Monday, 14 April 2014

mulling over new lists.

Apologies for the lack of real article last week but the Descent post was a big one so I felt it  could count for my weekly post. I've had a great weekend of gaming starting with a Friday Fantasy Fistfight at Rich's when my Ogres took on the dread Tomb Kings. Then came Salute at the Excel where I picked up a new Guard codex (we'll get into the name problem later). 

Before I dive into the main theme I'm going to give you a run down of Friday nights Fantasy games.

2000 point pitched battle. My list was 2 butchers, a Bruiser BSB, 7 Ogres with hand weapon and shield, 7 Ironguts, 2 units of 6 Leadbelchers, Ironblaster, thundertusk. I'll let Rich fill you in on the main details of his list but you can see it in the video below.

So having had the first turn, my iron blaster wiffed and couldn't fire second turn leaving me only causing 7 wounds! Rich managed to get one of his spells off that gave his archers and extra shot each (around 60 odd shots causing nine wounds) so only having a 5+ save left me feeling pretty pessimistic until I rolled:
All my luck in one set of saves!

The end of my turn two sees me having crushed Rich's unit of Skeletons in one glorious charge on my right whilst my Iron blaster runs from the combat on the left leaving a sorry looking unit of Leadbelchers out matched against against the Necroknights...

Once Rich's Sphinx charges in to my middle unit of Leadbelchers and killed them my Thundertusk and Ironguts ran from the table leaving only my small unit on the right at the start of turn three, so we called it. 
 So it turns out that a high leadership General and a BSB are essential to Ogre kingdom armies as all their units are pretty much Ld 7, making panic tests a real problem. We agreed that we should play another game and my set up changed a lot as I now had to keep all my units as close to my BSB as possible as I had no way of increasing their leadership. 

Only my Ironblaster was out on a limb as a movable cannon needs to get around the sides of the enemy.
 So with a better understanding of how the army works, set up was quick and Rich got first turn. Promptly using his casket to kill the iron blaster (3D6 Ld test taking the wounds over your Ld value). With that achieving exactly nothing in two games I was pretty worried about my chances.
It turns out that getting charged by three units of Ogres at once can be bad for a Skeleton's health...
 What I hadn't counted on was just how awesome one of the Ogre Kingdom magic items is against Magic heavy armies. As Rich's pivotal magic phase started I used the Hellheart to cause each of his wizards to roll on the miscast table which finished them both off and drained all the power dice from the pool. From this point on it was pretty hard for his units to bring overwhelming force to bear and with a couple of lucky combats (my Ironguts took out the Sphinx in one round of 5+ to wound rolls!) the game ended with this left on the board:

I may not have many models but they are a lot more expensive than the few Tomb Kings that are left.
 So two very informative games that have left me with a lot of thinking to do if I'm to get my army constructed and painted any time soon. 

Salute was a blast and it's always great to see the wide array of stuff on offer. The highlight for me though was Nic and I winning £65 bags from KR in our entrance packs. Lee was a bit gutted as he was in-between use but his didn't have a golden ticket. The bags look pretty good for carrying around board games so should be pretty useful. I also got the Astra Militarum codex (I understand the reasoning behind the name change but it's annoying to type so I'll carry on with Guard from now on) and have to say I'm pretty disappointed. They've removed a few units which I had in my army and I know have little use for the models as I don't use Infantry Platoons so  can't just add them in as interesting units. It feels as though GW have a very clear policy of if we don't make a plastic kit for it doesn't get rules, which I can understand as they don't like playing in the same park as the other children let alone the same sand box. But this (along with my Ogre experiences) have lead to ask the following question:

Has the growth in the number of manufacturers in the war-games industry stifled GW's creativity?

I ask because a few years ago we were seeing a resurgence of odd-ball units and variety in the choices within the codices/army books as GW tried to encourage conversion creation (and selling more kits to make the conversions) and these gaps were filled by entrepreneurs (if being generous) or IP infringers (if being less so). Now with the Nid and Guard codices it has felt a little stale as GW doesn't seem to want to give anyone a chance to muscle in on their turf but has therefore removed options that people were very happily playing with. I guess I just find it sad that the creativity that was once essential to play the games has now created a situation where the lead manufacture is becoming more like the other games systems (Warmachine, Infinity, WildWestExodus etc) and limiting their game to try to control what models you can play with. 

I'm hoping this is just a side effect of some cunning new strategy that will involve a looser release schedule and add on books that contain lots of new units and not the birth of some sub-codex contagion that sees a couple of minor rules changes chucked in to a £30 book to let you use the army you had in the previous codex for twice (or more) the cost.

PS. where the hell are the rough rider models and why are their rules still so terrible!


  1. I do agree with your main point there, incidentally that was the biggest disappointment about apocolypse 2.0 for me. The fact that theyd completely distilled it down to little more than 'take 3-6 of this identical unit! and we have a 1-click collection for it!'.

    Also does seem very odd that the artillery tanks only available from forgeworld are gone but rough riders arent? I can only assume theres a plastic kit out soon?

    For completions sake, my TK list was:

    prince with glittering scales and a GW.
    Level 2 nehekhara liche with a scroll
    level 2 light liche

    30 warriors with command
    59 archers
    27 tomb guard with command
    a warsphinx with fiery roar
    casket of souls
    6 necropolis knights with command

  2. Marbo is still listed as an elites choice on the new website which is very odd. I think that the real gems in the codex are the Primaris Psyker, Priests and Tech Priest as they are cheap and fill in gaps in the units. Sadly if GW had allowed them to take mounts I'd consider taking rough riders with a priest and Psyker attached (Fearless, Hatred, possibly a cool Hymn or psychic power to help them deliver that devastating charge/survive afterwards). Sadly, at 11 pts a model I can always find a better use for the points.