Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two More Pics

I finally got a couple of decent pics of more-or-less completed minis. Enjoy! Just...don't look at the bigger versions. Evidently, these look OK at this size, but at the bigger size, they suddenly take on some ass-like qualities. Oh well.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Plasma Cannoneer Pics

Just a few pics of my recently-completed Plasma Cannon devastator troop. In the background you can see my WIP jump-chappy (although not very well).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pics from CP Tourney at DL and other things... do I need to learn how to use the image adding feature on this site, and not have it come out looking like pure crap...anyway...

I was mucking about with my camera (the lovely POS-wonder that it is) and discovered the pictures I took at the Combat Patrol tourney at DL were actually still there. Only a few were usable, though, but I thought I'd share.

From the top, the first two are just show of my army, in all its work-in-progress glory (I'm happy to say that's no longer the case, the assault marines are finished and look a lot better, as do the other models you see in those photos that weren't already finished...just a few more bases and I'll be finished with them all).

The third pic is the post-deployment phase of my first game. Can you spot my tactical blunder in progress? I can!

The fourth and fifth images are from my second game, during deployment. After that, my camera's battery died and well, that was that.

On to other things...

I finished my first devastator squad plasma cannon marine. I'm very pleased with how he turned out. Current plan is to have two plasma cannons and two heavy bolters in that squad, so I'm only 25% done there. I'm concurrently working on my jump chaplain. Yes, he's metal so I'm a little squirrelly on working with him but so far it hasn't been so bad. I've discovered once I've slopped on the black primer, the paint goes on about like it does on a plastic mini. One nifty discovery I made this afternoon (after talking paint for a few minutes with Mike) is a Reaper Master Series color called "Adamantium Black". Since I didn't want to be cheesy and just leave the chappy's armor plain ol' primer black, I thought I'd experiment with this and see how it turned out. One word: Awesome. I'll try and post some pictures when I'm done if my POS camera will actually capture the way it looks. Imagine a nice pure black with microscopic metalflake. When applied, it dries with an ultra-cool gleam and adds a depth and texture that makes the surface really stand out. CJ gives it an A+.

My next army building goal is 1,250 points, so I can play in the next round of escalation at DL. I'm already signed up for it and committed, so I'm really working hard to make it happen. Hopefully, it'll all work out nicely. I'll probably post a first stab at an army list for that game sometime soon for y'all to critique.

Lastly, while I was at DL I spoke with someone (whose name I didn't get, and I feel like an ass for not doing so) about the recently "leaked" pre-release version of the WH40K 5th Edition rules. Evidently, it's the real thing -- according to him this is the version that the "tech priests" (what's a "tech priest"?) have been playtesting with. I'm not admitting to having -- shall we say -- questionable PDFs on my laptop or anything, but I have read the document and I can't really find anything in it that makes me want to rip my hair out, other than the rule that vehicle "defensive weapons" are now classified as S4 and under (which is going to cut down on vehicles moving and shooting in the same turn). Yes, skimmers have been nerfed in a couple of ways, but never having played them nor never having had my ass handed to me by a 3-Falcon Eldar Flying Circus, I can't say that I mind or care. I can see where the new "run" rule is going to be a-ha-bused, badly, and I hope it doesn't come to that...but it probably will. Either way, I'm looking forward to 5th edition, even though I am far and away from mastering 4th. I guess that having a new edition come out while I'm still learning makes me feel like the playing field has been "leveled" to a certain extent. Of course, I know this is going to cause no end of wailing and gnashing of teeth for some players whose favorite broken army list gets balanced (even though they will whine about "nerfing")...but I don't think power-gaming is in the spirit of the game, anyway, so I can't say I really care. :)

All right, that's it for now. Happy painting and playing!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hmm. Maybe next time.

After some pretty careful consideration, last night I made the decision to not try to make the Escalation League game today.


To put it bluntly, I'm not ready for it. Looking over the army list I put together for it, I realized I would have to put together the heavy weapon marines (lascannon, heavy bolters and plascannons) starting from unpainted and still on the sprue. In other words, I could maybe -- maybe -- get them off the sprue, knock off the mold-lines, slap on some primer and then hold everything together with blue tack...oh, and let's not forget that my chaplain is still in the blister, untouched by human hands.

I simply don't want to try to pull it off. I know I won't be satisfied playing with models in that state. Also, "haste makes waste" is more than just an old saying, it's experience-proven wisdom, and I don't want to get in a stress-induced hurry and do a half-ass, sloppy job on my models. I have enough issues getting them to look (even half-way) decent without putting in a layer of potentially shoddily-done first steps that I'm certain would come back to haunt me later in the process. Besides, this is a hobby, damn it, and it's supposed to be fun, not a stress-fest of rushing around doing slap-happy half-ass panic-driven tasks. Escalation League for me this month...which is OK. I've made my decision and I'm happy with it. Yes, I'm disappointed I won't be playing in the league as planned, but at the same time, I know I'll be happier with my models (and ultimately, with my army overall) this way.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Escalation Campaign

...and by thoughts, I mean a possible army list I've been thinking about using for the Escalation Campaign.

1000 Pts - Ultramarines Roster - Escalation - CrusherJoe

HQ: Master of Sanctity (1#, 136 Pts)
1 Master of Sanctity @ 136 Pts
Bolt Pistol (x1); Crozius Arcanum; Rosarius
1 Jump Pack @ [20] Pts
1 Rosarius @ [0] Pts
1 Terminator Honors @ [15] Pts

Fast Attack: Assault Squad (10#, 276 Pts)
9 Assault Squad @ 276 Pts
Jump Packs; Frag Grenades; Bolt Pistol (x7); Close Combat Weapon (x9); Plasma Pistol (x2)
1 Sergeant @ [68] Pts
Jump Packs; Frag Grenades; Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Fist (x1); Terminator Honors
1 Combat Shield @ [5] Pts

Troops: Tactical Squad (6#, 106 Pts)
5 Tactical Squad @ 106 Pts
Bolter (x3); Flamer (x1); Missile Launcher (x1)
1 Sergeant @ [15] Pts
Bolt Pistol & CCW

Troops: Tactical Squad (6#, 145 Pts)
5 Tactical Squad @ 145 Pts
Bolter (x4); Lascannon (x1)
1 Sergeant @ [55] Pts
Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Fist (x1); Terminator Honors

Heavy Support: Devastator Squad (8#, 220 Pts)
7 Devastator Squad @ 220 Pts
Bolter (x3); Heavy Bolter (x2); Plasma Cannon (x2)
1 Sergeant @ [15] Pts
Bolt Pistol & CCW

Elite: Dreadnought (1#, 115 Pts)
1 Dreadnought @ 115 Pts
Missile Launcher; Assault Cannon

Total Roster Cost: 998


Monday, January 7, 2008

750 Point Combat Patrol Tournament at Dragon's Lair, 01/05/08

Well, I made it to the tournament...barely! I wound up having to use poster tacky adhesive stuff to attach the jump packs and heads to my assault marines and the weapons to a couple of tactical marines...but I was there and got to play in my first tournament.

Here's the army list I used:

HQ: Captain (1#, 140 Pts)
1 Captain @ 140 Pts
Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Fist (x1)
1 Iron Halo @ [25] Pts
1 Terminator Honors @ [15] Pts

Troops: Tactical Squad (7#, 164 Pts)
5 Tactical Squad @ 164 Pts
Bolter (x3); Flamer (x1); Missile Launcher (x1)
1 Rhino @ [58] Pts
Storm Bolter; Extra Armor; Smoke Launchers
1 Sergeant @ [15] Pts
Bolt Pistol & CCW

Troops: Tactical Squad (7#, 170 Pts)
6 Tactical Squad @ 170 Pts
Bolter (x4); Plasmagun (x1); Lascannon (x1)
1 Sergeant @ [55] Pts
Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Fist (x1); Terminator Honors

Fast Attack: Assault Squad (10#, 276 Pts)
9 Assault Squad @ 276 Pts
Jump Packs; Frag Grenades; Bolt Pistol (x7); Close Combat Weapon (x9); Plasma Pistol (x2)
1 Sergeant @ [68] Pts
Jump Packs; Frag Grenades; Plasma Pistol (x1); Power Fist (x1); Terminator Honors
1 Combat Shield @ [5] Pts

Total Roster Cost: 750

So, how did I do?

