Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Blog Wars 2 List & Mission Updates

Since you've all submitted your lists to me for Blog Wars 2 I thought it was only fair that I posted mine up. Think of it as "I'll show you mine cos you've shown me yours" kinda thing! I toyed with a lot of different ideas and this is probably about version 12 of this list. I'm still tempted to change a few things but I think I should just stick with what I've got now! Here goes:

1,749pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest w/ Chooser (Murderous Hurricane & Jaws)
Wolf Lord w/ Thunderwolf mount, wolf claw, runic armour, storm shield and Saga of the Bear

3 Wolf Guard (one Arjac Rockfist and 2x CM/PF)

3x 8 Grey Hunters (melta, standard, wulfen) - 2 in rhinos and 1 in drop pod

Thunderwolf cavalry (storm shield, power fist, melta bombs)
Land Speeder Tornado (HF/MM)

2x 5 Long Fangs (4xMLs each)

So no big surprises really. I think Arjac makes a great special character since he's pretty cheap as space marine characters go. He gets eternal warrior and is 2+/3++ but with only 2 wounds. The real joy is that he can't be targetted separately as he counts as a Wolf Guard Pack Leader. In my practice games I've been pretty expert at failing his invulnerable saves though!

I originally had Arjac in a squad of WG terminators mounted up in a LR Redeemer. Whilst I liked the idea of them piling out into combat with something nice and early on I found that in practice games I was too keen to get them into combat and hence often died cheaply. The other issue was that with combi-weapons I really wanted to be shooting stuff but often held back as I didn't want to risk missing the charge. I also found that Arjac was having to take too many saves in such a small squad which isn't good for any initiative 1 model. In general I just found them a little underwhelming. I therefore decided to swap the terminators and the land raider for a pack of TWC. Now, think what you will of TWC but frankly I just love the models I've got. They either have an amazing game or they succumb to heavy weapons fire but either way people find them intimidating.

There's a part of me that thinks I should swap the land speeder for a pack of Wolf Scouts to come on and upset heavy weapons teams etc but I think I'd just end up losing them cheaply. Realistically I don't expect to do particularly well but it's a fun list to play and I love how it looks on the table.

Mission Changes
In response to the discussion in this post I'm making some minor changes to the final mission. Instead of there being restrictions on how many units people can Deep Strike or Outflank I've decided that it'd be better to say that only units with these rules can be in reseve for either army. I don't want to limit people too much because I think it gets too complicated but it should mean that very few (if any) armies will be able to keep everything in reserve.

I'll email a new copy of the scenarios out to everyone this evening so that no-one is left in the dark but I'll also remind everyone of the change on the day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog Wars 2 Rules Query - Response Needed

So I've been spending some time over the last couple of days checking out everyone's army lists for Blog Wars 2 (since they've got to be in by tonight). For the most part everything is fine, and I've emailled people about a couple of minor corrections, but it seems the third and final mission is causing a few problems. 

For those of you not familiar with it the last mission is an attack & defend scenario with some deployment restrictions. At the time of writing these missions I thought it would make sense for the defenders to be able to deep strike some of their units as if they'd called for assistance when they found themselves under attack. I didn't want people to reserve their entire army though as that felt a bit daft when the "attacker" was meant to be attacking someone! Similarly I prevented the attackers from having any deep striking at all and instead allowed them to Outflank some units (which the defender can't do). My only concern was that if there were any Chaos Daemons players that wanted to come then they'd find themselves with a problem because they HAVE to deep strike.

Luckily, (but also a shame too) there aren't any Daemons players coming to Blog Wars 2. However, since Imperial Armour (forge world) armies are allowed there is an Elysians (posh Imperial Guard) army coming along with a tyranid army with some mycetic spores. Both of these armies rely on their ability to deep strike as part of their strategy. This will work fine in the earlier missions but with the restrictions it will cause problems in the last one. So what to do?

The IA player suggested he mimic the aforementioned Daemons by splitting his forces into two "waves" and rolling to see which he gets on turn 1. Seems reasonable because most of his force is deep striking but for the 'nids player not all of his force is in spore pods. At the end of the day it'd be up to their opponents in that final game as to what they allow but as tournament organiser I really ought to come up with something to prevent any delays, disagreements or worse, full blown arguments!

Therefore I thought of just removing the restrictions completely but that brings me back to the problem of what if the defender decides to just reserve everything? Kind of defeats the point of having the attacker attacking! I suppose you could argue that they might be trying to capture a crucial point which they happen to find undefended (at first) and then all hell breaks loose. The other problem with just removing the restrictions is that perhaps people have designed their armies with them in mind? Mind you, since I know some people hadn't even looked at the missions until recently I doubt this would actually be a problem.

Right so what do you lot think? Here are the options:

1. Keep things as they are and let people decide on the day if they come up against an army that has problems in the last mission.

2. Make everyone follow the rules to the letter and therefore penalise people with Deep Strike "themed" armies

3. Only allow units in reserve (for both players) if they can EITHER Outflank OR Deep Strike

4. Scrap the deployment restrictions completely and see how it goes

Personally I think option 3 is the best since it stops the vast majority of armies reserving everything and still allows armies with special deployments to make the most of them. I'll go with the general consensus though!

Seriously, I'm wondering if the custom scenarios were worth the hassle!! I think next time (if there is one) I'll go with rulebook missions but keep the new scoring system.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Last Chance to Get Blog Wars 2 Tickets

Sorry to keep harping on about it but the ticket sales will close at midnight tonight so if you haven't bought your Blog Wars ticket then now's the time! 

Now's also the time to submit your army lists which should be in by midnight tomorrow. I'll check them through over the weekend and email back if there are any discrepancies. The tournament packs and scenarios will be going out tonight. If you don't receive them then please get in touch as I may have your address wrong. 

If you have any questions about the missions then you need to get back to me asap as there won't be much time on the day to discuss them. 

Once again, I look forward to seeing those of you that are coming along. I'm excited to see how everyone's lists pan out and how my list fares against them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blog Wars 2 - Last Few Days for Tickets, Packs and Army Lists

According to the big countdown clock there's just over 10 days left until Blog Wars 2 is upon us! I've had a few more people get in touch over last weekend saying they'd like to come so we should have 20+ on the day. Whilst I don't think we'll have more than last time it's still a pretty good turnout for this time of year I reckon.

Dave, Jamie, Matt and I went down to Maelstrom last weekend to try play what we termed "Blog Wars 1.5" between the four of us. We played all three missions and depending on who you talk to either I won or Matt and Jamie drew for the title. I'll post a bit more of a "tournament" report up tomorrow (if I get chance) but a few things came up about the missions that need ironing out. Don't worry they aren't changing drastically I just think the scoring needs looking at. I'm going to re-write them tonight and everyone who's bought a ticket will receive a copy of them along with the tournament pack by email by the end of the week. If you want me to use a different address to the one you use for PayPal then let me know. Also I'm going to try and do some name badges this time around with peoples' name, avatar and blog on them.

Despite what I said in previous posts the venue only needs a weeks notice so I'll be able to accept ticket purchases until Friday at midnight when I'll be removing the link. Army lists need to be with me by the end of Saturday night and once they're in you must bring the same army on the day. If something drastic happens in that week then I might make an exception but otherwise tough luck! If there are any non-standard models in your army (i.e. counts as) then please let me know at this stage. I'll remind people that if you've got any dietary requirements including vegetarianism you should tell me now because it'll be too late on the day.

Scenario Changes
As I said not much will be changing but I think the amendments will mean there's less chance of duplicate pairings and a more even battles.

Scenario 1
This is probably the most simple scenario but I felt that the 3 point bonus for killing your opponents special character was too much of a bonus. Whilst I want it to be significant I don't think it should be game changing. At 3 points you could potentially be kicking your opponent's ass but he kills his special character and you don't kill his. Therefore I'm dropping it down to 2 points which is more in line with the other scenarios' bonuses for the special characters.

I've altered the tournament point allocation slightly to bring in more levels to better differentiate between a close victory and a decisive one.

Scenario 2
Remains essentially unchanged apart from the TPs which are now broken down further and tabling your opponent will now guarantee 5 TPs for the primary objective. The secondary objective (VPs) give tournament points in smaller brackets now.

Scenario 3
Again tabling your opponent will give you the max TPs for the primary objective. The attacker and defender is now determined by a roll off instead of the current points leader of the pair getting to choose.

Just minor tweaks here and there to hopefully make things fairer really. I hope people can see why I've changed what I have but feel free to comment. As I say the final scenarios will be with you all by the end of the week.

I look forward to seeing you all there and I can't wait to see the lists people have come up with!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tau Rumours and Thoughts (courtesy of Faeit 212)

Whilst browsing around my usual reading list of blogs I stumbled across Faeit 212's collection of tau rumours. When I came back into 40K a couple of years ago I invested in a Tau force because I always liked the models even when I left back in 3rd edition. It didn't take me many games against Matt's Blood Angels to figure out that they struggled to be competitive in the modern game. That doesn't mean it's impossible to do well with them in tournament play but it takes a brave and skilled man to do so plus a decent helping of luck wouldn't hurt. There was actually a Tau army in 3rd place at the original Blog Wars which I was pleased to see.

In these days of shooting dominated 40K I think a new book for Tau will help in bringing them right into the forefront of the game again. Having seen what's happened to Dark Eldar, and more recently the Necrons, I'm filled with anticipation about what will become of my beloved Tau. In a similar way to Adam from the SW blog and Warhammer Tau I feel that Tau are the army I love to play with. Don't get me wrong I love Space Wolves and thanks to reading a few of the Black Library books I've fully immersed myself in their backstory. They're by far the most interesting of the SM chapters. However, there's something about Tau that keeps pulling me back. For all the games I play with SW I'm always up for trying the Tau again. I recently had some success with them in drawing a game against Jamie's Blood Angels (which I'd have won if we'd got another turn).

For me there isn't really much that needs doing for the Tau but here's my wishlist:
  • Everyting metal should be plastic - I really don't think the army needs any finecast but knowing GW they'll make some of the kroot stuff in it. The metal tau kits now are a nightmare to assemble at times.
  • Battlesuits need a revamp - I love the old kits but the Forge World ones are gorgeous so it'd be great if the regular ones were more in line with them
  • More chance in combat - I don't think they should suddenly become better at it but maybe the Kroot should be and I think the fire warriors should have a better defence against it, maybe defensive grenades included in base costs?
  • More vehicle options - it'd be nice to have some smaller vehicles with a lower capacity but at the same time I don't want yet another MSU army
  • Flyers - the Forge World ones are awesome and some scaled down versions of them would be a great addition
  • Improved Fire Warriors - they really should be BS4 in line with some of the other races, I don't mind them staying I2 but they should be better shooting
Anyway, I know I'm wishlisting but I'm sure the other Tau players are too. Once I've got more of my Dark Eldar finished I'm gonna start up painting my Tau again. I've got a cool colour scheme in mind and I'm sure that most of the models I have will still have a role when the new codex lands. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Look at Who's Coming to Blog Wars 2

As it stands at the moment we've got 19 people attending Blog Wars 2. I'd ideally like an even number so that means now's the time to get that last spot. In the mean time let's have a look at the people who've bought tickets so far.

Firstly, yours truly, just like in the previous BW if there aren't even numbers on the day then I won't play so that there's no dodgy situation where people get a by or whatever. Suffice to say I'm playing Space Wolves but a slightly different list to last time around. There'll be a further 3 SW armies at BW2 from John Holland (MC Tic Tac) and Bradimus Prime who used to write for the Space Wolves Blog and also David Symcox from the 40KUK podcast. I briefly met the 40KUK guys at the End Times and I'm looking forward to hopefully playing against them.

We've got a flood of other marine armies too with my mate Dave bringing Blood Angels to his first ever tournament, David Cameron (a friend of Weemen - not the PM) also with BA and finally Paul O'Boyle from Faulty Dice. Surprisingly we only have one confirmed Grey Knights player at the moment in James Lamb (Sheep of War)although Steve Henderson (a friend of Sons) brought GK last time so may do the same again. We've got the obligatory few Imperial Guard armies from Jon Morrison (Faulty Dice), David Clark (Commisar Dave) and Andy Pattison (Atriedes - Sons).

As far as the xenos go we've got a decent mix. There's a couple of Tyranid armies from Chris Benstead (Weemen) and Graham (Grazer - C&F/Rogue Trader). There's an Ork horde from Andy Lane (C&F) and Matt's bitter rival Frank Marsh will be bringing his ever brilliant Eldar army proving there's life in the older codexes yet.

Finally, and most topically, we've got potentially 3 different Necron armies from Matt, Gary from 40KUK and last year's winner Andy (Ven - Sons). I'll be interested to see the list these guys have put together. I've had good play at writing some lists and there's certainly a lot of flavour to the special characters.

The good news is we've almost managed a 50:50 mix of Imperium and Xenos. Should make for some interesting games I reckon. I'm hoping I get drawn against one of the Necron armies but I mainly just want to do better than my poor showing of 23rd out of 26 last time! Having a look at round at some of the blogs involved and there's some interesting armies such as Commisar Dave's and some interesting lists too.

I'm a bit disappointed that there aren't more people coming along but I think it's probably a bit too close to Christmas for a lot of people and I hope if there's a BW3 then we'll see an increase in numbers again. Mind you there's still a few days left to get your ticket so who knows!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Necron Reanimation Protocols: My Thoughts

You'll notice this another Necron post on my Space Wolves blog. Tough luck! Get over it I'm always excited by a new codex whatever the army is! It seems the internets are too so I'm just giving the people what they want!

One of the main sticking points for people regarding the changes from previous codex was that RP is now 5+. The other problem is that the warriors have a 4+ save. However, I personally think that the warriors are better for it. Coming in at just 13 points a model I think you're getting a good deal. The only problem I have with them is I2 but that's another story and something I can sympathise with when I use my Tau! Having 4+ followed by 5+ (which you can do a few times per turn) is almost as good as 3+ anyway!

Anyway, back to RP. The big change for this new codex is that you can perform the RP roll after each phase. This means that if you lose any models to dangerous terrain in your movement phase you can attempt to get them back. If your opponent shoots a couple you can get them back before the assault. The only problem is that if you lose them in assault then you'll still get swept up before that can get back up. I think this is a great way of doing things. There are several ways you can improve your chances of getting them back such as a Res Orb giving you 4+ RP rolls or a Ghost Ark giving you D3 back per turn. This can really make those big 20 strong warrior packs hard to shift, especially with shooting. In combat you're still going to struggle but you've got WS4 and T4 (unlike my Fire Warriors) and don't forget this is from a "shooty army". A typical squad of marines won't kill more than a few and with Ld 10 you've got a good chance to stay in combat.

So why are people bitching about warriors being crap? Compare their RP to Feel No Pain. FNP is great because firstly it's 4+ and secondly it means you don't actually lose the model in the first place. With RP you do lose the guy but you can get him back on 5+. By that simple comparison FNP wins. Let's think about Blood Angels though. They pay 50pts minimum for a priest to give them FNP on top of their squad. Now OK it's a bubble but still that's a couple of points per model assuming he's giving it to 2 10 man assault squads or similar. It's pretty easy to get rid of that priest too. As soon as you get into combat he's going to be the first target and you can bet it'll be power weapons that get put on him. Now your BA are back to being 3+ armour, still better than the Necrons' 4+ but just as vulnerable to power weapons.

Now let's think about RP. You get this included with the model's base points cost. As long as your Necron Warrior has a mate stood next to him you can attempt to get him back. Doesn't matter what took him down either. Doesn't matter if it was a basic shot from a lasgun, a hit from a power weapon, a smack from a monstrous creature, a flashy nemesis force halberd or whatever, as long as he's got a friend alive he can come back. FNP doesn't have that luxury, if the model was killed by anything AP1 or 2, power weapon or anything which could cause instant death and you just don't get to roll it. That's assuming whatever killed you didn't kill the sanguinary priest/apothecary etc. Dark Eldar need to win a combat or shoot a unit to death before they get FNP. Necrons get RP as standard and for most of the units in the codex, frankly I think that's great.

Are you forgetting they got rid of Phase Out??

On a side note. I think people are expecting Necrons to be a standard 5th edition mech army now they have a troop transport but I personally think the Ghost Ark isn't going to be used as a transport in the classic sense. I think you only need one or two in your army as a utility vehicle for you warrior squads. I wouldn't bother putting the warriors inside them, just let them walk along side. This means people won't spend time firing at the Ghost Ark (unless they have sense of course) and instead will frag your warrior squads.

I'm building a Ghost Ark for Matt at the moment so I'll post up some pictures of my progress building and painting it as soon as I can.

What are your thoughts on the new Necrons?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Last Few Spots for Blog Wars 2!

I've had a great response over the last week or so and Blog Wars 2 is back on track. I've reduced it down to 20 spaces but if there's more interest then it's easy to extend that again. Hopefully I'll get a few more in the next few days. At the end of next week I'll be sending out the rules packs and then I'll want army lists by the end of 26th November. Should give me enough time to read through them and get back to people with any queries. I'll post my list up at the same time so we're all on the same playing field.

Matt, Jamie, Dave and I are gonna have a mini Blog Wars 2 in a week or so and play through all three missions doing the scoring to see who comes out on top. It'll be the last chance I have to polish up my Space Wolves list and make sure I don't wanna do any last minute tweaks. I'm pretty pleased with it in it's current incarnation but it's easy to flatter yourself that it's a good list when you're doing well with it. I know full well that in my first game at the actual tournament I'll have some appauling luck or come up against something that I'm just not equipped to deal with.

Seems like we're going to be treated to 4 different Necron armies so I'm looking forward to seeing them in action. There aren't as many GK players as I thought and less Imperial Guard lists too. Should be a good variety of people and plenty of interesting matchups. As I say there's still time to get your tickets and those of you who've expressed an interest and not bought one yet should do so as soon as you can. In order to let the venue know about catering I'll have to remove the ticket link a couple of weeks before the event which means only a week and a half left to get your order in. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

First Impressions After Fighting Necrons

Yesterday I posted up a battle report of my Space Wolves first game against Matt's Necrons. I wanted to dedicate a full post to talking about my thoughts on the new codex. Bear in mind we only played one game and obviously not all the units from the new codex were used. There were a couple of stand out units in there and others that weren't as good as expected.

General Necrons
The main problem this army isn't going to have is it's I2. Against most armies that means it'll fold in combat. My thoughts on this are that it's just the same for Imperial Guard or Tau. I think its a good thing that the troops are a lot cheaper (obviously good for GW as well) but it means we'll be able to see much bigger armies than we did before.

The basic warriors and immortals are still excellent units and as much as people whine about it I think the larger numbers of them on the table will mean a lot more glancing hits! It was glancing hits that did my land raider in and I'd be cautious about moving it in to close to a squad of warriors now. The flayed ones are pretty weak. They're meant to be a decent combat squad but without fleet, fearless or decent initiative they're really going to struggle. 

There's been much hype about this codex hinting at 6th edition rules and I think that's why Destroyers are so expensive. They aren't particularly brilliant in their current incarnation but if Preferred Enemy becomes a shooting bonus too.....

Imotekh the Stormlord
The internet is very excited about this guy. The idea of being able to play whole games in Night Fighting and shoot lightning at everything on the table has people foaming at the lips. Needless to say Matt tried out all of his special rules and I wasn't exactly blown away! The ability to drop your Flayed Ones in without scattering sounds useful but since it's random Matt ended up with a target that would've put them right next to a rhino full of grey hunters with a heavy flamer from a land speeder looming close. In the end they came in by a normal deep strike that didn't scatter much. They promptly got annihilated by a grey hunter charge. Now I can see that if they'd got long fangs as their target then they'd have been much more useful but to be honest Imotekh doesn't really add much to them.

His staff didn't find the range to hit the terminators but I could see how deadly it could've been. If you got a good roll you could potentially cut down a couple of squads of marines. Realistically though it's unlikely to happen as the usual roll will be 6-8" and that's unlikely to get more than one unit. His 4+ Seize the Initiative could be brilliant against an unprepared opponent. Although it's still 50:50 your opponent will almost be expecting you to make it. I think the danger would be that you'd also expect to and you'd deploy too aggressively.

Onto the big one, Lord of the Storm. In Matt's case he got one turn out of it and that was it. He didn't manage to get any lightning off and the power was wasted. Now obviously this won't happen every time but it's a possibility and thats 225pts you're paying for it (well obviously not quite but you get the point). Against armies with a high unit count such as GK razorspam this could be devastating popping open transports each turn. Personally though I think the main benefit is the Night Fighting and my issue with that is that none of the Necrons have Acute Senses/Night Vision. Some enemy armies do and most SM armies will suddenly remember they've got Searchlights. This might play to the Necrons advantage but we'll see. Now don't get me wrong for an army based around Rapid Fire and potentially footslogging lists it's still going to be useful allowing you to get in close. My concern is that against assaulty armies you're playing right into their hands.

For 160pts you can have an Overlord with a 2+/3++ save, S7 power weapon (that rolls 2D6 on vehicles) and T5. Now personally I think that's a bargain, even given his I2. Stick him in a Catacomb Command Barge and he's got great potential. The Sweep Attack rule is brilliant and can be used to snipe models from a unit if you get lucky! Fly over a land raider and hit it 3 times with a weapon that's just shy of a melta gun. Oh and still claim a 4+ cover save afterwards!

Yes he's got a pesky I2 but with a 2+/3++ save there aren't many things he won't be getting some attacks against and he'll probably kill a couple. Throw in some Mindshackle Scarabs for a bit more defense and he's got a good chance of winning the combat. He charged my Grey Hunters and lived to tell the tale (well til I shot him!). Granted Matt was very lucky with his rolls but he's still pretty reliable. In larger armies you got ditch the Sempiternal Weave and take two Overlords with 3+/3++ in barges for 450pts. I think that's pretty reasonable given the Sweep Attacks. The other advantage is you'll be able to take some Cryteks and give a couple of them Solar Pulse for some first turn Night Fighting for your opponent (or last turn as well if you had two courts).

C'Tan Shards
There was a bit of uproar amongst the Necron old school when their precious Nightbringer got nerfed. However, I think they're still pretty good. People have said that if they're hammered with enough krak missiles they'll easily be killed but in my opinion that's a turn when the long fangs etc aren't shooting something else. Not to mention that it'll be 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound and then he'll still get a 4+ save. Matt's C'Tan did well against Arjac and his terminators, killing them all off but costing him 3 wounds.

The problem with the C'Tan is choosing the powers. I love that they're like psychic powers but without a test but some are better than others. I think the Transdimensional Thunderbolt will be seen a lot as it means the C'Tan can de-mech something to assault rather than relying on shooting from elsewhere in the army. The other powers could be very situational. I like the Jaws-style single out a model and make it take an initiatve test or be removed. Alright it's going to have the same drawbacks as Jaws but worth it for the times when Draigo rolls a 6! Don't forget if you kill the C'Tan in combat your models will take an S4 AP1 hit! I think we'll see a lot of these guys and I think it'll be interesting to see what powers people choose.

For me these are the unit that will get whinged about the most. They are, in my humble opinion, the stand out unit of the codex! Sounds a bit ridiculous for something that's got such a poor base statline but seriously, play against an army with a few of these and things could get nasty. Yes they're vulnerable to blasts etc but you can have 30 wounds for your opponent to chew through. I think there's a beautiful synergy between them and the gauss weaponry of the warriors. There's a decent chance the gauss shots will immobilise a vehicle and then the scarabs use their 12" charge range to make a real mess of it.

As we understand it Entropic Strike means for each hit you roll a D6 and the vehicle loses a point of armour for each 4+. The scarabs can then use those same hits at their base strength and rip into the vehicle. S3 suddenly looks a lot more scary. Think of it this way, a unit of 10 scarab bases charges a land raider that move 12". 50 attacks means about 8 hits and -4 points of armour. Suddenly that land raider can be hurt by bolters! Think about that for a minute!

Thought about it? Now try and tell me you won't be scared of these guys! Against a rhino/razorback that same 10 bases will make it AV 6 on the rear and now S3 can easily penetrate it and those same scarabs are likely to do so 3 times. Against troops they'll probably be cut down but put some attacks on an independent character and there's a good chance he'll lose his armour save!!

Did I mention they're 15 points per base?? Need I say more? Actually how about your opponent having 3 swarms of them and a spyder or two spitting them out? OK now I'm done!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Battle Report: Space Wolves vs Necrons

With the codex still warm from the presses Matt and I decided to put them through their paces. Jammy get that he is, he's managed to pick up a nice Necron army on eBay for a very reasonable price. This means he's already got quite a few of the old models to play around with and he's bolstered this with a few Dark Sphere purchases. Here's our lists:

1750pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest w/ Chooser (MH/LL)

9 Wolf Guard (2x CM/PF, 1x SB/PF, 2x TDAs w/ CM/WC, 2x TDAs w/ CP/WC, TDA w/ SS/CF) + Arjac Rockfist
Land Raider Redeemer

2x 8 Grey Hunters (Melta, MotW, WS) (Rhino & Drop Pod)
1x 7 Grey Hunters (Metla, MotW, WS) (Rhino)

Landspeeder (MM/HF)

2x 5 Long Fangs (4x ML)

1750pts of Necrons
Imotekh the Stormlord
Harbinger of Despair w/ Veil of Darkness
Overlord (Warscythe, Scarabs, Phase Shifter, Sempiternal Weave)
Catacomb Command Barge

20 Necron Warriors
9 Necron Warriors
10 Immortals (Gauss)

C'Tan Shard w/ Trans. Thunder & Gaze of Death
20x Flayed Ones

8x Scarabs

The idea behind Matt's list being the much talked about Night Fighting that will protect the footsloggers whilst you get into rapid fire range. With both my Wolves and DE having Acute Senses/Night Vision I didn't think this would bother me much after turn one.

Mission and Deployment
We randomly picked a Blog Wars 2 scenario and got the final missions with an attacker and defender and 5 fixed objectives. Matt won the roll off and elected the be that attacker deploying his 20 warriors and Imotekh (making them Relentless) in the middle of the board, C'Tan and Command Barge to their left. The Immortals went with the harbinger in some cover near the back and the 9 man warrior squad hung out on the right near one of the objectives. The flayed ones were in reserve with the Bloodswarms hopefully making them deep strike nice and close. I shoved my land raider just to the right of the middle with a rhino to its left, the other rhino on the left flank, speeder in cover and long fangs in decent firing positions.

Turn 1
With Night Fighting in effect this was never going to be a particularly bloody turn. Matt advanced forwards but found himself out of range for most things.

In my turn I advanced the land raider forward and disembarked the terminators. The plan being to blow up the command barge and then hammer (literally) the overlord in combat. The assault cannons took care of the Quantum Shielding but could only stun the barge. Arjac and the melta terminators then managed to wreck it meaning Matt could happily position his Overlord out of my charge range leaving my terminators looking very exposed. The long fangs struggled to find range but the rune priest managed to "kill" a Necron in the 20 strong pack with Hurricane. The drop pod hunters came in near the 9 man squad and put two down. All there promptly passed their RP rolls and got back up!! Meaning I'd only killed an 80pt transport despite having Acute Senses to deal with Night Fighting!

Turn 2
Imotekh failed his Night Fighting straight away much to Matt's frustration. He fired Imotekh's Staff of the Destroyer at my Land Raider in the hopes of hitting my terminators. Sadly it had a poor range and was wasted. This did mean that the 20 necron warriors could let rip with rapid fire gauss at my land raider. Matt scored an impressive number of 6s and my land raider was Stunned, Immobilised and had lost all but one of the flamestorm cannons. It was at this point I noticed the scarabs nearby! The flayed ones deep struck in near the 9 man squad to help them deal with the drop podding grey hunters. The Harbinger teleported the Immortals in front of the long fangs but they whethered the barrage of fire and two were left standing. The C'Tan killed the storm shield & chain fist terminator with his thunderbolt and then charged into combat. The terminators held up pretty well causing 2 wounds and tieing the combat. The C'Tan tried to use his Gaze of Death but failed to wound. The scarabs piled at my land raider and their Entropic Strike combined with automatic hits allowed them to literally eat it away, wrecking it without even rolling on the damage table!

In my turn one of the grey hunter packs charged at the flayed ones easily winning the combat and catching them in a Sweeping Advance to wipe them out. It was a similar story for the 9 man warrior squad leaving that side of the board safely in my hands (for now). With the lights back on the long fangs fired plenty of shots into the immortals but could only bring down a couple (despite hitting with 3/4 scatter dice rolls!). The C'tan killed another terminator but took another wound itself and failed again with it's Gaze. Elsewhere the Rune Priest failed his psychic test for Hurricane so Imotekh and co. could move safely again. With a couple of Matt's units gone I started to feel a bit more confident but there were still a lot of metal bodies to shift!

Turn 3
Imotekh's squad rapid fired the remaining drop pod grey hunters who were advancing towards them and sheer weight of fire was enough to wipe them out (thanks to Matt's jammy rolling I reckon!). The Immortals failed to kill either of the remaining two long fangs with only one wounding hit thanks to some less than jammy rolling by Matt! The scarabs charged a rhino which had the good sense to move at combat speed. This meant Entropic Strike only brought it down to armour 8 (on the rear) but that was enough for the 8 hits to penetrate and wreck it. The C'Tan and finished off the terminators after I failed to wound it.

The grey hunters emerged from their wrecked rhino and easily wiped out the scarabs in combat killing 6 bases and the rest with fearless wounds. The land speeder popped out from behind cover to remove the C'Tan's final wound with it's multi-melta. The grey hunters that had killed the flayed ones sat behind cover and with help from the long fangs tried to thin down the 20 man necron warrior pack.

Turn 4
The overlord charged in on the grey hunters and despite taking a wound managed to kill a couple of them. The immortals finished off the remaining long fangs, killing one causing the other to run off the table. Imotekh's warrirors could only shake the land speeder.

The overlord continued to be an annoyance killing off a few more grey hunters but now down to his last wound (the scarabs made the rune priest attack his own men - but he failed to wound). The grey hunters fired again at Imotekh but didn't kill many warriors. The land speeder retreated back into cover for some turn 5+ contesting.

Turn 5
At the start of the turn it was still anyone's game. Matt's Immortals had control of one objective (but with a land speeder close by), Imotekh would fight grey hunters for another and depending on the outcome of the overlord battle I might be able to get some grey hunters back onto another.

The hunters lost their fight with the overlord and fled (conveniently towards an objective) with the overlord in pursuit. Imotekh advanced towards the objective but couldn't find range and some woeful shooting didn't hurt the hunters much. The immortals clung to their objective but were out of range for any shooting.

I charged in with the grey hunters but without a standard I struggled to hurt Imotekh's squad. Some equally attrocious rolls form Matt meant the power fist won me the combat but we stayed locked. The fleeing grey hunters killed off the overlord with bolter fire (despite failing in 3 rounds of combat!!).

With one objective contested and the other in control of the immortals Matt would win if it ended here.....

Turn 6
Luckily for me we got a turn 6! The Imotekh vs. grey hunters combat dragged on with some awful rolling again from both sides to hit and wound but decent rolls to save! The power fist failed to wound this time leaving it tied. The result of that combat would determine the game.

The long fangs fired at the Immortals but barely scratched them. The landspeeder sat poised to contest their objective if we got a turn 7. I moved the rhino into difficult terrain to contest the objective near Imotekh in case the combat didn't go my way. Thanks to the wolf guard hitting with his power fist Matt lost the combat by a couple and luckily for me failed his morale check. The hunters caught them in a Sweeping Advance and only if Imotekh got up could he stop the hunters from controlling the objective. He got back up on a single wound! Luckily for me he wasn't able to contest the objective though!

I'm going to talk about my impressions of the new book in a separate post tomorrow so I'll keep this brief. The early stages of the battle made it seem like the Necrons would be unstoppable. The land raider being eaten made the scarabs seem scary but they were easily dealt with in combat with grey hunters. The C'Tan held up brilliantly against the terminators and a large portion of my army was gone pretty quickly. Like any shooty army the rest folded in combat nicely and that was the only thing allowing me to snatch a draw. Had we got a turn 7 I would probably have won since the now regrouped grey hunters would control an objective and the speeder would contest the Immortals' one.

I think part of the problem fighting Matt yesterday was the combination of a footlist (which I don't usually play against) and an unfamiliar codex. This made it difficult to decide what was a threat and what wasn't. Looking back I'd have kept the terminators in the land raider for another turn and let him spend time wrecking it. This would've given me some more time to shoot the C'Tan. I'm looking forward to fighting the Necrons at Blog Wars 2 now and I hope I get drawn against them.

Overall I think it seems like a good book. It's definitely got it's strengths and so far I think the weaknesses are fair. We'll be playing plenty more battles over the next few months and I think that's the only way to form an opinion. As usual with a new codex people seem to get over-excited about the new units without thinking it through. I'll discuss this more in tomorrow's post though.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Necrons at Blog Wars 2??

Tomorrow night Matt's bringing over his new Necron army for a couple of games to see how the new codex fares. If he likes them he's considering bringing them to Blog Wars 2 instead of his Blood Angels. Incidentally, anyone wishing to do the same is welcome to. With a wealth of Special Characters to chose from I'm hoping someone will take the plunge even if Matt doesn't (looking at you here Ven!).

I've always liked the Necrons and often considered getting them. It was only really the old codex stopping me but now I've gotten into DE in a big way I can't see me having the cash to do so anymore. I'll just have to settle for playing against them!Anyway, I got hold of a copy of the codex yesterday and had a bit of a read through. I have to say the first thing that hit me was the artwork. In my opinion it's some of the best we've had in a codex for a while.

I'll post up my thoughts on the codex when I can but I want to see them in action before I really draw any conclusions. I'll post up some detailed bat reps after tomorrow night's action so you can see how they got on against my Space Wolves and Dark Eldar.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Finished Wolf Scouts

To break up the talk about Blog Wars 2 I though I'd post up these scouts that I finished today. They've been sitting in my army case a long time now so I thought it was only fair to give them a proper paint job. They're the basic models that came with the battleforce but I've added a power sword and meltagun. Can't say I'm in love with the models as they're a little bit two dimensional like everything was around 2nd/3rd edition but suffice to say I'm happy with them.

There's still a few details to add like company logos and such but I'm trying to motivate myself to paint these onto all of my SW army and to be honest I'm almost certain I'll make a mess of it so I'm trying to put it off as long as I can!!

I've been toying with the idea of using these guys in my BW2 army. I'd basically trade one unit of long fangs to get these guys in. The conventional choice would obviously be the long fangs but I sometimes struggle to make the most of two long fang packs. Granted the long fangs are more reliable but scouts have a nice impact on your opponent's deployment and they can be devastating if they arrive in the right place at the right time. Have to get in a few more games before the tournament to really make my mind up. As ever, comments and criticisms are welcome.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Blog Wars 2 - Still on Course!

Having had a little whinge the other day saying Blog Wars 2 might not happen I've had a great response from people and hopefully the numbers will improve over the next couple of days. I've decided that what ever the ticket sales the show must go on! Matt and I played in the End Times tournament at WHW recently and thanks to ETC on the same weekend there were only 12 of us. You know what, it was still an excellent little tournament and good times were had by all!

The prizes will still be broken down in roughly the same ratios but I'll tweak it based on the number of tickets I sell. If I get the full 20 then we'll be playing for the prizes as they are but without any spot/raffle prizes. Anything less than 20 and I'll have to recalculate. I've changed the BW2 page to just show 20 spots (makes it look a little less embarassing) and I've added a few more people on who've bought tickets today.

What to do if you've already bought a ticket
Firstly, thanks for doing so, I'm glad you can make it. Other than that there are a few things you can do to get ready for the tournament. Obviously you should be painting away so that your army looks it's best and most importantly is the required three colours and based. The other thing to do is finalise your list. I'll be expecting the lists to be submitted to me by email a week before so I've got chance to check them out and clarify anything I'm unsure about. Finally and perhaps most importantly, let me know if you've got any special dietary requirements. I'm not 100% sure what the food will be on the day (details to follow hopefully) but suffice to say if you're allergic to something or you don't eat something for whatever other reason then let me know.

I'll email out event packs in the next week or so. Hopefully you've read over the scenarios by now but any questions that come up let me know. Likewise have a read of the tournament details and let me know if anything isn't clear.

What to do if you've NOT got a ticket yet
Take a long hard look in the mirror and think about what you've (not) done..... Really though I'd love it if more people could make it. No matter what number we get it's going to be great but the more people the better. Try and get your mates to come too. Don't worry too much about the blogging thing, it's just a gimmick really!! The main thing is that it's a fun tournament with (as far as I know) a unique requirement to field a Special Character. It's gonna be good and I'd hate for someone to regret not spending £15 for a great day's gaming!

To those of you that've specified an interest but haven't bought a ticket yet. Please do so as soon as you can because I'll need to give the venue numbers for food a couple of weeks beforehand. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all there.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Blog Wars 2 - A Month To Go!!

So Blog Wars 2 is only a month away and to be honest I'm a bit dissapointed with the response. As it stands at the moment there's only a dozen people who've signed up. Last time around I'd sold twice as many tickets.  Now I know there's a few who'd talked about coming but I've not heard from them since.

The question is, what should I do? If in a couple of weeks time there's been little more interest should I just refund everyone and try again in the Summer? Should I run it anyway with just a handful of us? In which case would it be easier just to show up and play a few games rather than having a formal tournament?

I was amazed at the success of the first Blog Wars and perhaps I was naive in assuming that we'd get even more people this time around. I think the problem is that it's probably too close to Christmas. As far as I can tell there aren't any other 40K tournaments that weekend so it isn't that. 

Anyway, I'll leave it up to those of you who've bought tickets. Would you rather I refunded you and called it off or are you happy for it to go ahead with less people and therefore smaller prizes? If you're one of those people that were wanting to come but haven't bought tickets could you get in touch and let me know why so that I can figure out what's gone wrong.


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