Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini Narrative Campaign - Opinion's and Thoughts

Chuck and I had originally recorded about 40 minute worth of content to go along with this, however when I returned to edit the sound files we discovered that the microphone I have appears to have been broken at some point in time.  There was a loud buzzing throughout the recording that no amount of noise reduction filters was going to get rid of.  Being a fair stickler for quality as I can manage I refused to let this go so Chuck and I have compiled our thoughts into writing instead.
I have provided a scan of the scenario's we used excepting the Siege Scenario from Blood in The Badlands as that book is both still in print and more of about 5 pages than 1.  Still, this will at least give you an idea of what we're talking about in each one.

Game 1: Scouts & Picketts
(Skirmish Scenario)
Scouts & Pickets Scenario: General's Compendium
You can tell when playing with the Skirmish rules that the game clearly was not designed for 8th edition.  Beyond the obvious differences in movement being double for a charge and random the number despartiy for 2-4 point models probably didn't exist in 6th.  I'm sure they didn't intend for you to be able to field 80 men in a Skirmish game but with the low cost of troops in this edition you could easily field making it last far too long for what it is.  The scenario was interesting and fun.  I think that some of the rules are a bit over used or not strong enough such as the knock down/out of action results.


Definitely like Joe said above.  A game meant for another rules edition, but it did bring back the classic 6th style play.  The real fun was the ability to resort back to a Mordheim type of game play and move models individually of their unit making for a more free flowing game.

The real difference in the game was model count.  Luckilly as Skaven all of my troops are cheap; so much so that I even went the expensive route purcahsing Stormvermin.  The reason I went this route was under the assumptiont that Chuck would be fielding Chaos Dwarfs and I would need the WS 4 to have a chance at success.  The choice of Stormvermin is in the end what won me this mission.

I ended up using Hobgoblins as the Dwarfs were not only too expensive, but they also broke the rules of the scenario that we couldn't have models with an AS better than 5+.  I thought the Sharp Stuff throwing would give me a little extra power and in the beginning it did take a couple of guys down, but eventually Joe's WS4 S4 won out.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flat Con 2012

Hooray extra life is over for me this year and with it a great day of binge gaming.  If your keeping up with the blog you've probably already seen the post about Chuck and I's mini narrative campaign that we played early in the morning of Saturday the 27th.  Just in case you haven't though I've included the link here: Mini Narrative Campaign.  After that, some coffee, breakfast and showers we paraded ourselves to the Mini Expo building at the Interstate Center for Flat Con.  Traditionally Flat Con is a board game convention; however the interstate center is pretty large and there is plenty of table space so there are usually a couple of tournaments there for both Fantasy and 40k.

Our friend Kevin Flemming ran the fantasy event this year at 1,000 points and 3 rounds.  He also stepped in as ringer with his Dwarf army as we we're 1 player short of 8.  The participants names and armies are below.  Not pictured are my own Skaven army and Kevin's Dwarfs.
Brandon Prouty - Orcs & Goblins

Steve Gruenwald - Orcs & Goblins

Chuck Jiardina - Chaos Dwarfs

Aaron Lacey - Lizardmen

Unknown - Warriors of Chaos

Unknown - Skaven
So the games commenced and first up for me was:

The Waaagh Cast Cup! Season 2-Week 4 Newsletter

Hey Blood Bowl Fans!

Week 4 has closed and with a ton of other things on my plate right now we'll just get right to business.

Download the Waaagh Cast Courier Newsletter! : Week 4 Newsletter

Extra Life Mini Narrative Campaign

So Extra Life has come and gone.  Well technically it came and went two weeks ago.  However, as I had previous engagements (a wedding) to attend I had to postpone my participation one full week.  Luckily it happened to fall on the same date as Flat-Con.  A Board Game convention in Bloomington, IL.  As it had been a while since I've been off for some Warhammer and Chuck lives in Bloomington, we decided to attend the tournament as well as get up super early on Saturday to start my 24 hour gaming marathon and so we did.  We chose well ahead of time to do some narrative campaigning.  The General's Compendium has a small 3 tier tree campaign set up with a lot of nice narrative and so we decided to play that.  This is the resulting story.

