Monday, 30 May 2016

The Angel's Revenge

Thom and I got together again for another spectacular showdown of 40k incompetence last weekend. After our last game Thom decided the problem with his army was that he simply did not have enough for this game he took 11!

I kept the same list but Thom took something along the lines of:

Pod with 5 Marines and Meltaguns x3
Pod with 5 Death Company
Pod with Furioso Dreadnought
Deathwind Drop Pod x 2
Pod with 5 Marines and Plasmaguns...possibly x2?
Pod with Corbulo...and something else maybe...never got on the board so not sure
Pod with 8 Marines and a Heavy Flamer

This was my cunning deployment to undo his pod strike!

Turns out it just made a nice neat little compound for Thom to pod-fence me with...

So when all the Melta pods came down my vehicles started popping all over the place. The resulting explosions even managed a couple of glancing hits on other vehicles just to rub some salt into the wounds. I tried to regroup into the corner of the table and focus fire against Thom's dispersed army. With some very unlucky armour rolls on Thom's behalf I cleared out two of the Melta teams, but after a string of '1's and '2's for penetration rolls with my Meltaguns I failed to knock over the Furioso holding me in the corner.

My Officer of the Fleet did a great job of delaying the pods with only two more coming down the following turn...

But unfortunately it was all a little too much for my Guardsmen who were starting to feel a little claustrophobic. Most vehicles had been popped by now...

And my infantry were becoming overrun as more Marines dropped out of the sky...

My last desperate attempt to clear a hole in the blockade was to fire my Deathstrike at Thom's units around the Furioso. However to add insult to injury the shot scattered 11" directly back onto my own troops. By the start of turn 3 it was very clear that Thom was just mopping me up. I had only three working vehicles left, two of which had lost their Multi-Lasers, and three infantry units, two of whom were about to be burnt to a crisp by a Heavy Flamer or butchered in combat by Death Company. Thom still had four pods to come down and was up by 6 game points with very little chance of me being able to grab any. I asked if Thom wanted to play on or if we should call it there and he graciously allowed me to pack up my models with a sliver of dignity left.

So what have I learned from this game? A few things actually, the benefit of getting completely pummelled is that you tend to learn more than when you win. So in my next game these are the things I am thinking about.

- Psykers...didn't use them so why do I have them? I got a friend to make me this list because I've been out of the game for so long and had no idea where to start. After playing a few games I am finding that I'm really not using my Psykers to the best of their ability because I really don't know how. They add another layer of complexity to the army that I just don't need when I'm trying to learn how to play again.

- Demolitions squad; I've yet to make good use of the Demo charge or Meltabombs so I'm questioning whether I really need these.

- Spread out against Drop Pods; I kept my infantry in their vehicles because I was afraid of Flamers coming down first turn all over them. In hindsight I think I should have deployed the infantry to spread out my deployment and put some distance between the Melta squads and my Basilisk which would have then allowed me to counter attack with the Earthshaker Cannon. Losing a squad of Guardsmen first turn would have been far more preferable to losing the Basilisk.

- Deathstrike; hero or heretic? We're 50/50 at the moment. I'm still not sold on this guy but shit he's fun. Definitely keeping him in just for the lolz.

In the end I have decided to drop the Primaris Psyker, Astropath, Sentinel and Demolitions upgrade on the Veterans in favour of a Vendetta with Lascannons. I've got a little more experience in using Flyers than I do Psykers so at least I kinda know what I'm doing there. Also it will give me some necessary anti-armour punch which I feel this list is sorely lacking.

So two more weeks until Maelstrom IX and I think I could squeeze in one, maybe two practice games with the new list. If nothing else I'm certainly finding playing these games is helping me get my head around the rules, which really was the intention to begin with. At the moment I'm pretty happy with how things are going and I'm confident that come 11th/12th June I will be familiar enough with the rules that I won't be that guy not finishing any games because he doesn't know what he's doing.

That's me for another post. Drop back in next week for another aimless rant. This time on something completely un40k related...

Saturday, 21 May 2016

What should I do with a quiet weekend?

Clearly that's the right answer.

With friends and family visiting so much over the past week Sam and I have found we've spent a bit too much money and need to tighten our belts a little...ok maybe a lot. But the point is that we agreed we would keep this weekend pretty quiet and not go spending lots on lunches or brunches or dinners or whatever. Thankfully Sassmo reminded me there was a club meeting this Saturday so I thought playing some toy soldiers would make for a cheap weekend.

We agreed to play some Mordheim so Sassmo drew up a Witch Hunters warband while I dug my Kislevites out of the cupboard. From memory Sassmo had a Captain, Priest, 2 Witch Hunters, 2 Flagellants, 3 Zealots and 2 Hounds. I had a Captain, Bear Tamer, Esaul, 2 Youths, 3 Warriors and 3 Streltsi (with bows, not handguns). We played a couple of scenarios; Occupy and Chance Encounter. Both ended up being bloody affairs with half a dozen dead between us. Sassmo lost his Priest after the first game and I lost one of my Youths. In addition my other Youth is now Stupid and has an Old Battle Wound due to the pummelling he took in both games. I snapped some photos from the first game we played and have posted them below. Please excuse the unpainted models, it was a spur of the moment thing.

The table setup, me to the left and Sassmo to the right. 

One of my Streltsi taking a shot at a Flagellant.

Warriors, the Bear Tamer, a Youth and a Streltsi stalking one of Sassmo's Witch Hunters.

And in turn being stalked by one of Sassmo's Hounds.

Sniper's view for one of Sassmo's Zealots.

Streltsi vs. Hound. The Hound won...

The inevitable showdown between bossmen.

Let's get it on!

The aftermath.

I lost a Warrior out of this game and one of my Youths went mad and now suffers from Stupidity. The game that followed was even more bloody as the same Youth suffered an Old Battle Wound while my second Youth didn't make it out alive. Thankfully I had cobbled together enough coin to replace some of my loses with 3 Cossacks. After 2 games this is how my warband looks:

They're getting a few skill ups which is good and I've had a Streltsi be promoted to a Hero which will be interesting. It was great fun to play some Mordheim again, I always enjoy this game and keep coming back to it every few months. Hopefully we can get a few more people involved and create some more variety in the warbands we play, but either way it's just good to get some games in again.

So that was my exciting weekend. I hope yours has been just as exhilarating, I know playing with Toy Soldiers is pretty hard to top but don't let that deter you. Until next post have fun and remember that, when sitting, it's always courteous to raise a cheek before you fart.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

It's been a gaming kind of weekend

I managed to squeeze in a couple of games last weekend. With the club open on the Saturday I dropped in for a game of Dystopian Wars against Sassmo's East India Merchant fleet and I also booked in a game of 40k with Thom as a bit of prep for Maelstrom IX. I snapped a few photos of each and thought I would put up a quick batrep of the weekend's antics.

First up is the Dystopian game I played on Saturday. The most honourable Admiral Shiken Katsu took command of my Blazing Sun fleet again to do battle with the greedy East India Merchant Fleet. I've never played against Sassmo's East India fleet before and they turned out to be quite interesting. We played one of Sassmo's scenarios for a campaign he is building. It was an escalation scenario where small vessels come on in the 1st turn, medium in the 2nd and large in the 3rd.

First turn was a bit of skirmishing between frigates. Sass' ships put out a surprising amount of fire power at long range which ended up sending a couple of my frigates to the bottom of the ocean. In response though I managed to get my frigates up close where they are the most lethal and sink a couple of his boats in return.

The frigates continued to duke it out while the big boats turned up and manoeuvred into position.

I got a bit involved in the game after that and forgot to take some photos for the mid turns but above is towards the end of the game. Sassmo has his battleship, one cruiser and his blimp still alive while I have my battleship, two gyros (one disappeared quite soon after this photo) and my squid (out of screen) still alive. Both of our battleships are heavily damaged in addition to Sass' cruiser and one of my gyros.

In the end I managed to grab Sass' battleship with my squid and pull it under the waves while also sinking his last cruiser, leaving him with only his blimp. Sass had also shredded one of my gyros and if my battleship had taken one more round of shooting it would also be heading towards the sea floor. In the end the blimp decided it was better to go home and come back another day with more reinforcements than risk slugging it out with my three remaining vessels.

So after a hard fought day of gaming I went home for a truly gamerly meal of Spag Bol and packed all the models for Sunday's game of 40k against Thom.

So as previously mentioned Thom is a Blood Angels player with a penchant for Drop Pods. When I arrived at his place and he told me there were only three Drop Pods in his army I was flooded with relief only to feel that relief quickly turn to feelings of suspicion and paranoia as I tried to figure out what Thom's cunning plan might be.

Our deployment was a Vanguard Strike setup where the centre of the board is drawn diagonally from one corner to the other. Thom chose to deploy first so he set up as close as he safely could to the centre of the table while I set back as far as possible huddling at the back of my deployment zone.

Thom's army was made up of:
- 2 Baal Predators
- 2 x 5 man Plasma squads in Rhinos
- 3 x 5 man Death Company squads with Jump Packs, one of which was led by a Chaplain
- 1 Attack Bike with a Multi-Melta
- 2 x 5 man Melta squads in Drop Pods
- 1 Deathwind Drop Pod
- 5 Scouts with Bolters

Mine consisted of:
- Command Squad with Navy Officer, Astropath and Lascannon in Chimera
- Primaris Psyker
- Platoon Command with 4 Flamers in Chimera
- 2 Infantry squads with Autocannon and Flamer in Chimeras
- Vet Squad with Meltas and Demolitions in a Valkyrie
- Vet Squad with Meltas and Lascannon
- Basilisk
- Deathstrike
- Hellhound
- Scout Sentinel with Heavy Flamer

I managed to steal the initiative and knock a few Hull Points off some of his vehicles before the Drop Pods came down. From there the tempo of the game changed a bit...I believe the technical term is a cluster fuck.

Thom's Melta squads deployed out of the Drop Pods and tore holes through my Basilisk, thankfully due to some terrible rolling my Deathstrike Launcher survived (this becomes critical later in the game). I threw as much fire power as I could at the Melta squads within my deployment zone and managed to eliminate them after two rounds of frantic shooting and combat. It wasn't much of a victory however as the open ground between my army and Thom's Death Company had disappeared in that time and two units were going to be in combat next turn. This is where the Deathstrike was pivotal. I managed to roll enough to launch the missile and placed it precariously over the two Death Company squads about to assault me. I then managed to roll a 'Hit' on the scatter die which meant I covered every single model with the template. Then I managed to roll no '1's for wounds which meant everything disappeared except the Chaplain who was able to make an invulnerable save. And of course you know he failed that. I don't think I could have asked for a more perfect solution to my problem...

From here it was a bit of an uphill battle for Thom. His Predators were still doing a good job of eliminating my infantry in the open, and after a few bad rolls for reserves his Deathwind Pod finally came down and knocked a few hull points off my Chimeras. But without the threat of Death Company stabbing me in the face my Veterans could mop up the Drop Pods and then turn their guns on the approaching Rhino squads.

 About turn 3...I think...

Kill the pods!

In the end the might of the Emperor was too much for's finest and the Blood Angels couldn't pull back a win. The important thing is that the Emperor was the winner on the day!

Well that's my weekend of gaming. I can't believe it took me four days to get this post typed up but that's just how busy it is right now. We've got family visiting for the next week or so as it's Sam's birthday so there won't be much posting going on. Next weekend though I'll be sure to get something posted up. Until then...

Praiz the Empurar!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

It's May already! WTF!?!

I can't believe we're up to May already! We're getting close to half way through the year and I'm still getting used to putting down '2016' whenever I have to sign and date a document. I swore I would never become one of these whining old people who always say "My my, where has the time gone" but here I am in absolute disbelief that we're through 4 months of the year already!

Anyway that's enough of that, lets get along to Bloggin'. I've got a couple of updates for this week, the first is that I've picked up Hagen's Astra Militarum army so I can play some bigger games of 40k as practice for Maelstrom IX.

I've also organised my first big game this Sunday against Thom, an ex-pat Cantabrian living up here in the capital. Thom plays Blood Angels and has a reputation as being a bit of a Drop Pod addict so I'm assuming I will get a brutal lesson in aggressive Drop Pod deployment.

I had a bit of a read of the Astra Militarum Codex but had to put the book down after the first few pages as it was giving me a migraine. These Guardsmen have a metric crap tonne of special rules, I have no idea how I'm going to remember them all. I guess I'll just need to try and remember that the intent of all of this is to re-learn how to play 40k, so every stuff-up is an opportunity to learn.
I'll snap some photos of the game and post them up here next week so you can see how I go.

Burger me!

Sam and I got the chance to try a new burger over the weekend at Cafe Medici in the quiet little village of Martinborough. It was actually the burger they designed for Wellington on a Plate and apparently it was a finalist which I thought was an outstanding achievement given they are a small village about an hour's drive away from Wellington. I figured it must have been pretty good to garnish enough votes to challenge the Wellington based burgers who would surely have an easier time of it with the voting population so close at hand. Putting this finalist to the test was a challenge I couldn't turn down, so I rather unsurprisingly picked the burger for my lunch. Here is Medici's description of it:


Lightly smoked Pirinoa Station lamb patty with whipped Kingsmeade goat's cheese and Pinot Noir jelly in a Clareville Bakery pretzel bun, with polenta chips.

I will say I was pretty impressed with this burger. The lamb was smoky goodness and the goats cheese was like a thick feta sauce oozing more goodness over the smoky lamb. The Pinot Noir jelly didn't really register as the other flavours were too strong but it was still amazing, and all wrapped up in a beautifully toasted pretzel bun. The only downside was that there wasn't a shit show of me being able to eat this with my hands. As soon as I took one bite out of it the burger just kind of exploded out the other end. Doesn't matter though, while I may not have looked pretty eating it, it still tasted just as awesome as it went down into my stomach.

P.S. Polenta fries are the business.

Ok that's another post done for me. Check back after the weekend when I'll have a brief batrep of my game with Thom. Hopefully I don't get so easily tabled this time...