Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dabbling with side projects and Breaking records

Well, personal ones anyway...

I am planning a new army in the new year to be run as part of a Tale of Four Gamers, so in the meantime I have been putting odds and ends on my paintdesk to keep the painting bug chugging along...

Most recently I painted up the figures from Assassinoruim: execution force. Now this is a beautiful game, it has lovely components, there are four gorgeous assassin models, plus some models for a small chaos warband that are I suppose a little blocky but what the hell for this kind of box kit who cares.


The only problem I found with this game, was it was rather easy to beat. I was playing solo, to get the gist of the game to later explain to friends, and by doing all the sneaky sneaky creepy creepy... I managed to kill the chaos lord in half the allowed time without even taking a wound. Dafuq?

So I played again going he'll for leather pretty much trying to cause as much of a ruckus as possible... still won, though at least I lost an assassin this time (detonating the eversor to kill the chaos lord)

It was still rather easy.


So I then tried it with two friends who know nothing of 40k. I watched over them, doing the bad guy moves and answering any questions they had on what they "can" do, but I never told them what they "should" do, hell I didn't even layout all the things they "could" do, I mostly sat and observed. They managed to complete the mission, but at the cost of two assassins and a lot closer to the end of the clock. And they thoroughly enjoyed it.

So I think this game you need 4 players, preferably with no knowledge of 40k, and to give them an assassin each and tell them that while they all work together and they can't target each other, the TRUE champion of the day will be the one who claims the chaos Lords head. By engineering a feeling of competition it may make the mission more challenging to complete.

Anyway, was an interesting quick job to build and paint these guys, and I am happy to say there were enough models in the set to take my painting points score to it's highest ever level for a single year. Nice to have the time to get some painting done, and with a couple months left there's still room for more, although the busy Christmas period is fast approaching which may eat into my free time somewhat.

One other minor bugbear with this game... now that he's built I can't fit the sodding chaos lord back into the box! Should have magnetised his arms. Bah!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Back to my Roots

As the name of this blog may suggest, I was once a guard player, although it may be hard to imagine given the amount of Orks I have done of late,but it's true.

Last night I dug out the old guard to try out their new codex. What can I say... ouch!

Having heard that conscripts and cheap smite spam are the way to go according to the tournament scene, I wanted to avoid that route entirely. I also wanted to take a fully painted army for my inaugural game (much harder with my guard than Orks, for one the guard were always my played with army, so I have a lot that was speedily built with no consideration of later painting practicality, two it was from an earlier time, meaning a lot of what is painted is... of a quality that wouldn't make my display shelf to say the least. Plus it's spread across different colour schemes, styles, model and paint ranges. I have two styles of Cadians and about three styles of Catachans, which while I have a plan to broadly bring into one colour scheme, will take quite some time...

So I started off with taking a Catachan regiment, because they're who I started with. Their benefit is +1 str on infantry, which is fantastic and fluffy and suits catachan units down to the ground - when I first started playing it was catachans, the infantry was WS4, I played combat guard... it didn't work very well, but occasionally would pull off a surprise or two as a Hive Tyrant recoils as the puny humans run towards it... think it died of shock more than anything else...

However, the other part of the doctrine is that veicles can reroll 1D6 for their random number of shots. Which makes tanks awesome. Which bugs me. We shouldn't make tanks awesome for Catachans. They were always the footsloggers. If this same rule had, instead of applying to vehicles, applied to infantry and sentinals, it would have made their mortars and flamers/heavy flamers more effective, which would have suited the style of the army background perfectly.

Instead it makes tanks stronger, possibly too strong if last night game is anything to go by.

So, playing to the cards I'd been dealt, I built a Catachan mechanised company of sorts. two pairs of wyverns for fire support, a tank commander in demolisher, 4 basic squads with flamers in chimeras, a squadron of 3 leman russ. a company commander with kurovs aquilla. Had some spare points so upgraded the second company commander to Straken. Took a Hellhound too. And to round things out took 2 astropaths (what else are you gonna do with a spare 35 points?)

