Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rock-Con 2011: Gentleman's Grand Tournament, Game 3 vs. Steve Ingham's Dark Eldar

More Gentleman's Grand Tournament! I have not forgotten about it, thankyouverymuch

With game 3 and my victory against Clay's incredibly shooty and pesky Dark Eldar, it was time to meet my 4th opponent on Sunday. I was feeling pretty good and quite confident with my 2-1 record, but was now expecting to face something scary - perhaps a Grey Knights army.. or even more I.G?

I was wrong, though. Fate put me up against yet another Dark Eldar army, which was interesting considering there were only 3 Dark Eldar armies at the Gentleman's Grant Tournament to begin with. Well, this time I had some experience with the sinister Dark Elves from Outer Space and was going to do my best in order to keep winning.

Steve's list was very different from Clay's Dark Eldar. It still packed quite the punch in the Shooting phase, but its potency was all about Close Combat, baby.

A very potent Archon with all the goodies needed to kill my Thunderwolves, leading a 5-man Incubi unit in a Raider. A small 3-man unit of shooty Trueborn. For troops there were x3 identical Kabalite Wariors in Venoms with the usual poison crap and Nightshields. x2 Wyches with all the goodies in Raiders with Flicker Field and Night Shields. For Fast Attack - a bigass Beast Master squad with x10 Khymeras and 4 Razorwings. For Heavy Support - x3 Ravagers with Flickerfields and Night Shields. 

Overall a very balanced list with enough shooting and plenty of close combat craziness to be problematic for me.
Round 4
Five by Five
This mission follows all the normal rules for games of Warhammer 40,000 as outlined in the Organizing a Battle chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook (e.g, Ending the Game [p. 90], Seize the Initiative! [p.92], Mission Special Rules [pp.94-95], etc.), except as already noted in your tournament rules packed and described below.
Overview of the table.. Pretty legit when ti comes to tournament terrain...
This mission employs the Pitched Battle deployment. (See p. 92 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.)

Primary Objective (4 points)
Marked for Death: To sum it up.. You choose 5 unit from your opponent's list and they are the only thing that count as Kill Points. Your opponent then does the same to your units. Whoever has the most KP wins the Primary.

Secondary Objective (3 points)
Follow the Seize Ground standard mission rules defined on p. 91 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, except that you must employ 5 objective markers.

Tertiary Objective (2 points)
Victory Points: Accumulate at least 250 Victory Points more than your opponent. Employ the Victory Points rules from p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook Reference. 
 To be honest.. this mission was very bad for my opponent. Very, very bad. Limited Kill Points is bad.. as if KP was not bad enough for Dark Eldar. I marked the Raider of the Incubi and the two Wyches units AND their Raiders for my Kill Points. Why? Because those squads had to come to me to do anything effective, which would expose them to my shooting and Grey Hunters. Besides, that gave me yet another reason to wreck their Raiders, because they would be practically useless on the field.
Steve marked my two Long Fang squads, my Thunderwolves and two of my Rhinos.

I had the first turn!

And here is my deployment. You can see that I chose the side with the best places for my Long Fangs. Not that they really need the cover, but if just feels right, haha. I had pretty good fire lanes. I deployed everything except the Thunderwolves and the Marked for Death Rhinos. My idea was to move the two Rhinos I had in position to where the objectives are and then to reinforce them with the Rhinos in Reserve. The Thunderwolves were there to counter-attack from Reserve as well. I knew that he would rush me with the Best Masters, so I had to think of ways to deal with them without allocating too much firepower.

Steve had a solid deployment. He positioned his Beasts as close as possible in a way that he could move them without going through difficult terrain and his Raiders were positioned as far as possible behind cover and giving each other cover as well. He was doing his best to avoid the range of my Long Fangs.
His x3 Ravagers were on the other side of the board doing their thing and staying out of range of my Long Fangs with their Night Shields and Flickerfields.

His Venoms were out of LoS behind a building. He had the small Trueborn squad in the middle, behind some ruins.

My Turn 1
Priorities had to be set. I was going to have to ignore the Ravagers for a while and do my best to slow his advance by destroying the Raiders. The Venoms were going to be a pain in the ass, but at least my Thunderwolves were not in play yet, so he would have to close in and shoot at the closest Long Fangs squad. I was okay with that..
My movement was limited. The Vindicator got inside the building and I can't quite remember if he managed to get a shot at the Beasts or not, but he really didn't do anything too spectacular. He was going to be my fire magnet. The Rhino on the left side, containing my Rune Priest moved 6'' to get a better LoS.
Setting the Trap! Here is what I know about Beast units - They are scary, with tons of attacks at low-to-medium Strength. They have some trouble dealing with vehicles especially if those vehicles need 6's to be hit. The Rhino on the right was going to be bait and with some luck it was going to provoke Steve to assault it with the Beasts. My hopes were that he was going to roll low or average with his fleet move and then only be able to get in his Razorwing Flocks in there to do any damage. After that I was going to have him all clumped up for some template love and close enough to my table edge to assault him with my Thunderwolves from reserve. So I moved my Rhino the full 12'' towards his Beasts, but slightly at an angle and popped Smoke. Was the risk going to be worth it?

The Rune Priest inside the Rhino cast Living Lightning at the middle Raider, because I knew that only the front one would be in range for my Long Fangs. And what do you know, I made it explode! The Wyches poured out and most of them died to the explosion. 1 Kill Point for me. Second Raider got hit by five rockets and also exploded, killing a bunch of Wyches who then failed their Pinning check. 2 Kill Points for me.

Steve's Turn 1
He moved his Wyches in cover and then moved his last Raider as far as possible, hugging his long table edge. I guess he panicked and realized that only my Living Lightning was going to reach it? The Venoms quickly flanked me on my right like a swarm of pesky little flies and were clearly going to unleash their splinter whatevers at my Long Fangs. Ravagers moved a little and as I predicted, his Beast Masters were going after my Rhino.
His shooting phase was not very impressive. A lot of his shooting went into that one Rhino with the Smoke, but a series of misses, bad rolls to pen with Dark Lances, and lucky 4+ cover saves on my part left the Rhino unscathed. I thin kthat some Lances were fired at the Vindicator, but I don't remember what happened there. Then he fired hundreds of shots at my Long Fangs and only 1 was left. But he didn't run. It was actually the exact same model that was left from the previous game against Clay's Dark Eldar!
Spring the Trap! His Beasts then rolled average for their Fleet moved and charged my Rhino. As predicted only 3 of the Birds and some Khymeras managed to get in the fun. He was going to need 6's to hit, 6's to glance with the Khymeras. The Birds were S3 Rending.. So what happened? Only a single "Crew Shaken" result, which didn't bother me at all! Everything was working according to plan..

My Turn 2
This was going be pretty pivotal. I was either going to find a way to deal with the Beast unit on time, or I was going to get bogged down by 'em. All of my Reserves arrived, except a Rhino. The Thunderwolves moved towards the Beasts ready to assault them. I moved my Rune Priest's Rhino another 6''.
I figured.. hey.. why not.. and tank shocked the Beast Masters.
In quite possibly the luckiest, craziest turn of events.. the Beasts failed their Morale check and ran 11'' away from the Rhino!!! Yeah.. I know. Crazy, right? Without allocating any firepower or assaulting I was able to win some precious time, and that was pretty darn important. I actually felt kind of bad, because clearly luck was on my side. Was it a good tactical decision? Yes. But then again.. The best part of the whole ordeal was that the Beast Squad was still within 6'' of my Rhino and was going to continue running on Steve's turn.
The Grey Hunters disembarked, ready to unleash their bolters on the Wyches that were not pinned.
The Thunderwolves were sad and just kind of shuffled around, expecting the poison next turn.
Rune Priest cast Living Lightning and wrecked the Raider of the Archon's Incubi. Oh, what a glorious thing you are, Living Lightning... Indeed.
Rockets were then fired at the Venoms and one was wrecked, another immobilized and one was stunned.
The Grey Hunters then opened fire at the Wyches, who went to ground for a 3+ cover save and actually one one of them died.
No assaults.. ;(
Here's what happened..

Steve's Turn 2
The Beasts had to automatically run away from the Rhino and Steve rolled 11'' for their fleeing distance.
From here on the game is becoming fuzzy, but not a whole lot of things change.
Steve shot at my units. A lot. He also fired tons of lances at the dangerous Rhino but they all missed and/or failed to even glance. One actually did glance, but it was a Weapon Destroyed result!
The Archon and Incubi got behind the building and some of the Wyches took positions.

