Sunday, 28 March 2010

Wait A Second, That Looks Like Gaming!

Well, that "game more" part of the Mission seems to have lurched back into life of late. Since the last time we spoke, m'colleague Shiny and myself have presented ourselves at the hallowed gates of Frugal Towers and enjoyed a game or two of Space Hulk against our gracious host Dave.

Our first ever game, touted as a very difficult scenario for the Space Marines, proved to be a stealthy victory, with valiant rearguard Terminators and a suspiciously effective Sergeant holding up the oncoming alien hordes long enough for the last surviving Terminator to set fire to the room that needed setting fire to before turning, two heavy flamer shots left, to face the oncoming tide of Genestealers that had been boiling along the corridors after him.

The second proved rather less of a triumph for the valiant warriors of the Imperium - overestimating the efficacy of a Sergeant with thunder hammer slightly, we (by which I mean I) sent him off on his own, only for him to get scrobbled by the first Genestealer to look at him funny. Our 'castle up and let the assault cannon sort it out' strategy on the other side of the ship worked out okay, at least until the aforementioned cannon ran out of ammunition, at which point Dave's grobbly alien hordes were able to more or less surround us. A quick examination of the board afterwards revealed some more advisable choke points where we could have parked the Sergeant and let him hold up more of the Genestealers, allowing our other four Terminators to concentrate on eliminating the ones emerging from behind him.

Space Hulk. Good game. Nice pieces, too: the Terminators in particular are very characterful little blighters who could sidestep nicely into a Blood Angels army with nary a care. The Genestealers are a bit less flexible, given their highly thematic basing, but a patient modeller could base an entire Tyranid army like that and it'd look suitably post-apocalyptic industrial and smashing.

Anyway, Dave made the return trip to Castle von Von this Thursday to try out his Goblin army against Shiny's Skaven, dusted off after long disuses and empowered by their new book full of nasty things. Dave's Goblins pulled off a few successes - his Fanatics and Stone Thrower whacked a fair few rats in the early turns, his Spider Riders kept a Clanrat unit and Warlock out of the fight on one flank and his Giant successfully routed the Plague Monks without a single blow being struck (ah, Yell and Bawl, how elite troops loathe thee) - but unfortunately his line units started taking panic tests, and when Goblins start taking panic tests, they very seldom stop. Enough of them rallied for it not to be a total wash, but their turns of gibbering retreat had left the army strung out for Shiny's oncoming wall of fur to roll over unit by unit.

I really enjoyed watching this game - suitably anarchic and banter-filled, and we persuaded Dave to keep going after the Turn of Much Panicking (since, to my eye, it looked like the Giant's long lopey legs could carry him into the Plague Monks, and taking out one of Shiny's units was still better than none).

The next round will be after the Easter break, and probably involve Dark Elves in some capacity or other. I'm clearing the pewter backlog to make way for evil pointy spiky elves. My Warmachine Steelheads are finally painted, a trifling three months after purchase, which leaves six Revenant Crew ready to paint, six stripped Trenchers to reprime and paint, plus two Satyxis Raiders, four Trenchers and four Revenant Crew in various states of broken-with-bits-missing-ness to fix up and find bases for.

I suspect I'll buy those bases and top up the Satyxis Raider unit while I'm away in Manchester over the Easter vacation (Warmachine units come in either sixes or tens in the second edition, and I own eight models: not terribly helpful). That'll have to be it as far as away spending goes. I haven't spent any gaming money this month, and I won't be spending any in May (no, no matter how many nice new Cryx things come out: I still haven't fielded everything I own for that army, and I own plenty), so there's a financial buffer around the hearty expenditure I plan on making in mid-April.


rpthomps1111 said...

Space Hulk is a good game and I like your analysis of the tactics afterwards. I recently played a game where the marines didn't do so hot and I attributed it to wasting my heavy weaponry ammo too early. I am still thinking of how to get around that....


twitter: rpthomps

Dave said...

Thanks for the write up Von and Cheers for hosting the game! I agree they were a couple of good games of Space Hulk, I’m glad I picked up a copy, it’s well worth the RRP (but perhaps not the ridiculously inflated ebay prices!).
I really enjoyed the game of Warhammer last week, the giant performed well and I’ll be making full use of him in the future, but I think I need to address the Goblin Panic issue. For me the highlight of the game was the look on Shiny’s face when I told him that my Goblin Shaman had the Staff of Sneaky Stealin’ and I got to use one of his power dice in my dispel pool. Perhaps actually taking one of his own personal dice to use was taking it a bit far (heh heh). In summary, Goblins: Useless but fun.
I’m really looking forward to next time, how hard can the Dark Elves be..?

Von said...

Thinking about Goblin Panic: I think your biggest problem there is that you're running a Leadership 5 Shaman as your General. The Raggedy Banner is a good start, but re-rolling against Ld5 is still not that spectacular.

If I were running the Goblins at 1500, I'd probably take a Goblin Big Boss as the general, to get that crucial Leadership 7 (and the attendant probability jump compared to the Night Goblin Big Boss' Leadership 6). That plus the re-rolls from the Raggedy Banner would make a world of difference. Stick him on a Spider and say he's with the Spider Riders (shame you don't own a Gigantic Spider - they're pretty decent mini-monsters and Shiny's arachnophobic... no, wait, that's cruel and unusual). Give him Martog's Best Basha and the Enchanted Shield and he's almost a competent fighter (well, he's about as good as a Goblin's gonna get anyway).

Of course, that means you're only taking the one Shaman, but with the Staff of Sneaky Stealin' you're still sitting on four Dispel dice and that's enough to cover you in 1500 points (especially since you're also pilfering a Power die off your opponent).

I realise that means you're trading out a bit of offensive power. The annoying thing about Little Waaagh magic's that every spell on the list is just a little too hard to cast for a chap who's only got four dice to play with... but if you stick Nibbla's 'Itty Ring on your Goblin Big Boss you've another ranged attack spell to maybe absorb a Dispel die from the enemy. An opportunistic Gaze of Gork from the Shaman's another one potentially gone, and then you've three dice left for a crack at some of the good stuff.

It might be worth a go for next time. Same magic defence (pretty much, you're down one Dispel die anyway), similar net magic offence, and you gain a competent, if not brilliant, fighty character and that crucial Ld7 with re-rolls to Break and Panic tests that should really help keep your army together.

Von said...

And of course, now that I've checked it: the Goblin Big Boss can't ride an ordinary Giant Spider. Which is weird.

Frugal Dave said...

Hmm, plenty of good ideas there... The next item on my painting list is my unit of Spider Riders and I was planning a few minor conversions. Perhaps a large scale conversion to make a Gigantic Spider would be fun...

I'm also tempted to improve my Nurgle theme by replacing the Squig Herd models with some giant maggots, perhaps using the fantastic Heresy models or even making my own. Green Death anyone?

Frugal Dave said...

Don't you love the way that your profile details don't update for previous posts. (Lifts up false beard) It's me!

Von said...

I approve wholeheartedly of weird Nurgly goblins with giant maggot squigs. I also approve wholeheartedly of scratchbuilt Gigantic Spiders and would look forward to seeing whatever your demented mind comes up with.