Monday, July 30, 2012

1500 Points Tau vs Orks 6th Edition

I got together with my friend Lonnie last Friday to finally tryout the 6th edition 40K rules.  We have both been reading, studying, the rules for weeks but we never had the time to play.  We decided on a relatively small battle of 1500 points (this would turn out to be too big).  Lonnie dug out his Tau army, which as not been on the table for several years and I brought my Orks that I have been working on for the last couple of years.

I don't have the exact army lists but the Tau had lots of suits, a couple units of Fire Warriors, a killer HQ, a couple of rail gun suits and a Hammerhead with an Ion cannon (snicker).  I had a Warboss with a mod of Nobz riding in a Battlewagon with a zzap gun.  I had two large mobs of boyz with sluggas.  One large mod of 'ard boys with shootas and huge mob of lootas.  I also had three Killa Kans and a Deff Dred.  Numbers were some thing like 92 models for the Orks and 52 models for the Tau.

I manged to take a few picture with my phone and they kinda look like grainy satellite pictures.

The Ork Deployment.  On the extreme left is the Deff Dred and the Killa Kans supporting the shugga boyz.  Hext is the Warboss and Nobz in the Battlewagon.  Grouped around the sphinx are the lootas.  The extreme right are the 'ard boyz.

The Tau Depoyment.  Extreme right are the rail guns on top of the Imperial base.  Then there is a unit of Fire Warriors in the base compound.  In the gap between the base and the hiil there are more Fire Warriors and a unit of suits.  The hill is occupied by the Tau HQ - can't remember his name -with a retinue if suits and drones.  To the left of the HQ are even more Fire Warriors and another unit of suits.  Finally on the extreme right is the Hammerhead with the ion cannon (haha).

The Orks managed to seize the initiative and went first.  They moved up across the line with the exception of the lootas.

The Ork flanks ran while the center laid down a base of fire.  The lootas the Battlewagon  focused their fire on the Tau HQ on the hill.  They got some good hits and destroyed the drone triggering a morale check...which the Tau failed!  But the 3d6 fallback roll was 4"...damn!  They just missed running off the board on turn one.

The Tau sought revenge for the humiliation of their commander and fired on the Battlewagon with the rail guns.  Take a close look as this thing will not be around for long.

Tau left flank is secure... is the right.

The 'ard boyz advance on the Tau left to engage the Fire warriors and the Hammerhead.  It wouldn't be until Saturday morning before I realized that this was a mistake.

Anyone seen my Battlewagon?  The explosion would cause a massive amount of damage to the unit of boyz on the hill to the left of the BW.  Turns out they took WAY ore than they should as I was using toughness 3 rather than 4 for my boyz...doh!

To make matters worse the Fire Warriors fired on the same unit of boyz, and I made the same toughness mistake, and killed 9 more.  I lost 14 boyz in one turn and they were in cover.  Ouch!

The battleline close in.  We both wanted to make sure we tried as many of the new rules and as many situation as possible so we basically went full bore at each other.

In the face of the advancing Orks the Tau desperately try to get to the battlements!

And they make it!  This will make things tougher for me.

I have already lost two of the Kans but the third one and the Deff Dred make their assaults.  The overwatch fire is going to be fun, that Kan has already lost a hull point.

Meanwhile, back in the center the HQs prepare to face off.  The Tau have already had a health dose of loota luvin and are down to just the dude with one wound left.  The rest of the suits are gone.

The Ork right is looking bad.  Why did I send these guys over this hill?  Anyway, the Tau are setting me up for the coupe deville or something.  Whatever it is it will not be good.  Pay no attention to my dice in the corner, my rolling was no near as good as Lonnie would have you believe.

Can you say Challenge?  The Shazzy dude thought be could take a Warboss in a challenge in one turn.  HA HA, like that will happen!

OK, so the overwatch shots took out the last Killa Kan.  It is still good, no way he can take that Dred out so I still have a chance.

The Tau got really sneaky on the right.  The did a Hammerhead shock against the 'ard boyz  (ya know, cuz he brough and ion cannon, ha) and managed to get them to fall back.  Then those damn suits open fire and kill out the rokkit launcha and the big shoota.  The unit is now below 5 models and can't regroup.  Bastard!

