Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random Stormraven Reference

I got a copy of Deathwatch from Fantasy Flight Games for Christmas.

As I was reading through the section on the Storm Wardens chapter, it mentioned the Stormraven.

The mention was set in an account of a battle between Orks and the Storm Wardens.

Could this be an indication that regular Space Marines will be able to take the Stormraven at some point?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all wonderful holiday filled with food, friends, family, and fun.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jetbikes for Tau

Custom conversion by a guy named super0sonic @ tau online

It is a little known fact that after writing the Elite and Heavy Support sections of the Tau codex, Games Workshop outsourced the writing of rest of the codex to Nepal.

I have been thinking about the Tau, a lot, recently and I could not recall what their fast attack options were. Once I cracked open their dusty tome, I discovered that the Tau fast attack FOC is missing something…oh yeah, the fast attack part!

First, the options available now and then some speculation and wishlisting...

Let’s have a look, shall we….

Gun Drones – Jump infantry (Jet Pack) @ 12 points each. Let’s see…jet packs are not truly “fast” in any instance. A 6” “jump” during the movement phase with the option of making another 6” “jump” during the Assault phase. 6” + 6” = 12”….

Space Marines (all varieties) get “jump” packs and make a 12” “jump” during the Movement phase with the option of a 6” “charge” during the Assault phase. Hmmmm…12” + 6” = 18”

Is this the best that a technologically advanced civilization can do again a bunch of Luddites (i.e. Humanity)?

To sum up; Gun Drones = NOT fast. Couple this with a lousy stat line and a relatively shorted ranged weapon that will only hit its target 2/3rds of the time (no weapon upgrades either!) and you have a weak and slow fast attack choice that is a bit pricey.


Pathfinder Team – standard, albeit pricier Fire Warriors (Shas’la) that MUST take a Devilfish (80 points).

The markerlight, which is the Pathfinder’s stock in trade, is a Heavy 1. The Devilfish is a Tank and a Skimmer and has zero firing ports.

So, let me get this straight…must take a transport that happens to NOT be a fast skimmer, a non-fast skimmer that CANNOT be fired from, and once disembarked they cannot even fire their trademark weapon (the only reason for taking them in the first place) because disembarking counts as moving. Well, hell I can do that in a Land Raider!

In the end Pathfinders are only capable of moving as fast as their transport. The same exact transport available to the rest of the army. A transport that moves as fast as any other vehicle in the game…Nope! Definitely not fast attack.


Piranha Light Skimmer Team – more expensive than a SM landspeeder but at least tries, as it is a fast skimmer.

Not a bad choice overall and with the option to field up to 15 of them (900 points, no upgrades) you at least have some redundancy. Vehicle upgrades are long in capability and short on weapon options.

Hopefully, the lack of weapon options on all Tau vehicles will be addressed in the new codex (whenever that is). This will make them more versatile. Points should be lowered to compensate for the “open-topped” drawback. SM landspeeders are 10 points cheaper and are NOT “open-topped”.

To sum up; Piranhas = fast attack. A bit pricy for what you get but can get around the board quite fast.


Vespid Stingwings – a flaccid statline for the same cost as a Space Marine; fleet, skilled flyer, and move as jump infantry (the real kind, not uh, the “jet pack” kind). A nice weapon is provided but, no other options are available.

Their statline means you should stay out of close combat but the short range of their Neutron blasters means that you mostly will not be able to avoid being assaulted.

In short; Vespids cost as much as Space Marines but are not nearly as capable. They are armed with a powerful (yet criminally short ranged) weapon. They do, however, move as “real” jump infantry and therefore fully earn their fast attack assignment in the FOC.

Roughly half of the Tau fast attack options are neither “fast” nor “attacky”.

How can this be fixed?

I feel that adding in some new blood will be the answer. Move the Gun Drones and Pathfinders to where they really belong, the Troop FOC.

