Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Age of Sigmar #8 - How to play Deathmages? / Deathwalker? / Beasts of the Grave?

The common keywords for these units are: DEATH

These three factions, Deathmages, Deathwalker and Beasts of the Grave are very weird in regards to most other factions in Age of Sigmar, they all aren't able to legally or even effectively play as a faction on its own unlike most all other factions in the game. Grand Alliance Death obviously has a ton of holes that need filling and hopefully, we will get a new or second re-written faction to rectify this. I play this three factions as one army as each faction either by design or most likely pure chance fill the role of Leaders, Troops or Monsters.

Heroes (Deathmages)

I have not included the Mortis Engine as a part of this overview as I feel thematically it belongs in a Nighthaunt / Malignants army and so sticks out from the rest of these units.

Necromancer: Necromancers are the standard Wizard available to Death, their unique magic spell, Vanhel's Danse Macabre, on the other hand, is incredibly useful not only in supporting ZOMBIE armies but also SKELETON and MORDANT allowing the target unit to pile in and fight twice in the combat phase. Necromancers also have a rule very similar to the Warhammer 40,000 look out sir which allows you to allocate wounds they suffer to ZOMBIE units in close proximity.

Necromancer, taken from Necromancer warscroll

Troops (Deathwalker)

Zombies: Zombies work, but only in large numbers. Zombies have no armour save and awful melee stats until you begin to horde them, for each group of 10 Zombies in the unit they gain 1+ to their Hit and Wound rolls to a maximum of 3+ which if you get this bonus means you have a unit of at least 30 zombies and no matter what army you are facing, 30 Zombies is a hard unit to remove. That 3+ to Hit rolls can be boosted to 4+ to Hit rolls if within close proximity of a Corpse Cart. Although they have no save they have two ways to bolster their ranks during the game, firstly if they include a banner D6 Zombies return to the unit each Hero Phase and secondly every time the Zombies kill a model, roll a dice and on a 6 the slain model becomes a Zombie!

Corpse Cart: The Corpse Cart is the unit that allows your Zombies and Dire Wolves to get those much-needed re-rolls. If left on its own it is completely useless as it is not great in a fight and its abilities are then wasted. Each Corpse Cart has the choice of a Balefire Brazier which forces enemy Wizards to subtract 1 from their casting roll. Alternatively, it can have an Unholy Lodestone which boosts casting rolls of Death Wizards by 1. With the large number of Zombies, you should be taking and their need to be within 9" of one of these carts I would almost always take 2 of these each with one of the different options.

Corpse Cart, taken from Corpse Cart warscroll
Dire Wolves: Dire Wolves are the fast addition to this army, compared to the Zombies this unit if what you will use to zip across the battlefield to control and contest objectives or pick off vulnerable backline units. They are quite survivable with two wounds each and much like the Zombies get better if they are close to a Corpse Cart, in this case, it allows them to add one to save roll essentially making it a 4+.

Monsters (Beasts of the Grave)

Terrorgheist: The Terrogheist is in no way a bad unit but it is much better in other factions when it is acting as a mount for a hero. It does have a great shooting attack that wounds against the targets Bravery stat so against cowardly armies this unit gives this army a much needed powerful ranged attack to put pressure on the enemy while your Zombies make their way across the battlefield.

Zombie Dragon: As with the Terrorgheist the versions of the Zombie Dragon as a mount for a hero are much better than the Zombie Dragon on its own. Much like the Terrorgheist the Zombie Dragon has a powerful ranged attack that I would happily use instead of Arcane Bolt on my Necromancers to allow them to cast their unique spell.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Age of Sigmar #7 - 7 Hours to kill... Multiple wishlists!

Last night I had the pleasure of taking the overnight National Express down to London which is a gruelling cramped 7 hours on a coach that is both too hot and freezing, it was my personal hell.
With nothing to do and not being able to sleep I decided to write up a few wishlists for a couple of armies I'm interested in playing at the moment after having a thorough read of several of the Battletomes and the Age of Sigmar app. I'm sticking to 1000 points with a small tolerance above and below as with these new Age of Sigmar points values it is actually quite difficult to hit 1000 dead on.

Spiderfang Grots
What's not to like about an army of Spiders running towards your enemy with howling Grots on their backs? Ever since The Battle for Skull Pass I loved Spider Riders and now in Age of Sigmar I can field an army just of them.

Grot Big Boss on Gigantic Spider
Arachnarok Spider
10 Grot Spider Riders
10 Grot Spider Riders
10 Grot Spider Riders

Grot Spider Riders, taken from the Grot Spider Riders warscroll
Clans Pestilens
This list started as a list I wrote for a friend and though he didn't use it too well on the table the amount of models on the board is quite impressive and I really like the look of a unified Pestilen army. I have never liked Skaven but now they are part of the Chaos allegiance there should be some rats that actually have ties to the other deities of the Chaos pantheon and that's something I can get behind.

Plague Furnace
Plague Priest
30 Plague Monks
30 Plague Monks

Plague Priest, taken from Plague Priest warscroll
My favourite character of the previous setting was Grimgor Ironhide. In my eyes, there is nothing better in a fantasy setting then hard as nails hordes of Orcs or Orruks that have no goal other than causing a ruckus. The expansion of the Black Orc range into the Ironjawz was something I really loved and had to really resist not dropping countless pounds on during its initial release.

