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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blood Bowl League: Just 4 games left until the playoffs!



Tomorrow I should be finishing my second game of the 3rd block of the league. This just leaves 2 more blocks with 3 games between them (2 for the 4th and 1 for the 5th and the playoffs against the top two).

My list of opponents is like this:
Tomorrow: Dark Elves
4th Round: Ogres and Lizardmen
5th Round: Slann

My last 4 games are against league regulars from the past two seasons. Some of them have had some bad luck or trying new teams that they have yet to perfect yet. I could stand to win a few games and ensure I make the playoff game this season if I play my next few games smart and if Nuffel along with Mork is with me!

The Dark Elves are going to get a huge boost of 220k in incentives which will make the game a bit tougher for me. Alliso will use this wisely I am sure and I am up against speed and decent armor with agility on his side. My goal early on is to punish his team quickly and reduce the #s against me on the field. Then score away a few times. Sounds simple eh? We shall see.

Tim’s Ogres are a nasty lot, veterans from last season he has been getting more draws than anything and has one of the most expensive teams (the only team ahead of me). Tim makes use of a weak roster filling it with journeymen as he tries to save up cash for Ogres and rerolls among other things. Not sure how kosher that is with the rules but everyone seems fine with how this is being done. The annoying part is taking on a bunch of snotlings that don’t mean crap as they will be recycled for next game. Tim is a good player and perhaps one of the top ones in the league and will be a tough game either way. I expect a draw or a very minor win for me if I am lucky.

The Lizardmen have had a rough start to the season also. 4 Sarus, 1 Kroxigor and several skinks is nothing to laugh at. He has a fast team, as strong as mine and a mix of light and heavy armor. This is going to be another game of bashing and trying to make an opening to score. Plus they are going to benefit from incentives due to points.

Pat’s Slann are going to wrap up the league in a weird game IMO, here is why. As this is our last game he has had all season to build up his team, so I will be up against skilled players on his team just like mine. High speed, agility, a mix of light and heavy  armor and leaping is going to be a pain in the arse to take on. I won the preseason game against him when we was having pizza and playing for fun.  Like all my games, I have to inflict pain to the team quickly hope for some KO’s and casualties early on to keep my opponents pinned down and against the wall. Again, my enemy here is incentives as Pat will have me on the ropes again in this area.

I also have to gauge each game as I go. Bad or really good luck could happen to any of my opponents that could shift the tide on how a future game could go down. The Undead team so far has a solid 4 wins and 2 draws to my 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss leaving me in the #2 spot with the Ogres and Rotters trailing behind us. Part of me is considering banking most of my cash until near the last game. If it looks like I will be going to the finals I will hold it until then. I figure at that point I could boost my team with coaches, cheerleaders, star players and other goodies to help me out.

At this point I am going to play each game looking to add a few SPP and try to get a few boosts on all my players (or at least a majority). I have already picked out a few that with a few points from a touchdown or casualty could build up another skill for a player. With at least 4 more MVP points that could be won by anyone at random we will have to see how things go.

Here is the SEASON RECORDS

TEAM STATS

Best Offense (Total TD's)
Body Snatchers - 10
Morks Manglerz - 7
Great Maw Murderfaces - 5


Best Offense (Average TD's per game)
Body Snatchers - 2.5
Morks Manglerz - 1.75
Great Maw Murderfaces/Its a Glandular Problem! -1.25


Best Defense (Total TD's scored against)
Morks Manglerz/Body Snatchers - 2
Its a Glandular Problem! - 3


Best Defense (Average TD's against per game)
Morks Manglerz/Body Snatchers - 0.5
Its a Glandular Problem! - 0.75


Best Touchdown Difference
Body Snatchers - +8
Morks Manglerz - +5
Its a Glandular Problem! - +2


Roughest Team (Total Casualties Caused)
Great Maw Murderfaces - 12
Body Snatchers - 11
Its a Glandular Problem! - 9


Roughest Team (Average Casualties Caused per game)
Great Maw Murderfaces - 3
Body Snatchers - 2.75
Its a Glandular Problem! - 2.25


Toughest Team (Total Casualties Suffered)
Tenacious Turtles/Morks Manglerz - 3
Tuatara - 4


Toughest Team (Average Casualties Suffered per game)
Tenacious Turtles/Morks Manglerz - 0.75
Tuatara - 1


Best Casualty Differential
Body Snatchers - +7
Tenacious Turtles/Morks Manglerz/Glandular - +4


Most Expensive Team
Great Maw Murderfaces - 1,430,000
Morks Manglers - 1,370,000
Body Snatchers - 1,290,000



Most Popular Team (Total Fan Factor)
Body Snatchers - 7
Morks Manglers/It's a Glandular Problem!/Great Maw Murderfaces - 4


The Gate Magnets (Average Fan Attendance)
Great Maw Murderfaces - 10,500
Body Snatchers - 9,000
Mossylog Pollywogs - 8,500

Largest Crowds
Great Maw Murderfaces -vs- Mossylog Pollywogs - 23,000
Mossylog Pollywogs -vs- Body Snatchers - 22,000
It's a Glandular Problem! -vs- Morks Manglerz


PLAYER STATS

Best Players (by SPP's)
Baby Huey - Ogre - Great Maw Murderfaces - 23
Ivory - Wight - Body Snatchers - 21
Eggshell - Wight - Body Snatchers - 19


Best Scorers (Total TD's)
Ivory - Wight - Body Snatchers - 4
Snaggletooth - Blitzer - Morks Manglerz/Spika - Blitzer - Morks Manglerz - 3


Best Passers (Total Completions)
I don't have a name yet- Catcher- Mossylog Pollywogs - 4
Zlern - Gutter Runner - Squeek! Look it's a ball.. - 4
Jack - Thrower - Squeek! Look it's a ball.. - 4


Best Interceptions (Total interceptions)
Nobody!


