Saturday, December 29, 2012

Flames Of War: SeerK's First Look

Sometimes its nice to branch out and take the edge off a bit when you suddenly find yourself immersed in one particular thing. In this case its 40K. Despite building an Adepticon GT army and plotting a Eldar Strike force for combat patrol I am having the hobby blahs. So I decided to try something different. Inquisitor Vogrin is on a 40K hiatus and despite being a Pressganger and playing lots of War Machine wanted to try out a little Flames Of War.

So we split a Flames Of War Boxed set, the open fire one, and read through the rules so that the following Saturday we would throw down. I started with historical war games back in the day before I started playing Battletech and Warhammer 40K. I have been wanting to try Flames Of War ever since Old School Terminator gave a good review of it after trying it. I loved Epic 40K and its previous version Space Marine so mass combat games have always appealed to me. OST compared it to Epic. That was the thing that pushed me over. An investment of $35 was not bad as well.

So I split a box and took the Germans. For those of you unfamiliar with Flames Of War, it is a large scale world war two game. The miniatures are in 1/100 scale. The infantry is on bases with 4 or 5 soldiers to one base. These individual bases make up infantry teams. The teams are grouped into platoons. Each platoon is typically 6 infantry bases and 1 smaller 3 man command team. Tanks are typically in platoons of 1 to 5. A collection of platoons is a company. Games are typically played on the company level. Typical games are 1500 points. There is a force organization chart to help you assemble your army. The whole army building portion was pretty easy as its very 40K like in its execution.

The starter box Inquisitor Vogrin and I split had about 810 points of Germans in it. After looking at the Adepticon events for Flames of War I saw that the late war tournaments were 1000 points. SO basically adding another platoon of something will put you at an entry level tournament point level.

The game plays with the same basic turn sequence that 40K has. You have movement, shooting and an assault phase. Everything, ranges and such, are measured in both English standard and metric. All the unit entries in the books list both. Epic and Battlefleet Gothic, for those of you who played those GW games, both used metric, IE centimeters, to measure everything so this again brought up some nostalgia and some familiarity.

Units do not have a ballistic skill or a stat line though in the 40K sense though. Every unit has a skill rating. This skill rating is used to determine how hard it is to hit the unit. So the die roll needed to hit a unit is based on the target units skill level. Units can be Conscripts, Trained or Veteran in skill level. They also have a morale rating of Reluctant, Confident and Fearless. This helps determine command range as well as the die roll needed for morale checks from casualties and to activate skills and such.

Cover adds difficulty to hit targets as does movement and range. Vogrin and I had a very long drawn out fire fight between our platoons in cover. The difficulty to hit and damage was high. Vogrin broke the stalemate by over running my position in an assault. I have to say assaults are very deadly and to the point. I lost one of my infantry platoons to the assault. Meanwhile my anti tank gun teams and Stug tanks were making short work of the Sherman tanks Vogrin were bringing up on my flank.

I have to say after playing on game I am impressed by the rules set. I am also impressed by how concise they are. Nothing is really left to question. A thing that is often lacking in many of Gw's games. You will be seeing Flames of War articles now and again. This is a good change of pace for me. I started out with historicals and Battle Tech. Apparently though according to Samsquatch Monster and The Judge I am now officially an old man. Oh well had to happen eventually.

Well next time We will be in 2013. Its been a weird year to say the least. A new edition and a new chaos codex. Rumors abound about what the future holds for my beloved Eldar. I guess we shall see.

Have a happy New Year all. I will be partying in Ann Arbor with my Rogue Trader crew. Two words. Battle Shots!

Until Next Year.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas From The Craftworld!

From all of us at Craftworld Lansing, Merry Christmas!  I have been busy this month.  The holidays, more 40K and work have got me busy but thankful.  The stomach flu I contracted Sunday I am not thankful for.  So I am recovering.  I had intended to post about some thoughts I had while reading the good old, emphasis on old, Eldar codex.  The rules changes have given some old units new tricks and we need all the help we can get.  I also have an update on my Iron Warriors progress.  I took CVinton to the ropes with a raw list.  I hope to have both these posts up before the new year.  This new year is also going to see me actually starting and playing a new game.  I have gotten in a couple games of Flames Of War and I am hooked.  In fact I have a small company of Germans in primer at the moment ready to break up the Iron Warriors army build and paint monotony.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, have a Joyful Solstice und Froliche Weinachten!

Until Next Time.........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!

Death To The False Emperor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Combat Patrol: Eldar Style

Well the Iron Warriors project is off to a decent start. I have started Painting. I need to buy quite a bit but paint has started to hit what I do have. I have decided to do Combat Patrol as well as the GT this year at Adepticon. I felt I had to still whip the Craftworlders back and fourth at Adepticon this year. I Think they will do well in the combat patrol. In the highly competitive environment of the GT I don’t think I can bring an Eldar army that can really deal with everything. That said I do think I can bring a 400 point force that can be competitive. Especially with the changes to the rules this year. Namely the rules for vehicles. Wave Serpents are now viable. Expensive but very cool.

I have designed a list that really is in the spirit of a patrol. This means mobile units. Even if they cannot pack a huge punch they can still hit targets fast and move away from harm. Luckily the Eldar excel in hit and run. They also have very mobile units that can lay down very impressive levels of fire.

The first unit that comes to mind when thinking about a patrol is the good old War Walker. With a variable unit size, 1-3, and an impressive array for weapons available. They also fit into the required rules for armor facings. Since you get a swing slot two squadrons could be taken. The popular scatter laser load out, that means two per walker, for most players works very well in combat patrol as the amount of fire you can lay down is pretty overwhelming for this point level. Range is not a real issue as you can pretty much hit everything in a 4x4 even with shuriken cannons, a nice cheap option for any unit. War Walkers also have 2 attacks with a strength of 5 in close combat so chicken kicking units or vehicles is a nice last ditch.

A basic unit of 5 Rangers or even Pathfinders is very nice in combat patrol. The Pathfinders especially can really be a threat to lightly armored vehicles. Precision shots, rolls of 6's to hit which are also AP 1 for these guys, let you pick out possibly the only model with a high leadership value in the opposing force. This gives you better chances of pinning units and driving them off the board. They also allow you to eliminate those pesky 2 wound HQ units quickly, that are relatively cheap and pretty over powered in a low point game. Units are also pretty cheap. A unit of 5 Rangers is only 95 points and a unit of 5 Pathfinders is only 120 points.

Jetbikes are great in a combat patrol albeit expensive. You don’t need large units though in this particular style of 40K game though. In fact having single large units works against you as you can only pick out individual units while a strike force of 3 or 4 units, 4 if you really number crunch, can engage multiple units or just concentrate fire into the one unit. Jet Bikes got better in 6th edition. I actually am working on a blog covering the Eldar codex presently about re purposing units due to the new rules. Eldar Jet Bikes are now mobile to the extreme and have lots of nice options to add to make the unit tough and be able to deal with just about anything your opponent can throw at you in a 400 point game. You have access to shuriken cannons and twin linked weaponry. You can add a Warlock for some psychic punch and to act as the patrol Leader. Being a troop they also act as your mandatory troop choice. Jet Bikes and Rangers really are your best troop options for combat patrol In my opinion.

Being at the the same point level as a jet bike squadron we cant overlook Warp Spiders. These guys are always a favorite because of their mobility and high strength weaponry. A fully kitted squad of 5 including an Exarch is 152 points. If you take a unit of 3 war walkers it is about 180 points. Granted the War Walkers give you more shots, with scatter lasers, but the Warp Spiders give you a higher quality shot with a higher ballistic skill. They are also more mobile. Plus like the jet bikes you have nicer close combat options now. Hammer of wrath although not earth shattering can help tip the balance in some cases.

There are many more options. Theses are my favorites though. I will be putting together my Combat Patrol force together as I build the Iron Warriors. Which speaking of the Iron Warriors. Apparently I am going to be part of a blog vs blog painting challenge starting in January. Look for detail over at Dark Future Games next month.

Until Next Time...........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Road To Adepticon: The List Is Finalized

Well I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. I had the privilege of joining The Stormlord and his family for the holiday. I have been contemplating my Chaos Marine list for Adepticon. I think I have a list hammered out now. I have gotten one game in so far and it was a win. As I write this I am waiting for CVinton and his Necrons to get in game two with the tweaked list. I am keeping the list rather basic and it seems to be working well. I don't to post all of it but I will share the elements of said list.

1x Daemon Prince

4x Chaos Marine Squads of 10

1x Cultist squad of 22

1x Mauler Fiend

2x Forge Fiend

1x Heldrake

I had included an Aegis line with a quad gun in the first version and although it was nice cover for the Cultists holding an objective it did not really contribute a whole lot. I was actually able to cram in more fire power taking it out completely.  I am also on the fence about the Cultist unit.  I wanted a 5th troop choice, but I am not sure if the cultists can really do the job of holding objectives if they come under fire.  You really do get what you pay for with the unit.

I have to say I am surprised by many peoples reaction to the new Daemon Prince. Yeah he lack eternal warrior and is expensive, but built well he is a bestial engine of destruction. I think the expense portion of the Prince is the big kicker. Honestly you can get two Sorcerers or even warp smiths and lords in any combination cheaper than the prince. When you are trying to maximize points this is a huge factor in list building. Truth be told though the survivability of the Daemon Prince is better than these other HQ choices though. He also tends to pull the big guns away from your vehicles. I had three devastator squads lighting him up trying to prevent him form getting to squads of Deathwing Terminators. This kept the las cannons and missile launchers off of my Daemon Engines. My opponent realized the rouse too late and my Mauler Fiend was able to breach his lines and start ripping apart the Devastators that were unlucky enough to be on the ground.

Now that I have the list hammered out I begin the painful task of buying the army elements. I have my painting schedule and process already laid out. I will be posting pictures of the army as I get it done over the following weeks. I have over 63 infantry models to paint followed by 1 Daemon Prince, 3 daemon engines and 1 Heldrake. Despite my hobby funk and general laziness when it comes to painting lately, I am charged up for the task and I am hoping to have it done with time to spare before Adepticon.

Next time I am going to talk combat patrol with the Eldar. This is one of the few tournaments at Adepticon that the Eldar can be real competitors. Builds are easy at the 400 point for Eldar mainly due to the surgical and specialist nature of the current Eldar army. More on that next time.

Until then.........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!