Friday, April 29, 2011

The Kalm has been Blown Away!

This weekend one of the best little tournaments around was scheduled to be held in Huntsville, Alabama.

Yesterday we got this message from the Kalm Organizer - Mr. George Flowers:

As some of you may be aware, much of the southeast area was hit by severe thunderstorms and tornados yesterday. This has left much of north Alabama without power and from what we know right now, we may not have power in Madison County for 4-5 days. There is a press conference scheduled this morning to update us on the power situation.  Certainly the Kalm is secondary to all the damage done and lives lost but we wanted to give you guys an update about the situation. Unless we receive some extraordinary news about power being restored to the area, we will be unable to hold the Kalm this weekend.

That was followed by the formal cancellation this morning.

A good portion of the South and Alabama in particular was DEVESTATED on Wednesday.  The good thing is that I believe all my buddies are ok - just without power for a week or so.  That being said, a lot of peole have lost everything - some even their lives.

Please keep the good folks in Alabama in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dark eldar versus mech Blood Angels * 1000 point batrep

So this afternoon I finally got in a couple of games versus Blood Angels with my dark eldar. This battle report showcases the second battle. Here is my list:

Succubus: haywire grenades, blast pistol & agonizer

10x Warrior inc. Syrabite: blaster, dark lance, venom blade & splinter pistol - raider: flickerfield
10x Warrior inc. Syrabite: blaster, dark lance, venom blade & splinter pistol - raider: flickerfield
10x Warrior inc. Syrabite: blaster, dark lance, venom blade & splinter pistol - raider: flickerfield
5x Wych - raider: flickerfield (Succubus attached to this squad)

Fast Attack
6x Reaver jetbike incl. Arena Champion: 2x heat lance & venom blade

Here is the Blood Angels army to the best of my memory:


5x Assault Marine: flamer - razorback: lascannon & twin linked plasmagun, dozer blades
5x Assault Marine: flamer - razorback: lascannon & twin linked plasmagun, dozer blades
5x Assault Marine: flamer - razorback: lascannon & twin linked assault cannon, dozer blades
5x Assault Marine: meltagun - rhino (Librarian attached to this squad)

Heavy Support
Dreadnaught: pair of twin linked autocannons

Fast Attack
Landspeeder: multi-melta & heavy flamer

Pre Game Analysis
This game was a good test in general versus a heavily mechanized army and I was interested to see how my dark eldar would perform versus the fast Blood Angels. I am an ardent Blood Angels player myself but much prefer to run DoA armies. While razorspam Blood Angels can't out maneuver dark eldar in terms of speed you do have to respect their ability to move 12" with a razorback and still fire a turret mounted weapon. This Blood Angels list has more than enough long range firepower to pop my paper airplanes. On the other hand my dark matter weapons shouldn't have much problems popping those razorbacks and the rhino. Five man assault squads shouldn't be much of a threat in close combat, even versus the Warriors since I'll always be striking first assuming the Warriors don't have to charge into difficult terrain. My plan was simple:

1> Wait to see where the enemy deploys then drop my two objectives far away from them, forcing the Blood Angels to split up if they wanted to attempt to take or contest either.

2> Focus dark matter firepower on the razorbacks and rhinos first, forcing them to foot slog.

3> The Reavers are going to target either the dreadnaught or whirlwind first - whichever is the easiest to reach. The landspeeder is a secondary target for dark matter weapons since it has a heavy flamer - it's armor is no better than my raiders so it shouldn't be a problem either.

Dawn of War

Primary Objective
At the top of our respective second turn each player drops two objective markers which then scatter 2d6" at the beginning of their third turn. If an objective marker scatters then it can mishap. Only scoring units can hold an objective - any unit can contest. The player controlling the most objective markers at the end of the game wins. There was also one bonus point each for destroying the enemy lowest and highest point units.

I had to go second and opted to hold all units in normal reserve. I rolled for combat drugs and got +1WS... Nice as the assault Marines would only be hitting the Succubus on a 5+ in close combat (my favorite result is reroll wounds). There was plenty of terrain on the table and I pretty much require at least 25 percent when I play my dark eldar. The Blood Angels player rolled for the Red Thirst but none of his units succumbed except for the dreadnaught.

1st & 2nd Turns - BA
The Blood Angels player started with his assault Marines in the rhino (Librarian attached) up at the edge of his deployment zone. The rest of his army then rolled onto the table at the start of his first turn using their overcharged engines to move up in support of the command rhino. He then popped smoke on all of his vehicles including the dreadnaught during his second turn and he dropped his two markers in the middle of the table close to his tanks. The whirlwind hung back along his board edge hiding behind a wall. The dreadnaught moved and ran both turns so it was not that far away from his parking lot.

2nd Turn - DE
I rolled for my reserves and in came two squads of Warriors plus the Reaver jetbikes. Everything moved flat-out/turbo boosted across the table using a tall barricade to block off enemy LOS. It was a tight fit but everything was well hidden. The only real threat the following turn would be the whirlwind - I'd just have to hope for a big scatter. I dropped my two markers off to the side of the table beside where my block of dark eldar had moved into place.

3rd Turn - BA
Not much shooting for my opponent as I cut off all of his LOS. The whirlwind took a potshot at my jetbikes but the big blast marker scattered wide. All of his smoke was gone now so in could proceed to light up his armor.

3rd Turn - DE
I rolled for reserves and the rest of my army arrived. The Reavers moved out from behind cover to target the dreadnaught. The newly arrived Wychs' raider moved onto the table in position to target the landspeeder. The newly arrived Warriors' raider moved into position to target the rhino. Both of these raiders were placed such that they would have a 4++ cover save from return fire. My other two raiders moved into positions such that they could both fire the blaster and the raider pintle mounted dark lance - one targeting the razorback with the assault cannon and the other one targeting one of the laserbacks. The Reavers only managed to shake and destroy one of the autocannons on the dreadnaught - not great but not bad either. The Wychs' raider popped the landspeeder. The three mounted Warrior squadrons wrecked the rhino and stunned the razorback with the assault cannon. Note that my Wychs/Sucubbus would be in a position to assault the Librarian and his assault Marines the next turn. All in all a solid round of shooting as most of the Blood Angels transports, along with landspeeder, were either gone up in smoke or could not shoot.

4th Turn - BA
My opponent conceded the game at this point. He said I was well positioned to win the game and he had to leave so he could attend a birthday party for his brother.

Post Game Analysis
I felt like my initial plan had worked rather well - I had managed to cripple most of the Blood Angels long range shooting during the first half of the game without taking any losses in return. The second half of the game would have consisted of finishing off the last of my opponent's vehicles then shooting/assaulting his Marines. Like I said a full squad of Warriors are good match versus squads of five Marines - I can either rapid fire their splinter rifles and charge them with a second unit. The Sucubbus and her Wychs match up very well versus small squads of Marines - the Sucubbus being fairly impervious versus a Marine hitting on 4+ in close combat, her agonizer cuts right through a basic Marines due to her hitting on 3+ in assault, wounding on 4+ with the agonizer which ignores armor saves. My dice were pretty hot and my opponent's cover saves were terrible during the crucial third turn.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kalm Before the Waagh - 2011

The next tournament on the schedule is the mega fun Kalm before the Waagh!  The best little tournament ever!   George "Warboss" Flowers has been running this for several years.  Gotta love a tournament in a bar.

It's a pretty low key affair - so I'm wrestling with what I want to bring.  It's not designed to be a beat face tourney - but it's been a long time since I've done that anyway.

I'm between Dark Angels (which I took last year) and my ATC list which would be Wolves.

More to come!

Book Review: The Fall of Damnos

Ok kids, here is the Bikeninja with another book review. This one revolves around the ever Smurfy UltraMarines led by Captain Cato Sicarius. Reach back in time to when we all marveled over the new Space Marine Codex and we get a blurb about this epic battle. The bad guys are played by the evil Necrons. SPOILER ALERT: READ AT OWN RISK (Both the book and this review) The Story

I enjoyed reading the short story in the Space Marine Codex more than I enjoyed reading this book. The book only tells about the first three quarters of story. So at the end of the book you are left completely hanging if you haven’t read the little two page blurb in the Space Marine Codex. You have two stories going on at once and neither befits the noble Ultramarines. The parts I really wanted to read about I did not get. This is a major let down and for me clouded the entire book. The Writing

For a book I did not like, the writing was good. I like Nick Kyme , this is not his best work though. The book had a good flow and was easy to follow. The fight scenes were graphic , as can be expected from a Black Library novel. The characters were a little on the weak side. You see the mighty Space Marines experience a lot of human emotions that one could debate should not be there. The other interesting thing is the portrayal of the Necrons. Far different than anything else that I have read. This could well be foreshadowing into the direction the Necrons will take upon their re-release.

Final Rating

I am giving this one a 3 out of 5 it has some good and it has some bad. I am not a fan of the portrayal of the 2nd Company. For military geniuses they sure do not act like it. Sicarius does nothing for me. Any Captain that requires a full 10 man Command Squad is a sissy. (Personal Statement There) The Necrons I find interesting. Their new slant and introduction to some new special characters should make their new Dex interesting. Lets pray Matt Ward has nothing to do with their fluff as the Necrons could see their fluff ruined like the Grey Knights. If you are a true Ultramarines fan then you have already read this one. If not and you have nothing else to read. I would recommend it only under those circumstances.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heroes of Armageddon

Well Al has been after me to start posting on his blog and what better way to start posting then with a charity!!! Heroes of Armageddon is a charity give away where several well known painters put their own time and money into building armies and ask for support. This year we are building and painting 4 3000 point armies from the Armageddon battle. The armies will be given away at Games Day this year and because this is a give away the more you support the more chances to win. All proceeds go to the Doctors Without Borders Charity. Follow the link for all the details. I will try to get Al to put up the scripting for the Paypal link.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adepticon 2011 - Team Tournament

This year we again attended Adepticon.  My Battle Brothers Sabote, Corwindal, and Gimli have been hitting this up for three years (four for Gimli and I).  Last year we managed 6th place overall - up from middle of the pack the first two years.   We wanted to try and improve on that this year.

On Thursday we setup up our base display board. Our resident master modeler Todd did a phenomenal job on it. Had a little bit of issue with the size of the board and the Table we had - but Gimli to the rescue and we had a new table that worked great. Spent the rest of Thursday evening putting together our banner pole, fluff display and the like.

Saturday was the big day - up at 5:30 to get down in time to grab chow and get the stuff setup. Hall opens at 7'sh.

Our basic breakdown of roles and responsibility. Sabote paints our army and wins all his games, Matt had responsibilty for display board and winning most of his games, Gimli helps where needed is kinda our mechanical engineer guy - figures out the things like making the table work etc - along with winning most of his games, I do the paperwork and fluff stuff - provide the BS - and try not to make us lose any games.

Sabote, Gimli, and Corwindal setup the board, army and display things - I go get us registered, then do my mother hen annoying thing to them making sure we got everything set. They did a fantastic job. We had a trifold display with pictures of dead smurfs, a newpaper layout that talked about the smurf tragedy, put up wanted posters for a few guys that we had decided were responsible (Kenny and Rob B from Wrecking Crew, Sparks for Toledo, and Shaun Kemp from da Boyz - kill their commander in a game and get a BNB poker chip), etc. Hung out by the table to do our PR work and get ready for judging. We had a lot of walk by admirations and pictures taken of the table.

Judging goes pretty well - we had a strong theme this year - all the flyers, banners, etc - Along with a movie I showed on my tablet. Painting was high (although I thought we should have scored higher in all honesty), we have good fluff, - Step 1 complete with high marks I think.

Spend some time wandering around and checking out the armies. You will never see as incredible of a display of modeling talent in our hobby as you will at this event. People go all out and have incredible talents.

Now the real games begin.

Game 1 - vs Rusty Scabbard team.

Great guys from Lexington KY. They were playing bugs - each list had two Tervigons - pooping bugs out at an amazing rate each turn. Our teams broke with Brian and I together and Matt/Gimli. First part of our game went smoothly - with Sabote orchestrating and me following along. Then I got to witness and be part of something special. About turn 3 - Sabote whispers to me - next turn - we multicharge them across the board with everything. Ok....this will be interesting. So we slam into them with all we have - hitting about 6 squads of guants and one or two big bugs. We both roll well....doing a crap ton of wounds across a cc line that spanned over 2 feet in total length I think. They hit back and we take little to no wounds. We win combat by 24 - they are in synapse - so each squad takes 24 more saves. Whammo! 1 guy is tabled and other guy is down to 2 squads with less than 5 gaunts each and one tervy left. Max points for us - Gimli and Matt pull close to that in their game. They were top knotch guys - took their beatings like men and gave us max points. The multi charge move was one of the coolest I've seen - pure beauty and Sabote had set them up for it from Turn one. That's why he be de Warmaster!

Game Two - we draw the guys from Atlanta - team ATL - Walter, Brian and a couple other guys. They have Blood Angles and Bugs. Matt and I team up against Walt and Naif. We chuckle that yet again Sabote has to play against Brian White in another tourney. Mission is table quarters and VP. We dance around for a few turns - I push against the BA guy - engage against one of his squads. Matt holds against the Bugs (Walt). We get a break where Matt ties up most of the bugs with his Termies. I go drop the BA landrainder that has a libby and honor guard. My Captain and command squad kill them off. Game gets really tactical now - they are trying to squeek a win - we are holding on - at the end Matt beats back the bugs - I table the BA guy - Matt has a command token to seal the win for us. Major victory for us - Gimli and Sabote do the same.

So 1/2 way through we are looking good!

Game three has us against a team from Wisconsin running marine variants. Gimli and I are teamed up - we face a list of shrike + 10 th/ss termies + a tactical squad and scouts and a list of 8 termies with crusader+ scouts + plus some librarian guy from Imperial Armor who gets a 2+invul and can do three powers per turn. One of them had a thunderfire cannon as well. We are hurting in this game. I sacrifice my lone attack bike to try and take out the crusader before it can advance - hit it - roll the 6 for pen - then roll....a one....crap! they come over and kill a bunch of my stuff. the other big foot squad advances towards us - things are looking grim. But - then Gimli comes up with a great plan that we work out together. I can turbo up my command squad up and take one of the big objectives on their side. My other squad can turbo up to hold one of ours. Gimli can contest the one on our side they hold. If the game ends on turn 5 - we pull a minor win. Everything is going good - but unfortunately Gimli overheats a plasma and dies, then drifts a frag over to his squad and loses another guy - rolls a ten for leadership and runs off board. Sigh - bad luck sometimes strikes. Then fortune shines - the guy rolls a one for game to continue - and it's over. We have tie straight down the board - but with pretty high points count for the extra objectives. Gimli's plan worked - well done my buddy roo! Funny though - we had a great game with these guys - went to bar and had a beer afterwards - but they only gave us average sportsmanship. Something about them "making a point" with the tournament organizers about sportsmanship scoring. That's all fine - just wish they wouldn't do it in a game where it hurts another team. Sigh.... Sabote and CD do about the same in their game. Overall still setting good going into last round.

Game Four - vs another team from Wis. running Battlewagon/Truck orks/lootas + Nob Biker and Truck orks. We go with Matt and I on one team and Gimli/Brian on the other. Mission gives kill points, but only from 1/2 of the army - chosen by opponents. They pick matt - we pick the nob bikers. Game is basically a manuever fest. We get down a kill point by Loota's sniping lone attack bike. We are tracking for a loss - so time for desperation move - I turbo command squad into the center of the board on turn 4 - they either deal with it - or next turn I WILL kill things. Them assault me with meganobz and a truck mob from the non kp giving half of the list + nob bikers and warboss from the KP half. I am able to get my Captain and two marines in BTB with his warboss. They need to cowboy up to get the kp back. I get smashed and roll well to survive between armor/invuls/and FNP saves. Captain does 2 wounds to warboss - powerfist takes the last. Whew! saved. That was pretty much the rest of the game - we pull another draw. Sabote and Gimli do well in there game - although it was tight.

You have seen the final scores. We were highest scoring team not to win anything again. From 6th last year to 4th this year. I guess in 2013 we will win it all!

High points for me:

#1) Hanging with my best buds and playing as a team. So much fun to play with you guys!

#2) the overall pagentry that the team tournament brings out - can't emphasize enough how amazing it is

#3) The amazing multi charge!

#4) Watching us pull some tough wins/draws out of what looked like losses.

Other things were the amount of heads that Sabote's Khan took - think he had like 2 Trygons, 3 Tervigons, an ork warboss and a couple of space marines to add to the trophy case. Looking over in game one and seeing Matt's ten terminators literally SURROUNDED by a sea of orks and Gimli just shaking his head. Somehow you guys pulled that out and got a major win.

Anyhows - that's my story for this year's team.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Left Behind

This is the Big Weekend!!! The one that gamers all over the country are waiting for. Adepticon. There are guys and gals who have hit this tourney from first to current. There are gamers that have only ever been to one and talk about it like visiting the Holy Land. Nothing creates more interweb controversy then drama at Adepticon. Probably because nothing compares.

It is not a tournament, though there is plenty of that. It is not a convention though it has all the earmarks of one. No, Adepticon is more than this. Adepticon is an experience. You cannot come out of Adepticon and not be a better gamer, hobbiest, painter or yes, even person. Some of the most mind blowing creations can be seen to inspire you to new heights of creativity. Games that aboslutely bring out the tactical mindset needed to compete. Oppurtunities to demonstrate unparalelled sportsmanship in the face asshatery. All this and so much more.

I have been once. The only thing keeping from it this year is a beautiful baby girl who is 10 days old and needs her daddy. A wife who this day is right now preparing to defend her Doctorial Project. Family first. There is always next year.

Perhaps the most enjoyable thing though is the people. Wow are there some really great people to meet and play with. In the combat patrol last year, the final guy I beat we both went out and I bought him a beer and we talked through the awards ceremony. Lots of fun. Better than that is buddy's you go with. No one goes to Adepticon alone. It is rule somewhere I think. Hanging with your friends telling war stories, supporting your buddies through defeat. Hanging out late at night eating really good pizza.

Adepticon is an experience. It is fun. I am already counting the days till next year. Saving up. Preparing for a trip with buddies to achieve another memorable experience. In the years to come it will only get better. I have two sons who will one day join me on this trek if they so choose. I cannot wait.

To the Blade n Bolter Boyz at Adepticon: Play hard, Represent, drink one for those that could not make it. And most important of all...Have Fun!!!