them; though the Night Goblins were a bit of an annoyance constantly passing Ld5 checks for fear and break tests.

Edit: Justinmatters has written about how this went from the Goblins’ perspective here.

Categories: Battle reports, Campaigns, Escalation campaign, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Ogre Kingdoms vs Empire (500 points); 01Aug13

Furycat and I got our slow grow campaign kicked off with the first of the battles at 500 points.  We’ve played out most of the match ups at 500 points just to see if the game breaks too badly (it doesn’t, but only because we’re trying hard to stop it) so there were no surprises here.  My list is as noted previously, but for convenience, here it is again.

Miss Madras, Firebelly, additional hand weapon (FB)

Heidi’s lasses, 5 Ironguts, musician (IG)

Helga’s lasses, 3 Leadbelchers (LB)

Blackcat Bone, Sabretusk (ST)

Furycat has a list with its own fluff, which I imagine he’ll post eventually.  Anyway, this list is:

Warrior Priest, Opal Amulet, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour (WP)

20 Spearmen (S)

2 x 5 Archers (A1 and A2)

17 Halberdiers, full command (H)

5 Pistoliers, musician (P)

I’m not sure if we had agreed not to randomise missions at this escalation, or if we just forgot to do it, but we ended up with Battle Line.  We have a similarly half-baked plan to reduce the number and effects of terrain, but still ended up with 5 pieces.  A Mist-Wreathed Swamp in the North East and an Idol of Gork in the North West were both placed with the principle of ‘I don’t want that affecting my army!’.  More benignly, we had some Ghost Fences in the centre, a forest in the South West and a Temple of Skulls in the South East.  As usual, we forgot about them all anyway, so nothing actually affected the game.  My Firebelly swapped something useless (I think it was Cascading Fire Cloak) for Fireball.  The Empire win first turn and take it, with the Pistoliers Vanguarding into my face.

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Basically everyone moves forward behind the screening Archers, with the exception of the Pistoliers who inevitably park themselves safely out of any charge arcs just to the right of my Ironguts.  The Warrior Priest mucks about pointlessly with his spells (mainly just to remind me what the spells are, I suppose) and then the ranged units open fire with an embarrassingly ineffective volley at the Ironguts, managing a single wound between the lot of them.

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There’s a long charge on from the Sabretusk at the Western Archers, and they have to hold because fleeing through the Spearmen is a big risk with no BSB available; the stand and shoot reaction takes a wound off my cat before it makes contact.  The Ironguts move out the way and the Leadbelchers align to get shots on the Pistoliers and screening Archers.  We roll 3,1 magic dice (we’re using D3s for the first couple of escalations) and they all go into a mid-sized Fireball which kills four of the unengaged Archers.  I was hoping to get them all and start forcing panic checks.  The Leadbelchers shoot down two of the Pistoliers but again they pass their panic check, then the Sabretusk and Archers flail hopelessly at each other.

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There’s a bit of shuffling at the back, and the Pistoliers move to safety again, but the main move is the surviving Archer getting up to right in front of the Ironguts.  There are 3,3 magic dice and both Hammer of Sigmar and Shield of Faith are cast.  The Pistoliers wound a Leadbelcher with some more terrible rolling, and the Sabretusk eats an Archer but the others hold.

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I consider my options here.  The sensible thing to do is ignore the bait Archer (or, even better, shoot him to death) and concentrate on finishing off the Pistoliers so that I can make my advantage in range count.  However, I’m already sick of hearing how bent Ogres are with this army book [turn 2 of the first game of the campaign; possibly not a good sign], so I go for the high risk, high amusement option.  I declare the charge with the Ironguts at the Archer (knowing that Furycat will have him flee) and hope to be able to redirect into the Spearmen; I need an 8 to pass the leadership check and another 8 to make the charge.  Sadly, the Archer only flees a pitiful distance and the window to the Spearmen doesn’t even open up in the first place, a possibility which I admit I hadn’t even considered.  So they end up trampling over the poor chap, staring down both combat blocks with easy charges to make.  Oh well.  I decide just to roll with it and move the Leadbelchers up in support; this means I have to leave the Pistoliers to their own devices for a while which is always a problem.  Magic only gives 1,1, power dice so the Firebelly cooks a few Halberdiers with Fireball, and the Leadbelchers follow up with an inspiring round of shooting which leaves the Halberdiers looking a bit more manageable.  Sadly, they don’t panic.  The Sabretusk finally gets his act together and eats a couple more Archers but the incensed survivors polish him off.

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Not surprisingly, the Halberdiers and Spearmen both make their charges into the Ironguts.  The other units just move to annoy the Leadbelchers a bit.  With 2,1 magic dice, the Warrior Priest puts them all into Hammer of Sigmar which I am not able to stop.  The Pistoliers shoot down a Leadbelcher and the unit panics, fleeing through the Spearmen.  The Ironguts put up a decent fight against their foes, but end up down a bit on combat resolution and are run down by both units.  In retrospect, I knew that I’d probably lose them so I should have focussed attacks on the Warrior Priest in the hope of getting him out of the way rather than killing rank and file to fruitlessly try to bolster my own combat resolution.

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Well, I’ve only got one unit left, and it’s fleeing.  Luckily, they rally.  The magic phase only gives me 1,1 magic dice, so I put them into a small Fireball which kills another Pistolier.

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The Spears and Halberdiers turn round to face again, the Halberdiers swift reforming to head back a bit more.  The remaining Pistoliers and Archers stay in safe places to take more wounds off my Ogresses.  The winds of magic give 3,2 dice; Hammer of Sigmar is cast but I dispel Shield of Faith.  Another Leadbelcher is killed (no panic), leaving me with just two models on the table having achieved almost nothing.

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The last two Ogresses move forward.  Justinmatters (who is watching) wonders why I don’t charge with them, until I show him the flame template.  I roll up 3,2 magic dice and put them all into the medium Fireball.  It goes off with Irresistable Force; the Calamitous Detonation wounds both of my miniatures and wipes out the Halberdiers except for the Warrior Priest (who wards his hit on the Opal Amulet).  He decided to make a tactical retreat.  That was satisfying.  Then the Firebelly lays down the perfect breath weapon attack on the Spearmen, killing off 10 of them.  That was even more satisfying.  Unfortunately, they don’t take either of their opportunities to join the Warrior Priest running away.

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All the remaining units (except the Priest, who rallies) charge the Ogresses. Remarkably, all three fail their fear checks and I have a glimmer of hope that I might actually pull this out after all.  Sadly, an unholy run of 5s and 6s from Furycat puts that notion to rest as the Leadbelcher is killed anyway and the Firebelly (down by a lot on combat resolution) is unable to must Insane Courage and is run down.  Victory for the Empire.

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That was a good game, and it felt like we both had chances to win it.  I could have been comfortable if I’d played the safe option with the Ironguts on turn 2, but I don’t mind taking a few risks if they might end up with entertaining results.  I would have liked to start the campaign with a win, but at least Furycat gets to do that instead.

Categories: Battle reports, Campaigns, Escalation campaign, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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