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A Southern California Age of Sigmar community page.

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GRex

With the release of Age of Sigmar in the summer of 2015 we saw a fracturing of our community. Players moved on to other games, quit wargaming all together, or embraced the new AoS system. This fracturing carried over to some of our favorite podcasts. Some started covering other games, quit podcasting, or stuck with the new edition of Warhammer fantasy.

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Some of the old guard that are still with us and include Garagehammer, CanHammer, HeelanHammer, Facehammer, and the Bad Dice podcasts. For me, not only did they hold the community together, they embraced and promoted our hobby on a whole new level. It has been great to listen to their excitement for Age of Sigmar and truly appreciate their contribution over the years.

Having so few podcasts dedicated to AoS left a void for many of us. Especially during our hobby time. A few episodes a month, that were on average 2 hours long apiece, did not give us enough to listen to. I have a TV next to my hobby desk but would much rather listen to news and rumors, hobby tips, battle reports, and game fluff.

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And I wasn’t the only one. From this void emerged a group new podcasters and new AoS podcasts. For many of them it is because they love the new game and wanted more podcasts themselves to listen to. The ones the I most frequently listen to are:

Rolling Bad – A trio from the wastelands of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  They have unofficially been dubbed the North American tournament podcast. Bill, James, and Elric regularly put on a great episodes. They have well thought out tournament ideas, meta analysis, and really promote the hobby as a whole.

Scruby and Wells – Tyler’s podcast is definitely a thinking man’s podcast. He goes down intellectual paths often asking  the “why?”, why play Age of Sigmar? He regularly has had special guests on and has great coverage on Sylvaneth. The podcast’s website also has great resources for all things AoS.

Battleshock: An Age of SIgmar Podcast – Boss Hoss is a veteran podcaster and it shows starting with his first Podcast. This show focuses on growing the community and hobby tips. Recently there was an a whole episode dedicated to voice actors doing a narrative within the mortal realms. Super excited to see if that goes anywhere.

The Mortal Realms – Another trio, these guys do a great podcast covering the fluff and playing Narrative games. While that is their passion they also cover events and tournaments that they attend as well. They are also instrumental in recruiting Narrative Event Organizers or NEO’s.

Frontline Gaming: The Ninth Realm – Frontline Gaming has regular podcasts covering their business, Warhammer 40K, and Age of Sigmar. The Ninth Realm is their weekly AoS podcast with Reece, James, and Scott; and are focussed on new releases and upcoming tournaments. Frontline Gaming also runs the ITC standing so they are your one stop shop for checking out upcoming sanctioned ITC tournaments and standings.

All of these guys are true hobby and community heroes. They create content for Age of Sigmar player and hobbyists to listen to and enjoy. Whether it is promoting events, giving hobby tips, keeping us updated, or reading us some of the narrative there is something for everyone.

I know there are more podcasts out there hope to have the time to listen to them some day. Fortunately I now have the audio coverage I need to fill my spare time thanks to these guys.

Please check all the podcasts out and give them a review!

Greg Rex
@xGrexx


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GRex

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As some of you may have noticed Age of Sigmar in the Southern California area has been booming since the end of last year. On March 3rd we had two one day RTT’s in the area garnering over 20 players.  Since January of this year there have been a total of  8 one day tournaments. On top of that we had the Las Vegas Open which many of us drove to attended.

It is my opinion that the rise in popularity of Age of Sigmar in Southern California can be attributed to 4 things (on top of The Generals Handbook). They are; our Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), the Independent Tournament Circuit (ITC), Tournament Organizers (TO’s), and of course the players.

Southern California is  cursed  by the high cost of owning a home. As such, many of us do not have a garage or basement to play in. We are, however, blessed to have fantastic FLGS’s that provide us with plenty of gaming space and terrain. Some of these stores immediately embraced AoS while others were tentative but eventually came around (most likely due to a spiked interest after the release of the GHB). Many of our stores promote league nights and meetups, and are very willing to host tournaments and work with the community to create awesome events. You can find a comprehensive list of the FLGS’s that support AoS here: http://www.socalaos.com/forums/topic/socal-game-stores/

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The ITC is a tournament organization run by Frontline Gaming, famous for their Warhammer 40K standardized tournament pack and ranking system. Shortly after The Generals Handbook was released an AoS ranking system was created but no rules or FAQ’s were released by the ITC. The game is currently promoted to be played as written by Games Workshop. Additionally tournaments can be run using the Best Coast Pairings app where players can sign up and TO duties of creating pairings based off of Swisse Points is automated. I think that the ease of use, competitive atmosphere, and brand recognition is a great benefit for our community. I alse feel that the ITC has the potential for gamers to gain recognition and validation through the ranking system.

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Next up is our our TO’s. These guys spend a ton of their personal time setting up events. Whether it is meeting with FLGS’s store owners, creating social media promotions, getting on forums, or gathering terrain and prizes there is a lot of logistics work that goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of stress that goes into being a TO. Many times they do are not sure how many players will actually show up until the day of. Despite all of this they still keep putting on events and they get better every time. This in turn keeps drawing more players to the events which creates more interest for the next event.

