Friday, August 28, 2009

Necrons vs Tau 750pt Battle Report (Laertes perspective)

Before the game began:

The list I brought, after some internal debate (okay, not a heck of a lot of internal debate, given that it's kind of tricky at this point level to have very many options with the Necrons):

1 unit of 10 Necron Warriors

1 unit of 11 Necron Warriors

1 unit of 3 Necron Destroyers

1 unit of a single Necron Heavy Destroyer

1 Necron Lord with Res Orb

I knew the Tau forces I would be facing would be highly mobile, so I was somewhat relieved when he rolled "Annihilation" for the mission. I figured that was the only mission that favored my foot troops, as I knew now that he would have to come to me, instead of having the Necrons march across the board and try to contest objectives. I rolled highest and elected to go first, and then subsequently deployed my forces in the far corner of the board, with the larger unit of Warriors and the Lord inside the small forest (area terrain). The Destroyers and the Heavy Destroyer grouped themselves together to the left, and the other unit of Warriors positioned themselves behind the small forest, kind of in a clump ready to move and protect the other flank. The Tau were kind of spread out across the deployment zone, with a Devilfish on either end (containing Firewarriors), with the 'Fish furthest away from the Necrons supported by the Hammerhead and the overall Tau Commander, joined to the unit of Crisis suits.

The first turn was fairly uneventful, as I moved the Destroyer block forward and moved the smaller unit of Warriors out to my right flank. The shooting phase went fairly well, although I was hoping the Heavy Destroyer could do better, it still managed to glance the Hammerheard so it would not be returning fire next turn. The unit of Destroyers reached out to the unit of Crisis suits, as they could just see the Tau Commander beyond the one hill. They managed to cause four wounds to the unit -- this is where things went astray a bit. Z divided the hits in to two on the Crisis suits and two on the Commander, as we were both a little shaky on the rules for dividing up wounds on multi-wound units. While certainly a legal way to do things (allocating the extra wound to the Commander), it was probably less than optimal, as the unsaved wounds end up going through to the Commander and contributes to his early demise. As he was armed similarly to the other Crisis suits, Z tells me he think it wouldn't make much of a difference, but it would still likely have been nice for the Tau to have their Commander around for more of the game.

The first Tau turn is largely movement, with the Devilfish sweeping around the flanks and the Hammerhead moving out near the center of the table. The Crisis suit unit slinks around behind the one 'Fish, but is now within easy sight of the Destroyers. Most of the Tau weapons are out of range, but a few of the burst cannon shells bounce off of the Destroyers.

On my second turn I admit to succumbing to target fixation. The big tempting target of the Hammerhead in the middle of the table is too much for me, and I have the Heavy Destroyer break off from the pack of Destroyers and work in to position to take a shot with the Heavy Gauss Cannon . . . only to a roll a one to hit. The Destroyers stay after the unit of the Crisis suits, and manage to wound one and finish off the Commander this turn. I've mixed feelings, as I've killed the Tau commander but left myself wide open in the middle of the table. The Crisis suits break and start to run, but they're a long way from the table edge so I think they will likely rally.

The second Tau turn has the Hammerhead turn and take a shot at the Heavy Destroyer . . . only to miss with the massive railgun. The Crisis suits, after rallying predictably, turn on the Destroyers and manage to down one . . . but he stands up at the beginning of the next Necron turn. The Devilfish on my left finally discharges the Fire Warriors, but most end up slightly out of range and so only a few shots get through to the unit of Warriors taking cover in the forest.

The third Necron turn saw the unit in the forest finally returning fire, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity, as not all could get a line of sight to the Fire Warriors. They manage to do fairly well, though, killing 3-4 of the Tau. In the center, I attempt to maneuver the Heavy Destroyer to gain a shot at the rear armor of the Hammerhead. I don't take advantage of all of the jetbike rules, and then look it up to my chagrin, as I am only in the side arc. Z offers to let me re-make the move, but I figured I will try the side shot . . . and the Heavy Destroyer misses again, making the point fairly moot. More shooting on the left takes down a few Fire Warriors.

The next Tau turn sees the Devilfish on my right flank finally disgorge the Fire Warrior unit, this time a bit more in range, and the unit of Necron Warriors on my right flank takes the brunt of the fire, downing three. The Hammerhead decides to stop playing with the Heavy Destroyer and holes the ancient machine with a point blank railgun shot. The Crisis suits return fire on the Destroyers, downing one.

