Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Octocon 4! Revenge of the Medicore ELDAR!

Octocon 4

I have been living in Calgary, Alberta for almost 4 years now. Ever since GW Canada removed the Conflict Tournaments I have to say there isnt much of a tournament scene here. So I was delighted to see that there would be 3 tournaments in 3 months this fall! I already finished the first tournament called "September Salvo", which my 'Nids did splendidly and I squeaked out first place.

Next up is Octocon 4, which is one of Calgary's largest tournaments and is generally run each year. This year had a great turn out (26 for 40k, and 18 for Fantasy). The tournament is 2000pts and since my Tyranids are no where near finished and I wouldnt be caught dead playing either my Dark Eldar or Space Marines I ended up going with my Eldar. After checking out what I own I realized that my army is very outdated. When I painted my army it was in the middle of 3rd Ed using the old Craftworld Rules (ie. real seer councils and black guardians) so my current list is filled with too many warlocks, farseers and guardians. This is what I ended up taking:


9 Howling Banshees + Exarch
Wave Serpent w/ Bright Lances

3 x 10 Guardians w/ Scatter Laser and Warlock
10 Storm Guardians w/ 2xFlamers and Warlock
Wave Serpent w/ Eldar Missile Launcher
9 Dire Avengers + Exarch

Fast Attack
2x Vyper Jetbikes w/ Star Cannons

Heavy Support
Wraith Lord w/ Bright Lance
2 Warwalkers w/ Scatter Lasers/Star Cannons
Falcon Grav Tank w/ Scatter Laser, Shurkien Cannon and Holo Fields

Round 1 - Annihilation vs. Imerpial Guard

I have only played Guard maybe twice in the last 12 years, so I figured it was a good time to get re-educated on what the army actually does. Needless to say that it has changed ALOT since the last time I played it lol. I figured that since he had all tanks, 2 Flyers and a crazy amount of anti Armor weaponry it would be a good idea to hold my entire army in reserve so it wouldnt get shot up on the first turn. This is a new tatic I wanted to try for this army anyways since I have Yriel, who is an Autarch, and he gives me +1 to all my reserve rolls. What I DIDNT know is that the guard have a unit that gives me -1 to my reserve rolls and makes me re-roll which edge my outflankers come on (which greatly changed the game) as well as allow him to re-roll which edge his stuff comes out on. We find out that the mission we are playing is basically a straight anhilation using opposite table Quarters as set up.

High Points:
- Watching him shoot almost everything into my Falcon multiple turns and only accomplish blowing off two guns.
- Having my Wraithlord flip his outflanking Demolisher on the second turn of the game.
- My Banshees and Dire Avengers came in right as my side of the table was about to be overrun by veterans. The Avengers took out one squad, while the banshees minced the other

Low Points
- Some crazy bad reserve rolls. My farseer and banshees didnt come onto the table until turn 4, which meant I was only able to use 1 psychic power the entire game lol
- Having Yriel (who is LD 10) fail a Pinning test (he and the remainder of the guardian squad)
- One of my guardian units rolled "double 1's" for their difficult terrain test when coming in from reserve RIGHT in front of a hell hound. Needless to say that squad was gone pretty freaking fast lol

Final Result:
The game is an exact tie. Both sides do 8 kill points, and based on the tourneys mission you then go to victory points. We add everything up and Wes got 576 on me and I get 575 on him. So I freaking lost by 1 VP LOL. All in all it was a great game and Wes was a fantastic person to play against. Great way to start the tourney.

Round 2 - Sieze Ground vs. Marines

My second game was against Marines. Based on what he had I felt fairly confident that I would do well, as the only plain old marines he had were an assault squad with a chaplain and a commander, a unit in a rhino, a unit with a razorback and a large unit of scouts that go with the techmarine. I figured since he had so much anti armor weaponry I would hold all my armor in reserve.

High Points:
- Some of the most insane luck ever when rolling for cover saves. I swear I made about 90% of the 4+ cover saves I was called onto make
- Yriel Finally gets into combat and almost single handedly kills an entire scout squad
- My banshees did 11 power weapon wounds in one turn (because of doom...which is GOD lol) to a tactical squad that was holding an objective

Low Points:
- Except for cover saves I just couldnt get a roll to go for me the entire game. At one point I had 2xBright lances, Missile Launcher, Star Cannon (into rear armor)and a Scatter Laser followed by 5 Str 9 attacks and 3 Str 5 attacks in hand to hand combat on a Rhino and only manage to blow off the storm bolter...sigh
- I made some bad descions through out the game. There were 3 or 4 things I really should of done differently both in regards to set up and what I did with certain units in the game. The main thing I did wrong was not focus on the objective as much as I should of.

Final Result:
Another tie (we both held one objective). We add up victory points and he does 100 more then me, so it is counted again as an exact tie. All in all he wasnt a terribly fun person to play against. I tried livening it up here and there but alas to no avail. I would say this was my least fav game of the tourney. Main thing I learned is to 100% keep your eye on the objective. The only reason why I lost is I forgot about it.

Round 3 - Capture and Control - Orks

After forgetting the objective completely in the previous game I vowed to make it my only focus. I found out that my opponent had a 10 man nob squad w/ a painboy AND a 5 man mega nobz squad with a mad dok special character (so both units have a 5+ invuln save and feel no pain). As we read over the scenario I started wracking my brains on how on earth I was going to deal with those two units.

High Points:
- My play in general. This was by far my best played game. I really focused on the objective, I set up "bait" units and all my specialist units were used for exactly what they should of been. Everything was set up as well as I could of and I never lost focus on the objective.
- There were many really funny moments during the game. My two favs were watching the Storm Boyz unit deviate away from my army on the the turn they deepstriked in only to be bladestormed TO DEATH the following turn. My second fav was watching MY ENTIRE ARMY shoot at 3 guys, 2 turns in a row only to have the remaining two (one wound each) heavy flamer, then charge my unit of dire avengers. The visual of watching these two complete loons in mega armor with a million little disks sticking out of their armor/faces emerge from a cloud of smoke where their unit was and come in and mulch some puny eldar was great.

Low Points:
- Everything went according to plan. I felt bad that Ian rolled quite terribly in the first half of the game on his 500pts+ Nob squad (couldnt by a feel no pain roll) which allowed me to eventually break the squad and help march them off the board. He eventually made up for it with his Mega Nobs though as I mentioned in the "high points"

Final Result:
A complete Massacre. I held both objectives at the end of the game and all he had left was a Deff Dred. It was a really fun game and he was a really good sport about it. We spent about 5 mins after the game laughing about his energizer bunny mega nobz and how they wouldnt quit till they tasted Eldar blood.

Round 4 - Annihilation - Tyranids

Nathan had a monstrous tyranid army. He had 4 units of 24 Termigants with "Without Number" and two Hive Tyrants with 3 Tyrant Guard each (so 10 Toughness 6 wounds each with a 3+ min armor save). This is the first game in the tournament where I thanked my lucky stars that I brought as many Star Cannons as I did, because if I didnt have them, this game would of been a massacre. Nathan was my fav player at the tournament, and this was by far my fav game. The only sucky thing was time was really running out at this point and I was focusing on getting through the game instead of taking pictures, so alas there arent any (which is a shame, since his army looked fairly nice).

High Points:
- For the first time this tournament I used Yriels electicity storm, which was just devestating. In one round of combat he killed 23 Termigaunts LOL (12 with the first shot, then 11 on the overkill). The best part was there was one gaunt left, so he remained in Hand to hand and couldnt be shot at, which was good because there were 3 Zoanthropes just itching to bast him into next year.
- My banshees managed to killed 9 Tyranid warriors in hand to hand with only taking one casualty
- My 10 Storm Guardians managed to kill a unit of 24 termigants in hand to hand by themselves. If they handnt be charged by a SECOND unit of 24 they would of made it till the end of the game lol

Low Points:
- Having no concept of just how good 2xTwin Linked Devourers on a hive tyrant really are. I was losing a squad of guardians A TURN to this thing. Ugh. Luckily I was able to bring them down before the caused too much death to my forces

