Friday, 17 October 2014

Decep'Tau'cons: Battle Report

So last club night, Shaun arrived with his Tau'formers in his personal transport. This awesome little in progress army are based on the Farsight list of the Tau forces, with all the paint schemes based on Transformers. If you don't know already, I love Transformers, and my old Tau army was based on another awesome cartoon and toy line, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... it seems the Tau are well suited to all things good in the eighties! 

Shuans exact list I'm unsure, but he had 3 crisis suit teams, one with his Starscream warlord, 3 broadside teams, 2 with all missiles and skyfire one with railguns, all with marker drones. Also included were three Riptides. This made it 2000pts.

Above you can see Optimus Prime, Cliff Jumper, Jazz and Bumblebee, along with the soon to be riptides of Megatron and Galvatron. 

 Starscream with bodyguard, and some of the Constructicons.

When Shauns finished the army I'll be getting him in to do a nice photoshoot of his force, along with his Imperial Fists. 

Back to the batle, my list consisted of a lot of grav guns, bikes, and a stormraven with chapter master and honour guard. I also took a Callidus assassin, although the vindicare was tempting.... I was able to set up first, my bikes as far foward as possible (then scouting ahead) and everything else ready to pounce. 

In typical Kev shooting, I miss with an awful lot of dice. 20 grav shots, I only hit with half.... that shout have been one dead riptide but has three wounds left! Another 9 shots at another along with bolters from a bike squad strips one down to just one wound, and the other loses 2 wounds from my second bike squads gravs. The scouts are out of range, the assassin kills a couple of drones and thats about it. Not a good first turn!

In return Shauns firepower is tremendous. Missile pods galore, bikers die in droves and the battle looks over not long after this! I try to damage a riptide in combat, but do nothing, the Legion of the Damned arrive, kill a broadside and some drones but then in turn die themselves from loads of firepower. Shaun, I think feeling sorry for me deepstrikes his warlord and promptly scatters and rolls a one on the mishap table... which was jolly nice of him! My scouts do well holding off two crisis suits in my deployment, and the sternguard do well to survive a few turns also.

Stormraven turns up and gets blown out of the sky, chapter master and one honour guard surviving. Not good! I was hoping to get him in combat with a riptide, alas it did not happen. Khan however did kill the Optimus Prime riptide with his instant death sword, which was a nice moment! 

In the end I'm almost wiped out, tactical objectives not being very friendly to me, although not as unfriendly as those bloody Tau! I think a better first turn would have helped, but its tough seeing a way to beat this list fair play. I'll no doubt have to try again, I've got a challange and I want to beat it! I think the vindicare would have been a better choice, he could have stayed far back and wounded suits from afar, the callidus, while in theory could have destroyed the Tau in combat, getting into it isn't easy. Overwatch will hurt a lot! 

Have you guys played a list like this? What tips would you have? 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Dead of Winter

My love for board games has been increasing over the last few months. Being able to play different games brings variety, and it keeps things fresh. Do I miss nhot have a few weeks of 40k? Very much so, but there are some amazing board games out there, as evidenced by the Sons of Anarchy review I recently published and many other games we've played. From Risk, Gloom, and Firefly to Cards Against Humanity, Dominion and Carcarssonne, we're spoilt for choice.

At Mondays club night, Gavin mentioned he was bringing along a recent purchase called Dead of Winter. Myself and Louis had a little look to try get a rough idea of what it was about when we realised we'd seen it before. Counters, the board game cafe based in Pontypridd, and who had a delightful room at Dragondaze, had this there. The guys from Counters were raving about it, saying that its their current fave game to play so we started having high expectations. Disappointment, we did not get.

Theres a wealth of tokens and cards to the game, along with some location cards and the main board that houses some of the cards and the colony. Theres a good number of survivor and zombie counters, and we quickly found Bill Murray and Danny Devito. Oh and Madonna... I'll talk about her later. We got set up and began to play. 

You elect one of your two survivors to be your leader, and place them on your player cards. Here you house your dice, equipment and secret mission. Each player draws a secret objective, some of which can be betrayal cards. These give you your personal mission as well as a team one, and influences how you play. Theres some narrative to game too, as the Crossroads mecxhanic comes into play. When a player takes a turn, the player to their right draws a crossroads card. These are event cards that are either triggered through certain survivors being in play, locations being visited, or are instant. Many of them have options too that give you a benefit but can lead to negatives too and create more longevity for the game.

As we played, I gained a couple more survivors, a good thing as my personal mission was to have the most and complete the main objective. Louis however quickly overtook me with 6-7 survivors, which in turn means more mouths to feed or fuel to keep warm. The Crisis cards keep you on your toes, and can stall your main aims. Not only in the first turn did we have to feed the colony but we had a food crisis and needed to find one food for every person, we barely passed but lost morale due to not enough food being available for the colony. Its difficult to complete fair play! Moving to locations means you get to search for items, but the more you search the more noise you create and the more chance zombies will come looking for you, its another great mechanic that has a nice blend of gambling and chance to find the right items but potentiall lose a member of your survivors. Items that can be found range from food, fuel and medicince, to weapons and equipment. One of my members gained a cook book which allowed me to add a food counter to the colony every turn. Weapons are also found, a Sniper Rifle allows the player to kill a zombie at any location, and things like baseball bats and shotguns allow the killing of two zombies for one action. 

Even though new survivors can be picked up, sometimes you have to kill some off in order to meet the needs of all. The Waitress, who reminded of Madonna, was an easy sacrifice. The truck driving Rod however, was not! Louis with his many survivors was now beginning to make it difficult to feed everyone, so Gavin mentioned that Dead of Winter allows you to 'Exile' a player. This means all of his group can only be found at locations and not at the colony, and therefore no longer need to be fed. I had three members left, and Gavin had two, so it seemed to be a wise decision. Louis now had to change his personal objective to an exiled one, so it would be to either survive in the wilderness or stall us from winning. As it turned out, we all lost in the end! Well... Kind of. We'd managed to get the main objective of killing 9 zombies, but our morale was dropped to zero and we lost. Then Gavin showed his personal objective showing that he'd won his by completing the main objective and by having 2-3 medicine in his hand. Sneaky sod!

 Frustrating, but I can't wait to have another go, hopefully with a couple more players to the maximum of five, it was great with just three of us but with five there'll be more chances of finding items we need, as well as more mouths to feed!

So after just one game I can safely say its a cracker. With the many different survivors, objective and crossroads cards theres a lot of life to this game, and with how sometimes you'll be playing co-operatively or against each other depending on what your personal objectives are you're never quite sure if you should trust someone. This brings a great element of randomness that boardgames do well with. I heartily recommend this to anyone, even if, like myself, you're not a zombie fan. The zombies are on the outside looking in, its your fellow survivors you should be more weary of!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Rebel Aces: DBD Thoughts

And the Rebel forces rejoice, the Rebel Aces are released! I got mine on Wednesday, but have yet to game with them. Regardless, I thought I'd take a couple of pictures and have a look at the options...

These ships have a much more cleaner look than the previous versions, fitting really when they're sort of prototype versions. Will I repaint them? Likely, but I may do them differently to the rest of my Rebel forces. 

Obviously I don't have to go into their movement dials, as they're both exactly the same. The B-wing is ok across short distances but has a nice beefiness to it, the A-wing much more manoeuvrable. Its the pilot and upgrade cards however that make these pair incredibly tempting.

I'll start with Nera Dantels in her PS 5 B-wing first. Being able to fire outside of her normal arc with the bomb like symbol is pretty vicious. Fly her straight up and past the ties and just fire some proton torpedoes. This takes the pressue off losing a ship before you use the proton torpedoes, I'll be intrigued using her! 

Keyan Farlander has a great ability too, which means if you're stressed you get to use that stress token like a focus token when attacking. That means if you target lock after perhaps pushing the limit, you can get a really good attack out. I think this guy will see a lot of use especially with an autoblaster.

Gemmer Sojans ability isn't so noticeable at first, but I can see her becoming a very useful pilot to have. Get her in amongst the enemy and she'll become pretty tought with an extra agility for being within range 1 of an enemy ship. Not the greatest of abilities, but something that will really annoy the enemy and cause him to need to deal with her.

It has to be said I love boosting. I think its because for so long I couldn't. I tried a list recently where I gave the boost addition to the Falcon and an Xwing, then had the one card for the E-wing where if you target lock someone you can boost. Well heres another booster, this time on Jake Farrell, where if you perform or are assigned a focus token, you can boost OR barrell roll. I really like this ability as it can help you dodge some of the enemy firepower the Imperials can now bring to bear. BOOST!!!!

Cards wise, Chardon Refits are a great way of bring the price down of your A-wings, as long as you don't use the missiles. A-wing test pilot is something I'm looking forward to seeing how people use, being able to take two Medal Cards is insane, its free too! Proton Rockets could be a useful tool too, as its 1 firepower, but you add your agility to it. Those A-wings are 3, so you'll get 4 firepower each time. B-wings can now take an upgrade that allows them to add a crew card, enhanced scopes makes your pilot skill '0' in the activation phase letting you move first and shoot second which I see a lot of potential for. 

There are also two new crew cards who will look familiar from their HWK flying days, Kyle Katarn, who lets you take a stress away then recieve a focus (mixed with Farlander this could be insane as you'll get a focus like attack after spending a stress, then get a focus for defending). Jan Ors lets you assign an evade token to a ship at range 1-3 instead of them focussing, which could help keep a vital ship alive that you need.

All in all a great little package, I had this for £17 posted and can't complain one bit! I now have 3 A-wings and 2 B-wings, so can see myself trying a list using all of them at some time. Have you discovered any great combos using the new cards yet? Perhaps with the two medal card ability? Let me know!