Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dark Angels: The Models!

So I managed to get time and motivation to take pictures of the progress so far.  The goal for January is all the infantry for the first Lion’s Blade demi company.  I’ve got the two 6 man tac squads painted.  The 10 man squad I’m still working on the paint scheme for.  The old Mk III armor just needs a bit more to look like you aren’t mailing it in.

Command squad, 2 Tac squads on the left. Tac, Assault Marines, Dev squad on the right.

The models I have so far. Need a razorback, 5 assault marines, and a rhino for the devs (might add some meatshields to the devs as well)

 

So there’s what I have.  As you can see I’ve gotten a lot of green out there  Not much else so far.  Priority is on the big tac squad, and assault squad.  Then at least getting the vehicles colored.  I will treat myself by painting Master Balthasar at some point soon.

Detail of the Command Squad, Tac squads, and unpainted vehicles

Going to do some touching up on the tacs, but I wouldn’t mind putting them on the battlefield now.

I did some modifications on the command squad.  The sergeant has a power axe and one of the nice DA Power pistols, and the champion has a DA Power sword.  I didn’t go for the robes, but I might eventually do some.

Rather more boring

One painted model, the rest are victims of Caliban Green spray paint. Yes. I’m lazy. I am actually really looking forward to the assault squad. I do like the look and I have a chaplain with an assault pack coming.

Assault squads are really underpowered in the current edition.  I do plan on using them in a 10 man squad because I figure I need to make sure something is still there to hit when they finally arrive in close combat.

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5th Company Heraldry on the Shoulder Pad

Need to touch it up quite a bit.  I like the theme so far, but as you can see there’s a lot of details that I could add to it, but at a certain point I’m worried it will look busy, but anything short and it might look like I’m mailing it in.

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Echoed the heraldry on the front bone and black faceplate. Gold eyes. Also figuring what to do with the other shoulderpad.

I will be doing transfers on the shoulders.  That will help a lot.  But below the waist there won’t be a lot of detail, just highlighting and shading and… I’m not sure.

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More details to pick out and repair, But you can see where it’s going.

One last Mk III view.  Got to fix the eye and the helmet, but not too much else, just highlighting, the bolter, and shading.

So the next project is the Mk III tac squad.  Then I’ll probably do the Chapter Master.  Depending on the weather I’ll be spraying the vehicles I have, to get them to mean green machines.  Beyond that I’ll be working on the assault squad.  I do need to work on how many devastators I want to have in this squad (and in the other squad).

Swamps of M’boto: The Return

“We are going back” Master Balthasar said.  His eyes hard on the Librarian.

“We are going back.  The Knights will take their cargo to the rock on the Strike Cruiser but we will remain here to ensure that nothing of this is spoken of where it shouldn’t be”

Balthasar glared at Herod.  The Librarian leaned back, his eyes taking a meditative cast “We will keep most of the Deathwing here, only the knights will return.  And the detachment from the 7th will be glad of the reinforcements.”

Balthasar turned his head, breathing deeply.  And again.  Focusing on the map his brain automatically created from the briefings sent from the planet below.

“Very well.  Detachment Abnell is holding the defensive complex we took a few days ago.  We will deploy there and strike the xenos through the woods to disrupt their lines facing the Guard.  I will have Captain Hanadan so inform General Middlebrooks immediately.  Will your Deathwing be ready within the hour?”

Herod nodded immediately.

“Very well, have them on the embarkation deck within the hour, we drop in sixty minutes.”  He paused to toggle his vox on “5th Company!  Gear for immediate deployment.  You have 50 minutes to be assembled by squads on the embarkation deck.  For the Lion and Caliban!”

50 minutes later, in the full panoply of war, Master Balthasar strode onto the embarkation deck.  Chaplain  Maccabeus stood at the head of the squads lined up, the vehicles were already attached to their Thunderhawks, the last of the chapter serfs fled the bay even as Balthasar crossed the threshold.  He marched to the lead Thunderhawk, then turned to his men as they stood fixed in their ranks.  “Brothers.  Embark!”

As one the assembled green troops turned and filed into the transports.  6 columns filled the dropships and vox clicks and chatter buzzed as squads and chalks checked in.

“Balthasar to all elements, final check”

“Squad 10, present and correct”

“Squad 9, present and correct”… and on until finally

“Chaplain Maccabeus, all squads are present and correct Master Balthasar”

“Brother Librarian is your element ready?”

“We are ready Master Balthasar, give the word”

“The word is given.  Captain Hanadan, open the doors and launch the Thunderhawks!”

With that the door lifted, ponderous and slow, yet smooth and the Thunderhawks lifted as one, arrowing out into the inky blackness, and turning in the double v formation that would drop them in their two demi-company groups, even as the Blade of Judgement fired her main engines to depart the system with her precious cargo.

The Thunderhawks dropped, thrusting hard even with gravity pulling them down, like homesick children desperate for the embrace of their family.  The Dark Angels were returning to war.

Swamps Of M’boto

3 Weeks prior to the battle.  Departing The Rock the Strike Cruiser Blade of Judgement climbed away, pushing towards M’boto.  The engines grumbled deep within the hull as the troopers and their naval serfs secured gear.  Master Balthasar and Chaplain Maccabeus sat in the strategium with a chart of the company hovering between them.

“Master Balthasar, I understand we haven’t been brought fully up to strength, I have to question leaving our Tactical squads so understrength.”

“Brother Chaplain we have been over this.  We could either leave every squad understrength, and risk our assault squads being short in the press, or our devastator squads short of ammunition, or we can take advantage of the Techmarines offer to grant us the use of the Razorbacks to make up the firepower our tactical squads are missing for want of battle brothers.  Now, let’s go over how we will deploy. I will take the odd squads, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, two of the Ravenwing squads, and you will have the even squads, as well as the land Speeders.  Brother Librarian Herod will be in support, but he has his own mission and will decide which of our demi-companies he will support according to the dictates of his mission.”

“I would be more comfortable knowing more about his mission, Master Balthasar,”

“I know Maccabeus.  We believe several rebel humans have joined with the Xenos.  The Librarians and Deathwing have specific orders regarding that.  That is all you need know and more than would be wise to share, even with your sergeants.  Now, you have two full strength tactical squads, an understrength squad with a Razorback, and a full strength Assault and Devastator squad.  I will have two understrength tactical squads and one full strength.  We have enough Rhinos to transport all the Devastators and Tactical squads, and of course the Razorbacks, I will have the company command group with me, and Brother Maimonades has scared up another razorback for us.  I’m assuming you will draw a jump pack to join with your assault squad?”

“I will Balthasar.  I would like to try to draw additional weapons for that assault squad?”

“I will have a word with Maimonades.  You need all the help you can get anyway.  Oh and the final detachment with us comes from the 7th company.  Brother Librarian Abnell is bringing a pair of tactical squads, as well as a predator, and a dreadnought.  Brother Maimonades will join him.  These squads have just been assembled, and Master Ezekiah was very strict telling us to keep our hands off of them.  I plan on leaving them aboard the ship, we don’t have transports for them, and until we have a secure base they would just slow us down.  Once we have a base we will deploy them to defend it and help us secure our links to the local defenders.”

“I concur.  I’ve had a few words with the serfs as well.  Maintenance will not be a problem, we have laid in a lot of stores, and Captain Hanadan laid in a generous supply of munitions to ensure we have plenty of time for training.  I do think we should include our brothers in from the 7th in this training, in case we do need to work with them, if that is acceptable.”

“You are just hoping they make your scores look better.”

“Nonsense Master, I’m hoping they provide camouflage for your own scores, they are slipping, probably under the weight of all that ego you carry around!”

“Hah.  Speaking of which we are due for live fire ourselves.  Tomorrow we brief the sergeants.  Remember, no word of the rebel humans unless Herod or I say so.”

“Of course” sighed Maccabeus.  He stood to leave, his robes whispering as he turned to the door.  Balthasar looked sharply to the corner where a small figure darted from sight.  As he stood he grumbled to himself “Must have a word with Herod myself.  The watchers have been restless…”

Master Balthasar

Master Balthasar.  Captain of the Fifth Company.  Keeper of the Ritual.  Something of an enigma.  All that is known in the canon is that he’s a long term veteran of the Deathwing, was a veteran sergeant there, and took over the fifth after his mentor, Master Zadakiel, was killed by the Chaos Marines of the Crimson Slaughter.  So let’s flesh out this Dramatis Personae a bit.

