Monday, May 31, 2010

May 2010 Painting Points

1 Bronzino's Galloper Gun Cannon (1 model)

Dogs of War Crossbowmen (9 models)

Horrors (2 models)
Daemonette (1 model)

Points Earned in May 2010: 13 Points
Total Points in 2010: 28 Points
Total Points in 2009: 23 Points

If you would like to see the original post about Painting Points, check out the following link.

Special Thanks to Lone Pilgrim for introducing such a fun idea to the 40K blogsphere.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tournament Tuesdays: UG&G Aftermath Part Two

Now that I have had some time to reflect upon the event, my general impression of it is positive. The scenarios were clearly cut & paste jobs of my old scenario sheets that I used for K’Wars and the KGC. This made me giggle and was a good reminder of how past efforts still impact the community today. Moving past the bit of nostalgia, I found the scenarios to be ok, with some strange deployments and special rules. In particular, the second scenario made Ernie’s army way to strong, as he had FNP ‘Ard Boyz and Boyz w/ 4+ cover saves and the ability to charge in the 2 turn with foot slogging orks. The third scenarios special rules also had a huge impact on the game and should have been done differently or limited to only the first turn. My advice here is to avoid using a lot of special rules or trying to be overly creative with deployment zones.

The gaming area of UG&G has a lot of character about it. The numerous posters, flyers and shelves with board games truly give the store an atmosphere of being a ‘home’ for gamers. The problem is that the gaming area is very small and can barely hold 4 4’x4’ tables. 4’x4’ tables are great for combat patrols and other small scale games, but 1500 points per side doesn’t work as well. The small gaming space also means that accidents are more likely, as in the case of two of my bloodletters getting swept to the floor and broken. This can happen anywhere though, so I am not complaining, just pointing out that one needs to be prepared to game in such tight quarters.

When it came to the TO, he was a very nice guy and a pleasure to meet. He was very laid back and casual, the kind of guy who makes an event feel more welcoming to new players. The only suggestion I would make to him is to stick to the posted schedule and not let things run over as much as they did during the event. There were only six teams (11 players plus the judge), so clock management and such should not be a big deal. Again though, the TO was such a nice guy and he seemed a little new to the role, so it wasn’t a big deal.

My last thought is that the scoring system could use a little work. The tournament was clearly geared towards winning games, but an award for painting would be nice. It would also be nice to see the final scores and know where our team placed. Since this is a casual event, I am not ultimately worried how I did, but it is nice to know.

At the end of the day, I had a good time at UG&G and will try to make another tournament in the future. Due to the size of the store, I would suggest it sticks with combat patrols and other small scale tournaments and not try to run full size games in the available space. I would love to go back there for a combat patrol tournament* or kill team tournament, so I hope they heed this advise. In the end, it was a good time and I thank the TO and store owner for running the event and giving me a day out to play.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fantasy Thursdays: Ogre Maneater W.I.P.

Wanted to show off this conversion since it has me really excited about painting up the unit for my DoW. Before settling on doing some conversions, I debated about whether or not to just buy some of the Araby Maneaters. In the end I decided to do conversions since it would be alot cheaper and also meet the converion requirements for Vanguard.

Vanguard Scenarios: Chapter One

One of the more controversial aspects of Vanguard is the fact that the scenarios for the tournament are posted well in advance. Knowledge of the scenarios beforehand in conjunction with the tournament not having any sort of composition system can be a recipe for disaster. If this was any other event, I may be more concerned, but the NIMGC make a point of advertising their events as casual fun and expecting folks who attend to treat them as such. They also have a solid crew of judges who will work hard to keep the event fun for everyone.

Upon first reading the scenario, I did have a few questions, mostly about the bonus conditions. Now that my questions have been answered, I feel pretty good about it. I like that the ‘Historic Landmark’ rule is being used as it adds a little flavor to the scenario without being an overly burdensome special rule.

Chapter 1: The Old Hill

Battlefield: Terrain is preset. Hills are open ground. All Forests, buildings, and hills are considered large target sized: a large target behind an object may not be targeted except by a unit on high ground.

Game Length: Games will last Six turns or until time is called.
Who goes First: Deployment and who goes first are normal per BRB. Pg. 3.

Special Rules: the Hill in the center of the board counts as a Historic Landmark (BRB pg. 100). The hill should be in center of the board so remember for results measure from center of board and not from edges of hill.

Victory Conditions: Standard Victory Points per BRB pg. 102
If you Concede opponent gets full battle points

Battle Point Modifiers:
+ 1 BP The enemies largest point unit is destroyed or fleeing at end of game.
-1 BP None of your units have charged an opponent unit outside of your deployment zone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Wednesday Peek

This Week's Peek...

Last Week's Peek...

Last Week's Bonus Peek...

This Week's Peek...

Note: There will be no Wednesday Peek next week due to the Memorial Holiday. Check back on June 9th for the answer to this week's peek.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tournament Tuesdays: UG&G Aftermath - Part One

Last Saturday I participated in a team tournament at Unique Gifts and Games in Grayslake, Illinois. Overall, I had a good time, but do have to admit that I am very rusty when it comes to playing in tournaments.

The first game was against an ork & imperial guard team. The ork player was using the biker special character and a lot of boyz and trucks. The IG player was fielding a leman russ, penal squad, a big squad of ratlings and a platoon. Overall, a decent mix between the WAAC of the ork player and the well rounded force of the IG player.

The tournament was using PST format missions. For this game, the primary mission was to hold the center objective the longest. The secondary mission was killing the opposing team’s highest costing unit. The tertiary mission was standard kill points. The deployment zones for the mission were 24” x 24” triangles starting from opposing corners. Terrain was symmetrical; with each table half have two ruins/cliffs that were ~12” from each table edge. There was also one ruin in the center of the table.

We lost the starting roll, so the opposing team deployed first. Ernie deployed his boyz, ‘ard boyz, and mek on the ground and his lootas on top of the cliff in our d-zone. The opposing team lined up all of their trucks and while the IG platoon and ratlings were positioned on and around their cliff.

When it came time to deploy my daemons, I broke up my primary squad to be the horrors and daemonettes, with my secondary being the bloodletters and flamers. The chaos gods decided to screw with me and I ended up rolling for my secondary squad to come in. This quickly became the theme of the game for me.

To sum up the game, Ernie could only hold up so long with me being unable to get any units on the board. Worse, when units finally became available, or in the case of the flamers on turn one, I ended up rolling really high on the scatter and being forced to roll for a deep strike mishap. In the end, Ernie was torn apart by the combined forces while my stuff got picked off as it arrived. Not a good start to the tournament.

Our second game was against an IG/Tau team. They were designed to sit back and fire a lot of shots. There were also heavily geared to deal with mech armies. When they saw that we had no vehicles in our army, they joked about how their various railguns and lascannons were going to be pretty useless.

The second mission was about getting into the enemy’s deployment zone and killing their commanders. The problem with the mission wasn’t the goals; it was the special rules and deployment zones. Each team got a different deployment zone (see diagram) and since we won the coin toss, we selected the spearhead d-zone. This meant that Ernie could start at the center of the board with his orks. What made matters worse was that each team got to select two universal special rules from the book and apply them to two units on the team. Upon review of the options, we decided to give Ernie’s ‘ard boyz FNP and his regular boyz stealth since they were travelling with a KFF wielding mek.

The winners for me this game were the horrors and flamers. On turn one I deployed my horrors and bloodletters within a few inches of the IG players main line. Of the two units, my opponent was more concerned with the bloodletters and wasted his first turn wiping out the squad. With my horrors mostly unharmed, I had a solid launching point for my other units as they arrived in turn 2 and 3. By the end of turn 3, I had mostly wiped out the IG army and was now chasing a few broadsides. Also at this point, Ernie was making his way across the board to my side to finish what remained.

If there was one thing that I could take from this game, it was the fact we ignored the hammerhead. Before the tournament, Ernie and I discussed in length how we would deal with armour as it was sort of our Achilles heel. The reality in this game though was that the hammerhead simply couldn’t do enough against Ernie, so we just left it and focused on the missions.

The last game was against an Eldar and space marine team. The Eldar army was clearly WAAC, but since it was the judge playing it, I didn’t mind as much. The space marine army was pretty simple, so like the first game, the combination of the two armies made for a balanced mix.

Of the missions played, I feel this was the worse one with regards to the rules. Looking back, I think my dislike for it has to do with how they impacted my army. The special rule for the mission required all deep striking units to scatter, even when in range of an icon or similar. This suddenly meant that 50 points of equipment in my army was useless and that even lucky rolls to hit were meaningless. If it was only the first turn of the game, I don’t think this rule would have been as bad.

When it came to the game, we did decent. The Eldar player was fielding an avatar, two wraithlords, and two guardian squads with conceal and platforms. The space marine player was fielding two 10 man marine squads with missile launchers and melta, a dread, an attack bike, and the Salamanders special character. When it was over, I had a unit of bloodletters on an objective, Ernie had a couple of orks, and the marine player had his one marine squad, character and dread sitting on the other objective.

At the end of the day, Ernie and I were 1-1-1. Not bad considering this was our first tournament of the year. I wish we could find out what our total score was at the end, but nothing has been posted yet. Of the armies being fielded, most had unpainted units and I can proudly say that we were the best looking team on the table. Shame there was no best appearance award!

Tomorrow: Final Thoughts and Feedback

Monday, May 24, 2010

40K Radio: End of the Show

40K Radio has officially announced that they are calling it quits. You can read it all here.

Based on what I saw on the site, it looks like personal matters plus the usual internet trolls are the cause of the show ending. 40K Radio was never one of my favorite podcasts, but I hate to read anyone being threatened over a stupid podcast. Bottomline, the community will miss the show and it is a shame that it had to end the way it did.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Rival List for 05/22/2010

10. Bay Hammer
A couple eldar titans.

9. Santa Cruz Warhammer
Tauros Venator - Nice finished model and a very cool group shot.

8. Enter the Nurgling
A am really digging this conversion, especially since I don't see alot of green stuff work on it. Nice use of bitz...

7. Craftworld Lansing
Its a battle report. Its feedback on round one of 'Ard Boyz. It was a good read from a new blog.

6. Blackjack & Hookers
A decent breakdown of the Space Wolf HQ choices.

5. Blood & Blades
A pretty good Brettonian general on a hippogrif. I like the use of yellow and the skin tone of the mount.

4. The Winds of Magic
A bunch of short guys that like to drink. They must be from Wisconsin.

3. Gurer - The Blog
I still remember a time when orcs were pig headed humanoids and goblins were just lame (I preferred Kobolds). These models bring me back to those days. I am also really digging the skin tones on these models and think they would be a good choice for my fiends of slaanesh. Not GW models, but still excellent work.

2. The Lair of the Breviks
The blue on this model makes me drool. So does krispy kremes and red heads, but that is different. The LotB is just one of those sites that consistently produces some great stuff.

1. Realm of Lead Addiction
Since the post is this week, I decided to include it in the list even though the models were completed earlier in the year. Fantastic looking dwarves!

Honorable Mention

Little Green Monsters
Some amazing green stuff work.

Note: There will no Rival List next week due to the holiday. The Rival List will be back in two weeks!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Preparing for UG&G Team Tournament - Part Three

"Get out on the floor
Do things to make 'em adore you
Show 'em why you were born
And put a little mustard on it

Don't tell me what time it is now
I know what time it is now
It's show time!
Show time!"
(It's Showtime, Electric Six, 2007)

We are less than 24 hours from the UG&G Team Tournament. At this point, I am doing some last minute touch-ups on models and a display base. I am also trying to get a good nights sleep so I can fully enjoy a day of gaming.

Photo from a recent battle with Warlord Ernie's Orks

Nar-Duruk-Mek's Warband (aka Ernie's Orks)
Big Mek w/ KFF & Cybork Body (95 pts)
25 Boyz w/ Nob (185 pts)
27 Ard Boyz w/ Nob (305 pts)
10 Lootas (150 pts)

60+ orks means that we have two very solid troop choices for holding objectives. These two units are even better with a KFF providing each unit with a decent cover save. I wish I had time to paint up a Soul Grinder as I would love for it to be parked with that KFF.

Looking at the overall combination of units between our two armies, the first thing folks will notice is that we have no fast attack or heavy support choices. 63% of our combined points are spent on troops, while less than 20% is used on HQ models. This should go a long way towards helping us get higher than average sportsmanship scores. I say this because most people tend to score down armies that have the "hard" stuff.

The next thing I notice is that we have stuff to deal with pretty much all types of armies. I have units that can deal with elite units, while Ernie has the stuff for hordes. At the same time, neither of our lists is pigeon holed into one "style" as I can manage hordes and Ernie can crack elites, we each just do it differently. This means that unless we face an optimized team that is a one trick pony, we should have a fair chance at winning each game.

Next Tuesday: Aftermath!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

8th Edition: Already Having an Impact

Wanted to do a brief follow-up from Monday’s post about 8th edition and how it will impact the size of games. Since that post, I have been checking out tournaments that are set within a few months of the new edition. Upon review, I believe some of my concerns about how the community embraces the new rules may be coming to fruition.

As an example, the Blood in the Sand* WHFB tournament in September is considering whether or not to raise the army sizes to 2500 points. Not a huge increase, but it does have an instant impact, so I thought it would be a good example for this discussion.

The first impact any point increase is going to have is to require players to field more core models. In this example, players will be required to field an additional 62.5 points. Depending on the army, this could mean adding one or two models (OK), or it could mean adding 10+ models (skaven, goblins). Depending on your preferred army, this may not comes as a shock, or burden, but it is something to consider.

The next impact is that players are allowed an addition 62.5 points in heroes and rare choices. Like with the core requirements, the leap in points is not a lot, but it still allows for players to slip in one more magic item or low cost rare. While I doubt this change will have a huge impact, it is something to consider before making the change.

The reason I would ask fellow TOs to refrain from raising the army sizes of their events is quite simple, we don’t know everything yet. There is not a lot of risk in playing at 2250 points or less using the new composition rules because they limit the units most people would identify as the source of the current editions problems. Any major increase in points in will reopen the door to those units and combinations; it may also create the potential for new combinations not possible under the old system.

The other reason we should refrain from making any sweeping changes to the format of our events is the potential impact on our target audience. The Nova Open is in the difficult position of being held approximately five weeks after the release of 8th edition. During one of the recent posts about the event, the author implied that registration for WHFB was lagging. As I commented on the blog, I am sure there is a correlation between the date of the event and the launch of the new edition.

In the case of the Nova Open, they are taking some excellent steps to alleviate concerns caused by the new edition. If I understand correctly, folks registered before its release can get a refund if they will be unable to attend due to the new rules impacting their army. It also sounds like appearance scores/requirements/restrictions will be loosened up to accommodate folks needing to make last minute changes. In general, I think folks are going to have reservations about attending any ‘big’ events until the new rules are shaken out, but it is good to see one event taking steps to make the transition less painful.

Let me conclude by saying that I am still 100% backing the launch of a new edition. The potential is simply too high for me to be anything but optimistic about it. I am glad that events are moving quickly to embrace the new edition, but I would advise them to be cautious of making any radical changes to the general format of events as they run under 7th edition. Until the community has had enough time to fully digest the new edition, I think it is best to embrace the new rules as they are and work later on making them uniquely ours.

*I am considering whether or not I can attend this event, so I am not implying this event is a bad one for raising the army sizes, just an example of the reaction I anticipated happening based on the new requirements.

Fantasy Thursdays: Preparing for Vanguard - Part Four

Since deciding on Dogs of War for Vanguard, I have worked with the intention of building a gunline style army. My finished unit of DoW crossbowmen is the first actual regiment that actually fits my intentions. Before working on them I debated between doing them or Braganza’s Beseigers. In the end, I chose the generic unit because I had a complete kit and couldn’t settle on a color scheme for the RoR.

Before discussing how I painted them, I have to go on record and state that upon completion of the regiment, I have really come to hate the Empire crossbowmen kit. I think what bothers me about it is some of the bizarre design decisions that were made with the models. One example would be the models that have bones tied to them. I understand that WFB is a gritty and dark place, but the bones were out of place and sculpted such that removing them would be a chore. Another thing I dislike about the kit is the general goofy appearance of empire troops. The medieval jumpsuits are not my thing and I would have preferred a different style.

When it came to painting this unit, I decided to paint it to align with Vespero’s regiment. I knew going in that this unit would be a bit more colorful because of the feathers and ribbons, but I still wanted the general look to fit with my other core unit. The challenge painting the unit came from having to make decisions on how to paint certain things that were not on other models finished for the army. The crossbows are one example of this challenge. It took me a bit of time to determine a color scheme that I liked and was average to recreate. Overall, I think the regiment turned out fine, but I could have done better.

When it comes to the battlefield, this unit’s role is pretty obvious. My strategies are never complex, so I plan on setting them up to take advantage of their 30” range and just prioritize targets. I expect them to panic easily, even with the paymaster near, so I will need to have other units nearby to protect them from the approaching enemy.

In Three Weeks: Bronzino's Galloper Guns

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Peek...

This Week's Peek...

Bonus Peek...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tournament Tuesdays: Preparing for the UG&G Team Tournament – Part Two

With only four days remaining until the UG&G Team Tournament, my list has been finalized and I am making some last minute updates to secure as many painting points as possible (even though painting is only worth a maximum of 5 points).


I decided to be a bit lazy and field two heralds for my HQ. The reason I am calling myself lazy is that I did not convert a herald of Tzeentch as I originally planned and am going to just use a painted green horror. Since a HoT comes with daemonic gaze, I decided to purchase ‘We are Legion’, ‘Master of Sorcery’ and ‘Bolt of Tzeentch’. This means that when he lands, he can support the unit of horrors while also taking a crack at any armour in his vicinity. (95 points)

My second herald is Slaanesh’s favorite pole dancer, the Masque. Before I knew I was fielding a HoT, I knew I was fielding the Masque. The fact that she can fire three pavanes a turn means that I can really play with the positioning of enemy forces. She is also a decent hth character that can provide some clean-up work when needed. (100 points)


My only elite choice is a minimum size unit of flamers. Their template attack is nasty if I can accurately deepstrike. In general, these guys will be used to deal with anything that has a combination of high toughness and armour saves. (105 points)


As I mentioned in part one, I am fielding a 10 model unit of bloodletters. These are my shock troopers for dealing with marines and similar MEQ models. They are also my back-up unit with regards to carrying an icon and securing a landing zone for my other units. (190 points)

Next is a unit of horrors that I also mentioned in last week's post. The purpose of this unit is to arrive in the first wave and provide support to future units via the icon. The unit can also deliver quite a few shots, so it can target horde units that have lower armour saves and toughness. (188 points)

My last troop choice is a small unit of daemonettes. These ladies are meant to provide the Masque with some protection from shooting attacks. They don't have the numbers to be effective in CC on the assault, but could be a fair support or mop-up unit. (70 points)

The Plan

Since I am fielding daemons, I have to consider how I will divide my army at the start of each game. Typically, I expect the Masque and HoT to be embedded into the troop choices of their particular deity. I do think though that the HoT may be held back at times, just to give me an extra shot at a tank or MEQ unit. All things considered, my default waves will be:

Primary Wave
Horrors w/ Herald of Tzeentch
Daemonettes w/ Masque

Secondary Wave

My logic for the two waves is to use the primary wave units to secure a landing zone for the secondary wave. The horrors with a higher invulnerable save have typically survived a turn of shooting, so I feel they are the best choice for the first wave. If the chaos gods spit on me though, the bloodletters also carry an icon, so I can still secure the arrival of later daemon units.

On Friday: Ernie’s Orks and Final Plans.

Tournament Tuesdays: UG&G Team Tournament Rules Update

3 Games
2 People Per Team
750 Points Per Person, Limited Force Organization (1 HQ, 2-4 Troops, 0-1 Elites, 0-1 Fast Attack, 0-1 Heavy Support, 0-1 Floater)

Max Number of Teams: 10
Entrance Fee: $5.00 per person ($10.00 Per Team)
Prizes: Best Overall ($40.00 Gw Product per team member, Best General ($25.00 GW Product per team member), Best Sportsman ($25.00 GW Product per team member)

Tournament Rules
1. You must use the same army for all three games.
2. Warhammer 40k 5th Edition rules will be in effect.
3. All models do not have to be painted, but paint scores will be factored in to the overall results.
4. Tournaments are for fun and poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated
5. You can only use one force organization chart per player.
6. WYSIWYG will be in effect. This is up to the judge's discretion.
7. No Imperial Armor units or Lists of any kind.
8. You must bring all the materials needed to play including: dice, measuring tapes, templates, models, and any rules that you will be using.
9. Your and your teammate must bring at least 2 legible copies of your army lists.
10. Jungle fighting, cities of death and VDR rules will NOT be used.
11. Points not used may NOT be given to your teammate. Each player will be given a 750 point limit and may no pass it.

Max Points: 65 Points
Battle: 33 Points ( Max 11/game, 3 layer format)
Sportsmanship: 18 (Max 6/game)
Appearance: 5 (3/judge, 2/opponents)
Tie Breakers are as follows: Total points-Wins-Head to Head-Sportsmanship-Paint-Judge's Decision.

Sign In: 11:30 AM
Dice Roll: 12:00 Noon
Games will be 1 hour, 45 minutes in length with a 10 minute break in between.

Unique Gifts and Games
82 Center St.
Grayslake, IL 60030

Monday, May 17, 2010

8th Edition = Better for Smaller Games

It is no secret that I like to play my games of WFB at smaller point sizes. The amount of time I can invest in a game, plus the reduced numbers of models needed to play are the reasons I prefer games around 1000 points. With a new edition only two months away, I have been curious as to how the new rules would impact my preferred game size. I am here to say that if the more solid rumors are true, I believe that the new edition will make for better low point size games.

The first reason I think games will be better in 8th edition is the new composition format. Players will be required to field a minimum of 25% core choices. They are also restricted with regards to the amount of points that can be used on rare units and heroes. Units like Ancient Stegadons, Ghorgons, and such cost more than the rare limit (250 points in a 1000 point game), and thus cannot be fielded. My hope is with this restriction, players will be inspired to consider rare choices that I do not see as often.

The next reason why 8th edition will be good for small games is the changes to the magic phase. The average number of power dice a player will have each turn is 7, with the opposing player having 3.5 dispel dice. Flooding the field with spellcasters will no longer be a solid strategy, so players are going to need to rely more on troops. The rumors around new spells also seem to imply that more of them will focus on defensive and buff type results instead of offensive output. This means that spellcasters become more beneficial when there are more friendly units for them to target with their spells.

Lastly, random charge ranges and other changes to movement should make for playing on 4’x4’ sized tables more balanced. I say this because in my experience, 1000 point games tend to play better on a 4’x4’ table. The problem with playing on a table this size is that movement becomes critical, with units that have a higher threat range dominating most games. Now a unit’s charge range is not set in stone, so there is an increased risk setting up the charge.

When it comes to concerns regarding the new edition, I would say that all of mine are based on what the community does with the new rule set. Among my concerns is how many events will push for higher point sizes just to accommodate demands by players to bring more of their “big’ heroes and rares. My fear is that any push towards more points will have a negative effect because of the new core requirements. To this end, I would challenge other TOs to consider exploring smaller size games (2000 points or less) as an alternative to the current trends.

In conclusion, I can officially say that I am looking forward to the new edition. While I have read a lot about how people are worried that the new edition will force people to play bigger games (~3000 points), I am happy to say that those statements are a load of crap. The new system is really looking to be truly scalable, with games at any point size being more balanced than under the current edition. What this means is that getting started, or building a new army for that matter, shouldn’t be as overwhelming as it was in the past. It could also mean that the “standard” size games will not increase in point sizes, but instead remain as they are or decrease because of the new core requirements. Whether or not that will happen is ultimately up to the gaming community.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Around the Net: Daemons of Chaos

Per the email sent out by GW today:

In August, the immortal legions of the Ruinous Powers - the Chaos Daemons - will
pour forth once more from the Realm of Chaos to drown the Warhammer world and the galaxy of the 41st Millennium beneath a tide of blood and destruction. Even now, mystics are assailed by nightmarish visions of horror and death, the
fractured minds of madmen echo with sibilant whispers, and the doomed clutch
symbols of their weak gods closer to them.

A host of incredible new Citadel miniatures for both Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Daemons armies and Warhammer Daemons of Chaos armies will soon be released upon mortal battlefields. All will be revealed in July here on the Games Workshop website and in August's issue of White Dwarf magazine, so keep an eye out for more information.

Images taken from Warseer without permission.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Rival List for 05/15/2010

10. Warpstone Pile
A very interesting post about the impact charging to play has had on a store. My personal view is that a store has every right to charge, and should if it will help the business. I think alot of times people forget that providing the space and staff costs a business money, so if they are not generating revenue from sales, they need to generate it somehow.

9. Massive Voodoo
A nice tutorial on how to paint blood.

8. Maunderings of a 40k Gamer
Really like the color scheme on these genestealers. No so sure about the 'My Little Pony' avatar. (just kidding!)

7. The Dead Tau Project
I really love reviews that focus on a single unit. Nix from the DTP blog discusses his love of eldar warp spiders while providing a nice analysis of them over the various editions.

6. Collegia Titanica
A great review of the latest IA book. The description of the Mek Boyz list makes me want to start one, but I think this is one temptation I can resist.

5. The Glorious Works
Interesting special character rules accompanied by a nicely painted model.

4. Chuck's Brettonians
Cool terrain piece.

3. Noeste's Painting and Modelling Blog
The source lighting on the powerfist is incredible. The red is deep and sharp. Great work that makes me wish I didn't sell my space hulk terminators.

2. Sun Crushers
A very original marine color scheme.

1. Watching Paint Dry
Hot Damn! One very nicely painted Lemartes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Expedition Arizona

Scouts have been sent ahead, and my generals are preparing for war. Equinox is heading to Phoenix, AZ the week of June 9th - 12th. My goal is to play 40K and WFB with the local crowd and snag lots of great pictures of the gaming scene in Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale. To accomplish this goal, I am throwing down the gauntlet to the Phoenix crowd and looking for challengers. Okay, maybe I am not throwing down any gauntlets, I don't even own one, but I am looking for opponents or suggestions on where to play each night. I plan on being free to game starting around 4:30 pm each day, though as I get closer to the actual dates, my availability may change slightly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fantasy Thursdays: Vanguard Sportsmanship System

On April 7th, Sportsmanship rubric for Vanguard was posted (here). At first glance, it looks like a combination checklist/ranking system that asks the pretty standard sportsmanship questions.

Player Sportsmanship: 20 points total. Each Player is expected and
required to use the highest level of sportsmanship at all times while involved
in the N.I.M.G.C. Tournament. At the end of each game, your opponents will rate
your Sportsmanship by using a Sportsmanship checklist.

A. Was your Opponent on Time and Prepared to play with all needed items? YES/NO (5 POINTS)

B. Did your Opponent Measure accurately and play at a timely pace? YES/NO(5 POINTS)

C. Did your Opponent know his/her rules and handle rules disputes reasonably? YES/NO (5 POINTS)

D. Each player will rate their opponent every round. The three scores you recieve from your opponents will be averaged and that is your final Sportsmanship score.

0 – Worst Opponent Ever!
1 – Opponent was Awful
2 – Opponent was Average Sportsman
3 – Opponent was a Good Sportsman
4 – Opponent was Excellent Sportsman
5 – Best Sportsman and New Friend

Since the rubric was posted, a member of the NIMGC forums posted his concerns about the system (here). Basically he was concerned that the system could be gamed and that players will intentionally score opponents poorly to gain an advantage. My opinion is that while this can happen, my experience with the NIMGC crowd has always been positive. There is always the threat of a bad seed attending, but I think the concerns being expressed by the OP are out of line for this event.

My personal view of the system is pretty neutral, as it really doesn’t sway me either way. Most folks will likely get the full points for the first three questions, so the last question is the one that is going to spread the pack. I figure most folks will earn 2 or 3 from me on the last question. I highly doubt anyone will get a zero or 5, but I can see the 1 or 4 being used depending on who I play.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Peek...

This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tournament Tuesdays: UG&G 40K Team Tournament

Warhammer 40K Team Tournament
May 22, 2010, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Entry Fee: $5.00 per player.

Army Composition: 750 points per player, NO leftover points to your teammate.

1st place team: $40 GW product EACH person.
Best General: $25 GW product EACH person.
Best Sportsmen: $25 GW product EACH person.

12 team maximum, sign up at the store or call 847.548.8270.

Tournament Tuesdays: Preparing for the UG&G Team Tournament – Part One

In a couple of weeks, Ernie and I will be attending the team tournament being held at Unique Gifts and Games. Unique Gifts and Games is a nice store in Grayslake, IL that is known to host all kinds of gaming tournaments and leagues. It has been a few years since I have been to the store, so I am eager to visit. Unlike our last attempt at attending a team event, I am sure this one is going to happen, so I am very excited to be getting out for a day.

At the time of writing this post, the rules for the team tournament are pretty basic. Each team member is allowed 750 points and may not share their points with their partner. When I signed up, the person on the phone took my email address and informed me that a complete set of rules would be sent out shortly. I will post complete rules once they become available.

When it came to deciding which armies to use, there were really only two options for Ernie and me. The first option was for both of us to bring our IG armies. A nice idea, but we didn’t feel that each of could field what we wanted in our respective forces. This lead to the second option, Mean and Green! Mean and Green is the nickname for our team when Ernie fields his orks and I bring the daemons. We originally planned on bring M&G to a tournament last year, but since that one was cancelled, the only experience we have had with the combined force is from a single practice game. Fear not though, for Ernie and I are master tacticians and have begun to formulate a plan! Okay, it’s more like a strategy to avoid coming in last place, but that still counts as a plan.

While I have not finalized a list, a couple choices are pretty much decided for me already. My mandatory troop choices will be bloodletters and horrors. The horrors are my first wave troops and intended to anchor where other forces in my army will land. In comparison, the bloodletters are meant to deal with the 3+ save units that the horror’s shooting cannot deal with effectively. In the games I have played with them, I have found the combination to work well, so I tend to stick with it. At this point, I have ~400 points spent on two units.

When it comes to the other 350 points, Ernie and I will need to talk some more about what he is fielding. Depending on what Ernie brings, I may need to select units that will fill flaws in our combined force. As I write this article, one flaw that we need to fill is how to deal with AV13/14. In the game we played against a space wolf/necron team, a monolith was our undoing as we lacked any effective method of taking off the board. I have a few thoughts on what I can add to my army, but Ernie and I need to talk a little more before I make a final decision.

Next Week: The Final Lists

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fantasy Thursdays: Preparing for Vanguard - Part Three

The Cursed Company is one of the more fluffy units in the DoW list; an undead regiment with the ability to fill its ranks thru combat. I have heard that this unit is the ultimate tarpit and while I don't think it is the "ultimate" tarpit, I do think it can serve that role.

The Cursed Company has one of largest set of special rules for any of the RoR units. The majority of these rules are simply the standard rules that would be found in the VC army book. The unit causes fear and is immune to psychology. It takes additional wounds if it loses in combat and crumbles if the champion (Richter) is killed. Moving past the basics of being undead, the unit has a few rules that really allow for it to be a solid tarpit. The first rule is called “Join us in damnation”. Basically, every 1 wound model that is killed by the Cursed Company in close combat becomes an additional skeleton in the regiment. If it was only normal skeletons swinging back, I wouldn’t put much stock in the rule, but the addition of Richter and his sword Blight makes a big difference.

Blight is a magical weapon that confers a +1 strength bonus to Richter and gives him the killing blow special rule. This means that Richter is swinging with a WS 5 on 3 strength 5 (4 + 1) attacks. Typically this means that against any infantry, Richter should be generating 1 or 2 skeletons each turn of combat. Not a lot, but enough to slow down any unit forced into combat with the regiment. To keep him in the combat, Richter has heavy armour, a shield, and the Dark Gem of the Cursed which grants a 4+ ward save. Again, his stats are nothing that will slow down a powered up lord character, but they are enough to make him very solid against most standard infantry.

While the Cursed Company sounds really good, there are a few things about it that will make most players think twice about fielding it. The first thing is the cost of the regiment. At slightly over 300 points for 10 models, the regiment is very expensive just to field. The model count can be bumped up, but at 10 points per basic skeleton, the cost only gets more prohibitive the larger the regiment. The next issue with the unit is that it takes a special slot in a DoW army, and a rare slot in other armies. The combination of these two things leads me to believe that outside of casual play and weirdos like myself, most players are not going to place this regiment in a competitive list.

When it came to painting my Cursed Company, I decided to use a combination of the original RoR models with skeletons from the newer VC kit. I would have used the original Richter model, but years of abuse results in a model that requires more TLC than I want to spend at the moment. Maybe after Vanguard, I will revisit the model.

When it comes to the color scheme, I like the contrast between the bone, pseudo-NMM, and purple. I am especially pleased with the standard, as it was my second attempt at doing freehand. At this point I need to finish the shields and paint the movement tray, but that is work I plan on doing with other units.

My strategy for Vanguard is to castle and rely on my ranged attacks to diminish enemy forces before they hit my lines. In that context, I plan on using the Cursed Company to protect my flanks and push forward into enemy units that threaten my lines. I know my plan is very flawed, but considering the nature of the Cursed Company and my stubborn determination to include it, I need to have an idea how it will be used. I am sure that playtesting will help me hammer out how best to use the unit within my army.

In Two Weeks: Dogs of War Crossbowmen