Thursday, December 27, 2012

Consistently Inconsistent

So after a productive afternoon of cutting Space Marine bikers, speeders and attack bikes off the sprues (thanks again Rory!)  I have decided to run White Scars in the Combat Patrol league as well!  Ignore the previous post!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We learn by failing

So a while ago (two years now? how time flies) I tried to inaugurate a Warhammer 40,000 "Combat Patrol" league at my local game store.  This format, for those of you unfamilar with it, is basically supposed to represent a few squads of troopers running into each other unexpectedly, rather than the pitched battles of full-sized 40k. I think we had a decent turnout for 'opening day' - eight players, if memory serves, which isn't bad for a store with virtually no minis scene anymore.  Unfortunately it fell apart nearly immediately, for a few reasons which I will address frankly here:

  1. no one was sufficiently familiar with the rules
  2. some people outright cheated
  3. other people brought 'netlists' specifically designed to abuse the Combat Patrol format
  4. #2 and #3 above got me so pissed off I basically abdicated my responsibility as league coordinator
So it died a flaming and well-deserved death, and I'm only sad about it in the abstract.  However!  Another local game store (well, 45 mins away, but still) is starting up a Combat Patrol (now called 'Force Patrol') league to begin in the new year, and I am interested again.  There's a new version of 40k out there, several new codicies, and from what I understand the player base up there is not horrible.  So I'm playing with list ideas again!

400 point Lamenters (Blood Angels)
Troops: Assault Squad #1 - 135
-Sergeant w/ Infernus Pistol, Power Axe
-4x Marines: 1 w/ Flamer

Troops: Assault Squad #2 - 265
-Sergeant w/ Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
-9x Marines: 1 w/ Plasma Pistol, 1 w/ Meltagun

These guys are actually built and primed from the failed league - they were the list I built to punish the guy who bragged about his net-built abusive list, and they worked for that.  I would kind of like to play them for fun instead of for punitive reasons, but I am assuming the typical Space Marine-heavy metagame so maybe....

400 Point Recusant 113th (Traitor Imperial Guard)
HQ: Primaris Psyker 70

Troops: Veteran Squad 80
-9 Veterans, 2 w/ Flamers
-Chimera w/ Dozer Blade 65

Troops: Veteran Squad 80
-9 Veterans, 2 w/ Grenade Launchers
-Chimera w/ Dozer Blade 65

Fast Attack: Scout Sentinel 40
w/ Smoke Launcher

Again, this one is mostly built from my earlier Traitor Guard project, that fell apart due to the sheer distance I was having to drive back then.  I think all I need to do here is hammer together another Chimera (ugh). The Dozer Blades are frankly a points sink, but the backstory is they're a PDF from an Agri-world that falls to Nurgle so all the armor has Dozer Blades as they primarily used them for civilian work before they turned to Chaos.

396 point Kabal of the Annihilating Embrace (Slaaneshi Dark Eldar)
Troops: Kabalite Warriors x 10 - 105
-1 w/ Shredder, 1 w/ Splinter Cannon
-Raider w/ Splinter Racks 70

Troops: Wyches x 9 - 140
-1 w/ Razorflails
-Hekatrix w/ Phantasm Launcher, Agonizer

Fast Attack: Reavers x3 81
-1 w/ Blaster

I have no idea how these guys will work but they are the ones I actually think I want to play the most.  The only thing I wonder is if I would be better off leaving the Warriors on foot (which gives up access to the Splinter Racks on the Raider) as a stationary firebase and loading the Wyches on the Raider for delivery of boot to head (in which case I'd probably shave points from somewhere else to buy them another body and special H2H weapon.

400 point Necrons
Troops: Immortals x 9 - 153

Troops: Warriors x 9 - 117

Fast Attack: Canoptek Wraiths x 3 - 130
-2 w/ Whip Coils, 1/ Particle Caster

I have boss red plastic rods to replace the green ones on the gauss weapons, so I am kinda stoked to play these guys as well.  The warriors are color primed and ready to go with just a few details and some metallic drybrushing; the Warriors are clipped and ready to go.  But I'd have to buy a box of Wraiths for this list, which is not the biggest problem in the world as I really like the Wraith models.  Plus I think they'd be a very good mobility element for this level; I'd love to run a unit of Praetorians instead but that'd be half my points for 5 guys....

