The 24th of November will be the date me and my Nemesis will become brothers in arms once again, under the cheap Pokemon rip-off name of Team Old Skool (as we both brandish 4th / 5th edition old school models), we will tackle our clubs Duo Tournament in Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
After a poll on the club forum, it was decided you will be playing with a fixed partner instead of changing every round, so it is time to set our forces together and smithe one mighty warhost.
Now, as luck will have it, both our armies `melt` together rather well, he being a Chaos adept while I of course play Chaos Dwarfs, so there is a sinergy between the armies like there is with Dwarfs and Empire forces intermingled.
The army list I`m building (or better, finishing off the last few models) will be all shooty shooty. If it ain`t launching some kind of projectile at the opponent, it won`t be going along, and will be lead with by a Deamonsmith for his Infernal Engineer rule to keep misfires to hopefully a minimum. Nemesis on the other hand will be providing the heavy hitters that can advance under the covering fire of my war machines and the likes.
The plan will be simple, soften them up will be my job, then he will hit hopefully hard to break through their main line, and my gunfire and cannons will then divert to flanks to prevent the enclosing of his army.
More of my army list in a week or two though.
So let`s have a closer look at the rules pack...
* Every player will get 1000 points to build his army with. Good enough for me as to get a couple of war machines in, as I don`t have to lie awake of blocks to keep the enemy at bay.
* Painting scores are added to your total at last. An issue I had with previous two TSA tourneys, but now fully painted and here and there converted forces will yield between 60 and 100 points, equal to an extra win. Since both me and Nemesis`s forces are all painted, this will yield us a battle worth of benefit. For the conversions in my force, I`m taking along my two scratchbuild war machines.
* All armies including the non-official fanbased ones like Cathay are allowed.
* There is custom victory point chart, and a chart that depicts armies trusting each other within a team, and influence deployment rules, leadership tests etc etc...
* Generals yield an additional 200 Victory Points if killed.
In addition, there are 13 randomly determined missions for each battles. It`s not obliged to complete these, but the extra stash of victory points make it possible to come out the winners even though you got beaten in a battle. Very worth considering those in the tactical plannings!
The Missions are as follows, with the phase listed where the mission `resolves`:
1. Capture Ground (Movement) - 150 VP team: Get 10 models, cumulative, and at least worth 500 points in the opponents deployment zone. If we get this one, it seems my blunderbusses will be moving along the allies battleline.
2. Easy Does it (Movement) - 150 VP / player: no march move for your part of the allied force. Easy peasy for me, I don`t intend to move at all.
3. Don`t Let Them Rest (Shooting) - 100 VP team: If you are able to fire, fire every turn from turn 2 onwards. Not planning on doing anything else, even from turn 1 already.
4. Assassination (Combat) - 100 VP / general: Kill the enemy generals. Well, unless a lucky shot or a miscast, this will be in Nemesis`s hands.
5. I Hate Magic (Combat) - 70 VP / Magic user: well, at 1000 points, the general will mostly be a magic user after all, so this is also one for Nemesis, see mission 4.
6. Wot Un Nice Flag Itiz (Combat) - 50 VP team: kill all flag bearers including the BSBs of the opponent. Well, they won`t have a hard time doing that with me, I have 1 regimental banner in my force. It also sist far in the back if the opponents get this mission.
7. Right in the Kisser (Magic) - 200 VP team: Destroy 300 points with magic. This will depend on the spells I get, but as I usually pick the Lore of Metal, this will be a hard one for me personally, unless I somehow manage to turn a full regiment into golden statues or so.
8. Magic Insanity (Magic) - 100 VP / player: Cast spells always on their highest difficulty. With one caster this will probably be happening every time anyways.
9. I`m also a Fighter (Combat) - 150 VP / player: Magic users have to issue a challenge, which doesn`t have to be succesful. Right up the alley of our force, as we both have heavily armoured, high toughness casters anyways. They might even actually survive it...
10. They Can Handle It (Leadership) - 400 VP team: Use only your own leadership instead of that of characters. I can handle that with my rank and file having the same ld 9 as my general, not sure how Nemesis`s army will be build exactly though, but if their all Chaos Warriors, no issues here and easy points.
11. I don`t Need Back Up (Leadership) - 200 VP team: None of the generals joins a unit. Not an issue for me, my Deamonsmith is needed elsewhere then in units. As in between my War Machine Battery.
12. Let Me Have`Em (Heroism) - 200 VP team: After at least turn 4, one of your generals is in close combat with a monster or general on the opposing side. Well, unless one of their generals comes my way, this will be all for Nemesis.
13. Charge (Heroism) - 100 VP team: Your general is the very first model to be in close combat of the whole force. I`m not even considering going for these points if I draw that, my general is worth his points + 200 additional points, way to much to risk for a measly 100 extra VPs.
