Monday, October 31, 2011

A Chaos Space Marine experiment for Comikaze: Annihilation!

So I am going to Comikaze: Annihilation! this weekend and I was getting a bit tired of my Grey Knights, so the question becomes what army to play?

I saw that Ragnar (Mannahnim on Dakka) was having a lot of success with his Chaos Space Marines and so I had a brilliant idea of not only playing Chaos…but to play his list!

So I started by trying to see what models I have, and what I need for his army, and I have just about everything painted up and ready to go. The one thing I did not have though, was his termicide squad. I converted all of my chaos terminators back into Grey Knights (I used Grey Knight models for them). The good thing is that Ragnar played at 2000 points at the Battle for Salvation, and I am playing at 1750, so I have to trim a couple of units out of his list and so the terminators are getting dropped.

I would also like to remind people that I am no Chaos newbie and I am very well versed in the ways of the Warp! There are 3 armies that I would say that I am expert in and those are Grey Knights, Eldar, and Chaos (and not in that order).Still it will not be easy to win because I am playing someone else's list, and I am ..well, playing chaos. This is also an example of why I do not do consistently well at tournaments because I am always doing stupid things (like bringing Demonhunters to Adepticon)

Battlefoam RTT
So to get into the spirit, and to knock some of the dust off because I have not played my chaos in a while I took them to a local RTT. I wanted to get use to using some of his units that I normally don’t take, so I played in an RTT Saturday at Battle Foam’s Gaming Saloon, and the list I used was a close version of Ragnar's Chaos list, with some improvising with the units that I had ready. 

I took:
Demon Prince w/MoS, Wings, Lash of Submission
Demon Prince w/MoS, Wings, Lash of Submission
Summoned Greater Demon

Dreadnaught w/Autocannon

9 Chaos Space Marines w/2Melta Guns
1 Aspiring Champion w/Power Fist

9 Chaos Space Marines w/2Melta Guns
1 Aspiring Champion w/Power Fist

7 Berzerkers
1 Aspiring Champion w/Power Weapon
Rhino w/Extra Armor

5 Summoned Demons
5 Summoned Demons

Heavy Support
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators
2 Obliterators

I made some major changes to his list for the RTT because I was really busy this week and I was unable to finish the models. For example, all of my missile launchers (for the havocs) have broken off of the models and I have to glue them back on. I also wanted to try his chosen in a rhino, but I do not have enough melta guns. This will shock people (and especially Stelek) but I have not been a big user of Melta weaponry. So rummaging through my extensive bitz, I was able to find 4 melta guns for the troops, but that was it. I have a lot of chaos bits for my Night Lords and I thought that I bought some Iron Warriors melta guns for them, but it looks like I only bought the Iron Warriors Lascannons. I might have some space wolf ones because I think they had a plastic melta gun on the Space Wolf upgrade sprue, so I hope I can dig up 3 more.

Here is some video I shot:

Quick Batreps of the RTT
Game #1 vs. Chaos Demons
5 Objectives
Pitched Battle
So for the first round I find myself going up against Chaos Demons (where are my Grey Knights now?) and I was able to kill off his troops through shooting and tie up his last squad of bloodletters with my dreadnaught and I ended up winning 2 objectives to 0
Note: As a funny story I forgot my Greater Demon at home and I was playing 100 VPs down. I was able to run home and grab him during the lunch break.

Game #2 vs. My Nova Open Grey Knights
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
You heard me..this was an exact copy of my Nova Open list! Now the real bad news is that I got to beat it in an Annihilation mission. This will not be pretty.     
He ends up deepstrking his whole army other than his dreadnaughts. I get in a gunnery duel with them with my Oblits, and it is mostly a slap fight. My army is mostly in the center of the board and he got all of his units on in turn #2 and deepstrikes all of his army on my left. Well, I know that he has short range shooting, and is killer in assault so I do what every chaos player should do and I ran! I used plasma cannons to do a lot of damage to his strikes/interceptors and crippled them early. I also managed to lash the Paladins and move them back even father.
In the end I had a lot of trouble killing his dreadnaughts and I had to send my Demon Princes after them. Even then I ended up in combat for a long time and I just whiffed like crazy and killed just one of them.   
At the end of the game he killed 2 of my rhinos and one of my chaos space marine squads (mostly when he dropped down). I killed his strike squad, his interceptor squad, and 2 dreadnaughts.

Game #3 vs. (wait for it) Grey Knights!
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
This is an odd build. He had the Libarian, and a Grandmaster and then he took 5 Paladins, 2x5 Termiantors, 2x10 Purgation Squads w/4 Psycannons.
For some reason I got really aggressive (and I am not an aggressive player because my dice hate me) and I started by lashing 5 of his terminators to me and shot them and do nothing to them, and then I charge with my Demon Prince and my Berserkers and I get my teeth kicked in. He kills my DP and he kills one in return. Then my Berserkers hit him and kill a couple. Then in the next round he kills some berserkers and they kill the last 2 terminators. Then I move my Berzerkers to his objective marker and I get the greater demon on. I choose to pop him out of my berserkers and he goes after 5 terminators+librarian and the berzerkers goes after a purgation squad. The bezerkers are in a close fight with the purgation squad, and then the Greater Demon takes 3 unsaved wounds, and then he gets to attack with his 6 attacks with his WS8 and Str 6 and misses with all 6 attacks! That made me sad. I was hoping to kill a few of them so I could shoot down the rest, but that whiff killed the GD and he did nothing in return.  I have nothing near my objective marker, and I deepstrike a demon squad on them. Then he counters and drops his paladin squad near them. I was hoping he would get his paladins in sooner, so he would place them somewhere else, but that did not happen. Lucky for me he does not have psycannons and only kills 3 of my Demons. Then on my turn I unload into the paladin squad with 8 Lascannons from the oblits, and they kill all of them but the Grand Master (who they finish off next turn). My CSM squads have their rhinos shot up by the purgation squads, and then they start to get chewed up by them. My berserkers finish off his Pergation squad and have 2 left, and then I shoot and charge his terminators and I kill a couple from shooting, and I was able to do enough with my attacks that I was able to kill them. Then what models I have left were shot off of the objective by his last purgation squad. Then I unload my Oblits into them and I wipe them out in turn #7 for a tabling by me. I had my one objective, and he was gone.

So I went 3-0 and took 2nd place. I learned a lot, and that is why I went to the RTT, for practice with CSM (and my video camera) for the big GT in LA next weekend and also to win some store credit for a Battle Foam Pack Air. 

My greater demon did nothing in all three games and I blame the fact that he was angry because I left him at home for game #1.

So now I need to get the army together, and pair it down to 1750 points.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The list I would have taken to Da Boyz GT

There has been a lot of talk about Da Boyz GT and there comp system. I came close to going back to their event, but I have traveled enough, and decided not to spend the money and just kick back at home.

So I made a list using there comp system and this is what I would have taken:

Grandmaster  w/Rad Gernades, Psychotroke Gernades

Librarian w/Sanctuary, Shrouding, Might of Titian

Because of the comp hit you take from having a special character (especially one as expensive as Draigo), I had to drop him and take a Grandmaster. This helps out a little in assault because of the grenades, but it loses some of the durability from shooting.  

Venerable Dreadnaught w/TL Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo

10 Paladins w/4 Psycannons (Swords, Halberds,  Hanmmers, and the Brotherhood Banner)

Because of the loss of Draigo I would now have to use Grand Strategy a lot to make the Paladins scoring. 

5 GK Strike Squad w/Psycannon
Razorback w/Psybolt Ammo

5 GK Strike Squad w/Psycannon
Razorback w/Psybolt Ammo

At Da Boyz, they hate duplication, but love mini-maxing.

Fast Attack
5 GK Interceptors w/Demonhammer, Psycannon

Heavy Support
Dreadnaught w/TL Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo

Because of Comp, I can’t duplicate my choices, so I had to drop one dreadnaught and move one into Elites.It costs me numbers, but it gave me a little durability (I would still prefer to have 3 Dreads that are Heavy Supports). 

This list would have come in at a perfect 80 Comp points (I think), and I am pretty happy with it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Healthy Gamer Challenge

There has been a lot of talk about gamer health these days, and as you can see from the video in my last post I am way out of shape. And here I was thinking that I was just big boned.

Before a big event I do try to walk a little to try to increase my stamina. GTs these days are becoming a major endurance test with the length that they are becoming. Wargames Con this year was 11 games, the NoVa Open was 13 games, and at Adepticon if you play in the Team Tournament and do well at the Adepticon Championships you are playing in 12 games. Some people are saying that is one of the reasons why Tony K. does so well is that he is young and in really good shape and that helps a lot at the end of a long tournament. I know that if I had my wits about me I might have been about to win in our game. I made 2 huge mistakes that cost me that game and that was done in part by fatigue. I remember watching the finals of Adepticon last year with Tony playing Cole, and Cole (who is in average shape) was slumped over in his chair partly hung over and a little bit out of it, while Tony was still fresh and awake.

Neil talked a little bit about this in his blog about the importance of getting is shape for GTs in his "Get off your duff and exercise" post

Last year there was a post about after Adepticon saying how out of shape everyone is in, and that everyone needs to get in better condition.

Well, if you listen to just about any podacast out there you have heard about James Ayles who died a week or two ago from a heart attack and left his wife and small children behind. That started a call for gamers to be in better health and to get in better shape. Also he was about my age when he passed away.

Big Jim started his healthy wargamer challenge on his blog found here and here. He and several other people are trying to get into shape.

For me, I am in a weight loss challenge. The Gold’s Gym in Downtown Phoenix has a challenge where you donate $25 to The United Way, and they enter you into a weight loss challenge. They weigh you and check your BMI and then at the end of 6 weeks the person who loses the most weight gets a free membership to Gold’s Gym for a year. I like to eat, but I am cheap too, and that is a $700 value! So I am 3 weeks into it and I have lost 20 pounds. My plan is for the next week and a half I am going to do my regular diet and exercise, and then when I get back from LA for Comikaze Con I will go nuts and really try to lose weight for the final week and a half!

I have been hiking all over Phoenix and it has been killing me. Here are some of my pictures:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Empire Games GT video batrep

If you read my last post you saw that I won a big pile of Dark Eldar at Empire Games GT.

Well in Game #1 Played against Dave Fay and I worked with him to make a video battle report with him. You can watch it here:

I use to play Dave a lot when I lived in LA. I would go down to San Diego and meet up with him at tournaments. He is a really good player and you can see in this video why he wins best sportsmanship all of the time.

As a side note: I bought and iPhone 4s, so now I will be able to take some videos for Tactics, Battle Reports, and for other hobby related items.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Spoils of War…gaming!

After my summer of 40k, I will show you what you can hope to win at the larger GTs that I played in.

Now this is just what I won, and of course the higher up you place the more loot you get. Now remember that these tournaments are huge, so they have upwards of 50, to 100, to even 200+ players, so the odds of anybody winning anything are quite low. Most tournaments pay out only a few players with them having awards for the Overall Winner (normally the biggest prize), the Best General, Best Sportsman, and Best Painting right behind them. So you can do very well, and stomp over 5-8 opponents and the odds are very good hat someone did even better than you. I remember the Las Vegas GT in 2007 when I managed to get up to table #2 on the last game and ended up winning my game thinking that I had a very good chance at finishing in the money, (the person who won on table #1 had several 0s for sportsmanship so they might win General, but little else), but the paint scores propelled several people ahead of me so that I came in 7th.

So out of those large fields the odds of winning are not good even if you are a good player who is using a good army that is well painted. It is like the world series of poker, the best players rarely make it to the final table. The reason why that is is because there is a certain amount of luck that goes into poker as well as it does in 40k. You can be up against almost anything from bad dice rolls, a bad match-up, to things like the amount of terrain on the tables, and sometimes some things out of your control and unexpected might happen to you like playing against a super-slow player so you get only 3 turns in. At lot of major tournaments where you need to have nearly all massacres to win sometimes two of the best players will end up playing against each other and it will be a close game and they will end up in a draw or a minor win/loss knocking both of them out. So the bad news is that the odds are that you not win anything at a major tournament.

Now I do not want to discourage anyone from going to major GTs, but you have to be realistic of your chance of winning. I fly to events, and I pay for a hotel room, and even if I win every event that I play in, I will not come close to breaking even. So why do I do it? Well I like the competition, big tournament bring out the best players and I like the chance to play against them and test myself. I also like the atmosphere at these events where you have a lot of friends that you have met along the way at different tournaments and you meet up with them and hang out. So a large portion of the tournament experience is the social aspect of it.

So on to the prizes! Let me also tell you why I am doing it…it is just to show people what the prizes are like at tournaments and to give them an idea of what they are playing for. Most tournaments don’t really advertise what you have a chance at winning, and if they do they give you a vague number like $2000 to $3000 in prizes! 

Well, let’s go into details and here are the prizes that I won!

Wargames Con July 11th and 12th in Austin TX
Wargames Con was 4 games on Saturday where you were playing to see what bracket you were in day #2 broken down to winners bracket and losers bracket. Well, after a horrible game of rolling against Tyranids, and my first outing against Grey Knights, I found myself in the loser’s bracket.  I was joking with everyone on Saturday night that I am the "best bad player there", and true to form on day #2 I had 3 perfect games and massacred all 3 of my opponents to win the Best General of the RTT (losers bracket). Looking back at the results Xaereth (You can click on the link to see the picture of what he won at the bottom of his report) and I had the same record with a perfect battle score but I had 2 more sportsmanship points, and he had 2 more paint points for a tie. Most of the time Sports is the tie breaker, but I guess not at Wargames Con and he ended up with the RTT Overall winner, and I was Best General.

This is what I won:

A Hive Tyrant, a box of Gants and a Zoanthrope for a retail value=$111.50

Bay Area Open July 30th-31st San Francisco, CA.
So after 7 hard fought rounds I found myself at 5-0-2 and that was good enough for a 3rd place finish. I was lucky that this event paid out for a “podium finish” at 3rd place because most events do not pay that off. They did not have a sportsmanship award so perhaps they made up for it with rewarding the 3rd place finisher.

Here is what I won:

The 3rd place finisher got to pick something for $45 (not including tax) and so the Razorwing kit had just come out so that was just the right amount of money. Retail Value=$41.25

Nova Open August 27-28th Arlington VA.
As most people know (or at least everyone on this blog should) that I finished second at the Nova Open. Now they have a structure where they break down the day one results into a lot of brackets for day #2 and the winners of those brackets each win a prize. Now I did not win my bracket (it being the bracket where everyone was 4-0 in day one), but I did get second place. So out of 200+ players I won the prize that they labeled “Second to One” 

Here is what I received:

A box of Grey Knights
A $50 Gift certificate from Game Workshop
An invitation to next year’s Nova Invitational
Retail Value=$85
Not Shown:I received a nice metal for being a tournament ace (those that went 4-0), and an invitation to GW's Throne of Skulls for next year.

Empire Games GT Sept. 10th-11th Mesa, AZ
So this is my local game stores 3rd anniversary GT. They sold out pretty quick to all of the locals and they had 40+ people show up. After 5 hard fought games (I ended up playing the guys that finished in 2nd to 5th place and I was their only loss so I played the best players that were there) and I finished 5-0 and was the Overall winner.

Here is what I won:
In each round they had a prize for being the first to achieve a different goals, and I won the assassination prize for being the first to kill an HQ with your HQ when Draigo hacked down a librarian

 I won a $20 gift card and I took the direct-only techmarine.

Then for overall:
2 Warrior Boxes x$29.00
2 Wytch Boxes x$29.00
4 Raider Boxes x$33.00
2 Hellion Boxes x$25.00
3 Reaver Jetbike Boxes x$34.75
2 Ravager Boxes x$49.50
For a total of $501.25
So I find it funny that the event that I spent the least to enter and to go, to I won the biggest prize.

So there it is a glimpse into what you can win if you do well at GTs. Again, remember that all of the prizes do not come close to paying for what I ended up spending to travel to all of these events, but I don’t do it for the prizes, I do it for the women! (Per Dawson of the IVC)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adepticon Championships: Is 2 hours enough time?

I was taking a look at the Adepticon events this year and it looks like the championships are going to be 1850 points and 2 hour rounds.

So my question to you is 2 hours enough time to play a 1850 point game?

To me, a 2 hour round does not sound like enough time. The armies that have come out recently have all been dice and labor intensive and seem to take a while to play. GW has lowered point costs of units that increases model counts, and have increased the phases that armies operate in. Gone are the times when armies use to sit back and shoot, or rush into assault. Now armies are moving, shooting and assaulting, and that takes more, and more time.

For example: Round #1 last year I played a very small demonhunters army that played very fast and I was paired up against a Dark Eldar army. I was blowing him off of the table, but because his army took so long to play (moving a lot of models, counting out a lot of dice to roll, then rolling them, then allocating wounds, etc) and I lost game #1 because they called 15 minutes to go/do not start another turn in the middle of turn #4 and he just raced to get all of the objectives and it was all over. The tournament that I waited all year for, paid $350 for a flight, $300 for a hotel room, and it was all over because of the short time limit.

To make events fair and to give every army a chance at winning, you need to increase the time of the rounds. I know it is 4 rounds on Friday, but people need to finish there games! Wargames Con found out what everyone already knew and that was that you can't fit a 2000 point game in 2 hours. Adepticon is only 150 points less, and you are going to have a lot of problems. Especially with their strict "Dice down" policy and the "Do not start another turn" calls.

So what are you thoughts? Is 2 hours enough time?

Monday, October 17, 2011

E-mail in! How to beat Land Raider spam with Draigowing?

Dear Blackmoor

My name is Josh, I’m from South Africa and have been following your blog for a couple of weeks, I must say from everything I have seen thus far, well done. I have been playing a Draigowing since the new codex arrived and as I’m sure you can understand I’m quite happy with it, partly as a result of following your blog.

The other day however I ran into quite a problem. I had a friendly against a guy at my FLGS (1750pt), just for kicks he decided to field a list with 3 land raiders, it didn’t go so well. It may have been a friendly but it got me thinking about what I would do in a tournament setting if I had to face something like that, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

If I had to design a list to counter the raider spam I don't think it would be too much trouble, but then it would no longer be a Draigowing it would be a Coteaz list. So my question is this, how would you deal with multiple high AV vehicles with a Draigowing, be it raider spam, leman Russ spam, or even just a 3 battle wagon list?

I don't know how many questions and stuff like this you get, or how you feel about them so I’m not necessarily expecting a reply, don't feel obliged.


Land Raiders are always tricky. The meta game has moved away from Lascannons and is now focused on a lot of strength 8 shooting from units like long fangs with their missile launchers, and Psyfleman dreadnaughts with their autocannons. This makes Land Raiders more attractive because of their durability. You still will not see too many Land Raiders at tournaments because Dark Eldar and Imperial Guard can kill them with little effort, but that doesn’t do you any good if you find them across the table.

For Draigowing the good news is that 3 Land Raiders are a ton of points, and there are a few ways to kill them. As far as them being a threat, they are a moderate ranged threat because if they have the Godhammer (basic) land raider they will be shooting a couple of lascannons a turn at you, so most of the time they will try to shoot at your Dreadnaughts, so your paladins will be unmolested. If they do choose to shoot at them, then Draigo eats a lascannon shot, and the squad will have to take one and hopefully cover and shrouding will mitigate some of the damage. The other 2 types of Land Raiders (Redeemer, Crusader) are not much of a threat to paladins from shooting because they do not have the high strength/high AP weapons that paladins fear other than a multi-melta.

What you do need to worry about are their contents. It they have thunderhammer/storm shield terminators on board you might be in trouble, so there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself. If your 10-man paladins are properly equipped, they should be able to withstand a charge by a 5 man-squad of assault terminators, but 10 are going be trouble. The paladins need the Brotherhood Banner because you need all the attacks you can get. That also means you need to give them counter-attack from Draigo’s grand strategy. Since paladins will go first, you have 7 terminators with 4 attacks each hitting in initiative order so quick mathhammer* tells us that they have 28 attacks, doing 18 hits, with 15 wounds (strength 6). That will drop 5 terminators. Your banner bearer will kill .37 and at the same time your 2 demonhammers will kill 1.5 for a total of 7 dead terminators.  5 terminators hitting back will do 15 attacks, 7.5 will hit, 6.25 will wound. After saves, that is 4 dead paladins. That is not good because you will lose combat by 1. If they have Null Zone or Vulcan they will kill even more.    

So it is imperative that you do not get assaulted by multiple terminator squads, so you will need to slow them down. In my experience, psycannons do a good job of killing land raiders. 5 paladins should have 2 psycannons each that can move and shoot to full effect so let’s run the mathhammer* on them killing a Land Raider. With 8 psycannon shots 5.3 will hit, .888 will rend, so you are looking at getting a damage result each time you shoot at one. With rending you have a 29% chance of glancing, and a 59% chance of penetrating (I am doing the math wrong because each shot has a chance to penetrate so in theory you have a chance to penetrate a land raider 8 times but this is just simplified). So you just need to keep shooting at them until you take them down. Remember that you need to just keep moving and shooting so that they do not get lined up so they can assault you. Try to keep them 18”+ away, and get angles on them so that only one is in range. 

At the Nova Open I played against a 3 land raider army and another with just one in it and they are a pain, but you can slowly grind them down one land raider at a time.

Of course the other option for you is Stormravens. You can fly 24” and shoot a TL Multi-Melta at them and still get your shrouding from you librarian for the 3+ cover save. Pack a couple of Dreadnaughts in there with multi-meltas too, and you should be ok. 

And then the last way to kill them is in assault. With Hammerhand you are swinging around strength 10 Demonhammers so you can go ahead and use them and they should open them up You can out-flank an interceptor squad with a Justicar with a Demonhammer, and 3 attacks on the charge should do some damage as long as it did not move very far. Of course this could cause certain problems if you have not properly disposed of their contents yet. 

*Remember that with any mathhammer it will not tell you what will happen, it is only a tool to tell you what should happen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nova Open game #5 Blackmoor vs. Bat Manuel’s Orks

Part 5 of my 8 part series! Nova Open Batrep #1
Nova Open Batrep #2
Nova Open Bartep #3

So here we are at the beginning of day #2. At this point I am in good shape after going 4-0 on day #1. This also affords me a look at the other armies to see what my competition is now that they are sorted out to the top 8 tables. It was a lot of good players, and some tough matchups for me, so I was not too confident with how far I think I am going to go.
I also started to count down the final games like they do at the NCAA College Basketball tournament, so at the beginning of day #2 here I was in the sweet 16!

There were a lot of Grey Knight armies, and a smattering of the other armies, so it was a surprise when I find out that I will be going up against Orks. Now I have not lost to orks with my paladin army, so I am feeling pretty good about the match-up, but again, I take nothing for granted and he got to be 4-0 for a reason and I have to respect that.  What Orks normally do is charge my Paladins, and I do a ton of wounds to them and if they are still fearless they will explode from the damage, and if they are not, they will break and never come back. 

Now I have been reading Bat Manuel’s post on Dakka for a while and I had no idea that my opponent and Bat Manuel were one and the same, but what I did find out was that we went to the same High School near Los Angeles, so that was cool!