Friday, January 6, 2017

Chaos Inbound

Well, I had some fun the other day after reading Traitors Hate.  That book is the "companion" to the version focused on the Blood Angels - this book covers the events - the direct Precursor to the upcoming Fall of Cadia - from the Chaos viewpoint.

On one hand, I was very disappointed that there was not more in the book from the "new" and unique Crimson Slaughter warband - their leader, Sevastus Kranon - deserved at least his own data slate and warband sheet, but alas, it was a missed opportunity for the writers!  No other warband seems to be haunted by the screaming ghosts of their own victims, and seemed to cause as much terror and seemed to grow in strength as much as these guys.

Overall, I know GW has models suitable for these guys.  I love their fluff, that the Black legion sent them in on the first wave, basically as cannon fodder.

Kranon has now "left the conflict" with the survivors of his warband and look to exact revenge on the Black legion.

On the other hand, the book brings up the usual basic flaw of all 40K books for GW....

....Their narrative for these massive fights / campaigns are flawed by NOT having enough marines (chaos or otherwise) to sustain the story they narrate.

It was funny that they put force org charts in this latest book...Kranon's first wave attackers against a heavily defended Imperial / Mechanicus consisted of entirely three tanks and 41 marines, and a dreadnought. It is silly, because the enemy are in the thousands, and the descriptions are two massive for such a small warband.  If anything, it needed another box containing 10,000 cultists and 10 Titans...

OK, second wave was Khorne led by Kharn.  Similar issues. The narrative includes chaos cultists, more titans...but they don't really account for it.

Third wave was a surgical black legion strike force, all to accomplish the real mission.

I'm guessing right now that the Chaos mission is flawed.  The Black legion Sorcerer believes he is opening a trapped prison full of demons...

I'm thinking he unwittingly found Trayzyn the Infinite's vault...and unlocked it.

That would be ironic...not only might there be a bunch of C'Tan Shards in there, but...a Primarch...

Anyhow...I digress...

In November and December I was given two transport boxes...things might get interesting...2000 points of Chaos Marines, plus a Demon Prince and 10 Bloodletters?  Hmm....I don't know who originally owned them.  Table ready, plus or minus some repairs.

It is a pretty weak warband right out of the transport cases.  Kharn is the recognizable HQ choice.  2 units of Berserkers. 5 terminators (all different). 3 Bikers. 5 Havocs (one of each heavy weapon). 3 Rhinos, 1 all-las pred, 1 landraider. Some debris that might be Chosen or something like that.  Overall, the non-berserker units need some retooling and love.  Not enough special weapons...not enough means to deploy these guys into assault directly.

Overall, anyone want to trade 10 old-school metal bloodletters for a new box of spawn or a real box of something else from the Chaos marine line?  Demonsd are all the rage...I'm interested to get a box of chaos marines, a chaos lord, and/or maybe another box of chaos bikers.  That would give me the pieces I need to really upgrade them.  Eventually two Helldrakes...Need to keep the Prince, just in case someone upgrades to one in-game...same for the spawn...probably need one per character, LOL...

The big question becomes - Upgrade their painting and basing to be Black Legion and Khorne/Kharn, or go thematic and go Crimson Slaughter / Khorne/Kharn...I don't know at this point.  That said...I have the next book on pre-order...

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Sector is Looking Grim

Epistolary Librarian Angelus and Sanguinary Priest Marus Looked on as their Stormraven, Crimson Specter, was refueled and rearmed.  The 5th Company, or more correctly, the remnants of the 5th Company, and half a company of "attached" death company marines and chaplains, was making haste in their Strike Cruiser to another planet in the Cadian Gate Sector.  Something was going on, something bad, in the sector.  Captain Sendini and another detachment from 5th Company was en route to rendezvous with them and provide needed support.  

Commander Dante had left them earlier that day, heading swiftly out ahead of the fleet in his own Strike Cruiser, to get a better idea of what was going on.  All Angelus and Marus could do was to stand grim faced in the hangar bay. Watching the preparations.  The Blood Angels did not trade in rumors. In the far corner of the hangar was the dreadnought storage bay - now only occupied by the still form of the Death Company dreadnought Titus.  Yellow strobing hazard lights on the door were testament to its occupancy, and a visible warning for the fleet servitors and deck officers to stay clear. 

