Friday, April 30, 2010

To Cheese or not To Cheese...that is the question.

Like a lot of folks, I'm getting ready for Ard Boyz. Okay, that's not entirely accurate. I'm planning on playing at the preliminary Ard Boyz tournament. I'm not furiously assembling and painting models, and I'm not playtesting my list. You know, stuff that's actually fun. What am I doing? Theoryhammer. There, I said it. I'm not proud of it either. Here I am, fresh off a serious butt-kicking from Adepticon, all fired up to get some practice in with my Salamanders, and I'm already trying to meta-game my lists. I have a 2500 point list, but I've seen some of the local lists and I'm actually debating the inclusion of an Inquisitor lord and his retinue in my list to work on the Drop Pods/Daemons that might show up in turn 1.

What I would lose:
115 Librarian with plasma pistol
20 2 combi-meltas
20 2 HK missiles
90 5 sniper scouts
10 siege shield
255 points total

What I would gain:
45 Inq Lord
20 psy hood
30 psy cannon
2 Auspex
1 targeter
60 (3) plasma gun bunnies
12 (2) mystics
85 chimera with multi-laser & Heavy Bolter
255 points total

Essentially I dropped my Librarian (you know, the one I was excited to include) and scouts along with some odd points here and there, for the ability to shoot at stuff that deep strikes or infiltrates on the first turn. I know the Psychic Hood is stronger with the Inquisitor's unlimited range and that will help with those new Space Wolf/Tyranid/Blood Angel powers.

Its Ard Boyz, so I'm not worried about hurting anyone's feelings (especially those dirty daemon & drop pod players) but it somehow leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. I have yet to make up my mind on the changes and it may very well be a decision made the morning of the tournament.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ard Boyz List - May 15th @ Castle Perilous

I'm not entirely certain I can go yet, and I've already discussed here the difficulties of me fielding a list at large point values. So, with a limited pallet (and orders from the wife about not buying new models until AFTER our summer vacation) I have put together my list. It's Ard Boyz, so composition doesn't matter, but that's about all I have in this list. Plenty of Salamandery goodness, but lacking a few elements I think an effective list needs at this level. That's not too troubling as I don't know if I'll be able to attend the regionals if I score in the top three anyway. So, without further ado, here it is:

115 Librarian with Plasma Pistol, Null Zone & Might of the Ancients
190 Forgefather Vulkan He'Stan
200 (5) TH/SS Assault Terminators
260 Land Raider Crusader with Multi-Melta
225 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer, & Rhino with HK Missile
225 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer, & Rhino with HK Missile
265 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Lascannon, Flamer, & Razorback with TL Lascannon
265 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Lascannon, Flamer, & Razorback with TL Lascannon
90 (5) Scout Squad with Cammo Cloaks & Sniper Rifles
115 Dreadnought with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
115 Dreadnought with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
70 Land Speeder with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
70 Land Speeder with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
125 Vindicator with Siege Shield
85 Predator Destructor with Heavy Bolter Sponsons
85 Predator Destructor with Heavy Bolter Sponsons

I'm kind of excited to field my librarian. He wasn't used to good effect at Adepticon, so I'm looking to get some practice in with him. I'll be trying out that whole combat squad thing with some selective reserve use as well. There's quite a bit of Codex Space Marines that I haven't road tested, and I'd like to try out a lot of ideas before finalizing next year's Adepticon lists and my local tourney lists.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Night Game & Local 'Ard Boyz

Some things go well together. Chocolate & Peanut Butter. Beer and Chicago Bear football. Bloody Marys from the Cellar (my watering hole in Carbondale, IL) & anything else up to and including more Bloody Marys. Somebody even thought that this dude had something worthwhile going on. What doesn't go well together you ask? Blackreach Orks and Space Marines playing in the same 1500 point list. :) I showed up at Castle Perilous, my local game store for a 3000 point game against Orks. That guy showed up early and was already playing by the time I arrived. I hung around chatting with an old friend until a guy I didn't know walked up and asked for a game. He said he only had 1500 points, and I was happy to oblige. About half of his army was tricked out, shooty Space Marines, and the other was tricked out, assaulty Orks. I was looking at a Chapter Master paired up with a 10 man Tac squad with lascannon in a Drop Pod, a Ven Dread with TL lascannon, 5 Terminators, 5 Nobs with Warboss, 3 Defcoptas, & 20 boyz. The characters & Nobs were all tricked out with various do-dads. I used my 1500 point RTT list detailed here. He said he was a new player, but the guy had a good head on his shoulders. He supported his units, made good decisions, and otherwise played a tough game. It was the toughest beating my 1500 point Salamanders have taken to date. My vindicator was, again, MVP as it shot to pieces anything it could and finally shielded my objective claiming marines from hostile fire. This was the first game where I lost all terminators and my Land Raider, to a 20 boy mob assault & TL lascannon respectively. His only failing was that he didn't play the Capture & Control objectives well and I owned mine while he didn't control or contest his. Anyway, he was a great guy, who I hope I play again (as a Space Marine OR an Ork...the combination was tough!). :) It was a good enough game that I forgot to take pictures, so you'll have to make due with the virtuoso at the top.

