Saturday, April 21, 2012

MOTF, Command Squad and Assault Squad

I've been working on some stuff recently.  I have been trying to finish off the Minotaurs and so I laid out everything on my table to see everything I have left.  Well I have a lot of models yet to finish.

So I decided to do something fun.  I created a command squad and a captain model.  The command squad is equipped with plasma pistols, power weapons and power fists.  Its a stupidly expensive squad.  But I don't care, I want something big and cool for big games.

Here is a picture of the squad still in progress:

(I want to add an auxiliary grenade launcher onto the captain.)

I also finally finished a Master of the Forge with a conversion beamer.  I have been looking at the conversion beamer and the techmarine model for months and months.  I decided two days ago I was going to glue the bits together and I am glad I did, I like how he turned out:

And finally I started painting this assault squad about a month ago and I stopped.  I am planning on finishing the squad at some point soon.  I also picked up 5 more already built assault marines with jump packs which I plan to give several different weapon options from the assault squad entry and the vanguard vet entry so I can use the squad as either types of assault squad when its done.

Thats all for now.  Coming up soon a Book of the Arbitrator battle report.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zone Mortalis Game 2 Battle Report

The second game of Zone Mortalis was upped to 1,500 points.  We played on a 6' x 4' table and spread out the terrain some more.

The mission was the Encounter Mission.  We chose to play with objectives AKA Capture Ground.  Since this was a 6' x 4' table we used their recommendation of using 7 objectives.  The center objective was worth 3 points.

The Optional Rules we used were Reactionary Fire and Enemy Unknown.

The Reactionary Fire rule I have already discussed in a previous post.  But I will go over some points about that rule again here after having thought about it more.  One of the problems with the rule is that it is an Initiative test.  Now don't get me wrong, I think its a good idea to include more characteristic based tests, but for certain armies Initiative just isn't any good.  The Initiative test is fantastic if it is always space marines on space marines, but if you have guard or orks or tau, they will never get to use Reactionary fire because their I is so low.

I think a possible fix to this rule is to use Leadership.  Add to this test the ability of all friendly squads who are within LOS of the unit doing the assaulting and within 6" of the unit that is being assaulted to also take a Leadership test to add their fire, then the rule works better.  I would also add that cover from the other units who add their fire to the unit being assaulted should be granted to the assaulting unit if necessary.

Reactionary Fire as I modified above I think will balance the game away from assault armies taking over this variant of 40k.  It will give shooty armies more of a chance.

The other rule we used in this game was Enemy Unknown.  This rule states that each unit must be deployed as a counter where only the owning player knows what unit is assigned to what counter.  A counter is revealed when an enemy counter comes in LOS of an enemy counter.  If a counter goes back out of LOS of an enemy then it goes back into counter form.  I made paper counters with number on their reverse sides and we played the game with them.

The force organization adjustments for this game made it a bit difficult for me to make a 1,500 point force from my Apostles of Contagion army.  I normally take 3 Rhinos and 2 Chimeras and 3 units of Plague Marines.  I couldn't do that for this game.  I had to take extra units like Enforcers and Psykers.

One of the strengths of the Vrak's Renegades lists are their advisors.  They are an interesting way to customize an army.  The Enforcers can be very powerful as can the Psykers.

Also in this mission we decided to use Strategems from the boarding actions rules from the Badab War Forgeworld books.  Using those rules we each had 3 points to spend on strategems.  I used my three points to give me three 6-man squads of guardsmen with shotguns.  My Marines Errant opponent used his three points to allow one of his units in reserve to enter off of my table edge.

As anyone who has played 40k for any period of time knows that the ability to "outflank" an enemy is incredibly useful, and I was a bit nervous when he told me that was the strategem he picked.  I good thing about it was that there were 7 objective with the most important one in the middle being worth three points.  All I had to do was grab the central one with my Plague Marines and tie up his out flanker with several squads and delay them.

Anyways, on to the battle report.

So here is a picture of the table set-up:

And here are two more pictures of the set-up, the crates are objectives:

Our secret forces begin to move across the table disguised as pieces of circular paper....

At this point in the battle his dreadnought rounds a corner and a HUGE squad of Vanguard Vets arrives from reserve off of my table edge and prepares to assault a squad of traitor guard.

The Traitor Guard squad gets a bit nervous as the Vanguards approach.

The combat is joined and it is revealed that there happens to be a huge squad of zombies just waiting to be charged.

Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield, a rather large squad of zombies surrounds a crate and the Marines Errant decide it time to take that crate........easier said than done.

The other traitor guard squad decides its a good idea to get a birds eye view of the battle.  Unfortunately for them so does the Marines Errant Chapter Master.  Precious to this combat though, the Rogue Psyker in the squad attempted to cast Quagmire on the Chapter Master, its a cool spell that makes a unit in line of sight within 24" of the caster move in difficult terrain its next movement phase, but the rogue Psyker promptly rolls double sixes on his psychic test and he becomes possessed by a daemon, hence the Plague Bearer.  That was pretty awesome since in all the time I had played the army that was the first time it has happened!

At this point in the battle, both of us had had several beers and I had forgotten to take some key pictures, but a pretty cool thing has happened right before the below picture was taken.  The large Plague Marine squad in the top of the picture had successfully used Reactionary Fire on a 5 man squad of Honor Guard that came through the door and tried to charge them.  They opened up with two melta guns and a plasma pistol and a bunch of rapid-firing bolters and killed three of the Honor Guard forcing them to fail a leadership test and run away!

Now Necrosius decides to climb up the ladder and take take on the Chapter Master.  Necrosius however is not up to the task and dies in hand to hand combat, cursing the fact that he doesn't have an invulnerable save.

And with that the battle is over.  I ended up winning the game because I controlled the center objective and I think two other objectives.  The Marines Errant had only two other objectives at that point.

Another fantastic Zone Mortalis game.  I have to say that I think with a few tweaks here and there, that Forgeworld has a real winner here.

Thanks for reading, until next time....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zone Mortalis Battle Report 2

At this point in the battle I was down to Stern Guard and my Librarian. I needed reserves and luckily both squads showed up. I moved them onto the board closest to the objective to the right of my deployment zone. I knew he had a Vanguard Vet squad coming down the hall way towards it, but I hoped with my Vanguards and my Tac squad I could deal with the threat.

The Marines Errant Vanguard Vet squad moved around the corner ready to assault. I had not moved properly and would soon pay for it.

The result of the following combat wasn't pretty for the Minotaurs. My entire 10 man squad was destroyed. I did whittle his squad down to just 2 however.

My Tactical Squad prepares to open fire.

Meanwhile on the other side of the board, My Sternguard had gotten shot up and were now facing a tactical squad. There wasn't much time left for the Minotaurs!

My tactical squad moved up to take the objective, knowing the game would soon end. The Marines Errant Vanguard squad 2 however, had other plans for my squad.

The ensuing combat with my Librarian was ugly. He was the sole survivor but still in base with the objective at game's end.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Marines Errant Vanguard vet squad charged into my tactical squad and only my Sarg was left standing. He promptly fled, knowing that on this day, discretion was the better part of valor.

A fantastic game overall and I recommend everyone to try out Zone Mortalis.

It ended with a draw. Neither of us held an objective. At 1,000 points it was a small and short game, but a very intense game.

In Zone Mortalis every model counts. Every time a squad gets shot, its scary because you don't want to lose a single model because of how small the armies are. With the narrow passageways and all of the terrain you can move around quite a bit evading enemy line of sight, but eventually you have to stick your head around a corner and those are the times that can make or break your game plan.

As I said in my last post, night fight is not such a good idea because it further enhances hth and its easy to forget and most times you are within range to shoot anyways. I think when playing with 2 marine armies you could probably get away with 1,500 on a 4' by 4' table because of how few models you will have.

I look forward to more games in the near future.

The next post will be about game 2. This time we up the ante to 1,500 points and up the board size to 6' by 4'.

until next time...

Zone Mortalis Battle Report 1

Sorry I haven't posted anything since last week. I've had a cold that won't quit and haven't really been too motivated.

I did play several games last weekend with two of my good friends who came to town. The first two games were last Friday night. We played two Zone Mortalis games. The first game which is featured in this post is a 1,000 point game on a 4' by 4' table. I played my Minotaurs and he had his Marines Errant.

My army consisted of a librarian with Smite and The Quickening. I wanted to do something different with this guy hence the two psychic powers I usually never take.

I also had 2 tactical squads each with a missile launcher and flamer and a sargent with a power fist.

I then also took a 10 man Vanguard Vet squad on foot with 2 power weapons and a sarg with a power fist.

My final squad was a 7-man Sternguard Squad with 2 plasmaguns and 3 combi-plasmas.

He took a librarian and a chaplain.

A 10 man vanguard vet squad which he combat squaded. They had a variety of nasty hth weapons like dual lightning claws and stuff (look at the pics and you'll see all of the nastiness that they had.)

