Tuesday, 30 April 2013

AutoBrit & Adepticon: Intro

In capsule, I thought Adepticon was brilliant.  Just so you know.  You need not lay awake wondering any more.  It was fantastic and (provided I can afford it) I definitely want to go again next year.   I wish it was held on a different weekend to Salute, but given the choice between the two, the Americans win, much as my natural jingoistic pride and xenophobia is loath to admit it…

This is no slight on Salute, obviously, but the scope of Adepticon is just so much bigger, encompassing new systems, trade shows, and more tournaments and events you can shake a squig at; whereas Salute is pretty focussed on the trade and club recruitment elements.  I arrived a touch early to the venue, and I’m glad I did.  Having that extra day or two to acclimatise to the place a get to know some of the other people there was immensely helpful and allowed me to prepare for the forthcoming hectic nature of the con itself.

And hectic it was.  A good few thousand people milling around the place, games aplenty and the highest beard:person ratio I’ve ever seen since the Great Lumberjacking Hobo Invasion of 1989.  There’s a lot to cover, obviously, so I’ll split the review/reliving up into a few sections: The 40K Friendly, The Malifaux Midnighter, Listener Games/Interesting People & Impulse Buys.

This post is just the capsule review of the event, which was overwhelmingly positive.  Thanks to Teras (of course) for arranging the whole thing, as I went as a fully paid-up Geek Nation Tours customer.  I definitely recommend the GNT packages for these things, provided you can afford them.  They are certainly worth the money!

But anyway, I have to go now and draw up a logo for my Chaos Blood Bowl team.  God, I’m such a nerd…

Monday, 8 April 2013

Adepticon Build-Up: The Battle Plan

Right-oh, this is the post for those who are attending Adepticon and wish to find me, but it’s also an aide memoire for me as to where I’m meant to be going and when, and it’s easier to reference than cross-checking my emails.

Or just writing it down on a piece of paper.  Ah, to hell with that!  This is the FUTURE!

I’m heading to the event under the auspices of Geek Nation Tours and the very affable and considerate Teras, and I’ll be landing in the state on Tuesday afternoon.  I’ve got nothing planned in particular until the main event other than just acclimatising to the similar but different surroundings and the general, well, bigness that America seems to bring in almost everything it does.

When it comes to the Adepticon itself, I’ll taking place in the 40K Friendly on Friday and bringing the list that everyone who reads my blog now knows how to beat (there’s no excuse now!).  I’ve been veering away from the competitive scene of late, as the pressure and the general samey-ness of the lists is something I find quite disheartening.  That’s not to denigrate anyway who does go in heavy in that area, but I just do enjoy that style of play any more.  I fair prefer semi-comp nowadays and to design and play against more characterful lists.  That’s an 8 hour play time, starting at 12.

Saturday is a busy one.  I’m starting off with the Dirty Tricks seminar, to give me a bit of a boost in painting, as I am not a painter by nature and dislike the process in general.  The seminar should either help me speed things up even more, or make my usual stuff look a bit better.  That one’s from 10.30-11.30.

After that there’s an Inquisitor game at noon.  I am so looking forward to this!  Inquisitor is possibly my favourite spin-off game from GW and it has been far too long since I had a go.  I’ve just got to get my arse into gear and paint my models for it, although it appears that could be unnecessary, as the description does say that they have spares.  Nevertheless, there is some degree of pride in me!

I then lie in wait until 7 for the final event of the day (and night); the Malifaux evening.  This will be my first ever Malifaux event, so I have no idea what to expect, but I’ll be flying the flag high for the Outcasts until it ends and 2 in the morning.  A very unusual timeslot, that, so I wonder how I’ll be playing that early in the following morning!  Could either be fun or torture…

Thankfully, Sunday has no plans for me and I’ll just be free-roaming the halls and looking at stuff, or just recovering from the previous two day’s worth of gaming.  If any of you are coming, feel free to track me down or send me an email at ciaran@theoverlords.co.uk and we can arrange time for a drink or two.

So long all!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Adepticon Build-Up: The Stractics

Well, yesterday you got the setup.  Today it’s time for the punchline.  It was a deliberate choice to go for a full Bastion instead of the traditional Aegis Line plus Quad Gun and it was made for two reasons.  The first is that every bugger brings an Aegis Line, and I like to try different things to the choices everyone else is making.  The second is to see how many people know how buildings work.  It’s a point of curiosity to me.  Buildings are big, they can be scary, but they are nowhere near as hard to take down as people think.  They also force a different style of play to counter them.  I mean, yeah the usual heavy tank-busting equipment can certainly do for them, like anything else, but anti-troop stuff can actually be more effective.  If you can clear out the occupants, then you can take the building for yourself, and that can be a hell of an advantage.  All it takes is a few frag and krak grenades and maybe a couple of flamers.  You just need to get close.

Anyway, the basic plan behind the army focuses round the Bastion, set up in a non-dickish manner (that is certainly something to bear in mind when using buildings) and fully populated.  One of the problems I have with this list is that it seems a little troop-light.  It’s got 50 foot troops in it, sure, but they are all really quite squishy, and what can I do if they get wiped out?  The Bastion should go a fair way to keeping some of troops alive for the late game objective rush.  I plan to have the small squad of cultists occupying the building and a squad of bloodletters on the battlements with the Quad Gun.  The Bloodletters, despite being a heavy assault unit are actually really well suited to this kind of duty.  They all have a Ballistic Skill of 5, making them excellent gunners regardless of who in the squad is taking the job and they automatically pass all Morale tests, mean that they can’t be forced off base.  Always go for Fearless (or semi-Fearless) when manning battlements if you can.  You really don’t want them panicking and flinging themselves off the building!

