Sunday, 27 November 2011

Gaming in the Grey

Well Brute Force is over for another 6 months. Was a good tourney and I came out of it in 3rd place from 8 competitors. Not too bad considering I was struggling to keep my eyes open by the end of it due to the 5am wake up and all the beer. Here's my tournament report:

As I said; 5am the alarm went off, so I dragged myself out of bed and hurried to get some last minute painting done. By 6:20 my girlfriend and I were out the door and starting the 3 hour drive to Greymouth. I hadn't even had a chance to get some coffee before we left so thankfully we stopped in Arthur's Pass for a quick caffeine fix. While there we met some very interesting locals in the photo above. Now I know Keas are usually very curious birds but this is the first time we've had them jump on the car while in the Pass. Below you can see one trying to have a chew on Sam's finger through the windshield. Thankfully not very successfully.

Once I got back into the car we thought they'd take off but they seemed quite content to keep sitting on the car as we started driving down the road. Eventually it got a little too difficult for the one on the side view mirror to hold his balance so he jumped off and his mate soon followed.

So about an hour later we were in Greymouth, Sam had dropped me off at the venue and the first bottle of Monteiths was opened. My first game was against Alex and his Necrons. This was also my first game against Necrons under the new codex. Was a really interesting game, tonnes of scarabs, a C'Tan shard and two massive units of Warriors led by Necron Lords with three Tomb Spiders to back up the Scarabs. This photo was about 3 or 4 turns into the game.

I'd had a quick read of the codex and knew that the warriors could be beaten easily in combat. Considering it was an objective mission all I then had to do was stall or defeat his other units while combat squad marines claimed the objectives. My Assault squad and Chaplain cleared out the first unit of Warriors before being tied up with the C'Tan and the Tomb Spiders. A bit of poor rolling and my Chaplain and Assault Marines were all butchered. The Scarabs had swarmed the rest of the army so I had to wade through them with as many Power Fists as I could muster. The game ended after turn 5 and while Alex only had 1 unit of Warriors left I had spent too long trying to kill off the rest of his army and could not reach a second objective. We had one objective each leaving the game in a draw.

The second game was against PJ and was a lot of fun. You gained kill points from having your own units killed but if you were tabled you lost. There were a few special rules to force your troops to shoot the enemy so both players wouldn't just sit back and wait. Below was my deployment with the HQs set behind a hill out of shot to the far left of the table. You got to use your sideboard in this mission which came on through reserve.

The plan worked beautifully getting my own units killed while drawing his units to the right side of the board away from my 2 HQs who were going to hide and let the clock wind down. There was only one flaw in my plan. I believed my sideboard Venerable Dreadnought, which I left as a body guard for my HQs, should be capable of tying down any threats on my left flank. In two turns of combat with PJ's Ork Boss he landed 3 hits and failed to wound with all of them. Thankfully the game ended after turn 6 and I still had my Master of the Forge left so I came out with a win.

The last game was against Chris who won the tournament. He had a shooty-heavy Smurf army with a heck of a lot of combi-weapons. It worked really effectively especially with the special rules for this mission. In this mission your sideboard unit got a special skill; Chris' Devastators got Tank hunter while my Dreadnought got infiltrate. Chris also won the role for deployment and picked a table quarter which left me with very little cover. It was clear from the start that if I didn't advance quickly into combat I was going to be shot to pieces.

Things didn't go well at the start. My Assault squad was wiped out before they could reach combat and my infiltrating dreadnought was immobilised in the first turn then swallowed by the receding board edge by the third turn (sorry did I forget to mention that rule?). Eventually I managed to tie up units with my remaining dreadnought and kill off enough guys with my remaining Tac squad. Thankfully the game ended after turn 5 with a draw as I don't think I had the troops left to see it through any further.

Overall another fantastic tourney and a good weekend spent on the Coast. Thanks especially to Jarred and Glenn for organising it and to PJ's Mum for putting on a massive feast afterwards. Thanks also to all my opponents who were excellent sportsmen, I look forward to the Brute Force doubles tournament in April next year.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Vostroyans - The ongoing saga of the Vostroyan Commander...

It seems I just can't get the Commander finished, life keeps getting in the way. Still we have some progress from the last post. Since the below photos were taken I've done a bit more work and glued him to his base so we are now down to the final touch ups before being varnished. Fingers crossed he's completed before Christmas   ; )

Still we shall not let my lack of progress stall the project completely. Despite this model not yet being completed I have moved to the next step in the project: The Plebs!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to start on some troops after the Commander so I could begin to flesh out the army. And so I have...with a little twist. I have always envisioned my Vostroyan army as having a good mix of troops from Conscript to Veteran so I could represent the constant influx of new troops from the home world. Then when the Imperial Guard Codex changed to no longer allow Carapace Armour on your regular guardsmen I have been trying to find a good substitute model to represent Vostroyan Conscripts and regular Guardsmen who can not be equipped with Carapace Armour. Now I think I may have found a way thanks to Victrix:

There are a few changes I need to make such as getting rid of the crests at the front of the Shakos and the tassels on the top but over all they are disturbingly accurate right down to the moustaches. So with a bit of cutting and puttying I put together 5 trial models to see if this would work. The results are shown below:

I've already decided I'm not that keen on the models that are marching with guns at rest but I think the others could work. The scale is a little different with these models at true scale rather than the heroic scale of the GW Vostroyans but the height between the models is the same. I'm hoping when these guys are painted the majority of the GW models will look bulkier because of their Carapace Armour rather than scale. Three have epaulettes still, while I have cut them off two models. I'm not sure if I want to keep them or not yet so we'll paint them up and see what looks better. The sand had to be built up a bit due to them having square bases rather than slottas though this is easily disguised with a bit of pipe or slabs of concrete to avert the eye.

Anyways I feel like I've written a novel so I'll sign off here. I'll start getting a bit of paint on these guys over the next month or so and post them up to show you how they're going.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Brute Force - November 2011

For those of you not from the South or generally unawares; Brute Force is a small one day tournament held in the picturesque town of Greymouth on the West Coast twice per year. It is a 40k tournament focused heavily on whacky and sometimes completely bizarre missions. It's probably not the kind of tournament for your hardcore gamer, but if you're keen to play in a relaxed tournament where people are more interested in drinking beer than winning games it would be right up your alley.

The final tournament for the year is this weekend (Sat 26th Nov) and I'm heading over for a catch up with mates, a few cold beers and a bit of gaming in between. I'll be taking the Salamanders as it's still the only painted army I can field for 40k. The format is 1199 points plus a 180 point sideboard that may or may not be available on some of the missions. My army has been dictated more by what I have painted than what is going to work well on the table so this is what I've ended up taking:

Main Force:

- Jump Pack

Master of the Forge
- Combi-Flamer
- 4 Servitors

2 x Tactical Squads with:
- Multi-Melta
- Power Fist
- Rhino
- 1 squad has Meltagun, 1 has Plasmagun

Venerable Dreadnought
- Assault Cannon
- Extra Armour

Assault Squad
- 2 Flamers
- Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer


Venerable Dreadnought
- Extra Armour

Not the hardest army so I think I'll be giving ground a little in terms of lists but I think I can mitigate enough of that with some cunning tactics. And by cunning tactics I mean shouting my opponent enough beer to help them forget their game plan. If beer doesn't work then I'll be sure to switch to plan B:


Anyways I'll try to remember to snap some pics and put a post up when I get back about how things went. If I forget yet again rest assured there's never a bad weekend spent in the home of Monteiths.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

I've been busy - Salamanders

Well I said I have been busy with painting and today I have actually managed to snap a handful of photos. So now I can prove it's not just talk! However instead of posting them all at once and creating a massive, ridiculously long blog post I thought I might post them piece-meal over the next week or two.

So first up we have the Salamanders that I was painting for Conquest. I didn't get them all finished in time so what you're seeing is not the completed models but they were painted enough to get them on the tabletop. Please excuse the high shine in the photos. I use this army a lot for tournament gaming so I use a semi-gloss varnish on them to make them a bit more hardy.

This Chaplain model was sitting in a plastic bag for 6 months to a year with a few other metal models. He was about half finished when he went into the bag and when he came out he was a bit chipped and scratched so needed some TLC. He's mostly done now, just the backpack and the base to complete.

I had 3 Multi-Meltas already for my Salamander Army. However they were all the old models with metal arms and backpacks and because I use this army a lot for tournament gaming the daily wear and tear means they require a lot of touch up work on the metal parts. So I thought I'd use the tournament as an excuse to re-do these models in plastic which are much more durable for constant gaming. Still a little bit more to do on these guys; all small detail stuff like burn marks on the gun barrels, skin tone, purity seals etc. etc.

The command Squad has been sitting in a plastic bag even longer than the Chaplain. I think I started these guys about 2 or 3 years ago and then hit the wall with painting them. You know that point when you lose motivation and inspiration for a project and just can't be bothered anymore. So I thought Conquest was a good excuse to force myself through the tedious parts of painting these models and try to get them finished. They still require quite a bit of work: primarily on the banner, but I'll plod through them one at a time over Christmas.

Lastly we have the Assault squad. This was a squad of 10 but that's a little too many to photograph  up close so I've just set out 4 of them. These are the only models I have actually finished since the tournament. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out considering the focus for this army is always about painting them quickly and neatly for tournament gaming. I'm still struggling to understand how to use them well in games but with a bit more practice I'm sure I'll get the hang of it   : )

Ok that's all for now. I still have a Rat Ogre, a Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers and some Vostroyans to post up so keep visiting. I'll get some photos up over the next couple of weeks.

Dystopian Wars - The pain and the suffering...

So Jas asked if I wanted a game of Dystopian Wars. Jas is a mate who I haven't played any kind of wargame against in... well I'm not sure how long to be honest. So I was definitely keen. The only thing I wasn't that keen on was that Jas also played the Japanese so I thought Japs vs. Japs would be a pretty boring game. My flatmate Clinton then suggested I borrow his FSA fleet which I thought was a fantastic idea as it would make the game more interesting and I could learn more about another army's strengths and weaknesses at the same time.

Anyways the scene was set. Jas dropped by, we opened a few beers and started with the gaming. The below photo was a few turns into the game. My cunning plan was to wound his Frigates with long range rocket batteries and Turrets then finish them off before they could broadside me. I used the hill in the middle to hide my Frigates and Battleship until he closed range then pop out from behind it all guns blazing. From there I was going to focus on finishing off his Battleship and Cruisers. I've not used Bombers much yet so I thought I'd just charge up the middle with them and see what happens.

So all was going to plan. I had wiped out the Frigates and was able to move what was left of my Frigates and my Battleship on to deal with his Bombers and his Battleship while my Cruisers distracted his left flank long enough for me to sweep round and finish them off. Then it all turned to custard.

Oh my god I've never seen so many sixes. Jason's evil pink dice of evilness just kept rolling more and more sixes. For about 3 turns in a row they just kept coming up. Those evil little white dots on those horrible sharp edged, cheaply manufactured, pink, Taiwanese cubes.

So needless to say I lost, but not everything was bad. I definitely learned a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of not only the FSA army but also my own Japanese army. It was good to catch up with a mate I haven't seen in a while and it's always good to have an excuse to drink beer. So another drubbing and another lesson learned. Bring on the next game...minus the pink dice please.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Dystopian Wars - Enemy Sighted

Corny title I know, but I figured it's been so long since I last posted I really should get something up here. It's not that I haven't been painting, quite the contrary actually. I just haven't been taking many photos recently. So while I get the camera out and try to set up some decent lighting I thought I'd put up an interim post about the Dystopian fever that has caught on in Christchurch. I had a couple of games over the weekend and I'm absolutely loving it. The games are always very close and always very bloody. A mate of mine has just picked up the Antarctic boxed set so dropped by for a game where we proceeded to bludgeon each other into the deep blue sea. A lucky critical roll blew the rudder off his battleship right at the end denying him the victory as my heavily crippled battleship blasted his to pieces while he struggled to bring his guns to bear.

My Japs lining up the frosty Penguins.

Close quarters fighting.

The day after that we organised a game down at Comics Compulsion between 4 of us. Mark and Clinton allied with their Antarctic and FSA while Martin and I allied our Blazing Sun fleets. Another very close fought game with the Japs winning by the slimmest of margins. This was helped along by Martin rolling 6's in probably 35% of his dice rolls. Below is a picture of the deployment:

Anyways that'll do for now. I'll work on getting some photos of models this week. In the mean time if you are keen for a Dystopian Wars game in Christchurch then drop by the Cavaliers Club on Thursday night for a beer and we can get one organised.