AKA Speedpainting to Mediocrity
This Colonial I was determined to field something other than my “old reliable” wood elves. I’ve had the WE
since 1999, and they’ve always been a wrecking crew, though 7th ed and the current book have (believe it or not) actually toned DOWN their success level based on the way I play them. I also have a chaos army that’s been sitting on the back burner for a few years, and I’ve had lots of newer models sitting in boxes, and I finally determined to get them revamped and ready for the Colonial.
I love my Slaaneshi mortals, but my old list was full of old ugly plastic warriors, and I hadn’t done any building or painting on my newer models this spring. All my time was eaten by Adepticon preparations, which unfortunately involved a bunch of painting and modeling for 40k
which was not helpful here. Still, I was determined to make it work. My wood elves are a bit of a grab bag of old models and painting styles, and a lot of people just dislike them in general, despite my high proportion of elves as opposed to trees, and my propensity to charge on turn 2. I figured chaos gave me a good chance of achieving three objectives: 1)Better painting scores, 2) Better comp/sports from opponents happy to be getting more of a straight-up fight, 3) A nice change of pace for me in terms of play style.
The week after Adepticon was a 65+ hr
work week. We’re short supervisors at my office, and in medical evacuation and repatriation services I don’t get to go home until my work’s done. I was also still recovering from Adepticon itself, an amazing but exhausting gaming experience. So I didn’t really get to work on my army until the Sunday before the event, my first day off.
Primed /assembled /pinned a bunch of stuff- knights, marauder cav, tuskgor chariot, beastmen.
More priming/assembly/basing. Built movement trays for my cavalry, and sawed a wooden chariot base for my warrior chariot, which was old enough that it didn’t come with one. Started adding extra texture (old ones were just goblin green + plain green flock) to all movement trays. Rebased a bunch of old metal Chaos Hounds I already had painted (now Warhounds), and painted my unit of 6 Chosen Knights of Slaanesh from scratch. I was so happy with how they came out, that I decided to re-prime my Chaos Warrior Chariot (as if I didn’t have enough to do) and old plastic/metal Chaos Knights because their old paint job sucked.
Worked only 8-9 hours, got home, and painted 20 beastmen (two herds), a bray shaman, the tuskgor chariot and my second chaos spawn. I experimented with a mixture of drybrushing and using Minwax water-based wood polish, and they came out great. Very happy with today’s progress.
Worked around 13 hours, and was too exhausted to paint much. Got a little work done basing, built and primed my exalted champion on steed of slaanesh, with a rare earth magnet installed for his back banner. Started repainting my old unit of chaos knights and chariot. I also double-checked my math and realized my list was 9pts over. I had the Exalted with Berserker sword listed as only 212pts, when he should have been 222. I rejiggered things, giving him the Sword of Might and Enchanted Shield (not nearly as good), and printed my lists.
Worked about 12 hours, stopped by the gaming store to pick up some more paint and a foam army transport tray, and a model for my exalted on foot in case he got shot off his boobsnake. Drove down to Boston to Silas7’s place, whence our carload of Lost Legionnaires would be departing in the morning for New Jersey. Painted all evening and all night. Got a bunch more work done on my old knights, L4 on chaos steed, and warrior chariot. With Silas 7 helping with basecoating, and with the aid of Minwax, painted all 10 marauder cavalry. Used the wood polish on my old metal marauders on foot as well to add some more shading and to match their skin tones better to the cavalry. Hand painted banners for my two beast herds. Built and primed the foot model for my Exalted. Finished resanding all the unfinished bases in my army and inking the sand to darken it. Stayed up until 5am working.
Got up at 8:30am, organized my stuff, and did a little more touchup work. Packed and we left around 11:30am. Arrived around 4:30, schmoozed, got a couple of beers and dinner, and planned to get more painting done, but the time flew by and I found out that our club challenge with the warmongers was scheduled for 7! Got my army down to the hall and assembled on the base. Faced off with Dave Hohmann’s Khorne DL
in the challenge. I initially thought I had a chance, but some poor dice combined with me making a couple of critical tactical errors in the first turn based off thinking Bloodcrushers were M6 instead of M7 resulted in me getting tabled. Still, Dave was a pleasure to play and I got pleasantly smashed.
A hard loss, and with 4 beers and 3 shots of Rakia in me, I headed back up to the room to paint.
Drunk, I painted my Exalted on SoS
and his foot model from scratch. I (mostly) finished my L4, chariot, and old knight unit, but not really much above 3 colors, which hurt my painting scores, alas. I also drybrushed all the unfinished bases in the army (most of them) with a second color. And (carefully) glued my converted flail heads onto the weapon shafts of the marauder cav. Got to bed around 2:30am.
Painting as done as it was going to be, I got up early, ate a big breakfast, and got ready to game.
