Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Warhammer 40K: Playing in a League

Hi everyone,

Sunday (our first day playing in the 40K League) was extremely fun!

Here are a few of the highlights:

- Met Mr. L - who is the League coordinator.  He explained the plan.

- Week 1 (which we missed) -- 500 point army
- Week 2 (which we were there for) -- 750 point army
- Week 3 (which will be this coming Sunday) -- 1000 point army
- Week 4 (week following that) -- guessing this will be 1250 ??  Will have to ask Mr. L.

Mr. L suggested that we start out by playing a catch-up battle of 500 points.

So, we got to work creating a 500 point list - quickly.  Here's what we came up with:
  • Good old GT (Ghazghkull Thraka).  He's 225 points.  And, that's a whole lot for one character.  But, the bottom line is that for us as beginners, we seem to have a harder time goofing up with him than we do with others....
  • The Yellow Orky's Killikans.  With those Gretchins as pilots they shoot well - and do well in close fighting.
  • The Pink Ork Boyz plus a nob.
  • The Pink Orky's Gretchins.
Battle #1:

  • Ended up playing Mr. M and his mighty Space Marines!
    • He brought a Librarian -- so this ended up being our first experience against psychic powers.  And, please let us say that emfeeblement was a massive bummer for GT and his Ork Boyz!
  • Battle went well - the Killikans did nicely as did GT.
  • The Gretchins were quickly wiped out without doing much.  (Need to figure out how to handle them better -- put them in a Trukk?)
  • Mr. M was extremely helpful and nice.  Offered strategies.  This was extremely cool of him considering that in the end it was a tie on points.  So, league-wise he helped us by offering those suggestions.
  • The terrain was extremely cool - took a photo post-battle of one of our favorites pieces with Ghazghkull and the Yellow Orky Killikans trudging by the chemical swamp....
Battle #2:

Ghazghkull Thraka leads the Pink Orky's charge!
  • Played against Mr. Z and his super-fast Eldar.
    • This was a first for us.  Never played against Eldar before.  It's cool that their fragile - but a bit challenging in how quickly and how far they can move!!!
  • Battle was 750 points - so we added to our army
    • Unit of Warbikers
    • Power klaws on Ork Boyz
    • Unit of Nobs (they did quite well!!)
    • Painboy (a first try for us)
  • The battle was the scenario which is diagonal -- and with objectives.
    • That was both good and bad for us :)
    • Good - diagonal was easier to reach the middle - seemed to be easier for charging in!
    • Bad - we didn't do our best strategy thinking with the objectives
  • Mr. Z was just as helpful and cool about the battle as Mr. M had been.  And, the game actually came down to whether or not we would end early or play more turns.  We rolled - it was over - for Mr. Z won.
    • With Mr. Z's help, we had actually done some damage to several of the Eldar units.  It's possible that if we'd played 1 more turn, we might have gotten more objectives and challenged his final score numbers.  But, it didn't - game ended - and Mr. Z won the battle.
  • PS:  In this type of battle, our charge in with the Warbikers sort of back-fired because it turned into a point when Mr. Z killed off this "fast attack" unit.  Need to think about that for the future.
All in all, a very exciting day.  Really looking forward to next Sunday and playing some more!

Stitched back together by the Pain Boy - the Pink Orkys are ready for the next battle!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Plans for tomorrow - X-wing game today

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow will be attempting something new for us -- going to try playing in a 40K session at Game Kastle in Fremont, CA.  Sounds like this event is part of an "escalation" series - maybe this is just the first session.  We hear that beginners are welcome (that's us) so we'll try it out :)

Not sure if we'll be packing up the Space Marines or the Orkys for tomorrow.  Probably the Orkys.  We have some new members of the pink and yellow factions who are itching to fight.

[Link to the Game Kastle, Fremont calendar.]

Couple of other updates....


- Played X-wing with Mr. E and Ms. P today.  Also pulled in Artist Expert for a full-blown 5-person game.

- We stacked the deck for those who were playing for the first time - rebels had LOTS of upgrades.

