Friday, 2 June 2023

League / Tournament list review

 This could be quite a long post as I’m going to go through all the units in the army and talk about how they faired in the tournament and what i learnt about them. I’m not going to go through every single unit individually as going over the same thing for 4 infantry squads would be a little pointless, as i would be writing the same thing over and over again. 

Firstly i want to put a little note about the main rules. These were a little confi=using and i think i got several of them wrong on several occasions. The min thing was that were were only using the Arcs of Omen detachment and not the rest of the rules. This mean that i should have been paying CP to reserve my flyer and not reserving it for nothing as per the AoO rules. Secondly, AoO only give 6CP for detachment building but we were using the full 12 and getting the 1CP at the start of every turn, meaning a total of 22CP available rather than the 16CP from the pure AoO rules. It was all a bit confusing and I’m still not sure i got it right.

As for the actual units, well, there were some winners and some losers and there are a number of changes that i would make to the list if i was to run it again.

Within the HQ section there are a couple of changes to be made. The primary Platoon Command Squad would drop the relic the Finial of the Nemrodesh 1st as this did very little during the whole 5 games. I think i would take the Barbicans Key, but probably on the Militarum Command Squad. I would also change the war gear options for the bullgryn. I would replace the ripper gun with the Maul, as he spent most of his time in combat than shooting and would have done significantly more damage had he had it. The extra points would be recovered from the Priests war gear.

The second Platoon Command Squad And Primaris Psyker would be left as they are. Both these units did what was required of them. The command squad was expendable yet packed quite a short range punch. I had wondered about replacing one of the weapons with a plasma gun it I think it would not have worked as well overall. The psyker worked very well and the two defensive powers did what I wanted and there was only two occasions I can think of where other powers would have been useful but smite did the job anyway. 

The Troops section will not see many changes. The three Cadian Shock Troops would remain as they were, one change that could be made is switching the flamers for plasma guns but I’m not convinced it would gave made much difference. The Infantry Squad’s all worked as i hoped and so would not receive any changes. Both the Cadian squads and infantry squads worked, with the mortar squads doing a very good job holding my home objectives in all the games bar the Knights game, but that was a disaster from the start, so we'll ignore it! The final troop option was the Death Korps of Krieg. Now while i had some success with these, i really don’t think they were worth the extra 20 points over their counter parts. I would replace these with another Cadian squad armed the same as the other 3. The extra 20 points would go towards upgrades on other units.

There are a couple of changes to be made in the Elites section. The Commissar’s would remain the same, I would have liked to out power fists on them but that is unfortunately no longer an option. The Regimental Enginseer would also remain as he did a sterling job keeping the Hellhammer alive in several games. The Regimental Preacher's on the other hand will see some minor changes with both being armed the same with autogun and pistol with chainsword. The maul was useful a couple of times but dropping it pays for the maul on the bullgryn, which would have been far more useful, as the preachers are there mostly to buff the other units. I think all these units earned their place in this list without a doubt, i could probably drop a preacher but i think having two worked very well. 

The Valkyrie would also remain the same but will definitely start every game off the table, as it did much better that way. The Lord of War would see a minor change to it. While the Hellhammer did well in most games and certainly earned back its points most of the time, i think having Knight of Piety on it was a waste of points. I didn’t need the 5++ as i could get that from the Techpriest and i took very little damage from mortal wounds, in fact I’m not sure i actually took any in these games. For 35 points it was expensive for the return i got. I would most likely replace this with either Master of Camouflage or, more likely, Veteran Commander with the Heirloom Weapons doctrine for the 16” flamers, although Industrial Efficiency would also work quite well.  

The Militarum Tempestus Detachment would remain mostly unchanged, with just the Militarum Tempestus Command Squad gaining the Barbican's Key relic. The Tempestus Scions would remain the same, although I would try and remember that I'd armed the tempestors with plasma pistols and not HS laspistols!

