Sunday, 29 December 2013

Special Ops, MAD style

Morning all, and what a night that was, 7 frantic games in the inaugural MAD kill team, the 'dirty seven' playing over four and a half hours to discover whose specialists conquer all.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas gaming - a few ideas

Hi all, jut a quick post today, inspired by an event we have going on at our club this evening, on the topic of gaming at Christmas, and doing something new and fun that you wouldn't normally try.

A few years ago I was involved in archery and the last meet before Christmas always involved doing something different, so shooting with your 'wrong' hand, or trying a different kind of bow etc.

 This year MAD wargames have decided to run a kill team event for 8 players, one of whom doesn't even play 40k usually, so big hats off to dave for getting into the Christmas spirit. The games will be played across 4 themed tables (industrial, jungle, ruins and fortress) and there will be snacks and festive hats galore.

So go on, try something different with your games this Christmas, why not swap armies with a regular opponent and try playing in a different style, or take on a new game system, anything goes (except maybe playing blindfolded, that way lies madness and broken minis!)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Cutting the mob down to size - with a little help from Santa

Morning all, got a game report for you today as a treat, having spent last night rolling dice against Tonka from Tonkas blog of wargaming, the Death Spectres emerged victorious once more, controlling the lair of the legendary Phanta Claws and making off with a substantial part of his present horde (guess they thought they'd been bad this year and wouldn't get anything otherwise).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Mondays update.

So what do I have in store for you all this week?

Painting update.


Ok so I’ve not managed to get a massive amount of painting done this week, what with Christmas coming up, a poorly wife and a daughter that needs looking after, but I have managed a few small bits and pieces here and there. I’ve also been using some new brushes I was given for my birthday (Windsor and Newton Series 7 no less) and I have to say on the evidence gathered so far, I won’t be going back!



Well I didn’t play any games this week, but as Thursday is our last club night before Christmas we’ve decided to do something a little different, so we’re having a kill team mini-tournament. We’ve also been plotting a 40k campaign for next year, so there’s still plenty to discuss.



We’ve played one game of this in recent memory, I think there were six of us taking part on a single board and whilst I didn’t last long (I only had dark eldar infantry with me, and there was a distinct lack of cover around too) it was a fun game with plenty of differing style teams – varying from my mix of wyches and warriors, to a terminator squad, a squadron of dark angels landspeeders, and what can only be described as a frighteningly large pack of orks. They’ve updated the rules since then, so the terminators are no longer legal, but I’m looking forward to a series of linked games where my leader will improve as the games go by. I only have one problem, I’m trying to decide between taking a marine vanguard assault squad, a mixed marine scout and tactical squad, or a dark eldar reaver team.



Something we’ve been tinkering around with for a while, and it’s now gained enough momentum to qualify as being ‘organised’. I’m involved at this level, as is Frank over at ‘The Eternal Wargamer’, and between us I think we’ve come up with a pretty promising concept. We have eight players taking part, and have picked teams at random to join either the Forces of Order, or the Forces of Disorder, the exception being Jon and Ryan, who only have one or other available to them (Jon can choose from Chaos and Orks, Ryan from Space Marines or Guard). With them installed as ‘team captains’ therefore, we drew the other players, all of whom could join either side. I drew the forces of order, so my marines will be joining Ryan’s Guard, Andy’s Guard and Cal’s Tau, facing off against Jon’s Chaos, Frank’s Dark Eldar, MJ’s Tau and Howard’s Renegade Guard. Some interesting team selections there, and I for one am looking forward to the possibility of Tau civil war, or actually playing against Dark Eldar myself for the first time.


The next question then was how to structure the campaign. After a few suggestions we decided to go for a simple option, so each mission from the main rule book would be played once, and we’d find a couple of other missions to add in to make 8 games. Each person therefore would play two games initially, with the teams assigning a particular player to a particular mission without knowing who the other team had assigned to the same scenario, making the matchups ‘blind’ games with no chance to tailor forces (I could easily create a very nasty list to bully a multi-heldrake chaos force, but they probably wouldn’t fare very well against a horde list so that creates interesting tactical options for army selection). The same list would also be used in all the games further encouraging balance in army selection. The winner of each of these games in rounds 1 and 2 would gain a mission-specific bonus to take into the final games, which would be two doubles games, representing different parts of the same battle, and we’re looking at devising some mechanic whereby whichever game finishes first can denote the winning units still on the tabletop to the other game as reserves. Some of those bonuses include D3 orbital bombardments for the winner of big guns never tire, winner of Crusade gets to bring back one destroyed squad or vehicle (<151 points) as a reserve from their next turn, D3 units gain the infiltrate rule for the winner of the scouring etc. We’ve tried to keep the benefits to something that will affect the game, but won’t break it completely.


I’m really looking forward to this campaign, hopefully it will encourage the participants to really think about their lists and what works well together, I’m very much hoping to be able to put my Iron fists onto the table for the first time (depending obviously on what arrives over and just after Christmas!)




Speaking of Iron Fists, what painting I did manage to get done this week was split with about half of it going into painting these guys. Still plenty of progress to be made, but they’re coming on nicely, and I’m really pleased with the scheme. I have noticed a couple of minor issues with my previously published list, so look for the revised version soon.



Finally then, I have a game of Necromunda coming up tomorrow. This is our last opportunity to play before Christmas, so we’ve decided to go with a scenario I found online, called the ‘Fight before Fistmas’. It looks like a really interesting scenario with a creature taking part called the ‘Phanta Claws’, which guards a horde of treasure that the gangs are trying to raid.


With that in mind, and following the advances my gang have made over the last few games, I’ve got three new models to include, two of which I’ve begun painting and are shown below. The first is a new model for Boone, who’s advanced to become better at shooting so I’ve given him a gun worthy of striking fear even into the hearts of the mightiest beasts. Second is one of my old Juves, who’s advanced sufficiently to be given a ganger model. His weapon skill is still lowly, but with three combat skills on his profile, including the awesome ‘step aside’ to give me an invulnerable 4+ dodge save in combat he’s not getting taken down easily.


Having discussed our gangs after the last game, we have agreed another house rule whereby if you roll a BS/WS advance, rather than randomising, we are allowed to pick based on the ganger’s armament – we didn’t feel it was entirely appropriate for a ganger armed with a lasgun for example, blasting away all game and then gaining an increase to his WS, resulting in us having to buy/convert/paint a new replacement.


That’s all for now guys,

Till next time, keep rollin’!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Because Wednesdays just aren't random enough

Hi all, I've decided that since my posting schedule is very heavy at the start of the week with nothing else afterwards, that I'm going to move random Wednesdays, which will now just be a random post when the mood takes me.

So with that in mind, here's today's dose of random thoughts occurring to me and inspiring a blog post.

'What kind of hobbyist are you, and how do you choose your armies'

First off then, I see that there are three types of hobbyist, the sawbones, who never builds a model just as it comes out of the box, they buy models to fuel their addiction to cutting up bits of plastic and sticking them back together in new and interesting shapes. 

Second there's the painter, who may or may not exhibit sawbones tendencies, but most of all lives to lavish time on the paintjob for a particular model. Anyone who understands and is capable of using the terms object source lighting, non metallic metal, freehand and blending probably falls into this category.

And finally there are the gamers, who couldn't care less if all their models are grey with occasional superglue staining, so long as they have the most powerful, points efficient units possible in their collection.

Now the reality is that most hobbyists enjoy some or all of the above, but similarly most hobbyists will have one of the disciplines they enjoy more than the others. I freely admit that I'm a painter at heart, in fact I went over ten years without using my dice in anger, but i probably picked up a paintbrush most days within that same period. 

Secondly then, what makes you choose a particular army to collect next? 

Well the first part of this answer would be related to the first part of this post, in that often a hobbyist will choose an army based on what happens to be the 'most powerful' available at the moment.

Alternatively, the painter or sawbones may be inspired by the models themselves, indeed that's how I decided to begin my dark eldar collection as the models are just too stunning to ignore.

Then there's the fluff bunny, who decides to start an army because they've read enough of the background to know that they just like the idea of having that army (guess what, that's how my blood angels and Necron collections got started). 

Next you have the good/bad guy. These hobbyists can't abide the thought of playing the 'enemy' or the 'goodie' and their collections will consist solely of one type or another. 

