Saturday 26 February 2022

Grim Dice 40k Tournament Report (Feb 2022) - Ork Green Tide Again


You may remember at the end of last year I went to a tournament at Grim Dice Tabletop Gaming in Grimsby - well I went to another one. Same format, 2000 points, three games, though this time using the Nachmund GT pack. As before unpainted was allowed and full painting points were awarded to everyone.

I'm going to use the same format for this post as last time as well - brief army list description then a mini report of the three games, followed by some of my thoughts. So once again I took an attempt on the Green Tide style list, though once again I didn't go full horde, partly due to time concerns and partly as this is the way I'm leaning towards this build. The Boyz are great for board control and bullying troop units in melee, but they can struggle against tough targets and against heavy concentrated firepower. Currently I think spending a lot of points to buff them is a bit of a trap (outside of Bosses who do their own heavy lifting) so 'support' units take the form of units that can kill things Boyz can't and/or play the mission.

With that in mind, here's the list; Snakebites Battalion and Patrol, starting with 8 CP

HQ: Beast Boss (Warlord, Brutal but Kunnin, Beasthide Mantle), Warboss (attack squig, kombi skorcha, powerklaw, 'Ard as Nails, Da Killa Klaw), Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun

Troops: 3x15 Boyz (powerklaw), 2x15 Boyz (shootas, powerklaw), 15 Beast Snagga Boyz

Elites: 6 Kommandos (powerklaw)

Fast Attack: 2x3 Deffkoptas (Boomboyz), 6 Stormboyz (powerklaw)

Heavy Support: 3 Killa Kans (big shootas), 3 Killa Kans (grotzookas), 5 Flash Gitz (ammo runt, choppa, gitfinda squig)

So 90 assorted Boyz forming the core of the list, with some light vehicle support, couple of little 6 man units for retrieving Nachmund data etc, two killy bosses and a bit of unreliable but potentially deadly fire support. The Kans in particular feel like a bargain with the new points costs - in previous editions they would have got rokkits every time but now they are so cheap without them I'm using them as just a melee unit. The Shokk Attack gun and Flash Gitz were my big decisions before the event - I've not been convinced by either of them before but they filled the gap of shooting units and have to potential to swing into being really killy. The Mek also let me go without psychic to free up Abhor the Witch, which is nice.

So, on to game one, against Ash and his Necrons - a bit of a classic mix of Necron units not going too heavily in on one thing. Plenty of Skorpekh Destroyers to get up on points and lots of smaller units to play the mission, with a Night Scythe to deliver some of them. The mission was Conversion, five objectives with corner deployments and bonuses on offer basically for holding the objectives. For secondaries I chose Stranglehold, Retrieve Nachmund Data and Stomp 'Em Good (basically Grind but only melee counts). Ash picked the classic Engage on All Fronts and RND combo plus Grind Them Down.

I got first turn and everything moved up to hold objectives where possible, then the Destroyers struck to wipe a unit of Boyz, but it put them in a bad position for turn two when they got surrounded and beaten down by both Bosses and a load of WAAAGH!ing Boyz. The rest of the game largely followed a patern of Necrons grabbing a point then the Orks pushing them straight off, while I pushed further towards the Necron lines. We both lost a lot of models, but kept our home objectives, though the Orks were comfortably ahead on the primary points.

89-66 is a fairly comfortable score but certainly not totally one sided. Ash was at his first tournament so I was glad he didn't get totally battered!

On to the game two, this time against Conner and his Drukhari - a mix of elements as one might expect for DE, but a focus on two blocks of three Talos and lots of small melee specialist units. The mission was Tide of Conviction, six objectives with most of them in the middle, and bonus points on offer for holding ones in your opponent's half, with extra available for holding them at the end of the game. For secondaries I went with Raise the Banners High, Stranglehold and Bring it Down, while Conner picked the Engage/RND combo and the highest scoring 'kill' secondary vs my army, No Prisoners.

Once again I got first turn and it was largely uneventful, raising some banners and running forward. The Drukhari response was to move up onto objectives and blast some Kans with dark light. Turn two saw the killing really start, Beast Snaggas and Kopta Rokkits downing a couple of the Talos while charges on the right flank took out some transports. Casualties were high on both sides, Orks are pretty good at killing T3 elves if they get to fight before them, and Conner got some pretty poor rolls with his Incubi, both to activate their fight last ability and on the wounding on 4 ups.

Mid game we both had a significant failure that swung the game one way then the other. I failed a very short charge over a pipe into the second Talos unit with a full boyz mob, onto an objective, while Conner's Wych and Succubus got interrupted on by my shoota boyz and battered to death with gun butts before they could fight. The game came down to the last turn, with the one remaining Talos clearing out one of my objectives and my Stormboyz failing a charge onto Wracks on one of Conner's. 

81-72 to the Drukhari, in spite of some bad luck the last turn scoring picked up some big points for the DE. I felt like I played it really well but just didn't quite have that little extra something to claim it in the end. I think up until the last turn we both thought I was winning. A loss is a loss but it definitely feels like an improvement from the second game vs Drukhari last time.

And the final game was against... Rick and his Orks, my first opponent from the last event. Rick had swapped out his Speedfreaks for Beast Snagga heavy Snakebites, so this was going to be a very interesting game as he looked for some revenge! The mission was Data-scry Salvage, a six objective mission with one in the corner deployment zones and four on a middle line. Bonus points were awarded for doing an action on your home objective, equal to the number of central objectives you held. My secondaries were Assassinate, Engage and RND, while Rick picked Stomp 'Em Good, Engage and RND.

Once again I got first turn, moved up and scored a few points. I did some 'token' shooting, but this time it really powered up - the Deffkoptas on the left flank wiped a full unit of Squighog Boyz, and the Shokk Attack Gun blasted most of another! In Rick's turn one the WAAAGH! was declared and all his melee units crashed into my front line in a huge wave of destruction. A couple of turns of our fronts bashing into each other occured, with CP combat interruptions causing huge swings - at one point a unit of shoota Boyz interrupted to batter a mob of Beast Snaggas, wiping them out and claiming an objective. Rick's units were dead killy, but were hampered significantly by the Snakebite trait - we were both on the receiving end for once! I got my Stormboyz in behind the rear objective to RND and disrupt the grots holding it, and the Shokk Attack gun absolutely was super charged this game - two rolls of 11+ for it's srength to dish out mortal wounds, one of which killing a Squigasaur Boss, among several other good shots into Squighogs.

With all the killing across the centre line, and it being a 'hold two' mission, scoring started pretty slowly, but in the end with few units left for me Rick was able to score decently on the primary, however with his losses he was unable to score much for his secondaries, while I maxed assassinate thanks to all his squig mounted characters. It was a nail biter...

Final result, 69-66 to Rick's Orks, once again decided by the final actions of the game - in this case his Kans blasting my Beast Boss off an objective to give him 'hold more'. What a game!

I ended up going 1-2 again, on paper not an improvement, but the two losses were both super close and could have swung the other way with a roll or two - possibly just going first did it for me in the end? It definitely felt like this list had more to give me than the last one, and I'm sure I played it much better. I'm not immediately sure of any big mistakes, maybe I should have put the Kans into reserve vs the Drukhari and their dark lances, and I probably shouldn't have vs the Necrons? Though I was hoping for a better result I'm very happy with how the games played out, all three were fun and the last two were just really intense - but in a good way. (Though there is something to be said for getting smashed in game three so you can go home early!)

Looking at my list, I'm pretty happy with it really. I think I've proved for me that a Boyz heavy list can at least play the game if not magically become top tier competitive, so I might not take it again next time. But if I did I think I'd be looking at the Flash Gitz as a possible cut - they were decent but hampered by S6 against two of my opponents, I think I might get the Meganobz back in instead, they aren't very shooty but they are at least a threat to higher toughness units. I'd also look at unit sizes, I think the two shoota mobs could go down to ten - this keeps them cheap for holding back on objectives and with a lower power level it makes strategic reserves a decent option. I'm glad I took them though, their shooting was handy and both units earned their keep in melee! With the spare points I'd probably up the Beast Snaggas, since they are a proper threat to a lot of units out there, and maybe grab a unit of grots for actions and the like.