I was up against Robbie Guillemon leading Ultramarines (for a change) the army consisted broadly of Robbie, dread, big dread, devastator squad with 4 grav cannon (combat squaded, 2 in each) 2 primaris troop squads, primaris plasmagun squad, 10 reavers, a tactical squad (combat squaded) a librarian, captain and lieutenant.

I had the first turn. Now I will say that I was rolling pretty hot... each time I rolled a 1 for number of shots and used the Catachan reroll ability I invariably got 6 shots instead... but even so...

My opponent wanted to hand me the game before I'd finished my first shooting phase.

In that phase, I had killed both halves of the devastator squad, all the plasmaguns, one of the primaris squads, and half the tactical marines. He had the dreads and characters that could kill my tanks in combat, and a lascannon and a metlagun, but other than that he had very little left that had a realistic chance of hurting me, and he had a long walk ahead of him.

Having no other models with me, I offered an instant rematch, perhaps letting him change his army if he had anything, or at the very least going into the storeroom for more line of sight blocking scenery, but he gamely decided to carry on regardless.

Now at this point, I eased up because jesus after that who wants to completely crush someone. He'd forgotten to take his morale tests for his survivors, but I let it go. And tactically my gameplan had been to slowly retreat the leman russes (at half speed) while maintain a punishing volley of fire from them, but under the circumstances I decided to hold position and let Robbie advance on me, as my second round of shooting saw off both dreads and a few straggling infantry. Even this worked in my favour. I'd managed to take one wound off Robbie. He charged my leman russes. Killed two. Jammed that flaming sword right into the fuel tank of one of them. Uh oh. Boom. Took three mortal wounds off him. No matter, on he goes, and next turn charges the wyvern that had been causing him such grief. Jammed that flaming sword right into that fuel ta... uh oh. Boom. Three more mortal wounds from Robbie. Took his last wounds in overwatch from the other wyvern. He then got up (we're not sure if he could, because he'd used a CP reroll on his failed armour save, unsuccessfully, and his get back up is at the end of the phase, so technically that means same phase so it can't be used right? Under the circumstances we allowed him to anyway, and he got back up with 3 wounds) The next turn he tried to charge the wyvern again, lost three wounds to overwatch fire, 2 of them from 3 shots from the Heavy Flamer. At the end of turn 5 he surrendered. He was down to two characters on a combined total of three wounds, was losing 19-6 on VP, and the next turn I could retreat my guardsmen from combat and lay into those characters with a demolisher and 3 wyverns. It wouldn't have ended well for them.

Actually, Drive me Closer, I want a Primarch to hit me with HIS sword seems the more effective strategy
I suppose I should do some more games before I pass judgement, but DAYUM that was brutal, too brutal. I stand by my original assessment that the rule, applied to infantry, would a) suit the fluff more and b) not be quite so devastating. Even just a mortar comparison. Being able to reroll 1D6 of 1D6 on a str 4 gun, meh no real harm. Being able to reroll the only 1 you rolled out of 4D6 that is str 4 and rerolls wounds, far worse. Getting a reroll on those str 5 heavy flamers on that sentinel is a different kettle of fish to getting a reroll on the amount of str10 BS3 (with an order to reroll 1s) demolisher cannon shots!

On the flip side, a little part of me did find it gratifying to bring that smug son of a bitch primarch down. For too long he's been marching around the battlefield singing "raindrops keep falling on my head..." as my mortars do absolutely nothing to him. I stand by him being too good, but now Guard tanks are too good, and while he basically killed himself this game (doing 6w out of 11 to himself) I can at least take away all those protective bodies that stop me targeting him in fairly short order...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Bloodbowl: Ye Orkshire Rippers B-Team

I picked up a goblin team a while back, and decided to paint them up in the same colours as my orcs so the troll and a couple gobbos could be interchanged if I felt like it.

I also picked up the forge world special weapons, as they are gorgeous. The chainsaw wielding maniac has clearly seen too many horror movies, while the bombardier I think best embodies the Wile E Coyote nature of the goblin team...