Of particular note in the battle reports that Angelus had submitted to Captain Sendini were the recent victories of the remnant company, with the support of commander Dante, over chaos marines in the Sector.  He had seen other reports from his librarian brethren of the larger conflict and battle, and the reported appearance of the Sanguinor, who had turned the tide of battle.  Regardless, first company losses had been grim, and a chaos tainted planet destroyed.  The carnage and threat of this current chaos and daemon incursion was running above all projections. Messages had been sent to Terra to notify the leadership at the highest level that all levels of support were needed as a priority.  Word came swiftly back of another large incursion elsewhere, that also needed to be addressed, something concerning Fenris.  


Monday, December 12, 2016

5th Company Stirs

Epistolary Angelus and Sanguinary Priest Marus waited in the dust, jump packs giving off a low roar as they idled.  It had been some time since the 5th Company Blood Angels had been on firm ground.  In the days and weeks prior they had been ordered by Dante to return to Baal, in order to address a Tyranid threat.  Then they were directed to this place.  On arrival from the warp, however, 5th Company's transports had been psychically assailed. In the moments after, it was clear that many of 5th Company's marines were altered, the black rage overcoming many. And then, responding to the decision of the task force leadership, 5th Company was to be unleashed to the fight below.  Angelus and Marus marveled at their possible fate.  Death may await them here.

1750 Points, Maelstrom Mission #1

Hey everyone! I had the opportunity to get in tho my FLGS and get in a great game.  I did not have my new copy of the Angel's Blade supplement, so I just grabbed the last 1750 point Blood Angels list I'd created back in April or March of 2016, to use it as a refresher on playing Blood Angels.

The basic list:
More or less:

Epistolary Angelus, level 2 Librarian, Sanguinary Discipline, Warlord, PAxe, PlasmaP, Jump pack
Sanguinary Priest Marus, PAxe

Death Company, 5, PFist, PSword
Death Company Dreadnought Titus, twin blood talons, SB, MG
Stormraven Crimson Spectre, TLLC, TLMM, 4xSS Missiles

Tactical Squad, 5, flamer, MB, Razorback with LC/TLPP
Tactical Squad, 5, flamer, MB, Razorback with LC/TLPP

Assault squad, 5, 2xMG, MB, Drop Pod with SB
Assault squad, 5, 2xMG, MB, Drop Pod with SB
Assault squad, 10, PF, Infernous pistol, 2xMG, jump packs

Predator, AC/HB Sponsons, upcharged engine
Predator, AC/HB Sponsons, upcharged engine

OPFOR List (Space Wolves with Grey Knight and Space Marine Allies, Unbound)

Approx list: 

Njal Stormcaller
Thunderwolf Calvary, 3, TH/SS
Grey Hunters, 10

Sternguard, 10, 10xcombimeltas
Dreadnought, AC/SB

Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, 4xSS missiles

Grey Knight Captain, TA
Grey Knight Terminators, 10

The terrain was set up as rocky hills in a desert area with some ruins and a chaos idol mid-table.  We placed out objectives mostly in the region between the deployment zones.  I won the roll off to choose table edges, so I kept the edge with the best LOS blocking terrain.  I also won the roll to set up first. I decided to go second.  I deployed with my two small tactical squads on my left, wanting to threaten the three objectives there.  The two Preds were placed centrally. Angelus, Marus, and the assault squad were on the far right flank.  Everything else was reserved. My opponent immediately placed Njal, attached to the Grey Knights, opposite Angelus, with a hill between us.  His Thundercav was placed in the center, and the grey Hunters upper far left.  His remaining units were in reserves. Frankly, I had no idea that the Grey Knights were all terminators with halberds...much less that my opponent had 6 points or so of warp charge on the table to my 2.   

The Game
The opponent basically moves forward everywhere, shooting was light, spells were cast (hammerhand, force), but no points earned.  On my turn, the first drop pod comes in, centrally.  I lined up as many guns as possile on the thndercav and wipe them out for first blood, and I also scored an objective (on the far right), and something else for three points.

