Friday, December 7, 2012

Tzeentch Daemons Road Test

Last night Grenn Dal, from Xeno For The Win, and I played a game to test out our respective 1500 point 40k Friendly lists for Adepticon 2013.  He had a Tyranid list, the specifics I can't remember although it wasn't a dead-hard list due to the nature of the event we are preparing for.  My list was something like:

Tzeentch Herald
Tzeentch Herald
18 Horrors w/Changeling
8 Horrors (joined by Herald)
8 Horrors (joined by Herald)
3 Flamers w/Pyrocaster
3 Flamers
3 Flamers
4 Screamers
5 Screamers
Daemon Prince

The sacred number of 9 is used where possible here.  9 total units, Horror units in multiples of 9 (when joined by Heralds), 9 Flamers, & 9 Screamers.  The Daemon Prince is obviously the odd man out there, but I have yet to find an opponent that will let me field them in units of 9.

While I did not win the roll for my preferred wave (seriously?), since this was my first ever game with Daemons, and a play-test to see how the army performs under the most common circumstances, Grenn Dal graciously allowed me to drop my preferred wave first.  Karma, being the bitch that it is, I mishapped twice on turn 1.  Oh well, the Dark Gods are fickle indeed.

We focused on the game too much for a decent battle report, but here are my thoughts:
  • Deepstriking is key.  If I don't master this, my enjoyment will be limited with this army.  I was too agressive at times as well as too conservative in others.  Need to find a balance.
  • Pink Horrors are miserable in assault (no shock there), but surprisingly decent at shooting, especially the larger squads where I could use volume to counter my lack of quality shooting.
  • Camping Heralds inside Horror squads gave me a great deal of flexibilty with their "We Are Legion" boon.  Need to remember to declare all shooting, regardless of target, prior to rolling dice.
  • Minimum squads of flamers don't hit very hard and are not at all resiliant to mass shooting or assault.
  • Screamer HAVE to get the charge off against dedicated assault units.
  • Vector striking is awful nice, but with the 90 degree turn restriction, Flying Monstrous Creatures in Swoop mode are a tricky ballet.
I like the list, and will be trying it out against a variety of opponents in the coming months as I work to improve my use of the army.  I may consider going with 3 units of 3 screamers and 2 units of 4 & 5 flamers going forward, but that remains to be seen.  In any event, the game vs. Nids was fun, the forces of change came away victorious in their first outing, and I'm looking forward to getting in my practice with them.

(Grenn Dal's list)
Tyranid Prime –lashwhip /bone sword regen
10 Genestealer – broodlord toxin sacs
10 Genestealer – broodlord toxin sacs
5 Ravener - rending claws, Devourer
5 Ravener - rending claws, Devourer
3 Shrike – lash whip/ bonesword toxin sac
Trygon Prime – bio pulse, regen

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And now for something completely different...

Not really, but it's been so long since I posted anything up here I was straining to think of something suitably clever.  I believe I failed.  In any event, I was previously doing yeoman's work on painting up my birthday gift that the lads got together for me.

It's coming along, but I needed a break
Painting it, however, was a bit of a challenge.  I don't want to screw it up and the fact that I've been doing nothing but Salamanders for the past few years was wearing me down.  That AND learning a new edition of the rules sort of burned me out.  Not that I hadn't done well enough with it, as I had won both a local Rogue Trader (solely on the basis of soft scores...I went 1 - 2 on the day) and a five week league held at the shop.  I just needed something...different.

I had long held an admiration for all things Nurgle, and set about creating plans and shopping list for a Chaos Daemons list with Chaos Space Marine allies.  I planned on using the Daemons both for 40K and for a Warhammer Fantasy skirmish game that we were planning for the shop.  The marines were to be pre-heresy Forgeworld models, and all was to be awesome.  Then I went to one of our Apocalypse games and almost all of my opponents had Nurgle armies.  The last thing I wanted to do was join that infectious crowd.  What was I to do?

East, I just had to Change My Ways!!!
It turns out that I was destined to head into the shifty embrace of the Dark Gods but we had guys who played all of the flavors except Tzeentch.  Challenge Accepted!  My fledgling Tzeentch Daemon army was born.

On top of that, I managed to snag one of the coveted slots in this year's 40K Friendly event at Adepticon.  Now I was burned out on the Team Tournament, but I wanted to head back to Chicago and try something different.  So Friendly tournament on Friday and Combat Patrol on Saturday is where I'll be found in 2013.

