Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Battle Barn along with Alpha Omega Coffee and Games to host Tournament March 10th

The Battle Barn and Alpha Omega Coffee and Games are teaming up to put on a 1500pt tournament March 10th. Here is the rules packet

Also all GW FAQ's and the INAT FAQ will be used to resolve rules disputes.

There is a $10 entry fee and all models must be WYSIWYG and full painted/based. This is in a way the grand finale event for the escalation league we have been running, but we are opening this up to anyone regardless of participation in the league.

This is going to be held at the

Sacred Heart Club
935 Park St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Here is a link to the official announcement thread on the Battle Barn forums. In it can be found contact information to pre-register.

We haven't had a tournament in some time here in GR but the previous ones were all great times and I expect this one will be no exception. Space is limited, so sign up soon to ensure your spot!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Death Company take the field: 1850pt Battle Report

I managed to get in four games with the Death Company this weekend. 3 of them were at 1500pts, the other (this one) was at 1850. I went two and two on the weekend and all battles were very decisive either way. All were very fun though! For this battle Christian and I agreed to play an 1850pt battle.  I only have the Death Co. built up to 1500pts so far (and may leave it there), so to fill out the list to 1850 I added in two auto-las predators and a Land Speeder Typhoon. This brought it up to 1860 so I dropped the camo cloaks on the Scouts and added a meltabomb to the sergeant putting it at a nice 1850. I think if I had the models I would have rather kept the camo cloaks, dropped the land speeder and melta bombs and just added 5 more sniper scouts. This would also come out to a tidy 1850pts and would give me a greater scoring presence for objective missions. I also gave the Blood Talons a spin on the Dreadnought. I normally feel that Blood Fists are the better bet on the Death Company Dreads because of Rage, however the Talons look better and I wanted to use 'em!

Anyway, we rolled up Annihilation with Dawn of War Deployment. Christian was running his Black Templars and Chose to go first. I don't have his exact list, but it was something like this:

Emperors Champion, accept any challenge
High Marshal with goodies
2 small crusader squads with lascannons and plasma guns
3 large crusader squads with a mix of iinitiates and neophytes with melta guns and a power fist. 
2 squads of 2 multi-melta attack bikes.
1 squad of 5 terminators with 2 cyclone missile launchers

So an all infantry list. All but a few of the crusaders and one squad of attack bikes were painted and look very nice as well. It always makes the game more fun, in my opinion, when you are facing a good looking army! 

My list was as follows:
Astorath The Grim
2x Death Company in Drop Pods, 2x Powerfist & Bolter, 1x Power Weapon, 1x Infernus, 3x Bolters
1x Death Company in a Land Raider with Extra Armor and Multi-melta, same weapons as the others
1x Death Company Dread with Magna Grapple and Blood Talons in a Pod
1x 5 sniper scouts, melta bomb
2x Auto-las predator
1x Land Speeder Typhoon

Christian chose to go first and deployed the two small crusader squads with lascannons, one in each of the ruins on his side of the board. He declared that everything else would be moving on turn one. I deployed the Land Raider with it's towards the center of the table. The bastion blocked line of sight from one of the Lascannons and the large rock formation would at least provide cover from the other. Astorath was deployed behind the Land Raider making sure he couldn't be seen at all. Don't want him getting insta-killed by a lucky lascannon shot! I declared the dread and pods squads would be podding in, the preads and speeder would move on turn 1 and the scouts would outflank.

Christians Deployment after his squads move on the board.

Turn one the Black Templar horde charges onto the battlefield. The terminators hold the center of the line while the Attack Bikes turbo-boost up my right flank. The crusaders spread out across the table. One behind the ruins on Christians right flank, the Emperors Champion joins the squad between the two ruins, while the High Marshal joins the squad near the trees on Christians Left. His shooting phase is spent mostly running his squads (where he got almost all 5's and 6's!) The Lascannon on the right failed to find range due to night fight, the other couldn't see anything and the teminators
Same thing, different angle!

My turn one was far more decisive. I dropped in one of the Death Company squads and the Dreadnought. Seeing the Attack bikes as a big threat to my Land Raider I decided to try and dispatch them first. I dropped both pods in between the two squads. The Dread took aim with his melta and magna grapple and scored two hits and wounds, but due to them turbo-boosting the previous turn one of the shots bounced harmlessly off. The other managed to strike home and one bike was insta-killed. One melta was left though and could spell disaster! On the other side The other attack bikes lost a wound to bolter fire but were otherwise unharmed. Meanwhile in the center of the table the Land Raider moved up towards the Emperors Champions squad and disgorged its contents. I wrapped the squad around the side of the LR so that Astorath could jump up within 2" join the back of the squad. I just barely managed to have charge range on the squad (we had to bust out the tac template to make sure and it was less than 1/8th of an inch!) Christians massive run rolls came back to haunt him here! Astorath didn't have enough movement to get into the combat this turn, but his re-roll buffs still applied and I wiped out all but two crusaders and the Emperors Champion who being fearless in combat held. Meanwhile I lost one or two models in the exchange. The speeder and Predators moved on up my right flank. The speeder turbo-boosted to pick up the cover save while the predators rolled in behind the building waiting for the light of dawn.
So far we were tied with no kill points on either side, but with the Emperors champions squad severely outnumbered I had definitely struck the first blow!

