Friday, December 23, 2016

The Sector is Looking Grim

Epistolary Librarian Angelus and Sanguinary Priest Marus Looked on as their Stormraven, Crimson Specter, was refueled and rearmed.  The 5th Company, or more correctly, the remnants of the 5th Company, and half a company of "attached" death company marines and chaplains, was making haste in their Strike Cruiser to another planet in the Cadian Gate Sector.  Something was going on, something bad, in the sector.  Captain Sendini and another detachment from 5th Company was en route to rendezvous with them and provide needed support.  

Commander Dante had left them earlier that day, heading swiftly out ahead of the fleet in his own Strike Cruiser, to get a better idea of what was going on.  All Angelus and Marus could do was to stand grim faced in the hangar bay. Watching the preparations.  The Blood Angels did not trade in rumors. In the far corner of the hangar was the dreadnought storage bay - now only occupied by the still form of the Death Company dreadnought Titus.  Yellow strobing hazard lights on the door were testament to its occupancy, and a visible warning for the fleet servitors and deck officers to stay clear. 

Of particular note in the battle reports that Angelus had submitted to Captain Sendini were the recent victories of the remnant company, with the support of commander Dante, over chaos marines in the Sector.  He had seen other reports from his librarian brethren of the larger conflict and battle, and the reported appearance of the Sanguinor, who had turned the tide of battle.  Regardless, first company losses had been grim, and a chaos tainted planet destroyed.  The carnage and threat of this current chaos and daemon incursion was running above all projections. Messages had been sent to Terra to notify the leadership at the highest level that all levels of support were needed as a priority.  Word came swiftly back of another large incursion elsewhere, that also needed to be addressed, something concerning Fenris.  


Monday, December 12, 2016

5th Company Stirs

Epistolary Angelus and Sanguinary Priest Marus waited in the dust, jump packs giving off a low roar as they idled.  It had been some time since the 5th Company Blood Angels had been on firm ground.  In the days and weeks prior they had been ordered by Dante to return to Baal, in order to address a Tyranid threat.  Then they were directed to this place.  On arrival from the warp, however, 5th Company's transports had been psychically assailed. In the moments after, it was clear that many of 5th Company's marines were altered, the black rage overcoming many. And then, responding to the decision of the task force leadership, 5th Company was to be unleashed to the fight below.  Angelus and Marus marveled at their possible fate.  Death may await them here.

1750 Points, Maelstrom Mission #1

Hey everyone! I had the opportunity to get in tho my FLGS and get in a great game.  I did not have my new copy of the Angel's Blade supplement, so I just grabbed the last 1750 point Blood Angels list I'd created back in April or March of 2016, to use it as a refresher on playing Blood Angels.

The basic list:
More or less:

Epistolary Angelus, level 2 Librarian, Sanguinary Discipline, Warlord, PAxe, PlasmaP, Jump pack
Sanguinary Priest Marus, PAxe

Death Company, 5, PFist, PSword
Death Company Dreadnought Titus, twin blood talons, SB, MG
Stormraven Crimson Spectre, TLLC, TLMM, 4xSS Missiles

Tactical Squad, 5, flamer, MB, Razorback with LC/TLPP
Tactical Squad, 5, flamer, MB, Razorback with LC/TLPP

Assault squad, 5, 2xMG, MB, Drop Pod with SB
Assault squad, 5, 2xMG, MB, Drop Pod with SB
Assault squad, 10, PF, Infernous pistol, 2xMG, jump packs

Predator, AC/HB Sponsons, upcharged engine
Predator, AC/HB Sponsons, upcharged engine

OPFOR List (Space Wolves with Grey Knight and Space Marine Allies, Unbound)

Approx list: 

Njal Stormcaller
Thunderwolf Calvary, 3, TH/SS
Grey Hunters, 10

Sternguard, 10, 10xcombimeltas
Dreadnought, AC/SB

Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, 4xSS missiles

Grey Knight Captain, TA
Grey Knight Terminators, 10

The terrain was set up as rocky hills in a desert area with some ruins and a chaos idol mid-table.  We placed out objectives mostly in the region between the deployment zones.  I won the roll off to choose table edges, so I kept the edge with the best LOS blocking terrain.  I also won the roll to set up first. I decided to go second.  I deployed with my two small tactical squads on my left, wanting to threaten the three objectives there.  The two Preds were placed centrally. Angelus, Marus, and the assault squad were on the far right flank.  Everything else was reserved. My opponent immediately placed Njal, attached to the Grey Knights, opposite Angelus, with a hill between us.  His Thundercav was placed in the center, and the grey Hunters upper far left.  His remaining units were in reserves. Frankly, I had no idea that the Grey Knights were all terminators with halberds...much less that my opponent had 6 points or so of warp charge on the table to my 2.   

The Game
The opponent basically moves forward everywhere, shooting was light, spells were cast (hammerhand, force), but no points earned.  On my turn, the first drop pod comes in, centrally.  I lined up as many guns as possile on the thndercav and wipe them out for first blood, and I also scored an objective (on the far right), and something else for three points.

Second turn, the OPFOR reserves fail to arrive (fully loaded Stormraven). The Knights move up, the grey hunters do some shooting.  Overall, I lose just one assault marine.  On my turn, I'm now realizing that my measly assault force, warlord, and priest are directly opposite the equivalent of 12 force-wielding terminators.  I do the best thing I can, moving 12 inches away, and then in the psychic phase move another 12 inches...and then run them in the shooting phase.  My Stormraven arrived, and as it flew straight in on the table the full 36 inches, I drop off the death company squad whi stick the landing, and the dreadnought, who also sticks the landing.  I move the vehicles around to get shots on the Knights and Grey Hunters.  The Stormraven shoots and kills the OPFOR warlord - selected as the Knight terminator captain.  I get more points to make it about 6:0.

Third turn, results in the Grey Knight being wiped out, and I have an immobile predator.  I'm staring down the incoming OPFOR Stormraven.

Fourth turn, the OPFOR stormraven discharges its Sternguard and dreadnought right in front of my librarian's squad. It results in an assault that would last into turn 5.  The OPFOR stomraven explodes a predator.  The Gray Knights are slowly walking towards the sound of battle.  In my turn, I wreck the OPFOR Stormraven, and start moving assets to my opponents deployment zone, and moving the DC up to get after the remnant Sternguard and Dreadnought.

Turn five, my opponent had dispatched Angelus and Marus, but were depleted.  My DC charge wit support charge the remaining Sternguard and wipe them out, but with a bad overwatch roll I'm down to one DC member.  Turn 6, my opponent moves his dreadnought to attack Titus.  In my turn, we complete the charge, and basically wreck each other in combat.  

Turn 7, I wrap things up. Final Score - 19 to 6.  

Blood Angels WIN!!!!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dante Visits 5th Company for Battle

One of the problems about some special characters is that they are best left for the largest of games.  I’d never used Dante in a game until last week.  The Infernous Bolter keeps falling off the model.  I’m going to have to pin it…

Can you imagine what my 5th Company Leader, Librarian Angelus, would be thinking when Chapter Master Dante would arrive? Well, with the issues I’ve had, it might be worth it!

2000 Points vs White Scars

All I did was take my 1750 list (last post) and add to it Dante (Lord of War), and two tactical marines.  Everything else was the same.  Angelus would continue to draw from Biomancy.  For the Battle, Dante would be the Warlord.  He comes stock with his own trait, plus the second one.  For that I rolled – lead by example.  Figures…

My opponent had a tooled up White Scars force – basically two CADs – each pretty much the same, so something in total like:

Chapter Masters on bike, shield eternal, power axe, orbital bombardment
Chapter Master in terminator armor, storm shield, power sword

Command squad, 5x Bikes, power swords, 1 apothecary
Command squad, 5 bikes, 5 grav guns

Bike squad, 5+, melta guns, combimelta
Bike squad, 5+, grav guns, combigrav

Dev squad, 5 marines, ML, AA, Rhino
Dev squad, 5 marines, ML, AA

Attack bikes, 3, MMs

Tac squad, 5 marines, melta, combimelta, drop pod
Tac squad, 5 marines, melta, combimelta, drop pod

More or less.

