Friday, 30 August 2013

Shrine of the Manufactork 2

Crane added to the Manufactork as per client instructions:

building a grimdark tomorrow

I wasn't sure where to start.  I had been given a WWII Pontoon bridge and the steel lattice frame definitely seemed usable but I kept playing with the boats and not actually doing anything.   I needed something to make it Orky.  So I started with an Ork.

Yer 'avin a larf, intcha?

The crane driver was pretty easy.  I just reversed the axe on an Ork Boy, cut the gun off and did a bit of reposing with grey stuff.   I gave his boots soles because he is going to be pushing foot pedals. I didn't tell my son that he had sacrificed one of his troops to the cause.  He gets enough free stuff as it is.

I sketched out an Orky head on plasticard and put this on the model too.  It handily disguises the inscription telling you that the side of the hoist is actually a 15mm polyethylene plumbing cap.  The cab and engine just sort of evolved around the driver, being mostly old sprues.

Pedal to the metal!  Oh wait, its a crane...
The Pontoon bridge became the boom.  I used wire for the cabling and a bit of Killa Kan claw for the block and hook.  The crane can swivel around and the boom moves up and down.  Its not technically accurate and could do with a boom line and counterweight but this is Ork technology dammit.  They use rocks for spaceships.  Does that seem technically accurate to you?

Boom goes up.  Boom goes down.  Hours of fun.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the Skyshield Landing Pad.  This will be difficult since I hate the model as well as the rules for it and it no longer fits on the top of the building.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Shrine of the Manufactork

I've been working on the looted Ork manufactorum.  Chris instructed me to add a crane and a skyshield landing pad to the structure.  So I decided to put some doors on it.  Some big ass doors which can open and close and have a working lock mechanism.  I never was very good at taking instructions.

Shrine of the Aquila.  Not.

You can see the beginnings of a skyshield landing pad on the right hand tower. I have no idea how I'm going to complete this because the landing pad itself no longer fits on top of the supports.  Ah well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  The door was attached to some struts that didn't come from GW (gasp!) and which, it turned out, weren't made of styrene.  So I had a great time trying to glue the buggers on until I discovered a tube of Liquid Nails in my toolbox and liberally applied it.  (note to self: do not attempt to roll cigarettes with Liquid Nails on your fingers).  I bought the hinges from Bunnings.

I will get round to Orkifying it.  Eventually.  Maybe. 

The locking mechanism is one of those manufactorum panels with the Deus Mechanicus symbol on it.  I've always loved the Machine God motif and I reckon the Adepts of Mars would have been annoyed with me if I had simply glued it on.  Perhaps they would have censured me.  So I made it rotate:

I could have been a hand model if I didn't keep stabbing myself with craft knives.

And the doors open!  You have no idea how many attempts it took to hang them straight.  I was obviously never destined to be a cabinet maker.

Speak friend and enter.  Mellon!

There's an unfinished catwalk across the top and models standing on it will be able to fire out of the windows. They may lose their cover save if you open the doors though.

Say hello to my little friends!
In fact, the main reason I built it like this was to make it more fun in a game  (This is a lie.  The reason I built it was because it pleases me to do so).  If it was just a wall then the defenders would be sitting tight on top of it.  Imagine trying to assault 24 Fire Warriors manning this piece of terrain.  It would be like Monty Python and the Holy Grail,  "Go away, or we will taunt you a second time!  Fechez la vache!"  But you could make up rules for it, allowing a unit within 2 inches to open the doors and surprise the enemy (from either side, I guess). Alternatively play with them jammed open if line of sight blocking is giving one player an unfair advantage.

You can't take them off though.  Pulling them off would be bad and would probably make me cry.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Bowed but not broken

The Aliens Power Loader, sorry, Dreadknight customisation continues apace.  Its mostly blu-tacked together but I'm fairly happy with the positioning.  The legs were by far the most interesting part.  Unlike the sexy Wraithknight or the funky Riptide, you cannot bend the knee joints on a Dreadknight.  So I went medieval on them with a craft knife and a bone-saw.  It seemed easy enough at first but the pistons on the calves and heels actually prevent the leg from bending at a 90 degree angle.  I carefully cut them off/down and was finally able to get the oversized baby carrier into a kneeling position (the pistons and cabling were glued back on later.  Badly).

