Saturday, April 6, 2013

See Me Rollin

What I'm playing on.  Not too shabby.
Despite a few ups and downs (and I mean that sorta literally. Lots of earthquakes here, but little ones and it's apparently just business as usual after), I've managed to get my first few games in in Japan.  It's been a very good experience.  The local folks seem to be extremely flexible about what they're playing.  That seems to be the case for everything, so it may mean a pretty transient metagame, which makes sense with so many people rotating in and out.  Honestly, I'm kind of excited about that.  It means lots of new challenges and no must haves in my list.  Obviously, we're looking at mostly power armor, which is just about the norm everywhere, but there seems to be plenty of variety in the flavor available.

But, when hammers hammer, they totally hammer.
I've also made a drop from the typical 1850 point games I played for most of last year to 1500 points.  This is for a couple reasons.  Number one, again, runs back to new challenges.  Going in with blind lists and only having 1500 points means trying to have solutions for problems with resources that are even dearer.  Every troop unit that goes down makes the road to scoring even tougher.  Each time a hammer fails to break its target, the opponent's is free to wreak havoc.  It makes the game tougher and the board seem a little more open.  I like the challenge, though certain mismatches yield uphill battles.

Second, I don't know if you've heard, but there is a new Daemons codex out.  I don't have it.  While that really wouldn't stop me from playing at a higher points level, it feels weird to have a big Word Bearers army and not have any daemons in it.  It's kind of a shame, as I've heard some things that sound pretty cool about the book, but time and opportunity haven't met for my acquisition of the aforementioned book.

To these larger thoughts, I'd like to add three micro-level observations from each of my three games.  From my most recent game is this little nugget.  Grey Knights suck.  It's not exactly a new sentiment, but holy cow, do they try to take my fun and stomp all over it.  I'm sure they're good normally, but against an army with as many things with the "Daemon" rule as mine, it becomes a real uphill struggle.    I threw my Daemon Prince into a Paladins squad knowing he'd die, but hoping he'd take out the enemy warlord in the process.  Terminator troops make Possessed hammer units sad.  Land Raiders are tough to crack (as always).  Thankfully, everyone did there job.  While I didn't have much left, I squeaked it out, though that doesn't do anything to lessen my Grey Knight hate.

Picture preceded by: "It can't possibly happen again..."
From game two, I learned that bad luck on key rolls can only produce a shake of the head and a little laugh, cuz there's nothing else you can really do.  I played kill points against a Blood Angels army that had two serious hammer units consisting of Assault Terminators plus a Captain in a Storm Raven and Death Company with a Chaplain in a Drop Pod.  I planned on letting the Daemon Prince (with multiple boons!) go to work on the Terminators, but it was not to be.  I rolled FOUR ones on Daemon Weapon rolls.  That guy took all game trying to take out a five man assault squad and a ten man tactical squad.  It was ridiculous.  On the other hand, my Possessed popped up with AP3 weapons on the charge and totally wiped the Death Company in one go (minus the Chaplain in a challenge), so Lady Luck really does swing both ways.

Finally, from my very first game, I've begun "Playing to a Story" as I like to call it.  A few other members of the gang have made up a setting in which there games take place.  I have written up a little something to be an episode that will become a part of my army's history.  This means a little extra bookkeeping, but with the way things are in the codex, what's a little more?  I'm tracking specific events and deeds performed by various units and trying to produce certain things.  This doesn't always mean making the most tactical decision, but it adds a fun RPG element to my games.  As a general overview of what I'm talking about, my warlord is trying to secure the patronage of a minor deity, and to do that I am attempting to do things like force morale checks, headhunt HQ's, and force enemies to flee off the board (which is tough to do against all these marines).  It's actually a decent sized list, and I'm trying to come up with additional objectives, but it adds some spice to the decision making process which has been really enjoyable.