Friday, December 19, 2014

Warhammer 40K - Happy Holidays from the Aquila Stronghold

Hi everyone,

We were pretty impressed after playing against Mr. L's Tau and the Aquila Stronghold - so have been working to assemble our own.

Thought we'd take a moment for a seasonal holiday photo!

Holiday Warhammer 40K, Christmas 40K, Christmas Warhammer, Christmas Space Marine, Aquila Strongpoint, Winter
Happy Holidays!

One thing which helped us get this model together was use of several clamps.  We like using plastic glue rather than super glue (when we can).  It's a bit more messy, and our joints aren't quite as pretty - but we have more time to make things go the way we want - and don't risk finger-gluing.  *But* when we use plastic glue on a model like this the clamps were a must to get everything to hold together nicely.

Aquila Strongpoint, Blood Angels, Battle Gaming One, Warhammer 40K
The Blood Angels testing out the Strongpoint!

Looking forward to trying our the super huge cannon in a battle.  (And, we already know how deadly those missiles can be.  In the Mr. L battle the missiles even chased across the board and caused damage to the strong hold itself.)

PS:  We're thinking about how to best use the Strongpoint....  If Mr. L was using the Stronghold to help the Tau, does that mean we could use it to help the Orks?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Warhammer 40K -- Weeks 4 & 5 -- League Wrap-up

Hi everyone,

With some seasonal colds slowing us down, we're a bit delayed in writing up our Week 4 and Week 5 battles in our League over at Game Kastle in Fremont.  So, decided to write them up in one joint posting.

Week #4:
  • (Yay!) Borrowed Mr. Z's Stompa!  (His paint job looked extremely cool with the Pink and Yellow Orky Orks)
  • (Oh-no!) Played against Mr. L's Tau and their lethal void-missile launching base
Here is Mr. L's Stompa with our Morkanaut, Burna Bommer and Battlewagon!

The Battle:

We used the Great Waaagh! Detachment - and got Deep Strike on our Big Mek and also on one unit of Boyz.  Bummer that we didn't get it on the Stompa!!!

So, we lined up with our forces to prepare to charge in and attack Mr. L's missile building.  One additional bummer for us is that we need to charge the long way.  But, with the Stompa's move distance, we feel pretty good that we can get there.

Our initial lineup:  Trukk on near side; Morkanaut and Battlewagon up the middle; Stompa up the right....

Mr. L fires his void missiles right away.  And, that's when we learn the bummer of those missiles.  The void spots they create stay on the board unless doubles are rolled - and keep scattering around!

Moving toward the missile battery...

The first of the void missile shots chasing the Stompa after it's already hit it once!

We get finally get the Stompa pretty close to the missile battery - and have our deep strike units landing very close as well.  Looking very good for the Ork-guys at this point!

The Stompa has almost reached range to use its massive close-combat weapons!  Just one more turn will do it!

What happens?  Well one of those void spots chases down the Stompa and literally clips it on the right heel.  Of course a massive explosion results when the Stompa explodes (not good!)....  But, we press on.  The Tau may have killed the Stompa - but the Morkanaut and Battlewagon are now very close.

It's uncanny how the void thingies keep chasing after the Ork's most powerful unit.  Now they are "randomly" chasing after the Morkanaut!

Finally, we're down to a reduced set of forces.  The Morkanaut is out.  And our remaining forces have reached the Tau's base.  There is a key moment where if the game ends, the game will be a draw....

Our remaining forces reach the Tau's base....

...But, the die does not roll in our favor.  There is one more turn, and we simply do not have the forces needed to make it a victory.  Mr. L's Tau win.

Week #5:
  • (Yay!) Prepared models to run the Council of Waaagh!  We had read that this created quite a hard-core death-star like unit.
  • (Oh-No!) Played against Mr. M's Space Marines.  Very tough to get our units close enough to hurt him with his lethal long-range shots!
We have played Mr. M's Space Marines a few times now - so we should have had some idea of what to expect.  All the same, the arrival of his dropships has been a problem for us almost every time.  This time was no different....

We set up our forces to march forward toward Mr. M's Space Marines.  His drop pods landed inside our ranks....

Mr. M had brought several tank units.  He held these back and fired away.  Our goal was to close-in with the Morkanaut and the Battlewagon - to try to cause impact up-close.  We had the Council of Waaagh! in the Battlewagon - so that they could shoot from the fire-points as we advanced.

Sending the Morkanaut up the middle....

There was a little bit of excitement on the left flank as our Warbikers challenged Mr. M's bikes.

Bikes vs. bikes on the left flank

This skirmish didn't go very well for us, though.  And, the assemblage of AP1 weapons the Space Marines brought to the table quickly wiped out the Morkanaut and the Battlewagon.

The showdown between the dropped-in Dreadnought and the squad of three Killi-Kans didn't go very well for us.  Six wounds plowed through them in short order.

One Dreadnought vs. Three Killi-Kans.  (Didn't go very well for us....)

So, this left few options.  We tried to immobilize the Land Raider with a sacrificial run using the Trukk.  (It seemed worth a try - but didn't really work out)....