Well, according to the tournament rules, our alliance labels as OK, so this gives the following benefits:
* We can test on each others generals and battle standards for leadership tests.
* One of both generals is assigned `commander in chief`, this guy has 16 inch instead of 12 inch leadership radius. Nemesis can have that, gives him some more space to coordinate his push with.
* Magic can be intermingled, taking from one power and dispel pool. This will depend on who gets the offensive spells each battle.
* Allied units do cause panic. Well, hopefully he should be FAR in front of my forces by the time this can cause issues.
Some odds and ends for my ever growing Dawi Zharr legion today, as I`m finishing up things and rounding out others with the end of the year in sight, so no starters anymore for the comming few weeks on big unit projects.
Well, perhaps one then for the Duo Tournament the 24th of November...
First up is a scratchbuild Death Rocket, inspired by a war machine build by Chaos Dwarf Online member Tjub for the Golden Hat some while ago.
No idea why I actually went to build one of those, as I have like, eleven of the original Death Rockets (but still not repainted a single one to date). But it is `something different` and will be hoisted along to the tournament in the near future.
Second is an old school character, Azakil Bonecrusher, who will become the unit champion of a small unit of Blunderbusses I`m working on, a unit that will be dedicated to war machine guard duty. Yes, they are bloody expensive for that kind of work, but I`ll put my faith in an armoured dwarf anyday over a cowardly greenskin to take that job...
For some reason, he keeps reminding me of this blast from the past
Finally, a little side project thing I painted for no apparant reason bar that last years Black Tree Designs sale made them dead cheap (around 0.70 pence a swarm or something, they where at minus 75% then).
I imagine that fire scorpions do can be included somehow in the force (most likely into my Hobgoblin force) as a Swarm of old, or otherwise will make `cute` little wayward scenery pieces.
Anyways, back to the slavering tables for me, so i can round out some units I`ve been working on left and right and make a tally of how the reworked force is standing at the end of the year.
Or the big Warmahordes rant. Okay, not that big. Perhaps a little rant. Or not even a rant, but more of a critique.
Well, the problem is this. For years I have had a lot of Hordes models of the druids of the Circle Orboros. I love the look of the models. I like the fluff behind the whole game setting, it's better and more consistent then other brands, as the characters both die and / or evolve over the years.
And that they reflect this in the rules by bringing out epic or alternate versions of the models. Sure, it's a marketing ploy to sell more models of the same caster, but your not OBLIGED to use the evolved versions, it's all in your hands wether you want to play version x or version s of a warcaster or warlock.
Okay, that doesn't sound to ranting yet now does it.
My issue is with the gameplay of the whole shabang.
I've been playing MkI and now MkII, and one thing is still the same. No matter how big an army or played battles, the one who charges first wins almost by default.
The defensive stats are in my opinion way to easy to circumvent. Knock Down and Stationary effects aren't as uncommon anymore as they used to be. Basic troops can be boosted just a tat to easy to raise MAT or RAT. The MkII line of sight rules are to simplistic making it to easy to pick out a warcaster or warlock amidst his force or in between a heap of scenery.
Same goes for ARM, you can punch through just a bit to easily as everything gets bigger and stronger with each expansion... but not tougher.
So this results in a game in which people are shuffling left or right a few inches to get their range over the opponents range and then charge in. Heck, you can suicide bomber enemy models by sending in light beasts one at a time during several turns, as long as you can outrange the distance. Whatever big beast your charging will die or stop to be effective, and your big guy is probably undergoing the same fate at the mean time.
This result usually in a face off between the leaders of the force, at best supported by the few ragged survivors of 'charge fest'. Counting that you got Focus and Fury to bump and play around with rolls again... the charging caster wins 9 out of 10 times. Botched rolls do not count as a game mechanic or a viable tactic, that is hust sheer (bad) luck.
I can only say this ain't fun gaming to be honest, and even though I dropped in the Journeyman League full of high spirits, I'm now doubting I'll ever finish painting off the rest of the models I have lying around, unless it is to drop them unto eBay or trade them for other models I need and like (read: Chaos Dwarfs).
I'm probably withdrawing as such; and the models in the gallery on this blog will probably end up 'sponsoring' another Myth cloth for my collection.
What to do about all that? Well, I seem to have issues with two things, and they might be solved a little by what I think these things:
1. Return partly to the old versions of Line of Sight and having to test or otherwise target the closest model like in some other games would up the tactical shuffle over the board.
2. A kind of countermagic. This would soften up the spelles as you now can cast around freely. You'd be having to chose what spells to draw out and which to try and cast. And I'm not talking irresistibles like in WFB, but something like you cast normally, and the other could counter in the same way for one.
