Monday, 29 April 2013


And so it was that on ANZAC day, Thursday the 18th of April, two generals did once again clash in an epic game of their own devising. Herman "the horrible" Van Kradenburg led a detachment of Dark Elves in an attempt to sneak attack an Empire town defended by the (almost oblivious) troops of Nicholas (new dice needed) Jebson. going in i had hoped i had got the balance just right on the game, and felt both sides, though the Empire was at a pretty obvious disadvantage in the first round (i posted lasted week on the rules that we would be playing) had a strong chance of coming out on top. the lists went as follows:

Crone Helebron (oh yes, i did not realize till too late but it was she)
Noble BSB with crimson death and 2+ armour save item
Sorcerous lvl 2 with shadow and the tome of furion
Sorcerous lvl 2 with shadow and the cloak of extra dice
30 odd Corsairs with repeater hand bows and the frenzy banner
25 odd witch elves
15 repeater crossbowmen
5 shades
5 shades
repeater bolt thrower

a very small force but packing a few surprises

General of the empire with sword of might, shield, full plate, 4+ ward and crown of command
Captain BSB with full plate, shield, lance and barded steed
Warrior priest with heavy armour and great weapon
Amber wizard lvl 2 with a dispel scroll
Bright wizard lvl 1
30 Halbardiers with 5 archers
24 Free company
21 Free company
20 Archers
25 Flagellants
9 Inner circle knights of the white wolf
Hellblaster volley gun

also because of a cock up in sending my list to Herman to get the miniatures ready the page with the archers and flagellants never turned up, so some crossbowmen and executioners went rogue to make up numbers


with the Volley gun minus its crew and the archers in the tower, the empire were as ready as they were ever going to be so, roll on the start of the game
"good luck mate"

The Dark Elves came sweeping onto the field, all units (even the artillery) pushing up the beachhead in order to exploit the lack of Empire soldiery to oppose them. and with magical superiority the Dark Elves rolled a 10 for the winds of magic, this was going to hurt.
the elves arive on the beachhead...
while the shades slip silently out of the woods

by the end of the phase however, the archers had only lost 3 men (thanks to the templates on buildings rule) and had been reduced to WS, BS, and Int of 1. however the cost was high as a miscast cost both sorcerous's a wound. roll on the shooting phase and 18 corsairs level their crossbows at the archers and...
do absolutely nothing

the empire then retaliates and, with only the archers on the field, can do very little. however 17 shots at BS 1 still manage to kill 2 of the corsairs even with their sea dragon cloaks

the corsairs charged the building, knowing that their sheers weight of attacks should slaughter the pathetic archers opposing them. the shades also charge the unmanned artilery hoping to take it out before it can be used, but fails the charge by 1".
close, but so far away
 the bolt thrower set up and the crossbowmen and witch elves push up once again to the border of the town. the magic phase rolled around and Herman utters the "oh god!" as the pit is cast once again on a miscast, killing one of the archers. disastrously for the dark elves an 8 is rolled for the second time and with no way to save it both sorcerous's are killed by the murderous backlash, leaving the Dark Elves with no magical support just as the empire are set to arrive
bye bye sorcerous's, better luck next time

however with no one to shoot at the combat phase was short and brutal, with 15 of the 17 archers being slaughtered by the corsairs, who then lost 2 men to the 2 remaining attacks (go team). however even with the stubborn granted by occupying a building the archers still fled and, as a more thematic than actual legal move that we agreed to for the sake of the game, the corsairs went swarming over the building to hack down the fleeing archers. (yes we know but their not their for the tower, their there for the population)
 how will the empire cope, tune in for the second exciting installment... well pretty much immedietly.


so it came to pass that the Empire now got a chance to roll for their reserves to come in. and in a shocking turn of events it was not a trickle but a flood! the general and his Halbardiers failed to rouse themselves, but that was it! every other unit was out of bed with weapons ready. the Bright Wizard moved to blast the corsairs and all the other characters bunkered up, except for the warrior priest who walked as fast as he could towards the nearest block of free company. the knights moved towards the witch elves, thinking them easy pickings, and the gunners ran to their machine preparing for the inevitable onslaught of the shades.
the township erupts into activity
come the magic phase the fire wizard took all 6 dice and rolled for a 3D6 fireball, and without miscasting just pulled off the necessary 18+. 7 Corsairs were consumed in the raging fireball that followed. with no eligible shooting or combats it was looking up come turn three

the Dark Elves were reeling from the unnatural luck i had managed to pull out my arse. the Dark Elves decided not to charge anywhere, surprising me immensely. instead the Corsairs moved to just within range of the Bright Wizard, and the unit of shades in the vilage passed their march block and ran round the building away from the free company moving to combat them. come the shooting phase and the Bright Wizard found out what it felt to have 40 crossbow bolts fly into your face, fatally so if you couldn't guess.
it sounded like a good idea at the time
the Crossbows and Bolt Thrower lined up the knights and felled 4 of them, but they were quietly confident that they would steamroll their opposition so they held firm.

