Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Surviving the New Year - Blood Angels Style - Hard Work Ahead...

I've been on a Blood Angels bender since the codex came out, reading and re-reading it and even purchasing the last three White Dwarf weeklies so I'd have the new formations as well (not to mention the cool cities of Death Maelstrom cards).  About the only thing not in my hand (yet) is the current Blood-Angel related Shield of Baal campaign and fluff supplement.  Maybe that will be next.

Yep, here at my man cave, I got a pile of Blood Angels that have been sitting around and not played for over a year (or more).  RippedDragon collected most of them, and I owned some of them before that.  Included in the collected are the old original metallic death company metal marines, and I'm almost ready to start painting.  Here are some pictures of the collection for reference.

It is a pile of stuff!  Of course, now I need to go and design some lists, in order to see what we might be missing.  I already ordered the Mephiston model from my FLGS just to complete the character collection.

As can be seen, there is alot of stuff to repair, paint, fix, swap, clean, finish, and such, so I think I'll start with a basic list and then move forward from there.

Weekend work has been keeping me from playing tournament games for the past two months or so, and for the past two weeks, holidays and meetings have kept me from playing on club nights. In January we begin the next league, however, so I need to get busy!  I hate playing with unfinished models!

I've also been trolling a bit more at Frontline Gaming, in relation to their podcasts.  I love listening to their podcast, but it is always interesting how quick they can try to look for rules to be abused in order to create "winning netlists" at any cost.  Case in point is the discussion there on the BA formation from White Dwarf that consists of 3 Stormravens and 3 10-man tac squads with 3 teleport homers.  Of course the discussion immediately went off the hook on trying to find a way to alpha strike you with other units coming in from reserves.  Overall, I'm hoping they achieve a just conclusion to the discussion, but we'll see.  I've made my case fairly clear in my comments there.

Locally, I went to the FLGS last week and there were a good few people playtesting the Blood Angel Codex, and one player has already used it to win the monthly tournament (although I don't know if he used the new codex - it seemed to recent to allow it).  Regardless, I think we will see alot of Blood Angels come out to play in the area, which is pretty cool.

Friday, December 12, 2014

New Projects Underway and a Loss to Tau-Dar

I have not really been posting much on the non-tactics or non-battle elements of the game, but with ski season looming it gets more difficult to find time for games.  Having an entire basement available for games and hobbies helps though, and I always have paints out on the bar.

There is a lot (sort of) going to happen here at Defenders of Calth! 

I has no real knowledge of this until recently.  In the lore, the Blood Angels Chapter "actually" sent a company of their marines to assist the Ultramarines after hive fleet Behemoth had invaded the Ultramar system, and those Blood Angels remained there to learn as much as they could from the experience.  Regardless, I have access to an unfinished Blood Angels Army and am getting the new codex today!  Look for the Blood Angels 5th Company to share the scene with the Ultramarines 3rd Company soon!

Overall, I have the following projects getting underway:

1.  A gamer I met a few months back had a limited edition Ultramarines Captain still on the sprue from Games Workshop. I'm going to get the model assembled and painted - and look for it to be entered in the Fratris Salutem painting competition in the Spring.  I might have him represent a different company....

2.  I have a box of Centurions.  Now that it seems to be that the unit is not going to be included in the Blood Angels Codex, it is time for them to get built as 3rd Company Ultramarines.

3.  Attack Bike.  Ultramarines.  This will get me to three of them. On the other hand...maybe as a Blood Angel.  But that will mean getting more bikers to complete a squad of them.

4.  5th Company Blood Angels.  There is alot to do!  I'll probably create a 1500 point army list first and then start on what i need to get that table top ready.

Then there is the gaming itself:

1.  Winter 40K League...extends from January to March.

2.  COD....

As for what I have been up to...missed out on a few weeks of 40K due to other obligations.  I did get in to Crossroads for a game this past Wednesday.  It was vs Tau-Dar!

Maelstrom Mission #1, 1750 Points 
My opponent had something like:

Eldar CAD
Wraithknight with upgrades (as his warlord). Shooty.
2 units of jetbikers, each including a seer of each type (for a total of 4 psychers, 10 or 12 jet bikes total)
Wave serpent
Small unit of Guardians

Tau Allies
Commander in suit, marker drones, plasma loaded.
3 Heavy suits, more drones, missile and plasma loaded.
Fire warriors on foot, about 10.
Large Tau-Bot, plasma loaded

Having been a while, I only had brought a 1650 PyroTiggy list - which I upgraded to 1750 by swapping out two missile launchers for two heavy bolters and adding in two attack bikes.

Overall, it went all experimental for me.  Although I knew taking down the wave serpent and jetbikes would be very important, I decided to change my target priority to the heavy suits followed by the wraithknight.

My opponent had first turn, which he used to collect 4 points right off (first blood, 3 objectives).  My card draw was weak, so when I dropped in I got one point, but eliminated his heavy suits.  First bood was from using the wave serpent to eliminate my landspeeders with it's turret weapons and shield (no cover save....wow...).

On his next turn, he had another good draw, and the jetbikes scored him 3 more points, and I got nothing.  At that point I'd tried to shoot then assault his wraithknight, failing to cause a scratch while losing the sternguard sergeant.  My reinforcement pod went back into ongoing reserves after deviating 12 inches.  I scored nothing.  All the cards were for things I could not accomplish.