Finally, there is our player base. I would like to start by saying that the Age of Sigmar community in Southern California is awesome! We have a super active Facebook group called SoCal Age of Sigmar that allows us to share ideas, hobby updates, and schedule meetups from Ventura to San Diego. I can’t speak for everyone but I know I look forward to my Wednesday league night and weekend tournaments. Age of Sigmar is a great game but it is even better playing with such a great group of people. Whether it is hobbying, playing matched or narrative games, and talking fluff we have something for everyone.

If you have made it this far please check out the Home page to see all the upcoming events in Southern California. We also post on Twitter regularly @SoCalAoS. Cheers!

-Greg Rex
@xGrexx

 


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GRex

Las Vegas Open 2017

I have now had two weeks to recover and reflect on the Age of Sigmar GT I participated in at the Las Vegas Open. Frontline Gaming partnered with Games Workshop and really put on a hell of an event. FLG even had their new battlemats, forest scenery, and a boatload of GW terrain on hand for some epic play areas.

The event ran Saturday and Sunday, each day consisting of 3 games from the Generals Handbook. (As it turned out we played all six scenarios in order.) I had 6 amazing games with most coming down to the final round or when time ran out.

Before I go over my games I want to cover my list. The tournament pack called for a 2,000 point list and an optional 500 point sideboard. In order to use your sideboard you and your opponent rolled off before deployment and alternated setting warscrolls into the side board and bringing a warscroll into your main list. My theory was to use 400 points of Plaguebearers and a Herald of Nurgle to swap out with the Glotkin and Chaos Spawn in case I played a high mortal wound dealing army.

Main List:

Leaders
The Glottkin (480)
Bloab Rotspawned (260)
Lord of Plagues (100)
Rotbringers Sorcerer (100)

Battleline
5 x Putrid Blightkings (180)
Mortal Nurgle Battleline
5 x Putrid Blightkings (180)
Mortal Nurgle Battleline
5 x Putrid Blightkings (180)
Mortal Nurgle Battleline
5 x Putrid Blightkings (180)
Mortal Nurgle Battleline
10 x Chaos Warriors (180)
Hand Weapon & Shield
Mark of Chaos: Nurgle

Units
Chaos Spawn (60)
Mark of Chaos: Nurgle

Battalions
Blight Guard (100)

Total: 2000/2000

Side Board:

Leaders
Herald Of Nurgle (100)

Battleline
20 x Plaguebearers Of Nurgle (200)
10 x Plaguebearers Of Nurgle (100)
10 x Plaguebearers Of Nurgle (100)

Units

Total: 500/500

As it turned out I never used my sideboard but should have used it once.

For my first game I was paired against Levi and his Stormcast Eternals in a Warrior Brotherhood battalion. From experience this is a hard army to beat but I got lucky drawing Take and Hold as the first mission. For all 5 turns I was able to turtle on my objective and slowly kill more Stormcast Eternals then he killed of Nurgle. In the end I won a Minor Victory.

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Game two I was paired against Casey and his Death army. We played Blood and Glory and we each split our forces in two. I think both of our plans were to try to take each others objectives, my only caveat was to hold Casey’s army in the center of the board if I couldn’t get to his objectives. Casey’s Ghoul King on Terrorgheist and Neffereta were able to each blow past my line and land charges on my right and left flank objectives respectively. Over the course of a few turns I had to piece meal my army back onto my objectives to prevent them from getting taken but in the end lost to a well played Death army. I walked away with a Major Loss.

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The last game of the day was against Matt and another Death army in a game of Escalation. This game ended up being a bloodbath on the center objective as most of our forces collapsed on the objective. I decided to take first turn which proved to be pivotal. I immediately took all three objectives and scored 3 points. Matt’s turn 1 he took back 2 objectives and got two points. The next two turns we kept going back and forth taking objectives. By the end of turn 3 we were tied and Matt was slowly gaining control of the center objective, but time ran out. In retrospect had that game gone the distance Matt was on his way to keeping two objective from me and probably would have won by one or two. Because we were tied when time ran out we calculated for the Minor Victory and I slightly killed more points than Matt.

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The next day I was paired against Anthony and his Beast Claw Raiders. He had a whopping 11 models, 2 were on Stonehorns and 2 were on Thundertusks. The scenario was Border War. I was done deploying first and said I wanted to go second. Anthony then talked me out of it because he was certain, and was right, that all his units would make the charge turn 1. I really appreciate him letting me change my mind and taking the first turn. I was able to move out and cap 3 objectives. Then Anthony went… not only did he easily get his charges off he also did 12 mortal wounds in the shooting phase to The Glotkin and killed him off in the first combat. For the next 5 turns Anthony leaf blowed me off the objectives and ended up boarding me at the end of turn 5. He asked me, and he was right, why I didn’t use my Plaguebearers. My rational when I deployed was I wanted to have The Glotkin on the table to have enough damage output to deal with the Thundertusks. What I should have done was take the higher model count/mortal wound ignore on 5+ and hunker down on two objectives frustrate his 11 model count army. Despite getting shellacked this was a super fun game for me will make me a better player in the future.

