Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The End is Coming!

Dang, I'm about 5 weeks from the end of my gaming year. 

For Warhammer 40K, its going to be my worst record ever. 

Not that I'm too worried. If you read my blog over the years, you know I've had bad years before. 

Interestingly, my win/loss record does somewhat reflect what is going on in the game elsewhere...Blood Angels are near the bottom of all factions concerning winning or losing.  Ultramarines are struggling.  Overall, I'll write a summary of it all sometime in mid-late August. 

A few highlights from this week! 

1. I'm working to get ready for the next Rockport Invitational - this July event is a 1500 point city fight hybrid event, and it should be an awesome day of gaming, food, and beer.  I'm looking to build a Ultramarines list that will be fun to play - and it will include what I have for blue painted Primaris marines and such. I've been having issues with battlescribe this week (since their last upgrade) but I'm hoping to field something like:

Marneus Calgar
His bodyguards
Three Primaris Infantry Squads
Whirlwind(s)s if space permits.

Overall, terrain is supposed to be dense (city like) with related scenarios, so who knows?

I might actually try out the new GW contrast paints as part of the process of getting ready!  I watched a great video last night that showed the process, and it was a good summary of getting table-top ready blue guys. 

2. I got contacted by an old 40K buddy!  Willy!  (nickname). He is in the Army and works in North Carolina!  It ends up he now plays at the game store also occupied by the Long War guys, and he gets to hang with them.  I might road trip through the Carolinas in August, and if I do we might get together for a beer and game!

All for now, have a great weekend.  I got stuff to build, paint, mow, sail, and boycott. Should be good times!   



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It did not go well

If anything, my June 2019 ITC experience affirms I'll need to modernize my 40K forces.  You can be highly trained and play pretty well, but if you are just outgunned, you still can get slaughtered.  Every game was pretty close to start, and each had their own moments and takeaways.

I think I'm on a totally losing streak now of 6 games. 

2000 Points - ITC - 10 person event.

Game 1: Nurgle

The biggest takeaway in this game is how disgustingly resilient is a game changer.  5++ FNPs vs all wounds is wayyyyy better than the 6++ that some other armies can get.  In this game I misunderstood who the warlord was, and I might have done better with better secondaries. 

Early game, Turn 1.  Nurgle heads for the center while I'd gone off to try to punch a hole in the screen that was keeping me out of their deployment zone. 

Turn 3 - Nurgle terminators in my back corner.  My reinforcements are off in the distance, distracting the opponent from fully committing to attacking my small fire base.  

Turn 5 - If it had gone another turn....

22 to 17 loss after 5.  

Game 2: vs Ravenguard
The biggest issue in this game was the -1 to hit Ravenguard more than 12 inches away.  Being closer with half your army does not help much.  Old 1W marines vs new 2W marines does not help either.  I also wanted to go back and check his maths...if it checks out, there are some cool things I can do to imprive my Ultramarines before the next event based on these ideas...

Not bad, pretty cool, modern list here.  

You know your game is going bad when your Chaplain is all alone and had no other marines to lead...

Telion can hide like a boss from large piles of shooting dice...

The score belies the fact that his 5 man infiltrator squad in ruins was nearly impossible to kill, and I could not do it on Turn 1...and barely on Turn game.  Todd's Ravenguard are really coming in to their own!

Game 3: Orks! 
Giant piles of orks.  Not enough pictures for another great game!  Favorite opponent with a really detailed really cool ork warband! Overall, I probably should have put the fliers in Hover Mode for this one...

The horde in its glory. 

Turn 2...Kill retreat kill advance.  Its a huge mess. 

Holding the left flank.  Sternguard about to be charged (again)....

Telion ordering the scouts to stand firm...shoot the driver!  Which one?  

8 points from Victory...

After all that, on the next day was Fathers Day!  My two home-grown 40K players dropped in with a bottle of Tin Cup Whiskey and a game of 40K!  It was a great time...for one it was his first game in 5 editions...for the other it was his second game as 8th edition.  They ganged up on me (but it was to be expected) - they used my Ultramarines, and I used that practice blood angels list.  We did not keep score, but the Blood Angels were wiped off the table in Turn 5....

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Back to 40K - Local ITC Prep

Just a heads up.  Of course, regular reader, I'm still pretty busy.  Its been a month since my last 40K game, but I have an ITC event coming up this weekend.  So, I've been down in my "beats lab" doing some solo practice to re-acquaint myself to my standby Ultramarines list, through use of a cobbled/junk drawer Blood Angels list.  ITC Mission 3. 

It does not go well for the Ultramarines. 

The Blood Angels went first. 

Both sides had reserved their assault elements. 

The Blood Angels list is surprisingly devastating.

The game remained a near tie through turn 4. 

Not unexpected, after all, I'm

I'll reset tonight and do it again, then pack up and reset tomorrow for the Saturday event.

FYE - here is the Blood Angels list - it has stuff I'm just trying...3 detachments, 2000 points.

Blood Angels Captain, TH/SS - upgrade stratagem to DC.
Scout squad, 4 SRs, HB, cloaks
Tac squad, 5, flamer, 4 bolters, 1 CS
Furiouso dreadnought - frag cannon and HF, DCCW

Lieutenant w/ twin claws
Sanguinary Guard, 4, 3/w swords, 1 PF, angelus boltguns
Sanguinary Guard. 4, 3w/ swords, 1 PF, 2 PPs, 2 angelus boltguns
Sanguinary Ancient, PF, relic banner, angelus boltgun

Sanguinary Priest
Stormraven Gunship, loaded
Assault squad, 5, pistols and chainswords, flamer
Assault squad, 5, pistols and chainswords, flamer
Inceptor Squad, 3, plasma exterminators

It is pretty interesting....


Friday, May 31, 2019

News from the Front Lines - Bolt Action Fun Part II

This is a second part for my Bolt Action experience at Huzzah!! 2019.

Day two - Saturday - I'd signed up for two sessions - Stalingrad - Pavlov's House and Stalingrad - Tractor Factory. Both of these are "mature" well developed games that I'd originally played in prior game systems.  Basically multi-player, 4-hour sessions!  It was going to be a full day! Everything was provided by the session organizer, so all you had to do was show up and play! (Some of these pictures are attributed to Dave Shuster and Others who attended and led events and I borrowed them from our group's Facebook page! On day two I took very few photos!  Just threw dice!

Game #1 - Stalingrad - Pavlov's House.

This game is based loosely on historical events, and largely praised by the Russians, where a "loose knit" infantry platoon led by Pavlov kept the Germans from capturing a concrete / brick and mortar apartment block on a hill near the river in Stalingrad.  The "house" provided a great observation point for all of the roads in the area.   

Here is a quick link to some cool factoids and a picture of the real location:

Overall, there is some historical vagueness about this site, and more recently some Russian sources don't credit the leadership to Pavlov at all...

I digress. If you go and see some of the Huzzah!! event photos you will see plenty of people took photos of this set table (it looks amazing and very similar to the b/w photos).  The table had a large 3 section, 4+ story building in the middle, with a large brick building to the west (short edge) and ruins along the north (long) edge. Some photos are posted below with captions...

Our game had three of us as Russian players to defend the house.  Our win condition was that at the end of the game we'd still have at least one unit remaining in the building. We had the equivalent of three platoons of infantry.  We'd start the game with one platoon (led by Pavlov) in the building - with his own MMG and ATR support.  Our other platoons would be on the western edge, to advance and support the building defense.  As a team, we assigned our most crazy and experienced player to defend the building.  Myself and our third player would advance in support, both feeding him reserves and pounding away with our support weapon teams (mortars, MMGs, and snipers).

There were 5 players as Germans - and their force was mostly assault infantry units, with lots of MMG, sniper, and mortar team support. Thier team deployed their units in a big U, covering the approaches to the building on the northeast, east, and southeast.  All they had to do was get in the building and clear out the Russians...

From the get-go, the German assault faltered.  As they charged the large open space to the building, our Pavlov attacked their units like a madman, putting out as many pin markers as possible - our team strategy was he'd use all of the order dice before our reinforcements would do anything.  Our tight strategy and decision making as a team was critical. The German team assaulted seemingly as individuals...Once we got all of order dice used at the building, our reinforcements focused on running two paths to the building.  One of my squads (untested conscripts) headed around the brick building to attack the Germans directly - while the more experienced units and officers headed for the communications trench feeding the rear access to the building.

In turns 2 and three, the Germans made contact with the building along the southeastern walls, and started efforts to assault their way in. All the while under fire from our reinforcements and support units in the large brick building on the west. The storm assault units all seemed to have flamethrowers, SMGs, and other elements for a successful assault.

