Arctic Apocalypse: Battle Report

Finally!  Pictures of our recent apocalypse game.  I’d originally wanted to write a detailed battle report for the game, but despite a small amount of help, I still can’t seem to get Titans to show up properly in Vassal 40k.  Well, the show must go on.  It’s been almost a month since the game, so my recollection is spotty, but lets see what kind of write-up I can muster from memory alone. Ultimately, this will develop into a long-winded write-up, so if you’re just looking for the goods, I’d suggest you check out the pictures and, if they interest you, read the nearby text.  I don’t expect anyone to go through and read this whole thing, but it’s here if you want to! 🙂

Deployment:

Objective Placement:

As we discussed in our Pre-game pep talk, we bid 27 minutes.  As expected, Team Viktim / Team Turnover bid low.  I think they bid 10 minutes for setup, so they got to deploy first.  Also, for the purpose of the rest of this write-up, I’m may refer to the teams as “Imperials” and “Tyranids,” because it’s just easier to type. After dicing off for deployment, there were some formalities that we had to get out of the way, like placing objectives.  Each time was given three objectives to place in each of the three zones (Tyranid setup zone, Neutral zone, & Imperial setup zone).  Winning the bid for deployment, the Imperials got to place their objective first.  Each player placed a single objective for their team.  In contrast, team bug nominated a single player to act as the hive mind, and place the objectives.  In hindsight, objective placement played a big part in the overall outcome of the game.  The fact that there was a single cohesive strategy for us, helped us tremendously.  For objective placement, I had originally hoped that we could get both of our objectives close to each other in the corner of the board, both of their objectives on opposite sides of the board (near the table edges), and the neutral ones would ideally be placed in a path between their objectives and ours. The thought was that we could use a minimal amount of units to control/contest the objectives on our side (such as the endless swarm), and use the outflankers to hammer their objectives.  Meanwhile, anything that moved across the board to claim the distant points would have to move over the neutral objectives. The final result was as good as could be expected.  We had to roll with the punches, as the Imperials wound up placing objectives in the center of our deployment zone, the center of the board, and behind the massive hill on the western flank of their deployment.  We responded by placing one nearby in our deployment zone, on the Eastern flank for the Neutral objective, and in the far Eastern corner for their deployment zone.  Essentially, we were able to place 5 of the six objectives where we wanted them.

Imperial Deployment:

First, it’s important to note that we didn’t use standard Apoc deployment rules for the game.  We batted the idea around of using normal deployment or Apoc deployment and didn’t come to a concensus, so I chose normal deployment.  This was predicated on the possibility that the die could really screw one team over for deployment zones, and so it was “more fair” to just give standard deployment.  Though it worked out alright, I think we were all in agreement that for our next game, we’re willing to risk the Apoc deployment rules. Prior to their alotted 10 minutes for setup, the Imperial players placed some of their strategic objectives, namely their baracades and obstacles.  After the game, it was learned that this deployment actually should’ve happened during their 10 minute threshold, but since we forced them to setup for an army shot in another room, I’m sure it was a wash. Also, before they deployed we got to drop in our twenty groups of spore mines.  I loved these guys so much because they added flavor to the game.  Though we tried to herd them to certain areas with the mines, they were almost completely ineffective.  By the end of the first turn, they had all erupted with few casualties inflicted.  Cole was responsible for clearing most of the mines with his tanks, and even joked that he needed to model a spore mine stuck in his tracks.  I’m 100% in favor of such tom-foolery, as it adds so much character to an army.  So, Cole… if you’re serious, speak up and I’ll supply the mine. Much to our surprise, they attempted to deploy the entire army–and came really close to doing so.  Kris’ drop pods were obviously not deployed, but aside from that, I think they only left three or four units in strategic reserve.  Since they weren’t using outflankers, flank-marchers, or many deep striking units, I can see their logic in trying to get stuff on the board quickly, it just surprised us that they didn’t try to keep some stuff off board for protection purposes.  I think an earlier game I played with cole’s IGuard might have had something to do with this.  In that game, he determined that it was better to deploy more of his units at the start of the game, and just risk losing a few, than bringing small portions of his force on the board to get torn apart by a full army. The logic of their deployment really seemd to be based around a couple of points:

  • Indirect artillery (basilisks) with some supporting counter attack units (assault marines) would hold their objective behind the hill.
  • Cole’s Baneblade formation deployed in the only open area on their side that was big enough to accomodate such a massive formation, and would vaporize the center of the board.  These were further protected by a Disruptor Beacon (anti-deep strikers), Shield Generator (4++ save to anything nearby), and a Librarian which would also negatively impact units moving on from reserve.
  • The Warhound was left to hold the South-Western flank on his own.

The rest of their units didn’t seem to be planned so much as placed down in a hurry.  I’m sure there was more thought that went into their placement, but we’ll have to wait for their response to find out what it was.  I do know that they had originally planned to leave some infiltrators out of the standard deployment, so they could utilize more of the board, but in the frantic rush of their time-limit, they forgot.

Tyranid Deployment:

They are coming! I feel them scratching inside my mind, scratching, screaming, running, so many – so, so many voices. They are coming for us – flesh, body and soul!  – Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), page 66

True to our plan, we deployed the Endless Swarm, Kraken Swarm, Biovores, Zoanthropes, and little else.  While we didn’t fill our deployment area like the Imperials did, it was a pretty impressive sight.  The Kraken Swarm held the center of the board, while the Endless Swarm formed our front line.  Zoanthropes and other synapse dotted throughout our deployment to keep our bugs in check.  Nothing terribly fancy for us. Really, we just wanted to deploy the Endless swarm up front to take the brunt of the initial hit, since they would come back after each squad died.  The Kraken swarm was so huge, that it had no plausible place to deploy other than the center of the board (which proved to be unbearably painful for them later).  Aside from that, we left everything else in reserve.

Turn 1: Imperials

As our infestation of the planet had already begun, unseen alien lifeforms scurried in the depths of difficult terrain, dragging down those foolish enough to enter.  High in the atmosphere, alien biology rained down upon the advancing army in the form of spores, so thick that they blotted out the sun.  In English, we sprung our “They’re All Around Us!” Strategic Asset on the Imperials during their first movement phase. This forced them to roll dangerous terrain tests on any difficult terrain.  While it was a cute asset, we had chosen it to set the theme for the battle rather than to actually cause any damage. To add to the flavor of the board, we used my newly created Mycetic spores as Alien terrain, along with some Forgeworld Capillary towers (without the rules, just for style).  Together they did a reasonable job of making the world look suitably infested. To our surprise, the terrain actually helped us quite a bit.  Over the course of the game, at least six terminators died to these dangerous terrain tests (a 1/36 chance each!), and on the first turn alone, three vehicles were immobolized (more would come later).  It became clear that the brazen attitudes of the space wolves should’ve given way to more caution on such a darkly infested planet.  That gave way to what I think is my favorite picture of the event: some immobolized vehicles.  Something about the coloring and makeup of the photo lead me to believe it belongs in a white dwarf–or at least up on BoLS’s photo of the day… Ultimately what makes that picture work well for me is the fact that most of the models are painted (and quite well, I might add).  That plus the general hue really makes it feel like it captured a moment in a battle, and not just a few models scattered across a table. Enough applauding Simon’s photography skills, and back to the game.  Prior to the first turn, Team Bug launched a blind barrage to protect us from the devastation of the baneblades. We got some lucky dice rolls for where it landed and it effectively shut down about about 20% of their offensive shooting for the turn.  Despite that, the losses were severe for the bugs.  About two-thirds ofthe models we’d deployed had perished before they had gotten a chance to do anything!!  Granted, most of what was deployed was expendable (gaunts and such), but it was more than a little disheartening to see so much carnage.  Going back through their army list, I count 24x 5″ or greater blasts they could drop per turn on our army (not including their scheduled bombardment which accounted for 20+ kills on the first turn alone).  Virtually all of those were strength 8 or greater, which decimates even models within synapse now.  On top of that, though the board was fairly rich in terrain, cover wasn’t overly abundant.  As a result, our models died in droves. The above picture was actually taken on our turn, but does provide a good viewpoint of how effectively the blind barrage protected our units from the baneblades.

 Turn 1: Tyranids

This is about when we realized that we had forgotten to roll to seize initiative.  Of course, we had to roll to “see what would’ve happened” and we were pleased to learn that the game wouldn’t have unfolded any differently.   Despite the heavy losses in the previous turn, things weren’t all bad.  None of our Zoanthropes had died (much to the chagrin of our Imperial adversaries), though one had taken a wound from a heavy bolter.  All of our MC’s had lived through the carnage (save for a lone Hive Tyrant who stared down the barrel of a Titan’s Turbolaser. Since we’d taken the Careful Planning asset, we were able to move half of our force on the first turn.  Aside from the fact that this asset is only supposed to affect on player (which you can read about on the write-up of the Assets page), it went over halfway decently.  All of our gargantuan creatures, along with the Tervigons, some Stealers, and other misc. models entered the fray. Two out of the three Tervigons broke their vaginas on the first turn, and would no longer be adding to our forces.  That’s ok though, since our main reason for taking them was to inspire the Bio-Titans forward with Catalyst.  We also intended to use Feel no Pain on them as well, since we’d agreed before the battle to utilize the 6++ save for the titans’ warpfield instead of the 3++ save from the new codex. Ultimately, it turns out that we were using the powers wrong, as gargantuan creatures are immune to all psychic powers (both friendly and hostile).  Thanks to Faolain for pointig that out to us.  On the Western front, all was not quiet.  In order to remove their Warhound Titan from the equation.  I directed one of the hierdule’s full shots into the Titan, foolishly figuring it would be enough to incapacitate it for a round.  When the first 12 strength 10 shots proved to be inadequate, the second behemoth fired it’s volley into the mechanicus’ creation.  I managed to immobolize it, reduce the number of attacks, rip off one gun, and stop the other from shooting.  All in all a mammoth of a shooting phase. Well, that is until Cole enlightened us to the fact that “primary weapon” actually means something.  Who knew that meant the weapon itself got a 4++ save against anything that would prevent it from firing?  To my dismay, Kris managed to roll both of these saves after the fact, which meant I’d only stopped it from moving. 😦  Hell, I didn’t care where it moved to–I just didnt’ want it firing those guns at my lines anymore!  On top of that, I’d positioned both of the gargs right next to each other which would only maximum the damage they took from the Titan’s blasts. The Hierophants started opening up smaller tanks, immobolizing, destroy, and ripping weapons off with their massive bio-cannons.  Meanwhile, the genestealers started coming in from the sides of the board and relentlessly slaughtering nearby guardsman on the Eastern front.

Turn 2: Imperials

 Though my guards may sleep and ships may lie at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire. -Lufgt Huron, The Tyrant of Badab. (Codex CSM 4th ed page 7)

When the fog of the blind barrage lifted, it was immediately replaced by the smoke from the machines of the Imperial Guard.  The additional damage reaped by the baneblade contingent proved to us at once that we deployed the Blind Barrage in the right spot.  Had they been able to fire on the first turn as well, nothing would’ve survived. Adding some of their might to that of the Warhound titan spelled doom for the hierodules on that end of the board.  One of them died outright, while the other escaped with only a single wound left on it.  Everything else nearby was obliterated. Our Zoanthropes weren’t as lucky this turn as they had been before.  Shells rained harder than spores and our forces didn’t stand up to the might of the Imperium’s cannons.  We literally had relays of players whose only job during Team Turnover’s shooting phase was to cart away handfuls of dead models to another table, to be sorted for later use as an endless swarm.  Just how much that parallels to the actual way Tyranids attack a planet is a bit eerie: Tyranids send wave after wave of gaunts into battle, and their only real job is to determine how effective their opponents are.  Once they figure that out, they can collect the genetic material of their own dead and spawn more resilient waves to send in.  Essentially, this is what we were doing. Nowhere was the expendability of our forces better illustrated than with our ripper swarms.  We’d originally had such grand hopes for our army composition that we’d include every ripper swarm we owned as our first wave.  Unfortunately, reality set in as the rippers aren’t an ideal unit choice against massed artillery, so we had to settle for about 15 bases.  Of those bases, we DS’d most of them right into the heart of the enemy. The plan was to plop them down in front of targets to force them to waste fire on the swarms, thereby letting those units behind them live a little longer.  The fact that we brought the swarms onto the table immediately in front of units who had no other viable targets to shoot at sort of ruined those plans.  True, the swarms dropped in and looked fierce, but with so many nearby lasguns, none of them lived to see combat.  It did give the back line something to do other than try to keep our fictional flank marchers from coming in behind their tanks. Meanwhile, as the Genestealers rampaged through the flanks, Ryan started doing something unheard of: he started making armor saves with his guardsmen.  Several times a raving unit of ‘stealers would clash into a unit of helpless guardsmen, and Ryan would make 90% or more of his saves.  Rumor has it, that this was due to a new form of grey ceramite paint his warriors coated themselves in before the battle.  To the untrained eye, it looks as if these are bare plastic models, but clearly they’re protected by something.  Whether it’s the grey ceramite paint, the blessing of the emporer, or a ton of luck, these models proved invulnerable to the normally devastating units of genestealers.

