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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dogs of War Gallery

I should stress here that I did not paint these models - I'm just taking the opportunity to show them off. Pictured here are the 'Rhinox Riders' and Paymaster from the recent Vampire Counts vs Dogs of War battle report.

These miniatures were painted by talented local painter Aris Tottle.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Vampire Counts vs Dogs of War Part 4 (final)

Turn 5 – Dogs of War

This turn is probably Aido’s last chance for decisive charging. The zombies, in their haste to pursue the broken Maneater have exposed their rear to the waiting heavy cavalry, who declare a charge. The remaining pegasus rider charges the same unit in the flank. The heavy cavalry promptly fail their fear test, leaving the pegasus rider to fight a hopeless combat.

The other unit of light cavalry (remember them?) charge a unit of ghouls, but also fail their fear test.

Aido looks at the table and lets out a long breath. “You’ve done it to me again, Dave,” he says.

The Paymaster’s unit rallies and turns to face the zombies across the length of the hill. The light cavalry unit (the one you’ve been reading about) fails to rally and flees the field.

The duellists move through the orc village to stand in front to the zombies. Charge if you dare.

In the Magic Phase Burning Gaze, again cast at a Banshee, is dispelled using all five undead dice.

The crossbows kill a pair of Grave Guard again, this unit is now significantly depleted.

In the Combat Phase, the pegasus rider kills a single zombie and flees 15”. The zombies decline to pursue, successfully restraining thanks to the Vampire Lord’s proximity.

Turn 5 – Vampire Counts

It’s not over yet, while the support units have withered and the loos of the Rhinox Riders is a blow, the bulk of the Dogs of War army remains untouched. I declare two charges. The zombies accept the challenge and charge the duellists, and a Banshee charges the fleeing Maneater, now the only one remaining.

The duellists fail their fear test, flee 6” and are destroyed. Serves them right for being cocky. The Banshee proves to be out of range of the Maneater, so the Ogre doesn’t have to flee again.

Speaking of cocky, the ghouls move up to the light cav who failed to charge them last turn.

The Black Knights and the zombie unit continue their breakthrough, now threatening the Dogs of War units clustered on the hill.

The Grave Guard unit turn to face their main threat; the heavy cav who have been lurking on the undead flank, but unable so far to press their advantage.

Now facing the heavy cavalry and pegasus rider, the Vampire Lord sends his magic their way. Dark Hand of Death kills the pegasus rider, dealing the second wound after Drain Life dealt the first. In response the pegasus becomes subject to frenzy and hatred. If it rallies.

The necromancer casts Gaze of Nagash at the heavy cavalry, rolling three hits and failing to kill any.

The Vampire Lord cast Walking Death on his own unit, but fails the required roll.

Turn 6 – Dogs of War

I have to apologise here. It seems that I did not take any images during Aido's final turn, so you'll just have to imagine it.

It’s Aido’s final chance for decisive charges, so he goes for it. This turn, all his units pass their fear tests. The Paymaster’s Unit charges the zombies, the heavy cavalry charge the Grave Guard, and the light cavalry charge the ghouls.

The Maneater fails to rally, netting me more victory points. The pegasus rallies.

In the Magic Phase all attempts to cast are successfully dispelled.

In the Combat Phase the light cavalry kill three ghouls, suffering two casualties in return. It’s enough to win combat, and the ghouls break, running just 4” and being destroyed. 4 on 2D6 was what I needed to pass the break test.

The Paymaster’s Unit rips seven shades of hell out of the zombies. When the dust of shattered dry limbs clears, only six zombies are standing.

In the last combat of the turn, my Vampire Lord declares a challenge, suffering no wounds thanks to the Cursed Book, and dealing back two in response. The Necromancer survives yet again. The heavy cav break. More points to me!

Turn 6 – Vampire Counts

This is the end. The Black Knights, restored in my confidence, charge the Dogs of War general who flees. Their move brings them into contact with a unit of crossbows, who also flee.

In the Magic Phase the necromancer kills the pegasus with Gaze of Nagash.

The banshees kill four of the Paymaster’s unit, but fail to net me half points.

