Monday, June 28, 2010

Expanding my ranks

Just a little update to keep the blog moving. I have the 1500pt League game this Friday at the local store. What I'm thinking right now for my army is to use the Honor Guard for my semi-beat-stick. Not as tough as say, Termies or Sang Guard, but still have access to good weapons and is a force multiplier. Their biggest asset, to me, is the Priest that can't be singled out. In the last few games, my IC priests have been getting sniped in CC at every attempt. I won't drop the one I have in my list, but I just need more redundancy and will include two units of HG in my 1500pt list. This also gives me a more interesting modeling prospect. Right now I'm using my Death Company box set to be my veteran Sgts and sprinkling BA icons into other units as well as Dark Angel icons. If I could have a custom icon for my chapter, it would be simply the BA angelic wings with the DA sword, instead of the blood drop BA use or the sharp DA wings.
Anyway, I see Honor Guard being draped in robes, being a bit more mysterious and demanding of respect, as they are captains-in-training. In comes the DA Veterans box set. I like their robes and hooded heads, plus their add ons are pretty cool like their differently shaped daggers and swords. I also purchased a DA Company Master model to represent a Blood Champion if needed. With his tall winged helm and robes draped over his shoulder, he's an impressive sight. As for the Sang Priest model, I took anything from the DC set that has a grail on it (including the helm, pistol, and JP/Power Pack) so that he would easily be seen as the Priest amongst his brethren. Since he technically can't be upgraded with weapons, I glued him in place and is pretty much ready to be painted. The others will be fully magnetized to accomodate either meltaguns if I want to make a shooty drop unit of doom or maybe Storm Shields and power weapons for an assault beat-stick. I also used my Priest as a test bed for my massive initiative of magnetizing all my assault marines to accept either power pack or JP. The hole on the JP and PP are slightly less than 1/8th inch, and putting the drill bit to them only shaved out a bit of plastic, but that's all that was necessary to fit in a 1/8th inch disc magnet in snuggly, with a dab of glue to keep it more in place. I lopped off the nub on the model's back and drilled into the back with the bit til the magnet was flush with the back. Worked like a charm, but I only had 2 1/8th magnets, haha! So once I confirmed this worked, I ordered a ton more magnets and hope they arrive soon. I will also be using these for the arms, as I was using 3/16th sized discs (in my previous blog posts) and they have proven to work, but be a pain to get right. I'll post pics and updates after I get these magnets in the mail.

Thankfully, the DA box set was only like 21 dollars and the Master was 11 at the local store, since DA aren't that popular (the DC box is 33, and stuff like the Sanguinor was 19) and for being in the league I get double the customer points. Ya know, for like every so many points you get a dollar off your next purchase sort of thing. Since I didn't have to pay shipping and I got it in my hands right then and there, plus more points, I couldn't resist.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Battle Report: 500pt BA vs Tau - League Round 2

Last night saw round 2 of the Escalation League at my local store. I showed up on time like usual, but a lot of people couldn't play that day and will have to reschedule. There were an odd number of players so one would have to sit out til someone showed up. The more seasoned Space Wolf player I faced off with in round 1 said he would wait and let me face the other person waiting to play. He said this was his first time playing 40k and he pulled out a Tau army... Well what are the odds? I already felt bad for the kid before deployment. I had to re-do my list since it was built for 1000pts, so this was what I came up with at an even 500pt:
  • 1x Libby (JP; Shield, S10 Sword)
  • 3x 5-man ASM (1x MG; PW)
His army was approximately: 
  • 1x Ethereal
  • 1x 12-man FW Squad with Team Leader
  • 1x ~20-man Kroot Squad with Shaper
  • 1x Hammerhead (Rail; SMS; MT)
You all read my rant in the post below right? Well, I didn't want it to happen, but the dice gods were bowing down to me. I chose to go second and DS everything so he got 2 free turns of movement, as he spread out to take other table quarters. I decided to DS everything right behind his HH to melta it... and it happened. All 3 units and the Libby (all on his own) all made it in from reserves and either hit or scattered 1". This lined up 3 meltas with one taking down his HH in an explosion and the other popping the Ethereal. This lead his FW to take a leadership and they failed. This led them to fall back into me within 6" and they couldn't regroup and ran off the table without firing a shot. The Kroot turned around to charge at me but were outside of assault range so just fired and killed off 2 marines. I shot into the Kroot to weaken 'em and then the Libby and two units charged, with the 3rd waiting in the back to hold that table quarter. By the end of the turn the Kroot were wiped, ending the game on bottom turn 3.
The Organizer gave me the Massacre and points for assuming I could continue the game to hold 3 quarters and ones other than my deployment zone and this would could as my round 2. So, I'll have to make a 1500pt list for two weeks from now. I told the guy I fought that I felt bad for doing it, but really, I didn't think I'd pull off all units in on turn 2 like that and still get in all my shots in. We talked a bit about how he could improve some of his list, but really, not much can be done against my entire force starting withing 12" of his. He could use the Kroot as bubble wrap so I had to deal with them first, but this was his first game, so it's not like he knew that meta-game technique. Some of the other games going on were Plague Marines vs Eldar and Ork vs Space Wolves. Since they were in transports and the models were on the side table, I thought I'd take another pic of the Wolves:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Dice Gods hate me

So I revised my list a bit at 1000pts to fit in more troops and another priest. Jason and I replayed the scenario for the league but I was defender this time. Not doing a full report or anything as the models themselves performed well and all that, but the dice gods cursed me. For every roll of 2 or more dice, about 75% of the time a 1 came up. I only wish I could have video recorded the battle so you could see the BS that was going down. Just fist fulls of dice when my marines charge in with FC, hitting on 3s and wounding on 4s (fighting XV8s and 88s) and just a sea of 1s and 2s everywhere. I was locked in combat on turns 4, 5, and 6 with 3 XV8s and a nother combat of 3 XV88s. Turns 4 and 5 saw a whopping 2 unsaved wounds between the two groups total, and those were from power weapons, as he was making all his armor saves for normal attacks. 1 wound per group from an assault crazy army into Tau. And suits have 2 wounds each, so I didn't kill anybody for those two turns. Then his suit swings around with it's mechanical arm at S5 and crushes a marine or two every turn because of my 1s on armor saves. By the end of turn six, when we rolled and the game ended, I killed 1 XV88 (leaving 2 untouched) and two XV8s, leaving the Shas'O with a single wound left.

The game was a bowl of mediocre. We tallied up the VPs and we had a whopping 7 VP difference, leading to a tactical draw. He had 2 half-strength units and one full strength, and I had 3 half-strength units left. The table was a veritable murder field, seeing handfuls of marines and tau die every turn, except the last 3 turns that were slug fests with both side's most survivable units all that was remaining. It was not a fun night, not because it was a draw or my marines died, but just because I could not roll "average". When I whipped out the bolter pistols before a charge, you better believe I was rolling tons of 6s, lotta good that does me... I even had a lightning claw on a Sgt and 1 failed to hit, then I rolled SNAKE EYES on the wounds, re-rolled got ANOTHER 1 and a 5 to finally wound. If I actually rolled the average I'm supposed to for a marine army, I would be devastating. *sigh*

I was always against the idea, but I guess I should build some TH/SS Termie list, maybe with the Codex Marines book or with BA so I can get FNP too, something so I can feel better about myself with schlodes of 2+ armor. I'll still lose a bunch to my fists of 1s, but saves on 2 and wounds on 2 all the time will make feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. If this keeps up in the league games, I'll just make 40k a painting hobby and quit playing.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Battle Report 1000pt: BA vs Tau - League Practice

Fit in a quick game to practice for Friday's League game. Here's a repeat of the scenario: "The game will play out that there is an attacker and the other is defender (determined by dice roll). The defender will hold a central bunker with the rest of his army coming from the deployment zone (a sort of reinforcement scenario). Winner is determined by Victory Points, but you get bonus League Points for either eliminating the defenders in the building and then holding it (if attacker) or having those troops survive (if defender). Both sides can get bonus points for holding more table quarters than the other as well."

So, I rolled higher and took the Attack role. If I should be a defender in the League game, I have a plan in mind already. Since everything of mine was deep striking, he got a free turn to set up his heavy weapons and he was planning on taking his troops from the building and falling back instead of making it a meat grinder. His list was:
  • Shas'O (Plasma; Ion Blaster; MT)
    • 2x Bodyguards (Plasma; Flamer; MT)
  • 2x 6-man Fire Warrior
  • 1x 4-man Pathfinder (1-Rail Rifle; mandatory DF)
  • 2x Hammerhead (Ion; SMS; MT)
  • 1x 3-man Broadside Team (TL-Rail; SMS; MT)
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
With that, I was able to wipe out everything except the DF was still immobile, a suit, and a single gun drone. That would basically chalk up to a Massacre of 17pts holding probably 2 table quarters and the center building, plus 1 for killing the troop choice from the center for the max 20pts. My VV squad of two L. Claws failed me and never came on until turn 5 and never assaulted because they scattered 4" away from the XV8 suits (plus the built in distance I gave them so they wouldn't scatter onto the suits). All my troops got shot to pieces with the XVs taking out one whole unit of 5 on their DS turn. The Libby did very little in the role I thought he'd play, but he did kill off the two suits, getting the Shas'O with his Force Sword sapping all its wounds at once. The priest also was outside of helping range most of the game, but that was just poor placement and reserves rolling.

So, there it is. It went well, but could have gone better if my VV came in soon, so the ASM had to pick up the slack. They did alright, but my goal is to not commit them if I don't have to to combat. I didn't adhear to that rule this time and it got me shot to pieces. I need to be more focused on a game plan instead of just reacting to what I see on the board and throwing it out the window.

»Side note, how do you guys play the Blood Chalice FC bubble? Do the units just have to start in range of it in the start of the Assault Phase to benefit from it (4th Ed PDF method) or check for FC after the assault move is completed when you need to determine what everyone's Initiative value is?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Army List: 1000pt Jump Pack - League Play

 (GW ©)

(Happy 50th Blog Post to me!)

Just a quick update today with a new army list for my next League game, which is slated for 1000pts. The game will play out that there is an attacker and the other is defender (determined by dice roll). The defender will hold a central bunker with the rest of his army coming from the deployment zone (a sort of reinforcement scenario). Winner is determined by Victory Points, but you get bonus League Points for either eliminating the defenders in the building and then holding it (if attacker) or having those troops survive (if defender). Both sides can get bonus points for holding more table quarters than the other as well. Here is what I came up with as a possible list:
  • 1x 10-man ASM (2x MG; PF)
  • 1x 5-man ASM (1x MG; PW)
  • 1x Libby (JP; Shield, Lance)
  • 1x Priest (JP)
  • 1x 10-man Vanguard Veteran
    • Squad 1 (Sgt with L. Claw & SS; second L. Claw & SS)
    • Sqaud 2 (Thunder Hammer & SS; second SS)
This comes out to 1000pts even. My main concern is the few troops, with either just 2, or combat squad the first unit to have 3 weak squads. The Libby and Priest will travel with the 5-man ASM to provide their powers, but be behind the 10-man for cover and try to stay out of CC as long as possible. The VV will be squadded down so I have two "beat-sticks" that will DS in and one will go for squishy infantry support like Long Fangs, Broadsides, Rangers, etc. The other will try to take out MCs or a tank. They will be there to do the damage while the ASM are there to take on easy targets like other troop choices and then fall back to take table quarters or the center objective. I don't want to commit them to the grinder of combat unless my VV are struggling.

I will be play testing this on Monday to see how viable it is with Jason. I have to submit my army list by Wednesday, so I'll have a day or so to tweak this should it not do well in testing. As for caveats, yes, I'd like to maybe get another weapon in the Squad 2 of the VV, but this is still only 1000pts so it was hard when you need the basics like troops and a libby with pack. And I'm using a TH instead of a PF cause I had 5 points swimming around and hey, I've never fielded one before so let's try it out! In my first game I didn't even have any power weapons or invul saves at all and I took out a draw by playing the objectives and not trying to slaughter the enemy, so this should be a bit more effective.

»Anyone have experience with VV and how to field them? Some people suggested I go Glaive instead of Claw, but not sure about it. Re-roll any failed wounds or re-roll a single failed to-hit? Or just go with the extra attack with the simple power-sword?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Battle Report: 500pt BA vs Space Wolves - League Round 1

As I mentioned, there is a League game going on at the local store starting at 500pt and ending at 2000pt with an extra Apocalypse game at the end to round it out. The first round match up was random match ups, but after that it will be more structured. So far about 8 people are in it as far as I can remember. I remember 2 Chaos Marines, one Imp Guard, Space Wolves, Orks, Eldar, and Tyranid, with me as BA. The organizer had Space Marines, but would only play if there were an odd number of people, so he didn't have to pull them out. I drew up against the Space Wolves player, the first time I've seen them in person. He said it was his third army he's painted and they were amazingly done. He had two Rhinos with some Grey Hunters in them and a 5-man unit of Long Fangs with Missile Launchers. He had a Mark of the Wulfen and a Priest that could cast some good magic including JotWW (not sure exactly what the model is called). I used my 3x ASM JP army kitted to take out some sneak Guard player or min-max marine with a Dreadnaught, so they weren't really that well kitted out to fight power armor. Mission was Spearhead deployment with the goal to hold table quarters. Equal hold was a draw, +1 a minor victory, +2 a major, and +3 a massacre. Bonus points for holding zones other than the one you deployed from. I drew first player and held all in reserves. He fans out to hold his zone. I deep strike into his lines to try and pop the Rhinos and hold them in that zone, then jump away and claim the other zones for a win. The pictures below are of mid-turn 2 and 3 and the end of the game, showing how it all turned out.
(Click for details)
In the first pic the x'd out Rhino was on the table when I took the pic but it was where the crater and GH stand and then after that he switched out the models so the painted one was still on the board. Counter-attack is a pain in the butt, that's for sure. I was able to get my squads together and used each other for cover or FNP and piled on the shots to take out two squads of Grey Hunters down to 3 guys. Unfortunately he took out one of my units, so I only had two to jump around to take table quarters. His Long Fangs piled on the ML templates but most missed or didn't cause wounds. In the end, I could either pull back to the closest quarter or jump to one on his side of the board, but either way, that Rhino would either contest or even tank shock my men. The most we could do was draw, and we both held our own deployment zones, so no bonus points to either. It was fun to fight something new and balanced and he gave me a run for my money. We both got 10 points towards the League for the draw. 

As part of the League you can challenge others for a win of +5 points or if you challenge and they decline you get +3 points. A guy challenged me to play his Plague Marines and I should have declined, but I just wanted to play some more. No pics, but obviously, I didn't do so well. We had 2 objective markers and by the end of turn 5, he had both and my marines were wiped out by his Chaos Lord wielding some Plague weapon that was 3 base attacks +d6, power weapon, poisoned. :-\ Next time it will be 1000pts so I am working on retooling my list and playing smarter. I need to stop dropping my DS'ers into melta range of units that can charge into CC for one. And I need to make power-weapons mandatory, even if it messes up other things, because fighting power armored dudes with none is not fun.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Battle Report: 500pt BA vs Tau - Skirmish

I got word of an Escalation League at the LGS where it starts at 500 then goes to up every two weeks to 1000, 1500, and ends at 2000. I'll detail it out in my next post which will cover the first game I played of the League. I built a list, mostly in fear of a mech enemy. Someone sneaky trying to field minimum troops and fit in a tank or walkers. The list was:
  • 1x Libby (Shield, Lace)
  • 1x Priest (Meltabombs)
  • 3x 5-man ASM (Sgt has MBs; 1x Meltagun)
This comes out to 500 even. Covers vehicles well, but no power weapons or fists and that is the weakness here. The Tau list was:
  • 1x Shas'el (Flamer; TL-MP)
  • 2x 6-man FireWarriors
  • 2x Hammerhead (Ion Cannon; SMS; MT; D-pods; Sensor Spines)
Basically my plan was to drop down first chance I got and melta the tanks and then do mop up. My Priest drops in first just fine but my Libby squad fails, even with DoA and the normal squad makes it in. I place my Priest near his HH on his flag but since I only have the 1 squad now, I take the shot on his HQ suit instead. Melta fails and one pistol wounds him, woo... The other normal squad drops near my flag to keep his units from just piling on it and holding it all game. In retrospect, I might have done better dropping it on the HH as well to try and pop it, or the suit. It boiled down to my two special squads working together on his point, and my loner squad holding the home base and him having two teams of a HH and 6 FW (one at his flag, one at my flag) with his HQ in the center, lending missile pods where needed. I only ever shot down a HH and nothing else, proving to be quite ineffective. However, I was able to weather dozens and dozens of wounds from missions and pulse rifles, winning the game by just surviving.

I'll soon do a write up of the actual League game I participated in and details on how it is structured.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Battle Report: 750pt BA vs Tau - Retaliation

    The scouting party of marines that were dispatched were left bloodied and crawling back, past their smoking Rhinos as the second squad arrived on the battlefield. This battle report covers the rematch Jason and I declared at the start of the previous game where he stole the initiative. We deployed exactly in the pics as the first battle report. The follow are what happened with me zooming up to the center.
    I skipped pics of turn 1 and 2 as I only get to the center and use cover and no shots were landed on me that did damage. The pics are tops of turn 3 and 4 and bottom of 4 and 5. The game ended at the bottom of 5. While I wasn't crushing him, I did a ton better as I had the mobility to get into range of disembarking and assaulting. Even with melta guns and bombs, I only managed to wreck one HH and take off an Ion Cannon and Burst Cannon the whole game. But, it was enough to keep the wounds from piling up. He was able to hold me off until turns 4-5 before I accumulated any real KPs, which ended in a 5 - 2 win for me. It goes to show that the littlest thing like having first turn can turn the tide. The scary thing is that Jason is refining his list as I type this, which means it will only get tougher for me as he becomes more points efficient and picks deadlier weapons.