Alright, summer’s winding down, and the days are getting a bit cooler (at least around the GTA anyways — and who knows how long that will last) but y’know what? I’m pretty stoked. I’m sitting here, in my chair, and I’m stoked out of my bloody mind.
Some might say dangerously stoked.
Anyways. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of items that are gettin’ me stoked as hell:
The Toronto Blue Jays – The boys of summer have been absolutely killing it since their trade for Troy Tulowitzki and David Price. They have absolutely run over the Yankees en route to their now 1.5 game lead in the AL East, and Fangraphs is giving them a 12.2% chance of taking it all, behind the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros.
For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, this is baseball, and it’s baseball at its finest.
We haven’t been to the playoffs in 20+ years, so it’s high time. Bring it on!
Star Wars Armada Wave 2 – FFG is going to take away a lot of my money once is comes out. I was dealt a hammer-blow earlier this week when they announced that the second wave, which includes the Imperial Class Star Destroyer and Home One, an MC80 Mon Calamari Star Cruiser (of “IT’S A TRAP” fame). I anticipate Wave 2 brings the game from ‘absolutely incredible’ to ‘shit just got real’ territory. If you thought that Victory Class Star Destroyers looked big on the table-top, you should take a look at these puppies per the photos people have graciously posted from Gencon, where there was a preview display up.
My excitement goes a step further, because FFG has sent out the following to everyone:
DAMN. 4 red and 4 blue on the frontal arc? Goodnight, anyone at mid-range that’s stupid enough to get on the frontal arc of this thing. It’s also faster than the Victory, can control more squadrons, and more maneuverable at speed 2 and 3. I doubt anyone will have any reasons NOT to take this thing (except its relatively high price tag at 120 points). It’s shield layout and number of hullpoints indicate it can probably take a beating too, just as well because the base is probably massive as well. Throwing 2 blue dice at enemy squadrons doesn’t hurt either.
Anyways. I’m really looking forwards to the big boys arriving.
My Blood Angels – Seriously. They’re really coming along well. I kind of hesitated to get back into marines because I thought that my paint skills probably wouldn’t do them justice. Welp. I’ve gone and proven myself wrong, as I’ve done up some ENTIRELY PASSABLE quality models.
That last one’s a WIP still, but where the hell did that come from? AHHH!!! SO STOKED!!!!!!!!
Been a long time since I’ve written a battle report, so I figured I’d dust off my cap and write up a good game I had this past weekend against a relatively recent regular at the shop, with a very unorthodox list that he’s been thinking about throwing onto the tournament scene. I’ll present it below and then talk about them some:
Wolf Lord, Thunderwolf Mount, Frost Axe, Storm Shield, Artificer Armour?
5x Thunderwolf Cavalry, Powerfist, Stormshield
Grey Hunters (x5) – Rhino
Sanguinary Priest on Bike
4x Drop Pods (from either SW or Flesh Tearers)
Mission: Deadlock (Maelstrom)
So the idea of this list is that the Thunderwolves run amok while 5x Meltaguns that ignore cover fall from the sky. All the independent characters possible join up with the wolf cavalry, and wolf lord tanks the shots that aren’t AP 1/2 on his 2+/3++/5+++ (FNP). Kind of a brutal deathstar, really. Celestine adds another high-initiative twist at I7 and S5, plus she won’t die.
It was my thought looking at this list that anything the wolves touch will be instantly murdered. Guardsmen are not well suited for combat in general, and even the Blood Angels I brought along weren’t exactly highly geared up for it.
Given there’s 3 IC’s in the squad, they can potentially split apart and cover 4 objectives at once, so I needed to sprawl out and control as much of the table as possible while the wolves murdered everything they wanted to. In the meantime I’d be running about capping objectives and putting down the other small units and try to make the wolves the last unit on the table. If things got dire and they split off the IC’s from the deathstar before my forces were adequately removed, they’d be picked off one by one.
Given that there wasn’t much for me to shoot at, I made my opponent take first turn.
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 1:
Two drop pods fall, one of them scatters off the table and goes into on-going reserve. He was forced to place them pretty close to the table edge in order to take some pot-shots at Knight Commander Pask. The 5-man sister squad disembarked onto the ridge behind the Russes, and shook up the MBT Russ, but caused no further damage.
Otherwise, the wolves and one of the rhinos push forwards to capture objectives, but no further damage is caused on the Guardsmen. SoB run out in front, 2-0.
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 1:
In this turn, I start to realize this army is going to play quite differently than the ones I would usually play, with a metric shit-tonne of shooting. I still have lots of shooting, but it’s more of a maneuver play than anything else. Unfortunately, the objectives drawn aren’t particularly helpful.
The Russes pop smoke and vaporize most of the sisters on the hill with multi-melta fire, but there still remain a few hiding behind the hill, out of LoS. Not a problem for the Deredeo, who pounds the remaining 2 using its Aeilos Missile Launchers (or whatever), ignoring LoS (though perplexingly not their cover save).
