Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Little Friendly Target Practice

I had a fun game vs. BlueMoon (formerly Blackshirt) tonight. The 'Ard Boyz semi-finals are just over a week off and GW finally posted the scenarios for the next round. So we rolled up one of the missions and played a full 2500 pt. game. We wound up playing the first annihilation scenario.

In the name of pre-tourney secrecy I won't go into the details of the lists we used or the tactics we employed, but I did take some pictures for you to enjoy. Large games like this are quite a spectacle.

Yep, that's 14 IG armored vehicles on 6 Eldar ones. And I still had 3 more in reserve!

Uh oh, the Fire Dragons are out! Get the flamers ready boys!

One Russ down and another headless! Note that Eldrad is walking from the table edge after the Hydras wrecked his ride on the first turn. :)

Here comes my reserve armor!

Three Meltas at point blank range. Two Miss and the third only shakes him. Gar! Where's a Commissar when you need one?

Eldrad's unit finally reaches the battle and dies to flamers + massed lasguns. The other Seers laugh at him before butchering my Vet squad.

A Falcon manages to take out a Hydra with a ram, but explodes when he hits my Sentinels. It must be the paint job that saved them. :)

It's turn 4 and I suddenly remember that I still have Marbo and 2 units of Stormies that I haven't been making reserve rolls for. Gar! In my defense, I was up half the night comforting a sick two year old. I think I've slept maybe 15 hours in the last 3 days. :)

It's the middle of turn 4 and... OMG! All three Sentinels are still alive! I guess Hydras are way more scary. :)

The end of Turn 5. I forgot to take a picture at the end of turn six, but he had only one immobilized tank left at the end, while I still had 6 tanks and 3 Sentinels. BlueMoon won it on KP though, 24 to 17. In a regular annihilation mission, it would still have been something like 13 to 11 in his favor.

Back to the listhammer...

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Time I Earned It

Farmpunk and I went down to the South Store last Sunday. The turnout was good enough that we both had to wait for tables to clear before we could play. That store does get crowded.

I had been hoping to play Red Eye's Eldar, as I felt like I hadn't gotten to play him at his best during 'Ard Boyz. Farmpunk and others have told me that he's usually a very hard player to beat, yet I'd massacred him somewhat easily. Perhapes, I thought, my first turn of shooting had frazzled him. I'd managed to take out two-thirds of his AT threats before his Wave Serpents and Fire Prisms had even gotten to move. So, I thought, things might have been different if he had gone first instead of me.

Unfortunately, Redeye was too busy square-basing with his Dwarves to come play 40K. But BlueMoon, the 'Ard Boyz #2 was eager for a match with me. He'd come in 2nd place using his Plague Marines list, but tonight he wanted to try me with his Eldar in preparation for the semi-finals. So we decided on 1850 points with a D3 to determine the mission based on the 3 'Ard Boyz scenarios we played during the tourney. As luck would have it, we rolled up the third mission with BlueMoon going first. Heh, it seemed I would get the "what if" test vs. Eldar that I wanted after all.

My army was pretty similar to my 'Ard Boyz list. This time, I decided to see how a 10-strong unit of Stormies would do, since Marrius was talking it up recently.

215 Company Command Squad w/3 x Plasma, GLauncher, Astro, Fleet, Chimera

65 Sly Marbo
165 10 Stormtroopers

155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera

Fast Attack
150 3 Sentinels w/Lascannons
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta

Heavy Support
180 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Lascannon
165 Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Hull Lascannon

I believe BlueMoon was running something like the following:

4 Wave Serpents
1 x Seer Council
1 x Fire Dragons
2 x Aspect Warriors
Jet Bike Squad

He didn't have any bright lances, but he had plenty of S6 weapons that could pop my armor from behind.

Turn one, he moves all his Wave Serpents flat out and into my lines. During my shooting I manage to knock out the Wave Serpent containing his Seer Council, who promptly charge my tanks in turn 2. I made a mistake here by not spreading my tanks out before he charged them. He was therefore able to get multi-charges on me and pop both my command Chimera and a troop Chimera with the Seer Council. The Fire Dragons charged my Russ and killed it, while one of his Wave Serpents shot up my command squad and ran it off the board.

Fortunately for me, all of my reserves came on during turn 2. Not Marbo though, as I had forgotten to even get him out of the miniatures case. It wasn't until later when we were adding up kill points that I realized I'd never deployed him. :(

The battle got really bloody at this point. I shot up Eldrad and the Seer Council with a Hellhound and the Demolisher, killing all but one non-Eldrad model and running *him* off the board. The other Hellhound plus the Stormies killed off the Fire Dragons, but not before they killed the Demolisher too. My remaining Chimelta Vets then started slugging it out point blank with his transports.