I think that Tau jetbikes have epic potential. It would give them a much need boost to their Toughness and truly illustrate their technological mastery over gravity. Plus, if more weapon options are available they could be custom tailored for specific missions.

So, gentle readers…

What do you think?


What should be the fourth option in the fast attack FOC?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dead Killy Tournament Results

On November 7th we had the first Dead Killy: Kill Team Tournament at the local GW.

For a $10 entry fee and a readable copy of your army list you got into the tournament.

We had a field of ten competitors. This brought the prizes given out to $120 in total (I put up $20 to get the ball rolling).

The prizes given out were 1st Place ($48), 2nd Place ($24), Last Place (Booby)($12), and Best Appearance ($36).

I would say that a great time was had by all. A two-way tie for 2nd place went down as well as three-way tie for last place. We did end up running "playoff" games so that clear winners were found.

1st Place went to a local school teacher named Ryan Degenhardt and his brutal Tau Kill Team.

2nd and 3rd Place went to, two Dark Eldar players. Zach took 2nd and Cody took 3rd.

4th place was, surprisingly, a Necron Kill Team that consisted only of 8 or 10 warriors.

Last Place was a hard fought affair with Ork Lootas, Plague Marines, and Space Marines battling to be the best (of the worst?). Chris' mix of sniper scouts and assault marines took the day and summarily declared that they were the worst of the lot.

Cale's Plague Marines took Best Appearance. We had to go to an outside judge as the three painting judges were tied between the plague marines and Ryan's beautiful Tau force.

My daughter Lauren was the photographer for the day and also did an outstanding job. Unfortunately, she did not take pics of either of the two best painted forces in the tournament.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

BA StormRaven unveiled!!!

posted some text and picture from the GW website.
The image and text have since been taken down...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dice Like Thunder fails their invulnerable save...

...but are not subject to instant death because they are The Eternal Warriors!

Ha Ha. Anyway, the talk of the intenetz is that DLT is going away to be replaced by the new podcast known as The Eternal Warriors. The first?! episode should be out some time during the first week of November.

The cast will stay the same, the format will stay mostly the same (only the inclusion of Warmachine is changing), and the schedule will stay the same. No plans are in place to have forums as they do now but, each of the cast members will start their own blog to communicate with the listeners and keep us abreast of their hobby efforts.

When I heard the news that DLT was ending I found myself feeling a little sad. I felt bad enough when 40K Radio (the original) ended but they were only my second love. DLT was my first.

However, a quick jump over to their forums renewed my hope that quality podcasting will continue from the guys I have come to know. No details are being given about the name change and there probably never will but, there has not been a collapse from the inside or an IP issue, it is something else entirely. All it really means to us is that we will now have a two week wait before we can download a current episode.

To the crew I wish the best of luck and godspeed as they make they jump to the new name.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dead Killy - Kill Team Tournament

Image totally stolen from Dr. Gabes Miniatures

This tournament will be held on November 7th, 2010 at the Tomball Crossing Games Workshop. Entry fee is $10 and all money goes for prizes. Four prizes will be awarded; 1st place, 2nd place, Best Appearance, and the Booby (last place) prize. Come and get some!

The Dante model was a custom build and I found it on Dr. Gabes Miniatures blog. Impressive isn't he?

Played my 2000 point Dread heavy SM list against the new Dark Eldar last Saturday. For the love of God keep they away from you and shoot them! They are brutal in close combat. The dark lances while plentiful did not really have as much of an effect as the wyches and the Augubriel Beil (or whatever his name is). It was like a bad dream. Power weapons were flying everywhere! Marines are going to need to bring the firepower because very little can whoop up on these guys in hand-to-hand.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Great Idea

Rust, Dust, and Ceramite wrote a post that makes a lot of sense to me.

Keeping our fellow gamers who are serving overseas supplied with hobby material.

Check out his post and see if volunteering some models for overseas duty is your cup o' joe...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dark Eldar = flight stands done right

No pic for this one but I did get my grubby hands on the display models of the new raider and DE jetbikes.

