Tuesday 26 April 2022

Let the Carnevale begin

After getting my starter set for Carnevale painted up, I took a few weeks to find a situation where I could convince someone to play.

Matt found himself in the hotseat and so we settled down to play through the introductory tutorial scenarios, with Matt taking charge of the shadowy Guild whilst I succumbed to the lure of the Rashaar.

Scenario 1 - Strangers in the Night

The Guild has ordered some unfortunate citizens out onto the streets to investigate rumours of strange creatures abroad.

Stumbling on a fearsome Ugdru and its slave escort, they hurry back to report on what they've seen.

This scenario was all about movement and getting off the opposite board edge so the Ugdru began on the canal, ready to take advantage of its Fast Swimmer trait, whilst the Slave was going to have a harder job running alongside a the canals.

The Citizens, however, started amongst the buildings and so set off at a run across the square.

The Ugdru glided effortlessly underwater, heading towards its goal quickly and scoring the Rashaar a victory point. 

The Slave attempted to vault onto some barrels and then across the canal, but fell short and splashed headfirst into the water.

The progress of the Citizens was interrupted by the inconvenient, and yet not unexpected (in Venice, at least), obstacle of a canal.

However, both Citizens were able to leap onto the prow of a Gondola to propel themselves across the water with acrobatic ease, securing the Guild two victory points and the lead.

Meanwhile, the bedraggled Slave heaved itself out of the canal and scurried off through the houses, escaping just in time to level the scores.

Guild 2 - Rashaar 2

Scenario 2 - Conflict

Informed that the monstrous Rashaar seem to be seeking an artefact of power, the Guild send their people out in force intent on driving the creatures and there devoted servants away from the object of their search.

This scenario was an out and out fight, with a victory points scored for each enemy defeated.

The Gondolier ferries Citizens to where they believe the monsters are searching for the artefact, but one of them slipped and fell into the canal, the loud splash alerting the Rashaar to their presence.

The searching Ugrdu order their Slaves to investigate the noises ahead and slide ominously into the canal. 

Deciding to stick together for safety in numbers, the Guild advance into the piazza.

Meanwhile, out of sight, the Ugdru disappear off through the murky canals, whilst the Slaves also headed directly for the same piazza as the Guild.

Arriving in the open space surrounding a statue of an ancient hero, the Citizens of the Guild are met by an ominous, large, scaly figure that appears to be waiting for them.

Refusing to take the somewhat obvious bait, the Guild spring the trap by rushing round the corner to surprise the Slave lying in wait, forcing the Ugdru to come to them.

However, they fail to see another Ugdru clambering up onto their Gondola, cutting off their escape.

A ferocious melee breaks out in the square, the Ugdru lashing out cruelly at to woman infront of it, but one of the Slave's is put out of its misery by a scything stroke from the Gondolier's bladed oar.

Citizens surround the Rashaar monster, but fail to prevent it ripping out the poor woman's throat. Her dying screams drawing attention away from the further danger that approached from above.

The enraged Citizens redouble their attacks upon the beleaguered beast, which looks about to fall when the dull wet slap of another of the monsters landing in their midst sends them running back to their boat, ending the encounter with blood lost on both sides.

Guild 1 - Rashaar 1

Scenario 3 - Take the Stone

The artefact the Rashaar have been searching for has been located near a statue. It's now a race to the prize!

This scenario introduced a mobile objective (worth 2 victory points) and each gang had three random agendas (worth 1 victory point each).

The Guild head out in force to claim the mysterious stone.

But danger lurks in the canals where the Ugdru dive deep.

And the Guild are aware that they are being watched.

One Guildwoman leaps over crates to succeed in reaching the stone first, but she is immediately set upon by an Ugdru erupting out if the water and hurling her towards its Slaves.

The Guild rush to her aid but are countered by Slaves emerging out of the darkness on the ground and along the rooftops.

The assault of the Slaves falls short (and off a roof), and the Guild counter by surrounding and cutting down one of the Slaves, allowing the woman with the stone to run off. 

An Ugdru lurches into the fray and hurls an unfortunate Citizen over its head and into the canal behind it, where another of its type lurks deep in the water (2 rounds of diving scored 1 victory point).

The creature coming up from the depths tries to take the struggling man down with him, but he somehow slips its grasp and clambers out of the water.

However, he is isolated and surroubded as the rest of the Guild have pulled back to protect the stone. The abandoned Citizen is once again hurled back into the water.

