Monday, January 31, 2011

Post Tournament Musings

Well the LA Battle Bunker Mini-GT has come and gone.  I went a very average 1-1-1 with my win coming against Tau, and my loss and tie against Space Wolves.  Thanks to the Bunker for putting on a pretty fun (free) event and even provided us with (free) pizza.

I really got spoiled at the Sprue Posse Grand Prix, where they used standard book missions.  The missions at the Bunker were kind of wacky, but didn't stray too far from the regular missions.

Mission One: Plant the Flag
At the beginning of the game determine how many buildings (objectives) should be placed by rolling a D3 and adding 1.  Each player takes turns placing buildings, and then roll off to determine who sets up first.  After deployment roll another D6 to determine who starts the game.  An objective can be claimed any time during the movement phase by planting the flag with a non-embarked Troop choice.  The objective is held until an enemy Troop choice controls the building, and plants their own flag.

Not too bad, as you don't have to leave your Troop choice in the building in order to claim it at the end of the game.  We each planted a flag for the building in our respective deployment zones, and quickly planted flags in the other building closest to us.  Tie for me (2-2).

Mission Two: Hold the Hill
Place a hill in the center of the table.  Players deploy using pitched battle and cannot be within 18" of the hill.   Whoever has more Troop choices on the hill at the end of the game wins.

Great for close combat and resilient armies - terrible for the Tau army I played against.  I was fortunate enough to shoot his Troops off the objective before the assault phase in turn 6, but in case I didn't I had Wyches waiting to assault. Major victory for me (3-0) troops on the hill. 

Mission Three: Modified KP
HQ - 3 KP
Elites - 2 KP
Troops - 3 KP
Fast Attack - 1 KP
Heavy Support - 2 KP
Transports - 1 KP

Great.  My army gives up enough kill points as it is, but now Troops and HQ count for triple.  I got matched up with a Space Wolf player whose biggest unit was a biker squad (Fast Attack).  Regular KP missions are tough enough for me, but with modified KP missions like this it's very hard to pull out any sort of victory.  A sour note for this game is that my opponent started his Lone Wolf on the table in a Dawn of War set-up.  Assuming he was an HQ and worth 3 KP I poured all my Venoms into him, downing him during turn 2.  After the game my opponent told me he doesn't count for KP purposes.  It wasn't until I got home I realize the Lone Wolf was an Elite, and shouldn't have been on the table to start.  Oh well, I should have asked more questions from the get go.  Loss for me (8-18 KP).

My first round opponent captured first overall, while my third round opponent got second. 

This puts my record with the new Dark Eldar in tournaments at 7-7-1.  In the first few tournaments with Dark Eldar I was still experimenting with units and what worked, and what didn't.  Now, I have a great familiarity with my army list, but my mistakes are coming when faced with unfamiliarity with how to handle my opponents list.  My army list is giving me all the tools I need to succeed in tournaments, but my mistakes are still handicapping me.  I'll make another post within the next few days highlighting these mistakes and what I've learned from them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1,500 Dark Eldar for Mini-GT

Well another weekend, another tournament.  This time it's at the LA Battle Bunker.  After considering bringing my Footdar out, I've opted to go with the Dark Eldar once again.  Aside from the first tournament I played with them I've yet to crack into the top spots - here's hoping that changes sooner than later! 

The scoring will be based on the old Games Workshop Grand Tournament scoring - meaning there's sportsmanship, army composition, painting, battle points and a pub quiz.  I haven't had the time to do any more details to my army so while the best overall prize will probably be out of my grasp, I hope to make a run for most battle points.  It won't be easy, and the competition will be fierce, but it should make for another fun Saturday.

On to my list:

Succubus (Agonizer) - 85
Haemonculi - 50

3 Trueborn (3 Blasters, Venom; +SC, NS) - 156
3 Trueborn (3 Blasters, Venom; +SC, NS) - 156

5 Warriors (1 Blaster, Venom; +SC) - 125
5 Warriors (1 Blaster, Venom; +SC) - 125
10 Wracks (2 Liquifier, Agonizer, Raider; NS) - 220
8 Wyches (Haywires, Agonizer, Raider; NS) - 196

Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
Ravager (NS, FF) - 125

Total: 1,488 - just enough to add a flickerfield somewhere.
17 KP
11 Dark Lances
8 Blaster
8 Cannons
  • I think the firepower for this list is excellent.  19 lance weapons, combined with 48 36" poisoned shots per turn is pretty nice.  My 2,000 point list only had 4 more lances and 12 more poisoned shots.
  • Where my firepower is strong, my close combat is weaker.  Not having Vect is huge, but he's just not feasible in anything under 1,850.  I'm relying on 2 assault units with FNP and a Succubus.  Needless to say I won't be jumping into combat until I've gotten off a few rounds of shooting.
  • I have four Troop choices, which is a nice luxury at this level.  If my opponent only brings two and it's an objective game, they will almost certainly be my first targets.  The Warrior squads hang back to guard my objectives, while the FNP combat troops try to capture my opponents.
  • My Wyches have Haywire grenades!  This is another nice luxury.  My opponent will be less likely to send a Dreadnaught in just to tarpit - if they do there will be consequences.
  • 17 KP is quite a few at this level, but if I play this army right I will make my opponent work to get those KP. 
  • An alternative for this army list is to drop a 5-man squad of Warriors in a Venom along with the Succubus in exchange for a 10-man Wrack squad.  I lose 12 poisoned shots, but gain another solid Troop (with 30 poisoned attacks on the charge).  3 CC squads with FNP is nothing to scoff at in a 1,500 point game.  Guess I'll have to do more play-testing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sprue Posse Results!

Well the Sprue Posse GT has come and gone.  The competition was fierce and I can honestly say I've never faced so many good opponents consecutively like that.  I ended the tournament 2-3-0, with wins coming against Tyranids and Dark Eldar and losses to Orks, Double-Wing Dark Angels and Space Wolves.  Playing against the best is always a good learning experience and I know I took some lessons home with me.  I'll post some additional details and opponent army lists after the TO's post them on 

You say crater, I say cover.
The silver lining of this tournament was that I picked up the Best Sportsman award and a $50 gift certificate, which went towards a Night Spinner for my Eldar army.  Thanks again to all of my opponents and to the TO's - I had a blast!

Up next is a 1500 point "Mini GT" held at the LA Battle Bunker.  It's a mix of painting, army composition, sportsmanship, battle points and even a quiz.  If nothing else, it should make for an entertaining Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sprue Posse GT!

The time has come!  I'm on my way to the Sprue Posse GT with my Dark Eldar.  Some of the toughest competition in California will be there.  No painting scores, no army composition, just strait wins and losses.  I've only just re-entered the competitive scene a few months ago, but I'm looking forward to testing my mettle against the best of the West.  Wish me luck!

They will occasionally do live blogging for their events over at so check it out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2,000 Points of Dark Eldar Ready to Go!

So in the past week I've been feverishly painting to get my mishmash of primed and bare plastic Dark Eldar to a uniform scheme.  As I mentioned in my previous post, this isn't intended to be the end product, but a simple scheme with 3-colors that most certainly looks better than stuff that is just primed. 

Enough of that and onto the list!  After play-testing this list for the past week or so I'm comfortable with the list and feel it has a good, balanced attack.  I'm 2-1 against Eldar, Tyranids and Blood Angels, with the loss coming against BA in a KP mission.

We Feel Very Little Pain...

Vect - 240 Rides with Wracks
Heamonculi (Venom Blade) - 55 Rides with Wyches

3 Trueborn (3 Blasters, Venom; +SC, NS) - 156
3 Trueborn (3 Blasters, Venom; +SC, NS) - 156
3 Trueborn (3 Blasters, Venom; +SC, NS) - 156

10 Wracks (2 Liquifiers, Acothyst w/ Agonizer; Raider NS) - 220
9 Wracks (Acothyst w/ Agonizer; Raider NS) - 190
9 Wyches (Hekatrix w/ Agonizer; Raider NS) - 190
5 Warriors (1 Blaster; Venom +SC) - 125
5 Warriors (1 Blaster; Venom +SC) - 125

1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125

Total: 1,988
21 KP
12 Dark Lances
11 Blasters
10 Splinter Cannons

I have 12 points to play with which will either go for a Liquifier for the Heamonculi, or Flickerfields for Vect's Raider. 

What I like about it:
  • Vect is in the list which ensures me a great chance of going first.  He's also a MEQ killer in close combat.  Supported by Wracks gives him FNP and makes him harder to shoot up if his transport gets shot down.
  • 3 close combat squads that start with FNP to claim enemy objectives. 
  • 2 extra scoring units that can sit back, lay out anti-infantry fire and have anti-tank capabilities.
  • 23 lance weapons should be enough anti-tank. 
  • I have enough Venoms to reliably deal with infantry (Long Fangs and Lootas) at range.
What I don't like about it:
  • Lack of Flickerfields on Raiders.  I've been using these since the new Codex came out, but have found great utility in Night Shields and using Terrain in order to grant myself cover saves.  Still, I miss my 5+ invulnerables.
  • Agonizers on Wracks - while I like Agonizers and Wracks, 20 points is a lot for a model that won't get the benefit for +1 ccw.  If I drop both Agonizers I free up enough points to give all my Raiders Flickerfields and two Troop Venoms Night Shields.  It's tempting but against FNP armies I could really use the Agonizer attacks.
  • 21 KP.  Of course KP are going to be an issue, but with Night Shields I can help minimize them.  I've been doing fairly well against my opponents in KP missions, but it's difficult for me to get a win.  I have to kill so much more than my opponent.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Speed Painting Dark Eldar

Greetings dudes and dudettes, it's been awhile!  I'm currently working on getting my Dark Eldar painted up to a basic tabletop standard.  I'm not going for anything spectacular, just something that's playable.  I'm rushing and trying to get this army ready for a two day tournament later this month.  There is no painting requirement, but I thought it would be nice to bring a painted army anyway.  I think I've devised a quick method that will give me tabletop ready miniatures that I can go back and do additional detailing at a later date.

Step One: Prime Chaos Black

Step Two: Basecoat Burgundy Red (Krylon Fusion)

Step Three: Two coats of Badab Black wash

Step Four: Paint the gun Chaos Black, Loincloth / Misc. areas Bleached Bone

Step Five: Wash loincloth with Delvan Mud, add details (eyes, etc...), Base and repeat!