Friday, December 28, 2012

Review of 2012

Just like everyone else on the blogosphere I'm going to finish the year with a review of my gaming and hobby over the last 12 months. I'll stick up another post at the start of next year with my plans for 2013 and my "hobby resolutions" but for now let's look at what happened in 2012.

According to my dashboard I've posted 106 times in 2012. I suspect that the vast majority of these were about Blog Wars and I apologise to anyone who's sick of hearing about it. I'll try and minimise the amount of posts on the subject.

As you can see I've had a lot more views this year. There was a huge spike in pageviews in a September but that was down to posting pictures of the ForgeWorld Istvaan III display and also a post with leaked pictures of the Chaos codex which I took down once they'd spread into the aether! Hopefully in 2013 I'll get views for my own, legitimate, content!!

I've got big plans for the blog in 2013. The blog needs a bit of refurbishment as soon as possible. I've had this blog in a similar form since it started so it's about time I did something more interesting with it. I'd like to have more hobby content on here too and go back to the blog's roots with more battle reports. Also it's hardly a SW blog anymore so I'll have to address that. More about this in the New Year post.

I started off the year determined to give my Tau a strong showing at a tournament. This also gave me a good reason to get them all painted up. I was pretty pleased with my eventual choice of colour scheme and despite only painting them to table-top standard I think they look great on the board.

The Tau made their first tournament appearance of 2012 at Jolly Toys in February. Thanks largely to me failing miserably in my second game (snatching defeat from the jaws of victory) I came away with four losses and a single win. Still at least I'd achieved what I set out to by winning a game with Tau at a tournament.

My Tau got their second tournament outing at Open War in April. Miraculously I managed to finished 16th (above the middle) and undefeated! There were some great games at Open War where I really pulled back draws from what looked like certain defeats. This was certainly some of the best 40K I played all year.

Dark Eldar
2012 was definitely the year of Dark Eldar for me. I even briefly started a second blog for them which I only recently deleted. I have to say they're still my favourite army to play. I love the fact that they're all or nothing. They can be devastatingly deadly one game and pitifully ineffective in the next. Despite a steep learning curve I managed to steer them to 2nd at Blog Wars 3 in June. This surprised me greatly but frankly was down to my opponents having never played against webway DE before. The pressure of a looming tournament also saw me throwing paint onto a lot of models, not quite as completely as I'd planned but nevermind.

With the advent of 6th edition the webway DE army is dead. Not being able to assault from reserve completely gimps this tactic. I can't decide whether to sell my portals or not but I'll certainly not be able to use them in the current form of the game.

DE for me are one of the most underrated armies in 6th edition 40K. People believe that the changes to FNP etc make them much weaker. In my experience they're just as good as they ever were but tactics have to change like with any army faced with 6th edition.

I ended the year with plans to field DE at Blog Wars 4 but never quite got them painted. This was disappointing but turned out to be a good thing since I didn't actually get to play!

GW Doubles Tournaments
Matt and I took a disgusting list to our first doubles of the year at the end of June. Whilst we threw away a win in the first game we still managed a draw and went onto win the rest. Our final game was the worst game of 40K I've ever played despite winning it! We lost out on 2nd place thanks to the unique way GW score their tournaments. I'm not going to slip back into a rant about it but we've basically accepted that's how it is at GW tournaments so I won't be as bothered again.

For the second of our doubles tournaments we decided to take something a bit more fun and didn't expect to do very well. Unfortunately with our double dreadknight and thunderwolves combo we still managed to end up on table 2 for our last game which gave us out first taste of how strong Daemons were about to become.

We'll be playing in the Battle Brothers (GW's new doubles event) at the end of January so look out for our report from that.

Blog Wars
This year saw the 3rd and 4th outing for the Blog Wars event. What originally started as a blogger-only thing has seen a wider range of people attending. I think I need to make it a bit more obvious that you don't have to have a blog to come along! Anyway, more on that later.

I don't know about the people who attended but I certainly thought both of this year's events went well. I've got plans for BW5 & BW6 that I hope will be well received. Keep your eye on the blog for more details.

6th Edition
This was obviously the big thing for 2012. Frankly my current thoughts on 6th need their own post so that's what I'll do. Suffice to say 6th is the main reason I'm not using my Space Wolves very much at the moment as, although they didn't get hit too hard, I don't find them very exciting in the new ruleset.

Specialist Games (Dreadfleet, Space Hulk, Bloodbowl, Necromunda and Horus)
Matt got a copy of Dreadfleet for Christmas and early on in the year we played through a few games. We all really enjoyed it but never really managed to make it a regular thing. I'd still like to get some more games in but I suspect it won't happen.

Matt's previous present of Space Hulk got a bit of an outing this year as we made good progress through the campaign. Sadly we never got much further with it. I still think it's a fantastic game and I'd hope by this time next year we'll have found time to play through the campaign twice (each getting a turn as the terminators).

Matt and I bought ourselves copies of Bloodbowl and despite some early interest we again crept back to 40K and left our teams gathering dust on the shelf. We're determined to play in our first Bloodbowl tournament in 2013. Between now and then I really need to get my dwarves painted up. I'd love to take part in a regular league but committing to a weekly game is difficult for both of us. The 1st company vets run a perpetual league but I'd never make it to WHW in time for more than one game on a Thursday so it seems a bit pointless. I'd still love to start up a Sheffield league (or join an existing one) and I'm looking into this once I'm back in England (I'm in Ireland with the in-laws for Christmas).

This year saw us complete another couple of Necromunda campaigns with my Cawdor gang finally taking victory. Unfortunately, Matt predictably won the others and with one of our regulars leaving the country we struggled to keep the momentum going for another. I have to say that I've quickly lost interest in Necromunda so you might see the models on eBay at some point. We did toy with the idea of starting to play Malifaux but frankly I'm really not a fan of the models. I may still get a set at some point but there are plenty of thing higher up my list than that.

My copy of Fantasy Flight's Horus Heresy board game didn't get much of an outing this year. I played a few games of it but I'd still like to work through some of the other scenarios as I think it's got an interesting mechanic. I'm also working my way through the Black Library books (I've just finished Mechanicum today) so my interest in HH is high at the moment.

In summary we really haven't played enough of the specialist games this year. With limited amounts of time to play our normal 40K games it's difficult to slot some of the other games into our gaming days. Hopefully that will change in 2013 but I suspect I'll be saying the same sort of thing this time next year.

As I've said, this year saw my Tau finally get a paint scheme. A lot of my DE getting three colours and a few more models for my Space Wolves getting finished. Sadly I still don't have any of these three armies finished! I'm about to start a 4th army too so hopefully 2013 will see me find more time to paint them all up! It'd be great to finish the year with all my armies to table-top standard.