There is only the Emperor and he is our Shield and Protector. –  Book of the Astronomican p78

Turn 2: Tyranids

The wounded Hierodule fired pot shots past the Titan and managed only to shake a Leman Russ with it’s scores of str10 shots.  It proved more successful in assault though, when it charged the Warhound and brought it down without a grand explosion (much to our disappointment… where’s the Kaboom?  There’s supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!!!) One of the Hierophants squashed a seemingly harmless space wolf librarion who deep struck down in the middle of the board but forgot to do anything else that turn.  This turned out to be a brilliant tactical maneuver on our part, as he was armed with a Vortex Grenade.  The only reason he hadn’t already thrown it was that he had deviated too far from the creature, and was hoping to stay alive just a little longer to throw it next turn.  Sadly, bugs are pretty ravenous, and indescrimnate eaters.  If you cover it in fur and dangle it in front of their faces, it’s going to die… Our living teleport homer (eg. Lictor) didnt make it through the last round, and that didn’t help our Trygon and friends, who seemed to all scatter away from their targets.  To add insult to injury, they seemed to all roll poorly for fleet.  The facilitator of their entrance, the Trygon Prime, was unable to do anything the turn he arrived, but due to the formation rules, he was able to convey the ability to charge to his ravener friends.  In the interim, he roared triumphantly and blasted his spiny shots into a nearby squad of Cole’s guardsmen. Luckily, the pinning test cause by the Subterranean Swarm formation caused several nearby units to become inneffective (including a squad of decked out Sternguard), and the raveners that did make their charge dispatched with their metal-armored prey rather succesfully.  The Ymgarls proved more succesful.  Since their new rules don’t require them to actually deep strike, rather just to appear (after which they can move, run, and assault), they can be devastating.  Nowhere is this more evident than on this turn.  The unit was able to come up between three squads of guardsman, a hellhound, and a unit of Space Marines.  So cleverly hidden were they that the marines had walked over them the turn before and not noticed a thing.  The ‘stealers managed to pull of a multiple assault against two squads of guard and the marines.  Though it wasn’t an immediate victory, the Ymgarl’s would wear down the opponents over time in what could only be considered a win for the greater Hive Mind. Meanwhile, on the Western flank, Ryan’s impervious guard maintained their ability to hold off genestealers.  Despite being outnumbered by a vastly superior foe, the servants of the Emporer held fast… as did their armor.

Turn 3: Imperials

To this point, the massive bio-titans had escaped relatively unscathed.  One of the lynchpins in the Imperial battle plan though was to focus fire on them.  Though they had taken a few pot shots prior, nothing resembling a concentration of fire had been unleashed.  This turn, Cole turned everything he had on our first Titan, and it proved to be barely enough to take the monster down..  Considering the titans have toughness 9, with regeneration and a 6++ save, that’s a lot of firepower! With only a few more turns, it became clear that Cole was going to need help if he was going to take the rest of these juggernauts down.  Unfortunately the rest of the newcomers to the Imperium’s forces were unable to get the messages from the Astropaths which said simply: Bring… More… Lascannons. Back on the Western front, Ryan knew it was only a matter of time before he started failing armor saves, and so he called down one of his strategic assets directly onto the battle: “On My Coordinates!!” Apocalyptic barrages are a really poweful asset already, but when given one for every Vox in your army, it could get abusive.  Sure, you lose a squad of guard in the process, but think about how much stuff you can take out!  Lucky for us, Ryan only used it once this game, and it was a fitting end to some of the Emporer’s finest.  In the end, they destroyed their own tank, and vaporized their own squad to a man, but in the process, they felled a broodlord, and almost an entire squad of genestealers.  While it probably wasn’t point-for-point a tactical advantage, it was clear that their lines had been over-run, and those units would be dying soon anyway and there’s really no way that they could’ve taken out so many ‘stealers with them otherwise. This act really serve to add to the theme of the battle.  Each player was quick to add quips of what they thought the guard would say just before they called the airstrike on themselves…

“When you decide to die, remember to give your enemy the same honour.” — Commissar Grenville

Turn 3: Tyranids

With the battle on the Western flank looking pretty hopeless, we surged forward to the East.  Since there was really only a single objective to the West, it was a better strategy for us to ignore it and concentrate on the five objectives on the other half of the board.  You know, the five far away from Cole’s superheavies! Bugs and men were dying with atrocious speed as the battle raged on, but all attention was really focused to the East.  By this point several of the objectives were already ours, if we could just clear out the little pockets of resistance nearby.  The most glorious battle in the entire game happened at one of these objectives in the neutral section of the board.  Logan Grimnar, along with a battle-weary bodyguard stood atop an objective, boldly threatening our swarm.  Despite turning the attention of five Zoanthropes, a Tervigon and a slough of termagants in the shooting phase, we couldn’t do enough wounds to bring the great wolf down.  No bother though, there’s always assault! What do you get when you cross 10 termagants, 8 hormagaunts, and a tervigon with Logan Grimnar?  Well, 48 attacks for starters.  Of those, the hormies got to re-roll misses, an the termies got to wound on 4+.  Logon made every save against the Tervigon.  He also saved countless times against the hormagaunts.  It all boiled down to the termagants: in the end Logon only had to make seven saves to stay on his feet (he had already stood toe-to-toe with a bio-titan and lived to tell about it–though he did bear a few scars from that battle). The roll?  6, 6, 5, 4, 4, 2, 1.  Logon Grimnar falls! Another one of those epic moments in the game, and a pretty nifty photo to go along with it.

Turn 4: Imperials

After felling the first Hierophant, Cole’s forces had a taste for ichor and surged forward (I’d say he had a taste for blood, but ichor really sounds more appropriate).  Disregard the Titan in the middle of this photo, as he actually died last turn; however, the photo of turn 4 looks almost identical, except the bug is absent, and you don’t have a stray blurry finger in the middle of the shot either).  I’m sure you can tell, that my passion for writing this battle report in every detail, along with my recollection of the game are both waning at this point.  I do recall though, that the Imperials were realizing at this point that they were out of striking distance of many of the objectives, and were doing their best to realign their targets to break us off the objectives we controlled.  The hushed whispers of “Kill the Tervigons” were starting to be heard (if not followed).  Though much of the fire was focused on our synapse creatures, we either had enough of them out there, or enough luck that synapse was largely held. In fact, by this point in the game, I don’t believe we had to take any synapse tests (ok, maybe one or two).  By and large, the bounty of Zoanthropes had been good to us, and our lines had not lived through enough ordnance to advance in any real fashion to the West.  We did have a concentrated push to the East though… and it didn’t seem like there was much the Imperium could do about it.

