Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Building The Dark Tide of the Endless Sea

Building The Dark Tide of the Endless Sea

I completed my Trident Realms army for Clash of Kings Australia (CanCon) in Canberra. This was the most ambitious and succcessful thing I've ever done hey.

General thoughts

I blogged about my ideas for a new Trident Realms army back in July. I meant to post more regular updates about how things were going, but mostly I stuck to instagram and a photo album on Facebook.

I learned a lot of techniques in making this army. Edge highlighting, pinning, zenithal shading. Magnetising. Working with large metal miniatures (the worst) and extruded foam (the best). Green stuffing gaps. Airbrushing. Gosh wasn’t that a learning curve. I feel like I’m a more rounded hobbyist now. Once I learn to do some sculpting and scratchbuilding I reckon I’ll be pretty good hey.

Anyway, here's some pictures:

Project Overview

After a couple of months of list testing with MDF base templates and sticky notes, I started work on the first unit in October. Naiad Ensnarers Horde. While I was still trying to settle the rest of my list, I knew I would be running Ensnarers, so it made sense to start there. I tried Placoderms, but I found their slow speed and lack of pathfinder made them an awkward fit with the rest of the army.

The final colour palette was a bit of an accident. I knew the basic colours that I wanted, something like the sea floor of the atlantic. I didn’t want to paint my bases & display board with regular model acrylics just because I thought it would cost too much, so I went into a art supply shop and they happened to have a deal on high-flow acrylics, 3 big bottles for $30, and I just grabbed the 3 most aquatic looking ones. It wasn’t until I got home and tested them that I realised the colours were quite different to the labels. The purple in particular came out a lot darker than I expected, which ended up being very useful. I was able to use dark purple as my ‘shadow’ colour all over the project, using Druchii Violet wash from GW for the models and this purple for the terrain.

I am not a good painter. I’m not trying to fish for compliments or anything, just stating a fact. My brushwork is terrible. I can’t blend to save my life, my edge highlighting is clumsy, and I can’t sculpt anything beyond lumpy snakes. I have been seriously painting for less than 12 months (at the time of writing). I know that my stuff looks cool, but I’m not a good painter.

What I am good at is visualising a finished project, methodically planning out the steps, and following it through to completion. I formulated a strong vision of what I wanted to make, I set out a project plan to keep things moving in a timely way, and I did it. I understood that basically no one would ever be viewing my models right up close, almost always from a distance of a couple of feet at least. So that’s what I painted to. Gosh it sounds boring when I put it like that. But whatever. I do not let perfect be the enemy of good. I’ve made two fully painted forces with display boards in the last 12 months using this method.

Building my List

I settled on a final list in early december. I had to balance three things.

  1. No allies. I dunno. I’m not opposed to people using allies, and I understand it’s a core concept of the game, but I really wanted to see if I could make a 100% TR force work. If I were to break this rule, I’d ally in a horde of elohi in and drop the wyrmriders. But if I were trying to be super competitive I wouldn't be running TR at all in the first place.
  2. Aesthetics. I wanted certain units in the list for no other reason than they look awesome. Primarily here I am thinking of the Kraken, Wyrmriders, and the Trident King.
  3. Effectiveness. As much as I can say ‘I’m a hobby guy’ first, I actually don't like losing. I wanted my list to be as effective as it could be after the first 2 considerations.

So after about 3 months of testing, this is what I came up with:

Horde Naiad Ensnarers with Crystal Pendant. - These guys are the main anvil for my army, and are the centrepiece of my deployment. With pathfinder and ensnare, I typically try to set them up to sit in a forest or difficult terrain. The Crystal Pendant and Regen causes all sorts of problems for my opponents. With 4+ regen they are a frustrating target to shoot at because they heal back so many wounds. You have to hit them with a *ton* of shooting to down them in a single round. But with the crystal pendant they are annoying to charge. There really is no ‘easy’ way to deal with them.

Horde Depth Horrors. I resisted running those unit for far too long, put off by the very low defence and lack of regen. But for the price they are great. They hit as hard as any other large infantry horde and for like 50 points cheaper. I’d love for them to have pathfinder, but usually I screen them with the Ensnarers, and they take the role of mopping up whatever melee units remain after the Ensnarers die.

Horde Naiad Wyrmriders. This is a frustrating unit. They are a vital mobile hammer for my force, but their defence and nerve is just so low. They can take a charge from a single unit about half the time. A multicharge will definitely finish them off. They need support from chaff, and they need to be inspired all the time. They will be greatly improved by the new magic items in the Organised Play 2017 book, but as they are they are very much a finesse unit. If I was going for pure effectiveness I would drop these for another horde of depth horrors. But I’m glad to run them, the mantic models look awesome (if impractically heavy). Seriously my horde weighs over 780 grams.

