Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Campaign Progress 11/30/2010

Today the Scythiak got their chaotic tails handed to them by the Ed-dar in our Planetary Empires campaign.  We did a 3-objective Seize Ground, Spearhead deployment mission on a 4x4 board with some plentiful canyon terrain.

I took:

HQ – Company Command Squad – Power Weapon, Regimental Standard, Lascannon, Astropath. (Corrupted PDF officer) (135)
Troops – (Beldasian Forgefethers) Vet Squad (shotguns), Sgt has Power Fist, 3xMeltaguns, Grenadiers (Carapace armor), Chimera (Multi-laser and heavy flamer) (200)
Troops - (Cultists)
Platoon command squad – Power weapon, 2xflamers (50)
Infantry Squad power weapon meltagun (70)
Infantry Squad power weapon meltagun (70)
Missile Launcher squad (3xML) (90)
Troops – (Techno-barbarians)
Platoon command squad – Power fist, 2xflamers (55)
Infantry squad power weapon grenade launcher (65)
Infantry squad power weapon grenade launcher (65)

Fast – Hellhound, hull multi-melta (145) (Corrupted PDF)
Fast – 3xMissile Launcher Scout Sentinels (135) (Techno-barbarian Spawn Riders)
Fast – 3xMulti-laser Scout Sentinels (105) (Beldasian Forgefethers, repurposed industrial exoskeletons)

Heavy – Hydra (75) (Captured Arbites traffic control platform)
Heavy – Hydra (75) (Captured Arbites traffic control platform)
Heavy – Leman Russ Exterminator, Hull Lascannon (165) (Dispater pattern battletank with shotgun autocannon turret)

I was down 5 (!) tiles, 5 to Ed's 10, so got an extra 250pts.  I spent them on Marbo and some allied Chaos Marines - six Chosen in a Rhino with four meltaguns.  I also got one special rule, and put Eternal Warrior on my Missile Launcher squad to keep all those S6 shots from insta-killing them.  The "Corrupted PDF" units were models borrowed from my Merkans, and the CSM were my Word Bearers.

Ed took:
Farseer with doom, singing spear.
2 squads of 7 fire dragons
2 wave serpents with tl scatter lasers
1 squad of 10 banshees with exarch and power weapons
wave serpent with tl scatter lasers
3 fire prisms
1 squad of 10 dire avengers exarch with power wpn and shimmershield
wave serpent tl scatter lasers.
1 squad of 10 storm guardians ccw and pistol.

He got 150pts from Manufactorums and added two Vypers, one with brightlance and one with missile launcher.

I set both sets of Sentinels and the Chosen to Outflank, with Marbo doing his thing and the Vets in regular Reserve, figuring that something would come close to my board edge.  It was a rough slog in the early game, but I eventually made it through most of the seven grav-tanks and the Vypers and most of the passengers.  At the end of turn five all he really had left was one Fire Prism and the very battered Storm Guardians.  The Storm Guardians had just passed a morale test exactly, but that was all they needed - the game ended with them holding on by their fingernails to two objectives, while I was only able to cover one.  Eldar Victory over the Spikey Mon-keigh.  He then proceeded to gleefully take a Command Bastion from me on the strategic map.  Curses, foiled again, again!

Tough game.  It was rough early having to deal with his full firepower, but the momentum was with me as I slowly tore open the tanks and his units.  Unfortunately the random turn length was not with me, but that's the way it goes.  Ed's getting really good with his army, keeping the tanks back to shoot and making pretty good target priority decisions.  Some of the "tricky" things in the game still take him off-guard, like the multiple Outflankers and how horrible walkers are for S3 units to deal with.  Seven grav tanks is a pain to get through, especially when I could never bring full firepower to bear due to the terrain.  I wish I could have stayed longer; I would have liked to have tried this list out against some Orks or another IG army.

Ed's take can be seen on his new blog:  Eldar is Your Daddy

On the hobby side I've been working on the Techno-barbarian platoon of the Scythiak and will get some WIP shots of them up tomorrow.  Still a ways from finished, but it's progress!

Monday, November 29, 2010

All of us are belong to our basing - thoughts and history

Bases - for some they're an afterthought, for some they're as important as the model itself.  There are a number of different ways to approach them.

Do you leave them bare?
Do you paint them a solid color?
Do you flock?
Do you add bits?
Do you buy resin bases?
Do you sculpt your own?

Aside from the hows, there's the what, as in what do you want the base to reflect or represent?  I think that good basing helps establish the scene, either in a relatively minimalist way, blending in with the table, or in a more expansive way, creating a mini-scene on the base itself, like with large monsters or dreadnoughts having foes crushed underfoot.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Passing Go

...so collected 200 posts!  Some of the stuff lately has been recycled or invalidates old posts with outdated links, but I don't want to try to recalculate a "real" number.  Blogger says 200, so that's what I'm going with!

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it.  I continue to get much more out of this than I ever expected to.

In an effort to include some modicum of content, I'll share a minor vanity/convenience order I got in last week - nerd cards!

Being the internet, I've removed last name and phone numbers, just in case...

Including shipping, was under $10 for way more cards than I expect to ever use.  I always find it awkward meeting new gamers to get/give contact info that will be kept track of and to pimp my blog, and end up scribbling info on scraps of paper.  Now when I play someone new that I'd like to again, I can just pass them a nerd card. 
There's probably some technological way to do it like tapping datapads together or something, but I haven't even figured out how to text or put names by contact numbers in my phone yet so a paper-based solution was the way to go for me. 
Any non-direct gaming or hobby aids you've come up with to make your life easier?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Campaign Progress - WIP Scythiak Usurpation shots, other pics

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, my fellow Americans!

Yesterday on our campaign day, I got in another game against Rob, one of the other IG players in the campaign.  Last time we played I got a string of good rolls in and took out his various vehicles.  This time I was not so lucky, and his armored force gave the Scythiak a good drubbing.  We did Annihilation/Dawn of War, and I had a hard time of it getting across the table to try to deal with all the armored firepower.  I took out a number of squads, killed one tank and did damage to several others, but in the end couldn't catch up on Kill Points.

Some shots from our game:

Scythiak moving onto the table turn one.  Hard finding space for everyone!

Wall of Steel - Vendetta, four chimeras, medusa, russ, vanquisher.

With the extra points from the Planetary Empires rules, Rob picked up some Dark Eldar mercs in the form of a Reaver squad.  I killed two of them early on, but the last one caused some trouble picking on HW teams.

Ogryn get up and 'splode the Vanquisher.  Too little, too late.

We were playing on a Zuzzy Miniatures mat that Rob had recently bought.  I've been looking at these before, and was recently seriously considering getting the exact type of mat Rob brought along (the Broken Blacktop mat) so I was quite pleased getting to see one up close and play on it.  I rather like it, and will have to pick one up for myself in the near future.  It looks pretty good as is, but will look fantastic painted up.  Being a rubber mat, dice rolls on it were very quiet, and bounced around a good bit, so if bouncing dice are a deal breaker for you, reconsider this product or get a box or something to roll in.  If it doesn't bother you, I think this would be a great way to get a good looking transportable tabletop.

Here's a couple of shots highlighting the mat:

Johann brought in his scratch-built Dark Eldar fighters/bombers, here's a shot of one of those:

Cardboard, tape, paper plates - certainly AV 10 or 11!

And lastly a treat for Loquacious (and everyone really).  I had just mentioned Alex's Black Templars here the other day, and lo and behold (so behold Lo!) he shows up in the store!  The power of blogging!  Hmm, I also find huge sweepstakes prizes and other financial windfalls interesting.  OK, we'll see if that works.

Also a quick plug at the end for one of our players who has started a blog - stop in at Ed's Eldar is Your Daddy for a helping of Eldar attitude.  We'll see if he can back it up!

Search of Taurus

I had been thinking of doing something like this for a while, but seeing jabberjabber's similar list over at Warpstone Flux prompted me to go ahead and do it.

Looking at the last year's worth of search results that led people to the blog reveals some expected things, as well as some stranger ones.


"Sons of taurus" and various variations and associations appears frequently.  Chaos Marines, Traitor Guard and similar searches pop up in various forms very often, especially things like how to start chaos marines, why play chaos marines and the like.  Things dealing with the Badab War are also popular, with searches for things like badab, ia9, and tyrant's legion showing up often, most of them likely over the past few months, with the release of the Forge World book and my reviews prompting hits.


It's to be expected that due to the name that lots of things dealing with "taurus" or other zodiac type things appear, but here's some of the odder and more fun ones of those as well as some outright oddballs.

"can you shoot lead bullets threw a taurus pt 140"

No idea. 

"characters of to kill the enemy by roman a. dela cruz"
I guess dealing with characters, kill, and enemy will lead this search to all sorts of places.

"dark eldar codex download"

People were looking for that everywhere apparently!  Not here, move along.

"faeit of fotbol palyar video"

Apparently my mentions of Faeit 212 drove this here.

"good looking obliterators"

If you find any, let me know. 

"horse heresy board game"

A game reflecting on a bitter time in mankind's history that led to the breakup of the Rough Rider legions.

"make stuff work by hitting it"

An admirable question.  If that led them here instead of to their answer, I hope they just smacked their computer.

"techno barbarian hoodie"

There are a number of other techno barbarian results due to the Scythiak posts, but I'd never even considered giving them hoodies.  But I guess some of the Mordheim cultist figures could qualify.

And I'll leave you with one of the best,

"skuuls deat tautus"

Right on man, right on.  Whatever you mean, right on.  Go. Hunt.  Kill Skuls.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bash from the Past: Who let the Crons out? Tau vs. Necrons

November 2009

Got a game in with Greg, who I played in the previous report: Psyker Purge

Instead of SoB vs. Heretics, this time it was to be Necrons vs. Tau, a Xenos-on-Xenos deathmatch!

Mission was a Seize Ground, with three objectives (represented by the obelisk and archways from the Arcane Ruins set) with a Pitched Battle setup. We had some special rules for the central pylon and the "research stations" around the corners, but they never actually came into play. 1850pts.

The battlefield prior to the armies' arrival:


Snapshot of the Tau forces with pile o' kroot behind them:

I had:
Three groups of stealth suits - 2x6, 1x3 which had one guy with fusion gun
2x10 Fire Warriors
4x12 Kroot
2xSniper Drone Teams
2x6 Vespid

The Necrons:

Greg had:
Lord w/Orb
2x10 Immortals
2x10 Warriors
2x5 Destroyers
Tomb Spyder

Greg won the roll-off, and chose to pick sides/go first. He deployed in three groups - two groups of warriors behind immortals, and a third group on his left with both destroyer groups. I spread out facing the immortals/warriors, trying to avoid the destroyers initially and figuring they could redeploy away from me if I tried to concentrate on them too early. I kept three squads of kroot and the small stealth team in reserve to outflank, Greg kept the Monolith back to deepstrike it.


Pregame thoughts:

I was worried about the immortals and destroyers, as they could kick out a lot of shots on the move. They could vape squads if they caught them in the open, and could make it hard for the stealth teams to keep away from them. I was less worried about the warriors due to much shorter range if they moved. There were a couple of ways to deal with the monolith, chief among them the broadsides. Hopefully they wouldn't get shot up before the monolith showed up, though the lack of AP2 necron weapons made me feel pretty safe with them. Also some EMP grenades on the FW could serve as backup.

Turn 1:
Necrons move up, shoot up the central fire warrior squad in the woods. Have several blown spotting checks to target sniper drone teams.

Tau take out Tomb Spyder with the Broadsides, move up along my left flank. Shoot up a few destroyers and immortals.


Turn 2:
Monolith does not come in. Immortals move to get a clear shot and vaporize flanking Fire Warrior squad.

Destroyers move closer to the center, take out one sniper team. Two Necron units fail to spot due to stealth fields.

Tau turn - two kroot units arrive on right flank behind destroyers.

Vespid, Stealth Suits and Shadowsun move up on other side to engage Immortals/Warriors.
Shooting weakens the immortals, and Vespid charge in to tie up the units. One destroyer unit is taken out by firepower, Kroot charge in to the other.

The Vespid, being Vespid, don't defeat their enemies but they do manage to pin them in place. The Kroot overwhelm the Destroyers, and since both units are down they don't get to make WBB and disappear.

Turn 3:
Though they did well to take out the Destroyers, the Kroot are now out in the open. Bad when there's a warrior squad in rapidfire range, a unit of immortals nearby...and now a Monolith.
View before Necron shooting:
View AFTER Necron shooting:
One Kroot breaks and runs, the other one decides today is a good day to die and continues on.

The Necrons continue to pour fire into the FW squad in the middle, breaking it and running it off the board.

Tau: Start taking some shots at the Monolith, immobilize it.

The Warriors+Lord beat the purple vespid, but the green ones continue to hold the immortals with the help of Shadowsun and her drones who apparently know how to hit a robot where it hurts.

Last Kroot squad also came onto my left flank (by the close combat).

Turn 4:
Lord and Warriors reposition and shoot up a few Kroot.
Central Kroot get shot up and fall back.
CC continues

3-man stealth suit squad arrives on left flank. They join in with the Kroot and another stealth squad in pounding the warriors...who fail their morale check and start falling back! Stealth team uses its jet pack move to keep close enough to keep them from being able to rally.

Turn 5:
The warrior+lord unit, unable to rally falls back again but is still on the table. They shoot up the Stealth Squad escorting them off, but one manages to survive. The Vespid are wiped out by the immortals, but Shadowsun holds. Immortals move over to the center while the other warrior squad hides behind the monolith on one of the objectives. The Kroot move over and join the scrum to help Shadowsun.


Turn 6:
The lord+warriors finish routing off of the table. Shadowsun and Kroot finish off the immortals in CC, and the Tau reposition to pound the remaining Immortal squad.


Shadowsun charges the remaining two Immortals but everybody flubs their attacks.

Turn 7:
The downed Immortals fail their WBB checks, taking the army below 25%, and the remaining Necrons Phase Out. Victory for the Greater Good!


Postgame thoughts:
This was a nailbiter for me. Taking out the Destroyers early helped, but as my Troops units kept running away I was getting worried. I was down to the last Kroot unit, which was saved by a round of good cover saves and the breaking warriors+lord squad.

If the game had ended on Turn 5, Greg would have won 1-0 as the Immortals were still contesting with the Kroot. Ending on turn 6 would have been a 1-1 draw. Only going to turn 7 got me the phase out and the win. Opposite of my last match with Greg, where the momentum went his way.

It was interesting seeing two shooty type forces go at it, and to have Kroot as the nastiest CC units on the table (well, aside from the lord himself and the tomb spyder). It was also nice to see the army perform more like I hoped it would when I originally built it - it's first outing didn't work out quite as well - see Dining Room of Death.

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