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Game 5 I was matched against Fred and his Skaven in a game of Three Places of Power. This was one of those games you knew who was going to win before the first dice roll. Fred had three heroes on foot and they all had 7 wounds or less. I deferred turn 1 to Fred and he ran his entire army forward. That set up a bunch of charges for me turn one and all 4 units of Blightkings got into combat and mercilessly killed tons of rats. By turn two I had 3 heroes on all 3 objectives. Another setback for Fred was that most of my Battleline were -1 to hit. This negated his high number of attacks and he was forced to feed his army into a meat grinder. After 5 turns I had won a Major Victory.

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My sixth and final game was against Ryan. The scenario was Gifts From the Heavens. I was super excited to play Ryan as he had Tzeentch army and was using the new Battltome Disciples of Tzeentch. The new Tzeentch dice mechanic was super interesting and added a new wrinkle to making decisions. Most notably he had a Lord of Change within 12″ of The Glotkin and I had to choose to target either the Lord Of Change or a unit Marauders. Ryan had 6 sitting in his pool so if I got the shot off on the Lord of Change he would most likely have used that 6 for the save instead of rolling a 6. Or I could have played it safe and shot the Marauders. I elected to shoot the Lord of Change with the intention of making Ryan use his only 6 (I failed to wound lol). In turn 3 I got a charge off with my Chaos Warriors that put me within 6″ of Ryan’s objective contesting it. A single turn with your objective being contested will almost always seal your fate in Gifts From the Heavens. We were able to finish out turn 4 before time was out and I ended up with a Major Win. It was super fun playing Ryan and a new army!

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In the end I played 6 awesome games. It was super cool to have Games Workshop running and streaming the event live on Twitch along with the LVO hosts Frontline Gaming.

Finally to top things off I was in the running for placing in the top 3 of the inaugural season of the AoS ITC. I went 4-2 in the tournament getting me enough points to squeak into third place. Special thanks for Best Coast Pairing for making an awesome app both for TO’s and now for players.

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http://frontlinegaming.org

http://bestcoastpairings.com


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GRex

Empires At War!

Yesterday was the last Age of Sigmar tournament for me prior to the 2017 Las Vegas Open. It was hosted by Game Empire Pasadena and jointly run by their staff and Scott Reed.

The event used a similar rules pack to LVO’s. 2000 points with a 500 point sideboard from the General’s Handbook.  Again I brought my Nurgle Rotbringer list led by The Glotkin and his Lieutenant Bloab Rotspawned.  My sideboard had 500 points of Daemons of Nurgle but I did not dip into them for the event.

For my first game I was matched against David and his Tomb King army. He didn’t have snakes but he did have tons of chariots! I deployed mostly in the center of my deployment zone. I have learned my army does better moving slowly (4″ movement for the Rotbringers) as a cohesive army and turtle over the objective when it drops in turn 2 rather than try to cover all three potential objective areas. Each deployment zone had a Chaos Dreadhold with gate wrapping around a table corner. I elected to go first on turn one hoping to bait David’s chariots into my Warriors of Chaos and Chaos Spawn. It worked out pretty well. He had a unit of insanely buffed chariots fly right into my warriors and killed the whole unit but I was able to pile in with a unit of Putrid Blightkings and return the favor. I found that by taking the first turn against very fast armies allows me to get The Glotkins very crucial command ability to activate. 20 attacks from 5 Blightkings is WAY better than 15. When the objectives landed in turn two David’s was in his open right flank and of course mine landed in the Chaos Dreadhold… where there was only really one way in. I was able to run Bloab in and get the objective while slowly running the rest of my army over to block the gates entrance. However, by turn 4 David was able to contest my objective securing him the victory. I had a small opportunity in turn 5 to charge Bloab across the board and contest David’s objective but he was able to kill The Glotkin standing on mine and capped both. This was a very fun game and the game was essentially decide by me failing to score one more wound on his one heros contesting my objective and his ability to get exactly 18 wounds on The Glotkin turn 5.

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My next game was against Frank and his army of Death. It was led by a Vampire on Zombie Dragon assisted by a Ghoul King on Terrorgheist, Vampire lord on Abyssal Terror, and Crypt Ghast Courtier. They led 3 units of 20 Ghouls and a unit of 5 Blood Knights. The mission was Three Places of Power so we both had a good amount of heroes to capture objectives. Again, I elected to go first and surged my army to the central and right flank objectives. Frank then blew my mind. He Charged his Ghoul King on Terrorgheist into a gap I had dead center of 3 units of troops and his Vampire Lord on Terrorgheist straight behind my line and into The Glotkin. His Abyssal Terror and Courtier went for the left and right flank objectives. Frank activated his Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon first. He did a good amount of damage dealing 9 wounds… then my jaw dropped. Being his General Frank gave his Vampire Lord the Allegiance Ability Red Fury. This meant he automatically got to attack again because he did more than 6 wounds. This time the Vampire laid The Glotkin to rest with a massive amount of wounds from himself and his Zombie Dragon. The Terrorgheist on the other had targeted a unit of Chaos Warriors that were buffed with Mystic Shield and Fleshy Abundance (an extra wound per model). I piled in on the Terrorgheist with 2 units of Blightkings and worked him down the next 2 turns. I had some luck in turns 2 and 3 against the Zombie Dragon getting a unit of Blight Kings and Lord of Plagues to finally take the beast and his master down. By turn 4 I had the center and right flank objectives secure and was in a position to kill the Abyssal Terror and cap the left flank. Realizing this Frank called it as I was quickly taking control of the board (Ghouls die fast to Blightkings) and he was out of heroes. I won 16-15. It was very tight despite my table control.

