Friday, February 20, 2015

Enter the Steel Host

Sanctus Reach, Mission 4. The Knights are overextended and cut off from Imperial lines. The Orks are closing in for the kill, can a spearhead of Guard Armor breakthrough and reinforce the Knights in time?

2500 points per side, the Imperials have ten models, the Orks just about 100. The Knights start on the far left side of the field and must get to the far right side and off the table. Half of the Orks start in the center, the other half will come on from the left side, so the Knights must boogie or get completely swamped. The Imperial Guard tanks all start in reserve and arrive on the right side.

Scoring is really straightforward, and all about the Knights. The Orks get D3 points for killing a Knight, and the Knights get D3 for getting off the table, plus the regular 1 point for killing the enemy warlord.
The Knights start by killing off a Deff Dread and put some damage on the Ork Battlewagon full of bad things, but cannot stop it. On the Ork turn, said Battlewagon pulls up close and unloads Grukk Face-rippa and his Mega-Nobz friends. They gleefully hack down a Knight, but the resulting explosion goes quite poorly for the lads. Grukk survives by using the big Mek as a shield, and seven out of eight Mega-Nobz are vaporized. A very costly win. Not that Grukk cares.
Turn two sees six of the Guard tanks arrive. The Mega-Dread, and a Deff Dread fall to battle and lascannon fire. The last Leman Russ to fire hits the Battlewagon in the rear and kills it with a single shot. Live by open top, die by open top.
Grukk responds by charging the Knight Errant with his one remaining minon. The Mega-Nob is splattered, but Grukk's stupid luck holds and he is unharmed by the huge chainsword. The Ork Warlord hits with all attacks and the Knight explodes under the onslaught. Grukk is wounded by the titanic blast. He was finally put down by the last Paladin on the following turn.

The rest of the Guard armor showed up and put a hurting on the Orks from across the table. More Orks arrived and managed a couple of points damage on the withdrawing Paladin, but it was too late to stop it exiting the field.
The Imperials fought very well, but that thrice damned Grukk put the game just out of reach for us. Orks 5, Imperials 4. Gah.

Tough situation for the Knights to start with, they needed just a bit more luck than they got. Good mission, I would like to give it another try.

Mr. Face-ripper will see you now.
Orks:3, Imperials:1

Friday, February 13, 2015

Xeno Rumble

I have a few posts I am working on for your entertainment, but none are ready today. Mostly because I lost track of it being Friday and all. So, here are some pics of a Eldar vs. Tau battle. It was going to be a BatRep post, but things happened and it has been in the standby folder for months now. The text of how the battle went was lost when my hard drive crashed. I can't recall the specifics, but it was a very close battle that went a full seven turns.

The Eldar were victorious by two victory points. Tau vs. Eldar is a fluid, mobile battle, punctuated by really high firepower, and a lot of fun. Got to give it for the Xenos, they can party.

The Emperor Protects
Let's you and him fight! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Fall of House Kestren

Meanwhile, back on Sanctus Reach, Mission 3 is underway. The Knights reckless headlong charge into the invading Orks is at its end. The good news: the Knights have reached Grukk's grounded flagship. The bad news: The Knights are overextended and surrounded. And Grukk has a Stompa.

The mission starts with all the Imperial Forces on the table and the Orks "only" have a Stompa. Said Stompa did four hull points to the Knight Errant and turned two Chimeras into swiss cheese.
The Guard and Knights had some very fine shooting with most weapons hitting. Mrs. Blackheart's rum-fueled force field prevented most of the damage. So many hits so little damage! A very disappointing shooting phase led to the assault phase. The Knight Errant made a 10" assault into the Stompa and tore into it. Sadly the Stompa still had one HP left and dispatched the damaged Errant.

Even with a -1 to her reserve rolls the Orks arrived en masse and outflanked us. Once again we were too close to the table edges and paid dearly for the mistake.
I'm beginning to really hate Tankbustas
Big Hugga just wants to hug.
Needless to say it went horribly wrong. Deff Dreads everywhere, and those damn tankbustas well within charge range. The Orks shooting was predictable Orky, with no losses on the Imperials side. The Assault phase was also very Orky, with high losses for the the Knights and Guard.
Yep. Hate Them.
The Paladin was taken out in frenzy of tankbusta bombz, and I lost a Leman Russ to a very grabby Deff Dread. On my turn I was able to put down the Stompa,but was far too late to save this game for the Imperials. Turn 3 was the end for us. I was left with my HQ Vanquisher and a few Guardsmen on foot surrounded by Boyz. Final score Orks 11, Imperials 5.
I don't know what's going on, but I'm sure it's illegal.
Had we paid the slightest bit of attention to the possibility of being overwhelmed by jerks using outflank we would have put up a better fight. As it was the battle captured the feeling over being overextended and then cut off. A fun game, if a quick one.

Smash the 'umnies!
Orks:2, Imperials:1

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Neo-Egyptian Skeleton Robots!

