Sunday, August 22, 2010

Miscasting for Fun and Profit

Got in another game of 8th Edition this past week at Game Kastle. This was the first full sized (2250 points) game I'd played and it was against a Warriors of Chaos army that was a bit of a hybrid. See, the guy had wanted to do a 'Troll King and his Court' army of all monsters and beasts, which I thought was a cool idea. But he didn't have enough points of just those so instead it was trolls, monsters, and a couple of small units of Warriors and Mauraders on foot.

By the start of the 3rd turn, both of us had miscast our wizards off the table, and mine had taken half of her bodyguard unit of Spearmen (Spearelves?) with her. The last few turns went very quickly what with us skipping a whole phase.

I did manage to win the game and can make a few observations.

1. Black Guard are still sick. Even with being limited to 20 per unit, and the other side getting to swing back, the extra rank's worth of supporting attacks and the ability to take a magic banner other than ASF and still be able to strike first due to their ridiculous initiative more than make up for it. They are pretty much guaranteed to out-kill anything the come up against since you can give them the armor piercing banner or flaming attacks banner.

2. The Pendant BSB is even better at holding up big monsters now. He still gets +1 combat resolution for having the banner, but the monster doesn't get +1 for outnumbering anymore. Now instead of the most likely outcome being a (GALLERY????) tie, the most likely outcome is that the monster loses combat by 1. The cheese, it is great. I foresee that I shall feel even dirtier using that combo in the future.

3. Bait and Flee is still a viable tactic, but it is much riskier and only really viable with Dark Riders and only really reliable against slower units. Harpies are still good for getting right up in the enemy's face on the first turn and directing them where you want them to go, but now that they flee on foot they are not likely to escape. Dark Riders are slightly more likely to get away as they get to roll 3 dice and drop the lowest, but enemy cavalry is still likely to catch them if you get close enough to force the issue. I had noticed previously that the longer I managed to keep my Dark Riders alive, the more likely I was to win the game. That was sort of when the Dark Elf army started to click for me, when I learned how to Bait and Flee to setup counter charges and keep the Dark Riders alive to rinse and repeat. I think in 8th Edition that will be an even more telling factor. I should keep track of that...... I suspect that I tend to win if I still have a unit of Dark Riders alive in the 4th turn.

4. Magic is dangerous. The Ring of Hotek is still nasty, you just have to get up close and personal.

Lastly, congratulations to Rushputin on being a Golden Demon Finalist two years running!

Friday, August 6, 2010


For the past couple of weeks I've hit up Game Kastle in Santa Clara on Thursday night. There seemed to be some interest in WFB on their forum now that the new edition was out. The first time I went, I was hoping to bump into someone who was looking for a game. It turned out that finding a person wasn't the problem, but finding an open table was. There were three different WFB games going on and a couple of games of 40k and a few other people hanging out that would have played if there was room. I didn't get to play that night, but for what I consider a great reason. I'll take 'we didn't reserve enough tables' over 'there's no one to play with' any day.

This past Thursday I set up a game in advance and we made sure to up the number of tables reserved for WFB. I played against a very nicely painted High Elf army at 1500 points. After this one experience, I feel like Game Kastle is going to work out nicely. The game room is a bit cramped, but that didn't bother me so much. I kind of like the crowded 'club house' feel. The people seemed pretty cool. The store itself has a couple of very nice advantages. First, terrain. There is a huge collection of pretty decent terrain available to everyone. And when I say huge, I mean there were ... I think 5 games going on and there was at least enough terrain for another 5 tables. And not just forests and foam hills. They have a nice variety of buildings, obstacles, monuments, etc. The second big advantage is that the gaming area is a separate room from the store, with it's own external door. That means that when it's time for the store to close.... wait for it.... they close the store and let the gamers keep playing. Apparently they trust their community enough to let the gamers clean up the area when they are done and lock up behind themselves. This is a big deal in my opinion. You don't have to worry about rushing out of work and fighting traffic so you can get your game in and over with before 9 pm.

The actual game itself was good. We were both still getting our heads around the new rules, so there were some occasional pauses to look things up, but I think we did everything pretty close to right. I would have won the game except for two things. First, I brought an Assassin built to kill characters (Killing Blow) instead of to kill monsters (Manbane) and he ended up in combat with a Dragon. Even needing 6's to wound, he still managed to put a wound on the Dragon. With Manbane for poison he would have ripped it apart easily since it was already down a couple of wounds from shooting. Second, my Hydra had his level 3 caster / general in one-on-one combat after breathing on and killing the remainder of his bodyguard unit the previous turn .... but didn't kill him. The mage has cast a couple of buffs on himself, one that caused any enemy unit in base contact to take 2d6 strength 4 hits at the end of every magic phase and another buff that raised the first buff to strength 6. I had forgotten about those and didn't dispell them during my magic phase. So, just as the Hydra's many heads were about to start arguing over which of them got to eat the tenderest bits of the mage, it took more than enough strength 6 hits to kill it and I managed to only save 1. Instead of a dead enemy general I had a dead Hydra. Those two things swung the game in his favor, but they happened late in the game and it was still a good time.

There is now some discussion of trying to do an escalation league at Game Kastle as well. I should check back by Legends and see how their plans are coming along....