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For the final game of the event I was matched against Garry and his legion of zombies. I believe he had a Vampire Lord on foot, 3 Necromancers, 2 Mortis Engines, a Corps cart, a unit of Dire wolves, and an uncountable amount of 10 man unit of Zombies. The scenario was  Blood and Glory. For the first time ever with my Blightguard I decided to go on the offensive and attempt to cap all 4 objectives. I felt my army was faster and did not want to get bogged down by zombies defending my deployment zone where their sheer number would allow them to steal the objectives away from me. The first turn was uneventful as we both shamble up the board. Gary did summon in a Balewind Vortex by one of his Necromancers and now had a 28 inch summon range for a 400 point pool he had left in reserves. Turn two Garry combined 4 units of zombies, summoned in 20 more into them , and got off Dance Macabre on them. Next he charged with an 11 and was able to get that single unit of 60 zombies in combat with 2 units of Blight kings. In his first activation Garry killed 3 Blightkings from one unit but the other only took 3 wounds. I activated the full strength unit of Blightkings and rolled 12 sixes out of 20. Sixes on a to hit roll for Blightkings become D6 hits. That turned into 50 something hits re-rolling to wound rolls of 1 per my Battalion and Gary had to make a little over 40 wound saves… he didn’t make many. Next he activated what he had left in that unit thanks to Dance Macabre and was able to kill another Blightking. Then the battle shock happened and the rest of the zombie unit fled. Between that and losing his Dire Wolves and a Mortis engine in my turn Garry conceded and we shook hands. He still had a lot of models on the table but I took out close to 1000 points in turn two and took the will to fight out of his army.

David from my first game ended up winning a well deserved first! I ended up taking second overall for the event along with best sportsman (despite making a unit of 60 zombies explode on their charge) and Scott was awarded best painted by the staff of Game Empire.

It was another great SoCal Age of Sigmar event and truly appreciate the event organizers and the players for coming out!


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GRex

Yesterday was the At Ease Carnage tournament held at At Ease Games in San Diego. The event was run by our very own Scott Reed utilizing the upcoming Las Vegas Open tournament pack. The turnout was phenomenal! We had 20 players show up for the 3 round event. It was the largest Age of Sigmar tournament in the SoCal area to date.

For the tournament Scott utilized West Coast pairings. This automated the matchup process along with Swiss scoring and ITC points. At Ease Games provided all the tables needed with F.A.T. Mats and tons of terrain.

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I ran with my Nurgle themed Chaos list for the tournament. My 2000 point list consisted of:

  • The Glotkin
  • Bloab Rotspawned
  • Lord of Plagues (Chaos Runeblade)
  • Rotbringer Sorcerer (Beguiling Gem)
  • 4 units of 5 Putrid Blightkings
  • 10 Chaos Warriors (Nurgle)
  • Chaos Spawn (Nurgle)
  • Blightguard Battalion

I also had a 500 point sideboard:

  • Herald of Nurgle
  • 20 Plaguebearers
  • 2 units of 10 Plague bearers

For my first game I was matched against Frank DeLoach’s Destruction army. Our first scenario was Take and Hold. This was a super fun slobberknocker. Other than rushing my Chaos Spawn up the right flank towards an Ironblaster and Moonclan Grots our armies met in the middle. The fight came down to two components. The Glotkin and 5 Blightkings vs a Huskard on Thundertusk and a Thundertusk Beastriders; and 2 units of Blightkings with the Lord of Plagues, Rotbringer Sorcerer, and Bloab Rotspawned vs 12 Ogors and a Butcher. The Ogors were able to get a charge off into a unit of Blightkings but my Sorcerer popped the Beguiling Gem in the combat phase making them -2 to hit (Blightguard Formation confers an additional -1 to hit). This along with mystic shield kept all 5 of my Blightkings alive allowing them to attack back with a massive amount of attacks. My army receives an extra attack for being within 14″ of The Gotkin along with a possible +1 to hit with the Chaos Allegiance Ability. The other scrum saw The Glotkin take 12 mortal wounds in the shooting phase from the Huskar and Beastriders. The Huskar then charged The Glotkin but was unable to finish him off. I was able to pile in a unit of Blightkings along with The Glotkin and killed Franks general. The next couple of rounds was a slow demise of Franks Ogors and some unlucky rolls from the Beastriders (rolled a 1 for their mortal wound shooting and tons of misses in combat) allowing me to get to Frank’s objective and secure a major victory. Frank was a great opponent and super knowledgable and fun to talk to all things AoS.

