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  1. Hey folks!

    So I just recently had a game against Kevin from The Basement Collective as part of a Competitive League Mr. AG is running. We played a 2000 point Matched Play game, using the ETC mission packet, and got the mission that was both "The Relic and Conctact Lost" at the same time. Our mission; claim the center objective, and accomplish whatever Maelstrom Cards came up, with "Secure Objective X" cards able to be scored by either player. Here's the army lists:
     

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    Kevin's Eldar:
    Patrol Detachment (Alaitoc):
    - Farseer Skyrunner w-Singing Spear, The Phoenix Gem (Psychic Powers: Doom, Executioner, Mind War)
    - 5x Rangers
    - 1x Hemlock Wraithfighters w-Heavy D-Scythe, Mindshock Probes (Psychic Power: Protect/Jinx)
    - 1x Hemlock Wraithfighters w-Heavy D-Scythe, Mindshock Probes (Psychic Power: Conceal/Reveal)

    Harlequin Battalion:
    - Troupe Master w-Harlequin's Kiss, Fusion Pistol
    - Troupe Master w-Harlequin's Kiss, Fusion Pistol
    - Troupe Master w-Harlequin's Embrace, Fusion Pistol
    - 5x Players w-4x Harlequin's Embrace, 1x Harlequin's Kiss, 2x Fusion Pistol
    - 5x Players w-4x Harlequin's Embrace, 1x Harlequin's Kiss, 2x Fusion Pistol
    - 5x Players w-4x Harlequin's Embrace, 1x Harlequin's Kiss, 2x Fusion Pistol
    - 5x Players w-4x Harlequin's Embrace, 1x Harlequin's Kiss, 2x Fusion Pistol
    - 3x Skyweaver Jetbikes w-Haywire Cannon & Zephyr Glaive
    - 1x Star Weavers w-2x Shuriken Cannon
    - 1x Star Weavers w-2x Shuriken Cannon
    - 1x Star Weavers w-2x Shuriken Cannon
    - 1x Star Weavers w-2x Shuriken Cannon 
    - 1x Solitaire w-Harlequin's Kiss & Harlequin's Caress

     

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    Davis' Chaos:
    Battalion Detachment (Alpha Legion):

    - Chaos Lord w-Mark of Nurgle, Power Sword (The Murder Sword), Bolt Pistol
    - Exalted Champion w-Mark of Nurgle, Power Axe, Bolt Pistol
    - 30 Cultists w-Mark of Nurgle, Autoguns, 2x Flamers
    - 10 Chaos Space Marines w-Mark of Nurgle, Lascannon, Plasma Gun, Bolt Pistols, Champion w-Bolter
    - 5 Chaos Space Marines w-Mark of Nurgle, Lascannon, Bolt Pistols, Champion w-Chainsword
    - 20 Khorne Berzerkers w-Chainswords & Bolt Pistols, Champion w-Power Sword, Bolt Pistol
    - 10 Noise Marines w-Sonic Blasters & Bolt Pistols, 2x Blastmasters, Champion w-Sonic Blaster, Bolt Pistol

    Thousand Sons Super Heavy Auxiliary:
    - Magnus the Red (Psychic Powers: Weaver of Fates, Warptime, Death Hex)

    Death Guard Super Heavy Auxiliary:
    - Mortarion (Psychic Powers: Miasma of Pestilence, Curse of the Leper, Blades of Putrefaction)

     


    So, right away you can see that these lists are pretty mean. Kevin was hoping to stack up a bunch negative modifiers to being shot at (his Wraithfighters are almost intrinsically -2 to be hit), while he was just getting his feet wet with Harlequins, and had wisely taken lots of transports for his Players and Troupe Masters, which would give them a much higher degree of protection against shooting (as they're also at -1 to being hit against ranged attacks). However, the forces of Chaos were hoping to get right up close and personal, with a lot of close combat elements, and BOTH Daemon Primarchs. Hey, if you're going competitive, might as well be mean. This would be my first game using both of them outside a mega battle. I also had to choose at this point an enemy for my Murder Sword, and chose the Harlequin Solitaire. These guys rock a 3++, so being able to just deal mortal wounds through that could prove hilariously powerful.