Two Regiments Tidal Swarm. Pretty much the best chaff in the game along with Gargoyles. 75 points, fearless, Nimble, height 0. Get them into difficult terrain or behind an obstacle and they can hang around for a frustratingly long time with their ensnare. With the new Organised Play 2017 book I’m likely to drop these for Nokken, but right now they are great.

3 Sea Priests (counting as Leviathan’s Banes). A battery of war machines that sit in a forest and ruin people’s days. They reliably pump out about 7 wounds a turn, and more than once they have taken out large units like drakon hordes or earth elementals in a single volley. I tried running without shooting, but it really is necessary to pressure the opponent to bring them closer to me. I’m not fast enough to force engagement on my terms. If I can I use them specifically to counter high def units that my melee units struggle against, or to counter fire on warmachines. Especially the very pesky flamebelchers or dragon’s breaths that really melt my infantry. Otherwise I park them somewhere they can command good firing lanes and just poke away for the whole game. And they are surprisingly resilient against your classic war machine hunting individuals with ~ 6 attacks. 18 attacks hitting on 5s ends up being only like 3-5 wounds.

Coral Giant. A mobile anvil. More survivable than a regular giant, but also less dangerous. He can hold up most units for at least a turn, but he needs support because most of the time he’s doing like 3-4 wounds max. But sit him behind an obstacle and let your opponent discover the joy of a hindered ensnared charge against a unit with iron resolve, Def 5 and 18 nerve. I would have liked to run the Kraken in this role, but the Giant is 30 points cheaper and basically just as good in 80% of situations, and considerably better in some others, so Mr Crabby Claw won the starter’s jersey.

Knucker. Another unit I resisted playing for way too long, this thing is so great. I was put off by the 6 attacks hitting on 4s. But what you do with this guy is spend the first 2-3 turns looping around the back of the enemy force, maybe cleaning up a warmachine along the way. Nimble, pathfinder, speed 9, height 4 means it’s almost impossible to hide from him. And then you spend the last 3-4 turns of the game deleting units each turn with rear charges, or tapping things that have a bunch of wounds on them already. Just make sure you keep him safe early on. With low defence and height 4 he is very susceptible to shooting.

The Siren. An iconic unit for this faction, she’s so much fun. Mostly because my opponents usually have never played against her. Her party trick is her spell, Siren’s Call. She can draw enemy units towards her and disorder them (preventing them from shooting or flying the next turn). She really helps me deal with shooters and flyers, which are my big weaknesses. Trouble is she can only deal with one thing at a time, and towards the end of the game she does run out of targets as everything gets caught in combat. I keep her near the Trident King, so later on she can drag stuff within range of the King’s breath weapon.

Wyrmrider Centurion with Mace of Crushing. I love putting the Def 6 item on this unit, but I was short on points. I use him to support the other Wyrmriders on a flank. Keep him alive and he’s great in the later turns, as he will be fighting very heavily wounded units with only a point or two of damage himself.

The Trident King. A handy Swiss-Army knife. Very Inspiring is great, his breath weapon is great, and his speed and melee capability can really catch an opponent off guard. I’d love to give him regen or more defence, but he’s a living legend. He will most likely get dropped for a Thuul Mythician once the changes to breath attacks land. But for now he’s a cool dude.

How I made my bases

The bases were cork tile hand cut with a stanley knife. Glued down some cork bark and bits of sculpey I'd textured with a roller.

Tiling grout over the sea floor

river sand elsewhere

and then painted (I'll go into more detail later), with moss seaweed and superglue coral for colour pops.
These bases were very much an experiment but gosh I fell in love with them straight away. I've not seen anyone else do bases quite like this, and I love that.

How I made the display board

The display board was always a key part of this project, but it also had to be the last thing completed. All up it took about 4 days. 1 day to cut the foam up, chip and shape it to look like rocks and cut up the cork tile to make the recesses. 1 day to glue everything together. This was the most tedious step, constantly having to check that all the unit bases slotted in easily. 1 day to apply the pollyfiller and tiling grout texture. And finally a day or two to paint it all.