Second turn, the OPFOR reserves fail to arrive (fully loaded Stormraven). The Knights move up, the grey hunters do some shooting.  Overall, I lose just one assault marine.  On my turn, I'm now realizing that my measly assault force, warlord, and priest are directly opposite the equivalent of 12 force-wielding terminators.  I do the best thing I can, moving 12 inches away, and then in the psychic phase move another 12 inches...and then run them in the shooting phase.  My Stormraven arrived, and as it flew straight in on the table the full 36 inches, I drop off the death company squad whi stick the landing, and the dreadnought, who also sticks the landing.  I move the vehicles around to get shots on the Knights and Grey Hunters.  The Stormraven shoots and kills the OPFOR warlord - selected as the Knight terminator captain.  I get more points to make it about 6:0.

Third turn, results in the Grey Knight being wiped out, and I have an immobile predator.  I'm staring down the incoming OPFOR Stormraven.

Fourth turn, the OPFOR stormraven discharges its Sternguard and dreadnought right in front of my librarian's squad. It results in an assault that would last into turn 5.  The OPFOR stomraven explodes a predator.  The Gray Knights are slowly walking towards the sound of battle.  In my turn, I wreck the OPFOR Stormraven, and start moving assets to my opponents deployment zone, and moving the DC up to get after the remnant Sternguard and Dreadnought.

Turn five, my opponent had dispatched Angelus and Marus, but were depleted.  My DC charge wit support charge the remaining Sternguard and wipe them out, but with a bad overwatch roll I'm down to one DC member.  Turn 6, my opponent moves his dreadnought to attack Titus.  In my turn, we complete the charge, and basically wreck each other in combat.  

Turn 7, I wrap things up. Final Score - 19 to 6.  

Blood Angels WIN!!!!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dante Visits 5th Company for Battle

One of the problems about some special characters is that they are best left for the largest of games.  I’d never used Dante in a game until last week.  The Infernous Bolter keeps falling off the model.  I’m going to have to pin it…

Can you imagine what my 5th Company Leader, Librarian Angelus, would be thinking when Chapter Master Dante would arrive? Well, with the issues I’ve had, it might be worth it!

2000 Points vs White Scars

All I did was take my 1750 list (last post) and add to it Dante (Lord of War), and two tactical marines.  Everything else was the same.  Angelus would continue to draw from Biomancy.  For the Battle, Dante would be the Warlord.  He comes stock with his own trait, plus the second one.  For that I rolled – lead by example.  Figures…

My opponent had a tooled up White Scars force – basically two CADs – each pretty much the same, so something in total like:

Chapter Masters on bike, shield eternal, power axe, orbital bombardment
Chapter Master in terminator armor, storm shield, power sword

Command squad, 5x Bikes, power swords, 1 apothecary
Command squad, 5 bikes, 5 grav guns

Bike squad, 5+, melta guns, combimelta
Bike squad, 5+, grav guns, combigrav

Dev squad, 5 marines, ML, AA, Rhino
Dev squad, 5 marines, ML, AA

Attack bikes, 3, MMs

Tac squad, 5 marines, melta, combimelta, drop pod
Tac squad, 5 marines, melta, combimelta, drop pod

More or less.

I did not take photos. 

We were playing the scenario where you get 1 more tactical mission card per turn.  Hammer and Anvil.

My opponent deployed first, determined to go first.  He pretty much deployed as a mirror of himself, devs right and left, rhino centerline, bikes split right and left.  The Pods in reserve also held the Terminator Chapter Master. 

I deployed strong along the center, behind LOS blocking terrain, spread out a bit due to the incoming orbital bombardment.  I needed to see where he’d commit his forces.  I hold the Furioso (w/pod), DC, DC dread, and Stormraven in reserve. 

Turn 1
The White Scar bikers advance near evenly right and left.  The drop pod for Turn 1 drops right in front of my left flank.  In shooting, his meltaguns hit and damage the Baal Predator “Crimson Blade”, while grav/multimelta fire wrecks a razorback.  The orbital bombardment drops in on my assault squad plus Dante/Angelus/Marus (Sanguinary priest).  I lose three assault marines and do not break.  My opponent scores like 4 points including first blood.

In response, Dante is in charge range of the podded tactical squad.  He sets the tone and advances left, taking his attached squad and HQ characters with him.  With that pretty much I’m committing to a left flank attack.  My Furioso Pod drops between his left rear devs and rhino. The dismounted tac squad from the wrecked Razorback sets out a right flank picket. 

