Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rockport Invitational 2017 Debrief

Some day I'd love to go to an event like this and provide just live commentary to the live stream of the games.  FYI three games were live streamed throughout the day, so you could have watched them  I have not seen them! I was in the third streamed game!

For my list - see the prior blog post. 6 command points. Short and sweet. First time using Mephiston.
Format: Paired Tournament, 3,000 points per side 
(1,500 points per player). 

Missions:  See tournament packet.  Game 1 - 6 objectives/basic mission cards, 3 pulled per team per turn (1 deck per side) as primary. Game 2 - 4 objectives as Primary.  Game 3 - Progressive scoring for control of 5 objectives.

Player briefing.  Go see the organizer at "A Painted Life" blog. 

My Blood Angels were paired with a Deathwatch player.  His list included approximately:

  • Deathwatch warden (Warlord)
  • Deathwatch captain
  • Deathwatch Dreadnought (DCCW/AC)
  • Four double-las Razorbacks, each containing 6 deathwatch marines with special ammo bolt guns and maxed (4 per squad?) frag cannons.
  • 6 Command Points    

Game 1: Vs Astra Militarum / Tau

The Astra Militarum player had a hodgepodge list including a flyer, the Vortex missile battery, some units on horse, and squads of infantry on foot, bolstered by two characters at least, and 6 Tarantula gun platforms. The missile battery fortress was tremendously dangerous, and frankly is crazy for a game like this (not apox or narrative).  The Tau - was largely hidden to us and I have no idea how many suits or pathfinders or drones they had.  Lucky for us, 90% of the Tau just hid behind a piece or LOS blocking terrain...regardless, based on what we were seeing, my team partner and I decided a two-part course of action in what we saw as us getting shot off the table:

(1) go after maelstrom (mission) points, and (2) get into close combat with anything that would keep us from being shot off the table.

Close combat would be the only thing that would protect us from Vortex missile rain or Tau missile fire. We amended that turn 1 to include killing the flier, which seemingly was also a huge gun platform! The OPFOR went first.  Largely, everything went OK, with Dante and Mephiston showing what beasts they could be in the game.  The Flyer was dispatched with a combination of Melta-fire and assault by jump-pack troops.  I think in this game we certainly dished out what we were given.  One of my Razorbacks was popped in the first shots by the Vortex launcher.  Overall, I should have started it hidden.  With the large AM model count and tons of shooting dice the game went wicked slow.  We ran out of time after two turns, but we won, 12-10. I have no idea where the time went.  if I'd blacked out, nobody mentioned it...

Beginning of Turn 1.  OPFOR moving...

Beginning of Turn 2. Counter assault by the OPFOR.  

Actually beginning of what would have been Turn 3...
But We'd already won in a slow game. 

Game 2:  Vs Adpetus Mechanicum / Magnus Marines

The Adpetus Mech list was built around Cawl, a DataSmith, 3 dune crawler/crabby tanks, and 6 Kastellan Robots. Magnus was supported by demon foot troops (Tszangors), two Tszeentch terminator squads with socerors, the Sorceror on a Disk (Ahriman), and a rhino bearing more Tzeentchy chaos marines.  Another shooty list backed by assaulty demons and terminators and evil magixs!

At least in this game we thought we were safe based on the large amount of LOS-blocking terrain! The OPFOR went first (we wanted them to, since the objectives scored at the end, and we wanted options!).  Turn 1 began with Magnus coming totally accross the table to assault two razorbacks.  He popped one and damaged the other.  The game had a progressive king of the hill point total going on for the table center.  In response, we killed Magnus, wounded Arhiman, wounded Cawl, and captured the center.  In counter-riposte, we got cleaned off the center, and the robiots started double firing at anything they could see, while slowly advancing toward our lines. All the while, we kept some of our stuff in jump pack reserve, waiting for the terminators to drop.  About turn 3, the terminators arrived and we sent the death company after the Datasmith, who had been truly hiding under terrain directly beneath an objective.  We decided to try to grab the two objectives on the left, and hoped to contest one on the right for the win. Then our OPFOR dice rolling got hot and we just could not take down Ahriman or the datasmith by weight of fire!  After 5 turns, we took a narrow loss, 8 - 12.  At the end, nobody controlled the center, we held one objective, the OPFOR narrowly held two, and one was unclaimed.

