Friday, 12 December 2014

Finished Gaming Table

Over the summer I found the time and resources to paint my city fight terrain and fix up a base board from an old model railway board. The pavements were made from corrugated cardboard. The table has spaces on it for buildings with the buildings moveable. This means while the layout is the same, quite a number of configurations can be made. For instance, putting tall buildings in the centre creates a dense street by street firefight, while putting craters and low level barricades in the middle gives it a feeling of no man's land or bombardment impacts.


Some craters made from polystyrene and papier mache. The rubble is sliced up bits of sprue.


Looking out across the field of battle.


My Salamanders advance.

 Taking the city, for the Emperor!



Tau'va,
Ko'vash


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Painted reavers and a converted old school broadside

I finally got round to undercoating some of my dark eldar models and carried along by my sudden painting enthusiasm I painted the reavers to completion.

I also found time to rescue some experimentally converted battlesuits Xenos and Proud gave me resulting in an old school broadside and a fireknife.



While I like certain aspects of the new broadside kit, I'm really glad I was able to convert an old style one so the squad maintains a similar aesthetic.

I'm aiming to get some more pictures of my dark eldar up over the next few days including some different angle shots of the reavers.

Tau'va
Ko'vash

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Tale of Gamers: The Introduction

I recently attended a fifteen hundred point tournament at the Games Workshop in Aberdeen. It was a good tournament, fairly well run, with an interesting final mission. The big plus though, was that I got to catch up with Xenos and Proud and chat 40k with him for half a weekend. At the end of the tournament, we were both given with a flier for the next one: a 500 point tournament, with similar rules to the fourth edition combat patrol mission, designed to get people starting a new army. We were both taken with this idea (though I'm not sure if I'll actually make it to the tournament) and so set about deciding the armies we wanted to start. This was easy for me, I've always wanted to collect a Dark Eldar force and so this was the perfect opportunity to expand on the modest collection of DE models I already own. For XandP, it's a return to his first 40k love, the Blood Angels. 
 
 
 
In addition to starting these armies, we wanted to compete at Throne of Skulls in August this year. It was an obvious decision to take our new armies so a Tale of Gamers blog series seemed the only proper course of action.
The basic premise of our Tale of Gamers is that each month, starting in May, we will aim to collect five hundred points of our chosen army working our way up to our fifteen hundred point Throne of Skulls lists (the time scale may change depending on free time and disposable income, but this is what we're working towards). Over the course of the month we will paint and convert these forces with a showdown of our slowly growing armies happening at the end of each month. Hopefully, we will be able to provide work in progress shots of the models as well as a bit of insight into why we chose the units.

So onto the lists.

The initial five hundred;

Succubus, venom blade, haywire grenades
7wyches, haywire grenades, raider, enhanced aethersails
10 kabalite warriors, splinter cannon, raider, splinter wracks
Ravager, three disintegrator cannons

The middle thousand

Duke Sliscus
2x 7wyches, haywire grenades, raider
10 kabalite warriors, splinter cannon, raider, splinter wracks
5 kabalite warriors, blaster, venom, extra splinter cannon
6 reaver jetbikes, 2 heatlances
Ravager, three dark lances

The fifteen hundred I'm working towards:
 
Duke Sliscus
Four blood brides, venom, extra splinter cannon
Four incubi, venom, extra splinter cannon
2x 8 wyches, hekatrix, venom blade, hydra gauntlets, haywire grenades, raider
10 kabalite warriors, splinter cannon, raider, splinter racks
5 kabalite warriors, blaster, venom, extra splinter cannon
6 Reaver jetbikes, 2 heatlances
Ravager with dark lances
Razorwing jet fighter
 
These lists are a combination of the models I own and some from the army list and model ranges that I like. I don't expect to win many games, but I'm looking forward to hopefully fighting in the assault phase rather than just jet packing out of the way. 
That'll do for an introduction, I'll see you in May when I start gathering models together. 
Ko'vash

Friday, 14 February 2014

Battle Brothers January 2014: Game 3

Mission: Crusade, five objectives
Deployment: Vanguard strike
Terrain: A big ruin on left (objective) and right of our table edge, a ruin in the top right corner (objective), big hill in the centre from realm of battle, two forests on the other side, top left and top centre (objective). Wreckage middle left (objective) and wreckage central right (objective)
Warlord trait Tau: Exemplar of the Selfless Cause
Warlord trait Tau and orks: Not sure
Night fight: no

Psychic powers
Eldar: guide, perfect timing, presience

Opponents:
Tau and Orks

Fireblade, shield drone
3 squads of firewarriors
2 railgun hammerheads with submunitions

Boss, 2+ save and 5++, power klaw
10 Nobs, 5++, feel no pain, a few power claws
Dakkajet
20 boyz, Nob, power klaw

Deployment

We deployed first, hiding the fire warriors behind the hill claiming an objective. The Bikes parked up next to them on their left. The farseer and riptide joined together, and stood next to the skyray in the centre of our board edge, with the hammerhead cowering behind some ruins which the pathfinders were ready to scout into.



They deployed the nobs facing the pathfinder ruin with the boyz to the left and the fire blade and a unit of fire warriors left of them. Two fire warrior squads took up residence in the big ruin in their deployment zone, with a hammerhead hiding behind each corner of that building. The dakkajet was in reserves.

They failed to seize.



We kicked off with the riptide leaping forward to take on the fire warriors with the hammerhead in tow. The skyray swivelled to have a go at the nobs. The jetbikes moved up to blast the fire warriors. Several fire warriors were downed but not enough to wipe the squad. A big chunk of boyz were submunitioned into Mork’s (or possibly Gork’s) embrace. Some of the nobz took wounds.
The warboss and co advanced on the poor pathfinders. The hammerheads moved up. There was the characteristic whip crack of railguns but they either failed to find their mark or were negated by cover saves. The boyz and nobz ran forwards and the fire warriors killed a couple of jetbikes.
The pathfinders scampered further up the ruins to avoid being assaulted as the hammerhead lined up to pie plate the fire warrior team. The riptide rolled around the corner to gun down some of the nobz or the fire warriors depending. Our fire warriors moved up to secure the forest objective as the bikes closed in for the kill. The first of our crisis suits arrived ready to try and blow holes in a hammerhead. Through various large blasts and shuriken blades the fire warriors were slain but the fireblade survived (first blood). The crisis suit tried to silence the hammerhead but was denied by jink. The riptide put wounds on some of the nobz but most were denied by the boss’s 2+ save and feel no pain.



The dakkajet failed to show up. The nobz couldn’t decide whether to assault the pathfinders or not so stayed put. The boys moved up to put the hurt on the bikes as the hammerheads and fire warriors prepared to hit my deep striking crisis suit. Most of the shooting was ineffective with the crisis suit losing a drone and a wound. The jetbikes were shot down to three models. The hammerhead took a glancing hit.
The crimson hunter swooped in and promptly failed to hurt a hammerhead at all. The other crisis suit landed and with his friend, they were able to stun the other hammerhead which was bearing down on them. Our hammerhead submunitioned a bunch of boyz catching the fireblade in the blast and instant deathing him for good measure (slay the warlord). The blue jetbikes shot across the field to hide in the ruin in our deployment zone, and the fire warriors moved into the trees. The riptide finally downed the painboy and swiftly removed most of the other nobz bar one and the warboss on two wounds.



The dakkajet soared on, a waaagh was declared, and the orks rushed forwards, the warboss gunning for the hammerhead. The fire warriors lined up on my suits and the dakkajet aimed at our backfield squad of fire warriors with the fireblade attached. Despite an insane number of shots, the dakkajet was denied its kill by the fire warriors diving for cover, leaving only two dead. The boss charged and made short work of the hammerhead, but the fire warriors couldn’t remove the crisis suits. In the assault phase, the dakkajet attempted to ram the crimson hunter (we weren’t convinced you could do this in normal 40k, but gave it to them as it was in the death from the skies rules) but failed its toughness test.
The crisis suits gave up on the hammerhead and went for the fire warriors who are troops after all. The skyray prepared to be smashed into tiny pieces by the warboss. The skyray fired missiles at the dakkajet, successfully velocity locking it, but it jinked any other damage. The riptide and jetbikes removed the last of the orks from the central objective. The fire warriors killed the last nob but couldn’t stop the warboss.
The dakkajet flew across the field. The warboss smashed the skyray to bits, and the fire warriors mercilessly gunned down my battlesuits. The opposition hammerheads tried to shoot down my fireblade’s unit but where unsuccessful. The dakkajet assaulted the crimson hunter and downed the flier.
Everything shot the warboss. The guy was rolling like a champ with his 2+ save but the forest fire warriors eventually downed the roaring xeno. The riptide and bikes advanced on the central objective, claiming it for the Taudar Empire.
Their last turn consisted of them trying to remove the jetbikes from the objective, but bolstered by the farseer joining the unit they held.

Final score: Taudar 15 (four objectives, slay the warlord, line breaker, first blood) Tau Orks 3 (one objective)

After game thoughts
This was an odd game. We had some difficulty with luck at times but then again so did our opponents. I think our deployment was quite poor, we deployed too heavily on the right, and got ourselves trapped in a corner because of it. In the end we pulled through though.


Unit of the match: jetbikes. Jumping around, picking off units, claiming objectives and even a threat to light tanks, jetbikes are awesome. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Battle Brothers January 2014: Game 2

Mission: Big guns with four objectives
Deployment: Hammer and anvil
Terrain: Big ruin in each deployment zone (ours on our left, theirs on their right) a forest across from each ruin, a big hill in the centre and another forest on our left in the centre.
Warlord trait Tau: Through Unity, Devastation
Warlord trait Marines: No idea
Psychic powers
Eldar: guide, fortune, presience
Night fight: yes

Opponents:
Space marines and guard

Chaplain
Two tactical squads
Two devastator squads
Thunderfire cannon
Rhino

Company command squad
Massive blob squad (50 guys)
Marbo
Leman russ demolisher squadron (two tanks)

They won the roll for first turn and opted to place the thunderfire cannon behind their big ruin, with the devastators in the ruin, one tactical squad hidden behind the rhino, with the chaplain and other tactical squad in the rhino.
The guardsmen deployed in the forests, with the russes anchoring their left flank. Marbo was hidden in reserves.

We set up a fire warrior unit in the ruin, and the fireblade and other fire warriors in the trees. The pathfinders were on the higher floors of the ruin, the skyray cowering behind the hammerhead in the centre. The bikes anchored our left flank facing off against the devastators, with the riptide next to them. The plan being to force the marine flank with the bikes 48” turbo-boost, taking out the thunderfire turn two and forcing the marines to fight us on two fronts. As usual, the suits and hunter were in reserve.



We failed to seize the initiative.

The imperium ordered a general advance, rushing forwards to engage the filthy xeno. The searchlight from the rhino lit up the hammerhead. The devastators seized this opportunity and blasted the grav tank to tiny pieces (first blood).
The tau retaliation was swift and deadly. The skyray missile barraged the rhino into oblivion. The marines charged out, only to be met by a farseer guided riptide and his nova-charged weapons which gunned them down, leaving few survivors. The bikes soared down our left flank, pressuring the devastators and the thunderfire.



The chaplain and marines dashed forwards, hoping to do some damage to the riptide. The guard advanced but ran again due to being out of range. Guardsman Marbo materialised in the ruin’s, but fell under the ever watchful eye of the riptide and was shot down in a hail of burst cannon fire. The demolishers attempted to raze the forest containing the warlord. With a sharp cry, Oi’nan’shi ordered her warriors to take cover, the tau diving behind the trees to avoid the explosive munitions. The devastators and thunderfire cannon unleashed hell on the bikes, tearing down four of one squad and one from the other, but the elves’ nerve held.