- Sure enough the Empire was defeated.  However, should note that the Empire did put the Millenium Falcon 1 damage card away from being blown into space-dust.  And, also good to note that lessons from the tournament turned out to be well learned - didn't fly into anywhere near as many asteroids.  [Link to our blogging about the 1st ever tournament for the Battle Gaming crew - where we went 0 for 3 in battles - but learned a LOT!]

- Need to brush up on the rules for gunners in the MF.  Think we got that right - but feeling a little bit unsure.

- And (updated posting) found some Y-wings and a Tie Advanced on eBay.  Had been a bit stumped on where to find those - and really wanted to try out the trench battle with them in place.  Can do now after they arrive (from Colorado!)  [Link to our Death Star trench blogging.]

- Really excited to try them out in a battle (especially excited about the trench).  There is a droid in the Y-wing expansion which seems really cool - can recover damage cards ??!!  Maybe that's even better than what R2-D2 can do?

Batlte Gaming One, Y-wings, Death Star
Gold Squadron (well, maybe a little bit short of a squadron) ready to attack the Death Star

Darth's TIE Advanced, X-wing, Death Star, Battle Gaming One
"I'm on the leader!"

Other 40K news:

- Lots of progress on the Dakka Chugga.  Will post an update shortly - but starting to glue pieces together now!

- Tried out air-brushing.  Wow!  That is a fast way to paint!  It was much easier than we had figured.  (Painted the under-side of the Pink Orkys flyer.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

X-wing: Death Star Trench!

Hi everyone,

We finished up construction of our Death Star Trench.  (It was taking us a while, but we heard that the Emporer was coming for a visit - so we redoubled our efforts - haha!)

Here was our construction process:

1) Unfolded a long-ish box (box was free)

2) Supported with pink foam beams and braces along the outside (found the pink foam for free as well).  The pink foam turned out to work pretty well to hold things straight and square.  Used hot glue to attach everything.

3) Got ourselves from sticker paper

4) Downloaded some Star Wars Death Star graphics (thanks to the great tip)

Here's a link to the website where we bought the PDF of great Death Star graphics.

5) Printed the sheets out; ran out of printer ink; got more; printed more sheets out

6) Then, stuck them down - and we were in business.

Overall it's about six feet long.

Not sure if anyone has any cool rules for playing Death Star Trench - going to think some up - and will write-up how our attempts go.

Also - need step (7) - building some turbo-laser cannon turrets.  Thinking to build them from pink foam as well.

Also have some extra Death Star sticker sheets.  Thinking to stick those on the back of our black 3 foot x 3 foot X-wing battle mat - in case we want a Death Star background instead of an outer space one.

Here is one photo we took with some straight-ahead lighting.  Had fun setting this up.  Respect for the George Lucas team pretty high after trying all of this.  Amazing what they were able to do.

Battle Gaming One, battle of Yavin, Death Star Trench, making a trench, blowing up the death star, Star Wars X-wing

(By the way, apologies for single X-wing, two E-wings, Tie Defender and two Tie Fighters.  We don't have yet have the make-up of the Battle of Yavin in our Rebel or Imperial force rosters.)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

X-wing: Tournament Lessons Learned (Figuring out how to play in a tournament)

Hi everyone,

Well, how about if we start with some of the key things we've learned about how to play in an X-wing tournament :)

A quick look at the tournament set-up.  Six players - three rounds.

1) Bring lunch!  We got SOOO hungry.  And, there really isn't time to go get food between rounds.

2) Bring a tray!  Just like many people do for Warhammer 40K, we watched one person (Mr. B) very comfortably move his force from spot to spot -- while we scrambled to move our dice, our templates, our ships, our markers....

3) Figure out the powerful combinations in advance (if you can).  We were a long way from winning, but we did learn a powerful-lot about how to play.  A really powerful thing was that each person there had worked out a really great combination of ships and upgrades -- where the two worked really well together.

4) Practice flying!!!  We flew into/through lots of asteroids.  We crashed into lots of ships.

5) Consider playing Rebels to start out.  More shields.  It seemed a consensus that a challenge with playing the Empire is that with many ships one bad defense roll and your ship goes up in smoke.

6) Figure out your formation flying in advance.  Think hard about who in your formation will move first - and *maybe* put the lower pilot scores in the front, not the back :)

So....  Here's how our battles went.

