Saturday, September 10, 2016

2v2 Tournament Batrep - A Howl of Laughter

 Is this just real life, is this just fantasy...
Caught in the webway, no escape from reality....
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see...

Hello all! It's been a while since the last update. Took part in a 2v2 tournament with my beloved Masque of the Third Act last weekend, pairing up with Alan and his Space Wolves army. Alan brought a formation from the new Warzone Fenris supplement, which meant that he had 10 drop pods coming in on the first turn. Groovy. My list remained roughly the same, with the Troupes all having special weapons, and some psychic/Solitaire support. Details below.

The Blackmanes (all in drop pods)
3 x 5 Blood Claws, each with 1 Flamer
4 x 5 Grey Hunters, each with 1 Melta
1 x 2 Long Fangs, with 1 Melta
1 x 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry, with 1 Power Fist
1 Wolf Guard Battle Leader
5 Wolf Scouts
1 Murderfang

The Masque of the Third Act
2 Lvl 2 Shadowseers, one with the Mask of Secrets
1 Solitaire
3 Troupes, all with either Caresses, Kisses, or Embraces
2 Starweavers
1 Voidweaver

Sweat beaded on the Shadowseer's brow as he focused on the tides of the Warp. Trespassers from the Mon'keigh Imperium had made their way through the Cursed Forest of Lys, coming perilously close to freeing the evil that remained trapped in the shrouded ruins. Through long planning and crafted illusion, the Masque of the Third Act had managed to bring the attention of the Space Wolves to this benighted world. With delicious irony and no small amount of manipulation, the Wolves would be unleashed on their brethren...

Our first game was against a Sororitas/Iron Hands list with Wiloon and Colin at the helm. The Iron Hands list allowed them to choose a vehicle as their warlord, and they promptly chose the Land Raider, which made it a high priority target for all the drop melta.The scenario gave extra VP for killing off units that were NOT from your Warlord's detachment, and given how many units Alan had, we made his Battle Leader the Warlord.

Deployment. The harlies are clustered in terrain to take advantage of what meagre cover was available. That Knight Crusader was going to tear them a new one if it managed to draw LOS.

Turn 1. Steel Rain! All the drop pods come down, and we chose to cluster the majority of the pods close to their troop transports. We managed to get Slay the Warlord and First Blood, with some good rolling on the Meltaguns.

Our first turn saw the Blackmanes come down and glance down the Warlord Land Raider for First Blood and Slay the Warlord! That gave us a start which was way better than expected.

Those Wolves are baying for Sisters' blood as they crack open the Land Raider!
The Knight then moved up and began blasting the Space Wolves away. It was surprising to Alan and I that they didn't target the Harlies, but I suppose having a bunch of smelly Vikings in their face offended the Sisters' sense of propriety. The shooting didn't last long though, as the Harlies were now within charge distance.

The Harlies and the Thunderwolves charge in to try and tie up the Crusader. Look at that awesome conversion of using the school badge as a crest!

Between the flurry of Harlequin's Caresses and Thunderwolf attacks, the Knight goes up in flames. The Titanic Explosion scatters clean off from everything and does no further damage.

The Wolves hit the Sisters' lines hard, with the Solitair to come in soon after.
The Solitaire proved his worth as he easily gibbed both Uriah Jacobus and a few of his Dominion escort. While we were unable to kill many of the Sisters for the bonus VP, we had managed to pin them in their deployment zone, letting us rack up the Maelstrom points. At the end of the game, our first round score was 29-11. Wiloon and Colin were great people to play against, and man, did that Knight look sweet with a CHIJ school badge on it. You can't get more Sororitas than CHIJ.

The Masque of the Third Act faded back into the shadows of the webway, their job completed. The ever eager Space Wolves had fallen on their brethren quickly, never realising that the corruption they sensed was from the forest itself, not their fellow Imperials. The clues had already been laid to lead the Wolves on to their next target amongst the Crystal Tombs of Khet...

Our second game was against an Ultramarines/AdMech team, led by Marshall and Reuben. Lots of marines, two thunderfire cannons, and a whole bunch of robots with Grav/Phosphor in drop pods. Reuben rolled the Warlord Trait that made his Canticles always function at their highest level, and they gave us first turn. The mission included a Relic for an extra 5VP.

First turn and deployment as the Space Wolves' pods start coming down.
Between the pods, the drop melta, and shuriken cannon fire, we managed to wreck both Rhinos for First Blood. The marines came piling out, and were hemmed in like the Sisters before them. This meant that our opponents had lost much of their mobility and flexibility in securing objectives, as there were 6 Objective Secured units that were either wrecked or stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The Ultramarines respond by piling out of their wrecked transports to face their erstwhile brethren.

The Ultramarines retaliate, dropping in with a full tactical squad to try and reclaim that objective.

Murderfang unleashes his rage on an unsuspecting Thunderfire cannon and tears its Techmarine operator to bloody shreds.

 Love this shot. While the battle swirls around him, the Solitaire leaps into combat with a Librarian.

We were quickly reminded that the AdMech shooting was very painful, with the Kastelan Maniple killing Murderfang with Overwatch! The Grav Destroyers also hurt quite a bit, as did their auto 3 hit flamers, which meant a lot of toasted Harlequins. We nearly managed to pull off a resounding victory by hanging on to the Relic, but Reuben's Grav Destroyers managed to kill the unit holding the Relic at the end. Nevertheless, we took the second game 23-7. Marshall and Alan were old frenemies, and it was always amusing listening to their banter. It was really tough luck for them that we popped both their Rhinos, which would have given the list much more objective securing ability.

The Wolves were performing their roles just as planned, and the Troupe Master of the Light nodded to the Solitaire as he passed; the Masque was about to perform the final act, one which would require sacrifice for success. The Harlequins were ready to play their part, ready to die in order to ensure that the White Scars and the Space Wolves met and renewed their bonds on the Blasted Steppes of Vandra IV...

After 2 games played, Alan and I were coming in top with 52 points, while the 2nd placed Zim and Lum had 49. The 3rd placed players had 41 points, and to catch up, the 3rd placed team would need to table their opponent, or at least win by a relatively big margin. I was reasonably confident they wouldn't be able to achieve that, as their opponent had a Stormsurge with Interceptor. To everybody's surprise, the Tau player chose not to intercept the Skyhammer grav devastators, and the poor Stormsurge promptly died without firing a shot. Their game predictably ended in a tabling thereafter, giving them 71 points. It was now an open contest for the top three places.

On to our final game! We faced off against Zim and Lum's White Scars/Ultramarines. We were playing a mission with Eternal War, which meant that objectives held at the end of the game were worth 2 VP each. Against a fast moving and durable CAD on bikes, and a Skyhammer. This was going to end well...
Deployment. Both sides deployed with caution, with the bikes spreading out to avoid getting walled in by the pods, and the Harlies and scouts stick to terrain to avoid the Skyhammer.

That familiar pitter patter of steel raindrops. As the objectives were worth 2VPs each at the end of the game, we tried to bubblewrap the objectives and screen the enemy off.

We got first turn again, and the Blackmanes promptly dropped in. We tried to bubble wrap the objectives with pods and bodies, but our lists just weren't designed for this type of attritional battle, and the Skyhammer hit us like a ton of bricks. Notably, Lum's drops were INSANE. See picture below for evidence.

In comes the Skyhammer! What a ballsy drop!

A lot of our stuff died shortly after this.
I apologise for the lack of pictures, as we were rushing through turns and the hour was late. As the game wore on, the superior firepower of the White Scars and Skyhammer took its toll, with both Wolves and Harlies dying in equal measure. Zim's Thunderfire cannons took their toll, but in a post-mortem on the game, I realised that Barrage weapons only hit the top floor of the ruin in ITC rules! My harlies on the ground floor would have survived a volley, which could have made quite the difference. In the end, we just couldn't kill enough of the bikes to secure objectives, and they took the game by quite a margin (sorry can't remember the exact score). 

The final result was that Zim and Lum took first place, in what was their maiden(ish) tournament! No shame in losing to the eventual champions eh, and we came in third so it wasn't too bad ;) 

A great tournament for the most part, and I'm glad to have proven to myself (and hopefully some other people) that Harlies could make the cut if played right, under the right circumstances. To lose second because of someone else's mistake did sting, but them's the breaks. Looking forward to the next one, and thanks to GRex for organising the tournament!

The Masque of the Third Act slunk away into the Webway, bearing their dead and wounded with them. Yet again they had taken a battering, but their goals had been accomplished. In fighting each other, the Imperium in the sector was temporarily weakened, allowing Exodites seeking refuge to slip by undetected. In fighting each other, the White Scars, Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Adepta Sororitas, and Adeptus Mechanicus had tested their mettle and come out the better for it. They would need their battle hardened mentality to face the oncoming 13th Black Crusade....

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hobby Corner: choosing a pose for the deff dread.

just a quick post, during my coffee break...

so it was long said that 'Nothing is new under the sun' and that is so true for us orks, whom we do not create any thing original but loot other faction's machines and also ideas..

So a few weeks ago a mate of mine, posed his shadowkeel in the same style as the cover art of the computer game Titanfall, to much rapturous applause over social media.

Seeing an opportunity, the big mek got to work and also followed suit! It was an anxious week whilst I waited for the ork kneeling legs to arrive in the post and here it is!

Now to get off my lazy butt and get some paint on the deff dread!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tournament Report - AusComp 1850

I recently went to an 1850pt tournament with my Harlequins army, and brought the following list.

Masque Detachment
3 x Lvl 2 Shadowseers
3 x Harlequins troupes with one Dedicated Starweaver
2 x FA starweavers
1 x Voidweaver

Faolchu's Blade Formation
2 x 4 Skyweavers with glaives
1 x Voidweaver 

Heroes Path
Solitaire with Rose
Level 2 Shadowseer with Mask of Secrets
Death Jester

The Masque of The Third Act

As it was a Comped tournament, I went with the spirit of the game and tried to bring a list with as low a comp score as possible. The list ended up with 2 comp points.

My first game was against a reputed Khorne Daemonkin player in the local scene. He deployed by screening off his bloodthirsters with his 30 flesh hounds, and I had to kill off his assault monsters before his Heldrakes came in to standstand a chance in this game.

As the mission was also scored on Kill Points, I had to choose between killing his units and giving him blood tithe or giving up the Kill Points. I made a big mistake here as I elected to stop his blood tithe instead of gaining the Kill Points. His Heldrakes predictably slaughtered everything that was in their line of fire, but I gave as good as I got. When the final total was tallied, my opponent ended up winning 24-20, showing how I probably should have gone for the Kill Points. Killing off the last few units of hounds would have been really helpful.

Look at that pile of dead units.
The next match saw me face off against a battle company, all in drop pods. Spam AV12 with Obsec is a rock to the Harlequins scissors, unless you tailor for it by bring loads of haywire in place of shuriken cannons. The mission rules meant that we could only draw cards for the number of objectives we held at the start of our turn, definitely skewing this in favour of my opponent.

I deployed by hiding my troupes in transports to protect them from dropped bolters, but made a HUGE mistake by leaving my shadowseers in the open instead of putting them in reserve. This mean I lost a lot of psychic firepower early to his drop marines, which hurt because I had a lot of leadership based witchfires to kill off marines in cover.

The AV12 came to hurt me in the long run, as one heroic drop pod tanked 6 rounds of haywire grenades from the Solitaire in shooting and assault, helped by my forgetting that immobilised vehicles are auto hit. Major mistake. I would have been able to claim more objectives and possibly even up the score. Assault and superior firepower helped me narrow the gap towards the end of the game, but I ended up losing 22-16.

And that's only those that came in Turn 1...

My last game was against arguably the top race at the moment, Tau, against a general who was smarting from being hit with a Macro-cannon salvo.

Same as the second game, we drew a number of maelstrom objectives equal to that which we already controlled. My opponent's warlord trait let him auto regroup and shoot at full BS after going to ground, and it helped him immensely as he weathered a round of my shooting by going to ground for a 2+ cover save.

I charged everything forward to try and get into close combat, but perhaps that was too aggressive. It did mean that I could also grab midfield objectives while he couldn't. Despite managing to kill a riptide, some suits, and a bunch of marker drones, some poor rolling meant I couldn't get into combat with his stormsurge. The sad clowns were predictably tabled thereafter.

Under tournament rules, a tabling was worth an additional 10 VP, but he didn't score any of his objectives! The end result was that I lost 12-7. If I had played to the mission, either trying to grab the relic, or holding my backfield objectives with veil of tears up, I might have just sneaked in a draw with a bit of luck.

