Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Review

My next post will concern the resolutions for 2010 but first I wanted to take a moment and ponder the events of 2009...

I began and completed 1850 points of Tau. My son has now assumed command of that army as it grows to, and beyond, 2500 points.

I began playing in July of this year. I have played 23 games. My record is 17 losses, 4 draws, and 2 wins.

I began a Space Marine chapter (Void Legion) in September. I have assembled and painted (tabletop standard, three colors) 1500 points. I have another 1000 points unassembled and unpainted.

I have started collecting a Tyranid army. It remains unassembled and unpainted, awaiting the day that the new codex is released.

I have yet to be "that guy" in a game. If anything, I feel that I have restrained my competitiveness to the point of being a lame duck (see win-draw-loss stats above).

I have drawn a new player into the hobby, my son. My nephews are next on the hit list.

My daughter owns 2.5 tactical squads of SM and SW. She is working on painting them. At eight years of age, I feel she is doing pretty well.

I was laid-off in February and started college in May. I have a 3.88 GPA.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas Eve here. In a few hours I will be opening presents to see if Santa brought me any new 40K stuff.

I will keep you posted.

I hope everyone enjoys their time off celebrating the birth of Christ with their family. If you and a family member are having a squabble, try to make amends. This life is fleeting and neither of you may be around much longer to squabble at all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fog of War(p) deployment

We tried this today with a three-way battle between Ultramarines, my Void Legion, and my son's Tau.

The point limit was 1000. Three objectives with each player getting to place one each. The objectives must be within 24" of the center of the table.

Roll for deployment order. Place one unit anywhere you want, except within 12" of another unit. Roll for standard scatter. If your unit would go off the table it is not destroyed it just sits on the edge. If the unit scatters within 12" of another unit that is okay. If you scatter into area terrain or difficult terrain that is fine. If you scatter into impassable terrain just place the unit up next to it. Using common sense will help things work out.

Then the next player deploys one of their units following the above guidance. And so on, and so on, and s.......

It is a lot of fun and gets you right into the fight. No unit is right on top of another unless it scatters there, making for some fun tactical decisions.

For extra randomness, roll for at the beginning of every round for player turns.

In the end, the Tau manuevered and sniped the SM and Ultramarines (who were busy tearing each other up!). Tau for the win!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Got Chitin?

Ok, I am not going to repeat all of the information that is out there on the web about the new Tryanids coming in January. The Trygon model is sweet.
I am receiving a Tyranid Battleforce for Christmas and other related goodies. So, I will be building and painting immediately. I hope to have a built army (probably not painted) ready to go on the 16th when the codex comes out. So, woohoo! Let the harvesting of biomass begin!
As I mentioned in my last post I have come into possession of 110+ imperial guardsmen. Since, I do not play IG and I am loath to get rid of any models (because they are hella cool). I am considering painting them (NOT all of them!) in my Void Legion chapter colors and making a few weapons mods and playing them as Space Marine scouts. Has anyone ever seen this?
I watched Avatar today and I cannot express how happy I am that it was a genuinely good movie. The story did not break any new ground but was solid nevertheless. The effects were impressive and more importantly they looked as close to life-like and real than any CGI done yet. The combat, little that there was, is very well coordinated and quite devastating. If there is an anti-Transformers spectacle out there, this is it. Micheal Bay, you should give James Cameron a call and let him teach you something about plot, story, and continuity...
Christmas is almost here! Rejoice!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

110 what?

Yesterday saw my return to my local GW and we had a blast. I played zero games but that hardly mattered.

The annual Bizarre Bazaar was happening and I was hunting for the good deals. These deals caught my eye.

SM Assault squad for $10, yep! - Ended up not getting it.

Emperor's Champion for $5, yep! - Let a buddy make the purchase instead.

Ork Codex for $5, yep! - I did buy this!

Fully painted, based, and flocked Blood Angels detachment for $150, yep! - I did not get this, but it was a pretty good deal. x20 Assault Marines, x40 Tactical Marines, x15 Terminators

Random bag of genestealers and gaunts for free, yup! - My son somehow got this deal knowing that I am starting a new tyranid army for 2010. Bag contained x3 genestealers, x9 termagants, x2 spore mines. Some guy just gave them to my son!

