Thursday, March 31, 2011

GK Update

"Finished" basing the GKTs.  I found that I'm not good at green stuff and the DH was a disaster.  I think I was able to salvage it with some floral wire.  I may see if I can find something else to kinda cover my mistakes.  The bases were also pretty hit or miss.  Some turned out really well, and some... not so much.  I'll keep working on it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prepping the SMs for a RTT

2000 Point Battleforce Marines

One of the local stores is hosting a 2K RTT next month and unfortunately my GKs won't ready in time.  I'm currently in the process of figuring out what list I want to run.  The first list is pretty much an extension of the 1750 list I used in the last RTT.  I ended up doing pretty well with it and I think it will scale pretty well.  Because the tournament has soft scores (and I'm model limited) I stuck with my normal "battleforce" approach.  <Broken Link>
Basically it is a Libby, a vanilla LR with Assault Termies, and mech fire support.  The advantage of this list is I would really be suprised if it took a comp hit and I have most of the figures painted to a decent standard for me.  I could take some time to work on touching up some of the models or repainting a squad or two.

The other idea I have been mulling around is the a list using Calgar.  I mean, it IS an Ultrasmurf force.  Why wouldn't I bring out Papa Smurf himself?  I haven't had a chance to use my favorite painted model in a tournament yet, and I thought this might be a good opportunity.  The problem is... How?

After soliciting advice from Dakka, the most meaningful piece of advice (besides "run Vulkan or Lysander) was to avoid LRs and go with foot-slogging Termies.  The idea intrigued me and I came up with what I would consider a very crappy first draft.  It uses a squad of shooty Termies that Calgar will hang with and possibly drop an orbital barrage on Turn 1 and eat a few wounds for them.  It might work... it might not.  <Broken Link>
I am a little hesitant to roll without my Libby crutch and I would have to repaint some shooty Termies, but it would probably be fun to try.  I am not sure whether I should go with more or less Termies, and whether they should all be the same or not.

Oh... and if anyone knows a good way to display AB lists on blogspot, I would offer you a cookie!

Monday, March 28, 2011

More Grey Knight Stuff

So I read an interesting article by Stelek. While I could do without the "I know everything" attitude, his site does have nuggets of wisdom from time to time.

In the linked article he posted a 1500 GK razorspam list (non-Coteaz version).  It relied on heavy bolter razorbacks with pysbolt upgrades carrying 5 man GKSS screened by foot henchmen.  Overall I do think his list is very good, but because it would not scale and I do not like razorspam it is not one I would run. 

The big takeaway I pulled from the article was his take on the HQ selection for a 1500 list.  I mentioned earlier that an Inquisitor and henchman might have been a better choice for my initial list and his idea for cheap pyscannon Inquisitors is very interesting.  The idea of meltabomb warriors as a tank-shock screen is also something I hadn't thought about.

I did not have a lot of 40K time this weekend, but I started working on the Purifiers and GKTs.  I picked out the models for both squads and I did some basic assembly/converting such as making a banner carrier out of the old GKT Justicar model.  I am trying to use as many of my old models as possible so I need to change some PAGK halberds into DHs and some GKT incinerators into pyscannons.  My main 40k goal this week is to get these two squads assembled and based so I have a better idea of what I need to purchase and build.  That and so I can post some progress pictures...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Small Pleasures (....that's what SHE said)

So this weekend I was on the road for work, but my wife was able to accompany me.  While I was in a meeting, she took the opportunity to hit "the biggest mall she's ever seen" for an afternoon of shopping.  However, it was me who ended up coming out like a bandit.  She found a GW store in the mall and bought me a lot of good loot!  The biggies were:


Battlefield Accessories

Like I mentioned in a previous post, most places around here don't have a lot of their own terrain, so I'm trying to build up my own stock.  Hopefully I'll be able to get enough to really have some great table setups at home or at my local store.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1500 GK Starter List Design

While I'm used to normally playing at the 1850 level, games around here seem to be much smaller.  I am going to start the GK army at 1500 and work my way up as time and money permit.  I figure anything below 1500 will be tough for any sort of GK army that doesn't lean hard on inquisition forces.  I'm not against Inquisition in general, but I want to use the GK models I already have which are mostly PAGKs and GKTs.

Having said that, I plan on starting with a pretty vanilla list.  Nothing fancy like Draigo, Mordrak, Coteaz, or shunting for 1st turn assaults.  I think those options are better left for after I have a better feel for the codex and am operating at higher points values.  For now, I want to start with the "must haves" from the GK codex and then support them with mostly GK forces.  Anyone who has been following the internet chatter can probably guess what they are:

1.  Pysfleman Dreads
2.  Vindicare Assassin
3.  Purifiers

Personal List Design Principles

When I first started my SM army, I went with "battleforce" approach, using a variety of units.  Overall, I think that worked out fairly well, as it gave me a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the codex and its units before I focused in on one particular build.  That and it gave me a lot of options when it came to building lists for different points levels, events, and whims.  So I am going to stick to that strategy while building the GKs.

Having said that, when it comes to designing lists, I believe in:

1.  Redundancy-If my lists needs to do something, then I'm not leaving it one unit
2.  Duality-I greatly prefer units that can handle tanks or infantry as needed
3.  Saturation-I want to force my opponent to make hard choices about targeting
4.  Dispersion-I don't like too many eggs in one basket
5.  Synergy-I love force multipliers IF they also fullfil the previous criteria

What I do NOT believe in is SPAM.  Once again, this is the product of my Space Marine upbringing where multiple units can serve similar but slightly different roles.  For example, MM Landspeeders vs attack bikes and Riflemen Dreads vs Combi/Dakka Preds.  Personally, I have found that by using both in the same list provides more overall flexiblity to the list while not sacrificing the main purpose of the units.  Further, by mixing the list up slightly, it tends to lead towards a more visually pleasing army (ala White Dwarf picture spreads) and better soft scores.  I'm not denying the effectiveness of spam and do not feel any sort of "moral" superiority for not spamming.  I just feel that in many cases that making minor changes from "optimal" units can actually be beneficial in soft scores and flexibility.  That and I just get bored painting the same thing...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jumping on the Grey Knight Bandwagon... (Again)

Since starting 40k in January 2009, I've always loved the fluff and models from the Grey Knights.  There is just something made of pure win about knights in shining armor hunting down the things that go bump in the night.  I tried to start the army a few times, each time buying more of the metal models, but could never get past one simple fact....  The DH codex is not competitive in 5th Edition.

I understand that quite a few people have done very well with the DH codex in 5th Edition, but I'm just not that pro and I'm too "competitive" to stomach that much losing.  So each time I just ended up writing up some lists, playing some test games, and eventually giving up.

However, the new GK codex looks to be pretty solid and have a multitude of competitive builds.  My favorite thing about my Codex: Space Marine army is that it is extremely flexible, and I can run a completely different build each week.  I think to a lesser extent GKs will be the same way.  While they lack the sheer number of unit options of other books (e.g. only two fast attack... seriously?), I think the units they do have are flexible enough to make up for it.  Overall I think that GKs will find themselves around Nids or BA in powerlevel, which makes me happy.  I won't be tempted to play the martyr card when I lose, and I really can't be accused of being a codex-jumpy powergamer if/when I win.

I'm taking this codex release as an opportunity to start a new army that is competitive and has great conversion/painting potential.  By the time I finished painting my Smurfs, I had learned a significant amount about the hobby aspect of 40k and my latest models are light-years ahead of my first ones.  That and having a fully-painted army already removes the temptation to rush and speed paint models just to get them done.  I can actually take my time on each model and really make them look good... or as good as I can anyway.

Possible lists and paint schemes incoming...

Manifesto/Initial Thoughts

So now that I'm living in upstate New York, I've found two things to be true:

1.  Lake-effect snow sucks
2.  40k games are hard to come by

I started out playing 40k in OH which has a very solid community of gamers.  It was possible to get games in any night of the week and hit a RTT pretty much every Saturday if you were willing to drive an hour.  And most of the stores were heavily focused on tabletop games, so there was never a shortage of tables or terrain.  In short, I was spoiled...

The part of New York I now reside in isn't as blessed when it comes to 40k and the transition was a huge shock for me.  Finding games now takes a considerable amount of effort and with moving, work, and other committments, I haven't played any sort of "serious" game in about 9 months.  So not only am I pretty rusty, but I'm behind in the meta too.  I'm hoping that by keeping a blog and following other blogs/forums I will be able to get back into things and avoid getting curbstomped too bad when I do travel to tournaments.  That and I'm hoping that by showing my process for building a new army, I might be able to recruit some new players locally so I don't have to drive so dang far...