Anyway, once more, thanks to everyone, Grim Dice for running, my opponents for excellent games, and you for reading. Hope you enjoyed, and please stay safe out there.

Thursday 24 February 2022

'Sponge Nid' Project Part Four - Bigger Beasties


Ok, so we've looked at the little bugs, we've seen the medium bugs, and we've even had some pretty hefty bugs. Now it is time for some proper big gribbly monsters - The Swarmlord, a couple of flying Hive Tyrants and a pair of big snake beasts - the Trygon and Mawloc. Same methods as before, spraying and contrast, sponging over the green for texture, and extra detail where required. I also put a bit more effort in to the larger bases, as you'll see. 

Firstly, the big boss bug himself, the Swarmlord. As befitting an army leader I did a little extra work to make him stand out a bit - most notably some red wash on his bone sabres either side of the central ridge to make them look a little bit more alien and unnatural - as bone swords they are supposed to be psychically charged symbiotic organisms, not just big sharp lumps of bone. For the same reason I chose not to give him some blood splatters - I imagine the swords are hyper-smooth and blood just flies off them like water off a duck's back. I think it also give the impression of more of a commander than just a melee monster.

Next, first of the flying Hive Tyrants - this one with a full set of devourers (which hopefully will still be a legal loadout in the next codex!) Again, a bit of extra work, especially around the face, but also some more sponging over the majestic wings.

Similar work on the second flyrant, this one had been converted to have a double scything talon in one arm and barbed strangler in the other. He got some blood on those talons, as befitting a more 'boots on the ground' kind of leader.

The Trygon Prime, and fun with water effect. This big snake monster got some blood splatters, some yellow poison sacs and a lovely mucky pond to coil around. His tail is also pretty muddy thanks to all that swampy ground, but speaking of mud...

Finally the Mawloc, and something a little bit different. The model was supplied converted to be semi undergound, but in transport had broken a fair bit - I took the opportunity to strengthen it's bond to it's base with a whole load of greenstuff, with added cork for rocky chunks and then covered in mud effect texture paint. As you can see it's making a bit of a mess of that swamp as it tunnels through, churning up all the mud and rock below. I am particularly happy with how this one came out, and the Mawloc is a personal favourite Nid of mine - my one always seems to punch above it's weight by absorbing a lot of firepower or cheekily taking out a prized target.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed these pics - they were pretty fun to paint! That was originally going to be the lot, but I've since received a bonus box to build up, with some more Zoanthropes and a few fun big monsters, so look out for that! Thanks for reading, and please, wherever you are, stay safe out there.

Saturday 19 February 2022

Battle Report - Orks vs Custodes


Recently I had a matched play game with my Orks against Nick (previously seen piloting Iron Hands) and his new Codex Custodes. It was part tournament practice for an upcoming Grim Dice event, and part excuse to field Mozrog Skragbad for the first time.

I ran a 'Green Tide' variant with a bit less Tide and a bit more Toys. A single Snakebite Battalion, around half the points were invested in about 100 Boyz, including Beast Snaggas, a couple of small units of Shootas for objectives. They were led by Mozrog himself and a couple of Weirdboys, and accompanied by a mix of 'killy' units; some Deffkoptas, Killa Kans, Squighog Boyz, Flash Gitz and five Meganobz in a Trukk. 

For my secondaries I took Retrieve Nachmund Data, Engage On All Fronts and, not really knowing what else, No Prisoners.

Nick was running his Custodes as the Emissaries Imperatus, a Battalion led by a Bike Shield Captain with a load of upgrades and the CG himself, Trajann Valoris. Three Guardians with shields and five with spears, and five Sagittarum made up the troops, and they were supported by four Allarus Terminators, a Contemptor-Achillus and two units of Vertus Praetors. Amusingly there was also a Vexilus Praetor in the list but he got a bit lost on the way to the battlefield.

Nick's secondaries were Investigate Signal, Grind Them Down and Assassination.

The mission was Death and Zeal, and here's deployment. The Terminators and the Dreadnought were in the teleporter, Deffkoptas were flying high and the Killa Kans were in the tellyporta. We rolled and Custodes got first turn.