The Empires turn three saw the general get out of bed, yet his big block of Halbardiers stayed put. The Knights raced across the field and into the very vulnerable looking Witch Elves and the flagellants threw themselves onto the blades of the Corsairs. the rest of the empire forces made some uneventful maneuvers around the village. the magic phase was uneventful as both the savage beast and wild-form were blocked or failed to cast. however...
goodbye, pork pie
 with a roar the Hellblaster opened up. with 7 shots. 3 shades get thrown into oblivion by the "hail" of shots. i was a bit disappointed but was sure the knights could make up for it. it was here that, after the challenge had been called, that i realized that his use of the term "the crone" actually referred to the infamous CRONE BLOODY HELEBRON! not to make a long story short my BSB went from this
to this
in the space of less than 10 seconds.... yeeeeah. to make matters worse another 3 knights died failing their 2+ armour saves... the one remaining knight decided to promptly flee... 6". he died screaming as the witch elves overran. however the Corsairs and BSB hit hard against the flagellants  killing 11, but with one sacrificing himself for the greater good the mad men killed 10 of the pirates, leaving just 3 of them to protect the Noble. since the unbreakable crazies did not care the raiders were not looking like they would be able to hold on.

well the cream of the crop of the empire forces were fighting, dead, or in bed; so i was once again reeling. the Witch Elves moved up the now very very exposed flank and the remaining two shades charged into the Hellblaster. 
shades line up the artillery
the repeater crossbowmen once again fire against the unit of free company, but do very little damage. in the combat phase the shades, thanks to hatred, carved both of the remaining crewmen into tiny little pieces.
the Corsairs and BSB only kill 5 of the remaining 14 flagellants. however 3 jump on their swords allowing their friends to slaughter the remaining 3 Elves, leaving the Noble on his own facing the last 5 crazies.


no charges were declared by the Empire for the fourth turn, but the Halbardiers finally got off their F****** arse's and arrived on the field from the Nobleman's villa. the general instantly hoped into the unit and directed it towards the Witch Elves who were coming round the Chapel. the free company with the Warrior Priest by the Chapel reformed and moved towards the crossbowmen and the BSB's combat with the Flagellants, and the free company behind the town moved around the Blacksmiths to face the Shades. once again the wildform on the Flagellants was dispelled by the seemingly freakish yet non existent dark elf anti-magic field. with no shots to fire the Flagellants once again went for blood. although the BSB only killed 1 of the remaining 5, 1 more killed themselves to allow the last 3 remaining men to do nothing. 

end of the empire turn 4
again alot of the turn was maneuvering, as the shades and Witch Elves  moved to counter the Free Company and Halbardiers. the Crossbowmen shot 7 Militia out of the closest Free Company, who held, and the shades killed 3 from the men bearing down on them. the BSB excelled by killing all 3 flagellants  finally riding himself of such an annoying unit.
i need 3 kills from 3 attacks, easy my dear sir
end of dark elves turn 5, with everything to play for

the Empire now had a choice, send the Priest to kill the bsb or run into the teeth of the crossbow bolts as they try to assault the unit? 
who to attack... choices, choices
hoping to break the lonely BSB the Free Company went barreling straight for the Elf who had not dropped a single wound in four rounds of combat. the other free company managed to charge the large unit of shades, surviving the fusillade of retaliatory shots largely unscathed. the Halbardiers moved forward between the buildings as the Archer detachment moved into the Blacksmiths. finally, after 3 turns of failure, the wildform went off to boost the Halbardiers to S5 and T4. the Archers then compounded the good luck by finishing off the small unit of shades hiding in the wreck of the Hellblaster. however when the Warrior Priest decided to step up to the BSB's challenge, was slaughtered so quickly he didn't even get the chance to strike back. on a better note the shades were butchered by the Free Company who turned to face the Halbardiers  hoping that they will survive a round with Crone and her unit in order to get a rear charge.

