With a Warmaster tournament last weekend (12th March), I decided to change some of my Goblins to Squigs which are better on the charge than the goblins (as they are 3/3/0 instead of 2-1/3/0 for Goblins). I really enjoyed using my 6 units at the London GT last year and some small games since, and was eager to include some more models.
With the recent explosion of 10mm sculpting there are some great sculpts available. Following my purchase of a Pump Wagon on Etsy (designed by Green Skin Miniatures) I went straight to the source and picked up these:
I don’t have a resin printer myself, but fortunately a fellow Warmaster was looking to test his out, so I bought the files and sent them over to him for the price of the resin. He made 6 units for me; and I’ve painted 3!
So, overall they are really nice models, and – I have it on good authority – easy to print if you have your own resin printer – if you don’t then they will be available from those who have a merchant license from Green Skin Miniatures.
There are a few more Warmaster tournaments being run in the UK at the moment, with resin armies being a great way for players to get back into Warmaster (or to play it for the first time).
Saffron Walden (just south of Cambridge) is a long-running tournament ran by Janners and Jim the Gent and had been growing before COVID interupted the world. Well it was back on Saturday and I planned to take along my Goblins. But what to take…?
For me Goblins need to be a horde army, and Warmaster delivers this option in spades. I’d also recently got some new squigs and painted them up for the tournament (more on those in a future Hobby Update) and so came up with this.
The army is led by nine (9!) characters because Goblins fail command rolls a lot… and I mean a lot! So I’ve got a general (only command 8), 4 Heroes (2 riding Wyverns) and 4 Shamans (1 with a Scroll of Dispelling). The Wyverns are really the force multipliers here; being able to add 3 attacks to a combat and potentially reduce your opponent’s attacks due to terror is great – and with 100cm move they can wiz from one side of the battle line to the other reasonably easy.
The shamans bring a number of spells not available in most armies (most are limited to 2 wizards) and the fantasic Gerroff (move opponent’s units backwards) and Waaagh (extra attacks for Goblins and characters) can bring some unexpected punch or annoyance for the army.
Units– Goblins and Squig Herds
Warmaster games at Tri-Wiz would be timed or break point only, so I needed to ensure I could afford to lose units – to this end I brought 10 Goblins and 9 Squigs. For 30 points each these are a great way to get the break point to a good high level, and they can do some damage in combat – the Squigs especially are great value although the lack of armour can mean that an opponent rolling well will beat you in combats. Trust to the dice!
Units – Trolls
Although very expensive in a horde army and with -1 command in an army with shockingly low command the Trolls a much needed punch unit. With 5 attacks, 5+ save and a small regeneration ability they will cause a lot of mayhem and still only count as one break point. I’ve learnt with Trolls to only expect them to charge on initative though, so you are often limited in what you can charge – but when you succeeed with an order they will often steam roller anything in the game.
Units – Wolf Riders
I find 6 units of Wolf Riders to be the perfect number – they can harrass and their abilty to evade in any direction and set up more shooting is great – however the recent changes to fast cavalry rules mean that they can now be pursued by other cavalry, and so I would need to be more careful with them than previously.
Units – Pump Wagon
These little terrors don’t count towards break but at 50 points they are expensive… so I take one to cause people to think – Some goblins players take lots of them and do multiple charges into the same unit; however with D6 attacks (+2 for charge in open) they are the epitomy of dice; and I don’t always roll well – 1 is fun though and very Goblin themed.
Units – Spear Chukkas
The Goblin army is also allowed 4 units of Spear Chukkas but I think this is too many for the points, and so I just take 2. This is enough to cause significant damage to units in column (12 attacks) with no armour save allowed and can even scare off cavalry (8 attacks), with a good range (40cm). They suffer that if an opponent can kill my 2; they can easily kill another 2, which is a lot of easy break.
I’ll let you know how I got on later in the week! Happy Warmastering.
I really like Warmaster. Seeing the 10mm units and models on the board gives a real sense of the scale of the ‘rank & flank’ battles. It allows for sweeping cavalry advances, heroic defences of massive woods and sacrifices of critical units… for the greater good!
I have an Empire army (since the release of Warmaster) and a Goblin army (built and painted last year) and am always on the lookout for some new toys. I’m not really interested in learning resin printing at the moment, so buying resin toys is a great way to see what it out there and what is available.
