Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scott come over today for a WHFB rematch at 2,000 pts. His daemons versus my shiny Bretonnians. My force was similar to last time with 40 longbowmen and trebuchet in the foreground:

And 3 lances of knights, I also had a strong contingent of heroes and the lord:

We rolled for a pitched battle and the terrain ended up like this, dominated by linear obstacles and a pit that churned out random spells at the far end:

I deployed strong on my right flank with knights, bows and trebuchet, and hoped to refuse my left with the men-at-arms holding back the daemons as long as I could:

Facing my strong right were his flamers, gumbies and the bad doggies:

While the angry red guys and the daemon prince were on my left. Turn 1 saw him cautiously advance while I held my ground and faced the menace. I wanted him to move into charge range before punching forward, hoping that the pressure of longbows and trebuchet would keep him moving forward:

Men-at-arms face the prince:

Turn 2 was supposed to be my big one, with all 3 knight lances charging. But it was a fucking disaster. Two of three charges failed, a damsel miscast, and the trebuchet misfired...

Turn 3 saw the daemons continue to advance,

and a nurgle thingy charged my stalled knights of the realm, fortunately we won on combat resolution and there was a nice self-immolating break check that left him in a puddle of goo:

Turn 3 I completed the charges, the one successful questing knight charge destroyed one unit of flamers, but the second hopped along the bushes of the far board edge and fried both of my units of archers right off the board on single shots. Hot dice..

Meanwhile, on my refused left, the men-at-arms proved to be resilient and went toe-to-toe with some bloodletters for a while:

Until they were rear-charged by the daemon prince and ran for the board edge over a burning fence, incurring even more casualties. Fortunately, the pursuing bloodletters also caught their scrotes on the burning fence and somehow came up short in the pursuit. But there were only two of them left by now, and we rallied and turned to face in the next turn.

On the right, my grail knights eventually destroyed the gumbies, but the realm knights were defeated by a combo of bad doggies and angry red men

The last turn saw my surviving knights and characters facing his surviving angry red men and dogs. At this point I had high powered characters at the core of these units and felt optimistic. He charged my questing knights and my tooled-up paladin with a 2+ ward save against flaming attacks took on the skulltaker. What happened? He got two killing blow hits and I failed the 2+ ward save. Go figure, that was the game for me. On top of that, we nerfed a pile of easy armour saves against the flamers and the grail knights were roasted as well. The lady just wasn't with us today.

So we conceded. By this time my resident daemonette of Slaanesh had returned after an afternoon of swimming with the kids and was giving me dirty looks for not finishing up in time to make an easy-bake cake with the 5-year old nurglette.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hordes and Highlanders

Montrose marched off to meet the undead horde at Bob's house today. In game 1 I was the defender, and here you see the view from the right flank with the Strathbogie regiment of pike and shot in the foreground:

My plan was to push shooters and warband into the forest on my left as a holding action and use my right wing of the Strathbogie with mounted as the hammer. Here Bob advances his bony boys into the mill:

And I try to get warband and shooters into the woods on my left, I started with lousy pips so the development was slow:

Once I reached the woods, I could not resist the opportunity to jump forward with Highland warbands into the hordes (nice matchup with quick-kill in my favour) and blow a hole:

And behind this skirmish I tried to develop the right. All the while, I was mostly concerned with his flyer (still not active):

Eventually I was able to start forcing the right flank more and more, I don't remember why it took so long for Bob to take flight, but I think he was busy working my left with his bow elements and I was losing ground there. But the right flank matchup with my pike and shot versus his knights was what I was after:

Bob popped the flier who helped to outflank my left, but I was able to shoot him down from the woods with my last stand of Irish shot. Here we see my left has collapsed but the right has developed nicely and I have position to turn his general:

And eventually this is what happened, fortunately the dice were kind too (my 4 to his 1):

Game 1 was very close (11G:10). They don't come much closer.

Game 2 saw the positions reversed with Bob as defender. I looked at his deployment and decided to refuse my right and infiltrate and overlap his left by forcing warband and shooters through the woods, perhaps with a Stronghold assault to decide the outcome:

I had lots of pips to start and developed as planned. But my refused right was a concern, and the flier worried me. I kept my general back as a reserve and ZOC to limit his ability to outflank me. In hindsight, I should have used MacColla for this. As a hero he is better able to counter fliers and has lots of mobility. This tactical error would be my undoing.

The left flank attack worked well despite Bob's knight reinforcements, I had enough pips to engineer the match-ups I wanted:

And eventually I killed the entire left, but I was left in disarray with all of my shooters unable to support my right and the threat of the flier. Then it happened, the flyer jumped my right with a supporting knight and I foolishly allowed my general to be taken in a flanked position.

