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About this blog

Fun and adventures corrupting in the Realm of Life, by a rat with questionable morals...

Entries in this blog

James McPherson

I ran my first ever tournament this last weekend gone. Here's a bunch of pics of all the scenery I built, and the event I organised out in NZ in Welly. Probably sunk about 1000hrs or so of my time into it over the last 3 or 4 months . I had a little bit of help from Nathan Smith the manager of GW Wellington, but I did most of it myself. I started the scenery build in the Uk and shipped it over to Welly and finished it off.

You can hear me talking about it on Bad Dice Daily here : http://baddice.co.uk/jim-mcphearson-talks-aos-events-new-zealand-aos-daily-129/

 

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James McPherson

I've been living in Wellington NZ on and off for a while now and have been thinking about starting up an independent gaming club for a while, and decided to finally get it going recently. We play tabletop wargames, boardgames and RPG's and are 100% free and all inclusive.

I co-founded it and run it with my friend Tim who is helping to keep it going while I'm back in the UK on a break.

The venue we use is a beautiful local art deco cinema down the road from the film studios where they make the LOTR & Hobbit movies called The Roxy. http://www.roxycinema.co.nz/

It won best cinema in NZ in '13 , has a beautiful restaurant downstairs which is empty/not used on Monday nights, and features a pretty sweet adjoining bar with super friendly supportive staff. It's owned by the guys who produced LOTR (Jamie Selkirk) and founded Weta Workshop (Richard Taylor & Tania Rodger) . It has a bronze statue of Gandalf the grey outside, and loads of cool memorabilia and decor inside, it's def one of the coolest places to have a gaming club!

We are a mix of Weta employee's and locals. It's been running about 6 weeks now and is going well so far. Nobody has played LOTR there yet which is a shame, but I'm working on building more links with the local community and getting the word out there.

The boardgamers are always out in full force, Weta have recently designed their first ever board game, called Giant Killer Robots so we are hoping to get a copy of that to play at some point, and maybe also the Labyrinthe game which contains mini's sculpted by local legend and one of Weta's senior concept artists and sculptors Johnny Frazer Allen (who also happens to have one of the worlds most impressive LOTR collections so I'm told)

We had our first RPG game there this week which is pretty cool, and we are running our first club competition for International Tabletop day at the end of April for which Johnny FA will be a guest judge. 

We have had one or two games of AOS going every week since starting which has been great too.

In other AOS related news, I stepped in to TO for the first time ever at an AOS tournament in August at Call to Arms, which is Wellington Warlords large annual wargaming weekend.

 

 

For now I'll leave you with a few pics from our brand new games club, The Miramar Freebooters, Monday nights 6 'til late in Miramar, Wellington!

follow us on Facebook -

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheMiramarFreebooters

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James McPherson

2017 Kicked off with Valleycon in the greater Wellington area, a large mixed system gaming convention with everything from Historical, FOW, Bolt Action through to Infinity Wars, Warmachine, LOTR, and of course AOS. Wellington is split into two wargaming clubs, one with a more historical focus and one with a more modern/younger patronship. Valleycon is the large annual event for the former. There were around 120 players there which is the largest it's ever been I think.

AOS was well represented with 22 players, making it the largest AOS tournament to date in NZ I think, with some guys making the trek all the way down from Auckland to the current capital of Age of Sigmar in NZ. Timothy Lind aka @Tronhammer NZ and @Primez were involved in organising things and the excellent local GW Wellington manager Nathan Smith supplied some terrain from his private collection. The boards looked great and it was a really well organised day of gaming.

A more detailed report can be found here http://regimentnz.blogspot.co.nz/

In the end I took a mixed Skaven force with Skyre and Pestilens and lost every single game and came last. I won't bother going into the reasons why or posting any long bat reps, suffice to say I sucked really really badly and it was a frustrating weekend. I had fun though and got to play some games and get involved which is good enough for me.

I have a curse currently at the larger events where I cannot break my duck, I still haven't won a game yet in the larger competitive tournaments, and this was the 3rd 20+ one I have attended so far. I took some photos though so at least I managed something useful! BCR won in the end, with Sylvaneth and STE placing high also.

 

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Second tournament of the year was OTT organised again by Timothy Lind @Tronhammer NZ and was a little bit different and special. It was a no restrictions narrative event, with no allegiance or battlefield role restrictions. Games were standard scenarios from the GHB but with extra narrative layers added.

This event is a regular on the calendar and is held by the Hamilton Immortals Wargaming Club who are a great club based just south of Auckland. We had about 10 people attend over the course of the wknd ranging from the reigning NZ champ right through to new players playing their first games . It was a great laid back weekend of gaming.  James Page, reigning NZ No.1 and Hamilton Immortal club member achieved a perfect score of 5 Majors and 2k kill points for all 5 games with his Tomb Kings army, the first time that's been done in NZ by anybody. I managed to steal a 2nd place somewhat undeservedly, and got some painting awards too which was a nice touch.

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Next tournament is Equinox in Auckland in March, then I'm flying back to the UK to visit my family for 3 months and will be going to GT heat 2 @ WHW and SCGT in April,

Will keep using the pure Pestilens allegiance. I'm up to over 40 games now with them, since last May/June, almost a year and still enjoying it, I just find the games are hard to complete in the allotted time because you have such a large army, so I am currently looking at ways of streamlining my play whilst still playing to the maximum ability.

We have a good group growing in Wellington and are thinking about starting a club night soon.

A slow grow grass roots league started recently too in Welly with 20 or so players organising games around each others houses.

I am also organising a small weekend event in August which I will blog, at the Call to Arms weekender in Wellington.

 

 

 

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James McPherson

Happy New Year to everyone on TGA, anyone at Rygas Roughnecks in Exeter, Exmouth Imperial Wargames Club, anyone I met up at at WHW, and to all the Kiwi's out here in Aotearoa. 

It's been an interesting year for me after a 20 year break from GW and the hobby, and I'm stoked to rekindle my love for Warhammer Fantasy and gaming!

Here's an overall group WIP shot of what I got done in '16

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Games wise here's a look back at how I did with my pure allegiance Pestilens army as I learned how to play AOS this year

UK

6 club games , L4 W2

9 competitive games L8 W1

Organised Events attended - 2 , Season of Hope finale & Warlords (87th)

 

NZ

3 casual games  L3 W0

11 competitive games L6 W5

Organised Events attended - 3, Guardon Battlehost (2nd) Inepticon Battlehost (1st) Warhost (last/ withdrew due to illness)

 

 

I'm up to about 30 games or so now with AOS so still fairly green with it and to wargaming in general. My original aim for this year was learn to play the game and the rules to such a level that I am not having to constantly to look up or read the warscrolls , and to be able to give someone a decent game competitively without being a total walkover. I feel like maybe that's been achieved now and I've managed to win a few games along the way which has been nice, and meet some great people and make some new friends along the way.

So '17 will be about taking it up a step and playing more games and trying to start to win more and work on my overall gameplay and understanding of tactics and winning games.

