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.

Forward Eorlingas!

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.


  1. Awesome models, light hearted & interesting to read Good Job Luke enjoyed reading about your Call to Arm's games :)

  2. Light hearted and interesting?! I was brutally violated by Eldar! That's not light hearted!