Both are vague ideas, and can certainly be philosophed about further, but that is food for the game designers under us, these are just my feelings about the game, drawn from having played or read quite a few known and lesser known game systems during my wargaming 'career'.
Stuff to think about in the future and perhaps 'house rule'?
Okay, so I am loosing this big time. When l and Andy started this challenge, I was about 6000 points behind last january. I managed around easter and the Saint Seiya game to actually top him briefly, but then I started painting again and my PS3 gaming went down the drain, resulting in an almost unbridgable gap between us now.
As it currently stands, I'm almost 10000 points lagging behind, with only 2 more months to go, which would mean that even if he doesn't play a single game nor gain a single trophy, I would still need to platinum 10 games to even draw close to him.
I might rechallenge him for 2013, as I now have possession of 'Gaming Minions Still in Training' to oppose his legion of trained players hehehe.
Anyways, here are the statistics as they stood this morning:
As you can see, I'm being thoroughly bashed here, as he has collected even more Bronze trophies then I do overal, the only statistic I'm actually beating him on at the moment is the 100% completion of games.
It'll be hard, it'll be near impossible, but I'm still going to try and at least try to get back to the starting point of 6000 points gap. Minions, to me!
Aphrodite is often described as cruel as the gold Cancer saint Deathmask, but not as sadistic. Both are considered in the storyline to be traitors to Athena as they knew the truth behind the assassination of the Grand Pope and his subsequent replacement by Saga, the Gemini saint, in a bid for power over the world.
Renowned for his beauty, Aphrodite is also considered to be one of the strongest of the gold saints, but he is not like the silver Lizard saint Misty a narcistic individual, but that he believes in the beauty of the victory.
Personally, I never really liked Aphrodite, even though his rose atacks where quite different from all that had passed before. His previous incarnations, being in the Lost Canvas Albafice, a man with blood poisoned by spending time with his roses but a loyal and noble warrior, and Cardinale, a traitor leaning towards Aphrodite, all used these techniques as well.
The deceased Gold Saints were revived as Specters by the power of Hades, and, led by the Specter of the former Pope, Aries Shion, they were sent to Sanctuary to assassinate Athena.
In the first Temple, Shion was stopped by Aries Mu. Shion orders Cancer
Deathmask and Pisces Aphrodite to defeat Mu so they could continue
their mission. However, neither Gold Saint was able to defeat the Aries
Gold Saint and Mu quickly banishes Deathmask and Aphrodite with his Starlight Extinction.
Giving the expression to be killed (In reality Mu send them both to
Hades castle). Since the start, neither Deathmask nor Aphrodite were
using their true power as it was not their intention to kill Mu.
Back in Hades' castle, both Gold Saints decide to defeat Hades
themselves but are interrupted by Wyvern Radamanthys. With just 10%
of their Cosmo (due to Hades` barrier that reduces all non Specter
power levels), they are easily defeated and sent back to the Underworld.
Later on, it was revealed that Deathmask and Aphrodite were
secretly on Athena's side, along with the rest of the deceased Gold
Saints, and were asked by Shion to pretend to follow Hades' order (in
the Anime adaptation the same scene is shown with some more detail,
after Shion asked all the dead Gold and Silver Saints to pretend to
follow Hades' orders, Aphrodite smiled and Deathmask grinned widely.
Shion then thanked all of them for carrying the burden of the traitor's
branding in pretending to betray Athena).
The model itself, like all the Gold cloths, are of the first generation of models in the Myth cloth line and this usually shows compared to the latter editions. However, in this case, the model is one of the better ones produced, with nice facial detailing, and the option to include roses in the mouth and hands.
These are parts with a rose stem, and then you get on top 2 of each color rose to attach to that, apart from the one in the mouth which is always a red one.
In the end I went for a combination of all three rose colours to represent each of his attacks.
It`s definitly not to shabby a Saint cloth at all, and probably one of the more well made ones in the line. He isn`t to expensive either, having paid him a measly 45 euros on FACTS past weekend, and leaving me with only two more Saints to go now to complete `the original twelve`, them being Taurus Aldebarran and Sagitarrius Aiolios.
Shion was the Gold Saint of Aries of the previous Holy War, which took place in the 19th century, and together with Libra Dohko the only survivor.
His tale is shown in the manga series `Next Dimension`, which is the `official` follow up of the Hades story arc, but also in the alternate (and I love the series) The Lost Canvas.
He is the master of Mu, the Aries saint of `my` generation (as we now have Kiki as the Aries Saint in Omega, so we`re toggling three generations here, but I`ll be referring to the original forever as my series, it`s the one that I grew up with and that started to burn the Cosmo in my heart), and after the Holy War he became the Pope of Sanctuary.