Using the Emissaries strat to fling the jetbikes up the board turn one, the Custodes were right in my grill. The melta missiles blew up the Trukk with ease, and the Sagittarum got some shots at the rather lazily positioned Flash Gitz and killed them with a strong opening volley. The bikers then got the turn one charge but thanks to the Snakebite trait they were wounding on 4s rather than 2s so didn't wipe a Boyz mob.

In my turn one the Orks spread out to try and get some points and get some krumpin. Mortal wounds from the Weirdboyz and some poor armour saves caused the forward biker unit to drop to one model, who then got charged and finished off by the Meganobz. I also got a Boyz mob to charge forward at the Shield Captain and try to stop any investigation of the signal and tie him up a bit, but the nearby bikers heroically intervened in and took a bit of a toll. The Boyz stuck around to tie them up for a turn but I think it was probably a bit of a mistake.

Custodes turn two, the reserves popped in on the left flank. Their shooting took out the Squighogs and several other Beast Snaggas, but luckily they all failed their charges. On the other side of the board though the Custodes cut through many boyz, and I was already starting to look a bit thinner on the ground.

Turn two for the Orks involved lining up a load of charges and declaring the WAAAGH! The Koptas and Kans dropped in at the rear to target the three Guards on the back objective, while my remaining Boyz swung around for a charge on the five man unit and Mozrog got ready to get involved with the Shield Captain. I did basically ignore the teleported units, running away from them where possible!

The Kans and Koptas did a great job for me, removing those Guardians and claiming the objective. The Boyz bounced somewhat, as did the Meganobz on the Sagittarum - both assisted by defensive stratagems.

Mozrog decided the smart thing to do would actually be to fight the bikers to help the Boyz, rather than go for the Captain just yet - however he heroically intervened and I just couldn't resist a heroic showdown. However thanks to Custodes 4++ it was a pretty underwhelming duel, with Mozrog taking some minor damage in return - though that did increase when the bikers rudely decided to stab him as well.

At this point I felt things were going ok in terms of killing stuff, but I had somewhat ignored the objectives - and a significant chunk of the Custodes army.

In turn three the Dreadnought and Terminators moved in towards my rear objective, mirroring what I'd done and removing the shoota boyz parked there. The Sagittarum and Custodian Guard continued to resist my Meganobz and Boyz respectively, while chipping away at them in return - once again I think the defensive strats and 4++ doing well for them. The Shield Captain eventually knocked Mozrog over, after more passed invuln saves, and the bikers did a number on the remaining Boyz mob.

At the end of the phase Mozrog got back up yelling "I didn't hear no bell!", being as Surly as a Squiggoth. However I was rapidly losing units that I could score with, most of my remaining Mobz now below or on the cusp of counting for Engage and being unable to contest objectives from double obsec Custodians.

There was time for one more big bash in the middle, with the Killa Kans coming round the corner to attempt to finish that Shield Captain. Trajann got involved, and the pair battered their way through the Kans after surviving the attacks. Mozrog had another go at the bikers, killing one of them but once again the Custodes invulnerable saves proved too good for him, and they knocked him back down again.

In turn four the Custodes cleared most of the board, racking up a bunch of points, and then in turn five the damaged Shield Captain made a run for my Deffkoptas - the last Ork unit on the field. Thanks to being Snakebites and Ramshackle they shrugged off a lot of his damage and at the bottom of my turn five, finally finished him off with their spinnin' blades!

In the end I'd cut down a fair number of the Custards but most of my forces were gone and I hadn't been scoring much along the way. The final score was 84 - 44 to the Custodes.

Well, those Custodes sure are tough! I think I got a bit unlucky with their invulnerable saves, but I also made plenty of mistakes early on and I was unable to take advantage of my numerical superiority to get board control and focus on the objectives. I was very pleased with how much the Snakebite transhuman for strength 7 or less rule helped me - if there's going to be a lot of Custodes about (and judging by recent tournament results, there will be) Snakebites might suddenly become a strong shout for those meta-inclined. Of course I was always going to run them anyway!

Regardless of result, it was a good fun game and valuable learning. I hope you've enjoyed reading, thanks, and stay safe!