Thursday, March 25, 2010

Off to Adepticon!!!

This has been a crazy week with several double posts per day. In an effort to slow that down and not step on my own posts, I scheduled this to release Thursday monring.

So, my intrepid readers, you should see this sometime after I am already on the road, driving to Adepticon. My faithful podcast co-host and I are taking the 10.5 hour cross country trek to the convention in Chicago and I, for one, and very excited! I have also successfully turned the 10.5 hours into 12 with a variety of food stops along the way.

So what are my plans at Adepticon you may ask? Well, let me share (even if you didn't ask). We should get into the hotel and checked in at some point between 8pm and 9p local time, and hopefully catch up with some of my local friends in the bar for food, drinks, and catching up.
- I am in the 40K Combat patrol tournament in the morning
- I will be open for gaming and roving the vendor hall in the afternoon

Here is a quick look at the combat patrol list I am taking:

So, what do we have here? My list @400

7x Dire Avengers

w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Defend, Shimmershield, Power Weapon)
3x Jetbikes (1x Shurican Cannon)
w/ Warlock on Jetbike (Destructor, Witch Blades)

2x War Walkers's (ScatLsr, StarCan / ScatLsr, ScarLsr)

- Saturday morning (~8am) I will be at Lou Mitchell's for a Gamers Lounge Podcast Breakfast
- Saturday afternoon I will be haunting the Vendor hall, trying to nail down interviews with a variety of folk.
- Saturday late afternoon I will be playing in the Dice Like Thunder vs Gamers Lounge Podcast Host Challenge 40K game
- Saturday Night (~10pm) I will be at Hooters for Drinks and Wings night with the guys

- Sunday I will be taking part in the 40K Championship all day.
- Sunday evening I will be at the After-Con Poker Game and Mixer, playing cards

Here is a quick look at the Championship list I am taking:

So, what do we have here? My list @1850

Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Runes of Warding, Spear)

6x Fire Dragons
 w/ Fire Dragon Exarch (DBFlamer)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL ScatLsr)

8x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missile)
5x Dire Avengers
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Bright Lances)
5x Dire Avengers
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Bright Lances)
7x Rangers

7x Warpspiders
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)

2x Fire Prism's (Spirit Stones, Holofield, TL ShuriCat)

- I have the long drive home

I will have a lot to post when I return. Until then, wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adepticon Model Approval - Part 2

Back during the middle of January I posted about sending in pictures for Model Approval at Adepticon. I received a response from the very affable Matt Weeks and have been remiss in my updates!

I sent your photos around and got some feedback from the event tournament judges/organizers. This is a tough call for us. On one hand we really appreciate the effort involved and we have seen things of this nature before at AdeptiCon...but on the other hand the model policy is pretty specific about base size. We dislike telling people they cannot play with their models, but at the same time we do not want you to have any trouble in your games.

At this point, we generally are giving you approval, but would suggest you limit the amount of of large basing if possible. Additionally, getting your opponent on board with the way your models are based will be ultimately important as will be playing your games in the manner you suggested above. I'd just hate for you run into one of those hardcore tournament gamers and have them start complaining about modeling for advantage or anything like that.


and a follow-up email:

I was thinking last night - and I forgot to mention the AdeptiCon INAT stance on scenic bases:

    RB.03B.02 – Q: If a model is mounted on a scenic base and an opponent objects to it, what happens?
    A: If an opponent objects to a scenic base, the model may still be used in the game. However during the game, to the best of both players‟ abilities, the model must be treated as if it were based on a standard-sized, non-scenic Games Workshop base [clarification].

Gives you a good reference point if an issues arises during a game.

I really appreciate the response and have respect for the stance they have taken. They have given me general approval with the caveat that if I am an "ass-hat" in disguise that the approval was only "General" and can be revoked. I really appreciate this, especially in light that after some more thought Matt provides an additional reference and strategy I can use if there are issues.

I still intend to play along the same lines I always play, which I feel fully supports being a good sport and not using the bases to advantage. I model using my bases for the aesthetic, not to gain some advantage in the game. Look at my win/loss record and this clearly shows!

Regardless, that is starting to beat a dead horse. I am grateful to the response and happy to see the response is in line with what I feel is fair, reasonable, and in the spirit of the game.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FAIL Birthday Tournament - Army Showcase

I mentioned yesterday that I attended the  Frederick All Inclusive League (FAIL) birthday celebration and tournament and had a great time! I also mentioned that our very own FTW blogger HuronBH won best presentation by 1 point, with the Dead Tau Project coming in second. I brought my camera with me and grabbed some pictures of several armies that were on the tables during the day. Here are some of the better pictures which came out.