The Pink Orks Trukk takes on the Land Raider!

And, so, the Council of Waaagh! was basically left on its own - and gradually whittled down....  Darned good thing they had Fearless with that Waaagh! banner - they did hold on for a while.  But, eventually they lost their Feel No Pain and quickly succumbed.

The Council of Waaagh! sucked up lots of damage - but is finally wiped out....

Not sure if the Orks have any connections with Imperial or Rebel forces -- calling in forces from Long, Long Ago and Far, Far Away seemed like the only way this battle could have turned around :)

The Orks' only option - call for help!

Big lessons in Weeks 4 and 5!
  • There must be truth to "More Boyz, Less Toyz".  A single shot from an AP1 weapon wipes out some 250+ points of Morkanaut.  The same shot could not have done the same to 250+ points of Ork Boyz....
  • Spent quite a bit of time chatting with Mr. M about the ability of a certain number of units or points to suck up incoming fire.
  • Seems like quite an opportunity to analyze the statistical probability of a unit actually successfully taking that incoming shot (and living through it and perhaps taking another one) on a per-point-basis!
  • Council of Waaagh! was fun to put on the table -- but didn't yield great results.
  • The Great Waaagh! Detachment is a bit random -- but created some fun opportunities for us with the Tellyporta Strike.
Thanks once again to Mr. L, Mr. M, and Mr Z for the fun battles.  We have certainly learned a great deal from where we started in Week #1!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Warhammer 40K - Magnetizing Models (We tried it out!)

Hi everyone,

We gave a first attempt at magnetizing models this past weekend.  Here's a quick write-up on how things went.

First - a bit of background.  We were building a Venerable Dreadnought - and ended up with a weapon-arm on the model which we hadn't really wanted.  And, in this particular case, some glue had gotten onto the 'arm post' and it was stuck fast.

[Apologies - we realized that in our haste to fix the Dreadnought we forgot to take a very good "before" photo!]

After lots and lots of wrenching, it was pretty clear that the model glue we like to use (not super glue) had fused things together pretty solidly.  There was really no getting that arm off!!!

So, we got a little bag of those tiny magnets from our friends at Gator Games.  And, figured we would do some surgery to try to set the arm things right.

1) Tried to use our Xacto-Saw to cut away the perimeter bonded plastic at the arm joint.  This didn't work - but did loosen things up.

2) Finally sawed enough that we were able to pry the arm off.  But, BUMMER - we discovered that the post to hold on the other arms had also been pried off - and was still deep within the arm we had just yanked off.

So, we started reconstructive surgery....

3) We made a flat plate of plastic (a round piece) to cover the hole we had created in the torso of the Dreadnought.

Not super pretty - but certainly functional.  Our flat pieces of plastic covered up the holes which were created when we wrenched off the arm which was glued on.

4) And, we sawed flat the arm portion so that we could attach the magnet.

5) Then, we glued one of the little magnets to each side.

All-in-all it turned out pretty well.  Does a great job of holding together.

Here is our Dreadnought after priming.  The magnets certainly show - but don't look too much different than the plastic pin holding on the other arm...  So, we're pretty happy.

Part 2 of this adventure is that we decided to add some magnets to the doors of our Morkanaut (we were bothered by them swinging open).

That went pretty well - a few key points....

1) There is a small gap in the doors which fit our magnets perfectly (no big need to cut or drill)

2) While we were gluing one one magnet and testing with its mate, the pair went flying to the back of the model and stuck there (with superglue).  No matter how hard we tried - they are stuck.  So, I guess at some point if we want to magnet something in there, we can.

Here's the finished product - working on the painting.  The Morkanaut is part of the Pink Orks army - so working on the bright pink :)

Here is our Morkanaut - the bring pink is coming along nicely.  Going to start working on the details of the arms next....


The Morkanaut and Dreadnought so far....

We read a few posts and blogs of other people using magnets.  Seems that there are some very slick schemes for drilling a hole for these little magnets. Was wondering if there is a special drill bit people are using which doesn't have a tapered end ??

Sunday, December 7, 2014

D&D 5th Edition - a first try

Hi everyone,

Today we decided to try out D&D 5th Edition.  (Well, first we did some reading to see whether people like Pathfinder better than 5th Edition - and then we decided to give it a try.)  We ended up having quite a bit of fun!

What made the game especially fun is that now we have a handful of beginner level miniature gaming skills.  So, playing with miniatures and scenery is much quicker and more efficient.

Our session:
- We played (the two of us); plus our friend Mr. N.  Artist Expert is planning to play in the next session - but wasn't able to today.

Campaign Summary:

Scene 1:

Two young adult friends Ukabuk (LVL 1 Human Fighter) and Duscutt (LVL 1 Human Wizard) are exploring in the barn-loft at the home of local pub owner Boeuf (LVL 1 Human Cleric).  They find a chest full of old war-gear.

Ukabuk finds a heavy crossbow, a longbow, 1 very shiny arrow (enchanged?), a quiver full of arrows, a warhammer [very fitting for Warhammer 40K fans!], and a battleaxe.  He also finds a set of chainmail armor.

