Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day Two): “Return of the Space Communists”

So with new pilots recruited, more piles of scrap cobbled back together as horrible travesties of wheeled vehicles, and blue skins flocking to the glorious banner of the Greater Good, we returned once again to the crucible of war for a second day of gaming in the Sacramento Sector.

The traditional post battle snap shot for the folks back home.

Game Four: The Greater Infestation

We woke bright and early, coffee mug in one hand and shoota/pulse rifle in the other, only to see what appeared to be a gene stealer cult right in the middle of our beloved Greater Good.  Some of the orks thought the tyranids had mutated their wings into a mockery of our revered red and yellow battle flag, but this proved an optical illusion.  Their wings were merely painted orange as tribute to the usual tau camo scheme.  (Orks aren’t especially known for their keen eyesight.)  Our fourth game of the tournament was against a team of tau and tyranids.

The early stages of the battle saw three groups of gene stealers advancing on the three objectives in the middle of the board, one in each sector.  The bugs made an early surge into our center, trying to annihilate our tau (otherwise known as “the good tau”), but we were able to put them back with ork mortar fire and the timely arrival of both our aircraft, who annihilated a hive tyrant poised upon inflicting devastation.

This threat parried we went on the attack.  The nobz, led by my mighty warboss in his custom suit of mega-armor incorporating a void shield (lucky stikk, actually) proved an irresistible force against everything that was thrown at him.  Anything he wasn’t irresistible against, he parried by using a nearby nob as a meat shield.  Before long he was in the traitor tau lines re-educating them with his power klaw.

My partner and I each received a special dice bag!

Meanwhile, the boyz were doing good work on the other side of the battle suppressing a huge flock of gargoyles.  The good tau were providing fire support everywhere, and things were looking as they should.  The one thorn in our side was the few remaining gene stealers hiding behind tall rock pillars near each objective.  The early accuracy of our mortars gave way to goblins gone wild, who couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat to quote the immortal Tommy Lasorda.  Despite our dominance of the battlefield, those few, cowering bugs proved our undoing.

With time running out, the stealers made a sudden dash and pounced upon the objectives.  We did our best to eliminate them or at least drive them back, but it was not to be.  It is some time since the tournament that I am writing this, but I believe only one stealer was left on the objective and this was enough when we calculated things that Hive Fleet Tau won by one victory point.

Naturally, no pictures of this battle can be released because of the political ramifications within our Empire if news of Tau cooperating with tyranids were to get out.  In any case, I think their Shadow of the Warp affected my cell phone camera, because all of the pictures were even blurrier than usual.

Game Five: Blue Harleys Run Amok

This battle featured Eldar allied with an army of space marine bikers.  Despite the blue paint, I think they were White Scars, but writing this as I am a couple of months after the event who knows?  Either, way I believe this team either won the entire event or placed highly, but I’m not entirely sure.

Blue beakies getting some pay back.

I think this would have been a bit of a blood bath not in our favor if the marine reserves had actually come on in a timely fashion.  Instead the showed up in dribs and drabs, and in a couple of cases we were able to eliminate marines as they were arriving at the battle.  Even so, their wraith knight did a good job, anchoring the middle of the battle for them, trading fire for most of the game with our riptide.  A lone nob with a power klaw did manage to cause the giant elf construct some problems and almost finished it off until their warlord zoomed over on his jet bike and lent it a hand.  As usual we didn’t really have an answer against the ubiquitous wave serpent.

Despite the reserve snafu, which kept the game close, in the end we again lost a very close game.  At the end of the battle, with both sides depleted, they remained a more mobile army than we and were able to place themselves where they need to be in order to win.  Still, we made a good effort against a very powerful team and I think my boyz managed to grab a couple of scrap bikes as well as blue helmets, which are much in demand with my forces as trukk radiator caps.

Game Six: “Hold until Relieved.”

Elf Guard on the move.

Our final game of the tournament was against Eldar allied with Imperial Guard.  Although the battlefield didn’t have a lot of terrain on it, it did have several very tall towers.  The battle raged around these towers, which served well to block line of sight and as fire platforms.

The initial tone of the battle had the orks closing the distance against an enemy, who held their positions and punished the greenskin advance.  My partner focused on providing fire support and grabbing objectives.  Our opponent’s devastator did good work blowing up ork vehicles before it fell to a nob with a giant can opener.

Most of the battle took place on our opponents’ side of the board with humans and elves alike trying to beat back the orks.  They were largely unsuccessful in this, due mainly to horrible shooting on the part of the guard and truth to tell the warboss in his void shield mega-armor was all but unstoppable, if painfully slow.

Still, the enemy did have a late game trick up their sleeve.  A squad of storm troopers deep struck behind our lines next to the fire warriors, who were keeping their heads down and defending an objective.  Further, the elf warlord on a jet bike, who had a nasty habit of repeatedly turning up in our battles over the past two days, made a last minute objective grab, nullifying the objective our riptide had defended the whole game.

So, despite the untouchable warboss leading his ravening horde of nobz, our irresistible guardian riptide, our air force and many other glory boys, it all came down to a single fire warrior.  He was the last, heroic survivor of his squad, who after the dust cleared was still holding the objective.

We won the game by a single point.

Sportsmanship certificates.

So we were 2-4, winning the first and last games, getting crushed in one and having extremely close games in the other cases.  Both Ethereal Mark and myself were pleased with our showing and decided we had indeed brought the light of the Greater Good to the Sacramento Sector as planned.

There were many awards given out, for painting, best generalmanship of course, and sportsmanship.  We were very happy to again win a second place sportsmanship award.  A munificent award indeed, consisting as it did of the approbation of our dread enemies, as well as commemorative certificates and dice pouches.  We also split a nice gift certificate from Great Escape Games, which we used to bolster our ranks with some meganobz!

Back of the dice pouches we received.

All in all it was a well run tournament and a lot of fun.  The TO Mark B. obviously put a lot of thought into his event, and both he and his volunteer staff worked hard to make their event memorable and fun.  I’m looking forward to participating in the first event of the 2015 Twin Linked Tournament season on March 1st, again, in the Sacramento Sector.  This time I’ll be on the look out for those perfidious gene stealers, and sneaky White Scars trying to fool people into thinking they are Ultramarines just minding their own business!

Here Come the Thunderwolves!

I recently finished painting my second thunderwolf cavalry model the other day.  As cavalry goes, these guys are perhaps a little unusual, but I thought it might be fun to include an iconic weapon of mounted warriors — the lance.  There are no pole arms of any kind that come in the kit, so I took one from a box of amazons produced by Wargames Factory.  I thought about buying some brass rod to make my own, but I had the plastic pike on hand so I decided to use it.

Charge!

For the weapon arm, I used a generic space marine arm that is meant to hold a bolter.  I drilled a hole through it for the lance and used a magnet for the entire arm assembly.  The magnetized arm seemed to me like it would serve several uses.  Being able to remove the arm would make transporting the model to games easier with less likelihood of breaking the lance haft.  Secondly, I can switch it out for a different weapon if I want.  Last and most important, I can pose the arm so I can point the lance in dramatic fashion whenever this guy makes his charge.

“‘From hell’s heart I stab at thee!” and all of that sort of thing.

This is the first thunderwolf I completed quite awhile ago now.  I magnetized his plasma pistol arm and will probably paint up a storm shield arm at some point as another option.  I’ve run him a few times as a wolf guard battle leader, the alpha of a large pack of fenrisian wolves.  Now all I have to do is get a third one painted and I’ll have a minimum-sized, legal unit!

On the move! Swarming past a slightly confused warboss.

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day One): “Return of the Space Communists”

Back in December, I once again made the drive to Sacramento with Mark of the Farsight Enclaves to fight for the Greater Good in the Twin Linked Grand Tournament.  This is a six game, two-day end-of-year team tournament that is a sort of final exclamation point for the team tournaments of 2014.  It is run by Mark Broughton along with many volunteers, and I have to say they all put a lot of thought and effort into making it a fun experience.

Each player fields a 1000 point army with various restrictions from a single codex.  So each team of two players, who are always “allies of convenience” has a 2000 point force, which cannot change for the entire tournament.  Each battle is a custom affair, very different than the usual rules book missions.

Game One: Trying to Bring the Greater Good to Tau and Dark Angels

We all loved the flat-topped, hovering hills in game one.  The goblin artillerists particularly so!

