Monday, February 18, 2013

Dundracon 40k

So despite my lack of posts I have been getting in some games.  I went up to Frontline for a few games, and I had Anthony over another night for 2 games. 

We even played a Fantasy game!  What we learned is that Fantasy is still just not horribly fun.  It is interesting and I think a lot of the 8th edition rules we are 'over' as a lot has changed with 6th edition 40k (random powers, random charges, etc).  However overall, whether it be the armies we are playing or the mechanics of the game, it just don't feel like it is a 'fun' application of tactics.  You build a list and set up and that is almost the end of the game tactically, now you just roll dice.  Units move forward and you decide if you want to risk charging or not.  Magic is either unstoppable or, more usually we find, just totally useless.  Maybe it is our lack of experience but games like 40k and Warmachine seem to have a lot more to do with what you actually do turn by turn, and because of it are just more fun to play.

I also went over to do the Dundracon 40k event this last weekend.  This was the 1500 event that had no fortifications and no allies.  I figured fliers, in particular Helldrakes, would run wild.  It turns out not a single helldrake was there!

I took the modified bike army, taking the libby instead of the Eldar and adding a Storm Talon to try that out for once.

Game I played a young Ethan's Chaos Zerker Army.  It looked something like:

Winged DP, Axe of Blind Fury
Zerkers in LR
Zerkers in Rhino
Zerkers in Rhino

Not a lot of units, multiple objective game.  This was pretty much the ideal matchup for my bikes.

Things went poorly for him from the get go.  He did get turn one to advance but I popped his rhinos and his pred on my turn and put a wound or two on the DP.  On turn 2 all he could do was advance.  I followed up by shooting him more.  By turn 3 I had essentially gotten into one combat and lost, and shot the last of his models off the board by turn 4.  This gave me full victory points, which proved to be my undoing.

Game 2 I played Mike's Tyranids.  Mike is a regular tournament player (last years ETC Team Captain for Ireland) who comes over pretty regularly for work.  We've met and spoken at a number of events in the past.  His list was everything I don't want to see with my bikes.

Winged HT
Winged HT
2 Zoes
Doom in Pod
2 Zoes in Pod
10 Gaunts
10 Gaunts

For those of you counting at home that is 7 guys that can do Psychic Scream.  Ya, I did my best to not be negative and make him work for it but this game was lost as soon as I pulled him on table one.  Everything went wrong from the get go on top of that.  Kill point game and my warlord trait is Captain is scoring.  He goes first.  Nightfighting.  A GIANT F&%K^&G RIVER on the board.

But still I gave it the college try.  I manged to get first blood on the bottom of 2 killing a spore pod, which was effectively the only wounds I did.  By the end of turn 3 I had 6 bikes left and the Storm Talon.  He was on me with his entire list also so there was no where to run.

Mike was a gentlemen and proceeded to buy me two pints at the bar since we had an hour 1/2 to wait for the next round.  :)

Game 3 was against Russ's orks.  I've seen Russ at a lot of the Game Kastle events but I don't think we've had the pleasure of a game.  I was nice and loose thanks to the two beers, so was ready for a fun game!

Russ's list is one I haven't tried, forgive my lack of notating different upgrades because there were lots of small (and largely) inconsequential upgrades.

Warboss w/PK
10 Lootas
10 Lootas
4 Manz in Trukk
11 Boyz in Trukk
12 Boyz in Trukk
12 Boyz in Trukk
12 Boyz in Trukk
2x Deffcoptas w/ Rokkits, 1 Buzzsaw

Sorry for the fuzzy picture, I realized I hadn't gotten a snap so quickly did it after my turn one movement.

