Sunday, December 28, 2008
Man am I steamed... today was supposed to be the annual Cities if Death Tournament. I started running this event annually at [the now closed] Checkpoint Charlie's the year Cityfight came out. With the loss of Checkpoint, Thor at Mighty Miniatures, with the help of Nick Daniels, kindly agreed to continue the "tradition". I was pumped to be playing CoD again, as it has some great scenarios and 1250pts on a 4x4 makes for a fun 90 minute game (which means you can play 5 in a day easily).
This morning only TWO players show at at MM. After months of whining about the lack of tourneys going on locally, and then "demanding" we run more events, the locals don't show. WTF? Well that pretty much kills tournament gaming on a monthly basis in Vancouver; other than the mediocre GW events (one per system per quarter) no store is running regular events. Why should they bother? Players seem not to want to support their stores when they do put one on. Sure I don't go out monthly like I used too, but there are LOTS of other players who want events. Oh well, f**k 'em...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- a lot of people have commented that their doors don't close all the way up. On the outer door panel piece, at the bottom (near the hinge) there is a rather heavy mold line. Scrape this off before assembly (or use a needle file after!) and the door will close perfectly (assuming you don't have the wings in the way...).
- when assembling the restraint blocks there is one you need to pay particular attention to. On the frame with the pod's base on it you'll find the "Sergeant's restraint block" (Part No 4). The harnesses that are on the sprue with that block ONLY fit on that block (one of them has a skull on it). Make sure you get them the right way round...
- in the on-line instructions, Stage 15, it states "... When you are happy with the position, glue it into place.". I think this is too vague! If you want the gun pivot to, well pivot, only apply glue to the end of the post, and the hole it will nest in.
If you have any more issues you have found, leave a comment, and I may add it to the main body of the post.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I took delivery this weeks of a smallish order of custom resin bases from Dragon Forge Design. Dragon Forge Design (DFD) is run by Jeff Wilhelm, a multiple Golden Daemon (and Slayer "Plaque") winner.
For full disclosure I know Jeff fairly well, whilst I'd not call him a "buddy" we have chatted on many occasions about painting, and more recently about his developing company.Aside from producing bases for us mere mortals, Jeff is a free-lance-sculptor-for-hire type, with MANY years experience in the industry. Jeff also asked that I do a review of his bases.
As well as my "regular" AdeptiCon force (using the Back 2 base-ix bases), I'm working on a "Deathwatch" army for the Gladiator event (as there are no official Deathwatch rules I'm using the Space Marine Codex, with some self imposed limitations to keep in theme).My "other" Inquisitional armies are already mounted on a fairly standard gravel/wasteland-based scheme. Wanting to "match" these, but have something better than my dull basing, I took a good looks at DFD's products.
Over the past few year DFD have been building up fairly impressive range of square, round and lipped bases. The greatest advantage, for me, is the inclusion of bike, attack bike and 5" bases. It seems logical, but as far as I can tell DFD is the only company to offer a FULL range of base sizes for 40K.
Browsing the site I decided on the "Wasteland" theme; with a mixture of Desert Wasteland and Wasteland 2 I can integrate my new army into my existing forces without base "matching" issues. I duly ordered the following:
30x 25mm Urban Wasteland, 3x 60mm Wasteland II, 5x 40mm Urban Rubble Wasteland, 10x 24mm Desert Wasteland, and a Wasteland II "heroic" set.
DFD's bases arrived a short while later (the advantage of ordering from one's own continent!). They arrived neatly packed in zip lock bags (I recycle these for my eBay sales...) and in a sturdy cardboard box. No damage this time round!
As you can see there is almost no flashing. All the bases needed was a quick once around with a soft sanding pad. This took off the minor burrs with no effort. The bases then got the usual bath in warm soapy water, and primer was applied (Rust-oleum brand again). I won't waste bandwidth with a picture of them primered grey!
Inspecting the bases I could not find a SINGLE defect in casting - no air bubbles, no cracks, no blobbing... quite something! I don't know what Jeff's tricks are but I suspect he "tops" his molds with a glass sheet when the resin is curing, as the backs had no excess resin. I don't think he casts under pressure as I found a couple of air bubbles on the bottom; he may use a thin resin that had a long cure time - the lack of casting errors suggest this.
So, in summary:
Dragon Forge Designs
Near perfect selection of products in both round, round lipped and square.
Shipping is fixed cost- packaging is excellent, and I had no problems with damage
Payment via PayPal (even GW does this now, so it can't be all that bad!).
Resin quality is excellent, production quality is prefect - no defects in the ~60 bases I received.
No repetition in designs - 10 unique bases in a pack of 10...
Cost is good; 25mm bases run at US$1, 40mm at US$1.50. Whilst the per unit cost is higher, the fixed rate shipping compensates for this (so buy in bulk!). The quality of the bases is totally justified by the price point; I have yet to find a manufacturer that can match DFD for quality and design.
Overall I give Dragon Forge Designs a A++
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
From their web site "Based in Adelaide, Australia, Back 2 Base-ix® Wargaming Products serves both the national and international wargaming community with quality cast polyurethane resin castings." The fact that they are based (haha) in Australia would potentially put a number of people off. However I've found this NOT to be an issue.
I placed two orders with them; the first was a "look see", the second (which obviously meant that their product was suitable!) was a larger order. I ordered from the "Ruins" and "Rubble" ranges. Their list of ranges is VERY extensive, with great support in all the standard base sizes. The only areas they are lacking in (for 40K) is bike and "monster" (the CD size) bases.
I had a minor issue with my first shipment; B2Bix uses "reinforced" paper envelopes - the first shipment got ripped open, and my 60mm bases were lost. They kindly offered to replace, but they would not cover the shipping charge! I deferred replacement to my next order.
This is the collection from the two orders:
Left to right: 5x 40mm Rubble, 20x 25mm Rubble, 70x 25mm Ruins, 9x 60mm Ruins/Rubble.
As you may be able to see one of the 60mm Rubble bases was broken.