My arm is slowly healing up from the Shingles, still got some nasty scars though. I needed some time out to get well again but have been back at it recently over Christmas with some extra hobby time.

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Over Xmas I've added Epidemius, a GUO, 30 PB's, 6 Drones, 30 Marauders and Tamurkhan as allies to my pool, and I have 16 Plague Toads hopping their way over to NZ as well.

In 2017 I've decided to start experimenting with adding bits into my Pestilens army, starting with a small 1 day tournament tomorrow at a friends house. I've decided to keep going with the Pestilens stuff for now, and look at using them as the core for a summoning army, or possibly a mixed alliance with Sayl and Epidemius. I'll be play testing both at tournaments here in NZ and casual games over the next few months.

Not sure if I'll use Tamurkhan much, I mostly just wanted to paint him...

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James McPherson

It's a wrap!

Work has ramped up now and things are getting busy at Weta so I am finding myself with less time on my hands over the coming months. I went to the final tournament of the year this weekend, but  I injured my arm in the run up to it so I only got to play a couple games before withdrawing which was disappointing. I felt like all the elements have been against me a bit recently so have decided to call time on gaming with my Pestilens army for now, and maybe hope to get the odd casual game in on a Sunday.

I'll start a new blog next year when my next army is getting going, but for now thanks to everyone for the games we've played and for contributing and reading and giving me somewhere to share my progress throughout 2016!

James McPherson

Inepticon '16

Hot on the heels on Guardcon was Inepticon, a narrative event run by the excellent Nicholas Jebson of the Kapiti Wargamers club. This was a whole weekend event, with the Saturday games @1k and the Sunday games @2k.

We had 8 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday, and played at a local college. I made both days, Saturday taking a fluffier list to the 1k games and Sunday playing a more competitive one.

I wont best painted both days and also won the 2k tournament on the Sunday with 2 majors and a minor in the final battle which played out with Shaun Bates aka @Primez. @Primez had won the 1k tournament the previous day so it was important to not let him clean up!

I placed 2nd to last on the Saturday 1k event and didn't have such a great day but still had a lot of fun and enjoyed the narrative content and cool scenarios.

This particular tournament had a house rule to say if more than 50% of a unit is covered then there is no line of sight, so I used this to great advantage by making my plague furnace into a giant wall/shield for the weekend which helped a bit. There was also no duplicate Allegiance Artifacts so I couldn't spam Crown of Conquest which hampered my battleshock tests a lot and meant it was harder to play my list, so the two house rules evened each other out a bit.

 

Next up is NZ's first exclusively AOS only event with approx 20 players coming from all over NZ to my home, Wellington. That is on the 11th Nov and is a 2.5k, 4 game, 2 day event, which everyone is looking really forward to!

 

My Sunday list was

1990pts

Corruptor, General, Dark Avenger, Crown of Conquest

Plague Furnace , Chaos Talisman

Skrolk

Plague Priest,

30 P.Monks

30 P.Monks

30 P.Monks

Plagueclaw

Plagueclaw

Plagueclaw

Foulrain Congregation

Pestilent Clawpack

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James McPherson

Well I made it out to NZ. The blue case and the KR were both full of minis, paints and modelling stuff when I left Exeter bus stn last week! I've started back at work already so don't have much time to update this, but wanted to post the pics and will update when I get free time. First tournament was Guardcon at the Auckland City Guard club in Remeura Auckland, It was on the day after I arrived and I almost missed it because my visa came late. Placed 2nd and won best painted army which was pretty cool, but even more importantly I met some awesome guys and played my first games of AOS in NZ! 

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James McPherson

So I spent the last few weeks hobby time mostly painting & getting ready for Warlords.

I had a lot of deliberation over what list to take, I have about 2.5k of Pestilens and can make any of the existing formations, but haven't playtested all of them yet. I mostly played up to now with 2 Plagueclaws in previous games , but I wanted to use the Foulrain this time and that meant I had less real estate to play with points wise as it's 700 points, so I found it hard to shoehorn in the rest of what I needed and that also meant I had to paint extra as I kept changing my mind. In the end I had to drop a Plague Furnace and some Censer Bearers to fit it all in.

Not everything is finished but I got enough done to have it useable. I didn't finish my basing but I will work on that later and keep going with it once I hit NZ.

Warlords was a huge adventure for me. I only came back to the UK temporarily in April to help my Mom get through a life changing operation. While I was back here I wanted to learn to play AOS so I picked up an army and got it painted and learned AOS from scratch in the space of about 3 months or so by playing games at my local gaming clubs. Warlords was the culmination of my time here in the UK and I am meant to fly out on Thursday back to work in New Zealand.

My main aim was to be able to go up to Warlords and just be able to play fluidly without too much stop starting and rule reading, to use what I'd learned the last few months in my practice games and to make as good an opponent as possible and try to be competitive whilst still having fun and enjoying the weekend. I had no idea what to expect really as I've never been to a tourney before or played wargames much before, it's all new to me. I played a few games in the early 90s with friends and family but that's about it.

I knew my army wasn't great in competitive terms but it is all I have painted and is what I have learned to play Sigmar with at my local games club, and feel most comfortable with, so I wanted to just take that and at the same time turn up for Pestilens and represent!

It was my first competitive tournament, and the most AOS I've ever played before in one weekend.

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my list in the end was

Verminlord Corruptor , Lord of War, Crown of Conquest, General 240pts

Lord Skrolk 100pts

Plague Priest with Plague Censer 80pts, Crown of Conquest

Plague Furnace 220pts, Crown of Conquest

30 P. Monks, foetid blades 210pts

30 P.Monks, woe staves 210pts

20 P.Monks fofetid blades 140pts

5 Censer bearers 60pts

Plagueclaw 180pts

Plagueclaw 180pts

Plagueclaw 180pts

Pestilent Clawpack

Foulrain Congregation

1980pts

 

Game 1

Game 1 was against Aidi McWater who placed 2nd overall eventually. I finished setting up first and gave him the first turn. He was running a death list with Vampires and a Mourngul and Mortis Engines. He put Hellish Vigour on his Zombie Dragon and it moved 28 inches in the movement phase and ended its move about 3inches from all my Plagueclaws. So that was a big mistake of mine not to screen them off or take first turn myself and try to shoot him off the table.

By the end of the round though I had counter charged and killed his Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon General with a nice charge by 20 plague monks and nearly taken out one Mortis Engine with my P.Claws, and at that point I should've kept pushing them forwards into the engines but instead I was too conservative with them and held them back, unsure of how much damage the dual Mortis A-Bomb would cause when it detonated. But then all his stuff just healed itself and came back to life when he detonated them. I made another mistake with my movement where I needlessly sacrificed the screener unit of 5 censer bearers which then left a unit of 30 monks open to a Bloodknight charge and were wiped out. So I really lost this game with poor movement choices, but also had never played against a lot of these units before. Didn't know the Mourngul gave -2 to hit in a bubble around it, and once it got up into my units it just mitigated all my combat offense. In the end it was headed towards a tabling so I think I conceded early by about turn 3 or 4.