First we have the army that won Best Presentation, HuronBH's Howling Griffons:

We also have a look at the "Players Choice" army:

Here we have one of the Sugarland Gamers Tyranid army:

With a closer look at his Swarmlord:

A Marine army:

An ugly (as in ouch to play against) Chaos army... Defilers anyone?

Even though I personally do not like Nurgle, here is some Nurgley Goodness:

And lastly, the Ebel Sons Ork army:

Monday, March 22, 2010

FAIL Birthday Tournament

Last weekend was a busy weekend for the DTP. As you can see from the previous post, Sunday I was recording episode 3 of the Gamers Lounge, which is starting to be a hobby unto itself.

On Saturday I spearheaded a group from the Sugarland Gamers heading up to join a neighboring club for their 1 year birthday tournament. Five of us made the 30 minute drive to Frederick Maryland to attend the Frederick All Inclusive League (FAIL) birthday celebration and tournament and had a great time! This was a 1750 tournmanet with 22 people attending. Prizes went out for:
  • Best Overall – Awarded to the player who has the best overall score in all the categories combined.
  • Best Commander – Awarded to the players on the top tier for Battle Points score.
  • Best Presentation – Awarded to the players in the top tier for Painting score.
  • Gamer’s Choice – Awarded to the player with the highest Player choice score.
  • The Illustrious Order of the Crimson Smear - Presented to anyone who suffers an egregious walloping throughout the tournament .
Our very own FTW blogger HuronBH won best presentation by 1 point, with the Dead Tau Project coming in second. In an amusing turn of events, the fact he paints the interior of his vehicles and I glue mine shut seemed to be one of the factors pushing him over the top with 1 extra point! The Sugarland crew had an excellent showing with 4 members placing at the top of the painting, 1 member playing on the top table for 1st place, and overall having some excellent games through the day.

Before I go into my overview of the tournament games and the pictures of some of the painted armies, I want to make a special mention of the "Illustrious Order of the Crimson Smear". This was a great prize that was hotly contested, and I want to applaud the FAIL guys for how they handle this. The Crimson Smear award received a gift certificate to the store, a framed certificate with blood splatter graphics on it, and a T-Shirt proclaiming membership in the Order (again with stylized blood splatter). This award certainly kept the game fun for everyone involved and is an idea I am considering stealing for any tournaments I take part in organizing in the future.

The Games

So my three games were enjoyable through the day, with my first two games really standing out compared to my last game. I faced 2 Marines and 1 Nob-Biker list.

Game 1 I found myself across the table from a Dark Angels marine army. After speaking with my opponent for a bit and looking at his army, it was clear he was a new player. I did not yet know I had received the privilege of starting my day against a future Order of the Crimson Smear inductee. Our game was fairly straight forward Capture and Control (1 objective each) with a secondary objective of killing the enemy HQ. I spent much of this game helping my opponent learn the rules and overall we had a great time. At one point his Chapter Master started running from my Autarch, with my Autarch giving chase. I spent some time trying to figure out how to move/run/assault around a couple squads in order to create a HQ vs HQ epic battle, only to have a Fire Prism blast drift slightly and obliterate his Chapter Master to a failed invuln save. At the end of the game it was 1/0 to me, with me also achieving the secondary objective for a 20/0 win.

Game 2 found the DTP across the table from another marine army, this time led by Vulcan. While I was yet to find out, I was lucky enough to face the other end of the tournament as my game 2 opponent ended up winning best overall for the day. I had played this opponent in the Inner Circle pancake breakfast tournament last month and he is an excellent opponent. I was facing a heavily mechanized marine army in a modification of the Battle Missions Pre-Emptive strike mission where I was the attacker. This was a very bloody game with a final kill-point total in the neighborhood of 22 - 20 at the end of the game, with the win going to the marines. The secondary objective was to break a unit in close-combat and then either run them down or escort them off the board. My opponent was successful in running my Fire Dragon exarch across the board (starting at turn 2) while I was not successful in breaking a unit. This game ended at a 20/0 to my opponent.

Game 3 found the DTP facing a Nob Bikers list. This was a rock-hard list for me to face (2 tooled up 10-Ork squads of Nob Bikers, each with a Warboss on Bike), especially in this mission. The mission was a loot-grab mission with 3 objectives based on the Battle Missions Pillage mission, slightly modified. The rules of the scenario forced both sides to start with 2 troop units and 1 HQ on the board, with everything else in reserve. This kept the bulk of my army off the table until Turn 3, where I started down on points coming into the game. Overall the game was challenging, and would have been an excellent game on par with my previous games were it not for some issues with my opponent. I talk about this a bit on the podcast, so will not go back into it in this post. At the end of the game I was at 15/0 for this mission with me losing the game. This brought my total for the day to 20 our of 60 on Battle points.

This is getting a bit long, so I will follow-up tomorrow with a post showcasing some of the armies at the tournament.

Gamers Lounge Podcast - Episode 3 - Lounging like Thunder

The Gamers Lounge podcast, episode 3, was posted over the weekend. Dan from Dice Like Thunder joins us to discuss playing within the spirit of the rules along with where we think 40K is going in the Meta-Game. We also discuss Adepticon plans! We also add some different music-bridges between topics for our Unmentioned Listener and for Col. Corbane @ Corbina Prime.

Give it a listen, subscribe, and leave us some feedback!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Battle Missions Scenario Book - Review

I know the latest "hotness" is centered firmly around the Blood Angles rumors coming out. Here at the DTP, however, I am staying away from those rumors and I want to talk a bit about the OTHER release from GW, the Battle Missions book.

I have only had a chance to play 1 game from this book so far, but I really enjoyed that game. I enjoyed it not just because I won but also because I feel the mission added a fair amount of flavor to the game. I will talk about that in a bit, but first let me share my opinions of the book as a whole.

Opinion of the Overall Book
I really like this book for a number of reasons. I am very happy it appears the majority of the missions are very well balanced but still find a way to "play to the strengths" of each army. There are several missions I find really cool and look forward to playing. The alternate set-ups and thematic story telling heavily influences the book as a whole.

The second reason is that this provides a solid foundation for alternate pick-up games. This is a clear way for two pick-up players to roll up missions that differ from the main rule book. I do not believe that forces should be customized for the missions, but feel the missions will work best if the players put together their lists prior to the game. This forces the players to step outside of their comfort zone and play to the players ability to adapt their tactics.

Third, the special missions are just cool. Everyone has talked about the Kill Team's mission, but I want to mention Line Breaker. Here is a mission where one side has 3 Baneblades and the other has a 1500 point army. The goal is for the Baneblades to get across the board, short table edge to short table edge. Then there is Clash of Heroes, which for the Eldar is just built to put a Phoenix Lord on the table and go to town.

The Eldar Missions
Let me talk about the Eldar missions a bit.

Pre-Emptive Strike:
This mission has the Eldar player attempting to "cut off the head of the snake" by eliminating the enemy HQ units. This is a kill point mission played length-wise on the table. This really plays to the Eldar maneuverability and provides a lot of room to skim around and shoot. The enemy must deploy thier HQ at the beginning of the game, in the center of their deployment zone. Some interesting tweaks are the elimination of out-flanking from reserves and the adaptation of the "board edge" for each player. The board edge ends up being a U shape made up of the short table edge for each player, then half of each long table edge. This provides a de facto out-flank-style reserve arrival for all armies. I have played this mission and I really enjoyed it. The change in kill points de-prioritizes troops and dedicated transports for the eldar while emphasizing any kill for the enemy.

Flank Attack:
This mission gives the Eldar player the potential for the outflank ability for his entire army. It is an objective mission with 3 objectives spaces out on the board. This mission seems to give the Eldar a distinct advantage when you consider the maneuverability of the army. I am looking forward to playing this, as the enemy will have the opportunity to start on the board and deploy onto 2 of the 3 objectives. Due to the placement of the 3rd objective, the enemy has a very real potential to hold all 3 objectives before the Eldar start coming in from reserves.

Mobile Defence:
This mission is very thematic based on the Eldar back-story. The Eldar player splits his force into 2 halves and must deploy the first half while keeping the second half in reserve. The first half is any infantry, walkers, and monstrous creatures in the army. The second half are the rest of the units. The mission is an objective based, deployed as typical objectives. The benefit provided to the Eldar is a special rule called Rapid Response that allows the Eldar to start rolling for reserves on the first turn.

At the end of everything, I will repeat that I like this book. I am really looking forward to playing more games using these missions and feel that it really adds positively to the game.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fuegan, The Burning Lance

These Exarchs are known as the Phoenix Lords and they are great heroes amongst the Eldar race. Their names are well known throughout the Craftworlds, and their deeds form part of the legends of the Eldar. No-one knows exactly how many Phoenix Lords there are, for some are seen but rarely, whole others disappear for millennia only to reappear suddenly and unexpectedly. Some have undoubtedly perished far away, their suits lying upon some hostile world awaiting discovery by some predestined Aspect Warrior doomed to don the armor and become the ancient hero for another cycle of his existence. - Written by Rick Preistley in White Dwarf 172.

Fuegan - The Burning LanceFuegan learned the art of war in the Shrine of Asur under the eyes of Asurmen. He later founded the Shrines of the Fire Dragons, and schooled them in the art of war with fire and flame. Fuegan is armed with a massive and deadly Firepike and carries the Fire Axe. This ancient weapon glows with the heat of its forging. It has never cooled since the day it was made and the runes upon its surface writhe in fiery agony. - Written by Rick Preistley in White Dwarf 172.

Thats right folks, a new Phoenix Lord has joined the DTP and arrived on the scene. Joining that all mighty bad-ass Maugan is Fuegan, the burning lance. He is pinnacle of  warriors lost on the Fire Dragon aspect path. Lets take a closer look at the pictures in color:

You can see I am working on my blending and shading, which I think it starting to improve.I am also putting a bit more effort into my gems, which have a way to go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mixed post - both the Bleh and the Exciting

Thats right, there are two items for the blog today. The first is really kind of blah, but it is progress. I have a big project I am working on but I felt I needed some side projects to plink away at while it was underway. The following is one of those side projects.

The Bleh....

So in an attempt to have a "Complete" Eldar army I decided to assemble at least 1 Vyper. I may do more in the future but then again, they do not excite me. Overall I am not a huge fan of how the Vyper looks and I really dislike the chair mounted on the back. While assembling my Vyper I decided a couple things:
  1. I would use an idea taken from Blue Table Painting and modify the back of the Vyper to remove the chair.
  2. I would magnetize the weapons (both weapons) so I could swap out how the Vyper is armed.
 After putting together the Vyper I am still have a "Luke Warm" stance on the model. It just does not excite me overall, and for my taste it is less exciting than both the jetbikes and the wave serpent chassis used by the grav tanks. The approach I used was nearly identical to how I painted the grav tanks (base coat, wash, lines/detail, wash, free-hand, wash, gems & canopy). I did notice where the wash pooled on one wing, but I just was not excited enough by the model to go back and fix it.

Lets take a quick look:

Here is the Vyper with no weapons.

And here is the Vyper with the weapons mounted by the magnets. The way I have this set up I can swap the same weapons I use for my walkers and Wraithlords.

The Exciting!

So here we go with the exciting part of this post! Those who have been keeping an eye on my Queue have noticed that I have a Forge World Avatar currently on the building table. As part of putting this together I am assembling step by step pictures as I go along. These pictures will be used for a series of tutorials at some point in the future. My intention was to hold pictures of the project until I had the model complete and was able to publish the complete tutorial series. Thats out the window once I looked at the near-final assembled model.

At this stage I have a little bit of filing and trimming remaining for the greenstuff, but the model is 95% assembled. I should have a base coat on by the end of the week and painting started immediatly following.

As you will see in the picture below, the Avatar will be modelled holding up a Tau Crisis suit with the Avatar's hand driven into its chest. I am modeling the crisis suit to have its weapons destroyed during the battle and the whole model at the moment just before the killing blow has been inflicted. I have also green-stuffed the melted parts of the suit where the Avatar's hand has driven into the chest, along with one leg having been chopped off during the fight (including the exposed bone).

So, here is a quick look at where things are at.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gamers Lounge Podcast - Episode 2

The Gamers Lounge podcast, episode 2, was posted over the weekend. HuronBH of Blood and Blades and I spend some time talking about the Battle Missions book, Sportsmanship, and some up coming events at Adepticon. We also spend time talking about blog tools, including Google Analytics, Blog Rolls, and photo sharing sites such as Photobucket and Flickr.

Give it a listen, subscribe, and leave us some feedback!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review: Soul Hunter

Its been a while since I have posted a book review on here, but I wanted to get the word out to any who had not already read this book. Let me say, wow! I really liked this book written by Black Library new comer Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

I think one of the best compliments I can pay this book follows. I was laying in bed reading through one of the early chapters and was caught up in the story to the point I chuckled at one of the scenes. My wife, who is not a Sci-fi person in any way, asked me what was funny. In return I read aloud the scene I had just read. Her response was:
" Wow, that's really good! Very cinematic and all the words he uses really make you see whats going on. Its really too bad I don't like those kind of books, it sounds like its a good book."

Well, call me a fan boy, but I highly recommend this book. It explored areas of 40K that I did not expect, including the effects of the warp on the traitor legions. Its interesting to see the flash-backs of the main character to earlier parts of his life. In addition, the authors sarcasm drifts out of some of the characters in ways which bring realism and life to them.

With this caliber of writing, it is no surprise that Aaron has been chosen to join the Horus Heresy cast of authors. Now to track him down at Adepticon, grab an interview, get him out on the town, and get him drunk!

For those interested, check out his blog here: Aaron Dembski-Bowden

And a great picture from the Black Library!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reaper Exarchs are just Bad Ass!

The Dark Reapers are the most heavily armed of the common Aspects. Their black armor is made from heavy interlocked plates and they have heavy lower leg armor to stabilize their bodies so that they can aim and fire more accurately. Dark Reapers are armed with a deadly long ranged missile launcher and their role is to provide long range supporting fire. The weapon relays an enhanced targeting image into the warrior's helmet via the receptor vanes, making it almost impossible for a Dark Reaper to miss.
That's taken directly form the description in the 40K second edition Eldar codex. How bad-ass are these guys? Well, I have completed the 3 Exarchs that have been sitting on my painting tray and they have joined their 10 brethren in my figure case. First lets take a look at the three bad boys together:

So next we take a close-up look at each. First we have the Tempest Launcher Exarch. I will probably use him most, when I actually bring the Dark Reapers out of the case. Not only is his weapon, in my opinion, the most useful but....... Look at the skill shoulder pad he has!!!! How bad ass do you need to be to wear a skull shaped shoulder guard that bigger than your head????

Next we have one of my favorite 4th edition sculpts, the Dark Reaper Exarch with Shurican Cannon. I always like this guy and wanted to get one painted up for the Dead Tau project. He may not see much use, but I like the pose and sculpt.

Lastly we have the Missile Launcher. I would not feel bad using him as a Tempest launcher exarch as well, although that is not the original idea. I got this guy in a trade on Barter town, and like the conversion that was done.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tournament Oponent Review - ICHSJ

As previously mentioned, lets look at who I faced in my 3 games at the recent Inner Circle tournament. It was certainly clear from the tournament that Mechanized lists are very popular and these were fully in effect at the tournament. I found it interesting to note that 2 of the armies outnumbered my Eldar (Sisters and IG) while the marine army was not far under my 51 models. I expect IG to outnumber me, but the Sisters army caught me by surprise. In addition, the 3 exorcists in that army are appalling to deal with, especially when there are good rolls for their shots. I very much expect they will change when the codex is re-written. As for the Marine army, while he did not outnumber me, he did not play what I would have expected from a marine army. It was closer to what I expect from guard, when he set-up 9 tanks across the table in addition to 4 fast skimmers.

Lets move on to looking at the lists:

Matt's Valhallan 42nd Mountaineers Imperial Guard
Model Count: 84

Captain Sorin
  w/ Officer of the Fleet
  w/ Astropath
  w/ Las Cannon
  w/ Chimera

Daemonhunter Inquisitor (psyhood)
  w/ heirophant
  w/ 2x sage

Platoon (5)
  w/ Squad Cmd - Lt with Las Pistol/CCW, 4x flamers,  Chimera

  w/ Squad 2 - Autocannon and plasma rifle, Commisar
  w/ Squad 3 - Autocannon and plasma rifle
  w/ Squad 4 - Autocannon and plasma rifle
10x Veterans (3x Melta Gun, Shotguns)
10x Penal Legion
10x Veterans (3x Plasma Gun), Chimera

Valkyrie (rocket pods)
 2x Hellhound (multi-melta, smoke)

2x Hydra Battery
2x Medusa Battery

Leigh's Space Marines
Model Count: 44

Pedro Kantor

5x Sternguard (1x combi-melta)
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked heavy bolter
5x Sternguard (2x combi-melta)
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked heavy bolter

5x Tac-Marines
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked heavy bolter
5x Tac-Marines
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked Las Cannon
5x Tac-Marines
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked Las Cannon
5x Tac-Marines
  w/ Razorback, twin-linked Las Cannon

Landspeeder (Typhoon, Multi-melta)
Landspeeder (Typhoon, Multi-melta)
2x Landspeeder (Typhoon, Multi-melta)

Predator (TL Lascannon turret, Lascannon sponsons)
Predator (TL Lascannon turret, Lascannon sponsons)
Predator (Autocannon turret, Lascannon sponsons)

Matt #2's Sisters of Battle
Model Count: 68

   w/ 7x Celstians retinue
   w/ Priest

Daemonhunters Inquisitor
  w/ 2x mystic
  w/ Land Raider Crusader
10x Battle Sisters (2x Melta)
  w/ Rhino
10x Battle Sisters (2x Melta)
  w/ Rhino
5x Inquisitorial Storm Troopers
5x Inquisitorial Storm Troopers

8x Dominion Squad (4x Flamers)
  w/ Rhino
8x Dominion Squad (4x Flamers)
  w/ Rhino

3x Exorcists