Overall with these changes I would have 25 points to spend and I'm not sure quite where I'd spend them. One possibility would be to split the second Scion squad in to two squads of 6 men with a melta and grenade in each and drop them in the Valkyrie but I liked the twin melta unit as it gives some redundancy. Another option would be to swap the DKoK squad for another Scion squad and not a Cadian squad. Tool this one up with flamers and grenade launchers and put this in the Valkyrie, although I would only have enough points for an 8 man unit with just two special weapons. Dropping the door heavy bolters on the Valkyrie would make up the points and I forgot I had these most of the time anyway! This would enable me to drop in the squad using the grav-cute insertion rule to get up close and personal with their weapons. 

Overall I think the base list worked very well but with a few little tweaks here and there I think it could do better. I really did miss the bullgryn maul in melee, that extra strength and damage would have gone a long way and this was probably my biggest mistake in the list. I do wonder what this list will look like in 10th? We will hopefully be running a similar league / tournament in 10th, which i am looking forward to. Over all my biggest take away from this whole thing is that I remembered just how much I enjoy playing games. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Game 5 Recap - Orks

 So, i had my final game of the league the other week against Orks. It was a fun game even though we only managed to get to the end of turn 4, although turn 5 would have done nothing to the overall score, apart from give both of us a extra few victory points.

This game was one of the games i was hopeful of winning. There were a few big models, such as the deffdread, kill rig and the 40 wounds stompa!! There were lots of other orks but i was confident that if I could remove all these smaller orks, i could just ignore the really big models and just concentrate on objectives. This was slightly complicated by the fact i lost first turn. This was really big and i was worried I would have another repeat of the Eldar game and I would be hemmed in first turn and then not be able to get out of my deployment zone and get going. 

Guard deployment

One thing to note is the split deployment, i had castled up on the left of the board but i places two infantry units and a command squad, supported by a priest and commissar on the right to either move forward and take the objective or to draw some of the ork units across that side of the board and away from my main castle. 

The ork deployment
The orks went all in on their right flank and i though were going to ignore the guard on my right flank. However, with first turn the orks surged forward, pushing up across the board. The Deffkoptas went to take on the guards right flank, as i had hoped but the kill rig and wartrike came streaming down my left flank. All in all the ork turn went as expected, lots of firing but not that much dead. My opponent also made, what I consider to be his first mistake of the game, razing one of his objectives (we were playing “Burn and Raze), top left of the photo below. This netted him 5 points and let him move off the objective but also denied him more points in subsequent turns. 

In my turn I concentrated on the wartrike and kill rig, figuring that these were the most dangerous to me right now. Both were well up the field and the kill rig was loaded with orks. Unfortunately my hellhammer bounced some what, it did damage but not nearly as much as it should. The idea was to crack open the kill rig and then gun down the beast snagga’s inside. However by the end of the shooting phase, the rig was on 2 wounds but at least the trike was dead. So at this point i went for a bit of a Hail Mary and charge with everything i had, hoping to. E able to take the last two wounds in combat and with some good positioning, wrap and trap the model, thus killing the boyz inside. It didn’t quite go to plan however, as I only managed to take it down a single wound! I had to hope that it couldn’t kill enough of my models to form a gap big enough to disembark all the models inside. 

The failed wrap and trap!

Turn 2 started as expected for the orks, lots of noise but not many casualties on my side. There was some luck on my side of things as well. My opponent tried to bring in his deffdread by my castle but with where my models had ended up, there was just not enough space for him to drop in anywhere useful, so he ended up dropping in on the far side of the board, on my right flank to deal with the models there, this i think was his second mistake of the game, as it took the deffdread out of the game. If he had waited a turn longer to bring it in, he probably could have dropped it by my castle and done some damage. 

The three guardsmen in the centre that held up a stompa for TWO turns!

The other lucky break was the remaining guardsmen in the centre blocking the stompa from running through and challenging my hellhammer to a one on one fist fight. They died in a literal blaze of glory when the burna boyz got out of the stompa and toasted them, but they did their job and died gloriously for the emperor. Unfortunately in the fight phase, several addition units were able to get in to combat around the kill rig and with the combined might of the orks, they were able to clear space down one side, which would be big enough for the vast majority of the orks in the kill rig. I was however able top take the last wound off the kill rig in combat and the embarked boyz all managed to scrabble out unharmed in to a space that was literally just the right size! 

