Editorial by Jimmy Murphy During the editing of this issue I got the feeling that papa nurgle loves me. 2 rounds of antibiotic and a restraining order later I feel like part of the human race again. On the plus side I did get to catch up on some hobby podcasts while laid up. Got to admit there is some quality stuff out there. For the Irish Hobby you have our very own Nigel’s North Wexford gamers and the lads from the adventuring party.Well worth checking out. Being a 40K nut I’ve come to love “40K radio”. Drunk american hosts who occasionaly discuss 40K when they run out of things to slag each other about. And my final favorites are “The D6 generation” and “World’s End Radio”. I did happen across “the messy gameroom” I highly recommend it for anyone who find a deep south US accent entertaining. I actually can’t remember any of the content as I spent so much time laughing at gamers who use “Y’all” innormal conversation.
So if you’ve read this far I’ve a question for you. How many of you would be interested in seeing articles which cover game systems outside the realms of GW ? Feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 2 January 2010 Editor: Jimmy Murphy Cover Artist: Dave Leahy
And I’d also like to thank all the contributors to this issue. Without you lot I’d have to write a lot more.
Contributors: Nigel Kanavagh Mike Brown Michael Foreman Malcolm Cooney Paul Quigley
Table of Contents Editorial ............................................................... 2 The whfb-ireland.org Painting Competition ........ 3
Harry Cullen Owen Conlan Derek Mitchell Fergus Byrne
Irish Tournament Rankings ................................. 5 Diary .................................................................... 7 Around the Underground Gamers........................ 8 Fantasy Battle Report......................................... 10 WH40k tournament rules packs ......................... 23 Artwork .............................................................. 24
The Uplink webzine is published in association with www.whfbireland.org. All text and layouts remain a copyright of the webzine. We can accept no responsibility for inaccuracies or complains arising from editorial or articles within the magazine.
Campaigns Part 2: A Fantasy Battle Odyssey ... 25
Please e-mail email@example.com with
The Joys of the big game: .................................. 27
any questions/comments/concerns .
Winning Before the Game Has Started:............. 31
This Fanzine is unofficial and in no way is endorsed by Games Workshop Ltd.
Vampire Counts ................................................. 34 Around the Clubs ............................................... 38 Submissions ....................................................... 40
The uplink webzine is a non-profit production.
The whfb-ireland.org Painting Competition sponsored by battlecryminiatures.com
Finally, we are delighted to announce that BattleCryMiniatures.com will sponsor our second painting competition. The deadline for this competition is January, 31st 2010 and all entrants must post their entry on whfb-ireland.org. This
competition is titled “ZZZZzzzzaaaaapppp!!!!” and any wizard or psyker is eligible as an entry model. Again, there is a separate competition for younger painters (under 18) who compete in their own section.
Our first painting competition was entitled “O Captain, my Captain!” and any single leader model from either WHFB or WH40k was allowed. We were delighted to see the high standard of entries despite the very short time frame. The judges had a very tough job to decide the winner, but first place was awarded to Eoghan Errity for his Doombull. Ugo Greevy’s Verminlord came second, but it was a difficult decision to choose the winner. Overall, the judges loved the overall look and feel of the Doombull but they also paid tribute to the photography. It’s very important to produce a high quality image for these competitions and Eoghan provided them. The overall painting is of a very high quality with excellent use of layering and blending techniques. Ugo’s Verminlord is of a similarly high quality and it’s worth noting the directional lighting from the warpstone shard. The use of advanced techniques in both cases was testament to both painters’ undoubted quality and serve as inspiration to the rest of us.
Eoghan’s Doombull and winning entry
UPLINK BattleCryMiniatures.com are producers of high quality resin miniatures, bases, scenery and wargaming accessories.
Irish Tournament Rankings by Nigel Kananagh As December Ireland had no ranking events, it‟s very much a case of “as you were” in relation to the rankings for both WHFB and WH40k. So for this issue‟s column there is an additional overview on how the rankings work. Full details are available on the whfbireland.org website, but it‟s no harm to have a recap here and run through the practical examples with the data we have to hand. Why have a rankings system? Firstly, I should address what the point of the rankings is. The rankings are not an extension of the ETC. We implemented the rankings for a number of reasons – to create a sense of continuation between tournaments, to develop the competitive gaming community, to encourage events to take place, to attempt to regulate the quality of events and finally to support the overall gaming community. There were many ways that we could have chosen to select our ETC teams – the various organisers of both WHFB and WH40k decided that they would like to use the rankings as part of their selection process. Even if there was no ETC, there would still be rankings.
How does a tournament “ranking tournament”?
A second issue that‟s often asked is what makes a tournament a “ranking tournament”? There are a number of factors here, but first I‟d like to address a few things. Whether a tournament ranks or not is not a reflection on the event itself. If we rank a tournament, it‟s because we believe that the tournament will be of sufficient quality for us to recommend it. Basically, all we‟re saying is “we think that you will enjoy this tournament; we think it‟s fair and we think that it‟ll be organised well”. So what are the hard and fast criteria? Not all criteria are completely quantitative, but three are – the event must have at least eleven players, there must be six week‟s notice given and the event must be accessible. We prefer to see events with prebooking and pre-paying as it‟s usually easier to guarantee numbers then. Giving notice is straightforward and accessibility really isn‟t much of an issue (unless you intend to run an event on a boat in the middle of a lake at three in the morning). The next, subjective, criteria are the rulespack and the organisers. The rulespack is quite difficult as everyone has their own opinion on what the “best” or “fairest” rulespack is. We believe that a spread of rulespacks is fairest so we rarely have an issue with them. In WHFB, the NWG tournament was basically open (with no named characters, double rares or triple
specials); Resurgence used the ETC rules; BloodStorm is using an Iron Man style (swapping armies) and BattleCry is using their own composition system. All different; all ranking. One typical bone of contention is the inclusion in WHFB of named characters and this tends to be a huge sticking point. We really don‟t like these. Finally, we must decide on whether the organisers are capable. Again, this tends not be a problem. So, if you‟d like your tournament to rank, all you need to do is allow pre-booking and prepaying, give plenty of notice, hold it in a reasonable venue, keep the rulespack decent and be a reasonably competent organiser. If you do that, we think you‟ll have a good event that players will enjoy and we‟ll rank it. Surely not too much to ask? How does the system work? Let‟s consider the theoretical rankings system. Each tournament is granted a number of points based on the number of entrants. The maximum number of points for a tournament is fifty – a three round tournament with over thirty players will suffice to obtain this score, and a tournament must have a minimum of eleven players to count as a ranking event. The tournament score is awarded to the player who won the most battle points in the tournament (i.e. the player who won “Best General” as soft scores
are not included). Finally, the number of players in the tournament dictate what “grade” the tournament gets – eleven to twenty players is a grade three tournament, twenty one to thirty players is a grade two tournament and thirty-one players or more is a grade one tournament. Therefore, the recent 40k GT which had fifty players is a grade one tournament and the winner received fifty ranking points. A grade three tournament receives thirty ranking points, plus one point for each player over eleven. A grade two tournament receives forty ranking points, plus one point for each player over twenty-one. As such, Dominicon (eleven players) had a total of thirty ranking points while Gaelcon (twenty-two players) was worth a total of forty-one points to the winner. The next step is to give points to players who competed but didn‟t win – from second to last place. Each placing receives a “step” of points less than the winner. The “step” is the number of tournament points divided by the number of players. In the GT there were fifty players and fifty points – it‟s easy to see that the step is one point so second place received forty-nine points, third received forty-eight points and so on down to last place who received one point. Let‟s have a look at Dominicon again. There were eleven players, making it a grade three tournament worth thirty ranking points. That means that the winner received thirty points. The step is thirty divided by eleven or about 2.7 points, so second place received 27.3 points, third received 24.5 points (rounding to nearest tenth) and last place received 2.7 points. Gaelcon had twenty-two players, making it a grade two tournament worth forty-one ranking points. The winner received forty-one points, the step is forty-one divided by twenty-two (about 1.9) so second place received 39.1 points, third place received 37.3 points (rounding to nearest tenth) and last place received 1.9 points.
