Saturday, 10 September 2011

Time to be Ruthless - Tournament Live Blogging

By the time this is posted I will well on my way to the Battle for Planet OG - Part II tournament.

I've been playing with my Dark Eldar using slightly different lists, but always with the same core.  In every game (at 1500 points or higher) I have played for the last 4-5 months there has always been:

A cheap HQ Haemonoculus
2 units of trueborn in venoms
A small incubi unit in a transport (which has varied)
2 ravagers
2 Wych units in raiders
A Large Wrack unit in a raider
A small unit of Wracks in a venom

Apart from the incubi I would consider these units in my list as manditory, they all almost always perfrom, and is the core around which I tweak the final list.

After months of playtesting, it's now time to take it up a gear.  Lets be ruthless, and try to use the army to it's fullest, no more silly mistakes; forgetting to roll for combat drugs, being too conservative, or making deployment errors.  As I head towards what I consider the most competitive local tournament of the year (Starsmash next week) and I need to up my game to do the army justice.

I'll be posting in the comments how I do in this tournament throughout the day, but feel free to comment between my posts.  Here's the list I'm taking:

Battle for Planet OG - Part II, 1500 Point Dark Eldar List

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer - 55
with Venom Blade

6 Incubi - 132
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65
3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

10 Wracks with 2 Liquifier Guns - 120
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Razorwing Jetfighter with 2 Dark Lances - 145

Total: 1499 Pts
Time will tell if I will regreat removing the grisly trophies that were usually on the trueborn's venoms, or not including the shock prows that will be on the ravagers for my next tournament next week.  At the end of the day these small changes will nothing compared to me playing well or not as the case maybe.  I know the army can do well, now I need to play it to let it's power shine through.

Here's a link to the forum thread showing the tournament rules, let me know what you think of the custom missions and my chances.


NB: After deleting an old draft it turns out that this, rather than my previous post, is my 100th post.  Hope that's a good omen :)

Friday, 9 September 2011

[40k] August Review


After a quiet July following the two tournaments in June, hobby activity has picked up.  A bit later than I wished, here's what I've been up to:

Painting / Modelling

I assembled, magatied, and painted up a razorwing jetfighter. The razorwing is not finished; I need to finish the jems, and do more highlighting on the hull, but the razorwing is in a good enough state to take to tournaments.

I also converted and painted up 3 beastmasters, and painted up a 6th reaver to make my unit legal. I now want to finish fixing up a second unit of jetbikes I have, and paint up a further 3 beastmasters and some flying reapers (to represent razorwing flocks) so I have more options when building army lists.

However before that I am painting a 6th incubi (so I don't have to use my old dracon as an incubi). Also I picked up 2 old incubi with blasters, so I want to paint them up so I have the option of using 2 units of 4 (rather than my current units of 3) trueborn with blasters. Hopefully if I pick up one more old incubi with a blaster, so I can try out the option of 3 units of 3 trueborn.


Gaming has picked up as well, spurred on by a tournament. I went to the 10th Annual 40k Online (forum) tournament. I won't give away where I came yet (as I'm going to post quick battle reports / summaries later, however I did get to try out the three units I finished painting.

Preparing for the tournament I also got in a game against Imperial Guard, and I had a taste of my own medicine and played my mate's Dark Eldar with my Space Wolves. All these games have given my valueable experience, as I head into my next two tournaments, and decide on my list for a 1800 point tournment in October.

The next two tournaments for me are 1500 points, and out of the beastmasters, reavers & razorwing jetfighter, only the razorwing has made the cut at the reduced points value. I felt that I couldn't afford both the incubi and the beastmasters in the lower points value, and the incubi (although more fragile with their smaller numbers and slower once their transport is blown up) got the nod, because of their reliablility to kill MEQs. I really liked the reavers AP1 guns, but they seemed so hit or miss, as they have to get in so close, and they are more fragile than last edition now that they only have a 5+ save. After they slow down to get the first shot with the heat lances it seems if they enemy wants to kill them it's not too hard. Both the beastmasters and reavers will get further try outs in 1750+ point games, but I'm staying with the tried and tested for my next 8 tournament games and my list is not much changed from my Rapid Strike tournament list.