Sometime around Turn 2.  Magnus is gone. 

Around Turn 3.  Counter assaulting the Chaos Rubric-Terminators. 

Game 3: Vs Three Knights and Tyranids

As they say, once a king always a king, once a Knight is enough!

This game was not going to be fun, as if that would be a shocker.  The mission was progressive points for controlling 5 objectives at the end of each turn, secondary included kill points based on pwer level removed. I mad a mistake in putting out objectives - since the first (mandatory) objective was in the center, I placed it in what would eventually be the opponent's deployment zone. That is where he put his two.  So already we are starting off on the wrong foot.  The OPFOR essentially deployed with the knights standing on three objectives.  We covered ours with a dreadnought.  The Tyranids were included a broodlord, podded command bug, and a trygon, three or so biovores, and two or so other beasties - and two large maxed broods of gaunts' and stealers'. Bug/Knights went first.  It ends up we were too close to their ability to deploy.  We figured the bugs would run forward, we would counter them with flamers and frag, until then hiding in our vehicles (due to the huge high strength Knight Missile Pods/Batle Cannons, etc.).  Two Deathwatch razorbacks got charged, and one could not fall back. That mean the Gaunt' and Stealer blobs could just run around using that vehicle as a means so we could not shoot them. The game went stupid. I sent my forces forward to go after the knights and some objectives.  The Deathwatch were eaten down to their metal parts by bugs.  Out only moral victory was taking out the Knight warlord for our only points of the game (2).  Dante was sundered by return Battle Cannon fire.  We were not tabled!  A Deathwatch razorback and Mephiston and three BA tactical marines remained! The OPFOR got the full 20 points. Went 5 turns.

Some time around Turn 2.  Dante in the fore, had failed a charge on the Knight, leaving the assault squad to go it alone.  In the back, Bugs use a trapped vehicle to eliminate shooting...

Bugs consolidating inward at the trapped Deathwatch.  

5th place out of 6 teams. Of all things 6th place was orks/spacewolves! 1st Place IIRR was Ravenguard/Primaris marines (they were 2:1:0 for the day, the only army not to take at least one loss). We had not played vs either the last or the first....

Comments / observations:

