So after the Bikers vs Mech Marines battle, we decided to try out my Draigo list before I start purchasing a lot of models. I am wanting to try a fairly "balanced" Draigo/Pally list and I discussed some of my thoughts in a previous post. (Don't mind my shameless links to my other blog posts...)
This will be a fairly short and sweet batrep. Starraptor and I wanted to try and get two games in last night, so we started with a 1500 point game. I've been playing my Mech Marines against his for the last several games, so I switched it up with a 1500 Biker list. I haven't played with my Bikers in a long time and it was his first game against a bike army. My list was:
Captain with Bike, Relic Blade, and Combi-Melta
I saw this on Gone to Ground and thought it was a great read. It basically talks about being friendly and having a good time while gaming... even tournament games! I was lucky enough to have great opponents for all three matches on Saturday. All three matches were very close, hard fought, and competitive affairs, but there wasn't a single cross word or rules question that wasn't settled quickly and amicably. "Competitive" and "Friendly" games are not mutually exclusive, contrary to popular internet belief. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing to win as long as you do it within the rules (and without "lawyering"), with respect for your opponent, and remembering at all times it is just a game! Smiles, small talk, laughing and groaning about dice (in reasonable amounts) all make for enjoyable games whether it is in the garage or a local RTT.
Having said that, I probably need to work on being more friendly during tournament games. I tend to overthink everything... and with the tournament time constraints mixed with "pressure" to not screw up, I have to really focus on trying to play fast. That causes me to end up in what my wife calls "the zone" where I am focused way too hard on the little plastic men on the table. If you ever play me and it seems like I'm pissed off at the world, I promise that's not the case. It's just a side effect of my brain not having enough horsepower to carry on a conversation and play the game at the same time.
So I threw the question out to the web about how to run a competitive Draigo list. The replies I got back were a mixed bag. Some thought he wasn't as good as a regular GM with grenades while some (like me) are in love with his T5 and Eternal Warrior. The best advice I saw was to use him in a list similar to a regular GM, so that is what I went with:
So Starraptor and I spent the day playing in a (fairly) local 2K tournament and I have to say it was a blast! It was at Play the Game, Read the Story in Syracuse. The TO, Paul, did a great job of organizing it and I have to say I love their new location. One of the reasons I hadn't been down there for a while was because their old location had very, very little room and tables for games and tournaments had to be held in the mall's common area. However, their new location has a HUGE gaming area and I love it! I tried to take pictures but something went wrong with my camera and so I didn't actually get any to turn out. Also, I was trying to knock the rust off, so I didn't have a lot of time to take notes between turns, so I will stick to fairly short summaries.
Occasionally I run my Smurfs as Counts As Blood Angels. I love fast vehicles and many of the options afforded in the BA book such as Apothecaries (see my Brother Corbulo above) and Librarian Dreads. Not to mention that Assault Squads don't stink in the BA codex. I can translate my Marine lists pretty easily with minor changes. Neither of these lists are anything special, but I have used the 1750 with reasonable success. I haven't used the 2K one, but I think it would be fun to use once I get a Stormraven painted. One thing I would probably look at changing the MM/HF Speeders into MM ABs because of FNP.
Pretty standard shooty list. Corbulo and Libby and the PW Sarg act as a ghetto counter assault unit to take on Combat Squads and whatnot.
Libby with Shield and Unleash Rage (I like being able to pop this to bust out CC on my opponent's turn)
I am still thinking about the idea of running a unit of Paladins in a list. The previous list I posted was fairly rough, but I think if I rework the troops a little, it could be a decent list. If I decide to give Draigo a try, the above picture is the model I will use to represent him. Basically, Draigo will be the UltraSmurfs Chapter Champion or Commander of the Guard Aloysius (even though he got punked by the Swarmlord).
After many months, I finally got my game room squared away and it is now open for business. My Father-in-law and I built a 4x6 table about a year ago, but it went largely unused due to a combination of work, a lack of local 40k players, and it being used as a storage area. Finally Starraptor and I got a chance to put it through the paces with an inagural 40k battle (and knock off rust before a RTT) and batrep. Starraptor is pretty new to 40k and I haven't played in about 9 months, so you'll have to forgive any mistakes we made. Also, the terrain and RoB are a work in progress and need a lot more painting, so you'll have to also forgive that and my terrible camera work.
I finally got around to finishing off my extra Tactical Squad. I didn't go too crazy on details as I just want good tabletop quality for my rank and file. Overall, I am very happy with how the squad turned out, especially considering the time investment. The only model I am not overly happy with is the Sarg. I still cannot do well with faces consistently. I also worked on the bases of my other Tacticals and while they are pretty rough, they are better than before and now match the rest of the army. I plan on stripping and repainting a squad at a time once the RTT is over.