By turn 4, German units occupied the first floor, but Russians were above them and our reinforcements arrived to start assaulting back in from the west side and basement. In once case, a recently successful German squad in the first floor western end of the building had assaulted in to clear the floor, only to be counter-assaulted by a Russian infantry squad (from the south corner), eliminating them too!  Then a third squad assaulted in (from the north corner) and eliminated the Germans!

By the end (turn 5) The Russians were starting to take the building back.WIN for mother Russia!

In my own tactical assessment, I postulate that the German side lost because of a lack of tactics in two areas:

(1) They did nothing to prevent the Russian reinforcements from arriving.
(2) They attacked piecemeal, in turns 3, 4, and 5 and the lack of coordination blocked themselves from getting more units in the building.

If I'd been on the German team (going with my philosophy of making sure everyone in a multi-player game has a task) - I'd have done the following: (1) concentrated all of the support teams in the ruins on the north table edge - giving them cover and full capability to concentrate their fire on the length of the house and on the gathering Russian reinforcements. (2) Direct half of the German infantry to get after the Russian reinforcements and block them from getting into the building; (3) direct the assault troops (the other half) to take the building ground floor and work up with working supporting fire from the north. 

Overview looking "east" - Pavlov's house is the building in the distance. 

Russian reinforcements moving out to help Pavlov's platoon

Germans charging the house and being cut down by the Russians inside...

Game #2 - Assault on the Tractor Factory
Another game based loosely on historical events.  Here the Germans were to assault and clear the Russians out of the Tractor factory complex in Stalingrad - again, Russian stories abound of how the plant manufactured and pushed T34's unpainted and out into the battle right up to the German assault.

This was to be another multi-player game, about 4 hours, 3 layers per side.  Again the terrain was awesome, including even rail cars bearing T34 turrets and other small details that made the game awesome.

For the most part, each player received about the same - HQ unit, 3 squads, and support.  Each Russian platoon gained an additional squad of conscripts free per their special rules.  IIRR I had a ATR team and two flamethrower teams.  As before, all German assault squads had flamethrowers in them...extra MMG teams, mortars, etc., and to make things more fun, the Germans were supported by a large barrage of smoke. The win conditions were for the Germans to remove all Russians from the main building for a win.  Anything else was a Russian win.  Deployment was similar to a meeting engagement, but the Germans started with the smoke already heavy in front of the main building, and each Russian player was allowed to start with a single unit on the table.  I started with my ATR team in cover up high and no vehicles to shoot at.

Casualties were huge on both sides.  I was deployed/concentrated on the right of the main building, but did send one Russian SMG squad and the two flamethrower teams into the building.  My own goal was first to have a great time, second to distract the Germans, and third, to have units close enough to run back into the building on the last turn to support the win.  It was a lot of  tasks! On our left and center, things may not have been as organized, but it all worked as we talked our way through it. 

By turn 2 the Germans had crossed the table and were all clustered in the smoke outside the main building.  By turn 3, they started sending units piecemeal through the front door, but largely were either milling around in the smoke or were distracted to the east and west by our other units.

By turn 4, it was a bloodbath in the building (or really bad BBQ) as German assault units used a lot of flamethrowers to gain entrance through the front door and windows along the south and east sides of the building.

In turn 5, my surviving units ran back into the building. The Germans tried to get us all out and failed, and the game went down to the last dice roll.

Another Russian WIN.

Post Mortem
This was a great pitched battle and really fairly played.  We "Russians" had a plan - distract and keep enough around for a last turn spoiler.  Sure, we had some moments of bad tactics on the ground - on my end, I sent in a squad through a breach in a wall on the far west to shoot up and assault a weakened German squad, only to be shot and flamed to a crisp by the following veteran German assault squad.  We had similar issues in the building - I totally failed in a activation roll for a flamethrower team that had pin markers on them - to see the team assaulted on the next turn and get removed from play.  For the most part, the ATR team stayed up high and on ambush, taking potshots at any German infantry in view.  I think at the very end (time called) we Russians had about 12 models left on the table, while the Germans probably had 50.

Similar to the game prior, if I'd been on the German team I think the best path to Victory would have been to flood the building with assault troops as fast as possible, and work to cut off any Russian reinforcements.  At times, German MMG and sniper teams were just milling around in the smoke, rather than lending support.  The lack of a hard hitting assault kept them from really achieving the victory they needed.  Overall, if the Germans had been more aggressive, their far-better infantry would have taken the building and then dealt with us piecemeal - aggressive play on their part would have completely undone our distraction strategy.

Overview of the table - the large building actually has a fully modeled roof for display.

My ATR team getting set for ambush.  Bringing an ATR to a flamethrower fight...not good...

German assault troops advancing through the smoke screen!

Russian Infantry ready to counterattack....

German troops milling around the doors - nobody wants to run in first...

All for now, Happy War Gaming!


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

News from the Front Lines - Bolt Action Fun Part I

I've been busy with work and sailboat and other life stuff, but I blocked out time to attend the 10th Year of Huzzah!!!, maybe the Northeastern US's best historical gaming convention.  This year (maybe similar to the past years), an entire room in the convention center was dedicated to just Bolt Action - 28mm World War II historical gaming.  I just love that time frame for historical gaming - because you can really get into squad level tactics and create a great narrative.

I'm just a novice when it comes to Bolt Action.  Over a decade ago I was playing BattlegroundWWII, which was an awesome rule set for 28mm gaming, but just did not have the backing of a tremendous marketing and development team like Warlord Games has.  I later tried a few other rule sets, but none really play as well as Bolt Action.  Overall, the details in the game are pretty simple, and in reality the game system is really focused on narrative play, with a continuous stream of campaign expansions.  A really cool aspect is that Warlord Games has their own models for the key expansions of the range, but you can use ANY WWII miniatures of the basic size, including kits mad for modelers and such.  It creates an overall environment of improved model accuracy and detail from all of the competing ranges.

Over Friday and Saturday I was able to spectate one game and play three.  I skipped Sunday due to another commitment.  I think I'd have played at least one more game, but I'll have to be better prepared for that to happen next time! In fact on arrival, I spent time walking through the vendors to get the game dice and pin markers I needed, and buy a few more books as resources!

Overall, if you have not been playing this game, the part that will strike you the most is the desire to play games on detailed terrain to add to the experience. 

While I was playing my games, there was in fact a Bolt Action tournament going on for those in the competitive mind set. 

Another cool element is that this game can allow you to be very tactical in how you play.  Its not line them up and die, it can be a very cool game of doing the right thing, messing with your opponent's head, and lots of otherwise beer-and-pretzel moments. 

Game 1 (observed) - Late War, USA vs German - Farm Village Crossroads (1250 points)
This was a terrific game to watch, and could have been an awesome stop-action movie.  A friend, Brooksie, as the German player was in a meeting engagement - both sides were entering from the 4x6 table long edges, and the overall goal to to eliminate the enemy (collect orders dice).

In this case, the crossroads was formed a big "Y" (open to the west), with farm fields and agricultural buildings along the roadway. The American reinforced platoon was advancing in from the south, and consisted of about 4 infantry squads with some artillery support and a Sherman Tank.  The Germans (Wehrmacht) advanced in from the north, and they were supported by a Stug III. It was interesting to see how the Germans could include a LMG and a panzerfaust in each squad, but the American infantry could only take MGs and bazookas as support.  Neither side seemed to concentrate, instead they both advanced on broad fronts. The highpoint of the battle occurred when the Germans advanced around turn 2 on the west through an open field toward an orchard/woods.  The US player then brought in his Sherman (from reserves) on the road, to open up on the exposed Germans causing some casualties.  The Stug III, in response, zoomed up the road and turned the Y, shooting straight down the road and with a great dice roll, hit the Sherman in the side, causing it to be immobilized and turret jammed!  In the next turn, the Stug III scored another hit, brewing up the Sherman.  Because the US infantry had no other anti-tank assets remaining, the German infantry and Stug III began to dominate the game.  At the end, the German player won.  It made me think about tactics a bit more...

German infantry in the open! 

Uh oh....

That did not go well....

US forces...

Game 2 - Late War - USA vs German - Industrial Zone (1250 Points)
This was a terrific game to play!  Jon and I got into it for the friday night fight, and we used the "Tank Factory" Stalingrad table for open play.  For our game, it was just a steel mill in Western Germany in the Ruhr.  We rolled up the meeting engagement scenario, so we'd be fighting for orders dice (unit kills). I'd created the list on the fly, expanding my earlier US infantry list. 