On turn 3, he shot down my stormtalon with some lucky Tau-bot dice rolls, and he eliminated my attack bikes and two rhinos.  He scored on two objectives and a d3 roll of 3 (card for killing units) for another 5 points, getting him to 12.  My reinforcement pod arrived, and the combined firepower of my two tactical squads failed to dent his wave serpent.  Tiggy and the two remaining sternguard failed a 3 inch charge on the Suit commander...I scored a d3 of 3 points for having a card that got me some objectives, taking me to 4 points. I had more cards that were useless.

We called it at the end of turn 3 with the score about 12-4 or so.  We might have continued, but I was bleeding off kill points and running out of ways to stop the jetbikes from just racking up more points.  My opponent thought he'd eliminate Tiggy and his bodyguards, and just wrack up more points in a gap I'd never close.  
Remember what I said a few posts ago?  Ignore the big stuff and kill the other stuff.  Or come with a list tailored to just kill big stuff...I'd done neither again, which meant the outcome was certain.

Until next time...





Sunday, November 16, 2014


Pretty much says it all!  1500 points, Ultramarines vs Orks.

Sergeant Scipio of 1st Company and Tigurius looked at the tactical display from their location on the battle barge.  Both were grim with determination.  The Ultramarines had arrived at Vortengard Spiral to defend the hive spires from the ork Waaagh, minus Chaplain Cassius and select units from 1st Company and 6th Company, who were fighting Hive Fleet Gorgon at Styxia.  The Orks were still building in strength, and larger ork war machines had been spotted advancing.  The Ultramarines were to launch a combined ground and pod assault on a large ork warband nearing the Styxian front lines.  Besides 1st Company 2nd squad, 3rd Company 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 9th squads were assigned for the attack.

One of my close friends had not played 7th Edition yet and wanted to get is some game time.  I travelled from wayyy up the Coast of Maine and we got some time to get in a good game. He wanted 1500 points, so I grabbed my 1650 point Standish Standoff list and trimmed out one deb squad, and gave Scipio a auspex and the two tactical squad sergeants got melta bombs to even up the points.

Waaagh Sedgehammer
The Green Tide Formation from the Waaagh! Ghazghkull Supplement.
100 Ork Boyz in one giant mob, all with sluggas, choppas, stickbomz
Warboss, Eavy Armor, Big Bosspole, Power Klaw.

Stompa - deff kannon, mega choppa, skorcha, supa-gatla, twin linked big shoota, 3 other big shootas, 4 Supa Rokkits. 790 points!

Scenario:  The Scouring - Dawn of War Deployment

Overall, we both made mistake in the game, but it was more for fun than anything else.  We decided to call the game a draw at the end of turn 5, because he was under pressure to leave and head back north.  Overall, if we'd played turn 6 and we'd taken the end a bit more seriously, the Stompa likely would have been gone (it was down to 1 hull point) and if we'd gone to turn 7, I might have been able to pound the remaining horde down further.

Frankly, with more practice, this ork horde list should be able to stomp the Ultramarines and leave me with a bad loss.  I think that he could have assaulted my marines with the horde on Turn 2, pretty much wrecking and eliminating some of my key units and warlord.  The ork player had decided against that approach, however, content to go after a 3 point and a 4 point objective along the far marine right flank.  It was fun for practice!  I think we both got something out of this.

I'd never played vs a Stompa (12 hull points!) so in the early game I just focused on the mob with most of my army, while the Stompa seemed content to "slowly" advance on the objective that was worth 4 points.  Of course, slowly meant 12 inches a turn...but then it got shiny object syndrome and turned back for a turn to explode 3rd Squad's drop pod.  The sergeant of 3rd Squad will get a ribbon for keeping the orks occupied turn 3 to turn 4.

Here are some shots of the game and further comments:

Orks deploying.  101 Orks and one Superheavy walker. I'm outnumbered 2-1 and the Stompa is something to worry any marine commander.

Yep!  Old School Armorcast! The objective in the foreground was for a single point...the Stompa loost 2 hull points crossing dangerous terrain, and lost 9 more hull points to marine weapons...one short of what it needed...

Shot at the end of turn 1.  My two pods came in on the Ultramarine Left Flank, the predator covers a 3 point objective, the sternguard pod is near a 2 point objective.  Shooting had removed about 2 ork boyz for the cost of 1 marine from the dev squad in the right (ruins) - the dev's rhino was near the 4 point marker.

View during turn 2, the devs had to keep going to ground in their fortification to get a 2+ cover save vs the Stompa's massive firepower.  The devs kept snapshooting krak missiles at the stompa when they could!

Turn 3 - Squad three had arrived the bottom of turn 2 and attracted the attention of the orks.  Squad three was a distraction until the top of turn 4.

Orks are all bunched up in the corner on Turn 3 at this point.  The Stompa had ist back turned in order to eliminate Squad 3's drop pod, and that opening cost the superheavy vehicle some hull points in the following Ultramarine shooting phase.

Gunner!  Pour on the lascannon fire!

Orks on turn 4 swarming around the sergeant of 3rd Squad.  He'd fall as a casualty to 30+ slugga shots as the orks ran past.

Turn 5 and the stompa had crashed into the ruins, and when the rhino exploded, the nearby Devs became casualties in the explosion! They rolled snake eyes for saves!  The Stompa is sitting on a 4 point objective! Surviving ork boyz and the warboss are not far behind on a 3 point objective!