In combat the Paymaster’s unit finish off the zombies – that was what I was writing as Aido rolled his dice. However he failed to kill even a single zombie, and static combat resolution only accounted for three of the reaming six, denying him full points and the standard bonus.

The game was over. The Vampire Counts had won by a margin of 1615 points. Victory!

Final Verdict

We discussed the armies after the game, and Jason and Eddie were back by this time, both a bit stunned by the result, and also eager to play me since they know I’m really an easy beat.

I thought Aido should swap out his fourth Maneater for a third unit of ten crossbows, and Jason agreed, but Aido was unconvinced. Other than that there’s really nothing else to say. That Dogs of War army works. The second turn miscast was really decisive in that it denied his army the way to plug their key weakness against me. The loss of the Rhinox Riders reinforced this.

With my own army, I would say the jury is still out on the Death Magic wielding Necrarch. I was impressed by the effect of even a single Drain Life at extended range, but I’m not sure he’s particularly points efficient. Magical support is effectively gone since additional necromancers don’t provide additional dice to my Lord. In fact they end up fighting with him for the army pool dice, any time they want to cast vahel's or Gaze of Nahash with three dice.

There are several options to consider, including dropping the necromancer with the Cursed Book for a Wraith with the same item. Let’s face it: I got lucky twice in combat with that necromancer; once against the Maneater and once against the heavy cav. I’m not expecting that luck to carry over to the next game. But would a Vampire Count be as effective? I like the idea of having 5 spells, gives me a great chance of getting that Drain Life, and the additional 6” range is just gravy.

All food for thought. I don’t play many games of Warhammer, so it will probably be next year before the Necrarchs come out again.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vampire Counts vs Dogs of War Part 3

Turn 3 – Dogs of War

This time Aido is more aggressive with his charges. He can’t have me breaking through before he has time to re-order his lines. That Banshee scream was dynamite.

The Maneater at the lip of the woods on his right declares a charge on the zombies, hoping for the light cav to continue fleeing to allow him to charge. The Maneater opposite my general’s unit charges in.

On my right, the heavy cav charge into the flank of the zombies, but end up being out of range by 1”. My moving the Fell Bats up to keep them from marching in their turn 2 was a good move. Next to them, the pegasus rider who’s not fleeing charges the ghouls behind the lucky zombie unit.

At Aido’s rear, the Rhinox Riders flee the field, while the pegasus rider and crossbows both rally. In the centre the light cav rally too, blocking the Maneater’s charge. My second unit of zombies has avoided being charged again.

The Magic Phase is uneventful, with the Wizard Lord healing back the wound he lost in his miscast, and trying to cast Burning Gaze on a Banshee but being dispelled.

The holding crossbow unit changes targets from the now-engaged Grave Guard to the terror-causing zombies, killing three. The duellists also have a good round of shooting, killing two Fell Bats.

In Combat, the pegasus rider and his mount fail to kill even a single ghoul, rolling two 1s to wound. The ghouls deal two wounds to the pegasus in reply, break and run down the luckless hero.

Next to this combat, the Maneater kills two zombies and holds.

Against the Grave Guard unit the Maneater chooses to kill the Necromancer with the Cursed Book. He rolls three hits…. and two 1s to wound. The Vampire Lord deals two wounds to the Maneater, and the Grave Guard deal the final wound, fitting with a roll of a 6.

The Black Knights lose another of their number, against failing to wound the Maneater.

Turn 3 – Vampire Counts

At the start of my third turn my units are either locked in combat or out of position for a suitable charge. I declare two charges, neither really suitable, putting the remainder of the Fell Bats into the untouched unit of crossbows, and the zombies with their Necromancer towards the newly rallied light cav.

The Grave Guard move up, but not far enough to expose their flank to either of the waiting heavy cavalry units. The banshees move towards the centre of the battlefield, the better to threaten more units, while the ghouls move towards the wood.

And now for a Magic Phase more fitting of my 700+ points expenditure. Vanhels – stopped by a dispel scroll. Vanhels again – dispelled. The Book of Arkhan – also dispelled. Drain Life – roll of 1,1,5. I use Unholy Cynosure to re-roll a 1, changing it to a 2, which saves me from the miscast, but the spell does not get cast. I demand a refund!

