Saturday, December 6, 2014

Orks don't lose

"Orkses is never defeated in battle.  If we win, we win.  If we die, we die fighting so it don't count.  If we runs for it, we don't lsoe neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see?"

Ork Codex, 3rd edition.

Got in a smashing day of 40k today, thanks to the generosity of the Beloved, who basically kicked me out of the house and told me to go have fun.  3 game tournament at the local GW, 1500 points, using the Maelstrom of War rules.  I have to say, aside from having a crazy fun time, what the afternoon brought home for me was how much the game has changed.  What I remember from the last time I played 40k (8-10 years ago) is that while I had fun playing with friends, the rules tended to prompt nagging frustration due to their inconsistencies.  While I'm sure there's still a bit of that about, and while they're not as crisp as some rules I've played, they have improved by orders of magnitude from what I remember.  Vehicles work, psychic powers work, the game has far more variety, more things to do and potential interactions, but my overall sense is that this adds to the game, rather than rendering it overly complex or confused.

And this is just the Blood Bowl team.

The Maelstrom of War rules add a whole other level to the game.  These introduce a more complex range of in-game objectives, and make them fluid and varying throughout the game.  This in turn adds a level of engagement to the game that hasn't existed before, in my experience.  Tactics goes beyond unit match-ups, and becomes about anticipating likely scoring opportunities; movement and combat become means to ends, rather than ends in themselves.

 I ran the following list:


HQ 1:  Warboss, h. armour, skorcha, PK, bosspole, Finkin Cap, cybork body
HQ2: Painboy
Troop 1:  20 Shoota boys, 2 big shootas, nob, boss pole, big choppa
Troop 2:  20 Shoota boys, 2 big shootas, nob, boss pole, Pclaw
Troop 3:  Runtherd and 10 grots
E1: 15 Tankbustas, 2 Tankhammers, 2 Bomb Squigs, Nob w. bosspole
FA1: Deffkopta, rokkits 
FA2:  Deffkopta, rokkits
FA3:  Deffkopta, rokkits


HQ:  Big Mek, KFF, ‘eavy armour
Troop 1:  Runtherd and 10 grots
Troop 2:  20 Slugga boys, nob, boss pole, Pclaw
HS:  Battlewagon, Killkannon, Kannon, ‘ard top, 3 Big Shootas, reinforced ram, grot riggers, wrecking ball
FA1: Deffkopta, rokkits 

FA2:  Rokkit Buggy
FA3: Deffkopta, rokkits 
HS: Lobba, ammo runt

I'm sure there's some points sunk in there, especially in the Battlewagon, but overall, it performed pretty well.  There are enough bodies in there to give the list some durability, it's got excellent anti-infantry capability, and enough mobility to both take advantage of it's shooting and seize objectives.  If there was a unit that seemed to under-perform, it was the lobba, which didn't do much in any game.  I might try them in larger numbers, and see if that works better.  As much as I like the look of the double turret B-Wagon, the regular cannon didn't see much play.  Basically it functioned like a longer range rokkit most of the time.  I'll run it a few more times to see if the added range gives it some more flexibility.  I do think the list is a little weak against heavy armour and fliers.  Not sure what I'd drop to squeeze that in, though.

Over the course of the day, I got in three games.

Game 1:  Tyranids

 photo IMG_5079.jpg
Big thing in the middle, I think, is a "Tervigon".  Think Brood Mother from Aliens.

This was a nice, balanced list, with several shooty warrior units, some genestealers, some sporemines, a Tervigon (big beasty that poops little beasties), and a rather cool flying formation consisting of a bunch of gargoyles with a Hive Tyrant all in one combined unit.

 photo IMG_5082.jpg
Such a cool unit.  Reminds me of the old Skink / Kroxigor mix.

The game involved us both pushing forward to seize objectives, picking up a few opportunity VPs along the way.

 photo IMG_5081.jpg
Behold the majesty of Ork deployment!

 photo IMG_5083.jpg
'Stealers, stealin'.

I worked my Deffcoptas around the flanks, sniping off targets when I could.  His stealers pushed forward through the rough terrain in the middle of the board, while on my right, tankbustas and shoota boys took up a solid position in a hill with ruins.

 photo IMG_5085.jpg
Climbing Mount Orklympus.

 photo IMG_5087.jpg
Shootas move up to claim an objective.

 photo IMG_5088.jpg
The Fortress of Orkytude.  Close to 40 orks on that hill.

The 'stealers went down, mostly to shooting on the left, while in the centre, my Fortress of Orkitude came under assault from the combined force of the Tyranid air wing, the Tervigon, and her (somewhat limited, thanks to a bad early role by my opponent) brood.

 photo IMG_5090.jpg
The sluggas on the left never really got into this game.

 photo IMG_5089.jpg
Here they come.

 photo IMG_5091.jpg
Let the best ork win.

Overwatch took out a chunk of the fliers, but a fair number made it in, and carnage swept across the hill.  The Hive Tyrant challenged my Warboss, who accepted, and held his own through the first round of combat.

 photo IMG_5092.jpg
Tankbustas mostly wiped out, but so are most of the fliers.

We called the game at 2 and a half turns, with my opponent holding more victory points.  While it didn't affect my enjoyment of the game at all, I do think that playing uneven rounds is a bit of a problem in a tournament setting; giving one player more opportunities to achieve objectives introduces a basic imbalance to the game.  One the other hand, I don't know how you could arrange things in a time-limited format to ensure everyone gets the same number of turns.  On the plus side, the imbalance worked to my benefit in game 2 ;)

Game 2: Chaos

My opponent ran a pretty fun list, some Nurgled up Chaos Marines and Cultists, along with a Bloodthirster, the big spider-thing with a cannon (Defiler?), a Hellbrute, and a Helldrake (along with some summoned bloodletters).

 photo IMG_5093.jpg
Cover.  Sweet, glorious cover.

 photo IMG_5094.jpg
The soon-to-be killing ground.

I had a  nice selection of ruins across most of my front, and da boyz made the most of them, rushing up to control objectives and set up some decent fire lanes.  Deffcoptas and buggies manouvred to get shots on the big gribblies, and the sluggas looked for something to slug.

 photo IMG_5095.jpg
Bloodletters have popped in on the top left.  Slugga boys are looking for a fight with their big brother.

My opponent moved the bulk of his forces forward, into the centre, looking for the cover of some trees.

 photo IMG_5096.jpg
Helldrake has popped in.  Bloodthirster is about to learn its lesson.

A key moment in the game came when he tried to charge his Bloodthirster into some woods to nail my sluggas, and came up just short.  This left it exposed, and caught between multiple, biggish, ork units, which proceeded to shoot the bejesus out of it, and then assault.

 photo IMG_5097.jpg
Hey, where'd the big red guy go?

Despite the presence of the Helldrake in my backfield, things went my way pretty consistently from that point on.  I wiped out both units of cultists, most of the Chaos Marines, and the hellbrute, and managed to get in some good shots on the Defiler as well.

 photo IMG_5099.jpg
Another turn, and the Tankbustas would be assaulting the Defiler.

The game ended, again with the first turn player picking up an extra turn, and in the lead (this time, me).  1-1 for the orks.

Game 3: Necrons

My opponent in the third game turned out to be the same guy I played my third game against in the WFB tournament a while back, and I had as much fun playing him this time as last.  He ran Necrons, with some warriors, some of the big, chunky warriors (Immortals?), some more of those in a flyer with nasty guns, a flyer with what seemed be an honest to god death ray, some hitty, wraith-type things, and a couple of floaty-walker things with some more nasty guns (one of which made anything else shooting at it's target twin-linked).  Necrons have gotten some new toys since I last played them, along with some background, and it makes them a fair bit more interesting.

 photo IMG_5100.jpg
Cover is still good, but on this table, it broke up the horde a little.

Cover had served me well so far, and I figured I'd take advantage of it again, as I looked to set up the shootas in fire-bases with cover, and do my best to get the sluggas and tankbustas where they could do the most good, and in one piece.  Battlewagon and lobba set up centrally to maximise shooting options, while the grots camped an objective.

 photo IMG_5101.jpg
Those grots on the left will have a bad time before the game's over.

 photo IMG_5102.jpg
Necrons have durability, mobility, and firepower.  Nice combination!

Tankbustas and sluggas moved up on the hill in the middle of the table, which was prize real-estate, having two objectives.  This also put hem in the middle of a pile of overlapping fire zones.  You win some, you lose some.

 photo IMG_5103.jpg
Once again, the Fortress of Orkytude takes shape.

 photo IMG_5104.jpg
As the Cub has said, "What's with all the skulls?!?"

I seemed to be holding my own, but then his fliers started to hit the field.  One had a seriously nasty weapon with pretty flexible firing arcs.  I figured my battlewagon would be safe hunkered down behind a building.

 photo IMG_5105.jpg
B-Wagon and grots are about to be visited by the Necron Air Wing

 photo IMG_5106.jpg
This thing managed to fly in, and get a martian death ray attack on the rear of the B-Wagon.  It's buddy dropped a squad of Immortals in front of the grots.  Sometimes, bad things happen to good orks.

Turns out, when stuff can fly in behind you and scorch your rear armour with a suped-up lazcannon, not much is safe ;)

I clinched the win in the second turn with a sacrifice move by my Deffcoptas, three of which turbo-boosted deep behind the Necron lines.  I had an objective that let me score d3 victory points if I had 3 or more units within 12" of the opposing table edge.  While I figured they'd die the next turn (they did), the risk was worth it, and as it turned out, I got a 3 on the roll, putting me over the top.  Had the game gone on, I think the Necron's resilience would have pulled it out, but I was happy to walk away with the win.

The Maelstrom rules reward thoughtful play.  Careful management of objectives can let you realize more than one at once, and sets interesting priorities in the game.  Sacrifice plays, like with my Deffcoptas, become viable, and control of space becomes importance, not because all objectives have value all the time (you need the appropriate card to claim victory points for the objective you control), but to maximize the future potential opportunities, and to deny them to your opponent.

I'll be continuing to paint up these guys, as both the painting and playing is turning out to be more rewarding than I expected.  Once I get past the 15th or so, I should get a little more time for painting, and should be able to get some done on both da Boyz and those Mass. militia who've been dogging me.

BIG thanks to all three of my opponents, and the staff at DG, who as always have been super-friendly and helpful.  Da boyz will be back.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Torch-passing, and what-not. Also, thanks!


So, the boy seems to have been bitten pretty hard by the 40k bug, and has had me digging through the Drawers of Shame for old space marines for him to paint.  So far, I've dredged up some of the old, metal-and-plastic marines from 2nd / 3rd edition, and he's been working on his technique.

 photo 97a36952-b058-462e-9644-e08e9ceab4ef.jpg

Still a few rough edges, but I'm chuffed his 8-year-old self is taking an interest.  He's taken a shine to the Salamander's chapter, which works well with my orks, and, as an added bonus, is also a chapter for which I have some old transfers kicking around.  I showed him how to do one, but the rest he did on his own.

 photo IMG_4999.jpg

I managed to knock out a few more orks through the week, this time some shoota boyz.

 photo IMG_5000.jpg

 photo c3d9bc78-f64f-4715-b529-5a9604cec239.jpg

And, I finally finished up priming the unit of Massachusetts militia that've been glaring at me for the last several weeks.

 photo IMG_5003.jpg

This was partly a product of some recent reading on the conquest of Acadia, and partly in response to the arrival of my Secret Santa gift.  It was a rather generous gift certificate to OG25s (thank you, Santa!), which translates into either some extra stuff for the Acadia project, or maybe some SAGA stuff, unless I decide to start something totally new.  Of course, a steadfast, Magpie-resistant guy like me never does anything like that.


Work's been crazy busy lately, and things are heating up even more.  The Beloved has informed me that I WILL be going out at some point next weekend for alone / geek / blowing off steam time, which makes me suspect I've been a tad more curmudgeonly than usual of late.  The GW is having some sort of 40k thing next weekend, so I might show up as the new / rusty / what was that rule again guy, and see about getting in some games.  That means some priming time this weekend, I suspect.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Puttering. Also, Santa.


I have been on something of an assembly tear of late, having put together a chunk more orks.  Not sure why, as the Cub's going to have not much more than 1000 points of Space Marines post-Christmas (don't tell him!), but I seem to be on a roll, so I figured I'd go for it.  I'm rather pleased with both how I've managed to churn new life out of some old-school models, and how the battlewagon turned out.

 photo IMG_4971.jpg
Basically a big gun platform.

Just realized that while I've signed up for the Secret Santa run by Ian and Cath at the Blog with No Name, I've yet to post a suggestion list, so best get on it.  The trouble I'm having is that while I've had the urge to do some historicals stuff of late, the near-total lack of opportunity to play any historical games has kind of moved things to the back burner.  While I do have some chances to play GW games, G-dub pricing leaves much to be desired.  That said, here's what's been pricking at me of late:

 photo IMG_4972.jpg
Cub's been bugging me to put this together since he became aware such things existed.

15 / 18mm stuff for the Acadian project?  I've been using Blue Moon figs, so anything that might be consistent with their scale.  Terrain would be nice for this as well, as I'm rather short on it.

 photo IMG_4973.jpg
2nd edition (?) orks, dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age.

Xyston (18mm) Antigonids, Spartans, or Achemenid Persians?

 photo IMG_4974.jpg
Love these older models.

15mm WWII Germans - something I can use to start a matched army for my soviets.  Maybe if I get two sides going I can wean the Cub off the dark side?

 photo IMG_4975.jpg
Also love these newer models.

28mm stuff for SAGA vikings?

 photo IMG_4976.jpg
Going to go through a LOT of primer this weekend ;)

Really, what I'd like is anything kind of cool, something I can use that might spark me to work on historicals again.  Poke around the blog a bit, and surprise me?


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Green Trickle


Got a bit done this week, which was nice.  The game with the Cub last weekend seems to have fired up my juices.  I did a bunch of orky assembly (putting together a unit of Burnaboys and a unit of Slugga boys), plus finished up some half-painted models that've been sitting around.

 photo 25331d55-fbd0-4281-b305-12583d355a2e.jpg

 photo IMG_4966.jpg

Runtherd and some grots:

 photo IMG_4967.jpg

Also some Tankbustas:

 photo ab945651-ff7a-4360-8304-ceab3f5f867b.jpg

Thanks to Anne for some advice on last post - it worked ;)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Hi all,

Not dead, just resting.  Well, would be, if I wasn't so damn busy.  I'm working evenings a couple nights a week, and weekends are mostly a write-off as it's prime family time, so opportunities for painting are limited.  Also not been feeling the mojo lately, and I learned long ago not to try and force it when that mood sets in.

There's been some geek action.  Got in my first 40k game in about 9 years (?) today, with the guy who's advent more or less coincided with the end of my 40k gaming.  Took the orks out for a learner game against the Cub (using the local GW's Dark Angels), and the little squig cleaned my clock for me.  Last weekend, he talked me into a game of Space Hulk, so we spent an hour clipping sprues, and then pitted Termies vs. Stealers in a pretty gripping game.

I've been tinkering a bit with my Commander decks, especially with the new block and Commander pre-cons coming out.  I'm also hoping to get out to a draft one of the upcoming Fridays, my first ever.  Finally, been puttering with converting a lord up for my Bretonnians.  Still a work in progress, but here's some progress shots.

Thinking of doing him in red and yellow, diagonal quartering, hearts and fleur de lis?  That should keep be busy painting once the jones bites again.  Until then . . . .


Saturday, October 4, 2014

There you go, going on about class again . . .


Been a bit loner than planned since the last post.  A family-wide visit from Father Nurgle, plus general business, kept me from doing as much as I wanted.  I did, however, get these guys finished up.




These are Mounted Yeomen and in my list will serve as charge redirectors / warmachine hunters / cannon fodder.  They're also some of my favourite figs in the range.


They are, I think, Perry sculpts, from about 5 editions ago.  Rumors abound that Gdub is releasing the new Bretonnian book soon.  Soonish.  At some point, anyways, and these guys, as some of the older metal figures, are liable to get the plastic treatment, much to my chagrin.



I used a mix of shields for these guys, including some plastic ones from the 5th edition Bret / Lizards box, shaved down.  Seemed appropriate.



Love these guys, so much character.

I've been modelling / converting up a suitable Lord to kick off the jump to 1500 points.  I also need to get around to flocking and otherwise finishing the basing on the first 1000 points.  Plus, there's some Massachusetts militia staring at me accusingly from the prep shelf.  All in good time, my pretties, all in good time.