Sunday, 20 May 2012

The NAF Championship - Blood Bowl Tournament Report

This weekend I and four other guys from the club (including our very own “thebaron”) headed over to Warhammer World to take part in the annual NAF Blood Bowl Championship. This was my first Blood Bowl tournament and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Given my experiences playing in our club league over the last year I was well aware that I am far from a good Blood Bowl player but I was hoping the what I learned would allow me to at least hold my own!

I took a Norse team by the name of “It's Grim up Norse”,
2 Ulfwerners, 2 Runners, 1 Berserker, 6 Linemen, 4 RR

Game 1: vs Lizardmen | Loss 1-3 | Casualties 1-2
Crox, 6 Saurus, 4 Skinks, 3 RR
I took Block on an Ulfwerner.
Pretty rough opener but at least it didn't give me any false hope early in the day! The Lizards had me out muscled and put quite a few of my players in the dug out early doors. He also protected his Skinks well, so there were no easy ways to even up the numbers and reduce his ball-handling ability. Rather than my usual cage I tried a sweep behind a screen which got me my first TD of the day. Sadly I was already 2 down after a pretty bad first half and it didn't take him too long to put in a third to finish off the game.

Game 2: vs Goblins | Draw 1-1 | Casualties 6-4
Pogo, Chainsaw, Fungus the Loon, 2 Trolls, 9 Goblins, 3 RR, 2 Bribes
I took Tackle on the Beserker
The sneaky Goblins put up a tough fight but fortunately their secret weapons were not particularly deadly unfortunately the Trolls didn't fail either of the regen rolls I made them take. I conceded a TD in the first half when I over-committed and the pogoer raced out of range for an easy score. I managed to hold firm under pressure from the bribed in secret weapons and once they were gone the casualties started to pile up for me and I pulled a score back to salvage a draw.

Game 3: vs Chaos | Win 2-0 | Casualties 2-3
Some horribly broken roster involving lots of horrible gribblies
I took Dodge on a Runner
Who should I find sitting across the table from me at the end of day one but non-other than our very own commissioner Scott, I knew this was going to be a tough one. Clearly Nuffle had other ideas as he decided to bless my dice with the sort of rolls usually reserved for Scott when he's throwing long bombs with his Khemri! We'll not dwell on the specifics but suffice to say while my dice were hot Scott's were ice cold. TO be continued in RRI4

Game 4: vs Wood Elves | Loss 1-2 | Casualties 2-0
Treeman, 2 Wardancers, 2 Catchers, Thrower, 5 Linemen, 1 RR
I took Sure Hands on a Thrower
One of the members of the stag-do present at the tournament who had come all the way from from Madrid and were dressed as a Norse team on Day 1 (the stag was dressed as the Yhettee!). He made me kick to him in the first half and I thought 2-1 grind to myself, sadly I had it the wrong way round. In a very un-Elfy move he ground out almost the entire first half finally scoring on his turn 8. Unhelpfully I could not roll anything higher than a 7 so he was under no pressure at the start of the second half. I managed to progress steadily down the field and scored in turn 4 leaving him way too much time to score the winner. My best “prevent defense” was found wanting as he managed to execute a short pass on his turn 8 to give me no chance of tying the match.

Game 5 vs Wood Elves | Win 2-0 | Casualties 4-1
2 Wardancers, 3 Catchers, Thrower, 5 Linemen, 2 RR
I took Tackle on a Lineman
I played probably my best game of Blood Bowl ever here and my opponent's dice were terrible just to really rub salt into the wound. I kicked to him in the first half and got a blitz which allowed me to run under the kick and catch it with protection. After a couple of turns of back-and-forth action I had a solid cage formed and I patiently made my way down the field scoring on turn 8. The second half saw me gather in a short kick and again patiently make my way down the field. Taking my opportunities to make blocks where I could but not over-committing. The Wardancers had clearly angered Nuffle earlier in the tournament as he did not make a single successful leap all game.

Game 6 vs Orcs | Tie 1-1 | Casualties 1-2
4 Black Orcs, 4 Blitzers, 2 Linemen, Thrower, 3 RR
I took Block on an Ulfwerner
My opponent elected to kick to me and chuckled “2-1 grind”, he had not reckoned with his Thrower's recently greased palms. I rode my luck with some pretty fortunate 1 dice blocks and scored without much trouble in turn 4. On the return kick off I managed to get in behind his lines quickly, which left me a little exposed but fortunately for me his thrower failed on two separate attempts to pick up the ball. I took a risk and tied up the rest of his team sending my Thrower to pick up the ball and leaving him 1-1 with the Orc Thrower. Sadly my opponent's 1 dice blocks were as good as mine and I could not take advantage of the ball in hand. However I had managed to put the tying TD out of his range. So the second half kicked off and it became clear that he had no intention of going for a win. He pushed the ball quickly to my goal line and sat there surrounded by Black Orcs and Blitzers until turn 8 when he went in for the tie.

A pretty disappointing way to end the tournament, particularly as neither of us had anything to play for, none-the-less finishing with a 2/2/2 record was a pretty good showing for me and more than I had expected going into the Tournament. The NAF championship gets a big thumbs up from me, it was run pretty smoothly and the only gripes I had did not really affect my enjoyment of the two days so I'm not going to bother bringing them up here. If you enjoy your Blood Bowl, I suggest you sign up to the NAF and give it a go.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Army List for Blog Wars III

A couple of days' ago I asked the readers which army I should take to Blog Wars III, and you answered 'Tyranids'. So that's what I'll be using. My full list is here:

HQ - Hive Tyrant - Paroxysm & Psychic Scream
 - Hive Commander
 - Heavy Venom Cannon - replaces 1 x set of scything talons
 - Wings (60)

ELITE - The Doom of Malan’tai - Mycetic Spore

ELITE - 2 x Zoanthrope - Mycetic Spore

ELITE  - 2 x Hive Guard

TROOPS - 1 x Tervigon - Catalyst
 - Toxin Sacs
 - Scything Talons

TROOPS - 11 x Termagants
TROOPS - 13 x Genestealers
TROOPS - 14 x Genestealers
HEAVY SUPPORT - 1 x Trygon - Adrenal Glands

HEAVY SUPPORT - 1 x Carnifex - Twin-linked Devourers w/Brain-Leech Worms
 - Heavy Venom Cannon
 - Frag Spines (5) - assault grenades
 - Mycetic Spore

The main theme of the army is to deny my opponents one or two turns of shooting, then to arrive en masse via deepstrike and reserve using the Hive Commander's +1 modifier. Once on the table, the ballistic units must take out enemy transports as quickly as possible, so that the Trygon, Genestealers (and even Termagants) can  get to feed on the fleshy goodness within. If I cannot crack the tanks open on my turn of arrival, my army is likely to take a pasting!

Luck plays a big factor in doing well with Tyranids, though with the advent of Grey Knights (and Blood Angels, to a lesser extent), the psychic abilities of the Tyranids are somewhat thwarted, which is why I've dropped a unit of Zoanthropes and exchanged them for a couple of Hive Guard. I prefer the Zoanthropes' strength ten Lance (who wouldn't?!) but with the Grey Knights' ability to prevent their weapons from working, the Hive Guard are a reliable and still-effective replacement, especially against Rhinos and Razorbacks.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Blog Wars III - Tyranids or Eldar?

Blog Wars III is the latest event organised by Alex of the 'From the Fang' blog, and is a great friendly/semi-competitive tournament to be held on Saturday 2nd June 2012 at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield. Army lists are due for submission this Saturday night, and I am in two minds about which army to take. Hopefully the readers of the Claws & Fists blog will be able to guide me...


My first option is to take my now-typical Drop-Spore Tyranids army. I've used this army non-stop for the last year or so and whilst I'm now totally familiar with the force, it's still not that competitive, especially in the face of Force Weapon-toting Grey Knights and Jaws of the World Wolf/Long Fang spam Space Wolves.

So, the pros and cons for the Tyranids are:

+ Familiar list
+ Well-painted army
+ Effective in objective-holding missions

- Not tournament competitive
- Poor anti-tank options (after 2-3 rounds of opponents' shooting)
- Prone to getting stuffed by any reasonable ballistic army
- Poor in Kill Point missions

The latest incarnation of the Drop-Spore list is:

Hive Tyrant with Hive Commander & Wings
2 x Hive Guard
2 x Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spore
Doom of Malan'Tai in Mycetic Spore
11 x Termagants
13 x Genestealers
14 x Genestealers
Trygon with Adrenal Glands
Carnifex with Devourer w/Brain Leech Worms & Heavy Venom Cannon


My other option is to take Eldar. Long-time blog readers will know that I have struggled with Eldar in the past, and frankly I don't like it when I can't do something! It really rankles that I don't 'get' Eldar and this tournament would give me the chance to partially rectify the situation.

The pros and cons for taking Eldar are:

+ Highly mobile and ballistic army
+ Plenty of weapons able to crack open opponents' transports and tanks
+ More competitive than Tyranids (???)

- Unfamiliar army and rules
- Small amount of work needed to finish off the army

My list would be:

Farseer with Spirit Stones, Doom, Guide & Mind War
5 x Fire Dragons
5 x Fire Dragons
7 x Dire Avengers
7 x Dire Avengers
Fire Prism with Spirit Stones, Shuriken Cannon & Holo-Field
Fire Prism with Spirit Stones, Shuriken Cannon & Holo-Field
5 x Dark Reapers
Wave Serpent with Shuriken Cannon, Twin-Linked Scatter Lasers & Spirit Stones
Wave Serpent with Shuriken Cannon, Twin-Linked Scatter Lasers & Spirit Stones
Wave Serpent with Shuriken Cannon, Twin-Linked Missile Launchers & Spirit Stones
Wave Serpent with Shuriken Cannon, Twin-Linked Missile Launchers & Spirit Stones


So as you can see I'm in a real quandary. I want to take an army that I feel would be able to reach the mid-tables or even better (I'm tired of coming last!), but I also want to take an army I am comfortable with.

The other thing to consider is the mission scoring. I was really put off taking Tyranids as the Blog Wars games were to be scored both on Mission Points and Victory Points. Two out of three games favour 'horde' armies, which of course suits a Tervigon/Termagant army, however what really scuppers me is that my games are always 'costly' in terms of units lost in order to achieve a particular mission. With VPs being part of the scoring, I know that Tyranids are at a disadvantage.

So imagine my delight when Alex circulated a revised Tournament Pack this morning, stating that VPs will only be used in the case of ties at the end of the tournament! Now the games will only be scored based on Mission Points, which brings Tyranids back into contention. Of course, the Eldar army will be far more mobile, durable and will boast far better shooting, but the Tyranids have the biomass to compete in the multiple objective mission and table-quarter holding mission.

So, it's over to the readers. What should I do? Tyranids or Eldar? Please help me decide!  

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thinking about Throne of Skulls - Reader input wanted

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what army I want to take to the July Throne of Skulls. Since my first Tournament over two years ago I haven't deviated from taking Wolves to a tournament and they have all been pretty samey, Rune Priests, Grey Hunters, Long Fangs, Rhinos. Its getting a bit boring if I'm honest.

So I have been thinking about two other options, the first being Grey Knights
so pros and cons
  •  I have the majority of the models that I need for the list - some purchases would be required but it would be a lot cheaper than starting a whole new force
  • They are one of the if not THE most competitive forces in the game at the moment and while it is considered a more friendly tournament I still want to try my best to win all my games (also I have a reputation to keep up as the worse thing about 40K :-) )
  • They excel against the armies that I often struggle the most against which are nids and daemons
  • They are in essence marines so I have experience in playing at least similar armies
  • There are a lot of options for armies out of the codex and the vast majority of them are competitive
  • They are marines so are they really the different army that I crave. I have always been driven by my love of the fluff as I have said many times on here but with the rumours of 6th and Chaos Legions I certainly plan on doing a Word Bearers force so that would take me to three Power Armour lists 
  •  There will more than likely be more Grey Knight forces than any other which makes it more difficult to win a prize and certainly more difficult to win the whole thing.
  • The list I plan on taking with the models I have in order to keep the cost low would be considered cheesy as ****
Heres the list for your perusal

Xenos Inquisitor - Rad and Psykotroke Grenades

1 Ven Psyfleman
1 Vindicaire
6 Purifiers 4 Halberds, 2 Psycannons 1 Rhino

4 3 man acolyte squads in Psybacks
1 5 man Death Cult Assasin Squad in a Psyback

3 Psyflemans

Its certainly a nasty list
16 Twin linked strength 8 shots
15 Twin linked strength 6 shots
2 Psycannons and plenty of heavy hitting from the death cult and Purifier squads

So the other thought is Necrons
Now I have no experience with the army, I still haven't played them or used them so it makes it difficult. I do know from reading blogs that they are a army that while good are hard to master. I also no from my own experiences of winter TOS and reading the break down of armies at the Spring one that there wasn't many Necron armies

So Pros
  • They are brand new army for me, it will a completely different mindset and a challenge to get ready for it in time
  • They will be fun to paint and model. The Airbrush will take much of the arduous task of undercoating them away and there are a lot of modelling opportunities with them.
  • They are still a good army, a lot of people are having successes with them in tournaments
  • I have no Necron models and it would be a fairly large investment of time and money to get them ready
  • It would require some serious practise games in the coming weeks
  • It might be difficult to get in the mindset of a new army
The list I have been thinking about starting with and then modifying as I look into the play style comes courtesy of Venerable Brother on the Sons of Sanguinius Blog and can be found here.

It consists of

Overlord - Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs, Command Barge - Gauss Cannon
Overlord - Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs, Command Barge - Gauss Cannon
Royal Court - 1 x Pulse
Royal Courts - 1 x Pulse and 1 x Veil
10 x Immortals, Gauss
5 x Warriors
5 x Warriors
5 x Warriors
5 x Warriors
8 x Scarabs
8 x Scarabs
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

My big worry with this list is lack of heavy and consistent Anti tank, I've read over the codex entries a number of times and although I know other than Scarabs necrons can pop transports I just find it difficult to see. It is 5 AV 13 vehicles which is never nice to face at 1500 points.

My main thing is thinking would I mind facing this list with my Wolves, I wouldn't like it because I don't know enough about it but seeing those Warriors out in the open I'm not sure if I would dread it. Perhaps that is just the mindset I am in after all this time playing Marines that sit in their metal pill boxes and try and make it through the early turns.

I am really unsure on what to do readers and fellow bloggers, something new or something old? Would love your advice.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Victory for the Ellyrion Raiders

So as I posted On Tuesday I was playing my first game that evening, unfortunately because we are two fairly new players we had to spend a lot of time going back to the rule book so we completed the game over two evenings.

The game ended up in victory for me with a 3-0 win. My catchers ran in all three goals so I got a skill on one of them which was Dodge. I should have really had a fourth but failed my rolls twice to do it. I also managed to get a casualty.

One disappointment was a niggling injury to one player and another missing tomorrow nights game.

Looking forward to it. Definitely easier to score with the Elves which was the real problem I was having with the Orks. My catchers I have discovered are useless at catching, I had double 1's with them on three occasions.

So on to tomorrow, not sure of my opponent yet but looking forward to it

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

First outing for the Ellyrion Raiders

Tonight sees the first outing for my inaugural Blood Bowl team the Ellyrion Raiders. Last season I took over the Caretaker role of Andy's Orks. I had my last game on Thursday again not winning but scoring and getting 3 casualties which took my Casualty count up to 10 for 6 games which is more than anyone else who has played a similar number to me.

This season I'm taking control of a high elf team so a different proposition altogether. I've painted my first model but I'm not wholly happy with the colour scheme of Red and Silver so a little research perhaps into American football team colours is needed.

The problem I had with the Orks certainly came down to scoring. When ever I got into the position to score I didn't have the legs to take me over the line.

I'm starting off with all the models from the box so I have
1 Thrower
2 Blitzers
2 Catchers and 7 Linemen.

This leaves me with only 2 rerolls which is a scary concept because when I was playing with Orks I often had 4 and always three.

Look out tomorrow for a game report after I have faced my first opponent (the only person playing with less experience than me)


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