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Round two found me matched against Nick Eisenhart and his Clan Skyre tunnelers. The Battleplan was Blood and Glory. I came prepared, or thought I did, for a deepstriking mortal wound dealing army. I swapped my Glotkin with my Nurgle Daemons sideboard. The idea was to use them as a meat shield along with my Warriors of Chaos that ignored mortal wounds on a 5+. I bubble wrapped myself in in the left hand side of my deployment zone. The idea being to push out and hold my objective along with the left flank objective. Turn one I summoned one unit of 10 Plaguebearers out near the left flank objective and marched my army out while preserving my bubble wrap. Then Nick tunneled his rats in. Without going through the play by play Nick slowly mortal wounded me to the point where I was unable to hold any objectives after 3 rounds. When I got my Blightkings into combat they did great. I had two problems though. First, by bubble wrapping my damage dealing units in behind  my meat shield I couldn’t effectively kill rats fast enough to reach objectives in time to fend them off. Second, The Glotkin provides a ton of synergy. Losing an extra attack for all units within 14″ really stymied me. But, I think I did the right thing by swapping him with my sideboard (I mistakenly deployed my Chaos Spawn, it too should have been swapped with the Glotkin to keep my army at or under 2,000 points). Nick played his army and the mission to perfection for a Major Victory.

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My final fight was against Josh Greenfield. Josh brought a beautifully painted Flesh Eaters Corpse army. The Battleplan was Escalation and I went with my original list. Josh’s deployment had him going heavy on my right flank objective, he held all his Ghouls in reserve under his  Battalions special rule. I deployed most of my army to contest the right flank along with a unit of Blightkings to grab the center objective and another to grab the left flank objective along with the Chaos spawn. Despite being 18″ or more from the right flank objective Josh was able to move in quickly with his 3 units of Crypt Flayers, Crypt Courtier, and Ghoul King on Zombie Dragon. As I expected the Ghouls came out near the left flank’s objective table edge. My plan was to slowly feed Josh units that can last a couple of combats to prevent his Ghoul tide from reaching the center objective while throwing most of my army at the right flight as I had the higher model count there and had no choice but to send The Glotkin and Bloab Rotspawned at the Ghoul King on Zombie Dragon. Having to deploy The Glotkin and Bloab 24″ from Josh’s deployment zone really hamstrung my plan as it took 4 turns to get The Glotkin into combat. In the meantime Josh and I were going back and forth on the right flank objective. In my turn I would secure the objective. In his turns he would clean out the unit that held the objective. The finger biting back and forth was super fun. On the left flank my piecemeal tactic worked but was probably the wrong tactic. Josh killed off the spawn and unit of Blightkings. On his way to the center objective he regenerated his units back to full strength were he slowly took the center objective from another unit of Blightkings and Lord of Plagues. Had I just let Josh take the left flank with only the Chaos Spawn to interfere I probably could have destroyed his units with two units of Blightkings and Lord of Plagues then worked to take back the objectives. Josh did everything right. He was textbook with deployment, movement, and combat activation sequence which earned him a well deserved Major Victory.

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Once again this was another great tournament in the SoCal area. The icing on the cake was the catered food and new taproom. At Ease Games has partnered with Barrel Harbor Brewing and opened a huge event hall that connects to the main store. Having a beer between games with my fellow AoS players along with the gaming community vibe was the highlight of the day. Special thanks to Scott for putting this all together!

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GRex

Review: Bladestorm

I just got done reading Bladestorm by Matt Westbrook. It was the first full length novel of The Realmgate Wars series I read from the Black Library. I have read a few other books but they were collections of short stories or novelettes.  To date it is the best Stormcast Eternals book I have read. It is probably a toss up the The Call of Archaon featuring 3 Champions of Chaos fro my favorite Age of Sigmar book.

In his book Westrbrook sends Lord-Celestant Thostos Bladestorm and his Celestial Vindicators along with Lord-Celestant Mykos Argellon  and the Argellonites Warrior chamber on a quest to capture the Manticore Gate located in a Chaos Dreadhold. The Manticore Gate is one of the last Realmgates needed for Sigmar to muster his forces for the assault on the All-Gates. There are two story arcs in the book. The main one where the two warrior chambers have to capture and hold the Dreadhold and purge the Manticore Gate in order to use it and a small unit of Celestial Vindicators who go after a Chaos Sorcerer who escaped the Dreadhold.

The assault on the Dreadhold was pretty straight forward and there was no doubt the Stormcasts were going to defeat the Khorne defenders. There is a cool part were Thostos is battered and broken but is struck by a bolt of lightning from Sigmar and goes through a minor reforging to defeat the Chaos Lord and capture the Manticore Gate.

The defense of the the Dreadhold by the conquering Stormcasts became an epic battle. It starts with the battle of Splitskull pass from a HUGE Ironjawz army. Lord-Celestant Mykos and his warrior chamber buy time for the Celestial Vindicators to purge the Manticore Gate by fighting to the last man. Once the Ironjawz make it to the gates Thostos Bladestorm challenges the Orruk Megaboss to single combat. The fight had me on the edge of my seat as Westbrook made it clear that the Stormcast Eternals are willing to sacrifice themselves and Thostos has already been reforged so many times there is almost nothing left of his humanity. Another death and he may not have had anything left of his soul. Through grim determination and trickery Thostos barely pulls off a win sending the Ironjawz into a frenzied mob killing themselves and throwing themselves against the walls of the Dreadhold. The Stormcasts are rescued by a remnant of Argellonite Prosecutors who herded large plains-beasts into a sweeping charge that wiped out most of the Orruks.

