Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Monday, 25 October 2010

On The Hoof

I've been thinking about yesterday's game.

Ok it was nice to win, and it is the second game in a row I have tabled my opponent - which is nice but is perhaps not teaching me as much as a defeat would.

In terms of list building options I am slightly hampered by a lack of models, but I am finding myself leaning towards 3 units of 20 Boyz (21 with the Nob), rather than 2 units of 30. Tactically speaking it offers more options due to having the extra unit, and it mitigates the negative aspects of the fearless rule.

In the longer to medium term, as I move towards getting more Trukks, my plan is to have a mix of Trukk boyz and footsloggers. As yet I haven't decided whether the shootas or the slugga/choppa Boyz will be in the Trukks - and there is also an issue of which unit type gets Rokkits.

Whilst this conundrum didn't have any direct bearing on yesterday's game, the effectiveness of the MSU style play has indicated that this is the way to go.

The Koptas again performed very well as a solo units. Which is great. However I am left wondering - moithering might be a better description - about how they will do when I start adding more fast attack units. It does have to be said that when I ran them in a squadron I was less than impressed with them. It is true that when I ran them in a squadron they were not supported by other fast attack units - my plan is TLR Buggies - but they lost the flexibility of running solo - as they were all firing at the one target.

In a way this feeds into the rokkit debate with the Boyz, as Orks have limited options in taking down transports and heavy armour, so the way to go with this I feel is to get the maximum number of shots at the maximum number of targets.

Ok that statement is a no-brainer. But I feel it does have to be said, if for no other rather that it is a useful aide-memoir.

Again the Nobz did well. They broke and ran down the witches, absorbed the witches attack, which swung the combat in the Orks favour and practically decided the battle that was in danger of swinging against the Orks - witches and incubi are nasty.

Though my personal heroes were the Lootas. 2 units of 6 are about right. Yes they are taking up elite slots and in a sense limiting the army, but at that size they are fitting into my criteria of getting as many units as possible at a cost of around 100 points.

In game terms their highlight was when one of the units took down the jetbikes, effectively ending the outflanking against my objective and forcing the enemy to rely entirely on the hand-to-hand combat in the centre if they were to snatch victory.

Rather like the role of the Koptas, it is something I will have to consider as the list developes and the pressure increases with units fighting for elite slots.

Of course the game would have been entirely different had I not snatched the iniative - and having grabbed the iniative not taken all the transports out of a play by some wicked shooting. But you can only deal with the situation as it is, and I am rather pleased with the way the army performed.

One thing I did think during the game, that indicated to me that things were going well, was that it wasn't until turn 3 that I started removing Orks in any numbers from the table. At the end of the game I had lost around 20 Boyz.

There a couple of ways to think about this, one of which is the psychological effect of the combination of Kanz and Boyz charging across the table forcing the opponent to make hard choices and panicking. It must be an intimidating sight.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Purging of Landing Pad 6

After last week's hiatus the Boyz went back into action today.

A 1500 point game against Dark Eldar.

My list was Big Mek, 2*3 Kanz, Dred, 2*6 Lootas, 3 20ish mobz of Boyz, 3 Koptas, and 5 Nobz with the Mek in a Truk.

Having never played against Dark Eldar and reading that they are the meta game changing force, I was a little nervous going into the game.

The Dark Eldar had 4 Raiders, a Ravenger, 1 unit of witches, Incubi, 3 units of warriors, and a unit of jetbikes.

The mission was capture and control, with pitched battle deployment.

The DE deployed first, lining up his skimmers across the width of the board with the jetbikes away on my left. I responded by deploying most of my troops on my right, with a unit Lootas in a derelict building in the centre and the Koptas on the left. As my objective was deployed behind a building housing my other Lootas, I decided to hold back the Dred (which was a troop choice due to the Mek) and the Mek/Nobz in the Trukk to guard the objective, whilst sending the Kanz and Boyz to get the DE objective.

The Koptas scouted forward.

With everything ready to start, I tried to steal the iniative, rolled a 6 and got iniative.

The Orks surged forward.

And so it came to the first round of shooting.

Now I know the common wisdom is that Orks can't shoot, and I realise that DE are AV10, but by the end of the shooting phase 2 of the Raiders were immobilised, 1 was a smoking wreck and the other had exploded, taking half the squad of warriors inside with it. The Lootas picked off a few more warriors.

Not a bad first turn all considered.

The DE piled out of the Raiders and ran for cover. The shooting phase saw the Ravenger kill an Ork or two, as well as knocking the Grotzooka off a Kan - the jetbikes surged forward and downed a Kopta but the KFF did it's job.

Turn 2 saw the Orks continue to run towards the enemy. The rokkit fire was less effective this turn either missing or fialing to damage. The Lootas in the centre fired 18 shoots into the jetbikes and killed 4 of them.

I pondered risking a Waargh but decided against it as I wasn't sure I could get the charge. Which as it turned out was perhaps over cautious and cost me the next turn, as the DE gathered their wits and decided to take the battle to the Orks.

When my opponent started reading out the witches special rules, my heart sank, and I admit I probably had a touch of 'the Face'. And that gloom continued when the dice began to roll for the combats. Suffice to say that the Orks were rocked, bloodied and one unit only stayed in the fight because the boy clubbed a waiverer over the head.

However the Boyz had proven the resilience of Orks, and turn 3 meant the DE were going to pay for their inability to break the line.

