Thursday, 19 August 2010

Spoils of War Rectification part 3

Finally I'd like to show some random pictures, share some random thoughts, and make some random excuses.... Sorry for the quality of the photos; by this time I was pretty tired and had the shakes!

During the lunch of the Sunday, if you wanted to have a go at the painting prize (I gracefully declined, as my Tau in its current speed painted state will not win anything), you had to leave your army out for everyone to see and vote.

This is the full might of the guard army I played in Game 1; a fantastic demonstration of force. He later told me that he'd painted another of the guard armies present... Man, he must love painting grunts!

From Spoils of war 2010

I liked this army for it's simplicity and quality of paint job. Everything fitted together, the army as a whole looked quality.

From Spoils of war 2010

One of the two Necron players who entered the painting; it was great to see something other than boltgun metal! Well painted and great use of colours.

From Spoils of war 2010

I almost cried when I saw all the Dark Angels vets painted up in Thousand Sons colours... But then I had to admit that this army is painted to a very high standard, and the robes really fit well.

From Spoils of war 2010

All you need is dedication! Death Korps of Krieg, well painted with lots of mud really adding to this season's 'Siege Look'. Again, everything cam together to make an excellent looking army.

From Spoils of war 2010

The only Eldar to enter; it was nice to see some bright colours well applied. Individually the details were lacking, but standing back, with the high quality of basing, this army was lovely.

From Spoils of war 2010

This is the army belonging to one of the club council members; you know when people say the pictures don't do something justice? This guy took a theme and ran with it throughout the army and it looks fantastic.

From Spoils of war 2010

I don't think I've ever seen a traitor guard army IRL before this, but damn, this one is brilliant; judicious use of spikey bits, great graffiti on the vehicles, and the converted baneblade really show alot of effort and skill.

From Spoils of war 2010

I believe these nids belong to the store owner in Bristol Vanguard's new venue. This is a case of a well thought out colour scheme, applied across alot of bugs really can look good.

From Spoils of war 2010

And finally the actual winner of the painting contest. 1 careful lady owner, huge amounts of detail, real precision painting on all the suits and vehicles. I just wish I'd managed to get better photos!

From Spoils of war 2010

And here are a few amusing snaps...

Through the combined wishing of the Praetorian platoon, the Bainblade started to fly...

From Spoils of war 2010

"Mum? Sorry, can't talk right now, kind of busy..."
From Spoils of war 2010

These were by the same guy who crushed me on game 3, he worked out that each of these fella's cost him well over £10 each... They do look really cool though!

From Spoils of war 2010

Man, sometimes you've just got to brace yourself and charge!

From Spoils of war 2010

And thats all my coverage for Spoils of War 3 (2010). I enjoyed myself immensly!

The extra twists to the missions and army structure added some extra flavour; all of my opponents were great to play against (even the ones who left me wheeping into my army case); and it's definetly something I'll try to attend next year.

Something I noticed that will affect the way I look at the event in the future, that dispite it being a fun and friendly tournament, quite a few people brought full on, hold no punches lists. Fluffy? Maybe, but definetly near the competative edge.

I'm hoping to attend their 'real' tournament next April, so we'll see what changes are brought by a true competative scene.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Spoils of War Rectification part 2e

Ok, home stretch, more 40k played in 2 days than the last 20 months!

Game 5 - 2000pts

Everyone on the team did well last turn, so I chose the same table as last time, it offered good cover and line of site. I sit down, wondering who was going to step up... And its Nids! Standard deplyment, 3 objectives.

Ok, I'm thinking, I reckon I should have enough tools to kill lots of small nids, and make a dent in the bigguns... I was quite impressed just how much bugflesh you can fit into 2000!

Something like...

Trygon Prime
2 Mawlocks
1 Tervigon
20 Gargoyles
10 Genestealers with broodlord
3 Hive Guard
Several Raveners
6 Warriors
1 Venomthrope
A bunch of Termagants to start.
2 Zoanthropes

Impressed... Shocked.... Worried!

I'm only going to show the 1 of 2 pictures I remembered to take of the game:

This is at the end, where he claims 1 objective, and contests the one on the left.

