Friday, October 24, 2008

...and now, here's Joe with the weather.

Now that I finally got the whole Disqus thing straightened out, and have actually had a few moments to breathe (and get caught up on some professional and personal things) I thought it'd be a good time to get everyone caught up.

The last few days have been a mixed bag. I wound up having to miss the last couple of days of work due to being under the weather, but that's what doctors and prescriptions are for. So far, so good on the recovery. Next week is going to be very, very hectic, too, as the long-awaited move to the new place finally happens. What this means is that gaming and modeling are going to have to take a brief back seat, but once the move is complete it should get a lot better as I'll finally have a dedicated workspace. I'm really, really looking forward to this and (hopefully) the golden age of productivity that will come with it. I have several projects either already in progress or planned and I'm definitely excited about getting started or moving forward on them!

All right, let's talk about the Macharian Crusade.

The first game I played went pretty well, all things considered (as previously discussed). I promised I'd do a little "what did we learn" about that game, so I'll get that out of the way.

  • Khorne Berzerkers are awesome. They are the main reason I wanted to pick up a CSM army to begin with. They're the only "cult" troops I have at the moment, and they're worth their weight in gold in CC. I know this isn't news to anyone, but I wanted to point out that they were as awesome as I thought they'd be.
  • You can never have enough meltaguns when you're playing against a vehicle-heavy IG list.
  • I really shouldn't have taken the MoK on the daemon prince. The DP really needs some shooty, and that means psychic powers. MoK will be dropped in the future in favor of Doombolt (hey, same points cost either way).
  • I could really use another Vindicator or two.
  • Infiltrating a squad of Chosen into your opponent's backfield is a dirty rotten trick, but definitely the only real reason to take them. I wish I'd given them 4 meltaguns instead of 4 flamers, though. I was thinking there'd be more troops back there for me to barbecue.
  • Summoned lesser daemons are a neat diversion, and can certainly crank out the wounds in CC, but man do they die quick. Oh, and they can't use transports. Oops.
Week Two of the Macharian Crusade pitted me against Chris "The Dude" Long and his Methalor Penal Legion. Chris, along with being one of the Fly Lords of Terra, is definitely one of Austin's best players (and he has the tournament wins to prove it) so I was really looking forward to this game as we've never faced off before. This game was a little different for me in that it was 1500 points. I can't remember the last 1500 point game I've played, so shaving down the list a little was a challenge but I think I did all right. We played a very tight, very close game and it literally came down to the wire. In the end, I made a couple of mistakes that wound up costing me big. At one point, I held both objectives, with a squad of CSMs on my home objective and my Berzerkers on his. Alas, it didn't last, though. Some good shooting followed up by a brutal round of CC between my remaining 'zerkers and his command squad and HQ (a Crusade-only special character) ended with the Khorne-boys wiped out to the man and a Demolisher close enough to contest my home objective. Oh, but it was a close, fun game the entire time. Chris told me at one point he was "playing for a tie", and considering how good a player he is, I felt pretty good about that. I had a brief post-game discussion with Chris after I'd had time to think about it, and we both agreed that I made a few crucial mistakes:

  • I should have moved my Land Raider the full 12" instead of 6". It probably would have survived the assault from the unit with the priest and the "guy with the eviscerator". Yup, 2D6 on the penetration roll will go through even AV14. Had the Land Raider moved the 12" and survived, it would have been contesting Chris's home objective.
  • I mis-directed the final assault of the Berzerkers, not realizing that the SINGLE model accompanying the HQ model was a "troop". I'm pretty sure I could have wounded that "troop" had I directed my attacks towards his unit. Had that model died, Chris wouldn't have been able to claim his home objective (and coupled with the Land Raider, I might have at least been able to contest it).
  • When Chris moved his Demolisher to tank shock my CSM unit holding my home objective, I originally declared a Death or Glory! with the PF-equipped AC...and then for some reason, changed my mind and backed out of it. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have popped that tank, what with it being AV14 on the front and all, but I really had nothing to lose. If I had, well, then I would have held my home objective uncontested.
...OK, so maybe those post-game thoughts don't mean as much without having a little more context, but you get the idea: I made some serious errors, and it cost me big time. However, even though I've been playing for a year now I still consider myself in the learning stage, and that game definitely taught me some very good lessons. I have to add that Chris is an excellent player and that game was pure fun.

That brings me to current and upcoming projects.

I'm enjoying playing the Chaos Space Marines. They're similar enough to my Ultras that it's not a huge learning curve, but the different units and options really do make it entertaining. They're not going to become my main army but they do make for a fun diversion. Having said that, though, I've decided that I really want to work on my daemon prince. I have a balrog model and I think it makes a great DP. However, there's something about it that bothers me: the little "fire knife" it has for a CCW. I've decided to attempt sculpting an appropriately-large sword for it. I've made a couple of base forms out of brown stuff and have begun the long and demanding task of carving, cutting and filing. I'm using one as my "test" and the second as the "production"...but there's a long way to go before either of them is even near done. BTW, if you're interested, I found this tutorial on sculpting swords that I found most useful. It's a little hard to read at first as it is presented in multiple languages but definitely worth a look.

Last but certainly not least, I have some plans for my Ultras. I have two lists in mind, one that uses drop pods, Sternguard and a libby, and lots of tacs. The other list replaces some tacs for some scout bikers. I really need to decide on my HQ, too -- which is really a choice between Sicarius or Pedro -- and once I've finalized that I need to get the model and get to work on painting it up. Needless to say, I have a LOT of work in store for me with my Ultras but I'm definitely looking forward to getting it all together, painting it up, and then playing with the new codex.

You'll notice the details are a little light on the upcoming stuff for the Ultras. That's because I really haven't finalized a whole lot yet. I'll let you know what I come up with, though.

So, now that I've blathered on for probably way too long (hey, if you made to the end of this long-ass post, thanks!) I'm wondering: what have you guys learned from recent games? What projects are percolating up? What plans have you made?