My Turn 3
At this point I knew I had the Primary. All three Marked for Death Raiders were dead already and the two Wyches squad were damaged and too far from to assault my Long Fangs and too fragile to kill my Thunderwolves. Not to mention the two Marked for Death Rhinos. They were going to be taken care of. The Ravagers would be my next target to prevent the destruction of my Rhinos..
The Rhino in the middle moved 12'' - next to the Beasts. I felt like a total douchebag but the big pile o' feathers was going to evanesce. The Thunderwolves and Skarvald split and moved forward, both units getting great Fleet results. I threw one pack of Grey Hunters towards a Wych squad and Skarvald towards another one while the Thunderwolves were going to crush some Venoms!
My Shooting Phase was only so-so. I really don't remember much.
Skarvald almost squished the entire Wych squad but some lucky 4+ dodge saves saved the squad and it actually stayed in combat. The Venoms were wrecked as well by the Thunderwolves.

Steve's Turn 3
The Beasts ran away! Not a whole lot of moving for Steve's Dark Eldar. He kind of copied my maneuver and split his Archon and Incubi. The Archon was going after Skarvald while the Incubi - towards the Thunderwolves.
Shooting destroyed some Grey Hunters but it was not going to be enough. The Grey Hunters and their transports were not going to move from their objectives!

In the Assault phase the Archon failed to wound Skarvald and the infamous Wolf Lord wiped out the Wyches. He was now stuck in a duel against the scary Dark Eldar elf dude! The Incubi had to go through difficult terrain to assault my Thunderwolves and their lack of grenades spelled their doom. Literally every single Incubus died before they could even strike.

My Turn 4
This turn I dedicated to the Ravagers. I didn't want them to contest any objectives! So blah-blah shooting, they got glanced/penned. Basically were not a threat. I think maybe I had a squad of Grey Hunters in the Rhino.. maybe it went somewhere? I dunno..
Then the Dark Eldar Archon kind of had his way with Skarvald.. ;_;

Steve's Turn 4
At this point we were ready to call it, but I insisted on Steve to at least charge my Thunderwolves with his Archon. And he did! And he killed all of them! Hahaha... Stupid Archon. <_<


This was my biggest victory in the Tournament. I won all three Objectives! Getting rid of the painful Beast squad without the need of any firepower was sooo lucky. I think it was what tipped the scales in my favor. That and just the fact that the mission was too mean for the Dark Eldar player. The experience I got from the previous Dark Eldar opponent definitely helped me. It was a great game, though. Every time I play against Dark Eldar the games are just a blast. Always bloody, always gimmicky, always requiring extra preparation and thought behind every move! Just goes to prove that Phil Kelly really is the best codex author in Games Workshop!  

Here's some battle rep-inspired music for you to listen to as well... I guess:
Game 5 had me facing a codex that I had never had to face before, but was prepared to anyways.. 
Space Wolves! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Space Wolves Apocalypse Formation: The Spear of Russ

The Spear of Russ                                                              Points:  100 + MODELS

No one truly knows remembers why the Imperial Guard's mainstay tank was named after the Primarch of the Space Wolves. Some say that it was Leman Russ' Crusade that discovered the STC for the tank, others insist that it was the Space Wolves which started using Leman Russ Battle Tanks en masse. Although they are usually seen as detachments in Imperial Guard infantry companies or seen fighting as part of an "Emperor's Fist" or "Emperor's Lance" armored regiment, the Leman Russ Battle Tanks are also sometimes fielded by the Space Wolves Chapter. The most commonly used variant in such rare instances is the Leman Russ Exterminator. 
Armed with a pair of twin-linked autocannons and usually a few heavy bolters, the Leman Russ fulfills a role similar to that of a Predator Destructor. Its simple design, durability and efficiency on the field of battle are literally unmatched by any other Astartes vehicle - whether tasked with obliterating hordes or dealing with light vehicles or flyers, the adaptable as a wolf Exterminator always succeeds.

