Sunday, October 7, 2018

Myrmourn Banshees

I have finished my Myrmourn Banshees for my Nighthaunt army.  I have used them a couple of times but so far they have not done much.  I see many players are running 12 of these and they might be more useful in a large unit.  The models are really amazing.  They are some for the best on the Nighthaunt line which is filled with amazing models.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chainrasp Horde

The Chainrasp Horde is the heart of the Nighthaunt army, or at least, it should be.  These are some really great figures and the units look fantastic.  In game terms these guys are great.  Keep some key heroes close and go to it.

One controversy around these figures has to do with price an availability.  Since the Nighthaunt army is an entirely new army initially this key unit was only available in the Soul Wars box set.  This is not really an issue has GW always has a separate model set ready to go after a new edition release.  Everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before you could buy these outside of the starter set.  There was also an expectation, based on previous GW practice, that the individual set of Chainrasps would be different from the Soul Wars models.  The expectation on the street was that this new kit would be 10 models and cost about $25-$30.  It was a huge shock when GW merely repackaged the exact same models from the Sould Wars set and priced them at $40 for 10!  Ouch!  I was lucky enough to purchase a couple of the Soul Wars Nighthaunt sets second hand but if I had had to buy these retail my army plans would be very different.  Sadly this is the only real mistake GW has made with the new Age of Sigmar edition.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Spirit Hosts

These are my Spirit Hosts.  These are a battleline unit for the Nighthaunts.  I have used these in my first two games and I really like them.  I can see why these are a popular option.  The models, however, are a major pain in the ass to build.  I thought after building them that I would never add any more to the army but after using them I am sure I will need more.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Grimghast Reapers

More of my Nighthaunt project is ready.  Today its time for the Grimghast Reapers.  This is the first battleline unit for the army.  I am not very experienced with AoS so I don't really understand the ins and outs of the game.  This seems to be the most popular battleline unit for the NH army and I really don't understand why.  Many local players are using these exclusively in their armies and recent national events have seen Death armies using lots of these.  I have used this unit in one game and it did well but I did not think they were worth the nearly double point cost over the Chainrasps.

When I built these I decided to leave out the heads and just go with an empty cowl look.  I think these look really creepy without the heads and it fits more with the grim reaper style.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lord Executioner

Today's Nighthaunt model is the Lord Executioner.  This is probably my least favorite model from the Soul Wars set.  I think it is the gallows - just a bit much.  The alternate model they recently released is much better.  I have never used this in a game so I am not sure of its game value.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Soul Torment

Today's installment of my Nighthaunt project is the Soul Torment.  This is one of my least favorite of the new models as far as the style is concerned.  I can't really tell you why.  In game terms, however, I think this is a must have unit for your Nighthaunts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Guardian of Souls

The next installment of my Nighthaunt army.  This is the Guardian of Souls from the new Soul Wars box.  Another really cool model and very useful in the game terms.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Stead

The first of my Nighthaunt army is complete.  I started this project when the Soul Wars set was released.  This is the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Stead.  It is an absolutely amazing model.  It is one of the beast I have ever seen and brilliant in its design.

I have already used it in a couple of games and I find it indispensable. Stay tuned for more of this army.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Balewind Vortex

I painted up my first Endless Spell for Age of Sigmar.  This is the Balewind Vortex.  It is kind of a cool spell that granted bonuses to the wizard for casting additional spells and increasing the range of the spells.  The model has been around for a few years but it used to be part of a box set with another model.  It is now available individually.  It is only 4 parts with no sprue.  This tells me GW is still manufacturing them with the old tooling and are manually packing these in  boxes after removing the parts from the sprue.  It is kind of strange and makes me wonder why they do this with other kits.  I think I can also find a use for this for Frostgrave too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Stormcast Eternals - Thunderstrike Brotherhood

Last month, when the new Age of Sigmar Soul Wars was announced, I decided that now was the time to get off the fence with getting into AoS.  I really wanted the new Nighthaunt army but I also needed a good alternate opponent army.  Since both the old and new box sets include Stormcast Eternals, and since this seems to be the baseline army for AoS, I decided to go with them.

The contents of the first edition box plus one extra model.  This is the Thunderstrike Brotherhood.  This force is now available as a start collecting set.