But the Deredeo wasn’t done, he viciously blew away the leading rhino with his sundering autocannons. It wasn’t even close. S8 re-rolling the AP is pretty effective. Clambering out of the wreckage, the grey-hunters are finished off by the group of waiting melta-veterans supported by the Blood Angels Razorback.
Quite a few of the guardsmen shuffle around, but they’re still wary of 3 drop-pods yet to arrive, so the formation is maintained for the time being.
Not much else doing at the end of the day, but some VP’s are scored as a result of First Blood and table position.
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 2:
Bitten by poor Reserves rolls, the Avenger and two squads of dominions fail to come in. The only drop pod falling is the one that mis-happed on turn 1!
They drop in front of the MBT Russ, and quickly go to work, knocking its turret off. Fortunately for Pask, his smoke screen combined with the Camo-net saves him from any damage.
Scouts run out from the spot where they infiltrated, onto the objective that was vacated by the Grey-hunters. The rear rhino, having secured the back-field objective now moves forwards to secure an upfield objective.
The Thunderwolves advance, and tear apart the lead Chimera in a vicious explosion (S10 AP2 will do that), but not much else happens. If I recall, this turn is a big one in terms of scoring objectives, and the sisters go flying out in front, approximately 6-2 (ish).
(as an aside, unfortunately I put my camera away for a lot of the next few turns. Apologies!)
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 2:
Everything works in concert this turn.
The scions arrive via grav-chute insertion into the Wolve’s back-field, securing an important objective, now vacated by the sisters mounted in the rhino.
In full sight of the dominions that just landed, the guardsmen fire volleys of lasgun fire (aided by their lieutenant’s command) and wipe the unit handily.
Discharging the grav-tactical squad, the Razorback speeds off hoping to secure an objective by flat-outing onto the one presently being held by the Scouts. Melta-gun fire, lasguns, a flamer fail to bring the scouts down, but the unit is finished off when the Aeilos Missiles from the Deredeo come crashing down.
The Deredeo continues picking off Rhinos like it’s nobody’s business, nabbing the one that’s crossing no-man’s land. The occupants then come under fire from the Scions, taking 3 casualties to a plasmagun and Hot-shot lasguns at long range.
Everything directed in the direction of the wolves doesn’t go as smoothly however, with Pask’s fusilade and the grav team causing a total of 3 wounds total on the wolf lord and one of the cavalry. I’ve yet to remove a model from the at Wolfstar, and it’s starting to look a little impossible to deal with using the tools I have available.
The Death Company advanced, hoping to get a charge in on one of the drop pods, but are left in the open when they can’t cover 5″ of ground.
at the end of the turn, the Guard pick up 4 or 5 VP, but a D3 VP turns out to be 1. Regardless, they swing in front for the lead. approximately 7-6ish…
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 3:
Again, bitten by poor Reserves rolls, only the Avenger and another Dominion squad comes on. The Avenger lays waste to all but one of the Death Company (he who sports the inferno pistol), which were starting to look a little intimidating, while the Dominions land immediately in front the Deredeo and absolutely WASTE him.
Unfortunately I didn’t pass a single one of my 5++ from his fancy shield. His usefulness was approaching its end however with both rhinos and most of the troops disposed of already, but its loss was certainly felt in later turns.
The sister squad that had been forcibly removed from their transport by the Deredeo the turn earlier turns its attention to the Razorback immediately in front of them, and stun it twice, but fail to land the killing blow.
The wolves pulled off a pretty crazy multi-charge, wiping out 3 units in one go:
Veterans on foot (those that shot the scouts)
Veterans embarked (those that hadn’t done anything just yet)
Grav-tactical squad on foot. Unfortunately the only thing that had any hope of doing anything (the power fist) was shot away by Celestine’s heavy flamer thingie, so the writing was really on the wall there.
Perhaps fortunately there are no survivors (they’re just too damned good at killing things), so I’ll be able to shoot the wolves the next turn. I didn’t track VP until the last turn in this case, suffice to say the game is anyone’s at this point, because we can’t hold nearly as many cards as we could at the start of the game…
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 3:
This turn is really just a reactionary turn for me. I just lost quite a few units in the turn previous, and had to kind of consolidate and continue to try and steal objectives away.
The Sanguinary priest disembarks to try and get Pask some more time and space from that Thunderwolf cavalry, and cause a single wound (WOOT) on one of the regular wolves. Pask knocks the Wolf Lord down to 2 HP with his own shooting.
Celestine gets singled out of the squad and wasted by a melta-gun. She passes her leadership test however, and gets right back up again. It would have been a great warlord kill, but alas it wasn’t to be…
The infantry blob, perhaps admiring the fireworks produced by the Deredeo going up turn and assault the Dominions, wiping them out also.
The scions hold their ground and pick off one more of the sisters, so the remaining Death Company marine can pick her off in assault.
Unfortunately those are the only two units who could actually assault that turn, otherwise it might have been worth D3 VP for an active Blood and Guts card I was holding on to.
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 4:
Finally the last Dominion Squad comes on, and there’s no surprise that it’s going right behind Pask, with his infantry screen otherwise occupied…
From here on in, it’s like whack-a-mole.
Avenger > Full Strength Razorback
Dominions > Knight Cmdr Pask
Wolves > Sang. Priest (WL) & Veterans, in another crazy multi-charge.
Not much left on the table for the Guard now, it’s up to about 19 bodies, a single Death Company Marine, 5 Scions, and a severely damaged Razorback to secure the win for the Guard….
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 4:
The infantry, either insanely stupid or very brave (with the commissar in the group, I’d probably suggest this bravery was INDUCED.) advance towards the wolves, but target the Dominions with their shooting, killing one. The Death Company charge, killing 2 more. The sisters break, but the Lunatic is unable to catch them (despite being I5 on the turn they charge, go figure).
There was a hair-brained plan to score another VP, that involved shooting down the Avenger in order to clear space for the Razorback to flat-out through and secure an objective for another VP as the game was really tight at this point. This blew up in my face, as the scions weren’t able to hit the Avenger as it zoomed overhead. *Le Sigh* Actually, this plan would have worked if the Avenger blew up in my face, but it didn’t, and that’s the issue.
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 5:
Jinking from the fire of the Scions, and lacking any other targets, the Avenger flies off the table.
The game of whack-a-mole continues. The two sisters remaining regroup, but miss both their melta snap-shots on the Death Company who is staring at them blankly.
The wolves chase after the Razorback, blowing it away. Unfortunately the wolfian general forgets that after assaulting a vehicle they can’t consolidate, which is problematic because he can’t cash in the objective that’s nearby…
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 5:
The final objective I’m sitting on at this point is to kill something in the shooting phase, which is a bit more complicated than it sounds. The Avenger with 1 hull point remaining just flew off the table. The Two sisters are in range of about 5 lasguns (and only 1 dies to that fire), leaving one remaining. There’s a drop-pod off in the corner that has only one hullpoint remaining, and the Death Company marine DOES have an inferno pistol…
He flicks his jump pack over, and hits with the pistol. He’s definitely within 3″. Rolling 2D6… and a 3 won’t do it. Blast!
The scions don’t really have a hope of killing off the wolves, but take some pot-shots anyway and are rewarded when one of the Cavalry is killed to a plasmagun.
At the end of Turn 5, the game is a DRAW. But. The game continues. (!!!)
Sisters of the Wolf Tearer, Turn 6:
Unable to complete the tactical objective due to the Razorback slaughter of Turn 5, he breaks off Celestine from the group and plants her on the objectives while the Wolves go out hunting the infantry platoon on the other side of the table. They make it into assault, and kill about half of the guardsmen there. In a challenge, a plucky Sergeant manages to take a wound off of the Wolf Lord before being hacked to pieces and devoured.
The Avenger also flies back on and strafes the Scions off the table, as they were unable to find cover in time.
With this, the Sisters take a SINGLE POINT LEAD over the Guard.
Blood Angels & Imperial Guard, Turn 6:
The Death Company Marine, having just destroyed the drop-pod in assault with a krak grenade (yeah, it’s been that kind of game), jets over the terrain and takes aim at the sister. He finds her on her knees, praying for protection from the melta-blast that is surely to arrive.
It never does. Through divine intervention (or 6++, if you prefer), the sister survives, denying the tactical VP for killing something in the shooting phase.
Out of sheer fury and spite, the Death Company marine charges the sister and chainsword singing gleefully, she’s carved to ribbons. The consolidation roll is sufficient to obtain line-breaker, to tie the game…
But in the assault phase, the infantry platoon can’t hang on. The wolves wipe the unit with 3 wounds to spare, and achieve the 4″ consolidation roll in order to WIN THE GAME.
At the end of it all, the thunderwolf cavalry are short two of their number, the Avenger is damaged, and casualties are otherwise total.
On the other side a lone, lunatic marine is left standing.
His unit didn’t do anything, but he wiped out two sisters squads single-handedly, while also knocking out a drop pod with a krak grenade. That’s a special grade of crazy, right there.
MVP on the other side obviously goes to the wolf star.
2 wounds each, T5, 3+/3++ w/ S10 AP2 on the charge and 5+ FNP to boot? Tough cookies to kill. I’m a bit shocked the game was so close in the end, but that’s the way of Maelstrom missions, sometimes.
Hey all! This one is kind of replacing my weekly progress post…
Last week Mrs. Oak and I hiked 40+km on trails around Gros Morne and Clarenville, in Newfoundland. All we can say is wow. Waking up and seeing topography and scenery like this on a daily basis was such a blessing. We went out there every day and attacked it with reckless abandon.
We were rewarded with (apparently) the best weather Newfoundland’s had all year, and more codfish than I could possibly eat. Here’s a few snaps:
Anyways, I’ve got many more pictures obviously, just wanted to share a few.
Glad to be back home, and will be posting at least weekly per usual! Cheers all!