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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Belfast Brawl Tournament Report

So a few weeks ago on the 21st of April I headed North for the Belfast Brawl Steamroller tournament. I was looking forward to getting onto the battlefield with my newly painted Gators. Gerry Nolan was kind enough to give me a lift to the event, had Phil Johnston and Stuart Gorman in the car with us as well. We managed to get to Belfast easily enough but then we realised we did not know how to get to the Queen's University Student's Union where the event was being held. In the end we followed a few streets with "University" or "College" in the name, found Queen's University and finally backtracked a little to find the venue. We even had time for a quick breakfast.

Below is the army I brought with me.
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Two lists were allowed for the event, in my case both were the same except for the warlock.
Bloody Barnabas / Maelok the Dreadbound (6 WP)
Blackhide Wrastler (9)
Ironback Spitter (8)
Bull Snapper (3)
Gatorman Posse x5 (9)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)
Feralgeist (1)

I had never used the Gators before the event, in fact I had never used a HORDES army before (played against plenty of them alright). So I hope I didn't annoy any of my opponents with my rules queries and questions. In all there were ten players at the event - 3 Trollbloods, 2 Mercenaries, 2 Khador, and a single Minion, Skorne, and Cryx army. I was a little disappointed that there were so few of the local players at the event, it would have been nice to get to know more of them. Everyone at the event was very friendly and the event was run extremely well, so thanks to John Foster for all his work. Anyway, to battle.

Game 1 vs. Anthony O'Reilly (Trollbloods)
Anthony had travelled up to the event from Maynooth and had brought his Trollblood army. He chose to use a list composed of a small number of high value models. He had Grim Angus, Earthborn Dire Troll, Troll Axer, Troll Impaler, a War Wagon and a Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew. I selected Bloody Barnabas as my warlock. The scenario for the battle was Incursion.

We both began the game by barrelling forward and casting a couple of upkeep spells. It turned out to be the centre flag that disappeared, which suited neither of us as we would need to spread our forces. Anthony sent his War Wagon and Troll Axer toward the left flag (from my perspective) and the rest of his army was more toward the right. I sent my Gatorman Posse into the Troll Axer and killed it. The Feralgeist and Bull Snapper went right towards the right, although I lost the Feralgeist to Grim's shooting and the Bull Snapper to the Earthborn (I misjudged slightly by allowing the Earthborn to charge the Bull Snapper while remaining in contact with the flag. Over on the left, it took the Gatorman Posse attacked the War Wagon, which killed off a couple of Gators and knocked them down repeatedly. The Blackhide Wrastler beat the Troll Impaler to death, only to fall to the Earthborn. Anthony claimed his second control point with Grim on the right. The Posse finished the War Wagon, scoring me a control point on the left, while my remaining force had to run towards the right flag to contest. Unfortunately for me only the Swamp Gobbers could get close enough, so Anthony killed them off with Grim. I scored a second control point on the left flag, but Grim scored Anthony's third point at the same time winning him the game via scenario.

This was my first game with the Gators. I learned a few important lessons, first is Barnabas is an excellent support warlock, he has two good upkeep spells in Iron Flesh and particularly Warpath, allowing for extra movement for his Battlegroup. Between the Swamp Gobbers and Barnabas' Swamp Pit, there's plenty of protection against shooting available to this army. If I had been able to finish off the War Wagon a turn sooner it would have been difficult for Anthony to stop me scoring Control Points with what remained of his force (just Grim and the Earthborn by the end of the game). Congrats to Anthony, who played a good game and deserved his win.


Game 2 vs. Niall O'Donnell (Khador)
Niall was running a lot of the models from the Starter Box in his Khador army, but had swapped in eVlad as his warcaster. His list was eVlad, Juggernaut, Destroyer, Man-O-War Shocktroopers (5) and the Great Bears of the Gallowswood. I selected Bloody Barnabas again. Scenario was Close Quarters.

This battlefield had a large water feature on it, although it was on Niall's side of the table. Niall advanced up with Vlad, the Juggernaut and his Shocktroopers on my left avoiding the water, while the Destroyer and Great Bears advanced over it on the right. I sent the Blackhide Wrastler over to deal with them, while luring Niall forward. The Wrastler ate the Great Bears over two turns. Niall advanced his Shocktroopers forward in Shield Wall with Vlad behind. When they had come close enough, I spied a quick finish. Barnabas advanced and feated, knocking over Vlad, the Juggernaut and the Shocktroopers. The Posse then charged the Shocktroopers, killing a couple and allowing the Ironback Spitter a free path to charge the prone eVlad, who was quickly beaten to death.

At the start of this game, I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with the high ARM and huge number of damage boxes of the Khador jacks, so the assassination was the way to go here. It worked perfectly, but made for a rather quick game with few casualties.

After this game it was time for lunch, so we decamped to the pub across the road from the Student's Union. After a nice meal and a couple of bottles of San Miguel, it was time for the next round.

Game 3 vs. Mike Marchal (Skorne)
Mike was next up for my Gators, he had won both his games so far so I knew I was in for a tough round, especially when I saw Molik Karn among his models. He was using eMakeda, a Titan Gladiator, Molik Karn, Paingiver Beast Handlers, Praetorian Swordsmen and Aptimus Marketh. As had used Barnabas so far, I decided to give Maelok a try. The scenario was Demolition.

I was concerned about the threat range of Mike's army, he could get up into my face very quickly with plenty of speed buffs available. I hadn't played Molik before, but I had heard he was very powerful. Mike managed to completely upset my plans, and had me in real difficulty quickly. He managed to get his Swordsmen up in my face, leaving me little movement options, then a turn later his Titan made mincemeat of my Blackhide Wrastler, before Molik Karn charged into my Gatorman Posse and wiped all but the leader out. It turns out Mike had made an error however, and I saw my opportunity. I had very few models left, so I had no choice but to go for the kill. Maelok activated, cast Revive to bring back two Grunts from my Gatorman Posse, then feated. The now Incorporeal Gatormen charged Makeda, opted for re-rolls to hit and just about killed her.

I was lucky Mike had left me an assassination on, because I wouldn't have lasted another turn with the attrition I had suffered. Mike admitted after the game he had thought a single Gatorman couldn't kill Makeda. He was right about that, but hadn't taken into account I had a way to bring them back. Maybe there's something to playing a lesser used army after all!

Game 4 vs. Ciaran (Mercenaries)
First things first, I should apologise to Ciaran, I didn't catch his last name and the tournament results didn't list it either. Ciaran was playing the Searforge Commission contract, led by Gorten Grundback, and including 2 Grundback Gunners, a Ghordson Driller, Horgenhold Forge Guard, Thor Steinhammer marshalling a Wroughthammer Rockram, Ogrun Bokur and Gudrun the Wanderer. I decided to pick Barnabas again, and the scenario was Diversion.

I had never faced the Dwarfs of Rhul before either so this was another new experience for me. Ciaran moved less forward than sideways while I rushed forward with my Gator force. I managed to get the Gatorman into Gudrun and kill him, but this led to a back and forth battle against the Forge Guard. The Gunners were taking pot shots at my force as it advanced, and I had a feeling this would turn into a slugfest. In the end Gorten feated to pull my army towards the Rhulfolk, but Ciaran was unable to kill Barnabas. In response, the Ironback Spitter advanced and hit Gorten with his corrosive spit and rolled high for damage. This allowed Barnabas to follow in and finish him, although it was close thanks to the stat lowering effect of the feat.

So, in the end I had managed to go 3-1 with the Gators in my first outing, which was a lot better than I had expected to do. The leaderboard was as follows

Stuart Gorman 4 (Trollbloods)
Mike Marchal 3 (Skorne)
Brian Leonard 3 (Minions)
Owen Conlan 2 (Khador)
Ciaran 2 (Mercenaries)
Gerry Nolan 2 (Mercenaries)
Phil Johnston 2 (Cryx)
Anthony O'Reilly 1 (Trollbloods)
Niall O'Donnell 1 (Khador)
Adam Fox 0 (Trollbloods)

Due to my 3rd place finish I won a nice certificate to put with my other winnings from over the years, as well as £5 credit in local (to Queen's) gaming shop Nerdtopia, so off we went on our adventures to find the shop. Of course, we managed to get John's directions mixed up but managed to find the shop anyway, so I picked up a set of new templates. All that was left was the trip home, and would you believe it, we got lost! Again! We did end up on the M1, but managed to end up heading west instead of south. We all reckon Phil was trying to take us on a detour through Cavan so he didn't have to get a bus home.