My personal best deal of the day. $70 for 300+ models and three books. I bought this one and I don't even play Guard!

More than 100 guardsmen, 2 heavy weapons teams, and an old ork trukk converted to an IG buggy.

Complete, mostly unassembled celtic army, over 200+ models! Three books; Warhammer Ancient Battles, Armies of Antiquity (Ancient Battles Supplement), and Alexander the Great (another Ancient Battles supplement).

Ok, more to come later today. with pics!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It seems like it was yesterday....

My 14th wedding anniversary was today. We did not do much since we are both studying for finals week.

I did purchase a Tyranid Battleforce today. I will be receiving it as Christmas gift on the 25th. Yea me!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Toymallet $0.40 battle test

Ok, using the Toymallet rules are simplicity itself.

Our niece is spending the weekend with us and tonight was games night. After a couple of games of Cranium, I left my 13 y.o. son in charge of running a Toymallet game with his sister and younger niece.

I came back about 30 minutes later to find the Tyranids and Space Marines, supported by Ironman, engaged in wiping out a platoon of Imperial Stormtroopers.

Fun was had all around.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rules? We don't need no stinking rules...

I have in my time collected a lot of figures. Fantasy, Star Wars, Heroscape, and, of course, 40k are the figures I currently own.

Occasionally, I get the urge to play with them, all of them, all at the same time.

Since my regular gaming partners are my eight year old daughter and my 13 y.o. son I need a simple mechanic that keeps the game moving but with enough depth to make it interesting.

I have downloaded the Forge of War homebrew rules and I like them. However, I needed something a little bit more "fun".

So, what did I do? I went websurfing.

It did not take me long to find just what I was looking for. A 40K parody game. Brilliant!

Here is the link;

The ruleset's name is ToyMallet 40 cents. It is not serious ruleset, but it looks pretty fun. I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to this. She has been waiting to field her Rainbow Space Marines with her Heroscape Amazon Warriors(esses?), and the hot pink hormagaunts.

I think this will do the trick.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Range = Unlimited

We had a great day at our local Tanksgiving. We discovered that the hunter-killer and seeker missiles really did have unlimited range.

On round three the forces of order launched every hunter-killer missile they had. From the south of Texas the missiles roared until they found a target in Gig Harbor, WA. Once on target, they inflicted severe damage to a Warhound Titan.

If you are the player from Washington whose titan was damaged by a missile salvo from Texas, please let me know. We want to hear from you.

Did anyone else make a longer distance shot during their Tanksgiving?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gamer Stigma

We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with some family today. At some point my wife was telling some members of the family about an event that occurred earlier this week...

We had purchased the new Star Trek on DVD. The edition we bought was the one that has the model of the Enterprise that doubles as the DVD holder. Once home, but before we began the movie, I had to slip outside and give the model a quick zoom-zoom around the driveway while I smoked a cigarette.

As my wife related this story I felt a twinge of...shame? embarrassment? What kind of man still plays with toys into his mid-30s? Was I a man or some type of man-child eternally caught in an immature phase?

I have throughout my life had this feeling of disconnect between what is manly behaviour (especially in Texas) and the hobbies/interests that I cultivate.

I am middle-aged man with a family, mortgage, normal pets (no snakes or spiders), car payments, and all of the attendant responsibilities that comes with that life situation. I am a combat veteran with 15 years of service under my belt.

So, why is it that I should feel this twinge? I mean, I am a free citizen on my own property pursuing my own type of happiness. Am I too sensitive to mainstream culture? Am I too aware of a society that favors certain manly behaviours over others as a definition of what it means to be a "man"?

Have you ever had the feeling that playing with fictional toy soldiers is somehow diminishing your manliness, in the eyes of others?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I know defeat....

Well. The "Vegas Odds" tournament happened today. I placed solidly in the middle of the pack. 1st place too $40 worth of product home. 2nd and 3rd took $25 and $15 respectively.