You know what last place is? I was one up from that. :)

...but that's OK, because I went to the tourney fully expecting to get my ass handed to me. I went for the experience, wanting to get some games under my belt. I can definitely say I learned quite a lot.

Here's a brief summary of my games:

Game 1: Ultramarines vs. Dark Angels (played by Kirk)
What I learned here is that a tactical blunder in the first turn can lose the whole game for you. I should have bounced my assault marines over that forest and got into close combat ASAP...but I allowed myself to get distracted by 2 squads in Razorbacks. Those two squads chewed up one of my tac squads in CC and the Razorback's TL HBs chewed up my assault squad. By turn 5, it was all over but the cryin'. Result: Victorious Slaughter to Kirk.

Game 2: Ultramarines vs. Dark Eldar (played by Jeff)
I had met Jeff and his girlfriend previously at BFG, while we were both working on the models that made up the armies we were using. Nifty! Another tactical mistake on my part (chasing after skimmers with the lascannon-packin' tac squad) and a poor unit placement choice in deployment led to the Dark Eldar unloading 30 models on top of my poor commander and attached tac squad. Bleah. In turns 5 and 6 I did manage to bounce over with my assault squad and deliver some righteous CC goodness to one of his squads...but it was too little, too late, as the Dark Eldar tide swept most of my remaining tac squad under. My dice must have seen the way the wind was blowing, because they deserted me around turn 2 and never came back. Result: Crushing Victory to Jeff.

Game 3: Ultramarines vs. Chaos Space Marines (played by Daniel)
Daniel had a mix of Khorne berzerkers, Thousand Sons and Plague Marines and called them "Chaos Undecided". They had most excellent paint jobs and looked great. We were on the "losers table" and we knew it, but had a good, fun game nevertheless. My las squad stayed put this time and plinked at the berzerkers and actually scored some hits...but my dice continued their stone cold behavior and rolled a one every single time to wound. I sent the command squad to my right flank in the Rhino and promptly forgot to pop smoke...and paid for it when the plaguers shattered it with a Vehicle Destroyed glancing hit, which took 3 of my squad with it. My assault squad finally got it together and managed to wipe the Thousand Sons unit in a couple of rounds of CC (taking some casualties)...and then I caught the lucky break I really needed, failing (yes, failing) a Morale check which forced me to fall back 14" -- so I bounced them to the top of the 3-story building that dominated the board. Just in the nick of time, too, because the children of the Khorne would have charged in and ground them into tasty, bite-sized chunks the next turn. At the top of turn 6 I was hoping for a draw, so I left the assault squad alone and pulled the remains of my command squad behind the building and that was that. I was surprised that I actually scored enough points to get a Solid Victory.

I learned a lot about using terrain and cover, CC resolution, and how the game is played overall. I also learned -- painfully, and very much after-the-fact as I read over my army list this evening -- that one should remember they took extra armor on a Rhino, and that one should also use that damed smoke launcher to prevent little things like glancy-hit-death. (Note to self: Remember the details next time, ok? Oh, and just suck less in general.)

The tourney was well run and Kirk did a great job of organizing the games and making everything go smoothly. Everyone I played against was very patient with me and I had a blast playing. I'm really looking forward to playing more and I would definitely play anyone that was there in the future.

Congrats go to Mike (Psyberwolfe) for coming in first. I didn't get to play him, but I'm pretty sure he'll hand me my ass one day. :) Check out his video bloggery shot between rounds for a good overall tourney summary.

Next up is the 1,000 points Escalation League game this coming weekend. Hopefully, I'll have enough stuff ready to be able to participate...if I do, I'll be there.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Race to 750...

There's a combat patrol tournament at Dragon's Lair this weekend that I would really like to play in. After talking to Kirk at DL I found out it's 750 points, using the combat patrol rules.

Problem is, I don't have 750 points in a playable state.


So over the next couple of days, I'm going to try and get enough marines in "playable" condition to have 750 points. Kirk said a WIP army was OK, which is good, because otherwise, I wouldn't be able to make it.

I've added a few pictures of where things are right now. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me!

So much to do, so little time...

Wish me luck!