Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tournament: Dragon's Lair 6-28-08

Saturday was the first half of the 4th to 5th Edition changeover series being held at Dragon's Lair. You play the same army at two different weekend tourmaments using 4th edition rules in June and 5th in July. I took the Cult Cars list, which lately consists of:

Demon Prince - wings, mark of slaanesh, lash of submission
8 Chaos Terminators - 6 combiplasmas, 1 combiflamer, champion with pair lightning claws, icon of slaanesh
8 Khorne Berzerkers - 2 plasma pistols, champion with power fist and personal icon, Rhino with extra armor and second combibolter
7 Thousand Sons and Sorceror - bolt of change, personal icon, Rhino with extra armor and second combibolter
8 Plaguemarines - 2 meltaguns, champion with power fist and personal icon, Rhino with extra armor and second combibolter
8 Noisemarines - champion with power weapon and doom siren, Rhino with extra armor and second combibolter
10 Lesser Demons
3 Obliterators

There was a large turnout, with over 20 players using a fairly good variety of armies including dark angels, black templars, chaos space marines, chaos daemons, eldar, necrons, and a ton of orks. I got plenty of ork experience, as I drew greenskins for every one of my three matches. I didn't take any pictures out of pure laziness, sorry about that, they weren't judging painting this month anyways. I'll try to get more next time.

Game 1 - The Bikez - Seek and Destroy

Sean had warbosses on bikes with power klaws and bosspoles, two squads of 10 biker nobz with docs, waagh banners, several power klaws each, a squad of boyz in a truck, and three looted wagons with big kannons. It was a pretty great army, and I learned firsthand how tough it is to take on so many invincible nobz (don't lash them any closer to you, no matter how much firepower you think you have!). It took my entire army shooting and chopping to the last to bring one squad below half and finish the other off completely. The berzerkers stood tall before the boyz, fighting them back and wrecking their truck. I didn't have much firepower to spare on the looted wagons, as I was trying desperately to shoot up nobz for pretty much the entire game. By the last turn, my whole army had been slowly wiped out to the man. It seems best to try and split up the nobz as much as possible, because if they strike together at once there's not much that can stand up to them. Orks win, crushing victory.

Game 2 - The Kans - Take and Hold

Mark had a big mek, old zagrot, a 30-strong squad of hard boyz, an 8-strong squad of nobz, two deff dreads, two squads of 3 kans, some jetpack boyz, and a squad of gretchin. He was actually about 200 points shy of 2000, so he had a bit of a handicap to overcome. Also I don't think he was using Zagrot to his full potential, because I think he's supposed to roll a psychic power every turn or something, and he basically just ran forward leading the hard boyz squad. I massed all the cult troops into the middle and used them to bring in the terminators and demons. I didn't have much trouble fighting off the dreads, kans, and jump troops, but it takes so long to fight through all those ork boyz. I lost all of the berzerkers but that was about it, and I had plenty of my own scoring units in the middle. Chaos wins, victorious slaughter.

Game 3 - The Mix - Cleanse

Colby had a variety of classic ork units from the new codex, including 2 big meks, flash gitz, lootas, snikrot and some kommandos, burna boyz, 2 battle wagons, one or two units of slugga boyz, and a deff dread. This was probably the most exciting game of the three, with all of my units working very well in unison to fight off some scary assaults. Early on one of the wagons dropped off the big unit of burnaboyz who promptly wiped out the noisemarines with shooting and assault before consolidating into the plaguemarines. Between turns spent lashing enemy units around, Toggog flew over and helped the plagemarines fight the burnaz off. The terminators, obliterators, and thousand sons destroyed or disabled everything that came near, including a bunch of slugga boyz, a deff dread, and both wagons. At the end, neither of us could claim any table quarters but I was well ahead in victory points. Chaos wins, crushing victory (maybe solid victory?).

Two wins made it a pretty great day even after the initial big loss. My impression so far is that the chaos army is even better in 5th edition. I will definitely try to play several games this month in preparation. Thanks to Larry, who was running a great tournament despite the chaos of such a large turnout.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Action Report: Chaos vs. Imperial Guard 6-26-08

I went up to BFG last night to play a game against Kings and his Bug-hunting guard veterans. At the last minute we decided to play using the 5th edition rules, in which I’ve become fairly well versed over the last week or so (I went through a copy of the rules line by line, noting all the differences). I have issues with the true LOS rules, mostly with the way area terrain is handled. Given the highly variable nature of area terrain (like woods or ruins) from piece to piece, I think each should be considered uniform within a defined border, rather than consist of “elements” (e.g. trees, stone blocks, whatever) that were previously representative and could sometimes be repositioned for ease of placing troops. I’m totally fine with being able to shoot through it, but I think it should be “uniformly translucent,” where you can always see units behind it but they always get a cover save. However, seeing as how you can wipe out an entire unit with shooting when you can only see one trooper, it might be a wash in the end. I just smell the potential for snarkiness in the air is all. Maybe it will make more sense in time; I’m still getting used to it.

All that being said, the new rules are pretty awesome. I played my Cult Cars list, which besides 8 of each cult troop type in rhinos, also includes a flying lash demon prince, 8 terminators with combiplasmas and mark of slaanesh, 10 lesser demons, and 3 obliterators. Kings had a command squad, a heavy weapons squad, two or three infantry squads, a couple chimeras, several storm trooper squads, some hardened veterans, 4 sentinels, 2 demolishers, and a hellhound, and he was using as always chem inhalers. We played Seize Ground using the pitched battle deployment zones, with 4 total objectives. I set up the plaguemarines by their lonesome on my far right flank, with the other rhinos and obliterators guarding the two objectives on my left. The new deployment rules, where one person deploys their whole army before their opponent does the same, works out in a very interesting way. Since you know basically who’s going first, it makes it easier to decide whether to leave something out in the open or hide it behind terrain.

The first thing I realized was how great rhinos (or transports in general) are in 5th edition. If you can keep them decently obscured, they’ll always get a 4+ save against any damage (and I was rolling pretty hot at the beginning of the game), and even if they are destroyed or blown up, fearless cult troops don’t give a damn and outside of 1 or 2 casualties they can walk away unharmed. Plus you can capture objectives from inside transports now. One downside is that they do count as an extra kill point for your enemy in the annihilation mission type. After these things sunk in, I decided to hunker down with the thousand sons and berzerkers, and probe forward with the plaguemarines on the right and use their icon to bring down terminators and demons to try and grab a third objective. I made a push on my left with the noise marines but their rhino’s smoke launchers failed to protect them and kings rolled a ‘6’ to explode the transport. The next turn they ran at a nearby squad but were cut down before they could reach them. Kings used the outflank maneuver with his sentinels but besides inflicting a single wound on an obliterator, they were mostly ineffectual. Some deep-striking storm troopers killed one of the other obliterators, but they were wiped out in turn by shooting from the thousand sons and berzerkers. The plaguemarines accomplished their mission, with help from their deep-striking friends, but as feel no pain no longer protects them from plasma fire, they were eventually wiped out and I had to depend on the lesser demons to try and hold the objective.

We kind of screwed up the variable game length deal (mostly my fault for thinking I had gone first), so I tentatively won, but it was pretty close to a draw. I also forgot that though troops alone can capture an objective, ANY unit can contest an objective. That makes things pretty interesting late game as you try desperately to fend off any threats while keeping at least one guy in the squad alive.

Anyway, lots of fun, and I can’t wait to play the rules using all of my different armies. I’m especially eager to play with my genestealer bug list and see how well outflanking works out for them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tournament: Dragon's Lair 6-07-08

I hustled to assemble (mostly) and prime up my Saim Hann army for a 1750 point Dragon's Lair tournament last Saturday. The group was made up of mostly familiar faces with generally well-balanced armies. I had an autarch with lance, mandiblasters, fusion gun, and jetbike, 5 squads of 3 guardian jetbikes with a shuriken cannon in each, 10 dire avengers in a wave serpent with scatter lasers and a shuriken cannon, four shining spears including an exarch with a shuriken cannon, hit and run, skilled rider, 2 vypers with bright lances, shuriken cannons, holofields, and spirit stones, and 3 fire prisms with holofields and spirit stones. I'm not sure about the autarch and shining spears; they are really fun when they go off but no consolidating in assault means I always need to hit and run when possible and try to get far enough to take cover. I may go back and try the farseer/warlock tack a bit. I'm anxious about how the jetbike army will perform in 5th, but whatever, I still think it will be awesome after I get done painting the bastard.

Game 1 - Chaos - Recon

This was about as good as it got all day for the Saim Hann army as far as mission choice went. I believe my opponent's name was David (could be wrong there), he was using a hodgepodge of chaos models to represent 2 flying lash demon princes, 2 small noise marine squads, 2 big raptor squads, and 6 obliterators. I flanked hard to my right with everything but one of the fire prisms and he pretty much hid out behind the hill in his deployment. I was able to slowly pick off his troops a squad at a time as I advanced almost everything into his deployment zone. In the fifth turn he started to move one of the princes and raptor squads towards my deployment but it was too late to cover that much ground and eldar won, victorious slaughter.

Game 2 - Ultramarines - Seek and Destroy

This was a weird but very fun and even game. Frank had Tigurius, a command squad with 2 lascannons and tank hunters, 2 small las/plas squads, a missile launcher dev squad, some assault veterans in a rhino, some assault scouts, 3 bikers, a jump pack assault squad, and a tac squad in a rhino. The battle proceeded differently on either flank. The autarch and spears were pinned down for the first couple turns, but were able to pounce out on the bikers and the tac squad. Eventually Tigurius fell to a shining spears assault. The marine bikes were also wiped out but the eldar were tied up in assault for the rest of the game until they were destroyed. On my left side, jetbikes and dire avengers engaged the scouts and veterans with casualties on both sides. Meanwhile the fire prisms continued to pound holes in several units including the assault marines and devastators. It ended up with Frank ahead by 3-400 points, enough to secure a solid victory.

Game 3 - Necrons - Cleanse

Another third round match-up with Jay and his purple necrons. I destroyed a monolith on the first turn and inflicted decent casualties on the warriors but he was making great WBB rolls and good use of the surviving monolith and destroyers. He downed 2 holofield prisms in one turn and things went downhill from there. Jay ended up winning big in the end, securing one or both quarters and coming out far ahead in victory points.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Slow News Day

There's some great pictures of new marine models on BOLS but otherwise not much going on. Fifth edition is just kind of hanging out there, so close but so far. I got a hold of two more old rhinos for my nurgle and slaanesh marines and now I have to cult them out with greenstuff and various chaos accessories. The slaanesh cab will have a branded-in icon on the front, while the plaguemobile will have a ton of putules and open sores and whatnot. I'll probably make at least one of the local tourneys this month, maybe two, maybe bring out the bugs again.