Tag Archives: Tabletop

More Super Dungeon Explore!


sdeimagesSaturday saw the denizens of the floating citadel descend upon servitob’s trash cans  for a last minute arranged game of SDE.  Turnout was good, folks were stoked but nBreaker had forgotten the cards to play the myriad of expansions in his possession.

Luckily servitob had a basic card set stashed at a trusty neighbour’s house and was able to collect said cards and neighbour for a four hero game with the evil mastermind gribblin playing consul.

In keeping with our hardcore masochistic SDE tendencies we played the five hero version of events and selected the heroes entirely at random.  We therefore proceeded one hero down with a mismatched crew of hexcast, druid, barbarian and ranger.

Despite our best efforts gribblin managed total party kill before the big boss even spawned, much to his credit.  First to be slain was the hexcast who was an obvious target given her possession of the resurrection charm.  Second to be killed was the barbarian who was on a foolish solo jolly miles away from the rest of the team, then it was only a matter of time before the ranger and druid fell to the tide of denizens.

Overall, SDE remains a firm floating citadel favourite given it’s emphasis on teamwork and simple fun mechanics with very good visuals.  We’ll continue to play for the foreseeable future; especially as nBreaker acquires more and more RL SDE loot.

 

We Won!


I suppose I should explain the title of this post.  A few of you may remember a post I wrote about a year ago showing off some models that I had painted in my first excursion into historical wargaming.  I had always wanted to get into this genre, but had never got around to it until recently.

My local independent retailer & associated gaming club started to organise and run a campaign based around the Civil War (that would be the English Civil War in case you were wondering); it looked good and I decided to get involve.  As you probably have guessed by now the campaign has reached a conclusion – we won!  I was playing the part of one of the Scot’s Covenanter; namely Archibald Campbell.  The campaign was based upon the First Civil War starting with the initial outbreak of war between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians.  At this stage of the Civil Wars the Scottish government (dominated by the Covenanters) sided with the English Parliament, and so in the campaign the three Covenanter players fought against the King.  For the campaign victory conditions were set (including the capture of certain territories and certain special characters), and then the games begun.  A few days ago the Royalist surrendered unconditionally.  To be honest their situation was’t good.  With about 9 players on each side we had managed to capture the King and the Royalist war time leader Prince Rupert.  We had captured the main port of Bristol, along with much of the Royalist territory.  They still had most of Wales and Cornwall, but they had lost all but two of their cities; namely Shrewsbury and Worcester and they were both under siege (yours truly was pounding the walls of Shrewsbury).  If they had lost these, and there was no way of relieving them in time, then all of their armies would have been out of supply and it would have been pretty much game over.  So as it happens they chose to surrender.  So WOOHOO!

For me the whole thing has been great fun, despite my many defeats as I learnt how the system works (most notably to Montrose).  For the campaign we started off using Warlord Games’ Black Powder rules.  This is a rules set based on the musket era.  Once Warlord heard of what we were doing they started working on a Pike & Shotte era rules set that we then play tested.  We went through a couple of revisions and helped to provide valuable feedback to Warlord.  Our club and independent store even got a mention in the recently released Pike & Shotte rulebook, which was cool.  That was another first for me; play testing.  I’ve been meaning to write a few comments about these rules, and I will get around to that soon.  For now here’s a few pictures of the army I used.

I will be the first to admit that they aren’t my finest painted models, but when you think that I painted most of the army in just 3 weeks, they’re not that bad.  The army consists of;

  • General Archibald Campbell plus battalion commanders for the 8 battalions my army is divided into
  • 5 Pike Blocks with 2 Musket Wings each
  • 4 units of Scot’s Lancers
  • 2 Cavalry units
  • 2 Highlander units (note the one showing off his buttocks)
  • 1 Skirmisher unit
  • 9 Frame Guns
  • 6 Sakers
  • 1 Mortar
That works out as a total of 372 models (if you count the cannons & crews separately).