And finally you have the collector, who generally collects armies for one reason - because they haven't got one of that type yet!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An evaluation of the Norse Yhetee in bloodbowl

Player Type:                       Raging wall of fur, muscle and claws
Position:                              Big  Guy
Starting Line Up:               No. Well, you can but don’t say I didn’t warn you
Strengths:                           Strength, Starting skills
Weaknesses:                     Low(ish) armour, no normal access to Block skill
The Yhetee is the big guy of the Norse team, and is a savage creature, capable of rendering down even the toughest opponent into strips of beef jerky. Just don’t ask him to carry the ball, he’ll probably burst it.
How to manage the downsides
Ok so your biggest weakness for the Yhetee is the fact that he doesn’t have block, and doesn’t have an easy way of getting it either. What that means is that realistically, despite his strength you don’t want this guy on the line of scrimmage, as he’s costly and goes down more easily than almost anyone else on your team. His armour is also such that you wouldn’t say he’s safe from being hurt (yup, just bought one in my club’s league and he got injured in the first game – fortunately nothing long-term).
The best way to manage this lack of a skill therefore is to make sure your early blocking has the best chance of success, by which I mean try to get a 3-dice block, aim for receivers who are usually ST2, or give a couple of assists.
Second, and I’ve already touched on this. Don’t. I repeat, DON’T, put him on the line, especially if your opponent is getting the first turn. DO protect him and hide him a little to allow him to make a blitz in your first turn.
Thirdly, skill selection. Ideally you want to be hitting with the Yhetee, it makes passing your wild animal test easier and lets him cause the casualties that are realistically going to be your only way of getting SPP’s. Without block though, hitting someone else becomes risky, so unless you roll a double (which you take as block, even if it’s a double 5 or 6) then take Juggernaut first. This lets you ignore both down results and count them as pushbacks instead (which has the added benefit of meaning you get to go again with Frenzy!).
How to maximise the strengths
At ST5, the Yhetee is your strongest player, and will be getting two dice against almost everyone else he blocks. Without the block skill though, he’s vulnerable even on his own turn and so until you can mitigate that, you need to pick on weak players, or ones who are equally unskilled, so at least the opponent will be going down on a both down too. Claws is a massive bonus however, and as such you also want to be hitting the best armoured of your opponent’s players (I’m thinking Black Orcs and Chaos Warriors are ideal targets here).
One of the Yhetee’s biggest advantages, in terms of potential at least, is his disturbing presence, which deducts 1 from your opponent’s roll to pass, catch or intercept if he’s within three squares of the Yhetee. On paper, that’s brilliant, enough to even make a elf think twice, but in-game the reality is that it’s a secondary bonus, there are limited opportunities to be within that sort of range of your opponent when he actually wants to pass or catch. I’m not saying it’ll never come in handy, but it’s not a skill to base your tactics around – particularly since wild animal can make your player fairly static if he’s not hitting someone.
Finally therefore, your Yhetee is good just for being there – big guys naturally gather a lot of attention from their opponents and as such they give your other players more room to operate. If your opposite number ignores the big guy, hurt something with it, he won’t ignore it again, but above all else, make him deal with it.
Do you start a league with one?
Realistically, and as much as I’d like to say yes, don’t. 140,000gp is a lot of coin to throw around on a player at the start of a league, and he’s very capable of burning through your re-rolls too. I’d normally aim to recruit him as either the 13th or 14th player, after you’ve got 2 Ulfs. These three guys in combo are terrifying for most opponents.
What skills can they take?
Limited, since as with all big guys, they only have access to Strength skills without needing a double.
Break Tackle
This is situational, but can be huge. It lets your big guy become more agile than an elf (sort of) for one ‘dodge’ only. It’s massively helpful therefore for breaking out of a ruck, providing that the square you’re dodging to is clear, as any further dodges will be made using your standard agility of 1. The downside to this is that unless you’re using it to blitz, there’s a 50/50 chance your Yhetee will refuse to move anyway.
He won’t start there, but let’s be honest, your Yhetee is likely to end up in a scrum at some point, and if he’s handing out assists to the other players involved so much the better, but I’d say it’s not the first skill you want to be taking with him.
This is. Blitzing for a Yhetee is a must, and this skill is one of the reasons why. If you fail to roll a double on your first skill increase, then juggernaut lets you count ‘both down’ results as a pushback, limiting your turn ending results to just the attacker down. Early in the league, or just if you can’t seem to roll a double on a skill increase, then this drastically reduces instances of your Yhetee causing turnovers, even if it does mean he doesn’t get the points for causing casualties.
Mighty Blow
Skill number 2, unless you can take block, as with it you’ll basically be able to consider everyone you go up against to have armour 6, and that’s a very good thing.
Multiple Block
I’m not a fan of multiple block, but with assists in the right place, the Yhetee can open up big holes in a defensive line if you’ve got it. Tricky to use well though.
Piling On
You start with Claw, you’ve already taken Mighty Blow, Piling On is the third arm of the holy trinity of causing casualties. Some would advise not to pile on with your Yhetee because it leaves him open to being fouled, personally I’d say if the opposing player is worth getting off the pitch, then it’s worth doing, and opposing players are almost always worth getting off the pitch. Plus, once you’ve got these three skills then those SPP’s will start to rack up, and enemy big guys will fear you.
Stand Firm
This is a skill best used in combination with Guard on the line, and therefore not ideally suited to the Yhetee, I wouldn’t take it unless I was running out of options, or played a lot at the edge of the pitch.
Strong Arm
No. Never, ever, ever do you want to be passing with a Yhetee. If for some reason he ends up holding the ball and there’s no way of getting him to the endzone to benefit from that rarest of things, the big guy touchdown, then you want to be handing off instead.
Thick Skull
Can be useful but extremely situational, leave it at home if at all possible.
What are good options for doubles skill rolls?
Essential for good blocking, if you roll a double then take this above any other consideration
Rolled a second double and not sure what to take? Tackle is always good for putting those dodgy players down, giving you yet more access to casualty points.
What are the best stat increases to take?
To be honest, the only one I’d consider would be armour, as his AV8 is pretty low for a big guy. ST is tempting but most stuff you’re going to hit is weaker than you anyway, and you can always find a way of getting an assist in there if you need to. Agility is futile, there is never going to be a case for building up a Yhetee’s AG value, and MA isn’t too bad at its starting level anyway for a big guy.
What are the best skill combinations?
I have only one, particularly given the limited skill set available. If you roll a double at any point, take block and insert it into the list, if it’s your first skill, drop juggernaut.
1.       Juggernaut
2.       Mighty Blow
3.       Piling On
4.       Guard
5.       Break Tackle
6.       Stand Firm
Final thoughts
The Yhetee is your angry face. Combined with the two Ulfs you should have in your team, he makes it a very angry face indeed that’s capable (once they’ve all got a couple of advances) of playing the power game with any other team in the rulebook. Until then, he’s a very scary presence for the weaker elements of your opponent’s tream and he can, subject to circumstances, make their passing game much more tricky.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Necron codex synergy review part 1 - Troops