That's a wrap - gave ends turn 5 calling it a draw.  Ultramarines Squad 2 was closing on on a 1 point objective and had linebreaker.  Marines were in control of 7 points of objectives and had linebreaker.  The Orks had 7 points and first blood (for the 3rd Squad drop pod).  The Stompa had a single hull point remaining, and the Warboss was leading about 35 remaining boyz.  If we'd had time, going to turn 6, the Stompa would have wheeled around to probably fire on the jinking Landspeeders or the predator.  In response, the marines planned to try to take the last hull point off, or other options.  I think that my list really needs to do the math required to take a Stompa out faster than 5 turns...that would help with my current problem with knights.

All for now!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Jeff Gordon of 40K - Life at the Low End of the Standish Standoff

Well!  That was interesting!  To be a bit different from Thor at Creative Twilight, I thought I'd wait a day or so before putting up my thoughts and pictures from the Standish Standoff IV.

Overall, my blog post title pretty much sums up how Jeff Gordon and I both feel today after a hectic weekend and the ensuing results.

In short, Jeff was boned in the NASCAR playoffs when after running an awesome race, and fairly well earned a spot in the top 4 for next week's championship race, the number 5 driver (NEWMANNN!!!) threw another car into the wall in order to count as having passed it for a point (and still not finish in the top 10 for the race), but the result threw Jeff, who finished the race in second, out of contention by a single point of surviving to the next round.  Really!

Jeff has always  been one of my favorite drivers in part because he stays professional and tries really hard to be a good role model and racer.  Courage and Honor.  It matches well with my selection of Ultramarines and Imperial Guard.

Here is a shot or two or so of my "scenic display" to carry 3rd Company around in for the day:

The concept was simple - a Battle Barge hangar bay to deploy from.  Ultramarines symbol carved from foam board. The surface was marked where pods and such were to be placed, and the Litany of Being a Space Marine marked the wall.  It made the models look pretty good!

I'd spent a huge effort to update or totally redo painting of nearly every marine on the tray - many were upgraded with icons and purity seals, paints highlighted, shaded, using on new things the 6-step process of bases and layers and shades and stuff right out of GW's own painting tutorials.  Every sergeant was marked well.  Each model was WYSIWYG.  Each model carried as many as 15 different colors of paint  or shades, plus unit decals.  Some vehicles had Forgeworld hatches and hand painted art.  

Rant coming.  For all that work, and a display tray, I got just 12 out of 20 possible points? Apparently a scenic display was worth a single point, as my game one opponent, with an Iron Warriors army playing counts-as white scars with a kitbashed counts-as knight, got 19 points.  My Stormtalon has a fully detailed and painted interior with clear windows.  12 Points?  Hey, if you read my blog last year, you saw where I felt I got boned then too.  I don't know if it was qualitative judging again this year or if he actually had a scoring checklist.  Some would say I'm held to a higher standard!  

Here are some shots of just a portion of the 23 other armies at the event.  These were the best in terms of setups and bases, except for maybe Thor's, who did not seem to set his army up on a scenic display tray for display.  Neither did my first opponent. More photos can be found at Crossroad Game's facebook feed for the event.  

Yep, old school Ultramarines with Imperial Guard in the original Games Workshop Paint Scheme!

Same here for White Scars and Grey Knights! Old School from Massachusetts!

Always my favorite army here - 

He only scored a 18 for paint, but everything is sharp, crisp, and really good. Originally painted as Deathwatch.  Huge amount of the little details.  

I don't know how this scored, nice, muddy, but not 100% done yet.

Heavy metal on a metal tray.  This was played by one of my favorite opponents on any other day.  Glad I did not play against him!  Given just a 5 on painting.

This guy was my third opponent!  Awesome way to end the day facing off against this list!  6 Dread including Bjorn and Murderface.  Got shorted on Painting.  It was a nasty nasty list, but I'd had enough for the day and pretty much beat the Space Wolves to a pulp. Sorry dude!

One of my favorite paint schemes.  Nice bright colors for Tau.  Air brushed, orange details,  Not complete.  No markings? No freehand?  No kitbashing or sculpting? No display? Simple base? 
Not too fancy.  15 points for paint.  It was that kind of day. 

Now on to the game summaries!
(As far as I know, there was no rhyme or reason for pairing.  Random? Scenarios were unique.  Go get them and try them!)

Game 1: 
Table 9 of 12.  Interesting scenario to set the tone for the day.  4 objectives.  Objectives were 4 points, 2 if contested, extra points for the usual, plus extra points for killing heavy choices.  But apparently nothing extra for killing Lords of War.  My opponent (who went on to win the day as best all around) had a White Scars list (he called it "Codex Marines") as stated above was modeled as Iron Warriors.  Hand written list.  Knight Paladin, chapter master on bike, 2 tac squads in rhinos, 5 legion of the damned, stormtalon, 3 centurions.  He deployed first and chose to go second, turtling up on a board of heavy jungle terrain (densest I'd fight on all day).  I figured I'd try to kill the Knight that was shielding everything else.  I'd say beside bad dice rolls, my only other mistake might have been not having used "our weapons are useless" because I always rolled for morale, and then either passed or the Knight "caught me".  The game still was great to the end, but I gave up 5 points for the heavy choices I lost, and ultimately lost the game 19-5.  This was my first loss since August.  