There is also a large amount of excess resin on the bases (i.e. mold overflow). This can be a major issue with some people as removing this "flash" is not routine! It is a total P.I.T.A., and I'm fortunate enough to have a rotary sander and a vacuum system for dust removal... and dust control, this is essential when dealing with resin as this stuff will cause a lung inflammatory response if inhaled for long periods. ALL the bases needed some sort of clean up - be it the bottom, or the sides. Many companies will have done this for you, or cast with a "cap" over the mold to squeeze out the excess resin (one I like in particular is Epicast, who use a "nogahide" patterned material on the bottom of their bases during casting - this also increases base friction on the table!). The resin itself is good quality - hard, no soft spots (indicative of old resin batches or poor mixing). There seemed to be a lot of air bubbles though. I'm not filling them all, but it is suggestive of a reduced Teflon coverage of the mold, and not casting under pressure.
After cleaning up the resin the bases got a double bath is warm soapy water; this removed the potentially dangerous resin dust, and also cleans off the mold release that could inhibit primer adhesion. After drying the bases were sprayed with grey primer (Rustoleum brand).
I've started to mount the models for this army project, and pictures will follow soon.
So, in summary:
Great selection of products in both round and square.
Shipping is by weight (my 2 shipments totaled ~AUS$30) - packaging needs improvement.
Charges in AUS$!
Payment via PayPal (good!).
Resin quality is good, production quality is fair.
Minimal repetition in designs
Cost is excellent! 25mm bases run at ~40c Australian - this in a ridiculously low charge, and may reflect the "speed" casting, lack of clean up and shipping by weight.
Overall I give Back2Base-ix a B+
Monday, December 1, 2008
Lots of armies have been removed from the allowed list (GW's influence no doubt), including the WH Zealots. I've been collecting these OOP models for 2 years now, and had enough accumulated from my army list.
Now I have to pop them off the resin bases that I bought from B2B-ix... find a new army design, and maybe change the entire team balance/makeup with Rob, Trent and Eric...
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
No I'm not dead... just working! Ever had one of those weeks where you KNEW it was going to be quiet, then BAM! the stuff hit the fan? Last 2 weeks like that - no [major] deadlines at work, yet I had 23 proposals to review.
I'm off to Banff, AB tomorrow for 4 days - presenting [twice] at my "other life's" convention.
I took delivery of the Back2Base-ix order this week. I have a draft of the review in progress - hopefully I can post on my return on Sunday.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I'm done working on small stuff and I am about to embark on my AdepticCon army build (the bases are in the mail, so they'll be here in 2 weeks roughly).
Remember my workbench I posted back in April? Well this is it 7 months later!
I have a little bit to tidying up to do...
The observant amongst you may notice the 23 Assassins on the table... yep, I'm one Eversor short of a full set for Apocalypse gaming. Some of my AdeptiCon stuff can be seen to the left of the table.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Basing is often overlooked by model makers. I'm not talking about those artisans that make models for Euromilitaire, or even the greats who dominate Golden Daemons - they of course view the bases as an extension of the model they are converting/painting, and usually put as much effort in to the base as the model it will be "supporting".
No, I'm talking about you and I - Joe (or Jason!) average gamer. If you look through my blog you'll see I tend to favour straight forward bases (ie boring!) - mixed size gravel, a brown or grey dry brush scheme (usually with a spot of bleached bone in as well); depending on the theme I'll add small amounts of flock (brown or green), and occasionally I'll brush that too. Some players do even less than that, thinking that the base is "unimportant" (or maybe they are just bloody lazy) and slapping some green paint would be good enough.
Now, with the team building their armies for AdeptiCon, and the theme concept we have planned that would most definitely not be enough! We embarked on a search for a suitable basing scheme. Being the inherent slackers we are (I do have more than 90 models to paint...) our preference was for pre-cast resin bases. Here are some of the companies we researched.
Dragon Forge (one of my favourites)
Micro Art Studios (one of the most diverse)
MaxiMini (they do "custom" bases)
Back 2 Base-ix
In particular we looked at Dragon Forge (Jeff Wilhelm, a free-lance sculptor and Golden Daemon winner), Micro Art Studios and Back 2 Base-ix. Trent has used B2B-ix in the past for his "undead" Eldar army. So we took a long look at those. In the end Eric and I (Rob is "off line" most of the time and will do what we ask him to!) picked the following for our Inquisitional forces:
Not only are they relatively cheap (did I mention I need about 90?), but they also support all themes in 25mm, 40mm and 60mm. My plan is to use the Ruins in the majority, with ~ 20% Rubble for some variety.
I'm not sure what Trent chose in the end.... I was pushing for these!
So get basing folks...
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I'm actually talking about recycling; we do it at home, we do it at work, we do it in our schools - it is just something that we do now. However, our modeling hobby seems to be "behind the times" when it comes to recycling. Let's face it - we use a lot of petroleum product - the plastic to the make the models, the wrapping on the box, the shipping. Sure we can recycle the cardboard boxes, and GW got rid of those god-awful Styrofoam shells they used to have; but what about the plastic itself?
After you have built your shiny new Rhino, your units of Empire Halberdiers or those lovely Romans you end up with a "square" of plastic - the sprue!
I bet most of you have thrown them away? Guilty... But for the past two years I have been saving mine. Saving them for the day when some bright spark would come along and say "hey I can reuse these - let's keep them out of the landfill!" I know they can be recycled; I've been told so, I've seen GW do it with their "test" runs and now I have proof irrefutable - a new program.
Those wonderful lads (and lasses) at Wargames Factory have a recycling program! The coolest part about this program is that not only do you get to do the right thing, you also get entered in a draw to win MORE stuff! So get your club together and recycle those old sprues, and try to stop me winning more stuff - I'm sending in 50 sprues per week for the next 6 weeks. Please!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
For the Warhammer Open -
This model has been sitting on my desk for 8 years waiting to be painted! I did a fair bit of work on the metallics - I'm a huge fan of Jakob Rune Nielsen's work.
Happily for me this ended up winning the category!
For the 40K Single I entered another Forge World model (this one a lot newer!).
Sadly he did not place (the winner was a Bryce Jensen Farseer model - absolutely beautiful - look for it on the GW Canada site soon!), but I had lots of fun painting him. I used the new GW Washes extensively - after initially resisting I found them wonderful for this kind of work.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I took my Space Wolves; at 2000 points I ended up with 5 Troops.
