Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review of my 2012-2013 Gaming Year

For those of you who used to read my blog over the years back at B&C, I used to benchmark the start of the gaming year at August 15+/-, coinciding with what had been the HardBoyz tournament prelims. The following is my W/D/L record for the past three years - And for all of these games I've played Space Marines (3rd Company Ultramarines), rarely with allies, rarely in a team game with a partner.

2012-2013 Record for Third Company: 21 wins 3 Draws 17 Losses
2011-2012 Record for Third Company: 18 Wins 7 Draws 15 Losses
2010-2011 Record for Third Company: 35 Wins 10 Draws 30 Losses

I decided to Normalize each year to get a measure of improvement, giving a win 3 quality points, a draw as 2 quality points, and a loss as 1 quality point. The game year averages then become:

2012-2013 QPs = 2.097
2011-2012 QPs = 2.075
2010-2011 QPs = 2.066

The first thing that really sticks out is that I'm average (a solid "2"). Pretty much on average every game could have been a win or loss. Anyone reading my reports could come up with the same conclusion. Most of my games can hinge over a single deciding point or dice results, which is for me, pretty cool. Another way to normalize the data is as percentages:

2012-2013 = 51% W; 7% D; 41% L
2011-2012 = 45% W; 18% D; 38% L
2010-2011 = 47% W; 13% D; 40% L


In the past year I could both measureably increase my chance of winning and increase my chance of losing at the same time...curse you mathematics! Of course I attribute this to 6th edition changes which make it more difficult to get draws.

But note...fogging up the results above is that my local gaming group seems to enjoy game scenarios (particularly on our 3-game monthly "tournament days") as written by another local blogger, and they deviate from the basic constructs of the Big Rule Book, and may or may not be "fair" to all codex army types.

My game play statistics span the change from 5th Edition to 6th, with a codex designed for 5th and not yet replaced with it's 6th edition version. If anything the data seems to show I'm holding my own against all the codex changes other armies have been enjoying.

What might be interesting is to see next year's statistics and see if anything changed with the introduction of the new Space Marine codex next month, and how it should have been designed to be "more fair" or so to keep up with 6th edition changes to game play. With the game purportedly designed to revolve around the generic Space Marine as a the standard, it should be interesting to see what changes might occur. And that leads to where we are probably headed.


Change is coming!

One of the rumored Ultramarine chapter traits (essentially an improvement to bolter drill) is that all rolls to hit of a "1" on a bolter (regardless of ammo type) can be rerolled...How many times have my dice just totally left me on the field? I am so looking forward to rerolling 1's. Who really knows what other tweaks will be in the new codex? Squads with more special weapons? Rules for flyers? Little tiny changes to stat lines? Who knows! Regardless, I'm holding off on model purchases until Christmas...

Now for a few more tidbits:

I was away on vacation the past 2 weeks in Ireland. It was very fun, the only real low point was dropping in at the Games Workshop Dublin store, only to find out it closed at 6 PM on Fridays in a very busy shopping/tourist area. I got there around 6:05 (after the Jamison Distillery Tour and Tasting). Talk about lost the short 5 minutes I hovered about the store looking at the dioramas in the window, while a drone/servitor in a bright blue t-shirt vacummed the floor, at least one person per minute also wanted to go into the store...The drone opened the door long enough to ask me what I wanted....said I could always come back the following Thursday...when they are open till 10 PM...

My Mortis Contemptor and 3rd Company maries may have had 3 or 4 games without me...apparently Ripped Dragon borrowed them while I was away? Well, they did OK...Ripped loves the Contemptor now, he used in in a practise game to mow down some hordes...

One of my favorite things is to listen to the 11th Company podcast...I recommend it! They just completed 2 weeks of evaluating the Dark Angels codex...and they had alot of food for thought on list building. One of the leaders of that podcast group provided ideas for large foot-slogging marine lists...Hmmmm....


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another Contemptor Update!

Just a quick set of pictures.  I'm not done with the base, but done for now.  Here we have Dreadnoughts Titus and Varus together.  You can see Titus with his devastator chevron. 

Here is a side shot.  I added old style smoke launchers to Titus and a few bits here and there.  The smoke launcher were mounted on the arm back plate, to be different from Varus who has his almost as a halo.
Front shot, I may actually add more ork bitz to Titus's base, similar to the ork under Varus's foot. 
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the project.  For paints on Titus, I followed along with the paints and washes recommended in the painting guides using GW's new paint line.  Interestingly, the 4 steps or so of paint colors and washes take the models to around the same point my older 2-step process went. I think if I was to build another Contemptor, I'd watch the stance more, to make it look like he was planting his feet to have a stronger firing stance.  He'd end up a little shorter, but more dynamic. 

Contemptor Mortis Update - it has a Name!

I think my new Dreadnaught has been involved in 7 or so battles now. 

He deserves a name, like all Dreadnoughts.  At Bolter and Chainsword, under the Ultramarines segment, there is a Librarium Project to track / disclose the names of very named Ultramarine in the GW IP.  That resource is pretty cool, as it gives me a location from where to identify my 3rd Company (and 1st Company) characters.

We have a minor problem.  There are no named Ultramarine Contemptor Dreadnoughts. So, going deep in the archives at B&C, I decided for now to use the name Titus (in honor of the MIA 3rd co. Veteran Devastator Sergeant Titus). 

It also came to me in my video battle with the venerable Spectre Senence that I really need to set aside my own copy of my 3rd and 1st Company characters essentially as a data dictionary for future use.  I'll look to create that linkage of character names in a future blog post.

Anyway - back to Contemptor Mortis Titus...

After using the Dreadnought in a few games, and looking at the model, it seemed apparent that the basic Contemptor Chassis is pretty plain looking.  No real details, nothing that sets aside the fact that the Contemptor pattern has been around for a long time (back to the Heresy), and needed some spicing up. 

So, off to the bits box I went.  I've added some components from a Venerable dread sprue, and a few more purity seals.  Just these small changes are starting to break up the plain look, and gives it a bit more style. I was thinking about adding some gun banners (a-la Epic Titan style), but that will wait - maybe after Titus brings down a HellDrake or a Eldar bomber. 

I also found some small shell piles on a Terminator Sprue to add to the base.  Overall, though, I'm
thinking that for a Dreadnought like this Mortis, with the amoubnt of firepower it pumps out, the shell piles need to be much, much, much bigger!  So now I'm looking to add to the base more shell casings, and I need to find a way to make them.  

Also considering the nature of the game and the amount of shooting Titus couls be expected to use, I'm going to look for some ammo storage boxes to pile around him as well.

I played two games since the last post; the first game was 1500 pts vs. Eldar...Titus was not involved...I lost badly.  Around turn 2 everything was going well, and then the Eldar reserves arrived, and between cold dice and Eldar rending dice, it was over.  Dreadnought Titus was not involved in that game.

The next game was a week later, 1950 points vs a fairly new player. It was more of a game to give him an opponent than anything.  When he asked me to play, it is not the sort of opponent you could refuse. 

I did not use the Calth Reaction Force list, but as I was thinking it might be my last game for my  August 15-August15 gaming year calendar (coinciding with the old Ard' Boyz event), and potentially the last before the arrival of the new codex, I went back to my old roots: 

3rd Company led by Captain Ardias (aka Pedro Kantor), with two full squads of Sternguard with pods, a tactical squad with pod, razorback combat squad, three landspeeders, 5 assault terminators, stormtalon, etc. 

My opponent had a captain and command squad w razorback, 2 podded tactical squads, a tactical squad on foot, 8 bikers, 2 attack bikes, whirlwind, dreadnought, 2 dev squads. 

The only things I deployed was a razorback with 5 marines, a MM/HF landspeeder, and Titus.  My Warlord trait was the ability to reroll reserves....

It was a bloodbath.  Dreadnought Titus had stomped his way to the table center by Turn 4, had supported eliminating the devs and 2 of the tactical squads, and had wrecked the opponent's Dreadnought .  At that point my opponent threw in the towel and we talked and packed.  I held the Relic, first blood, and linebreaker.  My oppoenent had 6 infantry models and a drop pods left on the table and they were all ready to be eliminated on Turn 5 if we'd gone that far. Overall, I tried to intone that he had held the tools to take me down, but it was a combination of his deployment, lack of power weapons, and poor use of the Captain and his retinue that needed improvement for the next time.  This next picture sums up the beginning of turn sternguard squads had podded with Ardias right into his lines...they combat squaded and had already eliminated a dev squad, razorback, some of his command squad, and a few bikers....Thinking back on it, the only unit I lost in its entirety was a drop pod...

So, I'll try to get some final pix of Titus up after the basing is all done and decals or free had work is applied.  I painted everything up so far including some gloss ard'coat where the Ultramarine decals and such (including a Devastator chevron to tie him back to his roots as the Veteran Sergeant) will go.  In the mean time, Dreadnought Titus will remain a steady component of my army lists into September.