Monday, April 25, 2011

Kokomo/Gamer's DMZ final thoughts

a 3 hour drive up (at 645am) and back (getting me home at 1030ish pm).
Was all that worth it, considering I didn't come back with a category win?

In a nutshell, yes.

John (uberdark from back40k). He stated this was his first event.
I have to be honest, if those words had not been spoken I wouldn't have known. He did his research. John was organized (as one could be doing things on paper, and not computer...actually moreso than some who use computers). He was transparent, explaining things as cleanly as possible, and going the extra mile to insure play 'groups' didn't have to play in their own 'pool' the first round.
He was engaged, enthused and gregarious. He never set himself above the player base to establish 'seniority' as a TO. He portrayed himself solely as an 'organizer', with the sole purpose of letting people have fun AND that order.
Once things got rolling, he was on-time, on-target.
It seemed that his entire focus was on making certain fun, joviality and honest play were the watchwords.
He cared. This was VERY different from my only other 'traveling' experience (since moving back to Ohio)...Ard Boyz semifinals 2010. If I would have to characterize a comparison, he was totally opposite.

TO impression, GREAT...he was excellent.

Event and Organization was clean. Scenarios were posted in advance, which is a 50/50 for me, as I like not building to scenarios...but in retrospect, with NOVA scenarios, you are pretty much forced to take well rounded/take all comers lists, bypassing my innate distrust of pre-posted scenarios.
I could see a little self-inflicted extra work, but that will go under what little 'critique' I have.
I was happy with the terrain, but not ecstatic. Again, in comparison to my last 'traveling' game, it was above sufficient.
Though the smaller amount was a little disappointing (only a little), GREAT effort was made for consistency between tables...something many don't understand the need for. Very well done.

Event impression, was quite well done.

Venue was a bit smallish for the size of the tourney. BUT, they managed to supply tables AND elbow mean feat for a small store. They had a fully stocked fridge, with all sorts of drink accommodations (some stores don't bother with water/diet, a must for some, due to gamer proclivities toward mt dew etc). The ownership was friendly and helpful, and though the location was initially hard to find...parking was better than expected for a smaller store with a large event turnout.

Venue impression, I shall return!

Player eval...well, as it applies to me...but with a sampling from my friend who I went with.
I had NO issues. Every one of my opponents were fun, pleasant, and smooth. I don't think I checked the rulebook once. Scott and I had a question, but we just rolled a die that would have made it moot (difficult terrain test)...and the roll did. So no rules digging at all. (though we forget to check after the game to see for future ref). The games were fast, due to no arguments OR backchecking. We knew each others' codices(codici, codii, whatever) and adapted to each others' proclivities almost immediately. Professional and pleasant would be how I typified the whole bunch.

Player impression, wish I was closer to Indianapolis!

Critique is little;
I would have liked to have seen more/more diversity. A paucity of trees (I don't think any of my tables had woods) made it difficult for some people to generate cover. This benefited my army to the extreme (regardless of my seeming inability to capitalize on it). A little more wood, and a little more density, would have been nice. Though some tables closed in on/hit 25%, a few were closer to the 20% mark. In defense of the venue, it was smaller and was acquiring additional terrain from players bringing it, so populating the tables was going to be difficult. What terrain was there, though, was good...and good looking.

Starting late always bugs me a 'little' bit. Not tremendously, but a little. I thought the blog-posts had said something about 11-1130ish, and we ended up starting a little after 12. This was, in part, due to some small confusion by the players...but mostly due to some LATE players. Not as big a deal if I'm not driving 3hrs to get there, but my frustrations were low...and directed at people who were not from Dayton, and still didn't make it on time.
Spreadsheet/Computer. This is more of a 'prevent the TO from having an aneurism' kinda thing. You CAN do it on paper. Being a teacher (which I believe John said he is) helped with the mental-meltdown threshold...but a last round re-pairing of first round opponents (happened only once, though, and involved me)emphasizes the usefulness of a spreadsheet. The honesty and openness of the TO helped dispel and thoughts of shennanigans, but spreadsheets allow players to feel they can easily ask to see things...thus increasing the sense of transparency. This was a HUGE gig at my Ard Boyz experience last year. But again, John was going out of his way to avoid any sense of no real issues.