The remaining unit of Boyz jumped off the landing pad and into the warriors guarding the Incubi's flank, and the Trukk moved up to deposit the Nobz to help the Boyz against the Witches. Whilst the Kanz piled forward to take on the Ravenger and the immobiled raider on the right flank and the Ravenger.

The shooting destoyed the remaining immobilised raider, and killed a couple of the warriors hiding in cover on the left.

Which meant it came down to a feat of arms.

And as it turned out the Boyz won out - 7-4 - it was a close run thing. The witches broke and were run down by the Nobz. The Incubi successfully fled with the Boyz rolling a double '1' for their prusuit.

My 'Face' subsided, as it became clear that barring a miracle I had won the game.

The incubi rallied and managed to shoot a unit down to a single Nob, who managed to stay in the game only by stabbing himself in the leg with his bosspole.

And so it came to the last stand of the DE.

The Incubi withstood the shooting phase, and managed to see of 2/3rds of the attacks - 60 - of the Boyz attacks - rolled in batches of 30 - but finally Archon's shield failed and he was trampled into the ground.

The Lootas had taken down the remaining jet bike in the shooting phase, and the final combat would be between five warriors and 4 Nobz - 1 with a PowerKlaw.

And even if they survived that, the Warriors would have to take on a largely undamaged Ork force that was by now sitting on the DE objective.

So the Orks win again.

It was an enjoyable game and I thought my opponent was very sporting - and I apologise to him for getting 'the face' when the witches piled in.

Personally I think the two events that swung the battle for me was grabbing the iniative and the DE going to ground when they were shot out of their transports. Had they gone straight into HtH the psychological advantage might have swung away from the Orks, and they would certainly have had slightly more troops - as it was they underwent an extra turn of shooting, which whilst only chipping away their numbers... chip away it did.

Of course the arguement against it is that perhaps they might not have been in charge range at the time, and seeking cover was perhaps the sensible thing to do... rather than risk all on a gamble.


Friday, 22 October 2010

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Perils of the Post

So what can you do?

Unless price is no issue, gamers pretty much have to use online vendors.

I am guessing that we all have a particular outlet that we use, and indeed I have never had a problem.

Until now.

I noticed, via google, that a new boy has appeared on the block - I checked them out and they were offering a good price, so I thought I would give them a go (I won't name names at this point).

I ordered a couple of things - one of which was out of stock - but the other item was dispatched and duely arrived on time. A couple of days later, I recieved an email to say that the item had been dispatched.

But it hasn't arrived.

I emailed them to inform them of this stuation. They said they would get back to me when they had spoken to the post office the next day. Some days later, and following a couple of emails from me, I get an email saying that the parcel appears lost but they are still looking into it.

So I email to ask them what is happening - i.e. am I getting a replacement, a refund, lost my money or what? And am still awaiting the reply.

Now I accept that things get lost in the post. And that a business such as this has to protect itself against fraud. But I am getting more than a little annoyed by the customer service.

Oh well I guess I shall just have to wait and see what happens.


Sunday, 17 October 2010

Last Minute Games

I guess one of the pitfalls of playing in a group is the broken down car.

On this occasion it was my opponent with mechanical problems, so I didn't manage to get my planned game.

I did however get to play a game of Descent, which was rather fun.

I have long been a fan of Warhammer Quest, and Descent is not a dissimilar game - if rather more complicated.

There was a large game of Napoleonics going on upstairs, so there were only two intrepid heroes putting their life on the line, following the gypsies map - and we did lose the game - dying in the last room - but there was enough entertainment on the way to make me want to play again.

Still I have a arranged for a grudge match with my automotorly challenged opponent... though hopefully it will be a grudge match only in name. And it does give me a chance to crack on with the painting and get some more unit choices added to my list.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

More Spam

Last night, before the red wine kicked in, I was thinking about the issue of Spam.

Of course Spam is a perjorative term, so when considering the issue it is worth keeping that in mind. Add to this that there may be very valid reasons - or indeed limited options in the Codex/Army Book - that makes taking identical units the logical decision.

Essentially what the Spam list does it to pose this question. "You've killed the best unit I have .... how are you going to kill these three identical units?"

Which feeds into a related arguement of how much is the skill of the game related to tactics, and how much to list building.

The tactical conundrum for anyone considering this issue is that if you are playing in a spam list enviroment, then the tendancy is to build lists to deal with the Spam unit - which in turn leads to a Spam list.

The drawback of this equation is that it becomes the easy default position and works against experimentation - both tactically, and with formations and terrain placement - and perhaps the critical element in the game, movement.


Friday, 15 October 2010


First off here's a picture I rather like of my Orks.


Do you love it?

Personally I don't understand it, and I don't really understand the thinkging behind the list building process that creates Spam armies. Ok, I will admit that perhaps I do understand the processs. It is perhaps not disimilar to the M.A.D doctrine from the cold war.

If you accept the premise that Spam will defeat a 'balanced' list - whatever a balanced list might be - then in the arms race of tournament play, Spam is the way to go. Though it is dressed up in the nicety of redundancy.


I'll come back to this at a later date, as I want to get on with my list for Sunday - Dark Angels this week - whoever they may be - Oo Kairz de iz Hummies....


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Give a Hoot, Read a Book

So the memorial is done.

The original inscription reads, 'For The Glorious Fallen', over which one of the Boyz has thoughtfully given his opinion of the universal pecking order.

The Overlords podcast this week was having a discussion about Black Library fiction.