Army list is here:
Aside from the spanking I got the night before, I had not played any games at all with this army, so I was not anticipating great success. My goal was to go 3-2 or better, and I knew it would be a challenge, as I don’t have a ton of magic defense and the list is a bit susceptible to psychology. VC
would be hard fights, and I anticipated seeing a fair amount of them. Gunlines would also be tricky, though my list has a lot of speed and a ton of units. And Slaaneshi magic can be a gamebreaker if it works.
I’m just going to do quick summaries of the games. I’m not much of a battle report writer, and work has eaten most of my brain this week.
Ron Wisner, Vampire Counts. This was my first time facing the new VCs
. Ron’s list was an interesting variation; 4 blocks, 4 little units of wolves, 1 vargulf, and no real cavalry or ethereals. He also didn’t have a ton of casting dice. Still, the list brought the ranks, and it could summon and danse like a mofo.
I got first turn and immediately miscast with double 1s to blow up my L4’s head. So that’s 519pts to Ron, and me facing a VC
army with 3 dispel dice and two scrolls. Despite that, my speed managed to get Ron a bit on the back foot. I basically encircled his army to either front, and protected my objective-bearing units as they got into his backfield along the edges. Ron had to turn his blocks to face the flanks, which impaired his forward thrust, and he only wound up getting one objective-holding unit about a rank and half into my DZ at the end.
I had two lucky openings- on turn 2 Ron failed four consecutive Van Hels’ on two dice. And on turn 3 or 4 my Furies got to charge his Lord alone(!) in the rear (!) and did two wounds! Unfortunately his return attacks, despite not having a magic weapon, killed four furies, and I could not pop him. At the end Ron picked up the win, though not the massacre it could have been. 6pt Loss for me.
Victor Baginski, Ogre Kingdoms. Victor had a very nice Ogres list, with a couple of Gnoblar blocks, a Rhinox, and an overall good mix of units supporting the usual three butchers and tyrant. We rolled 24” vision distance, which was the maximum range of the longest-range thing either of us had.
Both of our magic worked pretty well this game, though I made better-than-average Panic tests on his Panic spells. With a lake and wood in the center were a little bottlenecked in the middle, which made a nice change of pace from the usual games with nothing in the middle. Again I put both of my knight units on the flanks to make a pincer. This was a very tactical game, with both sides having a ton of units so deployment was definitely its own sub-game, and maneuvering was paramount. Victor and I each had 15 deployment drops, which made this the only game of the tournament for which I got the +1 to go first. But I still lost the roll. Both sides took a bit of damage, and the game was great aside from a bit of discussion the middle about how Enemy in the Way is different from 6th ed Redirecting Charges. Victor was a great guy and didn’t take it personally, though. I got a huge lucky break right at the end with his general’s unit failing a Panic test on the last turn from a nearby friendly unit breaking. 17pt win for me.
Mike Wrighter, Da Goblin King! Mike rolled up to the table with a ton of goblins, a few orcs scattered through, a big icky giant and a few warmachines. He also sported a southern accent and a Red Sox cap, the latter of which allowed for some instant bonding.
This was another really great game. The nature of my army (craploads of units, most of them vulnerable to LD
) kind of forces me to spread out, to prevent units running through and panicking one another, and once again I was set up pretty much one table edge to the other. Mike, OTOH
, only took up about 2/3rds of the table, advancing with protected flanks, with the giant anchoring the far right, and looking for shots of opportunity with his 3 BTs
and doom diver.
I threw spells on two dice all game, hoping for the irrististible but instead miscasting three times. None too painful, though. The BTs
didn’t have a lot of luck, and my Chosen were taking the long way around the left flank, running off a unit of Goblin archers but not much else. For a while virtually no points were being scored. Then my Furies got into the backfield, taking out one warmachine and his BSB
. There was a very scary moment on turn 5 when the last surviving squig from his squig herd exploded, within range of about six (!) of my units, including my 6 furies and 8-10 model beast herd in the rear and front (respectively) of his general’s block. I lost 4 furies! But then my Warrior chariot (which had just broken the squigs) overran enough to hit the general’s block in the flank, and did a pile of impact hits. Between my three units I did 8-10 casualties, and his general didn’t do much in return. The general’s block broke, panicking one of his other blocks (with shaman in) through yet a third block, panicking them in turn. I ran down the general’s block, neither of the other two blocks rallied, and I had the big win. 20pts. Great opponent and game even if I hadn’t gotten lucky at the end.
I figured the damage was done with my painting scores, so got down to another wonderful Sushi meal at Nagoya with Chris and Jim of the Legion. Alligator Roll and Godzilla Roll for the win! I then got down to the real drinking again once I got back to the hall, and started searching for a pickup game, though the pickings were a little slim thanks to the character bash, poker tournament, and folks out at the strip club.
But I was pleased to be able to get a rematch against Ron and his VCs
. This time we both played a bit tighter of a game, knowing better what each other’s army was capable of. Things started out in my favor with his 18” move vampire with great weapon charging one of my spawn turn one, whiffing and being killed in return (two wounds, two saves on a 3+, two 2s) by my spawn. I got into combat in multiple places and started chewing on the blocks. My general lasted to get into a challenge against his general, then could NOT do sufficient wounds in combat, despite my S6 daemon sword. After my general and his unit of knights were run down, the game swung solidly into Ron’s favor, with almost all the damage I had inflicted got healed back. Big win to Ron. So I dropped two to Ron, but I felt better about that after he took 2nd Best General in the tourney.
