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.

Charge of the Light Briga– … er Wolves!

I’ve been working on my Space Wolves for several months now, and decided to play them in a live game for the first time, with liberal amounts of my husband’s Ultramarines sprinkled in as “counts as” Space Wolves.  So I took a few pictures with my cell phone.  I was originally attracted to painting the Wolves because of the canines in the army, but I’m finding I like how they play as well with their balance of capabilities between shooting and assault.  They’ll make a nice change from my orks.

Land Speeder Pattern “Confused”

I had the speeder kit laying around for a couple of years, purchased back when my husband was playing the game.  I ended up playing in a marine tournament where we all had to bring the same list and this was one of the units, so I built it with the weapons the tournament called for.  I had misgivings about not specializing, but after playing it (unpainted) in Ultramarine armies a few times, I find I like the general utility given my play style is to generally show up not necessarily knowing what I’m playing against.  Plus sometimes it has survived long enough to destroy a vehicle and later in the game torch an infantry squad.  Being over-specialized can be a problem if you are fielded as a suicide unit but end up not dying as planned!

Charge of the Light Wolves!

The fenrisian wolves charge down the field, bravely ignoring the mega-armored warboss.  The giant ork is a rock in a snarling river of brown and tan fur.  The wolf guard battle leader, “Thor who rides the thunderwolf,” says it is because they wanted to destroy the enemy’s battlewagon.  I think the truth is they knew they couldn’t do much to the warboss between his armor and that lucky stick thing, so they figured on leaving that particular headache to what was left of the terminator squad.

Strangely, my Space Wolves don’t have last names.  They are known as “Thor who rides the thunderwolf,” and “Terminator Thor,” “Henpecked Harald” and so on.  I guess it isn’t so strange since space marines usually leave their past lives behind them when they join the Adeptus Astartes.

Those sneaky gitz!

Here we have Snigrot, his nob lieutenant (“Power Klaw Pete?”) sneaking his boyz right through the middle of the Space Wolf table edge.  I thought their grass camo cloaks were a very nice touch!  They chased my whirlwind around for awhile.  It shot a lot of missiles but never really hit much.  Then an outflanking squad of grey hunters showed up and got massacred by the greenskins, who then went back to chasing the whirlwind around some more.  They also paused to throw rotten fruit at some long fangs, who were too busy with their own troubles to do much about it.  I don’t think anything in general got them, just attrition from running around attacking everything in sight.

It is pretty keen how Snigrot lets his guys come in from any board edge.  I really wish they hadn’t taken that away from wolf scouts.  I guess despite the keen senses and hunter’s instincts of the Space Wolves, there is still a thing or two they could learn from that wily old ork!

Twin-Linked Tournament: “The Space Communists”

We made the drive up from Santa Cruz to Sacramento on Sunday to participate as “The Space Communists” in the Twin Linked Tournament, which is basically a doubles format where each player fields 1000 points.  My team partner, Mark, played Tau and I played Orks.  His was a rather eclectic group of blueskins, featuring a little bit of everything and almost none of what people expect, i.e. no riptide, plasma/melta spam etc.  Even his fire warriors were armed with pulse cabines instead of the usual rifles.  The greenskins were pretty standard, three trucks full of boyz, a battlewagon commandeered by the warboss with his nob retinue.  The grots managed to drag three lobbas to the edge of each battle.  They entrenched themselves wherever they could find a good spot to hide so they could be left in peace to mortar both sides indiscriminately.

Game one featured a drop pod army of Ultramarines led by Tigurius allied with Space Wolves.  All I can say about this is that we had two Great Moments early in the game.  First, Longstrike managed to one shot kill their Sicaran battle tank on turn one.  Second, my nobz handily defeated an advancing squad of terminators.

The Tau made some good shots and all of my orks managed to get into close combat.  But the ork boyz couldn’t really shift the advancing grey hunters and it didn’t help that Tigurius was able to keep his squad invisible for the entire battle.  Theirs was a very powerful army and we never really had much of a chance.  We held on until (I think) turn five and were tabled.  The only survivors of the orks were the gretchin mortar team, who legged it because Tigurius frightened them with his scary magic and outrageously long horns.  I believe this team ended up either winning the tournament or taking a close second place.

Even though we got tabled we still had fun.  I certainly got a few list building ideas for the Space Wolves I’m painting, and I’m definitely going to try for Invisibility when I play a psyker who can roll on the Telepathy table.  That is one mean spell!.

Game Two was against another drop pod-heavy army.  This time Salamanders and Dark Angels.  Unlike the first scenario, this was a hard fought game from beginning to end.  The marines were able to come in and do a lot of damage with their flame throwers and other weapons, but not being particularly good in assault we were able to deal with them fairly well once we weathered their initial fire.  Unfortunately they were able to deal with his fairly well too with their dakka.

They had another Sicaran battle tank and again Longstrike blew it up before the beakies knew what they were about.  For the Greater Good!