I did not take photos. 

We were playing the scenario where you get 1 more tactical mission card per turn.  Hammer and Anvil.

My opponent deployed first, determined to go first.  He pretty much deployed as a mirror of himself, devs right and left, rhino centerline, bikes split right and left.  The Pods in reserve also held the Terminator Chapter Master. 

I deployed strong along the center, behind LOS blocking terrain, spread out a bit due to the incoming orbital bombardment.  I needed to see where he’d commit his forces.  I hold the Furioso (w/pod), DC, DC dread, and Stormraven in reserve. 

Turn 1
The White Scar bikers advance near evenly right and left.  The drop pod for Turn 1 drops right in front of my left flank.  In shooting, his meltaguns hit and damage the Baal Predator “Crimson Blade”, while grav/multimelta fire wrecks a razorback.  The orbital bombardment drops in on my assault squad plus Dante/Angelus/Marus (Sanguinary priest).  I lose three assault marines and do not break.  My opponent scores like 4 points including first blood.

In response, Dante is in charge range of the podded tactical squad.  He sets the tone and advances left, taking his attached squad and HQ characters with him.  With that pretty much I’m committing to a left flank attack.  My Furioso Pod drops between his left rear devs and rhino. The dismounted tac squad from the wrecked Razorback sets out a right flank picket. 

In shooting, the surviving Razorback and Baal Pred “Crimson Hammer” kill a few jinking bikes from the left most biker squads.  “Crimson Blade” fired at bikers advancing up the center, getting them to jink.  The Furioso frag-cannons and flames the dev squad, taking down 4 of 5 marines.  In assault, Dante leads the charge on the White Scar pod squad.  I roll short and can’t combined assault on the pod.  I settle for near happiness when Dante singlehandedly at WS7, S7, I7 wipes out the squad.  However, that leaves me exposed to a White Scars shooting response.  I roll low on consolidation too, but spread out what I can.  I might have scored a point for holding an objective. 

Turn 2
The second White Scar drop pod arrives, about 18 inches forward from Dante, to shore up the White Scars on my left.  Everything else advances, with his other Chapter Master and command squad bikers heading towards my right flank picket.  (Tactical note – I wanted him to take that bait – I needed him delayed down there to allow me time for my reserves to arrive).  My opponent, warry of Dante, line up to shoot at him and his retinue.  The second orbital bombardment hits and deviates, so I lose 3 more assault marines.  In shooting, I lose another assault marine, and Marus takes a bullet.  My right flank tac squad survives shooting and gets charged.  In the rear, the Furioso dreadnought gets damaged, but the enemy charge distance fails.  The assault on the tac squad ends with me having two marines surviving and outrunning the bikers.  The score is now something like 5-1.

On my turn, the reserve roll brings in the Stormraven.  It flies in on the right flank, lining itself up on the second echelon attack bikes.  The DC occupants are itchy, but I won’t release them!  The two lonely Tac marines return to their picket position.  Crimson Blade also looks to shoot at the attack bikes, while the razorback and Crimson Hammer wheel around to shoot the command squad.  Dante and retinue advance to get at assaulting the newly arrived Chapter Master #2.  Shooting is largely ineffective, bikes jinking, and the biker command squad tanking hits off the Master’s shield.  In assault, Dante’s squad hits home again, while the Furioso hits the bike squad.  I issue a challenge, and while the Chapter Master survives with a wound, his tac squad retinue is dead.  The Furioso kills the remaining leftmost bikers.  I score some points for kills and we are something like 5-3.

Turn 3
My opponent is now on the back foot.  His left flank is gone, and I’m heading towards his rear on the next turn.  His MM attack bikes and the AA ML shoot at the (jinking) stormraven and they don’t scratch the paint.  He decides that instead of continuing the end run around my rear, the Master and command squad would pull back up the right a bit, and his central bikes would head after the Furioso.  In shooting, the Furioso loses its last two HPs to grav bikes.  In assault, Dante kills off Chapter Master #2.  Score is 6-4.

On my turn, the jinked Stormraven goes to hover mode and deploys the DC marines (to go after the attack bikes) and the DC Dread (to go after the Master and Command Squad). 

My remaining demi-tac-squad dismounts and heads after the original WS drop pod.  It is on an objective that I want.  The Razorback heads out to hunt down that last left-flank Dev and hold another objective.  Crimson Blade pushes forward to an objective with LOS on the attack bikes.  Crimson Hammer also sits on an objective to shoot at the Master and Command squad (bikers). Dante and retinue head after the bikers that took down the Furioso.  In the psychic phase, Angelus casts a spell that wounds a biker and regains Marus his lost wound.  The left left Dev survivor is eliminated by plasma.  I wreck an attack bike and maybe one or two of the command squad bikers.  In assault, Dante and retinue kill off their target, the DC marines kill off the last attack bikes, and Titus the DC Dread gets locked in combat with the master and Command Squad Bikers – as the Master essentially tanked all the wounds on his shield!  The score advances with me having a good turn to something like 6-8. 

Turn 4-5-6
My opponent is losing his army fast.  Titus actually is wrecked by a meltabomb from the Master on Turn 4, which frees up the Master and Command bikers to go on to other mayhem, including killing the DC marines.  In the meantime, I eliminate everything the White scars have except for Drop pod #2 and the Master.

Game ends with the White Scars having linebreaker. 

Wrap Up
Final score - White Scars 8, Blood Angels 11. 

Another great and fun game.  I did forget a few things – IIRR I lost the Stormraven (it got assaulted by I forgot it was back to flying).  Dante has more special rules to remember.  Although lead by example is a great command trait, it never came up as Dante never stopped to score an objective.  At the end he was hopping back to go chase down that surviving biker Chapter Master.  That combat would have happened too except for the game ending. 

Overall, I’m feeling a bit more confident in some of these games.  I’m at the point in game play speed and such that I can make tactical decisions during the game that my opponents have to react to.  They may not be the best decisions, but I think if  keep the Blood Angels in play for a bit more I’ll get a much better win streak going!

On the back table it was all about demon players thinking about Magnus…I think I’m headed for a long cold winter.  The upcoming 2000 point tournament in 10 days may see Magnus and Pink Horrors hitting tables in force…Maybe I need to drop Angelus and two or three tac marines to bring in Mephiston…hmmmmmm


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tragedy and Vindication at the Standoff

Life has been so busy for me it’s been rare that I’ve been able to get blog posts written.  I have had a bit of time for painting and playing 40K, but not at a high level.  Anyone peeking at my game record saw that last year was dismal, and this year, although a bit better, is also dismal.

I did commit to play at the Standish Standoff.  And yep, I did.

I decided that since I was playing Blood Angels, I’d just stay with them.  Overall, I think if I had a caddy (like in golf) to keep me grounded and focused, I could get Blood Angels to stay in the top 2/3rds of my local tournaments.  I just wish I had that caddy!  The job position is open!  The alternative was to just dust off the Battle Company list I’d used last year.  That list was great, and frankly, I have no idea why any other Space marine player did not bring one.  If I learned anything in the past year, it’s that Frankie (Frontline) is probably spot on that White Scars Battle Company with lots of grav weapons is still the best choice going in that genre (although I’d love to see that played in a match vs melta/plasma Ultramarines Battle Company).  Nuff said. Heck, all i did to the tray I used for transport was take the one I've been using and added a few more glued on Imperial inspirational posters I'd found the night before on the internet.  I don't think anyone even noticed.