In the meantime the small group of Celestial Vindicators chase the Chaos Sorcerer through an underground cavern system to his lair. There Judicaticator Atrim avenges the death of a battle brother and rescues another through a horrific trial. I liked this story arc as it followed a group of adventurers compared to whole armies. The reader got to know everyone in the party.

The story arcs re-merge with Atrim being hand selected along with a handful of Celestial Vindicators by Thostos to enter through the Manticore Gate. On the other side they are seeking a Knight-Azyros who is supposed to lead the warrior chamber to the muster point for the assault on the All-Gates. They find that a Tzeentch Lord has captured their brother and was holding him hostage in reality warped tower. Once inside Thostos leads an assault up spiralling stairs catching the defenders off guard. The Chaos Lord releases a Chimera on the Stormcasts and Thostos chooses between helping his brothers or engaging in combat with the Tzeentch lord. In the end Thostos kills the Tzeentch leader and finds the Knight-Azyros was captured in a magical sphere. Thostos gets the location of the muster point and destroys the sphere to release the Knight-Azyros soul for reforging.

Atrim, at the same time, is the hero of the day once again by jumping on the back of the Chimera while in flight and injures it enough to freefall down the tower. The Chimera and Atrim crash into the floor killing the Chimera and seriously wounding Atrim. 

What is left of the Celestial Vindicators make it to muster point where the join other warrior chambers for the last battle of The Realmgate Wars…


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GRex

Yesterday was the Age of Sigmar Battlehost Tournament at Green Tower Games in Santa Clarita, CA. The event had 8 players show up for a one day 3 round scrap.

Once again I brought my Nurgle Rotbringers led by The Glotkin. There was another Chaos Nurgle, Tzeentch Slave to Darkness, Skaven, Stormcast Eternals, Ghoul Kings, Duardin Dispossessed, and Bretonnians armies present.

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The rounds drew the following scenarios: Escalation, Gifts from the Heavens, and Blood and Glory.

I was paired with Ian and his Stormcast Eternals for game one. It was his first game of AoS ever! I knew I had a hard list and I was pretty familiar with his. As the game went along I was telling Ian what I was thinking and planning and why. Sometimes I would get a turn ahead in my thoughts so he could better understand the scenario. I won the game and it was a blast. Ian was super fun to play and couple of dice rolls went my way securing the victory.

For round two I drew Tyler and his Bretonnians. I had played this army once last year when AoS first kicked off and wasn’t very sure how this army works. Let me tell you this; 9 Pegasus Knights buffed by a Fay Enchantress and Damsel of the Lady are brutal. The Pegasus Knights had a plus 2 to hit and Mystic Shield from the Fay Enchantress along with a 5+ invuln save from the Damsel. I deferred turn one and the unit of 9 Pegasus Knights charged right into my center line. They deleted a unit of Chaos Warriors. I then piled in with 5 Putrid Blightkings and didn’t do any damage. The Pegasus Knights then got a second activation and killed 4 of my Blightkings! I had to spend the next two turns focussing over half of my army these guys causing me to neglect the objective that fell on my right flank ( where I didn’t deploy well). Through a good deployment and speed Tyler was able to contest my objective from turn 3 until the end of the game. He did really great with his army and deployment and won a well deserved major victory.

My final game was against Mike and his Skaven which made this our 3rd tournament matchup in a row. We both knew each other’s armies really well. This game turned into a slugfest right from turn 1. Mike tunneled in on my right flank and with his warp flame units and Warp Lighting Cannons I started taking a TON of mortal wounds. I was able to get some good charges off on my turn 1 and start cleaning up the infiltrators. Then I got the double turn to start turn two and was able to get my Warriors of Chaos across the battlefield and engaged in the 2 Warp Lightning Cannons. There was a lot of back and forth and Mike killed of The Glotkin around turn 3. We drew on the objectives and had to count points destroyed. He killed 1680 points to my 1460 and earned a minor victory. Once again my matchup against Mike turned into one of the best games of AoS I have played to date.

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Finally here are the results:

  • Tyler (Brettonnians)-Best General
  • Zach (Nurgle)-Best Painted
  • Ian (Stormacast Eternal)-Best Sportsmanship

Green Tower Games had some killer prizes. Tyler won a Start Collecting box of his choice! Zach won the new Gorechosen game, and Ian won $20 in store credit.

Thanks to Green Tower Games and Austin for putting this together! The venue was great and the players were even better. It is always awesome to meet and play awesome gamers.


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GRex

White Dwarf October 2016

The follow up issue to the new White Dwarf monthly format lived up to expectations. It featured the new release of the Genestealer Cult for Warhammer 40k and contained a bonus comic book set in the grimdark.

