Friday, September 28, 2012

Solomon Kane US Release

Hey guys, sorry I've been down and out for a while. I started up school again and I'm just drained.

I'm going to try my best to get some games in this weekend, and I am signed up for both a 1750 NOVA style RTT and a Flames of War tournament in the next month or so.

In the meanwhile, I strongly encourage you to check out the U.S. theatrical release of Solomon Kane, a film which was actually completed in 2009 but which is only now being released on this side of the Atlantic.

Solmon Kane, for those who don't know, is the origins of our "Witchhunter" archetype (which is one of my favorite archetypes). Puritan hat, cutlass, pistols, etc. He was written by Robert E. Howard, who also created the Conan character. If you've never had a chance to read Conan or Solomon Kane, I can't recommend them enough. They are the origins of so much of what inhabits our modern fantasy worlds, but there is something very primal and raw about Howard's writings, that I really dig.

While I was in Iraq, we received a BOX full of old Robert E. Howard books. An old World War II veteran, a former Marine, had passed away with his epic collection of Howard paperbacks. His widow, bless her heart, figured they could find a home with some Marines in Iraq. Well, I was the first to get my hands on them, and read every. single. one. I'm sure others have read them since then.

Here's a link to a list of US venues where Kane is playing. I've heard REALLY good things about this movie, it supposedly stays very true to the book. If you can check it out, you should, because we need to support good, serious fantasy and sci-fi film when it's made.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Possible 1750 Nids List for October Tourney

This is mostly built and painted, but I discovered today that I don't have NEARLY enough gants to support three Tervigons... which is kind of a good/bad thing. Oh, and one of my Hive Tyrant wings has mysteriously gone missing...

Hive Tyrant, Wings, Devourers x 2, Hive Commander
Hive Tyrant, Wings, Devourers x 2

Hive Guard x 3
Hive Guard x 3
Zoanthrope x 2

Tervigon, Catalyst, Onslaught, Adrenals, Toxins
Tervigon, Catalyst, Onslaught, Adrenals, Toxins
Tervigon, Catalyst, Onslaught, Adrenals, Toxins
Termagants x 10
Termagants x 10
Termagants x 10

Tried this out today and it did well. Everything seems to work better at 1750 for Tyranids.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Remember

Somehow this sneaks up on me every year, then hits like a ton of bricks.

I woke up on that morning, with a sense of confusion. It was late. Normally we would have been woken up at 6 am, Pacific, but we groggily rolled out of our racks at around 6:15, exhausted from the previous day's training.

I was seventeen years old, a Marine Recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Our drill instructors were nowhere to be found. We didn't know what to do, so we got dressed in our cammies and sat at the feet of our beds. There was an odd feeling in the air, a kind of silence that we couldn't put our fingers on.

After maybe 15 minutes, a drill instructor we didn't know came running through the barracks. He was obviously going through every squad bay. He quickly told us that our drill instructors had reported for security duty, that we were under attack, and that we were to remain where we were. He was wearing a flack jacket and a helmet over his neatly pressed button-up uniform shirt. He was carrying a loaded M-16.

After perhaps an hour, our Senior Drill Instructor returned. He too was wearing body armor and carrying a rifle over his immaculate uniform. He explained that the country was under attack. At first, most of us didn't believe him. The Marine Corps has been known to perform fake simulated attacks, to get recruits to think they were "going to war."

Without us saying anything about it, he acknowledged that this probably seemed like a joke, or a drill. He said it wasn't a joke. He asked us, "when is the last time you heard a plane taking off or landing at San Diego International (right next door to  the Depot)?" It was then that we identified the strange silence - the airport was dead silent.

"Gents, we can't shut down San Diego International just to fuck with you. This is for real."

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I remember seeing our drill instructors putting up crash barriers at the gates of the depot. I remember how confused everyone was, as rumors flew around about a missile launch, about Afghanistan, about war. Yes, even on that first day I remember we were talking about Afghanistan.

Later that night, our Senior brought in a tiny, 12" television set, and a VCR. He put in a tape, the news from that morning, recorded by his wife. 116 of us, mostly kids really, sat around, in cross legged silence, and watched our world change. It felt like the beginning of something, and we knew most of us in that room would be getting involved long before it was over.

I remember.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tony Kopac wins the NOVA... AGAIN!

Man this guy just can't be stopped.

In the final round, Tony was able to clear out the middle objective which was being contested by Nick Nanavati's Plaguebearers. Each player controlled two quarters (primary) and with Tony claiming the middle objective he won on secondaries.

So let's talk about all of the awesomeness flowing out of the NOVA:

-Flyerwing is defeated by an infantry army.
-An all infantry army versus and all infantry army at the top table in the final round.
-Chaos Daemons (!?!) at the top table in the final round.
-Xenos everywhere, as primaries or as allies.
-Still lots of mechanized lists, and they don't seem to be falling down failing either.

Wow, talk about some changes that 6th has brought to us.

So the goal of any good tournament design is to bring two incredibly skilled teams/players together in the final round, and face them off in a format that provides no advantages to either side, and produce the best possible fight possible, with the most skilled player taking the win.

Well Mike: Mission Accomplished.

What an incredible game.

Rough recaps of Tony and Nick's lists (VERY rough):

Tony (via Imperius Dominatus):
5x Grey Hunter squads, 3x10 w/ 2x Plasma, 1x10 w/ 2x Melta. All wolf standard and each lead by a PF
Wolf Guard Terminator, and 1x5 with just flamer
2x Lone Wolves w/ Chainfist & storm shield
Primaris Psyker
5 man PCS w/ no upgrades
50 man Blob Squad w/ 5x Power Axes & meltabombs
2x5 Long Fangs with 4 missiles each

Nick's Daemons (confirmed by his opponent Nathan):


6 Flamers w/ pyrocaster
6 Flamers w/ pyrocaster
6 Flamers w/ pyrocaster

5 Plaguebearers w/ Icon
5 Plaguebearers w/ Icon
5 Plaguebearers
5 Plaguebearers

5 Screamers
5 Screamers
5 Screamers

Daemon Prince
w/ Wings, Iron Hide, Unholy Might, Breath of Chaos, Slaanesh, Aura of Acquiesece, Soporific Musk.
Daemon Prince
w/ Wings, Iron Hide, Unholy Might, Breath of Chaos, Slaanesh, Aura of Acquiesece, Soporific Musk.
Again... this is REALLY rough, could be off by a lot but gives you a general outline of the armies. I didn't get to watch the seventh round this morning, and I missed the first few rounds of the 8th so that would have let me get a better idea for exactly what was in each army.

In the final game, Tony rolled on Divination and was able to apply 4++ invuls to his blob squad, and his Primaris also rolled endurance. This allowed his 5 point trooper ablative wounds to withstand the full fury of a double Screamer and Daemon Prince assault and actually wear down the Screamers over time. The blob eventually died, but you talk about the epitome of a tarpit. 5 point models with a 4++/5+... ridiculous.

Anyways, what a great game to watch. Hope you guys get a chance to as well. The 11th company has done an incredible job of covering the entire event.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Watching the NOVA, and thinking

Watching Tony hammer Neil Gilstrap today on the 11th Company Livecast just made me giggle. For the first few turns Neil's flyerwing was just HAMMERING Tony's army, with very little done in return, as Tony slowly moved across the board with his horde of infantry including... Njal.

Seeing it from above, it was really, really clear that if Njal rolled well on his Stormcaller powers it was going to wreak havoc with the Flyers. I had to step away for a few turns but when I came back, 3/4 of the Scythes were gone. Wow.

Anyways, Njal is and always has been a boss. I hammered several Dark Eldar Raiders out of the sky in a turn with him as well. He's a handy dude, albeit an expensive one.

Anyways, been thinking about army lists as always, and bought a bunch of terrain building supplies as well. Would like to have two full tables of terrain built and stored so that I can both play at home with some variety and contribute for tournaments. I think the next terrain set will be something desert/Egyptian themed, as I saw at the NOVA and it just caught my fancy.

I had been screwing around with several combinations of Wolves and Knights, including my Mech list that I took to a RTT recently. I have also gotten a few games in with my Loganwolves in a foot configuration with Strike Squads allied in for extra anti-infantry and scoring.

 Here's where I have landed so far with Logan and friends:

Logan Grimnar
Rune Priest, Meltabombs

Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols
Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols
Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols
Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols
Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols
Wolf Guard x 5, Terminator w/Cyclone, 4 w/Bolters, Bolt Pistols

Longfangs x 4, Multimelta x 4, Pack Leader
Longfangs x 4, Missile Launcher x 4, Pack Leader
Longfangs x 4, Missile Launcher x 4, Pack Leader

Strike Squad, Extra Strike Marines x 5, Psycannon x 2
Strike Squad, Extra Strike Marines x 5, Psycannon x 2

So that's 68 models, and a fair bit of firepower. Not convinced that this is the way to go, but it certainly doesn't look terrible either.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tourney Recap - 4 Round RTT, Grey Knight/Space Wolves Hybrid

Attended a book mission RTT yesterday, which was set up to go four rounds.

I did some pretty frantic work getting my Grey Knights army up and running, and in the end had a list that was a bit sub-optimal but still decent. Here's my list:

Inquisitor, Terminator Armor, Psycannon
Warrior Henchmen x 6, Bolters

Inquisitor, Terminator Armor, Psycannon
Warrior Henchmen x 6, Bolters

Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback, TL Assault Cannon, Psybolt, Searchlight
Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback, TL Assault Cannon, Psybolt, Searchlight
Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback, TL Assault Cannon, Psybolt
Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback, TL Assault Cannon, Psybolt

Dreadnought, TL Autocannon x 2, Psybolt
Dreadnought, TL Autocannon x 2, Psybolt

Wolf Lord, Thunderwolf, Runic Armor, Storm Shield, Power Fist, Wolf Tail Talisman

Grey Hunters x 10, Plasmagun x 2, Rhino
Grey Hunters x 10, Plasmagun x 2, Rhino

Fenrisien Wolves x 10

So, it turns out I was actually only running a 1967 army. Who knew. That's what you get for finalizing a list at two in the morning the night before a tournament, eh?

First round was against Dark Angels.

3 x Deathwing Squads (one with Banner and Apoth)

3 Land Raiders

3 Dreadnoughts, 2 with MM/CCW and Drop Pods, one with Plasma Cannon and Missile Launcher

So this was an extreme low model count army. I was a bit worried about the AV 14 with my list.

Vanguard Deployment, Relic Mission.

My Rhinos were deployed in the center forward, and the Razorbacks were either hiding behind ruins or Rhinos. My Dreadnoughts were deployed pretty much in the open on my far right table edge, ready to take advantage of spotlights.

His first turn saw no effective shooting, but he did move up a bit and into range of my guns next turn. My first turn I moved my Rhinos up, spotlighted one of his Land Raiders an popped smoke on the other Rhino. My Dreadnoughts opened up and knocked off some hull points. The Psycannons proceeded to finish wrecking that Land Raider. My Grey Hunter Rhinos were now very much on top of the relic, but stayed embarked for now.

His second turn two Multimelta Dreads dropped in on my Psyflemen and immobilized one. I think this was a mistake, they should have gone into midfield where they could help with the Relic, but really there were few good options here for him. His Plasma Dread moved up and tossed a few blasts at my Strike squad to little effect.

My return fire destroyed both of his Dreadnoughts and finished off his disembarked Deathwing unit (with help from eight plasma shots from my Rhinos) and destroyed his other closest Land Raider.

One of his Deathwing units managed to get a charge against my left flank and wrecked a Rhino and a Razorback. My Grey Hunters disembarked and prepared to shoot the piss out of him.

My Wolf Lord, who had been working his way around the flank, charged and Wrecked his last Land Raider. 20 Grey Hunters and a bunch of other shots went into destroying his last Dreadnought and Deathwing squad. Belial had decided to run and hide so I did not table him or get Warlord, but Belial was his only active model.

Round 2 was against an Mechdarstar list. Eldrad, The Fire Dragon Phoenix Lord, 2 units of Storm Guardians in Serpents, 2 units of Fire Dragons in Serpents, 2 Fire Prisms, unit of Warlocks in a Serpent, hmmm... I must be missing something because I thought he had eight vehicles.

Dawn of War deployment, 4 Objectives (Crusade). This table had lots of line of sight blocking ice hills.

Anyways. I had no Rune Priest so there was literally nothing I could do to stop his Lock star. He had rerollable 2+ armor saves in the Lord, and rerollable 3++ and/or 4++ saves from Eldrad and the Warlocks.

I deployed my Psyflemen on each of my flanks, ensuring that he would not be able to keep all of his vehicles out of line of sight of them. My Rhinos again went up front, ready to push into the corridor between two hills which led to my two home objectives. He deployed centrally, with some of his tanks out of LOS but mostly just in cover and a few in the open.

We got night fighting on the first turn, and I pushed my Rhinos forward again creating a wall in the center corridor, spotlighting his first Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and downing it with Autocannons. Everything else moved up and I think I may have downed another serpent this turn too (I think the Storm Guardians).

He moved and disembarked Eldrad's unit directly in front of my Rhinos. I think he killed both Rhinos, and I disembarked behind them. On my turn I moved on unit of Grey Hunters up into his face, but shot past them with Plasmaguns at the vehicles. The other Grey Hunters moved up too but stayed back a bit, and controlled the center objective, which happened to be a Grav Wave generator. The rest of my stuff continued to shoot up his other vehicles, my Wolf Lord charged and exploded his left flank Wave Serpent and killed a few Storm Guardians in the explosion. I remounted three of my Strike Squads and started to book around the flanks towards his home field objectives, as I couldn't be certain of stopping the Eldrad star in time.

He charged my Grey Hunters, but managed not to slaughter them all in one turn. I think I even hit him with a few Overwatch shots but of course he saved them all. This turn he also flamed the Wolf Lord's attending Fenrisien Wolves but managed not to kill them all.

I moved a Razorback up into his path and moved my Grey Hunters back a bit but still in control of the central objective. Behind the Grey Hunters was my fourth Strike Squad as well as an Inquisitor Retinue which I could throw in their face next.

He detached his Fire Lord from the Deathstar, sending them to my right to attach to his Fire Dragons, and then Eldrad and Co. charged my Grey Hunters, but because of the Grav Wave and terrain, he was only able to engage a few models. My Grey Hunters counter-attacked and actually won combat, and Eldrad's unit broke and ran (no longer Fearless without the Phoenix Lord).

My Wolf Lord on my left flank charged and wiped out his Storm Guardians. He now had only one unit on my right flank left, as well as a unit of Fire Dragons over there with the Phoenix Lord. I tank shocked Eldrad's already-broken unit and it ran some more.

I shot the bejeezus out of the Fire Lord, and some failed Look Out Sirs combined with Rends saw him go down. I now had two strike squads and two razorbacks threatening his backfield objective on the right, and one Strike Squad flat-outing towards his objective on my left.

The next turn Eldrad rallied, and his fire dragons shot up something, maybe a Razorback.

I think I assaulted his fire dragons, the Storm Guarians getting wiped out by shooting. Eldrad's unit got shot to pieces by everything in my army, and the game ended after I wiped out his last model in close combat on the right side (again, I think a Fire Dragon).

I scored all four objectives.

Third Round was against Epidemius and Plague Marines. He had Epidemius and a unit of Plague-Bearers, 2 medium sized squads of Plague-marked Terminators, 4 Plague Marines squads, one in a Rhino, 2 Vindicators, one 3 man Obliterator, a Plague Prince with wings (from C:SM). This was long-table deployment.

I chose to go second IIRC. I deployed outside of his 30" Vindi move and shoot range, but so that if he moved forward, I could move and shoot back at him. We played the Scouring, and I ended up with 8 points of objectives on my side (3, 3, 2), and seven on his side (4, 2, 1).

This was mostly just a slug fest as I shot up his Vindicators at range to start. I was really stupid in this match, I set up my Strike Squads to extend Warp Quake bubbles across my lines but forgot to cast it on my first turn. He deep struck in right on top of me and did some damage but not as much as he could/should have. I shot up then charged and destroyed one unit of Terminators. I put some shots into the other as well. This was the turn where I completely forgot to shoot about 1/3 of my army which was on the far table side, since I forgot they were there after I moved them. I hate long table deployments. ><

His Terminators were able to charge and wipe out my Dreadnought with a Chainfist, and destroyed one of my Strike squads as well in a combi-charge. I kepty plinking away at his Obliterators with

Plasmaguns and Psycannons and wore them down over time. His Daemon Prince stayed out of LoS behind a hill, I think hoping for a good opportunity to come out and eat something. This wasn't a bad play, as the moment he came out I blasted him down. I also ended up killing the other unit of Terminators mostly with shooting.

So he ended up with 2 points to my 10 at the end.

I went into the fourth round against my buddy Kingpin who is basically my Kryptonite. He's just a plain better player than I am, and I really have a tough time against him. He was playing his Imperial Guard with allied Space Wolves.

Command Squad with 4 Plasmaguns, Chimera
Platoom Command with Meltaguns, Chimera
Veterans with Meltaguns, Chimera
4 Infantry Squads, Lascannon, Power Axe

Griffon Siege Mortar
Leman Russ Demolisher, Lascannon
Leman Russ Lascannon

Rune Priest (takes reroll power)

Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Rhino
Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Rhino

Might be missing something but I think that's most of it.

This was kill points with Dawn of War deployment. The TO decided it would be a good idea to use the War Zone trait that adds an extra 6" to all weapon ranges, indicating that he thought this was the least unbalanced trait and wanted to try it for fun.


Anyways, this actually encouraged me to deploy kind of silly with my army and to go first. Under normal circumstances I would have chosen to deploy second.

So that was dumb, and even with the funky weapons rules really worked against me. The funky weapons rules just meant it was not an auto-loss.

So of course Kingpin sets up in an extreme refused flank castle, with his Griffon, his Russes, his blob, his Rhinos and his company command (there was another Chimera back there too... not sure who they were).

So we just proceed to shoot the crap out of each other, with almost 100% of the shots both directions going through 4+ ruins to provide lots of cover saves. I managed to immobilize THREE of my Razorbacks out of range of his army, which was just phenominal.

Except for his Demolisher, which hucked shot after shot into my Psyfledread in the right corner, standing in the open, and just couldn't do a damned thing to it. That was kind of ridiculous.

Anyways, I think I was in the lead kill points wise through most of the game. Time was called in the fifth, and Kingpin had the lead, I believe 10-8. A sixth round might have changed things, but it's hard to say. We did play through the sixth round, and at the end of the sixth I had a 5 point swing that took me into the lead, HOWEVER he had been playing his 5th round as if it were his last so he had exposed his warlord unnecessarily. It's hard to say. In the end, Kingpin won (AGAIN!) lol. Jerk.

Lesson learned by me was, get my last two Razorbacks built and painted so I can run the list properly, and always go second against armies that will try to castle unless there is no terrain. Oh, and buy Dozer blades. They might not look efficient on paper, but I find out over and over and over again that with limited range guns you can't afford to go around terrain, and having an 85 point Razorback taken out of the fight because you rolled a "1" really sucks.

SO I came in second, got no prize support but ended up buying the new edition of Descent anyways because, well, I was in the mood to spend some of my accumulated store credit.

Feels good to be back in the hobby, and I'm excited to get this army "truly" finished, painted and ready to go. And I hope that ultimately Dark Angels will end up being better allies than Space Wolves, since my stuff is all painted up as a Dark Angels successor chapter anyways.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fuck it Robin Cruddace... I Give Up

I can't do it. I tried and tried, but I cannot win consistently with Tyranids against any kind of decent armies or players. I'm giving up on them for a bit. I thought my love for the models could sustain me, but it just can't. No range, no survivability, no hitting power, no nothing. Just a waste of a slot in the release schedule of 2010, and a waste of dozens of hours of my time and energy.

GW, if you want me to ever spend another dollar on these broken pieces of shit you call Tyranids, you'd better give them a White Dwarf treatment or something. I'm done trying to bang my head against that fucking wall.