Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Update

So I'm pretty pleased with the holiday weekend as far as taking care of my 40k 'ToDo' list.

First of all I did order my 3 Rhinos and 2 Predators, so those are on the way to me now. With those and the models I'm borrowing I have an 1850 army, and can now just pick up some other models (Daemon Prince, Dreadnought, Terminators) at my leisure or maybe ask for them as gifts. Either way I've got plenty to put together and paint before I finally pick up that 3rd squad of Tsons and can return Liam's squad to him to be shelved indefinitely. :)

Next I did complete my two aspiring sorcerers.
I'm pretty happy with most of the paint job. I'm feeling like I'm getting the blue and gold down well and hopefully that will speed up my next set of sons. The force weapon I'm also ok with how it turned out. I'd like a little more glow but I think I'll leave it like this for now. The only thing I'm not really thrilled with is the white robe. I was going to do yellow since I like how my yellows have been coming out for the sons and I always hate white anyway. But in the end the sorcerers traditionally have white so I went for it. The under coat and first layer of white went great. Then I thought 'hey, how about I use a blue wash' and man, I just never felt like I recovered from that. I think I would have been better off just tinting the white with blue and painting layers up from there. It is kind of hard to see the end result because of the flash, and even this next picture with the flash off is hard to see.
Lastly I did get two games in with Anthony when he came over. We spent some time painting his new board and played the games as we waited for layers to dry. We played 2000 pts and he tried a new twist on his marines.

Librarian on bike, Force Dome and Null Zone
10 TH/SS Termies
8 Vangaurd Vetrans with 2x Lightning Claws, 2x TH, and 2x PW
10 Tactical marines Melta/MultiMelta Rhino
10 Tactical marines Melta/MultiMelta Rhino
5 Scouts w/ HB + Telion
Predator Autcannon w/ LasCannon Sponsoons
Predator Autcannon w/ LasCannon Sponsoons

So Vulcan was a new add but I think Anthony just wanted to try him out. Lysander would have been much more of a problem. He was also vehicle light for 2k points which helped me, but his 10 terminators which are normally a problem would be even more of a challenge than normal (yay Ap3 bolters don't help!). The Vanguard were also a new thing to try out, but between them and the Librarian on the bike I could see the game plan. Force dome the Vets for the 5+ save, charge the sons, make them reroll invul saves since there were a lot of power weapons and move on to the next unit.

Prince, MoT, Warptime, Wind of Chaos
Dread, Multimelta
9 Sons, Wind of Chaos, Rhino w/ Combi Plas
9 Sons, Wind of Chaos, Rhino w/ Combi Plas
9 Sons, Wind of Chaos, Rhino w/ Combi Plas
Predator Autcannon w/ LasCannon Sponsoons
Predator Autcannon w/ LasCannon Sponsoons
3 Obliterators

I wanted to try out the expensive prince and Ahriman as well as the crazed Dread of doom.

First game was multiple objective and long table edge. The game ended on turn 5 as a loss for me, but I played the odds that the game would have gone on gave up on what could have been a tie and am pretty sure I would have won should the game have continued.
The second game was single objectives and dawn of war. This game I ended up winning as Anthony called it on turn 5.

The games are kind of a blur now but I can recall a few things from the games.

The Librarian was not much of a problem as I would have thought. I know the DP picked him out one game, it might have been both, but either way I only failed one psy test both games I think.

The 205 pt DP was ok, fulfilling his 'Please shoot me, ouch ouch ok I'm dead' but I'm not so sure all the powers and the 4++ was worth it. Warptime was nice the once each game I used it but would 130 pt prince have been nearly as effective and still dead come turn 2? Probably.

Ahriman was exactly what everybody said he would be: the same thing as a 185 pt sorcerer. Yes he shot a few fairly useless str 8 shots but that it. I think most games I'll be leaving him at home unless I just want to be friendly or burn that last 65 points. The chance of getting a Spawn off in a 'non gift of chaos list' is probably pretty rare.

