a Weekender to Remember (Part 1)

Looking back on the first-ever Animosity Weekender has been a long time coming. But, in a nutshell? It was even better than I’d hoped? After picking Peter up at the train station, the strategy gaming started even before we ordered lunch…

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Real talk, these things are actually way harder than they have any right to be.

With the FLGS open by the time we finished our meal, we jumped straight into game one: 3rd Edition 40K, with the Iron Warriors 18th Grand Company of Warsmith Chakotei engaging the 3rd Cuyavale Irregulars, led by Minh Hoang, RCO, commanding. The 3rd was also supported by Minh’s CO Interrogator-Colonel Roach and the 4th Bolugasian Penal Regiment.

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The 18th Grand Company plunges into the surprisingly barren chem-jungle.

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Veteran Havocs infiltrate ahead, but still can’t see anything.

Now, I knew Peter was going to use the old Catachan codex, and I’d even read a copy of the rules before we played. But, I still didn’t *get* it: by these rules, instead of having areas of difficult terrain on an open battlefield, the entire gaming surface is difficult terrain with areas of open battlefield! Furthermore, that difficult terrain limited field of vision, and because his army deployed in hiding, the only way I could discover their positions was if they shot at me or I literally walked into them. So, yeah: this game was very narrative-driven, in that it was very, very disastrous for the Iron Warriors.

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The bit with the tree was open ground. A model in open ground can see 6″ in to difficult terrain. the Cuyavale Irregulars can see into open ground from any distance.  The IV Legion war machines in this picture quickly became so much scrap metal.

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The infiltrated Havocs literally cannot see deep enough into the chem-jungle to target the Guardsmen picking them apart.

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Lieutenant Rarou and what remains of his breacher squad finally over-run a unit of Irregulars, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory, as the Iron Warriors lost more than they killed.

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The single surviving Dreadnought engages an assault unit led by Interrogator-Colonel Roach, the commander who defeated Apostle Togast in our previous game. Of course, Roach’s unit quickly retaliated and easily dispatched the Dreadnought with meltabombs.

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The last remaining (and only painted) Havoc finally closes in on their attackers, but it’s too late to make any difference.

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Like his subordinates, Warsmith Chakotei finally makes it into combat (while a ruined Deadnought burns nearby) and promptly gutted Minh Hoang, but it didn’t matter. Even with their commanders dead, the Guard carried the day with ease, and the 18th was lost to the chem-jungle.

Like I said: disastrous. Unable to see their enemies, my Iron Warriors shooting was rendered useless, and the difficult terrain further hindered their already slow movement of 6″-per-turn, as 3rd Edition 40k did not have rules for running!

With the Chem-Jungles claimed by the Conclave, one of the two approaches to Manneus Drath’s citadel has been blown open. Peter and I have already planned the battle for the second approach, which will pit Kar Golan, the last of Drath’s Trident, against Task Force SEBASTIAN among the refineries at the edge of the oil field. We’ve discussed the scenario and our force allotments. I’ve conceded to allow him to ally Space Marines, and in exchange, I will be able to Deep Strike and Infiltrate. So, we’ll see how it goes. Even if the Conclave defeats Kar Golan, they’ll still have to face Manneus Drath once more.

With our 40K campaign game in the history books, we took a break for dinner and plunged back into the Silver Tower with the help of my girlfriend, Katie.

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Scuttlings, right out of the gate!

We’ve made it to the Trial of Aqshy, and this time saw the addition of the optional Adversaries. Unfortunately, our time in the Silver Tower was to be cut short, as with all the Age of Sigmar we played the next few days allowed no time to finish the quest, leading us to decide to start it over again the next time we had a chance. The silver lining was, this left us more time for late-night hobby jams…

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Can you even consider yourself a wargamer if you aren’t painting models for an event, the night of the event?

Now, this is where the real battle began: five games of Age of Sigmar over the next two days… but that’s a tale for another post.

Weekender’s Eve

The clock is winding down, and although Age of Sigmar 2nd Edition promises chromatic cogs with which to slow the passage of time, they haven’t been released yet…

On my end, I’ve made good progress these past couple of weeks, but with so much to prepare, “good” isn’t good enough. Although we’re no strangers to street hammer, we’ve discovered that, the more models we finish, the more we want to see the rest done, too…

Currently, our plan is to play the 3rd Ed. 40K game on Friday after Peter’s train comes in, with Silver Tower to follow after dinner. Then, it’s Firestorm at our FLGS and Silver Tower back at my place until Monday morning. On the 40K side, with the exception of basing, I’ve finished the Contemptor Dreadnoughts…

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I call them Hans and Franz.

… which, in the absence of fully painted unit, assures they’re going to burn by the bottom of Turn 2, tops. And, although I’m happy with how my test Legionnaires came out (sans iconography transfers), I vastly underestimated how long “silver and gold” actually takes to paint.

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… Hans and Franz, pre-sarcophagi.

On the Silver Tower side of things, I’ve finished a few more models, and made a lot of progress basecoating a bunch more. I must say, this game’s sculpts are NOT novice friendly. I’ve been in this hobby for over a decade, and every one of these models has been a challenge.

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They do the splits.

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WIP

Although I had planned to rebase them all on clears after I finish painting them… I just can’t be bothered, and then I wouldn’t be able to host trials in my town’s newly-opened Games Workshop location. Instead, I’m going with a satin black.

 

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Chivalrous!

Alas, only a single unit of Knights of the Order of the Pale Saint will be (re)finished in time, although I’ve assembled/repaired a number of other models to flesh out (see what I did there?) the Court.  These guys are definitely a lot of fun to paint, and now that I’m dialing in the paint scheme, I don’t expect the rest to take long at all… probably. Looking at you, Iron Warriors…

Peter’s done much better than myself, knocking out the Death Watch one after another:

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From left to right:  Brother Hugh, Lord-Celestant Steelios, Sister Guilia, Brother Paulus, Sister Callie, the Ivory Crown, and Brother Hans… the Iron Warrior.

Interestingly enough, Lord-Celestant Steelios is based on an old Animosity character of mine, Stee Anders. A hurt soul who buries his pain with rage, he survived the Realm of Chaos as a slave pit-fighter, only to be reforged by Sigmar’s hand in the Mortal Realms.

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Lord-Celestant Steelios, the World Eater, The Bearer of Wrath, the Once-Forged, the Master of Death, the Azyr Maul, the Untamed, the Burning, the First, Humbler of Princes, the Bloody Hand of Sigmar, the Gladiator, the Champion of the Pits, the Redeemed, the Twice-Honored, Hero of Heroes, First of the Watch, Companion of Rage.

The other members of the Watch are original characters. A World-That-Was grognard like myself, Peter has expressed how the Mortral Realms have allowed him to craft backstories inspired by historical precedent, but not bound to it, the way the Old World was very clearly 16th-century-smashed-with-Tolkein.

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Sister Guilia the Sole Consul, the Counselor, Feller of Kalathraxx, the Statesman, the Voice of Reason, the Ever-Defiant, the Last Defender, the Fifth, the Senator, Heaven’s Light, the Bane of Traitors, the Loyal Steward, the Courageous Citizen, the Leader of the Thirteenth.

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Sister Rebecca, the Beloved of Eternity, the Dusk Raider, the Denied, the Guardian of Death, the Nineteenth. She counts-as a Lord-Castellant… if you couldn’t tell by the halberd and lantern.

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Brother Holtz, the Black Templar, Sigmar’s Fire, the Holy Warrior, the Watchful, the Eyes of Azyr, the Seventeenth. Based on an old Animosity NPC whom I vehemently hated, you can read more about him here.

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Sister Ilos the Flameborne, the Unburnt, the Crowned, the Fearless, the Sword of Righteousness, the Tongue of Wrath, the Salamander, the Ever-Faithful, the Unbending Defender, the Infernal Guard, Handmaiden of the Empress, the Trinity, the Shield of Truth, the Thrice Sworn, the Unmasked. Her backstory is one of my favorite examples of Peter’s philosophy about creating lore in the Mortal Realms.

Needless to say, with less than 48 hours to go until models hit the table, the Pale Saint and his Court are looking forward to eating their unique, historied, well-painted brains…

Be sure to check back Friday night for the first batrep- or follow us at @AnimosityCmpgns or myself at @OldStonebeard .

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Soon, my obsolete pretties…

The Animosity Weekender

Once upon a time, there was an idea for a two-day narrative event, meant to run alongside the Mountaineer GT. That idea fell through, but plans had already been made, multitudinous schemes and plots which could not be easily undone. Two old friends, refugees from the World-That-Was living realms apart, suddenly discovered that they would be in the same place, at the same time, for 48 hours, with no event to attend.

Thus began the Animosity Weekender.

Between Friday evening and Monday morning June 1st through the 4th, my friend / fellow NEO Peter Charles and myself, Alex Polimeni, will endeavor to play the final 3 trials of Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower, complete an entire Firestorm campaign between an all-HERO Stormcast Eternal army and a Flesh-Eater Court, as well as fight a 1250 point, 3rd Ed. Warhammer 40k battle between Imperial Guard and Chaos Space Marines, the latest (but far from last) battle in a slow-burn narrative campaign.

Now, everything’s ready, and by ready, I mean, assembled yet largely unpainted. If we want our games to actually look pretty, we have to go to work for a living. By which, I mean, probably not, if we stand any chance of getting everything painted in time… like this big ol’ bin of re-purposed aquarium scenery and Games Workshop terrain kits:

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Fun fact: that’s not all of it

Silver Tower’s coming along, but it’s been a work-in-progress since last summer, when Peter and I first started playing through it with the help of my girlfriend, Katie, and her Grey Seer.

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Worst part is, both their characters cast magic missile

Since then, we’ve found time to play 6 of the 9 trials, including missing Peter’s train home our desperate rush to wrap up the Trial of Ulgu after an Ogroid Thaumaturge appeared during a random event, kicked the hell out of our party, and then got curbstomped by a random companion who stuck around only long enough to save our skins.

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Yes, that’s a Fyreslayer saving a cornered Grey Seer. You’re welcome.

Since then, I’ve painted our cowardly, self-serving MVP, Peter’s Misteaver Saih, largely out of respectful spite…

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This model is not your friend and will gladly let you die to save itself

… but, the rest remains in half-basecoated purgatory as of this writing.

Now, the shoe’s on the other foot with the Firestorm campaign. Peter’s been developing an elite chamber of Stormcast Eternals called the Death Watch and assembled entirely from HEROs using the Lords of the Storm warscroll battalion. You can read a few of their backstories on Peter’s TGA blog, Tales of Azyr. Know this: they’re each of them a legend reforged, as unique as the Reaper miniatures representing them:

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The Death Watch will fight to prevent the Court of the Pale Saint from claiming the Prismatikon and scouring clean the Flamescar Plateau, so as to build a new sanctuary utopia from the ashes to rival Azyrheim itself. I’m reworking a partially-finished FEC army I picked up from a friend; below you can see two of the humble, stoic knights of the Pale Order.

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But that’s not all! The siege of Brigannion IV began with a flavor blurb in the 4th Ed. Chaos Space Marine codex and Peter’s sprawling, third-party Imperial Guard army. Now, the Conclave fights to claim the Planet of Steel for the Imperium, beginning with an attempted (and routed) decapitation strike on my daemon-warsmith Manneus Drath… fought on a hotel bed:

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That’s a bunker, not an arts & crafts castle on an iPad

While Inquisitor Grossman’s foolhardy attempt on Drath’s life was soundly thrashed, the Conclave secured the landing zones of the oil-wastes, and advanced on my defenses, crushing Apostle Togast and his summoned Bloodthirster through sheer weight of fire.

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Warzone: future in-law’s kitchen counter

Now, Task Force Emerald closes in through the southern chem-jungles; Drath has dispatched his reserves, the 18th Grand Company, to counter them. In this dense foliage, neither side will be able to bring their artillery to bear… fortunately for me, the Iron Warriors have other toys.

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Not pictured: the second Contemptor dreadnought

So… yeah! Stay tuned as it goes down; follow this blog, our twitter @AnimosityCmpgns, or my personal twitter @OldStonebeard.

Should be good fun.

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Unlike this post, the to-be-painted pile knows no end.