In the end, I won a very bloody Major Victory with the near objective claimed by 2 Chimeras and the other contested with both a headless Hellhound and the Sentinel Squadron. BlueMoon edged me out on Kill Points, but that would only have mattered if he had pulled a draw. If we had been playing for the top spot in 'Ard Boyz, I'd still have come out in first place, though I would have been only a battle point or two in the lead instead of 5-6. :)

Random Musings:

1) Stormies are better in 5-man squads with meltas.

I won't deny that a 10-man Stormtrooper squad is a very survivable objective-contester. But that's all they're really good at. Mine couldn't manage to knock out a Wave Serpent with Krak Grenades. And when I played Marrius tonight, his stormies likewise couldn't manage to knock out a Hellhound.

So, I'm going to stick with the 5-man AT teams. That way I'm not left standing in the middle of the field going "Um, now what?" like I was against Blackshirt.

2) Sentinels still rock.

In the game I played with Marrius tonight, I was wishing I'd had them. We were playing Capture and Control with a standard deployment. The extra Chimelta I took instead of the Sentinels wasn't nearly as useful as an outflanking unit would have been in either pulling him off his objective or threatening his Lascannon/Missile Launcher Squads. As it was, we pulled a draw since I couldn't shift him off his objective and he couldn't get his infantry anywhere near mine.

3) My CCS needs meltas more than plasmas in small games.

I usually take plasma guns in my CCS to help protect my backfield from deep strikers and to pummel Termies or MCs. But when playing Marrius and his shooty infantry guard, I really needed another AT unit instead. The CCS should have been rushing across the field to help kill tanks and/or flame the platoon he had on his objective. But instead I had them sitting in mid-field cover for most of the game because they couldn't hurt his Russes. So in small games, I'm going to have to go with the meltas.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pimpin' My Rides

With 'Ard Boyz over (for now), I'm back to my modeling and painting projects. The latest is a set of 3 Chimeras that I've converted to look a bit more like a Bradley IFV. The idea of setting the turret back is nothing new. I got the basic idea from Edwin over at YTTH, who got it from someone else. Admiral Drax has done something similar too. But for my conversion I wanted to make sure that I preserved the top hatch in the rear by cutting out the L shape from the front of the turret riser and re-modeling the hatch lining. I also wanted to model realistic firing ports in place of the ball-socket lasgun arrays. Here's the result:

The rear hatches are resin pieces ordered from Forge World. They look great, but unfortunately they fit so poorly that I couldn't hinge them the way I did with the plastic doors on my old Chimeras. One of the hatches was twisted so badly that I had to use multiple coats of epoxy just to hold it down properly.

The firing ports were made by cutting down the plastic support bits that usually hold the lasguns in place. I used a plastic rod with a smaller diameter to make my rivits this time, so they don't look too large like on my previous conversions.

Here's some pics from the garage after I undercoated them:

I'm so happy with how these turned out that now I can't stand looking at my old Chimeras any more. As a result, I've started converting up 2 more so that I can use all-new models in my 1500 point mechanized force.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

By the Emperor!!! I WON IT!!!

I'm very proud to be able to announce that I took FIRST PLACE in the local 'Ard Boyz tourney down at the South Store today. We had 14 players, and considering how ad-hoc it was put together, and that there was a Magic Tourney happening at the same time, it went really, really well. All of my opponents were very good sports and we had lots of fun. We even had free pizza!

Here's the list I took:

Company Command Squad w/Plasma Pistol for Commander, 3 x Plasma Gun, Medic, Astropath, Fleet Officer, Chimera (Hull Flamer)

Sly Marbo
5 Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta
5 Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta

Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
6 Grey Knights + Justicar w/2 x Psycannon (Thanks Farmpunk!)

Fast Attack
3 Sentinels w/Lascannons
Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta
Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Demolisher w/Lascannon
Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Lascannon
Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Lascannon

First Battle: Tyrannid Horde

My first battle was vs. Tyrannids. I'll dub my opponent "NidDude", as he was much older than Nidkid from the North Store. I'd never seen or met him before, but he was a pretty smart player. We ended up with a perfect draw, 2 objectives each with equal killpoints. Though I'm ashamed to say that I could have won it. I screwed up and fired a squad on the last turn that I should have run to the center objective instead. Doh!

I was fuming all through lunch over that mistake. :)

Result: Draw

Second Battle: Horde Orks

My second game was vs. GrotBoy from the North Store. He's been around since the fall, but we just never seemed able to get a game going. So it was great to finally get to play him. He brought a mob of orks backed up with 2 Battlewagons, a Skorcha Wagon, and a Shokk Attack Gun armed Big Mek.

I massacred him. GrotBoy just wasn't mentally prepared to deal with 2 Inferno Cannons, 6 Heavy Flamers, 3 Battle Cannons, and 21 Meltas. Plus 16 shots/turn from the Grey Knights. It was Dawn of War deployment and he rolled first turn. So he set up two large squads of 30 on the 24" line on opposite sides of the center, with a Big Mek HQ in the middle sporting a Shokk Attack Gun. Rather than set up 6" in, I decided instead to not deploy anything and just roll most everything onto the board on my first turn. He then moved the big squads to within 12" of my table edge and rolled the rest of his army on from his own edge.

When I came on I did a denied flank onto the left half of the board, so that half of his army would have an extra long trip to get to me. I then wiped out the entire 30-Ork mob in front of me in a single round of shooting from the Demolisher, Hellhounds and Grey Knights. It wouldn't have been so bad for him if he had read Farmpunk's tactica on pulling models. But he kept pulling his casualties from the back instead of thinning out the mobs of Boyz in front of my flamers the way NidDude had done with his Gaunts.

He also made the mistake of taking 2 HQ choices. In this mission, each of those HQ choices was worth 5 KP all by itself. I got them both. The Big Mek with the Shokk Attack Gun fell to Marbo, while his Warboss fell to massed flashlight and Battlecannon fire.

Result: Massacre

Game Three: Mech Eldar

Now I got to play Redeye, who I'd last faced when he was playing with borrowed Marines. This time, he was in his element. He's won the last 2 local 'Ard Boyz tourneys with his Eldar. So I prepared myself for a really tough fight.

Oddly, the game went much like our IG vs. Marine battle. I rolled first turn, but he didn't keep his skimmers off the table. Like in the previous battle, he got spooked by my Fleet Officer and decided to just deploy everything right away. While I kept 3 Chimeras and a Hellhound in reserve. Like our previous battle, we were playing a spearhead deployment. This time with a single objective in the middle of each non-deployment table quarter. So I planned on using my reserves to take the objective nearest to my board edge.

Since I had first turn, I pummeled his skimmers before they could get aloft and start getting cover saves. My Sentinels destroyed one Fire Prism, while my Russes destroyed a transport and not only immobilized the other Fire Prism, but knocked it's main gun out as well. This left him with only the Fire Dragons for effective AT work.

He then did something I still can't believe, he moved a skimmer and 2 squads of troops onto the objective that was only 12" from my board edge. When my reserves rolled on, I massacred the forces he had there with Meltas and Heavy Flamers. He seemed surprised that I could bring my reserves on from anywhere on that long table edge, even though he had specifically deployed his forces in our last battle so that he wouldn't be hit by reserves coming on from that very same edge. Go figure. :)

Anyway, he sent Eldrad down to say hello. Who promptly fell to massed melta and flashlight fire from 2 disembarked Vet Squads. Marbo and the Stormies dropped into his backfield and managed to keep his Warwalkers, Fire Dragons, and Snipers busy for 3 turns while I killed all but 2 of his skimmers. In the end he gave me another massacre.

Result: Massacre

Random Musings:

1) Sentinels really are amazing.

Just when I start thinking I need to drop them from my list, they go and prove their worth once more. In my first game NidDude outflanked 2 units of Genestealers. Using the Fleet Officer, I forced him to re-roll his sides so that he had to enter where the Sentinels were. They survived 6 rounds of combat from a unit of 20 'Stealers. They only fell once he had 40 'Stealers on them during the last turn. Tarpit baby!!!

During the second game, they tied up a unit of Tankbustas for 4 turns that could have been shooting up my Chimeras and Hellhounds instead. During the third game, they popped a Fire Prism and soaked up most of RedEye's return fire before dying. What other unit can do all that? They're the ultimate distraction!

2) Hellhounds make people cry.

Let's see, you automatically hit me with a template that you can place almost anywhere within 18"? You then wound me on a 2+ with AP4 and no cover save? AND I need 6's to hit you in HTH? WAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!

3) Chimeras with hull flamers and melta vets just rock.

Best offensive unit in the IG codex, bar none!

4) Marbo is a badass!

He almost pulled 30 gaunts off an objective in my first game. In my second, he killed an HQ single-handed before charging a unit of 30 boys to pull them back from my lines. In my 3rd, he killed 5 Fire Dragons with his demo charge and kept them from moving towards the objective until it was too late. Oh yeah!

5) Arizona Iced Tea + A Payday Bar = The Perfect Game 3 Energy Snack!

No headaches or loss of energy this tourney!

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