Besides being fine models in and of themselves I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the flight stands have been re-engineered.

Flight stands now end in a ball joint that mates with a socket in the bottom of the models. This means that the wimpy stud is no longer there to break off in your model as well as the fact that you can "pose" your models as they ride down your enemies...

The friction seemed just right and I can see using a coat of paint to tighten it up as the joint loosens up over time.

Certainly a step in the right direction.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Score! part deux

Local GW had a Bizarre Bazaar today.

Picked up two complete sets of AoBR Orks for $35!

As purchased a five-man assault squad for $5!

Could not be happier right now!

Gotta keep using the exclamation point!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh, that looks bad...

I just viewed the new trailer for the Ultramarines movie.

Not impressed.

The level of CGI is looking more "Toy Story" than "Avatar".

Lets hope the story is up to snuff.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Somebody got their closet cleaned out!

A trip to my local Goodwill toy section yielded the following finds.

Cobra gunship (movie)
Transformers Vector Prime
Two sets of Tamiya kits (Barricades and brick walls)
Boba Fett action figure

Total + tax = $9.21


Friday, August 13, 2010

Items of Interest 001

Just a few things from around the net that I have found noteworthy.

Table Top War has an interesting article concerning assaults and when a vehicle become immobilized. Certainly something to either; make you aware of a little known situation that may come up, or send you off into a spittle spraying rage. Immobile vehicle assault situation

Incunabulong does some interesintg Tau mathhammer concerning twin-linking and markerlights. Well worth a few minutes read to bring up your Tau tactics. Maximize your Tau markerlights.

Berks brings up some love of this game that we all hate to love or love to hate. feel the love!
For the love of the game.

Micropanzer unveils a walker model for $25/$30 that is all metal and looks like it could be used as a sweet Tau Apocalypse walker. Side-by-side size comparisons to existing 40K models gives you an idea of it's size. $25/$30 for a 20 piece half pound of metal model is a good deal by anyones definition. Check it out!
Micropanzer Light Assault Walker

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rules Writing = Hard

Wow, it has been a month now since I started writing the miniature rules that I want use. What a long strange journey it has been. I know the rules, they reside in my head. Getting them on paper is a completely different story.

I can actually see the rulebook, I have dreamt of it at least twice, in all of its glossy color glory...

It does not help that as I sit here writing, or attempting to, I have several models on the shelves that are looking at my. Guilting on me is more like it, "Take us outside to play", "We need some more paint work", Your gonna fail, the 40K rules as they stand now are the greatest ever written!". Or something like that. I am almost sure I imagined it, right?

Having no feedback on anyone interested in playtesting or even submitting faction names has not helped. I want you all to be as excited as I am!

So, as to tease you along I have been converting some of the 40K characters into E.O.D. stats.

These are not final stats. BTW if any of you know the maximum of any stat listed in 40K could you pass that on. For instance the highest WS I can find is 9. If you know of something higher let me know. I need the max stat of any category in 40K, whether it is BS, T, S, Ldrship, etc.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Engine of Destruction - Introduction

The draft of the intro to the ruleset I am writing titled "Engine of Destruction".

I love games. However, there is a disconnect between the two types of games I love.

Role-playing games (RPGs) are the ultimate in character expression. Your character is ultimately customizable into the type of avatar you desire. All of the customization comes at a price though; you usually are only able to control one character at a time.

Miniature wargames on the other hand allow you to control multiple characters, squads, platoons, companies, and perhaps even entire armies. The end result of that scope of control is the loss of individuality. The sheer scope of war and units under your command take away some of the personality or you units. The myriad factors affecting warfare also affect your armies and the rules concerning these factors in other game systems can be a bit…arcane.

In these rules I have sought to attain several goals; customization/personalization of your forces, a unified mechanic to cover all battlefield situations, balance against your opponents, freedom to use whatever miniatures you choose to use, and freedom from the restraint of an established constrained universe.

Customizing and personalizing your units will be easy and intuitive. If you want to outfit a squad with nothing but missile launchers go right ahead. However, you need to be prepared to pay the price for those decisions. You will be able to increase the effectiveness of your units as they continue to survive on the field of battle and they apply their experience to their actions in future battles.

A unified mechanic will keep things simple and the action moving. A simple mechanic does not however mean that you will have to settle lack of depth.

Balance is a serious consideration. Chess has ultimate balance as both players have identical units that are equally capable and the only deciding factor to the game is the competence of the respective commanders. However, who wants to play on the same battlefield with the same identical units every time? We are all aware of certain companies that regularly release army books that “creep” up the effectiveness of that particular army and subtly reduce the effectiveness of the remaining armies. Further, when you purchase a model you are not only paying for the materials, time, and talent required to manufacture that particular model but the “in-game” capabilities of that model. In short if you want to continue to have the most effective army it is almost compulsory that you start the new flavor of the month army and buy the requisite models to remain competitive. Balance is a nebulous concept especially when army books are outdated from the current rules by an edition or more.

Use the models you want to use. If you prefer 15mm, then use them. 25mm or 28mm, use them. If you prefer to use action figures or Lego minifigs, go right ahead. Do you prefer the intimacy of a small skirmish game, the thrill of commanding a few squads or platoons, or the god-like power of commanding an entire army including off-board assets? You can and the game mechanics will not change. Prefer playing in an established universe? Go ahead. Prefer to create your own? Go ahead. Prefer to pit your home-brewed units versus established units by other publishers? Go ahead. The balance will be there. You bring the talent.

This does not mean that you are going to be bogged down in minutiae. Unit creation will take about 30 seconds per unit. You will not need a fistful of tokens, cards, or reams of paper in order to track your unit’s capabilities on the battlefield. One sheet of paper will usually be the maximum you need to know your armies vital statistics.

This is just the draft but I feel that the meat is there. I will be looking to recruit some playtesters in the near future. Drop me a line if you are interested.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Faction Name Design

I am writing my own ruleset for use with all of the different minis I own including GW's.

What I would like from you is names.

Please leave a faction name in the comments section below.

It does not have to be set in any particular universe. Some examples are...

Weyland-Yutani Corporation
The Rebel Alliance
N.O.R. - Northern Ore Refinery

If you care to leave a line or two describing the type of faction it is, feel free to do so.

If I use the faction in my ruleset you will receive full authorial credit.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I got the gunship blues....

Art used without permission of MKingery

I love dropships/gunships. The idea of screaming down on top of your enemies from orbit gives me the goosebumps.

The BA Stormraven is the latest focus of my gunship love.

Part helicopter, part spaceship, 100% bada$$.

Unfortunately, gunships cost money. Sometimes, lots of money.

So, with wise words from the The Year of Frugal Gaming blog echoing in my ears I have been keeping an eye peeled for easily converted projects.

First up is the Secret Saturday's Griffin plane. This is at first glance a cheap, brightly painted, action figure holding, toy plane. The price however cannot be beat. I found them for $5 each at a Big Lots! store downtown. With some simple conversions and a fresh paintjob this thing will sate my gunship lust. Measuring the exact same length as an IG Valkyrie and only two inches wider, it falls into the correct scale.

Just today my Google-Fu yielded another potential love interest. Ebbles Miniatures publishes several print and assemble cardstock sci-fi vehicles, one of which is a dropship. Cardstock?!? you ask. Yes Virginia, cardstock. Evidently this material is a serious modelling tool. These paper models are high-speed. The engines pivot, there are hot-swappable weapons pods, a working cargo ramp, and stuff to place inside the cargo bay! I am telling you this thing is like the Cadillac of paper models. Jump on over and check them out yourself! The price is $16 USD and once you have the file you can make as many as you want.