His toes had surgery too

As an aside, I noticed that if you put the legs on backwards, you have the beginnings of an ED-209 model:

You have 20 seconds to comply.  Bzzt.
The torso wasn't modified. You can swivel it laterally to make the model twist at the hip.  However, putting baby in the baby carrier was a nightmare.  The Grey Knight pilot is basically in a straight-legged 'GI Joe', gung-ho pose and I needed his body position to reflect what the exoskeleton was doing.  So I had to chop him off at the knees as well.  Lots of fiddling around here since he no longer fit into the harness but I got an approximation of kneeling in the end.  I was careful not to cut off the poleyne (I had to look that word up since 'knee protector thingy' sounded stupid) so it hides the cut out parts behind it.

They don't like it up 'em

I straightened out the left arm as I wanted the machine to be reaching out for support, as if it had momentarily lost its footing.  I used green stuff for gap filling and more on the left hand of the mech where I opened up the doom fist to make it grab a bit of scenery.  I'll have to tidy up bits and pieces here and there but I'm pleased with the overall effect.

Reaching out. Touching me. Touching you.  Touch-ing-cloth!

I suppose I could be accused of modelling for advantage but I think it looks less like a child's action figure and more like a dynamic, monstrous combat chassis.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Katyusha Lootas

As usual, I was complaining to my fellow gamer Chris about Nids the other day.  He, of course, maintains that it is generals who win games, not armies.  This can't be right, otherwise that would make me a bad player...  no wait.  Anyway, Chris suggested that his Squiggoth spam Ork army would struggle against me given only a few tweaks.  Namely: taking 9 Hive Guard.  I scoffed at this so he offered to swap lists and play each other's armies for a game.  He took the Mawloc out of my list, replaced it with 3 Hive Guard and buffed up Gertie the Tervigon with the spare points.  He could have switched Swarmy and Fido out for another 3 Hive Guard plus another Tervigon but I didn't have the models and his point was to show just how easily Hive Guard can kill Squiggoths, so he stayed with 6.

We played Big Guns Never Tire and Vanguard Strike. I got first turn and figured this would win it for me.  Chris's army is very shooty.  Centering around 3 units of Lootas all transported in Big Squiggoths (a hard nut to crack I argued), he also runs 2 Dakka Jets and has made all his Ork boys Shootas.  His Deff Rolla Battlewagon with Meganobs and Kustom Force Field Mek is the sting in the lashing tail.  I carefully set up the Squiggoths so that they were blanketed by the Kustom Force Field and gained a 5+ cover save.  Then I remembered that Hive Guard ignore Kustom Force Fields.  For the first time in my life I thought, "Well thats just cheesy and broken" about my own, beloved Nids.  Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Pumping out up to 90 Str 7 shots with a 48" range in Turn 1 is fairly decent alpha strike imho.  In the internal soundtrack of my mind, the sound of Lootas firing is like Katyusha Rocket Launchers .  Tyranid monstrous creatures rightly fear this  ‘StalinOrgel’ torrent of fire.   In fact, thinking about it, Warhammer 40k Orks could well be based on the Soviet Army of WWII.  Their technology is unsophisticated but brutally effective when mass produced.  They can field seemingly numberless and fearless troops on the battlefield and woe betide you if you try to engage them in hand to hand combat in the ruins of Stalingrad.  The thing is, Orks aren't terribly good marksmen (unlike Soviet WWII Snipers.  Watch the film, ‘Enemy at the Gates’) and their customised weapons tend not to penetrate armour too well.  I focus fired the Swarmlord with every Loota I had and only managed to cause 4 wounds. Statistically, this was about right and demonstrates just how inaccurate Lootas are (Just like Katyushas).

In Chris's turn 1 he killed a Squiggoth outright with 1 unit of Hive Guard.  In turn 2, he killed another and then dropped a spore mine on top of the Lootas which spilled out of it, making them run off the board.  Smarmy git.

