Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trial By Fire

     Wow what a game! I wrote last week about a game that was less than amazing. It didn't even reach turn three! There really wasn't much in the way of war gaming nourishment to be had from an experience like that. I'm happy to say that THIS weekend's game was quite the opposite.

     I lined up a game with a friend from work. We had agreed on 1850 for the points level. He's still very new to the hobby, so I told him that he shouldn't stretch out his army to reach the agreed value, as it usually just ends up creating a frustratingly bad army. He reminded me that he was planning on using allied Grey Knights, and there's no question that he would be able to reach that mark. Those units can soak up some points. Usually it's not for the best, either.

     We decided to try a game from the Battle Missions. We rolled off, and came up with a Chaos Space Marine's mission called "Black Crusade." This was basically an annihilation game type with one MAJOR special rule: all non-vehicle units, once completely destroyed enter your reserves and can come back in. This turned our 1850 point game into something much larger. As a result, this game lasted nearly four hours!

     This was only his third game playing his Sisters of Battle (first time playing Grey Knights) and my third game playing my Blood Angels variant list. This didn't help us speed up play, but the biggest part of the problem was the units just constantly re-entering the fray. Most of the fighting was focused on the middle third of the table. It became a real meat grinder in there. He was able to deep strike his once dead units back on the table, and usually with some pretty good success. This meant more assaults, more shooting, and obviously more time!

     You might think that I'm complaining about this. Nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoyed this game immensely. I found the match-up profoundly interesting. He made some mistakes (namely he forgot to use his faith abilities), but I think he made some pretty solid tactical choices. I was playing my Blood Angels much better than I had before. I had really thought through some of my previous horrible tactical blunders and was able to foresee those problems before they occurred in this game.

     I ended up winning the game by a substantial margin. It was something like 12 kill points to three. The major reason for this was my Honour Guard. I haven't really talked about them on this blog, but I have to say that they are by far the most under-valued and overlooked units in the Blood Angels codex, and if used properly, can be one of the most amazing hammer units on the table. I'll have to talk about that unit in more detail in the future. I still need to finish painting them, so perhaps when I'm done, I'll do a little write-up.

     The picture at the top is from my newly assembled Hell Hound. I've started my Guard army, and I've got a few pics to show for it. I'm trying to be a little bit more involved in my basing for this army. The theme is more urban, and thus I've decided to put a bit more effort and time in making these things. I'm quite happy with my first batch. Here is a pic for ya:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Most Dangerous Game

     I'm back in the groove at home. I've started work on my IG army, and I have just so many ideas spinning around in my head that I'm having difficulty focusing on finishing my Blood Angels. There's not just a terrible amount of work that I have to do, but there's enough that I'm letting the IG distract me willfully. On the Guard front, I've assembled my first Veteran Squad, I've completed all their bases, and I've even managed to build a Hell Hound (complete with magnetized weapons). I've also been pecking away impatiently at my Valkyrie model. I'm afraid of doing any substantial assembly as I need to understand what I'm going to need to paint and how I might magnetize things.

     I stopped by at my CLGS this Saturday for a game. I experienced what I might classify as the worst game I've ever been a part of. I brought my Orks (1850 pts) against a Necrons army. This guy is a regular, but he's not very... good. He basically lost the game in deployment. He crammed everything into a corner, put his Monolith in reserve, and let my Biker Nobz and Foot Nobz run rampant through his trapped Necrons. I've seen this guy up there on and off for the last year. I really have to wonder what he has been doing because there were some really basic 40K concepts that seemed to be alien to him. He didn't even know that you can assault multiple units. He asked if that was a piece of war gear that I had on my Nobz.

     The game was officially over at the end of round two. Unofficially it was really over after the top of round two. Though I won, it wasn't fun. I've said before that I thought my Orks were a little TOO competitive to be fun, and a game like this certainly shows that. I'm not saying that I can't lose, I've proven that I'm quite capable of that. I just think I just enjoy a game were there are more eventualities. Which is why, at some point in the future, I'll need to paint up a few less power-gamey type characters for my Orks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ever feel like you've forgotten something?

     I'm back from a two week vacation back to my home town, Dallas. Every time I take some leave time, that's where I'm compelled to travel. As a Texan, I must return to my home country to recharge my batteries and find some examples of better living than where I currently live. One of these pleasures is playing 40K with my long time friends that live in the area. One of the others is visiting the GW store that's in the area.

     I tried, desperately, to complete the eight models I needed to adapt my vanilla Space Marine army into a Blood Angels variant. The only models I managed to complete to any degree was the two Sanguinary Priests and a Sanguinary Novitiate. I was super proud of how they turned out as the models represented my most unique modeling attempt yet. It wasn't until my first night there, hanging out with one of my 40K buddies that I realized that I had left all three of these at home. ARRGH! I was filled with sadness and shame. To try and get back at least a small part of my pride, I took some pics of these models very soon after arriving back home. Those you see above were the source of my blunder. More details shots later.

     I had an excellent time, playing quite a lots of games. We played games from the Battle Missions book exclusively. This turned out pretty well. You might have heard other sources comment that the three missions for each race represent a difficulty scale of "Easy, Less Easy, and Hard." They aren't telling the truth at all. We examined these missions pretty closely and determined that the difficulty of the missions do vary for the originating armies, but it's not consistent across the entire book. It also varies based largely on the armies you are choosing to play.

     We played a few "Theory-Hammer" games, testing out some armies my buddy had dreamed up. I was shocked to see how these somewhat silly builds did on the table. They were difficult lists to play against, and at least one of these he seems to be determined to build. He had just recently completed a Grey Knights army and seemed pretty happy to build an army based on a codex that wasn't over eight or nine years old.

     I picked up the 40K basing kit from the GW store. For only $20, it seems to be a pretty neat kit. There's nice little resin base features, some slate chips, and some course gravel. I'm quite happy with it as I'm fairly terrible with bases, so this should help me out.

     The bigger news, however, is that I'm ready to start on my Imperial Guard army. I'm building a guard army that might not be super competitive, and that's totally fine by me. I'm wanting to make a sort of "elite" guard army. Veterans and Storm Troopers make up the infantry and a couple of Valkyries and just three all-out offensive vehicles makes this much more of a finesse army than most Guard armies.

    I'm planning on giving the army an urban camo theme, but I'm having a little difficulty finding a good tutorial vids or pics on some good grey or like colored guard. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.

    Here are some more detailed pics of the Priests: