Saturday, September 20, 2014

Its Hammer Time!

Mt Maunganui Club - great venue!
Back in June I headed down to Tauranga with some old friends to play some Warhammer. I haven't played for something like five years and I have a bunch of armies gathering dust and I keep finding excuses to not play. Luckily for me NiCon (North Island Convention) did not have a Flames Of War or Warmachine event, so with no excuses left I had to dig out a 'Hammer army.

A quick read of the 8th Edition rules revealed that GW had done a nice job of tidying up a few things, streamlined a few more, and added a bit more randomness with the changes to charges and movement (and removed the guess from guess weapons... now I wish I had stone throwers for my Dwarves). Taking a step back from any internet based preconceptions I'd picked up over the preceeding years I really liked the look of the rules and I can honestly say I was excited to give them a go.

My two gaming buddies for the weekend (Reid and Mike) are long time friends and 'Hammer players. We have spent a lot of time road tripping round New Zealand and flying over to Australia for conventions "back in the day" so it was great to get the band back together. Of course a lot of the meta discussion over the weekend was above my head but it was fun to get back in to the groove.

I wanted to keep the weekend fairly low stress and thought that the easiest option was to take my Savage Orcs. They are so random I could not be grumpy when I made stupid mistakes and instead I could just focus on the fun of just playing. After a few internal debates I settled on:
Savage Orc Shaman (lvl4)
Big Orc BSB
Savage Orc Shaman (lvl2)
Night Goblin Shaman (lvl2)
24x Savage Orcs
25x Savage Orcs
23x Big 'Uns
5x Spider Riders
20x Night Goblins with Fanatics
20x Night Goblins with Fanatics
20x Night Goblins with Fanatics
2x Goblin Wolf Chariots
2x Goblin Spear Chukka
2x Snotling Pump Wagons
2x Mangler Squigs

I wont go into any depth about the games (frankly because I cannot recall them in much detail anymore) but I had a great time, played some people I have not played in a long time, used some figures that have not seen daylight in even longer and had a "lads weekend". 
Tall gaming tables! These are amazing to play on because by the end of the weekend you don't feel like your back has been beaten up by Mike Tyson!
The only thing I had a bit of a niggle with (in hindsight) was the ETC scoring system. If I was a serious competitor going for a tournament win there were a couple of games where I would have been better off bunkering up behind a hill and just not engaging my opponent to force a 10-10 draw. It just seemed odd to me because in the past (when I took it all pretty seriously!) if I had been trying to win a 'Hammer event I would be going hard to crush my opponents, knowing that I would need 17-3 or 20-0 results in most, if not all games to take out the top spot... 

So, without much further ado here are some deployment photos from each round and a very short synopsis...

Round 1: Blair was running what looked like a fairly cav heavy Empire army with a STank. He did a great job of drawing out my fanatics then throwing in Cavalry charges, whilst showing me that the Version 8 Tank is pretty awesome. If my Empire are coming out of the carry case I'll need a tank and Demigryph Knights for sure!.... and some Light Wizards since I hear they are pretty legit. 10-10 draw.
Round 2: Will had (what I am assuming anyway) a fairly standard VC build. Lots of casters to rebuild units, Terrorgeist and a wall of various flavours of flesh. He was feeling under all sorts of pressure early on but I knew that he already had the upper hand. Once he beat the frenzy out of me he rolled up the line cleaning out units hand over fist. 19-1 to Will.
Round 3: Playing against my road trip buddy Mike I knew I was in some trouble as he is still a pretty serious Warhammer player and gets in a lot of games against quality opponents. I foolishly thought I had the upper hand until his Doombull started to power up and started cleaving through my entire army. 17-3 to Mike
Round 4: Ken is a Kiwi, working in Australia, who comes back for Warhammer and FOW events every now and then. I'd never played him before but I'd seen him round. Round 4 was in the evening and I was shattered (too much thinking during the day) and his list was a Dwarven gun line with all the toys. My Dwarves come across the pitch to "get some!" and I knew that walking into a wall of enemy gunfire was not going to be too fun. Bit embarrassed to admit it but I bunkered up, we killed a few things and that was the end of that. I was happy with a 10-10 draw and back to the motel for pizza, drinks and watching some rugby!
Round 5: Dave and his son and a mirror match with two OG armies, although he had a massive Black Orc unit and big mob of Trolls whereas I had 75 Savage Orcs. Turns out Trolls are not as terrible as they once were! We piece traded for a little while, had a good fight over on the near flank as his Trolls gave a good accounting for themselves but it was all over without too many dead on the field. 11-9 to Dave
Round 6: Bobby is an old school gamer and since I have not been playing any Warhammer I have not seen a lot of him, so it was good to have a final round battle to end the weekend on a high. He was running a massive (and beautifully painted) Empire foot army. We had a good old fashioned stand up fight where the resiliance of the Orcs eventually won the day (narrowly) with a couple of his key units (Knights and Greatswords) getting mauled by Manglers and  sliced by Choppers. 12-8 to me.
I don't actually remember (nor do I care) where I came in the standings at the end. The only thing that mattered was that I had a great time and actually contemplated dusting off my Warhammer armies for some more outings. Of course I'll need to work out how I am going to fit that in... The OGs performed well and any faults were certainly the cause of their general and whilst they will never be a Tier 1 army they are great fun and the "new" army book for them is a nice improvement over the previous edition(s). Part of me is keen to get my Chaos Warriors or Daemons out but there was something fun about the low stress option. Time will tell what comes out of the cupboard for my next WHFB adventure.

1 comment:

The Kiwi said...

Looks like an excellent event. When I lived in the Naki I remember going along to see NICON in action in New Plymouth. Before I had my own army.
Have you tried Kings of War?