The dread was actually a surprise to me. Sure game one he was popped I think turn 1 (maybe I should have smoked instead of run). But game 2 he was the man. He finished of the last of a termie combat squad (after the TH guys had been shot off by failed inv saves), moved on to fry a rhino, charge and see off its cargo tact squad, then charge and route the scout squad. Sure he was immobilized next to the opposing objective but that was fine. All day no crazed rolls. It makes me want to use him more, but as Anthony points out that game was probably the highest a chaos dread will ever achieve and from here out I'm probably set for disappointment.

The thousands sons themselves also did well enough. They sure do eliminate marines with no saves, and even with cover saves they still fall down. Wind of Chaos was simply awesome though, and that certainly was decimating whole squads at a time. Also while they aren't really efficient in CC they do stick around. That can be a positive and a negative... I guess I just need to know how to use that to my advantage.

Two things I did learn the hard way:
1) Two squad of sons rapid firing and double wind of chaos is not enough to kill 5 Terminators. with 3 shields (oh and Vulcan was hanging out with his 3++ save too). Yes you might think it is, but it is not. Better to shoot at 24" range with other units and pick them off one at a time, them maybe clean them up in rapid fire/wind of chaos range. Lesson learned.
2) Don't ever charge with the sons. You think you can kill those last two marines/terminators with your aspiring sroc? You're wrong. You go last and your just not getting out of combat any time soon. You are better getting charged and at least swinging at the same time as marines. Either way it's still better to avoid it if you can, but that's not always going to be the case if you run an army where you want to use WoC.

The oblits did their part for sure, popping vehicles and plasma fun for termies. Sure they got killed by charging vangaurd vets game two but I'd rather have lost them than a squad of sons.

The preds also did ok. Seeing as we both had two preds they mostly shot at each other. Nothing horribly spectacular nor horrible on either side of our table.

In the end Ahriman is probably going to be get cut down to a sorc, the prince down to a bare bones prince, and I'm still not sure on the dread. With the cuts from the HQ if I cut the dread I can run a nice 5 man termie squad and they could have potentially done everything and more that the dread did game two (and not have been popped turn 1 game 1). The problem is what do you cut to get to 1850...

I felt like I had enough anti tank but again he was a little light on armor. A real test will be Liams sisters with the what now, 6-8 FA 11 and 3 FA 13? That will be a much tougher nut to crack.

But for now I can say they were fun to play. Armor will be tough, hordes may be a problem, and who knows what I'll do against Eldar, but still I think all those games will be a blast to play.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving ToDo list

So Thanksgiving weekend is upon us and I'm hoping to knock out some 40k stuff over the long weekend.

-Paint two Aspiring sorcerers- I've slacked off on painting and need to get back to it. If I can knock out both sorc models that would be nice. Then I can focus on getting the second squad of dustbuckets done in Dec.

-Purchase tanks- I'm pretty sure on Friday I'll ring up the WarStore and pick up 3 rhinos and 2 predators. Usually they have an extra 5% off so that will save a little coin. I'm debating whether or not to order Be'lakor as a Daemon Prince or just keep waiting for the model announced OVER A YEAR AGO... way to go GW.

-Practice 1ksons- Anthony is coming up Friday and we're going to work on painting up his new sectional GW table, but in between coats were going to run some practice games to see how the 1ksons do. Does the DP work? Is Ahriman just a point sink? Will the dread be totally useless? Hopefully we'll get some answers there.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Templar Dreadnought

So I finished up Dragon Age Saturday morning. It was very enjoyable, and the story was good with only a few 'huh?!?' moments along the way. I've gone through most of the rest of the origins bits now and debating whether to play through it again. I think I'll sit on that and maybe come back to it in a few weeks and see how I feel about it.

I decided I should do some painting this weekend. I felt like I needed something besides 1ksons so I decided to knock out a Templar Dreadnought. I had a really destroyed Dread that had come in and ebay lot that a few months ago I patched up and primered. So he was ready to go and came out looking pretty good.
In 1850 I can basically decide if I want to use this guy, the PotMS vindi, or the GKGM.

Liam came over late Sat night and we got two practice games. Liam is practicing for the tournament Dec 5th which I am bummed to miss.

First game was multiple objectives (5) and DoW. This was a fun game despite the fact I realized starting turn 3 I did not place my 2 5 man shooty squads. I had totally blanked! This obviously was noob mistake and likely would have changed the game a bit, but oh well. At the end of 5 we called it as there was no way I was going to overcome his Sister's wall of rhinos.

