Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Empire Meets The Death Star

To explain the title of this post, there is a tactic known in fantasy as the death star approach. You sink a huge amount of army points into one unkillable unit, and let it go. It'll annihalate most things it touches, and the best an opponent can do is try to avoid it and kill the rest of the army. Even then, the sheer amount of points in the death star might make victory impossible.

Dan was running a 3000 point vampire counts force with a unit of grave guard loaded with characters as his death star. 1500 of his army was in this one unit. Actually, he said that at the end of the game - given I'd killed his regen granting BSB it's possible it was higher at the start.

I too had a loaded unit, though only about 900 points worth. The unit itself was a simple 200 points, the characters in it (380 point Karl Franz, plus an Arch Lector and BSB adding the bulk of the points.)

I set up in the same way I had last week, (it's the same army list btw) with my archers screening my units. Wanting to wait till he had his knights down before Icommitted my flagellents, I ended up with a slight variation. My archers did their job wonderfully, screening my units and drawing a charge from the advancing ghouls. So they fled straight through the unit behind them. But as detachments don't cause panic checks, the unit was fine. The ghouls failed the charge, and were thus in my charge range. I like this tactic. As it is the grave guard death star, van halled forward, presented a more interesting target. They tried to get the charge in by van halling once more (amazing how manouverable vampire counts can be) but luckily mannfred miscast, losing hte spell. To add insult to injury for Dan, he then tried with the bound item with the spell. On a roll of a 1 it can't be used again, he rolled a 1. That cut his manouverability down somewhat. Having blocked his magic phase quite successfully this turn (in no small part due to the horrendous miscast) I was feeling quite optimistic.

The two big units clashed in the centre. Charging my knights in as well for the support may not have been the best idea, as the unit positioning left my Arch Lector out of base contact. Thus when the vampire lord issued a challenge, I decided to accept witha lowly champion. The vampire lord won convincingly, and with the various combat resolution the vampires won this one. I had a break test for the knights (the spearmen were unbreakable due to the arch lectors prayer) and they fled - I'm beginning to see a pattern to nobility over the past two weeks :oS On the bright side Dan alligned the units to get more combatents in - putting my arch lector in the fight.

On my left flank the Vargulf had charged my swordsmen. They held against it in the first turn, and Static Combat Resolution was most definitely in my favour. With three ranks, a standard and outnumbering, it would have to wound with every attack it had to score a draw. THus it was suffering from undead combat resolution, and lost a couple of wounds. The detachment charged in and drew another wound, and combat resolution finished it off.

Over on the right flank the other swordsmen and their detachment fought with the ghouls and the corpse cart. They dragged them down, but the detachment was left annoyingly blocking my own unit. Dan did me a big favour - he charged the detachment in the flank. They of course fled, and though they only rolled double 1 - it was enough to put them in the friendly unit, which means you move them right through the unit to the other side. And as detachments don't cause panic checks, no problem - the charging skeletons failed their charge and were now in my charge range.

The flagellents charged the knights and brought one down, but were no match for them. Happily they kept them busy for a few rounds. A unit of knights were positioned to charge the flank and hopefully tip the combat in my favour. But they failed their fear test at a critical juncture. Byt he time I had chance to do it again the flagellents were gone, and while they may do some damage, I didn't rate their chances, particularly in a protracted fight, as they were armed with great weapons.

Back to the main event. The vampire Lord issued a challenge again, and this time the arch lector stepped up. Don't you just love Van Horstmans speculum. This vicar was now hitting at WS7, S5, I7, and had 4A. He was also T5. The vampire Lord found himself reduced to just 2A at I4, S4, WS 4, and a T of 4. With the magic items, the good vicar was also at +1 S and had always strikes first. Sadly, he was relying on my dice rolls. I should have brought him down. I didn't. The combat lasted several rounds of below par rolling, before Dan eventually killed my priest. Dan wasn't particularly lucky, he was about average. But if I'd rolled about average, the fight wouldn't have lasted long enough for Dans averageness to come into it. Then it would have been "Oh Mannfred..."

Mannfred, with the Vampire Lord keeping me from challenging him, had kept himself busy eating the unit in front of him. They held out a long time before eventually the last 4 or 5 failed a break test at LD 5 - fleeing taking the emporer with them in the rush. They were subsequently run down.

The newly released grave guard managed to get their vanhal mojo working again, and promptly slaughtered most of my left flank swordsmen unit.

