Monday, 20 July 2015

068. The month that wasn't and the Battle of Rays dinner table...

Hello fellow bloggers.   June seems to have gotten away from me, and now I find myself half way through July.  It's been cold and miserable in the land down under and I've been spending my free time pratting about in the garden, closing it down for the year, as well as dabbling in a spot of paving and maintenance.  Throw in the little miss's second birthday, a dearth of other family commitments, and it being end of financial year which is peak time at work, and the last 6 weeks have vanished in a flash.

On the hobby front, I did cut some corners and finally get the Deff Koptas finished, just in time for the mid-year cut-off I was aiming for, finishing them dead on 30 June.  I say cutting corners as I didn't really finish off the Rokkit heads, leaving them plain black in the main.  I need to go back at some point and add some basic designs (whirls or star patterns etc) to them like I did the Rokkits on the Kans a few months back.

Deff Koptas finished(-ish)
Finishing them marks a real achievement in my Ork force and the painting pledge I made at the start of the year, as it left me with only 6.5 more models to do.  Being that close to finished, I cracked on straight away with the last 6 Boyz, setting aside the Prospektor yet again (him being the .5 mentioned).
WIP - working up the armour base metallic tones
WIP - where the last 6 lads currently find themselves
The Boyz are cracking along well enough, with the aim being to get them done by the end of this month.  I say aim to, but this is probably going to be missed as I have managed to do something to my back again which means sitting down at the painting stool (or any chair for that matter) for any real stretch is a bit no-go at the moment.  I'll play it by ear and not push myself too hard, as I'd prefer I sort my back out properly this time rather than run the risk of a flare up later on.

Once that lot are out of the way though I have a choice to make.  Crack on with the Orks that James kindly donated to the cause (see this post here); put some more paint on some of the terrain I have laying about the place; or start on the force I want to work on for next years pledge - a Lost and the Damned, hybrid Renegade Guard/Chaos Marines with a Nurgle Daemon twist.  For both my Orks and the LatD force, I do plan on picking up a few more smaller purchases to bulk the forces out and provide me a mix of units to paint and play with.  Nothing is set in stone at this stage.

Aside from my painting exploits, this last Sunday, Ackland had me round for a day of gaming; 1,500 points a side - the Battle of Ray's Dinner Table!  Being cold outside, and me being in some pain with the back, I pushed Ray to host the game indoors, and the dinner table was selected as our field of battle given its size and ability to mount Rays fabulous gaming mat.

Ray took his Praetorians, while I fielded my burgeoning green Waagh!  We played Purge the Alien, on a Hammer and Anvil deployment.  Ray fielded:
- Straken (aka Major-General Margrave Chretzo Sigenandus) with his flamer toting command squad (with attached Priest)

- a 30 man blob squad (with embedded Commissar), with grenade launcher toting platoon command
- 3 x Las cannon heavy weapon teams
- 2 x Veteran squads with meltas
- Grenade launcher special weapon team
- Rough Riders (using the DKoK Death Rider rules)
- Demolisher
- Medusa emplacement (using the Imperial Armour rules)
- Earthshaker emplacement (using the Imperial Armour rules) 
- an Aegis defence line
The Pride of Praetoria
I ran with:
- Warboss attached to a mixed weapon Nob Squad
- 2 x 21 Ork Boys mobs
- 11 Boy Shoota mob
- 15 Grot Gretchin mob
- Deff Dread
- 3 x Killa Kans
- 3 X Deff Koptas

The green Waagh - in need of some transports
Looking out at the rabble
Advancing through the open into the face of those guns should be fun
Ray had first turn and opened up with his big guns, but after some rubbish rolls, he only managed to inflict 3 casualties and a couple of hull points on the walkers (which I started recovering with my Grot Riggers - I spent most of the game doing that!).
Ray stayed put behind his walls while my horde started the long shuffle forward
Forgetting the urgency of the moment, I spent the first turn shuffling forward in the movement phase, and then attempting to shoot at his dug in troops with my rubbish ballistic skill Orks rather than running them like I should have.

