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Scorecard 7 : Warhammer 40K 5th Edition

15th July 2008

Aquarian Guard vs Colonel Shaeffer's IG

1500 points

I listened to the podcasts and read teh White Dwarf previews and tinkered my list a little to take account of the new rules, dropping one of my grenadier units in a chimera in favour of a deep striking platoon of carapace armour infantry. 

I had two leman ruses, a bassie, a hellhound, 2x 6 grenadiers in chimera, and a deep striking platoon.  I was up against George: always a pleasure to play against, with his IG army, which includes a mix of Last Chancers (2x 2 melta gun squads; 2x 2 demo charge), deep striking storm troopers, ratling snipers, and then a couple of platoons of troops, and a fire support squad of missile launchers.  We rolled Seize Objective, and the lay out was corner to corner.  The table had fairly limited terrain, with a couple of hills blocking off the middle of the table, a hill in my deployment zone, hiding my basilisk, and then a pair of ruins, one which played no part in the game and the other in the far corner of George's deployment zone.  He set his objective on the far side of this ruin, then spread out his platoons all around his objective, partly to minimise the affect of the basilisk, but also to 'fill up' the area around his objective and stop my deep-striking units. 

I put my objective at the front of my deployment zone to try and lure George towards it, with a leman russ sitting behind it, ready to blow out any squads that threatened to come my way.  The bassie hid behind hte hill, and the hellhound, chimeras and leman russes all bunched up together, revving their engines and getting ready to blast their way across the table and take the far ruins.  My deep strikers and sentinel all started in reserve.

The game started fairly well, with George's front units running forward.  I hit them with my bassie and russ, though they were spaced out enough that i think I would probably have been better switching to heavy bolters and blasting away, as I was only killing a few with each shot.  My tanks and chimeras all moved forward at cruising and combat speeds, picking out dangerous targets in order to make their progress a little easier.  George had packed out on missile launchers and metlas and plasmas. 

Round 2 started badly for me as a pair of melta gunners and a pair of demo charge guys deep struck into the tightly packed space between my tanks' rear doors and the side of my bassie.  The meltas blew the bassie while the demo chargers managed to blow themselves up.  I disembarked a squad of grenadiers and hosed down the survivors, but in round three a pair of storm trooper units deep struck into the same area and blew up one of my russes, took off the turret of the hellhound.  Two of my units of deep strikers managed to land within an arm's grasp of George's objective, did very little against the 4+ cover saves of George's units in the ruins whilst George hosed them down with half of his army.  The last three survivors passed their ld test and went to ground in base to base contact with George's objective.  It was at this point that my deep striking platoon's HQ squad turned up.  I'd been eagerly awaiting their arrival, as their 4 flamers would probably clean out the 10 ratlings and HQ squad hiding in the ruins there.  But they ended up messing up their landing zone and when we rolled on the mishap table George got to place them on the table.  He put them on the opposite side of the table, in my deployment: safely away from any action.

Round 4 saw my last three deep strikers being blown out of their hiding holes, and my grenadiers clearing up the last of George's deep strikers.  George's front squads had been repulsed in their attempt to reach my objective, and round 5 started with only me being able to win.  Actually, we were starting to agree that the game was a draw, when I remembered that 5th edition now has random game length.  It was only after we'd rolled that we'd play another round when I realised I had no troops within 3'' of my own objective and rushed my grenadiers and the wayward HQ squad towards it.    I had a chimera of grenadiers, a russ and a hellhound that could just reach the 3'' zone around George's objective, if we played 7 turns.  I raced them all towards George's side of the table, while George brought all his firepower to bear.  The game was now on big time. 

The chimera was blown up by a missile, the hellhound was imobilised, and after round 6 all I had left was my russ, charging through the gap between the two hills.  My grenadiers and HQ squad went to ground in front of my objective, with the grenadiers in front of the HQ squad, to give them a cover save. 

We rolled to see if the game ended, and no: the dice came up in favour of another round.  With George's heavy weapons limited to missile launchers, his only hope was his plasma guns on the russes' siude armour.  The russ survived the torrent of fire and ended up being 3'' short of victory.  The random game lenght was a real blast, and the whole game was more fluid than 4th.


Initial Impressions

This game was quite an eye opener.   I'd already forsaken heavy weapons, in favour of maneoverability, all except my HQ squad who had an autocanon.   I knew that vehicles were going to be more survivable, but it was quite different to play and see how much harder it is to kill a tank.  My russes were bouncing off krak missiles, which could only glance the front armour of a russ, and glancing can no longer destroy a tank, while a penetrating hit has only a 1/3 chance of a destroyed result, rather than the old 1/2. 

The change of defensive weapons from str 5 to 4 meant that my chimeras were unable to fire all thier weapons, and I missed that extra firepower.  Firesupport units don't seem to work as well as they .  I think they'll be a lot less heavy weapon squads out there.  Partly because movement is so much more important; partly because scout and deepstrike mean people can circumnavigate your firebase and killing fields; and partly because of the cover saves and partly because of the fact people can run at you now.  

I'm almost tempted to take a mortar squad now: the no los and the fact that they can fire over other units or terrain, without confering a 4+ cover save.  Single mortars never seemed worth it, but three is almost there. If they were 20 odd points cheaper I'd be able to convince myself.  Mortars and grenade launchers have been given a new lease of life.

And I'm looking forward to using a unit of ogryns I'm painting up: not because they're particularly effective, but  because they're fluffy and cool figures.  I think it'll be a job of rushing them forward, disembarking, and then sending the chimera off to pick up another unit, or sit and firebase, or tank shock. 

We're starting the Vogen Campaign on Friday, and so I'm going to use this as a chance to play around with my list.  I'm going to drop the bassie and take three russes, mainly because their armour makes them a real headache to kill.  I'm also including the ogryns, and keeping the rest of the army unchanged.


18th July

Crinan IVth vs Dark Eldar

1500 points

Not everyone was ready to start the Vogen Campaign, so I drew a pick up game against last year's GT winner, Calus and his Dark Eldar.  I'd played Calus a number of times last year, as I was learning to play Eldar, and he trounced me each game. 

Calus took a Haemonculi with a webway portal, wyches, four squads squads of raiders with bright lances, and a pair of ravagers, a talos, and then three raider squads.