While I was confident I had enough to win the right flank, with that Death Star still wandering around I knew I couldn't pick up enough points to win. As long as it was slugging out in the middle between the two power units I felt i had a chance - I'd even been moving my now useless screening units into positions where they could claim table quarters if push came to shove. With the collapse of the centre, and the loss of a lot of points worth of characters, it was over. I conceded defeat.

Dan remembered late on that Mannfred gets extra power dice for each wound he causes, so my magic defence could have been overwhelmed. But at the same time I'd have loved to have got my Arch Lector into a challenge against Mannfred. If I'd rolled better and killed his Lord, he'd have done anything he could to avoid that. A unit Champion would have been easy pickings, and my Emporer had already killed his BSB through base to base attacks. He'd have been coming for him, and if he'd killed him... well then I imagine it would have been all over for the Vampire Army. I could have done with getting my Arch Lector into a challenge on the first turn when his hatred would still have worked - I chose to charge the knights in and this left him out in the cold. Given the knights managed to do sweet FA (well, two of them managed to die) before running away, I wish I'd left it to the spearmen. That was my mistake. The putting detachments in front of a unit as bait and a screen was an interesting idea, and I liked the way it worked. It does leave you with less support, as after the first turn they end up behind you. Regaining position could be a bitch.

A good win for Dan. And oh how I wished I'd brought the steam tank list to plough into that grave guard and see what happens.

I have another 3000 point list in mind for next week, my last chance to playtest before the tournament. Hopefully will get an interesting match up.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Empire Horde!!!

So this week I took a completely different direction to last week... I went with a horde of Empire soldiers. One of the things I like about my army, it's very adaptable.

So here we go. I had a unit of 30 spearmen with a detachment of 9 free company fighters (ranked 3x3 - negates rank bonus and small enough to manouver more easily for counter charge) and a detachment of 10 archers. I had 2 30 man swordsmen units with the same set up. In support of each unit I had a 5 man squad of knights, positioned to do charges to the falnk of the enemy the turn after they charge me. And I had a unit of 30 flagellents, with a core unit of 10 free company fighters to screen them. Of the screening units, most were detachments so wouldn't cause panic if they ran (which they would) and the only unit that could cause panic would be safely in front of the flagellents... the world is ending, why should they give a shit if some privateers leg it.

In character choices I had the indomitable Karl Franz, the regular feature of a VHS armed warrior priest (well, Arch Lector this time) to protect Karl from anything that could feasibly hurt him, the equally regualr feature of rank bonus doubling griffen standard. I also had a hero on pegasus with Aldreds casket of sorcery (try to zip around and steal some spells) and a couple of level 2 wizards with a couple of scrolls and the rod of power, try to boost my dispell power a little.

The army I was facing? Warriors of chaos. Now this was a tricky prospect. The first questions that were asked of me were "how many steam tanks did you bring, how many cannons did you bring," and when i explained it was mostly infantry, "how many of those handgunners that take 2 of his save did you bring." The answer to all of the above was none...

Chris moved most of his army towards me, as you might expect. I was more careful in my movement phase. I sent my pegasus captain to try to draw some spells of his tzeentch sorcerer (tried twice, failed both times, then died in combat - not the best test of this idea.) I moved the core unit of free company fighters into a tempting position in front of the marauder horsemen. These were definitely a sacrificial unit. I positioned my flagellents to take advantage the marauders should they take the bait. I then positioned the rest of my stuff as best I could to limit the sight lines of his annoying mages, and to give his general and knights an interesting dilemma in which unit to charge.

Chris took the bait with the marauders. They beat up a couple of fighters and the combat resolution sent them running. Chris pursued and wiped them out. But he ran stright into my knights. More importantly, his flank was in front of my flagellents. My swordsmen took some serious casualties against Chris knights, but held. In my turn though, my knights counter charge didn't do all that much. The swordsmen took even more horrific casualties, and the combat res sent both units running. Chris chased down the swordsmen while the knights went their own way. The flagellents butchered the marauder horsemen and ran on. They were in time to support my swordsmen, who hadn't been quite so effective against the chaos knights (especially given my pegasus didn't have the unit str to negate the rank bonus... I hadn't realised that when I charged in) His marauders tehn charged the flank, and managed to cause massive casualties. The captain was torn from his mount. The pegasus made a whinnying growl, and proceeded to kick the living shit out of the guy that dealt the fateful blow.

The swordsmen and pegasus fled, and the swordsmen were cut down. This left me without a magic phase. Chris knights cantered round to a better postion, while my knights started a long noble tradition and kept running despite Karl Franz yelling at them. Oh well, so long as the common troopers listen to him, his reign isn't threatened yet. Snorting scorn for the fleeing knights, Karl had his own battle to fight against some warriors. A challenge was issued. The Arch Lector asked if he might take up this one in the name of Sigmar. The Emporer gave him the floor, he was happy to beat the chaos warriors by the score, and had no need for personal duels to prove his glory. Chris lost the combat and fled a mere 3 inches. The priest was screaming blood and blue murder to move the men in pursuit, but the resolve imparted by the griffen banner made the unit hold firm. Luckily this was not to matter... In the Empire turn the unit charged, merely intending to send them scurrying further away, but a dreadful flee roll meant the unit were run down and butchered. The knights charged a unit of warriors, but sadly blocked off the support they'd expected from the free company fighters. Always consider the order you declare your charges in. They subsequently lost the combat and fled. Meanwhile on the right the flagellents sent another warrior unit running (one that despite several attempts, had had quite enough for one night.) The overrunning marauders charged teh flagellents, and thus started a very inept battle, as half naked loons with flails tried to throttle half naked loons with flails, neither side having the energy to lift them any higher for a more destructive attack. This one continued till the end of the game.

The chaos general, seeing the battle slipping from his grasp, spied Karl Franz. He'd settle this once and for all. Charging in, he yelled out a challenge to Karl. Karl was too busy knocking chaos knights to the ground and caving their skulls in. The arch lector however, was looking for another scalp. The chaos general felt a little fuzzy, as a small amulet round the arch lectors neck glowed. The arch lector resoundingly beat the chaos general in combat, to the extent that the general felt somewhat lucky to be alive. The staggering combat resolution was too much. They ran.

At this point a rather interesting rule for warhammer crops up. A fleeing unit has to flee if charged. Thus it was that a lowly 80 point detachment of archers chased the general of the chaos army and his elite knights off the field of battle.

With the noose closing in the last chaos warrior band turned and faced their tormentors. The slugfest on the far side between the end of the world lunatics society and it's northern division continued apace.

Karl and his unit charged, and a detachment flanked. The lector, despite besting some serious champions today, couldn't defeat the lowly unit champion that was hastily shoved forward by his comrades as he approached. The comabt resolution didn't matter to this stubborn unit. but they rolled an 11 anyway. The battle standard bearer allowed a reroll.... another 11. They fled, and given how far they'd pushed my fleeing knights off the table, a flee of 6 was enough for them to leave the field of battle. It was irrelevent, it was turn 6 anyway.

I totted up the points at Chris request. I'd lost about 1500 points. He'd have got a bonus 100 for capturing a std. Given I'd wiped out everything but his 150? point marauder unit, and I;d captured 2 or 3 standards, one of which was his battle standard, and killed his general, and owned 2 table quarters... I was over 3000 in victory points. I think we can score this one a massacre :o)

Chris cast his marauder horsemen away needlessly, but then I errored similarly when I didn't consider the unit strength of my pegasus. It would have been far better for me to keep him flitting behind the enemy lines trying to steal spells. But you play and learn. Other than that we were both very unlucky on our Ld tests, Chris slightly more so. When it comes to pursuit rolls it's all down to your opinion... I had knights running frustratingly long distances, off the board or at least out of the fight. Chris had the opposite problem - squads that would sort of jog away from the enemy and get slaughtered. It must be all that heavy armour they wear.

All in all an interesting game. This army is again weak in magic, but the use of the screening units early on helped protect my big units from teh kind of spells that relish big units... It will be interesting to try this against another opponent. But who knows what list I'll come up with next week. I still reckon my cavalry army could do better with one or two tweaks...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

We're knights of the round table...

Played fantasy at the club last night - quite frankly after apoc sunday we needed a break from the hi-tech world of lasguns and orks beating each other with sticks. Instead we went for the low tech world of steam driven tanks and orks beating each other with sticks...

Took an entirely different Empire army (yes, same as every week - I love the variety in the Empire codex) and this week I went all out on Knights. So many in fact that I had to dust off some old Bretonian models from my very first Warhammer boxset to make up the numbers. I also went with lot's of heroes (went again with the voracious Karl Franz, though now knowing how hard he is I wanted to get him into combat sooner rather than later - hence the horse) and a couple of steam tanks. With very few points remaining I filled out my core choices with cheap as chips militia, and chucked in a couple of level 2 wizards for magical support.

The main bulk of my army I planned to keep together. A unit of white wolf knights led by Karl Franz and joined by a warrior priest and Ludwig Scwarzhelm - so all in all the front line of uber characters should see off my natural disadvantage of striking last even on the charge (though against Elves that would be completely irrelevent anyway) and between them and the units standard bearer I had a unit strentgh of 36, caused fear, was immune to psychology, tested on Ld 10, all my characters had a 1+ save, Karl had a 4+ ward and if he failed his lookout sir roll Ludwig took the hit instead, and to top it off had magic resistance of 3. The reiksguard unit alongside them led by kurt herlborg - which means I have a runefang and Ghal Maraz in my army - two characters whose hits automatically wound with no armour saves. Leading his unit made them immune to pschology and stubborn, and a magic banner gave them magic resistance of 2. With a steam tank to either side of this mass of cavalry (get a flank charge through one of those mofo!) I felt ready for anything.

Of course, game time I come up against Rich and his Elves, most importantly the ever annoying Teclis. Through most of the game that magic resistance meant jack shit - any roll of a double gives Teclis irresistable force. I only had 5 dispell dice per turn, and I was usually throwing them away. My magic phase in response was a bit of a none starter from the get go. Yes, Rich had masses more dice than me, but I could hope for natural irresistablesz myself. But my spells rolled were poor. I had one wizard who could hurt everything (friend or foe) within 12" - not so good until I got a little closer to the enemy. He also had the rather nasty pit of shades - but on his first casting of this Rich pulled out a special scroll. It was dispelled and on a 4+ forgotten. I never make those rolls. Rich did. So I had a very dangerous wizard - to anyone near him at least. My other wizard could make a unit cause fear - not so much an issue against reliable troops like Elves. Or he could make a single character make a flight move. Great. The first game I put all my heroes on horses. It was a couple of turns in I had the bright idea of flying my offensive wizard over to Richs side of the board then trying to do his hurt everyone near me spell. Sadly this backfired as my wizard miscast, and promptly rolled a double 1. In effect his brain was sucked out of his arsehole by a daemon. And that was pretty much the highlight of my magic usage, which says a lot.

The steam tanks proved to be reliable for as long as they're running good again. The one on my left blew a chariot to smithereens, narrowly missed Teclis with a cannonball, then charged into combat and obliterated 11 spearmen. Sadly the other one overloaded at a crucial juncture - it then sat there getting pierced by bolts for the rest of the game. If I'd realised how deadly they would be, my steam tanks would have sent a cannon ball or three in their direction while the going was still good. My reiksguard unit got delayed by a wall of fire - I could have gone through it, but I feared I would have prevented the steam tank from charging, and thought that would be the more fun thing to do. Karl Franz and his unit laid in with glee to the enemy, and caused the spearmen to run. Sadly the other spearman unit was stubborn and stuck around (ignoring the -12 modifier damn them!) My knights couldn't chase down the larger spearmen unit as they were locked in combat with the steam tank trampled unit. Annoyingly this state of affairs lasted for several rounds of combat - none of my unit being able to fight apart from a too well matched duel. My combat resolution was consistently higher, but he kept passing his stubborn leadership checks. This I fear was my undoing. Karl Franz needed to be out killing stuff. Sat in a unit of knights on a horse just milling around while your priest dukes it out with some elven hero isn't the best use of his time. Eventually he got underway again and caused some more merry carnage, but too much time had wasted. The reiksguard had been cut down and put to flight by superior combat resolution, and eventually Rich dragged down most of the rest of my army. Karl Franz survived the day though, off reaping bloody vengeance on the bolt throwers that had pierced his tanks and whats more decimated his knightly orders.

Looking at this list it was magic weak, but under the circumstances that was irrelevent. Teclis rolled so many irresistable forces that had I had 20 dispell dice, I'd have never had the chance to use them. I see two ways I could take this list in future. One way is to boost the knights even more. By dropping to a single level 2 wizard, I could afford to take 4 units of 10 militia to make up my core choices, and then have the points to upgrade every knight to an inner circle knight, which makes them all +1 str (though then moves them from a core unit to a special one) If I knew I was facing Teclis again, I'd do this in a heartbeat - I was so magically outclassed in this my wizards may as well have not been there. I'd also try it against a khornate army.

