Monday, September 27, 2010

Dark Eldar rumors from GDUK

Good evening ladies and gents. After a long weekend of reading the rumor mill I've got a few nice tidbits for you to consider, not only for themselves, but for how they might change your game. Also, here's some photos in case you haven't had the chance to see them.
First up, the new wytches. Here you can see one of the new plastic models assembled with what is rumored to be called "hydra gauntlets." These are supposed to give the wytch model d6 attacks for having two close combat weapons instead of the regular one attack. Alternately, the wytches can have their standard weapons that deprive models in base to base of one of their attacks. With their 4++ save in close combat, these guys could be a counter to terminators or most any other close combat unit, especially if they have a few of these gauntlets around.

Another unit with an amazing new model, the Reaver, looks to bring a new level of mobility to your games of 40k. Rumored to be able to turboboost a stunning 36", these units can assault most any point on the board in two turns. The Reavers are still toughness four, but rumored to be only strength three and have a 5+ armor save. But I wouldn't expect that to come into play much unless you can deny a cover save, as these bikes don't need to be doing anything but turboboosting because they can still cause damage doing so. The rumor floating around is that when a bike flies over a non-vehicle unit each bike inflicts d3 strength three hits to the unit.

Finally, the old standby vehicle, the Raider has been given an amazing overhaul and has not been left out of the new codex goodness. While getting more expensive (sorry no specifics), they are getting upgrades for five or ten points that make it more mobile and more durable. The first upgrade is supposed to add 2d6" to the raiders movement, meaning it could move between 24" and 36" in a single turn. The other upgrade is supposed to grant the vehicle a 5++ invulnerable save. Not a cover save like the disruption pod, but an invulnerable save which can also be used in close combat.

What do you think, how will the new Dark Eldar change your game? Are you excited or shaking in fear of Commorragh?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More on those Khadorans!

by Ishamael

Hey Readers, things've been rather busy since school started. Along with 15 credit hours I'm being trained as a paper reviewer for an undergrad philosophy journal (so basically +3 hours), tutoring for monies, and keeping up with the two fraternities I'm in, so gaming's being moved down the bench a little.

Won't stop me from spewing my nonsense!

So, by some strange happenstance, there's been a shortage of Berserker 'jacks from every supplier my FLGS has. He's surmised that PP is in an unexpected rise, so I've gone and taken advantage of a deal that was in the store on some cavalrymen, called the Iron Fang Uhlans. First off, these suckers are faster than anything else in my army...because everything in my army is slow. Maybe I'm not saying much on movement then. Now, given what appears to be a good combination of movement, statistics, and a cool weapon, I'm thinking that this addition to my army will do what I wanted to buy two Berserker models for: search and destroy. Except I will care if these guys die. Now, I've bought a maxed-out unit of these guys, so I'm blowing 11 points in my 50-point list on what will primarily be an anti-jack melee option. That last point is being used in the purchase of a WAR DOG! He's a caster attachment that makes it harder to hit the caster, he's pretty tough himself (he has HPs), and he does this cute little counter-charge when someone gets too close, then can make a full advance back to the caster...kinda like a pocket monster. My choices have also blown up any bonuses for using a Sorscha-themed list, so I've looked in some other places for models to use.

I've looked in the Mercenary's recent release, and have actually bought two mercs to play ball with: Kell Bailoch, and Eiryss. These two help my assassination elements (Widowmakers + Marksman). Kell can fire two sniper rounds a turn, and his magical sniper rifle gives me the option of firing at incorporeal things that might try to skirt around my flanks. Eiryss will mainly be used for putting out straight damage on jacks' boxes, and she'll be sapping away an enemy caster's Focus when either it is prudent, or just annoying. At this point, I'll toss out my 50 pt list:

5 Uhlans
4 Mechaniks
2x 10 Winterguard Rifle Corps
2x Field Gun Crews
Unit of four Widowmakers
Widowmaker Marksman
Kell Bailoch

The two ranks of Rifle Corps screen the Field Guns, Sorshca/Growlithe, Spriggy, and the Widowmakers. Their Ranked Fire rule lets me ignore them for LOS purposes, so they get to be a meat shield. Spriggy lights up stealthed units (he's got 2x nade launchers, so he can launch two flares a turn. Odds are the Rifle Corps will generally be using their suppressive fire to keep enemy infantry weary of the 10 inches of table I can cover. On one flank go the Uhlans, with Kell and Eiryss following them for positioning. Kell will have to stay within Sorscha's control area though, since she'll be casting concealment on everybody, which consequently gives Kell Stealth. The Uhlans will be B2B to get +2 Arm, and running 16 inches a turn should get them in a prime flanking position. Depending on when everything starts clashing, should the situation arise where Sorscha's feat can hit the enemy caster, Eiryss, Kell, the Widowmakers, and my cavalry (what's left of them) will have an almost free turn of hitting the caster, and it might work.

Some more thoughts on what I'm doing with Warmachine. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get down to the shop to play on Sundays due to other obligations, but I'll definitely be there this Sunday, with some more thoughts to come on how I plan to deploy this mess.

I should be writing a paper,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Apologies from the staff here at Rite of Battle. There has been a large increase in the number of important nuisances popping up recently.

I will try to get a new post up soon. Once again, I apologize for the lack of activity.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tank killing in the 41st Millenium: Space Marines Rolling Thunder

Hope you all had a good week, but now it's time for some mental stretching. First off I need to say that this idea isn't entirely mine. I read an article on YTTH back during their Ard Boyz gear up bonanza and have considered the army style and how it works. While the base is Stelek's I've done some tweaking. So lets dive into how to solve our problems with the much derided Codex: Space Marines.

Our first, and possibly biggest, threat is the standard APC. Whether it comes in the form of a Rhino, a Chimera or a xenos skimmer, these vehicles get infantry where they want to go faster. Getting your infantry where you want them is conducive to your plan to win the game. Deductively reasoning, allowing your opponent to get where they want to go is detrimental to your winning the game. So we need to kill these transports as soon as possible.

We've got a few basic options on how to do this: short range fire or long range fire. With short range fire we have meltaguns and plasma guns. Loki recently discussed the advantages and disadvantages of meltaguns and plasma guns, so I won't here. As a Tau player, I've found that stopping your enemy in their deployment zone gives you time to choose how to fight them and that choice is always an advantage. To do this we need to have long range firepower.

Our first candidate for long range vehicle kill is the classic devastator squad. As pictured, it's a horrible unit with no focus on either vehicle or infantry killing and a mix or ranges. Mixing in multimeltas and plasma cannons, while they have the strength to kill, means you won't have the range for all of your guns to come to bear early. Let's keep the squad small and weapon dense, four missile launchers: 160 points. You can upgrade a ML to a lascannon, but it costs more than another missile launcher, so I say strength eight is fine. But there are better for fewer points.
I present the Mortis pattern dreadnought, more colloquially known as the "rifleman dread." Bringing two twin-linked autocannons to the table for a measly 125 points, this dread sacrifices its CCW for some of the the most efficient anti-tank in the codex point for point. Each dread has approximately a seventy percent chance of immobilizing a rhino and a forty percent chance of immobilizing a chimera. At forty-eight inches of range, these dreads can stay out of the range of most anti-tank return fire. I'd recommend three of these, so 375 points off the top.

Now to fix the other problem we have, the vehicles that the rifleman dread can't touch: AV 14. While I said melta wasn't the end all vehicle killer, it is the best way to kill AV 14 vehicles, except for the monolith. But how can we bring the best platforms for these melta weapons, and while we're at it let's bring some troops to the table.
Pictured above: the classic 5th edition melta box. A squad of either marines or IG veterans with as many melta weapons as they can bring. Every Imperial army can do this, and generally does. But by bringing the same tools as your opponent, who wins comes down to who uses them better and who rolls better. Instead, lets bring a better tool to the table, albeit sacrificing some protection for more destrcutive potential.

First, the disadvantages of the melta box and why we need a better unit from the codex. The only troops choice that can bring a transport is the tactical squad. They can pack a meltagun, a combi-melta and a multimelta. Because of the inability of the multimelta to fire if the unit moves, it cannot fire if the transport moves or if the unit disembarks, so it can generlly be discounted in a mobile fight. That leave the meltagun and the combi-melta. To have a chance at the 2D6, the unit has to start the tun within 12" of the target. Not an unreasonable distance, but one that can be avoided or maneuvered around. For 220 points, the melta box is an expensive unit for what it does.
Instead, let's go with the bike squad. Able to bring two meltaguns at any squad size, a squad of five models can be a troops choice with the right headquarters choice. We need five models and start with three, so let's bring one more and attach an attack bike for an additional wound and a multimelta. Remember how I discounted the multimelta in the melta box squad? Well the problem that handicapped it is resolved through mounting it on a bike. This is because bikes are by nature Relentless. Along with Relentless, the bike platform gives the squad an extra six inches of movement and therefore threat range. While they can be targeted directly, unlike the melta box squad, the bike squads gain an extra point of toughness and the ability to turbo-boost and gain a three plus cover save.

This squad clocks in at 185 points, a full thirty-five points less than the melta box squad. If you bring one of these squads the difference in points can buy your captain his bike to allow the squad to be troops.

Bringing four bike squads, a captain on bike and three riflemen dreads totals to twelve melta weapons, six twin-linked auto cannons and four scoring units for 1250 points. That leaves you with plenty of room to bring additional units if you want more of anything. I would suggest either some anti-horde units and / or a master of the forge and three more dreadnoughts in your heavy support slots.

Until next time, what do you think?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tank killing in the 41st Millenium: Theory

Loki's recent post inspired me to give you all my take on the popularity of meltaguns in this edition of the game and their influence on anti-tank strategies. Now don't get me wrong, I love having those little devils on my side of the board, but are they the end all of tank killing? I say no. In fact I say that in some armies they have a minor role in the tank killing strategy of the army and need not proliferate like rabbits as they seem to have done.
First, why has the meltagun popped up so often? It's a strength 8 weapon with an armor penetration value of 1, not too bad at all. But what makes the melta gun so popular is the extra D6 to armor penetration when within half range. Relatively inexpensive for most armies and able to have at least one in most troops choices for Imperial armies and CSM I can see why it's so attractive, but it still has its warts. The only real problem I have with the gun is that it is such a short range weapon. It has a true range of 12", but is maximized within 6" and only then against vehicles.
There are two types of vehicles that matter in 40k and each should be dealt with differently. First, you have what I call gunboats. These are your vindicators, fire prisms and hammerheads: vehicles without transport capacity and generally only one high strength weapon. Gunboats generally either hang back and try to turn other vehicles and infantry into piles of debris and gore or push for contesting objectives late game. Because they don't try to move to midfield until late in the game, a meltagun will generally not be brought to bear against them until late game if at all. That being said a meltagun is better used against these than our next contestant.
The transport vehicle, most famously the rhino APC, wave serpent and devilfish, are the "standard" vehicle of 40k. Ranging from 35 to 145 points and able to be killed by a single shot from a five point meltagun, these are the standard target of anti-tank shots. This is where I say the meltagun may be overkill and unnecessary when there are better options. These vehicles have rear armor ten and front armor of either eleven or twelve, which means that even a strength six shot can glance a chimera or wave serpent and explode a rhino, in enough volume.

A meltagun at ballistic skill four within 6" has a 42% chance of immobilizing or destroying a rhino. Then the rhino, probably also packing its own melta-armed squad has the chance to bring all of its weapons to bear on the unit that fired the meltagun if they aren't in their own transport, and if they are the second squad can probably bring at least as much melta fire right back at the first's vehicle and so on until one of the vehicles goes belly up.
Consider instead a lowly autocannon. Becasue of its greater range, the autocannon can use the turn the meltagun spent sitting and racing forward to fire. On top of its longer range, it has a higher rate of fire, giving it more chances, albeit worse chances to destroy its target. A meltagun either has to have its target want to get close to it (good luck) or some type of transportation to get close fast, like a drop pod in the case of a dread, or even just a rhino for a tactical or an assault squad. For fewer points most Imperial armies can field autocannons of some kind.

There is a place for meltaguns, even in armies that despise getting close to their enemies, like Tau. Autocannons can't touch armor value fourteen vehicles, but they can at least glance anything else. That's where meltaguns come in. When they're within half their range melta weapons have a better than 50% chance to penetrate the vehicle's armor if they hit.

Up next time: how to kill tanks and not worry about your marines being too close.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Force?

So looking around the table, It would seem the game of 40k hasn't really had any real new armies since it's creation. I am a huge fan of having as many options available to us the players. But since the creation of 40k in the late 80's we really haven't had many new additions to the standard set of army lists since the induction of the Tau over a decade ago.

Now with Dark Eldar getting their first real overhaul since 2nd, they will feel like a brand new army. The same would be true of Necrons is they ever receive a new codex allowing more than warrior spam :P.

But there hasn't really been a "new" army in a while. It is interesting to think that with all the expansive work put into the universe of the 40th millennium, we have a relatively small choice of the armies allotted to us. For instance I know there are several Marine Chapters, Chaos Forces, Imperial Guard Forces, and many many more that are not given anything from GW. But this isn't what I mean at all. I'm wandering about a brand spanking new army; another force to via for supremacy in the galaxy.

After reading many of the fluff bits found across the Interwebs (mostly on Lexicanum) there are a plethora of options that could be made available to us. Perhaps once all of the codexes are finally updated to a level playing field, a new army will emerge to give us another playable force from the darkest reaches of the galaxy.

My question to you is simple. If another army was released... what would you want it to be?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Showdown

After looking through many of the army codex's out there of all shapes and sizes... the Imperium of man in all their many codexes has brought me to a interesting rivalry style question.

Plasma or Melta?

Most people say it is based on one's play style, and to a point I'd agree. Plasma obviously has the range to be a much earlier hitting weapon baring the use of first or early hitting devices (such as a drop pod). This difference alone is a drastic definition of the two weapon's purposes, however along with this they style (rapid fire vs assault) also says a lot of what they are meant for.

But on this bothers me over all other things. The plasma weapons were one of the best things since sliced bread in the old 4th edition rules. Many an army would spam them and it would be hard to cross a field of plasma fire since shooting had a distinct edge in 4th. So naturally the weapon was somewhat balanced by the annoyance of "Gets Hot." This was a nice way of balancing the boon of such an awesome weapon on the tabletop. But now that 5th has come around, and shooting isn't the simply job it was, assault has taken over, and with it the melta gun rules supreme as special weapon's choice.

But wait... what's this? Where's the balancing rule? There isn't one. Where, for some reason, when firing a plasma weapon it can get hot and explode in your face... the meltagun that fires a fusion blast capable of destabilizing and destroying anything it touches at the molecular level has no problems what so ever. Let's also add AP1 for tank destruction as that is kind of melta's thing (always has been), but with 5th this became increasingly powerful. And to finish things off lets add the boon of The Melta Rule. We all know this one, and while it may sometimes be hard to close the gap, it is not impossible by any means, as well as the added help of some 5th rules like run, the new wound allocation, and mech being very helpful for closing gaps fast.

Now looking at the two weapons we know they are meant to do different things. A Plasma gun is a ranged infantry killer, while the meltagun counterpart is a close range tank hunter. Both do their job decently. Their larger cousins do the same tings as their respective smalls, are similar in nature. However, where the cannon gains range as well as turning into a small blast, the multi-melta simply turns into a longer range meltagun. But this is what kills me. While plasma can do a great many things, it's only S7 (so not much Instant Death caused by these guys outside of non-marine) as well as AP2 (no bonus on the chart). It has a longer range, but the Gets Hot rule is a very dangerous problem, causing the weapon not to fire, as well as the possibility of losing it. And the funniest thing to me, is that the plasma weapons are always 5 points more than their melta counterparts (save the old 4th ed. codexes like my Templars Codex).

To me this is interesting. In 4th they knew plasma was the more useful and slected weapon, so they costed it high, and made it dangerous. Now in 5th, Melta rises to the grand poo bah of guns, and they leave it as a cheap and easy buy. I'm not sure why, but it strikes me as interesting. I guess I don't see the short range being all that much of a balance when it comes to what seems to be the single best weapon in the game, as well as it's over abundance out if necessity feel it has in many armies.

Have any thoughts on the matter?


Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Towers of Midnight.

by Ishamael

I loves me some Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan is more than likely my favorite author, and I'm eagerly awaiting November 2nd, which is when the second-to-last book is being released, Towers of Midnight. TOR has released a trailer for the release, which I found over at Dragonmount.


I've no clue whether or not any of you have read the series up to this point, so let me state this: Much like the trailer for the new Dawn of War 2 expansion, the trailer is rather underwhelming. YET, it was fan-produced, and any chance to see this stuff in three dimensions is sweet regardless. More exciting than the Starcraft 2 teaser from forever ago.

What do I mean by this?

The monologue is one of the last things the reader goes over in Gathering Storm, and while it's pretty cool to see a beautiful woman play Moiraine, I would have vastly preferred something with Mat, Thom, and Farstrider going to the tower in order to bring her back. OR, since I'm currently reading Shadow Rising, it could have been when she tossed herself and Lanfear into the ter'angreal mirror to an alternate dimension. As a huge fan, I'm already stoked about the buildup that began with Gathering Storm, and I can't say this trailer would appear to kindle much interest in the series.

Much like the horrid covers for the regular books, it doesn't make Randland look intriguing. Mind you, the newer Ebook covers are amazingly well done.

Just some thoughts before the book comes out. And if you haven't read the series yet...start!

Contending with a Cold,

Saturday, September 4, 2010


So, we're just passing the second week of classes, and I have taken ill. Were it not so, I'd have been painting a good portion of the day. Yet, because of these circumstances, I have come up with a plan!

You readers have already looked at how our last venture to Bloomington went, and coming home from that I had a fun realization: my rutting army still isn't painted. Now, in no way shape or form do I think that painting should be in any way tied into a player's final score, yet it does remain that to win your army must be painted. My own thoughts are that in order for a player to even compete in a tournament, one's entire army must be painted to a three-color standard. Doubt anywhere is going to do that, yet the situation remains that my army needs to be finished.

So, for the solution:

I cannot attend our painting day on Thursdays, as I have that time slot reserved indefinitely for something else. With my current schedule, only weekends are available for alteration. Yet, Sunday evenings are for making sure I have my materials read and ready for the following day, so something has to give on Saturdays. Also, I need to learn Warmachine, and that's on Sundays. The issue here is that Saturdays are for 40k. I can't give up playing on Saturdays altogether, so I think that I'll play on alternate Saturdays, given that in the previous one I painted sufficiently. So, my tentative plan will be to paint the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month, and play 40k on the 2nd and 4th. This is the plan until I finish painting my Tau army, and all my Kroot are painted like the Putties they are.

After the Tau get done, I have to paint my Khador, which I'll apply the same method of schedule to get it painted.

Just as an aside, my notion of what I want to do with Khador has changed. Apparently it's pronounced "KHAY-DOHR" as well. The rulebook told me so. The following is my current idea of what to do in a 35 point game. Next week heralds the last models I need to field a 50 point army, as there are players at the Keep that desire to do so.

Kommander Sorscha 5 Warjack Points
Spriggan 10
Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts)2
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)4
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)2
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)2
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (Leader and 9 Grunts)8
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (Leader and 9 Grunts)8
Kell Bailoch 2
Widowmaker Marksman 2

So, is this a decent Khador army? No idea! I've tried to cover my bases to counter enemy special rules, use the Rifle Corps' ability that lets me draw LOS through them while they attempt to hold enemy infantry back with their covering fire. The Field Guns are primarily for attacking 'jacks, but if need be they'll be kissing enemies with multiple hit points. The Spriggan is there for two primary reasons, the first being its ability to use its Grenade Launcher to shoot flares to reveal Stealth enemies that I might shoot them, as well as to help Sorscha on her Feat turn. Also, it's still a pretty good 'jack in itself, and it'll do some damage as a counter-attacking unit. As for my plethora of snipers, the Widowmakers, Marksman, and Kell are there so I can do two things primarily, harm basic infantry, and finish off damage boxes on Warjacks when possible. Kell is interesting in that if he does not move, his rifle gets two shots...and it's a magical sniper rifle. I don't know why that's fascinating to me, but it is. Considering what I've seen of Cryx flanking tactics using incorporeal ghosts, he'll hopefully help keep Sorscha safe. With the rest of the army coming in Wednesday, I'll be posting around then what my plans are for 50 points. I think it'll be entertaining for everyone involved.

Also, I'm going to write something on how poorly I'm using my Kroot. Also, I need to write on my thoughts when it comes to events in which full points are given when a player gets "tabled", id est utterly destroyed with no models on the table.

Sick but Alive,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hobby Table III

For this Edition of Hobby Table, I will be introducing a new mission variant I have come up with and have been playing around with. It is a simple game but has a unique twist involved. I have play tested a beta version of it, and I must say it went rather well. So let's get to it.

Mission: Containment
This mission focuses on the idea of a member or unit of one army being captured by the enemy in hopes to gain information or other boons (like the location of the missing snacky cakes) from their captives. Not being one to let the enemy get away with this, a battle insures shortly after.

So here's How it works.

The game plays by standard Annihilation rules as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Set Up
This game uses the Attacker and Defender system for players involved. The Defender represents the player who has had a unit kidnapped in them midst of the fight, while the Attacker represents the captures. Please look to the Special Rules Section for further details on this.

This game uses standard Pitched Battle Deployment as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Both armies may use reserves as normal.

Victory Conditions
This mission follows the Kill Point system used with the Annihilation rules in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. The player with the most Kill Points at the end of the battle is the winner. Please make note of the special rules section.

Special Rules:

Containment: Before Determining who will go first, roll a dice. The winner may choose to be the Attacker or Defender. Each Player, starting with the Defender chooses a single unit from their own army. This unit may be any unit with a WS. The Attacker then does the same.

After Determining deployment zones, split the Attacker's deployment zone into 6 equal 1' sections along the length of the long table edge. the Attacker rolls a dice; the number rolled corresponds to the section (always start counting from the left) in which the containment takes place. The contained unit is placed in the middle of the section (as the sections are all 12" x 12", the middle of the section if found by measuring a further 6" over, and 6" forward).

The Defending Player chooses a single unit from their army.  This can be any unit, including Independent Characters.  This unit is considered Captured, and is unable to do anything until freed.  The Attacking player must now take the unit he/she has chosen to do the containment, surrounding (as best as possible) the contained unit while staying at least 1" away, but no more than 2" away from their captives  Neither unit may make voluntarily actions (including moving, shooting, assaulting, anything!).

If the unit containing the captives falls back, is assaulted, or is removed from the table as a casualty, the captive unit returns to it's owners control immediately, and may act as normal on the owning players turn.

Please note if the containment is broken for any reason, it may not be re-established, and both units then act normally.

Valuable Information: The Unit being held prisoner is holding information that is highly valued by both sides. If the captive unit is still being contained at the end of the game, the Attacker gains an additional 5 Kill Points.

However, if the unit is freed but later destroyed, the Attacker gains 3 additional Kill Points (as they denied the Defenders the same valued information).

If the Captive unit is freed, and survives, the Defender gains an Additional 5 Kill Points.

The game uses standard mission length, and allows any and all standard rules to be used (i.e. Deepstrike, Outflant, Scout, etc.)

So there you have it. Containment is a fun game that takes the most basic of basic games (Pitched Annihilation) and adds a little twist. Also, I know the rolls seem incorrectly labeled (The Attacker seems to be Defending, and vise verse) but it was done this way with the Dark Eldar's Piratical Raider's Rule in mind.

Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Battle for Bloomington

Well this took way too long and I'm sorry for being gone so long, but I have good news! The fleet of Craftworld [Still-doesn't-have a-name] is up and running. Loki, Ishmael and I went down to Bloomington with four others in search of loot. None of us walked away with any loot, but we got something better. In my second game I ran into a great player, and hopefully a good friend: Wienas of Indy 40k, but more on that later.

My first round was against a new and very courteous player by the name of Ian with a fantastic looking army of Space Wolves including the internet-famous Thunderhoof Cavalry. I don't know how he created them, but here is a photo of his wolf lord taken by Loki. Sadly I did not get photos taken of the game, but here's the gist of what went down. We were playing a slightly modified version of the Pillage battle mission, so we each scored a point in our opponent's turn if we were on a point with a scoring unit. This gave my mechanized Eldar a solid advantage over his mechanized Wolves, allowing me to grab three points in the first turn and consistently hold at least two to his one all game. I moved one of my wave serpents from a point on the near left to the center point when his cavalry came down their way. My seer council tried to intercept them on my flank when they took out a fire dragon squad's transport and pinned them. The council was basically neutered in this game by Ian's superb use of his rune priest, driving him and his squad onto the center point and passing the majority of his runic weapon tests, shutting down fortune whenever my seer was in range. My shining moment of awesome for the tournament was when my pathfinder unit, sitting on a point minding their own business, sniped a rhino in cover, getting an AP 1 hit which rended and wrecked the rhino. On top of that, the grey hunter unit that got out of the wreckage was pinned.

The next game was one of the best games of 40k I have played in my two years. I drew Wienas, and his black templar painted as crimson fists. If you know Loki, you can imagine the amount of dread I had facing his two armies that have regularly kicked my %*& blended into one. Thankfully, Wienas' army wasn't like either and he was one of the most courteous players I've ever played, while at the same time being a smart player I was glad to match wits against. His first good move was to deny me two turns of shooting at him even though the mission had built in choke points and circles of impassable terrain. These really kept my Eldar corralled in my deployment zone and both Wienas and I had the same idea of what I would try near the end of the game. Like a lot of people, I've read Fritz' blog and know his Saim Hann tricks, but Wienas managed to out late game me by forcing me to go first and staying in his land raider crusader until the bottom of turn five. He forced me to turboboost my seer council to contest the middle point of three. The dice did not like my Eldar trickery and I lost my enhance, embolden and and destructor warlock to the crusader's torrent of fire alone. The followup charge by a combat crusader squad and the emperor's champion reduced the council to my farseer left on her own who was then executed the next turn. On turn seven I had a dire avenger squad swearing at a rhino on one point, another squad cowering in their transport near a dreadnought on a second and a fire prism surrounded by templar on the middle point after having blown dixie and moved into a crater after having gone flat out. All in all a great game against a great opponent who was both good at the game and a good person.

My third game was one I'd rather forget, but I learned a bit about conducting myself in a tournament. My last opponent was a junior high school kid and I gave him more leniency than I would have given Loki, Ishmael or anyone else I know and play against. I have to admit that his army threw me for a loop from the outset: shooty Orks. Yes, this is an odd thing to think about, but I didn't put in the thought on how to beat his army. I should have stayed out of his range and stuck my tongue out at him until he came to me; instead I swung my council out on a flank and succeed in killing a squad of killa kans before getting charged by two ork mobs. The high council of [Still-doesn't-have a-name] is vastly shamed by my poor decisions in this game.

In conclusion I had the opportunity to play against two new players and all three placers in this tournament. I ran into my first case of "4th ed. hangover" in the third game, or perhaps a simple misunderstanding of the rules for area terrain and TLoS with twenty lootas shooting through a solid wall at my serpents. I learned to treat all opponents equally. I need to treat all opponents like I did when I wrestled: treat them with courtesy, but when they step into the ring (or up to the table) they stop being whatever else they are and become an opponent first of all. Congrats to Ian and Wienas for placing second and first respectively. They both played great games and had greatly painted armies. Good luck to all.