Friday, 28 June 2013

IntrAspection: Fuegan

Next in the crosshairs is the Phoenix Lord of the Fire Dragons, Fuegan aka The Burning Lance.  Back when I was doing the Short Shrift episodes, I split the Phoenix Lords into two groups; the A list and the B list.  Fuegan was very much in the B list.  He was god for pretty much one thing: wrecking vehicles.  Admittedly he could do that very well.  However, his life expectancy after he’d slagged his first vehicle was likely to be the same as any Fire Dragon.  Even with Eternal Warrior, a 2+ save and Feel No Pain, there was still a negligible chance of his surviving long enough to kill a second.  Most of the firepower that would be leveraged against him would be AP2 or better in order to negate both his save and the FNP and 200+ points would be down the drain just like that.  A full squad of Fire Dragons was cheaper than that and could kill vehicles more reliably purely by dint of having more guns.  He could mix it up okay in assault, but wasn’t really good enough to warrant the cost in that field either.  But have things changed for him?

Let’s find out.  Statwise, he is exactly the same as he was, which is to be expected.  The Phoenix Lords are well established in-game and their stats were pretty killer to start off with, so that was no surprise.  He still has FNP, although with the usual buff/debuff that they received on the advent of 6th.  At least it gives him a better shot at surviving a fusillade of plasma.  The Fire Axe has taken a bit of an alteration.  In 5th it allowed him to attack as a monstrous creature of S6, so he could punk tanks and walkers in fairly short order.  However, with the changes in MC combat rules, that changed the functionality a little.  Now the retooled axe strikes at user’s strength with an AP of 1 and Armourbane, allowing for 2D6 on armour penetration rolls.  His basic strength 4 is boosted to 5 due to the Crushing Blow Exarch power he has, so on balance he is a little worse against vehicles in assault.

However this is mitigated by one of his funkier rules: Unquenchable Resolve.  This handy little addition adds 1 to Fuegan’s strength and attacks characteristic for each wound he had lost.  This brings with it the enticing prospect of this guy letting rip with 6 S7 AP1 attacks a turn!  That’s squadron killing stuff right there.  It even boosts him to be a very nasty CC opponent versus infantry and MCs alike.  Of course, you have to walk the knife edge there as he’ll only be on one wound, but that would be a fun last wound!

Equipment wise he packs pretty much what you’d expect: Phoenix armour for the 2+ save, the Fire Axe, meltabombs for the times when the axe won’t cut it and a Firepike.  Oddly enough, for a weapon that he is supposed name after, it’s just a regular Firepike, so 18” range melta.  You’d kind of expect a little more, wouldn’t you?  He does bring a couple of nice touches to the weapon though.  The Fast Shot skill and (should he be your Warlord) the ability to split fire from his squad does make him a more significant ranged threat, although whether you’ll get his points back doing that is very much up in the air.  It would seem that you get the most out of him by mixing it up with an assault or anti-infantry squad.  He can pick off nearby vehicles while his followers would target more appropriate quarry and the Battle Focus rule allows him to still put distance upfield with your other warriors.  And once you reach an assault, you can let rip with him.  Challenges are a must for any Phoenix Lord: with those stats (especially the added punch that Fuegan can bring) there would be very little that would get the best of him.

One last point is that the restrictions on placing Phoenix Lords with certain squads appear to be lifted, allowing for some bizarre, but interesting combinations.  I could see him with an assault-focussed aspect like the Banshees, but I think one of the best pairings is going to be with the Storm Guardians.  They can bring a nice little bit of melta to try and kill off another vehicle, become Fearless when he’s in the squad and with a maximum of 20 models, provide enough ablative cover for him to get stuck in and deal the damage.

I’m not going to rate the Lords into good and bad any more.  I simply don’t have the experience or grounding to do so.  However, I do feel that Fuegan has taken an upgrade in the new iteration.  Is he 220 points worth of awesome though?  Quite possibly, if your opponent likes his land raiders…

Monday, 24 June 2013

IntrAspection: Fire Dragons

First stop on the next dex is for the Fire Dragons.  They are the only aspect that has had a statline change (4+ armour to 3+) since the old dex, but that comes with a pretty hefty price increase.  The big question, of course, is whether or not they are still worth it.  After all, for only 50 points more, you could get a 5-strong squad of Wraithguard who will do even better most of the time due to their S10 wraithcannons and their high toughness and fearless nature lending them more survivability than your average ‘tankicide’ unit.

So, step one is equipment.  The equipment on these guys is the same as it ever was, with the exception of the heavier armour.  Your standard Fire Dragon pack a fusion gun (a meltagun by any other name…) and some meltabombs.  Dragons have always been used for two main targets: vehicles and monstrous creatures.  Given the changes in 6th edition, they are better at dealing with the MCs, primarily down to the use of meltabombs in close combat.  Also, given that grenades are far easier to plant on walkers, the assault phase is more open to them than in 5th and certain units will not want to get anywhere near them, meltaguns notwithstanding.  But the same could be said of them in the previous edition.

The 3+ armour save is nice, but not worth the points cost in itself.  I’ve joked several times that it doesn’t matter that they’ve got a better save, they’ll do exactly the same thing, and with the same result as they did in 5th.  I’ll hold to that assessment I think.  The extra armour is nice, but ultimately not going to be of too much consequence give how they’re used.  However, the new Battle Focus rule really dovetails nicely into their tank-killing role.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the rules for vehicle disembarking forced them to only move 6” instead of the usual 12.  In reality, due to the far more generous disembarkation distance, it only really resulted in a 2” loss of movement.  With Battle Focus though, this loss can be easily swallowed up 35 times out of 36 and the overwhelming majority of the time they can now get closer to the target than they could before.  Definitely an improvement.  Or there’s the other possibility for Battle Focus, and that’s as a retreat.  Combined with the fleet reroll, the ability to duck back into cover may well help surviving all that retaliatory fire.  When it comes down to it (all snark aside), anything that could help them survive longer is a big plus, as even one Fire Dragon is a big threat to enemy vehicles.

Onto the Exarch then.  There’s the standard statline upgrade than comes with it, and the equipment upgrades are the same as before; the Firepike and the Dragon’s Breath being identical to their previous incarnations.  The big changes are to be found in the Exarch powers.  The big downer here is the lack of Tank Hunter, a big deal in a vehicle-hunting unit (although there is a limit as to how much that will help given the plethora of fusion guns at the squad’s disposal).  Instead, we get three powers of varying degrees of use.  First we have Iron Resolve, boosting the leadership of the Exarch (and therefore his squad) to 10 instead of 9.  This is useful, certainly when tank-shocking season comes around or if you want to stick around in a combat with a monstrous creature.  It’s cheap too, at only 5 points.  Also, given the casualty rate of a Fire Dragon unit, it is certainly not to be disregarded. 

The next ability is Crushing blow, increasing the Exarch’s strength to 4.  I won’t mince words here: I see absolutely no point to this.  They don’t get decent close combat weapons; unless you count meltabombs and they don't rely on strength.  It will have (at best) a marginal impact on assaults versus infantry, a sub-optimal position for them anyway.  Certainly not worth the 10 point price tag.  The leadership bonus is far more useful and at half the cost.  The last ability is Fast Shot, which could be useful, as you would get an extra BS5 shot for slightly less than buying an extra Dragon, so a net gain there.  Also, if you’re feeling unconventional, comboing this with a dragon’s breath flamer makes for a very going anti-infantry weapon for the unit.  EDIT: Actually, you can't do this.  It can't be used on Template weapons.  Err... Whoops?  You probably won’t need more than 4 meltas anyway…

So the conclusion?  It’s mixed for me.  The hefty price increase is definitely a point against them, although that seems to be the only complaint.  The increased manoeuvrability is handy, the armour improvements and some canny deployment could help them be more than a single-shot suicide squad.  And if you want to take down a landraider, they and Wraithguard are still your only viable ranged options without spend out the arse for lances.  There is one thing to bear in mind on the price front though, which has made me soften to these guys significantly from my first read though.  The tank-killing squad of choice in the Dark Eldar codex are Blaster-armed Trueborn, who have less armour, wield lance instead of melta (personal choice there) and cost 27 points each.  Just something to think about.

Next up will be the Phoenix Lord of the Fire Dragons.  How will Fuegan fare?

Friday, 21 June 2013

IntrAspection: Prelude

Hi guys,

Listening to the show where my fellow casters first talked about the new Codex Eldar was interesting, but slightly frustrating, given my tendency to want to interrupt people.  I had formed various opinions on the dex and the units within, but the main point that caught my interest in discussion was the insistence that there was a lack of development for the Aspect Warriors.  Far be it from me to slight my fellow hosts by calling them wrong, but, dammit, I feel they’re mistaken on this one!

I think I’ve put forward my case for the Aspects fairly well on the most recent show, and was actually slightly surprised by my own enthusiasm on the topic.  However, whilst I disagreed with their original stance on the warriors, it’s entirely understandable that you wouldn’t see the improvements unless you really knew the old codex, especially seeing as there were very few aspect players in 5th.  You saw two aspects for the most part: Dire Avengers for cheap scoring upgrades for Wave Serpents and Fire Dragons for some suicide tank-overkill.  Playing against elder in 5th would not have acquainted you with them enough to see the alterations, especially seeing as the improvements to Wraiths, (including the new constructs) and the Guardians (plus all the vehicles) were very clear in statline and equipment.

By way of contrast the Aspect Warriors seemed hard done by.  Their stats were the same, their equipment and weapons were the same, their points were… well who actually remembers the Aspect Warrior point values without access to the previous codex or weapons-grade Asperger’s?  But to those who played Eldar enough to know what the old warriors were like and looked into the dex (old and new), changes have been plentiful and far-reaching.  So, by way of expanding on my part of the elder chatter in the last episode, I present my new miniseries: IntrAspection, where I’ll go through the various aspects, note what I like/don’t like and how they’ve changed.  Maybe talk a little hypothetical tactics (again, my caveat here is that it’s all paper and theory so far, so take that as you will).  I’ll also be using the blogspace to talk about some of my favourite characters in the universe and on the tabletop: the Phoenix Lords.  I’ve talked about them before as part of the Short Shrift segment on the illustrious 11th company, but this new iteration of them is more than enough reason to hash over old ground!

I don’t know quite how long this series will last.  I doubt it will be as long as the Dark Eldar update review, but if it is, that’s no bad thing!

As ever, if you have any questions or differing viewpoints to air, my comments section is always open.

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Adeptifaux Malicon Report: Part Two

The second game was another Resurrectionist fight (yaaay), but this time, instead of being overly familiar with various aspects of the opponent’s stuff, this game was very Ten-Thunders, working with a master I’d never come across before and utilising a whole load of Ten Thunders undead types.  I was unprepared for most of what they were doing throughout all the game.  I’m pretty sure I came across as a bit of a numbskull throughout the game, with a slack-jawed vacant-eyed expression on my face while my opponent tried to say what he was doing and the rules were just not sinking into my brain.  I think I ended asking to stop saying words and just do the things.  Eventually I got the hang of what was going on and managed to focus a bit more, levelling a lot of my guys into the offensive and just chipping away at his big guys until they fell down.  There is an advantage to having bad minimum damage sometimes.  I don’t care if you’ve got Armour, Spirit or Object, I’m dealing one damage anyway.  Let ‘er rip!  Here was one of the moments that really started changing my view of the Specialist.  The ability of his Flammenwerfer to ignore armour was immense!  Unfortunately, after one bona fide round of awesome (and literal) firepower, he was pegged as an immediate threat and put down as a priority, but I was really appreciating what that guy could do against the right target.  This was the game when I really started messing around with the speed tricks the Strongarm can play.  That bloke can really get about if you’re willing to put the cards into it!  This game ended in a major win for me, as I was far more focussed on the large plan of the game and managed to rip a hole in his forces (he only had two models left at the end) and accomplish all my objectives.  I was very happy with how that game panned out!

The final round was against a Guild player, with the gang being led by Lukus McCabe (another master of whom I have next to no knowledge).  The rest of his gang I was more aware of though.  A Guardian, an Executioner, Nino Ortega and Lukus’ dog.  The mission for this was to have a bunch of guys in a central area of the board, and the player with the most guys in the middle got a VP at the end of each turn up to 4.  As the Guild was packing a lot of close combat nastiness and my guys weren’t going to go anywhere near that shit.  I just clustered them round out of charge range and tried to put enough lead down field to weaken them.  There was a lot of armour to deal with, but the Specialist was more than up to the task.  It was this situation that really elevated him in my rankings and the armour-denial properties combined with blast damage is truly brutal at times.  The Flammenwerfer is best deployed against big guys, as they tend to have very low defence, making them easy to hit and, more importantly than that, easy to get moderate damage against.  Even moderate damage from the Flammenwerfer nets you a blast of 2, which bring a surprising amount of reach and a lot of damage output to the fore, especially as the specialist is one of the few Freikorps models that don’t have the minimum damage of 1.  They can really spread the damage.  The Strongarm was also of a great help, the speed of the guy using the Leap ability really helping to chase down and then beat down the young Ortega sniper.  Another really useful ability of the Strongarm is the ability to get your guys out of a fight by teleporting them next to him by way of a bodyguarding action, which saved Von Schill at least once during the tournament.  Anyway, I digress.  This battle was another draw for me, with my opponent winning all the Strategy points, but with me grabbing all my Scheme points while denying him his (thanks, Flammenwerfer!).

The end result of the tournament placed me in 12th out of 33, and I was very pleasantly surprised and satisfied with those results, especially as it was my first Malifaux event.  As a side note, I think I have new favourite model or two!

So long!

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Adeptifaux Malicon Report: Part One

The next big event for me in Adepticon was the Malifaux tournament.  I steered clear of the large ongoing events, like the gaslight and cake matches, but I was curious to play some Malifaux that wasn’t against my usual crowd of 3-4 different guys.

I arranged a fairly all-round and resilient team from my stash of models and here is what I came up with.  There was 25 Soulstone limit on crew, which seems fairly standard (from what I know at least).  I stuck with a Freikorps crew, as the Viktorias and associated mercs can undoubtedly hit very hard, but I have always had a bit of a problem keeping the Viks alive at the best of times and had a brand new Freikorps Strongarm suit I wanted to test out.

My crew was as follows:
Von Schill
Freikorps Librarian
2 x Freikorpsman
Freikorps Strongarm Suit
Friekorps Specialist

I was quite pleased with the setup, even though it included a couple of wild cards as far as I was concerned.  I’d never played the Strongarm before, due to the model release being fairly recent and my Malifaux games intermittent to say the least.  The rules behind it seemed fairly solid, so I was eager to try it out.  The big uncertainty was the Specialist.  I have seriously barely ever used this guy and the only times I have, it’s been against my mate’s Resurrectionists, particularly with Nicodem as his favorite master.  Those familiar with this particular bastard are doubtless aware that he some really boost his creation with a lot of defence and so ranged attacks get harder and hard to land.  He also really likes his Crooked Men as well, so the few times I use the Specialist I got no use out of him, really, as he couldn't inflict any real ranged damage and was just not maneuverable enough to make his presence felt anywhere else on the board.  But I decided now was the time to give him his moment to shine.  It was hard for me not to put some Trappers in the crew, as I have big soft spot for them, but I was paranoid about not having enough models for the limit.  If I wasn't strongarming it, I probably would have put a couple of trappers in there I think.

Anyway, that’s the list sorted.  Next to no magical ability, and a majority of really low minimum damage, what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, due to my own lack of punctuality when it comes to these posts, I have forgotten most of the specifics of the games, so I’ll only be painting in the broadest of brush strokes for these reports.  Just a few brief points about the game roughly what my opponent was bringing and what I took away from the encounter.

My first game was against, surprise, surprise: Nicodem.  He was packing Molly (who I’d never played against), a couple of Crewligans,a rotten belle and I think a Punk Zombie or two.  The Strategies for the tournament were all preset, so only our schemes were of our chosing, and most of mine were identical.  All, I think.  I had Hold Out, which I kept secret, meaning that I got a point if none of the enemy reached my deployment zone, and I had Bodyguard, which I announced.  This meant I got 2 VPs if Von Schill was alive at the end of the game.  The strategy here was to fill up two fountains with water gathered from a specific area in your deployment zone.  My Freikorpsmen were really useful here, because they aren’t slowed down by terrain and they have a good movement speed.  However, the same could definitely be said for the Resurrectionists, as the Crewligan/Molly combo gives them an impressive amount of speed.  This game turned into a bit of a brawl and wound up as a draw, due to a couple of things.  Molly pulled out an ability that I’d never seen before that meant she completely totalled one of my guys at the cost of sacrificing herself, which was a truly nasty thing to deal with out of nowhere!  I also made a major mistake in target priority, honed by many games against Nicodem-led undead gangs, and Von Schill drew a bead on the old guy pretty quickly, not letting up until he was dead.  In terms of the larger game, he would have been much better tasked doing other things, but I had a little bit of a myopic approach to that game!  One of the best moments for me was probably the realisation on my opponent that my Strongarm can’t be moved about the place, unless it’s by me, so that was highly amusing.  I was happy with the draw, all told.  There was a dead Nicodem on the field, so I took it as something of a moral victory!

More battle reports will arrive on the other side of the weekend, finishing off the Adeptifaux Malicon Report.

So long!

Monday, 10 June 2013

40k Battle Report: Khorking It! Phase Two

I went in aggressively during my turn, taking as much advantage of the positional weakness in the Orks as possible.  Both my flamer Raptor squads turned up, and although one misshaped and landed in a distant table-corner, the other landed dead on target near the closely group teleported boys.  My Terminators moved up to the same squad, and together they had an impromptu barbecue.  About 12 Orks died to the incoming fire (it would have been so much more if they weren’t ‘Ard Boyz) and then found themselves on the receiving end of a triple charge with the spawn, the spawn’s squad and the Lord with his terminators all having a go.  The berserkers went first, got hit by the Overwatch but failed to reach the target.  Luckily the other two did.  You can kind of guess how that combat went.  Orks are decent, but caught by a squad full of raging lightning clawed-terminators, their odds of success were low.  They ended with eleven guys still alive in the squad, just enough for Fearless to still apply.  The big moment of the match though was my terminator champion, who called out the Nob leader, summarily dispatched him and then promptly turned into a Daemon.  It was joyous, and also the first time I’ve had both transformations occur in the same match.

A tiny squad of Berzerker remnants went for distraction on the Deff Dread, knocked a point off it with bolt pistols and barrelled into close combat to hold it up.  There were too many units I didn’t want it to assault and the fearless ‘zerkers were my best call at stopping that from happening.  Fortunately, they did and the combat raged on with one guys just refusing to die.  The Land Raider, having somehow failed to remove the final hull point from the battlewagon (despite hitting the thing with both lascannons in the side) disgorged its cargo and the Apostle’s Possessed unit swarmed all over the vehicle, ripping it apart in short order.  Luckily for me, the wagon full-on exploded as a result and the lack of space meant that a few of the Nobs straight died as a result.  It really was the beginning of the end for the Orks.

Ork air co-ordination must be terrible.  Who’s manning the radio?  The Dakkajet stubbornly refused to turn up in turn three, and my opponents options were highly limited.  The Lootas, in a small squad were unable to deal much damage to the oncoming Berzerkers, the Boyz and Dredd were both caught in assaults and the Warboss and his squad did the only thing they could do: charge the Possessed.  Unfortunately for them, Possessed Marines hit like a truck, even without the charge and the lack of decent saves on any of the Orks put them at a bit of a disadvantage.  My Apostle reduced the Warboss down to one wound, but got crushed into the dirt by the return swing.  Luckily the Possessed still benefited from Hatred and were able to hit the Orks hard, taking several of them out and taking relatively little damage in return.

Stuck between a Spawn, my Terminator Lord, his squad of Khornate Termie back-up and a freshly minted Daemon Prince, the ‘Ard Boyz were demolished, losing most of their squad and pegging it, being run down by the Daemon Prince, who they could outrun, even theoretically.  It was at that point that the opponent threw in the towel, and I don't blame him for that at all.  Even if the Warboss and his unit had managed to win their combat in short order next turn, there would be precious little for them to do, the Lootas were going to get Berzerker charged and the Dredd was about to get a Daemon prince rammed up it. 

Personally, I would have played his list a bit differently.  The Warboss and his goons would have stayed near the Boyz mob and I would have swept forward, keeping the Dredd and Warbikers as flank guard, concentrating on killing one unit at a time rather than getting into a multitude of fights.  The bad roll for the Wyrdboy power pretty much killed the ‘Ard Boyz in the end and, whilst you can’t protect against a power like that going off, I would have deep struck somewhere safer, out of multiple charge ranges, certainly.  However, this all armchair generalship.  There’s no way of knowing whether that would have served me any better anyway.

Overall, I really like my little Khorne list, although I think it has some major shortcomings, particularly when it comes to Walkers and Flyers and have yet to play it against a heavily mechanised force, which would be an interesting challenge.  I would like to boost the raptor numbers a bit.  I think a third squad with a lord in it could pay some major dividends.  However, I don’t know what I would sacrifice to make those changes, and it still wouldn’t help with the flyer problem.  Havocs and Fortification just aren’t in the style of the list though, and I don’t think a Heldrake fits either.  I reckon I may just have to weather a flyer-heavy list and hope the Land Raider gets lucky.  So far though, my opinon of this list remains rather… sanguine.

I know, I’m sorry.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

40k Battle Report: Khorking It! Phase One

Well, first things first; a little housekeeping is in order on this blog.  As appears to be a regular excuse, work is thoroughly kicking my posterior at the moment and resulting in a poor posting rate.  However, it will be an excuse no more! (Clarification: it could totally continue to be an excuse).

I’ve decided that I’ll starting blogging at home rather than at work, so I should be posting at least once a week, and may finally get round to fully reviewing this year's Adepticon before I go to the next one.  However, I’d like to emphasise the use of the word ‘may’ in that previous sentence.  It’s a slim get-out clause, but I take what I can.  I’ll be writing up my Malifaux tournament experience over the weekend and so should hopefully have some stuff every Monday.

But just to keep my hand in, I have a brief battle report for you fine people.  I had a game with one of the club regulars on Tuesday for 1750 points.  Orks vs Chaos Marines.  Recently I’ve been experimenting with pure Marine lists rather than mixing in my Daemons.  It helps keep things interesting and I don’t want people to be able to easily predict what I’m going to bring in each week.  This time round, it was pure Khorne.  Not one of my usuals, I have to say.  I’m normally a Slaanesh player for my Chaos Marines, with the Warpsmith being to only real Khornate presence in the lot most of the time.  However, this time around, I went for something different: a legitimately small army (by my standards).  I was packing:

Chaos Lord: Mark of Khorne, terminator armour and lightning claws
Dark Apostle: Mark of Khorne
7 Terminators: Lightning claws, a heavy flamer, Mark of Khorne
7 Possessed: Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath
3 x 8 Berzerkers: No upgrades
2 x 5 Raptors: 2 x Flamers per squad, all with Mark of Khorne
Land Raider: Dirge Casters, Extra Armour, Havoc Launcher

My opponent brought:
Warboss: squig, power klaw, cybork
10 Nobz: Painboy, 2 x klaws and a lot of big axes
5 Lootas
30 man squad of ‘Ard Boyz with sluggas
Wyrdboy Warphead
Deathroller Battlewagon
Killkannon Battlewagon
6 Warbikers with squad leader

So, even with my ‘small’ list, I was nearly on par my Ork opponent’s numbers.  The game set up as Relic with diagonal deployment.  I was lucky enough to get a Master of Deception and infiltrated all my berzerkers as far forward as they would go, all in separate sections of the board to put the pressure on the Orks as quickly as possible.  My Raptors languished in reserve and the Possessed with the Apostle in the Landraider and the foot squad of Terminators with my Lord were deployed as aggressively as I could manage.  The Orks were deployed slightly more defensively, given my first turn, with the Wyrdboy and Ard Boyz in cover behind a wall and the killkannon in backfield.  The only aggressive deployment was the warboss and his squad in the Deathroller wagon.

Unluckily for me, my initiative was stole and the Orks advanced first.  Luckily for me, the Warbikers were positioned for the charge on my infiltrating berzerkers… which no-one can do turn one.  That charge positioning just left them open for a juicy counter-assault during my following turn.  The rest of his turn involved a bit of footslogging, advancing the warboss’ wagon and doing whatever shooting could be managed that early on.  My berzerkers took most of the hits and not a single squad escaped casualties, but they were still fairly solid by the end of the turn.  The killkannon aimed at my terminators, but accomplished nothing.

My turn was also fairly uneventful for the most part, with me lacking any significant firepower apart from the landraider, which chose to stand its ground in front of the careening battlewagon and fail to achieve anything with the lascannons.  Everything else was just in an advance.  Thing kicked off a little in the assault phase and two of my berzerkers reached combat: one squad with the Warbikers and one with the battlewagon.  The warbiker combat went soundly, but the bikers managed to take it, rolling the 4 they needed to stand their ground.  The battlewagon got grenaded to within an inch of its life, but aggravatingly limped by with one hull point remaining.

Things were hotting up for turn two, although the Dakkajet didn’t turn up (bullet dodged there…), there were plenty of options for the discerning Ork player to spread some havoc and run amok.  However, here is where things started to go awry for him.  The battlewagon (and the guys inside) ignored the berserker remnants that had assaulted them last turn and decided to pile-drive straight into the landraider, hoping for the Deathroller to inflict some serious damage.  It didn’t, fortunately, and only one hull point was lost.  This move also cost the Boss’s unit any chance to get into assault as they couldn’t leave due to the wagon’s speed.  The Dread decided to aim its rockets at terminators rather than the berzerkers standing close by and that also precluded him a charge opportunity as well.  The big problem was the warphead however.  He power that got used was the teleport, and the entire mob of some 30 boyz suddenly ‘ported about 6” to the left.  I understand why that decision was made, as a form of damage limitation, but given the nature of the game and his playstyle so far, I would definitely have moved them elsewhere.  It would have positioned them further away from the relic, sure, but it would have stopped what happened next as well…  The Berzerkers finished off the warbikers that phase, their victory only marred by the champion mutating into a seething mound of mindless flesh.  I’m sure he was thrilled.

That concludes phase one of this report and I'll be here with phase two fairly shortly (geoligically speaking).