The other army build I'd like to try (though don't think I have the models for at the moment) would be an entirely mounted army. I'd take a couple steam tanks as they're mobile and can keep up. My core units would be knightly orders, my specials pistoliers and outriders, and my rares the tanks. My heroes would all be on horseback (including any wizards) and for fluff purposes I'd probably have to include my mounted engineer on mechanical steed - even though with no actual cannons he'd have no purpose in being there. Say he's logistical support for the tanks to explain his presence, though in game terms it'd be a waste of a hero slot. Would be a fantastic looking army to assmeble though. Might have to come up with a theoretical list to work towards...

With the tournament just over the horizon, last time round it was dominated by the magic heavy armies. There are two ways I could try to deal. Compete with them magically, or say "fine, have the magic phase" and spend enough points for me to compete against other armies, but save most points for other fun stuff. I do have a magic heavy list, though even that might not deal well with Teclis. But that is part of my sick army list that I have taken a 2000 point version of, once, against Dan. For that game I purchased a great big bushy beard. I don't particularly want to turn up at a tournament with that for fear about what it might do to my reputation. Ironically it isn't even that outlandish an Empire army - A grandmaster on a crusade, calls in at Nuln and they lend him an army. Being the foundry of the empire it's all guns and cannons and a couple of steam tanks. Seeing he lacks magical support, he asks for some - and gets a delegation from the colleges of magic. It's hardly a nidzilla list, and seriously lacks in numbers... the back line is in fact quite fragile... you just have to cross the valley of death to reach it. Ours is not to reason why, eh?

Monday, 15 June 2009

Grab the Super Heavies!!!

Sunday was the day of the big battle. A good deal of preparation went into it, and I arrived at the club at the ungodly hour of 11.30 am! I set to work setting up the tables and we had a massive board to fight over, as can be seen below.


The teams were set. But on the eve of the battle I'd heard Wez would be coming and would be up for a game if we could squeeze him in. So out came my Orks, the dust was blown off, and every one that was stuck together was basically muddled into an army list. It was hardly the msot competitive army around, with only a single battlewagon in 2500 points. Wez it seems has a similar problem with his army, so our 5000 points of Orks had 2 battlewagons and 2 truks... not the most mobile of armies in a rush to the centre type of game.

Once deployment zones were decided we got lucky and won the roll off to go first. Immediately to our left was Dan and Lil Rich (Necrons and Guard, an unlikely alliance I explained away as being a mechanicum force in awe of the machine gods wonders...) directly opposite us was Stuart and Neil (Daemonhunters and Guard) and then to our right and going last was Chirs and Fat Rich (Chaos and Chaos)

In a brief (as possible) run down of key events of the game, here is what happened.

Turn 1

Wez asaults Doomhammer. Dan drops nigh unkillable (to Orks with bugger all high str anti tank) necron phalanx in to keep company. Several rounds of firing fails to clear Ork squad off Doomhammer... the tank itself has been reduced to a pile of scrap metal benath them though. Most other armies advance on to the field. Rich and Chris, thanks to the admittedly genius tactic of deploying their rhinos facing the wrong way, got their troops out and assaulted a shadowsword on turn 1.

Turn 2

Wez assaults the Hellhammer. The necrons assault the other shadowsword, a baneblade, a skullhamma and the fortress of arrogance. The daemonhunters assault the necrons trying to claim the skullhamma. Sly marbo attempts to stop the necron lord attacking the fortress of arrogance. Stuart and Nige also try to claim the Stormlord, while throwing every available shell and rocket at the daemon princes that had arrived in the chaos deployment zone last turn. Chris and Rich claim their Baneblade, only to discover that the engine isn't working. As all the tanks were facing outwards, they can only shoot themselves... so they went for a repair roll instead and managed to get one of the drives working. Meanwhile another squad moved on to another Baneblade.

Turn 3

Wez claims the Hellhammer. Finds a small booby trap. Has seen this in the movies, it's always the red wire...


So that was one super heavy dead (along with the luckless squad of Orks that had assaulted two seperate supers and no reward so far...) Ginge sent some Boyz to deny the chaos their second super heavy prize. The necron phase started with Dan claiming several super heavies. His shadowsword had some weapons damaged, so he elected torepair. The baneblade was immobilised, but was at least facing some enemy, so would be of use this turn. The necron lord meanwhile clambered to the top of the Fortress of Arrogance, and smiled as he surveyed the battlefield. There was a raggedy old greatcoat in the corner of the pulpit, and just as he was about to dismiss it as nothing imprtant, it stirred...


