Saturday, August 9, 2014

Orcs and Goblins v D of Chaos, 500 points

Space Monkey and I had a bit of time and a hankering to roll some dice, and he is looking to get more established in the rules. We were debating between 500 points and 1250 points. Ultimately, we went 500. In a sense, this is good...much easier to study the rules when you can, if necessary, play the entire game in about a half hour. On the dark side, it meant I did not roll out this monstrosity...

He has a Treeman Ancient in the process of being modded into a D-Prince. And Deathnarok TOWERS over that monstrous model.

For point of reference, here is Deathnarok next to a properly sized Arachnarok.

Of course, in 1250 points, Deathnarok would not last long as his laser-guided Skullcannon does d6 S10 wounds...and I have no way i can think of to drop a ward on Deathnarok.

Anyway, I threw together a list with a Savage Orc Shaman w/Lucky Shrunken Head, 14 Savage Orc Big Uns w/ champ and standard and 9 Savage Orc Boar Boys w/Standard Bearer and Champion.

We decided to keep it simple, just Battle Line. I won roll for side of table and planted my Boar riders basically center of table so they could go where needed. He had something making his 'Nettes able to ignore dangerous terrain so planted them behind some dangerous terrain to my left, I threw the infantry on top of the hill on my left with the Shaman inside.

I then won the roll for first turn.

O&G Turn 1

I made both my animosity rolls, marched the Savage Orcs forward and kept pace with the Boar Riders. I figured he would most likely be out of range of the Gaze of Mork...or possibly Gork...and passed on magic.

DoC Turn 1
He advanced 3". He wa trying to set it up so I would charge his 'Nettes and get held up, then flank charged. Good plan. Since he had no magic we elected to eschew the rolls on the table.

O&G Turn 2
The boar riders passed their test, the infantry...fails. Squabble. No movement or magic for them. Argh! I can assure you, even in a learning game, I have no intention of advancing my boar riders unsupported into the teeth of his entire army. So turn 2 consisted of me failing animosity and passing the turn.

DoC Turn 2
If he moved it was maybe an inch or so. He had his trap set and no need to move.

O&G Turn 3
Stop me if this sounds familiar. The boar riders passed their test, the infantry...fails. Squabble. No movement or magic for them. Argh! I can assure you, even in a learning game, I have no intention of advancing my boar riders unsupported into the teeth of his entire army. So turn 3 consisted of me failing animosity and passing the turn.Remind you of anything? Hint; I copy/pasted the results of turn 2.

DoC Turn 3
Seeing me fail animosity again, he  advanced his Bloodcrushers to force a charge should I fail again. Oh, not a likely one...I would need a 9 to make it... He also advanced his 'Nettes, angling them to receive the charge from my Boar Riders. If I got stuck he would have the easy flank on the boar riders. We are maybe 5 minutes int the game and halfway done already...

O&G Turn 4
Wonder of wonders, I passed my animosity with both units. I figured my 19 attacks in the front row, 3 in the back, plus 6 more Boar attacks for a total of 28 potential attacks against his wimpy nettes gave me a pretty good chance to one-turn wipe them out so I declared that charge and also declared the less likely Savage Orc infantry v Bloodcrushers charge to hopefully keep them off my flank if things went sub-par.

I advanced the infantry only 5" with a failed charge. Boar riders made it in easily.

I got to attempt a spell and got off the gaze of Gork...or possibly Mork, I cannot be sure...and it got through. Even better, because I had a unit in combat it would be S5 instead of S4 do to the lore attribute. Too bad I rolled a "2" to wound...

He has to declare a challenge, my unit champ accepted and duly died to his herald, who even got a point of overkill. He also did a wound with his 'Nettes that was unsaved. Not to worry, I still have 19 attacks...6 wounds...he saved 5 of them. Needing 5+. Aaaaaagggghhh. Oh well, here come the boars...and he saved all those wounds as well. I lost the combat. Gone was my frenzy. Gone was my ability to minimize the casualties caused by his herald. Gone was my chance to get out of the path of his Bloodcrushers. I am in trouble...

DoC Turn 4
He makes the blindingly obvious flank charge. If I could not hurt 'nettes with Frenzy and choppas, how will I do against his combined forces and lacking those advantages?

By the time we got around to his Crushers attacking I had but 2 riders left. I somehow put 1 wound on one of the Crushers and then was gone. Here was a tough choice. Overrun or reform to face the infantry? His 'Nettes could reform but not overrun. There was a chance if he overran with the Crushers that he would get stuck in front of the 'nettes, blocking them and presenting his flank. Even if he cleared their face he would have to reform in turn 5 and hope to charge in the bottom of turn 6.

He reformed to accept the charge from my infantry with the 'Nettes there to catch any potential overrun.

O&G Turn 5
Well now. I have lost 43% of my army and done 1 casualty and 1 wound to him with them. Furthermore, that was my hammer unit...all I have left is my anvil unit. Of course, being Savage Orc Big Uns with the charge they can still do some damage by virtue of having frenzy, extra hand weapons and S5 on the charge...

So in I go. I declare a challenge, knowing I will likely lose it, but it will minimize the number of attacks coming back at me. He makes short work of my champion. No worries, I unleash something like 24 S5 attacks and end up doing I think 5 unsaved wounds. In combination with the 1 wound done early, that puts down everyone in the unit but the champ who does me the favor of crumbling to instability. 

