Friday, October 30, 2015

Triple Nickles Reporting in as Broken

Captain Jaxxson, 1st Armored Company Commander of the Triple Nickles Regiment, stood off on the sidelines of the training ground. The Company was wrapping up a training exercise in preparation for redeployment to the Standish System, where both Dark Eldar and Word Bearers forces were to be hunted and destroyed by a combined Dark Angels - Astra Militarum strike force.  The exercise pitted the 1st Company against the Dark Angels mixed Ravenwing and Deathwing, and although things started very well, the Dark Angels eventually wore down the 1st Company force.  So, Jaxxson stood, arms crossed, as he surveyed the field and awaited a debriefing from the Dark Angels Librarian.  

Sergeant Cullin – tank commander of the Leman Russ Demolisher “Daisy”, was again enjoying the day, but he was, overall, dismayed.  Whereas he had started the exercise confident in the abilities of his force, it was Magic forces from the Librarian that had changed all of that!  Somehow, the Dark Angels Librarian had affected the firing computers in his Squadron, to the point they were nearly rendered ineffective!  Cullin had already had strong words with the Tech priest of the company to get on a solution for that problem!  The Priest went away to is works muttering something about plating.   
Corporal Smithson sat on a box of rations, laughing with his new squad mates.  He was trying to get them back to ground - they were all in a state of excitement that only newly graduated Whiteshields seemed to have when it came to encountering Space Marines.  In this case, Smithson's squad was again providing protection for the left flank of the force - and it was there that Grand Master Samael in his Landspeeder had determined to "exercise" versus the 555th.  Although you'd the Dark Angels leader would have been leading the exercise and spearheading the assault on the center of the line, he instead used the new unit on the left - Smithson's unit - as a toy and repeatedly forced the squad to take cover while he zoomed back and forth over them, waiving his sword!  As it was, Smithson fairly well enjoyed the exercise, but realized that if Samael had been a Dark Eldar raider, the outcome would have been far more dire than dust and weeds.  

Yep, short report.  I played a game against a very complicated Dark Angels force at 1850. Pictures are below.  Overall, it was a long game - it just would not end!  7 Turns!  At the end of 5 turns I was winning, at the end of 6 it was a draw, and at the end of 7, I'd lost the game.

The biggest issues vs the dark Angels really boiled down to a few things - resilient rerollable, jinking, FNP'd bikers; a Librarian using a spell to make the Demolisher Unit snap shoot; and the long-game difficulty of fighting terminators when they could reach you for close combat.

Here is the Opfor.  Considering that the opponent actually works at a game store, I'm always dismayed that he never seems to get anything painted, and then proxies his key units.  The Green Landspeeder is Samael...Interestingly, he is also using three small squads of Scions, each with a plasma gun and melta gun.  They can deep strike just like terminators apparently.  
Deployment was quick.  I'm liking army lists where the infantry begin inside the transports...again, this missing - seems to roll up frequently - was contact lost.  I deployed first, and am sitting on two objectives to start, with a third just back a bit.  I knew my opponent had several outflanking units, and several deep striking units.  Ultimately, he only deployed two landspeeders and a unit of 3 bikers.  Everything else was reserved.

End of Turn 2.  I'd tried to eliminate his three deployed units, but ultimately could not.  All of his reserves came in except for the command squad with the Scion prime.  My warlord trait was again not having to take the 25% casualty morale checks within 12 inches of my Company Commander.  When the Turn 2 reserves came in for the Dark Angels, they exploded a Chimera on the right, wrecked a Chimera on the left, damaged the Punisher, and neutered the Demolishers with that snap-shot-only spell (I'd failed the DTW rolls even with the relic plating).  Adding to the bad luck was that the Manticore and the Master of the Ordnance were underperforming.   Note - my tanks in the center and right were all aligned that way in line to give subsequent models cover saves from flanking attacks.  I'm currently holding 3 objectives, and the opponent is holding three.  I have about 4 or 5 points, to none for the Dark Angels.

Turn 4.  I'm still winning, about 9 to 6.  This is still during his turn, right before the assault phase, where he loses three terminators to overwatch from the Command Squad.  Ultimately, the command squad loses in close combat, and runs away off the table edge - 10 inches...At the end of the turn, I'd be holding 2 objectives, and he'd have 3.

Just a close up,  The demolishers separated in Turn 4, when one became immobilized - it became the target of the Deathwing Assault.  The Librarian (DA Warlord) had cast the spell now on the still mobile demolisher.