I had my Crinan IVth,  with their full complement of 12 sentinels.  A couple of platoons with two squads each, HQ, and  a veteran squad with plasmas and a heavy bolter, hunkering down in a chimera.  While the mortars hid behind a piece of impassable terrain.

We drew annihilation, with opposing quarter set up.  Calus won the roll off and took the far better quarter, with a wood and a large ruin as cover for his troops.  I was left with a couple of hills to hide behind, and a small pool where my HQ squad got very wet as they tried to keep their missile launcher dry.  I'd forgotten how the haemonculi worked, and spread my army out to reduce room for deep striking, with only one unit of sentinels coming on as reserve.  The reasoning for this was that I wanted to start with as much fire power as possible.  There was a wood in the centre of the table, and Calos deployed two squads of warriors in the wood, and two in the ruins, with the haemonculi.

I failed to seize the initiative, and suffered only two casualties in the first round of shooting.  My chimera sped towards the wood and unloaded the vets there.  I forgot that they could see through a wood, and next term instead of shooting I moved them into the wood.  NEW RULE ALERT: squads can see through woods.  Unfortunately I managed to do almost as little damage, with all the 4+ cover saves. Round two two raiders and a ravager crashed from the warp into reality and sped into cover behind the wood.  My IG were certainly throwing out a helluva lot of dakka, but very little of it was finding its target as it ricoched around the ruins.  Many games have a big error, and it was in round two that I made mine.

I moved my left hand platoon forward to try and occupy the wood, screening them off from fire by the parked chimera, which I planned to .  My reasoning, in the heat of the moment, was that he had not need to move, and could simply out-shoot me in a firefight, so I hoped to get a platoon into a wood to get cover saves.  Stupidly, I could have simply lined a unit up across the front and got 4+ cover saves. 

Of course, round 3 the wyches and their raider crashed into reality, along with the talos and another ravager.  The wyches disembarked and assaulted the vets who had handily moved into easy assault range to make it all a bit easier.  They were slaughtered, and the wyches redeployed around the fringes of the wood. It was at this point that my platoon opened fire with everything they had, and took out 5 of the 8 wyches.  The wyches assaulted one of the squads in round four, caused no wounds, lost one, and were then soundly repulsed by fixed bayonettes, being run down in one of the finest IG moments of the game.

Round 5 the kill points were 2 to me, and 3 to Calus.  My sentinels came on behind Calus' raider: and sprayed it with 9 multilaser shots, and a HK missile, glanced twice and penetrated once, and ended up stunning and shaking the crew till their eyeballs were loose.  They followed up by assaulting the ravager: causing another glancing hit, rattling the ravager's crew's eyeballs a little more. 

Round 5 the IG pulled out their finest.  There was some very sharp shooting between terrain and wrecks, and the lascanon sentinels blasted a ravager and downed a raider, the crash killing all but one of the crew, who was hosed down with a flame thrower putting me briefly into the lead, with 5 kills vs 4, and wth the talos hanging on by one wound.  A lone dark eldar warrior running for cover was bombarded by the mortars, who scattered way off, but hit with the next two shots, allowing me to just clip the model, and down him.

A fairly important wound, however, as it subsequently assaulted the mortar squad and wiped them out, then managed to consolidate behind the terrain.  I lost two units this turn, and all I had to shoot at the talos were three autocanon sentinels.  They wounded it, but it passed its save, and they assaulted it as well, but failed to take off that last wound.

My other units sprayed the ruins  hoping to cause force them to fall back, but they were too well dug in.

Kill Points: 5 vs 7.  Loss.

Afterthoughts: I was delighted that I came so close, and was very irritated at myself for moving one of my platoons forward.  Still - I've never been a fan of heavy flamer sentinels, but maybe now they have a purpose as they negate cover saves.  I can see a unit coming on with HK missiles, to pop out rear armour, and then charge in with their flamers and assault.

My HQ squads were loaded up with flamers, and i held them back behind the other squads, expecting to be assaulted and then be able to hose down the survivors, but this never happened.  I'm more convinced that the new game with it's objectives calls for squads who either shoot or move: meaning there's precious little point in having a flamer or melta gun with an autocanon in one squad.   There was hills that could have screened my HQ squads as they got to within flamer range of the ruins, and with running, movement is so much more feasible. 

After the game, we rolled for pins and began our Vogen Campaign, and war descends on the Fun Atelier part of Hong Kong. 


22nd July 2008

Crinan IVth vs Blood Angels

1500 points

The Vogen Campaign

Storm troopers landed in squads of 5  and securred the landing zone in ruins just south of Hab Epsilon long before dawn.  The sun was just beginning to redden the horizon as the the landing craft touched down into, their pilots already edgy as they waited for the advance units to disembark.  'What's holding them up!' Flight Commander Varus shouted into his comm-link.  'It's the ogryns!' his hold attendant shouted back into his vox-link.  'Apparently they're always like this after a long flight!'

Flight Commander Varus rolled his eyes.  They were supposed to be out of here half an hour ago and the air cover couldn't stay in the air much longer.  'Report!' he snapped a few seconds later.  'They're off!' the attnedant shouted over the road of engines.  'Close rear hatches!' a servitor's mechanical voices chimed. 

'Golden Throne!' Flight Commander Varus swore as he directed full thrust to the jets. The landing craft roared up into the air, feeling almost weightless now their military cargo had been disgorged. 

Scouting units quickly secured the perimiter and encountered no oppostion.  Looming over to the east were the lavish fortified palace of the governor, while to the south were the ruins of the Railhead.  Scouting units took control of the rail terminus and then the railhead depots: and com reports suggested  a Xenos presence infesting the law courts.  Colonel Skall looked at the map for the quickest way to get to Basilica Imperialis.  It was vital he reached their before the Xenos troops could dig in.  This was going to be a messy campaign, he just knew it, and sent out the order to all units: Fix bayonettes!


I didn't get a game in the campaign, so I found a pick up with Ah Ling, a very solid player who played Chaos Space Marines last year, and was planning to get a sisters army together for the tourney this year. This was his first game in 5th, and my third, and he was playing a Blood Angels army he'd borrowed.

We rolled Capture and Control with Pitched Battle deployment.  I rolled higher, and got to deploy first, which strikes me as a definate disadvantage.  I'll have to get my head a little better round what it means to go first, not only in terms of deployment, but also to then adjusting to how the enemy has deployed. 