I now had a mechanized platoon - basically a first lieutenant leading three infantry squads, supported by a bazooka team, MMG team, and mortar team, with a M3 Scout Car, two M2A1 Halftracks, and a Sherman Tank. Each of my transports has a MMG.  Jon was rocking a lieutenant, about three infantry squads, three trucks, a Pak40 ATG, a Tiger Tank, Kubelwagen, and some support MMGs (nasty MG42s) and a sniper team. As a reminder, US infantry can fire and move without penalty. German infantry get the movement penalty, but every LMG/MMG gets an extra fire dice. Overall, both sides were very similar, where I had more MMGs, but he had more AT.   

As a meeting engagement, with dense industrial buildings and a single East-West road, it was more of a chess match Warhammer 40-style as to who was entering where.  Tactically, with the Germans having a Tiger and Pak40, I wanted to get them out of the game.  So I baited Jon.  I was attacking in from the North.  I put one squad (on foot), the MMG team, and the mortar team on my far left to catch his attention, and then entered the Sherman there too.  Everything else was concentrated on my far right (West). Jon had started by spreading out along his side, but as soon as the Sherman entered he placed his Pak40, officer and infantry squad and a truck and the Tiger far East as well! 

The game was terrific with a few great learning moments (thanks Jon!), like how easily all transports can be eliminated by just being physically closer at the end of a turn! That includes not just trucks, but armored halftracks and scout car!  The only way to prevent it is to be in the vehicle with a transported unit! 

As foreshadowed, my mortar and 30cal-MMG team killed off the Pak40 at range, and the Sherman was brewed up in one shot by the Tiger.  My dismounted infantry squad in the East then dashed West through the buildings to join my main attack force.  The mortar team held on till turn 4 when it was basically pulped by the Tiger at very short range, but in the mean time, I'd totally distracted the Tiger from doing major damage elsewhere and it would play no other role in the game! 

In the West, the fight was a tremendous pitched battle between infantry and MG support from the various vehicles.  Several vehicles were lost due to their bug-out rule in our close quarters battle. At the end of turn (7), the game was a DRAW and there were just a few orders dice left in the bag!

US Squad moving up a railroad track!  Tiger in the distance! 

Advance and hit that tank! MISS!

The main assault force driving into the mill complex on the left....

Its a meeting (engagement)....

Dice collection on turn the end it was a 7-7 draw....

Note to self - overall, my game showed how I'd need to re-tool and add to my model collection for these games!  I'm very much looking forward to getting two bazooka teams, an MMG team, and medium mortar team as US infantry!  I'd used my US paratrooper models, which were fine, bet lets face it!  It's an excuse to get more models! In this game, being a new list, I'd had my troops as regular and the vehicles as veteran (not knowing the bug out rule).  I've since switched the list to have the vehicles regular and the troops veteran! It makes a big difference!

Other stuff to add to my shopping list is a Stug III or Panzer IV.  And maybe look for some bits to add better 30-Cal or 50-cal MGs to the halftraks. I already have a Tiger, Hetzer, and other Wehrmacht vehicles...and maybe a Panzer III or so for North Africa action...or maybe just that new D-Day expansion set...

All for now.  When I get some time I'll cobble up day two - two battles to fight in Stalingrad!


Monday, May 13, 2019

4 Days till HUZZAH! 2019

Huzzah! is a historical gaming convention, soon to have its 10th year!  It occurs this year May 17-May 19 in Portland, Maine.

Image result for huzzah 2019

I'll be there to play numerous games of Bolt Action (WWII historical, 28mm scale).

I'd originally started playing WWII historical games as a kid, then again in my late 30's when I caught up with some guys playing a rule set called "Battleground WWII". A few years ago that rule set fell from favor for others, and now is focused on the wildly successful "Bolt Action".

It is far simpler than Warhammer 40K.  At its basics, every unit hits on a 3+ and wounds on 4+, but then you add or subtract multipliers, such as +2 for hard cover, +1 for firing on the move, etc. Veteran units are harder to wound than regular units, etc.  Besides casualties, the other goal is to pin units by fire (or rally and unpin them).  Vehicles have a slightly different rule set for damage. Overall, you can play pretty much anything and any type of ground unit from WW2.

Often, the best thing is the terrain.  The group I've known for this long are all about creating the terrain, and they have some museum-quality diorama type boards to game on.

Friday will be Bolt Action open play for me.  Saturday I'll play in three different 40K narrative games - focused on the Russian Front or so.  I have my own stuff for Friday - some of my figures/models have not been used in games since probably the 60th anniversary of WW2!