He didn't kill that much, and I killed bugger all. It was largely inifective shooting at everything that had a cover save! Tervigon gives Gargoyles FNP from catalyst (really annoying) combined with 5+ cover from venomthrope (very annoying), they in turn give most of the small bugs cover saves, while the big bugs passed all their 3+/5+(venomthrope).

If I'd remembered to move the crisis squad on the right hand side, then I may have been able to contest there?


Nice guy, obviously knew exactly what to do to make the army stay alive in all the right places.

And finished.

Spoils of War Rectification part 2d

Ok, I've had a weeks break from writing batreps, and its almost 3 weeks since the event, but I think I remember enough to set out the outlines.

Game 4, Sunday morning.

This round we got to choose our tables and opponents. Our eyes met across the crowded room, and I knew that I wanted to play Space marines. Plain, vanilla space marines.

Roll up Jose (sorry to the other guys who's names I can't remember!), 1500 points of Crimson fists. I set up and went first on this killpoints mission...

Ummm... Target number 1 the landradier methinks?! In my first turn I take out the landraider and rhino. Potshots all round after that, failling to do much of any significance.
His turn 1, struggles to move the termies forward as fast as possible, fluffs the run roll. Moves the vinidicator forward towards the my mobile wing, shot scatters off (phew!) He takes out out a piranha, even with the disruption pods.
My next turn. Target number 1 eliminated, target number 2 (*twitch* thunderhammer stormshield termies) eliminated, only remaining member the chaplain... In other news, I blow his rhino on the left, and skoot the remaining piranha for a side melta shot, detroying it.
This is the beginning of his turn 2:

Does well to land the pod very close, and out jumps your friendly neighborhood Dread, who fails to hit anything. Walking dread takes out the final piranha, and he proceeds to land a pie plate on my forward kroot squad from the deathwind launcher on the pod... Ouch!

I think he calls quits on turn 4 after I remove his near tac squad, and immobilise and disarm his drop dread. I win 7-1!

He didn't have a great dice game, but even so, this flavour of Tau just eats up that kind of army!

Nice guy, hard matchup for him.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The thought process of choosing an army... GrimDark

I love the idea of doing a Night Lord army, the colours, the fluff, the gameplay... I've delved further into my 'supplies' and dug out 9 CSM raptors to either mix in as ASM or make the Vanguard squad.

I'm facing a bit of anguish though.

I know that the future is Grimdark, I know that in the 40k universe everyones a bit depressed, as are the colours. I know that I can produce (at least at current skill levels) a reasonable dirty/brooding selection of army colours.

But is another dark army the way I want to go?

Eldar: Dark reds, greys and bone
Dark Angels: Bone, rich dark green, black with reds
Tau: Dark grey and purple.

With a Sons of Malice colour scheme, I can mix and match models across Codices a bit better, chaos bits will blend in better, and it will stand out, hopefully in an impressive way rather than a sore thumb.

Any idea's readers?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The thought process of choosing an army.,,

As you may have noticed, I attended a campaign/tournament weekend a few weeks ago - enjoyed it immensly, even though I got a measly 2-0-3 (in the British system).

I realised that I have to work hard to get anywhere with all of my armies!

  • Dark Angels /Deathwing: outdated codex, 1/5 points disadvantage against all of the 'modern' codices. Still the coolest chapter. And I'm stubborn enough to stick with the 'proper' rules.

  • Eldar: Still strongish, but you have to think. Now I don't have anything against thinking per se, but sometimes you want to sit back and kick ass - you know?

  • Tau: I can see why they're good, and with some work/practice/a few more suits I can see it becoming my best army. But again, takes alot of skill to know how, where, and when to do everything. I'm not there yet.

  • Orks and IG - neither are in a playable state and to be honest I can't afford the hardware* to make either feasable any time soon.

So, whats 'good' right now? What can I paint that will be effective, be slightly unusual, and come out of my embarrasingly large selection of boxes and bits?


I have a bajillion of them (ok a few thousand points). I have 20+ jumpers, dozens of tacticals, bikes, and unbranded** terminators, all sitting in boxes, all wanting purpose. Now I was intending them to be Dark Angels, but having obtained a few battleforces worth of robed guys (best deal EVAR - £70+ worth of models for what, £40?), I can use the excess none robe grunts.

Then I came across the Generi-Marines. I wish I could remember which blog has them, but the excellent idea is to have a space marine army that can be turned into any SM codex (found it - For the Throne).

Choo choo!

Whats that, is that the Band Wagon I hear approaching?

Why yes, I have marines, I love the new wolves and bloody angel codices, and I lament the current state of the Dark Angels (they deserve capitalisation) but refuse to use them as any of the lesser chaptors***.

So, what chaptor/legion can I use? While the idea of grey marines is excellent, I've had to paint way too much of it on the Tau to face doing it on another army.

  • Sons of malice/malaal. I love the fluff/lack thereof. I love the highly tenuous links to Malaal, the black sheep of the Chaos family. Black and white isn't too hard to paint. I can use everything as if they're still loyal/just gone bad.

                        • Night Lords. Ok, so I've just read Lord of the Night, but I liked them before, honest? They were the first chapter to use large scale jump packs, they work through creating fear and terror throughout the populace, they have friggin lightning flickering on their armour! They also (at least in some of the fluff) are averse to Choas. Given that the majority of the stuff I have is 'non-evil' I could call it Heresy age (Mark VII armour), mix in a few chaosy bits for the fear factor. Ah, the painting. I've done half a test mini, and the hard part will be adding some lightning that doesn't look like it was done at 4am by a caffeine addict. And making it look 'midnight blue'. And adding brass/brinze that matches. Ummm... It's nice that I'll have 2 green armies (gobbo's and DA), 1 red army(Eldar), 1 blue army (NL)? Vague batman correlations FTW!

                        • Pre-heresy Emperor's Children. Love the idea, have enough fluffy bits to make a couple of squads, but no more. By fluffy bits I mean beaky helmets and aquilla breast plates. I'm not usually a fluff monster, but I'd like to get it right. Maybe a killteam at a later date then.

                        • Homebru. All of the colours are taken, and I'd feel the need to create a small backround piece, names, fluff etc etc.

                        • Codex. I tried painting blood angels, and found that I just can't get a bright, true red. Either it goes orange or too grimdark - and that base is already covered by my eldar. I like the imagery of the space wolves, but it wouldn't look very wolfy without all the bits.

                        • Rainbow Warriors. Naa - just kidding. But come on, how many Rainbow marine armies have you seen?

                        • Deathwatch. Oooh... Now this is an interesting. Black, with just the shoulder pads in the chapter colours. Cool fluff, cool imagery (I like me some imagery). Vague possibility of a codex sometime in the next 5 years. Unfortunatly not known for hanging around in groups of more than 10. And not an army I can think would bend into the BA codex very eaily. Plus I was looking at the kit that GW makes (granted - it makes them look 'proper') and that would cost £30 per squad... No thanks. Again, something I'd love to do for a kill team.
                        Hmmm, I had talked myself into Night Lords, but to be honest writing all this down has added a few possibilities that I hadn't considered. Bah! Decisions decisions.... None Chaosy Night Lords it is then. No, Sons of Malaal! No, Night.... Oh crap. Two Face coin flip?

                        Dominus Nox!

                        * 6 inch thick armour, unfeasably large guns, tracks... Etc etc etc.

                        ** Without any Deathwing symbology. Yes, I have a bunch of them sitting waiting to be stripped and repainted. Ah, Ebay, my friend.

                        *** It's a 3rd ed rule called Stubborn, at least half of DA players have it.

                        Friday, 6 August 2010

                        Spoils of War Rectification part 2c

                        A brief break followed game two where Team Epsilon (go the good guys!) consolled each other and apparently did quite well! Apart from me that is. Boo.

                        Game 3, I got to choose the table - I thought the ice world look was cool, some cover, plenty of shooty space. I sat down and a nice canadian chap joined me. From team Aquilla (Imperial Guard).

                        I chose normal deployment, he chose kill points. Cool I thought, we both suffer killpoint hemorraging right?

