Thursday, July 30, 2009

2nd Round 'Ard boyz Scenarios Are Up

So the new 'Ard Boyz scenarios are posted up on the GW shop. I'm almost glad I'm not going. The missions sound fun... but I'm not sure I'd want to play them in a tourny.

Summed up they are:
1. Annihilation where troops are 3 KP, FA 2, Heavy 2, Elite 2, HQs 1, Long Table Edge
2. Seize Ground w/ 6 objectives, but one objective is randomly 'activated' on turn 2, 4, and 6, Dawn of War
3. Capture and Control but there is only a center objective, then 'holding' table quarters by having more scoring units than your opponent. Spearhead

So, meh, I'm not sure what does well here. Likely your best bet is to just take a army that can wipe out other lists. It seems most games last time kinda came down to that in round 1. If you can wipe the other guy out, it doesn't matter if you only had one objective...

Still, if you wanted to build a list that was geared for these missions I'd say you want to have lots of troops, despite the first mission, if they are really survivable. Try to not have them die game one and swamp the guy the other missions.

Here's a fictitious BT list (I wouldn't have enough LR but this is just a mental exercise anyway).
2500 Templar
HQ: Emperor's Champ, AACNMTO
HQ: Marshal, Lightening Claws, Iron Halo, Terminator Honors
Troop: 7 Marines, PF/Melta, 7 Neophytes, Land Raider Crusader w Smoke
Troop: 7 Marines, PF/Melta, 7 Neophytes, Land Raider Crusader w Smoke
Troop: 8 Marines, PF/Melta, 7 Neophytes, Land Raider Crusader w Smoke
Troop: 5 Marines
Troop: 5 Marines
Fast: 2 MM LandSpeeders
Fast: 2 MM LandSpeeders
Heavy: LR, EA, Smoke
Heavy: LR, EA, Smoke

Here I have 5 troop choices all in Land raider variants. They are hard to pop, and the three advancing units have large squads which are still no easy thing to kill. The two small units sit back in the regular land raiders to make them scoring. You've got some speeders for anti tank as well as the regular LR to lay down some firepower. It'll certainly fall appart against some lists, but I'm not sure how many Tau and DE lance spams moved on to round 2... I'm guessing not many.

Speaking of Tau, here's a list I'd try use to the same effect.
HQ: Shas'El, Missile, Plasma, HWMT
HQ: Shas'El, Missile, Plasma, HWMT
Elite: Xv8 Crisis x 3, Missile, Plasma, HWMT
Elite: Xv8 Crisis x 3, Missile, Plasma, HWMT
Troop: Firewarrior x 6, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Troop: Firewarrior x 6, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Troop: Firewarrior x 6, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Troop: Firewarrior x 6, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Troop: Firewarrior x 6, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Troop: Firewarrior x 6
Fast: Pathfinders x 8, Devilfish, DP, Flecchete, TA, HWMT, SMS
Fast: Piranha x 2 TA, Fusion, 1 Target Lock
Fast: Piranha x 2 TA, Fusion, 1 Target Lock
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, BC, MT
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, BC, MT
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, BC, MT

So it looks kill point heavy but really you just keep your Devilfish as far away from the guns as possible. They aren't so easy to kill at range, and they still put out a good number of shots. You've got a good clip of crisis to annoy/kill your enemy and use up those pathfinder markerlights, plenty of anti tank between the Piranha and Railheads, and of course the Railheads can serve as anti horde as well.

Another list I couldn't field, but fun to think about all the same!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Terrain

So for quite awhile now I've been wanting to make a themed board. Currently for our games we have a mix and match selection of terrain, and a number of the guys have a Zuzzy mat (all in different phases of painting). So the boards are functional, but there's nothing awesome going on with them.

We've all been talking about stepping up our terrain and working on some boards. I imagine in the next few months we'll get a pretty good run at new stuff built.

I started working on mine on Sunday. I've wanted to do a 'Snow World' board for quite awhile and have been thinking about how to do it. I've decided rather than using foam to create the base I'll also give the zuzzy mat a shot and see if I can paint it in such a way that it looks like a snow field.

For terrain I was thinking it would be cool to have it look like a Tau Resource Outpost that has been abandoned/attacked. I am thinking of littering pieces of PVC around to serve as 'oil pipes' or some other liquid extraction that would be going on this world. I'd like to do a better forrest than the train set trees I've been using, and I'd love to play with some Water Effects and make some frozen lakes.

So I pulled out some bottles and bits and got to putting something together. I new that one of the centerpieces would be the main Tau Pump Facility.

Here you can see the first mock up. I've cut the ends of the PVC pipe and twisted them up to make them look like they've been blown up/sabotaged. I'm just putting everything on a foam board base, and I'm hopint it doesn't flex to much when I actually flock it. At this point I'm looking at it not sure if this is going to work out so well. So I hit it with primer.Hey, finally something to use that cheap shit primer on and it worked ok. Even if it did splatter a little it only added some texture and that helps! It's looking more like a building and a little less like a pile of junk...
Here's where I ended up with this piece on Sunday. I pulled the pipe and hit it with some metal spray I had from another project from yesteryear. I pulled out my airbrush and hit the edges of the building with a grey and a little more white. I didn't want to get more painting done, but I added a little electrical tape just to give it some distinction. While it isn't perfect it certainly made the building almost instantly look more Tau-like. I'll need to do some painting (details like the antenna and the door, maybe rust on the pipes, certainly battle damage/burns) and of course the flocking. I figure the snow will hide details like the words on the pipes. However I don't want to do the basing until after I paint the mat so I can see how to best make them look alike.

So I had some 'left over' bits so I figured I try to make a few smaller pieces. Here's what I ended up with at the end of the day.
I'll go through my bits box and look for other things I can add to the buildings, but even as they are right now they are functional for terrain.

I ordered the zuzy mat today, but that is going to take 2-3 weeks to get here so this project will probably be slow going until it arrives.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tau: Report Card for 7/27

Like I did with my Templar I'm going to take a look at how each unit in the Tau army performed on Saturday's engagement and see what I can tune up for next time.
HQ/Crisis Suits
Game 1 Shot rhinos up, shot marines up
Game 2 Killed defcoptas, popped a trukk, put a few wounds on Nob bikers
Game 3 Wounded Prince, shot up noise marines, 3 died
Overall Grade A-
So I lumped both groups and the HQ together because they all kind of worked the same way. I think I only lost 3 guys in game 3, the rest of the time JSJ did the trick to keep them safe. This was the first time I went exclusively Missile/Plasma and while the cost is a little high for only BS3 with the pathfinder support they did most everything I needed. I think the only thing I might change is bumping another HQ in the list so that there is a defacto BS4 in each squad if pathfinders are unavailable for assistance.
Kroot & Hounds
Game 1: Outflanked and knocked out marine squad from rhino, held objective
Game 2: Outflanked and traded shots with trukk boyz, contested objective
Game 3: Outflanked and shot a noise marine or two, traded shots (ineffectively) with oblits, but past morale checks
Overall Grade: B
For their price kroot and hounds are excellent. I don't think I've ever had them be useful against chaos unfortunately. They can't stand up to any kind of assault with any chaos trooper, and their shooting is ineffective against any tough thing chaos have (princes, oblits, plague marines). I was fortunate to have them hold up against the oblit firepower, but the big squad was nice. I think I need to squeeze in a second.

Game 1: Stayed in Devilfish the whole time
Game 2: Deployed to shoot Nob bikerss (rather ineffectively), one group got shot and routed of the table, the other mounted up where it remained until the end of turn 5 to deploy out to an objective
Game 3: Stayed in Devilfish the whole time (finally one was popped out on the last turn)
Overall Grade: D
270 points, 15% of my army, committed to killing 0 units. This is why people don't take them but in the minimum squads. I should simply cut these squads down and use them for either more crisis suits or more Kroot. FWs are basically only here to make Devilfish 'scoring units.'