My list was 12 sentinels, 6 of whom would be coming on as scouts, the rest starting in woods as firebases.  I had two platoons, with a mix of hvy weapons and assault weapons among them, a unit of vets in a chimera and two mortar units attatched to my HQ. I was quite impressed with the mortars last game and thought I'd give them another go.  With objectives - as in this game - hidden behind terrain, barrage weapons strike me as really valuable: letting you ignore cover and cover saves. 

My deployment zone had ruins in the middle, and i placed a couple of units in there, around my objective.  There were woods to either side, and the rest of my units either went into these, or hid behind them or behind the ruins, ready to reinforce that area when it came under attack.

Ah Ling had a furioso, a couple of units of assault marines, the death company, and then two units in rhinos who started the game on the table, along with the two assault squads. 

Ah Ling placed his objective behind ruins in the far left corner of his table - and I started the game hitting the assault marines there with my mortars, but failing to do much damage. The first couple of rounds went badly for me, with everything I threw at the rhinos bouncing off or failing to do any serious damage.  I even had three hvy flamer sentinels come on with HK missiles, and fail to do anything.  They did score a horrible number of wounds on the assault marines hiding behind the rhino, however, but again not enough of these getting through their power armour.

By Round 3 I was beginning to feel apprehensive: as I knew the Death Company and the Furioso were yet to come onto the board, and I was not doing anything like enough damage to the marines before they impacted my lines.

Round 4 my chimera carrying one my platoon's HQ squads crashed into the ruins on Ah Ling's side of the table, contesting his objective, and his marines made the first bloody contact with the vets  I had at the front of my ruins section.  My second unit of scouting sentinels came on the wrong table edge to do more than shoot - and the Furioso landed next to my lascanon sentinels in the wood, and although they tried to escape, he caught them up and destroyed them in one bloody round of combat.

I was praying for a quick end as my HQ squad contesting his objective disembarked and used their four flamers on the assault marines there, again to far too little effect.  Meanwhile one marine squad was making mincemeat of the units hunkering round my objective, and despite rolling three snake-eyes in the final three turns (one of them at exactly the wrong moment) I couldn't get enough of my troops over to contest my objective, and he directed his commander and another unit of assault marines to wipe out my contesting squad.

I had lost by the end of round 5, but we had another round to play, which largely involved me removing figures. 

If we'd gone another round I would probably have been wiped off the board.


I don't like deploying first: and this battle I think I forgot to react to the obvious battle plan Ah Ling had: which was to rush up one flank and roll me up.  I should have pulled exposed units back sooner - and in fact I should probably have deployed them either well away from my objective, or just hunkered them all together and fed non-troop units at him to keep him out of the 3'' needed to contest my objective.  Blood Angels against IG is always going to be a game of how long can the IG hold out....  My sentinels lasted quite a few rounds with his assault marines, and if they had been deployed around the objective they might have lasted long enough to allow me to hang onto my objective.

The mortars weren't particularly effective against power armour, but they certianly hit ALOT of times, making me think they're worth the investment.  I should have tuned the rest of my heavy weaponry to AP3 - which would have been missile launchers and plasma guns to give me a better spread.  I think I was under the misapprehension that autocanons were AP3....

The heavy flamer sentinels are finally worth taking now, I think, as again they caused a stack of hits, and with HK missiles fired off a salvo that immobilised a rhino, as well as glancing it with heavy flamers.  I'll keep using them as scouts, and I'm thinking that maybe I'll take two units of them, as with HK missiles they can take pot shots at tanks the turn they come on, then get stuck into the troops sitting on objectives. 


25th July 2008

Crinan IVth vs Tau

600 points

The gothic arches of the Basillica reared over the forward units of the Crinan IVth as they dug in and said their prayers.  But before Dawn came, the enemy arrived, creeping through the vast broken doors of the Basillica: their night vision goggles pinpointing the waiting guardsmen.

I didn't really want to play the Crinan IVth against Tau, as this army struggles against the Tau's plasma rifles - but war is war, and I ended up playing Caz's embryonic Tau army with 600 points of Crinan IVth.  Caz is pretty new to 40K, and this was his first battle in the 5th edition: so it should have been a cake walk.  Should have been..... 

We rolled for annihilation, with Dawn of War deployment in a table with lots of ruins, and a large crater in the middle left of the table.  I let Caz deploy first - which might actually have been a mistake in this game: as the central craters dominated the battlefield.  Caz chose wisely and put his 12 fire warriors down in the middle of the craters, to my left, very close to the centre line.  He also put a stealth suit and a large mob of kroot in ruins on the other side of the table.

I had two ruins in either corner and I split my squads and HQ choice, with my mortar squad going into ruins nearest the fire warriors, while behind the other ruins in the other corner I put my HQ squad, which had a plasma gun and autocanon, and a infantry squad with autocanon. 

I don't remember much of the early turn, but the game started fairly badly and got rapidly worse, with the dice deserting me.  Once dawn had lifted my mortar squad failed 5 of thier 6 4+ cover saves d. I kicked myself thinking I should have gone to ground, but only one of those 5 was a 3, the rest being 1s and 2s.  And I don't think my rolling got much better. My sentinels all came onto the wrong side of the table. Where lone las rifle shots might snipe off a couple of kroot and drones: on the big rolls I rolled terribly.  So badly even Caz was surprised. When my flamers caught his kroot hiding behind the ruins, 80% of the dice being 1 or 2.  I kept missing my 4+ saves in droves, and the game ended in round 6 with Caz having stuck admirably to his plan with 3 victory points, while I had none.  Yes, I had his kroot mob down to one trooper, his stealth suits down to one, and both his battle suits stripped of their drones - but at the end of the game I had nothing to knock those last troops out, and had to call the retreat. 


29th July 2008

Aquarian Guard vs Demons

1500 points

I had a quiet afternoon on the Vogen Front, and so caught a pick up game with Ivan's demons.  I'd seen Ivan clean the board of George's IG a couple of weeks ago, and so expected to be roundly thrashed. 

I was taking the Aquarian Guard again, but this time I've modified them after the last game.  Two grenadier squads in chimeras, my ogryns' first battle, three russes, two sentinels, HQ with 4x grenade launchers and a drop troop platoon with two squads: the HQ with 4x flamers and the squads each with one plasma. 

Ivan had Epidemius, bloodletters, pink horrors, a bunch of plaguebearers with an icon, two large units of nurglings, an upgraded soulgrinder, fiends of slanesh and some flamers. 