                        At 2000 points, he had 7 Chimeras, 2 LR battletanks, 9 Sentinels, a vendetta, and a boss squad with psycher and orbital barrage calling guy.

                        I'm not going to go into detail with this one. Because it hurts.

                        1) I made the mistake (not learned from game 1 against guard) that the trick is to take the fight to them. They were all outside of the transports, no cover, and I had the firewarriors and kroot to do a half decent amount of damage. I didn't do this of course.

                        2) I couldn't do diddly.
                        I miss.
                        I fail to wound.
                        I can't make a coversave or disruption pod save. I tried to buy new dice, but nobody would sell me any!

                        This is the second to last turn.

                        I shot some stuff, charged in with the kroot in an attempt to maybe do something. Lost 7 to 1 I think.

                        He was a great oponent, had a great attitude, the army had some great oldskool guard and he had obviously lavished some care.

                        We both agreed after the second turn that the dice gods were firmly on his side.

                        It was just one of those games, y'know?

                        Lesson learned - Guard are juicy and fragile, go beat them.

                        Thursday, 5 August 2010

                        Spoils of War Rectification part 2b

                        Ok, after lunch* we had game two, 1500 points.

                        In the previous round team Epsilon (go the good guys!) didn't do that well, I headed towards a decent looking table with plenty of good lanes of fire while providing plenty of cover for jump-shoot-jump antics. It was an intact cityscape**.

                        His army was fairly hard, but I figured I could give it a good run:

                        Khorne Prince with wings
                        3x8 Khorne Bezerkers plus rhino's (havoc launchers)
                        2x2 Obliterators
                        And I think a 3 man terminator squad, but I'm not sure.

                        He chose table quarter deployment, I chose 3 objectives (the badly painted white and silver dudes in this game). I deployed standard bubblewrap, he hid everything where he could.

                        I think I went first, popped one rhino (the bezerkers hid) and imobilised another. And this is where the realisation dawned that I'd probably lose this game. The buildings count as vehicles, armour 12, with access points, shooting points and on half of them, roof hatches. I now hate buildings.
                        He'd placed to oblits on a building in his back corner, and when I tried to shoot them, I couldn't. Because they're in a building/vehicle. I could, and did blow up the building, but it took alot of shots which should have been shooting closer scary stuff. See the ruin in the first picture.

                        End of my turn 1 I think.

                        He jumped his scary prince a building closer, took some pot shots, killed a few kroot. Drove the rhino through the gap (see next picture). Hid the disembarked Bezerkers in a building.

                        Do I bother to shoot the buildings and try to get out the bezerkers, or shoot at the stuff I can see? That was a decision I had to make, and he took advantage of.

                        I blocked the Rhino scooting close with the piranhas (hate the model, love the function!) and blew it up. Couldn't get anything in to shoot the prince, and failed to appreciate the function of Wings.

                        End of my second turn I think.

                        Next turn he moves the prince into the convenient gap I left him behind the kroot and in front of the broadsides. Crap. He kills the piranhas, plus assorted shooting. To be honest on this board the obliterators didn't seem to do much. They were annoying, difficult to kill, and killed some stuff, but they're not great. He charges the Prince into the afformentioned broadsides and wipes them out in a roll. Never mind eh? Lesson learned. He also manages to charge one of the kroot squads with the closest squad, leaving one alive (he runs, and kills a bezerker shooting over his shoulder, neat!)

                        Turn 3 or 4?

                        The rest was a bit of a blur, I killed the deamon prince in one turn of shooting with whatever I had, moved the piranha drones for some blocking, didn't really manage much.

                        Basically at the call of time (turn 5 I think) he claimed two objectives with the bezerker squad at the back, stretched. I contest the closest one. I was so busy playing keep away that I forgot I had some speed to contest his objective, but it probably wouldn't have helped much.

                        He won, got a +1 on the special table condition, I got 0.

                        Nice guy, used the table well to his advantage. I was more annoyed with the table than him.

                        Don't play with buildings when you're a shooting army.
                        Remember your mobility
                        Things with wings can fly

                        * The catering and support people deserve more of a mention that a page note. The brownies were sooooooo good.

