Monday 29 May 2017

Warhammer Fest 2017: SBG Open

This weekend just passed saw Games Workshop's new version of Games Day, Warhammer Fest, return to Coventry. You can check out the sales pitch here.

I was persuaded by Mr Ed Ball to attend the Hobbit SBG Open event which was happening as part of Warhammer Fest. 500 points, 2 armies (good and evil), 6 new scenarios. It sounded like a fun event so I signed up. At this moment in my gaming career, I am all about the fun, fluff and theme so I took two matching forces that were so fluffy...

For my good force, I took:

Thorin Oakenshield - King Under the Mountain
Fili, Champion of Erebor 
Kili, Champion of Erebor w/ Dwarf Bow
Dwalin, Champion of Erebor
Balin, Champion of Erebor
Ori, Champion of Erebor

For my Evil force, I took:

6 Gundabad Berserkers
2 Gundabad Ogres
1 Gundabad Troll w/ Scything Gauntlets

I picked these forces because they look so cool on the table top. Who can deny the awesomeness that is the charge of Thorin's Company out of Erebor in The Battle of the Five Armies? That was very much my game plan for this event, just charge headlong into every battle like Thorin would do. 

I'm not going to detail every game but I did take plenty of photos. 

One interesting thing to note was that all the tables were Neoprene gaming mats from Frontline Gaming instead of the Realm of Battle boards we are all used to. 
It's fair to say this wasn't my greatest tournament performance but I had so much fun with my armies. 

I finished joint bottom, the 'annoyance' being I missed out on the Golden Spoon aware because I had beat Marc earlier in the tournament haha. There were a few issues with the organisation of the event which threatened to overshadow the entire event but the events team tried their hardest to rectify all the issues. Hopefully they will listen to the feedback and learn and improve for next year. 

There was also chance to go and talk to the Middle Earth team about all the exciting projects they are working on. As always, there were plenty of shiny new toys in the cabinet. In the seminar with Adam, they also revealed they were working on Goblin Mercenaries, Hilda and Percy.

Happy Wargaming! 

Monday 22 May 2017

Vengeance: The Aftermath Day 2

The sun is shining, I have a cooked breakfast in my belly and I can sense it, today I am going to play better Guild Ball...maybe. 

Game 5 - David Rider - Brewers (Tapper, Hooper, Scum, Stoker, Friday, Spigot)
David was a lovely bloke and his Brewer's were painted to the highest quality. If I recall correctly, I lost the kick roll and was forced to kick for the 4th time in 5 matches. Mist kicked off and the ball ended up on Spigot. Benediction then used Stand Firm on Brisket to give her Sturdy. Mist, using a combination of Shadow Like and cover then managed to dispossess Spigot for my first goal. A great start for the Union. David then kicked the ball out and it landed at Tapper's feet...well within Brisket's territory. Hooper tried his best to avenge the goal by wacking Mist but fortunately he was left on 1 health. As my last activation, Brisket ran into Tapper and promptly tackled him, the Sturdy from Benediction proving a useful deterrent to the counter attack knock down. I then used Worth Sacrifice (Brisket's Legendary) to 'teleport' to Mist, allowing him to dodge to safety and allowing Brisket to take a clear shot at goal. She didn't let me down. 8-0. From the goal kick it landed at Tapper's feet again. Turn 2 I won the initiative roll and  loaded up Decimate with 4 as she was well in range to charge Tapper and use that sweet T <<. I also loaded up Brisket just in case Decimate fluffed her lines and needed to finish the job herself. Decimate didn't let me down. Needing 4 3+ on 10 dice, she easily hit the result I was looking for and tackled the ball of Tapper, simultaneously dodging into range of the goal and out of Tapper's melee zone. A swift dice roll later and it was all over. 12-0, What a contrast from yesterday! 
WIN: 12-0
Final play of the game, widgets set. 

Game 6 - Chris Rutter - Union (Veteran Rage, Strongbox, can't remember the rest - sorry)
My first Union match up of Vengeance and it is against Veteran Rage. This is going to be bloody (or so I thought). Just as we were setting up, Chris mentioned he wasn't feeling to great and that this would probably be a quick game. He won the kick roll but much to my surprise, he elected to kick to me. I retrieved the ball and passed to Mist who dodged up the field and promptly scored. 4-0. Chris then kicked it out the his A&G who then did their usual shenanigans and scored back. 4-4. Brisket then ran up the pitch to score my second. 8-4. Veteran Rage then took out Mist to make it 8-6. At the top of Turn 2, Chris scored a snap shot screamer with Greede to make to 8-10. I believe the ball then made it's way out the Brisket who promptly scored and won the game. A fun game of Guild Ball, but had Chris been feeling 100%,  it would have been a lot tougher for me. 
WIN: 12-10

Still, after 6 games I was now sitting on 3 wins and 3 losses which considering the start I had made on Day 1, I was over the moon with. Round 6 could have been the last round if James Long had lost on table 2 (due to how Guild Ball is played to one clear winner) but he stormed to victory meaning we had to play Round 7. 