I do have a couple of units that I never finished painting in time (though as I have them I’ll still paint them up and put them in the army).  Future plans for the army?  The club is looking at doing the Second Civil War, plus friendly games.  Overall it has been a great experience for me.  Glory to Scotland!

DropZone Commander – A little for the weekend


Well I hope you are not all getting bored with all this DropZone Commander stuff I keep dropping on you, but as you can tell I am getting a little obsessed with these breath taking miniatures. So each evening I check to see what’s new on the interwebs and have even signed up to twitter to get tweets from Dave over at Hawk Wargames. Sad really 🙂

So while checking mail a few blogs and forums I came across an interview with Dave and some more stunning pictures on Political Dice. I have to say it’s worth a read, and is an excellent interview getting Daves ideas of how he would like to take the game forward. Here are some of the great pictures pictures of the dropships from DropZone Commander. (I am sure you know the ganmes name by now)

Ahhh the beautiful Poseidon! 🙂

Dystopian Wars: Kingdom of Britannia


I know it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned this Victorian Sci-fi naval game.  For those of you who have not heard about it, Dystopian Wars is the latest game from Spartan Games, the makers of Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada.  The core mechanics are the same, but there are a series of differences such as tiny flyers and the use of sea, land and air models.  Although we haven’t been playing it among our little band of gamers, I have had a few games with some others at a local gaming club and I can say that I have enjoyed them.  The game works well, is fairly simple and as Spartan Games has made a new edition of the rulebook (version 1.1) it is easy to read.  This was my only real criticism about Dystopian Wars, that the rulebook was just badly put together.  The new rulebook is a big improvement; its nicely done, with plenty of diagrams and explanations, and the fleet lists come complete with a nice profile picture of each model.

When Dystopian Wars was first released I purchased some Britannian models, but because we haven’t been playing it much I haven’t got around to painting them until now.  So here are some pictures of some of the finished models; a Bomber, a Submarine and a Battleship.  The Submarine happens to be one of my favourite models.

Hasslefree Miniatures and the Zombie Shoot Out


As is starting to be a regular affair, Wednesday night is gaming night for those of us here at 6 inch.  Last night saw myself, nBreaker, Servitob and a guest appearance from Mrs Servitob around the gaming and enjoying a good table top fight to the death.  For those long time readers you may remember me writing a review of the rules for a zombie apocalypse game called No More Room in Hell [NMRH] by Iron Ivan Games.  It may have taken several months but last night was the first time we’d played it as a group.  Up til this point I’d only managed to have a few play-test games with myself.

So how did the game go?  Well we each had one survivor and started with the basic scenario of all of us in a farm house the first night of the outbreak of zombieness (have I just made up a new word there?).  The game is won by us either boarding up all of the windows & doors on the ground floor or getting to an escape vehicle parked half way to the edge of the board.  The game went a little as follows.  The first turn had a complete absence of zombies as I managed to roll well above the zombie threat level meaning that there was no spawnings, allowing myself, nBreaker and Mrs Servitob to board up several windows whilst Servitob ran for the car.  The next two turns were a little more eventful as the zombies started spawning.  Servitob did some awesome kung-fu actions to take down the undead on his run for victory, I fired multiple shots from by big-ass pistols taking down a couple more, Mrs Servitob had trouble trying to board up the back door with the zombies braking through, but with some help eventually beat them off, whilst nBreaker ran up stairs and started looking for supplies in the rooms.  He managed to find some Kevlar body armour, food and an awesome replica geek sword from a movie with all those elves & dwarves and stuff.  As the hoard kept coming Servitob did the honourable thing, started up the car and proceeded to commit vehicular zombie-slaughter as he rounded the house to the back door allowing all of us to jump in and drive to safety.  The End.

So thoughts on the game.  It was a lot of fun.  Despite me forgetting some stuff and having to look it up, the game ran smoothly.  The game dynamics are simple.  It’s all D10 based and basically to succeed at anything you have a stat and you have to roll equal too or under that value.  Combat is quick with many zombies dropping to the ground in the game.

So Pros for the game:

  1. It’s quick and simple to play, overall it took us about an hour for the whole game.
  2. There is a lot of potential for roll-play and the game lends itself to inspiration and use of initiative very easily.  In many ways it is an RPG.
  3. Although I scrath-built some terrain, it is easy to come across what you need in the typical toy shop (I have many toy cars for future games)
  4. Although you can command groups of survivors together, having only 1 model each results in a very co-operative style of game play.  You don’t have to fight each other in order to win the game, in fact working together is often the best way to win.
  5. The zombies are not player controlled.  They basically move towards the nearest survivor.  This allows for many people to play at once.
  6. You only need a hand full of models for survivors (and about 50 zombies).

Any cons?

  1. The game is a skirmish game and so works well with only a hand full of models, but you still need lots of zombies.
  2. I also feel that once you start adding multiple groups of survivors that the game will get a little too complicated and take a lot longer to play.  And if you like the co-operative nature of the game then this will go once people start having large groups.
  3. Some of the upgrades and rules (such as turning into a zombie after being bitten) are for a campaigns only and have no effect in a one-off game (ok I’m being a little nit-picky here).

All in all though it is a very fun game to play, and if you only use a few models, very quick too.

As for the miniatures, I found a group called Hasslefree Miniatures that produce some nice adventurer models which make ideal survivors of a zombie apocalypse.  Here’s some pictures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

I do love looking at their website and seeing where some of their . . . inspiration comes from.  They do some fantastically characterful miniatures.  I must admit one of my favourites is the Elvis impersonator.

The Hidden Costs of Gaming


With all the brouhaha going on at the moment in our beloved hobby I thought this was probably a timely post to write. Other than that, the picture heading the post looks like it would be an awesome “underground volcano lair” despite the fact there is no ground, nor volcano. Hollow out that bad boy for a Bond villain lair the likes of which has never been seen. Just make sure not to fill it with hot chicks of dubious loyalty!

Anyways, on to the meat and potatoes of today’s topic. As gamers we are aware that our hobby isn’t necessarily cheap, especially when you factor in the typical addict type behaviour of gamers. I still loathe people’s arguments that hobby Y is more expensive than gaming so I should be more than happy to pay current prices. We call that kind of thinking a fallacy!

However, while we often lament the price we pay for whatever brand of army men we are purchasing what often gets swept under the carpet is the cost of the various tools and paints that are needed to realise the potential each model has. While I’ve been in the hobby long enough to know that most armies never get beyond the grey plastic stage, despite our best efforts, I know that every single gamer more than likely has a basic set of tools and some paints. Just as different gaming companies gouge our wallets to a varying degree and for varying quality of goods (I’m glaring at you Failcast!) so too does this carry over into the tools we use for painting.

Over my roughly 20 years in the hobby I’ve used a number of different manufacturers. I started off with Games Workshop’s own brand, luckily for me I’ve changed that and use Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes and a combination of Privateer Press’ P3 paints and Vallejo Model Colour. GW paints cost £2.25 a pot while I can get the Vallejo ones in their handy dropper bottle for £1.40. My brushes cost around £7 each but then I only have 3 of them a 1, 0 and 00, they are much higher quality than the GW offerings and will last far longer if looked after properly.

For gaming with either plastic or metal you are also going to need things like clippers, a knife and a set of files. It also helps to have some greenstuff and sculpting tools to fill gaps in metal models. Then there are basing materials to consider too. All of this is quite a lot of stuff and while you do not NEED all of this when first starting you’re going to at least want clippers, some glue and a hobby knife to be able to assemble the stuff you buy to use on the table.

Once you get on the tabletop you’re also going to want terrain. Do you play over boards, whether modular or not? Do you just use a gaming mat, are you happy with just an old tablecloth and a few piles of books? Generally I have found that terrain is pretty fairly priced and there is a lot of choice out there to furnish your battlefield with depending on your game of choice. For current 6 Inch Move flavour of the month, 40k, you can get some half decent bargains like this which I consider to be pretty good value.