Yarrick lives! And the Necron Lord then begins an epic dual for control of the tank. A dual he was to win in this turn, but Yarrick managed to buy the opposition one less turn of punishing firepower. The daemonhunters had finished off the necrons on the Skullhamma, and went to claim it themselves. Having been repulsed from the Stormlord by a daemon attack the forces of good tried again. Chaos then sent some more forces to disrupt their heroic plans, while the shadowsword (it's recently repaired engine having been damaged by a basilisk shot) again went for the repair roll, and again fixed the engine. Of far more interest was the dramatic drop pod assault into the mechanicum lines. Having had little to do all game apart from lob ordnance at helpless Orkses and laugh maniacally, Lil Rich suddenly had a fight on his hands if he wanted to keep his objective.

Turn 4

Having seen the chaos forces off the Baneblade Ginge sent his boyz to claim it for themselves. The rest of his forces clashed with Richs forces in what was a merry distraction, but not all that critical game wise. Of far more importance was Wezs Kill-Krooza in orbit. Using rather haphazard traktor beam technology they sent some rocks at the spot the four armies seemed to be converging on. Hardly being the most accurate things, these scatter by feet on the battlefield. But with three roks incoming, everyone got nervous. A building was obliterated, a super heavy took some damage, some troops were suddenly a hell of a lot shorter than they had been 5 seconds ago... all in all a lot of fun! The Cult of the Machine God army had an advantage in super heavies, and put this to good effect by shooting the recently mobile chaos shadowsword up the arse (among other things immobilising it again - between that and the scarab swarm it ended the phase with a single sponson, a single structure point, and completely stunned - but under game rules it still counted as an objective.) They did have the problem of a few drop pods worth of chaos marines in their lines, not to mention the steady progress of Wezs nobs finally getting into their lines. The heroic imperial forces managed to claim their skullhamma, but lacking any real firepower for the turn (thanks to their own shooting when it looked like the necrons might claim it) they elected to repair and fixed the turret. With little left in their armies that could hope to capture the Stormlord, and time running out, neil sent the man he thought was Yarrick (actually a Callidus assassin, clearly the Inquisition felt this battle was important, and didn't want to admit that apart from salvaging technology, the status of the MIA Yarrick was NOT to be made public knowledge) out to grab it for himself. The chaos forces, seeing the Mechanicum army as being in the lead, had elected to "let" the orks and imperium claim their baneblades, in the hope they'd turn said firepower on the mechanicum forces. It could backfire, but it was an interesting gamble...

Turn 5

The Orks passed their final turn by claiming the mechanicum home objective! The battle had raged around the area and a nob squad had wandered through unmolested, and were doing what Orks do when asked to guard an imperial stronghold (namely defecating everywhere and using the resultant mess for amusing graffiti and throwing it at each other) Ginges boys also claimed a super heavy and pressed any button they could, some of which made loud noisees... always pleasing to an orky player. There were also some tactically unimportant scuffles between chaos forces and orks, which made no difference to the game result, but the Orks got a fight so went home happy.

The Mechanicum/Necron forces had a trick left up their sleeve... they deployed a blind barrage across the bottom of the field, hoping to protect their super heavies from the fire of the guard guns. They then did what they could to try to finish off the chaos shadowsword, but could not peel away that last structure point...

The Imperial forces finally captured the stormlord they'd been trying to capture since turn 1... the status of the tank? *Admiral Ackbar Impersonation* IT'S A TRAP!!!


One randomly selected enemy then had the baneblade instead. Praying for one of the teams that had already had a turn so wouldn't have the opportunity to fire, Neil rolled the dice.. and naturally got a 1, meaning it would belong to the chaos team, the only team with a turn left. With the mechanicum and Chaos forces yelling down each earhole about where their target priorities lay, (funnily enough, each claiming the other) while the Orks just went along with Ginge the ref and went "hur hur hur" at all the trouble this little trick had caused, the imperials final turn began. With a chaos tank and a Mechanicum tank each in view on a single structure point, they had the chance to swing the game perilously. Staring down the barrel of a vulcan mega bolter that can fire twice next turn does tend to prey on ones mind a little... The guard shooting was as ineffective as it had been for most of the game. Both sides retained a their super heavies. But there was yet a grandmaster with legion relic to act - 9 attacks on rear armour 12 at strength 10... 5 penetrating hits, and just a single structure point remaining. Nope. Failed. Leaving the necrons on a score of 3. The chainfist to the front of the Stormlord caused some problems, but Rich passed all his primary weapon rolls, and still had the opportunity to fire. It was immobilised and facing towards little of importance, so not game changing... but 30 str 6 ap 3 shots looks like fun to me!