I recently picked up 2 new units from Etsy – a Goblin Pump Wagon (from MGS Painting) and Empire Sisters of Sigmar (from WM&Things). Both models came well wrapped and safely through the post, with the Goblin Pump Wagon needing some supports cut off, but no supports on the Sisters of Sigmar.
I tend to go for simple painting schemes on Warmaster as I can’t paint eyes and detail on models this small, but instead aim for battle ready!
Goblin Pump Wagon – MGS Painting
Great model, and they do another version of the model as well, so I’ll likely be picking this up in the future – there are also some other great models in the shop – oooo temptation!
Empire Sisters of Sigmar – WM & Things, Etsy
As with the Pump Wagon, I wanted a scheme that was easy to do, but tied the unit together – much like the Sisters of Sigmar would be! They are also great models, with lots of different poses, and weapons and simple robes which is where I spent most of my painting time … picking out the grey & silver of the weapons for accents.
WM & Things do lots of other toys as well, so another shop favourited to look at later. I don’t know yet what I’ll use them for but as alternative Halberdiers in Empire (perhaps with a magic weapon) or in a Witch Hunters army would work. We’ll see.
Ok, first question. When did you first get into wargaming?
I first played in 1989 on the floor of a friend’s living room! We played Space Marine 1st Edition (the Epic game that came after the Titan only version). I played Blood Angels (unpainted) and he played Ultramarines also unpainted!
Already getting ready for Heresy!!
So was Space Marine the first game you collected an army for?
Yes, blood angels but I didn’t really know what I was doing. I bought 2nd Ed warhammer and played some 2nd Ed Blood Bowl but it was the 3rd Ed warhammer starter set with Goblins and Elves that got me collecting… and I immediately knew I wanted to play goblins… which was great because another friend liked the Elves.
Do you still have those first Goblins you bought?
Definitely have some of them. They are the monopose ones with spear and bow. I have a unit of the bow Gobbos in my AoS Gloomspite army.
So what drew into the hobby? What do you find it gives you?
I love all the many facets. I first did it to play with friends then at Uni I only did the painting side as there was no club there (but I got into board games there). Now I paint in the evenings so I’m not just staring at a screen all day and then go to some tournaments. With COVID this was obviously not allowed but my wife is very good about me going to tournaments at weekends so I’ve got quite a few organised before Christmas.
What’s your most memorable gaming moment?
I was playing GG with allied Gitmob grots at Sheffield Slaughter against Nurgle with their first book. It was against a GW employee who I won’t name as they get enough grief! His Great Unclean One had a -1 to hit within 12″ bubble. My shaman cast a spell on 60 Gitmob archers, who walked into the 12″ range, fired at the GUO and took it off! He was a little shocked but took it very well!
You’ve been to many tournaments now, are there any armies you particularly fear when you see their name on the list?
I’m okay with most although if I’ve got my Gitz there’s a fear for all of them! More seriously it’s more the player than the army in most cases. Sure Tzeentch/Archeon before the FAQ or Nagash and friends is very difficult but they aren’t pick up and play lists.
The worst thing for me is playing against a shooting army that can’t be caught or can do so much damage I can’t get close enough. I think GW routinely underpoint shooting units. Still I have a unit of 60 Shootas which are almost as expensive as 30 sentinels so they must be as good! 🤞
Hahaha! So if Gloomspite were to get a new Battletome what changes would you like to see?
Removal of ‘Keyword Bingo’ – Fanatics are not Grots for example and the Fungoid Shaman can’t have the Wizard Artefacts. A few bonuses to cast. Giving back some cheap units (we lost units of 5 Hoppers and 6 Squigs in the GHB2021 but Aetherwings are still allowed in 3s!) I’d like to see each of the four ways to play the army work (Grots, Troggs, Squigs, Spiders). New models for Spider Riders and Spider Boss. Simplify the Gobbapalooza. And give us a theme rather than just ‘comedy’. And finally… they need to point random movement correctly. Boingrots seem to be pointed like they always roll a 12″, so either reduce randomness (6+D6) or reduce points. Sure it runs the risk of everything working and us being unstoppable for one game in 36… but stops us losing the other 35!!…. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😀
It would make sense to point random movement a little more than the average dice roll in my opinion.
They definitely point it as if you get the maximum! Definitely not the average. Bounders are 7″ movement cavalry but pointed very high!
So apart from Age of Sigmar, which other games do you play?
I play a lot of board games and keep track of them on Boardgamegeek. This year there’s been a lot of Hanabi, 7 Wonders and Terraforming Mars. I find it really interesting to see all the different rules available the interactions and how theme is dealt with.
For wargames I like historical but haven’t played recently. I have a 2000 point ‘War and Conquest’ Saxon army and loads of painted Greeks and Macedonians. This game was designed by Rob Broom who was head of GW Historical before they stopped the line.
I also play lots of Warmaster and have an Empire army and recently painted Goblin army and a Macedonian Army for Ancients. Its such a great rules set that generalises the units and make maneoveur and where you charge the key element.
Have you ever been tempted to write your own rules for a game?
I keep thinking I’d like to design a board game but with so many releases now it needs to be good to be a commercial success. Normally I’m happy to play with rules friends are using… during lockdown I Painted a 15mm army for ParWars for example just to give me more potential games and opponents.
What was the last game your played, and against who?
2000 points against Will’s KO at the club (Chumps). I was trying out my Gitz and he was trying a slightly off meta KO list with some units deployed on the board not in boats. I made a deployment mistake with my Spider and he killed it turn one, but such that I couldn’t counter in my turn 1. I also wasn’t aggressive enough with my unit of 60 Shootas as I was worried about Unleash Hell. When I did charge though it was fine! It was a close loss and very useful game.
What are you working on at the minute, and do you have any pictures?
I am doing some scenery for Kill Team having just finished a quick Genestealer Kill Team (which is an article!!).
Orange Ben and @rightangle79 (Declan) are both off to the Facehammer Grand Tournament this weekend (11th & 12th September 2021). I thought it would be a great time to interview them about their tournament lists and their past glories…..
Ok. So you’ve both been to tournaments before, what do you enjoy the most about them?
Ben: For me it’s mainly seeing friends and looking at cool armies. But mainly this:
Declan: Seeing friends, having a beer and chatting about Warhammer. It also means I have a deadline for painting toys… which I almost always need. For most tournaments I include something new to paint.
So which armies are you taking to Facehammer this year? Care to share your lists?
Loonboss – Clammy Hand
Fungoid Cave Shaman – Hand of Gork
Madcap Shaman – Hand of Gork & Moonface Mommet
Webspinner on Arachnarok Spider – Curse of da Spider God & Amulet of Destiny
2 x 20 Stabbas
2 x Sneaky Snufflers
2120 points; 214 wounds; Warlord; Hunters of the Heartlands; Vanguard
This is my favourite at the moment. Other option is full squigs.
Do you have battle plans or tactics in mind for when you make it to the tournaments?
Ben: To a certain extent, you know you need to claim objectives so you need units that can do that.
Declan: Gloomspite outside Troggs can struggle to kill things so I need to play like Gargants – get on objectives early and start scoring. Hand of Gork (movement spell) is critical in the list as it means people can’t leave objectives unguarded. I have the Spider to get Monstrous Takeover early and get the option of broken ranks with him. Although I need to protect him or lose him on my turn to prevent him giving 1 point away. 2nd turn is normally Ferocious Advance with Loonboss and both Fungoids (who spend most of their time hiding behind the Loonshrine). Finally I don’t mind losing units because I want as many opportunities as possible to get them back – hence Clammy Hand (Roll twice for reinforcements from Loonshrine).
Ben, I notice you have the dreaded Gotrek! Facehammer have slightly adjusted rules for him now, how do you think he’ll do?
Ben: He is still super smashy, he is there to kill gargants!
Declan, Sounds like a thorough plan. I love the Arachnarok unit, I’ve seen people include more than one, you weren’t tempted to do this?
Declan: I want to try a horde army because its my normal playstyle and is against the meta with reinforcement points and no horde discount. Unfortunately points are too high normally, but with an extra 150 it’s worth a go. I also want GW to see that people will take armies which are rubbish if they get small boosts. GG effectively have c8% reaction in points at facehammer which is what they need before the book. Unfortunately 60 Grots went from 360 to 450 which is criminal for a low power level book.