The riptide advanced, plasma guns ready for the devastators, as the crimson hunter swooped in, lances locking onto the space marine leader with the farseer moving in to help. A crisis suit gracefully touched down beside the jetbikes, as the bikes prepared to kill the thunderfire and the devastators. The skyray swung round, ready to unleash smart missiles on the advancing blob squad. The riptide failed to harm the devastators, the crisis suit killed a couple with the jetbikes adding to the tally. The two man jetbikes bladestormed the thunderfire techmarine down, silencing the artillery piece. The crimson hunter and farseer removed the tactical squad from the board in a brilliant display of lance fire and shurikens (slay the warlord).
The imperials responded by bringing the second tactical squad to bear on the riptide, but the plasma gun failed to cause any wounds. The blob squad put a couple of wounds on the riptide with various orders. The devastators failed to kill the jetbikes and hunter. Again the demolishers futilely pounded the forest with siege shells, though they did successfully destroy the skyray.
The crimson hunter banked right but fluffed its rolls against the leman russ squadron. Thankfully, the second crisis suit had just arrived and reduced one of the lumbering behemoths to molten slag with its fusion blaster. The riptide nova charged, and ignored the juicy guard heavy weapons teams and instead destroyed the second tactical squad with help from the first crisis suit, the farseer and the jetbikes. Having finished its work, the riptide jetpacked after the blob squad…
The remaining russ powered forwards away from the crisis suit. The suit was slain by rocket fire from the company command squad, even as they ordered the men to slay the riptide. After many orders had been cast, las cannons fired and grenade launchers shot. The smoke cleared. Leaving the riptide still standing. The devastators charged down the building, rushing into combat with the farseer, but neither could cause any damage leaving combat a draw.
The crimson hunter finally sorted its targeting profiles blasting the second russ apart as the jetbikes took out the command squad. The riptide sprinted forward, charging into the guardsman blob to drag them off the objective. Despite numerous overwatch shots and bayonets, the riptide crushed several unlucky heroes of the imperium, running them down as they fled from the monster battlesuit.



With little left to do, the remaining guardsmen prepared to sell their lives dearly as the riptide bore down on them, their shots just bouncing off its impermeable armour.
The bikes moved to claim all the objectives, as the farseer finally slew the devastator squad in combat. The riptide survived yet more overwatch to charge the last bastion of the imperial guard, scattering the puny gue’la, and claiming this sector for the Tau Empire.

Final score: Taudar 18 (4 objectives, 4 heavy support kills, slay the warlord, linebreaker) Imperial marines 2 (1 heavy support kill, first blood)

After game thoughts
This game was immensely enjoyable. Our opponents were a great laugh, and although the score was very one sided, the game was not. When the hammerhead got killed first turn, and the bikes charge began taking casualties, we began to get worried. But ultimately the risk paid off and we were able to execute a pincer manoeuvre. However, it was a hard fought match right until the finish.


Unit of the match: riptide, for generally making a nuisance of itself

Monday, 10 February 2014

Battle Brothers January 2014: Game 1

Mission: relic
Deployment: dawn of war
Terrain: forest in the centre of each deployment zone, ruin in the left of each deployment zone and a big ruin in the centre of the table
Warlord trait Tau: Predator of the skies (one use skyfire)
Warlord trait Iron hands: Not sure, might have been librarian got blessing of the omnissiah

Psychic powers
Eldar: guide, misfortune, presience
Iron hands: endurance
Night fight: yes

Opponents:
Iron hands
Librarian, terminator armour, storm shield, force axe (warlord)
10 tactical marines, meltagun, combi melta, melta bombs, multimelta, drop pod
8 tactical marines, meltagun, combi melta, melta bombs, drop pod
Storm talon, skyhammer missiles, assault cannon
Storm talon, skyhammer missiles, assault cannon

Space sharks allies
Tiberius the red wake
5 lightning claw terminators
Land raider redeemer, multimelta
Storm talon, skyhammer missiles, assault cannon

Deployment
They deployed only the land raider (containing the terminators) which sat in the centre of their deployment zone beside a forest.

We placed the hunter, and suits in reserve. The hammerhead on our left with the pathfinders ready to scout into the ruin on our left, both firewarriors and fireblade in the forest in our deployment zone, riptide in the centre. Skyray behind the firewarriors, and a unit of jetbikes on either side of the skyray to protect against drop pods. The farseer joined the jetbikes nearest the riptide.



With a spot of good fortune, we seized the initiative.

The farseer guided and presienced a whole load of stuff, and the riptide charged up his gattling gun, advancing on the land raider. The hammerhead swung round to the left using the pathfinder’s markerlights to destroy the land raider with a clean penetrating hit (first blood). The terminators pile out, only to be blasted apart by riptide fire. I believe three died and Tiberius lost a wound.
The marine’s retaliation involved a mad dash from the terminators and a drop pod landing behind the hammerhead. The marines piled out, only to be cut down by rending interceptor fire from the riptide. Crucially however, the melta sergeant and multimelta survived blasting away at the hammerhead, knocking off a hull point and the smart missiles.



The hunter arrived, soaring onto the battlefield but with a lack of targets it hid behind a ruin. A crisis suit deepstruck to mess up the terminators and the hammerhead ran away from the space marines which were being chased by a swarm of angry jetbikes and a farseer. The other jetbikes began a play for the relic. The hammerhead failed to kill the drop pod, a few marines were bladestormed by the bikes and Tiberius’ guard were shot down by the crisis suit. Diverting full power to shields, the riptide charged Tiberius. Bringing a massive metal hoof down on the chapter master the giant battlesuit smashed the life from the space marine, before he could lash out with his chainfists, stalking on to stand defiant in front of the relic.
With the scream of jet engines, the three storm talons roared into battle, blasting apart the crimson hunter in a shower of debris and skyhammer missiles, the elegant crafts jinking turns no match for the blessed missiles. The others tore into the riptide, but the suit’s armour withstood the battering.
The space marines on foot again tried to silence the hammerhead but their grenades could only bounce off the hull.
The crisis suit wasted no time in blasting apart the remaining tactical marines, even as his strike partner touched down on the other side of the table, and failed to snap shot at a storm talon, though the drones stole a hull point. The skyray blasted another’s assault cannon off in a barrage of missiles. The fire warriors skyfired up and put a glancing hit on one the already limping storm talon, knocking it out of the sky. The riptide failed to hurt the third, being out of range of guide.



The librarian and friends turned up, going for the fireblades unit. The iron hands storm talon regenerated a hull point. Both fliers flew over to kill the fire warriors and the skyray, but did little to no damage.
The tau and eldar mobilised to hunt down the warlord and marines. Several marines fell, but not enough. The hammerhead missed the drop pod, the jetbikes grabbed the relic, and the skyray shot it’s last missiles, ripping the missiles off the regenerating storm talon, leaving it with no guns.
The skyray’s victory was short lived as the space sharks flyer went into hover mode and tore it apart with rending. The marines charged into the warlords unit, the fireblade accepting a challenge from the librarian. However, everyone fluffed their attacks and combat was a stalemate.
The hammerhead finally did something, blasting the space shark flyer out of the sky.the tau converged on the combat, the farseer and bikes charging in. The farseer heroically shoved the fireblade out of the challenger. Again combat was drawn.



With a snarl, the space marine librarian finally landed a wound on the eldar psyker in combat, activating his force weapon, banishing the xeno to the warp. Bolstered by this heroism, the marines slew several fire warriors, running them down (slay the warlord).

We rolled for turn six (we needed this to charge the riptide in and claim slay the warlord) but we rolled a one.

Final score: Tau 5 (relic, first blood, linebreaker) Marines 2 (linebreaker, slay the warlord)

After game thoughts
We played a reasonably solid game, though we got very lucky with that first turn alpha strike. The marines were hampered by being unable to focus their forces on a particular section of the army allowing us to take them apart piecemeal. The fire warriors could have had more of an impact, but overall the units all played the part.

I'm very glad we took the skyray, it's a really cool looking model and it provides good anti-air defence. It's rules are nice, good, but not so good that it can be used without a bit of thought.


Unit of the match: riptide, proved to be a good all-rounder, and conjured up some great imagery charging Tiberius

Monday, 3 February 2014

Battle Brothers 2014 List and Pre-tournament thoughts


Two weekends ago, Xenos and Proud and I attended the Warhammer 40k Battle Brothers tournament, at Warhammer world in Nottingham. Despite the daunting prospect of a seven and a half hour car journey, we were both very excited and looking forward to playing doubles 40k again, something we haven’t done in about four years.

The format for Battle Brothers is fairly simple. You pick an army of 1500 points, and the two of you play five rounds over two days with this army. It can be structured in any way that follows force organisation.
The interesting twist of battle brothers, is that you win the tournament by amassing victory points, not battle points for winning games. This is quite an interesting mechanic with its own pros and cons. On the positives, it forces people to really play a high risk, high reward game. You can’t roll Emperor’s Will (the two objective one) sit on your own objective and win through first blood like you might normally, you have to claim the other one to maximise your victory points. This makes the games exciting, tense matches, which are usually close until the last turn or two. It also means both sides can gain a benefit, even if they lose. However, it can lead to very one sided scores, where people are left feeling like they’ve been tabled when they actually fought a really close game. It also means you focus less on winning the game, and instead winning points to win the tournament, which can leave you losing sight of just playing the game and enjoying the battle being fought.

The reports that follow this introductory post will aim to give an idea of how the games went, I don’t remember enough to make it a blow by blow account, which would probably come out quite dull anyway.

The list
We knew from the start we’d be taking Tau and Eldar, given that that’s what we took all those years ago, they’re our favourite armies, and XandP’s other army is Tyranids.
We initially tried to come up with a super competitive list, but quickly realised we had no idea what we’d face, especially now forgeworld was in play. We contemplated dipping into my student loan to by a revenant titan, but then decided we ought to just take a whole bunch of units we liked the look of, hadn’t used before, or just enjoyed gaming with. Here is our result:

Cadre Fireblade Shas’nel Oi’nan’shi (warlord)
12 fire warriors, rifles, shas’ui, markerlight, target lock
11 fire warriors, rifles (fireblade lives here)
Riptide, heavy burst cannon, twin linked plasma rifles, early warning override, stimulant injector
Crisis suit, plasma rifle, fusion blaster, 2 gun drones
Crisis suit, plasma rifle, fusion blaster, 2 gun drones
5 pathfinders
Hammerhead, railgun, submunitions, disruption pod, blacksun filter, smart missile system
Skyray, blacksun filter, smart missile system

Farseer, jetbike
6 jetbikes, two shuriken cannons
6 jetbikes, two shuriken cannons
Crimson hunter


The list has a good mix of ways to handle the various threats (flyers, hordes, etc) and has few spammed units in it. The crisis suits are a particular favourite of mine as they always bought an element of randomness to the game. Every game, we deepstruck them in on a crazy suicide mission behind enemy lines.
I'd played a skyray once before the tournament so I was keen to have another go and see if it was better flyer defence than the riptide. The hammerhead is a favourite model of mine and has been since I started the game. I felt the tau portion of the list reflected a mobile gunline, anchored by fire warriors, with suits and vehicles mobilised around it, an idea I'm growing more and more fond of. The riptide was armed with a burst cannon for the cool factor and ridiculous number of shots, despite the ion accelerator seeming the superior weapon. Also, people complain less when you intercept with it rather than a strength eight, ap two large blast. When I explained this to someone, I actually found myself being complemented on the sporting way I was fielding a riptide. I'm expecting the first flight of pigs tomorrow...
The eldar half came from Xenos and Proud's favourite models. Given a few more points, we'd have thrown in a fire prism as it is to him as hammerheads are to me. 

Game 1 to follow.

Ko'vash