The Worlds Edge Mountains that borders the Chaos Waste is home to both the race of Dwarfs and Skaven.  The Skaven in their constant search for more of the fouls substance known as Warp Stone have always sought to delve deeply into the earth searching and when able have used the already constructed Dwarf miens, many times after lengthy wars with their inhabitants.  Sometimes a particularly greedy Warlord will even seek the precious magical rock on the far side of the mountains ranges in the Chaos Wastes itself.  This is one of those times.

Warlord Snarlsqueek of Clan Skaar and Greyseer Scarclaw have begun to encroach into the Wastes seeking the precious stone.  It isn’t long before they encounter settlement within the foul land in the form of Dwarfs.  Except that unlike the Dwarf’s that they are used to facing these appear to be a corrupt sect who enslave the greenskin race and bend metal to their will while encasing Demons into shells and constructing great machines of death.  An immediate strike would be unwise and the two lords send forth a scouting parting to obtain information about their soon to be enemy.

Knowing that simple slaves would only attempt escape so far from their captors and that regular warriors would be far to nervous to gain any real information the lords choose to send in a group of their elite Stormvermin aided by a small group of Night Runners hired from Clan Eshin.  The scouts had reconnoitered in the borderlands of the Dwarfs gaining valuable intelligence on troop movements, strongholds and defensive positions.  Unfortunately, unaware that it had happened a group of the Dwarfs had spotted them and had been tracking them for some time.  Uncertain as to the strength of the invaders the Dwarfs send a small contingent of their enslaved Hobgoblins ahead of the scouting force to lay in wait in an attempt to entrap and destroy them before they could return to their commanders with the gathered intelligence.

The Hobgoblins burst from a hidden position and with the element of surprise pelt the invades with many sharp things that they had scrounged from their masters.  Knowing that death lay both here and upon their return should they manage it they felt compelled to at least fight for their miserable lives.  The Skaven fought viciously and being better trained and armed they eventually felled the greenskins forcing the few who were not laying dead or dying to rout and return to what would surely be a terrible fate at the hands of their taskmasters.  The Skaven that remained returned to the lords with the information.  They had found a slim pass defended by a lone watchtower the garrison defending it left to watch for enemies, defend against marauding warbands and ward off fell beasts.  The pass beyond leads to a large castle which would surely provide much plunder as well as an excellent stronghold from which to cement their operations in this land.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bretonnian Distraction - Rat Ogres

I've been sitting on these guys for ages and I finally got a reason to finish them up recently.  Namely that I hate painting Knights and I've been working on the Bretonnian's and I hate them.  You can see from the pictures that 7 of the 8 Ogres are all made from the Island of Blood models just with some variation in poses, pieces, etc...  I don't understand why GW didn't make some new plastic kits for these guys when they re-released all the other Skaven models, but who knows.  So these are them.  Hopefully you guys all think they look good.  The 1 Rat Ogre that isn't IoB is the bell ringer from the Screaming Bell with a flail I built him.  I dig it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Once Upon A Hobby – Warhammer Generals Compendium

Ah, here we are again, but now we have with us the big boy of hobby extra’s.  The Generals Compendium is a large 176 page behemoth that is packed full of so much hobby goodness it really makes the eyes water.  So lets get into a little more in depth discussion here.
The book is broken down into nine chapters over its course.  The first four chapters of the book deal strictly with ideas and information pertaining to campaign play.  The first chapter is simple campaigns, like ladder and tree campaigns.  This will be what Chuck and I are doing; in fact the Tree that we will be using is straight out of this book on page 11.  Chapter 2 goes into Map Campaigns and the ideas and rules for that.  It goes through a full rule set for the campaign and how to keep track as well as giving you a bunch of modeling and hobby ideas for the map itself.  Chapter 3 is a campaign setting that they have provided for you “Campaigning in the land of The Border Princes”.    As a campaign setting it provides everything you need about events, landmarks, etc… awesome for anyone looking to launch a campaign and not have to come up with things all on their own.  The fourth looks into Game Mastered campaigns.  This is a chapter that I haven’t read as I have no interest in this style of campaign as it requires the person running it to not play and frankly, my hobby time is going to be spent playing, not doing bookwork for others.