I have always liked the necrons. It's like someone took Iron Maiden's  Powerslave album cover and mixed it with The Terminator, but in Space! This is were the quest for the most epic '80's-'90's evil sci-fi villains wound up. And I am still totally good with it. I think the Necrons have come the farthest in development of any of the 40K races, given their meager beginnings in White Dwarf #217 (1997) as the Necron Raiders. I really enjoyed the last Codex, when they gave the Necrons some personality and a better backstory, making them much more fun and fleshed out as a race.

I have taken a fast run through the new Codex and here is what I have found:

Standard high level production of the book. Great art and lots of pretty pictures of models. Seems like there is a little less fluff, but I have not read through it yet, so I'm not sure.
Reanimation Protocols: Yep, now it works just like Feel No Pain with a few improvements against Instant Death stuff. I'm not sure how I feel about the change. On one hand it will make things move much faster, but it does take away that moment when a bunch of the models who just died get back up. Gameplay wise, I think it will work more in favor of the Necron player. We will see.

I like all the Warlord traits. Living metal got better as did the Doomsday Cannon by a little bit.

Entropic Strike is now just like Gauss Weapons but for hand to hand attacks. yes it does lose some flavor but much easier to keep track of during the game.

A lot of units got cheaper. the Praetorians and Lychguard by a substantial amount. Only the Wraiths, Scarbs, and Night Scythes went up in cost.

The Stalkers squad size now 1-3 models. Yay! Tomb Blades options are cheaper and the squad size in now 3-10.

Destroyers can only upgrade 1 model to a Heavy Destroyer, but you can now take a squad of 1-3 Heavy Destroyers as a Heavy.

Crypteks work a bit differently now. Alone they are a HQ choice. There are a few ways to take several in Formations and the new and very different Necron Detachment system. The Crypteks are no longer restricted in the wargear they can take, they have full access to the Technoarcana and Artefacts of the Aeons lists. And any unit with a Cryptek attached gets a +1 to Reanimation Protocols, so very useful guys.

The C'tan have four entries. Nightbringer and the Deceiver are unique elite choices. The Transcendent C'tan replaces the older C'tan Shard and is now a heavy. The Tesseract Vault joins the Codex in a Lord of War slot. There are six C'tans powers are now, and they are all in the form of shooting attacks. The Powers are rolled randomly before each shot and they are all pretty powerful, some more than others. Each power has two stat-lines, one for Transcendent and one for Coalescent. The Coalescent profile is use only for the Tesseract Vault and has double range and more shots or  bigger blast, depending on the weapon.

I have saved the worst for last. All the rumor guys were right. This Codex is lame because they have completely nerfed... the Tachyon Arrow! Sure it is still Strength 10, AP1, but the range have been reduced by, um, I'm not sure how to subtract anything from infinity, but it must be a huge number.
Now the range is now only 120"! How am supposed to I shoot people across the solar system?
It is nice to see the Necrons brought up the 7th edition standards. I have not seen anything that is terrible, maybe a little too much streamlining in places but it is a solid Codex. Time to raise my own undead-ish robot army!

They Are Legion
And make Awesome Metal Album covers

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mars Attacks

In the campy near future there is only war. Mars Attacks: The miniatures game is made by the other miniatures company in Nottingham, Mantic Games. The second of two big Mars-themed minis game to get funded on Kickstarter (All Quiet on the Martian Front being the other) it promised a fun and fast playing skirmish game. So how does it do?
Short answer? Very well. The base game (which can be had for $61.00 on Amazon) comes with a bunch (40) of nice looking figures. The Martians have clear helmets that need to be put on them, but all the rest are one piece molds and are ready to play out of the box. Cardboard stand ups are provided for five civilians, a giant bug, and the flaming cattle. We'll get back to that last part in a bit.

You get a fair amount of nifty ruined brick building modular scenery and a smattering of urban accessories. Also included is a well illustrated 44 page rulebook, the game map, a deck of action cards, game counters, and a handful of eight sided dice.
Helmets not yet attached
The game is played on a 8x8 square grid depicting the center of small town, USA. Being grid-based it removes all the fiddly bits of using a ruler for movement and weapons range. The ten scenarios in the book follow the story of the Martians attack on Greenville and ramp up in scale and complexity. Not that this game ever gets very complex. Which is one of the reasons I really like it.

Gameplay. Oh yes, the real reason we are here. Theme and nice components are fine but can only carry a product so far, especially a licensed one. Play is smooth and fast. On a Player's turn she may
activate up to two individual models and/or play a action card. This alternates between players until all models have been activated. Then both players draw new actions cards and the next round begins. Victory conditions are generally achieved by reaching 8 Victory Points first. VPs can be gained in a number of ways depending on the mission, such as killing units, finding items, and holding positions.
Combat is resolved quickly via an opposed dice rolls for both ranged and close combat. The heroes are the meat of the missions and are varied and interesting, with some good skills and abilities.

The action cards add that something "extra" to the game. The cards may help an attack, be powerful off board attacks or a random event. The events are fun: civilians popping up and wandering around the battle zone, stray artillery strikes, a giant mutant bug, or a herd of flaming cattle running across the map.

I recommend this game. It is low-complexity, fun, and fast playing. Mantic has a number of expansions coming soon, so replay value looks to be high. Now I just have to find the time to paint up the minis...

We Come in Peace!
Ack, Ack, Ack!