I knew that the new Nighthaunts would really pull me in so I decided that I would have to work on the Stormcast first or they would likely not happen.  I was extremely luck and was able to buy a first edition starter set on clearance for a really nice price.

Lord Celestant on Dracoth.  This model can also be Vandus Hammerhand and in fact that is what it is called when you buy it on its own.  No matter how you play him this guy is a blast in the game.

The first task, obviously, would be assembling all the models from the set.  I went ahead and build the Khorne army as well.  I can see now why Games Workshop is stressing the easy build features of the new set.  These guys were kind of a pain in the ass to build.

Lord Relictor.  Early in the game call down lightning on your enemies and later in the game use his healing powers to bolster your force.  This guy is only available in the old starter set or the new start collecting box.

I was really amazed at the fine details of the models as well as how delicate some of the parts are.  I have mostly worked on GW sci-fi stuff and those models are beefier for the most part.  Many of these feel like they could break just touching them but it turns out that they are fairly durable.

Prosecutors.  These guys are fast and have a long reach.  They represent your ranged attack unit as well as your fast strikers.  Use them wisely.

Once assembled I had to work out the color scheme.  I cannot tell you how much I detest the gold dominant scheme that GW uses for these. In fact, that scheme was bad enough to really make me question doing the army at all. 

Retributors.  These guys are NOT space marine terminators.  Nope.  Don't let the elite and powerful nature of these guys to confuse you.  Afterall, they have Lightning Hammers, not Thunder Hammers.

I decided to go with a scheme that had the armor looking more like traditional armor.  I wanted to go with cool colors and stay away from primary colors as the focus.  I used P3 Trollblood base for the shields and the primary army color.  I selected Vallejo Game Color Hexed Lichen as the accent color.  Once I got going on the painting my daughter pointed out I had selected the classic Arizona Diamondbacks team colors...hmm.

Liberators.  This is the core of your force.

With the right color scheme select the painting actually moved pretty fast.  These are really nice models to paint.  They are big with just the right details to make stunning finished models.  The colors are the key for these models.  I actually fell in love with this army as I was painting.

I need to get a box of Liberators so I can build a few other weapon options.  These are pretty flexible troops.

While I was working on the painting I was able to get in a few games to learn the rules.  Two of those game were with this army.  I really had fun with those games and I am glad I decided to give this army a chance.  I also played one game with the Khorne force from the starter set and it too was good fun to play.

Knight Questor.  This model is from my Warhammer Quest Silver Tower set.  GW has thoughtfully provided AoS stats so you can use him in standard AoS games.  I mostly painted him for quest.

I think I am really hooked on Age of Sigmar now.  In June I had nothing for this game but a lot of curiosity.  By the end of July I have a painted army and two more in the works.  My shopping list for this game is really getting out of hand but I am excited about this game. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Age of Sigmar Soul Wars

Well I am in with both feet.  I hope it works out this time.  My luck with Warhammer fantasy games has not been good.

Monday, June 18, 2018

US Marines for Bolt Action

My first army specifically built for Bolt Action is done (well, not really done but playable).  This is about 1200 points of US Marines.  All the models are from Warlord Games US Marines line and are pretty nice models.  The core of the army are made of plastic and much of the support is metal.

I started collecting these models a couple of years ago so this has actually been a pretty quick transition from and idea to a usable force.  I am rather notorious for projects taking YEARS before they are ready to play.  My friends and I had decided that when we made the transition to BA 2nd edition we wanted to play new Pacific war armies. 

Platoon HQ with LT, platoon sgt, and runner.  The figure to the right is plastic and the other two are metal.

This is the first of two flamethrower teams.  These are both metal models.

The second flamethrower team.  The separate heads, even for the metal models, means you don't have to have an exact duplicate for a models like this.  The assistant is plastic.

Bazooka team of metal models.  You can build a bazooka in the plastics set but the loader would end up being generic.

This is my Forward Observer team.  This  FO is plastic and the radioman is metal from the Marine command set.  This army can have up to three FOs so I am sure I will be adding more.

Marine sniper team.  This one will need some work.  The assistant is actually not 'legal' under the rules as he has a rifle.  The army list actually specifies the assistant has a pistol and can be upgraded to an SMG.  This model will likely become an FO in the future.