There was a lot of end-game maneuvering with each side trying to score points by taking table quarters.  The main thing that kept us in this game was the Tau commander.  He sat on one of the objectives and scored points each turn while the orks fought off multiple attempts by the marines to drive him away.  Besides the points, it was a skyfire objective and the enemy feared for their Fire Raptor Gunship.  They didn’t really need to.  Worry more about the nob hiding a power claw up his commissar’s great coat when you go into hover mode!  All of Mark’s crisis suit bodyguards nobly gave their lives but between their firepower and wall of greenskins he was able to score five of the eleven points we accumulated during the game.

When the smoke cleared and the accountants worked their magic, it was an 11-11 tie.  We shook hands and everyone was all smiles.  A great game!

Game Three was against Grey Knights and Orks.  The main unit of the ork army that interested me was a squad of 30 ‘ard boyz led by Mad Doc Grotsnik.  Heavy armor, Feels No Pain, and Fearless made them hard to shift while Rampage made them potentially even more dangerous in close combat.

We were able to kill this unit though it wasn’t easy.  My mortars took their bloody due as Grotsnik’s boys advanced and the kroot took them under fire from their woodland fighting positions on our right flank.  I ended up engaging them with all three units of boyz as well as my nobz, though one unit had to charge sans their trukk.  Dang those Grey Knight back shooters!  Although the combat only lasted for our turn my hands were tired after finishing dicing it out.  I don’t think I would have won without using all four of my squads, as well as thinning them out beforehand with a little help from the kroot.  When the dust settled Grotsnik and his charges were all dead.

The Grey Knights consisted of two large squads of terminators and they did good work in our backfield, though the main battle happened mostly in the center of the board.

This time there was no Sicaran for Longstrike to kill and he ended up dueling a battle wagon full of lootas to a draw for four turns.  Finally some deffkoptas came in out of nowhere and put an end to mighty Longstrike’s reign of terror.  Then my warboss called a Waaagh!, charged about twenty inches with his remaining nobz and blew up our opponent’s battlewagon, taking out about half the lootas as well as all of his own squad and almost himself in the bargain.  Ignominiously he was finished off by some gretchin, who spend most of the battle hiding in reserves only to come in at the last moment to lord it over my warboss!

Another hard-fought game, but as the Grey Knight player pointed out, being a kill point mission this was a tough one for us to win.  The Grey Knight player only had three kill points in his entire force whereas I had four points just in my vehicles alone, and that was what the game came down to.  We were pretty even in terms of scoring points for board control and other things but they were able to score points killing my trukks with easy psycannon shots.  I think they got the fire warrior’s devilfish as well.

Still, I had a rare victory of sorts in that all three of my boyz squads managed to survive the game in one form or another, including one squad of shoota boyz that kited one of the terminator squads for most of them game sniping at them.  “How come you don’t just charge me?” he asked.  “Boss sez use taktics an’ stuff,” my nob yelled back.  In reality they just didn’t want to get within chopping distance of those halberds.

Mark and I were fortunate enough to be voted second place winners in the sportsmanship category, which was fun.  We are hoping to play in the next tournament in December.  Thank you to all of our opponents for fun games, and to the TO Mark Broughton.  Also thank you to Great Escape Games in Sacramento for hosting and the fancy tournament discount.  I was able to score a cheap Space Wolf dreadnought for my collection!

CSM & Orks vs. Dark Angels: Turn One


Dark Angel bikers attack!

TURN ONE: Dark Angel bikers backed by their darkshroud landspeeder skirted a high plateau and roared up to within striking range of the chaos defenses.  The True Ultramarines blinked and suddenly there was a blob of darkness from which a flock of hungry engines boomed and whined.  A black and gold armored giant rode out from the cloud.   His death’s head helmet marked him as a priest.

“Purge the alien!  Burn the unclean!  Death to Chaos!” Chaplain Titus Exhaltus screamed through his vox caster.  He swept a wicked mace, which laughed with blue lightning, at the defenders in his van.   Scouts popped up from hidden positions on a north-west  hill.  They bounced sniper fire off the helbrute’s head and left arm to no effect.

A lone rhino moved out laterally in the marine back field.  One ork trukk matched the rhino’s maneuvers, angling to get close enough for the boyz to pile out and charge without getting shot up.

The other trukk rolled toward the main action.  The driver, watching the battle develop rather than where he was going plowed into the remains of a bastion wall and tore the front end off his pick-up.  The engine block was lodged in a second story window frame.

“Who put dat dere?”

The boyz piled out and began kibitzing about how to fix their ride.  A few gretchin wandered over, interested as the discussion quickly came to blows.

Meanwhile, True Ultramarines opened up on the bikers, as did ork mortars.  The big guns were mostly out of sight behind the hill and their spotters on top of the bluff were too short to see over the aegis line.  So they were reduced to hand signals and shouting back and forth at the big mek, who had problems of his own trying to figure out how many gretchin he could use as “living ammunition” while still maintaining acceptable artillery crew efficiency, and simultaneously trying to hack into the Dark Angels communications grid with his laptop as well as eat his live squig sandwich lunch.

