Friday, December 31, 2010

Templecon 2011 - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers List 2

The first list had a low model count and was geared for assassination, so I wanted my second list to have the bodies to hold control points while still offering a valid assassination threat. I had fun using Grim lately so I went for a tier 4 Grim list.

Grim
- Dire Troll Bomber
- Troll Impaler
- Swamp Troll
10 Burrowers
Scouts
Scouts
Dannon Blythe and Bull
Alten Ashley



Grim's feat offers a lot of control with its -3 SPD debuff. Combined with the nerves that Burrowers give people and my ability to Advance Deploy every unit in the army I should be able to create favorable deployment match ups to get me good positioning to take control points.

I imagine my Burrowers popping up near a control point with Grim coming up behind them and popping his feat. The Burrowers benefit from the -3 DEF and clobber something while also setting themselves up to block incoming units. One unit of Scouts move in to each control point to claim the one screened by the Burrowers and to contest or possibly claim the other one. The SPD debuff should do a good job protecting the control point I claimed, hopefully allowing me to score a point on my opponent's turn as well.



The list has a good assassination option as well. Between Marked for Death and his feat, Grim can give the enemy 'caster -5 DEF. A shot from Grim, a shot from Alten, and two boosted shots from the Bomber present a serious threat to any 'caster.

I'm not sure how Blythe and Bull will perform. They're required for tier 2 and have excellent models though, so I'm happy to give them a run.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Templecon 2011 - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers List 1

Blood, Sweat, and Tiers is a two list, 35 point Steamroller tournament that requires all lists to be at least tier 1. I decided to really get into the spirit and only bring lists that were tier 3 or higher. Here's the first of my two lists, a tier 3 epic Doomshaper list.

eDoomie
-Dire Troll Mauler
-Earthborn Dire Troll
-Runebearer
5 Champions
Scouts
Whelps
Whelps

This list is very assassination oriented and is looking to send a souped up Earthborn right into the enemy caster's face. In an ideal world the Earthborn will start his activation near some rough terrain (+2 SPD), under Doomie's feat (+3 SPD), with Wild Aggression (boosted attack rolls and free charge), and Rage (+4 STR). He is a Fury 5 beast so even if that 13" charge isn't enough to get there I can goad him once or twice to get into range.



Most everything else is geared towards making that happen. The Runebearer is there to cast Wild Aggression on the the Earthborn (it should be on the Mauler up until then as he leads the charge) and take a little Fury load off Doomshaper. The 10 Whelps are there more to block charge lanes and be a nuisance than anything else, although one or two might be eaten as a snack.

The Champions are mostly babysitters for Doomie but may also find themselves pressed into second wave duty if the initial charge doesn't pan out. I'm not positive what the Scouts will be doing yet (I've never used them) but I'm hoping they can hold a flank to protect Doomshaper and either attract a lot of attention or herd the enemy 'caster to the other side of the map.



I'm hoping that the Mauler can lead the way for the Earthborn by taking a lot of fire and trashing or throwing any pesky models blocking charge lanes out of the way.

The list will probably need to be played very aggressively and I'll need to keep an eye out for charge lanes - two things I'm terrible at. Hopefully forcing myself to use this list will get me better able to do those two things.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Templecon 2011 - Death Race List

Templecon is about one month away and I've started my preparations. I am registered for both Midnight Madness tournaments and I'm going to talk about the second tournament in this post - Death Race.

Death Race is a single list, 25 point, 4 round tournament using only the Killbox scenario. I'm not positive on the specific format but it seems pretty clear that the goal is to kill your opponent's caster as quickly as possible. Here's the list I've come up with:

pButcher
-Kodiak
-Kodiak
-Wardog
10 Kayazy + UA
Widowmaker Marksman
Kell Bailoch



I tired to keep the model count low so there wouldn't be too much stuff to activate on my turn.

What I'm primarily looking to do is run the Kayazy forward for two turns while they have Iron Flesh on them. They should meet up with my opponent's stuff on turn two. On turn 3 I'll drop Iron Flesh, pop Butcher's feat and the Kayazy mini-feat, and kill the enemy 'caster. Because of the requirement that 'casters be 12" from all table edges I shouldn't have any trouble cornering the enemy.

8" deployment, 12" first turn run, 10" second run, 9" charge = 39" over 3 turns. The enemy 'caster can be a max of 36" away from my back edge by then so I like my odds. If they Kayazy can't reach the 'caster on turn 3 they'll just attack whatever is in their way with the Kodiaks and snipers - under Butcher's feat and Full Throttle there isn't much that will stand up to all of that.

I brought the two snipers to help clear out charge lanes over for the Kayazy - they both have Snipe, Kell has a magical gun, and the Marksman has a POW 12 gun so they can handle a variety of threats.