He was murdered by Saga of Gemini and his body discovered on Star Hill by Marin, but reappeared (or better, was first introduced technically) as a Specter of Hades, where he led a secret movement against Hades from beyond the grave, to allow the survivors to discover the 8th sense to travel to Underworld.
The model is a simple mannequin with an option for a fully enclosed face and helmet, and an alternate head for the Mu model to be used as the Aries saint, but I went for the unhelmeted set up. This makes him stand out from my Grand Pope Saga that I made masked.
The difference between both popes is in the robe and the `gentler` details on Shion then the evil saga pope with his red spiked armour.
The models also comes with thirteen white cream stands and labels for all gold saints and the five bronze lead characters, so I`m finally going to succumb and mount my gold saints on those stands in the future though.
A field trip together with Nemesis today led to the FACTS (Fantasy, Anime, Comics, Toys and Science fiction) convention taking place in the city of Ghent. This is the third year I attend the convention, and boasting around 10 to 15000 visitors it`s the biggest in the Benelux. So armed with my Gundam Exia cap and Saint Seiya messenger bag, we where off to war...
This year, we left with a plan to get in, by leaving in Antwerp at the time the doors opened so the mass would be in by the time we got there, about 45 minutes later, with our pre-paid tickets.
How wrong we where, there was still a short que for people without tickets, and almost a 1000 shuffling inside for those that pre-ordered ones, bit like Salute.
But being the assholes that we are, we cut a corner, shifting past almost the whole qeue in one go, Qeue-busting bigstyle. They should have put the railings better then, nah, even though I almost thought we had been busted when the Cobra Commander came marching our way.
But the halls where well filled once more
This year, it was in two halls instead of two and a half, but the removed space where mostly static displays before (like the huge AT-AT last year) and the trader selection was still awesome.
One of the many things on display, and I think the most popular and I still don`t get it how they sell, are the old school used, and sometimes not complete or paintchipped Star Wars action figures. i think I have to bill my mom with a `You owe Me` for tossing them all out when I hit puberty (no, not last week, the first time I entered it).
Puberty... the time your hormones go through the roof... and still do when you see some of the cosplayers and store attendants. Even at 34...
There was also a martial arts and taiko demonstration stand this year:
Amd the traditional all kinds of displays and games, don`t got to many of the videogames though, as it was really crowded due to the big stand for Assassin`s Creed and X-Com, with booth babes and all
And to finalize, some more pictures of all of the above, with snazzy comments or sort there off
Haley Quinn, looking insanely sharp as ever
King of Tokyo, a monster boardgame that had already caught my attention in the local Outpost
Memories of the very first anime I kinda followed, on french channel TF1s Club Dorothee, around 1983... Goldorak!
There is an odd Visitor in Westeros...
The World of Warcraft demonstration game, for human and Elf alike
Ever wondered what the Super Mario Posse does when not saving Princess Peach?
Logan`s Run, the `unexpected` cosplay fanclub this year. You always seem to have one or two pop up on a convention making you go all teary eyed of fond memories
Thunderbolts Gent presented games and displays of Games Workshop, Privateer Press and Malifaux.
YES, even Hashut was present. Chaos Dwarfs, the comeback kid`s of the past year it seems...
Now we know why Kirk wanted to keep command of the Enterprise at all costs...
Lelouch, an awesome cosplay of a great anime series, Code Geass.
I know a girl who`s now going to really wish she had taken the day off to come along...
Airbrushing Iron eerrrm `Man`
Very intresting drawing soft- and hardware, costing around 100 euros. I`m going to do some more net research about it first, but I am seriously considering getting a copy.
I was severly tempted to shop these three babes of the Marvel verse. Luckily sanity kicked in right on time.
So what did I buy then?
Here is the Loot picture:
Pre-ordered and already payed where the newest Magic the Gathering comic and heap of Saint Seiya The Lost Canvas (in french, potverdekke, it`s great to be a Belgian) mangas.
The planned Myth Cloth hunting wielded me with another Gold Saint, Aphrodite of Pisces, and the Grand Pope Shion model, both costing me 45 euros.
An unexpected bonus where the three Gundam Operation toybooks. Costing 8 euro a piece, this is a box with a bound in japanese book telling about both the mission and the suit, and a model (about 5cm tall) with scenic base of said Mobile Suit (these being the Guntank, GM and Zaku II). Great find!
So I only spend 114 euros on toys this time and about 60 euros before on the pre-orders, yay me for a rather cheap edition this year!
Oh, and something to eat of course. The hamburger bar was fully loaded with people all day, as it was placed in the smokers square...
So we went for the inhouse catering, and I must say prices where normal as you would pay in any cafeteria
But I leave this verdict to Nemesis, the resident fast food expert, and you can draw your own conclusions:
That was it for yet another great FACTS afternoon trip, and for me ther... *Silence will Fall*