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's awesome!