Sunday, 26 August 2012

Stillwater Stiffs 11-2-2

Seems the Stiffs have fallen on hard times recently. The wins are few and far between these days. I'm not quite sure what the hurdle is, whether it's karma for doing so well in the early season, maybe it's that Undead don't do as well as other teams in the later stages of league progression, or maybe that the people I play against are now picking up the tricks to beat an Undead team. Whatever the reason I'm certainly getting schooled a lot nowadays where I was previously not having too much trouble winning games. So after eating a lot of humble pie I have started looking a lot closer at how I am playing. Certainly my luck with the armour and injury rolls has dried up so I'm having to rely on the running game. But to cut a long story short, there is definitely a silver lining to this losing streak in that it is teaching me how to become a better coach. It also means that hopefully my fellow coaches may not be too adverse to me playing Undead for another season so I can spend a bit more time learning the team. We'll wait and see on that one though...

I've got a very quick review of the last two games I played. The first was against Jim's Ogre team - Bash'n'Dash. In our last game beating this team was a very simple process of blitzing one Snotling a turn with my Wights and putting them in the injury dugout. By the end of the first half Jim didn't have enough players to contain my team. It appears it was not so simple this time round. I followed the same process but those Snotling would just not go down. I managed to get a handful knocked out but then they just woke up after every drive. So effectively Jim was playing with a full team for the whole game and he had plenty of screening to help his Ogres break through all my tackles and wander into the endzone. Final score was 2-1 to Jim. My dice weren't fantastic for my injury rolls so my biggest flaw here was not having a back up plan. I received first and scored too early allowing Jim to score before the end of the first half and then receive for the second. I should have played for time more and tried to beat up more Snotlings. But oh well, lesson learned, we'll chalk that one up to experience.

The second game was against Simon's Humans - The Middenheim Municipals. I was giving away something like 240k in inducements for this match so figured I would be getting Wizarded somewhere. I was somewhat relieved to hear Simon was taking a Star Player instead; none other than the Mighty Zug! In hindsight however I would have easily preferred a Wizard over Zug. I received in the first half thinking I would try and grind him down a bit before finishing him off in the second half. I caged up in the centre with my Wights on blitzing duty trying to put his catchers out of the game. Once again however my casualty machine failed to fire. Even with four Mighty Blow players on the field I simply could not roll high enough to put players in the injured dugout. On top of this Simon's positional play was exceptional. He constantly stalled my cage even breaking it a few times to leave me scoreless at the end of the first half. In the second half Simon blitzed down his right wing. I had left this one open a little to tempt him over there while I pinned his two blitzers to the other wing with my slower players. I thought with my Wights and Ghouls I could win the sideline brawl as I severely outweighed him with the amount of block I had. Once again however my cunning plans were smashed to pieces by Simon's dazzling positional play as he pranced in for a Touchdown and I was left wondering where I had gone wrong. Thankfully for me the casualty machine kicked back into gear at the tail end of the second half leaving me with just enough room to score on the final turn and tie the game. It must be said that this was only by the slimmest of margins as Simon failed a pivotal 'Gor for it' roll when blitzing my ball carrier, so I only just scrapped through...but I'll take it none the less.

So that's it so far for the Stiffs. We have one more game in the regular season against Michael's Slann and apparently there are no play-offs. So if my maths is correct, thanks to their early season rampage, the Stiffs are BCL champions for 2012 as no one can reach them on the table. They'll certainly be looking to finish the season strong though. This sudden change in fortune does not sit well with the Stiffs fans. Many have been seen burning their pendant flags and foam fingers after the recent match with the Municipals and rumour has it many fans are dumping their red and black to don the colours of more promising teams. The good news is that the Stiffs number 8 Wight - Kraftig, has recently been practising a 'legal' fouling technique called 'Piling On'. He seems to have it mastered now so he will be looking for blood against the Slann. Even if they lose the game, if they are able to keep the casualty count high enough that should keep the fans on board.

That's all for the BCL league. With the wind down of the season the Stiffs will be going on tour soon to attend the Greenstone Cup and throw their weight in against our country's best. I'll start posting a lead up to this very soon. Fingers crossed they make a good impression.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cavcon 2012!

I completely forgot I had these photos so I apologise for the late post. Hopefully most of you know what Cavcon was but for those of you not in Christchurch it might help to first explain what it is.

Cavcon was a narrative campaign event recently held in Christchurch. It spanned the weekend of the 28th and 29th July and catered for Warhammer, 40k and Flames of War. I played in the 40k comp and the umpire: 'Wes the Canadien' had organised a really interesting teams event using the Planetary Empires board. I formed one third of the mighty "Strike Force Wolf/Lizard/Fisters". Gus and Tony made up the other two thirds with their Space Wolves and Crimson Fists respectively. While we were not the most experienced team entering the event we made up for any shortfall with a whole lot of moxy. The event was made up of three 1750 point games on the first day and then on the second day a 1750 point game followed by a 3 on 3 teams game where we all brought 1000 points. The only exception being that one team member's 4th game was a Zone Mortalis mission.

My 1750 list included the following:

Chaplain and Jump Pack
2 Tactical Squads with Multi-Melta and Meltaguns in Rhinos.
1 Tactical Squad with Multi-Melta and Plasmagun on foot.
1 Venerable Dreadnought with Assault Cannon.
1 Venerable Dreadnought with Multi-Melta and Heavy Flamer in a Drop Pod.
Techmarine with 4 Servitors.
10 Assault Marines with Flamers and Thunder Hammer.
Thunderfire Cannon.

My 1000 list dropped one of the Tactical Squads with Meltaguns and moved the Plasmagun squad into a Rhino, dropped the two Techmarines, the Multi-Melta Dreadnought and a couple of Assault Marines.

Ok that's enough ranting about the format, on with the results. My first day started badly. I played Eugene's Daemons in the first round and he mercilessly smashed me with his 40 Bloodletters...on to the next game. My second game was better, I played against Dark Eldar and I'm ashamed to say I can't remember my opponent's name. Needless to say my Thunderfire Cannon really came into its own here as the shell that ignores cover tore holes all through his Wyches. A couple of unlucky leadership rolls for my opponent and I was shepherding his units off the board. My third game was against Nick playing an elite Guard army. The mission and deployment zone was all kinds of wrong for Nick allowing me to quickly get into combat with him before he could gun me down. This would have to be the best game of the event, despite the handicap Nick did a fantastic job of destroying my 'threat' units and I only just scrapped through for a win. Overall our team did pretty poorly. We started the day with three tiles on the map and finished it with only one. I lost one in my first game, as did Tony and then Gus keep losing more and more as Tony clawed a few back for us. A fantastic first day and I really enjoyed the whole event.

On the second day I had one 1750 point game before the team event. I drew Dave's Death Guard army which I was extremely envious of. He had A LOT of marines and a couple of really cool Forgeworld models; the Nurgle Plague Hulk, Plague Ogryns and the Nurgle Blight Drone. In this mission I had to deploy in the centre of the board while Dave surrounded me. Dave had two big template weapons so I didn't want to place everything in the centre of the table. I deployed half my army in reserve which was as much as I was allowed. I then concentrated on taking out the Blight Drone and the Plague Hulk before turning my attention to the Plague Ogryns and then the Plague Marines. The victory conditions in this mission were Kill Points and considering I had 13 to give away to Dave's 8 this was going to be an uphill climb for me. In the end we beat each other senseless until neither of us was willing to come within rapid-fire of the other for fear of giving away a Kill Point and losing the game. In the end it was a draw and another extremely enjoyable game.

Last game of the event was the team game and this was the only one I got photos for unfortunately. We were playing two Tau armies allied with a Black Templar Scout army. The mission and deployment meant we had to charge an objective in a ruin across open ground under fire from two Tau armies so that we could then get into combat with the marines and try to wade through the bodies...I figured we just had to run as hard as we could at the objective. Below is the first turn.

I charged everything forward and dumped smoke launchers on all my vehicles. Needless to say that against so many marker lights and railguns it didn't make a difference. Tony was deepstriking everything in his army while Gus seemed to be taking the long road around the right flank to get to the Tau.

In the top right of this photo is the bastion we had to assault. The models lined up on the left of the table are my casualties I think. This was two turns in.

My Assault Marines get their first kill: Two Crisis Suits who fled off the board. Here they have spread out to weather a turn of fire before assaulting again.

The same as above but taken from further away.

Gus finally wanders into combat to clean up my left overs.

Tony got constantly tied up in these ruins trying to protect our left flank.

The last stand. This was on the final turn and all I had left of my army were two tactical marines who had made it to the ruins and were dishing out punishment in combat.

At the end of the game we came out with a draw and left us somewhere towards the bottom of the table I believe but not last at least. Despite a pretty poor placing this had to be the most fun I have had at a wargaming event in a long time. The missions were interesting and everyone seemed to have come with the intention of not taking it too seriously...apart from the team that won who were still playing their team game after everyone else had packed up for the day...but anyway, a fantastic event and I'm very much looking forward to the next one Wes organises.