Current 40k Rankings – Top Ten Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Name Padraic O'Confhaol Paul Quigley Barra Macniocaill Joseph Cullen Adam O'Connor Cian O'Dowd John Stowe Robert O'Byrne Yiaw Chuah Siong Brian McKenzie
Gaelcon 24.3 39.1 33.6 29.8 29.8 37.3 22.4 -
GT 34.0 43.0 43.0 49.0 46.5 39.0 29.0 34.0 50.0 48.0
Dominicon 27.3 2.7 30.0 -
Overall 85.6 82.1 79.3 79.0 76.3 68.8 66.3 56.4 50.0 48.0
Resurgence 39.5 34.7 41.9 37.1 46.0 48.4 34.7 21.0 50.0 15.9
Overall 84.0 82.3 77.9 77.7 71.8 71.0 66.7 65.5 64.1 63.5
Current WHFB Rankings – Top Ten
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Name Brian Leonard Ciaran Dunne Alan Woods-Conway Dermot Maguire Mal Cooney Barry Lynch Dave Wade Phil Culleton Owen Conlan Jonny Fisher
NWG 2009 44.5 47.7 35.9 40.6 25.8 22.7 32.0 44.5 14.1 47.7
Diary by Nigel Kavanagh
After a very busy few months, December 2009 was a time to pause and take stock. It was also a great time to look ahead at what’s coming up over the next few months from a gaming perspective.
Coming soon – Dominion Day (40k ranking event) in Ballymena on 20/21st February; BattleCry 2010 (WHFB ranking event) in Dublin on 6th March.
BloodStorm 2010 is the first event of the new year, taking place in Ballymena on January 16th and 17th. This is a ranking event for both Northern Ireland and Ireland with full details on the Northern Wasters forum.
Warpcon XX is next up on the agenda in Cork at the end of January. This is the first combined WHFB and WH40k ranking event and excitement is already building. Full details on the Warpcon Website.
Rumours and hearsay… Word on the ground suggests that there may be a WHFB tournament in Dublin over the next few months… Still waiting for information regarding Vaticon 2010 as well… Underground Gamers looking at a team event in mid2010…
Around the Underground Gamers by Owen Conlan The Underground Gamers is a fun and competitive war games club based in Dublin. The club was founded in early 2006 by a group of dedicated Warhammer Fantasy Battle players and tournament goers looking for a venue in Dublin that would provide them with a place to play a more friendly style of Warhammer. It was first hosted in the basement of Kennedy's Pub on Westland Row. The club has grown steadily since then and now boasts a hundred members on its mailing list! Finding a balance between competitive play and
friendly games is a challenge that we actively address in the club. We pride ourselves on performing well in tournaments, but doing so in a way that is fun for our opponents. In the build up to a tournament our gaming sessions tend to have a strong focus on refining armies and play styles to compete effectively in the tournament. However, the most important aspect of this practice is to play each game in a friendly manner. A game that is played fairly should be enjoyable whether you win or lose. Fairness both refers to the interpretation of the rules and the composition of the army. Winning a game by exploiting imbalances in the ruleset or army composition is a shallow victory. We try to ensure that our armies are competitive, but not over-the-top and we promote a consistent interpretation of the rules for each game we play. Remember, no game is ever 100% fair - all game rules have biases (even if it is only who goes first!). If you rely on those
biases, or worse deliberately misinterpreting the rules in your favor, to beat an opponent then you're not playing the game. Non-competitive scenario play has an important place in the games the Underground Gamers play over the year. We promote campaigns and leagues that explore the other side of gaming. Lining up your army in a Pitched Battle against an opponent has its place, but it can become pretty boring! Through campaigns and scenarios you can experience a style of game that is deliberately set up to be unbalanced. You learn a lot about your army when facing an opponent that severely outnumbers you. This not only improves your ability to use your army effectively, but can also lead to some great stories. All of this experience feeds not only into the specific campaign or scenario, but into your competitive play, making you a better player.
If this sounds like the kind of wargaming you want to experience then come see us. We are currently based in Gamers World (http://www.gamersworlddublin.com), formerly called Models Inc., (on Jervis Street) in Dublin's city centre. We play a large variety of war games, board games and roleplay games including Warhammer, Warmachine, Hordes, Bloodbowl, War of the Ring, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Epic Armageddon, Battle Fleet Gothic, Warhammer 40k, Flames of War, Memoir '44 etc. In fact there are very few games we donâ€™t play... The club is based on the premise of friendly games in a friendly environment. We endeavor to create an enjoyable and social environment to have your games in. We run competitive events for Warhammer Fantasy and Bloodbowl throughout the year. We also encourage and run non-competitive campaigns for all our systems. Gamers World offers excellent facilities for war games, board games and roleplaying. There are several 6' x 4' boards, large amounts of terrain and a dedicated area for roleplayers. Snacks and drinks are available in the shop and there are many take-aways, food serving pubs and restaurants nearby. We meet every Tuesday evening (6pm - 11pm) and membership is free. If you are interested in joining then simply join our Google Group (http://groups.google.com/group/undergroundgamer s), introduce yourself and drop down to see us.
Fantasy Battle Report Players: Derek “Jarvis” Mitchell, Fergus “Quarreller” Byrne Scribe Nigel Kavanagh It was a cold and inhospitable December afternoon that saw two ancient adversaries face off in savage battle at North Wexford Gamers HQ. With two thousand points to choose from, Derek “Jarvis” Mitchell and Fergus “Quarreller” Byrne brought an Ogre Kingdoms and Dwarf list respectively and happily allowed me to document the battle. Jarvis: When Nigel asked me if I‟d be happy to take part in a battle report, I was delighted to agree…until I remembered my abysmal run against Dwarfs so far! I can‟t recall the last time that I managed to defeat Fergus and his stunties and I had more than a suspicion that he‟d be bringing a gun line – possibly my most dreaded match up. Nonetheless, I was determined to enjoy the game and try some sneaky tactics to get one over my old friend.
Army selection was pretty straightforward as I never tailor my list to my opponent – instead I brought a fairly standard list that I tend to use quite regularly. At this level, I pretty much must bring a Tyrant as he‟s the only Lord-level character available to me. I tooled him up with the Tenderiser (+2 Strength, Always Strikes Last, D3 wounds), Greedy Fist (may eat magic items and wizard levels) and the Wyrdstone Necklace (5+ Ward save but may cause a wound at game start). I choose two Butchers as usual, one equipped with the Bangstick (Magic Missile bound spell) and a Dispel Magic Scroll; the other with a Dispel Magic Scroll and the Skullmantle (reduce opponent’s Ld by one).
I prefer the multiple small unit (MSU) strategy so I brought two units of three Bulls and three units of three Ironguts. Each of these units had a champion to add a little punch and to increase survival chances too. I added in a unit of Leadbelchers for some firepower and to discourage any sneaky tactics and rounded out the list with two units of twenty-three Gnoblar Fighters and a unit of Gnoblar Trappers. My “unusual” units consisted of a unit of three Yhetees and a Gorger.
I intended to use cover as much as possible and to use my Yhetees to flank by moving
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through terrain. Hopefully, my Gorger will come on early to either hold a unit in place or take out a war machine. I would keep my Ironguts close to my Tyrant – I‟m sure they‟ll be targeted by missile fire and the additional leadership may well be important! The Gnoblars will be used to hold quarters or distract my opponent except for the Trappers who will be used to harass war machines and hopefully screen the Yhetees‟ final advance. Gnoblars are unreliable due to their Bicker rule, so anything they achieve is a bonus!
Here‟s hoping I can reverse my luck against Dwarfs!
UPLINK Fergus: I was looking forward to this game and brought a reasonably tough Dwarf list. It‟s an all-comers list and isn‟t particularly tailored to any single opponent. I‟ve usually had the better of it against Ogres and I have a lot of missile troops in my list. The general strategy is to sit back and shoot them to force panic checks and then reform into blocks to gain combat resolution bonuses when the Ogres hit my lines (if they make it that far!)
