Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Upcoming 40k Tournaments

Not all tournaments are about
winning at all costs!
I've just returned from a fun weekend at the Caledonian Uprising tournament, and have promptly signed up for another two tournaments!

Whilst the Scottish ETC team's Caledonian Uprising was a competitive affair, it was also good fun and a real social event, where like-minded people (ie us 40k-playing geeks) can have a good laugh together. I've made a good number of friends at tournaments in the last year or so, so I always like to have a tournament or two on the calendar to look forward to.

The next two events I'll be attending are Open War XVII, which is the  First Company Veterans club tournament, and Blog Wars III, which is an independently-organised friendly competition.

Open War is on Saturday 14th April (my birthday, no less!) and comprises three games at 1,750pts. In keeping with the current zeitgeist, special and unique characters are allowed, which I think is great - a lot of the recent codexes rely on special HQ choices to unlock certain army builds, so I'm hoping to see a lot more variation at tournaments in 2012 than we saw last year, where cookie-cutter Space Wolves, Grey Knights and Leaf-Blower Guard forces ruled the roost. This tournament features three unique 'in-house' missions, which also adds to the fun. You'll find the tournament pack (inclding the three missions) here.  

The second tournament I've signed up to is Blog Wars III, which is my personal favourite of the year. It is organised by Alex of the 'From the Fang' blog, and is really a chance for us 40k bloggers (and our gaming mates) to get together, play games, swap stories, and generally have a good laugh together. The feel of this tournament in particular is friendly and easy-going, which is a big draw for me. Alex also goes to great lengths to devise new missions for each tournament he runs, and this is another reason I like it so much.

I'll probably also try to make it to one or two other tournaments this year too; one I'm very keen on is Tim King's Summer Skirmish, which is a twelve-game 500pt weekend cometition. Last year's inaugural event was great fun, even considering the 8-minute tabling delivered to me by the UK's top player, Josh Roberts, in the first round. Ouch! Humbling, to say the least.

I am also thinking about checking out an 'away' fixture. All the tournaments I've entered have either been held at Warhammer World (our club's home) or at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield, which is a superior venue for wargaming, in my opinion. So my targets for 2012 are to concentrate on getting better at playing (you'll notice I still haven't mentioned my position in the final standings of this weekend's Caledonion Uprising) and to play at an away tournament - possibly it'll be Vanquish V, on 31st March to 1st April in Bristol.

If you're interested in getting involved in a tournament, the best place to start is here: Warhammer Forum 40k Tournaments List. And if you've played at a tournament recently, or you're thinking of attending one, let us know!  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Going Green

The Ramones: The Perfect
Band for the MTV Generation?
As you may know I am a true product of the MTV generation, and as such my attention span is short. This manifests itself most obviously in my inability to stick with one army for more than a period of a few months, which is unfortunate as my modelling & painting time is limited to only a few hours per month. This means that I have several armies which are partially-completed and playable, or very much works-in-progress. Let's see:

Chaos Space Marines
My first 40k army since rejoining the game in 2009. The Chaos Marines are actually a finished and fully-functional army and total over 3,000points, although they are certainly not optimised for tournament use (ie no Lash-Daemon Princes). This army are in hibernation until Games Workshop delivers us a shiny new Codex!  

Ahem. Anyone who knows me knows I cannot play Eldar, any more than I can rub my stomach and pat the top of my head at the same time. The debacle at last summer's tournament is testament to this fact. The 2,000pts of Eldar I have are in deep storage until either I get a LOT better as a player, a new easy-to-play codex arrives, or until I decide to sell the lot. The last option is a distinct possibility.

Now my main army, and one I enjoy playing, especially now I am using as an all-reserve 'Drop-Spore' force. I have a couple of additions to make to this army - a Trygon and a Mawloc - and then this army will be completed.

Pre-Heresy World Eaters
This is my 'suitcase' army which I take away on longer work-trips in a shoebox so I can get a few games in, even when I'm a long way from home. This army performs reasonably at about 1,500pts, and really only needs a couple of Dreadnoughts with Blood Talons, and attendant Drop-Pods, to finish it off (though I don't think Drop-Pods will fit in the shoe-box, but that's a problem for another day).

Finally, my labour-of-love, the Squats-as-Imperial Guard. For almost as long as I've been back in the hobby (about two and a half years now) I've been boring people with how I'm going to bring Squats back, and how I'm going to make all these fantastic conversions. Well, the army is.... nearly there! I have about forty infantry painted and another twenty on the painting table waiting for some attention. In the last two weeks I have also converted five Chimeras into heavy support tanks - specifically, two Hydra, two Medusas and one Manticore/Colossus (depends how big a gun-barrel I fit to this last one). Pictures will appear over the next few weeks to prove I have actually done these! In addition, I have already made two Termite Transports and two Skylord Airships, although these all need repainting. Finishing off the Squats is this summer's job, and my target is to have a good 1,750pt force ready for Alex's Blog Wars III tournament this summer.

So What Next?
...apart from finishing off the above four armies, you mean? Well, I fancy doing a few one-off modelling pieces, for example a dinosaur-riding Eldar Exodite which I have wanted to do for ages now. After that though.... it'll be Orks!

To be honest, I think I should've just started with Orks two years ago and that would've been that. I really think that Orks could be the perfect army for my highly-complex 'heads-down-and-charge!' tactical mentality. Therefore, I had a quick look on ebay last night and I may have bought a few models (better not say how much I spent, in case Mrs. Grazer is reading). Suffice to say I now have enough Ork models to keep me going for quite a while!

Ork Tactics 101: Chaaarge!
The exact models I have are:

HQ choices:
1 x Warboss
2 x Weirdboys
3 x Meks
Elites Choices:
5 x Nobz
3 x Painboyz
8 x Bikes

Fast Attack Choices:
4 x Deffcoptas
2 x Half-Trakks
1 x Scorcha
3 x Buggies

Troops Choices:
60 x Gretchin
42 x Boyz
5 x Trukks

So there you go! This will be my 2013 project I suspect, once the Squats-as-IG are finished. Now all I need to do is think about army lists... ...and that is where you guys come in! I have played against Orks a couple of times, and all I can remember is a terrifyingly-fast green horde devouring my forces at lightning speed.

What Ork army builds have you successfully used? Or had used against you?

Based on the above list of models, what army builds would you recommend to a novice Warboss like me?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sneak Preview! Codex: Squat Stronghold

Over the last month or so I have put a fair bit of thought into my Fandex: Squat Stronghold. I've had the luxury of working away from home for a couple of weeks, and I've put the time to good use - the document now stands at some eighty pages and at the last count was exceeding sixteen thousand words (I didn't realise I even knew that many words...).  

Anyhow, for those of you loyal, interested or just plain curious, I have decided to post up three teaser pages, each one detailing a particular unit:

Termite Transport

Squat Engineer Sappers

Iron Eagle Gyrocoptor

 Just click on the image to open up a larger JPEG image of the page (I'm not bright enough to work out how to publish a pdf on the blog - if anyone knows, please feel free to let me know the secret!).

As for the three pages, please feel free to read 'em and let me know your comments. They are very much first drafts and completely unplaytested, but I thought it would be good to show everyone that I have been working, and there is something to show for your patience!