Most Vicious Players (Total Casualties)
Baby Huey - Da Great Maw Murderfaces - 6
Tut - Mummy - Body Snatchers/Doza - Blitzer - Morks Mangerlz - 4


Most MVP Awards
Whole bunch of players - 2

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: Outcast Dead




Today, I just finished Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill polishing off the latest of the Horus Heresy series.

First I have to say Graham is an outstanding writer before I go into my review of this book. Overall it was an excellent read, but it was very hard to get past the “dry” reading of the first half of the book to get to the mid part to the rewarding part of the novel. I can say this as a fact as I usually finish any typical Black Library novel in a few days up to a week. This book took me a bit longer not only due to the holidays, but due to the pacing I had to do to keep at the book for the payoff.

The first half was written with the intent to setup the storyline and establish the characters to give you perspective in the second half on how things resolve at the end of the novel. Aside from Rogal Dorn, nobody in the book has been established in anything written by anyone in the Black Library or by GW fluff writers for the gaming books. To me, there could have been a few edits to shorten the first half to give more space for the second half of the novel to resolve a few things, but I am getting ahead of myself for the next section.

The second half brings the action to the fore and starts to tie in the characters in what picks up the book tempo into what finishes the book off with some epic moments. I felt that the last chapter was a bit “forced” for Graham’s style of writing. By this, he loves to leave some strings unresolved for future books and to make you think at the end of his works, yet there were still some spots that should have had more attention to the detail that he is known for.

I can only give this book 3 out of 5 Imperial Eagles with a good conscience. This may be one of Graham McNeill’s less than polished books and by far the least enjoyable I have read. Still, I didn’t feel it was a waste of my time but the content was lacking in some spots.

As always, I can’t really go into details (good or bad) about a book as I feel it “spoils” the read and often a review gives away a bit too much to the reader. I hate going to a movie to find out the best parts I had already seen in the previews. This is my philosophy about a book review.

To a die hard reader of the Horus Heresy stuff, go on and read it. You won’t regret it and there are some rewarding parts of the book you will love. The casual reader of the Horus Heresy series could skip this book and not miss much to the “overall body” of the legends of the Imperium’s fall.


Sunday, November 27, 2011


My apologies for the lack of updates the past week as the holiday weekend has hit me like a hurricane along the coast of Florida. It was great to make the trek to see my parents in Alabama and my sister’s family in Georgia it was also a very tough adventure both mentally and physically in many ways.
Physically the travel and sleeping in a double bed compared to our own king bed was draining over the past few days and 16+ hours of road travel can also be tough on you. Combine that with allergies namely my mother still smoking adds to that and amazes me that I survived being around my folks during my earlier years with their heavy smoking. Word to the wise, don’t smoke and if you do smoke, give it up. Save money and the health of yourself and your loved ones.
Mentally it was rough to see my folks still fighting as they are around their 70’s like a cat and dog always going at one another. It drains you to see people always scrap and fuss at one another that managed to raise three good kids and had a career, now they piss away their retirement in hate and spite. It was also tough to watch my sister’s family struggle on 1/3 of their old income. She lost her job several years ago due to a business she had been with for around 20 years closed and her husband is already on disability. Now her own health has factored in and she is fighting for disability now in this half assed economy. I wish I had the money to help them out but my wife and I make enough to get by as it is.
Where is this rant going? I am being thankful now as this has given me cause to think of everything in the grand scale. I have a great and loving wife, three great pets (despite their flaws) and a home. While we would love for it to be bigger or at least several home improvements it is our spot in the world. We pay our bills, we eat well and at this time we still have jobs in the craptastic economy. We have our health and my wife and I have most of our family in our lives despite all the troubles and woes that go on.
I have also been blessed with many long years of gaming since the early age of 13. With everything from board games, to RPG, CCGs and miniature games this has always been my grounding stone in my life with a wealth of friends and new faces always in my life to help understand that one can only enjoy what you have now and that gaming offers you a relaxing escape for a few moments of the stressful things in life. For that outlet, I am thankful and I am looking forward to the holidays and where I can take my passion for my hobby to.
During these holidays be thankful for everything in your life, both the good and the bad in everything. Take time to do good things if you can and support charities that are important to you.
For me this year, I helped at work with the FSECC fundraising drive with the State of Florida that helps support over a hundred charities that solicit the state for donations to support their cause. I also helped my local gaming store start up the Toys for Tots box to help children out this year have a few smiles on Christmas day. Last, my wife and I bought some toys for a foster child that does not have a family of her own to get gifts from this year and I think this little girl will enjoy what we got for her.
Stay tuned as we return to our regular scheduled gaming blog!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blood Bowl League Update


The second game in the second segment of the season was completed along with my first game of this new 3rd segment. Overall, I feel that the games went ok as both  players was long time Blood Bowl players and was a tough opponents to play against. My apologies on no pictures, I forgot to bring my camera on both nights!
My last game of the second segment was against Chris and his Nurgle Rotters. This game was pretty much a back and forth game of bad luck and good luck. The last round on the last turn of the game was the make or break of the game between a draw and a loss. Chris managed to slip down the field and I was  pressed to “go for it” to get one  blitzer next to his Beastman and then make a daring dodge to blitz in an attempt to stop him from scoring. Alas, I rolled a 1 on the “go for it rolls” and with no rerolls fell flat on my ass and lost the game.
Chris earned that game with puss and guts from his Rotters. It was a very enjoyable match and my first loss of the season.

My third segment game 1 was against Mike, a long time player of Blood Bowl but new to our League. He had been involved in an Orlando League and his Undead Team was 4 and 0 when we faced off against my 3 Wins and 1 Loss. At this point, we are some of the top runners for the league for the finals.
His Undead team had a mix of bad luck and good luck throughout the game. Mike felt he had more bad luck in the first half and was just about to concede the game during the second half until I talked to him and kept him playing. I hate to see people quit and not have fun. Perhaps even to the point of not winning if need be which the case was. I eased up some and well, things blew up in my face a few times while I played the game for fun more than a win. Mike was able to pull a draw out of the game despite some setbacks. More than likely if I played more hard core I would have stomped the undead 2-0 if I had wanted it.
While he was a great player it was disappointing we lost some time trying to resolve his negative feelings of the game and his bad luck. It’s a game really and we are playing to have fun in the end. That is why we play games pure and simple.

