Saturday, 8 December 2018

Meep meep, I'm a LAV...

It was Remember December yesterday, an event held at our club in memory of fellow gamer and great friend lost to us far too young.

Pelarel took up the reins this year and ran a one-day Firestorm Team Yankee event. We were 7 a-side, with the NATO forces being made up of two Marines, two West Germans, two Brits and a Dutch and the WARPAC rolling out with one Polish, one Afghansty and five Russians.

I'm not going to go into blow by blows but just a summary of each game and a couple of piccies of my ugly-ass MASSTER camo-ed LAVs hooning about the place.

Game One: Free for All against Richard (from his musings)

Attacking across the front!

Wub wub wub

Is one platoon of LAVs enough to put down an Afghansty platoon (hint: no.)

So more LAVs go after the other one! 

Just because Richard's Hinds are amazing and you should look at them  
I don't know why, but whenever I play Richard it's a game where one or other of us seems to play only at the low end of the bell curve. This time it was Richard. One of his two Afghansty platoons seemed to spend every single turn of the game pinned and I'm not sure he made an armour save all game.

The game turned early when two T64s went down to my Hammerheads and the third one fled. At that point, I could largely roll about the board unhindered as Richard's justifiable wariness of my HMMWV Stingers kept the Hinds at bay for a few turns. When they finally did arrive, Richard saved well and it was only my otherwise unoccupied Hammerheads shooting three of them down that solved the Hind problem. In the end, this meant I could soften up one of the Afghansty platoons with LAVs, AAVP7s, Marines and a Spooky and eventually roll in for the kill. But to be fair, I had to kill the Afghansty to a man to take the Objective with a very badly mauled Marine platoon that was only just left in good spirits. A great game and a good way to start the day.

Game Two: Hasty Attack against Bob

How it started...

...and how it ended
I always enjoy playing against Bob and his T64s, especially the company commander (see above, in the middle of the kraal of LAVs), were amazing. Beautifully painted and modelled. This game was a touch frustrating, partly because of TYs outdated rules regarding morale for single tank platoons and partly because Bob's dice were on fire!

9 T64s is a hard ask for an army like mine when I have a limited supply of primarily ambush AT weapons. I got lucky and got two T64s with ITOWs from ambush and got 5 T64s under the template with cluster bombs in my second turn. I thought, yep, this should be fine. Then Bob made saves on 6s. And not for the first time. After I lost a bunch of LAVs and Bob lost a few T64s in close combat with Marines, I managed to ram four platoons onto the Objective on Bob's side of the board knowing he basically had to drive all his remaining tanks over to contest or I won.

And then for a bunch of turns he shot at my Hammerheads and ITOW HMMWVs and I shot at his T64s. I got one, and eventually he got the rest of my AT weapons - that man was rolling saves like a BOSS. It was a hilarious game and a good contest to pit a light armoured company against the best of the WARPAC.

Game Three: Bridgehead (it's not Cauldron) against Reg

Marines attack!

T64s are too late! 
This game was a rough one for Reg. His small and elite army was surrounded from the get go by my horde of LAVs. I had LAVs behind his front on my right in turn one and Marines behind his front on my left in turn two. Having removed the threats to my AC-130, which didn't arrive until it didn't matter, and removing most of the dangerous AT assets (although Reg's saves on his Hinds were epic!) fairly swiftly, it was just a matter of time before I took one or both objectives. Reg's reserves (T64s) singularly failed to arrive until it was too late by which point I had taken one objective with most of a Marine platoon and had two platoons of LAVs sitting on the other one. Because of scattered reserves, he came on in exactly the wrong place to be able to deal with both.

In the end, NATO scored an operational victory in the campaign, having made a run on Berlin (thanks in no small part to yours truly throwing back the Afghansty in round one) and successfully prevented the WARPAC from breaking out of Germany. Pel ran a great campaign and his dice for NATO counter attacks definitely helped us out more than a little! We're planning on trying a followup from STRIPES next year to carry on the silliness.

On a completely not related to the event note, I also tried out some Amera Plastic Mouldings hills under my base cloth yesterday. Very nice. They sit well under a fleece base cloth and hold onto the board well enough. I got a couple of the little ones and I'm sorely tempted to get some of the bigger ones. Most impressed.

And a painting update:
I've started on Eisenhorn. But I haven't finished him yet. I did get these two gems off the painting desk though:


MOAR ASSASSINS!
I picked them up a while back to add as acolytes to my Inquisitorial holdings and while Shadow War: Armageddon was still a thing. With the beta Sisters of Battle codex out in this year's Chapter Approved, and rumours of a Kill Team: Inquisition out there in the world, my hopes for an Imperial Agents codex that I can actually use are considerably higher than they were so getting these done seemed like a good idea.

Next time? 
A surprise. I bought something kind of awesome off TradeMe last week and if it arrives in quick time, it'll be here next week. If not, well, I'll post something else. Regardless, it will be a surprise...
...
...
...
Okay, I admit it, I'm tired of committing to things and then not feeling like actually doing them. So this time I'll just commit to having something painted for a blog post next week. :)

Saturday, 1 December 2018

OO-RAH-ER?

I have no idea of what the noun is for something more oo-rah-y than a regular oo-rah.


But I think it's hard to argue that the AAPV7 is worth an oo-rah! They are so big, ugly and daft that they're amazing. And now I can 40-Mike-Mike some things. As transport units in Flames of War / TY go, they're certainly excellent and I will be using them to transport a Marine platoon through a river at some point during Remember December.

With all that said, I hate the kit. I’ve done a lot of building of Battlefront resin & pewter vehicles over the years and I've come to accept that there's a certain amount of work that needs to be done to get tracks to fit properly. Both of these casts were miscast enough that the back panels aren't square to the rest of the vehicle and no amount of finangling, without taking a Dremel (which I don't own) to the front of the track housing, would have made them fit properly.

So while I am pretty sure I'm going to be getting another Marine Rifle platoon to make this up to a legal army, I'm going to be getting some helicopters for them to travel in. CH-46 perhaps?

I've also finished painting Ordo Hereticus stalwart Katerina Greyfax:

40,000 years in the future, crossbow!
This is a great model and she's been sitting on the to-do bench for AGES. I've also got a small platoon of Scions who will be her escort (and maybe, one day, part of an Imperial Guard Kill Team) which will probably hit the painting table soon.

Next time: 
I'll definitely be blogging how the LAV company goes at Remember December and I'm umming and ahhing about what moves to the painting table next. I've got a tiny bit of sculpting to do to finish my Cherubael so it might just be Eisenhorn...

Saturday, 24 November 2018

OO-RAH!

Entirely gratuitous photo of an AC130 taken because of the background
The LAV company rolled out for it's second game and first real outing as a painted force. Playing against Scotty's West Germans, my grand plan was take out his AA, use the AC130 to wreck all his infantry and hope that his Leopard 2s didn't get me before then. We were playing an Encounter, meaning my 12 platoon army had a distinct advantage over Scotty. Of course, TY hasn't caught up with points-based reserves yet so all his good stuff was on table.

Scotty's AA goes wide
Scotty went first and shoved his Leos (with their 32" terrain dash! WTF!) up my left, as far away from my ITOWs as possible. His Gepards rolled in behind to keep the scary AC130 away. 

First attempt to remove Gepards.

Hoon hoon! I'm a goon! 
I pushed up across the board, hoping that in a target rich environment, I could sneak past the Leos and give the Gepards some 25mm Bushmastering. This is where I learned two very important lessons. Leopard 2s are ROF2 on the move (!) and Gepards are AT11. Over the next couple of turns I lost 7 LAVs to the Gepards. Ow. 


Scotty got a bit aggressive with his Leopards so I threw the Marines in. A couple of lucky hits with a SMAW and a Dragon and the Leo bailed out. His buddy, thinking better of fighting all those Marines, did a bunk. He passed his morale test though and this is where Scotty and I learned that TYs morale rules are the old V3 FoW ones and they basically make one tank platoons really kind of awesome.

I got a bit aggressive with my LAVs too...
Right before I got Geparded...
...because I forgot LAVs were ROF3 on the move.
...and promptly got shot to bits!

The Marines pushed forward and finally Dragonned (?) and LAWed the Gepards out of existence allowing the CO to call in a Spooky to rain down some hilarity on Scotty's left flank.


