Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've Been Awake For....Forever

Sadly have not gotten in any gaming since my two wins with the Ogres. When I've been available, no one else has been; and when I'm unavailable it hardly matters what their availability is...

In the meantime I've done a little more thinning of the herd. The Black Templars are on Ebay and finally selling. The Searforge Commission (Warmachine Dwarven Mercs) are as well and sadly are NOT selling. I have waffled on and off about the Eldar (tried to sell them, couldn't get what I considered to be a reasonable price, decided to keep them) and have fallen back into the "get rid of them" column. I am sitting on the fence about my Hordes Circle collection, since it is huge, but I don't know that I play enough Hordes to justify having two armies for it - which is why I got rid of all save one of my Warmachine armies (had all of them, now only have Menoth)

On the painting side, I'm trying to get my pile of unpainted Chaos Space Marines painted, but it seems that my preferred price per model might be a little on the too cheap side.

Can't win.

Still I do have some Thousand Sons in progress, with the painter who is also working on the Silver Skulls. Very slowly. Musn't complain. There might be progress on my Dark Elf army, maybe, possibly, keeping my fingers crossed painfully.

I've also been struggling with my IT MUST BE MINE!!!! instincts, from the Warmachine Retribution army, to Space Wolves, to even going after new games like Arcane Legions. Sadly I have succumbed to lure of Malifaux, although I can partly blame Jeff for that. I also want to pick up the Space Wolf codex and Planetstrike Codex one of these days.

Presently on my "buy" list:

Space Wolf codex
Planetstrike codex
Malifaux rulebook
Malifaux Cult of December box
Terrain - want to get some more variety of stuff. Including the Planetstrike stuff.

I think that's it for this update.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another weekend done, but some gaming to show for it.

Played some Warhammer this weekend, with my sadly unpainted Ogre Kingdoms army.

Tyrant (1#, 261 Pts)
1 Tyrant @ 261 Pts
General; Ogre Club; Extra Hand Weapon; Heavy Armour; Luck-Gnoblar (x1); Sword-Gnoblar (x1); Causes Fear
1 Wyrdstone Necklace @ [20] Pts
1 Fistful of Laurels @ [15] Pts

Bruiser (1#, 162 Pts)
1 Bruiser @ 162 Pts
Ogre Club; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Causes Fear
1 Greedy Fist @ [20] Pts

Butcher (1#, 185 Pts)
1 Butcher @ 185 Pts
Hand Weapon; Tooth-Gnoblar (x1); Causes Fear
1 Bloodcleaver @ [25] Pts
1 Halfling Cookbook @ [25] Pts

Bulls (6#, 265 Pts)
5 Bulls @ 265 Pts
Bellower Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Lookout Gnoblar (x1); Ogre Club; Causes Fear
1 Crusher @ [55] Pts
Ogre Club

Bulls (6#, 289 Pts)
5 Bulls @ 289 Pts
Bellower Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Lookout Gnoblar (x1); Ogre Club; Extra Hand Weapon; Causes Fear
1 Crusher @ [59] Pts
Ogre Club; Extra Hand Weapon

Ironguts (4#, 257 Pts)
3 Ironguts @ 257 Pts
Standard Bearer Std; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Causes Fear
1 Gutlord @ [68] Pts
Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
1 Cannibal Totem @ [25] Pts

Ironguts (4#, 232 Pts)
3 Ironguts @ 232 Pts
Standard Bearer Std; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Causes Fear
1 Gutlord @ [68] Pts
Great Weapon; Heavy Armour

Leadbelchers (3#, 165 Pts)
3 Leadbelchers @ 165 Pts
Leadbelcher Cannon; Light Armour; Causes Fear

Gorger (1#, 75 Pts)
1 Gorger @ 75 Pts
Causes Fear; Killing Blow; Unbreakable

Maneaters (1#, 86 Pts)
1 Maneaters @ 86 Pts
Cathayan Longsword (x1); Light Armour; Causes Fear; Immune to Psychology; Stubborn

I was actually playing this army specifically because my planned Warriors of Chaos army was missing pieces due to one player not being able to attend (and he had them). Also, I have been strongly considering selling or trading off this army, because I really haven't played it much, and when I have it wasn't terribly successfully.

