Friday, 14 August 2015

40k ETC and ESC 2015 Eldar Tournament Report!

So after the UK GT and 40k 6NC, my precious Wave Serpent army was rendered useless reasonable by the new eldar codex. Luckily I had a backup plan, involving some scatter laser jetbikes and D cannon artillery!

The full list was

Two farseer skyrunners, one as the warlord with the spirit stones and the other with a singing spear.
6 units of 5 windriders and 5 scatter lasers
6 Swooping hawks, exarch
2 units of 8 warp spiders, exarchs
3 single D platforms
Note: During the ESC, it was ruled that the artillery model can move and a stationary crewman can fire the gun (as the firing model is then stationary). This, along with the "measure from the barrel of the gun" wording in the artillery rules, meant that turn 1 the platforms can get almost 6" further forward than the deployment line. Although controversial, I think it has a pretty strong basis in raw, and was in force for the entirety of both events (ESC and ETC).

40k ESC- Wednesday 05 08 15 and Thursday 06 08 15

First game I get drawn against Tristan. He'd travelled with the Swiss team and was playing in the singles while acting as coach for the team event. He had a Baron court, with sanctuary on the baron for double shields, 2 extra knights, and a Tau firebase cadre.
I got double misfortune on my powers and set up on the line. Tristan didn't seize! I only did 5 hull points turn 1 however, and his return fire killed 10-15 bikes. However, his Baron was a little too close to a platform, and between this, the remaining scatterbikes with misfortune and finally an Avatar Wailing Doom, I was able to down the Baron. The hawks also finished off the wounded knight.
The first spider unit came in near the riptide and broadsides, bounced away from interceptor fire and started harassing the tau. That was a massive turn for me, going from 15 bikes down to no loss, to 2 knights down.
Tristan tried to recover but, without the benefits of the baron court and my bikes outranging his firebase, it was an uphill struggle. The last knight died turn 3 to hawks and more shooting, while my spiders and bikes cleared out his broadsides for a turn 5 tabling. The D cannon platform that wounded the baron also scalped the riptide with a 6!


Game 2 I played Matt Robertson, the Welsh team captain. He had a really good decurion list and we've played the practice match many times. It's not good for me!
We played it anyway, and true to form Matt was able to tie up my bikes and dominate the table, scoring a 20-0.


Game 3 was on the second day due to technical issues, and I played one of the Netherlands team, Gijs Baas with his wolf star! Gijs knew it was a bad matchup but tried to play through it like a true champion of Fenris! He scouted forward and I went first. The scout was a mistake really, as it meant my warp spiders could line in front of the star and block his turn 1 movement without fear of assault.
I had a monstrous shooting phase turn 1, killing half or more of the wolf star- he had 3 of the 6 characters and a few ravenwing left.
He had a few drop pods to try and get kill points, but the avatar and warp spiders tidied them up wherever they came in. By the end of turn 4 Gijs was reduced to a single wolf lord, so we called the game at that point.
Gijs was an absolutely great opponent, and took the match with great spirit! We even swapped shirts during the final day of the team event, and the Dutch polo was a bit better for the heat than the Welsh rugby style shirt!


Game 4 was against Bogdan from team Romania. He'd also brought a Baron court, this time with 6 venoms. He won the roll for turn 1 and I had no misfortune... oh dear.
I debated trying to play cagily with the spiders and trying for the maelstrom, but in the end I was too tired. I explained that I would set my whole army up on the deployment line, before seizing the initiative! Bogdan laughed it off... until I rolled a 6!
5 venoms died to my firepower (poor rolls on one cost me a full house), while one Knight also died to a combination of D platforms and swooping hawk assaults.
Bogdan then decided to concede turn 1, giving me another 20-0!
Maybe he could have played on, but I had the platforms and the avatar to back him into a corner and could start to surround him with scatterbikes too. As it was, I was able to relax for a couple of hours before round 5.


Game 5 was against Bartosz (aka Ken), the captain of team Poland. I knew they were a good team going in, and Bartosz was surely a good player. He did not disappoint! He had Tigurius, 3 Level 2 librarians, 3 units of centurions in drop pods and 5 sternguard in a pod, as well as some blood angel and tactical drop pods, meaning all the cents and the sternguard could have a psyker attached and pod in turn 1. I castled up in a big ruin and waited for the drop. Ken killed the avatar, a platform and 3 units of bikes with a combination of auspex and perfect timing.
However my return fire was also pretty good- I killed the sternguard and librarian with warp spiders, while the other spider unit locked down the cents in my deployment zone. My bikes all combined fire into another unit of cents, and I was able to reduce them to the librarian and a single wounded centurion. Not bad! The rest of the game was quite cagey, with Ken's second wave taking objectives and my bikes having to clear centurions as fast as they could (one unit of which was invisible)! My Hawks had a great game, surviving a bit too long for Ken before finishing off some scouts, and clearing two fast attack drop pods (for the scouring) off of objectives and claiming a 3 point objective for themselves! It finished 12-8 to Ken, in one of the most interesting, tactical and intense games I've had the pleasure to play in! I really enjoyed the match and hope to play him again next year.