I did not play the list I had previously posted. I conferred with older and wiser warriors than myself on the Dice Like Thunder forums and the general consensus was that I lacked any mobility. This is the list I ran...

Cato Sicarius
3 Tac squads at full strength
2 Dreadnoughts w/ CCW, MM, SB
1 Rhino
6 Terminators w/ x1 power sword, x5 powers fist, x6 SB

This is fairly solid list. Mobility is somewhat solved by using Sicarius to give one tac squad infiltrate. DS the terminators, and put one squad in the Rhino.

I wish I had only been competing against my opponents. The "Vegas Odds" were against us all but I seemed to have fallen into a puddle of bad luck on my way to the game and I felt it the rest of the day.

Every time you gave a shooting order to a unit you rolled a d6. On a 1, you targeted the nearest friendly unit and fired everything at it. On a 2, you used the night fighting rules. 3-5 shooting occurs as normal. On a 6, you are are out of ammo, no shooting that turn.

Every time you gave an assault order to a unit you also rolled a d6. On a 1 or 2, your unit is spooked and falls back d6 inches away from the unit they were going to assault. 3 thru 5, assault as normal. On a 6, your unit assaults itself. My squad of Terminators actually took themselves out twice thanks to that.

We were also playing four people to a table. You were facing your opponent across the table but only half of the long side you were on belonged to you. You could also shoot and be shot at by the other two players on the table. I don't think that happened more than once or twice all day. We mostly concentrated on our respective opponents.

All missions were Dawn of War deployment and Annihilation. Scoring was different. If you managed to kill the enemy commander you received 5 points (and you had to kill him, if he ran off the table, you did not kill him). If you destroyed your enemy's most expensive unit your received 3 points. If you destroyed at least one vehicle you got 2 points. You received one point each for every scoring unit you had left alive at the end of the battle. Finally, your opponent rolled 2d6 and you received the result as points. You then rolled 2d6 for him.

Now, the games were fun. The "Vegas Odds" definitely changed the entire feeling of the game. You could have had a perfect deployment and flawless tactics and it could have completely fallen apart around you on the "Vegas Odds" roll.

I would say my major gripe is that prizes were being awarded. I mean, I wanted a chance to win based off of my tactics, my deployment, my list, my generally good luck. I found that those random 2d6 rolls completely skewed the outcome. For instance I managed to keep my commander alive and my highest point unit stayed alive. That means I denied my opponent 8 points. And then we rolled the random points. I rolled a 12 for him, he rolled a 3 for me. My roll literally put him ahead by a point due to no game play on his part.

I don't mean to sound sour, it really was a lot of fun. But, I really wanted to win some free product. As I am sure everyone else did. The "Vegas Odds" are good for a lark, for bragging rights, and amazement at the outrageous results, but not for prizes.

Ah well, until the next tournament. I will keep my blade sharp and my gun oiled. You do the same...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Odds are....

This is the Space Marine list I am going to use this Saturday at the local GW "Vegas Odds" tournament.

Supposedly, random events will be occurring each turn. I guess that's why it is called "Vegas Odds".

I went with a basic flexible build. Enough meltas, meltabombs, and powerfists to deal with armor and enough regular shooting and flamers to deal with large unit armies like IG, Orks, or Tyranids.

The tactical squads will probably be combat squaded into a heavy element and an assaulting element. The Captain and Terminators will be my close assault hammers. The dreads will provide longer ranged anti-armor and be my bait units.

