Monday, September 27, 2021

2021 - Change of Direction

 At the outset of 2021 I was playing 40k almost exclusively. Although we were in the midst of the pandemic, GW had released 9th Edition mid-2020 and was starting to release the army books.

Jump forward three or four months and I hit an absolute wall.....and as a result started to lose interest.

Two things triggered this.

First, GW released the 2021 Chapter Approved Grand Tournament Mission Pack. This proved to include very minimal changes from the 2020 pack. The 2020 pack had nine missions, however this was basically the same mission played with minimal changes - 2 or 3 Primary Objectives required, one of three deployment maps, one scenario secondary. It had got pretty old, pretty quick in 2020 (for example, I think playing my Harlequins I never changed my secondaries except when I played Knights). Essentially the games got very samey, very quickly.

So I was hopeful that the new pack would introduce so more interest and fun. It didn't. Same base nine missions and small changes with secondaries. Yawn. I can play the same game over and over again. Minimal risk management, repeated resource management.

Second, the Mat Ward Gambit. GW released three books in a row that were so far ahead on the power curve that it was reminiscent of 7th WHFB when Daemons, Dark Elves and Vampire Counts were released in short succession. Drukhari (one of my armies), in particular, had win rates that were off the chart - at one point as high as 83% for the Dark Techromancer build. This was followed by Ad mech where the height of skill was to turn up with 140 Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers. This power creep has continued through the year where the power of some skew builds is a joke - recently the Ork Buggy list. I'm not sure how these slipped through the much-vaunted GW playtesting but clearly mistakes were made.

So I fell out of love with Competitive 40k. Hard. In my mind the skill element had been diminished by the reduction in variability and the power creep.

This left a bit of a hole 😆

Over the next week I'll outline some of the things I've been up to in the interim.

40k - FOB NZ Warhammer 40k Rankings Updated

 The rankings have been updated for the No Surrender, a four round event held in Christchurch mid September.

The end of what has been another disrupted tournament season is 31 October 2021 - so just over one month to go. Advise you to check the uploaded events since 1 November 2020 and if you attended a tournament and it is not included, then chase up the TO to see if they intend to lodge them.

They just need to contact me and I'll send them the necessary submission sheet

Friday, June 4, 2021

Mournival Hobby Challenge - Jeremy Webster (May)

Here's Jeremy's comments on his new 40k army.

"Made some progress on a new army for 2021: my home-brew Genestealer cult. After delaying for an unreasonable amount of time I settled on a scheme that I like (and that's relatively easy to reproduce) and painted up some of my character models."


A Primus (converted from a Drukhari Haemonculus)


Patriarch


 Kelermorph (converted from a Primus)

Mournival Hobby Challenge - Bruce Manning (May)

2. Create a new table of terrain to support a game

Made up some TTCombat terrain for my Necrons. Its always a fun hobby project
Keeping colours very simple but might weather buildings.




5. Add two new units to an existing 40k army



Hexmark Destroyer and some Flayed Ones for Bruce's FOB NZGT 2021 list.
7. Play a game a month and post a photo of it

Had a Necron vs SW game using MoW cards. Fun times


Mournival Challenge - Lliam Munro (May)

 Add New Units to an Existing Army:


Two Wraithblades

Falcon


Wraithlord


WIP Wraithseer & Vyper


Build a New 40k Army:


Rippers


Exocrine


Devilgaunts


Monday, May 24, 2021

40K - New Chapter Approved Mission Pack

 In their latest preview, GW announced an updated set of Chapter Approved missions for 40k. 


I am hoping that they put more thought into this pack than they did into the original set, which were very easily "solvable". Within a week in the wild, people released "killing" meant nothing and all you had to do was "survive" on objectives ensuring that you got your 45 Primary Points. This heavily skewed the most appropriate list builds and defaulted people to the either the "cheapest" or "unkillable" Obs Sec units.

Similarly with Secondaries; with my Harlequins I know for the initial release of the pack, it took me 10 minutes to choose "Behind Enemy Lines", "Bring It Down" and "While We Stand, We Fight" which pretty much guaranteed me 35 VPs minimum. The only time I varied from these was when enemy didn't have 10 points of vehicles or I was fighting Knights.

To their credit they did make changes in the FAQ update but generally you still saw the same small group of secondaries.

The other thing they need to look at is balance of Codex-specific secondaries. First, the elephant in the room - not every army has them. This makes the playing field even more uneven. Not only don't you have a 9th Ed Codex, you also don't have in some cases 30 VPs of "gimme" secondaries - I'm looking at you Dark Angels! I am hoping that they give all the races an army-specific secondary in this update to get them by.