  • Someone said that research is showing that in 8th editions so far, the team getting first turn wins 89% of the time. In the ATC, someone seemed to indicate that the side that went first had a greater than 50% chance of tabling their opponent.  I kindly agree with the overall assertion. We thought that by going second in the last two games we'd have had a good chance to claim/win the primaries at the end.  Getting objectives though is not possible if the units were eliminated by Turn 1 shooting.  I'd say if you get the chance to go first, take it!
  • In our games, going first was not automatic - the smaller force (number of units) got +1 on a dice roll to go first.  I'd scrap the +1 bonus.  My observation is that players choose unkillable high power, high point units on purpose (their damage output is amazing compared to any tactical or elite squad point for point), so why reward them at all? 
  • Battle forged armies provide a framework. 
  • Most of the games have objectives placed by the players.  I'd offer that in a competitive scene, if you are not playing for (maelstrom) mission cards (6 objectives), having preset objective locations (patterns) that every table meets might be superior.  Otherwise, be reminded that the player who places the first objective should just place it in as neutral of a spot as possible, and already loses an advantage to the OPFOR regardless (as the second placing player chooses deployment).  If not, the fix I'd recommend is roll off to determine player deployment edge.  
  • So far, not owning any fortifications myself, I offer that they have no place in competitive play.  Have you read their rules?  I have only seen the rules for the Vortex Launcher of Doom. In theory you can move your army onto its roof and it will still fire Vortex missiles at you all day long. Somehow you cannot target the guys inside OR breach a door to take it over. It is all one-sided and unkillable in a basic (small point) game.  Interestingly, other than Knights, nobody showed up with super heavy tanks.  Good thing because there was no place for them to roam without removing/moving terrain.  
  • Flyers.  I think there was just one aircraft model for the day.  Not a big deal, we shot it / assaulted it down.  I'd hate to run into more than three!   
  • Beer.  Games go better with beer. Snacks go great with beer.  Lunch goes great with beer! Frankly, it should have been clear you chug a beer for each exploded vehicle.  
  • Cover. We handled cover pretty well.  +1 easily for infantry in woods or behind walls/barricades.  +1 to non-infantry to be toe-in and 50% obscured.  Overall, we did not have too many issues.
  • Mission pack.  The Mission pack was awesome (barring grammatical errors and spelling).  Deployment maps, on-sheet score tracking, good mix of primary missions (worth up to 14 points) and secondary missions (worth up to 6 points).  All of the missions were different from each other. The all gave you some way to try and get something on the scoreboard (even if it is just 2 points for killing a Knight warlord, cough cough...) 
  • Terrain.  Awesome.  Every table was different, and all had a great mix of LOS-blocking and area terrain. Made for great cinematic games. With horrible terrain I'd have been slaughtered! 
  • Swag.  We got these cool hand-made wound counters.  Sweet!
  • Best Army / Best Sport - I think in these smaller events, Best Sport is Meh.  Regardless, neither came with real instructions, for example, could you vote your team-mate as a best sport? I'd replace it with best warlord moment, or something more tangible.  I'd think if you were a horrible sport you might not get to the next event. Best army - was kind of based on painting?  Again, no instructions on how it was to be selected, even at this level is subjective.  I'd say better off as selected by judges using a rubric.  I also declare that the mechanicum army was the best painted (close call to the 3-knights!).  Hands down, awesome, battle damaged, dusty robots!
  • Overall is was a great day!  Even found a good Sports Bar on the way home showing MMA fighting on the big screen while we had dinner and a pint.  Good times!
  • Blood Angels.  Love them. Mephiston suffered overwatch and assaulted three Tau suits and removed them from play with his sword? Killed 4 terminators? All is good.  Dante is no slouch either.  Can kill a squad a turn. Both are worth their points.  
  • Deathwatch. OK except for the Dreadnought. The dread did not do much of anything.  Maybe if it had long range weapons? The change to cover rules makes it nigh impossible to get a dread across the table to beat on the enemy.  I'll have to watch and see if that changes. In the mean time, probably relegated to defending your deployment zone...

It is a new game.  I won't talk about the rules I now miss.  I am looking forward to the Codexes though...more stuff to learn! More Options! More Strategems!


Friday, July 21, 2017

No need to WIP me! If you do, WIP it good!

Meh, I was on a bender last night after an evening meeting.  My underground bunker is like the best place for painting in the hot days of summer.  I just plain forgot to do any more WIP photos, so here is my force for tomorrow's Invitational!

You may also see I've changed up a few of the blogs I follow - linked over on the right.  Check them out!

Yep, table ready!
Put your fists in the air!
Drone shot...
Just a little bit of sand and static grass to go...
I'm thinking this will be the last time I use this is a bit worse for wear.  
Yep, in the background, the BA tanks are sporting some borrowed UM (blue) accessories.  In the short term I decided to just borrow the bits from my other case.  Soon though, I'll also be switching cases and break out the UMs for the Konor Campaign! I'm hoping the next global campaign after Konor is at the Baal system!  That brings Tyranids vs Blood Angels, and Khorne, all together nicely! If it goes to Armageddon, I'll be dusting off my Astra Militarum.  

Who knows where we go from here?  I'm musing that the Blood Angels are NOT apparently in the new Space marine Codex coming out in a week or so?  Can we muse that the Blood Angels will be in the Chaos marine Codex instead?  Where will the Blood angels land if they are not with a;ll the other Chapters?  Who knows?  It might get weird around here...

In the mean time is it ethical to convert a Chaos Landraider to a Blood Angels Landraider? Answers appreciated below...   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Painting progress

Model found in the storage closet.  If you read my prior post you know who...

Took me two evenings to finally figure out where I'd put it.

But, I immediately set to work.  It is the only "finecast" 40K kit I've ever purchased.  The material is weird to the touch.  Like really weird.  Better put paint on it...cover up the weirdness.  I chucked the backpack/banner pole it came with and replaced it with a real Blood Angels pack.  Much better with the details.

I have two evenings to get it table-top this point (no pictures yet), it went through the following steps - following a video I watched a few times -

  • GW Black Primer
  • Abbadon Black touch-ups
  • Mephiston Red outer cape and inner robes and pack. Washes. Red highlights. 
  • Bolt gun metal on sword and plasma pistol
  • Flesh tones for face. 
  • Basecoat for the base to match my other models.  

Bronze, gold, tans, browns, blues, purples, greens, pinks and grays will be next...maybe a wash for the flesh. Hopefully all tonight.  Going to be a long evening.  

Then sand for the base tomorrow.

Painting this character up with a few other needed reinforcements. Those all got red/wash/red/black/boltgun/base.  Details are needed for them too - mostly the yellow trim or 5th Company Blood Angels details.  

Man, you can see that my most recent painting efforts were all red...hmmm...

Also need to print stuff and pack for the Rockport Invitational...the games should be great.

Look for a post next week with photos and tactical assessments.  The Blood Angels will go down swinging!

Wish me luck!




Monday, July 17, 2017

Rockport Invitational!

Well, I have less than 5 days to get ready!

The event is 1500 points, looking forward to a great day!

I am bringing in the Blood Angels for this one, and I have a bunch of work to do - basically every night this week!

My list is somewhat the same as I have been using in 8th so far, and tonight I'll recheck the math and start cleaning up on some painting!

1500 Point Battalion Detachment (from memory) (rev2)

  • Dante
  • Mephiston
  • Death Co, 5, TH, PA, PS
  • Assault squad #1, 5, PF, IP, 2xMG, JPs
  • Assault Squad #2, 5, PA, IP, 2xFL, JPs
  • Tac Squad #1, 5, PS, FL
  • Tac Squad #2, 5, PS, FL
  • Tac Squad #3, 5, FL
  • DT Razorback #1, Las-Plas, HKM, SB
  • DT Razorback #2, Las-Plas, HKM, SB
  • DT Razorback #3, TLAC, SB
  • Baal Pred, TLAC, 2xHB

5 melta weapons, 5 plasma weapons, 2 TLAcs, 2 HBs, 3 SBs, 5 flamers, 2 lascannons, 2 HKMs, and the rest being 9 bolters and 30 bolt pistols or so. I'm looking to possibly (temporarily tag) the HKMs to the sides of my las-plas turrets.  Maybe with magnets...overall, shooting wise it has some interesting features.  9 power weapons in assault.  I think the biggest weakness is fighting against Knights, greater demons, or Lords of War.  But, what else can you do in just 1500 points?

Overall, I had an earlier list that had a Sanguinary Priest, but I decided I'd have Mephiston pushing out 4++ saves instead of a Pries creating a +1S bubble. Mephiston is interesting, the Blood Angels psychic spells don't currently allow him the Wing of Sanguinius spell of old (yet), so he slogs along at his own pace of movement.  Frankly, I suspect the enemy is more likely to come to me anyway, and having him as a counter-assault unit might be critical.   The most difficult thing is - I know I HAD an unpainted Mephiston (resin) model someplace...I just got to find out where I put it!  It is funny that such an important model in Blood Angels lore is cheaper than a bog-standard librarian with jump pack, so, yeah, he is points efficient.  So, job #1 tonight is find him, assemble, prime! Barring that, (gulp) either purchase a different one or write a new list.  I have never used Mephiston in a game...but with 5W, 5T, 5S, and essentially a S10 sword hitting on 2's with 4 attacks, what is not to love?  Plus he knows 4 spells and can use two each as the master of death he has a 5++ vs everything including mortal wounds.  Kind of a glass hammer!