Master Balthasar passed through the Scouts of the tenth with notice, but no great distinction.  He served ably in the Devastator and Assault squads of the reserve companies, earning a reputation as an able, precise close quarter fighter, far more at home is the press of melee than in the distant thunder of the big guns.

He moved into the reserve tactical company, and demonstrated exceptional situational awareness, frequently commanding a combat squad when his squad divided during operations.  His stint in the reserve tactical companies ended when he received a call to the 5th company, taking his place in the assault squads, one of which he swiftly rose to command.  As every marine  leader does, he led from the front, preserving his forces with canny tactics, carefully marshalling his squad and executing precision strikes, demonstrating masterful control of his squad as an extension of his will.  Master Belial was quick to call him into the Deathwing, trading the speed and flexibility of his jump pack for the inexorable power and stolid protection of the tactical dreadnought armor.  Taking part in many campaigns against traitors and renegades he learned much of the fallen and took the news of their existence in stride, incorporating it into his plans and tactics flawlessly.  He ascended quickly again, to knight and then to Deathwing Sergeant.  Commanding his own squad of knights until, in a raid against the Crimson Slaughter; chasing rumors of the Fallen, he watched across the battlefield as an ambush caught his old mentor and commander, Master Zadakiel and fire tore him and his command squad apart.

The Fifth faltered, and Balthasar rose to the moment.  Dispatching his squad to continue their mission he loped across the field, desperation forcing him beyond the normal limits of the powerful terminator armor until he was amongst his old brothers.  Snapping out orders quickly and surely he rallied the company and led them through the Crimson Slaughter’s defenses, although their Fallen comrade had slunk away, the Fifth had found their new master, and Azrael’s decision to award him the title Master merely confirmed that which was widely known when the company returned to the rock.  Putting down the bone white armor of the deathwing, he resumed the dark green of Caliban and took up the mantle of Master.

Swamps of M’boto part II

Master Balthasar saw the blue-skinned xenos as soon as he crested the knoll, passing close to the copse of trees, with two squads to his left, and another working its way through to his right, his squad screened the Devastators of Sergeant Simuels 9th squad who would set up on the top of the knoll after Balthasar’s command group had cleared it.  Balthasar boomed out the Dark Angels battle cry “REPENT, FOR TOMORROW YOU DIE” He swung his relic blade into his left hand, hoisting the massive Combi weapon one-handed he fired a bolter into the squad of xenos blocking the road beneath, as a large, fast-moving hovercraft blasted down the shoulder towards the Chaplain’s attack.

“Bring down that ship!” Balthasar cried, even as Simuel’s Missile Launchers and Plasma Cannons barked several shots, smashing the sturdy craft to the ground, where it began to burn even as the survivors of the squad within tried to crawl free, into the bolter fire of the rest of the devastator squad.  The tactical squads to Balthasar’s left also raked the wreckage, keeping the survivors from rallying under their cruel scourging fire.  Balthasar’s attention was jerked to his right as a shell struck his shoulder pad.  Across the road at some distance las-fire flickered from a position that was held by humans.

“Matthias, the hunt is on, your quarry is across the road on the far hill, call for support when you have closed in”  Balthasar tongued the stud switching to his command frequency.  “Brother Librarian, Sergeant Matthias is closing on the enemy.  I believe the signal you seek is near him”

“Very well Master Balthasar, we stand ready to drop on his signal.  For the Lion”  came the reply of Brother Librarian Herod.  The Iron Armor of the 3rd squad crashed out of the trees at last, at point blank range to the defenders currently firing at Balthasar’s group.  Other positions across the road had engaged the squad’s to Balthasar’s left and the Devastators were engaged with vehicles trying to force the road before the Chaplain could break through.  The clumsy, heavy armor of the 5th squad shrugged off the surprised, desultory fire of the defenders of the road, and the staccato bursts of their bolters sent the survivors of the attack fleeing.  Balthasar ran forward, leaping the barricade “Fifth, secure the barricade and aid 1st and 3rd.  Matthias are you in position?”

“We are, bring in the reinforcements”

Even before Balthasar could speak the booming chime of a teleporter announced the arrival of the Deathwing.  11 suits of Terminator armor, in the midst of the traitorous humans pinned under the heavy weapons of Matthias fast-moving speeders.  Lasgun and Bolter fire smacked into the terminators, not even slowing them as they opened a lethal close range fire, silencing nearly all resistance.

“The xenos are breaking!”  Called Eleazer, at the left of the line.

“Judah, harry them and destroy them”

“As the Emperor wills!”  called Eleazer, even as the jet packs launched them into a headlong pursuit.  Balthasar raced up the hill as the Speeders orbited at a safe distance.  The Devastators had chased off the xenos vehicles, one of which was burning, and smoke indicated other damage to the ones that limped away.  The bone-white terminators were in a ring around a small, sunken bunker.  One of them, armor picked out in blue, called out as Balthasar approached.

“He’s in there.  I can feel him.”  His powerful fist clenched on the staff he carried.  Balthasar looked around him.  “Purify the battlefield” he directed his squad “Herod and I will attend to this”

Herod hefted his staff and Balthasar blasted the door with the Combi-Weapon’s plasma gun, then stepped back as the bulky terminator-armored Librarian rushed the door, allowing him to heft his relic blade and race in on the Librarian’s heels.  A robed figure in simple armor faced them.

“Brothers”

“You have forsaken us, and that word.”

“You have forsaken the Imperial Truth, and all the Emperor stands foAAHHHHH” he cried, as a halo of pink and purple danced around the Chaplain’s hood.  As the figure started to buckle; Balthasar leapt forward securing the prisoner.  The librarian was speaking with the ship on another channel.  Balthasar hefted the prisoner to his feet the Librarian reached out a hand, grabbing the prisoner roughly.  “Begin the withdrawal, we have what we came for, our campaign is over”

“It is indeed.  Chaplain Maccabeus, send our transports to grid 10371138.  Have the apothecaries see to the wounded, and the fallen.  Inform the guard we are required elsewhere, the battle barge will be withdrawing us soon.”

5th Company, Dark Angels Organization

Here’s the full force I have minus some additional tanks.  Currently it is all set up as a massive Battle Company army clocking in at over 3000 points.  I actually have an enormous proportion of this, with only a few specific models to pick up, and tomorrow I will be doing the painting thing to a good portion of it.  Certainly at least the first Demi Company.  The high-level view is a battle company, with 3 of the tactical squads at 6 men, in razorbacks, the other 3 at ten men.  6 man squads have a plasma gun, 10 man have flamer and Heavy Bolter.  Razorbacks are all twin lascannon.  Assault squads are all full with jump packs and twin flamers.  I am missing 3/4 of the assaults and this is the largest hole in the roster currently.  Devastators are all at 10 men although I suspect a lot of point shaving will happen here.  They are all in Rhinos.  The Captain’s Demi Company has the command squad, with banner and apothecary.  The Chaplain could get tooled up, and will probably steal the devastator’s rhino and combat squad if he can.

The Auxiliaries is where things get crazy.  First off we have the Terminator squads.  The close combat squad comes in it’s handy land raider, which I plan on using to blitz upfield and deploy the terminators.  There’s a good chance there will be some extra terminators in it at some point, including the librarian depending on the powers he gets.  The shooty squad will deep strike in with those nasty Deathwing deep strike rules.  To take full advantage of them, we have a Ravenwing element.  This will also get looked at more closely as I actually use it in games.  Eventually I plan on having a pretty hefty Ravenwing with at least 3-4 speeders and 12+ bikes.  The special speeders DA gets are just too much fun to ignore.

