Saturday, 14 July 2012

Choosing between the pair I play with.

I've given a lot of attention lately to the new kid on the block, but it isn't just 40k that I play. One of my favourite games is Hordes/Warmachine, and as many of you know I play Trollbloods and in September I intend to take part in the Hull's Angel's Hordes/Warmachine tournement with them, so now I need to decide upon a list, and primarily upon a Warlock.

Now I'm not the greatest player, I've taken my time to get to grips with the system, and in many ways I still am, but I do enjoy the challenge. I've tried out a few of the different Warlocks in the last year and a half, starting with pDoomie (technically pMadrak, but I only had one intro game with him) and whilst I struggled to use him, I think in part that was because of the models I had at the time. I do intend to go back to him eventually, however for now he is travelling Western Immoren grumbling about the new fangled technology that the younger ones are using and how they should concentrate more on killing humans.

After Doomshaper I had a brief attempt with Grissel. Again I didn't have the best troops to make her work properly, but then I stumbled upon Borka (yes there is a kind of pun there).

I enjoy Borka, he's a blunt instrument with a couple of hidden tricks with the right backup. He's got a nice background too, so that helps and I enjoy the randomness he adds when he has a drink. I also enjoy the kind of list that he works with. Rok is probably my favourite Warbeast: what's not to love about a giant snow dwelling Dire Troll that goes crazy at the drop of a hat? I do tend to run him a bit beast heavy with a Mauler and a Winter Troll, so there is the potential to frenzy, but the hope is that won't hinder them too much anyway. I think however I may swap the Mauler for an Axer and see how that fares.

On the other hand, Jarl too has a nice background: the lone highwayman, distrusted and distrustful of even his own kin, the incursion upon his home has forced him to cooperate with the other kriels. Jarl himself plays in a direct manner that Jarl does, however his style is range although he can cope with combat to an extent. He also allows me to field the Impaler which is something that I don't tend to do any more as his Animus can really boost Jarl's pistols making them 16" range. Add to that Magic Bullet and Jarl is a real threat from turn 1! Although I tend to have three beasts in every list, with Jarl I go for two lights rather than two Dires like with Borka. At present I'm using a slag troll to help with Warjacks, though I suspect I'll favour the Storm Troll when he arrives. After that, for the Dire Troll, I've gone back to the Bomber. Again with the Impaler animus it increases his threat range and his ability to throw two bombs a turn can really help thin some numbers against single wound infantry.

The infantry for both lists revolve around the same unit: max Fennblades with the UA. A very solid unit and the models are lovely. After that, for Borka the list is in flux. I'm needing the tuffalos but i think they shall have to wait, consequently I find myself again compromising with what I take.

On the flip side, Jarl's list is more complete. The recent arrival of the min Scattergunner and their UA have really helped and on top of this I do love using the Pyg Burrowers. Janissa is going to make an appearence soon in an attempt to a) add a second magical attack and b) add the ability to throw down a wall if needed. A runebearer will probably be included to make the most of Jarl's fury and a Stone Scribe Chronicler to assist the Fennblades which leaves me 5 points. Initially this is being taken by Scouts, so I shall see how these go.

I think that by virtue of the required models and perhaps a slight edge on the fbackground (currently) It's going to be Jarl that I focus on, though don't tell Borka, he may try and punch me.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Popped my 6th edition cherry!

I had my first game with the new edition against Ben on Saturday night, and we had a really good game!

We decided that we would keep it fairly simple playing Purge the Alien with a Dawn of War deployment but with the use of secondary objectives.

The idea was to get used to the rules as much as focus on the victory conditions, however since we'd need to focus on the secondary objectives going forward we also followed these.

Ben used his Tau which consisted of (I think) 3 Fire Warrior squads (two with Devilfish), 1 Pathfinder squad, 1 large Kroot infiltrator unit, 2 stealth teams, two Hammerheads and was lead by a Commander and retinue with a few drones which Ben kept in reserve.

For my Part I decided to field my Chaos Marines. It has been something of a tradition for me to see in new editions with my Chaos army, so that was a big factor here.

My list consisted of:
  • Lash Sorcerer
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines w/ Asp Champ w/ Powerfist, Undivided Icon, Plasma gun, Heavy Bolter
  • 9 Thousand Sons w/ Sorcerer w/ Doombolt
  • 8 Bezerkers w/ Skull champ w/ Powerfist, 2x Plasma pistols. Mounted in a Land Raider w/ extra armour
  • 4 Bikers w/ Champion w/ Powerfist, 2x Plasma guns, Icon of Nurgle
  • 7 Raptors w/ Asp Champ, Lightning Claws, 2x Flamers, Icon of Slaanesh
  • 2 Obliterators
  • Defiler w/ extra CCW and Reaper Autocannon

I figured that a varied force would allow me to try and deal with a few different options and I hoped that the biker squad specifically would soak up a fair amount of fire being T6. The
Raptors too would probably take a bit of attention since their aim was to get in combat fast and try and hit first. The rest of the force was essentially taken to try and test possibilities. I'd not really used the cult units in the previous editions - I'd only assembled the Plague Marines prior to 6th ed preparations, so I wanted to trial the Bezerkers and the Thousand Sons.

Finally, I had 100 points left and so I decided to take an Aegis defence line with a Quad Gun. I knew that there weren't going to be any fliers in this game, but I suspected that 4 TL S7 shots would at least irritate any lighter tanks.

Ben took the first turn and I failed to seize the initiative. I shall just note the key points from the battle in order to discuss how it played.

Although there weren't too many successes by Ben in first turn (inevitably) those that he did have were particularly good for him. He immobilised the defiler which really caused me issues as that had been one of my forward forces, thus meaning that I would need to re-think my forward forces. I addition, I lost the my Plasma gun to the CSM squad due to not paying attention to wound allocation. Something that I would suffer from again as Ben took a heavy toll on my Raptors with his rapid firing Kroot meaning that as well as a couple of regular raptors I lost their aspiring champion!

I would retaliate, but first I decided to immobilise my Land Raider on a crater. Great. So the Bezerkers disembarked and got ready to find some blood to spill. The Raptors positioned to make the Kroot burn resulting in a bit of crispy space chicken and the bikes took out a Piranha that was edging Its way towards targeting my Land Raider. Meanwhile, I moved the Undivided squad a few inches out of their deployment zone towards the Aegis Defence line and Quad gun which I had deployed slightly forward so that I didn't use up space within the deployment zone - a position I would leave them in for the rest of the battle albeit that I moved squad members around to make best use of firing positions. I also detached the Sorcerer from the Undivided unit so that I could lash one of the Stealth suit squads into range of the Bezerkers so that despite their ride being stationary, they could get stuck in asap. Ben failed his Deny the Witch roll so I moved the suits a decent 8 inches nearer and between the ksons and the bezerkers I managed to destroy the Drones that Ben was using to cunningly shield his more useful troops in order for the bezerkers to wipe them out in combat, which they duly did.

I took the opportunity to issue a challenge trusting that the other bezerkers could cope with with suits. challenge will play a big part in this edition. If you want to keep alive a character that you think will die to a fist sergeant or that would be better taking on multiple opponents (Lelith for example), then it is now possible to sacrifice a Sgt (or equivalent) of your own by issuing or accepting with him. Perhaps using a Fist armed Skull champion to challenge a Shas'ui was somewhat overkill, but at least I know how it works now.

In turn two, Ben managed to explode my Defiler, reduce the Raptors to three (two flamers and the icon), the Bezerkers down to the Skull Champion and a regular Bezerker and took a couple of models out of the Undivided squad.

In retaliation the Raptors wiped out the Pathfinders inc combat. Meanwhile the Thousand sons shot at a Fire Warrior squad reducing them enough for them to fall back thus saving them from being in charge range (note the 2d6 roll required wouldn't reach them even had I had another d6 and got 6 on all!) Also, the bikes turbo boosted to get further up the board and the Obliterators came down, took a couple of shots at the Ion Cannon Hammerhead, both of which penetrated, but Ben managed to pass both his Jink rolls. Say what you want about vehicles in this edition, but Ben is working those Jink saves! out of the approx 15 that I forced on him by the end of turn three, he failed 5, and three of those were on the Piranha's!

Speaking of Turn three, Ben's Commander appeared with his retinue and killed the Obliterators. It seems to me that the only time my Obliterators survive turn 3 or longer is when they don't deep strike, so I think I shall try that next time. The last two Bezerkers died, though it took a great deal of fire power (two squads I think, one being the re-grouped squad that fled in turn 2). In the end I like to think that they took the equivalent number of shots as Boromir and Willem Dafoe in Platoon before becoming the foundations of a giant brass throne. Finally for Ben this turn, a flamer toting Raptor died.

In retribution for the death of the Bezerkers, the two Raptors finished the recently regrouped fire warriors with flame and steel making it fish and fowl for them in a single battle!
The Bikes targeted the Commander's unit taking out most of the drones which the Thousand Sons then also fired upon removing the remaining Drones and one of the bodyguard retinue. The Bikes then charged and won the combat against the commanders unit, but the unit managed to flee, thus meaning that they would keep safely out of charge range if they regrouped, which they would do.

Turn four saw the last squad of Fire Warriors took out the last of the Raptors, though in truth they had done well. They hadn't quite earned their points back (I don't think) but they had occupied what could have been a devastating attack by the Kroot, not to mention the attention of the Fire Warriors. The bikes also died to the Ion Cannon hammerhead, and again they had soaked a lot of fire power before their demise. It's nice to find a use for these guys as I couldn't get them to work in the last edition. The Thousand Sons also took a pounding and were wiped out. They hadn't quite worked how I had planned, but I think that was misuse rather than their ability. They had helped weaken a few units allowing others to wipe out, so maybe that is the way to use them rather than rely on them being game winners.

I'll write up turn 5 and six together as they are a little hazy. Ben managed to wipe out the Undivided squad in turn 5 leaving just the Sorcerer (who was on one wound) and the Land Raider. I cannot remember now, but I think that the Sorcerer died. Luckily however I managed to kill the last of the Commander's unit including the commander himself as well as the last of the stealth suits.

In the end it was a good close game and I did like the changes to the rules that came in to effect here.

Key points to remember are:
  • model placement within the unit, remember to make use of the secondary objectives,
  • use your grenades at range (I didn't really cover it much here, but I did make use of throwing the odd Krak grenade at the Piranhas - stupid Jink Saves)
  • move skimmers - Jink saves can be a real boon
  • remember to state when particular models remain stationary in a moving unit.
  • Remember overwatch

Thanks for reading, let me know if there are any questions.


Monday, 2 July 2012

GNAAAAH! Where's my new rulebook?!

Well, frustratingly I am still awaiting the 6th edition rules to arrive, so whilst you lot (who for the most part ordered their copy at least 8 hours after I did) have been enjoying your new book, I have been trying to occupy myself in between ranting on twitter in impotent rage.

So what have I been doing? Well, I've already honed my KoB Naval and Armoured lists as much as I can without further gaming, so that was out. So instead I have now done the same with my hordes lists:

I've written a 35 point list for Jarl Skuld, Borka Kegslayer, p&eDoomshaper, the same at 50 points and a 100 point two 'Lock list for all combinations of these casters. So that was me sorted until about 3pm yesterday.

I've watched Red Riding Hood, Sucker Punch, all the Resident Evil movies currently on DVD and the same episode of Revenge twice. My Ogre Kingdoms army has been written at 2400 points AND packed away. The Vampire Counts list has been written, printed, packed and placed in my car. I've dragged the Warriors of Chaos to the top of my warchest (yes, I have a chest that I store my miniatures in. It's a 16th century chest so I suspect that wasn't what the carpenter had in mind).

Eventually it occurred to me that sooner or later I'm going to have to focus on a doubles army as currently the plan is to go to the december event. It seems likely that whomever I partner, I shall be paired with Ogre Kingdoms. With this in mind, I began to look at which factions a) I would like to play and b) which army would work well alongside the Ogres.

As a backup, there is obviously the aforementioned Warriors of Chaos. I know them well enough to pick up and play, though I would prefer not to use them.

Beastmen I struggle to work in a form I like (I'd rather not go doombull/ungor spam) and Dwarfs I think would be fun, but I can't ever really summon enough enthusiasm for.

To be fair, It's been the Empire that I've wanted to get to grips with for quite some time and with the doubles force being 1000 points it will give me a solid start to my army.

As said, as I'm expecting Ogres as an ally, The Empire shall add some much needed numbers and with that in mind the first port of call (which it would be anyway) was a nice solid 40 strong halberdier unit with a 20 strong swordsmen detachment. To keep them steady and hitting correctly a captain (with a standard in all likelyhood) and a Warrior Priest shall lead the force. From there I'm still undecided. Initially my thoughts are to supplement my combat block with a few missile units, beginning with Outriders. My thoughts here are that I won't expect them to survive long, but whilst they do, to try and disrupt the enemies initail moves and perhaps whittle some numbers to boot. From there the Empire wouldn't be the Empire without some artillery, so next thoughts are either a Hellstorm or a Hellblaster. There is obviously a Cannon, but the Ogres can bring that, and can do it better to boot. The mortar is a bit here and there for me and the way I see it, if you want templates, go for the rocket.

That leaves about enough space for a cheap Lord or Celestial Hurricanum, which I must say will add to the complimentary magic aspects of the force and may also disrupt the enemy a little.

So thats the initial thoughts on the Empire and what I've been doing to avoid insanity over the weekend. Perhaps next time I write on here I shall be able to speak about 40k properly.