Final Result:
I ended up winning the game. This game really could of gone either way for me I have to say. For starters the game started with Dawn of War set up, and I won the roll to go first. I was able to pin most of his forces back in his zone, and only two units of Termigaunts and his Devourer Tyrant were on the board. Everything else had to walk on. That way I was able to focus on that tyrant, then switch targets to his other tyrant who had a venom cannon. If they both started on the table the game would of been very different. The last couple of combats also really changed the outcome of the game. My Banshees/Farseer were able to make 2 key leadership tests at the end of the game. If they failed either that was 2 VPs for Nathan and he would of won. The game was really back and forth also, which made for a great end to the day.

Tournament Results:
I came in 6th overall. I seemed to come in 2nd or 3rd in almost every category lol. I was really hoping to win best painted, but another Eldar army won. It was nicely painted and bright, which I think gave it the edge. I managed to do very very well in the one spot I typically come in the middle of the pack, and that is sportsmanship. I got 41 out of 40 (10pts per game) and was voted fav opponent by someone. I had a really good time, and I am already looking forward to the next one. Below is a shot of the armies that were nominated for best painted. The Eldar army on the far left won.

Things I learned about 5th Ed Eldar:

1) Regular Guardians are possibly the single worst unit in the game. With only 12" guns, T3 and a 5+ armor save they are good for only one up VPs. My Storm Guardians on the other hand were amazing, and did something pretty much every game.
2) Mech Mech Mech. Vehicles are king, as well as having the ability to blow them up. I seriously lacked in both departments, especially playing Eldar. As I work on this army I am going to phase out all my footslogging guardians and add more dire avengers with Wave Serpents. I am also going to paint up a second Falcon because even though it got shot at ALOT every game, it only died in one of them. In each of those falcons I am going to put 6 fire dragons.
3) Remove all star cannons for scatter lasers...ESPECIALLY on the war walkers lol.
4) Yriel is god. He managed to live through every game and was just a destroyer when he got into combat. lol.
Next Up: Conquest Calgary!

Tyranid Raveners

This is going to be my last update till the new year when the new Tyranid Codex comes out. I dont want to do too much more until I find out what the new rules are as I am sure many things will change considerably. The couple things I will be working on are painting up more Termigaunts, Hormigaunts and Tyranid Warriors.

As far as the Raveners are concerned I have to say I *hated* putting them together, but I really enjoyed painting them once I got into it. I painted 3 of them over the last 3 days, and each one took about 3-4 hours.

- Miniman

Friday, October 16, 2009

Eldar Update # 3 - The Falcon

My army is surprising light on battle tanks, and with the release of 5th Ed the game has 100% become "all about the armor and mobilty". I am slowly working in more tanks and this is the 1st of 2 Falcons I will be doing. I also need to do up another Wave Serpent. The only issue with that is I have been using the forge world conversion kits and I dont want to use the new plastic ones because it will break the cohesive look to the army.

Eldar Update #2 - Yriel

When I first made this army it was all about the Seer Council being its lynch pin. This was due to the fact that the only other HQ choice was the Avatar and he pretty much sucked lol. Now with the new book this fancy fellow has been added and he is a freaking beast, plus the figure looks cool :). The only sucky thing with this guy was that I found his spear was broken AFTER I started putting him together, so I had to use a spare Dire Avenger Exarch spear as a replacement.

Eldar Update #1

I havent really done anything for my Eldar in a long while, so I figured it was time for an update. Since I painted the first wave of this army the game has changed considerably, and because of that the playstyle for the army list has changed considerably. This update is for my squad of Dire Avengers who seem to be replacing Guardians in every way...mostly because they are far better in every way lol.

And now for something completely different...

I have been doing a lot of work on just getting this army finished for November 7th+8th and all I have left to finish are 4 termigaunts and 3 Raveners so I figured I would work on something fun and different. I decided it was time to make some objective markers that were themed for my army. I also wanted a chance to see how my Ultramarines would look, so I painted up a couple in different stages of being eaten lol. The middle one (ie just the hand) was made by cutting off the top "mouth" from the plant, then greenstuffing a new mouth eating a plastic marine hand. Overall I am pleased how they turned out and I think it will add to the game having personalized objectives :).

Next Up: Raveners!!


I have to say that of all the models for this tyranid army I have painted this was by far the most fun to work on. I thought a lot about weither or not I wanted to do a "cameleon" effect, but when looking up picks of other people's lictors it just seemed to be the norm. When all said and done this guy only took about 4 1/2 hours (thats including the base) and since I figured he would take double that I have to say I am very pleased :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tallarn Ogryn Greens

Well, I figured it was time to try the greenstuff. I think it turned out very well. I'll be painting these guys in roughly the same colors as my regular infantry so they should meld well. As far as points go, a Chimera full of Ogryns + A Commisar Lord ends up about the same as a 3rd infantry squad, and a chimera full of more vets + meltas. So the question we need to ask is, can these guys protect the single scoring vet squad to get to its objective target? Since they count as Elite, the Ogryns will only be able to contest objectives, not hold them. Well whatever, I'm proud as anything with them.
These are the Ogryns that I plan on turning into "Desert" Tallarn. Some initial prototypes using "Sculpty III", which only hardens when you bake it. Hopefully this will be good practice for the greenstuff. Order actually goes from right to left. Rae sculpted the one on the right. And I've been trying to refine her initial design by making it a bit thinner until I got to the two variations on the left. I think they should work out quite nicely. Not sure what to do about horns in the back row though. We'll get to him eventually. Can't wait to see how these guys turn out. By all means leave constructive criticism as I've very new to this cloth sculpting thing..

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waaagh GT 40k Tournament Awesomeness

My first 40k tournament was a blast. It was in Alameda in an old Naval Base aboard the USS Hornet, a WW2 carrier/museum (see picture). Our games were flanked by an Avenger Torpedo Bomber, and a still in restoration Wildcat Fighter, so the setting was just awesome.

The USS Hornet. An old WW2 carrier that also served to pick up the Gemini and Apollo crews

A restored Avenger Torpedo bomber. Our game tables are just to the right of this thing. Very inspirational.

A "being restored" Wildcat. Can't wait to see it finished. There were also a number of jets and helicopters lying around. I didn't get to see the flight deck this year. Hopefully next year.

People loved this Mr. Potatohead Ork Stompa conversion. Awesome.

3 games on Saturday. My attitude going into this was "I'm going to get annihilated in every game, so I'm here to a) learn the rules really well, b) find out how to play IG properly, c) be as silly as possible by remembering a and b while my army was being murdered and d) learn about playing different armies since I know nothing about any of them except guard and SM" All 4 were achieved.

Game 1
Game 1 was against a very nice guy with a Chaos Space Marine army Nurgle themed. They had some great paint jobs. He helped me with the rules alot, but about the only damage I did to his army was to blow the legs off his Defiler (which was in a trench so in cover, although we probably should have ruled line of sight for that one). His daemon prince then came out of the land raider by killing one of his champions and did the koolaid guy to my poor infantry platoon who were protecting the objective inside a bunker. We both giggled about this one. My right flank was too far away from the action to do a whole lot, and I couldn't do much damage to his objective squad also in a bunker to take it. Major Loss.

Lessons Learned:
This isn't FOW. Infantry can't protect crap even in a bunker unless they have support weapons or some kind of H2H really close at hand. Stuff can just walk on it..
Spreading out the force too much will allow it to get eaten. Also, I need more infantry, or at least mobile troop choices since my heavy weapons squads are for the most part immobile.
Use orders much more often to take down larger vehicles.
Fire EVERYTHING every turn. Once I'm in H2H, I'm dead so what the heck.
Smoke is useful (my opponent used it twice).
G2G is also useful if you're going to die and you're dug in.
Got to remember ordience weapons roll 2d6 pick highest for penetration. I forgot this a lot.

The evil Chaos Marines of Evilness

Game 1 Start

Game 1 End. Lots of lessons learned on this one. Never made it to that bunker on the right. Was too busy fighting a winged Nurgle daemon with a chimea and veteran squad...

Game 2
This was against a nice guy who teaches 40k to little kids at his home store. He was a REALLY well painted SM army. I think he won favourite army overall. I did a bit better in this one, nuking his land raider, and with tank fire waxing the terminaters inside. He had some snipers set up in a corner with some kind of "give them a 2+ save" terrain alteration that his techmarine could do. I wasted time trying to shoot at them when I should have been driving forward at full speed. He drop podded behind my tanks and destroyed a couple, and I had to waste more time shooting them. My tanks were so close together that they tended to get in each other's way as well, so traffic control was a problem. That said, I was able to hold onto objectives a bit better this time. It was ironic in this game since it took place on a jungle table, so my desert guys were WAY out of place and a passing 12 year old pointed this out to me. Minor Loss. I was getting better, and I learned a LOT this game.

Lessons Learned:
When facing deep striking forces, deploy in depth (more than a scout sentinal) so that you have something that can counter punch a DS.
Dreadnaughts are easily killed by tanks.
My stuff CAN kill stuff, even heavily armored stuff like Land Raiders and Space Marines.
Don't get distracted by units that are dug in somewhere that doesn't matter. They will only harass.
Spread the tanks out to get good overlapping fields of fire in many driections otherwise they'll get in each other's way. You need multiples shots against stuff even with lascannons.
Buy a techpriest and 5 servitors to repair tanks as its not that often when you roll a 5-6 for pentration. Damaged vehicles are more likely and far more disrupting since you have to protect them from assaults.
In a tournament, you have to keep a good pace because otherwise you will run out of time. We didn't, but still.

Game 3
My favourite game. It was against Daemons. The guy was great. His son was playing a nicely converted ork army 1 table over. The whole table was empty the first turn, so my boys advanced as best they could. I placed my heavy weapon teams on top of the objective figuring since they couldn't move, may as well help to protect the vitals. I also deployed in depth to protect against his beaming in.

This was a scarey army to look at (see pic below) with 3 Soul Grinders, and 2 Greater Daemons to deal with. His Keeper of Secrets was AWESOME. It was an 40k Eldar Titan with chains all over it. Looked like something from Silent Hill. Great stuff. This guy knew he wasn't going to win generalship either so we were out for fun.

His bloodthirster beamed in right in front of 2 Russes, and 3 LC sentinals, and we nuked him which felt good since my BS 3 means I miss a lot. On that flank, his keeper trashed a lot of stuff. Also some Tzneetch flamers beamed down and flame grilled my command squad and some infantry. Their only option was to charge these things before getting flamed again, a battle we eventually lost.

The fun part was the soul Grinders though. My tanks took down 1, but a 2nd one walked over to my Chimera that was driving to the opposite objective. The grinder blew it to crap with its SomethingEvilSounding gun, and half the veteran squad exited the vehicle onfire. The survivors made it to some cover, and after missing all 3 melta gun shots, my newly minted det pack guy in desperation threw his pack at the HUGE machine bearing down on them. The Grinder caught the pack in its mouth, swallowed, and exploded in shower of green goo. We high fived after this one as the best hit of the game. I voted this guy my favourite player, and hope to see him next year (he actually won player's favourite opponent award at the end of the tournament).
Major Loss but oh so fun.

Lessons Learned:
Daemons are not that scarey. They have lots of saves (feel no pain etc.), but stick to the plan, and all will be well.
Use the veterans. They are your best guys... Maybe base an army around them and give them mobility. Do I buy a valkarie?? hmm..
Template weapons are great, but the scatter dice means that once they get in under the guns, you'd better have some direct fire backup.

My favourite game and player of the tournament

Game 3... Where are all the daemons....???? Hawkins! Take that building in the middle! Its bound to be important or something..

Best moment of the game. The blue grinder is actually a crater!