Of course not all the special weapons are available yet, so I had to improvise for the pogoer and Ooligan... still trying to find a Doom diver that isn't eye-watering expensive, I will probably find one about a week before forgeworld release their own, far better versions, but hey ho...


And finally, I painted the box of goblins. It does give me far too many linemen, but in a team as fragile as goblins it probably can't hurt to have plenty of potential journeymen...


They give their looney a wide berth, even in the squad photo...

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Deathwatch... Basically Complete

In the past few weeks I've managed to get some painting done, finishing off the deathwatch infantry that I picked up as part of a joblot on ebay. I prioritised my list I had designed and will probably stick to that list for a while (at the very least till I get a sodding first turn to test my theory... yet weirdly, played my first game with guard last night, a 32 drop list, went first. Figures.)


Anyway, it was nice to finish the rest of the infantry off so that if I do want to play around with my list, I have some models that can seamlessly slot in without looking out of place as grey plastic.

Incidentally, I have no rhinos/razorbacks/land raiders/drop pods/dreadnaughts... and no intention to add any. Yes, these are key core elements to a space marine army. Which is precisely why I don't want them. Everyone has them. What few bikes, terminators and vanguard vets I have will almost exclusively be used as parts of a larger squad of basic vets, to enhance the squad with their abilities.

 
I would like to add more Corvus... I love the model, found it a joy to put together, and find it incredibly aesthetically pleasing. I want to get about four more, as I think that should theoretically provide sufficient transport to carry almost all of my infantry, so if I wanted to play a humongous game with my deathwatch, I could. But no rush on picking those up, I'm thinking of adding those over the next year or two, as don't think I'll be playing apoc any time soon... why run before you can walk in this new edition?


So, here is what I have at my disposal...

1 Watch Master
1 Captain Artemis
1 Chaplain
1 Librarian
1 Librarian in Terminator Armour
1 Character in Terminator Armour with Thunder Hammer and Stormshield

1 Terminator with Assault Cannon
1 Terminator with Heavy Flamer and meltafist
1 Terminator with cyclone launcher and pair of lightning claws
5 Terminators with Cyclone Launchers and Thunder Hammer/Stormshield


2 Bikes

2 Vanguard vets with pistols/combat weapons
1 Vanguard vet with lightning claws
1 Vanguard vet with stormshield and combat weapon
1 Vanguard vet with thunder hammer/stormshield
(potentially could use any of the above as a jump pack equipped character, the lightning claws being most likely)

2 Watch Sergeants with xenophase blades
(In other cases I may not equip the sergeant with anything special and just nominate a model, al vets can take pretty much what they like anyway so it does give some flexibility)

2 Black shields with Lightning claws
(As black shields have no personal markings, this is one of the few none-negotiable ones I have. The trouble with getting most of my stuff second hand, if the person who assembled it didn't know that they don't keep chapter symbols, then boom you've got no black shields)


1 Vet P Fist
10 Vets bolters
5 vets pistol/cc weapon
2 vets plasma pistols
1 vet combi melta
8 Vets Stormshields and close combat weapons
4 vets Infernus Heavy Bolters
5 Vets with deathwatch shotguns
6 Vets with deathwatch frag cannons
8 Vets with Missile Launchers
6 vets with Heavy Thunder Hammers

2 teleport Homers
2 Corvus with Assault cannons, deathwatch rockets, hurricane bolter and auspex array

I also have my Aliens themed side project I did a while back, unlocking an extra...


Corvus with assault cannon, deathwatch rockets, infernum halo launcher
3 Vets flamers
1 Vet Infernus Heavy bolter
1 vet with shotgun
2 vets with frag cannons
3 vets with boltguns
1 blackshield

And that's it, Deathwatch project, for the moment, complete.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Halloween Scenario

As this year the 31st of October falls on a Tuesday, my regular gaming club night, I decided to do something special, so I am bringing a scenario back, one that died several editions ago but I'm digging up and giving a burst of life to resurrect for our enjoyment...