In other news, Castle Perilous will be putting on their 'Ard Boys event on May 15th. It's my weekend with my daughter, so I doubt I'll be able to participate, but I hope my boys from Cape will make an attempt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Got Orks?

While participating in Egypt Wars I this past weekend I reconnected with some guys that I haven't played 40k with/against in five years. While sharing war stories, I mentioned the fact that I would likely be playing a few games at the local store (not as pleasant as it may sound. There's a reason I haven't played there in years...) to get some further use from my Salamanders since I, and others, put so much work into it. The words were barely out of my mouth before the gauntlet was dropped. Someone called "dibs" on my first game back and it was settled that I would be playing 3000 points of Orks. Thinking to my self: "Self you've got 4000 points, this shouldn't be a problem, right?" Right? Right. Making an army for four players at that point level is fantastic. Translating that into a single force org chart game at elevated points isn't all that easy, especially since those are the only models I currently own. My list:

190 Vulkan
145 Terminator Chaplain with Melta Bombs & Digital Weapons
165 Ironclad Dreadnought with (2) Heavy Flamers & Assault Launchers
165 Ironclad Dreadnought with (2) Heavy Flamers & Assault Launchers
460 (3) TH/SS Assault Terminators with Land Raider Crusader & Multi-Melta
215 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer & Rhino
215 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer & Rhino
215 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer & Rhino
215 Tac Squad with Combi-Melta, Multi-Melta, Flamer & Rhino
215 Tac Squad with Lascannon, Flamer & Rhino
215 Tac Squad with Lascannon, Flamer & Rhino
70 Land Speeder with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
70 Land Speeder with Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamer
125 Vindicator with Siege Shield
100 Thunderfire Cannon
85 Predator Destructor with Autocannon & Heavy Bolter Sponsons
135 Extra Armor for all Rhinos, the Vindicator, & the Land Raider

I'll be proxying my standard dreads as Ironclads. I debated putting in another Predator, but the templates from the Thunderfire Cannon appeal to me more than the extra dakka from the Predator. I suppose I could proxy my infantry heavy weapons as Heavy Bolters, but I just don't "feel" it. I don't want to completely tailor my list even though I'm a bit intimidated by the number of greenskins I'm expecting at this points level. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

Adepticon Photos Posted On Website

Go HERE for pictures of the 2010 Team Tournament. Shameless plug time? There's an awesome looking Salamander's army with photos on pages #1 & #4.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Egypt Wars I Rogue Trader Results

Synopsis: I went 4 - 0, maxed out sportsmanship, and didn't win.

No kidding, you can't make stuff like this up. :) Oddly enough for a four game event, the two guys going into the fourth round with 3 - 0 records didn't play each other. So, you end up with two guys at the end who were 4 - 0, and no mechanism for a tie breaker. The winner was a local kid (Space Wolves), who coincidentally tried to give me the prize at the end of the night. It was a terrain kit that I didn't particularly care for, and it wasn't his fault that he was put in that situation. The event organizer got the job on short notice & I'm just not that sort of guy.

Armies Present:
Space Wolves x3 (all local folks)
Daemon Hunters (local guy)
Blood Angels (SE Missouri player)
Black Templars (Aerion)
Eldar (Ol'Seth)
Chaos Marines x2 (Marvin the Despoiler & Genoside)
Tau (Warlock)
Space Marines (My Salamanders)

Game 1 (Salamanders vs. Space Wolves) - This game lasted 2.5 turns. I know very little about the new Space Wolf codex, but this guy (who was a fantastic guy btw) didn't have a whole lot on the board. Grey Hunters in Land Raider, squad of Wolf Riders, Grey Hunters on foot, crap-ton of named characters...I went first and shot him off the board. It was just one of those games. Everything I tried worked, and he couldn't roll a save to...well, save his life.

Game 2 (Salamanders vs. Chaos Marines) - I played Marvin during one of my Adepticon warm up sessions. It did not go well for him then. I gave him some suggestions, and the dirty bum actually listened to me. This game went down to the last turn and I was able to shoot his Plague Marine squad off of the objective so that I could fully claim it. All of the things that went right for me in game one died by turn 2. I had to fight to get back on track and that's what made this a spectacular game. Marvin is getting good quick, and playing him will make me better in turn. As an aside, all of us in Team Snake Eyes have Internet "handles" to keep our legions of groupies and stalkers at arms length. Your humble correspondent takes his, not from an overlarge sense of worth, but from those cool three-eyed aliens from Toy Story who cried "I am the Chosen One!" as they were pulled up by The Claw. Marvin takes his name from one of his aspiring champion conversions:

Game 3 (Salamanders vs. Tau) - One of my most memorable games at Adepticon was my last. A Tau/Space Marines combo shot me off the a bad way. I vowed that, regardless of common sense or tactics, I was going to charge those blue skinned Xenos with everything I had. Worked out pretty well for me. Warlock needs to learn to use his Kroot a bit better methinks, but he's getting better. This was a classic case of my entire army hitting a portion of his. The overwhelming force was hard to react to. The old Chaos player in me just thinks Warlock's head isn't in the Xenos frame of mind because he's getting into the moment for Adepticon 2011 where he'll likely be playing the Tzeentch "flavor" in a 4 powers themed chaos marine army.