My overall strategy is generally defensive. I always have a choice when it comes to Lord options, and I plumped for a Runelord on Anvil of Doom. I find that it‟s great to have the various Anvil options available – be it to destroy small units or hold up big units using Wrath & Ruin or get that unexpected charge in using Oath & Honour. Finally, I could always try using Hearth & Hold to help against an army of fear-causers! I gave him a runic talisman with the Master Rune of Spite (4+ Ward Save) and two Runes of Spellbreaking. I practically always bring a Battle Standard Bearer and I gave this one a Rune of Battle (+1 combat resolution) and a Rune of Slowness (reduces opponent’s charge) to hopefully allow me to counter-
charge at the crucial time. My third character was another Thane, this time armed with a Rune of Might (doubles strength against tough enemies), Runic Armour (5+ ward, +1 armour save) and the Master Rune of Challenge (forces a charge). I hope that the combination of the BSB and Thane could force enemies into places they‟d rather not go…
I brought two units of Thunderers to start with and added in a unit of Quarrellers too. My “anvil” unit (no pun intended) would be a large unit of eighteen Hammerers with full command and a Rune of Battle on the standard. This would hold both the Thane and BSB and hold the table centre. To protect my flanks, I brought a small unit of six Trollslayers and an Organ Gun. Offensively, I brought a Grudge Thrower with a Rune of Accuracy and a Cannon with a Rune of Forging and a Rune of Reloading. Finally, I completed my list with a Gyrocopter to march block units and to pick off any targets of opportunity that may present themselves.
I intend to keep my units well spread to allow as wide a field of fire as possible. The gyrocopter and Anvil will be used to delay strategic units during early turns and then I‟ll use my runic combinations in the Hammerers
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to “pull” a unit towards them and then hopefully stop their charge to allow me to counter charge. This unit will probably have a huge static resolution of eight, which should be enough to see off most opponents.
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The lists Ogre Kingdoms 296 points Tyrant with the Tenderiser, Greedy Fist, Wyrdstone Necklace 180 points Butcher with Bangstick, Dispel Magic Scroll 175 points Butcher with Skullmantle, Dispel Magic Scroll 147 points Three Bulls with Bellower and Crusher, Extra Hand Weapons 147 points Three Bulls with Bellower and Crusher, Extra Hand Weapons 174 points Three Ironguts with Bellower and Gutlord 174 points Three Ironguts with Bellower and Gutlord 174 points Three Ironguts with Bellower and Gutlord 46 points Twenty-three Gnoblar Fighters 46 points Twenty-three Gnoblar Fighters 110 58 195 75
points points points points
Two Leadbelchers Nine Gnoblar Trappers Three Yhetees One Gorger
Total â€“ 1997 points
Dwarfs 413 points Runelord on Anvil of Doom with Gromril armour, shield, Master Rune of Spite and two Runes of Spellbreaking 165 points Thane Battle Standard Bearer with Gromril armour, Rune of Battle and Rune of Slowness 147 points Thane with Rune of Might, Rune of Iron, Rune of Stone and Master Rune of Challenge 150 points Ten Thunderers 150 points Ten Thunderers 120 points Ten Quarrellers 289 points Eighteen Hammerers with full command and a Rune of Battle 66 points Six Trollslayers 105 points Grudge Thrower 135 points Cannon with Rune of Forging and Rune of Reloading 120 points Organ Gun 140 points Gyrocopter Total â€“ 2000 points
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As neither side needed to roll for spells, it was time to roll for sides and begin deployment. Jarvis won the roll and decided to start deploying on the side that would give him some cover to advance behind and deny the house to the Dwarfs. The terrain was set up from the Dwarven perspective of having a graveyard on the left flank, partly in the deployment zone (difficult terrain that doesn‟t block line of sight), a ruins in the middle of the table just outside the deployment zone (counts as a forest), and a forest on the right flank just outside the deployment area. Across the table lay a hill to the left of centre with a little in the Ogres‟ deployment zone and a house to the extreme right, again just outside of deployment. Using the advantage afforded of having more drops, Jarvis played his deployment very well meaning he could see most of his opposition before placing his game winning units. He placed just enough on the Dwarven right flank to be a distraction for most of the Dwarven right and centre. Fergus placed his gyrocopter late on to counter this and march block where possible, but the ruins were always going to restrict his shooting. Fergus won the roll to go first, and choose to do so. Finally, the Wyrdstone Necklace didn‟t cause a wound on Jarvis‟ Tyrant.
Turn One: The Dwarf‟s first turn began quietly. The gyrocopter swung into action and perched just outside the hill and away from the Leadbelchers and most of the Gnoblars, and ready for march blocking in turn two. With no other movement or magic, it was time for the potentially devastating shooting phase. Both the Cannon and Grudge Thrower aimed at the central unit of Bulls but despite the various runes on the warmachines no success
was obtained – the cannonball stuck in the mud in front of the Bulls and the Grudge Thrower landed its cargo in almost the same spot. With all other shooting out of range, the Runelord struck the Anvil‟s rune of Wrath and Ruin with Ancient Power…but managed to strike the rune incorrectly. Luckily, no damage was done. Having got through the first Dwarf turn unscathed, the Ogres piled forward. Well, most did – one of the Gnoblar units decided
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they couldn‟t choose which way to go so fell to Bickering amongst themselves. The magic phase was busy with the Butchers casting six spells. One failed and three were dispelled, with the Butcher running solo casting Trollguts on the nearby Bulls unit (taking a wound in the process) and the Runelord using a Rune of Spellbreaking to prevent him regaining the same wound by using Bloodgruel.
Turn Two: After the disappointment of turn one, the Dwarfs really had to make this turn count to get some casualties on the board and force some panic checks. The gyrocopter moved behind the Ogre lines and ready to shoot steam at the bickering Gnoblars. The rest of the army held their positions and readied their arms. The cannon was able to draw a line to the Irongut unit nearest the left flank but managed to overshoot…and also missed the lone Butcher behind by a fraction. The Quarrellers, Grudge Thrower and Organ Gun
all took careful aim at the unit of Bulls in the centre of the table. After a cacophony of noise and smoke, very little damage was done – the Quarrellers only managed one hit and that failed to wound, the Grudge Thrower was wildly off-course and the Organ Gun misfired and wouldn‟t be able to fire again until turn four! It was up to the Runelord to save the day and he attempted Wrath and Ruin again on Ancient Power…but struck the rune wrongly again…he wouldn‟t be able to use the Anvil again until turn four either. Amidst all this disastrous shooting, the Gyrocopter pilot forgot to fire his steam gun. An appalling shooting phase for the Dwarfs.
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Having weathered two turns of shooting from a Dwarf gun line without suffering a wound, the Ogres couldn‟t believe their luck and continued towards the Dwarven lines. All the Gnoblars behaved and the Trappers moved out of the woods to shield the Yhetees. Just behind the Dwarven line, the Gorger makes an appearance, threatening the Organ Gun and the Runelord. The previously bickering unit faced the gyrocopter and threw a hail of stones and sticks at it but caused no damage. The magic phase was busy but ineffective with all six spells dispelled. Jarvis revealed that his lone Butcher had the Bangstick and used it on the Trollslayers – but Fergus quickly used his second Rune of Spellbreaking to stop it in its tracks.
Turn Three (Dwarf): Turn three started with the Quarrellers deciding to forego shooting and move to face the oncoming threat from the left side. The Gyrocopter moved onto the hill to give a wide fire arc and hold up the Gnoblars and the Leadbelchers. Fergus cleverly used his power dice to dispel the MR & Regen on the Bulls unit from turn one. The Cannon and the Grudge Thrower both aim at the nearest unit of Ironguts (straight in front of the Slayers). While the Grudge Thrower missed wildly, the cannon shot straight and true, killing one of
the Ogres outright. Despite the presence of the Tyrant, this was too much for the Ironguts who turned and fled from the Cannon. On the right flank, the Thunderers took careful aim at the Trappers and managed to hit six of them, killing three. Again, the Trappers had enough of the fight and ran from the destruction.
