Friday, April 3, 2015

A New League

Wednesday night marked the start of my local gaming store's semi-annual league.  This is always a ton of fun and a great way to learn a new army because of the sheer volume of low point games.

This time around we are only running 850 point games on a 4'x5' board.  Half of the games are maelstrom, but all of the missions, deployment, terrain, and opponents are predetermined.  Everyone will play on every table, but not everyone will play every opponent.

*Edit* The format for our league is similar to most sports.  We have six weeks of regular season games and are then ranked and bracketed into a single elimination tournament.  Prizes are given to both the regular season champion as well as the tournament champion. */Edit*

I brought my Astra Militarium, run as traitor guard.  Forge world was allowed this time around, for the first time, but since I don't own a copy of IA-13 I couldn't use the proper Traitor Legion rules.  Looks like my friendly local gaming store is starting to loosen up with what is allowed.

Here was my list:

Tank commander: Vanquisher, lascannon, multimelta
Leman Russ: heavy bolter

Platoon Command Squad: Grenade Launcher x2
Guardsmen: Autocannon
Guardsmen: Autocannon

Primaris Psyker: lvl 1 divination

Veterans: melta gun x2

Hellhound: heavy bolter

Dark Angels: Purge the Alien, Dawn of War

My opponent's list looked something like:
Terminator librarian
Terminator buddies: 3 Thunder-hammer/storm-shields, Plasma cannon, apothecary

Tactical squad: Melta gun, multimelta, combi-melta, and melta bombs
Drop Pod

Tactical squad: Plasma gun, heavy bolter
Drop Pod

This game was rough, but I learned quickly not to place anything in reserves.  The games are so fast (1 hour timed), that after some bad rolling, my hellhound didn't come onto the board until about 3 minutes remaining.

Yo dawg! I heard you like melta...

I had a lot of bad rolling, but the melta drop pod took out my regular leman russ after two turns.  The second marine squad tore through the guardsmen like butter.  I did inflict significant casualties, but with so few kill points he easily won.

Lessons learned:
Don't put anything in reserves (for these fast games).
Terrain can be dangerously restrictive on movement.

Harlequins: Lost Contact, Hammer and Anvil

I don't remember the exact configuration of my opponent's army since this was my first time against Harlequins

Solitare with eldar shenanigans
Squad on foot with eldar shenanigans
Squad in transport with eldar shenanigans
Squad in transport with eldar shenanigans

Flying gunboat thing with a prismatic cannon

Not having faced Harlequins, I didn't know what to expect.  What I didn't expect was for me to destroy everything in a fiery explosion, but that is exactly what happened.

Literally the first time I shot at every vehicle it exploded.  After the first couple I felt bad for my opponent.  He couldn't roll jink saves for anything.

Thirty second before I rained hellfire down on those clowns.

My hellhound immobilized itself turn 1, but still managed to play a significant roll since its shooting was still in range of two of the objectives.  Aside from losing the chimera and my platoon command squad this game was nothing short of a massacre.

To add insult to injury, this was also the first game (ever) where I managed to score the, "Capture all objectives" maelstrom card.

Lessons learned:
Hellhounds can be used defensively when you know your opponent is headed towards you.  This is especially important when you immobilize your hellhound on the first turn of the game.

Blood Angels: The Emperor's Will, Vanguard Strike

Librarian: Jump pack ML2 (divination)

Death Company: Jump Packs, melta pistol
Tactical Squad: Melta gun, Multi-melta

Death Company dreadnought: Claw things, melta gun
Drop Pod

Ball Predator: Twin Linked assault cannon.

This board featured tons of LOS blocking terrain, and things were fairly cramped for my tanks.

He landed his drop pod right up in my face next to my objective, and tried to scare me, but the melta-vets took care of him without even breaking a sweat.

This seems familiar...

My hellhound became severely crippled turn two, getting immobilized and losing the main gun.  It did not die, so it remained blocking my leman russes path.  The leman russes rained shots down on his tactical squad, but were unable to take the predator off of his objective.

His librarian and death company landed in the same place as the dreadnought and had a bit more luck.  They took down my chimera, veterans, and platoon command squad before I managed to finish them off.

Lessons learned:
Volumes of lasgun shots can still get the job done.

Thinking into the future:

This was an effective list, but I do want to try out other things.  Right now I am a bit limited by what models I own, but I will probably ally in some daemons later on.

One of the guys in the league is a notorious win at all costs player.  He decided to bring a forgeworld superheavy (what looked like a Felblade) at 850 points.  One of my friends refused to play him last night, and I was thinking of doing the same, but I am also considering making the biggest troll list I can conceive.  If anyone has ideas to make his game miserable (not necessarily win, but just be a giant pain in his ass) I am open to suggestions

Probability Update:

I know several readers were interested in Deep Striking Safety: Oval Bases.  I am still working on this problem, and I am happy to say that I finally have something that I should be able to plug into a computer to come up with my results.

Does someone want to check my work?

There are also about 8-10 similarly filled pages of incorrect work.


  1. Replies
    1. With so many games, I won't be doing detailed battle reports, but I will write up what worked, what didn't work, and that sort of thing.