This time, grasping claws do not let go and he is pulled into the depths to a watery grave (killing by drowning scored another victory point).

The remaining Guild member leap around over boxes trying to keep the Rashaar from the stone (and eventually managing to chain four 4" jumps in a round to secure a victory point).

The Rashaar also succeed in chaining jumps (and crushing boxes of fruit) to get closer to their quarry.

However, the Citizen with the stone Chambers up onto a building where she is all but unreachable to the creatures below her.

A desperate assault by a Slave trying to get to her fails and the wretch is hurled of the roof by another Citizen.

Although the melee on the streets continue, the Citizens manage to make off with their prize, which they hope with satisfy their Capodecina of their loyalty.

Guild 3 - Rashaar 2

As the dust settles, the Guild are narrowly winning this exchange and we'd had three engaging games full of violence, action and unintended comedy from the somewhat inept Slaves.

They only thing that seemed a boy strange was how the agendas interact with then narrative of the final game. My Rashaar had generated two water-based agendas, and so that was at least thematic. 

However, the Guild found themselves leaping over obstacles like teenagers trying to do parkour as they attempted to score the winning victory point, somewhat oblivious to what was going on around them.

Despite this concern, I probably need to buy the Agenda cards before playing the next scenario, as it requires us to cycle through the deck which will be easier with physical cards and speed up play.

Using the Rashaar definitely constitutes playing a game with an 'army' I've never used before, and so I'm able to cross off another Hobby Bingo box.

However, further birthday purchases have arrived and put me back in a deficit in terms of how much I've painted against 

Friday 22 April 2022

Changing It Up

The one thing my Daemons of Tzeentch are not short of is character models, and so I've added another one.

This is a Changecaster, a Herald of Tzeentch, which uses the same model as my Fluxmaster, except he's on foot (well, on magical flames, but you get my point).

The Burning Chariot kit comes with a range of arm, head and weapon options for your Herald to allow for a nit of customisation. I opted for the weird grinning moon head to ensure that I'd be able to pick him out amongst the sea of Pink Horrors that my army is looking like it will consist of.

There's nothing massively special to report about this model apart from the fact that I had a go at doing more stages of highlighting on the robe than I usually would.

A base coat of Caledor Sky followed by a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade was highlighted with a sequence of Caledor Sky, Lothern Blue and Blue Horror, with not an ounce of drybrushing in sight.

I've never been one for multiple steps of highlighting as I find it a chore, and washes and contrast render it unnecessary for most tabletop miniatures that are meant to be see from three feet away.

However, I was prompted to have a practice of something I dont usually do by the Hobby Bingo card and I'm actually quite pleased with the result, which pops enough to help him stand out a bit more.

I'm not sure it's something I'll ever do on a more regular basis, as im a lazy painter, but for character models I might start going the extra mile.

You might have noticed that the number of miniatures acquired has gone up a fair bit. I've just had a birthday and therefore purchases were made. That number is due to rise further as I've not finished spending yet.

I'd better get painting.

Acquired: 63
Painted: 73

Monday 18 April 2022

Flame War!

Whilst getting my backside handed to me the other day, one of the few units that performed exactly as hoped were my three Flamers. 

Therefore, I've followed the ancient 40k motto: "If something works, spam it," and painted some more.

I think I've said before that I don't like painting these models, and that's not changed.

Not only do I not like the paint scheme I originally went for (which is my own fault), but I also find the models lack personality. This might be about all the emerging faces, but compared to the other models in the Start Collecting box, I find the details really shallow.

Anyhow, I now have six. It's not exactly game changing, but after three of them deleted a mortar unit, I think six might have a chance of doing something similar to a larger or slightly tougher unit.

Admittedly, this won't fix any of the other failings in my game, especially as both of Pete's armies (Space Wolves and Imperial Guard) got a boost in the rules this week, when Daemons were overlooked entirely.

Ah well...it's only a game, after all.

I've now almost finished the models I have for this army, with just three Screamers, a Changecaster and three Blue Horrors (which I have a plan for) to do.

I have a birthday coming up though, so reinforcements might be incoming.

Acquired: 48
Painted: 72

Friday 15 April 2022

Go Down In A Blaze of Glory

I can only imagine the naming meeting at Games Workshop for Tzeentch Daemons was running late. After all the Fluxmasters, Changecasters and Fateskimmers, they finally got to the Chariot carrying an Exalted Flamer and decided on...Burning Chariot.