The Dark Gods have blessed my efforts with a Daemonic Familiar.
She INSISTS on helping me out every time I paint.
Obviously, I'm still shopping for suitable Battlefoam trays.  Suggestions are welcome.
The lads are still in progress, but I'm optimistic.  No competition quality here,
I'm just going for a fun, table-top ready quality.
Damn finecast.  My Changeling's staff broke like it was it's job.
I hacked off it's arm and put a Horror arm on it.
My conversion skillz are sick.

I'm done rambling folks.  Updates to follow, I promise.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Indy Open 2013

Interested?  You should be.  Go here and redeem my faith in humanity.

P.S.  I'm not dead or out of the hobby, just been in a serious funk lately.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's New Today?

Apparently we are.  Or, more specifically, Aerion & CVinton are.  This gorgeous tank that was converted by CVinton and painted by Aerion has a brief mention on Games Workshop's Blog.  While they may not be shameless self promoters, I am certainly the proud owner of their excellent collaboration.  Good show lads.  Good show.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Midsummer's Apocalypse Dream

Defense in Depth
This past Sunday the lads got together at our store, Fantasy Books & Games in Fairview Heights, IL, and held one of our semi-annual Apocalypse games.  Organized by Brandon, the store manager, we have every resource at the store's disposal available to use.  Previous games have seen every flavor of formation, wonky deathstar units, super heavy vehicles, and gargantuan monstrous creatures.  We enjoy our frequent leagues and open play weeks, but these Apoc games, and the craziness that they inspire, are a real treat for us.

The occasion for this battle was for the recreation of the Battle for Helsreach Hive during the third battle of Armageddon.  There were three tables.  The largest, which was three tables put together that represented the outskirts of the hive.  A wooded table (Ork Deployment area), a "no man's land" of trenchworks, and a city board.  The trench board and city board were the Space Marine deployment areas.  Additionally, there was a board representing a space hulk and another board that was a defense laser.  Loyalists controlled the laser, which was able to fire on either the Hulk, or the main board.  Orks controlled the Hulk, which was able to fire upon the defense laser board or the main board.

Main Board, Marine Side

Main Board, Ork Side

Defense Laser Board ("laser" command is on the far end of the board)
Space Hulk Board.  Bombardment Cannon control is the 4 rooms in the middle
Like every one of our games, we had plenty of shenanigans on the tabletop.  We had three stompas, one skullhamma tank, 11 Ork planes, 2 mega dreads, and plenty of boys, trukks, wagons, etc.  The space marine players mainly brought regular units, but they brought a lot of them.  Seriously, a lot.  This was a "bring everything you own" type of game, and we were quite surprised to realize that the marine players had just over twice as many points on the main board as the Ork players did.  I don't consider the game a "win" for the marine players, even though they had control of more objectives.  Rather, I give the game to the Orks, who accomplished so much with half as many points of models.  It was truly an awe inspiring performance.

Ork-Eye View

Two Ironclads & Bray'arth Ashmantle drop in to say "hello"

Want to learn the rules for the new Ork Planes?  Play with a dozen of them.

Bray'arth fell to this Mega-Dread, but he took out a Super Heavy Rocket Launcher
& survived the resulting explosion prior to it.
It was a great time with many memorable moments that were discussed over beers afterwards.  And that, my friends, is why you play the game.

Which takes me to the after game party.  The group of guys that I play with try to celebrate each other's birthdays when we can.  We try to pool together and buy the guy something that he may not have bought on his own, typically something from forgeworld.  This time around, it was my birthday that was celebrated.  And I am truly humbled and blessed to report that this was the gift I was given:

As if that's not more than enough, they got me Salamander chapter doors as well

I don't have the means to express my thanks.  I play with a fantastic group of guys, and I hope I can show them the gratitude that they deserve.  So to Brandon, and the rest of you, thank you so much.

Friday, June 8, 2012

BANG!!!! Bang? Yes, BANG!!!!!!

Okay, I was prepping an old Vindicare assassin for this weekend's Apoc game. There was an unusually excessive amount of flash on this model, and while clipping it I noticed that one of the GW sculptors or casters had immortalized an inspired moment:

Part of me REALLY wants to paint it up like that. Anyone else ever notice this?

Edit: fixed picture

Tactically Hybridized: Local League game 5 of 5

Ever wonder how hard it is to find a suitable picture for these posts?

Well, last night was it.  The final game of the local league where I was featuring unique (to me) lists for each game.  Try something different, test some new (to me) theories, etc.  All in all, it was exactly what I needed. I had awesome opponents the whole time, and I played a pretty diverse set of opponents: Necrons (win), Eldar (draw), Space Marines (win), Tau (win), & Dark Eldar (win).