My BA list, for posterity – 1750

Shield of Baal Detachment
Librarian, level 2, FS/PP, JP (Biomancy)
Sanguinary Priest, chalice, pistol, auspex, PAxe, JP
10 Assault marines, 2 MG, Sergeant w/PF, IP, veteran, JPs
Furiouso Dreadnought, frag cannon, Flamer, DCCW, Magnagrapple, Drop Pod, Deathwind
DC Dreadnought, 2XBTs, flamer, MG
DC Marines, 5, 1 PF, 1 PS, JPs
Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, Hurricane sponsons
6 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
5 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
2 Baal Preds – TLACs, HB sponsons

Yep, everything has furious charge (+1S), +1I on the charge, and the chalice give +1WS to its unit.  The components I think it is weak in is the ability to deal with massed 2+ armor, or T5+ multi-wound opponents.  The ground vehicles are all fast.  The flyer is tough.  The overall strategy is to deploy and go second, as the army is designed to react quickly to the opponent’s strategy and cause a change in the game.  Its the best thing you can do when outnumbered.  The bigger issue (not having a BA land raider or two) is that the Stormraven is key to deploying the DC marines and DC dread on turn two to the Schwerpunkt.  Earlier test games showed that to be feasible and lethal.  The problem seems to be getting them to be delivered on demand.

Game 1 – VS Mech Eldar / w Wraith Knight (Table 9)
Apparently with 22 gamers in the event I randomly drew the guy who would eventually win.  I’d even kidded about it in the parking lot before the venue opened.  And then it happened.  Unfortunately as a BA player, I’m not personally allowed to have prescience…A year earlier we’d played each other round 3…

When we rolled, I had to deploy first and go first.  Throw everything out the window.  My warlord trait would allow me to reroll reserves.  My reserves would not arrive until turn 4 even with rerolling.  On turn 1 I was leading.  On turn 2 I was losing but just a point behind. On turn 3 and 4 I was maybe two points behind.  On turn 6 I was tabled, and the scoring system awarded me 0 points for 6 turns of fast work.  And we were done in 1.5 hours.  I had an hour to pack my tray, wander around, and think about the future.  When the Stormraven eventually arrived on turn 4, I needed to zoom in flying to head deep into the board.  The DC Dread jumped off to be ready to assault the wraith knight.  In doing so, it deviated totally off the table with double 6s…and a mishap of 1 meant it was not coming back.  I was pretty mad at that point, and basically fed my units to the Eldar wraith knight in response.  By turn 6 I only had the Stormraven, which went to hover mode to try to get me two points for linebreaker. It got shot down.

With zero points I was firmly in last place.

Game 2 – VS Chaos Marines (sorcerer spam) with Guard (quad thudd guns and Sicaran) and Knight (Table 11)
My opponent here usually runs some tough stuff.  I love to play against him, and this game was going to be a tough challenge.  His overall strategy was to use his three chaos sorcerers to get invisibility (for the knight) and prescience (for the thudds).  And he did.  He deployed first and would go first.  If anything, his primary mistake was placing the thudd guns on his back corner.  That meant I had a thin swath of property in my deployment zone to put the librarian, sanguinary, and assault squad, and I would work to string him out towards my lines.  His thudds put their 12 or so twin linked blast templates on a razorback and wrecked it, as his invisible knight worked towards my direction.  In response, my ironclad podded down next to his thudds, and I started to work on him.  We trade blows for a while.  The Stormraven arrives I think on Turn 2.  On turn 3, I get the DC dread to charge the invisible knight while everything else heads around towards the table center (king of the hill).  I lose the DC dread to the knight in stomp attacks on turn 5. We end on turn 6 or so with me winning.

Game 3 – VS Deathwatch with Spacewolves Allies, Flyer Spam (Table 10)
Even with a win, I only moved up a single table.  In fact, one or two guys dropped, so I was ion the defacto last place table again.  This was going to be a tough match, and I did not know much about the Deathwatch.  This guy had his entire army in 4 fliers and one drop pod.  My opponent deployed first and went first.  Or should I say, he deployed nothing…

On turn 1, his drop pod arrives in my deployment zone and his small squad jumps out and melta’s one of my razorbacks.  While I push everything else forward, my surviving 6-man marine squad plus some added support kill off his spacewolves, but I can’t kill the pod.  Frankly, If I’d been thinking right, I should have just wiped him out entirely (assaulting the pod w/ the assault squad) and maybe ended the game right then.  I cannot recall if a deathwatch flyer or so was also on board turn 1.  IIRR he had some sort of means to bring stuff in.

By turn 2 he had half or all his flyers.  I’m scrambling around getting shot up while I collect maelstrom points.  I think around turn 3 or so I’m being assaulted and sorely pressed.  My death company countercharge an ongoing assault and they turn the tide.  DC dread gets meltabombed in assault (heheh, something unlikely now with the new FAQ).  Turn 5 comes around, and at the end, I won.  It was not pretty, but it was a Blood Angels kind of win.  Messy.  Wreckage everywhere.

Wrap-up Rant and more Army Pictures
Overall, I finished 2 wins and 1 loss.  Not too shabby!  I was poor in total points though.

Overall, all I can say is, dang frackin stupid fricken crazy awful bad ugh reserve rolls!  Even with rerolls I had problems getting a simple reserve unit on the table.  It is just bad luck and bad karma that continues to follow me around here.  You figure I spent Game 1 with essentially a third of my points out of the game, and really a full 10% never able to be used.  If anything, in game 2 it might have been great to keep the librarian/sanguinary/assault squad in reserves too, but I was so shattered by what happened in Game 1 I did not want to see it happen again.  In game 3, my opponent really was the one who lost that game – he ended with some flyers still containing units in transport, rather than having them dismount and pile in on any available assaults.  Overall, it was a tough but great day.  Really, in spite of the rants over my own issues, I loved the challenges each game provided.  Each game offered a huge issue for me to overcome, and I think the first game sparked me to really work harder on the other two.

I did enjoy just defaulting to Biomancy for spells instead of my typical selection of Sanguinary.  It helped a bit in game 3, but overall, for my pairings, psychic spells were not game changing - except in Game 2 where my opponent out-spelled me 3-1 and had invisibility and prescience....Frankly I could have just used a BA Captain in artificer armor with a relic sword and done just as well if not better.

MVP in my list was surprisingly the Stormraven.  I lost it in Round 1, in the other games it just mowed down units with its three different weapons and seemed to survive pretty well.  Good times.  In a larger game it would be cool to pair it with two Stormtalons for the added boosts for that formation. Honorable mention to the Baal Predators.    

Anyway, enough for now.  Here are a few pictures.  Enjoy!

Above - one of the best painted.  I like it when bugs look like bugs.

Above - best ork army - sadly, orks were paired vs orks in round 1. 

Above and below - My favorite painted army.  The demon characters are really off the hook good, dogs and demons, a nice combination. 

Above and below - Played vs this in the practice event a few weeks before.  I don't have a photo of my round 1 opponent's Eldar army.

Below - Necrons....

We will be playing 2000 point games at the club level.  I think I might just add Dante or some other easy 250-point add-on for tonight....

Happy gaming,


Friday, September 2, 2016


Titus stirred.

The chirp in his sensors had actually stirred first, which had the effect of gently nudging Titus from his dream state.  Titus was momentarily saddened.  He had been dreaming a great dream, one of  his youth, on a hunting trip in the mountains of Macragge. Then Titus remembered his duty and purpose.  Titus began his awakening protocols.

With mental thoughts, rather than physical motion, as practiced over a century of time, He began the ordered protocols and internal checklists.  Auxiliary power units began to hum with warmth and energy.  Hydraulic systems were pressured, tested for leaks.  Computer control, communications, data, and sensor systems came on line next as programming checked each engram for errors or faults.  Throughout it all, Titus kept his visual and audio inputs shut down.  He preferred it that way, not wanting to see or hear his true environment until he was ready.  Titus frowned at the list of faults and maintenance issues that slowly built up on his internal display.  One power fist digit was under pressured, probably the sign of an aging component that would need replacement.  One power unit only achieving 99.123% of power.  A gyroscope seemingly needing re-calibration.  Hydraulic pressure sensors in his right leg indicating the need to replace a filter. Ammunition was nil.