Kodiaks are great little 'jacks. They run for free and have Pathfinder so they're focus light and efficient. They also have a great *attack for clearing infantry and their chain attack really shines under Full Throttle. They'll be dealing with 'jacks for me, either by destroying them outright or throwing them around.

If they Kayazy fail as my primary assassins my plan is to follow up with the two Kodiaks to clean out infantry and 'jacks and then have the Butcher kill the 'caster himself.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Cheer

For the past two years I've participated in a holiday model exchange on Librium Online. Last year I sent out a Journeyman Warcaster and received a cool Crimson Fists Terminator. This year I went with something a little more festive.









I resisted the urge to add some white freehand to the red cloak and put snow on the base - the model currently has plausible Christmas deniability but those touches would have made it 100% a Christmas model.

This little guy was a lot of fun to paint. He is my first Ork ever and the first model I've painted in a few months that I put any real amount of effort into. I hope he's off to a good home, and I hope everyone out in the blog-o-sphere has a very merry holiday season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Escalation Tournament Report

This past weekend was the last tournament of 2010 at my LGS and it was at 25, 35, 50 point escalation tournament. I brought eMadrak and built a list around Burrowers, Kriel Warriors, and Champions with a Mauler, Axer, solo support, and a Blitzer at 50 points.

I played very poorly. In all three games I made questionable decisions about where or when to pop my Burrowers up. They were always effective, but not as effective as I needed them to be - they'd die on my second turn without having done enough damage to be worth it. I did learn a lot about how to work with them but I'm going to need some more practice with them.

Madrak is also a little tricky to use properly. I didn't get very good use out of his feat or his axe, so I'll need a few more games with him as well.


this is what two 50 point armies look like

Game 1 was against a tier 3 eButcher list running 3 units of Doom Reavers. He had first turn and my plan was to use the Borrowers + Madrak's feat to nuke 2 units of Doom Reavers on my second turn, then see what happened. He put Butcher in the middle of the board camping 3 focus on his second turn so I went for broke, surrounded him with 8 Burrowers, and went for broke. His Wardog put him at DEF 16, and with the Fellcaller my Burrowers were MAT 6. I forgot to kill the dog first so 24 attacks later I had 2 hits and zero damage. Game over.

Game 2 was a pVlad list running Beast 09, the Behemoth, and a Winterguard Deathstar. I thought I could get both 'jacks with the Burrowers and did manage to get 4 on Beast and 3 on the Behemoth. Poor planning on my part meant that the 4 on Beast didn't get the 3" charge bonus - they were able to take out 2/3 of his boxes. The 3 on the Behemoth did some damage but not enough for it to matter. His Deathstar rocked my infantry next turn and I failed on a bad assassination attempt on my third turn. Game over.

I didn't actually get to finish the 3rd game at 50 points. It was against a Terminus list running heavy infantry (Bane Knights, Bane Thralls, Mechani-thralls) and the Deathjack. Despite bad Burrower and Champion usage I was doing pretty well when we had to stop. One of the biggest problems I had here was that at 50 points I had nearly 20 medium bases, 15 small bases, and two heavy beasts clogging up my half of the board. You can see turn 2 above.

I'm not thrilled with how I played but I did enjoy the tournament and got to play some fun games. Now I'm off to visit my folks for a few days and when I come back it is time for Templecon prep!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekend Tournament Report

This past weekend I took a trip to a different LGS to play in a 25 point tournament. I brought along the Grim list I took out last weekend.

My first game was against a new Circle player running Baldur, a Druid Wilder, and a bunch of beasts. He ran them forward in waves and I was able to pick them off pretty easily with my ranged stuff. I didn't kill Baldur but eventually won on tie breaker because most of my army was alive and most of his wasn't.



The second game was against a tier 3 Kraye list that was more maneuverable and shootier than my list. Since those were my list's strong points I was in some trouble. Due to some early bad rolling on my opponent's part I was able to keep him off his control point early but eventually he wore me down and took the scenario win.

My last game was against a Gorten list. My list was built to counter this list but I played very passively and poorly while my opponent played well. The game ended in a tie (I kept him off his flag but wasn't aggressive enough in taking my own) but he would have won had we not run out of time.

All in all I don't think I played well during this tournament. I was too passive - I didn't scoring a single control point and didn't making a single charge over three games. I also think the list is lacking in high POW attacks, instead relying on volume of medium POW attacks. If I were to build this list again I would probably swap out the Bushwhackers for some Burrowers.