Things in this game started out pretty good.  Despite night fighting  I managed to steal the intiative and kill his Manz and his Warboss rides on turn one.  The problem was the both Kareened straight at me.  This meant I not only had to deal with those squad, he was able to apply preasure with the other trukks as well.  I thought the game was still going pretty well, but his Lootas were on fire.  The two squad I think only managed to roll 1 shot once in 10 rounds of playing.  Despite my Captain making a ton of 2+ saves things went really south for me when he went down.  By the end of turn 5 I think I had one squad of two bikes left, and he still had a good clip of boys wandering around the table.

Mike from my second game went on to win the Best General.  My team mate Grant was the other 3-0 player with his Jetseer Eldar list but just couldn't muster the cremations to rack up the VPs like Mike was able to do. 

The guys that ran the event (the Waagh Club that does the Grant Waagh tourny) ran a smooth event and have really stepped up the terrain since the last event I went to that they ran.  Since the Con doesn't kick down prize support the generously gave away a table full of terrain to the Best General, Best Painted, and Best Sportsman.  I thought that was a pretty nice and different way of doing the prize support.

So what did I take away from this event as it relates to my biker marines?

1.  Bugs rule.  I've been beaten by Reece's bugs twice in recent memory and now the shellacking from Mike.  I think most armies will struggle (maybe not GKs?) but in particular my bikes.   It particularly hurt not having the farseer, but even with the farseer I'm not sure it is enough.

2.  I didn't miss the scouts and quad gun.  Game 2 it might have been helpful to shoot down a Flyrant, but I shot with all my bikers at them and he made every 'don't fall down' save.  So what are you going to do there.  There were no fliers in my other two games.  There were one or two Necron armies that had a number of fliers, but most lists didn't field any.

3.  I've been working on a Drop Pod and Sterngaurd for BAO.  While they would have been helpful in game 1 (which I didn't need them) and possibly game 2 (though probably not enough to change the outcome), they could have been game changing against the orks.

4.  The Storm Talon was near useless.  In game 1 I had effectively taken out the armor except his LR., which the Storm Talon I think did manage to immobilize.  Still not the best target.  Game 2 I was pretty much already dead by the time my Storm Raven got on the field.  Game 3 it game on and blew up a truck, then got downed by lootas.  All in all that was 150 points better spent on just about more bikes (be it MM attack bikes, more scoring bodies, or points toward the Eldar in another tournament).

So it is two weeks until the BAO.  I've got to wrap up the drop pod/sterngaurd project and figure out if I get those Eldar in there or not.  They are always nice, but in most games don't feel worth 200 points.  They can really damper the Tyranid pyschic shock and awe but I'm not sure it is quite enough in a list like Mike ran (plus 250 more points to spend) to pull out a victory.

Hopefully I'll get one or two more practice games in but with so much painting to be done we'll have to see.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Imperial Fist Army

So another picture heavy blog.   These are my Imperial Fists, which are still pretty good in 6th edition.  They are troop light but with the benefits of the wall cracking all this armor can be tough.

The whole army came about because I had a lot of old out of print models.  So the idea was to make a 'not quite heresy era' army.  I wanted to get it done reasonably quickly so this is all done using the Army Painter colored primer and their dip as well.  It isn't going to win any awards but taken as a whole the army looks pretty nice.  If I ever wanted to really take them to a tournament with a soft score involved a week or two of highlights and detailing could probably click these guys up a few notches.  However it isn't the most fun to play (boring kind of) but is great for people to play against since it is a pretty good marine army to practice their tournament builds.

First we have Lsyander.  I had his actual Thunder Hammer and Shield left from my Termie Templar conversion, so I was able to put that to use on this guy.

Lysander is a great HQ.  The only downside is really losing Combat Tactics for Stubborn.  It only really matters on the termies as there are times breaking combat in the opponents turn so you can charge again would be great.  For this reason (and his cost) he is usually what gets cut when going to anything under 2k.

The terminator Librarian is pretty cheap and gives some flexibility.  Nullzone for fighting Daemons and Gate is actually useful in this army since there is not a lot of mobility.  Going to Biomancy is never really a bad choice either.

These HQs obviously always run with the terminators.

I've only gone to combat squad them once and even then I don't think it was a good idea.  You want a big unit to move across the field and basically be shot and/or tie up nasty units.  You don't have a lot of troops so you want to keep them out of harms way and a big (expensive) unit like this will do that.

The rest of the army is basically all fire support starting with the Dreadnoughts.

The autocannons are from Puppets of War and look really cool in this army.  They do require a bit of warm water to straighten and a good amount of working with the knife and green stuff.  However for the cost and the look I think they are a great buy.

Regular old school mono pose tactical marines.  Essentially enough for two 10 man squads  though I have a spare sarg done if I need to cut down to three 5 man squads.  I also have meltas I can trade for the flamers.  The flamers are usually better used and free.  The army overall does not have a lot to deal with AV 14 but a few Lascannons and Lysanders Str 10 TH.   There is other str 8 but that is pretty hard to count on for that kind of work.

These are two Las/Plas Razorbacks.  Againt the turrrents are from Puppets of War and they were just cheap enough and easy as opposed to cutting up my own conversion.  Plus i had to reuse these old school rhinos anyway!

So I really wanted to use Typhoons but of course the old metal speeders (which look great) didn't have that option.  What I did have was a bunch of Deathwind Launchers from all the Drop Pods I have purchased.  So I think this looks great.  I have had one person tell me that they thought having the pods on top was unfair because they look higher than the actual GW model.  It turns out they aren't so it shouldn't affect LOS issues.

Originally this was a 3rd Razorback and in smaller games sometimes I go back to that model.  However I've been having fun with a whirlwind lately and there are enough infantry out there for this guy to be useful again.  Too bad he doesn't have a skyfire option yet, then he'd be great.

Lastly we have the Dakka predators.  Cheap AV 13 and volume of fire is the name of the game.

Like I said when you add in the Aegis this can be a real tough army to start to take down.  However if a brutal unit can make it past the terminators and into you line it is usually about game over then!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This is my current Tau army.  I had the lightbox up over the weekend so I decided there were some older models and armies that I've never really showcased.

This Tau army was my first painted army.  I had already started painted orks, but I wanted to pick up something else to mix it in so I started Tau by buying a small painted force on ebay.  It was some firewarriors, some kroot, a few crisis suits, and a hammerhead.

So I have basically stuck with the paint job that that small force had and improved upon it just a little bit.  However this really hasn't been worked on in years and it needs a LOT of loving.  For one I never Dullcoated the army.  This was before I knew better so a lot of the models are chipped.  Obviously my painting technique has also improved a lot as well.

I also figured I'd go with a snow theme.  So I got online and I looked up how to do it, but I didn't do it very well.  Some of the snow bases you can see I did not add enough white paint to the mix, and now it has yellowed over time.  So most of these bases need to be redone.

As the Tau codex is looking like it is coming out later this year these guys will stay this way until we can see the new book, pick up new units, and at that point I'll go back to getting these guys improved.

Until then I give you my Tau army, in it's not so awesome glory!

These guys have pretty much been my HQ choices in the last editions.  Every weapon and system upgrade is magnetized, and I've got a slew of options I can mix around between all the suits.  These guys I wanted to try some dynamic posing rather than the boring pose of the crisis suits below.   The guy on the left is a great example how bad some of the yellowing has gotten on some of the models.

Crisis suits, or which I've always needed more.  I've used one of the HQs as a regular suit and I've also got a unpainted broadside that I've sometimes subbed in as well.  I've got one of these guys unbuilt that I should just throw together for the occasional times I pull the army out for funsies.

Stealth suits which have always been fun though a bit inferior to crisis suits.  They are certainly better in 6th edition but not really so much where more Crisis suits or Firewarriors seem a better choice still.

I've got lots of Firewarriors.   Back in they day of fish of fury they were great to run 3 full squads.  In 5th I dropped down to two min squad hiding in Devilfish.  Now I've played more 4 x 9 configs on foot and that has worked pretty well.