DoC Turn 5

He does the only thing he can and charges. Then again, lets look at the 'Nettes history; they wiped out a unit of Chaos Knights last time out, this time out out-fought and held in place for the easy demolition a unit of Boar Riders. I think he SHOULD charge and be happy about it.

He declares a challenge with his herald. Having lost my champion, I only have my Shaman available. However, if he is in a challenge and gets killed by the high-initiative, 4 attack herald I lose my 5+ War Paint and it goes back to a 6+. I decline the challenge and move to the back row. Oh no, I lost 2 WS3, S3 attacks...okay, S4 this round, but still, who cares. I will take the Lucky Shrunken head...

Herald hits hard but mostly fails to wound. His 'Nettes do better but Lucky Shrunken Head adds about 3 extra saves and I end up losing maybe 3 or 4 models, he ends up taking a whooping this turn. Turns out about 24 attacks needing 4 to hit and 2 to wound can even damage 5+ ward guys. He loses about 1 more model and when the instability clears I have an advantage, but less S.

O&G Turn 6
His attacks do a couple casualties to me, I do 5 or 6 to him. When the smoke clears he has just his unit champ and herald standing. I have I think 7 Savage Orcs and a Shaman, still ducking challenges. Evil cackle.

Doc Turn 6
I put a second wound on his herald and another on his champ. Poor Space Monkey saw what had looked like a game in the bag turn into another tabling. Such bad luck.

What Went Right
Lucky Shrunken Head. Period. It was worth about 10 a game I ended with 7 models (and 8 wounds) total. The law of combat effectiveness tells me every one of those saves was about a 4 effective attack swing as I did not lose 3 attacks and he "wasted" one on a save I normally do not make. If I do not have the Lucky Shrunken Head he probably tables me on turn 5.

Oh, and the only spell I attempted was successful and got to use the lore attribute, the first time I have remembered that little nugget and had it matter. At least, it WOULD have mattered had I wounded him, which I did not. Still worth taking the Shaman for the Lucky Shrunken head, but as usual magic underwhelms for me.

What Went Wrong
You give me the change to send 9 frenzied, extra hand weapon wielding Savage Orcs into a 10-15 strong core infantry block not named tzeentch-marked Chaos Warriors 100 times, I take that opportunity 101 times and thank you for the opportunity. 6 wide with a champ I have as many as 28 S5 attacks probably needing 4s to hit (including the boars). I am going to do some damage.

Unless, of course, I fluff a large number of attacks/wounds and he saves 90% of those I inflict...that failure not only to wipe him out but actually being unable to inflict any appreciable damage on him put me in a deep hole.

It was a deeper hole due to back to back failed animosity rolls by the intransigent Savage Orc Big Uns. Instead of charging across the field hurling insults and bodily stench at whatever was across the field from them, they took some time to relax atop a hill and argue whether the worms tasted better fresh out of battlefield churned dirt or after an acid rain.

Very fun, surprisingly challenging battle. With two armies combining to have one 4d6" range spell that did nothing, it took us 4 turns of maneuver-counter maneuver to come to grips and once we did the game had some wild swings that went from looking like I would be tabled early to him battling the law of diminishing returns as his best unit got trampled by my infantry and his 'Nettes, awesome against cavalry, forgot how to fight and started doing a Minion slap-fight (because Despicable Me references are always awesome) at exactly the wrong time.

Good time, lot of learning opportunity for Space Monkey to pick up the game and he will be back. Probably with more 'nettes...because they have been his MVP both games.

Oh, and lets return to those thrilling days of yesteryear with a survivor pic...

Monday, August 4, 2014

750 points Space Wolves v Necrons

(Skip to below the asterisk if you don't care about the preamble)...
So I set up a last minute game. 750 points, single codex, battle forged, random mission. One last go with my Space Wolves before they get the new Codex.

I like to build all-comers lists. That means some fast elements for objective seizing, some lascannons for stuff like tanks, Dreadnoughts, Terminators, etc., some blasts to deal with hordes, and plenty of basic firepower.

At 750 you can only fit so much in...

So I started with a unit of Long Fangs, 2 lascannons, 2 Missile Launchers. Next up was 6 Grey Hunters, 1 with flamer, with dedicated Razorback. Then a dreadnought with Multi-melta. A unit of 10 Grey Hunters. Enough points left for a Rune Priest in terminator armor and, if I dropped the 6 Grey Hunters to 5, a Lone Wolf with TH/SS. 750 on the dot. 3 lascannons, a multi-melta, 2 plasma guns and 2 krak missiles for tough stuff (plus Lone Wolf if he could get base to base), 2 frag missiles for hordes, plus 11 bolters, a storm bolter...I could send out a fair amount of firepower and cover the field pretty well.

I knew he was most likely bringing Necrons which I knew very little about.

We rolled Cloak and Shadows Maelstrom of War which means 3 secret objectives per turn. My Warlord Trait was Lead by Example, giving me 2 vp instead of 1 if the Warlord seized an objective. My Rune Priest got Precognition and Prescience, also the Perfect Timing. Sweet.

