Tuesday, July 29, 2014

40K Battle Brothers Tournament - Day Two Battle Reports

After a poor start to the first day we pulled things back to give us a decent score of 23 VPs (out of a possible 31). Not perfect by any means but with a couple of good wins on the second day we could've been in contention. As I said yesterday, we were mostly hoping we'd avoid the super heavies and Daemons spawn lists. We'd have really liked a game against the new Orks too.

Game Four - Ripped Tights vs. Astra Militarum & Tau
Our opponents for the first of the day's games would be Ed and Rob with their combination of Astra Militarum and Tau. Their army consisted of a commander cyclic ion and shield drones, crisis bodyguard with burst cannons, two six-man units of fire warriors, four pathfinders, Longstrike in his hammerhead, a unit of broadsides, a company command squad, two squads of guardsmen, a hellhound, Leman Russ punisher and 3 ratlings. We'd be playing Purge the Alien.with Hammer and Anvil deployment.

Our opponents won the roll off but we managed to Seize and turn one was totally brutal. The wave serpent managed to strip all 3 hull points from the hellhound for First Blood. This was closely followed by the crisis team stripping all 3 hull points from Longstrike. We'd have felt bad already but this was followed by the riptides double pie-plating the broadsides and hitting all the pathfinders too. With cover removed we managed to wipe out all of the suits and the pathfinders with them. Suffice to say we felt pretty shitty from the off in this game.

The feelings of remorse were pretty short lived though as the Leman Russ took two wounds from the wraithknight followed by the ratlings pulling something amazing out of the bag by hitting three times and rending all three times too taking the wraithknight down to a single wound. Fortunately there was nothing else to fire at him though. On the other side the commander and fire warriors killed off all of the marker drones but they'd more than done their job.

We got one unit of kroot on each side and they started to whittle down the guardsmen on the left and the fire warriors on the right. The crisis teams and riptide started to try and chip away at the commander with his 2+/4++ and shield drones. I made the mistake of not pushing the riptides up the field to get into reliable melta range but our opponents were also forgetting to do their assault phase moves early on. On the other side of the board the wraithknight was downed by a melta from the guardsmen (I think). The wraithguard got out of their transport to try and start flaming stuff but met a demo charge which killed the entire unit, spiritseer included!

Despite this temporary morale boost for our opponents their army was starting to dwindle pretty quickly. At the end of turn 5 they had 3 guardsmen left and since we got a turn 6 we completed the tabling for a 16-5 win. As ever that's the problem with 40K in that sometimes it feels worse to win than it does to lose!

Game Five - Ripped Tights vs. Imperial Fists & Dark Eldar
We were drawn against our game one opponents again so swapped with the table next to us which gave us Kalon and Nick who were running Space Marines and Dark Eldar. Their list consisted of an archon with wyches in a raider, two raiders full of kabalites, three centurions with a terminator librarian, two 5 man tactical squads and a stormtalon. We'd be playing Scouring on Dawn of War and with the grav and poisoned weaponry lined up against us we expected this game to be tough.

We won the roll off but deployed conservatively as our opponents got the +1 to seize warlord trait and sure enough they seized (but on a 6 funnily enough). Their raiders all advanced with the wyches' one going flat out. The other two took some shots at the drones and managed to kill one. The centurions were out of range so we started our turn. The crisis team fired at a raider but could only take a weapon off one although they did at least force Jinks. The riptide tried to melta it but could only immobilise it which wasn't helpful and disappointed on a 4+ to explode! The other riptide managed to both overheat and take a wound which was special of it and left the centurions unharmed. The wraithknight blew up a raider for First Blood.

To our surprise the archon and wyches elected to charge the crisis team to score Slay the Warlord and succeeded leaving them in the open. The wraithguard retaliated by wiping out the wyches allowing the wave serpent to instant kill the archon despite his shadow field. The centurions moved out to shoot the wraithknight and managed to take it down to one wound which would've been enough for the storm talon to kill it had it not decided to target the wave serpent instead which it could only glance.

The riptide on the left tried to hammer the centurions in response but with their Forewarning 4+ invulnerable save they passed a whopping 5 out of 6 to keep them in the fight. The wraithknight did manage to kill one though. The remaining centurions split fire to kill the wraithknight and a couple of the wraithguard. The tactical squad began to advance towards one of our objectives to take it from the riptide with Objective Secured. This proved futile as they were cut down before they got there. The other riptide got a chance at half-range melta shots on the stormtalon but could only destroy the lascannon. The wraithguard advanced on their objective and did enough damage to the tactical squad to make them flee the battle. Meanwhile one of the remaining raiders tank shocked some of our kroot and made them run.

Over the next couple of turns we managed to kill off most of their force (the librarian helped with perils) but they were left with a single centurion to give them an objective and the immobilised raider (which just wouldn't die) to give them Linebreaker. We'd got all of the other objectives though and with all three secondaries again we'd taken a 16-4 win (although it should've been 17-4 since we again forgot the bonus point for the stormtalon).

We'd certainly scored a huge number of VPs over the course of the day but with the inclusion of Favourite Game votes (that we rarely seem to get) it was anyone's guess where we'd place. To our surprise we managed to finish second overall. Of course, being a GW event we only got a certificate for our trouble but better than nothing I suppose. Once again the favourite game votes proved to be our undoing as the guys who won scored 12 bonus VPs for four votes meaning we'd have needed two votes to win (we got none). I've complained about the system before but these days I just accept that's how the event works so a place in the top three is more down to luck than anything else.

It's frustrating not to get a single vote. We genuinely go out of our way to be pleasant to our opponents but of course there are times when we have to query rules etc. Trouble is, no matter how nice you are to your opponent they won't enjoy it if they lose. Anyway, I'm not going to complain again as I've covered my objections before. We had a great weekend once again and to come away with something is great. We ended up with 55 VPs over the course of 5 games which is pretty good I reckon!

On a side note there were something like a dozen Imperial Knights present with some lists having several which I was pretty surprised about but I suppose the model is well loved. Unfortunately we don't know what won the tournament in the end but I'll try to find out for my own interest as much as anything else.

Monday, July 28, 2014

40K Battle Brothers Tournament - Day One Battle Reports

We're starting to lose count of the times we've been to Battle Brothers (formerly Doubles) now. It isn't without its faults but generally speaking the atmosphere is good and you meet some great people. Doubles is a fantastic format and it's a shame there aren't more events available. This will actually be the last Battle Brothers this year as WHW is closing for refurbishment for a good while. This is our first tournament of 7th edition and the first where we're likely to come across Super Heavies and Forge World.

Sadly, with GW putting the ticket price up year on year (although this time they've dropped a meal and charged less) the numbers have been dwindling. This time there were only 48 teams when in the past there's been more like 150 teams. Even so there was a fair selection of armies. I counted over a dozen Imperial Knights with a couple of lists having more than one and one army being knight only. There were also two Warhounds (who ended up playing each other), a Revenant and a Transcendant C'tan amongst others. Fortunately during the first day we managed to avoid such nonsense.

We were running a slight variation of our Ghostly Tides list with a new name. We'd got a commander with two crisis suits all with missile pods and four marker drones between them, two riptides, two units of kroot, a spiritseer with d-scythe wraithguard in a serpent and a wraithknight.

Game One - Ripped Tights vs. Tyranids
Our first opponents were John and John who were running Tyranids with a Skyblight formation. I've never come across this before but it's basically a flyrant, harpies, crone and three squads of gargoyles (who get Objective Secured). This was joined by another couple of flyrants, warriors and genestealers. We'd be playing Relic with Vanguard deployment.

We ended up going second which meant everything was in the air in our first turn. We infiltated some Kroot which soaked up a decent amount of fire but eventually died for First Blood. This did mean our Wave Serpent survived though but losing FB in Relic is never good. The first few turns of the game were pretty bloodless with our first two shooting phases only causing a single wound. We'd forgotten that Grounding Tests are only taken when wounds are caused which messed up our plans significantly. Had we realised we'd have focussed fire more and positioned the Wraithknight differently. Ah well.

Eventually our opponents decided to land with all of their FMCs and that's when tables started to turn. The crisis team killed a crone and the Wraithknight charged a couple and easily instant killed them. The riptides were massively underwhelming (although they did fall victim of Paroxysm). They failed to cause many wounds at all which was partly due to FNP on their part and some disgustingly good Jink saves. Even so the flyrants were fairly unscathed thanks to poor Riptide fire. Luckily for us their gargoyles mishapped meaning they only had one unit of them near the Relic. We ended up with the Wraithguard contesting it with the Warriors. The riptides had a chance to redeem themselves by getting us Slay the Warlord but despite wounding 5 times (with only 3 wounds left) the Tyrant had the Warlord Trait that gives him FNP and he passed all 5!!

The game ended with neither of us having the Relic but they'd got all three secondaries and we'd only managed Linebreaker with some Kroot. A 3-1 loss to start the day is never good but thankfully with it being Relic we'd only missed out on 5 VPs. Still, it was an incredibly frustrating game as their rolling was amazing and our turns were short in comparison making us feel like spectators a lot. Nothing against our opponents though who were great.

Game Two - Ripped Tights vs. DE/Necrons
This was a much better matchup than our first game. Our opponents #### and ### were running Drazhar with 3 incubi in a venom, two venoms with 5 kabalites, two lots of 3 reavers, two night scythes with warriors, a destroyer lord with wraiths and an annihilation barge. We'd be playing Big Guns Never Tire (4 objectives) on Dawn of War.

Our opponents won the roll off but gave us first turn. They had a central piece of LoS blocking cover so we split our force on the flanks so that there'd be few places to hide. In the first turn we were able to kill a couple of wraiths and Drazhar's venom (for First Blood). Our opponents struggled to do much in response and the wraiths moved into the central ruin for cover. We had repeated attempts to destroy the annihilation barge but despite penetrating it several times it managed to Jink. The commander and his team dealt with the rest of the venoms. The kroot came on and slowly moved up to claim two of the objectives.

Their flyers arrived one at a time allowing us to force them to Jink with the Riptides. Even so, the combination of the flyer and the barge killed off the commander and his team. The Riptides slowly picked off the Dark Eldar but when presented with an opportunity to pie plate Drazhar and his incubi the weapon got hot despite having a re-roll! The Riptides were then reduced to charging the Reavers to kill them off.

Meanwhile in the centre the wraiths were left with only the wave serpent to charge and once it was wrecked the wraithguard punished them by kill most of them off with their d-scythes. The Spiritseer was pretty impotent though having rolled terribly on Runes of Battle. The wraiths attempted to charge the wraithguard but wall of death meant they were wiped out, although the lord got back up. The wraithguard charged into the annihilation barge with the Spiritseer making up for his lack of psychic power by killing the barge before being charged by the lord and some nearby warriors. Miraculously the seer passed his Mindshackle test and killed the lord with the rest of the squad sweeping the warriors.

The wraithknight killed of Drazhar in combat and this pretty much wrapped up the game but the central objective was contested by two Objective Secured units (wraithguard/necron warriors). This gave us the other three though and all three secondaries. We should've also scored a bonus point for the annihilation barge but we forgot!

Game Three - Ripped Tights vs. Carcharadons
Our opponents had a pre-heresy World Eaters force which they were playing as Carcharadons. The whole army was stunning to look at which always makes for a better game I think. They were running a mortis dread, rapier platform, land raider with captain and tactical squad, rhino with tactical squad, a sicaran battle tank and an Imperial Knight. We were playing Emperor's Will on Hammer & Anvil.

The wave serpent fired on the rapier and amazingly managed to kill it off for First Blood. The riptides set up to use their Ordnance blasts on the landraider (to clip the rhino too) but one was Pinned thanks to their Warlord Trait. The Imperial Knight set up to go for the wraithknight and this allowed us to play keep away from it for the whole game. We got a couple of penetrating hits on it but could only score 6 on the damage table each time. Eventually on turn 4 we knew we couldn't outrun it anymore so we set up to charge with the wraithknight who took it out before it could strike back.

Elsewhere the commander and his team down the dreadnought. The wave serpent advanced at full speed to get the wraithguard near their objective and more importantly their troops. The captain and his squad jumped out of the land raider and were subsequently wiped out by the wraithguard's d-scythes. The kroot came on nearby too but were wiped out over a couple of turns without doing much. The other kroot were holed up in a dilapidated building in our deployment zone holding the objective.

The riptides were yet again subpar with lots of getting hot, failing novas and generally underperforming. The crisis suits were great again though being able to strip hull points from the Sicaran and bring it down. The squad in the rhino were gunned down by the wraithguard and the crisis suits combined so that at the end of turn 5 they only had the land raider, a couple of marines and the rhino left. The crisis team dealt with the rhino and marines whilst the wraithknight charged the land raider and finished it off to make it a tabling. With both objectives and all three secondaries we took a 9-0 win.

Can't really complain at that start to the day. We dropped quite a few VPs in the first game but made a good effort to recoup those in the other games. As ever a lot of it comes down to what you're paired against and with random allocation it really is luck of the draw.

The stars of the day had to be the wraithguard and spiritseer. He did little with psychic powers (although shrouding was useful in game 3) but taking out the wraiths, lord and annihilation barge in game two was probably match winning. The crisis suits and wraithknight would be a close second but the riptides were terrible on day one. Let's hope they can redeem themselves on day two.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Donations Welcome!

I've thought long and hard about this but I've finally decided to add a Donations button to the blog. Allow me to explain why.

Affiliate Schemes
For the first couple of years of From the Fang I didn't have any advertising at all on the site. It used to annoy me seeing banners all over my favourite blogs and so I wanted to avoid them on From the Fang. Eventually I succumbed though and started to run adverts for Wayland Games and Total Wargamer. These were part of their affiliate schemes with gave me a small percentage of any sales that were generated as a direct result of clicking on a banner on FtF. Over the time I've had banners on the site I've probably only had about £20 from Wayland. Not bad but clearly not much over the time period. I had sales with Total Wargamer too but despite chasing them up they still haven't paid me the commission I was owed.

Frankly I don't really like to advertise either company.  I don't use them myself as Dark Sphere offer 25% discount so if I'm making a large order I use them (as they charge for postage). Alternatively, if I'm just picking up the odd box or a codex I head to my FLGS, Wargames Emporium, who offer 20% off and since I don't need to pay for shipping it works out cheaper than DS. Anyway, neither of these companies have Affiliate Schemes so by recommending them I don't make a penny, but you should still check them out!

Anyway, the point is that I'm barely making anything from affiliate schemes and I'm not particularly fond of the companies so I'm going to remove their banners from the site. In fact I've done just that right now.

Google Adsense
Once again, I resisted using this for a long time and it's probably only been about the last six months that I've started using their ad content. So far I've made something like £30 which is better than I've done with affiliate schemes for a much longer period. Still, when you think about it that's something like 16p a day. Hardly a living wage eh? I'm also not a huge fan of their system of targeted ads. It scares me sometimes that I get adverts for something I searched for. It's an obvious revenue stream for Google and I don't think anyone is naive to it anymore but it just doesn't feel right somehow. That being said I now use the excellent Ghostery and Adblock on my Chrome to avoid tracking and to block any site ads. If the ads on FtF annoy you I heartily recommend you install Adblock to your Chrome so they vanish. I'm sure there are similar apps for IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.

A Brief History of FtF
I started this blog as a means of cataloguing the games of 40K we played between our little group of friends. It's been an online diary of my gaming since getting back into 40K after a long absence in my late teens/early 20s. From that it's evolved into something more though. Still, I never expected anyone to read my blog and I'm amazed that I'm currently averaging around 1,500 pageviews a day! That's still nothing compared to some blogs but remember I'm doing this solo. The problem is that it takes quite a while to write a post (since I usually write too much). My recent series on the Ork codex took around an hour per post. That's because I have to sit with the old and new codex to compare and find the changes and have a rulebook on hand for those rules I can't remember off the top of my head etc etc.

As I've said before I write those posts for my own benefit as much as anything else. By blogging about a new codex I really start to understand it and it forces me to think about how the units might perform. These are by far my most popular posts with the peaks in my pageviews corresponding to the Tau, Eldar, SM, Tyranid, and Ork reviews I've done recently. I'd like to carry on with these (and maybe finally finish my AM review) but with my little boy I find I have less time for the hobby in general. I've barely lifted a paintbrush this year despite my incredibly optimistic targets I set myself in my hobby resolutions post! When I get some spare time I tend to sit and blog. Usually because it's dark and I like to paint with natural light but also because GW are releasing stuff at a relentless pace now and I feel like I need to keep the reviews going.

Anyway, back to the point (if ever there was one) and the TL:DR version if you like. From the comments I receive and the emails I get it seems like people are enjoying my reviews. If you've found a review useful or you've generally enjoyed what I write and you'd like to donate something to show your appreciation then now you can. If you don't want to that's fine, thanks for reading anyway. I'm not for a second forcing anyone to pay to read the blog, just giving people that option if they feel they want to. I'm not going to call it something daft like "buy me a beer" because we all know I'll spend the money on plastic crack!

I'm not trying to make a living from blogging, far from it, if I can buy the latests books and the odd kit here and there then great. If no-one donates then it won't stop me posting but I'll be very grateful to anyone that does. As ever, thank you for reading this little blog and I hope you all continue to do so.


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