Sunday, December 12, 2010

1000 pt Tournament results

There was an awesome turnout for the event... I showed up at 8:30 AM, and there was already a group of people standing in the freezing cold outside. By around 9 'o clock, an hour before the store was opening, all sixteen spots in the tournament were full.Entry fee was 10 bucks, swiss system for pairing. (First round random) Game type & deployment was pre determined by the round number so that there was variety in missions.

Round 1: Seize ground, spearhead... 3 objectives. By far the largest challenge for me to overcome, as my force had a mere 2 scoring units consisting of 7 marines each. I got paired against chaos space marines running a land raider, 2 rhinos filled with big squads of plague marines and a chaos sorcerer. A tiny army like mine, but also an army unsuited to deal with what I was rolling with. My flamestorm baal worked like a champ, first time I had ever used it I get a successful ram using outflank and pop a rhino. His plasma wielding plague marines were unable to stop the baal after they lost their transport and next turn the flamestorm lit 'em up really well.

Chainfists turned out to be an extremely worthwhile investment as my termies were able to drop his land raider by turn 3. At the end of the game I held 2 objectives and contested the third. Much to my surprise, all my units did what they were supposed to making the first game smooth sailing.

Round 2: Capture and control, dawn of war. This game saw me pitted against a nasty hand to hand horde guard army featuring a stubborn 50 man squad with tons of power weapons, plasma, and all sorts of other goodies. The whole game was basically one huge melee fight involving most of my army and most of his. When the dust settled, most of our forces were dead, but my weapon destroyed baal pred managed to contest his objective turn 5 for the win. If the game did not end on turn 5, it would have most definitely been a draw. I really got lucky in this insanely close game...

Round 3: Annihilation, pitched battle. Now we're talking... No more objective holding, it was time to go balls out and crush my opponent with my full force. Up until this game, I had been deep striking all of my infantry, and outflanking with the baal. This time I deployed my assault squads on the table and kept my termies and baal in reserve. This game was vs. Eldar, using a wraithlord, 2 squads of dire avengers, farseer, avatar, and fire prism. Definitely a balanced list that had me on the ropes for the first three turns... Fortunately, the mobility of my army played to my advantage and I was able to withdraw weakened squads away from the fight to save KPs, ending the game 3-1 KPs in my favor.

Round 4, the last round... At this point my record was 3-0, so this was really the finals of the tournament. It turned out I got paired against the mighty Hurricane James, who I had expected to win the whole thing from the start. Game type was assassination, deployment spearhead. Game ends upon the turn of the first general's death, so if a general dies top of the turn there's a chance to draw by killing the enemy general in the same game turn. You could also draw by the standard mission of 5-7 turns ending before any general had died. My general was my captain, his general was his rune priest, so I had a little advantage regarding resiliency. However, to get to his general required me fighting through a mechanized force consisting of 3 rhinos filled with grey hunters supported by a tllc razorback and longfangs. There would be no mind war trickery to pull an easy win here... Hurricane James deployed his vehicles in a protective castle convoy making it impossible to isolate his rune priest without clawing through his entire army first.

The rules of the game also required your general to start on the board. I started the game with my captain attached to an assault squad behind some cover. However, the table didn't have too much terrain and there were no good hiding spots in my deployment area. I spent my first 2 turns charging up along the long table edge towards his force while behind cover in order to get saves against his krak and las shots. By the time the rest of my army made it on the board, there were just 2 marines left in his "bodyguard" squad. I was able to link up with my deep striking and outflanking forces, and had my captain take refuge with my terminator squad for the rest of the game.

This is where things got bloody quickly, and soon the entire battle shifted to an area of only about a foot in diameter. I don't think in playing 40k I've seen so many hostile units in such a compact area... The composition looked almost like something you'd see in a staged GW photo. Target priority was the immediate threats to my baal predator and terminators, so anything with high strength and armor punching ability had to die to keep me in the game. I went for his razorback and long fangs and managed to wipe them out quickly. The baal predator was able to do some nasty damage to a grey hunters squad, killing 9 dudes in one hit before the battle completely shifted to melee. I surrounded the rhinos as best as I could to prevent them from escaping while killing a few in the process. The baal predator effectively killed about one third of his melee strength with that one shot, so I was able to outmatch the rest of his army with my terminators and remaining assault troops. In a last ditch move, Hurricane James decided to assault with his Rune Priest and last grey hunter squad into my 6 or so remaining terminators with captain. In the final showdown, I came out on top... Not even the sons of russ can stand up to that many powerfists. Great game, and the fight taking place in such close quarters gave me the edge I think... That and my captain was mobile with the jump pack and couldn't be so easily punk'd compared to a rune priest.

Coming in first got me a fat stack of 75 bucks in store credit... I really didn't expect to do so well, or even win half my games... My army turned out to be surprisingly balanced and just what I needed to pull through in all my match ups. Props to Quarterstaff for such an awesome event. Terrain was great, good atmosphere, and well administered. Good games all around to everyone I played. Definitely got my sights on the next tournament in January of 1250 pts.

Some pictures of the final showdown between my Lamenters and the Space Wolves led by Hurricane James!

More to come

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lamenters 1000 point tournament force...

This is the 1000 pts of Lamenters I will be using for a tournament in a few days. I could explain what's exactly here, but on the off chance someone from my local store actually discovers this post... I want to keep things a little secret, not that it's difficult to discern what I'm using from the picture. There's gonna be some good competition, and by no means do I have a real chance at winning. This army is all about in-your-face surprise attack... If I was gearing up for my best effort at taking first I'd probably be using my Dragons instead, who are better optimized for lower point games.

New unit built & painted today :)

More to come

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lamenters WIP part 2 & army thoughts

Lamenters have always been one of my favorite Space Marine chapters... I have finally given in to my craving to paint a yellow army.

Firstly, I planned on keeping the model count low, not only to save $$$ but to represent the Lamenters being few in number and an elite force. Second, I wanted to use units that I have not taken in my Dragons army, so even though it'll be using the same codex, it'll have a totally different play style.

My HQ is a Captain with a power sword, infernus pistol and jump pack. Besides the fact I really dislike special characters, none of them make sense to be leading a Lamenters force... And Librarians don't thrill me too much either as they're a dime a dozen in all flavors of marine armies these days. So even though my HQ selection is the same as my Dragons army, his wargear makes him quite different and I'll explain why he's got what he's got.

Jump pack... Well, he's going to be rolling up (or dropping down) with my troops, who are jump pack assault marines, so he'll be needing one of course. Power sword, because I want to make use of that Initiative 5 (I somewhat regret putting a fist on my Dragons captain as I had overlooked this). Infernus pistol, because like the Initiative 5, I'm paying those points to get that nice BS 5... Hitting 2+ melta, yes please.

Troops are 2x 7 man assault marine squads. Strange number, but I that's the amount of models I bought, and it fits in the points value. One squad is equipped to deal with medium/light infantry, toting 2x hand flamers and a sergeant with power weapon. The other squad has a more tank hunters role, with 2x infernus pistols and sergeant w/ fist. The Captain will be rolling with the latter in order to pack 3 melta shots, hopefully downing any vehicle they shoot at.

All the remaining points are saved for the scary stuff. A big 10 man terminator squad, with 2 cyclone missile launchers and 4 chainfists. Unless I'm playing Kill Points, I'll be combat squadding them and putting the 2 CML's in one group to use as a mobile devastator squad which will advance up with the...

 ...Assault Terminator Squad, all equipped with TH/SS in a standard Land Raider w/ extra armor and multi melta.

And that's the 1500 army in a nutshell. 15 models in power armor with jump packs, 15 terminators, and a land raider. It's a small army, but it's hard hitting. Maybe it'll even win a game or two.

More to come

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lamenters WIP pictures

More to come

Land Raider Redeemer

The Land Raiders are some of my favorite tanks in 40k. They're hard to kill, they've got machine spirit... and in the case of a Redeemer, you've got a pair of the most badass flamer weapons in the 41st millennium.  

I could go on and on about reasons as to why Land Raiders are excellent tanks, but instead I'm going to argue for why I opted to take the Redeemer variant over the Crusader pattern.

Points wise, the Redeemer is 10 points less than the other two, so not much to argue about here. However, that extra 10 points gives me that very useful Multi melta upgrade. The real differences between the variants is transport capacity and weaponry. The Redeemer can carry 12 models, or 6 terminators compared to the 16 models or 8 terminators of the crusader. It then becomes a question as to whether the flamestorm cannons over the hurricane bolters are worth the loss of 2 terminators inside.

In my opinion? Absolutely worth it. The twin flamestorm cannons transform the Redeemer from a hard to kill transport into a hard to kill battle tank. Hurricane Bolters are just too lackluster. I get the argument from Crusader-toting players all the time, that the 24" range is just so crucial and makes the LRC much more tactically flexible. I don't buy it. I play against Crusaders all the time, and their Hurricane Bolters pretty much always amount to diddly squat vs. my marines. Flamestorm cannons? Boom, say goodbye to that entire tactical squad (or at least most of it). Even if I only fire a flamestorm once per game, they're still overwhelmingly more effective from my experience than multiple turns of Hurricane shooting.

This brings up another point I would like to make in favor of the Redeemer. The last few games I've used my Redeemer in, I've been getting weapon destroyed results on it. Every time, my opponent won't know what to take off. All the weapons are equally devastating in their own right, and losing a flamestorm cannon or assault cannon is no big deal. With a weapon or two lost, the LRR still has the potential to do some serious damage, something that can't be said about an LRC or standard LR.

Lastly, I don't use the LRR as a transport all too often. It's more of a fire magnet to take the pressure off of my more fragile (and valuable) Vindicators. The trio of hard hitting tanks will clear a path all the way to an objective with a squad or two of foot slogging marines hidden behind, and there is little an opponent can do about it when the rest of my army is supporting the advance.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grudge League progress

There's a Grudge League going on in the local store I'm playing at up in Vermont. Players in the league fight for territories which give their armies bonuses such as furious charge, scouts, extra points, and things like that.

My first day of league play I lost twice and won once. I was pretty unhappy by these results as the losses were extremely close and pretty much my own mistakes when it came to capturing objectives. Today I won 3 games which puts me at 4W-2L. I've learned from my mistakes from my losses in the league and hopefully I keep the win streak going.

Been pretty busy this week with school & painting 40k minis. More to come!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Vindicator

The vindicator is a tank that I see being used in a great deal of space marine armies. There is no denying how effective this unit can be, the strength 10 AP 2 ord blast is going to annihilate pretty much anything you shoot at, providing you don't scatter too terribly. The versatility and devastating effectiveness of the demolisher cannon makes the vindicator your opponent's worst nightmare, and therefore biggest concern.

Almost every army I see that uses the vindicator will field only one. Most times, one vindicator is not going to work which leads players to believe that the tank is underwhelming and not worth it. The reason for this is that your opponent is going to want to knock out that vindicator with everything he's got, because he knows it's going to smash him up hard if it's not taken care of immediately. All it takes is a weapon destroyed OR even immobilized (since the demolisher cannon is a fixed *and* short range weapon) to really knock it out of the game.

If you want to maximize the potential of your vindicator, you should field at least two. This way, your opponent will have to make some choices when choosing target priorities. Throw in a third vindicator or land raider and that will really make your opponent think about what to do. I would personally field three vindicators if my devastator squad was not so critical for my army's synergy.

For Blood Angels in particular, the vindicator is certainly one of the hidden jems of codex. Now that it's a fast vehicle for BA exclusively, you can use these bad boys at an effective range of 3 feet as they can move 12" before firing. Where regular marine players are forced to use their vindicators defensively (if they are playing them effectively), Blood Angels can actually use the vindicator as an extremely potent first turn alpha-strike weapon. No more hiding behind big buildings with a siege shield and waiting for the enemy army to come towards you. Sure, you could -force- advances by deploying key objectives directly in front of a defensive vindicator, but any general worth his salt is going to see through this trap and use proper countermeasures. And if you play your BA vindicator in a static role, then you're wasting the premium cost you pay for it to be a fast vehicle.

This also brings up the question as to whether the siege shield is now obsolete for Blood Angels. As you can see from my 2 vindicators pictured above, I am of the opinion that the siege shield is worthless. I know quite a few players who swear by the siege shield, but I see it as a waste of points when you can move 12" which is easily enough to move around whatever you may be choosing to hide behind. Yes, you'll lose range by going around, but probably not much. Regardless, I am not going to play my vindicators in a defensive role anyway. Since BA players already have to pay the extra 30 points for the fast profile, tacking on more points begins to turn your vindicators into a liability instead of a cheap hammer.

In short, the BA vindicator seems to me like it's the premier heavy support choice in the codex. It would be unfortunate for a Blood Angels player not to take advantage of this game-changing wonder weapon.

An introduction to the Blood Dragons

Whenever you go to RT's, clubs, or whatever to play a pickup game, one of the first questions a stranger might ask is what army you play. Unfortunately, I have to swallow a bit of pride and say "Blood Angels." I write this because Blood Angels players in general have it pretty bad with negative prejudice these days. The new BA codex is viewed by many as being cheesy and overpowered. I'll be the first one to admit, the codex is probably a little bit too good. But my "Blood Angels" army isn't your typical Blood Angels army, and I can proudly say that I jumped on the BA bandwagon before the "cheesy" new codex was released.

The reason I consider my army to be unique for a BA force is not because I made my own chapter that looks very similar to Flesh Tearers, but rather the unit composition.

No Jumppacks, no razorbacks or rhinos, no special characters. So what could I possibly be playing that is able to win a good amount of games?

Lots of bodies is the idea. 4x footslogging 10 man tactical marine squads is the core of my army, which I field in 1500+ pt games. They need to be footslogging to keep the points down. Sure, Blood Angels tac marines might not be the best troops choice around, but few armies can contend with that much power armor. On top of that, I've got a devastator squad with 4 lascannons, 2 baal predators and 2 vindicators. I'll go into more detail about each unit in seperate blog posts, and how they have synergy with the rest of the army.

Hobby wise, my Blood Dragons are loosely based off of a faction from the PC game Freelancer which was released in 2003. Freelancer is my favorite PC game of all time and I still play it to this day. Some of the motifs of the army include samurai themed (eldar) banners with the faction emblems from the game on the sergeants and captain. I wanted these guys to have a gritty feel compared to my other clean armies, so I did my best to paint an abundance of battle damage and weathering. I am happy with how this army has turned out, both visually and performance-wise on the tabletop.

My next few posts will be about individual unit tactics and how they fit into the "idea" behind this army. Perhaps I will be able to get in a few battle reports aswell.

Welcome to my blog

Well, this is my introduction post. On this blog I will talk about my opinions regarding the Warhammer 40,000 game and hobby. I'm not a great player but over the years I've now reached the point where I'm winning more pickup games than losing which is why I thought it was about time I'd start blogging. Still, what I write on this blog should be taken with a large grain of salt as I am certainly not the best tactician around.

Some background info: I'm 19 years old, soon-to-be-20, and I started playing 40k when I was about 14. My first army was Imperial Guard with a mix of Daemonhunters and my second army was Alaitoc themed Eldar. Both of these armies are around 1750 pts worth, but when I built the armies they were simply whatever models I liked at the time and not meant to be competitive. Up until a couple years ago I would seldom go to gaming clubs and play pickup games against random opponents, so my battles were fought mainly against friends using the same armies all the time. Therefore I didn't have much diversity in battles which led to repetitive metagaming, and made me want a change of pace.

So in the summer of 2008 I decided I wanted to get more involved with the gaming aspect of 40k. I figured it was about time to build an army that I could bring to clubs and stand a chance with instead of losing all the time against more competitive players using one of my "grab-bag" style armies. Earlier this year, I finished up the army after a long break of 40k playing and got back into the game now using the new Blood Angels codex.

Time to get started.