Communications messages reduced to text form cluttered his in-vox system.  Well over 75,000 messages in all.  With a mental gesture, he began screening through the messages. Some were simple location system reports indicating his presence on the Ultramarines battle barge Octavius II.  Others were rough greetings from his battle brothers. Many were daily devotional messages from Chaplain Tiber.  He scanned on, reading messages from his captain, a few minor battle reports.  Reports of warp translation.  Training schedules. Promotions.

Breakfast, as it was, consisted of input of a balanced paste through his feeding tube. Per his own request, the nutrient paste changed from a smoky bacon-like sense to that of a bitter coffee. It gave him strength and unfogged his mind.  

On completion of his startup protocols, and his communications read, discarded, or archived, Titus mentally reached for another button on the display.  Mentally hammering it home, with a massive clunk, a bright widening beam of light bathed Titus. The doors widened to their full potential.  Then with a thought, Titus began motion, massive right foot followed by left, into the light of the room. He bowed forward.  Standing before  him was Techmarine Arius. Arius returned the bow.  "Good Morning Brother Titus" said the Techmarine.  "We have need of your service"...Beyond were Chapter Servitors with panniers of large bore explosive ammunition. Each round was polished to a high sheen, each marked with the Emperors Blessed Seal and the Ultramarines Chapter Symbol.  Titus advanced further into the room to begin his rituals of arming...  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Apparently not...

1850 Point Game - Maelstrom #5 vs Tau

OK, pictures...

So, like this Wednesday, at Crossroad Games, I won the lucky dice roll (we use dice to pair up players on our Wednesday "club night")...I was paired up to play vs Tau.  I'd put the player as top tier, and the match-up could have been written right out of the Mont' Ka campaign.

My army (I know, you were expecting something different) was basically (I'd made a new list, forgot it, so did this more or less from memory - it should be pretty close but I don't know if I forget something meaningful):

Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company:
Company command with HF, officer of Ordnance, vox, Chimera
BERP the Enginseer

Company commander (warlord), plasma guns, astropath, vox, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, Chimera
Veteran (grenadier) squad, plasma, vox, Taurox
LR Demolisher
LR Punisher

My warlord trait was lead by example, where my Warlord and his unit would score 1+ for objectives.
The Astropath had Psychic Scream and IIRR Domination (target unit has to roll leadership before doing anything).

My opponent had a great Tau list that was everything you could want to take in a rockem' sockem list:

Optimized Stealth Cadre (OSC)
Retaliation Cadre (RC)
Everything Tau is optimized for weaponry, wargear boosts, etc.

The Tau determined what deployment zone they wanted, and also deployed first, went first.

The interesting thing about the Tau list, is that they start the game with just the Optimized Stealth cadre on the table. Only 2 drones with the GhostKeel. The strategy is that they take it to Turn 2, where the entire Tau force arrives from deep strike reserves on Turn 2.  The Tau commander (only character) and his bodyguard of 9 or so suits, can pretty much split fire at everything, and not scatter on the drop.  Special rules have the Tau weapons always hitting vehicles on rear armor.  Extra bonuses pretty much twin link everything, give extra cover boosts, reroll 1's, armorbane, get a pretty good picture of it.

I did not really know that at the beginning of the game.

I did not reserve anything.  Probably should have.

Overall, the game was a close deal through turn 4 when the game was called for time.

I lost, like 12-9 or so, but at the end of the game I only really had one veteran squad still in play.

Turn 1 - the Tau OSC came up the center, and focused on my Russ's, taking the demolisher to 1 hull point. In response, I used my vox network to twin link the artillery, and put it all down on the stealth suits.  Failed orders to pin or ignore cover.  Even with twin linking, scattering was my foe, and although I caused over 10 wounds, only three stealth suits from the two comingled units were removed.

Rules conundrum:  The Tau player claimed that a piece of special rule or wargear in the OSC meant that if the stealth suits were within 6 inches of the Ghostkeel, that their cover save would be doubled from units firing more than 12-inches away.  He wanted to double down his cover saves to a 2+.  I argued that it would not work from artillery barrage, since the direction of damage was from the center of the blast templates, not the distance of the artillery piece. It went in circles until we decided to dice it off and I lost.  Stealth suits benefited from the doubled 2+ cover, and that cost me a lot. I did get domination on the Ghostkeel, which was about the only thing awesome for the turn.

Turn 2, the entire tau RC arrive, and pretty much none scatter to any bad position.  The tau commander and his suit group plop in from of the artillery company,  The other units go after the CAD.  By the end of the turn, I'd lost 3 chimeras, the manticore, basilisk, and demolisher, and banewolf all to Tau special rear-armor seeking munitions. In response, I shot up and killed off a few of the smaller suit units from the RC.

Turn 3, more of the same, I lost the remaining chimeras, Taurox, wyvern, punisher, warlord, commander, astropath, etc.  I scored some points with what I had left.  BERP tried to assault the RC commander and unit for wrecking all of the vehicles under his care - he was dropped by the overwatch fire.      

Turn 4, Tau move up and consolidate to hunt down the remaining enemy units.  I get some shots off, but I'm pretty much down to a squad of survivors in the Tau deployment zone.

Overall, it was an interesting game, and if I'd had time, I'd have wanted to try it again but with holding all of my tanks and artillery in reserves, or with the artillery in a corner, bubble wrapped by dismounted veterans.  That way, on turn 2, my reserves could have come in and reacted to the Tau force in a more meaningful way.  On the other hand, our Wednesday night crowd are not really in the mode of "Beats lab" where we can stop a game, rewind, and try stuff out to see what works or not.  I may go ahead and optimize this list further and try it again next week.  I find I'm getting better with orders.  And yes, the Warlord trait helped me grab an extra point in the game...

The biggest damage came from all the Tau munitions going right to my rear armor with no cover saves allowed.

Overall, failing on ignores cover orders on turn 1 was sad and a bit of a game changer.  Also, I need a penitential moment with my codex, as I need to confirm stuff on giving orders.

First game using a Taurox. I have one built with the twin linked autocannon and twin linked storm bolter turret (apparently it does not come with a heavy stubber!). It was able to zome ahead to get me an objective, but quickly died to tau fire.  The squad inside lasted a while there till they were killed off.

I think since the veterans have all been killed off enough in the last year I ought to go to just bare-bones infantry, not veterans, and give each sergeant a power axe...that might have been good this game, the AP2 would have been a better tool in a charge into one unit of suits.  

All for now!




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Did I learn Anything?


This might be the last post of my 2015-2016 gaming year (long time readers know I go from August 15 to August 15, aligned with the old Ard' Boyz' cycle).  Deliberately, I spent maybe the first third of the gaming year playing Blood Angels, and the remaining two thirds playing Astra Militarum.

The gaming year, compared to last year, was a disaster.  Look at the record - over in the right margin of the screen.   7 Wins 5 draws 20 Losses.

Almost the opposite of last year - where I played Ultramarines with a splash of Blood Angels.

Now, arguably, my experience may not be too different from the other Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) players out there.  Overall, did I learn anything?


Am I ready to give up on playing the Astra Militarum?  Meh, maybe not yet.  I am a glutton for punishment!

So - here is my last game of the year in pictures with comments:


1850 Points, Astra Militarum vs Demons and Zombies

The 555th Regiment, still much reduced, returned to the front lines.  Rumors swirled of the dead walking, demons ever present, and the taint of chaos bringing ruin everywhere.