The early stages of the battle featured a close range clash in front of our opponent’s aegis line between the orks and the Dark Angels, who trundled out to meet them.  The orks got the better of the engagement after a couple turns of hard fighting.  The goblin’s mortar fire may not have decided the issue, but it was extremely accurate and helped our cause quite a bit.  We were hoping our two aircraft would also provide further support, but these were neutralized fairly effectively by the marine’s anti-aircraft dreadnought.

Toward the end of the game there was something you don’t see very often:  two riptides fighting it out against each other in close combat.  Not surprisingly to a draw.  (Sadly the picture didn’t come out.)  We ended up winning that battle when time ran out after five turns, and moved on to the next round.

Game Two: It’s a Trap!

The Air Force of the Greater Good has its Great Moment!

This time we faced a Space Wolf & Eldar force that featured three drop pods of infantry on turn one with Eldar fire support provided by a wraith knight and those hated wave serpents, which would be so ubiquitous through the rest of the tournament.

Although our forces tried to bring the much-needed Light of Reason and Culture to our opponents and we fought valiantly, unfortunately this was a tough match-up for us.  Most of the Space Wolves did give their lives in the early going, but by the end of the battle all what was left was our riptide in a corner making a last stand against overwhelming odds.  With his loss all that was left to do was call in for reinforcements and prepare for the next battle of the day.

Game Three: Communists versus Pirates

Right before impact!

Our opponents for the last game of the day were a father/son team of Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively.  This was an interesting game for me because it was the first time either Farsight Mark or myself had faced the new Dark Eldar codex.

This was a hard fought game with both sides taking heavy casualties.  There were a couple of funny moments during the game.  One was when the Eldar shot down our sun shark bomber.  The pilot decided to sacrifice himself for the Greater Good and plowed right into a space dark elf jet fighter and blew it up in a gigantic ball of fire and melted plastic.

Then there was the invincible squiggoth, who the nobz tamed and brought along as a transport instead of their usual but much abused battle wagon.  Their simple strategy was pretty much, “Melta this, hoomies!”  I guess they didn’t count on poisoned weapons though or tremendous volleys from wave serpents.  The beast pretty much shuffled around the board first in one direction and then the other for the entire tournament, not really wanting to get in anyone’s way or cause any trouble, which generally can’t be said for battle wagons.

Super Squiggoth is much friendlier than he looks.

Despite having every poisoned weapon in the world thrown at him, he was the “Squiggoth Who Would Not Die,” even if he ended the fight with only one wound left.

Still, even with the amazing Super Squiggoth and our friend the kamikaze Tau, we still ended up losing a close game.  We had no way to catch or kill the wave serpents arrayed against us, and by the end our opponents were much more mobile than we were and able to position themselves for the win when time ran out.

Next Time: This was a two day tournament so we rested up, consoled ourselves with steak at the local Outback, complained about wave serpents, fed the squiggoth from the in-hotel buffet (no squiggoths allowed at Outback as it turned out), recruited a new Tau pilot, harvested ork spores so we’d have more boyz, and bribed our meks into throwing together more shockingly disposable trukks in preparations for fresh glories on Sunday.

In my next battle report, I’ll write about the second half of the tournament and how we did in spreading the Greater Good throughout the Sacramento Sector.  For the Motherland!

Day Two of the Twin-Linked Tourney is here.

More Happy, Red Friends

My first walking mouth gets some new friends.

I finished two more Kromlech “Gnaws” the other day.  They come in packs of three, so that finishes off the ones I have for now.  They are solid, resin casts, so I didn’t have too much modelling work to do.  Just cleaned off flash and trimmed some mold lines.  The pieces didn’t come with bases and I thought that regular infantry bases were too small so I used terminator bases, which seem to be the right size.

My husband was right about one thing.  He looked at them and said, “They seem a little too happy for Khorne.”  Yeah, I agree, they probably would have looked better as minions of Nurgle.  But maybe they are happy because they have just been unleashed from the warp and are anticipating the orgy of violence to come?  Or maybe Khorne has a sense of humor after all?

Good things seem to be coming in three’s lately.  My next piece I’m putting the finishing touches on tonight is my second thunderwolf cavalry model.  They don’t have too much in common with gnaws except they also come three to a box.  So it’ll be a Space Wolf day soon as I stoically paint toward my long dreamt goal of having enough Space Wolves to actually play a game without having to proxy Ultramarines!