Sunday 28 February 2016

Achievement unlocked: win a tournament

You may be able to geuss what this blog post is about due to the title. Whilst it's not a goal on my hobby resolutions, it's been an overarching goal for some time. Indeed, on the "mr & Mrs" video that my wife and I did for when we got married, it was one of my stated aims, instead of things like kids and the like. One thing at a time I say!

In summary, yesterday I went to an X-wing store championships at Titan games in Lichfield. I ran the 4 scum ywings with tlt and unhinged astromech. For this that don't know, that means each ship has a turret that fires twice a turn, as well as being making the ships much more manoeuvrable. 

I went undefeated in Swiss, (despite having 1 z95 take out 2.5  ywings on its own!) and then went all the way after the cut. In my semi final/ top 4 game I was very fortunate, and got the drop on my oppenant, who should have had me dead to rights. And then in the final, I played a Biggs/wes/keyan build that is beaten in round 4, and successfully managed to broadside them one at a time. 

Further in depth reports will follow as well as a vlog, but I couldn't contain my excitement and had to blog about it! 

Friday 26 February 2016

X-wing store championships tomorrow

Just a quick update! Tomorrow Aaron (from Webway Lamentations) and I are off to a store championships for X-wing at Titan games in Lichfield! 

I won't be running the three kwing list. Not this weekend anyway. It's good fun, but isn't quite what I'm looking for. I'll be taking my 4 tlt ywing list, but this time I'm going to try the scum version, which makes all my 3 speed manevuers green. I'm hoping to vlog the experience as well :)

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Space Marine Bike HQ: Complete!

Huzzah! Knocked another little milestone on its head. I've finished what was one of my modest hobby goals for 2016. My space marine HQ choice. 

Hardcore power gamer that I am, this guy is modelled in a way that makes him ambiguous. Is he a captain? Is he a librarian? Could he be a chapter master? Or maybe even a high elf prince riding a dragon?* Who knows. 

Anyhoo, there are a couple of things with this guy I'm reasonably pleased about. The first is his cloak. I took the time to put a couple of extra layers of highlights onto his cloak. It's not amazingly different, but you can tell the difference when you see the model up close. 

The second is his elevated position. Whilst you can't tell because of my mad skillz, his front wheel isn't touching the ground. Not a lot, but enough that it raises his profile when compared to other bikers:

This has been achieved by a small clear piece of plastic, the type that are the sprue for flying base stands. I've covered it up with grass, but because it's clear plastic unless you actually know it's there it's really hard to tell. 

And finally, the sword. To indicate that it has "power" of some description (be that otherworldly or just a power sword - like i said I'm a wannabe power gamer) I painted several thin white coats in a lightning like motif across the blade. What's more, I then went back and put gloss varnish on just the lighting strike. A small detail to catch the eye, but one I'm pleased with. 

So there you have it! I'm giving myself a completed stamp for this bad boy! Hooray! Now, if only I knew people who played 40k......

*not this one

Friday 19 February 2016

X-wing manoeuvre dial cheat sheets - free download

With the store championship season in full swing, Ive updated the cheat sheets that act as a reference for X-wing. In an afford to give something back to what is a very supportive community, I've uploaded them here so people can download them. I know I posted these a year ago on Facebook and they were well received. With Wave 8 fully spoiled, unless I've missed something all the available ships for standard play are there.
knowledge is power

There are 8 files - 1 for each faction and a master. They're just in Dropbox, and the link to the folder is here. They are also available as a PDF, or a PowerPoint file. if like me you have a IPhone, you can use them on your phone. But it also means you can edit along when wave 9 comes out! The link should work, but shout out if it doesn't.

A practice game from this week (the starviper is a proxy)

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Battle report: Double Trouble Practice Game

Last week, we played our first practice game for double trouble. I know I know, it's still 5 months away, but hey! Practice makes me less incompetent.

We randomised the pairings and they came out as follows:

Team 2
Me (imperial guard - Leman Russ eradicate, standard Leman Russ, 35 guardsmen including a command platoon with 4 Flamers)  & Dan (Eldar shenanigans - 3 squads of guardians/ dire avengers, a farseer and a tank with a d-flamer.)