Round 1:

- Played a very nice gentleman - helped us through our first round in a tournament :)
- His force -- Millennium Falcon piloted by Han, with 3-CPO.  He also had two A-wings.

Results:  1 A-wing destroyed; All Imperials destroyed.  So, we scored 20 points.
- Other results:  Lots of mistakes with flying.  Very hard to fly with the Tie Fighters with higher piloting skills in front; and the lower pilot skill Defender and Phantom in back!!!
- Other mistakes:  We kept forgetting to use Mauler Mithel's Predator upgrade.
- We were also shy on good use of the Defender's Ion Cannon and the Phantom's cloaking.

Round 2:

- Played Mr. B who had clearly played quite a lot before.
- His force -- Phantom, Slave-1-type ship, Interceptor

Results:  We did not kill any of Mr. B's ships.  But, he killed all of ours.
- Other results:  Scratched up several more asteroids.  And, could see that we really missed a few good barrel-roll chances.
- Key lessons:  Got to see the power of the Advanced Cloaking Device with Mr. B's Phantom.  Wow!  Very maneuverable.

Here is the pilot Mr. B was flying

With Advanced Cloaking Device, Echo was really powerful

Round 3:

- Played Mr. B2 - also very experienced.
- His force -- 2 B-wings, 1 X-wing, 1 A-wing

Results:  We did not kill any of Mr. B2's ships.  And, yes, he killed all of ours.  But, we were at least close to killing one of his B-wings and his X-wing.
Other results:  We did some cloaking - and actually managed a good de-cloak + K-turn to have a chance at a range 1 shot (which we missed).
And:  We almost took out Wedge in his X-wing (though we didn't)

- Yup, we came in last of the 6 players.
- But, we did get a cool new Tie Fighter card!!
- And, most important, we learned a ton (in each battle) and we had a GREAT time.

Many thanks to each person we played with and spoke with.

Cool new Academy Pilot card :)

X-wing: Pre-tournament blog

Hi everyone,

We are two hours from our first tournament (where we play).

We're heading to the X-wing tournament at Gator Games.

We posted to ask for some advice on the Fantasy Flight Games website - got some really helpful advice.  (Here's a link to that.)

Basic suggestions for our first tournament:

1) Good confirmation that pre-measuring is not OK in X-wing.  Proper play involves "eye-balling" the moves.

2) Go with a small number of good ships.

We are planning to use the following:

- Tie fighter - Mauler Mithel
- Tie fighter - Howlrunner
- Tie defender - Onyx Squadron Pilot
- Tie phantom - Shadow Squadron Pilot

Battle Gaming One, X-wing, Beginning Tournament, First Tournament

Some debate over whether to spend the 6 points that would leave on Ion Cannons - or whether to spend on pilot upgrades like Predator and Marksmanship.  We'll take all of these with us and make a game-time decision.

By the way, a bit reluctant to use the Tie phantom - the cloaking rules seem a bit unnatural.  But, going to try it anyway...

3) Keep the Tie fighters in formation.

Wow - that turns out to be tricky!  The classic would be to execute a corpen or wheel turn - but that's not really easy in X-wing.  Really curious to see how others do it (or if they even do).

The Corpen or Wheel Turn
(Link to some classic Navy ship formation patterns)

Some quick observations of the turn templates.  Gentle 1 and Gentle 2 (or 2 and 3) hold ships abreast in the first rank - but not the second.  So, an S-turn will work, but a full right hand turn is tough.

The hard turns are tricky.  The pitch between 1, 2 and 3 is so tight that you can't get ships to track in an abreast formation unless the inner ship turns 1 and the outer ship turns 3.

Will post shortly with how we do :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Star Wars X-wing: A weekend of preparation

Hi everyone,

We have signed up for the challenge of playing Star Wars X-wing at the tournament at Gator Games next weekend.  (Link to the event details)

So, we've played quite a bit this weekend - working on getting ourselves to the place where we are at least decent with some of the trickier rules.  (We'll see how it goes!)