Weirdnob Shaman
10 Brutes
10 Ardboys
10 Ardboys
3 Gore-gruntas

Ardboys, taken from the Ardboys warscroll
Devoted of Sigmar
Another part of the World the Was that I liked was the religious fanaticism of The Empire, in Age of Sigmar I really did struggle to see where The Empires models would fit in with this super high fantasy aesthetic till I saw the Golden armour clad Warrior Priests being flanked by uncountable Flagellants on their warscrolls just proved to me these models have a place in both Age of Sigmar and my growing collection of models.

Warrior Priest
Warrior Priest
Warrior Priest
War Altar of Sigmar
20 Flagellants
20 Flagellants
20 Flagellants

Warrior Priest, taken from the Warrior Priest warscroll
The one army I'm really wanting to play is a mortal Tzeentch cultist army lead by a Gaunt Summoner. I'm hoping that the models coming from The Silver Tower get released as their own Battletome and miniature line much like most of the models from the Warhammer 40k boxed games have in recent months.

What to do on the coach back north in a few days then?

Monday, 22 August 2016

Age of Sigmar #6 - Celestial Vindicators Lord-Celestant

I have now had bare plastic Stormcast Eternals in my to-do pile since my beginnings in Age of Sigmar. I just could not decide on how I wanted to paint them, originally I was tempted by a Hallowed Knights army led by Tarsus Bull-Heart but wanted something I had not seen in my local area.

This past fortnight there had been a painting competition in my local Warhammer store with the only requirements being that you enter one model and it is no bigger than 50mm base footprint. After finishing my Nighthaunt I have wanted to push my painting skills up a level and so chose to paint a Lord-Celestant of the Celestial Vindicators as my entry.
Unfortunately, my entry was not finished in time for entering into the competition but I wanted to finish it anyway.

Celestial Vindicators Lord-Celestant
I had a ton of fun painting this model so much I have decided to make the Stormcast my active project for an upcoming Path to Glory campaign at this same local Warhammer store. A path to Glory campaign does not require a points value but as my goal for Age of Sigmar is to collect several 1000 point faction armies as not to over-collect one faction and also that I have a great variety of armies to play with.

My 1000 (1020) point Celestial Vindicators army is as follows;

5 Liberators with Hammer and Sigmarite Shield
5 Liberators with Hammer and Sigmarite Shield
5 Liberators with Hammer and Sigmarite Shield
5 Paladin Retributors
3 Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers
3 Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Age of Sigmar #5 - Slaves of Shyish

The first ever army I collected when getting into the hobby over a decade ago was Bretonnia for Warhammer Fantasy. Growing up playing mainly Age of Empires the Knights of the Realm were the obvious choice for a young inspired newbie.
With the destruction of the world that was my beloved Bretonnia no longer exists and this leaves me with a pile of models that I have no use for. My friend rob has been pushing me into using them for Age of Sigmar so he can paint them for me but I had until this evening been hesitant as I didn't feel like they fit into the Age of Sigmar world.
I finally came up with a theme that I feel fits the fluff of AoS. The Lords, Damsels and Paladins are vampires leading a coven of humans who wish to become Vampires. The Knights are these humans wishing to become Vampires and so fight for the Coven Lord to prove their worth and right to ascension. The Peasants are organised into Herds of humans kept alive only for their blood when needed these herds are organised to fight using Longbows and Polearms. The Battle Pilgrims are now Vampires that have fallen out of favour with their lord and are forced to battle with awful weaponry hopefully trying to regain the favour of their lord. Finally, the Green Knight is now The Undying, First Vampire of Shyish an immortal warrior that is now a part of Shyish itself coming forth to destroy the foes of the Realm of Death.


All of the Warscrolls are heavily influenced by the legacy Bretonnian scrolls. Let me know if you think anything is way too overpowered or if you have any cool ideas to add to the themes of these units or new units,

The Warscrolls were created using this Custom Warscroll Designer.


Friday, 5 August 2016

Bolt Action #1 - Returning for 2nd Edition

Bolt Action was the game that brought me back to the world of wargaming after a few year hiatus almost 4 years ago. I had not thought of anything to do with the hobby till I mistakenly found it while searching the web about the second world war.
I read up on it and liked what I saw so I ordered the Assault on Normandy box set to my student digs and got cracking with wargaming the second world war.
With a new edition of the rule set being released in September, iv'e decided to take another crack at Bolt Action but this time in 15mm. In the few games of Bolt Action, I did get to play the one thing that bugged me was the scale of it. Warlord has done a great job in creating multi-part plastic kits for tonnes of the armies but I just prefer to wargame historical games in a smaller scale.

So to be ready for this new edition I want to have ready a small US force ready to take the war to the Germans. This 750 (745) point list using the generic Reinforced Platoon is my recon themed force who are the vanguard of the Allied advance through France and Europe. I'm in no way an expert in Platoon structure but using the parameters the game allows I feel this list would work ok in a recon role.

I have had the models to do this in this scale for quite a while and it was my active project for about a week before Age of Sigmar took over my life but after the trailer for Nolan's upcoming Dunkirk being my highlight of the Suicide Squad midnight release I just got the itch to pick up the project again.