Game 4
The next day I played a fellow guard player. I was looking forward to this because I wanted to learn how to play Guard specifically better. He had several tanks, a chemical hell hound, a valkarie with vets, and a very large unit of guys (30-40 I think). And some Ogryns played by some power armored infantry that looked really neat. His valkarie was also awesome as it had repelling ropes out the back door!

Not qutie as fun game however as I was actually trying to be more tactical. I was able to open several tanks (his hellhound died from Bring It Down fire from my autocannons), but I was unable to take out his Valk which provided harrassing fire. Most interesting in this game were the Ogryns. My Demolisher managed with plazma cannon and Demolisher fire to whittle them down to 2/10 + the commisar Lord. But once they made it to my infantry squads, it was no more infantry squads.
Fun game, and lots learned. He didn't have enough troops to capture objectives, so only a minor loss this time.

Lessons Learned:
I'm going to give my Ogryns (5) Tallarn Headgear using greenstuff! I think it will look awesome, but I will need to practice first.
My tanks are nice against other tanks. Although battle cannons against front armor isn't all that great. Lascannons are better but again..... BS 3 = sadness.
I need to outfit ALL my infantry squads with powerweapon sergents, or maybe commisars, or maybe priests. I need better H2H defense, otherwise my squads are useless.
I need more squads. Having 2 platoons might be useful since I'll have 3 order giving units then. Will drop the 3 sentinals, and 1 LR (they were borrowed anyway), and fill up the points with other stuff. 3 Leman Russes is quite enough.
Multilasers aren't as useless as I thought. 3 shots is nothing to be scoffed at.
Lumbering Bohemoth means that you get the the turret shot for free, but you can still only fire 2 weapons total when you move, not everything.

A little guard on guard action

Game 4 end. Lots of burning armor, but we lost the center objective.

Game 5
This was against an older gentleman who's sons were also playing at the tourney. He was playing shooty marines. This mission was annililation, and at this point I kind of knew what I was doing (though still a little shakey rulewise). We had both only played 6 games each, so were both a bit shakey on the rules. I was a bit worried we would run out of time since we kept having to read the rules, so I took this game more seriously than I should have. I also smelled blood when I realized that his guys weren't going to assault me.

There was a difficult going river crossing the board which slowed his advance. My gun line lined up at the back of the table shelled the hell out of his troops which simply couldn't reply with the same kind of firepower. I blew up 2 bikes, a squad of assault marines, some scouts, 2 dreadnaughts and half his terminators who dropped in in the middle of the board. I wondered why they didn't close assault me until he fired 2 barrages of cyclone missiles at me which, with my men in cover and g2g did surprisingly little.

In retrospect I should have tried to have more fun with this game and been more helpful to the guy, but I didn't want to accidentally break the rules, but was worried about running out of time, that and I finally had a chance to blow the crap out of something. Major victory, but I should have played differently so I consider it a moral loss. I alas don't have any pics of it since we were rushed for time (and I hadn't had lunch so was scarfing down a hotdog).

My favourite part of this game was actually explaining to a lot of passers-by what the hell we were all doing including a very nice little old lady who was an ex navy nurse. She asked if there were any girls at this event and I pointed out the only one (who I think was the girlfriend of the only Tyranid player), and she went over and said how glad she was to see girls at these "boys only events". How cute.

Lessons Learned:
I know the game well enough now that I should take it easy on newer players as the older players have on me. But I don't think I can help them effectively yet since I haven't played THAT much.
A gun line isn't half bad, but some kind of deep strike is vital

All in all, the tournament was awesome. Got lots of compliments on my paint job, and the 3 guys from the first day voted me their favourite player of the tournament which made me feel like I went in with the right attitude. I consider my Loss ratio to be very improved over the course of the weekend. We went from major loss to major win almost linerally!
Lots of ideas for next year, and my "improved" army. Now I've finally got the 40k bug.

This just in...
Checked the website:
And I came 16th /38 players! So even though I got killed, I actually did fairly well. Nice.

Tournament Newbie

This is a fast post. I will post a bunch of pictures and battle description soon. The tournament was AWESOME, and I now have a much better idea of what to take in my army, and how to use it effectively (have to paint some more infantry, and some special H2H stuff)...