Thursday, December 29, 2011
I ended up with a fairly straightforward list. It contained a Beastlord with the Crown of Command in a big unit of Bestigors, a level 4 Bray-Shaman with Shadow Magic, 2 units of Gors, one of which had a Wargor with the Beast Banner, some redirecting chaff, and last of all, a Ungor bunker with 3 level 1 Shaman next to a herdstone to generate magic dice.
My opponent's list consisted of a big block of Ironguts, with a Slaughtermaster (Death Magic) and Butcher, two Skycannons, seven Maneaters with a Battle Standard Bearer, four Leadbelchers, plus some redirecting chaff. The Maneaters were pretty sweet models. He had the unit converted to be a group of Samurai Ogres, including back banners and katanas.
We played a Battle for the Pass. For the most part, I was the aggressor. It makes sense, since I have no ranged offense outside of the Pit of Shades magic spell. I lost that turn three because of a tricky combo (Greedy Fist and Death Magic) and going into turn 5, things were looking bad. I had lost one shaman, plus all my chaff, and one of my Gor units. My opponent was skilled with his redirectors and refused to let my elite Bestigors make it into combat. I really didn't have any way to score points to make up the difference until a pretty crucial mistake by my opponent. He had pursued the unit of Gors with his Maneaters, but had to stop them an inch from the board edge, due to the scenario's cliff walls rules. My second unit of Gors had a perfect rear charge, then got buffed by Wyssan's Wildform and put a whipping on the Maneaters. It took two turns due to stubborn, but that put me ahead to stay, as he just didn't have enough time left in the game to make a comeback.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I've been thinking about what I would want in a campaign system and trying my hand at designing a simple one. I've done narrative stuff before, but I have always loved maps. I want to do a non-GM, map-based campaign. I have read a lot of rules packs, but not a lot that I've really liked. This is what I'm looking for:
-Static lists, but a few of them, so you have a chance at some variety
-A system for casualties and experience
-Territories and a reason to hold them
-Not having to fight the same person over and over
-Enough people willing and able to play
I've seen campaigns where guys saw who was next to them on the map, saw that they were going to be fighting them all the time, and dropped out. At the same time, I don't want to feel like the map is just a progress tracker. I want everyone to be able to get in a game each week, but not against "just whoever", and if they win they get a hex. So I guess what I'm saying is some sort of overall strategic element to the larger game needs to be present for me to be satisfied.
More to come, I'm sure.
-Finished Drop Pod #2.
-Decided how to paint the Land Raider hull. I also settled on a design for the opposite side and one of the flags. Now to test the free handing skills.
-Paints acquired. Fresh paint makes things so much, though GW paint pots remain one of the worst designed products in my experience. I believe my next project will begin my experimentation with other lines.
-Won Settlers of Catan! Development cards FTW!
-Get in a game over the Christmas holiday.
-Get the basecoat on Drop Pod 3. That's right. I'm optimistic that THIS one will get done quickly. To be fair, it will be the simplest of paint schemes. In rebuttal, history indicates it will take forever.
-Sand down some of the rough ideas for the aforementioned campaign system.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Here's the list I took to the last two games I've played:
Rune Priest w/ Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane
Lone Wolf Terminator w/ Wolf Claws
Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta in a Drop Pod
4 Wolf Guard Terminators in a Drop Pod
w/ 2 Combi-meltas, Arjac Rockfist, 1 Storm Shield, 2 Wolf Claws, 1 Powerfist
5 Wolf Guard Terminators in a Drop Pod
w/ 2 Combi-meltas, 2 Storm Shields, 2 Wolf Claws, 3 Powerfists, Assault Cannon
5 Wolf Guard Terminators
w/ 3 Power Fists, Power Weapon, Chainfist, 4 Storm Bolters, Assault Cannon
5 Wolf Guard Terminators
w/ 4 Power Fists, Power Weapon, 4 Storm Bolters, Heavy Flamer
Thunderwolf w/ Storm Shield, Wolf Claw
Arjac's Squad w/ Logan is an absolute beast. It gets delivered deep into the enemy's lines, often by itself, and it starts wrecking things. Granted, it's a third of my army's points, but the amount of hurt they can dish out is outrageous, while the wound allocation shenanigans and the terminator armor/storm shield combos means that only the weight of dice will bring the squad down.
I was impressed with the Thunderwolf's threat range. In the one game that he didn't die horribly, his fleeting and long assault make it quite a bit easier to get across the board. If I play the unit again, I'd like to increase the size of the unit to at least 3, so the unit can take a little more punch before going down. I can do a squad easily at a little more than 200 points, and I could add a lord or a battle leader for some more durability and some serious hurt.
I'd kind of like to squeeze in some jump troops and some missile launchers as well. For the jump troops, I have two options: Skyclaws or Wolf Guard w/ Jump packs. The Wolf Guard get expensive faster than their Terminator brothers and are less resilient. The Skyclaws don't make sense from the "elite" standpoint of the army, though I could do up some Death Company models which would be fun. The launchers seem to be the choice of prevailing wisdom, and I would appreciate the 48-inch range. Trying to catch Venoms is becoming quite tiresome, so having that extra long arm would be nice. Sadly, they don't make much sense aboard a Space Hulk, but then, neither do jump infantry so neither came as part of the set.