Second thing to do tonight is edit and recheck my spreadsheet to make sure the points are accurate and models match the points.

Dante has been great, and as a Chapter Master he gets you to reroll all missed attacks in his bubble. I actually had to (finally) pin Dante together - he is a heavy metal model, and kept dropping his jump pack and Inferno Pistol.  Hopefully this keeps him together better.

With all the units above (9 to drop in deployment), odds are I'm going second.

Rev1 of the list was squeezing in a Sanguinary priest and Sanguinary Guard.  Again, the priest creates a +1S bubble.  The Guard are interesting at 2-wounds per model, but pricey (and die quickly to power claws like anybody else). In the list above I swapped them for Mephiston and the Baal.  

Wish me luck,


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dante meets Ghaz

It was a fun game last week or so.  80 power points of Blood Angels vs 80 power points of Orks.  Dante vs Ghazgul Thrakka.

I used the same list more or less as the prior 8th edition versions.

The mission was the Relic.  My opponent actually had fewer units to deploy...and captured the relic with a Nob on turn 1.  I spent the rest of the game trying to get it back...

Here we are soon after deployment...
I grabbid da loot hur hur hur....

This shot was in the blood angels turn 1, after charges were accomplished...

This shot was turn 2, orks charge phase...Ghaz was still lounging in the Morkanaught...the Nob with the relic is running away. The death company had died...two other Blood Angel Squads sorely damaged...

And here we were around turn 3.  Ghaz got out of his box, and Dante charged him.

Dante hit 7 times, wounded 7 times, Ghaz' used his invulnerable save to cut that back to 3 d3 wounds...and took 6 damage in total.

Then Ghaz attacked, hitting Dante about 5 times, strength 12+ power claw...2 wounds got through his saves...each doing 3 damage...pop goes Dante.

We called the game at the end of 4 due to time.

The Blood angel casualties were:

2 5-man tac squads plus 4 additional marines
1 5-man Death Company squad
3 Sanguinary guard
1 5-man assault squad and 3 additional assault marines
1 very damaged razorback.

The orks had lost:

20+grots and a minder
30 boyz mob plus about 18 additional boyz
Wounded shaman
Wounded Ghaz
1 severely damage Morkanought.

At the end of 4, the orks were sounding a fighting retreat with the Blood Angels in pursuit. With the ork with the relic far ahead, it was unlikely the Blood Angels could recover the relic.

Overall, in thinking about the tactics, the outcome was pretty similar to the relic game I played earlier.  The player who gets the relic first tends to keep it and win.

What I could have done differently was to have a little patience.  Whittle down the mobs another turn before charging them. Dropping the assault squads on the flanks to limit the ability of the nob to run away with the relic.  Add other chargers when going against Ghaz.

Things we also forgot -

Buffs - Dante grants to hit rerolls for ALL BA units - not just infantry.  That would mean in turn 1 the Razorback fire would have been more devastating.

Cover.  Apparently there is such a thing as being obscured in cover...(See recent Frontline Gaming video battle reports on Twitch).  Just make sure it is understood and agreeable by your opponent.  For example, if the Morkanought was in contact with that big LOS blocking crag in midfield, he would have been able to possibly get a 1+ cover save bonus.  We could also have essentially created the craggy terrain as "ruins" for clarity.  The "cover save" apparently only applies with the unit on or contacting the terrain and being 50% or so obscured.  it is something for me to look into more.

Enough for now.  No games this week due to other obligations.  I am also in the process of painting up some additional blood angels - sergeants and flamer marines...stuff to make my force more WYSIWYG.

The interesting thing my opponent did, was turn 1 get the Nob to the relic (9 inches away).  Then he advanced grots around and ahead of him and with the Morkanought not to far away gave them all 5++ invuln saves from the Kustom Force Field.  It meant i had to remove ALL of the grots before i could go after the character.  20 grots with 5++ saves are nothing to sneeze fact in overwatch, one tactical marine perished to a grot shot to the face...

Overall, I have to decide quick for the upcoming Konor campaign - Ultramarines, Astra Militarum, or in the comments below...