The Necron turn starts with all but one of the Warriors standing back up (the Destroyer stays down). The Destroyers move back to within range of the Lord's Res Orb, and the unit of Warriors move forward to get the Fire Warriors within Rapid Fire range. In the Shooting phase, the fusillade from the Warriors almost wipes out that unit, even with cover behind the 'Fish. The Destroyers add to the fire, and kill off the unit.

I'm not quite as sure on the last few turns (I'd had a few beverages by then) -- basically, the Tau on my left flank embark on the Devilfish and move out of range. The burst cannon (from the second Devilfish) and the Hammerhead finish off the unit of Destroyers, but return fire from the unit of Necron Warriors destroys the burst cannon then immobilizes the Devilfish. The Gun Drones are also shot to pieces. The last Crisis suit chooses to move out of range, and the game doesn't end until turn 7, with the Necron forces prevailing by a 3-2 margin in kill points (Tau kill the unit of Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers, Necrons kill the Commander, a unit of Fire Warriors, and the unit of Gun Drones).

In retrospect the "target fixation" did not hurt me too much, as you ended up with a Hammerhead also essentially fixated upon a Heavy Destroyer that was less than half of it's point total. I was also so paranoid with regards to cover saves that the unit of Warriors with the Necron Lord never moved out of the forest, and their shooting only served to whittle down the one unit of Fire Warriors a little (and a few of the models never got to fire they Gauss weapons in anger). In hindsight, the Tau weren't really carrying that many AP3 weapons, a Lord with a Res Orb was standing in their midst . . . clinging to a 4+ cover save may NOT have been the most useful thing they could have done.

I thought the luck was kind of average -- in three turns of shooting I could only get the Heavy Destroyer to hit the Hammerhead once (and could not score a penetrating hit), but I did roll fairly well on the "We'll Be Back" rolls and I thought the unit of Warriors on my right flank rolled well against the Devilfish and the unit of Fire Warriors (then again, just rolling 18-20 dice might also have something to do with that!).

We'll need a few more games to get things to go more smoothly (and doubtless discover more), but I did like that, every time we seemed to have a rules question, we could look it up quickly and the answer was pretty much there. That is, there was not the ambiguity that sometimes accompanied our games of 4th edition.

And now . . . who knows? Perhaps I'll paint more Necrons!.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

First 5th Ed Game: Summary

Well, Laertes and I finally did it... we finally played a game of 40K!! More details to come later, but for now Ill post a pic of our set-up and tell you that the game went 7 turns.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pending Battle!

Well, I will beat Laertes to the keyboard and let you all know we finally put a game on the calendar... T-minus 6 days in fact!! This will be our first 5th edition battle, coming it at 750 points. I previously posted my army list in an earlier blog here. While I agreed with some of the feedback, I decided not to include any of the great suggestions from Chernobyl and NockerGeek and to stick with the list as is.

I believe Laertes is running necrons (I'll let him post his list). However, I wouldn't be surprised if his Demon Hunter army showed up as a last minute replacement if the 'crons assembly plant didn't make its quota!!

We are both long-time hobbyists, but infrequent players... I think we only managed 3 battles of 4th edition!! So there may be a few mistakes during this game. I plan to take lot's of pictures during the game, and Im sure we will both want to post a battle report.

Wish us luck!


Friday, August 14, 2009

The Chaos Fleet Enters Dry Dock

After the move now the damage assessment begins. Breaking out my Chaos fleet for Battlefleet Gothic, after a number of years and perhaps far too many moves, I have begun to see what it takes to bring them back up to fighting trim. There seems to be minor damage at least all around: masts snapped, pegs broken off of flying bases, turrets now falling off, paint chipped, etc. It looks like the only choice for a flagship at the moment is the Quietus, a Murder-class cruiser you can just make out in far upper right. Not shown are some escorts still in the box, and a couple of the more badly damaged larger ships. My Repulsive-class grand cruiser is in pieces but looks eminently repairable -- I'm afraid I'm hesistant to say the same about my Despoiler-class battleship, that seems to be missing some pieces for her bridge! I shall have to redouble my efforts to locate those pieces and hope that I didn't just dismiss them as a general bit of left over somewhere.

I'm not quite so confident when it comes to figuring out what to do for the flying bases. For my Necron Destroyers in 40K, I'm going with a modified version of a magnetic flying base that I first saw mentioned on Fritz's blog. I will cover my version of that in a future post (dealing with the Destroyers), but the basic idea is a small machine screw in the model and a replacement post bearing a magnet on the flying base. Should work fine for most of the jetbike-type of models, as they're fairly light and made of plastic. But what about the heavy metal ships? I don't think the same method is going to work quite as well, and, of course, they're the ones most likely to snap their flimsy stock flying pegs. Any ideas?