As far as Age of Sigmar content goes White Dwarf featured A Tale of Four Warlords. This appears to be an ongoing feature where four Games Workshop employees started with a Start Collecting AoS faction. In October’s issue we were introduced to their paint scheme and new additions to their armies. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Matt Hutson – Sylvaneth
  • Andrew King – Nurgle (started with Daemons of Nurgle)
  • James Karch – Death (started with Malignants)
  • Phil Cowey – Ironjawz

It was great to read about their thought process for collecting their armies. There were some really good paint jobs too. I am sure as their armies grow there will be a battle report or two. What would be really interesting is if they feature their armies in an AoS campaign.

Finally, to me, the best article in this months White Dwarf was an interview with Jes Goodwin. Jes has been part of the Citadel design team for the last 30 years. He is responsible for much of the visual themes found in Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k. It was great to read about the evolution of some of my favorite armies.

I highly recommend picking this months White Dwarf. There is a lot of content and great pictures for both AoS and 40k fans alike. And like I have stated before, I doesn’t take five minutes to flip through like the weekly formats… there is a lot to go back to and read.


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GRex

Realmgate Wars: Godbeasts

For the third installment of the Realmgate Wars gaming supplements Godbeasts appear to be the first to have an original storyline. The previous two books drew from Black Library books offering abridged versions of the narrative.

As the title suggests this book is about a couple different types of gods in the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar universe. There are five primary gods; Sigmar, Alarielle, Grimnir, Gorkamorka, Nagash along with the four Chaos gods. There are also what are called Godbeasts. One is Ignax, a fire drake chained to the Crescent Isle, acting as the realms sun. Also, Behemat a World Titan Gargant god resting below the Scabrous Sprawl of the Jade Kingdoms.

Up to this point Archaon, the Everchosen, has been accumulating power through tricking or binding his will to Kiathanus, a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, and Argentine, the Sylver Wyrm from the first book. Archaon sets a plan in motion to manipulate and ally himself with Ignax and Behemat. There is a lot of carnage from beginning to end with Stormcast Eternals seemingly always coming back from the brink of loss with a timely victory.

The highlight of the story was Ionus Cryptborn’s creative way of killing Skarbrand. Ionus sets a trap that put Skarbrand near a crystal that amplifies emotion. Skarbrand is so enraged by the trap that his hatred is magnified into a physical force that make followers of Khorne’s heads explode. This is said to warm Khorne’s heart. Skarbrands howl of rage also makes the crystal explode pulverizing him with its shards.

Godbeasts come with 12 Battletomes, which is the most of the three reviewed. Interestingly enough I noticed some had rules for three or more players. It also introduces the new Extremis Chamber faction to AoS.

The verdict: Once again it is hard to justify $65 for a hardcover book. This time it does appear to be an original story. The 12 Battletomes, for me, is great as I am now playing them with my gaming group in San Diego. Finally, it contains free rules, top notch art, and looks good on a collection on the shelf.

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Realmgate-Wars-3-Godbeasts-HB-EN


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GRex

Balance of Power is the second installment in the Realmgate Wars released by Games-Workshop. Like it’s predecessor, The Quest for Ghal Maraz, it contains a condensed version of the Black Library novel Warbeast, 8 new Battle Plans, and an assortment of new Warscrolls and Warscroll Battalions.

The story continues with a rag tag group of Stormcast Eternals and remaining forces of Alarielle the Everqueen’s Sylvaneth host and their desperate retreat from the forces of Chaos. The Lady of Vines, cradling Alarielle’s soulpod, leads this band on a quest to travel the Path of the Purified and reach the top of Blackstone Summit. Here is where the Lady of Vines hopes Alarielle will be reborn in her war form.

The entire time, however, the have the eyes of the Chaos gods firmly on them. Grandfather Nurgle himself can sense the end of his nemesis in the realm of Ghyram is near. He imbues his champion, Torglug the Despised, gifts and divine purpose to get the soulpod in a hope to corrupt it for Nurgle’s own vile purpose. Lorus Grymm, Lord-Castellent of the Hallowed Knights, does his best to keep the forces remaining organized and focussed despite being below combat effective.

At the battle of Blackstone Summit Torglug is about to take the soulpod from the Lady of Vines when the Celestant Prime wielding Sigmar’s Ghal Maraz arrives on a meteoric entrance and turns the tide of battle. The Celestant Prime kills Torglug and it is presumed the forces of Order win the battle. More importantly we find that Torglug was actually faithful to Sigmar but his soul was infected by Nurlge in his previous life and now that he was killed Sigmar saved his soul and reforged him as a Knight Venator.

Another major storyline introduces the new faction called the Fyreslayers. They are duardin descendents of Grimnir. They are cursed with seeking Grimnir’s soul witch has been scattered in the form of urgold. They not only use urgold as currency but use it to infuse their bodies with Grimnirs essence to enhance their battle prowess. The Fyreslayers fall under the Order Grand Alliance but are technically mercenaries that will fight for the highest bidder. They have one purpose and that is to collect all the urgold in the nine realms in order to reforge their god.

In Balance of Power a Stormcast warrior chamber is sent to hire the Volstag Lodge in order to get safe passage to a keep belonging to the chaos god Khorne. Lord-Cellestant Sargassus of the Heavenhost not only has enough urgold to get passage through a secret underground network to the keep but enough to buy the lodge’s help in breaking into it. It is thought to be a suicidal mission and almost proves to be.