1250 Pts - Space Marines Roster - Void Legion

1 Battle Captain @ 160 pts ( Power Armour)

1 Power Armour (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Iron Halo; Auxiliary Grenade Launcher; Digital Weapons; Melta Bombs; Artificer Armour; Bolter x1; Power Sword x1)

9 Tac Squad - Tempus @ 175 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Flamer; Missile Launcher)

1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Melta Bombs; Bolt Pistol; Chainsword)

9 Tac Squad - Vulgus @ 175 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Flamer; Missile Launcher)

1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Melta Bombs; Chainsword; Chainsword)

9 Tac Squad - Deo @ 180 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Meltagun; Missile Launcher)

1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Melta Bombs; Bolt Pistol; Chainsword)

1 Dreadnought "Dutch" @ 120 pts (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Extra Armor; Dreadnought CCW; Multi-Melta; Storm Bolter)

1 Dreadnought "Blaine" @ 120 pts (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Extra Armor; Dreadnought CCW; Multi-Melta; Storm Bolter)

7 Terminator Squad @ 320 pts (Power Fist x7; Storm Bolter x7)

1 Sergeant (Power Sword; Storm Bolter)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unintended Consequences

I posted a rant on here about a week ago concerning the size of the GW store that is local to me. I also posted it on the Dice Like Thunder forums.

Boy was I surprised when I was listening to the new podcast and heard my rant being read aloud.

Wow, I didn't think it was good enough to attract that level of attention.

Anywho, most of the size issues have been worked out as the manager is thinking about setting up the remaining tables in the back area for overflow gaming purposes.

All's well that ends well.

Oh yeah, If you do not listen to Dice Like Thunder you should give them a listen. They are at . Richard, Dan, Ian, Skrivus, and Mack are great buch of guys.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Floorspace Shenanigans


My friendly local Games Workshop has moved. Today was their opening day at their new location and I am a bit disappointed.

Granted the move to a new location did save them some rent money. Which, is a good thing.

What disappoints me is the size of the new store. It's too small.

Now, the old store was about 1500 square feet in size and supported seven gaming tables, a painting bar, and the demonstration table. It never felt crowded.

The move to a new store with a commensurate lower rent would lead to the conclusion that there would be less floor space.

That conclusion would be incorrect.

The floor space of the new store is roughly 2000-2200 square feet.

So, why does the new store feel too small you ask? Because the corporate headquarters has mandated that all stores (not Battle Bunkers) will be about 1100 square feet in size. This has cut the store down to three gaming tables, a paint bar, and the demonstration table, and about two feet between each table.

So, what do you do when you are renting a store that is twice the size mandated by the corporate HQs?

Why you build a wall in the middle of the store. I am not kidding, that is what happened.

"Buy our product and please leave.", is the message I get when I look upon a store that is forced to only use half of it's available floorspace. The Baltimore management team even stuck around to take pictures proving that the floorspace standard had been met.

So disappointing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Rites of Maintenance...Paintbrush Prayers

I had a couple of paintbrushes that I was going to throw out. After months of grueling service they had old dried paint in the ferrule and the heel of the brush. They could not maintain a point, etc.

However, I was loath to, because they are my favorite paintbrushes.

Because I occasionally strip and repaint the same model two or three times, I have a stash of Simple Green on hand...

On a whim, I put some in a cup and used my third hand to hold my old paintbrushes with the brush part suspended in the Simple Green.

I waited a couple of days (forgot about them is closer to the truth) before removing them. After a good rinse and a few fluffs I was surprised to see the body was forming back up, the points were as sharp as ever, and the old paint in the heel/ferrule area was completely gone.

New brushes run about $5 apiece from the local GW store. Now, that money can go to buying new models.

The Simple Green does evaporate after couple of weeks, just add some water every now and again to keep it hydrated.

What are your waiting for Marine? See to your Wargear!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nice Chaos Rhino

I began following 40K Noob's blog a few days ago.

He recently began the 40K journey and he has done some pretty nice work in the last couple of weeks. He doesn't seem to be set up for comment posting on his blog, but I think he is off to a great start.

This is his first Rhino and I think it looks ready to get into the fight.

Making Tau unkillable...almost

This is a comment I made over on Zorcon's Word.

He has trouble keeping his suits alive long enough to tear things up.

This is my suggestion...

"I would consider scrapping the two elite teams.

Take one Shas'o HQ suits with a bodyguard.

For 301 points you have a 3 suit team with 14 wounds and 4+ invulnerable save.