If you'd like to check out the Battlefleet Gothic rules, including the descriptions and stats of the various ship classes that I've mentioned, you can view the rules and supplemental PDFs here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Terrain: Urban Battleboard

I have been running this project back and forth in my head for some time now. I don't actually play all that often, but really enjoy this aspect of the hobby. Even if my friends and I aren't able to put a game together, my son will be old enough to play a real game in the not too distant future...

This is not the first time I put this idea to paper... I have made many sketches, and below is just the latest one. Modularity is the key factor. This layout is at maximum building density. I envision typical layouts to be more sparse.

The dark grey is the actual board surface. The black outlines indicate the individual building tiles. Some tiles have a 1" sidewalk (light grey areas), some do not. The tiles are based on a 12" x 12" grid and are positioned at a 45° angle. In this layout there are 2 @ 12x24 tiles, 5 @ 12x12 tiles, 4 @ 12x6 tiles, and 10 @ 12" triangle tiles (these can either be placed on the table edge or 2 placed together to make a 12x12 tile).

The black numbers indicate the number of stories. The yellow measurements are just that... I picked a few random spots to show street width for tank accessibility. Note that many of the building tiles will be primarily rubble and passable by most vehicles... Only a section of wall with remnants of the floor remain.

Future additions would include a river/canal, an overpass, and park tiles.

So, what are your thoughts... is this a good plan?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stifled Creativity

I bought my home in 1999, and prior to being a home owner, my hobby workstation was in the corner of a bedroom (read: inside). But after moving into a house, all my modeling and hobby gear was moved to a more spacious, yet less “habitable” garage.

For 7 of the last 8 years I have not had central air conditioning. So during the “hot” weather, it wasn’t any less comfortable at my workstation than it was sitting in the house. This year however, a heat pump keeps the house a very pleasant temperature. I have noticed that this has adversely affected my desire to walk out to the “sauna” and paint… so I have not been very productive over the last few weeks.

But you may say “don’t you live in the NW with mild summers and lots of rain?” Well, yes I do. However, being what you would call an “extra large” fella, and of 50% Viking heritage (however my red hair comes from my Irish ancestry...HA!), anything over 80° is a scorcher!! It has been north of 80°for most of the last three weeks.

In the mean time I thought I would share my work space. The first picture is the center of my work bench... it is the “original” table I have used for about… uhm… well 25 years!! The lower three pics show the space to the left (including project racks), the right (bins of supplies and materials), and a close up of my bitz drawers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

TOEMP Challenge Rules

  • Unit of Troops (75 pts)

  • Option 1: Unit of Elites/Special (125 pts) - Req: Freehand markings on all minis
  • Option 2: Unit of Heavy Support/Special (125 pts) - Req: Freehand markings on all minis

  • Option 1: Special Character (Any pts) - Bonus: Custom Spec/Datasheet or Extra Conversion Work
  • Option 2: Unit of Fast Attack/Special (Any pts) - Bonus: Custom Bases

  • Open (60 pts) - Bonus: Short Description of choice

  • Option 1: Unit of Heavy Support/Special (80 pts)
  • Option 2: Unit of Troops (80 pts)

  • Option 1: Units of Troops and/or Elites/Special in any combination (135 pts) - Req: Use a new technique from the Easy Section of Individual Challenges
  • Option 2: Unit of Heavy Support/Special (Any pts) - Req: Use a new technique from the Moderate Section of Individual Challenges
  • Option 3: An HQ/Lord (Any pts) - Req: Use a new technique from the Hard Section of Individual Challenges
  • Bonus Challenge: Complete either a unit of Troops (50 pts), the largest model you own (Any pts), or a unit of Fast Attack/Special (Any pts)

  • Option 1: Unit of Fast Attack/Special (60 pts)
  • Option 2: An HQ/Lord (60 pts)
  • Option 3: Unit of Elites/Special (55 pts)
  • Bonus Challenge 1: Objective markers
  • Bonus Challenge 2: Command Vehicle
  • Bonus Challenge 3: Special Character w/ optional custom spec/datasheet
  • Bonus Challenge 4: Scenery


  • Sanded/Grassed Bases
  • Painted Lens/Viewfinders
  • Arm Swaps

  • A Minor Conversion
  • Detailed Bases

  • A Full On Conversion.
  • Every Painting Technique You Know.