In shooting, the surviving Razorback and Baal Pred “Crimson Hammer” kill a few jinking bikes from the left most biker squads.  “Crimson Blade” fired at bikers advancing up the center, getting them to jink.  The Furioso frag-cannons and flames the dev squad, taking down 4 of 5 marines.  In assault, Dante leads the charge on the White Scar pod squad.  I roll short and can’t combined assault on the pod.  I settle for near happiness when Dante singlehandedly at WS7, S7, I7 wipes out the squad.  However, that leaves me exposed to a White Scars shooting response.  I roll low on consolidation too, but spread out what I can.  I might have scored a point for holding an objective. 

Turn 2
The second White Scar drop pod arrives, about 18 inches forward from Dante, to shore up the White Scars on my left.  Everything else advances, with his other Chapter Master and command squad bikers heading towards my right flank picket.  (Tactical note – I wanted him to take that bait – I needed him delayed down there to allow me time for my reserves to arrive).  My opponent, warry of Dante, line up to shoot at him and his retinue.  The second orbital bombardment hits and deviates, so I lose 3 more assault marines.  In shooting, I lose another assault marine, and Marus takes a bullet.  My right flank tac squad survives shooting and gets charged.  In the rear, the Furioso dreadnought gets damaged, but the enemy charge distance fails.  The assault on the tac squad ends with me having two marines surviving and outrunning the bikers.  The score is now something like 5-1.

On my turn, the reserve roll brings in the Stormraven.  It flies in on the right flank, lining itself up on the second echelon attack bikes.  The DC occupants are itchy, but I won’t release them!  The two lonely Tac marines return to their picket position.  Crimson Blade also looks to shoot at the attack bikes, while the razorback and Crimson Hammer wheel around to shoot the command squad.  Dante and retinue advance to get at assaulting the newly arrived Chapter Master #2.  Shooting is largely ineffective, bikes jinking, and the biker command squad tanking hits off the Master’s shield.  In assault, Dante’s squad hits home again, while the Furioso hits the bike squad.  I issue a challenge, and while the Chapter Master survives with a wound, his tac squad retinue is dead.  The Furioso kills the remaining leftmost bikers.  I score some points for kills and we are something like 5-3.

Turn 3
My opponent is now on the back foot.  His left flank is gone, and I’m heading towards his rear on the next turn.  His MM attack bikes and the AA ML shoot at the (jinking) stormraven and they don’t scratch the paint.  He decides that instead of continuing the end run around my rear, the Master and command squad would pull back up the right a bit, and his central bikes would head after the Furioso.  In shooting, the Furioso loses its last two HPs to grav bikes.  In assault, Dante kills off Chapter Master #2.  Score is 6-4.

On my turn, the jinked Stormraven goes to hover mode and deploys the DC marines (to go after the attack bikes) and the DC Dread (to go after the Master and Command Squad). 

My remaining demi-tac-squad dismounts and heads after the original WS drop pod.  It is on an objective that I want.  The Razorback heads out to hunt down that last left-flank Dev and hold another objective.  Crimson Blade pushes forward to an objective with LOS on the attack bikes.  Crimson Hammer also sits on an objective to shoot at the Master and Command squad (bikers). Dante and retinue head after the bikers that took down the Furioso.  In the psychic phase, Angelus casts a spell that wounds a biker and regains Marus his lost wound.  The left left Dev survivor is eliminated by plasma.  I wreck an attack bike and maybe one or two of the command squad bikers.  In assault, Dante and retinue kill off their target, the DC marines kill off the last attack bikes, and Titus the DC Dread gets locked in combat with the master and Command Squad Bikers – as the Master essentially tanked all the wounds on his shield!  The score advances with me having a good turn to something like 6-8. 

Turn 4-5-6
My opponent is losing his army fast.  Titus actually is wrecked by a meltabomb from the Master on Turn 4, which frees up the Master and Command bikers to go on to other mayhem, including killing the DC marines.  In the meantime, I eliminate everything the White scars have except for Drop pod #2 and the Master.

Game ends with the White Scars having linebreaker. 

Wrap Up
Final score - White Scars 8, Blood Angels 11. 