He also had a 10 man tac squad with a heavy bolter which he combat squaded and a 8 man tac squad with a powerfist.

We played the Assault mission (the first of the two Zone Mortalis Missions) with 2 optional rules. The Reactionary Fire and Power surge rules. For the power surge we decided to roll a d6 at the beginning of each game turn and on a 4+ a power surge would happen. We forgot half the time that it was night fight however, so I would recommend not using this rule unless you have some sort of marker to remember night fight. Also the close confines of a Zone Mortalis game means you will be able to see the enemy almost always anyways so night fight has a very minimal effect.

I wanted to try the power surge mainly because I had built two doors and wanted to see them randomly open and close. Unfortunately at one point I got shot to hell because a door opened and exposed my squad to two squads shooting it. Ooops, lol.

I have to say Reactionary Fire is a fantastic rule, because it allows units to have some sort of defense against hand to hand units that can come running around corners where you would normally not be able to deal with. I would like to propose a change to the rule to make units with a lower initiative be better able to use reactionary fire.

Instead of rolling an initiative check to use it, have them roll Leadership. Also you could extend the number of units that can fire to any unit within 6" of the unit getting charged. Those units can do reactionary fire as well if they pass a leadership test. I think that change would allow guard to survive better.

Anyways onto the battle report!

As per the mission rules we split our forces into two. I started on the board with my Libby joined to a squad of Sternguard and a tac sqaud. He started with two tac squads on the table. He got first turn and got to pic his deployment zone. I had to deploy opposite of him after my dice roll. And I placed the objectives.

Here are my Sternguard with Librarian:

Here is my Tac Squad ready to bust down a door.

There is a Vanguard squad of the Marines Errant eyeing up an objective.

Brother Andreus examines his auspex trying to get a bead on where the Marines Errant are located.

A combat squad of Marines Errant take the high ground and set up a heavybolter ready to lay down a hail of fire.

As the Minotaur's Tactical squad rounds a corner, the heavy bolter marine readys his weapon.

The Sternguard tries to out-maneuver a Marines Errant tactical squad.

As Tactical squad 1 rounds the corner the Heavy Bolter opens up and takes down one marine.

The Vanguard Vets of the Marines Errant close on one of the objectives.

A combat squad arrives from reserve.

The other half of the Vanguard Vets with a chaplain arrives as well.

The Minotaurs Tactical Squad fires on the heavy bolter combat squad forcing them to fall back.

Across the corridor the Minotaurs notice the Marines Errant's reserves arrive.

The under-strength Marines Errant Tactical Squad takes up a firing position.

The Marines Errant continue to move onto the board, taking control of nearly half of it.

All of a sudden a power surge happens and all of the light go out. A previously closed door also opens revealing a squad of Minotaurs.

The heavy bolter squad had regrouped and moved back into position on their ledge. The door opened without warning and the tactical squad opened up along with the heavy bolter squad onto the unsuspecting Minotaurs. It wasn't pretty. Only 3 were left after the hail of fire.

On the Minotaurs next turn the weakened tactical squad moves up and the Librarian and Sternguard move into range.

I will be back shortly with the epic conclusion of this Zone Mortalis game in a few minutes. I will also give some more thoughts on this interesting 40k variant.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

40k Weekend and Tunnels are done!

This weekend is shaping up to be quite a heavy 40k weekend.

Tonight kicks it off with my second Deathwatch RPG session. Last time I played (two weeks ago) my Iron Hands Devastator Marine blew the hell out of 6 Orks and a crazed combat servitor with his heavy bolter. It was pretty much all combat with just a hint of exploration. This week hopefully the story will move along. We have two people back who were absent last session. Should be fun. I'll try and put up a battle report for it tomorrow or next week.

Last night I put the finishing touches on the tunnel terrain and laid it all out in a 4' by 4' square on my table. I wanted to see how much space it took up and to see if a Zone Mortalis game could be played on it easily.

As you can see it really fills up a 4' by 4' table! I could probably use this on a 6' by 4' table with no problem. I don't have a proper covering yet for the table. I will be buying some raw sienna colored construction paper today which I am going to use as the table covering under the tunnel terrain. It should work out pretty well.

Here is the 4' by 4' sample layout I put together last night:

Here is a picture of the two elevators:

Here is a hatch that would be on the surface board. When you open the hatch you can go down a ladder into the underground:

Here is one of the finished doors:

This is the lab room. Some sort of experiment has gone wrong and blood has been splattered all over the place:

And here are some more pics:

Stay tuned for pictures from the battles this weekend (alonog with battle reports).

Until next time...