Chapter 5 is dedicated to competitive play such as tournament focus.  I like this chapter a lot because of some of the ideas in it.  Deathmatch challenges, hidden set ups, etc…  It’s a great read for ideas if you run a tournament yourself, and could probably give you some great ideas even if you don’t use what is directly provided for you there.  Chapter 6 goes through what it calls, “Hostile Terrain”.  This chapter deals with scenario’s that have special rules for terrain such as raging rivers, dry deserts, poisonous plants and dangerous woods.  Well worth a read, not to mention there are a lot of hobby articles in this chapter for building terrain as well.  There are some tables in here that look really good and if I didn’t already have a table I’d be modeling one up out of here for sure.

Chapter 7 may actually be the one chapter that seems to be nearly useless at this point given that 8th edition actually contained rules for allied armies.  That said, there’s no reason that you can’t abide by this table.  The chapter contains rules, ideas and scenarios based for mutli-player games.  This can include allied armies, players playing multiple armies in a game, etc…  The most interesting parts of this chapter pertain to the rules you can apply to armies being untoward with each other.  Again, this is covered with the suspicious allies part of 8th edition, but some of these rules could still be used and add some flavor to the game.

As we move into Chapter 8 we see a real divergence from regular Warhammer in a big way.  Boats.  Yes, that’s right; I said boats.  A whole chapter dedicated to using boats of different sizes in a game. All the way from dinghies up to large multi-mast sailing vessels.  There are special rules, turning templates, unit structures and a ton of other stuff.  Naturally as this was a hobby book it also contains construction ideas/articles and some excellent resources.  In fact, my Empire army which is Stirland River Patrol is going to be using one of these boats for their display board.  Assuming I ever actually finish the damned thing.  While I think this chapter is pretty great in terms of interesting rules it also adds a lot of extra rules to what can already be a complex and confusing game.  I wouldn’t suggest trying these unless you were a seasoned player.  Maybe I’ll try them out one day, but not likely anytime soon.

Chapter 9, the final chapter in the book moves into a fantastic section that really excites me personally.  Sieges, Raids and City Sacking.  Sounds great right there doesn’t it?  This chapter not only has some amazing modeling ideas and articles in it as far as terrain is concerned but also contains a lot of really awesome information to add to the siege rules you already have.  There are extra ideas for upgrades to fortresses; the ability to sack a cities buildings as well as the walls and neat ideas for loot.  There are rules for special buildings in the city that get sacked such as stables or armories which can give advantages to the enemy who is attacking and detriment to the defenders.  I love this chapter.

So while I didn’t say it much, there is an average of 3 or 4 scenarios per chapter and more than that in some of them.  If you wand to ignore absolutely everything in this book as far as rules and scenarios in concerned, it is still 100% worth it simply for the inspirational ideas you get from looking in the different modeling and hobby articles.  There are a lot of pieces in this book about ideas for terrain and you can really get some great ideas from it.  There is even a small article on building a Motte & Bailey fort for those of you who don’t want to buy the big expensive Warhammer Fortress and still want to give siege and city assault games a try.  I can’t really tell you enough how much anyone who wants to have some great inspiration needs this book so I’ll drop a load of pictures below for you to peruse.  The book can actually be difficult to come by but if you see it for a reasonable price, its well worth it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Waaagh Cast Cup! Season 2-Week 3 Newsletter

Hey Blood Bowl Fanatics!

Week 3 closes up with our first couple of near blowouts, with the Skaven opening up the speed games in our second division; while we also see quite a few deaths from our 1st.  A prediction now for Bash vs. Dash come super bowl time!

Download the Waaagh Cast Courier Newsletter! : Week 3 Newsletter

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Once Upon A Hobby – Warhammer Skirmish

Discussion time again boys and girls.  Today we get to discuss the book mentioned in the previous post ‘Warhammer Skirmish’.  We talked last time about how great the Appendices of the 6th Edition WHFB Rulebook were and how the third appendix contained rules for Skirmish games.  That is to say, small squad level games with a handful of models instead of giant rampaging armies.  These games are excellent ways to squeeze in a game of some Warhammer in which you may have limited time to play like a lunch hour from work, or perhaps if you finished your normal game, but still have maybe an hour to kill before your off to do whatever you do in your day to day life.
First let’s discuss Skirmish a bit more.

Skirmish is based off of the idea that you use normal models from the GW range, but instead of whole units you use single models and they move and act individually instead of as a whole.  A sample grouping may be something like:

Dwarf Thane 65pts
Dwarf Thunderer 11pts
Dwarf Warrior x3 24pts

Of course there, once you drop to this level your not even required to field a Hero, but can simply use unit Champions.  Also as there are no units, a Banner and Musician become pointless.  All the other normal rules are in effect.  Even magic still has a place in the game although you must fudge the rules a little bit for it to be effective.  You play the game just like normal from there out; moving, shooting, casting, fighting just like in a normal game of Warhammer.  The main differences being that when you lose your last wound you may not be entirely out of the game.  In fact there is a good chance your men may just get back up to continue fighting on.  Of course, men will only stick around so long and so the route rule exists which states when your force is down to 25% or less of its starting models you take a LD test at the beginning of every turn to see if your men flee the field or not.  Its all quite interesting.

You and your opponent are free to just duke it out as normal, attempting to completely wipe each other out, but more often than not you’ll want to decide a reason for the groups to be fighting.  This goal oriented play makes Skirmish a more enjoyable game as simply running at each other with the purpose to kill at such small model counts may be quite boring.  As such I think this game really shines in scenario play which is where this book comes in.  The Warhammer Skirmish booklet contains 25 scenarios already put together for you to play, each with its own evocative theme and reasoning behind it.  They also specify what armies and models would be used although the book also states that these are simply guidelines and you should use whatever armies/models you feel you would or those that you own.
There is a nicely written preface in the book which speaks as to why you might want to play Skirmish scenario’s as well as a handful of extra rules that were not contained in the Appendices of the 6th Edition book.  It goes over the ideas of things you’ll need such as the size board, and some simple terrain, but it also explains that you can really go to town with Skirmish games.  Most of the scenarios contain some extra information about how to fit them into the picture of larger games such as suggesting that a scenario which has you attempting to gather up loot from a battlefield may provide the winning player with an extra allotment of troops over the point’s value of a regular sized game.  Or perhaps a mission where a small band is escorting a wizard will decide whether or not you can field a wizard in your next game.  A number of the scenarios also contain some extra tidbits about building special pieces of terrain for them which may or may not be required.  There are plenty of nice full color pictures of conversion work that the GW hobby team had built just for the scenario’s as well as pictures of wonderful Skirmish battlefields that they used which really inspire the creative side of me and I assume you.

Finally the book ends with a discussion about linking the Skirmish games into a campaign perhaps involving multiple players.  They even go so far as to have a handful of employee’s play out a small simple campaign using some of the Skirmish scenario’s to influence the final battle so that you can really get a grasp on what they’re talking about when they discuss so often linking games together.

Overall, I’m a big fan of this book.  The specialized tables, terrain and scenario ideas really do inspire.  I’ve thought so many times about building special boards and the like just for games but usually cannot justify the idea.  Maybe if I owned a game store.  However that said, I see no reason that a tournament style player couldn’t look at these boards and easily get some good ideas for an army display board.  If you’ve played Skirmish and liked it I think this book is probably a must have.  I loved the squad based games when I was first getting into the hobby and while I haven’t played any in a long time I’m hoping that Chuck and I really enjoy the scenario that we’ll be playing in our small Tree Campaign.

To give you some more thoughts as to whether you might want to go out and hunt down the magazine I'll post a bunch of pictures below for you to browse.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Waaagh Cast Cup! Season 2-Week 2 Newsletter

Hey Blood Bowl Fanatics!

Week 2 has drawn to a close and boy did we see some carnage this week.  Primary amongst those players no longer with us in body, we say goodbye to a beloved Chaos Warrior who has been with us since the beginning, Yog Sothoth.  A truly brutal warrior.  We see some definitive wins this week with only two drawn games as opposed to last week where it seemed more than half the league was sluggish to the start.  You can read about it in our weekly newsletter below!

Download the Waaagh Cast Courier Newsletter! : Week 2 Newsletter

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bretonnian Unit #1

8 Knights of the Realm completed... well, sort of.  I have to put on a second flock (static grass), and build a unit tray to match the basing scheme, but otherwise they are done.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Once Upon A Hobby

Well dear readers, you’ve shown up again for the second of my posts leading up to my Extra Life stint at Flat-Con.  Hopefully you’ll get something out of the articles I’ll be writing up till then and if nothing else perhaps you’ll be able to relate yourself to me hobby wise.

Today we discuss our ‘Once Upon A Hobby’ tales of days gone by.  We’ve all heard the veteran gamers in our area’s lament about how great the old White Dwarf magazines were.  How they had articles, rules, inspiration and just tons of great hobby tips and information.  Gone are those days however, now for advertisement space and just bad battle reports generally having the newer armies win whatever they fight.  (Before I’m lambasted, I’m aware that this is not always 100% accurate so just go with me)  However, if you’re willing to dig a little bit you’d be amazed at some of the wonderful things that you can find.  Amazon.com is filled with people trying to unload their old Warhammer periodicals; source books, campaign settings, boxes, rules and even old White Dwarf collections.

If you’re a newer player and you’ve just gotten into the game since 7th edition then I highly recommend you go and get yourself the WHFB 6th edition Rulebook first.
Then I would quickly recommend you seek the following two books to compliment that selection.

Warhammer: The General’s Compendium and Warhammer Skirmish

These are probably two of the absolute best hobby books ever done by Games Workshop and really give you a serious injection of inspiration and hope for the hobby.  Produced in 2002 and 2003 these two books were companion material for Warhammer Fantasy Battles 6th edition which itself was released in 2000.

Now I plan on discussing all 3 books, but let’s start with the 6th edition WHFB Rulebook.  At the rear of the book after getting through all the rules you got the usual pieces that have been in every main book since.  A section full of background fluff and a page or two of each army with some background information on them to help, you on the way to perhaps picking one for yourself that you like.  After that is usually some scenario’s, a small article about terrain and the hobby in general; maybe painting or modeling and then a reference section.

Not so in the 6th edition book though!  Firstly after the fluff and army descriptions indeed lies scenario’s.  However unlike the abysmal choices in the 7th edition book which only contained 3 scenario’s and the 8th edition book which has the base 6 and then a couple more extremely unbalanced ones further on, the 6th edition book contained 9 scenario’s designed for the game.  Were these all balanced?  No, but you knew that going in and the point of them was to help you construct narrative games.  In fact, not only are these scenario’s based to give you some exciting games, but they also each come with a small piece of background themselves about what the scenario’s are based off of in the Warhammer history and the information needed to re-create the historical fight should you wish to do so which is always great fun.

After this is a small discussion of terrain (smaller perhaps then that in the 7th book) and a set of random terrain generation charts!  I love these charts so much simply because they decide what the board will look like instead of the players choosing what could be biased set-ups.  Admittedly the random terrain generation was brought back in the 8th edition book, but still it’s a fantastic little piece in the book that you could drive some serious use out of.  Especially if your looking at building themed tables.  While the random chart in the 8th book says what you place it doesn’t really specify things that should be in what regions of the Old World.  These charts quit specifically parcel it out from the lands of men to the Chaos Wastes and what type of terrain you would find there.  This makes it a little less random then the 8th edition chart and more race/region specific.

Finally you come to the meat of what make this book great and is lacking or completely eliminated from the 7th and 8th edition books.  The Appendices are small sections to help you really get into more in depth gaming.  Appendix one goes through some basics of running campaigns and the different types.  It even has an example campaign as well as some rule for it included.  Something that I feel both the 7th and 8th books were seriously lacking as they only mention it briefly.  The second appendix is really the least important as it simply discusses the concepts of army lists, points values and the game in general principles which every book really does regardless of edition.  The final two appendices though are the points at which the book really shines.

Appendix three is titled Warhammer Skirmish.  It contains the rules to break your game down into a small point squad based combat game.  Essentially it is Mordheim before Mordheim existed and for those who don’t know what Mordheim is think Necromunda and if you don’t know what that is I feel bad.  You essentially run small groups of warriors, usually only 150 or so points worth.  Each model is an individual and thus acts independently on the field running too and fro fighting it out on a small table usually only 2x2 or 4x4 feet at the most.  These can be awesome games where you really cheer on the single man who goes and takes it to the enemy and can be very dynamic and easy to apply your own rules to giving yourself objectives and crazy scenario ideas.  These games are super fun and extremely interesting to me.  Mordheim expanded this idea by giving models the ability to level up and gain skills and different equipment but this is still the basis of it all.  This has disappeared sine 6th not to be revisited.

Appendix four is Warhammer Siege!  Oh my lord what isn’t there to love about this section!  It brings what we all deep in our hearts want to see represented on the tabletop, a full on siege of castle.  There are 14 pages of heavily detailed rules on how to use siege towers, battering rams, ladders and tons of other equipment.  There’s points values and rules, layouts, a special scenario; tons of good stuff to use.  In comparison 7th and 8th edition completely omitted siege games until the release of the Blood in The Badlands campaign book which really simplified all the rules, but also completely changed them.  There are parts of newer rules which I think are definitely better, but it also leaves quite a bit out which I feel should’ve been left in.  Since the rules for siege aren’t really a hard and fast thing I figure you should be able to pick and choose from the two sets the things you’d like to use for your games.

The small campaign the Chuck and I will be playing is going to include if we can manage it both a Skirmish and a Siege game.  The Tree Campaign we’re going to do will be relatively short, consisting only of 3 games, but have a possibility of 10-12 different scenario’s depending on the outcome of the games previous to them.  This however gives us a great chance to do some things that we haven’t before as well as give us a narrative and goal to really strive for throughout it.  There will be articles and battle reports posted a few days after my marathon day so look forward to that too, but here I’ll conclude this post for now.  Look forward soon to reading about the other two books that I’ll discuss, General’s Compendium and Skirmish.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Waaagh Cast Cup! Season 2-Week 1 Newsletter

Hello everyone and thanks for checking in with us as we close the 1st week of games for The Waaagh Cast Cup's 2nd season of Blood Bowl!  We start the season out with an extraordinary amount of draws, being 4 of the 6 games played.  Even bloody as 2 players were killed straight away!  Sadly one of them being my own.  I firmly believe someone was paid off!  However as always I have endeavored to produce a fine newsletter for all the excitement and you can check it out below!!!

Download the Waaagh Cast Courier Newsletter! : Week 1 Newsletter

Friday, October 5, 2012

Extra Life Fail – And Fix!

So, as most readers know I am part of Team Cranky for the Extra Life fundraising effort.  The team has raised almost $3,000 for Children’s Hospitals and we’re all quite proud of it.  The basis behind Extra Life is just like the old style Walk-A-Thon’s, where you get people to pledge money to you while you in turn pledge to do something specific for a set amount of time.  In this case, play games for 24 hours straight.  Something every gamer aspires to, right?  Well, I’m not a big video gamer, but I am a huge fan of board games and obviously Warhammer.

The date for the big game-off this year is Oct. 20th, and sadly I have a commitment to which I cannot falter on that day.  However, even in the Extra Life charter they acknowledge that life happens.  They say there is no need to perform your gaming marathon on Oct. 20th, but to do it in spirit on whatever day you can.  So for myself I’ll be performing my gaming marathon on Oct. 27th while participating at the convention Flat-Con in Bloomington, IL.  Flat-Con is a smaller convention, and while deemed primarily a board game convention there are miniature games involved as well.  A local player will be running a small 1,000 point Fantasy Tournament on that Saturday which I’ll be participating in, but my old co-host Chuck and I will be partnering up to get some serious gaming done.

We plan on starting the day out with a short 2-player ladder campaign.  We’re going to run the Territorial Dispute campaign from the old General’s Compendium with the new 8th edition rules where required.  It should provide us with some really interesting games as well as a couple of articles for me to post on the blog later.  Depending on time after we finish that we may get in a game of Blood Bowl as Chuck has expressed interest in finally learning so that perhaps he can take part in The Waaagh Cast Cup! when it gets to Season 3 this Spring.  By that time it should be off to the Tournament with us.  Assuming the tournament ends at a respectable time (probably 7ish) I’ll be partaking in either whatever open board games I can seat myself at or picking up random Warhammer players to continue getting games in.  Perhaps I’ll even drag Warhammer Quest up with me for the event.

As a little preparation for the day though I’ll be writing a number of blog posts leading up to it discussing a number of things pertaining to the days fun activities, so keep a weather eye out and look here for some more stuff in the coming weeks.