Game 2

I thought my 2nd game would get a bit easier but I got to one of the bottom tables and there was Dan Heelan waiting for me.

Dan had said something on his last podcast about how he would never be one of those guys who would take a weak list to a competitive setting like Moonclan Grots and happily just turn up to make up the numbers and probably loose 5 games in a row, and then run around the gaming hall telling everybody how proud he was when he win's that one game.

So erm yeah, you can imagine my glaring red faced embarrassment as I walked up to table 47 and he asked what I had brought with me and I unpacked my leftfield fluffy non-competitive Pestilens army out infront of him and explained I was pretty new to AOS. Once I had swallowed my initial pride and put those comments (and my humiliation!) to the back of my throat, we just got on with it and had a pretty good game in the end. To be fair as well Dan's eyes lit up a little bit when he saw those Skaven! I think he liked seeing something different. I wish I could've given him a better/closer game but I did my best!

I tried my best to make it a good game for him and I think he enjoyed it but it ended far too easily on Turn 3. I managed to kill quite a bit of his stuff but then I moved off an objective  and he teleported his Chameleon Skinks onto the objective and it was game over. Again I had lost it in the movement phase. I had also targetted his General with my shooting when I should've been aiming at his objective scoring units ie Temple Guard.

Game 3

After my loss on table 47 I slipped further down to 48 (of 50) and played Escalation against @Arnie , we both ran similar Skaven lists, he had Skreech Verminking and a Bell and 6 Stormfiends, 10 Stormvermin and some Clan rats. His Stormfiends popped up on my flank and mullered me and I didn't have many answers to them. I finally got some combats off and whittled them down a bit but again I lost this one with my poor movement choices and not picking the right targets with my Plagueclaws.

 

Game 4 Border War

This was a grudge match against an old Dwarven adversary I have faced off against before when I visited AOS open day a few weeks ago. He won the last game so this was a chance at revenge! He ran compendium Dwarves with 3 organ guns, Thorgrimm, a Runelord and Unigrim . All his characters and Engineer gave crazy buffs to all his shooting. I rolled 3x 1's in a row turn one and then 3x 2's in a row for all my running moves and again I lost the game based on poor movement, hampered by poor deployment choices and deservedly lost on VP's. The highlight of this game for me came as we pondered over what a Skaven might eat for breakfast, as I cursed my rotten running rolls. I think we settled on the gnawed carcasses of dwarven women and children ;)

 

Game 5, 3 Places of Power

This was a weird game, the guy I played wasn't interested in talking at all , didn't really seem like he wanted to be there, didn't want to talk to me or speak or anything. He had an army of Mangler Squigs, Black Orcs, Savage Orks, some Brutes and some Grots. I tried to engage a bit and be friendly and he was quite aggressive and short tempered and the game was about as fun as rubbing chillis into my eyes. In the end I was in the ascendancy and looking like I would get the win, and the guy just said he didn't want to play anymore and shook my hand and walked off to Bugmans. I'm not sure what was wrong but I think there was something majorly up going on behind the scenes, because he had done the same to @Theslowcentury in their game previously, so I tried to fill out our score cards as best I could and put the disappointment behind me of having my one victory of the weekend taken away from me. I hope whatever went wrong for that guy wasn't too bad, and he gets over it. Would suck if someone had died or something bad had happened, you just don't know what's going on behind the scenes sometimes and after all, there's a lot more important things going on out there in our personal lives than pushing toy soldiers around all weekend.

 

Game 6 Take and Hold

Game 6 Turned out to be against my old Dwarven adversary again. I had to have a pint of Guiness with this one and it was a nice way to finish the weekend. I'm not even sure if it's legal to play the same guy twice, but after my last experience I just wanted a friendly game against someone who wouldn't shout at me or look at me like he wanted to punch me, so I gratefully took up arms again against Thorgrimm and Unigrim and the Throng. By this point I had been nicknamed "13" by the Dwarven stunties and we battled out our final grudge match to end the day on a high note. Again my movement choices were poor and I lost the game based on my movement. I learned a lot about how to deal with this type of army in future though and am confident next time I face something similar in how to deal with it.

I also found out that a thick heavy dwarven book of grudges exists, penned by the general of this very army that dates back through the ages of every major tournament and event this old Longbeard has attended through the ages , and that I had been immortalized and had made it in there from the Seeds of Hope/AOS open day event. I think this was possibly my favorite moment of the whole weekend and look forward to some more legendary battles in future if I ever make it back to the UK or any more events at WHW.

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So looking back overall, that was a great way to bring the curtain down on my time back home in the UK. In the space of 5 months I have managed to get my Mom through a life changing operation and help make her better, I set up a painting station and learned the basics of airbrushing, built, painted and learned to play various lists with approx 2.5k of pure Clan Pestilens down at Rygas and Exmouth IWG, and learned to play the rules of AOS competently to the point where I didn't need to constantly check the books or warscrolls , and was able to get a couple games off and learn from some of the best players out there at the home of GW in the first ever AOS competitive matched play event! How awesome is that?!

That brings a close to my chapter with this blog.

I will probably start a new one when I reach New Zealand and start back work at Weta, but for now I have to go get a new apartment, wheels, start a new job etc and get relocated to Middle Earth for a year.

I have Guardcon coming up in Auckland in 2 weeks time with @Tronhammer NZ. I hear there are numerous dudes all called James turning up so we might change the name to JamesCon which would be pretty cool!

Laters, and thanks to everyone I met along the way, it's been awesome and I kind of wish I lived back in the UK!

James McP. (the thirteenth James)

 

James McPherson

I faced off against the excellent Paul Brooksbank's mixed Order faction of Seraphon and Wood Elves in a 1000 pt game of Take & Hold at my local gaming club

this is what he had

1 Saurus Old Blood on Carnosaur

20 glade guard

10 Saurus Warriors

8 Glade Riders

5 Saurus Cav

And I made a slight tweak to my Seeds of Hope 1000pt force by downgrading Skrolk to a regular Priest and taking 10 less Plague Monks and replacing them with a Plagueclaw.

1 Corruptor

1 Plague Priest

1 Plague Furnace

20 Plague Monks , foetid blades

10 Plague Monks, woe staves

1 Plagueclaw

I took the command trait that allowed +1 to hit against Order within 10" of my general, to buff my Plagueclaw with, and two Crown of Conquests to give me Inspiring presence on both of my Plague Monk units. He took a bravery buff and something that gave his General +1 damage on his melee weapon.

Set up

This game I was much more concious of my Plague Furnace moving fast and covering ground, so I set up my Monks accordingly, giving it a tasty 10inch movement bonus by crowding them around it on deployment. I messed up by putting my Corruptor more than 13inchs away from anything, so he was out of range to do most of his Skaven command abilties in the Hero phase, but I soon moved him into the right place on turn 1.