Kroot have always filled that hole for a big blob in my Tau army.  I've never like the paintjob but since 10 were in that original batch I just stuck with the theme...

...but I've never gotten the nerve to go and paint the Kroot hounds.  These guys have been picked up over the years from cheap ebay bids.  They add a lot to the Kroot blob and hopefully they will be useful in the next dex as well.

These are my main pair of Devilfish.  One of the Hammerheads can also be converted over so I can run three if I choose to do so.  I have not chosen to do so since 4th edition.

These are my Pathfinder conversions.  It is just too easy to use the firewarriors with the carbines and trim off some armor and call it a day.  Plus more horrible yellowing on the bases.

Piranha's were money in 5th edition.  They still are useful in 6th, but I find more guns are better overall.  I have a 3rd that is unpainted.

Hammerheads also have seen less and less use as 5th edition went, and now I haven't even tried them in 6th editon.  The new rumors could have these guys back on the table.  I have the bits for a Skyray too of coruse, also unpainted and largely horrible to use currently.

Broadsides, which probably need to be the start and end to every list.  I mentioned early I have a 3rd guy which is about 1/2 painted.  In the few games of 6th I've played I've just run them separate loaded with shield drones.  That seems to work out pretty well.

I have shield drones and gun drones around as well, but I just couldn't be bothered to update those pictures.

Anyway that's the army right now, I think I'll stick this on the side and maybe I can do updates to this if/when I ever get back to improving this army!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Storm Talon Pictures

Just a quick post to show off the completed Storm Talon.  I finished it on the weekend and had some time while watching the kids to set up my lightbox and take some pictures.

I'm actually really pleased with how this looks.  I felt like I had just the right airbrush consistancy and was able to move from dark to light with a lot more control than I have in the past.  I kept the rest of the paint job relatively simple.  I also just used regular old Elmer's Glue to get the cockpit on to avoid that fogging that I've had on past projects.

A few decals and some basing and I can say this might be my favorite vehicle paint job I've done so far!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ravenwing For Dundracon

So the last real contender for me as an optional list for Dundracon would be to take a Ravenwing list.

I think for 1500 points you just sell out on getting bolters in there with the banner of Devastation.  I like Black Knights and Darkshrouds but I think they have to go at 1500.

Libby on Bike, Force Axe, Lvl 2
Ravenwing Command Squad, Banner Of Dev, Apoth, Champ
RAS, Add 3 bikes, 2x Plasma, Combi Plasma, Attack Bike MM
RAS, Add 3 bikes, 2x Plasma, Combi Plasma, Attack Bike MM
RAS, Add 3 bikes, 2x Plasma, Combi Plasma, Attack Bike MM
RAS, Add 3 bikes, 2x Melta, Combi Melta


So let's go back and compare that to the normal bike list I mentioned last week.

Captain, Bike, PF, Adamantite, Storm Shield
Libby, Bike, Power Axe
4 Bikes (2 Plasma, 1 Combi Plasma) + 1 Attack Bike (MM)
4 Bikes (2 Plasma, 1 Combi Plasma) + 1 Attack Bike (MM)
4 Bikes (2 Plasma, 1 Combi Plasma) + 1 Attack Bike (MM)
4 Bikes (2 Plasma, 1 Combi Plasma) + 1 Attack Bike (MM)
4 Bikes (2 Plasma, 1 Combi Plasma) + 1 Attack Bike (MM)
Storm Talon, Lascannons

Sammael and the Captain both have some give and take, neither are slouches.
The Dark Angel Libby is arguably better with Divination, until you run into Daemons and you are happy your SM Libby has Nullzone.
The Ravenwing Command Squad is where the money is for the Ravenwing army, and those points are coming from the Storm Talon and then some.  I think the Storm Talon is more 'killy' overall, especially given the no fortifications of this event.  But the banner...

So let's look at the troops.  The marines have 5 x 5 bikes, or essentially 30 wounds in the troops section.  The Ravenwing have 4 x6, plus 3 x1 Attack bikes.  So 7 scoring units, or possibly up to 11 if you want to go crazy.  But it is still 30 wounds.

If we look at TEQ and Tank busting we'll see it comes pretty close.  Ravenwing have 6 Plasma guns, 3 Combi Plasma, 3 Plasma Talon (assuming you don't trade one for a Grenade Launcher), 2 meltas, 1 combi melta, and 3 MM.   Let's say at 24" that is 12 great shots possible and at 12" that is 27 shots.  That goes to 30 at 9".  Oh and I guess there is Sammy's Plasma Cannon as well!

For the marines you have 10 Plasma shots, 5 Combi Plasma, 5 MM, plus the Storm Talon has twin linked Assualt cannons and the Lascannon.  So at 24" that is 25 High Str shots, and at 12" that is 40 shots.  Even if you take the Storm Talon out of the equation turn one the High Str/Low AP guns favor the regular Marines.

But let's go back to the bolters and what the Banner of Devastation brings to the table.  First let's look at the regular marines.  If I'm just firing all my bolters at enemy infantry I'm bringing 27 bolters to bare on the enemy.  That's 27 shots at 24" and 54 shots at 12".  This number sounds pretty great.

The Ravenwing however have 28 bolters, only one more in reality from the Space Marines.  However with careful placement the Banner of Devastation can turn those bolters all in to Salvo 4, making that 112 bolter shots at 24".

Don't forget all these bolter shots are twin linked as well.

Now there are some big caveats to this.  Obviously this takes a lot of 'what is the max firepower' without giving much thought to how feasible that really is.  I did not find it too hard to keep the bikes centrally around the banner in my WHOLE ONE TEST GAME.  So that might be different in other games, I'm hoping to find out soon.

Also that firepower goes down pretty quick with some key losses.  Losing the banner hurts, and the attack bikes are really easy kill points that probably aren't really targetting infantry units anyway.

So it sounds great to have all those bolter shots.  They will chew through infantry.  You can get through terminators and T6 at range with that many bolter shots.   But you still aren't busting tanks as well.  Also I am not sure I've lost many games against infantry based lists with my bikes that keep me up at night.  Well Tzeentch Daemons, they keep me up at night.  Does the banner and shooting firepower bring enough over Null Zone? 

Of course hit and run and scout are another pair of great adds to this army, and the ability to break up into lots of small combat squads is pretty great if you end up playing a many objective game against a slower low unit count army (like CSM usually).

You lose Combat Tactics which is a shame.  I think the vanilla marines has a better time downing fliers (between the higher amount of High Str shots and Storm Talon).  Of course I think the trick for Ravenwing is knowing when to tactically get into combat and hit and run.  Hit and run is more reliable than combat tactics, though I've used Combat Tactics to similar effect as well.

As for painting I would need to paint 4 more bikes, the 3 command squad guys (which I've converted, yay a use for plasma pistols), and Sammael.  Not an impossible task in two weeks (no more so than two helldrakes and an HQ for Chaos).  The biggest problem is I don't have a Sammael, and I'm told he is pretty hard to get a hold of right now.

So I've got to decide pretty quick here on what I am going to do.  The Marines bikers are done.  The Chaos I have everything, and the desire to paint, but it has not be given any play time to test.   The Ravenwing seem neat but are also largely untested, have the most models to probably paint, and am missing the lynchpin HQ choice!

I also have BAO looming in the background so I am trying to bare in mind what 1750 list I want to take to it and if that means I should get cracking on something now as well.

At this point I think bikes are the answer, and I should probably just get cracking on more bikes being painted to give me options for more troops in either bike lists I'd be looking to run.

Then maybe I target working on the chaos army for something like Kublacon in May which usually has a big soft score aspect.