Loaded Dice!

At this point in the game i was getting seriously worried about where the dice gods were placing their favours, i was having a pretty terrible time with rolls, not horrendous but not great, my opponent on the other had was having a great time, rolling above (or below when needed) average on pretty much all his dice rolls!
My turn was spent trying to hold on to the castle with the limited models i had left. My hellhammer was down to just 6 wounds at the beginning of the turn and was not going to survive another turn of shooting, the stompa was going to i get it next turn if the deffkopters didn’t. I had lost my right flank by this point, with just a company commander and commissar left, but they moved up to block the stompa again. The hellhammer focused on all the orks directly in front of itself, and alongside the infantry that remained and could destroyed the majority of them. The scions dropped in on the back field, taking my opponent undefended home objective and destroying the boyz sitting on the centre objective. My plane also dropped in this turn, heaving been kept off the board turn 1. 

End of turn 2

The Castle holds

And a new castle is built

Turn 3 and this is the turn that my opponent, in my opinion made his biggest mistake, he turned the stompa around to go after the scions and flyer in his deployment zone, leaving my hellhammer alone. The stompa did do some damage to the scions but not wiping out any single unit and he wasted a lot of firepower on the flyer. The deffkoptas bounced on the hellhammer, chipping a few wounds off, but after the techpriest had repaired it last turn was not destroyed. Choosing to wipe out the commander and commissar in combat rather than charge the hellhammer, also left them open and vulnerable. Although this probably was the better option in terms of gaining victory points from blood and guts. 
In my turn 3 i moved up on to the central objective and positioned myself to take out as much of the remaining orks as i could, taking down the last of the boyz, all but one deffkopta, the deffdread and the stompa, who was still on 36 wounds at this point!

End of turn 3

The remnants of the castle

The new castle digging in!

Turn 4 and due to time it was our last turn. There was not much for my opponent to do by now, the stompa decimated the units in the centre, and the deffkopta moved up to add its firepower and also charged in to try and finish off the unit of DKoK that had dropped out the flyer. At the end of the turn, 4 guardsmen remained out of the 16 or so that had started the turn stood on the objective. The scions 4+ save and take cover order helping to keep them alive a lot longer than they should have. The deffdread by now had moved up on to the objective on my right flank but was completely out of the game now. There was a little scuffle that had been going on for a while between a single ork and some guardsmen and an ogryn at the other end of the table. It had lasted a full turn already and was still going on!

Turn 4 finish

In my turn, i played only to the objectives and cards, pulling back to allow me too finish the deffkopta and claim the objective for the end game, i also raze the objective in my opponent deployment zone, as i wouldn’t need it for turn 5. The final boyz was killed off in combat, it only took 3 rounds of combat for a model to die!

End game

At the end game, the orks had a stompa on around 30 wounds (the dice got knocked and we couldn’t remember) and a deffdread on full wounds hiding in a corner, i had a hellhammer on just 5 wounds, a flyer down just a couple of wounds and about 25 infantry.  While it might look like i had a significant advantage in numbers i really didn’t have the firepower or durability to take the stompa down next turn but given the ork shooting there was little chance of him being able to take out all of my remaining forces. Even though we had to call the game at the end of turn 4, looking a head to turn 5, there would have been little change in the situation. My opponent would have struggled to score many more points, gaining 5 for the primary for holding one objective and looking at they cards he would have drawn, may have managed 5 more from secondaries. However, the complete lack of infantry was hampering him, as i had hoped it would when i targeted them over his other units. In my turn 5 i would have scored 10 for the primary and looking at the cards I would have definitely scored 5 more secondaries, maybe even 10 if i had been lucky with my dice rolls. This would have left the scores about 85 to 60 or there about, not changing the overall result or within the tournament results.