I posted my draft list in my last post here. For this weekend's 1-day tournament in London I submitted the list posted. However a helpful comment by speedfreak in this post mentioned shock prows. I had a few situations come up where being able to tank shock would have been nice. speedfreak suggested losing 2 wyches to give my 4 raiders shock prow. I really didn't want to reduce my fragile troops choices anymore, so i considered losing one incubi and mounting them in a venom (which would allow the 3 remaining raiders to all have shock prows). In the end I compromised (and for my Starsmash tournament list) I lost one wych (from the unit the haemonoculus would join) to put shock prows on my two ravagers. The raiders tend to be going agressively forwards and tend to be shot down by the end of the game, while normally one ravager survives to the end, making them perfect for late game contesting, which is what I think I need more than raming.

I'm behind on battle reports (so my mate Gav will moan at me again), but I will try to post up, more importantly, my learnings with shorter battle summaries for the old tournaments I haven't reported yet.

Other Hobby news

Lots has been happening in the hobby and blog world. The Sisters of Battle codex was split over the last two issues of White Dwarf. After being miffed with buying White Dwarf for the blood angels codex I haven't bought the issues, and I'm waiting till it's free download from the GW website. However the feeling from the hobby community is that is a lacklustre update. My main concern was that the basic Sister are 12 pts, and that it was commented that the standard sisters troop choice would be 10 sisters, 2 special weapon, with a sister superiour in a rhino costing around 180 points. That seems a bit much when they are still T3. Maybe this comes from being spoilt with a cost effective MEQ troops choice in my Space Wolves Grey Hunters. 10 Grey Hunters with 2 meltaguns in a rhino starts out at 190 pts, swapping one of the meltagun armed grey hunters for a wof guard with a combi melta only increased the cost to 198, with the squad having the options to include further useful upgrades, such as powerfists, mark of the wolfen, standards the sisters seem a bit expensive for how good they are.  Exorcists are still the same, so expect competitive armies to have 2 or 3, and target them early.  Multiple shot AP1 weapons are awesome tank killers.

NOVA has been and gone. For those not in the know this a a very large American tournament. This year it had 216 40k competitors. I was fortunate to catch the live coverage of the final game where Space Wolves were victorious over Grey Knights. Now that the tournament is finished there is lots of number cruching and analysis trying to say where the meta game is at, and what are the best codexs. This is always subjective as there are so many ther factors involved, and after all a 40k has a random factor in the form of dice. Initial thoughts are that not much as changed; Space Wolves, Blood Angels and Guard are still doing well (but Guard were hampered by more terrain on the boards). These armies were joined by Grey Knights and Dark Eldar. Many of the older codex showed they could still compete, but found it hard to consistently win against the top tier armies when they were commanded by good generals. However whatever I or anyone else says it is all subjectve and all someone can do is try to improve with the army they have. Build a efficient list with the models you have, but try to play as much as possible, because that's one of the best ways to improve.

For those interested in my tournament travels, my next few tournaments are (pop over and say hi if you see my Dark Eldar):
Battle for Planet OG Part II - London - 10th September
Starsmash - Reading - 17th & 18th Septemeber
Mutually Assured Destruction - Westbury - 22nd October
Warfare - Reading - 19th & 20th November

Now I must get back to planning the route to the tournament I'm attending tomorrow morning.  The first round draw has been made and I'm against Choas Space Marines for game one.  The tournament is a very small one (10 players) and has 70% MEQ, and three of what I would call top tier armies; Imperial Guard (commanded by the previous winner) and two Blood Angels armies, however a mid tier army commanded by a good opponent can be much more dangerous, so I must not be complacent (I have lost too many games where on paper I should win).

Going into the tournament I'm hoping for 2 wins and a loss, with one of the wins being a tabling.  You never know I my fluke 3 wins.  However the tournament missions have secondary objectives.  In one mission the secondary mission is almost guanteed a draw, and the other two are kill points.  Out of the 45 tournament points available 15 points are for winning the secondary objecives, so if I lose the kill point objectves and draw the other secondary mission I will have dropped 13 points.  Last year the winner only dropped 3 points.  Therefore to win I will have to win all three games, and probably table one of my opponents where kill points is the secondary objective.  A tall order, but I'll try my best :)

Playing 3 games this week (as tournament practice) and work being busy has had a toll on blog posting, and the next week will likely be the same, with this tournament being the first of 8 tournament games in 9 days, not to mention the games I will try to get in next week in preparation for the 2 day tournament next weekend. More frequent posting will continue after next week.

I'll post my progress on a post that will be publish tomorrow morning.  First post tournament impressions will be posted as a travel home (not much else I can do on the 1hr20min return journey on the train :)


PS. This happens to be my 100th post, a nice milestone after a year and a half.  Thanks to all those who read and comment on my blog.


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