Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Throne of Skulls 2012 - Day 2

Let's continue with the Throne of Skulls wrap up, her are my games from Day 2

Game 4 vs Blood Angels
Mission: Spearhead / Seize Ground

Librarian (Fear of the Darkness, Shield of Sanguinius)
Honour Guard (2x Melta Gun, Drop Pod)

Assault Squad (2x Melta Gun; Land Raider Crusader w. Multi Melta)
Tactical Squad (Melta Gun, Multi Melta, Drop Pod)
Tactical Squad (Melta Gun, Missile Launcher, Drop Pod)

Devastators (Plasma Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Drop Pod)
Devastators (2x Lascannon, Drop Pod)

Two empty pods dropped to block in the Battle Wagons with a third Pod deploying the Honour Guard to attempt to blow up a BW. Their Melta Guns, being fickle beasts, missed and consigned the Honour Guard to their fate.
The nearest group of Shoota Boyz moved up and ate the Honour Guard and swept on to take centre Objective, both Battle Wagons rammed and blew up the Drop Pods and advanced up left flank. The 2nd group of Shoota Boyz consolidated to the rt covering both Objectives.
The Tactical Squad Pods drop on the right flank and start to whittle down the Shoota Boy squad there. The Assault Squad pour out of the Land Raider and blow up the Mega Nobz Battle Wagon but are out of charge range. Ghaz was forced to use his Waaggh to avoid a Fear of the Dark roll.
The Mega Nobs counter charge Assault Squad and wipe them, on the far left the Slugga Boyz charge the Dev Squads and wipe them out moving on to take top left objective. The Shoota Boys on right multi-charge two of the Tactical Combat Squads and wipe them out.
The remaining Tactical Combat Squads wipe out the Lootas and continue to whittle down Shoota Boyz. On the left the lone Librarian Fear of the Darkness’s the Mega Nobz causing them to run.
Ghaz charges and blows up the Land Raider, the mid-table Shoota Boyz unit strings out to cover 2 objectives, while the remaining Shoota Boyz unit on the right charge nearest Tactical combat squad and are wiped.
Ghaz passes a last minute Fear of the Darkness test and kills the Librarian

Result: 3-2 win

Game 5 vs Eldar

Mission: Dawn of War / Capture & Control

Farseer (Bike, Runes of Warding, Runes of Witnessing, Spear, Doom, Guide Fortune)
5x Warlocks (Bikes, Spears, Destructor)

5x Dire Avengers (Wave Serpent w. Star Engines, Spirit Stones, Vectored Engines)
7x Guardian Jet Bikes

6x Vipers w. Scatter Lasers

2x Fire Prisms

The Eldar get second turn, this is going to be tricky.
The Eldar objective is deployed in the extreme far left corner, the Ork objective is placed in cover table centre left.
Shoota Boyz deploy in cover on the Ork Objective, Ghaz with the other Shoota Boyz deploy in cover on left as far forward as possible. The Eldar deploy nothing and hold the Jetbikes in reserve.
The Slugga Boyz with the Mek in a Battle Wagon advance down the extreme left flank directly to wards the Eldar Objective. The Mega Nobz in their Battle Wagon came on to support the Shoota Boys on the Ork objective. The Lootas advanced on, roughly in the centre of the board.
The Vipers come on to threaten Ghaz’s squad on my left, the Seer Council, Dire Avengers & Prisms came in on my right to threaten my objective.
With no powers cast I shot everything at the council killing 2 and taking a wound off the Farseer. The Shoota Boyz took out a single Viper. The Battle Wagon on left continued to advance.
Concentrated firepower on the Shoota Boyz holding the Ork objective followed by Council charge wiped them.
The Battle Wagon on the left made it to objective and cordoned it off. The Mega Nobz counter-charged the council wiping them and consolidated towards Ork objective. The Lootas and Shootas combined to take out the Vipers
The Prisms and Wave Serpents turbo boosted to my side of the board, the Guardian Jetbikes arrived and turbo boosted close to my objective.
The Lootas took out the Dire Avengers' Wave Serpent, while the Mega Nobz circled the Ork Objective. Ghaz and the Shoota Boyz held midfield to be in charge range of anything coming across the board towards the Eldar objective.
One Prisim turbo boosted towards Eldar objective and the other lined up in board centre ready to tank shock onto Ork objective, the Dire Avengers moved into cover, towards the Ork objective.
Ghaz and Shoota Boyz charged and wrecked the nearest Prism. The Lootas could only Shake the other which then Tank Shocked the Mega Nobz off the Ork objective (who fell back) and the bikes moved in to score.
Turn 6 saw the Shoota Boyz and Ghaz Waagghing across the board and making it into combat with the Jetbikes, the Lootas also threw in with the assault. A ram from the Battle Wagon failed to take out the Prism. Fortunately the Jet Bikes were wiped and the Shoota Boyz made it into range to contest the Ork objective.
 In Turn 7 the Eldar could not kill enough Orks to force them off the objective.