Scotty's left flank post AC-130 attack run

Unfortunately, despite a great effort by the AC130 and some good shooting by my reserve LAVs, Scotty finally ended the duel between a HMMWV ITOW and his remaining Leopard 2 (since I couldn't seem to bleeding well hit him!) and rolled onto the Objective.

I called in the Spooky again, hoping to ventilate the Leopard...
The shot that lost me the game
....and learned that the 30mm Aden guns are only AT 7. This meant that I had to cluster bomb the Leopard 2. I ranged in easily enough but missed the to-hit meaning that Scotty held the objective and won the game! 

A couple of hard lessons for me - those heavies are tough but I can swamp them with Marines and SMAWs and Dragons *can* take out a Leopard 2, but I really need to not be relying on that. I also need to be slightly less aggressive as LAVs, while perfectly capable, need to be going after targets that are softer than they are. I was banking on that being Gepards. I was wrong.

LAVs look pretty cool as a force though - I don't think I'm ever going to win games 8 - 1 but I kind of don't care. I haven't ever, really. It has helped me decide how to expand this list to 70+ points - I was umming and ahhing about a second infantry platoon or a second M60 platoon and while people keep telling me TY is a tank game, I think the insane Marine platoons give a really good showing.

Some other photos! 

McBeth, running some East Germans, had a nasty run-in with Tanks' Marine Corps M60s. 

This was McBeth's centre, a couple of turns in...
Some Marines about to do to BRDMs what I did to Leopards!

McBeth attacks up his right flank...


...and runs smack into these two:


Next time
First painting commitment failure. I got most of the base coating down on the M60s for Tank but honestly painting on airbrush paint is a PITA and it sapped my will to live. So they didn't get finished AND I didn't get to anything in the Inquisition pile either. So, I have some AAPV7s to do for Remember December so they're priority now.

I have been having a massive clean out in my games room and have found a few old projects that never quite got looked at so while I'm feeling uninspired by 40K or TY, I'll see what else might come up. 


Thursday, 22 November 2018

Dracula's America; The South will rise again!



In between painting jobs, Mr Pooch and I got together to play a quick game of Dracula's America. This is a very fun game with plenty of great elements. I really enjoy the 'success' model of resolving things (much like ShadowRun RPG) and I really enjoy the supernatural twist on the campaign setting. We are all informally running a campaign so it was time that my Dark Confederacy (Zombie Rebs!) led by that dastardly Man in White took on Pooch's Cursed 7th Cavalry (Werewolf US Cavalry?).

The game was dominated by one simple thing. I was rolling d6s. This, of course, meant that any time I had to roll a die, it was going to be a 6. this is a simple rule of fact.

A short picture report follows:

The fine town of Whisper Creek. Mr Pooch has done a fantastic job putting this together.

The 13th Alabama. Led by that mysterious and dangerous Man in White.

Werewolves! 7th Cav! Will they meet their Little Big Horn in Whisper Creek?

Initial set up for Dark Confederacy with Billy on the roof with his trusty 1855 Enfield.

The peaceful inhabitants of Whisper Creek. Why is it peaceful? Oh yes, its because they all worship C'thulu.

In a mission to grab the loot, the 7th Cav found the sack in the very first building they searched, proving even Mr Pooch can roll a 6 on occaision.

The wall o' dead rebs with two still alive compatriots (and a meat shield civilian) suddenly encounter a ball of muscle and fur and teeth that was once a US cavalryman.

Rolling his five attack dice, Pooch rolled 2 successes. The only way the poor zombie could defeat that was if I rolled more 5+. So I did. More than once. In several combats.

The end. Wave after wave of Confederate (dead and alive) swarm through Whisper Creek after picking off both Werewolves and the rest of the cavalry. Here the summoned Vengeful Shade (maybe Stonewall Jackson himself) floats past the Troop leader to plug him in the back.

Pooch was so angry he threw my models on the floor and broke this one (not true).

Love Dracula's America!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Scary skull man

So I did the thing I said I was going to do! One Eversor Assassin:



I love the model and while the newer sculpts are heaps more dynamic, the old metals have a charm. I have the Callidus and Eversor now and am on the lookout for an old Vindicare (preferably the alt-sclupt) and a Culexus. Of the two, I'd really like the Culexus, mostly to build the third Inquistorial task force - the Ordo Malleus one. I don't have an Inquisitor Coteaz yet but getting hold of a Culexus would get that sorted fairly swiftly.

Otherwise, what I *need* if I want to put this guy on the park is for GW to put out an Imperial Agents codex that I can use to add single assassins to Imperial detachments and not lose Battle Forged. Maybe one day...

Oh, and the LAVs are done. Just as an aside.

Next week
We'll be playing some practice TY games for Remember December at the club so I'll take some pics on the day of my ugly ass MASSTER army out and about and, with a bit of luck, some of the other Magpies' kit as well. There will also hopefully be some M60s or, if I don't feel like fighting with Vallejo IDF Sand for a bit, something else from the Inquisition box.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

It's a long long post....

Long post ahead covering a couple of great games from the club yesterday. Many pictures and still too many words.

Game One: Warmachine

I packed my alt-list (Feora1) from the last meeting but knowing Tom wanted to run his Cephalyx, I packed a second list which would be a better game (because insta-killing all your opponents infantry in one turn isn't really fun for either player) which meant bringing Reznik1 out to play.

Reznik was the second caster I bought in Warmachine and honestly, he's never been as successful for me as he should have been so I was keen to give him a run in Mark 3 and see how it went.

TL:DR? Badly. But it was all my fault. He's got some sweet abilities and was just too focus starved to really get what I wanted out of him. Some judicious changes and this will be eminently playable.

I ran Reznik1, Scourge of Heresy, Guardian, Reckoner, Revenger, Choir, Rhoven & Co, Orin and Wracks. Tank ran Exulon, one each of the monstrosities, a full Slaver and Drudges, 3 minimum Bender and Drudges, some overlords and a couple of Fisher and Paykel's finest (In joke. Sorry!)

So, a bit of bad news. A whole lot of my photos were super fuzzy, including the one where Tank killed me, but we shall press on:

Tank filled most of his deployment zone, basically from the outside edge of one zone to the other and in some depth.


By contrast, my thin red line covered the same width, but was gappy as heck! We both advanced to the edges of the zones in the first turn. I threw my Revenger hard out on my right, aiming to Hex Blast Tank's Overlords out of existence. I didn't, and instead remembered how hard it is to hit unboosted 14s with FOC 6.
Brave Revenger!
Having a full Choir and gaining Reposition [3"] with the theme force meant that I could actually manage him all the way out there! Orin went along to help. Actually, "help" is a better description. He did...nothing.

Freaky monstrosity is freaky! 

AMBUSH! 
Tank got to bring on one of his Bender units in ambush on my left flank, aiming to support his monstrosity in the zone against Scourge and Rhoven & Co. The Fisher and Paykel there is grossly out of position. Shortly after this pic, Tank read the back of the card to see how it would help those Drudges and we both found out that Agitators only work on Monstrosities in Mark 3. Oops.


My left flank was largely held by the Scourge and Rhoven alone after the Drudges chomped Gius and Cassian. Rhoven responded by blowing two of them up and setting the rest of fire. And they all died. HA! I did make one epic misplay here though (although we didn't spot it till the end of the game.) In an effort to protect myself from the Drudges, I ignored the Agitator.


My right / Tank's left, largely bogged down for the rest of the game as a bunch of adrenal-flooded drudges charged a Revenger and promptly all rolled 3, 2, 1 for damage. Tank was unimpressed. We did both get to enjoy his three Overlords all trying to Mind Blast Orin Midwinter and the Rogue Inquisitor quietly Arcane Vortexed all of the Mind Blasts away to nothing!

Right before it all went wrong. Or right. It's all a matter of perspective. 
Reznik feated, stripped a whole swag of focus and stopped allocation to the remaining monstrosity. I reckoned I was pretty safe. You can see Reznik right at the top of the rough ground next to my Reckoner. I sent an Ignited, Choired Guardian into the Warden and Wrecker. The Wrecker got ended reasonably easily and I put a fair whack of damage on the Warden. What I missed (and was looking for) was the Crit Pitch to fling the Warden away.

This is where I stopped taking photos as we both stopped to work out if Tank could assassinate Reznik and if so, how. He could. :) Exulon feated and moved a bunch of stuff out of the way. He pulled the Reckoner in front of Reznik to set up a slam target and then charged the Warden with two of his Cephalyx to do some Anatomical Precision damage to grant it enough focus. He came dangerously close to rolling enough damage to take out critical systems but came up ONE BOX short. The Warden slammed the Reckoner, followed up with Grand Slam and smashed Reznik into the dirt. It was a cracking game and a good learning game for both of us to work through that assassination run. He won't get me like that again.

Game Two: Dracula's America

Scotty joined us for this one and, having set up Claremont and drawn up new gang rosters, we rolled up the Shootout scenario. This meant having the boss and two buddies set up in the middle of the table and missing the first turn.



I thought I was being clever setting the boss up in the alley, until Tank's thralls set up in the bleeding church. Honestly, how are vampire thralls able to be in a church? Scotty set up his Paladins in the hotel across the road. A couple of turns later, this is how that looked:


I mean honestly, how does a demon fight a vampire thrall in a church?! This game is silly! (it's why we love it!!) The downed thrall there had been a shotgun firefight with one of my peon cultists. Annoyingly, he got up before the minor greebly could put down the first thrall and put him out of his misery. Tank managed to chalk up a couple of VPs knocking my greeblies over. This is the first game where I wasn't rolling well enough to keep re-summoning them out of existence.


 Tanks vampires used the civilians as cover very effectively - either as human shields or as food should the vampires have got into a bit of trouble. Their move of 6" (2" faster than a regular human) meant he could cover a lot of ground a lot more quickly than Scotty or I were used to.


The Paladin's occupation of the hotel meant that they had a great vantage point to shoot safely from cover at both Tank and me! Scotty was also doing really well despite not pulling a picture card till about turn 5 and there was only one and it was red!

What makes better cover? A civilian or a wagon? Both! 
 This Peon bravely (?) took cover in the middle of the street and tried to shoot into combats where he wasn't involved (also brave?). This entirely amoral behaviour led to his being smacked repeatedly about the head by a Seraphim that had arrived on the park when Scotty managed 3 successes on a 3 dice test to summon.

Boss vampire abandons the lady and hides from the Paladins!
Again, I forgot to take pictures about here. I was pretty well out of the game by this point (and failing summoning rolls had not helped this!) but Scotty and Tank were still battling it out. Tank's thralls in Rogan's Bar were in a firefight with the Paladins in the hotel and finally the Vampire boss came out and dished out the kind of kicking you'd expect. Tank scored a couple more VPs than Scotty and they both outscored me.

We did the post game, as it's lots of fun. I have discovered I can buy swords in this game which means the Peon army is back. I'm sure the lads will be thrilled. My key takeaway from this game was that I think for my gang to get the most out of it's special abilities, I really need to have the boss and the summoner together at the beginning of the game and I need to waste a couple of bad activation cards getting my demon summons done. I think I also need to paint up a medium entity - I think Tank has something in his old Malifaux collection that will go well.

Painting

And I know that last week I said I'd paint something from my Inquisition collection and it was with all the best will in the world that I started on an Eversor Assassin. But I didn't get there. Instead, I discovered a primed and unpainted Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero, in my Warmachine box and painted him instead:

This model is amazing. It's one of the best sculpts in the PP Menoth range and I love it.

It was an interesting exercise to paint something to match the style of the rest of the army. Most (all?) of my Menoth was repainted from a poorly thought out Teutonic-order style scheme that took too long to paint and didn't look all that good (because painting white is hard and I am bad at it) to the red, black and metal scheme you can see on Pyrrhus.

That repainting exercise was what started me on my play-it-painted kick (despite WM/H not really ever having a painting requirement, something which vexed me no end) and the net result was a lot of models painted before club days and events. So it was definitely a scheme designed to be done in a hurry and, amazingly, all that hurry came back to me as I smashed this one out on Friday night.

And then played my other list.

Next time
Again, a good question. The LAVs are almost done (just a wash and topcoats to go on the second 10 vehicles) and so I'm not sure what I'll focus on for the next week. But those are for a fortnight's time. I'll finish the Eversor Assassin that I've started. At least.

Bonus pictures! 
Did you read this far? Well done.

As a reward, here's a bonus photo from Scotty's TY game against one of our other club members in practice for Remember December in a month's time. Leo 2s vs T64s...


Check out that sweet 4Ground terrain. Scotty's table is coming along nicely.