At first manned by skilled Imperial Guard aces, the few Leman Russ Exterminators in the possession of the Space Wolves were used on many planets and campaigns in and beyond the Imperium of Man. 
It was Egil Iron Wolf's idea to allow Space Wolf veterans to man the vehicles instead. Egil, who was the Wolf Lord in charge of the Leman Russes decided that the few Exterminators in the Chapter should be driven by more deserving men - men with centuries of experience on the battle field. Instead of trusting mortal men with his few battle tanks, Egil decided to give the honor of manning a vehicle bearing his Primarch's name to some of the best Long Fangs his Great Company had ever known.
Thus, "The Spear of Russ" armored regiment was created. The honor of going to battle inside the ferro-steel plating is given to some of the older Long Fangs - Space Wolves with centuries of experience, nerves of steel and an extremely reliable and stable demeanor. When a Long Fang's pack becomes too small or too precious to be on the battlefield unprotected it is given the privilege of dispensing indiscriminate justice from the inside of a Leman Russ Battle Tank. Ideally the remnants of a pack receive a dedicated vehicle, with the Squad Leader in control of the vehicle and the rest of his Long Fang pack manning the various turrets and sponsons. "The Spear of Russ" is composed of at least three similar vehicles and one of them, usually the tank with the oldest Squad Leader, is chosen to be the command tank. Although uneasy at first, the different Long Fang packs eventually adapt to the situation and learn to function as one with the rest of the Exterminators.

3+ Leman Russ Exterminator Tanks (from Codex: Imperial Guard)
One tank must be marked as the command tank.

Astartes Crew - To represent the Long Fangs operating the Leman Russ Exterminator tanks, every tank in The Spear of Russ formation gains +1 BS. The extra cost of this upgrade is already included in the points value of the formation.

Auto-targeting System - The Leman Russ Exterminators have the Anti-Aircraft Mount special rule.

Fire Control - If a tank from The Spear of Russ formation is within 12'' of the command vehicle (or is the command vehicle itself) it can shoot each of its weapon at different targets.

Strike Force:  All units in The Spear of Russ must be deployed within 6" of the command tank, or, if coming on from reserve they must enter the table within 6" of the point entered by the command tank.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New 11th Company Podcast: Now with more Skarvald!

Hey there, folks!
I'm pretty excited to announce that The 11th Company Podcast just released there 101th episode, titled Episode 101: Now with 3 digits!
Well, what does that mean? Well, you should totally go and check it out, give it all your ears for its entire duration simply because the 11th Company Podcast is awesome. You don't really need any other reasons.

Tried not to sound like Chekov..
Alright, alright. There another reason to listen to listen to this specific episode, I guess.
It has me in it! Woot! And I did't even sound too ridiculous or stereotypical.. or at least I don't think so. Pat was nice enough to interview me about Wolves for the Wolf God and some of the more recent posts and projects that I've been working on. There is talk about Special Operations: Killzone (more like a tease, really), using and dealing with the Land Raider Achilles, The Space Wolf Achievements and just a lot of general talk about why I started Wolves for the Wolf God and the things I like to blog about.

So, if Podcasts are your thing or if you've never listened to The 11th Company Podcast.. well, give it a try. I promise that you won't be disappointed. And hey, you get a chance to finally hear my voice rather than reading my mumbo-jumbo. I.. I think I'm like the only Eastern European I know that plays this hobby and is part of the blogosphere. Weird. I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong, though.
Anyone out there? Anyone? Balkan power?

P.S: The inteview is around 10 minutes long (starts at 2:18:45 and ends ~2:28:00) and you should totally go check it out if/when you have some spare time

Monday, January 9, 2012

Death Area: An Inside Look at Killzone Design #1

As promised, here is  the first article about our involvement in Special Operations: Killzone. At the moment we are not sure about the length of the series, but expect at least two more. Hopefully by reading these articles you will be able to see Killzone for what it is and what it has been during the transition from v2.0 to v3.0. The entire Killzone team is very proud and extremely excited to bring you the new edition of Special Operations: Killzone and with the following articles we hope to share our excitement with you as well as the process of reshaping Killzone into what it is now.  

