Thursday, 3 December 2009

Death Stars, Dragons, and Distractions

Scott talked me into visiting one of the other wargames clubs in Portsmouth. I was already dubious about the kind of person I might meet there after Scott came back the previous week having been told about half a dozen key plot points in the final season of Battlestar Galactica (all because he mentioned he'd been watching it for the past few weeks.) Classy.

But anyway I walked in, and while I can't vouch for the entire club, as there was a discussion going on with flames of war which I don't have the background knowledge to follow, the warhammer talk was... well quite frankly scary. Two gamers were discussing their lists for an upcoming 3k fantasy tournament. One of them was planning to use 2 Vampire Lords on Dragons. Well that's 1500 out of the way easily enough. The days of Herohammer are back. His opponent was planning to use about 40 wardancers in some sort of skirmishy death star. They argued the point back and forth for a while, saying "yeah well I'd do this" "yeah so I'd counter with this spell" (children! Yet one was my age, the other was late thirties at the youngest!) and citing other known participants who were intending to bring either multi dragon lists or death star lists of various types. So, no one is bringing a normal army then? In tournament play I might write a stronger list than otherwise, but it wouldn't be sick. The sickest army I ever took was a Steam Tanks/Cannons list against Dan, it was a one off game for a laugh, I bought a bushy beard for it and if he'd objected too much I had enough infantry in the case to switch to a normal list! Now the fact that he'd brought a 2k Dark Elf list including Malekith on Balck Dragon meant I was sticking with my uber list... but I'd never take it ina tournament, that'd just be all sorts of wrong!

I got a game. Took an interesting Dark Elf list that was a complete departure from anything I'd tried before. I left the Cold One Knights at home (yes, unheard of for me) and took some crossbow units, several bolt throwers, and a huge block of spearmen to be ammo for my sacrificial dagger armed supreme sorceress. I was facing a khornate Beasts of Chaos list (well dispell scrolls and Ring of Hotek were a waste of points) that had just over half it's army value in one unit (and all the armies characters!) He had a couple of units of skirmishers to round out his core choices, a giant, some dragon ogres and a few chariots. Now I had some bad luck with my bolt throwers (forgot to take the safety tips off the bolts I suspect, as they hit frequently, but never wounded) but that huge unit was just unstoppable. When it hit it was only the unbreakable nature of my BSB that kept them in place, the unit itself was practically annihalated. In the end I'd killed of most of his other stuff, and had a decent firebase on the hill, but there was no way I'd be able to get rid of that death star, so I conceded defeat. It was not a fun game. Compare this to recent battles with Scott, where we've both taken fluffy lists, and had a whale of a time. Scott edging one game, me annihalating him the next, then him pwning me for the third. All fun games, even the one sided ones, as even when things were going badly, there was plenty of entertainment value about. Against a death star, it kills all there is in front of it, and there isn't much else to do really... I don't think I'll be heading down there again to be honest. I like the more relaxed gaming atmosphere we have at our club. When I mentioned our last fantasy tournament didn't have any dragons, they assumed the reason must have been no one could have dragons. Well High and Dark Elves could, Vampire Counts could, so that's half the field.

In other news, I've undercoated my assignment for this months ToFG, along with over half of my Winds of War stuff. I picked up a brush last night and made a start... on the WoW stuff :oS

I just felt in the mood to paint them, but I really should get my ToFG stuff done first. With an uncharted sea fleet en route, the distractions are mounting... focus ginge, focus!


  1. That really does sound like an awful game. I'll be trying out the Flames of War scene come February, but I'm now scared to play anyone at 40k outside of our gaming group (and Bracknell tournaments actually).

    I'm wondering if the club you went to is an anomaly or not? Every blog I read people seem to have a fun time. And at the Bracknell Escalation the beardier players freely admitted that's what they were doing, but even then they weren't on that sort of scale!

    The most fun I have against beardy armies is playing underpowered lists against them, watching their "tactics", and then turning up with an army they least expect and pwn them. Insufferable buffoons!

    On a ToFG note - My infantry is almost finished! I just need to do metal parts and bases. The skin looks better this time which I'm pleased about. I really want to get them done so I can get back to my FoW Soviets, and also I have some minor conversions to work on (including a new objective marker for Winds of War to compete for the Fergus award with you :))

  2. I popped into GW on Wednesday day time and the same crowd were there still going over the same arguments... Hence why I don't spend much time in-store.

    Scott tends to go with a fluffy list. He adores Queek Headtaker, loves the model, loves the character, loves the fluff. He wants to play him, despite the fact that he's a tough fighter with a class jaw. If he strikes first he'll probably kill his target. If not... he's most likely already dead. He has a plague furnace, cos he always used to play that Clan skaven back in the day.

    Well, the crowd that scare me so much say he shouldn't use Queek AT ALL. They also say he should have three plague furnaces in one uber unit of plague monks.

    Of course, they're quite the rules lawyers, and have a perfect counter. Because the plague furnace is bought as a mount for a plague priest, they argue that if you kill the priest, the furnace (being by RAW an unridden monster) must leave the unit... yes I can just see it toddling off on it's own. By that principle, would it take a monster reaction test?!? These people are ridiculous!

  3. sounds like a wonderful club to play at. I prefer close hard fought games to one sided ones

  4. I can handle a one sided game if it's fun... you're army gets pwned but a gretchin beats the Emperors Chump in combat perhaps. That would be an hilarious talking point and a fun game.

    The trouble with the game I played was that apart from the huge death star unit that would kill anything in it's path, there wasn't much else of consequence. I could wipe out everything else in his army and it wouldn't matter to him. Kinda makes for a boring game. Yay I killed that other unit that you don't care about. Great. Woohoo.

  5. I really don't think I've ever actually taken a beardy list. I think the beardiest I've taken is two land raiders. although that was at 2000 points.

  6. You played Beard Templars when they first came out, you didn't need to write a list just using the codex was bad enough ;o)

    Even you have admitted that with hindsight, though at the time you were adamently opposed to our opinion :oP

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