We rolled capture and control, with spearhead deployment.  I put my counter in the far corner of my deployment zone, while Ivan had his about 10'' out from the corner of his.

I was not really sure how to deploy my army, with nothing on table, so I decided to put my two russ battle tanks near the middle of the table with the ogryns in their chimera, trying to dominate the table.  I put one squad of grenadiers around that objective, and the HQ squad with GL covering them from combat.  Against the table edge were their chimera and the demolisher.  The second grenadier squad deployed between a wood and the centre. 

Turn one I moved my tanks towards the centre of the table, getting good lines of sight on any deep strikers.  I forgot to pop my smoke launchers, and Ivan made me pay for it by destroying one of my chimeras.  Not a bad price for an abject lesson in remembering to use your smoke launchers!  Not a problem, as my Grenadiers piled into the ruins and used it as a fire base for the next three rounds.

I brought new dice to the club - dice I had put away after a dismal performance at the Galway Conflict back in 2005 - and they were on fire.  My krak grenades hit each time.  My deep striking flamer squad landed right behind a bunched up horrors and fried the lot.  Ivan made the mistake of ignoring them in his round and they finished off the bloodletters next round too.

Playing IG is all about fire discipline - and I was busy doing the usual: destroying whatever was the closest threat to my guard and especially my objective. But I realised later that I was destroying Ivan's troop selections, till by round four he was struggling forward with nuglings the only threat to my objective.  He was also worrying about killing my tanks with his slannesh fiends, where I think he would have been better going in for the troops covering my objective: as all I had there was a five man HQ squad and eight grenadiers, who were now within range of the soulgrinder on a hill in the middle, who was relentlessly pounding them and forcing them to go to ground in the ruins.

Around Ivan's objective, he only had Epidemus, who was locked in a unresolved combat with a sentinel, while a pair of IG squads deep-struck near enough to the objective to run and claim it.  While one unit fell back after a volley from the flamers, they ran closer to the demons and wiped them out with a fierce round of rapid fire.  And I began to believe that I could win this battle.  I had lost both russes by this point, and the always strikes rear armour in combat is a BIG downer to russes, who have a paultry 10 rear armour.  NOTE TO SELF: do not let russes get into combat! 

Round five went with my grenadiers around my objective being reduced to 5, and nurglings assaulting my HQ squad, who lost the round, were reduced to one, but held.  The sentinel kept Epidemus in combat, and the two squads there redeployed in a manner that Epidemus could not get within 3'' of his objective.  At the end of round 5 I was 2 objectives to 0, but another round was rolled so I hunkered down for more of the same.

The grenadiers were hit again by the soul grinder, and kept their heads down, and were reduced to 3.  But thankfully they passed their ld test, meaning they still held that objective.  They were assaulted by the nurglings in Ivan's turn, but held again, and with Epidemus still in combat with the sentinel the game ended with my objective contested, while Ivans was very firmky held by me. 

Delighted with the win, and although my dice were steaming, a fine moment for the Aquarian Guard. 


Conclusions: I went with 3 russes this game, and they became horribly vulnerable in combat.  I'm thinking of taking two russes next time, with the basilisk back in the mix.  I'm going to give it an armoured crew compartment, to stop glancing hits destroying it, and look forward to being able to pound the enemy from afar. 

With five troop choices I didn't feel that I was running out of options here, although I think Ivan made a mistake my not eliminating my troops more aggressively.  The deep strikers did a great job, and I'm very happy with my min-max HQ squads of 4 flamers/ 4 greande launchers.  If I could I would take another unit with 4 flamers, but the GL are a little more versitile now that they cause 2 wounds to swarms and take out hordes. 

The ogryns had a great moment, disembarking, firing, and then assaulting the fiends of slannesh: and winning that combat.  But the soul grinder assaulted them next round and they lost combat and were run down: making that a very expensive unit to die without earning their points back.  I'm going to drop them down from 4 to 3,add plasma canons to my demolisher, pad out my grenadier squads a little more.  The plasma canons will allow the demolisher to hang back if needed and still hit the enemy (who will be moving closer more quickly with running and the new emphasis on movement and objectives) - and I'm looking forward to using the scatter dice with the blast template on marines.  I'm keeping the sentinels, though am going to give one a flamer and a HK missile.  Flamers are much more useful now, simply by negating cover saves: and with the scout option coming on during the game they often get good shots at rear armour (hence the HK missile) and can then pile in with the flamer.

08th August

Aquarian Guard vs Nids

John's Tyranids made a circuitous attack on my of my fortifications and so I was plunged into a battle I wasn't expecting, against an enemy I thought was far to the other side of the table.  So while Ah Ning assaulted the Palace of Peace, I was involved in a vicious rear-guard scrap against a bug infestation.

I've seen John's army on the table before, and it's a great sight: with six carnifexes and two hive tyrants, three large mobs of gaunts, and a small ripper swarm. 

We rolled up Seize Objectives, rolling four, and Dawn of War.  I had a fairly big advantage in this battle, as fortifications gave me a 200 point advantage in this game, and I had added two squads to my platoon and a heavy flamer sentinel - and this four squad platoon started the game on the table, dug into some ruins well back on either side of the table centre.  Three objectives ran from 12'' out on John's side, roughly across the table with one in the centre and the third 12'' from my table edge.  The fourth was 12'' off from my side in front of some ruins.

I played badly this game, and failed to make use my shooting well - and I was partly dazzled by taking two wounds off his flying tyrant in the first round - but while John's army quickly stacked up, I got nothing in round two except my sentinels; got a basilisk in round three, and had to wait till round four for my two russes, two squads of grenadiers and ogryns all to pile on.

Things were looking pretty dire by then.  Three of the canifexes were close combat monsters, and the other three gunfexes.  The gun fexes took the flanks while the combatfexes charged up the middle with two of the three gaunts units, while the third hid from behind a hill near the far objective.

 The winged tyrant remained back to offer synapse control, and my tanks did pitifully well: never hitting all game and scatting wildly.  The first turn I got to fire all three at the massed gaunt units I only managed to kill three with a bassie and two russes.

By round 5 I felt I had clearly lost, even though the game would have been a draw.  Round six a carnifex was contesting one of my objectives as I scrambled to get troops to objectives and to crowd out the swarm of fexes and tyrants with tanks and my one surviving ogryn. I face round 7 with horror, with my army almost completely destroyed, while John had barely lost a unit.  But the turn ended with two remnant squads hosing the contesting carnifex with plasma, and killing it on the spot, one of my squads sprinting between a tyrant and a canifex that had both destroyed respective units in John's turn.  With two objectives held by my units,  I needed a six to get within contesting range of the central  objective and rolled - a six.

Much to everyone in the shop's surprise I won the game - by the skin of my teeth. Although relieved I was well aware how poorly I had used my army.  I should have moved more of my flamer units from round one, should have focussed my fire much more on his troops, and should have brought russ crew who knew their arses from thier elbows. 

15th August

Aquarian Guard vs Thousand Sons

I picked up a game against a favourite opponent of mine: George Yow. 

George has been playing around with lists for the tournament this year, and this was his latest direction: an army with a couple of units of chaos marines in rhinos, with icon bearers, and Ahriman, and sorcerers, then 4 units of demons summoning in, a greater demon and three obliterators.

I had stuck with two russes, one battle and one demolisher, a basilisk, platoon, two units of grenadiers in chimeras, ogryns in chimera and  two sentinels and an HQ squad.

We were playing sieze objectives, and there were five objectives, spread around the table.  It's clear that there's no way to control all the objectives, so I decided that I would take the three objectives to the right of the table.  The table had a fair mix of woods and hills, and a large square ruin in the centre of the table.  My plan - dumb now I think of it - was to race my grenadiers and ogryns into the ruins which was to be used as a fire base from which my troops could dash out and seize the two nearby objectives towards the end of the game.

My demolisher covered one of the objectives I was leaving to George, the battle tank screened my objectives, and my deep striking platoon and sentinels were in reserve.

The early rounds resolved around me trying to blow George's rhinos.  My gunner sights were way off, and the only hits I got I rolled 1s for my penetration.  It was only in round three that I finally managed to blow one rhino up, and four the other.  By this time the central rhino had already disgorged it's unit into the ruins, where they went on to mop up my grenadiers.

More intelligently I deep struck a unit behind george's lines behind impassable terrain, within grabbing range of one of his objectives.  This meant one rhino went into reverse in order to deal with the troops there, and as the sentinels came in at the same spot, those marines were tied up the entire game.

The game revolved around a very few objectives.  I shot and moved badly - taking too long again to get my HQ squad out to negate threats to my troops - and lost my tank to a CC greater demon.  I forget how many turns we played: I'm pretty sure it went on way too long for my nerve levels.  But the game came down to one squad of IG hiding in the woods next to a single objective. 

George should have won this, because he had 2 or 3 units within 6'' of objectives, but none within 3''.  Still, a win is a win, and a remarkable run of wins for me. 

20th August

Aquarian Guard vs Tau

Tournament game against Caz's Tau, as my army counter attacked into the Vogen Law Courts - and to make things feel great we were playing on the city terrain table. 

We were playing 750 points, and Caz had a devilfish, HQ, battle suit, a mob of Kroot and I think four squads of fire warriors.  I had to cut my army in half, and so I took the platoon, one unit of grenadiers, demolisher, and HQ.  We rolled up dawn of war, and Annihilate.  Game on!

I started with only the grenadiers in their chimera hiding behind a building.  Turn one started great, with my demolisher rumbling along the street and destroying a unit of fire warriors with both plasma canons hitting. Although, thinking about it, I'm not sure I should have been allowed to move and fire both plasma sponsors.  Will check! 

It was an excellent game with sniping around street corners: with the first few turns going very much my way, and we hit round five with me 4 kill points to 2.  My HQ flamer squad had deep struck perfectly in front of the massed kroot and with 30 heavy flamer hits, they were fried. 

There were some pathfinders on the top of a building who had been sniping at my hq squad, and to keep them out of trouble they and a grenadier squad assaulted the battle suit that Caz had tooled up with a pair of drones, 2+ save and feel no pain. My grenade launcher HQ squad rounded a corner and suddenly realised they couldn't even glance the thing they were shooting at - and scrambled back behind the street corner. 

The game went on till round 7, with Caz pulling another kill point back (4-3) in round 5 - as I hadn't realised my chimera gave away a kill point and had sent it out to try and get a flank shot onto the devilfish - and his hq battle suit and devilfish chasing a pair of lone guardsman round street corners trying to wipe them out. 

My troops in combat saved an impossible number of saves and the game ended after one of my lone guardsmen passing his 7 ld test - and was great fun.  My carapace armour was a life saver in this game, as a number of AP5 weaponry would have been wiping units out en masse. 

Four victories in a row must be my best run for a long time.  I'm finding drop troop and carapace really valuable doctrines: the 4+ save really helping my units stay alive, while drop troops is great at getting the right units into the right spot. 

I've dropped the battle tank from my list, and will hopefully get to play the tournament list on friday, in favour of a chimera.  Tanks feel too vulnerable in hth combat - so i thought I'd try out a no cover save hellhound template instead.



26th August 2008

Aquarian Guard vs Brood Lord Nids

After beating Caz's Tau, I thought I would strike against the other intruder on my other flank: John's Tyrnaids. 

Now last time I played him I had a 200 point advantage and managed to pull off a fluky win, so this time I knew I'd be up against it.  John switched his list from a 6 carnifex list to a broodlord list with a frightening number of genestealers.  I think John was running 6 units of 10 genestealers, with extended carapaces giving them a 4+ save.  The rest of the army was made up with

I suggested we use the city terrain table, which was a fairly dumb move for me and my army: and not really thinking about what kind of nid army I was against, I chose the table quarter which had a large building forming an L shape along the table edge: I planned to race my russ and hellhound up the long street along the table edge and pound the enemy, while my grenadiers and ogryns used the tight streets around the other end of the 'L', which opened out near the middle of the table as a funnel into which the nids would be funnelled and would be wiped out.

In round 5 I would race my troops over the buildings to snatch enough of the 5 objectives to claim victory.

The game went almost entirely away from plan.  I went first and the first two rounds went well.  My flamer HQ squad hit home in front of one of the two starting units of genestealers and flamed them - though leaving one alive.  My basilisk hit a couple of times and took out a couple of warriors - and by the end of my round 2 my russ and hellhound were both in position at the end of the street, with wide fields of fire across the town square to the advancing nids.

It was then that the game went wrong.  Two units of genestealers - including one with the broodlord - arrived on my long table edge.  One took out the basilisk and the other destroyed the russ and immobilised the hellhound.  In round three I retaliated by dropping a squad within rapid fire distance and they took out the squad - and reduced the broodlord to two wounds.  Again - not enough.  Another unit of genestealers came on that table edge in John's turn and wiped them out. 

The I6 genetealers were taking a terrible toll on my squads, who had fared pretty well against other troops.  The ogryns chimera was immobilised  blocking the only route into the middle of the table, and I was stuck shooting back at the genestealers coming towards me from the ruined basilisk rather than forwards at the squads I needed to destroy to make it safe enough for my grenadiers to move forward.

The next couple of rounds I lost squad after squad - and round 4 began with only one troop choice left - and John holding two objectives, each with a single surviving genestealer.  The nearest one shrugged off most of the firepower of three autocanons and 2 stubbers and one heavy bolter - but finally went down to a storm bolter shot.  But John assaulted that one remaining unit with some leaping warriors.  The grenadiers held and it looked like I might just scrape a draw if I could kill the one last genestealer.  My last flamer sentinel came on automatically in round 5, and moved to get a shot across the table with his HK missile.  And hit.  And failed to wound...

Gone was my chance of scraping a draw, and John  put the final nail in the coffin by wiping out my last two grenadiers.  The game was over, and we rolled to see if there was another turn to play: and there was.  Just for the hell of it I rolled to see if we would play round seven as well, and we would have - meaning even if I had managed to get the troops onto the objective I would still have lost.

Moral of this story: avoid the table edges when playing infiltrating genestealers. 

2nd October 2008

Aquarian Guard vs White Scars, with no bikes

Has it really been that long?!  Wife, kids, typhoons, editors, novels, Forge World delays - in short, LIFE™ has got in the way of the far more serious job of playing warhammer.

This was my last game before the Hong Kong GT, and I was keen to continue my winning streak - and thought I'd be playing George's 3 monster nid army (with 3 x 5 wound, +1 T combat carnifexes) but came up against Simon Au and his bike free white scars.

For the clever among you, Simon Au was the VC player I came up against in the second game of the Warhammer GT ack in April and he's great fun to play against.  And it was also his first game with the 5th edition rules, playing with an army of assault marines with librarian and power fist; squad in rhino; 2x dreadnaughts and a squadron of landspeeders with assault canons.

We rolled Capture Objective, and spearhead (opposing quarters) and Simon got to go first.

There were some ruins in the centre of the table, but otherwise not too much terrain that blocked line of sight.  Just some rubble fields that gave a 4+ save.

Simon went first, and popped my hellhound in the first round.  I had placed it across the los to my basilisk, and so the wreck served the same purpose. Simon's landspeeders raced forward, and I focussed almost all my fire on them for the first round, and only managed to take down one.  Meanwhile, the assault marines jumped behind them, and I was starting to feel worried.

Simon came forward on all fronts, popping chimeras, sentinels and stunning my demolisher: and I was doing very little damage to his army.  But, my droptrooping troops landed near his objectives, which he had only guarded with a unit of devastators, who eventually fell to disciplined volleys of las rifles, the last man running, and being engaged in combat, more than 3'' away from the objective, by a scouting sentinel. 

Simon came towards my objective, but i covered it with two units, spreading them out to stop even assaulting marines from getting within 3''.  If the game had gone on past 5, it would probably have been a draw - or a loss to me, but at the end of round 5 I was holding both objectives. 

This was Simon's first game in 5th edition, and not the list he's using in the tournament.  He killed alot more of my army than I did his, but didn't focus enough on playing to objectives.

Very happy to end my gaming before the GT with a win.


40K Hong Kong GT

I flew off on my family holiday the night of the GT, and am writing this up a week after the event, so admit that a few of the details might not be correct, but they are as accurate as I can remember.  


The 40k GT is 4 games in a single day, starting at 8-30, and running on till 7pm.  I took the ferry over to Hong Kong island, got a cab over to the store, and took my figures out of their cases.  Flex fingers, warm the dice, flick out the measuring tape: it’s time to game!


Alex Maclaran hadn’t been in touch, so I was sure I would be the only warmonger at the event, but funnily enough a Warmonger happened to be in Hong Kong on business and came up to say hello.  Read on to find out who. 


Game 1

Nurgle Space Marines

My first game was up against an old sparing partner, Caz.  But while I had come up against his Tau a couple of times, with pretty much equal honours on both sides, he had recently switched to the dark side, and was playing Nurgle Space Marines.

Caz was fielding a couple of rhino squads, a guy on a bike, a defiler, flying demon prince, and a pair of obliterators.  A small squad of five also seized the objective to start the game off.

We were playing capture objective, with three objectives, that we placed diagonally across the table.  Placing the objectives, Caz hid one of his behind a concrete slab, while I was a little cocky, and put mine out in the open, leaving it far enough forward to lure Caz onto it, where I intended to destroy him, and then sneak out and seize it.

I held back for the first two rounds as Caz rhino rushed me with one of his rhinos and his demon prince.  I had good los and blasted away, - including a penetrating hit with my demolisher – but failed to do any more than stun the rhino – and it was only after I had finished my round that I realized that I had forgotten to use any of my heavy bolters.

Round 2 started with two of my drop squads landing: I thought I would land in force around the hidden objective, destroy the rhino, and then blast at the squad at point blank range.

Of course, it didn’t quite go like this: one plasma gun overheated, but the other shots hit, and even penetrating hits, but again, they did nothing more than stun the rhino.  Next round the squad disembarked, and blasted my squads – but I was more concerned with the about-to-assault demon prince getting in amongst my tanks.

My grenadiers took the demon prince out, but the biker hit one unit, while the squad took out the other unit.  Remarkably, my grenadiers held against the biker, and then – in a couple of rounds of combat, took him out.

Round 4 my last squad arrived, and veered off course and landed right in front of the defiler: who wiped them out with a shell from his battle canon.

It was during round 4 that Caz told me that we were not playing random game length, but were playing 6 rounds.  Stupid me had failed to read the info pack.  And it was only at the en of the game that I realized that not only were we playing fixed turns, but also victory points.  

The last couple of rounds were focused around a dash for the objective on my side of the board.  I was playing for a draw, whereas Caz had a win in his sights.  There was a dash to destroy the marines who were claiming Caz’s objective.  My demolisher killed all but one of those marines, but he had snuck out of los, and was hiding within 3’’ of the objective.

Caz took my objective, but a combo of ogryns and sentinels contested that objective, and my demolisher ended up a couple of inches short of contesting the other objective – ending up in a victory to Caz, with 1 objective to none.

It was also a clear victory on points: it was easier for me to count what points I had left, and the tally came out with Caz on 977 vs. my 532


Game 2

Space Wolves

Next game Caz went up to Table 1, while I slipped down to 9.  I was up against a young lad, by the name of Brendan Chan – who was playing space wolves.

He had two large footslogging squads, a dreadnought, 5 terminators, a squad of scouts, a predator with twin linked las canons, and an exterminator russ.  The game mission was capture and control: we both set our objectives behind concrete slabs. 

My plan was to soak up any attack, and then counter attack with the mobile wing of my army – rushing in to take his objective at the end of the game.

 The game started out as something of a tank duel, with his russes and my artillery trading shots across the table.  My tanks were saved from penetrating hits by being obscured, and all my firing failed to do anything at all.

On round 2 the scouts arrived behind my lines, their melta immobilizing my basilisk.  I poured fire into them and wiped them out.  Two of my squads also landed almost perfectly behind the leman russ exterminator – scored two penetrating hits, but again, my rolls on the damage chart were a little unimpressive – only stunning and shaking it, but a glancing hit giving me a respectable weapon destroyed. 

 My demolisher canon also scored a good hit on the dreadnought: but rolled a 1 and failed to even glance.  

 The predator rammed my scouting sentinel, whose auto canon failed to do much even with hitting the rear.  But like much of this game – which felt like something of a non contest – the ram failed to damage the sentinel, which was shredded by bolter fire the next turn.

As the space wolf tac squads back pedaled to kill my deep strikers, the game ground down to a draw: my tanks back peddled, so as not to give the enemy an assault charge – and I realized a turn too late that the game was mine to win – and my racing demolisher ended the game about 10’’ short of contesting Brendan’s objective.

I don’t remember VPs, although I lost more than Brendan, losing 904 points, but with the moral victory that I had at least gotten troops within 3’’ of his objective, and that my dead were piled high in his objective zone.

I was a little distracted –very pleasantly so – by the appearance of a Warmonger who was in town doing business, and had seen my Hong Kong GT blog.  Awesome!  - Especially as I failed to lure Beijing Warmonger, Alistair MacLaran, out of his 74th floor Beijing luxury apartment. 


Game 3

Blood Angels

Rather shamefully, I was in my third battle, playing the youngest contestant at the GT, a young Austrian called Malte Jack, and with a kill point mission against Blood Angels army consisting of a dreadnought, devastator squad, a couple of units of 5 man terminator squads, Lysander, a large unit of death company and a couple of tac squads.

The mission was kill points, which gave me quite a challenge as this was a game I had to go out and win, even though I was up against it with only 8 kill points available from the enemy, all at 2+ or 3+ armour saves, and a whopping 15 available in mine: some of them – like sentinels – remarkable easy to notch up.

Still, there is nothing like a challenge, and Malte Jack – whilst a very pleasant young man to fight against, wasn’t as tactically aware as others. 

It was a tight run game, with most of the dark angels being killed fairly early on, Sanguinus flying across the board towards me and being stopped just short of my lines, but a couple of tense last rounds as we matched each other kill point for kill point, and I threw everything I had at the last remaining terminators – one of each from each squad keeping me from a sure victory.  The two termies soaked up an exorbitant amount of fire, and I was beginning to despair, when at last I hit one with a demolisher canon, unfortunately demolishing a chimera at the same time.  The last round the final termie failed an armour save, and all Malte had left was an immobilized dreadnought

I’d lost both sentinels, the bassie, a squad and the chimera I’d blown up.   We ended up with 5 vs. 8, but I got a real foot-up from the VPs, coming out with 1435 vs. 434.

This was enough to shove me back up into the more respectable table 8, to face another space marine army: this time from 40k Vet, Jonathon Hsu.

Game 4

Space Marines

Jonathon (if I remember right) got into Warhammer at college in California, and his best army – including a great looking with hunter army (he had a few sample models with him) still in the US.  What he had was an antique space marines army, with a slightly odd selection of figures, no doubt bound by the limitations of the figures he had with him.

Jonathon had a couple of devastator squads with heavy bolters, a couple of 2 man bike squads, deep striking terminators, and a couple of rhinos with tactical squads.

The mission was capture objectives, and the deployment was Dawn of War.  I went again for a fairly generous placement of my objectives, but saw sense the second time round and stuck the other one on the far side of the table.

The game started with the bikes turbo boosting onto the table and the devastator squads moving forward into cover.

My first round started well, with the demolisher shell penetrating the foremost rhino, but the timing of codex releases meant that Jonathon had the old rule advantage – which he generously pointed out to me before we started playing – of smoke turning a pen into a glancing hit on a 4+.  Jonathon then rolled a 5, and all I managed was a wound on one of the bikers.

Round 2 my demolisher killed one of my own men, and had it’s canon destroyed the following round.

Round 3 the terminators deep struck behind my lines, and the attention of the game now focused on the Bermuda Triangle of three objectives on the left of the field.  My units deep struck into this area, one was wiped out, while the others managed to get into cover and start to fight back.

One tac squad was weakened by shooting and then destroyed, the bikers were wiped out, and the last two rounds were very tense as Jonathon ran out of troops and I was clinging on with the remnants of my squads.

I tried blocking Jonathon with my chimera, while Jonathon had a mind power that forced a ld check to all units within 12’’ or fall back.  At the beginning of round 6 I had three units within 12’’ and they all passed their ld checks and ran into contest the counter.

We ended with one objective each and one contested.  It was a tough and hard fought game, but very enjoyable – with me scooping a moral victory by 560 VPs vs. 562.


My general mistake with GTs is not being focused until I have lost a game – and then only really kicking into gear after the first couple of games are over.  This was certainly true this time where I start all cheerful and friendly and only get serious when I get mad.   

I wasn’t particularly pleased with my performance this time  There were a couple of disappointments. One was that I faced Space Marines all four battles, and I hadn’t played Space Marines much until then – and found I was short of AP 3+ weaponry, and would probably have been better keeping my original configuration of one russ and one demolisher rather than switching to the hellhound. 