Loadout is as follows;

Shas'o; with TL plasma rifles, HW Drone controller, Target Lock, Shield Drone, Gun Drone.

Bodyguard suit; TL Fusion Blasters, HW Drone controller, Targeting Array, 2x Gun Drones

Bodyguard suit; TL Missile Pods, HW Drone controller, Targeting Array, 2x Gun Drones

The gun drones are great for attempting pinning tests, but they mostly exist for ablative wounds. Each bodyguard suit has 2 wounds and the Shas'o has 4 wounds. That means you can absorb 10 wounds (x5 gun drones, x1 wound from each bodyguard suit, 3 wounds from the Shas'o suit) before you lose your 4+ invulnerable save by sacrificing the shield drone on the 11th wound.

After that you will lose one suit for each wound taken, for the remaining three wounds.

The twin-linking allows you to almost never miss and the weapons loadout gives you a mix of long to short ranged firepower.

Granted, you are giving up numbers in exchange for survivability. As it stands your two elite suit teams only have a total of 12 wounds between both of them. In this instance you free up two force organization slots, gain two more wounds overall (14 vs. 12) while only giving up four suits overall (7 vs. 3). Looking at your list and removing your two elite and one HQ selection (416 points); replacing it with the HQ as outlined above (301 points); saves you 115 points that can be sunk into another unit.

Try it. I think you will be surprised by the amount of energy your opponent will have to devote to destroying those three suits while your Broadsides and HQ rip him apart."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

MAG-Con considerations

Well, I was thinking I could host a 40K tournament at the upcoming MAG-Con in Houston.

However, with the following issues I doubt I will be doing so. They are not running any 4' x 6' tables, only 4' x 4' tables. I figured in a pinch we could just push two tables together to form a 4' x 8' table. Than I heard the worst news. No terrain. They have no terrain. You can bring your own of course.

So, with me being a very much first timer to organizing a tournament, the incorrect sized tables, and no terrain; it looksl ike I am going to back-burner my tournament organizing aspirations.

Besides it will leave me more time to paint and play my army rather than trying to make a tournament out of nothing.


The 1st Annual MAG-Con gaming convention is happening on DEC 11-13.

More info here.

I am thinking about hosting a 40k tournament there.

Is there any interest?

Friday, October 30, 2009

The must-have unit

Ron over at FTW has asked the contributors to work on a collaborative post concerning the units we consider our, "must-haves".

My must-have unit is the second HQ choice.

Even in a 500 point list I always try to include two HQs.

Sure, they are not as damaging as the heavies or as flashy as the Elites, but they are solid and vicious in their own right.

Let's face it, the stat block is always better, the armor is always better, and the wounds are always better than your standard troops choice.

For example take the Shas'o XV-8 Commander suit. BS is 5 with the from the word, "go". Acute Senses, Deep Strike, Jet Pack, 4 wounds, a hard-wired drone controller, 4 attacks at initiative 3, and a 3+ armor save come standard. Add in a shield drone and another drone of your choice and you add a +4 invulnerable save and two ablative wounds to the mix.

Basically, your HQ looks something like this; hits on everything but a 1, has 6 wounds, if you take a twin-linked weapon system you will never miss (unless your dice hate you), 12" of move per round, the super-duper insta-kill wounds can be ablated to a shield drone, in short you have a nearly unkillable HQ unit on the board.

The only thing that would make it better is if you had two....

Think about it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It has been a week since my last post. I am still working on the Arvus Lighter and have painted more of my Space Marine Chapter: Void Legion.

Finished the first Horus Heresy novel and picked up the second.

Currently reading the Soul Drinkers Omnibus.

Finished the Star Wars novel Deathtroopers. Quite a nice little book. An easy read.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arvus Lighter part 3

Cockpit module has been attached. Foam buildup on the left and right side of the cockpit and a generous helping of joint compound to fill the gaps and build up the body.

Top and bottom edges have been beveled and the boarding ramp detail is nearly complete.