Now whilst the discussion was interesting, I couldn't help feeling that one or two of those taking part in the discussion had a touch of educatedidiotitus (a disease common among those who have GSCE's and a Degree) (and commonly defined by a tendancy to repeat stuff you have read in the review section of the Independent). Their point was that Black Library books are a product of their time, and that according them that time was the 1950's and 60's.

Apparently modern Sc-Fi is different.

I can't say that I am in a position to comment on this, as I don't read any modern Sc-Fi (the closet I have got was Philip K Dick, which left me thankful that someone else had managed to get to the end and made it into a film), but it does rather strike me that either those indulging in the discussion either don't comprehend what they are reading, or they haven't been reading at all. Not least because the criticism was in part that the novels are overly focussed on combat and do not focus enough on the mundane of existence in the 40k universe.

Which to me is rather odd, since reading the Space Wolves trilogy and the Guant's Ghosts series I have a pretty good idea of the mundane life of those unfortunate to find their life turned upside down by war (even if the life being imagined by Dan Abnett is pretty much a re-imagining of various fairly obvious historical events).

What perhaps I don't get is the sense of the novellist using the 40k universe to discuss modern concerns and dilemmas... which in a sense has always been the stock-in-trade of sci-fi.... and has led to the paranoid fantasy's of sci-fi buffs throughout the 20th century.

I suppose if you were of a certain mindset it would be possible to critique Gaunt's exploits against choas and the forces of the Infardi as referencing the current war-on-terror.

Yet perhaps this is to ignore the real strength of the novels, that they don't have to do anything other than offer a thrilling adventure in an already defined and definable universe - and it does have to be said on that front Black Library does deliver (of course some books deliver more than others).


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

You Stink And You Can't Spoll

Here is a picture of the triumphal column I have been working on.

It's a golf trophy I picked up in a charity shop. It needs painting and Orkifying but other than that I think it makes a decent bit of scenery.

I wasn't going to mention this... but seeing as I haven't done anything hobbywise today I thought 'what the heck'.

Regular readers will know I have given up frequenting forums due to their generally belligerant and willfully ignorant nature - and because in my opinion they are ruining the hobby. And instead have been frequenting blogs instead.

Which brings me to Bell of Lost Souls.

I am guessing that most people involved in the hobby will have heard of the site. And it does have to be said that it is the victim of a certain amount of tall poppy syndrome.

Anywho.... a few days ago an article appeared by the Girl. Now let's be honest it probably is a bit of an honour to be a columist on BoLS, in much the same way (though for less money) than it would be to be a columinst in a newspaper. But having been a journalist myself I know that the glamorous idea is not soo wonderful when you have to churn out 1000 words on a subject that you may not know much about.

Let's just say that basing an article on:

"I was hanging outside my FLGS this week and overheard a group of people commenting how the place smelled, and that they thought all gamers smell."

was probably scraping the barrel of creative journalism.

The article provoked the obvious reaction. Stinkquisitors came out of the woodwork and with Stalinistic zeal accused everyone of being Fugmonsters if they dared to oppose the prosition that this was an issue at all. Personally I would suggest that it might be a question of diet, as I can't say I have noticed a whiff of much more than normal man smells eminating from gamers I've met; but apparently if you go to the States, gamers stick to high heaven. Which leads me to wonder if it is related to the unrottable burgers sold by a certain well known purveyor of burgers and fries - and their ilk. After all, I will admit to noticing a certain undead odour exuding from frequenters of fast food establishments.

But as I say, this gamer funk is not something I have noticed - ok maybe you can include the bloke in a local GW who had an abcess and thus gingervitus - but that was one time and had all cleared up the next time I saw him, and was less about personal hygiene and more about the quality control in a cake factory - his tooth having been broken on an errant walnut shell in a piece of fruit cake.

Still I am waiting with baited minty breath for the Girl's next post: "I was sitting on the bus and noticed a woman who looked like an Ork." Followed by a bullet-point list (omitting point 4) on what people who look like Orks should do to make themselves more attractive.

Now the fact that the Girl is presumably female may have something to do with the reaction. And maybe she will use it as a case study on her gender studies course.

But equally odd is the subsequent reaction. With people saying that the piece was a filler, that it shouldn't have been published etc. Which is a bit odd in itself. But more odd is the complaints of some people about the standard of spolling and grummer in the general writing on BoLS. Indeed one bold commenter going so far as to offer a proof reading service - and get this - not only correcting spolling and grummer but also editing for clarity.


No doubt some people will be looking for munchkins at this point, because we have clearly entered a parrellel universe.

The whole point of a blog is that allows people to publish - and for readers to read what is written - without the intervention of an editor. And frankly unless you are a pedant of the n'th degree - the sort who believes there should be no split infinitives (despite this being the biggest red herring in the English language) - I really don't understand what is so important about grummer in a blog. Not least because surely people have caught on to the fact that most blogs are written in a chatty and informal style that reflects the personality of the writer and pays only lip service to formal English.

But then maybe the hygiene and pedantry issues are linked, in that they both feed into the metagame of one-up-manship that pervades the hobby. And let's face it is the real reason gaming and nerds have a bad name - as my ol gran used to say, "you'd argue over the stones in the street."

But as I say it is tall poppy syndrome, so.... yah know....


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Two Fried Eggs And A Kebab

Don't get excited, they're only blast craters.

As my looted wagon is lost in the post, and the battalion box I ordered is out of stock, I decided to get on with my terrain.

For those interested in how I made them.

I stuck three old CD's together to form a base. Then a cut up some polystyrene packing material, fixed them into a ring around the edge - building them up to block LoS - using PVA glue. This was done last week, so the glue was thoroughly dry.

The mix I used for the for the surface coat was variation on the Beasts of War recipe. I used PVA, brown paint, sand, No More Nails and Filler. As the mix dried I added some sand and small stones to give texture, and secured this texture with a coating of super glue. In addition I used a skewer to scrape the excess mixture from the centre of the crater and provide the blast effect.

When this is dried, I'm going to give it a coating of sand, ink it, and give it some static grass to match the bases of my army.

The other thing I have been working on is a monument that I have made out of an old golf trophy I picked up in a charity shop. I've done the base - old Cd's again - and sanded it, so now I just have to paint it.


I wonder how many people are getting the same itch as me, for Dark Eldar.

Yes I know it is the flavour of the month, but there is just something really nice about the models and the rules. And the style of play appeals to me - as a sometime Wood Elf player. At which point I remind myself of why I sold the Wood Elves. In theory I like playing move and shoot armies but in reality I don't. Just as in theory I like Elves - if you don't believe me check the blog title - but in reality I don't.

And yes I do love the models, and would love to sail around the battlefield in a Raider but I just know that the flying base is going to be a) really easy to knock over, and b) really easy to break.

Plus I love my Orks, and am not even halfway through building the army I want.

But even though I am trying to talk myself out of even considering it..... something in my Orky soul hankers after being a Dark Eldar.


ps, for those that don't know the title of this post references the beautiful and emotionall charged Sarah lucas artwork - but then sophisticated person that you are, you knew that.....

Monday, 11 October 2010

Reflections of Fuldrak Pass

Poor old Smakz.

This is one of the hazards of running a horde army. I am sure I had the errant arm when I packed up, but when I got home and unpacked it was gone.

Thinking about the game yesterday I have been struck by a couple of observations.

The first is that medium mobs do pretty well. And because of the fearless rules and the extra casualties involved in losing combat resolution, it is better to run smaller mobs - the original plan was for 30 strong - and to submit to the whims of leadership 7 and the Boss pole sooner.

This is rather a pleasing discovery as in a way my thinking about mob size had been rather hamstrung by the 30 strong mob, which in any case worked against my thinking for the army as a whole, which is lots of cheap units.

The Deffkoptas worked well in individual units. Which in terms of purchasing and army construction causes me a few headaches with regard to the fast attack slots. I like TLRokkit buggies and wartrakks, which fulfill a similar roll and I am not adverse to bikes - and in terms of my philosophy the cost of squadrons is not prohibitve for any of these. But the psycholgical effect of single Koptas - certainly in yesterday's game - was out of all proportion to their points cost and "actual effectiveness". Also single models are able to manouvre and adopt positions that would be awkward or impossible for larger squadrons.

The Kanz and Dreds did well, and will form the backbone of the army for the time being.

Though the real surprise unit, and perhaps the stars of the show, were the Nobz.

I have been rather dismissive of them as late, but they did well yesterday. Perhaps I have been trying to build the mobs too big - 8-10 mobs with cyborg bodies and painboyz - looking at the 3 - 400 point cost and blanching. Yesterday I had five of them, only 1 Klaw and they did fine.

The other unit that is a must from now on are the Lootas. 2 units of 6 seems about right, and combined with the boomgun of a looted wagon it should offer some great fire support - when the Looted wagon kit arrives - apparently it is stuck in the post.

As for my opponent, he agreed it was a good game and said that it has given him more idea of how to deal with Orks. So that was good.

Thinking about it from his perspective, I think I would have played for time more. I think his one mistake was remaining static in the movement phase and trying to rely on fire power. Had he moved backwards, he could possibly have managed a turn or two more before the Boyz reached him - and depleted their numbers. To an extent he was hamstrung by what might be considered my alph-strike against his armour on the first turn - which as I have already pointed out was best described as lucky (not that I am complaining).


Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Battle of the Fuldrak Pass

Before I start - yeah I know I had an illegal list - but I didn't realise until I was waiting for the bus home.


Da Green Tigerz went into battle today with Ultrama's finest.

The Space Marines being led by none other than Marneus Calgar, which in part explains why I had an illegal list - since I decided to match Marneus with Wazdakka, and because I was running him as a solo fire magnet, I swapped out the Nob Bikerz I had originally pencilled into the list, for 5 Nobs, and since I didn't have a warboss this gave me 4 elites. I'm not sure how much this affected things.

The deployment was pitched battle and the mission was annihilation.

I deployed first and and basically set up all my army in a long line with the Dreds and Kanz to the front, one unit of Lootas on a hill in the centre and the other unit of Lootas in ruins on my right. The Deffkoptas were deployed 2 on the right flank and 1 on the left, and beside the Kopta on the left I deployed Wazdakka. The Mek sat in his Trukk in the centre giving KFF cover for the Dreds and Kanz, and as much of the Boyz as possible.

The Marines deployed a tactical squad on their left, a heavy weapon team beside them in the ruins, then there was a slight gap to Marneus and his termintors who were hiding behind a small copse. And on the right flank was a scout squad behind ruined area terrain, supported by Dreadnought. And there was a Pedator and two Razorbacks offering fire support.

