Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hobby Update: In Which Things Come Together

One of the interesting things about HADD (Hobby Attention Deficit Disorder) is that, every once in a while, multiple projects all seem to finish at roughly the same time.  That can be in a number of different areas, whether assembly, painting, or converting.  In this case, it's over all of the above.

The Land Raider is "finished."  I guess I "need" to do a little clean up on the script on one side of a banner and do the second set of weapons so I can make it a Redeemer or a Crusader pattern, but I will proudly put it on the table and let other folks blow it up as fast as humanly possible.  Though it was definitely labor intensive, I ended up really enjoying painting it, and I'm even contemplating doing another one at this point, though I think that is a ways down the road if I ever get to it.

On the other hand, the Vargheists are finished.  Flat out.  I've never run into such a disconnect between models being good looking, yet utterly unenjoyable to work on.  I think they look great and I'm glad to have them in the army, but I'm done trying to improve the models themselves.

What I did really enjoy working on were the bases.  One of the guys at the local shop volunteered his bits box and I decided to go a little nuts.  The bases are built from various building sets, though it may have been mostly the basilica.  The plastic is quite thick, so it was a workout to get them into the shape of the bases.  In the end, definitely worth it as I think the look and the effect are very good.  They complement the models as well.  They'll be dark, but there are a few places I can add some splashes of color to make them more interesting.

I've also managed to assemble the Death Company models that I've acquired.  I'm planning on putting my tournament winnings towards the other half of the squad, and will likely try to score a Chaplain for them too.  The plan is to have nine painted in the traditional black color scheme, while the tenth will be in white.  A little deduction will tell you which one of these is not like the other.  The guy with no helmet will be in the opening stages of "the change."    He's got a little conversion done to him with a pair of ghoul hands.  His skin will be the same color as the Vargheists and his hair will be a light shade of gray.  I think he'll be quite striking.

The Word Bearers are also getting some love in anticipation of a coming codex release.  I busted out the airbrush and put on the initial basecoat of Mechrite Red, then began applying a 2:1 Red Gore/Scab Red mix in the traditional fashion.  Two of the models actually got coats of Chaos Black.  They'll end up being the Aspiring Champions for now, but we'll see what options are available in the new book.

Finally, I really enjoyed assembling a Chaos Manticore.  Of course, I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for.  I initially bought it for my Chaos Warriors army, but I'm debating using it as the first Daemon Prince for a 40K army that continues to occupy my interest.  I'm considering trying to do both, but I'm not sure the two color schemes will work.  Obviously, for the Warriors, red really is the only option.  For the Daemons, the scheme is going to be green.  Yes, they're complementary, but I'm worried about the beast looking like a giant Christmas tree.  Magnetizing the head will be easy enough, but I think I'm going to take some more time and consider the options before finalizing my decision.

Hobby Progress
-See above

Hobby Goals
-Get all the basing done for the Blood Wing
-Get the basecoating done on the Possessed

-Time allowing for it, work on the Chaos Dragon

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tournament! Part Deux

The Tau, who won best painted.
Round two, thankfully, did not begin with a bang.  I was playing a Tau list with two Shas'o, alongside some Crisis Suits, Broadsides, a Skyray, and a few other things.  I won the roll for first turn and immediately painted a big, fat target on the Broadsides.  It was always going to be a matter of whether or not I could get into his lines fast enough, and their railguns were the biggest threat to knocking out my Land Raider at any kind of range.  My meltas only managed to get one because of the cover they were sheltering in, but that turned out to be enough, as my Raider survived to turn two and delivered Logan into the Crisis suits. 

From that point, it was mostly academic.  There were a few highlights though, mostly involving the apparently ultra-resilient Skyray.  By turn four, it was the only thing left on the board.  We ended up going to turn seven because I couldn't kill it.  My Land Raider shot at it from turn three onwards and failed to even score the paint.  Despite roughly 15 hits from the assault cannon, I failed to roll a six to get a penetrating hit.  The multimelta fired at it four times and when it did hit, I rolled a three each time.  In the final turn, I even charged my Wolf Lord in on the final turn.  Did he have flechette discharges?  Yes.  Did they wound?  Yup.  Did I fail my 2+ save on my final wound?  Darn right I did.  For some reason, I don't think that will be written on his saga.