He set up first. 2 modest units on my left and one massive unit in the ruins to my right. Apparently there was no dangerous terrain on the table, everything was just difficult terrain.

I put my Long Fangs in the ruins on my left, the Grey Hunters in the forest on the right (not realizing how much it would slow me down), same mistake with Dreadnought, and the Long Fang in the middle of the board.

For the 2nd time in 3 attempts I seized the Initiative.

Space Wolf Turn 1
I got Secure Objective 3, 5, and 5. I measured and if I went flat out with my Rhino. He insisted I make some bizarre roll where if I rolled a 1 it could not flat out. Weird. Anyway, my Grey Hunters rolled poorly and barely even made it out of the forest, same with the Dreadnought.

If you have read my Fantasy reports you know how magic treats me. Lets check out the psychic phase...I get both powers I attempt off and he can stop neither. Huzzah! I will reroll misses and ignore cover with my long fangs.

I do lots of shooting, put down about 6 crons, but he reanimates  all but one on 4+. We also have our first debate. Height matters for distance. I carefully put my rhino where it is within 1-7/8" of objective 5 including height. He is trying to argue I am not within 3". For the first time since I started 40k I would not let myself be overruled. I built my entire turn around taking that 2-point objective. I was CLEARLY within 3" even taking the height into account.

On the one hand, very successful turn...I scored 2 objectives and will roll 3 fresh ones next turn. On the dark side...I did one casualty when at full strength shooting with re-rolls on missile launchers dropping blast markers, lascannons, etc...

Space Wolves 2, Necrons 0

Necron Turn 1
He was rolling his objectives in...lets say a questionable way. Instead of designating one die as the "10s" die and the other as the "1"s die, he would roll them, look at the 2 options and take the more favorable. He did this all game. On a completely unrelated note, he managed the "take 2 points from same objective" trick I did every turn...

Anyhow, he glanced Dreadnought twice (mysteriously my dreadnought, who was BEHIND the unit of Grey Hunters and still partially stuck in the forest got no cover save...I argued he should have a save based on the Grey Hunters alone, he finally conceded the point but was clearly upset about it so I did not roll for the cover saves, just accepted the glances) and took out a couple Grey Hunters.

He also glanced the Rhino to death with 4's. I did not think he had that many S6 weapons (I only saw one 6 in all the dice he rolled, 3 4's, he excitedly announced he had glanced it to death so I disembarked my troops and moved on).

He scored Objective 6, Big Game hunter and First Blood

Necrons 3, Space Wolves 2

Time Warp; somehow nothing happened in turn 2...or 3...

Space Wolf Turn 2/ 3
I get objective 2 twice and objective 6 again. 6 is in his backfield and there are way too many 'crons between me and it, but 2 not only is easy to take, it moves me to good firing position against his large unit to the right. I first roll for my Grey Hunters...yep, they make it, allowing my Lone Wolf to head towards the Crons on the left. Only 1"...crappy rolls. My dread moves back somewhat for no apparent reason and the unit that dismounted the wrecked rhino moves to charge his crons on the left.

Shooting again sees virtually everything I put down get back up. Between cover saves (3+ in ruins? really?) and 4+ reanimation protocols he is incredibly tough to damage.

I shoot his crons with bolt pistols and then charge. His overwatch takes two Grey Hunters out, I still make it in. He has some special thing that does a bunch of S8 hits. I survive them, actually put out a couple of his crons for good. He stands. (

I score 2 points for objective 2 and discard Objective 6 so will have 3 fresh objectives next turn.

Space Wolves 4, Necrons 3

Necrons Turn 2/3
He somehow manages to roll objective 6 three times. Even the way he is picking them that is pretty...fortuitous rolling. Which was not reflected on the die rolls I saw, by the way....there is literally no legal way to have objective six when one of the dice is a 4.

Regardless, his shooting hurts a couple of the Marines from the unit of 10. Combat is a draw.

Necrons 6, Space Wolves 4

Space Wolves 4
Uh Oh. Two "Objective 6" for me (which I cannot reach) and Harness the Warp. I get that off easily, the Lone Wolf charges into the melee on the left, the Grey Hunters pour Bolt Pistol fire into the crons on the right putting a couple down who duly reanimate and go to the rear of the unit...then overwatch shrinks me to 6 Grey Hunters but I make it in combat. My Prescience-aided Long Fangs take out about 3 of his last unengaged unit.

He mind-shackle scarabs a Grey hunter who attacks his mates 3 times, wounding 1 who passes..but now I only have 15 attacks. When the dust settles, I do 1 casualty in those 15 attacks (who of course reanimates). Meanwhile, he is trying to argue that models I have in contact with base Necrons have to attack the Warlord because it is the closest model...uhm, no. he also argued a blast hit not the models it was over but rather the Warlord that was closest to the firing unit...and that LOS was on 2+ thought the rulebook says 4+.

By this time I was frankly a little perturbed at some of his...lets say questionable rulings, to be generous. I did not let the CC "closest" thing stand. The one model touching the warlord and one that was roughly not MUCH closer to a basic cron fruitlessly attack the warlord. Anyway, he then kills a marine and we draw the combat.

On the other side I take the S8 hit for entering combat and survive, then finish off his unit including his Warlord.

I consolidate to put the Lone Wolf in the front, my 3 surviving Grey Hunters behind him,.

Space Wolves 6, Necrons 6

Necrons 4
He concentrates fire on the Lone Wolf (who had been wounded 2 attempts) and of the 3 wounds he does, 1 gets through. That is right, on a 2+ my Lone Wolf failed 2 of 5 wounds. This is funny because he has been complaining about how lucky I have been and how unlucky he has been all game. He has maybe 10 models TOTAL removed at this point...I have almost that many removed. I think 7 or 8 and 2 glances on my Dreadnought.

Anyway, the other combat goes much better...I put down 2 or 3 crons, he needs a 9...and fails with a 10. (He started to say it was a pass, but I off-handedly commented, "You probably still would have passed if not for the LD deduct", I sweeping advance.

Here is where it gets hilarious. Even though the entire unit was wiped out, he takes a reanimation roll for the character because "he was a separate unit." Remember that in my turn 4.
He had amazingly gotten "Slay the Warlord" thinking the Lone Wolf was my Warlord. Uh, not, the Lone Wolf A) is not a character and B) I am NOT going to take as my warlord a model who GIVES A VICTORY POINT UP FOR SURVIVING. He also had Objective he scored 1 this turn.

Necrons 7, Space Wolves 6

Space Wolves 5
I drew overwhelming Firepower, Assassinate, and Hungry for Glory. I had 2 Grey Hunters with Plasma Guns and 2 more with Bolters about 2" from him, 4 Long Fangs with nothing better to shoot at, a Dreadnought with nothing better to shoot at...

My 3 surviving Grey Hunters went towards his last unit in an attempt to drive them off objective 6.

I obliterated his character with shooting. Remember this moment...

I shot his Crons with bolt pistols, 1 died, his overwatch them took out 1 marine but I made it into CC. Then I managed to kill just one, he killed both my Grey Hunters to wipe out that unit. :-(

I went to take the point for Overwhelming Firepower.

He argued I had not wiped out a unit that turn because the character was part of a larger unit. I don't even know where to start with this.

1) It does not say "unit at starting strength". It says unit. He had a unit on the table at the start of the turn.
2) He just claimed it got to reanimate because it was a SEPARATE UNIT. How can it be a separate unit but part of the unit it is separate from?
 Wrong answer Junior Woodchuck. I didn't argue it but you can bet your bottom dollar I count both Overwhelming Firepower and Assasinate...I killed a character that turn.

Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7

 Necron 5
he shoots and misses
Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7

Space Wolves Turn 6
He thinks my Grey Hunters do not have LOS to his guys huddled behind the hill. I would note that, with height being an issue, there has been 1 turn all game where they were within 3", and that just barely. Fair enough, I move to get Linebreaker and still have no LOS.

Space Wolves 9, Necrons 7

Necron 6
He huddles up close to objective 6 which, shockingly, he had for the 5th try in 6 turns. That is nice rolling...

His shooting is inconsequential.

Space Wolves 9, Necrons 8

The roll is a 1 to continue so the game ends.

What Went Right
Twice I rolled up duplicate objectives that were reachable, though I knew going in that pushing my Rhino that far forward. He failed effectively a LD9 check and lost about 20 'Crons (because they kept #$%^ reanimating every time I put them down). I had essentially free rein in the Psychic phase and it helped a bit, though nothing game breaking.

What Went Wrong
When I charged in and garnered 15 attacks needing 4 to hit, 4 to wound, he needed 4 to save, I only did one wound. I made a ton of saves in this game but failed a lot that mattered (Lone Wolf, for example...) and on two turns had 1 achievable objective while his rolls for objective landed him 2 per turn.

Overall, I LOVE Maelstrom missions. It was fast, back and forth. If you ask him the scoreboard is different...I never bothered to mention Linebreaker or Assassinate because I was so shocked his reanimated as different unit, no wait you don't get overwhelming firepower because it is part of the unit combined with NUMEROUS rolls where a 1 hit or a 3 wounded or a 3 saved pretty much let me know the game meant far more to him than it did me. He also felt extremely unlucky on the sweeping advance that wiped out his whole unit (and that WAS  bad time for that roll).

If we actually measured Objective 6 the way he insisted on measuring Objective 5 back on turn 1 he actually scored about 2 points off that objective, and if the 4s that glanced my Rhino were counted as not hurting it as per rules he loses Big Game Hunter and First Blood as well.

Instead we have about the perfect outcome...we did not total the points and I heard a reference to something like "9-5 win, but I almost got tabled" (he had one unit with a character and 10ish Necrons left) so in his mind he has the win. If I scored it hardcore vicious the way he was, call off say...half the illegally rolled objectives I win in a boot-stomp of about 9-2. But I would much rather call it a tie or narrow Space Wolf win and honestly, that is what it goes in my record book as because it is my blog :-) 9-8 on the Space Wolf swan song until the new codex.