End of game shot.  The Manticore had run out of missiles on Turn 4, so it zoomed off to contest the objective that was sitting behind the Punisher.  By now, the end of Turn 7, I had just one Demolisher left, the Valkyrie, and one broken squad running away (7 models in total still on the table).  He was down to Samael, the librarian, a lone terminator, a damaged attack bike, and an undamaged terminator squad (9 models in total on the table).

Final score - 17 to 11.  I was not able to draw any cards turn 7.

So...what do I get out of another loss?  In this case, a few things that might have worked better -

1.  The attack bikes he started with did not have the rerollable jink save and should have been taken out first, rather than wasting shots on his command bikers.

2.  Objective placement - usually i place them in the open (as marines) so my opponent won't get cover saves.  For Astra Militarum, it might be better to get them in cover...

3.  The 19-inch rule.  When your opponent can outflank, deploy and move no closer than 19 inches to the table side edges - that in part may mitigate meltagun damage. Same goes for objectives - place no closer than 16 inches to a side table edge for the same purpose. The opponent won't typically be able to claim objectives on their entry turn if you do that.

And then there is this:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

From Rage to Salvation 2015 - Update

Well...the models are all built and ready for primer...

I had been hoping to have red primer for the Furioso - but my FLGS has red on back order...go figure! Everything will start in basic black.  I'm old school, still painting everything by hand after priming.

10 Death Company plus a beacon.

The Furioso should be a blast to play,

Primed them last night.

I also cobbled together a few more miscellaneous figs that just need to get done.

I'm going to go on a painting bender here shortly...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Triple Nickles all Heads Up!

Captain Jaxxson, 1st Armored Company Commander of the Triple Nickles Regiment, stood on the front glacis of his heavily damaged Chimera.  Here and there around the abandoned campus, smoke and activity billowed from around other vehicles that comprised the company.  Servitors and tech priests alike were moving to repair damage, weld plates, and reload empty magazines.  Fighting could be heard in the distance, where other Companies of the 555th Cadian were holding the line.    

Sergeant Cullin – tank commander of the Leman Russ Demolisher “Daisy” looked on from his turret position.  His best friend, Sergeant Abbott of the Lehman Russ Demolisher “Dorris” was attaching a recovery chain from Dorris to Daisy.  Dorris was sitting in the shallow river, its engine compartment flooded with water.  Dorris and Daisy had attacked up the river bed into the enemy center, which worked well until Dorris found a deeper hole in the riverbed, and flooded out the engine compartment, leaving just the turret above the water.  

Corporal Smithson, 555th Cadian, 1st Armored Company, 3rd Veteran Squad, was lucky.  Half his squad had become casualties when their Chimera had taken a lascannon hit to the flank and exploded.  Everyone that had been in the squad compartment was injured or dead - but Smithson, a meltagunner -   and others who had been forward and fighting from the turret - had survived the initial explosion.  By the end of the day, only three members of the squad remained functional.  Battlefields are very dangerous places...even for grenadiers from Cadia.   

1850 Points - Contact Lost - Astra Militarum vs SPACEWOLVES

Spacewolf Battle Leader, runic armor, combimelta, PS
Rune Priest
Grey Hunters, 5, melta, Razorback, TLLC (Outflanking)
Grey Hunters, 6, melta, Razorback, TLLC
Grey Hunters, 9, melta, Rhino (Outflanking)
Long Fangs, 5, 2 ML, 2 HB, Drop Pod
Wolf Riders, 3, 1 w/ TH/SS
Wolf Riders, 3, 1 w/ TH/SS
Venerable Dread, Frost Axe/Shield
Venerable Dread, Frost Axe/Shield
Flying Refrigerator

Deployment and Turn 1
Here is a shot of the beginning of the first turn.  I was to deploy first and go first - I knew I'd have two Spacewolf units outflanking me - but I had no idea which flank.  I went strong on the right flank, with a teaser of units on the left.  Regardless, i needed to get to objectives!  My opponent seized the initiative and began flanking right and left, with his Venerable heading up the center.

Just another angle...

Turn 2
Outflanking!  In comes the Razorback with the Rune Priest and the Battle Leader in the Rhino...this photo is a bit misleading...the Spacewolf captain HAD dismounted with his retinue of 9 Grey Hunters...only to eat the firepower of the Punsher and 3 Chimeras...I was leaving the razorback alone - because it contained more guys that unless I forced them out, would have to waste time before they could assault - Here the Captain is down to one wound...the Chimera with 3rd Squad is damaged and immobilized.

Meanwhile in the Center - my Valkyrie worked over the other Razorback and got the Grey Hunters to Dismount, where the Manticore and Artillery Barrage could work them over.  Bad scatters meant safe Wolves...First blood did go to the Spacewolves when their right flank assault popped a Chimera with a Thunderhammer (no photo).  

Turn 3
Just a peak at the core at the beginning of the turn.  Neither of us had been drawing good cards.   

You can never go wrong with good graphiti on a Guard flyer....

Spacewolves continue moving forward.  Dorris is immobilized in the river.  The Spacewolf flyer has not been moved (yet) - but goes into Hover mode and with side shots, takes Dorris totally out of action.  In the backfield - I'd grav-chute inserted the reaction force - veterans with flamers - and ran them to spread out.  It would give the Spacewolves something to react to, certainly!

Meanwhile on the left flank - Squad 3's Chimera exploded, with 4 casualties.  They did not break!  In return fire, I'd killed the Battle Leader for first blood.  The Wolves in the Razorback looked like they did not want to come out and play...

But then they did.  Here in Turn 6, You can see some of the aftermath.  The Punisher is dead - killed by a dread.  So is Squad 2's Chimera...The Rune Priest lost his azorback , and the Battle leader's Rhino is also wrecked.  I'm driving to actually occupy all 6 objectives...and with Obsec, I can...

Somebody got showered with love from the last Bombardment and lasgun fire...

My Valkyrie had zoomed of to the corner Turn 4, and then went into Hover Mode to get back to claim an objective down below - as backup from the 1st Squad Vets who were going Move! Move! Move! below to claim objective #5.   I'm WINNING now, 13 to 10.  

Just a final view before cleanup. We called it at the end of Turn 6, with the Spacewolves just having a flyer, wounded rune priest, a Long Fang Sergeant, a Wolf rider sergeant, and Venerable dread remaining in play.  

I'd lost 4 Chimeras, two Lehman Russ Tanks,  and maybe a 10th of my infantry models.  The Manticore missile racks were empty... 

It was a good game.  My opponent and I talked about how things might have been better for him if he'd been more aggressive at the onset of the game, as some of his units were not used to full potential (such as having the Rune Priest not use 4 rounds of Psychic Phase from being inside the Razorback, not using both squads of Wolves in his flanking attack, and not picking out the Manticore and Master of the Ordnance as priority targets).  

I cannot recall, but this MIGHT be the first game I've won as all-guard!

(my basic army list - now rev3 - is over at Bolter and Chainsword...


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

From Rage to Salvation 2015 - Painting up more Blood Angels

Just a quick data burst.

Over at Bolter and Chainsword, I decided to sign up to participate in the "From Rage to Salvation 2015" painting event.  I've vowed to paint up a Furioso Dreadnought and a unit of 10 Death Company models.  I really needed the extra motivation!  The Furioso allows me to try some of the other BA detachments/formations for which its a required choice.  

You can find out more here on the painting challenge:

I have the Furioso now built - with the arms all set, I'll be able to field it as either a Furioso with dual fists, MM, and HF, magnagrapples, or a Furioso with fragcannon, fist, heavy flammer and magnagrapples.

The Death Company will be a squad of the original, 10, metal models from over 18 years ago -  it was one of the first boxes of 40K stuff I'd bought, and they were disassembled and de-painted about 3 years ago, after never having been used.  I'll be replacing all of their original arms and such with updated blood angel death company bits, and will keep them on foot.  I might also have somewhere a red rhino to repaint to be their ride when they are not being airlifted.  

I hope to have a bunch of in-progress pix here soon - it should be pretty good!  Overall, I have until November 30th to get them all finished!  Look for them on a table top soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

In a Self-Made Slump

Well, 5 games without a win, since my "Gaming Year" started in mid-August, is best categorized as a slump.  I think we've all been through them.  This one, typically, is self-made.  to recap:

Game 1 - BAs vs Tau.  Loss. The game was the relic, pitting by BAs against a very suit and plasma heavy tau list.  I did run off with the relic, and the game ended Turn 7 with one of the lowest scores possible (2-1).

Game 2 - BAs vs DAs.  Draw. The game went the distance, and at the bitter end, instead of going for points, I'd decided to toy with Samael on his Lawn-Mower landspeeder, and it cost me to create a draw instead of a victory.  Not a big deal, the game was a bunch of fun, pitting two great armies against each other.

Game 3 - BAs vs unbound all-skimmer Eldar.  Loss.  The game was an experimental game, my opponent had a list he'd brought looking to use every skimmer in his arsenal.  On a table he set up.  It was an interesting challenge - I did manage to destroy maybe half of his army, but that would not matter for the points.  Towards the end I was throwing units forward with reckless abandon, just to see if they could make it to assault the next skimmer in range.