Inside the keep is the greater daemon Skarbrand. He is technically imprisoned there by Khorne himself as Skarbrand has a tendency to kill everyone in site, friend or foe. Sigmar hopes that by breaking his bonds Skarbrand will cause havoc in Khorne’s own ranks and take a significant amount of attention away from Sigmar’s war to retake the realms.

This plan almost works but Sargassus triggers an alarm while Skarbrand was deployed in a battle. The alarm magically brings Skarbrand back to the keep where the forces of order are forced to retreat.

Interestingly, Skarbrand’s Warscroll is the only monster where his stats get better as he gets wounded. He goes from Angry to Incandescent gaining more and more attacks.

The final major part of the narrative is Vandus Hammerhand and his Hammerhand host trying to stop a greater daemon of Slaanesh from learning its true name. Initially a Guant Summoner is trying to take advantage of the greater daemon hoping to bind it to his will. Things start going bad for the poor sorcerer so he starts calling in favors and summoning daemons to his aid. He finally resorts to summoning Skarbrand but Archaon and his Varanguard come in his stead.

The Varanguard are Archaon’s elite fighting force. Having been champions to a Chaos god they have given up their allegiance to fight for the Everchosen himself.

Archaon’s true nature is to bind the greater daemon himself. He ends up killing the Guant Summoner and the tide turns against the Stormcast host. Vandus is able to challenge Archaon but is killed along with every Stormcast on the battlefield. A message has been sent.

There are a couple of short tie in with Neferrata and the Death Grand Alliance and the Seraphon on a covert mission to aid the Sylvaneth. These are a few pages and felt like they were added to keep most Age of Sigmar players happy that their armies showed up.

All in all it was a good read. If that is what you are looking for you would do better by saving your $74 and just buying the novels. What you do get is a great set of Battleplans that let you recreate the Realmgate Wars on the tabletop. It also include the Warscrolls, which are already free, and Warscroll Battalions that give rules that fit the narrative. Finally, you get some terrific artwork. The book immerses you in the Age of Sigmar universe which I am thrilled about. All in all I am happy with the book and looks great on the shelf.


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GRex

Lords of War Tournament

Yesterday was the Lords of War tournament run by Scott Reed and hosted by At Ease Games in San Diego. We had 10 players show up for a one day three round event.

The tables were beautiful. At Ease Games has a bunch of F.A.T Mats from Frontline Gaming and a huge range of terrain. On a given day At Ease Games can accommodate at least 10 6’x4′ mats with a ton of terrain.

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Scott, the Tournament Organizer (T.O.), utilized bestcoastpairings.com for registration and matchups. The program allows the T.O. to track results which in turn automates the next round’s matchups. It was a pretty sweet system once the program was figured out.

After matchups were set a scenario was pulled out of a hat that every table played. This format put everyone on an equal scoring system. The only variables being army lists and terrain.

After the first round there was a break for lunch and exhibition for the painting competition. Every player laid out their favorite models/units they wanted voted on by their fellow players. There was one entry allowed for the following categories; Behemoth, Artillery, Leader/Unit. This was a nice pause since we had some food catered in as part of the signup cost and we got to chit chat about the first game we played.

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At the end of the tournament Scott had an awards ceremony. He had certificates for the winners of each painting category, a player voted Best Sportsman award, and certificates for 1st-3rd place. Some of the certificates came with store credit from At Ease Games and those who placed also recieved a gift certifiacte from our sponsors Powered Play Gaming. Powered Play Gaming sells LED kits for wargamers. I am seriously looking at their Video Display that can be modeled into a Sci-Fi billboard.

I saved the best for last… the results. Yours truly won the event overall with two major victories and  a minor loss. My loss came game one and I spent the next two playing to have fun and to give my opponent a good match. The powers of the Blightguard led by The Glotkin proved to be too much in the end.

  • 1st-Greg H.
  • 2nd-James C.
  • 3rd-Mike F.
  • Sportsman-Donovan S.
  • Best Painted Behemoth-Darrel C.
  • Best Painted Artillery-Mike F.
  • Best Painted Leader/Unit-Paul D.

https://www.bestcoastpairings.com/event/lordsofwar

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Thank you to our sponsors, Scott, and the players for making this such a wonderful event!

 


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GRex

Warhammer Quest: Arcane Heroes

On Saturday we saw Games Workshop put up another expansion for Warhammer Quest titled  Arcane Heroes. It gives players 5 more playable characters for both The Silver Tower and Age of Sigmar. Along with the Mighty Heroes expansion this brings the total number of playable models to 15.

Arcane Heroes includes:

  • Grey Seer
  • Chaos Sorcerer
  • Knight-Heralder
  • Sorceress
  • Skink Priest

Before I get to value I would like to point out the Sorceress model is an old Night Elf Sorceress model. GW did not use the name Aelf to describe the it. My tin foil hat tells me this means something.

So, for $55 you get 5 great models. If purchased individually you would end up spending $96.75.

Whether purchased for your Silver Tower collection or you plan on beefing up your AoS collection you can’t go wrong here. Fingers crossed for a new dungeon expansion!

Check it out here:

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer-Quest-Arcane-Heroes


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