Overall, I enjoyed the game despite how this might read. I worked hard to ignore some of the shortcuts based on a couple things. I have seen him guide new players before and he does not have a firm grasp of the rules. This is a new codex for him, winning matters to him live (to me it matters in writing I guess) and I was enjoying seeing the mission in action and learning the rules a bit better. I would play him again, but not often...

because at the end of the day, I would much rather play my brothers Fullur and Fixed Dice, my good friends K-Pasa Man or Space Monkey, or another guy from the shop...but the Starving Crazed Weasels are always my preferred opponents anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stay Away Warhammer 9th Edition

The last couple games I have played of Warhammer Fantasy have been using my beloved Warriors of Chaos. Prior to that I snuck in a Dwarf game and prior to that was a lot of Orcs and Goblins.

All of them play very different. The Warriors, at least the way I play them, are fast moving, hard-hitting, putting out a ton of attacks and have an effective range of base to base.

The Dwarfs have a ton of shooting and are the slowest army this side of Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings...and both of those have elements that are faster (Chariots and various knights).

The O&G have some ranged stuff...that never hits...some sneakily good magic and can put out a ton of attacks. They are also much faster and more random than the other two armies.

I enjoy playing all of them and the Beastmen too. The weird part is way back when we first started getting back into Warhammer one of the armies I most seriously considered was the High Elves. I have plenty of models. I have the book. I have tried to make armies. I have even played a game or two with them.

In theory they are a fantastic army for me. They are fast, they can throw out mighty wizards, some knights, a dragon, shooting...they have everything I am looking for.

That begs the question why I do not play them much more frequently. Ultimately I think it is a matter of style.

They do not put out large numbers of shots. Their shooting has always proven ineffective for me...there is nothing quite like having an army of good BS lay out a ton of shooting and seeing goblins be more effective...

They die to a stiff breeze, my magic failures are legendary (in my mind), and fitting in those dragons means big games.

The problem is to play a game big enough for me to take a dragon means the other player can take multiple things that I then have no way of dealing with. Counter-intuitively, playing with my favorite elements is about the only time under 8th edition rules that I feel like I lost the game before it started simply by putting stuff in the list I want to play.


On the bright side, when that is the biggest complaint you can make about an is a good edition. Well done, GW. Please don't make the mistake you are making with 40k.

What I mean is this; in Warhammer, you can pick up the game with the basic rules and your army book. You have just a handful of other armies to deal with and you pretty much know what you will face.

If I run into Skaven I will face numerous war machines and hordes. If I face Tomb Kings I win. I mean, I will face lots of ineffective shooting and easy to re-kill skeletons. If I face Empire I will see a couple war machines, some Demigryphs, a Steam Tank...

In 40k if I am up against, say...Space Wolves, I might be against Imperial Knights, Tau, Eldar and the Inquisition. 4 codexes...or more if they are using Forge World and/or some of the various data slates and formations.

If I am facing Tau I might be facing some of the above or Tau-specific formations, dataslates, etc.

In other words, it is impossible to know what you will be facing or to keep up on the rules. The entry bar for new players is so stiff that unless they run into the right player they will simply not be able to learn the game or, if they do, they will constantly be getting slaughtered when they run into stuff with rules they don't expect that blister them.

This is unfortunate because the rules are otherwise awesome and I am loving the game. I think for the foreseeable future, I will seek out games that are "single codex, no allies, forge world or dataslates" until I know the rules better.

And I really hope the rumor I heard that Warhammer Fantasy in 9th will go to a similar model. Because that would stink.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

40k Heresy

Back in (censored) when Fullur, Fixed Dice and I played 40k the Wolves were my army of choice. Partly because I like Wolves, partly because they could pump out lots of terminators. I like terminators.

Of course, Terminators were as broken as could be back then. They had an armor save of 3+...on 2d6. If I remember correctly. Though weapon strength did reduce it. But they were awesome.

And even when they were toned down to a more reasonable level I liked them. One reason I picked Space Wolves when I was deciding to look into 40k again was the possibility of running "LoganWing" (for the uninitiated, Logan Grimnar makes Terminators troop choices so you can essentially run a 100% terminator army).

As I have been painting away, it was with the idea of running them as Space Wolves.

I am not locked into that as I have used iconography from whoever the marines were in the Battle for Macragge set and Space Wolves, I plan to mix in some Dark Angel models as well from Dark Vengeance...

Except I have been reading the Dark Angels rules. And they are actually the army list I want to play. Arguably worse than Space Wolves, they can run essentially all-Terminators with maybe a couple vehicles.

Oh, it would not be a GOOD army. It would number I think 12ish models at 1000 points and add essentially that many models per 1000 points thereafter. They could not put out enough firepower to take out horde armies...or even properly built Space Marine armies...and they could not get to tanks quick enough to overwhelm them. Any Maelstrom of War mission would pretty much be auto-loss..

Belial, 2 units of 5 terminators and a Land Raider is 995 points. Belial pumps out 2 shots at 24" the first unit gives another 10 shots + a cyclone missile launcher, the second unit would most likely put out zero shots as they would be th/ss and the Land Raider puts out a couple Lascannon shots. That is a recipe to lose.

Worse, I spent a ton of time painting up 45ish models in the Space Wolf scheme...which I love.

And the Dark Angels I have were painted by someone else. While they painted them in an "approved"...but I am not fond of either the color scheme or the paint job.

