Sunday, May 8, 2011

Barrel(s) of Monkeys...

Game 3 of the WH40K league is done, and the Horns once again tasted defeat... But this time, victory was almost in their grasp!

My opponent this game played an army from the Grey Knights codex... he had told me that prior to our game, so I prepared to face force weapons and terminators.

Imagine my surprise when instead of a conventional GK force, I instead see 8 Chimeras lined up at my opponent's table edge, and he informs me that each one has 5 Jokaero Weaponsmiths inside... And there are two Inquisitors as HQs... Oh, and he also had 3 Servo Skulls deployed that prevented my scouts from infiltrating within 12" of them.

I scratched my head at this... Monkeys? Ok...

I read the internet, I even snuck a look at the new codex, so I know that they have access to the variable weapon loadout, but I wondered what I was missing here.

Well, those monkeys can really pack a punch sometimes...

The game was pitched battle with one center objective, so I deployed my troops in their usual transports, and made sure they all had as much cover as possible. One twist this game is that I combat squadded my 2 10-man squads, and placed 4 bolters and a heavy weapons marine on the right flank and in the rear-center in cover.. I placed my Vindicators up front and two Dreads F&C (front and center, but it saves time to say F&C instead). My Devastators found a nice high perch on my left flank, and my scouts infiltrated in just about the only spot available.

I had first turn, so I started targeting each Chimera individually trying to pop them and expose the troops inside. I blew up the command tank, and destroyed 2 weapons on other tanks with my heavy weapons and Razorbacks, and I moved everything else up the middle to try and crowd the objective.

Then I saw the logic behind my opponent's list. 5 lascannon shots from the monkeys inside each tank, plus multilaser shots from each intact Chimera. Ouch!

Sheer volume of fire made my Vindicators screech to a halt and the one on my left flank was blown up, and the one on the right was immobilized. Both of my Dreadnoughts were immobilized, 6" from the objective.

Turn 2 saw my assault squad come in, since I had held them in reserve, and they deployed on the enemies' left flank via deep strike, they scattered a little bit, but they were still in a good spot, or so I thought.
My immobilized Vindy blew up another Chimera, and the troops out of the command Chimera were mowed down by some fancy missile launcher fire. Some crew shaken results ensured that the multilaser fire was diminished, but it was quickly obvious that I needed to crack all of the tanks and get the Jokaeros out in the open. Easier said than done.

I moved my assault squad up close to assault a tank, but was not within range, and they ended up getting slaughtered by 5 heavy flamers. The only survivor was the Flamer marine, who would make the enemy pay dearly.

Turn 3 saw me trying to get my remaining transports into cover, and blowing smoke on all of my immobilized vehicles (the dreads ended up being effectively neutered). The flamer assault marine rolled up the enemy's flank and mopped up two squads of Jokaeros with flamer shots and assaults, but met his demise from a lone Jokearo who popped him with a close range Lascannon blast.

By turn 4, my opponent rushed his 5 remaining Chimeras forward towards the objective, and I realized I was out of position to block him or stop all of them.

I did destroy 2 more Chimeras, on turn my turn 5, but he managed to get his 3  remaining tanks into a "triangle" around the objective.

The game continued to turn 6, and I popped all of his blocking tanks, and killed one of the squads that bailed out, but it was too little, too late. He managed to shoot my squads up some on his turn 6, and the game ended at that point.

I was pretty confident that had the game gone on to turn 7, I could have probably pushed him off of the objective with the 2 tactical squads that were close (but not close enough to contest).

In the end, my opponent had a victory, but I did manage to outscore him on kill points 11 to7.

All in all, it was a very fun game. My guys performed very well, and I felt there was a little more cohesiveness and effectiveness to my list. I'm learning the rules more and more each game, and I've gotten better at knowing all of the rules for my units. My opponent was a lot of fun to play with, he's quite a bit more experienced than me, but was very helpful in making sure I was remembering all the rules. I was nowhere near as clueless this time, and he also pointed out mistakes I had made along the way in a very constructive manner. I know I will run into a jerk player at some point, but so far I have been very lucky to play class opponents.

I learned 2 things from this game, which for me is a victory of sorts:
- Assault troops can't assault after deep striking, so they have to be protected a little better.
- If you can rush an objective and force your opponent to have to push you off, then do so.

With everything I'm learning, I'm looking forward to my next game!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Up, up and away!

Just a few quick pics of the progress on my Chaplain and Assault Squad.

I redid the Flamer marine to show him with a chainsword, since the other model I have shows just a Flamer, and I dont want to miss the assault die... Emperor knows I'll need as many as I can get...

Without further ado...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Burn, heretic!

Month 2 of the WH40K league is starting up, and I have my next match Friday night.

The scenario will be Pitched Battle with 1 center objective.

My opponent will be a different Grey Knights player, so I will definitely need a Librarian. For my second HQ choice, I'm prepping a model I've been saving for a while now, my Jump Pack Chaplain.

One of the first things that grabbed my attention when I started learning about Space Marines were the assault squads, with their jump packs charging into battle. You would think I would have chosen a Blood Angels army, but I kind of like to think of Jump Packs as the seasoning, and not the whole meal...

So I primed up my Chaplain and I started blocking IB the colors... Here's his current WIP picture:

The tan areas are where the gold will be...

And here he is with his squad:

The idea behind these guys are to have a mobile, harassing element that I can use to give my opponent something to worry about, hopefully at one of his flanks or from behind.

I'm thinking of keeping them in reserve and deep striking them.

Hopefully I'll have a little time tomorrow to at least get some color on them and finish up the gold on the Chaplain.

Do you have any tips for using Assault Squads?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Change of pace

I'm taking a short break from my Space Marines to tackle something that's been languishing on the shelf since Christmas: Witchfate Tor!

First of all, this model is a bear to put together... There are quite a few tips out on the interwebz about how to make it a bit less painful, and the most helpful were the use of rubber bands, and the appreciation that it takes a LOT of trimming and sanding to make the wall pieces come together.

The floors are a total mess, but I'm not too worried about that since they won't be used too often (cue ominous music).

The walls are chock-full of detail, and I'm chomping at the bit to get some painting done on them.

My first step was to prime the whole thing with black spray paint, and then the walls got a spray of Granite Krylon paint, taking care to spray from an angle so I wouldn't get too much in the crevices.

Once that was done, I took some Badab Black and washed the skulls, and some Devlan Mud in between the stones, and heavily at the base.
I also picked out selected stones with Deneb Stone to provide some variety and texture to the walls.

Oh, and of course I did my standard black basecoating for all metal surfaces. I'm going to try some rust effects on the rings along the outside, and for the gates I think I'll try some glowing effect, since it IS supposed to be a magical tower.

I'll have to figure out a bit of spot color here and there, but overall I like the stone coloring, since it makes it feel like a "real" tower in my humble opinion...

Let me know what you think... Have you put one of these bad boys together?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Enter the Grey Knights

No, I'm not starting a new army. This is actually a quick recap of my second WH40k league game, which came against a Grey Knights army.

My opponent from my first game gave me a heads up that this would be the army I would be facing in the second game, so I read up as much as I could about the GK units and abilities, and I set out to counter them as best I could.

My revamped list was as follow:

HQ - SM Librarian x 2
With Force Dome and Smite

Troops - SM 10 man Tactical Squad in Rhino with Meltagun and ML x 2

SM 5 man Tactical Squad in Razorback with TL Lascannons x2

SM 10 man Scout Squad with 5 sniper rifles, 4 shotguns and upgraded the Sgt to Sgt Telion

Heavy: Vindicator x 2, one with Sgt Chronus

5 man Devastator Squad with 2 ML, 1 Lascannon and 1 Heavy Bolter

Elite: Dreadnought x 3
- one AoBR Dread
- one Dread with Heavy Flamer and Assault Cannon
- One dread with TL Autocannons and CCW

The mission was Pitched Battle with 5 objectives. I won the initiative and deployed first. I set my scouts 3" from the center objective nearest my table edge.

One Rhino and the AoBR dread on my left flank to rush an objective, a Vindy and Razorback to the right flank, with the Flamer Dread, and the other Vindy up the middle to draw fire.

My devastators were deployed in a building inside my deployment zone which meant that I could camp them and cover the rest of my units from that position right off the bat.

The remaining Razorback was deployed two feet from the left table edge.

I put my librarians each inside one of the Razorbacks and made sure that I had "coverage" over most of the battlefield with my Psychic hoods to try and disrupt psychic abilities.

I reserved my last Rhino, thinking it would be able to come on later and try and contest an objective.

My opponent was able to use one of his ICs to grant pretty much all of his units the ability to be Troops, which turned out to be my downfall.

He placed a Vindicare assassin and a Psyfleman dread on his closest center objective, a Land Raider with GK termies to my left, a regular 5 man squad on my right, and a combat squad interceptor squad hunkered down in cover. And a Storm Raven with 5 interceptors on my far right.

His HQ was Mordrak with a squad of Ghost Knights and a Librarian in Terminator armor deep striking first turn.

He attempted to seize the initiative, but failed, so I got to go first and started executing my battle plan, with all my units moving into their Pre-planned positions. The initial volley of vehicle fire took out one Interceptor, but nothing else.

Fortune smiled on me early during my opponent's turn, as his Land Raider was immobilized on a crater after moving one inch. His assassin took a shot at Telion, but missed, which he would later regret.

His HQ squad teleported in behind my right flank and did their job by harassing my rear armor. To no immediate effect.

A lucky psycannon shot destroyed Chronus' vindicator's main gun and immobilized it, turning it into a stormbolter armed pillbox.

I managed to hold my own for three rounds. Holding or contesting 4 out of the 5 objectives.

My scout snipers killed the assassin, and held their own on close combat after being assaulted by the interceptors.

I managed to kill Mordrak and his squad by pretty much throwing my whole right flank at them. Thankfully he didn't get any reinforcements from his ghost knights.

My librarians frustrated his psychic abilities for a good while, and one of them even killed his termie Librarian with his force weapon. Force dome kept giving me a small fighting chance with some invulnerable saves, but I never did get to Smite anyone... I'll have to remember that next time.

In the end, his force weapons wiped out all my contesting troops, and the game ended at turn 5 with him controlling all of the objectives and having 13 KPs and me only having 4 KPs.

I had a lot of fun, and I think my preparation helped a lot, especially having a Pre-planned deployment strategy. If I played him again, I would definitely have a better appreciation for what his army can do, and I would have to come up with a way to bottle up his deep striking termies and not let them roll me up from behind.

My opponent was very helpful, and he gave me some much needed advice, especially when he saw that I was making a grave tactical error here and there.

So after the first month I'm 0-2 as expected, but I'm feeling more confident in my army and my grasp of the rules. And having no wins puts me in the bottom of the pairings where hopefully I'll be facing others of similar ability.

Now I get to keep painting and preparing...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Orks:1 - Horns: 0

I have finished my first game in the WH40k league, and as I figured, I was soundly defeated.

My opponent fielded Orks. He had 9 Killa Kans, two mobs of Boyz, one in a Trukk, and a Warboss and Nobz mob in another Trukk.

I never stood a chance...

I did however learn a lot, which is what I was hoping for.

Things that I learned:
- Have a deployment plan.
- Know the rules for your units
- Ask questions about your opponent's units and their weapons.
- Let an Ork mob come to you, and focus fire on one unit at a time
- My dice hate me... They really, really hate me...

All in all, I had fun. After the umpteenth time I rolled a fistful of saving throws and saw a preponderance of ones and twos, I just started laughing. My opponent was great, he was very patient, and helped work me through the game mechanics.

Here are a few more scenes of carnage from my doomed army:

Photographic evidence of my one kill point. Two units of Space Marines killed an Ork mob that had assaulted (and popped) one of my Rhinos.

Two coptas outflanked me and proceeded to mop up my army from behind.

Brother Sergeant Chronos' last stand. Instead of falling back, I fired all weapons, and missed at point blank range with all four...

The final six survivors, minutes before the Warboss used them to lubricate his Power Claw...

I got some good advice from my opponent after the game concerning my army list, and he pointed out the most glaring tactical errors I made.

Not the most auspicious start to my gaming career, but if I can keep making new mistakes instead of repeating the same ones, I should do ok.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh... I.C.

My first game in the 40k league is on Friday night, and I have tomorrow off, so I'll be able to spend some time finishing up my vehicles.

Today, I decided to focus on painting up my HQ choice, Cato Sicarius, since he's been in pieces this whole time.

Here he is, I still need to finish his sword sheath and the plasma pistol, and the detail on his banner, but otherwise, he is almost playable...

It was fun painting an Ultramarine. I did a Regal Blue basecoat, and then highlights with Ultramarine Blue, and extreme highlights with some Ice Blue... And if my camera were good, you could actually see it.

My troops are all orange basecoated, so they won't look completely boring on the table.

I need to finish the HB marine, and three Sergeants, but that's for tomorrow also. If I have time I will do all of their bolters and backpacks.

Oh, and the reason they aren't based, is that I have ordered some resin bases that haven't come in yet.... And because I'm a slacker...

Alright, that does it for now... Expect to see some "final" pics tomorrow...

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