Add caption

In Christians second turn he moved the High Marshalls squad up a bit towards the Death company squad that just podded in. They took a couple of shots and managed to kill the model closest to them, taking them out of charge range! Meanwhile the Attack bikes took aim at their pod, going for the easy kill point and wrecked it. The other attack bike failed to hit the dreadnought, this was bad for Christian as it was still in charge range and due to his vows was forced to charge in the assault phase and was quickly dispatched by the dreads blood talons. The Dread consolidated 4" towards the High Marshall's squad. The Lascannons and Missile launchers all failed to damage the Land Raider in any significant way. In assault Astorath managed to out-duel the Emperors Champion face to face, killing him, while the Death co. easily dispatched the few remaining Crusasders. They consolidated towards the terminators.

Kill points were now 3-1

In my turn the Death Co. with Astorath Raged towards the terminators. The Land Raider, preds and Land Speeder all took shots at the Terminators killing one. Because they took a casualty they were forced to take a morale check and either fall back or charge forward. I was previously unaware of the fallback part of that. They failed and fell back off the board edge. Astoraths squad instead assaulted the crusader squad with the lascannon in the ruins and wiped them out, though they were reduced to just the two power fist members.  The other squad that had podded in assaulted the Attack Bike squad and made quick work of them. The drop pod squad made quick work of the attack bikes while the dread wiped out all the High Marshall and two of the squad with him. Blood Talons are sick when they get to do their thing!

Kill points were now 5-1 and things were looking really grim for the Black Templars.

In his turn 3 there wasn't much for him to do. The Lascannon took aim at the Land Raider failed to do any significant damage. The Dreadnought finished off the crusaders with the High Marshall, but failed to kill the Marshall himself.

Kill points now 6-1.

In my turn the last pod finally showed up. I debated about dropping far away from the action to play kill point denial, but in the end decided to be a bit sporting. He still had a big unit of crusaders and the other lascannon team on his right flank so I dropped over there giving him a chance at some kill points. I mean holding back would have been cowardly, right? The Land Raider pulled up near the ruins between the remaining crusaders squad so their rage would bring them within 2" of the assault ramp and they jumped in. Astorath jumped over behind the Land Raider. In combat the Dread finally finished off the High Marshall.

Kill Points now 7-1

In Christians turn he took aim at the drop pod going for the easy kill point, but it turns out his dice hated him and the pod was unharmed. Meanwhile the Crusader squad shot at and then assaulted the newly arrived Death company. We ended up drawing combat.

In my turn I moved the Land Raider up and the boys inside assaulted the squad inside the ruins, but those Crusaders weren't about to go down easy and managed to cause a couple of wounds. Two failed saves and feel no pain rolls later and the Crusaders won combat! Meanwhile Astorath jumped over and joined in the fracas near the drop pod. In the end he and the Death co managed to bring down the squad, but not before Astorath took a powerfist to the face and died.

Kill points now 8-3.

That's Christian in the Flannel on the left. On the right Kyle approves.

In Christians final turn the Crusaders failed to do any significant damage to my army and in the end the Death Company hit them in my turn. They didn't have another last stand in them and were wiped out. The game ended in a total wipe-out. The game was really fun and as you can see below Christian took the tabling well and laughed the whole game long!
We're all smiles around here!
I got in one more game that night against Tim and his Copper Dragons. I don't have any pics of that game, which is a shame as his army looks great. You can check his army out and a brief description of our battle here. Long story short though is he whooped up on my pretty bad! It was fun though and I look forward to my chance at redemption.

Then on Saturday I got in two games as well. Both of the games were using NOVA missions. The first was against Jeff and his Coteaz Grey Knight Build. He is still working on the army so there were a few proxies, but I was trying to help him test out the list. In this one the Land Raider was night indestructable! Unfortunately it and the Death co. Dread were the only things of mine left on the table at the end of the game :( I got a little too aggressive and he was able to assault me with Death Cult Assassins out of a Storm Raven from reserves and tie up the Death Co. Dread all game with two of his dreads. My dread managed to glance the regular one to death, but there was no chance of that against a venerable! It was a fun game, but I made a few mistakes and they cost me since he runs DCA which just flat beat Death Company in assault!