Turn two saw Rays big guns start making pie plate sized holes in my horde, as well as taking down a Kan and the Dread.  I remembered at that point the need to get out from under the sights of those guns, and through the aid of jammy dice rolls, re-rolls as a result of my Warlord trait, and a handy Waagh roll, launched my boys forward in a charge against the thin red line of Praetorians.
The first charge makes it into combat
The first critical charge successfully rolled the 10 I needed to reach the walls.  Ray was between a rock and a hard place, having to decided to either waste an overwatch on these 3 Shoota Boys, or hold off and hope they didn't make the charge distance.  This would mean he could use his overwatch (from 30 men in the blob) against the much more dangerous Nob squad that was coming up behind.  In the end he elected not to overwatch, and the Shootas got in, locking the unit and thus preventing the overwatch call against the following Nobs
The wall of Orks starts making it into contact
With the three Shoota Boys having locked the blob squad in combat, my Nobs were free to also charge in unmolested.  I squeaked through with my charge distance, slamming the Warboss and Nobs into Rays biggest Infantry unit.  On the other flank, I also managed to get the remains of one of the Boys mobs into contact with a unit of Veterans.
Left lagging after failing to make the charge distance
The second, and largely intact Boys mob, fluffed its charge roll and got left stranded in no mans land in front of the Demolisher and the Medusa battery!
The Lion Rampant was enough to give these lads pause
On the right flank, the Veterans saw off the charge of my Boys, wiping those in base contact in their combat phase, leaving the Boys out of contact stranded with no targets when it came to their initiative step.  I promptly lost that combat, fluffed my leadership test and Mob rule roll, failed to break contact, and was swept of the board.
The Veterans leave the safety of their barricades
Ray declared that 'it's the right thing to do' and leapt his Vets over the wall and pushed them determinedly towards the next mob of Boys.  I'm not sure what those lads on Praetoria eat for breakfast, but these lot were blood thirsty devils and fancied themselves a chance against a second Mob.
Swirling melee in the centre
The combat at the other end of the board was much more in my favour.  The three Shootas saw off their challengers in their mini combat, inflicting 4 wounds for one against the Nob leading them (love 2 wound squad leaders!).  In the centre, Rays lads could do little against the might of my Nobs and Warboss, who shrugged off their bayonet thrusts, and in return, clobbered the whole unit!
Casualties after combat with my Warboss and Nobs!
The Orks were looking good at this point.  I was behind the Aegis line, had just wiped out his biggest unit, and was feeling pretty cocky so squared up against the command squad.
I'll have the shiny one next thinks my Warboss
Ray is a bit more level headed and tactically minded than me, and started to reposition his forces, including those pesky Rough Riders I'd forgotten about, and his second Veteran squad and ppecial weapons team.
I mocked Ray for his tactic of retreating from combat with most of his units.  His rejoinder was, 'It's heroic stuff' as he pulled back his Special Weapons team to shelter behind the Demolisher, while lining up a shot on my Nob squad
The Horse Troop line up for a charge on my Nobs - the Veterans bring up their Meltas in support
Suffice to say, Ray was able in the shooting phase (ignoring the rubbish flamer rolls - he caused no wounds after overlapping two flamers and a heavy flamer) to lay waste to most of my Nobs, leaving the Warboss and 1.5 Nobs to face off against his command squad and Rough Riders on the charge.
The Major-General foolishly called my Warboss out for a challenge
Of course I'll take that on I says! I'd rather fight him, than have to worry about all those pointy spears
The command squad saw off my last Nobs, while the Major-General left my Warboss with one wound, and in return got clobbered good and proper in return, being left a ruined, mangled mess for his men to drag off.  In the combat resolution, we realised I'd actually lost, having caused one less wound than Ray.  My Warboss lost the leadership check, and failed to breakaway, meaning he was run down by the boys in blue riding nags.  GAH!!!!!  That was not the way for the Warboss to fall.
The Priest roused the horse troop intto a battle fervor, then quietly slipped back through the lines, or in Rays words, 'he should run away', thus stopping me from claiming a victory point
Ray pushed his Rough Riders out towards my Gretchin, who had managed to edge their way up the board, while simultaneously tactically retreating his platoon command and lonely Priest, thus denying me two crucial victory points.
The Gretchin actually earned back their points, killing 2.5 Rough Riders with their shooting and  overwatch.
The game finished up with Ray smashing my Koptas (who had done not much of anything) out of the sky with his las cannon teams (who had also not been that effective all game), whilst his Rough Riders ran down the Gretchin - but only after suffering 2.5 casualties to a mix of shooting and then overwatch from the Gretchin!
The Medusa launches a parting shot at the last remaining Kan, missing it yet again
The game finished up 9 victory points to 3 in Rays favour.  Irrespective of that result, I had a real blast playing - being my first game since November last year, and the first time I'd run the Orks at 1,500.  Deployment hadn't suited me, bunching up the Mobs and making them easy targets for the pie plate lobbers, but I'd still had most of the Mobs see combat, with the Nobs showing again how tough and brutal they are (even if they are damn expensive - costing a third of the armies total points when you include the Warboss).

I mentioned additions to this force earlier - transports are up there as something I want to look into.  Also Grot Big Guns are on the list, mainly so I have something to do in the shooting phase.  The rule of cool also comes into that as the FW big guns look schmick.  Finally I'm thinking some Mega Nobs to go with the Warboss wouldn't go astray, and would give me two tough as nuts units (Warboss and Mega Nobs, and then the stock Nobs).  Both units will need transports though to get them up the board quick smart, but should prove useful either distracting an enemy with their sheer uberness, thus letting the foot mobs get up the board, or if they are ignored in favour of shooting up the foot mobs, putting two hard as nails units into the enemies face.

Cheers all for sticking with it if you got this far.  Hopefully some of the fun and enthusiasm I experienced from the game came through in these pictures/write up.  I had a real blast and can't thank Ray enough for hosting and putting on a fun game.

Until next time folks, enjoy your hobbying.

Muppet