This makes me worry that I'm betraying the initial spirit of the project I envisioned. Space Hulk whispered, "Terminators" into my ear, and though I play them well, I'm playing one-off beer and pretzel's type games. I like winning, but if that were really the key element here, I could have grabbed a ton of Long Fangs a couple years ago. No matter how much I analyze the "competitiveness" of the list, every game thus far has been competitive and fun. That "special moment" where something cool happens seems to come about every game, whether it be a devastating charge, a unit refusing to go down, or one big kill. Each game has been tense and close, and isn't that what we want out of our armies? If it helps us realize our creative vision, stacks up on the table most of the time, and brings us joy, isn't that the holy grail of hobby? I wouldn't speak for anyone else, but for me, yes.
Did that turn into a sermon? Quite possibly. Anyway, on the lighter side, here is one more picture:For my friends that stick to regular board games, the only way to lose what's inside a drop pod is to have it scatter off the table. I nearly managed this feat after rolling 12-inches and an arrow pointed directly at the nearest table edge. Of course this ended up being a great thing as the other drop pod is on top of his objective, but it could have gone horribly wrong. Failing to learn my lesson, I duplicated this the very next game, though only rolling a nine, and honestly, I may have only made it due to some grace from my opponent.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The past two weeks, I've rolled into the FLGS and had a game. Nights consist of TV and re-runs which gives me a chance to do some painting while the wife works on her projects. The little bits of progress are starting to add up. I'm closing in on finishing Pod 2. I need to finish the front of my Menhir. I'm almost finished with Denny, though the more I look at her, the more certain I am that I'll be doing some kind of head swap. I am also starting to apply some layers to the Daemon Prince for my Word Bearers. He's been second in the queue for a while and keeps getting passed over for stuff.The game at the local was 1500 points against Tyranids. It was mostly a Genestealer shock list, but it had some pieces in it that I don't think were used optimally. For example, my opponent had a big scary flying Hive Tyrant, a close combat monster. He spent most of the game hiding behind a building. He outflanked both squads of Genestealers and had a unit of Ymgarl's that start off the board, so he could never really commit the stuff that started on the board.
I made my own fair share of mistakes. I didn't confirm what the Doom of Malantai did, but I know now why people cry about it. My Dreadnought podded in a little too close to the side of the board, so the Genestealers came in and demolished him rather than getting to charge his Gaunts. But I had some pretty glorious moments too. My combi-melta squad podded in and took 3 wounds off the Tyrant, then survived his assault and a Power Fist took him out. Logan and his squad took a charge from the Ymgarls and the regular Genestealers and broke them both. In the end, I think I definitely had the edge in terms momentum if the game had continued, but it ended turn 5 again and I had four of the five objectives.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The house is in a decent enough shape that I've finally been able to relax and do some "work." I began juggling about four things that I was putting paint on. First on the queue is the drop pod that I've been working and I'm actually making what feels like significant progress. I'm also working on the accompanying Land Raider, a Warwitch Deneghra from a Cryx Battlebox, and an Elven Menhir terrain piece.
I'm giving the old college try to my first bit of free hand on the left half of the Land Raider. Really, it's just a simple wing design sweeping back along the hull, but if it comes off alright, it should look pretty sharp. The issue I'm having is that it looks... Cartoon-y? I am planning on turning the points of the feathers up to be more blade-like, and the wife has suggested making most of the black of the lines gray instead, leaving just a little bit of outline. Hopefully that will give me the effect I'm looking for.
Finally, I made it out to the FLGS again. This time was a little better. I was still largely ignored by the local clique, but there was a member of what is apparently the Wednesday night regulars looking for a game that afternoon. We played a Capture and Control mission with his Dark Eldar and my Loganwing. It was my first game against the Dark Eldar and I knew they were mobile, but the ability to move and absolutely pour out the firepower was stunning. My squads managed to arrive at the rate of about one per turn and got shot off the table as soon as they did so. I just didn't have enough speed or sustainability to counter-punch. However, this ended up working to my advantage. The last two squads both came in on turn 4 with one dropping in on his objective and the other rolling onto mine in a Land Raider. He couldn't pop the Land Raider in time and I kept him off his on turn 5, and when we rolled for random game's end, it did. It felt Pyrrhic because I was almost entirely wiped out, while his force was almost entirely intact, but I guess that's another lesson in keeping your eyes on the objective.
-Find a way to paint the Land Raider Hull that I like
-Finish that drop pod!!!!
-Acquire some new paints
-Won a game
-Got the table set up
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
If (or I should say, "When") I drive across the country again, I refuse to pack the car to the gills. Despite scheduling our move a couple days before the wedding, we still had a bunch of stuff show up in those last days, which, while awesome, meant the car was incredibly cramped. We also skipped taking I-40 for most of the drive, deciding instead to see some of the South. After doing Texas in a day, then stopping in Santa Fe, we said screw it and skipped everything else we planned and just drove until we got here. The sense of relief when we pulled into San Diego was palpable.
