It's aliiiiiiive! Obviously, it has been a while since I posted. I went on vacation and later took on some extra responsibilities at work. The net result has been an almost total hobby freeze. However, I was able to make it down to NC's newest GT this weekend, and I have picked up enough steam to post once more. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up my forgotten wargaming projects and keep this thing rolling.
Primarily, this post will be a review of the new tourney, and I want to say up front that Southern Assault has what it takes to become the WHFB experience in NC. Jerry and Dan run a great event. They are super organized and added a lot of unique touches such as the gaming club competition (congratulations Kobra Kai) and a hobby knowledge quiz. Events like this really bring the gaming community closer together, and I am hopeful that they can build on this great inaugural event. If you're interested in the game and can make it up next year, I highly recommend it.
One thing positive that I noticed was the variety of armies present. I believe there was at least one representative from each army except the Bretonnians. The so-called power armies (VC, DE, and Daemons) had the most entries (along with Empire) as usual, but I never had to play the same army twice (I drew Daemons, Tomb Kings, Dark Elves, Lizards, and Beastmen). The final battle point standings help make the case that 8th edition is more balanced as only the Lizardmen placed two entries into the top ten. Furthermore, some of the "softer" armies were at the top of the heap: an Ogre player took best overall (and had the most battle points) and a Wood Elf player took home a well-deserved best general. For those interested in such things, the top ten (out of 38) in battle points were as follows: Ogres, Wood Elves, Dwarves, Lizardmen, Warriors, Lizardmen, High Elves, Beastmen, VC, and Orcs.
I thought the tourney also offered a good display of the hobby side of the game as the painting scores were very close, and I saw some great boards and got some conversion ideas. I have a few pictures to show off, but I want to get permission from the owners before I put them up. I did get to take my kids through the displays, and they were thoroughly impressed. My son was especially taken by the Nurgle army that won best painted while my daughter enjoyed the Christmas themed Dark Elves (including Santa in his chariot ... er sleigh). Good stuff.
As usual at tournaments like this, the list I took was balanced between looking good and being effective on the table. Here's what I ended up with:
Archmage (Level 4, jewel of dusk, general)
BSB (Armor of Caledor, Dawnstone, GW)
Noble on Great Eagle (Helm of Fortune, Shield, GW)
27 Spearmen (FC)
15 Seaguard (FC, standard of discipline)
12 Archers (Standard)
27 White Lions (FC, banner of eternal flame)
19 Phoenix Guard (FC, champ with amulet of light)
12 Swordmasters (Standard)
I made this list pretty quickly since the tourney was a last minute affair for me, but the phoenix guard, great eagles, and eagle lord are all winners. The white lions are dangerous, but they get whittled down pretty quickly. The swordmasters shine against non-shooting foes, but in small numbers, they work best off to the flanks. As far as the list losers go, the sea guard are too expensive for a bunker. I believe the points would have been better spent giving the archmage the Talisman of Saphery and Forlariath's Robe and shifting the archmage to the white lions. This also serves to make Earthblood a dangerous spell as it gives the white lions a much needed defensive boost.
In retrospect, my final verdict is that life < shadow. I won or drew every game in which I got the toughness spells, and I lost every game that I didn't. In addition, in the game I was massacred, I drew awakening of the wood, throne of vines, shield of thrones, and regrowth. That's not exactly the most fearsome set of spells, and outside of some special situations, a savvy opponent knows that he doesn't really need to stop anything except regrowth. That's really the problem with running a lone Life caster. Outside of Dwellers and Flesh to Stone everything else is pretty situational. If you head to battle without one or the other, and your opponent can save his dice for the one you do have. Shadow has some bum spells, but I think the possibility of getting two really dangerous spells is much higher there than with Life. My next list will probably change the archmage to Shadow and add a level 2 High caster so that I can get the white lions a much needed ward save. We'll see how that goes as I get ready for the next tournament.
Anyway, I'll do a rundown of my games in my next post. I somehow managed to take home a prize, but I'll leave you in suspense about what it was. In the meantime, I took my prize money and picked up a box of Phoenix Guard to convert into Spearmen. My spears are very rough having been speed painted before a tournament when I first got back into the game. The models are also among the worst in the High Elf range. Therefore, I'm hoping to upgrade with a sweet conversion (I have no idea who to credit for this idea. I've seen a few such conversions on Ulthuan.net, but I'm not working from any specific guide).
In the box, you get 6 one-handed and 6 two-handed halberds. The one handed ones will just need to be clipped from this:
However, the two handed ones need to have the extra hand clipped out like this:
You can then take your hand drill and drill a hole to pin the weapon back together (I used a 52 bit here). Once you are finished, you have a sweet looking spear (hopefully I can use some liquid green stuff to even out the jagged edge at the joint):
That's enough for now. Next time I'll give you an update of the games and show you how the conversion is progressing.