Game 2: 
The unique punishment continued.  This time, I'm assigned Table 9 again, so we switch down to Table 10.  I'm paired this time vs a guy playing Forgeworld Minotaurs Chapter Marines.  Apparently their Chapter HQ and all the Forgeworld goodies that goes with it.  Morloc.  Minos. Prometheus.  Honor Guard. Landraider Spartan.  Landraider Achilles.  Drop Pod.  Terminators.  Low model count.  Everything apparently impervious to Melta.  So yeah, I'd have a heluvah time in this game too.  Good LOS cover for me to minimize the casualties.  4 objectives, usual bonus points, and points for killing fast attack units.  Of course, my opponent had no Fast Attack.  The game turned into one of those sour taste moments.  I was challenged with his impervious armored boxes carrying his army and all the power weapon and 2+/4++ or so armor on his few foot units.  We got down to turn 5 and we have less than 30 minutes left, so I ask him if turn 5 is our last turn.  Answer was a certain affirmative.  I played my turn.  He played his like lightning.  I'm winning!  He tells me we have to play another turn.  I'm like why?  We already agreed we had no time.  I'd played turn 5 as the end turn as he agreed.  He's mad.  I tell him if he won't stop, I'll take it out on his sportsmanship score. I'm courageous and stupid.  We play another turn and it ends up as a DRAW, 10-10.  I should have just smiled and walked away from the table.  This guys finished the day in 23rd place.  

Game 3:  
Now I'm playing on Table 11.  My opponent brings the pain.  A Space Wolves list of 6 dreadnoughts, another Forgeworld Landraider Spartan, drop pods, the new Spacewolf flyer, a tech priest, and 3 servitors.  3 of the Dreads created a spacewolf formation granting a invulnerable shield save.  On an ice planet. Both armies well painted.  I think the judge had only given him a paint core of 6.  We slugged it out, 4 objectives, normal bonuses, and then bonus points for killing elites.  I deployed first and went second.  We slugged it out, with the Ultramarines pulling out a convincing WIN!  17-7.  

 So, overall, the Standoff IV had 3rd Company finish in 9th Place out of 24 based on battle points, 10th place in painting, and apparently 11th place overall with a total score of 50 points.

Not a bad showing!  Overall, my showing really hinged on that attempt to take down that Knight in game 1.  If I recall right, I'd tried that same thing more than once in the past! Had I instead poured everything into his warlord and centurions, or made him come find me in that dense terrain, that game certainly would have ended differently.  The same can be said for Game 2, where I gave up 2 points and changed a win to a draw.  Nuff said.

Overall I'm always chagrined when it seems like I'm getting the short straw in my game pairings.  But, hey, I'm actually more glad in retrospect I did not have to play vs the 4-knight list (he tabled each opponent), or the all-black, unpainted biker army (that I think won best general).  Life is overall, good.

I was also satisfied with the event.  The scenarios were good (although the scoring could have been clearer, for example at Game 3 I was told I was capped at 3 elite points vs the once I'd earned [5 or more?]).  All and all I might have been able to end the day more then 5 points higher than I did. All three of my opponents seemed to have scored me solid 4's for sportsmanship (out of 5).

I'm already planning ahead for the April Assault (aka Fratris Salutem)...I'll try using a red painted army and a nom de plum next time to throw the paint judge off...


Friday, November 7, 2014

Ready for the Standish Standoff IV

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the Standish Standoff IV.  As usual, life makes it more difficult for me to spend time in preparation that I'd hoped.

Army lists are all submitted in advance for approval, the following is a snapshot of my 1650 list.  I've been updating paint jobs and building a cheap "scenic tray" for the event all of this week at night.  All i need to do today is dull up some newly applied decals, print 4 fresh copies of my list, print an updated summary sheet so i can track my games better, and get packed up to drive there.  I won't likely be entering any paint competition stuff.  Although my units are good looking, Ultramarines never seem to win the beauty contests as they are not seen as challenging as slapping washes on nurgle demons.

The list (COD, Ultramarines Chapter):

Warlord - Tigurius

1st Company Sternguard Squad Scipio 

3rd Company Elements: 
Tactical Squad #1
Tactical Squad #2
Devastator Squad #9
Devastator Squad #10
Landspeeder Typhoon Squadron (7th Squad)
Stormtalon (7th Squad)

Support Elements:
Predator "Ultra"

Everything above includes nearly the numbers of a half company (50 MEQ including vehicle drivers)...rolling it off like in the opening scenes of the movie Patton...(insert gravelly voice)....4 combimeltas, 2 combiplasmas, 4 meltaguns, 2 multimeltas, 2 Plasma Cannons, 10 Missile launching weapons, 2 heavy bolters, 1 autocannon, 2 lascannons, 3 deathwind launchers, 2 storm bolters, 40 bolt pistols, meltabombs, other grenades, 3 drop pods, 2 rhinos, tactical suits, underwear...belt buckles...gladius...staves...hoods...ammunition....toothbrushes...icons.... Pretty much the kitchen sink.

Depending on the opponent's free form lists, things may go well, or horribly bad.  The event only lets you use two sources for your list, 40K approved foregworld allowed, unbound allowed.  Of course that means things can get really crazy for the WAAC players with 10 dreadnoughts or 4 knights or whatever.

The interesting thing this time is that the scenarios are not known in advance.  I'm suspicious that the head judge is just recycling what he had prepared for the April Assault that was cancelled last June...

Regardless, I hope to have three challenging games, a good lunch, and a long day.

I'll (try) to get some great photos for the blog.

Also interesting will be how paint scores may be developed.  No real rubric for anything has been presented in advance.  Heck, for all I know first round pairing may be totally random (vs by comp, which they are not using).

On the other hand, I'm also a backup judge...that could get interesting at the last minute if someone gets a cold and is a no-show.  But, more or less...with the 24 players...judges may not have many issues to resolve unless someone is trying to break the rules for their advantage...

All for now,



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Money Shots - Just Getting These Game Photos off my i-Phone!

Live continues to be very busy, but I have tried to get games in at least every Wednesday. on November 8 is the Standish Standoff IV (that's a 4 kids), so what better time to clean my "camera" of game shots!  Ansd now with captions!

Here is a good shot - 3rd company Ultramarines vs Orks - Deployment!  It was a Maelstrom mission, and my drop pods were in use by a friend, so I went all mech!

Beginning the first turn.  It was the mission where you each start with one tactical card, and gain more each turn.  My strategy was to hold firm for the first few turns to weaken the ork horde before heading out to gain points later.  

Just another shot of my deployment...in the ork turn 1, I had little to fear.  

This is about turn 3 and I'm starting to move up, and I'm losing on points about 6-1...

And here we are at the end of Turn 6...Ultramarines win 12-10 or so, with only 5 ork models remaining on the table.  And yes, i was using PyroTiggy.  But, after he and the Sternguard had addressed the ork assault on my left, their Rhino was broken, so they played no significant role after Turn 4.  Tiggy even periled.  Two Rhinos and a razorback were the only units of mine eliminated.  

Next game was 3rd Company Ultramarines vs Tyranids on a Necron Tomb World.  I guess the bugs were starving for some action. I was using a list similar to what I am using at the Standish Standoff.  Deployment consisted of two support units in Rhinos and the Landspeeder Typhoons.  Not a Maelstrom mission.  Big Guns Never Tire.  We were fighting over 5 objectives to be counted at the end of the game, extra points for popping heavy choices.  

This is a shot late in the game.  I'd concentrated on the Tyranids on my left, again using PyroTiggy.  In the mean time, a Tervigon kept pumping out baby bugs for 4 turns in the foreground, all the while being pummeled by small blast templates and heavy bolter fire.

   At the end of the game, Turn 6, Ultramarines won - score here is 13 to 9...extra points were collected for heavy support choices. The bugs controlled two objectives, had first blood, and popped a demi-dev squad and their rhino. I had 3 objectives, popped two heavy units (can't recall the names at the moment), and obtained slay the warlord (Flyrant), and Linebreaker. Overall, it was a good game to play vs bugs, and a mission similar to what we'll likley see at the Standoff.         

Right now I'm working on getting final details ready for the Standoff, including updates to models and painting, and developing a strategy summary for the various types of opponent's I may see.  

But Wait!  There is more!

Here is a game vs a interesting (not White Scars) list...a Forgeworld special character / chapter list.  And I'm using stuff you don't normally see me using!  

Another shot of my deployment.  2 Landraiders? Whirlwind? Am I Crazy? Yeah, and I made some interesting mistakes.  TeleTiggy in Action...

This is around Turn 2, after I figured out that TeleTiggy was worthless hiding inside a Landraider.  

Nope, that's not my Stormtalon on Turn 3...I lent it out...really.  On this turn, Tiggy was gone, and things looked grim.  But then I charged forward and got in a multiple assault with some terminators.  Eventually my Landraider redeemer had crossed the length of the table to get Linebreaker, and the Ultramarines won.  

That's all for photos at the moment....really..

Monday, October 6, 2014

100 Wins!!!!!!

Yep, its a milestone!  Some people can do that level of play in a year (or less). For me it took a bit over 3 years. I think I'll celebrate by painting up some new models!  After all, I've been playing Space marines related games since about 1992, and I have lead and plastic models from that time-frame (and earlier).

Maelstrom Mission #2 - 1650 Points
Opfor:  Sons of Eos (Iron Hands)

something like:

Chapter Master, Relic combi-bolter, terminator armor
Epistolary Librarian, FS (biomancy)
Bike squad, 5, 2xPG
Tactical terminator squad, 6, heavy flamer
Tactical squad, 10, flamer, power fist, rhino, ML
Tactical squad, 10, plasma gun, ML
Devastator squad, ML, 2xPC, MM, Razorback, HKM, TLLC
Dreadnought, TLLC, DCCW, SB
Dreadnought, AC, HF, Drop pod w/ deathwind
Stormtalon, TLAC, SHM

In this mission, each player starts with a single tactical objective card, and after the first turn, a player draws cards up to the number of objectives he controls at that moment.  Our terrain was a ruined urban areas - several large areas of ruins.  In the center of the table was the wreck of an Aquilla Lander.  We were going to use the wrecked lander as mysterious terrain right out of the book.

We placed the numbered objectives on the table, neither of us placed any inside a deployment zone.  I won the roll to choose deployment, and chose the side with three objectives closest to my zone.  My opponent would deploy first and decided to go second.  What?  Well, he was hoping to see where my two first drop pods would go, and then react to it with his pod and Chapter Master/Terminators in reserves.

Well, it did not go well for him.  My game mindset was to control all the objectives I could as a means of point gain and point denial, and it worked very well.

My opponent deployed loosely along his deployment zone, and all I deployed was my two demi-dev squads and their rhinos.  His deployment (from left to right) was bikers - gap - rhino/tacs - tacs/libby / razor/devs - dread. I did not know he'd choose to go econd when I deployed, so my devs were deployed out of sight in ruins.

Turn 1 - Ultramarines Devastator Tactic
I dropped Teletiggy/sternguard/pod adjacent to the bikers, and a tactical squad/pod adjacent to the wrecked aquilla.  My (now relentless) devs moved forward in the ruins to firing positions.  My rhinos moved to be adjacent to objectives,  The Aquilla was disclosed to contain archeotech, and became an objective to hold at game's end.  At that moment, I was controlling 4 of the 6 objectives.  In shooting, I employed Tiggy's warlord trait and killed off all bu the biker sergeant, and stunned the Iron Hand's only Rhino.  The card I'd drawn was D3 points for killing the opponent's warlord.  Tiggy's spells that worked were just stealth and force.

In return, the Opfor's dreadnought/drop pod chose a careful / safe location on my right along the table centerline.  After some tactical discussion (the game was in part practice for the Standish Standoff event), my opponent dismounted his tacticals from their rhino to help shoot up my squad in the center, the other tacticals and librarian moved to support, the devs dismounted, and in firing, my center tactical squad lost some marines and broke, running away from the center tactical objective.  He then spent some firepower to wreck one of my Rhinos for first blood!  My opponent's spells boosted the save of his now dismounted tactical squad to a 4+FNP.

Score: 0-1.  Objectives controlled: 3-1.

Turn 2 - Ultramarines Tactical Tactic
Reserves that came in included my other tactical/pod squad, Stormtalon, and HF/MM landspeeder squadron.  I dropped the new pod squad in ruins near his dreadnought.  On my right, I tried to move my rhino forward a bit into ruins and became immobilized! On my left, I was to eliminate his last biker (shriek), and spent considerable firepower on his dismounted tactical squad, while my diminished tactical squad rallied and again went back to the center objective.  In shooting, I worked over his dismounted tacticals, but they passed morale.  With his bikers gone, I now had him bottled up in his deployment area.  I also immobilized his dreadnought.  I may have scored a point or two on tactical cards.

In response, the Chapter Master, terminator, and stormtalon came in from reserves BUT the Chapter master/terminators tried to deep strike in on my right flank...and they deviated off the table and back into on-going reserves!  He moved around a bit with a concept of attempting an assault on  my Sternguard, attempt to clear me off the center, and an attempt to work my second tactical squad up to reduce it's effectiveness.  In shooting, I got pummeled off the center objective again, my other tactical squad list its MM gunner, and my demi-dev squad on my left took casualties from the storm talon, broke, and nearly ran off the board!

Score: 3-1 or so.  Objectives controlled: 3-1.

Turn 3 - Ultramarines Assault Tactic
My second landspeeder unit came in from reserves (Typhoons).  I moved the first (short range speeders) around some ruins and towards the center.  I rally my devs on the left and move them back on the objective.  I stretch the sternguard and Tiggy out in a conga line from the upper left objective towards his dismounted tacticals and prepare to charge them.  In shooting I get a lucky shot on his Jinking stormtalon and bring it down (for a point).  I successfully assault his tacticals, and also explode his razorback and wreck BOTH of his dreads. The assault garners me another point,  I'm still holding the first card, waiting for his warlord.

My opponent is on the ropes.  He deep strikes his master/termies up into the upper left, to grab an objective.  Again he shoots me off the center objective, and explodes my two HF/MM landspeeders. I loose a few sternguard and tiggy takes a wound.

Score: 5-1 or so. Objectives controlled: 3-1.

Turn 4 - Ultramarines Press Forward!
I look to push forward.  In shooting, I take down his dev squad, and that is really about it.

My opponent decides he needs to take down Tiggy.  He moves whatever he has left towards Tiggy and the sternguard.  Soften them up with shooting, and then charges in first with the Master / termies, and also with his remaining tactical squad and librarian!  At I4 - Tiggy swings his S6AP4 beater stick around (with force on!) in a challenge with the Master!  3 hits!  3 wounds! A armor save is failed!  The FNP is failed!  OMG!  The Master is down!  In response, however, his tacticals, libby, and termies kill off the sternguard, and the last of the sternguard drops at I1 to power fists, leaving Tiggy to get pummeled by the 5 remaining unaved power fist wounds!  Both of us lose our warlords, but I get 3 point and he gets 1 for the effort!  My opponent consolidates towards the table center.

Score: 8-2 or so. Objectives controlled: 3-1.

Turn 5 - It Goes Quick
Tiggy is gone. The turn goes quick.  I move forward to the objective in the upper right.  I shoot up his survivors.

We decide to call the game.
Score: 9-3.  Objectives controlled: 4-1. Ultramarine WIN!!!!

Really, the best moment of the game was the epic challenge between the "Clan Raukan" Chapter Master and Tigurius,  Of all the luck, my opponent rolled that single "1" and the failed FNP save, to lose his warlord, and later, having the overflow wounds from the termies-vs-sternguard beat down then take down Tigurius!  It was a crazy game moment that made the evening.

Overall, since the game, I've been tweaking the list I plan to keep as the core for my entry in the Standish Standoff.  I don't think the two HF/MM speeders are dong it for me from a resiliency standpoint, and I'm swapping them out for a AC/LC predator to try that out for a bit.  Also, after three games, TeleTiggy has not really proven to be better than PyroTiggy, so I may have to head backwards on that.  I mean, of all bad luck, TeleTiggy has only been able to get invisibility once after three sets of games!  Crazy!  Somehow I keep rolling up hallucination, which really just has not been that fun to play. Maybe the thing is that if I'm fighting a horde opponent, use PryTiggy, If fighting someone with a pile of artillery or knights go with TeleTiggy and hope for the best?  We'll See!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Iron Hands Help? Getting Rusty...

I played a low-pressure game at the FLGS last week using (because I'm lazy) the same list I'd used in the last games of the 40K League.  My opponent was a fairly new player, and he wanted a 1500 point game (about his 5 game ever).  He has started to develop a Iron-Hands based chapter of Space Marines, called the Sons of Eos.

His list for the night was basically this:

Librarian Epistolary (level 2), TDA, Force Staff, Storm Bolter, Biomancy
10 marines, FL, ML, Rhino
10 marines, PG, ML
5 Tactical Terminators, AC
Landraider, 2xTLLC, TLHB
Stormtalon, TLAC, SHMs
Dreadnought, TLLC, DCCW/SB
Dreadnought, AC, DCCW/HF, Drop Pod, Deathwind Launcher
5 Scouts, 4SR, 1 ML

Overall, I won the game 11-6, but that was not the important part.  I was, however, as foreshadowed in a prior blog post, using TeleTiggy rather than his evil twin PyroTiggy.   I had rolled up Invisibility, Shrouding, Dominate, plus the primaris Shriek, and of course force. It was sort of fun as a difference from PyroTiggy, especially when Tiggy and the Sternguard were being assaulted (first by a terminator survivor) and later by the Epistolary and a tactical squad), while invisible and shrouded.

The last night I played against a different player - who ALSO had Iron hands:

Chapter master on Bike, all the Clan Raukan Relics he could carry
6+ Bikers, double plasma
Ironclad Dreadnought (melta, flamer, siege drills), Pod w/ deathwind)
5 Scouts (shotguns, combigrav, MB), Landspeeder Storm w/ MM
5 Scouts (shotguns, combigrav, MB), Landspeeder Storm w/ MM
Techmarine, Thunderfire Cannon
Knight, Thermal Cannon

I won this game as well (about 14-9 if we'd completed the last turn).  Teletiggy rolled up some horrendous spells this time (Hallucinate, Terrify, Dominate, nothing great - no invisibility or shrouding, and he periled on Turn 5 but survived).  

Screw all that, what I wanted to focus on was - do you have any advice for novice iron hands players?  I thought it odd the first player wanted to use a librarian (out of character for iron Hands?), but what is the cornerstone or focus for Iron Hands?  The second player was a bit more polished but I think he had too many points in the Knight and Chapter Master.  Ps...this time I largely ignored the Knight, focusing instead on the Chapter master and bike buddies, before switching attention over to his scouts. Since the first game - I found that in the Clan Raukan book there is a Librarian force weapon relic I wish I had access to as an Ultramarine!

For your homework or pondering - I'm drawing on the two primary sources here - the Space Marines Codex (of course), and the Clan Raukan book seems to be a must.  And then there are two really good favorite sources for further knowledge I'd recommend -




What are your thoughts?  Do you have a favorite Iron Hands list?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Maine 40K League Performance

OK, minor confession.  I was not documenting any battle reports for the past 60 days or so because I was playing in the first ever state-wide Warhammer 40K League and I did not want to be giving out any pointers or information that might have given my opponents better intel and make it easier for them to stomp on my Third Company Ultramarines.

This was an interesting event, and I look forward to the next season.  It is something you might be able to do in your own state.

For you organizers out there - in a nutshell - one of our local TOs (Thor at Creative Twilight) was asked to set up a state-wide league, and I think he was very successful .  Thor created a league website and facebook page, and then sent out notices on various forums for 40K in Maine that you could join the league as simply as signing up, giving plenty of time for this FREE event. All you needed to disclose was your email address and what store you wanted to play at.  He ended up with a final pool of 32 players, which were then divided into 5 groups based on their store preference.  I was assigned into the Halo Stars (division), and divisional play consisted of 6 games.  The top 2 leaders for each Division were then invited to go to The Complex, a games store in Scarborough (Pine Point), Maine, for a three game championship event to crown the Maine 40K league Champion.  Of the players 10 invited to the championship round, 8 drove in from around the state to play in the final games.

For all of my games, IIRR, we played new 7th Edition Maelstrom missions.  All of the games were played at 1500 points (the recommended level) except for one of my first (which I lost, in part not being prepared to play at a large limit). The players could play whenever and wherever they wanted, and win/loss/draw was reported and confirmed electronically to the league website.  Players agreed between themselves what missions and points to play at for the Divisional games.

In the Divisional games, I came out as 3 wins and 3 loses, which (being a tough pool!) actually qualified me to move up.

Overall, I played nearly the same list for each divisional game (although we were allowed to do whatever we wanted, including even changing points or armies). I modified that list just a bit for the championship round:

Librarian Tigurius (PyroTiggy)
Sternguard Squad (9, 2 MG, 4 CMG, MB), Drop Pod, Deathwind Launcher
Tactical Squad (10, MG, CPG, MM, MB), Drop Pod, Deathwind Launcher
Tactical Squad (10, MG, CPG, MM, MB), Drop Pod, Deathwind Launcher
Devastator Squad (5, 3 ML), Rhino w SB
Devastator Squad (5, 2 PC), Rhino w SB
Landspeeder Typhoon Squadron (2, HB/TML)
StormTalon (1, TLAC, SHM)

The Divisional games had given me some pretty good practice with the list, even though I most often forgot to use the Ultramarines Chapter Tactics or Tiggy's warlord trait to my best advantage.  In some games I had issues with remembering the psychic phase.  Eventually the games helped to get us all better at the flow of 7th Edition.  

The best games may have been the Championship round games!

Game 1 - (Table 4) - Vs Necrons.  Maelstron Mission #1

My opponent had a pretty interesting list consisting of a Lord, C'Tan, Sniper Necrons, Small barge, Barge, Destroyers, heavy necrons, and regular necrons.

He deployed forst and went first.

This game went horribly wrong for me from the start, and turned into an uphill battle.