So far the GK codex has been a tough nut for me to crack, especially without my trusty Army Builder files. (The French translation just doesn't cut it.) I have two main problems that are giving me fits. The first is how to properly utilize the Inquisition units without turning into a wannabe-IG army. The other is how to fit in some of what I would consider the cooler models into a non-fail list. Sometimes I think GW goes out of their way to make the better looking models perform only so-so on the tabletop. When a new codex comes out, everyone buys the new shiny models because they look so nice, then when the players realize those models have cruddy rules, they have to shell out for the more effective units. Just compare the effectiveness of units such as the Blood Angels' Stormraven, Libby Dreadnought, Death Company, etc to MSU/Razorback Spam. Likewise, Coteaz and Crowe spam seem to be relatively point and click, while Paladins, Termies, Stormravens, and (to a lesser extent) Dreadknights seem to be harder to work into a coherent list. The catalyst for my rant is none other than the Paladin unit. As much as I want them to be awesome, they have some serious issues in a competitive lists.
I'm still debating how I am going to go about doing Counts As Honorguard. I have been looking in the White Dwarf at the pictures of the bits and trying to figure out just what I'm going to use. The helmets and weapon arms are no brainers. However, the legs, chest, and shoulder pads are more "iffy". They would be more useful if they had kept the old gibberish text instead of readable words such as "Doom", "Nemisis", etc. While they are very ornate and look super cool, they don't scream "Honorguard" to me. I would replace the left shoulderpads with metal Ultramarine ones, but I'm not sure what to do about the rest. I think I can use them as long as I get the file and greenstuff out. For now, I am going to test paint one of my plain, extra metal PAGKs and see how it looks in my Smurfs scheme. That should give me an idea of what areas need some extra detail to look more like Honorguard. Any suggestions are appreciated!
Got a good 1000 point game in with GKs tonight. I proxied up a small force and went against shooty mech Marines. I like the feel of the army, even at 1000 points. But without henchman, it's definately very, very squishy (I had a pretty low model count army). I have also bought into the 5-man GKSS with Pyscannon and Pysback units being touted on the internet. They definately performed well. However, GKTs were mediocre at best. I failed way too many 2+ saves before they could do much. I also got to see just how nasty Pysfleman dreads are on the tabletop.
I've been reconsidering my 1500 point army for a few days now and in light of recent revelations (Honorguard Counts As), I am thinking about changing it. I am getting away from the full squads and going to the Pysback Squads. The extra Justicars seem like they would be very useful along with the extra vehicles. I also want to try to fit in the Dreadknight Counts As Calgar and/or a Stormraven. So here's what I came up with:
I am tempted to steal the idea for Honorguard Counts as Grey Knights. For one, I do love my Smurfs and the fluff associated with them. I also LOVE the idea of not having to spend a crap ton of money on stuff like Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, and Razorbacks. And if I do it right, it would be a nice way to "be different" from the rest of the bandwagon jumpers. I could kit bash the hell out of the GK, Sang Guard, and other kits and get some Roman-style crests for all the helmets.
A lot of the rules and gear can fit an Honorguard/Vet force pretty well, but there are quite a few "stretches" that might cause problems. The pysker and demon rules would not have any real justification besides the "rule of cool". Here's what I'm thinking:
GKTs/Paladins = TDA Honorguard (creative, right?)
GKSS = PA Honorguard
Purifiers = Tyrannic War Vets (I thought the "FU Gaunts!" ability was appropriate)
GKGM = Captain
GK Libby = Libby (easy enough)
Dreadknight 1 = Papa Smurf
Other DKs = ???? (I want to use multiple DKs)
Interceptors = Vanguard Vets (would probably use piece Sang Guard Models)
Inquisitors = PDF leaders (TDA one would be hard to justify)
Warrior Henchmen (probably won't use) = Ultramar PDF or Scouts
Pyscannons = Assault Cannons
I'm not sure if I will actually go with this, but it's definately an idea I will be thinking about this week.
As a Smurf player, I love the idea of making a Calgar/Honorguard Counts with GK models/rules. The new plastics would make it pretty easy to put together a great looking Honor Guard force. I am SOOO tempted to rip this idea off...
After banging my head against Calgar lists for two days, I pretty much determined I cannot field what I would consider a "good" list containing him at 2K. I came up with two "decent" lists: the one posted earlier on the blog, and another has a LR and turns the MM/HF Dread into a second Rifleman at the expense of a MM AB and the Termies. While both lists are "workable" and would be more than adequate for non-tournament game, I am very hesitant to go into a tournament situation without a hood. The new GKs only underscore that concern. Couple that with the fact that either one would require significant modeling/painting (when I'd rather be working on GKs) and I decided to go with the Battleforce List.
I had a last minute opportunity to slip away from the house and go to a gaming store about 45 minutes away. I was pretty stoked about seeing the new GK stuff and getting some games in. I've been to the store several times before and it's normally pretty active so I figured that at a minimum there would be a few people around to play or "talk shop" with. However, when I walked in, it was completely deserted. It was like 11:30, so I just figured it was still early. I bought the GK codex, two Smallworld expansions for my wife (we both love that game), a drink, and sat down to read through the codex and wait for more people to show up. Two problems quickly became apparent: no one else showed up, and the GK codex had a lot less fluff than I was hoping for.