Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goal Set: NOVA Open 2015

After a long hiatus of accomplishing nothing except adding to my unpainted plastic and metal collection it was time to move forward.  Still busy as ever working to help troubled marriages, and that's still the priority, but I do need some me time too for sanity.  Over this past year my me time consisted entirely of wasting time watching nothing worthwhile on TV and pining over my unpainted stash.  I barely even read anything worthwhile.  All in all, for the most part a wasted hobby year.  My bright spot was getting away for a single day on a NOVA Open terrain build.  Looking forward to more this year.

So - big step forward is of course, signing up for the NOVA Open 2015.  I had a great time in 2013's narrative playing my nids as the Virtue.  Naturally, I went for the big kahuna:  the Narrative Warlord track for the Virtue.  This is somewhere between a narrative campaign and an ETC-style team-based matchup with 10 games over four days.  Now to figure out what to bring and get painting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Compass, The Clock, and A Terrible Codex

How GW Sees Tyranid Players
     No reason to sugar coat it:  I pretty much can't stand the new Tyranid codex.  Let's just forget all the wasted potential that it could have been, lest I get really bitter.  The rules aren't worth the paper they're printed on and there's better fluff in the fanfic section of every 40k blog out there.  It's also pretty clear dataslates aren't going to help.  I've reserved judgment for as long as I can, but it's time to tell it like it is.  Despite a pretty major event in my life that will occupy the lion's share of my spare time for the next couple years, I've managed to squeeze roughly 20 hours on Battlescribe on my mobile phone and tablet trying to build a list - any list - that would meet any of the following criteria:  able to take and hold objectives, able to take and hold table quarters, able to win battle points, able to win KP, able to have a shot at the asymmetrical missions being bandied about, and the big one:  is it fun to play?  Add in another 10 hours of practice deployments and 1-2 turn tests - I can't come up with a list that I either enjoy or would consider competitive.  The codex is absolutely hamstrung by the fact that synapse has no synergy within the codex - literally nothing with synapse works well with anything that needs it.  I even tried several no-synapse lists which were even more painful.  Double FOC helps a little, but that's generally not an option anywhere I would play.  Killzone at least isn't an entirely lost cause...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Khurasan Miniatures 28mm Caiman Unboxing

I've wanted the APC from Aliens as a miniature for oh... since I first saw it when the movie came out.  Although Khurasan's 28mm Caiman (also available in 15mm) is necessarily not a replica, it makes a fine replacement and more than stands on its own.  I'd first seen the Caiman when they were released back in 2012, but they are nearly always sold out.  They became available again just about Black Friday time this year and I ordered two, for my long-brewing Inquisition/Sisters/Arbites/Grey Knights collection.  Here's a close look at my unboxing.  Excellent sculpt, well-cast with only a few, normal issues commonly found with bigger resin casts.
Well wrapped and packaged.

 Some minor issues with the vent here, not sure if I can fix with greenstuff or will just make it weathering/battle damage.

 Second APC also had an issue on the vent but looks fixable.

 Very minor bubbles.
 Bubble fixed in pre-ship QC, back bumper a bit off true.

 Minor issue on flat layer of little turret, but I don't much care for these little ones and will be looking for an alternative.

 Assembled, everything but the little turrets fit snugly.  The exit hatch rails were flawless.

 Small quirk here, fixable.

 Hard to see in other photos, but there are two raised hull areas just in front of the turret that break up the outline nicely and add a neat detail to highlight.
Overall I'm extremely pleased with these.  Now how to make these either Arbites or Inquisition rides...  
 Apologies for the terrible lighting.. but here's some 'typical' 40k figures for scale reference, as requested.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tyranid Codex Pre-Release Rant

     As ever it's been a busy month with far fewer posts than intended - but real life > hobbies.  Most of the time.  At any rate - I've been watching the spin-up of the rumor threads and leaks for the new Tyranid codex and models and as more info becomes available, also watching my hopes dwindle into a termagant toenail-sized sliver.
     With the information available to date, GW appears to pull off a rather petty dick move - removing the mycetic spore as a model altogether.  With at least 4 different alternate model variants for sale from other companies, they just decided to remove that model altogether.  Interesting choice to just willfully concede an opportunity for profit - tyranid players have come up with hundreds if not thousands of scratch-built variants of spore pods, and instead of capitalizing on it (literally) GW decides to give the other companies and the players the finger.  How many scratch-built and alternate mycetic spore models will simply become 'tyranid terrain'?  Stay classy, GW, stay classy.  At least that removes a source of easy KPs in a codex that already has KP issues - but that only matters if you care about winning a game based on KPs.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NOVA Open 2013 - Narrative Batrep 2

Big Trouble in Little Capitol 
A more cinematic way to end the tournament would be hard to find - the raging Hive Tyrant screaming its challenge at the Lamenters' Librarian dreadnought, rising on the Wings of Sanguinius for a duel to the death on the roof of the Capitol.  The NOVA Open 2013 Narrative was a fantastic event - exactly the sort of games I most enjoy.  With no next round looming, it was far easier to relax and get to know the other player a bit better, to banter back and forth, and create storylines within the battle as we went.  I'm very much looking forward to next year.  But the above is just a taster for the final batrep. Here's the batrep for my first battle. This is the batrep for battle #2.

  For simplicity, here's my list:  
Hive Tyrant: Wings, Hive Commander, TL Devs.  Biomancy 2:
Parasite of Mortrex:  Warlord, with chosen ability: Coordinated Assault (+1" assault range to all friendly w/in 12")
Doom in a SPod
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 2:
Termagant x10 (x3)
Ravener x9, Rending
Gargoyles x27, TS 
My second battle was vs. a gentleman named Harley who had come down with a small contingent from New York , playing IG/CSM (the 42nd Infantry Division).  Overall a very entertaining game - the surprise mission was definitely a shocker.  List after the jump:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Searching for an Inspiring Post & BfS Reflections

Hi all - looking for a little help here.  The evening before I loaded up the car and headed to Battle for Salvation I was doing a fast pass through the 40k blogosphere and ran across one of those rare gems of an article that makes poring over endless blogs and forums worthwhile - true inspiration.  Something that hit me to the core and really helped reset my compass firmly in a direction I am absolutely intent on pursuing, a sentiment that attending BfS helped to cement. Unfortunately - I didn't bookmark or save it, being in a hurry to finish packing and get some sort of list together for BfS.  Googling for "hobby, waac, 40k, blog, tournament" really isn't working... so I'm hoping someone else who reads this may have read it and can point me in the right direction.  Here's the gist of the post:

It opened describing a friend who avoided tournaments because he was afraid of the WAACs and pressure, of showing up without a well-painted army or display board, and in general not knowing either his list or the game rules.  The author was going to a tournament (MichiganGT I think?) and the friend decided he'd just rather just hang out and watch instead of playing.  Game day changed the friend's mindset though - once he saw what the atmosphere was actually like, realizing he should have played.  This in turn led to a series of goals for the aspiring tournament player to be able to hobby up and play with swagger at that tournament next year.  To dedicate the next year to one army - paint it to a high standard, complete with a good display board; to come up with a solid list and play that list as often as possible with only minor tweaks made from experience, not experimentation.  To be in all ways ready, prepared, and confident.  Hobby boxes checked, rules knowledge boxes checked, army list playtesting and tuning boxes checked.  A most worthy roadmap.

So if you may have read that article or one you think might be it - I'd very much appreciate a link or pointer to the blog/author.  I owe him at least a kind comment for kickstarting my hobby and 40k drive again.  Motivation is where you find it.

That article wasn't the only thing though - there's also the matter of a little tournament called Battle for Salvation.  At the last minute, after rains had basically wrecked family plans for soccer and other things, I secured the kitchen pass and was the last person to sign up online.  In a frenzy that Thursday evening I scrabbled my things together, shoved models I could make at least a respectable list out of into carrying cases, printed out 6 power/spawn tracker sheets.  Friday ticked by like slowly pulling a scab.  Workday dues finally paid, I sped home, packed, loaded the car and left for the promised land of West Nyack.  Huge thanks to the gents who at the last minute graciously allowed me to share their room and bring an air mattress to crash on.

A little background:  Ed and the Battle for Salvation crew have been there for the NOVA Open since the beginning.  I think 2013 was the first year they didn't need to bring terrain and tables down to help make NOVA a reality.  To quote Ron White: "We've met".  A better bunch of folks are hard to find. I've wanted to attend BfS for a long time - and had managed to build up some guilt for not doing so.  Being able to attend and support BfS was immensely satisfying - karmic payback perhaps, especially knowing what goes into setting up and running a tournament, and knowing the secret to happiness as a TO/volunteer is the satisfaction of knowing other people had a good time - knowing your efforts weren't wasted.  I had a great time, and it was awesome to see folks having a really good time - that BfS was truly the success Ed and the crew deserved for their efforts.

I went 2-4 on the weekend - not as good as I'd hoped, but better than I expected given the almost total lack of preparation.  Definitely building up my list and rule familiarity and knowledge - and actually finishing 3 of 6 games due to time (shock).  There were some absolutely stunning armies there - more motivation.  I'll post up my list and batreps soon - ideally before the new codex drops!  I'm building up a pretty big stack of battle reports from NOVA and BfS to put together. Life has as ever been crazy busy, but doing my best to refocus on the hobby I love.  Thanks for reading!

For the TL;DR crowd - I read a great article I would very much like to find again but need help doing so (details above) and had a great time at Battle for Salvation.  Put it on your list to attend next year - you wont' be sorry.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

List of Lists II: ETC 2013 Tyranid Lists

It was too perfect not to use
While looking into building a list for NOVA this year I got a little caught up in the ETC 2013 games and did a good bit of list research, which, with only a couple months left before the rumored new Tyranid release, I thought it would be worthwhile to share.  Follows a compilation of the Tyranid lists from this year's ETC 2013.  The tournament format is fascinating in terms of how the teams are set up with a mix of lists to deal with the pairing process.  Some are all comers lists with a good chance of winning vs. anything, some are essentially tar pit lists known as "defenders" - built to minimize the point giveaway for any bad matchups, and some are the opposite:  "attacker" lists built to take advantage of bad matchups and score max points.  The below lists can fall into any of these categories, but one and all are competitive when piloted right.  21 of 28 nations (teams) brought a Tyranid list, ranking 6th overall both in average points scored, and in popularity of primary detachment.

I pulled these from the complete list of all armies found here, removed the points values and cleaned them up for simplicity, removing the Army Primary Detachment in all cases except Latvia's - which was worth keeping ;) I also added links to the player blogs if I could find them.  There's also a breakdown of the Tyranid lists on a French forum here, with some commentary on the role of each list and how it plays if you're Google Translate-inclined, and a difficulty rating with a scale of: + easy, ++ average, and +++ or more as difficult to handle.  I included the difficulty rating and role here.

Lists after the break: