Saturday, February 04, 2017

Gaming Garage(TM) Conversion - Part 4

Well folks this is probably the penultimate post on this project. I'm actually blogging from the Gaming Garage(TM) right now! There's very little actual work to do on it. All that's really left is to move everything in. I'll post a final update when that's happened so you can see everything nicely stored away and my hobby area properly set up.

One the face of it not much has changed since the pictures taken just before the big X-wing game but there's some finishing touches that, well, finish it off,

These pictures shows my hobby area. The tall larder unit on the left will hopefully give me enough space to store all of my armies with some room for expansion. There's a little voice in my head saying I'll need more shelves but we'll see what happens. Most likely I'll add a second one in the top section. It's deceptive how much space an army takes up sometimes but in the next post you'll hopefully be seeing it full of miniatures. Only one tiny thing left to do in this area is to put some white finishing strips on the ends of the shelves to neaten them up. 

These pictures are just to give you some idea of where everything is. The whiteboard was up in the old gaming room. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice the list of scenery I have been intending to create for a long time. That'll be high up my list of priorities once I'm fully moved in. You can see there's a nice big Velux window above my hobby area which, even with the shelves blocking some of the light, gives me a good chunk of natural light for painting in the day time. I intend to get at least one daylight lamp to help me paint better at night.

Down the opposite end of the room (a couple of metres from the desk) are my two large cupboards for more storage. These will primarily house my scenery etc as they'll be the ones that support the board (tucked in behind at the moment). They're on castors so they can be rolled into place, the brakes applied at then the board slid on top. I want to make some adjustments to the board so they slot underneath tightly to prevent the board moving around. It could also do with a spot of reinforcing too. You can also see my little electric radiator that works wonders at keeping the place warm. It's not a big room and well insulated so we'll never be stood shivering in Winter.

Above the large wheeled cupboards are four top-hinged cupboards for storing stuff I won't need access too that often. That means all my boxes of models yet to be assembled and empty boxes for things I've got out on display etc. There's not a huge amount of room in them but it keeps things out of the way and stops them collecting dust.

Right, next time I post about this I'll hopefully have the vast majority of my stuff moved in. I'm intending to sort through it as I move it in though so it won't be an overnight thing. There's still a couple of finishing touches here and there. Like I say, I want to adjust the gaming board and maybe add another shelf or two inside the cupboards as required. I also want to create some sort of paint rack. Oh and I'm going to source some cheap folding stools.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Battle Report - Imperium vs. Nurgle & Orks - 4,500pt Doubles

Matt, Jamie, Dan and I have been trying to get together reasonably regularly to play some big doubles games of 40K. The first saw 3,500pts of Jamie & Dan's Tyranids take on Space Marines & Space Wolves belonging to Matt and I. The second had 3,000pts of Chaos (Matt/Dan) take on Blood Angels/Dark Angels (Jamie/Me). That game was way back in March 2014 which shocks me a little! Can't believe it's taken us the better part of three years to get together again. We've planned to play again in April this time so at least the wait won't be as long again.

Anyway, on Sunday we headed down to the Sanctuary near Mansfield for the latest battle. The only pairing we haven't had so far was Dan and I taking on Jamie & Matt. We chose to up the points to 4,500 this time around to allow us to include a Stompa without limiting our options too much. We also decided that the two halves of the doubles teams didn't have to be equal so I had around 2,400 to Dan's 2,100 and Jamie/Matt did something similar. Apologies for the blurry pictures at times. It was freezing in there (it's an old church!) so my hands were probably pretty numb!

Dan's Nurgle force consisted of a couple of formations (in the form of a Plague Colony and a Helforged Warpack) and a few other bits. That meant a winged DP, Lord, some spawn, 4 rhinos of plague marines, defiler, 2 forgefiends and 2 maulerfiends. My Orks had a warboss, painboy, weirdboy, burnas, a morkanaut, stompa, some deffkoptas, a dakkajet, 3 trukks of boyz, a 20-boy mob and a 30-boy mob.

Facing us were Jamie's Iron Hands with chapter master on a bike, bike squad, a land raider full of assault terminators, cataphractii terminators, a predator, whirlwind, vindicator, sternguard in a pod, techmarine on bike with a conversion beamer and a contemptor dread. Matt's "half" consisted of a mixture of Imperials including a techpriest dominus with some kataphron breachers, an culexus assassin, librarian with custodes, inquisitor with GK terminators, a dreadknight, a handful of guardsmen squads, company command squad in a chimera, veterans in a chimera, a vendetta and an Imperial Knight.

The theme for the game was that the Orks were invading an Imperial world and the local PDF (represented by Matt's guard) had discovered that the horde's weirdboy had been messing with some things he shouldn't. That led to Nurgle daemons/CSM arriving. An Ordo Malleus inquisitor arrived to help fight off the Chaos forces and called in help from the Iron Hands and other nearby Imperial force. We'd be playing a standard game of Maelstrom but both the Weirdboy and Inquisitor would be worth 5 VPs each when killed. Whilst they were alive they'd be able to bring in plaguebearers and militarum tempestus scions each turn.

Battle Report
They won the roll off and spread their forces out across the full length of their deployment zone (we were playing Dawn of War on an 8' x 4' table). We toyed with deploying the Stompa on the opposite side of the field to the Imperial Knight to let it run riot for a couple of turns before the IK stepped in. However, in true Orky fashion we opted to deploy it directly opposite instead so they'd inevitably get into combat.

The brought down a chunk of their reserves in the first turn with the dreadknight arriving on our right flank. On the opposite side the sternguard podded in right in front of the Stompa hoping to bring it down with melta fire and the Inquistor brought his terminators and some scions in to support them. When I realised I'd also positioned the Stompa straight across from the kataphron breachers I was worried I'd lose him before he even moved. Fortunately some incredibly jammy invulnerable saves (thanks to the Morkanaut's KFF) allowed him to survive with just 4 HP lost. Elsewhere their armies went to town on my trukks destroying two of them and leaving a third damaged.

That left the GK terminators, scions and sternguard stranded right in front of our lines. One mob of Orks who'd lost their trukk dealt with half of the sternguard (who'd combat squadded) and the other half got eviscerated by the stompa's chainsword. The scions somehow survived the plague marines firing on them and wounded the deffkopta on overwatch allowing them to finish him in assault before he swung. The daemon prince and defiler charged into combat with the Inquisitor killing him and his squad. The burnas hopped out of the Morkanaut to allow their meks to try to repair the Stompa but they failed. On the opposite side of the field the maulerfiends and the only mob still with their trukk charged into combat with the dreadknight hoping to overwhelm him. We were lucky to keep everything alive but fluffed a lot of our rolls meaning that the dreadknight's sanctuary power kept him alive with two wounds remaining.

The stompa was now very vulnerable to a counter charge from the IK. Before that could happen though, the vendetta arrived and stripped a hull point and the breachers added another meaning it had half of its HP remaining when the IK charged. The land raider disgorged its terminators into the fight too. Despite all this the stompa managed to come out with two HP remaining but failed with it's own attacks only hitting the IK once and causing just a single HP of damage. Despite getting 3 stomps there were no 6s and the terminators survived. Unsurprisingly the stompa went down in the next turn and I realised that I'd forgotten to get the 20 strong mob out from inside it so they perished in the blast.

Elsewhere the Culexus saw his opportunity, darted out from behind a building and tossed a psyk-out grenade at the weirdboy. This caused a perils (the weirdboy had already had one in the first turn) which killed the ork psyker. Its mission accomplished, charged into combat and killed off the nob in a challenge before the warboss crushed the assassin in his power klaws. The dreadknight was luckier this turn and managed to kill off both of the maulerfiends. This left just the Orks to deal with him and they didn't provide much resistance.

The dakkajet arrived and managed to strip a couple of hullpoints from the vendetta. The daemon prince and defiler were now stuck in combat with the chapter master and his insane 2+/3++/2+ FNL combo. By this point I only had a handful of Orks left and Dan's plague marines were getting hammered by the custodes, dreadknight and tanks on the right flank. It would probably have ended up a tabling but the store was closing soon so time was running out. That meant we'd only make it to the end of turn 3. At the end of the Imperial turn the score was 14-10 so we looked for a last ditch attempt to sneak a win.

We drew Hold the Line and two objective cards. One was under the Imperial Knight so forget that one. The other was deep in Imperial lines but the Warboss unleashed a Waaagh! and went for it. We'd also need linebreaker so the deffkoptas blasted into their deployment zone. So, with Hold the Line, line breaker and one of the objectives we'd get a draw. We therefore hoped we could kill their two Warlords to take the win. The forgefiends were able to wreck the command chimera leaving the occupants for the dakkajet to deal with. With the vehicle only wrecked, Matt managed to hide the commander behind the wreckage. Despite killing most of the squad, they passed their morale check and stayed alive. The insanely tough chapter master hung on against the daemon prince whilst the warboss' unit failed their charge. This left us with a 14-12 loss.

It never felt like a particularly close game but this was mostly down to our failing as generals! We should have definitely had the stompa on the opposite side of the field. That would've meant it could deal with the tanks etc on the right flank before the IK got to it and the breachers wouldn't have been in range straight away. I've still not used my stompa as much as I'd have liked but I'm thinking of taking it to Dave's Birthday Bash 2.0 in a couple of weeks.

We could've also played for the objectives a bit more by focusing more fire on the scions to shift them off the objective which would've been worth 2 VPs to us at the time. Still it was great that we had a (slim) chance to steal victory in the end. We've already booked a table at WHW for our next battle in April which will see Matt and I paired up again. Probably with good old Bloody Wolves (BA/SW).

Monday, January 30, 2017

Epic X-wing Battle Report - First Outing for my Tantive IV

As you may know, I received a Tantive IV set for my birthday last April but it's taken me nine months to actually get a game in with it! This would also be the inaugural gaming session in my new Gaming Garage(TM). The work on the garage won't be finished until this weekend (update to follow) but it was at least habitable a couple of weeks back for this game. Sorry it's taken so long to write up but most of my free time has been spent working on the garage.

Scott and I would be running Rebels with the following list:

298pts of Rebels
CR90 (fore) - Han Solo, Sensor Team, Single Turbolasers, Quad Laser Cannons
CR90 (aft) - Weapons Engineer, Engineering Team, Tibanna Gas Supplies, Quad Laser Cannons
Lieutenant Blount (Z95) - Veteran Instincts, XX-23 S-Thread Tracers
5x Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z95s) - Concussion Missiles, Guidance Chips
3x Dagger Squadron Pilot (B-wings)

Matt and Sam were running:

299pts of Empire
Raide-Class (fore) - Single Turbolasers
Raider-Class (aft) - Engineering Team, 2x Ion Cannon Battery, Optimized Generators, Instigator (title), Tibanna Gas Supplies, Shield Technician, Rebel Captive.
Gozanti-Class - Dual Laser Turret, Emperor Palpatine, Docking Clamps
Lieutenant Colzet (TIE Advanced) - Adv. Targeting Computer, TIE/x1
Darth Vader (TIE Advanced) - Adaptability, Adv. Targeting Computer, Stealth Device, TIE/x1
4x Academy Pilot (TIE Fighter)

Our strategy was simple. Get the Z95s into firing position, fire off the tracers and then hit one of the huge ships with a volley of missiles that would hopefully bring it down. That would take a big chunk out of their forces and in the meantime should act as a distraction to let the CR90 pick off their support craft.

Battle Report
Matt and Sam set their huge ships in the back left corner so we matched their angles with the CR90. On reflection we should've travelled along the edge of our deployment zone rather than trying to meet them head on as the CR90s guns are best in broadsides. Anyway, Their measly two support craft (the TIE advanced) set up in opposite corners. We arrayed the Z95s opposite their huge ships and the Bs in support of the CR90.

The Z95s blasted forwards to close range on the huge ships quickly before they were reduced in number. That brought them into the range of the raider but thanks to some jammy dice only one fell. The early speed cost us though as one of the Z-95s was run over by the Raider. Shame to lose one so cheaply but it highlights our inexperience against huge ships. Meanwhile the Gozanti dropped off a couple of TIEs to help stop the headhunters. They unloaded their missiles into the Gozanti but because they'd been depleted in number it wasn't enough to destroy it outright in one turn. That meant it was able to deploy the remaining TIEs before the Zs closed to finish it off with help from the B-wings.

Whilst all this was going Darth was closing in on the CR90 but his attempts to damage it were short-lived as the quad laser cannons tore him apart. The B-wings got frustrated with the TIEs who slowly chipped away at them. It wasn't long before two fell to their fire (with considerable help from the Raider) all this was distracting the Raider from firing at the CR90 who had been slowly damaging the Raider instead. Thanks the upgrades Matt was using the Raider seemed to have near limitless energy meaning it could repair its shields quickly and keep firing. The CR90 on the other hand was being forced to divert energy from its guns just to stay alive.

With time winding down on the game (we'd set a time limit to stop it going on all day), the aft section of the CR90 was wrecked at around the same time as the fore section of the raider. The difference though was that the Raider barely needs the fore section whilst the CR90 was pretty much unable to generate energy without the aft section. We called an end to it at this point but basically the Raider was pretty healthy so it wouldn't have been long until the CR90 was destroyed completely.

When we totalled up the points the Empire had taken a narrow victory but that definitely felt irrelevant when we'd all had a great game.

This was the first Epic game we've had (we've played two before) where I actually enjoyed myself. The other times it felt like the Raider was near invincible and it was just a matter of time before we lost all of our ships. This time I think if a couple of things had gone differently we could've destroyed both of the Imperial huge ships.

One thing we all learned was that taking expensive support craft is hard to justify. Darth and Colzet were 57pts in total which would've bought nearly 5 academy pilots. Of course they're not particularly devastating but by bumping our support craft and generally being a nuisance I think they'd be more useful. In smaller games the likes of Darth shine but here he didn't feel particularly special. Our only named pilot was Blount but he had a very specific role to play.

Speaking of which, the Z95s advanced too quickly. We should've barely moved them in the first turn then blasted into range in the second. That would've kept them further away from the Raider's guns and maybe more would've survived. We should've also gone right into the corner in a tighter formation to try and get some shots on the Raider's aft section. Mind you, Matt would've probably turned towards us so it's difficult to know if it would've made much difference. I still think it's a fun tactic to have some glass cannon Z95s to lay a crippling blow. If a couple more had been alive they'd have been enough to kill the Gozanti on their own I think.

The B-wings did a reasonable job of either distracting the Raider or damaging the Gozanti but I think we'd have been better with 4-5 A-wings instead. Easy to say these things in hindsight I suppose. There's definitely a lot to think about before our next big game which I hope will be much sooner.


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