M1919 MMG Team.  I really am not a fan of this set.  The gunner comes with a figure base molded to hut butt in a very awkward way.  It took a lot of work to remove this base so the figure would sit correctly on the plastic base.  The M1917 MMG does not seem to have this problem and I will be painting up a couple of those in the future.

81mm medium mortar team.  The mortar crew are metal and the spotter is plastic built from the Marine box set.  I noticed just now that I forgot to finish painting the bases on these.  

Navy Corpsman and Marine stretcher bearer.  The strecherman is a wounded Marine that looks to have been pressed into service helping the Corpsman. A neat little set.

Marine Squad 1.  Ten men with 3 BARs and 2 SMGs.

Squad two configures the same as above.

Squad three is the same as the other two.  I plan to add additional figures to take these squads up to their full thirteen man strength.  You can have up to three shotguns in each squad but I am not sure its worth it.

Action Shots!

OK, I've not played a game with these yet so I decided to pose some action shots to get me excited about getting these on the table.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Age of Sigmar

After three years of delay I finally bought an Age of Sigmar starter box.  Yes, I know that a new version and a new starter set drops in about two weeks.  That is why I bought this as they will soon be gone.  My friends and I have decided to play Age of Sigmar starting with the new edition.  I will be doing the Stormcast Eternals to start with and this set gives me a nice starting point.  Combine this with the Stormcast Eternals in the new box and I will not need to buy anymore.  The Chaos models will make for a nice core of another army.  Being on a 40% off clearance made this a no brainer.  Well yet another game to distract me and something else to get my money.  Games Workshop is really killing me.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Battle of Point 213

Long time followers of this blog are likely aware that I have had a dream, for many years. to play the Point 213 battle from the Flames of War Normandy Battles supplement.  But like many of these dreams it had to be more than just a game of Flames of War with 15mm models - boring!  So I came up with the idea of playing the scenario in 28mm using the Bolt Action rules.  This idea actually goes back more than 9 years.  Tim and I initially started work on this project in 2009 using Tamiya 1/48th scale tanks.  You can see my Firefly here.  This first effort did not go very far as the 1/48th scale kits, which were really all that was available at the time, were just a bit too expensive at about $40 each.  So the idea died.

Fast forward to 2016 and we have all the tanks needed for this game available from Warlord Games in nice new 1/56th scale plastic kits.  These kits were only slightly cheaper than the Tamiya models but the various online retailers offered better discounts and in the end a platoon of these tanks cost about the same as two of the 1/48th scale kits.  This was suddenly a doable project.

After many months, about a year and a half, of work we had finally collected and built all the models as well as built all the terrain.  I had hoped to have enough bocage terrain to do a full 8'x8' table but at the time of the game (which was the first time I had all the terrain out) we were a bit short and had the switch to an 8'x6' table.

The British forces consisted of a full armored company.  There were three platoons, each consisting of a Firefly and three Cromwell tanks.  The command platoon had three Cromwells and the battalion commander was in a Daimler Dingo scout car.

The Germans had 4 Tiget I tanks each acting as their own platoon.  Had we been thinking about this more clearly we should have given each a +1 morale bonus as a platoon leader.  I will changes this for future games.  Two of the Tigers have veteran crews and two had regular crews.  All Tigers had the Lucky skill from the Tank War book.  The Veteran tanks each had an additional skill.
The battlefield.  At 8'x6' it was not as big as I initially planned but still large enough for a great game.  We allowed tanks on the roads to follow the curve of the roads without penalty but we did not grant the road movement bonus (mainly as I forgot that BA had this bonus).  In future games I will likely add this back in.

The battalion commander (the Old Man) has called a halt to the British advance and is holding a conference near the farm house.  He is surrounded by the company command platoon.

The rest of the company is deployed along the main road leading out of Villers Bocage. While the commanders are in conference the tank crews dismount for a brew.  To represent this D3 pin markers are added to all British vehicles at the start of the game.

A British Firefly covers the rear of the tank column.