On arrival we were told that the Astronomi-Con composition system was in use. Well that was a surprise! I quickly changed by list to put the two Land Speeders together; this would reduce my hit on Composition to a -2 (5th troops choice). Frankly in hindsight I should have left them separately - but I'm a slave to composition - they would have been more effective as 2 units.
Opponent - Bryce Jenson – Eldar
Mission – Primary - Seize Ground, Secondary - Assassination
Result - Primary Mission - Space Wolves Victory, Secondary Mission - Tie. 12 battle points gained.Really good game - Bryce is a bit of a veteran player, and I was flattered to find he was looking forward to our match up. His army was unbelievably stunning! Unsurprisingly he won the Best painted Award. the only unit that caused me problems was the Harlequins - they chewed through a LOT of my army. The scouts made short work of the Farseer and his bike units.
Opponent - Dan Miner – Dark Eldar
Mission – Primary - Capture and Control, Secondary - Recon
[not pictured are the 4 Raiders he had in his army]
Result - Primary Mission - Space Wolves Victory, Secondary Mission - Space Wolves Victory. 15 battle points gained.Dan's dice sucked! Other than his wyches and archon I pretty much took this army apart. I don't think he inflicted any damage with a single Dark Lance all game - most certainly not in the first couple of rounds when it mattered most. This was sweet retribution, as the last time I played Dan he horrorfex-ed my Wolves into submission and slaughtered them in combat! Credit where credit is due, on turn 5 he had a tie for the primary - with his LONE warrior hiding from my fire power on my base's objective. Turn six the same... Turn seven - ah not so much luck - my lone Rhino had reversed after dropping some Blood Claws off the table edge to snipe the single warrior left. My best game of the weekend!
Opponent - Adrien Schaeffer – Eldar (again!)
Mission – Primary - Annihilation, Secondary - Vantage Point (hold high ground).
Result - Primary Mission - Eldar Victory, Secondary Mission - Eldar Victory. 4 battle points gained.
Well, this had to be my worst game of the weekend. Not because I lost (jeez, I'm used to that!), but because of the army and frankly the player. The army is the Uber-Eldar build as far as I'm concerned; all the best units, very few basics. Also we had issues of "measurement" somehow the Banshees moved ~14" in their first turn and were going to assault me.. then there was the issue of being told which order to do my shooting in.... the non-WYSIWYG units (that looks like a Bright lance on the Falcon, not the pulse laser listed)... I think we should just leave it at that!
[edit - I ran this army list through AB3... it comes in at 35 points over... grrr]
And there endeth day one... pretty good as far as I was concerned; 2 wins and a trophy from the painting contest! I hung around to do a bit of clearing up for the WCM organizers, had a bite to eat and then watched a couple of board games going on.
Opponent - Danny Hope – Witch Hunters
Mission – Primary - Seize Ground, Secondary - Pay Back (kill highest point unit).
Result - Primary Mission - Witch Hunter Victory, Secondary Mission - Tie. 4 battle points gained.OMG, will you look at all those tanks! I've known Danny for a few years now, and played him many times. He is a fine general and knows this army well. I think this force was well suited for the event. His Canoness and Celestians were the VPs for him - carving through a few units and helping run 2 more off the table. Blasted 2+ invulnerable save for the Canoness was a P.I.T.A.! She should have died 3 times over.
Opponent - Mark Spaidal – Grey Hunters
Mission – Primary - Annihilation, Secondary - Cleanse.
[sadly I don't have a picture of Mark's army; 2 Land Raiders, Dreadnought, 3 GK Squads, Grand Master and two GK Termie squads. Lots of psycannons!]
Result - Primary Mission - Grey Knight Victory, Secondary Mission - Space Wolves Victory. 7 battle points gained.This was a one sided shooting match. I could not get into HtH quick enough to negate his shooting. Once I did the units faired quite well, Mark was also smart enough not to charge me in cover with his Terminators!
I probably should have deployed in the open and forced him into the cover. Meh, you die and learn!
- U2KR put on a good show - they are experienced gamers all - good scenario mix (I like the addition of secondaries to the bland GW scenario options), not too many Kill Point games (!), good terrain (though a couple of tall towers were causing game imbalance issues). I also thought they did an excellent job with the scoring; the Sportsmanship points were well thought out, the composition "modifier" (for Best General) is ingenious. They also had player rated composition and painting scores done BEFORE the game - something I introduced a few years ago locally after experiencing it at the first Calgary GT.
- OK... time to get out the soap-box... Whilst I like the Astronomi-Con system for composition scoring I have a few issues; Firstly it is designed for 4th edition 1500 point games, currently you get docked points for having more than 4 troops (somewhat counter to 5e, unless you have Combat Squads of course!). We really should have been told in the rules that it was being used - to deny a player the opportunity to get soft score points seems unfair; I know of no other top-level tournament that would do this. Thirdly, if you are going to use it - use it correctly! The Overall winner's composition ranking was not scored correctly - and he won by one point, mine was also scored incorrectly.
- Army lists - my Game 3 opponent appears to have an illegal list! How can this be allowed? His list should have been checked during the day, and errors corrected ASAP (run it through Army Builder - it takes 5 minutes per army - there were at least 5 computers there - owned by the organizers). Should there be a post game correction if the army list does hold up as invalid? I think so - we need some form of discouragement for incorrect lists and encouragement for checking your own list and taking responsibility for errors; "rules" don't seem to be enough!
- Painting - the "rules" stated that GW/FW/Marauder etc models only, and that they should be fully painted. Well, one Orc army was bare plastic and metal (and still scored 7 for painting!), and there was a non-GW Character model in one army. So is this a rule or a "suggestion"? If an event was to allow unpainted armies (such as GW-USA's Ard Boyz - first 2 rounds anyway), I'm cool with that. Just let everyone know and don't piss us around with unnecessary "rules"!
I did not take many pictures on the day as I was playing in the 40k Tourney. I did enter 2 models in the Warpstome painting contest... I'll follow up on that later!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Eric is building a Grey Knight army for it; you'll be able to follow his progress here.