Second game we brought out the orks for his Sisters to try to overcome. This was a killpoint long table edge game. I had a killer turn two (killed all 3 exorcists and immobilized/weapon destroyed on a number of other rhinos) which put me up on the KP fast. However Liam was able to catch up over the next few turns. Ghaz and the manz managed a double one assault for a sqaud 2" away that hurt but that's really the only other memorable event of the game. In the end the game went to turn 7 and it really came down to the fact that the difference in KP in our armies (Sisters I think had 17 vs orks 12) was too great for Liam to close the gap even though he still had more alive on the board at the end of the day.

We both had fun and hopefully we'll see some more practice games before these guys head of to the tournament.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thoughts from Sat gaming

So it's been a busy few days and I haven't been able to give a quick update from Saturday.

I was lucky enough to get 5 games in Sat night so that was cool. Unfortunately 3 of the games were all single objective missions and I lost every one of those missions. I just don't see how Tau are supposed to be able to knock off an entire army off their objective. They don't have the assault punch or to really jam a unit in there and hope to survive unless you try for a turn 5 miracle. The firepower is nice but against armies like IG that just have stacks and stacks of troops in Chimeras you can't really hope to knock them all of the ONE objective.

I really dislike that mission in general. The multiple objectives means there is some movement and strategy on both sides, and killpoints are probably the start of a good idea, but it's not the worst as it is right now.

I think the 'single' objective mission works better when you do corner deployment and the objective is placed in the center of the 'opposite' quarters. Now you don't have such a static game and real startegy needs to be applied.

I know we have a handful of missions from different tournaments we have played. I think I might get them together and maybe we'll have 11 or so missions we could roll 2d6 for and have some more variety with some fun missions.

As for the Tau they were a little disappointing. My shooting was horrible. Well not so much my shooting, but I could just not kill vehicles. I seemed incapable of rolling above a 3 on the vehicle damage dice so that was frustrating. I certainly need to figure out how to use the piranha better, going up a flank or what not. They pretty much absorbed lots of firepower, but most games were obliterated at the end of turn 1 if not 2.

I think I'm going to dump out the second Devilfish and FWs for Kroot and hounds. That will free up enough points to drop in two more suits with missile pods (also means making the 2nd HQ a normal suit). That would give me a little more long range firepower with the flexibility of the Kroot which did ok I would say. I'll try that out next time and see if I regret not having the second fish for more mechanized troop options.

Who knows when we'll play again of course. It could very well not be until the holiday break. :(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tau for Sat 11/14

So it looks like at long last we are going to get a solid 40k night in this Saturday. There should eventually be 4 if not more players involved so I'm hopefully to get 3 games in at least at 1850 points.

I'm thinking I'll bring out my Tau. I'd love to practice the 1ksons but there is just so much that needs proxy and I never like doing that. I could bring out Templar or Orks but I think Tau have been played the least in my last few nights out so... out they come!

I've come to realize that the biggest problem with Tau these days is simply objective holding. At first I thought it was kill points but really most units are fairly survivable. Tau are still plenty killy and can also be good at picking off 'easy' KP off a lot of other armies (ie rhinos, drop pods, etc).

But the objectives... man what a pain! Tau aren't durable enough to just plop down and hold them. You basically need to kill everything in the area very dead, or try to blast onto objectives to contest at the last minute. Of course I'd say that only works for me about half the time so... time to tweak the list.

There are 3 things I'd like to try out in my next Tau games. I'm cutting out loads of FWs, and going back to one Pathfinder squad. So what do I possibly do with those newly freed up points?

-More kroot: A second squad of Kroot (10 Kroot 7 Hounds) would be nice as they are a scoring unit, and they have a good clip of flexibility. The problem is they aren't very killy at the end of the day, and again I'm thinking I might just give up the idea of squatting on objectives or hoping for a good outflank against just the right opponent. Still they have their place in my army, but I might hold off on that second squad until we get to 2000 points.

-More Crisis: I could easily add two more Fireknives, or I could put in two deathrains and tweak the HQs and still add some more kroot in the list. I like the idea of more long range firepower for sure. They are survivable as long as you keep them out of site, but a few games I've really wished they could survive contesting objectives a little better.

-More Piranha: So I've been enjoying running two in a squad. Yes they are two kill points but it is more armor, and they aren't as easy to kill as people think at the start of the game. It gives me more steel to move around and block off lanes, plus they do actually make good last minute objective contests. Sadly one more to make a squad of 3 is probably not very game changing, but another squad of two could be a big help.

Of course I'm missing handfuls of models for any of these ideas. I have a good ebay win for my last Kroot hounds on the way but it wont be here by then. I only have one fooked up suit but really need two more new suits to pull of my middle plan. Or I need at least one more piranha if I want to run 4.

I really feel guilty plunking cash down for Tau when A) they are hopefully moving toward a new codec in the next two years and I already have a good clip of semi retired units on the shelf (hello stealth suits, gun drones and firewarriors!) B) any of these plans probably don't really make the army THAT much better over the other (or possibly over my earlier lists) and C) I've still got a significant shopping list for my 1ksons.

So... thinking hat is on now!

Update- went down at lunch to pick up my Ahriman and bought a Piranha.
I'm so weak willed. ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tzeentch Marine HQ Options

So a little continuation on my last post: figuring out the HQ option for my 1ksons.

Really there are 4 main choices and some can have a little variant (like combi meltas, termie armor, etc).

Option 1: Sorcerer- Mark of Tzeentch, Warptime, Wind of Chaos, Melta Bombs- 190 pts

This is the tooled out tzeentch sorcerer. The great part about the combo is casting Warptime, getting in close, frying a bunch of enemy with WoC (with Rerolls to wound!) then charging in and wading through your enemy with the force weapon.

The downside is CC is still not your best friend because while he is tied to the 1ksons any charge will be at Init 1 thanks to S&P. So really you're still getting close and frying, and only charging if you are certain you are going to be safe and clean up the dregs.

The other downside is that a anti psy list (librarians, bugs and worst of all eldar) can quickly take your uber sorcer and make him be really ineffective. Now in a Chaos Undivided army you could maybe take this risk, but in a 1ksons army you already have a bunch of points tied up your 1W Aspring Sorcerers. How many points do you want to risk getting flushed down the drain?

So the question is do I want my 1ksons to be even more killy at short range. Well yes I do, but they are already fairly good in rapid fire range, so am I putting too much into one basket, or am I helping their CC abilities out to make it worth it?

Option 2- Ahriman- 250 pts

So for 60 points more you get named uber leader Ahriman. He has the same stats as the sorcerer, but those extra points are going to 2 key factors: 3 spells a turn and more spells.

This means you now you have a little more flexibility. If you are forced to stay at range you can use Bolt of Change (Str 8 Ap1 Assualt 1). If you have a annoying character and you just happen to be in the right place you can try to pull of and upset with Gift of Chaos to create a Spawn (which certainly is worth the points to see those faces sag). The three spells is nice because like the sorc above you can Warptime, WoC, then actually use that Force weapon all in one turn.

But damn, that is a lot of points. There are good chances he never does much more than the normal sorcerer, and he suffers some of the same problems the sorcerer has as well (especially since he is once again accompanying the 1ksons). For fluff reasons I think he'd be fun, but nearly every board I have read says save your points.

Option 3- Chaos Lord- Mark of Tzeentch, Death Screamer, Melta Bombs- 150

Now no chaos guys really like lords. They are actually really good, its just compared to the other HQ choices he isn't quite as sexy.

The positive when it comes to the 1ksons Lord is his weapon can be used to shoot 24" St4 AP3 Assault d6 shots and still be used as a Daemon Weapon in CC. So this gives the option for some ranged anti Meq fire (which goes along with the 1ksons) and some nice CC ability.

Another solid upside is here is a guy who can still be just as effective when those anti psy armies take the field. It would be nice to have one guy who is still working at 100% potential.

Plus he is relatively cheap.

Downsides are he still ends up at Init 1 on the charge when tagging along with 1ksons and he really isn't nearly as killy as the other options. Plus while Deathscreamer is nice do I really need more Anti Meq shots with 27 1ksons on the field? And I'm not sure how fluffy he is... shouldn't he be dust now anyway...?

Option 4- Daemon Prince- Wings, Mark of Tzeentch, Warptime, Wind of Chaos- 205

The dreaded Daemon Prince. He has more killing power than any other HQ, and mobility to boot. He doesn't suffer from having to tag along with the 1ksons and getting their shit S&P charge. His psy powers are great, but if he gets shut down there he is still a DP after all and can wreck havoc out there. He even has more anti tank ability when he closes in range which of course the 1ksons are missing.

So we all know DP draw a lot of attention and firepower. This is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that is lets other things that would normally take high Str shots/low AP shots in the first rounds because usually he is the biggest threat. The 3+/4++ is nice, but at T5 he can still be brought down with enough bolter shots.

Of course if lines of marines are standing out pouring bolter shot into a DP, my 1ksons will have a field day on my next turn.

He is still a lot of points. He will likely always die, my question is just how long can I keep him alive?

I guess there is another sub option as well...
Option 4.5- Daemon Prince- Wings- 130
Hmm... you never see it because you can add lash for 25 points, but that isn't very fluffy for me.
However at 130 pts you have a huge target who is still horribly threatening and will still probably take up a bunch of firepower. He's certainly not as killy but... hey if he never makes it to combat you just saved 75 points. It's something worth considering I suppose.

So those are my options. The 'core' of my army is about 1350, and I usually stick to designing around 1850. So I have 500 pts to use. I am an HQ addict, using 3 in my Templar 1850. It's hard to not see using two as most of my choices of what else I could spend points on aren't horribly appealing.

Termies- yes they are good and they can be cheap but I'm not sure I want to rely on walking or deepstriking
Dread- Fluffy yes, Anti tank yes, reliable... eh, I'm guessing no, frustrating very likely
Raptors- Well I could, they are a different cult and like the oblits they could just be tagging along but... they are expensive for what they do
Chosen, Possesed, Normal CSM, Bikes- all not so fluffy for 'pure' 1ksons
Greater Daemon- I'm not dying to lose my Aspiring Sorcerers
Lesser Daemons- Actually I'm on the fence about them. Yes there save is horrible and they will never kill much, but they are a troop and they may have tactical use

So that's where I'm at. Likely I'll just shove Ahriman and the Uber DP in there and see what they do and figure out what is missing, but there are certainly some options for my to play test as well.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Painting may be a bit slow now...

So Dragon Age has probably totally killed my 'painting schedule' for the next few weeks. Oh well, I guess it was time for a break anyway.

I'm still thinking a lot about the pure 1ksons and how to build out the army. They will be fun overall but it is easy to see why they aren't super competitive.

-AP3 bolters sound good, but nearly everyone will just stick to cover (and are mechanized as well)
-4++ saves sound good until you realize, well, everyone can just stick to cover
-No grenades, no BP&CC weapons, and with S&P when the charge they are at Initiative 1
-No special weapons in the squad, so meltas and fists are lacking throughout the troop section

So yes, they can be a devastating short range army against squads walking up on them. They aren't the worst army in CC (hello Tau!) but really avoiding combat is probably for the best. Yes they may be able to survive for serveral rounds thanks to fearless and the 3+/4++, but winning combat is probably not so likely against any squad that is really after you for CC engagement.

They have a hell of a time with Mechanized, so really almost everything else in the army probably needs to be built around Anti-Tank.

So I'm pretty sold on the 3 1kson squad in rhinos as troops. I'm pretty sure my first attempts at filling the heavy slots will be with 3 oblits, and then 2 Preds with side las.

The HQs are the real question, and I'm still figuring out what to do there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Things are light

Not doing much playing, just painting and day dreaming. I finished up another 3 1ksons, so now I'm going to move on to the two aspiring sorcerers for my two squads. I figure if I can knock them out and move on to that second squad I'd be ready to play (with some BT vehicle proxies). That should only take, eh, the rest of the year.

Aside from that I've done some poking around on ebay but am trying to stave off the 'I can just buy this crappily painted item and redo it' since the whole point of this army was supposed to be about making it look as good as I can. I'm just feeling like I want to play it and get a feel for the army.

Of course for better or worse there just hasn't been the time, and with the holiday's coming it remains to be seen how much gaming we really get in until after Christmas.