Result: 1-0 Win

All that adds up to 4 wins and 1 loss for the weekend which, I have to say (again), I'm rather pleased with. I'm not oblivious to the fact that this was not the most competitive tournament in the world and the chances of me doing anything similar next month at at the GT are about the same as me making the San Francisco 49ers starting offence next season. However while not being super competitive, none of my opponents were push-overs and the only game which did not come down to the very last turn was Game 3, against the Black Templars.

I would like to respond to a comment our very own Grazer made on one of my previous posts. I was debating whether or not to take the Orks to this event because I was not completely used to them, I was considering reverting back to my Blood Angels for this. Now I do not regret taking the Orks and I definitely enjoyed playing them but if I had taken Blood Angels and managed a similar result, I would have been in the running to win the tournament (Ork Average score 11.85 vs Blood Angel Average score 6). It's lucky I'm rubbish with my Blood Angels or I might be thinking on what could have been ;)

Seriously though now I've got some good experience under my belt I'm seriously considering taking the Orks to the UKGT in March, I've just got to settle on how to spend the extra 250pts on bulking out this list.

Throne of Skulls Winter 2012 - Day 1 Reports

After a successful Friday night playing poker I woke up full of optimism for the weekend ahead. Mick and I were aiming to get down to Warhammer World at about 8 o'clock to sample the breakfast in Bugmans. This meant I had to roll out of bed at highly unsocial 7:30 in order to have time for a shower and still make the daunting 10 minute drive to the venue. Tough life living in Nottingham!

The breakfast did not disappoint, neither did the organisation; registration went smoothly and the Black Library guys had the pre-release books all set out ready for perusal. The tables at Warhammer World are all the moulded plastic Realm of Battle boards beautifully painted and flocked. I would say that the terrain was a little sparse, more like the 20% than 25%. That doesn't sound like much of a difference but when you compare it to the tables at Maelstrom every table I played on felt wide open. Also a note on the Realm of Battle boards, I've always thought they were better for pictures than for actually playing on, having played 5 games on them this weekend I have to say that they weren't as bad as I was expecting them to be. I still prefer a flat board but these did make a nice change.

Anyway, on to the tournament proper and I should start with my list seeing as I haven't posted it previously:

Codex Orks – 1500pts

Big Mek
Kustom Force-Field, Boss Pole, Burna

Lootas (x10)

4 Mega Nobz (1x Kombi-Skorcha, 1x Kombi-Rokkit)
26 Shoota Boyz (23x Shootas, 2x Rokkits, Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole)
26 Shoota Boyz (23x Shootas, 2x Rokkits, Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole)
18 Slugga Boyz (17 Boyz, Nob w. Power Klaw, Boss Pole & 'Eavy Armour)

Battle Wagon (Armour Plates, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job)
Battle Wagon (Armour Plates, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job)

Game 1 vs Dark Eldar
Mission: Pitched Battle / Capture & Control

Lady Malys
2x Haemonculus (1x HexRfl, 1x Web Portal)

5x Trueborn (4x Blasters, Venom)
4x Bloodbrides (Venom)

5x Warriors (Venom)
5x Warriors (Venom)
5x Wyches (Haywire Grenades, Venom)
3x Wracks
10x Warriors (Blaster & Dark Lance)

Beastmaster (x2 w. Razorwing Flock x2)


All of the Venoms had Shadow Fields and double Splinter Cannons and all of the units had various upgrades which I really can't remember.

My foot units advanced in cover trying to secure the Ork Objective. The Battle Wagons advanced trying to pin the DE units into a corner. My deployment had put the Lootas out of range so they had to re position quickly. Fortunately my opponent had and appalling 1st turn of shooting, only managing to kill 4 Orks

His failed shooting had left him dangerously close to my lines and I got greedy and broke cover with one of my units and jumped the Slugga Boyz out of their BW in an attempt to charge 3x Venoms that moved fast, sadly my charge was even less effective than the previous round of DE shooting. With no cover to protect them the Orks fell in droves to the return fire and one 26 boy and the 18 Boy units were wiped out.

The Mega Nobz continued their advance towards the DE objective and charged out of their BW and into the 10-man DE squad on the DE objective. Wiping them out and taking the objective.
A turn or two of concentrated fire on Megan Nobz finally managed to kill one of them, they failed the subsequent morale test and were and escorted off the table. The remaining Boyz unit wre quickly whittled down and removed from the Ork objective with relative ease.

Result: 2-0 loss

Game 2 vs Tyranids

Mission: Dawn of War / Seize Ground (4 Obj)

Tyranid Prime (Lash Whip & Bone Sword)

3x Hive Guard
2x Zoanthropes (Spore)
2x Zoanthropes (Spore)

15x Termagants (Devourers, Spore)
10x Genestealers (Toxin Sacs)
10x Genestealers (Toxin Sacs, Broodlord)
Tervigon (Cluster Spines, Catalyst)


I deployed the 2 Shoota Boyz units across 2 of the objectives, in cover, one taking the centre of the board, the other in my back right corner.

1 BW with Ghaz and the Slugga Boyz went left for the Objective in the far left corner. The Mega Nobz in the other BW went right for the other in the far Right corner.

The Zoanthropes dropped in turn 2 & 3 taking out a BW each time but being cut down by Lootas/Shootas in each of my following turns.

The Slugga Boyz took far left Objective uncontested because my opponent was focussing on the centre and the objective on my far right. However, the Mega Nobz & Shoota Boyz in the centre managed to resist a charge from both units of stealers (thanks to hugging the terrain) cutting them down to just the Broodlord.

The Mega Nobz cannot move fast enough to reach the Objective on my far right to contest it, and were out of position to support the Boyz in the centre Leaving them vulnerable to the firepower of the Devil-Gants and the Broodlord. When the dust had settled though, 5 Shoota Boyz stood firm to hold out and contest centre objective.

Result: 2-1 win

Game 3 vs Black Templars

Mission: Spearhead / Annihilation

Emperors Champion (Vow: Pref Enemy)

5 Terminators (2x Chain Fists, 3x Power Fists, 1x Assault Cannon)

10x Crusaders (Flamer, Plasma Cannon, Power Sword) 5x Neophytes
10x Crusaders (Meltagun) 5x Neophytes

Land Speeder Typhoon (Typhoon Missile Launcher, Multi Melta)

Predator (Twin-Linked Lascannon, Lascannon Sponsons, Machine Spirit)
Land Raider Crusader (Multi Melta, Blessed Hull)


I reserved both Shoota Boyz units, and he reserved his Terminators electing to Deep Strike them.

The Slugga Boyz & Big Mek took their Battle Wagon left to take on Predator & Vindicator, Ghaz & the Mega Nobz went Right in their BW to take on the Land Raider.

The Slugga Boyz took out the Vindicator for no loss but the Lootas could only stun the Land Speeder. Worst of all Ghaz missed the charge on the Land Raider. The Crusader squad inside counter-charged and took Ghaz down to 1 wound also forcing him to use his Waaggh. On the up-side though he did take out the Emperor's Champion!

The Terminators dropped in to support of the left flank where the Slugga Boyz were eating through the armour (the Predator was taken out in short order), but the 1st unit of Shoota Boyz also arrived and tied them up, eventually wiping them.

The Mega Nobz counter charged to support Ghaz who managed to survive another round of combat on a single wound, and wiped the Crusader Squad. Following on Ghaz made short work of the Land Raider and provided a clear shot on the Speeder which the Lootas quickly dispatched.

The Crusader Squad on the left flank halted and wiped the rampaging Slugga Boys but a combined charge from the second Shoota Boyz Squad and the Mega Nobz took care of them clearing the Black Templars off the table at the bottom of the 5th turn.

Result: 8-3 win

Monday, 30 January 2012

Know No Fear - The first ever review???

Well as my first proper post for Claws and Fists I thought I would review Know No Fear, the latest Horus Heresy book.  I picked this up at the Throne of Skulls Tournament which I didn’t attend but Andy and Mick did.  As I live about 10 minutes walk away I thought I’d go down, cheerlead for a bit (not that they needed it as you can see from the previous posts) and pick up the book.  By 3pm I was about 280 pages in.  I finished it off after the Ice Hockey game that evening (Nottingham Panthers 6 - Coventry Blaze 1).  As possibly one of the first people in the world to finish I thought I would honour that fact by reviewing it.  Just a quick warning this review will contain spoilers so consider yourself fairly warned – this particularly goes out to you Mick….

Still reading? Ok….

First of all this book is an action epic.  It grabbed my attention and did not let go of it.  Not only did it grab my attention but it made me reflect on the Horus Heresy series as a whole now that we are 19 books in and Dan Abnett manages to weave the works of the other Heresy novels into this seamlessly (Samus is here!)

Bit of background first Know No Fear is set in the opening years of the Heresy in particular the pre-emptive attack by the Word Bearers on the largest of the Loyalist Legions the Ultramarines, at Calth.  The Istvaan V massacre has been a fairly recent event but most importantly, due to Horus’ cryptic orders, the XIII Legion and its Primarch Robute Guilliman are unaware of this.  The book itself however covers the best part of 25 years… I’ll leave you to ponder that

The first part of the book is set before the Ultramarines even open fire on the Word Bearers and is split between Space and Planetside through multiple viewpoints and this works well.  You see through Guillimans perspective, a Contemptor-Dreadnought, multiple Ultramarines including a Sergeant marked for censure (Loving the touches on this Mr Abnett), and these show insight into the workings of the XIII Legion and its allies.  It also shows why the Ultramarines are one of, possibly the greatest Legion in the Imperium.  


Now I will admit although I am a bit of a Space Marine fanboy I’ve never really liked the Ultramarines.  They’ve just always seemed a bit boring to me.  The Ultramarine books by Graham McNeil were great namely because for the first 4 books Uriel Ventris didn’t operate like the traditional view of an Ultramarine and then the mystery about the Newborn and large-scale warfare of the latest one distracted me from the hidebound way of the codex.  When I heard that Dan Abnett was writing Know No Fear, although I really like his work; Gaunts Ghosts, Ravenor, Eisenhorn, Legion, Horus Rising, Brothers of the Snake (think his 40k books are mostly covered there… Where’s my Bequin novels Dan!!!), I was a bit apprehensive because I was a bit disappointed with Prospero Burns.  To me Graham McNeil was the master of the boys in blue and Abnett seemed to go slightly off track with his depiction of the Space Wolves, although again on reflection is does make the Wolves better than Vikings in Space.  If any of those august individuals happen to read this let me say now an unreservedly I now owe you an apology for this apprehension.

