Monday 18 April 2022

Deadzone: Veer-Myn

A little while back I signed myself up for my first ever wargames competition, the UK Deadzone Masters taking place at Mantic HQ in September. Whilst this is still a fair while off I'd been giving some thought to what faction I'd like to take and what sort of list would cover all the bases. As I had the models from the new 2 player starter set unbuilt I thought it would be good to make use of some of them for this project. After some thought and the purchase of a few extra models I came up with the list below.

One unit that didn't make the cut was the Pack Leader who was the command model in the box, whilst the model itself looks great I'm not in love with the stats so decided to go with a different leader.

The list I drew up was this:

1 * Master Creeper with Smoke Grenade
5 * Stalker
2 * Nightmare with Twin Combat Drills
1 * Night Terror with Spitter
2 * Malignus with Heavy Ray Gun
1 * Malignus with Chem Spitter
2 * Creeper

This gives 14 units at 19 VP's at 200 points. 14 units is on the higher side for Deadzone though pure spam units will have more and 19 VP's is pretty average.

For my Leader I went with the Master Creeper and I wanted to have a good looking model to lead the pack so I've used the Birthing Daughter from Kings of War to represent it. The style of the Ratkin and Veer-Myn is very similar so models can easily been swapped between the two armies.

With a Recon of 3+ you stand a good chance of winning the recon phase of a game and thus deciding which deployment zone they want, if you want to move first or not, and rolls on the recon table, so three good reasons to win it if you can. The leader special is also quite nice and gives some ability to knock enemies off objectives and pin them. Attacking a pinned enemy gives a bonus in melee so the close up fighters in the strike team can certainly make use of this.

If you are fighting several games in a competition you are very likely to come up against Walkers or other heavily armoured models so you need a way to deal with them. One way is to bring some high AP with you and if that is on a fast tough platform then so much the better. 

I think the Rampage rule (which can see you lose control of a wounded model for 1 round on an unlucky roll) will put some people off the Night Terror. But for a low cost of only 22 points you get Range 5, AP3 on a speed 2-3 model with 4 HP, that's a lot for not a lot in my view.

I wanted to be able to cover all the bases with the Strike Team so I've included a couple of Nightmare's for their melee potential. Fighting and Saving on a 4+ with 3 HP and 1 Armour means they will be hard to kill and they get Frenzy (2) with the twin drills (can re-roll 2 misses in melee) so they will make the most of the dice they generate. 

In an ideal world they will be charging into pinned opponents to generate the extra dice and then make mince-meat of what ever they just hit.

When I was playing against Mr T's Forge Fathers with my Asterians I realised who much they hated Dismantle. This rules means that when a model with that keyword causes damage to a vehicle, walker, or construct it automatically does a bonus point of damage. I suspect that Asterians may be quite popular and walker units certainly will be so these chaps could be quite handy. The Hacker & Engineer specials could also be useful if the scenarios include interactive terrain. 

Longer range support is going to be provided by the Malignus units, their job will be to lay some fire down whilst the melee troops get in close to try and finish the enemy off. These units both have decent AP and Hacker as a bonus.

Lastly we have the Stalker units, these are cheap and fast but also Fight on a 4+ so no easy push-over if they get the charge off. Their probably fate will be to rush up the board and try to tie up enemy shooters whilst the more expensive units do the real damage.

And here's the whole gang, I need to get some games in to see how well this all works and if any changes need to be made to the team.

Friday 15 April 2022

Carnevale: Demo Game

I've started the long weekend off by welcoming Stu over from Cirencester and introducing him to Carnevale. We played 100 Ducats on a 24" table to keep the game nice and quick. VP's where earned by holding a mobile objective (2VP's) or completing up to three Agendas (1 VP each).

The gangs where designed to give a feel for the game without throwing too many rules around, so no magic or water based monsters.
Stu took command of The Guild:
1 * Capodecina
1 * Baroni
2 * Fisherman
2 * Citizen
1 * Gondolier

I took control of the Strigoi:
1 * Noble Strigoi
1 * Hulking Moroi
1 * Highborn Servant
2 * Common Strigoi
2 * Thrall

As we started close together we managed to get into combat on the first turn with two separate combats breaking out. The first was on the roof top by the Strigoi starting area with the Capodecina making a couple of long ranged jumps and then scaling a wall to traverse around half the table to make it into combat.

The second was a street level and centred around the mobile objective that one of the Thrall's had picked up. The Guild scored 1 VP by completing an Agenda for making multiple 4"+ jumps in one turn.

On the roof the Hulking Moroi was taken out by a combination of the Capodecina and a Fisherman but not before it had reduced the Capodecina to 1 Life Point and scored 1 VP by causing 8+ damage in one activation. 

At ground level the Thrall ran away with the objective and whilst the Highborn Servant was lost on the Strigoi side so was the Gondolier.

The Strigoi then started to clean up on the roof and below you can see the Noble Vampire just before he chained together four 4"+ jumps to complete another Agenda for 1 VP. The Guild had also managed to complete an Agenda by throwing one of the Strigoi into base-to-base contact so going into the end game it was all down to the holder of the mobile objective.

In the end it was a close run thing but the Common Strigoi managed to hold onto the objective to secure the win.

Starting closer certainly meant we got into the fight sooner so I think our regular Friday games will be on a 24" board rather than the 36" we've been playing recently.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Carnevale: Out with the Old

Whilst I haven't yet received my Blood on the Water update book for Carnevale, TT Combat have released the updated basic rules for free and also and also updated the gang builder with the new points cost and stats. This means you can play the game with the new base rules, just not with the new advanced rules.

As I'd managed to print out and laminate the new cards and we had the new rules we decided to play using them this week. One thing TT Combat also released was a changelog document so you could easily see which rules had been updated, this is really useful and I wish more rules makers would do the same when moving between editions.

I wanted to have a quick look at how the factions have changed (or not) and The Guild seem like a good one to start with as they have changed a fair bit.
This can be best illustrated by looking at the old and new Capodecina cards. Specifically if we look at the Union rule we can see this encourages Guild models to group up together so they can boost their attack stat. This would seem to encourage a 'Death Star' approach of multiple models all in base to base contact to maximise offensive output. 

Capo 2.0

With the new card the Union rule is gone and Rise Up instead gives all Trade keyword models the Companion (Trade) ability. In v2.0 Companion (X) wasn't the most useful ability as it only meant a model took the Mind value of the model it was a companion of, this has changed in v2.2

Capo 2.2

As we can see below the new Companion (X) rule retains that feature but also adds Will Point replenishment into the mix. Will Points are used to casting spells but more often for adding extra dice to any test your model is making. So if you want to roll more attack dice or make that daring leap more of a certainty you can spend up to 2 Will Points in any test to add 1 dice per Will Point. 

In v2 of the rules replenishing Will Points was  limited to only a few models mostly via spells, with the change to Companion (X) that becomes much more common. With The Guild having many Trade models in the faction it makes them the Companion faction and by extension the Will Point regeneration faction, as long as you play the Capodecina. It is worth noting they have some models that have the Companion (X) ability by default, but the Capodecina helps widen the pool.


Pretty much every model in the game has received a tweak of one sort or another so bigger than others. If we take the Fisherman as an example for The Guild we can see some minor changes have been made.

Protection values have gone down pretty much across all models so combat should be shorter and more deadly than before. One big change for the Fisherman is the loss of the Trade keyword so it won't be benefitting from the regenerating Will Points but it does start with one extra. I suspect most Guild players would rather have the regen and in fact a new unique magic item has been added to allow players to give a model that rule.


For the game itself we played Keep the Peace which is one of the few 'kill' scenarios which has a neat twist in that Henchmen who die aren't worth any VP's and can be placed back at the table edge the turn after they die. Instead VP's are awarded for leaders (3 VP's) and Heroes (1 VP) and the completion of Agendas (1 VP each).

The Rashaar Karcharos was the only Hero to die after I got tempted into a swim-charge against the advancing gondola. The shark-man took a good bite out of the Gondolier but then came under assault from a Fisherman and all the ranged attacks The Guild could bring to bear and despite making a sharp retreat it died.

The Guild also completed two of their three Agendas pretty early on with the Rashaar taking longer to complete two of theirs and as night was drawing in and with no prospect of a Guild hero being killed the game was concluded with a Guild win.

Hopefully it won't be much longer before the new book arrives so we can have a look at the new optional advanced rules, I also ordered a few of the new models so that should offer some new leaders and possibly different play-styles to the gangs I already have.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Carnevale: Acquisition

We got back to actual gaming this week with another game of Carnevale with the Strigoi facing off against The Guild in the acquisition scenario. This see's two 3 VP mobile objectives placed on the table with other VP's being scored by completing Agenda's

The Guild force consisted of:
1 * Capodecina 
2 * Fishermen
1 * Baba-Yaga
1 * Baroni
1 * Gondolier
1 * Arbalest
2 * Citizen

This gave them a good amount of ranged fire-power balanced out with some magic support and melee ability, so all in all a nicely balanced force.

The Strigoi went with:
1 * Noble Strigoi
1 * Highborn Servant
1 * Hulking Moroi
1 * Seer
2 * Common Strigoi
1 * Nosferatu
1 * Thrall with crossbow

We each drew 3 secret Agendas worth 1 VP each, as each was completed we could draw a new one. My initial three consisted of having 3 models in water outside of my deployment zone, have 3 modes on Guard and making 3 jumps of 4" or more in one turn.

Seeing as I deployed next to a canal my models started by flinging themselves in with jumps and then going on Guard so I managed to complete my initial three cards in the first turn. Otherwise both sides moved up towards the objectives.

The Guild did not complete any objectives in turn 1 so I went into T2 with a 3-0 lead.

During turn two both sides claimed the closest objective and moved their heavy hitters to cover the bridges.

I'd done a bit of poor terrain placement on Mr T's side of the table and he chose to walk around the building rather than leap the canal so four of his gang spent several turns walking and in fact never made it into contact with my Strigoi.

The Capodecina did make it into combat as he raced across the roof tops, having failed an early jump across from one to another he was more sure footed in the rest of his journey after drying out. Here he can be seen lining up a jump down on the Hulking Moroi who was threatening one Guild flank supported by the Highborn Servant.

Below we can see the aftermath of that combat, the Capodecina managed to almost kill the Moroi but it held on long enough to to reduce him to a couple of life points. The Highborn servant then finished him off with her pistol whilst a Fisherman charged in to finish off the Moroi. So honours somewhat even overall in that combat. The Moroi did manage to inflict 8 points of damage in one activation so that completed another Agenda for me.

Some of my central forces then moved towards the oncoming Baroni and got a couple of good charges off against him but his Protection of 6 meant he was able to limp away with his life. The token carrier withdrew to ensure it was kept nice and safe.

That's where we stopped the game as it was getting late with the Strigoi winning 7-3 thanks to the first round Agenda blitz. I need to think about the board size, it may have been better playing this on a smaller 24" square board so we got into the action more quickly so perhaps that is something to try out next week.