After the Warboss put the smackdown on the Tau dude a huge gap formed in the Tau lines.  At this point the Warboss chose to go right towards the Hammerhead but probably should have gone left to have lunch with the Fire Warriors.

The Dred is still fighting but what is taking those boyz so long?

Where'd everybody go?  One turn of Fire Warrior shooting from two units blunted the boyz attack.

The Warboss makes it to the Hammerhead and punches the crap out of it but it would end up costing him all the Nobz as well as his own life.  Not a good trade.

Only two lootas left and about 14 Tau.  This is what 6 turns looks like.  The End.

That was a mammoth game!  We played for 6 hours to get through 6 turns.  Of course this was due to having to look up things every turn.  It is really important to not assume you know how something works.  If you have been playing lots of 5th edition it is amazing how much of it will filter back into your games.

I have a great time and I can't wait to get in more games.  So far I really like the new rules.  Lootas in 6th edition are stellar!  They were mu MVP unit and the Tau learned to respect them.  Now if I can just cut the game time in half I will really be onto something.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Return of the Never Ending Fallschirmjager Project

 It sure is a good thing I love my Fallschirmjager army for Flames of War because I swear they are multiplying in the dark.  I managed to add a few more items to the army this week.  First up is an objective marker I made using some of the special containers and figures.  This will be nice as I can stop using my half painted Brit tank objective marker.

I also finished up a couple more HQ weapons options.  First is a standard AT rifle stand.  These guys will not be getting much use unless I can get some Crete battles going.  Next is another Stummelwerfer team.  This is actually the fourth Stummelwerfer so it is not really an HQ weapon team.  I will use this when I field the full SW mortar platoon.

Finally we have the third Infantry platoon for the the army.  At first I thought I wouldn't be using this much but as I have been playing around with different list ideas I might actually get these on the table.  We will see.

With all the stuff I have painted for this army over the last two years you might think I was nearly done.  You would be wrong.  I have heavy mortars, AA guns, pioneers and artillery left.  I will be painting Fallschirmjagers for a long time to come.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Flames of War Lessons

When Flames of War third edition was released Tim and I set out to learn the rules in a more controlled fashion than we did in second edition.  We started off with 1500 point games with tanks only.  This was an easy sell as Tim and most of the other guys in out group are tread-heads and are really only interested in tanks.  This worked well  to get the basic mechanics of the game down and get some excitement about playing.

After several of these tank games I talked Tim into trying some 500 point infantry games using the Cassino Infantry Aces army construction but lists from North Africa.  These small games we played on 4x4 tables and were a blast.  Next we moved to 700 point games, still using the Infantry Aces guidelines, playing on standard 4x6 tables.  So far all these games have been a real blast and even Treadhead Tim has really taken to these small infantry games.

All of these small point infantry games have been invaluable in learning the real nuts and bolts of the game.  It has been an opportunity to work in more rules that you need for just tank battles but in a manageable size. Our mistake with second edition was trying to learn all the ins and outs in full blown 1500 point combined arms battles.

So far I have learned some really valuable lessons from the games.  The first lesson is that infantry in buildings (and bullet proof terrain in general) are extremely difficult to dig out.  This is particularly true of Fearless Veterans but is true for any infantry.  You basically cannot dislodge them with HMGs and small arms.  Even most mortars will not get the job done.  To clear buildings you need something with a high Fire Power such as light mortars (US has the 60mm and the Germans the 50mm) or some kind of light guns such as LG40 Recoilless Riffles for my Fallschirmjagers.

Even with the high fire power shots you must assault the enemy out of the buildings, but is tough and dangerous.  As with any assaults you must pin down the enemy first.  This is where those HMGs and small arms fire will shine. You must also make sure that you have a huge advantage in numbers (hopefully your high FP units have reduced the enemy).  Try to position your assault in such a way as to minimize the number of enemy stands that can support your target.  This can be tough but it is essential.