The Banshees act more magical this Phase. By which I mean neither of them had any effect on the light cavalry with their screams.

In combat the Maneater kills a pair of zombies and passes his stubborn test. The Fell Bats kill a single crossbow, losing that combat and being reduced to just two models. The Black Knights continue to be a waste of their 300 points, again failing to wound the Maneater fighting them, but at least they didn’t lose any of their number this time.

The necromancer in the charging zombie unit fails to wound the rider in front of him and is cut down, losing me my only Dispel Scroll and the Book of Arkhan. That really wasn’t a smart charge. The light cav break, though the zombies fail to catch them.

I should stick to fighting my combats in Aido’s turn.

Turn 4 – Dogs of War

Another turn, another round of charge declarations from Aido. The Maneater who was previously stuck behind the fast cav charges the closest Banshee to him, no problems there.

The unengaged crossbows charge the Fell Bats in support of their fellows, again no problem.

The Paymaster’s unit declares a charge on the Grave Guard, but fails it’s fear test – problem.

The heavy cav unit, now certainly in range of the zombies, also tries to charge, and also fails its fear test. Another problem.

The fast cavalry rally, holding high the head of the slain necromancer.

In the magic phase Burning Gaze is cast at the unengaged Banshee but dispelled, then Cleansing Flare kills the remaining Fell Bats. This leaves the crossbow unit that didn’t charge unengaged at the start of the Shooting Phase, and, since they didn’t move this turn, able to shoot.

And shoot they do, killing a pair of my precious Grave Guard.

Due to failed charges, combat ending spells and such, there is little action in the Combat Phase this turn.

The Maneater kills just a single zombie, but still holds. The Banshee fails to wound the Maneater she is fighting and so takes a wound due to being outnumbered. The Black Knights finally kill the Maneater. Well done guys, you just dealt with 85 points of Ogre.

Turn 4 – Vampire Counts

With their way now clear, the Black Knights charge the Maneater fighting the Banshee, in an effort to save her. In the centre, the zombies charge the light cavalry. The Grave Guard unit charge the Paymaster’s Unit who choose to flee. Their line takes them through a unit of crossbows, who pass their panic test.

Ghouls and the unengaged Banshee move towards the table centre once more.

With his charging target out of range, my general is finally able to successfully cast Drain Life. That 18” range thanks to Master of the Black Arts is quite powerful. The spell causes damage to several Dogs of War units:
1 wound to the remaining pegasus rider
1 dead light cavalryman
1 wound to the Maneater fighting those zombies (his first suffered!)
1 dead crossbow
2 dead heavy cav on the flank
1 dead duellist

It could have been a lot worse, as my hits rolled against those units was always 1,2 or 3.

The remaining Necromancer cast Gaze of Nagash at the nearest crossbow unit to him, killing three.

In the Shooting Phase the only banshee with a target screams at the light cavalry, killing one.

The Combat Phase resolves every fight taking place. The Maneater kills three zombies, and finally fails his stubborn test, fleeing 10”. The zombies pursue 9”. The other zombie unit breaks the light cavalry despite not killing any, but also fails to catch. The Black Knights kill the Maneater on the charge (who would have thought) but are denied a significant overrun as the Banshee is blocking their path.

It’s looking quite good for the Vampire Counts.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Vampire Counts vs Dogs of War Part 2

Turn 1 – Dogs of War

No charges are declared in the first turn. On the left flank, the light and heavy cavalry move forward, the light cavalry staying on the extreme flank. The duellists run into the abandoned Orc village (where do they come from?).

On the centre and right side of the field, the Paymaster’s unit and the Rhinox Riders move forward, Maneaters move forward individually. It’s quite a threat. One pegasus rider moves into the orc village in front of the duellists.

Magic is ineffective, with Guardian Light being cast with a big score, and dispelled with a slightly bigger roll.

Shooting was more effective. The crossbows decided that 5s to hit meant a 50/50 ratio and wiped out the Dire Wolves with ease.

At this point turn 1 was done.

Turn 1 – Vampire Counts

There was a lot of weight bearing down on me like a truck. Like a rabbit, I froze in the headlights and barely moved at all. There was lots of shuffling here and there, but barely any ground was covered, to Aido’s derisive laughter. To move forward was to be charged, and I just wasn’t ready for that yet. The banshees came forward, both moving into the woods.

The Vampire Bats raced forward to land between the heavy and light cavalry on the left.

Now for the big Vampire Count magic phase. 9 power Dice versus 4 dispel dice. Gaze of Nagash was cast at one of the oncoming Maneaters but was dispelled. No worries, let’s Dark Hand of Death that same Maneater. Dispel Scroll. Okay. Now let’s raise a new unit of zombies, since the other necromancer needs to use his two dice. Failed to cast. Right. Doom and Darkness with three dice on the Paymaster’s unit. Failed to cast. Yes, even with the Necrarch +1 to cast. Just perfect.

Turn 2 – Dogs of War

It’s all on now for the Dogs of War. Aido decided to be less aggressive than usual, declaring only two charges. A Maneater charged the unit of zombies on the right side of the Undead general, and on the extreme left flank, the light cavalry charged the Fell Bats. The Maneater charged into combat with ease, but the light cavalry failed their fear test.

The remaining moves were very interesting. A Maneater moved directly in front of the Undead general’s unit of Grave Guard, positioned facing the necromancer, and in such a way that the Vampire Lord would not be able to fight if the unit charged next turn. Aido claims this was accidental, and I believe him….
Also in the centre, the fast cavalry moved forward, and a Maneater moved up to the Black Knights. The last Maneater stayed back, on the far side of the woods from the Undead. The Rhinox riders also held back. For now.

The heavy cavalry unit and a pegasus rider moved into position on the flank of the now-engaged zombie unit.

The Magic phase was nothing short of disastrous. A miscast trying to cast Guardian Light resulted in the permanent loss of that vital spell and a level for the Dogs of War general. There would be no immunity to psychology and auto-rally for the Dogs of War in this battle.

Shooting was more productive, with the crossbows again achieving a 50/50 hit ratio at long range, resulting in three dead Grave Guard. From their position in the orc village, the duellists fired their pistols at the Fell Bats, but only caused one wound.

In combat the Maneater killed a pair of zombies and passed his stubborn test.

Turn 2 – Vampire Counts

Right. Time to do... Something. The Black Knights charged the Maneater in front of them, which involved entering the woods, but movement was no problem since he was only 2 inches away. It was charge or be charged, but overrun would be great if they could just cause 3 wounds on the charge…

The second zombie unit charged the light cavalry in front of them, who fled only 6 inches, but that was enough to escape the sluggish, shambling zombies. The zombies were now showing their flank to the waiting Paymaster and his unit of heavy cavalry. The Fell Bats charged a unit of crossbows who fled rather than be charged in the flank.

In the movement phase the Grave Guard moved back a couple of inches while the general and necromancer swapped places within the unit. The Banshees, now limited to a 6” move, closed with the Rhinox Riders.

Here’s hoping for a better magic phase than last time. Let’s see. A Necromancer casts Vanhel’s on the Grave Guard, failing to make the roll required. Hmm, three dice gone. The second Necromancer tries the same spell on the same unit, and rolls the same score. Grrr. Six dice gone. The general uses his three dice to cast Walking Death on the unengaged zombies and rolls double six. Now the zombies are not such an obvious candidate for a flank charge from the Paymaster’s unit. Finally the Book of Arkhan is used in a final attempt to get the general and his unit into combat with the Maneater leering at them. It is dispelled, but the book is free to be used again.

The shooting phase might just go down as ‘best ever’. The Banshees both rolled well, killing a Rhinox rider and causing the unit to flee. Now the power of the new Panic rules became clear. The riders fled directly away from the Banshees, through a pegasus rider, who also fled, all the way back to the hilltop, near the crossbows fleeing from the Fell Bats. The Dogs of War back line was now filled with fleeing units.

In combat the Maneater kills three zombies and passes his stubborn test. The Black Knights fail to kill their Maneater on the charge, rolling four hits followed by two 1s to wound. In return the Maneater killed the Hell Knight and a Black Knight and held.

Vampire Counts vs Dogs of War Part 1

Welcome to the first battle report on Scent of a Gamer! Part 1 will cover just the initial set-up for the game, and give me a chance to test how my images are going to display. But first, here's some text.