All that's left to be said is a few thank yous, to John and the guys from Dragonslayers for running the event, my opponents for the four games and Gerry for the lift. I had a great time and will do my best to go back should there be another event run.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Army Focus : The Blindwater Congregation

Today's post is really just an excuse to put up some photos of my Blindwater Congregation Minion army for HORDES

First up is the Warlocks. I painted Bloody Barnabas myself, while Maelok the Dreadbound was painted for me by Ciaran Bolger. Here's Barnabas
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and Maelok
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Warbeasts
Blackhide Wrastler
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Ironback Spitter
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and my two Bull Snappers
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Solos
Wrong-Eye & Snapjaw
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Feralgeist
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Units
Gatorman Posse
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Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
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and finally, the army so far
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Some Kind of SkibbCon

So my next gaming adventure has been determined - I will be entering the doubles tournament at SkibbCon on the weekend of June 9th-10th. The event is a doubles format 1000 points per player, under Highlander army construction rules.

For those unaware, the Highlander rules work as follows :
  • You may not select any choice from the army list more than once.
  • The force organisation is split into three tiers, each of 1 HQ, 1 Elites, 2 Troops, 1 Fast Attack and 1 Heavy Support. You must fill the first tier before accessing the second, and you must fill the second to access the third tier.
I will be teaming with clubmate and ETC Team Northern Ireland 40K Vice Captain John Stowe. John is fielding Necrons, while I've decided to use the event to get a headstart on painting my Dark Eldar. As for our team name, we have selected "Traitor and the Troll". If you know which is which, answers on a postcard.

So I've drafted up the following list :
Haemonculus (65) - Shattershard.
4 Kabalite Trueborn (108) - 4 Blasters, in Venom (65) - 2 Splinter Cannons.
10 Kabalite Warriors (105) - Shredder, Splinter Cannon.
9 Wyches (158) - Hydra Gauntlets, Haywire Grenades. Hekatrix w/Agoniser, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, in Raider (75) - Enhanced Aethersails, Flickerfield.
5 Scourges (134) - 2 Heat Lances.
Ravager (115) - Flickerfield.
Razorwing Jetfighter (175) - Splinter Cannon, 2 Shatterfield Missiles, Flickerfield.

My main objective for selecting units was to mostly stick to models I already had and would also use in larger points games as well. The Razorwing Jetfighter is probably the exception, normally I would just use Ravagers, but I like the model for it so I bought one anyway.

I have four weeks to get the army assembled and painted for the event. I've learned several things so far. Firstly, the missiles from the Razorwing Jetfighter are rather pointy, and I stabbed myself with them multiple times when scraping off the mould lines. The Raider instructions come with a very long set of instructions, so when I opened it up, my first thought was short and inappropriate for publication. The hangers on that come as part of the Venom kit could be used as extra Wyches instead. The same goes for the ones on the Raider as Kabalite Warriors/Trueborn. Finally, I paint a lot of blue armies.

SkibbCon is not intended as a WAAC event anyway, so I'm not too worried about bringing an army I have never used before. The event is held in a hostel in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. The Skibb Wargamers book out the hostel for the weekend, so for your entry fee you get your accommodation and breakfast as well, and a weekend of drinking and general nerd activities. It is in it's third year, I've never been before but have heard nothing but good things about the previous two events. Should be good fun.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 2012 Painting Update

Back at the start of the year, I set myself a painting Pledge to follow for the year. Here's an update on how it's going so far.  

Pledge #1 Paint 3 times as many figures as I buy
Painted - 33
Bought - 32
Ratio - 1.03:1


Painted  
Warhammer 40,000 Flesh Tearers
Sanguinary Priest (Jump Pack, Bolt Pistol & CCW)
10 Assault Marines (without Jump Packs, including 2 Sergeants)
Razorback (Twin-Linked Lascannon)
3 Predators (Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons)
3 Baal Predators (Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons)

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar
Kabalite Warrior (Splinter Rifle)

Warhammer Dwarfs
3 Warriors with Great Weapons

HORDES Minions
Ironback Spitter Heavy Warbeast
2 Bull Snapper Light Warbeasts
Wrong-Eye & Snapjaw
Gatorman Posse (Leader & 2 Grunts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader & Grunt)
Feralgeist

Bought
HORDES Trollbloods
Madrak Ironhide
Grim Angus
Dire Troll Mauler
Troll Axer
2 Troll Impalers
Troll Bouncer
Kriel Warriors (Leader & 5 Grunts)
Trollkin Champions (Leader & 4 Grunts)
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (Bearer & 3 Scribes)
Long Riders (Leader & 2 Grunts)

HORDES Minions
Ironback Spitter
Gatorman Posse (Leader & 4 Grunts)
Alten Ashley


Pledge #2 Paint all figures acquired between 1/12/11 and 30/11/12

Acquisitions
Warhammer 40,000 Flesh Tearers (0/5)
5 Sanguinary Guard

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar (1/49)
10 Kabalite Warriors (1 completed)
20 Wyches
5 Scourges
9 Reaver Jetbikes
2 Venoms
1 Raider
2 Ravagers

