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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

40k Batrep Part Three - White Scars & Space Wolves vs Imperial Knights & Iron Hands

2nd Turn - Imperial Knights & Iron Hands
My opponent's Stormraven arrives from reserve and makes a beeline towards mine. The Knights shift around to shoot and assault. His Marines hold their ground to rapid fire my Grey Hunters. Khan intercepts the Stormraven with Icarus lascannon and glances it.

His Stormraven blows mine out of the air. Rapid firing fails to inflict any damage. My Wolf Lord and Chapter Master tank all the shooting from his Knights.

The Seneschal makes it into combat with the deathstar but his unengaged Paladin comes up short. The other Paladin crushes the lone Grey Hunter. The deathstar suffers no wound then destroys the Seneschal for Slay the Warlord and consolidate into base contact with the unmanned Icarus lascannon. One down, two to go !

3rd Turn - White Scars & Space Wolves
My last White Scars biker squad fails to arrive this turn and the Rune Priest successfully casts both his Divination spells.

The remaining Grey Hunters form up to charge the Iron Hands with one White Scars biker squad moving forward into the fray to lend their support. The other White Scars biker squad moves into position to target the wounded Paladin.

Khan fires the Icarus lascannon into the wounded Paladin - the shot slips through and penetrates taking the Paladin down to its last hull point. The free roaming White Scars biker squad fail to finish it off. The Grey Hunters fire their pistols into the remaining Sternguard along with drop pods and drop a couple but the enemy unit doesn't break.

The Deathstar charges one of the wounded Paladins and blows it apart. Again another Knight is laid low. The mega blast scatters onto the remaining Paladin striping a hull point.

My Grey Hunters and one biker squad assault the remaining Sternguard wiping them all out. The Deathstar consolidates back into base contact with the Icarus lascannon while the Grey Hunters and White Scars spread out... aka Chinese fire drill.

One last Knight remaining now !!!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

40k Batrep Part 2 - Opening Engagement: White Scars & Space Wolves vs. Imperial Knights & Iron Hands

Lots of pictures these first two turns... Enjoy them now because I became fully engrossed in the game after the second turn.

1st Turn - White Scars & Space Wolves

Two drop pods arrive. One lands to my right in front of the defense line and the other lands in area terrain further to the right with a clear firing lane behind the defense line. The Rune Priest successfully casts both Forewarning and Prescience, targeting the deathstar (of course... Duh). The first Grey Hunter pack disembarks to cutoff forward movement for one of the Paladins. The second pack disembarks into the area terrain. The deathstar moves just on the other side of the defense line cutting off another Knight.

Shooting commences. The deathstar is able to strip several hull points from the closest Paladin and both Grey Hunter packs focus fire on one combat squad bringing them down to a couple Marines whom pass their morale check.

My opponent reminds me I can't charge since I scouted the deathstar... Heh. I'm right up in their face now though with multiple units.

1st Turn - Imperial Knights & Iron Hands

The Sternguard drop down taking a risky landing to cut off my Grey Hunters to my right but my opponent rolls a hit on the scatter. There's not much movement other than the drop pod. Note that the Iron Hands Sternguard split into combat squads when they disembark.

The Librarian successfully casts Terrify but my Rune Priest blocks it with his runic weapon.

Shooting then commences. I lose all of my White Scars bikers in the deathstar for First Blood to my opponent and the Wolf Lord takes a wound - I failed five LoS in a row... Dayum !!! The rest of my biker HQ are fully intact though.

Two Knights charge. One Grey Hunter pack is reduced to a single model and he passes his morale check. My biker HQ reduce the wounded Paladin to a single hull point then successfully Hit and Run out of combat dropping straight back.

2nd Turn - White Scars & Space Wolves

The third Grey Hunter pack arrives from reserve along with two more White Scars biker squads. The Grey Hunters land in the area terrain beside the other drop pod with minimal scatter. One biker squad pulls up one the far side of the area terrain well hidden from the Knights' line of sight. The other biker squad heads straight towards the Sternguard ready to blaze them hard. The Stormraven also arrives and moves in place to target rear armor on the Seneschal caught out of position.