This must be finished for a Apoc game on November 14th.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arvus Lighter part 2

Did some more work over the weekend.
The rear hull is taking shape. I am reinforcing the edges of the foam with styrene (plasticard for our friends across the pond). My styrene source is actually pretty good since it's free. I like using the blank credit cards that come with credit offers or empty gift cards. I have been saving for some time and have a stack about 1 1/2 inches tall. My filler of choice is drywall joint compound.

The cockpit module is coming along nicely.

Tau for the win!

Harrison (my son) took his 1500 point Tau army out for a spin this weekend against the Emperor's finest, the Ultramarines.

The mission was Annihilation and the deployment was Dawn of War.

Tau for the win, six kill points to two.

The MVP units of the game were the Kroot squad with Shaper (12 strong) and the Gun Drones (8 strong).

Tau forces

Shas'o with Fusion blaster, plasma rifle, and cyclonic ion cannon. HW drone controller; x1 shield drone

x12 Kroot with shaper

x12 Fire warrior squad

x1 Devilfish with smart missile system

x1 Hammerhead with burst cannons

x1 Ionhead with burst cannons

x3 stealth suit team; one with a fusion blaster

x8 gun drones

x2 piranha; one with a fusion blaster

Ultramarine force

x20 space marines

x1 dreadnaught

x10 terminators

x5 assault squad

x5 command squad with chapter master

x1 drop pod (command squad was in it)

There were more space marine forces. I am just not sure what they were.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What is the MacGuffin?

Seems to me that every army has it's own MacGuffin.

It's own specific niche talent/equipment/ability that sets it apart from other armies.

The Tau have markerlights and jetpacks. The Space Wolves have the four HQ and Grey Hunters options. Blood Angels have Death Company.

Those are the only armies I am familiar with.

What are the MacGuffins for the rest of the armies?

Are the MacGuffins balanced?


Work on the Arvus Lighter has begun.

First I gathered raw materials and reference materials to begin plotting the hull construction. Hull is 5mm foam.

Top, bottom, and sides of the hull have been roughed out.

Assembly begins.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blood Angels

I have seen a lot of rumors flying around the blogosphere lately concerning the Blood Angels. Rumors concerning a new codex.

This last weekend GW released a .pdf file of the Blood Angels codex that was presented back in 2007 in White Dwarf. On the front in big letters it proclaims "Fully Updated to 5th Edition rules".

So, why produce a new codex next year when resources were allocated to updating the existing one to 5th edition rules, this year?

I imagine the conversation went something like this....

"Hey, Jim can you update the current Blood Angels codex and get it ready to be a free .pdf downloadable from our website?"

"Uh, yeah. Don't we have the new Blood Angel's codex already written and waiting to go on sell next year?"

"Yeah, forget that. Let's throw the fans a bone on this one."

"Well, couldn't you use my help writing a new codex? Like say the Tau or the Dark Eldar?"

"No, Jim we don't need you help working on new product that we could sell. Get your ass in there and update the existing one so we can give it away for free."


My call? No Blood Angels codex in 2010.

Successful corporations do not do, double work. They do not split their resources to work on the same project from two different directions.

Arvus Lighter Project

One of the great things about our hobby is the proliferance of really cool models.

I have admired the various vehicle models for years. I was, in my younger years, a sci-fi and military modeler. I was never very good mostly because I rarely finished the models, because I was too busy tweaking the build and zooming them around the living room.

Well, here I am years later and I have finished most of my models and even painted them (well, mostly).

Because I am addicted to cool models, it was not long before I was drawn towards all of the wonderful models that Forgeworld puts out. One of the models I really like is the Arvus Light shuttle. I do not like the price though.

So, I am going to try my hand at scratchbuilding one. I don't care if I never get to play it, I want one because it is a cool little design.

Besides, I can always make it an objective.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The First!

Welcome all.

This is the first entry of my first ever blog.

I have been playing Warhammer 40K for about three months now. I have also managed to get my son hooked on the plastic "crack".

I field a Space Marine army in my own "homebrewed" chapter, Void Legion.

My son fields a Tau army that I occasionally try my hand at playing also.

I will be posting more, soon.