I originally found this on a blog called Awakening Ynead, I have no idea if he's still blogging (or perhaps has renamed his blog given that Ynead is now, y'know, awake) so original credit goes that way, but hopefully I have updated it to work in 8th edition. I have tried to keep the original character as much as possible while abiding by the obvious changes to the ruleset.


 
Army Selection:


You have 75 points. There is no minimum requirement for squad sizes (so an Eldar player could take one Fire Dragon, one Striking Scorpion and so on). Only three of these can be "upgrade" characters, like a sergeant or an exarch, though that model may take an upgrades allowed without counting for further "upgrades." No more than two can have "upgrade weapons" such as a heavy or special weapon that isn't standard equipment. For example, a Space Marine player takes 3 Marines and a Scout. He can upgrade one into a sergeant with any weapons normally allowed, and two more can have special weapons normally allowed by their codex entry.


You may select team members from any Force Organization slot except HQ. Only infantry models may be selected.  No dedicated transports are allowed. You are not allowed to select anything with the “character” special rule.


All selected models form one squad. Your squad must remain in 2" coherency, and are treated as a single squad.


Setup and Objective


Set up the board with the normal amount of terrain for a 40k game.  Ruins and graveyards make great terrain for this mission.  If you have a large amount of players you may need to either split into two tables or widen the current table.  The players should have to cross about 6' of board with enough room side to side so that everyone isn't clustered together.


The goal is to reach the escape helicopter (or truck or whatever). The first squad (at least one guy alive, obviously) to be within embarking distance at the beginning of their movement
phase wins (so you have to survive one round before you can win).  If there is another unengaged player within embarking distance you may not embark.  You must duke it out with the other player as there can only be one.  There should be one escape helicopter per 5 players, spread out evenly along the back board edge.  Each escape helicopter is guarded by a boss zombie.


Turn order is determined randomly.  Each player will move, shoot and assault, then pass to the next player.  When all players have gone the zombies take their turn.  There's no need for a zombie controller as the zombies are on autopilot. After the zombie turn, everyone takes any relevant morale tests. This is of course unlikely as most squads will be small in size, but do so if necessary. Use the highest leadership value in the squad.
 
 
 
Movement Phase: Players who fall back from combat must end their move not only further away from the enemy, but also further from the nearest chopper.
 



Shooting Phase:


More Pressing Matters: Treat all player controlled squads as if they had the “character” special rule for the purposes of shooting. This rule is thrown out the window once a player controlled team gets within 18” of the chopper. A team within 18” of the chopper can return fire at any squad that fired at them, but otherwise the character rule still applies to the pursuing squads.


Assault Phase:


On each player turn, only teams in an assault involving the active players models will fight. This is to prevent each team potentially getting as many rounds of combat as there are players between zombie phases, which would brutalise the local zombie population. So if you charge zombies, you will fight them. Everyone else waits for their (or the zombies) turn.


If your assault involves multiple squads of zombies, for simplicity's sake you don't have to say which squad you're attacking.  Remove casualties from the smallest squad first (you get more powerups that way)


If you assault a player squad, they get to fight back as normal. If you assault an ongoing assault between a player team and zombies (or between multiple player teams) then people can attack whoever they wish following the usual rules for combat. Everyone with skin in the game gets to fight, each time it is the turn of someone involved in the fight. A mass player team bundle will get messy very quickly.


If a team starts it’s turn in combat with other players but then withdraws, those players do not get to fight that turn.


After all players have gone the Zombies will move.
 

 
ZOMBIE TIME


Zombies come in squads of 5. There should be about two squads of zombies per
player, deployed in a spread out fashion. Their stats are as follows:


WS5+ S3 T3 A1 W1 LD10 Armour 5+


Resilience: Zombies save all suffered wounds (even mortal wounds) on a 5+
Bit! - Any to wound roll of a 6 inflicts a mortal wound instead of a normal wound. If this isn’t saved by some other means, such as a med pack, then a new zombie joins the squad that inflicted the mortal wound.


Zombies only have two phases, the Shamble Phase and the BRAAAAAIIINS phase.


Shamble Phase: Killed zombies will respawn in groups of 5 during this phase, before rolling to move the zombies.  Roll a  D6 on the following chart to see where they go.


1:  Starting table edge
2:  The table edge to the left of the starting edge
3:  The table edge opposite the starting edge
4:  The table edge to the right of the starting edge
5:  Scatter 3d6" from the center of the table.  Zombies deepstrike like a drop pod and will move out of the way of obstructions.  They will move and assault with the rest of the zombies as normal.
6:  The player who is furthest from the chopper chooses a result 1-5 on this chart.  Further rolls of a 6 will go to the second furthest player and so on.


Zombies moving in from a board edge will enter in line with the nearest unengaged player.  Subsequent entries in the same phase on the same table edge will move in towards the second nearest, and so on.


Zombies will move 2D6 to the nearest target. All zombies on the
board move the same distance but at their own relative targets. If this move
brings them in base contact with a player squad they count as assaulting. There is no overwatch… we’ve all seen zombie movies, those sneaky fuckers always pop out for the jump scare.


Zombies will join a current assault if they can fit.  If they can't fit they will instead move towards the next nearest target.


If a player kills the last member of a zombie squad, or kills the last member of a player squad (only whomever removed the last model, doesn't matter who did all the work) he may roll on the powerup chart.


BRAAAAINS Phase: Zombies assault during their movement, we just combine it because they don't shoot.  They receive +1 attack if they charge.


The Boss Zombie:  The boss zombie does not move during the shamble phase as normal.  It will only move if a player moves within embarking distance of the escape vehicle, and will automatically assault that squad.  If there are multiple squads that meet this requirement randomize which one it assaults.


WS4+ S4 T4 A3 W3 LD10 Armor 4+


Resilience: Zombies save all suffered wounds (even mortal wounds) on a 5+
Bit! - Any to wound roll of a 6 inflicts a mortal wound instead of a normal wound. If this isn’t saved by some other means, such as a med pack, then a new zombie joins the squad that inflicted the mortal wound.
Really Resilient - any attack that would do multiple damage only does 1 Wound instead.


It is of course perfectly legal to move your squad and escape in the vehicle while the other player is off fighting the boss or another player.
 


Respawns:


Should your squad be destroyed, you may respawn in your turn no closer than 6" behind the
furthest player, but it can be anywhere on the board (as long as you are 6" further away from the choppa than the current furthest squad).  You lose all upgrades and powerups earned during their previous lifetime.  If you wish you may play a new team.  When you respawn you may roll on the powerup chart.  You may voluntarily suicide your squad at any time to respawn, but if you do you may not roll on the powerup chart.


Powerups:


If you kill the last member of a squad (zombie or player, this also includes killing the boss zombie, and also includes wiping them out due to morale rolls) you may roll 2D6 on the powerup chart.