A few things along the way:

1) It bugged us to have the brown table top as our "space background".  So, we found a solution.  Black foam-core board for presentations which is either 24" x 36" - or - if you unfold it, the recommended 36" x 36" - or even double unfolded to 48" x 36" (we figure for bigger point battles).

Star Wars X-wing beginners, Battle Gaming One

Here's the foam-core board we got at Staples

Fighting on black space background is much more cool.

Dropped the foam core onto the table and we were in business!

2) We found some more models - even the elusive Millennium Falcon thanks to an east coast game store :)

Beginning Star Wars X-Wing, Battle Gaming One
Sure enough - looks more like an outer-space battle

3) We started thinking about what would be fun to create and blog about....  The Death Star trench attack run!

There have been some really impressive things done along these lines.  Ours - going to be pretty simple.

- We unfolded a long-ish cardboard box - and wrangled into a trench shape.  It's about 6' - 8' long.  (A good lunch trench run of several turns we figure.)  Disclaimer - it's a bit wide - probably no challenge for Luke - but a) it's the box we had; b) we're not always to great a navigation - so we need the help :)

Testing out our liberated cardboard box - Death Star trench

- Then, with some pink foam we reinforced it so that it would stand up.

Pink foam braces to hold up the sides

How to make a Death Star Trench, Battle Gaming One, Star Wars X-Wing
Our trench so far!

- That's as far as we've gotten.  Next steps will be:  Add sticker paper with cool Death Star surface details (like this very cool person did) - we have already purchased the PDF file from as the same cool person did (link to that site).  And, we want to build some turbo-laser towers.  After looking hard at pictures from the movie, think we can make this from pink foam as well.

We'll report back in when we have the Death Star ready to go !!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Warhammer 40K: BAO 2014 (San Jose)

Hi everyone,

This summer we went to the Bay Area Open 2014 (BAO 2014) in San Jose.  We did a short blog write-up about it - but now that we have played quite a bit more 40K, thought it would be worth a quick reflection.  (It was really quite cool!)

BAO 2014, Bay Area Open 2014, Warhammer 40K BAO 2014, Space Marines

We signed up for the Friendly Tournament.  This was great.  Though we were well short of being ready to play "with the big kids", we were really pleased to find everyone there very accepting.  And, when we asked if we could battle with our armies on one of the unused (very cool) tables set up with terrain and cool battle mat, the answer was, "no problem - sure :)"

Also great was that (since we were still figuring out some of the rules), we had a room full of people to ask for guidance.  Of course many were in the midst of serious battle.  But, others were taking breaks, just watching, or having lunch -- and they were happy to be helpful.

Battle Gaming One, BAO 2014, Bay Aare Open Warhammer, Space Marines, Orks
The Pink Orks line up against the Space Marines in one of their first (now of many) battles.  Note the very cool terrain!

Looking back it's fun to see how far we've come in terms of setting up our armies.  We still hadn't fully painted very many of our models when BAO 2014 rolled around....  We didn't even know what we didn't know - ha ha!  (Hadn't had a hard time with Resin models; hadn't melted our attempt at pink foam terrain; etc....)

BAO 2014, Pink Orks, Space Marines, Beginning Battle
A reversed view of the set-up - clear to see the Space Marines lined up to punish the Orks!
Deff Dread in Trouble, Fighting with a Deff Dread, BAO 2014, Pink Deff Dread
The Space Marines quickly did damage to the Orky's Deff Dread.   We paused the battle to pick up some of the very cool plastic flame indicators (seen here).

Gretchins fight Terminators, BAO 2014
Turns out that Gretchins don't do so well in close combat with Terminators!

We are certainly looking forward to going to another event link this one (BAO 2015).  We'll keep an eye on the Frontline Gaming website to see if one is posted.  (Link here)

Other cool notes:
  • We saw some amazing paint jobs.  Really too many to list.  The Eldar armies painted with airbrushing were terrific.  The Ork army with looted vehicles with lighting were great.
  • We learned how diverse armies could be.  From huge mobs of Orks to an army made up of only 5 Imperial Knights.
  • We saw someone else who went crazy with Pink Ork type coloring
  • We saw very cool LED kits (which got us thinking about things we could do along the same lines)