Extruded foam, chipped to look like rock walls. Cork tile to make the unit base recesses.

gluing everything down. Adding cork bark to make more rocks, and foam chips.

stippling the foam with pollyfiller to protect it

more tiling grout. Glad this stuff is cheap.

painting! First I put down a dark purple in the shadowed areas.

then I use the airbrush to do light blue zenithal highlights. that means from above. I just hold the airbrush above and give it some love.

and green to tie it all together. I mostly brushed this on, my airbrush was playing up in the heat. 
Thanks for reading, I hope you got something out of it. Not entirely sure what is next. Most likely some deadzone stuff. But I do want to take a bit of a break from the hobby side of things. Cheers.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Deadzone Session Report

I played my first games of Deadzone last week. Deadzone is Mantic's Sci Fi skirmish game (like Necromunda, but heaps different). It was a lot of fun. The rules did not take long to pick up, and I was confident enough to write my own list. Rounds take between 30-60 minutes, you could easily slot 3 games in an evening. Not a lot to argue over in the rules, and the lists are all in the one book so it won't take long to get familiar with whatever you might be facing.

I really like this game, and I think it will be my next project after the big Kings of War tournament I'm attending at the end of January. If you are after a miniatures skirmish game with a low barrier to entry, quick, entertaining matches, but with enough depth to keep things interesting, check it out. Decent sculpts too. The Forge Fathers and Veer-Myn especially look great.

Anyway, on to my report.

My list: Veer-Myn 150 points
Progenitor with Chem Thrower. My leader unit with a quite rubbish flame-thrower. The plan was to keep this guy as safe as possible, I hate that such a fragile unit is worth so many points. Next time I'll definitely change this guy up. His Chem thrower is fine when he uses it, but if I'm that close to the enemy I'm fighting them in melee. I'll try and give him the Grenade thrower next time. The Broodmother is a cool model but she seems to have an absolutely useless special rule and just not fit well with the rest of the army.

2 x Crawlers with Frag Grenades. Very rubbish marksmen with crappy rifles and very useful grenades. The idea of these guys was to use Fire for Effect to pin enemies, so I could get the extra dice in melee. But they are rubbish at shooting! It was nice having them as slightly-more-reliable Grenade chuckers. But next time I'll swap them out for Malignusi with rifles. If my progenitor has the grenade thrower I can afford to drop the frags from these guys and just use them to Fire for Effect.

8 x Stalkers. Fast moving rats with knives. These guys are the bomb. Fast and cheap. A couple of them can take down most enemies if given enough support. They melt to ranged fire though, so expect to lose most of them each battle. I ran them in two packs of 4. It's very important to keep them out of enemy LOS at all times.

Team tactics: Use Fire for Effect or grenades to pin enemies then charge them in melee. Repeat until enemy is dead or I run out of grenades/bodies to throw into melee. In practice the grenades were great, but Fire for Effect was less so (from the Crawlers anyway). 6+ shooting just isn't reliable enough. Will try the tactic with the 5+ Malignusi before I make a call on it.

Game 1 vs Enforcers
His list was like 6 enforcers, a couple with rocket launchers, one with the combat blade thingy.

Scenario: Breakout

The scenario suited me to a tee. His list had a lot of points sunk in AP weapons, while none of his units had any more than 1 Armour. 

He took up firing positions along the buildings just outside his deployment zone. I moved up as far as I could, taking some risks as I did so. The first couple of activations went rough for me, with his superior shooting picking off the rats that were foolish enough to not be completely out of LOS. 

But my plan began to work in the mid game as my stalkers were able to sprint and catch some of his Enforcers who were uncovered by allies. If I make sure the enemy is pinned before I charge, it's my 5 dice hitting on 4s vs his 3 dice hitting on 4s (if he attempts to Survive rather than Fight). Them's good odds. If he survives the first charge, I almost always had another Stalker ready to go in to the same combat, same odds.

But the key turning point of the game came down to sheer luck. He had moved two of his Heavies on top of a platform with an almost crippling field of fire. I couldn't close on them without losing at least 4 rats in the process, and I had already lost 4. You can see them in the picture above, up the top left.

But one of my rats managed to pop a crate and find a smoke grenade inside. He pegged it at the heavies and covered them in smoke. Then they had the choice of staying where they were but being unable to fire, or moving and still being unable to fire.

Losing ~half of his firepower at that point was crippling for him, and I was able to safely flood across the gap and mix it up in melee. I had a hard time with his combat  enforcer, but the rest I was able to gang up on and stab stab, and then run off the board.

Luck played a large role in the outcome of this game, but I think my opponent's critical mistake was placing units in positions where they were isolated, not covered by friendlies. This meant I was able to charge 2-3 stalkers into melee and take down the isolated unit, and then skitter off into cover before the counter-attack came. In the situations where his forward elements were covered, I had a much harder time of it. I took down the exposed unit, sure, but then the stalkers themselves were killed in turn. I can afford to lose ~1.5 rats per enemy killed. I can't have too many fights that cost me 2-3 rats.