I'm not going to go into how I've painted it because it's basically a combination of how I did the Screamers, Exalted Flamer and other Discs, so my earlier posts will tell you everything you need to know (follow the Tzeentch link in the sidebar).

Suffice to say that I'm really pleased with how the Screamers turned our, but I'm less than impressed with my choices regarding the Flamer.

In game, the Burning Chariot is something akin to a light tank. It has manoeuvrability, acceptable anti-tank capability and decent close combat potential.

Ever since Matt produced his surprise Japanese army for Bolt Action, there's been a running theme in our gaming group of ambushing each other with things we'd kept secret.

Therefore, prior to our game of 40k, I'd not mentioned to Pete that I was working on the Burning Chariot and was aiming to produce it with an, "ah-haaa!"

However, my surprise Chariot moment was somewhat undermined when I arrived at Pete's and he greeted me with a surprise entire Imperial Guard army and a much bigger "ah-haaaaa!"

We set up for a matched play incursion game using the Ransack scenario, which involves six objectives, and scoring primary points if you control two, control three and control more than your opponent.

My army consisted of:

- Daemon Prince
- The Changeling
- Fluxmaster

- 10 Pink Horrors
- 10 Pink Horrors
- 10 Brimstone Horrors

- Exalted Flamer
- 3 Flamers

Fast Attack
- 4 Screamers

Heavy Support
- Burning Chariot

For my secondary objectives I chose: Malefic Terror as I thought I'd stand a decent chance of making Imperial Guardsmen run away; Engage On All Fronts as I had decent manoeuvrability; and Psychic Interrogation as I believed that I'd remember to do the psychic action each turn (spoiler...I didn't).

Pete's army consisted of guns. Lots of guns.

- Company Commander
- Tank Commander

- Infantry Squad
- Infantry Squad
- Infantry Squad

- Commander Squad
- Tech-Priest Enginseer
- Commissar

Fast Attack
- Sentinel

Heavy Support
- Wyvern Launcher
- Leman Russ Battle Tank

In terms of secondary objectives, Pete chose three that dovetailed well: For The Emperor meant that he'd score for each unit he destroyed; as five of my units were psykers he would also score for Abhor The Witch for each if them he killed; and whilst he was killing units, Grind Them Down would see him score if he killed more units than I did.

Fortunately, I got the first turn and barrelled forwards and moved forwards inflicting damage across Pete's lines (unfortunately nobody failed morale checks). I knew I had to close the ground as I would lose a shooting battle.

In a worrying sign of things to come, I rolled a double 1 on my first psychic test, forgot to do psychic interrogation and positioned my characters in a way that would leave then exposed if the leas unit of Pink Horrors was destroyed.

I managed to get a charge off with my Screamers, but the Sentinel survived their attack on one wound.

Now it was Pete's turn to shoot back.

Suffice to say that Pete had noticed my poor positioning and proceeded to unleash a storm of lasguns and mortar fire onto them, wiping out the Horrors and allowing the Fluxmaster to be banished back to the warp by sustained multi-melta fire from the Tank Commander.

Then, I'm what can only be described as Tzerntch laughing at me, the other Leman Russ pummelled the Daemon Prince with Battle Cannon and Heavy Bolter shells and I failed an abominable abount of 3+ 'Invulnerable' saves.

By the start of the second turn, I'd lost half of my force and the only u it that had a reasonable chance of dealing with the tanks.

I knew the game was lost, and so it was damage limitation time.

My Exalted Flamer finished off the Sentinel, which blew up, injuring the Commissar. I brought my Flamers in from the warp and they deleted the Mortars. However, the Burning Chariot failed to destroy the Guardsmen holding the objective and they also didn't run (this was to become a theme).

The Screamers went on a suicide run to assassinate the Company Commander as his ability to regenerate command points was annoying me.

In Pete's turn he concentrated on trying to clear my units out of his lines with another volley of devastating firepower. However, when the smoke cleared, even though the Flamers and Burning Chariot had been incinerated, a single Screamer remained on one wound.

This allowed me in my turn 3 to fall back to contest Pete's central objective, and concentrate my fire on the Guardsmen and Commissar on Pete's right flank, destroying them, gaining points for failed leadership tests and denying Pete any primary points for the turn.

There was nothing I could do about the tanks.

Another deadly volley took out the Exalted Flamer and most of the Horrors. Fortunately, Pete had killed so much that his Tank Commander was out of position and had nothing to shoot at.

Ha! Sucks to be him!

The game was up. With the Changeling and Brinstone Horrors scoring me a measly few primary points, I sent the last of the Horrors into the centre of Pete's lines to finish off his Command Squad to try and gain an extra point and reduce his primary score once again.

Having a succeeded in that, they were subsequently shot off the board, as was the Changeling. It turns out the tanks don't stay out of position for long as they can apparently move.

Pete was able to pick up the full 15 primary points on his final turn leaving the score at: 72 - 43

Given that I lost half my army in the first turn, I actually think I played the rest of the game reasonably well, denying Pete points and keeping things relatively close until the last turn.

As is now usual with 40k, here are Captain Hindsight's thoughts on the game:
  1. I really need to pay attention to the positioning of my characters in the early turns.
  2. I need to concentrate my firepower and make sure I remove enemy units.
  3. If I'm going to use a Warpcraft Secondary, I need to give that as a job to a character and focus them on it.
  4. I probably need more Pink Horrors to form a more robust core to my army.
  5. I need to convince Pete to get more line of sight blocking terrain.
The game was enjoyable, but messing up the first turn was a bit frustrating. 40k in all the editions I've played, remains one of the most unforgiving games I've encountered and things go south quickly.

The Burning Chariot only counts as a single model painted, but it does leave me with just a handful of Daemons left to paint in the backlog.

Acquired: 48
Painted: 69 (ooer missus)

Monday 11 April 2022

A Hill To Die On

You know what I need in my life? 

Another ongoing campaign.

Therefore, after our Flight to the Ford game at the weekend, Matt and I decided to get a Battle Companies campaign started. I opted to run with a Rohan warband.

Introducing...Leofric's Muster:

Leofric Fasthelm - Leader, Throwing Spear & Shield
Grimleth - Sergeant, Sword & Bow
Heruthain - Sergeant, Axe & Shield
Balca - Warrior, Axe & Shield
Deorfa - Warrior, Sword & Shield
Gram - Warrior, Throwing Spear & Shield
Freaor - Warrior, Sword & Bow

Matt brought along his Goblin Town 'horde' which I'm not sure if he's going to name as I suspect he doesn't want to get too attached.

We randomly generated our scenario as A Show of Strength. I think this favoured me as the winner would be determined by how many wounds our leaders inflicted. 

Leofric was probably going to have a much easier time wounding Goblins than the Goblin Chief was going to have against men with shields.

Aware that a pack of Goblins were marauding close to their village, Leofric mustered his warriors and led them in pursuit of the foul creatures.

Aware of his ranged advantage, Leofric opted to draw the Goblins on to him with bow fire, rather than attempt to chase them down.

The Goblins took the bait but used cover to their advantage to avoid taking early casualties from the men's bows.

However, Leofric had chosen his ground well and the last dash across the open saw some Goblins fall with arrows or spears embedded in them.

Nevertheless, the gibbering tide kept advancing.

The lines clashed but the Goblins had been whittled down to a point where they could not outnumber the men across the whole line.

The initial charge was repulsed and Leofric, holding the place of honour on the right flank had already begun his tally of wounding blows.

The battle wore on and some of the Rohirrim were dragged down by the Goblin Chief and his henchmen. And yet, for every man that fell, another Goblin succumbed too.

Ultimately, Leofric led the final charges on the surprisingly brave Goblins. Driving them away from the village. If not for good, then at least for now.

A fine victory for Leofric's first battle and he led from the front, wounding four of the gibbering horde, whilst the Goblin Chief managed to inflict two wounds against the more heavily armoured men.

After the battle, it was discovered that Balca has been injured and would need to miss the next battle, but Heruthain and Deorfa would make full recoveries.

Leofric was made a Knight and  rewarded by his liege lord with a fine horse for his heroism and will now be a terror to the foes of Rohan as he also gained the Fearsome Charge trait.

Grimleth the Ranger's deadly accuracy also gained him notoriety, but this was compounded with how he had stood heroically in a shieldwall, without a shield (he gained Defence +1).

The Goblins didn't gain any skills, but only one of them died of their wounds, although a couple were injured.

And so we're off on a new campaign. It looks like games are small and fast and so we sould be abke to gey a few done in a night. It will make fir a good option when several if us are available at the same time.

In other unrelated news, I've ticked off another box on the Hobby Bingo card as I finally managed to get into the new Element Games store in Sheffield for some supplies, which I suppose counts as supporting my local gaming store.

No more painting done though for now, however, I'm now on my Easter holidays, so I should be getting on with things soon.