Again I got to dictate the first turn by dropping my formation all in one go, making 5 drops in total. I gave him the first go hoping he would move up into range for a turn 1 charge, which worked out pretty well. He rushed his Glade Guard forward on my LHS supported by the Carnosaur, in a hope to get them into range for a shooting attack. They got one wound off on the Plagueclaw which was pretty underwhelming.

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Pestilens Turn 1

I used my movement bonus to move my Furnace up 14" and easily within charge range of the Glade Riders who had fallen for my devilish plan, and I rolled something like an 11 for the charge so it went hairing into them, taking out 3 of them on the charge and tarpitting them which worked out pretty well.

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Turn 2

I dont have it pictured, but he advanced his 5 Saurus Cav onto the ruins in the center of the table but opted to hold them there, so I charged in with my plague Monks and took them out with something like 52 attacks on the charge , re-rolling to hit and wound . He shot everything he had at the Plague Furnace and took a few more wounds off it, leaving it on 3 wounds left. The Plagueclaw took out a few Glade Guard but they passed their battleshock.

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Turn 3

I was in the ascendency by this point after wipng his Saurus Cav out and grinding his Glade Riders down, the Saurus Oldblood had been hanging back using his sunbolt gauntlet shooting attack thing as it seemed weary of charging into my Corruptor and Monks , so capatilising on this I got a couple rounds of Arcane bolts off into it over 2 turns then I got off a charge with my Corruptor straight into him. He was on 6 wounds left and my Corruptor was undamaged and on full health, so I was confident that supported with the ten Monk, he would make short work of it.

But this is where I royally screwed up and made a mistake which almost cost me the game.

Somehow, I got distracted by my Plaguemonks failing a charge, which never normally happens as they get a re-roll to charge buff from the formation synergy. I rolled a 5 first roll, which was enough to get in, but decided to try and roll higher so I could get more Monks into contact, but I re-rolled a 4 and the charge failed!

Then, and this is the REALLY dumb thing, I elected to fight with my Plague Furnace first INSTEAD of the Corruptor, completely forgetting I had that combat going on. So I gleefully squashed the remaining Glade Rider under the wheels of the Furnace, then my celebrations were short lived as I turned with horror to realise he was going to attack with his Saurus Oldblood on my General! He should've really died in that combat and it would've served me right for being such an asshat, but 9 wounds later and his life was hanging by a thread and things were suddenly swinging back to Order's advantage, with my Furnace also only on 3 wounds left.

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Turn 4

I think It took two rounds of combat to finish off my Corruptor and by end of turn 3 he was toast, I think I got one or two wounds off back on his Saurus taking it up to 8 wounds off. I think this turn he also got a couple more wounds off on the Furnace leaving it with only 1 wound remaining. I think I took out 9 Glade Guard in a shot form the Plagueclaw too which helped a bit against the shooting. He was able to make a sweet charge with his Saurus, getting into range of both the Furnace and the Monks, and by splitting his attacks between both, he took out both units with ease. Then my Plague Priest walked up to him at the start of my turn 4 and used his Pestilent Breath attack and Belched a cloud of bright green breathe into his face giving d3 mortal wounds and finished him off. Pretty sweet way to kill him and that was the only thing my Priest did all game!

Turn 5

I had made a mistake by hanging back with my Monks in the center, and the Glade Guard were able to whittle them down with shooting. I should've rushed them across the battlefield toward the Saurus in the center and covered as much ground as possible. I stupidly thought they were going to get shooting cover but obviously with a save of '-' they didn't get the bonus and got shot to pieces by the Elven archery. His last chance to win the game on points was to take out that unit in the centre, as I was slightly ahead by about 80 points, which my sloppy generalship almost allowed on turn 5, but fortunately the Glade Guards poor rolling and the Saurus warriors failing their charge gave me the game.

What should have been a crushing Major victory for me turned into a narrow win down to some dodgy choices I made around turn 3, which I will learn from!

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So far that takes me to P:8 W:3 L:5 with my Pestilens , slowly starting to improve!

The main thing is I can now play a game of AOS without having to keep looking things up constantly and am confident with the rules. I just need to become more tactically astute and cut out the silly mistakes, and I'll be laughing all the way to the Plague Altar.

 

 

 

 

 

James McPherson

Seeds of Hope

The aptly named Seeds of Hope took place on the Sunday after the AOS Open Day at WHW.

3 Games, each themed around each of the 3 cities on the S.o.W campaign map. 3 Places of Power (The Living City), Gift From the Heavens (Greywater Fastness) & Take and Hold (Phoenicium)

1000pts, 1.5 hrs a game,

each game contributed somehow to the results of the Season of War campaign directly via campaign points, so whether it was via a favorite game vote or a major/minor victory, it all meant something, and they were even registering painted warscrolls. It was really well worked out logistically, with loads of stats coming at the end for who controlled what and which factions did well in what areas, the events team did a really nice job of creating a live powerpoint presentation on the fly and presenting awards. There are loads of better pics of the event here

and a full final results spreadsheet here 

The day started pretty bad for me , OK in-fact that is an understatement. I had one of THE WORST experiences of my life. Why's that you ask?

Well I had spent the night in the Holiday Inn around the corner, and had brought all my paints with me for a nice peaceful uninterrupted painting session, to try and get some more stuff done to my Pestilens army before it made its first official WHW bow the next day. Later on in the night I managed to spill a pot of Moot Green from the desk onto the cream carpet, and whatever I did to try and get rid of it made it worse and spread the stain out larger and larger. It was like something out of a ****** horror movie for me. I should've phoned reception at the time and got a cleaning team up there to help me, but stupid muggins here just tried to clean it up with some flannels and towels, which just made it worse and worse.

I think I spent about 2 hours in total trying to deal with it and get all the paint out. It turned into an absolute nightmare. In the morning I sheepishly informed reception of my foolishness and left, in the full knowledge I had fully defiled that beautiful room, and Clan Pestilens had left behind their mark of filth. I am still waiting for the cleaning bill on my credit card to see how much they charged me, wondering if the whole carpet would need to be replaced or not. So far no news is good news at least.....So there you have it, if any of you are ever lucky enough stay in Room 137 at The Holiday Inn Marina Park and notice a vile putrid green stain on the carpet by the desk, it's not vomit, it's just the mark left behind by a demented patron of the TGA.community!

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So after a quick cup of tea on arrival at Bugmans to wash away the bitter taste of shame and dread I felt building up at the back of my throat, it was time to get it on and shed all fear of my previous indiscretions and concentrate on murdering some Order Factions with my Fanatical Warrior Monks.

My list was

4 Heroes, 2 Behemoths, 2 Battleline, 0 Artillery

240 pts Verminlord Corruptor, Dark Avenger, Crown of Conquest,

220 pts Plague Furnace, Crown of Conquest

100 pts Lord Skrolk

80 pts Plague Priest with Warpstone Tipped Staff

20 Plague Monks, foetid blades

20 Plague Monks, woe staves

Congregation of Filth Formation

 

Having two units of 20 monks at 1000pts is a bit of a luxury or too much, but I wanted to overload on them at the cost of taking a Plagueclaw. What I didn't realise at the time what this meant was that it was imperative to cover ground as quickly as possible and not slowly advance, because with no ranged support, I would get shot off the table. In hindsight on the day I kept missing the Plagueclaw, but I think I could've made it work if I had been faster with my moves and more shrewd/clued up with the weaknesses of my list.

At 2k points I would probably take 2 Plagueclaws and shoot the hell out of those big blocks of archers, but at 1k points I valued having objective scoring units and heroes more than artillery and had to think more about what was important to me.

Looking back now I would probably tweak the list to include one Plagueclaw, at the cost of downgrading Skrolk to a regular priest, and loosing 10 monks.

One thing that worked great in every game was that I got to dictate the first turn by deploying all my Congregation of Filth formation in one drop. But in this instance I squandered it by not moving up fast enough to break ground. I think I had a maximum of 4 drops per deployment.

 

Game 1 - 3 Places of Power, The Defence of the Living City

Game one for me was against @Penddraig , or Darren as he was known to me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he is friends with @RuneBrush and we played the entire game without realising we were literally six degrees from separation via the TGA forum! He was rocking some beautiful compendium W.Elves which were a real mix through the ages. He had a big block of 30 Glade Guard to unlock those extra bonuses, some Wild Riders, A Lord on foot, some Eternal Guard, another smaller block of Glade Guard and a hero guy on foot and a BSB. 

The game was played out on one of the new R.o.B boards which was nice to finally see in the flesh!

So the first thing to say is I screwed this game up for myself before I had even started by getting my deployment wrong.

I also had the wrong idea about how to play the scenario, and should have really studied it in more detail beforehand. I figured I could overwhelm on 2 out of the 3 objectives to win, which seemed sound in logic, so left one totally uncontested (the one on my left flank) and biased my forces onto the right side of the table. But because the points accumulate based on the turn number (ie 5 points for turn 5) I left myself fighting an uphill struggle when I failed to take my 2 objectives fast enough, and was out of range to contest the one on my left, and also lost my center one after turn 2, and was left unable to catch up at around 6-2 by turn 3.

But anyway deployment for me was also messed up because of the quandry I had over using my movement trays, and not wanting to employ a tactic I use for my Plague Furnace sometimes. Instead of setting up the maximum amount of Plague Monks around my Plague Furnace on Turn 1, which is 33 Monks, giving it an extra 11" on its move, I opted for a smaller number of Monks within 1" which meant the Furnace moved a lot slower and couldn't cover enough ground fast enough to reach the Elf units in the first turn, and got caught in no mans land and shot to pieces. The Monks also didn't move up fast enough to support it, rolling poorly for their run moves so it was isolated and lost after one turn, which then meant all the formation synergies were lost too, effectively ending the game for me.

So I had instead opted to set my monks up in the smaller movement trays of 10 which were more spread out, so I lost access to that first turn charge or objective grab,  and which would make moving them faster physically in the long run, and give me less pressure in game and hopefully more time to play. That was my biggest mistake, because it then meant although it was easier to push my Monks around, they didn't cover the ground quick enough, and just got shot off the table by the Arcane Bodkins in one turn. I should've been less worried about finishing the game in under an 1.5hrs, and concentrated more on crossing as much ground as quickly as possible. But C'est La Vie. I made a late rally with my Verminlord Corruptor on turn 4 and when the Plague Monks finally got into combat they made mincemeat of the block of Glade Guard, but by then it was too late and the Major Victory went to Darren about 10-2 points.

Turn 1

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You can see above the movement trays I opted to use meant I couldn't fit the bases of my monks flush against the base of the Plague Furnace, meaning instead of fitting 30 or so within 1" of it , I had more like 10 within 1". Sure I found it easier to move the monks with the trays later on down the line and it saved some time, this mistake proved fatal as I couldn't cover enough ground quickly enough and got shot to pieces in turn 2. What I should have done was crowd 33 Monks around it to get the 11" movement bonus, (it gets +1 inch for every 3 monks nearby within an inch) and moved it a total of 15" , which would have got me over the centre line and within charge range on turn 1. The Monks would've had to run up behind it to keep pace, and wouldn't have arrived until turn 2 , but they would have then been the hammer to my Furnace anvil.

But anyway I digress. I think the Plague Furnace moved up about 7" forward with one unit of Monks keeping pace with it, slowly ambling toward the center objective, and the other unit began to split off and run around the scenery to get to the other objective on the right, but because of the diversion around the Dragonfate Dais, and some low run rolls, they didn't make it over there until turn 3 or 4 or so which was a massive ball ache. You can see the Wood Elf Character on the LHS table side supported by the Wild Riders move up to grab that Objective on turn 1 totally uncontested.

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Then by turn 3 the Wood Elves shoot the ****** out of my stuff in the center with their Arcane Bodkins in their turn, putting 6 wounds into the Plague Furnace and killing a bunch of Monks. I stumbled slowly right into that one and was just a sitting duck by not covering ground fast enough. I think on turn 2 my Plague Furnace had only moved about 5" because it's movement had been reduced as less Monks were around it, so I just rolled it onto the center objective where it came to a creaking halt.

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Turn 3

A single round of shooting on my Furnace and Pmonks in the center made heavy casualties, at this point they were just sitting ducks and got wiped out easily by the pew pew pew of the Wood Elves.  And another poor roll for my run for the guys on the right hand side kept them out of the game. For me at this point the game was more or less over. My poor movement and deployment had cost me dearly.

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 Turn 4

I made a late rally on the right hand side and finally got some charges off and killed off those Glade Guard, and by this point I had 2 characters by objectives and was in the ascendency, but it was too little too late for Clan Pestilens and they skulked off the battlefield to go lick their wounds and go eat a Bugmans burger.

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Game 2 - Gift from Heavens, Assault on Greywater Fastness,

This game was after lunch. My Bugmans burger arrived super late at 1.25pm, which left me late for the next game.  I had 5 minutes to eat it, and rush into the toilets to try and clean the delicious taste of it out of my dental braces. As I rushed to get rid of the last remaining traces of my enviable lunchtime snack from my train tracks using my trusty dental brush, I managed to jab my gum with the metal part of it and tear a portion of it open, so that it began to spurt blood out everywhere. I looked as if I had just been punched in the mouth, and was somewhat worried about what my next opponent would think when I turned up with a 'bloody smile' grinning as if I had just been drinking an ounce of blood for lunch out round the back of the building with the other Flesh Eaters. Doing my best to stem the flow of my bleeding gums (if anybody saw me bleeding profusely from the mouth in the toilets that day, then yes that was me!) with some cold bottled water, I fled onwards to find my next opponent waiting for me at table 1, right down at the front stood with the event organiser John.