Overall, if you can get to Portland, its worth popping by - there will be a lot of vendors selling all sorts of stuff, and a big variety of games going on.  More info is here:

So, as a small tase of whay I'll be playing in the open gaming (they will have 12 or so tables Friday just for Bolt Action):

750 Points - Generic US Infantry Platoon, Regular (mechanised):

HQ: 1st Lieutenant and 2 runners
Jeep with MMG
Infantry Squad, 10 men, BAR
M3 Half Track with MMG
Infantry Squad, 10 men, BAR
M3 Half Track with MMG
M4 Sherman Tank with hull and coaxial MMGs

1000 Points - US Airborne Platoon, Veteran (mixed):

HQ: 1st Lieutenant and 2 runners
Paratrooper Squad, 10, LMG
Paratrooper Squad, 10
Paratrooper Squad, 10
Glider Infantry Squad, BAR
Support - Bazooka AT Team
Support - MMG Team
Support - Light Mortar Team
Support - Sniper Team
Artillery - Light Howitzer Gun with Team

I have all of the stuff above painted - but some need touchups and I cant figure out where the MMGs went for some of the vehicles.  A lot was painted over a decade ago too, and I was not working on creating art back then!

Overall, I'd signed up for the event a few weeks ago - many of the games are "full" or sold out -

Things on my list to buy at the event include several items for Bolt Action - pin markers, dice bag, american and german unit dice, and maybe some after market stuff.  Also will be looking for - if they have them - a Stugg III or Panzer III (for those rare games in North Africa), and maybe another squad of german infantry.  Also some additional scenario books.

All for now - look for some game photos and battle reports here starting next week from my Huzzah! experience!



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Confessions of a virgin ITC Player

If you've been reading my blog for a while - you know I've largely been absent these past few months, only returning to Warhammer 40K after this ski season ended.I decided to switch back to Ultramarines from Blood Angels, and work to get back into playing in our local 8th Edition meta.  About three weeks ago I was honored to play in an invitational, and in this past weekend played in my first ITC-style event using Ultramarines and chess clocks to control time. 


Well, in the invitational (at 1750) things were a lot of fun, every game a close loss, but it gave me a chance to see how demons, genestealer cult, and orks play in the current environment.  My list played pretty well, but the games did not really get past turn 3.  Overall, it showed I was "pretty rusty" but my list could perform pretty well - I bet in the right hands it could have won every game.  I was too antsy, forgetful, hesitant, and unprepared. 

Zoom forward 14 days, increase the list size, and do it again...

I included my list as a comment field to my prior post...

So, with some minor adjustments, I discovered why the prior list power level was high (all it takes is adding one terminator to double the unit's calculated PL), and ended up with a list at 2000 points that would allow me to test more units!  I dragged in a unit of Suppressors (freshly painted - nearly the same cost as a HF/MM landspeeder in the same slot), so modernization continued, and two dreadnoughts - one regular, one venerable. I'd decided that anything I add has to have its own WS to have an impact in assault, which puts dreds above preds. Of course my day actually started when "some punk kid" came up, looked at my models, and said in a loud voice "hey, look at the old school stuff, you never see that anymore..." Grrrrrrrr....

In part because the ITC event fell on Holy Saturday (Easter Weekend), attendance was light (11 players to start vs the hope for a few more). Regardless, the terrain was good with about the same coverage for each table, and everyone was eager to play. The final scores and lists for the event are on the BCP app, if you are interested.  Crossroad Games, 4/20/19.

OK, I did not take many photos as compared to last time.  In part because I was frantic for 10 hours...

Game 1 vs Genestealer Cult! ITC Mission 4

Hey, this was a great way to kick off the day - my opponent and I had played at the Invitational round 3 - and now we were playing round 1 on Table 6...It was awesome, and it was my first game with a clock.  It worked pretty well.  My opponent - Tyler- showed me how the clock worked, and kept the ITC scoresheet.  We started the clock as deployment began, and paused the clock at the end of each player turn for scoring. 

Deployment...I was to deploy first, then selected to go first...both of us had healthy reserves...

Final score 27 - 22

As I said - few pictures. Needless to say, I found that the "hold more" aspect to be very difficult - the Genestealers totally controlled the board center into turn 5. Notice...turn 5...we had extra time (3 hours per game), and IIRR we both had a few minutes left on the clock when period time expired (less than 10 in total).  But this is where my issues tarted to erupt.  Under the pressure of time - I could not remember anything clearly, and had to keep looking things up!  My BattleScribe output have printed badly on 12 pages of text...I was a total mess!  I missed old school (first strike) on turn 1, due to one recalcitrant GSK minibiker, and of the 5 objectives, I held at least one, but GSK reserves wiped me off one of my home objectives, so i spent half the game with just one. And of course, no GSK game is complete without them taking over a Stormtalon and shooting up stuff!  Overall, it was a great game and way too much fun. 

Game 2 - Vs Sisters of Battle!  ITC Mission 5.       
 This game, vs Jared, is something interesting.  Jared had been at the invitational and won every game.  I'd wanted to see how he did that...we were now at Table 4.  Jared had been assigned a first round bye (20 points), so here we were.  His list has five SOB tanks - three are the kind that shoot D6 melta the Saint, lots of other characters, jump packs, and foot troops, and a sniper assassin. 

Its all sideways from here....

We used a chess clock app on his phone.  In this game we had alternating unit deployment.  I start off with Turn 1, and due to prepared positions and other shenanigans, I fail to take out a vehicle, but am successful elsewhere.  Again, the game is flurry of activity.  Jared could ask me the same question 5 times and I'd frantically have to try to remember or find the same answer.  Clocks. OMG.

Probably about Turn 3.  Jared is pressing the center to try to capture my two objectives.  I'm in his backfield, and trying to hold on! 

Brrrrrrrrrpppppppp.....Brrrrrrrrrrrrpppppppp....The dreadnought assaulted the survivors of this melta squad the following turn...and got melta'd. 

Towards the end....He needed my objective (#4 was worth bonus points), but it was to no clock expired on the last turn...

Ultras FTW, another really close game, 28-25, but I broke my 4-game losing streak! 

 Game 3 - Tyranids! ITC Mission 6
OK, I'm now 7 or so hours into the event at this point, and I'm going to get bugged. On TABLE 1!
I have no idea how everyone else is doing, but if I can get to the top table at this point, I'll take it!  Actually, screw that, next time let the Wookie win...just kidding.  

Yep...a giant Ultramarine-slurping bug list, OMG, head for the northern polar fortress! 

I'd deployed first, wanted to go first...but got seized.  This picture is around the beginning of turn 2, and I'd already had to absorb the first bug wave!  

My flyers had to head deep into bug territory to work to take out these hiveguard...indirect firing, he started with 6...and they are deadly!   In a few turns they were gone, but at the cost of a flyer....

This is around turn or maybe 4.  The scouts, suppressors, Tellion, and tacticals are all going to be bug food...its not easy being blue. 

Battle buddies. Trying to hold the corner...Captain with two wounds remaining...

But...he lived at the cost of the dread and the last of my CPs...

But, I did max on reaper....

And we lost...BUT it was a blast doing it.  Lots of takeaways. 

I made so many mistakes and forget so many things and screwed up pretty much every game.  Here are a rundown of the high/lowlights (after a few days decompressing and checking on things):
  1. I found out that dreds do actually explode - its hidden up top on my badly printed sheets.  Just 3 real impact to the games as such. But it coulda happened. 
  2. Sternguard have 2 attacks and 1 wound.  I don't know how I kept screwing that up.
  3. Quietus is H2, d3 damage...not H1 d1. Looking at you Tellion! 
  4. Cyclone frag missiles are 2D3, not 1 D6.
  5. Again, the Captain's storm of fire WL many 6's...
  6. Landspeeders M=16.
  7. Don't forget the Teleport Homer...
So yeah, it was crazy.  I'm going to throw that printout away...make a better one next tie and tab it.  OR just look at my phone.  Regardless, If I'd had to refer to the books, it would still have been a frantic day.  

You may notice I was somewhat consistent on my secondary missions - after the first game I was too frantic to get selective...old school, reaper/big game, and headhunter/behind enemy lines.  Certainly doable with my list vs my opponents, but I failed to get a few points here and there. Things to work on!   

Overall, I finished in 5th place. Best Ultramarines player of the event.  Ahem....cough cough...

I need to practice more!  memorize more! Of course your results may vary.  I'm the only one self flagellating here with my errors.  Who knows what my opponents did/learn/forgot/misplayed. Its a crazy world out there...

MING next step is to create or join an affiliated team...Right now my team of one is Ming's Mercs.  Team player for hire...