The first Tiger arrives on the table.  This is Tiger 234 commanded by veteran Unterscharfuhrer Herbert Steif.  Upon arriving in the table he immediately fired at the British Firefly but missed.  The Cromwell ahead of the Firefly returned fire and scored a hit and a penetration!  This forced 234 to use their Lucky skill, negating the shot.  But you can only use that once.

Tiger 223, commanded by veteran Oberscharfuhrer Jurgen Brandt, enters next.  He moved full speed down the left had road North of the British position.

Tiger 223 was quickly engages by a Cromwell at the crossroads but his 75mm gun did not have the power to penetrate the think frontal armor.  This would make the beginning of a long and surreal gun duel between these two tanks.  The tiger would fire at and hit the Cromwell several time but would be unable to know out the weaker tank.

The arrival of the Tigers, mostly from the North and the rear of the column sparked a mad scramble by the British to clear the road and gain firing positions. 

First blood would go to the Germans.  Newly arrived Tiger 211, commanded by Obersturmfuhrer Jurgen Wessel, managed to get a good firing position North of the British and knocked out this Cromwell.

The German celebration was very short lived.  Tiger 234 was hit and destroyed by a British Firefly at the rear of the British column.  The early luck shot from the Cromwell would prove decisive. 

After knocking out the Cromwell, Tiger 211 was faced with a quickly forming British gun line.
Tiger 211 is now stuck in a British shooting gallery.  The volume of fire would force 211 off the bocage.
The British push through the gap in the bocage and use their knocked out comrade for cover.  The Cromwells really need to get off the road before the German guns wake up.

The British gun line at the shooting gallery.  They would pore a relentless fire on Tiger 211, making it extremely hard for the German tank to make any progress.

Back on the German left Tiger 223 has advanced to the crossroads under a hail of British fire.  Tiger 221, commanded by Untersturmfuhrer George Hantusch, is in support.  The Germans have a good position but they cannot hit, and when they do they are not getting effects.  AT this point in the battle German gunnery has become a bit of a joke.

Tiger 211 has been flanked by the Firefly and another gun duel is in the making.  Both tanks would have some very poor results.
On the German left the weight of British fire has stalled the advance of the Tigers.  If you give those Cromwells enough shots will will eventually get a kill.  Those Tigers need to get moving.

By turn 8 (out of 10) the Germans have managed only a single Cromwell knocked out and have lost a Tiger.  The remaining Tigers are in very bad spots so it was decided that Michael Wittmann was recalled from his solo attack on Villers Bocage to support the rest of this company.  He enters the table in the heart of the fighting on the German right.

He promptly misses the Firefly to his front.

But the Firefly has already knocked out Tiger 211.
Tiger 223 is knocked out the same turn.  The only results this tank racked up all battle was to remove the lucky from one Firefly.  All other results were either no penetration or a crew stunned result.

Tiger 221 was also knocked out on turn 8.  This tank basically spent the entire game pinned on the table edge unable to hit or kill.

In the end the Germans suffered a humiliating defeat.  The numbers are stunning.  The final kill totals were 4 Tigers for 1 Cromwell.  Considering each Tiger had the Lucky skill, meaning they had to be killed twice, it is even more stunning.  Only the Firefly's had Lucky and of those only one, I think, used it.  I have really never seen such a bad string of die rolling.  Having said that, I thought the game was great and I really enjoyed it, but I played British.  Click here for a video battle report from Bill, one of the players.

We have played several, smaller, test games over the last year plus and this helped.  The results of these test games showed that the scenario is balanced regardless of the outcome of this game.  Past games have been 50-50 on the win ratio.  This game was just an extreme example.

A quick note on the rules of the game.  We used the Bolt Action 1st edition rules as that is the version we are playing (this was the last game of 1st).  I decided to stick with 1st as I am not entirely sure how the 2nd edition rules will effect the game.  We wanted the Germans to have something like the stormtrooper move from Flames of War to sort of help address the disparity in numbers.  Mobility is key.  We decided to allow the German player, at the end of each turn, to roll the order dice for each tank.  If the result was either advance or run the tank could make an immediate advance move but could not shoot.  This move did not require an order test so even heavily pinned tanks had the potential to move at the end of the turn.  This really worked well.

I plan to run this game again in the future, as long all all the models are available.  Future games will be using the 2nd edition rules which are now learning.