Have you seen any inexpensive gunship conversion possibilities?

Friday, May 28, 2010

GW = Greatest company ever?

I have been kicking this around lately...

OK, lets look at what they have done.

They have created a universe that is as deep, immersive, and varied as Star Wars. This has led to the establishment of a line of books that almost rivals Star Wars and Star Trek. Not to mention the fan generated material.

They are established in multimedia. Books, board games, RPG games, computer games, miniature games, and magazine(s)?. I am not including the blogs, forums, and websites dedicated to the various games they produce.

They have a fan-base that is as fuelled by rumors as a bored housewife. Despite a tepid economy they continue to raise prices on their products and release new material.

What is surprising is that despite a near constant swell of discontentment for their various practices, such as raising prices, outdated army books, no long-term release schedule (available to fans), lukewarm support of the tournaments, a flawed rule set, and constant changes wrought on the systems by army book rules exceptions; they continue to thrive and we ask for more!

They must have unlocked the secret to corporate success.

They do not (seemingly) listen to the fans, they ruthlessly enforce their IP even if it hurts their image, they do not advertise, they raise prices when the market does not seem to indicate that they should, they do not have sales, and they show no loyalty to their employees.

I have to admit...they seem to be doing everything wrong but succeeding despite that. I remain as dedicated a 40K enthusiast as I ever have. Despite some of the luster being lost because of how they operate. I still ante up to play in and read about their wonderful universe.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Most Inspirational Book?

Photo from Chicago Terrain Factory - Used without permission

Lately, I have been getting out my copy of Cities of Death and thumbing through it. I have found Cities of Death to be the most inspirational 40k book that I own. The photos of the model conversions and the terrain just captures my imagination. I can feel the environment and the strife in those photos. No other 40k game book fires me up like Cities of Death does.

It also helps that GW released their Cities of Death design notes as a free White Dwarf archive .pdf. Just click on Cities of Death

I am feeling hyped up right now to build some city terrain. Maybe a super huge factorum to play a Kill Team mission in?

What about you? What inspires your gaming? What lights a fire in your belly and makes you say, "I have to do that!".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One to lead them...

Captain Praxus, what is best in life?
To crush the Blood Angels
See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their Chaplains...

This is my Terminator Captain.

He still needs a few touch ups and sealing before he is completely finished.

He will be leading the Void Legion into battle from here on out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Opinions sought...

In the singing stillness as dark fades to light...we stand, ready...

1st stanza of the Void Legion Lament

Ok, I purchased a Terminator Captain. He came with a standard base.

Should I put him on a Terminator base or leave him on the standard base?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

House Rules - Fog of War(p) deployment

Your army is on patrol as they stumble into an unnatural fog bank....only to exit the fog a few minutes later surrounded by enemies and their unit formations in disorder...

Designate a 12 o'clock position on the battlefield.

One objective per player. This is especially fun with more than two players.

Each player may place their objective. Roll off if objective placement order matters to you.

The objectives must be within 24" of the center of the table and can be as close to one another as they desire. After objectives are placed, roll for scatter.

Roll for deployment order.

The first player to go will place one unit anywhere they want. Roll for standard scatter (will always be a full 2d6 scatter irregardless of special rules to the contrary). If a unit would go off the table it is not destroyed it just sits on the edge. If a unit scatters into area terrain or difficult terrain that is fine (no dangerous terrain check needed). If a unit scatters into impassable terrain just place the unit next to it. Using common sense will help things work out.

If the deployed unit is a vehicle (or any unit in which facing matters) roll a scatter die and a 2d6. On a "hit" of the scatter die the controlling player may position the vehicle to any heading they desire. If it is a "scatter" the 2d6 result will determine the heading the vehicle is deployed at (remember the 12 o'clock position you set before starting?)

Then the next player deploys one of their units following the above guidance. If a unit scatters within 12" of another unit that is fine.

Deployment follows one unit at a time alternating between players until all units are deployed.

A few clarifying notes:

1. The models are placed as if they had conducted a deep strike (IE., clustered tight together surrounding the initial model placed down). Notice the "as if", models deployed in the deployment phase can assault on their first turn.

2. You cannot be a killjoy and plan a unit deployment in an area not large enough for your entire unit to be staged in deep strike formation. Well, OK you can, but if during placement of your unit you cannot place all models in a deep strike deployment configuration your opponents get to roll off with the winner placing your unit (with proscribed scatter!) anywhere they want on the battlefield.

3. Scout and infiltrating units may make their preemptive moves if all of the regular requirements are met.

4. Any disagreements can be resolved with a roll off to determine who fortune will favor in this battle.

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today was the second day of Owlcon and the only day I could actually go. The kids had a great time with my daughter winning a $25 gift certificate in a Settlers of Catan tournament.

For the 40k tournament I had a win, a draw, and a loss. Meh.

The GM for the tournament is a local at my gaming store and I know him fairly well. After the final scores were posted, I went and asked him about where I had placed in the pack. Turns out I placed 13 out of 24, making me the first place slot for the bottom half.

I was then shown the sportsmanship scores.

When I was tabled in the fourth round, I received a perfect sportsmanship score. When I managed to draw, I received an average sportsmanship score. When I pulled off a 5 KP to 1 KP win, I received the lowest sportsmanship score possible.

It seems that success on the battlefield is inversely proportional to perceived sportsmanship.

I gave all of my opponents perfect sportsmanship scores because they were all decent fellows who did not try and pull any shenanigans on the board. I was told that my scoring of my opponents (and others like me) actually make it harder for the GM to post up scores because not everyone can be the best of sports.

While, I agree with that, to a degree. How do you know? I mean in the first round it is pretty hard to compare my opponent, to my opponent in the third round...

Anyway, I am quite satisfied with a 13 place overall, especially with only eight months of gaming under my belt. I still seem to be incapable of beating Space Wolves.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who am I...when I win?

The local GW is holding a March Madness tournament.

Every player has to play seven games and the top four will battle it out at the end of March to find out who is the best.

I have played three games so far. Resulting in two wins and one loss.

Now, one of my resolutions for this year was to bring my game up...with 22 losses under my belt, I figured I needed to work on my list, tactics, etc.

In the past I have mentioned that I have two "hats" that I wear depending on how I am going to play the game. On one hand I have my "let's have fun" hat and my "No holds barred" hat.

The fun hat has not stood me too well in the winning department as I am too laid back, not as focused on the game, etc. However, the winning hat has made me feel like a dick.

Let me cover a few key events in the last couple of games to bring this into perspective.

First winning game (in the tournament) was against Dark Angels. It was an objective game and I maximized my objective placement by grouping them as close as possible to each other and maximized for the terrain. My opponent is a regular in the store and he has steamrolled me every time I have played him in the past. This games was bit different. I was a lot more focused.

I controlled my movement and spread out a full tactical squad, while remaining in coherency, to claim two of the five objectives. My target priority was much more brutal as I systematically smashed his transport/armor capability. In the last round (I went second) I barely managed to run my Captain into contesting range of one of the two objectives my opponent held.

So, it went from a draw situation, to a win for me.

As we shook hands I couldn't help but notice that my opponent had a look on his face. That look said to me, "I can't believe you kicked my dog, mister". It made me feel kinda small, to see that look.

Second winning game (tournament) was against a brutal Chaos Demons army. Two objectives. Two full units of Flamers of Tzeentch, a couple of Nurgle units, and a Soul Grinder. This game was against the manager of the store and, well, he's a hell of a nice guy.

Early in the game, I took out his Soul Grinder before it could even wound one of my units. One shot - BOOM.