That left me on a score of 68 points, enough for an 18th place finish! I was quite happy with this standing- especially having played Knights twice and come away with 40 points from it!

Special shout out to Gas Jones, Team Wales member and last year's winner, who pulled 4th place this year with seer council! To finish top 5 for two consecutive years is a massive achievement, and he's an awesome guy too.

So with my "practice games" completed, I hoped I was ready for my first ever ETC...

40k ETC Fri 07 08 15, Sat 08 08 15 and Sun 09 08 15

In the first round Wales played Croatia. Our pairings were good for the whole event, and this round was a great way to start. I played 25 screamers, with a screamer council, Belakor and Fateweaver. Steven got his powers for the 2++ rerollable save. I got some rerolls and Will of Asuryan.
Steven's list was a tough one for me to beat, but luckily he made a couple of mistakes I could capitalise on early. Although all the screamers had some type of rerollable 2+ save, I could see Belakor with all the bikes, and even though he was flying I was able to do 3 wounds. He failed his grounding check, despite the Fateweaver reroll, and then failed his invulnerable save for first blood! Steven also moved his council too far forward, 14" from the Avatar. I made the 8" charge, and was able to lock them down all game- cursed earth and warpstorm increasing my invulnerable save certainly helped! I had a small amount of space where I couldn't be charged and was able to back away well after feeding the platforms to the screamers turn 2. Although I couldn't shoot the other two screamer units well, I was able to lock them down with fearless jetbikes while my warp spiders and hawks cleared out the horrors and cultists in the backfield.
I also blocked Fateweaver from flying after he was too close to the short board edge, and rather than leave the board my opponent landed- resulting in a dead Fateweaver the turn after!
I was going second and was able to jump most of the objectives, while the council eventually failed the grimoire and the avatar took advantage, reducing them to a single herald after instability for blood and guts! Final score 16-4 to Eldar.

Wales had a monster round, winning 128-32 and setting us up for a clash near the top tables round 2.

Round 2 we played Sweden, and again our pairings were spot on. Sadly someone had to be thrown under the bus though, and it was me. 50 warp spiders rode the bus, in the Swedish "arachnophobia" list of a Craftworld warhost and 4 aspect shrines, with 10 units of 5 spiders and 2 units of hawks, along with some minimum scatter bikes, farseer, etc and an autarch. I was really keen to play the list as I thought it looked really cool, but was not quite sure what to expect. Turn 2 I found out when Olof's alpha (or maybe beta?) strike killed 23 of my jetbikes! From that point I was just in "how many points can I get from this matchup" mode. By the time Olof realised the spiders couldn't hurt the avatar from shooting (str 6 vs initiative 10), I had killed most of his scatter bikes. The rest of the game consisted of my warp spiders rolling a heroic 12" and 11" jump on the two units to escape his killbox, while the avatar strode around killing units of spiders at a time in melee! I ended up with the Avatar on an objective, contesting, and turn 6 a single wounder spider exarch hit and ran onto another objective, contesting that. Between the maelstrom points I could accrue, as well as slay the inquisitor warlord and line breaker, I actually managed 4 points with just 2 models! Final score 16-4 to the "Inquisition". Olof was a really fun guy to play against, and I've never had as much fun while taking such a beating!

Wales won the round again though, giving us a very satisfying max points from day 1!

Day 2 started with Wales vs Denmark in round 3. I was playing against 3 Knights and 7 venoms. Again I had no misfortune, but I got the infiltrate warlord trait and so infiltrated the 3 units of platforms. My opponent was thrown by this, deploying 1 venom, a lhamean, some warriors and 2 knights (reserving 1). He nearly reserved all 3 knights, which would have been a massive mistake (more below).
I went first after infiltrating all 3 platforms opposite one of Paul's knights. I managed to 6 it out turn 2 after he'd killed one of my platforms, while a warp spider unit were able to box the other knight into the corner. This meant he couldn't shoot- if he wanted to shoot something else and heavy stubber the spiders to charge I could have jumped away, and I was too close for him to melta cannon the spiders without hitting himself!
For the third knight however... I turbo boosted all of my jetbikes to Paul's board edge, lining it fully so that if the Knight passed his reserve roll, he would be unable to move on and thus destroyed!
Paul duly passed, and I got my first "ETC special"! 5 venoms arrived and killed off all the spiders blocking, then the knight charged a jetbike squad. However my return fire killed 4 of the venoms, and my avatar made his way to the Knight, ready to punk it out in melee. I cleared up most of Paul's army and had a 20-0 already, so we agreed to fight the avatar against the Knight. I even went through cover, but he missed all his attacks and failed to stomp... 10 hull points later, the Avatar wins!
Wales just pulled out a draw in a very close round, so it was good to get the 20-0. If Paul had reserved all the knights, I could have lined his board edge and killed all three very easily! That would have been epic, but maybe a bit boring as a game.