At the end of last year I said I wanted to have at least 2,000pts of each army finished by the end of 2012. I've spectacularly failed in this endeavour but hopefully 2013 will be different!

Thanks to picking up a couple of copies of Dark Vengeance (which is a fantastic kit) and selling the Chaos models I've got a good start to my planned DA army (more on them shortly). This will be my main project for this year and I've got high hopes for the codex.

I had hoped to get a lot of my scenery finished and even hoped to make a brand new board. Sadly, I only managed to get my Aegis Defence Line (handy for 6th edition) and Citadel Woods finished which is a bit of a sorry effort. I'm determined that by the end of next year my board will have completely painted scenery!

Matt, Jamie and I also attended both the Design Studio Open Day (I just had to post Matt's disgusted look at Matt Ward again!) and Games Day UK this year and I'd love to go to the events again this year. Both really inspired me to improve my painting and put some work into my collection on miniatures. Hopefully I might actually put that into practice in 2013.

This turned into a bit of an epic post in the end but it's been a pretty busy year. I hope 2013 will be the same. As I mentioned above I'll throw up a New Year's resolution post in early Jan.

For now, thanks to all my opponents in this year's tournaments, everyone who for some reason continues to read my ramblings and finally, for everyone who's helping Blog Wars carry on into it's third year in 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blog Wars 4 Painting Competition (pic heavy)

Sorry for the delay in getting these up but I've finally managed to get the internet installed in my new house so I should be back to regular posting. There's already a lot of things I need to post about that I haven't been able to but I thought I'd finish off the Blog Wars 4 stuff first.

Let's with a look at some of the entries from the competition. First off here's the tournament winner, Andy Humphris' (Sons of Sanguinius), Necrons. I have to say I'm a fan of the fading purple look and this army makes me determined to try airbrushing at some point. If for no other reason than how quick it seems to be!!

Here's Nathaniel Gibbs' Grey Knights. There are some excellent conversions in here and in particular the dreadnoughts with wrist-mounted autocannons. Nathaniel was a close runner up in both the Best Painted Army and Best Painted Special Character votes.

Andy Gosling (Iron Legion) has been working on his "one force" marines. The idea being that his models can be used to represent an army from several different space marine codexes. It's an intriguing prospect as it helps keep both costs and painting time down. Think of it as insurance against your codex becoming useless in comparison to that new one that just came out! Here they're used to represent Blood Angels in his "Team Fist Bump" which sees them in an interesting combination with Necrons!

Here's Andy Lane's (Claws & Fists) Tyranids. He's been working on the army for a little while and its always interesting to read how someone develops their list over time.

So let's move onto the winners. Firstly the Best Painted Special Character award went to Dimitris Kiourtsoglou (hopefully spelt that right!) who was a well deserved winner with his Epidemius conversion:

Dimitris' army also featured some nurgle jetbikes which at first glance you might think were converted from the new Horus Heresy ForgeWorld models. However, as Dimitris demonstrated they were actually scratchbuilds, impressive stuff! You can read more about this army on Dimitris' blog.

Last but not least, the winner of the Best Painted Army award was Graham Sanders. You could tell from the look on his face when I announced it that he wasn't expecting it. However, I was thrilled to see he'd won when I totted up the votes. Had I been judging the competition I'd have certainly picked out his Squats for the prize. Graham has been working on that army for as long as I've known him (if not longer) and it was great to see them finally making it onto the table top. Some people (not me, honest) would call his Squats the "Blue Peter" army since he's made use of various household objects to make them. Anyway, I'll leave you with the pictures but you should read more about the army on Graham's blog.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Blog Wars 4 - Results & Tournament Report

The fourth Blog Wars tournament took place this weekend at Maunsfeld Gaming (Maelstrom's old "Eye of the Storm" venue). Normally my coverage of the event would begin with the results, cover the painting competition entries and then move on to battle reports from my games at the event. There's one slight problem with the battle report part.... I didn't end up playing! With one participant unable to make it through sickness and my back-up not able to take part I was merely a spectator this time around. However, all was not lost because this meant that I was able to appreciate the event as a whole which will hopefully make future events better. More on that later but for now here's a rundown of what went off this time around. Incidently there will be a post about the painting competition still.

Like a Monkey with a Miniature Cymbal
First things first, as you may have read over on the Sons blog, Andy Humphris managed to take victory for the fourth time out of four! This prompted many a discussion about what we can do to stop it happening again. Let me say before I go on that I don't for a second think that Andy didn't deserve victory all 4 times. My first though was that perhaps we need some sort of handicap for him (no I don't mean breaking his thumbs). The problem with that is if someone else wins it will seem like a hollow victory. This applies for any of the other plans that result in Andy in some way being limited. What we need is for someone else to take the trophy from him fair and square. Not saying he wouldn't deserve to win it again but frankly I'm tired of giving him your money!

I think the problem is perhaps in no small part down to the pairing system. Now Swiss pairs isn't something unique to Blog Wars, it's pretty standard at most 40K tournaments. I could write a whole post entirely about the need for a better system and if I ever get the bleeding internet installed in my house then I'm sure I will. Anyway, the thought crossed mind that we should seed Blog Wars. Now, since everyone doesn't come every time we couldn't do it on past form and not everyone has been to a ranked tournament before so we can't use RankingsHQ. However, Andy himself suggested we do something similar to what I think Brighton Warlords (?) do in that they look at the army lists and divide them into tiers. Whilst I know most of the guys that come to Blog Wars, there'd still be some who might have an excellent list but not know how to use it or vice versa. Anyway, this can be saved for a future post. The point is I throw it open to anyone reading this. Everyone loves an underdog so if you reckon you can topple Mr. Humphris from the top of the Blog Wars pile then I invite you to come along to Blog Wars 5!

There were certainly some contenders this time in the form of Frank Marsh, Graham White, Franco Marrufo and Gary "The Voice" Percival who took second. Let's hope next time they can step up their game and stop him.

Clash of the errrr..... what's the opposite of titans?
For me the highlight of the day was the hotly contested battle for the wooden spoon. At the start of game 3 Graham Sanders and newcomer Andy Cox were on the bottom table. Graham's Squat guard against Andy's Necrons. History would teach us that bottom table in the final round is Graham's heartland but the new pretender to the crown (or whatever the opposite is) might offer a strong challenge (or weak whichever is better at this sort of thing).