As it was the game finished as a victory to the guard after a hard fought battle. I really did think that i was going to loose this one after turn 1 and the orks charge and even after turn 2 i was not convinced that i was going to be able to pull out a win. I had a really enjoyable game and it was really nice to finish on a high. Ill write up a review of the army list and lesssons i learned, just in time to forget all of them for 10th!

Friday, 19 May 2023

A game against my son

 Im on a roll with games at the moment and while I had my board set up and ready to go, my son asked if we could have a game. We went for a tempest of war game as I'm getting quite familiar with them now and I also decided to stick with my guard list as I had it all to hand. He was keen to play his new tau models, even though he's still waiting for me to sort out magnetising the various weapon options. 

Guard deployment

Tau deployment

As with previous games the 4 buildings in the middle are obscuring, so while the ghostkeel on the tau left might look exposed, it's actually hidden behind the building. The tau deployed very aggressive with said ghostkeel on one flank and stealth suits on the midfield objectives. The pathfinder squad also moved up pregame. I played fairly aggressive with the guard, mostly the Hellhammer, as I pushed it right up as I feared that it would take a lot of punishment turn 1 and needed to try and get something out of it. 

As it turned out I was very lucky and got to go first, moving my Hellhammer right up and hitting as.mucj stuff as I could including taking the ghostkeel down to.just a couple of wounds which I them removed by charging in the tank. Luckily I rolled high enough to go around the ruins as I couldn't fit between them! This did however leave my tank very exposed to return shooting.

The return shooting however was a bit of a washout. The hammerhead Railgun fired, missed, rerolled, missed. It's speaker missile then missed, as did the devilfish seeker missiles. Lastly the broadsides took their turn and promptly missed with both seeker missiles. The rail rifles did hit and wound, as did a couple of the pathfinder rail rifles, kicking the tank down to less than half wounds. 

The tau also went aggressive on the other flank, with the crisis suits and commander dropping in, using the stealth suits homing beacons. The tau started to push hard right from the off.  

The guard Countered by dropping in behind the tau and doing damage to the tau castle, removing a number of units and characters. However, not all the "big" units were dealt with. The hammerhead, although crippled survived, as did the devilfish and a broadside. Enough firepower to be worrying. 

The guard reserves drop

The wording was justified and the Hellhammer was destroyed with relative ease. Unfortunately it didn't explode, as I would have loved it to go nova right Infront of the tau! Apparently it only does that when in its own lines though.
At the end of turn 2 things were still quite tight and we were actually even on scores, with the tau holding the majority of the board, but only loosely, as their deployment zone was mostly devoid tau units. They still had some bite left but I was confident I could handle what was left.

We took a break at the end of turn 2, as it was getting late. One advantage of the new dinning room is that I can leave the game up overnight and play again the next day.

As we moved towards the end game I took some calculated risks, which did actually pay off this time around. Rather than go for quick points I went for the long game, advancing up to claim objectives rather than shooting, with a lack of firepower on the tau side, especially in the back field, I was certain it would pay off. 

The tau responded in pretty much the only way they could, and kept pushing, hoping to keep chewing through my castle and they did a pretty good job, the firepower of the Breachers, crisis suits and commander taking down pretty much everything they looked at. That broadside that I failed to destroy and the hammerhead also crippled my flyer, just about managing to take it out but only with the additional mortal wounds caused by the railguns, something we initially forgot about! With the flyer now gone, my scions way out of position in the rear, I was actually starting to wonder if I had enough firepower to drop all the crisis suits and the commander. 

The guard turn 4 was basically taken up shooting the commander and crisis suits trying desperately to chip off wounds. I did finally manage to kill the suits but failed to kill the commander, so everything that could charged did charge but even that wasn't enough to destroy it.

By this point it was obvious that the tau had lost, and we were running out of time as well, so we decided to call it here. The tau had only a few units remaining and not enough firepower to really kill off the remaining guard before they too would have been destroyed, so the tau commander sounded the retreat, hit the power button on the jet pack and jumped away to safety. 