Trent has a blog for his daemons too!
Now if only Rob would blog...
Friday, September 19, 2008
After playing at the Las Vegas GT a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been participating in a number of on-line discussion about how the “new” GT system works, how 5e works in competitive play and which (if any) armies suffer under 5e in competitive play.
Using the results from the Vegas GT (published by GW) I’ve done some VERY basic trends analysis
These results are in no way definitive, but they give some answers to some of the questions. I’m not going to overstate my opinions on the data, I’ll leave that up to the rest of you!
Q: Do soft scores skew the overall result and take away from the “competitive" nature of GTs and the Battle points system?A: It does not appear to be that way.
Q: Are some armies “hurt” by the advent of Kill Points into the scenario package? How are “other” scorings affecting specific armies?
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As you can see from the averages, most armies are comparable when you have a mix of the 3 scenarios at an event. the obvious exception is Dark Eldar, but we already know they need a major overhaul!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Vegas was most excellent! had 5 good games, had fun catching up with old friends and had a hoot playing on the blackjack tables with some crazy b'stards (yes Corey you!)
I'll start the batreps soon...
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Pretty excited about the trip.
Sure I'm still trying to get the OFCC Batrep finished (I'll work on it some more tonight), but Vegas is going to be SO cool!
Bought a new camera - Sanyo 7.3MPx, so my pictures should be a bit better quality.
Packing the army tonight.
Playing Space Wolves - pretty solid list with 40 Blood Claws, and I'm playing my Leman Russ Exterminator for S&Gs.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The Portland based Ordo Fanaticus Wargaming Club were holding their 4th annual 40K Club Challenge, and for the second year the North West Gaming Geeks were taking part; unlike last year I was able to get across the border and participate (don't ask).
On the way down I collected Eric Soulvie (from Pasadena), playing a Nurgle-themed CSM army; the rest of the team was Trent Le Clair (Walla Walla - yes really) playing an "undead" Eldar force, and David Faulkner (Portland) playing a genestealer heavy tyranid army.
I bought my Witch Hunters - a good solid list at 2000 points.
Eric and I lugged some tables around (i.e. helped with set up) and then sat around waiting for Trent to show... I cracked a couple of ciders and we went and "laughed" at a few guys who were still painting (one still assembling!).
Once Trent got in we had a quick dinner (note to self; book appointment with cardiologist ASAP... and maybe a gastro-intestinal surgeon). Gut jokes aside we had just found out that our good friend and fellow Geek, "Dirty" Steve Fuller (yes, the ex-GW photographer) had undergone two rounds of colon surgery after getting it perforated. Our thoughts are with his wife Cassie and the poor nurses who are looking after the letch (Steve too, but we know he will be fine!).
The OFCC is an unusual event (they run a FB one as well); each team has 4 members. Armies are not ranked, but just reviewed (the emphasis of this event on solid FUN gaming, not power/WAAC armies), and at each round (based on team Swiss scoring) the captains "negotiate" the match ups. This makes for some real fun - the chance to play someone you have always wanted to, play a classic grudge match, or the chance for revenge against that guy who crushed you last time!
The Head of Gaming (Kevin Clements) has chosen to use the new “advanced” scenario pack produced by GW-Canada for their Hall of Heroes events. I’d seen this package a few weeks ago, prior to its release, and I have been quite impressed by how it would add some flavour to the games.
[my apologies in advance for the low quality of the pictures. I was using my old Nikon Coolpix 995, and the lighting was quite poor in the room.]
Opponent - Jeremy B (of 40K Fight Club “C”) – Dark Angels
Mission – Primary - #8 [Grudge Match], Secondary #4 [Assassination]
Jeremy had a VERY cool "doublewing" army; 1000 points of Ravenwing and 1000 points of Deathwing. The paint job was stunning, and knowing this will be at the Las Vegas GT next weekend, I can see a successful weekend ahead of it!
Jeremy set up his Angels very conservatively - using the terrain to block LOS (I was going first). I'd also "hidden" my Exorcists, know that this would be a major PITA for his army, and thus going to attract a lot of fire. I'm not sure why Sammael was deployed way off in his right flank... The game started pretty much as I thought it would . Jeremy scouted his bikes forward prior to me going first. With Teleport Homers on all DA bikes I know that the Terminators would be coming in first turn and they would be up close soon. I targeted his bikes as quickly as I could.
The shooting was pretty bloody for 3 rounds - I whittled down his bikes in the center.
Tied up the bikes on my right flank (after shooting them) - they had already "guided" a unit of Terminators onto the table. I was just awaiting the "delivery" of Belial and his unit of terminators from the Land Raider.
Hopefully I would have enough fire power to deal with them!
Up on my left flank the Culexus assassin had finally arrived. Whilst a couple of multilaser shots had knocked off two wounds on Sammael, it was left to the Culexus with his AP1 pistol shots to finish him off. This would be important for the secondary mission. My army was capable of giving up 18 Kill Points... Jeremy's just 10. Winning the Primary objective was going to be an uphill battle for me, especially with my less than stellar AP weapons!
Unloading everything I had into Belial and his unit I managed to wipe them out.
I even managed to get a couple of meltagun toting Stormtroopers into place to pop the Land Raider!
In the end I was not able to finish off enough of the odds-and-ends of his bike squads, and he was popping my transports with ease through out the game.
Result - Primary Mission - Dark Angels Victory, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 10 battle points gained.
EXCELLENT game! Jeremy played like a true DA veteran (though I understand this was his 5th game with Dark Angels after playing Tyranids for many years). The toughness of his bikes and terminators made the game close, but the number of Kill Points available to him was the deciding factor - popping vehicle is pretty easy now, especially in HtH. I'm happy with the "moral" victory - killing both his commanders, whilst mine was "kept safe" in the far corner was quite satisfying! Hopefully I will not have to play Jeremy in Las Vegas next weekend; great player, but a fearsome army. Though I think my Space Wolves could handle many aspects of it!
Opponent – Micah (of Ordo North Seattle) – Dark Angels
Mission – Primary - #5 [Chance Encounter], Secondary #3 [Breakthrough].
Yep, Dark Angels again! I'd been following Micah's progress on the Ordo Fanaticus forum. Micah is an excellent painter, and he'd been putting a LOT of detail into his army - things like checkerboard markings on legs. Sadly, he had not had time to complete the army; he had a lot of models without heads! I took this match-up at the request of his Captain - he wanted Micah to have a fun game against someone who was not concerned about winning. Sounds like me...
Micah chose to deploy very conservatively (is this a DA trait?!) I figured this would be a shooting match.
This is the silly 5e scenario where you place an objective in your deployment zone and try to run through your enemy to get to theirs.
Micah scouted his bikes, but could not scout his attack bike as it had no path through his own troops (too many players forget this rule...). We spent 2 turns taking pot shots at each other; my lance strike failed to come on turn 2 (I nominated the "industrial" terrain piece as my target). The Dark Angel bikes moved forward to engage my lines, and presumably take my objective. I surrounded them with stormtroopers and opened fire...
This was the end result...
After that we sent a couple more turns sniping at each other - me slowly whittling down his heavy support (devastators), and moving a scoring unit towards his lines for the secondary. Micah had left it too late to win the secondary, but his Chaplain and assault marines finally got into the battle and took apart my Seraphim, Culexus and the Deathcult assassins (the assassins had outflanked - a new rule I love!). I could not get to his objective... he could not get to mine. On the last turn I blasted my Sisters in Rhino forward, and just clipped the zone needed to take the secondary objective.
Result - Primary Mission - Tie, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 16 battle points gained.
An odd game, with 2 polar opposite forces, playing a bad scenario. Micah took his dice failing him towards the end of the game in good stride - a lesser sportsman would have been hissing!
As scenarios go, it was rather a dumb one GW - sorry, but at the end of this one all I heard in the room was "tied game"
Opponent – Russ (of Da Mommas Boyz-Drunken Sluts) – Chaos Daemons
Mission – Primary - #6 [Tipping the Scales], Secondary #11 [Sharp Shooters]
I've known Russ for quite a few years, as we were Outriders together in times gone by. I picked this match-up as I wanted to play against him... and I did not want to play Dark Angels for the 3rd straight game! I knew that DMB had come to win (they have won all 3 previous OFCCs) and that the new Daemon codex was "nasty"... but I had no idea how tough this game was going to be. As the daemons enter with half their forces on the table on the first turn, via deepstrike, I was not going to push to far forwards and allow them space behind me on my deployment...
I really do not recall much of this game - I spent most of it trying to keep up with the rules Russ was pulling out of his a$$! Not his fault; this Codex is just SO damn different from anything else out there. Split fire, taking over my shooting, musicians affecting combat resolution (WTF - that is Fantasy!). Russ' frustration was the inability of his troops to do anything more than stun/shake my vehicles! I came close to tying this games, but we ended up going to the 7th round that allowed the daemons to finally finish off my vehicles that were contesting the objectives.
Result - Primary Mission - Daemon win, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 10 battle points gained.
Know thy enemy. No shit! Well now I do, now I do...
So endeth Day 1. We had a nice Thai dinner and then sat in my room planning Eric's new Daemonhunter army and what we were going to do for AdeptiCon 2009!
Opponent – Brant (of 40K Fight Club “A”) – Tyranids
Mission – Primary - #3 [Dawn Raid], Secondary #9 [Vital Objects]
Well here is an enemy I do know! With ~8000 point of tyranids in my collection I know how to play them, and how to play against them.
Fast, scary. Mushy, weak. Big, scary.
Pretty much sums up a tyranid force!
Brant had a good mix of a force; 3 units of genestealers (including a Broodlord), zoanthropes, a carnifex, warriors, some small gribblies.... there may have been a couple of lictors in there - don't really recall! We rolled 3 objectives for the game; one was places on each "central" hill, and one, by Brant, towards my deployment zone. The secondary called for us to pick one as our target one - I chose tyranid model objective, with my orbital strike targeted on the hill with my fleur-de-lys marker. Brant was able to Seize the Initiative from me, and took turn one.
Predictably he moved some of his fast movers forward heading towards the ground level objective. Not wanting to be assaulted by genestealers (!) I countered with some of my transports and flamed the hell out of the 'stealers and warriors.
Turn 3 saw the arrival of the Broodlord and his max sized retinue!
Luckily for me they were out of range of my seraphim - so he ran them closer. I dutifully jumped to the "north" of them. and lined up my two flamers. To be sure of a complete kill I also moved over a squad of flamer/plasma toting stormtroopers. Sadly my shooting was less than stellar, and I would have to charge the seraphim in to finish off the Broodlord.
The remnants of the genestealers on the right flank stared to get a little close... shooting would deal with those.
Brant got the bulk of his force going on turn 4, and the first wave has withered under my vehicle fire power. It was time to start think "objectives"!
My fire support Stormtroopers were now in BIG trouble! Surely 10 guys could come out on top vs. "just" 3 genestealers, and the Broodlord...
Clearly not, but as Ordo Hereticus only takes 'troopers made of sterner stuff they passed their leadership check on double 1s (I think the Broodlord is screaming "Noooooo")!
Turn 5 saw the real rush for the objectives... I'd thrown pretty much all I had at the carnifex to try to stop him - Battle Sisters, a few stormtroopers and my HQ. I was able to hold it and nothing else.
Brant rolled to end the game... done.
Result - Primary Mission - tie, Secondary Mission - tie. 12 battle points gained.
This was a hugely fun game! My objective was "held" by Brant, but I was contesting it. I held his objective, and he held the neutral one. The game pretty much went to plan - I knew I could weather the first "fast" wave (though the Broodlord and friends gave me a scare). It came down to how much could I pour into the second wave o deny him the objective. Not enough!
Opponent – John (of Da Mommas Boyz-PBR) – Squats (IG)!
Mission – Primary - #7 [Blood Feud], Secondary #12 [Head Hunting]
[this is where the pictures start to get "wonky"! A few late nights and a couple of Jack Daniels!]
Squats! Bad if you have a case of them, bad to be up against them...