This weekend is an escalation tournament. I'm thinking about bringing eMadrak but haven't thought much about the lists I'd bring.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pyg Bushwhackers

These little guys were very useful in one of my practice games last weekend killing infantry (the other game was over before they got to shoot) and I'm hoping for similar results this weekend.



I've had a hugely busy week and initially wasn't going to paint the unit for my tournament, but I made a last minute decision to try and get them done. I had to cut a lot of corners (a lot more than usual for the Trolls) so they didn't turn out as well as the Burrowers.

I'll have a tournament report next week!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

25 Point Tournament Practice

This coming weekend I am playing in a 25 point tournament so this past weekend I brought a 25 point Grim list to practice with. Here's what I had:

Grim Angus
+Dire Troll Blizter
+Troll Axer
+Troll Impaler
10 Pyg Bushwhackers
Fell Caller

I got in two games, one against Circle and one against Khador.

The Circle list had Kromac, a Warpwolf Stalker, a unit of Woldstalkers, and some more stuff that I don't remember. We were playing Killbox and I seriously underestimated the threat range on the Warpwolf while Kromac had Warpath up. The wolf got a charge on Grim in turn 2 and, with Wild Aggression giving it boosted hit rolls, cracked Grim's DEF 16.

Khador was an eVlad list with some Kayazy + UA, Doom Reavers +UA , 2 Manhuneters, and a Berserker. I was able to pick off most of the infantry by turn 2 and was in a great position hiding behind Grim's feat. I again underestimated some threat ranges and he managed to get a few Kayazy under Vlad's feat into combat with Grim. Between Transference and Hand of Fate they too were able to crack DEF 16 and put Grim down.

I did lost both games but I'm still feeling good about the list. Both times I was feeling comfortable and didn't have models between Grim and the enemy - clearly I'll need to be more careful. The Bushwhackers are a fun unit to use and are very versatile, as is Grim's battlegroup. I'm furiously painting Bushwhackers this week to hopefully get them done for the tournament.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Grim Angus

I have a few games with Grissel under my belt so I'm going to try a new warlock, Grim Angus. He's the first ranged focused warlock or 'caster I've used. Here's a little rundown on him.

Stats


Grim is speedy for a Troll at SPD 6, has a good RAT of 7, and is tough to hit with DEF 16. His STR and MAT are decent but I'm hoping they won't see much use, and he has pretty typical Troll armour at 15. He is a Fury 6 warlock.


Abilities

Pathfinder and True Sight mean Grim's movement and shooting aren't affected a whole lot by terrain. Grim is Tough because he's a Troll. He also has Take Down on his melee weapon but again, I'm hoping to not have that come up.

Weapons

Headhunter is a RNG 13, POW 13 gun that is Magical and can give beasts a speed boost if they charge a model damaged by it. 13" is longer than Grim's control range, so there shouldn't be too many questions about what he can be shooting at. With Farstrike pumping that up to 17" there isn't much on the table Grim won't be able to reach.

Grim also has an 8" Snare Gun (12" with Farstrike) that knocks down whatever it hits. He can't shoot with his other gun after that, but Knock Down is pretty powerful.

Headhunter has a blade on the back end that is POW 12 with Take Down so Grim isn't a melee slouch by any means, but I'd rather he was shooting stuff.


Feat

Spread The Net is a very good feat. It gives all enemy models in Grim's control area -3 DEF and any models beginning their activations in his control area have -3 SPD. Models with the SPD debuff won't be able to charge but the DEF debuff means that they're probably going to be dead before it matters.

I can see this feat being great for a lot of things, but I see it shining in scenario play with control zones. On my turn the feat will allow me to kill anything in the control zone and get one point. On my opponent's turn the -3 SPD will mean they can't get any new models in to contest and I'll get a second point.

Spells

Cross Country - An upkeep spell that gives a model / unit Pathfinder and Hunter, essentially allowing it to ignore terrain for moving and attacking.

Lock the Target - A 10" spell that prevents the target from running, charging, or being placed if it takes damage. The POW is only 10 so this spell is going to be hard to pull off on heavy 'jacks or beasts. This is a tough sell for 2 Fury but I'm sure there are good uses.

Marked for Death - Another upkeep spell that gives the target model / unit -2 DEF and removes Incorporeal and Stealth. Combined with Grim's feat this will bring a model / unit to a total of -5 DEF

Return Fire - For 1 Fury, if a target friendly model is shot at, it can shoot (or hit) back. Probably pretty cool on a Bomber or Grim, either as a good way to get an extra attack or as a deterrent for my opponent to shoot.



Final Thoughts

I'm going to try using some Pyg Burrowers and Bushwhackers with Grim, as well as the Blitzer I just painted. I'd also really like to try a Bomber and some Scouts, but I'm going to need to wait until at least January before I buy them.