The first 2000 points are always the hardest (Big Hats) [2024-05-14]]

Hello, This battle plan has worked for me for numerous armies. For Elves, empire, Dark elves, and dead use the HOBO’s on the flanks.
Just my humble opinion.

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i really like the cleaned up aesthetic!! i completely understand why you skipped rocket to get straight to the earthshaker, the thing is iconic!

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Here’s my last piece: the Death Rocket.

I really love this set, so it’s a nice way to go out. I’ve also finished the replacement dwarf musician, but I just need to do a little… thing before I photograph him. I also want a photo of the entire army together, but I need some daylight to do it properly, so it’ll also have to wait.

Finally, I’m just really tired. I’ve never painted this many figures this quickly and I need a break, so I’m packing my paint station away for at least a couple of weeks and doing other things. Besides, I have a full unit of black orcs that I want to do next, but they need to be stripped of old paint first, and that might take a while.

At this point I suppose all I really need to do is to actually read the rules of the game I’m supposed to be playing this saturday. Yes, that seems like a good idea :sweat_smile:


Sorry for the slow answer, but here’s an image of my photography setup. It’s really very simple: A printed blue-to-white gradient hung on a box lid and my painting lamps.

I use a fairly standard SLR camera to take the photo (my smartphone camera is not very good, but a better quality one would also have been sufficient) and then increase the general light level (quite a lot) while reducing shadows using the “Microsoft Photos” app on my pc.

You might argue that I overexpose my photos a bit, I’m still learning.


this image and paint job has converted me, i love the look of this thing now, was never a death rocket guy before. kudos! you’re paint jobs are changing hearts and minds!

love the insight into the floating photography settup. really clever, really helps present all the hard work you’ve done to its height. enjoy your 2 weeks off painting! you’ve earnt it! :smiley:

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@Toby: I’m happy to hear that. The more people I can convert to the side of the Death Rocket, the better :grin:

I really find that the trick to getting the best of these models is to just embrace the pure 90’s-ness in all its technicolor glory.

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Led by the ambitious sorcerer Azurhastupal the Black, a chaos dwarf raiding party descends from the World Edge Mountains, intent on capturing slaves for the mines of the Plain of Zharrduk.

The tournament is tomorrow and I’m just about ready. Going to go over the rules once more this evening, and then we’ll see.

Wish me luck - praise be Hashut!


They turned out amazing. Just remember never hesitate, never second guess. Your Amour is strong, your steel is sharp.
All of Zharr is watching, we need your slaves.
No luck needed. LOC


So, it’s been over a week since the Warhammer Renaissance tournament, but I’ve been super busy and haven’t had the time to do a proper write-up until now. Overall it was an all-round great experience.

There were 12 players in total, including the TO who also played (wood elves) as there were an odd number of players.

We had relatively small armies of 1200 points and played four rounds. Points were structured so that you’d get points equal to killed or routed enemy units (half if reduced below 25%), plus up to 600 points for winning an objective that was specific to each table.

All deployment zones were slightly larger than normal, so you could start closer to the enemy, but games were also one turn shorter than normal (four turns with the possibility of a fifth).

Here’s my army, all ready for the big day:

I won’t bury the lede. I won two games and lost two. I don’t think that’s too bad, considering that this is the first Warhammer Fantasy of any kind I’ve played in more than 20 years. Also, my last loss was against the guy who wrote the actual rules.

I really learned a lot from these games, but first I’m going to do a quick recount of each, while my memory is still relatively fresh, and then I’ll get back to some of my key take-aways.

First game was against a Chaos Khorne army. Objective was to have the most units of 5+ infantry, 3+ cav or 1+ monstrous infantry outside of your deployment zone.

I got to set up my Earthshaker on a central hill, which spooked my opponent to the point where he immediately sent his Fleshhounds against it. They didn’t quite make it, so I got in a flank charge against them with my warrior unit, which sent them back to the warp.

Next the chaos hounds charged the Earthshaker, but the crew miraculously held and I got another flank charge off with similar results.

Meanwhile the battle raged around the hill. My opponent didn’t really have any magical defenses, so my sorcerer really got to lob off a bunch of fire magic, which decimated the unit of beastmen. The beastmen finally got to charge my blunderbusses, but were easily repulsed, and the blunderbusses advanced out of my deployment zone.