As it was lunch, everyone was asked to leave their armies out on the pitch so the organisers could go and vote for Best Team and Best Goal. I knew I wasn't in with a shot but I set them up anyway. 

Game 7 - Chris Tamplin - Hunters (Skatha, Snow, Jaecar, Seenah, Vet Hearne, Minx?)
Chris is a fellow Southern Pundit but despite that, we had never played before. I was semi happy to see Skatha picked as his captain, she likes to play football and I'm unsurprisingly ok with that, Turns out Mist did not want to play football in this game. 
For the second game in a row, I received the ball and Mist set off an a little adventure towards the Hunter's goal. He promptly scuffed it wide, the ball hitting the post off the scatter roll. Chris didn't retrieve the ball with Minx (as she charged into Mist) which I found odd as it left Brisket able to her Legendary Play to snap the ball with Mist. Brisket then used I'm Open on Mist but as already stated, Mist was not interested and playing Football and his pass was way off target. 

Listen to Red Leader Mist! 

Not going to lie, that missed pass was a sucker punch. I should have been 8-0 up but instead it was 0-0 with my 2 goal scorers in a dangerous position as Seenah and Jaecar were still to activate. I don't mind losing my strikers if they get the goals first as the VPs gained is worth it. Alas, the game must go on. I still played my natural game, hoping Chris' dice would decide to copy mine at that crucial moment. I lost two players and Skatha scored before I could reply With Aplomb with Brisket to take it to 8-5. Skatha then retrieved the ball again and after bouncing off a surrounded Decimate, scored to take the win. 
LOSS: 5-12

With that, my Vengeance 2017 experience was over. I was gutted to have not won that final game, those 2 failed kicks from Mist killing any chance I had of winning. Such is the way of dice games. It was only that game (and the Snakeskin shot against Mat Hart) where luck was against me so I'm not going to complain...much haha. My final tally was 3 wins and 4 losses placing me 87th out of 116 players. Not great, but better than where I was on Day 1. 

After playing an entire tournament with just Brisket, it is clear she is probably the 'weakest' Captain for the Union. Blackheart and Veteran Rage are the two to take (if you are going competitive) but Brisket was so much fun. Even when my opponents were sure she couldn't score, she still gave it a damn good go. I also don't regret taking Benediction in my 10, he was AWESOME when he was on the pitch. If anything, Minx is probably in the running to be dropped out in favour of a second Captain. In a football team, she doesn't do much. Overall I was happy with the team I took and bar some bad luck, the results could have been so much different. 

Vengeance as a whole event was fantastic. The TO team were great, even when Tiebreak exploded after the first round. They kept everything flowing, there were no delays and I can think of negative that needed changing. 
Massive Congratulations to James Long who managed to win a pulsating final match and therefore with the event with his Midas led Alchemists. #TeamNottsOP. 

If you want to watch any of the streamed games, head over to the Steamforged Games Youtube Channel

Happy War Gaming! 

Thursday 18 May 2017

Vengeance: The Aftermath Day 1

The dust has settled on another fantastic Vengeance event. Before I start, I want to say a massive thank you to Jay and his team for putting on a truly outstanding event. If you haven't read my first Vengeance article, I recommend checking it out here.

Day 1:

Game 1 V Pete O Sullivan - Hunters (Skatha, Fahad, Seenah, Jaecar, Ulfr, V Hearne)
Pete went with a mixed team but ultimately was orientated towards the football game. This was good for me as I love to play Football. Pete hadn't played much against Queen Brisket so was unaware of her shenanigans and made a mistake in leaving the ball unsnapped after Mist scored. This meant Brisket was able to use her Legendary to snap the ball with Mist, use I'm open to receive the ball and then score again. Mist was taken out by either Seenah or Jaecar (can't remember which) and he had also scored with Ulfr. Another Union player was also out for the count but I cannot remember who.
Start of turn 2 Avarrise & Greede pick up the ball and attempt to score but pick the worst target possible (Vet Hearne) who knocks Greede over scattering the ball just out of reach. Greede got up and used Where'd they Go to retrieve the ball but was out of inf to pass to Brisket. Vet Hearne then fluffed his dice trying to knock Greede down again but had also engaged Brisket. In Brisket's activation, she first tried to hit Hearne to dodge away but failed so was left with no option but to use I'm Open on Greede and hope for a successfull pass by an engaged model to an engaged model. The pass failed but the scatter was kind and Brisket intercepted it. However, this left her out of momentum so could not take the shot on goal. I had two choices:
Kick the ball into open space where only Mist could retrieve
Kick to Grace who was in the centre of the pitch.

Oh hindsight, you cruel mistress. To Pete's amusement, I elected to kick the ball to Grace, forgetting how potent (and fast) Skatha is. That single decision cost me the game as in the proceeding activation, Skatha ran up to Grace, tackled the ball then bounced around my team till she got within goal range. Bang goal Game over! It was frustrating to lose as I made a stupid mistake but hey, that is the pres-sures of  a tournament.
LOSS: 8-12

Game 2: Mat Hart - Engineers (Pin Vice, Mother, Hoist, Velocity, Ratchet, ???)
Mat Hart, Creative Director of Steamforged, Indirect Boss. This would be a fun game. Engineers have always been my weakness (curse you John Parish) so I was not looking forward to this match up. When Pin Vice wants to, she can easily outscore Brisket and out kill her as a Plan B. Mat's dice were cold. Like super cold, no matter how many dice he rolled, he would only get 1 net hit on his target. While this was good at the start, I knew at some point they would either become red hot, or mine would follow suit. I remember both teams scoring a goal early before Mat realised that I was more suited to the Ping-Pong goal game. Pin Vice decided to hold the ball close to her own goal behind the protection of Compound and Vet Velocity. This would be a slog. Especially as the With Aplomb to take it to 8-9 but Hoist then grabbed the ball and scored for the win. A super close game where I could have/ should have taken the win but Lady Luck abandoned me at the crucial moment.
Engineers were able to dish out enough damage to hurt my players whereas (bar Harry) I could do none. At the end of turn 2, it was 6 (or maybe 8)-4 to Mat but Snakeskin had acquired the ball and was sitting out of Compound range, ready to score me a goal, which would then allow Brisket to score the winner from the resulting goal kick. Snakeskin missed...a tap in...on 3 dice. My turn to have cold dice. Devastated. In a football orientated team, I can't afford to miss goals. In the following activations, Brisket scored
LOSS: 9-12

Game 3: Snowy - Morticians (Obulus, Dirge, Ghast, Bonesaw, Graves, Cosset)
I had never played (or met) Snowy before but both him and his mate who was watching were both super friendly. His team was not haha. Obulus, destroyer of dreams. Another tough match up for my girl Brisket. However, with Bonesaw in his team I knew there would probably be goals, I just had to be patient. As with my previous games, getting the 2 goals proved to be relatively easy. Mist and Brisket were both able to score in the early turns (as well as Bonesaw scoring and Ghast taking someone out) before Obulus came to the show and hit a 6 point activation to win the game. I don't feel I did anything particularly wrong in this game, was just outplayed and out scored by a better player.
LOSS: 8-12

At this point, I was sitting second from bottom 115th out of 116 players. Only the infamous Straw (of the Battlehammer) was below me so I knew I would be facing him next. I was also 0/3 for the Tournament which caused great amusement amongst the Steamforged contingent who were playing. Lose this game, and the wooden spoon would look likely.

Game 4: Straw - Brewers (Esters, Quaff, Spigot, Hooper, Friday, Pintpot)
I was glad to see Brewers on Straw's tray. It would make for a slightly more relaxed game. I also chose an experimental line up for this game (as the preferred options clearly hadn't been working). I went with Benediction, Harry, Decimate and Minx. I would have a brawl with these Brewers if that's what they wanted. Plus Benediction's ability to hand out Sturdy would come in handy. It was a fantastic game, both players not really caring what happened as we were bottom but it made for so much fun. Turns out you get all the results you want when you hit Brewers. I also managed to get the infamous Avarisse and Greede first turn goal which caused Straw to exclaim he hated Avarisse and Greede. In return, Esters body slammed into Greede and took him out in two swings.

Cartoon impression of Greede's demise.
It wasn't all in vain though as Brisket/ Mist was able to retrieve the ball to score again to make it 8-2 at the end of turn 2. The ball was passed out to Stoker who just made a beeline for the Union goal and promptly made it 8-6. From the goal kick, one of the union team grabbed it and scored to make it 12-6 and finally end this barren run of form. I can't stress enough how much fun it was to play the Battlehammer and would love to get some rematches in the future.
WIN: 12-6

So at the end of Day 1 I was sitting pretty low down on 1/3 but I had that win and if I could win all my matches on Day 2, I would go positive which was my aim before the event. 

We then had the Q&A from the SFG team which revealed the Blacksmith's guild, and a few other stories which I cannot utter on a family friendly blog. I also got chance to sit down with the #TeamNottsOP gang and play a few rounds of Shadow Games. Turns out while they may be good at SBG, they suck at bluffing. All in all a great day 1. 

If you wish to watch the Q&A, check out the video about from Mini-Modelog (warning, may be some strong language). 

Bring on Day 2! 

Stay tuned for the second instalment of Vengeance: The Aftermath later this week. 

