Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Year's Aspirations

I've stolen this idea from other bloggers in the community. The ones I've read are Iron Legion and Aspect Portal but they reference another blog that I'll have to check out. My 40k resolutions for the new year are as follows.

5. I will refrain from reading, commenting, and especially posting blogs while at work apart from maybe a couple minutes in my planning period. Seriously, I think they're on to me. By they, I'm not even sure if I'm talking about the students or the administrators but I'm sure they know.

4. I will do what I can to get new people into the game. I am pretty sure I've got a friend starting an orc army. I know there is one guy in town that has 4k worth of tau and he can't be alone. If I can get a few guys to come out of the woodwork, that is as good as getting new people started.

3. I will find things to get rid of in my storage area (maybe mordheim or lord of the rings tcg) and get all my Space Wolves in safe and tidy transportation boxes of some kind. I might be moving this summer and there are some things I would rather give away than pay to have shipped to OK or TX.

2. I will paint a unit or two of a new army. Granted, I'm mental but I think I'm finally prepared to play a second army as long as they both have their own boxes, dice, etc. I don't know if I'm going with another imperial branch or Tzeench Demons and Tzeench Chaos as mortal enemies to my wolves. I'll likely go with choas because they will be more fun to paint and they'll fit smoothly into this blog without having to start a new one. I'm not committing either way at this point.

1. I will stop painting when my wife is trying to seduce me. Yeah, um, if you're reading this: sorry about that.

That's all I have, It will be fun to revisit this through the year to assess my progress or lack of progress.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Plastic Termies

I had to take advantage of all this time so I picked up some termies for no other reason than I haven't painted plastic ones yet. Wolf terminators are only allowed as a retinue for an HQ choice in terminator armor. Each member of the retinue (each terminator) can choose different weapons from the weapons list. If I did have to choose between the assault terminators and standard terminators, I would have to choose power fists and storm bolters. Lightning claws would fit the wolf imagery but I think having the bolter fire and the capacity to charge vehicles seems to be the way of the wolf. Since I'm allowed to choose gear, I prefer to put power fists on my assault cannon guys and the cheaper option of power weapons and storm bolters on the rest. If I have 10 points that I don't know what to do with, I can just add a couple more power fists.

My challenge on these guys was limited selection of colors. I picked up limited range with these models and I was missing red and  yellow especially. I'll have to keep working on these guys when I get home.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to Survive the Shooty Army

Hello, my name is Wolf Lord Bill and I am an impatient painter. While I like to play strictly wysiwyg and never play with unpainted models, I have never been able to savor the meaningful relationship . . . but seriously I had to go to the hobby store, buy paint, and crank out my scouts in less than three hours like my life depended on it despite the fact that I have another week of sitting around my mother-in-law's house. When I put together my Space Wolves army there were plastic Grey Hunter and Blood Claw boxes but I don't remember there being plastic termies and scouts. The ease of plastic was amplified by the assortment of fresh paints. My one mistake is that I bought black citadel wash and mistook it for ink so I poured half of it into water before I tried applying full-strength to my model. Carolina Comics in Lawton, Oklahoma is a nice, clean, well-run little shop. My only complaint is that I was strongly tempted to spend $75.00 dollars of my GW budget on Cable & Deadpool compilation books. What was the point of this post again? Oh, right . . .
I would really like to add to and complete the promised theme concerning playing against a shooty army. The topic is important to me because it was a major weakness of my initial list. The rhino heavy detachment was light on numbers and depended on brittle transports as well as lascannons that were attached to vehicles. Shooty armies had no trouble ripping up my vehicles and then sucking out their juicy innards from a safe distance. 
My first attempt to address the problem without buying new models was to try to go first turn using my venerable dreadnought's special rule and then use terrain and pop smoke. This was rarely entirely successful. This is about as far as my adjustments developed before I sat out almost all of fourth edition.
With this Christmas, I've taken further measures. A couple of drop prods will hopefully encourage my enemies to run a more balanced force and maybe move around a little bit. Obviously any way that I can engage shooting units will contribute to the survivability of my advancing Land Raiders, Rhinos, as well as units holding down objectives. Space Wolves scouts have the unique ability to remain in reserves and then come in on the side of my opponent. They offer a very flexible range of weapon options including meltagun and two power weapons. Without the added cost of a transport, these guys should keep opponents on their toes. 
I'll be putting pods and scouts to work to see what revelations remain hidden in the experience of future games.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Answering Myself

I think I'll go with the Motor Pool with 2 double wide, 4-inch trays. This reminds me of a coworker that I had two jobs and many years ago. I always knew she was going to start a great story when she started it with . . . "Back when we lived in the double-wide . . . "

I've officially unwrapped the scouts and the two drop pods. I think I'll be picking up five marines to finish my second unit of blood claws, a land raider, a whirlwind, Ragnar, and the Space Wolf Scouts with assault weapons. 