Go here for week 1s results (No Chapter for Old Men)
Go here for week 2s results (Tactically Maximized)
Go here for week 3s results (Two Headed Monster)
Go here for week 4s results (Netlist Extreme)
All lists can be found here
A better battle report than this one will be can be found here.

We had Capture & Control with Pitched Battle deployment.  He won the roll to go first, and I failed to seize the initiative.  Everything was laid out on the table, with no reserves.  It was going to be a game to see who could outshoot/outlast the other guy.  These games with only two total objectives are real easy to earn a draw on, so aggressive play was required.

He had two of the Dark Eldar flier things.  I recommend that you go the Grendal's blog Xenos for the Win to see what they actually were.  All that I know is that they had some dark lance weapons and a bunch of missiles.  He also had some of their blasphemous transports.  One held some angry assault ladies, while the other two held warrior squads in them.  Finally, he had a miniature transport thing with some close combat guys in it.  It had a poison weapon  on it, and they had power swords.

He deployed at the 12" line and then rushed everything forward.  That memo on aggression?  I appeared that he received it.

My list was adapted from something that Chambers asked me to try out.  It had five tactical squads with a variety of heavy weapons and razorback transports.  This was supported with two Autocannon/Heavy Bolter Predator tanks, two Twin Linked Autocannon Dreadnoughts, and a Multi-melta/Heavy Flamer Speeder.

I tried to deploy in combat squads in cover, but didn't want to crowd that clump of trees since I new he had a bunch of large blast templates.  I would try to push forward as much as possible, but his shooting early on had something to add to that plan.

Here is the "filthy xenos' eye view"

End of round 1/start of round 2
At the end of his first turn, I had a "what just happened to me" look on my face.  He shot me with a lot of stuff.  Some of it was lance weaponry, some of it was poison, some of it were one shot missiles, he did a lot of moving about prior to that.  I'll readily admit that I was a bit confused by his tricksy xenos ways.  There's a reason the Emperor has no truck with these types.  It does us good to remember that.  Anyway, he beat up a few combat squads, and one even fled off the table.  The Heavy Bolter was blown off Vulkan's razorback.  I did a few things to him, but not much.

Start of turn 3
At the end of the second turn, he had busted up three of my five Razorbacks, the Land Speeder, and was about to lay into a few more of my combat squads with his scourges and warriors.  I had removed his two close combat units, basically solidifying my left flank allowing me to roll towards the right.  My Predators and  Dreadnoughts would spend the remainder of the game shooting at a 10 man warrior squad that was on his objective.  He went to ground for the next three turns, and it took me every bit of three turns to kill that squad.  Yes, (4) Twin Linked Autocannons, (2) Autocannons, and (4) Heavy Bolters took three turns to kill 10 guys with a 3+ cover save (they went to ground).  A razorback from my left would add its fire as well for the last two turns.  My combat squads visible in the picture above would win an assault with his scourges (only because his "sergeant" missed all of his attacks with his power weapon over several turns) and move up to take out the other raider and warrior squad.

At the end of turn 5, I had tabled him.  At turn three, I was asking myself "Why is he dying?  I thought that was my job."  He had a scary amount of firepower on turn one and two, but after that...not so much.  His squads were decent in close combat, but when fighting power armored marines, he relied on his squad leaders and their power weapons.  I'll admit he had terrible rolling when it came to those guys, and it made a difference.  I also credit the large volume of fire that came out of my Dakka Preds and Riflemen Dreadnoughts.  He tried to shoot them up early in the game, but to no effect.  Those four units shot down all of his large threats relatively early in the game which allowed me greater access to control his objective by the end of turn 5.

Grendal is a great guy.  He may not remember, but he was one of the first people I played when I got to this store.  It was a 500 point game, that I spent a majority of running away from his Orks.  You may not realize this, but you can buy a crap ton of Orks for 500 points.  In any event, I'm glad he was my last opponent of the league.  I had fun with my list tryouts, and I somehow managed to go 4-0-1 on the league.  We don't know final results yet, but I may actually have won this thing!  Which is to say, I get pseudo bragging rights for about three weeks until the next league starts up.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Netlist Extreme: Local League game 4 of 5

Last night we played out the 4th game of our 5 week league.  As you know by now, I vowed to play a different list each week (within the same codex was our only limitation) that departed fairly significantly from my normal play style.  My goals were to mix it up a bit, have a lot of fun, and practice using my tactical squads in a way that doesn't suck.

Breakdown of all lists can be found here.
Week 1 results: "No Chapter For Old Men" found here.
Week 2 results: "Tactically Maximized" found here.
Week 3 results: "2-Headed Monster" found here.