Game 1: Popped a Landraider, Popped a gun-less vindicator
Game 2: Killed one nob biker, zoomed around, contested an objective
Game 3: Killed a Vindicator, died, and the drone died (meaning 2 kp)
Overall Grade: B
They did their job game one doing an excellent job of killing tanks. Game two was a lot trickier as they were primarily deployed to try to kill a nob biker or two and screen. The fact that they didn't die and were able to move off to contest is just a big bonus. Game 3 is a mixed bag. They absorbed some firepower and managed to hang on long enough to kill off a vindicator, but in the end gave up the two kill points for themselves and the drones. This is the crappiest part of the piranha units, but in the end it seemed to work out ok. I'm not sure the Target lock is worth it since usually they are going after something I REALLY want dead. I guess if they were in between two rhinos it might be worth it, so I'll leave it unless I really need the 5 points.

Game 1: Ok markerlight hits, survived
Game 2: Ok markerlight hits, survived
Game 3: Ok markerlight hits, survived
Overall Grade: B-
So it looks underwhelming and at face value they were. Between 2 x 5 men pathfinder squads they seemed to average about 4 markerlight hits a turn. BUT those markerlight hits were always put to good use and really made my shooting much much more effective. The fact that they all lived every game is also amazing, but all three armies didn't have an abundance of firepower so that maybe shouldn't be so surprising. This is the first time I have run two small squads and I must say I like it better than the one large squad. I'll probably think about bumping these to 6 man squads just to try to get the avg hits per squad to 3.

Game 1: Shot marines, 'held' objective (with FWs)
Game 2: Shot orks, 1 contested objective, 1 'held' objective (with FWs)
Game 3: Finished off Demon prince, shot marines
Overall grade: A
So this was the first time in forever I ran the heavy Warfish option and I really do like it. The extra firepower isn't crushing, but it is that extra bit to help kill that extra two marines, or 1 more wound on the prince. The survivability is nice and even thought they weren't the dedicated transports for the FWs it seemed to work out ok (dawn of war was a little rough). The Flechette dischargers did not get used, but had we continued in Game 2 one would have HAD to be assaulted by a group of orks to have any chance of getting that objective so it probably would have helped there. I'm not sure if I could squeeze another DF in this list, but it is something I'd think about at 2k.

Game 1: Killed a LRC, Razorback, Rhino, Survived (minus one railgun)
Game 2: Killed Two Battlewagons, Pie plated a bunch of boys, Survived
Game 3: Killed a Defiler and Rhino, Survived
Overall Grade: A
They killed armor, proved they could kill hordes, and lived. Their shooting was actually hit and miss, but more of the former than the later.

Game 1: Killed Rhino, Killed a handful of termies, Survived
Game 2: Immobilized a Battlewagon, Killed 2x killa kans, Survived
Game 3: Stunned rhinos? Died to Aspiring Champ
Overall Grade: B
They did fine really, but game 3 they were asleep at the wheel. I was trying to shoot at oblits to insta kill them but with cover and no pathfinder support they would have been better off shooting at armor. They lived 2 out of 3 games, so I can't really complain.

Overall the army did well. I had two Capture and Control missions and I was very worried about only having 3 troop choices, but in the end that was fine. I think that I may try to get a fourth troop choice in there in the future, maybe something like the list below.

Shas'Ui- Missile/Plasma, HWMT
Shas'Ui- Missile/Plasma, HWMT
2x Crisis- Missile/Plasma, HWMT
2x Crisis- Missile/Plasma, HWMT
6x Firewarriors
6x Firewarriors
10x Kroot w/ 7x Kroot Hounds
10x Kroot w/ 7x Kroot Hounds
6x Pathfinders, Devilfish, MT, TA, SMS, DP, Flecchette
6x Pathfinders, Devilfish, MT, TA, SMS, DP, Flecchette
2x Piranha Fusion, TA, 1x Target Lock
Hammerhead, Railgun, BC, DP, MT
Hammerhead, Railgun, BC, DP, MT
2x Broadsides, A.S.S., 1 Team leader w/ Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones, Target Lock, BK

I'd need to pick up 6 more hounds and craft up two more pathfinders but that seems easy at this point. For 2k I could just add in 5 of my stealth units that are shelved just to put them in the mix.

One thing for sure is I actually look forward to playing some more games with Tau!

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Evening Of Bolter Fire (long post)

So Liam's 40k night Sat was a blast and came together really well. I think everyone had fun and got at least two games, while a few of us stuck around for a third. All told seven people in attendance with one late comer to make the second round. With the way the games ended it worked out well with not much down time between games or people sitting out.

Here is my final Tau force that showed up Sat. The kroot hounds (as predicted) did not get finished, and when I sat down to make the army in Army Builder I realized I had made some noob mistakes with my Crisis suits so the revised army is below.
HQ: Shas'El, Missile/Plasma, HWMT
Elite: 2 x Crisis, Missile/Plasa, HWMT
Elite: 3 x Crisis, Missile/Plasa, HWMT
Troop: 11 Firewarriors, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 11 Firewarriors, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 10 Kroot, 8 hounds
Fast: 2 x Piranha w/ Target Arrays, Fusion Blaster, 1 Target Lock
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, Disruption Pods, Smart Missile System, Flecchette Dischargers, Target Array, Multitracker
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, Disruption Pods, Smart Missile System, Flecchette Dischargers, Target Array, Multitracker
Heavy: 2x Broadsides, A.S.S., 1 Team Leader w/ Drone Controller, Target Lock, Bonding Knife, 2x Shield Drones
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, Disruption Pods, Multitracker, Burst Cannons
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, Disruption Pods, Multitracker, Burst Cannons

As always I'll give some synopsis of the games and what the opponents list looked like. My memory is not the greatest, so this lists and reports are invariably inaccurate, but it should be close enough to get the idea (feel free to update me with any corrections you want to see made).

Game 1: John B.'s Marines, Capture and Control (3 Objectives), Long table edge
This is my first game against John B. who has a really nicely painted Salamander army, but no Vulcan in this list so they were running as standard marines.
HQ: Captain, Terminator Armor
Elite: 7 Terminators all Thunder Hammer & Storm Shields, Land Raider Crusader
Troop: 10 marines, Multimelta, Flamer, Rhino
Troop: 10 marines, Plasma, Melta, Rhino
Troop: 6 marines, Razorback, Twin Las
Troop: 6 Scouts, 3 sniper rifles, Heavy bolter
Heavy: Vindicator
Heavy: Land Raider

So it was a heavy mech marine list, which is probably just what Tau want to line up against. I went first and the shooting went well.
I think in turn 1 I popped his LRC and stunned his vindicator, had his razorback shaken, and also popped one Las off his LR. His return fire popped a railgun off a hammerhead, and slogging termies and rhinos moved forward.

Turn 2 I popped his LR and popped the gun on the Vindi, and started trying to whittle down on his slogging termies.
John moving his marines bottom of turn 2.
From then on it was uphill for John. The kroot did come on to start shooting marines and eventually move there way over to an objective, and he made a great attempt to hold on to two objectives. I had whittled his terminators down to just his captain, but the captain was able to close in on a crisis squad and wipe them in one turn (and took a railgun in the face the next turn). In the end my kroot managed to hold an objective, and I think we called it at the bottom of 6 since there was not much left he could do with his sniper and wounded rhino, and I had scoring guys that could close on the other objectives.

Never mind the two kroot in the middle, they are casualties.

Game 2: John S's Orks, Capture and Control (5 objectives), Dawn of War
I asked to play John because while I play orks, I've never played against the new orks. Plus he had a nice nob biker squad w/ speed freaks build and I wanted to see how I could do against them.

HQ: Warboss on bike, PK
HQ: Big Mek, Kustom Force Field
Elite: 5 burna Boyz, 1 Mek w/ Kustom Mega Blasta
Troop: 6 Nob bikers, all different wargear configs, Cybork, 1 PK, Painboy
Troop: 11 boys, big shoota, 1 nob PK/bosspole, Trukk
Troop: 11 boys, big shoota, 1 nob PK/ bosspole, Trukk
Troop: 11 boys, big shoota, 1 nob PK/bosspole, Trukk
Troop: 18 boys, big shoota, 1 nob PK/bosspole
Fast: Deffcopta, Twin Linked Rokkits
Fast: Deffcopta, Twin Linked Rokkits
Heavy: Battlewagin, Grot riggers, 2 Big shootas, Zzap, Extra Armor (for Burnas)
Heavy: Battlewagin, Grot riggers, 2 Big shootas, Zzap, Extra Armor (for KFF and 19 man squad)
Heavy: 2x Killa Kans, rokkits

John was going first so he set up his nob bikers and warboss pretty much in the middle of the table. I chose to leave everything to come in turn 1 and outflank with the kroot.
Turn 1 he blasts up the nob bikers to be pretty square in the middle of what would be my deployment zone so they get their 3+ cover save. Everything else comes on the board.
I roll in with just about everything I can hoping to shoot at his nob bikers. I've got my piranha right in front, so if they live I'm hoping they take the brunt of the assault. He could make it to crisis/HQ easy, but everything else requires some terrain checks. I lay in with everything, but some failed short range night fighting hurts and I kill outright only 1 and wound 3-4 others. A nice attempt but not enough for the LD check I was hoping to get.

At this point I say that I think I've lost. He's on me with the nob bikers and he's got like 4 other troop choices to sit on objectives. Fast forward to after the game: John tells/reminds me its really annoying when people say this 'oh i lost now' stuff, especially because there is no given in 40k and he is absolutely right. It's a horrible bad habit and bad game etiquette. I'm going to work on keeping those thoughts to myself (unless I'm playing Anthony were we both flog ourselves all game) and just pull through the battles.

Now rewind back to the game and John decides to take some terrain checks and wedge his bikers between my crisis and piranha so he can work on my FWs and eliminate one of my few precious troops. He figures to soften them up with shooting, then charge them, the crisis and the Firewarriors. The problem is he shoots the hell out of the Firewarriors and they route right of the board and now he can't assault. I don't know how many times this has happened to my orks, where some shooting ends up ruining assault where orks would be well better served.

Now I unload again and am able to kill off all the nobz and finish the Warboss again with a railgun to the face.

The rest of the game can basically be summed up by some things I had read about on forums but now really got to see unwind on the table.
1) Trukks of boyz are great at assault, but lousy at holding objectives
2) Hammerhead subunition shots (large blast) are indeed great at killing hoards (when they hit).
3) Tau can really put the hurt on most mech armies. Railguns that can get through the armor of ork vehicles (and KFF) are getting +2 on the damage table (open topped and AP1).

By the time we called the game (at end of 5 I think) I had kroot and piranha contesting one objective with one of his trukk squads, an empty devilfish contesting another squad from a now dead trukk, and fiewarriors screened by a devilfish claiming one objective. Objective wise it close, but I've got a lot of other firepower running around (crisis, Hammerheads, broadsides) and he doesn't have a whole lot left to fight back. It was well fought, and great for both of us to try out some new strategies.

Game 3: Dave's Chaos, Annihilation, Long table edge

HQ: Demon Prince, Lash
HQ: Chaos Lord
Troop: Khrone in Rhino (with Lord)
Troop: Noise Marines in Rhino, Aspiring Champ
Troop: Noise Marines in Rhino, Aspiring Champ
Troop: Marines with Lascannon
Heavy: Defiler
Heavy: Vindicator, demonic possession
Heavy: 3 x Oblits

We lined up across from each other and I was going first.
Turn 1 I decided to ignore the defiler which we said would be screened from the rhinos and focus more on his rhinos of troops. I ended up immobilizing his krone rhino, stunning one noise marine's rhino, popping the other rhino with noise marines, and immobilizing his vindi.
His noise marines blown out of the rhino shot and popped a piranha (which made the gun drones deploy), and I think his defiler scatters. His prince comes out but rolls double 6s to fail his lash.

Turn 2 my kroot come on and start shooting at some noise marines assisted by Crisis and pathfinders. They kill them down to the Aspiring champ. The remaining piranha blows the gun off the vindi. The crisis w/ HQ shoot the prince and the two devilfish assist to kill him. I think I pop his khrone's rhino also this turn.

His remaining noise marine rhino moves forward and smokes. His slogging champ goes and kills the drones for an easy KP. The khrone start slogging for the piranha which he also shot and immobilized. His defiler kills my HQ/Crisis team and a pathfinder (poor cover saves on my part).

Turn 3 I can't get through his smoked rhino, I shoot the big gun off his defiler, and the piranha pops the vindi. The remaining crisis team kill his slogging aspiring champ. The kroot for the rest of the game shoot at oblits but never wound them.
His remaining noise marines in rhino moves forward and they get out to shoot at the broadsides and kill one shield drone. His khrone come up and pop the immobilized piranha. The defiler starts charging forward.

Turn 4 I try to unload on his noise marines but fail to kill more than 2-3. I pop the defiler.
In turn he charges the broadsides and the Aspiring champ is able to fist them all to death by himself. His oblits change targets to the kroot in a building but kill not enough for a morale check.

Turn 5 I unload again on the noise marines and this time wipe them out. His rhino is dancing around my backfield but I can't kill it.
His oblits again kill kroot and they pass a morale check.

Turn 6 and I still can't kill that rhino, the rest of the shooting is ineffective. His oblits shoot the kroot who again pass a morale check. I think he gets a good las cannon (finally) and pops a devilfish. Game ends (or we call it, can't remember).

In the end I've killed: Defiler, Vindicator, Noise Marines, Noise Marines, Rhino, Rhino, Demon Prince= 7 Kp
He's killed: Broadsides, Piranha, Gun Drones, Devilfish, Crisis, HQ= 6 kp

All the games were fun and it was a late night (fun to drive home exhausted at 2 am). I'll give another Report Card for my Tau sometime later to look at how each unit and the army performed overall.

Here are some other pics from the night. Most of them are from earlier and then I just sort of forgot about pictures (as is typical).
Nob bikers prepare to charge into eldar, but lookout for that seer council on jetbikes!

Most of John S's orks awaiting combat.
Anthony's marines against Liam's Chaos
Dave's Chaos against Liam's Sisters
John B's marines against Anthony's marines

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick updates

So my last bits came yesterday and I got them chopped, magnetized, and primered. I also finished the basing for the pathfinders. Actually they could use a little more touch up on the snow, but that will wait until after Sat. I still need to finish the commander, and have a boatload of little bits to try to get painted. Of course the Kroot hounds are just going to go primered at this point.

My Raphael brushes showed up this morning. I don't know that I've ever been so excited of brushes. Then again my memory is poor...

A few refinements to the list:
HQ: Shas'El, Plasma, Missile, HWMT
Elite: 2x Crisis Missile, Plasma, TA, HWMT
Elite: 3x Crisis Missile, Plasma, TA, HWMT
Troop: 9 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 9 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 10 Kroot, 8 Kroot Hound
Fast: 2x Pirahna, TA, Fusion
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Heavy: 2xBroadsides, ASS, Drone Controller, TeamLeader, Target Lock, 2x Shield Drones
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC

Really minor changes overall. I cut one HQ to just be another elite crisis. I also took off the target array from the HQ, meaning he is only BS 4. Normally I run them solo, so having the BS5 is very nice. But right now I think he is going to be running with the squad, and they are going to try to be using markerlights more often than not. Since markerlights can only raise BS to 5 it would be kind of wasted.

Popped a FW in each squad.
Gave Target lock to the Piranha on the odd chance they can shoot at two tanks.
Gave Target lock to the team leader Broadside so they can split their fire when desired.

Small changes, not sure how much more will get tweaked before Sat. Likely not much, I just need to get through some more of this painting!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A god damned greek tragety

My iPhone lept to it's death from my gym locker this morning.

I'm not going to claim to be great with technology, but I have a good understanding of it, and I know my limitations. I've also been a PC guy my whole life. I never even bought a iPod, but the job I've worked the lat 3 years is fairly Apple centric so now for work that's pretty much all I use.

I've come to enjoy using the Apple stuff, but for some reason I keep destroying or losing Apple products; something that is wholly unlike anything I've done before this journey to enlightenment. In addition to the death of this iPhone I've lost another (think it ended up in a ToGos waste bin), and I've dropped a MacBook Pro on the cement ending it's career. I don't know why but I see to be still harboring anti-Mac tendencies despite my larger efforts to cross that bridge.

Last night I got enough time to base the pathfinders and crisis base in my snow flock. It's not too hard to do: just baking soda, some elmers, paint, and I use blue beads smashed up for crystals. The most important thing is to let the whole thing dry overnight before trying to mess with it. So tonight I'll brush off the excess baking soda and then paint the black bases white to match the army.
Sadly my other bits didn't come yesterday and I was too lazy to work on the others I have. So in theory tonight I'll do some painting of bits, but I can already see that some of them are going to be pushed until Friday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A tale of two lists

Got the work that needed to be done last night on the pathfinders and the bits that have arrived.