The next lesson, and perhaps the most important, is that you should not get ahead of yourself in the turn sequence.  In our last few games Tim and I both have forgotten to move key units during the course of the battle and each time it clearly cost us the game.  Nothing ruins a plan faster than having a unit out of position.  The good news is that this is completely controllable by the player.  Make sure that you review each unit each phase to ensure you have done what you planned to do. 

Lesson three is pre-measure!  FoW allows measurement at any point in your turn or your opponents turn.  When you get to your movement phase you need to be measuring distances in order to setup your shots.  This means you need to know what you want to shoot at BEFORE your shooting phase.  You should NEVER get to the shooting phase and discover that you are out of range of your intended target.  You should already know at the end of movement what is in range.

The last major lesson involves area terrain.  It is important to have a solid understand of these rules as they can impact your plan on defense or offense.  The most important part is remembering that area terrain that is taller than your models severely limit visibility into and out of terrain.  Area terrain, such as rough ground does not have this limitation.

That is all for now.  Next we move our games to 900 points and remove the force limitations so that should really open these games up.  This will be our first chance to include air support and real artillery and perhaps some recon elements.  Should be lots more fun and more lessons.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Game Loot

I just got back from the annual family SoCal vacation.  Every year for the 4th of July we go to Seal Beach for some much needed relaxation.  I love this trip as it is a chance for me to visit some great game shops.  This year my friend Tim and his wife Shannon went with us.  Tim and I were able to sneak off on Monday to hit a few great shops.

The first stop was The War House in Long Beach.  This is a little hole-in-the-wall place that looks like it has been there for a hundred years.  When you go in you are sure it has been there that long.  The place is small but it is literally stacked floor to ceiling with game stuff.  This is one of those places that, if you had the time to dig, you could find some real treasures.  It is obvious that once a product comes  in and is priced it is never touched again until sold.  I found some nice bargains on some Flame of War packs that were a couple of price increases old.  My friend Mike W would love this place.  They have the largest stock of GHQ micro armor I have ever seen and the prices were cheap.  This shop really reminded me of shop that used to be in Gilbert AZ called Waterloo Games.

Next up was the must see shop of the trip - Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove.  I have been going to this shop when ever possible for about 10 or 12 years and it is always exciting.  In the last few years they have made a lot of improvements in the store.  When I first went there it was a hug mess and you were lucky if you found what you were looking for.  Now it is much more organized and much cleaner but you are still lucky it you find what you are looking for.  Tim and I have a running joke about how you should never make a list before you go to Brookhurst because as soon as you write it down they won't have it.  This trip was no exception.  Tim basically found nothing and I was able to find a few things but not as much as I was hoping for.  I did find an OOP Large Desert Hill for FoW as well as a couple packs of 15mm Peter Pig.  I found an OOP FJ Artillery battery and some Zvezda KV-1.  I also got a box of Plastic Soldier Company Shermans for my British 8th Army.

The last stop was the Games Workshop Bunker in Westminster.  This is a nice GW store that I always find a reason to stop by when I am in town, though I rarely spend any money there.  This time was different as I really wanted the new 40K rules and the new Ork Bommer kit and none of the other shops had either.  The staff was really nice and they gave me a free copy of the June White Dwarf that has the rules for the Ork Bommer since I bought the kit.  Turns out I would get a chance to test their customer service.

Monday afternoon, after all the shopping was done, it was time for the first visit to the beach.  Tim took the opportunity to check out the new 40K rules.  He found several pages in the Miniatures Showcase that had some very bad print alignment issues.  The pictures were very bad and you really couldn't make them out.  Needless to say I was a bit annoyed.  Nothing like paying $75 for a book that is touted as being beautiful and then finding it is not.  I knew that I could just call GW once I got home but I was not sure how they would handle the issue so I decided to stop back on Tuesday to see if the GW store would exchange it.  They were very good about exchanging the book and insisted they had never seen anything like it.  The fact that they were so insistent and the fact that they have a return code for print alignment told me otherwise.  The new book was much better but a few of the same pages still show some very minor issues.

All in all it was a great time and I found some cool stuff.  Now it is time to get back to the new 40K rules.