Sunday, January 27, 2008

Been Caught Stealing

Ok, please forgive the cheesy title, I've been listening to Jane's Addiction lately, and I couldn't think of anything better. My point is, I painted up 7 more genestealers to finish my first squad of 8 - the protypical "Pure" brood. Only 40 more to go, though theoretically they should take a little less time as there's less yellow to work on - each of the other five schemes has different black bodyparts. Before I crack into unit no. 2, though, I'm going to work on either the warriors or a big fex.

I heard Space Wolves is not on the radar for a 2008 release, hopefully not true. BOLS had some commentary from JJ that they were "high priority," but that's not precise enough language to truly inspire me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tournament: Ninja Pirates 1-20-08

Ninja Pirates played host to a 2k Rules of Engagement tournament last Sunday. I took the newly inked nids and 2 objective markers. If you haven't played the RoE rules before, I definitely recommend giving it a try; a large variety of possible scenarios coupled with the freedom from having to tally up victory points at the end is the main attraction. The rules do take some tinkering to include in an effective tournament environment. The tournament organizer had changed up things a little bit, most drastically the way you capture objectives (you needed the most scoring units within 3" instead of simply the most models), and the all-or-nothing type missions were split into two possible points, but everything else was essentially the same. All in all it made for a very interesting set of games, with tactics playing a bigger role than the usual kill-or-be-killed smashups. Here was my list:

  • 1 Hive Tyrant - toxin sacs, wings, 2 twin-linked devourers, warp field, enhanced senses

  • 1 Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers, flesh hooks

  • 6 x 8 Genestealers - extended carapace, scuttlers

  • 5 Warriors - rending claws, scything talons, wings, adrenal glands (+1 I)

  • 2 Carnifexes - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, enhanced senses, bonded exoskeleton, flesh hooks

I got two wins and a draw, Jay got first place, and I lost the tie roll-off for "best general" (2nd place) to Cricket. Best army went to Frank's Ultramarines, speaking of whom...

Game 1 - Ultramarines

I've played against Frank more than a few times now (he goes by Capt tyranus on B&C), but I haven't actually beat him since the very first time we were matched up in the 2006 citywide. Shortly thereafter, he perfected his infantry gunline, and he's thrashed my guard and witch hunters on several occasions in the last couple of years. This time, however, the dice gods cooked up the perfect storm for him from the very beginning. First off, we drew a board with plenty of dense urban terrain, rolled for the small L-shaped deployment zones, and I got to choose the corner with the most cover. Then for missions, I drew "Unconventional Warfare," which by luck required me to defend my own two objectives (placed conveniently in or very near my deployment zone), while he drew "Assassinate," requiring him to footslog into a tyranid deployment zone (yikes), kill my HQ, and capture at least one of my objectives. I rolled to pick to go second, which was another big advantage in this case. He deployed his 80 or so marines at the edge of his "L" and began to move forward as quickly as possible, pausing to take shots at what he could see - mainly my carnifexes - while his flying Librarian knocked a few genestealers down every turn with Fury of the Ancients. At the same time, his big scout squad and assault marines picked their way through terrain and prepared to pounce on my objectives. For my part, I just waited for his inevitable attack and tried to use the barbed stranglers to take some of the shooting heat off my stealer broods (to little effect). In the last turn, two of his small las-plas squads, one assault squad, and the big scout squad moved to contest one of my objectives. I counter-attacked with the hive tyrant, my flying warriors, and a few genestealer stragglers. The hive tyrant and stealers managed to bring the scouts and one mini-tac squad below scoring, and then it was down to the warriors vs. the assault marines. After the first round of marine fists were unable to inflict much damage, I lucked out again and rolled 6 rending hits. With my two scoring units to his one the objective was mine! He also tried to contest my second objective with a lone assault squad, but I had too many genestealers covering that one as well and I took the win, 2-0.

Game 2 - Necrons

Jay had a very diverse and well-painted Necron force, including the Nightbringer, a destroyer lord, two warrior squads, an immortal squad, four destroyers, three wraiths, two heavy destroyers, two tomb spyders, and a monolith. I rolled the "Hold Out" mission, and he got "Firebase." He split his undead mess up into two main wings, with the star god, wraiths, and one tomb spyder holding his right side, the monolith and wraiths roughly in the middle, and everything else slightly to the left. I put my flying warriors and half my genestealer squads into objective denial mode, while the rest of the bugs concentrated on holding my own objective markers. The Monolith, wraiths, and Nightbringer solidly fought off my stealer offensive, while the rest of his force marched slowly forward to shoot up my right side and deny me the objective in no-man's-land. I tried to circle his far right flank with the warriors, but eventually the Nightbringer got in their way and I decided to charge in headlong. This time, the nightbringer was out of cover and the warriors got to go first, their rending claws luckily scoring just enough wounds to bring him down before he could retaliate. Now that's a trophy kill! On my right, I moved up the hive tyrant and several genestealer squads to assault his tight firing lines. The tyrant smashed into the front warrior squad, killing just enough of them to force a morale check, which they failed, and the big bug ran down the survivors with a sweeping advance. My genestealers ate up one of the tomb spyders and his accompanying scarab swarms, and then moved into combat with the immortals, killing a few of them before he teleported them away to safety with the monolith. It ended up a draw, with Jay and I each capturing both of our objectives.

Game 3 - Eldar

The third and final game was against Ames and the "Grapes of Wrath" Eldar. Maugan Ra led her usual two squads of pathfinders, howling banshees in a wave serpent, harlequins, eight or so warp spiders, three war walkers, and two fire prisms. My mission was "Unconventional Warfare" again, while she had to capture both of her own. We had the big triangle deployment zones. I figured I'd be better off closing the distance with Eldar rather than try to hold back and defend, so I lined everyone up on my deployment edge and hauled ass out into no-man's-land. The stealers on my right got stung early by fire prism and pathfinder sniper fire, and so instead I sent the flying warriors and big gun fexes to take that objective instead. Everything else, including the hive tyrant and dakkafex, jumped out into the middle to assault the oncoming warp spiders, war walkers, harlequins and howling banshees, and to take the eldar objective in the middle. One squad got in early with the war walkers but were tied up and couldn't inflict any rending hits to damage them. It would take another two or three stealer squads to gang up and bring them down near the end of the game. The harlequins lost half their number to shooting from the hive tyrant, and the rest were wiped out by a rushing stealer squad, who followed up into cover and were assaulted in turn by the howling banshees. Despite the initiative advantage gained from their masks, the banshees were repelled and fell back off of the table. Same for the warp spiders, who tried to take on the dakkafex only to get swarmed by more stealers. After some good low AP shooting inflicted some early wounds, Maugan Ra finished off the hive tyrant, but he too was brought down by the rest of the swarm in the end. She used the fire prisms to harrass my big gun fexes for pretty much the whole game, almost bringing them both below scoring capacity; a pity they couldn't return the favor, but for their thrice-damned holofields. After I had wiped out everything but her grav tanks, we called it in the fifth turn, with me succesfully capturing my two objectives to her one. I only realized on the drive home that the scoring stealer squad that had been assaulting her fire prism on her own objective should have contested the marker, as I had second turn and they were all clustered in the same place. No big deal, I just need to take my time a little more with the wrap-up. Chalk it up to the end of a long day, not to mention I was coming down with a cold (sucks).

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I inked up my tyranids this week. Initially I tried using Tamiya flat base matte medium mixed in with the ink and water, but after it dried it left a pale white stain in all the crevices and I had to go over the 7 or 8 miniatures I had completed with another coat of simply ink and water. This resulted in both of my big carnifexes, one squad of genestealers, and half my warriors looking a little "extra crispy." No worries, it's nice to be one step closer to completing the army's paint job, and I look forward to a few games with it in the weeks to come before I continue with the next color step.

BOLS has been posting a series of 5th edition "rumor" collections over the last few weeks. I'd be inclined to pooh them off completely if BOLS' prophetic clips from Warseer haven't come true so often (as long as I can remember). I've gone back and forth on how I feel about the suggested changes. At first I was worried that they would make it a more complicated and slow game, but the more I think about it, it's probably time for some changes about now anyways. At the very least they won't be reverting to a 3rd edition-style revamp, where all the old codexes are void and the new rulebook includes basic (read: crappy) versions of the army lists. The cover saves for vehicles sounds like a good deal. Maybe the nerf for SMF will be mitigated by skimmers being able to hide easier in cover, firing from cover saves more easily than other vehicles. All the other vehicle rule changes (defensive weapons, movement and firing options) are too complicated for me to their really grasp their implications just yet. The scattering blasts will take some getting used to, especially the way multiple blasts will be scattered. At least we can forget about partials and centering the blast over a single model. Still though, I agree with one of the commenters on the BOLS article in that many of these rule changes seem made for the sake of themselves rather than directly focusing on improving the 4th edition set. They do seem to fit well with the style and nuances of the most recent codices (eldar, chaos, orks).

After dusting off the Space Wolves last week, I'm really eager for them to release their updated codex, White Dwarf version or no. Hopefully I won't have to break, convert, or paint too many models to update my army lists. I'm keeping my ears wide open for any rumors about the new shit.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tournament: Battleforge Games 1-08-08

Today I played in the first tournament of the 2008 season at Battleforge. They might not be able to update their webpage worth a crap (ha!) but they definitely run a decent tournament, with thought-provoking missions and great prize support. The only downside is that there's usually a shit ton of power armies, and the 'eavy version of their competitions, which will be run in odd months, promised to be more of the same. I decided to start the year off with a painted army, and I've been tinkering around with a new guard/allied WH inquisitor and eversor build, so I took the green machine out for a spin, deep into hostile territory...

Game 1 - Tau

My first game of the day was against Daniel and his Tau. The primary objective was field of battle (essentially alpha recon), with secondary points awarded for holding table quarters and killing an enemy HQ. He had a battlesuit leader, two squads of elite battlesuits, a big squad of kroot, two fire warrior squads in devilfish, a pathfinder squad in a devilfish, a piranha, a hammerhead, an ion head, and two broadsides. In addition to all the smart and seeker missiles fucking me up from behind hills, he was finding all sorts of janky lines of sight across the board with his railguns. I failed every obscured roll I tried, and eventually my armor was whittled down to a lone demolisher. I managed to tank shock the kroot squad and send them running for a few turns, theoretically giving my eversor assassin cover as he launched a one-man assault into some crowded ruins in his deployment zone. I say theoretically because goddamned tau pathfinders managed to force five armor saves on the eversor, somehow only wounding him once, while his own poorly-rolled return attacks managed to kill just one measly pathfinder. The galactic badass died the next turn after only dropping a couple more. Daniel earned a shitload of battle points and I earned none. The end. And yes, I'm pissy about this game!

Game 2 - Eldar

Chris is like my personal "boss monster" right now, and there will be much rejoicing when I finally defeat him (and I will!). Besides his posting on BOLS, he's started his own blog at I'm pretty sure he was using the same mechanized eldar list as last time, and I knew it would be an uphill battle so I just tried to use the opportunity to learn more about what worked and what didn't against his grav-powered rolling pin. The main objective was take and hold, with additional points for destroying the enemy's most expensive unit, and more for having your own uberpricey bastard destroyed as well. I was only able to shake a single falcon before his attack wing was knocking at my left flank, shooting my infantry core up with scatter lasers and shuriken and dumping fire dragons and harlequins, all the units doing what they do best in horrible concert. For my part, I managed to basilisk one squad of fire dragons into oblivion, kill about half of one of the avenger squads, and destroy another avenger squad's wave serpent. On the last turn I finally managed to bring down his star engined falcon (his suicide unit) with a miracle missile from my very last surviving infantry squad. Other than that it was completely one sided and he wiped out everything I had. More ouchy!

Game 3 - Black Templars

My last game was against a newcomer who brought his mostly painted Black Templar army. The completed pieces, like the champion for example, were quite nice. The list itself seemed like a characteristic templar mix: an emperor's champion, a sword brethren squad led by a chaplain, a venerable dreadnought, four neophyte/crusader squads including one that was twenty strong, a lascannon razorback, a land raider crusader, and a lascannon predator. It was an interesting game, but we were both moving a little slowly and only got three full turns done before time was called. I learned a lot about that big ass LRC - specifically about the machine spirit, and how it can fire a weapon even if the vehicle moves over 6". I was able to glance it a few times with my big guns but overall my shooting was horrible and his advancing army took few casualties before slamming into my lines. I don't know how competitive BTs are overall, but I was definitely impressed by their special rules in our game, especially the one that allows them to move closer to you when they take any shooting casualties. For a space marine army, there was a ton of bodies on the field and the cheap neophytes absorb casualties for what seems like fucking ever! The sword brethren on the other hand never really had a chance to get into the game; I only ever saw them shoot their bolt pistols a few times. For fun I talked him through getting the most victory points he could in the last turn we played. Another sweep for the sheisse Tiefwalders! Get fucked imperial guard!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Battle Report: Space Wolves vs. Necrons 1-10-08

Before my buddy Mack moves out west, we decided to get one more game in and so revived an old rivalry between his Necrons and my Space Pups. His army consisted of two lords, one with a destroyer body, warscythe, phylactery, and res orb, and the other with a res orb, staff of light, and veil of darkness, four squads of ten warriors, two tomb spyders, three wraiths, six scarab swarms with disruption fields, five destroyers, a heavy destroyer, and a monolith. The Wolves had a wolf priest and a rune priest riding with eight blood claws in a land raider, a drop pod of four wolf guard and a battle leader in terminator armor, four wolf scouts with a meltagun and two power weapons, an AC/HF venerable dreadnought in a drop pod, nine grey hunters and a wolf guard leader with plasma and power fists in a drop pod, two attack bikes with multimeltas, and five long fangs including two lascannons, two missile launchers, and a pack leader. For our random mission we rolled "recon." Mack rolled to win choice of table edge, but there was a pretty even mix of cover on both sides.

Turn 1

With the help of the venerable dreadnought's centuries of wisdom, I re-rolled to win first turn. Unfortunately there wasn't that much to do. The bikes and land raider wheeled around to my right flank, and the long fangs picked off a single wraith with their heavy weapons. Mack responded by moving everyone up and opening up on the aged wolves with a few of the destroyers, but his small opening volley bounced off of the space marines' armor.

Turn 2

Half of my reserves came in on the second turn, with the grey hunters dropping in on the necron right flank, and the terminators supporting the units moving up on the opposite side of the table. The grey hunters were able to drop several warriors with their extensive collection of plasma weaponry, but most of them got back up in the next turn. The land raider moved up and disgorged two priests and the squad of blood claws, and together with the terminators and bikes they destroyed both tomb spyders with shooting. Eager for revenge, Mack's destroyers moved forward and obliterated the long fangs with heavy gauss fire. Warriors and the heavy destroyer took the grey hunters below 50% and sent them fleeing for their table edge.

Turn 3

Unfortunately for me, the close proximity of a necron warrior squad meant the retreating grey hunters were unable to regroup as normal, and they continued to fall back a small distance. However, the wolf scouts arrived and pounced on the heavy destroyer, killed it in close combat, and ran to take cover behind a nearby building. The dreadnought also arrived and knocked down a couple of warriors with his assault cannon. The terminators moved forward into the woods and killed several warriors themselves with the same weaponry. The bikes and blood claws swept around the woods to be in position to help the dreadnought if he needed it. The land raider hung back for one last shot at any necrons trying to move into my deployment zone. The unit of scarab swarms and the monolith both arrived. The destroyers lit up the dreadnought but could only shake it for a turn. Most of the warriors downed by assault cannons got back up and managed to destroy a drop pod and kill off a wolf guard terminator with return fire.

Turn 4

With all the foot traffic in the area, I wasn't sure I would have enough turns to get the land raider into his deployment area, so I wrote off any more shooting and moved the tank forward. The grey hunters regrouped and managed to inflict a few wounds on the scarabs, the only target they could all see. The terminators shot ineffectually into one squad of warriors, and the dreadnought charged into another, killing one in the initial round of assault. The necrons continued to move en masse towards my deployment zone, shot up the grey hunters and another drop pod, and second warrior fell in combat with the dreadnought.

Turn 5

The bikes swerved around the melee for a couple of shots at the necron warriors moving away, completely missing their target for the third or fourth time in the game. The blood claws squad, terminators, and land raider pulled up further into his deployment zone, while the dreadnought grappled with the warriors for another phase with little result. The monolith teleported one warrior squad directly into my deployment zone, with the other squads not far behind. The dreadnought wrapped up the turn by ripping apart two more necrons in his assault phase and sending them fleeing off of their table edge.

Turn 6

Everyone basically cozied up in their opponent's deployment zone, except for a single confrontation on his side (my side now, bitch!) that threatened to put the kibosh on the draw I was trying to hold. The bikes and dreadnought poured fire into the destroyer lord and managed to inflict a single wound. The lord responded by charging into the bikes, his warscythe swinging wide on every attack. The bikes weren't able to inflict any wounds back, so the combat and the entire game ended in a close draw, with Mack scoring around 150 points more than me. Recon might have made the game a little non-confrontational, but we still both had a good time getting the kills that we did. I think the flank is a good tactic for the wolves but I would have liked to have seen the priests and blood claws get into it a bit more. They should have held back and launched out of the land raider straight into his big group in the middle; with high initiative power weapons, sweeping advances, and a little luck, I might have even been able to force a phase out after a couple of turns. I love the re-rolls for first turn and damage results, but the venerable dread rarely ever gets his points back, so I might swap a vindicator in for him next time.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Post-holiday roundup

I've played a home game or two against c2 using space wolves, who as usual have performed pretty hit-and-miss. The last game we played was very bloody, and c2 was ahead all the way up until the end, when her demon prince, bike sorcerer, and khorne bikers all charged into my drop pod terminator squad and somehow got their asses handed back to them. The wolf guard themselves were wiped out in the fray, but the battle leader with lightning claws survived to burst through cover and wipe out the last two survivors of her own big terminator squad, throwing enough points back my way to seal the solid victory. After being slaughtered by her army last week, it was good to see the wolves push back, if only a little bit.

Speaking of the chaos army, I finished painting the bike sorcerer and the 10th terminator. The black spray primer really screwed me on his bike's right side and clumped up good and nasty there. The other side looks ok, I guess, and at least his actual head and body had been fairly well painted before I ever cut him in half to mount him on the bike. Those terminators are a nasty unit - lots of power weapon and fist attacks, and not bad shooters to boot. Last match they wiped out 10 grey hunters with one round of firing. I was definitely a little stunned at that one. I'm going to try to use them at least a few times at tournaments this year; I just have to finish the thousand sons and their rhino and they'll be ready to go. I'm going to try to go to at least two tournaments this month. I want to give the Space Wolves a go, as they're the army I've played out with the least. Everything's overpriced, and their few numbers mean I have to be extra crafty and maintain concentration to have a chance against the more competitive builds.

I got a bunch of grey knights and gk terminators from a friend who was selling off his minis, so I'm going to try to get them painted (way down the line) to field a terminator squad and a fast attack knights squad as allies for my Imperial Guard army. Maybe much later I can work on an actual GK list, but I've got too much backlog as it is.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

X-Boxes (not the fun kind)

If you're coming back here regularly, you've probably already seen all the pictures in my sidebar before. You may have noticed in the past couple weeks or so that some of these images are not being displayed. Apparently this is due to some very common but still unresolved issue with Picasa and Blogger. I may have to switch to an alternate image host if they don't straighten their shit out pretty soon. I'd complain, but it's free, so whatever. Happy new year to all my fellow armchair generals!