+++ New Roster (Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition v2012) (3087pts) +++

++ DA Lion’s Blade Strike Force (Dark Angels: Codex (2015) v2003) ++

+ Core +

········Battle Demi Company
············Assault Squad [9x Assault Space Marine, 2x Flamer, Jump Packs]
················Assault Space Marine Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Chainsword]
············Command Squad [Apothecary, Company Standard]
················Razorback [Twin Linked Lascannon]
············Company Master
················Power Armour [Combi-Plasma, Infantry, Relic Blade]
············Devastator Squad [Armorium Cherub, 2x Missile Launcher, 2x Plasma Cannon, Rhino, 9x Space Marine]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Plasmagun, 5x Tactical Marine]
················Razorback [Twin Linked Lascannon]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Plasmagun, 5x Tactical Marine]
················Razorback [Twin Linked Lascannon]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Rhino, 9x Tactical Marine]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]

········Battle Demi Company
············Assault Squad [9x Assault Space Marine, 2x Flamer, Jump Packs]
················Assault Space Marine Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Chainsword]
············Chaplain [Crozius Arcanum, Infantry, Plasma Pistol]
············Devastator Squad [Armorium Cherub, 2x Missile Launcher, 2x Plasma Cannon, Rhino, 9x Space Marine]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Rhino, 9x Tactical Marine]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Rhino, 9x Tactical Marine]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]
············Tactical Squad [Plasmagun, 5x Tactical Marine]
················Razorback [Twin Linked Lascannon]
················Sergeant [Boltgun, Chainsword]

+ Auxiliary +

········Deathwing Redemption Force
············Deathwing Terminator Squad [Assault Cannon, 2x Chainfists, 4x Deathwing Terminators]
················Deathwing Sergeant [Storm Bolter and Power Sword]
············Deathwing Terminator Squad [4x Deathwing Terminators, 2x Pair of Lightning Claws, 2x Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield]
················Deathwing Sergeant [Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield]
················Land Raider Crusader [Multi-Melta]
············Librarian
················Psyker [Level 2]
················Terminator Armour [Force Stave, Storm Bolter]

········Ravenwing Attack Squadron
············Ravenwing Bike Squad [5x Ravenwing Biker]
················Ravenwing Attack Bike [Multi-Melta]
················Ravenwing Sergeant [Bolt Pistol]
············Ravenwing Land Speeder [Assault Cannon, Multi-Melta]

Created with BattleScribe (http://www.battlescribe.net)

WoW, Raiding

So week one of legion raiding is in the books.  For us non-mythic types anyway.  And we got a bunch of bosses down!  I was with the guild for 5/7 on normal, and the guild went 7/7 and 2/7 on heroic.  I just couldn’t raid more than two nights this week (or, ever if I want to stay married)

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Nythendra was a bit of a joke on normal.  We wiped once, and I died the second time when I trapped myself in a sea of green, then self-rezzed out of it.  Enhancement has some amazing utility and a great toolkit, but its survival is a bit crap at the moment.  Especially if I can’t plan ahead.  We then wiped on trash for a bit (actually we wiped on trash before Nyth, it might be the hardest part of the raid) and pressed on to Ursoc.

Our tanks took a while to get it down.  He requires a TON of tank swaps and healers have to stay on their toes, mostly to top up the tanks constantly rather than tons of raid damage.  For DPS you can tunnel like a kobold for 90% of the time then either step back or intercept a charge.  Not a challenge.

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Night one ended with 9 wipes on Il’gynoth.  We were not doing the damage we needed in the right place.  I kind of disagreed with how we were handling some of the adds, but I also didn’t speak up.  We had a lot of damage but our application of damage was all over the place.  I also popped a flask, like a nub, with 10 minutes left on my existing one, on our last pull of the night.  Sigh.

We then went back a couple nights later, killed the Dragon, which was frustrating because pretty much everyone made dumb mistakes (including me, now healing instead of dps) before getting a pretty much perfect pull and crushing the boss.

Elerethe was up next, the spider/bird boss.  This was a LOT of fun, we wiped once just learning the fight then cruised through it with some sharp play, people avoiding damage, and heals keeping people up.  I think this was a fight I should have been DPS to be honest, but I can see it both ways.

