Thursday 27 February 2014

Battle against Sim's Dark Eldar

For my birthday, my wife took me to Warhammer World, because she is awesome. She even agreed to play me at 40K, a game for which her tolerance and attention span is limited. She does, however, have some of her new toys assembled, such as her Razorwing Jetfighter.

We picked the Tau outpost board they have there. It is apparently the "Tau Research Station on Vigos". The full board is 6 feet by 8 feet, so we decided to use half and rolled up using it length wise, which worked very nicely.

We decided to play objectives, which Sim had never done before, and we ended up with three - two were placed near the bunkers...

And a third was over by a broken down wall. The research station itself was "off the battle field", so we were mostly fighting over some bunkers and through jungles. We avoided using Mysterious Terrain and Mysterious Objectives rules, because Sim is still learning the game. We agreed the bunkers were a medium building which were dilapidated, thus AV12, but because of that massive all around vision slit, the entire squad could fire out of them.

Sim deployed first. She put her Kabalite Warrior squad with a dark lance in the bunker, her Wych squad with her Warlord forward on her right flank, with the other squad further back in cover.

I had my Hydra on the right behind the bunker with a squad in the bunker, my Manticore at the back, with the Veterans up front and centre to try and get to the objective with a Command HQ in a Chimera, and my other Infantry squad over to the right.

The Warhammer World tables really show you the sort of awesome atmospheric shots you can get on a fully detailed table. Here, the Hydra looks down the field, catching glimpses of Dark Eldar infantry moving through the trees.

The water was being treated as open ground for the sake of everyone's sanity. Here, the Veterans cautiously advance on an unoccupied bunker.

The squad on the right flank had a good field of fire and could see Wyches in the distant tree line.

Sim got a good roll to run her girls forward into the woods.

And the other squad sprinted forward on the other flank as the Kabalite Warriors provided some ineffectual covering fire.

My Hydra had a lucky first round of shooting, with everything being a snap shot, yet still, everything hitting, rattling the bunker the Kabalites were sheltering in.

The Wyches continue to advance through the jungle...

Meanwhile, the Veterans nervously advance up the field.

The right flank squad also nervously advanced on the objective, aware that the Wyches were coming

The Razorwing Jetfighter screamed onto the table, but was unlucky, failing to cause any serious damage to the command Chimera.

In turn, the Valkyrie roared onto the table and caught the Jetfighter in a crossfire between it and the Hydra.

The end result was not pretty for the Jetfighter!

However, the Wyches got close enough to the command Chimera to wreck it, causing the command HQ to have to bail out.

Meanwhile, the Veterans had gotten just a little too close to the Wyches for their own safety!

And the surviving Wyches, whittled down by fire as they had run into battle, charged the Veterans.

Even in their weakened state, the Wyches had enough attacks to turn the entire Veteran squad into a fine red mist several times over!

Shortly afterwards, the game ended with me controlling enough objectives to claim the win. The battle size was a little too large for Sim to play all the way through uninterrupted, so if we play something this big again, it will definitely be with a lunch or painting break in the middle for the sake of her sanity!

The gorgeous tables were definitely a treat, and once I'm done with the Hobby Progress Challenge, I think that getting the gaming table looking awesome will be one of the next big projects.

Monday 24 February 2014

Moving backwards - problems with a clown

Last week, while I was painting my first Joker model and experimenting with his colour scheme, I had a dreadful realisation that my preparation wasn't up to scratch. Here's the model in question.

As you can see, the effect I'm going for is basing him in an off white / bone colour, then doing all the painting with washes. The downside is that any failure with preparation or mould lines is a big, big problem.

The red lines circle the two problems. An unfortunate casting defect which looks almost like a fabric rip (which I actually mistook for a fabric tear during prep, which is why it was left). I have been thinking hard about it, and I just can't leave it - so back to preparation he goes for some Liquid Green Stuff first aid in the hope of salvaging things!

Wish me luck...

Friday 21 February 2014

1750 point battle against Grey Knights - another attempt at Storm Troopers

So, back in January, I arranged for a 1,750 point game against ClauseIV1918's Grey Knights. I decided I wanted to keep trying Deep Striking Storm Troopers, so I used the same list I had earlier in the month with a couple of extra units to round it out. Meanwhile, ClauseIV1918 was trying out Cypher to see how he worked.

Knowing that a lot of Deep Striking would likely be coming my way, I spread out a large number of conscripts on the right flank, while I sent the main infantry platoon up the centre to capture the Relic. As my opponent had no fliers at all, the Hellhound ruthlessly used the Hydra as mobile cover.

Here you can see the Relic hidden away on the first floor of the ruin, with a servo skull floating ominously, stopping me from sneaking any infiltrators up onto the objective itself. And what's that behind the building?

Ah, Cypher has cheerfully persuaded a unit of Grey Knight Terminators that clearly he's a senior Inquisitor, and perhaps they'd like to infiltrate onto the battlefield with him?

Meanwhile, my Ratlings decided that being Very Far Away was an excellent idea, with a nice view of plenty of heavily armoured targets to put holes in.

A Grey Knight Techmarine with an orbital strike relay hid in a building with some unit or other - which I never really saw much of apart from hideously inaccurate pie plates missing me for most of the game...

Battle commenced and the Terminators rushed forward to grab the Relic.

Heavy fire left my long ranged firepower distinctly unwell.

A lot of heavy firepower was out of commission one way or another in the first round of shooting. This was not good news for the Guard!

The Ratling Snipers noticed that Cypher had accidentally left himself the nearest model to them, so helpfully shot him in the back, although sadly, not fatally.

The conscripts advanced up the field, intending to provide some level of distraction from the main part of the operation.

The main operation: the infantry platoon, supported by the Hellhound advance on the Relic.

Already snap firing most of its guns, the Hydra roared forward to act as mobile cover for the more dangerous flame tank.

Things quickly started looking a little dicey as Terminators teleported onto the battle field.

They were quickly joined by a power armoured Grey Knight squad.

What's worse than Terminators?

Terminators with added Cypher. He ran out of the unit with the Relic and went to join the Deep Striking squad.

The Demolisher, which has previously taken a high toll of Grey Knight casualties, was singled out for particular attention, and was wrecked.

Storm Bolters and Psycannons ripped into the infantry platoon tasked with capturing the Relic, costing the squads both their sergeants, so the Commissars assumed command in the hope of salvaging the operation.

At this point I played my ace in the hole - two large squads of Storm Troopers grav-chuted onto the battlefield to wreak havoc and mayhem. Sadly, I had completely forgotten that Inquisitor Coteaz has a really rather extensive spy network, which, among other things, allows him to "expect" you. And shoot you. Along with his unit, which in this case was a squad full of Servitors with Plasma Cannons. Two Storm Troopers, one from each squad, survived the hail of plasma, and both broke and fled for my board edge.

The conscripts lined up to shoot up the Terminators, but despite buckets of dice, failed to have any impact at all.

The survivors of the infantry squad, undeterred, headed forward. They were joined by their Lieutenant, who I'd handily forgotten to deploy and now had some ground to catch up.

One of the Deep Striking Grey Knights units finished off the Manticore, and started eyeing up the Hydra and Hellhound's rear armour thoughtfully...

Yet more reinforcements arrived amid the fleeing Storm Troopers.

A typical moment in the game - my Hydra took aim at a Dreadnought....

Everything hits (with snap fire, it only hits on 6s)...

For no damage. Hopefully a few more rolls like this will convince ClauseIV1918 that his dice aren't that bad.

At this point, I demonstrated why no-one likes the Hellhound. Using its Torrent ability, it neatly slotted a jet of flame through the open door of the ruin, cremating a terminator and the good part of a Strike Squad.

Sadly, this wasn't enough to stop the Terminators grabbing hold of the Relic and starting to withdraw back to their own lines.

The command chimera was blown to pieces by the concentrated fire of the Grey Knights, manfully ignoring the flash lights being shone in their eyes by the cowering conscripts.

The survivors of the Chimera explosion were swiftly and effectively gunned down.

The surviving Guard advance on the ruin, perhaps unaware that it was already gone.

And the sole surviving Grey Knight Terminator escapes with the Relic!

This was definitely a good fun game, even though I was comprehensively thrashed. Cypher was a grade A pain to deal with, especially as things like Shrouded started to come into play later in the game. My blundering error with the grav-chuting Storm Troopers which saw them all evaporated will definitely not be repeated.

One of the things I am going to want to start thinking about is coming up with an army list which actually has a relatively solid plan for dealing with each of the rulebook missions. At present, Relic is one of the weaker points, as short of air dropping a squad out of the Valkyrie onto it, most of my units have trouble making the distance to reach it before the enemy.