Friday, January 27, 2017

The Year of Tzeentch

Hey Everyone!



This last year I've been playing a lot of different armies, switching it up constantly to play 40k in a lot of different ways so I wouldn't get bored.  What I have become bored with though, is not having any painted models.  Armies just feel so much more fun to play when they're actually finished, and I have lots and lots and lots of partially finished models laying around.

So, with the advent of some of the amazing new Tzeentch models that have been coming out, I've decided to get a Tzeentch army together for 40k, and make it mostly playable in Age of Sigmar as well, as this seems to be gaining speed locally.  I've been busily assembling models for my Thousand Sons army, and man, are these models great.  The detail that they've managed to get in plastic is truly astounding.  I literally can't wait to get these guys painted - I'm going to use the method that they've been previewing on the Warhammer Channel; i.e. spraying the model gold and then filling in the flat areas with blue.  I think I am going to go for a nice teal color for my models, rather than the straight blue that the studio army has been painted.

Once I get a small baseline of 1ksons and Tzaangors, I'm going to start getting painting some Daemons too.  Since these can be used in both systems as well as the Tzaangors, I should be able to get a lot of use out of these models for both systems.

So overall my goal is to not play any other armies this year until I have my army for the upcoming States competition painted and based.

So here's my for fun list that I'm going to try out a bit as I work on models:



Tzeentch 1850; Daemons CAD + Heralds Anarchic + Grand Coven Detachment

Daemons CAD
HQ:
Lord of Change w/ 2 Greater Gifts, 1 Lesser Gift, Impossible Robe
-315 pts

Troops:
2 x 11 Horrors w/ Icon
-109 pts ea (218 pts total)

Heralds Anarchic
Herald of Tzeentch w/ Paradox
-70 pts

2 x Herald of Tzeentch
-45 pts ea (90 pts total)

Grand Coven Detachment

War Cabal
2x Sorcerer w/ Mastery Level 2, Meltabombs, Aura of Dark Glory
-120 pts ea (240 pts total)

5 Scarab Occult w/ Soulreaper Cannon and Hellfyre Missiles
-305 pts

9 Thousand Sons w/ Soulreaper Cannon and Meltabombs
-247 pts

Tzaangor Herd
Exalted Sorcerer w/ Spell Familiar, Disk of Tzeentch and Seer's Bane
-245 pts

3x 10 Tzaangor
=70 pts ea (210 pts total)

It looks like a fun list to play, with enough models to push around and even a nice big center-piece model in the new LoC to use.  I'm sure that visually it will be really cool to see on the table.


The list that I'm working on for States I feel like is pretty good, but like any good Psychic Apocalypse army, it's going to have issues against people who bring blanks to the table.  I dunno, it'll still be fun to play with anyway; figuring out ways around that will be interesting.

1850 Tzeentch Pandemoniad + 1KSons CAD

Pademoniad of Tzeentch

Warpflame Host
Herald of Tzeentch w/ Greater Locus of Conjuration
-70 pts

4x Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch
-50 pts ea (200 pts total)

11 Horrors of Tzeentch w/ Icon
-109 pts

4x 11 Horrors of Tzeentch
-99 pts ea (396 pts total)

Heralds Anarchic
Herald of Tzeentch w/ Paradox
-70 pts

3 x Herald of Tzeentch
-45 pts ea (135 pts total)

1KSons CAD
Sorcerer w/ Mark of Tzeentch and Meltabombs
-80 pts

2x 10 Tzaangors
-70 pts ea (140 pts total)

Magnus the Red
-650 pts

I feel like this list has some additional threat vectors over the list that I've been seeing with the Rehati War Sect; while I'm losing three ML3 Psykers that manifest on 3+ rerolling; I'm getting more reliable access to powers, and I've got significantly more dice.  In addition, I have some great close range shooting threats in the Flamers; AND I've got lots and lots of 2d6 S7 psychic shots to throw across the table to break up battle company Rhinos, so that my S6 AP3 Torrents can do work.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Deathwatch Review Part 1 of 4: HQ and Elites + Intro



Xeno Hunters.  There are very few things in the 40k universe more “40k” than that designation.  And now, I can field an entire army of them?  Fantastic.
When the new Deathwatch Overkill box came out, I read the rules for using the models for 40k and gave a big “eh”; I didn’t typically play Imperial Armies, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the way that the squads were layed out.  I was most disappointed in the lack of Battle Brother Allies for Nids from the other half of the box, but the Deathwatch half didn’t really register on my radar.
Until they announced that it would be its own codex several months later.  So cool!
So, I got my codex a little bit later than I was hoping to due to some shipping issues (no biggie, it’s in my hot little hands now), and I’ve got to say that the quality is very high.  I’m not sure they re-used any of the awesome art from the Deathwatch RPG, but since they’ve never had a codex before, I believe most of the art is original (and decent, at least).  It seems like they’ve tried to use the squads from Death Masque as much as possible.
The rules are interesting; the formations really add something new to the game.  In the Deathwatch formations, instead of just taking a combination of different units and a set bonus, they instead combine the units to a maximum size of 10 models; then give them a benefit.  It’s sort of neat to have a unit that’s a combination of Veterans, Terminators and Vanguard all in one squad.  The benefits are pretty substantial (re-rolling to wound or armor pen against a particular force org slot), but I’m not sure they overshadow the basic kill team formation, the Aquila Kill Team, which gets to re-roll to wound and armor penetration rolls of one against everything. 
The special rule the army has is called Mission Tactics – this rule lets you gain a bonus against a certain battlefield role type when you enact it at the start of the game.  It lets you re-roll 1’s to hit against said unit type (or a squad containing at least one model from that particular battlefield role).  There are numerous ways to be able to switch is as the game continues.
So, with that in mind, I’d like to briefly go over all the various army selections.

HQ:

Watch Captain:   

The Watch Captain is just a basic marine captain that costs 5 more points, but has special ammunition (the same as Sternguard, and this is a recurring theme in the army for characters).  He is a little more limited in the wargear he can take, so no bikes for our lovely captain, or any of the special Deathwatch swords/hammers.  I really feel like this is a missed opportunity for GW.

Watch Master: 

The Chapter Master analogue.  Comes stock with artificer armor, which is a nice touch.  Also comes with a great weapon, the Guardian Spear, which is basically the same weapon that the Adeptus Custodes get to use.  It’s a +1 Str AP2 at I weapon, so pretty good; plus it has an inbuilt bolter with specialist ammo.  He also lets you switch Mission Tactics an additional time.  He’s good, but I don’t really see taking him a lot compared to some of the other characters.

Chaplain:   

A normal, codex standard Chaplain with less options (no bike or JP) and costs 5 more points (for specialist ammo).  Not a bad deal, and can really augment some of the super bad ass Deathwatch CC squads.

Librarian:   

Again, 5 more points..blah blah blah.  However, an awesome character for Deathwatch.  Since most of the formations, including the humble Aquila Kill-team, can take a Librarian as an add-on, you can score just a ton of these dudes in your army.  Luckily, they have access to all the new Marine powers as well, so you can really customize your psychic phase with these bros.

Watch Captain Artemis:  

 I really feel like the special character Captain from Death Masque needs his own mention.  He’s 145 pts, so 50 extra points over a standard Watch Captain.  You get a power sword, unlimited use poison 2+ template, a great set warlord trait (change Mission Tactics once), and FnP 6+.  In addition, he has a Statis Bomb that lets you make a D-strength close combat attack that hits himself if it misses – which is pretty rad.  He’s a great character, well worth the extra points you pay for him.  I’d take him over a standard Watch Captain any day of the week (which you need one of in order to field the Watch Company, which we’ll talk about later).

Elites:

Terminators: 

Deathwatch Terminators are pretty boss, as terminators go.  You can take them in squads of 1+ (another theme for picking units), and they’re Fearless standard.  Also, they have the option for every single terminator to take a heavy or special weapon – I’d love to see a squad of all Assault Cannons tearing up the field.  The can also mix and match their squads – like Deathwing, so some Assault Terminators and some shooty ones.  Finally, they have the option to take a new close combat weapon – a powerfist with a built-in meltagun.  A super solid option for a squad that is going to deepstrike often!  I think they really shine in the combined units with the different kill-team formations, as they grant the squad fearless plus give some nice CC attacks.

Dreadnoughts: 

Standard Dreadnought fare.  If you bring them in the Decurion formation, they can DS without a drop pod, which is nice.

Venerable Dreadnoughts:  

Again, same stuff.

Vanguard Veterans:   

Vanguard Vets are a little more playable in Deathwatch.  With combined squads, they give you the option to add some really cheap specialist close combat weapons to your units.  They have Jump Packs stock, and come with special ammo for their bolt pistols.  Definitely a great choice, either as part of a kill team or on their own.

Friday, August 26, 2016

So, have you thought about Malifaux?

Malifaux, why not?

I'd just like to start this post off right - Malifaux by Wyrd Miniatures is hands down the best skirmish game available on the market.  If you haven't given it a go yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.  You might be asking yourself, "But Danny, you're a great war gamer, tell me what makes this game so amazeballs?"

That's an excellent questions, and one that I'd be happy to explain to you.

1.  Malifaux doesn't use -any- dice.

Fate Deck Sample
While most modern war games use dice to determine the random results of their models actions, Malifaux uses what it calls the "Fate Deck".  The Fate Deck that Wyrd Miniatures sells uses their own symbols and numbers that translate into a normal deck of playing cards.  Models get into duels against each other, or a set number.  When the duel is opposed, both players flip cards and add pertinent stat to the duel total to determine the winner.

Now, just flipping cards against each other might sound like you're just playing War or Slap Jack, but that's where Cheating Fate comes in. Each player has a hand of 6 or more cards, which they can substitute in rather than the card they flipped on the duel.  This allows you to potentially trump your opponent...unless they too Cheat Fate!

Not only does the duel total matter - it matters what Suites you get in your duel as well!  Some models have defensive triggers that happen when they are targeted by actions and fail, or, more often, models have triggers that go off on their offensive actions that give additional effects to their attacks or actions!  As you can see, there's quite a bit of strategy in just planning on how and when to cheat.

2.  Malifaux has great rules balance.



I have yet to read the stat card for models that I've found to be criminally under powered.  It seems to be there's always a good reason to take any model, as long as it fits in your faction or in the strategy/scheme pool that you're playing (more on this later).  The interactions are very well defined (though sometimes complicated), and most abilities are clearly explained in the main rule book.  If it's not in the main rule book, then it is always explained well on the cards for the model!

In addition, the factions are fairly mutable - many Masters (a leader like a Warcaster in WM/H) can be played for multiple factions, and some Masters can take models that have certain keywords from -any- faction.  So you can get a lot of bang for your buck and play one type of list in many different styles.

Malifaux uses an I-go/You-go system, so it feels very interactive.  I haven't played a game yet where i felt like my opponent was just doing things to me and I couldn't mitigate them by either Cheating Fate or using my model's abilities.

Also, for the more tournament-minded player, they have a great set of missions that only apply to tournaments (though we use them for fun games pretty much exclusively).  They also put out FAQ's and Erratas if they're in need - I believe they've only put out 6 or 7 since the 2nd edition game released 4 years ago.

3.  Malifaux has the best mission system I've ever played.

Some tidbits from the Schemes and Strategies deck


This is probably the best thing about Malifaux.  No, full stop, this is the best part about the game.  Before you pick your army, you tell your opponent what faction you'll be playing (there are 7 total), and then you flip cards to see what the Strategy and Schemes will be.  After this, you build you list.  You're never caught out with the wrong list for the mission - you build the list that will work the best for what you're trying to do!

The Strategy is the over-arching mission that both you and your opponent will be playing.  This is the main mission, and there are 10 different Strategies that could potentially come up.  This leads to a great variety of different play styles - some are about killing enemy models, but most are about  having models in certain zones. 

Then you have the Schemes.  Schemes are the goals you are trying to achieve.  These can either be secret, or you can tell your opponent what you're trying to do in order to make them worth additional points.  You generate 5 different schemes, then in secret both players choose 2 of them.  Most Schemes rely of Scheme Markers in order to score points.  Scheme Markers are an empty base that most models can place (as long as they're not in close combat), and represent your faction picking up intel, placing warding stones, listening devices, spies etc.  Whatever you imagine them to be!  Enemies can attempt to remove them, but they stick around until the end of the game otherwise.  By placing these in certain areas, you use them to achieve your objective.  It's up to your opponent to guess what you're up to!

At the end of every turn after the first, you score points.  The game usually lasts 5 turns (though it's random, so it could be as many as 8!).  There's no kill-off rule, so if you lose every single model, but still have more victory points than your opponent from achieving your objectives, you still win the game!  I love that about this game - because sometimes, your opponent will just be running roughshod through your whole army, but you're trying to trying to complete your objectives...then at the end of the game, you might have one or two dudes left, but you still win because you concentrated on what the victory conditions were, rather than wholesale slaughter.  It helps to tone down the power gaming quite a bit.

4.  Malifaux has amazing theme and models.




I can't say enough how rad the models are for this game.  The best part - their entirely plastic.  While most people would say that GW has the market cornered on plastic miniature kits - I'd say that Wyrd definitely puts out a product that's just as good.  The details are small and sometimes fiddly, but they are such amazing sculpts.  I like the more proportional style as opposed to the heroic style that GW uses.  But honestly, great models to paint and build!



They also release special edition models - these models have the same rules as normal, run of the mill models, but they release them in other formats, like gender-bent models or sets cast in clear plastic.



So, not only are the models gorgeous, but the themes for them actually work.  So if a model works with another one in the background, in the game they often have mechanics or keywords that make them work well with that model.  So not giving them overt buffs like free models in formations or theme force price reductions, but rather the models that actually work the best together work that way in the game too!  I hope that GW follows this trend in the future; though I'm not sure how they'd implement that.

5.  In summation...



...you should be playing Malifaux.  I know that our local Henchman (Wyrd Sponsored helper) would love to show anyone and everyone how to play!  Plus, Matt is a pretty good guy, and I'm sure he'd be happy to give you the low-down on getting started with models to buy to get started, or let you use some of his fantastically painted dudes to show you how to push Malifaux dollies across the table.  Matt typically demos at Tier 1 Cards and Games in Anchorage on Mondays, so if you're interested let him know!

So, it's been awhile.

You know, life and all that.  Since posting last, many things have happened:

I've had a brutal college semester learning web design
Been to Hawaii

Gotten engaged


Taken in two amazing pets (a rat and a bulldog) 
 
Otis 

 
Fred

And played numerous games of my favorite hobbies.

Played a 3-way Malifaux game with some bros - Collodi puppeted up a storm!

I haven't done any traveling for any events, as we're saving up for our wedding (this means decreased model purchases as well, much to my chagrin), but I'm hopeful I'll be able to resume traveling for events after our honeymoon next Christmas.

Lucius - the man with the plan.  The plan is to make all his minions do the work for him.


So, as it stands, my favorite game currently is Malifaux; we've been playing the crap out of it.  I try and play every week, and we've had two local tournaments.  I've been lucky enough to be able to take away the Big W during both events, beating face with my favorite Lucius crew through various iterations depending on the scheme and strategy generated.  By far the best skirmish game ever; if you're into that kind of game.

I've been trying to get in games of 9th Age as well - such a great system.  I love the mechanics, the fixes to some of the OP aspects of 8th ed Warhammer, and the re-balancing of army books.  The magic system (a perennial issue with Warhammer) has been pretty much fixed - it's a powerful phase of the game but it's probably not going to dominate the enemy army.

I've played quite a bit of 40k as well, and a similar amount of 30k.  I pretty much only play 40k at tournaments anymore.  I'd like to get back into playing casually, but I don't really have time to do that and play other games.  Too many options for what to play!

Well, I'll be checking in against soon; I'm still waiting for my Deathwatch stuff to get into the local shop; but once I get my book in I'd like to do a review post of that book.  I'll also be doing a review of the new Malifaux book (I got my name in the play-testing credits!) as well.

Thanks for reading!

-Danny

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Local Tournament Report



Well, this last weekend was the last tournament of the year.  The last two events, I've been having a poll on the local Alaska Wargamers Group to see what army I should take to the local tournament next month.  I did pretty well last month when they voted I should take Orks; I ended up winning the event.

This month the vote was Imperial Guard (or Astra Militarum for those newer to the hobby).  I haven't played much Guard lately (I haven't even played the newest book yet!), and my Traitors were in a sorry state; I couldn't really field an army.  So I asked my buddy Dan (I'll be writing another blog post about our huge game of 9th Age that we finished as well) if I could borrow some models from his huge collection.  I cobbled together a list using the new formation from the Mont'ka expansion.

I feel like the list is pretty solid, but I would have made a few changes in hindsight.  Here's the list that I ran:

Emperor's Blade Assault Company:
Company Command Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Chimera
3 x 10 Veterans w/ 3 Meltaguns, Vox-Caster and Chimera
Devildog w/ Multi-Melta

Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company 1:
Company Command Squad w/ Warlord, Vox-Caster and Chimera
Basilisk
Wyvern
Manticore

Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company 2:
Company Command Squad w/ Volkov's Cane, Vox-Caster and Chimera
Basilisk
Wyvern
Manticore

It's an even 1850 pts.  Pretty solid, and has lots and lots of templates with Ignores Cover.  Now, the day before the event I posted my list so that people could see what I was bringing to the table.  It makes me feel a little cocky to say, but I've won just a ton of local events in a row.  I wanted to give people a chance to build against it if they wanted to.  It's not that people around these parts are bad players or anything; actually, it's completely the opposite.  I've just had a string of good luck in match-ups and have been able to either play slightly better or get better dice rolls when I've played against the really good players.

Here's a brief rundown of the games:



Game One:


Anyway, so to start the event I play against Chris B, who is playing a Guard/Space Wolves/Cult Mech list.  He brought:

Space Wolves Company of the Great Wolf Detachment:
Rune Priest (rolled Divination for Prescience and Precognition)
Iron Priest on Thunderwolf w/ 2 Fenrisian Wolves
Iron Priest on Thunderwolf w/ 2 Fenrisian Wolves

Cult Mechanicus Battle Congregation
Tech Priest Domunius w/ Volkite and ?
2 x 3 Kataphron Destroyers w/ Grav

Astra Militarum CAD
Pask in Punisher + Executioner w/ Full Plasma; Dozer Blades
2 x 10 Veterans
Wyvern
Stormlord

An interesting army to say the least.  Not a lot of stuff; seemed random; Chris stated at the start of the game he had chosen some random models he wanted to play with.  It seemed more effective than I thought it was going to be though; he really gave me a run for my money.

The mission we were playing was Emperor's Will, with a side of Modified Maelstrom.

Chris managed to win deployment, and chose to go second.  I was perfectly okay with this, as my army alpha-strikes pretty hard.

On my first turn, I knocked a hull point off the Stormlord, killed (due to a failed panic check) one squad of veterans and both the Iron Priests (which were in a unit by themselves).  Suffice it to say that I managed to kill pretty much everything that got to me, and I ended up having to use one of my Wyverns once all my chimeras were dead in order to try and get some of the objectives for secondary.  Chris was really good at making sure he got his Maelstrom points every turn, where I was really struggling.  I ended up having to make some sacrifices just to make sure that he was held at bay as far as objective points were concerned (we ended up tying secondary).  I was lucky in that I was able to kill all his units that were trying to get to my objective, as well as kill those that were camping his.  I end up winning to a thrown together army just barely 6-1.  Credit where credit is due, I was sweating it pretty hard the last couple turns at the Magos slowly chewed through my vehicles with his haywire CCW.

Result: 6-1 me.

Game 2

The only game I managed to get pictures of...


Game two I faced off against Matt and his Guard/Imperial Knights army:

Knight equivalent CAD:
Knight Crusader (Warlord) w/ Icarus
Knight Errant w/ Stormspear
Knight Gallant w/ Stormspear and Meltagun

Guard Allied Detachment
Company Command Squad (in Vendetta)
Veteran Squad w/ Carapace
Veteran Squad w/ Carapace
Valkyrie Vendetta
3 Wyverns

A pretty brutal list.  I was not looking forward to trying to deal with three knights, mostly the Ion Shields.  The mission was The Scouring with secondary Maelstrom.  I did however win the chance to go first...however Matt Seized the Initiative!

I was even more worried after getting Seized on...but somehow I managed to not completely lose any vehicles (minus one chimera on the first turn).  I was pretty happy about that.  My return volleys killed one knight a turn every turn after the first.  We had a ruling on how ion shields were used against Barrage Weapons and I'm not sure or not what was the right answer.  They were allowed if the closest side armor was the one being shielded to the shot...re-reading the section I think it's where-ever the hole ends up on the diagram (as per ITC), but I'm not upset by the ruling or anything..  I managed to nearly wipe out my opponent (with the exception of the running late Valkyrie and the CCS).  At the end of the game I was holding two objectives to one, and probably could have held another.

Two notes on this game:

#1.  Matt's army is beautiful.  His knights looked really good, he just needed to base one more but I feel like he very well could have the nicest army at the event.

#2.  I had a brand-new tournament experience; a legitimate heckler. See notes below for additional information and opinion.


Game 3:



So, for my game three I ended up playing against Jon, which is one of my regular opponents.  Although I usually do pretty well against Jon, his more common tournament list is a pretty good counter to mine.  Jon ran his usual GK/BA list:


BA Baal Strike Force:
Corbulo
5 Bolter Death Company
9 CCW Death Company (two Power Swords, 1 Hammer, 1 Inferno Pistol, one Hand Flamer)
5 Tactical Marines w/ Grav Gun and Pistol
5 Scouts w/ Camo Cloaks and Sniper Rifles
2 Storm Ravens (one with DC, one with Culexus Assassin)
Sicarian w/ Lascannon Sponsons
Aegis w/Comms Relay


Grey Knight Strike Force:
Librarian w/ Daemonhammer
5 Terminators
2 Dreadknights



Culexus Assassin

So overall a pretty nice list; it's fast and I've really got no counter to the flyers and Dreadknights (other than some Meltaguns).  Jon gets first turn, and the Mission is the Relic plus modified Maelstrom.

Jon has a great opening turn, killing 3 of my Vet Chimeras and taking two hull points off a fourth.  Ouch!  I struck back, but try as I might I just couldn't bring down a Dreadknight.  I missed with two entire squads of BS4 meltaguns at the same DK, and the other one I was only able to take down to one wound left.  I did manage to wreck his Sicarian and kill the entire Scout Squad in one go.  His terminators misshaped and I placed them back on his board edge; they played no further part in the battle.

His next turn saw the DC Stormraven come in; I killed the Bolter DC and the Razorback; took some wounds off the Tactical Squad.  I also killed the wounded Dreadknight but I couldn't quite take the other one down; he was left on one wound. Jon killed a Basilisk and my Devildog.

Overall, the game started to go way downhill here.  I tried to rush forward on foot with my remaining vet squads, but they were either gunned down or assaulted off the table.  I ended up calling the game on turn 4 with just a missile-less Manticore, three veterans and a single company command squad.

Overall a tough game; I didn't have the tools to deal with the 2+ armor MC's, or the flyers.  I could have probably absorbed one or the other, but both at the same time were too much.

I had a great time though, it was a fun game, and Jon gets to say he beat me at the tournament now!  He's been complaining a lot about always having to play me and losing on round three.  Haha; Merry Christmas Jon!

Overall a great and fun event!  I wish I could have stuck around more afterwards and hung out/cleaned up, but significant other and I had dinner plans with some other friends.  Overall another great Tier 1 event!







Continuation of #2:

An observer, watching this game felt like it was necessary to start heckling me when a rules issue came up. I've got at least a decent reputation as a solid player in our local group, but having someone telling my opponent that I'm a jerk and a power-gamer is pretty crappy.  The TO came up to me a while later and let me know if he made any other comments he'd be asked to leave, but...

Honestly, why would a community abide by letting a continuously disruptive, unproductive individual (who, I might add, is not a customer...can't remember the last time I saw this particular individual actually purchase something) participate in store events or seriously just even really be allowed in the store?  It's not the first time I've had run-ins with this particular person, and he's had a restraining order put out on him in one instance due to stalking behavior and also been kicked out of the local forums, as well as at least one store in town and been kicked out of a local convention twice for boundary issues.  He's even smashed out a taillight on one of my friend's cars due to being upset with him. I feel like our newer group is very kind hearted; but probably too much so in this case.  When I see a problem person like this, who's been given so many chances and still failed to meet any social benchmarks, it seems like for the good (and maybe safety?) of the community that they be ostracized.  Maybe I'm a little draconian, but it sure seems like it'd be the for the good of all in this case.  Anyway, I rambled enough.

Have a Happy Holidays and a great New Years!

-Danny

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Quick Battle Report (White Scars vs. Blood Angels and Grey Knights 1850 pts)

So, yesterday I got try out my list that I've been working on since the Kauyon book released a few weeks ago.  First of all, I'd like to say that I've -always- had a lot of trouble making marine lists.  For whatever reason, I never feel like I have all the tools I need but still have a decent model count to make the army effective.  To this end, I rarely play Space Marine armies, because I always feel like I'm outclassed right out of the gate.

However, once the Kauyon supplement got released, I immediately fell in love with the Scarblade Strike Force.  I love the "Decurion" style detachments, as I'm sure you could tell if you ever looked at my list building.  If I can, I almost always build to these formations, because getting benefits on top of benefits is always good, and it makes me use units that I otherwise might never take in my army.  So, that being said, the formations in Kauyon are amazing, and fun, and very fluffy for the armies involved.

The Armies:


Scarblade Strike Force 1850

Stormlance Demi-Company
Chaplain w/ Bike, Hunter's Eye and Meltabombs
3 x 10 Tactical Marines w/ Meltagun, Combi-Melta and Rhino
Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta
10 Devestators w/ 2 Grav Cannons and Rhino

Hunting Force
Ko'sarro Khan w/ Moondraken
3 x 5 Bikers w/ 2 Gravguns, Combi-Grav and Melta Bombs
Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta
3 Scout Bikers

Speartip Strike
2 Attack Bikes w/ Heavy Bolter
1 Landspeeder w/ Heavy Bolter



The core of the army revolves around the Stormlance; they're my objective seekers, they do some duty as tank hunters and getting re-rolls against anything trying to hold an objective.  The Hunting force is where a lot of my hitting power hangs out; it packs a ton of shooting power, and coupled with re-rolls against the hunting targets is just brutal.  The final formation, the Speartip Strike, is only okay.  I think it could be pretty amazing with a lot of unis, but I didn't really have points for this, and so I just made sure that they were pretty cheap (as you have to take an auxiliary unit in the Scarblade).

I played my friend and co-star of previous battle reports Jon M; he brought a combo of Grey Knights and Blood Angels, as he usually does:

Mortalis Strike Force:
Chaplain w/ Special Jump Pack (the re-roll scatter deep strike one)
10 Death Company, 4 Power Swords, Thunder Hammer
5 Death Company with Jump Packs
5 Death Company w/ Bolters and Las/Plas Razorback
2 Death Company Dreadnoughts, one in Lucius Pattern Drop Pod
Stormraven w/ Multi-Melta, Assault Cannons and Hurricane Bolters

Grey Knight Nemesis Strike Force
Librarian w/ Master Level 2
5 Terminators w/ Psycannon
Dreadknight w/ Hammer, Gatling Psilenser, Heavy Psycannon
Dreadknight w/ Sword, Heavy Psycannon and Heavy Incinerator

It's a pretty nasty list; with the terminators, and Pod-naught dropping in the first turn, and the Death Company plus another Dreadnought coming in fairly reliably in turn two.  In this case, he even got the Warlord Trait on the Chaplain that let him re-roll his reserve rolls.

So, we rolled up Big Guns never tire, as we decided not to play an ITC mission this time.  I actually won the roll-off to see who gets to place first, and I gave it to my opponent.  I wanted to see how my army would do against Jon's Alpha Strike play-style; this was a test run for a list I was pretty proud of.  So, he deployed first, setting up both Dreadknights as well as the two small squads of Death Company as well as their transport.  I had to choose my Hunting Force Targets; I chose the Chaplain as Primary, the Heavy Incinerator Dreadknight and Secondary and the Heavy Psilenser Dreadknight as Tertiary.  I then scouted up my rhinos and bikes, but not too far; hoping to stay out of assault distance of the Dreadknights and JP-Death Company.  I failed to Seize.

Turn 1.

Jon got great scatters on the first turn, deploying his Terminators behind my lines in my deployment zone with no scatter, and also no scatter on the drop pod.  The Psilencer DK teleport shunted up the table, while the incinerator one jumped up, and was realistically in assault range.  I'm not great at scout redeployments yet; I guess I thought I was more out of range, but clearly I wasn't.  The JP-DC were also close enough to assault my other flanking DC-Squad.

His shooting was pretty decent - the Razorback killed a rhino, and I lost about four marines from this squad from other shooting.  I also lost two bikes from the squad Jon was going to assault with the DK, but after killing them it was a huge charge and he failed.  The JP-DC did manage to assault, even after I killed on on overwatch. We weakly flailed at each other in melee and I hit and ran out of combat.  He consolidated with the DC onto an objective (which ended up being a bad idea).

On my turn one, I moved my bikes away from his dreadnought at towards his deepstriking terminators and DK's.  I ended up killing both everything in the terminator squad minus one terminator (so both the chaplain and librarian as well), and the secondary target DK.  Jesus re-rolling grav is powerful.  I also vaporized a coupe of the JPDC on the objective with my tactical marines; since he was controlling it, they got to re-roll to hit against them.  I believe I also took a hull point off the razorback.  I tried but failed to assault the lone terminator with my biker/HQ squad.

Turn 2.


With Jon's warlord dead, he was unable to re-roll his reserves roll, and his Storm Raven full of DC and a DC Dreadnought failed to come in.  In Jon's turn, he moved his units around to try and get into assaults if possible; his bolter DC assaulted the last rhino on that side of the table and wrecked it, his JPDC assaulted the bikes again for no discernible damage (the bikes hit and ran away again), the DC Dread attempted an assault against the HQ/Bikers but was immobilized on overwatch, and the DK assaulted and killed a heavily damaged biker unit.

On my turn, my scout bikers arrived from Outflank, and I managed to bolter and then assault the razorback doing a couple hull points.  My other biker units finish off the last DK.  Everything moves around in an effort to get to some of the backfield objectives or out of the line of fire from the surviving units.  One of the mutli-melta attack bikes finishes off the immobilized dreadnought.

Turn 3.


Jon's Stormraven finally comes in, and kills an attack bike and puts a hull point on a land speeder.  The dread deep strikes out on the way over, and manages to kill a couple of bikers with it's melta and heavy flamer.  The razorback kills one of the scout bikers, and they fall back (soon to rally though).

I try and do nothing absolutely nothing to the Stormraven.  Some tacticals finish off the Razorback, and the combined shooting of several land speeders, plus some bikes and attack bikes finish off the other dreadnought.  The biker "command" squad braces for a huge Death Company assault.

Turn 4.


Turns going by faster, as there's less on the board - Jon's DC assault out of the storm raven, which does some minor damage or other units, but since it jinked last turn this is unsurprising.  The bikers all die, and I lose two wounds on Kor'Sarro, but otherwise I stay locked.  Thank go for Hit and Run - I peace out of there any set up for another turn of brutal shooting.

On my turn, Khan and the Chaplain move into coherency with my last biker unit, and between them and the rest of my army, they destroy the Death Company.  Jon made 0 FnP saves though, so it probably should not have been as effective as it was.

Turn 5.


Jon moves the Stromraven in an attempt to flee my wrath (plus enact some good old fashioned wrath of his own), and uses the Raven to gun down my last two scout bikers.  Those poor, brave souls.

On my turn, I ran towards all the objectives (I secured all of them at this point) and I gunned down the raven with the ignores cover grav; Jon failed the 3+ "Don't crash please" roll on the immobilize result.  I believe I also killed his Drop Pod on this turn.  Regardless, it was a wipe out.


Overview:


It was a really fun game!  I love this list; it's got everything I want in it, pretty much.  It's got speed, good numbers, good firepower, and even a little bit of assault.  Some of the bros on our Facebook group have made some suggestions about what needs to be changed in it; I'm not sure.  I really like the 10 man squads.  It's a little bit more fluffy, and helps to represent an entire company of Scars.  If I were going to change, I'd drop one squad of bikers plus some dudes and break out a 4-GravGun command squad in which to smite my enemies, but it's probably not as fun for them to come across 12 grav shots that ignore cover and also re-roll everything (potentially).  I'm really excited to purchase this army; the plan is to get a bunch of MKIV Outriders, Javelin Speeders and Scimitar Jetbikes (for attack bikes) from Forgeworld and use the MKIV marines I have from Betrayal at Calth for my foot marines.  Here's one of the Sgt's I've created:



Let me know what you think; I'm still working on my style.  I know I need more pictures, but I'm having a hard time stopping in the heat of battle to take some pics.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I've been kinda busy...kinda?

Hey everyone,

I know it's been awhile since I posted last on here, but I'd like to start posting more now that I've got a little bit more time on my hands as the semester comes to a close.  Since my list post, lots of things have happened, especially gaming things.

Warhammer Fantasy


The first of these, any probably the most major, is my attendance of Quake City Rumble in late July.  With nearly 100 players, this is hands down the biggest event for Warhammer Fantasy on the West Coast.  I love this event - it's got a great, laid back atmosphere, even though it's such a large event; and it's a drinking tournament, which means there's a lot of suds flowing and this generally helps to put everyone in an even better mood.

I did pretty well - I lost my first game but almost maxed points my other four.  I played against VC, VC, Chaos Warriors, Ogres and finally Daemons, in that order.  All my opponents were super nice guys, and I had not a single rules quibble the entire weekend.  Usually, I feel like I have to call the judges at least once, if not twice or three times over the course of a 5 game event, but this time everyone was right on point with the rules.

It was a sad tournament, though, because it for the most part signaled the death of Warhammer 8th edition for most of us.  I heard one prominent tournament goer liking the event to an Irish wake, with melancholy drinking being the activity dejour.  Regardless, a super fun time.

Since the game is dead and gone, locally, we've made the switch for the most part to 9th Age.  I'll admit that I've had not a small role in this decision, but I've been trying to get all the other local players to try it out.  I must say, they've done a really bang-up job on the rules front - the stuff that was super broken in 8th is fixed and even the less appealing choices are very solid.  Adopting this game system over the more nationally accepted change to Kings of War is somewhat strange, but I've got to say that I like the more familiar ground of 9th better than KoW, and the game play seems less stagnant and boring.  But hey, that's just my opinion.

Warhammer 40,000

I've been playing a lot of 40k the last few months.  It's been a good time, and so far locally I'm 29-1 for tournament games.  I even managed to pull out the big W at the large local convention, where we even had people from out of town play in our event!  About 12 people from Fairbanks made the 8 hour car ride into Anchorage just to come play at our 2-day event.  It was great getting to play against new people and different (and very competitive) armies.

I brought my Necrons, and brought a Decurion Detachment; here's my list:

Decurion Detachment 1850 pts

Reclaimation Legion
Nemisor Zahndrekh
15 Necron Warriors
2 x 10 Necron Warriors w/ Ghost Arks
8 Immortals
3 Tomb Blades w/ Nebluscopes and Shield Vanes

Canoptek Harvest
5 Wraiths, 2 Whip Coils
3 Scarab Swarms
Tomb Spyder w/ Fabricator Array

Destroyer Cult
Destroyer Lord w/ Voidbringer and Phase Shifter
3 x 3 Destroyers

So all in all, very shooty, with a very solid counter punch/tie-up unit in the Wraiths.  Honestly, the whole deal with the army was that it was hard to kill; and with that in mind I basically just tried to play to the objectives and kill what I could.  I ended up playing against a Marine Demi-Company/1st Company Support list, Iron Hands Mech + Knight; Slaanesh CSM/Daemons summoning bomb; 5 Flyrant Nids and finally 25 Scatterbike/Seer Council/Wraithknight.  All the games were pretty good, although the Slaanesh player got a little contentious at points in our game, and I really didn't have too much fun either (but just for this game).  The toughest game was against the Nids or the Scatter bikes; I probably would have lost the last game had it gone another turn, but my opponent seemed to take a long time to do things and wasted time on the psychic phase that he didn't have.

Overall, a super fun event and a good time as any I've had at a big event down south.  I'm not sure about the future of the event, as the organizer is a little...prickly about some things.  I hope they end up running it again, it was great!

I think we're going to have another large-scale convention coming up as well, during the early summer, so I'm looking forward to participating in that as well.

I've also purchased a new Tau army, as well as a Mechanicum War Convocation and I've bought a bunch more Heresy stuff as well, so I've got a lot on my painting plate.  Hopefully I can work on some of this stuff as the year goes on.

Malifaux

So I've been playing this quite a bit lately.  I love this game - it's simple, but at the same time so complex and variable...I love the options.  This is the skirmish game I've always wanted.  With the addition of a campaign, I can't think of a game of this time I'd rather play.  It's streets ahead of Warmachine and Hordes, as far I'm concerned.  I have almost all the guild models, so that's my main faction, but I've also been playing Collodi a lot, and he's just an awesome dude to use.  So tricky, it's like I'm literally the puppet master of the table.


Personal Stuff

I'm going to school and working at the same time, but I'm really going to try and keep this updated.  It's been a real pain to get my pictures uploaded on this blog, but I'm going to try and make a better point of doing so in the future.  Anyway, for the few people that still might be following, expect more content soon.