The game ended and scored me all three points.  That put me on the second table, matched up against Eldar.  This list was interesting because it included a squadron of Hornets, a Forge World unit.  Apparently, they're toting two pulse lasers apiece, meaning 12 strength 8, AP 2 shots per turn.  Just as in the game before, they got a big target painted right on them.  It turned out pretty well, as I got the first turn again, dropping in the Terminator pod and immediately blowing up two of them.  The assault cannons also found their range, knocking out two of three War Walkers.  This was a pretty devastating blow, as it knocked out almost the entirety of his weapons that would deny me saves or could seriously threaten my Land Raider.

Bridge over the river Sludge?
My turn two was equally productive.  He tried to block my path across one of the board's bridges with a Wave Serpent, but the Raider's firepower downed it and exposed the Dire Avengers inside to the Thunderwolves charge.   Over the next two turn's the Wolves ate that squad and another Dire Avenger squad, while the drop Terminators punched the last Hornet to death, and the back line Terminators shot down the last War Walker.  With all that damage, my opponent decided to concede.  While he might have been able to deny me an objective or two, I don't really blame him for his decision, as getting any result other than 3-0 was improbable. 

With eight of a possible nine points, I was in the running for Best General.  The top table was a Dark Eldar vs. Grey Knights match-up.  On turns five and six, it was 1-0, but unfortunately, on turn seven, the Knights finished off the last of the Dark Eldar, putting the Knights player on nine points and bumping me to second.  That was disappointing, but I felt a lot better when I found out that I had won Best Sportsman.  It's important to me that my opponent's enjoy their games, and if they can do so even in a competitive environment with me going as hard as I can, then mission accomplished.  Going into the tourney, my goal was to finish in the top three in every category.  Once I find out my paint score, I'll know if it's mission accomplished. 

As a bonus, here are a few shots of some of the other armies on the field.

The aforementioned top table Dark Eldar.
The eventual overall winner.  Gorgeous army.

The Best General Grey Knights.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Saturday, At Ease Games held a 2000 point tournament.  Obviously, I mention this because I was in attendance. 

After playing so many games at 1850 points, the extra 150 felt a little weird when I was trying to come up with a list.  I had just finished the Land Raider, so that had to be part of the list.  That meant Logan wouldn't be coming out of a pod, so I dropped two of them, plus a Lone Wolf and Dreadnought.  That meant I had points for a Thunderwolf to provide a running mate for the Thunderwolf Lord, providing him with just a little more protection and squeezing a strength ten Power Fist into a very fast unit. 
It really doesn't look like much at first.  And then it punches you in the face.
Going into the tournament, the thing I was most worried about was my general lack of experience with the list.  I've been playing my castling drop pods list for quite a while, and this was a pretty big departure.  I thought the theory was sound.  I wanted to alpha strike something significant with the drop pod, while the Thunderwolves and Land Raider raced forward to provide support.  It's always nice to have a theory, but putting it into practice can be interesting.

The missions were Bay Area Open style, meaning we'd be playing Seize Ground, Capture and Control, and Killpoints every game, with whoever fulfilled the most of these claiming the win.  After giving these a run, I have to say it's not incredible, but definitely plays pretty simply.  I guess my biggest gripe would be that it's not the most interesting way to play over the course of three games.  At the same time, not having to read the mission pack intently before every game to determine exactly what I need to do, then think through how to accomplish it while trying to deploy, is a big positive.

Evil St. Celestine
For my first game, I drew my favorite opponent, Chaos Daemons.  It was the same opponent as my first league game, though he was running a pretty different list.  Essentially, he tried to squeeze a bunch of Pavane's of Slaanesh on a Keeper of Secrets and three Daemon Princes into a list with a couple units of Flamers, plus some Horrors and Bloodletters.