We were playing Maestrom Mission #1, or so.  Corner deployment zones, objectives, 3 cards max per turn.  I was playing my new variant, where the CAD's company commander had an Astropath as an advisor, and the Artillery company commander had a master of ordnance.  The Astropath shows promise - with the primaris of Psychic Shriek. My CAD company commander was the warlord, and he had the Zealot (Cadian) warlord trait.   In turn 1, the AM moved forward, looking to whittle down the enemy with the firepower of both companies.  The enemy lost several Khorne dogs and some zombies, but again, this demon led army is very resilient.

In the psychic phase of the Demon Turn 1 the Keeper of Secrets summons another blob of plague zombies.  and the entire mass keeps shuffling forward.

BERP, the Enginseer of the Artillery Company needs more experience.  Never ever stand at the back end of a missile launching artillery piece...considering the demons had no real shooting weapons, I have no idea what BERP is hiding from...

By turn 3, the AM front lines were breached.  Remannat (soon wiped out) Khorne Dogs (and Herald) assaulted the AM left.  The Keeper in the center.  Zombies to the right.  Overall, the Demons were doing great on objective cards.  The AM was vapor locked with cards it could not score on.

Soon, the CAD company commander was gone.  So were the Khorne Dogs, and some other demon units.  But the mobility of the AM was gutted.

When you are a zombie, you just keep shuffling forward...

Eventually, due to store hours, the game was called.   Zombies win, 15 to 5.  

Overall, it was a fun game.  This is not the first time the 555th have run into a Demon horde army.  It is always a great challenge to see if you can wreck them before they wreck you.

Overall, some takeaways:

1. Once the demon player deployed, the AM should have worked turn 1 to redeploy towards the left and focused everything on the Khorne Dogs first - instead, the target priorities were spread all over the place.  The Khorne Dogs are a key linchpin of this army - they - and the Herald, need to get removed first.  

2. The Astropath periled again, second game in a row.  Not a big deal.  In this game he tried to put wounds on the Keeper - did not work.  If I'd concentrated on the dogs, I'd have faired better in the points exchange.

3.  One of the guys I work with - a Marine turned Geotechnical Engineer - used to play AM.  He suggests that spending points on Veterans is a waste.  He wants me to instead try a IG Platoon, regular squads, mechanized, and use the saved points for something else (like more Wyverns), or at least convert from Grenadiers to demolition specialists.  Hmmmm....

4.  Change the warlord to the AM Artillery commander and roll on the strategic table instead.

5.  Practice more.

So, what thoughts do you have?

Even in this game, I though about starting totally dismounted, just to have more lascarbines and laspistols shooting at the blob leading edges. I probably would still have run into problems with board control and actually wounding the horde. IIRR the demon player had four sources or so for spells - his favorite being cursed earth - to make his army even tougher, and he had the grimouire (sp) on the Keeper, making things even nastier.  I was outclassed in warp charges like 13:1.

All for now.  And remember, comments are always appreciated.

Friday, July 1, 2016

BERP Observes the Chaos of it All

BERP was still rebooting several of his personal repair protocols, especially the ones that dealt with memory function.  In his minds eye he just experienced some stuff that even a lifetime of worshiping the Ominsiah could not cure. BERP knew one thing - his report and data had been transmitted upwards through the Mechanicus chain of command, and it seemed to cause a ripple effect in the data streams that normally would come back to him.

BERP the Enginseer had just survived his first encounter with Demons.

Typical for fighting with the 555th Cadian Mechanized Regiment, BERP was attached to support the artillery company. When they deployed forward into the red ash wastes, BERP had sent a terse data stream back to his Prime that his request for servitors had not been timely met.  BERP was going to the frenzy of battle with just his own tools and knowledge.

The battle of the bikers was still fresh on the minds of the 555th. The Regiment was still fighting in a reduced formation - down to two companies instead of four.  The tank companies had been stripped away to act as the force's reserves.

BERP was always mystified by how these Cadians deployed.  Every battle, these veterans remained in their Chimera Transports and fought from each one as a bunker.  BERP, on the other hand, needed free access to his assigned equipment, and his role was not to fight but to repair.

The 555th was deployed as a flanking force, in a region of red ash wastes that wafted over anything that disturbed it.  The 555th was advancing in force through the wastes, the Mechanized element was forward and the artillery was to the rear of the column.  All of the vehicles halted when the column vox channels all seemed to burst forth on all frequencies with the same word.  Ed.

All eyes and sensors scanned to the dusty plains and ruins.  This area had been the site of a different battle days before, and it bore scars of the fighting that had been held between the Astra Militarum and renegade marines.

As the commanders of the two companies consulted, flashes of green and blue warp-light sparkled to the left flank of the force.  All of the vehicles turned to face the threat.

Then it happened.

Bursting forth from the dust, flying monstrosities appeared, flying and flapping towards the column.

The commanders knew that their best means to fight this incursion was to fire back, into the mouth of the ambush.  To flee in disarray was to die.

BERP had been riding on the loading deck of the Basilisk.  He stepped down and awaited the need.

Las-fire and shells soon pumped out of the force into the demons.  The demons cared naught, and with waves of staves and incantations, soon more demons appeared.  Fighting grew fierce, as the head of the column became engulfed in fighting.  Splashes of demon fire poured out as flames, and Cadians fought and died where they stood.  No units broke, all remained steadfast. One Cadian sergeant challenged a demon, but the evil beast's weapon smote the sergeant as an explosion of warp fire that engulfed the demon and squad.

Even the Mechanized Commander, with his veteran retinue and advisers dead, fought and backed slowly down the line, providing an example of steadfast courage.  The commander seemed to become stronger and more fierce as he advanced away from the demons, who pursued at a respectful pace. All the while, artillery ranged from pounding distant and danger close targets, trying to support the beleaguered veterans.

Soon, the battle neared BERP.  A mighty demon actually leaped upon the Basilisk, damaging it beyond repair. All faster than BERP could react. Soon, other vehicles were wrecked, and men poured out to continue the fight as they always did.  Some demons issued forth gouts of warp flame, some, seen as greater leaders, constantly issued incantations and fired bolts of light and power from their hands or staves or breath.

But then as quickly as it started, with a swirl in the winds, the battle ended.

All that was left was to catalog the data, file more reports, and await support.  And look through the wreckage for salvage.

Through it all, BERP realized, he'd not done a damn thing.  He had not even tried to repair anything.  Or collect data.  Or provide advice or aid.  He'd just stood there the entire time...watching.

So yes, I fought last night, Cadians vs Demons at 1650 points!  Due to time constraints we could only complete 3 full turns...and we ended as a 5:5 DRAW!!!!

This was Maelstrom mission #4, similar to last week.  I was using the Cadian deck, he was using the Demon deck.  Overall, it was a lot of fun!  Looking forward to next week...


Thursday, June 23, 2016

BERP's first Bike Week

Techpriest Enginseer BERP (Basic Engineering Repair Protocol) was now a veteran, having completed his second battle.   He stood on the blasted plain, his red cloak moving in the wind.  His bionic eye focusing on distant wrecked structures.  His one good, human eye, tired and bloodshot from the dust and smoke.

BERP had accompanied the Cadian 555th Company to this distant world just this week.  Assigned as per the prior protocols to an attached Artillery Company, with vehicles similar to before.  As programmed, BERP was initially deployed with the Manticore, his cables connected to the tank, monitoring its systems and prepared to fire it should the crew fail to follow orders.  The enemy, he was briefed, were renegade Space marines, all mounted on bikes or jump packs, perfect for this open, dusty environment.  Bike mounted marines were not, however, an enemy BERP had much dealing with.  A good radio net was established between formation commands, to improve the accuracy and efficacy of the artillery.