So what I have here are four lists, one which is actually ready to paint, two that are a model or ten away from being ready to prime, and one that's half ready for paint and then 1/4 unassembled and 1/4 still unbought.  Expect my usual dithering and screwing around before deciding.  Updates to follow, etc.  

PS obviously if any of you reading this have any Combat Patrol experience I'd love to hear feedback/critiques/suggestions/etc!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Even More Battlefleet Gothic

So Rory and I are on game four of our campaign, and since I finally got some merchant freighter minis (literally the day of the game) Rory assembled them while I finished my campaign paperwork and then we played the (honestly randomly rolled!) Convoy Escort scenario.  As the attacker, my forces were randomly determined, at which point I realized that none of my existing Chaos cruisers were cheap enough to fit under the 200 point allowance per cruiser I had a chance to roll up.  While I did have two new Chaos cruisers, still on the sprue, I just proxied in an existing ship for my shiny new Murder-class cruiser, the Blood of the Ram.  I also got two escort squadrons and a few ordanance markers.  Rory fielded two light cruisers and a small squadron of Sword-class escorts.

We actually played the first several turns of the scenario totally wrong*, so we reset it and started again.  Good thing we did, because what was otherwise going to be a perfunctory trip across the long axis of the board for Rory's merchant ships turned into what we both agreed was the most fun game of BFG we've played thus far!

*: my forces were deployed as 'blip' markers on the board, that would activate whenever one of Rory's ships came within 30cm.  What we didn't realize in our first attempt was that once per turn, I was allowed to voluntarily deploy one marker.

Rory moves his convoy onto the board, close under the guns of his Imperial Navy detachment

The convoy ducks behind an asteroid field; meanwhile my deadfall torpedoes and the 'Scopophiliacs' try to draw Rory's escorts into a fight

Blurry, but you can maybe see that I have driven one of the 'Scopophiliacs' right in among the freighters, while the other surviving member of the squadon comes in from the rear.  It was at this point I began to realize the freighters were not as fragile as I had thought they would be; at least not to escorts on 'Brace for Impact.'

In fact, if memory serves this was around the time I started to realize that the massed fire of six freighters was actually sufficient to be a legitimate threat to other escort-class ships.

Meanwhile, I chose to activate the (proxied) Murder-class Blood of the Ram before I ran out of time and real estate to use her.

Nearly immediately I crippled one of Rory's light cruisers, and soon after that set the other one on fire, but I'll spoil the surprise by letting you know that I didn't actually manage to destroy either one.  You can also see that by now I activated the 'Objectifiers' squadron and drove them into the convoy.

I had a clever idea about flying them through the freighters, guns blazing, and then turn hard to port to take on Rory's Sword-class escorts.  The turn part worked, but I failed to get the giant stack of kills I'd planned on racking up.

Somehow I did finally manage to score a kill on a freighter.  Meanwhile the Swords, and the freighters themselves, started hammering my escort-class ships.  I know the freighters got at least one kill; hopefully if Rory reads this he can refresh my memory as to whether they got more than that or not. They certainly weren't as toothless as I'd expected!

So eventually my escorts, wasting their time being stuck on 'Brace for Impact' weren't doing any damage, and Rory broke for the edge of the board.  My last hope was to pull the Blood of the Ram across something like half the length of the table.  But since I had a deadfall torpedo blip waiting directly in the path of the freighters I thought I still had a chance.  Meanwhile, the single Sword-class that kept dogging the tail of my Murder-class cruiser managed to take my prow weapons offline long enough to prevent me from taking 60cm shots at the fleeing escorts.  It was coming down to the last turn...

At which point my 5-strength torpedo volley passed right through two of the freighters without scoring a single hit.  I ran the Blood of the Ram up as fast as I could, but could only take out one frieghter with my freshly-repaired lances.  The convoy diverted all power to their puny engines....

And right after the above picture, Rory successfully put them on 'All Ahead  Full' orders and rolled something that nearly doubled his puny 15cm speed.  All four survivors made it off the other edge of the table; the Imperial filth got their precious supplies after all.  

We had a blast playing this scenario.  It's a crying shame that GW doesn't sell their freighter minis any more; these are the Forge World ones that ostensibly represent armed merchant freighters, but I consider myself lucky to have found them on eBay from a US seller so as to avoid overseas shipping.  Still, I'm on the look-out for the un-armed freighter minis as well!  If any of my intrepid readers are sitting on any that they're not using, please drop me a message...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Somehow people keep looking at this blog

Even when I abandon it for months at a time.  I've been gaming some, but not doing much painting, so I've neglected the blog.  I do have some new Battlefleet Gothic stuff to share though; my friend Rory and I are playing a small campaign, my Slanneshi Chaos fleet against his Imperials.  We got a quick game in today, where my mission was to deploy my 750pt fleet against Rory's randomly-deployed 1500pt defenders.  In the best Slanneshi tradition I ran like hell; stopping only long enough to conduct a hit-and-run raid on Rory's light cruiser to retrieve a spy that I apparently had stationed on his ship (thanks to the typically-random sub-plot generation table).  Pics here; the write-up is basically "I ran away and Rory tried to get in position to shoot me" so it's a good way for me to ease back into writing these posts:


Setup, from my corner

Setup, from Rory's side 

Rory, measuring for a Nova Cannon shot after crippling my Hecate-class cruiser New Flesh in an earlier turn. Forunately the Slaughter-class Strength Through Joy is masked by an asteroid field

One ship down, the 'Objectifiers' try to hide behind a gas cloud

The Aurora (where my spy had been embedded) in hot pursuit

Having been crippled by a Nova Cannon hit earlier, the Daemonship New Flesh translates back to the Warp

Objectifier Three, having been abandoned by Obj Two (and with Obj One and Four blasted to atoms), turns to lash out at a squadron of Imperial Sword-class frigates (it doesn't end well)

So back on the horse.  I have a few more Chaos ships on the way to round out my fleet; I also want to get some more paint on my Orks and Eldar who have been languishing in the graving docks (with just a coat of primer) since late summer/early fall.

Also, to those of you still checking this blog, thanks for your patience.  One of my many New Year's resolutions is to be more consistent both in my painting and my posting.  Whoever you readers are, I appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First (mostly successful) Heavy Gear Demo!

So I am having trouble getting motivated to work on the blog, which is a real shame as we had a very good demo HG session at Hypermind in Burlington back on June 7th.  Four people showed up to play, and I did my best to run them through a very basic matchup, two games of one GP squad per side.  The only thing I did wrong was a big one, though - forgetting until the end of the night to point out that moving at Top Speed eats up an action.  Grr.  What a dumb, obvious mistake.  Ah well.  Here's pics:

Since I've kind of lamed out on this, I'd love it if any (or all!) of the four players would add comments about what they recall about the demo.

Also the next demo will be this Thursday at Hypermind, starting at 6:30, which I have not been good about promoting.  Maybe I need signage for the front of the store, next to the Heavy Gear poster...

EDIT TO ADD: my friend Shawn wrote the demo up on his own blog, with way better pictures!  Here's the link:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tiny break, my apologies

Gonna do another quick catch-up post.

A rare Tuesday night game, with Britt running a modified version of my SRA "Sleepwalkers" while I debuted my primed-but-still-unpainted CEF oppressors.  CEF was fun but I really need to figure out how to play them.  Also as much as I love Frames - and I really, really do, all I thought when I airdropped them in was that I wished they'd been a light hovertank squad, or even a second heavy hovertank. Due to a variety of reasons that all boil down to 'I forgot to take more pictures,' this is the only picture of the game.  We had to call it early, but I think Britt was in a slightly better place to complete his objectives than I was.  Airdropping my frames didn't work as well as I'd hoped; I think they'd have worked better just charging across the board.  Similarly I need to make someone other than my speedy little hover scout car the Army Commander; I was too worried about losing him to really get the most out of the mobility the damn things have.  We also confirmed what I'd discovered running the SRA against Brandon's CEF - FLAILS do not like field guns.  Nope.  Not one bit.

The following were pics from a really interesting game I played with the trusty Sleepwalkers against Justin's new-ish Airborne Dragoons list two weeks ago.  Since I've waited so long my memory is a bit foggy, so I hope Justin will help fill in some of the gaps in the narrative here.  Comments are below the pic they refer to.

 We set up on the long table edges; our victory conditions were slightly overlapping.  I needed to get my GP squad into Justin's deployment zone (Breakthrough), hold my own (Blockade) and kill his infantry command squad (Assassinate).  If I remember correctly, Justin needed to kill my GP squad (Wipe Them Out) and Breakthrough into my deployment zone, and something else I can't remember.

 This isn't really illustrative of anything as it's part of my initial setup; I just liked the pic.

 Here some of my own WFPA infantry volunteer to help out Justin's Norlights.  This was also the first time I faced his Mammoth, which I was scared enough of that I bought an Airstrike with my support points with the express intention of blowing it up.

 At this point, my two Hun squads begin to push forward on either side of the power plant.  God, I love those Huns.
 This is why I love those Huns.  Justin tried to dash his Bandit Hunter Klemm (a light tank) past them, but opportunity fire with the Light Laser Cannons made pretty short work of that.  At top right you can see that my airstrike didn't kill the Mammoth, but it has seriously damaged it (hence the orange damage token).  Meanwhile, his infantry have been showering my GP squad with light mortar fire, doing some real damage to the Command Jager.

If I remember right, there was an exchange of fire here where Justin rolled three sixes for his mortar team - the equivalent of an attack of eight! - which unfortunately had to get called back due to too many actions taken by the infantry that turn, or something.  I'll take this moment to say that it's always a pleasure to play Justin, and he is relentlessly honest about stuff like that; I didn't even realize it until he did and pointed it out.  While you read a lot of stuff online about cutthroat 'win-at-all-costs' types in the minis hobby, I find they are few and far between.  Many, many more of them are great folks like Justin.

 This is now turn three, and Justin's Airborne Dragoons dropped in right in the faces of my GP squad.  I'm trying to run them full-speed into the backfield because if they stop or change course too much they simply won't have the range to make it into his DZ for my Breakthrough mission.  Justin's Dingos and other gears proceed to wreck face.
See those two puffs of grey smoke? That's the aftereffect of thoroughly wrecked faces.  I did manage to make a 'dying declaration' bazooka shot that knocked one of his para-gears down to Light damage, but it didn't matter.

At this point it was getting a bit late, and we were finishing turn three, when Justin announced that he was pretty sure I'd won on points.  By using his Airborne troops to crush my GP squad, he'd placed them so far back on the battlefield that he could not get them, or any of his other troops, into my DZ for his breakthrough goal.  My successful Assassination and Blockade meant I'd won, something like 3 to 2?

It was a really great game.  I felt a bit cheap about using the Airstrike to wound his Mammoth, but that thing was scary.  My Huns did better than in their past few games, but my field guns in the back corner of the board were hugely ineffective.  And my poor GP squad was basically dead once I'd rolled them into their Breakthrough role.  Still, it was a ton of fun.

There was also another game of Battlefleet Gothic with Rory in there someplace, but I can't find the photos.  Separate post for that if I do, I reckon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heavy Gear: three games!

So while I didn't get to play last night, it was totally worth it to be there for three simultaneous games of HG.  I did a tiny bit of modeling, a tiny bit of officiating, and a tiny bit of new player outreach.  All while defending the honor of my SRA loaner list, which everyone (myself included) agrees will work a lot better at 1000TV than it does right now.

Anyway, I don't have an HG AAR to offer (I do have a Battlefleet Gothic AAR, two actually, which will hit the blog later this weekend) but I did snap a few pics.  I'm hoping some of the folks that played last night will chip in with AARs, recollections, or 'yay/damnit' moments from their games!

Britt using my loaner SRA vs Brandon's CEF (or were they PAK?)

Justin's Norlights vs Paul's MILICIA (or are they SRA?)

Rory's freshly-painted SRA vs Tyler's MILICIA

Personally, I'm willing to call three simultaneous games (and we could have done four if I'd brought another army, honestly) a great turnout.  Many thanks again to Dale who got this whole thing rolling with a lot of perseverance for a few years before things really started to click.  We miss you Dale! Hope you can make it back out sometime soon!