Zone Morktalis part 3: Six done…

zone_morktalis_six_downWell, not done, done, they’re not finished yet, but I’ve hit my first goal of six tiles built. Some of them need roofs added once I’ve painted the inside of booths and shacks and I need some fixin’s for the Mek workshop on one tile but they’re ready to undercoat (in fact three and a bit tiles are already a nice shade of grey primer). I’m sorry for the fuzzy picture, I stupidly forgot to change the focus on my camera and then started on the priming and painting before I realised that none of the pictures were quite right!

The next stage is to get them primed and painted while building the next tiles. I know from experience that much of the time needed for these kind of projects is spent watching paint dry so I want to get to the point where I have three active tiles: one being built, one being undercoated and one being painted at any one time. The main problem I seem to have is storing them, they’re kind of bulky. Thank goodness that this is not a secret project for once.

I had a worrying moment a few days ago when I realised that I was running out of corrugated craft card and I couldn’t find any in the more obvious places. Fortunately a local discount store not only stocked it but they had exactly the same brand that I found when I was staying in Wales. I’ll need more balsa wood as the bundles that I bought at the local model shop will only do four or five tiles each so I’ll need some more. Unfortunately, they were out of stock yesterday. Hopefully they will have more next week, otherwise I will have to get some longer balsa sheets which are a bit more unwieldy.

The next goal is to undercoat and paint these tiles and build the next three tiles, so that I have a 3 x 3 square. Hopefully I can get them built by Monday but painting them might take a little longer.

L.o.F.

p.s. click here for parts one and two

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Zone Morktalis part 2: Marking Up the Squares

We were finally connected to the internet last night. One thing for not having internet was that I had one less distraction, which has meant that I have had plenty of time time to work on Zone Morktalis. So far I have marked up the squares and started on the building. So far the project looks like this:

zone_morktalis_layout

I marked the tiles into 1” squares (only realising 12 tiles in that I could have got away with 2”). I then mocked up the layout using paper.

I’m currently building up the walls on the tiles, doing one of each type to start with, before working more systematically once I have a good idea of what I can (or cannot) do with each tile type. I have six different designs in total to make up 16 tiles (with two blank ones spare for accidents or expansions). I am going to do the roofs of the sections separately as I want to add things to customise each tile, so that there are rooms rather than just walls. It’s this that’s stretching my imagination a bit far. One advantage of the Forgeworld shiny version is that Imperial architecture is meant to be samey and the impression of kilometre after kilometre of corridors is as appropriate there as in an old Doctor Who episode. One thing you can say about Orks, they are not samey, so, I’m going to have to add some sense of “building” to the tiles. So far I’m thinking about adding Meks’ workshops, squig pens and memora… souv… shiny stuff shops, but that’s only three tiles out of sixteen, so I’m going to have to keep thinking.

For now though, I’m building up the skeleton of each tile. My ultimate goal is 16 built and painted tiles. Knowing me though, I am going to have a series of lesser goals so that there is something ready in time for Christmas that does not involve me painting madly late into the night (as in the past two (sorry, three) times I tried being clever with presents). The first aim is to build and undercoat one of each of the six different tile types to give a 3” by 2” area. Then to add three more tiles to get a 3” by 3” before building a 4” by 4” board. Hopefully, once I get properly started, I can get a production line going, moving between tiles as they dry, so that I could be working on three or more at once.

I’ve got a busy weekend coming up but I’m hoping to have an update in a few days! If you’ve missed the first Zone Morktalis post you can find it here.

Until next time!

L.o.F.

Zone Morktalis part 1: Introduction

Well, I’ve moved house but we’re currently minus internet thanks to the mysterious and Wonderland-like ways of ISPs (you would think that we’re paying for a service, right?) who having not had time to install the box thatwe are perfectly capable of installing ourselves if they’d let us, on the day on which they told us they’d be there, moved us to the back of the queue again. I’m also sick, the inevitable move-to-a-new-area cold having transmogrified into a chest infection that Papa Nurgle would be proud of. This is all by means of an apology for such a short, late post.

I’ve done a bit of painting recently and hopefully I’ll have a post up as soon as I have internet, complete with pictures. I’m also working on my boyfriend’s Christmas present which he knows about after I had a crisis of conscience over the fact that I might not being too altruistic with it. What I’m planning on building for him is a gaming board, in particular an Ork themed Zone Mortalis board- a Zone Morktalis, if you please.