After he wiped two complete tactical squads out and claimed my objective, I tank shocked (Land Raider and Rhino) him off of the objective and embarked my last tac squad into the Land Raider. Now, the way I positioned my tanks, he was incapable of getting within 3" of my objective, period. the Flamers of Tzeentch are brutal against troops but, tank busting is not their strong suit. He tried for four rounds to use a lance type weapon against my tanks, to get a destroyed result. He managed to get a wrecked result on the Rhino but, because it now becomes terrain he still could not get within 3".

He kept trying to move his model's bases under my tanks (the tanks were set up a little because they were sitting on area terrain) but, I kept saying "I don't think you can crawl under my vehicles"...

In the fifth round I used my Land Speeder to contest his objective. I also had ran my Marneus Calgar equivalent into close combat with his unit, which prevented him from assaulting my Land Speeder.

I did not know this at the time because, I was hoping the game would end on turn five and since I was going second (again) he could not bump me from his objective. The game went a full seven rounds.

However, there is a little known statement in the rules that basically says in a multiple close combat situation that involves a vehicle, the defender will ignore the vehicle to face the more imminent of threats (which makes sense). It was this situation that allowed me to win. He literally could not ignore my assaulting HQ unit to attack my contesting vehicle.

So, I won on two technicalities (or so it seems to me). One, he could not physically get within 3" of my objective because I had parked on top of it. Two, he could not fight off my contesting vehicle because I had managed to get another non-vehicle unit into close combat with him.

I again, saw the look.

It had been a tense game all around. In the end the entire store was gathered around, watching and waiting to see the outcome.

Anyway about twenty minutes after, I told him I did not feel good about how I had won and he was very cool. He told me not to worry about it, I had played smarter (and luckier), I had played to the objective of the game, etc.

However, I have looked back at the last two games and wondered if they have cast the most favorable light on me.

In the end I won but, what did it cost me, to do so?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prepare for drop!

After two hard fought losses this weekend I have begun reassessing my list.

My problem seems to boil down to mis-positioning my units during deployment.

Since I usually footslog my marines, due to only owning one Rhino and one Land Raider, I am badly outmanuevered on most missions. I have found myself saying repeatedly, to myself, if I could only get my heavy firepower "over there", I could wreak some havoc.

So, I dug into my codex and began looking at other options. I was immediately enamored with the drop pods. For the same price/points cost of a Rhino I have a transport option that can carry anything in my army.

Terminators?....check, Dreadnought?...check, All flavors of marines?...check.

Only problem is that it is immobilized once it drops, not much a problem as my Rhino and or Land Raider is usually popped on the first turn and cannot carry a Dreadnought at all.

So, I came home with two drop pods (I would have bought more but the store didn't have any...) and built them while watching the Super Bowl. They went together quickly, as I did not bother to build the central column and harnesses. I am not happy that the doors will not stay closed on their own, but a few magnets will fix that.

I also picked up a couple of Dreadnoughts. I am strongly toying with the idea of a six Dread list.

I think the pods will give me a better chance of getting my firepower "over there" and into the backfield of my enemy.
Now, I have read the Drop Pod Assault rules and they basically distill down to scatter mishaps unless you scatter off the table. Is this a correct interpretation?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who's afraid of the big bad bug?

This Saturday saw an impromptu apocalypse game happen at the local GW. I had my Void Legion marines and my son brought his Tau. As is the usual these days we found ourselves as opponents.

On the side of Order we had; Steel Legion (rocking no less than 20 tanks), four space marine armies, and Sisters of Battle with IG allies.

On the side of Chaos we had; Chaos Marines, Tau, Eldar, two traitor IG, and four (yes, four!) Tyranid armies.

I am not going to go into a blow-by-blow account but I did want to share a few observations...

Deep Striking Mawlocs and Trygons will not survive if they are unsupported. Neither of the two that popped up survived past their first round of combat. Granted, I fired everything I had in my army at the Trygon in my sector, but the results were still the same; one dead Trygon. All it managed to do against the back armor of a Dreadnought is stun it (then the Trygon died).

Psyker powers on the Tyranids seem pretty tough. However, I did not see the results of any of the powers because the Sisters of Battle HQ chicky stopped their powers, all of their powers, cold. Not one Tyranid power manifested the entire game. Go Sisters!

Termagants are still really easy to kill. Full tactical squads with bolters in rapid fire range will decimate a brood. For an added bonus kill the Tervigon synapse creature before you shoot them up and they will pretty much run away without the "fearless" special rule to support them.

Combat tactics are going to play a larger part in my strategy against the bugs. In close combat, I am going to take casualties, period. But the ability to break away and get another shooting phase before getting tangled up again is going to be priceless.

Use terrain. There are so many models in an infantry brood that if you can funnel them, when they hit your line most of the brood will be out of close combat range (ie, more than 2" away). This will reduce the attacks against you and possibly allow your entire (smaller) unit get all of your attacks against them.

The game ended on the fourth turn when all of the Tyranid players pulled their armies off of the table, stated that they felt outnumbered, and in general acted a bit upset that we had broken their new toys. So it goes...

The new Tyranids are a tough army to fight. Once the players get some wicked unit and tactics combinations under their belt they are going to be even more deadly. I predict a second coming for the long-range pieplate firepower of the Whirlwind and Thunderfire Cannon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Manners - What are they good for?

My local GW is overrun with kids.

Sometimes it little kids, you know 8, 9, 10.

More often it is older ones 14, 15, 23.

The little ones are usually pretty cool and are only bothersome when they want to handle your minis with their grubby, sticky, clumsy hands.

The older ones now, they should know better. They should have, you know, manners. I am not speaking of miniature handling. What I am speaking of is a cordial awareness that the person standing across from them is a person. An actual, just-across-the-table-from-you, person.

Just because you are a kid and you are accustomed to speaking however you speak over X-Box Live, does not mean you will not be called on it.

Clearly, over the internet, people have grown accustomed to speaking/writing to others in a manner that reflects the inherent safety of sitting behind a computer, safe in your home. The guy you just sniped in Modern Warfare 2 can't do anything about it when you call him a jerk.

However, the 6'2" amateur Mixed-Martial Arts practitioner, that you just called a jerk can do something about it.

Such was the scene today in my local GW. I was busy getting my tookus handed to me by some teenager, meanwhile, my opponent's brother was looking on and making comments about various things happening in the game. During round four, Zach, the aforementioned MMA aficionado, wandered over and made a couple of comments concerning my opponent's loose interpretation of a rule. Having said his piece, and opening my eyes to the shiftiness of my opponent's conduct, Zach wandered off to the paint bar.

It was at this point, that my opponent's brother made his mistake. He said (to his brother) "That guy is a jerk". A few minutes later the game ended (badly for me) when I heard the following words, "You shouldn't insult someone when they can hear you". These words were uttered in Zach's unmistakable bass rumble of a voice.

I, of course, looked up because this sounded like it could be the beginning of something interesting. It was at that point that I noticed the 135 lb, 5'8" teenager looking up (with a quite frantic expression, might I add) at Zach.

Zach wasn't looming over the kid, and his tone/expression was that of someone commenting about the weather.

I think, however, the kid got message.

A hasty apology followed and everything was cool.

Where are we as a society where pointing out that someone is cheating (or near enough) gets you called a jerk?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010: Looking Forward

A brief list of things I intend to accomplish this year...

Quit smoking

Lose some weight. I have gained about 40 lbs since I got laid off. Have to keep in fighting trim.

Finish my scratch built Arvus Lighter.

Be more competitive. I feel I have laid too far back to accommodate my opponents. I am going to bring my A game to the table more often. They are big boys, they should be able to handle it.

Start and finish my Tyranid army.

Fine tune my SM Void Legion army.

Build a proper gaming table in the garage.

Post some army pics.

Post some battle reports.