Friday, January 21, 2011

Product Review: Dystopian Wars Prussian Battle Group

With winnings from my last tournament I decided to branch out from GW products and pick up some product from the Dystopian Wars line. I've always liked my punk steamed and with Dystopian Wars' focus on a sci-fi Victorian era involving zeppelins I had to check it out. Being an immense Germanophile I decided to start my acquisitions with the Prussian Battle Group, hearkening back to a nicer, kinder version of world conquest than we are used to today.

The battle group, like the rest of the battle groups, comes in some very snazzy packaging and includes one battleship, three cruisers, 9 corvettes, two large aircraft and 10 fighter plane markers. They also all include four sheets of full-colored game markers and templates PLUS stats for the different ships printed on high quality glossy cardstock- a very nice addition in this day and age.

The ships themselves are made of highly detailed resin and for the most part consist of a single solid piece. Each of the larger ships have small indentations where you can place some of the small metal add on pieces that come in the box. These represent cannons and power generators that can be used to upgrade your craft. This is a nice change of pace to the comparatively complicated GW kits and definitely leaves no excuse to getting these things assembled and painted.

The Prussian ships are all very sleek and low to the water. They resemble more modern craft in their design, though the large cannons and Tesla coils (yes- Tesla coils!) manage to break up this image a fair bit. Did I mention that they can have Tesla coils?

I love the design on the aircraft especially. I was a bit worried how they were going to work such decidedly non-Victorian vehicles, but I shouldn't have worried. The thing looks like a steam powered submarine that got wings strapped to it- something so utterly impractical and heavy that it could exist nowhere but in Steampunk. Each of the aircraft comes with a clear flying stand and base. The smaller aircraft are on resin bases that rest on the clear stands during play.

There are a few problems with the casting along the waterline. One of my cruisers was flaking a bit along the bottom, pulling away from the smooth base. Other than that, though, the models seem to be fine after carefully clipping away the extra resin.

My overall opinion? For just over $50.00 American this is a great buy. You get a full navy group that with only a few seconds of assembly you can start painting and playing. I still don't have the rules so can't give my opinion on those, but these ships look great and like they'll be fun and easy to paint up.

Of course, for me to fully fall in love with the Prussians I'm going to have to pick up the zeppelin... :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Army List: Medusae vs Psychic Hydras

First of all, thanks to the HoP are in order for placing me on the Top X once again. It seems that people like these army list posts from the amount of comments that I've received so it may have to become a regular feature. Not to fear, though, for those of you who like hobby content, it's a comin', especially if I want to have a fully painted army by Adepticon...

So. Adepticon. I need to decide on a final list relatively soon so I can actually have it completely built by the time April rolls around. Last week I posted about the various options that I was considering to replace my Battle Tanks, and I think I've narrowed it down to two configurations: two Medusas either with closed compartments or throw in an Astropath; or a Psyker Battle Squad and a pair of Hydras. I've contemplated just running a single Medusa but the ease with which one can get knocked out leads me to believe that two would be the better bet.

To answer this question let's do a list of pros and cons for each.

Picture shamefully stolen from Admiral Drax's awesome blog

Medusae Pros:
-str 10 ap 2 ordnance blasts are AWESOME, especially the part where they insta-gib Thunderwolves
-have great range
-leaves the option of an Astropath available
-great at taking down both infantry and vehicles up to and including Land Raiders and Terminators
-relatively easy to convert (thanks again Adm. Drax!)
-I already own the building blocks for one
Medusae Cons:
-one of the Adepticon missions has a win condition of destroying the most expensive enemy unit, which would be these. Combined with fragility and bulkiness they could be a liability
-single gun syndrome

Image shamefully stolen from Sons of Sanguinius... check out Atreides' Vendetta scratchbuild too!

PBS and Hydra Pros:
-PBS has great conversion potential
-PBS deals with infantry very well while the Hydras deal with light armor and infantry to an extent
-Adds 3 Av 12 targets to the list, making up a bit for the loss of 2 Av 14 targets
-Dark Eldar are scared of both
-I own the models to make the PBS and their ride
PBS and Hydra Cons:
-Hydras can't deal with heavily armored targets
-3 more chassis take up quite a bit of room
-PBS and the Hydras will take a fair bit of conversion work to do
-PBS can be shut down by Psychic Hoods rather easily

So, given the above, which will fit better in my army? Let's see what holes I already have covered:
Anti-heavy infantry: Executioner (long range) and plasma CCS (short range)
Anti-heavy vehicle: Manticore (long range), Vet squads (short range)
Anti-light vehicle: See above, plus Vendettas Exectioner and Chimera Multilasers (long range)
Anti-Horde: Executioner, Manticore (long range), Chimeras (mid-short range), Vets [to some extent] (short range)

It looks like my anti-light vehicle resources are pretty good but I am lacking in ways of dealing with heavy infantry, hordes and heavy tanks. Both of my choices deal rather well with hordes but only one gives me the firepower necessary to crack Terminators and Land Raiders.

So... I guess if those are the criteria that I am looking at, a pair of Medusae would be the answer. I am still a bit worried about their fragility, but I think that I will be putting them in the list to try out. I'll try play testing them starting next week.

Thanks for reading this rather rambling post. Tomorrow, it's time for something completely different.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Army List: DA ThunderRazor

Man, I am stuck with Dark Angels fever right now! To maybe help me get it out of my system, or possibly convince myself to start a DA army, army lists have been jumping into my head like crazy.

The thing that got me started on this list was looking at what parts of the DA codex are costed appropriately in comparison to the 5th ed Marine books. Super cheap Typhoons already popped out to me in my last list, but what shocked me to see was that DA razorbacks are actually fairly competitively priced, the twin-linked lascannon version only costing 5 pts more than the 5th ed version. What DA get out of the deal is the chance to take a 5-man tactical squad armed with an honest-to-God meltagun or flamer instead of the combi version that Codex marines have to deal with.

So let's see what we can do with this concept as a base. A Razorback with 5 tactical marines and a flamer costs 175 points, which is the exact same cost for a Codex Marine razor squad with a combi-flamer. 6 of them will set us back 1050. We’ll build on this by adding in 3 land speeders with a multimelta and incredibly cheap and awesome Typhoon launcher for 75 a piece, setting us back another 225 and taking us to 1275.

We’ve got another… 575 to go before we hit 1850. We still need an HQ, but unfortunately most of them are not as good as the Codex Marine equivalents. The one exception is the Chaplain which is actually better than the standard chaplain thanks to possessing an additional attack for the same price. He can throw on a combi-weapon (we’ll say a Flamer) for a total of 110.

We now have 465 left. That is almost enough for two Deathwing squads with CMLs and TH/SS, just 5 points over. We can make room for them by dropping the combi-weapon from the Chaplain and use the remaining 5 points to upgrade one of our CML termies to chainfist duty.

This gives us the following:

Chaplain- 100
Deathwing squad with 5 TH/SS Terminators, 1 with CML- 235
Deathwing squad with 4 TH/SS Terminators, 1 with CML, stormbolter and chain fist- 240
6 Tactical squads with flamer and TWL Lascannon Razorback- 175*6=1050
3 squads of 1 land speeder with MM and Typhoon launcher- 75*3=225

I'd love to give the Tac squads meltaguns but a) can't find the points and b) don't want this list to instantly crumble against horde. 6 flamers and 30 tactical marines should hopefully help a bit with that at close range, while three multimeltas and the chain fist will just have to do against any Land Raiders that show up.

Let’s take this concept to 2k as well. Dropping a tactical squad would give us 330 points, more enough to get a third CML Deathwing squad. We lose a lascannon but gain a rock hard unit with 2 missile shots- worth it in my opinion. We can use the remaining 95 pts to upgrade the Chaplain to Belial with TH/SS and give one of our Deathwing squads the Deathwing Standard (+1 attack), an Apothecary (FNP) and an assault cannon. And finally we can make one of our non-rock Deathwing squads into a troop choice as Belial allows Deathwing to be both elites and troops.

Belial with TH/SS- 130
2 Deathwing squads with 5 TH/SS Terminators, each with 1 CML- 235*2=470 (one of which is a troop choice)
Deathwing squad with 2 TH/SS Terminators, 1 TH/SS Apothecary, 1 TH/SS standard bearer and 1 assault cannon/power fist terminator- 270
5 Tactical squads with flamer and TWL Lascannon Razorback- 175*5=875
3 squads of 1 land speeder with MM and Typhoon launcher- 75*3=225

I'd love to squeeze in another assault cannon but I'd hate to take 10 points off of anything. Tactics are DW assault with the Apothecary's squad and another DW squad (your choice of troop or no troop) with Belial attached while blasting apart anything you can reach... which is everything. The other DW squad teleports in or walks on the board later to either contest or hold objectives, depending if it's a Troop choice or not.

With just a few changes to the FAQ suddenly Dark Angels are an army that has actual benefits over the other Marine codexes. I'll be back to determine some more cool tricks that this old dog has, but for now I wouldn't want my Guard army to feel lonely before Adepticon...

*Image above property of Games-Workshop

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

BATTLE REPORT: Adepticon Practice vs Hammernators

Another video battle report featuring my latest round of Adepticon practice. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011


So, as everyone must have heard by now, the Dark Angels and Black Templars finally got their contracts with the Adeptus Mechanicus renewed and their shiny new shipments of 5th ed thunder hammers, storm shields and cyclone missile launchers have just arrived.

The Deathwing, of course, probably benefited the most from this change, as now they can run around with scoring, 2+/3++ thunder hammer wielding maniacs! This fact, along with the news that apparently the Dark Angels terminators can get greedy and wield TH/SS alongside their Cyclone Missile Launcher (CML) (Thanks DaveHowitzer for cluing me onto this!) immediately put me into list building mode.

From my perusal of the Dark Angels Codex it seems like there are a few key parts to a Deathwing list: Belial, Terminators, and Heavy Anti-Armor weapons.

Let's make an 1850 list as that's the most popular points limit in my area. I want my Deathwing to foot it as 2+/3++ is pretty darn reliable and buying expensive Land Raiders that die as soon as they get near the enemy is not exactly my idea of a good time.

We'll start with the man himself. Belial costs 130, so we'll add him in with the TH/SS load out as somebody forgot to give the master of the Deathwing a frikkin' Iron Halo and I hear invulnerable saves are the shiznit right now.