I turned up to the club before Aido, for the first time ever. Fellow gamers Jason and Eddie were already there, and they had news. Along with Aido they had played in a one-day tournament the day before. A tournament Aido had won, smashing Jason's army along the way. Aido had already had his practice.

Aido turned up a few minutes later. While we set up the table, I asked Aido about the army. he was happy with the way it had performed, and wasn't really expecting to make changes, regardless of the result of our game. But he was looking forward to his ultimate test; to see if one of his tournament armies could win a game against me (a draw is usually as good as it gets).

"It's a hell of an army, mate," said Eddie, clapping me on the shoulder. "Hell of an army." Then he walked to the opposite side of the hall. Minimum safe distance, I guess.

Here you can see the set up I chose. I boxed my army in, not wanting to get divided and chopped up by Aido's better, more numerous units. Facing two flyers and two units of fast cav, I deployed the ghouls at my rear to dissuade any thoughts of assault from the rear. The Black Knights were anchored on the woods on my left, and zombies took up position either side of the Grave Guard unit, which contained my general and a necromancer.

Aido formed a longer line than me, his army looks so much larger than mine despite having 70 or so models to my 120ish. He kept the bulk of his power opposite mine, the crossbows on a hill, and a unit of light and heavy cav off to his left, ready to move up and sweep my flank.

In case you are scratching your head about the unit descriptions I will let you know now; the army has a bear theme. The Maneaters are represented by humans on bears. The Rhinox Riders are represented by fancier heroes riding really huge bears! I will post a close up of this unit at the end of the report.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Armies Have Mustered

Welcome to the first battle report for Scent of a Gamer! I'll be posting the report itself (with pics) over the next few days. Up first are the two army lists.

This is a 2250 battle, Vampire Counts versus Dogs of War. I've overcome my fear of the new edition to play my first game under seventh edition against Aido. He's taking his Dogs of War army, and this battle was to help him practise for an upcoming tournament.

Aido is one of the better players in the country, wins tournaments when he's not running them, but I've always been his bane. "You've done it to me again, Dave" is something I hear from him a lot around turn 5 in our games.

I was testing out the idea of taking a Necrarch Lord, fully decked out for casting spells, taking 5 spells from the Lore of Death, and casting them at an additional 6" range. Just to see.

Dogs of War


Hireling Wizard Lord (General)
2 dispel scrolls, staff of sorcery, level 4 [310]

Paymaster, barded warhorse, enchanted shield, heavy armour, morning star [85]

Mercenary Captain, Pegasus, lance heavy armour, brace of pistols [124]

Mercenary Captain, Pegasus, lance heavy armour, brace of pistols [124]


6 light cavalry, spear, shield [84]

6 light cavalry, spear, shield [84]

10 heavy cavalry, barding, full command [255]

9 heavy cavalry, barding, full command, [234]

10 crossbows [80]

10 crossbows [80]

9 duellists, pistols [81]


1 maneater heavy armour, great weapon [90]

1 maneater heavy armour, great weapon [90]

1 maneater heavy armour, great weapon [90]

1 maneater heavy armour, great weapon [90]


3 rhinox riders, heavy armour, ironfist [348]

Vampire Counts


Necrarch Lord, level 3, Forbidden Lore, Unholy Cynosure, Master of the Black Arts, Sword of Might, Spell Familiar [430]

Necromancer, level 2, Cursed Book [150]

Necromancer, level 2, Dispel Scroll, Book of Arkhan [150]


5 Dire Wolves [50]

9 Ghouls [72]

9 Ghouls [72]

30 Zombies standard, musician [195]

30 Zombies standard, musician [195]


10 Black Knights, full command, Banner of the Barrows [315]

5 Fell Bats [100]

20 Grave Guard, shields, full command, War Banner [315]


Banshee [90]

Banshee [90]

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Promises, Promises

Yes, I know, so much for the routine of new posts, right? Do I have a good explanation? No, no I don't.

But I do have some news. I'll be playing my first 7th edition Warhammer battle on Sunday. My Necrarch army against Aido's Dogs of War army at 2250 points. From all accounts the Dogs of War army is quite evil. To be fair, all my acounts of this amry come from Aido himself, and he always describes his armies this way.