The Rune Priest successfully casts Forewarning and Prescience but perils once rolling snake eyes... He's such a chump - heh.

The deathstar lines up to assault the Librarian along with his combat squad while the unengaged Grey Hunters line up for a charge on the closest Sternguard combat squad.

Shooting then commences. The deathstar refrains from shooting to make sure they'll have a two inch charge. The Stormraven manages to strip three hull points off the Seneschal. The biker squad and fresh Grey Hunter squad focus fire on the forward Sternguard combat squad—the wounded Sternguard suffer heavy losses then break off the table.

The deathstar charges the Librarian and combat squad blowing them off the table. The Paladin fails to inflict any wounds on the lone Grey Hunter... w00t !!! The other Grey Hunter pack charges the other Sternguard combat squad and locks horns.

At this point the Iron Hands have suffered heavy losses and the two Knights have lost a significant number of hull points... Chipping away at the big stone.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

40k Batrep Part 1: White Scars & Space Wolves vs. Imperial Knights & Iron Hands

This was a 2250 point game using double FOC and allies. This was my first game versus Imperial Knights. I didn't want to specifically tailor my list to face them so this was a good test match to see if my existing list had enough of the right tools. You can take a look at my army list below and predict whether or not it can get the job done. I'm still working on my biker command squad (WIP) so my army list will eventually change to incorporate them.

Here is my army list:

White Scars - Primary Detachment I
Khan - Moondrakken /Warlord

5x biker Marine
2x Grav Gun - Combi-Grav (Sergeant)

5x biker Marine
2x Grav Gun - Combi-Grav (Sergeant)

White Scars - Primary Detachment II
Chapter Master
Bike - Artificer Armor - Shield Eternal - Thunderhammer

5x biker Marine
2x Grav Gun - Combi-Grav (Sergeant)

5x biker Marine
2x Grav Gun - Combi-Grav (Sergeant)

Stormraven (Heavy Support)
Twin-linked Assault Cannon - Twin-linked Multi-Melta - Hurricane Bolter Sponsons

Space Wolves - Allied Detachment I
Wolf Lord
Bike - Runic Armor - Stormshield - Wolf Tooth Necklace - Thunderhammer - Saga of the Bear

7x Grey Hunter
Plasmagun - Plasma pistol - Power axe - Wolf Standard
Drop Pod

7x Grey Hunter
Plasmagun - Plasma Pistol - Power Axe - Wolf Standard
Drop Pod

Space Wolves - Allied Detachment II
Rune Priest
Bike - Runic Armor - Level 2 Psyker (Forewarning & Prescience)

7x Grey Hunter
Plasmagun - Plasma Pistol - Power Axe - Wolf Standard
Drop Pod

Khan, the Chapter Master, Wolf Lord and Rune Priest all attach to one bike squad to form the deathstar.

Here is my opponent's army list to the best of my memory:

Imperial Knights Primary Detachment
Seneschal /Warlord
Thermal Cannon - Heavy Stubber

Battle Cannon - 2x Heavy Stubber

Battle Cannon - 2x Heavy Stubber

Iron Hands Allied Detachment
Level 2 Psyker (Psychic Shriek & Terrify)

10x Tactical Marine
Missile Launcher

10x Tactical Marine
Missile Launcher

10x Sternguard
Drop Pod

Stormraven (Heavy Support)
Twin-Linked Assault Cannon - Twin-Linked Lascannon - Hurricane Bolter Spinsons

Twin-Linked Assault Cannon - Missile Launcher

Aegis Defense Line w. Icarus Lascannon

Here is the mission:

Big Guns Never Tire (5 objectives)
Each marker is worth one victory point. Three objectives were placed evenly across the center of the table and two were placed in my opponent's deployment zone. Note that I wanted to play it such that the Stormravens can't hold objectives while my opponent wanted to play it the other way... Let's see if it could have changed the final outcome.

The Relic
The Relic is worth three victory points.

First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Line Breaker

Win Condition:
Whomever accumulates the most victory points wins.

Dawn of War

No Night Fight on first turn.

My opponent won the roll and chose to go second. It's always good to go second in objective based missions but on the other hand I'll need the jink saves for my bikers so I don't have to eat multiple pie plates to the face right off the bat !

My Deployment
I deployed my deathstar 12" up right in the center of the table.

The three remaining bike squads will all outflank. The Stormraven and drop pods are held in reserve.

Opponent's Deployment
My opponent broke all of his Marines into combat squads. One tactical squad would join the Librarian and man the Icarus lascannon while the other combat squad embarked into the Stormraven. The other two tactical combat squads were deployed to his left behind one of the Knights. His two flyers are held in reserve.

Scout Moves
I scout the deathstar 12" straight towards my opponent entering a multi level ruin, hiding the Khan and Rune Priest behind a wall.

My opponent rolled and seized the initiative then graciously declined it, which I greatly appreciated ! This was a competitive game for sure but a friendly match as well. : )

Pre-Game Analysis
My main goal is to kill all the enemy scoring units. Maybe a bike squad or Grey Hunter pack can grab an objective towards the end of the game. I'd have loved to had the biker command squad as those four prescienced grav guns would obviously be very strong versus the Knights. This will be a good learning experience versus Imperial Knights though and that's the main thing. I'm not worried about the Iron Hands but I'm sure their two flyers will be very annoying... Oh well.

Astra Miltarum as your Ally

So I will be purchasing three Leman Russ as an integral part of my Imperial allied Astra Militarum - Knight Commander Pask in an Executioner and two Demolishers to form up the squadron. It's no secret Pask is the man. Dropping large AP2 pie plates is the bane of all deathstars as S10 is instant death for most of these units. Pask has several really good special rules and I think you'll get the most mileage over a Punisher with the Executioner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

40k Editorial: The Evil that's Army Composition

Around five or so years ago there began a movement on the internet claiming that all the major events in the US were nothing more than glorified hobby events—they were deemed not truly competitive and this really caught on fire in a huge way. Today there are lots of seriously competitive events all around the country and they are by far the most popular venues. I tip my hat to the NOVA Open for leading the way in this regard. Fast forward to now... I've seen a couple of Escalation events—very low attendance and most no one that attended seemed to enjoy them.

Change is the Only Constant
The pendulum is starting to swing back again now and there is a lot of talk on the Internet about bringing back army composition. Unfortunately enforcing army composition does not work as invariably it will always be coupled with a lot of personal bias and at the rate at which new rules are being released now it's just not possible to come up with an overall fair system.

If you dig down into these discussions to re-introduce army composition you'll find that there is a highly vocal minority, which is so often the case. I ask you to understand two things from my point of view as a veteran 40k player that still loves to play the game:

- Truly competitive events are the best and most popular format for a large tournament
- Imposing army composition is THE worst thing for a large tournament

Campaigns versus Tournaments
That said above campaigns are a completely different animal of a different stripe. My true love right now is 30k and there are some awesome national campaigns you can attend such as TexasGamesCon if you're willing to travel. You'll find like a lot of like minded people and it's much more fun than a GT. Of course 30k is not for everyone though and I respect that sentiment totally. I'd much rather spend my time and money to play in a big 30k campaign because of the friendly nature of these events as opposed to the possibility of facing off against a totally WAAC TFG at a GT. A 30k campaign is not competitive like a tournament... But yes it's actually still competitive, which is human nature because deep down inside everyone would like to win, but a campaign is not all about the win and that makes the difference.

Only one person can come out on top at a competitive GT out of as many as 256 players. 30k campaigns are much fewer in number so you'll have to look far and wide to find them - it's worth the time and effort though if this is your bag.

Allies have been around for a long time. The infamous IG leaf blower list heavily relied upon taking a Daemon Hunter Inquisitor. My Blood Angels army that reached the Ard Boyz finals a few years ago featured allied Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle - no one complained back then either. I had three sources too,

Why I Hate on Army Composition
I used to attend a local GT that employed a totally secret system for army composition... Yes their system was completely non disclosed to the public and if they didn't like you for any reason you had absolutely no chance to win. The TOs played Warhammer Fantasy and had no real clue about 40k which they often referred to as the 40Gehy. Their missions were simply atrocious—for example one year you could stack all of your objective markers on top of each other and castle around them. Finally I wised up and stopped attending. The following year this particular GT went belly up due to the negative feedback and has been replaced by another GT that embraces a purely competitive format. Do we really want this kind of thing to come back ? Not I.

I have a good friend whom played in a Swedish GT one year not too long ago. Sweden has one of the most restrictive formats in the world... Even the ETC cringes - wow wow wow ! This is their culture though and I feel sorry for people that have no real alternative and must play there... They have no real choice in the matter since they are all brain washed from day one. My friend was able to win by doing some serious research, crafting a list that took advantage of their silly comp rules... Any system can and will be broken. The TOs were completely blind sided and caught with their proverbial pants down.

The point being is any set of rules for army composition that are set forth in the public domain can and will be abused. The goal posts are simply moved to one side so WAAC players can react accordingly—This is how hyper competitive players operate. This in and of itself defeats the main purpose for imposing army composition.

The Future
I have been told by several highly reliable sources that some major changes are coming down the line soon from none other than GW... Expect to see a new edition released within the next three months. The ally system will be drastically curbed along with psychic powers... Basically say good bye to all the present meta busting allied deathstars—As an example of what's in store an ability (i.e., USR) from a parent unit will no longer transfer over to any allied independent character that joins them. So say goodbye to the Baron joining an Eldar Seer Council FTW... He will no longer benefit from a Farseer or Warlock casting Fortune or Forewarning. Another example is a Wolf Lord joining a White Scars command squad... No more scouting up or outflanking. This in and of itself will solve lots of problems generally perceived by many as to what's presently ruining the game. I'd rather see GW fix the game rather a whole host of various house rules imposed by different TOs across the country.

Another good solution is to run two events in parallel such as the upcoming TexasGamesCon. They will run one unrestricted event in parallel with another restricted event, so you've got a choice now. It'll be very interesting to see how it all pans out over the next year.

Army composition does not work. The vast majority of the player base abhors Escalation which was poorly contrived to say the least. Truly competitive events are the least biased. Campaigns are an excellent alternative if you must not absolutely win. Some big changes to how we play the game are just around the corner.

I'm looking forward to it and feel optimistic.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Astra Militarum vs. Tau and Eldar

So the new codex is out now. My first thoughts are how will the Imperial Guardsmen stack up versus the top armies. Seems like most people who play this army are excited about the new rules and that's always a good thing. Based upon what I've read so far I'm uncertain how they will stack up versus Tau and Eldar. To be honest the new codex seems toned down overall compared to the previous release. Sure there's lots of good things but I don't see it making as big a splash in the competitive scene this time around. It used to be no one could lay down as much fire power as IG but now they have to contend with both Tau and Eldar. Some of the tanks are gone but except for the Griffon I don't think IG lost much in that regard. I do think IG will be an excellent ally for certain armies such as Space Marines and Sisters of Battle. They could also work well with Imperial Knights.

It's too early to say how good the new codex will play. I'm looking forward to reading batreps featuring the new Astra Militarum.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Old man

It seems like these days a lot of people like to tell me I'm an old man. First just remember maybe you can make it this far too. Second if I kick your ass what does that make you ?

I do a lot of meditation to keep my mind focused for tournament play... The toughest part is playing lots of games in one day with little sleep. It's all about the focus. And most important it's all about respect. If you want it then come take it... I'll be waiting.