Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week ending update

No news, that I see at least, but I did get a new game!

Battle for Baghdad from MCS Group. It's a 3-6 player game covering the difficult military/political system in Baghdad from 2003-2008.

Hopefully, I'll get this baby on the table this Saturday, and may actually play some wargames, meaning I'll have a post with real content and pictures!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So I played two games at the Glen Burnie Battle Bunker on Saturday, and as is always the case, we had a few spectators to watch each game.

During the first game, one of the random guys hanging around stood in the middle of Frans' side of the board, made a few comments about his army composition, picked up and read (silently) Frans' army list, and was actually enough in the way that he disrupted Frans' game.

During the second game, we had between 2 and 5 different people standing around at all times, commenting, chatting, occasionally correcting rules (which is totally fine, since my 40K rules knowledge sucks), and so on.

Now, both my opponents, Frans, and Matt, found this extremely frustrating. Matt almost snapped at a couple of them. I just don't get it.

When I started playing GW games, we ended up playing in a guy's basement or one of the college lounges, anywhere between 2 and 6 of us playing huge games, drinking liquor (not in the lounge ;)), and generally goofing off. Other friends would come and go, strangers would walk by and learn about the hobby, etc. In other words, our games were all about being social. We were hanging with friends, occasionally meeting new ones, and we enjoyed the game.

What's different? I know it's not just my two opponents, because I see the aggravation in other people's eyes from time to time. Even in non-competitive games, I see it happen. In a public place, like the Bunker, I expect people to interact with you, and indeed, I still have friends I met at public gaming venues. Do other people find themselves frustrated with strangers when gaming?

Also, what is wrong with the people who ARE spectators. Again, I don't mind- but generally speaking, why are you critiquing army composition, tactics, and talking about how you think the game is going when unasked, and to people who you don't know? I believe people should be social during these things, but at some point people actually can kind of cross the line, and really bring the enjoyment down for other people.

Ah well. Small rant, primarily to see how other people feel. Personally, I enjoy just hanging out with people, doing things I have fun doing. That's all games are to me. It just makes me sad that it's not always the way other gamers see things :(.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quick games today!

Managed to play both a 40K game and a Fantasy game today, both really quickly. Because of this, there are no pictures, and I'll keep the recaps short.

Started the day off playing against Frans in a 2250 Fantasy game. We had decided to try using one of the comp systems (in this case the ETC comp rules) just to give us a feel for how a comp'd game would feel. I ran Empire (who had very light restrictions), Frans chose Vampire Counts (who were probably under moderate restrictions).

I tried to run a more magic-oriented list:
Wizard Lord (lvl 4) w/ Grey Wand, Armour of Tarnus, Barded Warhorse
Wizard (lvl 2) w/ 2 Dispel Scrolls
Wizard (lvl 2)
Captain (BSB) w/ Imperial Banner, Full plate armor
10 Handgunners
10 Handgunners
10 Handgunners
30 Spearmen with shields and full command
8 Knights w/ Full Command
25 Swordsmen w/ Full Command
5 Pistoliers w/ Musician
Steam Tank

As it'll turn out, posting the list really wasn't all that important. Frans took a very very fast list. Ghouls (with Ghoulkin characters), knights, and wolves. The Ghoulkin rule gave Frans a free move at the beginning of the game. Coupled with him going first, it means his core blocks had moved up 16" away from me before I had taken my first turn!

Not a happy spot to be when I'm running a long-range army.

Fortunately, Frans left a path open for my Steam Tank to charge his general's unit on my first turn. And the Steam Tank moved up 15", causing 12 Str 6 impact hits, nearly wiping out the unit. The Vampire Lord didn't have the equipment to battle the steam tank (although he did put a few wounds on it), and on my second turn, it finished the job, killing the unit and his general.

Rather than try to play through with the huge handicap so early in the game (plus the fact I was having my way with him on the flanks due to poor rolling by Frans) he conceded at the end of turn 2. It was definitely going to get ugly from then on- I had lost 12 handgunners total in exchange for his lord, a unit of ghouls, and about 8 dire wolves, and had nothing threatening me for a full turn (while I was able to hammer him safely). Really, I think the comp rules just messed with his game. Next game will be without them, so he can field all his toys ;).

Second game, I played a 1250pt 40K game with my brother. Matt has been buying a bunch of the new Blood Angels models, and been eager to use them.

I gave my Melee-crons a thought, but decided better of it ;). Instead, ran a fairly boring Necron list:

Lord w/ Res Orb, Phylactery, Phase Shifter
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
11 Warriors
4 Destroyers
3 Wraiths
4 Scarabs w/ Disruption Fields
Tomb Spyder
Heavy Destroyer

I don't really remember Matt's list completely, but it was something like
5 Death Company
5 Death Company
Baal Predator
Furioso Dreadnought

I thought the 2 HQs at 1250 was a bit of a waste, but he really likes the models. Good enough reason.

Mission was Seize Ground, Deployment was Dawn Of War. Matt realizes he hasn't taken any scoring units (only Death Company as Troops), and decides that clearing me off the table will be easy anyway. Sadly, I agreed.

Thankfully, Matt does not take any transports, and his army advances on foot, straight at my guys. You'd think the constant fire would take a toll, but alas, with FNP I struggled killing anything. My unit of wraiths charged a unit of Death Company + Astaroth the Grim, holding them up for 2 full turns, while Matt's other Death Company unit + the Sanguinor overruns my Necron Lord, a unit of Warriors, and a Tomb Spyder that were guarding one of my objectives.

Turn 5 rolls around- I'm left with a single unit of 11 Necron Warriors (10 is my phase out number ;)) on my objective and a unit of Scarabs praying that Astaroth won't destroy them the next round of combat. Matt has been dropped to a Dreadnought, Astaroth, and a single Death Company model on it's own. We roll and get turn 6. Turn 6 sees the end of the Scarabs (big shock), and the Death Company charging the last Necron squad, failing to kill any, but certainly not dying. Astaroth consolidates near the objective, and the roll ends the game, giving us a tie.

Honestly, it was a lot closer game than I thought, and given that one or two rolls could've phased me out, I was perfectly happy. Matt was less so, but at least had some ideas what he could do next game. I'm sure it will be much tougher :(.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New arrivals!

Alright, more things came in the mail today:
Not a whole lot going on otherwise. I've been playing Advanced Squad Leader on Tuesday nights at the MMP Headquarters. ASL is a great game, it's always great to get more time playing it. I've started writing a game review, it's just slow coming, since I've never tried it before. Hope to have an attempt at one soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

News for week ending 4/23/10

  • Avalanche Press has begun shipping Infantry Attacks: August 1914. It's the World War I version of their popular Panzer Grenadier game series. This covers the Eastern Front during that time
  • Victory Point Games will soon be selling Levee en Masse on the 29th, but is apparently available at GMT West. A solitaire game on the French Revolution? That has potential...
  • DDH Games is having a sale! An additional 10% off in-stock games until Saturday. Yeah, short notice, but I'm trying to stick to once a week for news.

Aren't Khador jacks supposed to be slow?


Me and Rob played a game of Warmachine last night. I'll only post a brief writeup, since Rob posted one already here.

I took a Cryx list, using:
Iron Lich Asphyxious
* Nightwretch
* Nightwretch
* Nightwretch
* Slayer
* Skarlock Thrall
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

My standard assassination list, with Asphyxious instead. Part of my goal to give all my casters (and slowly, all my models) a try under Mk II. Ashyxious is a different beast than Denegra. No stealth makes him more vulnerable to ranged attacks and he doesn't have nearly the debuff abilities she does, but he is more durable, and can lay a HUGE beating in close combat. I figured with the Slayer, the Bane Thralls, and Ashyxious, I should be able to get the jump on my Khador opponent, and grind him to the ground.

Rob's list:
Kommander Strakhov
* Beast-09
* Devastator
* War dog
Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Koldun Lord

Lots of close combat punch.

I tried to play more conservatively than usual, trusting my spells and slight shooting advantage to try to take a few parts of his army away before I made my assault. Rob also advanced very slowly straight up.

Then, Rob surprised me, and would've won if he had planned a turn ahead.

Strakhov is a cool caster. His feat adds +4" to a model's speed. He also has a spell that adds +2 to a model's speed. Another spell allows a model to get a full advance when an enemy model is killed under certain (easily obtained) circumstances. Combined with Beast 09's reach weapon, that's a threat range of 21 inches (Spd 4, +4 from feat, +2 from one spell, +6 from other spell (including bonus from previous spell, +3 charge, +2 reach). I had Asphyxious about 14" away from him, thinking that I was safe. And I even KNEW what Strakhov's spells did. I just never made the connection.

Anyway, to the point- Beast 09 charged Asphyxious, and took chunks out of his health. Not enough to kill him, thankfully. Rob had to cast Superiority on Beast 09 this turn, instead of upkeeping it from a previous turn, depriving him of focus, and therefore critical extra attacks he'd need to win.

In response, Asphyxious wrecked Beast 09, but that was a very very clear message that I was underestimating my opponent! I moved things into hiding, and worked on creating more advantageous positions while healing. We ended up calling it because it was getting late, and although I'm fairly confident I would've won at this point, it was still a VERY close game.

As Rob gets another game or two with this caster, I'm going to need to be extra careful!

Next game, probably in two weeks, will have me use Skarre. Should be fun, as I never tried her under MkI (she was VERY cheesy then, and is less so now).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

News for 4/15/10

Alright, I'm going to be changing this to doing one news thing a week, most likely. This way I can force myself to post about everything else I'm doing :).

GMT Games has a new pre-order available: Unconditional Surrender. It's a Strategic-level simulation of World War II, including a political system. Also, apparently plays well solitaire! I will definitely take a look at it when it gets closer to being published.

Avalanche Press has begun shipping Second World War at Sea: Spice Islands. 10 scenarios covering the Dutch vs the Japanese.

Also, voting is open for the Charles S. Roberts awards. You can vote here. It's a very well-known award for historical wargaming excellence. You can read about the award here.

Alright, that's it for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be my first review!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fantastic new O&G miniatures!

The new River Trolls look fantastic! I might actually start an army (next year, of course), just so I'd have a reason to buy them! Just beautiful looking!

The new Boar Boyz are alright looking, better than the last ones, but the last ones looked so corny and old-school that I always had a love for them :). 25$ for 5 is a great deal, though!

Teaching more Warmachine!

Played Rob on Friday, since he has expressed serious interest in the game, and I wanted to teach it, and play a big enough game for him to get some feel for it's play. We chose a 25 point game.

I played Cryx, and ran the following list:
-Skarlock Thrall
Min. Bane Thralls
Bloat Thrall
Machine Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

General assassination list. If Deneghra can't do it, the Pistol Wraiths will help. Other things are there to handle random threats.

Rob, his first time trying Khador, chose the following:
Alekandra Kerkova

Rob just chose things he thought looked cool, simply because this was his first time playing beyond the starter boxes.

I took no pictures of this game, for two reasons. One, because I was trying to teach, and two, because we had to proxy most of Rob's models. He took a few however, found here.

First game, went exactly according to plan. I set up, ran a jack up, and started unloading on Zerkova. Feat, then 3 venoms, meant I was doing 2d6-3, 2d6-3, and 3d6-3 damage to Zerkova, who doesn't have a lot. Of course, I do 5. Yes, 5 total damage. Not so good. Thankfully, the pistol wraiths were there. They finished the job.

Of course, Rob didn't fully read Zerkova's card- she had a spell (that I didn't know about, since I don't play Khador), to make her un-targetable by spells. I think I could've gotten around it because of the spray, however. But regardless, not the result Rob wanted.

We decided to spend game two, playing each other's army of choice. Rob had just seen me run the Cryx army, so he knew how it was used. Could I beat it?

I deployed very compact, and played very defensively, lobbing AOE shots until the Cryx were in range. Slowly, I wore down more of his army, and used Zerkova to handle the Incorporeal stuff. Rob conceded when it was just Deneghra left.

Rob learned a lot, and I got some practice with the new rules set, which was nice. We are aiming to play again in two weeks or so. Should be a lot of fun!

Things from the weekend, and Monday, 4/12/2010

Oooh, new shiny products!

A few new Pre-orders are up around the web:

  • Lock 'N Load: Swift and Bold V2 (expands Band of Heroes to include British Paratroopers), from Lock 'N Load.
  • Battle for Britain from ADG. I've not played any game on the battle, so I know nothing about how good this will end up being.
  • Fatal Alliances III from ADG. It's a stand-alone game for World War I based off World in Flames.
  • Khaki in Flames from ADG- Khaki replacements for the dark blue Commonwealth counters included in World in Flames.
  • WiF Blitz! from ADG. An Army-level version of World in Flames. Plays the entire war in about 15 hours, according to the site.
  • WiF Master Edition from ADG. Umm, a variant way to play World in Flames that's even more complicated and descriptive? I read through the description, that seems right. Doesn't the game have enough complexity?
I'm doing a better job keeping up with some other companies, so hopefully I can keep people notified twice a week or so about new releases/pre-orders. Who doesn't want to know when great games are coming out?

Monday, April 5, 2010

A package today!

Received my pre-order of Chariots of Fire from GMT today.

Chariots of Fire is volume 14 of the Great Battles of History series, covering ancient battles and military systems. I think it does a fantastic job of giving the players a feel for how ancient military systems work, from the Roman Manipular Legion to the Mongolian horse archers.

This one covers warfare in ancient Egypt and Assyria. It includes 9 scenarios including the Battle of Megiddo (around 1479 B.C.) which may be the earliest battle with fairly accurate historical information, and the battle of Kadesh (around 1300 B.C.), the largest chariot battle in history!

Hopefully I'll give this one a shot sometime, although I've been saying that about the other games in the series for so long, who knows :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Witch hunters vs Tyranids, 3/18/10

Played a game vs my brother Matt on a bit ago (yeah, really far behind). Matt is an occasional 40K player. He owns a decent amount of Tyranid models, and actually loves painting them, but I haven't been around a lot the last couple of months to actually play him. We finally got a chance to get a game in (and hopefully will get more!).

So my list. I don't have my desired list finished, but regardless, I wouldn't go that route against Matt. He doesn't really know much about how to play the game (and to be honest, neither do I), and really isn't taking an optimized list against me- just random things he likes. This means I took a lot of random things. Why not?

My list (2000 pts):
Canoness w/ bolt pistol, power weapon, book of st. lucius
-5 Celestian Retinue w/ 2 meltaguns, Sister superior w/ bolt pistol, close combat weapon
-Immolator w/ extra armor, smoke launchers
Grey Knight Grand Master w/ 5 Grey Knight Terminator Retinue, 1 with TH/SS, 1 with an Incinerator
Inquisitor (WH) w/ Bolt Pistol, Power Weapon, Psi-tracker,
-Veteran Guardsmen w/ flamer, VG w/ melta-gun, Penitent, 2 Sages
Vindicare Assassin
5 Celestians w/ 2 Meltaguns
5 Inquisitorial Storm troopers w/ 2 meltaguns
10 Battle Sisters
10 Battle Sisters
10 Sisters w/ Heavy Flamer, Flamer, Rhino w/ Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers
5 Dominions w/ 4 Flamers, VSS w/ Melta Bombs, Immolator w/ extra armor, smoke launchers
5 Seraphim w/ 2 hand-flamers, VSS w/ power weapon, bolt pistol
Immolator w/ Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers
Lance Strike
5 Retributors w/ 2 Multi-Meltas, 2 Heavy Bolters

I don't have Matt's list. You'll see kind of what he took in the pictures, however.

I have never been good against Tyranids, mainly because I have poor target priority vs them. You'll see in this game.

We rolled Spearhead Deployment, and of course Kill Points (I hate kill points :-\).


Matt deployed first:

Pretty crowded!


Significantly less crowded. I was hoping to react to Matt's first turn, destroy a unit a turn with combined shooting and templates, and then win that way. Matt had a LOT fewer kill points is his army than I did, so I needed to be careful.

Turn 1:
Matt moves forward. Shooting accomplishes nothing, but his Carnifexes run up 6" towards my line.

I readjust, pulling the models closest to the Carnifi back a little, while moving the models on my right flank forward (towards a unit of Gargoyles). Shooting kills 9 Gargoyles (leaving 1!), and the Grey Knights shoot and kill 2 Genestealers.

Turn 2:
Deathleaper appears behind my sisters in the forest, the rest of his army advances on me. Imagine that.

Scary looking view from my side of the board.

Matt manages to wound my assassin with his warriors shooting. He then assaults the closes Sister squad with his 3 Carnifex squad, and completely wipes it out.

I move into position to do (hopefully) do some damage.

I kill the last gargoyle, a Carnifex, and a whole unit of Termagants with shooting.

The Grey Knight Terminators assault the Carnifex Brood. My Grand Master gets his force weapon to go off (2,3, and 5!) and kills one, the rest of the squad kills the other one. Really? All that killing for a single kill point? Oi.

Turn 3:
Tyranids continue to move up. As if that's a surprise. Tyranid shooting claims a single Sister.

Hormagaunts assault the Vindicare Assassin and an Immolator (they end up killing the assassin with no losses). The Hive Tyrant and the Genestealers assault the Grey Knight Terminators (and wipe them out, taking no losses :-\). Deathleeper kills 2 Battle Sisters, takes a wound in return, and the sisters hold.

A lot more sparse on my side of the board.

My entire army, in return, unloads on the Genestealers and the Hormagaunts. I wipe out the former, and take a huge chunk out of the latter. Not looking good.

Turn 4:
Tyranids continue to advance. Shooting kills two more sisters. In Assault, the Hive Tyrant assaults and wipes out my Retributor squad. The Tyranid Warriors assault a unit of sisters, and wipe it out. The remaining Hormagaunts assault my Celestian squad with the Canoness, killing all the Celestians, but the Canoness escapes (but is too close, and ends up running off the board). Deathleaper keeps fighting the sisters, trading a wound. Overall, not a pleasant turn.

aaaaand so on. I'll summarize the rest of the game. The rest of my stuff dies, and I kill the Deathleaper. Really. That's all I killed. I got crushed.

Well, another loss at 40K. Seems to happen quite a bit. A few things I learned. First, I need to stop taking useless choices. The Assassin has never done me any good (although I think they are just so cool), and neither does the Orbital Strikes. I mean, I like taking fun things, but they are always just a huge point waste. Naked Sister squads really do me no good either. If only I had more Immolators assembled.

Second, I need better target priority skills. I focused a lot on killing Carnifexes, even knowing that I would be able to do a lot of damage in close combat. I really should've killed Genestealers. Also, I didn't fire anything at the Warriors the entire game. After Turn 4, they killed a unit a turn. I didn't have anything left to stop them. Those Meltagun shots should've been hammering them from the start.

Things to learn next game (sometime next week, hopefully). Need to assemble stuff to provide a better game!

Wargame Publishers

I added a list of active (still in existence) board wargame publishers on the right. If anyone knows anymore, please let me know!

I left out most DTP publishers, mainly because it's hard to tell if many are still around, and what products they support and whatnot. Plus, I hate having to do work for my games (if they have die-cut counters, I'll happily list them :) ).

Valley Games is also missing, because I think something is up with their website, and don't want to look until I get home.

March accomplishments

Alright, a very very slow month, due to all the extra work I've been doing to get money for taxes. Next month and the rest of the year should be MUCH better.

With that said, I still did a few things, although not many:
  • Another layer on the Cold Ones (still working on them, I can't believe it :( ).
  • Played a game of 40K vs my brother, Matt (battle report coming, but slow).
  • Assembled a unit of Khorne Berserkers.

Really, that's it. Very very disappointing, but I expected this month to be bad. Now, to make use of the fact I have a little more free time coming up, and get some work done!