Friday, August 15, 2008
The saving grace of these Olympics so far has been Michael Phelps. My parent's generation had Mark Spitz to watch, mine has Phelps.
After the first day of track we are in for a treat there! Looking forward to getting up at 0700 tomorrow to watch the 100m final.
On the Slaanesh army...
So far I have assembled and primered the Dreadnought, 12 Noise marines, and 6 daemonettes (I love those models!). The two Rhino's are assembled, as is the Daemon Princess. I'm waiting on some vehicle bits to add the second bolters to the Rhino's.
No, no pictures - what is the point?! I'll put some paint on models this weekend and try to get shots for you.
I'm still trying to find the right bases for the army...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Looks like the Slaanesh army will not be going to Las Vegas after all - I'll have to dig out my old Tzeentch army, or Space Wolves. I may go with the Wolves - use the Exterminator for one last hurrah!
The local event I was also going to use the Slaanesh army at has also thrown a wrench into the works. The organizers have increased the points cap to 2000. Whilst I don't mind playing at 2000 points, and the addition of a Land Raider will fill the gap nicely, I'm not sure that this was a good idea.
- The Vancouver area really does not have that many players (who come out to tournaments currently) that can support an army of that size.
- Those that do come out for the "normal" 1700pt events do not have the troop numbers that 5e seems to demand we have as players.
- If the tourney organizers are hoping for "travellers" they may be disappointed. The US players (on the west coast there is a large 2000 pt club tourney that I'm attending in a few weeks) seem reticent to travel to events these days - be it the cost of fuel (car or plane) or the crappy (for them!) dollar exchange rate. Canadian players (notably Ontario) rarely come out to Vancouver for events - again flights are just too expensive. The occurance of the Edmonton Onslaught the weekend before, and Calgary's OtoCon 3 the same weekend as West Coast Mayhem will also not help matters!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
With 5th Edition out, and a few games under my belt I've tweaked the list a little.
Oh yeah... I'm building a Slaanesh CSM force.
There will be both mobile elements, as well as units that can anchor objectives. I'll also have some Chosen that can do the Flanking move that is proving to be quite a lot of fun. I'm going to use the FW dreadnought (Crazed rule be damned), and the FW Daemon Prince(ss).
First pictures in the next week or so - I'm heading on vacation so I may take some models with me to work on in the evenings!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
After arriving at UBC and doing the usual round of catching up with old friends and saying hello to the new players, I unpacked my army and did a few touch ups to the table damage that had happened in transport. I spent a while talking with players about the table, its construction and getting a lot of complements about it. Job done and mission accomplished!
Onto the gaming. First round match-ups are based on your composition score. Most players will have an 18 or 20, so it is pretty arbitrary.
Opponent - Colin Sherlow - Orks
Mission - "Divide and Conquer"
Deployment was with a diagonal split across the table, with an 18" push back. I put my Basilisks as far back as I could (don't like Orks inside my minimum range...), and Colin then "pushed" the rest of my army back. Game was pretty predictable. Orks have a huge advantage in games like this - 18" is nothing for them, so first or second turn charges are pretty much guaranteed! My Basilisks managed to take out his Battlewagon on turn 2, which probably made the game last 15 minutes longer that it needed to! Took out his dreadnought, 2 of the killerkans and a lot of the boyz, but in the end the sheer speed of orks was my undoing. Oh, and the fact that I was out numbered about 3 to one! In the end I was totally wiped out...
Result - Ork Victory (zero battle points)
Notes - Colin was lots of fun to play, and his army is very "orky". Astro' scenarios are usually story driven, with 10 pts for the win, 3 for a loss, and 7 for a tie. There are also three (+/-) battle modifier points (ala the old GT days...). Later in the day I found up we had screwed up the deployment zone - the sheet said that we could not go within 6" of the middle of the table - it should have been 6" of the LINE down the middle of the table! Meh, probably would have lost anyway.
Opponent - Craig Fleming - Orks (ARGH!)
Mission - "Assault and Battery"
Great, Orks again! "Assault and Battery" is a time honoured Astro' scenario. You have 3 griffons (gotta use them for something these days), which for every turn they "fire" the defender gets 50VP per shot per gun. The attacker gets 200VP for each gun that can no longer fire. The deployment is a modifed escalation, with the defender (me according to the standard Astro' attack/defend table) getting to put 1 HQ and 2 troops down. Well that would be the Last Chancers wouldn't it! The deployment "box" was 24" square, and in cover. The orks get to put everything out... again just 18" away from me! I needed to at least try to slow them down, so I placed my Chimerae up front, with some shooty/counter assault guys behind.
The game is also a Night Fight. Orks get first turn of course... and yes, the trucks get the nobs in mega armour to the Chimera on the left straight away. The nobs were the bane of my game - that 2+ armour save is tough! The Ogryns did a good job coming in on reserve and marching up the road - they ended up taking out 2 units of boyz. The Ratlings were pretty good too; whilst not pinning large ork mobs they can pick off troops and hold table objectives. I think the game may have been a draw if it has ended on turn 5, as oppossed to going an extra turn (Random Game Length). In the end though it was not enough, Craig's force was just too numerous and too tough for 25 T3 guardsmen with 4+ saves!
Result - Ork Victory (3 battle points)
Notes - Craig is new to 40K (long time FB player), but he plays with some VERY experienced players who have taught him well, and helped him build a fine ork force (damn you Aaron, Jeremy and Derrick!). I have one criticism of the scenario, and maybe of some the Astro scenarios in general. They seem to favour HtH armies - Night Fight is a common theme, and the 18" deployment differential favours faster HtH armies like Orks and Tyranids, and these 2 are pretty much always going to be the attacker. Sure my force was pretty specialized I admit that, but even with regular guard I would have a tough time stopping the orks from getting to the Griffons. Now 5th edition may help balance this; Orks winning HtH will NOT be able to sweep into the next "speed" bump (ie 10 guardsmen).
Opponent - Marshall Reeves - Imperial Guard
Mission - "Midnight Patrol"
Marshall had a HUGE guard army! This included 50 Conscripts (with Commissar), and Basilisk, Demolisher, and a Cyclops. Many people forget that Astro' allows Imperial Armour entries and lists. This army was also in Vancouver last year, and I managed to avoid it. The table were put on was a familiar one to me; the terrain was from Checkpoint Charlie's, and I played on it last year vs. my nemesis Nick Daniels!