To cut a long story short the game was close throughout. Andy was sending plenty of Necrons forward towards Graham's Aegis line (that his squats couldn't technically see over!). Volleys of fire from the tiny gunmen cut them down but they couldn't hold out forever. The Tyranids in the previous round had managed to eventually triumph and given enough time it looked like it would be the same with the Necrons. It wasn't looking good when wraiths managed to make it over the barricades and begin their assault. Sadly time's incessant progression would prevent the world from finding out how many squats it takes to kill a wraith. When the clock ticked down it turned out the result was a draw. We'd need to know the victory points (4th/5th edition style) to find out who the biggest loser was. Everything looked good for Graham to secure victory (but lose out on the title) leaving Andy to claim the spoon.......

I entered the results into the spreadsheet, hit sort, scratched my head, called over someone to check results and then realised that a certain Andy Lane had managed to come out of nowhere and steal the prize! The good news is that Graham took best army (more on that later) and Andy Cox managed to take a raffle prize.

The Results
Here's a full rundown of the results:

All that remains of this report is to say a massive thanks to everyone who continues to support this event. There are a handful of people who have been to every single one (or nearly) and that sort of dedication makes it worth the hassle of organising it.

PS. I'll add some more pictures to this post just as soon as I can sort my google storage problems out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quick Appeal on Behalf of a Blog Warrior!

I've been asked by Andy from Sons of Sanguinius to appeal on behalf of Gary "The Voice" Percival. Basically, Gary is coming to Blog Wars 4 this weekend but doesn't currently have transport sorted. If any fellow Blog Warriors (Andy's term but I kind of like it) can help him out please get in touch with Andy through the Sons blog or contact me and I'll pass the message on.

Otherwise preparations for Blog Wars 4 are continuing and I'm about to have a couple of games against Jamie to get me into the swing of things for Saturday. Incidentally you should check out Jamie's blogs here and here.

Finally, I thought I'd give a quick plug for my Movember appeal. For those of you not familiar with it, Movember is a month-long fund raising event for male cancer charities where men of all ages grow a moustache for the entire month of November. In my case it should really be "attempt" to grow a moustache as I'm just too youthful to manage it. That's right, youthful not lacking in manliness in any way! Luckily for you guys my effort will be long gone by Saturday (as I think my wife will force me to get rid) but if you would like to donate you can do so HERE. Thanks in advance.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Armies at Blog Wars 4 - Interesting shift for 6th & PRIZES!!

First things first. Does anyone know Mal Junor or Ewan Smith? They're coming to Blog Wars together as far as I know but they've yet to submit an army list. I've tried emailing but there's no response. If someone knows them, please get them to confirm to me that they're still coming. If they are, they need to get their army list to me ASAP.

Army Distribution
There's an interesting mix of armies at this year's event. Before I get to that though, I took at look at the spread of armies at the previous three events. Since I'm a sad individual I've produced a graph to show the sort of armies people were taking in 5th edition (click on it to make it legible):

As you can see there are a lot of Imperial Guard players and there's been a hefty following of SW, BA and GK who make up 28% of the armies that have come along. If we fast forward to Blog Wars 4 the picture is a little different (again click to embiggen):

Bear in mind this only represents the Primary Detachment so I've ignored the allies to make it. Sadly there are neither any Orks nor Black Templars this time around. One thing we aren't going to be short of are Necrons! There a 5 people bringing Necrons out of the current 28! Granted if the two mentioned at the start don't come we'll be down one but still it seems that people agree with me that Necrons are pretty strong in 6th! Now obviously this isn't the most accurate statistical analysis in the world but I still think it's pretty interesting. What's most surprising is the number of tyranid players! Now, Blog Wars veteran Chris Benstead from Weemen has been pretty consistent with his support of them but some of the other guys are coming to them from other races. Daemons are also making a pretty strong showing and the ever present Grey Knights don't seem to have dipped in popularity. On the contrary Space Wolves certainly have with only one person taking them.

The interesting thing will be how the armies fair across the tournament. Obviously winning Blog Wars 4 is hardly proof of one codex's dominance but part of me thinks it'd be funny if Necrons don't win!! At least I'm representing for the Tau Empire (even if they're joined by some space puppies)!

Sisters of Battle remain the only race to have never been represented at Blog Wars!

Special Characters
Thanks to the allies system there are actually lots of armies (about a quarter) which feature more than one special character. I'm pretty pleased to see it as you should all know by now that I'm a fan! The clear winner of the special character popularity contest is Inquisitor Coteaz from the Grey Knights book. It's pretty easy to see why as he opens up a host of options in the troops section and is pretty good himself! There are tons of characters who appear more than once and there are only actually 21 different characters in attendance. Not that significant until you consider the number of armies with more than one!

What's also nice to see again is armies that are truly themed around a special character. Special mention (no pun intended) has to go to Dimitris Kiourtsoglou with his Nurgle themed army with converted Epidemius. As ever I can't wait to see all the armies on the table-top.

This is the bit I'm sure you're all interested in. The main prize breakdown is as follows:

1st Place: £25
2nd Place: £15
3rd Place: £10
Last Place: £5 & Wooden Spoon
Best Painted Army: £15
Best Painted Special Character: £10

Now, in previous Blog Wars tournaments the prizes have all been in the form of Maelstrom vouchers. Obviously, since they don't technically exist anymore, I won't be able to do that again. The new name for the venue is Eye of the Storm but unfortunately they no longer stock GW products. Therefore what I propose is to let the winners of the prizes decide for themselves what they'd like their prize in the form of (and no I won't do that for money). Think what you like about the Maelstrom saga but I've always liked the venue and I think it would be a shame for it to vanish so I'd like to support them. However, I totally understand if people would rather have an alternative. Therefore I'm prepared to issue Games Workshop vouchers as an alternative. For those of you who don't want to get their stuff from GW at full price I've spoken to my FLGS (Wargames Emporium) in Sheffield and they've agreed to accept vouchers for their store at 20% off which will mean the prizes are a bit more valuable. As I said I'll leave it up to people on the day.

Alternatively, if people prefer, I could pop into my FLGS and buy some suitable prizes to the same values as those above but I'd personally be against this as it will probably mean getting something you don't really want/need.

So I mentioned on Wednesday that'd there'd be some spot prizes and a raffle on the day so here's what you can win there:

The prizes shown in the picture will be split between the raffle and spot prizes. There'll be a spot prize for each game for achieving something I'll announce on the day but you can win:

Game 1: Gale Force Nine Counter Set
Game 2: GW Dice Cube
Game 3: Gale Force Nice Counter Set

At the end of the day, just after the awards ceremony I'll draw the raffle. Everyone who's coming will automatically get one entry to the draw. The prizes are as follows:

1. New Chaos Space Marine Codex and set of Psychic Cards
2. The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
3. "Battlescape" scenery piece
4. Munitorum Vehicle Dice
5. 2 Servo Skull tape measures

I hope you agree it's worth sticking around to the end to see if you win something from that little lot! Basically I'll draw names out of a hat and let people pick which single prize they want. I hope people prefer this prize structure to that of previous events. The plan was to make the tournament prizes smaller to discourage people from bringing cheesy lists whilst also freeing up some cash for more bonus prizes!

In case I forget to mention it on the day or don't get chance to post again before the event I'd like to say a big  thanks to everyone who continues to support this event. There are several people who've been to all (or most) of the four events and I hope you'll all be at Blog Wars 5 and 6 in 2013 as well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog Wars Army Lists

Spent a painful few hours checking all the army lists today. I've emailled out queries so if you haven't had an email then assume your army list is fine! There's some interesting combinations coming and I'm pleased to see a lot of different races represented. I'll throw up a post later this week with a full rundown of what you can expect to face! There's been an interesting shift in the armies people are using since 6th but more on that later.

As it stands at the moment we have 28 participants which is a pretty good number in my opinion. It means we've got enough to minimise repeat pairings without have so many that it doesn't feel as friendly as normal. Luckily for me it also means that I can play. As I've said before, if there ends up being an odd number on the day then I'll simply not play. I'm popping into my FLGS later to sort out the raffle/spot/door prizes depending on what I can come up with. *EDIT* I think I made the owner pretty happy when I bought all the spot/raffle prizes for the day! I'll throw up some pictures on that post I promised above.

There is one small confession I have to make though. I've been forced to change my army list. With the house move I've simply not found the time to get my Dark Eldar army up to scratch. This is a huge disappointment for me as I was looking forward to showing what they're capable of in 6th edition. I've therefore had to switch to my backup list which is Tau with Space Wolf allies. It's nowhere near as fun but it is a lot easier to use and hence should mean my games will go quicker which has to be a good thing as tournament organiser. Anyway since I've seen your lists I suppose you ought to see mine:

1,848pts of Tau with Space Wolf Allies
Shas'el w/ Fusion, Plasma, Shield, HWMT
2x Shas'vre bodyguard w/ Fusion, Plasma, TA, HWMT

2x Crisis Shas'ui w/ Flamer, T-L Missile Pod

3x 8 Fire Warriors in Devilfish (DPod)

2x 2 Broadsides (ASS, Leader w/ DC, 2 Shield Drones, HWTL)

Ulrik the Slayer
Rune Priest (Jaws/Lightning)

9 Grey Hunters w/ flamer, standard, MotW (WS5 from Ulrik) in Drop Pod

5 Long fangs (4 MLs)

Nothing too complicated. Shas'el and his team deep strike in to deal with terminators and the like. Drop pod slams down and Ulrik and co. harass behind enemy lines and probably die trying. Fire warriors are nice and cosy in their 'fish with the new DP rules and can put out a nice amount of fire when they jump out. Broadsides do what broadsides do best.

Was tempted to squeeze an aegis line in but didn't really fit with the army very well somehow so I'm happy with what I've got. Not going to win but should be capable of putting up a good fight against most things.

Stay tuned for the post about prizes and the races that are represented!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Blog Wars 4 Updates

Thought I'd answer a couple of questions that have arisen this week. Before I do let me remind you that tickets will still be available until midnight next Saturday. This is also the deadline for army list submission.

Maelstrom Games Collapse
As you may be reading across the internet, Maelstrom Games has gone under. I wanted to get a post up pretty quickly to prevent any concerns that Blog Wars 4 won't be going ahead. It is my understanding that whilst the retail arm of the business is going into liquidation, the Eye of the Storm venue is still trading normally.

I want to reassure everyone coming to BW4 that their money is safe. If I'm forced to cancel the event because it turns out the venue is closing then everyone will get their ticket price back. Therefore if you're having doubts about coming along because of the Maelstrom drama then rest assured that you won't be taking a risk in buying a ticket!

One final point on this. I've yet to clarify whether the venue still has a store attached to it. If it does then I'll check if participants still get the 15% tournament discount. I think it's more likely that the shop has gone but I'll let you know what I can find out. The other thing of course is that the prizes are in the form of Maelstrom Games vouchers at the moment. I am, of course, going to change this but wanted to know if people would prefer an actual physical prize (i.e. a box of miniatures, scenery etc) or some monetary equivalent.

Special Characters in Allies
I've had a couple of people asking me to change the ruling about the Special Character having to come from the Primary Detachment. As ever with these things I'm open to suggestions but I wanted to just explain my thinking on this before I let people debate about what I should do.

First of all I have no problem with an allied detachment containing a special character as long as the "commander" is in the primary detachment. I can't see an issue with armies having more than one SC regardless of where they are in the list but I intended for the "commander" to be from the primary detachment. It just makes sense to me that the leader of the force would be from the main codex.

My concern with SCs in allied detachments was that people would simply take a cheap troop unit in order to field a strong SC from another codex. For example a 5-man BA assault squad or scouts to allow Mephiston to be taken. The reason I'm not a fan of this is I think it detracts from the feel of the army when done in this way. However, I appreciate that this isn't the only reason people might want an allied SC.

I know a couple of people have written their lists around an allied SC and I apologise for not being clearer about it in the initial rules. Do people have any strong objection to me allowing the "commander" SC to be in the allied detachment? Does it matter if this is the only SC in the army? Frankly I don't think it'll make that much difference and of course I'll see all the army lists and be able to clarify things.

So it's up to you guys. If people aren't really fussed then I'll just let people take their "commander" SC wherever they like in the army! As ever I appreciate your feedback.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Blog Wars 4 Ticket and Army List Deadline

Firstly, let me apologise for my recent lack of blog posts. We've recently moved house and our internet connection won't be activated until bloody December!! Therefore I'm currently borrowing my mobile's internet connection to post but as you can imagine it isn't ideal!

Anyway, all that aside I wanted to throw up some updates about Blog Wars 4.

Maelstrom Drama
Let's get this out of the way before I talk about the fun stuff. As you may have read on various sites across the internet Maelstrom is apparently having some financial difficulties. Obviously as this is the venue for Blog Wars I've been paying attention to this.

However, as far as I'm aware the venue, Eye of the Storm, will not be affected by the apparent problems. From what I've heard they split the venue which was profitable from the store which was struggling in the wake of GW's change to shipping policy (i.e. can't seen to the US/Australia any more). Anyway, I believe they've moved the store to a new warehouse and kept the two things separate. I think they're trying to deal with the complaints from people about not receiving stuff but obviously I don't work for them so I can't comment.

The important thing as far as Blog Wars 4 is concerned is that I haven't heard anything about the venue closing. Given the the event is only a month away I would've expected to hear something by now and haven't. I'll be getting in touch with them in a couple of weeks to order the food etc so I'll confirm everything then. If the unthinkable happens and the venue closes then I'll try and find somewhere else at short notice but more likely I'll refund everyone's tickets and re-arrange for next year. Hopefully it won't come to that. I think it's mostly just internet forum drama but we'll see what happens.

Ticket Sales and Army List Submission
As with previous Blog Wars events, tickets will be on sale up until two weeks before the event which is the 17th of November. This is also the deadline for army list submission. For those of you new to Blog Wars I tend to ask for army lists a couple of weeks in advance because it allows me time to check them through and clarify any potential problems. This means that the day will run a lot more smoothly and we shouldn't have any of the issues surrounding inaccurate lists being found halfway through the tournament. One thing to bear in mind is that:

BLOG WARS 4 IS 1850 PTS NOT 1750 LIKE BW 1-3

As you can see from the BW4 page we're currently a bit short on numbers compared to BW3. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll get the usual last minute purchases (looking at you Humphris!). As ever I'd ideally like 20 as a minimum but looking at some of the other smaller events it seems tournament attendance is down a little which is perhaps due to some uncertainty about 6th edition. No matter how many show up on the day I'm sure it will be just as much fun as it has been the last 3 times I've run it.

Please take some time to read through the scenarios and rules back before the event. I'll shortly be emailling PDFs of this to everyone who's bought a ticket so far. If you have any queries about ANYTHING now is the time to raise them rather than trying to work them out on the day. As ever, please bear in mind I run this pretty much solo so you'll understand if I don't get back to emails straight away.

The Daemon Issue
In a recent post I talked about the current problem with the daemons codex and a couple of units that are slightly ambiguously worded between the codex, WD update and rulebook. In summary, the rules for screamers and flamers need clarifying with regards to what parts of the two versions of the "Daemon" rule actually apply to them.

Since that post GW have put up an FAQ stating that these units get all parts of the two different "Daemon" rules. Now, I'm glad they've clarified things but frankly I think it's the wrong decision. For 20-odd points you get 2 wounds, Eternal Warrior, a 5+ invulnerable save, Fearless, Fear, etc. The screamers also get S5 AP2 attacks with Armorbane and the flamers get a 4+ AP1 flamer. That's frankly obscene for the amount of points these units cost.

Anyone who's played them at a tournament knows that these units are nearly impossible to kill. Now, all armies have their deathstars that are hard to shift but when you can comfortably take 3x9 screamers and 3x9 flamers in a list that still contains scoring units too, I think something is amiss.

Blog Wars is supposed to be fun and no-one will have fun playing an army like that. If they really think about the guy controlling it won't enjoy it either. Rather than imposing restrictions I'm emploring people to think about their armies lists carefully. I'll get to see everyone's lists before the event and if any of them contain a large amount of these units then I may ask them to rethink.

I realise this seems a bit childish to say "you can't take unit "x" because I can't beat it", but really think about how your army could deal with these units.

I'm open to suggestions on this issue but please keep things civil.

If you know anyone who you think might like to come to Blog Wars 4 please send them in the direction of the blog. Doesn't matter if they've never been to a tournament before, I'm sure many of the "veterans" of previous events will tell you that it's a friendly environment where everyone is welcome.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chaos Daemons in 6th - Screamers and Flamers

EDIT: I've noticed this post is getting a lot of hits recently with the new codex. Please bear in mind most of the stuff here doesn't apply any more.

With Blog Wars just less than 6 weeks away there are a lot of things left to sort out. Not least of which are my Dark Eldar which are still not fully painted up (or even 3 colours). I'm in the process of moving house at the moment so hopefully once we're settled in the new place I can get down to some serious painting to get them done. Anyway, that isn't what I want to talk about today.

In our last game at the 40k doubles we played against a very good Daemons/CSM list that fairly comfortably beat us (we did have some shocking luck with some things mind you). Fast forward a couple of months and Matt has been filling me in on his performance at Open War. Unfortunately, I was on a stag do so I wasn't able to attend but from Matt's reports the top players were a group of friends who'd all brought Chaos Daemons in one combination or another. Now in 5th edition no one would've expected these guys to be anywhere near the top but that has certainly changed.

You may remember that shortly before the CSM codex we were treated to a White Dwarf update for Daemons. Aside from introducing the Slaanesh chariots there were also new rules for some resculpted units. The most notable of these were the flamers and screamers.

Having played against these two units I'm of the impression that they're extremely overpowered, if not broken. Now, regular readers of this blog will know that I try to look at things with a balanced perspective (well that's the plan anyway) and I'm not normally one to be using words as strong as "broken". However, in this case I think it's warranted. I'll come on to why I believe they're broken in a moment but ultimately the problem is that in 40K if something is overpowered then we can expect to see them in droves at tournaments. No-one could be blamed for bringing the best units from their codex but I'm a firm believer that, especially in 40K, variety is the spice of life. How dull was it when everyone had a wall of GK razorbacks with psyfleman dreads? It was the same with leafblower guard with piles of hydras and vendettas all over the place.

It seems that we're heading that way with Daemons which isn't something I thought I'd ever say. I think Daemons are actually better in general with the advent of 6th edition (which is actually true of most armies that struggled in 5th). With the Deep Strike Mishap table being a little bit more forgiving and reserves arriving more reliably Daemons players aren't suffering as much. Couple that with the removal of the Fearless wounds in combat and they are already looking better. The White Dwarf update to Screamers and Flamers went a bit too far though. If this was any other army we'd have seen tons of them by now but, because they were never particularly popular, people haven't taken advantage of the rules changes like they would have with another army. However, as more and more people cotton onto these units capabilities we're sure to get sick of them. Let's take a look at what has, in my opinion, gone wrong.

Both screamers and flamers are now two-wound models. Which fine until you try to apply the "Daemon" special rule that they both have. Now, in the codex it says that they'd have Eternal Warrior, Fearless, Daemonic Assault etc. However, in the new rulebook they simply get a 5++ save and Fear. Most Daemons players at the moment are of the opinion that these models now have a combination of both sets of rules. This means they have a 5++ save, EW, Fear, Fearless and Daemonic Assault.

The sticking point is Eternal Warrior. I have no problem with some of the other units in the Codex having it. Someone may as well be getting EW daemon princes after all! The trouble is that for a relatively inexpensive unit to have 2 wounds at T4 and EW is wrong. Let's put this into context for a minute. Screamers have been compared to Dark Eldar Reavers in the sense that they can do something similar to Bladevanes. Just like the DE unit the Screamers do D3 S4 hits per model as they pass over an enemy unit. They can then benefit from a 5++ jink save which increases to 4++ thanks to turbo-boosting. This isn't too bad because they used to have 4++ saves anyway.

Dark Eldar reavers get a 3++ save in the same situation but although they can move further they'll be a lot more vulnerable to fire than the screamers because they have a single wound each at T3. The screamers T4 and 4++ save is perhaps comparable but you aren't losing as many actual models because of them having 2 wounds. When assaulted the screamers will get 3 S5 AP2 attacks at I4 compared to the reavers 3 S3 AP- attacks at I6. Let's think about that for a second, AP2 attacks. That seems pretty good when they are only 25pts for a 2 wound (potentially EW) model compared to 22pts for the S3 single wound DE equivalent. Not to mention that the screamers have a permanent 5++ save even if they haven't moved whereas the reavers only have a 5+ armour save if they're not zipping around.

Now I'm aware that direct comparisons between units are always a bit dodgy but I think this really highlights how good screamers have become. Think about a full strength unit of 9 screamers. How would your army deal with them? That's 18 S4 wounds you've got to shift. Charging them will be painful for any unit with those S5 AP2 attacks. Shooting them with high strength won't help you. Think about paladin blobs and how hard they are to shift sometimes but now think what they'd be like if you couldn't Instant Death them!

Flamers are pretty horrific too. They've got the same thing going off with the 5++ save, 2 T4 wounds and Eternal Warrior. They also have a ridiculously good defence against assaults in the form of Breath of Chaos as a Wall of Death. That means each flamer is going to kill a model with Overwatch fire (based on average of 2 hits at 4+ to wound). A full squad of 9 of them would probably destroy the entire charging unit before any blows were struck in combat. Now I think most people will still be taking them in 3s but even in small numbers they're devastating.

This is all without even mentioning that they both occupy different FOC slots so you can have 3 units of each and still have points for a few plaguebearers to sit on objectives whilst these ridiculous units sweep across the board with the help of a couple of winged princes.

Now, the hope was that the FAQs would address this issue pretty soon. However, the latest FAQ states that basically Daemons now add Fear to the list of rules they get from their version of the "Daemon" special rule. That seems to imply that they don't get the 5++ save but do still have Eternal Warrior. If that's the case then technically neither unit has any kind of save at all!!

In my opinion the intention was for these units to have 6th edition rulebook version of Daemon which would mean a 5++ save and Fear but also still retaining Daemonic Assault. That would mean that we could all merrily hit them with S8+ stuff to shift them relatively easily without them being so gimped that people stop taking them again.

Until GW does something concrete with this it's going to have to be one of those things that is up to players discretion. I don't think it's reasonable to say they get all aspects of both versions of the rule but at the same time if they don't get some bits of both then they don't function as a unit.

As the TO for Blog Wars I will have to make some sort of decision prior to the tournament but I wanted to see what the general opinion was on this issue. Fingers crossed GW FAQ it before December but they aren't known for doing helpful things like that!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Eldar 1850pt Army for Blog Wars 4

Blog Wars 4 is a little over 7 weeks away and tickets are still available if you'd like to come. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Blog Wars is a tournament that I run where the blogging community can come together and throw a few dice together. Whilst it started off as mainly bloggers the last couple of events saw more people who don't blog coming along. The event is of course open to anyone and at £15 for a 3-game tournament (including lunch) I think it's pretty good value especially when there's a sizable prize pot too!

The aim of Blog Wars 4 is to continue in the friendly spirit of the first 3 events whilst also trying out everything 6th edition has to offer. With the first 6th codex in the mits of the Dark Gods' followers I'm hoping to see some Chaos armies on the table. Blog Wars 4 will allow for most of the aspects of the new rules. The only thing that won't be included is random terrain placement (although I'd like to try it at BW5). Everything else is in from flyers to fortifications, allies to mysterious terrain. I share Natfka's (from Faeit212) opinion that 6th is here so there's no point playing 40k 5.5 and picking which rules you want to play.

Being Blog Wars there's a single restriction in that each army MUST include a special character. The missions are slightly themed around these special characters and there is a prize for the best painted SC as well as the best painted overall army. Anyway, advert over, here's what I'll be taking to Blog Wars 4:

1,850pts of Dark Eldar
Duke Sliscus
2 Haemonculi

9 Kabalite Trueborn (5 shard, 2 blaster, 2 cannon, haywires) in Raider

3x 5 Kabalite Warriors (blaster) in Venoms (2 cannons)
2x 9 Wyches (haywires) in Raiders

2x 6 Reaver Jetbikes (2 heat lance)

3 Ravagers

Nothing too complicated. With the rules changing about assaulting from webways I had to ditch my list from BW3. I've was a big fan of Baron Sathonyx but I fancied a change and Duke seems to be an interesting alternative. The haemonculi will join the wyches in the raiders and blast forwards to make the most of the haywires against enemy vehicles. The venoms will sit at maximum range and hopefully torrent down some infantry, later on in the game they can get into 24" or even 12" and the squads inside can rapid fire too. When they inevitably get destroyed the warriors will hug objectives.

The reavers will be used for harassment purposes either by bladevaning smaller units or trying to pick off vehicles with their heat lances before darting away. The aim is to keep them turbo-boosting as much as possible. In some games I might keep them in reserve. The ravagers are pretty self explanatory but they'll be my best chance of scoring First Blood points.

Finally, Duke's unit of trueborn are my shooty death star unit. Granted they're pretty flimsy but there isn't anything they can't take on. Hitting on 3s and wounding on 3s against everything means they'll have no problem taking down high toughness targets and the pair of blasters (coupled with Duke's pistol) will give vehicles something to worry about. Not to mention that haywire grenades make them a threat to all vehicles.

Now, I'm not naive enough to think they won't be targetted pretty early on by savvy opponents but hopefully by that point I'll have gotten them into a position where they can do some damage. If I fail to get first turn I'll have to make sure Duke's raider is getting a cover save but that isn't as hard as it used to be and at least I'll be able to position him near to the best target.

Duke also gives me the advantage of rolling twice on the combat drugs table. This did tempt me to swap the warriors for more wyches to take full advantage but the danger there is that you waste the venoms as you try and get the wyches into combat. To be honest it's all a bit experimental for me as I haven't really run this type of DE list much but I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun trying. That's assuming I get to play of course as I'm sure people will remember that that's been in doubt up until the day before all 3 previous Blog Wars!!

Anyway, my current problem is getting the army ready for the day. I had planned on having it all fully painted but I'm now being more realistic and aiming for 3 colours. The wyches, warriors and reavers are already at this point but the vehicles and Duke's unit need some work. I'll post up my progress in the coming weeks but suffice to say I'm already getting bored of line highlighting!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Post #250 - Battle Report - Goodbye Gaming Loft!

For quite a while now I've been lucky enough to have the attic room of our house set up as a permanent gaming loft. It's great not having to put everything away after a battle and gives us a massive space to play our games in. However, all good things must come to an end and, since we'll shortly be moving house, the time has come to say goodbye to my gaming loft. We finished as we started, testing army lists for a tournament. This time around it was Matt wanting to test his list out for Open War. Sadly I can't go as I'm away for a friend's stag weekend (the same one that pushed Blog Wars 4 back!). We therefore played a couple of 1,750 point games. Both gave me a chance to try some things out for myself as well. Matt was fielding a GK list with BA allies:

1,750pts of GK/BA
5 Purifiers w/ 2 psycannons, 2 halberds
4x 3 Warrior Acolytes in Razorbacks
2 Crusaders and 7 Death Cult Assassins in a Stormraven with sponsons/psybolt
Dreadknight w/ personal teleporter & heavy incinerator
2 Psyfleman dreadnoughts

5 Assault marines w/ jump packs, meltagun, power sword

Game One - DE vs GK/BA
I've been wanting to give my Blog Wars list a trial run. Obviously for this game I had to ditch 100pts but it didn't really change the list too much. In both games I wanted to present Matt with a strong challenge. His list relies on two toughness 6 models with a 2+ save (Mephiston/Dreadknight) so my massed poisoned and darklight weaponry would cause him a lot of problems. Here's my list:

1,750pts of DE
Duke Sliscus
2 Haemonculi
9 Trueborn (2 blaster, 2 splinter cannon, 5 shardcarbines, haywires) in Raider (disint, trophies)
3x 5 Warriors (blaster) in Venom
2x 9 Wyches (haywires) in Raiders (disint, trophies)
9 Reavers
3 Ravagers

There's a few things here that I haven't really tried out much such as disintegrators and trophies on my raiders and Duke Sliscus with a large trueborn unit. Anyway onto the game.

We were playing The Scouring with Vanguard deployment. I won the roll off for both deployment and first turn. Duke's drugs re-roll allowed me to give all my drug units an extra attack (I fully expected to roll snake eyes!). Matt was keeping his stormraven and BA marines in reserve so I wanted to chew threw a lot of the rest of his army before they arrived.

I fired my ravagers into his vehicles but despite stripping some hull points I failed to destroy either of the razorbacks I'd targetted. This meant the reavers would only be able to bladevane Mephiston who was unlikely to ignore the attack. Sure enough he lost a wound but then charged them down in Matt's turn and wiped them out. Elsewhere Duke and his unit fired a punishing amount of poisoned/darklight fire into the dreadknight leaving it with two wounds. I'd failed to score a First Blood kill though and I knew Matt wouldn't have the same problem.

Sure enough Matt took down Duke's raider and one of the wyches raiders too. I positioned both units extremely carefully to minimise the damage from the heavy incinerator and to hopefully prevent the purifiers from charging the wyches. I measured the range to be about 5" for them to be able to get in. With Matt having to go through the wreck I thought I'd have a good chance of keeping out of combat. Sadly I'd missed one of the purifiers that was actually closer. When Matt rolled 5, 2, 1 giving him 3" range they were still in. A pretty costly mistake as the purifiers easily wiped out the wyches. The dreadknight was not so lucky though. I hit him 3 times with overwatch fire but it all pinged harmlessly off it's armour. He then charged in and challenged Duke. Thanks to his drugs Duke hit with 4 attacks and wounded with 3. Crucially he'd rolled two 5s meaning the dreadknight could only make invulnerable saves meaning it died before getting to strike!

I lined up my remaining forces to put a withering amount of fire down on the purifiers who were hiding in the raider's wreckage. When the dust settled Coteaz was alone on a single wound! I got the reamining wyches out of their raider to try and charge one of the dreadnoughts with their haywires. Sadly I couldn't find the range even with a fleet re-roll (I re-rolled a 1 and got the same again!). They were then lined up as Mephiston's next victims. In Matt's turn 2 the Stormraven and BA marines arrived. The BA killed a ravager with their meltagun and the stormraven and dreadnoughts made light work of the other two ravagers. I'd now struggle to deal with the dreads and flyer.

From this point on it was an uphill struggle. I scored a flukey hit with one of my warrior squad's blaster but couldn't penetrate. The stormraven went onto kill the venoms with help from the dreadnoughts. Duke Sliscus was gunned down by a razorback causing instant death and we called it there since I'd have little hope of winning with my sole remaining 5-man warrior squad!!

Game One Conclusion
Despite losing I really enjoyed the game. Matt and I agree that 6th edition seems to have a lot more interesting things happening. Even when you're on the losing side you find the game entertaining. Perhaps it's just because Matt and I are increasingly evenly matched though as I finally start getting better at the game!

Anyway, I think my list performed pretty well and it was a couple of costly mistakes that made the difference. In the first turn I should've focussed all my ravagers on a single target to ensure I got First Blood. I should've blasted the second wych raider flat out to ensure they got into range rather than fruitlessly firing the disintegrator cannon. A haywire armed wych squad could've made a mess of dreads and razorback alike. The other wych squad would've survived if I'd measured the purifiers' charge range more accurately. They'd also have gone on to haywire some vehicles.

The reavers should've either been kept in reserve or should've held back for a couple of turns to wait for a better target and avoid being charged easily. So in summary I'm pretty pleased with my list. Duke's unit works well with all that 3+ poisoned fire making a mess of the dreadknight. I already prefer him to Baron. The disintegrator cannons on the raiders seem to be a good idea. I never find the raiders last long and if they can kill a couple of terminators then they're probably doing ok. The grisly trophies aren't worth it but they aren't in my BW list anyway so it's of no concern but good to know.

Game Two - SW/Tau vs GK/BA
I've been playing around with the combination of Tau and Space Wolves ever since 6th came out. Here's my current offering:

1,750pts of Tau/SW
Shas'el (Fusion, Plasma, Shield, HWMT)
2 Bodyguard (Fusion, Plasma, TA, HWMT)
2 Crisis suits (TL Missiles, Flamer)
2x 9 Fire warriors in Devilfish (DP)
8 Fire warriors in Devilfish (DP)
2x 2 Broadsides (ASS, DC, 2x Shield Drones, TL, Blacksun)

Rune Priest (Divination)
10 Grey Hunters (Plasma, Melta, Standard, MotW) in Drop Pod
6 Long Fangs (5 Missiles)

This list basically has an incredibly strong fire base from the broadsides and long fangs (who can re-roll to hit thanks to Prescience) and then three devilfish full of firewarriors to push up to objectives with support from the suits and Grey Hunters.

We were playing Hammer & Anvil and the Emperor's Will. In this mission the Secondary Objectives are crucial as they are often the only thing separating the two armies. Matt won the table side roll off and we both put out objectives in ruins centrally in our deployment zones. I again won the roll off for first turn and Matt again failed to seize with his Coteaz re-roll.

The drop pod slammed in behind one of the dreadnoughts and a combination of meltagun and bolter fire (the plasma missed) left the dread as a smouldering wreck. The broadsides did what they do best with the other dreadnought which exploded catastrophically. Matt's shooting was frustrated by my newly buffed Disruption Pods giving my devilfish a 3+ save. The dreadknight leapt forward and incinerated 4 fire warriors causing them to flee. Mephiston responded to the grey hunters attack on the dreadnought by charging into combat with them but not before losing a wound to overwatch fire. The lord of death killed a handful of grey hunters but was wounded twice by the wulfen.

The commander and his bodyguard dropped in from high above the battlefield and opened up on the dreadknight leaving it with a single wound. The nearby fire warriors used their pulse rifles to take it's remaining wound (Matt wasn't best pleased to lose it so easily again, especially not to Fire Warriors!). The broadsides took down two of the razorbacks (one squad of acolytes ran off the board) and immobilised a third. Mephiston killed more grey hunters but was down to a single wound as the wulfen rended again.

Turn two for Matt saw both the Stormraven and the assault marines arrive. The flyer blasted at full speed to attack the commander. The assault marines tried a risky deep strike near the broadsides and mishapped meaning I could deploy them. I shoved them out of range of anything and in the open so that I could hopefully kill them off next turn. The stormraven left the commander and one of his bodyguard on a single wound but couldn't kill them and the purifiers were again frustrated by the disruption pods.

Having come close to the edge of the board my fleeing fire warriors regrouped on the second attempt. The stormraven was out in the open with a lot of firepower bearing down on it. Sadly, although one of  the broadsides hit they could only glance but at least forced an Evade roll. The long fangs, despite having prescience failed to hit with a single missile! Fire from the commander and his team stripped another hullpoint though. The assault marines took a torrent of fire from the good old Fish of Fury style attack leaving them with just 2 models left. Mephiston finished off the grey hunters.

The stormraven was forced to hover to still be able to hit something and allow the death cults to dismount. The death cults made short work of the crisis command team. The stormraven penetrated a devilfish only for the disruption pods to strike again. In order to protect the warrior acolytes on Matt's objective from the drop pod's storm bolter he decided to charge it with Mephiston. He decided that S10 would help so roll for Sanguine Sword and double sixed it killing the lord of death!! On the other side of the board the assault marines declared a charge on the fire warriors only to be gunned down by overwatch fire as Matt failed both armour saves! From this point there was little hope for Matt but we carried on all the same.

The hovering stormraven fell to the first volley from the broadsides killing a death cult in the explosion. The death cults were gunned down by a combination of double flamers from the crisis suits and torrents of pulse weapon fire. The fire warriors who'd killed the BA jumped in their devilfish and sped off to contest the enemy objective. The purifiers managed to kill the missile crisis team but it was too little too late. Sadly the game ended on turn 5 so I was unable to push for the tabling. Despite it looking very much in my favour we were only separated by the First Blood point as my Fire Warriors weren't quite in range to contest!

Game Two Conclusion
Matt's been given a lot to think about by this list. Granted it's pretty much his worst nightmare. No-one likes broadsides and especially not when combined with long fangs. I was trying out a new role for the rune priest here by using Divination and deploying him with the rockets. The nearby ammo dump meant I was re-rolling 1s to hit so his Perfect Timing power allowed me to Ignore Cover and helped kill a razorback. Prescience should've helped with the flyer and I was unlucky not to get a single 6 with ten rolls! In a game like this where Matt struggled to get to my back line the Rune Priest was well protected. The only issue here was that his psychic denial was wasted as it was never in range.

When you look at it in the cold light of day 100pts is quite a lot to spend on letting your long fangs re-roll to hit. Even so it's certainly another option. The drop pod grey hunters did their job well, killing a dread and eventually causing the death of Mephiston. They add a dynamic element to what is otherwise a pretty static gunline.

On the Tau side I think all the units performed perfectly. The broadsides didn't hit as often as I would've like but they were still destructive. The stabilisation systems are pretty much a must have these days as they no longer slow their movement (when are you ever going to run broadsides?!). I'm very glad to have target locks back!! The crisis team gave me another option for killing vehicles and the flamers came in handy. They're probably a weaker part of the army though and with the long fangs and broadsides they are a bit redundant. I could perhaps ditch them and spend the points on some SW stuff.

Finally, the Disruption Pods need FAQing. I can understand how GW intended them to work but at the moment for 5pts you get a 3++ save on your vehicles if they move and 5++ if they don't. What they should've done is made them a 5+ invulnerable save so that you still get a save even if the vehicle hasn't moved. Basically like a Flickerfield but cheaper. For a 5pt upgrade to make a vehicle more resilient than a land raider is a bit ludicrous. Even as a Tau player I think it needs to change.

Two fantastic games to send off my gaming loft then! Matt's going to have a rethink of his list but apart from a couple of little tweaks I'm really pleased with mine!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Games Day UK 2012 - Golden Demon (pic heavy)

Following on from yesterday's post about the Armies on Parade competition. Here's a selection of the entries in the Golden Demon contest. I find these models inspiring and demoralising in equal measure. On the one hand you get some fantastic ideas for your own army but on the other you realise your models will never look anything like the masterpieces in front of you! Here goes:

I particularly like this one as there's a feeling of it being a scene from an actual battle. The poses of the models really convey them trudging through a blizzard too.

My picture doesn't really do it justice but the entry above has a pack of fenrisian wolves with a space marine in the throes of a transformation into a wulfen leading them in a charge. The entry below was very clever with the guardsmen treading carefully over an ice plain that's got a hidden surprise for them.

This one shows a scene from Murder in the early Horus Heresy novels. Anyone who's read the book will remember the bone coloured trees and the chittering bugs. Shame they haven't constructed a megarachnid though! Below is the eventual winner of the Slayer Sword which again isn't done any justice my photography but GW did a better job on their site.

The next few entries come from my favourite catergory "Duel". These entries all seemed to convey a struggle to the death between two opposing warriors and are particularly apt in these days of Challenges:

Here's a selection of my personal highlights from the rest of the competition:

The rest of the models come from the open category. I'm a big fan of these larger scale models as they present a very different challenge when it comes to painting them. I know Scott was tempted to pick one up from Forge World and have a go:

Finally, here are a couple of models that must've been painted in quite a hurry!


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