Sunday morning I faced off against Naoufal Zaouk's Empire. Great list; good mix of fluff and strength. Once he gets the army assembled and finishes painting it, it will be a pleasure to play against.
I put two units of hounds and my chosen knights into reserve (the latter ready to come on behind him). The far left flank, where the two objective markers were, had most of the action. Both of his knight units and both pistoliers, supported by his walter and great cannon, facing off against my chosen, my chariots, my spawn and furies.
On turn 2 I managed a charge against his Great Cannon he didn’t see coming, and on turn 2 or 3 I also managed to crush his IC
knights, alas leaving his BSB
and a priest alive and moving around. Nof was not too psyched about his dice or the course of the game at this point, but he didn’t let it hurt his game much. My spawn and furies started working his backfield, but my magic stalled (three miscasts) and his second unit of knights and his Walter made a solid counterpunch. I flank charged the walter with my regular knights + general, but in two rounds of challenge he made all 7 4+ ward saves. Meanwhile his knights countercharged my flank, and though they couldn’t throw attacks (only in contact with my general), I lost the combat by 1, and broke on an 8. I thought going into the tournament that I would probably regret not having a BSB
, but this is where it really came true. Two good pursuit rolls later, Nof had scored 834pts. I battle back everywhere I can, but he pulls some clever delaying and redirection moves on my Chosen using his two lone characters on horseback who survived the earlier fight in my favor. My Chosen manage to get rid of one of them, and seize the objective in his zone. One of my dog units prevents Nof from getting his objective from my zone. They sat centered on it, so their 50mm bases kept him from contacting the objective when Nof charged them with the Walter. Even though he slaughtered them, he wasn’t touching the objective, and had to hope for a lucky low roll on the overrun. He rolled too high, and with the aid of the objective, I pulled out the draw. 11pts each.
Joy of joys, I get to play Dave Hohmann’s maxed-out Khorne DL
again. Dave’s a great guy, and still makes a pleasant game out of even a matchup like this, but he had upgunned his already tough list for this tournament. While I think I could have played a bit better (and maybe avoided one untimely Unruly roll), I’m not sure if this game was ever truly winnable. I briefly thought about playing for the draw, but said F it, and got down the business of trying to kill some Daemons. I did a better job re/misdirecting some of his units than I did Friday night, my chosen slammed through a unit of Bloodletters, and my general, exalted, and the other knights managed to take out one unit of Bloodcrushers. I also did some damage here and there with magic missiles from my Shaman. All that said though, between Dave’s two 170pt chariots, my Chosen got their asses kicked back to the Chaos Wastes, and the BT
ate my other knights and my exalted champ. Big win for Dave, though at least I didn’t get tabled this time. 5 pts.
– Right where I should be for my record. I think I would have done better if I had played some practice games, worked more on my list and crammed a BSB
in. Under this scoring system he’s just mandatory. It’s crazy not to take one.
- One downcheck, and one best sports vote – I was very happy with this, as I worried a little about a rules discussion in one game, and that I might have showed a little too much frustration in my last game. My opponents were possibly a little kind, and I think overall the fluff level of my list and the fact that it fights you more directly than my WE
helped a bit.
– I was pretty happy here. That’s a fair score; I don’t really expect chaos to get max without some more ranked units.
Presentation: 21.5 /??
(best score in the room was 48 ) – I was bummed that I didn’t really get the army finished. I’m looking forward to doing a bunch more painting to get the whole force up to a higher, more consistent level. And maybe working in a few more conversions to sex it up overall. I’m very happy with how some of my freehand (on the banners and my two ungor shields) came out, so I think I’m going to try to work more of that in. I think I have the ability to get above-average numbers; I just really need to put in the time.
Total score: 145.5, 63rd place.
Ouch. My worst GT
placing ever. Last year I had 13th with the WE
. I estimate that if I had been smarter and worked in the BSB
, I probably would have turned that Draw into a Win, as well as picking up 4-6 more bonus points over the course of the tournament for the BSB
and the “all three” bonus. Ten more points would have gotten me into the top half, but “would have”, “could have” and “should have” don’t count. Next time I gotta paint better AND play better.
That said, I had an awesome time. Despite going only 2/2/1, and not getting the painting and basing really finished, the army was a pleasure to play, and my opponents gave me some awesome games. The Colonial is the best event I attend in terms of the people there, hanging out, drinking, laughing, bsing, and generally enjoying the experience. Matt York always throws a quality event, but in the three years I’ve attended he has steadily improved the quality of the experience, in terms of organization, rules, scenarios, and everything else under his control. This is one of the highlights of my year, and I have to thank everyone involved (even the guys who kicked my butt) for helping make it that way.