Lighting...that's it. Honestly. A few tables (centered) had lighting issues, which could have been helped with clip-task lights...but who knows where the cords could easily go etc.
The store was small(ish) for an event of that size, but they went all-out to make damn sure they could handle the crowd. I never felt crowded, cramped or uncomfortable. Even 'gamer-funk' was at an absolute minimum (at worst). So, though size is technically a 'critique', I couldn't imagine another location of that size making things feel that 'roomy' critique to kudos (flogging a dead Ard Boyz horse, they beat out that venue in spades...with less than half the square footage).

I couldn't have had more fun this last Saturday unless I had been healthy!!!

Thanks DMZ, thanks Indiana players, and most importantly thanks Uberdark!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kokomo/Gamer's DMZ tournament BatRep rd 3

Rd 3 was going to be a fun round.
As this was a W/L tourney, and I had lost rd 2, I was just in it to have fun.
I started kind of off as my head cold was starting to move into my chest, and my early start was wearing. Once the dice started falling though, I was right back into the game!

Table Quarters/Spearhead

Joel Williams (from memory, as I can't find the darned list he gave me).
Prime (bonesword/whip and d-spitter?)

2x zoanthropes (in pod)
2x Hive Guard
2x Hive Guard

5x Warriors (deathspitters, can't remember CC build)
20 Hormogaunts
18 Termagants
Tervigon (catalyst)
10x Genestealers


I won the roll for choice, and chose to go first.
The table was less terrain dense than the other two I'd played on, and I took the most open corner. It was populated with alot of craters, but little actual terrain. This gave him a small building just on his side of the center objective marker. I put Belial in the center of my dep quarter, with command. Two squads to his right and two to his left. I kept the bikes off table (normal reserves, not outflanking).

He deployed across his corner, threatening both far quarters. His tervigon was to my right (set to spawn into that corner, to feed VPs into it) backed by a pair of HiveGuard and the big brood of 'gants.
He deployed the Warriors to my left, threatening that neutral corner, backed by the CC elements of 'stealers and Hormies (the warriors were joined by the prime). The other HG unit was toward his center, but weighted to go toward the warriors...and the Biovores were behind these lines.
He left the podded Zoies and Trygon in DS reserve.

Turn 1;
I looked at the field, and made my choices.
I moved both left Termie units into my upper neutral quarter, toward some craters.
I moved the right two squads into firing positions that would deny cover to his Tervigon (and place them into/almost into my right neutral corner). I shuffled the command termies to draw LOS to the Tervigon (but through cover).
I fired.
I put 4 wounds on the Tervi and Killed a warrior.
He went, spawning 8 'gants first (no doubles). He brought his HG in front of the Tervi to provide cover, and shuffled that backfield. Everything he had to my left boiled into that neutral quarter, but did not run effectively. Biovore and HG fire netted two dead termies, but not in the same squad.

Turn 2;
I capitalized on him not burying the Tervigon behind the one blocking piece of terrain, and popped it. That shut down his spawning, and cut his whole flank out of synapse. I also popped another warrior and put a wound on the prime. This was all after I shuffled further into neutral corners and put units that might be in assault range into craters.
He failed to get the reserves.
He advanced further into my left neutral quarter, and lurked with everything to his right. HG fire netted another termie, while biovores hit but failed to kill. No assault range.

Turn 3;
I got everybody to my left into craters, as they would likely be assaulted this turn. Bikes came on, and I just brought them into the center. I shot, and killed another warrior and put another wound on the prime...and braced for impact.
He got the charge off on my central/left termies. A full squad of Hormagaunts hit them. Fortunately, due to the 'Nid dex getting the 'grenade' nerf, I got all my TH attacks. I lost 4 termies, he lost a great deal of Hormies.

Turn 4;
With the assault from the Hormogaunts, his Warriors had a gap in their cover. I ran the bikes up, and with Cyclone+Melta fire, I popped them AND his Prime...and there went his synapse (on table at this stage). I also had positioned the bikes such that they were closest to his Hormogaunts, so when they killed the lone termie I could pull them out of the crater and into the center (with 'feed' as their inst behavior, and the loss of synapse).
His reserve Zoies came in, and he podded them into the backfield block (two units of 'gants, biovores and HG). Synapse returns!
He advances the 'stealers toward my furthest left-quarter squad (in the crater) and fleeted them. The hormogaunts came out after the bikes. Fire netted him no kills. He wiped the bikes. The 'stealers assaulted the THSS guys in the crater, lost by four, and fled. They were 'escorted' off table the next turn.

Turn 5;
I knew he had the Trygon coming out this turn, but knew he couldn't 'break' the table quarters with it, only tie them (my right quarter) and hope for the best. If it ended with quarters tied I would win by 2nd tiebreaker (KP's). I pounced the center Hormogaunts with termies (wiping them) after shooting the zoies to no effect.
His Trygon came in, and did what I expected...contesting my right-neutral quarter.
He then shot, and killed a terminator.

Turn 6;
I put 3 wounds on the Trygon, and settled in for the results. If he charged with the trygon, it would die.
He shuffled to contest quarters...and the game ended.

We tied on quarters,
We tied on objectives,
I won by KPs...alot of them. (he'd only killed two units, I had killed something like 6?)

It was a fun game, but a little static.
Unfortunately, for Joel, I've been playing 'Nids since 2nd ed...I know them, and my army was advantaged from the start vs them.
Missile launchers hurt bugs, and mobile missile launchers on THSS platforms just SCARE them.
The table did not help him either, as there was little cover that didn't also negate his assault advantages (initiative etc).

Still, it was fun, and he was pleasant right till the end...regardless of the uphill struggle. :)

Kokomo/Gamer's DMZ tournament BatRep rd 2

Okay, rd two pairings are announced...
and who do I get?
Scott opponent rd 6 from last years Ard Boyz. And he beat me soundly then.

His list;
Vulkan He'stan
Librarian (null zone/GOI)

9x THSS termies (surprise face!) ;)

10x Tac squad (MM/Melta/CombiMelta/Pfist)
Drop Pod
10x Tac squad (MM/Melta/CombiMelta)
Drop Pod
10x Tac squad (MM/Melta/CombiFlamer/Pwpn)
Drop Pod
5x Scouts (CombiMelta/Shotguns/MeltaBombs)

Land Speeder Storm (multi melta)

Mission is Pitched Battle/Objectives
I win the roll to choose first, and defer (again). I wish to see what he deploys, and he has not the long range/AP fire to punish me for deferring.
He deploys the Termies with Libby in his center (on the 12" mark). He then deploys one of the Tacs on his right (my far left) objective, and all else stays in reserve.
I deploy across the center with Belial and his command termies in the center, two termie squads left of center, and one right of center (effectively corner-opposite his Vulkan/Tac deployment). I reserve (for DS) two termie squads, and place my bikes across-opposite his deployed tacs.
I then scout the bikes forward.

Turn 1;
He drops the two full tacs into the front of my left flank, disembarking one 10 man in front of Belial's squad and CS's the other 10 man to threaten both of my other left flank squads. He moves out the assault termies, runs them 6" and then kicks off Null Zone. he shuffles the tacs to my left to try for melta/double tap range on the bikes and then starts shooting. His fire nets the CFist, a THSS in the command termie squad (damned NZ) and a THSS in the left squad. I also lose a single bike to the fire from the obj camping backfield squad.
I go, moving 3 termie squads to close in on the tacs. I DW assault one (out of assault range, barely) off the bike teleport homers to threaten his obj parkers and I move the right termies onto my right objective and well out of range of his assault termies. I also bring the bikes back to threaten one of the CS'd squads (w/out power weapon) with fire and assault.
I look at the field, look at what he has (and needs to do turn two)...and I realize I may have won. With the three ass termie squads in position to wipe out most of his scorers in one or two cc phases, and a termie squad threatening his backfield, I am confident.
I shoot, and charge (around the two Drop Pods, ignoring them in favor of trying to wipe his scoring units).
I wipe ONE Combat squad...that's it. I nearly lost assault with Belial's squad. Belial killed a whopping ONE marine in the 10 man tac squad. His attendant THSS terminators (with 12 THSS attacks) netted TWO. He killed one in return. I moved on to the bike assault, and drew that one. I kill the left CS BARELY. I look at the board, think, and realize that (barring a repeat of my terribad rolls) I still have this one solid, as his assault termies cannot make it on his turn. I'm still confident (if a little distressed) after my bad rolling phase.

Turn 2;
He moves up the Assault termies further, fails to get his reserve scouts on speeder, and doesn't get the empty pod. Runs termies, and kicks off NullZone
He shuffles his backfield Tacs with Vulkan, for double-tap range (and hopefully melta range). He fails to get melta in range, but does get a pistol and bolter in range. He shoots. Hits once to no effect. We got to assault. Bikers first, and they die (killing one). 4 basic marines, two dead bikers. :(
We go to Belial vs 7 marines. Belial kills ONE. Tacs kill nothing. THSSs hit thrice, and kill ONE. He falls back. If I consolidate forward, I should kill the tacs, but die to his AssTermies. It's worth it, as he loses a scoring unit (as the other 5man CS will die to my other 4man THSS coming round a pod). I do so, and position well.
I get no reserves either (lone DW squad waiting in the wings). I pounce. My outriders termies make assault with his backfield tacs. Belial+bozos assaults the wounded CS Tacs while the 4 man assault termies hit his (now devastated) Tac squad.
I devote all my attacks into the bacfield squad (after Vulkan kills a single CFist).
This turn should break his back, and make the game a mop up for me...
I start rolling in binary.
1's everywhere. I killed a total of 2 tacticals in the Command squad assault. They fall back toward the central objective, and I'm ass-out in front of 9x assault MasterCrafted THSS termies.
The 4 man CS manages to have the Sgt survive after 12 Thunder Hammer attacks, and they actually killed a termie.
The backfield squad lost half their number, but stuck due to Vukan. This bodes the top of the turn, my opponent had a fearful/concerned look on his face.
his assessment seemed to be the same as mine.
At the bottom of turn 2, he had a flabbergasted ones and twos flew out of my hand. He just couldn't believe it. I switched dice after the close of the turn.

Turns 3-5
I'm not going to do this one blow by blow, as it went VERY fast and VERY poorly. My rolls continued, as I lost unit after unit to silliness, and failed to kill nearly anything.

8 crack missile HITS to bring down a landspeeder storm.
a full shooting phase to kill a LONE and out in the open Tactical Sgt.
4 crack missile shots failing to kill the other lone Space Marine.

I conceded at the bottom of 5, as his untouched Assault terminators gated within range of my reserve unit (which had dropped atop the furthest objective turn 4) and ran 6" (oh, every time they ran, it was a 5 or a 6...I think his dice were just sucking the high numbers out of mine) :o

It was a very good game, and really showed that you don't give up early from a single just hope something goes wrong for your opponent!

Scott felt that the initial drop on his Tacs were a mistake.
I felt it was more like a gamble, in the hopes that his opponent would make a mistake in response (or have bad dice). If I had rolled average, the game would have been mine at the end of turn 3/top of turn 4.
Instead, my dice punished my early optimism by proving the fates hate us all!!! :)

Scott was great, and after the game was over we went outside, smoked and laughed our asses off about dice-hate and toy soldiers. He was wholly with me, in the assessment that the game was lost...until the dice turned on me.
He was just as gracious this game as he was at Ard Boyz.

I have a hatred for Vulkan, though, one that he is perpetuating!
Next Time...oh yeah, Scott...NEXT TIME! :)

Kokomo/Gamer's DMZ tournament BatRep-age rd 1.

Okay, I'm going to TRY to do this my head-cold is getting worse, and moving down into my chest. Last time this happened, it turned into 2 weeks of borderline bronchitis...and I won't have the energy to pursue this. Bear with me, as I am tirrred...yesterday was long!

Edge and I got on the road around 6:45 in the am...after my wife was kind enough to cook us a nice, big breakfast. The ride up did take 3 hours (yay GPS, boo Google who lied to me by 30 min).
The last time I drove like that for an event was Ard Boyz 2010 semi-finals.
We almost got lost, at the very end...but managed to settle in just before 10. Found out the first round wasn't going to get started until sat back to bullshit with new and familiar faces (a few people we'd met and/or faced at last years Ard Boyz no less...though at a new venue). I ran into my nemesis from last year (Scott-the-Vulkan) who toppled my run in round 6. The BS-ing increased!

I had seen the NOVA format pack (a year ago), but didn't examine it wholly in depth until I got to the event. I picked up the pack, and saw the order of the scenarios.
I'm not going to iterate them in their entirety here, but provide url(

My list consisted of (Dark Angels sorta doublewing);
Terminator Squad (4x THSS/Chainfist SB/Apothecary/Cyclone)
Terminator Squad (4x THSS/CF+SB/Cyclone)
Terminator Squad (5x THSS/Cyclone)
Terminator Squad (5x THSS/Cyclone)
Terminator Squad (5x THSS/Cyclone)
Ravenwing Biker Squad (3 man w/2x Meltagun/Sgt+Meltabombs)

Round 1 was, indeed, scenario 1 from the pack; DOW/KP with tiebreakers.

I pulled an IG opponent who was playing (from memory, as I didn't manage to keep a copy of his list).
Luke Alexander
CCS melta squad
Primaris Psyker

PCS melta squad
Platoon w/3x squads (melta/AC)
each squad with Chimera
Banewolf (hull MM)
Banewolf (hull MM)

LR Executioner (hull HF)
LR (hull HF)

I won the roll to choose first, and deferred to 2nd (as it was Dawn of War the 1st turn night fight was going to gimp our first shooting phases, and I wanted to go last in case I couldn't get the 3kp spread and needed to contest last objectives etc etc).

He deployed his one Troop, blobbing his IG platoon with joined primaris (he blobbed for KP mitigation) nearly on top the center objective, and their Chimera behind the central terrain block. He reserved nothing, choosing to bring everything on his board edge turn 1.
Wanting to see where he went, I reserved my Ravenwing(to protect a soft KP) and chose to put nothing on table until I walked on bottom of turn 1.

Turn 1;
He brought the Leman Russes in behind a chimera wall center, with slight weighting toward my right flank. He moved his IG blob onto the center. Vendetta came in to my left. He ran the blob, to secure their shooting avenues and possession of the center.
I brought everything on behind/into the building in the right of my deployment. Running everything forward or into the ruins. I was setting up for transport sniping/easy KPs on turn two, but trying to manipulate his fire with LOS blocking and perceived cover.
KPs 0-0

Turn 2;
He shifted toward my right, and began to shoot. The Vendetta, and Executioner opened up on Belial and the Command Terminators (executioner was out of range). I lost a single termie. The chimeras opened up. I lost nothing. The Leman Russ fired...hit a single terminator...and I rolled a 1. (this would repeat EVERY time the battlecannon fired. Every single terminator hit with a Battlecannon round rolled a 1 on its save) :-o
I shifted up the right flank, and right board edge. I fired. I fired 10 crack missiles, at the banewolves. I shook/stunned the SNOT out of them...and did nothing else. This does not bode well.
KPs 0-0

Turn 3;
He moved the Leman Russes 6" toward my right (along his backfield). Shuffled a bit with the Chimeras and Banewolves to provide maximum cover to Chimera, and began shooting. I lost a Command Terminator to the Executioner, a standard Termie to the Leman Russ Battlecannon, and made the rest of my saves vs Lascannon etc. Okay, a little whittling but nothing egregious.
My reserve bikes came in, from my left side. I chose to threaten his furthest left chimera. My hope was a kill on the transport, and to draw fire off my terminators (as his best shooting bets there was a chimera, the blob, and the vendetta). I managed to kill his far Chimera. I knew the likelihood was it would be a 1 for 1 exchange...I just had to hope for the split fire to mitigate what he did on his turn.
My fire managed to kill a banewolf (finally) and strip the guns off the other one. I also killed a Chimera.
KP's now 3-0

Turn 4;
My bike gambit paid off. He brought a pair of Chimera AND the Vendetta around to deal with the bikes. They went poof, but it took all three units to do so. His Leman Russ/Executioner fire went wide and only forced a save vs one plasma shot...that I made. Chimera fire yielded 1 dead termie from my far right squad (which was now down to 3 termies). The weight of fire lost to dealing with bikes saved that squad.
I detached Belial from the command squad, and had him join the building squad (to prevent a concentrated fire round from possibly netting 2kp). I shuffled, and moved the furthest right squad into the far right table quarter. I fired. 10 crack missiles yielded...2 shaken chimeras, a shaken vendetta, and a shaken banewolf. This is getting tedious, as without a KP this round I'm suddenly out of the KP win window, and not holding enough objectives if things crash quickly.
KPs 3-1

He shuffles, and fires. I lose another terminator in the furthest squad (now down to 2, from that damned battlecannon again) and two terminators from an unwounded squad in my backfield.
I fire. I kill a chimera. I stun the banewolf (argh). I shake the vendetta. I shake my head. I only have another turn to create the buffer to win by KP, and he shoots next.
KPs 3-1

Turn 6;
He shuffles and fires...again. He does deploy (and then run) the squad in the vendetta (ccs? can't remember for sure). onto the far left objective. He sees what I see, that I may not be able to stop him from keeping the KP gap too close, and objectives is the 1st tiebreaker. I've been playing too conservatively, and not compensating for my lack of kills quickly enough. I may be in trouble. He now has 2 objectives to my 1, I can't shift his blob with an assault in time to break the center (with only 1 Termie squad that can reach at this point). Fortunately, his fire only takes out another termie from the far right squad (lone cyclone/THSS is now closing in on that obj, but is in range of EVERYTHING).
I push a 4 man termie into the far right quarter, backing loner boy. I shift my left/backfield squad forward to at least threaten the center (too little to late there, but I can hope it prompts a fire response) and shoot...and pray. I kill the vendetta and stun the banewolf. Thank Gawd, now I just need the game to end...and it doesn't, on to turn 7.
KPs 4-1

Turn 7;
I have the spread, and he knows it. Unfortunately, right now, he has BOTH tiebreakers...and just needs to close the KP spread. He fires...alot. I lose loner boy in the far right. Gap closed. I lose no other units (1 termie from backfield squad is all). It ends after my turn, but if I can't make a kill (which has been my game the whole way) I lose.
I've lost a cyclone, my fire is reduced...I move forward with the remaining right squad, closing in on the banewolf and an objective. I fire. I kill NOTHING. I stunned nearly every chimera left on the field, and the banewolf again...and kill nothing. I pray I'm close enough...I call a charge on the banewolf with the far squad...and make it with a 1/4" to spare. I pray again, and roll penetrations...the chainfist pays off...and I win.
Close one.
Luke was grand, and we smiled the whole way down the pipe.
On to round two.

(which will be it's own entry as well)

NOVA format ruminations

I traveled out of state for a tourney yesterday (with my friend Edge).
I had a blast.
I didn't win, but I had an absolute blast.
Met some new people, was exposed to a new meta and saw some interesting models.

But I would NOT have had fun were it not for 3 things, in order...

A TO who was genuinely excited and engaged,
my opponents and their attitudes,
and the NOVA format/missions.

The TO (uberdark from will get his own nod when I do my BatReps...but after my experiences in last years 'Ard Boyz semi-finals, I was going in with a bias/pre-disposition to be unforgiving. He dispelled my prejudice in spades.
My opponents, the same treatment. I was able to walk away from an event with no complaints and fun games.

The NOVA format, on the other hand, was a pleasant and welcome surprise.

I've been developing missions, running events and trying to make tournaments competitive (without a bunch of TFG play/attitude) for upwards of 15+ years.
I've tweaked scenarios and scoring methods towards that end from the beginnings of the old RTT scoring/scenario methods to the newest GT interpretations of the same.
I adapted to 5e (over the first two years) by trying to create scenarios that mitigated the point and shoot/charge play encouraged by basic scenarios with a single goal, since my second tourney after 5e came out.

I missed the mark.
Humbling that, as I know I'm good...very good. That is not hubris (well, a little, but meh). It is feedback, direct and circumspect...both comments directly to me, from blogs, and the evidence of return players consistently popping up at my events (here and in Fla). The return of players that may not even like me on a personal level, or agree with some of my rules interpretations.

MVBrandt did it. With a simple, and subtle, set of rules...that captures the essence of ALL the basic rulebook missions in one go, in each mission.

I won't re-iterate them here, but just link it;

When I first read the missions (a while ago) they seemed overly simple. As I looked at them more, I saw the appeal. I incorporated some of the core concepts into a few missions/events I ran since last year's NOVA. I didn't run them straight, as I thought they really needed a pure W/L event (which requires more than just a 3rd RTT format to work properly). But I was lucky enough to finally PLAY in an event that utilized the format and scenarios. They were awesome.

Subtly applying the concepts of victory for all the core styles of play in 40k, and FORCING you to think on multiple levels of objective, the scenarios punish single-minded point&click armies/players and reward take-all-comers lists and well thought out play.
Creating multiple avenues of victory allows a good general to play to his strengths/opponents' weaknesses on multiple fronts...and MORE importantly, compensate for particularly bad RPS match-ups (with regards to both army bias AND scenario weakness).
Have MSU in a kill-point scenario? go for the tie and grab objectives...your opponent (if he's good) will see that coming and go for the next tie breaker...and you both might end up playing to the final tiebreaker as mayhem ensues. (same for low KP armies facing fast MSU in an objective mission...etc etc).
These missions represented TRUE balance,
and I shall wholly embrace them in any event I travel to that espouses their use as well.

For my own events, while I think the MISSIONS are grand...I don't want to use them to exclusion.
But I will use them for my next RTT (modified scoring for a 3rd RTT, but missions will be paramount).