He won the initial roll for turn order and elected for me to go first.  I dropped my Terminator pod deep in his end to put pressure on his Capture and Control objective.  My intent was to force him to defend that end with some of his heavy hitters, because most of the Seize Ground objectives were in my end.  If he didn't respond with enough resources, he'd be conceding one of the three win conditions and I liked my chances.  He ended up dropping all three units of Horrors nearby to try and shoot the Terminators to death.  Twenty straight saves later, I think he knew he was in trouble. 

I assaulted two of the units and did enough damage over two turns to kill all of them, then wiped out the third in the following turn.  At the same time, his Bloodletters came in on my end.  I put all my shooting into them, then charged in my Thunderwolves.  I cut them down to three, but they put three wounds on my regular Thunderwolf and he failed two saves, which really hurt.  He piled in with his Keeper of Secrets and finished off the Lord.  In the following turn, I had a choice to finish the Bloodletters or shoot the Flamers.  Despite the Flamer's potential damage output, I targeted the Bloodletters so I could pick up another killpoint and wipe out his last troop choice.  This ended up really costing me because the Masque and the Keeper of Secrets funneled two of my terminator units into one cone of death with the Pavane and Flamers put so many wounds on the terminators with Breath of Chaos, that it left just the Rune Priest and one Assault Cannon alive. 

What would turn out to be the deciding objective marker
As the game wound down, Logan and his bodyguard finally got involved killing a Daemon Prince and a unit of Flamers, putting me up by two killpoints.  On the final turn, the Keeper charged Logan's unit, while one of his Daemon Princes charged my immobilized Land Raider.  The Keeper put all his attacks on Logan and just barely managed to kill him, while my unit swung back and couldn't quite finish the job.  Then his Prince swung at my tank with the game on the line and managed to whiff three times out of five and failed to do anything significant on the damage rolls.  

We counted up the killpoints twice, but I had one more, and I also had my drop Terminators on a capture and control objective, netting me the win, 2-0.  I drew a Tau player next, which I'll cover in depth with my next post...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hobby Update and Fantasy 40K

Work continues apace on the Land Raider.  At this point, I've advanced to the stage of my process in which I go section by section over the vehicle to ensure each one looks the way I want it.  This could be clean up, detail work, highlighting, or whatever.  I kicked off this afternoon with the assault ramp.  While that may be a very small section, I like to take my time and make sure there doesn't have to be any follow up.  Additionally, it means I'm free to really dig into the details, such as each of the individual feathers.
At the same time, sometimes it's good to have something else interesting going to break up the monotony.  Or I have ADD, which might be more likely.  I banged out a single out of production Khorngor as the test scheme for the rest of the unit.  I'd forgotten how easy it is to paint single rank and file models.  Or maybe it seems that way after the long odyssey that is the Land Raider.
It's a pretty straightforward paint job.  Brown on the fur.  Silver on the armor.  Heavy wash for that grimy, dirty look.  Really, the interesting part was drilling holes into the marble tile for the base.  Because these models are the old metal design, they use slotted bases.  While I could just clip the metal parts off, the contact points with the base would be pretty flimsy.  Instead, I left the parts directly beneath the feet untouched and sank them into the base.  I used a little too much glue, resulting in a good bit of frosting, but he's sturdy, which is what I really want and I'll be on the lookout for this with the rest of the unit.