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Turn Three (Ogre): It was going to be a busy third turn for the Ogres. The Gorger immediately charged the Anvil to tie up the Runelord, while the Yhetees charged the Grudge Thrower and the nearest Bulls charged the Organ Gun. Bravely, all the Dwarfs passed their fear tests. The Trappers on the Dwarven right flank fail to rally and depart the battlefield while the fleeing Ironguts were about to continue to flee until the Bellower managed to inspire them to turn and face the battle again. The Gnoblar fighters turned to face the Gyrocopter and the rest of the Ogre army advances menacingly. The magic phase was
again busy but ineffective, with the Dwarven resistance to magic taking its toll on the Butchers‟ attempts to cast. Finally, the Bangstick managed to get through and killed four Trollslayers. Due to its placement on the hill, the Gyrocopter was in prime position to be peppered by the Gnoblar Fighters – over ninety shots! The well-behaved unit managed to hit the Gyrocopter twenty times but only caused two wounds…of which one was saved. The previously Bickering unit only hit ten times, but caused four wounds! Amazingly, the Gyrocopters armour failed to protect the pilot and the Gyrocopter was destroyed in a hail of mud, stone, earth and rocks.
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Combat began on the Dwarven right flank where the Yhetees found themselves fighting the Grudge Thrower crew. The Yhetees made short work of the crew, killing them all and overrunning into the flank of the nearby Thunderers. In the centre, the ferocious Bull charge killed two of the Organ Gun crew and the Bulls killed the remaining crewman in combat…overrunning again into the Quarrellers. The Gorger attacked the Runelord himself in close combat, managing three hits…two failed to wound, but the third was a Killing Blow wound! With no armour save, the Runelord needed to rely on his Ward Save…and made it! The relieved Runelord and Anvil Guards struck back at the Gorger but neither managed to wound the beast.
At this stage, it was time to chat to the two players about how they felt the game was going. Jarvis: At this point the game was going very well. I had managed to screen the Yhetees well and they had every chance of rolling up the Dwarf flank. I had to change some tactics as I went along but overall my right flank (the Dwarven left) is doing well. I‟ve had a little luck with my Gorger coming on early and the Dwarfs misfiring a lot, but it‟s time to push the advantage home.
UPLINK Fergus: I‟ve been plagued by misfires so far and it‟s going to be hard to get a good result from here. I want new dice! Overall, it was going to be very challenging for the Dwarfs. The Yhetees were in the flank of a unit of Thunderers and there was very little to stop them overrunning and rolling into the Cannon and the second unit of Thunderers. The Quarrellers were probably going to go the same way with the Bulls likely to end up in combat with the Runelord. With the Gnoblars likely to grab some table quarters, it was difficult to see where the Dwarf victory points could come from. Fergus needed to get his Hammerers in combat quickly…but how?
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Turn Four (Dwarf): After a refreshing cuppa with some sarnies – sausage, rasher and crisp (standard fare at NWG HQ) the game resumed. The Hammerers and Trollslayers wheeled to face the oncoming threat from the left flank while the Thunderers not in combat reformed to face the likely threat from the Yhetees. The only shooting would be the Cannon, which fired at the recently rallied Ironguts and bounced through to hit the Tyrant on his bonce. Both were wounded, but in the end the Irongut suffered two wounds, and the Tyrant just one. Combat went as expected – the Bulls attacking the Quarrellers killed two
and suffered no wounds and the Yhetees managed to kill three Thunderers. Both Dwarf units were outnumbered by a fearcausing enemy and both fled, both were cut down, and both of their pursuers ended up in fresh combats. Next turn, the Bulls would attack the Anvil and the Yhetees would attack the Cannon. This turn, neither the Gorger, the Runelord nor the Anvil Guards managed any wounds and with both being Unbreakable, the combat continued.
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Turn Four (Ogre): At the start of the turn, the Thane uses his Master Rune of Challenge to force the lone Butcher to charge the Hammerers. This charge is failed due to the Master Rune of Slowness leaving the Butcher looking rather vulnerable! The rest of the Ogre army advances. Magic again is pretty poor with only one spell getting through Trollguts on a unit of Ironguts. The Yhetees manage to hit the Cannon crew a mighty five times, but only cause one wound. The crew strike back, wounding a Yhetee…but it wasn‟t enough. The Cannon crew flee and are chopped down by the swift Yhetees who now end up in the front of the reformed Thunderers. Despite an almighty flurry of attacks around the Anvil, the only wound caused was on the unit of Bulls so the combat ends a draw.
Turn Five (Dwarf): Seeing a chance of redemption, the Trollslayers charge the lone Butcher, stranded by the cunning Dwarven rune combinations the previous turn. Fergus dispels Trollguts with power dice. The Trollslayers fail to wound the Butcher and he fails to wound the „slayers in return. In the Anvil combat, the Runelord manages to wound a Bull…but that‟s it. The combat is a draw again. Finally, the Yhetees demolish the Thunderers (killing
three and pursuing) and end up close to the Anvil combat.
Turn Five (Ogre): The nearby Ironguts charge into the flank of the Trollslayers to aid the Butcher and the rest of the Ogres manoeuvre to prepare for the final turn. The Ironguts who hit the Trollslayers wipe them out on the charge and overrun out of line of sight of the Hammerers. The Runelord takes another wound of a Bull but the Guards excel and
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cause two more wounds. The Bulls fail to wound the Anvil Guards in return, but the Gorger causes a wound on the Runelord. However, the Ogres lose the combat and the Bulls flee towards the ruins.
Final Dwarf Turn: Eager to wet their blades, the Hammerers charge the Butcher on his own. The Butcher chooses to flee and the charge is failed. In the only combat, the Gorger is wounded by the Runelord.
Final Ogre Turn: With the Hammerers flank exposed, both
available units of Ironguts charge it â€“ but the Tyrantâ€&#x;s unit fails due to the Rune of Slowness. The fleeing Butcher refuses to rally and continues to run from the battle. However, the fleeing unit of Bulls near the ruins manage to rally and reform towards the battle. The Ironguts charge into the Hammerers is ferocious. Even though the Bull charge fails to cause a wound, the Ironguts cut down four Dwarfs. Unable to respond, the Dwarfs, rely on their static combat resolution (without ranks) and
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manage to draw the combat! Elsewhere, the Yhetees manage to wound the Runelord but no other wounds are caused on either side. With that last round of combat, the game ended.
The result I don‟t think the result was going to be in doubt from mid-game onwards. Nonetheless we totted up the Victory Points and found that the Ogres had won by a margin of 1,393 to 312 – a solid victory. The Dwarfs had lost two units of Thunderers, a unit of Quarrellers, a unit of Slayers, a Grudge Thrower, a Cannon, an Organ Gun, a Gyrocopter and managed to bring the Runelord down to half wounds. The Ogres only lost a Butcher (still fleeing!), the Gnoblar trappers and half of a unit of Bulls but managed to have two table quarters.
Conclusions What an amazing battle. The Dwarfs couldn‟t shoot for toffee in the opening three turns and by then it was too late to do anything about it. With the Organ Gun misfiring, the Gorger entered the table and tied up the Runelord for the remainder of the battle. While the Dwarf deployment looked flawed, it‟s important to bear in mind that as the units were dropped, it didn‟t seem unreasonable to set up as he did. However, by leaving his most important units until last and piling up on one flank the Ogres minimised any shooting targets. Again, if the Anvil had successfully used Wrath and Ruin,
there is every chance he could‟ve held up the entire flank. Perhaps using Ancient Power was unnecessary though. Finally, once the danger on the right flank became tangible, the Dwarfs should‟ve reformed into two ranks and angled themselves to prevent the very favourable overruns that occurred.
It‟s hard to fault much of Jarvis‟ game plan. He executed his strategy perfectly but could possibly have nicked a third table quarter if the Gnoblars had been used more aggressively after they disposed of the Gyrocopter. Other than that, the Ogres had a touch of fortune at times – but then again, the Runelord was only a ward save away from being Killing Blow-ed by the Gorger…
As is always the case with Warhammer, there were moments that will remain in the memory. The Gorger coming on and coming within a hair‟s breadth of toppling the Runelord certainly counts high. Or how about the Gnoblars shooting down a Gyrocopter with sods of earth? Or maybe the appalling misfires that plagued the Dwarf lines in the early part of the game? Or possibly the Anvil Guards and Runelord standing up to eight rounds of combat involving three Yhetees, three Bulls and a Gorger?
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It was a smashing game. I only hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed reporting on it and the players enjoyed playing it!
UPLINK 1. Getting people to turn up.
