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 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,