I will be making a 2nd Founding Ultramarines Chapter at some point and using Calth as a reason why.  Most importantly because Abnett made me like Guilliman and that dear reader is impressive... 

When I read this novel it immediately occurred to me not only do I know what happens I know some specifics after it.  The Age of Darkness collection has a book which is set after Calth and this occurred to me before I even brought it.  Guilliman is Holmes-esque in his attention to detail and Dan has made the book so elegant that you can almost see the thoughts whirring behind him (Maybe I’ve been watching too much Sherlock but it does seem like that to me).  It also continues to build up Guilliman as the Emperors true successor and as the architect of the Imperium and not just as the man who wrote the Codex Astartes.  Abnett does this with great aplomb and continues to build on groundwork laid out by Aaron Debenski-Bowden in First Heretic, Aurellian and Savage Weapons and McNeil in Rules of Engagement (Imperium Secundus anyone) while opening up new threads which I hope other Heresy Authors will pick up and run with.  If you’re reading this ADB where have you guys sent Angron then!  I imagine Butchers Nails will tell us…

It was always a curiosity to me how the Word Bearers managed to ambush the Ultramarines as it has been established in the fluff for a long time that they did.  The Ultramarines were supposed to be led by arguably the greatest military mind in the Imperium yet they were ambushed and almost wiped out within 24 hours Guilliman and his Legion manage to turn it around and turn a massacre no-win scenario into a stalemate which allows the Imperium to eventually endure and recover from the wounds received in the Heresy. 

Highlights of particular note for me were as follows and I will try to leave them semi-cryptic:
  • Raptorus Rex (Fire Hawks starfort????)
  • A unexpected cameo appearance from someone in Legion (The wording of this is in itself is a subtle clue, serious kudos if you pick up on it or correct me if its wrong)
  • So he refuses my call for a ceasefire but I tell him to go and screw himself, he calls immediately.
  • Samus is here!
  • Vacuum? I don’t need a helmet, I’m a mother-funking Primarch, Bastard!
  • Oll Persson = Ollanius Pious - smart money?
  • Kor Phaeron - Darth Sidious
  • Why Ultramarine Veteran Sergeants have red helmets

As a conclusion this novel does now finally put a close on the prequels to the Heresy.  Its been a long journey but now we can get onto the road to the Siege of the Emperors Palace.   I think this has been coming for a while but it really does put Dan Abnett back on top of the pile of Black Library Authors.  A few years ago there was a joke going around that there was going to be a knife fight for the Siege of Terra between Abnett and McNeil in the Warhammer World carpark.  I think ADB can obviously be added into the fray now but I don’t want Dan to write it, I want him to write the aftermath and Guillimans ascendancy.

Next Heresy Book review I imagine will be our favourite most dysfunctional family.....

The Primarchs!

Smokey D

Other, Other Dave

In keeping with fine Claws and Fists Tradition when one Dave goes AWOL another Dave gets brought in for Darren to abuse.  I am that Dave or Smokey if you prefer.  This rather silly name is due to when a colleague at work put my surname into her predictive text it came out as Smokey.  Its stuck ever since and I really don’t mind it!
Anyway daft names aside (*cough* The Baron *cough*) I’ve been looking to join a blog for quite a while and I’ve known of the Claws and Fists boys for some time through the, now mostly defunct, 1st Company Veterans club at Warhammer World. 
I’m a longtime lurker on forums and blogs but I really like the hobby and fluffside of 40k and hopefully this will allow me to express my opinions and ideas (feel free to steal them!!).  The gaming side does come a close third so hopefully you’ll see a mixture of all 3 articles from me.
I will try to do some painting tutorials at some point because that’s for the most part why I’m here.  However the first article I will be posting is on a Horus Heresy novel I read over the weekend about 2 relatively minor legions The Ultramarines and The Word Bearers….
Know No Fear
Smokey D (Other, Other Dave)

Throne of skulls day 2 and musing

So with 3 wins under my belt I found myself on table 1. I will start this blog post to explain what my first days report was met with on the warhammer forums, as I said I felt bad about my opponent on game two because after shooting half his army at me he realised that he should have moved some other things but this being a tournament I explained that in a normal game I would probably accept the mistake in a tournament I couldn't let him seeing as he had shot so much. It was a close game although that probably wasn't the deciding factor, for this following of the rules my behaviour was described as both atrocious and everything that is wrong with 40k, but besides that I was looking forward to the second day.

So facing me first game of day 2 was Scott with Daemons, I think I am the last member of Claws and Fists (maybe not Darren) to play Scott at a tournament. His Daemons list consisted of Fateweaver, a greater daemon of Khorne 3 squads of fiends and 3 squads of plague bearers in a 5 objective spearhead game. It was a fun game but in the end Fateweaver won it for him, with re rolls on every save I could neither put him down of his objective holding plague bearers, a fun game none the less and with only 2 wolf players higher than me still hope of the best wolf player.