2:  Zombie Bile:  You are treated as the only target for the next Shamble Phase.  If two or more players have this then the zombies will move to whomever is closer of those players.  If another player is in the way of the zombie movement, the zombies assault that unfortunate unit as they just happened to be in the wrong place.
3:  Banana Peel:  In your next turn, your movement value is determined by rolling 2D6 and using the highest. This may technically make your squad faster… hey, guess you got some momentum from that banana skin.
4:  Ork Boy Tag Along:  An Ork boy has decided to join you for some reason.  He is armed with a pistol and a choppa and is treated as a member of your squad for all purposes.
5:  Duct Tape:  Whether it's a chainsaw taped to a kayak paddle or a duct-taped-over-under gun, you may give one model either +1 attack or +1 shot per turn.  Permanently.  Until you die.
6:  Chainsaw:  The ultimate zombie close combat weapon.  One model may be equipped with this item.  Requires 2 hands.  Hits on a 2+, and if it hits instantly takes a wound (no saves, even resilience saves) off any zombie in close combat.  If you roll a 1 the chainsaw has run out of fuel and is discarded (but any hits you got in this round still count, if you roll a 1 and get a reroll it does not run out of fuel unless you roll another 1).
7:  Medpack.  May be saved, one use only, you may carry any number of these.  You may ignore one suffered wound. Even a mortal wound. This is after a failed armour roll.
8:  Shotgun:  There is no better tool in an zombie invasion.  One model is armed with it, and that model does not need to have a ballistic skill.  The shotgun has a range of 6" and hits on a 2+, instantly taking a wound off a zombie with no armour or resilience saves allowed.  It is an assault 1 weapon.  If shot at a player it is treated just as the Imperial Guard version of the shotgun.
9:  Super Mushroom Speed Pack:  You may carry up to one of these in your squad.  When activated all members in your squad may add an extra +1 to all their movement, which includes movement, advancing and assaulting.  
10:  Defibrillator:  Counts as a Medpack but may be used to bring back one model in your squad who has previously died.  If that model had multiple wounds only one is restored.
11:  Sweet Aviator Shades:  In the next Shamble Phase, zombies will ignore your squad for the purposes of the closest target.
12:  The Blessing of Chuck Norris:  Your squad receives the blessing of the Great Red Bearded One until the end of their next turn.  Your squad may reroll all rolls they make (if they already have a reroll they can reroll that reroll as Chuck is that awesome).  All shooting counts as AP -5 with no cover allowed and all assault counts as AP-3 and allow no resilience saves.


If you are the furthest player from the board edge, you may add +1 to your roll.  You may roll the dice before deciding whether or not to add the +1.  You may also switch out any rolled result for The Blue Shell.  If you pick The Blue Shell you may move the player closest to the escape vehicle back D6" away from the vehicle.  If they are in close combat, the whole combat moves with them.  If your roll on the powerup chart is because of a respawn, you may not select The Blue Shell.


The +1 can only take you up to 11… it’s a spinal tap, but not a blessing of chuck norris. Only a natural double six can get you the blessing of chuck norris. Chuck himself managed it with only one dice.

 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Test Squad for the Tale... and a Troll.

I'm planning a Tale in the new year, and wanted to figure out my colour scheme for the pink horrors. It's a squad I had leftover ages ago after making myself a herald on disc (before they released the model... I might give him a touch up at some point too)


This is a finished squad, in the final decided colour scheme. I did have a few models in different schemes, but I have settled on the one above now.


I also had the time to do an extra for my orc bloodbowl team... and technically for my future goblin team too.


And finally, making the final touches to the Zombie scenario I want to run on Halloween, following some feedback from some friends. I'll publish those rules in the next couple of days.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Odds and Ends...

Over the past week or so I haven't updated the blog, but I have got some hobby time in. I'm unfortunately at that annoying point where there are things I want to paint, but they aren't undercoated, and the weather has not been conducive to me remedying that... so I'm picking up odds and ends here and there.


This fella is an ork nob with waagh banner for my bad moons. Annoyingly I did the skin wrong, auto piloting to the skin scheme I did for deffskulls and snakebite, though I had a darker more time consuming method for the rest of the bad moons. Luckily the guy is wearing a mask so it's only his arms. I can potentially ignore it, or revisit the model and do a fairly quick fix. Will dig out my "methods" notebook and make sure I have all the right paints before I make my decision.


This is the last squad of shoots boyz I had undercoated for my deffskulls... just basic boyz with shoots, nothing special but always handy to have more boyz.

Something I actually wanted to get done, frag cannons for my deathwatch, for the next 1000 points. Between these guys, my aliens project and a couple characters, I can now field 3000 points... it's 56 models, 3 of which are vehicles. Man deathwatch are pricey...


This is a random deathwing terminator a friend no longer wanted, so I adapted him into a deathwatch captain in terminator armour. Just nice to have options.



Which finally brings these two. A librarian, planned for the extra 1000 points. And a librarian in terminator armour. Cos, y'know, options.

I also tracked down an old zombie multiplayer version of 40k from like 5th Ed or something, I have noticed that Halloween this year falls on a club night, so plan to run a cool scenario. Best update those rules though. Hopefully do those in the next few days, so that I can make a less rambling blogpost.

Till then...