Thursday, 27 January 2011

Hard lessons

Well, I got schooled last night in deep striking by Alan and his Daemons. We played Annihilation with a Pitched Battle deployment. I did enjoy the game mind, and learnt a few lessons from it such as don't get first turn against Daemons when you too are mainly deep striking your army!

The scouts didn't redeem themselves, I think only the Heavy Bolter Hellfire rounds did anything, and even that wasn't really worthwhile! These boys get two more chances, then they are gone, and they only get that because the Assault Squad isn't ready yet!

Highpoint of the game was when the last remaining Ironclad took the last wound from the Daemon Prince... by exploding! I'll take the small victories where they crop up!

Another mistake was that I inexplicably combat squaded my Tacticals again, but cannot for the life of me understand why!

I'm convinced that the loss was done to me, not the list (though facing Alan didn't help matters!) so I'll persevere! I'm hoping to squeeze in a game against Nick and/or Ben with these guys soon, so we shall see how things go!

So, onwards! Blood Bowl starts this week, and at the time of writing I have no idea whether I can get to the club to take part. Although I'd love to take part, Mart's campaign looks to be starting soon, so we shall see.

Not much progress on the modelling front as I was in the Big Smoke at the weekend. Another Drop Pod has been assembled and I'm now trying to decide what shall be next. Really it ought to be the Assault Marines, but for some reason known only to my subconscious, I keep putting these off!

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Idiot's guide to deploying Drop Pods.

I tried out my new Marine list last night against Pete's Imperial Guard, and was very pleased with it. We played Annihilation DoW and I took the 2nd turn deploying only my sniper scouts with Telion and an Heavy Bolter in a ruin towards the rear left of my deployment zone. The two Vindicators came on in turn one as did my two Ironclads using Drop Pod assault with the two Tactical squads and Master of the Forge all in drop pods arriving in reserve.

Now it is at this stage that I think that I owe Pete a very big apology. Whilst I realise that I may deploy up to half rounding up of my Drop Pods in turn one, I do still need to roll on the reserve table for the other half. This oversight could have made a massive impact upon the game, and whilst I can take away the fact that if all goes well my force is fairly strong, this particular game is forfeit, as I didn't play the game correctly. So sorry about that Pete - I shall make sure that when we have that re-match, I know the rules fully!

This aside, I was very lucky with my rolls anyway, though I also think I’m finally getting to grips with a Marine army (which is ironic as that’s the one army most people find easiest to use).

The Ironclads are definitely earning their crust and justifying the fact that I've essentially built an army around them as between them took out a Chimera, a squad of Ogryns, an infantry squad and a medusa in 3 turns. The AV13 front and sides also really helps.

The Sniper scouts I’m not so sure on. to get the full effect from them I needed to have them start the game on the table. Their only contribution was to take out a single Infantry Squad, so point for point they were down. Admittedly because of their positioning there was only one viable squad, and so I’ll need to try them out again. The Hellfire shells for the heavy bolter and Telion did most of the killing for this squad, and whilst a sniper squad is the best place to put them, I can't help but wonder if perhaps I ought to take Telion, an Heavy Bolter, 3 Sniper Scouts and then outfit the other 5 squad members with Shotguns or Bolt pistols/Hand weapons and have them combat squad. I guess I’ll leave the squad unaltered for a while longer then tweak after giving them a fair trial.

The two Vindicators didn't do too much, but what they did do, and did well was distract the opponent. It always struck me that people become overly concerned with two types of Space Marine vehicles - the first is any of the Land Raider variants, and the second is the Vindicator. Now they are both strong solid tanks, but I've seen entire game plans fall apart once the opponent sees either of these vehicles on the board, and especially so when they see I have two of the latter. Now Pete wasn't anything like that bothered by them, but they stay in the list for just that reason, and to be fair, they are definitely well in the black compared to their cost!

The Tacticals, aside from their dubious punctuality, performed solidly. Despite being a Kill Point game I combat Squaded them to maximise their targets. I've taken a flamer and a Multimelta in one squad and a flamer and missile launcher in another. The Multimelta took out the Hellhound which was gearing up to tear my army apart, but the missile launcher from the other squad just seemed to be there for the view and died before he got a chance to fire.

This is the first game I’ve used drop pod tacticals outside of Apoc, and truth be told I’m amazed how much better the tacticals performed than in a rhino. It honestly makes no sense to me why this should be so as I didn't drop them behind the enemy, so I wasn't deploying them in an area where a Rhino couldn't access! Meanwhile, the Master of the Forge killed a few guardsmen with his flamer, but since his glorious promotion from a humble techmarine for exploding a Defiler with a single plasma pistol shot, this seems wholly under par! ;) I also forgot to look in to whether i could use the 'Bolster Defences' rule if the MotF starts the game off board. To be honest, the only ruin I would have improved the cover save on was the one I deployed the scouts in, and given that their main threat was the hellhound, they didn't get any cover saves anyway, so it was a moot point.

So all in all, a good start with what seems like a strong force. I'm unsure when I'll use this force again as I’m taking part in the The Khaleraaq Wars campaign using the Dark Angels since they have had a mini overhaul with the new FAQs. It looks like the Blood Bowl league is also going to be starting soon, so that my gaming plans for the foreseeable!

Edit: I've now got a couple of photos courtesy of Pete:
this was one of the two illegal Dreadnoughts

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Happy New year, yadda yadda

Hope you all had a good one! It has already been a busy one for me! I've been to Disneyland Paris, been mullered by Daemons and drawn an Apocalypse game! Oh, and fallen unconscious at the club! (sorry John)

I've not managed much by way of assembling my Marines, though the Scouts are now up to 10 strong. Next on the assembly line is a 5 man squad of Scouts and the Land Speeder Storm I intend to mount them in - just need to decide upon whether the scouts will have shotguns or blades and pistols. At the moment I am considering making the first 5 blades/pistols and then the next 5 shot gunners and mixing them and switching them to suit. Thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Right, game wise I'll start with the one I had versus Alan. I used my Warriors against his Daemons and we played 2,250 a piece. It was just a regular pitched battle with the only bit of flavour being that we had a Portal in the centre of the board, which added some fun.

To be honest, my opponent already outclassed me, never mind that he was using Daemons, so I just planned to give it my best, and frankly I was impressed. It was a convincing win to Alan, but I made it hard for him nonetheless. It was a much needed game this one, as lately I’d begun to get a bit weary of the Warriors either winning by a mile or losing by one. I think I’m now going to mix it up a bit with them and switch units now and then to keep things interesting.

The next game I had was part of the Apocalypse battle at Hull's Angels. Each side had approximately 15,000 points with me bringing 3,000. I hadn't changed much to the force I used for Sam's stag do last year, just trimming it down by a thousand points. Because of the sheer size of the game, it went slowly and we only managed a couple to turns, consequently I didn't manage to get much of my army fielded because all my force was left in strategic reverve as I took Flank March as an asset owing to using the 'Wisdom of the Ancients' formation from the IA: Apocalypse book.

This is what I managed to field:

Heavy Support: Vindicator

1 Vindicator, 135 pts (Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank); Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Dozer Blade; Extra Armor; Demolisher Cannon; Storm Bolter)

Heavy Support: Vindicator

1 Vindicator, 135 pts (Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank); Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Dozer Blade; Extra Armor; Demolisher Cannon; Storm Bolter)

Heavy Support: Vindicator

1 Vindicator, 135 pts (Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank); Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Dozer Blade; Extra Armor; Demolisher Cannon; Storm Bolter)

Heavy Support: Predator

1 Predator, 180 pts (Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank); Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Extra Armor; Twin Linked Lascannon; Lascannon (each side))

Formation: Ancients Assault Force (IA)

1 Ancients Assault Force (IA)

1 Techmarine (Unit Type: Infantry; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Weapon; And They Shall Know No Fear; Blessing of the Omnissiah; Bolster Defenses; Combat Tactics; Independent Character), 1 Servo Harness

1 Ironclad Dreadnought (Unit Type: Vehicle (Walker); Extra Armor; Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Hunter-Killer Missile(s) x2; Dreadnought CCW; Meltagun; Seismic Hammer; Heavy Flamer; Move Through Cover)

1 Ironclad Dreadnought (Unit Type: Vehicle (Walker); Extra Armor; Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Hunter-Killer Missile(s) x2; Dreadnought CCW; Meltagun; Seismic Hammer; Heavy Flamer; Move Through Cover)

1 Venerable Dreadnought (Unit Type: Vehicle (Walker); Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Extra Armor; Twin Linked Lascannon; Missile Launcher; Venerable)

Troops: Tactical Squad

9 Tactical Squad (Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Meltagun; Multi-Melta)

1 Sergeant (Unit Type: Infantry; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Fist x1; And They Shall Know No Fear; Combat Squads; Combat Tactics)

1 Drop Pod (Unit Type: Vehicle (Open-topped); Transport Capacity: 12 models; Locator Beacon; Storm Bolter; Drop Pod Assault; Immobile; Inertial Guidance System)

I'm really pleased with how the performed as between the Ironclads and the Venerable they managed to immobilise a Stompa and destroy its main ranged armament (I forget the name) and would have caused it more pain if the game had continued. The Techmarine also did well! With the plasmacutter from the Servo Harness it managed to explode a Defiler, which killed 3 Orks. He then survived two rounds of combat (and thus the game) against a squad of (now) 17 strong Ork Boyz with Choppas. Luckily the Nob had a Uge Choppa, so i didn't need to worry about negating armour, and in return he killed another 6 Boyz.

The tactical squad did well as I dropped them in and used them to secure an objective, without then, we would have lost the game 1-0 out of a possible 3! Two of the Vindies picked on squads but didn't have time to wipe out full units, though each came close and the Pred and the third Vindie both took out a truck each. In the end, the only unit in my army to be destroyed was the drop pod that the Tactical squad arrived in. a result methinks!

It was a great game and I enjoyed gaming alongside Matt (of wooden spoon fame), and it is just a shame we ran out of time.

I'm running out of time at the moment, so I shall insert the pics properly later - check back!

Right, I’m signing up to this ‘game a week’ malarkey, though I’m counting Warhammer Online and Blood Bowl on the PC and DS to this as well!

See you later folks!