Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Ambrosial Christmas

Christmas holidays at last. I'm taking some time off to work on my super-secret new Doubles army along with Matt. We've dreamt up a bizarre double-team that's in some ways a 40K ménage à trois. It's all very idyllic at the moment, with phonecalls co-ordinating the two forces' colour schemes and dicscussions about how the forces will tactically complement each other - but that's bound to go out the window as pre-tornie panic sets in. Actually, there's only two more weekends until the Doubles. Oh no, panic's kicked in now.

Matt pointed out on the Dice Not Blog that the Host from yesterday's Doctor Who Christmas special reminded him of the classic Blood Angels captain.

Blood Angels Captain looks like Doctor Who villain yes?

Uncanny hmmm?

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Posted by Curis at 9:55 pm

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Armageddon Bound

This last month I've been playing an awful lot of Battle for Armageddon. It was one of the three "Wargame Series" boardgames released by Games Workshop in the early 90's (the others being Horus Heresy and Doom of the Eldar).

But it's not a proper copy, I downloaded it from Games Workshop's site and printed it off. It was originally stuck up on the site back in 2000 as part of the hype surrounding the Third War for Armageddon campaign. But with the new Ork Codex round the corner Jerv's drawn our attention back to the ability to download and print off our own copies. You can get it from Games Workshop here.

Battle for Armageddon by Games Workshop/  Let's you even fight as Squats.

It's a bit of a bitch to assemble. Rather than put any thought into digitising the game, it was just scanned in warts and all. (One of the Ork Strategy Cards reads "BUILDING AND MOVMENT" - which I love.) Then, whichever bright spark chopped up the board made all the pieces different sizes. And cropped off some of the edges. And the counters don't line up.

But hey, it was free. What do you expect?

It's a great little tactical game, with a surprising amount of depth. You have to think ahead, like Gothic and Aeronautica. You choose Strategy cards detailing what four actions your counters will make in the coming turn, without knowing what your opponent's are, or what who'll play theirs first. It can also form the bases for a tightly-structured 40K and Epic campaign, which is interesting.

With my post-GT 40K funk it's been a great game to bring along and play. As it's just a folded card map and a bag of counters I'll be keeping it in my gaming satchel for those nights I can't find a board.

But that's not the best bit. In the Chaos Attack supplement it lets you play as Squats. Corr!

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Posted by Curis at 3:49 pm

Monday, 17 December 2007

Aeronautica Aliquantulorum

At the Club Challenge last year I treated myself to an box of Eldar Aeronautica Imperialis. They're gorgeous, and I've been taking my time painting them in a crimson Void Dragon scheme.

Damned small.

I swear these were dust-free when I photographed them. These ships are freaking tiny, what you see in the photo above is smaller than my thumbnail. The wings are literally paper-thin. They flex when you look at them. I'm looking forward to fielding them in Epic or AI.

Luckily Dave challenged me to a game of AI this evening, but he's got Eldar too (gasp). To stop a internecine war I'm going to field ... Squats.

Skimmers?!

I've got a pair of Overlords, a squadron of Iron Eagles and some allied Thunderbolts. No clue what I can do with them, I'll try and wing it.

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Posted by Curis at 12:29 pm

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Apocalypse Then

I had my first game of Apocalypse over the weekend. I took my Squats, who took to the battle alongside Booker's Wulfen (who deployed next to the Squats on account of them both having facial hair), Craig's Cobra Commandoes and Ben's Tank Company.

We faced off against Matt's Night Lords, John's Word Bearers, my loaned Thousand Sons, and Ben's mighty Daemonic Warhound.

In game shot.

Warmaster Gorun attempted a daring manoeuvre to combat this Daemonic Warhound. He tunnelled directly behind it in the incredibly thin strip between the rear armour and the board edge. Luckily the scatter dice came up HIT. (Not so lucky was his lieutenant Magnus Ulthang, who attempted exactly the same tactic but scattered and ended up very dead). Gorun and his command squad were placed in a prime position to deliver a deadly payload!

Gorun versus the titan photo.

No, not Gorun's trusty Boltgun.

No, not the squad's flamer (which was, for the first time ever, in range).

No, not even his medic's laspistol.

Gorun was toting a vortex grenade. How very retro.

With the Imperial forces stripping the engine of its void shields Warmaster Gorun threw his grenade with verve and gusto!

It went horribly wrong, missed, scattered backwards and subsequently sucked the mighty Squat hero into the Warp. No getting back from that with bionics.

Despite that, the Imperial won the day, and much fun was had by all.

Matt's put a full write-up on the Dice Not Blog. Have a read here.

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Posted by Curis at 7:30 am

Monday, 10 December 2007

Post Tournament Funk

There've been no news posts since Heat 3. I've even been getting phone calls from people desperate to know.

Photo of all the lovely tickets.

Turned up Friday afternoon after travelling down with Flame On, and ran straight into Team Ireland. If anyone would be in Bugman's before Flame On it would have to be the Irish. We first met them back in Poland at the European Team Championships. Rog bears an uncanny resemblance to a number of my Squats...

Squat left, Roger right.

I was worried about going against Tau so I played a friendly against Craig with his 13 Crisis Suits. I'm still no clearer on how on Earth majority toughness, casualty removal and drones all mesh together but it was a fun game with a friend over a Guinness.

It was this social side of the tournament I enjoyed the most. Chilling en masse in the bar, playing Risk at Bugman's, rocking out at Rock City stripped to the waist. The weekend was really two nights out interspersed with daytime 40K. As people wanted to qualify for the finals the atmosphere was tense, like an exam hall. Intense concentration with a time limit. Work hard, play hard. Well, er, play 40K hard, play hard.

The Saturday things were looking good, one win, one loss, one draw. I'd triumphed against the dreaded Lash of Submission thanks to Inquisitor Hood and his trusty Psychic Hood. Overnight I was scraping into the bottom of the qualification window and there was everything to play for. Importantly, 3 fun games. Intense, but fun.

Sunday morning. Started with Harelquins in a Holo-Falcon. I hate Holo-Falcons. Well, it actually started in Rock City, but nevermind. I'd managed to infiltrate my Veterans' Lascannons within direct LoS of his stationary Falcons and would have shafted them had I got the first turn. Well, I didn't and I lost horribly. I could no longer qualify. Game over man.

I don't feel to great about my Squats any more. Perhaps I only have myself to blame. Somewhere along the way I destroyed my real Squat army by tuning and optimising the list to compete in the GT environment. Warmaster Gorun, my favourite Squat model ever was left at home with his command squad. My Techpriest Enginseer and his Chimera were left as neither were scoring units. My Mole Mortars Squadron were dropped as they weren't AP3. My Rapier Laser Destroyers were replaced with standard lascannons for fear of being pulled up on WYSIWYG. The army was topped up with models painted in just 3 block colours to meet the minimum painting standard. I squeezed the life out the army, and refused to display it at lunchtimes as I was ashamed.

I had started to embrace the win-at-all-costs mentality, and then failed to win. It's a dangerous path. My Squats will soon retire from the tournament circuit and be replaced with an army that won't be corrupted by the tournament mentality. I'm not cut out for top-end tournament play.

Congratulations to Christian Bale for Best Army. He's White Dwarf's Graphic Designer so he's turbo-cool.

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Posted by Curis at 3:55 am


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