Barely perceptible progress this week means that instead of my usual painting update, I've got a synergy review for you instead - enjoy!

Ok, having laboured for ages over the synergy review of the Dark Eldar codex, Let's start having a look at the Necrons.

This first section would be the quickest ever given the limited options available, so I'll include dedicated transport in here too.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Revenge will be served piping hot from the microwave

Hi all, hope you're well and looking forward to another battle write up from the fight for shining falls.

This week three of us met again to clash over a section of the town littered with scrap the gangs had identified as being worth a few creds, so my Death Spectres, Pete's Salvage Snakes and Tonka's 78th Street Smash mob set up for war.

We used the new terrain I was given for my birthday last week, which though as yet unpainted combined fantastically with the existing set we've got and gave a very busy looking battlefield.

Monday, 2 December 2013

The value project - part 7

Hi all, comparatively slow progress this week, though I did manage to escape for a couple of hours on Saturday to focus on assembling my second drop pod, this time for a tactical squad
A small amount of construction is still incomplete, I'll need to decide what weapons to use as the focus of the doors on this model as I want it to look different to the stern guard version.

Speaking of which, I managed to snatch some time to do a bit more painting on the sternguard drop pod too.
This is coming on nicely, if a little slowly, and i'm looking forward to getting it finished so I can get it in use on the table.

I've got an extra post in the pipeline today so look out for that later!