I'm still teetering between two lists for Sat. I am trying to move farther away from my 4th edition list. I'd already made some changes (more troops, trimmed kill points) but further changes are feeling challenging. One list is a decent change up for 5th, the other wholy dives into radical change. I have a feeling the later is more about what Tau need to do now, but I'd be interested to see what others think.

List 1- Modified from 4th

HQ: Shas'El, Plasma, Fusion, TA, HWMT
HQ: Shas'El, Plasma, Fusion, TA, HWMT
Elite: 2x Crisis Missile, Plasma, TA, HWMT
Elite: 2x Crisis Twin Missile, TA
Troop: 11 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 11 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 6 FW
Troop: 6 FW
Troop: 10 Kroot, 7 Kroot Hound
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Heavy: 2xBroadsides, ASS, Drone Controller, 2x Shield Drones
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC

So this list has my more traditioal crisis set up and lots of troops. The problem is the static element of those troops. The 6 FW go in each of the devilfish (which I'm now going to try upgraded to a light tank), but the other 24 guys are 270 pts just asking to be lashed/assaulted. In the past I've relied on the volume of fire... but now I'm not so sure it is going to be enough. This is also my first shot at two squads of pathfinders.

List 2- Quite a leap
HQ: Shas'El, Plasma, Missile, TA, HWMT
HQ: Shas'El, Plasma, Missile, TA, HWMT
Elite: 2x Crisis Missile, Plasma, TA, HWMT
Elite: 2x Crisis Missile, Plasma, TA, HWMT
Troop: 8 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 8 FW, 1 Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
Troop: 10 Kroot, 8 Kroot Hound
Fast: 2x Pirahna, TA, Fusion
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Fast: 5 Pathfinders, Devilfish, DP, Flechette, TA, HWMT, SMS
Heavy: 2xBroadsides, ASS, Drone Controller, 2x Shield Drones
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC
Heavy: Hammerhead, Railgun, DP, MT, BC

It doesn't look like big changes but the small tweaks could mean a lot in game. For one I'm down to 3 troop choices, but they are hopefully the ones out of list #1 that would be survivable (and are now slightly more so). We've bumped all the crisis to the fireknife config (plama, missile) so as to try to get as much range and plasma on the field. Also we now see two Piranha with fusions to get that extra melta we lost on the old HQs, and to help provide some extra screening/soon-to-be-terrain pieces. Still going to try the 2 5 man pathfinders either way.

I think both lists are viable but it probably depends on you you are playing that will make the big difference. List #1 probably is better at trading shots across the board, list #2 is probably better at dealing with/avoiding assault armies. I think either will deal with mechanized on a fairly equal level.

I think I'm more concerned about the prevalence of assault oriented armies so... list 2 is looking more like the list I'll use. Plus if I'm going to make changes this will be a real chance to see if big changes make any difference to my Tau's game.

Monday, July 20, 2009

GW order is here!

So that is good news.

A minimal 40k weekend

It doesn't feel like I got much 40k work done this weekend... mostly because I didn't.

Instead I:
-Went 3-1-2 online in bloodbowl. Unfortunately my last two games were against teams that seem to be using the journyman exploit right now and they thoroughly decimated my team (2 deaths and 4 Niggling Injuries). It's enough to make me either want to stop playing non friends, or at the least just only play as bashy teams so it isn't so crushing to your team when you get those players.

-Cleaned the garage. We could park the cars and do laundry, but the place was a mess and you could barely walk to the cars or struggle to access the fridge out there. Now I can get to my work bench and hobby bench and the storage is better organized so there is more room to get things or be out there.

-Replaced my router. My old 2wire router went dead after two years use, so I picked up a netgear router from Fry's. Unfortuanetly I'm an idiot, so reqired Josh to give me a bit of phone support, in addition to needing to talk to someone from AT&T to reset passwords and the like. 2 hours later and I was up and running again, thought for some reason I STILL can't access the router via username/password. Going to have to poke around to see what is up and/or call Netgear... but at least everything is working.

-Spent time with the family. Usually it's my wife's family we spend a ton of time with, but this weekend we went down to visit my family in SJ. Plus wife and I set up our son's water toys on Sunday and hung out in the yard with him so he could splash around and play.

Other 'good' bit is my wife is totally into the Twighlight books right now, so I am getting a couple hours each night to myself (though obviously bloodbowl ate a lot of that time). It is rare for her to have something of her own that A) eats a lot of time B) doesn't require me to be involved.

I decided to build up two more pathfinders so I did convert and start painting them.The head there is actually poached from another FW that I will never end up using (and will become another paint test) since I seem to be out of FW 'antennae' for the heads.

I also figured I'd get the base coats on the crisis.I was a little frustrated with this work. For one I watered down my blue too much and a bunch bled onto a section of white. That means some retouch work that never comes out as well as just the plain white. I also am really hating my main paint brushes right now. Sadly the new brushes don't get here until Thurs. I'm thinking I might shelf working on him until the new brushes arrive.

Lastly I finished up the plasma guns, including cleaning up the guns that had previously been 'done'.
I scrapped the green and decided to go orange with a yellow highlight. They look like mini pieces of candy corn on them now, but, meh...on the crisis suits they'll be fine.

At this point there is no way I'll having everything done for Sat, but that will be ok. I think the kroot hounds will get the bump so I can Airbrush them later and do them properly.

With luck the painting schedule will roll out like this.
Monday: Receive Kroot, Tank bits, Shield Drone. Assemble & Prime New stuff, Finish 2 Pathfinders
Tuesday: Receive bits for TA, HWMTs, Convert TA and Prime with HWMT, Begin Basework for Pathfinders, Crisis Suit
Wednesday: Complete Basework for Pathfinders & Crisis Suit, Paint Shield Drones, TA, HWMTs, Railgun, SMS
Thursday: Receive Paint Brushes, Complete Crisis Suit
Friday: Catch up whatever has fallen behind, Dullcoate Everything

If it turns out I'm really ahead I'll hit the Kroot hounds with the Airbrush to at least get them base coated. Now I just need everything to show up on time...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some painting experiments

So I didn't get much painted yesterday but I did want to try two quick tests out.

Here is a Firewarrior. One I'll never use because of the grenade I'll never take. He's a spare now, a replacement has been painted and he is relegated to the bits box. I've been thinking if there is a way I could get a little more depth out of these models. The white is just so stark and has no shading at all. I thought maybe if I could come up with a quick plan to go over all my guys with a wash or something that might solve my problem. The first thing that came to mind was maybe trying a blue wash. So bitz boy gets back on the paint table.
So here he is after the blue wash. It was only about 5 minutes to do and very easy so it did fit the bill there. However:
1) The grey gun hilt now looks totally out of place, so likely I'd need to paint that also.
2) While the blue on blue doesn't look bad as a paint scheme it doesn't really go with my whole idea of the snow world Tau.
3) Looking at him makes me want to freshen my breath and grab some mouthwash.

Maybe a more washed down blue would help. Maybe a washed down ink just to fill in some lines and keep the white as the primary color. I don't know, maybe I'll just leave it alone and be happy the way they are.

The second project was getting the other plasma guns I needed done and I decided I would add a little color. For my marines I had been doing yellow with a green wash for the plasma effect.Here are two plasma guns (that still need touching up) but one is lacking the wash. The wash didn't come out quite as good as it did on the marines because there is no ridges or what not to really shade. Its not bad, and maybe I could add a little yellow lining to make it pop out. However as it stands I almost like the yellow better, I could just add a darker yellow ring around the 'base' to give some contrast.

What do you guys think about these experiments? Any preferences or suggestions?

Awesomely Bad Idea

So as I waited for my opponent to come online for Blood Bowl last night I had an epicly bad idea that sounded great.

A Blood Bowl movie.

I know, it isn't like it has huge following like the Potter books, LOTR, or even a video game so it will probably never be a smash hit on name alone. But what if we filled it with movie stars and crazy special effects? That always puts people in the seats. Then we can just lay down an awesomely bad movie script full of recycled plot hooks like every other bad summer movie.

Of course I couldn't just leave it at that. I probably laid in bed later for an hour before dozing off thinking of what such a script would look like... and here is a small taste of what I'm thinking.

The movie opens to the cheering fans of a big blood bowl game. This is the first chance to see the world of blood bowl and the stadium environment. A human team is playing a liazard team at some aztec themed stadium and the announcers are calling the game in between credits. As it gets to the end of the credits the star human catcher is making a dash for the endzone when he is tragically killed. The fans go crazy, the announcers are wild saying how the apothecary is still tied up working on another player in the locker room, and the scene goes to black.

Next scene finds our hero (who for some reason I can't shake Freddie Prince Jr out of my head) lurking the streets of an old world city. He's basically ah unemployed, alone, homeless peasant thief, and he swipes some food and takes off down the narrow street. Begin chase scene. He deftly avoids guards, peasants, merchant carts as he dodges down the narrow street. A man (has to be Bruce Campbell) see this and takes great interest, and when the young man is finally cornered by the merchants men the man pays him off and smooths it over. It turns out the man is an agent/scout/assistant coach for Blood Bowl players and thinks our hero would make a great catcher for our human team from earlier. It's midseason and the team is doing good, the pay is near unbelievable, and after some concerned protests for his life (and counter protests from the man about turning him over to the gaurds) our hero signs up.

The next scene is the practice field where our hero (we'll call Fred) is introduced to the rest of the team. Here's a great chance to pack in some rugged stars. Maybe Mickey Rourke, Ron Peralman, Vin Diesel; pack in those hunky guys to fill out the team. The important part is we need a semi comedic sidekick for another rooky on the team who is replacing a now 'retired' player to be our heroes friend. Hell, maybe a Dane Cook or Ryan Rennolds type guy would do. We also need a retired player turned hard drinking head coach, lot of actors will do here but hell lets just say Tommy Lee Jones.

The other important part is with the loss of their star player the team has the revenue to recruit in star Griff Oberwald (definitely Daniel Craig), who is so bad ass but totally emotionally detached from the people around him. Our hero tries to impress him, but Griff certainly doesn't have the time to deal with the rookie.

We can also introduce our love angle here, let's just toss in sexy Megan Fox as our cheerleader who takes some interest in Fred.

The first home game of the rookie comes up and its against skaven (more CG funness). Jokes are made that our hero can maybe take down a gutter runner which is about as weak as it gets, but he'll be hard pressed to keep up with them. The game goes on and the rookie is mostly dazzled pushed around and confused, unable to slow down opponents or get downfield and be useful. His 'friend' has a nice moment, and Griff pretty much carries the game for the win.

After the game our hero is down despite the win and one of our other action-god-team-mates consoles him. He tells him to come to the pitch the next day and he'll show the rookie a few tips.

The next day, after a bit of drinking with his buddy and advancing the flirtatious love story with sexy Megan, Fred is at the pitch with a few of the teams key players on a non practice day. They explain that great human catchers need to do more than dodge and catch passes. They say the first trick is to learn how to block really well. They start showing him some of the ropes and our hero starts picking it up after a small montage, and they briefly show him a few other moves. The scene pulls back and you see Griff watching from a distance emotionless, but watching none the less.

The next home game is against orks (for CG goodness) and we see our hero feeling a little more confident and scores a TD catch dodging nimbly down the field. The orks make a brutal drive down the field and end up killing off our comedic friend on the drive to the endzone. Our hero is pissed because the coach didn't call out the apothecary as his friend is dragged off the pitch unceremoniously. But he barely has time to deal with it as the other players tell him to focus on the game as they line up to receive the next kick off. The match culminates as Griff gets the ball and heads on down the field only to find he is getting closed in on by two huge Black orks and a menacing ork blitzer. At the last second our hero Fred blitzes the ork bltizer down and Griff skirts away from disaster to score the winning touchdown.

Again after the game while most of the team celebrates our hero is off emotionally brooding about the loss of his friend. Griff approaches him and tells him he played a great game, and that people will know his name now and he's on his way to being a great star. Fred doesn't care, he's wounded by the loss of his friend and is wondering when his number will come up. Why didn't the coach call in the apothecary /whine /cry. Griff goes into rant about the game, how you don't tie up the apothecary for rookies, how its life or death no matter what you do in this world, friends are liabilities blah blah blah. Add in retarded movie stuff here. "Players come and go, but Blood Bowl legends live forever." Fred doesn't feel much better, and after Griff's rant goes and stupidly says something mean to sexy Megan to make her mad, and heads off to the bar.

The next day the coach tells the team that they are entering into the final push for the playoffs and that when they notice Griff isn't there the coach says that Griff has moved on to another team as freebooters do. The team is a little down and a new wide eyed rookie is on the team to replace our dead guy. After the speech the coach has a heart to heart with the player and he feels a little more understanding about the coaches tough job and he feels better. As he's leaving the locker room for the practice pitch Fred decides to ignore Griff's advice and starts chatting with the rookie and suggests they get a little extra practice so Fred can show him a few tricks.

From here we've probably eaten way to much time of the movie so you probably need to pack in a classic movie montage. Show several flashes of the human team taking hits but winning against some great CG opportunities, Dwarves, Wood elves, chaos. And they're now in the Chaos Cup! Against whooooo you ask? How about another distant human team like Norse.

The night before the game Megan and Fred make up and let's get some gratuitous sex in there. The next day the game breaks and the huge stadium is packed. Fred is shocked to learn that Griff is playing for the Norse now and has single handedly carried them the last few games into the Cup.

It doesn't really matter what you do with the movie at this point. People have paid and either decided they like it or left. But you have a few options.

1. Happy Hollywood ending- To leave the most amount of cheese in here have the hard fought game ends when Griff pulls a half hearted blitz on our hero moving down to score the winning touch down. Game ends in celebrations, sexy Megan gives some passionate making out with the hero, and the camera pulls back to fireworks.

2. The hey that's life ending- The game goes back and forth, our hero does well but Griff is on fire. In the end Griff narrowly escapes from our hero and others to score the winning touchdown. Griff pulls our hero up out of the mud and says 'nice try, but that's life, see you next season' and the movie winds down with the whole team, coahes and sexy megan w/ cheerleaders in a bar lamenting but celebrating a great blood bowl season in the books, toasting their fallen comrades. As credits roll show single frames of future games and our star player doing great things, ending with a pic of him smiling holding the Chaos cup in one hand, sexy Megan in the other, and Griff holding the other end of the cup up high smiling.

3. Oh no! Oh wait!- like above but on the last drive Griff puts Fred down hard on the blitz for the endzone and scores the winning TD. As the cheering fans go crazy for the Norse Victory the apothecary is called out and the Fred fades out in first person view, with the coach frantically yelling at the apothecary to do something, and sexy Megan's crying voice telling him not to leave her. Black.

Griff's voiceover the black: "Players come and go, but Blood Bowl legends live forever."

Cut to locker room and it is clearly the next season and our human team is getting pep talk from the coach before the first game. Pan around to the players in the room and there is no Fred, as the coach mentions how last season they had some painful deaths on the team and of course the loss of the chaos cup. Right when you think they're about to go out Fred shows up looking every bit the grizzled Blood bowl veteran and the players are all happy to see him and the coach is yelling at him for being late. Fred makes some snappy comment about tapping that sexy Megan ass and the team is in laughter as the coach says ah whatev let's give him hell and the team charges out of the locker room and into the blinding light of the stadium.

Well I'd pay money to see it and I know it would be cheesy sports fantasy bad. Now to shop it around to the studios, hehe.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Hobby Ate My Money

So normally I try to keeping spending to 40k under control. I don't want to suddently show up at home with a whole new army or my wife will have a(nother) fit. I'm sure this is not unfamiliar to any married guy with any hobby at all. ("Look honey, I got a great deal on this fly fishing rod at $300, so what if it's my 4th one! It's way different than the other 3!")

Generally if I spend less than $50 I feel like I'm doing good. It's like cutting down to one cigarette a day. Sure it's still not great, but I can tell myself I'm not doing as much damage quite as quickly and therefore better off in the long run.

$50 is a nice number. You can get most tanks in the game, or pick up a handful of blisters, or get a good clip of bits to work on that special project.

