As soon as the Fantasy GT
was over, I was warned that all gaming in Hong Kong would be 40K, as
players grabbed their lasguns and started to train up for
September's 40K GT.
I've been playing 40K since
the first edition, but I think I must have an average of less than
two games a year since. Most of them since the Eye of
Terror when I finally painted up my
Crinan IVth (bought in an enthusiastic response to the
Armageddon Campaign, and then left in boxes). But
all my guardsmen were still packed up in Ireland, to be shipped over
to Hong Kong, and I had an Iyanden army I'd been buying for years,
and which needed painting. When I was back in Eire on a visit
to the in-laws, I grabbed enough eldar to keep me going for a
month or so, until the shipment arrived. If only I'd known the saga
our shipping would turn into...!
Switching from expendable
and cheap IG to expensive and elite wraithguard has proved a
challenge for me, but with shipping difficulties by the wheel-barrow
full, I soon realised that my wave serpents and falcons were
not going to arrive in time for me to play with them. So I
started to play with the figures I did have, which were an odd
collection of wraithguard and half a wraithlord, and some farseers
and warlocks. Hmm.
Not surprisingly my army has
suffered rather badly. My army lacks scoring units. My 2
troop choices, of 10 wraithguard and a spiritseer take up over half
my points: and they die very easily when swamped in combat by
marines with power fists. Defeat after defeat followed, and I
started to feel happy with my day's performance if I managed to get
to round six before being wiped out.
It was clear that I was in
no way in the running for a top spot in the tournament, and the only
trophy open to me would be a Best Painted Award. I had
always intended for my Iyanden army to be a display, as so few
troops seemed like a good opportunity to make a good looking army.
You can follow my blog on the army painting
Iyanden Army List
The army list has fluctuated
from pure Iyanden (20 Wraithguard, Wraithlord, farseers and
harlequins) to vaguely Iyanden (10 Wraithguard, 10 dire avengers, 5
path finders). The list is still being tweaked, but ultimately
I'll probably end up choosing models that look good, and having
strayed away from the purest, I'm veering back to the ultimate
Iyanden List, which marches forward behind a phalanx of 20
Wraithguard with Conceal and Fortune. It looks good, although
it's sadly ineffective.
Lost battles: 10
I posted on the Fun Atelier
forums and met up with Laurence Ho for a game of BFG. My first
in years, and only my fourth overall. I was very excited to
have a chance to light the heavens with lances and batteries and
great flaming hulks.
A disaster for the
Imperials! I had never faced a chaos fleet before, and was
dumbfounded how much better their gunnery was over mine.
Lawrence was rolling more dice than I could imagine, and doing so at
60cm when my range was pretty limited to 30cm. Obviously
losing two dauntless cruisers in the first round was a disastrous
blow, and the game was over by then. What has happened to
imperial gunnery since the Horus Heresy?!
My plan had been to push
forward with the Avenger to pound the chaos fleet with broadsides,
supported by the dauntlesses, whilst the swords sniped from the
side, and the cobras shot down the chaos line with torps. The
problem obviously was that the Avenger didn't have forward arc of
fire, my entire fleet had a max armour of 5, which meant I was
playing with none of the benefits and none of the advantages of the
I emailed the BFG yahoo
group, and found out, to my surprise that the Imperial fleet seems
to be generally considered to be a weak list. I've never read
that before, but I decided to get another game in and try and put
some of the things I learnt into the next battle.
This time I was paired up
with Herbert, against Lawrence and Simon's Chaos fleets. I
took a pair of Lunar Cruisers, as these had a good reputation on BFG
tacticas, and a couple of Dauntlesses, because I like their
manoeuvrability and wanted to improve on their performance in the
Herbert took a pair of
Dominators, I think, and a squadron of Swords.
I went all ahead full, in an
attempt to get into range and slog it out with the enemy.
Herbert and I took it in
turns rolling the dice. We took our opponent's dice, and
borrowed dice from other tables, but whatever we did we failed every
ld 9 test we made, meaning our fleet was without special orders,
except Brace for Impact, the entire game.
Again, the range of the
Chaos fleet shocked me, and out-gunned and out-ranged, and attacking
in piecemeal, we were easily destroyed.
I had a better idea of how
to play the next game. Hang back and pound the enemy, whilst
launching bomber waves against them.
I went back to my baby, the
Vengeance class cruiser, and to help him out I put together a Mars
class cruiser to offer some nova canon support and also to provide a
fighter protection/bomber attack. This time I was playing with
Lawrence against a alien alliance of eldar and orcs. Lawrence
and I decided to take out the orc fleet first, which helped me a
lot, as the orc fleet was effectively against both of ours.
I intended the Vengeance to
go into the midst of the enemy and draw fire onto the three shields,
and with the ten hits, hopefully suck up the enemy's fire and so
protect the rest of the fleet.
The rest of my fleet - four
swords, three cobras and two dauntless and an enforcer, sped up the
right flank on all ahead full, with the plan of getting behind the
enemy whilst the Vengeance took them in the front.
I hadn't expected the orc
ram ships, the small blue and green ships in front of the Hulk, to
be so fast and there didn't seem much chance of outrunning them, so
i decided to turn and take them out.
The Vengeance and the Mars
went either side of the asteroid field, a mistake really, although
it did allow me to help Lawrence out with my nova canon. The
Mars launched a flight of fighters to stem the flood of orc fighter
bombers that the Hulk was spewing out.
I had a great round of
shooting this turn, crippling the orc cruiser and taking out
the ram ships. I locked on with the Vengeance, which was a
great benefit, and at last she did some damage: pummelling the orc
fleet. The light cruiser squadron was finally around the
asteroids and I was hoping to spring my trap taking the orcs at
front and rear.
My cobras (just off screen)
savaged the crippled orc cruiser, while the ram ships were dead.
It was now I started to attack the orc Hulk. It's a beast with
40 hits, and I was told that it was impossible to destroy.
'Believe me, I've tried!' I was told. Well, There was little
else for me to shoot at, and as I got closer, the amount of
firepower it pumps out at a short range was frightening, destroying
a dauntless cruiser as they swooped in with their torps and the
bombers from the enforcer.
The Vengeance continued
locking on, and did terrible damage to the Hulk, which was now
struggling along with a massive 22 hits out of 40.
My Mars had cleared the orc
defences that were floating in the middle of the battlefield, and
was starting to target the eldar fleet.
It was at this point that we
had to call it a day, which was a shame, but this game was an
absolute blast with a wide range of fleets and styles and bombers
and fighters and torpedoes all streaming around the table. I
was confident that a couple more rounds of shooting and I would have
knocked the Hulk out, which ended the game with 26 hits on it, I