I am notorious for my army hopping. In fantasy I seldom play any army twice in a row. Unless it is Warriors of Chaos who fit me like a glove...small, hard hitting, tough...hmm, sounds like terminators...except the Warriors dish out a ton of attacks. Anyway, I might play Beastmen this game, then O&G, then Warriors, then O&G, then Dwarfs, then Warriors, then High Elves...

So there is no reason to think I will not do the same thing with 40k. The Tau will probably be my "competitive" army with lots of crisis suits rolling around and the Space Wolves will be my most frequently played but mediocre army...and yes, they are the army I will play more than the rest put together...but the Dark Angels may sneak in there a surprising amount. And when I get the models assembled and painted, the Chaos Marines will make a few appearances as well.

I am just surprised to learn the Dark Angels are something I am quickly becoming fond of...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Warhammer 40k Space Wolves V. Dark Angels

So I invited a few of the Starving Crazed Weasels over for some introductory Warhammer 40k games. In preparation, I made lists for the Tau, Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Space Wolves, and Chaos Space Marines. Each list was 505 points and included a very basic commander, a unit or two of basic troops, something "hard to crack" and something that could crack tough stuff.

Example; the Tau had 3 Crisis suits, 1 with a Fusion Blaster, all with a Shield Drone so they are rolling a 4++. The Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels each had a unit of Terminators and something in that unit to crack same. Space Wolves got a Dreadnought with a multi-melta. Ultramarines had a Lascannon on a Vindicator.

Fixed Dice and his son made it so we decided to roll random. He rolled up the Dark Angels and I rolled up...Space Wolves. 1 in 4 chance of same army I have played all the time and I got it. Pretty funny.

I put one unit guarding the objective in cover, the second unit ready to go after the objective in the middle of the field and the dreadnought on the far left. They put the terminators behind the building opposite mine, combat squadded the other two and put the missile launcher up high, the 5 guys down low by the objective where I promptly forgot about them.

Space Wolf Turn 1 
With my unit in the open I started moving towards the ruins in the middle. I planned to take cover, try to take out terminators with Plasma shots and sheer volume of fire, then seize the objective late in the game. The Drednought advanced on the left flank.I took a few shots, doing nothing to the Terminators and taking out a couple of marines on the left.

Dark Angel Turn 1
He ran his terminators out of the forest, saving the wound caused by the only Dangerous Terrain test he failed. His shooting was inconsequential for the most part...but that part was huge. He glanced my Dreadnought with his Missile Launcher.

Space Wolf Turn 2
I had good line of sight on the Terminators and unleashed everything. Did a wound with the plasma this myself when it got hot and i could not save. He saved all the potential wounds. Did take out a couple marines on the left with the dreadnought. He was down to just two. meanwhile, I got into the ruins, passing all my dangerous terrain tests.

Dark Angel Turn 2
He got into the building with his terminators and took out a marine from my building. He also glanced the Dreadnought a second time with the missile launcher.

Space Wolf Turn 3
I unleashed everything at the terminators from both units. He actually failed two saves this time...3 turns of shooting and I finally have taken him out. Sadly, he then saved both wounds I caused with the Plasma... Unfortunately, the Dreanought rolled a 1 for the Melta and he saved the wound the Stormbolter caused.

Dark Angel Turn 3
He realized the 5+ cover save was pointless in light of their invulnerable save and figured out I was holding 2 objectives to his 1. He started coming out of the building towards my big unit in the center of the table. He also moved out the unit I had forgetten and got his Melta within 12" of the Dreadnought, hitting it, penetrating...goodbye Dreadnought.

Space Wolf Turn 4
I desperately needed some kill points and tried, I really did...but I could not take out his 3 marines and his Terminators. I think I took out 2 of the 3 marines but it would not be enough. meanwhile, I moved the big unit out from the cover of the building they had been in since the beginning of the game in a desperate attempt at his terminators.

Dark Angel Turn 4
He charged my Grey Hunters by the objective. Overwatch whiffed, though I did blow up my Plasma gun with it. I hit and hit hard, but he saved 7 or 8 potential wounds, then killed all but 1 of my Marines with his power fists.

Space Wolf Turn 5
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I thought about hiding my 1 trooper but decided to take every shot I could at the Terminators. I hit hard and he saved another 6 or 7 potential wounds. In his turn he killed my last trooper and ran to hide. I covered two objectives to his one and I think finished off his terminators on the 6th turn but either way he had first blood, an objective and 2 kill points to my one kill point and 2 objectives for the win.

What went Right
I hit with a ton of shooting. My plan was pretty solid. I maximized my firing opportunities, concentrated fire, I just could not wound. I got every objective I reasonably could.

What went Wrong
My Dreadnought got outshot by a missile launcher despite having 3 shots/turn to his 1. I put so many wounds on the terminators they made about 10 saves for every fail. But that is what Terminators do. I mis-placed my Dreadnought, he should have been in the center of the table. And when he charged with his was over. Grey Hunters with no Power Weapon simply cannot deal with 2+ saves except by pure volume, and that is bad strategy.

It was a ton of fun, hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Warrios of Chaos v. DoC

So Space Monkey has been working on painting up some DoC for a while. He is using it as practice for when he paints his High Elves, figuring even if you mess it up a is Chaos, still will look good.