Article #1 is going to cover the story of how Joe and I become part of the Killzone crew, some of the general changes we had to make and the challenges we had to face with v2.0 after Adepticon 2011 was over.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Puppets War's newest release - Orc Da Plane

That's right, ladies and gentleman's ones, it is Da Plane by Puppets War. A model that I have been expecting for a while now and honestly it is just what I needed. But I'll let the picture convince you first:

ORC DA PLANE - $26.31
Set contains 1 complete Orc Da Plane model which includes: 
Plane main body, 1 gun, rocket launcher attachments, machine gun attachments, cockpit, chainsaw, flight stabilizer and highly detailed pilot model. Designed to fit 28 mm tabletop war games scale. Supplied un-assembled and unpainted.

All da parts: Machine guns, cockpit, chainsaw, flight stabilizer and pilot
It's just such a beautiful model and it's original enough that it could be used for a myriad of Orky things. Is it a Deffkopa? A mini-Ork Fight Boma or perhaps something completely different? Too bad Deffkoptas cannot have a Nob leading them because Da Plane would be the perfect Nob Deffkopa.. Honestly though, the model is distinctive and inspiring enough that I woudn't be opposed to, you know, creating some homebrew rules for it. Perhaps a Deffkopa Special Character (Da Red Baron?) or even an Orky HQ character that flies around on his kustomized plane? 

He COULD be the leader of my 100 Deffkopas idea..

Price-wise it is going to be ~$30 with shipping, which is not a bad price. You get all this resin, a unique-looking model with a few options, which you could use on other Orky models. It's totally worth it. Compare this to Games Workshop's metal Deffkopa model, which is $33 and probably the last metal model that's supposed to be on a flying stand..  Hm. That's what's missing - a flying stand. I wonder if that's a part of the model or not? Probably not, but they are cheap and everyone has a few of those just laying around.

Da Pilot is a KAMIKAZE!!!
I'll buy one as soon as possible and will probably Orkify it a little bit by slapping some extra Ork plates, bitz and pieces to bring it closer to the current Ork range. Plus, if a Codex can get away with using 3rd party models for conversions it's the Ork Codex.... because Orkz are cool like that.

What do you guys think about this model? Would you buy one for yourself or a friend of yours?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The First Hobby Day of 2012

.. for me was actually two days ago.

Frozencore Joe and I decided that it was time for us to dust off some models that needed glue and paint on them and we quickly deployed my room, which is juuuust big enough. It's not a dedicated Man Cave (although it sometimes might look like one...) but at least it's not the elevator room from Borat. 

I had plenty of stuff to build. Brian from A Gentleman's Ones gifted me the Khadoran contents from the 2-player Warmachine Starter Box. He's just über nice like that. The box contains the Sorsha model, a Destroyer, a Juggernaut and 5 Man-O-War Shocktroopers to boot! I also decided to finally build the Juggernaut from my very own Starter box, because everyone was sick and tired of watching just a pair of legs not even glued to a base...

I wish I looked like that... *sniff*
I also picked up Koldun Kapitan Valachev (trivia: the word "koldun" is a Slavic word meaning "sorcerer, warlock" ) just because his last name is almost identical to mine. Seriously, I was able to show the miniature at the register when asked for my last name (Games Plus keeps discount cards in alphabetical order) and just told the owner to drop the second "a". I'm probably the only Khador player that has ever been able to do that. Now I just need to get Epic Vlad.. Oh, I bought the trusty War Dog! I know that Silly Wishnailer is the thang right now, but he is just a dirty bald Retributionist elf. Now the War Dog, the War Dog is your best friend. He'll follow you anywhere, he has no other agenda other than protecting your life. Will Silly Wishnailer take a bullet for you?
Will he charge a Warjack to save your life? No, he won't. But the War Dog will. 

From top to bottom: Karchev the Terrible, Destroyer, Leman Russ Exterminator, Juggernaut, War Dog, Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Above you'll see the models that I was workin' on. Karchev the Terrible was actually given to me by Frozencore Joe who had bought him ages ago just to paint him. He's a little chipped here and there but I'll do my best to restore his beauty. This is my 3rd Khadoran Caster - he's joining Sorsha and Harkevich (who I'm starting to resemble, because I've vowed not to shave until the release of Diablo 3. It's been 3 months and a half now." The two resin-plastic Khadoran Warjacks were easy to assemble, but hard to clean.. especially their damned legs, man. Their axes were slightly warped, but nothing nuking some water in the microwave couldn't fix.

The War Dog and Valachev were much easier to clean, but some Liquid Green Stuff was needed to fill in the gaps and I had to pin Valachev's sword-holding arm, which was the most time-consuming part of the day. Twas a tricky pinning..

 Last on the list, but most important (yea.. I know) was the Leman Russ Exterminator which is still very much WIP. So far it has been a bitch to build, but the hard part is done. It's the OLD Leman Russ Battle Tank version and you have to build the friggin treads and all that crap. Oh, and I had no instructions.. So Joe helped. A lot.
There's also no hull-mounted heavy bolter bit in the old kit, nor is there the actual Exterminator twin-linked autocannon turret thing.. sooo for now this Leman Russ counts as a tank with all of its weapons destroyed... probably because there's a crazy Russian robot-man jumping on it.
I am also currently working on an Space Wolves Apocalypse Formation for 3 Leman Russ Exterminators..
Hopefully when I do get the other two kits the assembly will be much easier.
Actually.. I don't know why I'm complaining. I've had to build worse. Way, way worse. Like.. the metal Screaming Skull Catapult-worse. *shudder*

I finally convinced Joe to !@#$-ing paint his Space Wolves that he has had from their 2010 release. He has been talking about how he never got into them because Games Workshop never released the Fenrisian Wolves and Thunderwolf Cavalry models, which while true and unfortunate was still not a good enough reason. Joe is a great painter and I have learned a lot from him, so it was kind of nice to watch him paint his Space Wolves. Plus, I was able to give him a few pointers on how to paint the power armor and fur on the models since I have some experience with that. He's doing Harald Deathwolf's Great Company, which is what I've been doing as well, so hopefully it will motivate me to revisit my hastily-painted Space Wolves and start highlighting and painting their faces.

I am also not going to mention the fact that Joe primed inside my building and managed to get Grey primer all over my door and on one of the walls. Oh, wait.. ;D That's what Safety Deposits are for, I guess.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Killzone v3.0 finally done! The Imperium of Man rejoices!

The Official THIRD installment of Special Operations: Killzone
The legal Rulebook and Errata which will be used at Adepticon 2012
As brough to you by: 
Big Jim from Galaxy in Flames
Brian from A Gentleman's Ones
Skarvald the Troll-faced and Frozencore Joe from Wolves for the Wolf God
-=and of course=-
YOU, the supporters
YOU, the play-testers

It has been done, friends, followers of Wolves for the Wolf God and skirmish-enthusiasts from the whole wide world! Special Operations: Killzone v3.0 is finally here! AND, if you haven't done so already head to the Killzone page and get yourself the brand new versions of the Killzone Rulebook v3.0 and the Killzone Errata, which has now been renamed to Killzone Codex: Operatives. v3.0, of course. ;)
After many Skype sessions, after many hours spent theory-crafting, balancing, writing, cutting, editing and play-testing we, the authors of the current incarnation of Killzone believe that the game is finally ready... For Adepticon, that is. 
A true masterpiece is never done and even know I can't wait to see where the winds will take us. Big Jim is already salivating at the possibilities over at the Killzone Facebook Group. I just know it.  

We are of course very happy to deliver the jolly good news to you, but don't you dare think that our job here is done. No, sirs! No such thing. The temporary finalization of Killzone was just a part of our pledge to make Special Operations: Killzone the best skirmishing independent game out there. We are done with the theory part of the challenge. Time for some practice.
And while we are done with the rulebook stuff until the end of Adepticon we still have so much to do. 
But we'll manage, right? We just have 10 3x3 ft. tables to do by the last week of April. Shouldn't be too bad! 
For now, though, we'll be keeping these a secret. :P 

Brian really hit the nail on the head over at his blog, though. It has been hectic and crazy, but oh so much fun. 
Lets just say that we not feel for all game designers and developers out there. Coming up with cool and fair rules at the same time ain't easy, dudes! 

So, what does that mean? Well, while we are ready to reveal some of the table designs and ideas, me and Frozencore Joe will try to share with you a fraction of the Killzone Madness. Expect some insight your very own VIP pass behind the scenes of the MAKING of Killzone. How does it work? What were the limits?