And so it came to the chaos turn. With the gift of the Stormlord, and the tenaciousness of the shadowsword (and a completely unmolested rhino on their home objective) they started their turn on 3 points. The necron/guard alliance had 3. The imperials only had 2 and were out of the running. The Orks only had 2, but were one of the forces contesting the necron/guard home objective. Care would need to be taken with this one.

With the blind barrage blocking LOS to the necron super heavies (as intended) there were scuffles (and vulcan mega bolters) with imperial forces, but that wasn't really relevent. What mattered was in the guard lines. The chaos forces killed the guard Leman Russ - they were out of the running. The chaos squad just had to hope their brethren could deal with the Nob squad. By assaulting from the right angle it looked like they might be able to pull them away from the objective, but by carefully piling in they stayed within range. He needed to put them to the sword. It was a fairly even combat... right up until the 3 nobs with power klaws ripped the chaos marines to shreds. They then consolidated back to the objective. It was a valiant effort, but the objective remained contested - the scoreline; Orks 2, machine cult 3, Imperial 2, Chaos 3. A very close draw.

Overall a good fun game was had by all. Far more issues came up than we ever thought of, but for the most part we managed to deal with them quickly and maturely. It seemed there were less issues of capturing baneblades, and far more to do with having more than 2 teams. In future multi team scenarios, we will look back on this and try to address the issues before the game. In the meantime, I think the next apoc event will have just two teams!

And one final thought... it is clear to me that, at our wargames club, the proxying of models is not frowned upon provided that you are quite clear about what is supposed to be what...

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Big Event Looms

So this Sunday sees the apoc bash I have been trying to organise for our club. At the moment it's a three way battle, not quite the 4 way encounter I first envisaged, but hopefully fun will be had nonetheless.

I do have to pack all the Baneblades up, and the stuff lil Rich wants to borrow, plus niges entire guard army he's borrowing... despite only living round the corner I think I'll be driving to the club on sunday, and hoping to hell to find a parking space right outside.

In other news, we have a fantasy tournament at the end of July. Managed to get two games of fantasy in on monday evening - it was more of a refresher course in what the hell we were doing than anything else - despite reading through the rulebook Monday afternoon I still found several things we'd done wrong on Tuesday morning. As such I wasn't planning on doing a battle report of either game (the first a slugfest in midfield that niges stubborn daemons were getting the better of by the time I conceded on turn 6, the second a hell of a turnaround against Chris' warriors of irressistable force, cough, ahem, I mean chaos)

Got my eye on lots of things from forge world, am gonna pin down the couple of maybes on sunday to see if anyone else actually wants anything or if I'm gonna have to find even more stuff I want from forge world to buy... ok ok not that hard, though since they released plastic shadowswords that's one less thing I'm interested in...

Will try to take notes during the game Sunday and hopefully do a massive battle report on the whole situation. Being referee I'll hope will give me the free time / free hand to do this that I would never have as an active gamer.

And then hopefully people will still come to the club on Monday cos fantasy will be very differnet from sunday, plus I'll actually want to have a game :oP

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Oooooh, Shiny!

Have just seen the latest on bols about valkyries/vendettas/vultures.

Now it had been my intention to get a nice aircav army (my very first post was about it) and a collection of 6 valks and 3 vendetta seemed a nice thing to aim for. Vultures are only for apoc so never entered my mind. I'd heard they were doing a vendetta conversion kit, so wasn't in any rush to scratch build something.

I didn't expect it to be so soon!!! And that Vulture with dual punishers has me drooling. Gonna have to get one of those for cool model factor alone. If it has cool rules that let it kick arse in game terms too all the better. I just love the idea of these valkyries coming along firing rocket pods down on the enemy, with an absolute hail of shots coming from the supporting vulture.

June 22nd eh? Forge World will be getting some of my paycheck this month then :oP