Again another Night Fight, and a modified Escalation game. Combined with only a 12" deployment zone, and zero fire lanes this was going to be a battle of indirect fire and HtH... Again one Troop and HQ deploy initially, with reserves starting turn 1 (on a 5+). I believe Marshall got the first turn, and failed to roll for anything coming on... I did a bit better, with both my units in Chimerae coming on and a Basilisk. There was not much shooting. Turn 2 saw the Cyclops come on and move towards my lines. Still not much shooting! My turn I got my Ratlings (oh, they were so going to swing this game...), the other Basilisk and my Ogryns on the table. The Ogryn moved towards the enemy, and my first Basilisk opened up on the guard. Due to scatter and good cover I think I only killed four guardsmen. On the right flank, my "heavy" unit was able to start working on getting rid of the couple of units that were deployed in cover. Turn 3 Marshall gets his conscripts on the table, jamming his deplyment zone with a juicy ID fire target, as well as his Basilisk.
The cyclops moved even closer to my Ogryns... Ogryns don't like the dark, so I moved then up and jumped out in front of one of his squads.
My shooting was pretty unspectacular! Other shooting knocked off a few veteran guardsmen, but I guessed incorrectly when targetting the Cyclops controller - he was inside my minimum range.
Turn 4... Marshall gets his Demolisher onto the table - thank goodness for 24" range! - and scoots it down my left flank. However the Cyclops moves up and get close to my Ogryns (and his guardsmen). BOOM! Two Ogryns get pulped, the Chimera gets immobilized, and 2 guardsmen die. Not bad. The Ogryns pass their leadership test from the remaining shooting. I have everything on the table now... I ignore the Conscripts, I'm not going to break them, wipe them out, and they can't do anything to me. I go after the veterans in the middle of the table, and move up on my left flank a little. I also move one Basilisk that is getting threatened by the Demolisher. Some direct fire kills a few guardsmen, indirect takes out Marshall's Basilisk. My heavies take down a few more guardsmen, but they continue to stick around, little buggers... The veteran squad take a melta gun, flamer, plasmagun, and demo charge in the face - some of them survive!
Time to get stuck in... the Ogryns charge the squad above - and fail to wipe it out - weak.
Turn 5. My squad that has shot at the veteran squad has been charged (I had fired RF weapons so I could not), and they get wiped out, as do the Ogryns. Nothing much went on here, the Basilisks took out his demolisher that had moved up on my flank, I managed to take out the sentinel with some lucky shooting in the dark. I could not finish of the squad on my left flank. I roll for more turns - the game ends after 5.
Result - Tied Game! (6 battle points)
Notes - damn that was close. In the end it was a 71 point differential. If there has been one more turn I think I would have wrapped the game up, but "ifs" don't count in 40k! Marshall was a great opponent with a very cool army; we realized on ~turn 3 that "tactics" would play NO role in the game - it was truely a game of chance. Fives all round on the soft scores from me!
Well there ended day one. Three good games and I'm going up in the results! We all headed off to Mahoney's for a drink and food, I headed home for a good night's rest for day two...
On arrival at UBC I found that there has been late night gaming (crazy blighters...), and that one of the games had been on the table I bought!
Opponent - Brian Hicks - Imperial Guard
Mission - "Dyer Straits"
Oh great I get to play on my own table! Whilst you may think this would be something I would want (and normally it would be), I was dreading playing this scenario. The Astro' system would put me as the defender... luckily I was playing against another guard army, so there was a chance I would get to be the attacker (still not a palettable choice given the "size" of my army!).
Brian had one of the most beautifully painted armies at Astro' - and there were some damn fine conversions too (his Hydra had been the "talk of the circuit" for a couple of years.). He also had a flyer...
On the roll off for attacker/defender I lost, so I get the choice I did not want! The scenario allowed me to place one HQ, all my troops (so the Last Chancers again) and a unit "of my choice". Well of course I put a Basilisk out. I also get to control the turret as a Leman Russ Battle Cannon. Everything else is held in Reserve.
Brian got to deploy his entire force 24" from his table end.
Those heavy bolter teams were going to be a pest...
Brian started his turn with the repeating Preliminary Bombardment. This scenario rule was going to prove to be VERY effective for the attacker; with at least one vehicle unable to fire each turn and my Last Chancers getting slowly shredded by d6 wounds everytime the PB hit. Brian seemed to be able to roll a lot of 6's in the first 3 turns!
The game was pretty slow for the first 3 turns - Brian would move forward, slam my lines with the Preliminary Bombardment. Brian also had a LOT of grenade launchers. These served him REALLY well, when they hit, and he did alot of damage with them. I think they will be the Guard assault weapon of choice in 5th edition. Last Chancers don't break or get pinned of course, unless Schaeffer is dead. Turn 3 my Ogryns come on.
I chose not to shoot, as with the lines bunched the way they were on my left flank I figured I could roll 2 or 3 units. The first unit gets pounded into the mud, then I roll into the next, and hit the platoon command HQ. After wiping both those out I consolidate, but for some whacky reason I don't sweep into the storm troopers that had rallied from previous turns of indirect pounding! Oops...
The following turn they would take some grenade-love in the face, plus the Vulture showed up and dropped a full ammo load on them! Ultimately they would succumb, but they held that flank for 3 rounds of combat.
On the other flank I had immobilized the Trojan first turn, and the Command Chimera in the 3rd.
The Rough Riders (beautifully converted Cold Ones!) were also a worry. I had been sniping at them for a few turns, slowly thinning their numbers. In the end they would charge the unit in the trench above and wipe them out. However, Ratling Sniper and Chimera shooting would be the end of them! Brian rolled for the end/continuation of the game - done on Turn 5. With no units in my deployment zone I won!
Result - Last Chancers Victory! (11 battle points)
Notes - that was a REALLY good game. Lucky for me the Vulture gunship did very little other than crush my Ogryns. The MVP for me was the Ordnance fire - both from the Basilisks and the defensive turrent. For Brian it has to be the "Shell Shock" (repeating Preliminary Bombardment). Not that it affects anything, but I should have had 12 battle points - I had a Basilisk between the rear and middle defensive lines, as well as the Ratlings in the front trench line.
Opponent - Andrew "Muskie" McKay - Nurgle CSM
Mission - "Dust Off"
Ah! Muskie! What a character... Seriously, Muskie IS a character, in the nicest possible way. And a damn fine painter too.
"Dust Off" is a favourite Astro' scenario of mine - I played it last year and I was the only one of the Defenders to win from what I understand. For the attacker it can be quite a challenge (as Muskie was about to find out...) as they start with nothing on the table, and the defender everything. The objective is to get the pilot to the Valkyrie (and off the table). The trick of this one is that he is too far away to "walk" - the solution is to put him in a vehicle, have him assault a unit on the way back, or in the case of 5th Edition "run".
The above shot is about 4 turns in... the game is a Night Fight (again!). Muskie got first turn, and failed to get anything in from reserve. I jumped the pilot into one of the Chimerae, zoomed backwards 12" and stopped. The Ogryn Chimera backed up too, keeping on "point".
Turn 2... Muskie failed to roll for any of his reserves.... Ouch... The pilot jumps out and makes a 6" difficult terrain move into the complex.
Turn three - Muskie gets his havocs on! They don't have much to shoot at with bolters, and Night Fight is not helping. The pilot moves up the steps with another good DT roll, and makes it to the Valkyrie - 500VPs for me.. I've moved the Chimerae around a bit, but with no targets it is pretty quiet. I fire one Chimera at the Havocs and fire my Ratings - I think I killed 2 Havocs that round.
I'm nicely castled in the terrain, and I have no intention of leaving!
Turn four Muskie starts to get some stuff on the table - a Rhino with Plague Marines, his Lord and the Land Raider. Sadly for Muskie it is too little too late. He give one of the Basilisks a bit of a scare, and takes out about 6 Last Chancers, but the "protection" of nightfight and hard cover served me well. My Ogryns counter charge his Plague Marines, the Basilisks dropped their load on one unit, and take out the Land Raider (after previously immobilizing and stunning it)... Muskie's Dreadnought failed to show at all. At the end of turn five I rolled to see if the game would go on. Game end!
Result - Last Chancers Victory! (12 battle points)
Notes - the scenario killed Muskie - pure and simple. Oh, that and using GW dice to roll for his reserves, his plasma shots and his FnP rolls - I've never seen so many 1s!
Muskie keeps a blog too - here is his version of the game.
Opponent - Teras Cassidy - Tyranids
Mission - "Hammer & Ambull"
I don't have any pictures of the game - I was pretty tired by the time 4pm rolled around on the Sunday!
Teras had an "odd" list. The army was beautifully painted, and in many cases very well converted; the presence of the Ripper Swarms and the Malanthrope made sense, but the Zoanthrope, the 2 Carnifexes, the "spawning pool" and the Mycetic Spores really threw the "theme" for me. I've been around tyranid players for many years, some of the best (Jeff Burcham), and this one just did not "fit" for me.
The game was going to be an odd one - H&A had been around since the beginning of Astro' from what I know. This does not excuse the PITA that those Ambulls were going to be! EVERY SINGLE ONE that popped out of the ground did so towards me. Which meant that they would be assaulting the closest unit the next turn. My units.
In the first turn I took the initiative and shot/charged the first two. Moving beyond my hatred for the Rogue Trader era monsters...
I spent a lot of time dropping ordnance rounds on Ripper swarms, mushing them to chitinous pulp. The slower monsters I was not worried about at this stage as I'd have plenty of time to shoot them later. An interesting little side combat took place on my left flank. The Ratlings got charged by the Malanthrope, and even though they lost the combat they rolled two 1s to stay in the game (needing a three as they were below half strength and under the influence of a zoanthrope's crazy brain!). My Ogryns did nothing in this game - except survive, as their Chimera was immobilized on the first turn as I attempted to leave terrain!
The game was going ALL my way - emphazied when Schaeffer got charged by a Carnifex (with only 2 wounds left) - he hefted his power sword, swung, hit twice and then did 2 wounds (needing 6s), one dead 'fex! The next turn he walked up to the other Carnifex and blew its brains out with a single plasma pistol shot!
Then turn 5 happened... Those Mycetic Spores dropped in. They took out one of my Basilisks which allowed a "trapped" ripper swarm and hormagaunts to get to my Command HQ hidden behind (the "keep 1 inch away" rule in 4th ed stopped Teras from ignoring the Basilisks and charging the HQ with the rippers through the small gap between my two Basilisks. Well this turned the game. The Malanthrope then proceeded to attack Schaeffer, who despite dieing to excessive wounds managed to stand up on his bionics for one more round of heroic battle!
He later succumbed to his wounds.. fittingly he was the Last to die...
Result - Tyranid Victory (2 battle points)
Notes - pretty good game. I could have done without the distraction of the five Ambulls... or at least the odd one going into the Tyranid line. I sensed a Xenos conspiracy!
Yet again Astronomi-Con delivered on its promise! The weekend was lots of fun; good scenarios, good players, good looking armies. I feel sorry for the Vancouver players who could not be bothered to attend especially those that whinned that "it was not 5th edition". What tripe.
Astro' is the best we have had in Vancouver in a number of years (since the GT was cut), not playing at Astro' is confessing you can't hack a balanced, yet competative tournament. Oh well more space for the guys who DO enjoy that type of event.
I was very happy with the way the table turned out, how it was received and with the excellent scenario Mike and Christian cooked up for it. Thanks guys!
In the end I finished 9th Overall (edit - this may actually be 7th, as there appears to be errors in the final ranking sheet). I got second for Best Terrain... that made a few people look at Mike and Christian a bit funny...
I won Best Appearance! Holy Cow! I got 28/30 for my painting scores, beating Brian and Muskie. Pretty happy with that!
As always thanks to the guys I played - 6 excellent fun games.
I look forward to Astro-Vancouver 2009, and possibly Astro-Nottingham. My fellow Brits will not know what hit them!