My final Game was against Kyle and his Space Marines. This one was another lopsided game, and this one, like the game against Christian, was also in my favor. My dice caught fire and it seemed I could do no wrong. We called it around turn four since he only had two squads left and I still had most of my army.

All in all it made for a fun weekend of gaming. I had hoped to make it out to a tournament but real life said 'no'. Getting in these four games sure made up for it though!

Until Next time!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hobby Update: Astorath the Grim and Death Company Land Raider

So awhile back I decided that I could do a better paint job than the one I had done on Astorath the Grim, so I threw him in the dip and forgot about the project for months. Now that I am building a Death Company army he becomes a bit of a necessity, so out he came. I previously had problems with his axe head breaking off so I converted up a different one with a bit from the Sanguinary Guard kit. I also did a wings swap for the Sanguinor's wings.

Anyway first heres a picture of the old paint job...

I still think I did pretty good on it, but here's the new one...

Yeah, I like that better, especially the axe.

Next up I decided that I wanted a cool ride for my Death Company. I was originally planning on getting a Storm Raven, but after my overtime was cut it just wasn't in the budget anymore. So instead I cannibalized the Land Raider from my Crimson Fists army. I never really used it even when I did play the fists and never finished the paint job on it. Now I don't generally consider myself to be overly artistic and am pretty proud when I manage to freehand a blood drop or some such without screwing it up. So I have no idea what possessed my to try my hand at something as ambitious as the skull on this thing, but I think it turned out pretty damn good!

The scroll here is almost legible and actually says "Liturgies of Blood. To crush your enemy, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." Sound familiar?

So with the LR done I only have two powerfist guys and one power sword guy to go (being primed as I type this!) and I'll have the army complete up to 1500pts.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Embracing the Black Rage part II

"Treat them with honour,  my Brothers.
Not because they will bring us victory this day,
but because their fate will one day be ours."
                         Astorath the Grim, Blood Angels High Chaplain

So in this post I want to go into a bit more detail on the Rage USR, its limitations, and what wiggle room it allows us. So first we should probably begin by looking at the rule itself.

Rage: blah, fluff, blah. IN the Movement phase, unit subject to rage must always move as fast as possible towards the closest visible enemy. In the Shooting phase, they are free to decide whether to run, but if they do they must run towards the closest visible enemy. In the Assault phase they must always consolidate towards the closest visible enemy. Whilst falling back, embarked on a transport, or if no enemy is visible, they ignore this rule.

So lets look at the first part of that, where we have to move as fast as possible towards the nearest visible enemy in the Movement phase. There's not a whole lot of wiggle room here, except when you look at the end of the rule. 'if no enemy is visible...' If they can't see the enemy, they won't rage at them.  There is no rule that says you have to move them first. Because of that you can use other units to screen them from seeing the enemy so they can act as normal. This can be done most effectively through the use of vehicles, but with clever placement you can also always use the terrain to your advantage as well. Furthermore, this does provide us with a bit of an opportunity. If there is more than one enemy that is visible we must determine which is closest. In most cases this is pretty obvious, but sometimes it's just too close to call with the naked eye. In that case we have no choice but to pull out the good ol' tape measure. When forced to do so, we  actually have a chance to basically pre-measure our charge range. Something that is rarely afforded to us. We can use this information to decide if we want to run, shoot or stand pat in our shooting phase, based on whether we will have adequate charge range or not, or if the removal of key models could take us out.

Alternately you can always use other vehicles and even infantry to 'funnel' them where you want them to go. If you limit their options or restrict their movement then you gain a bit of control over them as well. Needless to say the number of different scenarios that could come up are limitless, but with some careful thought and movement we can open up some different options.

Next up is the option to run or shoot in the Shooting phase. Now if we choose to run we are beholden to the same rules as in the Movement phase. If we choose to shoot instead, though, we are free to pick any target we desire. There's no restrictions on this. It's one place where we are afforded some free will. Don't be afraid to exercise it!

Finally, we have the Assault phase, where we must consolidate towards the nearest visible enemy unit. It does not place any restrictions on who we can charge though (unless we shot in the shooting phase, of course.) So if you have multiple enemies in charge range you can take your pick of the litter. Or we can multi-assault if we choose, so long as we follow all the normal restrictions of course.

It is still a pretty limiting rule, but when you break it down there is a bit more wiggle room than there first appears to be. It's this wiggle room that you must keep in mind when fielding a unit (or army) of Death Company. Transports are great because once inside the DC can go anywhere they want. Screening them from LOS is another viable tactic, though harder to pull off. Of course my favorite way to use them is Drop Pod insertion, but I already covered that pretty well in the last post ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Embracing the Black Rage part I

"Treat them with honour,  my Brothers.
Not because they will bring us victory this day,
but because their fate will one day be ours."
                         Astorath the Grim, Blood Angels High Chaplain

more after the jump...