They managed to kill one biker in a massive if unfocused maelstrom of bolter, anti-tank missile,  grots-fired-through-warp, and lobba fire.

The helbrute stepped gingerly over the defense wall.  The chaos lord had given a long speech an hour before about what would happen to anyone who knocked over his aegis “like last time”.  It fired a random melta shot past Chaplain Exhaltus into the approaching darkness.

“Follow me or die you little pissants!” the walker screamed at a knot of gretchin trying their level best not to be noticed.  They reluctantly obeyed.  It’s a grot’s life.

Meanwhile, the havoc champion swung the quad gun around, swatting aside a snotling trying to climb it, and blew up the Darkshroud speeder with a lucky hit.  The helbrute charged the now revealed bikers.  Terrified yet inspired so did the gretchin.

A couple of plasma shots sizzled past the walker.  Alternating death metal music and canned, heretical yet pro-imperial diatribes from a True Ultramarines rhino’s sound system jammed the bikers’ communications, confusing their defensive fire.  Titus ran over the runt herder.  He was little more than a speed bump and his loyal cohorts accounted for five more greenskins.  The helbrute punched one rider off his motorcycle.  The marine exploded like a rotten watermelon.  His now riderless bike careened into another dark angel then exploded in a hot white ball of plasma.

Switching frequencies, the Dark Angels regained control of their communications and executed a brilliant “angelic wings” maneuver where they retreated from the helbrute in two synchronized circles and ended up behind him.

A gretchin yelled, “Leeeeg It!” and the little guys ran off never to be seen again.

Tomorrow: Turns Two & Three

Chaos Marines & Orks versus Dark Angels

Chaos Marines & Orks versus Dark Angels

1500 Point Armies
Mission: Crusade
Deployment: Vanguard Strike
Warlord Traits: I have no idea what the Dark Angel player rolled. If it mattered then I didn’t notice. I rolled “Hatred Incarnate” which turned out to be kind of handy.

I decided to start playing allies now that more of my friends are building allied lists themselves. In fact my Dark Angel friend showed me some pictures of his well painted kroot he is working on. So I’m using my husband’s Ultramarines to represent my allies while I build my own marines. For now they are the so-called “True Ultramarines”.

Dark Angel Forces
The Dark Angel general was a biker chaplain with a mace of redemption. He led a squad of (I think) 7 bikers, which included some plasma guns, and a banner that gave Feels No Pain. The bike squad was supported by a darkshroud land speeder, which in turn was supported by a biker techmarine. Other forces included a squad of ten tactical marines in a rhino, a nephilim flyer, five deathwing terminators with a terminator psyker, and five scouts.

Orks with Chaos Space Marine Allies
My leader was a terminator Chaos Lord, who I attached to a squad of five havocs, to keep an eye on them. Ten space marines provided further infantry support. The havocs had an attached rhino with a havoc launcher, the other squad a rhino with a dirge caster. I also fielded a helbrute, and an auto cannon heldrake.

The orks were led by a big mek with a shokk attack gun attached to a lobba battery. Troop strength was two small gretchin mobs, and two trukks full of boyz. Finally my forces deployed an aegis line and quad gun.

Deployment
I placed the aegis line across a hilltop along the middle of my long table edge. (We did narrative terrain and then placed fortifications.)

The Dark Angel player clustered all of this forces in an area across from my aegis line, but blocked by a high plateau probably in case I seized the initiative. His bikers were in the vanguard. I figured his plan was to rush his bikers at whatever was behind my aegis and support them with the rest of his army as needed. That is one problem with placing an aegis line. It serves as a declaration of your set-up intentions.

I marshaled all of my chaos marines behind the aegis. It sure was crowded back there! The ork mortar battery was masked behind the hill with an attached big mek spotting on top of the bluff. I placed my trukks on the other side of the battlefield so they wouldn’t be easy first turn targets. Same with the gretchin. Since there were no objectives their mission was mostly to stay out from underfoot.

After we set up, Nick infiltrated his sniper scouts on the hill to the True Ultramarine left. I’m glad I had wrapped the ends of my barricade around against flankers.

Tomorrow
I will post turn one.

Hail!

Image

My name is Ann and I’ve been a gamer since the mid-1970’s when a friend turned me on to original Dungeons & Dragons and Chainmail. Since then I’ve played a lot of different games. My favorite for the past couple of years has been tabletop Warhammer 40K. I enjoy building and painting the figures as well as playing the game.

I’ve worked part time in a game store for awhile now and with the employee discount and burgeoning trust fund, I woke up one day and realized I could field a decent-sized force of every faction except space elves and sisters!  Up to this point though I’ve mostly been an ork player and painter.

I like to sort of “roleplay” my forces a little in live games and someone suggested that I write up and post the battle reports online that I verbally tell while we are playing the game and rolling some dice. (I don’t do that with everyone — only the players who don’t find it annoying.)

I also enjoy other games and the occasional book. I’ll talk about them too from time to time.  I’m really starting to like the looks of some of those Dark Eldar models and I wonder when they’ll start making Sisters in plastic? *wink*.

Cheers,

Warboss Ann