A Warhammer Tournament? Distract me, please.

My local gaming store is hosting a Warhammer Fantasy Warbands tournament.  500 points, five rounds, Warband rules.  What’s even better is that it is on a date where I may not have any other responsibilities, so I’m seriously considering taking the tournament plunge (even in this very small sort of way).

I’ve played a lot of 500 point games because my WHFB group ran a whole year-long campaign of nothing but these “Lunchhammer” armies, so I know most of the tactics you need to win.  One house rule for the tournament is that only 50% of the army can have missile weapons, which is a nice touch.  In the campaign I played Dark Elves occasionally and whipped up using nothing but elves with repeating crossbows and a bolt thrower.   Not this time, I guess.

So the first order of business is figuring out which army to use.  Having disposed of a lot of my “minor” armies recently to concentrate on a few, my selections are limited.

Dwarfs  My current army of choice, the dwarfs would actually be a strong contender.  I can easily put 250 points into Thunderers and the rest into Warriors and have a fairly competitive army.  They have the benefit of the T4 (with small armies, there’s less likely to be high Strength attacks out there) and a high leadership (good for a character-free army).  Moreover, I’ve probably got enough painted to fill out the army without much work at all.

Empire  Right now these guys are out, because a new army book came out since I’ve played them last, and I’m unfamiliar with the rules.

Orcs Same problem as Empire.  And Animosity and a low Leadership really hurts in small point games.

Chaos  I watched my good friend Vince get pummeled in 500 point games fielding Mortal Chaos.  Too expensive troops, no missile weapons, and not enough points to start buying the fun toys that Chaos has.  Beasts of Chaos is another possibility, with cheaper troops and the one-trick pony that is their Raider ability.  I lack the chaos hounds that would be perfect (fast and cheap) to use as the Raider unit though.  Two units of gors/ungors, a minotaur, and a bray shaman could be pretty nifty, though.  They’ve got speed and are skirmishers, which is nice for all those other “I’ve got 50% in ranged weapons” warbands out there.

Vampire Counts  I actually don’t own this army, but a good friend (hello, Buffra) has left her little VC army here on long-term loan.  That’s two units of skellies, some dire wolves, a handful of ghouls, and of course two vamps and two necromancers.  I should see if I have the army book too, then play around with these guys a bit to get a feel for them.

Dwarfs remain the strongest choice for me competitively, not just because of their innate strengths, but because I’m also the most familiar with them.  That is also, oddly enough, their biggest weakness, because this is an opportunity to move outside my range of familiarity (and constraints of the Reaver Princes campaign I’m in right now).  Decisions, decisions…


The Other Strange Vistas site

In addition to my wargaming pastimes, I also run a Castles & Crusades campaign called “Strange Vistas.”  Actually, in a bit of pointless trivia, the blog is named after the campaign, not the other way around.

In any case, the C&C campaign was on a bit of hiatus as I was tied up with a lot of other things on my weekends.  But now it is back into high gear.  If you head over to the Strange Vistas pbWiki, you can read all about the antics, I mean heroics, of the SW crew.

Stuck in the middle with glue

Been a while since I’ve posted anything, mostly because I don’t have a lot of completed projects to show off.  I am currently in the middle of many, many casts necessary to do the Milecastle’s outer walls.  I thought I would post the outer walls pics in one lump, rather than stringing them out over several posts.

I’m also in the middle of painting eight Dwarf Quarrelers, who performed quite admirably in a recent Warhammer siege battle against orcs.  That kind of spirit deserves a paint job, in my opinion.  Once they are done, I may move onto finishing up a few Heroes and Lords for the army, handily boosting my point total.

I have had a brief flirtation with SYW wargaming.  A copy of “Warfare in the Age of Reason” cropped up on eBay recently, but I lost it at the end, prompting a curious exploration of the game’s former owner’s stock.   I’m trying to reconcile the fact that I game fairly irregularly with my desire to explore some other games than what I’m currently playing, a process that leaves me more frustrated than anything.

Based on search-engine tracking, there’s a lot of interest in my dalliance with Warhammer 40K, so I’ll have to try to sneak in a few more of those games as well.  I hit the 9000 visitor mark recently, prompting another change to the layout of the blog.  I may stick with this one for a while and see if it grows on me the way that the old white layout did.  Feel free to let me know what you think.

Skirmish Game review: Age of Blood and Fantasy GoalSystem

It has been a while since I’ve done a review of skirmish games (free and cheap), so I thought I’d give you the rundown of a few new (or new to me) games out there.
For those who don’t know, I’m often on the lookout for alternatives to Mordheim. I like the idea of Mordheim, a fantasy wargame consisting of a small warband with rules for a campaign that allows your warband to change with experience. I even like the core rules of Mordheim. What I don’t like is the warband restrictions. I’d like to field an army of gnolls, or mushroom men, or something. For one thing, it allows me to use less expensive miniatures (Yes, yes, I hear you say, you can use other company’s miniatures in Mordheim).
So, if you don’t like the “three rolls to reflect one attack” or hate Games Workshop or you just want to field the Cheesemen Warband of Doom, here are a few games to consider. Continue reading

Microtable One: Milecastle Outer Walls

For the outer walls, I essentially built two boxes, each 10″ long, 3.5″ high, and 3″ wide. I used the Wall Builder mold (#200 in the Hirst Arts line), casting it twice then doubling it to make half of a section of a side of the box. That means that you need to cast it eight times (four times a side) for an entire wall section. Because the mold’s length is only four inches, I added two inches to the end using regular blocks, and used regular blocks for the short sides.

Outer Wall 1

Outer Wall 2

For the top, I cheated once again, but this time the cheating caught up with me. I used some custom molds I had made a while back to cast 3″ wide floor tiles to go across the top of the “box.” But there’s a problem. Sometime when casting using silicone rubber, there is a bit of shrinkage. It is usually not noticeable, like 2%. Two percent of an inch is nothing, but when you then have that add up over ten inches, it becomes almost a quarter of an inch shortfall, which you can see on the edge of the wall. This was made worse because I glued 1″ by 1/4″ by 1/2″ tiles along the side of the upper floor to make part of the raised crenellations, and now it is really noticeable. I may have to dremel the lip off a bit to make it flush with the undersized bricks as a result. Or, I could not be so much of a perfectionist, one of the two. On top of the narrow floor tiles, I glued 1/2″ square blocks for the crenellations.

Anyways, you basically make two of these wall sections, that are nice and deep so you can have some fun man-t0-man combats on them (and reflect the historical reality of the walls themselves). Next, I’ll be building the three sides of the inner walls.

Outer Wall 3  Outer Walls 4