Friday, April 29, 2011

Shifting gears

It sometimes seems like life loves to throw curves in the road. While I am happily working away at two armies in my Thousand Sons and Kabal of the Sundered Storm, I am reminded of a few big events this summer.....

First in Line is Origins 2011. This convention is the largest gaming convention in Ohio and I will be running a GW certified Golden ticket awarding tournament there. Now this tournament will be awarding the top two finishers tickets to the Throne of Skulls tournament to be held in Memphis in 2012. I have plans to support as many as 30 tables, a big event to be sure. The guys over at 40k Origins have lined up some incredible events to go along with it. There is even another group running a fantasy tournament and awarding Throne of Skulls placement for that system as well. Now anyone who is now or has been a TO knows how much work this is to coordinate, so I am head down getting details worked out there.

Event number two is at the end of July, Buckeye Battles. Now I went last year and ended up in the top tables only to choke in round 3. I would like to think I played well, and I certainly had a good time, so this year I am going back. Now, my Thousand Sons are not ready, and I don't like my odds with the Kabal as not all the models I want to use are available yet. This means I need to pick from my other armies to try and get a winner. I'm not going through all the details but I have Chaos Marines, Renegade Guard, Necrons, Chaos daemons, and space marines left to chose from. Lots of variety there.

Event three is this Boltgun Battles on September 24th. I am going back this year as the winning Best Sportsman from last year. I hope to defend that title. Details on this tournament can be found here. Of all the events this summer, this will likely be the capstone on the year for me. I am really looking forward to it. At the rate of almost one big event each month my wife's patience and goodwill will be tested....but hey, all is fair in love and war.

(ok, bad quote and even worse pun)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thousand Sons update

I have been working on and off to build a Heresy Era "Droid" Drednought. After ordering parts and scrounging the stores locally I finally have the thign close to assembled.

This thing has the legs of a Penitent Engine and the partial torso from a drednought. I used Dragon Forge Designs cabling to do the wires. These things are awesome. Due to the fact that they are metal, they won't work on every application, but here....just perfect. A little more putty work and some paint and she's done. What do you think?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

WOW!!! 2 posts in a day....

I have been wracking my brain all day trying to find a way to get the Thousand sons to fit within 1750 points and be workable with the forced small model count this codex forces on you when trying to stay all grey knight. If I could find a fluff way to explain an inquisitor and some death cult assassins and a monkey in a chimera I would at this point. I am totally frustrated.... For now I am sitting on two heavy transports for the twin strike squads and a dredknight. Ahriman runs in a unit of terminators. That is IT...all of it at 1750. 31 models....Hardcore to be sure, but wow....

Thousand Sons in action

I went to the remaining FLGS in town to meet Craig yesterday. We played annihilation with Dawn of war deployment at 1750 points. I am prepping for Buckeye Battles coming up in July. I know my list has flaws, and I am inexperienced with it. The last time I took a list like that into the local tournament scene (and a "hobby" event no less) I went 0-2-1. This list is a touch frightening for someone who has never seen a "gray Knights" army in action. Craig brought Space wolves to play with them, thinking assault was the way to go..... and he was right.

My Thousand Sons army looked like this:

Ahzek Ahriman (librarian), halberd, 4 skulls, warp rift, sanctuary, and might of titan
Phosis T'Kar (Mordrak)
8 Ghost Knights, 2 falchions, 1 hammer, 2 halberds, and a banner
2x Pyrae Brotherhoods (strike squads) 10 with 2 psycannon, hammer, halberd and psybolts in rhinos
Rifleman dred, 2x twin-lin autocannon with psybolts
Dredknight with sword, teleporter and heavy psycannon

Craig's list was really straight forward.

wolf lord, frost blade, wolftooth necklace and some other gear
runepriest in termie armor
2x 15 blood claws, powerfist
2x 10 bloodclaws fist in drop pod
5 wolfguard in terminator armor, wolf claws and fists
2x predator with twin lascannon

To start I had 31 models on the board to his 55....I did feel like I was outgunned to be sure. I set up my servo skull familiars along the center-line of the table, effectively killing any infiltration he might have had in mind. Craig won the roll to go first and set up with the two large squads of blood claws and the runepriest out on the table with the tanks clustered around a rock to provide cover. I set up my two Pyrae squads behind rock outcrops on my side of the board and the drenought behind a building ruin right in the center of my board edge. He had only a small line of sight to one bloodclaw pack, but it saved me the fire from the predators. My dredknight was on my left flank, again out of line of sight behind a hill.

I then seized the initiative from Craig and promptly killed a squad and a half of his bloodclaws...close to 25 marines in a single shooting add insult to injury Phosis (Mordrak), Ahriman and the boys dropped in on the first turn, right next to the remaining blood claws on my right side. Now ANY player who just watched half of their army get shot to pieces on the first turn is going to have a panic moment. Craig handled it better than most, in that he simply assigned threat profiles to each unit and decided to prioritze the terminators sitting on his flank....good call. Two of his three pods came in on turn one, and they contained his remaining 20 bloodclaws. He then shot EVERY gun he had available at the terminators, wounding Mordrak and killing 3. Of course that just spawned a replacement terminator. So I was down exchange for 30 marines. I think Ill take it.

Turn two saw the tide turn though. I shunted my dredknight up the left flank and killed a predator. I moved the Strike squads up 6 inches and continued pounding any infantry that was not in cover, and the terminators started to stall in combat. Over the next two turns Craig's wolf lord and friends managed to destroy Mordrak and Ahriman in combat despite have no defense from hammer hand and might of titan. I has s6 with halberds and swords, and had 2 s10 hammers, but couldnt kill more than 2 or 3 models a turn. Not bead really, but he was killing just as many....and when you are outnumbered 2-1 or more you cant win like that. To make matters worse he had deepstruck his wolfguard into my backfield and raped his way through a strike squad in one turn.

Now Craig and I had been working through this list and analyzing the units on both sides all through the game. We have basically decided the the strike squads are the fragile units of the list. Not EASY to kill per se, but easier than the other units to be sure. Unfortunately they are the most important units as well, given that they are the scoring units of the list. The list now looks more like this:

Ahriman, as above
5 paladins, 3halberds, hammer and psycannon, with apothacary
2x 10 man strike squad as above
2x dredknight with teleporter, and sword
drednought with 2x tinwlinked autocannons, ex armor and psybolt ammo

The list essentially breaks into to two pieces, using the dredknights and terminators as rapid assault units to delay my opponent moving out of his initial deployment zone, while the rifleman dred picks at transports and other armored units. The strike squads stay back holding objectives in my half of the table until about turn 4. If there are more than 3 objectives then I can combat squad them and keep half back on my side of the table and put the rest in the rhinos for a turn 4 dash to the midfield objectives.

In all it is a blitzkrieg kind of list, designed to scare the living crap out of a first time opponent and keep them pinned long enough to let my strike squads hold more than half of the objectives. I am considering doing something to add more scoring bodies on the field. There are two ways to do that here. One is to drop the paladins. At 370 points they would leave space for either another 10 man strike squad and a small purifier squad, but that strands Ahriman on foot in the backfield. I could drop the rifleman dred for a 5 man strike squad in a I have options. I HATE to lose the utility of the dred, but I do need more scoring....he might have to go. What do you all think? 5 termies or strike squad in rhino? and what to change to get them, fewer paladins in Ahriman's guard (stranding him on foot), or lose the rifleman?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Necron rumors

From FAEIT 212 :

Today I had found a brief summary of necron units, and although it was brief it had some information in it that was new to me. So here I figured I would combine that with what we heard on Monday, and compile them into one single summary, with the new information typed in italics.

Of note there are two named new heavy support options, some possible names for Necrons Lords, along with some of the lords that will make other units troops. There is also some confusion on where scarab swarms will go, as the new information puts them into troops. I would not hold my breath on this one yet.

Please remember to take all rumors with a grain of salt.
Author : Mat Ward for the bulk of the codex, but two others were involved before him.

We'll Be Back was still trying to be saved, last he knew.

Will be back is redone (Feel no Pain now)

WBB is basically FNP for most guys. Not FNP exactly

Gauss Weapons are Rending

Many Psychic Powers listed as "Tech Upgrades"

Phase out is reworked

Complicated rules from the codex are getting simplified and a lot of the war gear options are vanishing

Not all gauss weapons are rending.

Living metal is changing

The way Res orbs work has been reworked

Necrons will have their magic power guy, tech upgrades instead of psychic powers most likely

C’tan are gone, and are replaced with powerful named Necron lords and special characters.

One of the Lords makes Immortals troops

Another Special Character has some really nice anti psyker abilities

While the Ctan are themselves out of the codex their influence is still in place.

One of the lords was like 240 points or somewhere around there. He looks like he has potential to be beastly in CC though.
(one of them is 240 pts worth, cc specialist vs 2+)

Named Lords:
The Enfleshed - making Flayed Ones Troops
The Undying - making Immortals Troops
The Silent King ?
The Voidbringer ?
The Stormcaller ?
The Harbinger of Night ?

Random Lords
Anti psyker guy. Pariah ?
Psyker counterpart guy. Cryptek ?

Will come 10 to a box
New options and also other colors of rod (orange and red I think? Orange is not bright orange, but sort of dark, kinda like a beer color almost)
Warriors - no re-cut, possible additional sprue, yellow, orange, red, green rods, possible mark system. (10 per box)

Warriors are not changing, but doesn't preclude a new weapon/option sprue.
Otherwise look the same.

Scarab Swarms (my comment, since they are also suggested at being fast attack, I wouldnt hold my breath here)

Redone, in plastic? Unsure of the material.
Lots of "Bling"
Bigger than old ones
One of the Special Character ‘Cron lords makes them troops
Will come in boxes of 5, can be in units of up to 10.
large (35mm) base; they are redesigned as larger, bulkier and more

Flayed Ones
Redone, unsure of the material.
(Harlequins counterpart?)

overhaul into Lord retinue (second wave)

Fast Attack

Scarab Swarms

-See heavy for combined rumours

New fast attack unit
Look kinda like flayed ones
They have an 18” charge with their special ability
Think jump infantry with special rules
5 per box

Heavy Support
Necromancer - Resurrection, Warscythe, Gauss smthn... (plastic kit, 1 per box)

Obelisk/Gauss Obliterator/Heavy Gauss Cannon platform (plastic kit, 1 per box)

Remain expensive

Destroyers/Heavy Destroyers
Redone in plastic.
Like the old hybrid kits, but in plastic with fancier torso’s.
The skimmer body things don’t look much changed.
Option for a lawn mower (lown mower as in a gun that has alot of shots, to mow throw hordes) type weapon too if you want to deal with hordes, 1 per box.

Tomb spider
Tomb Spyders - 3 different builds (plastic kit, 1 per box)

Getting a remake
Will have several options and be able to fulfil a variety of roles in the army.
Spyders redone in plastic.
1 per box.

New MC/Vehicle
Can throw down some long range hurt but is still underwhelming compared to things like the Manticore 48” range
1 per box

New giant MC
Ranged or Melee options

Wraith Lord feel all around
One of the guns looks similar to the new gun the destroyer guys are getting which works well against hordes.
He has a lot of weapon options
1 per box.

New Blisters:
New metal lord on foot
Has a staff

First resin models in 40k 

That last line has me thinking confirmation (?) on the rumors of losing metals at GW....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dance of the Skimmers

Well, I drove across town to play Craig today. I haven't seen Craig in almost 6 months due to his work schedule so it was really nice to see him again and get in a game. Craig brought his mostly mechanized Tau and I brought my Kabal of the Sundered Storm Dark Eldar.

At 2000 pts we took nearly three hours to play but man it was a great game. I don't remember the details of Craig's army but it went something like this:

Commander with missile/plasma
3 suits with Missiles
15 kroot, 2 kroot guns, 4 hounds
3 units of fire warriors  2 of them in fish
2 units of path finders in fish
2 hammerheads, one with pulsar

I had my newest force as follows:

Haemonculi with liquifer and portal
7 incubi
9 wyches in raider
3x 10 warriors with splintercannon in raiders
3 ravagers
2x 4 trueborn with 2 splintercannons and 2 shardcarbines in venoms with 2 splintercannon

We drew take and hold with 3 objectives.  I managed to completely coral Craig until turn 4 when his reserves arrived and started to do damage. Until that point his shooting had been completely ineffectual. Craig held on with everything he had that was not a scoring unit until turn 5 while my army slowly degraded under his fire. Once his reserves showed up I was down to about 2/3 strength. In the end he had enough left to hold one objective and contest the other two. The game ended there, but we played out another turn to see what would happen as it looked like my incubi (who failed to come until turn 4) would turn his flank and get me a win. After the dice fell, I lost my contesting units on one objective and he was able to move in to contest another, which would hold his win.

All in all, while a loss for me, the Kabal is looking good. Once the wracks and possibly flyers are released I think they will do well to plug the holes in my list and make it what I want it to be. Loss for me, but an excellent game.