Duscutt finds a heavy crossbow, a hand crossbow, a longbow, and a quiver full of arrows (one of them very shiny).  He also finds some chainmail armor.

While Ukabuk and Duscutt are playing with their new equipment, they hear sounds of a scuffle down below.  Peering down, they see some very, very, very, very, very, totally ugly weird creatures mixed up in a fight with Boeuf!  They immediately rush to help Boeuf out.

The attackers are Goblins and Boeuf holds them off in turn 1 -- with one of the Goblins hurting itself with a 1 roll :(  Then, Ukabuk and Duscutt weigh in.  Ukabuk (pretty high dexterity) fires with the heavy crossbow.  Duscutt fires a magic missile (his first!).

The battle winds down as all 5 Goblins are dispatched.  Luckily for all involved, Boeuf turns out to have some healing skills (big magic Cleric bandages!)

Boeuf comments, "it was sure lucky that you two were here.  And, where did you get those weapons?"  Ukabuk and Duscutt explain to Boeuf that they had found the equipment in his own loft.  "Well, you're welcome to them.  Must have been left there by me grandfather long ago."  Ukabuk -- who has been training as a blacksmith -- asks, "any idea where I can get some iron or steel around here?  I'm working on a set of plate mail armor."  Boeuf suggests that they visit his friend at the next farm toward town.

That afternoon, Duscutt, studying his magic books, figures out a new spell -- Burning Hands.  And, Ukabuk fashions a shield with the bits and pieces of metal which are scattered about.  After a good night's sleep, they are off. 

Scene 2

As they reach the next farm yet again they see the signs of a struggle.  Boeuf rushes to the door of the farmhouse.  The farm owner, Lana, is collapsed in her front door.  Boeuf immediately offers aid.  Meanwhile, Duscutt peeks inside the house.  "Hey!  There are two more of those Goblins in here!"
Duscutt and Ukabuk make short order of the two Goblins while Boeuf tends to Lana.  They see another band of Goblins retreating to the north - but decide that pursuit is a bad idea at this very moment.

They rest and discuss the Goblin attacks.  After much discussion they form a plan.  Duscutt has learned the spell Disguise Self - and will cast this upon Lana.  She can then sneak to the north to see where the Goblins are holing up.

Executing the plan, Lana returns with word that she saw the Goblins entering a broken down building just a bit up the road.

Scene 3:

The adventurers rest up and head north.  They use a similar plan, with Lana disguised as a Goblin entering the run-down building.  There she sees two Goblins standing on either side of a stairway heading down beneath.  These Goblins challenge her.  One problem -- Lana doesn't speak Goblin.  Luckily Duscutt does - and he whispers the proper response to Lana (and the Goblins don't notice).

Lana attempts a backstab attack on the two guards - a total fail.  But, Ukabuk hits with a heavy crossbow bolt.  And, Duscutt and Boeuf take out the other one.

Propping up the dead guards (so that their passage might not be noticed), the party carefully descends....

At the bottom of the stairway, a hallway opens into a large room.  To the left, three Goblins are tending to something in a large pit beneath.  To the right, six Goblins are having some sort of discussion.  A boarded up opening is noted to the far right.

The four quickly create a plan.  Ukabuk goes left and takes on the three Goblins by the pit.  Duscutt goes right and uses Burning Hands to dispatch four of the Goblins.  Boeuf and Lana take on the remaining two.

Here is the scene of the attack.  We used miniatures from our Lord of the Rings set for Goblins.  We had just gotten miniatures to use our characters at Gator Games (but hadn't gotten to paint them yet.)

This works out fairly well, but 3 on 1 is tough odds for Ukabuk - who retreats when he is down to only 1 hit point "Ouch!".  Lana charges in to hold the line - and to give Boeuf a chance to heal Ukabuk.

With these Goblins out of the way, the group debate their next move.  Down pit?  Through the boarded up opening?  Or, even, call it day?  They decide to call it day - but sleep in the Goblin's Liar.  Eight hours of careful watch pass - and are uneventful....  (Duscutt takes the whole watch so that the other party members can heal.)

After the rest, Ukabuk chops away at the boarded up doorway - and opens up a hallway type passage.

Lana discovers the spider in the pile of debris!

The four explore - a small room - with some debris in the corner.  Lana quickly inspects - and jumps back from a Spider who was lurking inside.  Ukabuk quickly kills the spider - and the inspection of the corner continues.  An old sword and chest (locked) are discovered.

Wrap up:

- We worked out experience - and each character gained 300 EXP.  As we read the 5E rules, enough for 2nd level :)

- All-in-all, it was lots of fun - we are looking forward to our next session against the Goblins!

- The adventure tiles we had gotten to play Star Wars Edge of the Empire worked really well for D&D 5E as well.  Hadn't ever played with these before - but they made things super quick to set-up.

- We lit candles to play - added to the overall theme of playing D&D!

Here's a quick photo of our overall dungeon set-up.  The great thing about posting this is that we can quickly refer to the photos to set up our next campaign....