                        ** Oh how I wish I paid more attention in class.

                        Monday, 2 August 2010

                        Spoils of War Rectification part 2a

                        Right - the painful part. I didn't do quite as well as I'd hoped using:
                        Shas'o MP PR
                        2X2 Fireknives
                        2 Deathrains
                        3 Stealthsuits
                        2x 6 Firewarriors
                        2 x10 Kroot + 4 hounds
                        2 x 6 Pathfinders w Devilfish
                        2 melta Piranhas
                        3 Broadsides
                        2 Hammerheads
                        Drones smattered in logical places

                        Broadly based on the Stelek bubblewrap hybrid theory, this was everything I could scrape together or kitbash to make up 2000.

                        Game 1: 1000 Vs Imperial Guard
                        Right, first game was my choice of player (I didn't see the army before hand... May have chosen differently?). He chose standard deployment and I chose D3+2 objective mission.

                        Deployment - green things are objectives.

                        His army was pretty much all infantry platoons with as many heavy bolters and lascannons as he could squeeze in. Two autocannon sentinels went into reserve. Que the start of theme for the weekend, I think I killed a sentinel and a 10 man squad. 5 turns, thats it. He knocked out the pathfinders early on. I hugged cover and took as many potshots as I could.

                        About turn 4. Lone remianing Deathrain with flamer trying his luck.

                        In the end, 6 firewarriors in an imobilised devilfish sat on the objective at the back right, an outflanking kroot squad claimed the objective left center, suits contested his left objective, and a weaponless piranha contested his center. This was at the end of turn 5, and a 3+ would have seen me knocked off the two contested objectives. He rolls... It's cocked! He rolls again... It's a 1.

                        Fa'MaGed'on 4 Points.

                        I was relieved; he was a good sport, but the frustration of knowing he'd have won with another turn was clear!

                        Lesson 1, unlearned: when you can see 100 near naked humans and you're mostly well protected, get up close and kick him.

                        Lesson 2, disruption pods are priceless.

                        Spoils of War Rectification part 1

                        Wow, what a weekend. 54 players, 6 teams, 26 tables, 5 games, 17 hours.

                        This was my first event of any sort, and in a way I'm happy that it was a slightly laid back campaign style tournament.

                        The format was slightly escalation with 5 games: 1000pt (no heavy support or special characters, max of 3 fast/ellite total), 2 x 1500pt, 2 x 2000pt (1 forgeworld 'extra' or an extra HS/E/FA slot).

                        Yes, so I may have lost out a little bit with these tweaks, but largely it didn't make a huge impact. So I could have done with a pie plate in game 1, and an extra set of suits in game 5, but in the end neither would have made a huge difference, I plain didn't own the extra models, and the other guy had exactly the same advantages/disadvantages.

                        Players were arranged into teams:

                        Team Primus – Space Marines of all loyal chapters.
                        Team Aquila – Imperial Guard, Witch Hunters and Daemon Hunters.
                        Team Chaotica – Chaos Space Marines, Daemons and Traitor Guard.
                        Team Epsilon – Tau and Eldar.
                        Team Reavers – Dark Eldar, Necrons and Tyranids.
                        Team Waaargh! – Orks.

                        I loved this idea - for the most part because it prevented mirror matches, and also it had a cool effect on table/opponent choice...

                        For each round, the winning team from the previous round (it was random in the first) chose their tables. Then the team with the next highest points, etc. When all the tables had one person on it, the subsequent players filled up the opponent lots. The first player to a table chose deployment type, the second player chose mission, both out of the main rulebook.
                        Then play continued normally.

                        I like this in principle. In actuallity, it screwed me on a couple of games - more to come later.

                        Finally teams were given small bonus cards based on random/wins from previous round. These were fairly small effects, a sniper shot, minefield, fearless troop, that sort of thing. In all 5 of my games, this did exactly nothing. I know that some of my teammates had great success with outflanking Wraithguard in a serpent, or redeplying an opponents unit to spin a tank 180 for rear shots. Next, a very brief run down of my games (with a few pics)...