Lots of firepower arrayed against the clowns

Anyway, 0-3 for the tournament. Not what I was hoping for, but I was hopeful that my low comp would work in my favour. As it turned out, I finished 7/13, which wasn't too bad, considering I went 0-3.
The only Harlies player in the field.
The reason I didn't finish higher was because the TO adjusted how much comp was worth in terms of overall score. If he had applied the 50% approach, I'd have finished 4/13 on battle points and 5/13 on overall score, which is a LOT better. Still, I had known this just before the tournament. The big drop in my points came against what could have been a fair chance at winning Game 2, and maybe Game 1, if I didn't make the mistakes I did.

Winning game 2 would have helped me a fair bit here...
Learning Lessons

1) REMEMBER YOUR RULES. Forgetting that immobilised vehicles are auto hit was unforgiveable.

2) PLAY TO THE MISSION. Not something I should be forgetting, but in all 3 missions I forgot to make scoring points my overriding priority. Not scoring KPs in Game 1, not keeping units safe in Game 2, and not grabbing objectives to generate new ones in Game 3 all harmed my overall score.

3) Objective placement is key. For example, I placed the objectives far apart in order to try and nullify the drop in my second game. But given my small number of units, I could have clustered the objectives together so as to allow me to kill off his obsec units faster.
4) Don't discount objective secured when looking at detachment bonuses. Battle company lists were a pain, and it was really because non obsec lists just didn't have the firepower to take them down in a comp environment.
5) Comp only works if it takes up a large portion of the score. When players are not as penalised for bringing higher comp lists, then the effectiveness in ensuring people bring more balanced lists is greatly reduced. This isn't me whining about not placing better; my place in the final running wouldn't have changed much. However, some people have complained that battle companies were under-comped, which is true to a certain extent. My response is that they seem even more under comped in this tournament because the TO adjusted how comp was applied without adjusting the comp cost.

Many thanks to Gamersaurus Rex for organising the tournament, and looking forward to the next one, a 2v2 in April!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Additional Malifaux Goodies

I have been busy beavering away at my Malifaux collection and raising them as quickly as possible. Quite recently I managed to secure some reinforcements for my Ten Thunders and Outcasts which should give me some options with the Schemes and Strategies. 

Got them with Von Schill and Misaki in mind
I have heard really good things about all three models above. They synergize really well with the 2 Masters I am currently learning and should give me a good spread of typecast for the S&S that we randomly determine at the start of each game.


The crew all assembled
Some of you may notice the Limited Edition Katanaka Sniper that came along in the Shenlong Boxed Set. I swapped one of the Snipers from the box set with Eugene hence we both had 2, but both would have our Limited version too.

I got this guy just because he looked so very Samurai! 

Even got myself the Shadow Effigy

Broke open the Shenlong Starter set

Got out the Samurai as well! 

These archers just looked too cool not to include! 

To compliment my Malifaux collection, I added a little Garden

I was pleasantly surprised by how little mould lines this kit had. Saved me a ton of time

All bases completed with the cobblestone, I put them all into my priming booth and sprayed all at one go! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hobby Corner: Opening up the deff dread hatch

Hobby Corner update 7/3/16: open hatch ork deff dread

new to the ork faction this month, is the new starter box 'pain mob' formation. I cant wait to test it out!. On paper, it does look like GW's best gift to orks in a long time.

But first I need to get them all assembled...

Flipping through the instruction sheet unlike the newer models like the new Tau Shadow Ghostkeel, the deff dred's all buttoned up. That wont do... cos  ‘sum kommanders have a better view of da battlefield with da hatch open!’

Photo 1:

Cutting the hatch open

Step 1 & 2: Using a pin drill that I got from daiso, size doesn’t really matter, drill a ring of holes on the inside circumference of the hatch that you would like to cut open.
Step 3: Then using a plastic clipper, cut the bit between each hole linking up all the holes, then with a sharp box cutter, carefully trim away the excess material, til you have a nice clean circular hole. Hatch opened!

Photo 2 making the hatch
Top left Photo: I traced out the hole onto a piece of tissue
Top right Photo:Which I then whiteglued onto a piece of polystyrene sheet and then cut out with a sharp scissors
*in hindsight,  perhaps tracing out a true circle (ie a coin) might have made a more symmetrical looking hatch.
Bottom left Photo:Then I decorated the inside of the hatch with some of my ususal watch gear bits to create the hatch locking mechanism and then some plastic bits outside to create something visually interesting,
Bottomr right photo: I then scored a line across and bent the little tab at the bottom of the circular hatch which I then glued onto the hull.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Malifaux Ten Thunders Shenlong vs Outcasts and Neverborn

Managed to get 2 games in with Eugene and Pat. I had just finished up Shenlong's crew out of the box and wanted to give him a go so I set up to play with that in mind. 

The first game had me playing Eugene and his Outcasts. He brought the Victorias (and their Secret). 

I chose these Schemes
 In hindsight, Take Prisoner and Assassinate do not gel. You can't take what you kill! DOH!

Added a Sniper to my base box set

Mostly were just primed sorry! I'll get painting! 
Shenlong is a tough Master to use. You really need to synergize his abilities with those of his crew. If he dies, that's pretty much game over for you because the rest of the crew really depend on his abilities.

At game end
Unfortunately, I was not able to kill off the right Victoria, leaving me with a very bruised crew.

Pat then came in and we set up for another round of Malifaux!
Due to time constraints, we set up for 35 Soulstones instead. I focussed on using most of the Shenlong crew but dropped one Peasant as I could spawn another during the game.

Haha, I need to sacrifice my own guy! How Malifaux!

Pat brought Jacob Lynch and his casino crew
This time I played differently and kept Shenlong behind, leaving my Peasants out to bait him.

Upgrades change the game a lot and confused me to no end!

Turn 2, I lost Shenlong to a very nasty Bad Debt. 

Game end

Got those tokens! 
We tallied the score and now I drew with Pat! Close close game! At least I wasn't loosing like a cow any more!

Now that aside, this Master is hard to use. Really really hard. I would not suggest using it until the player is a little more familiar with the game, what the opponent can do, or is using a lot of debuff conditions (Poison, Fire, etc). Monks are gooooood! Always charge them in if you can!

Hopefully you guys are interested to give this game a good try. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Terrain WIP, Malifaux and Space Marines vs Tau (Green Variant)

I've been working on some terrain recently so I can get some games in at home. The kit from GW is amazing. With elevation, it creates a nice battlefield too. 

Detailed detailed!
Almost done now, just need some detailed work and weathering

And then I got in a game with Samuel - a long time player of Malifaux. I really wanted to get more variety and he brought a list I am totally unfamiliar with. The Strategy and Schemes were also very unique as he used the Gaining Grounds 2016 ones. Nonetheless, I just played on!

Love how the mat just tied everything together
I brought a hybrid Misaki list. She would be Outcasts and she can hire up to 4 from 10 Thunders. The Trapper and Librarian from the Hired Guns were really useful

That LOS blocking terrain really hampered both our sides
Eventually we ran out of time and the game had to be called on Turn 3. Sam ran in and Laid the Trap, giving him 3 to my 2! Damn! Like all lists, you need to play and familiarize yourself!

Right after the game with Sam, Alan came in and we set up for our 1850 game. I brought the very same list I have been practicing with (we had only found out that you cannot use FW). This means that I will have to remove the Fire Raptor and replace it with a few other minis. I suspect they will be more Marines!

Rolled on Cloak and Dagger.

Tau would take first turn. 
There is of course the issue of how the Tau share buffs. Aus Comp does not allow the sharing of buffs but the players at Grex do. We chose to follow the Grex ruling although we both agreed that this was a little too extreme an interpretation as this allowed for multiple units to gain ignore cover, twinlinked etc just by attaching one Commander to the group of 3 units that is firing.

In the games leading up to this, Pat has thought me that keeping the Centurions in cover is critical

Even then, I lost one to his Intercept

While his Stealth Cadre entered mid field and killed everything around it while gaining 2+ cover
Tau breaks so many rules that it really made this game very one sided. I lost the game eventually. This was the first time that I was playing Tau with buff sharing in place and I think it is definitely too extreme. However, if that is how the community is interpreting the rules, then you either have to come to the table prepared or just don't play that ruleset. Thankfully there are people in the community to rule otherwise, including AusComp which prevents these shennanigans. Let's hope GW can come up and respond. 


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