the Crone charged the Halbardiers, pretty much the only thing that actually happened in the Dark Elf turn. with no one to shoot the crossbows just sat back and got their nets ready for the inevitable haul of slaves that would be coming in. in combat the BSB once more carved more troops into ribbons, yet still they passed their break tests. Crone Helebron then went to work on the Sargent, who suffered 7 wounds at her hands. another 8  troops died to the blades of the seductress's before 10 were hacked down by the General and his unit. the stubborn men held out for the final turn

the remaining Free Company charged the rear of the Witches, hoping that their extra attacks could mean the difference between wiping the unit or possibly taking the Crone with them. with only 2 dice for the magic phase the wildform, back to its common form, failed to cast. the BSB once more killed in droves for no wounds in return, but once again the Free Company held firm. and so it was that the empire general finally stood before the Crone as the towns final hope. he failed miserably. even his ward save could not protect him from the avalanche of attacks placed against him.  the Halbardiers lost only 4 men, but the Free Company suffered far worse, losing 11 of the 12 remaining men. only 5 Witches died in return. as the game came to a close the free company was fleeing, the Halbardiers were only just holding. the village was well and truly in the hands of the raiders, who would be walking away with not that many slaves, but alot of body parts.

the scenario went almost as i had imagined it could, the foundation was perfect, the special rules played out well and their were many many great moments for both sides. however i had two thoughts by the end of it.

1) the Corsairs did not need the extra point for wall crawler. the situation didn't come up where it was actually necessary as the township was relatively open enough that the only thing they got to walk over was the tower. if i did the scenario again i would just give them wall crawler.
2) no special characters. this one completely went under the radar when i was writing the scenario. I felt that a Hackseer raid like this would be far bellow the station of a High Sorceress, and thought the special characters (apart maybe for Lorkhir Fellheart) would also be too Egotistical to bother with such a pitiful venture. im not sure whether i would regulate the special characters in order to make the scenario more thematic or just do a blanket ban. we shall see

however this is not the end, i have other ideas starting to trickle through into my head which may possibly turn into another scenario for us to fight over.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The bitter truth (or why i should never be allowed to sit and brood)

Robert E. Lee spoke the truth when he uttered those words around 160 years ago. i wonder what other words he would have for us today if he had been able to move forward in time and see the devastation that has unfolded in every corner of the world at some point over the past 100 years. would he break down at the 8 million dead on the battlefields of the great war? Would he agree with the civilian casualties so needlessly killed in bombing operations in world war II? would freedom from communism be a good enough justification for him to throw  so many lives away in the futile land wars in Asia. War is an ugly, brutal, ceaseless facet of the human condition. so why do we wargamer's insist on going back and recreating such terrible memories for the so called sake of fun. An almost glorification of the conflicts that have gripped mankind ever since we stopped being prey and became the predator. i can only think of one answer. Those who forget the lessons of the past are destined only to repeat them. By recreating a conflict in a strategy wargaming format we do not glorify the war. We do not glorify the people. We reinforce the bloody business in a safe and enjoyable environment to remember those that fought and died for the ideas they believed in, even if we do not quite realize that we are doing it at the time. by acknowledging their sacrifice we can remember the bitter truths of war without being scared by it like those who discovered it the hardest, and worst, way possible. today is a day to raise a glass to remember those who passed away before their time in order to preserve the ideals they held close to their hearts, and for us to look back and remember the lessons they have taught us. as a final note i found this song about an ANZAC soldier in Vietnam which seemed to sum up my mood quite succinctly


Friday, 19 April 2013

In the darkness of the night

we all like to play special scenarios (well i do at least, i know some people who would like every game to be battle line so they don't have to muddy their meta build with break points and such) but none of the basic ones, the ones to be found at the back of the rule book, really tell a story. in the old army books (were looking at 5th-6th edition here) many of the army books themselves would have special scenarios to tell a story, like the wood elf ambush and the beastmen raid. well about a month ago Herman and i were chatting at the local gaming group, rueing the loss of these story driven scenarios. we decided we would make our own special scenario for a one off battle. after a week of back and forth deliberation on the final rules we have devised "In the darkness of the night", a Dark Elf Hackseer raid on an unsuspecting empire township, which will be played out this Thursday night at the Kapiti Wargaming Club.
here is the rules set that will be used:

In the darkness of the night

The empires coastline is vulnerable to attack at any time from raider’s intent on enslaving its population. Hargendorf is just one of the small towns along the northern coast that must be prepared for an attack at any time, but with the recent invasion of chaos by Archaon any able bodied troops are being shepherded to Middenheim for the defense. In the middle of a dark and misty night a Hackseer cruise, the rite of passage for all highborn Dark Elves, has tried to exploit this fact to make a raid on what should have been an undefended township; ready to take its entire population prisoner. As they move off the beach towards the township a piercing horns wail sounds from the old watchtower, rending the still night. The town is defended after all, as troops passing through on the road to Middenheim have decided to billet themselves in the town overnight. Cursing themselves fiercely and too far from their ships, the Highborn decides to try to take advantage of the defenders disarray. If he succeeds   he will have plenty of slaves and much prestige to bank on his return. If he fails, well he just hoped he could get to the boats again in time…

Terrain setup
Set up terrain as displayed in the scenario picture (see above) with the sea taking up 12” of the right hand side of the field.