He has enough painted up for a 1250 point game so we decided to try a small one. I speed-built a list of Warriors...which means I went with the old reliables. I started with a block of Chaos Warriors with shields and full command. They fullfill multiple purposes; if we roll up Watchtower, they give me a great unit to throw in there, if we roll up Blood and Glory I have a pretty reliable standard, and they are just a great choice anyway...rugged, tough fighters in any scenario.

Next I picked a unit of Skullcrushers because...well...they are awesome. A unit of Knights, and I had just enough points left for an exalted hero with shield to be my BSB (with Rampagers standard) on a juggernaut and another on foot to be the general.

We rolled up Blood and Glory which is probably my second favorite scenario (right behind watchtower) but since he only had 2 banners and this was going to be more of a learning game, we elected to just play battleline instead. And even that we modified. We really just set up our armies without paying attention to what the other guy was doing.
 I put the big block of charriors on my right, the Skullcrushers in their left, the Knights behind the crushers.

He put his Bloodcrushers opposite my Skullcrushers, Bloodletters behind them, his Skullcannon on their right (from my perspective), his slaanesh damonettes on the far right (cleverly disguised as with elves for their better looking models) and hiding behind that 40k building in the far back left corner is a modified Ancient Treeman being converted into a D-Prince.

I won the roll to go first.

WoC Turn 1
Since I had not been able to fit in either Marauder Horsemen or the H-cannon and had no magic, I had a threat range of base to base. I advanced far enough that he had a possible but unlikely charge of about 17"...he would have needed a 10 with his Bloodcrushers. My Warriors advanced behind me and I started swinging the knights out wide to the right. (We had ruled the ruins in the center of the table buildings that could be moved around/through no problem, their only function was line of sight blocking, which was bad for me. I wanted him shooting his cannon at them, not my multiwound models).

DoC Turn 1
Space Monkey set his trap. He moved the Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers back, making it all but impossible for me to get the charge. He also flew his D-Prince out of sight but facing the middle of the table. If I advanced my Skullcrushers they would get combo charged, in the front by the Bloodcrushers and in the flank by the D-Prince.He moved the cannon forward and aimed it at my Skullcrushers...and as you can see in the picture above, I had taken my character out of the unit, so a well-placed cannonball could take out a Skullcrusher AND my BSB.


He had no magic he wanted to try, so on to the shooting phase. His movement backwards was an excellent plan. It meant he would get at least 1 and possibly two turns of shooting at me and get the charges if he so desired. Furthermore, I believed I had nothing to deal with his cannon or D-Prince and thought the Skullcrushers v Bloodcrushers was a fair fight.

If you have read any of my past battle reports and/or ponderings, you know getting my guys into fair fights is seldom part of the plan. I like to go in with overwhelming force so even if I fluff my rolls I win and when I win, I want them to need snakeyes to avoid running. He flipped the script where I would have a whittled down unit being victimized by being on the wrong side of an unfair fight. I was already planning a most un-Warriors like strategy of running behind the nearby building to get out of sight of the cannon and save whatever was left of my unit. If he came to me we would fight but I was not going into the valley of death.

If you are a long-time reader, you also know when I have shiny new models I want to put on the table, they have a history of...well, unperforming seems to generous. Such as the Shaggoth, who got shot off the table by Dark Elves in two turns. Or Galrauch who never got a spell off and never got into combat. Or...well, he had three units I would have been excited about if I were he. The cannon was one.

Apparently being within eyesight of me is bad news for other people's models as well...because it promptly misfired and blew itself up.

Meanwhile, his weakest unit was way out on my right. He tried to cast something, his book chart forced a test and his herald took a wound, then I dispelled whatever he tried.

Not a good turn for DoC.

WoC Turn 2
His cannon blowing up changed things. Now I just had to get to where when he flank-charged my crushers I could flank charge his. I moved the Warriors into the ruins and angled them to get him when he got me, moved my knights over to face the daemonettes, and put the BSB back with the Crushers.

DoC Turn 2
Now he had to come to me. His Daemonettes charged the Knights, his Crushers charged mine. While the 'nettes made it handily, he WOULD have made it with his Crushers...if not for that retrograde move back in turn 1. He came up 2" short and had moved back 2.5".

It did shuffle him forward to where I would need an 8 to get him...

His herald and my Champion went into a challenge. He got 2 wounds through so got overkill. Then the knights did what they do, chopping down 4 or 5 of those peasants in front of them, saving everything else he hit me with. He lost another 5 or 6 to instability and after one round of combat I had 4 of 5 knights standing and he had 1 'nette and the Herald from what had been 10+ Herald. Things are looking good for the Warriors.

WoC Turn 3
I thought the smart play would be to make him come to me or combo-charge the Warriors and Crushers  but the fun play would be to declare the charge with the warriors on his Bloodletters and Crushers on his Crushers so that is what I did.

Note that both of these were much closer to "fair fights" than I like to get involved with...but I made both charges.

Except they turned out to not be all that fair. My Exalted declared a challenge, his champion Bloodletter accepted. I got overkill, rolled on the table, failed my LD test and became a Spawn...I did a couple wounds, he took more from instability and his unit shrunk precipitously.

Meanwhile, my Skullcrushers turned out to have a few advantages...such as higher strength due to ensorcelled weapons, more base attacks for the riders, frenzy which he does not get, and an extra Hero character throwing frenzied attacks...I had something like 19 extra S5 attacks wounding on 4s. He lost his last wound to instability.

But all was not well in the world of the Warriors.

Remember that herald and single 'nette? Well, his Herald got past the saves of 2 knights and the last two knights could not muster a single wound against him. They lost the combat...and ran. I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever had knights run. Wiped out? Sure. But RUN? Never.

DoC Turn 3
Well, he naturally declared the charge with his 'nettes and ran down my Knights. Whoa.

Meanwhile, the only un-engaged unit was his D-Prince, so he came to visit the Skullcrushers.

So my Exalted BSB and he went into a challenge. He hit with every attack, wounded with all, I saved most. I hit him with half, wounded once.

Against his Herald and Bloodletter, he had maybe 3 attacks, did a wound. I had about 13 attacks...and hit 1, wounded zero. But won anyway because of ranks/banner, etc. He passed LD test.

Warriors Turn 4
I am 100% engaged so no moving, shooting or magic...straight to the battle phase. He again did a wound with his Bloodletters. I again could not wound, though this time I "only" had 10 attacks to his 2...and again I won based on ranks, banner, and he passed LD.

This time I saved all the wounds his D-Prince did and he did not save mine, failed his test and died to instability.

DoC Turn 5
The winds forced my Bloodcrushers to take a LD test on 3d6 and take a wound for every point I failed a Crusher died outright. I finally put a wound on his Herald and we called it a game.

What went right:
His cannon blowing up was the game, really. Had it hit the crushers and taken one or more out (67% chance) and also done in my BSB I would have had little choice but to run hide behind the building or get wiped out in just a couple turns.

My BSB out-fighting his Lord-Level D-Prince was ridiculous. By Skullcrushers performed quite well against his Bloodcrushers.

What Went Wrong
My knights being unable to compete with daemonettes? Really? Getting run down? It was hilarious but completely unexpected. And hilarious.

My Warriors verse the Bloodletters lasted about 6 rounds of combat. His last guy staid single-handed through 3 or 4 rounds. I was in shock.

Overall, very fun, he got to see what his army played like on the field. Definitely a strong build, it gave my borderline power-game build all it could handle and was a misfire away from maybe running me completely off the table.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Warhammer 40k, Space Wolves v Orks

So on the heels of my first game, there was another guy wanting to play, we settled on 505 points. I had not brought any character models other than the Njal model which I scaled back to a regular Psyker. I went with I think the dreadnought, 6 man grey hunters, and 10 man hunters. I had almost nothing to deal with hordes or armor.

He brought Ork horde. We basically just decided to play "line up and kill the enemy".

He had a mob of 20 boys, another mob of 20 with a big boss with boss-pole, and 5 big shootas.

He chose to let him set up and go first...then seized the initiative.

I advanced slightly to make sure all my guys could shoot, then unleashed my Psyker. Oops, doubles, perils of the warp, wound. Tried a second power with 2 dice...oops, doubles, perils, died. Hmm. Psychic phase is just as strong as my magic use in Fantasy...

At least I took out his 5-man big shootas in the first turn. Wow, already better than last game.

He moved forward as far as possible, unleashed 40+ shots and did not a single wound.

I made a slight retrograde movement to make charging harder and started whittling down his unit with the Big Boss, who made about 5 Look Out sir rolls over the course of the game and passed all but the last one.

I was never able to turn my attention to the guys on the right but on turn 3 he failed his charge and initially failed his morale check, but then remembered the Boss pole and passed it.

I had a choice. He was about 3" in front of my 10 Grey Hunters. If I fired I would get rapid fire, 20 shots and not get +10 attacks for attacking, but not face overwatch. Quick math told me the 20 shots I lost were more than the 10 attacks I gain so I fired.

What a colossal blunder. First off, he had more guys than me, so he gained more attacks by charging. Second, I had bolt pistols...I could have fired them and then charged, thus losing 10 shots but getting the charge and keeping him from getting 12-14 attacks, whatever number of orcs he had left, and their overwatch does not bother me much, I might lose 1-2 models at worst. Oh, and I could stop any potential Hammer of Wrath for him.

So I rapid fire, whittle him down, he charges next turn, a full 20 boys into my 6 men and the others into my 10 man. My Overwatch does nothing, really. He gets Hammer of Wrath with he 20 models and takes out like 3 of my guys right there. They have about 5 attacks each so of course he wipes my unit out.

Meanwhile, I forget I have counterattack and cost myself another 10 attacks but put a hurt on his big unit.

Next turn I charge my Dreadnought in and take on his Big Boss. I wipe out the rest of that unit but am down to 4 or 5 guys at this point. I am far short of the number of guys I had back at the beginning of the seen above.

Anyway, I forget the Dreadnought CC weapon does not go last so his Boss and my dreadnought attacked at the same time.

Had we been keeping track, this was turn 5.

Turn 6 he charged his other mob in and in the dreadnought and boss killed each other. Turn 7 he finished off all but one of my grey hunters.

This game was played in about 40 minutes. It was what I had wanted the first game to be...very small, play, fast results, learned a lot, figured out a lot of mistakes I made...and had I played it properly, I probably would have done much, much better.

Really enjoyed the game, look forward to my next one.