Second, they need to at least try to balance them. As I said, some are "gimmes". They need to have the same level of achievement difficulty as the generic ones which also means balancing those.

Hopefully, the playtesters have spent a portion of their focus on balancing what is, to my mind, a key part of the game - the Victory Conditions.

40K - "A Dirty Secret"

Managed to get a second game in on the weekend, this time with my Harlequins against Dark Angels. Xavier is just starting to play 9th Edition and is coming along to the FOB NZGT, so this was a chance to meet and try out the Maelstrom of War missions.

I offered him the chance to play my Death Guard but Xavier was keen to play the Clowns so I got them out for the first time this year.



Azreal and Assault Intercessors storm the centre of the board to deny the Harlequins Area Denial


Blade Guard Veterans in front of the Shrine of the Aquila

In the end it was a very close battle with the Dark Angels prevailing 59-49. The key to their win was the extra cards they got each turn for holding more objectives (Rounds 2-5). 

The Blade Guard incurred no wounds from the charge of the Solitaire, finishing the battle with their full complement. Azreal, however, made the mistake of charging the Troupe Master who fought twice to finish him off. That victory was short-lived with the Clown King being brought down by the Ravenwing.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

40k - Battling the Big Bugs

 Yesterday my Death Guard battled against Alastair's Leviathan Hivefleet "Big Bugs" for control of the streets of Chadaquay Prime. 

We were using the amended Maelstrom of War Mission Pack that I've put together for the FOB NZ Grand Tournament at the end of July.

The mission was Ambitious Surge which has a Hammer & Anvil deployed. The mission specific rule is that you must designate one of your opponent's objectives each turn to be worth double points.

Here is some of the action:


The Tyranid deployment ready to rush forward and grab ground.


Contrast this with that of the Death Guard. It's a lonely life on the streets of Chadaquay Prime. 



Leviathan gets the first turn and grabs ground in the centre of the battlefield.



The Scything Hierodule is met by Mortarion's Anvil close combat Plague Marines. They blunt the advance but he manages to repair the damage and eventually carves them up. However, they have bought time for the Lord of Contagion to arrive from Deep Strike and finish him off.




On the other flank the Barbed Hierodule pushes through the Death Guard lines supported by Leviathan's Psychic Choir.



The Death Guard Blightlords stop the Hierodule's rampage but die in the process. The Malanthrope has been killed in combat by the Malignant Plaguecaster to the right of the statue. The Plaguecaster has been a thorn in the side of the hivefleet, twice stopping Onslaught and dishing out a lot of damage via Curse of the Leper.

Thematically, the cards play ball. In the last turn Leviathan has to kill a Psyker, which they do. The Death Guard must kill the enemy's most expensive remaining unit which is the Psyker Choir. Charged with retribution, the Death Guard army combines to destroy the Choir.

The game proved highly enjoyable with various twists and turns as the two armies fought to fulfil the objectives confronting them. The Death Guard prevailed 38-15.

One thing I learned is to make sure you always have 1CP in the bank so you can retain a card for next turn.


Friday, May 21, 2021

40K Hobby - Dark Eldar Infantry Horde

 So continuing with the task of tidying up my existing armies and getting them into a playable form, this week I got out my Dark Eldar horde.

This is very much a 3rd edition army full of metal and plastic sculpts. Totaling up it up, there are:

  • 60 Kabalite Warriors with mix of special and heavy weapons
  • 30 Metal Wyches
  • 8 Metal Incubi
  • 9 Metal Mandrakes
  • 5 Scourges
  • 20 Wracks

There are also 5 Hellions, 8 Reavers (with metal Wych bodies) and 4 Warp Beasts (found 5 more unpainted down stairs).

Lots of characters too - 6 different Haemoculi, metal Lelith, Drazhar, Urien plus various Archons.

To back it up are 5 3rd Ed Raiders, a 3rd Ed Ravager and 3 Metal Talos.

The intention is to fix all the broken models, re-base where necessary and magnetise the bases

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

40k Hobby - Big Bugs

 On the weekend I sprayed the base colours on some big bugs I am painting for the large scale Citifight fight battle I am putting on at Call to Arms in July.

I had recently purchased Tervigon, Tyrannofex and a Harpy and had rescued a Flyrant from my bitz box.






I am batch painting the four of them currently. The base colour has been laid down on wing membranes and also chitinous shells and I have started on the bone.


Harry the Harpy


Flossie the Flyrant


Terri Tervigon


Tyrone the Tyrannofex

Batch painting on this scale is certainly different from the norm but I think gives me the best opportunity to ensure that they get finished for Call to Arms. Once all the base colours are completed, I think I'll switch to a model by model painting approach. 

Now waiting for an eBay rescue Trygon to arrive to join the brood.