For outside the building, I have some big guns, in the shape of my two Soul Grinders and the Forgefiend, who can fling a decent amount of fire downfield, although the Grinders will have to be on the advance for me to get to most out of them.  All three are also handy for dealing with incoming air traffic; the Grinders skyfiring and the fiend just soaking the skies with S8, all the while supported by a twin-linked BS5 Quad Gun.  A decent wall of flak there.  Now we’re talking about aerial superiority, I have the Bloodthirster and the Heldrake as a pair of durable flying units (although not entirely effective versus other flyers) to help keep the pressure on the opponent’s defences.  Both are very capable of dealing with ground targets, whilst being scary in their own right.

My Warpsmith pulls double duty in this list, useful in aiding and repairing my various vehicles, but also able to really hurt something in assault.  Provided I don’t roll a 1 for the daemon weapon, he’s pulling a hefty 8 AP2 attacks in a single turn.  His Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill take downgrades due to the weapon, but if he’s against Marines, then he’s still more than capable of chewing through squad leaders or even most characters.  Particularly because most of the weapons that can nullify his 2+ armour save will be striking after him in an assault.  For most of the game, he’ll be tooling around with a squad of 20 cultists for a bit of survivability versus enemy fire, although concentrated flak will definitely whittle that number down quickly.  I’m hoping that he and his squad will be overlooked in favour of the multitude of bigger, nastier things that’ll be taking the field with them.

The main weakness in this army, from my view, is the troops.  Once they are gone (and it won’t take too much to make that happen), then I have practically no denial units in the entire army and that spells trouble for any list.  The basic plan will have to be to concentrate on taking down enemy troop number to limit their objective-scoring capacity and bring it in line with mine before going in for the kill.  I should have enough high strength firepower to deal with a wall of light to medium vehicles.  The heavier ones will have to be dealt with in assault though.  Hopefully my Bloodthirster is up to the job there.

That's about it, really.  I’ve just got to hope to play well, and roll high on the Warp Storm table!

So long.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Adepticon Build-Up: The List

The sky cracked, spilling a baleful red light over the blasted landscape.  Iorveth Threx looked up from his work and surveyed the approaching army.  Significantly larger than anticipated.  No matter.  He would adapt.  The dark, red-tinted clouds swirled high in the air as he completed the final connections on his latest project.  The formerly inactive machine shuddered as energies, both electric and aetheric, flooded through its systems.  Cogs and gear clanked and ground.  Pistons slid in and out of their housings.  The machine stirred.  What had once been misshapen mound of metal shifted and reordered itself, forming itself into a distinct predatory shape.  The cannons that comprised its forelimbs spun a slow cycle and the beast took a step forward, its ironclad foot planting on the decking with a resounding clang.  Threx laid his iron hand on the creature’s flank.  Dark energies pulsed under his touch.  Acceptable.

A servitor approached and blurted a fractured spurt of nonsense code.  Either reprogramming or sacrifice lay in its immediate future.  It turned and shambled away.  Threx followed.  The preparations were complete and soon the enemy would have more than just his machines to contend with…

I’m taking a bit of an odd list to Adepticon.  It’s not a list I planned on making.  Not for this event anyway.  I mentioned a list late last year, in the wake of the Chaos Marine Codex.  It was a pure Chaos Marine list and combined some Khorne elements with a lot of Slaanesh.  A tonne of cultists, some Noise Marines, a big squad of Slaaneshi Marines.  Slightly hordeish.  That was this list I was going to take, but I ran into a problem, and that was painting the thing.  In particular, painting the Marines.  I had a colour scheme vaguely in mind, but the models themselves were just so busy with detail, I couldn’t visualise it properly.  I was going to go with a grey base and black trim, with a bright red/pink/purple colour for lights and sigils and what have you.  But I couldn’t settle on a look that seemed right.  The scheme would take a while to paint on each marine due to the detail on the models and as each test was taking upward of forty minutes to complete, I was fast running out of patience.  I seriously considered bringing Necrons or Dark Eldar to the event.  But thanks to the Daemon Codex, I now have an alternative plan.

My Warpsmith was always going to be a Chaos Iron Hand, because, you know, me and the Iron Hands.  So it was a natural fit to have him in charge of the Daemon engines and fortifications, rather than my Slaaneshi Chaos Lord, who would have all the Marine resources.  The Warpsmith (Iorveth Threx) would have scrapcode infested servitors and menial workers that would fit into the cultist mould quite nicely so I could have two distinct armies that could nevertheless fit together in what I called a storyline list focusing on the corruption and capture of a forgeworld.

Given the problems I had getting Chaos Marines painted, daemons were tempting, as they all have broadly the same schemes and the models were less detail-heavy and could be painted faster.  But I didn’t have enough Daemons to form a list I was happy with.  Then in steps Iorveth Threx.  Being Khorne-worshipping already, it was a simple matter to write some Khorne Daemons into the list, focus on a relatively low model count so I could get everything painted in time (still ongoing, as it happens), and have it fit my storyline nicely.  And so, I present to you: The Malicant Locus, Defence of the Daemonforge.

Primary Detachment
HQ: Bloodthirster
Troops: 10 x Bloodletters
Troops: 10 x Bloodletters
Heavy Support: Soul Grinder with Mark of Khorne
Heavy Support: Soul Grinder with Mark of Khorne

Allied Detachment
Warpsmith Iroveth Threx: Mark of Khorne, Veteran of the Long War, Axe of Blind Fury
Troops: 10 x Cultists
Troops: 20 x Cultists with 2 Flamers
Fast Attack: Heldrake with Bale Flamer
Heavy Support: Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons

Bastion with Quad Gun

All that comes in at 1,500 points.  I’ll get into some tactics and try to justify myself tomorrow.

So long!