Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spartan Games Ascension Tournament 1500 pts overall review

 Heya all and welcome back to the webway!

Today I have participate in a local tournament in a store named Spartan Games Arena, as a result of several factors, but primarily due to the prospect that I may meet some people I know and also due to the beckoning of my current gaming group. Here's the pic of my army;

My army list is quite simple;

Duke Sliscus
1 squad of 9 Kabalites in a Raider with Splinter Racks, Grisly Trophies and Flickerfield
1 squad of 10 Kabalites in a Raider with Splinter Racks, Grisly Trophies and Flickerfield
3 squads of 5  Wyches with Haywire Grenades in Venoms with two  Splinter Cannons
1  squad  of 9 Reavers with 3 Heat  Lances and an Arena Champion with Venom Blade
2 Ravagers with Flickerfield
1 Razorwing with Flickerfield

The list that I am using is done as a result of me being unable to secure my Eldar allied detachment models in time for a true WYSIWYG, thus forcing me to use a less powerful list for the tournament.

For this tournament there are 20 players in total participating, with a surprising mix of armies. The main thing I noticed is the fact that there are a total of three Dark Eldar players and this oddly enough made us one of the largest Xenos contingents alongside the Tau. Chaos is ever present, with the Daemon presence being rather strong as compared to the CSM side. As usual Marines of every heraldic colour were present, and some lonesome armies. This brings us to the next surprising element of the tournament; no serpent spam and no Cronair. This actually made me rather happy in a sense.

However, quite a number of top players are in the event and I am honestly a little intimidated by their presence despite the fact that I once played with a majority of them on a regular basis.

The two pics below are when the players are gathering at the store and also the TO's of the tournament. One of the TO is actually my Deepstriking guru, which already made my day that much better. Also to my surprise, I managed to meet a number of my old gaming buddies from my ex-LGS (including in this rank of players is Mr.Chaos of painting fame (yes, I know him in real -life)).

Here are the pics of my gaming group's armies.

Top to bottom: Redeye's Tau, David's Ravenwing, Wong's Flyer spam/Tiggy Combo and Chris'  Farsight/Tau Empire army. 

As you can see, my buddies actually came in with some rather brutal lists for the tournament, while my list is relatively weaker in comparison. Below are the armies of my fellow GC comrades from a long time ago (I see them from time to time, but not on the tabletop).

From top to bottom:  MrChaos' Orks, Kadir's Khornate host, Dann's Haemonculi coven and Joe's Daemons
Personally, I tend to notice that my roots as a balanced player comes from my days as a GC gamer, and it is from these people that I learned my approach to battle. That and having thematic armies. MrChaos went on to win Best Painted Army and also Best Sportsmanship, while Joe went on to becoming 2nd place in the tourney while Kadir won the biggest lucky draw of the day; the starter set for Dropzone Commander.

Of course there are also some other players as well, with a significant presence from Legio Malaysia, the premier gaming club in the nation. Things have changed since my day, and I am personally a ronin these days so fuck being part of a specific club (Lawl). Nonetheless here are pics of some of the other armies;

 My overall performance in the tournament is well beyond my expectations; I managed to earn the maximum amount of points for my first two games and managed to be one of the main contenders for winning the tournament while my buddies have rather mixed results in their games. Quite the irony when one consider that my list is perhaps the weakest among my buddies.

Top to Bottom: 1st Game: DE vs Dark Angels, 2nd Game: De vs Draigowing, 3rd game: De vs DE/Eldar 
 My first game is essentially my army doing a divide and conquer upon all his forces and I totally annihilated his army within the 5 turn bracket.  My second game is a much more annoying prospect as 20 Paladins is a pain in the ass, especially with 8 psycannons and tons of storm bolters shooting at me but I managed to win by the virtue of having a scoring unit within his deployment zone.

However, it was in the third game that I met my match, and the Serpent is arguably the MVP of my opponent as it does as it pleases against my army. I had a chance to kill it off with  haywire grenades and also killing another Ravager in turn, but alas the dice gods decided that this battle will be where I fall hard. Thus I was almost annihilated as a result of the Serpent raping my stuff left and right. Unfortunately for me, this also means that I lost my chance of becoming the tournament champion, as my last battle is the battle between the two highest scoring generals. Due to the crushing defeat, I am pushed down to 7th place out of 20 players. Nonetheless as a result of the number of players, I am still one of the top players in the tournament at the time.

The top three armies for the tournament are;

1)Dark Eldar/Eldar

Other than the Dark Eldar/Eldar, the other armies' position are consistent with the current meta of the game.

My overall experience in this tournament tells me that as a pure force, Dark Eldar has a lot going for them but to really win the tournament I must ally in some Eldar stuff to become a force to be reckoned with. In addition, I find myself a little too rash in some of my decisions which may work for me or against me. Some form of temperance is needed in my method of war.

Also, I am rather surprised in my performance today as this is one of my better runs in a tournament with my Dark Eldar. This makes me rather glad that I came for this tournament, as I am able to test the waters for the tournament in Malaysia and allow myself a little bit of knowledge of some of the top players in the nation since I have left the country.

Last but not least, I got some goodies for participating. For a fee of 10 USD, I got myself these few things as part of the goody bag. Trophies are overrated in my opinion, but things I can really use in real-life is much better for me.

And now for me to lick my wounds, and enjoy its dull sensation of pain and ecstasy..........see ya all next time!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mustering of the Kabal - Display Board Backdrop done!

Heya all and welcome back!
After a while trying to figure out photoshop and stuff, I managed to create the backdrop for my display board! Using several images and stuff, I pulled this off enough.
These are the images I have used for the back drops;
1) Port of Lost Souls - I wanted another image of Commorragh, but the I realized that getting out from a port makes more sense.
 2) Swirly typhoon thing - To make the eye of the portal.

 3) Hyperspace tunnel - to give it that webway look, and a sense of acceleration.

After a while of doing this, and some final sharpening and enhancement of the picture by Mr. Chaos (He is always an awesome real-life friend I have, as I get to see almost all of his epic painting projects in real-life) , 'Escape from Commorragh' (as I like to call my backdrop) is now complete!

Overall, I am bloody pleased with it. Now to the printing!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

My new friend , the Hornet

 Heya all and welcome back!

It is tough being a Human Resource Executive, as it feels like you are playing the role of a bard in the corporate world and I have lesser time in playing my 40k. Nonetheless it is this that makes each one of my games that much sweeter now. Unfortunately this also means that I tend to forget to take pictures of my games, and thus I am unable to make any battle reports of some extremely good games that I have during this lull in the blog.

During this time, I have found a particular unit that I am really fond of using these past few weeks, and that is the Forgeworld Hornet. These things are so good thanks to the new rules in the IA Apoc that I can't resist it. Not to mention that they are now 40k legal........

Anyhow let me jump into the things that make them such an excellent unit.

The first point that I must make is the fact that their firepower is utterly insane! Each Hornet can carry two weapons, and dear god their firepower matches the War Walkers, and in some cases surpass that unit. Their weapons are comparatively cheap and you can tailor them to whatever your list lacks, and all of them are good (except that damn missile launcher, which is still a lame duck in my opinion). In my case, I wanted a weapon that can dish out a lot of shots at high strength and thus my eyes are on the pulse lasers. With the cheap-as-chips pulse lasers, each hornet can dish out 4 str 8 ap2 shots at BS4!

The fact that they could be taken in squadrons is utterly insane, and multiply the pulse-laser armed Hornet by three and you can see that this unit is just utterly brutal.

Secondly, the unit are really flexible in their usage. This is because it has two rules going for it; Scout and Skimmer Assault. Now most of you are no stranger to the first rule, as Scouting means that I can actually push my advantage early on using the Scouts or I can reserve them to both protect them from alpha strikes and then harass them later on using Outflanking rules.The second rule Skimmer Assault is also very juicy, as it allows the Hornets to snap fire even if they turboboosted. This helps in keeping the tempo for the offense and increasing their defense as well and having such thorns in my opponent's side is just precious.

Last but not least, maneuverability. These things are fast skimmers which is a godsend. I can never stress how amazing fast skimmers are to some people but for anyone worth their salt seeing such a high firepower, high versatility unit having such speed as well is just utterly godlike. Screw the fact that they have two hull points and AV11 on both their front and side (which is amazing in the eyes of a Dark Eldar player, but not to everyone else), as that speed is the thing that will make those shots count when they need to. Side armour, rear armour, moving around an annoying terrain to prevent cover for the clowns that made the annoying terrain their temporary home.....all is possible.

Last but not least, the point cost for them. Dear god......they are just affordable. 80 points per model for that firepower is too much of a bargain. I will take a squadron please (if I were a true Eldar player, I would take 3 squadrons of 3, and not have any friends).

Now that I have talked about the delicious reasons for taking them, I will now proceed on the synergy it provides to my army.

For one, they complete a portion that my list so desperately need. Sometimes I find it hard to kill transports that are of a certain caliber (AV12, I am looking at you) and the Hornets solves that problem for me. In addition they also aid in the elite infantry killing which my list may or may not struggle against from time to time. Lastly these guys can also act as my anti-flyer defense and are definitely more effective than my ravagers in this capacity.

Secondly, the Scout rules on them makes my personal choice for Traits (Strategic) so much more useful and I do not have to care anymore about 'dud' results in the form of rerolling outflanking results. The scout rules also helps me in better positioning them for the kill or make a feint which throws my opponent's off balanced.

In my case it is more like hide behind metal boxes......
Thirdly, if I am forced to, their AV 11 can act as a temporary shield for my other forces. However this is definitely a waste of their potential, and I would prefer to let them live so that I can shoot. Nonetheless it is important to open my thoughts to any sacrifices for the long-term wining strategy of the game.

Lastly and perhaps more importantly, they fit with my philosophy.

I believe that to win without a fight is the best course of action, but I would not mind a victory that is so thorough that the opponent are unable to retaliate against me. When the opponent is pressured enough, they will do mistakes, and when they do I will exploit it. As this weakness is exploited, I like to plan more attacks to exploit any more weaknesses created by the opponent and keep on doing so until the other side surrendered or I literally ran out of gas. Thus I believe in a multi-layered overwhelminng rushdown offensive to make my opponent blunder or freeze up. For that the Hornets fit into this mindset very well, as they give me options to play around the table to fit said belief.

Some people say that Allies are lame, but for me they actually kept the hobby alive for me. Not to mention that Forgeworld is always a cool bastard. As of this moment I am currently profiting from this particular build;

Duke Sliscus
10 Kabalite Warriors in a Raider with Splinter Racks and Nightshields
9 Kabalite Warriors in a Raider with Splinter Racks and Nightshields
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades in Venom with second Splinter Cannon and Nightshields
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades in Venom with second Splinter Cannon and Nightshields
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades in Venom with second Splinter Cannon and Nightshields
Ravager with three Dark Lances and Nightshields
Ravager with three Dark Lances and Nightshields
Voidraven Bomber with 2 Void Lances, 2 Shatterfield Missiles, 1 Void Bomb and Flickerfield

Eldar Allied Detachment
Farseer with Mantle of the Laughing God on Jetbike
3 Guardian Jetbikers
1 squadron of 3 Hornets with 2 Pulse Lasers

This list works very well against all sorts of opponents and I honestly am liking the synergy of this list a lot. It sure hit like a ton of bricks when it needs to, and it is very versatile.  So far, I am unable to test this out against IG as a result of the resident IG player being a mechanical engineer whose expertise is in high demand.

Only sad panda part as of this moment is that I do not have the real models for the Hornets. Nonetheless, I believe that I will be making some of my own hornets so that it will fit with the Dark Eldar theme.

See all of you next time!