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My opponents name was Jack, here he is placing his Sylvaneth Wildwood in the center of the table. It was only his 2nd ever game of AOS and we chatted quite a lot into our game time time about rules and set up, so we were playing catch up from the off. I did my best to coach him and teach him how to play the Scenerio because I had played it once before already. We only managed to get to turn 2, in 1.5 hours and the game was a bit of a right off. I still enjoyed it as I got to murder some tree fairies and get a few charges off, and it came down to the last combat of the game so was mega close, but the game was chaotic and under a lot of pressure from the time constraints, and made me late for the next game, and the people playing on our table next were late to set up also, so it was a bit chaotic and stressful.

The guy also got a bit funny with me when I said 2 ranks could attack with a 1" reach, as if he thought I was cheating, because the bases weren't moved flush in my pile in ( I could have moved them flush but opted to just move them all roughly into place as I had inches left over) , which I felt was a little bit inexperienced of him. It was only his 2nd game as I said and I did my best to coach him and teach him the rules but this was one thing he didn't feel comfortable with accepting. I could've piled in flush with the bases, but with 2 units of 20 Plague Monks, if my opponent is worried about every millimeter, I am soon going to run out of time as I indiscriminately measure out every single pile in down to 1/10th of an inch. So I had hoped he would be a sportsman and allow that minor discrepancy but it caused a bit of friction and is probably why I didn't get a favorite game vote for that game as I insisted on getting those attacks off and murdered his Spite Revenants in one turn. 

Turn 1

I dont know the names of everything this guy had but I think it was something like 20 dryads, 5 spite revenants, 5 Tree Revenants, 3 Kurnoth Hunters, 1 Branchwych, 1 Hamadreth

Again I dropped my formation in one go, so I dictated the first turn and allowed him to move first in the hope he would fall within charge range but he was quite conservative with his movement in the knowledge the asteroids would arrive on turn 2. I stupidly didn't set Skrolk up in cover, which I regretted later on as he took hits from the Flutterflies attack on the Hamadreth. I still didn't maximise the number of Monks around my Furnace, again opting for the lazy approach of using the 10 man trays, but I made sure I had enough around it this time to give it a healthier move.

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Turn 2

The asteroids arrived, mine is marked by the blue marker on the left and his fell in the center of his deployment and is marked by the yellow marker.  I split my Monks off to the left accordingly. I think his Tree Revenants which were at the back of the forest on the LHS blew some panpipe thing that made them transcend into the ether and the vanished off the table ready to re-appear somewhere later on. His Spite Revenants moved up and his Hamadreth on my LHS. The Hamadreth made its shooting attack that took 2 wounds off Skrolk and he cursed himself for not hiding out of harms way in cover, the Furnace looses a couple wounds to some shooting from the Kurnoth Hunters and some magic from the Branchwych

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I think he shot some Monks up or the Furnace with his Kurnoth Hunters, but they didn't do too much to be honest, they were kind of underwhelming.

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Then I got off a really lucky charge with my Plague Furnace and decent one with my Plague Monks on the LHS, but Skrolk rolled a 1 for his Prayer and killed himself by accident. I attacked first with the monks on the LHS and killed the Spite Revenants, if we had time to play on, I'm pretty sure they would've killed the Hamadreth next turn who already had a few wounds off. I have no clue what the Tree Revs were doing ontop of the Arcane Ruins, he said something about Panpipes and how they were floating in the air ready to make a teleport attack next turn.

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This was more or less where we reached the time limit. We added up the scores and were drawing with 100pts each, so I suggested he attacked the Furnace in combat next with his Branchwych, which only had a wound or two left on it, and if he managed to kill it , he would win the game, which was pretty sporting of me I thought, but he then went to speak to the tournament organiser John who came over and said we could play on for the full 30 minute break period and not worry about rushing too much. I didn't really want to as I was concious of needing that break between games to let my brain refocus and decompress and get a drink of water, but he seemed keen to try and play on so I went along with it.

This proved fatal for him however. First of all he got the kill on my Plague Furnace and ran off to report the victory to the TO, but then when he got back I asked how many points the dryads were worth, which was 240 I think compared to the 220 points for my Furnace.

So with that I chose the next combat and murdered his dryads in one round of combat, making mincemeat of them and chopping them up into tiny little wood chippings and won the game by 20 points.  I would have preferred to stop it earlier and just give him the win and get the break between games, but as it was, Clan Pestilens had claimed a narrow 20 point victory and their only win for the day.

 

Game 3 Take and Hold , The Battle of Phoenicium

Having had no break between games, I arrived at this one a bit flustered and again worried about time constraints, so again I flunked my deployment in favor of a faster swifter more pragmatic approach. Instead of maximising my plague furnace's movement profile, I again opted for the 10 man movement trays and set up in much a similar way to the other battles. This was almost a repeat of Game 1, I couldn't cover ground quickly enough and got shot to pieces trying to slowly advance headlong into the face of overwhelming fire.

My game 3 Opponent was running the following

Thorgrim Grudgebearer,

Engineer

30 quarellers

10 Warriors

10 Warriors

Organ Gun

Set Up

My biggest mistake was not crowding the maximum amount of Monks around the furnace to get the 15" move on turn one.

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Turn 1

Not having the break between games cost me and I stupidly decided to take the first turn myself and walked up slowly straight into range of all his guns setting him up for a devastating turn 1 barrage.

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Turn 2

After his first round of shooting I had one wound remaining on my Furnace. He had moved up his dwarf warriors on the left within charge range so I charged them and took them out in one turn, and his second unit of warriors promptly turned back and ran back to Thorgrim and the Quarellers.

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Turn 3

After one more round of shooting that was it. I think he got about 60 shots off with his Quarellers and 4 Barrels of his Organ Gun and just killed anything that moved. He also backed away out of charge range and I couldn't get close. Once he saw what my Monks could do in one turn of combat he just didn't want any of it

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turn 4

I moved up ready to make a last gasp charge of the light brigade with my Corruptor , through the archway headlong into his Quarrelers to try and score some points, and Skrolk moved toward the Organ Gun to use his brutal Prayer from the Liber Bubonicus that causes d6 mortal wounds and managed to kill it in turn 5. The Monks on the RHS failed their charge and got shot off the table next turn. The Corruptor made it into combat with one wound remaining after getting shot to pieces as he advanced. The final combat came down to Thorgrim vs my Corruptor and I got tabled in the end. Biggest mistakes I made were giving him a free round of shooting in turn 1, and not covering the distance fast enough. This guy got my favorite game vote, it was a toss up between game 1 and game 3, but the guy came around to collect the tickets so I just scribbled down this guys player number as otherwise I would've missed the vote altogether. He did also look like a Dwarf which was kind of cool man!

Enjoyed the game but made some horrible mistakes, most of which I attribute to brain drain and not having a break between games 2 and 3 which was brutal.

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So that was it, learned a lot this time around, and got to meet @RuneBrush and @Penddraig who are both really cool dudes! We had a turnout of over 50 players for this and it was a really fun day and left feeling like I'd had an awesome weekend.

and the Important things I learned not to do in future -

DONT paint in my hotel room the night before the event,

DONT eat a burger last minute in Bugmans as it takes agessssss to make,

DON'T sacrifice your movement in favor of pragmatism

DONT clean your braces in a hurry

and

DONT play on into your break no matter what your opponent wants to do, because it will ruin your next game fo sho.

