Friday, August 14, 2009

Apocalypse Battle

So I played my second game of Apocalupse this past Sunday with Kris from over at Riders of the Cosmic Serpent. He's had his Phatom Titan for about a year now, and I wanted to give him a reason to use it, so we dida 4000 point Apocalypse battle, and had agreed on 2 Strategic Assets each.

Getting ready for the match, I knew he was going to bring the Titan, and likely one, if not both of his Phoenix jets. Beyond that, since he's a long time Saim-Hann player, so I expected a Wind Rider Formation, and possibly some other troops. So going into the game, my thought was to put 3 triple Lance Ravagers in a Titan Hunter formation to help deal with the Titan, and any extra Dark Lances to help the cause as well. I'd try and take out the flyers with my Splinter Raide formation on the turn they came in, since they counted as flyers, and I wouldn't loose the 12" to shoot them. I wanted to try the Karnival of Pain, so I dropped it in and let it eat up it's points as well. After that I went back and filled in points with Lelith and a retinue and 2 squads of wyches, a couple Talos, some Warrior squads on foot with Dark Lances, and Asdrubael Vect.

Now since most of my Raiders were used, I knew a large portion of my army wasn't going to be as mobile as I wanted to be, the first Asset I took was Webway Assault. This let me deep strike 3 webway portals onto the table, and I could move into one and out of another to get a unit wherever they were needed. For my second Asset, I knew my Splinter Raid Force already counted as 12" further away since they'd be flyers the turn they came in, so I decided I'd throw Nightshields on all the Raiders as well, this meant if he was over 18" away, he couldn't shoot me. Generally, that's not that big an advantage in Apocalypse where range starts being measured in feet, so to counteract that I took the Lords of Twilight. This made the turn Night Fight on one of the opponents shooting phase. I figured since most stuff would be 12+ inches away, he'd need to roll atleast a 7 or better on his nightfight roll to be able to see the Splinter Raid.

So Sunday roles around and after our little terrain fiasco, we got down to playing our game. We ended up on a 12 x 5 board, with only 2 larger pieces of terrain. The thought was, it wasn't going to save me much against flyers and titans. So Kris surprised me a bit, by bringing an all vehicle army, not a mech army, all vehicles, not a single infantry model in the list, and no troops. Which meant it was my game to loose. His list consisted of the Phantom and 2 Phoenix jets, his Scorpion super heavy tank, and a Cloudstrike formation of Fire Prisms. I was expecting a good game, and it was. He took the Careful Planning and Flank March assets, and put his whole army in reserve and gave me first turn. This allowed him to bring on up to half his reserves the first turn, and could come on from any table edge. The first turn saw the Titan and the Cloudstrike formation come on opposite corners of the board, the Titan laid loose on some infantry and my Talos, and the Cloudstrike used the focused beam to kill all 3 Ravagers with a D hit. It looked pretty grim at that point, his trick had worked nicely. Luckily, I brought in my Splinter Raid, and focused on the Cloudstrike formation. I managed to kill one Fire Prism and shake another, then on his turn dodged retribution with my Lords of Twighlight asset. It was bloody battle, and in the end his titan ended up with no weapons, thanks in part to warriors with Dark Lances and Lelith in close combat. Kris will be putting up a full video on his site in the coming weeks, so keep and eye on it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Poof Gone!

So a small backstory first. Our local club has struggled to find decent cheap places to play for the last couple years, and the players longer than that since the local store moved to a very small space and basically gave up on GW and stocking 40k/Fantasy with any regularity. That being said, after troubles with a couple other places because of distance and price increases, we had settled in at the local college. We have a great space in their coffee shop, and had a locker rented to help store some of the terrain and battle mats to minimize transport.

Now the astute reader will notice the change in tense half way through that last sentence. Our club was in for a shock when we showed up this past Sunday, our terrain locker was locked, and none of the security guards or janitors there had any idea why. They were great, as they always are with us, and checked their logs to see if they could tell if it had been emptied, but they had nothing showing that. This was twice as puzzling since we had the locker rented until September anyhow.

Monday roles around, and after a visit to the local college, we find out that the locker was emptied, and because whomever emptied it deemed it non-valuable, virtually all of our gaming gear was thrown away; how they didn't atleast see it as diorama work is a mystery since there were similar items in displays just down the hall. Luckily, nobody stored any types of models in there, and most of the stuff was home made terrain donated by various players. Out of everything we had, we got back a box of objective markers(likely because it was in a box and rattled), and 4 of the small plastic ruins from the old 3rd edition box set. Apparently a notice was put up for a week and it was cleaned out after that(we are only there every other week, and only in on weekends), but nobody contacted the leader. Why? Well, it seems the clerical book keeping for lockers is horrendous to begin with, and to make matters worse, when we last renewed our time, they were having computer issues and our contact information wasn't properly entered into the system when it came back up.

So we are out probably $300 worth of materials and such, plus time and labour to make everything. To make it better, we are getting the run around about any kind of compensation from the college, basically because nobody has any authority or takes any pride in their job, you know the type of business. We could chase them down on it, but as I said in the beginning, we've had troubles finding space, and we all really like the space we currently have, and the people we deal with on the weekends are great. So at this point, a few of us are diverting most of our attention to terrain(myself included) and we've learned our lesson, and will be much more thorough in dealing with the book keeping people and will not be retaining a locker again.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Army Builder V3.2 releases

So apparently Lone Wolf Development finally pushed out the V3.2a of Armybuilder. You can visit them and get the new version here.

There are alot of interesting little changes that should be fun to play with. Such as PDF files for army lists, and support for phone displays. The overall new layout is very nice.

I noticed right away that they have a nice new skin selection at the bottom of the game selection panel. My first thought was to make a custom skin for our club. I'll definitely work with that later.

Since I was getting ready for a potential Apocalypse match this weekend, I was looking at the daunting task of figuring out what models I need for my 4000 point "raid" force. Luckily, my newest favorite feature is helping out. That's right, a model list. You can take any file and save a model list for it. This takes all squads of the same type and lumps them together and indicates how many of a model it needs in a breakdown.

For example

20 Warrior Squad
16 Warrior Squad - Splinter Rifle
4 Warrior Squad - Dark Lance

30 Raider Squad
21 Raider Squad - Splinter Rifle; Blaster; Splinter Cannon
6 Raider Squad - Blaster; Splinter Cannon
3 Sybarite - Agoniser; Splinter Pistol; Combat Drug Dispenser

The raider squads are a little odd to read, but I suspect that is more because of the data file than the version. Still, much easier than trying to tally them myself.

Go take a look and feel free to share anything you find that's interesting.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What are Dark Eldar?

So I lurk on a number of different 40k boards with Dark Eldar subforums. I generally try and put in my 2 cents whenever I see someone asking about Dark Eldar. But for as much I play them, I find it's always a difficult to answer when someone asks, "what are Dark Eldar? How do they play?" I find that the first and most obvious answer is speed. They are fast, and use a great deal of movement. But that always seems so inadequate. They are more than that, but it's hard to explain.

So the question came up, and I tried to explain them as best I could for a beginner, but as I was doing it I was struck by a profound though. My Dark Eldar aren't only fast, they are a countering army. When I thought more about how I play my army, and how I build my armylists, I realized I put in certain units to deal with particular units my opponent may bring. Not in the 'I'm fighting Tyranids, load up on flamers' tailoring that you see from things like marines. But more in the contingency type of be prepared planning.

For example, I put in a squad of wyches. My plan for them, send them against the opponents best CC unit, and neutralize them. If I can send in a support unit to finish that combat. Put in some triple dissie Ravagers to take care of large infantry squads. Drop a couple twin Dark Lance warrior squads in to take care of armour. Slot in a Talos to take care of any heavy hitting stuff the Lances can't. Throw in a couple Haemonculus to destructor any castling units, regardless of their armour save. Then make sure there are a couple all purpose Raider squads, possibly to accompany one of those Haemonculus.

No matter what my opponent puts on the table, I expect to have something to counter or neutralize it. I think the only exception to that is psykers. Even that is more because I choose not to use the campy gear like the Crucible of Maledictions. But every army has to have a weakness right? Honestly, how often is an army going to have so many psykers that I'll be in that much trouble right?