We've got the apartment mostly set up. We have a small room in the back and we've each got some space for our various hobbies/projects and storage. While the number of tables I get to set up has dropped, I feel like the quality has gone up. Since I don't have to pack all my books on one book shelf, I get to set up some of my games, my amp, and a drawer of some models as well. I think it looks nice alongside a neat table.You'll also notice the very nice glass case on the right side of the frame. That's courtesy of one of my good buddies back home. It's a very nice "Detolf" model glass case from Ikea that was given to me (I should say us) as a wedding gift. While I am very excited that I have nice way to display some of my models, it turns out my wife absolutely loves it. According to her, it's not just a nice piece of furniture, but it gives me a chance to show some of my work while not having the models be "out" which apparently reduces her stress level about clutter.After going through all the stuff from the move, the results are mixed. Of the models that went through the move, I am happy to report that there is almost no damage to my collection. A few lances came off, some metal weapons were bent, but nothing was broken. The flip side of that, and it is a big flip the other way, is that my compressor is gone. I got it as a birthday gift the week before the wedding from a couple good friends. It was still new in the box, never got to use it, and now we can't find it anywhere. We've filed a claim, but it really steams me.
My first foray out to a local FLGS was up and down. I went wandering and sorta scouted things out. The store itself feels similar to the Local back home, except they have a very current stock. I saw a lot of the hotness from Board Game Geek lining the shelves (and floors in front of the shelves) along with their expansions. The Warhammer stock seems pretty decent and all the out of date stuff is in a discount bin. It's neat, clean and well organized and the staff is very friendly.
However, I have my doubts about the gaming scene at the store. I made the trip out yesterday afternoon to try and get a game in. There were roughly eight other guys there hanging out. Over the course of two hours, two of them started a game, while the rest fiddled with their minis, talked to each other about starting a game, or stared at the new Necron codex. I tried to engage different people in conversation. I asked several people if they wanted to get a game in and made myself available. At one point, I heard someone say, "That guy is looking for a game," and the response, "No, I think I'm OK." I left without a game, incredibly frustrated.
If someone is new to your area, is generally friendly and socially competent(or even if he's awkward), and is looking for a game, please make him feel welcome. I don't care if you mercilessly stomp him, at least make sure he has a game with one of the more friendly members of your group. I don't think that's too much too ask.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The move on this end actually went pretty smooth. I had most of my stuff in a pair of Battlefoam bags that I got as presents. Let me just say that I way underrated the utility of pluck foam. Not only did fit way more models in than I thought I could, but I fit in some odd shapes as well. Even better, all the foam I plucked out, I used on bigger models when I packed them away in another box.
There was one hiccup. All my orks and marines have magnetized bases. It's the standard washer glued to a base, but it works most of the time as an effective everyday transport solution... but not when one of the movers decides to upend the tray into a cardboard box. "Umm, hey bro, I'll go ahead an pack those myself."
Probably the only enjoyable part about not getting to go to my FLGS anymore was that I finally decided to cash in my loyalty points. The store is pretty notorious for having a backlog of product. We're talking about stuff from the previous decade and possibly earlier. They have not one, but two boxes of the original Golfag's Ogres from the discontinued Regiments of Renown. I started rooting around in the back of the Warhammer boxes. After coming up with 4 boxes of Pestigors, I finally found a box of Khorngors, which I wanted to use as Marauders coming in off a board edge with Wulfrik. It just so happened that the box had a bonus 11th model in it, so now I can just convert one for a counts-as Wulfrik.
Sorry, no pics. Everything is gone.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Initially, we had 10 sign-ups, but one dropped out. It’s honestly pretty good to get 5 tables filled up at the FLGS. Fantasy has a bit of a critical mass, so while we have a lot of people that enjoy playing 40K, it’s just easier to get Fantasy games. It was nice to see that when they got a chance to break out the round bases, the guys responded.
Things kicked off at the crack of 11 and managed to stay pretty much on time throughout the day. We had a pretty interesting distribution of armies. Players brought two Guard, one Blood Angel, one Ork, one Tyranid, one Chaos Marine, and three Daemon armies. I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what the metagame looks like at the uber-competitive events. It did make for some unique match-ups though.
Missions were intended to be fairly simple, with the primary win conditions being the same or similar to standard 5th edition missions. Secondary win conditions were somewhat similar to old-school 3rd edition missions, but with a more comparative element intended to break ties and ensure that even if a player was losing, they’d be scoring something. I think that was successful, as none of the 15 games had to go to victory points to determine a winner.
Round 1, Primary: 4 Objectives. Secondary: Get units to the opponents deployment zone
Round 2, Primary: Kill Points. Secondary: Rescue (I.e. find the secret number and carry it to your end)
Round 3, Primary: 2 major objectives, 4 minor objectives. Secondary: Victory points with bonuses
Because of the tournament length and the number of players, we had two players, one of the IG’s and the Nids player, go undefeated. The Nids managed to get the edge in battle points. Chaos Marines finished third.
As I said, we had nine players come to play. I had made a few inquiries about finding a ringer, but no one could commit to playing all day. I asked a couple other guys that came to hang out if they wanted to play a game, but no one brought an army. That meant that I ended up having to both play a game in the tournament and try to answer questions. Thankfully, my first two rounds were matches against guys that I’ve played before and have been playing the game for quite some time. On the other hand, I’m getting ready to move soon, so the only army I have available for play is my all Terminator army, which, while not the most competitive, is still difficult for some armies to handle, no matter how inefficiently it gets built.
There weren’t a lot of rules questions. Honestly the most frequently asked question was, “Is there random game length?” There was also confusion when scoring mission 3. People tended to not look at the bonuses and just score straight VP’s. Though it might just have been because it was the end of the day, I probably need to do a better job of outlining things like that in the packet. I also want to use scoresheets next time, which I think will help simplify things.
Other than that, I really think things went well, and honestly, I am looking forward to the opportunity to run something again.
Additionally, thanks are due to one of the local guys for taking all the pictures.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I got in a game on Tuesday. I played a Meeting Engagement against a Beastmen Doombull bus with a big Minotaur unit. To say the game was going to lack subtlety is an understatement. We deployed a little over the 12" apart. He had 3 units, including the Minotaurs with a Doombull and 2 Gorebulls, plus two units of Gors and a level 4 Shaman. Essentially that amounts to about 1500 points in the big deathstar, meaning that if I get that unit, I win. He went after one of my units with his big scary one, smashed it, but didn't go far enough to get out of my counter-charge arcs. I hit his flanks with 10 knights, a Lord, and about 20 Halberdiers. I lost a lot of guys from the Warrior unit, but the knights cleaned up and with a ranked unit of heavy cav in the flank, he was disrupted, so he wasn't steadfast, and at that point, the game was pretty much over. I still don't understand the Deathstar philosophy. I really believe that you need enough units on the board to be able to exercise a measure of control over it. I can see the value of points denial, but I really think over the course of a game, it's not that hard to get the whole thing if you have the counter for it.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I’m mostly pleased with the way the unit turned out. The poses fit well together, thanks to the 40mm bases and a little bit of prior planning. The original boxed sets were each comprised of three models, so each one had an identical twin. While metal isn’t normally the easiest material to work with, an easy solution presented itself. With a couple clips to each of the arms, the axes could be flipped around to run the opposite direction. This cut down on the mono-pose element.
If I were going to do them over, one change I would likely make is to use a darker red on the armor. I like the idea of all the sigils and runes. It looks very stylized. However, with such a bright color, the eye tends to be drawn towards that, rather than the model as a whole or the faces.
Regardless, I have some models that I think are really nice and can now play a variety of roles in my army.
On a similar front, I primed the Chaos Dragon. Or rather, I should say I sprayed it. I wanted to try out a new black spray, and I figured this one would be fine if it turned out a little too glossy. Well it turned out a lot too glossy. I don’t think it’s ruined, but a different kind of model may well have been. My quest for a better black primer continues. We’ll see how the paint adheres, but I’m guessing I’ll need quite a few layers. Once I figure out what color I want, that process can begin.
-Pick a skin tone for the Dragon
-Paint the exterior of Drop Pod 2
-Start assembling supplies to pack things away
-Finished the Wargs
-Primed the Dragon (sort of)-I think I have the missions nailed down for a September tournament
Monday, August 15, 2011
I also randomly participated in my local ‘Ard Boyz tournament. I showed up at my FLGS hoping there would be an extra random table open and one or two other Fantasy guys would show up. Well, it worked out better than expected. Due to a lack of publicity/local interest/whatever, two other people showed up for the tourney. I threw my own hat in the ring, figuring I wouldn’t mind partaking in the prize support. I took the first round bye, since only one fantasy guy showed up. I wanted to make sure he got a game in, though I forgot to print out a list, so I ran one of the older lists that I’m now less than fond of. When I matched that up against Dwarfs, albeit not even the nastiest of lists, it didn’t end up spelling much of a game for him unfortunately.
Rolling back to 40K, I ended up with sixty bucks in prize support which I promptly spent on an entirely different system. Actually, I spent it on one fantasy system to convert and play with a different fantasy system if you want to be really technical. I have thought about converting a Fell Beast into a Chaos Dragon for a while now. The model comes with two heads, so with a little bit of green stuff work and some extra bits, I thought I could turn out something reasonably impressive. The other options were the new Dark Elf Dragon or the Chaos Manticore, but they didn’t have the latter, and the former is sweet, but I can probably talk myself into getting it later, plus it wouldn’t dare to try and convert a second head.
I did my standard scenic base with the flying stand, but I flipped the stand upside down, sawed off the tip and replaced it with a magnet to make transport not just easier, but plausible.
-One last Warg
-Continue reading Caledor
-Resume work on the second Drop Pod
-Prime the Blood Wing Land Raider
-Finished most of the Wargs
-Bothered showing up at the local 'Ard Boyz and got a prize for it
-Converted a Nazgul on a Winged Fellbeast into a Chaos Dragon
Monday, August 1, 2011
My opponent is a local that I’ve played about a half a dozen times. He seems to enjoy quirky lists that make sense in a fluff way, but also are interesting because of some mathematical factor. I don’t know if that is the way he thinks about it, but that’s my third party interpretation. For example, this week he brought a Death Guard list. He was conflicted about whether to run a list with 50 Plague Marines or Typhus, Nurgle Terminators, and 30 Plague Marines. Either way, it was an army that would shrug off any jabs and really only feared the power punches.
For game one, we rolled a Dawn of War/Killpoints mission. He gave me first turn, so I put down my Assault Terminators in a Land Raider in the middle of the board. He kept almost everything to roll on the board after turn one, taking a position along the middle left of his back line. I shoved two of my units forward to multi-assault one of the Plague Marine units, but failed both difficult terrain rolls, including snake eyes on an inch and a half charge. This led to Logan and the Assault Terminators taking 3 units worth of shooting and an assault by Typhus and his Terminators. My guys got wiped out, but not before taking out Typhus and two others. His 30 Plague Marines then tangled with three of my regular squads. I survived the encounter with just a Rune Priest and three other guys left. The game came down to turn six. Entering the bottom of the fifth turn, I was up a single point. His lone, surviving terminator came charging out of a crater, but missed his melta-shot. Then he charged in with his chainfist. I did two wounds, both of which needed a save on a 5+. He makes both, an 11% chance, then blows up my dreadnought, tying the score. We made the roll to keep playing, and the storm bolter from the dreadnoughts drop pod manages to score a wound and avenge his fallen master (roughly a 4% chance). So crazy things happened all over the board, and I took the game, 7-6.
Game two was a Capture and Control/Spearhead affair. Typhus wiped out the squad that deep struck and popped his Land Raider, but he got wiped out in return by Logan and two squads in a counter assault. That left his back line open and Logan and company wiped everyone out. He had one last hope in the form of a turn 5 assault on my objective. He had a decent chance, going first, and he only needed to force a check. But when he absolutely needed it, when he had to have it, his roll looked like this:
Despite the tournament being over, I am still making progress on my Wargs. I’m not nearly as motivated as I was, but I’m close and I keep doing a color here and there and getting closer. My biggest issue is not getting distracted. I look at the big shinies from Storm of Magic and I think, “I’ll magnetize a Black Dragon and a Manticore so I can use all four riders on each one.” Then I think about the Marauder horde I want to add to my Warriors army. Then I think about all the unfinished things I already have. If I don’t buy anything new, I guess I’m sure I’ll be ok.
Finally, not a review or a summary, just a thought. No spoilers either. I finished George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons in a little over a week. I went through all 1100 pages, after having read all four previous books. On the other hand, I read the first 40 pages of Gav Thorpe’s Caledor today, and there has already been dragons rampaging through an enemy army. This is why I read books published by the Black Library.
- Finish a Warg every three days.
- Read Caledor
- Prime the Blood Wing Land Raider
- More frequent blogging
- Played two games of 40K
- Read A Dance with Dragons
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
My luck extends beyond the table top though. I’ve been blessed to have a really awesome woman agree to spend her life with me. She is smart, fun, and smokin’ hot. She goes beyond simply living with my nerdy hobby. She really seems to embrace the dorkiness. She sent supportive texts throughout the tournament. She offered to sew a bag for army transportation. She even asked to paint with me.
Naturally, I said yes. I had some spare Cygnar Warjacks lying around from a starter box. They were very close to the bottom of the painting queue. I originally bought them as a way to expose my friends to miniature war gaming. I thought they would be big enough to not be overly complicated while still giving her some fun details to work with.
I told her she could paint them however she wanted. I’m painting a Cryx faction alongside her, which will be dark red and silver, so I don’t feel the need to keep the colors as standard fare. However, she was adamant that she stick to the traditional blue and gold colors. She looked over the artwork and the painting section in the main rulebook, then left markers on the page with the actual jack that matched the model she was working on.Thus far we’ve had two painting sessions together on lazy Sunday afternoons. I wouldn’t mind if that becomes a thing.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Chaos Lord of Khorne, Sword of Swift Slaying, Charmed Shield, Favour of the Gods, Talisman of Preservation
Exalted Battle Standard Bearer of Khorne, Necrotic Phylactery, Shield
Sorcerer of Tzeentch on Disc, Level 2, Third Eye, Infernal Puppet, Talisman of Protection
18 Warriors of Khorne, Halberds, Standard of Discipline, Musician
24 Warriors of Khorne, Extra Hand Weapons, Full Command, Razor Standard
5 Knights of Khorne, Flaming Banner, Musician
Chariot of Khorne
Warshrine of Khorne
Nothing on the list outside of the infantry blocks and the characters are so expensive that I would really mind losing it. The knights and the Trolls are getting close to there, but not quite. I would also always hesitate to take a frenzied chariot. Nine times out of ten, I’d say it’s a bad idea because it’s so limited in where it can go and it was one bad roll from costing me in that regard, but I really got tempted by the 10 attacks it puts out per turn outside of any impact hits.
Strategically, the list is pretty straightforward. The infantry blocks try to dominate the center of the board, which will usually be achievable for them. The trolls and the warshrine take positions in the line next to the general’s block. The knights and chariot are set up on either flank. They can usually deal with anything that gets put out there, and they act as a pretty nasty pincer if my opponent castles up. Scyla is usually one of the last pieces deployed. He gets stacked up as the bait, or alternatively to hold up something nasty.
In game one, I was matched up against Tomb Kings. I had played them once before, so I had a general idea of how the book worked. I liked my chances, if I could just get past the chariots and Tomb Guard. Scyla bounded forwards, angled in front of the chariots and forcing a decision. If my opponent charged Scyla, he’d end up trapped between the trolls and knights. If not, he’d get boxed in to his deployment zone. He charged and accepted Scyla’s challenge with his Tomb King. Even with impact hits, it took two rounds of combat to kill Scyla, who rolled a pair of sixes for his attacks and managed to take the Tomb King with him. The knights and the Trolls also arrived in that time, and that was just too much to stand up to. On the opposite flank, a failed charge on my sorcerer exposed his cavalry’s flank to my chariot. From there, the tide of battle kept going my way, as the Warriors did what they do best in the centre. Turn six came around and I moved various units onto objectives and picked up a full twenty battle points.
This landed me on the top table, which was both a blessing and a curse, because it was right next to the wall that butts up against the restaurant next door’s kitchen. I also got stacked up against Chaos Dwarfs, which is definitely a match-up that I don’t like. My opponent had two cannons, 3 blocks of Dwarfs with blunderbusses, a Colossus, Obsidian Guard, and a level four wizard with Shadow. I usually prefer to dance around a little and try setting up a favorable match up, but between him being able to lower my toughness and a barrage of Earthshaker shells, I decided to sprint across the field and take what I could get. My right flank was denied by the Colossus and I knew it would take some time for the knights to get past it. I thought I’d try to take a few wounds off of it, so my sorcerer cast Infernal Gateway on turn two. Naturally, I rolled double sixes for the strength, sucking the monster into the warp, and suddenly the flank was wide open. It was one of the more memorable moments of the tournament, but I do hate to see how disheartening that can be. To my opponent’s credit, he looked on the bright side and proceeded to snipe my wizard with his bolt thrower the next turn. He blocked off my infantry with two hobgoblin meat shields, meaning I was grinding my way through about a hundred victory points with my two hardest hitting units. He ended up getting my trolls and my chariot, but not before they had run off the Obsidian Guard. I ended up taking the game 17-3 and stayed at the top table.
My last game was against something of an MSU High Elf army with a big block of White Lions and Korhil, plus three mages. He had way more units to deploy than me, so his Sea Guard with the Flaming Banner got to deploy opposite my trolls, which pretty much doomed them from the start. Both they and the chariot, which charged the Swordmasters, ended up surviving longer than expected, which gave me the opportunity to get my Warriors into his softer archers and spearmen. Scyla apparently hates chariots, because he had two rounds of combat in which he managed to roll sixes again, smashing it to pieces. The biggest surprise of the game was my opponent’s inability to get spells off. I shrugged off a magic missile, and let a couple ward saves go up, but he either failed to cast Dwellers below, or I dispelled it. The match was eventually decided when my Warriors with extra hand weapons charged his White Lions. Their massive strength and re-rolls to hit meant they were chopping down a bunch of my guys, but my weight of attacks meant I was going through his even faster. He fled in his turn, the top of six, which allowed me to complete a charge and wipe them out as the game was ending. The game went to me 14-4.
In all, I had a great time. I think I played really well almost the entire time, with only a few mistakes. My dice were probably pretty close to average, with some timely rolling at memorable moments, and a few whiffs that could have been. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity I have to do this.I’d also like to say thanks to the guys that said they were following my preparation. It encouraged me a lot to try and get better at this.
Monday, July 18, 2011
After three good games, the dust settled and I had managed to go undefeated. We’re still awaiting the final posting in terms of battle points, so I don’t know if I finished with the highest score, but if I did, that’s just extra gravy on an already awesome day. I also got a vote for player’s choice and a lot of praise for my work, so my ego is reaching a size where it has to cannibalize itself to survive.
I am really happy with the way my army turned out. I am a very slow painter, but I really feel like the tournament deadline helped me push myself to get things done. It wasn’t an altogether unpleasant experience, but I don’t think that I’ll try to repeat it. The Warriors were getting done at a decent rate, by my standards at least. They weren’t anything incredibly intricate, but they’re the older kit, which didn’t have a lot of options as far as intricacy. Additionally, I decided I wanted to run the unit with extra hand weapons as a six wide by four deep block, which meant painting four more Warriors than I had originally intended. I didn’t really have the time, energy, or appropriate models for this, so I looked around at what was sitting around in my collection, grabbed a Bloodcrusher Juggernaut, and ended up with a pretty cool looking unit filler. This was the state they were in on Wednesday night:
Once the infantry were done, it was time to start working on the Wargs and the other peripheral units. The Warshirne was by far the easiest. I had an old corpse cart hanging out, and I had planned to put a charioteer with a whip in place of the necromancer. The feet were incorrectly positioned though, so I gave the necromancer a quick three shades of blood red on his outside cloak and swapped the zombies that I never liked out for some horses. I had some of the old chariots, but they had mostly fallen apart due to the incredibly poor basing system for chariots in the late 90’s. A little glue saw the model put back together, and I cut a new base using the spare parts from a movement tray.
At this point on Thursday night, I knew I wasn’t going to finish the job, so I chose to concentrate on the sorcerer. I wanted to keep him close to the overall color scheme of the army, but need some way to differentiate between his patronage to Tzeentch and the rest of the army’s loyalty to Khorne. The bloodletter mounted on him was going to provide plenty of the base blood red/chaos black/tin bitz colors, so I went with a pair of purples for his tunic and cloak. The Warlock Purple is straying towards warmer colors, and I think it does a nice job linking that part of the scheme to the cooler Liche Purple. I also used Chainmail on his armor, which in it of itself is not a shocking choice, but I’ve purposely avoided it throughout the rest of the force. I think individually it’s unnoticeable, but in the overall presentation of the force, it’s a small detail that subtly distinguishes him as different.
After a pretty bad SNAFU with the marble company, my marble didn’t ship until Wednesday night, so I was really sweating it out. Thankfully, it arrived Friday afternoon, so once I hit the door, I got to work basing. Doing the 25mm bases has never been easier. I’d glue down a section of tile, then paint the sides liberally with Scorched Brown. This contributes to the look of grout filling in the space between the bases as if it were a real temple. If I had left it unfinished or gone with black, I think it would have been a distraction from the base and the model. Both would have looked sloppy and hastily done. I also had to make some decisions on larger bases. The chariot sized bases and the 40mm squares actually had gaps between them on the bases themselves. I could have just painted them in, but instead I filled them with hard drying foam. It took a little while to set, but when it did, I just painted over it and I essentially had grout in between tiles. While it wasn’t necessarily the neatest job, it was relatively painless and unless you get close you can’t tell the difference.
Unfortunately, this work contributed to the demise of the Wargs and not being able to finish them. I got one done, but decided to go to bed around 4 a.m. I thought I’d get up at six. I was wrong. Nine o’clock rolled around and I had to scramble to find a tray. Then I drove as smoothly as possible to the game store. This involved making early decisions on running yellow lights and hoping so desperately that all the upraised metal bits directly behind my seat would not become projectiles in the case of a 65 mile per hour accident. I made it just fine, grabbed my table assignment, and things kicked off at 11:30.That’s pretty much the extent of my hobby half of the tournament. I’ll delve into the game side of things tomorrow most likely. In the meantime, I want to thank Rush over at Warpstone Pile for putting on the tournament. He did a heck of a job. Things went smoothly and it seemed like everyone had a good time, mostly because everyone was talking about what a good time they had. Pairings were made quickly and adjusted so everyone go three games against different opponents, while still holding to the NOVA Open system that people are trying to prep for. So yeah, thanks Rush.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Can I finish in time? Maybe. I need to finish the last two halberdiers Sunday night when I get back from my trip, then do the berzerkers on Monday, Tuesday, and into Wednesday. That leaves me some of Wednesday and Thursday for the Wargs and Friday for the sorcerer. If that happens, I can walk into the Tournament with a fully painted army.
The last hiccup beyond that, though, is the distinct possibility that the last of the marble doesn't show up in time. It's been ordered and has shipped, but it could arrive between Tuesday and Saturday, and if it's the latter, I'll be a sad panda. Oh well. I have to focus on what I can control.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I’ve managed to get the first ten warriors with halberds glued down, as well as my Lord and BSB. I like the way they are coming together.
The marble is from a company that does kitchen remodeling. The squares are each just under one inch, which makes them ideal for a 25mm base. It does make the 40mm bases that I’ll be using for my proxied trolls much more difficult. Thankfully, my dad happens to be something of a handyman, so I had access to a marble cutter. This is what they turned out like:
It’s a little rough on some of the smaller pieces, but it will certainly do, once I get a chance to paint the sides. Currently, I’m debating whether or not to fill in the gaps. I think it might help the illusion of a temple floor. If I did a scenic display board, I think it would look great, but I hesitate to do this for convenience' sake. If I did fill them in, that would essentially force me to use the same army list over and over if I wanted to reuse the board. If I didn’t, I could reuse it, replacing squares and pulling some out as needed. There's always just placing them on a flat board, if I wanted to stay basic. It’s something to chew on for a while.As far as my list is concerned, most of it is set. I have about 275 points that I’m not sure what to do with, though I suppose that beats being way over. I have two solid infantry blocks, the trolls, and a nasty unit of cavalry. I think I’m going to take some things that are less hitty. The units should provide plenty of punch, so what I need is something to play a nuisance roll, or a force multiplier, or something like that. Options include a warshrine, spawn, an un-upgraded daemon prince, Throgg, Wulfrik, upgrading warriors to Chosen, or a small unit of knights. We'll see what I come up with.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Really, it’s that a lot of it is lost in the chaos. It’s hard to paint because the paint station is covered in the models that I shoved on there during the move. The chair is covered in clothes that still haven’t been put away. Even if I could, the model on queue is… somewhere…
It’s not armies on parade or whatever. I’m organizing everything for when the next big move happens. I’ve built an excel spreadsheet to track the location of every model and what case/transport bag it’s in, down to what tray. I didn’t bother going to down to the exact slot in the tray because that would be too neurotic…
I’m not sure how exactly I’m going to break everything out. I don’t have slots for every model yet. I was thinking of placing another (substantial) Battlefoam order, particularly for the larger and odder shaped models. Beyond that, we’ll see.
It won't stop the hobby. I'm really only packing up stuff that I won't be using, so a few things will still be hanging out and getting worked on.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I was fortunate enough to get the chance to play two games of Warhammer over the past weekend.
The first game was an epic struggle with one of my buddies and his Lizardmen. He was gracious enough to announce that he would not cast Dwellers Below unless things went horribly wrong. I returned that I could use all his spells with the Third Eye of Tzeentch, so we had a very nice little prisoner’s dilemma brewing. It was a back and forth match that saw us separated by about 50 victory points at the end, meaning it was one of the most fun ties I’ve been a part of.
Following that, I played one of the vets and the new Tomb Kings book. It was close to start. A random “river of light” roll saw my Trolls get weapon skill and initiative 10, along with a +1 strength bonus from the Warshrine. Needless to say, they and a unit of knights plowed their way through a unit of archers apiece, before running into infantry blocks and the charge of a chariot unit with the flaming banner that they just weren’t quite hard enough to handle. After that, things took a turn as my infantry met his proceeded to absolutely grind their way through them. I found the most challenging part of the game to be deciding which of his spells to let through, as he had entirely too many dice to stop them all. Unfortunately for him, I think GW has seen the problem they created with the eight main lores and are fixing it by toning down the army book lores. Of course, that makes for a very unbalanced system…
Two paragraphs in the bag. Neither of them really relates to what I want to say in this space, but they do lead to it. We all know this is a dice game. We all whinge and moan about those terrible ones that we just roll all the time. It comes with the territory. I don’t know any wargamer that isn’t superstitious to some degree. But what about the other end? What happens when you’re just rolling out your mind and keep climbing higher and higher on the bell curve until you start thinking about non-stop flights to Vegas? I don’t care how much skill your opponent has, when you save on your armor 30+ times in a row, the odds begin to skew in your favor. And I’m not speaking hyperbolically, because we started counting.
Obviously this can happen. We all catch hot streaks. But it’s been like that three and a half games out of four, and I’m starting to think it’s my custom club dice. I’m scared to take leadership checks, even on an 8 or a 9, outside of the Casket of Souls and a voluntary flee reaction (which I then needed two turns to rally from), I’ve only needed to check twice. And when my buddies have to take inordinate amounts of models off the table over and over again, I start to feel bad and neither of us enjoys the game as much.
So what then? My dice aren’t modded. I’m not picking and choosing which dice I’m throwing based on needing to roll high or low (which has been done by others in the past). I don’t pick up the small dice for characteristic checks. But I am rolling sixes so hard it looks like a hub for cargo trains most of the time. At what point do I start to think about picking up different dice to play with? It’s not an issue of the legality of the game, but rather, an ethics one. At what point do things begin to get murky in terms of the spirit of fair play?
Friday, May 27, 2011
After a pair of cancellations, I played another one of the local guys who just happened to hanging out at the club.
It was the first time I have gotten to use my Blood Wing. Originally, I built the army list to be played at 2000 points, albeit not so competitively. I had also planned not to field it until it was fully painted, but with two drop pods and a big tank to go, I thought I'd just give it a run as is.
Note that the Pepsi can is not being proxied as anything.
So this is the entire army at 1500 points. Originally, I had planned on running a Dreadnought in the third pod, but he got left at home, so I ran a Lone Wolf instead and had the pod drop empty.
The first game was capture and control. I dropped a unit with combimeltas, and an assault unit with Logan in aggressively. I promptly exploded one of his rhinos, and immobilized another. With a pair of nasty units in his back line, he decided to take the fight to the other side of the board. He dropped a Furioso back near my objective, with his Death Company still in reserve. My rune priest blew up his last Rhino which essentially forced him to charge my Lone Wolf in a one on twenty combat. At this point, I feel the need to mention that my dice were on fire. I could not fail a save anywhere on the board. I took a single wound on the Lone Wolf and lost two guys on the next turn's charge, and that was it. There really wasn't much he could have done, because I was just so en fuego.
With no scoring units left on his side, we called it so we could run it back.
We rolled up a seize ground with five objectives. He went first and walked everything on. I dropped in aggressive again, forcing his Death Company towards my Assault Terminators with Logan. He charged my combimelta squad with an Assault Squad, but between Logan's Living Legend and counter attack, my four guys had sixteen attacks, and duly wiped the squad. Meanwhile Logan and company finished off the Death Company, though they lost 3 of their own guys. Logan immediately split off and annihilated his Devastator squad, while the remaining Terminator attacked another assault squad. Though I was losing guys at a more regular clip, my dice for damage really started to heat up again, and after my Rune Priest lit up his Furioso, which was his only real chance to contest/kill off the guys on my objectives, so we called it again and chatted about strengths and weaknesses in the list.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It's been a while, but I can see the end in sight, so that is exciting.
-Finish the interior of Pod 1.
-Less time between posts next time.
-Glue Chaos Warriors on bases.
-Exterior is complete.
-Some WoC bases are complete.
-Finished the Greed Corp campaign.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I also have to keep in mind that this is definitely an accomplishment considering I am balancing writing a paper for grad school, wedding stuff, and a social life, which means “Drop Pod” is way down the priority list.
Some of the painting time has suffered for the building time. Really, that’s the part that I enjoy, so when I see a big shiny kit, namely a Land Raider, I find I am easily distracted. This was a particularly fun build as well, with lots of extra shiny things to add. Obviously, we have the Forge World doors. I was thinking about going with one normal door so I could try my hand at some free-hand work, but there’s enough clear space on the sides. The majority of the rest of the stuff is from an Empire State Troops bitz pack. The banner tops with the laurels make a great recurring motif that I think fits well, and the big twin banners streaming off the back will hopefully allow some decent room to work. I did not have all my tools, which made some things, like getting the Empire hands off of the flags, extremely difficult. I managed to cut the piece to fine, and the plastic came off all the way to the banner. A stitch, in time, saves you a lot of super glue. I eventually got some semblance of a pole on the flag, but it will take some work in the painting process to cover up the mistake and I'm always going to be nervous when I'm transporting it. I kept the weapons off for now. I’ll magnetize them the first chance I get and hopefully score some lascannons so I have every variant.
-Played some games. More on this later.
-Based my first Khorne Warrior. Also more to come.
-Finished a paper for grad school which means I'll actually have some hobby time.
-Finish the first drop pod. Still.
-Publish a blog post in a timely fashion.
-Get all the Khorne bases glued and painted.