On the left flank, my enemy’s minotaurs (including a minotaur hero of Khorne with, like, 10 attacks) first defeated my wolf riders and then my warriors. Didn’t matter too much though, I had enough points to secure a minor victory. Score one for Hashut.

Second game was against (magnificently painted) Ogres. Objective was to take and hold a central tower.

My opponent had concentrated most of his points in a single large unit of ogres (including general and BSB), but with some supporting goblin units, including a shaman, some goblin wolf riders and a unit of hounds (sabertooth whats’ernames).

I tried to screen my blunderbusses with the hobgoblin archers but misjudged the distance between them, allowing the enemy ogres to first charge and eliminate the archers before getting an overrun move into my blunderbusses and killing them as well at the beginning of turn two. My poor sorcerer didn’t get to cast a single spell (no magic on turn one in this tournament).

A minor bright spot came when my wolf riders hit one of their opposite numbers and sent them fleeing off the board.

Meanwhile, a large unit of goblins had occupied the tower, but my warriors were getting into position to assault them.

I never got the chance to do so though, as the hounds charged my warriors. Fortunately (or perhaps simply because my opponent had misjudged exactly how tough my dwarfs would be), the warriors won and broke the hounds. This forced a panic test in the nearby goblins, who promptly failed it and fled out of the tower.

At this point I made up for my earlier tactical mistake by holding position (rather than pursuing) with the warriors, who were then able to occupy the tower in the last turn of the game. This (just) got me another narrow victory. Yay.

Final positions

Third game was against one of the three wood elf armies present.

This was a dual objective of “kill the enemy general” (fairly self-explanatory that one) and “take the hill” (having the most units on a centrally placed hill).

My enemy fielded a fairly melee-centric army, including a very large unit of dryads, so I figured I’d just get to the point and advanced to the central hill to slug it out there. First turn shooting almost saw me hitting the enemy general with the Earthshaker, but it just scattered out of reach (killed a couple of dryads instead though). Killing the enemy general that way would have been a great start, but I might also have felt a tiny bit bad about it, so I suppose it was for the best.


Anyway, the game was proceeding all right (from my point of view) until I had a chance to get reacquainted with a central tenet of playing against high magic (my opponent had two mages - one of them a level two high magic user).

Making a big mistake…

That’s right: don’t put most of your army on, or near, hills in case the enemy has Assault of stone. Unfortunately, my opponent had in fact drawn the spell, and I hadn’t even kept a dispel card to try to counter it. My bad.

This guy :fu:

The spell took off a good portion of my warriors, blunderbusses and hobgoblin archers. I proceeded to teleport my general away from the hill and close to the mage to try to kill him, but next turn the enemy general (on giant eagle) charged my general and killed him in a duel (I was a bit unlucky on my rolls).

Things sort of went downhill from there. In the end, my army was completely routed and I only got a couple of points from kills. It was actually a bit closer than the score would suggest, as three of my opponent’s units only needed to lose one or two troops to give up points, but there you have it.

Sidebar: Minutes before the start of the tournament, I had considered switching one of my general’s magic items for a Talisman of Ravendark that would make him immune to attacks from flying creatures and their riders. Had I taken it, I might just have pulled off a win in this game, and it would at least have greatly helped me in the next one. I’ll definitely bring it next time.

Fourth and last game was against the TO and another wood elf army (also not very shooty). Objective was to have most units in the center and in the enemy’s deployment zone. Ouch!

Deployment after vanguard move

I think I was getting a bit tired at this point and didn’t play very well. Long story short, I moved too aggressively up the middle, made a bunch of geometry errors (angling my units to my disadvantage, being at the wrong distance from things and so on), got surrounded and lost.

Getting surrounded

There was a bit more to it than that; I got unlucky on some key dice rolls and my opponent was honestly just a better player. It was a fair game and still very enjoyable.

Also, once again, my general was killed by an enemy general on a giant eagle.

And that was the end of the tournament for me. The overall winner turned out to be the Night Goblin army, which also happened to be one of the best painted armies I’ve ever seen. Overall, the hobby standard was really superb which just makes everything more enjoyable.

Seriously great!

There’s another meetup in about six months and I’ll absolutely go, if my schedule allows it.

Overall take-aways:

  • Bringing two guess-range weapons when you aren’t used to estimating ranges (especially in inches) was maybe a bit overly optimistic. I did usually hit the units I was aiming for, but only at the outer edges so any scatter result in the wrong direction generally meant a miss. I’ll probably switch one of the pieces for one or two bolt throwers next time.
  • My army was maybe a tiny bit too compact. I’ll try to paint up a unit of 20+ goblins to meet the 20-man unit requirement and reduce the warrior unit to 15.
  • I have no idea how to use the blunderbusses. I thought I did, but in the end they only got off a single volley, and that was a stand and shoot charge reaction (it was very successful though). I’ll have to do some reading on that.
  • Bring a dispel scroll. Always.
  • I’ll have to work on my geometry. I’d frequently position my units to my disadvantage, and it absolutely cost me the last game. Just have to get some more games under my belt I suppose. Nothing beats experience.

Fantastic man. I was really looking forward to the report, well played. NEVER trust tricksy Elves.


Amazing! Congrats on having a good time. Those banners you all have made are so impressive!

The detachment rule in TOW seems to increase the usefulness of blunderbusses, but I remembered halfway through this report that you were playing smth else, so that doesn’t help at all :see_no_evil:


Thanks. It really was a very good experience.

Regarding the blunderbusses: They are actually also really powerful in this eddition (basically a 4th/5th/8th hybrid), and the one time I got a volley off, it did some serious work.

My issue was that they are move or shoot, limited range (12") and with a narrow field of fire. My plan was to use the hobgoblin archers to lure enemies into range and shoot them with the blunderbusses, but this never really worked.

A better use is probably to simply plant the blunderbusses in front of something important, screen their flanks with other units and basically tell the opponent: “come at me bro - I dare you”.

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Blunderbusses are not Move or Shoot (I guess that’s what you mean, yes?), just that you cannot use Volley Fire if you make a Stand & Shoot charge reaction.

But I agree. The old WHFB adage still holds true: Roll enough dice, and even low strength attacks will kill some models. And Blunderbusses epitomise this very much.

Oh yes - I meant move or shoot. The post has been updated - thanks.

However, and I realize that I wasn’t being very specific here, we were playing Warhammer: Renaissance, which is basically a modified 5th ed. Under those rules, they are “move or shoot”. To compensate though, every extra rank adds +1 S (to a max. of five), and they hit every model directly in front of the unit (up to range 12" - sort of like a very large and rectangular flame template), which makes them potentially very dangerous.


Oh, sorry mate, yeah I immediately went TOW without thinking :sweat_smile:

Yeah that’s based on the original rules with the square firing zone. I always loved that just because it’s such a unique mechanic.

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You may have questions. Questions like:

Did he really make a tiny paper hat and put it on a normal dwarf musician to pass him off as a Chaos Dwarf during the recent tournament?


Is this basically just a version of a similar gag WARCOM did a while ago for Blackstone Fortress?

In both cases the answer would be “yes”.


Things are going to be slowing down a bit around here. I really pushed myself to complete the first 1200 points in time, so it was never really a question whether or not I’d be able to keep up that pace indefinitely, but in addition to that I’ve just started my master’s degree programme, which will take up a portion of my available time for the next couple of years.

However, that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop completely. As I wrote at the end of my tournament report, I really want a unit of goblins to bulk up my numbers, so that’s what I’m doing now. Initially, I’ll paint 20 plastic spearmen (including metal command), which I can fit into my army at the cost of five chorf warriors. After that I’m probably just going to continue working towards a 2000 point army.

In order to get the colors on my goblins juuuust right, I’ve bought some “nostalgia 94” paints from Warcolors (based in Cyprus).

You know the look I’m going for:

The paint is meant to emulate the look and feel of 90’s Citadel paints. I did originally start painting during that period, but I honestly don’t remember what the paints were like, so I can’t really comment. I will say, however, that these feel markedly different from my usual Vallejo and Citadel paints. I don’t know how to explain it - it’s just different.

Opacity is also somewhat lower than modern paints, so (at least) two layers are mandatory, but after that’s done, the colors really do pop, and I’m very happy with the result. Here they are:

I guess I could have gone even harder on the highlights (might try that on the next batch), but I think it looks good nonetheless. I’m especially pleased with the skin tones as I’ve found the Vallejo Game Color Goblin Green to be a bit too chalky for my liking.