The game is set up as a Dark Elves Vs Empire raid; armies should be no more than 2000 points. (2400 points)

Neither army deploys any troops at the start of the game, bar the lookouts the empire player deploys in the watchtower.

First turn
The attacking player (in this case the Dark Elves) will always have the first turn.

Victory conditions
Victory points are used to calculate the winner with the following change, the general is not worth 100, but 300 additional victory points, either representing the loss of the Highborn or the capture of an exceptional slave.

Special rules
The Watchtower: 
one unit of up to 20 archers or ten crossbowmen or hand gunners may be deployed in the watchtower before the game starts.
Scouting the land:  
units of shades do not enter play at the waters edge. instead they enter play as reinforcements from the short table edge when the rest of the force deploys on the sea shore
Water borne assault:
none of the dark elves are deployed on the board; (other than the shades)  instead they will automatically enter play as reinforcements from the edge of the sea. This means no charges can be declared in the first turn of the game. If a Dark Elf unit is forced to flee for whatever reason it must do so directly towards the sea board edge. Bolt-throwers are deployed folded up for transport, and cannot be fired in the first round after entering.. This depicts their being set up and readied for fighting. They can be moved from the point of (folded) deployment, but the crew are at -1 to their movement for being encumbered. If a units flee move would take it over the sea area, it is deemed to have escaped to the ships and is destroyed. (This does not apply to feigned flight from fast cavalry as a charge or shooting reaction), who may attempt to recover from such flight.  If a unit pursues into the sea it is instead stopped one inch from the edge of the water. 
Awoken to slaughter:
from turn two on-wards the Empire player may start to role for reserves. Role a dice for each unit and character not yet deployed on the field. On turn two the unit enters play from its billets on a 4+, on a 3+ on turn three, and automatically on turn 4 (see the billets special rule below for instructions on where you may deploy troops from). Artillery crews must move as quickly as possible towards their machines when they enter play. As they are unattended any artillery piece contacted by an enemy when there is no crewman attached is instantly destroyed. You must role separately for all characters, and these may not be deployed in units as they come into play.
the empire army has been caught off guard, so are still in their billets as the dark elves attack. Specific units will always be billeted in certain buildings as follows:
-          All infantry, baring warrior priests and flagellants, may enter play from any building but the keep and watchtower
-          All cavalry must enter play from the keep
-          Warrior priests, arch lectors and flagellants must enter play from the Sigmarite shrine
-          Artillery crews must be billeted in the Blacksmiths building, their artillery pieces are to be placed anywhere within 4” of the building.
because of the unexpected nature of the attack, and the problems of transporting weapons of war on small attack craft, there are a few restrictions on both armies:
Dark Elves: no Supreme Sorceress’s, Cold One Chariots, Cauldrons of Blood, Hydras, Cold One Knights,  or Dark Pegasus may be used. shades are a 0-2 choice and Dark Riders are 0-1. This is because raids are either below their station (supreme sorceress’s), or too hard or dangerous to transport and deploy from small attack craft in numbers (or at all). in addition, all units of Corsairs may be upgraded to have grapling hooks and climbing spikes. this is a 1pt upgrade and grants the wall crawler special rule to the unit

Empire: no Demigryph knights, Reiksgaurd Knights, Wizard Lords, luminarcs, celestial hurricanum, war altars or steam tanks may be taken in the army, and Knightly Orders, Inner Circle Knights, Pistoleirs and Outriders are at 0-1.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The tally that must never be done...

Oh lord I made the greatest blunder today that any wargamer can do today. in working out my list of projects to be completed in the near future I inadvertently found myself tallying up the total points of my various armies, from all systems. needless to say I was rather shocked, so did the absolute worse thing you could do in that situation and worked out what it would cost to buy the lot today. needless to say i was out cold for a good 20 minutes with the shock. in summary...
       Army                     points total     cost
Orcs & Goblins                7300ish       $3,317
Chaos Warriors               1500ish       $538
Dark Elves                      1400ish       $973
Vampire counts               3000ish      $1589
NZ second battalion        1045ish      $231

yeeeeeeaaaaah, something tells me i need to cut down a bit, but that's probably never going to happen.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome aboard the HMS. DISTRACTION.

it would seem you have come on board for the maiden voyage of my new Blog. A cruise round the recesses of my wargaming whimsies is leaving port, with an attempt to bring myself back on track as i have found little time for painting between my studies, work and general laziness. it has got to the point where i have decided that i need this blog to kick start my painting, for i am sick and tired of not having a unified force for the NZ tournaments when everyone else have armies that look so epic. hence my work on both my Warriors of Chaos army (The Cult Of Vulcan) and my Orcs & Goblins (The Piratical Waaagh! Of Admiral Skarghul Goldentusk) is about to begin. i hope you enjoy your cruise