The Marines tried to steal the initiative, but failed and so the Orks began to rumble forward. Well all except Wazdakka and the Koptas, who shot down the flanks and set themselves up to take out the armoured support.

When the firing started the Kopta's took out the Pedator and one of the Razorbacks, Wazdakka stunned the other Razorback and the final Kopta stunned the Dreadnought - so it couldn't shoot. The Kanz unit with the rokkits and the KMB killed two terminators with Marneus Calgar. And the Lootas managed to kill another.

Which made me wonder if I was playing Orkz at all.

In the Marine turn, they didn't move instead relying on shooting. Marneus called down an orbital bombardment but it scattered towards the back of the phalanx, failed to hit with any real strength and the KFF protected the Boyz who were affected. The Tactical squad unleashed at Wazdakka but a mixture of poor luck and exhaust fumes meant that they failed to kill him. Then the heavy weapons squad opened up on him and while they manged to kill him, Wazdakka had done what he was meant to by drawing off the fire from the rampaging orks charging across the field.

Marneus and his Terminators opened up on the Deff Dred, and managed to take off the Big Shoota. The scouts on the left shot at the koptas but missed. Thought the Dreadnought managed to charge 1 of them and bring it down.

Turn two opened with the Koptas flying around the Tactical squad and setting themselves up for a rear shot on the remaining Razorback, whilst on the opposite flank the other Kopta moved to take shots at the rear off the Dreadnought. The rest of the army surged forward.

What is it about the run move, that I either roll a 6 or a 1? And in this game I was rolling rather a lot of 6's meaning that the boyz were moving at a hell of a lick.

The shooting phase saw the end of the Razorback, and the Dreadnought stunned and shaken. The Gotzookas engaged the heavy weapons squad and killed one maybe two men, but basically demonstrated the randomness of Ork shooting, with the shots scattering all over the place. The Lootas did nothing. And the rokkit Kanz opened up against the Dreadnought and did precisely sweet Fanny Adams. In the run phase the Deff Dread made towards Calgar and his Termies and the Boyz closed in on the heavy weapons squad. At which point I probably should have called a Waargh but forgot and ended up with nothing in a position to assualt.

As it turned out this wasn't a bad thing, because the Kopta that had flown behind the tactical squad had put the wind up the Marines to such an extent that the Tactical Squad and the heavy weapons teams fired everthing they had at the Kopta. And missed.

Oh and The Imperial maps had clearly not been updated as the reserves failed to show up.

Calgar assualted the Deff Dred with his termies, Calgar lost a wound, the Dred lost a CCA but the combat was a stalemate, and it was opening of a combat that was ultimately to decide the course of the battle.

Having missing the Waargh last turn, I was determined to launch it this time. And actually it was better, as I was now able to manouvre in order that assualting the Tactical squad was a unit of Kanz and the Nobz, the heavy weapons squad was getting jumped on by a unit of Boyz, another unit of Boyz was piling into support the Dred and the everything else could get closer to the scouts hiding behind the ruined area terrain.

Again the Ork shooting excelled, with the Loota's killing the heavy weapons squad down to one man, who ended up taking out one of the 20 or so Boyz that jumped on him, but the inevitable happened and he drowned under the green tide.

The Nobz and Kanz battled it out with the Tact squad, with the Kanz performing admirably, and the Nobz doing less well - in that they didn't kill everyone - meaning that at the end of the combat a single marine still stood.

The Calgar combat went against the Orks. The Dred lost another CCA, the Boyz and their Nob whiffed their attacks and the boyz fell like flies to the fearless rule.

The reserves again didn't show.

The Dreadnought got it's head together and marched off towards the Burna boyz threatening the scouts. Whose shooting no doubt is as we speak the subject of an inquiry back at GHQ, as yet again they failed to kill anything.

Calgar and his termies continued their fine work against the Boyz and the Dred, ripping the final arm off the Dred and killing the Boyz like it was going out of fashion. The Orks did manage to get a wound on Calgar and kill one of the termies but the fearless rule again took it's toll when the combat was resolved.

Having wiped out the left flank the Orks it was a case of trying to get the troops on that flank redeployed into some sort of useful position.

As the combat with Calgar wasn't going well I decided not to throw more troops into the fight but to position the Boyz in the ruins so that if things went tits up they could at least get a round of shooting in.

The Burnas ran through the ruins to get an assualt the following turn, but the supporting boyz were less keen.

Whilst the Koptaz went after the Drednought.

At which point things began to turn against the Orks. The Koptas hit the Drednought and in both cases, rolled a '1'. And the Boyz fighting Calgar only stayed in the fight because the Nob killed one to keep morale from breaking down.

And then the Marine reserves finally arrived. Assault terminators dropped in behind Marneus to support him. And the landspeeder flew onto the flank of the Burnas. The combination of the two scout units and the Dreadnought wiped them out. While Calgar finally managed to kill the Boyz in the centre, but not the Dred. Though by this positive point, Marneus was down to 1 wound.

So now it was all or nothing for the Orks. The Nobz and the Boyz in the ruins jumped on the assault terminators while they were re-organising from their drop and managed to kill three of them. The lootas took down the Landspeeder and killed two of the scouts. But again the Koptas fired at and hit the Dreadnought, but rolled a 1 for wounds.

The failure to take out the Dreadnought came back to haunt me in the Marine turn. With the Burnas gone the Dreadnought piled into the Boyz unit that until that point was untouched. And as the only thing that harm the Dreadnought was the Nob, and the Nob had a fetish for rolling 1's to the Dreadnought's 6's, the Orks found themselves being punished by the fearless rule and under the cosh.

I continued to redeploy and pick things off with the Lootas.

In the assualt phase the fight to the death in the centre finally saw the Deff Dred blow up, but in a perfect piece of symmetry the Nobz and Boyz killed the assault terminators. The Dreadnought and the Nob on the right duelled it out, whilst the boyz died in droves.

In the marine turn, Marneus and the surviving termie shot the Boyz, who were to busy celebrating killing the assualt terminators to notice that they were being fired on. When they did notice, and also noticed that half their number was also dead they took to their heels and got run down. The scouts finally found their range and started picking of the Lootas in the ruins on the right. Oh and the Dreadnought continued chewing through the boyz, whilst their Nob continued swinging and missing - and by this point he was having to kill Boyz to keep them in the fight.

The Ork turn finally saw Marneus die - fired on by rokkits. KMB, grotzookas and sluggas with no effect, their luck finally ran out when the Big Shoota on the Trukk rattled into life and their battered and bloodied terminator armour malfuntioned. The lootas wiped out the reserve scouts. And as fire was proving unreliable against the dug in scouts and the Dreadnought was pounding the Boyz, I charged the Koptas into the scout unit hideen at the back of the ruined area cover.

The game went the full 7 turns and in the very last Marine turn the Nob finally managed to topple the Dreadnought and the Koptas managed to make the scouts run.

The result was an 11 - 5 victory to the Orks, which was nice, but what was more important was that it was a great game against a very sporting and fun opponent.


The pics were taken on my phone, so pardon the quality.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Night Before Battle

So my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go...

and in the morning Da Green Tigerz will be charging into battle for the first time in a few months.

I'll give you an account of the battle tomorrow of course.

I've had a fiddle with the list that I published yesterday. Nothing major.

I know that I am facing Ultramarines, led by Marneus Calgar - yeah I know - and so I have drafted in Wazdakka. The plan is to run him on his own, supported by the Deffkopterz, to do a bit of tank busting and hopefully get a few units to turn their flanks to the phalanx charging towards them.

I've dropped the Nob Bikerz, and brough in a small Nob unit to go in the trukk at the centre of the line and escort the Mek - ok there is a bit of cheese in this as the Trukk offers a bigger footprint for the KFF, but what can you do?

Other than that I haven't really thought out the tactics I will employ - and there isn't a great deal of sense in doing so until i see the table and the army I am facing.

All I'm really bothered about is that it is a good fun game.


Friday, 8 October 2010

Orkyness Abounds

As it's been a while since I played, and indeed I have only have a couple of games under my belt prior to that (blame my loins and the joys of fatherhood), it is difficult to remember all the rules.

Reading and rereading the rule book and the codex is fine as far as it goes. But the problem with reading is that one tends on second, and subsequent re-reading to see what one imagines, rather than what is there. Not to mention that assumptions get made on the basis of all the rule sets and games that one has played over the years.

Therefore I decided to take a different approach.

I took one unit, and googled it and it's rules in order to find out the realities - or overwise - of the doubts I have with regard to how it is played.

In the course of which - I got bored - and ended up reading this thread on the Waargh forum about what should be in the new Ork codex.

One of the things I found myself puzzling over, is the notion of what Orky actually is.

It is not something that is particularly easy to answer.

For instance, I think the version of Orks as being akin to a 19th century racist's view of Africans makes no sense. Not least because one only needs to look at modern criminal organisations, such as the Mafia or Columbian drug cartels, to see that psychopathy and violence in no way equates with the Boss being the biggest. Ok I take on board that they are not human - and perhaps a closer correlation in the 40k universe would be between choas and organised crime. But it still doesn't make sense, even if one looks to nature - as in evolutionary terms asssimilation of similarity is as successful a strategy for reproduction as 'nature red in tooth and claw' - though perhaps it doesn't make such interesting wildlife documentary.

Nor does it make much sense to argue that Orks - and by extension Orkyness should be defined by being a "competative" army, because in all the fluff they never win - they mob up, they invade, they cause mayhem and then like a male orgasm they get all excited at the moment when victory appears certain, before they slip away with very little to show for there efforts.

Not that it matters much because they'll just re-spore.

And then there is the issue that in the 40k universe - and at GW - the Orks are seen as the joke race. It is surely a joke that they are fearless instead of stubborn, or that they lack transport, or a genuine tank, or any special rules for differentiation between the clans. And I guess there is an element of humour in the concept that they either win big or lose big on the whim of the dice Gods - and that this chance factor is their Orkyness. The problem with this approach as a defintion, is that it ignores the natural reaction of players to ignore the choices that impose randomness, and instead opt for the sure thing, or at least the controllable. Which some might argue is working against the spirit of Orkyness, but I would argue is simply rational - and indeed goes back to the point about trying to define Orks is the same narrow terms as a 19th century racist would define Africans.

Perhaps the Orks are the most difficult race in 40k to define their essence. And perhaps that is what really defines Orkyness - a certain punk rock defiance of convention - which in turn might explain why they are effectively a nuisance to the Empire and not a genuine threat, as say the Tyranids.

But then perhaps actually far from the codex being wrong, they have got things spot on.

After all if one thinks about the recruiting process it is hardly surprising that whoever passes for the Quartermaster should end up with a transport requisition that is badly awry. And perhaps fearless is the right rule, if one takes the essence of the army to be win big/lose big. And far from the clans being varied and widely different, they are in fact pretty much homogenous and divided by petty jealousies that make them chaotic and disorganised - childlike - and pretty much the defintion of a 19th century racists view of Africans. Indeed the lack of melta in a mechanised meta-game might be precisely the reflection of the relative strengths that the codex writers intended - the perfect recreation via RAW and RAI.

Meh! I'm happy enough with the army.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Nob Bikerz Are Back

The missus has let me out to play and I have arranged a game at the local club.

So I have come up with a list as follows - 1750 points....

Big Mek - Kustom Force Field

Warboss - bike, power claw, boss pole, heavy armour
3 Nob Bikers - 1 power klaw, 1 combi flamer, stikk bombz

Dreff Dred - 3 CCA, 1 Big Shoota, Grotrigger

3 Killa Kanz - 2 Grotzooka, 1 Big Shoota
3 Killa Kanz - 2 rokkits, 1 Kustom Mega Blasta

12 Boyz - Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Power Klaw, Big Shoota
Trukk - Ram Stik Chukka

25 Boyz - Slugga/choppa, Nob with Power Klaw
26 Boyz - Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Power Klaw, Big Shoota.

3 Deffcoptas - TLRokkits - fielded in solo units.

12 Lootas

7 Burnas - 2 meks with KMB

Regular readers may well be surprised that the Nob Bikers are included. And indeed I have somewhat changed my thinking with regard to the way in which I intend to build the army. And the rationale of what I am looking to achieve - which is a rather long winded way of saying that I love painting Orks.

For a while I have been wrestling with the issue of the lack of tactical flexibility offered by the slugga/choppa combination, as opposed to the shoota. Basially unless the slugga/choppas are charging foward they are not doing their job. In addition I have been pondering the best way to employ a foot slogging horde.

The more I theorise on the army the more I conclude that the key to playing the army, in the way I want, is to create waves, and a split of shootas and slugga mobs is the perfect way to achieve this.

At which point we come to a piece of counter intuitive thinking.

As I have 60 slugga/choppa Boyz, I need 60 shoota Boyz. One answer buy bodies legs and a few heads from Bitz sellers to make use of the arms in my bitzbox. But hey! I'm a gamer! so there is only one solution - buy more plastic crack. If I get three battalions boxs, then I will have 120 boyz and 4 Trukks (not to mention that if I decide to go the 180 horde route I have plenty of stuff for when I do hit the botz sellers). Suddenly I have the tactical felexibility I am seeking, combined with waves.

As I said it is counter intuitive. I go in search of foot-slogging, and find myself roughly where I wanted to be when I started out a year ago searching the internet for lists and declaring that I wanted a mechanised Ork army.

It is a slightly different ork army to the one I envisioned, as back then the aim was a battlewagon heavy force. But having assembled the Kanz and the Dred, and with the Looted Wagon arriving any day now, I find myself without any heavy slots, and no real desire to consider the battlewagon as anything other than a vehicle for the HQ. Add to this the chatter on BoLS about AV10 and I have gone back to have another look at Trukks.

The reason I discounted them before was small unit size, and therefore the vulnerability of morale failures. Yet on refelction that is a little self defeating. A 30 strong mob takes a lot of killing, it is true, and it is not that much more in points cost compared to a trukk mob, but depending on how you play the fearless combat resolution rules it is also a liability. And then there is the real bonus the stikkchukker.

And so it is that the MEGANOBZ have been moved to the backburner, until I have worked my way through 3 Battalion boxes, and get around to buying a Battlewagon.

After all the Mek can hide in the Boyz mobs coming up in the second wave, and the Warboss can hop on his bike, rustle up some Biker Nobz and join in the Trukk rush.

And so it is that the army prepares for battle with a new ethos, and in fact an official name, Da Green Tigerz.

Which reminds me I need to come up with some fluff - oh and I need ot get on with the terrain.


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Comp, Camp and Clump

So the Dred is done.

If you ignore the purity seal frosting on the left shoulder pad and that I have forgotten to dot barrel of the big shoota.

So I have been fiddling about with Excel trying to come up with a list, as the missus has given me permission to go out to play.

In other news, BoLS is alive with discussion about the merits (or not) of AV10. According to the editorial the new Dark Elves are not going to be the mega-army some are predicting.

But as the basis for the arguement relates to tiers, and powerplay theory, it is not something that particularly interests me.

Not least because it is meta-game and a huge psych out.

Who knows?

Maybe when people get the codex in their greasy mitts and start actually playing with the new rules they will find combos and synergies that could never have been predicted. And may well give the uber armies a run for their money.

Speaking of people rethinking things with the book in their hands, The Quiet Limit has a post about the proposed comp system for next year's WFB ETC.

When 8th ed was launched the mantra, oft repeated, was that no comp should be considered for at least a year, because no one knew what would be effective (perhaps because they had wiped their mind of all experience- perhaps not). Well it seems the ETC commitee have decided against that approach and have come up with a list of restrictions. And not only restrictions, they have even started rewriting the core rules.

The steadfast rule as it appears in the rules has been discarded, and replaced by a modified version of the outflanking rules from 7th. True LoS is being replaced by an as yet to be decided system. These are the two main changes. But perhaps more surprising is the composition restriction that imposes a maximum figure count on units, making the maximum unit size 40. And that is only possible if the figures cost 5 points or less.