Game 4 - IG vs Footy Eldar.  Loss.  The game was also experimental, to test a scenario for a campaign written by someone else.  All we showed was that the defender would get slaughtered.  It resulted in clarifications on the scenario/mission, which we've yet to play (but hopefully soon). I also used the feedback from this and comments at Bolter and Chainsword to develop a revised list.  I was short a Chimera too when I unpacked.  It was probably the first time I'd played IG in over a year, and something rarely seen locally.    

Game 5 - IG vs Tyranids.  Loss. Yep. Played last night.  Overall, it will cause further revisions to my 1850 IG list (already inked last night as rev3)...even in this game, with revisions from rev2, I'd forgotten to bring another Chimera, so it caused a last minute list revision.  So without much more than that as an intro - here are the photos and thoughts from last night:

Here is my list - Command squad, 5 veteran squads, 4 chimeras, a hotshot demi-squad, manicore, 2 demolishers, and 2 vendettas.  Master of the odnance, master of the fleet.  A sprinkling of meltaguns and plasma guns and flamers.  Not too bad.  The small squad of elites would ride in a Vendetta.

Opponent's list.  The Artillery node, flyrant, carnifexes, gaunts, warriors, pretty much all shooty or templatey.  Able to generate 8 or so warp changes just for being there.

      He deployed first and wanted to go first.  I seized.  We were playing the mission where you only drew cards for the objectives you held.  I drew an unscorable card for the first turn.  In shooting, my own templates and massed heavy bolters killed off a third of hist total number of gaunts, and left a few wounds on some big bugs.  I'm sitting right now on 3 objectives.  I'd gotten the outflanking AM warlord trait, but only got a 1 for the D3, so one Demolisher was in reserves with the Vendettas.  That was mistake number 1.  Mistake number 2 was forgetting the Master of the Ordnance.      

In my my opponent's turn 1 he'd popped the central Chimera, and then his artillery node killed off the disembarked squad.  Here is a shot in the middle of turn 2 or so.  Yep, I got all my reserves, and Vendettas shot at the Flyrant, but failed to drop it.  The other Demolisher came in at my lower left corner (out of the photo here), and was poised to head forward.  I was able to get more wounds on big bugs and kill more gaunts.   I felt i was doing pretty good.  The Manticore got me three templates this turn (just two the first turn).  I also remembered to use the artillery barrage from the Master of Ordnance.

Better overview here.  But now the really shooty Tyranids are closing in and everything seemed totally twin linked and S6 or greater.

 Middle of Turn 3.  The Flyrant moved off the table in my turn 3 by specuial rule, and returned in his movement phase (below) to shoot into the rear armor of the Vendetta.  He was making 3++ saves like a champ too.  On his turn 2, he'd wrecked the Manticore.  

Just another view.  I'd killed off his Carnifex and other units on my right, and wanted to start moving forward with my commend Chimera next turn...Mistake #4 or so - for fun, I'd grav shoot deployed the elites with their AP3 hotshot guns hoping to kill the last Carnifex on my left.  Nope...twas' not to response, the living artillery node made quick work of them.  

Middle of the 4th was just a mere 4-3, bugs winning.  We were both just sitting at best on 2 objectives, and the cards we were drawing were horrible...

Here the Tyranids are in the movement phase of Turn 4. My Vendetta has gone off to the back corner to look at getting linebreaker on turn 5. My opponent is looking to wreck my last two Chimeras and Demolisher in odrer to get at the tasty bits on the insides...

And they we are in Turn 5.  My commander's Chimara was wrecked, and half the squad dispatched by the living artillery barrage.  So I dismounted the other squad from their immobilized ride, to try to bring it down (the Flyrant), as it had maybe two wounds left.  I failed.  

Just another view.  My opponent tried hard to kill off my Commander to get STWL, but he would also fail.     

Quick view at the end.  I did get Linebreaker.    

Final score - 6 to 5, Tyranids win.  

So, I've already gotten feedback from another player to just stop playing IG till their new Codex comes out...

But, I'm just a sucker for doing it over and over until I get it right. In this case, I'm really wanting to learn about the IG and make them work for me!  

Overall, the next list tries to have less points tied up in flying reserves, and more in firepower I can apply on Turn 1.  

Here's looking forward to next week...

Other stuff I'm up to is another painting challenge at B&C - I'm working on a Furiouso and 10 more DC marines.  Look for photo progress here soon.