This week we had Spearhead deployment with Seize Ground (5 objectives).  I won the roll to place the first objective and kept up a trend of keeping all the objectives fairly close to one another.  I also won the roll to go first, but I deferred, allowing my opponent to chose his deployment zone and go first.

My "netlist" was unabashedly stolen from Danny Internets and his blog Bald and Screaming a long time ago when I first started playing Space Marines.  I knew I would be playing Salamanders, and it was a Vulkan list, so I thought I would copy it into my spreadsheet of lists I like and I'd eventually get around to building it.  It required 5 Land Speeders, 2 Vindicators, and 3 Drop Pods.  At the time I swiped the list, I only had 1 vindicator.  It would take me years to get the remaining models before I could play the list.  In fact, my last two drop pods were given over to me last night after being mostly assembled.  Since they were "in the shop" I was using some loaner drop pods from the Crimson Fist dealership on the corner.  If anyone knows or ever sees Danny thank him for posting the list, and apologize for me that I can't link back to the original source (if you can't find a list on the net it still a netlist?)  Essentially I had:

6 TH/SS Terminators
2 MM/HF Land Speeders
2 MM/HF Land Speeders
1 MM/HF Land Speeder
2 x Vindicators
3 x Tactical Squads w/meltaguns, multi-meltas, combi-meltas, etc. in Drop Pods

My opponent was a filthy Xenos lover who played a suit heavy Tau list.  His list to the best of my knowledge was:

Commander Farsight with a crew of suits w/missile launchers
3 x 3 suits with missile launchers
3 Broadsides
3 x 10 Fire Warriors
4 Pathfinders with transport

Tau deployment + 1st turn & my 1st turn arrival of 2 pods
With Spearhead deployment, the Tau player was pretty bunched up.  He made some push towards my board edge (empty devilfish, fire warrior squad, & Farsight with crew) as well as pushing a squad of fire warriors and the railhead to his left to capture the farthest objective.  The rest of his lads were right there for me to drop on.  I dropped Vulkan with a squad as well as my librarian with a squad.  Each tactical squad broke up into combat squads upon arrival.  My hope was to give the Tau a lot of different targets to shoot and hope he didn't focus fire.  My librarian failed his test, and avenger didn't go off.  I didn't even get mad this time.  That's how common this had become.  One combat squad targeted the fire warriors on the objective in the trees.  The other targeted the suits closest to the blue pod.  Both of the squads out of the green pod targeted the broadsides.  Blue pod inflicted light casualties, but enough for leadership tests, which were all passed.  I did enough wounds on the broadsides to force a test there as well, and they failed!  So I had that going for me moving forward.

aftermath of my turn 2
His turn 2 gave him the opportunity to take revenge on my Salamanders for their rude arrival.  He contintued moving towards my board edge with a few of his units, but otherwise stayed put.  His shooting killed all but the Sgt. in one combat squad and all but the meltagunner in the other.  He also put a wound on my librarian.  He didn't shoot at either of the green pod combat squads, instead opting to target their drop pod.  My reserves were very kind to me this turn with a vindicator, squadron of speeders, and the terminators coming in.  Terminators used the blue pod's teleport homer and ran towards a group of suits.  Vindicator and speeders drove on right next to the fire warriors and suits that were creeping up on my edge.  Between shooting and assaults, I cleared the Tau from the objectives they were near (except the one outside the frame to the right, they would own that all game), and eliminated a set of suits with the vindicator.  This turn was devastating for the Tau.  His game plan was disrupted by my arrival within his lines, and a got very lucky with my reserves.  He lost a lot of his capability, while I lost the majority of two combat squads.

turn 3-ish
 At this point, he has his HQ & retinue with another set of suits on that side of the table.  On the other, he has a fire warrior squad on an objective with a railhead & squad of suits in support.  He runs his suits away from my terminators (who would fight nothing all game, a first for me) and shoots my speeders out of the sky in retaliation from using their heavy flamers on the squad of fire warriors previously occupying those trees.  He kills the sole surviving member of a combat squad by the blue pod and kills both my librarian and meltagunner with shooting as well.

end game
Turn 3 saw all but a single speeder come in from reserve.  The vindicators each killed a squad of suits (one with Farsight in it).  The remaining tactical squad dropped on an objective and split into combat squads.  One held the objective they landed on while the other made its way to the objective on the hill.  At this point he had enough firepower to deny me the objective by the blue pod but he couldn't ever take any more than the one his only scoring unit was currently holding.  To prevent him from shooting at my combat squads, however, I threw a bunch of delicious looking units at him so he would shoot at them instead of my scoring units.  Vulkan met his fate to a missile in this manner.  At the end of turn 5, we rolled for a 6th turn and got it.  We decided to call it there, however, since the game was clearly in hand at this point.

This list was quirky, and certainly something I've never played around with.  I'm very timid with my tactical squads, especially when they're in combat squads.  When given a choice (and a transport) I often baby them.  Dropping them down in drop pods, however, forces the issue.  I was impressed with their performance even though they died in droves.  Chambers is always singing the praises of them, but he always rolls well, so I hadn't seen their use until last night.  My vindicators also cleaned house by clearing out 3 squads of suits and Farsight.  I readily admit that I was lucky with my reserves, and I had already removed the broadsides by the time they showed up.  Although 240 points of terminators never saw the angry side of assault, it was clear that they made him nervous (as they should have).  I think they did a fine job of contributing to the chaos that this list brought to my opponent's game plan.

It was a fun game, my opponent was fantastic.  He's a new player trying to learn as much as he can about the game and his army, during a time of known transition for us.  I wish I had a fraction of the good grace and demeanor that he showed during what was a pretty solid beat down for him.  I learned a little about my new list, but I was truly humbled by his classiness.  It would be an honor to play him again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Iron Hands Venerable Dread & List Advice

Bannus has returned with some new conversion/paint work on a Venerable Dread for his Iron Hands.  I'm quite impressed actually.  Bannus has moved from my part of the world up to the Windy City.  We miss seeing him at the store, but we're awfully glad he's staying in touch by showing us his work.  Enjoy!

Pretty cool no?  I like that we've got a couple of TSE members churning out sweet Iron Hands conversions. Ol' Seth and Bannus need to hook up and make a monstrous Iron Hands force.

Additionally, Bannus offered up some list advice to break me out of my gaming rut recently.  He suggested that I make "elementally" themed lists and offered up a Water List as a suggestion.  I've copied both the list and a description in his words below:

Varro Tigurius

10 scouts w/ Bolters, Heavy bolter, Powerfist, combi-melta, Melta-Bombs
10 scouts w/ Bolters, Heavy bolter, Powerfist, combi-melta, Melta-Bombs
10 Scouts w/Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher, Sergeant Telion

Ironclad Dreadnought w/Heavy Flamer, DCCW, Ironclad Assault Launchers, Drop Pod & Locator Beacon
Ironclad Dreadnought w/Heavy Flamer, DCCW, Ironclad Assault Launchers, Drop Pod & Locator Beacon
5 terminators w/Assault Cannon, 2 Chainfists

Fast Attack

Space Marine Bikes w/Additional biker, Melta Gun, Melta Bombs, Multi Melta Attack Bike

Heavy Support
Vindicator w/Dozer Blade
Vindicator w/Dozer Blade
Vindicator w/Dozer Blade

I created this list as a "water" list.  And the idea is, much like how water changes shape to fit whatever container it is in, this list will adapt to whatever enemy you might face.  It has one other strength, nobody will see it coming.
Tigurius is the key to the whole list, with his ability you can re-roll any reserve roll, so you will have an easier time controlling when your units enter the game.  This fits in perfectly with the scouts, drop pods, and terminators.  He also can use three psychic powers a turn, and may choose from all psychic powers, which adds versatility to any unit he is attached to.  He is vulnerable though, so keep him safe.
The scouts themselves are outfitted with anti-tank, anti-infantry, and a close combat weapon, and should be able to take on most enemies.  And they have many special rules that allow you to adapt to the situation, both while deploying and after.  Just avoid heavy flamers.
Ther Ironclads in drop pods can be deployed when and where you need them, and if you plan it right, the terminators can use the locator beacons to deepstrike with precision.  The Ironclads themselves have a meltagun and seismic hammer for vehicles, and a heavy flamer for infantry, so again, very versatile.
The attack bikes look anti-vehicle at first, but dont forget they have twin-linked bolters also.  Combined with relentless they can rapid-fire before charging to take on infantry units, have 5 wounds at T5, and can always choose to fail morale if they cet in an assault they didn't want to.
The terminators with chainfists, storm bolters, and assault cannon can take on almost anything.  And you should be able to drop them wherever they are needed, if your enemy decides to destroy your pods to stop this, then who cares?  He didnt shoot your other units, and all of them are dangerous.
And finally, the vindicators, though they are the most out of place, S10, AP2 large blasts are useful for anything.  And they are also useful mobile cover for other units because they can move while firing to full effect, so if you choose to deploy your scouts at your board edge, they will always have cover behind the vindicators.  They also leave your opponent no room to run if you deepstrike/outflank the rest of your army. 
This army's main weakness is against speed, once they are deployed they are slow, but speed isn't as necessary when every unit is equipped to handle every task.  Against a fast opponent I think you will be fine if you keep the units close enough together that they can support each other.

Let us know what you think!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two-Headed Monster: Local League game 3 of 5

I'm really scary.  You're just going to have to trust me on this one.
The third week of five is now in the bag for our 1850 40k league at my FLGS.  A brief recap: Make five separate lists to use that are all departures from what I normally play.  This was to break me out of my post Adepticon funk, give my opponents something other than what they've seen before, and to bring fun back into focus for me as a gamer.

Breakdown of all lists can be found here.  Week 1's "No Chapter for Old Men" results can be found here.  Week 2's "Tactically Maximised" results can be found here.

As with all weeks, excepting the very last of course, the lists were chosen randomly by a third party prior to me learning who my opponent will be or what mission we will be given.  This week, we were assigned Dawn of War deployment with Annihilation as our mission.  My good man Stuey finally showed back up at the game store with his White Scars after he finished his semester at school and we were paired up on a table with a moderate amount of low terrain (desert village table).

My list:
Terminator Librarian w/null zone & avenger
2 X (5) TH/SS Terminators w/Land Raider Crusader & Multi-meltas
3 X (5) Tactical Marines w/combi-melta & TLHB Razorbacks w/HK missiles
2 X Land Speeders w/Heavy Flamer & Multimeltas

The purpose of this list is simple.  Smash face.

Stuey normally plays bikes, but he too mixed it up for the evening by bringing a Pedro build.  He brought:

(10) Sternguard with a variety of stuff (combi-meltas & a Heavy Flamer I think)
(10) Tactical Marines with meltagun, lascannon, power fist & Rhino
(10) Tactical Marines with flamer, lascannon, power weapon, & Rhino
(10) Tactical Marines with meltagun, lascannon, power fist, & Drop Pod
2 X Vindicators
Predator w/ Autocannon & (2) Lascannons
(2) Land Speeders w/ (2) Heavy Bolters each
(2) Land Speeders w/Heavy Bolters and Missile Launchers

I had 14 kill points to his 16.

He won the roll to go first, and accepted it.  I did not attempt to steal the initiative.  Not only would I have failed, naturally, but I actually wanted to go second so that I could position myself better based upon his position after he drove all his guys on turn one.  Neither one of us deployed anything, so he moved all his stuff on 12".  He put his Drop Pod in the approximate center of the board and combat squaded the guys inside.  That was good for me since there were really only two place to effectively drive my Land Raiders on, and they were both within striking distance.  My turn 1 actually saw me able to push forward with my LRC that had Vulkan in it and assault his combat squad nearest to me.  The power of the machine spirit in the LRC blew up the Drop Pod.

aftermath of the turn 1 assault
That looks kind of scary.  It certainly wasn't pleasant.  The squad on the left is the sternguad and Pedro who rushed up to shoot Vulkan's squad.  The other five guys are the remaining combat squad from the Drop Pod.  There is one Speeder in frame, two more just outside to the right, 2 Vindicators, and a lascannon from a tactical squad in a Rhino half in the frame at the top right.  All of that shooting, and three terminators would die, leaving Vulkan and just a single terminator.  All three of the dead terminators would fall to a single land speeder and its 6 heavy bolter shots.  Yeah, mathhammer is for the weak.  All in all, the remainder of the game would take place within spitting distance of that fancy yurt-like structure.  He would throw units at my terminators until they died.  They he would throw units at my LRCs until they died.  It was quite a bloody affair.

Vulkan's squad was dead at this point, the Librarian was going to break off from his squad to use avenger on the Sterguard who were bunched up in teardrop formation, and the terminators were going to push through the tactical marines towards the tanks.  That was the plan.  What actually happened?  The Librarian broke off from his protective squad, rolled two sixes for his perils of the warp test (I've tried using librarian power 4 times...I have failed twice), assaulted the sternguard, failed to wound a single one, and died to Pedro's power fist.  I love the model.  I love the words in the codex about what they are supposed to be able to do.  I have had only a single game where I have been able to see any performance whatsoever out of that unit.  The terminators assaulted the Tactical marines, drove off the survivors (but not far enough that a surviving meltagunner wouldn't be able to kill a LRC at the end of the game.

Final tally?  I had killed 10 KP of Pedro's Scars, and he had killed 9 KP of Salamanders.  It was a stressful game with a fantastic opponent.  I had opportunities to handily wrap this game up from turn one on.  I failed again and again to capitalize on the opportunities that presented themselves.  While the game was a victory for me in the end, my dice rolls were so bad that bystanders and neighboring tables were making fun of me.  I would miss with twin linked weapons, fail to penetrate armor with melta weaponry, only manage shaken or stunned results on vehicles.  It was pathetic.  Stuey was a class act, and made fun of me an appropriate amount without going too far.  But I am getting a bit sick of it.  How can I analyze me list performance when I can't even depend upon average dice results?  I'll stop complaining now.  It was a win, I should be happy right?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Get Your Hobby On.

I picked up a rush commission last night and, while prepping the models I had a flash of inspired genius. I was thinking of how I might prime and paint the meltaguns separately so I could more easily paint the chests of the marines. I looked to my right at my trash can (hey, divine inspiration shouldn't be questioned, so don't judge me for randomly checking my trashcan for ideas). There atop the empty food containers and other various basement-centric detritus, was a recently discarded sprue frame. The squared shapes and occasional cylinders of spare plastic merged with some paper clips in my brain and, like John Belushi standing in a Chicagoland church, I saw the light!

Some quick snips with the clippers gave me a small workable bit of frame that would sit flat on a surface and resist being scooted by spraying paint. Some easy work with my pin vice and super glue and the Gun Rack was ready for service.

I placed a tiny drop of glue on the end of each peg so the guns wouldn't fall off. Then I cut a bit of cardboard, secured some tape to hold the backpacks and the gun rack, loaded the whole squad out to the garage and gave it a blast of primer.

The accessories are ready for priming.

The whole operation took less than 30 minutes and it can (and will) be reused again and again. This frame is rigged with 5 pegs so it will hold a whole combat squad compliment of weapons. I imagine it will also work well for heads or any other small bits that might need personal attention.

Let me know if you like this idea, or if you have a better system feel free to share. We're all in this together, right?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tactically Maximised: Local League game 2 of 5

We Salamanders are LEGION!!!  (well technically not since that Istvaan/Codex  Astartes thing I suppose...and I HAVE killed quite a few of them off...)

This is the second week of our five week league at my FLGS.  My mission, after returning home from Adepticon in a bit of a funk, was to craft 5 separate lists, one for each week, that served as a departure from my normal play style, included elements that I have always wanted to try out, or that just seemed like damn good fun.

Breakdown of all lists can be found here.
Last weeks "No Chapter For Old Men" list results can be found here.

This week's list theme was simple.  It's almost like going to AA meetings:  "Hello, my name is Chosen1.  I am a Space Marine player, and I don't know how to use my Tactical Squads."  Seriously, its an embarrassment.  It's like Ricky Bobby's hands during that first TV interview, I just don't know what to do with them.
What am I supposed to do with these?
What's one way to figure these things out quick, fast, and in a hurry?  Play with as many Tactical Marines as I can in an 1850 game.  I selected 6 Tactical Squads, gave them Vulkan, a Librarian, and then a bunch of razorbacks and heavy weapons.  Here's the list:

Epistolary Librarian w/Null Zone & Avenger
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, plasma cannon, power weapon & TLHB Razorback
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, missile launcher, powerfist, & LTHB Razorback
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, lascannon, & TLLC Razorback

Our mission was seize ground with spearhead deployment.  My opponent was a Tricksy Eldar player that I've played once before.  He's an outstanding guy, and I had a great time playing him, but we fought to a draw.  I told myself that win or lose, I would not get another draw...yeeeah, about those TPS reports...

My Deployment: All combat squads
His Deployment: a bunch of Xenos trickery
I would love to tell you what was in his army.  In fact, my friends are telling me all the time "Chosen1, you should really learn these other codexes so you know how to play against them."  Honestly?  That sounds like a lot of work.  It also opens me up to heretical thoughts, and the light of the Emperor's cleansing flames as I burn them down are all I need to understand about Xenos.  Here's what I can remember:  Avatar, Eldrad + Dire Avengers in one of those melta-ignoring transports, 3 War Walkers with scatter lasers, (7) Jet Bikers with warlock, (7-ish) Fire Hawks in melta-ignoring transport, (5) Rangers in the "venerable" transports that make me roll twice to kill them, and (5) Dire Avengers in the "venerable" transport.  I normally fear the Avatar like no other since I load up on flamers and meltas.  Don't judge me, I roll like ass.  I dont' NEED those re-rolls, I can quit anytime...really.  This time, however, I had plenty of other guns for him.  I was also glad I had a librarian.

I know I suck at battle reports, but honestly the game looked like this for most of the night.
We get five objectives, plus two more "story objectives" for the league's storyline that have no bearing on the game play.  I lost the roll to go first, failed to steal the initiative, and weathered the first turn fairly well.  I could tell he was intimidated by all of those transports and Tactical Marines.  I'm no seer, he actually said "I'm kind of intimidated by all that".  I tried not to strut around like a peacock.  I failed.  He maneuvered to get shots on Vulkan and the Librarian's transports, but didn't take either out.  I moved up across all fronts trying to engage him with my combat squads and shoot what I could.  The Avatar took out two combat squads before he was brought down by Vulkan.

The jet bikes were led by the warseer "brave, brave, sir Robin"
Those two transports (green/white & purple) at the bottom of the frame stayed there the whole game taking pot shots at me.  Their occupants would ultimately claim the objectives near each.  The tricksy bikers did their move-shoot-move dance.  I eventually flanked around the right side of the treacherous Xenos scum and shot them down.  It was glorious.

This is what I was doing instead of aggressively advancing towards him
I didn't realize I wasn't "doing it right" until the end.  Now you've all heard me complain about my horrible rolling.  My opponent was doing poorly this game as well.  In fact, I think we sort of averaged each other out.  I had some good turns, he had some good turns.  My librarian shut down about half of Eldrad's powers, which is a big deal to me, because that cat can use a lot of them.  I would almost bet that if Eldrad had been allowed to do his thing the final outcome would have been significantly different.  I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the "you must take a librarian to have a chance against the tricksy eldar" meme, especially since I took him randomly this week, but it is what it is.

This is essentially the end game.  I held the top/bottom left objectives.  He held the top/bottom right objectives.  Eldrad and a Dire Avenger exarch move onto the center red objective.  I shot the snot out of them and fail to move my guys close enough before the end of turn five.  Game ends in a draw.  Don't get me wrong I enjoy winning.  On the other hand I know when I don't "deserve" it.  I played sloppy.  Not just moving into position, but I made mistakes on some rules (they were corrected), but I am always nervous that folks will take my mistakes as cheating.  That's absolutely not who I am.  Both of us were glad this game ended in a draw because neither one of us performed any better than the other.  Back to those TPS reports I suppose.

What did I learn?  I (still) need to be more aggressive with my tactical squads.  I think that not only would I have forced him further out of his comfort zone, but that I would have been in a better position to contest or capture objectives during the late game.  Combat squads are fragile.  If someone starts spouting off about a statline in the 4's backed up by 3+ saves punch them in the face.  Marines are nothing special.  That deserves repeating, Marines are nothing special folks, they perform similar tasks as their Black Templar, Space Wolf, and Blood Angel brethren, but they're inferior in almost every way.  This doesn't mean they can't win, just that they need (insert something sage and wondrous) to do so.

All in all, a great game with a great guy.  I look forward to next week's match!

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Recruits: Black Templars

The days of painting Salamanders for Adepticon have waned. In the immortal words of Alice C., "School's out for Summer!" And, for the moment, I'm still unemployed. Throw in a much-appreciated invitation to participate in an Apocalyptic reprisal of the 3rd Battle for Armageddon, and it's time to do some painting!

I've owned Grimaldus and Retinue since I got back into the hobby (oh, going on mid-fourth edition now). Sadly, because he's a bit cumbersome compared to much cheaper units, he's been languishing in his box all these many years.

Now, with Helsreach being so key to his fluff, and me having a bit of free time, I just had to drag him out, dust him off, and slap on some paint.

I tried some new techniques with this squad. The main difference is I used Vallejo Air grey primer, applied with my Grex airbrush, instead of Chaos Black. I wanted to see how it would work, one, and I also wanted to start experimenting with alternatives since the Chaos Black spray will be hard to come by from now on (I have no idea what the current GW Black will look like so it's best to find an alternate route to get where I need to go).

Here are some before and after pics of the models.

Grimmy sprayed with Vallejo Air grey primer mixed with VGC Black
Retinue primed with a mix of VA Grey primer and one with the Grimmy mix leftovers.
The whole gang.

Backside. Cause it's smexy.      

 It felt good to paint some Templars after such a long time. It was strange, though. I kept blending and building the highlights on the blacks and it just kept looking wrong. It was only after about 12 hours that I realized it was the absence of color that was messing with me.

I plan to add High Marshal Helbrecht next. I've also ordered some more Assault termies and I'm building some new neophytes (although I seem to be missing their heads. Guess it's time to give Genocide a call to see what WFB junk he's got laying around).

Oh, and as an added bonus, here's an updated (and much better) picture of my TH/SS Terminator Marshal. He's been done for a while, but it's one of my favorite conversion pieces.

STOP! Hammer time! (Yeah, I went there)