They usually are evil though. I'll do my best to compete. I'll have a Necrarch Vampire Lord with 5 spells, backed up by a pair of Necromancers to do the workaday spells like raising the dead. The vampire may well take Death magic and simply work at blasting the enemy before they get too close.

I'm going to use this battle as a practice run for writing battle reports, before I attempt to record our 5,000 point battle, scheduled for the second week-end of November. Mark it in your calendar!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


So, today's post is a day after my usual Saturday/Tuesday routine that I came up with when I decided I needed a routine.

There's a good explanation: Alien Crossfire.

I found the long-thought-lost disc for this game on Sunday during a day of spring cleaning. A note to furrowed brows- I live in the southern hemisphere. Everything is backwards here. And we all walk around upside down.

The game was duly fired up, and behold! Sunday night did turn into Monday morning, and still the game was played for "just one more turn." They should patent that. Monday was not a good day at work.

Being the discplined type that I am, the game has been played each evening, instead of doing other things like painting Easterlings, posting regularly to my blog, that sort of thing. Eating. That's overrated too.

Did I mention I enjoy that game a lot? That may have come through as a suble undertone. If you ever get the chance to pick up a copy my advice is do so. Assuming you have a week or ten spare. That helps.

I'd continue, but the Spartans have just opened up a new front to my north, and I really need to get my Tachyon Needlejets up there, without pulling too much away from my war with the Usurpers. Good times.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Battle to Come

The story so far:

As battles raged across the Kislev and the Empire during the Storm of Chaos, another threat emerged. The Sylvanian army was on the march, heading North. Kislev and the Cult of Ulric diverted forces to deal with this new threat, and stop Manfred Von Carstein establishing a "Greater Sylvania" beyond the lands he already controlled.

The forces of Ulric were the first to engage the Undead. Under the leadership of Hildegard Von Carstein the forces of Sylvania surged across the River Stir. The forces of Ulric arrived too late to prevent the river crossing. The Undead were waiting for them, in a position of their own choosing.

A supernatural cry came from the undead and over a dozen Dire Wolves emerged from the woods to harry the Ulric forces as they tried to move to a more favourable position. It was too late. Separated and engaged piecemeal by Hildegard's forces, the Cult of Ulric suffered a clear defeat, and quit the field. Hildegard eagerly sent word of her victory back to the Manfred, who was moving up with the main strength of the Sylvanian army.

Hildegard's was not the only army sent ahead of the main force. Surging forward on the strength of Hildegard's victory, Algis Von Carstein led the tip of the Sylvanan thrust Northwards, into the approaching Kislev army.

The Kislev force had two advantages; they were forewarned of the Sylvanian threat by a ragged, exhausted messenger dispatched at the moment of defeat for Ulric, and they had prudently engaged mercenary forces to expand their force, including four Ogre Maneaters.

Once again the battle began with the sudden appearance of Dire Wolves, but these were lesser in number, and not in the same advantageous position as they were against Ulric. Algis moved his militia and levy units forward aggressively, daring the Kislev cavalry to charge.

Kislev accepted the invitation, charging the levy. Zombies fell left and right, but it was not enough. Two nearby grave markers helped the unit regenerate its casualties, and the battle became a test of endurance. Algis himself entered the battle, as did the Ogre Maneaters. The battle between Ogre and Vampire was inconclusive, and elsewhere on the battlefield other units faced off, unwilling to commit.

Two things broke the deadlock. Algis was ripped apart by a badly wounded Maneater, and on the right flank the Paymaster was run down by the Sylvanian Militia and their Wraith captain.

Many mercenaries panicked at the sight of their paymaster's chest in the hands of a terrifying Wraith, fleeing the field. However, with Algis gone, the Sylvanian army began to crumble.

The remaining Kislev forces held their nerve, and the field. Though the battle was inconclusive, the Sylvanian advance was halted, and the death of Algis was a blow.

Too depleted to press their advantage, the Kislevs forces held firm, fortifying their position, and giving their Ulric allies time to regroup and reinforce. Manfred was now approaching with the full strength of Sylvania.