At that time, I was just ahead or even on AP killed so the game did not end immediately, but the next turn Bob regenerated some dead hordes and killed off another highlander warband, so we were defeated. This ended up something like 8G:6. My downfall was my poor aerial defence on the right. My army composition and game strategy were fine, just tactically I goofed and let the flyer grizzly-rape me. Bah! Bloody good fun though. Bob and I agree, if I could only ever play one game for the rest of my life, shipwrecked on an island with one rulebook, it would have to be HOTT.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Montrose's undead hunters from the highlands

Tomorrow I go over to Bob's for a playdate with the kids and should be able to squeeze in a couple of games of HOTT (Hordes of the Things for the uninitiated, perhaps the most flexible rules system ever created, definitely a consideration for a desert island ruleset if you were only allowed one). Bob has a skeleton 28mm army, so I am going to face him with my Montrose Scots since they have nothing else to do (until Dave Parker bases up the 100s of Parliamentarians I painted for him). I am imagining that Montrose's army has responded to an upsurge of undead activity in the highlands in 1644 or so. Our army will comprise something like Montrose's force:

The Marquis of Montrose himself with mounted highland entourage (Rider General +4/+4, 2AP)

His right-hand man MacColla "the devastator" (Hero: +5/+5, 4AP)

Border Horse (riders +3/+3, 2AP)

The Irish Brigade of shot (Shooters +3/+4: 2+2AP)

The Strathbogie Regiment of pike and shot (2 shooters +3/+4, 2 spear +4/+4: 2+2+2+2 AP):

Ferocious Highlanders (2 warbands +3/+3, 2+2 AP)

For a total of 24AP:

Now, let's kick some bones!

Reinforcements and new stuff

I managed to get some painting done over the first part of the holidays, finishing off another unit of old school Knights of the Realm. I kept the liveries simple, unlike the higher level knights, but tried to maximize the diversity of colours:

The standard bearer is an old metal Errant Knight who fits in just fine:

The musician is a conversion from Empire knightly orders parts, in this case the horn blower would have to remember to raise his visor before sounding the charge:

These two are my favourite heraldry/colour combinations, the last knight is a lovely lavender (Sir Poof?) that doesn't quite come out under the camera:

This year Santa blew my Christmas allowance mostly at the GW store. My WHFB armies have so far been constructed entirely from older models obtained by barter or very cheaply in lots on Bartertown, so this is an indulgence I rarely allow myself. Santa brought me the new WHFB box set. I plan to do the High Elves for WHFB, and will combine the models in here with some old archers and spearmen I got from Bob, plus the Phoenix Guard box that arrived under the tree. The sticker shock on these guys is just silly (10 plastic models for $49!), but they are simply beautiful. The skaven models in the box set are interesting, I was going to see if I could trade them but I think I will keep them and do a HOTT army of ratmen. the composition and model number are perfect for a cool and diverse HOTT army. Also in here are a Citadel game mat and some blisters of reinforcements to finish off my Bretonnians, including a lord with great weapon (to lead my Questing Knights), a blister of damsels (much needed magic-bint support) and some Pegasus Knights, fluffy but very pretty and fun to play with.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chaos Daemons versus Bretonnians, 1800 points

Last night Scott and I played a very close game of WHFB with our new armies. We managed 1800pts which is a pretty good start. It allowed me to field everything except the lord on hippogriff, who I think does not match up against Daemons very well anyway.

My left wing comprised full lances of 9 Knights of the Realm (KOTR), 8 Questing Knights with Damsel (QK) and 7 Grail Knights with general and standard (GK). Key to the battle was the General and his wargear. Knowing Scott was fielding a kick-ass Skulltaker with S5 flaming attacks, I tooled up with fire-resistance and vows that allow re-rolls against stronger characters. So if I drew him into a duel, he could not hurt me while I could make Daemon kebabs at my leisure.

My right wing comprised 2 regiments of 20 peasant longbow, the trebuchet and a unit of 20 men-at-arms with a paladin on foot to stiffen morale and melee.

Scott moved first. On my left wing he advanced a unit of flesh hounds with Karanak along the board edge. I underestimated this unit and it almost cost me the game. On my left I was more worried about his flying Daemon Prince (followed the hounds then hid behind a tower out of trebuchet sight on the first turn) and unit of flamers (very scary, 6d6 S4 flaming attacks). The flamers advanced quickly towards my knights, perhaps too quickly. In his centre was a big unit of 25 Bloodthirsters with the Skulltaker. They advanced towards my GKs.