 

Invaluable experience!

J.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James McPherson

AOS Open Day

So I fixed myself up with a hire car and made the trek up from Devon to Nottingham for the first time ever last weekend to attend the AOS Open Day and Seeds of Hope, the climactic finale to the Summer Campaign at WHW. I wasn't sure what to expect as the last big GW event I went to was Games Day '94 at the NIC in Birmingham which was just nuts in terms of size and scale with a crowd in attendance roughly similar to the size of a small Premier league game, imagine thousands of people all crammed into one huge hall, literally shoulder to shoulder jostling to walk and get by each other. Gaming tables so packed you couldn't even get close. That was really intense for a 12yr old kid and was at the height of the 90's golden years, and it put me off going to future events because it was just too busy.

I knew this wouldn't be as big an event, especially with the recent storms over Fantasy but as AOS was resurgent and Fantasy was going through a bit of a renaissance I figured it was worth going and showing my support for AOS nonetheless. I also wanted a gentle introduction to gaming in an organised event, for which Seeds of Hope was the perfect introduction. And I wanted to look around the place before I leave to go work at Weta Digital for a year in September.

To get there on time I had to leave super early around 6.30am but arrived exactly on time at 10am which I was stoked with. The queue was about 100 people long so I went to join the back of it. Upon entering the venue 2 different staff had welcomed me which made me feel very welcome and you could tell they were genuinely pleased to see people turning up and showing support for AOS. But would then ask , and this was the awkward bit I don't get - why I was there? Feeling like I had to somehow quantify it for them, I found myself making small talk and making up reasons for being there, when infact the real reason was blatantly obvious, I was there to show support for AOS and a hobby and game I love!

What I really should have boldly screamed aloud from the rafters was "ONLY THE FAITHFULL!" And then done several big high fives, but in my usual classic vein of shyness and nervey disposition I didn't think to do that until It was too late and the moment had passed. I was impressed with one doods T-shirt though in the queue which had that written on the back.

When you first arrive you have to walk through the shop to get anywhere and one of the sales staff chatted to me and when I mentioned I was sticking around for Seeds of Hope on the Sunday, he told me I was welcome to buy something now and sit on the edge of the gaming hall and paint it using their special paint stations that they had set up. I took one look at the little cup of dirty water and old plastic citadel paint station set up that he was pointing towards and thought that was either very kind of him or perhaps the glass half empty side of me thought him driven by a more sinister underlying motive of pressure to make sales. The poor guy also didn't realise I had my entire paint collection in the trunk with me to do touch ups back at the hotel later that evening, and I surreptitiously thanked him in a shifty manner and shimmied on into the gaming hall to geek out at the big castle walls.

Over in the corner of the gaming hall I saw pretty much half the number of people who had been in the queue outside , who were now lining up indoors for the merchandise stalls which had the exclusive event only swag. The pessimist in me would say none of them were sticking around for the open day which I found a bit meh, but maybe they were and were just worried about stuff selling out fast as it's only in limited supply.

I thought about lining up for a second and was like, you know what ****** that, so I went to have a look around Bugmans and get a cup of tea. I then went and checked out the exhibition areas for an hour or two which are pretty cool. My favorite bit was the first room which had some of the older stuff in it that I had grown up with seeing in White Dwarf and I wish there had been a lot more of that. There was no Bloodbowl, Man O War, Epic, Battlefleet Gothic, Space Hulk, Hero Quest or Space Crusade stuff which I felt was a big missed opportunity. I would've loved to see less Dioramas and more miniature collections but that's just me.

By the time I got out of the exhibition spaces the huge queue for the merchandise stall had gone, so I went to grab @Dez 's merch that he had asked for. I noticed only 4 clampacks left of the Fimir model at this point. I asked the sales rep how many they had to begin with and he said about 40 or 50 which seemed like a fairly modest number, but at least it was good they all sold out. I made a joke about people selling them on ebay, and when I told the sales rep that the stuff I was buying was for an American buddy who couldn't be here on the day, he gave me an understanding look and smiled then a double wink as if to say "Your secret is safe with me bro" which was ironic because I actually was

I think by this point there were only 2 or 3 of the mugs left, and a few T-shirts too. By far the nicest stuff on sale there were the fine art prints which I was very tempted by but my resolve not to spend too much held firm. It looked like most of them were still left for sale and nobody had bought any.

So then I skipped on into the staff canteen Area out the back of Bugmans which is where the main open day action was taking place.

Once in there I found the FW guys, as they were really the only people I was interested in talking to. I wanted to chat to them about Chaos Dwarf stuff as thats kinda my thing and I had just bought a large 2000pt army from FW the previous week, so was fishing for info on future plans and development.

I also wanted to chat to them a bit about the digital design processes involved incase I ever want a change in career direction and it's something I've considered applying for in the past.

I wasn't expecting to see Trish stood there with her Dragon proudly on display, which was really awesome to see.

Jeff Ngyuen and Keith Robertson were also there so I spent a bit of time chatting with all of them about their work , and gleamed a bit of info about future CD releases out of one of them. The consensus was yes there is more planned , and more will come soon, which I was very happy to get confirmation of.

I also chatted with them about digital design and told them a bit about myself and the work we do in the VFX industry, which has a lot of design crossovers.

After a quick bowl of chips and a Guinness, I went to check out the Golden Demon stuff, I think I saw what possibly looked like @AdHocGames's unit of bighat plastic Chaos Dwarves, and saw a STE that looked like one of @amysnuggs's mini's.

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By the time I got there, I think some rounds of judging had taken place, because there was only about 15-20 minis in total. Not sure how many there were to begin with, but if I was trying to win a Demon, this would be the opportunity to do it with the least competition I think. It looked like there were more Demon statues in the cabinet than there were actual entries!

I was beginning to get tired by this point, so I went and slept in my car in the parking lot for an hour, trying to last it out until 3pm when the £500 raffle prize and Golden Demon stuff was announced, but in the end I left and went to go and check in at the Holiday Inn around the corner and unwind and settle in for a relaxing evening painting my Pestilens stuff ready for the games on Sunday.

 

Things that I'd wish for in future..

I would've liked to see Jervis and some of the rules and games design team walking around engaging with people , at such a small grass roots size event I think it would've been a nice touch, also some kind of Q&A sessions on AOS and the future would've been nice. And maybe a presentation / slideshow like they do at the FW HH weekenders. It was awesome to meet Trish and Jeff and Keith though which I really appreciated. I would've also liked Alan Bligh to be there and face fans and answer questions relating to the FW stuff he is responsible for writing rules for.

Edit** Turns out someone from the design team was there actually playing AOS with people on the battle boards, so I am gutted I missed the chance to chat to him! Good move GW!