Game 4 against USA! I played Andrew Gonyo, the captain, who had blob guard with wyverns and drop pod melta command and veterans. This could sting, but I went first so was okay. My farseer decided on an apocalyptic eldritch storm, which scattered onto 2 wyverns. One took a hull point, while the other took a penetrating hit, and I rolled a 6 for immobilised... at least, until Andrew told me it was open topped and so I had first blood! I killed the other two wyverns with shooting, which was immensely helpful. I thrust back onto cover, and Andrew's alpha strike back was quite weak, only killing one unit- his astropath even managed to blow himself up casting invisibility (which I even denied)! I had pretty good dice for a turn or two, which was an immense help. I was able to kill the dropped units and annihilate most of the infantry blob, leaving just the conscipts and the reserves. The conscripts with misfortune and priest buffs (when they passed) were able to tear through units, but I could block them well and after my spiders grabbed the relic turn 1, I moved it into the corner. I got some good maelstrom cards too (supremacy and ascendancy in the same turn) meaning I could push for a big win and it finished 17-3.
Wales sadly lost the round however, which was not helped by one of our players getting heatstroke! Luckily he was okay, and we have a grudge team for next year now!

Round 5 vs the Ukraine. I played Fedor, #2 at the singles championship. His ElTau was brutal with shooting, but as I went first I forced him to reserve a lot of his firepower and was able to castle well around a farseer who had shrouded. Fedor had some epic saves on his buffmander tanking for the broadsides, and this sadly (& unavoidably) slowed the game down so we had a turn 4 finish. Fedor going second with obsec bikes in reserve meant he was able to take some objectives from me at the end of the game, and it finished 9-11. My opponent was a great guy, but unfortunately the round as a whole was soured by the Ukraine Farsight Bomb slow playing against our Thunderwolf star after it had charged the Farsight Bomb. The refs unfortunately ruled that dice down was dice down, even in the middle of the assault phase, so we lost out on about 8 points that round, which cost us the win and left us on a draw. Still, most of the team had great games and it would be wrong to let those be soured by one experience.

Round 6 vs Italy! I was paired against double blob guard, with cypher for 2+ cover and some scatter bikes. I had made a small error in the pairings matrix, not realising the 2+ cover save, and so I was in for a tough match! I had no ignore cover, but was able to deploy second on hammer and anvil so stayed out of range. I ignored his lascannons and one unit of scatter bikes, leaving almost all of my scatter bikes against one unit of his- however I left one model from each of my units out of his threat range so he couldn't get first blood, and if he wanted to shoot me I could annihilate his unit with return fire. He realised this turn 1, and moved backwards 12"... so I moved forwards 12" and left the situation the same! Meanwhile one unit of spiders made a 10" jump turn 1 towards some conscripts who had strayed forwards. They had no priest so could go to ground, but I charged instead and was able to win combat by 5! With a strong sweeping advance, all ~50 were dead, along with the attached psyker! Talk about first blood...
His turn 2 he moved his scatbikes up to shoot mine and killed 3, and then I annihilated all but the farseer. On the other side my second spider unit also tore up the other bike unit, leaving Eduardo with just the Cypher blob that had to deal with some spiders. From this point I was able to pick off some of his lascannons with a good warp spider jump and then avoided the blob. I had second turn and guard blobs vs scatter bikes is a very slow game even with both of us speed playing all of our turns.
This meant I was able to shoot a couple of holes turn 5 and turbo boost onto the objectives. The Swooping hawk exarch finally died to his farseer in combat, leaving me on a 14-6 win. If the exarch hadn't died that would have been 15-5, and if the farseer had died it would have been 16-4 from maelstrom as well! Talk about close!
It was a great game and I was able to play through the tough pairing reasonably well.
Wales just snuck over the line for a round win, after our Skitarii and Knights player was able to pick up 20 points against Daemons (needing 14 for the round win)!

After scores and tie breakers were all jotted up, we were in 4th place on 8 points (around 520pts of tie breakers)! Highest ever finish for team Wales, and almost on the podium in 3rd place if the decision in round 5 had gone our way!
Still, it was a great result and I had an amazing time- 11 of the best games I have ever played, and many of them up there for the most fun too. It was also great to meet so many players from around the world- I played 2 Frenchmen (one was a mercenary for Croatia), a Dutchman, an American, an Italian, a Swede, a Dane, a Ukranian, a Romanian and a Pole (as well as one Welshman).

Team events are an amazing way to play 40k- simultaneously taking pressure off yourself to win everything but also fighting as hard as you can for every point for the team is a great dynamic.

I'm hoping to go again next year, and to see if we can't improve on 4th place!

The next event I'm attending will be the Allies of Convenience GT in November. AoC is an awesome competitive 40k podcast found here and they've got a load of coverage from the ESC and ETC as well.

I'm not sure how regular my posts will be in future, but I'm hoping to do a couple before the tournament. I hope to see some of you there- if you're a reader, let me know!

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 13 August 2015

UK 40K GT Final and 6NC round up!

Hi all!

I'll be covering quick round-ups of all my games at both the 40K GT and the 6NC here- they were all a while ago and I didn't take pictures, but my memory is still pretty clear on them! These were my last games with the old Eldar codex. I'll try to do a brief comparison of the old and new book, which I think is best, and why!

UK 40K GT Final

This was at Sanctuary Games in the middle of March 2015, and was freezing cold!
I traveled up to stay with Matt, the Welsh Captain, and we were able to play a practice game- his Knights/Eldar vs my Eldar/Inquisition. It went well for Matt!

My list for the GT was (briefly):

Farseer, summoning stone, bike
3x 5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpents, Scatter Lasers, Ghostwalks
5 Fire Dragons, Wave Serpent, Scatter Laser, Ghostwalk
2x Night Spinner, Ghostwalks
6 Hawks
5 Hawks

Simple, but effective. The Wraithknight deals with any major threats, while the 6 tanks hopefully shoot the opponent to death! The farseer summons as much as he can, ideally incursion or summoning every turn!

Game 1 I played Miles with Grey Knights and Space Marines, with a Nemesis strike force, 2 dreadknights, and a mini centstar with iron hands (no tigurius) and draigo.
 I deployed fairly poorly and myles capitalised with some good deep strikes, nailing my farseer, a serpent, and immobilising another serpent.
My hawks harassed his scouts and I was able to whittle through the cent star, but eventually he wore through almost all of my tanks. I forgot about the Big Guns points counting to the primary and decided not to shoot/charge/kill his dreadknight with the Wraithknight, which ended up costing me a draw to a loss. 18-2 to Miles, very well played!

Game 2 I played Andrew who had lots of Wave Serpents (6-7) and some hornets. I won the roll off, deployed aggressively with cover and he castled behind terrain with hornets in reserve. I was able to get off a good alpha strike with loads of early pressure, killing 2 serpents and leaving another unable to shoot turn 1, then killing all the others over the next few turns. I only lost 1, and when the hornets came on they died quickly without doing too much damage. I was able to start summoning this game, which helped me box Andrew into the corner effectively. 20-0 to me.

Game 3 I played Max Barton (a reader of the blog), who also had 5-6 wave serpents along with a load of Hornets and no Wraithknight. I deployed aggressively into cover, while Max basically lined his Wave Serpents up without too much cover. I took turn 1, and killed 2 serpents. Max's return fire was dampened by my cover, and the summoned screamers just pushed the advantage. We called it turn 4 after his hornets arrived and killed the farseer only to be all but deleted by return fire. 20-0 again to me!

Day 1 finished, and sitting reasonably for a submarine finish (diving early but resurfacing later) on 42/60 points.

Game 4 against Scarab Farm- a terrible match-up for serpents, but I was able to go first and my opponent didn't notice the tall ruins in front of my deployment zone- I was able to land a serpent on each, which along with the barrage and Wraithknight shooting killed all the scarabs turn 1, before they can farm more or reanimate!
After this it was a slog through 2 units of wraiths and 10 Tomb Spyders, and the game finished turn 5 with me controlling more eternal wars and the tertiary, while my opponent won maelstrom. 14-6 to me.

Game 5 was against some Iron Hands and Eldar with forge world- hornets, sicaran, relic whirlwind, wraithknight, summonseer, gorgon-zola-chapter master, the works! I went second, and didn't lost anything to the alpha strike after deploying into cover well. I killed a hornet early game, and reserve 2 serpents and a Wraithknight. I got nothing turn 2, a serpent turn 3 and the other serpent and WK turn 4. Highlights included using the corner to avoid his fire while summoning and barraging his bikes, blocking them off with copious seekers! My opponent brought scouts into my backfield, but my farseer and 2 night spinners were able to kill both Land Speeders and both units in a single turn for some good maelstrom!
Eventually my farseer became a Lord of Change to shoot more stuff, and I was able to play the objectives well after all the Space Marine and Eldar Obsec had died. Finished 14-6 to me, for a 5th place finish!
Very happy, and up from last year's 10th place!


For the 6NC, I added another Wave Serpent full of Dire Avengers.

Round 1, vs England
I played their serpent player Josh, and unfortunately by inexperience with ETC scoring showed through. Although eternal war and kill points were close after a bad start from Josh's alpha strike, he hammered me on Maelstrom and win 17-3. He had triple Wraithknight, 2 fire dragons and 3 avengers. I forgot to take shriek on the farseer and couldn't roll a 6 with bladestorm Dire Avengers for 2 turns, both of which hurt.
Wales won reasonably on this round, which was a great start to beat team England!

Round 2 vs Scotland
I played Scotland's Cent Star, an awesome guy called Tim. I infiltrated with the warlord trait and went first, nearly killing tiggy and nailing both the dreadknights! I made a mistake in outflanking the wraithknight with the warlord trait, thinking this would be more beneficial than alpha striking...
After the alpha strike it was uphill for Tim, and although the centstar was able to slog through my tanks, he couldn't keep up with all the new units I was summoning and so I won 14-6 through a combination of Maelstrom and Eternal War.
Wales won quite big this round, although our wolf star picked up a loss against a Tau gun line when he couldn't roll above a 4" charge all game!

Round 3 vs Northern Ireland
I played a Wolfstar that used 4-5 characters with dogs that had Tigurius and joined a thunderfire cannon from a drop pod that comes down turn 1 to give the star T7!
Luckily I seized the initiative, and summoned seekers to block his movement turn 1! He joined the TFC anyway and couldn't assault them, which was maybe a mistake, before I summoned more seekers and the Wraithknight picked off the TFC, blocking his pile in moves with the seekers to ensure I died at the right time. For the craftworld!
My serpents cleared off his long fangs and various small drop pod squads, while piling more shots into the wolf star as and when. He didn't roll invisibility on tigurius, which was very big. If he had done, it could have been different, but without I won 20-0 with a Turn 6 tabling.
Wales won big this round, against possibly the nicest team you could ever play against. My opponent took the two turns of "what is this bullshit seeker blocking" like an absolute gentleman, laughing it all off and we had a great game.

Round 4 vs Republic of Ireland
I played Ivan's White Scars on Hammer and Anvil, and he outflanked everything. My master plan to block most of one board edge with seekers and hawks was perfect, lining up a big shooting gallery... until he noticed I'd placed a hawk just too far from a seeker, and tank shocked into the gap, allowing white scars to pour in! Not good!
However I was able to shoot down a load of troop bikes and his alpha strike wasn't great, so we pulled an exact 10-10 draw! My revenge for his tank shock was to surround his command squad with hawks and seekers, before performing a tank shock of my own onto his command squad! By covering all but a few models and leaving no room for those under the tank to be placed in coherency with the others in the squad and moving out of the way, I was able to kill 4 of the invisible storm shield grav gun guys! "Crunch"!
Wales pulled out a very close win, our Nids and Daemon player turning 13 points into 19 turn 5 to just get us over the line for a round win!

Round 5 vs Belgium
This round was for the grand slam. I played necrons, with 30 praetorians and 18 wraiths. I forgot to turbo boost my farseer backwards after moving up to summon turn 1, which cost me him. However my serpents were very dependable, nailing a unit and a half of wraiths and 2 squads of praetorians in the first 3 turns, while my Wraithknight slowed down the other units. The hawks harassed the immortals brilliantly, claiming maelstrom out from under them several times.
In the end it came down to some awkward objective placement, but I won 15-5.
Wales won again, completing the grand slam!
After a quick trophy pic it was a mad dash back to the ferry, and home again to the start of rumours of a new Eldar codex...

So those were my experiences of the UK 40K GT and the 6NC!
Thanks for reading, look out for the write up of the ETC and ESC soon, where my Eldar Rainbow Scatterbikes made their tournament debut!


An update, and upcoming tournament reports!

Hi all!

A quick post with some updates:

It's been a long time since my last posts- with real life getting in the way, alongside preparation for the 6 Nations 40k championships and the ETC, I found I was playing less fantasy (not to mention Age of Sigmar), less warmahordes, and my 40k was either practicing for the ETC or on Vassal, with only occasional pick-up games!

So what's changed?

In 40k, Necrons got a new book first- with their Decurion, they ushered in a new style of army construction, and with their 4+ reanimation protocols they took attrition play to the next level!

Eldar also got a new book- Wave Serpents were nerfed as requested by some people everyone... but we got D weapons and scatter lasers everywhere! They also got a Craftworld Warhost, with some good benefits, and Wraithknights became Gargantuan Creatures with Stomp! I quite like the CAD over the warhost, unless it's got 50 Warp Spiders (see the ETC report for more details)!

There were also new factions (Harlequins, Skitarii, Cult Mechanicum), a new Knights book with Obsec Knights, a new marine book with free Obsec Transports and a new Dark Angels book with better Overwatch and awesome Ravenwing!

However I still got to use the old Eldar codex at the UK 40K GT final, where I came 5th, and the 40K 6 Nations championships, where I played for the Wales team and we won with a grand slam!

Brief roundups of the GT final and the 6NC can be found here as my list was essentially the same for both.

Then the new Eldar book arrived, and I was fortunate to get 20 jetbikes on eBay for a good price as soon as the scatter laser rumours broke. Some magnets and scatter lasers from the bits box later, I had my new army ready to practice, practice, practice with, ready for the premiere 40K events in the world: the European Team Championships and European Singles Championships! This year they were held in Prague, Czech Republic.

I was unbelievably excited to be able to go, especially with the Welsh team who are renowned as a great bunch of guys and also great 40k players. I kept the mantle of "Eldar player" with scatter bikes instead of Wave Serpents (surprise surprise), alongside a teammate who brought a kick-ass Eldar Seer Council with Dark Eldar primary.

The schedule at the ETC is quite demanding, as with the singles as well you play 11 games in 5 days, starting at around 0900 and finishing at around 2100... Not to mention the European heatwave that was underway, resulting in temperatures of 37-39 degrees outside the venue and over 40 degrees inside!
Still, I was keen to get into the action as soon as I'd bought some shorts (having forgotten to pack any...)! Brief reports of all the games can be found here. In the singles I finished 18th, and at the ETC Wales came 4th!

Hopefully going forward there will be more updates on my wargaming activity, although it will mainly focus on 40k- nothing like 4 of the most competitive events it's possible to play in within 5 months to get you back in the 40k zone!

My next tournament will be the Allies of Convenience GT, run by the Allies of Convenience podcast, a competitive 40k podcast set up mainly by players from the Welsh team. If you're there, say hello! I'll probably have my rainbow Eldar, although I'm not sure of the exact list- once the missions, comp and FAQs are released (hopefully similar to the ETC), I'll start putting something together. It's on the 7th of November in Warrington at the moment, and it should be great!

Look out for posts on the UK GT & 6NC, then the ESC and ETC soon!



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year, and the Future of Back In The Box!

Hello everyone! Just a quick update to wish everyone a (belated) happy Xmas and New Year!

I'm looking forward to lots of new hobby activity in 2015. I'll be:

  • In Warhammer Fantasy, I'll be developing my Wood Elves into a full sized force and having some End Times Battles
  • In Warmahordes, I'll be continuing to grow my Legion of Everblight force and continuing to improve my play (and maybe even win a game on scenario...)
  • In 40k, I'll be attending the UK GT final in Mid March, then shortly afterwards I'll be heading off to Belgium to play in the 40k Six Nations Championship (6NC) with Team Wales, and in August I'll be off to the European Team Championship in Prague with them!
    I'm very excited to be off to probably the biggest 40k event in the world, and hopefully will be playing in the Singles Championship as well as the Team event. I'll cover some of the build up and, but unfortunately I won't be able to go into too much detail about lists and so on before the submission deadline.
Sadly this last point does mean that I won't be able to post many 40k battle reports or go into too much depth about my list, as they're kept quite secret until about a month before the event.
In addition, although the 40k GT and 6NC/ETC are different points values (1650 vs 1850 respectively), the missions are quite similar and due to the timing I'll be trying to use similar lists to get more practice.

So what does this mean for my blog?
Well fortunately I'm hardcore nerdy enough to play 4 different wargames, and I'll be sure to keep the blog ticking over with other battle reports- I've started flying my Imperials again, with Defenders and Bounty Hunters, so there'll be some battle reports there and some coverage of Scum and Villainy too- I'm very excited for the third faction to be released! I'll also be trying to play more Warhammer Fantasy with my Wood Elves, and Warmachine/Hordes with my Legion of Everblight, and might try to go to a local tournament if I'm available.
I'll also be covering all the new 40k releases, which seem to be coming thick and fast, with Necrons and Harlequins both on the near horizon.

Finally, thanks very much for reading once again and here's to a new year of Back In The Box!


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Warmachine/Hordes Battle Report: 35pts Legion vs Khador

Hello! This week I played some more Warmahordes, against John and his Khador. He had a 35pt Butcher2 tier list, while I had 35pts of Thagrosh2 and friends.


1 War Dog
6 x 6 Doom Reavers

With lots of Weaponmaster Infantry to chop up my beasts, this was going to be a bit tricky, and this game could hinge around getting the alpha strike.


I had to drop 15pts, so I removed a Scythean and the Blightblades. With hindsight I'd have kept the Blightblades, as they're great for scenarios and could have helped jam some stuff too- they don't really care about Weaponmaster, as they're so fragile anyway!

I lined up, with the Deathstalkers ready to take one side and the Raeks on the other, with the heavies, forsaken and Thagrosh in the middle.
John Advance Deployed his 6 units in a line, spreading out to cover as much as possible.

Round 1
John went first, and ran or charged everything straight forwards, staying out of terrain where needed.
In my turn, I decided against the Feat, as I would only get to make Feat attacks. Instead I shuffled up but stayed out of Weaponmaster charge range. The Deathstalkers killed a few Doomreavers pretty easily. The heavies riled up to 4 and this was consumed by the Forsaken, ready to Blight Bomb some infantry.

Khador Turn 2After the objective on my left disappeared, John pushed pretty aggressively on that side and through the middle, and with hindsight I can see that he was sacrificing everything to win on scenario- I really need to improve that area of my game. He was able to engage both Deathstalkers and a couple of my heavies, but not my Forsaken...

Legion Turn 2
I had a pretty epic turn by "models killed"! The Forsaken both used Blight Bomb, and cleared a bunch of Doomreavers up close. Thagrosh nailed a couple more and put some clouds down, then the Raeks each killed a couple, feated and killed a couple more. The same happened with each Shredder, and the Scythean. The Angelius flew across and nailed one guy, but stayed a little too close.
The Deathstalkers carried on shooting, plinking away at the Doomreavers.
Despite everything that died, John scored a point this round on my right side, and I scored nothing.

Khador Turn 3
John's Spriggan charged and killed a Deathstalker, while the Butcher also shot one. This allowed him to use his feat to kill my Angelius! The remaining Doomreavers pushed up, further trying to jam me. John scored another point, going to 2-0.

Legion Turn 3
After my last big turn, a couple of beasts on my left frenzied. I realised that I was going to have to try the assassination this round, so Thagrosh popped up and tried to Scourge Butcher for the Knockdown followed by a Raek assassination. However it missed as it was just out of Range, and the Raek also missed the headbutt. At this point it became clear that John was going to win in his turn as he was about to go 3-0 up, so I tried to kill his Spriggan with the Scythean just for fun, but to no avail. I did get a point this turn though!

Khador Turn 4
John gets away from the Raek with Butcher, dominates the flag for 2 points and goes to 5-1 for the scenario win!

After Action Thoughts
Yet another loss on scenario! John's list really threw me off, as I wasn't sure how to play and perhaps was too defensive. I wish I'd kept the Blightblades instead of 1 Shredder and Raek, so that I could have jammed or even cleared a squad from a side objective. John played really well at the scenario though, sacrificing his forces well to keep me occupied while he ticked up for the win! I think I'm going to drop a Raek though, as they don't do enough damage, even with Manifest Destiny on the Feat turn, and probably a Shredder too, and then add the Blightblades.

Thanks to John for the game, and thanks to you for reading! In the coming weeks I'll be playing some more 40k, so should have some battle reports using a new Eldar list, and perhaps an accompanying list analysis article.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Warmachine/Hordes Battle Report: 50pts Legion vs Cygnar

Over the past couple of month I've been playing a bit more Warmahordes, and at 50pts too. A couple of weeks ago I had a pick up game against Chris and his Cygnar, inlcuding a Colossal that absolutely dwarfed everything else on the board!


Chris had the following Cygnar list (my apologies for the inaccurate nature, I don't know Cygnar very well):

Stormblade-type warjack
10 Stormblades
UA and Standard
Electric Gun UA
Journeyman warcaster
2 Solos that combo'd with the Stormwall for some lightning triangle
The Black 13th

I was using a modification of my Thagrosh2 list from last week:

3 Shredders
4 Raeks
2 Deathstalkers
2 Forsaken

Many beasts and support solos! There is good synergy with  well with

Chris won the roll-off but gave me first turn. He said afterwards this might have been a mistake, as it allowed me to set up my threat ranges first. I set up in a pretty standard line- the left hand Scythean model was a proxy for the Angelius. My Deathstalkers advance deploy on the left, while his Stormblades advance move closer to them.

Legion Turn 1I moved up ready to threaten in a "reverse-delta" formation that tried to keep out of threat range of his Stormwall. I don't have anything in range, despite my Advance Deploy Deathstalkers or his Advance Move Stormblades.

Cygnar Turn 1
Chris advances quite uniformly, and lays down some POW 12 AOEs that remain in play. His Stormblades push towards the Deathstalkers, hoping to make a play for my Objective and Flag.

 Legion Turn 2
I took a long time deciding what to do this turn, and looked very carefully at my threat ranges. In the end I sat back, deciding not to advance and feat just yet. This meant I'd have to weather some shooting next turn, but I wouldn't have to take free damage from the AOEs and I wouldn't be able to get very deep into his lines anyway due to the dense formation Chris was using. The Deathstalkers were able to start making a mark though, their Sniper ability bypassing his high armour and with Snap Fire I was able to kill 4.

Cygnar Turn 2 Onwards
In Chris's turn, he feated with Stryker2, and pushed up into my force with his stormblades and jack, while Stryker himself hid behind the colossal. Chris was able to kill 1 Raek, reduce another to 1 health, and knock an aspect off the Angelius. Fortunately most of my army was still alive, and Thagrosh had enough Fury available to heal all the damaged aspects.

In my third turn, I counter-assault with my own feat. A shredder goes crazy, and hits the 'jack for more than 20 boxes with Rabid, Manifest Destiny and the feat. My Scythean and Angelius team up and lay the smackdown on the colossal. The Scythean charges first and hits with both initials, triggering Bloodbath to kill the Witch Hunter and a Stormblade as well. It then bought 3 more attacks, which knocked out the whole of the left side and made a start on the right. The Angelius followed up by hitting 14 damage on the Armour Pierce, then buying another 2 attacks to finish it off. Stormwall down!

The rest of my forces also activate and start to clear out more of Chris' army, but by this point the store was closing so, with some independent advice we called it there as a victory for the Legion of Everblight!

After Action Thoughts
I wasn't sure how I'd do against the Colossal, but the Scythean tore through it pretty fast and the Angelius finished off what was left, almost without difficulty. I think I'm starting to see the reason people don't use Raeks so much, as although with Stealth, Def 15 (16 with Tenacity) and the awesome Leap, they unfortunately don't have a very high damage output, especially when they can't boost during the feat. I might swap a couple out for another heavy beast, perhaps a Neraph, as I'm interested to see what it can do.

Chris was really friendly throughout the game, and explained all of his models' abilities and interactions really clearly. We'll have to have a rematch one day and get to the end! Thanks again for reading, and sorry for the delay in posting this game compared to when it was played.


Warmachine/Hordes Battle Report: 50pts Legion vs Retribution of Scyrah

Last week I played more Warmahordes- Marc is one of the most experienced players at my club, so I was looking forward to the valuable experience I could get from our game. Although he has several faction, Marc was using Retribution of scyrah- Steampunk Elves!

Marc's list:

Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn - WJ: +6
-    Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
-    Hyperion - PC: 18
Arcantrik Force Generator - PC: 10
Arcanist - PC: 1
Dawnguard Invictors - Leader & 9 Grunts: 10
-    Invictor Officer & Standard - Officer & Standard 2
-    1 1 escort's: 1
Dawnguard Sentinels - Leader & 9 Grunts: 9
-    Sentinel Officer & Standard - PC: 2
-    1 1 escort's: 1

My list:
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Blightblades

I had a small mix-up with my case this week, so I had quite a few proxies- Thagrosh2 was being played by the giant bear, the Neraph was played by the blue troll, and the unit of 6 small based troll infantry played the Blightblades. Woops! Fortunately for me Marc didn't mind at all.

I won the roll off and took first turn. Marc pre-deploys the 2 huge bases, and then I line up on the 7" line. I put the Raeks to threaten one side, and the 2 Deathstalkers for the other, assuming he'd set up 1 infantry squad either side. The 3 heavies went more or less down the centre, ready to try and smack some damage onto the colossal.

Round 1
I advance to what I think is just outside of Marc's threat ranges, and it is. I'm pretty happy with most of my positioning. The objective on my right disappears.

Legion Turn 2
I push forward, but don't feat as I can't see how it will help me kill much stuff. I get my Angelius onto one objective and the Neraph on the other, with a Harrier contesting too. The Blightblades make their move, jamming or killing a load of Marc's shooty elves on my left. The Raeks push up to block some lanes to stop Marc contesting the objective, so that I should be able to score at least 1 point in his turn.

 Retribution Turn 2
Marc has a charge with Hyperion into Thagrosh2- oh dear. He starts by knocking him down with the Battle Engine, for 7 damage. I decide against the transfer and pop out a shredder to block the charge lane, forcing Marc to clear it with the rest of his shooting. He manages though, and the colossal barrels into Thagrosh2! Luckily I have a camp of 4 fury, and due to the way Marc's damage spikes occur I am able to take 1 attack and transfer all the others out without killing any of my own beasts! However a Raek is reduced to 1 health, and my Angel loses an aspect.
In other news, Marc's Weaponmaster infantry use their Vengeance move to charge the Neraph, who dies quicker than you can say "I should be another Scythean". The Harrier is contesting the flag as planned though, so I take a 1-0 lead.

 Legion Turn 3
Feat turn! I reave back to 7 fury with Thagrosh, spend 1 to stand up (however I am already in melee, so I forget to move up closer and extend my threat range for feat/Manifest Destiny), spend 2 healing the Raek back to 3 health, a 4th fury to heal the aspect on my Angelius, and my last 3 to cast Manifest Destiny- it's do or die time! My Scythean goes apeshit on the colossal and removes the shield, and its entire right side, and starts on its left side. The Angelius swoops in but unfortunately derps on the Armour Pierce attack, and the 2 Shredders also try and take a bite but don't do a huge amount, meaning I'll have to kill it on my feat turn. One Raek and the Blightblades make even more of a mess of the shooting unit, jamming them further and killing another few. The other Raek tries to get in range for a boosted Headbutt on the caster, but due to not moving up with Thagrosh2 I am just out of range at the very edge of his control area. I try a tail attack but it does no damage, and the second fails to hit. The Deathstalkers continue to ping away at the Weaponmasters. With the feat, I am able to kill Hyperion- unfortunately Thagrosh2 is just short of boxing it himself to create a cover cloud. I put a Raek and the Angelius into the Weaponmasters as well, trying to prevent the assassination. A Forsaken bombs them too, but can only kill 1 of them, needing 10s.

Retribtion Turn 3
Marc goes for the assassination as I have no transfers and only about 10 boxes left. He puts on "Blinding Light" with his caster, then goes for D3+1 shots from the Battle Engine... and scores 4. He doesn't even need the 4th, the first 3 doing enough to take down Thagrosh2 and win the game! I was able to get a second control point with the Forsaken, but it's nowhere near enough.

Defeat for the Legion of Everblight!

After Action Thoughts
Another Colossal, and a Battle Engine too! Although I didn't target the Battle Engine, I did manage to take out the Colossal without too much difficulty.
I made a few small mistakes, putting the Neraph in a poor position and losing it cheaply, and not killing the front ranks of the Weaponmasters to decrease their threat range, and one that proved pretty major- I should have pushed Thagrosh2 in closer to the colossal and extended his control area for the feat/Manifest Destiny for the assassination run, and I should have attacked with him later in the activation when the colossal was more damaged, so that I could box it with his magic weapon and create a cloud to prevent him from being seen next turn. Still, I think I learned from these mistakes, so they weren't in vain.
Marc was very generous, explaining rules whenever I needed and even allowing me to take back decisions I realised were mistakes several times. Marc gave me some great advice too, about both the playstyle and the list. After our chat I think that the Neraph wasn't up to much and with Manifest Destiny, the auto-hitting ability of the Tail attack is not that useful, and will probably trade it and the Harrier out for another Scythean to give me some more hitting power.

Thanks again for reading guys! I haven't played any 40k in a while, but I've got a game arranged soon and will be testing out a new Eldar army I've been thinking about!