Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Nerdvana and the Great Game parts 3 and 4

I'm acutely aware that this post is really very late (the event happened over a month ago) but life has gotten in the way of anything even remotely fun and interesting so now I write my blogs on the commute to and from work. Well at least I do now that I'm no longer needing to power nap there and back.

So April 6th (told you it was overdue) saw the #WS10 gaming group descend on Warhammer World along with several other gaming groups from around the West Midlands for a huge play off. Originally intended to be an inter-group tournament, people on the teams being unable to make it meant that the teams would have been uneven and the event turned into an almost free play against anyone available which ended up being a lot of fun. I was able to play a grudge match against Stuart's Astra Militarum (under the 5th edition codex as the new one wasn't released) and then played against someone totally new who used the mortal enemy of any daemon: Grey Knights. 

Before I get into the details of the matches I have to say that I was both impressed and a little underwhelmed by by the place at the same time. I'll get the negatives out of the way first because there aren't that many; firstly I always thought the place was bigger (still pretty big but much like my models I always thought it would be bigger, maybe I have a thing about size) and secondly I did expect the shop to have things the normal shops don't have what with it being in the middle of the production centre. Probably a good thing though as I'd have spent far too much money. So now the negative thoughts are out of the way, time for the positives!!! Even if I expected it to be bigger the place was still pretty damn big. The gaming hall had so many tables in it it's almost unbelievable and once we got there and the day progressed I was surprised to see that there were still available tables considering how many people there were in the gaming hall. 

Another awesome feature of Warhammer World was the miniatures gallery which is basically a room with the walls lined with display cases that are (usually) filled with all the minis in the GW range. I'll include some pictures of this a little later but I should warn you that I just took pictures of the models I liked so there's certainly nothing of the Imperium in there (though it's been so long I can't actually remember exactly what I snapped besides the obvious). 

The whole point of the trip though was the battling and boy did I battle! The first match I played was against Stuart and his Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum. As with our first match we decided to forget objectives and funky deployment zones and just decided to smack each other around to see who can kill the most stuff. I much prefer that to counting victory points and holding objectives as it's far more pleasing to Khorne. Now I know I should give a blow by blow here of what happened in each turn but it was over a month ago and I've been to bed since then so instead I'll do Stu a favour and link you to his pretty awesome report of our battle (you're welcome dude).

Just as a quick summary though, the first turn saw me keep a decent percentage of my forces in reserve so what was on the board did get smacked pretty hard. Oh I should say that my list for this was quite experimental as I chose units that a) I've never played before and b) don't get played often in the YouTube videos I watched (and I watched a lot). I borrowed a Soul Grinder from Nick (cheers dude!!), I used Daemonettes, my Skull Cannon and switched back to my good old Great Unclean One. I don't care if he stinks like a slaughterhouse in the middle of a hot summers day, I love that little rotting pus sack. Even without Iron Arm he was still stupidly hard to wound (love it). My Skull Cannon was fantastic and wiped out a whole unit on it's own in one hit which was awesome. The Soul Grinder was pretty damn cool too so I'll be looking at getting me one of those I think and even my Thousand Sons were pretty awesome; they holed up in a building and what couldn't be reached with a Bolter got blasted by psychic powers which was then backed up with the Pink Horrors. So much psychic death!! My Heldrake and Daemon Prince worked together to vector strike many many units and my Daemonettes with their Herald (wielding a lash of torment) glanced a chimaera to death and then charged the surviving crew. The Warp Storm Table as always provided some support which was pretty cool and I realised that I dislike plasma weapons immensely as I didn't get a single shot off with my plasma gun on my CSMs. Oh yeah, the score for my Daemons v Stu's AM currently stands at 2-0 to me. 

My second match of the day was against the dreaded Grey Knights. Now I could have refused to play and I was given the choice but I wanted to play to see what I could do after warming up against Stu. Now before I go into this, I must remind you that my list was very experimental without much real thought about taking on more competitive lists and the list I took on was very much tailored to a tournament style of play. I was more concerned with learning the capabilities of my units than with playing to kill but even so I don't think the game was that much of a crushing defeat and in fact I walked away from that table with my head held high and I learned a lot about my own units in the process. For starters I learned just how truly devastating the Skull Cannon can be after it managed to scatter and struck my Daemonettes and Herald which inevitably killed the entire unit just before they could charge anything. :( *sigh*. I guess Khorne's hatred for Slaanesh won out over killing a blob of Grey Knights. I got them eventually with my Heldrake which performed admirably and killed something each turn from the moment it flew on the table in turn 2 to the moment it finally got blown up in turn 4. My Thousand Sons weathered a lot of firepower as well, though my Aspiring Sorcerer did fall prey to one of those psychic missile things from his flier. Which he had two of but kept one for anti air and one for anti infantry. He had two dread knights too and my soul grinder took one on and while it did get blown to bits it had done enough damage to take the knight down with him. Not ideal as I still had two fliers to deal with but I was pleased that he was one evil hard to kill thing down. My Horrors did reasonably well too considering that Grey Knights have a nasty habit of denying the witch a lot and they took out a few models too. In the end though I did get completely hammered when he trapped me in a corner with nothing but two units of Horrors and their accompanying Herald. No amount of Divination and Warp Storm was going to win it when it got to that point but I waited until the very end so as not to deny my opponent the sweet joys of totally tabling me. Which he did.

This game taught me more about what my units are capable of than my victory did as I saw what happens when Daemons are overwhelmed and what a single mistake can cost in terms of winning and losing. The first mistake I made in that respect was that in the turn that my Great Unclean One hit the board I should have deployed the Portalglyph but I forgot and almost lost the opportunity to do so in the assault phase.  Another such mistake was that I constantly forgot to cast prescience on my Horrors so while I did get an extra dice worth of shots I think I would have done more damage overall with re rolling failed hits. I also learned that the Daemons are horribly susceptible to the weapons that the Grey Knights have as my Daemon Prince and Plague Bearers discovered when they were wiped out all too quickly. My Thousand Sons again held up quite well but in turn 4 they got in the way of a charge and were killed outright with a multiple charge. I'd seen those in the videos online but it was interesting to see how it works in practice, even if it was against my beautiful Daemons.

Of course with the new edition coming out and the new psychic phase (which I've already talked about) and the new Unbound army concept I'm pretty sure that the way I play is going to change and that most of my learning and experimenting will go out of the window while I figure out my style. I imagine I'll stay Psyker heavy but who knows? I guess we'll find out...

Edit: I've found some images of my battle with Stuart so I'll post those soon :)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hel Rising Pt 3

Welcome back to the final part of my three part look at the new (well not so much now but hair splitting much?) Helbrute dataslate. In the first part we looked at the rather versatile Helcult and the potentially devastating Mayhem Pack came in the second part which leaves this part to be dedicated to the Helfist Murderpack. Let's just ignore the name, it's not great but the formation is pretty funky as we'll see.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Age of the Psyker

I'm aware that a few of you may be waiting for the third part of my Helbrute series (which I will finish soon I promise) but I have to report my thoughts on the new Psychic Phase that has been confirmed as an addition to the game we love. I'm aware this is probably old news to most of you but I guess you could call this an editorial on the subject.

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