  2. About the waac:
    I would bring as much haywire weapons as possible.
    The best solution could be to bring two list, one for the normal play and the other for the super heavy. This should be not allowed by the tournament but if every others opponents agree and do not report you, you can play with him and then change your list.

    Another option can be: loosing time. Don't take your models out of the case untilll the hour begin. Then take them out slowly, interrupting the operation with talking about the game, the models (how they are painted, for instance), asking advice, "what is your favorite models?" etc. On deployement you can deploy out of your zone of deployement, so that he will ask you to re-deploy properly. If He doesn't you will check and find your "mistake" and redeploy.Then go to check his deployment.
    Try to have the initiative and take your time to take decision, and when you have decided what to do, change your mind and do something else. Then you can ask how a rule works. Listen his answer, and then say that you are not sure, and go to the other table asking others's players opinions (if you find someone that is not playing you can spend sometimes taking about something else).
    The most important thing is that when his shooting phase arrives, suddenly you have to say that you are sorry but you have to go to the toilet, and promise that you will be very fast. Come back to the table at the ending of the regular time.
    It should end in a draw. (You have done nothing against the rules) This can be more funny if your friends know about this plan and help you with that. :-)

    1. Unfortunately I don't know the rules for his tank, so I am going to have to do some more scouting before I can really determine what I want to do. During the normal season we can switch up our list, but not during the tournament.

    2. - Throw your dice off of the board! Loose time looking for them! (this is really annoying!)
      -Maybe one of your unit has some special deployment rule, but you are not sure. Look for it in you codex. If you can't find it, look for it again, because you are almost sure that you have seen that rule somewhere.
      - Ask him how one of his rule works. Say that it's unbelievable and ask him to show you that rule. ( Once my opponent make me look for the rules that says that jet-bikes cannot been pinned. I couldn't remember where it was written and we loose a lot of time, even if it was obvious that jet-bikes cannot been pinned)

      PS: All of this are not ideas of mine. My evil dark eldar Archon of the "Kabal of the kick in the [censored]" told me to write them.

  3. A Chaos Fellblade is mostly alright. It puts out 4 Las cannon shots, a demolisher, and a TL of either an S9 Ap 2 Armorbane or a S8 Ap3 7" blast. it's very good at killing tanks, it can have Armored Ceramite, 12 HP, and you can give it Death of Kasyr Lutien to give all your allied Daemons opportunities to summon cheaply. It can't kill anything with a good cover save or invulnerable that has enough bodies.

    The Imperial version has all that and can take a relic that lets it Ignore Cover. This is all that needs be said about that.

    Putting X00 Guardsmen on the table with Yarrick, Lascannons, Metabombs, and Forewarning/Invisibility will survive and more importantly keep him back in his deployment zone. Flavor with ATSKNF to taste. Tigurius comes to mind. There is no need to resort to intentional slow play.

    1. The Armorbane is a Small blast, notably. Still bad news for a Leman Russ

    2. My trolling is usually along the lines of, "Oh, I am going to hide one squad out of LOS of your whole army and then reserve everything else."

    3. Here's a thought. the big guy can't his fliers. It's really too bad I only have one vendetta and no valkyries.

    4. The 4 TL Lascannons on a Fellblade side sponsor are not terrible at killing a Vendetta.

    5. Eh, looking at the math, maybe they are.

    6. Running some quick numbers, four twin linked lascannons have a 6.68% chance of destroying a vendetta in one turn if the vendetta jinks.

    7. If you are using Traitor Guard, massive blobs of conscripts in cover with a (chaos) priest will be a complete pain to remove for him. If you are using Chaos, get some flying circus action going with Tzeentch/Telekenesis powers.

  4. Thanks for the battle report. Interesting to see guard do well. I hope it was fun :)

    As for the hater player the best thing to do against a 'win at all costs' player is simply to win. Twinkie players like that usually are rules lawyers so you can simply call them out on their illegal moves is enough to get them off their game. Minimize the cheesiness they are fielding. Most of the time they plan around some loose interpretation of the rules and if you simply call them on their BS you can shut down a sicko combo right off the bat and that'll ruin them outright.

    In this case he is putting all his eggs in one basket. You want to have something viable against the other players so you can consider the D weapons bloodthirster allied in to a normal list. The D weapon is your anti-armor who can just happens to be able to handle a super heavy tank. Your only risk is to thunderblitz attacks and any silly shooting he has and with the board as small as it is you can prolly catch him pretty easy.

    The other option is hoard style. You'll need demons or the like as you want to be fearless in some form or another. Then you just let him shoot away while you score and hold objectives. Take combined arms detachment so all your stuff has objsec, preventing him from taking any objective from you short of killing the unit. Summoning lists work well as you can replenish the stuff he does kill. Nurgle isn't a bad option here as you can hurt him with touch of rust and 2+ cover any shooting he does, assuming he doesn't ignore cover, which he might.