Turn 4: Tyranids

In an attempt to keep us off the Eastern-most objective a wall of tanks and troops created a pocket around that objective.  There was no way the Hive Mind would let some scrapheaps and a pile of organic matter to stop us from taking what was rightfully ours though.  The nearby Hiero let loose full-force into the guardian baneblade (which had been softened up turn after turn by a resident Broodlord).  The 16 str10 shots ripped through the armored compartments and lodged into it’s ammo stores.  The bio-acid ate through the warheads and triggered an apocalyptic explosion that devastated that corner of the board. FINALLY!  AN EARTH SHATTERING KABOOM! The damage report for this explosion:

  • KILLED:
    • 1 baneblade (duh)
    • 8 genestealers (acros two squads)
    • 1 Broodlord
    • 12 Guardsmen (across three squads)
    • 2 Sternguard
  • WOUNDED:
    • 1 Hellhound: Weapon Destroyed
    • 1 Chimera: Weapon Destroyed
    • 1 Hierophant: Wounded
  • TOTAL: 27 Models Wounded or Killed

Only a single guardsman escaped without a scar.  Well, at least not a physical scar… From that point on, he trembled every time he saw a cockroach.  To follow up this carnage, the ‘phant continued forward and charged the nearby hellhound, destroying that as well.

Turn 5:

By turn five, the game was a forgone conclusion.  The Imperials tried their best to contest what objectives they could, but they came up lacking.  Though they were actually tied with us in VP’s during their turn, it was clear that it wouldn’t hold up.  One of their objectives was held by a broken chimera, that was  staring at a hierophant, a ravener squad, a hive tyrant, and some gaunts.  Another was contested only by a drop pod surrounded by Zoanthropes and Tervigons.  While they were able to nuke all of the ‘gaunts off the two objectives in our deployment zone, three squads of “without number” units were set to come back on–and with no Imperial units in our deployment zone, they would capture those objectives.  Additionally, the value of the Kraken Swarm came to bear, as three models from the original formation had live through the game: one gargoyle and two termagants, who could now strategically redeploy to contest any objective in the game.  Since they were purchased as part of the Kraken Swarm, this redployment had the added advantage of allowing them to only have to stay 3″ way from enemy units, instead of 12″.  For last minute objective grabbing, the Kraken Swarm is king.

Conclusion:

What self respecting Apoc game writes up a battle report without the obligatory winners and losers photos?  Below you can see pictures of both, though I’ll leave it up to you to decide which team won.

Overall, a good time was had by all.  Though things certainly didn’t go perfectly as far as rules are concerned, we found an amicable way to settle any disputes quickly and friendly, so that they didn’t get in the way of anyone’s enjoyment.  I’m really thankful to have gotten in with such a good group of gamers, and I’m anxiously awaiting the next Apoc battle.

Until then, Hive Fleet Proteus sleeps… Demotivational “posters” courtesy of http://diy.despair.com/motivator.php.

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Arctic Apocalypse: Pre-Game Pep Talk

No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
— Field Marshall Helmuth Carl Bernard von Moltke

While that quote may be true, it’s a foolish general who doesn’t at least think up a plan and some contingencies prior to taking the field.  We at Team Bug took our strategery seriously, so we took time to draw out battle plans of what we wanted to accomplish, and how we proposed we would do so.  By and large, we stuck to it–though the massive waves of ordnance did blow some gaping wholes through it.  Combined with our Army Selection and Strategic Assets, this pre-game planning proved to be the trifecta which set our invasion plans into action:

Below was our final draft of our battle plan that we took to the game:

Pre-Deployment:

Before deployment the spore mines are unleashed.  We’ll get to drop 20 down on the enemy to screw up their setup.  The goals should be to deny them good setup areas, so the places I’d like to see them go:

  1. In and around areas of cover in their deployment zone
  2. Just outside areas of their deployment zone that have good LoS to areas of our deployment zone (this I because I assume they’ll put screening units of troops in front of their tanks to get cover saves, and if we place mines nearby to blow up on those troops, it could dissuade them from this).
  3. Away from where we expect to be charging (well, with anything except big bugs).  When in doubt, go fairly heavy in the center of the board to push them to the sides–so blaine can molest them later…

 Standard Deployment:

They REALLY want to have first turn, and with careful planning strategic asset, we can let them have it just them bad choices to shoot at… then  move on our big bugs on turn 2 and blast ‘em away.  Since we’re ok with going 2nd, we can just bid 30 minutes for setup—but in case they’re doing that as well, let’s go for something odd… like 27 minutes–The only issue there is if they move their titan and stuff on later–but I suspect if they really want turn one, they’ll deploy them and try to bring our big bugs down….  Whatever the case, if we don’t get turn 1, I think we should try to seize the initiative (well, assuming they’re not super sneaky).

As a change from the earlier strat, it’s really three phases:  deploy small bugs, move on big bugs, then throw in deep strikers last.

The units I think we should deploy are as follows (and any side thoughts):Endless Swarm (60 termies and hormies that come back when they die) – In front of everything… just a front line that charges bawlz out into the frey.  Go get ‘em Simon! …. When these die, they’ll just come back each subsequent turn.

  • Zoanthropes x12 – We’ll need synapse out first turn, so put the ones with an invulnerable save up front, right?  They’re best in places where they can’t be targeted.  Intermingled behind the gaunts, and advancing towards the tanks.  They really won’t have range on anything for a while, so hiding behind trees (right up against them) or rocks to minimize the amount of shooting at them is good.  They’ll be the bulk of our synapse so we have to keep them alive—and advance, so they’ll be in range to pop tanks later).
  • Tyrant x3 (see above—but also can pop tanks from far) – again, I don’t like putting them out to be shot at with strD available, but I don’t see another choice.  We need to be able to outflank with stealers, and it’s better than getting our big bugs killed, right?  Again, I’d put these in places behind other units so they at least get cover saves, but preferably in places where they can’t be shot at all.
  • Biovores x6 (spread out behind cover to minimize the chance they’ll get hit.  Keeping in mind they have to have LoS now… and can move and fire!—derek rains death down on anything that’s not in a tank).
  • Kraken Swarm x7 (tons of gargroyles, termies, & warriors) – comes on from our board edge… just provides the clean-up wave to hold objectives, counter assault anything that gets through, and—most importantly—steal objectives at the end of the game. – hopefully in cover, and if they get shot at, they can go to ground.