The battle was to begin with the artillery opening up as before, once the bikers were detected.  BERP saw that everything was in order, and the enemy was not in sight.  That changed in a split second, when an a giant beam of energy lanced downward towards the 555th from the skies above and erupted into a devastating conflagration.  The beam, probably from a space-borne system, lanced between the Manticore and nearby basilisk, and in an instant, both exploded and were destroyed. BERP momentarily lost his own function, but in an instant his training and programming had him looking for other vehicles to support as he disentangled from the debris.  The Omnisiah Protects its own.

Already, the bikers were swiftly approaching.  Shooting of energy and mass-reactive weapons erupted all across the 555th's gun line.  BERP saw the Banewolf shudder under a multimelta impact, and runes flashed that the damaged vehicle was already immobilized.  BERP moved in that direction, which would also be the center of the 555th's line.

Fighting continued.  On the right, the Wyvern battery and Ordnance officer and mortar team ignored the oncoming renegade flanking force, and instead supported the Imperial left.  It was a gambit to try to cause as much damage as they could, ignoring their own personal danger.  Damage was done, ordnance raining down, but was woefully inaccurate.  The artillery missed the front lines of the marines and instead pummeled the second wave - jump pack assault marines...

As he moved to the left, BERP sorted through the incoming communications and data, recognizing that as the biker renegades assaulted the 555th from the front, the stronger renegade command was flanking the line on the right.  BERP reached the damaged Banewolf and attempted repairs.  On the right flank, he could see that the renegades were breaking through that flank, and BERP received the order from the Artillery Company commander that he was now to report to the 555th directly.  Soon the Wyvern, security force, and Artillery Company command were engulfed in short, brutal fighting with the bikers.

The supporting Vendetta flashed overhead, heading left.  The goal seemed to be to breach the renegade biker lines and allow the 555th to advance away from its crumbling right flank.

Before BERP could be successful in his repairs, the Banewolf was wrecked by bikers advancing up the flank.  The Commander of the 555th's Chimera now also began to smoke, and commander dismounted, power sword in hand.  The battle quickly devolved into a rout, the 555th moving left, away from the renegade biker command, their gambit to destroy the units before them a hard fought success. At one point the Company Commander with BERP in tow, looked to assault an attack bike squad that was looking for them in the dust and smoke of the battler, but the bikers moved away before contact.

As the smoke and dust continued to clear, the Vendetta provided air cover for the dismounted survivors.  The renegade marines did not pursue.

BERP was saddened by the loss of equipment.  In part, he felt that the battlefield was just no place for the vehicles under his charge.  Soon he would be arriving back at the force's depot, and start the process over...there was more fighting coming.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Taumorrow Comes

Techpriest Enginseer BERP (Basic Engineering Repair Protocol) was distracted.  Assigned to the artillery company of the 555th Regiment, Cadia, he was in his first major battle.  His dendrite connector cords sniffed the air around him, the air palpable with the distinct odor of ozone - the remnants of the plasma blast that had only moments below erupted on the Manticore before him and had nearly thrown him to the ground.

Behind him, a Wyvern issued another four satisfying krumps in rapid succession, sending the blessed explosive shells of destruction downrange to the enemy positions.  BERP strove to reawaken the Manticore's engine, his mind reaching out for the Manticore's spirit for guidance.  It could, he see, keep firing, it just could not move.  Some sort of electrical discharge from the blast had immobilized the vehicle.  BERP barely cringed as another large blast from the Tau hit the Command Chimera nearby - and with smoke pouring up from that vehicle, the command squad of the artillery company exited the vehicle and sheltered behind it.  The Wyvern behind him was also damaged in that same blast and it now called for attention.  BERP moved over to it and connected to the Wyvern.  His mind now reached into the stricken vehicle and he attempted another repair.  The Manticore fired another large artillry rocket at the enemy off in the distance.

Nothing seemed to work right under these conditions thought BERP. Another plasma blast now bloomed overhead, showering BERP with debris.  The Wyvern itself stopped all functions.  BERP looked at the open firing platform and saw the crew were all dead or on fire.  BERP frowned, wrinkling his one remaining eyebrow.  Whith what passed for a sigh, he disconnected from the wrecked Wyvern and turned his attention back to the Manticore.  It, at least, was still capable of firing, thought BERP.  He observed it had one missile left in its racks.  Soon, BERP would move to the next artillery piece.  Servitors and a recovery vehicle were ordered with the mere thought, to come forward and recover the Manticore for repair and rearming.  

Nearby, the Artillery Company Commander and his subbordinates were all yelling into different communications systems, and the battle was continuing. BERP was somewhat grateful for his location behind as solid concrete structure.  On one hand, he wanted to collect data on this enemy, the Tau.  On the other hand, his program was to see to and repair the artillery throughout the battle.  BERP mused that in due time, with Victory won, we could be afforded the chance to collect data on the Tau's military technology. Until then, he would perform his function.

(yes, in part due to the attached Artillery Company Formation, the 555th beat a Tau force at 1750 points. It was fun...)


Friday, June 3, 2016

The Sun Will Be Out...Taumorrow'

For the greater good, I played a 1750 game this week vs Tau.  Of course I did not get time (yet) to update a better Astra Militarum list, so I took one of my prior lists (1650), carved off a 100 point vet squad, and cobbled in a Vendetta with door gunners, and added another flamer to another squad.  Pretty much dealt with it, but meant I had one formation (Emperor's assault company) and a bucket of unbound stuff (or allied formation, as it were).

Overall, it was a very close game, and I lost, 4-3.  Very low scoring, Contact Lost mission.  The battle hinged around a Shadowsun-led, suit blob, that apparently could spit fire to multiple units, had preferred enemy, tank hunter, AP2 weapons, ignores cover...

Due to time constraints and a late start, we could only get four turns in.

I used the Cadian tactical cards deck and WL traits, staying true to the fluff of the 555th "Triple Nickels".  The best part was drawing the WL trait that allowed me to ignore morale checks from shooting casualties.  The worst part was drawing cards Turn 1 and 2 that were half about either assaulting the enemy or being in the enemy deployment zone.

It was still a fun game. Any game is fun.

My opponent BTW was either just being nice, or not to aggressive.  His game plane really just hinged on his central deathstar playing in the center.  He clearly could have sent his Riptide, Longstreet, and other units out to capture more objectives.  It's another reason the game was close.  I think I drew cards 1:3:2:2; he drew 1:2:2:3.  I think he clearly could have drawn 1:3:3:3 with very minor movements.  In fact, I think I spent more time watching what he was doing than playing my own game...

Things I need to address (won't be playing for the next two weeks):

1.  Get the Emperor's Wrath artillery company built.  Overall, I need to have orders for artillery to just make them better.

2.  Drop the officer of the ordnance.  Won't need him with a better artillery formation.

3.  Possibly drop the Cadian' mechanized formation for a CAD.  That way even the Vet's Chimera's stay as obsec, although I lose the bonuses for shooting enemies near objectives (which I forget in turns 1 and 3 of this game). It also allows me to squeeze in a Primaris Psycher, to attach to the artillery for Prescience.

4.  Other stuff.  Need to always squeak in a flyer or two...the CAD allows that easily.

I'll get a revised list up for comment someplace...maybe at Frontline to see what Frankie and Reece think.  Then here. Or both at once.  Somehow, I have just two more months in this gaming year to finally get the Astra Militarum figured out!

All for now, enjoy the weekend!



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Miss me?

I have been really busy on stuff all Spring...but I'm hoping to get back in here on a more regular basis!

Overall, I'm getting ready (mentally) to switch back to Ultramarines.  As you can see in my records for this gaming year - using just Astra Militarum and Blood Angels has not been a source of success, although they have been challenging to play!

Tonight is a 1750 point game night at the FLGS, and although I'm heading over to look for a game, I'm not ready.  Have not touched Army Builder in weeks!  I'll probably just take the last 1500 point list and edit it to 1750 by either adding in more ground units and an aegis line / quad gun, or add in flyers and more death company.  All in all, by now I'd hoped to be playing a list regularly led by Mephiston, but that model still sits in the blister pack.