  5. Also, if he is literally just that tank, you win by killing it. So maybe 2 D weapon bloodthirsters? :p

    1. He has other things in the army, but not much. I will do some scouting tonight to try and find more information.

  6. A couple of days ago, I have had a friendly mach in my local GW store at 1250. Pt. My opponent told me that he was bringing 30 pt more, and I said that it was not a problem, considering that he told me that he was using the new Adeptus Mechanicus. Only then I discovered that he was going to use 5 troop units of Ad Mec and... 2 Imperial Knights.
    I have always been scared by those...things. I had not a lot of things in my army list to wound them. They shoot, they kill, they assault, they kill.
    So I tried a little psicological trick.The mission was the n 5 from maelstorm. I put in deep strike everything I could, and deploy out of LOS 2 units that I had to deploy. This made him less confident in his strategy of been able to overkill everything I had on the board and begin to maneuver to reach my hidden units.
    From the second turn my unit (coming from reserve) begin to behave like annoying mosquitoes, shooting his IK with weapon that could not kill them, like HW granades or some s8 blaster.
    Like I was hoping, my opponent focused on killing my "mosquitoes units", meanwhile other units went to capture some objective. At the end of the game I had 5 units alive and 8 dead. I managed to kill only 2 units of Ad Mec in the whole game, the first to win "first blood", and the second because they were on a objective that I needed. When the game ended my opponent smiled, thinking that he was clearly winning.
    "I won. 5-2" I said.
    "Count your tactical objective cards" :-D

    The trick here was giving him the feeling of being winning, while doing some points. :-)
    I share this because if you met an opponent with a list focused on only one big unit (like the forgeword one) this strategy could be helpfull

    1. I use a very similar strategy quite often when faced with deathstars or single fliers.

      Ignore the big thing, kill everything else, and play the mission. It works.

    2. Law abiding citizen said it best: "That is how winner's play. You make the other think he's making all the right moves."

  7. I have a question.
    My local gw store will make on saturday a funny event.
    You have to bring a no-named character, by foot, no transport, no wolf, no bikes, with power ups up to 250 pt and fight with others "heroes of the arena", all Vs all.
    When I asked "Funny! And how the psionic phase works?" he could not give me an answer. I think that in the end he will decide to not allow psionic power in such a game.

    In your opinion can exist a balanced solution to this?

    1. A chaos lord (from Khorne Daemonkin) in terminator armor with an axe of khorne would probably do pretty well.

      I have never been drawn into these types of events because they simplify so much of the game that quite a bit of strategy is eliminated. As a result there is more reliance on luck.

    2. It would heavily depend on the arena size and terrain. If it's small and open then you should take a beatstick. Prolly an eldar phoenix lord like Karandras. He is basically running around with a S8 AP2 power fist that swings on init 7 :P So he will smash most characters in melee before they even swing.

      If its a decent field with space and terrain I'd go with a Tau Crisis Commander. You can roxxor 4 S7 missile pods or maybe a mix of plasma rifles for AP2. Then thrust behind cover and let the beatsticks kill each other :)

    3. To answer your question on a 'balanced solution'. The problem I see with this free-4-all is that the players who go first have heavy advantage as they can act before others can. It would not surprise me to see the player who's last in the turn rotation getting shot to death before he even gets a turn.

      To solve for this you need to cycle turns during the phases. So turn 1 player 1 moves, then the next player and so on.

      The psychic phase can then be done as normal where everyone generates warp charges plus a stock fair value (like 3 or 4). Then everyone does one power in turn order until everyone runs out of warp charge. Deny the witches can be done in turn order against blessings or summonings.

      The shooting phase where one guy shoots a gun, then the next, then the next until everyone is out of shots.

      Assault is slightly different in that you do moves first. Tracking who charged who. Then you run each combat as a big multiple unit combat. You would get any bonuses for charging if you attack the guy you charged when its your init step occurs. If he's dead or you decide to switch and hit someone else (like someone who charged you) then you lose charge bonuses.

      That would make it somewhat fair. Maybe switch up who is first player in each phase so the guy who goes first doesn't always get to go first. Maybe randomize first player each phase and just go in clockwise order.

      Just beware, the more peeps who play the bigger chance peeps will get offed before they really get to do anything :(

    4. Kandras is a named character so he/she is not allowed. The avatar of Kahine is no named character (there are a lot of "avatar of Kahine"out there...), and he is a character, so I think I will bring him...

    5. A winged nurgle daemon prince with a balesword would also pretty well. Most people probably aren't going to worry about ignoring cover.

    6. Oh, if its not named then yeah a nurgle prince with balesword for the win :)

  8. The problem with the psionic phase is, for instance:
    I have got a Farseer, (lv3), and in my psionic phase I wont to cast: a spell like mind war (single shot) or a malediction vs one enemy, a bless on myself and a nova or a spell that hits an area where there are others enemies.
    Who deny the witch?
    The target of the malediction? He would trow all the dice... I don't think that other players will agree...

    1. first off with only a ML3 guy he isn't gonna cast more than 1-2 powers :P As for who denies the witch that is up to the players who want to deny to sort out. Obviously if a guy is targeted he would need to decide. If multiple people want to deny then they can pool dice and make one roll. You'll be surprised with only a single character. You won't have many dice to use and you'll need to spend them on both deny and casting. So they'll go very quick.

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