I did find it interesting that on the last round I moved to foul his Mummy (and failed) and he seemed to get rather upset about this saying there was no reason for doing that but just pure malice. If you think about it, it could be seen as that but you have to consider a few other facts. First, I am Orks; they would step over in a heartbeat and kick the crap out of a downed opponent if they think they can get away with it pure and simple. Second, sure it was the end of the match but by causing a possible causality that could injure the mummy and possibly kill him only benefits my team or any other team playing against him in the finals. So, was my last act of the game kosher or not? Feel free to discuss. I think it was fair play, it was legal by the rules and this is a competitive league.

Darkside Tournament, Nov 12th

Went to Darkside games to play in the monthly 40k event they host at their store. My friend Chris and I ate at Yoders (Amish food) and headed over to the store. The turnout was a bit lower this time with only 8 players in total. Another guy showed up late and didn’t want to have an odd man out as we didn’t have a ringer army to fill in the gaps. He did manage to play in the last round to keep the numbers even after one player left.

I brought the usual Ork Horde list:

Warboss with Klaw, Bosspole, Cybork, Extra Armor and Twin Linked Shoota
Big Mek with KFF, Klaw and Cybork
Snikrot and 14 Kommandos with 2 burnas
15 Lootas
3 mobs of 30 boyz with 3 rocket launchers with a Nob with Klaw and Bosspole
1 Mob of Gretchin with Slaver
1 Kannon with extra crew and ammo runt with slaver
Zagstruk with 19 Stormboyz

Game 1 vs. Space Marines (Salamanders)

This was my first game ever against George and overall we had a great game and his list was solid. We did have a few rules discussions but nothing we could not look up or have a judge give thumbs  up or down on. He took great advantage for the most part of Vulcan’s special ability and it hurt me a few times in the game in casualties.

He had:
Vulcan He’stan
Assault Terminators (2 lighting claws and 3 Thunder Hammers/Shields)
Land Raider Redeemer with storm bolter and multi melta
Dreadnought in Drop Pod, Ironclad with melta and heavy flamer.
Full squad of Marines in Drop pod, flamer and sgt with combi-flamer/power fist.
Two other squads with Razorbacks with twin linked plasma and lascannon
Two squads (razorbacks above) with multi melta/plasma and mutli-melta/melta gun, each sgt had a power weapon and combi-melta.
3 Bikes with multi-meltas

The mission was pitched battle with three objectives.
1)     Kill Points
2)     Score more than 250 VPs
3)     Eliminate all Troop Choices

We had a desert table that had a fair amount of scenery. I deployed everything except the Stormboyz, Kommandos with the Warboss and Gretchin after winning the toss. The Lootas went to my right, Kannon to the left. The Boyz spread around with the KFF to cover most of them.

His deployment split his combat squads, two hid in Razorbacks, the heavy weapon squads deployed into cover. The Redeemer deployed to one side facing my Lootas. The Bikes was spread out. One to my left that could threaten the Kannon and the other two near the Redeemer.

He managed to seize and the game started on a bad foot for me. The Ironclad came down and landed dead on in front of my Lootas, they was on the short list to die. He rolled the Land Raider up full speed and shot the assault cannon, multi meltas, melta guns and a heavy flamer. I passed a majority of the cover saves and lost a few Lootas.

My turn wasn’t that great, I managed to take all three bikes out quickly. His Drop Pod was solid and the doors didn’t open which creates some pains for LOS as he said it blocks LOS, but once a pod lands the doors open. It would give cover and could still cause problems for LOS but it was a moot point as I used the Lootas to target the last bike. The rockets were all duds except for the one on a bike. I threw one mob of boyz into the Ironclad in hopes of taking him down with a klaw. I missed with all 4 attacks! Ugh!

His turn two was a fairly quick one. His second pod failed to arrive from reserves. He shot the lascannons again killing a boy or so, just like before the KFF and general cover was keeping them alive.  His Redeemer moves up after the Terminators deploy out. He kills a few boyz from another unit as they move close to support the other Mob squad in combat. He assaults with the Terminators and slaughters tons of orks, they barely hold and I end up taking losses down to the Nob. Again the klaw whiffs and I think I killed a terminator. The Nob was on the far side of the dread so the Terminators ended up out of combat as they could not consolidate and the Nob was already locked in base to base on the far side.

My turn sees none of my reserves! The Boyz shoot and kill a few terminators and charge in. The Mek left the squad and ran to hide behind a rock to join the other boyz mob. He’s a Mek not a fighter after all! I lost a few more Lootas to the Redeemer but the boyz hold strong and helped in killing a few terminators as well. After the assaults the boyz was torn apart and it looked bad for turn 3. They may be able to hold for another turn at best.

The last two turns saw the Stormboyz arrive on turn 3, they assaulted and wiped out one squad, then blew up a Razorback forcing one unit to do an emergency disembark. His last two turns chewed up the remaining boyz and they killed all but two of the one Loota that held his nerve and didn’t run! My last mob of boyz rolled over his drop pod with the Mek cracking it open with a nice explosion and the marines killed to a few men. They broke on the last round we played and was falling back with the orks on their heels.

The final results were a win for me on kill points with 7 for me and him with 5. I only lost the two boyz squads and my two units that were still in reserves! I had some seriously bad reserve rolls. If I had rolled better the loss would not have been bad and could have been worse for him.

VPs totaled within 250 so nobody got that award. It was a nickel and dime game between us. Both of us had troops on the board.  I scored a 29 in the end with two bonus points as he had no heavy choices (Redeemer was dedicated) and I took out his fast attack choices.


Meet George, Master of the Salamanders

My Deployment and Reserves on the cart.

Turn 1, Salamanders Advance, Orks react.

Later on, the first suad of boyz wiped  to the Nob.