Wednesday 10 May 2017


This coming weekend sees the return of the biggest Guild Ball event. 128 players!  Jay Finnegan of GBI is once again hosting Vengeance at the Element Games North West Gaming Centre.

One of the many benefits of living in Stockport is now my close proximity to the gaming centre which means this event (which was 250 miles away) is now on my door step.

In this article, I am going to go through my chosen 10 players for this event.

Guild: The Union
Anyone who has played me before knows I am a big fan of the Fisherman's Guild and their silky footballing skills. Having played them since Season 1 and with the release of Seasoned Brisket, I decided to give the Fisherman a bit of a break and try my hand with the dastardly Union.
They have a wide range of players which makes for a more varied play style as it opens up the option of 2 Take-outs, 2 goals which the (Shark led) Fisherman struggle to do.

Captain: Seasoned Brisket
I've always wanted to use Brisket but never really liked the Butchers so this was a perfect excuse. I have been using Seasoned Brisket almost exclusively since she was released. As a primarily football player, she immediately appealed to me. Great character plays and a fantastic legendary that when used well, means she can get anywhere on the pitch.

 Mascot: Coin
Coin was a no brainer to add in. His Bag of Coffers brings a valuable extra influence meaning when Brisket takes her full 6, there is still enough to go around the rest of the team.

Player 1: Mist
Again, another no brainer. Mist comes in as the primary striker. He has a massive threat on goal which increases even further as he gains Shadow Like when within 6" of another Solthecian model. This makes him a perfect partner for Seasoned Brisket.

Player 2: Harry 'The Hat' 
A fringe player in previous seasons, Harry has stormed into almost every team in Season 3; including mine. His Inspiring Hat makes playing football so much easier and preserves that precious momentum that I need to score/ keep Brisket out of trouble. Harry is also great at clearing out a mass brawl in the middle as his 2" melee and momentous pushes allow him to disengage enemy players at ease.

Player 3: Minx
Another player who was relatively under-used last season, Minx is now seen in many a Union and Hunter team. She gained access to Snared and Back to the Shadows in season 3 allowing her to deal out damage and snare her opponents before disengaging (meaning she can charge again for free next turn). Having Furious also means you can use Minx as an influence battery on those turns when you really need your strikers to have max influence.

Player 4: Decimate
Decimate has been a mainstay of many Union teams for the last few seasons despite losing that fabled 2" melee. Able to do consistent damage and generate plenty of momentum, it wasn't a hard decision to bring her in my 9. What makes her super useful in this team is her T<< play book result (that's a tackle combined with a double dodge for those who don't speak Guild Ball). She is also incredibly quick so is often sent to retrieve the ball (also makes her a good target for Briskets Worthy Sacrifice).

Player 5: Avarisse & Greede
Avarisse & Greede, the dynamic duo that everyone loves to hate, These guys are a great pairing and combined make a fantastic striker. However, I always struggle to use these guys to their full potential so they haven't seen much action in my team recently. That should hopefully change this week as I squeeze in a few more practice games with these guys.

Player 6: Grace
No pretty photos yet so this stock
image will have to do.
Originally Grace was not going to be in my 9 but the announcement that Steamforged Games are going to pre-release both her and Benediction at Vengeance changed my mind. She has a great chance of being included in most of my games as her ability to speed up Mist and Brisket will be invaluable. She can also throw out healing AOEs if the match starts to go against me.

Player 7: Benediction
I won't lie, Benediction is in because he looks so damn cool. From the theory hammer in the office, we came to the conclusion he probably works better in a Veteran Rage team than Brisket but I think (if he comes in) he has his uses. He can dish out Sturdy to Brisket making her tougher to knock down and similar to Harry, he provides a 2" melee with plenty of momentous pushes.

Player 8: Snakeskin
Sneaking in at the last minute (thanks to the change in the OP doc) Snakeskin is my final pick. She is a great ball carrier thanks to Clone and Nimble. Combine that with her Charmed Male and Shadow Like and she can reliably get the ball back to Brisket or Mist.

General Thoughts:

I was toying with the idea of running two captains (probably Veteran Rage) but ultimately decided I wanted more flexibility in my players. Plus after running Brisket for the last month, I am out of practice with Vet Rage so it's unlikely I would even pick him in my team. I'm sure he will return to claim ownership of the Union soon enough. I am fairly confident that I can get the job done with Brisket against most teams; Obulus being a super tough match up. In an ideal world (one where I receive the ball first turn) I am aiming to get at least one goal, possibly two, in turn one using Mist and Brisket's Legendary. If my opponent kills the ball then I just have to be patient. Given a turn or two, Brisket or Mist (maybe even Avarisse and Greede) can go fetch the ball.

Failing that, The Union will just have to bloody their knives.

Happy Wargaming!