I very well could disappear for a few months when I get back home because it is going to be a struggle to work full time and finish my thesis but I promise to update as I work on models.

So what about Sabol?

Carolina comics looks very clean and reasonably well stocked . . . . from the window. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays and this week those days linked right into Christmas Eve so I haven't had a chance to drop in while they are open . . . .

To more pressing matters. I've scored some models as well as some cash from loved ones and I'd like to invest in a bag to carry my vehicles in. I was thinking about a Sabol Designs Army Transport Mark II and picking up two 4 inch trays and a 3 inch tray. The question is, will that cary all my tanks?

Ultimately, I'd like my Space Wolves army to include 3 rhinos, 2 (maybe 4) drop pods, 2 land raiders, and a whirlwind. What size bag should I go for? I have an old school pewter dreadnought that drops into my gw case. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Time, time everywhere and not a model to paint.

 Sooo . . . I'm at the Mom-in-laws. I have two weeks off work and all my models are across the country. Here is a picture of a librarian that I drew in illustrator today. I'm just that bored. I'll go check out Carolina Comics and report back : )

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanks for the input . . .

Responding to some great responses . . .

Currently, My first choice is a Rune Priest (librarian) in a unit of blood claws in a land raider. My second choice is a venerable dreadnaught which has a special rule to reroll the die to determine if I go first or second. My third choice is a wolf guard battle leader in terminator armor with a few wolf guard in terminator armor. I've got another wolf guard battle leader painted up and I've got Ragnoar on the Christmas wish list.

I think I definately like the idea of just taking 3 wolf guard battle leaders . . . loading two into drop pods and one into a land raider with troop choices. As far as troop choices I currently have one and a half units of Blood Claws but I will be finishing that second unit pretty soon. I have 3 full units of Grey Hunters. My major problem with Blood Claws in the Priority transports (Pods/Raiders) is that they are extremely easy to lure off of objectives because they are required to charge. I was thinking that maybe my sixth troop choice will be a unit of Grey Hunters with Bolt Pistols. This might be a good choice for a drop pod unit because they are one point cheaper than Grey Hunters with Bolters, they get an additional attack on the charge, and they have the option to stay on an objective late in the game.

So the tactical result is an assault army with fewer models which requires some terrain hugging and the strength of the army is the three characters. I think we're just about to the point in the conversation where we hash out the tools for getting an army with such small numbers and fragil ranged offense into close combat with a shooty army . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Space Wolves Often Lose

In my playing experience Space Wolves have two weaknesses to overcome. The first issue is that they don't get too many models on the table. Marines are very expensive and I would argue that Wolves are even more expensive. This fact is exacerbated by the fact that this army has to include one HQ choice for every 750 points. I am bothered by tournaments that are set over 1500 points but under 2000 points because it eats up too many points to run 3 HQ choices.

The second issue for Space Wolves is that any real ranged offense in their army is extremely fragile. I just don't take the Wolf version of devastators, Long Fangs. They are capped at 5 models and every loss the unit takes is extremely costly in terms of points. Tactical Squads don't cary heavy weapons. Any heavy weapons that I run is attached to a tank which is easier for my opponent to remedy than a devastator squad or an odd lascannon in a tactical squad.

I truly appreciate bolters. They are strong enough to soften assaulting units. Standing up to assaulting armies seems to be the strength of the Space Wolves. Shooty armies turn wolves into assault armies. Playing assault with 18 point/model is a little different than herding gaunts or the Waaaagh.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Starter Angels Army Assembled

Funny thing. I assembled the models that we picked up for my wife to start playing 40k. I went to add up their point totals and they came out to a perfect 1250. I'm going to use her unpainted army to teach a friend how to play the game. 


Full Tactical Squad
Missile Launcher
Vet w/ Power Fist

Full Tactical Squad
Heavy Bolter
Vet w/ Power Fist

Fast Attack
Full Ravenwing Attack Squadron
Vet w/ Power Weapon
Attack Bike w/ Multi-melta

Ravenwing Support Squadron
1 Speeder w/Heavy Bolter

Heavy Support
Full Devastator Squad
Vet with Plasma Pistol

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Abbey

About a year ago, the wife took interest in playing 40k. She chose Dark Angels because she likes their cute little dresses. I can't blame her. They are pretty and their history with my wolves would make a great reason for us to play against each other. She took a creative approach to the paint scheme and I believe she has done an exceptional job for her first army. The problem is that over the course of the year she has painted  like five models.  
My question is this: How long until I suggest that I finish painting for her. I just wouldn't feel right running Dark Angels, I'm sure my dice would betray me as I have betrayed them. I would just like to see her move on to play a few games. While we both play marines our approaches are very different. She selected alot of fast attack, small units sizes, and devastator squads while I play alot of elite choices, full size troop units, transports, and tanks.  I'm sure I will post updates about her army.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

1500 points

1500 points- Heavy on the troop choices.

Strategy: Put my Blood Claws and Wolf Lord into the Land Raider, Send them down the middle. The troops will behave differently depending on the mission and the opponent.

Rune Priest (Frost Blade, Bolt Pistol)

Venerable Dreadnaught (twin las/ heavy flamer)

9 Blood Claws (Flamer, 2 Power Weapons)

10 Grey Hunters (Bolters, 2 Power Fists)
Rhino (Smoke, Extra Armor)

10 Grey Hunters (Bolters, 2 Power Fists)
Rhino (Smoke, Extra Armor)

10 Grey Hunters (Bolters, 2 Power Fists)
Rhino (Smoke, Extra Armor)

Land Raider

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Bad

One benefit of taking pictures and typing up my a game summary is that I've had a chance to step away from the experience and analyze it. There are a couple things that I could have done differently. The game I'm referencing is a few posts back. Things I will do differently in the future include:

Allow Tau Opponent to go first- with nightsight rules first turn and ample buildings in the middle, odds are that my rhinos would have been able to find cover or pop smoke to survive second turn. The drawback to giving up first move is that I could have possibly given up the ability to place two units in the middle of the board. My opponent would not have likely been drawn off his objective on the last turn if I had saved the Rhino move for bottom of turn five but it would have been a safer move if the game went six rounds. Bottom line is that the sneaky tactics won't work against this opponent again so closing the distance on him is just that much more important.

Resist the urge to shoot my Land Raider- in round two, I moved six inches instead of 12 and shot at the unit that I was charging. I lost 6 inches of movement and the unit I was charging failed a morale check and fled another several inches. That lost time hurt. When my unit finally got dug-in it was down to a couple guys and it still murdered. I'm confident that the unit would have cleaned house and possibly dropped a tank with my rune priest's 6, str 5 attacks against the back armor of a heavy support vehicle.

Screen the Walker- The meta-game between myself and my friend, the Tau player, will no doubt get complex. Now that he has seen that my army relies on a couple key lascannons and power fists in my tactical squads, he will likely start dancing around a little bit with his tanks (and I will likely start remembering the names to his vehicles/units). My dreadnaught could be as valuable as a rook in a chess end-game strategy as the walker is able to come around a corner and take out a vehicle across the board on the same turn. It would be worth the effort to keep my walker behind some rhinos until it can get up against a building or group of trees.

If there is anything else I should be doing differently, let me know.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Comments Setting Fixed

My dad's sort of a tech guy. He travels the U.S. and Europe teaching tech courses to corporate tech guys. Currently he's finishing up a project teaching information security for the State Department. I can remember him sitting down to figure out what I had done to screw up my computer when I was fairly young and saying: "You seem to know just enough to get yourself into trouble." Well, here I go again. Somehow I had turned off comments on my posts but I fixed them. Links to my last post will now be dead links because I had to repost. Older posts without a response button will not get a response button but future posts will have a response button. Apologies.

For the Emperor- seeking feedback

So, in my remote little town in Idaho we have two shops that cary Games Workshop products. I obviously support the one that has playing tables and does not have weird shit that makes me feel uncomfortable (I had to google Athames to figure out what they were). What I haven't found is a bunch of players. I've talked to five or six fantasy players but I've got a fantasy army that I've never enjoyed playing. So far, I've run into one 40k player and I just discovered him after living here four years. The cool thing is that several people showed interest while we played this weekend. I can sort of take comfort in the fact that I only plan on living here for another six months and then (assuming we can sell our house and the jobs for high school administrators continue to look good in Austin) I plan on moving to Austin, TX where I have family, friends, and I hear the gaming is good. I guess the point of this post is to seek feedback about how to network or set up a gaming network in a small community (50+k people).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My First 5th Edition Game- 1500 pts

We rolled the mission that required us to take and hold objectives. I felt somewhat good about that because I have been following fritz' blog. We decide that the three buildings and the one tree stand in the middle would be fine objectives. The roll of the dice said that the table would be divided long ways  for deployment.
Turn 1: I sort of splashed doods evenly across the field. Probably not the smartest thing I could have done. I opt to go first and race everything forward in transports. My land Raider with 9 Blood Claws and my Rune Priest are obscured by the building on the far end of the table.We forgot about night sight rules on turn 1 and he shot down my venerable dreadnought. My rhinos are full Grey Hunter units with Power Fists. He's Fielding three elite choices, three heavy support choices, HQ, and a couple troop choices.
Turn 2: I decide that the giant building with one entrance would be a good place to leave one of my units and challenge him to get them out so I disembark them. My land raider decides to move 6 inches this turn and downs three in the unit at the far end of the table and they fail the morale test. I should have just moved 12 to get  closer to close combat. I moved both of the rhinos on the close side. He cleared all but three marines in one of them.

Turn 3: All I can say is that round three stung a bit. My fragmented unit with three marines won combat and ended up out in the open to be shot at again. The troop choice that was still mounted had its rhino popped but the marines did a great job surviving two pie plates. My Land Raider got popped (the Land Raider model should be upside down or something in the following picture) and the unit inside of it got pinned to be victimized by one and a half rounds of fire.
Turn 4: All that remains for me is two healthy units of Grey Hunters, one of their Rhinos and my Rune Priest with one Blood Claw. The Grey Hunters among the gun ships destroy one of the gun ships and draw a bunch of fire. My HQ choice and his one remaining blood claw jump in the middle of a bunch of the suited elite choice doods with his HQ choice and totally murders them. He chooses to run from my Rune Priest with his troop unit instead of fire.

Turn 5: my hidden rhino runs over to grab another objective. My one surviving unit sits tight. The Tau grab one objective with a Gun ship. He considers grabbing another objective with his other ship but that would put the tall building in his LOS at my Rhino so he moves more than our agreed upon 2 inches from his second objective. When his shooting phase comes, he is distracted from my Rhino and decides to save his fleeing troop unit from my charging Rune Priest. He succeeds. 
The game ends at the bottom of turn five. My last unit and my Rhino are each holding down objectives while he only has one objective. The fourth objective was up for grabs but had no one on it. My opponent was a ton of fun to play with, a great sport, and beat the hell out of me for two good hours.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Strategy: Assault

"The truth is that you could make . . . a fairly mean assaulting army"

Alright, so I might have fudged a bit in an earlier post when I said that Space Wolves are not an assaulting army. The truth is that you could make an army heavy in Blood Claws (the troop choice that I am just now discussing on this blog) and grab some unique options for HQ choices and put together a fairly mean assaulting army. I should start by introducing the Blood Claws.
In standard marine chapters, new recruits start as scouts and then progress into the tactical squads. Space Marines come from a world where the most basic of resources (land) disappears and reappears annually. Every spring the melting snow reveals what tribes are on firm ground and what tribes are S.O.L. and the wars begin amongst Fenrisians. The most renowned warriors are drafted into the Space Wolves chapter but not as scouts. New recruits are put directly into power armor and (assuming they survive the process) become Blood Claws. Blood Claws naturally progress into Grey Hunters as a whole unit. Certain warriors are picked out to be scouts. Grey Hunters naturally progress into Long Fangs as a complete unit. The maximum size of a Blood Claw unit is 20. Grey hunters max out at 10 marines while Long Fangs are allowed five marines. As a unit matures in experience, it tends to lose individual marines. Losses are not replaced as the tight knit pack of brothers would not likely welcome the replacement. The bold, young Blood Claws would be the center piece to an assaulting detachment.
Blood Claws cost a point less than a vanilla marine. They wield bolt pistols and close combat weapons. Like Grey Hunters they are allowed to take two power weapons or power fists. They have lower than average ballistic and weapon skill but they are allowed two extra attacks on the turn that they assault. Additionally, they are required to assault and sweeping advance whenever they have the opportunity.
As I have mentioned, I take Grey Hunters as my core choice. I tend to take one unit of Blood Claws in a land raider to throw at the fire base of my opponents. For Space Wolves, Blood Claws provide a cheaper unit of marines with a single function, assault. Space Wolf characters have a respectable selection of items to choose from in the armory for close combat. One example is the Frost Blade which is a power weapon that adds one strength to the characters profile. However, I would not try to entice anyone into building an army that focusses on assault because a Blood Angels army would simply be a better assaulting army.