Today I spent my $50, and I don't feel like I really have much to show for it. Two can's of GW primer (white and black) and 2 paint brushes. That GW primer is near ridiculous at $15 a pop, but I've had the cheaper stuff really fuck up some models, and now I don't trust anything else.

Of course I already blew $50 on bits this month. So now I feel guilty.

And I guess if I feel guilty, I might as well go ahead and pick up that zuzzy mat I've been eyeballing. What's another $50 of guilt tacked on after all.


I'll have some self control, work on the models I have, and try to put the 'battlemat' project off until at least the end of next month.

Where's the '40k patch' to help me in my efforts?

My Tau "to do" list

I was sick Tuesday evening and Wed which sucked, but yesterday afternoon I got a chance to gather up my Tau, do a little work and take a look at what I need to do to get ready for Liam's bash.

Tau were my first 'completely' painted army. I had slowly started a handful of orks, but when I picked up Tau about 1/2 of what became 2000 pts was already painted and able to be finished up in a few month before I returned to the orks. The paint job is very simple, but certainly good enough for table top playing. It doesn't get the cool comments my orks or my templar get (nor will it ever get great painting marks at big tournaments), but that is ok. If I play in something that requires a painting score one of my other armies will go.

So first in my 'what I want to add/swap' into my army is pathfinders. Rather than spend $45 for 9 guys I decided I would try to convert them out of FWs. I already had 6 pulse carbine FWs painted from when I bought the army I never used, so after a trial model early in the week I chopped the rest of them up and then built two more with spare FW bits I have laying around.
You can see the two guys on the right are the ones I just made and painted since they don't have the old green flocking. Here's a quick couple shots comparing the new pathfinders to a FW (of course with a pluse rifle). It also illustrates how basic the paint job is and how it could have more detail but... meh.
It is an easy enough conversion. You basically don't put the shoulder pad and backpack on (or in my case pop them off) and trim the leg armor plating and the right shoulder plating. They don't look quite as sleek at the normal pathfinders but for my purposes they will do. If I have time later I'll probably chop up some other carbines to add a little markerlight bit on top... but that's can wait.

I also built that 6th crisis suit out of part I had around.

I've only built one of my other 5 suits and I tried a dynamic pose with the last one as well. I figured I would use the 2nd HQ head and do another dynamic pose. The last guy is standing on a rock. This guy is in mid jump. He was actually much easier to do than the last guy and actually I like him much more as well. The slight angle of the flying mount is a nice touch. Of course all the weapons and war gear is done with magnets like my other suits.

So that takes care of nearly most of the assembling. Here's a quick shot of what I have left to paint (minus a few things that need are in shipping).
In order that I'll probably paint them:
Pathfinders: A few quick touch ups and then basing.
Kroot Hounds: I have 6 and 2 on the way, get them painted and add them to the basing group.
Crisis Suit: Get him painted, get his base painted with the others.
Railgun: Yep, need to paint up that big ole Railgun there.
Shield Drones: Ordered the parts to make two offical shield drones, get those done up easy
Misc Crisis War gear: Need to do some painting/mag work for 2 plasma guns, 2 Multitrackers, and 1 custom target array.

Hopefully I'll get the kroot hounds finished this weekend. Then next week I can base everything, knock out the commander, and finish off with the odds and ends by Sat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And now for something completely differnt

Liam is hosting a 1850 game evening in less than two weeks which looks like it might be 10-12 people. It's funny, some 'Ard boyz had only slightly more attendance. Our shop had capped off at 24 pre reg and several people showed up unable to play the day of the tourny. I guess we're lucky to have a pretty good active group.

I figure I'll pull Tau out for this one. I've got a good few months of solid BT, and I had played lots of Orks before Kubla, it is time for me to try to give the Tau a good run again.

It's a little weird every time you shift from focusing on one army to another. I've been so deep into thinking about Templar that thinking about Tau now is almost refreshing looking at them again.

Oh that's what long range fire support was about. Firepower has not been a part of my repertoire for a few month. Those tanks and transports are refreshing, too. Mmm mmm survivability never taste so good.

Of course Tau are rife full of challenges also.
They are horrible in every way in close combat. Kroot do not cut the mustard to be called Good, but they are 'ok' at CC.
LD is a problem everywhere you look.
No psychic protection means things like lash and other fun powers can be disastrous.

Most people agree that Tau is not on the short list of strong armies. They aren't horrible, but many of the popular armies are really a challenge for Tau to deal with of the bat. There's lots of great discussions online about what to do with your Tua army and of course many of them are all over the map.

Here are a few that sit in the forefront of my mind.

1. Markerlights- they seem to be more popular as ever. With 5th ed getting rid of cover saves seems to be their main purpose, but other tricks like LD reduction and BS boost still are plenty helpful. Some people argue for the expensive stealth marker team, others for the cheap but static pathfinders. I'm debating which angle I'll tackle here now as well. I've run normal stealth but they've never been fantastic for me. I've tried occasional pathfinders but they seem to be dead turn 2 and that never seems to make much sense. I've even tried the skyray but I think I love my heavy hammerheads too much.

2. Crisis configurations- Ok every Tau commander deals with this. In the past I've been plenty happy with my normal configuration: two HQ plasma/fusion (Helios), a two man TL Missle pod team (Deathrains), and a plasma/missle (Firekife). These 5 have served me well in the past... but I think some things might be changing.

I'm feeling like I need more AP2 out there and crisis are really the only way to do it. I'm debating whether I bring my three guys into one group of 3 Fireknives, build up a second Fireknife to make my solo guy have a partner (I have the bits to make one so that is easy) and keep the two Deathrains, or go crazy and make the cuts to run 2x2 Fireknives in the elite slots.

Many lists I see out there still have a lot more crisis suits than this. I think most people would say at this point level max out 2 groups of 3 Fireknives, but A) I don't have the models and am not dying to spend the $s right now and B) I'm not sure if I want to make the cuts in points, BUT see #3 below.

3. Death of the Firewarrior. It has pretty much happened, most 'competitive' list have barely any firewarriors at all. 6, or maybe two units of 6. People just use them to make Devilfish scoring, then toss in Kroot squads to have some other scoring choices.
Personally I love Firewarriors, and it pains me because I have 36 painted up so not using them would be almost cruel. If I really want to get competitive it would probably mean making cuts here and bumping up my Crisis suits.

These are the big things on my mind now. I'm not going to go running out to dump a bunch of money, but I've got a few projects I can work on and will probably try out some 'new' things at Liam's event.

A few things I'm pretty sold on already:
-Railguns- usually I slide an Ionhead in there, but I think the Railgun upgrade is probably more in favor with all the IG/Ork armies out there these days.
-Warfish- I am going to try to turn my devilfish into light tanks. The drones have their uses, but with KP and wanting the extra cover denying killyness and SMS are a go. Add in BS 4, Multitracker, plus Flechette discharges and you've turned your 85 point good transport into a 130 fish with bite.
-Kroot Hounds- people rave about them and I've had a clip around that I've rarely used. I'm picking up one more blister and will give them some serious use to see how they do over my beloved Kroot mob.

So I'm messing with some lists and pulling the bits down to see what we'll put together for this turkey and see how it goes. I'm sure I'll get a little painted and converted, but I don't feel the big pressure with my friends to get things painted as I do with the tourney.

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Ard Boyz Templar Report Card

So I figured since I wanted to put up some pics of the army I would also review how each unit selection ended up doing for me over the course of the day. I'm not the world's greatest photographer by a long shot so bear with me on that. :)

Command Squad

Game 1 sat in rhino, contested last objective
Game 2 sat in rhino, melta a rhino
Game 3 killed plague marines, killed DP
Overall Grade C-
Game 3 was the only game they were really of use. Game one and two I could have save a whole lot of points by just having them being another troop choice. The marshal could have still ran away in game 2, but really while the command squad is good it just isn't good enough to take on 10 chaos termies with Abaddon or 10 Marine termies with Lysander or name-your-killer-HQ-retinue-here that you see at 'Ard boyz. Overall a lot of points sat around doing not enough.