NOTE: If we fail to get the first turn, we can try to seize initiative and/or use blind barrage to protect us.  If, however, we succeed, we have the option of using that strategic asset to either protect one flank of our army for that turn, or to use it later when the ‘stealers come out to get them further onto the board.  We can also shift some of the zoanthropes to strategic reserves as well.  I figure if we don’t get first turn, we’re going to take a massive pounding, so best to have some more synapse that can come on later…

Strategic Reserves (turn1):

  • Hierophant x3 – Move on and kill targets of priority
  • Hierodule x2 – In area terrain (to get cover) or completely behind hills. — staggered between the phants–they can also use the big guys for cover.
  • Swarmlord (see above – Blaine’s toy—keep ‘em behind other bugs so he gets at least a cover save).
  • Tervigon x3 (out of site, in the back, away from termagants.  Their job is to give bonuses to the big bugs.  They can either give them FNP (4++ save) or run & shoot (which is amazing with big bugs). VERY IMPORTANT THEY DON’T GET KILLED, they’re the coolest thing on our force really.
  • Stealers x5 (outflanking goodness, and instant charges with the Ymgarls).
  • Rippers x4 (deep strike into their face and hopefully annoy anything not in a tank)
  • Lictor  (comes in right in the thick of the battle to ensure the Trygon and his friends don’t scatter) {Hindsight: It has to stay alive to be effective… doh!}

 Strategic Reserves (turn2):

  • Death Leaper  (comes in last so we can maximize his leadership penalty on the enemy—probably someplace safe, but could also just serve to extend the Trygon’s doom.
  • Trygon + 4 Ravener Squads (BOOM goes the dynamite)
  • The rest of the ‘stealers

 Shooting Target Priority:

This is the rough part now, with us taking Careful Planning.  We only have one turn to accomplish the majority of our shooty.  We absolutely need to stop the Titan from firing, take out Mystics, and open transports for Blaine near the sides of the board.  We also want to take out the null field generator if they have it (please no… please please no).

  1. Anything with strength D weaponry.  I believe this will only be the Titan.  Really though, it’s a matter of shooting with something to take down the AP12 shields (x2), and then just dumping the strD shot into it.  That maybe enough to decimate the thing first turn.
  2. Transports near the sides of the board (so Blaine can mop ‘em up with genestealers) – ideally we’d like to have a big blog of disabled transports together, so that makes a lot of infantry we can assault on t2 & 3.
  3. Mystics (if Cole’s using them).  They get free shots at anything that deep strikes near them, and can be nasty… as well as that deep strike prevention asset if they get it. (we just need to take care of these by turn 2—when the Trygon comes on). {Hindsight: they opted not to use Mystics}
  4. Null field generator (If they use it) – it automatically nullifies psychic abilities within 36″ on a 2+…. YOWZAS {Hindsight: they opted not to use this strategem}
  5. Big tanks—they’re relatively easy to destroy and are worth a lot of points. {Hindsight: Baneblade formations are indestructable}
  6. All other transports & tanks

Assault Target Priority:

  1. Anything that moves.
  2. Anything that stopped moving—until you’re absolutely sure it’s dead.

As stated above, we held fairly strict to this plan–though there were certainly a few surprises along the way.  In my next post, I’ll go into some detail of the happenings of the game itself… some notable events, and some good take-aways.

 

Arctic Apocalypse: Strategic Assets

Strategy in a game starts before you put models on the table.  Apocalypse games add another dimension to this, as you not only have to consider what army lists will consist of (both yours and your opponents–either of which could have virutally any unit in the game), but you also have to take into consideration the notion of Strategic Assets.

In an Apoc game, each side may pick one strategic asset per the player in the larger team, and may receive additional assets if they have less points (or if they purchase formations which grant them).  We typically just balance our teams before we start a game, so each player gets to choose one asset for free.  They have to coordinate with their team though, because each asset can only be taken once per side.  The exception to this rule is that if you have a formation/datasheet which grants you access to a specific strategic asset, you can duplicate that asset when purchasing one for your army.  Assets are broken down in the game by several different cateogories: tactical, battlefield, front line, and support, though there really doesn’t seem to be a point to doing this–as it has no bearing on the game.

The bulk of these assets can be found within the Apocalypse rulebook on pages 186-189, but you can also find a number of additional assets (most of which are racial specific) in the Apocalypse Reload book on pages 66-71.  Lastly, units throughout both of these books, as well as other Apocalypse datasheets found on GW’s site, as well as within White Dwarfs, and people’s homemade creations, can grant strategic assets, or similar rules (but pay special attention as to who is affected by these!).

When Team Bug got together to count up our models, we took that evening to also glue together broken pieces, assemble some misc. items we knew we’d need for the game, and also consider our options for Strategic Assets. 

First of all, we’d already gotten a few assets by using Apocalypse formations:

  • Strategic Redeployment (on steriods) – This was given to us with the Kraken Tendril formation.  Redeployment seems like a really powerful card, but since we play on such small boards, it typically isn’t worthwhile.  12″ away from an enemy really means you’re down to almost nothing.  The good news for us is that this variation of the asset allows you to move to anywhere as long as it’s not within 3″ of an enemy model.  This would allow us to sneak in and contest objectives on the last turn.
  • Tremor Zone (not a normal asset) – With the Subterranean Swarm, all of our Raveners could charge the turn they arrive–additionally, they’d cause a pinning test to anything nearby.  The goal here was to drop a lictor or Death Leaper in, and them have this squad hit exactly where we wanted–then charge things that were so foolish as not to be hiding in tanks.
  • Without Number (not a normal asset) – We had 120 gaunts that would keep coming back to life after dying.  Their goal was to provide an initial screen, and then come back and hold objectives in our deployment zone.  Since all of our big bugs would be charging forward to get to combat, we’d have nothing in the back to hold our objectives.  This was our answer to that.

So, we looked at options that complimented our force for our four free assets.  Assets we’d consider using fell into one of three categories: Anti-Tank, Deployment Tricks, or Tyranid Flavor.  Here’s a list of what we were thinking when we went through the options the first time:

Deployment Tricks:

  • Careful Planning – To allow us to come on faster.  Since we declared that you had to deploy half of your force, and we knew that the other team wanted to go first to blast our Hierophants to smithereens, we could use this ability to keep them off the board.  When they came on, they could move on and shoot up their tanks with impunity.
  • Flank March – An obvious choice for an assaulty army.  Almost too obvious though, as it’s easy to counter with by stretching lines of infantry across the back of the board, by using the “Ambush” special power, or with the Catachan ‘Death Trap’ Ambush Patrol (despite the fact that Hardened Veterans don’t exist anymore, Veteran squads seem an obvious stand-in)
  • Tunnels – Very cool  and flavorful, but you can’t assault out of them on the turn you arrive. 😦
  • Blind Barrage – We had this used against us in a previous game, and it proved to be amazing.  One turn of stopping key units from firing really can make a huge difference in a game.  Alternately, we could use it to protect outflanking genestealers should they arrive on a board-edge without something to charge…

Anti-Tank

  • Vortex Grenade – An easy way to dispatch tanks–if you can get close enough.  The ‘Nid codex does only have two IC’s capable of deploying such a grenade though: Alpha Warriors & the Parasite of Mortrex.  If only it could be given to Death Leaper…
  • Orbital Bombardment – Since we don’t get templates, this is one of the only ways to get some big-badda-boom in our ranks.
  • Scheduled Bombardment – As above, but you get three of them when and where you want them!  The bad news is you have to be pretty good at guessing where you do.
  • Precision Strike – Hitting on 2+ would make for a great Titan killer.  Since each Hierophant has 18 strength 10 shots, this asset could almost guarantee to fell a titan in a single turn.
  • Jammers – Everyone hates being told to shut up, and this is a rule-based reason to be able to do just that to your opponents.  It also gets them confused at the start.  We ultimately passed on this one because, while it would be good, it makes for a stressful deployment and I feel it sets the wrong tone for a friendly game.
  • Replacements – An obviously powerful choice–despite the fact that we errata’d it for this game to only work during the first 3 turns (as the unit is placed into strategic reserves, and not into normal reserves).  The clear reason to use it is to get a Gargantuan creature back, but we thought that was overpowered, so skipped the choice completely.
  • Hammer Blow – A potentially devastating Titan killer.