Game 5 and a 'interesting' grey knights list in front of me, A libby and terminators, Corteaz, 2 10 man henchman squads, 1 psyker squad in a rhino and a dreadknight.
Dawn of war deployment capture and control which never favours long fangs and I won roll off to set up first, my speeders went in reserve. My opponent (Dave) put his terminators with libby, his dreadknight and a 5 man crusader 5 man death cult squad in a chimera in reserve which I still think was strange.
Using Corteaz's re roll he stole the initiative which really made no difference, turn 1 nothing really happened, turn 2 saw his dread knight come in behind 2 squads of grey hunters and his terminators in front of 3 squads of long fangs, my reserves arrived with 1 speeder coming on. My grey hunters shot the dreadknight taking a wound off and then popped wolf standards and ran into combat losing three of them but finishing it off. The terminators dodged the melta and lascannon fire but 3 of them fell to some very accurate fragging which led them to fail a leadership test and run back 11 inches.
Had the game ended on turn 5 we would have seen a draw however turn six I had a speeder contesting the opposition objective and if it had gone to turn 7 we may well have seen a tabling.

Now according to Andy I finished sixth in the overall standings but it wasn't enough to win best space wolf player although I did get the most wins of any Space Wolf player (I think)

So conclusions for the tournament, well firstly I played well, I was far more aggressive than I normally am, I accepted casualties more easily which is sometimes my problem. Soundly, throne of skulls met my expectations, its not a competitive tournament, it was fun but I don't like the scoring system ( I knew about it in advance so I won't moan too much), Scott the Daemons player who I played fourth game won the tournament and yet there was one player with 5 wins and a Ork player with even more points because he had had 2 best game scores but because of the way the champion is decided a player with less points won it. Is this not GW just admitting that their game system isn't balanced? Maybe they should put more effort in writing balanced books and updating quicker.

I don't understand why GW are so scared of people actually wanting to win their tournaments but unfortunately they are. I see nothing wrong with wanting to do your best in anything you do, its so at odds with the main GW tournament in America Ard Boyz where you don't have any soft scores.

I did enjoy this weekend but I don't know if I would attend Throne of Skulls again.

Throne of Skulls - The final standings

Well it's been a good weekend for Mick and I, 5 games played, 4 games won and 1 game lost. Definitely the best tournament result either of us have posted, but where did these awesome results leave us in the overall standings?

Well, let's start from the start, you get 3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw and 0pts for a loss, you also get points based on how many of your opponents nominated you as their favourite opponent of the weekend. GW's method for ranking you in the tournament is (as best as I can tell) the following; the average score across all the players who used the same codex is compared with your tournament score and the difference is you "ranking score". For example I scored 12pts for my 4 wins and 1 point because someone thought I was a good opponent. The average score across the 7 Ork Players at the tournament was 11 so that gives me a ranking score of 2. Mick scored 13 points as well but the average score across the 11 Space Wolf players was 8 so his ranking score was 5.

Using the above methodology Mick placed 6th and I placed 44th out of a field of 129 players. It's GW's tournament and they can score it how they like (also I knew this would be the case going into the event so I'm not complaining), I'm just not sure what that system tells us in the final standings. Except, possibly that if you do well with an army that other players did not manage to do well with then you are likely to do well in the overall standings.

Where this gets iffy is when someone with a 4-1 record wins the tournament with Daemons while the only player with 5 wins finishes 8th, so you're not really in control of your final placing.

Let's just take a look at where we would have finished if the rankings were based on your results with the codex ranking score used as a tie-breaker. In this case Mick would have placed 11th and I would have got 19th. The 5-0 Dark Eldar player still only manages second place though because an Ork player with 4 wins managed 5 best game nominations and so ended up with 17 total points to beat him by a single point. So it comes back to the age old issue of soft scoring vs generalship but all I can say to that is that if you know how the scoring is done before you go to the event and buy the ticket anyway don't complain about the rubric after the fact.

What I take away from this tournament is that I played well and managed 4 wins, I had 5 great games against 5 really nice opponents and I would definitely buy a ticket for another Throne of Skulls.

Just in case you're interested, here's how the codexes break down in terms of number of players and average score:

No. of players Codex Avg Score
6 Black Templars 9.83
13 Blood Angels 6.62
5 Chaos Daemons 9.20
8 Chaos Space Marines 8.38
1 Dark Angels 7.00
12 Dark Eldar 11.17
7 Eldar 8.00
14 Grey Knights 7.93
11 Imperial Guard 7.00
6 Necrons 9.50
7 Orks 11.86
17 Space Marines 7.41
11 Space Wolves 8.18
3 Tau 7.33
7 Tyranids 11.57

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Throne of Skulls - Games 4 & 5

Due to a technical problem my game 4 update didn't post so here's the last 2 games:

Game 4 saw me pitted against Blood Angels. I did my best to force a draw but despite myself I pulled out a win. 

Mick fought to a close loss against Daemons meaning we are both 3-1 going into the last game.

Game 5 saw Eldar across the table from me, the mission was capture and control / dawn of war. Definitely advantage eldar, particularly as they had turn 2. However the ork's trigger fingers turned up to this one and thanks to it going to turn 7 I got a win to finish the day 4-1.

Mick saw the day out on a high too with a solid win against a Grey Knights list, so he also finished 4-1.

All in all a very good weekend for the Claws and Fists lads.I

Throne of Skulls - Day 2

Mick and I are eagerly awaiting bacon and sausage cobs at the start of Day 2 of the Throne of Skulls.

Mick's on table 1 and I'm experiencing the heady heights of table 21.

On with day 2, more to follow.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Throne of Skulls day 1

So as you can see from Andy's posts from today I ended throne of skulls on day one.

After last weekends dismal (and tiring) performance at Caledonian uprising I was really dreading this weekend but amazingly I have done really well.

First game saw me face off against Peter who unfortunately hadn't been back playing 40k long and it wasn't pretty, he had a couple of big squads of marines, a squad of terminators and a squad of scouts along with a vindicator and a terminator. I won first turn flamed his scouts, immobilised his vindicator and it went badly from there for him.

Second game again wasn't enjoyable, I played a young lad with Orks who made some key errors with general play including measuring that I had to pull him up on. In the end his worst mistake came from moving onto the shooting phase when he had only moved one unit, he asked if he could move it now and while it felt hash I had to say no because in the end it is a tournament. I however could have still drew the game but I ended up passing my leadership test.

Third game saw me face off against Dark Eldar, 3 venoms 3 raiders, 3 ravagers and plenty of wyches along with a flier. Luckily for the third running I won the roll off and went first. The weight of fire after the first turn was just too heavy for him, he believed that if he had reserved it all he may have done better but personally I think reserving what he did was the issue. Moment of the match, passing 17 3 up saves.

So all in all a great day, perfect in fact, 2 games away from a prize perhaps. Saying that however if I don't win at all tomorrow I will still finish with a 60% win percentage which will be my best tournament finish.

Throne of Skulls - Game 3

Game 3 was Spearhead/Annihilation and saw me face off against a 9 kill point Black Templars Army.

Fortunately I managed to Table him on turn 6 because otherwise I think we'd have drawn on killpoints.

Mick saw out round 3 with a third consecutive win meaning the Claws and Fists boys are a combined 5-1 after day 1 of the Winter Throne of Skulls.

More tomorrow.

Throne of Skulls - Game 2

Game 2 saw Mick continuing to right the wrongs of last weekend with a win over an Ork list.

I got my first win against a horde of Nids! Though I nearly had it stolen away from me but my Orks held firm passing a leadership test of 5 to hold the nids off the game tying objective.

Sore but not red-raw

Well, I did get tabled but not untill turn 6. And I really have myself to blame, I got my boyz out of the wagons too early and failed to knock out enough of his shooting. 2 squads down early doors. My Mega Nobs could have got me a draw but a failed leadership test caused them to run and with them went my last chance of salvaging the game.

Oh well, not feeling too bad about that one, it was a bad match-up and but for a bad dice roll and one bad decision I could have been in with a chance.

Roll on game 2!

-- Andy, posting on the go.

Game 1 - prepare to be bummed!

First opponent: Dark Eldar venom spam!

Oh I forgot to mention, I'm using mostly foot Orks with Ghazy and 2 Battle wagons.


-- Andy, posting on the go.

Throne of Skulls

Just a quick post to let you know that Mick and I are at the Winter Throne of Skulls this weekend. I've brought 1500pts of Orks and Mick is rocking a cut down version of his Caledonian Wolf list.

I may try tweeting updates through the day. Follow me on Fudal78 or keep an eye on #clawsandfists

Wish us luck!

-- Andy, posting on the go.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Second Day at Caledonian uprising - the falling continues

So day one wasn't good but I learnt something

Firstly I made myself feel better by beating a young kid at pool twice to remind myself that there are a couple of things that I can do at a competent level in the world
Secondly Kidney beans just don't go with Sausage, chips and baked beans
and thirdly I need to ask for no butter on my bacon in the morning

So with that in mind I got my bacon sandwich minus the butter and hoped for a couple of wins to put me mid table at the end.

Game 4 saw me face Grey Knights.
I'd only come across them once and that was a pure Paladin list, this however was as mixed list, 1 rhino, a storm raven, a couple of dreadnoughts, a dread knight and a vindicaire (along with a few other things)
I won deployment but then had it seized however because it was Dawn of war he failed to see me, I managed to light up the storm raven with a search light and then shoot everything at it bringing it down and knocking off all its weapons RESULT.

However from there it went badly. It was a similar story all day, just not enough to stop a proper deathstar unit. The terminators rolled through everything I shot at them, I lost the primary objective although I could have drew it by destroying a rhino that I failed to do. There was just too much in that army and the terminators were nigh unstoppable for my army.

Game 5 same the arch enemy across from me. A chaos warband in all its glory and Khorne must have been gazing down with his champion Kharn leading 29 Beserkers and 5 plague marines in raiders. 3 Raiders? I haven't been able to deal with one bit of high armour all weekend. Well maybe my luck will change and turn 1 it seemed like it might, first lascannon shot, hit penetrated and immobilised and that was it, nothing else for the rest of the game. In this game you had to have the most number of troops within 12 inches of the centre of the board. The game turned when my opponent got the beserkers out and charged into all three of my rhinos and I feel I lost it because of my own stupidity, my rhino was too close to the board edge which meant when it was wrecked only 4 grey hunters could get out. I managed to kill the other 2 but couldn't do anything about a raider contesting my secondary objective.

The primary was a draw and we were fairly equal on KP's link he won by 317 grrr which gave him 1 extra point and me 1 less. Another game lost because of my stupidity, had it ended turn 5 I would have had a second win.

My final game was my only gripe for the weekend. My opponent had a Vanilla Marines army consisting of a raider and drop pods. The terrain certainly favoured 1 side so I was desperate to win the roll off however I didn't. My opponent to start with said he would take the side I favoured and then said actually you can have deployment, by the time I had laid dice to show the deployment zones he had again changed his mind and wanted that side of the board and first turn. Now maybe it wouldn't have made a difference but it did annoy me a bit, if it had been the first game or a game not being played at the lower end of the hall I would have probably argued but I didn't. In all honesty I deployed really poorly bunching up and allowing him to bog me down with Vulkan ripping through my army, I again failed to dent his landraider and I didn't do much to his Terminators.

The only saving point was he very strangely moved a scoring unit off one of the secondary missions objectives which would have meant a draw. He was looking for the win instead of consolidating what he had. I was able to kill the scout squad and he fluffed his move through cover and run to give me a win on the secondary while getting severely bummed on the primary.

Overall I finished 100th out of 110, my worst ever tournament finish. A couple of minor details might have seen me move a little further up but I know that I didn't play well. I killed well, only 1 person has a better VP score than me within 30 odd places but it isn't just about killing your opponent. Look out tomorrow for my thoughts on what direction I am going to take for the UK GT which is coming in March.

Caledonian Uprising battle reports - a descent to the bottom

So this weekend me, Graham and John (from the Bloodclaw blog) attended the Caledonian uprising tournament at Maelstrom run by Tim and team Scotland.

These battle reports are only going to be brief so don't expect detail because no matter what intentions I go with to make good notes etc of my games I never follow through with it, I forget by turn three so it all goes to pot.

Some good news started the day on Saturday, Maelstrom now do Bacon sandwiches, the bad news, it came with butter on, now I don't care how you do it round the country in the East Midlands we don't put butter on a bacon sandwich, Maelstrom is in the East Midlands and so should be following convention. That being said it was a nice bit of bacon.

Game 1 saw me come up against Ian a Guard player with what you'd describe as an unusual list. Foot based infantry, 4 Russ' and 3 of the chemcannon toting Hellhounds which I always call chemdogs (and will be for the rest of the battle report.
The mission was annihilation primary objective, 5 objectives secondary, quite a tight game in all, he destroyed my vehicles fairly quickly, I destroyed the chemdogs, couldn't scratch the armour 14 (get ready for this being a trend) and in the end lost 17-3 being very close on VP's but just having too many KP's. It was a disappointing result because I didn't think I played badly enough to have a comprehensive loss but it was an enjoyable game because Ian was a cracking lad.

Game 2 saw me come up against a Viper heavy Dark Eldar list played by Jamie. I really expected to struggle against this list but it turned out to be my one win of the weekend. He won first turn and killed a long fang squad and immobilised my dreadnought and a las plas. I opened up with everything else and wiped out the majority of his shooting. After I had taken away his mobility it became a bit of a forgone conclusion. I felt bad for Jamie because he didn't make one flicker field save but he took the loss on the chin. I was incredibly stupid however and in the last turn I forgot to move a rhino with a squad in the 2 inches to secure my objective to tie on the secondary so I lost the secondary, won the primary and won on Vp's giving me a 15-5 win when it should have been a 17-3 but for my stupidity.

Game 3 found Guard against me once again wielded by the competent hands of Paul Burke, I lost the roll and like a leaf was blow away. I didn't feel that I played poorly for my standard I'm just not as good as Paul as he showed finishing 8th overall I believe. I did win a spot prize of a can of Chaos Black primer that Paul went and fetched for me because I forgot all about it. He made a horrible game as pleasant as possible and for that I have to thank him, a 19-1 loss was probably unfair to Paul because if he hadn't let me move my Rune Priest in the shooting phase because I forgot to then it could have been 20-0

So there ends day 1, 1 win and 2 losses. Doesn't look too bad, believe me, it only gets worse from here.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Things to remember for tomorrow #CaleUprising

Played my first game of 2012 last night and my only warm up game for Caledonian uprising and am I glad I did.

Other than me and Andy completely forgetting how Initiative tests work (no Andyits not like blood bowl, having a high number isn't a good thing in this case) it also confirmed to me that I need to remember about both the primary objective and the secondary.

I really love this tournament style, in case you don't know each mission has a primary objective and this can range from rule book missions to some other win scenarios such as table quarters and these are worth 8 points for the win 4 for the draw and 0 for the loss. Then the missions have secondary objectives which were worth 4 for the win and 2 for the draw and then a sliding scale for difference in VP's with 8 being the highest.

Unlike my last tournament Open War which had some problems (which have now been sorted and tickets are on sale on the first company vets website) this leads to far less draw, if its going to be a draw it has to an actual close fought game.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, I'm quite annoyed with myself that over the last 5 months I haven't played anywhere near enough 40K so back to the traditional vow from this week. A game a week for the rest of the year. Lets see how far we get.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Shifting into 6th

So far, I have stayed silent on the whole slew of internet rumours that purport to describe a whole new way of playing our favourite game - Warhammer 40,000. However today's twist is that the rumours are... rumoured to be true!

Obviously there is still no certainty as to whether 6th edition is coming, or what form it may take, but to my eternal embarrassment it did make me giddy with excitement (for a few moments at least). What excited me most was the fact that this new edition may be the last for the forseeable future, and will live on as a living rulebook supported by ad-hoc updates, FAQ's and the like. If this were to be the case, it would certainly help to keep the playing field level, and hopefully prevent codexes from becoming obselete when a new edition arrives (a la Eldar when 5th edition arrived).

To summarise my thoughts, I've listed below my thought on why the leaked 6th edition pdf may be either real or a hoax:

Why might the new pdf be real? 

 - The living rulebook idea would match those of Bloodbowl & Epic from Games Workshop, and those rulesets from Mantic for Warpath etc.

 - It would provide a level playing field and prevent codexes from obselesence when new editions arrive.

 - The pdf is apparently very lengthy and incredibly detailed.

 - It would allow GW to concentrate on developing new models and new units which could be designed to work in a unified game mechanic without upsetting the balance of other units and/or armies.

Why might the new pdf be a hoax?

 - A living rulebook would prevent the excitement and 'entry point' for new players that new editions usually generate.

 - Sales of rules books would obviously reduce

 - It would prevent future diametric shifts in gameplay - that is, there would be no opportunity for the game to be slewed massively in favour either of hordes, or massed tanks, for example.

 - The leaked rules introduce some MAJOR changes, seismic in their magnitude - the biggest being the assault phase coming before shooting. For the life of me I cannot understand why this would be logical, or even vaguely representative of how real battles are fought (is that even a consideration?!).


So, I really don't know what to think. My heart says that I would love a living rulebook that might actually level the playing field and prevent codex creep and/or new edition obselesence, but my head says that GW is a sales-driven company and would not jeopardise revenue by giving us a book that doesn't need to be re-bought.

What do you think?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

1,850pt Tyranid Drop-Spore List for Caledonian Uprising

Next weekend sees the hungry hordes of the Scottish ETC team descend upon our green and pleasant English lands (or more accurately, Mansfield). The Caledonian Uprising, as this year's tournament is called, promises six games at 1,850pts and with the novelty of special/unique characters and units being allowed. Apparently the reason for the diametric shift in allowing these models is that the European tournament scene is moving that way. I rather suspect that someone realised that their Draigowing Grey Knights army wouldn't be legal, so promptly changed the rules! Seriously though, the newer codexes do rely heavily on unique characters unlocking certain playstyles, something I'm totally  in support of. 

For the tournament I'll be taking my untried and untested Tyranids: 

HQ - Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60), Powers: Paroxysm & Leech Essence, Hive Commander (25), Heavy Venom Cannon (replaces Scything talons) (25) = Total 280
EL - The Doom of Malan’tai (90), APC - Mycetic Spore (40)  = Total 130
EL - 2 x Zoanthrope (2 x 60), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 160
EL - 2 x Zoanthrope (2 x 60), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 160
TRP - 10 x Termagant (10 x 5) = Total 50
TRP - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Adrenal Glands (10), Toxin Sacs (10), Scything Talons (5), Regeneration (30)  = Total 230
TRP - 11 x Termagant (11 x 5) = Total 55
TRP - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15) , Adrenal Glands (10), Toxin Sacs (10), Scything Talons (5), Regeneration (30) = Total 230
TRP - 9 x Genestealer (9 x 14) = Total 126
HVY - Carnifex (160), Twin-linked Devourers w/Brain-Leech Worms (15), Heavy Venom Cannon (25), Frag Spines (5), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 245
FA - 4 x Ravener (4 x 30), Deathspitters (4 x 10), Rending Claws (4 x 5) = Total 180
GRAND TOTAL 1,846pts

I have actually played one practise game against club-mate Dave Poolley and his fantastically-painted Space Wolves, and the results were less than overwhelming!  My list is a stretched version of the reasonably successful 1,750pt Drop-Spore list which I enjoyed using at December's Blog Wars II tournament. The new list  includes one less Carnifex, and instead adds 9 Genestealers and 4 shooty Raveners. It turns out that adding these elite-ish infantry units has completely broken the synergy of the original list! They are just too easy to kill, and having to remain stationary when they deepstrike is a recipe for disaster for the Raveners. 

The reason for the untested list is simple - I work away a lot, and the few weeks before the list deadline saw me travelling to Cardiff and Glasgow. So, I approach the tournament with some trepidation! I am of course looking forward to seeing a lot of top guys again, but I'm less than confident that my list is anywhere near optimal. Let's see how it goes!  


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