I’m not going to give a full battle report.  The game devolved into the usual close combat grind and we never made it past turn 3.   Horde on horde action is not all its cracked up to be.  The highlight of the game was probably when Chris took the ‘Gate of Infinity’ power for his Tervigon and tried to teleport the poor old girl into my Ork gunline.  Gertie took exception to this most unladylike behaviour and mishapped off the board in a huff  (she did forgive him later on and came back in from reserve).  

There were a couple of take home points: 

9 Hive Guard and 9 Biovores can be terrifying to an Ork army.  Against Space Marines in a Land Raider however?  Meh.

Close combat is utterly shite in 6th edition.  I counted 4 failed charges in the game.  In one game turn, two opposing units both tried to charge each other and failed due to overwatch and random charge distance.  Carefully setting up a charge and failing it, losing ¼ of your models in the process is not fun.  No really.  It isn’t.  I’m not even saying you should change the core rulebook.  Just add the ‘Fleet’ rule to close combat units and it’s a bit more palatable.  You still get overwatch and random charges but it mitigates the teeth grinding frustration of doing nothing in your assault phase except dying. 

Thats a fair bit of kit, that is

On the plus side, at the end of the game Chris gave me enough plastic crack to make a grown man weak at the knees.  Well, he didn’t actually give it to me.  He has started to build a looted manufactorum which would be used for the creation of Ork Stompas and suchlike.   He never got round to finishing it and wants me to complete the project.  A couple of months ago, he gifted an absolute bucket load of Ork boys to my youngest son for his first army and would not take any money from me.  As payment, he wants me to finish converting the manufactorum and provided two(!) Shrine of the Aquilas, a Skyshield Landing Pad, an Imperial Sector(!), a Realm of Battle tile and two boxes of assorted goodies from 3rd party vendors.  My only brief is that he wants me to build a crane and incorporate the landing pad into the building.  Apart from that, I can go nuts.  Good times, bro.

All the boring bits are already done.  I just need to accessorise and Orkify

Sunday, 11 August 2013

For shame!

I play Grey Knights. There, I said it.  To my eternal shame I play the Daemon Hunters.  I play them for all the wrong reasons too.  My first encounter with them was against Alistair who had bought the 5th edition codex along with some Paladins, Purifiers and Kaldor Draigo.  I think about 10 of them 'cleansed' my entire army in a game.  Having tried out a few combinations and being a generally decent fellow,  Alistair decided that Grey Knights were filth and promptly sold his burgeoning army.

Psycannons for everyone!  I freely admit, I have a problem.

I bought them from him.  I tell myself that this was because I was unused to playing MEQ armies and had trouble with a lot of rules, especially vehicles which Nids don't get.  The truth is, I just wanted to thrash someone.  I'd seen all those dirty lists on the internet spamming razorbacks and psyfleman dreads and I wanted a piece of the action.  I converted some starter set dreadnoughts, painted them silver and prepared to kerb stomp some poor, unsuspecting fool.  I got my just rewards by losing every game.  So I boxed the army up with the firm intention of burying them at the bottom of the garden, never to see the light of day.  A bit like all those copies of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 buried in the New Mexico desert.  I even hated the fluff, truth be told.  I thought that the Ordo Malleus were a bunch of jack-booted, Masonic Nazis from an Orwellian 'Ministry of Love'.   Luckily, someone lent me a copy of 'Ravenor' by Dan Abnett and I changed my mind.  Members of The Inquisition could be radicals and (un)sanctioned psykers fell through the cracks in the system.  Wheelchair bound detective Ravenor was kick-ass.  I also found Grey Knights easy to paint and a refreshing break from the dozens of failed Nid colour schemes I had attempted.  I painted Draigo in about 3 sessions and was very pleased with him (even if he does remind me of Fagin from Oliver Twist)

You've got to pick a pocket or twooooo!

Anyway, I'm rambling.  I haven't even looked at my Nid models since Call To Arms and wanted to play around with something completely different.  I have bought a much maligned Dreadknight. I'm very dubious of the whole 'baby carrier' thing. However, I have made it my mission in life to try and make him look cool.

Lets boogie!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Freudian nightmares

The Games Workshop model for the Biovore is someone's idea of a joke.  Its got to be.  Lets ignore for the moment the stupid grin and 1980's fashion gauntlets.  These guys have enormous, veiny dicks complete with eyes, growing out of their back. And if you look closely, its actually meat and two veg. The pair of testicles hanging over their head is what really clinches it for me:

This fellow is actually teabagging himself.  And smiling about it.

Plus you can only buy them in Finecast and they have a bi-polar disorder when it comes to bases.  Unable to decide whether they are 60mm or 40mm.  No way man.  I refuse to pay good money for this.

Having said all that, I did want to play Biovores in my army.  Its one of the few Tyranid creatures that has a long ranged, anti-infantry weapon.  (In fact, its the only one I think).  So, naturally I thought about converting some and started rummaging through my bits box.  I had some Tyrant legs and second hand Trygon thoraxes along with the spare weapons from a Tervigon.  Just enough to create two, overlarge, Biovores:

Biohazard and Ugly Nid Joe.  Horribad.

The trouble is that they look awful.  They might not be wearing their genitalia on their head, but they are just wrong and too large to effectively hide behind scenery in a game.  I kept looking at the spare crushing claws from a Tervigon/Carnifex but it needed a smaller body. The only thing I could find was Warriors:

Phalluses and bulging sacs.  Its all a bit Freudian really.

I don't like Warriors.  I think its because all mine got double tapped in one of their first games.  I know they are meant to be good but I'm just not feeling it.  So the models (apart from a converted Tyranid Prime) are left on the shelf, largely unpainted.

However! Add some Tervigon crushing claws, Trygon spikes and a stranglethorn cannon, a bit of sticky and hey presto! A politically correct Biovore is born:

I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here's my handle and here's my spout.

I was feeling very pleased with myself until I realised I had no spore mines to go with them.  This was two days before a tournament in which I had submitted a list containing Biovores.   In desperation, I glued two Adrenal Glands together and stuck them on a paperclip.  This looked ridiculous until I painted it and then covered the lot in hot glue.  Now they look passable.

It still looks like sperm, doesn't it?  Sigh.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Call To Arms - Day 2 (pushing your luck)

Game 4 ++Purge the Alien++Hammer and Anvil++Eldar++

Day 2 dawned bright and early. Having achieved a form of consciousness via the judicious application of coffee and cigarettes, I discovered that my first opponent was Kent.  He was fielding Eldar. I approached the table inwardly cringing.  I'm told that if you find a winning formula in 40k, you spam the ever-loving crap out of it.  However, Kent's list was decidedly different.  What I initially thought was 2 Wave Serpents and a squad of Wraithguard, turned out to be only 1 Wave Serpent, a Fire Prism and a squad of Wraithblades.  In fact Kent was playing a bewildering variety of units. Farseer, SpiritSeer, Warlock, Striking Scorpions, Dire Avengers, Guardians with Starcannon platforms, a Crimson Hunter and a Wraithlord.  He had the lot.  It made for a very pleasant game apart from the point where I almost spit my dummy over an argument about being able to choose which units to overwatch.  However, even that ended amicably since he failed all his snap shots.

Given the mission and the nature of my opposing army (I was too ignorant to spot that he was playing a balanced list with plenty of close combat) I lined up on the starting blocks and ran at him.  Not much of a strategy, granted.  My Tervigon declined to provide him easy kill points until the last turn.  I was still fearful of anything that even looked like a Wraithguard even if it was wielding Ghost Axes.  So I fed his Blades on the left flank several broods of Termagants boosted by Gertie's (4+ poison) toxin sacs.  This proved to be exactly the right thing to do and the ghostly constructs were overwhelmed.  (Note to self: Don't try this with D- bag  Scythe Wraithguard; the overwatch is brutal)

Wraithblades brace for the charge (which I subsequently forgot to do. doh!).  Gertie is about to pull her party trick however.

My right flank didn't fare so well.  Kent had cleverly placed his Guardians on the 3rd floor of a ruin with a Warlock (I think) giving them a ridiculous cover save.  He masterfully supported them with Striking Scorpions dancing in and out of terrain and my advance lost momentum, grinding to an abrupt halt.  Fortunately for me, the Scorpions rolled badly on Battle Focus and didn't make it back into cover on turn 3. My Flyrant swooped in with his twin linked devourers and they failed every single armour save.  Kent's luck was running out.  The Crimson Hunter made no impact and he failed to face-plant my Flyrant.  Termagants made a cheeky 8 inch charge into terrain and might have bagged his Warlord had the game gone on longer.  We only got to the end of turn 3 though. What can I say?  It was a leisurely game

In the centre of Kent's deployment, the Mawloc actually scored a deep strike hit but got carved up by the Wraithlord.  Mawlocs really aren't worth 170 points.  I would have been better served with a second Tervigon which I have finally begun to realise, can be used offensively.  The Hive Guard performed consistently and took out the Fire Prism in turn 2 (I should have spammed the ever-loving crap out of them). The Swarmlord hugged cover like a whipped dog all the way across the board, failed his charge and consequently didn't make it into combat.  It was a good thing really since Kent would have won the game had he taken it down (3 victory points).  Even so, it was a close thing.  Fido was dead and Swarmy was on 3 wounds when the game ended.  I think the final tally was 5-3 to me but I honestly can't remember. So, a win against Eldar but more by luck than judgement.

I found you an Eldar.  But I eated it.

Game 5 ++Big Guns Never Tire++Dawn of War++Salamanders++

Buoyed by my first victory of the tournament, I was paired up with Scott and his Space Marines.  He was running fifty tactical marines with Vulkan H'estan and all sorts of flamer nastiness.  There were some missile launching Devastators and assault marines too in what was essentially a foot slogging army.  Scott had brought one drop pod with a Deathwind Launcher which was a bit of a worry.  Slightly more concerning was the 2 Land Speeders with Heavy Flamers that he kept in reserve.  Finally, he had a Predator Destructor with Sergeant Cronos, 2 Heavy Bolters and an Autocannon which whittled down my forces throughout the game.  Luckily for me, there was plenty of cover on the table.

We had 5 objectives, Scott chose to go first and spread out.  This cost him later in the game since I denied flank on the right and put all my objective markers on the left.  Without any transports to zoom across the board, he had to leg it and arrived too late.  Still, he played solidly and knew his stuff.  If he had brought more drop pods I would have been in trouble.  Additionally I didn't roll Iron Arm or Endurance on any of the big monsters.  This could have been the death knell for me and highlights the problem with psychic powers: you don't always get what you want.  Fortunately, the Zoanthropes did and were able to cast Endurance in support.  Scott's army was a little more forgiving than some, so I got away with it.  His 'flaming death' Land Speeder mishapped and suffered a "Terrible Accident!" and the drop pod scattered too far, reducing it's effectiveness.  He was a lot more cautious with the remaining Land Speeder and consequently my Hive Guard blew it to smithereens. (Hive Guard.  Spam them.  Now.)

The ill-fated Land Speeder enters the fray

Had even a single Speeder made it into my back field, it would have played merry hell with the squishy deckchair units claiming 2 of my objectives.  But they didn't, and my dice were playing nicely today.  Swarmy ambled lazily across the battlefield, pausing occasionally to eat.  He made more of a meal of Vulkan H'estan than was absolutely necessary, but he did his job.

Swarmy had time for lunch.  I didn't.

Noticing that Scott didn't have many (any?) power fists, I rolled the Warp Speed psychic power on the Tervigon and started using her aggressively.  She skittered all the way across the board and punched the Predator in the nuts, before tarpitting a threatening unit of tacticals.

The game went to the wire and ended on turn 6.  Scott was a great opponent and even reminded me about some things I had forgotten (I gave him my best sportsmanship).  I almost felt guilty with the win.  With better luck and a newer codex things might have been different (I think all the pure Space Marine players placed near the bottom at the tournament.  They need a new codex and I feel their pain). I hope GW provide him with a Salamander's supplement too (he has over 4000pts of the green buggers).  

Wrap Up

All in all, a good weekend.  It was a bit disheartening to see that 40k had the lowest representation at the tournament.  Mind you, I saw a lot of cool looking Warmachine armies and the Flames of War matches all looked relaxed and laid back, with plenty of time in between games.  I struggled for time in every single round and didn't finish two. My last game took nearly 3 hours.  I reckon I might be shelving the Nids for the moment.  I just don't have the mental stamina.  This was despite all my efforts with spreadsheets, psyker cards, magnetised bases, picking up 4 models at a time and running in my movement phase.  I bought some cheap, 2nd hand Necrons during a 5 minute toilet break so I might tinker with them in future.

If I was to try and optimise my list, I would have dropped the Mawloc like the dead weight it is and replaced it with 3 more Hive Guard for 20 points less (there was a lot more mech at the tourny than I anticipated).  I'd probably keep the last Elite slot for Zoanthropes.  They provided essential synapse and flexibility.  I switched their psychic powers out depending on the situation, using biomancy, telepathy and book powers over the 5 games.   The Swarmlord was both good and bad.  He cannot be ignored and focuses your opponent's attention away from the squishy gribblies (which is what wins you games).   The visceral pleasure of having a huge beat-stick on the table is quite compelling.  But he's slow and has no real ranged threat.  The Tervigon was my best unit and I should have taken two.  I could have dropped Swarmy and almost been able to field 3 with the spare points.  The Biovores had negligible impact.  I should have either spammed 9 of them and themed my army around it, or just not bothered.  The Flyrant did it's job and provided much needed mobility and emergency response, but its an expensive model at 260 points and surprisingly fragile for a MC.  The gargoyles were great.  Fast and cheap, they can be used offensively or defensively providing mobile cover and support. If only the models weren't so damn fiddly.  I swear that GW hates me.  Have you ever tried to remove Gargoyles from the front in a close combat?  Its maddening.

Finally, my predictions from yesterday were all wrong.  Glenn Burfield won Best Presentation (damn him all to Hell... not really) and Brendan won best general with Death Korps of Krieg .  I placed 9th which is surprising, given my drubbing in day 1.  Our wargaming club  did ok as a whole.  Jordan's CSM placed 8th and Alistair's Tau 7th  (I think Mike came last but he was playing Space Marines and worse, fluffy space marines).  Chris couldn't make it, but I'd have been very interested to see how his dakka boys had fared.  There were no Orks in the competition at all.  No Necrons, Dark Eldar or Blood Angels either and Space Wolves only taken as allies.  I saw a lot of Tau and Eldar however.  The future is bright.  The future is yellow. (Iyanden Darsksun or Tau Light Ochre, take your pick)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Call To Arms - Day 1 (the long dark teatime of the soul)

After a night of frantic basing and 'slap a wash on it and hope no one notices' frolics, I arrived at Call To Arms 2013, slightly disheveled.  Suffering both sleep and nicotine deprivation I was thrown into my first game:

Game 1 ++Emperor's Will++Dawn of War++Iyanden Eldar++

Round 1 I was paired up with Glenn Burfield.  Glenn was playing Iyanden Eldar.  I cheekily pointed out that they weren't painted yellow but this was just sour grapes.  His army is superbly painted in a very unique style with oodles of free hand artistry.

He even has a Titan head as his objective marker.  Flash git.
I think I was probably just jealous.  I've seen Glenn's Eldar before and know that he has a love of all things Wraith. The Iyanden supplement was just a clarion call that his time has come.  Glenn has his own blog at WRYTHHOLD which I intend to waste even more time browsing.  It looks suspiciously like a square baser site though.

I won the roll off and chose to go first.  The table was Alistair Allan's awesome dark future highway/supply depot which he has cunningly designed to provide no line of sight blocking against Tau.  Fortunately I was able to choose the side with the converted Skyshield landing pad (which we counted as ruins).  I immediately plonked my objective on it and stuck a Tervigon on top with the Hive Guard taking advantage of the wonderful arc of fire it provides.  The rest of my army lined up on the edge of the deployment zone and prepared to trudge into enemy territory and tarpit like a boss.

Ha ha! You'll never get me up here!  Whats that bright light coming tow..?  Pzzzzzzzzzzzt!!!

Glenn didn't even ask me what a Mawloc does and proceeded to teach me how to play 40k.  My efforts mainly centered on flailing around like an infant.  I was dimly aware that Wave Serpents were rather good these days but was totally unprepared for the undead hipsters that are Wraithguard.  At one point I think I asked, 'So what do D-scythes do then?'  I could almost detect pity in my opponent's eyes.

The game wasn't terribly interesting from a strategic standpoint.  I did manage to take out his War Walkers with the Hive Guard (I knew I should have taken 6 of them) and the Tyrant got a lucky punch on a Wave Serpent but that just disgorged the flaming death inside.  My Swarmlord didn't even make it in to the enemy deployment zone.  I was removing entire broods to overwatch.  The Mawloc behaved true to form, scattering on his deepstrike and going down to a hail of return fire.  Eldar are here, and lo, their dakka is good.

I hunkered down in my faux Stormshield landing pad, farting termagants like rabbit poo, and waited for the inevitable.  Glenn duly obliged, pouring liquid promethium (or whatever the Elf equivalent is) onto my ill fated force and casually igniting it with a salvo of D-cannon shots.  The resulting explosion could be seen from orbit. My tervigon died screaming, the psychic backlash killing most of her babies and at this point I conceded the game, unable to continue watching the horror unfolding before me.  It was effectively a turn 3 tabling. And they say that Tyranids are the bad guys.

He's smiling, but he's evil.  He should be stroking a cat and going 'Mwuhahahaha!'

Game 2 ++Crusade++Hammer and Anvil++Chaos Space Marines++

Next up was Phil and his Chaos Space Marines. He had ZERO Heldrakes (respect, dude).  I got first turn again and there were 4 objectives.  I remember thinking, "yeah man, I got this".  I'm an idiot.  Phil was what I like to think of as a typical Chaos player.  They don't really give a shit whether they win or lose as long as they cause mayhem.  He did not disappoint.

Phil was running a Defiler with a battle cannon, Land Raider with las cannons, Terminators, Noise Marines, Khorne Beserkers, Mutilators and Lucius the Eternal.  I got the -1 reserves Warlord trait which kept his Mutilators off the board until turn 4.  Things were getting better all the time!

Forward Eorlingas!
I ended up scraping a draw.  This was entirely down to my Tervigon pumping out a record number of gribblies.  I lost count of how many but all 76 painted ones were on the board at one point along with about 10 basecoated ones.  I simply flooded the battlefield with beasties and he couldn't kill them fast enough.  The Swarmlord strode toward Lucius, cutting a manly swathe, and challenged him.  Phil accepted the challenge with relish even though he could have thrown a sergeant in harm's way.  I then discovered that Lucius gets the same number of attacks (+1) as the challenger's weapon skill.  The Swarmlord's weapon skill is NINE.  He would have gotten his arse kicked too but it turns out that 'Lucius The Eternal' doesn't have Eternal Warrior.  So the first bone sabre to find a chink in his armour instagibbed him.  Go figure. (I think fluff wise Lucius just becomes the successful challenger or something which kind of does make him eternal)

So I was birthing gaunts like a bastard and feeding them to his terminators like tapas, managing to hold on to 2 objectives and contest the other two for most of the game.  Then Phil's mutiliators finally came on in my backfield.  I silently said to myself, "Thank Throne they aren't Obliterators! The stench of burnt Nid would have been overpowering!".  However, Mutilators are no slouches when they finally get into close combat and they carved an alien entrail filled trench right through to one of my back objectives.  I simply couldn't kill the Land Raider or the Defiler either (daemon saves) and my Hive Tyrant went down to sodding Krak grenades.  Things were starting to look bad.  In the end I was happy with a draw and absolutely knackered.  Good game.

Game 3 ++The Scouring++Vanguard Strike++Grey Knights++

My final opponent for the day was Deon.  He had a Grand Master, Dreadknight, 2 units of Terminators, 10 Grey Knights (which he combat squadded), assorted psycannons, an assassin, a Land Raider (avec las cannons) and a Stormraven.  I had 9 point's worth of objectives (out of a possible 15) in my deployment zone and he only had 4 troops choices.  Good times, or so I thought.  Deon used Grand Strategy to make his Dreadknight a troop choice and chose to go first.  Wise man.  Taking first turn is always the best strategy against Nids imho.  It gives you an extra turn of shooting before they are in your face and the Nid player cannot roll Iron Arm or Endurance while you hose him down.  I should have played more defensively as a result and used the available cover.  Ah, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I deployed my objectives spread out, thinking his lack of numbers would make him stretch too far.  Instead, he focused on my own thinly spread synapse with precision, surgically removing the Swarmlord (fething mindstrike missiles) and Zoanthropes.  My entire right flank started fleeing and wandering around aimlessly without their fearless lieutenants.  The Tervigon was making replacements as fast as her shapely bottom could twitch but she was too far away from the action.  