Finally it was back to Il’gynoth.  The wipefest continued with more healers than the other night.  Our healing wasn’t the problem.  Our raid team was taking way too much damage.  going from 3 healers to 4 didn’t make a difference, going to 6 wouldn’t take a difference.  People have to not stand in bad.  Finally we brought in another DPS (who was already locked out from gear) and one of our DPS changed the way he was handling adds to allow him to not die as much and we had an amazing clear.  I went from spamming all my cooldowns and healing constantly, to spot healing and even doing some damage.  Looking at the logs I went from healing 49 million HP to 42.  The fight didn’t last as long but my casts per minute were about the same, but the damage I was able to contribute (and healer damage matters) went from 14 million (in a longer fight) to 22 million.  So I healed more HP / second, by using more efficient heals, with better throughput, AND did a ton more damage.  Oh and I was alive to use bloodlust on the final phase.  Might have made a difference.  This is one fight I’m NOT looking forward to on heroic.  I also got a bunch of gear.  I got a DPS weapon upgrade, I got boots, and I got a ring.  Not bad for first week of raiding in… forever.

This week I want a full clear of normal and I’d like to kill everything up to Il’gynoth on heroic.  I really think Il is going to be the big hurdle for us (and most other casual raids) Also I’d like to remember to take screenies on all the kills.

EDIT:  Found the Il’gynoth kill pic!

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That someone hid me on by mounting….

So Who is Corelin

Hi, I’m Corelin.  I’m a gaming persona that was built up over years.  I’m sarcastic and bitter.  I’m savage and insightful.  I’m brutal and cruel.  I’m compassionate and caring.  I’m a courageous leader.  I’m a back bench back stabber.  I love filling the skill roles.  I hate responsibility.

I almost always end up in leadership.  I hate seeing things done badly and my sarcasm usually results in the “WELL WHY DON’T YOU SEE IF YOU CAN DO BETTER” and I usually manage it.  Not always, and never perfectly, but I do.  I play EvE.  LotRO.  WoW.  LoL.  FF XIV.  I FC.  I tank.  I Heal (badly).  I rarely back down from a challenge and if I leap to accept you had better ask who really challenged who.

I’m not Machiavellian but I do like my clever ruses.  Still and all I tend to stick to the simplest plan that will be effective.  Multiple converging strikes look great on notebook paper and history books but rarely work in a game.

Currently I’m doing two things I never thought I’d do.  Play WoW as a raider (first raid tomorrow night) and main a Shaman.  An Enhancement Shaman at that.  Raiding requires at least a casually intense gaming schedule, and Shaman… Shamans are weird.

Right now I’m geared up to where I can basically spend a couple nights a week on maintaining readiness (dailies and such) and a night or two a week raiding.  I have a spot as DPS which is… weird.  In FF I tanked, in LotRO I was usually doing small enough content that I did whatever.  Enhancement is a very interesting spec.  It has lots of little windows for good but not great burst damage, and they come at random times.  Sometimes you go on a drought where your cooldowns are staring at you like “USE ME” and there’s just no procs to use them on.  Sometimes the procs are coming so fast all the cooldowns are gone and you’re still doing good DPS.  I don’t really like how random it is at time.  On the other hand there’s so little ramp up time it’s very handy for add phases and any time I need to swap damage.  It’s like an instalock BC in EvE with no drones.  All my damage just starts hitting the other guy.  Now getting it on the right guy is the fun part of that “Ballet” I used to talk about raids being.  Expect more on that later.  For now, expect some activity from the blog.  Maybe even some screenies.

The Tourney Scene

So I’ve never hidden the fact that I really, REALLY hate tournaments in tabletop games.  With a blinding passion.  It keeps me up at night.  It forces good games into “metas” that leech the fun out of the game.  In my area, Warmachine / Hordes tourneys dominate the scene so much that finding a good casual game takes herculean efforts.  Recently I’ve noticed X-Wing has become rather toxic at times.  Fortunately it hasn’t taken hold in my local area but some of the things you see online.  Well.  Let’s look at this:

TO THE DEATH!

The short version is that there’s a lot of situations at X-Wing tournaments where an intentional draw is to the advantage of both players, and tournament mechanics combined with how FFG has enforced certain wordings has encouraged it.

The short, short version is that people are being rewarded to not play the game.

Now I don’t like games getting to the point where people play ultra competitive, soul crushing lists that don’t bring much fun to the game.  Where they rules lawyer every point bringing in every observer to haggle over the tenth of an inch long after the fun has been sucked away, beaten, dissected, dried up, turned to ash and blown away.  Even by that standard this is farcical.  People can gain an advantage by NOT PLAYING and this hasn’t even been responded to?

I play games for enjoyment.  The only FFG tourney I attended I ended up taking home cards.  After edging out a win in one match and getting WHOMPED in the second.  And I’m fine with that.  I love showing up on nights and playing a couple casual games where people are trying out fun and interesting lists.  Right now even with tourneys all over X-Wing is in a decent place meta-wise.  The new wave has shaken things up and while regionals are up, as well as a charity tourney this weekend, people are flying some interesting stuff.

This isn’t affecting me directly.    I can avoid the LGS on tourney prep nights and during tourneys.  I like playing a couple games a month and weekly play is on tap here, but just knowing this mindset exists is deeply disturbing, and hearing that FFG has even condoned it (hopefully only as a mistake) also disturbs me.

Strangely, the game that seems least affected by all this is 40k.  I know that there is a tourney scene, but you see more leagues than tourneys, partially due to the epically long games that any GW product can generate.  40k and Games Workshop in general is in pretty poor condition, but hey, they don’t have to worry about ugly tourney scenes.  Which is nice.

To wrap up this messy post; tourneys can take a fun game and turn it into a competitive mess.  X-Wing has pretty good meta management, but letting this intentional draw foolishness go on really damages the brand.

Jumping Around a Bit

So while I work out some transitions, here’s a scene with a bit more oomph to it.

Lieutenant Upham called us together.  22 of us, crewing 10 trucks with a handful of the best yokels filling the empty seats.  Still less than 30 of us total.  The trucks were lined up in two chalks, herringboned out on either side of the road.  Even though half the sun was over the horizon, even over the waist high shrubbery that seemed to have replaced grass in this weird climate, the yokel brigade was still struggling to get out of bed.

I focused in on the Lieutenant.  We had already gone over the briefing last night, and nothing had changed since the yokels went to bed, but you never knew if you’d missed something.  The plan was simple.  Drive our armored trucks up the road, pause at the village and provide support while the yokels grabbed the village.  Then we’d sweep around and skirmish forward to grab a crossroads that would let the rest of the division get assembled.  The route was straightforward, recon was nonexistent.  I would ride in Sergeant Mikkelson’s truck.  Last in line.  We ran with a light autocannon in the turret, as well as recovery gear.  We needed that to fill our primary job of dealing with casualties.  Our patrol rolled out as the first Yokel troops started to form up on the road.  We left them coughing on a cloud of dust as we started the 5 miles to the village.  We raced the first mile in a couple of minutes, but the hills forced us to slow down.  An hour later we were still barely coming in sight of the village and the first vehicle had barely started down the last hill when the guns opened up.

A deluge of fire plastered us from the ridge running perpendicular to us south of the village.  Our guns opened up but stacked up on the road and driving straight at them we had a hard time getting more than two sets of guns firing, and at this range we’d be lucky to hit the ground let alone the guns.  Shells fountained the dirt around us.  Upham called out the only orders he could and we raced forward, the Flaks engines pushing the massive bulk of bolted on armor and weapons into a lumbering, brain-rattling drive.  I put my foot in, eyes on the screens linked to the cameras on either side of the truck.  Rotating through the views trying to divine through the clouds of dust, flame, dirt and smoke whether I needed to brake, turn, or just plow forward.  One of the Flaks took a direct hit.  With the sound of an axe splitting a bucket the shell punched through the armor over the bed, then the concussive blast of the charge tearing the back half apart, the vehicle rolled forward, engine undamaged, before rolling off into the bushes.

“Left! left! left!” Mikkelsen called, taking us opposite the damaged truck.  I’d been moving my hands to turn right and quickly corrected, smoothly pulling the truck over unmasking our cannon to take the gunline under fire.  The heavy chook-chook-chook of the autocannon spitting tracers downrange into the flaming muzzle blasts reassured me even as a shell hit close enough to rattle shrapnel off our armor.  We were only a few hundred yards away and as we deployed into line abreast our guns quickly silenced the artillery.  12 guns had been emplaced in scraped out shelters, most of the crews in yokel uniform scattering down the opposite slope of the ridge even as Upham’s truck rolled over the first gun, heavy machine guns blazing down the hill.

“Keep the skeer on ’em!” Upham yelled as our trucks crested the ridge.  We pulled behind our line, leaving them to it as Eyallo moved into the back, getting the tow hooks ready.  We pulled in front of the damaged Flak, Eyallo managed to hook up without even getting out, almost like we designed the system with that in mind, and we hauled it to what had been the command post for the guns.

Upham called out over the platoon push just as we reached the laager, “1 through 4 plus 7 rush the town, the rest of us will go ’round west of town and catch them as they flee, looks like it’s only yokels here and god knows when the infantry will catch up”

“Shit.  L-T wants to win the damn war his own self.  Eyallo unhook that Flak,” he paused to push a button “order of march, 1, 7, 4, 2, 3.  Crags keep that grenade launcher pointed up the upper windows, rest of us watch ground floor, don’t give ’em a chance to aim, just level ’em if you see movement.  Get moving, GO GO GO” he yelled as 1 rolled out as soon as he heard the order.  I was already gassing it and Eyallo barely had time to scramble back to the passenger seat while Mikkelsen reloaded the cannon’s cumbersome clips.  The village was barely a quarter mile away and we took it at a run, the troops in it were facing East, and we were coming in from the south where, only minutes before, friendly artillery had been holding the line.  We hit them before they’d even come up with a plan to deal with the new threat and caught another battery of guns limbered up in the town square.  As soon as we opened fire the garrison of the village lit out for greener pastures.  Most of them never got there, unless you count Elysium.

We still lost another truck.  Tail end charlie got it.  One of the guns managed to get off the limber, and the gun captain, a grizzled old bastard, probably a former merc, had popped a shaped charged shell off, it had buzzed right down the line, missing every truck until it smashed square against the driver’s door on the number 3 truck.  The shaped charge went off, spalling and molten metal rattling around inside the crew cab turning it into a horror of burnt, bleeding dead meat.  The Flak seemingly stunned by the demise of its crew, shuddered to a halt.  Before it stopped the gun captain exploded as 2 trucks heavy machine guns turned him and his crew into pink mist.

We pushed on past the town, meeting up with the rest of the patrol.  Upham’s crews were trading shots with the last guns of the hostile Yokel’s artillery battalion.  We didn’t dare cross the three miles to them, and with two broke trucks and damage to the others starting to pass from “inconvenient” to “dangerous” we decided to hook up the damaged trucks and fall back on the advancing friendly brigade.  We didn’t hook up too fast.  By the timeline the Yokels should already be assaulting the village and we expected them to show over the crest of the ridge east of town any minute now, but once we were hooked up we moved out.

The drive back was odd.  Upham was in the lead, we were second, barely any dust screening our view.  No sounds of gunfire ahead, but no communications with the yokels.  We drove faster than we had on the drive out, even towing two trucks and with a couple others hammered by shells to where their alignment barely let them drive straight.  Barely a mile from where we’d started we ran into the Yokels.  A Major flagged us down, manning a checkpoint on the road with almost two platoons of troops behind sandbags, with heavy weapons, a radio, and trailers with the smell of fresh food conveniently at hand.

“Brigadier Moltz decided to halt the march.  The troops are tired from yesterday and he though marching through the hills and then fighting a battle would be too much to ask for, especially with the sounds of the fighting we heard!”

Upham said nothing.  3 dead, 2 wounded, and a wounded yokel in return for two thirds of a battalion of guns and a shattered couple of yokel battalions and our own guys give it up for a siesta.  I looked back to see Eyallo turning from dark brown to nearly purple.

“Easy, E.  Long as they pay us we fight the war for ’em.  Help me patch up Red and Sonny back there in 8 and get the Yokel turned over to these yahoos.  God help him.”