Monday, October 20, 2008

Into the Woods

+++ Date: 2008797/m36
+++ Astropath: Octavian
+++ Destination: Pax Imperialis, Lord Solar Macharius
+++ Subject: Servo Skull Battle Report for Sparas
+++ Thought of the Day: Firepower is the salvation of the Emperor.

Your Lordship,
The Empire of Man has been blessed by your mighty courage and steadfast faith. Your occidental example has filled each man in this crusade with an effulgent faith that pushes them on to mighty deeds.

The mighty Krieg Korps has met with some setbacks on the world of Sparas. Attached is the holo vids from our servo skulls. We will analyze this data, so we can defeat the orks that infest this world.

Week 2
Once again my Orks take to the field of battle against the IG. This week the terrain was more wooded, so my main concern was for my Truks surviving fire and delivering their packages. This was a tight game until the end and I had a lot of fun playing it.

Opponent: Death Korps of Krieg (Nick S.)
Mission: Seize Ground (4 objectives)
Deployment: Spearhead
Environmental Effect: Touch of Fear
Ork Forces: Same as last week but included for review
1 Warboss
10 Trukk Nobz
15 Kommandos
12 Ork Trukk Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
3 Lobbas
3 Deffkoptas
3 Deffkoptas
12 Burnaz
1 Looted Wagon
(As a note we decided at the beginning of the game that the IG Sentinels would use the Scout USR in the BRB instead of their scout rule.)

Turn 1
I had initially lost the deployment roll which meant that I was going 2nd, but I attempted a “seize the initiative” roll and succeeded. I took advantage of this by moving my trucks behind cover so they could attempt to survive the incoming fire on my opponent’s turn. I positioned the looted wagon with the burna boyz in it behind a tall wall which made it out of LOS for my opponent. My two Shoota Mobs moved to secure the two objectives in my deployment area.

In my opening salvo my Lobbas targeted the middle of an IG squad, got a hit on the scatter die, and scored eight hits on the primary squad and one on a squad in the AOE. All 9 hits wounded causing the most wounded squad to go to ground. Some sporadic big shoota fire caused two more guardsman to die.

The Death Corps went directly into the shooting phase. My two truks absorbed a lot of fire many of which were misses, but nothing that would stop them from advancing. The forward unit of Shoota Boyz took it on the chin from a battle cannon and a lot of combined firepower causing them to loose 13 boyz.

Orks: 2 DKK: 1

Turn 2
My reserve rolls brought mixed results. The Defkoptas came in on the short board edge of my opponent, but my Kommandos came in on the opposite board edge. Movement in this turn left me exposed, but I expected it because my opponent had wisely deployed his forces so there would be a 12” zone of no cover that I would have to cross. So my truks were out in the open this turn. I did move my Shoota Boyz that had been chewed up into the area terrain where the forward objective was, so I could get a 4+ save against any other incoming Battle Cannon Shells.

During my shooting phase, I targeted with my Lobbas the unit that suffered a single wound from them last turn. Once again I scored a hit and was rewarded with eight hits and wounds. The unit passed its pin check. This time I focused my Big Shoota fire on a single squad and was able to cause enough wounds for a leadership check, which was failed. My Defkoptas shot at the rear aspect of a Leman Russ and caused it to explode.

The Death Korps rolled for their reserves and got an HQ choice and one Fast Attack choice of sentinels to come in. His moves were mostly for maximizing fire, but the shooting phase came quickly.

In the shooting phase both of my Truks that were working their way to the flank got shot up and destroyed. The boyz that piled out were minimally wounded. The front squad of Shoota Boyz endured another round of shooting loosing 4 boyz. The Kommandos got flamed by the fast attack Sentinels losing 9 and failing their leadership check. The Defkoptas got flamed by the HQ sentinel and shot up by two squads causing them to run off the board.

The Sentinels that had flamed the Kommandos decided to assault them. The Boyz rallied and fought them. The sentinel killed most of the squad while the power klaw nob popped one, and knocked the flamer off of the other. The Nob decided to run after having his squad wiped out.

Orks: 2 DKK: 1

Turn 3
Nothing arrived in reserve on this turn. The Truk Boyz and Nobz moved decidedly towards the IG lines intent on getting tied up in assault. Unfortunately the Nobz fell victim to their Warboss’ Mega Armor, which gave them a whole 2” on their move. The forward Shoota Boyz finally got more than 50% of the unit in cover.

The Lobbas Once again ranged in on a fresh unit this time killing only eight guardsman. The Big Shootas once again shot at the IG but this time they made their cover saves.

The IG reserve roll brought on the second HQ and Fast Attack Sentinels. The sentinels positioned themselves in such a way so they could shoot at the Burna Boyz making their way around to the right side of the IG lines, while the single command HQ came in on the flank of the boyz holding the rear most objective.

The IG Shot at the Nob Squad and only managed to thin the squad by 3 Nobz. The sentinels shot at the looted wagon knocking off its gun, while the other single Sentinel shot at rear Shoota Boyz squad.

The HQ Sentinel assaulted the Shoota Boyz and caused two wounds when all was said and done. The squads Nob was two turns worth of consolidation away from getting into contact with this Sentinel. The remaining Sentinel, that had flamed the Kommandos earlier, assaulted the Truk Boyz dealing no initial wounds but caused a wound on the nob when it detonated.

Orks: 1 DKK: 1

Turn 4
On this turn the last unit of Defkoptas flew in behind the IG lines again. The Burna Boyz moved up in their Wagon and got themselves in a position to smoke an IG squad. Once again the Nobz fell victim to their difficult terrain check of 1”, and the Nobz were thinking of leaving their leader behind.

In the shooting phase a “Waaagh!” was declared and the Nobz rolled a mighty 2 for their Waaagh! The Truk Boyz were able to get within an inch of their quarry, a Leman Russ. The Lobbas shot at the unit that they shot at last turn scoring their 4th hit in a row on the Artillery Die wiping out that squad, and inflicting a wound on a man from another unit. Shots rang out from the Big Shootas hitting one of the lone Heavy weapon teams from the barraged IG Squads, but only managed to kill the loader. The Burna Boyz caused 56 hits, which caused my opponent to just pull the models.

The Truk Boyz assaulted a Leman Russ and the difficult terrain check for the Nobz netted me a whopping 2” which was far too short of the six I needed. The Russ thankfully became wrecked, but it left the Truk Boyz in the open. The Defkoptas assaulted 2 squads inflicting no wounds and being wiped out in return. The Combat in the rear of my lines killed 3 more boyz but brought the power klaw up so it could effect the Sentinel next turn.

The Sentinels, next to the Burna Boyz, were positioned so they could smoke them. while the rest of his army opened up with shooting.

The shooting phase saw the Burna Boyz wiped out and the Truk boyz were shot up leaving only the Nob after he executed one of his own boyz. The Nobz lost two more models, but most of the shots leveled at them went wide.

In the assault phase the Sentinel caused no wounds but the Nob’s fury caused the Sentinel’s power plant to overload and explode killing 8 boyz.

Orks: 2 DKK: 1

Turn 5 (Last turn)
The Nobz and Warboss finally decided that they were fed up with each other and parted ways. This helped the Warboss actually make a roll greater than 2 and the Nobz were able to move up to get into assault range. The looted truck moved up and tank shocked units off the rear objective.

The Lobbas fired once again but the string of hits was no longer to be had. Instead, the shot drifted into the unit in the ruins that the Nobs were preparing to shoot. Luckily for the Nobs only 3 guardsmen died. The forward Big Shootas rang out again and killed another lone guardsman in the open.

The lone Truk Boy Nob and the Warboss charged a squad next to the wrecked tank but the Nob was killed before he could use his power klaw. The Warboss killed five men, but they decided to stick it against the mighty Warboss. The Nobz assaulted the previous barraged unit in the ruins and wiped them out to the man. They positioned themselves to claim the third objective

The IG reconsolidated around their rear objective, and their last tank moved up to contest the objective that the Nobz were trying to capture.

The Guard shot the Looted Wagon up and destroyed it loosing a few men to the blast. They shot up the Nobz but not enough wounds were caused to push them off the objective.

The fight with the Warboss continued in the assault and in this turn the Warboss managed to cause enough wounds to have them flee.

Orks: 2 DKK: 1
Ork Win

Wrap Up:
Overall, this was a great game. This was much closer than last weeks contest and I owe that to the more open terrain. The unit of the game for me has to be the Lobbas because they accounted for more than 50% of the wounds caused. The Burnaz continue to be a one shot wonder that I might replace with more Kommandos. I am also thinking of ditching the Mega Armor for heavy armor to increase the speed of the Nobz. Once again Thanks for the game Nick!

Macharius leaned back in his chair lip pursed in displeasure when he saw the fall back order appear in the reticule of servo skull. As he watched the video survey of the fall back, the camera view was yanked back by what appeared to be several feet, and Macharius warrior’s reflexes caused him to flinch.

“Oi! Wots dis?” came a harsh orkish voice across the audio track.

“It’s one uv does floatin’ hummie skullz.” explained another voice. With that the camera was whipped around and an Ork came into view. “Whot you gunna di wif it?”