Game 2 vs Rebels

His List:

Yndij Infiltrator Commander
3 x Rebel Trooper
Rebel Yndij
Sphyr Loader
Judwan Medic
Rebel Grogan
Rebel Teraton
Rin Nomad
Rebel Specialist with Missile Launcher

Second game was against an interesting Rebel list. A mix of all sorts of stuff. I was immediately worried about his Teraton. I had ~no~ idea how I was going to get through its armour, with no AP at all. 

We played the scenario with the VP tokens. The 2VP token was in the open, in the middle of the board in an open square with very little cover. He chose his side, and deployed all along his edge, clearly aiming to take advantage of the high ground and cover just outside.

I deployed in tight packs, crammed into the squares that he had no LOS to.

Early on he used command dice to charge his Teraton forward, sitting him on the 2 VP token. His plan obviously was to take control of the important centre location early, and move the rest of his squad up behind. 

I had one plan to beat the Teraton, and I had to try it before any of his support arrived. I ran one of my shooter rats up a building and had him peg his grenade at the teraton. Fortunately the blast threw the Teraton towards my side of the map. This put the pinned Teraton within charge range of my 8 stalkers. My progenitor moved next, hitting the teraton with his chem-thrower. The 1 AP and a good roll were critical in doing 1 wound to the Teraton. Then one by one I sent stalkers charging into the square. They got extra dice for charging, for having allies in the same square, and for the victim being wounded. He got extra dice for being huge and he was a good fighter. It took a round of shooting, 4 charges and one extra fight dice but the teraton eventually fell to the knives of the stalkers. 

That was huge. I was also able to get 2 of the 4 stalkers out of the square alive, as Glen had no way to bring his serious guns to bear on it. They mostly fled into the long building, or the basement of that central tower. In those rooms they were safe from all ranged attacks (no LOS with the holes in the walls being so high up), and Glen did not have any weapons that would have really helped (like grenades, flamers, or blasters). He tried sending a couple of guys on suicide missions, charging into melee in the dark rooms full of rats with knives. Yikes. 

From there it was just a matter of waiting patiently for him to move his units into vulnerable positions and then striking with the stalkers I had stashed in the central buildings. I was tempted to try and park units on the VP tokens, but they were all exposed to the Rebels' fire, so I just waited. I had my remaining Crawler on top of the central tower taking a couple of pot-shots at his dudes each turn, so I could afford to sit tight. He had no choice but to move up and try and counterattack, and I was able to just pick him off one by one. I got very lucky with my survive rolls in the later phase of the game, with one of my stalkers managing to survive being shot at from above, while completely in the open. But even if all my rats who were shot at had died, I had so many I could afford the losses.

The key turning point of the game was Glen moving his Teraton up early, without adequate fire cover or support. If his Grogan had a decent fire lane down that centre alley, or if the Medic had been close enough to do her thing, things would have been very different. If Glen had taken another big gribbly, or my grenade had thrown the teraton the other direction, the game would have gone very differently (although I did have 2 grenades).

But overall I'm really happy with the way the Veer-Myn played. I reckon they will be my primary faction, although I'll be painting up a squad of Forge Father Steel Warriors first.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Battle Report: Push! Trident Realms vs Dwarfs

Played a casual game against my mate Matt. We wanted to test out our lists for Clash of Kings Australia (aka CanCon), and to practice the new scenarios added in the CoK pack.

Matt usually plays Elves, but is building a Dwarf army for CoKAU, using the absolutely stunning range from Scibor. Neither of our armies are much more than MDF templates and sticky notes at this stage, so no photos this time.

We had a lot of fun this game. My talk of salt and rage below is more dramatic license than anything else. The FLGS we play at (Three D6) has a pub attached to it (The Loaded Dice), and let me tell you, drinking and toy soldiers is just a fantastic way to spend an evening. However, the excellent mead MAY have contributed to us forgetting a ton of rules. Maybe. Many thanks to Matt for taking a lot of notes during the match. Makes the report-writing process way easier when you have 2 people working on it.

My List:

  • Horde Placoderms
  • Horde Gigas
  • Horde Naiad Wyrmriders
  • 2 x Regiments Tidal Swarm
  • 2 x Leviathan's Banes
  • Coral Giant
  • Kraken
  • Placoderm Defender with Wings of the Honeymaze
  • Siren
  • Trident King
This is the same list I've been running for a while now. I love it. I'm considering dropping the Kraken for another Coral Giant and some magic items, but I dunno.

His List:

Very much a work in progress:
  • Regiment Berserkers
  • Troop Berserkers
  • 2 x Regiment Berserker Brock Riders, one with Caterpillar
  • Horde Ironclad with Mastiff
  • 2 x Regiments Ironguard
  • 2 x Ironbelcher Organ Gun
  • Jorrun Bombard
  • Warsmith
  • Army Standard Bearer
  • Mounted Berserker Lord
  • King on a Large Beast with Blade of the Beast Slayer
I have only played one game against Dwarfs before, and I'm not very across them at all. But at first glance the list seemed a bit odd. A mix of war machines for shooting, heavy infantry as an anvil, and Zerks for hammers. Apart from the war machines, no can-openers. The Warsmith was interesting. He gave elite to the organ guns, but is he more useful than another war machine?


We rolled between Push and Control, and Push won. Push is a new scenario from the CoK pack. You set up, and then place one loot token in the dead centre of the board. Then you distribute D3 extra tokens in your own deployment zone. At the end of 6/7 turns, you score 1 point for each token you control, 2 if the unit carrying the token is completely in your opponent's half of the board. It's fun.


On reflection this was a weird terrain setup. Matt won the roll and chose the north edge. That's a hill in the centre, another hill off to the right. The thing at the top centre is a forest, and in the bottom centre is a swamp.

I deployed in a slightly modified version of my usual Dark Tide formation. Front rank of my Def 6+ Placoderms and Gigas plus Tidal Swarm chaff, reserve rank of my Coral Giant, Wyrmriders, Trident King and Kraken. My war machines were tucked away in the swamp to get cover and to hopefully put some dents in the Ironguard. My Siren and Winged Defender were ready to disrupt his war machine battery from Turn 2.

He deployed in a more spread formation, with Brock Riders on each flank. He had a very obvious anvil in the centre with his Ironclad + Ironguard, but all of his hammers were out on the flanks.

We rolled off, and Matt gave me first turn. He wanted me to advance into his Organ Guns. 

Turn 1

Trident Realm Turn 1
I placed my two loot tokens on my Trident King and Kraken. My thinking was that the Kraken hangs around forever, and that my Trident King would always be well protected in the centre-back of my main force. Matt placed one on his Pathfinder Brock Riders on the left, and the other just behind his Ironguard in the centre.

I moved my force up pretty uniformly, shooting my Siren and Defender off to threaten his warmachine battery in Turn 2. I aimed to take hold of that vital centre token early, and force him to take it off me. My war machines missed all their shots (at the Ironguard Regiment screening his token), but it's early days right?

Dwarfs Turn 1
He shuffled his centre around slightly, but moved his flanks in aggressively. We forgot an absolute ton of rules this game, but this was the first one. Carrying the loot token reduces speed to 5, his Brock Riders on the left shouldn't have been able to do what they did. Didn't effect the outcome though.

But this was all fumbling foreplay. Like a teenage boy he was all about the shooting phase. His Bombard and one Organ Gun fired on my Winged Defender, doing 1 wound, steady nerve result. His other Organ Gun fired an optimistic volley at my stealthy individual Siren. 15 attacks hitting on 7s (so 8 elite dice on 6s). He managed 3 fucking wounds out of that roll. Three. As in one plus one plus one. And then he rolls 11 for the nerve check! And just like that my poor lovely Siren who never did no-one any harm was killed. My internal sodium levels spiked at maximum salt, let me tell you.

this guy. look at him. that's a filthy smirk if you ever saw one.

Turn 2

Trident Realms Turn 2
I was rattled and salty, so I made a pretty critical mistake. I charged his Bombard with my Winged Defender, but we both forgot about the triple attacks. So I rolled 6 attacks instead of 18. 5 hits, but no wounds. Def 5+ war machines hey. This meant that the Bombard was not disordered. I was pretty crabby at not scoring a single result of 5+ off 5 rolls. I wouldn't twig to the forgotten triple attacks until Matt attacked one of my war engines. It sucked. 

I moved the rest of my forces up, taking that vital centre token with my placoderms. So despite some terrible dice rolls, at least I was in a winning position. I left my Coral Giant behind to defend my war machines. Which missed again. Come on that's 8 rolls now and not a single result of 5+.

Dwarfs Turn 2
This turn nearly broke me. His Bombard fired at point blank range at my Winged Defender, and managed to hit and waver her. His Organ Guns landed an impressive 10 wounds on my Kraken, which got a bit lucky and held steady.

His Zerk Troop barely made a dent on my tidal swarm, a hindered charge into a unit with ensnare will do that hey. His Zerk Lord made a similar hindered & ensnared attack on my Leviathan's Bane, only landing 9 hits (despite the 3x attacks). But thanks to 4 vicious re-rolls those 9 hits translated to 9 wounds, and the Lord overran out of the swamp and more importantly out of charge arc of my guard Giant. FFS.

Overall he continued to hold in the centre and creep in on the flanks. I might have been holding 3 of the 5 tokens now, but I couldn't see that situation lasting long.

At this point I felt like basically nothing was working for me. I was enjoying the mead and the company, but internally I was pretty down on my list. Stupid toy soldiers. Civ 6 is coming out soon...

Turn 3

Trident Realms Turn 3
But I played on. My Kraken did his party trick and schlurped back 6 wounds, leaving him with 4. He then charged into the Brock Riders, hoping to knock off Thunderous and soften them up a bit. If I had looked more carefully at this list I might have reconsidered this move. 24 attacks is not something you really want to face tank if you can help it, even if you have ensnare.

My main block of units continued to advance. Things were a bit congested in the centre, so I decided to reform my Wyrmriders to support my Coral Giant and address the growing threat on my left flank. I had wanted to get them into the Ironclad Horde, but I couldn't make things fit. I double charged his Zerk Troop and killed them with my Placs and Tidal Swarm. The Swarm did an impressive 5 wounds, you go little fishies! My Trident King moved forward and used his breath attack to waver one of his Organ Guns on a re-roll. My remaining Leviathan's Bane missed because of course it did.

Dwarfs Turn 3
His Bombard managed to hit my Winged Defender AGAIN and waver her AGAIN. He reshuffled some units in his centre, trying to get his other war machines firing lanes. His Zerk Lord took out my final war machine, and in a very nasty surprise his Brock Riders routed my Kraken with a single ensnared charge and stole the token he was carrying. 24 attacks on 5s. 14 hits. Yikes. 11 WOUNDS WTF. Despite the Very Inspiring presence of the Trident King, my Kraken was not able to roll <4.

My Tidal Swarms continued to be excellent chaff, holding off a Regiment of Iron Guard comfortably. Right now he had 3 tokens, I had 2. It just keep getting worse.

Turn 4

Trident Realms Turn 4
I danced my Defender around, using the good old nimble + backwards trick to take it out of firing arc of the Bombard. For all the good it did.

My Plac horde went on on his Ironclad horde in a long-awaited clash. I did some wounds but I was never going to pop them in one go. My Trident King wavered his organ gun again (thanks to another inspiring re-roll). My Gigas decided to try and chase the Brock Riders on my right. I don't know why I thought a Speed 4 unit could possibly catch cavalry, but I really didn't want to give them a flank so that's what I did.

My Wyrmriders took out his Zerk Lord and reformed to face the King, Brock Riders and Zerk Regiment. At this point I just wanted to kill stuff. The game might be lost, but hopefully I could make up some theoretical points on attrition.

Dwarfs Turn 4
He finally shot my Defender off the table. Even though she didn't do any damage (at all), she did tie up 4 rounds of shooting, and that's not nothing. His Bombard missed my Trident King thank fuck. My tidal swarms routed, but his infantry really struggled to put a dent in my Def 6+ Placoderms, only doing 3 wounds total.

On my left flank he shuffled his token carrying Brock Riders back, screening them with his Bear King.

Turn 5

Trident Realms Turn 5
This was the turning point. I managed to get a filthy filthy charge on his token-carrying Brocks with my Wyrmriders, bypassing his screening King and Zerk Regiment. At first glance, it looked like his Brocks were out of charge range. But they were in arc, and from my leader point to a corner of his base they were just in 16" (the line passing over the Bear King). With a pivot and an effective charge range of like 20" I got in. I've had this same maneuver pulled against me and let me tell you it sucks.

My Coral Giant managed to sneak past the King and Zerk Regiment too, setting up for a follow-up flank attack into the Brocks if necessary and avoiding all arcs. My Wyrmriders managed an impressive 13 wounds, but the Brocks held.

His Ironclad Horde routed under combined attacks from my Plac Horde and a flank from my Trident King.

All of a sudden the situation changed. I held 2 tokens, he held 3, but I was threatening 2 of those hard. Did I dare to dream?

Dwarfs Turn 5
He countercharged and reformed generally. He kept his Brocks on my right flank out of the fray, setting them up to easily score the 2 points by crossing into my side of the board turn 6. Again he struggled to make any dent in my Plac Horde, only doing 1 more wound. Rather than charge my Trident King (he wanted to shoot at him instead), he moved one of his Ironguard regiments in a position to rear charge the Placs next turn. This was one of those situations where I denied the flank he was in because he couldn't fit in there (due to my king). It's one of those rules that I understand, but don't really like.

He managed to land 5 wounds on my Trident King with his Organ Gun, and I got a bit lucky to get a steady result. He needed a 7 to waver me.

His King and Zerks reformed to face my Giant and Wyrmriders. His countercharging Brocks put 6 wounds on my Wyrms and wavered them. Was going to go down to the wire.