Not playing space marines in the run-up to the game was something of a disadvantage – but the rest of the Tuesday Club took all the honours in the tournament, with Caz – my first opponent - even scooping best Noob. 

Thinking back on the games, I also felt that I was a thrown by not being able to kill enough of the marines, and seem to make my dash for objectives a turn too late.  Something of a gear shift – to stop backing up and shooting the enemy – to running at the survivors and trying to bash them out of the way. 

Fun Atelier doesn’t have a great supply of terrain, and the gamers seem quite happy with different shades of base standing for woods or hills or pools – but it was clear that this was not going to work in the new 40K where true los was in play.  Although I admire the production line that turns out all the new terrain, but I had a couple of issues.  Firstly, each table was essentially identical: with a square of ruins in the middle of the table, and then a scatting of ‘concrete sections’ around the rest of the table.  Also the terrain was very single dimensional – as you either had los or not.  The only way to get cover saves was to hide half the unit behind cover and have the rest of the guys shooting.

I took best army, which was great, as there were a couple of great painted armies – with Sunny’s painting service from over the border in Shenzhen having a couple of fantastically painted armies, including his own Greenskins and George Yow’s nids.  But I came away with the feeling that I want to convert and field cool looking and different armies, but I also want to win


My Army


Armies I liked the look of...

George Yow's Nids


Simon Chan's White Scar Horde

Sunny's Greenskins


Thoughts on this list:

Meh…. 215 points of this army were there because I liked the Ogryn models, and as everyone knows, Ogryns are utterly useless.  I probably didn’t do myself any favours by having this opinion of them – and certainly in the first game against Caz I should have had my Ogryns into combat where they could counter the high Toughness.

Still, I would probably have been better converting space marine scout bikes into rough riders, and with the Kasrkin heads from Forge World, I think I might just indulge myself.   

I would also drop the hellhound, which was fairly futile hosing down the space marines, and take the battle tank instead, or maybe another demolisher. 

The future: next project…..

The HK gaming circuit revolves around two GTs, which means when the 40K GT is over, the Warhammer season starts.  I’m struggling with this decision of which army to work on – as I’ll have to start now in order to get the army finished. 

I take my Warhammer much more seriously than 40K, and obviously, I don’t want to paint up a whole army that will get whupped by an endless succession of demon and VCs.  Last year in HK 1/3 of the armies were VCs, and I’m sure a good half will either be VCs or demons this year. 

There is talk of some of the guys getting together and heading over to Oz next year, so it’ll be good to see how the army ranks against the Oz armies. 

Here are a list of some of the ideas I’m working through:

Orcs: I started painting a greenskin mounted horde when I met my wife and they never made it past modeling and basing and undercoating.  Had a lot of fun with this army, and it’s tough and hard hitting – and very much my style of play – which is fast and hard hitting.  However, I’m not sure I can bring myself to magic this army up, without losing my affection for it. 

Dogs of War: Defenders of Bohsenfels – maxing out on Maneaters, this dogs of war list is themed around the fort that the dogs held throughout the Storm of Chaos campaign.  Sadly, GW dropped dos of war from their official tournament list.  WTF!

Empire: Got the figures for a human horde, and have played with a ton of lists on Army Builder, but can’t bring myself to stank, and the lists that seem like they’ll be able to manage don’t look fun to play.  Have thought of modeling them up as the Army of Marienburg, using some of the limitations that were put into a White Dwarf years ago.  But overall: not likely to happen.

Chaos Mortals: got an award winning Norse themed Chaos warband I always intended to expand into an army, something along the lines of the Fulsa Doom army at the beginning of Conan the Barbarian meets Eric Bloodaxe.  A fairly strong contender.  Will have to see how the new book looks – but not sure I’m going to bring myself to go for this. 

Bretonnians: the no brainer solution, and an army I’d feel confident taking over to Oz.  This army won best army last year in the GT, even though I never got to quite finished it last year.  I’m pushing it more towards the Peasant Crusade, and have a number of units to add to it, as well as some more archers, but I like the challenge of going for best army, and I would feel bad winning for the same army two years in a row.  Could be a patch up for Oz, but not an army to use for next year.

Dwarves: While I collected High Elves in the days before Warhammer came out, the first army I painted were dwarves, and I’ve been meaning to get back to these guys since the last codex came out.  No castling for me, I want to play attack dwarves, Dwarf Horde – probably based around a core of slayers and hammerers – with rangers and miners and a gyrocopter all thrown in to add maneuverability to the list. 

I’m determined to make these guys work, and am looking forward to see how it works using some of The Dark Dwarves ideas.  This list will also be Viking themed, and fits in nicely with the novel I’m working on at the moment, which covers the fifty years before the Battle of Hastings.  Just watch me model a dwarf with an arrow in his eye….!

Dwarves is the most likely, as I have the figures, going back to the first GW slotta base dwarves – and have even splashed on the ugly gyrocopter.  The challenge I’m facing is to make them interesting to look at, as the dwarves themselves are difficult to take Best Army with.  I think the way to make them stand out is by really going for it base-wise.


Next year’s 40K GT

And of course I’m also thinking of next year’s army…..

The Crinan IVth could certainly do with a repaint, and I’d love to properly model up all 12 sentinels something along the lines of the two sentinels I modeled for the Aquarian Guard.  With a new codex, it’ll be interesting to see how humanity’s finest match up in the 40K universe.   It’s a distinctive list that plays pretty well, and had a very solid few games in the new edition.  And I like IG.  Duh! 

But, I have a couple of other contenders.  My first ever army was the space marines that came with the Rogue Trader boxed set, and while I sold off these plastics this year because they looked crap, I’ve been planning to revisit my Custodians Chapter for the last twenty years or so.  Now that GW have made plastic drop-pods and I’ve settled on the new colour scheme varient, this seems as good a time as any.  Why not now?  Plus space marines seem like a pretty strong list with the new codex, and I’d like to start placing higher up the rankings.

But I’ve also been occasionally banging on the boards about an Imperial Navy army, using the witch hunter army list, which might just make it into the list if the plastic Valkyries are a reality.  Old metal sotrmtroopers as ship marine crews, a mix of valhallens as the orderlies and MOrdians as my officers….I have the figures, I have the theme: can I be bothered to paint it up?  At the moment definatley an outsider….but we shall see.