My point is that when you think about the startup costs of gaming, you have your starter set or rule book and then the models you are going to use but there is so much that can sneak up on you too. Extra dice, tape measures etc… etc… It’s not long before you’re a true hobbyist that has a huge haul of stuff cluttering up a bedroom or a front room.

While I think we are quite good at making rational comments about how much it costs for newcomers to join our hobby with the increasing prices of miniatures, what we should not forget is just how much the true cost is even higher! We might take for granted that we have every pot of paint we are likely to ever need but newcomers will not be so lucky. Depending on what brand people choose to go for (and in GWs case they are hoping you go for theirs which are, unsurprisingly, overpriced) you can make some decent savings but you need to know what you are getting into. Personally I would not recommend Model Colour as a range to the beginning painter but in the long run it is a much cheaper and better quality paint to use (and it smells awesome too!).

While nice terrain is not a necessity the fact it is plastered across all the pictures you see of painted models it does seem to indicate some level of obligation that you have to emulate those kinds of battlefields. I know a lot of people like to make their own and there are some really talented people out there but all this extra work means less time for actually painting the army men you started out with.

If I could offer one recommendation to people starting out, what would it be? Well, considering the situation I am in I’d say get your stuff painted and worry about the rest later. I procrastinate as I have so much to do (and I just love assembling stuff too) but I am really starting to feel the shame of not having a painted army. I’m working on my problems to try to correct that, so I’d encourage those on their first foray into gaming to really push forward with getting their purchases painted. You’ll thank me in the long run.

Hive Fleet Gribblin Feeds


This weekend found the 6 inch move team, plus one other, playing an impressive 4000pts game of 40k.  As I can field a large army of Tyranids it was decided that it would be a grand alliance of Space Marines (Servitob), Choas Marines (plus one), Eldar (Carabus), Dark Eldar (ZombiePirate) and Tau (nBreaker) against my horrible gribblies.  Above is a picture of the army I used.  So what did I pick?

  • Hive Tyrant; bonesword, lash whip & heavy vemom cannon, plus 3 Tyrant Guard with lash whips
  • Tyranid Prime; bonesword, lash whip & deathspitter
  • 2 Hive Guard
  • 3 Vemonthropes
  • 2 Lictors
  • 3 Zoanthropes
  • 5 Tyranid Warriors; deathspitters & venom cannon
  • 5 Tyranid Warriors; devourers & barbed strangler
  • 25 Termangants with fleshborers (2 units)
  • 25 Termagants with spinfists (2 units)
  • 30 Hormagaunts
  • 15 Genestealers plus Broodlord
  • 8 Ripper Base with Tunnelling
  • 5 Raveners with Rending Claws
  • Harpy
  • 20 Gargoyles
  • 3 Tyranid Shrikes
  • Trygon Prime
  • Mawloc
  • 2 Biovores
  • Carnifex; 2 twin-linked devourers
  • Carnifex; stranglethorn cannon

How did they get on?  Well ZombiePirate had written up secret objectives for everyone, each with their own victory points value.  Somehow I managed to win, not that you would have guessed by what I had left at the end of the game; a dozen Termagants and 5 Ripper bases, compared to their Ravenger, Defiler, Chaos Predator, Hammerhead etc that they had left.  The Tyranid’s primary objective was to eat as much as they could (now there’s a surprise), and after managing to kill 17 units I had done enough damage to the alliance to score a win, but only a marginal one.  They had managed to collect over 1500 victory points from their objectives, whilst I’d gained 1700.

The general theme of the game was as follows; every alliance unit (other than the Dark Eldar and the Daemon Prince) sat back and shot the hell out of my Tyranids for the first few turns.  The 2 Wyches uinits with Succubi assaulted the Hormagaunts and killed the entire unit in a single combat phase (ouch!).  The Wyches then got massacred to shooting from a Warrior unit and the devourer armed Carnifex which then gave nice targets to the Succubi (though the Warriors with Tyranid Prime seriously put up a fight – both Succubi only had 1 wound left by the end of it).  The Ravenger and Raiders spent time pot shooting at stuff whilst the Mandrakes were seen off by the second Warrior unit on the other flank.

The Tau took the first casualties of the game when my Biovores got a lucky first turn shot and wiped out an entire unit of Fire Warriors.  They then spent many turns of shooting and a Fire Warrior unit managed to beat a Termagant unit in close combat for a couple of turns before the Kabalite Warriors gave them a hand.  The Tau commander and the 3 Crisis suits he was with had a close encounter with the High Tyrant (enough said really), whilst the Hammerhead had lots of fun shooting its Railgun and missing a lot.  nBreaker did however manage to capture 2 of his objectives and score some nice victory points for the alliance.

The Eldar did a lot of damage with their Guardians and Fire Dragons, weakening the Mawloc enough for the Space Marines to kill it in combat, plus seriously hurting the Harpy and finishing of the Tyrant with Bladestorming Avengers.  This was however after the Tyrant and his Guard had stomped all over the Autarch and his Scorpions, plus finishing of the Guardians and said Tau units.  The Fire Dragons got eaten by Genestealers and the Falcon was first immobolised by the last Zoanthrope, and then had the creature assault it and headbut the pulse laser off it.

Servitob didn’t disappoint us by having his entire Space Marine force wiped off the table again, but he did do a lot of damage on the way out.  Taking out the Mawloc, the Harpy and a horde of Termagants.  He did get unlucky though when his Assault Terminators suffered a deep strike mishap and ended up getting lost in the Warp as they tried to teleport into the battle.

The player who scored the most vicotry points for the alliance was the newcomer who for this post at least I shall call Plus One.  This is a lad who has only just started to play wargames and we are glad to have him join us. His Daemon Prince kept two units of Termagants occupied, whilst the Raveners tried to take it down – didn’t quite work, the Raveners got shot up by the Chaos Predator on the way in and then what was left was splatted by the Daemon Prince.  He lost an rather large unit of Chaos Marines to the Genestealers, then massacred said aliens with rapid fire from the his other unit.  Due to him taking down the Carnifex on that flank there really was nothing to challenge the Defiler or Predator so they had lots of fun re-painting the terrain Ichor purple.  All in all a really fun game.

So what would I change in my army?  Well when it comes to the way I played there were a cpuple of stupid mistakes I made – such as deep striking the Trygon Prime right infront of the Fire Warriors, Crisis Suits and Kabalite Warriors (it didn’t last very long) that I hope not to repeat.  I also don’t think I will be deep striking this much stuff again, I just felt like there was too much missing in the earlier stages of the game (not enough targets for the alliance to shoot at), and even if a unit like a Trygon emerges in turn 2 (which it did) it wouldn’t be able to do anything except get shot at until turn 3 so I might start deploying some things as normal.  The other big change would be to take the Carnifexs out of the army, and I plan on writing another post about that, as they’re just not worth the points at the moment.

Still a good game, thanks for the fun guys.

Gribblin Goes Historical


Well the urge has been happening for a while now, and I’ve finally taken the plunge into historical wargaming.  It took place a few weeks ago and I’ve finished my first unit the other day.  As so many of my friends are having new born babies and my girlfriend will be in America working at a summer camp I foresee an uneventful summer, so I’ve decided to get involved in a campaign that a local gaming club is running over the summer.  It’s based upon Warlord Games’ Black Powder rulebook and is set in the Civil War (that’s English/British Civil War, or War of the Three Kingdoms if you want to get pedantic).  I’ve taken the role of one of the Scot’s Covenanter Armies as I have an affinity for Scotland and the uniforms are grey making painting quick and easy.  My first unit is complete (Scots Lancers) so I’d thought I’d share a couple of pics.

The Internet – Good or Bad for Gaming?


In the constant drive to deliver to you, dear Internet reader, quality, thought-provoking content that touches you on a deep spiritual level we bring you today’s topic. A drive that you may, or may not, agree on us reaching. I just like to try to write down my thoughts using an expansive vocabulary in order to portray myself as an intellectual, we all know I’m not kidding anybody…

The Internet is right up there as one of the potential greatest inventions of the 20th century, I remember first hearing about it on the now defunct Tomorrows World program where it was referred to as the Information Super Highway and would transform the way in which we lived. They talked about virtual communities living out there in cyberspace and traditional boundaries dropping off as we increased the reach of our social interactions.

I don’t think back then that anyone really grasped the true extent that the Internet would seep into the lives of our fellow Earthicans, rending asunder boundaries drawn on maps and opening us up to people and places we’d never been before. It also eventually provided us with categorical and unequivocable evidence that Trolls do not just live under bridges.

When I first started gaming in the Nineties the extent of the community and the discussions I had were restricted to either friends or the local gaming store when I popped in and talked to staff. Now, I didn’t grow up with a huge number of friends interested in the same hobby as me so I also took a rather unique avenue of just drifting through on my own. I didn’t go into the local GW to play, just to pick up the latest releases. By the mid Nineties dial-up was becoming more prevalent and eventually my father’s PC was hooked up and I got my first taste of Internetdom. This was all related much more to PC gaming than wargaming though.

One Christmas I then got a home DSL kit allowing me to no longer have to hog the phone for 2 hours at a time before BT disconnected the modem and I’d have to redial. This then brought about speedy access to all kinds of wonders and the Internet, for me at least, truly came alive and not just because you had free access to women of loose morals flashing their jubblies around.

These days the Internet is bursting with communities and forums for pretty much anything and everything you can think of but what has this done to our particular hobby? And is that a good or a bad thing?

Firstly, let’s start off with the glass half full and talk about the positive. The resources available to players is massive, there are forums for games and armies, a wealth of information on how to go about painting our toy soldiers or even converting them into something completely different. The inspiration available to be able to view the skills of so many different people really helps you find your place, either as a master artist or realising that even if you thought you were bad, that kid selling “pro-painted” on eBay is way worse than you.

The Internet also allows the gamer to become aware of stuff that he or she may not otherwise come to recognise. I found Warmachine through the Internet as before that I’d been a GW purist as that was all I really knew about due to their high street presence. What the Internet has helped to do is to open up competition as it is now a lot easier to research a game rather than the opinion of a store owner or splashing out on the rulebook and some models in the hope you’ll enjoy it.

If you need tips on an army then you can find other players who will help you out, either through unit selection or ways in which to improve yourself as a player. You can read battle reports, check out paint jobs, or even avail yourself of some pretty good deals on second-hand models or discounted brand new stuff. The Internet has broadened gaming, you are aware of new releases well in advance and can preview stuff you might like to grab in the future without having to wait for a magazine or even for it to arrive in stores. I don’t think there is anything that has been as transformative to many people’s hobbies, even outside of gaming, as the Internet has been. It is in virtually every home, at least in the western world and that kind of prevalence has been a boon for the diversity of information and avenues of discovery that we as consumers have access too.

Unfortunately, the Internet is not always a shining beacon of enlightenment. While we’d like to think that people united by a hobby could get on with one another there are the odd few people who will criticise and denounce people. If you take a sub-par choice for an army then you must be a n00b who clearly has no idea to play. Then there are also the vociferous remarks negatively viewing some companies (most notably the Sherriff et al). People can be overly critical to the point of being rude.

We can also look at the massive discounting of products online stealing market share from bricks and mortar stores that simply cannot compete against their virtual counterparts, this inevitably leads to the decline of local communities as the traditional congregating ground of the gamer disintegrates either through no-one visiting the store to get their goodies or through the store having to shut up shop. Does the fact that we are only a forum thread away from finding out the most powerful army lists actually prove detrimental to the game? There are many that will just take the latest web list and run that rather than try things out for themselves, after all the only point of gaming is to win right?

A lot of the forums have a tournament minded mentality too, therefore a lot of what you find is super-competitive style armies that are annoying to those of us wanting a chilled out game with friends. Buying your first army for a game can be a process of finding that uber-list point and click army and buying it rather than what I did when I started of buying what I liked and trying things out and in many cases, trying to make stuff work because I didn’t have anything else.

I cannot think of anything else in recent history that has proven as transformative to the hobby as the Internet, but then the world wide web has changed the face of how the world communicates and interacts anyway, we’ve definitely been left behind the curve here, in fact I’d probably say we are right up there riding the wave as it were. I have enjoyed being exposed to new things rather than being a GW purist and believe the market is blossoming, although perhaps a little too much.

I’m not going to declare an undying love for the transformation that the Internet has made to our hobby, but then I am not going to decry it either, I can see both good and bad here. Although there is certainly one thing that I think we can all take from this;

What is it about Elves?


As you will already be aware of Thursday night saw us gamers get together for another round of beat on the Elf.  Last nights battle was a lot of fun.  As ZombiePirate has already informed you it was a battle for the pass game with us basically having to kill as much of each other as possible [I love simple games].   My army had seen a few changes since its last use – out went the Ent which had done next to nothing in 3 games, and I’ve also been trying out lots of different characters – in last nights match I used Glorfindel, Thranduil and Cirdan.  The rest is pretty familiar; 3 companies each of Galadrim, Galadrim Archers and Galadrim Knights.

I deployed my army across the board to take full advantage of the longbows, whilst ZombiePiarte used a refused flank stance.  In general the battle went as follows – Elves got attacked by the wood; Galadrim Archers shot the crap out of stuff; Glorfindel had a fantastic failure of a combat with the Winged Nazgul (more later); the Galadrim Knights saw off the Haradrim Raiders, then got finished off in combat against the Haradrim Infantry with Dalamyr (though they did take out about a third of the unit); the Nazgul spent half the game having fantastic magic rolls, whilst despite having 3 casters, mine flopped like a bad perm; Glorfindel later redeemed himself by finishing off the Haradrim, the Easterlings and the Nazgul and at the end of it all there was 4 Morgul Knights and Dalamyr left on the table.  Total whip out for the Elves [my third in a row now!].

So what are my feelings towards my army?  I like the Elves, despite the losses sustained so far – I’ve 1 game out of 4 and like I said the last 3 there was nothing left of my army, but at least this time there wasn’t much left of my opponent’s either.  For some reason I like the Elves (and Elf-type) armies in wargames.  I have a Wood Elf army for Fantasy, an Eldar army for 40K and the Thaniras Elf fleet for Uncharted Seas.  And now after playing some games of War of the Ring I’ve noticed a theme; that they all aim for the hit hard, hit fast principle.  They are all incredibly fast armies with a lot of hitting power, but somewhat lower defences and so tend to lose out in a war of attrition.  The Elves of War of the Ring are no different.  After having spent some time thinking about the army, I’ve identified what I see to be the main strengths and weaknesses of in the army.

Strengths

  • Speed – all the Elves move at least 8 inches (their cavalry move 12), they also all have pathfinder master, meaning that they ignore difficult terrain.
  • High Fight – even the basic Elf is Fight 5 (equal to many other people’s Epic Heroes) and their own Epic Heroes often have Fight values of 7,8 and 10.  So that’s LOTS of attack dice.
  • Terror – they all cause terror.
  • High Courage – basic Elf courage is 5, with captains and most Epics at 6, making them very reliable and making the Spirit Grasp rule pretty pointless against them.
  • Longbows – 36″ range weapon with at least 10 dice per company, it massacres lightly armoured units and even heavy units need to watch out.
  • Magic – the only Good army to have magic users in their list and there are plenty of them; out of 12 Epic Hero choices 6 are magic users, plus there are 2 Legendary formations and the Galadrim can be upgraded with Stormcallers.  This gives you access to Dismay, Command and Wilderness spells.
  • Characters – they have more Epic Heroes to choose from than any other army save Mordor, so that’s plenty of choice.

Weaknesses

  • Expensive – most companies of Elves cost at least 50pts; that’s enough for 2 companies of Minas Tirith Warriors or almost 4 companies of Orcs/Goblins.  This means you can expect to be outnumbered by at least 2:1.  It also means that you often can’t afford the a lot of unit upgrades.
  • Low Defence – they’re defence is often a point or two lower than most units; e.g. Galadrim Warriors 4(6), Easterling Cohort 5(7).
  • Limited unit options – a lot of the units do similar things, and they’re is no artillery.
  • Characters – too much choice leaves you pondering on which characters to use and the expensive units means you can’t get a lot of Might points in your army.

So how do I feel about the army that I used last night? And how did these strengths/weaknesses play out?

Glorfindel: I decided that I wanted to use this guy partly because I thought I could do with a monster to replace the Ent and partly because I enjoyed painting the model [it’s the big green one in Servitob’s post].  The beginning of the game went really badly for him – he charged the Winged Nazgul, declared a Heroic Duel and did nothing, then came regular fighting between them and again nothing.  What should have been a dramatic combat between two monsters was a huge pile of fail from both characters, no hits were scored.  He failed a lot of his spells and failed to hit a single Morgul Knight in a later combat.  He later redeemed himself by killing the said Nazgul along with the Easterlings and the Haradrim.  His speed and the sheer number of dice you roll in combat makes him a formidable character, and at defence 7 and Very Hard to Kill, he’s not easy to hurt.  Would I use him again? Most definitely, but at 250pts he’s probably a bit too expensive for a 1000pt army.

Overall rating so far: 4/5

Thranduil: Another new hero for me to try.  His epic shot surprised ZombiePirate and his Fight 7 and Wilderness Spells are useful – though I did manage to fail a lot of my magic rolls (especially focus rolls) with him.  On the plus side he is (125pts) and you get a good combat character who is also a wizard.  Chances of me using him again; good.

Overall rating: 3/5

Cirdan: A new choice for me.  I thought his Command Spells would hurt the Nazgul and repair damage to his unit, but he got Black Darted at the beginning of turn 2 and had done nothing in the game.  If he had survived longer, then perhaps something may have come from him, but at Resilience 1 I’m not sure I’ll be in a hurry to use him soon.

Overall rating 2/5

Galadrim Infantry: I’ve had a mixed amount of success with these troops.  As my main combat unit they tend to get a lot of attention, but at the moment I’m only fielding 3 companies of them, and the damage absorption just isn’t there.  One the plus side they do have a habit of really hurting stuff in close combat and at defence 6 they can take some punishment.  They have worked well when supported with a Hero with Epic Defence and the Spells of Command to replenish depleted companies.  A good, dependable unit, just don’t hit it too many times.

Overall rating 3/5

Galadrim Archers: Probably the one unit that has done the most damage.  At the risk of offending the dice gods they have a habit of doing a lot of damage with their longbows, hence why I added a third company to the unit since my last game.  At fight 5 they’re also no pushovers in combat and when they have a Hero with Epic Shot or Epic Defence, they become a unit to fear.  This unit I intend on taking every time I go to the field.

Overall rating 5/5

Galadrim Knights: Another useful unit.  I’ve yet to use the shield armed variety as I find their longbows and Expert Rider ability just too much of a temptation.  They do a decent amount fo damage at range – destroying the Haradrim Raiders after 3 volleys, and they can deal a lot of damage in combat.  There one big weakness – defence 4, so pick your targets carefully.  This being said, I fully intended on keeping the unit in my army.

Overall rating 4/5

So how did the army as a whole work?  Ignoring the bad dice rolling that plagued us both this game I think it went well.  Although I had nothing left, it was probably the most tightly fought game so far.  The speed, high fight and longbow strengths really came out, how ever so did the lacking in numbers and the loss of Might points to the Black Dart.  What would I change for next time?  I think that the army was to character heavy, especially for 1000pts, so a change of characters will probably take place before the next battle.  Good thing I have plenty to choose from.