Grey Knight Terminators

So I didn't get to touch them up but the basing makes them at least look respectable on the table.
Game 1 shot and charge 50 IG, tied them up for 3 combat rounds, felled many but got killed
Game 2 killed a plague marine squad before wandering too close to a exploding rhino that killed 3, BC killed by Sorcerer in CC
Game 3 killed a DP, failed the only psyhood test of the game but shrouding saved them, finish off by plasma
Overall Grade B-
Even though they died somewhat foolishly game 1 they served their purpose in being a big speed bump. Game 2 they at least killed a nastly troop choice before a very unfortunate turn of events, and game 3 they did 'ok'. I probably would keep them in the list, but likely in anything smaller and I'd just drop down to running the Brother Captain along the Marshal and EC for the psyhood.

Assault Terminators

Game 1 charged 50 gaurdsman, felled many but were killed
Game 2 mopped up 2 plague marine units including sorcerer
Game 3 killed off outflanking chosen, died to hail of plasma fire
Overall grade B-
Like the GKT they pretty much did their job. I could go for more of these guys or a second squad perhaps, but where could you find the points.

Land Raider Crusder
Game 1: Blasted the hell out of a 50 man squad for two rounds, finally routing them off the table. Survived two turns of vets firing meltas at point blank range.
Game 2: Did some shooting... not much else after dropping of Termies but lived.
Game 3: Some ineffective shooting, rolled a 1 on terrain late in game and was eventually melta'd when he 'got around to it.'
Overall grade B
First the primary function is to get the termies where they need to go and it managed that every game. My choices for where the termies went was somewhat questionable. The shooting was a mixed bag, but what really kept this from being an 'A' was the dedicated transport choice. I saved myself 1 kp in game 2. Big whoop. If i had taken it as a heavy any squad could have used it (since my BT still have the old dedicated 'we don't share' rules for transports). Doing so I could have moved my running 5 man shooty squad into it game 3 to be a bunker to try to hold or at least contest the objective... but could not so both were blasted away.

Crusader Squad with Metla, Fist, 3 neos, and Emperors Champ

Game 1 survived some shooting, eventually lost rhino, killed command squad, 3 las cannon squad, 3 missile launcher squad and contested objective.
Game 2 Killed plague marine squad, got killed by abaddon and chaos termies
Game 3 Got tied up with defiler and while injuring it a bit, tied it up for 5 combat rounds (amazingly) before finally dying off
Overall grade B-
Game one they were amazing, Game two they did ok, game 3 they were somewhat wasted. The EC is great and all but he can't deal with walkers, and really even my 1 fist attack hurts there as well. However overall I wish I had more guys in rhinos at the end of the day.

Crusader Squads in pods, Melta/PF and two Neophytes

Game 1: Both units went after one objective but due to terrain only one could really get over there and engage a unit and do well. The other had to sit off to the side and do some meaningless fighting.
Game 2: Nice solid landing behind rhinos but couldn't manage to pop them. Both eventually engaged plauge marines and with some assistance did them in but took significant losses. 1 unit lived, 1 unit was chewed up by Abbadon squad, and both drop pods ate it.
Game 3: Pods again came down early and were largely ineffective in almost every way.
Overall Grade D
I was disappointed with these guys, but I can't say I'm totally surprised. I had been seeing them not be horribly effective and I hoped by trimming points I would feel that carrying their weight would be easier. It still wasn't. The drop pods are a nice threat but one melta doesn't cut it and the squad can't hang deep in enemy territory unsupported. Overall I was wishing I had squads in rhinos, and will probably move to having a pod (or two) with dreads to see if that is more effective overall.

Shooty Crusaders: Las/Plas and MultiMelta/Plas
Game 1 held objectives, took fire, killed some sentinels, and lived!
Game 2 MM/plas was out of range most of the game, Las/plas worked over a rhino or two and softened up some plague marines
Game 3 Both squad were not so effective at firing, and because of lack of mobility made last ditch effort to move to objectives late in the game but were shot to shreds
Overall Grade: B-
The last game had gone poorly so hoping these guys were going to save me was not likely. The Multimelta was ok, saving the 5 pts got the list under 2500 and the +1 on the damage table is nice, but the range was debilitating on game 2.

Land Speeder Squad with Multi Meltas
Game 1: Stunned a LRBT, was annihlated by a LRBT
Game 2: One was quickly downed and the other lost its gun early, so ran and hid the rest of the game
Game 3: Stunned a rhino and ran around trying to stay alive while being stunned often until finally dying turn 5.
Overall grade C-
Another disappointment for me with these guys. Maybe it was my lack of knowing what to do with them but I had hoped for some, well, tank killing. The only thing that keeps them from moving down to a D grade is they did take a good clip of fire power. I don't know if bikes would have been better. The terrain is so dense they would get jammed up but there would be more cover for them. I think I need to run these more and get used to how they work. Probably taking more in a large game would help, or splitting the squad up in standard missions.

Tri Las Pred and Vindicator
Game 1, Got shots off all game long popping and stunning tanks and lived.
Game 2, Popped rhinos and oblits, only lost its top turrent
Game 3, Popped on Turn 1 thanks to my bad placement
Overall Grade B+
I can't argue that the pred did great in the first two games, but game 3 was bad generalship by me.

Game 1, Killed some gaurd, more gaurd, stunned a tank and the valk before eventually getting mobbed by garudsmen mid fieled and stunned... but still contested center objective.
Game 2, popped turn 1 before doing a damn thing
Game 3, killed two oblits and stunned a rhino before being immobilized with no cannon to be usless the rest of the game.
Overall Grade C
Game 1 it did well, Game two it just was a fire magnet, and game 3 was so so. The good news is I didn't miss POTMS at all. I just don't know if it was more effective than having more speeders, or add in the attack bikes.

Now given all of that what list could I have run that would have probably served me better those 3 games and would hopefully still be strong against the other lists I saw there.

Marshal, Termie armor, Adamantite Mantle, Pair of Lightning Claws
Assault Termies 2 Claws, 3 Hammers
GKT with psyhood
7 marines, 2 neophytes melta/fist in rhino EA, smoke (with EC)
8 marines, 2 neophytes, melta/fist in rhino EA, smoke
10 marines, 5 neophytes, melta/fist
5 marines las/plas
5 marines las/plas
Speeder with MultiMelta
Speeder with MultiMelta
TriLas Pred
LRC w/ smoke (for termies)
LRC w/ smoke (for marines)

This list actually works out to be 2 kp less under normal missions (game 1 and 3) and for game 2 works out the same as the old list.
I have all 5 troops on the table turn 1.
2 LRC in heavy slots so I can have other squads use them after deployment if needed.
Bump the Multimelta in one 5 man to las for range.
Split the speeders up for multiple targets (both for shooting and being shot)
Drop the vindi in favor of the second LRC.
The HQ is riding with the termies and while not in a retinue at least can't be insta-killed.

Of course it's all just mental now, but it is fun to think about. Who knows how much the list would have changed the results, or would have done against some of the other top lists at the event.

The only sad thing now is my command squad (well the company champ at least) will probably be mostly retired, and who knows when I'll field more than one drop pod again.

'Ard Boyz 2009 Results

'Ard boyz on Saturday was fun but long. While they did open the doors at 10 to start checking in people and setting up terrain the first games didn’t start until after 11. The lunch break was 4:30 and the last game was called at 8pm. So ya… a long but fun day.

I got lots of great comments on the finished Templar army. Even jokes how I should be docked points for having a great looking fully painted army at ‘Ard Boyz. That made me happy since that was pretty much why I thought getting them done would be really cool.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures because it felt like we needed to get going the whole time. I’m also not going to give a full report but quick synopsis of each game. Later I’ll do a review of how each of my selections worked out for me.

Game 1: Jose’s IG
I had never met Jose before (his first time down to this shop) but while we were milling around outside I saw him carrying his new Battlefoam bag and I had been eyeballing them. So I struck up a conversation with him and he was nice enough to show me the ins and outs of the bag. So it was nice to have that friendly chat before going in to game 1.

Company Command +Astropath
Gaurdsman Marbo
Infantry Platoon 1- 50 Gaurdsman with Commisar, 5 flamers, and 6 power swords
Infantry Platoon 2- 50 Gaurdsman with Commisar, 1 plasman pistol, 3 plasmaguns, 2 meltaguns, and one power sword
3x Heavy Weapon Squad totaling 6 lasxannons and 3 missile launchers
Veteran squad with 2 flamers, 1 heavy flamer and harker
Veteran Squad with 3 meltaguns and greandeirs
Valkyrie with Rocket Pod
3x Sentinals with Heavy Flamers
LRBT with Heavy Stubber and Heavy Bolter
LRBT with Heavy Stubber and Heavy Bolter
2x LR Exterminator with Heavy Subbers and Heavy Bolters

My BT set up waiting for his IG to deploy. Time to get a coffee and read a novel!

His long table edge was stuffed full of guys and he put objectives on opposite ends of his deployment zone. I kept most of my force to one side and put my two objectives near the center of the board for my shooty squads and to stay away from his outflankers.

The big lesson I learned in this game is that 50 gaurdsmen with a commissar and 6 power swords is not a good target for Terminators. They killed not only my assault termies but the GKT as well. Sure there was less than a dozen in the end but man, that was a surprise to me.

His Valk Deepstriked on turn 3 and his sentinels and harker didn’t come until 3 but came out on the same side. Marbo didn’t make it out until turn 4 and that ended up being the last turn of the game (we had 3 minutes to spare but it was my turn 5 so it wasn’t going to improve anything for him).

I thought for sure we were playing for a tie most of the game. But on turn 4 I was able to contest all 3 objectives not in my deployment zone and hold my two. Marbo missed his det charge on my small squad, the sentinels were out of range and I passed the saves I needed. I also had more KP racked up and my HQ was still alive, so Massacre for BT 21 pts.

Game 2: Patrick’s Chaos
Patrick I had only seen at the last tournament in June but he was friends with a group of guys I’ve been talking to a lot at the store and we were introduce also pre Game 1 while hanging outside. So again it was nice to have made those introductions pre game time.

Chaos Sorcerer- Mark of Slaanesh, Lash, Personal Icon
10 Terminators, 4 combi melta, 2 chainfist, Icon of Tzeenth
Rhino w/ 10 Plaguemarines, Aspiring Champ, Fist
Rhino w/ 10 Plaguemarines, 2 Meltaguns, Aspiring Champ, Fist, Icon
Rhino w/ 9 Plaguemarines, 2 meltaguns, Aspiring Champ, Fist, Icon
Rhino w/ 9 Plaguemarines, 2 meltaguns, Aspiring Champ, Fist, Icon
3 Oblits
3 Oblits
2 Oblits

Looking at his list and was glad I had already practiced with Liam. However since it was dawn of war deployment he decided to go first and deepstrike his oblits and abaddon w Termies. This ended up saving my bacon. Turn 2 his 2 man oblits came down, turn 3 a 3 man oblit came, turn 4 the last 3 oblits came down and not until turn 5 did abaddon and the termies come down.

Since the DS for him were spread out I could focus a little better, and my drop pods both came down in turn 2. I led the game the whole time, but never by too huge a lead in KP.

See all that stuff in the top right corner? I'm just waiting for that to all deep strike on my head!

The ‘DOH’ moment came when I shot a rhino my GKT were waiting 1” away from to charge the juicy contents when it exploded, wounding 4 of them and killing 3. Yes three failed rolls (that means 1s). It happens but that hurt a lot. I then charged the remaining BC in but that was foolish as he was cut down before doing anything by the sorcerer. He should have just run away. That single series of ‘DOH’ cost me the game.

Since Abbadon came so late I mostly moved away from him. They did catch one drop pod squad and the EC squad and run them down, and though brought him within 4 KP which made it a tie. It was a game where his bad deepstrike luck and my ‘DOH’ moment kind of balanced each other out. I picked up two bonus points for having more scoring units in his objective than he had in mine and by killing all his troop choices, so Tie for 12 points which still put me on table 3 for the final game.

Game 3: Jeff’s Chaos
I seem to play Jeff every other tournament, and I have only tied him once and lost the rest. He is a great general and brings dead ‘ard lists. His list was an expansion of the one I’ve played in prior tourny’s.

This is the only list I can’t find… so this is from memory and likely slightly wrong but you get the general idea.
DP Lash
DP Lash
6 Chosen outflanking in rhino 3 melta, 2 flamer, rhino had combi plas
6 Chosen outflanking in rhino 3 melta, 2 flamer, rhino had combi plas
8 Plaguemarines, rhino w combi plas, combo of plas/meta in squad and fist
8 Plaguemarines, rhino w combi plas, combo of plas/meta in squad and fist
10 Chaos marines, rhino w Havoc missile launchers, some combo of plas/melta and fist
10 Chaos marines, rhino w Havoc missile launchers, some combo of plas/melta and fist
3 oblits
3 oblits

I am going to mostly chalk this game up to my bad deployment. First off I absolutely hate the board we played on (the black volcano board) as I think it is the worst board there. Then I just over committed to going for one objective. I should have at least sent my LRC/Termies over to the second instead of hoping for the dop pods to be enough. Lastly I don’t know what I was thinking with my Speeders and Pred, but the terrain had me a little flustered.

Jeff kept his Defiler and a squad of marines off the board, and of course his outflanking chosen. It was a good hard fight but I could never really seem to get much going for me. Jeff passed the one and only psyhood test I had to make all day but his oblits amazingly failed to pass shrouding on the GKT. The GKT did kill a DP before dying to a hail of plasma, and the command squad was able to wrap off the second while engaged with plague marines.

My deployment left me in a bad way and Jeff’s superior tactics trumped me good. I had very little left on the table by the end of the game and Jeff had a solid massacre on me. And Jeff also let a rule I wasn’t sure about slide on turn 5 (hitting vehicles you are next two on the opponents assault phase) because he knew the game was going down for him either way. I looked up the rule afterward while we packed up and he was indeed correct and I thought that was still pretty big of him to let pass even though it mattered little at that point.

So total goose egg for me game 3: 0 points. I think I’m now 0-3-1 against Jeff. Hehe

In the end the placing were announced for top 5 who all scored over 50 points (of course only top 3 get to go to the next round.

5th Patricks Chaos
4th Daemons
3rd Jeff’s Chaos
2nd Orks (lots of boys)
1st Eldar (didn’t get to really check his list out)

All and all I had fun all games against tough opponents. Two of the guys I played were right up there, and at least for Patrick I didn’t make it easy. Jeff I think has made it to the semis every year so… hey what can you do!

I’ll do a breakdown of my unit’s performance later and how I would have changed my list based on the performance later.

Odd notes from the front:
There was only one ork player there (and he took 2nd)!
There were a ton of IG and Chaos. SM and Daemons were only slightly less popular.
No Tau, no necron, no DE, no Daemon hunters (aside from allies) and I didn’t see any bugs either (but I might have missed them) but I know the guys were saying no Nidzilla so I think they were also absent.
Check out this whacky pic of the game going on next two me on game 2. That’s a 6 LR army vs a 5 LR army!

Friday, July 10, 2009

1 more day

Well this is it, the last day before 'Ard boyz and I didn't take the day off to paint. hehe

Of course I did bring the drop pod to work with my black paint so I could put the final touch ups on it during my lunch hour.

Last night I got a good clip of painting done on the speeders (well painting the new one and touching up the old one at the same time). At this point it is really getting all the details done, I suspect I can wrap that up in 2-3 hours.

With a little luck that will all go smoothly tonight (ie the baby goes down at reasonable time) so I can try to hit the hay around midnight in order to get a full nights rest before the big game.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2 days until 'Ard Boyz

Not much other than grinding away at painting last night.

The second land speeder is assembled and primed, and this morning before work I hit it with the two highlight coats of grey and bleached bone. I've also been layering on more white on the 2nd drop pod which is all it really needs now besides a clean up session with black (try to do Fri before work). I had finished up the insignia and boltgun sections as well late last night.

Hopefully tonight I'll get the 'drivers' to the speeder mostly done as well as the first couple coats of the white on the wings/spoiler. Then tomorrow I can knock out the detail colors, finish up the white, and clean up the model while still touching up the original speeder.

It's still a lot but I'm feeling like it will get done.

The missions for 'Ard boyz have been officially updated. All I really see are the clarifications for Round 2. Still nothing official about the 'wipe out' = massacre but let's just hope that doesn't happen to be a problem.