Challenges abound!

Two weeks ago I played a game where my opponents wanted to include both the rough draft FAQs and the new flyers supplement.  I opted to allow the supplement, but not the FAQs, as they were not the finals, just rough drafts looking for comments (and apparently still are).

Last week I missed playing in the Fratris Salutem. Vacation got in the way!

Anyway, all for now...


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Triple Nickels Beats Down a Legion? Wha?....

It has been a few (weeks?) since I posted on my blog.  Winter is just a busy time!

This past weekend I got in a 1750 point game, Maelstrom Mission #3, and won at the end of Turn 5 with a score of 14 to 4.

My opponent was using a 30K Heresy Legion List - Emperor's Children -

4 squads of about 10+ Legionaries each, two squads with jump packs, each led by a 2++ Legionary character. Buffed with extra attacks, chain axes, etc.
2 landraiders

He deployed first and went first.

He just charged right up the field, more or less as fast as possible.

I'm thinking I don't have enough Lascannons.

At the end, I was still in my half of the table, but his army was down to one hull point on a immobilized landraider.

I think I lost three Chimeras, Pask's tank squadron, and a Sentinel, plus maybe two squads of Veterans.  Who cares!  it was an amazing win!  I thought it would have ended the other way around!

It was a glorious Victory for the 555th!

(no photos though....)

In other news, I decided to play Mobile Strike on my phone.  God what a time suck that has turned out to be!  My Alliance though, is top 10, and getting better daily.  I'm in the top 10 for my Alliance.  At some point, I'll probably drop the game though!  Every day, every waking moment, the game calls to me to check my builds, collect supplies, watch out for attackers, attack the fools around me, click off missions, and chat with my new found invisible friends.  It is just not the same as a face-to-face tabletop game like 40K!  There are some real a$$hats in the game too.  They teleport in, wreck you, then teleport away before anyone can respond.  Capturing commanders. leaving hives in flames.  And all of them are from the top Alliance...some day they will be defeated!  

All for now.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Grinding My Gears

OK, I'm not entirely happy at the moment with how my Astra Militarum record is going.  I finished off last year playing Blood Angels and had a pretty respectable record for the year.  And then I switched to the Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) - in part because there were rumors of a fresh codex coming (which ended up being the Mont'Ka supplement).  The Supplement is nice, but let's face facts.  Its a doomed supplement since in it, the AM/IG are constantly stomped and outgunned by the tau, and ultimately left to die on the planet by the Fleet.  How can you build a great narrative about that?  

Don't get me wrong - I love the games I've played with the Astra Militarum - my Cadian 555th Regiment! Its just that I have to balance investment with results.  And results have been mediocre.

The list "of the Month" will be based around or mutated from the following:

Combined Arms Detachment (1750)
Company Command Squad, Chimera, Plasma Guns, Carapace Armor, Krak Grenades, Warlord
Veteran Squad, Grenadiers, Chimera, Plasma Guns, Heavy Flamer
Veteran Squad, Grenadiers, Chimera, Meltaguns, Heavy Flamer
Veteran Squad, Grenadiers, Chimera, Meltaguns, Heavy Flamer
Veteran Squad, Grenadiers
Tank Commander Pask, Leman Russ Punisher, Lascannon, HB Sponsons
Leman Russ Punisher, Lascannon, Plasma Sponsons
Vendetta (3xTLLC)
Armored Sentinel, Autocannon
Banewolf, Chemcannon, Multimelta
Chimeras all are Multilaser, Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Stubber.

I'll have to proxy the Punisher Turrets.  If they work out, I'll get real ones.

This list pumps out a huge amount of dice.  Which means the opponents have to pump out a lot of saves.  Wish me luck!  This is only a tweaked version of what I've been using - but notably I swapped out the Demolishers, the Master of Ordnance, and Master of the Fleet, for things that may be able to shoot better and miss less. The only thing I'm risking is the Vendetta being delayed from reserves, which may result in swapping in another 170 point unit...Like...another Manticore....or two Wyverns...

Am I ready to give up on these guys? Not quite yet! I just can't stop playing them!

What would I play once this experiment with Astra Militarum is complete?



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Triple Nickels in ITC Mission #1

The assassin crouched high in the temple.  Silent, unmoving. Nearby were Tau drones, ever scanning.  The assassin ignored them, its mind was also scanning.  Somewhat like a drone, the assassin mused.  There would soon be a battle here.  The assassin cared not.  It was programmed with a mission.  In the distance, avian wildlife of this jungle planet began taking flight.  Soon the noise and vibrations from the Astra Militarum armored column could be felt.  They were advancing as ordered toward this temple.  As expected in the mission profile, the Tau forces moved forward to intercept.  The assassin cared not.  It was on a mission.  It cared not for the reasons of the mission, only that it must be carried out.  The assassin would not fail.  In its mind, the assassin reached out to sense its prey.  It was expecting, typical for its mission profile to be able to sense the prey.  Such assignments were simple.  Sense the prey, usually from its tainted warp signature. But here there was no signature.  Interesting, thought the assassin. That would make the mission more than routine.  

1650 Points, ITC Mission #1

Yes!  An ITC Mission!  My force was a combination of the Emperor's Blade Assault Company and a CAD, all as Cadians (of course!).  My opponent was one assassin...

Terrain was a death world jungle.  In and among the new and ancient ruins.  My opponent had been expecting me to play that evening.  When I arrived, he explained we'd be doing a ITC mission.  I got to deploy first and go first. Here we are after my turn 1 - there are two maelstrom objectives and two emperors will objectives on the table.  The objectives - for those in grid speak - were about 1.5, 3 (m); 2,1 (e); 3.5 (m),1.5; and 5,3.5 (e).  You don't have to worry about having tactical card decks in this game!  My warlord trait was the ability for the warlord, once per game, to call in a single artillery bombardment.      

Just another view.  In turn 1, my objectives were to secure an objective and eliminate a unit.  My Manticore and two artillery bombardments were weak and scattered. I did get a maelstrom pount for the objective.

I always use my special weapons guys to mark the Chimeras they are transported in...sometime soon I need to go on a bender and finalize details and markings on alot of units! Not to mention get those dozer blades as no, I did not use any dozer blades....the points went to pintle mounted heavy stubbers.

And then there is this guy....I ought to steal him this week, paint him..return him...

And then the suits move up.  The game includes points for Big Game Hunter.  My "big game" was Daisy the Demolisher...his was the Suit Commander and bodyguards. In this shot, he has completed shooting - I lost a few hull points here and there...

Meanwhile, the Assassin is moving out for the kill...this guy is a beast!  (I bet her single handedley killed 17 guardsmen...captured an objective, earned STWL.  Probably the Tau MVP)

In Turn 2, I decide to dismount a squad - the commander gives them an order to shoot! A few wounds go on the assassin, even with his invisibility-like functions.  Daisy is a smoking ruin from Turn 1...Rear AV11 is no match for back shooting, no cover, Tau smart missiles shot en masse.

Here in Turn 2, the Tau continue to advance!  I've lost the second Demolisher, Doris, to those Tau missiles again! But I'm obsec on the objective.   I did, BTW, get a good hit on the Suit Commander and his unit!  They were greatly depleted down to just two suits...Many tau units were depleted from all the shooting, as were my own!

yeah...they are all hiding back here...

Meanwhile, in the far left, I've outflanked the Tau. My first unit of 5 Scions came in from reserves by deep strike, wiped out the firewarriors there, But then were wacked hard to get me down to just two.  They held the objective though.

Here we are in the middle of Turn 3.  I have one bonus (white dice) point for STWL, the Tau have 1 (green dice) for BGH.  I am leading on Maelstrom points 5-2 (blue dice vs pink).  My second Scions unit of 5 came in and killed another suit.  I lost two of them to interceptor fire.  I'm losing a lot of vehicles in the mean time! (not to self - need Scion meltagun models...)