Zagstruk attacks the marines in the ruins of an crash aquila.

The Lootas look for their next target....hrm, Terminators!

Stormboyz corral the Razorbacks.

Game 2 vs. Grey Knights (Inquisition)

I usually end up playing Zach about every other tournament and he brings a variety of armies. This time he was playing the Henchmen/Raven army led by Cotaez loaded with every dirty trick that the Grey Knights book has.

He had:
Cotaez
Grey Knight Librarian with shrouding (cover bonus), the rift and some other power.
Techmarine with grenades loaded out
Three units of henchmen with crusaders and assassins in mix.
3 Storm Ravens with a Variety of weapon loads.

We had Dawn of War for a Deployment Zone with these objectives:
1) Unplanned Assault (random roll on turn 4) either table quarters/capture terrain or more scoring in the center of the board.
2) VP, more than 500
3) Eliminate all HQs

I got the choice to deploy and go first. I took the side with the best cover. As we had Dawn of War and he was fast, I held everything for fist turn except the Kommandos with the boss and Stormboyz.

My first turn was quick, move on, run, take cover. His was turbo boost on 36” for the cover saves.

The next turn was me shooting at his flyers clustered to one side. The Gretchin arrived on turn 2 and hid on the other side of the table. He throws out the shroud power and they all pull off every 3+ cover save required. Ugh, what frustration….

He dumps a dread out and he waddles towards the Lootas. They end up locked all the way until the end of the game where they broke finally after keeping the Dread tied up for several turns.

The last few turns up until 5 from 3 on were the usual. The Ravens shot, he avoided sending his squads out unless the Raven was destroyed or he was in a good spot to get into a fight he could win.

In the end my Kommandos showed up the last round and the Stormboyz arrived on turn 3 causing some damage before they was wiped out to Zag that held a dread up for another turn before he was plastered. We had rolled on turn 4 to hold scenery as objectives. At the end I had more than Zach he did manage to deprive me of many of them including assaulting with the dread to pull some men away. I was able to still keep some on objectives as my orks was spread out in that unit to grab some objectives to ensure the win. I think the difference was 1 after contesting and his last henchman group grabbing one terrain bit.

I took a solid 29 points again. A win for the primary, the secondary was a draw and his Librarian was still alive. Two of those was bonus points from my most expensive HQ was alive and I had more scoring units left.

A few people including Chris had pulled out wins with higher scores so it would come down to how the last round fell for placement at the tournament. It was a tough and solid game, the Grey Knights are a major pain with all those powers and I feel is the reason why I never pushed to play them as they are just over powered draining some of the fun from the game and you’re limited to specific builds to win.

Zack, Ordos Commander (Grey Knights)

My deployment.

The boys line up to take on trouble.

Stormraven closes in and the boyz charge!

The brave Lootas holding off the dreadnought.
I can only hear them saying, "DAT MUH GUNA"


Last round was a laugh as I was matched up against Chris. We had the desert table and I had the opposite side to deploy on as he won the roll. We placed objectives 2 each on the table as the primary.

This game was again spearhead deployment with the following objectives:
1) 4 objectives, each worth 5 points.
2) VPs, must score more than 750
3) Table quarters, must have one unit in each quarter. Does not have to be a scoring unit.

I setup my army after the Wolves spread out on his quarter. The game went as I predicted. 3 objectives were closer to me and 1 in his quarter. I was too slow and there was too much firepower to take that one so I was content to stay near the other three and take them if possible.

Snikrot and the Warboss did a great job causing havoc in the back field towards the end of the game and the Stormboyz had a bad scatter that Chris got to place. He put them where he could hope to shoot them apart and he did for the most part. They was shot up to half and managed to plow into the Grey Hunters on the last round holding his objective.

Another objective in the lower center in a building was contested by the Orks and Grey Hunters fight it out. The Gretchin grabbed the food bag objective and the other orks held the last one for 10 out of 20 points. I took a draw on VPs again and with one bonus point  for a total of 18. The bonus points were due to the Space Wolves not controlling any objectives at the end. Both that he could capture was contested.

Chris, Space Wolf Commander (no he isn't asleep, he is deploying)

Ork Deployment

Lootas duke it out against Scouts.

Warboss with Snikrot wreck havok with the Kommandos.


I didn’t place high enough to win in battle points, painting and sportsman was very high and I had three great games in any event. Chris was knocked from first to third with some cool prizes to boot.

Unit Breakdown:

Warboss: Other than the fact he didn’t die in the first two games due to being stuck in reserves longer than he should and the last game he managed to claim a nice amount of heads before taking a massive loss in combat and running away only to be caught by the marines in his attempt to flee the battle.

Big Mek: Game 1 he blew up a Drop Pod, Games 2 and 3 he was just around to provide a KFF shield.

Kommandos with Snikrot: Had a disappointing turnout this event. Two games they either showed up late or never (in the first) and the last round they took out a Rhino and Long Fangs before they was beaten soundly.
Lootas: They drew more attention than they did anything of notable damage. First game they were the prize for the Redeemer and Dreadnought with a single guy living to tell the tale. The second game they tied up a Dreadnought most of the game after he assaulted. The last game the Space Wolf Scouts diced them apart after a rough fight.

Boyz: They lived, they died and krumped a few heads. They did their job well.

Gretchin: Never showed in game 1. Game 2 they hid and took a terrain objective. The only one of two that I could claim. Game 3 they grabbed an objective and hid on the last turn. Overall they did their job, a cheap objective grabber.

Kannon: Here is another unit that didn’t do much but drew much attention in every game. Game 1 they shot a few times but didn’t do much damage to any unit, Game 2 they took some losses but the slaver hung around, Game 3  Chris blew them up after one turn of shooting with Frag and a lucky 6 took out the gun and some gretchin. They hung around another turn before they were pasted again and the Slaver ran like hell.

Stormboyz: First two games were dead on drops and they did their damage before they died. During the second game the struggled to earn their points back but did a great job of drawing attention. Game 3 with the mishap they were able to take action to get back into the game for a winning move to contest an objective.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blood Bowl Update


So, my first game was tonight against a Nurgle Rotters team played by our commisoner of the league. It was perhaps the best game of Blood Bowl I have played in a long time.

You can read my write up about the game (an the other older games) here:

http://forums.anthem-games.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3856&start=220

The game started out strong for me, knocking out a few players, put one on the bench until Chris rolled a 4+ to recover him using regeneration. He barley scored on the first half and I scored quickly in the second half allowing for a second half of the game to decide between a win or a draw for us.

It was a game of comedy at various points with some bad dice rolls on both sides and we was using rerolls like crazy. The last turn saw my blitzer that was making a move to help assist with a block with another blitzer to fall on his face by rolling a 1 on his first "go for it" roll, with no rerolls the game turned to his 8th turn to walk the ball in for a 2nd TD and not tempt fate with blocks against me.

Sadly, I forget to take some pictures of the game but it was a blast. I hope to be able to take on the Undead team tomorrow after work to see if I can redeem the orks on the turf. I feel good about this game and as a long time player of the undead I know the other team very well and feel the home advantage will be mine.



The early plan of the game is to kick to him if possible. Beat up his team and prevent him from scoring, perhaps even take the ball away and score. If I can I will bust up the Skeletons and Zombies first and then move to breaking the Ghouls, his fastest models. This leaves the Mummies and Wights which are his power houses for his team. If he has little to no support these guys are not very useful and the Mummies would just barely get around with a M of 3!

Let's hope Nuffle and Mork is with me!

Necron Warrior Ghost Movement



We have all have heard of the stories of how Scarabs can do some weird tricks to get up to a 48” table coverage using 3 Spyders and you can do this with three swarms of 10 and 9 spyders if you feel like being really silly. I have yet to see anyone discuss the Warrior option that could make or break a game. Especially on that last turn that is critical for objective based games.

Elements you need: Unit of Necron Warriors and Ghost Ark (at least 1, 2 or more is better).

Process:
Reanimation Protocols allows for you to roll on a 5/6 at the end of the phase to see if a Necron Warrior can be returned to the unit within coherency. This can be bumped to a 4+ if you have a resurrection Orb. With a Ghost Ark you have at the start of the movement phase the option to nominate one Necron unit to regain d3 models back to their starting total.

Without a doubt you will take some losses to your unit, so make sure you have a unit large enough to deal with losses and not risk being wiped out. So, at the end of the enemy shooting phase you can add models back to the unit. These models added back to the unit must be within 2” of the models on the table currently.

At the top of your phase, you use the Ghost Ark to nominate a unit and add d3 models back to that unit. In theory if you have a second Ghost Ark within range, you could add another D3 models. Let’s assume the average of 2.

Say you started with a 10 man unit. Lost 6 didn’t fail your moral check and got two back. So you’re at 6 models now. X is your current 4 models left and the O is the two that just reanimated back.


O    O

X    X     X

X   

At the start of your turn you could now roll for the Ghost Arks, again let’s average 2 and assume they are both within range. Now, the Ghost Ark does not state that models have to be already on the table until the Reanimation Protocols. So we add our 4 models with A and assume each space is a 2” divide.


A

A

A

A

O    O

X    X     X

X   

With this method you picked up 10” in distance for this unit in model spacing alone of the models you just placed and this does not include the 1” base size for each model, this would add another 5” in theory. Now you wonder how this could help you in a game? Simply put, this could be used in one of two methods.

Method 1: Avoidance, as you take losses next turn X is assumed to be closer to the enemy. You pull your losses from X and put them forward to the unit to stay away from range of weapons and possible charge arcs as well as allowing you to position yourself perhaps even into cover to better shield your unit.

Method 2: Grabbing objectives: By using this method you could string towards an objective in a game in theory towards the end of the game to capture or contest multiple objectives. Clever use of this could pull you from a loss to a draw or perhaps even a simple win. Imagine this going into effect the last turn of a game and you snatch victory from the jaws of your opponent because they killed and removed some of your unit only to allow you to replace them into a more strategic spot to claim victory!

Is it cheesy? Yea, it is just like the scarab/spyder shenanigans would people call you a douche for it? Maybe. At least until a FAQ comes out that tells you must deploy models within coherency much like the needed FAQ for scarabs and spyders.

Warhammer Historical: Gladiator

Just got my order from Warhammer Historicals yesterday and I have to say the Gladiator book is an amazing work.


Here is a review done by someone that turned my interest to this game and his review on his blog:


The layout is amazing, well bound hardback with great looking artwork and just at a glance some painstaking hours doing historical research to ensure the book was one of quality.

I am already starting to scout out a few companies that makes 25-28mm gladiator models to order here in the US to get me the best price. I want my target budget to be about $40-50 on my first batch. If the game is a hit, I will add more to the collection.

There is a line of “plastic” gladiators that are 1:72nd that they claim online is about 23-24mm in reviews. The cost for a set is dirt cheap at several sites and there is about 3 major companies that make various sets and do have a variety including dwarfs, female, chariots and animals in one set or the other. While you get several models per set, some of them are the “same” pose repeated over and over. Plus, I can’t find too many pics of painted figures to see what they look like finished. From the few I could find the quality is not there compared to a nice metal figure.

My only disappointment with dealing with Warhammer Ancients is that I could not purchase “Legends of the Seven Seas” the pirate game was no longer in their cart system and it was limited to direct phone orders only due to low stocks. I sent an email with a request to swap it to avoid having to pay $1.99 a minute to place an order. By the time I spent $6-10 more bucks to order it the ½ off sale would not be that much of a deal for an overseas buyer like me. I have seen it on Ebay and other spots for about $30 or $35 and I may just have to bite the bullet and pay full retail for it or something close to it.

I even tried to hit Ebay yesterday to try to win a copy of it here in the US to no avail. I drew the line in the sand and it appears someone else wanted it more.

Oh well, maybe after the holidays and I get some cash that I usually get for a gift will let me invest in some Gladiator Figures and perhaps the Legends of the High Seas book. I am looking forward to finding some time after the holidays to play Gladiator and Legends of the Old West. I figure a blog will be formed once I am ready to start posting about Gladiator and I have already estimated that about two orders of models should get me enough to play for a long time. The first part will be a run of Gladiators mainly from Crusader and some Animals that I found online that is very inexpensive what will be a great choice! The second wave will pick up with other gladiators to round out the collection, perhaps an Elephant and some chariots.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Necrons Flying High: A Look at 40k Flyers

With the introduction of the Vendetta/Valkyrie in the first Imperial Guard codex as the first skimmer/flyer concept to the official 40k Codex books we have now had a few books appear on the shelf bringing some variants of the same concept to the table. Some are pure fighters or bombers and others as troop transports of different varieties.

With The Necron codex, I am still in the middle of the ground on the viability of these models. They are a wonderful concept but lack some elements that would allow them to survive on the field for very long based against their point value.

Below is a breakdown of each army and their flyers with their merits and flaws as well as my thoughts:

A look at the other kid’s toys:

Dark Eldar Void Raven: Able to take a variety of missile loads and bombs makes this guy a favorite along with the nice package of dark lances that are much stronger than their normal variants. While you are looking at an AV 11 vehicles, this guy can take some options to give it a 5+ Inv save and reduce weapons shooting at it by 6” adding to the survival factor. It is fast and can shoot much of its weapons on the move with no issues.



Dark Eldar Razorwing: The fighter variant of the Void Raven, less weapon options but no less deadly and has the same upgrades as its cousin fighter. Again it makes a viable choice among the Dark Eldar heavies. The main problem is competing with the cheaper priced Ravager that can be loaded up with a nasty load out turns Dark Eldar people away from the bomber and fighter variants in favor of paying less for something similar. Short of the large blast templates the Ravager can offer up something to keep up with the flyers.

Imperial Guard Vendetta: Three Twin Linked Lascannons. Yes please! You can toss in some heavy bolters to add insult to injury if you like. This gunship is able to transport 12 models and has excellent armor as high as 12 on the primary points short of the rear making for a tough flyer. Toss in the option to be able to scout as well adds to the bonus along with deep strike found on most other flyers. This allows it to scout forward to drop off models or flank the sides to threaten the enemy later in the game. It also comes with extra armor to change stun results to shaken.



Imperial Guard Valkyrie: Standard stock with a multi-laser and missiles with the upgrade options to add heavy bolters and missile pods. And who would not add missile pods? The missiles are non-blast ordnance which is a pain and limits the flyer from being effective and is more geared towards anti-troop with the multi-laser, heavy bolters and missile pods. Able to carry 12 troops also with scout and deep strike in its corner makes it very popular among IG choices which come from their Fast Attack category. The only major competition they have there is against the Hell Hounds and their variants.

Blood Angel Storm Raven: A 12/12/12 Space Marine gunship able to carry 12 infantry models and a Dreadnought in a sweet package. Often joked as the “flying Land Raider” and is to a point. It can be packaged up with anti-troop weapons like heavy bolters, assault cannons and hurricane bolters as well as missiles or given the favorite anti-armor options of multi-melta, plasma cannons, lascannons or even a Typhoon Missile Launcher system. Oh did I mention twin linked? Machine spirit? So, I can shoot at two targets at once or go FLAT OUT and still be able to shoot? No? Well, I just did. Toss in the ability to resist melta shots and is an enclosed assault vehicle is nothing to cry about.  You can upgrade this guy to take some extras including extra armor to be able to move even if stunned! The price 200 points base! WHAT A DEAL!



Grey Knight Storm Raven: Same package as the Blood Angel one but has the large blast anti-psyker missiles on it to cause perils of the warp against those that have psychic powers. They also have the psychic power to ignore shaken and stun results for just about the same price.

Necron Doom Scythe: Has a price tag of 175 points. Much like the Dark Eldar fighters they can move at cruising and fire all weapons still. A nice thing to help stay alive. One major perk compared to the Storm Raven that can move at cruising and still fire two weapons and defensive weapons along with the Machine Spirit Power. Only the IG gets left in the dust having to stick to combat speed if they want to shoot all their toys. It comes with an 11/11/11 with no Quantum Shielding (which is on EVERY Necron vehicle short of the Monolith and that is AV 14 already!) makes it a bit fragile compared to its cousins from other books. Take care to keep in mind it does have the Living Metal rule, so it can ignore Shaken on a 2+ and Stun results on a 4+, still your subject to the fickle fates of the dice. It comes with a Twin Linked Telsa Destructor which is nice, 4 shots, STR 7, assault 4 with a chance to arc into other units inflicting damage. Still not as nice as twin linked dark lances, lascannons or other goodies on the other flyers and lacks any real AP compared to them. It also has stock with the “Death Ray”; the problem here is it is 12” range, with two points in a line it fires in. Pick one point, roll 3d6 (pray you roll high) and each model hit takes a STR 10, AP 1 strike to the unit/vehicle. Nice, if your opponent is dumb enough to cluster everything in a neat line and lets you get within range. Sure, kill one or two vehicles of decent value and it becomes worth its points. The problem is surviving long enough to get there.



Necron Night Scythe: Has a low cost of 100 points. This flyer is able to transport 15 in a unique way that is safe to those that are the passengers in the event the flyer explodes or is wrecked. They do not take any damage from explosions, risk being pinned a so forth unlike others. Sadly, you have to walk in from reserves from your table edge making it a double edge sword. Congrats you’re safe but you’re out of the fight also. If you have a Monolith then you can teleport them closer to get into the action. It has all the merits of its brother the Doom Scythe with Living Metal, the twin linked Telsa Destructor and the same armor. It can also carry jump troops and jetbikes reducing the ability to carry less, that being 5 Bikes or 7 Jump Troops.

Compared to the other Codex books, they got a little less love than their cousins from the other books. Not only that, the Necron Doom Scythe has to compete with other heavy choices to see the light of day. The Monolith is a beast and their most heavily armored vehicle. The Doomsday Ark is cheaper, has a nasty STR 9, AP 1 large blast if it remains still and a weaker version if it does. The even cheaper Annihilation Barge is a great light armor and anti-troop vehicle and the Spyders are cheap Monstrous Creatures.

The only limit to the Night Scythe is units you can take that have the option. Even so, it competes against a Ghost Arc which is a better choice for Necron Warriors, granted everyone else has to take a Night Scythe or walk to the battle otherwise. Rhinos, Chimeras, Razorbacks and even Raiders are cheaper as troop options for transport. The Raiders while fragile can take again the 5+ Inv save and reduce range of shots against them making them a harder target to kill and open topped as well.

I am still reserved on my full opinion of the Necron flyers at this time until I have a chance to try them out in some test games and see how they fair for others.

So far, the Night Scythe appears to be a good thing to hold in reserve, go flat out on the first turn, then drop the kids off and harass targets the rest of the game or act as a reserve transport to pick someone else up to grab a table quarter/objective at a later point in the game. Granted, it sucks if you do this as your back in your “pocket void” so, back to the table edge for you and reserves. Late in the game this can be VERY dangerous. Unlike other races that can take a loss to a vehicle, any survivors can still grab an objective. It would have been nice if they could have carried the Triarch Stalkers like how Ravens carry Dreadnoughts!

The Doom Scythe would have to be taken as a pair at least, if not three, to be viable in a game. Even so, once someone knows what they can do is going to blow them out of the sky early to avoid letting them get close. If you have first turn, sure move up 12”, fire away, you should be fine. If you go second, hold them in reserve and slip them in to crush an opponent that is not careful to place his stuff with care. Even so, after a few games people will get wise and be on the lookout for them. You would also have to gamble a bit that your death ray can kill enough in the first turn to earn the points invested in it before it gets shot apart by the enemy and I assure you, THEY WILL!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review: Nocturne



Finished Nocturne the last book in the Salamander book Trilogy of books and wow, what a surprise on how this ended. It keeps very much to the Salamander theme of the circle of fire; everything in the book comes full circle and wraps up several plots both major and minor up nicely in the end.

The best aspect was that of Vulcan Hestan’s quest for the relics and an interesting twist this book brings to light for his quest. Anything else would spoil the deep thought that can follow afterwards. Let’s just say it wasn’t disappointing.

It was nice to also read up more on the Dragon Warriors background/fluff as it was slowly revealed in the book. They are the evil twin of the Salamanders in many ways and were an excellent villain to wrap up the book series.

I was shocked that they killed a “named” character from a codex. I dare not say who if you have not read the second book in the series Firedrake. Still, I doubt this character will remain dead long and will be back in some weird twist in a future book.

A true space marine book driven on the faith of Vulcan to carry them through the fires of battle if there was ever a line I could attach to this book. I would recommend you pick up this book and read the entire series if you have not.



I am currently reading the Outcast Dead written by Graham McNeill. At this point, I am only a few pages into the book and is a bit of a historical driven book with a dry story so far but they are laying groundwork for the meat of the book. A review will follow later!

Making your own Cryptek Models and Save Money!


As I have started to build my Necron wish list as to what to add to my army to bring it up to speed with the current codex one of my first thoughts fell towards Cryptek’s. As I looked online GW has saw fit to only make one in Finecast and it appears to be just one pose also.

Not feeling the love of spending $15.25 for a single model put me into the mind to look at the rest of the current Necron line to find an alternative. My research found that if I took the heads from the Deathmark/Immortals kit and use options from the Lychguard/Triarch Praetorians that I can build 5 and still end up with 5 Immortals in the deal as well.



Pictured below is the two kits and you can see the head is similar to the Cryptek (sure the Finecast has a bit more decoration but I can live with that), the Lychguard/Triarch kit has enough things to embellish it make me happy and the head from the Deathmark makes a fine feature to round them out. All of their weapons are usually a staff of light or if you upgrade they become a staff/stave or lance. In essence, a pole with a blade on it which fits the need you need. I may consider using something to make some cloaks on them. It is a matter of finding a good medium to make them, I was thinking either a stiff mesh or foil or perhaps straight up green stuff.





In essence you are spending $66 for two sets; we also know many stores and online dealers will offer a discount. A total on 5 Finecast is $76.25, with my plan I get 5 Crypteks AND I can build 5 Immortals to add to my army as well as saving $10.25 at least!

Will you need more than 5 Crypteks? I doubt it. The only exceptions I can think of are large games like Ard Boyz, Apocalypse or perhaps with specific army builds that may demand more than 5 models for your court.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Necron Unit Review: Heavy Choices

Heavy Support

Doomsday Ark: Here you have a great concept that just flies off to almost useless to be honest. You can fire a 24”, STR 7, AP 4, Heavy 1, and Blast if you move at Combat Speed. If you are stationary a STR 9, AP1, Heavy 1, Large Blast up to 72”. Sure you can fire, but you’re a sitting target for that turn. Think about it Space Wolf Scouts and Ork Kommandos with Snikrot can auto hit you, many transports have assault ramps (Land Raiders/Ravens) or Open Topped (Orks/Dark Eldar) that can assault it in a single turn and wreck it, in 5th if you don't move your more likely to die. Even the IG has better ordnance than this! Oh, well back to the box for you!

Annihilation Barge: Armed with a Tesla Cannon and Tesla Destructor this little guy can wreck some havoc to a game but so you have a bunch of STR 6 and 7 shots good for light vehicle hunting and for 90 points not a bad deal.

Monolith: Easing down to 200 points, no longer can it shun melta and other bonus penetration rolls like it used to. Still, being able to ignore Shaken and Stunned results is a good thing. The weapons have been toned down some with each array only able to target a single target (but may fire at different targets) along with a Particle Whip and still use the Portal at the same time! The portal works pretty much as before except for unengaged models only, but the Exile option is just insane! Granted it is 6”, but if you get close enough you could such up several models at once with a good position making this a very ugly ability to use. Always use this option first (as it is shorter range) before using the other weapons systems. Anyone that is STR 3 only has a 50% of survival! Imagine if you get within range of 30 Orks! 15 goes pop like that! Even a full Marine squad can take about 3 losses on average.