On turn 1, PyroTiggy and the Sternguard drop in the board center near the C'Tan, looking to take it out on the first turn and maybe get some wounds on other nearby Necron units that had moved up.  I have some great Pyro spells - it is looking good.  First Psychic phase of the game - Tiggy rolls up enough dice for me to try to do all 5 spells...I choose the first spell - the one that gives him a 4++ invulnerable and essentially prescience for the rest of the phase.  Then I roll 66 - 1 - 56 - 4 - 55.  Get it?  Perils. Removed from game if not passing a leadership check.  Failing Leadership.  Taking down 4 sternguard with him.  Sternguard break and run. OMG!  The 5 remaining sternguard are running away.  In snapshooting, I get a single wound on the C'Tan.  In the Necron player turn the C'Tan kills off the Sternguard. We played the full time limit, but my opponent was a bit slow, so we only completed 4 turns in 2.25 hours...I ended up with a draw at 9 maelstrom points for the effort.  At the end, I was still looking good, and if the game had continued with time I'd have won the game. Card wise, I was able to draw just 10 cards in 4 turns.  Blech!

I was tied for last place in points.

Game 2 - (Table 4) - vs Demons of Khorne. Maelstrom Mission #2

My opponent was playing an all-Khorne demon army, led by a Bloodthirster.  He had the Hounds (and character), Skulltaker, large swarms of bloodletters, bloodcrushers, heralds, and a soul grinder.  Overall, his army is meant to get into close combat as fast as possible.  I realized I have no idea what to expect from these guys!

My opponent deploys first and goes first.  He moves towards my deployed units.  PyroTiggy and the Sternguard try to drop in on his flank, but deviate towards the table center, between his Khorne dogs and Thirsters.  The Tactical pod drops in next to his soul grinder.  PyroTiggy casts the 4+ cover save spell on the Sternguard, casts force, and then lets go with a few flame spells (some are denied).  Tiggy gets a perils check from the collar of khorne and takes just a wound.  I kill off the Dogs for first blood. My opponent has to remove a bunch of bloodletters and the soul grinder explodes.  On turn 2, he assaults Tiggy/Sternguard and the tactical squad, eliminating the tactical squad and sternguard.  Tiggy lasts another round of combat or two with his 4++ before  he is swept away.  In the mean time, I'm getting points from tactical cards and wrecking/eliminating all of his un-engaged units.  Those drop pods kept on working.

At the end of Turn 5, my opponent is swept clean of the table, and we ask what to do (we are playing for total points for the day - I have 30 minutes left!). We roll for the game to continue to turn 6.  Chaos winds blow, and my opponent is able to drop a demon unit (horrors) onto the table center! The fight continues a bit longer and we end at the end of Turn 6, I win 25 to 3. In this game I scored on 13 cards.

Game 3 - (Table 1) - vs White Scars / Grey Knights.  Maelstrom Mission #5.

My opponent is a player from my own FLGS, and is a very tough competitor.  He has won his two prior games and unbeknownst to me run up a point gap in the field from some high point victories.  He has a White Scars chapter master with hammer on a bike, a white scars biker unit, two full tactical squads with drop pods (to combat squad), Stormtalon, Hunter(!!!), Grey Knight Terminator Librarian, Nemesis dreadknight, and a unit of Grey Knight terminators with halberds and fists.

When we place objectives, I look to spread them as wide as I can.

I have to deploy first and go first.  Tiggy and sternguard drop in the back corner to get the bikers and successfully eliminate them (the Chapter master was deployed separately).  My first tactical pod drops in and does little.  The tacticals and eventually sternguard/Tiggy are eliminated by the end of turn 2. BUT they did the job of delaying the enemy advance towards the table center!  The enemy drop pods arrive onto my backfield - on turn 2 and in the center.  I eliminate the backfield tactical combat squad halves, and on turn 3 eliminate their pod.  I then wipe out the tacticals and Hunter.  I stay about 3-4 points ahead of my opponent the entire game. At the end, my Stormtalon is jinking around chased by two missiles!

Turn 4, his (wounded) Chapter Master on Bike assaults my plasma cannon dev squad (occupying the second floor of a ruin).  I wound him!  He rolls a 1! OMG.

The game was full of ups and downs, and at the end (time called) we were a few points apart.

I won, 12 to 10.

Awards Ceremony
I finished the day with a draw and two wins!

In the awards, your game points for the day are tallied.  Overall, I came in 2nd place, just 4 points down from the Maine 40K League Winner! It was awesome!  Both of us play at the same FLGS (we were in different Divisions).

The games were all fun, and I like the format.  The Maelstrom points method of monitoring performance seemed to work out well, and it made every game important, and use of time management was very key.

Other players at the Championship round - Dark Elves (Beautiful army, very detailed, trophy for best painted), SpaceWolves (unbound! 5 dreadnoughts, 3 pods, 2 new SW flyers, and a new forgeworld landraider variant), a Space marines(Iron hands?)-knight allies list, and a Astra Militarum (IG)  Armored Company (Just the tanks, baby, just the tanks, plus a superheavy...).

So overall, in the league total for all 9 games, I ended up 5-3-1, which ain't too shabby.

PyroTiggy died in every Championship round game, but his performance was very important to my game record.  Overall, none of my units really earned MVP status.  They all played as a team, and they all did their jobs very well.  If I tweaked the list one more time, I'd be torn about either dropping the 3 MBs on sergeants and just adding a 4th ML to a dev squad, staying as-is, or replacing one of the units for something comparable but better.

All for now, yep, it is my first 40 Trophy...it's awesome!