And finally the Kroot arrive from reserves!  It is a large unit including a Krootox. Also in Turn 3, the Assassin has assaulted and killed off the IG veterans.  I'm still holding both maelstrom objectives and one Emperors' objective...If i could just kill that Assassin I might be able to pull off a major Victory!

Just another view.  Yeah, Kroot can have access to weapons that can hurt AV10...

This is somewhere in Turn 4 or so.  The Kroot kill off the Manticore, and after the large Tau gribbly wrecked the Commander's Chimera, the Assassin shot and charged the survivors.  It ended badly for me there - Now I'm holding just the two Maelstrom objectives. I had managed this turn to eliminate the last remaining suit to earn BGH.  Flamers in the Command Squad meant nothing to the invisible fear-causing assassin...

So the score at the end of 4 is looking pretty good if I can hold on! If the game ended right now I'd have a lead in points!

My largest functioning units are off on my far left flank - If I can keep it clear, I might be able to rack up more points. I'm basically shooting drones like a madman...

At the end of 5 turns, I had maintained my Maelstrom kill point gap.

But we went on to Turn 6! Now I'm holding just one Maelstrom objective.  If my opponent could table me or get me off his deployment zone he could pull off the win!  He failed...

And there the game ended.  We both had STWL, BGH, and Linebreaker.  I got 4 points for taking the Maelstrom.  My opponent got 4 points for taking Emperor's Will.  The game ended as a 7-7 draw!

Nuff said.

But did you know this:

Thanks for reading.


Monday, January 4, 2016


Captain Jaxxson - Company Commander - 555th Armored Infantry Regiment - was...dreaming again.  Maybe it was something he ate earlier that day.  Maybe it was a fitful dream about the future.  But to think that was heresy.

The dream was similar to the one before.  His mechanized units were deployed on a dusty plain of ruins and rock piles.  In the distance, through the haze came the enemy. Howling, moaning, shrieking, all of the sounds of the enemy.  As soon as the figures materialized in the hazy dust his armored vehicles - Demolisher Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and Artillery - began firing.  The noise was constant and reports flooded to his command vehicle of...zombies...

Maelstrom Mission #2 - 1650 Points

Tszeentch Lord of Change (warlord)
5 Fiends
1 Herald on a Steed

The forces of Khorne -
Khorne Lord on Juggernought with an Axe of Khorne
10 Flesh Hounds of Khorne

The Forces of Nurgle -
Herald with Grimoire
20 Plague Bearers
10 Plague Bearers
10 Plague Bearers

1st Company, 555th Regiment, Cadia (CAD)
Company Command Squad 5551HQ
Commander, Plasma pistol, power sword
Officer of the Fleet
Master of the Ordnance
Veterans, 4, 2 FL
Chimera, Multilaser, HB, PMHS

Veteran Squad 55511
Grenadiers, 10, 2 MG
Chimera, Multilaser, HB, PMHS

Veteran Squad 55512
Grenadiers, 10, 2 MG
Chimera, Multilaser, HB, PMHS

Veteran Squad 55513
Grenadiers, 10, 2 PG
Chimera, Multilaser, HB, PMHS

Veteran Squad 55514
Grenadiers, 10, 2 PG
Chimera, Multilaser, HB, PMHS

Sentinel "Crackers"
Armored, autocannon

Tempestus Scions
Scions, 10, GL

Demolisher "Daisy"
HB hull and Sponsons

Demolisher "Doris"
HB hull and Sponsons


Deployment and Thoughts
This was to be my last game for 2015!

The game was put together on the fly - and we only had a bit less than 2 hours to try to get the game in.  My opponent had no real idea what he'd be playing against, and I had no idea whether he had any shooting weapons or spells that could act as shooting weapons.  He had to spend time getting his list final and spells rolled.

The mission gives you new maelstrom cards each turn based on the number of objectives you control. The objectives were spread pretty wide. My opponent won to choose deployment edge and won to deploy first and go first.  I was using the Cadian tactical cards and warlord trait (this card game the warlord a single artillery barrage card just like the Master of the Ordnance). My opponent's warlord trait was a one-time force me to discard a tactical card pull.  

Without any real knowledge of my opponent's army (which was modeled /converted and themed to look like a big un-dead shambling zombie horde) or the impact of his available 9+ warp charges, I decided to deploy with all infantry mounted.  Overall, being mounted seemed safe.

My opponent's forces were deployed with his largest mob of plague bearers in the center, Khorne dogs and jugger lord to the left.  Overall, I put a single veteran squad to my left, and then concentrated on my right and center.  I wanted to stay as far as possible from the dogs (but threw them the single unit as a speed bump).

As soon would be seen, killing the un-dead and demon infested filth of this opposing force would be difficult.

Here we are at deployment...the "un-dead" horde already is sitting on two objectives (white discs).  I have one.  It was a good mix of 5+ cover, 4+ ruins.

The Game
Here you can see his "converted"/"counts-as" army - these un-dead ogres would be the fiends.  Some stuff still has painting and converting in process.  Overall...this list is resilient.

Shamblers and two heralds moving through the grasses toward the Shrine of the Golden Flower

In turn 1 - the Lord of Change flew off to the far left.  The dogs all moved forward.  The dogs scored a point for the objective.

Cadian Turn 1.  Moved forward to grab objective 2 on the right.  I put a lot of firepower onto the fiends taking out 4, the larger plague bearer mob taking out 6.  But the undead would continue to move forward! I had planned to shoot up the dogs - but he'd given them essentially a 2+/4+ save through his sorcery.  The fiends and bearers were the next best targets - although he'd also boosted their saves! At this moment, Squad 55512 should have also rushed forward to grab objective 3 in front of the dogs - I would have not scored it - but could have kept the Un-Dead from drawing a card for controlling it!

Just a view on the left flank, where things were going to get real - at this point, Squad 55514 should have fled back to the far corner - but...they stayed where they were to support other attacks.

Somehow I'd forgetten to take photos in Turn 2...and forgot to get the Scions in from reserves.  On the left, the Dogs and Jugger Lord surrounded Squad 55514's Chimera, and assaulted.  The vehicle was wrecked, and then with no place to emergency disembark, the squad was eliminated.  First blood to the Undead.  He also got points for the assault and some objectives, so at the end of 2 the score was 4 to 1.  During my turn, he used his warlord ability to make me discard a scoreable card!  Return fire focused on the dogs and on the Bearers, and maybe half were eliminated. In this shot the Undead are just beginning their turn 3 movement.  

See what I mean? This is after my following turn - many of the dogs are now dead...two are wounded...

Here in Turn 3 he tries it again - the plague bearers have touch of rust or whatnot - but they FAIL! On my turn - I tank shock forward 6-inches and spin the tank around.

Here we are at the end.  In Turn 3, he also charged forward to attack squad 55513's Chimera, but I had room to dismount.  Dorris the Demolisher was exploded by the Lord of Change.  I moved forward to have Crackers assault the remaining Jugger Lord and dog - losing one hull point in the process, but hopefully tying it up.  Squad 55511 had moved into his deployment zone - and I was still in control of 3 objectives and a 4th was within reach.  My opponent's units were greatly thinned - but not a single one was entirely eliminated!   The Lord of Change was wound to boot! My unpainted Scions were sitting in the opponent's backfield, ready to grab objective 6.  At this moment, I felt the game was in my favor to ultimately prevail!

And then...the game had to be called.  We could only play 3 full turns before we had to pack up and leave the store due to an early closing time.  At that point, I probably had the larger army, and more mobility BUT my opponent was yet to truly lose a single unit.  The core was 7 to 2....I'd been card locked!  My second point was for linebreaker, as was his 7th.

So it was registered as a loss...but I think I got enough here to revise the list with for the next game (this result and the comments people left for me at B&C)...

Good luck in your gaming in 2016!