On the right, he advanced a unit of 25 horrors which look like lumps of pink chewing gum but churn out offensive spells, and on the right board edge was another unit of flamers that advanced towards my bows and trebuchet.

On the left, I retreated the KOTR and pivoted to face his flesh hounds, hoping to hold them off long enough to win in other quarters. I hit them in the flank with a good missile spell, but they have highly respectable magic resistance (Doh!). They eventually got the charge on my KOTR and ground them to bits and ended the game in a position to sweep across my back edge.

However, my QKs managed to make a charge onto his flamers and pulped them badly. Following this, they were charged frontally by the Daemon Prince who eventually defeated them.

The key to my plan was the GK unit. After hitting his bloodletters with the trebuchet to soften them up (crunch!) I got a charge in. The GKs did a heap of damage, and his Skulltaker was forced to use a nerf sword in a hopeless challenge against my lord. Eventually combat resolution (ranks, plus banners) and my armour/ward saves carried the day and the bloodletters were no more. The GK then turned to face the Daemon Prince. In this encounter, I challenged the Daemon to a duel with one GK every turn to minimize his damage and let combat resolution (ranks + banners + rear) grind him down.

On the right wing, his horrors twice miscast and suffered from bows and trebuchet fire, and were basically whittled away to nothing. The second flamer unit advanced along the right board edge and dueled the other bow unit until I managed a charge with the men at arms. Again, combat resolution (ranks + banner) carried the day and they were snuffed out.

We called the game with his flesh hounds poised to charge my bows and men at arms, but the GK unit was largely intact and would have handled them okay. Call is Bretonnian narrow win.

Grades for performance on my side:
KOTR: "F" they were pulped, might have managed one hit. Lesson learned: Knights must charge, and ideally multiple units in mutual support.
QK: "B" they steamrolled the flamers and held off the Daemon Prince just long enough.
GK: "A" Rock hard, 2 lance attacks each, ability to challenge, basically a unit full of champions.
General: "A" the game, basically. Next time I will need new tricks...
BSB: "A" essential to combat resolution, and CR is how to beat Daemons. Their weakness is their lack of numbers, so they can be beaten even if they kill us 2:1 if we have numbers and support in the right place at the right time.
Bows: "B" they were effective at drawing his fire and causing attrition. Range 30" is really useful.
Trebuchet: "A" I came very close to bagging a major character or two. The high S hits are great against daemons.

Overall: About a B-. I need to make better use of KOTR. The weakness of this army (among others) is the large flanks of the mounted units.

Flesh hounds: "A" they kicked my ass, I underestimated these guys, fast, hard hitting and resilient.
Karanak: "A" he kicked special ass...
Daemon Prince: "B" formidable but on his own is doomed.
Flamers: "F" I was worried about the number of shots these guys can put out, but the S4 flaming attacks are easily saved by knights, badly outranged by bows, and they are easy meat in melee since the units are small and lack ranks & standards.
Bloodletters: "B" these guys can hit hard, must reduce their ranks before charging in. Fortunately their toughness 3 and lack of armour makes them vulnerable to missiles.
Skulltaker: "F" this time, he got trapped. Next time I might not be so lucky....he's a killer.
Horrors "C" never really felt threatened by these guys, only level 2 and their spell ranges are short.

Overall GPA: about a C-plus. But I think this was partly situational, and partly a learning experience for Scott. I won't get away with sneaky tricks next time, maybe...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lord on Hippogriff

The lord on hippogriff took about a week, nice model. I now have a pretty balanced force with Grail, Questing and Realm knights, artillery, bows and a few men-at-arms. Plus now, a kick-ass lord on fearsome beast. But we are up against daemons of Chaos next week. So I'll need to dig into the bag for some dirty tricks.

And an obligatory cat-sleeping picture:

next up: I dunno. I've decided to ask Santa for the Island of Blood set since I have enjoyed painting WHFB so much over the last bit.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Over the weekend I finished a little gem of a model, the 1/72 Zvezda Trebuchet. It is a large sized model, so perfect for 28mm. I converted/co-opted bits including some Zvezda Royal Infantry for crew, and an Empire engineer serving as an advisor in the Bretonnian artillery regiment:

Here is a closer shot of the crew:

And with a couple of kniggots for scale:

I also completed a unit of standard knights of the realm, these are older edition so nice and simple to paint and put together. I got these in a swap from Bob with transfers from Scott (thanks guys!):

Up next: Lord on Hippogriff...should take forever or so...