Tyranid Flavor

  • They’re All Around Us! – Flavorful ways of making the board more Tyranid themed
  • Spore Chimneys – Not very good, but since I had the models, another way to add flavor to the battle.

We decided on using the following four:

  1. Scheduled Bombardment – On a relatively small table, three Apoc templates would be easy to hit something with.  Our goal here was tied to spore mine deployment.  We dropped mines in away from the places where we intended to throw our barrages, figuring they would deploy their troops away from the spores.  We also didn’t put spores near the edges of the board, to encourage them to place models within charge distance for our outflankers.  Ultimately, the spore mines had very little effect on the game, as most died uneventfully on the first turn, but the bombardment proved to be quite handy.
  2. They’re All Around Us! – Sure, all of the Tyranid only powers in Apocalypse Reload are lacking in punch, but they are cool and add flavor to the game.  The team loved the idea behind this one, as it set a tone of a Tyranid infested world.  Though I didn’t think it would do all that much during the game, at least five terminators fell to this little asset, as well as 3-4 tanks were immobolized. 
  3. Blind Barrage – The hope was we’d be able to seize first turn and blast a whole through the middle of the Imperial force.  Then, we could use a blind barrage to either cut them off from their supporters, or to protect our outflanking genestealers/deep-striking Trygon formation when they came in.  Instead, we wound up with 2nd turn, and used it purely defensively.  It did prove helpful though.
  4. Hammerblow – D3 StrD hits on a super heavy?  How is that not awesome.  Our last card ultimately came down to a pick between this and Precision Strike, but we opted for this–as it would surely topple their Titan.  The day before the game though, I noticed that the asset worked only against a random super heavy OR GARGANTUAN CREATURE, and our odds of hitting the Titan were a lot worse than hitting one of our own models.  In a last minute pow-wow, we switched this to “Careful Planning.

Careful Planning turned out to cause some issues though.  For one thing, we didn’t notice that this was only allowed for a single player.  Since we purchased our army as a giant force that we’d all play, there was no easy way to apply this to just one person.  It was an honest mistake though, and our opponents let us use it across the board.  The second issue with the asset was that one player believed that reserves were to come on at the begining of the movement phase–and though Gargantuan creatures can move over friendly models, they can’t end up on top of them–and there just wasn’t any room to bring our big bugs on.  In hindsight, this doesn’t seem to be the case though.  On page #23 of the Apoc book, the rule states:

“The player must state which units he will commit at the start of the turn before movement takes place.” 

and then goes on to say:

 “Units that are committed to the battle must enter play anywhere along the table eges in their side’s deploment zone, moving onto the table in the Movement phase.”

So, it sounds like we only screwed the pooch once on that asset–which is good.  I really felt bad when we had to “cheat” twice because we  weren’t aware of the rules, but it was a friendly game, and we settled it with a dice-off: no hard feelings.

Team Viktim Considerations

The other thing we considered were the Strategic Assets that our opponent might use, and how we could possibly deal with them.  The most devastating assets we could see were:

  • Ambush – Countered by simply not taking Flank March
  • Vortex Grenade – Countered by surrounding our Gargs with expendable gaunts
  • Null Field Generator – No real counter to this.  This would’ve been devastating, had they chosen to use it–but luckily they didn’t.  Our plan here was only to shoot the crap out of it with our bio-titans if it showed up.
  • Disruptor Beacons – Which could hinder our outflankers, flank marches (should we have chosen to use it), and the Trygon’s formation.  Again, there’s no real counter to it, other than to ignore the side, hope for the best, or kill it.  In our game, we relied upon Ymgarl’s to take it out.
  • Any of the Chaos Demon Powers (From Reload) – Well, Except Major Possession.  Particularly we feared the Tzeentch and Slaanesh versions–but ultimately, we could do nothing about them if they fielded those.
  • Replacements – Particularly nasty when used on a really expensive Titan.  We did figure we had enough oompf to take down the Titan twice if necessary–especially when we were depending on Hammerblow.  We did talk to them before the game though, and they had the same feelings on the cheesiness of using this particular asset with a Titan, so we felt safe there.

What they actually took?  Disruptor BeaconsShield Generator (both of which Cole con’d people into using for Baneblade defense), Legion Relic, Vortex Grenade, On My Coordinates!, Scheduled Bombardment, Defense Lines, and Obstacles.  The astute mathmaticians out there will see that they had more than four–three of them came from taking the “Imperial Shield” Infantry Company (wow!), and an extra was purchased for 250 points before the game.  By and large, I don’t think their choices helped them all that much, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Scheduled Bombardment: This took out a bunch of bugs two out of the three turns it went off.  Then again, their entire army took out a bunch of bugs every turn.  More templates never hurt though, do they?
  • Disruptor Beacons: They actually had minimal impact in the game, but they would’ve worked nicely to stop flank marches from coming up the rear.  Ironically though, the very thing this asset was chosen to protect (those seemingly unkillable big guns of Cole’s baneblades) were really enough of a deterant on their own to keep us away from that corner of the board.

So, that was the thinking behind our Asset choices.  I would love it if Team Viktim/Turnover would give some input on what they were thinking when they chose their assets and what they thought went well or poorly in regards to them.

Image from http://www.realize-solutions.com.

Arctic Apocalypse: Army Selections

My return to the snowy wastes of Alaska has brought my thoughts away from the tropical Hawaiian beaches, and back to the harsh reality that was Arctic Apocalypse 2010.  Though I had  originally intended to do some of the write-up from the beach, my senses kicked in and I spent the last two weeks basking in the sun.  Now that I’m back, I figure I can take a couple of posts and write-up the Apoc battle as promised.

The primary focus of this blog entry is the thought process behind Team Bug’s army list: why we chose what we did.  In total we had 14,000 points per side.   So, instead of each fielding a 3500 point army, we got together and did an inventory of all of the models we owned, so we could use the cream of the crop.  Since we four players on our side, and one of them had no Tyranid models himself, this also turned out to be necessary.

Team Bug

 

In total we had 14,000 points per side, since we were effectively making one big army rather than four little armies, we just all said what we wanted to use, and I built a communal army that contained everything people requested.  The requests were:

  • Blaine:  Genestealers.  He actually wanted to play 3500 points of nothing but genestealers, but we couldn’t quite muster enough models (though we were close).  He also wanted to play with the Swarmlord.  He’s also notorious for playing raveners.
  • Simon: Lots of little gribblies.  He wanted to have a ton of little guys. 
  • Derek: Big Bugs & Biovores.  He likes to hide in the back and fire at things indirectly.  Little did he know that biovores are more of a move and shoot kind of unit now…
  • Me: Zoanthropes (synapse, invulnerable saves, and tank cracking goodness) along with spore mines…

In total, our final list wound up looking like:

  • Apoc Formations:
    • Kraken Swarm
      • (3x) 20 Termagants with Fleshborers & Toxin Sacs
      • (1x) 10 Gargoyles with Toxin Sacs
      • (2x) 3 Tyranid Warriors (2x deathspitters & 1x barbed strangler)
      • (1x) 3 Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords & Lashwhips
      • Subterranean Swarm
        • Trygon Prime with Regeneration & Adrenaline Sacs
        • (2x) 5 Raveners with Rending Claws
        • (1x) 6 Raveners with Rending Claws
        • (1x) 3 Raveners with Rending Claws
      • Endless Swarm
        • (3x) 20 Termagants with Fleshborers & Toxin Sacs
        • (3x) 20 Hormagaunts
  • HQ:
    • (3x) Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon, Bonesword & Lashwhip, Acid Blood, Paroxysm, & Leech Essence
    • (1x) Flying Hive Tyrant with Old Adversary, Venom Cannon, Bonesword & Lashwhip, Acid Blood, Paroxysm, & Leech Essence
    • (1x) Swarm Lord
  • Elites:
    • (1x) Death Leaper
    • (1x) 1 Lictor
    • (12x) 1 Zoanthrope
    • (1x) 10 Ymgarl Genestealers
    • (1x) 8 Ymgarl Genestealers
  • Troops:
    • (3x) Tervigons with Onslaught & Catalyst
    • (3x) 9 Genestealers + Broodlord
    • (7x) 10 Genestealers
    • (3x) 4 Ripper Swarms with Tunneling
    • (1x) 3 Ripper Swarms with Tunneling
  • Fast Attack:
    • (20x) 2 Spore Mines
  • Heavy Support:
    • (6x) Biovores
  • Gargantuan Support:
    • 3x Hierophants
    • 2x Barbed Hierodules

Our opponents were scheduled to be and IGuard player who had a bunch of tanks, a wolf-wing player with a Titan, a space marine player noted for drop pods, and an in-your-face Chaos player colloquially known as “Team HQ.”  As such, we expected to face a lot of armored vehicles and 2+ armored infantry.  Unfortunately, these are two areas where the ‘Nid codex was lacking.  Ultimately, we tailored much of our list to cracking open the tanks.  As such, our choices came down to really three options: Tank Killers, Synapse, Crappers, & Fun Stuff.

Tank Killers:

We figured there’d be about half of the opposing force being vehicles, but after changes in Team Turnover’s line-up, it ended up being even higher than that.  Our main methods of cracking open tanks were the bio-titans.  Since they could get strength10 shots at 48” range, they were the best method of punching through heavily armored targets we could muster.  Of course, the fact that they could shred everything in hand-to-hand and they were practically unkillable were both nice added bonuses.

We also threw in 12x Zoanthropes into this category—though in hind-sight, I think we only mustered one or two successful shots with them the entire game.  Their short ranged anti-tank capability would help when we got close.  They’d also provide synapse to keep our lines in check. 

Synapse:

In addition to the 12x Zoanthropes, we fielded 4 hive tyrants (one of which was flying), a Trygon Prime, a Swarmlord, 3 Tervigons and 3 squads of warriors.  That’s only 24 points of  synapse on our entire board—something we knew we’d be weak on, but unfortunately, we didn’t have too many other options.  We had some more warrior models which we could’ve fielded and I believe an extra Trygon and one more Hive Tyrant.  Unfortunately, they all turned out to be cut from the list due to points and value.  We knew one of our key weaknesses would be synapse…

Crappers:

Per Simon’s request, we needed to field crappers.  Not only would they let us hold objectives (since only troops were able to do so), they’d also be able to provide fodder for the front lines, cover for the back lines, and screening troops for the big bugs.  Their big intent was to place them up front and screen the Hierophants to ensure Chaos demons and vortex grenades wouldn’t find their way into our ranks.

To add flavor to the board, we also picked a bunch of spore mines.  In total, we purchased 40 models, but opted to place them as 20 sets of 2.  This was because we were worried the other team might take the Surgical Raids strategic asset, and kill off all of our mines before they landed.   

The list was a decent representation of the models available in the codex, but we mostly stuck to models we actually owned.  The only models we had an abundance of that didn’t make a showing in our game were Carnifexes.  This is really due to a reaction to strength D weaponry.  Since MC’d die horribly to these weapons with the changes to synapse, we figured it was better to have a gargantuan creature than a couple of Carnies.  Gargs not only are immune to instant death, but they also have higher strength weapons with more shots, and an invulnerable save to boot (plus higher toughness).  Sure, they’re more points per model, but given all of their pros, and our innate fear of tanks, we opted to go big.  The only models we had to proxy were the Swarmlord, Death Leaper, & Tervigons—each of which we had suitable stand-ins for.  Since we had four players that would be sharing the units throughout the game, we tried to standardize everything as much as possible.  That way, anyone could use any model during the game. 

The shared style of play worked out well, because in each shooting phase, Team Turnover dropped dozens of pie plates on our army and slaughtered us in droves.  It would’ve been really confusing if we’d each insisted on playing our own models, rather than sharing like this.  Of course, sharing the army was not without its hiccups though—but I’ll get to that in my next post when I talk about Strategic Assets.

Team Viktim (aka Team Turnover):

 

Though I can’t provide much insight as to what was going on in their heads, I did have them each leave a copy of their army lists so I can post them.  Hopefully some of them can drop by and post some thoughts.  Their army lists were as follows:

Kris (Wolfwing)

  • HQ:
    • Pedro Kantor
    • Logan Grimnar
    • Rune Priest in Terminator Armor with Combi-plasma, wolf-tooth necklace, Living Lightning & Tempest’s Wrath
    • Runepriest with Jumppack, wolf-tooth necklace, Saga of the Beastslayer, JotWW & Living Lightning
  • Elites:
    • 14x Sternguard with 2x powerfists, 4x combi-plasma, 2x combi-melta, 2x heavy flamers, 2x plasma guns
  • Troops:
    • Wolfguard (spread across 3-4 squads?): 4x stormshield/thunderhammers, 2x wolf claws, 5x power fists, 5x chainfists, 2x combi-meltas, 2x power weapons, 2x heavy flamers, 1x cyclone
  • Transports:
    • Landraider (Godhammer) with Extra Armor & Multi-melta
    • 2x Rhinos
    • 2x Drop pods with Deathwind launchers
  • Super Heavy:
    • Warhound Titan with Turbolaser & Plasma Blastgun

Sam (Space Marines)

  • HQ:
    • Chapter Master with Powersword/Thunderhammer, Digital Weapons & Iron Halo
    • Chaplain with Digital weapons, Jump Pack & Plasma Pistol
    • Librarian with Psychic Hood, Jump Pack
  • Elites:
    • 5x Terminators with assault cannon
    • 10x Sternguard with 2x heavy flamer, 2x combi flamer, & power fist
    • Venerable Dreadnought with Assault cannon & Smoke Launchers
    • Dreadnought with Assault cannon, heavy flamer, & Smoke Launchers
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Powerfist/Combi-flamer, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Melta, Heavy Bolter, Powerfist/Combi-melta, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 10x Assault marines with Jump Packs, 2x Flamers, Powerfist
  • Heavy Support:
    • Land Raider (Godhammer) with Extra Armor
    • 10x Devastator Squad with 4x Missile Launchers

Ryan (Imperial Guard)

  • Apoc Formation:
    • Imperial Shield Infantry Company
    • Company Command squad with 1x Melta, 2x Plasma, Master of Ordnance
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Grenade Launcher , Sniper
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missile
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missile
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Autocannons
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Heavy Bolter
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Grenade Launcher, Junior Officer
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missle
      • 10x Infantry with Grenade
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Mortars
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Mortars
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Flammer, Junior Officer
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer
  • HQ:
    • Company Command Squad: Vox, 2x Plasma, Master of Ordnance, Officer of the Flee
  • Fast Attack (for the record, I don’t remember seeing the marines, so I suspect he replaced them last minute with more guard):
    • 1x Hellhound with Inferno Cannon & Heavy Bolter
    • 10x Space Marine Assault Squad with Flamer & Powerfist
    • 9x Space Marine Assault Squad with Powersword
  • Heavy Support:
    • 3x Leman Russ with Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber
    • 1x Leman Russ with Lascannon, Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber
    • 3x Basilisk, Heavy Bolter
  • Super Heavies:
    • 1x Commissar Baneblade

Cole (Imperial Guard)

  • Apoc Formations:
    • Steel Fury Baneblade Formation
      • 2x Baneblades
      • 212 Arethusa
  • HQ:
    • Company Command Squad with Straken, Standard, Medic, & Melta
  • Troops:
    • Platoon Command Squad with Autocannon & Flamer
      • 10x Infantry with Melta & Lascannon in Chimera
      • 10x Infantry with Melta & Lascannon in Chimera
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer & Autocannon in Chimera
    • 10x Veterans with Harker, 3x Snipers, & Autocannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Vendetta
    • 1x Vendetta with Heavy Bolters
    • 2x Scout Sentinels with Autocannons
    • 1x Banewolf
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Leman Russ with Lascannon
    • 1x Leman Russ Demolisher
    • 1x Manticore

Luckly, Cole started his own blog after the Apoc game, and was goodly enough to write-up his thoughts behind his unit choices—with both pre-and post game thoughts on each.  You can read more about those at his blog, here.

Well, that’s it for this edition (which is surely my longest post ever).  Like I said, next post on the subject will go into Team Bug’s thoughts on Strategic Assets.  Stay Tuned!

Arctic Apocalypse: Achieved

Well, today’s the day.  Rather than spend my day writing blog posts, I figured I’d focus my energy on the last minute tweaks, list corrections, deployment ideas, modeling, etc. that go into setting up an Apocalypse game.  There’s really a ton of stuff that goes into something like this, everything from just coordinating the people, to what we’ll eat (which is pizza because I don’t own a crock-pot big enough to feed 9 men Kahlua Pig from).

There must be something I forgot…  Oh yeah, the bling.

 

If you’re fortunate enough to play on Team Bug, you get this limited edition momento of the game.  So, whether we walk away victorious or not from the game, we’ll feel like winners just the same.  (Of course, to the casual passers-by, we’ll likely come across as losers, but as long as we don’t see them snickering behind our backs, our chitinous carapace can shrug off their jeers).

I got the shirts made up from http://www.customink.com using an image I pulled from google search.  No, I didn’t get permission (shame on me), but these aren’t for resale, and I’ll whole-heartedly plug his site.  The guy who drew the picture is Paul Jeacock, and you can find this picture and more of his artwork at his site: http://www.concept-artist.net/.  He has some great examples of work, and I’d love to commission him to do something for me, but he’s way out of my price range, I’m sure.  His site is most definitely worth taking a look into though.  The guy has mad skillz.

As for CustomInk, the quality of the shirt is nice, the printing is fair, and the prices were halfway reasonable (considering I only got 5 shirts printed).  They did mess up my order, and in told, I talked with them on the phone three times.  I will give them credit in that their customer service was amazing.  Even though their product was fair to good, I’d certainly use them again because of their customer service alone.  When the shirts showed up misprinted, they didn’t ask any questions, and promptly shipped replacements to me.  They didn’t ask me to return the “defective” shirts (Of course not–what would they do with a handful of Apoc themed shirts?).   The “defect” in the shirts is they used the wrong image (but it still looks decent)… so in effect, we all got two shirts for the price of one.

I gave them out to my friends (team-mates) as Xmas presents, and ordered a 5th for our missing wingman, Jerm. He moved to Seattle over a year ago, and we haven’t really forgiven him for that–but we do miss ’em just the same.  I haven’t sent him his shirt yet, and it’s supposed to be a surprise, but that spaz doesn’t read my blog anyway, so I can post whatever I want here, and he’ll never know.

By the way, Jerm, your mom is hawt.

As for Team Viktim, no shirts for them.  I toyed with the idea of getting some made up with bullseye’s on them, but decided it was too much money to throw away on shirts they’d likely only wear once (if at all).  Us Nid players are dedicated though.  Expect to see us sporting these bad boys all of the time.

Anywho, if you’ll excuse me.  I have a human race to eradicate…

Go Go Team Bug!

Amazing Tyranid drawing by Paul Jeacock.  More of his work can be found at his website:  http://www.concept-artist.net/.  He’s done work for GW through both Warhammer & the Black Library comic.  That boy’s got some talent!  Definitely check his site out!