HORDES Trollbloods (0/25)
Madrak Ironhide
Grim Angus
Dire Troll Mauler
2 Troll Impalers
Troll Axer
Troll Bouncer
Kriel Warrior Leader & 5 Grunts
Trollkin Champions Leader & 4 Grunts
Krielstone Bearer & 3 Stone Scribes
Long Rider Leader & 2 Grunts

HORDES Minions (5/11)
Ironback Spitter (Completed)
Alten Ashley, Monster Hunter
Professor Viktor Pendrake
Totem Hunter
Feralgeist (Completed)
Thrullg
Gatorman Posse Leader & 4 Grunts (Leader & 2 Grunts Completed)

Anyhow, on to the photographs

Sanguinary Priest Arturus
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3rd Assault Squad, 3rd Company
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6th Assault Squad, 3rd Company
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Razorback "Hunter", attached to 6th Assault Squad, 3rd Company
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Baal Predators
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Predators
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Dark Eldar test model
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Dwarf Warriors
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Ironback Spitter Heavy Warbeast
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Bull Snapper Light Warbeasts
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Wrong-Eye & Snapjaw
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Gatorman Posse
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Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
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Feralgeist
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A pair of milestones

Today's post marks a couple of milestones for Tales from the Lennycave. First of all, today is the first anniversary of me starting this blog. Secondly, this is the 50th post on the blog. So, thanks to everyone for reading and commenting and keeping me motivated to write.

What can you expect next? Well, these are some of the upcoming events and goals I have, all subject to change of course.

I still have a tournament report from MooFool : Rise of the Child to complete. I'm also going to the Belfast Brawl Steamroller tournament on Saturday so I'll have a report on that too.

I'm painting up my Blindwater Congregation army, and have nearly reached 35pts so I'll have to stick up some photos of that soon. I still have more to do and the Trollbloods I bought last week to do as well. On the 40K side I have a Dark Eldar army, I intend to have that painted for the start of September.

I have a 2012 painting Pledge I was supposed to update but haven't done yet. I'll have that up soon as well.

Finally, I leave it up to the readers. Is there anything you want to see covered? Let me know.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brawling in Belfast

This Saturday I'm heading up to the Belfast Brawl Steamroller tournament held at Queen's University. The format is Steamroller 2012 and I can bring two lists of 25pts each. I've decided to bring my Minions, a Blindwater Congregation Pact army. As I don't have a huge selection of figures to choose from, both lists are identical with the exception of the Warlock.

Bloody Barnabas (6 WP) / Maelok, the Dreadbound (6 WP)
Blackhide Wrastler (9)
Ironback Spitter (8)
Bull Snapper (3)
5 Gatorman Posse (9)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)
Feralgeist (1)

I'm still painting the Ironback Spitter, Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew and the Feralgeist. All have had some work done and I don't expect I will have any struggles finishing the painting by Saturday.

One thing though - I've never used these before. In fact, I've never played a HORDES Faction before.

And remember, if you like Tales from the Lennycave, we have a page on Facebook or follow on Twitter @LennyExperiment for regular Tales from the Lennycave updates.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Time for Trollbloods

It was my birthday yesterday, so I decided to get myself a present. Conveniently, a friend was looking to sell off his collection of Trollbloods, so I picked them up. I've always liked the Trollbloods, ever since I got into HORDES I've wanted an army of them (and Skorne) but when it came to collecting an army full Minion armies were available so I picked up a force of Gators. These are nearly painted now and I will be bringing them out to play at the Belfast Brawl tournament next weekend (more on this later). Anyhow, I have the Gators to play with while getting the Trollbloods painted up, and all models in my Gatorman force will work for the Trollbloods as well.

Anyhow, I got the following models :
Madrak Ironhide
Grim Angus
Dire Troll Mauler
Troll Axer
2 Troll Impalers
Troll Bouncer
6 Kriel Warriors + Caber Thrower
5 Trollkin Champions
Krielstone Bearer + 3 Stone Scribes
3 Long Riders
Fell Caller
5 Whelps
Alten Ashley

I put this into Forward Kommander (www.forwardkommander.com) and it works out at about a 55 point army. I don't have the Trollbloods book yet, but I will pick it up and decide where to go from there, although the first step will likely be to fill out the units and get their unit attachments. Really looking forward to these guys, they should be fun to paint at least.

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