  • Foot Sloggers (20/25mm bases): 1 painting point each
  • Bikes/Cavalry, Large (40/50mm bases): 2 painting points each
  • Walkers/Creatures: 5 painting points each
  • Vehicles/Chariots/Large Monsters: 10 painting points each

  • Icons/Symbols/Marks: +1 painting point per model
  • Eyes/Lenses/View Finders: +1 painting point per model
  • Walker/Large Monsters/Vehicles Details/Accessories: +5 painting points per model
  • Freehand: +5 painting points per model

  • Bonus Challenge: +10 painting points
  • Easy Challenge: +5 painting points
  • Moderate Challenge: +10 painting points
  • Hard Challenge: +15 painting points

  • Meeting Deadline: +2 painting points
  • Beating Deadline by at east 24 hours: +2 painting points
  • Missing Deadline: -3 painting points


Can be used to remove the deadline for a challenge. If used, the -3 points for missing a deadline isn’t deducted. Only one Joker Card may ever be used.

For every additional 50% points worth of figures painted in a challenge, an Assault Card may be used (up to two may be used per challenge). Each Assault Card is worth two Tallies.
  • Speed Painter: 1 Tally
  • Perfectionist: 2 Tallies
  • Lord of Time: 3 Tallies
  • Master of Time: 5 Tallies
  • The Accomplisher: 6 Tallies

This rules and challenge summary has been adapted from the A Tale of Even More Painters website.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Gateway Game

Moving is done and now I can't find anything, but there seem to be few casualties (with the notable exception of an old Imperator Titan -- the Mechanicus can't be pleased with me at this point). So this post will have to do for now until more work can be undertaken!

A recent article on the Bell of Lost Souls on the possible return of the Chaos Dwarves (and no, I’m not falling for “Dwarfs” as the plural -- I'm just stubborn that way) caused me to wax nostalgic with memories of big spiky hats on which I may have impaled fingers, useless formations of hobgoblins, USENET groups (and being the illustrious editor of the Chaos Dwarf FAQ section – so I had that going for me) and, more to the point of that article, what I would like to see in a new Chaos Dwarf book.

And that got me to thinking about how I had started with the little Chaos Dwarves in the first place. It was back in the mists of time, but it did not start with Warhammer at all, but rather with that other nifty gateway game, Blood Bowl (check out the rules here). Mention Blood Bowl these days and reactions will run the gamut, from ardent fans who play nothing else, to Warhammer players who occasionally dabble, all the way to 40K players who have never heard of it, and regard it with a suspicion typically held for Epic or for Battlefleet Gothic.

However one might think of it, Blood Bowl was indeed my “gateway” game for a Chaos Dwarf army. As I may have mentioned before, I am neither a skilled nor a speedy painter, so the various incarnations of Blood Bowl would often allow me to bask in the moment which, for me, was rather rare: the moment of showing up with a fully painted force! To be sure, that might only require somewhere between 12 and 16 figures, but, for me, it allowed me to actually try out several teams and styles of play. I began with the High Elves, but I already had a High Elf army, so they didn’t really hold my attention overly long. So I turned in other directions and looked at other teams. I loved my Skaven team for two reasons: one was the style of play (a high scoring passing offense and a defense . . . well, we didn’t really play defense), and the other was the fact that I could paint Skaven fur relatively well (for me), and so I thought the models turned out nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I briefly (perhaps for a few months or so) flirted with the idea of forming a Skaven army in Warhammer (there were some really cool models) until I came face to face with the fact that, while I could get some good results painting Skaven, I was going to have to paint a LOT of models to field a viable force, and I blanched at the though of painting up 50 Skavenslaves. I also realized that the army seemed to be of a certain type and played in only a certain style, and I didn’t think it was one to which I could readily adapt.

But I also had another Blood Bowl team that was fun to play. Those were my Chaos Dwarves, and they were almost completely the opposite of the Skaven. Where the Skaven could average three to five touchdowns per game, the Chaos Dwarves were lucky if they scored a pair of touchdowns . . . but they could play defense! Instead of a long passing attack, they played a different form of offense, which I gave the rather catchy title the “give-the-ball-to-the-bull-centaur-and-have-him-smash-things” offense. In retrospect, perhaps it really was not that catchy of a title after all. In any case, the Blood Bowl successes lead me to enlarge my Chaos Dwarf purchases and (unlike with the Skaven), fill them out to a more sizeable force.

In that respect Blood Bowl served the purpose for which Games Workshop had likely intended it: to introduce players to different aspects of the hobby, or to introduce new players to the hobby entirely (I already had Warhammer and WH40K). I am kind of curious if others were perhaps lead down similar paths – did some games of Space Hulk spark the interest of either a new Marine or (later) a Tyranid player? Or did someone try a different army in Epic that led them to then collect that army in 40K?