Monday, November 30, 2009

Krazy Fun Ork Army

Okay, so I want to start an ork horde on the side (Eldar will still be my focus most of the time). I'm not really trying to be competitive with this one. I just want some variety for games at home. Playing Eldar vs. Tau every single week does get old after a while, even when we tweak lists between games each time. I'll start with a core of AoBR troops... 80 boyz, 20 nobz, 9 deffkoptas, and a warboss. I'll hit something like 1200 points with those.

Lots of boyz is always good. Nobz are cool, although I'm tempted to grab a set of "real" nobz so I can have some upgraded ones sprinkled in. Deffkoptas will give me mobility, as well as the Eldaresque tactic of turbo-boosting on turn five to contest objectives.

What I'm looking for to fill in the other 300 or so points are some fun units. The first will be a weirdboy. The random powers sound interesting. If I like them enough, I might even run two weirdboyz eventually. The best part about the weirdboy is that his model includes three goblins. They don't actually do anything, but for some reason I really like the goblins... errr... gretchin... err... grots... whatever you call them. I want to field as many of them as I can. I want them hanging off of every vehicle. I want them following around every squad that can take one as an upgrade.

Come to think of it, I kind of want gretchin as my troops rather than boyz. But AoBR boyz are sooo cheap and I've got a bunch already. I guess now comes the interesting process of trying to figure out how to include as many grots as possible without actually running gretchin as troops...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Tanksgiving

Thank you, Thanksgiving break! I've finally had some time to relax and paint a little. I spent much of the afternoon yesterday working on my Eldar tanks, and I thought I'd share my progress. These aren't complete yet. The most noticeable areas that need attention are the weapons, but these are at least decent enough to field without looking funny alongside one another. Up until yesterday, my five tanks were in various stages, from plain base coat to the current standard. At least now they're all at a relatively equal level of progress.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quick 'n Easy Ork Skin

I've been toying with the idea of turning the orks I got with the Black Reach set into a real army, but before I spend any money on the idea, I want to make sure I'll be able to paint my horde decently. My first attempts were pretty amateurish. After some experimenting with colors, I finally settled on this process for the skin:

  1. Base black
  2. Solid coat of Iyanden Darksun
  3. Quick highlight of Sunburst Yellow
  4. Two washes of Thraka Green

After these steps, I ended up with this result, which I'm happy with:

It is extremely quick and doesn't require much attention to detail. Also, the green wash over yellow paint makes the recesses stand out quite well.

Now, the only question is... when will I have the time and money to start building my ork horde?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eldar vs. Tau 1250

Eric just got most of his crisis suits in last week, so we were eager to play a game with his new army. He was able to add two more broadsides, four crisis suits, and another hammerhead to his list. I just dropped some upgrades and ran an extra wave serpent.

Unfortunately, the game was a pretty clean sweep. The mission was annihilation and the deployment was dawn of war. I didn't realize how badly dawn of war might be for tau until I realized how quickly my seer council could get to him when I could deploy it in mid-field. I started everything at the center of my table edge except for the seer council, which I deployed on the far right and as close to his table edge as possible. I used the first turn to turbo boost my council and wave serpents as close to his forces as I could. As usual, forcing Tau into assaults went quite well for the Eldar.

My deployment... note the partially painted Realm of Battle board. One of these days I'll get around to finishing it.

On his first turn, Eric managed to miss my wave serpent with all three broadsides. "Good thing they're twin-linked!" Well, maybe not... check out his re-rolls:

The seer council swings around the edge of the table to hit from the right flank.

I managed to take out both hammerheads on turn two and tie up the broadsides in close combat by turn three. At that point, Eric conceded. He realized that I still had five tanks on the board and I had taken out all of his anti-tank squads except for a few S6 or S7 guns on a some of the crisis suits. When all three broadsides missed my wave serpents on the first turn and then only managed a shaken result on the second turn, things went south quickly for him.

The next time we play, he'll be running a squad of vespids and two more crisis suits (all nine next time). I, on the other hand, will just be adding upgrades to catch up. I've got a feeling my luck will change soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hit Point Hobbies... Apparently, Still Running After All

I went to Southern Pines this weekend and was dismayed to find that the hobby shop I used to frequent was no longer there. It is always a shame to see great hobby shops go out of business, and I feared that the slowing economy had forced John to close up shop. After a quick Google search, I breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently, they're still around... they just moved.

The next time I make it to Southern Pines, I'll be sure to stop by. I was never really a regular, and it has been three years now, so I doubt anyone will even remember me. Back then, I was a fiercely competitive Magic: The Gathering player, I managed to get in one or two games of D&D per year, and I was still scoffing at Warhammer because it was too expensive to get into. Nowadays, my gaming interests have made a huge shift: Warhammer 40K at least once a week, D&D as often as weekly but usually more like monthly, and I can probably count on one hand how many games of Magic I've played in the last six months. Even if I started going regularly (which I wouldn't, because now it's three hours away), I'd probably be running with a completely different crowd. But alas, I do have some good memories there.

Hit Point Hobbies does have a much better website now, with lots of pics and an online store. I would encourage anyone in or around Southern Pines to check them out. There are always good folks running all kinds of games there: RPGs, CCGs, wargames, and probably other stuff that even I don't play... take your pick.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Eldar List Changes - Shuriken Cannon Spam

Well, my seer council has performed much better since I changed its configuration. It has only had the opportunity to assault twice in the last two games, but this has had much more to do with the deadliness of multiple destructor templates than a failure to get within range. Apparently, fire warriors in cover have a tough time dealing with AP 4 templates.

Although I won the last two, I'm still finding that the fire prisms are just... somehow... not performing as well as I expected. Going back for more of Revuk's advice, I'm switching the twin-linked shuriken catapults for a single shuriken cannon. I took note each time during the last game that I could have fired a 24" range gun, and it was often enough to make the 10 point upgrade well worth it. Having recently purchased another wave serpent, which conveniently has the shuriken cannon upgrade sprue, I'll make the switch as soon as the serpent arrives. I'm hoping that the extra range will allow me to rely less on the prism cannons and they'll no longer be one-shot-wonders (except beyond 24"). Adding a trio of S6 shots to the mix should make my crappy luck with scatter dice a little less painful. I wonder if the dice are hating me because the models aren't painted yet? Hmmmmm...

Looking toward the future, I'm going to need to upgrade to a 1500+ list soon. My brother is getting six crisis suits as an early Christmas present, so he will more than catch up with me. I'm not sure how high he'll want to go, but I'm going to aim for 1500 for the moment and I'll add on an upgrade or two if he wants to go higher. This list is still in the works, but it's what I'll probably be running unless I have a major strategic breakthrough between now and next week.

Farseer (Jetbike, Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones) 165
6x Warlocks (Jetbikes, 1x Embolden, 1x Enhance, 3x Destructor) 320

10x Dire Avengers 120 [in BL wave serpent]

5x Dire Avengers 60 [in falcon]
10x Guardians (Scatter Laser) 95

5x Fire Dragons 80 [in SC wave serpent]

Heavy Support
Falcon (shuriken cannon, holo-fields) 155
Fire Prism 125 (shuriken cannon)
Fire Prism 125 (shuriken cannon)

Dedicated Transport
Wave Serpent (Brightlances, Spirit Stones) 145

Wave Serpent (Shuriken Cannons, Spirit Stones) 110

Total: 1500

Notes: And now you see why shuriken cannon spam is in the title of the post! In rearranging everything, I looked back at my list and realized that I had shuriken cannons on... whoah... almost everything. I'm also trying out the DAVU strategy with the falcon because we've actually started trying out some objective-based games. And I can't wait to replace those guardians with rangers...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Outsyder Gaming Store

I've added a store to the blog with some bits and stuff I have sitting around the game room. This isn't an attempt to get rich, obviously. There isn't much in the store (yet), I don't know whether the prices I set are anywhere close to competitive, and any money I do make off of this stuff will get recycled right back into the hobby.

I've tried running an ebay store before, but they just charge too many fees for someone like me to really benefit from their services on the selling end. This store is set up through ecrater, which is sort of like having an ebay store but without the cost and without the traffic. I don't have to pay for anything, but I don't get the exposure either. I guess you get what you pay for, eh?

Whether successful or not, I'm planning to leave this store running even if I don't make anything from it. It isn't costing anything... so it can't hurt. For anyone who stumbles onto this post, feel free to check it out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sigh... Revuk Was Right...

I've been putting singing spears on all of the warlocks in my seer council since I started converting models for the unit, and on this previous post, Revuk left me some advice about my fire prisms (the help I really wanted) and my seer council (help I thought I didn't need). I liked the idea of singing spears turning my council into mobile fire dragon wannabes. I could pop a tank from 12" away and then hop back 6" during my assault phase! Awesome!

When I assembled the last set of three warlocks, though, I realized that I didn't have enough dire avenger bits for the singing spears and glued swords on instead. Now, after two games with a half-sword-half-spear squad, I'm spending the day popping spears off of my older models and adding witchblades instead. While I didn't have a problem with the spears at all, now I've actually used both... and I like the witchblades better. The ranged tank killing ability is so not worth the extra points and loss of an attack in close combat.

Revuk, I didn't believe you before... but I do now.

Current List:
Farseer (Jetbike, Fortune) 115
6x Warlocks (Jetbikes, 1x Embolden, 1x Enhance, 3x Destructor) 320

10x Dire Avengers 120 [in wave serpent]
10x Guardians (Scatter Laser) 95

5x Fire Dragons 80 [in falcon]

Heavy Support
Falcon (EML) 135
Fire Prism 115
Fire Prism 115

Dedicated Transport
Wave Serpent (Twin-Linked Bright Lances, Spirit Stones) 145

Total: 1248

Recent List Changes: I dropped the warp spiders and the footslogging farseer altogether. They just didn't seem to be carrying their weight in points. In their place, I now have a more dangerous seer council (with more members and destructors) and a better equipped wave serpent. I also swapped the dire avengers unit for a squad of guardians. Neither unit does much, but the scatter laser at least has the range to hit opposing units across the field and has (so far) been largely ignored by my opponents.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

4500 Point Games... Not Meant for 6x4 Tables

Eric and I headed down to Hobbytown USA of Hickory last weekend for our first taste of playing Warhammer 40K outside of the family... and it was an interesting experience. We got a game going pretty quickly... my Eldar and my brother's Tau were allied with the space marines of a kid whose name I can't remember. We each had 1500 points.

Our opponents were Kevin and Chad, both commanding hordes of Necrons. I'm not sure exactly how their points were split, but they had 4500 points between them. Having never played against Necrons, I had absolutely no clue what I was up against. I started getting worried during setup. (Please excuse the blurry pics. These were made with my cell phone.)

It didn't take long to tell that we were pretty much doomed. Tau need to keep decent range. Eldar need room to maneuver. With the board so packed full of infantry, neither of us had any room to play to our strengths. I was running two fire prisms, so I was hoping to even the odds a bit by clearing some room with large blasts. Unfortunately, before I got the chance to shoot, one went down to opposing fire. The other didn't manage to kill as many troops as I'd hoped.

I ran my seer council out front to throw some templates into the infantry and tie up some guys in close combat. Unfortunately, they ran up against a unit of guys that could ignore invulnerable saves. Needless to say, my council didn't last long.

We actually ended the game early because the store was closing, but it was quite clear who won. We got completely overrun by necrons.

I've learned my lesson... if the numbers go too high, politely decline to play. I'm all for playing big games, but huge point totals need huge playing surfaces. My bikes and skimmers need to fly around the board a bit, and an eight inch deep wave of infantry that stretches across the whole length of the table and advances each turn isn't really a fair fight for me. That many troops on such a small table just gave assault-oriented troops too much of an advantage... in the same way that deploying on the short table ends with no terrain in between would have given us an unfair advantage.

So far, this is the only loss I've experienced with my Eldar, and I'm going to count it as such. I guess I should have known better than to accept the game.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Playing D&D Again... After Months of Warhammer 40K

We haven't played D&D in a while, but we got the opportunity again this week when Matt took the DMing seat. His first DMing experience with more than one player ended with an interesting twist of fate... but I'll get to that in a bit.

The party consisted of the following:

  • Alagos, a half-elf bard (me)
  • Raziel, a revenant assassin (Eric)

We began with a simple mission: travel to Winterhaven, see if a death cult exists there, and kick some tail if you find it. On the way, we were ambushed by a pack of kobolds.

Kobolds! Ha! Easy XP! Right?


We fought a good fight, but ultimately fell to a pair of little buggers that we just couldn't seem to put down. One was even bloodied already. We were... so... close... but failed.

What kind of pathetic moron players lose to kobolds in the first encounter of the adventure, anyway? Apparently, Eric and me. While we were casually making fun of ourselves for getting beaten by kobolds, Matt seemed to be suffering from a mixture of shock and disappointment. "I ran it straight out of the book," he commented, referring to the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure.

That's when the lightbulb went on in my head. Whoah... we almost won a fight that was intended for five PCs. Perhaps we weren't as pathetic as we thought. Once I explained to Matt what had happened, he used a healthy dose of deus ex machina to put the adventure back on track. Dead? Of course not! We were rescued by a good Samaritan and dropped off at the tavern in Winterhaven.

By the end of the session, we still hadn't found the death cult, but we did manage to secure a contract to kill some kobolds. Revenge is coming next session... oh yes, revenge is on its way.
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