Team 1
Topher (tyranids - flyrant, 2 tervigons and a big swarm of gaunts) & Matt (HH blood angels- contemptor dread, big unit of marines with a captain and a stormraven)

We played the 3rd mission, which for those in the know means that you set up in all four corners. For those wanting more information, we set up like this:

The Tyranids were 1A, Eldar 2A, Blood Angels 1B and I was 2B. I managed to grab a warlord traight that allowed 3 units to outflank, so we outflanked most of the Eldar army, leaving only a farseer and a d-strength tank in 2B. All of the objectives were in the right 2/3 of the map. 
pew pew pew
Our oppenants went first, and didn't have much to do but run towards me! The flyrant swooped over to try and alpha strike Dan's tank, and one of the tervigons spawned some gaunts onto a central objective. The other tervigon, plus a squad of 30 gaunts, went as fast as they could towards me. meanwhile, on my other flank, the Blood Angels began to close in, slightly slower than the space bugs. Between them, I believe they registered either 4 or six victory points in the first turn as they were mostly claim objective ones. we also lost most of an autocannon team and most of a squad of guardsmen. Whilst I say "we" I of course mean me. Dan's tank jinked and got glanced but lived on. This did mean that they didn't get first strike.

In our first turn, we drew reasonably unreachable objectives, given that they were all claim this or that number objective. We did score our first maelstrom points as a squad of guardsmen heroically ran towards the Tyranids to claim objective #3. In the psychic and shooting phase, Dan's Farseer single handely took down a Tervigon through a combination of Mind war (I think) and a Singing Spear. Im hazy on the details because I wasnt 100% paying attention. I was way to busy watch the 18 inch gap between the Tyranids and what increasingly looked like lunch close down. So i opened fire to devastating effect. It felt very dramatic having two lines of ten men shooting at an oncoming hordes whilst the tanks lobbed shells overhead. all in all, I killed 15-20 gaunts. I felt more like a man than I had done all day.

That meant at the end of turn 1 we had 2 points - one for first strike and 1 for claiming an objective but not having an ally on another objective.

In turn 2, things started to go downhill for us. Suffice to say, the Farseer died to a drive/fly by from the flyrant, Blood angels marched further towards me (although they were put off by the battlecannon a bit I think), and most scarily, the Tyranids moved in very close. You know its going badly when you're trying to help your men die so that the Tervigon is out of combat so you can shoot it. Luckily for us the Stormraven didn't turn up, but unluckily for us i believe they achieved another 2 objectives, whilst also smashing most of my army in. so they were up something like 9-2.

In our second turn, 2 units of dire avengers showed up as well as my Platoon Command Squad, which had four flamers. I'd decided to put them in normal reserve, since I figured they'd come on from my board edge. Which mean I could jump on what was left of the small space bugs. I did. They burnt to death. True story. The dire avengers that showed up on my right flank totally wiffed, leaving it to both my Leman Russ tanks to bring down the lumbering behemoth before it reached them. And unfortunately on the other side, they were too far away to do anything. This meant we didn't scire any VPS in turn two. 
The stormraven appears!
In turn three, matts gunship flew on in fine style, and began doing things. The rest of his army advanced towards the centre of the board, holding the middle ground. Apart from the contemptor dreadnought, which was lagging behind a bit. He'd been bugging the cover and claiming an objective, doing a worthy job of stacking up VPs over the previous turns. 

dead blood angels. everywhere.
Suffice to say, over the course of the next couple of tens things didn't go well for us. I loose track of the turns, but it was 1-sided enough that we stopped recording maelstrom points! In fact, we only achieved 3 over the whole game - our third coming in the 4th turn when both leman russ tanks opened fire into the big unit of Blood Angels. Many of them died, but significantly so did their warlord, with Matt opting to catch Battlecannon shots with his Captain guy. Plus, the remaining marines marched relentlessly into the squishy elder from what I remember.

a failed late game objective grab from the leman russ

Overall, on blood points we probably were a lot closer, there weren't many space bugs left at the end of the game, and we gave the Blood angels a bit of a mauling as they moved towards the centre of the board. But by that point we were already behind significantly on both areas, so it was a tough ride.
these Dire avengers did nothing
After game thoughts

  • The deployment corners makes a massive difference in this game. we went into it thinking our triple outflank was going to be great, and it proved to be our complete undoing, allowing for our opponents to focus on my army almost exclusively. When they did turn up, everything was to near the middle and the surprise was lost.
  • Normal reserve however, is awesome. I may need to check with Alex, but our interpretation of coming on the long board edge allows you to just jump your opponent.
  • Guardsmen may be to squishy for this deployment. My build didn't have any staying power, and I ended feeling a bit trapped.
  • Objective Placement. Basic, but important. they need to be spread out, especially since they are occurring 50% of the time!
I think next time I might be tempted to try a infiltrating list, or something that doesn't need to deploy normally. Anything that has the power to break the deployment restrictions basically!

Sunday 14 February 2016

Double trouble life hack: objective cards

A quick one today. A little life hack for practicing with objectives for the June tourney:

Playing cards! Whilst I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this, I came up with the idea all by myself, and didn't have to find it online or anything. You can get two sets of the double trouble cards out of one pack - using the suits to define which deck they belong to. I actually went for cutting the numbers in half, so 1-6 is one set, and 7-queen is the other. 

The really enjoyable thing is that this has a lot of practical excuition for practicing. You just need the corresponding table and it means you then don't have to roll on it every turn. We've found that you can sometimes need to roll multiple times to just generate a new result. 

It also works with the picture cards as well. Alex has the past generously sent out the PDF for the cards, but I thought instead of bothering him I'd try this out and see how it gets on. 

It's not a long term solution, and I'm sure won't look as professional as the official gw ones. But at £1 a pack it's a darn site cheaper! 

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Support your local blogger: Webway Lamentations

A friend of mine has just started a blog called Webway Lamentations. As I'm sure you can geuss, it's all about the mechanicum, and how they casting a spider like web over the tau empire. 

Just kidding! It's about dark Eldar. It's only got two posts so far, but he's blogging towards double trouble in June, so It should be a good read. I've added him to my blog roll, but why not head over to to check it out! Here is a picture of Aaron to prove that he's a real person:

Until next time!

Sunday 7 February 2016

Battle Report: Howling Griffons vs Eldar

Earlier this week I played a guy called Ross at our club (Leicester sabres) for the first time. He had a lovely looking Eldar army, and I took my howling griffons. I didn't have as many bikes as I thought I would, partly because I don't own as many painted bikes as I thought I did!

My army consisted of:

Librarian: Psyker (Mastery Level 2); combi-grav; Space Marine bike 120

2 Space Marine Bikers: 2× grav-gun; + 1 Biker Sergeant (combi-grav; melta bombs) 108
4 Scouts: + 1 Scout Sergeant 55
Land Speeder Storm: multi-melta 50
9 Tactical Marines: meltagun; lascannon; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combi-melta) 180
3 Space Marine Bikers: 2× grav-gun; + 1 Biker Sergeant (combi-grav; melta bombs) 129

9 Sternguard Veterans: 2× combi-melta; 2× combi-plasma; + 1 Veteran Sergeant (lightning claw) 275
Drop Pod 35

Drop Pod 35
Drop Pod 35

2 Devastator Centurions: 2× grav-cannon and grav-amp; + 1 Centurion Sergeant (grav-cannon and grav-amp; omniscope) 250
1 Thunderfire Cannon: + 1 Techmarine Gunner 100

Inquisitor Coteaz 100

Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband
Acolyte 4
Acolyte 4
Acolyte 4
Death Cult Assassin 15

1,499 points
Not completely optimised, partly due to the lack of bikes but also due to my wanting to try the acolytes. I could even put them in a drop pod if I wanted to! Great for siezing objectives. Especially in a hammer and anvil set up. But we played kill points. And Ross had two wraightknights. So they weren't a lot of use!

A rough breakdown of Ross' list (I think) was as follows:
  • Farseer on a jetbike
  • 2x small squads of jet bikes each with a warlock
  • 2x 3 man jetbike squad without a warlock
  • 3 hornets. 
  • 2 wraightknights 
So pretty min maxed. He got a bunch of psychic powers (including guide and eldritch storm) and I got psychic shriek for both, with the Coteaz getting preseince and the librarian getting forewarning (4+ inv) to round things out. I went into the game reasonably confident. It wasn't going to be easy, but at least it wasn't to difficult!

I was lucky enough to get first turn, and with a drop pod army took it!  Ross had mainly castled on to one side and I decided that I had to grab first strike, a wraithtknight and something else in the first turn.  So I went after his castle with my sternguard and centurions. And actually did reasonably well! 