I also, now, wish to run a GT to utilize the full NOVA experience.

I was quite QUITE pleased. Brandt has unearthed a gem!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hash Browns, and other wild accusations...

So, McDonald's has decided to sabotage my marriage.
I was tasked with producing a 'Big Breakfast, w/Hotcakes' [no sausage].
I drove, to satisfy the estrogenical does NOT challenge the cravings of a mad woman (pregnancy qualifies, I promise).
I purchased the contraband.
I looked in said bag, confirming (through the now convenient 'see through lid') that indeed, there was no vile sausage (on, near OR even within the same bag, would pollute the fluffy goodness of pre-steamed fake-cakes).
I even saw the butt end of a Hash-Brown pocket, and evidence of my sausage McMuffin's existence (yes, the irony of prior admonishments followed by my own pork-laden perfidy, did not escape me).
I returned home...gleeful that I could chalk up a 'mission-accomplished' for husbandly-nicities (this being necessary, as a man must bank as much equity as possible to bring up during labor...or he shan't survive the experience).
Wife unpacks bag, begins grumbling, and then turns...shaking an utterly empty Hash-Brown packet at me...accusations abound.
Even with the evidence of NO grease inside the pocket, I am incapable of proving innocence.
There is no smell of hash-brown in the bag, in the car or on my breath.
It doesn't matter, as the empty package is laid in front of my place-mat...accusingly...maddeningly.

I can hear it's rustle, the crinkle of waxed paper...
I buried it, you see, beneath a napkin...
yet I hear it's tell-tale crinkling
Louder, Louder, LOUDER...

Yet truly, I AM innocent...but she doesn't believe.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Deathwing vs Daemons Batrep

so a friend was wanting to borrow Daemons for an RTT (change of pace for him with this group) and I wished to see how my Deathwing might hold up vs an all power weapon army...seeing the rising quantities of Grey Knights and all.
Thus, a mutual test was born!

His list (from memory)[italicized unit his preferred first half drop];
Skulltaker (on 'crusher)
Herald (on 'crusher w/might and all that jazz)
Bloodcrushers (x5, fully kitted)

Bloodletters (x10, kitted)
Bloodletters (x10, kitted)
Bloodletters (x5)
Daemon Prince (doomy Khornate type with all that jazz)
Daemon Prince (doomy Khornate type with all that jazz)
Soulgrinder (shooty mc-shoot pants)

Int Chaplain Termie
5x DW Termies (full upgrade squad, 5x THSS/Cyclone)
5x DW Termies (5x THSS/Cyclone) [5 of these squads]
Ravenwing Squad (sgt w/meltabomb, 2x melta, 1x MM Attk Bike)

Deployment; Spearhead
1 objective, center of table.
Primary Victory, center objective
Secondary Victory, Table Quarters (any unit scoring this)
Tertiary Victory, KPs

I won the roll to determine 1st turn/Dep zones. Normally, against daemons, I go order to not lose 1st turn shooting...but I wanted to try an-anti daemon tactic with this list, so chose to go first.

I deployed with two DW units central right and central left of my DZ. I also reserved (Deathwing assault for 1) 3 units of Deathwing.
I then deployed across all fronts of my DZ boundary, and scouted bikes outward 12"...the attack bike into the center of the table, one squad to the leftmost quarter and one toward the right.

With my first turn movement, and DW drops, I had created 2 'safe' zones for him to drop. One in the back corner of his deployment zone, one in a 'pocket' inside mine. All other points on the field were now close to table edges.
The far corner would put his walking daemons in the pickle of multiple shooting turns to approach the central objective. Taking the 'pocket' should garner me at least one, if not more, Deep Strike Mishaps...and hopefully a dead unit with little effort.
Deathwing assault placed the command unit (w/characters) surrounding the central objective, turbo boosting bikers and squad movement (+running) set up my defensive strategy.
Woe is the person who counts on scatter. Four units dropped (his preferred half), 3 units hit...and the Bloodcrusher-star (with attached Skulltaker/Herald) scattered precisely 3 inches...two more, and he would have mishapped on terrain. :(
(oh well, best laid plans..blah blah).

Turn 2;
With the drops to my upper right, and center, I folded back into Dep zone. I brought a Deathwing squad into the upper right quarter to engage the winged Daemon Prince there, folded two toward the 'Crusher-star, and brought the DW squad on to the building (BARELY) the the ground floor to engage the bloodletters. Crack missiles put two wounds on the Daemon Prince, and killed a 'crusher. My assault led to another dead crusher (champ I believe) and wounds for everyone but Skulltaker. I saw to the end of the winged Daemon Prince, and reduced the Bloodletter squad in the building to 3. The bloodletters managed to reduce their foes to 2 models, though. (During movement, I had also cordoned off Skarbrand with a sacrificial bike prevent him from engaging the combat involving 'crushers on his turn).

His reserves brought in the Soulgrinder (just in my DZ) and the 2nd full squad of 'letters right in the 'pocket' behind the 'crusher/terminator furball. Soulgrinder fire netted no kills. The new Bloodletter unit closes on the objective with a run.
During his assault phase, he baked the bike squadron with Skarbrand, and finished off the Terminators engaged with the 'crushers. At this point, he had lost another 'crusher.

Turn 3;
My turn, and no reserves...lonely DW squad waits in the wings!
Belial and the Chappy disengage from the Command Squad, who charge off to deal with the crippled crushers (the Characters then join a squad coming up from the left-flank). The terminators that had smashed the DP, close on Skarbrand (who's busy licking biker-blood off an axe)...while bikes boost 'round to get a melta shot(next turn) on the 'grinder.
Shooting puts down another crusher, and a wound on skulltaker, and what will be the ONLY wound delivered to Skarbrand...while crack missiles bounce harmlessly off the soulgrinder.
My assault finishes the small Bloodletter unit in the building, and puts down two more 'crushers for no lost termies. Unfortunately, the assault into Skarbrand nets me NO wounds on SB for 4 lost termies. At least he's stalled for next combat phase.

NO RESERVES FOR YOU! Okay, so he's not waiting for MUCH...but what he did have in the wings doesn't come in!

Turn 4;
NO RESERVES FOR ME! Well, we both sucked the reserve pipe...but no big. Not a lot of movement this turn, we're solidly tied up. I bring the left termies (with characters) into the middle, to challenge the 'letters...while we kind of mutually annihilate on the center (crushers/Skulltaker go poof to command terminators, then Skarbrand bathes in the offal of same squad moments later)...rolling into:

Turn 4/5 is where we stall...furballs everywhere...blood everywhere. Reserves for both come in (final DP, small 'letters and a DW squad for me) no really new assaults. Blood flies, dice fail me HORRIFICALLY...dice ROCK for him awesomely (not just exaggeration here, he hits and wounds with EVERY attack on a 9 'letter charge vs a terminator was bad...there were tears, and gnashing of teetth).
I finally kill the 'grinder. One golden moment for me, though...the new DP that came was down to 1 wound to 4 crack missiles and a melta gun! :)

Turn 5&6;
Okay, so the DP went down. The two remaining Terminators that STARTED in the building came down to get him, and were promptly slaughtered. He then died to final fire from the remaining squad across the table. They were, in turn, pounced by 5 lousy Bloodletters near the center...and wiped FIVE LOUSY Bloodletters...dammit!!! :)

The Chaplain, who was the only remaining terminator on the table, finally succumbed to Skarbrand (after surviving Belial and a Terminator squad's demise around him through 3 CC phases) and the game ended turn 6.

it ended as the pictures show below...

Excellent and fun game! I was doubly happy to see my Daemons on the table, it's been too long since they were dusted off!

I don't think I made any errors, and neither did Edge.
It became a 'weight of dice' issue, and in CC the 'edge' went to the Khornate Daemons.

I did find a few things, amongst them;
-My initial movement/deployment tactic could have worked...but all plans can run amock in a dice-managed environment. As it is, it still shoe-horned him into a less-than-optimal deployment spread...I just failed to capitalize on it completely.

-I really should have started with a 4th unit on the table, tightening the 'pocket' to my upper right. Other than cramping the zone, it would have made little difference to my initial spread...but may have made it more difficult to dispose of the first DP.

-DW CAN manage a Power Weapon exclusive environment. It ain't fun, but I was there all the way to the final act (and considering bronzing that Chaplain model...he just wouldn't go down til the bitter end...appropriate for a Chappy!)

-The Bloodcrushers would probably have been better applied as 2 units of 3, with Skulltaker in one.

-My only 'error' was just a choice, and that was where my last DW squad deepstruck in. I should have brought them in opposite the Bloodletters, and another turn out of assault range of them, but still within run-contestation of center on turn 6.