Doom Scythe: Here is another GW famous, great idea and bad execution. Not Quantum Shielding for starters makes this an AV 11 glass flyer that is a bit pricey, the only saving grace is it isn't open topped. The death ray is amazing and perhaps there is still a chance for it. To me it would be a one hit wonder if anything. As anything STR 6 or higher can shoot it down (and they will). It lacks any special options unlike a Storm Raven that can go flat out and still shoot using the Machine Spirit rule. Interesting that the Necrons never figured out this ability!!!!

Canoptek Spyder: This guy is a deal for 50 points if you have a spot for him! Able to generate scarabs to add to the ranks of swarms (and with their boosts that makes them even more deadly), not only that but they can be made into a Techmarine of sorts able to fix vehicles on a 4+, nullify psychic powers (within limits on a 4+ like a rune blade) and they can have a particle beamer. A vehicle heavy list can benefit from the repair array and the ability to nullify psychic powers can be useful against “directed” psychic powers against your units.

Necron Wish Listings - What Went Wrong – What Went Right with the Codex:


What Went Wrong
GW should have maintained their standard for Quantum Shielding for the flyers. Sadly, they won’t get much table time because of this. Why put out AV 11, when you can put out AV 13! If GW FAQ’ed this as “we forgot it” they would be viable. If anything, they should have lowered the points on the Scythes to make them more appealing. Mainly the Night Scythe (transport one), 100pts is a bit stiff.

 Destroyer Lord being able to take a Phase Shifter! Something geared for close combat and no Inv option? What?

C’Tan could have used flight (or some movement option like Beasts or Fleet) to make them faster to move.

Deathmarks should be able to shoot at the unit they mark upon deep striking.

Flayed  Ones should have gone troops. Add Rending. Also, assaulting out of deep strike would have been nice.

Resurrection Orb should have been cheaper or given a radius like a Sanguinary Priest.

Spyders should have had some bonus to help “repair” other Necron Units using Resurrection Protocols, something like a +1 to the roll bonus for every Spyder. Up to a 2+.  Maybe limit it to one unit per turn they can nominate.

Gave the Doom Ark the option to move and fire the big gun. Should have been combat for the big shot and if it goes over 6” only the lesser shot can be done.

What would you have changed?

What Went Right

Character and Variety are not in the codex, army lists can be different instead of carbon copied and look like the next Necron Army.

Great looking model line! Everything new, even if it sucks on paper looks wonderful!

Named Characters, despite the fact I hate them the Necrons was due as only the two C’tan was all they had! It has given them some balance.

Able to build your own C’Tan option. It is great to have the Mr. Potato Head of C’tan now to build!

Tons of new wargear options and upgrades with several fresh unit ideas.

Necron Army Road Map: Trends Most Likely


Necron Army Road
Map


Here is how I see Necron Army builds will start to appear on the internet. So far here is what I see will be trends in favorites, occasional and very rare for armies.

Favorites: Will appear in tournaments and will be on early lists to try out. For the most part you can expect to see them in every list without much surprise.

Occasional: These will pop up in lists once in awhile, mainly for players trying to find out if they fit into any specific army build or for fun games.

Very Rare: Short of a fun game, these guys will not be making very many appearances. Only new players getting into Necrons that don’t understand the units will also be fielding these units. Unless someone finds a way to make them a useful tool for a specific list I doubt again they will get much table time until 6th Edition makes us evaluate all units in every codex again to what is most viable.


HQ

Favorites: Imotekh the Stormlord, Trazyn the Infinite, Necron Overlord, Destroyer Lord, Crypteks

Occasional: Nemesor Zahndrekh, Orikan the Diviner,

Very Rare: Vargard Obyron, Illuminor Szeras, Anrakyr the Traveler, Necron Lord

Troops/Transports

Favorites: Immortals, Warriors (at least until people can phase out warriors for Immortals), Ghost Ark (if Warrior heavy)

Occasional: Catacomb Command Barge (If there is points IMO), Night Scythe (AV 11 with no Quant. Shields is why along with points)

Very Rare: None


Elites

Favorites: C’Tan Shard, Triarch Stalker

Occasional: Lychguards, Triarch Praetorians

Very Rare: Deathmarks, Flayed Ones

Fast Attack

Favorites: Canoptek Wraiths, Canoptek Scarabs

Occasional: Necron Destroyers (this could go to Favorites depending on play style of a player)

Very Rare: Tomb Blades (due to lack of models and better choices)

Heavy

Favorites: Canoptek Spyder, Monolith

Occasional: Doomsday Ark, Annihilation Barge
(The Doomsday Ark has to remain still to shoot the big gun, which is why it is here and is almost as expensive as the Monolith which is way better!)
(The Annihilation Barge is cheap but also lacks any major firepower to make it a viable vehicle)

Very Rare: Doom Scythe (due to lack of Quant. Shielding again)

Notes:
Changes in 6th may change these trend predictions as I have commented earlier. Clearly there are weird things that don’t make sense in 5th for the Necrons that may become clearer when the 6th edition rules roll out.

Quickly the Necron army is going to fall into a standard build that is going to be common at tournaments like any other list. It will take a bit of time for players to figure out the perfect configurations. I give it a month or two and we will see very stable lists hitting the table making Zenos a favorite again away from the MEQ armies.

One quandary I can see is the Regeneration Protocols, even with Ghost Arks and Resurrection Orbs a MSU could stand to be wiped out before you roll. I feel this may be the fist codex to start pushing back away from MSU once that “perfect balance” of a unit size has been found. Back in 4th, when I made my Word Bearers they was tough as a foot slogger unit due to unit size balance with points in ratio. I feel the same will happen here with the Necrons.