Now, I love Forgeworld’s Zone Mortalis boards, they’re just so cool! They’re also so expensive! They justify their cost but I wanted to make a themed board that suited our armies more, in particular The Red Squig’s Orks (go and look at them here!). I have a history of Ork related presents for my boyfriend, dating back to the box of goodies I gave him back in 2011 as a start to his collection, and I enjoy playing against them as much as he enjoys using them.

Ork_box

I’m building the board on cork flooring tiles as they come in convenient 12” squares. The rules for Zone Mortalis are available for free from the Forgeworld site and they gave a lot of good ideas. So far I’ve marked up the tiles and bought balsa wood and plasticard for the next stage- building up walls and buildings. I’ve no images yet but hopefully in my next post I can show some progress pictures. I’m planning to keep a log of my progress and post it here, culminating with showing the final squares (or as many as I have done) after Christmas.

Until the next post then (hopefully not posted from the library again)

7th Heaven?

So, 7th ed has been out a few weeks now and I suppose that this is a bit late for a review but I wanted to give it a few weeks for the FAQs to come out and for me to get a game in. Well, the first of those happened very quickly, but the second took rather longer. However, having got a 1K game in with my Space Wolves against my boyfriend’s Orks, I now think that a review is possible.

First up the books themselves. I like the new three volume set, it makes it far easier to use the rules when you don’t have to flick through a 600+ page tome and breaking it down into three books meant that, as we share our rules, my boyfriend and I didn’t have to argue over who got to read the whole lot first! I actually found that I read the rules more carefully this time round, the lighter weight makes it easier to hold and because it’s shorter it makes it easier to cross reference stuff in different parts of the book.

5th, 6th and 7th Ed

5th, 6th and 7th Ed

The books themselves seemed perfectly fine. The contents of the “Dark Millennium” book are not much changed from the previous edition although the layout is different. There’s a massive copy-paste error in the timeline, a couple of millennia of history seems to have been redacted. Perhaps it should have been noticed before publication, but that depends a lot on how good the proof readers are on Imperial history. It’s very easy for mistakes to propagate and it’s an easy place to lose the plot a little. If it had happened in the rules it would have been a bit of a disaster but in the fluff, it’s rather annoying and possibly a little embarrassing for GW, but it isn’t a game spoiler.

The changes from 6th to 7th are quite big but they feel really subtle, maybe because none of them are very counter-intuitive and some, like the psychic phase make the game a little smoother, at least for forgetful idiots like me (more on that bit later). Even Unbound, which has been causing somewhat of a furore on the internet, is just GW codifying that we can actually play with our toys the way that we want to. I don’t get a lot of the “Unbound is evil and GW is the devil who wants to squish competitive play” talk, if they really wanted to do that then they could have just got rid of the force org chart altogether, rather than giving bonuses for playing sensibly. There seems to be some attempt to clarify things and, of course, a whole bunch of new things for people to argue over. 7th is a much more modular game than 6th edition was, letting us choose what extras that we want to add so that we play the kind of games that we want to play. This might be a problem in pick-up games, as there will always be someone who doesn’t want to play nicely and spoils everyone else’s fun, but for planned games and tournaments it’ll probably be business as usual as people select the kind of game they want to play. Once we get over the initial panic then it’ll be interesting to see how the game settles down.

I haven’t played with the Maelstrom of War missions yet, but the change in scoring rules to allow (almost) any unit to score objectives has had a subtle effect on the Eternal War missions, as there are no “positives” to having say, a heavy support heavy army in “Big Guns Never Tire”, or a fast army for “The Scouring” any more. I think that, until I get used to the changes in rules, I’m going to stick to Eternal War missions as I think that too many changes all at once will just confuse me! However, I look forward to trying out the Maelstrom of War missions in a few games time.

I quite like the addition of the psychic phase as it adds a little order to the game, reminding me to actually cast those damned powers and helping plan what my Rune Priest does more easily. I need to learn the phase a little better still (I made a couple of very stupid mistakes in my game this week) but I like it.

For my Space Wolves the advent of 7th has been somewhat of a mixed blessing, the codex is beginning to show its age a little and its probably lucky for me that the Ork codex is (for a little while longer at least) even more venerable. Still, counter attack is back to the way it was in 5th, which makes the decision not to charge something a little bit easier. Regarding the FAQ, I’m going to miss Living Lightning but the Rune Priest is far from useless. I used Divination in my first game of 7th and it was very, very nice. The Rune Priest is probably a little expensive now compared to the Space Marine Librarian but that’s a problem throughout the ‘dex, with some units still being fairly cheap for what they can do (Grey Hunters, Long Fangs) and others being a little too expensive (anything with the word “claw” in it especially). There’s still a lot that can be done with the ‘dex though and the change in the Rune Priest has made me think about what I bring. A little goody that is still there is the Wolf Tail Talisman which was not FAQ’d and so can currently nullify the effects of a psychic power cast on a unit on a 5+. I imagine that we won’t get to keep it for too long but as a 5 point upgrade to Wolf Guard you could build an army with a little bit more psychic defence on a unit by unit basis, which with the new psychic rules might be rather useful.

So on to our first game of 7th. We took 1000 points apiece (Battleforged of course, I don’t think that Unbound is a particularly sensible idea for relearning the game). I took Space Wolves and my boyfriend took his Orks.

My list was:

HQ: Rune Priest with runic armour (warlord)
HQ: Wolf Priest: bike, Saga of the Beastslayer
Elites: 6x Wolf Scouts: 1x missile launcher, 4x sniper rifle and 1x boltgun (I made a mistake when writing my list and forgot to add another sniper rifle)
Troops: 10x Grey Hunters: meltagun, flamer
Troops:10x Grey Hunters: meltagun, plasma pistol (for the fun of it)
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters
Fast Attack: 4x Swiftclaws
Heavy Support: 6x Long Fangs: 3x heavy bolter, 2x missile launcher
=1002 points

His list was:

HQ: Warboss with Mega-armour, Cybork body, Bosspole
HQ: Big Mek with Kustom Force Field, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole
Elites: 7x Lootas + Mek
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz: 2x Big Shoota
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz: 2x Big Shoota
Troops: 10x Grots + Runtherd
Fast Attack: Dakkajet with Supa-shoota
Fast Attack: 3x Deffkoptas: rokkitlaunchers
Fast Attack: 2x warbiker +1x Nob warbiker with Bosspole, Power Klaw
=1000 points

The game took a while to set up, I think it took us a couple of hours to get to the end of turn 1, just because we were checking what had or hadn’t changed. The game sped up considerably as we moved on and got the hang of it. We used Eternal War and rolled Big Guns Never Tire and this was when I discovered that the change in scoring now meant that, for me, rolling Big Guns Never Tire was a serious disadvantage as my Boyfriend could get an extra victory point for killing my Long Fangs, which as his long distance heavy shooting was all down to the Elite Lootas, I couldn’t benefit from at all. It’s a pity that these missions are a little bit more one sided now as it did kind of spoil my fun to have a mission which I could do nothing at all with. My bad luck with the set up dice did not end there. At the start of the game we both had units that were next to the four mysterious objectives. My boyfriend rolled 2 and 5, meaning that one objective was just that, but the other gave him +1 to his save, so that his Ork Boyz sitting in a ruin ended up with a 3+ save- all game! I rolled a 1 and a 6. The 6, while ostensibly a very good roll, giving a 2” reduction in charge length, was on the quiet side of the board, while the 1, the sabotaged objective, was right next to my Long Fangs, who now were the main target of the Orks and busy setting off the objective! These two sets of “bad” rolls did spoil my game a little. I have no problem with losing units because I did something stupid, but starting a game with two disadvantages that weren’t my fault did make things a bit miserable! I’ve decided that I should give all the important rolls to my boyfriend in future as I only seem to get the worst results. The same thing happened at the end of the game when I rolled to end the game on turn 5, when I needed another turn or two to salvage a draw (although there was a stupid tactical error there too). Gameplay itself was pretty much business as usual, save for the psychic phase, which I found a nice addition, meaning that I a) remembered to cast powers and b) should have been able to play more tactically, except that in all the excitement I forgot that I could “run”.

Bad rolls aside, the game was good. I lost by three victory points in the end (that damned sabotaged objective) but I learned enough so that at least some of my more stupid actions are less likely to occur in future. I have to play more tactically with my army, I just have to remember that movie tactics aren’t going to work on a flat piece of green cloth.

The new lightweight book was nice to use, it got in the way far less than the old one, we just need a large handful of bookmarks to keep things in place. It was easier to navigate without the fluff and the photos interrupting the flow. I think when we get round to using Maelstrom of War we will invest in the cards so as to keep things clear and cut down on the dice.

