Friday, 22 June 2018

Your army can do what?!?

On Tuesday Rich and I had a game of Whatcanyourarmydohammer 40k. Neither of us had played much 8th edition so we were sorta groping our way around the rules and tactics, and just about remembering what we could do most of the time, just not doing so well at knowing what the other guy could do...

So for this game I decided to give my Deathwatch a run out. After following the exploits of St Andrews wargaming I took a few things on board, but was still working within the constraints of an existing model collection...

So, my list. It's basically 2 battalions, but I'll just throw it all down here as it's all deathwatch so no different rules to worry about.

I had a watch master as warlord, with the watch eternal warlord trait and the beacon angelis.
Watch captain Artemis
librarian in terminator armour, with a storm bolter and force stave.

2 squads of ten veterans, including 3 heavy thunder hammers each, 2 stormshields each, a sergeant with xenophase blade, a black shield with paired lightning claws, bolt pistols and chainswords where appropriate.

2 squads of 5 vets each with 4 missile launchers

2 squads of 6 vets, including 3 frag cannons each, 2 stormshields each, and a vanguard vet each

1 squad of 5 vets with deathwatch shotguns

1 squad of 5 vets with 1 Infernus Heavy Bolter

Both librarians had Veil of Time and Might of Heroes. The plan for the army was to set up the watch master and two large squads in the teleportarium strategum, use the terminator librarians deepstrike ability to join them, and when they land use the beacon to pull the other librarian over and buff the hell out of the squads before charging in.

I had the stormshields and vanguard vets with the frag cannons as obviously to get the best out of them they need to be danger close, so I wanted some protection, and the ability to fall back from a combat and shoot it to death.

The squads with missile launchers are my fairly obvious heavy support, and the heavy bolter is because I saw it synergies well with a strategem on St Andrews (although that also seemed to require an armorial cherub, which I didn't take, don't think I can...)

So what was I up against? Well, Rich brought a Bloodthirster, Belakor, 2 daemon Princes of khorne, 2 daemon Princes of nurgle, 1 of slaanesh and 1 of tzeentch. Plus about 5 or 6 juggernauts of khorne. Everything had wings apart from one of the nurgle Princes that was using a strategem to deep strike. Well, certainly plenty of high value targets, but this could go wrong very quickly...

Rich isn't a fan of the beta rules preventing out of deployment deep strikes on turn 1, so I played it the rulebook way for now. Just means I get my big dangerous squads in sooner. We were playing tactical escalation, where you have an increasing number of objectives and can gamble on certain objectives being more important.

I'm not gonna do a play by play as chances are I wouldn't remember it all, we'll go with a highlights reel...

Rich went first and turn 1 just moved everything forwards and cast a few psychic powers. He dropped his nurgle prince in front of my missiles but just tried to psychic them instead, to no avail. End of turn 1, I lost one shotgun vet to smite.

My turn 1 I drop everyone in on my right flank behind the khorne and slaanesh Princes. I move the frag squads forward (they'd held back to prevent him dropping behind my lines) although one of the squads I foolishly put behind Los blocking terrain when juggernauts were nearby. Some good shooting by my missile launchers saw the recently arrived nurgle prince take a battering, and my heavy bolter used the mortal wounds strategum to finish the job. I killed a juggernaut (though the morale roll brought him back!) And whilst I managed to cast might of Heroes on both large vet squads, veil of time was stopped for both. This was to prove problematic.

I charged the khorne prince first, and needed a CP reroll to make the charge. The watch master then failed his charge, as did the unit trying to take out the slaanesh prince. Damn you Rich for stopping veil of time! I took the khorne prince down to 1 wound, his retaliation mostly bounced off the stormshields, only causing a single casualty, and then just as I was debating using the command points to attack again, I remembered might of Heroes... we couldn't exactly take guesses about how many more wounds I would have had for the extra strength, if any, but we could still do one attack each... and that did the trick. I took an early lead in the score as I had to kill a couple of characters that turn, and I had.

In richs turn 2 the juggernauts charged the frag squad, the nurgle prince charged the shotguns, the slaanesh prince and Belakor wanted to pick off my characters, the tzeentch prince advanced on my missiles and the bloodthirster turned towards the big fight on my right flank (funnily enough when I saw him on the left flank I chose to drop on the right near warlord Belakor instead...)

Belakor stripped my warmasters invulnerable save and knocked his rolls down by one, so he was pretty much done for. Belakor charged him while slaanesh charged both librarians. He was then most unpleasantly surprised when I did what I had to do, and heroically intervened with both squads. This was a very unpleasant surprise for him... he had been mulling over multi-charging the squad too but decided it was a bad idea... as it turns out his decision was irrelevant. Belakor cut down my warmaster, but then I paid 2cp to interrupt and tear the slaanesh prince in two. The nurgle prince annihilated the shotgun scouts, but the frag cannons were protected by stellar work by their stormshield bearing brethren, one of them falling to the flurry of attacks while the other held firm. However he did have a good scoring round, as he completed both objectives, including the bonus for completing one with a nurgle unit, and they were both his chosen special category, so he netted 5 points, taking the lead.

In my turn 2 the frag cannons fell back (the vanguard vet meaning I could still fire at full effect) and the other squad moved up to close range too. The juggernauts were toast. The nurgle prince took some missiles, but I couldn't finish him off due to Los blocking terrain (the LGT would be proud) so my other missiles took a pop shot at the big fella, Mr bloodthirster, and took 9 wounds off him. Not bad for a pot shot! Belakor was dragged down in combat by my veterans. I had a poor card draw so only scored warlord this turn.

Turn 3 saw rich focus on objectives from another favourable card draw, the injured nurgle prince and bloodthirster taking objectives whilst the khorne and tzeentch Princes took out my left flank of missiles and heavy bolter. This saw him reach 10 points.

My turn 3 my librarian had something to prove and double 6'd his powers twice, going down to a single wound remaining. Still, got the job done. My vets charged the nurgle prince and bloodthirster, despite using a stratagem for +1 to wound I couldn't quite take the bloodthirster down. Took out nurgle and wounded khorne though.

Turn 4 the bloodthirster fell back from combat and finished off my suicidal terminator librarian. This turn he had potential to score good points if he could make me fail a morale test... however he was in amongst the small squads and the bloodthirster was down to 2wounds at this point. His tzeentch prince suited the survivors from the heavy bolter squad, but was overzealous and wiped the squad out. The khorne daemon prince charged the frag cannon unit... and found out how painful they can be. He survived on a single wound. My stormshield then failed his save at the first asking and the entire squad perished. No morale test for me!

My turn 4 the other librarian smote the bloodthirster as vengeance for his fallen brother. The frag cannons finished off the khorne prince, allowing the 4 missile launchers to turn the tzeentch prince into a cloud of feathers. This was Rich tabled for the win. I would have scored points for killing characters, and for getting objectives, which would have just about caught me level on points with him. He had the mobility to try to hide the tzeentch prince and wait the game out, but I would probably have outscored him if he'd tried that.

So, lessons for both of us. Rich missed a sitter earlier, his khorne prince could have charged my frag cannons from outside Los. This would have probably saved him, and maybe required me to shoot the missile launchers at him instead of big bird. He also now knows to be wary of black Shields. I meanwhile had forgotten how nasty daemon Princes with just claws can be in combat. I passed way more stormshield saves than I should have.

I do miss my corvus so will probably try to fit them back in at some point, so consider this to be an audition for which squads fit in well with that. I thought the frag cannons did superbly, but then rich was a combat army, against someone with guns I can see them getting shot before they can get close. The missiles did a solid shift. I did originally have these in a larger squad of ablative wounds but that ties 5 extra bodies backfield, and if you aren't getting shot at, it's a waste.

Using the beacon just to pull across the librarian did seem wasteful, but I wanted the buffing powers and I only have one librarian in terminator armour. I do have more terminators so maybe a proxy test run is in order... besides, I had nothing else i'd want to bring in... the missiles? The 8" deadly frag cannons to deploy 9" away? Pfft! I suppose it would have let me take a different relic but there wasn't anything that leapt off the page at me.

Anyway, a good fun game, and some food for thought for future list tweaks.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Odds and Ends... Caught up on Shadespire

With the Fury Road project complete and another project not yet lined up, I have been pecking away at some other little odds and ends projects. I have now finished the rest of the warband for Shadespire. Only to a tabletop standard, but I'm pleased enough with them.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Oh, what a day... what a lovely day!

So Immorkan Joe and his warboys got to ride eternal... well, for a day at least, at Double Trouble run by Alex over at fromthefang. This was a mixed doubles event, with MIX being the important word here... every round you'd be paired with someone different fighting against some-two different. Meaning three games and nine fellow hobbyists to meet.

For this I yet again did a themed army, this time a speed freaks ork warband in the style of Fury Road. The Doof Wagon provided the soundtrack for the day.

If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die historic, on the fury road!
Was it a top notch list? Far from it. It was a pasted together list using a self restricted list of units to make a themed army from an army that still doesn't have a codex... I wasn't expecting much from this. And arguably it did as expected... I don't think we won a game all day, but we had lots of fun.

Don't "think" I won a game all day I hear you ask? Well it's hard to say... each game you count up VP for objectives at the end of each turn and Bloodpoints killed at the end of the battle. You write down what you got and they all go towards your final VP/BP score. I am pretty sure I was behind the opposite side of the table on VP and BP in all three games, but I can't say for sure, as what they scored was meaningless to what I took forward. Arguably you could lose all three games but if you score highly in all three games, regardless of losing, and your opponents go on to score low in their other games, you would come higher in the rankings. It doesn't care if you won or lost, just how many VP/BP you score.

Game 1 I was with a guard artillery force against Tau and Harlequins. I ran across the table and got shot a lot, grabbing objectives and buying time for the guard artillery to do it's work. Unfortunately it lacked a little in accuracy... I think we killed a pathfinder and a drone in turn 1, and in fact by the end of the game had done little to temper the tau firepower, but had taken to spitefully picking on fire warriors in order to rack up some bloodpoints in what was clearly going to be a loss. My guys didn't do much in this game apart from hold objectives and get shot as I had a long table to cross. I feel they earned a respectable VP score and did their job of "distraction" quite well.

Game 2 I was teamed up with my friend Chris and his Blood Ravens, and we were against a guard player and a Blood Angel. This was a fantastic game with some real epic moments, and a very close VP score, think it was 1 or 2 apart in the end... Both marine players were wiped out, but unfortunately most of the guards big points sinks survived. I briefly had Joe in combat with Pask AND a wyvern, with the doof wagon in support, but he fluffed his attacks. The doof wagon then got charged by some blood angels, which ended messily for them, but one of them survived to the second round, meaning the battlewagon couldn't support Joes charge on Pask... and he died to overwatch.

Ah, mediocre...
Highlight of this game had to be the nigh indestructible truck, which took 3 lascannon hit and a battlecannon hit and only lost 4 wounds due to the ramshackle rule. It was eventually obliterated by a further 6 battlecannon hits, but even then it passed another 2 ramshackle rolls just out of spite...

Luckily this is an Ork truck, so still has 6 wounds left and is fully functional...
Game 3 was a wonderful affair, as it was played on a desert themed board with rocky outcrops... it was the perfect set for my finale. I was with a nid player and against guard and alpha legion, and the guard player was boasting that the bullgryns had some tricks which made them incredibly resilient... Joe decided to put that theory to the test, and promptly walloped them with 8 mortal wounds (rolling a 6 to wound makes the ensuing damage mortal, after rolling 3 6s to hit I rolled 3 6's to wound... meant I forgave him for missing with one attack) Of course he then got immediately clobbered for 8 wounds in response, but at least he went out in a blaze of glory. The doof wagon too had a great time squashing cultists. and this game was again quite close in VP although our side was close to being tabled by the end. But all in all a great time.

I live! I Die! I live again!

As for the overall day, all the battlefields looked superb, I saw a huge army preparing for a game of heresey which was quite the sight to see, I won the Best Converted Prize I had been hoping for... although shall we say I didn't have much competition this year. That isn't me being arrogant, I literally was unopposed. Whether my entry intimidated others into aiming for other categories instead I couldn't say, but hey I'll take a win however I get it :P

All this over a family squabble... healthy babies...

Oh, and the scenery was far better than the LGT ;) I really do wish we had something even half as od as this place in Portsmouth.

Sadly this is likely to be the last appearance I make at one of Alexs events, as he has announced that his next will be his last, and I can't make it. He will be spending more time with his family... selfish bastard!

No in all seriousness, Alex has run some excellent tournaments over the years, and his are now the only tournaments I attend, precisely because they don't have the same tournament atmosphere you get elsewhere. I hope someone takes up the mantle, if I had something like the NWGC in Portsmouth I would consider it myself (much good that would do for those who are local to the even in all fairness) Admittedly, my wallet will probably appreciate a return to just normal hobbying, as opposed to "Oh but it's a tournament, you've got to do something *special* for it..."