The rationale behind this change is sound, in that the organisers see a problem in large bunker units. Yet equally it does seem to work against the declared rationale and supposed balancing element within the rules between small elite units and cheap hordes. It is also interesting that they choose 40 as the maximum unit size, given that all the talk out of GW when the rules were launched was about having 50 strong horde units.

The magic phase has also been addressed. But in some ways the ETC has missed an opportunity. Because rather than limiting the power dice, I wonder why they don't just rewrite the spells to make them less stoopid.

Obviously this would upset a number of people. But it strikes me that if you are going to limit unit size and the do away with the steadfast rule, and effectively nerf horde armies, is it really such a problem to rewrite Purple Sun? or whatever.

It doesn't necessarily need a total rewrite - in the sense of actual invention - it could be something as simple as reversing the failure criteria. After all in 8th iniative is offers many advantages already - why not make it detrimental to balance the magic phase?

Or another simple change that would balance the magic phase would be to resolve the miscast before the spell effects - in much the same way as a RiP spell ends if the caster dies. Voila, suddenly the magic phase works in a way closer to the intention of the rules writers - or at least the intention they stated at the time - i.e. that the player has to make balance risk vs reward when casting.

Of course all of this has to be accepted by the WAAC vested interests that play certain armies - not to mention the morons who say things like "if you don't like the magic, go play WAB". And assumes that the ETC is interested in genuinely balancing the game. Which is questionable given the limiting of unit size, and the abolition of the steadfast rule.

But I guess it is a question of wait and see.

Oh and another thing... this makes me laugh whenever I read it. Narcissus is alive and well ;-)


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tittle Tattle

Shock Horror!

Advance orders for the Dark Eldar have gone up on the GW website and the shocking news is that they are cheaper than Eldar, in fact they are cheaper than all other ranges.

Which is pretty remarkable given the quality of the models.

Whether any long term trends, or indeed economies of scale, can be read into this remains to be seen. But it certainly gives the GW haters something to stick in their pipe.

I just wanted to point something out.

Despite being generally negative, and having little or no wish to play 8th ed at present - I don't think the rules are a piece of Fekking Carp, as was reported on a certain podcast.... hi guys....

I do however like to keep an eye on what is happening in 8th edition.

So I was interested to see this post on the Plastic Legions blog with regard to the Core Competancy tournament in the US of A. It would appear that attendance was half of what it was last year. Plastic Legions speculates about possible reasons for this falling away of attenance. But I do find it rather ironic that a tournament which sought to mitigate the worse excesses of 7th, and was in a sense the trailblazer for some of the changes in 8th, should catch the fall out of the backlash - if such a thing exists - from 8th ed.

Of course it might just be a blip. But so far there has been this tournament that saw numbers halve and the Newcastle tournament that allegedly saw the leading lights of the Austrailian tournament scene walk out. Which will no doubt result in people saying that it is too early to make assumptions.

Still for those disillutioned by WFB can always console themselves by picking up the relatively cut-price Dark Eldar. Which should keep them going for a while - well maybe at least until 6th ed. Because worryingly people are talking about design elements of WFB being incorporated into 40K.

If this is things like random charge distances, then there's not too much to worry about. But if it's the 40k equivilent of the magic phase and the closed composition imposed by the rules then maybe people should really start to worry.

Don't worry, by then I mzy have got around to writing the Great Game, my skirmish rules for the Indian Mutiny and the North West Frontier.


Monday, 4 October 2010

Just Wondered

The Deff Dred has arrived, and I have been merrily building it.

After sorting out the magnets on the Kanz, and working out a system for fitting them in future, I figured I would magnetize the arms on the Dred.

My original plan was to have 2 close combat arms, and 2 skorchas - working on the basis that Orks can't shoot and therefore the flame template would get around that problem. Add to this my plan with the Dred is to run forward, so I will only really get one round of shooting.

At which point I thought, why not go the whole hog and have 4 combat arms?

After all the intention is to pile in with the Boyz in mulitple combats.

But then I got to thinking that perhaps there might be someone on the other side of the table firing at me. And if the Dred was immobilised then fitted out for close combat only would leave it pretty much useless.

Which is a round about way of posing the question how much you consider the opponent when writing a list?


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Plastic Fantastic

Things proceed apace.

The Big Mek is now painted, and the texture of the basing done. He's a bit shiney at the moment as I gave it a coat of gloss vanish to try and stop chipping, and to try and deal with that I have given the model a blast of Dullcoat.

It's odd because a couple of years ago I was firmly in the camp of prefering metal figures. But these days I much prefer plastics.

Recently I had a chat about this with an unreformed historical gamer. I think that I was suspected of heresy on a number of counts, but my admiration for, and prefering of, plastics tipped the scales.

In historical circles I wonder how much of the preferance for metals is due to that old question of legitimacy. After all the modern hobby evolved and grew in the 1970's into the semi-respectable hobby that it is today with the break from Airfix plastics to speciality companies like Minifigs and later Essex, who cast their minis in metal. Suddenly a pastime for small boys became a proper man's game requiring files and special glues, and best of all catalogues.

Perhaps it is the rise of tournaments that has sparked the move back towards plastics, or maybe it is the widespread use of acrylic paints, or maybe it is just something I have noticed because I have started playing GW games.

Whatever the reason, I really wish that GW would go the whole hog and phase out metals all together. Because nice as the models are, I could do without messing about with greenstuff to get them to stick together and endlessly worrying about chipping.

Right time to activate the Kustom Force Field.