WH40k tournament rules packs Servitor Jimmy Murphy
This was intended to be a bit of a longwinded and possibly preachy article on what goes into a good tournament rules pack.I could go on for hours about balance, things to be sure to put in, things to be sure to leave out (anything that will get hit with the GW IP hammer) But I decided not to do that. The main reason being you can do what I did when I started out and plagerise your heart out. I’m well into my 2nd decade of the Irish tournament scene. I went to Warpcon when it was still in nappies. In all those years there have been very few occasions where a tournament pack fails horribly. The reason is pretty simple, we’re gamers we make this stuff up as we go if we have to. If you can keep a straight face you can run a tournament with or without a rules pack. So I decided this article would be about convincing the tournament organizers that the Tournament pack is worthy of a bit of prep work. Not a “how to” but a “why to”.
This is first cause it’s the most important. Tournaments are not a question of “if you run it they will come”. If you want to get people to commit to attending a tournament you have to convince them that you will run it well. Having a tournament pack available a few months in advance shows a basic level of competence 2. Making sure people understand the tournament style. The contents of the pack should give people an idea of exactly what kind of tournament it will be. GT- The only scores are for winning. Gamers like cheese with their whine. Hobby- The scoring includes scores outside those gained by crushing your opponents. OTHER- Apoc battles, Non competitive games days, narrative campaign, Craphammer, etc. There are LOTS of ways to organize a day or weekend of gaming. 3. Minimising the inevitable “comments” There will be something that someone does not like. I suggest growing a skin thicker than rhino hide and listening without taking
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the criticism personally and if it’s valid then, fix that sucker 4. It’s actually pretty easy Don’t believe me? Send me an email (themurphyfella at gmail.com) and I’ll send you the rules packs for warpcon. If you want to talk to some of the top 40K or FB tournament organizers in Ireland come along to the Forum http://www.whfb-ireland.org/forum/ Ask some questions there and you will get idea’s suggestions and examples of stuff that works from people who have been doing this for longer than they really want to think about. You might even meet people who run tournaments that are not GW related ! Oh controversy. So that’s really it. The Warpcon rules pack for 2009 was used and updated by a number of conventions. Thanks To Tristam at Gaelcon I was able to roll a number of refinements into the rules pack for Warpcon 2010. Thanks to having the rules pack well sussed out WAC was also able to kick off the idea of having a tournament specific FAQ included in the tournament pack. I’m looking forward to seeing how that fares over the next year
Artwork by Harry Cullen
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Campaigns Part 2: A Fantasy Battle Odyssey Scribe Michael Foreman
Almost all players, at one stage or another, consider the idea of a campaign for their gaming group. A campaign has a lot of merits, not least the chance to try out different unit combinations and builds that aren’t normally viable, but also to have a structured, guaranteed game every week. It can also serve as an introduction to the game for many new players. In this issue, I will be talking about escalation campaigns, and their relative benefits. Escalation campaigns: Escalation campaigns, with a well defined and above all simple rule set, can be some of the most fun to be had in Warhammer. They can also act as an incentive fxor players to buy, build and paint new models for their armies. There are two major routes to an effective escalation campaign: Rules Light, or the old Path to Glory rules.
Rules Light:In a rules light campaign, you want to avoid adding any extra rules, both to save time and to save your sanity. What this means is avoiding any additional rules that deal with character progression etc – they are *very* difficult to get right, and badly written rules can turn what should be an enjoyable campaign into a deathtrap for the hobby. When designing the escalation campaign, you must ask yourself 4 major questions: What is the purpose of the campaign? You must decide before the campaign starts – do you want to introduce new players to the hobby? Do you want to encourage old players to finish their armies? These two aims are not necessarily mutually exclusive, depending on how the campaign is run and the thought process of the other players. A campaign that is at a low points value for a long time and has many battles encourages newer players and gives them experience in the use of their armies and in the effective tactics to use, whereas a campaign that start low but ramps up to full tournament standard within 6 – 8 weeks is more useful for the veterans, encouraging them to finish their armies on time for that big tournament you just *know* they want to go to.
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How big do you want it? A good size is between 4 and 6 players. More than this is too time consuming and awkward to organize. Note, As the CO, you would tend to want to avoid playing in the campaign as a going concern – this can lead to complex situations, and is often easier to avoid than to encourage. Try to avoid more than one or two of one army, as this limits the opponents players will face and makes the campaign slightly boring in the long run. What size do you want to start at? A good points value to start at is 500 points, with a maximum of 1 character. This encourages players to generate the core of a full army, and allows them to get a firm grounding in the tactics etc necessary. If all the players are veterans, a starting value of 750 – 1000 points might be a good idea, but this puts more pressure on the players to get everything built and painted faster. How fast do you want it to progress, and when does it end? How fast you want the campaign is entirely dependent on the skill levels of the players, their funds, and how eager and willing they are to increase the army. One thing that is essential is a definite end point. In reality, the longest your campaign should ever be is 8 weeks – more than this and players and COs get burnt out. A good
UPLINK speed is an increase in army points value of about 250 – 300 points every 2 or 3 weeks, with the aim to have a 2000 or 2250 point army fully built and painted by the end of the campaign. With escalation campaigns, the focus tends to be more on encouraging players to get their armies completed, as opposed to an all out slaughter fest to determine who is winner. A good way to run the campaign is to use the scenarios detailed in the last issue, or your own variants on them, with a simple 1VP per win system, and a round robin of opponents, with the overall winner being the player with the highest VPs. If you have a high number of new players, make sure to include at least 40% pitched battles, as this gives the most experience in different tactics that can be used, especially with a variety of opponents. However you decide to run the campaign, it is essential that you get all the rules about progression, scenarios, and scoring down on paper (or via email) and that all the players read and understand them. A simple 2 page document is perfect – state the length of the campaign, how fast it advances, who the players (and their armies) are, and when the campaign ends.
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Path to Glory:
The chaos warband campaign scenario known as Path to Glory designed originally for White Dwarf back in and around issue WD283, and was expanded upon unofficially by GW Canada and GW Australia in 2004 – 2005.
Linked to above are the following fanmade files:
The path to glory rules were an alternate take on escalation campaigns, aimed more towards casual gamers and folks who had complete armies already who were looking for something to do that wasn’t the same run of the mill pitched battle scenarios. They feature a much smaller scale escalation campaign, with potential to be much longer lasting. One of the major features of the warbands rules is that they have strong internal balance, which allows long term campaign growth within them. The rules are simple enough that anyone can pick them up, and detailed enough that advancement and inter warband battles are easy to organize and play. Unfortunately, GW has since removed the files for this system from their website, although they are still available in vintage copies of WD and as a pdf floating around the internet. Note: no rights are claimed or inferred on behalf of myself or the Uplink ezine – all rights remain with Games Workshop with respect to the files linked to.
Army specific rules for the following: o Beasts of Chaos (old armybook) o Dwarves o High Elves o Empire o Wood Elves o Warriors of Chaos o Skaven o Tomb Kings o Dark Elves o Lizardmen o Brettonians
The warband lists for Daemons, Orcs and Goblins and Vampire Counts are currently lost to the aether. Over the next 2 issues, I will create lists in line with the current files. They will be included in the ezine, and will be available as a separate download at the above link. Next issue, I will have the first of the path to glory updates, and also I will begin the discussion of that fabled beast known as Story Campaigns.
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The Joys of the big game: A few suggestions for Apocalypse 40K Servitor Paul Quigley
At the heart of it despite how much we as wargamers might go on about tactics, strategy and statistics we are all just big kids. I have seen the most stringent proponents of Math Hammer drool over a lovingly painted miniature or a really nicely laid out game board. But one thing that suckers people over almost everything else is the idea of really really big battles and for those 40k players amongst us that means one thing
APOCALYPSE!!! Why Apocalypse? Now of course one might jump on the fact that this type of game is merely a money spinner for the evil empire that is GW. Iâ€™d be inclined to agree if one were talking about enticing the youth of today into playing Apocalypse games, but I donâ€™t actually believe this is the case. It seems to me that huge sized games are there for veterans, idiots like myself who over the years have accumulated more models than theyâ€™d normally ever use. Thousand of points sit gathering dust in cupboards waiting for the day that the normally uncompetitive unit might see light of day and actual use because this one is just for fun after all. This leads me on to another huge benefit of an Apocalypse game, with all the tournaments
Eldar forces ready to deploy sprouting like daisies in the current environment its nice to have a game set up with the express purpose of simply using lots and lots of stuff in a really cool and cinematic setup. Hundreds of Orks storming a Guard gun line, dozens of drop pods falling from the
sky, Warlord Titans stalking the battlefield raining death on the enemies of the Emperor...All of these are images synonymous with the 40k universe and Apocalypse as a system allows us mere mortals to accomplish this.
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One thing that I particularly enjoy about Apocalypse is that it allows you to use units that just aren’t allowed in games of 40k. Of particular note being things like fliers and the all important titans, the fact that there’s so much stuff on the table also tends to balance their effectiveness, Meaning that a few titans/super heavies/fliers is only going to enhance ones enjoyment of the game rather than ruining it for anyone.
How Apocalypse??? Now here’s the science bit, here are my 5 golden rules for running an Apocalypse game 1. Get a Ref: Now this maybe controversial but I am firm believer that a GM or ref is an excellent thing to have for an Apocalypse game. With all the weird and wonderful units and interacting rules being used there are bound to be some weird rules queries. They can also aid in the accomplishment of all the below points 2. Have a scenario: Now of course we could merely turn up, put down our objective markers and have what amounts to a giant size regular game of 40k. But with the introduction of some rules tweaks and some special objectives or rules your simple game of capture point A or B, could turn into a highly charged and exciting rescue op for an Imperial agent or some such. Once again it doesn’t have to be too complicated but it really does have an impact. The ref can also be invaluable in aiding in the writing of the scenario and making sure that everything is balanced
The Assault on the Emperors Palace 3. Terrain is key: If one is to put a load of lovingly painted and converted models on the table they better have something nice to play on, good terrain adds a whole new dynamic for cinematic play and lets the players really get into the game they are playing. There’s nothing quite like a Tyranid Horde assaulting a well dug in Imperial Fortress, so take that little extra time to set up your battlefield with the best stuff you have available. Even better if in
line with the scenario you’ve built some special terrain like a command bunker or something. Oh and if in doubt, let the ref set the terrain up (they’ll be there to make it look cool, not provide in game advantage) 4. Don’t go overboard: what I mean in this case is player numbers, if you have too many people involved you tend to get a screaming shouting mess where nobody knows who’s shooting what, where the
UPLINK objectives are or worst case scenario “what happened all the troops I had here”...”what do you mean they all died”. The most I would go for is three per side. This makes the game still huge, but manageable with everyone having an eye on the grand strategy of the game, what the plan is for their side and how they might execute 5. The absolute mantra of Apocalypse, planning is everything: Above all else Apocalypse games should be heavily planned in advance. The forces sizes to be used, the terrain to be played on, the teams of players and the scenario itself should all be discussed in detail beforehand. This may seem like a lot of work but when its done correctly it leads to some really brilliant rewarding games of 40k so its best not to scrimp on it Anyway folks that all from me, I highly suggest giving it a go...and to perhaps whet your appetite here’s a whack of photos from some of the Apocalypse games days the DGG have run in the last few years. Until next month
Tyranid Bio-Titan Spearheads the assault on the Space Marine Lines
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Imperial Armoured Might!!
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Orks attempt to force a river crossing against Imperial Forces
Titans Storm the Flanks Tyranids attempt to infiltrate Tau fortifications
Winning Before the Game Has Started: Some Tips on Competitive 40k Army Construction Scribe Mike “Cheddar” Brown
Well more accurately: Avoiding losing before the game has started. As a fairly successful competitive 40k player, I’m often asked to look over peoples army lists and tweak then for an upcoming tournament. Over the years I’ve began to realise there are a few rock solid rules that I’ve used again and again. So here they are for the wider community to digest, roughly in order of importance.
1) Boys before Toys You may have heard of this before, , but I can't stress how important it is. You should be very wary of taking any upgrades that don't significantly improve the survivability or damage output of a unit. Obviously this isn’t a hard and fast rule as some upgrades are so good they are almost mandatory: A pain boy in a nob mob or cheap special weapons on a grey hunter squad. This is definitely the most important rule. So many times I’ve seen people with armies bristling with upgrades and special characters but simply not having the numbers or killing power to win games.
Say I’ve got an army with two hydras with camo netting and extra armour. For only 5 points more I could replace the upgrades for another hydra. As a squadron, the loss of extra armour is not a big deal. 3 Hydras without Camo is going to be at least as hard to kill as 2 with it, and you’ve got 50% more fire power.
2) Kill the Big Ones As a general rule I try to avoid having more than 1 unit in an army that doesn't have a respectable anti-amour threat (i.e more than just a few Krak grenades). Two main reasons for this: 1) Mechanised armies are everywhere, 2) You can kill a guardsman with a lascannon but you can't kill a landraider with a bolter. So generally anti-armour weapons are more versatile than anti-infantry. For units that rely on close combat to get tanks they better be able to catch them too! I only really break this rule if a unit is very cheap (about 60 points or less), extremely effective at killing of infantry at range and/or it is of real strategic importance.
Example: My current 1500pt Guard list has 4 units that I consider to not have a significant anti-armour threat. 2 of these are chimeras; they are cheap and have some anti armour (Multi-laser). Another one is a cheap 4 flamer company
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command unit, they are cheap and of strategic importance (makes a vendetta scoring). Finally a Plasma Death Tank (Executioner with plasma sponsons), I consider it a poor anti armour unit (5 Str 7 shots is not good for over 200 points) but it is extremely effective at killing all infantry from terminators to big boys units.
3) Target Saturation: This is very army dependant, i.e. some armies can pull it off while others do better to ignore it. The basic idea is to make sure a large part of your army is only vulnerable to a certain type of weapon. If everything is in a transport then who cares how many bolters the other guy has. Conversely if your army is all guardsmen who cares how may lascannons the other guy has. Ideally all your army should be vulnerable to exactly the same type of weapons, as this will limit your opponents weapon effectiveness even further.
Example: Say your opponent will be shooting 2 Lascannons, 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Heavy Bolters at you. If you have a mix of various armour and infantry he’ll be able to use all these weapons to maximum effect (Melta against high AV, Missiles against low AV and Heavy Bolters against infantry). If your army is all mounted in rhinos and land raiders, the other guys heavy bolters are going to have a minimal
effect, reducing his firepower by almost a third. To take it further if your army is all in Battle Wagons (facing forward), you can ignore the heavy bolters and the Missile Launchers will have a minimal effect, reducing his fire power by almost two thirds.
4) Scoring Units This is an idea that lots of people struggle with, how many is enough! The simple answer is it depends. The big considerations are a) how good are you troops choices (for most armies, not that great compared to other units) b) how likely are them to survive the game (this depends not only on how hard they are to kill, but also how aggressively you play them, i.e. a Grentchin unit in reserves survive more than Nob Bikers that spend the entire game tearing into the other guy. As a general rule (in armies with sub optimum troops) I aim to have 2 units of troops alive at the end of the game. Naturally if you have a lot of solid troop choices this isn’t much of a problem (new Space Wolves are a prime example of this).
there mainly to claim objectives (sometimes only 5 storm troopers in reserve), giving me 2 units left at the end of the game (hopefully!).
5) Kill Points Once again: how many is too many? I don't think you can set a number of this. The important factor is not how many kill points you have, but how hard they are to get. I usually allow myself 1 or 2 units that are easy kill points, but only if they excel in some other way, i.e. a 4 melta command unit in a Valkyrie, the other guy is going to kill them, but they can reliably pop almost any problem vehicle turn 1.
Example: 10 guardsmen in a chimera is 2 kill points for a little over 100 points, but most of the time you have to crack AV12 to get at either. For similar points you get a small unit of genestealers, only one kill point, but much easier to get. So I’d think twice about including multiple small units of stealers, but wouldn’t really worry about having a few units of guardsmen in Chimeras.
Example: My sisters tend to have 3 units of troops. The two units in rhinos I use reasonably aggressively but they are quite survivable (10 sisters in power armour), so I reckon 1 will have some models from one of the units left at the end of the game. The 3rd is
6) Avoid Copying Armies This might initially seem like a strange one, but bear with me. If there is a good army that lots of people do well with, why not play exactly the same army? The first reason is that just because people do well with it, that doesn’t make it a
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good army. For example a few years back Iron Warriors were known to be a good army and looking at the results of events there was often 1-2 Iron Warriors in the top ten. However, at most of those events about 30% of the players where using near identical Iron Warrior lists, so the fact that only 1-2 where in the top ten was actually quite poor. Secondly, everyone will think of the most common “power builds” when making their armies. Currently I always consider how I’m going to beat Seer Council Eldar, Wagon Heavy Orks, Lash Prince Chaos, Vulkan Marines and Crusher Heavy Demons.
Example: At last years UK GT lots of people where using cookie cutter chaos (2 lash princes, 8-9 obliterators and plague marines). However the guy that won the final used the strong units, but added a little variety to throw people a bit and deal with some of the other common builds. He replaced one unit of oblits and some plague marines with a unit of Bezerkers in a Land Raider. In this way he made a list with lots of the strengths of the original list, but enough change to worry armies that where built to beat it.
The Spam Test
Not really much a rule, more a tool I use when assessing a unit I'm not sure of. You simply think of a 1500 point army made purely of the unit (ignoring the Force Org chart), if the thought of facing this army scares the hell out of me, then it’s a good unit. Not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a nice tool.
Example: 10 Dark Eldar with 2 dark lances comes in at 100 points. So think of an army of 15 of these units. 30 BS4 dark lances on 150 infantry: damn scary, thus a good unit. On the other side of it 10 Space Marines with a lascannon, flamer and power fist comes to about 200 points. So you'd get about 7 in 1500 points. Sure you'd have 70 marines, but only 7 lascannon as ranged fire power and no way to get up close quickly. Most armies would shrug them off; therefore it’s not a particularly strong unit.
That’s it for now. Any thoughts/comments feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Vampire Counts Scribe Malcolm "Prince Fabulas" Cooney
and Dark Elves. To say I came back to a changed landscape would be a serious understatement. Anyway back to the task at hand.
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encountering VC. I faced this list in a tournament recently and had a real nightmare. I am not entirely sure that the list is correct but barring a magic item or two it is pretty accurate.
I rooted around and found a list that I thought illustrated well the problems faced when Although not as feared as Daemons it has to be said most of us have had a bad day or two at the hands of the Vampire Counts. The first game I played against the current edition of VC was after almost a year out of the game (Warhammer and study don't mix too well in my experience). The guy had 13 power dice and three bound spells. A battalion box quite literally full of skeletons many of which made it onto the table. I asked him to see his book several times during the game as I couldn't believe he was not making up the rules "Your Vampire has six power-dice plus two from the pool and +2 to cast? He casts the spell on a 3+? You can raise back the blood knights two at a time with the cart? Can I just have a look at that book? Oh feck he is not making this up." Having realised early in the game I was in deep trouble I managed to eke out a draw. I was very pleased with myself at the time. In the bar that night as I congratulated myself while replaying the game in my head I realised I had not played so well at all and had had significant chances to win. Which I had totally overlooked in my mad scramble for survival. Interestingly in the year I took off from warhammer three books came out. Daemons, VC
Vampire Lord Lv4, Master of the Black Arts, Dark Acolyte, Lord of the Dead, Skull Staff, Dispel Scroll Vampire BSB, Spectral Form Vampire, Dark Acolyte, Summon Creatures of the Night, Book of Arkhan, Talisman of Lycni, Biting Blade
445 175 200
21 Zombies, Musician 12 Ghouls 10 Skeletons, Full Command 5 Dire Wolves Spirit Host 3 Bases 3 Fell Bats
84 96 100 40 195 60
4 Wraiths includes 1 Banshee 5 Blood Knights, Banner of Blood Keep and Musician Total
225 380 2000
UPLINK I sat down after the game and had a good think about where it all went wrong. This helped to clarify things in my head and I now am very confident when facing VC. Okay so what's so bad about this list? Overwhelming Magic Eleven power dice and a bound spell are bad enough. When you take into account the +1 to cast from the staff and the additional +1 when raising skeletons, bats or wolves you have a much worse problem. The fact that invocation of Nehek can be cast two out three times with one die you obviously cannot hope to stop this magic phase. So what do you do? Save your dice and scrolls to make sure you stop the crucial spells. The nastiest spell in the vampire's arsenal is Van Hel's Danse Macabre. Any movement spell is nasty enough but the fact this spell allows newly raised units of zombies to move into your flanks or rear means it must be stopped at all costs. The above army has the bound power level 3 spell from the book of Arkhan. He may also roll the spell for one or more of his vampires. I would put aside two dice to stop the bound spell. Although one die will most likely succeed in stopping the spell you will be kicking yourself if you roll a 1 or 2. It has happened to me once or twice before. Forget the one in three chance of failure. I will take the thirty-six to one given by two dice any day.
Next prioritize the other Van Hel's keep three dice or a scroll for each. If he rolls high use a scroll. Don't risk trying to beat a high score by rolling a higher score. If you let luck take you for a ride it will take you up and down all over the place. The best thing to do is minimise the effect of luck as much as possible. It can be good to resort to gambling when the game is slipping away. But that is a discussion for another day. It goes without saying only use the scroll if the movement is getting off a charge you cannot afford to flee from. If he is moving an isolated unit 8" forward let it go. Of course there will be exceptions when other spells need to be stopped. I think these imminently dangerous situations should be relatively obvious. To help myself in combating any enemy magic phase I write down beside each opposing wizard. Their spells including rang and casting value. A quick glance will reveal how many spells are in range &c at any given time. Many people say that you should try to stop the vampires raising additional troops in existing units. I think this may have been a viable option with the last edition of the vampire counts book. Not any more. It takes two dice to reliably stop a one die casting roll of 3+ (especially if he has a +1 or +2 modifier) and the vampire player will nearly always have more dice than you. The final thing I will say about this is if you are lucky to have a spelleater rune or spellbreaker daemonic gift or similar item. Attempt to take
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Nehek from the main vampire. If you make it the VC magic phase is pretty much in the toilet for the rest of the game. Wraiths & Spirit Host These are a real problem. When the VC book first came out we used to see much less of these and many more Varghulfs. Over time people have begun to switch more and more to wraiths. At the ETC this year I can't remember a single Varghulf while nearly every VC player had wraiths. Because wraiths are ethereal they can only be harmed by magic weapons or combat resolution. In theory hurting them seems reasonably easy. They are T3 with two wounds each. Magic missiles of any kind will really hurt them. However due to being ethereal they can move through terrain and thus easily remain hidden. If you do have magic weapons make sure you keep them or at least one in a position to deal with or at least threaten the Wraiths. Each Wraith has three S5 attacks. This makes it very hard to reasonably rely on combat resolution to deal with them. A five strong unit of wraiths can dish out 15 S5 attacks. This can really ruin your day. The Banshee scream is another serious headache. There is not too much you can do to stop it. The damage caused can be limited by keeping small or low leadership units away from the Banshee. Killing her will often only bring temporary
UPLINK respite as she will be the first to be raised back to the unit in magic phases subsequent to her 'death'.
The spirit host can break ranks and allow another point of attack where you need magic to stop them. When the Wraiths attack on one flank and the Spirit hosts attack on the other you have a real problem. They can however often be stopped unit with high static combat resolution such as a fully ranked unit with banner as they lack the high strength attacks of the wraiths.
Placement of the general is important here as many problem will probably come from leadership tests. Keep vulnerable unit near to the general. Do not bunch all your shooters or artillery together where a single breakthrough can run them all over. Spread them out and don't be afraid to use the base line for long range artillery. Put fast stuff on the flanks and attempt to encircle the VC. Make sure you have a solid force ready to face the main VC onslaught.
Don't be fooled into thinking these can be easily lead astray due to Frenzy They will nearly always be shielded by bats or wolves preventing them from charging. When they do charge they cause horrendous damage. While frenzied they each deliver three S7 WS 5 attacks per knight and two S4 WS3 attacks per mount. That's nearly the same hitting power as a mounted vampire armed with a lance per rider.
I have often heard it said that there is no point in shooting VC as they just come back to life. There is a lot of truth in this but there is a lot to be gained from shooting the VC in a focussed way. Target units which don't have many wounds. This gives you the chance to kill them outright. In the army above the Blood Knights seem like a good choice. The small dire wolf unit or the bats would also make viable targets.
Usually in a VC army there are units which the VC player wishes to increase far above starting size. I call these 'Raising units' for blatantly obvious reasons. In the above army these are the bats and the skeletons. It is usually obvious when a VC army goes on the table which units he intends to use as his raising units. If he places down three units of skeleton you can bet he has the Lord of the dead power and intends to increase the size of his skeleton units.
You may be surprised to hear that these are counted as infantry. They are therefore raised D6 at a time. With the summon undead creatures power they can quickly be raised to prodigious size. They can then easily fly behind your lines, target artillery or shooters or worst of all tie-up powerful units that can then be charged by Knights, Wraiths or raised blocks.
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If you get the first go and have a lot of shooting and/or magic it may be possible to totally or nearly wipe out one of these units. If you can succeed in doing this you will have greatly reduced the effectiveness of his raising. Once the units have been raised to about twenty strong forget about shooting them and concentrate on the big hitters. Knights or units that are difficult to raise, such as wolves. Varghulfs, the black coach are also good targets. The VC player can bring these wounds back but at a considerable cost to his magic phase. Magic If at all possible target the wraiths with magic missiles or similar direct damage spells. Damage to them is hard to repair and significantly reduces their effectiveness. After these you should target high value units that are hard to raise back such as knights. Of course if you get a chance to totally wipe out a unit or even set up a chance to wipe it out for your shooters you should go for it. If you are using High Elves try to get off Drain Magic this will seriously nerf the VC magic phase and one die casting is certainly out the window. Combat Although many of the VC troops are decidedly below average in combat do not take them lightly. Their object is to hold you in place until you are
UPLINK charged by their heavy hitters or to flank you with while you struggle to break free from endlessly regenerating enemies. If you are outnumbered by these fear causing troops and are not immune to the effects of fear you will auto-break needing an insane courage roll to survive. It always a good idea to try to outnumber the VC before entering the combat. It is also a good idea to have at least part of your immune to psychology against any foe. It strongly reduces the effect of bad luck. Sometimes you do make your own luck when you write your army list. If you are about to enter combat with the VC you must think ahead more so than usual. A combat can seem obviously winnable before a VC magic phase raises back your foe to above full strength. As the VC are highly reliant on static combat resolution outflanking them and negating their ranks can see them quickly collapse. Whereas attacking from the front will often see little success as the are constantly re-raised. Try to co-ordinate attacks to set-up flank and rear charges. Movement Despite some fast units and movement spells the VC are by and large a slow army. This compounded by the fact that they can only march if within 12" of the general or 6" of another vampire. This means the VC army tends to stick together. Use this to your advantage by sending fast units around the flanks of the VC army. This can really rain on his parade as
he can be forced to fight on a number of fronts. I may even force him to move sideways or backwards. Killing the General Many people will tell you to simply kill the VC general causing his whole army to crumble. This sounds great in practice it is very hard to achieve. If the VC player wants to keep his general safe it is very hard to get to him. You usually need someone super hard to take him out reliably and risk losing that character if you send him into the middle of the VC army. Even a Bloodthirster or Dragon rider can easily become stuck fighting hordes of Zombies and succumb to overwhelming combat resolution. I have found in practice the general becomes vulnerable when the VC army starts to break down not before then. Again Thanks for taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing your views and hope you can get a hold of the next article: Dark Elves.
Malcolm "Prince Fabulas" Cooney can be contacted through: WHFB-Ireland.org
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Around the Clubs
Listed here are some of the clubs in Ireland that wargame. If your club is not listed here please email the editor at: email@example.com with your club's contact details and a brief description of the club's activities.
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The North Wexford Gamers
The North Wexford Gamers are a group of gamers with a passion for Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40k. Weâ€™re a social bunch who can often be found playing at other clubs and we focus more on the fun element than winning at all costs.
The Warheads are a club dedicated to tournament gaming in Ireland and frequently play Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Blood Bowl and Necromunda in Gamer's World in Dublin City Centre.
We believe that gaming is a rewarding and challenging hobby, but one that is to be enjoyed with others.
We can be found on our website â€“
www.northwexfordgamers.org which includes our forum and our famous podcast, or contacted through e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
NUI Maynooth Games Society The NUI Maynooth Games Society base most of their games during the week for the majority of the college year in the John Hume building on campus. They host an annual games convention around November every year called Dominicon and play a variety of games within the society such as wargaming, roleplaying, card games etc. email@example.com
The Northern Wasters The Northern Wasters club has been running for 10 years. The club is mainly Internet based with the players meeting up to attend and run tournaments. Many of the players are based in Northern Ireland, but there are also Wasters in the rest of the UK, Ireland and The Netherlands. Ballymena is the Wasters' spiritual home, and a group of around 25 players meet up there every other Sunday. Warhammer Fantasy Battle is the most popular system at the minute, but you can also usually find games of Warhammer 40K, Bloodbowl and Space Hulk being played. On the non-GW front several Wasters are starting to play Flames of War and Hordes/War Machine. You can contact the Wasters on their forum (forum.northernwasters.com) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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WAC- Wargames Association Cork
The Underground Gamers
Drogs of War
A bunch of wargamers who play just about anything put out by GW. There are even a few people who are interested in playing warmachine. Co-located (i.e. sponging space off the UCC WARPS club) so there are role players, car gamers and board gamers closely associated with the club. Location Currently Elec eng building in U.C.C Time/Date Thursdays - 6:30 (ish) to 10:30 (ish)
The Underground Gamers is a war games club based in Gamers World on Jervis Street in Dublin's city centre. The club formed in 2004 and is dedicated to offering players a relaxed environment where they can play a large variety of war games, board games and roleplay games.
The Drogs of War have been around for about nine years now. Initially it was started as an alternative youth club for people living in the Drogheda area but has developed since then into an established gaming club with an established core of about forty gamers in two main groups - juniors (up to sixteen years old) and seniors.
Games played - just about anything. 40K, FB most popular contact info Drop me an email themurphyfella @ Gmail.com
Warhammer Fantasy Battle is a staple of the club with practically every member playing at least one army, but other systems are well represented. Warmachine, Hordes, Blood Bowl, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Flames of War are all frequently played. In fact there are very few games we donâ€™t play!
We have a policy of developing younger players and we tend to avoid overly competitive play with these gamers. We try to encourage important things like learning how to play the game correctly; painting, assembling and modelling; and the social side of things.
Yahoo group - WACork http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WACork/?yguid=11 890703
We pride ourselves on being both competitive and friendly. Our members perform well in both the gaming and painting competitions in the Irish and International tournament scenes. Recent highlights include club members winning the first two Irish ranking WHFB tournaments in 2009 and scooping painting awards at each. We have strong links with all of the major clubs in the country and actively try to foster a fun, but competitive atmosphere in any tournament we play in. We are looking forward to our own club tournament in 2010 which will involve an ETC-style team event. You can contact the Underground Gamers by joining our email list at http://groups.google.com/group/undergroundgamers , or by asking about us in Gamers World.
The club plays most games such as: Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000, Warmachine & Hordes, Battle Fleet Gothic, Blood Bowl, GorkaMorka, RPGs and tonnes of board games. The atmosphere is very friendly and you will usually be able to arrange any type of game with members. Our general attitude of gaming is quite easy going, most members are casual gamers who enjoy friendly and non-competitive games. Finally we use the modern church hall of the local Church of Ireland which is a wonderful facility with all the mod cons. We can comfortably set up 14 tables if needs be and we even have our own graveyard! Our junior section plays from 2-6pm and our seniors from 6-10pm. We can be contacted at:www.droghedagamers.com
Submissions should be sent to : email@example.com Any kind of submission is welcome, stories, art pieces, pictures of your army, opinion pieces, tactica articles, although there is no guarantee that your piece will be included in any article and this article may be edited to fit the format of the Uplink.
For more info go to http://whfbireland.org/forum/index.php
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