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I would've liked to see more involvement with the various figureheads of the community there too, I think Ben only dipped in briefly to get photos for TGA then left, and other than him and Rufio walking around who works for GW I didn't see anyone else from the podcasting community. I would've liked to see Ben's Chaos Dwarf army on display and maybe him be around to answer questions on how he painted it and show off it's awesomeness, or maybe even be there to play some games with it! It would've been nice to see more armies on display from the various tournament regulars too to get a feel for what people were fielding and get inspiration and ideas. There were some downstairs in the exhibition space but it would've been cool to see a lot more in an Armies on Parade capacity.

There was a bit of a lack of presence from the podcasters and tournament guys who have helped to build up the AOS scene.

I was chatting to @RuneBrush about it on the Sunday and he probably hit the nail on the head when he said, all these people like Ben etc already have a stack of friends who work for GW, and have been involved recently in the GHB and directly working with GW, so probably aren't too bothered about attending because they already know more than the average joe about GW and the things going on in AOS which is a fair point.

It wouldn't have taken much to do some live podcasting or video reporting from there, Warhammer TV was there though making a small video which was a nice touch, so maybe they didn't want anyone else in the building media wise, but we could have seen more participation from the rest of the community, even just people mixing a bit more with the audience and giving out cards with links to shows on or talking or playing some games together would've been nice.

Also it would've been nice to see more for the families and kids, maybe like a face painting set up or something would've been cool. The computer games area was a nice touch, but there was no Total War or Vermintide games to be had.

And the day was crying out for a Cosplay competition which would've been awesome! The £500 charity raffle was a nice touch though.

Another cool thing would've been to see some of the illustrators and artists there giving away signed prints of their artwork.

Also a Q&A and book signing with some of the Black Library authors would've been nice to discuss the fluff and background of the AOS world.

I think it would've also been awesome to let Dan/ Wayne and Ben and Russ/Terry and co do a Q&A session on their involvement with the GHB and have a big presentation on the work that went into making it. And then some signed copies from Jervis and all those involved in making it to give out to everyone would also have been a nice touch.

I'd like to have seen more about the design processes involved too, maybe some workstations/PC's set up with Zbrush and a 3d printer to show people how they design things nowadays.

Also I think they should offer tours of the factory and some other parts of the complex. I used to work at Laika who would give tours around the sound stages and the various model departments of their studio in Portland Oregon, and also at Weta where I currently work they sell tours in the Weta Cave which are very popular, and even on the ILM campus in San Francisco where I worked, they allow members of the public to come in and tour around and see all the cool stuff on show such as statues of Yoda and props from all the movies like Ghostbusters and Star Wars they've worked on. Dont get me wrong I am not looking for a Charlie and Chocolate Factory style tour of the place, but a quick guided walk around would be awesome. I visited Skywalker Ranch a few times when I worked at ILM, and even George Lucas is more welcoming and open than GW. It's not really technically an open day when you are only allowed into one room and contained into such a small space the way we were, but I appreciate it was a small event and maybe they were stretched for resources.

So to sum up, I liked the informal small grass roots family feel of things, but I'd like to see it grow into a huge event and hope they plan to do more in future, and I'd like to see them up the resources and engage more with the community and involve more external influence from the community as well as promote from within.

Seeds of Hope on Sunday to follow shortly...

 

 

 

 

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James McPherson

Age of Sigmar brought me back into the fold after a long exodus from the hobby.  Last time I was this involved with anything was the early 90's and I was about 11 or 12.

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Because of this I had to build everything up from scratch as I had no models or paints or anything, so I've been slowly getting set up since the AoS release over the last year while learning the rules and watching AoS bat reps on youtube (MWG and GMG and tabletop mini's mostly) and following youtube chat shows such as Vince Venturella and Andy2d6.

Now I have a great painting station set up for the first time, and a nice collection of tools/paints and models to get started (see pic)

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My current goal is to get a Nurgle army fully built and painted up from scratch to play games with and try to master the rules for it whilst I am in the UK, before I head back to work in Wellington, NZ in September. I'll be attending Warlords , which is the final week before I leave the UK on the 19th September.

My first two games so far were with the smelly/foul/stinky Clan Pestilens. I keep forgetting their rules and using them wrong/doing stupid stuff with them so I am determined to learn how to play them correctly. I'll probably take them to Warlords in September so that I can stick with what I know and get lots of practice in over the summer with them. Crazy I hear you say? Is this a bold tactic or..... a rat too far?!

 

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Gaming

Gaming wise I recently played my first ever games of AOS at a local gaming club in my area (Rygas Roughnecks in Exeter) 

Game 1 - Pestilens supported by blightkings and skaven BSB VS Vampire Counts

I deployed terribly in my first ever game, bunching everything up in a blob in the centre , 10 slow moving blightkings acted as a protective wall for my Pestilens but also got in the way horribly. Blightkings performed well on their own but ruined all my movement and charges for the rest of the game by the poor deployment. Managed to kill his General with my Corruptor who made a pop up attack but other than that got my ass handed to me. Found it hard to kill his bloodknights who he buffed a lot and had those shields which give +1 against weapons with a rend of '-'

Result - Heavy Loss

 

Game 2 - All Pestilens VS Vampire Counts

This was a clash comp scenerio, where you both place 2 objectives and have to capture your opponents ones and protect your own. This game was characterised by two large mistakes on my part, I deployed my plagueclaws too far away for their 31 inch range to do much, and I kept forgetting my Hero phase, (3x times in a  row!) so wasted a lot of my abilities and magic. I was very tired though so put it down to that. I also lost 40 plague monks in one turn to a Vanhels buffed Skeleton horde, and kept forgetting some of their rules such as the Icon of Pestilence and Doom Gong which would've helped in a couple situations. So pretty terrible on my part, but am learning the game still and improving with each game

Result - Heavy Loss

 

Other Gaming firsts -

I'm attending Warhammer World open day in August, it'll be my first ever visit to WHWorld. I went to Games Day at the NIC back in the '90s, that was my only other event (see pic)

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I am also taking part in my first ever games & campaign at my local GW in Exeter, as well as coming to Warlords in September for my 1st ever tournament

 

 

I am looking for more AoS players in the Devon/Exeter area so give me a shout if you fancy a game!!

 

 

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Painting & Modelling

The first stuff paint wise I got into have been my Clan Pestilens faction, as they were what I have been mostly gaming with, so I wanted to get them painted asap. This gave me an opportunity to learn to use an airbrush for the very first time and my brand new Vallejo Game Air set, and the new compressor. So I've set about airbrushing 60 plague monks and blocking out the colors on my behemoths and war machines.

I got mixed results with the monks, some turned out beautiful, others have small areas of speckling where I didn't quite get the air pressure right, and the atomisation didn't quite work, so a few still need tidying up a bit. All in all though its a good start and pleased with the way its coming on. I've also done the base coat on their flesh, swords and woe staves so far as well as their bases. I'm hoping to have these finished in the next few days, and then I have another box of 20 to add to the woe staves giving 40 of each weapon option. I'm hoping to have most of it base coated by the weekend, ready for the first battleplan of the Season of War summer campaign.

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Go stinky rats!

 

 

 

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