Turn 6

Trident Realms Turn 6
My Wyrmriders regenerated 1 wound and reformed, giving up flank charges instead of rears. Not a great alternative, but I didn't have much in the way of options. My Coral Giant got in the flank of the Brocks, popped them, stole the token, reformed to face the Zerks and Bear King. Now I had 3 out of the 5 tokens and was in a winning position!

My Trident King charged into and finally routed that damned Organ Gun, reforming to move his arse out of the Brock's line-of-sight. My Gigas got a flank charge into his Iron Guard Regiment, but didn't even manage to waver it. My Placs put 8 wounds on his other Ironguard, but they also held.

Dwarfs Turn 6
We were set up for a very tense final turn. He double charged my Giant with his Zerks and Bear King. He double charged my Placoderms with one Ironguard Reg in the front and another in the rear. He fired at my wounded Trident King with an Organ Gun, Warsmith and Bombard.

But it was just not enough. He wavered my Giant and Trident King, but all his attacks on my Placs only resulted in 1 wound. Def 6+ against naked attacks is just crippling.

The Trident King was wavered by the remaining Organ Gun, and my Coral Giant was wavered from a double charge by the King and Zerk Regiment.

We rolled for Turn 7, but the game ended there, with me winning 5 points to 3.

If we had gone to turn 7, I was reasonably confident in picking up one more of his tokens, even if I lost the one on my giant. That would have put the final score at 6-4 to me, so no change in outcome. However if the dice had rolled a little differently on his final turn he could have ended up with like a 6-0 victory.

This was a very strange game. Between massively skewed rolls and us forgetting basic rules, I'm not sure it means a lot. Like sure, I like to win, but we forgot SO MUCH STUFF. In the end I think the absurd rolls and forgotten rules balanced out. Still.


I need my Leviathan's Banes to actually hit. 4 attacks on 5s each round should get me at least one hit right.

My Kraken cannot hold a flank by itself. Considering dropping it for another Coral Giant and a couple of magic items. But regen 4+ and ensnare does make for a great mobile tar pit, so I dunno.

This was only the second time I'd played the Push scenario. Grabbing that centre token first is a huge advantage. I understand why Matt gave me first turn, he wanted to be able to use his 24" range Organ Guns, but giving up that centre token is a huge price to pay for a single round of shooting.

I probably should have placed a token on my Plac horde instead of my Kraken. But I don't want to overreact, 11 wounds in one round from a disordered & ensnared charge of Brocks is... let's say an outlier outcome.

Scibor models are gorgeous. I mean they'd want to be for the price, but they really are spectacular even unpainted. I am very excited to see what Matt does with these. He insists that he hates painting and doesn't like hobby and isn't very good, but anyone who's seen his elves will know he's no slouch with the brush.

Berserkers are ridiculous. High Nerve and unwaverable. Ridiculous.

The Zerk Lord on a mount is a mongrel of a thing to deal with. Like the Abyssal Halfbreed Champions, has a massive threat range.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Until Somebody Loses An Eye: unredacted

Awww yiiis, definitely grabbing these when they come out. October would be perfect. Hopefully not metal, but I'll take what I can get.

Until Somebody Loses An Eye: unredacted: This just in - and Joe says that Ronnie himself gave the go ahead to finally share. Yes, the Naiad Sea Serpent Riders are coming.  They...

Monday, 11 July 2016

CanCon 2017 Project

With my Grand Company of Westhaven project just about finished, I've been thinking about my next army. This will be for Cancon 2017, so I have about 6 months to get it done. I really want to push myself this time to make a great-looking army. I also want it to be fun to play, but I'm mostly going to go for looks.

I wanted something that people don't play in my local meta. That cut out:

  • Dwarfs
  • Undead
  • Abyssal Dwarfs
  • Ogres
  • Orcs
  • Elves
  • Goblins
  • Brotherhood
  • Twilight Kin
  • Basileans
  • Forces of Nature


  • Forces of the Abyss
  • Salamanders
  • The Herd
  • Trident Realm
  • Empire of Dust
  • Night Stalkers
  • Ratkin
  • The Varangur

I also didn't want to buy a heap of old WHFB miniatures either, so that cut out a few more, specifically Ratkin, Salamanders, and Varangrrrrr. I also know some locals who have projects in the works, specifically Herd & Night Stalkers, and maybe EoD and Abyssals (if buying the mega armies counts).

So that left only one choice hey! The Trident Realm of Neritica! Since tentatively settling on them I've played a few proxy games, and I'm sold. They have a lot of opportunities for great hobby stuff, and I imagine most people will not have played them often.