    Kevin won the roll to put down objectives first, so I got the pick of which table side to be on. I forgot about that point and probably wasted my last objective marker being put down (I could've made the battlefield lopsided in objectives in my favour). As it was, it was going to be a pretty even split between objective everywhere, and with Hammer and Anvil deployment. Kevin started deploying, and created a wall of Starweavers, with his Farseer and Hemlocks covering behind them. I deployed Morty & Magnus one in front of the other opposite of Kevin, with Noise Marines in a nearby building, and Lascannon totting squads holding objectives and ruins near the back. The cultists formed a huge blog across two objectives, ready to spread out to more as the game went on, and maybe using the Cultist stratagem to come back to life at full strength if they got hammered early. Kevin used a stratagem to put his Solitaire and Skyweavers in the Webway, and his Alaitoc Rangers were going to infiltrate. I had used the Alpha Legion stratagem 3 times to infiltrate in my Lord, Exalted Champion, and Berzerkers.

    Kevin won the roll to go first (we tied 5 and 5, but Kevin got +1 for finishing deployment a turn before I did), but then I was able to Seize the Initiative! We then rolled off to see who would set up their Infiltrators first, and I got higher, so was able to set up the Khorne Berzerkers just outside 9 inches of his forces - a terrifying prospect to be sure! With them already right there, Kevin was forced to just put his snipers in a ruin as if he had deployed them there originally.

    20180116_193706.thumb.jpg.f18968433d98baf9f1520bdc086bf28b.jpg20180116_193710.thumb.jpg.5dc93ba22f2f291e753816fe01e18816.jpg20180116_193715.thumb.jpg.1b1949be11995cf111c43cbfc4f541b5.jpg

    Turn 1:
    The Khorne Berzerkers, Morty, and Maggie, all moved on up towards the pointy-eared ones, while the Cultists advanced and started moving to cover a huge area and as many objectives (and the Relic, though not yet) as they could. In the psychic phase, Maggie was able to slingshot Morty forward, putting one starweaver within his 7" bubble. Magnus also got off his +1 Inv save (so a 3++, rerolling 1's), and got off a d6 smite, but it did the max 6 damage and wiped out one of the Star Weavers! Morty tried to cast Curse of the Leper on the Farseer, but the Farseer was able to deny it. Nothing much happened in shooting, due to the major penalties against the Chaos shooting, but the Khorne Berzerkers were able to kill off a squad of Harlequins using their pistols! For charging, Morty and Maggie were both slow, despite using a reroll on Morty, but the Khorne Berzerkers were able to make it in, and destroyed all but one of the Starweavers, and slew 3 of the Rangers (who remained locked in combat afterwards). Good first turn for Chaos.

    latest?cb=20161205070527

    Harlequins responded by zooming their flyers into my back lines, while the Players and Troupe Masters got between Morty and the Berzerkers. Despite a huge +2 bonus to deny, the crafty Eldar were able to put Doom on Morty, and then struck at him with about 5 or 6 melta-gun strength shots, but only managed to put him down by 6 wounds. The Wraithfighters evaporated the 10-man squad of marines in the back though, and some minor damage was done to the Berzerkers. Then the Harlequins charged, and I have to admit, I wasn't ready for how much damage they could put out. With a huge number of AP -3 hits and wounds, the Berzerkers were mulched up like nobodies business, disappearing with almost an audible pop! However, the Chaos Lord and Exalted Champion still survived, partially thanks to the Harlequins trying to bring those Fusion pistols in close against Morty.

    Points wise, Kevin was ahead on victory points, but the board had so far turned my way.

    20180116_204611.thumb.jpg.9283c3a7d3e42a523b09e7078fae6724.jpg

    Turn 2:
    Without their transports, the Harlequins were going to be massively slowed down. If I could kill off all the ground forces of the Harlequins, the Wraithfighters wouldn't count as part of his army to see if he'd be tabled, so I got to work trying to track down all the units I could. Magnus flew up (and Warptimed over) a building to end up just outside of 3" of the Farseer, while Morty got into position to charge multiple different units. The Cultists advanced again up, this time reaching the Relic. In the psychic phase, Magnus was again dominant, getting a 2d6 super smite to annihilate the Eldar Farseer (who then, without anyone within d6 inches to suffer a mortal wound, wasn't resurrected), before regenerating his 3++ Inv shield. Morty got off Miasma of Pestilence again, but then periled on a second power, suffering 1 wound (rolled double 1's, then used a stratagem to reroll into a 1, then rolled a 1 for the mortal wounds, then rolled a 1 for the Feel No Paint - Yahtzee!). In combat, Morty did almost no damage compared to his normal output, only slicing down 4 Players, and failing to finish off a Troupe Master on any wounds on a third unit. Magnus, meanwhile, charged into the Solitaire that had arrived, and although only 2 wounds got through the Solitaire's 3++, with each wound dealing 3 damage, the Solitaire became skewered. The Chaos Lord was able to kill off one Troupe Master in combat, but then died to a second one. The Exalted Champion then (didn't) surprise everyone by declaring himself to actually be Alpharius, so a third Primarch was on the table.

    Death-Guard-Art-Mortarion-Wal-Hor.jpg

    On Kevin's turn, he was really worried that he'd be down and out soon, so he went for broke and threw as much at Morty as he could. Kevin was able to slay a unit of Marines in the psychic phase due to two Smites from his Wraithfighters, but then wasn't able to put enough damage on Morty to really get him down (only bringing him down to 8 wounds remaining), and settled for the consolation prize of killing my Warlord... I mean Alpharius! However, he only had 1 Star Weaver left, the Skyweavers that had arrived from the Webway, 3 Players, and 2 Troupe Masters left on the ground.

    Harlequins1.jpg

    Turn 3:
    I resolved to try and finish this off, giving up my Maelstrom cards to do it. Magnus jumped over to the Star Weaver and Skyweavers, annihilating the Star Weaver with a super smite for 10 damage (and box-cars on the psychic test dealing 3 mortal wounds to Magnus), and removing the Skyweavers' Inv save. Morty slew two Players with Curse of the Leper (which, out of 7 dice, only 2 managed to be a 3 or higher, leaving a crucial 1 player left), but the finished off the last player with his phosphex grenades. The cultists paid for their points, with two flamers burning away one full health Troupe Master before the second was filled with Autogun bullet holes. Being at T2 near Morty REALLY hurts the Eldar to this kind of shooting! Magnus then finished the game off by charging in and destroying the Skyweavers whom, without an Inv save, had almost no protection. With that, all of Kevin's ground forces were destroyed, and he automatically lost the game.

    640?cb=20151009175036

    CHAOS VICTORY!
    BRUTALITY (Opponent Tabled)

    In all honesty, this was a pretty bad matchup for Kevin, with a number of mistakes added on to boot. My forces excelled in close combat, just like his, but also had some more ways of getting through invulnerable saves, while his lacked that. Right there, that made this an uphill battle for him. And Mortarion is an absolute monster - even when he's not doing anything, he's still doing lots. His auras make just existing around him a more lethal thing to do. With Magnus warp-timing him into fantastic positions, while also being a psychic and combat powerful, the threat overload was just a bit too much to be handled.

    Lessons Learned:
    - Holy smokes, Harlequins are so much MEANER in 8th edition! Going from a 5++ to a 4++ is a huge increase. I thought they'd melt under my forces, but that 4++ kept them in the fight. I also was thinking of the Harlequin's Embrace as still being "extra attacks", like it was in 7th, but this weapon has undergone a MASSIVE change, making Harlequin units cut through armour like butter. I would say that this should be your main weapon for Harlequins, as the Kiss is just so lacklustre compared to it. One 5-man Player squad nearly wiped out the Berzerkers on their own! Don't think that if you catch these guys in the open that you're safe any longer.

    - At the same time, the Harlequin ranged weapons have become much less vicious. Multi-shot weapons, once king, are now just "useful", and Chaos suffered very few casualties to this fire. They might work better against squads of little guys, but against 3+ armour they were very weak. Fusion pistols are still good though, if not better because you're less worried about vehicles exploding in your face.

    - Harlequins are impossible, literally impossible, to pin down. If you go for them, just try and kill them, nothing fancy.

    - Flyers really are a liability if you're an elite army. That's less models on the ground preventing you from just losing the game.

    - Engage targets of significance. The Alaitoc flyers were really mean, but went after some basic Space Marine squads. Ultimately, this resulted in 420 points killing just 258 points worth of models... not that great for 3 turns.

    - The Battle Bros, Magnus and Mortarion, and even stronger together than they are apart, able to deal huge damage to just about anything, while both being incredibly resistant to damage, and both able to handle very different targets. Honestly not sure how to handle this duo aside from blasting them to death with a prayer on your lips.

    - Never forget; Infiltrators are set up after you learn who goes first, so always be mindful of where units are going to show up!

    - Cultists are weak, but huge squads of them can hold a ridiculous number of objectives. At the end of the game, this one squad was holding 3 objectives, and threatening to hold a 4th, all on its own.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. That is a phrase I hear all too often. People sharing their disdain for all things related to the word "competitive." It is true, some people just enjoy throwing their favorite looking or best painted models on the board and smashing dice together. Which that is awesome, playing Warhammer for the love of them game and models, all the power to them. I want to make the argument that you can enjoy the game just as much while focusing on being "competitive."

    First of all, it might be appropriate to describe/define what I mean when I say "competitive." Often people equate competitive with WAAC (win at all costs). That means to win as a player I am willing to do anything, cheat, fast roll, slow play, heck evening paying my brother to steal your car and drive it to Timmins (like yuck who goes to Timmins?) just so you might get distracted. The image of WAAC is almost 100% of the time not the case, certainly there are players or games where this does exist, but in all the tournaments I have ever been to (probably north of 200 tournament games played) I have played against 2 people where in that game I would consider them WAAC players.  They were also the 2 least enjoyable games of 40k I have ever played. Now are these players always like that? I would think it is safe to say probably not, they were probably just having a rough day and normally are much better to play against. So where do we draw the line of competitive and WAAC? I think the distinction is in the manners and etiquette of the players involved. When I say competitive I am generally referring to using the units available to me to the best of my ability, while trying to win the game in an enjoyable manner. Lets go all the way back to 7th edition (like what 1000 years ago?).

    During the end of 7th edition when I was travelling to a lot of tournaments I was using an amazing Eldar list. When I say amazing I am not referring to it being a well rounded and awesomely painted list, I am referring to the fact that it was second to none strength wise. The list was the epitome of what was wrong with 7th edition, spamming units manipulating various key words to gain the maximum fire power and advantage over your opponent. By the end of 7th I wasn't even having fun playing it anymore. It was at this point where I realized that there has to be a line for myself. A line where while I wasn't portraying a WAAC attitude (at least I hope I wasn't) my list certainly left some people (eventually even myself) with a bad taste in their mouth. A line that took the joy out of Warhammer 40k for me, I was sacrificing my enjoyment of the game to gain an strategic advantage.

    Here is where I want to discuss what competitive in 40k truly means to me. I never want to get to the point again, where for the sake of winning I use loop holes and key words to crush my opponents will to play. When you show up at table and see your opponents list and think "oh boy I don't even stand a chance, why even bother playing." It is that issue combined with the WAAC issue that gives competitive 40k a bad reputation. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy playing competitive 40k, even more so then just throwing dice in a casual game. But I feel that my perception of what constitutes "competitive" has changed. I now find myself focusing on making the best well rounded list I can, one that doesn't just leave a bad taste in my foes mouth. I want it to be my tactics and decisions that win me the game compared to my list automatically winning me game. To be able to bring a very strong list, play it masterfully, while keep your integrity as a player (avoiding being WAAC), and allowing your opponent a fun game with his toys is what the true definition of what competitive 40k is to me.

    I will end this post by referring to the list @stankywizard brought to the Beer and Pretzel Open, which he used masterfully to win the event. The list has also since been posted HERE on RAGE. His list was an extremely good list, but it also didn't just spam all the good units, or spam as much smite as possible. He brought units he wanted to, even some that people would consider to be "bad" in the game. While no one would say for a second his list was a bad list, it wasn't his list that won him the tournament automatically. It was his ability to utilize the list and a meaningful way, controlling objectives and strategically making decisions. Heck he even beat my brother and I, whom some consider to be way too competitive, or even WAAC at times.

    There you have it, my ramblings and thoughts and my first post into this blog examining Competitive 40k, what are your thoughts on the subject? Do you agree or disagree with what I said. Be sure to let me know in the comments. Keep on Wargaming!

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    The hobby of Table Top War games holds a wide variety of people who participate in it from the list-builder, to the fluff lovers. I myself am a Brush Jockey.  What is this you ask?  Well, I define my role in the hobby of Table Top War games as one who is in it for the gratification of watching little bon-homes go from hunks of metal or plastic to live action heroes on the board.

    This entry is going to be the first in a series that I will share with you on my process for producing a fully painted army.  This approach can be used for any type of table top war game; there are no favorites here because if I could, I would play them all.  

    A project like producing a fully painted army can be a very daunting task, especially if you are playing one of the larger games.  This article assumes that you are collecting your force on a unit by unit basis, and hopefully will provide some tips and best practice around the hobby end of things.  I have used this approach on a fully collected army for commissions, but that sort of undertaking is not for the novice or faint of heart. 


    There are many steps and considerations to look at when working on this sort of project. I like to break my projects up into the following categories;

    1. Assembly

    Nine-Sea-Brand-Gundam-Miniature-Military-Scale-Model-Assembly-Model-Tools-Different-Combo-With-Box-and.jpg
    This is probably the most important step because it establishes the framework for the rest of your project. If you are just snipping the piece off the sprue and gluing together without cleaning the piece first, it could result in a poor looking paintjob at the end. If you are anything like me, you stress on the small imperfections that result from this.  Here is a great article ssembled (pun intended) on preparing and assembling your miniature. 

    https://snapguide.com/guides/prepare-a-citadel-miniature-for-painting/

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2. Bases

    It is my opinioBases-25mm.jpg.2ee1b5c3446751c901613d5235230bba.jpgn that the base of a model really sets them apart from ones that do not have one.  There are different approaches I take during this process surrounding bases. If I am assembling a unit of more than 3 models, I will add sand or cork to the base of my models before I prime them. This allows me to paint the base with the model and apply flocking after the model is done with paint. 
    The second approach is one I will often use with special characters or with models I really want to have a stunning look to.  With this approach I will assemble the base, and the miniature separate from each other and paint each with the same attention to detail.
    Here is a link to a series of YouTube videos that show many different approaches to bases - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4sEryds4XKU4wXX1rMj1J5PVQcfqBaid
     
    In my next installment, I will talk about priming and painting large quantities of miniatures .

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    So, another year is upon us. Some would even go as far as saying another day has dawned in the era of gaming in the North. Some people have asked why do this? What's the point? I kind of chuckle at the questions, people just generally assume that myself and @Capt. Thunderfawks do this because we love the community and while that is most definitely true -- I have to admit I am a bit selfish in the sense that I do this because I enjoy keeping busy in my free time. Anyone who knows us knows for certain that we love the community, love the events and for the most part love the people who make up the community. This is a side passion of mine - web development, running infrastructure, and of course table topping. Our primary goal as an organization is to bring gamers from all walks of life together, as a team this is what we hope to accomplish. As individuals we have very different views of and ideas for what we want out of this. While I won't speak for the captain, for myself everyday I enjoy taking on new challenges and while some of those may seem as pipe dreams, thats the beauty of how I work, I dream big and sort out what we can do to be realistic. I understand some people want the world when a dreamer talks of their ideas, but part of managing expectations and my job as a dreamer is to help identify what will happen and what could happen. You will never hear me say that I am content with any system, job, game, whatever - I will always look for ways to improve, theorycraft ideas new and exciting or talk smack about current implementations and issues. Now with that said and if you've made it this far in my ramblings i'd like to break down the train of thought into what goes into something like this, what to expect from a site such as this and the type of person you have working behind the scenes to bring you this.

    So without further ado, let's take some time to go over what we have in store for the site, what we'd like it to become (and not become) and give an overall roadmap into this entire community portal from my point of view.

    Plans/Ideas

    • Continual site improvement. Whether this is login integrations, feature enhancements, bug fixes, this I promise will be the majority of my work here.
    • Central portal for almost all gaming activity. Tabletop style will be the main focus and we will branch off as needed.
    • Integrations are a part of what make communities communities. 
    • Inclusion not division. Negativity/Harassment will not be tolerated here. There is no repeals or higher authority here. If we feel that you only bring toxicity to the community we will remove you. I know this was controversial in the past but let me put it out there -- I will not tolerate people starting shit just to start it. 
    • And of course hearing your thoughts and ideas (I cannot promise I will do everything you suggest but as a team we will vote)
    • We are a small team - be patient. I cannot stress this enough and I touched on it above. Yes some of our ideas may sound great and be the greatest thing since sliced bread - it doesn't mean it's going to be implemented tomorrow. Be patient with us, this is a hobby about a hobby not a full time job.
    • Expansion - You've all been on the sites around the web, blogs, forums, whatever. Our goal is to become inclusive not just within the local community but branch out to other parts of the country to start. This goes back to the don't be a dick thing. People do not want to come to a toxic environment. The key to expansion and attracting people is having a welcoming and helpful community. This is my expectation of you all - my return on investment if you will (which financially was substantial).

    Now with all that said, I do this for myself but also for you all. My goal has always been to have a really chill environment for people to come and hang, play some games, shoot the shit over the games and things they love to do. 

    Myself and @Capt. Thunderfawks have been working for months now and are really excited to bring this new community portal online for everyone. We're really excited to see what everyone is doing hobby wise, game wise or just what's up in general.

    If you ever have any questions or concerns my PM is always open, please do not hesitate to use it.

    Thanks everyone!