We also have the Standish Standoff V tournament in just 4+ weeks.  I still have no idea what I'll bring for that.  If I cannot solve the IG riddle to Victory before then, I'll probably go back to BAs or Ultramarines!  

What are your thoughts? I need some insights or training from an experienced IG Master....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gettin' Pegs off Da Vox

I realized I had some jpegs of some games still on my phone from two games last month - I've been too busy with stuff!  So here they are before I delete them.  They were from two games that I've tracked as losses, but both were not serious games, but stuff we thought we'd do to just "see what could happen".  Both games involve Eldar, so if you like "them pointed ear gits", this post may become your favorite of the week!

The first game - only three pictures.  We wanted to see how effective an unbound, all Eldar skimmer tank army list would be - its not often you can put 1850 points of just skimmers on a table - including some from Forgeworld!  All I had was a BA 1850 list typical for what I was playing at the time - in reality, the game was alot of fun, with BA's on foot trying their hardest to get the best of a fleet of Eldar skimmers.  If I was to try the game again, it would have been better with all the buildings as ruins, as the BA's struggled with the terrain at times, which more favored the Eldar.  I tried to mitigate that by keeping much of the BA's in reserves turn 1, which helped a little bit. The ability for jinking though.....jeez....

Here we are around Turn 2 - The BA's are trying desperately to clear the left flank.  The pod had come in Turn 1, and acted as a beacon for the other units arriving turn 2.  Eldar strength was weaker on this flank, and their skimmer tanks and lighter elements were jinking everywhere.

This is in the Eldar turn 3, and you can get a broader view of the game.  

Just another view. The Eldar probably could have forced the issue and tabled the BA's, but ultimately kept good discipline to focus on the Maelstrom points.  I think at the very end (Turn 6?) the score was maybe like 14-9, Eldar winning.  The BA's mostly kept concentrated on the left flank, but eventually fought their way to the center, taking out about half of the Eldar skimmers in total.   Like I said, lots of LOS blocking terrain, but no real terrain offering cover.  If you hid behind a building, it was easy for Eldar skimmers to just move to the sides and get viable shots down range into the BAs.  Slay the warlord was given to the Eldar when the Librarian Angelus periled himself twice...

Now for something totally unexpected - I broke out the 555th Cadian "Triple Nickles" for a test game vs Eldar to try out a scenario for a fall-winter campaign.  Again, the though was, try out the scenario and see "what might happen".  I set up the terrain more in a narrative fashion, and we played the scenario for the first game as originally written - the defender (AM) would deploy first in a box bound by 4 objective markers, and go second.  The defender could deep strike then using mission-specific mechanics, and then start the firefight - as a "surprise" attack.  No real surprise was a bloodbath.

Here is the Eldar army at 1850 Points ready to deploy.

Here is the 55th, happily laagered and awaiting more supplies to be delivered.  In reality, I'd apparently left another Chimera at the house, so had adjusted the army slightly to account for that - as an improvement, I should have had swapped a veteran squad to the command squad - instead left the commander in the open around the barrels in the center.  

Here we are with the Eldar now deployed.  Dice will start to roll, and models head back to their Army Builder foam cases...

The Warp Spyders jump forward and get ready to start the shooting...

Meanwhile on the left flank...

Here we are around the end of Eldar Turn 1. Daisy the Demolisher exploded.  manticore wrecked.  Command squad eliminated. Three veteran squads on foot decimated.    

End of AM Turn 1.  Some damage to the Eldar - but not nearly enough.  Not a single eldar unit could be eliminated.  

Up on the high ground, destiny awaits. 

The Eldar advance into the perimeter. This fight is going hand-to-hand.  Radio calls frantically go out for evac and for Spooky and Puff.  

I hate Spyders.  They tell me if you shoot one, it will rain...

It's now down to trench knives and rifle buts. 

Dorris the Demolisher is getting the haywire treatment...

The Mantis warriors finally get to swarm on that last Chimera...

Wytches in a frenzy...

Overflight arrives, but its too late...



"Eldar looting...not entirely unheard of....I heard they have a penchant for taking watches and those little keys you open canned rations with.  They seemed fascinated by them, and tend to collect them on gold chains. Well, that's what the sarge tells us..." Corporal Smithson, 555th Cadian

Scoring for the mission yielded a 24-0 Victory for the Eldar.  

Overall, based on this, we got the CO to change the deployment for the attacker, just to give the defender a bit more hope.  We'd decided that if the game had been played with the Eldar as the defender, the results very much would have been the opposite.  The overall first strike was just way to overpowering.  

Hope you enjoyed the I can get them off my phone!