“I was gunna throw it into one of them hummies runnin away.” described the Ork in the reticule. The camera view quickly pitched around, and then the view was one of the camera being thrown. The last image that the servo skull recorded was of its impact with the flak vest of a Guardsman, and then static.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

It Begins

Red dust swirled around the tires of the pieced together truck as it slid to a stop, and as it did a hulking ork jumped over the side of the truck bed. His steel shod boots hit the ground with a thunderous clang, and he strode forward with an arrogant air about him. The ork’s emerald hued skin was stained grey by the dust of the road with green trails of skin cleared by the sweat running down his face.
“Oi! Blasta!” he bellowed out. “Git me peepin’ toobz from de sack.” The command caused a small willowy runt to dive into a large equipment bag. Within moments he reappeared with what looked like two oversized sniper scopes that were joined together like binoculars by scraps of metal tubes. The homemade binoculars were as big as the olive skinned runt, and he hefted them over his head as he ran them over to the ork who bellowed for them.
“Here dey is Masta Kurg,” squeaked the nasally voice of the runt. The large ork scooped up the binoculars and as he did his tiny servant got tangled up in the binocular’s neck strap. The massive ork peered through his “peepin’ toobz” and saw that they were almost at there destination.
He and his warband were headed for an ore refining facilty that was crewed by automatons of the Adrantis Union. As he scanned the facility and the surrounding area his face broke into a toothy grin. “Oi! Listen up Boyz. It looks like the Impies ‘ave done our job. You gonna let ‘em take what’s rightfully ours?”
“No!” came the raucous reply.
“Den go git what’s ours!” and with that the war band spilled into the basin where the ore refining facility stood.

Week 1
This week in the Bell of Lost Souls Macharian Crusade my Orks fought against the Genswick Rifles played by Brandon. We played a medium sized game (2000pts) on the mining world of Lapis Majoris. I had forgotten about the environmental effects so none were in effect.

Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead

1 Warboss
10 Trukk Nobz
15 Kommandos
12 Ork Trukk Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
3 Lobbas
3 Deffkoptas
3 Deffkoptas
12 Burnaz
1 Looted Wagon

Turn 1
I won the roll and decided to go first. The GR attempted to seize the initiative, but to no avail. I choose to deploy in the quarter to my right. I moved my trucks and Burnaz in a wagon to the left while my Shoota Boyz and Kommandos moved towards the right. I opened up with some shooting from my Lobbas into the middle of his lines and managed to cause 6 wounds between two units. This caused the unit that took the largest number of casualties to become pinned. My shootas and Kommandos shot at units on the right but no one panicked.
On his turn 1 he positioned his units to counter the Pincer move I was attempting. On my right he lit up my Kommandos with flamers and las fire, which caused them to break and run. His first demolisher round smoked six orks in a shoota squad, his next demolisher round hit a truk but the hit was saved, and his third demolisher immobilized the truk boyz truk. The Hellhound tried to hurt the looted wagon but missed.
Rifles: 1KP Orks: 0

Turn 2
On this turn both of the Deffkopta units came in from reserve and managed to come in on his deployment zone. Both units positioned themselves for rear shots on a Demolisher and the Hellhound. The Nobz moved up to assault a demolisher and the Ogryns next to it, and the Shoota Boyz Moved up to assault the right flank. The Looted Wago decided to go full speed ahead into Impassable terrain and were stuck in place for the turn.
In my shooting phase one unit of Deffkoptas smoked the demolisher, while the other only caused the Hellhound a shaken result. The Lobbas once again hit home and this time they smoked the unit that was forced to go to ground on the last turn. The Shootas shot at their intended chargees, but only caused a wound.
In the assault phase the Nobz with warboss charged the tank and the Ogryns. The Nobz killed two Ogryns on the charge and detonated the tank, while the Ogryns caused three wounds, managing to kill a single Nob. The Warboss then finished off the unit with his Power Klaw. The shootas forgot to charge which opened them up to a severe punishment.
The Rifles moved on the right to maximize their fire against the shoota boyz while on the left every unit positioned itself to deal with the Deffkoptas and Nobz. Once the smoke had cleared from all the fire power two Nobz, one kopta from each unit, and six Shoota Boyz laid dead. One of the units of koptas decided that one dead kopta was one too many and they flew away.
The koptas were charged but the combat ended up drawn, so on a lucky roll the koptas disengaged with their hit and run ability.
Rifles: 2KP Orks: 4

Turn 3
The Nobz moved to engage one of the command units of the rifles while the forgetful Shootas positioned themselves to charge both a tank and the two units that had shot their squad down to 11 men, while the full size shootas finally cleared the terrain they had been mired in and got into charge distance of the tank. The Burnaz in the wagon finally got on the move and moved up to back up the Nobz.
The empty truk of the Nobz went over to deal with a small squad of flamers moving to outflank the Nobz and killed a man in the shooting phase, which was the only shot that had effect I the shooting phase.The Lobbas attempted to deal with the Rifles line near the back of the board and they deviated off of the board. The rest of the mob used the Waaagh! to consolidate their charge positions.
The assault phase brought a Commissar and command squad into a fight with the Nobz. When the fight was over the senior officer in the squad noticed that he was the last guy around and decided to run away. The Nobz followed so that he would not be able to rally on his next turn.
Both units of Shootas charged into the Demolisher with the smaller unit being able to charge into both the tank and the unit that had shot them up on the previous turn. The tank had its main gun knocked off by a big choppa while the power klaw detonated it. The squad that shot up the shootas was wiped out, while the detonated tank killed seven boyz, with the shot up squad taking four of the seven casualties.
The Rifles were finished with the Nobz and dumped every shot that they could into them. When the smoked clear 2 Nobz, a painboy, and the warboss laughed at the Imperials because they were unharmed. The Hellhound popped the empty truk that was running around.
Rifles: 2 Orks: 9

Turn 4
After a so-so shooting phase every remaining ork unit on the board charged the closest GR Squad to them engaging a total of five units. Before a single round of Combat was fought General Collins sounded the retreat (conceded.)

Orks: Win

Wow! Nobz are the win. They accounted for more than half of the kill points I earned and absorbed more than 50% of my opponent’s firepower. The Boy of the Game goes to the Nob Painboy who kept his unit alive through thick and thin. A hearty, “Great Game!” to my opponent Brandon who put up a great fight.

Kurg raised his massive powered claw into the air in triumph as the Imperial forces broke and ran from the battle. His boys ran the stragglers down, and as they did he remarked to his men, “They sure looked like nails wearin’ skirts.” The mob broke into hearty guffaws. “Right ladz lets get what wees come for.”
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Monday, September 15, 2008

‘ard Boyz Round 1 list and Battle Reports

‘ard Boyz Army Comp
Here is what I played for the first round of the ‘ard Boyz Tourney.

Ghazghull Thraka 225 pts
1 Big Mek SAG, Power Klaw, ‘eavy armor, bosspole, Cybork Body, Ammo Runt 143 pts
8 Nobz ‘eavy armor, stikbombz, Bosspole, Painboy, grot orderly, Waaagh! Banner, 2x Power
Klaw, Truk w/ Armour Plates, Grot riggers, Boarding Plank, Reinforced Ram, Wrecking Ball, 383 pts
12 Kommandos w/ 2x Burnaz and Boss Snikrot 235 pts
15 Burnaz 225 pts
15 Lootas 225 pts
12 Ork Trukk Slugga Boyz w/ Rokkit, Stikbombz, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘eavy armor, bosspole, Truk w/ Armour Plates, Grot riggers, Boarding Plank, Reinforced Ram, Wrecking Ball, Red Paint Job 214 pts
30 ‘ard Slugga Boyz w/ 3x Rokkitz, Nob w/ Power Klaw, bosspole 370
30 Shoota Boyz w/ 3x Shootaz, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘eavy armor, bosspole 240 pts
30 Shoota Boyz w/ 3x Shootaz, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘eavy armor, bosspole 240 pts

Brief Synopsis of Game play

Game 1 vs. Black Templars: Massacre +1 battle point
This game was fun and I enjoyed my opponent. This was as close to a “flawless victory” that I got. I garnered 21 points from this round. The main lesson that was reinforced for me was stick to your plan. Since this mission was “Seize Ground”, I decided to focus on securing each of the five objectives and keeping them clear of the enemy presence. I also knew that since I was playing a horde army I would have to play each round as if it were my last.

My opponent was foolhardy enough to run his entire army at me, and I took advantage of this by moving my forces forward. Once my forces were where I wanted them, I shot at him and caused all of his forward troops to move towards my lines. This allowed me to assault him on turn 1.

My ‘ard Boyz managed to turn out casualties against his chaplain and command squad and ended up locked in combat because of the Templar’s fearless in hand to hand rule. Ghazghull, the Nobz, and the truk boyz hit two squads of sword brethren and when the dust cleared a lone Templar stood, which I was able to consolidate into with both units because he poorly choose who lived. He was trying to pull casualties so as to disengage Ghazghull, but 1 model from old Thraka’s unit was able to consolidate into base to base thus dragging the whole unit along.

Turn 2 was where my opponent attempted a weak retaliation and brought in 2 of his three deep striking units. Luckily for me all of his shooting was being made by Star Wars Storm Troopers and I was left fairly unscathed. As we launched into the assault phase it was announced that we had 30 minutes left.

This time the tables turned for my ‘ard Boyz as they were charged by the Emperor’s Champion and friends. The fight was bloody and the ‘ard Boyz lost and were run down. The lone Templar was cut down but he at least took two Orks with him, after which the Truk Boyz ducked behind the hill out of sight, but within 3” of the objective. Ghazghull consolidated towards an objective near the Templar lines.

On my part of turn two Ghazghull and his squad moved to capture an objective. Both of my Shoota mobs moved in and captured 2 more objectives, while the Burna boyz moved up to clear my opponent off the fifth objective. Once the boyz had moved into position they opened up to gun down nearby targets. Between the Lootas, SAG, and two units of Shoota Boyz I managed to thin the EC and his unit down to just the EC and a mook. As I began my assault moves time was called. Oh well maybe next time I will be able to secure all of the objectives instead of all but 1. I was a little annoyed that Snikrot and his Kommandoes didn’t make it out of reserve.

Game 2 vs. Imperial Guard: Tie no extra battle points 597 VP Orks to 587 VP IG

Game 2 got started after lunch. Interesting note during our 1 hour lunch the kids playing in the tournament decided to have an impromptu who brought the best character throw down. It was fun to watch, and in my opinion really in the spirit of the tourney and the game.

Game 2 began with the IG player going first. My opponent was a teenager who was a very excellent opponent. Thankfully the dawn of war rules saved my keester in this turn, but he did get off a lucky shot which threw Ghazghull and his gang out of their truck. However he forgot to bring in his forces, which I also did for a few of my units on my first turn.

When my turn 1 came I brought my Burnaz on but forgot about the Lootaz. GRRR!!! I then moved just about everything toward his lines. I did get a bit luckier than my opponent and managed enough shots to cause two squads to take morale checks, which one squad failed. Not bad for an opening salvo.

When turn 2 hit, the Hellhound, 2 Russes, and storm troopers rolled on along with a flamer special weapons squad being deployed behind my firing line. It was impressive, and it managed to kill the SAG, take out half a Shoota Boyz squad and immobilize the last remaining Trukk.

Then the hurtin’ time came for the poor IG. Once againg Snikrot thought that Ghazghull had the battle handled, and sat on the bench. The Lootas came on and got into a position to assault the Flame throwers that were in my lines. All but one unit moved up in preparation of an assault. Ghazghull declared a Waaagh! and the IG were immediately knee deep in Orks. The Orks had assaulted six units, and only managed to get 2 kill points. I knew that the KP rules were going to anger me greatly. Needless to say, he was now down six squads.

His turn 3 came and well the other Hellhound rolled on, but not his last Russ (whew.) I was able to withstand the fusillade of fire that came towards my orks, but as it became my turn game was called. Curses! Snikrot benched by my dice again!

Game 3 vs. Orks: Minor Loss
This like the last game was an evenly matched brawl against a great opponent. There was so much occurring I could not relate it all. The balance swung on the second half of the second turn where I dusted his fire base off of his objective with Snikrot and contested it, but he captured mine with his Nobz Squad. The pivotal battle was where Ghazghull and his unit rolled snake eyes on the difficult terrain check and they were more than an inch away. Curses! That stopped me cold from earning 5 KPs.

Wrap Up
I tied for fourth, but won on VP so fourth place was mine. The nice thing is that the second place player will be unable to attend the next round, so I will be going to regionals.

The biggest thing that I learned was that speed is an Ork’s friend. I also had “remember the mission rules” lesson pounded into my skull. Hopefully it will stick. I may also see if I can round up a rules runt to help me look up pertinent questions in the book and to deflect all questions away from me that slow down my game play. Hope you enjoyed my ‘ard Boyz wrap up.

Cross Posted at

Adeptus Astragalactica
Austin Miniature Minions
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tactics: Mob Rule

So today I was having one of those moments where I was contemplating the vicissitudes of 40k, and my mind began to circle the drain of the new Ork “Mob Rule” CSR (codex special rule.) Once it went down the drain it entered a very, very dark place. Let us look at the rule. It says, “Ork mobs may always choose to substitute the number of Orks in their mob for their normal Leadership value. If an Ork mob numbers 11 or more models, it has the Fearless special Rule.”

I think this is a genius rule. It accurately shows that the Orks are force of numbers, and as they get smaller due to combat attrition their morale begins to fail. Where I went with this rule was an attempt to make the first sentence work for the Orks in a new way. Many Ork players utilize this rule in its most direct “Gorker” method of use. I have never been a “Gorker,” but a “Morker.” This is evident in my clan of choice: Blood Axes. (If Gorker or Morker are unfamiliar terms for you do some research in GW’s Gorkamorka Game.)

I bet you are wondering how Orks can use “Mob Rule” cunningly. First we need to explain the most basic tenet of this rule all Orks have it. Second “may always choose to substitute number of Orks in their mob for their normal Leadership value,” doesn’t specify the lower limit. Therefore, an Ork mob of two may have their base Leadership of 7 (-1 if they are below 50%) or a Leadership of 2.

This rule is terribly helpful for getting large units of Gretchin tied up in close combat out of the way. Yes! I said exactly what you think I said. One can use this rule to disengage Gretchin mobs from combat. It is quite easy, and should only be done in your opponent’s close combat phase. Gretchin mobs use the Runtherderz leadership for Morale checks. Since at most there would be three Runtherderz in the mob, and they have the “Mob Rule” CSR… Basically, you are counting on the Grots loosing close combat, which they will unless your opponent is terribly unlucky. What it boils down to is tying up a unit with Grots, and when you are ready to assault your target with a proper Ork mob then you pull out the Grots and let fly.

My other “Cunnin’ Plan” has to do with using 3, 6 man Kommando Mobs. If at all possible infiltrate them 12” away from your opponent, and try to have them about 9”- 12” from your closest foot sloggers. Many players get nervous about units being fairly close to their lines, so they will send out a unit to deal with the threat. Hopefully, if they got first turn, and they assault this sacrificial lamb, then your chances are good at loosing the close combat. Make sure you pull your casualties so you are no longer engaged. That way when you “fail” your leadership test your opponent will be hanging out in the wind with no choice but to get hit by a ton of Boyz. At very least you have brought your opponent within reach of all of your 12” shots.

The key to playing “Mob Rule” effectively is to quit thinking like a Goff. Most Ork players want to get tied up in lengthy close combats where they are inflicting maximum damage. Effective use of the “Mob Rule” CSR requires pulling casualties to disengage your unit, careful positioning to ensure that you can easily break from combat, and small enough units of Orks so that you can break off combat without being below 50%.
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Painting Pointers

I realized after a few read throughs, that Atredies article was not about lazy painting, but about working smarter not harder. When one has nine pointers on how to turn out painted forces they aren’t lazy; they’re economical. The thought occurred to me that many of his pointers were the base for which advanced painting techniques come from, so I thought I would share some tips on improving your painting ability.

1. Paint often

If you paint 5 minutes or 5 hours, you must paint everyday. This simple act will improve your skills, even if you are not trying to. Painting on a daily basis will build muscle memory and fine motor skills. I find that when I go without painting it takes me some time to get back into it, so save your self the hassle.

2. Ask

I find that I have learned more from asking others more experienced than me how they accomplish various effects. Painters love telling you how they accomplished a project, so take advantage of this willingness to share.

3. Research

You should always look for new techniques. Thanks to the internet this is a fairly easy task. For example, Micron Pens have made some of my painting tasks easier, and in fact I have become faster painter because of these miraculous pens.

4. Tools

If you are really into painting figures invest in your tools. I used to think that brushes or paints were the same as any other. I must say I was truly mistaken. Cheap hobby paints are substandard when compared to figure paints and artist paints, and brushes are not all created equal. Since I’ve upgraded my brushes and stopped using cheapo paints my work has improved. Please understand by no means are your tools magic “PF Flyers” but they will assist you in the quest for improvement.

5. Cheat

Painting is all about the art of illusion. If you find a shortcut, a rule to break, or technique that gives you a better illusion then do it. By no means are any set of pointers or advice meant to be hard fast rules. This is your hobby, so in the end it is up to you to define how to best approach it.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Finished Pre Heresy DA Commander

Well ladies and gents I have completed a comissione piece that is now all made of awesom and win. So without further ado, or guilding the lily:

Crosposted at Adeptus Astragalactica

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Codex Ork FAQ

So why is it that the German GW Studio can get their crap together one week after the release of a new codex and produce a FAQ that means a lick? What have we heard from England for us English speakers/ readers? Well we have heard that the German FAQ is only for Germany and that the Germans took it upon themselves to fix the screw ups, and by no means is this official for English. Hmmm I guess that means I'll be playing playing in the German GT. ;) Anywho for your edification here is the link on GW Germany's site. Oh BTW you'll need to be able to read German. Teh German FAQ
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Friday, January 11, 2008

On the Death of Heroes

This will be a small departure that has a point. On January 10, 2008, Sir Edmund Hillary died. He was a hero of mine, so in memory of this great explorer I present my favorite quote that was attributed to him when he failed to reach the summit of Everest in 1951. He said, “You defeated me! But you won’t defeat me again! Because you have grown all you can grow… but I am still growing.”

The point: Don’t let defeat be the end. So many times we face defeat, or loss, and we give it permission to win. From defeat we assume the position that we are unable, or that we will never win. Defeat is a better counselor than victory. That is because victory is the result of successful learning, and that you have applied the lessons that have been presented to you. Defeat means that something or someone has presented a lesson that we either haven’t learned or that we are wrestling with. Defeat is also the wonderful reminder that we are human.

So tonight let us raise a drink to a man that showed us defeat will enable us to find victory!

Cross posted at The Adeptus Astragalactica
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Battle of the Wagons

Codex Orks is upon us now and I will be writing up yet another review. However, I noticed something in my recent games with the new codex that I thought should be addressed because it deals with a larger, more important, concept. A thought began swimming in my head over the last few months. It was: why is it that my ├╝ber points expensive, larger than life, battle wagon ineffective? I was thinking about fielding a Pez dispenser instead because at least the Pez dispenser would do something.

Well the thought finally dawned on me what the difficulty was. My Battle Wagon was suffering from a case of Multiple Purpose Disorder (MPD). MPD is an Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) that cannot settle on a battlefield role. What I mean can be seen in our friend the Land Raider. A Land Raider is a great transport. It is also a pretty mean tank, but it has trouble when it is being tasked to do both at the same time.

So how does this apply to my friend the Battle Wagon? Well I was arming it to the teeth with tons of upgrades thinking that I would drive forward, drop off troops, and shoot the tar out of my opponent. This in and of itself was terribly flawed thinking. The reason was that it was so expensive that I could only take one Battle Wagon, and so on turn one my Battle Wagon was a fire magnet/ points sink.

This has inspired me to revise how I look at the Battle Wagon. The Battle Wagon is not a tank; it is an infantry support vehicle. Let us take a close look at the upgrades it can be given and it will become painfully obvious how to use this vehicle.

Shooty Weapons
The Battle Wagon has a wide array of weapons available. What should be considered is the range on most of them. The Big Gunz and Big Shootas have comparable ranges. They can hit targets out to 36”. The Kill Kannon and Rokkit Launchas can strike targets out to 24”. The significance here is 24” is too short when it comes to ranges. Almost every army in the game will have longer range artillery/ heavy weapons and they will stomp the Battle Wagon into the ground.

If you were to take the maximum shooty weapon load out for the equally ranged weapons then you would be paying the following: 35 points for 36” ranged weapons and 100 points for all 24” weapons.

Choppy Weapons/ Upgrades
This is where the Battle Wagon gets ugly. The Def Roller, Wrecking Ball, Boarding Plank, and Grabbin’ Klaw make the Battle Wagon a juggernaut. These weapons exceed the strength of the shooting weapons, and are comparatively cheaper than the shooting weapons. They also give the Battle Wagon the ability to inflict major damage on opponent tanks and vehicles. The cheaper cost of these upgrades gives an Ork player the chance to have more battle wagons in their force.

Me Orky No Wat’s
Either option for the Battle Wagon is perfectly acceptable. If you are going to upgrade the guns to be Kill Kannon and Rokkits then by no means should this vehicle consider transport duties. It must shoot every turn and move as little as possible. Once your opponent has knocked the ordinance weapon off then it can be a transport, but not until it has been relieved of its ordinance weapon.

This battle wagon will excel at infantry support. What I mean is primary targets for this tank should be soft juicy infantry models, and not tanks. Let your opponent sweat the decision to target your Wagon or your Boyz, and let your wagon pummel your opponent’s infantry with high-AP-insta-kill goodness. The Shooty Wagon will run from 150 to 270 points, but that depends on the options and weapons you put on it.

For this warlord, my money is on the Choppy Wagons. I think that their ability to get the boyz to their destination will be invaluable. I also think that their ability to engage close-by targets will increase their threat ability. The big consideration is that fully loaded out for close up duties, with infantry killing guns, only costs at most 175 points. A lower cost will allow you to take two of them. Two Wagons will ensure that you will be able to use them beyond turn 1. Failing that, you will have distracted a lot of fire from your advancing horde.

When I utilized a little point manipulation I figure that I will be able to take two Battle Wagons in a 2000 point game.

So before you throw your Battle Wagons onto the field, take a look at what you want them to do. I feel that by avoiding MPD, and specifically tasking your Battle Wagons, you will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year Plans

Many websites and blogs run a New Year or year in review post of some variety, so I’ve decided that I should reflect on what happened for me this last year in gaming and let my readers know what is going on for the upcoming year.

2007 in review
This last year has been a big year for me. We will start with the release of the Empire Army book for Warhammer Fantasy. The release of this marked the beginning of a year filled with all sorts of new releases for me.

Immediately on the heels of that book came Codex: Dark Angels. I was mildly entertained that my two longest running armies had back to back releases. I was pleased with both books and have had a lot of fun playing them.

2007 also saw the release of Apocalypse, which I strongly feel is demonstrating the future direction that Games Workshop is going. So far, the games of Apocalypse that I have been a party to have been fun, which is where I think GW is going. This new addition to the game has allowed many of us to dust off our Armorcast Super Heavy Tanks and Titans. It has also encouraged me to begin the fine art of scratch building, which has been fun and challenging.

Plans for 2008
I’ll start off with the biggest plan for 2008. It will be that I will be graduating from the University of Texas in the summer. What this means is that while school is on I know I will be posting less. With family, school, and hobby, it will be the last that takes the back seat first. However I did accomplish a lot last semester with hobby stuff so we will see how it goes. I think that video blogging might save my keester and alow me to do some more blogging.

My scratch building plans are going to include some Stompas, finishing my first Battle Wagon, making a second Battle Wagon, and detailing the Thunderbolt. I also really want to get to work on painting my Orks.

Finally, as long as there is going to be prize support for our tournaments in town I would like to try and bulk out my Nids and Orks with newer models by attending as many Tourneys as I can.

Well there you have it. Looks like an exciting year!
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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Video Blog From Dragon's Lair Tourney

This is my first attempt at video blogging. I understand that each clip is a bit short however they were made on the fly during the Dragon's Lair Tourney. Each clip is a per round basis and each one gives a quick synopsis about what was going on during the Tourney. Tell me what you think.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sheet Styrene Unwrapped

After some feedback on the Thunderbolt WIP I thought that it would be useful to reveal some of my sheet styrene techniques. I teach better through showing rather than writing, so if this is too confusing please contact me and we can get together here in Austin and I will show off these secrets.

With any scratch building project you will always need plans and/ or scale patterns from which you will base your project. As I said in my WIP article I found the pattern for the Thunderbolt on the Table Top War website. However in time I will become more adventurous and turn out a Warlord Titan with plans, but until then I’m going to stick with the project at hand. For this entire project I used Evergreen sheet styrene products. Evergreen sheet styrene can be picked up at any Hobby Town, or your local hobby store. (If you live in Austin, TX try Kings Hobby.)

With any sheet styrene project always use plastic cement. It will give you a better bond and results. I have, in the past, used Zap-A-Gap on sheet styrene and have been severely disappointed. I suggest using Testors Model Master Cement, or LiquaWeld. Both are fine products that basically weld your plastic pieces together.

What helped the Thunderbolt turn out as well as it did was the most basic angle in any construction project: 90°. What I did was print the pattern out in paper and test fit the entire pattern. Since paper is cheap and easy to work with it gave me a good idea where I would find all of the areas where two sheets, or a fold, would make 90°.

Here is why: Once you have made a three sided box structure all of your other joins to that box will be made easier. On the Thunderbolt’s nose section I joined the 90° joints first which made all of the other joints fall in line. Also it is much easier to join squared up objects with each other than trying to fit individual sheets together

Since this pattern was originally designed as a card stock “tape and fold” project I utilized a thinner stock of sheet styrene so that I would have very little adjustments to make in the pattern. The thicker you go with sheet styrene the more adjustments you will have to make. For example the vertical stabilizer, wings, and elevators use a thicker stock of styrene than the rest of the aircraft. But since they were static pieces I could use a thicker sheet without affecting the overall pattern or build.

As for the “how to make 90°” I will explain with illustrations.

Our first illustration, I think, shows it fairly simply. If we were to use an Evergreen “L” bend strip we are able to quickly and easily obtain the desired 90°. First what you would do is glue the L bend with the side that will be mounting flush with the second sheet. After about a minute or so, when you glue has basically set, apply glue to your L Bend and sheet and mount flush with your other sheet. Now this isn’t the technique I used because I needed some rigidity to the joints, which gives us illustration two.

Illustration 2 and 3 is how I made the joins between the sheets. I used the machined edges of a rectangular rod to create my 90° joins. After that I clipped the lengths I needed with my handy spru cutter, and then I followed the steps for gluing like with Illustration 1.
Illustration 3 is how I made the tail section. The tail section had very few 90° joins so I scored the plastic lightly, enough that it would bend then I set the angle and then glued the piece to straddle the joint. Illustration 3 shows glue in the joint, which I had to do when the plastic bend would break. It did twice for me so you will find you will need to glue the join. With the technique you also need to be incredibly careful not to use too much glue because if there is too much glue in the empty space the drying glue will draw the thinned sheet plastic toward the structural member.

Ok well that does it for now. If you have any other questions post them here and I will try and answer them.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thunderbolt WIP

I was so excited about completeing the air frame of my Thunderbolt that I had to get these Pics up. The template I used was from Table Top War. These templates were more for paper, but with creativity and Evergreen Sheet Styrene I turned out the basic frame for my Thunderbolt. The materials ran about $10, which will allow me to do more than one project. (Before anyone extols the virtues of "For Sale" signs at The Home Depot; all I will say is that The Home Depot doesn't provide any helpful hints on scratch building models like the local train/ model shop.)

This is stage one. I still have gap filling, body work, and weapon systems to do. Overall I am happy with how this turned out since this is my second scratch built vehicle that I have ever done. Here are some more pics I hope you enjoy.

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