Finally, some friends and I got together for a goofy, little exercise.  We held a fantasy football style draft for all the units in 40K.  We had to take one HQ, Elite, Heavy Support, and Fast Attack, two Transports, and three troops and fit all of them into a 1500 point list.  I had the second overall pick and drafted the following:
1. Ork Boyz
2. Tau Crisis Suits
3. Mycetic Spore
4. Grey Knight Interceptors
5. Blood Angel Death Company
6. Eldar Jetbikes
7. Dark Eldar Haemonculus
8. GK Dreadknight
9. Blood Angel Rhino

I like my draft.  Honestly, I got pretty much everything I wanted and it works better together than you might think at first glance.  Can you spot the fun strategery?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

League Night

Cityfight and small points games adds some new wrinkles
Because the league officially started on a Thursday, week number one is running through St. Patrick's Day.  I'm pretty stoked about that as it allowed me an extra opportunity to pick up points for my team...  Okay, who am I kidding, it's all about my numbers.  But seriously (or as seriously as Warhammer gets anyway), I appreciated the chance to not start a game behind some folks.

My opponent this week, Nick, is building a brand new Necron army.  The nice thing about this is watching him progress both at the table and while painting.  The downside is that it's hard for him to get games in while the list is under construction.  I offered to play him at a reduced points level to make sure he got a game in and we settled on 775 points.  He agreed to let me run a Deathwing version of the all-Terminator list, because otherwise I'd have been running Logan and not much else.  While Logan may have been able to run through a whole army himself, it wouldn't have been much fun to play for either side.

I hammered out a quick list that included Belial, two squads of Terminators with an Assault Cannon and a Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield in each squad, plus a Dreadnought.  Nick brought a Necron Lord, a Cryptek, a five man and twenty man squad of Warriors, five immortals, and nine scarabs.  We agreed to play on a 4x4 table and snagged one of the special mission tables which meant we were playing a scenario called "The Prepared Mind."  Essentially, it was a Cityfight game with a primary objective of holding table quarters, each worth a preset number of points, between one and four.  Based on a random table we had to roll on, my side had quarters worth four and two, while his had sections worth three and one.  The secondary objective was to have one unit positioned entirely out of cover on one of the roads.  The tertiary objective was to wipe out your opponents most expensive unit.

Orange: Striking, but makes you stand out in the grimdark
He had first turn and spent most of it trying to get his models into position.  His twenty man squad climbed the large building in the center of the table, while the rest of his army ran forward at street level.  I did mostly the same, hugging cover and trying to stay out of the line of sight of the giant warrior squad.  With few targets, my Assault Cannons opened up on his scarabs.  For worthless little insects, their high attacks were probably the scariest thing for my heavy armor.  Unfortunately, their cover saves and my poor rolling meant I only killed two of them in the first two turns of shooting.  Meanwhile, my Dreadnought acquitted himself well.  Two turns of good shooting at the five man squad meant that the Lord and Cryptek were running across the field together.  Additionally, in turn three, he downed four Immortals in one go, and their remaining squad member failed his morale check and slowly fled off the board.  

Sadly, the Dreadnought's run would not last.  He was charged by the Lord, and though he killed the Lord once, the Lord made his We'll Be Back roll, stood back up, and wrecked the Dreadnought in the following turn.  During the same turn, I assaulted the Scarabs who had gone to ground in my shooting phase.  The Power Fists went to work, causing Instant Death across the board.  I didn't do nearly as much damage as I should have, with lots of ones on rolls to wound, but I did just enough and killed the last of them.  I consolidated into the far table quarter, which meant I controlled quarters worth four and three.  He then charged his Lord into one of my squads.  While he killed one of the Terminators with his War Scythe, the Storm Shield did its job and the Power Fists were just too many high strength hits to handle.  In the following turn, the Cryptek failed to stand up, but the Lord did again.

League Night!
With the game coming close to ending, we both positioned units to try and score objectives.  He moved his Lord to contest my four point square, while his warriors moved into the three point square.  I then moved one unit of Terminators back into the four point square, hid Belial in a corner in the three point square to contest it, and moved the second unit of Terminators onto the road in the two point square.  The Terminators gunned down the Lord so they could score, but he stood up yet again.  Three different units killed the robot, but he refused to stay down.  That turned out to be the last act of the game and I pulled out what was actually a pretty narrow win.

Once the Immortals and Scarabs went down, I think the writing was pretty much on the wall.  He just didn't have enough things to contest and score.  I made a conscious decision to ignore the tertiary objective, his giant squad, reasoning that the only way to lose my Terminators was to march into rapid firing Gauss weapons.  I scored 16 points for the Imperial side, bringing my week one total to 36 of a possible 40, which has to put me somewhere near the top of the league.  As an added bonus, because I won the special mission of the week, one of my squads was to be rewarded for their exploits.  The squad on the road that scored the deciding points gained the Stubborn USR any time they're contesting an objective, which is actually pretty cool.  Now I just have to remember I have it.

Hobby Accomplishments
-All the red on the Land Raider is done!
-Good first week of the league.
-Primed Khorngors and Stormboyz.
-Assembled Death Company.  Pics to follow.

Hobby Goals
-Finish the Vargheists.
-Clean up the banners and the white on the Land Raider.
-Airbrush 10 Possessed with Mechrite Red.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kicking off a New League

We're skating to my humps.  It's provocative.
On Saturday, I played my first game in the aforementioned league.  It wasn't so much that I set up a game, but rather that I was told, "Oh, you're on the Imperial team?  We're playing after this."  Don't get me wrong.  It wasn't a brusque insistence, but rather, more of a friendly requisitioning.  And who would be my opponent?  But of course, my favorite, Chaos Daemons. 

My opponents army was about half completed and I'm really looking forward to seeing it in a completed state.  It's themed around fallen Sisters of Battle, so he has battle sisters that he uses as Horrors, Sisters Repentia proxied as Bloodletters, Seraphim as Flamers, and Penitent Engines as Daemon Princes.  The only thing in the army that is a true daemon model is the Forge World Keeper of Secrets.  It's a rad looking model that sounds incredibly labor intensive.  Apparently, each of the hair strands and spikes are individual bits of resin that need to be attached. 

We rolled on the league's special mission chart and came up with one entitled "Alone and Unafraid."  The premise was that four wounded soldiers were wandering the battlefield randomly and needed to be recovered by both sides.  For some reason then, this was the secondary objective.  The primary was an old school, 3rd ed recon, while the tertiary was a standard capture and control.  We used a spearhead deployment.

I lost the roll off and went first, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I dropped both of the Terminator pods with Logan and the Priests into his deployment zone.  He got his preferred wave which consisted of his Keeper, the Masque, two Daemon Princes, a Chariot of Tzeentch, and a big unit of Flamers.  He came in aggressively and was rewarded with a string of hits on his scatter rolls.  The only mishap was the Keeper which got put way off in the corner by herself.  The Flamers put a scary number of wounds on the Priest squad, but thanks to my storm shield plus wound allocation, most of the armor ignoring saves went away.  He also tried to turn my Rune Priest into a spawn, but failed.  My Rune Priest cast Jaws of the World Wolf killing three Flamers and the Chariot, then charged with the remains of the squad into the Flamers, while Logan and his squad charged on of the Daemon Princes.  The Flamers weren't much of a match for the Terminators, even with their 4+ invulnerable.  Meanwhile, Logan did as Logan does and saw off the Prince. 

Two solid castles in either deployment zone
My opponent's next set of reserves rolled on which included two squads of Screamers and some Fiends.  Without any other real targets, I sent Logan's squad into the Fiends.  I decided to pop Living Legend to make sure and see them off which I did thanks to fearless wounds.  The Masque and the remaining Daemon Prince counterattacked, killing the Wolf Priest but a couple of Power Fists ended up seeing them off.  The Horrors and the Bloodletters finally put some pressure on my deployment zone, dropping deep into my lines.  Unfortunately for him, there weren't any other targets for my two shooty squads which had been guarding the deployment zone and waiting for someone to play with for three whole turns.  They gunned down half of the Bloodletters, then the Wolf Lord piled in and saw off the rest.  Meanwhile, the Lone Wolf held up the Horrors until the Wolf Lord made it over there.  At that point, everything was academic except for one thing.  The Dreadnought and the Rune Priest finished the Screamers.  The Keeper charged Logan's squad, but failed dangerous terrain tests (yes, multiple) on the way in.  He wiped the squad, but Logan went all Power Fist and got several wounds through and killed the Keeper. 

With that, it was a tabling, and I took max points from the mission.  Twenty points to the Imperials!  It was a really fun game against a new opponent and I'm stoked to keep my run for the league going.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Raiding your Land with Free Hand

My regular Tuesday game was out sick, so I spent Tuesday hanging out at the shop and hobbying.  I brought the Vargheists, but got motivated to work on the Land Raider instead.  It's my first real attempt at large scale freehanding on a flat surface, and I'm quite happy with the results thus far.

Empire State Troop Banners
When I started on the tank, I got a little over excited with visions of the things I wanted to do dancing through my head.  I think I've said it before, but building models, especially complex ones, and seeing what I can create is my favorite part of the hobby.  I ordered Forge World doors and added bitz from the Empire State Troops box, such as the banners and laurels.  I drew a bunch of stuff up in pencil on the hull and banners and immediately started working on it.  Of course, my impatience meant that there wouldn't be a chance to do any airbrushing without a lot of masking, so it's been a long haul of laying down sheets of Blood Red then trying to keep it even as I worked around the edges or the free hand and the details.  Still, things are starting to come together and really coalesce into what I pictured in my mind.  At this point, I need to do some clean up, wash the tracks, and paint the weapons, and once that's all done, I'll be finishing up a pretty big project.  Now to cut 250 points from my list...
Death Mask Freehand
I'll have the chance to do that in the new league I've joined.  My regular haunt just kicked off a league on Thursday.  It's a pretty unique format, or so it seems to me.  At registration, you're required to pick your army, then either the Imperial or non-Imperial team.  Step two is play games and lots of them.  There's a whole list of unique missions, each with primary, secondary, and tertiary objectives that basically score battle points.  At the end of each week, the two games you played that scored the most battle points get credited to your total and your team's total.  At the end of the league, whichever team has more points will be the winner and the highest scoring member of that team will be the overall champion.

Spend $30 to enter? Can do
There are some things I really like about the format, but I have reservations too.  On the one hand, the best player might not win the league.  The competitive side of me hates that.  If someone plays head and shoulders above everyone, it only makes sense to reward that person.  It also enables the best players to duck each other, which is a little more gamesmanship than I prefer.  At the same time, this store is far from hardcore.  Don't get me wrong, we have some very good players, but I would describe most of the people I run into as casual players that want to take interesting lists from the army they like the most.  I guess what I'm thinking is that the league fits the culture well. 

Additionally, I think the format encourages continued participation.  Even if you're way off the pace, you are still part of a collective and should feel like you can contribute to your side.  You can be involved as much or as little as you like.  Things are really flexible as far as when you get games in.  So my initial reaction is largely positive.  I'm sure I'll have more to say when theory becomes practice.   

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hobby Update: Further Vargheist Thoughts

The group in progress
I don't know if it's burnout or the models or what, but I find myself struggling to finish these guys.  Honestly, I'm not sure how to finish them.  I wanted to use dark colors to set them apart from the main body of the force and to resonate with the Death Company models.  At the same time, I didn't want to use pure black, since I'm using it for armor pieces throughout the force.

The color I settled on was a very dark slate gray for the body, plus Fortress Grey for the wings and hair.  I washed down the wings.  I put a pretty heavy drybrushing of white on the hair.  I don't think it even qualifies as drybrushing anymore, but I like the way it turned out.  I'd usually Badab Black on the rest of the body too, but the recesses are so pronounced, I think I'm going to go with actual black paint and then drybrush a lighter gray on the larger muscled areas for highlights.  Even with all that, I don't know how visually interesting they're going to be.  I'm worried they'll look basically like blanks on the table.  They need a splash of color or something to draw the eye, but I'm stumped as far as where that splash belongs.

Hobby Accomplishments
-Finished Deneghra
-Played the first two games of a campaign
- Made Space Hulk bases
-Worked on the Vargheists
-And finally, fifty posts!  Woot!

Hobby Goals
-Finish all the red on the Land Raider
-Finish the Vargheists
-Acquire more Rhino and Land Raider doors

Friday, March 2, 2012

Shambling towards the Gates

The campaign continues. 

Game two was designed by Bill.  We had talked about it previously and he decided to stick to the basic plan and center the mission around the Death Guard assaulting a Space Wolves' position.  The idea was that they were at the gates of a laboratory at which the Imperial side was trying to isolate a cure for the zombie virus.
Game setup - Secret lab in the frozen tundra
My Wolves were set up in a defensive position, with two bastions dominating the approach, containers blocking the flanks, and defensive lines giving cover.  Meanwhile, the Death Guard had a Pitched Battle deployment, but were mostly centered up since their objective was right up the gut. 

My force consisted of two Grey Hunter squads, some Long Fangs, five Wolf Guard, five Skyclaws, a Battle Leader with Saga of the Warrior Born, and a Wolf Priest.  The Death Guard had a Lord on a bike with a Daemon Weapon, a Defiler, a Dreadnought, and three squads of Death Guard... oh, and the still apparently impossible to kill Zombies.

The Death Guard took the first turn and rushed forward.  The Dreadnought and Defiler threw some shots downfield, but they mostly scattered and I lost a couple Grey Hunters.  Meanwhile, I threw the Skyclaws forward into the zombies.  The Long Fangs tried to bring down the Defiler, but the most I could manage was a one on the damage chart which was promptly ignored by the daemon engine.  This would be a harbinger of things to come as I rolled terribly throughout the encounter. 

Creating a traffic jam via melta and bodies
The Biker Lord counter-charged the Skyclaws and promptly wiped them out, so the wave of zombies was free to shamble onwards.  Meanwhile, the Death Guard Rhinos pulled up in range of the bastions and started putting rounds into the Hunters and Long Fangs.  I was definitely behind, but I had two lines still manning the defenses.  As the game wore on, the narrowness of my end began to tell and alley began to get congested.  I immobilized a rhino, blocking off half of the approach.  Meanwhile, a reconstituted Skyclaw squad assaulted the other zombie mob to completely close the entrance.  Unfortunately, the Chaos Dreadnought chose this moment to fire frenzy and nuked both his own zombies and my marines.  Ironically, those two shots killed more zombies than I could throughout the whole game. 

So close he can almost taste it
This opened up a lane for an assault by the Lord and the Death Guard.  My Battle Leader murdered a bunch of Death Guard, but he and a bunch of Grey Hunters died, leaving two to fall back.  They regrouped and doubled out the Lord, then a Wolf Guard missile immobilized the Defiler within snapping distance of the walls.  It looked like I had a chance to preserve the victory at this point, but the zombies dragged down the last Wolf Guard in terminator armor and I died a little on the inside (they caused one wound and of course I failed the save).

It was definitely a fun scenario and I think it fit the theme well.  I think poor rolling spoiled it a little, but it was still very close, which I think reflects the nature of defending a narrow access point.  If I could change anything, I'd probably add some points to both sides, give the Wolves a flanking force, and play on a 4'x4' board.  There really isn't a need for a wide board since the vast majority of the action took place in the very center strip.  I also didn't feel like I had a lot of tactical options beyond target priority.  I just sat back and tried to hold the line.  I think a flanking force would add some complexity. Oh, and zombies need to lose their armor save at the very least.  Yes, I'm bitter.

As for the next mission, I was hoping to do a convoy if I had had a better showing defending the gate, but as is, I don't think that would make sense.  I think it's still possible, but I'm more interested to play out what happens inside the lab first.  I'm thinking about a Killzone mission using a few Death Guard, and pitting them against a bunch of Lone Wolves.  That sounds like a good time.  We'll see what happens.