EDIT: Turns out Mr. & Mrs. Warlock along with Ol'Seth will be making an Iron Hands team for Adepticon. I can only hope his defeat at the hands of the Salamanders imparted some sympathetic "drop site massacre" influence on him. We were there man...we were there. :)

Game 4 (Salamanders vs. Space Wolves) - Seriously? What's up with all these dang wolves? Same result as the last game against them. Too many toys, not enough boys. I swear, this kid must have had 4 named characters in his army at 1500 points. It was a capture the flag mission where I had to move the flag back into my table quarter. I owned the flag by turn two, and never looked back. This game was against a new player, and he was still feeling out both his army and the game itself. Even as a "mediocre" player, I enjoy helping the newer guys out, and this kid was no exception. He had trouble keeping his focus, but he was a true Space Wolf. Even as I killed his models, he only removed them from the board after cursing the questionable heritage of my Salamanders, and the lack of beer at the battle. He was so into the game that it made my experience that much better.

Paint Competition went well for Aerion. He won a Blue Ribbon for my terminator squad and a white ribbon for my Land Raider (as well as other entries, he's kind of a local me anyway). He refused to take the ribbons muttering something about unfinished models. He painted the bloody things, I just paid for them. I've got some modest friends. Don't get me started on that though, the guy who painted these Eldar (Ol'Seth) refuses to even acknowledge that his models are even "okay". Goofball.

All in all, Team Snake Eyes had a mixed day. I went 4 - 0. Aerion & Ol'Seth went 3 - 1, Marvin went 2 - 2, Genoside went 0 - 3 with a bye, and Warlock went 0 - 4. A local kid won the show, and another local won Best Sportsman. All of my units performed admirably, with the Dreadnoughts, Speeders, Assault Terminators, & Vindicator all coming through for me in big ways at various points. My tactical squads, however, felt awkward. Sort of like Ricky Bobby's hands during his first television interview: " I supposed to do with these?" The missions were weird (home grown stuff), the room was hot, the prize support was so-so, and the original organiser couldn't make it due to injury. Sort of surreal, but all TSE members enjoyed the day and vowed to keep up the play. I don't call this redemption, but it was good to put into practice all of the things I should have done with my earlier games. I didn't change my list, only the way I used it, and got vastly different results. I understand there's a bit of a disparity between my opponent's skill at this RTT and what I faced at Adepticon. I also understand that Adepticon is not the end all be all of this hobby, I'm just using it as a generic metric because there were some fantastic players there who have forgotten more about 40k than I may ever know. The quest continues.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Army Showcase: Salamanders Headquarters

These "army showcase" posts are constant works in progress.  As models get added to my collection, I will try to update this post.

Terminator Librarian (citadel finecast, Painting by Aerion)
Pay particular attention to the free hand detail on the tabard.  Aerion is a freak of nature.

Chapter Master/Captain (Converted by Ron Saikowski, Painting by Aerion)

I particularly enjoy the serpentine "2" for the 2nd Company designation

Vulkan He'Stan (Converted by Ron Saikowski, Painted by Aerion)

Master of the Forge with Conversion Beamer (Converted by Ian Fergus, Painted by Aerion)

Librarian (Converted by Ron Saikowski, Painted by Aerion)

Terminator Chaplain (Converted by Ron Saikowski, Painted by Aerion)

Bray'arth Ashmantle - Painted by Aerion

Army Showcase: Salamanders Elite

Bray'arth Ashmantle, painted by Aerion
Lucius Pattern Drop Pod

Army Showcase: Salamanders Fast Attack

Lucky for me, I only have two of these. Although I love the model, with the singular exception of its assembly, and they routinely outperformed many, more expensive, units, I have the most work to do to these guys to bring them up to the standard of the rest of the army. Some of the panels will likely end up black, and there will be some battle damage added. I'm not a huge fan of assault marines, but I do plan on adding some bikes at some point, so this section should expand in the not so near future. I would also like to add a few more Speeders, considering their performance for me to date.

Army Showcase: Salamanders Heavy Support

I'm happy with everything here. A speed-loader with four Thunderfire rounds in it? Yes please. GW really made a winner with the Thunderfire Cannon model. The Land Raider (made awesome by Aerion's mastery with the paint brush) speaks for itself, although I'd like to see the Forge World doors switched around. The Salamander head pointing to the rear of the tank bugs me a bit. I'm not sure how to go about popping the doors off without snapping the resin (made of gold, elfin magic, and the sweet sweet juice of a woman...or at least they must make their resin like that due to its outrageous cost...) Chapterhouse Studios (link on right column) was my friend when building this army. If you are thinking of building a reptile themed force, do not leave home without them.