Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Deathwatch Second Outing

So this time I was up against... well, this...

We were playing spearhead, in mission Retrieval.

I finished setting up first, and was poised to take the first turn. My opponent decided to try to seize... "let me just find that weighted dice" he joked.

"Ah, but now you've said that, we now won't believe you if you do seize" I joke back.

He rolls... a 6.

"erm..."

"Right" I say, still in jest "Roll it again to prove it isn't weighted"

Ha ha ha a good laugh is had by all, as he picks up the dice, casts it down the table... and rolls another 6.

"No no, it's not really"

Grabs dice, rolls again, gets a third 6. "SERIOUSLY?!?!"

"I didn't think you had weighted dice... I do NOW..."


Eventually, the dice started rolling other numbers, so we counted it as a seize, and he got to go first. He proceeded to decimate my forward shooting squad, just three survivors, who promptly teleported back out of range of the onslaught - hell, he was coming to me anyway, might as well stand back and soak it up now.

His forgefeinds proved brutally effective, although I wasn't helped by losing my stormshields ridiculously early. His terminators charged in and decimated one of the assault squads, but I spent command points to avoid losing first blood, which I took myself by killing the sorcerer - he'd already severely wounded himself with a miscast that smited 6 of my other shooting unit, so my firepower was severely curtailed from turn 2 onwards. I was left with watch master and assault squads trying valiantly to hold the centre against abaddon, terminators, forge fiends and chaos marines.

The watch master took abaddon out in combat after he'd received quite the peppering from my Corvus on a flypast. I had the survivors of the shooting units on an objective high in a building trying to blow up the forgefiends that were laying down fire into their position. The watch master was trying to finish off the terminator sergeant, and potentially reclaim an objective. At the end of turn 5, Rich was narrowly winning... I had fb, wl, lb, and one objective. He had 2 obj and a unit in LB. Unfortunately turn 6 he took out my terminators on the high objective. Losing me three points and my only realistic hope of killing his linebreaking forgefiends. The watchmaster being finished off in combat meant I was down to just a corvus and therefore legally tabled.

Overall, still a steep learning curve to switch from horde to elite army. At least I remembered my cluster launchers and auspex etc this time. It's just I've had two games now and been seized on both times. The first time got me a khorne army 12"+ closer. The second game lost me about 20% of my shooting, and several enemy units a hell of a lot closer. I'll feel a lot happier to give an assessment of how the army is doing if I can get at least one turn to go to plan. I know no plan survives contact with the enemy but, y'know, one turn might if you go first. Give me that one chance and lets see how we do from there...

Have a game lined up against elder next week, so at least I'll finally be battling xenos... plus they don't have a codex yet so hopefully we'll be on a more level playing field :P

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Death Watch First Outing

I got my Deathwatch army out for a game today... man, to go from orks to these ultra elite guys, it may take some getting used to.

I have no doubt people will pick holes in my army list... if I'm honest, I kinda got carried away dream-teaming and then clocked up the pints, yelped, dropped a few bits of wargear and cancelled the plans for other squads/vehicles until I start playing 3-4k games...

So, let's start with the list.

HQ WL Watch Master w Guardian SPear

T Kill Team 1
1 Watch sergeant w boltgun, 3 missile launcher vets, 4 boltgun vets, 1 vanguard vet 1 terminator vet with pair of lightning claws and a cyclone missile launcher.

T Kill Team 2
1 Watch sergeant w boltgun, 3 missile launcher vets, 4 boltgun vets, 1 vanguard vet 1 terminator vet with thunder hammer storm shield and a cyclone missile launcher.

T Kill Team 3
1 Watch sergeant with xenophase blade, 1 blackshield with two lightning claws, 3 heavy thunder hammer vets, 2 vets with stormshileds and chainswords, 2 vets bolt pistol and chainsword, 1 biker vet with teleport homer.

T Kill Team 4
1 Watch sergeant with xenophase blade, 1 blackshield with two lightning claws, 3 heavy thunder hammer vets, 2 vets with stormshileds and chainswords, 2 vets bolt pistol and chainsword, 1 biker vet with teleport homer.

Flyer Corvus, twin assault cannon, 2 blackstar rocket launchers, hurricane bolter, blackstar cluster launcher, auspex array

Flyer Corvus, twin assault cannon, 2 blackstar rocket launchers, hurricane bolter, blackstar cluster launcher, auspex array

So the basic idea is I have two very assaulty squads in the corvus. I have a firebase of a couple squads with support from my watch master, giving rerolls. I start the corvus to the flanks, and prepare a "bug out" place or two with the teleport homers.

The shooty units don't take morale tests thanks to the terminator, and the vanguard vet let's them fall back and still shoot. The terminator also let's them make use of the teleport homers.

The assault units can pack a hell of a punch, can make heroic interventions (and must if able) but can charge after disengaging thanks to the bike.

Ideal plan - set up firebase in middle, turn 1 move corvus in from flanks, do lots of shooting. turn 2 (presuming the enemy has advanced on my firebase) unload assault squads, corvus fly off to support fire, watch master joins the advancing assault squads, shooty squads provide cover/crack transports, assault squads get stuck in. If all goes pear shaped, teleport the shooty squads away to the prepared backup position.

So, did the plan survive contact with the enemy? The enemy consisting of couple units beserkers in rhinos, kharne, a lord, a term lord, a unit of terms, a unit of raptors, a unit of bloodcrushers, a knight, and 280 points in reserve for summoning (jesus chaos get a lot for their buck... deathwatch are PRICEY!)

well... kinda...

He seized, which was inconvenient. We were also playing cloak and shadows, so my shooting was all -1 to hit unless I spent command points. rather inconvenient. However spending a point did allow me to kill his knight turn 1. Good start. However due to him seizing he was already closer than I would have liked.

So turn 2 his beserkers and bloodcrushers butchered one of my shooty squads... the other units were positioning.

my turn 2 I unloaded, and went for him. one squad put a good dent into the bloodcrushers, and the storm shields worked wonders at stopping the AP -3 return attacks... but then the mounts hit at AP -1, and rather than waste the inv save on them, I decided to take a 4+ armour roll on normal guys... and failed 5 out of 6. ouch. had to spend 2 command points to make sure they stayed in the fight. The other squad annihilated the beserkers, and braced themselves for the wrath of kharne...

the wrath of kharne was brutal. he is a combat monster. He butchered his way through one squad, the remnants of the squad that had beat the bloodcrushers charged him, hit him in the face with a heavy thunder hammer but failed to kill him. He then finished off the watch master before advancing on the shooty squad at the top of the silos, making the charge at them (a risky overwatch given he was on 1W) and he then butchered the squad apart from the terminator... I just needed the terminator with the thunder hammer to kill him, and the game was mine (by this point he had nothing left that could climb the tower, and I was ahead on points, I could hide out for the win.) He swung, he hit. Kharne passed the invulnerable save. And just when I was thinking I could teleport to the fallback position and hide there, kharne used the last 3 CP to attack again, finishing him off, leaving me with just corvus - as units with the flyer battlefield role, they didn't count, I was tabled.

So yeah, thanks tournament douches, if it hadn't been for your bullshit that FAQ would never have come out... :P

Overall thoughts... deathwatch die pretty easy. I'm gonna keep going with the list as is, at least until it's all painted. Once I have a painted army, I will maybe look at changing things for different options. I seem, from what I have been reading, to be running too large and too well equipped squads. On the other hand, I liked the merging of abilities, the potential for synergy, and the fact that I should be getting first turn 5 games out of 6. Just not today.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Refinery Planet: Damonius Strandius

ok, not sure on the name yet, but here is my wargaming table... all the scenery painted to a basic standard that I am happy to call done enough for now. I may revisit it later for further weathering, but I have other priorities right now, and it is sufficient for the moment.

I doubt I'll cram absolutely all of this on a table at once for a game (the stargates are for a scenario anyway, and the void shield generator was more for a guard army list I used to have, which I haven't even costed for 8th yet, but otherwise... refinery, accompanying hab blocks. That's basically my table. Although in game I'd probably split some of the tanks up rather than have them all on one side...










Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Unda Konstrukshun

Of late I have been painting some scenery for my wargames table, and I saved the centrepiece till last... well, almost. A late purchase of servo-hauler that I am still waiting for adequate weather to undercoat will now technically be the finishing touch, but that should be a quick and easy job, the big bad centrepiece for the table is now done.



It's basically a ruin that has been used as an ad hoc Stompa factory... once the servo haulers are done they will fit in perfectly with this construction site...



Admittedly I don't think the site is up to date with the health and safety executive... the orks aughta be careful, mistreating your workforce like that could cause them to rebel and rise up agai... oh...



But for now they beaver away at the innards, putting together the Reakta that will power the thing when complete. I also added in a couple trinkets from the servo hauler kit that fit in nicely...



We'll assume this guy is responsible for cutting the panels to the correct (ish) size...



I think this guy is delivering lunch, as he appears to have a very small squig in his hand... Ork equivalent of Subway anyone?


And why does this guy look so knackered? Well... he has a rather unenviable task...


Might take him a while...

Once the servo haulers are done I'll arrange it all into a cool setup and take some pics... don't think all of it will realistically fit on at once though, as I had a basic floor plan... then bought more... oops.

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Revolution Increases Pace

Those tricksy little grots have been scrawling their revolutionary slogans all over the scenery I have been painting for my ork infested refinery world. Damn them.


And to think, I undercoated their manticores and deathstrike missile launcher the other day... ungrateful little bastards...

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Board Game Corner: Tsuro, The Game of the Path

This is a classic and very quick simple fun game I have owned for some time. It is a great appetiser game. You may not spend an entire evening playing it, but you'll bash through a few sessions while waiting for the final member of the party to show up for the evenings main event.

It's very simple. Everyone gets a counter, that they put on a spot on the board. They are then dealt three path cards from the deck, all of which are unique.


Gameplay is simplicity itself. Taking turns, you place a path card so that it moves your piece. You then move your piece along the path. Move anyone else's piece that got "accidentally" caught with your path card along their path. Turn over.



Rules are simple. If you have an option to survive, you must. So no deliberately kamikazing someone you don't like just so they don't win. That isn't to say it can't be done, you can certainly shadow someone and make it highly likely you will clash, but it has to be a last resort.



Last one alive, wins.

It feels very much like Tron light-cycles, although I imagine it pre-dates it quite a bit...

So, as an example game, I have Blue, Green, Brown, Red.


One turn in...

Three turns each... Green has now put themselves in a rather precarious position. Blue is next to play, and their tile will interact with greens piece.

Blue plays this, which will safely see him through, while sending Green on a merry trail...



Everyone plays on, green included, as he hasn't been eliminated yet...


Here we see Green has managed to loop back out of the corner he was sent to, and back into the game...

Until Red plays this card... now, no matter what card green plays, it will loop him back to his demise.

A fait accompli, one down.


 

The rest play on. In my example game, Brown trapped himself a corner to his doom, leaving Blue and Red playing chicken in ever decreasing space... until Blue was left to play the decisive card between them, playing the card above...

I moved Red first as he was clearly a goner, but would Blue pull off a miraculous escape?

Well?

He does! He finds a path through the chaos to emerge victorious!

Right, now bear in mind, this game can be played by 8. You will swiftly understand the carnage and hilarity that will ensue.

Of course, as I said, after half an hour to an hour of this, people will be looking for something else. It won't sustain you for an entire evening, but I don't think it's meant to. It's as I said, an appetiser game. And there's nothing wrong with an evening entirely of appetiser games, but if that's the plan, it's like a meal. If you don't have a steak or proper meal to serve up, then offer a variety of appetisers. I don't just want cocktail sausages, I want cheese on sticks, chicken pieces, mini pizzas. It's like catering for a gathering, whether you do the party buffet or the come dine with me experience, that will very much depend on your guests. The same applies to a Games Evening. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Shelling out on Scenery

Actually that's not a very accurate title... I "shelled out" months back, and even then it was reasonably priced. I have however how finally built and painted it as part of my recent efforts to make an awesome looking wargames table to host games on.


Of course, with the paintjob on this fuel tank my title makes more sense.

The scenery I have is a collection of refinery and ruins. So my basic battlefield in my head is that there is a refinery, an obvious key strategic location, and a nearby settlement cos people need to work at the refinery. The settlement is in ruins because, well hab-blocks aren't important. You can fight through their to your hearts content. Just try not to damage the pipelines, nodding donkeys, or storage tanks.

I came up with the idea of an ork occupied refinery world, and I did for a while start a skitarii garrison, but the rules changed and the army didn't really look like it was gonna work how I wanted it to, from a background point of view, so I sold it on to a friend. But I had a third faction to share this battleships -  grots, rising in rebellion against their ork overlords.

Thus most of the scenery I am doing is littered with graffiti, supporting either the Orktober Revolution, the Grot uprising... or supporting the status quo, with Orks in charge. I decided that orks being orks, they might need a place to execute uppity grots and other troublemakers, and orks not being the most accurate marksmen for a firing squad they'd want to line the victims up in front of a solid structure... hence the rear side of this tank is looking a little more... weathered...


It'll all end in tears I'm sure...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

It's O'Neel... with 3 L's... wait, 2... uh... Lotsa Ls...

Done a bit of work on some scenery for my table, picked this one up a while ago, it's an orky Stargate in effect...



I imagine the ork would do... well... the above.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Board Game Corner: Colt Express

Hot on the heels of my last boardgame review about a train based game, comes another one. mainly because I thought that as they shared a theme I would write them both into one blogpost, but then realised that it would be a hell of a long post, so decided to give each a post of it's own after all...


It must be borne in mind that, while I have linked these two games by the fact they both involve trains, that is about as close to a link as these two get. From that tentative link onwards, they are entirely different games.

Colt Express includes a twee little cardboard train to act as your "board" and this did have me sceptical at first, but trust me it's worth getting past your reservations. If you're introducing new people to the game, it's up to your discretion if you think the little cardboard scenery may be going too far... it's a neat use of otherwise useless corners of the cardboard punch sheet, but utterly irrelevant to the game.



You also get a little wooden meeple to represent your character. Each character has a card and a deck of cards. Your cards are 6 bullet cards (to give to other people) and 10 action cards (that determine what you do each turn)



Every character has an identical deck, the only difference is in the character special ability declared on the card (in brief symbols, the rulesheet explains all) For example, the lady in purple cannot be targeted for attacks (shooting or punching) if the player doing the attack has anyone else they could possibly target.

The action cards are two each for change level up/down change carriage side/side pick up loot and fire your six shooter. There is also one card to punch, and one to move the marshal.

At the start of the game you deal a hand of six cards, and that is what yu have to choose from on each step of that turn.



So, the running order for this example game will be Red, White, Purple, Black... they all have character names but I'm trying to keep things simple here, and don't want you to have to constantly be referring back to which name is what colour. Each game consists of four journey cards and a final station card, an example of a journey card is shown above.

Each square represents an action card that a player can place. The tunnel square means that the card is played face down, so the other players don't know what you are up to. The reverse arrow means the final round is played in reverse order. And the final symbol means that anyone on the roof of the marshals carriage at the end of the round will get shot by the marshal.

To keep things tidy, I haven't put the loot tokens down, but suffice to say there are bags of money and gems around each carriage that the players are all trying to get... it's just they might get in each others way, in fact, in my experience, the winner of the game is usually the one who quietly got on with grabbing loot while everyone else tried to beat each other up, but still, up to you what tactics you use...




The meeples are in their starting positions in the rear two carriages of the train. So, starting with red, each player contributes a card into the action stack. These will be played out in the order they are submitted, but all actions happen at the end, meaning you can lose track of where things are and end up taking the wrong action... especially if someone did something during the face down phase that completely screws you over.

In this example, red opens by climbing up - fairly unequivocal about what is happening here. But then White uses his ability to always play his first card facedown to leave everyone else guessing about what's going on. In their unease and panic, purple shoots someone, and black throws a punch.


All hell has now broken loose... following on from Black throwing a punch, Red then White draw guns and shoot, Purple throws a punch, and Black shoots too...


As this is the stage where we are going through a tunnel, any vague grasp you may have had on where the meeples probably are, is almost certainly lost...


Finally, in the strange reverse order round, Red (still first player) moves along, Black then Purple fire their guns once more, and White moves along.

So, with all the carnage prepared, we then start from the bottom of the stack pulling out the action cards and resolving them. Note that you MUST resolve an action, even if it is no longer favourable for you to do so...



So, we recall most of step one. Red climbed up on the roof. White, as it turns out, saw the rare opportunity of Purple being isolated to shoot her (normally you can't if you have a choice... you can't shoot someone on a different level to you and you can't shoot someone in the same carriage, Purple is Whites ONLY target) White gives one of his six bullet cards to Purple. Purple, as we may recall, also shoots. She can choose White or Black, but is probably feeling a little bit vindictive towards White right now, and gets her revenge. Then Black swings and punches White. A punch has two effects... one, it makes you drop an item in the place you are punched (all bandits start with one money bag) and two, it knocks you along a carriage... in this case, Black knocks White into the rear carriage with Purple.


Bullet tracker thus far...


 
 
Red then pulls his gun. His special rule is he CAN fire between levels. In the carriage below, are White and Purple. Owing to Purples special rule that if you could target someone else, you must, Red must shoot white...




In the rest of this turn, White shoots his only eligible target, Black. Purple then punches White back where he came from... which has the unfortunate effect of clearing her "bodyguard" just as Black draws his gun, so Purple get's shot again for her trouble...


This is the round everyone was secretive... Red once again shoots down into Purple, giving her another bullet... White and Purple both played the Marshal card... clearly he has heard all the commotion and is coming to investigate. Meanwhile Black finally does what the game is all about, and grabs some loot.

The marshal is a tricky proposition. He will shoot you, giving you a bullet. You then scramble onto the roof. There is NOTHING you can do about the Marshal, apart from avoid him, or use one card to move him. I have seen entire gameplans go wrong, after someone moved the marshal. Suddenly, you aren't on the level you thought you were. Your plan to climb up out of the way, suddenly becomes a suicidal attempt to re-enter the carriage the Marshal JUST chased you out of. Your plot to climb down and grab the loot suddenly becomes a search along the rooftops of the train for, what, your contact lens?



In this final step, red makes a run for the front of the train, where the extra value strongbox is normally guarded by the currently wandering marshal. The advantage of being on the roof is it's a lot quicker than pushing through crowded carriages.

Black shoots once again, he has no choice but to shoot Purple...incidentally Blacks special ability is his shots knock you back like a punch does, but if you're already in the final carriage it gives you nowhere to go.

Purple shoots, she can choose Black or White, and finally White runs along... not wanting to put himself into the carriage with the marshal, where he would get shot, then find himself on the roof of the carriage for the end of round result of getting shot again, he decides to rejoin Purple in the rear carriage.


Now so far this has been something of a bloodbath, apart from the Red player, who has left everyone else to it. But what effect those bullets you ask? Well all those bullets you've been shot with are added to your discard pile, and your unused cards, and shuffled together to make your deal for your next hand of cards...


In this case, Purples next hand of cards has a couple of bullets in it, severely reducing her options. You can skip an action step to draw three more cards, but of course that gives you less actions on the board.

Oh, and in case you're wondering if I faked this deal, you're right I did... when I shuffled and dealt naturally I got all four bullets in her deck in the hand of six. Go me. Figured that was too unbelievable so toned down the draw a bit...

And that's how the game plays. Five rounds of carnage where you the more you get shot the less you can do as you effectively drag your bullet riddled body along the roof of the train as your lifeblood trickles down from you, marvelling as your fellow gang members walk on by, perhaps pick your pocket, or even put a shot into you while you're down, just in case...

Seriously though, it is a hilarious game with a great capacity for carnage, and is again, a simple game to pick up. Everyone has the same deck, there is a tiny bit of variation from character to character to keep things interesting, but there are very few rules to learn. This is another game I picked up to be family friendly, as opposed to serious tactical depth. I am most pleased by this purchase, as it has provided some great laughs, even amongst those who get a look of dread in their eyes when someone suggests playing a board game. In their defence, they probably grew up with monopoly...