Have you ever crossed swords with each other in a tournament, if so how did that go?
Declan: I think we played Ogor v GG didn’t we? On the way in people were complaining about your list being too good and I said it was fine… then gummed you up with Grots?
Ben: Yeah it was the cows Throwing snowball list, I told everybody it was rubbish but no one believed me and then I got grotted!
Declan: Ah yes… you forgot the Stonehorns!! I did have 180 Grots in your defense.
Ben: 2+ I do six mortal wounds, cool, there are 54 left.
Declan: Yeah… no where near enough damage.
Whats your most memorable moment at a tournament?
Ben: Played a chap called Laurie who Declan will know, with a shooty stormcast list, and turn one took off his archaon off turn one, was crazy good.
Declan: I was playing GG with allied Gitmob grots at Sheffield Slaughter against Nurgle with their first book. It was against a GW employee who I won’t name as they get enough grief! His Great Unclean One had a -1 to hit within 12″ bubble. My shaman cast a spell on 60 Gitmob archers, who walked into the 12″ range, fired at the GUO and took it off! He was a little shocked but took it very well!
For someone looking to go to their first tournament, what advice would you give?
Declan: Definitely take the plunge. Let the TO and your opponents know it’s your first tournament. Take an army you know (don’t go for LRL net-list). Limit your warscrolls where possible. If you can bring 6 or fewer it gives you a chance of remembering the rules. Play the objectives!
Looking at each others list, how would you try and defeat them?
Ben: You can’t ask us that we might play each other! But the short answer is throw Gotrek at him and shoot him a lot.
Declan: I think I probably have the advantage due to numbers here. If I can get on the objectives early it’s difficult to get me off them. Especially as Ben’s units flying in the boats don’t count as on the objective. I also just played Will with his KO and the grots can actually damage the units with shooting, and in combat. That said no doubt we’ll play now and Ben will rightly beat me!
You may think that the subheading suggests I’m attending the London GT at the end of September, but it is a cunning ruse to get more clicks… in fact I am playing Warmaster – a 10mm scale game of fantasy battles set in the Warhammer ‘World that Was’.
Written by Rick Priestley & … it was a game from the ‘Specialist Game’ arm of Games Workshop which unfortunately was squatted when they stopped supporting these games. Subsequently some have come back, but Warmaster is still a rulebook available to the community.
The tournament is played using the Warmaster Revolution ruleset, and there are some great resources available including the rules & armies and an army builder.
I have been playing Empire since the game was released so when COVID restricted all movement I decided it was time for a new army and there was only possibility for me – Goblins. They are a fan made army list, but are accepted at tournaments… but they are not considered one of the best armies – so it would be a challenge as well.
I’ll showcase some of the army in a future article, but before talking about it I needed some practice and a fellow Warmaster kindly offered my two games this weekend.
Game 1 v Skaven
Skaven are also considered to be a weaker army so it was to be the battle at the bottom! I used my horde version of the Goblin list with no artillery, and no Giant
4 x Goblin Heroes (one on Wyvern)
4 x Goblin Wizards
18 x Goblin Units
6 x Squig Units
8 x Wolf Rider Units
3 x Troll Units
Units in Warmaster normally consist of 3 bases of models with a suitable number of miniatures on them. This is a very broad definition to allow people to chose their own options. The important this is each base is 40mm x 20mm.
The Skaven started very well, and passed most of their first turn command (movement) checks and were getting across the board quickly. In response the Goblins also advanced, but in a less organised fashion leaving some units behind – this created a sort of maniple or checkerboard set-up, but that did leave me with units to counter charge. Goblins are fortunate in their magic and I managed to cause the Screaming Bell to move away from the rest of the army – this was especially good because a Screaming Bell can’t move on it’s own and a unit had to go back and ‘collect’ it!
Skaven swarmed over a hill to my left, whilst they worked around some terrain on my right, and my army approached – again a bit piecemeal. The Goblin army does have some very short range shooting, but this didn’t do much.
After a few turns, we were ready to charge, and I moved to within 20cm (the movement of intantry), but couldn’t move further… in response the Skaven charged!
They had some success against my units killing 4 Goblin units, and doing significant damage to some Wolf Riders (including killing a whole unit (3 stands) with Rat Swarms), but they didn’t break through. Skaven Clanrats are slightly better than Goblins, but not by much.