Over all, I quite like the new edition. It came out a little too soon but with the explosive growth of the game, I guess in the long run it will be better to have a basic ruleset that fits the more modular style of new codices, dataslates and expansions. I’m wondering if the simplification of the allies matrix might mean that by splitting it into factions like “Imperial”, they’re making it easier to add new armies. Hopefully this will benefit other factions like Eldar or Tau (etc) as well as just Imperial players. The more modular style will hopefully make it easier to run the kind of games you want, by adding or removing the bits you don’t like. Of course, all of this was done before, but now its a deliberate part of the games mechanics.

I’m still waiting for FAQs for Killteam and the Inquisition Codex but everything else seems ok right now. I guess I will play a few more old fashioned games and then look at trying out tactical objectives and unbound games. It should be fun!

L.o.F.

Kill Team: Space Wolves vs Orks

So, I played a game of Kill Team with my Space Wolves against my boyfriend’s Orks last weekend. I’d like to say that it was a game of keen strategy and great bravery, but my leader hid in a forest and I was tabled on Turn 5. My dice weren’t great but my list was rather rubbish. It wasn’t so much that the units themselves were bad but the cost of the models meant that losing one Wolf Guard biker to a lucky shot from a DeffKopta in turn one was a complete disaster. I’m going to have to rethink this a bit, I’m not sure that a small elite army is going to work in Kill Team unless I’m facing a small elite army.

The game was good fun though and very fast, although in future I think we’ll be working out our specialists when we build our lists, not while setting up. Splitting up the codex units into units of one was fun, although it strongly affects going into assault as, when you shoot at a model and kill it, you then have nothing to assault, which when you’re within six inches of rather a lot of Orks, is a bit irritating. Again it’s something tactical that I’ll need to deal with.

Over all, I enjoyed the game and think that we’ll get quite a lot of use out of the Kill Team rules. They look like they might be a good for expansion too. Because Kill Team is at such a small scale, heavy scenery becomes more practical, so we could play games set in a jungle or a city, or build multiple levels. I’m also tempted to see if Kill Team could be blended with Codex: Inquisition. I can see the potential for fluffy Inquisitorial warband (minus Inquisitor I guess) versus the galaxy type games.

Just to round out my post I guess that I should present the list. I would not recommend taking my Space Wolves list though (I’m abandoning it).

Space Wolves
Elites: 3x Wolf Guard, 2x bike (70 points for the two bikes (minus riders) is too expensive for Kill Team)
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters, flamer

 Orks
Elites: 6 Lootas
Fast Attack: DeffKopta, twin-linked Rocket Launcher
Troops: 10 Ork Boyz, big shoota

Until next time!

L.o.F.

500 points Space Wolves versus Orks

I managed to get a game in against my boyfriend the other weekend. We don’t get much time for games, so even a little 500 points game is a refreshing change and, equally unusually, I actually won. This isn’t a proper battle report, I didn’t write everything down, more an exploration of my list and my core units, most of which were in action.

I bought a 500 point Space Wolf list against his Ork Boyz. My list was:

HQ: Wolf Priest on bike
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters, Melta gun
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters, Melta gun
Fast Attack: 4x Swiftclaws
Heavy Support: 5x Long Fangs: 2x Heavy Bolters, 2x Missile launchers
=500 points

While he brought:

HQ: Warboss, Power Klaw, ‘Eavy armour, twin-linked shoota
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz, 2x Big Shoota
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz, 2x Big Shoota
Fast Attack: 3x Deffkoptas, twin linked rokkit launchers
=495 points

We played Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil deployment on a 4×4 board. Actually, we rolled Vanguard Strike yet again but I know from experience that it doesn’t work so well on a 4×4 as the deployment zone is too small.

I won the roll off and decided to go first. I decided to play aggressively with my Swiftclaws and drove them towards the Boyz squad with the Warboss while the Grey Hunters shuffled forward six inches. I really wanted to get the Deffkoptas off the board, so I set my Long Fangs on them while the other squads shot at the Boyz.

I’m not particularly tactical, I usually forget something important or place a unit in a daft place. For once I lucked out with the placement though. Playing on a 4×4 meant that my Long Fangs could hit everything and my Grey Hunters could hit something every turn. I was also fairly lucky, or rather my boyfriend was very unlucky, as I was able to kill his Warboss in a challenge before he could hit back. If he’d had better luck with his saving throws, I’d have been in a lot of trouble!

The mixture of missile launchers and heavy bolters worked fairly well for my Long Fangs against an infantry based army mostly due to the rate of fire. I guess that Long Fangs are probably a little bit too powerful for 500 points, as they are fairly cheap for the amount of damage that they can do, however I don’t think that they were crucial this game.

Oddly enough, although Swiftclaws are not the best value for their points cost for Space Wolves, I like them as they do provide a way of getting an assaulty unit across the board very fast and the extra point of toughness comes in very handy. Of course, as Blood Claws, they are only WS and BS 3, but they get an extra attack on the charge and with the very killy Wolf Priest attached to the unit to nullify the Headstrong rule, they are fairly reliable. I need to build and paint another one or two models for larger games, but at 500 points, four bikes are fine. I don’t expect them to last the game, just cause as much chaos as possible before they get killed. They were definitely worth their points this game as they killed a 130 point unit of Ork Boyz and one Swift Claw survived long enough to join the Wolf Priest in an assault on the other Ork Boyz squad along with one of my Grey Hunter squads. The Wolf Priest survived this game and I guess he caused the final blow to the Orks as the last unit fell to his sweeping advance in turn three.

I lost one pack of Grey Hunters in addition to the Swift Claws. However, they played their part, lasting a turn and a bit in close combat with the second squad of Ork Boyz. I think that if I were to tweak this list a little, I might swap out a Melta for a Flamer in future. The Melta guns did practically nothing all game, and if anything, I was penalised by being out of range with them for most of the game. A flamer is still only short range, but it’s a template weapon (meaning that if I’m lucky I can take out more than one guy with one shot) and might be a bit of fun.

It’s a pity that the game only lasted three turns, my boyfriend had some atrocious luck at times, but I think that I’m happy with this list as the core of my army. I didn’t use the Rune Priest as I thought that the Long Fangs would be more useful. In a larger game I’d add in the Rune Priest as a matter of course.

Hopefully I can get a few more 500 points games in and try and see if practice speeds up my playing. A 500 point session is never going to be the most epic of 40K games, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be great fun and it has the advantage of being small and fast, meaning that in my hectic household, there’s a chance of getting a game in! Hopefully I can get another one in soon as my boyfriend needs his revenge and there are a couple of tweaks that we both want to try.

L.o.F.

Rune Priests, Swiftclaws and Filthy Xenos!

My boyfriend and I were in the UK last week and as we had a nice free day at the right end of the right country we made a trip to visit The Overlords again. My boyfriend and I teamed up so we had 750 points of his Orks and 750 points of my Space Wolves facing 1500 points of Eldar. It was an awesome game (which we lost) and I really enjoyed it (thanks very much again). However, as a battle report requires more details than I can remember (like what was in the other two armies), I’m afraid I’m going to gloss over the game and skip straight to what I’ve learned.

1) Eldar are interesting. I have to admit that Eldar never really interested me before. I don’t know why, but I’ve never really looked at them closely. After Sunday I think that I might take a bit more interest, I might even (ok, will) buy the codex some day. I liked the look of the models and I liked the way they played and I’m even coming up with paint schemes in my head.

2) My setting up is atrocious! I really need to think more about how I set up as I’m making stupid mistakes. For instance, my Long Fangs were out of range for large chunks of the game. I had five Grey Hunters plonked on the Objective and five Long Fangs on top of the building where it was hidden. Unfortunately we were playing The Emperor’s Will with Vanguard Strike and the objectives were in the far corners and, as the Orks and the Wolves stormed over towards the other objective, most of the action was on the other side of the board. I also set up my Swiftclaws slightly incorrectly. There was a river on the board that counted as Difficult Terrain, and, rather than going round it, I decided to take the short route, which led to one of my Swiftclaws being swept away while my Wolf Priest took a wound. It would have been a lot better if I had taken the slightly longer, safer, route.

3) The core of my army are my Rune Priest, Wolf Priest and Swiftclaws. My Rune Priest really came into his own this game. I gave him his usual combination of Living Lightning (which I didn’t get round to using) and Tempest’s Wrath, which turned out to be very useful against Mech Eldar. The Runic Weapon that he carries is also very handy when facing enemy Psykers. Although the Swiftclaws die fairly quickly, that’s almost their job. I use them to get to the enemy and distract them so that I can get my other guys forward. The Wolf Priest on bike is far more survivable (so long as you don’t roll 1s when crossing Difficult Terrain) and, though I wish I’d given him Melta bombs, does his fair share of damage. He’s really good fun to play too.

Hildolfr left

Anyway, despite losing badly, I actually finished a game, had a lot of fun and was happy with my list. I guess that the main thing that I need now is practice!

L.o.F.