Jazz hands!  And for my next trick I will eviscerate your Swarmlord!

My MVP was, amazingly, the Mawloc which burst up underneath his Grey Knight squad and Land Raider (above), killing 5 of the beastly things outright and slowly munching its way through 5 more.  Who'd a thunk it? The Hive Tyrant came on late but I could still have scraped a win if it had been able to contest a 3 point objective in my right corner.  Again, Deon's Grand Master came to the rescue, spearing the Tyrant up the jacksy with a Nemesis Force Suppository.  He totally deserved the win.  

Oh and I think my chances of winning Best Presentation are scuppered.  I might (might!) be able to pip Glenn to the post by virtue of the fact that his army wasn't finished.  But my tip for best painting is a Death Korps of Krieg IG army by Brendan (don't know his surname but I voted for him).  

I almost didn't post this, cos I'm so Jelly.  Churlish fool.

It was achingly beautiful to look at (Death Korps are just frikkin cool), delicately airbrushed in subtle, muted colours and it made me sick. By this time I had been on my feet, without lunch, for 9 hours and was completely depressed.  So I pigged out at McDonalds and chain smoked for an hour.  I feel much better now.  Looking forward to day two.

Saturday, 3 August 2013


Late posting because I finally realised that I wasn't going to be finished in time for the tournament and so I stopped procrastinating on this idiotic blog, knuckled down and got on with it.  I didn't realise until Thursday night that I didn't actually have any Spore Mine models and therefore couldn't use the Biovores properly in a tournament setting.  I did the quickest conversion in Christendom and knocked up 4 of them in 2 and a half hours but it was another night wasted.  Anyway I'll blog about the Biovore debacle in a separate post.  The army is (kind of) finished.  If you get really up close (which you cannot do in the photograph) you can see the rushed and missing bits. However it works well at a distance of around 3 feet away which is where the vast majority of people looking at it are going to be standing.

Hive Fleet.. something or other.  Screw you, I like the colour scheme.

So, for better or worse, I decided on the following list (keep your laughing to yourself please)

The Swarmlord (with Fido the plucky Tyrant Guard)
Hive Tyrant (wings, 2x TL devourers with brainleech worms)

3x Hive Guard
2x Zoanthrope

Fast Attack
2 broods of 15x Gargoyles

Heavy Support
1x Mawloc
2x Biovore

3 broods of 16x Termagants

I feel that my list breaks 3 fundamental (and possibly apocryphal) principles of Nid list building:

1. Always, always fill up your elite slots.  Tyranid elite units are amongst the best in the codex.  (With the exception of the Pyrovore. Which the author probably wrote the rules for whilst whizzing his tits off on a cocktail of amphetamines and horse tranquilisers one dark, moonless night.)    Hive Guard, Zoanthropes and Ymgarls are all good choices.  Spam them. Take the Doom of Malan'tai in a pod. He is one of the most undercosted units you can buy and still good even after being FAQ'd to death.  If he gets turned to giblets by interceptor fire (or dirty Coteaz), you only lost 90 points (well 130 if they smack the pod too).  So what?  If you get lucky, he can win the game for you.

2. Always take 6 troop choices, including Tervigon spam which will create even more troops for you.  Tyranids are all about attrition. If you can pump out more scoring units on objectives than your opponent can reasonably blast off the table, you win the game. (unless you're playing Purge the Alien.  In which case, hide).  Starship Troopers and Aliens, people. This is what narrative gaming is all about.

3. Don't put all your eggs in one Alien-queen nest.  Death star units might work for other armies but the lack of Eternal Warrior rule and dearth of invulnerable saves in your own could spell disaster.   The 340 points you spent on a Swarmlord and pet dog are likely to be a costly mistake when he fails to roll the biomancy power, or rolls boxcars and blows his own head off with it.

I chose to disregard these self imposed rules, mainly because I wasn't winning many games using them.  So I'm probably doing it wrong and should just relax and enjoy myself, showcasing my favourite models at a tournament.