I counterattacked across much of my lines using initiative where possible – units close to enemies can charge or move away without their generals needing to roll dice. My wolf riders on the right killed some rat swarms and then fell back, whilst in the centre Squigs and trolls killed the Stormvermin, although failed to kill a Doomwheel.
The left was the big impact though with Goblins charging into combat to rescue some Wolf Riders who had been outclassed in the previous turn… with some great rolling (or skill as the Goblins insisted on calling it!) They drove off the Skaven and they retreated from the battlefield.
Game 2 v Dogs of War
My opponent very kindly fought me with another low tier army. Dogs of War have access to cannon, which are very good, but they have shorter range than normal (40cm), and they have to take Pike. This is a unit that is very difficult to make work in Warmaster as it is good whilst on the defensive, but not against the large heavy cavalry in the game … fortunately for the Dogs of War my Goblins had none of this. However, I did take the opportunity to change my list into one containing a bit of everything (mostly)
4 x Goblin Heroes (one on Wyvern)
4 x Goblin Wizards
10 x Goblin Units
6 x Squig Units
6 x Wolf Rider Units
3 x Troll Units
1 x Pump Wagon
1 x Giant
2 x Spear Chukka Units
My plan for this game was to learn how to use some of these additional units, and see if they were good enough to include in the tournament army for London.
The Goblins started this game, and the first turn went well, with Goblins appearing out of the forests at the edge of my board, and some Wolf Riders being sent on a flanking march on my right. They didn’t get very far, but cavalry move further than infantry (30cm), so they were my most advanced unit. My Giant did fail his command (order), meaning you roll on a random table (Giants only!) and he turned around and charged a unit of Goblins, killing one stand. This was my concern with Giants, that due to the low command of Goblins this would happen more often.
The Dogs of War advanced slowly, hampered by a hill just outside their deployment, still their units were safe from my Spear Chukkas – if my general could ever pass the command check to move them!
After a few turns of slowly advancing on each other and cannon shot from the Dogs of War hitting some of my brigades (collection of units), I managed to get 2 orders onto a unit of Wolf Riders (rare for Goblins), putting them deep into my opponent’s deployment zone. Despite shooting at them with a single cannon, these two units would cause a lot of trouble in the game, and require him to move a Phalanx unit and 1 cannon to deal with them – very good value for 60 points for the Wolf Rider unit.
Whilst both armies looked at each other through the smoke of cannon fire, the Giant failed another order … but this time rolled a 6 and charged into a unit of swordsmen hiding in a village… a 6 means that the Giant’s attacks are doubled (to 16!) making him a monster in combat. The unit died, but the Giant couldn’t go further.
On the left meanwhile my other Wolf Riders had made an equally daring move and flanked a unit of crossbows and pikes. The crossbows turned, but the pike had to face forward or be charged by the Goblin units. I charged… killed a unit of pike and sent another running before me – but I pursued (keeping the units in combat).
It was my opponent’s Giant’s turn to roll the 6 and he barrelled into the Wolf Riders, killing them… however the damage had been done and another failure by Ogres to kill my Trolls on my right meant the Dogs of War were in a perilous position… the paymaster called the retreat and it was another win for the Goblins!
Goblin magic is very good – there is a spell called ‘Geroff’ which forces an opponent’s unit to move backwards if I roll a 5+ on 1D6. However with 4 wizards this happened more often than not. Learning point – definitely need the 4 wizards.
Wyvern is very good because he causes terror – but expensive. Definitely need 1, but not sure about a second
Goblins are able to take a surprising amount of damage, because there are so many of them… care is needed and it will be more difficult against the better armies, but not to be written off
Wolf Riders are great – we were using some trial rules which will be used in London GT – Fast Cavalry – which gives them a little more autonomy … plus they shoot.
Spear Chukkas made my opponent think – I don’t think I need more than 2 (the army can have 4 at 2,000 points), but I like the additional troops.
I’m not sold on Giants – they can scare opponents, but with a very low command even on my general, they will fail a lot of orders and may attack my own army
Definitely… I love this game – the sweeping advances, the look of the battlefield and the simplicity of the rules make it my favourite regiment game.
Want to know more?
There are some great resources available, but two of my favourites are: