Saturday, December 26, 2009

Playing catch-up #0; and the Battle of Four Corners

Dang, I've got a decent-sized backlog of played games to work through, which I'll probably condense a great deal and post about in the next few days. But before I forget them, here's some thoughts I've had about today's four-way demo/learning game of 40k at Hypermind:

1) Four-way games of 40k should probably be 2v2 teams. Way too much downtime for the other players in a four-way, plus while it didn't seem to be a huge issue today I could see the last guy up getting totally shafted on a variety of things, both in set-up and in actual gameplay.

2a) Chaos Daemons DO NOT ENTER PLAY NORMALLY. I am so mad I forgot this, as it radically changed the way Brad had to play them. I'm still not sure how well they'll work in the Combat Patrol setting with their almost total lack of anti-vehicle capability, but not fielding them correctly means I'll never figure out how they'd have actually fared.

2b) they also don't make a great loaner/learner army, as the ones I have built don't have any shooting capability at all, and their Fearlessness means they don't help the person playing them to learn anything about the Morale phase (and I'm not really planning to buy any Horrors/Flamers just for this mini-list). The Berzerkers are better in that while they're still Fearless, you at least have to learn the shooting rules, and make the occasional decision between shooting with them and sneaking in an extra bit of running. Based on these two factors, I really should bash together those Traitor Guardsmen and probably some non-fearless CSMs for my other opposing forces.

3) Kill Britt's Penitent Engines at all costs. They're just plain nasty at this level, and the minimum amounts of anti-tank I'd been planning on in my earlier listbuilding exercises just doesn't seem like they will cut it. I haven't looked through all my other codexes (I wish GW would say 'codices' since that's the actual plural) yet, but I am thinking the PE's are the only 'fighty' walkers available in the CP setting. I know that the Eldar have their ugly War Walkers, and the Guard can bring Sentinels, but neither of those are the kind of CC ugliness that the PEs are; and in the small boardspace of a CP matchup, the PE's low armor and lack of long-range shooting are much less of a drawback since they're getting stuck into CC by turn two at the latest.

4a) I need to print off and bring multiple copies of the following-
-the quick-read rules from the back pages of the main rulebook
-summary sheets for all forces
-FAQs/erratas for all forces
-some sort of contact sheet/'league info' handout package to facilitate getting new people interested...

4b) ...because we had one person in the store today approach us during setup, and he seemed really interested in getting involved, so I grabbed his e-mail address; having a nice concise one-sheet handout (with some league info, my e-mail address, etc on one side, and a copy of the Adepticon CP rules/guidelines on the other) would have been perfect.
EDIT TO ADD: a stack of these for Denise to give out if people ask about the league might not be bad either; plus maybe an info sheet for the store bulletin board.

5) I really desperately need to shield my Burna Boyz with something. I keep creeping them forward in the deployment phase, and they always get slammed into CC without ever getting to drop a single flamer template. If this keeps up they might be 150pts I'd be better off spending on Lootas or even Deffkoptas; as it stands their Meks with Kustom Mega-Blastas are my only reliable anti-Penitent engine weapons, but I'm just not getting to use them in anything like a manner that makes them worth their pricetag. It's a shame, because they're probably my favorite Ork models, but what can you do?

6) my loaner World Eaters need some list work (assuming I keep them in the loaner pool, see #2b above); while I shoved in a few plasma pistols at the last minute today for a faint attempt at giving them anti-vehicle capability, it didn't seem like enough. I'm pretty sure their krak grenades will be fine against APCs, but again Britt's fighty-assed Penitent Engines screw that math all up.

7) We really need to figure out how to handle bunkers in this CP setting; I like the tactical decisions that having them available will bring to the game, but I also don't necessarily think that having something that's virtually untouchable on the board is a great idea either. I think giving them an AV of 12 at maximum is a good start; I just worry about some future game where the vicissitudes of terrain placement give one person a scoring (or even just a contesting) unit that is totally unshiftable, standing on an objective or scoring a table quarter. I'm not saying we shouldn't allow them at all (or at least I'm not saying that yet); but I do think I need to think about them more.

8) I need to build some cheap-ass terrain I can leave up there; preferably running the gamut of cover values, rather than just the pretty solid 4+ ruins that are already there (although they did look nice, and added a lot to the tactical space for my Orks at least). More terrain, and more types of it, will hopefully reward us with both prettier pictures for the blog, and more interesting games. Also I should really try and source a 4x4" chunk of cheap-assed green or brown or something fabric; something I won't care about leaving up at the store that will lay flatter on those boards.

9) I need to figure out if people are ever going to be playing when I'm not there, and if so I need to decide if I should put my cheap-assed old template set and a scatter dice in a box or a bag or something for Denise to hide behind the counter.

That's all I can think of for now. Pictures to be added later when I locate my frigging USB cable.


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