Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Where Have I Been for a Month?

Somehow it's February 6th (probably 7th by the time you read this) and this is my first post of the year. My last post was on December 27th last year which and I'm fairly confident this is my longest stretch without posting in the little blog's history.

I was tasked with redecorating the lounge which took up a big chunk of my free time. Not only that but when we bought new sofas the old ones had to go somewhere while we waited for them to be picked up on Gumtree so one of them is still in the garage. That's made it very difficult to get my airbrush set up and make a start on my Tyranids. Obviously I could lay down the basecoats by hand but I'd feel like I was wasting time by doing it with a regular brush. I really should've been doing more assembling/magnetising but once I'd finished decorating I didn't have the energy. The lounge is finished now though so I'm hoping the sofa will go soon and I can really get stuck into my Tyranids. The good news is my Dark Angels finally sold on eBay and are on their way to San Diego, CA. That means I have some funds to build up my Tyranid collection. Problem is, they're not in stock anywhere!! I've got a swarm and three start collecting sets (one old, two new) to be going on with though so I'm in no rush.

On the gaming front I've been a lot more productive. Matt and I have started a Star Wars Armada campaign using the Corellian Conflict set. It's far from perfect but it gives us a good excuse to get plenty of games in. We've opted to field two fleets each rather than try to find another couple of players. That means using pretty much our entire collections. We only have one of each ship too excluding the latest wave and with the exception of the Nebulon and Corvette which we both have (Matt from the core set and me from the individual expansions). I've been using Rebels with Matt obviously playing as the Empire. It's been difficult to build fleets using just a single upgrade per ship but it's fun using pretty much everything in my collection over the two fleets.

It's not been going so well though. I won the first game with Dodonna's fleet taking out the ISD during a Hyperlane Raid after an awesome flanking manoeuvre from the Mon Karren. The other game that round was a close loss for Ackbar to Ozzel with Defiance eventually falling to Matt's superior squadron support resulting in the loss of a base. In the second campaign turn Dodonna tried a ballsy attack on Corellia but the additional squadrons made it an uphill struggle from the start. Whilst the Mon Karren was again lethal, killing the raider and carrier (which was already scarred), the whole fleet was eventually annihilated in the final turn. The game had gone wrong pretty early on when I failed to activate the Yavaris and lost it as a result. However, I couldn't retreat because of the Interdictor so I had to let it happen and try to take as many Imperial ships with me as I could.

Matt followed up with a Show of Force. The ISD was much more effective this time around and was pretty much solely responsible for both the assault frigate and Defiance going down. I ended up retreating my remaining couple of ships but Matt did manage to get one of the bases before I did. This left me with two heavily scarred fleets and nowhere near enough resource points to rebuild either. The only option was to retire both. The problem with this, and to me the flaw in the campaign structure was that Matt was now able to easily repair his scarred ships and build two fleets worth 500pts. That means the third turn would be my brand new 400pt fleets against Matt's fully upgraded 500pt fleets. I can't imagine that will go especially well.

We're going to test out how one-sided it is in the next couple of games but then we'll probably reboot the campaign now we both have a better idea of what we're doing. We're far from experts when it comes to Armada and we're still learning what works well with every game. I'm certainly going to have a larger proportion of squadrons in my fleets. I think I'll try one fleet with two MC80s and the other with multiple small/medium ships. At least I get to redesign my fleets from the ground up and hopefully not repeat the mistakes I made the first time.

Once we'd played a couple of games of Armada we decided to have a 1,750 pt 40K game. I was keen to try out the Tyranid codex and Matt wanted to see how his BA had fared in their book. The list I cobbled together was based around two Trygons tunnelling up with genestealers in tow and using the Behemoth adaptation to hopefully get most of them in combat. It worked pretty well with four of the six units I had in charge range making it into combat. That was a body blow to the Astartes who never really recovered from the initial charges. It helped that the Tyrannofex was able to down the BA land raider in a single volley too! I eventually won the game but frankly neither of us particularly enjoyed it. I'm probably barely in double figures of games played in 8th but I really hoped the codexes would reinject some of the flavour that the indexes removed. That's not how it feels though.

Obviously it's always been a game about rolling dice but it somehow feels too random. We may not have death stars anymore but what we have instead is spam. Perhaps it was the juxtaposition of playing Armada just before but 40K felt overly complex and frankly not as fun as it used to. In the past a real meat grinder of a combat heavy game would've been exactly what we wanted from 40K. That's what we got but it somehow wasn't fun. I really can't put my finger on what's wrong with 40K but maybe it's more about me and how little I've played it recently. Maybe it'll grow on me again.

In the meantime I'll still enjoy the hobby challenge of painting up my Tyranids and I'm also going to run Double Trouble 3 in June so maybe an event like that will rekindle something. More details on DT3 to come soon and I'll hopefully put tickets on sale at the same time too.

Oh and we also got in another Scythe session a couple of weeks back and we're playing again on Friday. It's a totally awesome game that feels different every time you play it and is incredibly satisfying to win.

Anyway, that'll do for now. Hopefully it won't be another six weeks before I post again!!


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