Monday, 5 December 2011

Blog Wars - Game 1


On-Fire Painting blog
This weekend saw a motley crew of Bloggers descend on Maelstrom Games to contest the coveted Blog Wars trophy for the second time this year. Blog Wars is a tournament run by Alex of the From the Fang blog and is intended to be a fun day out for us bloggers to get together, chat, eat, drink and roll some dice. Graham (Grazer) and I were there representing Claws and Fists and I think it's safe to say we both had a great time and I'd like to say that I think Alex runs a great tournament in the just the right spirit for his target audience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two tournaments and look forward to the two he's got planned for next year.

My first game was against international 40k Podcast net-celebrity Dave Symcox of the 40kUK podcast and blog. Now I've been a fan of the 40kUK podcast since it started and even before that when Dave did a regular segment on the 11thCompany Podcast so, since we usually operate at opposite ends of the draw in regular tournaments, it was great to face off against him here.

Here's my list for your consideration:
HQ
Ghaz
Big Mek
Kustom Forcefield

ELITE
12 Lootas

TROOP
Meganobs
(4) Kombi-Rokitt, Kombi-Skorcha; Trukk
Ork Boys
(18) Shootas, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole
Ork Boys
(18) Shootas, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole
Ork Boys
(12) Slugga & Choppa, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole; Trukk
Gretchin
(11) inc Runtherd

FAST ATTACK
Deffkopta
Buzz-Saw, Twin-linked Rokkit Launcher
Stormboyz
(15) inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole

HEAVY SUPPORT
Battlewagon
Deffrolla, Armour Plates, Red Paintjob, Big Shoota
Battlewagon
Deffrolla, Armour Plates, Red Paintjob, Big Shoota

Dave was playing a Space Wolf Army which pretty much looked as follows:

HQ
Njal

ELITE
Wolf Scouts
(5) Meltagun
Wolf Guard
(5) 5x Combi-Melta & Power Fist

TROOP
4x Grey Hunters
(7) Meltagun, Wolf Standard; Rhino
Grey Hunters
(5) Meltagun, Wolf Standard

HEAVY SUPPORT
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers; Razorback w. Lascannon & TL Plasmagun
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers; Razorback w. Lascannon & TL Plasmagun
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers
(I can't remember the exact list but it was very much along these lines)

I won the roll off and decided to go second, I wanted Dave to deploy without knowing where my Battlewagons were going. He spread out across the back of his table edge with Long Fang packs on each flank and the third dead centre. The Grey Hunters and their Rhinos were evenly distributed as well and he held the 5-man Grey Hunter Squad and the scout in reserve with the scouts OBEL. Oh, and the Wolf Guard were split among the mechanised Grey Hunters and the Scouts.

I deployed heavy right hoping to deny two of his long fang packs side shots on my BWs and out-range the other(Ghaz was deployed in one of the wagons). The two trukks were tucked in behind the BWs and I deployed the Stormboyz and the Deffkopta on the extreme edge of my right flank. The Lootas were central, in cover with good LOS across the board and the gobbos were, of course, in reserve! I scouted the Kopta down the right table edge and after I failed to steal the initiative, Dave kicked off turn 1.

The Space Wolves fell back to the centre of their deployment zone away from the bulk of the Ork force. They were able to draw line of sight on both Trukks and the resulting salvo blew one up and immobilised the other. Not a bad start as my Meganobs would be walking! Never-the-less the Orks set off across the field with the 12-man Slugga Boy unit racing to keep up with the Stormboys down the right flank, the Deffkopta tucked in behind the Long Fangs on the right and next to their Razorback. The BWs Angled for the mass of Wolves in the centre and set off at full speed with the Meganobs, trudging out of their stricken Trukk, in hot pursuit. The Lootas unleashed a hail of fire vaporising the lead Rhino in the central formation and the Deffkopta was able to wreck the Razorback.

The Wolves reformed their lines but most of their turn was about the shooting, the Long Fangs on my right flank were unable to despatch the Deffkopta and didn't do much to the advancing Slugga Boys thanks to some good cover saves. In the middle, however, the Long Fangs managed to blow up the Big Mek's putting a unit of 18 Shoota Boys out on foot. The Lootas took some fire but didn't suffer significant losses and Ghaz's BW escaped without a scratch! In my turn the Sluggas continued their advance towards the Long Fangs on my right flank, ready to support the Deffkopta. The Stormboys managed to engage a rhino and Ghaz's unit poured out of their BW into the Grey Hunters who's been de-meched in turn 1, this turn though, the Lootas could only stun Njal's Rhino. In assault the Deffkopta managed to win combat against the Long Fangs taking only a single wound, Ghaz and the Shoota Boys lost combat against the Grey Hunter pack in the centre but thanks to Ghaz's Waaggh, they stayed in it. The Stormboyz also made it to their target and managed to wreck the rhino but they were starting to look pretty thin on the ground thanks to a few deaths to Murderous Hurricane terrain rolls.

Now obviously Ghaz was a concern for the Wolves, right in the heart of their lines, locked in combat and already with a taste for Wolf. Njal sprang into action and lined up a Jaws attempt aimed at the BW behind but conveniently tracing a line through Ghaz. The roll was a tense one but Ghaz passed comfortably with a three! More fire directed at the Lootas was ineffective, the Long Fangs were able to finish off the Deffkopta and the unit who were de-meched by the Stormboyz returned the favour and wiped them out. In the middle a second Grey Hunter Pack had piled into Combat with Ghaz and the remains of the Shoota Boys; despite the Shootas getting finished off, Ghaz held firm and was comfortably chomping his way through the Wolves. In the Orc turn the Sluggas finally made it into combat with the Long Fangs on my right and the remaining shoota boy mob was heading towards the melee in the centre. The Lootas took out the last Razorback and Ghaz continued to much his way through the Grey Hunters finally finishing off the first unit he engaged! It should also be noted that the Goblins arrived this turn, choosing to hunker down behind a wall towards the left edge of my deployment zone.

Turn 4 was the turning point, the Wolf scouts turned up in charge range of my Gretchin, finishing them off easily, Njal was able to Jaws Ghaz (the roll of a 5 sealing his fate). Somehow, the BW in the centre of the table was still working and the Meganobs had finally reached it! They chose to board hoping to be able to launch some sort of game-saving multi-charge in turn 5. The Shootas continued to close in on the centre but the depleted Wolf units were going to be able to keep them at a safe distance for at least a turn or two.

Turn 5 saw the Wolfs manoeuvring to deny as many kill points as possible but Njal was till a possibility but it was a bit of a long shot, I would need to pop his rhino with my Lootas and then cause enough wounds on his unit with my Meganobs to force a Klaw wound onto him. As it transpired the Lootas could not pop the Rhino and the Meganobs had to console themselves with popping the Rhino themselves in the hope that there would be a turn 6. Unfortunately that's all she wrote and the Wolves came away victorious.

I have to say that, particularly given my recent attitude towards 40k, it was a very enjoyable game. I felt I made a number of mistakes, in particular giving away first turn, and then in not properly covering my Trukks but other than that I think I played pretty well. I didn't experience any huge dice slumps and could only put the loss down to my own mistakes and my opponent's superior play. I do think that if Ghaz had survived that second Jaws attempt the game would have looked a lot different come turn 5 though. Never-the-less my confidence in the Orks was re-affermed and I was looking forwards to game 2.

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