Despite the board being quite devoid of tau units, the score was actually a lot closer that you'd think. I did look at the cards for turn 5 if we had of played and we theory hammered out the turn and we recon that it would have ended at about 90 to 80, as I would have been able to get a couple of cards but no more objectives and Thomas would have only been able to get a single card but gained another objective.  

I really enjoyed this game and I think it's one of the best things about the tempest cards, you never know what your going to get and so it really levels the playing field. My son made a few mistakes but nothing that cost him to dearly, I also made some but mostly as I was playing quite freely, more so than I would have in a tournament game. After four games of thinking every move through, it was nice to just relax a bit and play for fun. I've really got to get that last tournament game sorted!

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

10th edition

 Its been a little while but we got a big reveal at Warhammer Fest a few weeks back and we've had a number of other previews since then, however, I just wanted to have a little look at the release box and talk through the various indices and codices that we'll be getting. 

Firstly the started box, Leviathan. This looks like another great release box, full of new and exciting units, exciting for someone else that is. While I appreciate the models and box value, it just doesn't do it for me. The new space marine models are generally very nice, I really like the new terminators, as with some of the other recent Imperial releases, they keep enough of the classic look but updated in keeping with new range. The flamer dudes and dreadnought don't do it for me. Mass flamers don't shout marines to me and the dread just looks odd, too long legs for the beefy body. The whole marine side is just a bit disjointed as well, terminators with two terminator characters, a gravis character with no gravis squad and a Phobos character with no Phobos squad. Plus two normal armour squads with no characters to join either of them. 

The tyranid side of the box is equally as nice looking bit just feels far more cohesive. I say this but i have absolutely no idea about tyranids and so it could be a complete mishmash of units as well. From my perspective there are a couple of bug bugs, some medium bugs and a number of smaller bugs, just how i always imaging a tryanids list looking. 
Overall i think that this box is a really good box though, with tons of value (the the rumoured price tag is right) especially when you include all the books and stuff. However, i will not be buying the box, as it just doesn’t offer anything to me. The only exception to this is the Sternguard.

I really like these guys, however, they appear to be single pose mono build and i think if i want to have these in a force, i would want a very different weapon load. I really wanted a couple of small squads of these in my first born armies, a squad each with combi-flamers, plasma and melta. Looking at these guys, you don’t get that choice. If the individual kit for these is realeased and its a proper MPPK or Multi Part Plastic Kit, then i may well have to get to and put them into one of my primaris forces, which I don’t know. Anyway, this one kit is no where near enough of a reason to buy the whole box.
One thing i will be looking at buying when 10th drops are the data card packs for my various armies. There are quite a lot of them here that I want, i know that they are on line free and so some will just be downloaded and used from my phone, but there are several that i want actual cards for. These are the Astra Militarum, Blood Angels, Imperial Agents and Deathwatch. The ones i will just download are AdMech, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Space Marines and possibly Imperial Knight. 

The Astra Militiarum cards should be fairly obvious, as will the Blood Angels (as my Eagle Knights) but the Imperial Agents and Deathwatch might not be. I really like the idea of an Imperial Agents force, just a collection of units around my inquisitor, just for fun really. The deathwatch is an odd one out, as I don’t have any of the current codicies but i have a 1000 point force ready to role. Of the others, i have various forces that i can play but font really and so I don’t have a need for buying the new data cards for these forces. I have an AdMech force of 1000 points ready to play and i do intend to try and play this more in 10th as i hope their rules will be significantly simpler.
Talking of codicies, we do actually have a road map for the next nine months to a year, and none of my forces are on it! The Astra Militarum, having only just been released for 9th will have to wait at least another year for anything from 10th. It’s ok, were use to waiting! The Blood Angels are not listed either, however i could run it as a standard Space marine army as I don’t have any BA specific units in my army and unless they release any primaris specific units with the new codex, then i won’t. 

So the new edition is shaping up nicely. I was initially sceptical of the new edition and the return to indices so soon after the release of the latest AM codex, however i am becoming far more enthusiastic for the new edition. I am likening the new system and slimmed down rules. We have yet to see the full rules but so far, so good!