This weekend's pair of games certainly altered that.

I played against Mike's Dark Elf army that looked something like:

General with magic sword and armor
20 Black Guard
10 Dark Riders
20 Crossbows
20 Crossbows
2 Repeater Bolt Throwers
20 Corsairs, some banner that caused them to Frenzy
2 Mages
Hydra with handlers
10 Harpies

I've only managed to beat Mike in Warhammer on one occasion that I can recall - my Tomb Kings versus his pre-new-Army Book Dark Elves. Every other match-up against him he has tended to smash me. He's very good with this army, having played it for at least 3 editions of Warhammer now, and he knows the rules better than anyone I know (but for all of that, he's not a rules lawyer - he politely and quietly tells you that you're wrong).

So I was not expecting much good from this match. I expected that my ogres would be full of crossbow bolts and magical wounds and probably I would get torn apart by the Hydra for good measure.

Oh how that did not come to pass.

Highlights of the battle:

1. The really pivotal point of the battle was when his Lord & Black Guard unit and Hydra broke and ran down one of my Bull units, on his turn. The Hydra overran and crashed into my Tyrant and Ironguts. His Lord and Black Guard rolled a 2. Then on my turn, my 2nd unit of Ironguts, this one carrying the Butcher along, slammed into the side of the Black Guard. The Black Guard failed to hold and were overrun. The Hydra whiffed on my Tyrant and eventually it too was broken and run down.
2. My Gorger arrived, attracting the attention of one of the Repeater Bolt Throwers. It took two wounds but then charged and crushed the RBT crew. It overran into the Dark Riders, who were also routed but not run down.
3. My biggest mistake was handling the Bruiser and Leadbelcher unit. They raced up and basically became pincushions, panicked, rallied just in time to get steamrolled by the frenzied Corsairs. They really contributed nothing to the battle except distraction at best.
4. Gut Magic might be better at buffing than offense, but Dark Elves don't really love the 2d6 Str 2 hits spell. I eliminated one of the Repeater Bolt Throwers on some good rolls with that spell.

At the end of the game, the Dark Elf army was in tatters, while I still had my Tyrant, Butcher, Gorger, and the remains of two Ironguts units. I also realized about mid-way through the battle that I had not put the Maneater even on the table. Oops.

After a fine Mexican lunch, I faced Jeff's Dwarves. He brought a very unconventional force of:

Thane with various runes of high armor and beatstickness
20 Hammerers
20 Ironbreakers
20 Longbeards
20 Warriors
20 Warriors
20 Miners

Something to that effect. NO Warmachines and NO Thunderers and NO Crossbowmen... we were shocked. Particularly since the last time I faced his Dwarves his Strength 7 or 8 Bolt Throwers were skewering my Ogres in ways too gruesome to describe.

Today was payback!

Sadly I don't remember all that much of the battle. I do know that I was very surprised to see how poorly the Dwarves fared against my Ogre Clubs and Great Weapons - even his Ironbreakers who typically shrug off the Str 4 attacks of my Chaos Warriors died in great numbers when my Ironguts waded in. It didn't hurt that my Butcher was occasionally able to give them +1 Strength. Largely, though, the Dwarven dispel dice shut down my magic.

The pivotal point of this game was when I managed to pursue a unit of unit of Bulls with the Bruiser into the flank of his Hammerers and Thane, who were facing off against my Tyrant and Ironguts. The Tyrant and Thane had been fighting a challenge when suddenly the Hammerers more or less disintegrated and the game past this point was just the Dwarves trying to stay alive.

I am now investigating ways to make the Ogres even more killy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

An actual battle report AND post-game analysis?

There's a first time for everything I suppose.

Since I wrote this up for discussion with Tim, an ex-40k player, and, in fact, the previous owner the Tau army that was played - I decided it would also make for an excellent post to this poor rarely-used site.

So here goes.

Please note that since this did originate as a discussion from someone who doesn't play 40k anymore but is a strong opponent in a variety of other games, some points highlight stuff that Tim might have forgotten about 40k and/or the Tau. And other points are just how we converse.

Met at the Games Workshop Columbia store to play Ryan, a local player who I have actually only played one other game of 40k with - a very embarassing run for my Chaos Marines. We opted this time to play a 1500 point battle, his Red Scorpions versus my Tau.

My list, approximately:

Crisis Suit Shas-O with Cyclic Ionic Blaster, Fusion Blaster and Shield Generator

2 Crisis Suits with Missile Pods, Plasma Rifles, and Drone Controllers. Each with 2 Gun Drones (so 4 total Gun Drones)
3 Stealth Suits with Burst Cannons

3 x 12 Fire Caste Warriors in Devilfish
11 Kroot + 2 Hounds

Heavy Support:
2x Hammerheads with Railcannons, and Smart Missile Systems

Ryan's List:

HQ: Space Marine Chaplain (1#, 115 Pts)
1 Space Marine Chaplain @ 115 Pts
...in Power Armour
1 ...in Power Armour @ [115] Pts
Bolt Pistol; Crozius Arcanum; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Rosarius; Jump Pack

HQ: Space Marine Captain (1#, 130 Pts)
1 Space Marine Captain @ 130 Pts
...in Power Armour
1 ...in Power Armour @ [130] Pts
Frag Grenades; Iron Halo; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Sword (x1)

Troops: Tactical Squad (10#, 195 Pts)
9 Tactical Squad @ 195 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Plasmagun; Missile Launcher
1 Sergeant @ [38] Pts
Bolt Pistol; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Weapon

Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 250 Pts)
9 Tactical Squad @ 250 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Flamer; Heavy Bolter; Rhino
1 Sergeant @ [58] Pts
Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Storm Bolter; Power Fist
1 Rhino @ [45] Pts
Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter; Hunter Killer Missile

Troops: Tactical Squad (10#, 200 Pts)
9 Tactical Squad @ 200 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Meltagun; Lascannon
1 Sergeant @ [38] Pts
Bolt Pistol; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Weapon

Fast Attack: Assault Squad (10#, 260 Pts)
9 Assault Squad @ 260 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x7); Chainsword (x9); Frag Grenades; Jump Packs; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Plasma Pistol; Plasma Pistol
1 Jump Packs @ [0] Pts
1 Sergeant @ [68] Pts
Frag Grenades; Jump Packs; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Power Fist; Plasma Pistol
1 Jump Packs @ [0] Pts

Heavy Support: Devastator Squad (10#, 250 Pts)
9 Devastator Squad @ 250 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x5); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Missile Launcher (x2); Plasma Cannon (x2)
1 Sergeant @ [23] Pts
Bolter; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Signum; Chainsword
1 Signum @ [0] Pts

Elite: Dreadnought (1#, 105 Pts)
1 Dreadnought @ 105 Pts
Dreadnought CCW; Multi-Melta; Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter

Total Roster Cost: 1505

(Yes, I allowed his to go 5 points over. I was one point under, and I did note that if he won, I would complain that the 6-point difference was the entire cause for my loss)

We played a 6'x4' table, with the GW rolling terrain table thingy. (I discovered this rolling hill-style is actually a PITA for big plastic models on flying bases, like, oh, say, ALL OF MY TANKS)

Terrain was all buildings, and there were two on my side of the table, three on his.

I rolled up the mission and deployment. Command And Control was the mission - that means D3+2 objectives, and Ryan rolled a 1 so it was 3 - and Dawn of War deployment, which meant that we set up on half and half of the table, but limited to up to 1 HQ and 2 Troops, everything else in reserve.

Ryan placed two of the objectives - one next to my building on my left, and one in his building on my right-hand side. I placed my single objective next to my building on my right. In the beginning of the game, I owned two of the three objectives - interesting choice for him, but I assume he meant to force his way across the field at one or both of mine as well as hold his own.

We had a rules dispute (not an argument at all, just read something differently) about how the 2 Troop choices work - the example in the rulebook SEEMS to say that transports are counted separately, which is NEVER how I/the Disorderlies have played it, but in the interest of moving things along I went with Ryan's interpretation and left the Devilfish for one of my Fire Caste Warriors in reserve while the FCW's themselves started on the board.

So I started on the board with my Kroot (12 Kroot and 2 Hounds) 12 FCWs and my HQ.

Ryan started on the board with four combat squads - two tactical squads broken down into 5-man squads. There was one with Lascannon, one with a Missile Launcher, one with a Plasma Gun and I think one with a Flamer.

I had first turn.

It quickly occurs to me that I don't really have all of the action plotted out from turn to turn. I'll just cover the highlights I guess.

1. Hammerheads - killed a few Marines with their submunition rounds (big template, but not enough to ignore their armor saves) and cratered his Dreadnought - although it took two shots to kill the Dread. They both survived the entire game.
2. Kroot - the Kroot stayed in my right-side building the entire game, shooting mostly at his one combat squad with the Lascannon. I could have been more aggressive with them but largely I suspect they deterred him from launching any assault on that objective, which did earn me the tie.
3. Fire Caste Warriors - The one squad that had started on the board finally died to the last man on turn 5, allowing him to seize the objective they had been guarding. The two other squads I used very aggressively - one of them flew up in their Devilfish to kill his last man on the objective on his side, but who were then mauled (lost 7 of their 12 men) in a round of shooting from his full-strength Devastator Squad and then routed. I didn't pay the points to bond them, so they could not rally - they spent the rest of the game routing back to my table edge. The third squad attacked his two combat squads in his table quarter on my left side, but unfortunately A) had a terrible round of shooting and B) then got assaulted by his full-strength Assault Squad AND Chaplain who arrived just-in-time from reserve to jump on the table and assault them. (I ended up being literally JUST in their range from the board edge - 18") They got absolutely flattened by that assault.
4. Crisis Suit Commander - He picked off a few marines with his Cyclic Ionic Blaster but really I was very afraid to get him dead so he wasn't that effective. He hung with the Kroot all game - again dissuading anything coming over there, but also not helping me WIN per se.
5. Crisis Suits - my one squad really played almost no role. Stuck in reserve, I tried to deep strike them where they would threaten not only the objective on his side of the board but ALSO, hopefully, maul his Devastator Squad which was definitely causing me worry. They scattered onto one of his buildings, which is a Deep Strike Mishap - gotta roll the on table. 1-2, they are DESTROYED, 3-4, opponent places them, 5-6 they go back into Reserve and try and come in again next turn. I rolled a 3. WHEW. Ryan placed them on my leftmost corner, where they did pretty much nothing for the rest of the game. I believe they killed a couple his Assault Marines who were fresh from killing my FCW squad. But that was it. A lot of points, neutralized.
6. Stealth Suits - tried something different with these guys and OUTFLANKED. They got a couple of rounds of shooting on the Devastators and did no casualities. (Ryan's dice where hot in the 2nd half of the game, mine were not). The Devastators then turned the 3 of them into a red mist.

Stuff I think I would do differently:

1. I would probably have swapped the Kroot and one of the FCW squads. Having the FCW squads shooting from the buildings would have been longer range (as it was two of the Kroot never actually got to shoot being over their max range) and better strength guns, so would have forced more saves. 2. Send the Kroot to Outflank and make a play for his objective
3. Send in the 3rd FCW squad to reinforce whatever objective of mine he was pressing on - in this case my left one - instead of going on the attack. If I had just been there to contest my left building, I would have won.
4. NOT have Deep Strike'd the Crisis Suits, instead used them either to support the Kroot attack on his objective or to attack his foreward elements
5. Been a little more aggressive with my commander. I DID pay for the Shield Generator, but never took a single shot on him - yes, the Lascannon could have cratered him, but it also meant that the short range of his guns resulted in him not being very effective.

And if I could change my list for this mission:

1. Dropped most of the Devilfish. I didn't need the mobility.
2. Ran one Hammerhead with an Ion Cannon. Better at picking off Marines.

Regardless of all of this, it was fun and often tense game for us - I do feel like with a few army tweaks and some better decisions this could have been a win for the Tau.

Discussion follows:


I'm curious what you would have done differently with the initial Fire Warrior Squad if they had their Devilfish? It seems to me, with no basis in the rules, that a unit's transport is part of the unit. But whatever.

It seems that the Commander was a massive waste. Do you still have the option of giving him a bodyguard as part of the HQ unit choice? If I recall correctly it helped protect him from the stray Las Cannon shot and also gave a pretty effective forward strike force. Then you ca afford be more aggressive with him as the risks go down a bit and the overall fire power of his unit goes up.

It seems like mounting at least one of the Fire Warrior squads in a Devilfish helped out quite a bit. Allowing you to be more aggressive with that combined arms force. Also the Crisis Cuits could have kept up with Devilfish If I remember speed correctly.

The Ion cannon has pretty good utility all around. It won't destroy heavy vehicles but was pretty good against marines, heavier Infantry and light - medium vehicles. If running two Hammerheads 1x Ion Cannon and 1x Rail Gun seems like a reasonable choice, unless facing an IG tank battalion. Then I'm thinking All Railgun and bringing Broadside suits as well.


Having the initial Devilfish would just meant a few more shots on the board. Really I didn't use my Gun Drones well at all - I meant to have them run solo all the time, and really only did that with one of the three Devilfish. More shots is more shots and I screwed that up.

Yes, I can give him bodyguards, but didn't have the points to do so.

I was aggressive but the left-side attack was semi-pointless - I was being aggressive to scare him and it A) failed and B) had nothing to do with the mission. The units I attacked really had no chance of getting into scoring position anyway so it wasn't smart. The right-side attack had it's heart in the right place but I needed to go all-in on the attack or not bother.

I'm not sure what role a Broadside or two would have played - the only vehicles he had were one Dread and one Rhino. Broadsides are a very expensive way to kill infantry, especially when the infantry is in cover.


So you made a poor tactical decision of where to bring your force to bear? What were you hope to accomplish by scaring him off the left side? Put more pressure where the rest of your force was?

Indeed unless they come up with new options for Broadside weaponry they aren't very useful against marines. There just aren't enough really touch targets for them to engage over the course of the game. I brought them up as being useful against armies that use a lot of heavy tanks (like the IG)


My thinking was that I needed to eliminate his tactical squads so he had no scoring units. But I was focusing on the wrong ones- largely because I THOUGHT I could eliminate the ones that were the more immediate threat. It didn't hurt that I also thought I'd distract him - and I did; the Assault Marines attacking me meant they were pretty much not playing any role in the game that counted - so I guess that was was a mistake on my part that made him screw up too. Go me.

Broadsides do scare Marines that bring Land Raiders. But that's not the usual MO for Marines these days - most of them are either Rhinos or Drop Pods.


So does this review of performance mean yo think you need new stuff, or are you happy where you are at?

SIDE NOTE: Tim painted these Tau for me, and we have been discussing him painting more, which is part of larger discussion here.



Actually I want to play a few more games before making a determination. But....how hard where the Kroot to paint? I think I might want to get another two squads of them, at some point, and a unit of Stingwings. I definately felt like I could have used the Stingwings on Saturday, because they are REAL jump troops.

So there's a good bit to chew on here. All from one relatively quick game!