Another great and fun game.  I did forget a few things – IIRR I lost the Stormraven (it got assaulted by I forgot it was back to flying).  Dante has more special rules to remember.  Although lead by example is a great command trait, it never came up as Dante never stopped to score an objective.  At the end he was hopping back to go chase down that surviving biker Chapter Master.  That combat would have happened too except for the game ending. 

Overall, I’m feeling a bit more confident in some of these games.  I’m at the point in game play speed and such that I can make tactical decisions during the game that my opponents have to react to.  They may not be the best decisions, but I think if  keep the Blood Angels in play for a bit more I’ll get a much better win streak going!

On the back table it was all about demon players thinking about Magnus…I think I’m headed for a long cold winter.  The upcoming 2000 point tournament in 10 days may see Magnus and Pink Horrors hitting tables in force…Maybe I need to drop Angelus and two or three tac marines to bring in Mephiston…hmmmmmm


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tragedy and Vindication at the Standoff

Life has been so busy for me it’s been rare that I’ve been able to get blog posts written.  I have had a bit of time for painting and playing 40K, but not at a high level.  Anyone peeking at my game record saw that last year was dismal, and this year, although a bit better, is also dismal.

I did commit to play at the Standish Standoff.  And yep, I did.

I decided that since I was playing Blood Angels, I’d just stay with them.  Overall, I think if I had a caddy (like in golf) to keep me grounded and focused, I could get Blood Angels to stay in the top 2/3rds of my local tournaments.  I just wish I had that caddy!  The job position is open!  The alternative was to just dust off the Battle Company list I’d used last year.  That list was great, and frankly, I have no idea why any other Space marine player did not bring one.  If I learned anything in the past year, it’s that Frankie (Frontline) is probably spot on that White Scars Battle Company with lots of grav weapons is still the best choice going in that genre (although I’d love to see that played in a match vs melta/plasma Ultramarines Battle Company).  Nuff said. Heck, all i did to the tray I used for transport was take the one I've been using and added a few more glued on Imperial inspirational posters I'd found the night before on the internet.  I don't think anyone even noticed.

My BA list, for posterity – 1750

Shield of Baal Detachment
Librarian, level 2, FS/PP, JP (Biomancy)
Sanguinary Priest, chalice, pistol, auspex, PAxe, JP
10 Assault marines, 2 MG, Sergeant w/PF, IP, veteran, JPs
Furiouso Dreadnought, frag cannon, Flamer, DCCW, Magnagrapple, Drop Pod, Deathwind
DC Dreadnought, 2XBTs, flamer, MG
DC Marines, 5, 1 PF, 1 PS, JPs
Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, Hurricane sponsons
6 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
5 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
2 Baal Preds – TLACs, HB sponsons

Yep, everything has furious charge (+1S), +1I on the charge, and the chalice give +1WS to its unit.  The components I think it is weak in is the ability to deal with massed 2+ armor, or T5+ multi-wound opponents.  The ground vehicles are all fast.  The flyer is tough.  The overall strategy is to deploy and go second, as the army is designed to react quickly to the opponent’s strategy and cause a change in the game.  Its the best thing you can do when outnumbered.  The bigger issue (not having a BA land raider or two) is that the Stormraven is key to deploying the DC marines and DC dread on turn two to the Schwerpunkt.  Earlier test games showed that to be feasible and lethal.  The problem seems to be getting them to be delivered on demand.

Game 1 – VS Mech Eldar / w Wraith Knight (Table 9)
Apparently with 22 gamers in the event I randomly drew the guy who would eventually win.  I’d even kidded about it in the parking lot before the venue opened.  And then it happened.  Unfortunately as a BA player, I’m not personally allowed to have prescience…A year earlier we’d played each other round 3…

When we rolled, I had to deploy first and go first.  Throw everything out the window.  My warlord trait would allow me to reroll reserves.  My reserves would not arrive until turn 4 even with rerolling.  On turn 1 I was leading.  On turn 2 I was losing but just a point behind. On turn 3 and 4 I was maybe two points behind.  On turn 6 I was tabled, and the scoring system awarded me 0 points for 6 turns of fast work.  And we were done in 1.5 hours.  I had an hour to pack my tray, wander around, and think about the future.  When the Stormraven eventually arrived on turn 4, I needed to zoom in flying to head deep into the board.  The DC Dread jumped off to be ready to assault the wraith knight.  In doing so, it deviated totally off the table with double 6s…and a mishap of 1 meant it was not coming back.  I was pretty mad at that point, and basically fed my units to the Eldar wraith knight in response.  By turn 6 I only had the Stormraven, which went to hover mode to try to get me two points for linebreaker. It got shot down.

With zero points I was firmly in last place.

Game 2 – VS Chaos Marines (sorcerer spam) with Guard (quad thudd guns and Sicaran) and Knight (Table 11)
My opponent here usually runs some tough stuff.  I love to play against him, and this game was going to be a tough challenge.  His overall strategy was to use his three chaos sorcerers to get invisibility (for the knight) and prescience (for the thudds).  And he did.  He deployed first and would go first.  If anything, his primary mistake was placing the thudd guns on his back corner.  That meant I had a thin swath of property in my deployment zone to put the librarian, sanguinary, and assault squad, and I would work to string him out towards my lines.  His thudds put their 12 or so twin linked blast templates on a razorback and wrecked it, as his invisible knight worked towards my direction.  In response, my ironclad podded down next to his thudds, and I started to work on him.  We trade blows for a while.  The Stormraven arrives I think on Turn 2.  On turn 3, I get the DC dread to charge the invisible knight while everything else heads around towards the table center (king of the hill).  I lose the DC dread to the knight in stomp attacks on turn 5. We end on turn 6 or so with me winning.

Game 3 – VS Deathwatch with Spacewolves Allies, Flyer Spam (Table 10)
Even with a win, I only moved up a single table.  In fact, one or two guys dropped, so I was ion the defacto last place table again.  This was going to be a tough match, and I did not know much about the Deathwatch.  This guy had his entire army in 4 fliers and one drop pod.  My opponent deployed first and went first.  Or should I say, he deployed nothing…

On turn 1, his drop pod arrives in my deployment zone and his small squad jumps out and melta’s one of my razorbacks.  While I push everything else forward, my surviving 6-man marine squad plus some added support kill off his spacewolves, but I can’t kill the pod.  Frankly, If I’d been thinking right, I should have just wiped him out entirely (assaulting the pod w/ the assault squad) and maybe ended the game right then.  I cannot recall if a deathwatch flyer or so was also on board turn 1.  IIRR he had some sort of means to bring stuff in.

By turn 2 he had half or all his flyers.  I’m scrambling around getting shot up while I collect maelstrom points.  I think around turn 3 or so I’m being assaulted and sorely pressed.  My death company countercharge an ongoing assault and they turn the tide.  DC dread gets meltabombed in assault (heheh, something unlikely now with the new FAQ).  Turn 5 comes around, and at the end, I won.  It was not pretty, but it was a Blood Angels kind of win.  Messy.  Wreckage everywhere.

Wrap-up Rant and more Army Pictures
Overall, I finished 2 wins and 1 loss.  Not too shabby!  I was poor in total points though.

Overall, all I can say is, dang frackin stupid fricken crazy awful bad ugh reserve rolls!  Even with rerolls I had problems getting a simple reserve unit on the table.  It is just bad luck and bad karma that continues to follow me around here.  You figure I spent Game 1 with essentially a third of my points out of the game, and really a full 10% never able to be used.  If anything, in game 2 it might have been great to keep the librarian/sanguinary/assault squad in reserves too, but I was so shattered by what happened in Game 1 I did not want to see it happen again.  In game 3, my opponent really was the one who lost that game – he ended with some flyers still containing units in transport, rather than having them dismount and pile in on any available assaults.  Overall, it was a tough but great day.  Really, in spite of the rants over my own issues, I loved the challenges each game provided.  Each game offered a huge issue for me to overcome, and I think the first game sparked me to really work harder on the other two.

I did enjoy just defaulting to Biomancy for spells instead of my typical selection of Sanguinary.  It helped a bit in game 3, but overall, for my pairings, psychic spells were not game changing - except in Game 2 where my opponent out-spelled me 3-1 and had invisibility and prescience....Frankly I could have just used a BA Captain in artificer armor with a relic sword and done just as well if not better.

MVP in my list was surprisingly the Stormraven.  I lost it in Round 1, in the other games it just mowed down units with its three different weapons and seemed to survive pretty well.  Good times.  In a larger game it would be cool to pair it with two Stormtalons for the added boosts for that formation. Honorable mention to the Baal Predators.    

Anyway, enough for now.  Here are a few pictures.  Enjoy!

Above - one of the best painted.  I like it when bugs look like bugs.

Above - best ork army - sadly, orks were paired vs orks in round 1. 

Above and below - My favorite painted army.  The demon characters are really off the hook good, dogs and demons, a nice combination. 

Above and below - Played vs this in the practice event a few weeks before.  I don't have a photo of my round 1 opponent's Eldar army.

Below - Necrons....

We will be playing 2000 point games at the club level.  I think I might just add Dante or some other easy 250-point add-on for tonight....

Happy gaming,


Friday, September 2, 2016


Titus stirred.

The chirp in his sensors had actually stirred first, which had the effect of gently nudging Titus from his dream state.  Titus was momentarily saddened.  He had been dreaming a great dream, one of  his youth, on a hunting trip in the mountains of Macragge. Then Titus remembered his duty and purpose.  Titus began his awakening protocols.

With mental thoughts, rather than physical motion, as practiced over a century of time, He began the ordered protocols and internal checklists.  Auxiliary power units began to hum with warmth and energy.  Hydraulic systems were pressured, tested for leaks.  Computer control, communications, data, and sensor systems came on line next as programming checked each engram for errors or faults.  Throughout it all, Titus kept his visual and audio inputs shut down.  He preferred it that way, not wanting to see or hear his true environment until he was ready.  Titus frowned at the list of faults and maintenance issues that slowly built up on his internal display.  One power fist digit was under pressured, probably the sign of an aging component that would need replacement.  One power unit only achieving 99.123% of power.  A gyroscope seemingly needing re-calibration.  Hydraulic pressure sensors in his right leg indicating the need to replace a filter. Ammunition was nil.

Communications messages reduced to text form cluttered his in-vox system.  Well over 75,000 messages in all.  With a mental gesture, he began screening through the messages. Some were simple location system reports indicating his presence on the Ultramarines battle barge Octavius II.  Others were rough greetings from his battle brothers. Many were daily devotional messages from Chaplain Tiber.  He scanned on, reading messages from his captain, a few minor battle reports.  Reports of warp translation.  Training schedules. Promotions.

Breakfast, as it was, consisted of input of a balanced paste through his feeding tube. Per his own request, the nutrient paste changed from a smoky bacon-like sense to that of a bitter coffee. It gave him strength and unfogged his mind.  

On completion of his startup protocols, and his communications read, discarded, or archived, Titus mentally reached for another button on the display.  Mentally hammering it home, with a massive clunk, a bright widening beam of light bathed Titus. The doors widened to their full potential.  Then with a thought, Titus began motion, massive right foot followed by left, into the light of the room. He bowed forward.  Standing before  him was Techmarine Arius. Arius returned the bow.  "Good Morning Brother Titus" said the Techmarine.  "We have need of your service"...Beyond were Chapter Servitors with panniers of large bore explosive ammunition. Each round was polished to a high sheen, each marked with the Emperors Blessed Seal and the Ultramarines Chapter Symbol.  Titus advanced further into the room to begin his rituals of arming...  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Apparently not...

1850 Point Game - Maelstrom #5 vs Tau

OK, pictures...

So, like this Wednesday, at Crossroad Games, I won the lucky dice roll (we use dice to pair up players on our Wednesday "club night")...I was paired up to play vs Tau.  I'd put the player as top tier, and the match-up could have been written right out of the Mont' Ka campaign.

My army (I know, you were expecting something different) was basically (I'd made a new list, forgot it, so did this more or less from memory - it should be pretty close but I don't know if I forget something meaningful):

Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company:
Company command with HF, officer of Ordnance, vox, Chimera
BERP the Enginseer

Company commander (warlord), plasma guns, astropath, vox, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, vox, Taurox
LR Demolisher
LR Punisher

My warlord trait was lead by example, where my Warlord and his unit would score 1+ for objectives.
The Astropath had Psychic Scream and IIRR Domination (target unit has to roll leadership before doing anything).

My opponent had a great Tau list that was everything you could want to take in a rockem' sockem list:

Optimized Stealth Cadre (OSC)
Retaliation Cadre (RC)
Everything Tau is optimized for weaponry, wargear boosts, etc.

The Tau determined what deployment zone they wanted, and also deployed first, went first.

The interesting thing about the Tau list, is that they start the game with just the Optimized Stealth cadre on the table. Only 2 drones with the GhostKeel. The strategy is that they take it to Turn 2, where the entire Tau force arrives from deep strike reserves on Turn 2.  The Tau commander (only character) and his bodyguard of 9 or so suits, can pretty much split fire at everything, and not scatter on the drop.  Special rules have the Tau weapons always hitting vehicles on rear armor.  Extra bonuses pretty much twin link everything, give extra cover boosts, reroll 1's, armorbane, get a pretty good picture of it.

I did not really know that at the beginning of the game.

I did not reserve anything.  Probably should have.

Overall, the game was a close deal through turn 4 when the game was called for time.

I lost, like 12-9 or so, but at the end of the game I only really had one veteran squad still in play.

Turn 1 - the Tau OSC came up the center, and focused on my Russ's, taking the demolisher to 1 hull point. In response, I used my vox network to twin link the artillery, and put it all down on the stealth suits.  Failed orders to pin or ignore cover.  Even with twin linking, scattering was my foe, and although I caused over 10 wounds, only three stealth suits from the two comingled units were removed.

Rules conundrum:  The Tau player claimed that a piece of special rule or wargear in the OSC meant that if the stealth suits were within 6 inches of the Ghostkeel, that their cover save would be doubled from units firing more than 12-inches away.  He wanted to double down his cover saves to a 2+.  I argued that it would not work from artillery barrage, since the direction of damage was from the center of the blast templates, not the distance of the artillery piece. It went in circles until we decided to dice it off and I lost.  Stealth suits benefited from the doubled 2+ cover, and that cost me a lot. I did get domination on the Ghostkeel, which was about the only thing awesome for the turn.

Turn 2, the entire tau RC arrive, and pretty much none scatter to any bad position.  The tau commander and his suit group plop in from of the artillery company,  The other units go after the CAD.  By the end of the turn, I'd lost 3 chimeras, the manticore, basilisk, and demolisher, and banewolf all to Tau special rear-armor seeking munitions. In response, I shot up and killed off a few of the smaller suit units from the RC.

Turn 3, more of the same, I lost the remaining chimeras, Taurox, wyvern, punisher, warlord, commander, astropath, etc.  I scored some points with what I had left.  BERP tried to assault the RC commander and unit for wrecking all of the vehicles under his care - he was dropped by the overwatch fire.      

Turn 4, Tau move up and consolidate to hunt down the remaining enemy units.  I get some shots off, but I'm pretty much down to a squad of survivors in the Tau deployment zone.

Overall, it was an interesting game, and if I'd had time, I'd have wanted to try it again but with holding all of my tanks and artillery in reserves, or with the artillery in a corner, bubble wrapped by dismounted veterans.  That way, on turn 2, my reserves could have come in and reacted to the Tau force in a more meaningful way.  On the other hand, our Wednesday night crowd are not really in the mode of "Beats lab" where we can stop a game, rewind, and try stuff out to see what works or not.  I may go ahead and optimize this list further and try it again next week.  I find I'm getting better with orders.  And yes, the Warlord trait helped me grab an extra point in the game...

The biggest damage came from all the Tau munitions going right to my rear armor with no cover saves allowed.

Overall, failing on ignores cover orders on turn 1 was sad and a bit of a game changer.  Also, I need a penitential moment with my codex, as I need to confirm stuff on giving orders.

First game using a Taurox. I have one built with the twin linked autocannon and twin linked storm bolter turret (apparently it does not come with a heavy stubber!). It was able to zome ahead to get me an objective, but quickly died to tau fire.  The squad inside lasted a while there till they were killed off.

I think since the veterans have all been killed off enough in the last year I ought to go to just bare-bones infantry, not veterans, and give each sergeant a power axe...that might have been good this game, the AP2 would have been a better tool in a charge into one unit of suits.  

All for now!