My WIP 2k list

  • 2 x Regiments Tidal Swarm
  • Horde Placoderms
  • Horde Gigas
  • Horde Naiad Wyrmriders
  • Kraken
  • Coral Giant
  • 2 x Leviathan's Bane
  • Placoderm Defender with Wings of the Honeymaze
  • Siren
  • Trident King

Tidal Swarm: fantastic chaff. Unwavering, nimble, height 0, 75 points. I’ll use these to screen my flanks or to hold objectives. I'll either model up my own tentacle swarms coming out of water, or use Reaper Familiars, or both.

Placoderms: Def 6, 30 attacks, phalanx. I love this unit so hard. Will form most of the front line of my formation. Slow, but hopefully they will be able to take 3+ rounds of all but the most dedicated shooting before they pop. I would swap them for Naiad Ensnarers if I were playing a list I knew had no shooting, but my local meta is pretty shooting heavy so here we go. I will probably use regular Mantic Naiad models to represent this unit, but use some green stuff to make their armour look heavier, and model up a living coral barrier that moves around with the troops, explaining the high defence and low movement. I've never used green stuff before so will be a big learning curve.

Gigas: Slow, tough crab guys that will wreck face if you would just hold still for a minute. Maybe two.Will form the other half of my front line. Trying to clear Def 6 stuff with shooting is difficult, even if you’re using rifles or heavy crossbows. 12 crushing 3 attacks on 3s means most people won’t want these guys to reach melee. It's been hard to find cost-effective models for this unit, there just aren't that many scale-appropriate crabs out there! At this stage I'll get some 4" replica Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and see if I can paint and base them up nice.

Naiad Wyrmriders: A big hammer unit. 18 attacks on 3s with CS 1, TC 1 & pathfinder. I'll sit them behind my placoderm/giga front line so they get cover, and hopefully with their regen 4+ they will be able to survive any shooting long enough to get in. I'm having a hard time finding appropriate models for this unit. At this stage I'm leaning to an assortment of snakemen types: Snake Demon, Snakeman Warrior, but I'm open to suggestions.

Leviathan’s Bane: a great war machine, I think my favourite in the game. If I can get clear fire lanes for this one I’d expect it to consistently land wounds on enemy flyers, which will help a lot. Will keep my opponent honest while my deadly tide rolls up to their feet. I'm thinking of something different for this model, using an Evil Sea Priest to represent the war engine, rather than a balista looking thing. I'll try and do the base up something like this, with glowing runes and crashing water against the rocks. Will be awesome.

Coral Giant: will protect one flank. He's a giant, nothing too spectacular. The iron resolve and ensnare will make him a bit trickier to deal with, but he does have fewer attacks and lower nerve than regular giants. Reaper is bringing out an actual Coral Giant model with Bones 3, but it will be huge, way larger than the 50mm square base I want to put him on. I have a Reaper Marsh Troll already that I'm thinking of using, although he's a touch shorter than I'd like for a giant-sized model. Maybe I'll stack the base up so he's nice and high.

Kraken: honestly I’m mostly running this unit so I can use the very cool reaper model. Will cover my other flank. As long as it doesn't get flanked it will hang around for ages, noodling everything with it's noodly appendages. The model is enormous, and I'll have to get creative with my basing to make it fit up against other units, but I don't care. Look how cool it is.

Trident King: 12 P1 breath attacks is cool, very inspiring is very cool. I’ll sit him in the very middle of my formation and try to pop off individuals or turn and cover flanks/rears if something threatens them. Another unit that I'm struggling to find the perfect model for. I'm thinking a Reaper Goroloth with a mantic Naiad riding on top. The Goroloth model is a bit big really, about 20cm from tip to tail, and it needs to fit on a 50 x 100mm base. Maybe I'll be able to do something to the face tentacles to make them less obtrusive.

Placoderm Defender with Wings of the Honeymaze: shooting horde disruptor, war machine hunter, general pain in the arse. Defence 6 and 6 attacks on 3s make this a very powerful little individual. I saw this model in the cabinet at my FLGS and I just had to have it.

Siren: I love tricky stuff like Windblast, so this is right up my wheelhouse. I’ll use her to disrupt shooters, heavy cav, and enemy flyers (If playing the Clash of Kings comp pack). If we are not playing CoK, I’ll probably run a Thuul Mythician + Bane Chant and throw Brew of Strength on my Placoderms. There are a number of reaper banshee-type models that would be appropriate, still making up my mind.

For my bases, I'm going to use Green Stuff World textured rollers to make up rocks carved with dark runes and broken wooden planks to sit on top of dark rocks in stormy seas. Will have a lot to learn about water effects and resin casting, but I'm excited to learn.

The color scheme I'm still toying with. I want my army to have a menacing, cold & dark feel, none of this bright and flashy tropical stuff. I'm thinking dark scales, with glowing eyes and flashing teeth. I want to try some OSL effects too.

Thanks for reading, and and all suggestions welcome!