All three of the units of jetbikes (including the farseer one) on this side of the Board failed thier moral check following my alpha strike. However, he rolled his flee numbers the right way around and they all stayed on the table. I killed a hornet and got this wraightknight down to one wound. 

In Ross' first turn he used the wraith knights to "D" off my grav centurions despite thier 4++ and the rest of his army took a big bite out of the sternguard  and the bikes who were with the librarian. I was also then charged by both wraightknights (one into a squad of bikes, and one into some sternguard). For the record "charged by both wraightknights" is not a experience I'm looking to repeat in the near future. However, to my glee the squad of four bikes (read, "my right flank") held a wraithtknight and that flank up for 3 successive combat phases. For thems that don't know what that looks like, here's a quick picture:

In my turn two I used what grav I had left to drop the other wraightknight and try and add further pressure onto where I was pushing in his deployment zone. I killed some more jetbikes, and thunderfire cannoned the life out of the farseer/warlock/jetbike.   My drop pod with added acolytes turned up and stayed out the way. Literally nothing for them to do. 

In his turn two Ross was beginning to consolidate and push back. My scouts got pinned down and then killed by the farseer, and the hornets continued to do nasty things. My inability to finish of the farseer and warlock was beginning to cost me dearly. 

Over turns 3&4 I didn't actually score a kill point, whilst the purple Eldar continued chipping away st my forces.  I made a bad call with my librarian, forgetting that I was withdrawing to leave the scouts to die so that I could have a go at the other wraightknight. I doubt it would have affected the result but it did mean they were in range of both hornets and able be brought down by them at the bottom of turn 3. 

Despite my thunderfire cannon being great value for money and a constant threat, my back line very quickly collapsed when the other wraightknight got in there. This a shot of the wraightknight charging into what remained of my flank:

And this one combat phase after the previous shot. 

This one tactical marine was pretty much all I had left by the bitter end :( poor guy. Oh, plus a 1 hull point left on a drop pod. The game ended as follows:

Me: 5 kill points and first strike. 
Ross: 10 kill points, slay the warlord and line breaker

After game thoughts
I didn't make a few key decisions in the early game that could have helped me in the longer term. The hornets were much nastier than I thought they'd be for example. I also probably should have put the tactical squad in a drop pod and suicided after one of the hornets on turn 1. Tbh that's all my sternguard ended up doing. 

Ross was a real pleasure to play against, I was worried I might be bringing to powerful an army but I think we were quite balanced on paper. We both hadn't played in a while and I think myself I particular was a little rusty. 

Army list changes
I think overall I'll need to go back to the drawing board and make this list a bit leaner if I'm going to use it again. Add more bikes maybe, or strip stuff out so I can put wyverns in. We will see!

Monday 1 February 2016

Howling Griffons Bike Captain

For the first time since November I will be playing 40k this week, and I thought I'd try and tick out a space marine captain on a bike. Or he might be a librarian. I haven't quite decided. 

The main advantage for me is that my bike squads become super scoring and troops choices, meaning I can madly dash around for objectives in maelstorm games and also that I can scrimp on the force org chart. 

So I spent some time over the last couple of days painting him up. He's at the advanced colouring in stage of painting a model. The bit after basecoating, but before highlighting where I often loose the will to live. Does anybody else get that? I think It's because it still hasn't started coming together enough to see the outcome, but actually I've now put quite a bit of work into the model! Plus, he's riding a bike, which is double the surface area. 

Having said all of this, I've taken a couple of pictures to document the process :) it's a good way of keeping my eyes on the prize as it were. 

As you can see from the pictures, he's an old ravenwing biker, with a flowey cloak which denotes that he is in charge! I might have some fun with the cloak, try and to put some extra detail or something- to push my painting skills. At the moment he's nowhere near done obviously. 

From the front. Note the wobbly line down parting the red and yellow. Totally looks better in person. 

Side shot. The cloak really gives this model a sense of motion. Even thou it's more of a kilt (skirt) because it's only up to his waste. Perils of buying stuff off eBay, I suppose!  It can be a bargin price, but it can come pre-assembled. Maybe I'll give him/her a Scottish girls name. 

I'm wanted to do a bit more to him before my game on  Wednesday but I don't know if I'll get time now because of other commitments. Also, the more I write the more I realise he's probably a librarian, and not a captain. All those books he's been reading. I tried to find a funny meme about space marine librarians for you, and all I could find was this: