Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tournament Report - Fluffaggedon 40K

This is the first year in the last 6 that I've only hosted a single tournament. I decided to pass the baton onto Matt to run events in a similar style to Blog Wars but with his own personal touch. Hopefully going forward I'll run Double Trouble in Spring/Summer and Matt will continue to run Fluffageddon in Autumn/Winter. Anyway, this was the inaugural Fluffageddon and Matt opted to use our FLGS as the venue. That meant barely even a 10 minute journey for me which was a refreshing change!

Fluffageddon was run at 1,500 pts with a few bits of comp including no superheavies, only two units could be duplicated and generally a couple of tweaks to discourage filth. I came up with the following:

1,498pts of Space Wolves
Wolf Lord (thunderwolf, runic armour, storm shield, wolf claw)
4 WG Terminators (two combi-melta, two combi-plasma, claw each)
2x 10 Grey Hunters (WG leader with fist, two meltas) in Rhino
5 Blood Claws
Stormwolf (meltas)
4 TWC (three TH/SS, one vanilla)

I'd originally intended to have a venerable dread in a pod as part of my list but didn't get him done in time so opted for the terminators instead. Not convinced it made much difference really.

Game One vs. Tau (Nick Thrower)
Maelstrom on Vanguard deployment and a tough test for my opening game. I've watched Nick's Tau army grow over the last year or so (or longer?) on his blog and it was great to see them in the (plastic) flesh. He had a combination of a Hunter Cadre and Optimised Stealth Cadre. Didn't fancy my changes of slogging it across the field but knew that was my best option to get stuck into combat. Definitely couldn't outshoot him.

I had a massive amount of luck early on as my TWC didn't take a single wound from half of Nick's army shooting them. Must've been 10 or so 3+ saves if not more. The rest of his army could only wreck a rhino too. He was forced to commit a couple of stealth teams to objectives too which left them vulnerable. My TWC managed a turn one charge. The lord split off and killed the stealth team whilst the rest of the squad killed some fire warriors. Both ended up out of combat though.

Nick's shooting started to get more devastating as the breachers piled out of the devilfish and vaporised an entire grey hunter unit. The other grey hunters couldn't finish them off either so met a similar fate with help from the ghostkeel and stealth team. Brutal. Elsewhere the TWC met a wall of drones (funny to be on the receiving end of that tactic) and the lord ended up having to hug an objective thanks to the cards I drew. Fortunately for me I was continually drawing the ones on my side of the table but unfortunately for Nick so was he.

When the dust settled there was very little left on the table with the TWC taking down the ghostkeel before meeting their demise to a wall of fire. The lord swept the drones and then weathered the storm briefly before succumbing. The flyer did very little did at least help dispatch some of the suits. Meanwhile the terminators came in, killed a suit and then got wiped out. At the end of turn 5 (and the end of the game) I'd just got some blood claws and the flyer left and Nick had a handful of fire warriors and some damaged tanks. The final score of 16-5 in my favour said more about the cards we'd drawn than anything else. It was a shame really because the game had dramatically swung throughout and felt like it was much closer.

Game Two vs. Eldar (Danny Evison)
I'd played against Danny's Eldar at Double Trouble but was pleased that there were no Forge World units this time. Didn't help me much as there was still some ranged (full strength) D from the platforms, plenty of scatbikes, a wave serpent full of d-scythe toting wraithguard, two squads of warp spiders and some dark reapers who'd brought their own bunker to the party. Not great when you're playing objectives either and I have little if any ranged fire to take down the bikers and prevent them grabbing tokens at the end.

I went first and had little choice but to send my TWC headlong into their doom. I'd toyed with holding them back but they'd have just been whittled down before getting their. My only hope was that a couple of them survived. They did not. I lost a rhino too leaving the grey hunters inside right in the open and in front of plenty of firepower.

Still, I thought, two squads of grey hunters with 5 melta shots between them and no cover for the wraithguard. Should kill them right? Throw in the newly arrived flyer too and it's almost a dead cert? Apparently not. I didn't hit with three of the melta shots and despite scoring an ungodly number of sixes on the bolter fire the wraithguard's armour held. That meant just two died to the meltas. I dropped a blast on them from the helfrost cannon but despite hitting two of them I failed to wound with both hits! The rest of the flyer's firepower was sent into the back of the wave serpent. Worth a shot in the rear armour whilst I have the chance right? Nope. Penetrated with a melta and a lascannon but both Jink saves were passed. Consolation prize of terminators deep striking in and killing some bikes? Nope. Probably my worst ever turn of 40K right there.

That basically sealed the game. My grey hunters were quickly eliminated. The flyer held on long enough to send the blood claws to their deaths but the tabling was completed after four turns with Danny on every single objective. Not my most enjoyable game but not really Danny's fault.

Game Three vs. Orks (Ian Connolly)
Despite Ian coming along to several Blog Wars over the years we've never actually played. I'd been admiring his Orks in the lunch break so was pleased to get a game against them. I fricking love Orks too but was a little surprised to find an incredibly shooty mob. Lots of lootas, grots manning a quad gun behind a defence line, two lots of buggies, a Gorkanaut (disguised as an Imperial Knight), tankbustas in a trukk and two Meks (one KFF, one SAG).

Well, Ian's first turn was a new one on me. I lost both rhinos to Ork shooting! Granted I was pretty stupid in my deployment. Didn't even think about refused flank and really should've. Not to mention checking line of sight to the lootas! Fail. Still, if I can get stuck in with my TWC it should be a bloodbath. Hadn't really banked on the Gorkanaut charging in and swiping down a couple of them. The tankbustas didn't help either, stopping me directing hammer attacks at the walker. Fortunately some grey hunters wandered into the combat and their wolf guard smashed the Gorkanaut's face in with his power fist. Good lad! That left the KFF Mek without any transportation but we'll get to him later.

The Lord split off again to start charging in behind the defence line and called in some help from the terminators. They took down a handful of lootas and made them run. Sadly, only 3 inches though which kept them on the table!! Meanwhile the remaining TWC charged down some buggies to finish them off. Not before they'd helped the lootas finish off the grey hunters though. The Ork flyer came in and helped destroy the other squad too with it's tellyporty blasta thingamajig.

The blood claws piled out of the stormwolf and helped the lord wade through the Ork lines finishing everything off. That just left the flyer and the KFF mek. With the Mek being worth his cost plus 100 bonus blood points for slay the warlord I decided to send my flyer after him instead of the Ork flyer. The first volley bounced off his KFF but I though I'd be fine. I only needed one S8 shot to get through and he'd be toast. Despite getting another turn to try, hitting three times and wounding three times, the sneaky Ork passed all three KFF saves and lived to fight another day!! Just goes to show how much luck is involved sometimes. Five 5++ saves is painful, especially when that was enough to give Ian a narrow victory. I'd killed 1,115pts to his 1,112pts but he got a 50pt First Blood bonus! Gutted. Still, a fun game and a great opponent.

It was great to see a lot of the Blog Wars faithful supporting Matt's new venture. It was frustrating that he was limited to 16 players as the Outpost didn't have their new venue ready in time. Apparently it'll be done early next year so I'll be watching closely for developments on that. I'm probably heading back to NWGC for Double Trouble 2 but need to confirm a date with them before I start posting about it.

Had two great games against some BW regulars which was a massive bonus. The game against Ian was definitely the best as it felt really close right until the end. My game with Nick was great but, despite being back and forth in terms of units killed, the Maelstrom deck really screwed him over. Frustrating when you're playing well but can't catch a break like that. My dice were insane though. Felt suitably guilty!

I look forward to another event next year. Hopefully in a bigger venue with slightly bigger numbers. Matt did an excellent job for the first time. Shame he couldn't join in but probably a blessing since it game him chance to play some Bloodbowl!

Speaking of which I got a sneaky half game in after the tournament which I won 2-0! I'm really excited about the launch of BB again. Matt and I are going halves on the new box. I'll take the humans and create the "Nuln Oilers" and Matt will grab the Orks. We don't exactly need the new set but the models are great and plastic counters etc are a nice touch. Have to say I didn't much like the new dice. Didn't feel they're as clear as the old ones. Everything else is gorgeous though. Will review the set when I get my hands on it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Man Cave Garage Conversion Part 1

Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! Well, let's face it. No one thought I was dead but it has been over 8 weeks since I last posted anything which is by far my longest dry spell. I'd love to tell you I've been working hard on my army and scenery projects but I haven't. I mostly blame the NFL but that's still no excuse for the fact that a dreadnought I started painting in early October still hasn't got three colours on it even! Anyway, depressing lack of hobby progress aside, I have some exciting DIY activities to report.

You may remember that I was planning on converting the back of my garage into a hobby space. My current gaming room will eventually become my son's proper bedroom when he moves out of the nursery so I'm being relegated to the garage. I'm not content with simply playing on the concrete floor with a heater trying to stave off frostbite! My Dad and I therefore set about converting the back of the garage into a proper room.

The idea is that from the front the garage will look unchanged. Particularly important for a) resale and b) hiding the fact that there's stuff in there. To decide how much space I had I simply opened up the garage door and decided to put up a partition wall just inside the point the door opened to. This will give me a few square metres of "garage" at the front for the lawn mower, bike, tools, etc. That leaves me a 3.5 x 2.5 m (ish) gaming and hobby space. Enough to get a 6' x 4' table in and just about be able to squeeze round it. Four people playing doubles every so often would be cosy but two should be fine. Thing is, I don't want a permanent table like I've currently got in my gaming room. It (obviously) takes up a big chunk of space and means the room can't be used for anything else. My Dad and I have come up with a cunning plan for this but I'll post some sketches up at some point to better explain it.

For now, let's take a look at my progress so far. As you can see from the picture above, I had a big pile of timber delivered last week so that we could get cracking on Saturday. Here's what the garage looked like to begin with.

As you can see there's plenty of crap in there but hopefully I'll get most of it cleared out soon. As a temporary measure we chucked everything outside to let us do the floor. With it all swept out it looked like this:

We started out with some plastic sheeting to prevent damp from rising up. Then we laid some 25 mm insulation around the edges. On top of this we placed some 4" x 2" timbers width ways:

We then screwed some more "four-be-twos" on top of this to create some joists for the flooring:

To make things cosy we put 4 inches of insulation between the joists:

We then screwed down some 18 mm plywood to create the floor. Looks pretty neat I think:

So this will be the room in the back of the garage. Doesn't look particularly big in the photos. Frankly, it isn't but it's about the same as I have now and I've managed with that for a few years now.

We then screwed another timber across the end of the floor and a further one to the roof trusses. Two more were screwed into the brickwork to create a frame. We then put some vertical timbers at 400 mm intervals to which we'll screw some plasterboard to create the partition wall:

As you can see, at this point we brought a lot of the crap back in because it had started to rain. Pretty pleased with this for a day's work anyway.

So, next up I need to take the vast majority of the crap out of the garage and to the local tip. What's staying needs to be organised into the residual bit of garage at the front. I'm then going to get some quotes for Velux windows on the back of the roof. Be good to have some natural light in there for painting.

Between now and the next time my Dad is over we'll have had all of the plasterboard delivered so we can start to make the walls but not before we've sorted all the electrics out. What do you think so far anyway?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

40K Addict Hobby Season Review 2015/16 and Plans for 2016/17

I know I've somewhat missed the start of the hobby season but I'm on holiday at the moment and have had a busy few weeks. My rekindled love for X wing has meant that I've not done anything since the hobby season kicked off anyway. Irritatingly the WiFi in our holiday house doesn't allow access to sites in the "Gaming" category. This means no browsing of online hobby shops and no access to 40K blogs. Fortunately Feedly lets me bypass it but I'm not able to get the logos from Dave's blog (40K addict). Strangely I can access my own blog but not Dave's. Maybe TalkTalk "HomeSafe" considers Dave's blog to be more threatening or, perhaps more accurately, actually about gaming unlike mine which barely gets any love at the moment.  I'll update this post with the logos when I get home or if I can persuade my phone to find enough signal to set up a WiFi hotspot. Anyway, I digress (as per usual).

So, way back at the start of the 2015/16 season I was working on my Tau army for a mini tournament we were planning at Warhammer World. I made a decent start on the units was planning on using. They all got panel lines, transfers and general tidying up but nothing got the stage of being what Dave would call "To Done". It was good to make the army look better but I'm frustrated that I still don't have a single Tau model that I'd say was finished. Staying with the Tau, I've been trying to get my Stormsurge painted. As ever, this was motivated by an upcoming tournament in the shape of Hero for a Day. Sadly, I realised that I wouldn't actually be able to make it and nearly instantly my motivation to paint the Stormsurge ebbed. 

I feel incredibly guilty for the lack of progress because you may remember the Stormsurge (along with the latest Tau codex) was a gift from the Blog Wars faithful after BWX. I feel like I'm letting those guys down by not painting it. That throws up my first target for this coming season:
  • Make my Stormsurge my first ever finished Tau model
That means, fully painted (including highlights and sept markings), transfers, good quality basing and varnished (never done that before). I would love to think that I'll at least get this one done. I've got just under a year after all!! Granted I've not got the tournament motivation but even so, I'd be depressed if I'm sat here next year without a finished Tau model! Hopefully more! 

Imperial Knights
These were one of the things on my list that I actually got done. Well, I say done. That's such a mythical thing for me. I never actually finish any of my models. I originally planned on getting my first knight finished before completing the other three but I abandoned the first one and started two more from scratch. I learned a lot about the process of magnetising and painting these guys. They were my first proper outing into airbrushing and again I learned a lot. I've dabbled with the airbrush before but mostly for basecoating. This was the first time I've done masking etc. I really don't think I could've gotten the orange to look so smooth with a brush. Anyway, as I've already said, I still don't have a fully finished knight so I'd like to do some highlighting and weathering on the two you see here plus work on the other two:
  • Highlight, weather and varnish the first two knights
  • Finish the original knight to give me a full court of three
  • Build and paint the final knight as a freeblade
I have to say these fellas were one of my favourite painting projects so doing more work on them and finishing the other two should be one of the more pleasurable things I've done.

Right Siph (James) and Jamie, get your abuse out of your system now. This is STILL on my todo list. I've made some minimal progress towards this but I really must get it done this year. I can't actually believe that I've been talking about this for years now and still haven't got a full table of painted scenery. It literally takes not time at all to do and would make such a big difference to the level of immersion in our games. Granted I've barely played any games of 40K on my table this year but, if for no other reason than pride, I've got to get the winter scenery finished this season and ideally by the end of the year. There's literally no excuse now. I'm fed up of even blogging about it!
  • Complete a full complement of winter scenery for my gaming table. 
  • Begin work on the desert table
Space Wolves
I'm hoping to take Space Wolves to Fluffageddon in November. Before then they need a bit of love. I've come up with a list that I'm reasonably happy with. It certainly isn't the most powerful I could come up with but it should be fun to use. One of the things I'll need is a venerable dread. He's currently assembled (well sub-assembled) but not even primed. For the rest I'd like to improve them before the event. This is important because it'll be the first time in ages that I can enter something into a painting competition! Let's be fair, I've no chance of winning but if I get at least one vote I'll be happy! Here's what I think I need to do:
  • Paint the Venerable Dreadnought
  • Pack and company markings on all of the infantry
  • More gold work on the armour - some of the bits that should be gold aren't painted
  • Weather the vehicles
  • Faces! 
  • Basing
There's other bits and pieces that need doing to them but given there's less than a couple of months to go, I'll be luck to get even half of this stuff done.

Everything Else!
There's a few models that catch my eye every time I open the cupboard where my armies live. For example, my Ork Morkanaut, DE Grotesques, Tau Crisis teams, Space Wolf Stormwolf, Dark Angels bikers, etc. These are the models that I wish were finished. The key to this I think is a new attitude to painting that I'm hoping to adopt. Embrace the Butterfly!! 

As I've said above, I generally get the most done when I'm working to a tournament deadline. The problem with this is that because I know they have to be finished, I tend to get sick of looking at them by the time the tournament comes around. At that point, the painting becomes a chore rather than a hobby. I already have a job, why would I make what should be a relaxing escape into something that gets me down. This is where Embrace the Butterfly comes in. If I fancy painting my Morkanaut, I'm going to pick it up and get to work. If I get bored and want to paint some Dark Eldar I'll pick them up and work on them. Sounds simple but it's something I've tried to avoid doing in the past. 

I've always felt that by batch painting units I'll get more done. In practice though I burn out halfway through the project. The result is a cupboard full of three colour models but nothing finished. Obviously, for this bit I'm not going to make an itemised to do list. That would kind of defeat the point. I'm just going to simply say:
  • After Fluffageddon, complete a unit a month. 
This means fully painted, based and varnished. This could be a full squad, single HQ / MC or a vehicle. Whatever the case, there might be months when I get nothing finished and others where several are finished. It's going to be a random process but hopefully a more productive one in the end.

Finally, THE MAN CAVE!
A big chunk of Dave's season was taken up with building his new shed in the garden that has now been made into his Man Cave. Mine won't be a shed but instead will be a conversion of the back half of the garage. I'll post full plans (I've done scale drawings) nearer the time but the idea is that from the front it'll still look like a garage. I've seen people put windows or french doors on the front but I'd prefer to keep the look of the garage because a) I think it helps with resale (if it ever comes to it) and b) it disguises the fact that there's something in there other than gardening equipment and tools. Speaking of which, the existing garage door will open and the front will still function as storage for tools, lawn mower, etc.

The back end will get a window knocked through to give some much needed natural light. It'll then need a partition wall, floor, ceiling and insulated outer walls. Once the room has been created I'm going to create a collapsible gaming table that can be hung on the wall when not in use to allow me to use the room for other things. Anyway, the aim is to free up my current gaming room for use as my son's bedroom now that he's starting to outgrow the nursery. For this reason the project has the (almost) complete support of my wife!

That's more than enough text for one evening so I'll leave you with a summary todo list:
  • Make my Stormsurge my first ever finished Tau model
  • Highlight, weather and varnish the first two Imperial Knights
  • Finish the original Imperial Knight to give me a full court of three
  • Build and paint the final Imperial Knight as a freeblade
  • Complete a full complement of winter scenery for my gaming table. 
  • Begin work on the desert table
  • Paint the SW venerable dreadnought
  • Pack and company markings on all of the SW infantry
  • More gold work on the SW armour
  • Weather the SW vehicles
  • Faces on SW infantry 
  • Basing of all of the SW models for Fluffageddon
  • After Fluffageddon, complete a unit a month. 
  • Create the Man Cave!
Wish me luck!!


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