Next, an assortment of scoring hammernators. A squad with CML costs 235, so we'll take 6 of those. Since we're taking Belial one lucky squad can be upgraded with an Apothecary. Since the Dark Angels' medicae facilities ALSO got visited by the friendly neighborhood FAQ fairy he now grants FNP to his squad, making them, for all intents and purposes, INVINCIBLE. Finally 25 points buys us the Deathwing Standard which adds +1 attack to the unit carrying it.

Lessee... 130+235*6+30+25=1595, leaving us with 255 points to spend. Terminators hate Null Zone so a Librarian is unfortunately a necessary buy. He may only be leadership 9 and get pretty underwhelming powers but a full-board psychic hood is still pretty good. 150 points buys us a Libby with a combi-melta and Terminator armor, the latter so that he can join the teleport party and employ the former.

So, now that we have all of our Terminators in a row we need to talk about the elephant in the room, heavy anti-tank. While CMLs are nice at cracking tanks when it comes to Land Raiders and even Predators they don't do so hot. And, unfortunately, the Dark Angels aren't exactly spoiled for exciting ways to get melta in their list. Our options include:
-Ravenwing Attack Squadrons (scouting bikers)
-Ravenwing Support Squadrons (land speeders)
-Assault Cannon Terminators

Let's talk about the last option for a minute. Upgrading a Terminator to carry an Assault cannon costs 10 points more than for a CML but grants the possibility of Rending its way through 2+ saves and Land Raiders. Unfortunately it also comes at the cost of halved range and no TH/SS as it needs to replace a stormbolter. It still has the powerfist and plenty of buddies to take wounds but it is something to consider.

We currently have 105 points to play with, which means that we need to drop something. Dropping the Banner would get us enough for two speeders or three bikes with a meltagun or a Dreadnought with a multimelta. I'm not liking those options so let's try dropping a Terminator squad instead, bumping us up to 340 pts. Now we can afford:

3 land speeders with Multimelta/Typhoon launcher, 1 land speeder with Multimelta/Heavy Flamer, switch two CMLs to Assault Cannons/Chain Fists, two CML termies switch to Chain Fists
Two Ravenwing Attack Squads each with 3 bikers and a MM Attack Bike

The choice between these two is a tough one. The Land Speeders bring incredibly cheap Typhoon launchers and 4 melta shots at 3 targets, plus the option of Heavy Flamers for anti-infantry. The bikes are easier to hide and can offer great first strike potential thanks to their teleport homers. Just drop some termies off for side shots and next turn assaults and then try to smash tanks while staying alive. In the end I think the cheap Typhoons will win me over but for more accurate Deathwing assaults the bikes might be the better option.

So- what do we have?
Belial with TH/SS
Librarian in Terminator Armor with combi-melta
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS and 1 CML
2*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 with CML, stormbolter and chain fist
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS and the Deathwing banner, Apothecary, 1 Terminator with Assault Cannon/Chain Fist
1*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 Terminator with Assault Cannon/Chain Fist
2 Ravenwing Support Squadrons with 1 Typhoon/MM speeder
Ravenwing Support Squadron with 1 Hvy Flamer/MM speeder and 1 Typhoon/MM speeder

10 CML/Typhoon shots at 5 different targets, 8 Assault cannon shots at 2 different targets, 4 MM shots at 3 different targets, 2 heavy flamers plus a single-shot meltagun.

For taking the list to 2k I'd go for something like this:

Belial with TH/SS
Librarian in Terminator Armor with combi-melta
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, CML
2*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 with CML, stormbolter and chain fist
4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS (one is the Apothecary, one has banner), 1 Terminator with Chain Fist and Assault Cannon
4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 Terminator with Chain Fist and Assault Cannon- 280
3*2 Land Speeders, 3 with MM/HF and 3 with MM/Typhoon (one of each per squad)

Tactics with the list are simple. Got first turn? Deploy 2 squads, Assault with 3 squads (2 assault cannon squads, 1 chain fist/CML squad) making sure that Belial goes with the non-banner and the Libby with the Banner (both of which enter first turn). Have speeders run around and melt/missile things while trying to stay hidden.

Alternatively we could strip the "ablative" MM/HF speeders, take out the non-Assault Cannon squad chain fists and throw in a 6th CML Deathwing squad, but I think this makes our speeders a little bit too fragile.

Not sure if it's the most competitive list, but what do you all think about the list? Good, bad, almost there? Any way, this looks like a very fun list to run and is definitely VERY different from my current force. Who knows- maybe Defending Humanity will start flourishing the Deathwing soon...

*All images are owned by Games-Workshop

Friday, January 14, 2011

Army List: The Battle Tank Dilemma

Now that I've gotten a few games under my belt against some stiff competition with the list I think it's time for a few changes. Overall it's humming pretty well, but especially after last night's game (coming soon to a blog near you!) it's time for a change.

The main underperformers in the list are the Russ twins. Anybody who knows me knows I love me some str 8 AP 3 large blasts, but I'm not sure I need two of them. While very efficient FOC slot-wise, 300 points for the pair is just a bit too much for something that is still very much up to luck to see if it will do any damage or not. Plus they take up quite a bit of real estate as they need to stick together.

On the other hand, they provide a good deal of protection to the rest of my force. Few things can reliably deal with AV 14 at range so placing them as LOS blockers to my other tanks is often crucial to success. Plus, when they hit, they kill marines like nobody's business.

But if I am determined to replace the Queens of the battlefield, what would I use to fill the void? Let's look at some options:

1. Astropath

My list, like many IGuard lists likes going first. Some of my heaviest hitters are rather fragile with only AV 12 standing between them and total annihilation. Being able to play the reserve game if I go 2nd would be a great ability to have. The more reliable outflank could also potentially come in handy to help the Vendettas show up where they need to. The trouble with him is fitting him in, as a lot of the potential options cost exactly or very close to the price of a Russ, and I have little that I would want to take out from the rest of my list to afford him.

2. Psyker Battle Squad

I've tried resisting this particular piece of Camembert for a while but it has me hooked on several levels. First it can provide another high strength, potentially low AP blast, thereby replacing the Russ with little difference. Second, the Weaken Resolve power would, as in many Guard armies, help me knock squads easily off the table with only a minimum of casualties. I can already see TH/SS termies running for their lives because some scrawny little dudes wrapped in chains went BOOGA BOOGA... Third, the conversion opportunities are pretty fantastic.Since I've envisioned my force with a bit of a radical Inquisitorial bent these charming folks would blend right in. Not to mention my ideas on how to integrate playing cards into their design...

3. Close Combat Upgrades

I can't tell you the number of times that a power fist or even a sword would have turned the tide just enough. This isn't a really high priority, but a pfist on a vet squad or my CCS could have helped against even lone marines rushing in and slaughtering the entire squad. Again, like the Astropath, the problem is finding room for upgrades, especially since these can be seen as even lower priority.


Couple of ways we could go with this. With some upgrades we can sneak a couple of extra meltaguns onto my Vets as points filler. They do all right with just two meltaguns but three's just better. I could also spring for something like a suicide melta-Stormtrooper squad, or even afford another Chimera vet squad. I'm not sure how I like this version; if anything my list needs more long range shooting and melta's preferred enemies already fear the Manticore. Still, adding another Vet squad would give me another mobile scoring unit which is always useful.

These options so far have only dealt with giving up one Russ... the option remains to give up both, freeing up another 150 pts and a Heavy Support slot. With this, we have the following options:

1. Manticore

Manticores are awesome. I think I might miss the AP 3 of the blast but two Manticores is a truly impressive amount of firepower. I'd probably choose this option if I wanted more antitank, as nothing cracks a Land Raider at 300 paces like str 10 rockets of doom. Plus, PRETTY.

2. Hydras

Hydras would provide a fair bit of light anti-tank at range. Plus, as the photo above attests, fellow blogger and hero to Guard generals everywhere (despite his nautical title) Drax has a pretty cool way to convert them up, saving me money and helping me scratch that DIY itch that I wrestle with. I would probably spring for two as one just doesn't seem like enough. As my girlfriend mentioned, "Can you ever have too many Hydras? They're like potato chips." Special dear... special.

So let's look at a few possible combinations to replace one or both Russ.

  • Psyker Battle Squad with 4 additional members, Chimera, and take a melta from my triple melta squad: 150 pts
  • Veteran squad with 2 meltaguns, flamer, Chimera: 150 pts
  • Three additional meltaguns, one to each vet squad, 5 stormtroopers with two meltaguns, Astropath: 150 pts
  • Manticore plus one of the above options, plus take out 10 pts somewhere: 300 pts
  • 2 Hydras, plus one of the 150 pt options: 300 pts 
  • Just keep the Russ!
So those are the options that I can think of for 150 and 300-odd points... which one do you favor, or have I forgotten something?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Last Square 1850 Tourney: Game Three and Wrap Up

So, we come to the final part of my tale. Before that though... ORKSES!

Back to our story...

I knew that game three was going to be a bit special even before I read the mission as rampant accusations of "dumb", "stupid", and other less savory terms were being bandied about the club. None of these were more heartfelt than my opponent, who I mistook for a sailor.

Here's the mission:
Deployment: Dawn of War
Each player places 1 objective in his/her deployment zone, then places two in the opponent's.
Objective 1: Destroy at least half of the opponent's army (judged by victory points)
Objective 2: Capture all three objectives in your deployment zone
Objective 3: Capture two objectives in your opponent's deployment zone.

This mission... is a bit misguided. It seriously upgrades pretty much all of the advantages of a 5th ed army while hampering those of a 4th ed. Gone are the tactics of own one, contest the rest. You NEED to hold at least two, possibly even 5 to get a chance at victory. Seeing as quite a few of the players brought minimum Troops choices or only three they saw this as being quite unfair.

My army, on the other hand, was unfairly sitting pretty. I had easily enough firepower to earn the destroy objective and had four troops choices, giving me enough room to play around with the idea of taking ground.

My opponent's army was the beautifully painted and converted Nurgle Chaos Marine army seen below:

Did you SEE that awesome Leman Russ-Defiler? Sweet!

His approximate list:
2 Daemon Princes of Nurgle with wings
5? Chosen with 4 plasma guns
10? Plague Marines with 2 melta in a Rhino x 2
10? Plague Marines with 2 plasma in a Rhino
2 Defilers with Reaper Autocannon and close combat arm
Greater Daemon
2x9? Lesser Daemons

My opponent seemed a bit... off when I started setting up against him. I blame this on the mission and the fact that I was playing Mech Guard which he greeted with spicy language.

This attitude continued throughout the game which, compounded with several rules disputes on core concepts that I knew I was in the right on, made for an unpleasantly tense experience.


We both deployed our objectives towards midfield, seeing as it was the prime operating zone for both of our armies. For the third time in a row I won the roll to go first and decided to deploy a single Vet squad in their Chimera at midfield. My opponent deployed a melta squad in their Rhino in cover alongside a Daemon Prince, both just outside of 18". He then proceeded to place infiltrating Chosen near one of the objectives despite my insistence that Infiltrators counted against the 1 HQ, 2 Troops limit. I decided not to press the point, seeing as I already had had to convince him that in Dawn of War LOS did not matter for the 18" no-deployment zone.

First turn my army rolled on. The vet's Chimera lit up the Daemon Prince and my Vendettas started blasting. It wasn't until the second Vendetta that I realized that my opponent was keeping 4's for his invulnerable saves. He claimed that his Prince was in area terrain and therefore got a cover save. I had to call over the TO to convince him that MCs and vehicles needed 50% coverage to gain a cover save, which his Prince did not have. The Prince survived the first round of shooting, though I wonder if he really should have... In addition my Command Chimera lit up the Chosen who were summarily blasted off the map by my Leman Russ.

That first turn's arguments set the scene for the rest of the game. I tried to engage my opponent in small talk but he remained quiet and combative, questioning a lot of my moves throughout the game. The game boiled down to pure mechanics and no fun, me just blasting his units off the table while he desperately grabbed for cover and tried to claim all of the objectives on his side of the field.

It was a close game down to turn 5. I had easily done more damage but with his troops in cover and crawling over his three objectives I needed to make a move or risk a draw. I turboboosted a Vendetta on to his center objective and started moving my Chimeras to take my three on turn 6. Since I went first he had a turn to bring down the contesting Vendetta, but cover saves plus 6s to hit and a bad pen roll saved my bird.

Good thing too as the game ended on turn 5. It ended up that I had killed just 17 points over half of his army's total value, making me the only player with a satisfied victory condition.


I finished the day 3-0 and combined with my painting and apparently good Sportsmanship scores... I got first place overall!

This, especially given the disastrous performance that I did in my first "tournament" and the shellacking I received at the Fantasy tournament, was completely unexpected and VERY welcome... especially since it seems that I got in off the waitlist for the 1850 40k Championship at Adepticon. My list really hummed for being only my second time running it and most of the tactics that I had thought about when building the list actually worked to my surprise.

MVP of the day was definitely the Manticore, which never let me down. I was a bit nervous putting it in my otherwise mobile list but it's first turn barrages quickly shut me up, almost single-handedly turning each game in my favor. Even in the last mission it managed to take a squad of disembarked Plague Marines from full to 1 with a single strength 10 barrage that managed to hit twice dead on target. With most of a Land Raider, a Leman Russ, and two transports killed it is a great tank cracker and amazing infantry slaughterer.

So why did I do so well?

Win factor #1 was the fact that I got to go first every single game. Vendettas are fragile if you have any dedicated antitank and getting to go first plus the lack of infantry anti-tank like Long Fangs let me snipe that out quickly.

Another big factor in my win was the lack of any drop armies, as those look like they should ruin my day as I have little to no defense against them. As it was I faced either other shooty armies or relatively slow builds that needed to cross the battlefield in order to get to grips with my army, which only one unit managed to do over the course of the game (and even then only at the lost of his Terminator brethren).

Finally, my dice were rolling hot. I got insanely lucky on my first turn barrages and subsequent rolls like taking out a full tactical squad in cover were completely off the scale. This just means that I'll have to play smarter next time, as I can't rely on staying lucky forever... or can I?

I had a lot of fun at the tourney and can't wait for the next one. Thanks for following along with me, and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adepticon Practice: vs Necrons

Game three of the tournament will have to wait for tomorrow, as I seem to have forgotten to upload the pretty pictures which really make it worth your while. So, for today I'll show a different report from a week ago where I first tried out my tourney list against Necrons. Be prepared for a knock-down, drag out fight featuring the Little Pariah That Could.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Square 1850 Tourney: Game Two

Back to the tourney! You can find a link to the first game here.

Before we get into the second game, NIDSES!


The setup for the second game was as follows:

Spearhead deployment
Victory condition one: Control uncontested table quarters with Troops
Killpoints for any non-Troops units killed (Troops include their dedicated transports)
Have an HQ unit within 3" of the center of the board with no enemy HQs also within 3".

I got paired with a gentleman who introduced army as "Vulkan and his Angels." I feared what I was about to face (but was delighted by the Mk 1 Land Raider below!)

His list was as follows:
Vulkan He'Stan
Librarian with Avenger and Null Zone, Terminator Armor
Tactical Squad with Multimelta, Meltagun, Rhino
Tactical Squad with Plasma cannon, meltagun, Razorback with TWL Hvy Bolter
Tactical Squad with Razorback, TWL Lascannon
5(?) Assault Terminators, 2 with Lightning Claws, 3 with Thunderhammer/Storm Shield
Phobos-Pattern Land Raider (i.e. Standard)
2 Vindicators
Venerable Dreadnaught with MM, Hvy Flamer, Drop Pod

I once again won the roll to go first and deployed in the bottom right corner of the map pictured above. I deployed my tanks such that my Leman Russ' and the Manticore were protected by the Chimeras from scary drop pods, two Vendettas on the wings and one in the backfield. He deployed everything but the Podding Dread and his Libby who was set to teleport. The Plasma cannon tac squad combat squadded with one half in the Razor and the other on an outcropping overlooking my base.

Turn 1a:
I once again get off to a good start. The Vendettas on the wings Scouted out to get better shots on targets. One got a side shot on a Vindie and blew it up, the other got a shot at the Rhino and wrecked it while the third wrecked the Heavy Bolter Razorback which was hiding the other Razor. The Manticore continued its awesome streak by immobilizing the Land Raider on it's first shot. The Russ squadron began a trend of not both seeing the same target, one of them managing to take out a single member of the wrecked Razor squad... try saying THAT five times fast!

Turn 1b:
With the majority of his Marine's mobility marginalized... man, I better cut down on the alliteration before people start thinking that I'm Loquacious... my opponent was in a bit of a pickle. The Dread came in near my rightmost Vendetta and blew it out of the sky. The Land Raider shook a Vets' Chimera and blew off the Multilaser of my CCS' Chimera. The remaining Vindicator snarled, fired and managed to knock a lascannon off of my leftmost Vendetta. The Laserback finished the job.

Turn 2a:
Two of my birds were out of the sky leaving me down in KP. I tried some halfhearted shots at the Vindicator but cover or lack of penetration saved the little bulldog. The Manticore fired again, this time dropping three warheads, two of which I was able to chain onto the Land Raider, knocking off its Godhammer lascannons while also hitting the Plasmacannon combat squad. My Meltavet squad and my CCS drove over to the Dread and Pod and bade them both a fond farewell while another Vet squad started sneaking around the hill in the center of the field, hoping to catch the Vindie unawares.

Turn 2b:
Unfortunately for my opponent his Librarian came in early, deepstriking onto the center hill and hoping to stand for 3 turns. The Vindicator turned around and started heading over towards my right flank going behind the hill. His large tac squad also started picking up speed, charging slowly across his long board edge to try and grab another table quarter. His Terminators stayed ominously silent, however.

Turn 3a:
My tanks looked at the Librarian and sneezed. Just because they happen to be down with a plasma infection is not my fault. My Meltavets tried to take a shot at the Vindicator but were just out of range. My Manticore and Vendetta tried to seal the deal but merely managed to shake the beast through its smoke. My other tanks eliminated the Plasmacannon combat squad while my CCS started getting in position to make a move on the center of the board.

Turn 3b:
The Vindicator was fed up with all of the Chimeras yapping about and charged one... but unfortunately did not manage to penetrate. Vulkan and his Terminators finally charged out of the Land Raider, surely with blood or at least mangled tank bits on their minds. His Tac squad tried to fire a meltagun at my Meltavets but were also unfortunately out of range. The Laserback also immobilized a Vet Chimera.

Turn 4a:
Currently I was winning on kill points and held my table quarter securely. My opponent did likewise with his quarter. One of the other quarters contained the shot up remnants of a combat squad and a fully functional Vet squad while the other had a Vet squad, my CCS, the Vindicator and a butt load of Terminators. Nobody had gone for the center objective... yet. The Terminators needed to be dealt with, and my CCS and Plasma tank delivered. All but one of the Terminators were destroyed and Vulkan was reduced to one wound. I also managed to blow the Demolisher cannon off of the Vindicator rendering it toothless.

Turn 4b:
Things were getting desperate now. Vulkan left his Terminator bodyguard and joined the Tac squad and started charging up the hill. The Vindicator ran away to hide in the table quarter, diverting my focus. The lone remaining Hammernator walked up to my command Chimera and smashed it to pieces in a fit of righteous fury, killing one of the two remaining Veterans that hadn't burned themselves to death in the resulting explosion.

Turn 5a:
Despite killing most of his army I was now in serious danger of losing the game. If Vulkan managed to get to the top of the hill and survive while standing in my home table quarter it would leave him holding the only uncontested quarter. To stop this and secure a win I needed to accomplish four out of five tasks:
-kill Vulkan
-kill the escorting Tac squad
-kill the remaining Hammernator
-destroy the Vindicator while keeping my Vet squad alive and in that table quarter OR take out the remaining stragglers from the combat squad in the other contested table quarter.

I accomplished the second task with a bit of luck. I disembarked my vet squad from the immobilized Chimera and moved them into position to shoot the Tac squad, but failed to do anything. My CCS and a veritable hail of Multilaser fire failed to take out the Hammernator. My plasma tank, Vendetta and Meltavets on the other hand somehow managed to eliminate all of the Tactical marines even in cover, leaving Vulkan alone but untouchable by my forces. This meant that I left the Vindicator to its own devices, so I was relying on my Battle Tanks to destroy the contesting combat squad. Unfortunately they failed me.

Turn 5b:
Vulkan ascended to the top of the hill and waited for his Angels to take him to safety. The Hammernator assaulted my CCS and got stuck in thanks to a lucky Refractor Field save. Even so, my opponent for the first time was in place to win if the game ended here.

Turn 6a:
Fortunately the game did not end and the screaming began. Vulkan disappeared under a fusillade of plasma fire, the Vindicator was destroyed by meltaguns, the Land Raider by a Vendetta and the combat squad was removed by the Battle Tank twins. The Hammernator won his combat with my commander, but even so I controlled at least two uncontested table quarters.

Turns 6b through the end of turn 7 were simply filled with the last marines dying.

All in all this was the most fun game I had all day. Even though my opponent got started on a bad foot he made quite the come back and almost pulled off a turn 5 victory. It was very tense and hard fought the entire way, exactly what I wanted from a tournament game.

The final game, wrap up and more pics tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Last Square 1850 Tourney: Game One

This past weekend I went to my second tournament at my FLGS and... man, I am pumped right now. :) I ran the following list:

Co. Cmd with 4 plasma guns, plasma pistol, Chimera with Hvy Flamer and Multilaser
3 Veteran squads with 2 meltaguns, flamer, shotguns, in a Chimera with Hvy Flamer and Multilaser
Veteran squad, 3 meltaguns, shotguns, Chimera with Hvy Flamer and Multilaser
3 Vendettas
2 Squadroned Leman Russ Battle Tanks, Hull Heavy Bolters
Leman Russ Executioner, Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Hull Heavy Flamer
Manticore with hull heavy flamer

All of the missions were from the upcoming 1850 Adepticon Championship, which made it great practice for those of us who are going to the tourney in Chicago come April. Some of the missions were great, others were... interesting, to say the least. All of them have three win conditions- whoever wins the most wins the mission, with ties decided by Victory Points. It's a pretty cool system that allows a lot of disparate ways to win and work when they are as different as possible. For the most part it worked...

What was definitely interesting was the spread of armies present across the 14 players. Specifically, the lack of Marines (only two from my recollection) and the presence of a lot of  more unorthodox armies, like these beautifully painted (and best painted winning!) Necrons:

So it was a bit of a surprise when I drew against the only other Guard player at the tourney for my first game. He was a young gentleman who had some very nicely painted models.


His list was approximately as follows, and scarily similar to mine:

CCS with astropath, Master of the Fleet, 2 GLs, Commander with Power Sword, grenadiers
4 Vet Squads, 1 with flamers, 1 with plasma, 2 with meltas, all except the flamer vet in Chimeras and with Grenadiers
Leman Russ Executioner with Pask, plasma cannons
Psyker Battle Squad with Chimera
Penal Legionnaire Squad

Deployment: Pitched Battle

For this one, the three were:
-destroy the enemy's most expensive unit
-Kill points
-3 objectives, one in the center, one placed by each player in the opposing player's deployment zone.

I won the roll to deploy first and spread out across the board deploying everything. The Manticore was stuck in a far corner away from my objective behind some LOS blocking cover.


He deployed everything except for the Penal Legionnaires.

My first turn was a bit of a blow out. The Executioner eliminated his Vendetta, two of my Vendettas took out his Manticore and, in the first of many moments of brilliance that day, my Manticore exploded his Pask-enabled Executioner (his most expensive model) AND wrecked a meltavet Chimera thanks to a lucky pie plate flip.

After taking out the majority of his antitank I knew that the game was pretty much mine. My Leman Russ' provided effective cover to my Chimeras while my Executioner tried to stay out of meltagun range. Getting the early lead also allowed me to suggest better plays to my opponent. He seemed to be doing fairly well for his age, but the difference in list power plus my lucky first turn sealed the deal. It eventually ended up with me winning the KP and most expensive unit conditions while he secured the most objectives. The only KP he secured were a Vendetta and my Manticore, the latter after it had fired all of its rockets.

Second game plus some more pretty army pics coming up tomorrow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tourney Prep: Deployment Strategies, Take 1

The past couple of nights I've been doing two things:
  1. Building another set back Chimera to complete the mechanization of my army

  2. Practicing deployment strategies
Something that I've mentioned repeatedly here and on my battle reports is that my deployment strategies need work. I've focused on target priority and on worked on my list design but deployment continues to elude me.

So, I measured out a 6 by 4 foot section of carpet, got down on my knees and started playing with my boxy toys. I am not too proud to admit that I made the occasional *wooooosh* *vroooom!* noise while setting up my very serious war games.

I figure that there are three basic army types that I need to prep for- gunline, melee, and drop, as well as getting 1st vs 2nd turn.

Shooty is the match up where 1st vs 2nd matters the most. My goal is to nullify their shooting by placing my nice, fat, AV 14 Leman Russ' right in the front while my Chimeras cower behind them as we move towards midfield. Most armies' long range AT fire is str 9 or lower which, while the upper limit will break through AV 14 on occasion it's definitely a long shot. Plus since I'm squadroning two Leman Russ to fit in a Manticore (I can't help it- it's too pretty!) they will have extra armor which will help them keep moving forward... at least until the inevitable immobilized result ruins my day.

If I go first in a Pitched Battle deployment I'll use a deployment like the one above. Hopefully there will be some LoS blocking terrain that the Manticore can hide behind while the rest of the army moves up. If I go second the Vendettas will probably hit reserve to possibly outflank and at least make sure that they get one good shot off before being shredded by enemy autocannons.

If in more of a Table Corners setup we'll the use the deployment above instead. Again, Vendettas can go into reserve, this time possibly along with a Chimera or two for the quasi outflank and objective grab.

Against melee armies... it depends. Hordes I'll try to go second against and use the refused flank strategy while deploying everything (except maybe a Vendetta or three, depending on the build). I've never faced TWC beat down yet, but depending on their Long Fang support I might split the army in two, hopefully distracting the big beasts with the majority of my armor busting in one group while the other goes for objectives. Nids, stay out of the way of Hive Guard and try to blast the damn gribblies from across the board.

Drop armies are where I think my army has the greatest weakness. I refuse to use the DH mystic trick as that's a little too cheesy (and short lived with the GK book coming out soon) for me to go for. Which leaves me with this deployment, two meltavet squads and my plasma bedecked CCS:

The plan is to stick this out in the open and put everything else in reserve. The CCS can really chew up firepower while the Vets provide anti-Dread defense and scoring potential. Then the big tanks roll on and use their low AP blast templates to clear the ground of those bloodthirsty angels and Loganwings.

Of course, this has all been without any terrain being taken into consideration or even objective placement. Add in my previously admitted lack of expertise with deployment makes taking what I've said only doable with a fair bit of salt. Still, the practice of actually getting your models out and seeing how much space they take up and how you can block sight lines most effectively is great practice and even more fun... if very open to mocking from those significant others in your life. *Vroom* *Vroom* indeed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Another battle report for you fine ladies and gentlemen featuring my Fortunan 24th vs a local Hive Fleet.

Text version below!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

A bit belated maybe, but happy holidays! Apologies for the lack of posting in the last month- Christmas, plus a general burnout from the Ogres and work didn't leave me with much time do much hobby related activities over the past month. While I didn't receive any hobby related gifts this year I did have several opportunities to reward myself over the past month, including:

  • Battlefoam! Man, I have been waiting to say good bye to my egg cartons for a while now. They're a great and cheap way to move your infantry around but boy do they take up space! The Ogres didn't quite fit in their boxes as a few of my conversions don't even play nicely with ranks, but still, anything is an improvement over a box with some Easter grass.
  • Baneblade!
    I discovered my first super-heavy on the consignment shelf at my LFGS assembled, primed in my army colors and half off. Ding!
  • Flip video camera! While my camera has done OK in the video department I've never been overly impressed with the quality of the film. So far I've been satisfied by the Flip, and you'll have to let me know what you think about tomorrow's video battle report.
But of course, as the title of this post says, it is a new year, and with a new year comes New Year's Resolutions. Last year I made a few related to this blog, so let's see how I did:

  1. Finish painting the models that I own and use.... hah. Hahahahahahahheee.... *degenerates into weeping*. Suffice it to say that I still have plenty of sprues scattered about the apartment, not to mention jumped into an entirely different game system's army with the Ogres. Still, I managed to get tons of painting done this past year so I'm satisfied on this account.
  2. My blogs will update three times per week. Miserable failure for my personal blog, but what about Defending Humanity? I did 95 posts this past year, which only averages out to a bit less than 2 posts per week. Looking back I was strong for all but three months (including this past one... oy...) where my posting dropped off as my interest in painting and playing dropped to zil. Not much to do about it- it's how I go about things.
So what to do for this year? How about these:

  1. Create a tournament army for 40k. I have a lot of Guard, but nothing that I would say is an optimal tourney build. As a way to put a capstone on my Guard buying frenzy I'd like to build and hone a tournament ready list, redoing and improving paint jobs on those models to go for the maximum scores possible. I like competition, I've gotten used to mechanized infantry, and I've got a pretty cool idea of where to start...
  2. Expand into a second 40k army. This has been a big one on my mind for a while. I'll occasionally start scribbling army lists for other codexes or fantasize about awesome conversions that I could make if I only used some different rules/models. This is a thing to do especially this year as it's the first that I can legitimately afford to do this hobby rather than sacrificing something else to do so.
  3. Fill out the choices for my Ogre army. The Ogres... hopefully they'll get a new army book soon so I can feel excited about them again. I have some cool conversion ideas for the big fatties but a combination of lack of players and lack of power is holding me back. Hopefully this resolution will power me through and get me to finish up an army that I can be proud of.
  4. Get over a hundred followers. By hook or... well, pretty much by hook, I'd like to make this blog take off a bit more. Breaking a 100 followers seems like a good milestone to shoot for.
  5. Increase my YouTube presence. I have a few devoted followers for my videos but, like the blog, I'd like to increase this by offering additional and more regular video content.
Well, that's probably enough to keep me busy for this year. There will be a battle report tomorrow, but for now I'd like to offer a general thanks to everyone who reads this silly blog and an even greater thanks to those  who've managed to read their way through this wall of text. Take care, and the Emperor protects.